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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Tuesday (12/30/08) 5:09pm - ... wherein Peter makes resolutions for 2009.

So, having looked back on 2008, I think we're ready to make some resolutions for 2009....


1.  52 media updates, 52 It's Wednesdays, 52 Spanish posts, 52 Friday sketches.

Yeah, this isn't really a resolution so much as a "keep doing what you're doing" thing.  It bears mentioning, though, because keeping that baseline of writing going on in my life is the most important thing I can do for my sanity and happiness.

There are other things to keep up with as well:  I should keep working my way through the works of Shakespeare, and keep putting up recordings on the blog.  (Perhaps I should do that more regularly, no?)

Also I should check in every few months and see how I'm doing w/r/t my resolutions.


2.  If improv and dance eat up more than ten hours a week, we have a problem.
       
I'm guessing that, once you yank out 'work' and 'sleep' and 'food' and 'stupid errands', I have maybe forty hours to play with every week.  Just as a guess, improv and dance shouldn't eat up more than a fourth of that.

Granted, I may be picking the wrong number here, but I'm thinking that ten hours could include the Thursday and Friday dances, a show on Saturday, and some other 'free safety' event somewhere in the week.  Maybe I need to adjust the number upwards or downwards.  In any case, I think imposing a limit will mean that I jettison, say, that last hour at a dance when it's just the hard-core types, and I only stick around in an unfounded hope that the night will spontaneously improve.

Some caveats:  I don't think just hanging out with dancers or improvisors goes towards this tally.  Also, I'm willing to make allowances for big crazy dance weekends (of which there will probably be ~6 this year) or the big crazy Out of Bounds festival in September.  But even then, I need to carve out time for myself, which brings us to:


3.  Travel must not derail my life.

I think travel remains a good idea, even though it's hit and miss.  I think it's good for me to have an occasoinal change of scenery, it's good for me to do touristy stuff, and it's good for me to meet new people.  The problem is, travel has a habit of completely wrecking everything I'm working on.  I manage to drop *all* of my exercise, music, writing, and so on for half a week, and then when I get back my momentum's gone and it's hard to restart.

Now I know that when I'm travelling, it's unreasonable to expect to have hours and hours available every day for artsy puttering.  But I think I can scale back and say that, when I'm on the road, I should be able to devote an hour or so to writing -- or, if not that, then forty-five minutes, or half an hour, or *something*.  Even ten minutes a day would help.  (I should be able to keep up with pushups, too.)  Even if I'm just brainstorming project ideas on the plane rides, that's better than what I'm doing now.

So:  I need to do a 'portable' version of my usual daily artsy puttering when I'm on the road.  For now, I'd say that's an hour of writing + pushups when appropriate.


4.  At home, the Internet defaults to "off".

Frankly, I should curb my use of the Internet at work, too, but that's trickier to accomplish since most of the time I need network connectivity to do my job.

But at home, I don't want to waste a single second endlessly pinging LJ or wandering aimlessly through wikipedia.  So I think the plan is to leave the laptop and the desktop disconnected from the Internet by default.

If there are things I need to look up (or post), I can list them on a sheet of paper, and then at some point turn on the Internet, pick off the list items, and shut it off again.

And if I absolutely need to check my email over and over again, I can use my phone for that.


5.  Pick simple ways to get better at improv and dancing.

If I'm going to be spending 10 hours a week on this stuff anyway, I could at least make a token effort at getting better at them.  I'll never be a phenomenal improvisor or dancer, but complete stagnation is depressing.

I don't think this means taking classes or attending workshops.  I think I just need to pick one thing and casually focus on it.  Of course, that means I need to figure out what that one thing is in both cases.  With dance, I suspect I need to adjust my posture, so I can casually work on trying to stand more upright.  With improv, several people tell me I think too much onstage, so I can focus on being more blurt-y whenever I'm in a scene.


6.  Limit major purchases.

Ironically, not so much because of the money, but because of the time.  Buying some major consumer item eats up hours and hours of research, followed by way too much time trying to find the best price.  So even if I have the money to throw at something, I probably shouldn't buy it.


7.  Write, record, and post a three-minute audiodrama.

Yeah, this seems like a tiny resolution, and that's by design.  I figure if I make the resolution small enough, it's more likely to get done.

And frankly, I think there's a pretty wide gulf between "produced zero audiodramas" and "produced one tiny audiodrama".  I imagine I have to revamp my recording setup to suck less, figure out how the workflow should generally go, learn a bit more about audio editing, and figure out the best CC sources for music, effects, and so on -- not to mention learning at least the rudimentariest basics of sound design.  (*sigh* -- at least I already know how to set up a podcast.)

But if I can get *one* finished, then I'm in a good position to do more.  And if I can do more, then I can probably gear up to do something serialized.

And that would, of course, rule.


8.  Pick up a new skill.

Granted, this probably treads on #7's toes a bit, but it's just been a long, long time since I learned to do anything new.  Again, this causes an uncomfortable feeling of stagnation.

Mind you, I'm not talking about becoming some l33t m4ster of something -- just making a small, reasonable, temporary effort at something I haven't tried before.  This resolution has more to do with getting in the habit of trying new things than with honing any one skill particularly well.

I'm not 100% sure what to try yet.  I suppose I've never made a serious attempt at chess; I recall making a token effort, deciding "Bah I suck at this", and moving on.

I could work on learning to do impressions, even though mimicry may not be a learnable skill -- and even if it is a learnable skill, it's possibly the most annoying skill you can inflict upon your hapless friends.  But it seems fun, it would expand the range of jokes I can tell, and it probably has decent side benefits to one's mad acting skillz.

I could have a go at learning to decently cook something other than hummus and soup; although generally food doesn't do much for me, it might be fun to putter around the kitchen and pick up a useful skill.

I'll have to give this one more thought.

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Comments:

From:fleetfootedfox
Date:Tuesday (12/30/08) 5:21pm
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From:hujhax
Date:Wednesday (12/31/08) 10:55am
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Oh, I doubt I'm beyond anybody.

For the time being, I may poke around with the computer for a bit to see if the game really catches my interest this time....
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From:fleetfootedfox
Date:Wednesday (12/31/08) 10:59am
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From:hujhax
Date:Wednesday (12/31/08) 11:06am
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~ cool! ~
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From:ext_68735
Date:Tuesday (12/30/08) 7:24pm

audio drama

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Let me know if you need another voice.
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From:hujhax
Date:Wednesday (12/31/08) 10:50am

Re: audio drama

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Cool -- more likely to need beta readers, come to think of it... would you be up for that?
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From:shadyglenn
Date:Tuesday (12/30/08) 8:19pm
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How do you feel about mah-jongg? I used to play back in college, and would like to start again.
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From:hujhax
Date:Wednesday (12/31/08) 10:54am
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*is curious*
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From:wackyengineer
Date:Wednesday (12/31/08) 12:58am
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Try something physical - like rowing or fencing. I fenced back in college and it put my mind to ease like nothing else. Plus, it's known as 'physical chess!'
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From:hujhax
Date:Wednesday (12/31/08) 10:55am
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Ooh, good idea....
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