State of the Union, 2019
I'm Alive, But I'm Not Really Doing Anything of Note
Since we're probably not going to have an actual State of the Union address anytime soon because a decrepit, flabby old turtle is holding the government hostage for a decrepit, flabby old Big Mac wrapper, I figured I'd give my own. [Update, 25 January 2019: Well, this opener fucking aged poorly. Who knew that all I had to do was write that sentence to reopen the government?]
Actually, wait, I kind of did that already. Check the subtitle: "I'm alive, but I'm not really doing anything of note."
Well, it was a, uh...well...it was a 2018, I guess.
At one point, my little blog here used to get some traffic: not a lot, but more than the zero that it gets now. Twitch viewers would come to the site to make piano requests, and some of them would end up perusing the blog. Then I stopped streaming, stopped blogging, and, in the latter half of 2018, stopped composing and recording altogether. It hasn't been great. I could go into more detail, but the long and short of it is that I had to move my work hours from part-time to full-time back in June, and my innate laziness combined with the fact that I'm making a really nice salary has led to this kind of uneasy, dime-a-dozen-amongst-would-be-creatives complacency. And so here we are.
In typical "me" fashion, I opted to do something that makes me feel like I'm being productive while actively avoiding doing anything that would actually be productive: I gave my website a facelift. I also gave it a bit of a buttlift, but that's not really visible to the public. I hated the way the site looked before, but I'm much happier with it now. It needs some tweaking here and there (especially on mobile), but overall I think it's got a much sleeker look and feel.
I went ahead and unpublished almost everything I'd written on the blog over the past several years. Most of it was garbage: short life updates better suited to Twitter, super niche software development tips, now-irrelevant site updates, and, bizarrely, a whole bunch of stuff about Final Fantasy XIV. I knew I'd written from time to time about FFXIV, but when going through and unpublishing stuff, I just kept thinking, "Wait, seriously, I wrote more shit about FFXIV? I must've been a real addict." (The irony of my writing this on my second monitor while playing FFXIV is not lost on me, by the way.)
The "Piano Notation, MuseScore, and You" and "Dave Played a Game" posts from a couple years back I kept. I'd honestly like those two series (if a series of one counts as a series) to compose the bulk of what I write in this blog, moving forward.
The Twitch requests page needs a complete redo, but that's not a priority for me at all. I occasionally miss streaming, but there's a lot about it that I don't miss, too. I currently have no plans to return to Twitch on a regular schedule.
I do have plans to return to recording. Despite the fact that nobody's watched any of my YouTube videos, it did feel good to record two whole suites and put them up, and I've got so many more pieces to do, still. So those'll start trickling in again, at some point. I'm also going to move away from writing piano arrangements (for now) and start focusing on creating a portfolio of original video game music. None of it will be written for any specific game, obviously, but I want to start putting together some examples in a variety of styles. I just discovered EastWest Sounds' ComposerCloud, a Netflix-like service for virtual instruments. Pretty excited about giving it a whirl: one of the reasons I've been wary of branching away from the piano is that I just don't have good virtual instruments to work with, and the cost to obtain them is generally prohibitive. Based on all the reviews I've read for ComposerCloud, it seems like a phenomenal service that provides one of the best products in the industry.
That's...pretty much it, honestly. Kate's defending her dissertation in less than a month, which is really exciting. When she gets a job, we'll be moving away from Philadelphia and I should reasonably be able to go back to part-time hours.
If any of my old readers still check in from time to time, hit me up on Twitter (@SergeiBrokofiev) or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'd love to hear from you! I hope you had an awesome 2018 and that your 2019's looking good, too!