2022 in review, 2023 aspirations
Another year has come and gone so I’d might as well reflect on what happened during it and try to plan for the next one.
Year in review
I started a new job, which I was extremely optimistic about, for approximately one week.
I finally finished and released the hour-long video of Lo-Fi Beats to Grind Coffee To, which is the most ambitious video project I’ve ever done and also some of the best music I’ve made.
I started to monitor my sleep apnea, but eventually stopped because I wasn’t getting any benefit out of it.
I switched from an internal-combution engine to a used Nissan Leaf, which I am still quite happy with. I hope to never have to put up with a gas-powered car ever again. I also haven’t gone back to a gas station for any other reason, and have switched to using an electric weed whacker for maintaining my yard. I really should sell my lawnmower.
I also participated in Global Game Jam and released a soundtrack album.
I continued to improve my espresso.
I also continued to try to find ADHD meds that worked for me. It did not go well.
I dug in my heels about being against crypto and NFTs, a thing I still stand by.
I continued to mostly not make comics.
I wrote a bitter thing that was an analogy for something and I think it’s kind of telling that I have no idea what it was about but there are so many things that it could be. (It turns out I was ranting about problems with a well-known F/OSS art program and the “community” response to said rant.)
I continued to get worried about how every independent-creator platform was caught up in the endless cycle of unsustainable business growth. I’m still worried about that. But I also took steps to at least not rely on Bandcamp.
I tried to crowdfund a vinyl pressing of Lo-Fi Beats to Grind Coffee To. It did not go well.
I took another trip to Port Angeles and proved to myself that even the short-range battery in my Leaf was totally fine for my needs. Although I probably wouldn’t take another trip like that in that car, all the same.
I started to finally get away from having a lawn and needing a lawnmower, while also becoming quite frustrated with the job I started in January. I also started a course of ketamine treatments to try to help with my chronic issues.
I also doubled-down on my site being banned by an oppressive regime.
I improved my knife sharpening game, and made a weak attempt at guiding Washington State’s EV adoption.
I completed the ketamine treatments, and while they didn’t help me with the chronic pain issues, they did at least help me with some deep-seated trauma, and also vastly cut down on my anxiety. Weirdly enough it also decreased my MSG and caffeine sensitivity (which I wouldn’t realize until some time later).
I saw the writing on the wall for Twitter (which I’d honestly been distancing myself from for quite some time at that point anyway), and tried to ramp up my IndieWeb evangelism, without much success.
I continued to try finding ADHD meds. I still didn’t have much success.
I had a very bad day, followed by a very stressful day, followed by a rather frustrating trip to San Francisco, followed by finally getting COVID, which went a lot better than I was expecting but still wasn’t great. The resulting month-long recovery finally did in the job that I wasn’t happy at anyway.
I at least made a comic about the lack of comics, and also continued my IndieWeb evangelism.
I also stepped up my espresso tonic game.
I got better at meal planning and prep, for a little while, anyway.
I finally left the job. No regrets, and the way they treated me at the very end only made me feel even more justified in that decision. At this point I had some worries about finances since my expenses were still rather high and my savings rather not. In any case I decided that I’d never work as a software engineer ever again if I can help it. Who knows if that’ll stick, though…
I upgraded my home theater setup anyway. I also turned 44.
I briefly got very into making pottery.
Also, because Meta announced they were finally dropping the requirement to have Facebook account integration with the Quest, I finally bought a VR headset and got really into Beat Saber. Quest alone wasn’t enough to get into VRChat in any meaningful way, though.
I very briefly felt extremely productive with a surge of energy from not having to dread a day job.
I had a really weird dream about the sex lives of Muppets.
I finally upgraded the GPU in my gaming PC thanks to a confluence of the crypto market crashing and getting a nice payment from itch.io, and therefore started to dive into VRChat, which has been pretty great for my social life all things considered. My brain had some momentary issues with adjusting to the new reality presented but that didn’t take too long to resolve.
But I also continued to struggle with chronic pain and ennui. I made plans to start streaming regularly on Twitch which I didn’t actually follow through on. Oops.
A whole bunch of stuff happened all at once, both good and bad. I put my pottery on hold, I vastly improved my home recording studio setup, I continued to improve my coffee game, I did a bunch of home improvement (especially in the outdoor spaces), and I found a lot more enjoyment in cooking, even though I hated my kitchen.
I ended up having to replace my stove in a hurry which kind of messed up some of my plans for the eventual kitchen remodel (although probably not very much).
I formally opened up commissions, which still has not led to anything. I suck at marketing myself, and maybe I’m a bit afraid to take on any work right now?
I finally learned Blender enough to start modeling VRChat avatars, which has been a lot of fun. There’s still a lot of improvements I want to make to my fursona avatar (which is still a work in progress!) and I also should start making other avatars that people might want to buy from me, but still, this was a big step for me.
I joined a choir. It was fun at first. I eventually ended up leaving it due to it being a poor fit for me, but at least for a few months I enjoyed being a part of something.
I ran into a huge frustrating quagmire around the trademark for my band’s name, which led to a temporary situation where my privacy was being directly threatened by some public records (at the same time that a few Internet issues were making me feel extremely exposed). Thankfully that’s been resolved. I think.
I made a lot more progress on my VRChat fursona avatar, and also vastly expanded my social circle there. It looks like most of what I did in September was work on VRChat stuff, really.
My Keyboardio Model 100 finally arrived, and it’s great (just as the Model 01 was before its switches all crapped out on me).
I also got yet another 3D printer which is absolutely amazing and I guess I never wrote a proper blog post about it! But I did record a brief video about my first print on it (and also mentioned it in passing on a general updates post. This is now the only printer I’m actively using. I have so much stuff to sell…
I discovered a new coffee drink, and more importantly, finally sold my condo, giving me about 10 years of runway on my savings, and thus giving me a lot more space to figure out what’s coming next. It also got me to finally set in motion a bunch of larger projects, such as renovating my kitchen and getting a solar system added to my house. The huge influx of cash also led to me getting a financial advisor, which has been going pretty well so far.
I did a live-ish performance of some of my songs and the resulting recording made me completely rethink how I want my next album to sound.
I repaired my stand mixer and also upgraded my main desktop computer and recording studio audio setup. These were all very worthwhile.
I officially went on hiatus from the choir.
I had more ideas about a work style that suits me and thoughts on the games industry.
I also talked a lot about my general state of affairs including cooking, IndieWeb stuff, VR stuff, and health stuff. Also subjecting my cats to my home automation proclivities. They are still enjoying the robotic litter box, even though the novelty has worn off for them.
As usual, I recorded a bunch of music, this time focusing on stuff specifically for video games. The music got used in a few video games. Yay!
I wrote a rather long essay on how things can cause harm when taken out of context and misinterpreted, and the main response to it was being taken out of context and misinterpreted. Go figure.
I also finally initiated the kitchen remodel, which went extremely well!
I witnessed the tech industry imploding extremely publicly and felt very justified in my decision to leave it behind. It would have been nice if I’d left in a way which left me with some severance, but oh well. (I also gave up on collecting on unemployment, which I was technically eligible for due to the way in which I’d left my job, but things got complicated and weird with that and that’s a whole other rant.)
I finally noticed the interesting long-term effects of the ketamine treatments vis a vis MSG sensitivity, although quickly found that they didn’t cure it, they just made it less severe.
I grabbed the popcorn that I popped with the heat from Twitter burning.
The kitchen remodel continued to go great, and it ended well. The end result wasn’t perfect, of course, but I’m pretty happy with it all the same.
I had some thoughts on OpenAI, and decided to stop using their products for my creative purposes for now. (Full disclosure, I still play with it on occasion, but I’m not posting the results anywhere public except occasionally to make fun of it.)
I continued my IndieWeb evangelism.
I finally enacted a long-overdue HRT dosing change, which has had its ups and downs but it’s getting dialed in pretty well now.
I continued to experiment with coffee.
I gave in and re-re-launched my Patreon, but I still don’t quite know what to do with it.
I continued to have chronic pain, which didn’t stop me from writing an incredibly long and probably-useless article about the IndieWeb from a technology standpoint.
2022 goal checkup
Last year I posted some goals for 2022. How’d those go?
- Get my house clean or at least organized: Well, the kitchen remodel helped a little, and my studio is in much better shape, but, generally, no
- Make more music: Yes!
- Make more comics: Well, technically, as in two more now exist that didn’t exist before, but I am pretty sure I meant “make more comics than I did in 2021,” which was definitely not the case (and that was a low bar!).
- Feel comfortable at work: Nope! Fuck being employed entirely!
- Better vocal presentation: Actually, yes. My voice coaching has gone pretty well and folks on VRChat keep on being surprised to learn that I’m trans. I can’t wrap my head around that. Hearing my own voice still fills me with dysphoria.
- Improve Publ: Eh, a little, I guess.
- Improve my health: Not really
- Socialize better: Hm, well, I’m socializing differently, but VRChat still doesn’t feel like it checks those boxes for me
2023 goals and aspirations
Here’s an unordered list of the stuff I hope to work on:
- More VRChat stuff
- Maybe work on some games again (gosh I have so many ideas that have been on the backburner for so long)
- Keep working on my own music, especially the two albums I have in progress, and maybe recording YouTube videos of it
- Look to getting paid music jobs as well
- Join a different choir which seems like a better fit for me (I have a rehearsal scheduled for January 4, hopefully it goes well)
- More cooking, and maybe recording YouTube videos of it
- More game streaming, maybe?
- More gardening
- Maybe start drawing comics again too
- Work more on IndieWeb stuff
- Finally sell or donate some of the big piles of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years, and get my house organized
And major expenses I’m expecting:
- I have a solar installation scheduled for January
- I still keep thinking I want to pursue facial feminization surgery
- As much as I like the Leaf I’m also considering upgrading to one of the many better EVs that are coming on the market in 2023 (which I am pretending I can justify by driving for Uber/Lyft or something, as a way of getting out of the house and making better use of my unstructured time), but I won’t actually seriously consider this until I have some actual regular driving to worry about
I’d also like to travel some more, and also collaborate with people. I’m so tired of isolation.
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