2013 : Year of the Personal Productivity

8th Annual "END OF THE YEAR REPORT" for 2013

So, again, like last year - I wasn't a very big "blogger" and I don't know if I will ever change that. I may try to be better at it, I send myself a IFFT email about it every night, to which I just ignore and delete. I was writing a little daily journal on my iPhone - but that too went fruitless. The whole idea of keeping a daily log has been reduced to small twitter status updates, a few shared Facebook links, and the occasional photo on Instagram  I am "documenting" my life but it's through social medias outside of what some times seems to be an archaic form of media.

That said, I still like this process. Looking through my previous years and seeing movies and things that I did. Television that caught my eye, games. It's a fun & enjoyable trip down memory lane, for myself at least.

This year was a pretty good year. I worked a ton in the later months, on projects that were pretty cool and made some (eh) decent money. Enough to feel confident when I went home for month for the holiday. And... maybe too confident, because now I'm back in LA with a little extra cash but no job on the horizon. Leaving for a month while you're freelance is sort of like quitting your job and it was probably not the greatest idea.

We'll see how it goes moving forward.

Besides that I really enjoyed table top gaming this year, thanks to some new, pretty close friends of mine. I got all the new gaming consoles but have yet to really sit down and enjoy them. I'm hoping this week with nothing to do & no work will turn out to be a good time to catch up. 

Personally, I was as happy as ever. I've found a good balance between social, personal, financial stability. I went on a few dates and realized that as much as I'd love to have a snuggle buddy at night, I'm pretty happy just being a single dude. 

This upcoming year, I may end up getting a dog - undoing the snuggle free life I've led so far.

Artistically, a writer's group I started got me through an adaptation of a script that I'm really happy with. It's given me a new hope for making that leap into film again and I hope this year I can really push that script in some way -- as well as work on other projects that I may even get a chance to shoot.

That said, here's my Top 10 list of everything I saw, read, & did this year:

Movies - Popcorn
  1. Gravity
  2. World War Z
  3. This Is The End
  4. Oblivion
  5. Conjuring
  6. Pacific Rim
  7. Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
  8. Catching Fire
  9. Fast & Furious 6
  10. Anchorman 2
Worst Films I Had the Misfortune to See
  1. Evil Dead
  2. Man of Steel
  3. Oz: Great & Powerful
  4. Hangover 3
Movies - Cinema

  1. Inside Llewyn Davis
  2. Her
  3. Wolf of Wall Street
  4. Mud
  5. Blue Jasmine
  6. Spring Breakers
  7. Behind the Candelabra
  8. 12 Years a Slave
  9. American Hustle
  10. Nebraska
TV

  1. Breaking Bad
  2. Mad Men
  3. The Good Wife
  4. House of Cards
  5. Orange is the New Black
  6. Girls
  7. Arrested Development
  8. Hannibal
  9. Vikings
  10. Homeland
Video Games

  1. The Last of Us
  2. Bioshock Infinite
  3. Zelda: Link Between Worlds
  4. Device 6
  5. Super Mario World
  6. The Cave
  7. Pikman 3
  8. Batman: Origins
  9. Tomb Raider
  10. Gears of War: Judgement
Music - Albums

  1. Chrvches "The Bones of What You Believe”
  2. Arcade Fire “Reflektors"
  3. Vampire Weekend "Modern Vampires…"
  4. Kaye West "Yeezus"
  5. Kid Cudi "Indicud"
  6. The Strokes "Comedown Machine"
  7. Major Lazer "Free the Universe"
  8. Woodkid "The Golden Age"
  9. Atoms for Peace "Amok"
  10. David Bowie "The Next Day”
  11. *** SPECIAL MENTION to Knife Party “HAUNTED HOUSE”
  12. *** SPECIAL MENTION to The National “TROUBLE WILL FIND ME"
Music - Songs

  1. Tether CHVRCHES
  2. Hannah Hunt by VAMPIRE WEEKEND
  3. 80s Comedown Machine by THE STROKES
  4. Ingenue by ATOMS FOR PEACE
  5. New York City Rage Fest by KID CUDI
  6. Scare Me by MAJOR LAZER
  7. Blood on the Leaves by KAYNE WEST
  8. Come a Little Closer CAGE THE ELEPHANT
  9. Get Lucky DAFT PUNK
  10. Tunnel Vision by JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
  11. Team by LORDE
  12. Kangaroo Court by CAPITAL CITIES
  13. We Cant Stop by MILEY CYRUS
  14. Demons by THE NATIONAL
  15. Step by VAMPIRE WEEKEND
Books (Not necessarily 2013 books)
Some of these books I (DNF) for one reason or another, regardless of whether I liked them
  1. Ready Player One
  2. Cuckoo's Calling (DNF)
  3. Great Gatsby
  4. Catching Fire
  5. Mockingjay
  6. Under the Dome (DNF)
Technology (Apps, Gear, & Internet Stuff)
  1. Pebble Watch
  2. Fitness Bands: currently the Fitbit Force, previously the UP Band (which broke twice)
  3. YNAB (You Need a Budget)
  4. SIMPLE Bank - no more Big Banks for me (for now)
  5. PS4 & XBoxOne
  6. WhatsApp
  7. Fantasitical App
  8. Imgur (Site)
  9. aNote App
  10. Ridiculous Fishing Game/App
A LOOK AT THE YEAR
    Favorite Month
    1. NOVEMBER ... I was financially in a really good place, I went to a "cabin in the wood" - bought new gaming consoles, had work with some new & really awesome people - and all in all felt really fucking great. 
      Favorite Day (Tied)
      1. AUGUST 28th ... after 13 long months, I won a settlement from an old employer who decided that "not paying" was in her best interest. It ended up costing her almost 6 times my original rate in fees & interest. It was the first time I truly felt the law on my side.
      Favorite Moment (tied)
      1. Private (clothespin)
      2. Winning Fantasy Football & $400

        Worst Month
        1. MARCH ... work wise - I was coordinating, which is something I don't do often and I made a pretty bad impression on two different jobs with two different Production Managers/Producers. Plus, they put a lot of their own weaknesses on me, making me feel pretty stupid. One very big company I worked for probably thinks of me as a real incompetent and I am pretty sure I won't be working there again, believing I'm on a "no call" list. It's humiliating and really reinserts my need to move forward as a filmmaker and stop working in production.
        Worst Day & Moment
        1. JULY 4th - Last year, I thought - "not taking my meds was a good thing" - I was wrong & on July 4th, I had to go to the hospital with Pneumonia. It cost me about $2500 and 12 hours of my life. I have since learned my lesson about the severity of my condition & have recovered fine. It's truly humbling to see science at work. 
        FUN & TERRIBLE SHIT FROM THIS YEAR

        • Game Nights
        • Going to the Magic Castle
        • Going to Medieval Times
        • Winning My Court Drama
        • Pneumonia & the Hospital
        • Mom & Grandma came to Visit
        • Damn - LOTS of Work / Buying Shit
        • Lost Weight, Looking Better
        • Bought New Car
        • Seeing Arcade Fire.. Up Close & Personal
        • New Consoles (PS4, Xbox)
        • Winning Fantasy Football
        • Rita’s Death
        THIS YEAR'S THEMES
        1. FOLLOW THROUGH REAPS REWARDS (my labor dispute, finishing my script, etc.)
        HOPES / GOALS FOR 2014
        1. GET INTO A ROUTINE (Health, Writing, Social, etc)
        2. Finish Two NEW Scripts 
        3. Get AS SIMPLE AS SNOW out there, in any ways I can
        4. Raise $$$ for a new project (hopefully of feature length)
        5. Network More, re-engage the Filmmaker
        6. Keep Hiking & Going to the Gym - make it a HABIT
        7. New Laptop, Desktop
        8. Save Save Save!!! 
        9. Take Vacation to Somewhere Awesome
        10. Reach "500" - only 119 last year
        HOPES GOALS FROM 2013 FULFILLED?
        1. More Consistent Writer / Finish Work
          1. Kind of, I finished ASAS but did it through my writer's group and not personally, this year would be nice to just make it part of my routine.
        2. Tone Up
          1. Kind of, being sick had ONE good side effect and that was losing a ton of weight. Too much, which I basically almost put all back on. That said, I am more "tone" then I was last year. This year, I definitely want to finish up and finally lose the gut. AND without eating crap foods... like spinach and kale. ;)
        3. Develop & begin to implement Long Term Career
          1. Kind of, again I really hope to start submitting this script & working on a project that I can actually muster together the money for. I think it's less about planning something and going out and just DOING it. Raising money, meeting people, making it happen.
        4. Be More Social, Network More
          1. Did not happen. Really got a new circle of friends through this game night but I think I'd like to open that up. Join other groups and really try to open up my networking circle. Not just for career opportunities but to meet and get to know more people.
        5. Continue to Be Happy & enjoy Life as You Have
          1. 100% DONE
        6. Buy New Laptop & New Car
          1. Half. Leased a new car but ended up spending money on new consoles & tech rather than a new laptop. This year I'll DEFINITELY be getting a new laptop, that's for certain as this current one is approaching almost 7 years old. It's still a beast.
        7. Reorganize my Social Imprint (New Website, New "Reel")
          1. No new reel, but I did start BITMAPX.com which is going to be a place I put my work on and have business cards for when I start to "get out there." It's more of a start fresh kind of place then actually doing it.
        8. Adopt a Dog
          1. Maybe this year... but I need much more of a savings plan first.
        9. Start to Invest
          1. Total loser here. I should do this but I instead sort of upgraded my living space. New living room, new tech, I think by the end of the year I should have a better space to actually start investing.
        10. Reach 500.
          1. Not even - CLOSE. But I have a really REALLY good feeling about this year. 
        NEWS NEWS IN 2013
        1. Obamacare
        2. Government Shutdown
        3. Edward Snowden Leaks / NSA 
        4. Boston Marathon Bombing
        5. George Zimmerman Trial
        6. Syria Civil War
        7. New Pope who Liberals are All About
        8. Gay Marriage Starts to Really Take Hold Across the Country
        9. Celebrities Mouthing Off & Paying Consequence (Paula Deen, Duck Dynasty)
        10. Netflix (Internet) as a Television Network
        At this point, I usually have a special thanks but this year - nothing sticks out other than all the friends and family I have. I lost my first loved one this year and came face to face with mortality, both in that and personally. Life is pretty special - and living what you got when you got it is really the only way to go. Make it happen when it happens, make opportunities but until then, enjoy what things you have and realize that you're a pretty lucky son of a bitch. I am.

        Hugs & warmth to all.

        Pebble (Smart Watch) Thoughts, a month later

        I've had the Pebble for a month now and I can say that I don't LOVE it but I definitely like it, which I think is more in the concept than the execution.  

        I always saw it as a primer for the iWatch (or whatever comes out that's superior in terms of smart watches). I like to wear a watch as an accessory and easy access to time, which I've noticed over the years I'm kind of obsessed with. I feel weird if I can't see the time within my immediately peripheral vision.  In my house, I have to be able to look anywhere and see the time. It's somehow comforting.

        That being said, I like that if I'm on the phone and I get a text, I can just look down at my watch.  Or if my watch is in my pocket, when I get a little buzz I can just see it's that "bye" text from a friend with no need to reply or fumble through my pockets for a small bit of useless information.

        Some things I've learned having it - I need to set a reminder to charge my watch every four days or so.  Not a big deal, just a quick reminder with Siri. I just plug it in that night and it's all good in the morning. I have forgotten to charge and been at work wearing a dead watch, which makes me think that battery is always going to be the determining factor in the success of smart watches.  Also, the Pebble is DAMN glitchy, especially with email.  And sometimes, when it's quiet for a few hours, I don't know if it's because it's just not working or that I'm just not getting anything.  In the few weeks I've had it, they've updated it once and it seems to run SLIGHTLY better, so I assume within six months or so, it'll only be that much better.

        I'm sure the next generation of watches will include talk back, so you can reply to things with Siri, etc. which will be pretty cool.  I like the idea of technology becoming something we wear more casually and making the hunched over phone experience something of the late 2000s.

        That being said, would I recommend it to anyone?  Probably not.  Unless they love techy stuff, like to wear a watch, and are big smartphone users - lots of texts, emails, phone calls. Most likely, a better one is coming but not for 12 months or more, so if $150 is worth it for a year of being a bit of a nerd and getting used to the idea of getting texts on a watch, do it.  If not, I'd definitely wait.