Resolutions and Goals | 2017

I was planning on posting this list as a YouTube video, but I like it better as a written list. There will be a new YouTube video on Tuesday, January 24th, where I review Hayao Miyazaki’s book, Starting Point: 1979-1996. (Edit: I’m giving myself a few extra weeks since this video is going to take a long time to script, film, and edit.)

  1. Be braver with compliments. Complimenting people makes me nervous. Regardless of whether the person in mind is a stranger or close friend, I often hold compliments in my head rather than saying them aloud. I still don’t know why giving compliments makes me jittery—maybe I’m afraid the person won’t believe me (which sometimes happens), or maybe I’m afraid that my comment of praise reveals too much about myself (which is scary since I’ve spent most of my life as a shy person, and since I am still sometimes shy). This year, I’m going to tell people I like their sweater or their taste in music. I’m going to tell them they are gifted and should pursue their goals. I’m going to promote a safe and supportive environment.
  2. Go on a date. Not a coffee date—a real one, a sweet one, a great one. Hold hands. This might seem like a silly goal—obviously, it requires another human being, and I’m only going for it if we are mutually interested in each other. I’ve been single for a little over a year (which has been great), and lately I’ve been thinking that I want my next first date to be a real one. Coffee dates, to me, aren’t real dates. They’re pre-dates. They’re interviews. They’re interrogations disguised as casual appointments. They give the relationship a foundation of revealing a lot of personal information right away, of emotionally flooring it. I don’t want to begin a potential relationship like this. I want to go to dinner and a movie, go ice-skating or rollerblading, go to an improv show or for a walk in the park. I want to smile at a cute guy who smiles back at me. I want to slowly get to know one another, to coast instead of speed.
  3. Find a one-bedroom apartment that allows pets. Eventually, my roommates will move out. Instead of finding two new roommates (I’ve lived in the same house for the past three years, with a total of six roommates), I’m thinking about finding a place of my own where I can have a cat. If I have a cat, I don’t think I’ll be lonely.
  4. Get a cat. It’s happening.
  5. Be a better fish owner. I… yeah… I need to clean my fish tank more.
  6. Finish writing my first book. The graphic memoir and young adult book I’m writing is currently 64 pages long. I’d like to finish writing approximately 200 pages by June 2017, and begin looking for the right publisher.
  7. Read at least 30 books. I want to read consistently, but I want writing to be my main creative focus in 2017, which is why I’m reading at least 30 books instead of 50.
  8. Read diversely. And share what I’ve read.
  9. Do a great job at my new job. I’m thrilled to begin the new year with a new job, and one that I’m really excited for.
  10. Be better at budgeting. I’m not terrible at budgeting, but I can definitely do better.
  11. Visit my parents at least once per week. Because my family is important to me, and they currently live close.
  12. Continue keeping in touch with friends, and continue making new friends. Most of my close friends live far from me. Some by a few hours, others by a few states, and one by a continent. I want to maintain these friendships for the rest of my life, and I want to continue making new friends that live close to me.
  13. Commit to a consistent schedule on my blog. Having a creative outlet is also important to me.
  14. Eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water, and exercise regularly.
  15. Research which brands in the grocery store and which coffee shops are fair trade. Commit to only purchasing from these brands and coffee shops.
  16. Research which brands of makeup are cruelty-free. Commit to only purchasing these cruelty-free brands.
  17. See if there is anything I can do about the fact that my state still taxes feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons.

I might add to this list throughout the year.

What are your resolutions and goals for 2017? Let me know in the comments!

Five IRL Cartoon Houses

I am unashamedly obsessed with cartoons. Fair warning— there will likely be several more blog posts about animation in the future.

Here are five houses based on cartoons and anime that impress me:

  1. The Up House

One of two popular structures inspired by Carl & Ellie’s home, this small yellow structure was made by the National Geographic Channel in 2011. Once finished, the house was carried by eight-foot helium balloons, mimicking the liftoff sequence from the film.

Watch the flight:

  1. The House from My Neighbor Totoro

The replica of Satsuki and Mei’s house from the beloved Studio Ghibli feature was designed by Goro Miyazaki in 2005 for the World’s Fair, and can be found in Japan’s Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in Seto.

Visit Totoro:

  1. The Kids Next Door Treehouse

While designed in detail, Sector V’s treehouse was never actually built. (At least, I assume it was never built— if it were, wouldn’t news have spread faster than Nurse Claiborne’s pink eye?) The layout emerged on’s “Ultimate Holiday Wish List” in 2003, promoting the house for one million dollars.

Witness the ultimate hideaway:

  1. The Swamp House from Shrek

At Universal Studios in Singapore, you can find Shrek’s swamp house. (And Far Far Away, which is fairly close by.)

Beware of ogre:

  1. The Building from Futurama

Good news, everyone! The Planet Express building exists in our millennium, and it’s located in Liège, Belgium. Well— not officially. In reality, the construction is part of the Cointe Observatory built by the University of Liège in the 19th century. But the similarities are striking.

Read about the world of tomorrow:

If you could live in a cartoon-inspired house, what would it be? Titans Tower? Elsa’s ice castle? The temple from Steven Universe? Tell me in the comments!

Featured Favorites: Bee & Puppycat

If you’re a fan of Sailor Moon or Adventure Time, chances are you’ll watch and re-watch Bee & Puppycat. The animated short was created by Natasha Allegri, storyboard revisionist for Adventure Time and creator of the characters Fionna and Cake. Her artistic inspirations for Bee & Puppycat came from magical girl series like Sailor Moon and other early 90s anime.

The show stars wacky and easygoing protagonist Bee, who recently got fired from her job at the pet store. While walking home in the rain, a mysterious creature— “A cat? Maybe a dog?”— falls from the sky. After taking Puppycat home, Bee is faced with an absurdly magical and perilous task, and must decide if she is ready to accept both the responsibility of heroism and the likelihood of an unpredictable lifestyle.

A hodgepodge of genres, Bee & Puppycat features a mash-up of everyday and fantastical dilemmas: from navigating newfound adulthood to battling alongside your talking pet in Fishbowl Space. The short manages to cover both the ordinary and the overwhelmingly odd within a span of ten minutes. There’s also lasagna.

The first half of Bee & Puppycat was published on Frederator Studios’ YouTube channel, CartoonHangover, just over three years ago. Since then, each episode has gained over 1.5 million views.

Frederator Studios is responsible for popular cartoons such as The Fairly Odd Parents and Bravest Warriors. Fred Seibert, executive producer of Bee & Puppycat, expressed his enthusiasm for the show and the fact that it’s created for women, by a female writer, with strong female lead. “It’s taken me twenty years to convince anybody to make cartoons around girls,” he said in a video with YouTuber and fan Hannah Hart.

Just four months after the release of the short’s first half, Bee & Puppycat received so much positive feedback that Frederator Studios launched a Kickstarter to develop a full season.

Eccentric and delightful, Bee & Puppycat is one of the reasons why cartoons are making a comeback.

Watch Bee & Puppycat: