2014 in Review

So here’s 2015. For me personally, it was better than 2013 (it would be hard not to), but for the country in general, maybe not so much. This is the year Back to the Future 2 takes place, so that’s a thing. Ahem. Anyway.

Let’s look back and see how this thing shook out.

One of the biggest changes for us was finally getting cell phones. We’d been relying on a cheap burner for a while, but it started to die and the message was hitting home that life would be a little easier if we’d just cave, so we did. I’ve enjoyed having it for the camera, texting, and for Twitter, which is the most use I get out of it. I guess there’s also the “phone” thing, but honestly, that’s one of the features I use the least.

Unity Games is at the beginning of the year (usually — it hasn’t been announced for 2015 yet, and may not be) and the biggest story there was that the Big Nerd Box finally sold. I only came down a little from what I wanted, but more importantly, it is gone. I swore it wouldn’t make it to March and it didn’t.

We’ll talk more about this later, but in January I made a list of ten movies to watch for the year. For a normal human being this would be no big deal, but for me…well, I got half of the list done (actually more than half, but I haven’t talked about the sixth one yet). Still, that made for a more movieful year than most (discounting 2013’s Harry Potter marathon), especially when you add in other movies I actually saw in the theater!

I started a new Sunday feature this year, I Had That!, in which I talk about material objects of my youth. It’s intended to go for 52 entries, though I’ve missed a couple of weeks. It’ll be over soon and may (I haven’t decided yet) be followed by a similar thing. It’s been pretty well received, and fun to do. Speaking of regular features, a bug at Delicious put the end to This Delicious Week, at least until they fix it or I come up with an alternative.

Musically, this year was a void. While last year I at least discovered Janelle Monae and Chvrches, this year there was almost no new music in my life. When I got my phone and the ability to load it up with tunes for the road, I put on it the greatest hits of 1986 and it’s more or less stayed like that. I made only token attempts to rectify this.

Similarly, reading non-comics (and, eventually, comics) took a back seat this year to not reading, and when I did read stuff it was depressing state-of-the-plutocracy books by Matt Taibbi and Chris Hedges. Again, this topic of reading we’ll talk more about in a moment.

I still watched a fair amount of TV, which I’ll talk about in an upcoming post, but an interesting story there was my beginning and, not long afterwards, ending an attempt to re-watch The X-Files, a show which, sadly, just can’t compete anymore. The other interesting (I guess) TV-related story is how that upcoming look at TV in 2014 won’t include Doctor Who. Beyond that, though, the biggest TV story for me was this.

Politically, 2014 was a banner year for Asshole Culture. The big losers this year were woman and black folks, for the umpteenth year running. Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree because women wouldn’t have sex with him, a problem that was then billed as the fault of all women. Then came “GamerGate”, an embarrassing movement of shrieking men seemingly upset that women dare to exist.

Hobby Lobby got its sincere (yet factually incorrect) beliefs validated by the Supreme Court. On June 6th I screamed about another mass shooting and I honestly can’t even remember which one that was; that’s where we are now with those. And then there was the seemingly endless parade of police-killed black men, with its attendant police worship. We also got into fights about airplane seats. And it was revealed that the CIA tortured people, to which Americans yawned, “good!”

On a brighter note, we bought some trees!

  

I experienced a bit of notoriety around May, when some fool named Paul Ingrisano decided he had trademarked the “pi” symbol and print-on-demand t-shirt company Zazzle temporarily agreed with him. Apparently my description of these antics as “ridiculous asshattery” were eminently quotable. Eventually Zazzle was forced to realize they were acting like idiots and rightly told Ingrisano to go hang.

Last year was our 20th wedding anniversary, but health issues kept us from taking the trip we intended, so we made up for it this year with a trip to London and Paris. We had a great time, saw all the expected sites, as well as some new ones, and we even brushed up on our French!

Last year I thought I was going to get a comic story of mine published. That turned out to not happen as I thought, though it may still (and there’s other news on that front), but I did write a short gag strip which was drawn for me by Jon Morris, House Blend:

Not having enough gaming in my life, in 2014 I made it to my first Gen Con. It was an exciting, overwhelming experience and, despite a fun time, a little too much for my delicate sensibilities, so I’m not sure a repeat is in the cards, but it’s now something I can say I did. I also went to Trashfest again, as well as ConnCon.

In October, nearly an exact year later, I had another weird allergy attack. Same thing, and I’m still on allergy meds. I’ll hit up an allergy doc as soon as I can get off of them for two weeks, but I’m really hoping this isn’t going to be a regular Fall event.

In a Benadryl haze I came up with possibly the greatest superhero ever, The Living Lighthouse, drawn here by pal Dave H:

My peeve of the year, brought about by GamerGate and other trash people, was comment sections. Over and over and over I wondered why we continue to essentially leave pools of stagnant water around and then complain about mosquitos. There’s some evidence people are starting to address this.

There were also plenty of boardgames and videogames (I’ll be talking about these, as well as movies, TV, and comics, next week). Too many, in fact. Way too many. Although I stopped posting daily this year, it often alarmed me that I had little to talk about other than games I played. Didn’t I used to read books and comics? Didn’t music used to mean something to me? Didn’t I used to build with Lego and go Geocaching and do things other than play games?

My goal for 2015 is to get back to those things. We’ll see how it goes.

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