Friday, January 23, 2015
To 2015 with Love and Digression...
It takes a new year (and a few weeks after that) to pull me out of my blogging lethargy, but here I am. Another milestone, a new blog post.
I made a lot of resolutions last year, so no new year post would be right without a bit of retrospective.
So, how did 2014 go?
As to 2014's resolutions. Well, that was then.
Eat better - I am eating less pizza. That's better, I think. I'm not jonesing for Chinese take-out. I am, however, eating a lot of delicious Beecher's Mac & Cheese and frozen Lasagna. I like pie, so sue me. I have gotten into the groove of not buying a big lunch. Instead, I get some frozen meals and eat those at work. I did lose some weight and then gained some back, but overall there is less of me being acted upon by the Earth's gravitational pull than there was 12 months ago.
Digression: I first encountered Beecher's at the Sea-Tac airport where they have a small cafe. The only other Beecher's cafe in the world is at Pike Place in Seattle. It's delicious. You can get it frozen almost anywhere, I think. For a while, I was in love with Whole Foods mac 'n' cheese. For a while after that, I was hooked on the Mac and Cheezola (made with Gorganzola cheese) from Metropolitan Market (which also has ready-made deviled eggs!). But Beecher's takes the prize. It's rich and creamy and has a wonderful tang to it.
Blog more - I have been reminded recently that my resolution to blog more in 2014 was a hollow promise. All too true. My last published post in 2014 was September! Two-thirds of my blogging last year was in January. After that, not a single new post until July and two posts in August. I do have several unfinished posts for 2014 to my credit (or is it my shame?). I start 'em, but I tend to write long rambling posts with lots of pictures and digressions, so I don't finish 'em. Being a writer for a living can be taxing when it comes to writing for fun. I much prefer the latter, but by day's end I'm all worded out. The last thing I want to do is sit at my computer and type. I get so far into a digression that I digress right off into a new draft post, from which I then digress...
Paint more - I have not painted more, but I have painted. My 40mm prehistoricalistic Europeanoids were a big project that I finished entirely. Entirely. I haven't one unpainted or half-painted figure left. Even the chariot is done. I also managed a few more 28mm WW2 figures, but the bulk of that work was done in 2013. Other than that, I have a lot of things started and in the works (which is a familiar refrain). Also, even though I've been not diagnosed as having ADD, the enticing shininess of new things often leads to old things languishing. I have a lot of half-painted figures. Maybe clearing the dining table was a mistake...
Watch TV less - I gave up TV for Lent. For 40 days and 40 nights (and a few weeks beyond that) I eschewed the vidiocy to which I am all too easily prone. I thought I might wean myself off TV entirely, but that didn't happen. I almost gave up TV for Advent as well, but that didn't happen either. I may have to wait until my antique Sony Trinitron goes kaput. The inertia that keeps me from buying a new TV (one of them new-fangled flat things) may just be the trick to kick the habit. Until then, I may get a bit dumber.
Read more - Yes! I have read a lot more this year. I featured that in the last blog of 2014. It was all I could do during Lent, anyway. As usual, I'm reading several books at once. I find that when reading I get diverted towards another book that gets addressed or whose subject is mentioned in the book I'm reading. I have typically spent more than two hours a day reading. I can feel the brain enlarging despite still watching TV. I hope it's not encephalitis.
Exercise - I renewed my gym membership. What more do you want? I watched TV less, but I read more. Both involve sitting. If I could sit and exercise...
Spend less - Getting better. Not really budgeting still, but spending more time looking at where the money goes and buying less of the things I typically buy (like blowing a lot of money on eating out, ordering pizza, etc.).
Declutter - I have done some. I took a hard look at gaming projects that I haven't done anything with for a while and sold them off. Gone are my painted 15mm WW2 figures. I have, however, many more unpainted WW2 figures than I ever had painted. At our recent Drumbeat game day, I tried selling my beloved 3rd c. Romans along with my mass of unpainted Sassanids. I got no buyers. That may not be too bad. I have mixed feelings about parting with them. I'll need to re-base them (ugh!) to do anything else with them, but I may go with an adaptation of the Lion Rampant skirmish rules that came out last year (yes, I have an unfinished blog post about that—two, in fact). I'm also not averse to painting more Romans. I have another 80 figures or so that are unfinished and they are beautiful castings—but I digress...
Blame the cats less - As if.
So, other unplanned, unresolved events in 2014 were leaving Expedia and finally becoming a Catholic.
Adios, Expedia - I'm at AT&T now. I got fed up with management issues after some changes and re-org at Expedia. I almost got a job at Google down in California, but stayed here in the cold, wet Pacific Northwest instead. AT&T feels temporary, so I might wind up somewhere else this year, but we'll see. There are a lot of advantages to being at AT&T. It's closer, the hours are better, the pay is a tad higher, I can fit in daily mass (see below). I miss a lot about Expedia, but if I go back there, it won't be where I left from. I am, alas, far from retiring.
I, Papist - After 35 years a Protestant, I stopped protesting and swam the Tiber.
It wasn't a Jesuit plot, I assure you, and having a degree in theology and further graduate studies at seminary beyond that, it was more than the smells 'n' bells that drew me in. It took a lot of study (which accounts for a lot of my reading last year). If M. Luther is right, I might have just imperiled my immortal soul, so I needed to be sure I wouldn't.
I also had to go through RCIA—apparently the Church won't take just anybody. RCIA typically takes a year, but I joined the class in February, which is towards the end and just a few months before my confirmation, which took place on Divine Mercy Sunday (April 27). Having a theology degree can hasten the process—even if it's Protestant theology. George Wallace infamously said about the Democrat/Republican divide that "there ain't a dime's worth of difference between 'em." So, somewhat, with Christianity; the DNA of Catholicism and Protestantism is about 95% compatible. Of course that 5% delta is fraught with controversies. It entails some of the big 'ologies, like ecclesiology and soteriology. There's also the Eucharist, confession, Marian devotion, prayers to the saints, etc.
As another Protestant convert to Catholicism noted, there's a well-worn path taken by Tiber-swimmers: You start with reading C.S. Lewis, move on to G.K. Chesterton, and before you know it, you're in the water dog-paddling towards the Vatican. So it goes.
What's in store for 2015?
Much, I presume, but mostly staying the course:
Paint more - I have many projects in the works and I want to stick with them. As I mentioned above, I am—perhaps serendipitously—still in possession of my 3rd c. Romans. There may be a project in there, about which I will blog. No, really, I will...
Watch TV less - If I manage to succumb less to the allure of mindless eye-candy, I'm pretty sure that will generate more time for reading and painting. That's the plan, at least. Lent is coming soon. Ash Wednesday is February 18. No TV after that until Easter.
More digression: The few TV shows I watch on Amazon Prime (I don't have cable) are Justified and Grimm. The unwatched episodes will pile up after Ash Wednesday, so I'll have some Easter season binge watching to indulge in. This is the last season for Justified. However, I re-watch a lot of the shows I buy on Amazon Prime, so the temptation will be always there.
Blog more - I'll try. I'll start with publishing the blogs that are in draft limbo.
Exercise - I renewed my gym membership. What more do you want?
Declutter - It's on the list. I've kind of given up on being more of a board-gamer. I don't have space for them and I don't play what I have. I see a game-purge coming sometime this year. I purged a lot of clothes earlier and I'm planning another purge. I haven't yet gotten ruthless about purging, but I really want to. I suspect that I would never miss half the stuff I have sitting around taking up space (apart from the cats; I'd miss the cats).
Read more - That's my one good one, so far. I'm spending an hour or so in the morning and at night reading. This cuts into my painting time. I can watch TV and paint, but so far I haven't found a way to paint and read at the same time. With the cats, it's hard to do either.
Blame the cats less - I'll try.
Spend less - Getting there. Focusing on existing projects will reduce money spent on buying more figures, rules, etc.
Eat better - I've got delicious Beecher's Mac & Cheese on the menu tonight and a frozen lasagna in the freezer. I don't, however, have dessert planned. That must count for something.
So, hello 2015. I expect good things from you. Don't let me down.