Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The 2012 Resolutions Review

So it's been quite a year for me, with many changes that I did not see coming, both positive and negative.  As such, I'd like to take quick account of the goals that I had earlier in the year and see how I did toward achieving them thus far over the past 10 months.  Or neglecting them entirely.  Or falling short because they weren't as realistic as I had originally thought.  That last one's a bitch.

Anyway, I'm really just copying the old resolutions list, pasting it up here, and commenting on each one with my brief thoughts (bolded and italicized like this!). Let's get it.



  1. Pass the UW Astronomy Qualifying Exam at the doctorate level.  WOO! Achieved!  This one scared the hell out of me for a while.  Now it's in my rear-view mirror.
  2. Run a 5K race in under 20 minutes.  I haven't trained to run in sooooo long.  The spring quarter when I would've continued training really took it out of me.  There are still 3 whole months left in the year though, so it's still...possible...kinda?
  3. Memorize 2 capoeira routines of at least 30 movements.  Completely forgot about this when qual studying set in.  Can still do, however it's not nearly as important to me anymore as it was back in January.
  4. At least one takedown per jogo (capoeira game).  It's really hard to keep game-by-game statistics. However, I do tend to go for tesoura a lot, though not really with the intent of taking someone down with it.  Does that still count?
  5. Control of my angular momentum when performing the armada and meia lua de compasso kicks** I'm actually getting quite better at this.  Still losing my balance from time to time, but getting better.
  6. Straighten legs during capoeira movements (unless of course the movement requires bent legs).  Getting better at this too.  My problem now is mostly spacing, as the roda can be quite small, and I have quite long monkey legs.  Wait, do monkeys have long legs? 
  7. Be able to perform a back handspring and a back walk-over well.  Well, I can sorta do a back walkover.  I wouldn't call it "well" though.  And back handspring is not realistic by the end of the year.  Probably.  I'm gonna keep trying on that back walkover though.  That's definitely something that's still doable.
  8. Be able to perform Aú Sem Mãos (example).  Heh, this is probably not happening.
  9. Be able to perform Mariposa (example).  This is DEFINITELY not happening.  Not this year.
  10. Be able to hold a bananeira (normal, fechado, open, walking position, from headstand, walking, one-handed fechado, one-handed open, both sides) for at least 10 seconds.  Balance is getting much much better, but I'm still not all that good.  I can walk pretty well in bananeira, though I remind myself of a child that's just learning to walk on his legs.  Baby fall down!
  11. Increase endurance so that I can play at least 2 consecutive five-minute games.  Hehehahahaha noooooo....  My endurance and I have a long history of not seeing eye-to-eye.  I've sure got a lot of capoeira goals here, don't I?
  12. Work on jogo de dentro so that I'm never more than 1.5 leg's length's away from my opponent.  Haven't really been working on Jogo de Dentro specifically, but I have been keeping my games pretty close.
  13. Practice with Manganga consistently.  I tried for a while to make this work.  About two months.  It was really difficult to get my ass up at 5am in the morning and ride all the way to South Seattle for these classes.  This was one of my more unrealistic resolutions.  Oh well.  You live and you learn, and I learned quite a bit in the short time that I had trained with him.  This is gonna be the first one that I mark as a FAILURE
  14. Get to New York for the Guerreiros batizado.  Well, I got to New York.  Even got there in time for their Batizado.  However, friends and family (rightly) consumed my time, and I didn't actually make the Batizado.  Such is life.  FAILED
  15. Visit other Capoeira schools once per month.  Didn't happen.  Won't happen.  Unrealistic.  FAILED
  16. Become more proficient at the berimbau.  Actually got a lot better with it over the past few months.  I'll confidently be able to cross this off the list at the end of the year.
  17. Become proficient at the pandeiro.  This one, not as much.  But, there's still time!
  18. Lock down the Samba rhythm on the pandeiro.  This one is probably unrealistic, but I'll keep working on it.  Sporadically.
  19. Lock down the Samba rhythm on the atabaque.  This one was far more realistic than the last, and I'm really close to locking it down.  Really, I just need to practice more.
  20. Become a regular berimbau player.  This one's getting crossed off at the end of the year, as I'm becoming one.  I'm glad that I'm allowing Penguim to get more roda time in, instead of always having to man the instruments.
  21. Be able to play the gunga for rodas.  Getting there.  
  22. Go bouldering at least once per month.  I stopped caring about this fairly quickly.  FAILED
  23. Samba at least once per week (either in class or on my own).  I haven't done it in any official capacity, but I do samba from time to time when I'm waiting for the bus, or going out to lunch.  I think I'll be able to cross this off the list by the end of the year.  I've just gotta start dancing more mindfully.
  24. Dive back into Portuguese as soon as the Qualifying Exam is over.  I didn't get back into it quite AS SOON as I was done with the Qualifying Exam.  However, I HAVE started sitting in on portuguese class at UW this fall, so I can still cross this bad boy off.
  25. Communicate with friends regularly.  Doing it.  Done.
  26. Start on a first-author paper with minimal outside help.  Wasn't realistic.  Probably not going to happen by the end of the year.
  27. Obtain RA funding for Spring quarter (non-TA).  Also wasn't realistic.  FAILED
  28. Obtain RA funding for beyond Spring quarter (non-TA).  Happily, luckily done.  Woo!
  29. Settle on a dissertation subject area.  Actually pretty heavily interested in post Main Sequence stars.  Still have a lot of focusing left to do, but I'm on the right track with all the reading that I've been doing.  And when I put this proposal in, I'll be even more focused.  So, this goal is realistic and might even actually get done.
  30. Coordinate and go on an observing run.  This one, on the other hand, is almost definitely not happening haha.  Might be one of those that I push into the next year.
  31. Read and understand at least one paper per week.  Note, it'll probably take at least 5 read-throughs to begin to understand each one.  Failed for the first half of the year due to the qual.  Failed over the summer due to Upward Bound and Post Qual Stress.  Happening now though, so I can't complain too heavily.  In fact, I've got Suh & Kwon 2011 to read this week...
  32. Save at least $1,000.00 in the bank by next new years, AFTER having spent money on leisure stuff. Well, that trip to Vegas came up quite unexpectedly.  So this ain't happening.  I'll leave it on for now, but I'm fairly confident that it'll be a failure come December 31st.
  33. Give blood at least once (successfully!  Remember to drink water!).  Done!  I am Donator Sanguinis!
  34. See a psychologist at least once this year.  Haven't done yet.  Still doable.  Maybe I should call up this week and make an appointment...  Hmm....
  35. Put $100 from every check into the credit card.  Again, Vegas drained the life out of my bank accounts, and now I'm kinda struggling to get it back to a respectable state.  Still paying my credit card, but definitely not $100 from every check.  Then there's that whole laptop situation. Yeah.  I'm gonna go ahead and chalk this up early as a FAILURE
  36. Eat out less than 4 times per week (including lunch and dinner).  Wasn't doing it earlier this year.  Doing it now though out of necessity, so WOO!  Poverty = one of the better motivators.
  37. Enunciate your words, especially when you get excited.  You sound like you don't know how to speak english when you're worked up about something.  Working on it.  This is more of a life-long goal than something to be accomplished this year though.
  38. Become knowledgable about the Candomble Orishas and practices.  Starting on that actually.  In fact, I have a draft of a blog post about just this thing.  Looking forward to putting that up here.
  39. Less broken commitments.  Yeah.....  I'm counting 6 failed resolutions already and a whole host of other broken commitments, including my last relationship haha.  Dunno if you can really quantify "less", but this is gonna be a FAILURE for now.
  40. Floss at least once per week.  FAILED due to laziness
  41. Get a video camera for capoeira before Batizado.  Doesn't need to be terribly high quality or anything, but something that can take continuous footage and have a tripod would be nice.  (ex: Flip UltraHD Video Camera, ~$160, $10 tripod).   TECHNICALLY I did get a camera for capoeira, however I borrowed it from the university because I was broke.  So really, this is a FAILURE.


Well, there we have it.  The total score for the moment is 6 things accomplished and 9 things definitely failed out of the 41 resolutions.  Hey, 6 is not bad.  Thats 14.6% completion, with a ~22% failure thus far.  Should ideally  be about 75% completion considering 75% of the year is gone now.  I hope to have at least 51% completion by the end of the year, though.  Nobody's perfect, eh?  Some additional statistics/notes here that I find interesting:
- There are 22 capoeira or capoeira related resolutions on this list.  Can we tell that this is an important thing to me? 
- With that, there's not a single resolution regarding learning any songs.  With that said, I'd like to add a resolution to learn the capoeira song Luanda é.   They're my damn resolutions, and I can add to the list whenever I damn well please.  Dammit. 
- There are 8 academically-related resolutions here.  Another big part of my life (~20% of this list). 
- Not a single goal here regarding my previous relationship, even though she was living with me at the time of its writing.  Interesting.

Looks like I've got a lot of work to do!  Cheers.

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