March06, 2018

This past year was jam packed, or at least felt that way.

We bought a house in April, a couple of months after I wrote last. I got swept up in the home buying and negotiating process, then moving in, then putting all of our stuff back together and setting up the new home, getting new furniture... costly, in time and money.

It feels like stuff breaks all the time, but in reality the stuff is breaking just as much as it always has; the only difference now is we're the ones responsible for fixing it, so it's more noticeable.

I took a break from making music around the same time we were moving. I looked back at the period from 2003 to 2017 and felt pretty damn accomplished by all the work I'd done. Four bands, nine albums (counting LPs and EPs), a couple of unfinished and unreleased albums-worth of music, videos, singles. I just felt drained and tapped out. My love of music hasn't left, but I feel like I'd done all I've set out to do over the years and don't want to do more for now.

I've taken a sabbatical from social media. My stress levels went down as a result. It feels great.

I was pretty shocked by the Equifax breach and continue to secure my digital life like I discussed in this past entry. I read a great sci-fi novel called Infomocracy that details a near future where the internet is governed by a neutral third party political body, kind of like a mashup of Google meets the U.N., and I predict that our society will likely gravitate toward establishing such institutions. I believe the days of anonymous, free for all internet usage are setting. The proliferation of propaganda, the cancer of trolling and harassment, the erosion of privacy and civil liberties, the rise of surveillance--the good old days are long gone, folks. This is why we can't have nice things. But this isn't the fault of our network, this is the fault of our collective character.

The Nintendo Switch came out and I'm looking forward to being a proud owner of one someday. In the mean time I picked up a New Nintendo 2DS XL (what a mouthful). Pokemon, Zelda, and Bravely Default are incredible game franchises. I've invested hundreds of hours into these games so far.

I'm also having a blast with indie PC games. Stardew Valley has got to be one of the best games I've played in my life. It's a relaxing, never ending sandbox of farming, fishing, mining, and exploring. What's funny is there's a game-within-the-game called Journey of the Prairie King that's the exact opposite of Stardew Valley. It's a twin-stick retro shooter with an unforgiving difficulty level.

I've rediscovered the Game Boy Advance and GameCube. I'm starting to collect the classic retro titles but got priced out of NES and SNES carts. Those things have gotten stupid expensive. GBA titles are still reasonably priced for the budget collector. Hand held gaming has a special place in my heart. Some of my fondest memories are from playing Link's Awakening for the original Game Boy.

I'm doing my best to take it easy.