Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Board Game 10x5 Challenge

In the board game community, there's a common yearly challenge called the "10x10." The idea is to choose 10 games that you think you don't play enough and commit to playing them each 10 times throughout the year. Well, we have plenty of games on our shelves that don't get enough love, but I don't know that I can commit to playing them 10 times. That's almost once a month, and I really enjoy variety. But 5 times? Yeah, that sounds more reasonable. So yesterday morning Jacob and I chose 10 games we don't play enough and we're going to attempt to play each of them five times throughout the year. That means we'll be playing, on average, one of these games every week. Here's what we've chosen.

1. Star Wars: Rebellion. This was Jacob's immediate first pick, which is fair. He got it for his birthday last summer and we've only played it twice since then. It's a serious time commitment, but I always mean to play it with him because I know how much he enjoys it. Maybe this will get me to play it more often.

2. Arkham Horror. It's a little ridiculous how long we've owned this without playing it even once. This is another big commitment one, but given how much I loved Eldritch Horror when we played it last year, I feel like I'll enjoy this as well. We just need to put the work into getting it up and running.

3. Zombie Fluxx. After two heavy hitters, I figured we should add something a little lighter, so we opted for this, our favorite of the Fluxxes, but we might fudge and allow any of the Fluxxes to fill the play slots here.

4. Pandemic. This was one of the first games we ever got, and we used to play it fairly frequently. Then we accidentally left it in Indiana when we moved and only got it back last spring, at which point we put it on our shelf and never touched it. Let's fix that this year.

5. Hanabi. This was a birthday gift for me last year, and we've definitely meant to play it, but somehow never got around to it. It's another light one that should be fairly easy to toss into the mix.

6. Castle of Mad King Ludwig. When searching for a game to play Sunday night, Jacob exclaimed, "I forgot we had Castles!" That keeps happening. Let's remember we have it and we like it!

7. Elysium. We bought this last fall and it always comes up as an option when we're trying to figure out what we want, but it somehow never makes the final cut. Hopefully this will inspire us to actually choose it a few times!

8. Legendary Encounters: Alien. We just got the expansion for this game, so I'm excited to try it out at least five times!

9. Colt Express. We played this at our local board game cafe so many times but never finished putting the train together to play it at home. We can fix that!

10. Sentinels of the Multiverse. A blind buy based on a friend's recommendation, and it just looks exhausting to learn. But I'm determined to learn it and (hopefully) enjoy it -- either way, I'll play it at least five times.

We'll see how the year goes, but hopefully we'll make it to all five plays on at least a few of these.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year's Resolutions 2017

For anyone who followed my new year's resolution attempts last year, I was not good about taking care of myself. To the point where I just gave up on blogging entirely because I didn't want to admit how much I'd been failing. This year, one of my biggest goals is to do better. So my goals for the year are going to be, on the whole, very small and fall into mostly self-care categories (or categories where self-improvement would result in a genuinely happier me) because I got so, so bad at that. So here are the categories I'm thinking of focusing on over the next 12 months, with the hopes of building some positive habits in 2017. I'll state the overall purpose of the category along with my planned goals for January.


2 goals a month, typically one to do with diet and one to do with exercise. One of them can be swapped out for a specific medical need goal if necessary, such as something to do with RA or depression.

This month, my diet goal is to not drink any soda, starting now. I drank wayyyyyyyyyy too much soda over my break, and I need to cut back on that, and the best way to do that is by cutting it out entirely. I did this a while back and it was good for me, and I'd like to do it again to reset myself a bit. It's starting now because I already had a Dr. Pepper yesterday.

For exercise, I'd like to reach my pedometer app step goal at least once every week. That may not seem like very much, but it's a lot for me and means I'll actually have to get out and move around when I've gotten very used to being sedentary. I'm not very far from my step goal on most teaching days, so all I really need to do is walk to like the grocery store and back and I'd be set. It's not difficult, I just need to make it happen.


1 goal a month, almost certainly "spend quiet time with God" or the occasional "attend a church meeting because I feel very isolated from other Christians here in the Bay."

This month... Well, I need to do both, I think, but let's go for spend time with God this time around. It's something I can start now and not wait for Sunday.


Not a category I included last year, but it's something I want to put into place. This could include a lot of things -- restructuring the way I pay bills, foregoing unnecessary spending, upping freelance work, making sure I get gas at the cheap gas station instead of waiting until the last minute and then having to pay an extra $5-10 a month, that kind of thing.

For January, I want to do more captioning work on a regular basis, especially as my work schedule gets busier. I want to establish a pattern that lets me accomplish at least some work almost every day, so that I'm never left with a paycheck of zero for the week.


Anyone who's lived with me knows that I have more than a few slob tendencies. I want to get better about organizing my life, whether it's reordering how I sort things at work, catching up on laundry, cleaning out the fridge/cabinet more often, or reorganizing a messy part of our room.

This month, I want to do two loads of laundry every week. That's enough to clean the week's worn laundry and then make a dent in our horrifically huge laundry pile. As I do that, I'm also going to set aside anything I don't wear anymore and can give/throw away. But that's a side project. Mostly I just want that laundry pile to shrink, even if it is Puppy's favorite place to nap.


As an introvert, relationshipping takes a little extra work. My relationship goals may involve reconnecting with far-away friends, making it a priority to socialize with people I know in the area, or set aside time to spend in quality time with Jacob.

This month, I want to message at least 5 friends I haven't talked to in awhile. I was able to reconnect, even if briefly, with a few long-ago friends over the holidays, and it was amazing and I should do it more often.


This one also has two goals -- input and output. My input goals could be silly goals about watching certain movies, attending plays, reading classic books. My output goals involve what I'm creating: making headway in a novel or play I'm writing, blogging more, or compiling teaching stories that could be used creatively someday.

My input goal this month is to see at least one movie a week in theaters. Let's keep using this MoviePass! I'm feeling confident about that, although we'll see how it actually pans out. My output goal this month is to post my best-of-the-year blog lists. I don't have a lot since I didn't really consume a lot this year, but my goal is to get some of those up and published.

So this is my year of self-care, in terms of health, spirituality, finances, tidiness, relationships, and art. That's six categories with eight total monthly goals. That's more individual goals than last year, but I'm hoping I can consistently keep these goals achievable. I'm also setting notes in Google Calendar to remind myself to do them. I'm hopeful that I'll have a better report on this in February than I did for almost anything I tried to do last year... but if not, my backup goal for February is don't just give up and think you can't fix anything, admit you goofed up and try again next month.

So. What are your goals for the year? What new things are you trying to do in your life? It doesn't have to be a new year's thing, either -- what projects are you working toward?