2008 In Review

by Mike Shea on 31 December 2008

I thought it'd be nice on the last day of the year to recap the fun things in my life and maybe even post some resolutions.

Probably the biggest thing this year was finishing a life-long goal of mine and actually writing a book. Seven Swords was technically written in 2007 but it took most of 2008 to type it, edit it, and get it in print. Now I just have to get back to writing again.

My weekly D&D game really took off in 2008. We finished up a 3.5 campaign and switched fully over to Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. I love it, my players love it, and I hope I can keep that weekly game going forever. I got really big into Dwarven Forge in 2008 as well.

2008 was also the year I took full control over my own finances. Of course, this is a hell of a year to start learning about how the market works but at least I know where I'm losing my money. Want Mike's financial advice? Invest in three low-fee index funds: 60% Total Market, 30% foreign market, 10% bonds. Rebalance yearly. Yes, the market sucks now but stocks are cheap and if the whole market does come crumbling down, well you wouldn't be able to use that money anyway.

I played a lot of great games this year. Fallout 3 is my game of the year pic. Braid still sticks in my mind as another great game. The Xbox 360 is my console of choice (even after a red-ring of death) after a horrifying realization that the Wii sucks. Other than that, it's a hell of a lot of World of Warcraft and the Wrath of the Lich King.

I started taking classes to learn how to draw this year. Well, Michelle signed me up for our anniversary but I love the classes. I've gotten back into comic books in a big way. My top comic pics are Alias, The Ultimates, Supreme Power. Great stuff.

My top movies are probably everybody's top movies. Dark Knight was great. Iron Man was great. Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull couldn't have sucked more. I got big into The Wire and Six Feet Under this year as well. The Mist was really good, Cloverfield too. No Country for Old Men is my pick of 2008.

I read a few books I liked a lot. Fall of Hyperion is the one that stands out the most. Yiddish Policeman's Union pissed me off because a book about a Jewish cop in Alaska isn't what I'd call a Hugo winning science fiction novel. My favorite book of 2008 is Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

Music hasn't changed much for me in this last year. I've been listening a lot to the Braid soundtrack which I love.

So what do I want for the next new year?

First, I want to lose a bunch of weight, like 80 pounds. I let myself go since the wedding and I'd feel a lot better and healthier at a better weight. Weight is something I've struggled with my whole life but I did have a nice three year period at a good weight so I know I can do it.

Second, I want to write six short stories or another novel. I haven't written anything of note since Seven Swords and it's time to get back to it.

Third, I'd like to read six novels. Twelve would be better but tackling Neal Stephenson's Anathem is like reading three novels all in one book.

Other than that I want more of the same! It's been a great year and I'm hoping that continues throughout 2009 and beyond.

Happy New Year!