Monday, January 1, 2018

42 Geeky Resolutions You'll Actually Want To Keep

I think we can all agree: New Year's Resolutions suck.  Even if you manage to keep one, it's always something awful and tedious that no one - NO ONE - wants to do, like eating more greens or learning how Snapchat works.

Ahh, but you know what doesn't suck? Wish lists. Things we already want to do, but just need a little nudge and/or proper scheduling to get around to.

So I thought I'd put together a geeky wish-list and turn it into this year's resolutions. Stuff for us fans that could make us better fans. Stuff to help us learn more about each other, share the things we love, and maybe find some new things to love along the way.

And best of all, this list couldn't care less if you go to the gym.

Here's what I've got so far:

This Year I Will Read:

- 1 classic sci-fi novel I've never read before
- 1 new/modern sci-fi novel
- 1 graphic novel
- 1 indie comic book
- 1 classic children's book
- 1 fantasy novel that's more than 600 pages

This Year I Will Watch:

- 1 classic sci-fi movie (something made before 1980)
- 1 classic fantasy movie
- at least 6 episodes of an Anime I've never seen before
- at least 6 episodes of a sci-fi/fantasy series I don't think I'll like
- at least 6 episodes of an old sci-fi TV series
- at least 6 episodes of a new sci-fi/fantasy series

This Year I Will Play:
 
- 1 new board game
- 1 new card game
- 1 new video game (in a style I don't usually play)
- 1 new role-playing game


This Year I Will Write:

- An encouraging comment on at least one social media post per day (FB, Instagram, etc.)
- A fan letter to someone I know IRL
- A fan letter to someone I don't know IRL
- A compliment on the check for every good server - with an equally nice tip

This Year I Will Wear:

- A closet cosplay of a favorite character (even if I never leave the house in it)
- A cool hat 
- Something my inner 6-year-old would love
- Something fandom-related to work
- Something I've always wanted to wear, but have been too afraid to try

 This Year I Will Go:

- To a local museum I've never visited before
- To a new gathering of geeks: a convention, art show, local comic shop, etc.
- To a game night with friends (or I'll host one myself!)
- To a local craftperson's hobby shop: stained glass, woodworking, model making, etc.
- To a local Maker's Space, if I can find one

This Year I Will Make:

- Something light up with an LED I wired myself
- A fandom food (something mentioned in a book, show, or movie)
- An action figure or Pop Vinyl aged with craft paint (paint on, wipe off)
- A display for that collection or thing gathering dust in the closet
- Something silly that makes me smile

And finally, for the miscellaneous category:

This Year I Will:

- Compliment every kid I see wearing something nerdy
- Join a new fan page or discussion board online
- Buy or make one new piece of geek art, then display it somewhere everyone who visits can see

- Try a new skill: sewing, chain mail, sculpting, coding, origami, quilling, resin, etc.
- Try a new tool: Dremel, soldering iron, scroll saw, heat gun, etc.
- Ask a kid what their favorite show is, then watch at least one episode of it
  (Bonus points if you know the kid and can watch it together!)
- Recommend something geeky to a non-geek: a book, show, podcast, etc.

And just to go the EXTRA mile, I got John to turn the whole list into a handy printable for you guys:

Click to embiggen, then right-click to save the image to your desktop.


You'll notice I didn't include any suggestions for shows or books or movies, because that's where you guys come in. Let me see your lists! What should every geek watch, read, play, and listen to? (Er, maybe stick to just a few suggestions at a time...)

And beyond that, what am I missing? What else would you add to your geeky resolutions? Or what's your favorite already here? (I'm kind of partial to the "cool hat" one. :D)


Thanks for making it through 2017 with me, gang. Thanks for being my tribe. Every year I want to reach further and try harder, just to make you proud - and because I know you'll be just as proud of my failures as you will of my successes. So here's to lots more failure, more sometimes-silly successes, and more just plain trying in 2018. I love you all.

(Lily loves you, too.)

 (Tonk, however, couldn't care less. ;p)


57 comments:

  1. I'm adding to my list, supporting real science! The current presidential administration is reducing the ability of the government to do so, so I'm donating to organizations that conduct research and continuing to advocate for better government funding and consideration of science.

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    1. I second that! I'm adding volunteering and promoting science & science literacy to my resolutions for 2018.

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  2. For the classic children's book, may I recommend "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum? Everyone THINKS they know this thanks to the movie, but there's a lot more in the book that got left out of the book. And it's a pretty quick read, so you can check that off pretty easily.

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    1. And I'd like to suggest all the Oz books that come after! There are a ton (maybe 50?) and kind and gentle and a little bit off in that great Oz way. My public library had all of them. (As a heads-up, the illustrations in the most common editions of the Oz books are pretty weird and vaguely creepy.)

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    2. Well I WASN'T going to try to overwhelm Jen with the entire Oz series (officially 40, but lots of nearly-canon ones as well, and many, many other spin-offs, reinterpretations, etc.). But for those who want to know more, my website has an Oz FAQ: http://thewizardofoz.info/wiki/Oz_FAQ

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  3. For classic sci fi film, can I suggest Forbidden Planet (1956)? It was the first time a lot of now-classic sci-fi tropes were used, plus you'll meet Robbie the Robot!

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  4. I think you should make a quilt. A t shirt quilt with geeky tees, or just a Harry Potter or Star Wars quilt. For Florida I say make the top, skip the batting, and use flannel for the back. Thrift store kids' flannel sheets are perfect and they always come in awesome prints.

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  5. Come to the World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, CA, mid August. It is the only US Worldcon in a 4 year stretch. It promises to be fun. Worldcon76 dot org

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  6. I think I will add volunteering to your list!! Haven’t made up my mind where yet, but I think even exploring the options in my area will be a great start!

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  7. The geek in me especially appreciates that there are 42 resolutions on your list. That is the answer, after all!

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    1. I can't believe I didn't notice that! Maybe I should turn in my geek badge...

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  8. I *love* this idea. I'm seriously off to print the list.

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  9. I adore your resolutions list! Going to print it off and keep it handy.

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  10. I love the list, but I love Tonks even more. :-D

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  11. If you're not already familiar with it (and don't mind hunting down fansubs), I recommend the "Pretty Cure" (also called "Precure") anime. It's a magical girl series with 14+ seasons, most of which take place in different continuities and have different themes (kind of like Power Rangers). The best season is probably #12, "Go Princess Pretty Cure." That one focuses on protecting dreams and goals from forces of despair, which is also kind of appropriate for this time of year. If any of the seasons look familiar, it's probably because Netflix released a couple of them as "Glitter Force."
    For the sci-fi movie, I recommend "Forbidden Planet." It's probably the best sci-fi film of the 1950s, redefined several aspects of the genre, and is also historically significant in that it has the first all-electronic soundtrack.

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  12. If you have never watched Avatar, the Last Airbender that's a great one. Also, I really liked the first season of Seven Deadly Sins on Netflix. (The second season was only 4 episodes and disappointing)

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  13. Great list, Jen! Thanks for writing it, really lifted my spirits and made me hopeful for 2018!

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  14. Happy 2018, Jen and John! This is great!! I'm going to print this off and get my tween daughter to help work through the list. Some of the suggestions by other commenters are very helpful.

    As I've seen mentioned by a few others, I'll add volunteering and supporting (or supporting more) a cause that speaks to my heart/soul. For me, I've always done at least a little for the local SPCA shelter as well as a local horse rescue so I will make sure to do more in 2018 - and I need to support more fully the institutions I see as threatened, like Alt NPS, and lend more support to the journalists and news organizations that continue to do solid investigative work despite the chaos around them. This is a long road and there are still many miles to go.

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  15. For the children's fantasy book read, may I recommend 'The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles'by Julie Edwards (aka THE Julie Andrews). My fourth grade teacher read it to us in 1980/1981 school year. I begged my parents to order it for me. I still have it & reread it these 38 years later. Wonderful word pictures throughout the whole book. I've always wanted to see it made into a movie & see the characters brought to life.
    SM3

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  16. That's a great list that could turn into an excellent year! My favourite one is to wear a cool hat. I love its simplicity! I may add that to my own resolution list.

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  17. Thanks for the great ideas and the list! This is such a good idea!

    For a fantasy book recommend, I'm super into "Slouch Witch (The Lazy Girl's Guide To Magic Book 1)" (and books 2 and 3 are equally good). This has no major violence, no deaths of major characters you like, and the heroine is totally different from most. Here's a snippet from Amazon's summary:

    Hard Work Will Pay Off Later. Laziness Pays Off Now.

    Let's get one thing straight - Ivy Wilde is not a heroine. In fact, she's probably the last witch in the world who you'd call if you needed a magical helping hand. If it were down to Ivy, she'd spend all day every day on her sofa where she could watch TV, munch junk food and talk to her feline familiar to her heart's content.

    However, when a bureaucratic disaster ends up with Ivy as the victim of a case of mistaken identity, she's yanked very unwillingly into Arcane Branch, the investigative department of the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. Her problems are quadrupled when a valuable object is stolen right from under the Order's noses.

    It doesn't exactly help that she's been magically bound to Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. He might have piercing sapphire eyes and a body which a cover model would be proud of but, as far as Ivy's concerned, he's a walking advertisement for the joyless perils of too much witch-work.

    And if he makes her go to the gym again, she's definitely going to turn him into a frog.

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  18. My suggestion for fantasy novel more than 600 pages: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Fantastic book (and series). Excellent writing, character development and world building.

    If you do read this book and like it even a little bit, then I HIGHLY recommend reading "The Slow Regard of Silent Things" by the same author. It's set in the same world and features one of the minor characters from the other book. The storytelling in this novella is very unique and beautiful.

    My favorites on your list here are the one about making something with LEDs and the one about learning a new skill. I've wanted to learn how to weld for a long time. Maybe this year?

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  19. Ooh, can't turn down an opportunity to plug Guy Gavriel Kay. And although he's more succinct than many fantasy authors, and thus many of his books *don't* go past 600 (which is a huge part of why I love him so), The Lions of Al-Rassan might. And if you take the Fionavar Tapestry as a whole (it is available in various single-volume editions), it would definitely meet the page count. And his writing is just so, so beautiful.

    And my go-to classic children's book recs are Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and A Little Princess.

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    1. Oh, also, I meant to congratulate you on an awesome list! It looks like fun.

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    2. Also for the re-read list, A Wrinkle in Time, and Harriet the Spy.

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    3. OH MY GOD Guy Gavriel Kay. If I have one mission in this year - in this LIFE, let's be honest - it's to get more people to read GGK. I've only read the stand-alones like 'Ysabel', 'Tigana' and 'The Last Light of the Sun' but they are heartbreakingly brilliant and, if you're an actual history nut, ridiculously well researched.

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  20. I ditto kingshearte on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; and I'd also like to add Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. That was a fun book too.

    Your list sounds great. If you ever feel like traveling to see the "other Disney," let me know. I'm pretty close. Plus, SoCal also has CatCon.

    Happy New Year to you and John and the rest of the tribe here!
    -Zippy

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  21. OMG I can't believe it's never occurred to me to pitch Habitica to my geekiest of groups! It's a great gamified habit building app. I've added some of the fun things Jen listed, but it's also helped me build some of those un-fun habits. It's been a blast.

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  22. I wound up taking care of one item before I even read the list -- some friends of mine always host a board game day on New Year's Day. The dice version of "Bang" got interrupted by a leaky dishwasher, but "Formula D" and "Flash Point: Fire Rescue" were both completed.

    If you _really_ want to go pre-1980 for the film, Netflix has the 2010 restoration of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" (premiere date: January 10 1927).

    Virtual pets to Lily and Tonks!

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  23. fantasy book over 600 pages: the great book of Amber, Roger zelazny. now, mind you, technically, these are 10 small books, in one big book.. and they are a little trippy... but a great read! One of my favorites!!

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  24. For a board game, may I suggest Camel Up? It's loads of fun and quick to learn. Up to 8 people can play.
    -Lisa

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  25. For the classic children's book, can I highly suggest The Rope Trick by Lloyd Alexander!?? It's *such* a good book, very well-written and enjoyable and has a great ending

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  26. For your fantasy over 600 pages you should read The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. So good.

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  27. If you’re willing to drive to St Pete, the Museum of Fine Arts has an exhibit of costumes from Star Wars. Not super local to you, but still not too far. http://mfastpete.org/

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    1. Ooo! Thanks for that! Hubby and I will be visiting family in St. Pete in February. Looks like this exhibit is there through April 1 and would be good for all ages.

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    2. Thanks for sharing this. I may have to check that out while we are in FL in March.

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  28. This made me smile -- I love it! I'm always trying to broaden my horizons and so have been trying to read non-US/Western Europe/Japan-centric things. So I'd add exploring a fandom (book, movie or TV show) from outside of that geography. Russia has some really interesting sci-fi, much of it in translation, and there's some easily accessible sci-fi TV shows coming out of South Africa, and I stumbled across one from Brazil... and lots more I know nothing about! And also reading sci-fi/fantasy written by someone and/or with a main character who is not white. I've found some really lovely things and fandoms by challenging myself in these ways! But I need to remind myself to deliberately seek it out, as it doesn't just fall in my lap!

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  29. I'll take board games! :) You may want to split the category into "classic" and "new". Classic must plays could include Catan, Ticket To Ride, Dixit (or its more frustrating cousin Mysterium), Dominion, Tales of Arabian Nights, Alhambra. My more recent must-plays are Dice Forge, Blood Rage, Azul, Photosynthesis, The Networks, Scythe, Deep Sea Adventure. For card games I love Council of Verona. Other good ones are Hanabi, Diamonds, Elder Scrolls, 7 Wonders Duel, Lost Cities.

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    1. Add Power Grid to classics and Pandemic Legacy (Season 1) to potential must-plays.

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  30. I don`t do face book or the other social media stuff, just hand around your place and cakes. I would respectfully request more pics of his Tonkness in all his stripy glory. Happy new Year both.

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  31. For a Sci-fi read, I recommend The Expanse series (first book Leviathan Wakes) and the Netflix series based on it. The books are long, too, so you feel accomplished. For fantasy, try the Peter Grant series (first book Rivers of London/Midnight Riot in the USA). It's urban fantasy, and Peter Grant is a police officer in the London Met, solving crimes involving the supernatural, and also learns magic. Also, a bunch of great sci-fi and fantasy has been coming out under the YA field as of late. Don't neglect them.

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  32. Great resolutions! I'm not into social media, but love Epbot and CakeWrecks. And I do click through on your links - your recommendations are always excellent. Thank you for creating such wonderful places on the internet, and for sharing so much. I'll always be a big fan!

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  33. I've always loved the kid's book Phantom Tollbooth, by by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer.

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    1. Ooh, I'll second that nomination! There's a new movie adaptation in the works, I hear. (And "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles", mentioned earlier, is also a good one. I need to reread that one again soon…)

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  34. Love this idea and that you have 42 items, nice Hitchhikers reference! I have one for your new things to try - want to come see the Star Wars costume display at St. Petersburg’s MFA?? It’s here through April and would love to see it with you and John (and finally meet you!). We don’t do social media and haven’t been able to get out much the last few years with the kids (although we did manage Celebration!), so my resolution is to get out more now that our daughter is almost four and getting better about car rides and meeting strangers (she’s a homebody too - so reading that Quiet book you recommended was really helpful!). Also helps that her new little brother is a cheerful little dude who seems game for whatever so we’ll see what happens. Cheers to banishing cabin fever in 2018!

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  35. Jen,

    Have you read "The Ship Who Sang." by Anne McCaffrey? Loved it. Old TV shows to watch - Blake's Seven and Alien Nation. Completely enjoyed these. Maybe you would too. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

    Maureen

    P.S. It was great to see you in Pittsburgh!

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  36. My possible change is to consider joining FoE. I've been thinking about it for awhile, but I seem to come across poorly online (well, maybe in person, too). I'm worried that I won't fit in there either. I also have privacy concerns, but am thinking it might be worth the risk.

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    1. It's pretty nice over there in FoE land. You can always leave. But you won't!

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  37. What a fantastic list! If you have never read anything by Ursula K. Leguin beyond her Earthsea trilogy (later expanded with more books), let me strongly encourage you to seek out her classic (and current!) literature. My favorite is "The Disposessed" (1974) but all her books are wonderful. I find that a lot of people know the Earthsea books but not her other ones, for some reason.
    I love you too!

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  38. I’m sure someone already mentioned this but your local library likely has an amazing maker space somewhere in the district. They are amazing and the hard working librarians that make them happen put their whole heart in them. Also, I know you can get twitchy with people and talking but maybe you can volunteer your awesomeness at said maker space, they would adore it I’m sure.

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  39. Thank you for being you. This little corner of the world, Fiona the hippo, and the adoption of Baby Auggie helped me get through 2017.

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  40. My kids would tell you to watch Trollhunters. It is really good. Second season on Netflix, now, but you ought to start with the first.

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  41. I would put "Go see a play", "Go to a concert" and "Go see a ballet/opera" on the list. But then there wouldn't be 42, anymore.

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  42. I'm already on my second book of the year. Began the year with the last chapter of Ernest Cline's "Armada" and that is my newer sci-fi suggestion, then read the first book of "The Looking Glass Wars" not knowing there were more parts but it ends at a spot that if I never find the others it will be okay. Now I'm reading a YA short story comp because I didn't see anything else in my "to read" pile that jumped at me. Plus I only read on my lunch breaks at work but still get through quite a number of books through the year.

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  43. Love this idea! And all the recommendations!

    I've hosted a comic book club since 2010, if you want to see what we've read, check it out here http://a.co/2DN5L2x (not an affiliate link). Or, check out the comics podcast I am a panelist for, comicsquee.com. We are always looking for new guest panelists, especially women, so let me know if you are interested.

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