Day 1: The Phill-man Cometh

January 23, 2008

Now every gambler knows that the secret to surviving/is knowing what to throw away/and knowing what to keep/because every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser/and the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep…

-Kenny Rogers wrote it, but Mike Doughty is singing right now

Oh, hi there.

Welcome to the first of my 365 experimental posts.  Because I’m a scholar who studies gaming and digital environments, it seems only fair that I start by explaining the “rules” for what I’m doing.

It’s pretty simple, really. I’m a rhetoric and writing student at “a big ten school that rhymes with Fish Again, Bait.” As a scholar/researcher/sarcastic bastard I run up against two major ethical problems as I do my work. The first is that I feel if one is going to study something, one has to DO it. I read blogs, but I haven’t maintained one since my course ended in April of last year. The second issue is that I’m a writer, and while I produce a great deal of text, I haven’t been adhering to the “write for at least a half an hour every day” edict I was given as an undergrad.

So… a project. It’s part of my New Year’s Resolutions, but to be totally pomo I start the year on my birthday. Which is, obviously, today. So this blog is my attempt to post 365 consecutive days of content to a blog. It will likely warp and twist a little as I move forward, but here’s what I’m setting up a rules.

1.       Each post will open with a lyric from the song I’m listening to or a line of dialogue from what is on the television. Should I be on-location and out of my proverbial Phortress of Phillitude, I’ll go with some other marker. While music is sort of a cliché jumping in point for a post, I want to have markers that transcend alphabetic text to guide me when I look back, and I’m not in the mood to put video of myself online just yet.

2.       Each day of the week will have a subject designation. I will allow myself, on a whim, to run “off-script” once a week, but otherwise, the following will apply:
Monday: Reflections on my current scholarship
Tuesday: Musings about popular culture
Wednesday: Musings about my goals and my relative successes or failures in accomplishing them
Thursday: Forced exploration of something gaming studies, tying it to rhetoric
Friday: Reflection on the week
Saturday: Off-the-cuff ranting about whatever bothered me that week
Sunday: Something creative (anything, really)

3.       Because I’m going to MAKE myself do this even on days when I’m busy or stressed, I’m going to build in the right for some posts to be really short/revised and I’m going to give myself until 4 AM the following day to make each post (I thought about just setting the blog to Pacific time, but with the time change that’d sometimes leave me at 2 AM).

4.       A comment can, if interesting enough, change the entire scope of the next response. Please interact with the text, readers.

5.       Don’t talk about Fight Club

So, that’s the plan.
Watch me make it all of a week before I give up.

And to start out, just a quick reflection. Every birthday, I do this soul searching thing where I get all down and all deep and reflective and think “okay, how can I do better?”
This year, I’m doing pretty good. I still have things to fix (see the list below), but I’m happy, I’m relatively productive, I have friends, I’m in love, and there’s just not a lot to complain about. I think this might just be the Summer of George.

Shortest birthday reflection ever: “I’m happy. Why mess with it?”

Goals for the coming year:

1.       Maintain this blog (ha! NEVER happen)

2.       Publish something

3.       Lose weight/eat healthy

4.       Figure out how to not end up dirt poor at the end of each semester, panhandling for gas money and such

5.       Hit level 70 *dork alert*

6.       Find one moment of complete happiness in each day, even if it’s just a fleeting moment

7.       Maintain my GPA

8.       Figure out, once and for all, that weird bridge lyric from REM’s “Leaving New York” (the one about the shadow and the necklace and the thigh, before living the life in the dream that Stipe swears is real)

9.       Pick something from my “by the time I’m 30 list” that I didn’t achieve and go try it this time.

10.   Find a way to curb the jealous rage I feel each time I see Conan O’Brien’s rugged writer’s strike beard.

I’ll check in on at least one of these next Wednesday, when reflection time comes back.

For now, I’m going to consider starting the blog a victory.

Seacrest, out!

-Phill

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