Monday, December 25, 2023

State of the Me: 2023-2024

I guess my overview for this year is that I've made good progress, but long-term goals remain... long-term goals!

So let's dig into my usual set of goals and where I'm at with them!

Job and Career-Related Projects:

Regarding my job, the company I work for has had some significant issues over the past year that have shown up in the news! The CEO/founder actually resigned after The New Yorker wrote a (rather negative) profile of him!!

So, since this blog is technically public, I don't want to say anything at all about it. Anyway, there are a lot of things still up in the air -- hopefully there will be some positive resolutions to write about in next year's state-of-the-me!

That said, I'm proud of my progress in career development projects outside of my immediate job:

I'm in the process of upgrading my hobby-server projects!! I have some virtual machines in the cloud that I set up years ago with a bunch of fun applications: blogs, minecraft, version-control, etc. And this past fall I finally started upgrading them to running on kubernetes!!

I hadn't started on this upgrade earlier because there were a handful of issues that I needed to resolve in order to make them work. The good news is that the solutions I've found will provide some new content for my professional blog!! Getting everything up and running on kubernetes -- and reviving my tech blog with this new material -- is my big career goal for 2024.

Creative Projects and Processes:

I got a Windows laptop as one of my two big birthday presents (along with an awesome trip to London for me & Léo in which we finally got to attend an in-person Pokémon event -- so much fun!!!)

If you know me, you know I'm a server-side engineer and hard-core command-line Linux user, so Windows is naturally an anathema to me! But... my kids are both programming video games, so if I want to be able to collaborate with them, I needed a Windows machine.

Some game and content-creation software can technically be installed on Linux but doesn't really work on Linux, in particular: Unity and DaVinci Resolve. Installing them on my Windows machine made all the difference.

Regarding Unity, my kids and I were all able to install the Unity version control system, and hence I was able to run one of Nico's projects on my own machine! so we're set up to collaborate, and I look forward to some collaborative projects in 2024. Naturally, I'm hoping we'll make some sort of multi-player project so that I can focus on the server-side myself. :D

Regarding DaVinci Resolve, I'm thrilled to announce that I'm finally learning to edit videos!! This has been on my list of goals for some time. I'm really glad Nico has taken the initiative to direct some more Totally Normal Town videos so we can practice and improve our craft. Here's the latest -- and, yes, we demolished our Lego town again!

For our next incarnation of Totally Normal Town, I've already set up the street layout, and -- as I'd been planning for some time -- I've narrowed the roads make this a walking-biking-public-transit urban paradise!!!

So, in 2024, I'm planning to sink my teeth into some great video and video game projects with my kids!!

One final project wrap-up from 2023: I finally did a complete print run of my comic book in both English and French. As I mentioned last year, I had completed the illustrations (and did one small English-language print run), but there were some non-trivial corrections and improvements to do before doing the real print run. And I didn't get started until Summer -- for reasons I'll describe below. Now I have a beautiful set of complete prints of the first volume that I'm very proud of.

Creative + Social:

Remember last year when I said I was planning to join the local English-speaking theater club? Well, that has turned out to be everything I was hoping for and more!! Nico and I have been participating actively, and it has been a fantastic framework for meeting and spending time with fun, creative people -- locally, in person!

In the beginning of the year, I volunteered to be head of costumes for the production of "Steel Magnolias". The production was a huge success!! For me, it was a lot of stress and responsibility which ate up essentially all of my free time for the first half of the year -- but it was absolutely worth it!!

We've also been regularly participating in the monthly improv, and Nico and I also volunteered to be on the stage crew for their November production of "The Lieutenant of Inishmore". Léo and Emmanuel also joined the club and have participated a bit, but not as much as Nico and I have.

Now that my kids are in their early 20's, I'm just so pleased with how all of our family relationships have developed and deepened. I'm glad that I have fun leisure activities that I share with each of them so that I get to spend extensive one-on-one time with each of them. Léo plays along with me and my Pokémon Go addiction -- we have so much fun going all over town together curating our awesome collections of rare Pokémons! Sharing the theater club activities with Nico has been equally fantastic, and all three of us have had a great time working together on Totally Normal Town!!

With my adorable husband Emmanuel, I have various shared interests, especially travel and entertaining. We love throwing parties for our friends, with all of the entertaining conversation that entails! Currently we're getting ready for our big family trip to Japan that is planned for spring of 2025. This trip is something Emmanuel has been talking about for years, and we're all psyched to make it a reality!

This is the thing I've been most grateful for in 2023: my wonderful family!

The four of us have shared fantastic projects and adventures, and I feel like our mutual bonds of love and respect have only gotten deeper. I feel lucky to have this family because these types of bonds are the most important things in life. And I'm looking forward to things just getting better in the years to come!

Other Odds and Ends:

Since I had so much fun with my garden this past Summer, I'm planning to grow some seedlings this year starting in February. I haven't done indoor seedlings in a while -- in 2023 in particular, my Spring was entirely taken up by "Steel Magnolias" -- but I'm ready to try again!

Regarding Schweizerdeutsch, I really like the book I mentioned last year ("Züritüütsch isch aifach schön"), and I'm slowly learning from it, but with all my other projects, I haven't really had time to focus on it as much as I'd like...


There's never enough time to do everything I want to do, but I will continue plugging along for as long as I can -- and enjoying the journey with loved ones all the way!!

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