And yet... one of my best friends and his wife bought a new house. Another of my friends got married. My kids and my wife are healthy. The store is doing well. Successfully launched my Beach Cop Detectives podcast to pretty solid acclaim, which included getting to interview a whole ton of people, including Donal Logue, Michael Raymond James, Tim Minear, Kimberly Quinn, Shawn Ryan and Ted Griffin. Still love the Mustang. And oh yeah, my oncologist said I "might be cured," three words I never expected to hear. So there are silver linings, at least.
Time for 2017 resolutions, and time to check in on last year.
Last year's resolutions:1. Reasonable Bedtime. The plan was, in bed by 12:30, asleep by 1:30, up by 11:00 at the latest. Instead, it was mostly in bed by 2:00, asleep by 3:30, awake by 11:30 and reading Facebook on the iPad for a half hour to shake off the groggy most days. FAIL.
2. Cook More - As predicted, I knocked out most of my new recipes early on and then fell into bad habits, but... I did cook more, even if it was a lot of the same recipes, and I added a few late in the year thanks to Suzanne's Instant Pot. So improvement on this one in 2016. PASS.
3. Exercise - Yeah, no. Whoops. FAIL.
4. No Cancer - On the other hand, I did manage this one. PASS.
5. Halloween Costume - I came up with some options, then discarded all of them in September and decided to go with an Overwatch costume instead. Which I ultimately decided not to get. FAIL.
6. Spend More Time With My Kids - I did pretty good here, as Katy and I watched a bunch of TV and movies (including Inception, The Matrix, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Midnight Run) and Aaron and I played a bunch of videogames and went on Pokewalks. PASS.
7. Stay on budget. I allocated myself 6 videogames in a year, 12 TV seasons in a year and 104 dinners in a year. I bought one videogame, 10 seasons and... a lot more dinners. Qualified PASS.
8. Try New Things. This one went out the window pretty quick. FAIL.
9. Less Negative - Nope. In an election year when Donald Trump was running... what was I thinking? I also did not succeed in not posting about Superman v Batman, which I still haven't seen (and don't plan to). But I wound up kind of liking Deadpool. FAIL.
So that's four PASS / six FAIL. Whoops.
By The Numbers:1. I read almost 700 single-issue comics this year. Well, I'm sure I read a few more than that, but I read and liked that many.
2. I ate at 88 different restaurants this year. On average, I ate out about 25 times a month, which is... a lot.
My favorites, or at least the ones I went to at least a half-dozen times, were Brooklyn Pie Company, Chi'Lantro, Chuy's, Culver's, Deckhand Oyster Bar, Firehouse Subs, Fuddrucker's, Hoody's Subs, Hopdoddy's, Jack Allen's Kitchen, Juarez Mexican Bakery, Michi Ramen, Mod Pizza, New Fortune Chinese, Outback Steakhouse, Popeye's (somewhere I go once a month), Shake Shack, Smokey Mo's, Torchy's Tacos (almost every month), Vera Cruz All Natural Tacos, and Wendy's.
This was the third year for Chuy's, Torchy's Tacos, and Michi Ramen. The second year for Chi'Lantro, Hoody's Subs, and Popeye's. While I went to Mambo House, Peached Tortilla, Smashburger, Sushi Nini, Kerbey Lane, and Noble Sandwich this year, they fell off the regular visit list.
This Year's Food Plans:Opening in January:
Flyrite Chicken Sandwich on Burnet
Opening in February:
JT Youngbloods in Mueller
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches on Manor
Kula Revolving Sushi Bar on Airport
Opening in 2017 sometime:
PS 35 (New York style pizza, Round Rock)
Velvet Taco (Rock Rose - March)
Sprinkles 24/7 Cupcake Vending Machine (Domain)
Noble Sandwich (Georgetown - Spring 2017)
Easy Tiger (The Linc - 2017)
24 Diner (Rock Rose - 2017)
Home Slice (North Loop - 2007)
This Year's Resolutions:I had a whole list. Now it can basically be summed up with, "No. YOU move." But... a few ideas.
1. Cook More - I'll try and add another dozen recipes to the repertoire this year. I got a gift card to Blue Apron for Christmas, so I'm trying that. I think I'll also try to figure out some of my favorite food that I eat out and see if I can make it cheaper at home, cut back on going out quite so much.
2. Exercise - Sure, why not, more likely not to make it again, but keep aiming. Thinking about trying out the boxing gym by work.
3. No Cancer - Let's keep this train rolling.
Last Year's Pop Culture Goals:1. Read 15 new books. Book books, without pictures. Specifically, the 15 books I already bought in the last few years. I read five. Two of which I bought new this year. Whoops.
2. Read 100 new graphic novels. I'm a little surprised to fall short on this one, but my reading time got eaten by Overwatch more often than not. I fell short at 69 graphic novels.
3. Catch up on my TV and movie Blu-Rays and DVDs.
4. Play 15 new boardgames. From this year's list, I played TIME Stories, The Networks and Posthuman. In total, I played 34 new boardgames.
This Year's Pop Culture Goals:1. Read 6 new books. Since I failed last year's goal, this year I'm scaling back to one book per two months, at least.
2. Read 60 new graphic novels. That's five a month, which was about my speed last year. Ideally, a decent chunk of them will be the ones currently sitting on my overstuffed "to read" list, a lot of which are giant omnibuses I bought in the last couple years: Mind Mgmt Vol 5-6, Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Vol 2-3 HC, Delilah Dirk & King's Shilling. Absolute Transmet Vol 2 HC, Master of Kung Fu Omnibus Vols 1-2 HC, Avengers West Coast Vols 3-5 HC, Secret Avengers Vols 1-3 HC, Mike Mignola's Screw-On Head Artist's Edition , New Mutants Sienkiewicz HC, and Moebius Library World of Edena HC to name just the ones I bought in 2016.
3. Catch up is clearly too broad, so I'm going with specifics. So I'm going with one each quarter: Rewatch all of Justified, all of Hannibal, seasons five and up of Clone Wars (and possibly rewatch Rebels Season 2) and either True Detective or Orphan Black Season One.
5. GenCon. I'd like to make this the first year I go to GenCon. My original plan was to try for Heroes Con again, and Emerald City Con, and maybe New Orleans, but our new administration has me nervous about spending too much money or time away.
6. RPGs - In addition to my semi-regular D&D 5E game, I'm hoping to run Phoenix Dawn Command, an Overwatch FLEX Game, Apocalypse World 2E, Fiasco and Dread.
7. Boardgames. I've been doing good, my goal was 15 and I almost doubled it... but I'm not sure how many new games I'll run into with that many games under my belt, so I'm setting a goal of 12 (1/month) and figuring I'll exceed it. On the list to try: 7 Wonders Duel, Dream Home, Seafall.