Friday, January 22, 2016

New Year's Resolutions - 2016

Ahhh, New Year's Resolutions. Many of us make them, and few of us keep them. I usually don't have a list of resolutions. I figure it's best to start improvement at any time, and not wait for the flip of the calendar to get going. 

This year, however, I decided to set a few personal goals that I figured would help improve my quality of life. 

1. Read 18 books.

I have shelves full of books that I haven't read, but I have seemingly endless amounts of time to devote to Twitter, Facebook, etc. As of the time of this post, I've already finished John Grisham's The Rainmaker.

I've also suspended my Facebook account, but more on that in a future post, and I'm reading Bob Dylan in Americaand Rich Roll's Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself (this one is via Kindle, so I can read anywhere when I'd normally pop open Twitter). 

2. Write 12 blog posts.

This will be my second post of the year, so I'm already ahead of last year's schedule. I really enjoy being able to go back to old blog posts to see what I was up to in year's past, so even if no one is reading, I'll try to be a little more consistent this year. It can't hurt my writing ability either, which I feel has been slipping with my diminished output. 

3. Set a PR in a 5k and a 10k.

In 2015, I ran my first 10k (the Bluff City 10K) at 58:43 and set a PR in Common Table Health Alliance's Million Calorie Burn 5k of 24:47 (which got me second in my age group). This year, I hope to best both of those times. If I can avoid injury, I'm confident that won't be a problem, since my training times have consistently been beating those lately. 

I know, these aren't the loftiest goals, but at least it's something.  

What about you? Did you set any New Year Resolutions? 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Favorite Albums of 2015

2015 turned out to be a really good year for music. I found myself drawn into albums from a wider range of genres than usual, and this list certainly reflects that. I'm certainly not making the case that these are the best albums of the year, or that I won't discover other 2015 albums later that I'd put on this list. These are just my favorite 2015 albums as of today. 

In no particular order, here are my 10 favorite albums of 2015

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie And Lowell

Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood

Alabama Shakes - Sound And Color

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

Chris Stapleton - Traveller

Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

Lucero - All A Man Should Do

Death Cab For Cutie - Kintsugi

My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall

Here are a few others I've really liked, but either just missed the top 10, or I haven't really had the chance to fully digest. 

Kamasi Washington - Epic

Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think and Sometimes I Just Sit

D'Angelo - Black Messiah

Wilco - Star Wars

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material

Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen - Hold My Beer Vol. 1

Ryan Adams - 1989

Leon Bridges - Coming Home

Modest Mouse - Strangers To Ourselves

Aaron Watson -The Underdog

Drive-By Truckers - It's Great To Be Alive (This one deserving of a top 10 ranking, but isn't really new material)

What about you? What are you favorite albums of 2015? What are you looking forward to in 2016?