2018: Make It Happen

2017. Weird year.

I’m trying to look back on what 2017 even was. It’s feels like one of those old flashbulbs going off. It was bright, intense, painful, and then it was over.

Let’s recap.

This year came in off 2016 – a year so bad that its awfulness was running joke. So, 2017 to the rescue.

I’m fairly uncool and try to theme my years. The narrative I gave to 2017 was “Go Hard.” What does that mean? Well, I’ve been trying to recapture this lightning in a bottle I had during college. Not the bad first and middle parts, but the explosive end. I probably romanticized (read: definitely) this part of my life, but I felt so much forward momentum. I felt like I was growing, learning, changing. There is truth to this. The issue is when life started to settle down, I realized how tired I was. I had worked too hard and I needed a break. By 2017, I had been “taking a break” for two years going on three and it was showing. I filled my life with other goals, but not the same intensity I had before. The “Go Hard” motif was about trying to recapture that magic, and get back to accomplishing goals.
But, any major plans I had for 2017 were put on hold, not necessarily by choice, but by circumstance. I won’t rehash what I’ve already said before, but the 2016 election changed quite a few things for me.

The emotion that dominated the start of 2017 was anxiety. I was more on edge during that first part of the year than in any point in recent memory. For instance, shortly after the inauguration some friends and I got together to hang out and play Secret Hitler (which is just a fantastic game, by the by) and due to the subject matter, I remember being nervous and shaken by the outcome of each round. In my head, this game was a proxy for the current political situation. I assure you my behavior was not contained solely to the recesses of my mind. I played the game again recently with many of the same people and they recalled my previous demeanor. There were parts of this time where I felt utterly at the mercy of my obsessive emotions and incapable of doing anything about it. I felt immobilized. I did, slowly, find ways to mitigate this though. Primarily through finding actionable ways to try to change the situation, again, see post above.

This newfound political group did add quite a bit of work to my list though. Some of it is self-imposed, some of it is because it needed to get done. Surprisingly though this is probably what actually got me back into a frame of mind with work similar to that I had in college. I felt busier this year than I have in any other time since 2014. I consider this a good thing. I’m healthy and (relatively) full of energy now, so why not use it?
To put the Indivisible stuff to bed here is a small list of things we managed to do in 2017:

* Recruited new members
* Registered new voters
* Made a website
* Got in touch with other Indivisible groups in and out of the state
* Held and attended protests
* Attended street fairs
* Branded
* Got merch (T-Shirts, stickers, business cards)
* Met all Dem candidates running for our district
* Connected with the local parties
* Phone banked for the Virginia elections
* Called our MOC too many times to count
* Got invited to be in a pilot program for fundraising for Indivisible national
* Incorporated as a 501c4 non-profit
* Got our first donation!
* And, personally, learned WAY too much about parliamentary procedure.

Not bad for year one.

As you can probably glean from that list, that is where a majority of my time ended up. I never intended it to, but it was just a lightning rod for all my panic. That means that many of my other goals took a backseat. I never let any of them go, they would just get intermittent bumps of my time. That means, I made progress on almost all of them, but finished hardly any of them. I would explode from one thing to another and drive that goal forward and then let that languish when I found something more interesting to do.

In that sense, my “Go Hard” in 2017, was a success. I went hard for most of the year. Almost always working and doing something, but none of that energy was focused. This doesn’t work with long-term, hard goals and projects. It’s easy to work on things when you are excited it is much harder to do things in the middle, when it’s boring, and a slog, but that is, arguably, the most important part.

That’s why my theme for 2018 is “Make it Happen.” Certainly not going to win any awards for originality, but I think it’s the next step. This year is all about getting back to organization, time management, and grit. I feel I have my work ethic back to where it needs to be. Now it’s all about focus, and drive. 2018 feels demonstrably different than 2017 did. I have all these new responsibilities, but I have a better handle on how and when to deal with them. Not to mention a better handle on my emotional state. I don’t want to feel like anything is solely dominating my time which had been the case. This year is all about attaining those goals, despite the slog, despite the middle. I’m an engineer by training and a programmer by trade so I’m comfortable with systems and frameworks. I want to harness this in 2018 by automating tasks that are huge time sucks, but I still want or need to get done. For instance, Tim and Matt Play is going to be a live show from now on, so I never have to setup, capture, edit, and then upload again. Our million+ fans will be very excited.

There were other things that happened in 2017 though:

I love data, and, like last year, I compiled my exercise history down into this nice little image.

I lifted more than last year, which is apparent when I do certain things these days. I did Yoga X the other day and was able to do some of the balance postures I was never able to do before. I love everything that lifting has done for a more well-rounded fitness, and plan to continue that this year.

One thing that breaks my heart looking at the numbers is that running took a big dip. I felt it, too. I just didn’t devote enough time to it. I want to get back to my 2016 numbers. I had my share of failure and triumph this year with running. Overall, running is something I just love doing, and not setting aside time for it is detrimental to my well-being. Running is as much physical as it is mental. It’s where I think through things and blow off steam. It’s my meditation. So, 2018, more running.

One goal I am attempting is doing a triathlon this year. I’m still going to do marathons, but this seems like a fun, new challenge. I’m garbage at swimming and it seems like a good physical activity for overall fitness.

I’m still doing improv, and if running is how I mentally center myself, improv is where my mind gets to play. My job is fairly analytical, so having this outlet is so nice. As a group, we did so many shows in 2017, and it was super fun. We did end up losing our venue at the end of the year, which sucks, but we are looking. We started and stopped doing long form. And we did a structured show, which was so amazingly fun and different than what we did in the past. Luckily, I recorded the whole thang ding.

We are starting up long form again in about a week and I couldn’t be more excited.

I turned 30(!) and started a video series about my 20s which has been a blast to make. It is the first bit of video content like this I’ve made, and I’m excited to finish the different chapters. I’m learning how to be more candid on camera, and work better with voice over and different camera shots. These videos are all about storytelling which I’ve done only in the most cursory of ways with my previous vlogs. This is forcing me to get better and look at the medium differently. This is by far the most ambitious video project I’ve undertaken, and the most fun. I’m excited to work on and finish this in 2018.

Grad school. These words haunt me. I’ve been talking about this since I graduated and I’m still not in it. 2017 was supposed to be the year. It wasn’t. I took the GRE and did ok, but not to my (or most likely the school’s) satisfaction. I’ve been putting this off for far too long, and it is happening this year. No more excuses, no more procrastinating.

There is something else that happened in 2017. I’m not going get into it here, but needless to say it sucked. Hard.

As I’ve said, 2017 was weird. Lots of highs and lows, and genuine confusion and fear with what to do next. I made it out alive, and if you are reading this, you did, too. I have all these things I want to accomplish in my life, and 2018 is the time to start realizing them. Unlike this post, I need to focus.

Make it happen.

2018 is going to be buck wild.

Personal Philosophy Website

On The Beginning of the End or 2012: a Futurespective

Part of this whole “New Years Resolution” nonsense is to address the following year. To take a look back and see how you did on last years resolutions and what kind of progress has been made. Let’s get that out of the way first, close out 2011.

Get into shape – 50% See me after class

I started this so well. I was getting into the best shape of my life. I felt great, I was losing weight. I started the P90x program and was doing it every day. I was half-way through and for some reason I stopped. I got called for jury duty and that little change was enough to throw me off kilter. Day 45 of 90 exactly. I stopped. Which means…

Run a marathon. – Failed

I need to do this. Stop screwing around and just do it. It will always be a loose end unless I buckle down and do it. Dude, sack up.

Become a digital minimalist. – Success! (Well, succeeding)

This has been a gargantuan undertaking. Who knew 24 years of a primarily analog life would lead to so much work?  I am slowly downsizing the whole of everything. It is amazingly boring and time consuming. That being said, there is lights that are being seen at the end of the tunnel. Every little thing I get rid of takes one more rock off my chest. It’s an amazing feeling.

Be more adult. – Rousing Success

This was the big one for me. This is the one I really wanted to focus in on and I think I have done a pretty great job. It is something that, by my interaction at least, is being skipped over for most people. For most of us, as I mentioned in the post right before this one, we are incredibly lucky to live like we do, sure we are human and experience setbacks, but that doesn’t mean we need to complain about every one. That is adolescent. Something my peers should be exiting. Something I want to be done with. That might mean sucking it up and doing something that is painful or unpleasant, but we are nothing if not adaptable. This year I have made a conscious effort to do what needs to be done with little to no complaints because it was was needed to be done (That kind of makes me sound like a hit man, but I promise, I am not a hit man). To be perfectly honest, it hasn’t been easy. It was against my nature. It took stretching and growth, but it worked. An unintended, but welcomed side-effect of this has been that when everyone sucks it up and does what needs to be done, there is no drama (well, little drama). It’s great to see things go so smoothly.

Adapting that “do what needs to be done” mentality, I managed to pull the best grades since Summer 2007: A, A, A+, C (Seriously guys, that C is in ECE 311: Electromagnetics and I am more proud of that C than any of the others) Also, Yes, Mary that is me bragging. If there is one thing I know about Mary it is that she likes to say I always brag (I do not).

This has been the key to my recent successes. If you want to achieve a dream or goal it takes work and most of it consists of not things that are not constantly fun. In closing, this one mental change has transformed my life more than any other thing I have done in recent memory.

OK, on to 2012

Continue Being an Adult

Ok, good job 2011 me, but you are not in the clear. Growth is one thing, but maintaining that growth is something new all together. Regression is an easy thing, and I don’t want to regress. For the first time in a long time I feel my life is back in the right direction and reverting back to my formal bad habits and attitudes would be a monumental failure. This is the prime objective and the one on which everything hinges.

Get Healthy

This one is a comment on last years, but changed in a real way. Getting fit is one thing, but getting healthy is a whole other battle. I want to get in shape. I want to start and finish P90x and I want to continue to work on my running. This NEEDS to be the year in which I run that marathon. I am not getting any younger and there is no time like the present. The other side to this is diet. That is something I never took extremely serious, but it plays an as important, if not more important role in this. These all make up to a healthier me. I actually enjoy living and I want to do it as much as I can. I can’t control what happens to me externally, but I sure can keep the machine in top working order.

To ensure my success in this I am going to be keeping metrics on all the important things and posting them on here. Caloric intake, weight, exercise, dates, times, all of this and more will be updated weekly and a monthly wrap-up post detailing my thoughts and feelings. This will be aggregated somewhere on the blog, and available at large and all those details will be posted soon.

Read More Books

I read. I read a lot actually. The thing is that I don’t read books. I read articles, news, blogs, but not books. The one thing, more than anything else, that can improve your writing beyond actually writing is reading. Seeing different styles and words can help you learn and develop your own sort of style (Do you guys ever notice I use a lot of parenthetical asides when I write? This is part of the style I have created and I got it from reading). Since I have school, I want to make a realistic goal for this. 12 books, 12 months, 1 a month. That is completely manageable. Hopefully this will make me more smarter.

Finish Condensing My Life (Digital Minimalism cont.)

This is by far the most tedious but necessary thing on the list. I have done a pretty good job of becoming unattached to (most) material possessions, but I need to finish the job. I am giving myself a due date.  End of the year I better be finished minimizing. I should be a lean, streamlines, model of human existence. The reason for this is that I graduate in the Fall of 2013. I start senior design in Spring 2013. That will most likely take up all my time. What little free time I have I want to use to secure a job and get a place to live. I can’t be messing around with minimizing stuff. I want to “hit the ground running” as they say. I want to be move-out ready when I get that diploma.

More Music

I kind of started this back a couple months ago, but I need more new music. I used to be on the cusp of new, great music, but it dropped off. This is unacceptable. I love music and need to keep listening to new stuff. My goal is that every month I have at least 10 new albums (doesn’t have to be just released, just stuff I haven’t heard). I hope to share those with you guys, too. On here and via Spotify. I love Spotify. Go get Spotify.

Share More and Better

This blog is now 9 years old. (Wow, seriously 9 years old!) There has been some major changes to the site over the years. Names, and URLs. (So happy I own With that I haven’t always had the easiest way to proliferate or interact with everyone about content. That is changing with Facebook and Twitter integration as well as the addition of Disqus as the comment manager. Disqus lets me respond to people and let other people respond to other people much easier and let’s you also use your Twitter, Facebook, or Google logins. Streamlined! I like writing and opening up dialogue, but speaking in a room by myself is never ideal. I want you guys, yeah you reading this right now, to join the discussion. I am genuinely interested in what you have to say.

I also want to share more with you guys, more than these long posts. I want to share stuff I watch, read, and maybe some quick photos. I can do that on Twitter now, but it is fleeting. It get buried in the annals of Twitter within a day. I could start a Tumblr, but I pretty much hate Tumblr and don’t have as much control over a Tumblr as I do my own site. So, here is what I’m going to do. I am going to start 2 “sub-sites” maybe they will change over time, but I am going to make something called KT Mini which is little photos and videos I make that don’t warrant a full post. This will all be from my life and not from sharing other internet related stuff. The second is KT Share, which is my Tumblr-esque site. It will have all stuff around the web I think you guys would enjoy or stuff I really enjoyed. These will remain semi-independent and not appear on the front page or within the blog itself. I need to still get this in order, but hopefully this will let me share more with you guys.


That’s all I really have for 2012. I am not winning any point for originality, but then again this isn’t about originality. It’s about making my life better and that is something I can whole-heatedly embrace. Look for updates to this site, where KT get’s a little better.
Since Disqus is live right now, leave me some comments. What do you guys think of my goals? What are your goals? Leave ’em!


Get a Manicure

This might seem slightly strange, but this has an underlying point. I have had this terrible habit that I haven’t been able to kick: biting my nails. I have tried so many times, that I lost count. I am currently in the middle of the longest run of not biting my nails. I want to end this and not have hands that look like they have just seen war. The triumph for this would be to be actually able to get a manicure. A little effeminate, sure, but it is something I have never been able to do because of my lack of nail length. I want to be a pretty man.

Finish My Damn Short Story

I have had this idea kicking around for a short story for years now. I need to put the pen to the page and finish this. It keeps coming up in my head which means that until I close this loop it will always haunt me. I don’t do nearly enough fiction writing anyway, so it’s something to grow myself as a writer as well. All I need is a good weekend to sit down and bang it out. It needs some research to it, too, despite its fictional nature. Anyway, I will post it here when I do finish it for your ridicule.

Practice Japanese, You Know, if There is Time

This is not so much a resolution, but something I need to do, but it is not the top priority. So, if I find myself with a free moment and everything else is done (yeah right, dude) I want to continue practicing Japanese. I have forgotten so much of it. *sigh*