Sounds weird, doesn’t it? 2020 in three years will be even worse.
You know what doesn’t sound bad? A trip to Tampa. Clemson absolutely demolished Ohio State 31-0 in the Fiesta Bowl last night. It’s still surreal to me that Clemson played for a National Championship last year and I was able to see it in person. And somehow, it’s going to happen all over again in a little more than a week! It’s an amazing time to be a Clemson football fan. And I’m on Cloud Nine!
Go finish what you started, Deshaun!
Back to the New Year, what’s on deck for this year?
- 15 Books: The last time I met my goal of 12 books (2013) and upped it to 15 (2014), I fell a few books short. After beating my 2016 goal pretty well, I’ve eaten into my “To Read” shelf a bit. But I’ve still got some work to do. I want to re-read The Dark Tower series from Stephen King with the movie on the horizon. I have a couple of non-fiction books – biographies of Steve Jobs, John Muir, Harry Truman – that I’d like to make a dent in as well. Also, let’s be real… I’ll buy more books than I should throughout the year from Barnes & Noble.
- 365 Miles: My health and fitness goal this year is to average a mile a day for the entire year. The idea was sparked from ESPN’s David Pollack’s Twitter #EveryDayCounts challenge. His challenge is to walk/run/jog at least one mile every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But since I have to gear up for both the Bridge Run in April and the Turkey Trot in November, I thought I’d expand the time frame to a full year but change the goal to average a mile a day instead of an actual mile a day.
- 4 House Projects: Well… Here’s a goal I never thought I’d have. With a new house comes new avenues to spend all of your money. I’m not even moved in yet and I already have a list started. I want to have the backyard fenced in so Harper can have some space to run around. I want to have a deck built in the backyard over the slope into the woods to extend the usable space. I want to paint the house to something other than off-white. So my goal is to try and cross at least four of them off by the end of the year.
- 83% LTV: While we’re talking house topics, let’s add in a financial goal too. I’m putting 15% down on the house at closing. By my fancy schmancy spreadsheet calculations, it looks like I’d be on schedule to hit 83% around April 2018. To get to 83% by December, I’ll need to average adding about $120 extra to my monthly payment. It would be less but I won’t have a January or February payment, so I’ll try to roll some of that money saved into the house. The joys of being an adult…
- 1 Website: I am now the proud owner of JerdanFantasySports.com. My goal is to get something serviceable up and running by the start of the 2017 football season for the Jerdan brother’s Pick Six pool. Worst case, the 2017 Bowl Pick ‘Em pool. The tricky part is that a 0.25 website goal at the end of the 1st Quarter doesn’t mean much. So I’ll have to program-manage this one a bit with measurables like getting a database created, setting up an admin page, and creating logins.
- 12,000 Gamerscore: I want another crack at this one. I’m working through Gears of War 4 and Bioshock right now. I have Watchdogs 2. I have the Walking Dead Season 3. The new South Park, Mass Effect, and Halo Wars games are scheduled to come out in the 1st Quarter. Red Dead Redemption 2 is holiday 2017. I also picked up a new TV over Black Friday, so I’ve moved my old one into my bedroom. That’s allowed me to move my Xbox 360 there and play some old games I never got around to.
For the first time in several years, I didn’t get a South Carolina state parks pass for Christmas. So I’ve left it off of my list this year. A lot of the parks I have left to hit aren’t close to Charlotte or Columbia any longer. With the house being a huge unknown variable in my day to day life, I’m not sure how much spare time and money I’ll have to make state park trips. But I’ll keep chipping away at those 20-ish parks I have left.
What are your 2017 plans?
Oh 2016… There aren’t many people that won’t be happy to see you go. It was a tumultuous year for myself, Hollywood (RIP Gene Wilder), and the country in general. But let’s take one last look at what happened before properly giving it the boot.
- My brother and I rang in the New Year in Miami after a Clemson win over Oklahoma
- Flew to Phoenix with my brother to meet his old college roommate and our dad
- Saw Clemson play for a national title in person against Alabama! But lost 45-40
- Bought a Playstation 4 and a couple of games
- Met a girl
- Saw Marianas Trench (concert #1) in Charleston with San Diego
- Saw Marianas Trench (#2) the next night in Charlotte with San Diego
- Saw Jon Pardi and Brothers Osbourne in concert (#3) with a girl
- Went to my first Charlotte Checkers hockey game
- Panthers played Denver for the Super Bowl… but lost too
- My direct boss left at work and bummed me out
- Saw Carly Rae Jepsen (#4) with a girl and a whole bunch of ecstatic gay guys
- A girl became The girl
- Gave my employees reviews for the first time. Not a fun process
- Got souvenirs from Costa Rica from the girl’s Spring Break trip
- Voted for Marco Rubio in North Carolina’s primary who then dropped out that night
- Bridge Run #10 (9th consecutive)
- Fed up with work and applied to one job out of the blue
- Had an interview 3 days later
- Saw Kacey Musgraves (#5 & 6) at a local record store then later that night with the girl
- Had another interview
- Ran the Charlotte Skyline 5K for the girl’s job
- Started looking at houses
- Went to my first Charlotte Knights baseball game
- Looked at more houses with the girl
- Had another interview
- Got a job offer two days later!
- Met the girl’s extended family at her brother’s Virginia Tech graduation
- Said yes to the job offer!
- Saw Chris Stapleton (#7) with the girl
- Looked at more houses with the parents
- Put in my notice (after 4 years!) and had to tell my employees I was leaving
- Looked at more houses solo
- Had a week off between jobs to stay at home and watch E3 press conferences
- Signed a contract to build a house (!!!)
- Started my fancy new job in downtown Charlotte 5 days later
- The girl broke up with me and became a girl again 9 days later
- Became incredibly overwhelmed with life
- A new Good Charlotte CD came out and I was surprisingly impressed
- Saw Marianas Trench (#8) in Asheville solo
- Saw Marianas Trench (#9) in Raleigh solo and caught the bassist’s pick!
- Made the selections for my new house – didn’t get my outside color but got my sink
- Made a phone call to a therapist to discuss life struggles with a house, a job, and no girl
- Saw Motion City Soundtrack (#10) on their last tour in Charlotte w/ a friend of a friend
- I broke down. Completely.
- Met the therapist and was terrified but it went really well
- Met the therapist again and was much more relaxed
- Began volunteering again with Animal Care & Control
- Had my first inspection at the lot with my dad and the builder
- Camped with my brother, sister in law, and his friends
- Met the therapist for the last time because I felt better
- Read the Harry Potter series for the first time
- My nephew turned 3
- Discovered Stranger Things on Netflix and it was amazing
- Destiny: The Rise of Iron came out
- Riots and protests in Charlotte after a cop shot and killed a man who pulled a gun
- Harper turned 6
- My brother, sister in law, and nephews moved from Columbia to the lake in Chapin
- Had my second inspection at the house with my mom and the builder
- Won the Most Original Halloween Costume award at work for going as Willy Wonka
- Disappointingly voted for Trump; Proudly voted against McCrory
- Trump won. Wait… What?!
- Saw Ingrid Michaelson (#11) in Charlotte solo
- Clemson lost to Pittsburgh on a last second field goal
- Saw Yellowcard (#12) in Charlotte on their last tour with a date
- Saw Good Charlotte (#13) in Charlotte solo
- Charlotte Turkey Trot #5
- Clemson beat South Carolina to death (56-7) and I was there!
- Clemson beat Virginia Tech in Orlando to win the ACC and I wasn’t there
- Deshaun Watson finished 2nd in the Heisman voting
- Locked a 5/1 ARM in at 2.875% on my house
- My younger nephew turned 1
- Watched my house get walls, a roof, flooring, a lawn, lights, and appliances
- Christmas’d in Chapin at my mom’s then at my brother’s
- I’ll ring in the New Year in Chapin in front of football
It also should come as no surprise that in a year no one liked, my resolutions also struggled.
- 12 Books:
- 12,000 Dollars:
- 4Q projection – $12,000
- 4Q actual – $15,903.09
- The closing of my new house was pushed into January 2017 so this resolution was helped a bit by that, having not had to buy furniture, blinds, fans, etc. And I’ve been able to put a washer, dryer, and refrigerator on a no-interest credit card. So the bank account has been happy this year.
- 12 Parks:
- 4Q projection – 12
- 4Q actual – 5
- I didn’t get to any state parks this quarter. With building the house, college football, and family get-togethers and birthdays, the 4th quarter is usually a busy one on the weekends.
- 12,000 Push-ups/Sit-ups:
- 4Q projection – 12,000
- 4Q actual – 1,480
- Hahahahahahahaha. Yeah. About that…
- 12 Football Games:
- 4Q projection – 12
- 4Q actual – 6
- After missing the first and second game last quarter, I knew I wouldn’t hit my goal here. But I didn’t expect to only hit half of the games. I missed one home game for my nephew’s birthday party. I missed the Boston College game I had intended on going to. The ACC moved the Championship game out of Charlotte to Orlando, so I missed that game. Airfare was outrageous from Charlotte to Phoenix, so I’m missing the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale. Hopefully, I can add an early game in 2017 with a trip to Tampa for the National Championship.
- 12,000 Gamerscore:
- 4Q projection – 12,000
- 4Q actual – 8,655
- I made a good push here this quarter but I didn’t quite get there. I picked up the Bioshock Collection but I haven’t quite finished the first game. I grabbed Gears of War 4 and Watchdogs 2 earlier this week, so I haven’t had much time to pick up many there. The Walking Dead Season 3 came out too but I haven’t downloaded it yet. So there’s room for improvement in 2017!
- 12 Pounds:
- 4Q projection – -12.0
- 4Q actual – +8.0
- So you’re saying hash browns and bacon aren’t good for weight loss? Being home for the holidays has ruined this goal. Not only have I been eating more but if my Fitbit is to be trusted, my weekly steps has fallen from roughly 77,000 to 32,000. I don’t walk several blocks to and from work. I don’t walk Harper a couple of times a day when it’s easy to open the door and let her out. I have only run once. Oops?
Well… 2016 wasn’t a pretty year for resolutions either. I crushed my first two resolutions by the end of the 3rd quarter. The remaining six? Just brutal.
Hopefully you fared much better on your goals than I did on mine.
I’ll get to ring in the New Year at home with family watching the Clemson-Ohio State game. Hopefully the end of this year follows suit with last year and Clemson gets a win to play for another National Championship. If so, I may just be making a trip to Tampa to kick off 2017.
Happy New Year! Be safe!
It’s been awhile. What up, fools?
Anything in store for your weekend? I’ve got Volunteer Orientation with the animal shelter to hop back into that. It’s one of the few weekends of calm before the storm that is college football gets geared back up. Can’t wait!
- So… this happened today
Lately, I’ve been incredibly disenfranchised with the political landscape in our country. I refuse to believe that the two best candidates for the most powerful job in the United States are a liar and a lunatic. Yet, somehow, here we are, stuck voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in 2016. For me, voting has always been a way to voice your opinion. But lately that doesn’t feel like it’s enough. So I’ve officially denounced my membership to the Republican party (in the state of North Carolina’s eyes anyways). Get your act together,
- Speaking of… Paul Ryan, current US Speaker of the House, lost all of my confidence this week.
“When you advance to a national championship, don’t you root for a Longhorn if you’re an Aggie? Start thinking that way.”
First, you’re trying to use a (bad) college football analogy to get me to vote for Donald Trump just because he’s running for the party I normally back? Second, you’re out of your damn mind if you think I’d EVER root for South Carolina if they made the national championship game. This election sucks. Just like the University of South Carolina.
- I saw Ghostbusters last weekend. It wasn’t great but I’m not sure it was the pile of trash the Internet is making it out to be either. It was entertaining enough to be a summer comedy. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy have always been pretty “eh” to me. But I loved Kate McKinnon. Homegirl’s hilarious. If you don’t go into it expecting it to be the 1984 movie, you should be good to go.
- I need to work on my confidence, in relation to external factors. I’ve always been sure of myself and my abilities. If there was a test in school or a project at work I needed to tackle, I’m your guy. I’ll outwork everyone else and put in an effort that’s better than most will give. But lately, I’ve been struggling. I like work but I’m having a hard time finding a group of people to really relate to. And I’m not confident in my ability to strike up conversation and make friends. I like the idea of building a house but I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the decisions (counters, carpet, etc) I have to make in the next week. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of how unsure I am about my recent breakup. But I need to do better. For my own mental health.
- I saw Marianas Trench in Asheville Wednesday night! I saw them twice in January in Charleston and Charlotte and typed up a hefty little piece on the shows. The show was a little short (less than 90 minutes), so that was disappointing. And I was under the impression that Wildfire and Dearly Departed were going to be played and neither were, so that was even more disappointing. But I got to spend an evening in the mountains, at a new venue, in a cool city, seeing my favorite band. And I’ll never complain about that.
How’s the weekend looking for you? I’m heading to Raleigh tonight to see Marianas Trench again (#groupie) and going to Clemson on Saturday to meet my brother and the nephews for an annual photo shoot in Tiger Town. So I’ll be putting some miles on the truck in the Carolinas.
- Nintendo is releasing the NES Classic Edition this November with 30 games for $60. I’m making this the first bullet point, so if you only stick around for one, you don’t miss the coolest piece of news this year. It’s a baby Nintendo. With 30 AMAZING games. For $60. I’m buying this on day one. I may buy this for my brother on day one. And my nephews. And you. Because that’s how damn cool this thing is.
- I’ve finally gotten around to reading the Harry Potter books. I think I was outside the typical age range when they were first released, so I missed the initial phenomenon. But they’re quick, entertaining reads so far. I powered through the first one in 10 days, the second in 11, and the third in 10. The fourth’s a tad longer, so it may take me a few more days but I’m through 230 pages in 4 days so far. I even stopped along the way earlier this week to rent the first movie. It seems a little dated and I enjoyed the book much more than the movie… but I’ll give them all an honest shot. It’s hard to argue against the books being modern classics at this point, so give them a read if you’re still in the dark.
- I hit Sesquicentennial State Park last Saturday. It’s my 5th state park this year, so I’m making a bit of progress. I needed to get out of the house, so Harper and I scooted down to Columbia to make a day hike out of it. Unfortunately, Columbia in the summer is hotter than hell itself, so we weren’t able to really explore. We did a two mile loop around their pond/lake and even that was probably too far and hot for Harper. It’d be nice to re-explore when it’s a bit cooler outside.
- I went to see The Shallows last Friday night. Given that there aren’t hardly any actors in it (I’d argue that a seagull is the second or third most prominent character in the movie), it was a pretty decent “go zone out at the movies” flick. It doesn’t hurt that it’s 90 minutes of Blake Lively in a skin tight bikini and wet suit either. But there were some gorgeous surfing and ocean shots in the movie too. Reminded me so much of Hawaii.
- I re-applied to volunteer at the CMPD Animal Care and Control shelter this week. It’s nice to work a job that doesn’t kill off any desire to do much outside of work again. But it’ll be nice to interact with and walk dogs again too. It’s a good way to get them out of their kennels and get both of us some exercise on the weekends. Another perk of the new job is they give us eight hours of paid volunteer time. So I will be taking advantage of that, for sure.
This week was a roller coaster, so I’m a little glad to finally see the weekend. Tonight will probably hold another movie in store. I’m thinking Ghostbusters, maybe? If it’s not too crowded. If that’s a wash, I may settle for The Secret Life of Pets. Or Central Intelligence if I get really desperate.
Hope your weekend’s great!
- I wrapping up the third week of my new job! I got a big boy job working in downtown Charlotte for Ally Bank. It’s a little overwhelming right now because it’s been a long time since I’ve been the new kid on the block, learning the day-to-day ropes. But so far, everything else has been an incredible step up. The hours are better. The stress level is better. The benefits are better. The pay is better. I miss the people in the old gig but hopefully we’ll keep in touch.
- The last What I Learned entry boasted of a girl. That I like. A lot. Unfortunately, it all came to a crashing halt this week. It sucks. Bad. Because I’m still crazy about her. And I’m hurt. And lost. And completely vulnerable. Which I hate. Yesterday was miserable. Now, I’m just second guessing… and triple guessing… and quadruple guessing what I should be doing. Do I keep trying? Do I go cold turkey and give up? Do I give it some space and reach out in a week or two? I don’t know much except I know that this feeling is excruciating.
- Not completely unrelated to the last bullet point, I’ve been having serious thoughts about looking into counseling or a therapist in the area. The only problem is that I’m absolutely clueless on where to begin. I’m a bit across the board as to what I think I’m looking for… personal growth? reflection on my past relationships? communication goals? life coaching? And from there, how do you find a “good” one to go to? It doesn’t help that I just started a new job, so my insurance isn’t exactly squared away yet either. I’m just not sure how this works, so if you have experience, advice would be much appreciated.
- Again… not completely unrelated to the last two bullet points… I’ve been reading through The 5 Love Languages for Singles by Gary Chapman during my lunch break. I’m pretty certain that my love language is Quality Time. But I speak well to others in Gifts and Acts of Service. Which leaves me lacking in Physical Touch and downright abysmal in Words of Affirmation. I’ll let you connect the dots. I just wish change came easier to me.
- On a semi-unrelated note, I’m now in the market for extra-curricular activities to keep me moving in the right directions. I’m seriously considering getting back into volunteering at the animal shelter. I love dogs and ideally, the extra walking should help shed the pounds I’m needing to shake for my New Years Resolution. Or maybe spend a couple of weekends with Habitat for Humanity. I’m already in their system from volunteering with work. I’m also kicking around the idea of joining up an intramural/rec league of some kind. First options would be softball or flag football. All new things I’ve never done before, so that leaves me a little lost and leery.
Hope your week has been better than mine. I’m looking forward to the weekend.