It's Dai Time

Katie & Scott & Simon & Cecily.

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2015: young scrappy and hungry

It’s almost 2016. Cecily celebrated with a Netflix Care Bears countdown, Simon with a 30 second Force Awakens TV spot, and I with a 9 PM livestream from New York City. Now it’s time to sit in bed, watch Insurgent on HBO GO, and reflect on my triumphs and failures from the past year.

This was the year that Cecily started preschool, meaning there is a time when both of my kids are in the care of adults other than my wife, which is both fantastic and terrifying. This was the year that I listened to Hamilton and my world turned upside down. This was the year that Star Wars won the marketing and hype battle for everything. This was the year that was.

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Scott Dai’s Podcast Roundup 2014

As promised, here it is!
Scott Dai’s Podcast Roundup 2014

I mention the following podcasts on the roundup – first link is to the podcast’s main site, second is a direct subscription link that should add it to your podcasting app/software.

This American Life (Subscribe)
Planet Money (Subscribe)
Radiolab (Subscribe)
Serial (Subscribe)
Slate Political Gabfest (Subscribe)
99% Invisible (Subscribe)
Answer Me This (Subscribe)

2014: and home before dark

Happy 2015! What a year it’s been. My children continue to grow – too quickly it feels. Simon and Cecily are both in some of preschool program now. Simon begins actual real live kindergarten in 2015, Cecily is able to sing several verses of Frozen songs, and I am wondering how much longer I can fool them into thinking that I’m cool.

Katie had an exciting year, too, punctuated by her appendix bursting on or around her birthday.

Now, quickly, before the champagne gets flat, let’s look at this past year through the lens of a few rash resolutions I made 365 days ago.

  • Balance the family budget.
    50% success. I got budgeting software early in the year to do this, and I didn’t keep up with it all year, but our finances changed such that we came out in the black in our annual report.
  • Brush up on programming enough to make a little game or project.
    Massive failure! Didn’t brush up. Didn’t make. I did some thinking about this, but no doing. Sad trombone.
  • Read a dozen books. This is my year, I feel it.
    Not quite, but better than last year. I think I got 7 this year, which is more than halfway there.
  • Never yell at Simon. Not once.
    Failure. This one’s really hard for me. I love my son, but boy does he know how to get my goat more than anyone else I’ve ever known. I should be better at this. I need to be better at this.

So that’s that. If we count the two half victories, I can give myself a generous 0.250 batting percentage. What about this year? Can we cross 0.300 and become a decent contact hitter?

  • Make 2 Twine Projects/Games – the interactive fiction system, not the material
  • Read 10 Books – a lesser goal, but still more than I’ve been reading
  • Get Abs – not like rock hard ones, but existent ones
  • Continue Roll the Dai – don’t stop believing
  • Count to 10 – before responding to my child’s behavior if I feel angry, unless of course, they’re like falling off a cliff, in which case catch them and then count to 10

Those all seem doable, right? I mean, maybe not the abs. All right all right all right list of stuff time. Hit me up on any social network except LinkedIn if you want to discuss or take umbrage to any of these.
Best Movie I Saw in Theaters: Big Hero 6
Best Movie I Saw in Theaters with Singing: Into the Woods
Best Movie I Saw in Theaters and Then Again and Again at Home: The LEGO Movie
Best Movie I Saw Because I’m an EA Employee: Need for Speed
Best Movie I Saw Because I’m Friends with Brain Kaiser: Transformers: Age of Extinction
Best Movie I Saw in a Plane Over the Pacific Ocean: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Movie I Saw Randomly on Netflix: In Bruges
Best TV Show (New): True Detective
Best TV Show (Old): Parks and Recreation
Best TV Show That Was Obviously Going to Get Canceled: Selfie
Best TV Show We Ended Up Watching Tons of on Netflix: Once Upon a Time
Best TV Show Second Season We Probably Should Be Watching Instead: House of Cards
Best TV Show Second Season We Actually Did Watch: Orange is the New Black
Best TV Show I’ve Been Meaning to Get Around to Watching: Jane the Virgin
Best TV Show Katie Watches Without Me Because I Got Bored of It: How to Get Away with Murder
Best TV Show to Keep Simon Entertained for Hours: Wild Kratts
Best Young Adult Book I Read: Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Best Book I Finally Read So I Can Finally Watch Season 1 Spoiler-Free: Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Best Literally the Only Music Album I Bought All Year: Taylor Swift, 1989
Best AAA Game: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Indie Game: Hexcells Infinite
Best Indie Game Post-Launch Update: Goat MMO Simulator
Best EA Game I Helped Make: The Sims 4
Best EA Game I Didn’t Help Make: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
Best Game Where I Can Kind Of Be The Monkey King: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Best UGT Game: Mount Your Friends
Best Game According to Simon: Cat Mario (aka Super Mario 3D Land)
Best Singer of For the First Time in Forever: Cecily
Best Superhero Colorer: Simon

And keep your ears open for a special Scott Dai 2014 Podcast Roundup, which should appear on this very blog (and potentially various social networks other than LinkedIn) in audio form in a few days, once our main computer downstairs has a new power supply and is up and running again.

One midnight gone!
(See you next year.)

2013: mean and green (and over)

It’s another year, which means it’s finally time to write a blog entry about the past year. It’s time to recap what happened in list format, focusing of course on consumerist media and glossing over the things that really mattered emotionally, like our children’s milestones – the fact that Simon is actually a little human now in more than a simply biological sense and that Cecily infuriatingly refers to me either as “mommy” or “dolly” and is currently not napping even though she’s supposed to be darn it.

But first, let’s begin with everyone’s favorite part of the program (I know it certainly is mine!) and see how totally I failed this past year at resolution-keeping.

  • Write and “publish” a piece of interactive fiction each month.
    Massive Failure! This didn’t happen. At all.
  • Read a dozen books. Seriously. That’s not that many.
    Failure. I did better than last year, but not much. I think I read the first two books in the Dragon Tattoo series, along with a few odds and ends, but still probably never even reached the halfway point.
  • Come home in time for family dinner as often as possible.
    Success? Pat on the back to my past self for such a vaguely worded resolution that it’s hard to fail. Still, I felt like I worked later than I needed to more often than necessary.

Let’s move on! What’s up next, fair reader? What does 2014 hold for Scott’s Bound-for-Failure Resolution Wheel? Let’s give it a spin and find out where it lands.

  • Balance the family budget.
  • Brush up on programming enough to make a little game or project.
  • Read a dozen books. This is my year, I feel it.
  • Never yell at Simon. Not once.

That’s more things than last year. How can I possibly succeed? Maybe next year, one of my resolutions can be to not set myself up for failure. Alas, a man can dream.

Enough self-reflection. It’s time to turn our judgmental glares upon the stuff I watched, played, and barely read over the past year. Last year’s list format worked so well that I would be a fool to try something new. Here goes.

Best Movie I Saw in Theaters: Frozen
Best Movie I Saw in DBOX: Fast & Furious 6
Best Movie I Rented from Work: Les Miserables
Best Movie I Rented from Work and Didn’t Watch but Really Do Mean to Getting Around to Some Day: Argo
Best Movie I Bought on Black Friday Having Never Seen It Before: Pacific Rim
Best Movie I Didn’t See: Gravity
Best Movie in the Tinker Bell Series: Tinker Bell
Best New TV Show: Orange is the New Black
Best Old TV Show: Modern Family
Best New TV Show I Only Watched 2 Episodes Of: The Wrong Mans
Best TV Show to Keep Simon Entertained for Hours: Busytown Mysteries
Best TV Deal: Slurpees for Hulu Plus
Best Book I Read: Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish
Best Book I Thought About Reading: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Best Book I Started Reading: Ready Player One
Best Thing Simon Said: “OK, girl, I’m going to flash you, OK?”
Best “Entertainment Weekly Best Album” Album I Bought: Same Trailer Different Park
Best “Entertainment Weekly Worst Album” Album I Bought: This is…Icona Pop
Best AAA Game: Bioshock Infinite
Best Indie Game: Guacamelee
Best Indie Game (Future): Starbound
Best Game According to Simon: The Cave
Best Game Where I Can Dress Up Like the Monkey King: Sleeping Dogs
Best Game for Making Me Think I’m Working on Sims Medieval: Desktop Dungeons
Best Game I Thought I Was Going to Dislike: Gone Home
Best Game I Bought Because of Peer Pressure: Spelunky
Best Game for Winning Free Bao from Brian Kaiser: Zen Pinball 2
Best Toddling: Cecily
Best Na Hoolk: Simon

See you next year!

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