2023 Recap Part Deux

The other day a friend reminded me that I hadn’t completed my 2023 recap – all I did was write about my fitness journey. That got me thinking, was there anything I missed out on? The answer is yes.

From my welcoming 2023 post, these were the goals I had set for myself:

Since we’re on the topic of the new year, I’ve got some goals for myself. Public goals to hold myself accountable.

  • Fully migrate this blog to goodnewsgeorge.com and give it a facelift
  • Post 12 blog posts (not counting this)
  • Create 6 YouTube videos
  • Record a 6-song EP
  • Play 12 shows
  • Create 12 pieces of original art
  • Go back down to 70kg and un-tighten my pants

We’ll come back to this post in December and see how far we’ve gotten. Happy New Year everyone. Hopefully, this year will be better than the last.

Fully migrate this blog to goodnewsgeorge.com and give it a facelift

Completed! I even gave it another facelift since then. I’m really happy with the blog’s appearance and performance, so I’ll give myself a pat on the back for this one.

Post 12 blog posts (not counting this)

Completed! I published 19 posts (excluding the first one of the year). Some were just gig updates, but I didn’t specify what type of posts I’d write, so I’ll count this as a win.

Create 6 YouTube videos

Failed! I made zero progress here. My interest in creating videos waned after the pandemic, so I’m not sure if I’ll ever get back to it. Writing text posts is already exhausting, and I don’t post that frequently!

Record a 6-song EP

Failed! I recorded one demo and a few short recordings on Instagram, but nothing I’d classify as proper recordings. I have a couple of new songs in the works, so I’m not giving up yet. I hope to make more progress this year.

Play 12 shows

Completed! I played twelve shows in 2023. It was great to get back into the scene. I still enjoy it very much. Drop by for my two shows in June if you want to catch me live.

Create 12 pieces of original art

Completed! I participated in Inktober 2023, which was draining but a lot of fun. I ended up drawing thirty-one pictures and did a few more afterward. Knocked this one out of the park.

Go back down to 70kg and un-tighten my pants

Completed! While I didn’t reach 70kg, I did un-tighten my pants, which was the main goal. I’ve replaced a lot of fat with muscle, so not hitting 70kg isn’t a big deal. I’m stronger and feel much better about myself.


2023 turned out to be a pretty good year. While I didn’t complete a couple goals, I accomplished most of them. I didn’t feel like I had wasted the year.

I also did something that I didn’t know I was going to do at the start of the year – I gave up cigarettes for vaping. I haven’t had a cigarette since October, which seems like a pretty impressive feat for me. I didn’t have plans to quit smoking, it just started one day when I ran out of smokes.

Will I resume smoking in the future? Nobody knows. But I’ll stick with vapes for the meantime to see how long this lasts. Maybe I wasn’t really addicted in the first place.

I haven’t set any goals for 2024, but some things come to mind: to not suck at my job (I’ve been given yet another role change) so I’m working hard to cope with that, to write more on this blog, write and record more music, and to keep drawing.

Can you believe it, almost half the year is gone? 

Looking back, 2023 was a year of significant accomplishments and valuable lessons. As we move further into 2024, I’m embracing flexibility and openness to new opportunities, aiming to make the most of the rest of the year.

Here’s to another year of progress, creativity, and self-improvement.

Goodnewsgeorge 2.0

Welcome to my new site. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time tweaking it over the past week and I’m really happy with how it looks now.

It all started when I noticed that my website was taking longer to load than I would have liked, so I went on an optimizing spree. After that, I thought maybe it was the theme I was using that was the issue.

So, I spent a few minutes Googling high-speed themes and GeneratePress popped up – a theme I had tried in the past, but found it to be super barebones. I decided to give it another shot.

I began by experimenting with colors using palettes generated on Coolors.co. I opted for an orange banner at the top and was pleased with the result. It felt like a fresh coat of paint for my blog, a nice way to start the new year.

From there, I decided to use black text. We were off to a great start. Then, the design reminded me of Penguin Classic books. A quick lookup confirmed my suspicion. Inspired by this, I embraced the design influence.

Penguin orange? Check. Futura headers? Check. Caslon body text? Check. I used a deeper shade of yellow for more contrast and white for the background, as it’s odd having text on non-white backgrounds. Tada! A Penguin-inspired palette.

I also decided to remove ‘a blog by George Wong’ from the header. How many times does one person need to repeat their name? Since Hot Mulligan is still my favorite band of all time, I allowed myself to be inspired by their latest album, Why Would I Watch.

I played around with the layout, adjusted the sidebar and navigation bar, and settled on a layout I liked.

Lastly, I felt the site title needed a logo. It looked very empty without one. I tasked ChatGPT to turn a pen into a question mark, saved it, cleaned it up, made it transparent, and voilà! Icon done.

Welcome to goodnewsgeorge 2.0. Just ahead of respond.io’s redesign. Hah!

On a side note, reskinning my blog brought back the warm fuzzy feelings I used to have back in my teenage days, playing around with HTML and Paint Shop Pro, and thinking up new designs for my Geocities homepage. Maybe I should play around with websites more.

Graphic design is my passion.

Anyway, expect more real content next time. When was the last time you gave your homepage a facelift?