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Personal Yearly Updates

Goals for 2020

Happy February friends! True to form, I’m here writing about my 2020 goals a month into the year. But that’s okay! Don’t let small setbacks or mismanaged expectations derail you.

Twenty twenty. It’s been set up as a pivotal year for me, for the country, maybe (probably) for the world. I’m choosing not to let the anxiety of the moment change my perspective on what I want the next ten years to be about: taking chances in exchange for something new and something better.

I want to be something more than the little boy that grew up and lived his whole life in Florida. I owe this swamp a lot and I love many parts of it, but it feels impossible to reconcile how much of the world is out there to explore with how little time I have left, comparatively. How can I spend my whole life in one state? I want to experience seasons. I want close access to deep woods and cold mountains. I want to walk several miles a day most of the year, not just in the Florida winter.

My first steps on this journey started in 2017 with my weight loss goal. It fueled an interest to see more of Florida, to make sure I got out of it what I needed to before leaving. 2018 involved some surprise job opportunities for Rob and me, so we pumped the brakes on leaving to try to enjoy the ride. 2019 finally kicked us into action: we helped a friend buy a house, moved him in, moved in with him, and sold our house. We’ve spent most of the past four months working on improving said house (future post!) and now we’re ready to focus on what’s next.

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Personal

Last Year, Last Decade

Hiking around the woods after midnight with strangers. Kayaking over lunch at work. Giving my springs book to friends and family. Wearing shortalls with a smile to Medieval Times. Climbing a mountain in a blustering rainstorm. Pokémon card pre-releases at 33. Making new friends the best I know how.

Covering my laptop in expressive, cute animal stickers. Succeeding in channeling anguish about my job into something positive. The continued joy of roguelikes. Garage sales and hot dogs. Walking everywhere, more and more. Driving my partner home. Seeing him cry leaving his friends. Getting paid everything you asked for, for once.

Braving sheets of rain and dark buses to experience night football. Hiking mountains and eating pasta with my friends. Becoming recognizable locals in a new locale. Riding bikes by head lamps and prayer. Breaking the mold at work. Flying solo to furry Chicago. Holiday traditions, the good ones and the trying ones. Starting the last chapter of my life here.

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Personal

After Nana

My grandma passed away Monday. It wasn’t a surprise—she had been in hospice since the Wednesday prior (I found out at AGDQ), she was in the hospital over Christmas, and hell, she was 86, turning 87 in February. My grandpa, somehow still alive, just turned 92. And just like my Mom’s side of the family, everyone, the entire extended family expected my grandpa to pass well before her. All the preparations for transferring knowledge of finances, family upkeep, responsibilities, etc., were slanted toward those expectations. Instead, today my grandpa is going back home to a property he settled in 1949 without Nana for the first time.

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Gaming Personal Video

AGDQ 2020 Recap

The gang gets together to recap their first in-person Games Done Quick experience. Thanks to Rob, Erik and Quy for being good sports, and sorry for all the background noise!

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Gaming

Games in 2019

True to form, I played a lot of games last year. I didn’t quite carry through on my goal to play the classics primarily but I’m super glad I had the chance to play some of these gems from this year!

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Personal Video

Con Productions

After keeping them unlisted for a bit, I’ve decided to give up on being normal and just get these convention video productions out there. Because I like them! Even in the span of three years you can see how much more versatile a tool the iPhone is for making video.


Conventions by your 30s become predictable and sublime. Enjoy.

Some slow-motion iPhone 7 video of the snowy Sunday at MFF 2016!

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Personal Yearly Updates

34

As is now tradition, here are 34 semi-random topics and thoughts after 34 years of life. I started writing this a couple days before my birthday (10/22) and, as the tradition states, I have to put it off and iterate on it needlessly for months before posting it. Thanks as always for reading!


Birthday: Sticking with what works, my celebration day was:

  • a 15 mile bike ride to and from breakfast at a rural diner,
  • a sprint of effort to finish a list of improvements to the new house before company,
  • a few hours of genuine Halo LAN,
  • and a fantastic, rich Italian dinner…
  • …finished off with a birthday cannoli.

I wouldn’t trade that Sunday for anything; thank you to all who made it memorable!


This Old House: Despite all of the drama surrounding the sale of our previous house, we accepted a similar offer in early October and closed on November 1st. Just like that, it was over—money in the bank and one less string attached to Central (and all of) Florida. We’re all moved in at the new rental, mostly settled, and reaping the rewards of downsizing.

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Monthly Updates Personal Travel Work

Open House

My soul is redlining these days but I’ve discovered a few breaths and a few minutes to write. Thank you as always for reading and affording me an opportunity to be better understood.


My House

Life’s been moving fast since I last wrote. This whole moving-on scheme took off really quickly. Erik closed on his house while we met with a local realtor and got our house on the market and looking fine. My brother came down for a fun garage sale the day it was listed. We quickly got a bunch of showings and a couple good offers. While on vacation in middle America, we eventually signed a contract on our house for a cash buyer (that was a pain to negotiate with). They dropped ten grand into escrow and had their inspection on August 15th, which was uneventful. Their realtor assured us everything was fine and they were planning to move forward.

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Personal Video Work

Opportunity

Work has been a bummer for me lately. Trying to help out, I took a position last August that has essentially taken away my ability to contribute. I thought supporting others would be a way to expand the impact of my passion; I was wrong. It turns out passion is rare and fragile. Through all the re-organization, cost-cutting and inequity, I lost my motivation and purpose at UCF.

One morning my passion fought back. This was not what UCF had been to me. I met many of my friends here. I lost almost 100 pounds with a smoothie diet at this walk-able campus. UCF gave me room to grow, demonstrate my value and find my confidence. UCF stood for opportunity.

For weeks I’ve been exploring campus and visiting colleagues, filming everything. I woke up for sunrises on the top of empty garages. I stalked cats, squirrels, raccoons and sandhill cranes. I interviewed peers and clients. I pulled weather cam footage and swam in fountains. In all, I shot and compressed 700+ clips to a single production, a surreal memoir of my UCF experience.

Nothing in recent memory has made me happier or has been as fulfilling or rewarding. Seeing old friends, comrades, wildlife, and the hidden beauty around campus has been overwhelming. I sincerely hope everyone reading this can feel as strongly about their purpose and passions as I have felt producing this video. Please enjoy. 🐾

Categories
Gaming

Mario Maker 2: Inaugural Jam

Last Thursday (our typical game night), instead of fireworks and flags, we took advantage of the release of Super Mario Maker 2 to host a little game jam! Ever since the original Mario Maker on Wii U I’ve had fantasies of having little game jams where we all create level designs with some constraints. For our initial attempt at a jam, we gave three randomly-assigned traits (game type, level type, style) to each participant and broke for an hour to create levels.

Once the timer sounded, we uploaded and validated our creations and took turns trying them out. Below are each of the levels and their codes: