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My Life

On Finishing Things

Posted in My Life

I finished Gris this past weekend. It’s a beautiful game to look at and the soundtrack is one of the best I’ve heard in recent memory. The game itself was a little lacking, but with a playtime of maybe six hours, it never wore out its welcome.

What’s important here is that I finished Gris. I can’t say I’ve finished much of anything these days. I have stacks of books with bookmarks in them, piles of video games I’m dozens of hours into, and various canvases that are in different stages of progress. They all sit there, day after day, waiting to be completed. Meanwhile, I sit and watch YouTube or Twitch, which is really rich, given I’m watching people play and do the things I want to be doing.

This is all on me. When faced with infinite possibility of a free night where M goes to work and I can do what I want, I shrink back in my chair and do nothing more often than not. Or, when I do get motivated, I spend that time cleaning up around the house (which is ultimately time well spent).

So I finished Gris and now I want to keep finishing things. I want to get through the backlog of books and video games, or just get rid of them entirely. I want to start painting smaller canvases, one a week, and see it to completion. Hopefully by doing this I can feel like things are getting done, like I’m finally starting to finish things.

February 18, 2019
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2019 Update

Posted in My Life
2019 update

We’re only seven days in to 2019 and I’ve already been making significant headway on my last three posts!

Persona 5: It probably won’t make much sense if you haven’t watched me play P5, but revelations and shocking plot points have been coming fast and furious. I can’t say how many more palaces I have left, but I hear the game speeds up dramatically now.

Working Out: I’ve been the gym every other day for over a week now and have been trying out all the various activities it has to offer. I even managed to get back in the pool to see how my back would react. So far, everything I’ve tried has been going well in terms of recovery. I’m not pushing myself too hard just yet, but I think I’m doing enough to affect my body.

Pacers Game: I bought tickets! My dad and I are going to a game in February. I’m super excited. I can’t wait to go back to Indy. I’ve always liked that city.

Additional things I’d like to focus on in 2019:

Read More: I sadly lost my motivation to read a few years ago. I’d like to try to read at least three books to completion this year.

Paint More: I’m actually kind of surprised by how little I painted last year. I had high expectations for a productive year, especially painting outside. My hope is 2019 will see my output increase significantly.

Play More Board Games: Like painting, my board game plays last year were much lower than I expected or planned. I’d like to dig out more games this year, especially those that have been collecting major dust in the collection.

With all that said, this year will really be unlike any other in my 43 years, as M and I are expecting our first child. So while personal aspirations are well and good, my ultimate goal for 2019 is to be the best father I can be. It’s going to be an exciting year, whatever I manage to get done!

January 7, 2019
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2019: Get in Shape

Posted in Fitness, My Life

Enough is enough. If I’m going to be able to keep up with the growth of a child, I’m going to need to get in shape. I’ve created enough excuses over the years to not work out. Now I have a concrete reason to focus on my health so I can be an effective father in any situation.

Tomorrow I’m checking out the community center over in Maryland Heights. I’m hoping it has what I need at a price point I’m willing to pay. With any luck, January 1 will see that start of a new transformation.

December 27, 2018
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Records that Shaped Me

Posted in Music, My Life

...And Justice For All
Metallica …And Justice for All, 1988

Probably the most influential record in my life, Metallica’s …And Justice for All leads off this (hopefully) recurring new segment on Retrotigo.

I don’t remember much about how my love and interest in Metallica initially began, but I can remember an intense desire to want to hear them. The Eye Of The Beholder cassette single was my first introduction to the band.

Growing up, we would always go to a mall near Christmas as a family to do shopping for each other. I always looked forward to it. In 1988, my sister and I went off together and wound up in a record store. The cassette singles were close to the door and I remember seeing the iconic Metallica logo on the wall. I ponied up for it without reservation.

Eye of the Beholder
Metallica Eye Of The Beholder – Cassette Single, 1988

My thoughts after first listen? I didn’t like it very much. Eye Of The Beholder didn’t sound like what I thought Metallica would sound like in my head. The B-side, Breadfan, was a cover, which I didn’t realize until many years later.

Though it didn’t initially grab me, I kept listening to that single until I could get a copy of the full record on cassette. This is where things gets blurry, as my cousin was feeding me their other releases around the same time. …And Justice for All ruled them all, however.

So how did …And Justice for All shape my life? Well, it was the gateway to my metal life, which would consume me throughout middle and high school. It has a production quality to it that remains unique to this day, which helps take me back to those days every time I hear a song from it. It was the record I air drummed to every night, and was the initial inspiration for my desire to play drums.

I don’t listen to …And Justice for All much these days, but I don’t really need to. I’m pretty sure it’s ingrained in every fiber of my being at this point. It’s a record I can recite almost by heart at any time. It’s helped me through high school angst, and has been a way of release when I just need to hammer out some beats.

November 22, 2018
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Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

Posted in Art, My Life

Apollo

For the last fourteen years, I’ve had a tiny nag in the back of my head. It would always flare up whenever I entered an art museum. It was the feeling I had left something unfinished when I decided not to continue on with a Master’s degree in art history. It was always my intent, but life just didn’t go that way for me.

I spent most of this summer preparing to return to school. I was accepted to an online program and I was excited again. Within a month of actually doing to the work however, I was already burnt out and dreading each new day. My grades we slipping rather quickly and I was struggling to keep up. What’s funny to me is I work in web design all day, yet I found the online program to be a pretty horrible experience.

So, I withdrew from the program. Am I proud of this? Not at all. Am I in a much better place because of it? Yes, I am. What the (short) experience taught me was that I do have the time to do all the personal things I’ve wanted to do. I just need to do them. This is what I’m trying to focus on now.

So, yeah. That’s what I’ve been doing the last few months.

October 14, 2018
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