Settling In

Keith's Toy Collection
Some of my favorite items on display in my collection. Boba Fett, Transformers, He-Man, and some sentimental items with family ties.

I’ve been in the final stages of setting up and cleaning my new home office the last two days. There’s only about half an hour of cleaning to do at this point, so I’m sitting down to write. It’s my preferred option for task-avoidance.

Will, my best friend and podcast partner, made a salient point last week that’s been bouncing around my head since we stopped recording. He mentioned that he doesn’t set a New Year’s resolution because he’s constantly striving to better himself. It felt arbitrary to set a goal and work on it when he’s doing his best to improve every day. Comments like that are why we’re #bffls.

The conversations we’ve had over the years were more significant that those I had with other people in my life. He’s challenged my positions and views like few others, and he helped me become a more open-minded person. My second workiversary is coming up this week, and it seems like a fine marker to use in judging myself.

Since my last anniversary at work, I’ve done a lot and I’m not sure I can even begin to write it all out. Let’s do a CliffsNotes version of the last year!

  1. I moved out and lived in my own apartment. It felt like the only way to express how seriously I needed things to change and improve between me and Dorena. I also wanted to take some time to just focus on myself and have independence and solitude.
  2. Dorena and I did a lot of work on our relationship. We have been together for half of our lives, and we never truly grew up and adapted as we aged. We were stagnant and didn’t know what we needed to move forward. We had to first find out what we wanted, and then we had to learn how to communicate that with each other. It took months of trial and error to find our voices and the best ways to speak with each other.
  3. I moved back in with Dorena. It felt right to do so, and it’s us again, working toward common goals while supporting each other.
  4. Personally I’ve made strides tackling my flaws. I regained my confidence, and my ability to be direct and pointed with my communication. I’ve learned how to convey my feelings more clearly than ever before in my life. I’m taking steps toward improving the important relationships that I value. I’m learning to let go of some of my OCD habits, and to wrangle my untoward expectations. I’m finally starting to accept when I’ve done well instead of pushing for “perfection.” (He says as he incessantly rewrites these paragraphs to make them sound better.)
  5. Professionally I’ve become a stronger leader. I’ve always been a “take charge” person, but this year it’s really clicked how to express my vision and to get people on board with me. I’ve become an effective leader of a team with vested interest,  rather than just being a charismatic guy that people latched onto.
  6. I’m being creative again. Along with starting a podcast with Will, I’ve been drawing again, and I love it. My cartoons are starting to feel decent again. Something I haven’t been able to say about my drawings since high school. It feels great!
A couple quick cartoon sketches
Look! I have some cartooning talent back!

The most important thing to note is that I haven’t felt a tinge of depression at all over the last year. Even through some tough times I felt resolved and determined instead of hopeless and defeated.

Before my conversation with Will about resolutions, my only goal for this year was to focus on more than just mindless internet browsing for my personal entertainment. I wanted to get more out of my one to two hours a day of relaxation, and I’m off to a good start. Don’t get me wrong, I do see the value in the mindless refreshing of social media. I’m not trying to judge and discourage others from using that to veg out, but being a web designer I spent so much time online that I’m a little burnt out on the whole social media thing.

I’ll be varying my experiences in my free time to get a little more fulfillment out of my activities. I’m hoping they’ll be more memorable when it’s said and done than hitting F5 on my Reddit dashboard was. We’ll see. I’ll check in again after I finish establishing my new approach.

Yeah Buddy! Cartoon Planet is On TV Again!

I was a huge fan of Cartoon Planet on TBS, where the Williams St. (Ghost Planet at the time) guys made some funny shorts using Space Ghost and his enemies, and played clips from Hanna-Barbera cartoons and shorts that were featured on the What-a-Cartoon show, where things like The Power Puff Girls, Dexter’s Lab, Johnny Bravo and 2 Stupid Dogs got their breakFamily Guy did too, kinda.

Sorry for channeling my “Inner Rose” and linking to a million things in that last paragraph. If you don’t know who Rose is or what that means, don’t worry, you’re not missing anything worthwhile.

I always appreciated the attempts at revitalizing old cartoons and introducing new ones, and last Friday I stumbled across Cartoon Network while Cartoon Planet was on! My sister and I happened to catch two shorts with Brak and Zorak, and clips from Ed Edd n Eddy, and My Gym Partner’s a Monkey. We were quite entertained by the Ed clip, and appreciated some of the ‘adult’ jokes that were in there. The clip from the monkey show was horrendous, and I was quickly reminded why I never gave it the time of day while It was on and debuting new episodes.

The point is, Cartoon Planet is back, and I love that it’s showing shorts from a variety of cartoons again, but the newly written and animated segments with Brak and Zorak were the true standouts of the half hour we watched. I mean, just look at this picture I took of Brak’s desk.

Brak on Cartoon Planet

Let’s see, we’ve got weiners in a mug, mustard on the desk for convenient dipping, the solar system with mustaches, a motivational poster which reads “Friendship; Yeah Buddy”, army men, a cowboy rubber duck and general cat with massive bling, “Dear Brak” letters and a shout out to Steve Delmonico (who is not the Asian guy from Star Trek). So many references to classic Brak skits from over the years, and enough new randomness to be even more awesome. I absolutely love every square centimeter of this frame, and this picture doesn’t even do justice to the segment. Besides, it’s Brak in glorious HD! What’s not to love?

I’ve set my DVR to record Cartoon Planet (Cartoon Network, Fridays at 8 Eastern), and I fully suggest that you do as well.