March 2017

I’ve never worked more OT than I have in the last few weeks. I’m talking almost every lunch hour as well as after hours. But it’s bee worth it. Check out the trailer to the film I’ve primarily been working on:

Trailer day is always pretty fun at the studio. There’s no fanfare or anything, but it gives everyone a little boost to finally be able to show something to family and friends, and to signal that a few months down the road this thing that has consumed most of your life for the past couple of years is out in the world.

Because of this, though, most of my personal goals this month were on the backburner, like my 31 Day Declutter Challenge. Totally did not succeed, but definitely made progress which I can talk about in a future post. But let’s chat.

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How To Succeed in Posting Without Really Trying, Starring Daniel Radcliffe

I currently have 114 posts in my drafts for this blog. If I went through them and sorted them, I know many would be either obsolete or better suited for my new animation site, Animation Complex.1  The earliest post in there is from March 25th, 2011.


Dramatic lone statement. For emphasis.

I didn’t post an actual post on here until May 4th, 2014, in a post appropriately titled “Overdue.” In this terse first post, I lay it all out:

For almost six years, I have longed to become a much more proficient writer. Similarly, it is one of my goals to become what many would consider a valid, valuable, and respected voice in the field of animation and computer graphics.
Day after day, year after year, I talked myself out of doing something as simple as starting a blog, not feeling secure with putting myself out into the Internet, nor confident that my opinions would ever carry any weight in the future.

It makes me uncomfortable, and that’s why I need to try.

Again, “For almost six years…”. Six, man. In 2008, I graduated from high school and was starting college. I wanted to start a blog, start a YouTube channel, but felt silly. Who would care? And to be honest, I still feel that way. In some ways, I dodged a bullet being born when I did: early enough to have a tech-free childhood, bar a weekly typing computer class where you had to manually launch the Windows OS from the DOS screen, but late enough where I’ve been able to enjoy this boon at an age where I could quickly and easily adopt it as a nearly-digital native. I dodged cyber-bullying as a kid, baby photos on FaceBook, and potentially saying some really dumb shit, as kids do.

That first blog post from 2011 was about going to see Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway2 with some college friends in our junior year. I know that I started typing it out and probably felt as though that wasn’t a “proper” first post. That I needed an introductory post or something with more of a hook. Or just that I’d be adding a droplet to an ocean. Always some reason.

So without further ado, on the anniversary of that original blog post’s intended publishing date, I give you the contents of that draft:

This past Tuesday, I was treated to a wonderful experience. Through my college, I was able to see Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame) sing, dance, and speak with an American accent for only $36. This included the price of the ticket as well as the bus ride to and back from my school.

Something interesting to note about the story is…well…the story itself. The main character, Finch, specifically. He doesn’t ever have a downfall in this musical. He maneuvers his way into the higher ranks of a company, messes up, finagles out of it again, and at the end gets the big bucks and the girl. Doesn’t learn any lesson, doesn’t have a sharp change of character, nothing.

I know that from here, I would have attempted to delve into the idea of the “perfect character” trope, and how I’d lump him in with characters like James Bond and Mary Poppins–these perfect characters that don’t really have an arc, whom we love regardless. I’d have tried to delve into the unbalance I felt towards ‘Mary Sue’ characters vs. the male equivalent, ‘Marty Stus,’ not in calling them out, because, CALL AWAY, but rather the excuses that tend to be provided for the male characters.

It would be especially interesting to delve into sexism with How to Succeed due to the time period it takes place and, thus, dated attitudes that were then quaint but now casual sexism or just blatant sexual harassment in the workplace3. This would still make for an interesting post, but this is not that post. I think I hesitated to write that all out back then because I didn’t think I had the right to make these assessments–that I was still just a student, and though I was learning this type of thing, felt that I still just didn’t know enough. And in hindsight that’s absolutely true. But I was also denying myself many, many opportunities to learn by doing.

This post is a reminder that I have so, so many failed attempts, and somewhere along the line I let this culture trick me into seeing them as negatives in my life rather than opportunities. But changing your mindset is very, very hard. This post is also a reminder that I need to clear those drafts away, one way or another, and I hope most can be salvaged and I type them up with reckless abandon like I did this one. This is a pretty short post, but I’ll take that over not having posted anything about this. Lastly and most importantly, this post is a reminder that DanRad is super, super short.4


1) Gotta get that self-promo, yo.
2) You’re welcome.
3) There is literally a song in this called “A Secretary is Not a Toy” among other gems, that problematic and antiquated though they may be, are a conflicting delight to see acted out.
4) You’re welcome.

31-Day Declutter Challenge

In response to my February recap, and stating that I wanted to focus a bit more on housekeeping and the general clutter in my life, I figured that a good way to hold myself accountable while further gamifying my life was to have a little challenge. It’s nothing special. Just every day this month I am going to tackle a different area in my room/kitchen/bathroom to sort through. This totally goes directly against Marie Kondo’s advice, wherein she suggests tackling possessions by type rather than location in order to see the entire quantity of said category at once. Buttttttttt nah. Maybe that’s the next step. But it’s not what I need right now.

That being said, please enjoy the rest of this self-serving post…though, a blog as a whole is pretty self-serving in and of itself. 😉

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February 2017

So last month I had really wanted to change up the format of this monthly recap to, well, actually give it some formatting, but it wasn’t really the best month for that. My cousin’s monthly recaps over on her blog are pretty cool, but I realized that I don’t have as many quantifiable things to track as she does. And I wondered if I could shake that up to keep my more accountable. I’m a sucker for gamification1, so I’ll have to test out a few. They’ll probably all be quite terrible this month, but…some times shame works…

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Top 10 Books of 2016

A bit overdue–apologies for that! This past year, I was determined to read more in any capacity. As I mentioned in my post highlighting my 2016, I decided to help myself along by tracking my reading via a GoodReads reading challenge. My goal started small, at just 20 books for the year, and I was able to bump up my goal to 40. It might not make sense to keep raising it after I did it–at that point, any extra books were just a bonus, but I kept moving it just a bit beyond my reach each time to spur me on. However, this backfired a tiny bit in that I tended to favor graphic novels, especially since my library has an amazing selection of new releases. While valid books to read, they are much quicker reads, and as a result 26 of 41 books were graphic novels. Of the remaining 15 books, 8 were non-fiction (which I’d wanted to read more of, and the other 7 were fiction/YA and the Harry Potter play.

Next year, I think I’d be better off setting a smaller goal and keeping it there, so that I’m not tempted to avoid longer books in favor of book count. That’s just counterproductive and a con of trying to game-ify my reading habits. But nonetheless, I read far more than I have in the past few years, partly because I’m not in school anymore, but also, again, because my library is, in fact, the bomb-diggity. I read more non-fiction, particular memoirs, business books/self help/Malcolm Gladwell type books, and books about feminism. I read some educational graphic novels, which I love.

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