State of the Blogger 2016

 

state of bloggerThe middle of February may seem like a weird time to do some reflections on the past year, and that’s because it is. But I want to write more, or at least post more, than  did last year, and that means that I need to take a breather and talk about some more lighthearted stuff for this post. So consider this a catch-up on things I’ve been up to and things I’ve been into this past year.

So, as most of my readers would probably know, I’m married now. As is my wife. And that is a super great thing, and we are loving newlywed life! The road has been pretty long (approximately 7 years long), and I’d be tempted to say it’s been worth it, but that has some sense that we’ve reached a destination. A milestone, maybe, but isn’t the point of spending your life with someone that you never really “arrive,” but rather that you spend the whole trip together? I mean, that’s one way of looking at it; everyone sees it differently. But anyway, the trip so far has been great, and the day was great, and the trip since that day has been great as well. Maybe soon I’ll write about that day more in-depth, and I’ll definitely be writing soon-ish about marriage-related things, because let me tell you, you hear a whole lot as newlyweds, and honestly, unfortunately, not much of it is very edifying.

But like I said, we’re keeping it pretty upbeat for now!

Mackenzie and I graduated from ACU in December which has proven to be pretty bittersweet: bitter in being away from our friends in Abilene this semester, sweet in not feeling the burden of another semester’s tuition (though that one is replaced by student loan repayment). So now we’re looking at grad schools, she at UTA for social work, and I at Brite Divinity and Lipscomb for an MDiv. Because nothing gives you the authority to be a youth minister like being a master of the divine. Or so I hear.

And this is all coming off the heels of one of the best summers of my life, working with Highland Oaks Church of Christ’s student ministry. Every summer has seemed to get busier and more fulfilling and that is a wonderful comfort in the midst of all these other life transitions.

It seems at the end of every year, I see a multitude of people practically grovelling at the feet of the upcoming year, begging it to be better than the one they just experienced. Maybe it’s just my tendency to be “ok” regardless of where I’m at in life, but I’ve never really felt that. Maybe it’s some deep eternal optimism that somehow doesn’t make it through to my generally cynical demeanor, but I’m just as excited for what the rest of 2016 may bring me (and what I may bring to it) as I am appreciative of the life 2015 brought me.

And 2015 brought some great things.

Here are some things I’ve really gotten into in the past year:

Movies:

  • Ex Machina
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Crimson Peak
  • Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Comics stuff:

  • Secret Wars
  • Miles Morales’s solo title finally coming out
  • Ms. Marvel continuing to be the best thing to happen to superheroes, maybe ever
  • This incredible graphic novel called Blankets that is probably the best thing I read last year

TV

  • Daredevil
  • Halt and Catch Fire (only season 1 till 2 gets put on Netflix)
  • How to Get Away With Murder, which hooked me but hasn’t really sustained my interest, save Viola Davis being a rockstar
  • Catching up on The Walking Dead, up to season 6
  • X-Files rocked my entire world at the start of 2015

Music:

I’ve been super bad about keeping up with new music as it comes out, so I don’t have much to put here. I did, however, find a few artists that are cool if you’re into more electronic instrumental stuff, and they are

  • Madeon
  • Hippie Sabotage
  • Kiasmos
  • Also listened to more Neko Case around Christmas and the song “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu” was one of the most engaging songs I’ve listened to recently. Explicit and beautiful.

Writing/Creative stuff:

  • I helped write and direct a short film my last semester called Missing Pages with my friend Julia, who’s now in LA studying abroad to break into the film industry, along with my roommate from last semester, David. It’s not public yet, but I’ll post it when it is.
  • Nathan and I released a new album with No Pun Intended about a year ago called Space, Capes, and Battles in BetweenI’m still very proud of it, and it’s still available for free download at our bandcamp.
  • I took a creative non-fiction course spring 2015 with my favorite English professor, and it was a super enriching experience. I wrote a lengthy piece for my final called The Devil’s in the Details about my impressions of hell and the devil growing up, and it may have been my favorite thing I wrote last year.
  • I’ve been working on some beats since spring 2014 on my iPad, and those are finally getting to the point where I want to write some lyrics for them and release a short mixtape, totally self-produced. I also want to do a follow up to my 2012 hit, Monkey Business and call it Matrimonkey.
  • I found this old notebook with ideas for a trading card game I wanted to create, and ran it by my brother since he’s super into the logistics and things that make card games work. The idea evolved into a board game that centers on navigating through a house party, so hopefully that will be a fun project we’ll work on in the coming months and years.

Other things:

  • My brother got me really into the DC Deck Building Game at the end of the summer, so I immediately bought one of the self-contained expansions and have tried fervently to play with most all of my friends. I recommend it, especially the Heroes Unite set for new players.
  • Jim Hobby, the mountain of a man who married Mackenzie and me, got me Poe’s custom X-Wing Lego set as a wedding gift and it is seriously one of the niftiest things ever. And the Lego BB-8 that comes with it is the cutest.
  • Mack and I have also been super into the 3-in-1 Lego creator sets. Highly recommend any of the house/building sets.
  • I greatly underestimated the quality of Fallout 4 and am already dependent on it.
  • For Christmas, Mackenzie got me the Jim Henson biography, and I’ve finally gotten enough time to start reading, and I’m so excited to learn about this creative titan!

And that’s about where I’m at on most things. Life seems to be moving very fast and very slow simultaneously, but I’m alright with that. I feel like I’m in a decent place right now.

Thanks for being a part of my life. You make this story better.

 

 

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