2023 End of the Year Wrap Up

It Went by So Fast and Other Remarks

It's such a cliche to remark, "Oy, the year went by so fast!". But I'm pretty much flabbergasted the year is fast coming to an end. I look back and can see that quite a bit happened, and some of it feels far away, but in a glance it all seems compressed. The whole illusion of time moving faster as you get older I suppose.

I haven't written much since beginning to sculpt. Basically, a good portion of my free time is spent doing that and I haven't made room for writing. I've barely made time for exercising as well, and the new addition of a tire around my waist attests to that. But it is nice to be creatively inspired in a way that I haven't since I was very young. It's a whole new realm and I'm learning fast.

In October I purchased a subscription to the Stan Winston School of Character Arts and I've been working the lessons. It's a huge resource and great guidance. I've just wrapped up the Jordu Schell "How to sculpt a character maquette - human anatomy", which consisted of sculpting Robert DeNiro as Travis Bickell from the movie Taxi Driver. I'll post about that one, with some pics soon. I'm trying to up my photo game, desiring to have my pieces looking top notch.

Sculpting Travis Bickel was great fun and rather timely, as Erin and I recently watched Taxi Driver with Juniper and she loved it. I didn't think I was ready for this level of sculpting but it looked cool, and honestly, I wanted to impress my step-daughter. So I jumped into it and came out the other side with a nice sculpt that I'm proud of. It was a huge leap in developement from Freddy to this.

In October I also flew back to Chicago to visit with my mother. It was a quick trip, landing on a Thursday evening and heading back to Boise on Sunday. Chicago was Chicago. I landed right around 5 o'clock, and was in my rental and on the 294 for evening rush hour. A fairly stressful excursion back to the south suburbs. I haven't driven in traffic like that for ages, and I also had a 4-Runner for my rental, which is a vehicle larger than I'm used to driving. And really...I don't drive much. I bought a new car in 2017, and I don't even have 25000 miles on it. So my shoulders were pretty much in knots by the time I arrived at my mothers place.

Being able to visit her put to rest some of my worry, and we had a nice visit. I was able to see an old friend for a few hours, and spent a good amount of time visiting my brother. I don't know the next time I will be back, but it will have to be for a longer visit and during a nicer time of year. It rained the whole time I was in.

That has been it for the most part. The days are a lot of routine: Work, family, coralling the teen, unwinding on the weekend, etc. So, with that being said, I'll get on to reviewing my year.

On Writing

At the end of last year I wrote that I hoped to write at least on post per month, optimistically much more. In 2022 I wrote 32 posts. In 2023 I wrote 12 - which includes this post. I intend to write one or two more before the years end. Whew...barely made the minimum. This is a tell-tale measure of the impact of sculpting. Also, one post in particular took me a long time and a lot of effort. That post was Ghosts: Part 5. Well, my hope this year is to hit at least one a month again, and hopefully more. I also want to do one more military Ghosts post and wrap it up.


While the writing output fell off dramatically, my focus on art and sculpting filled that space. While there are less tangible pieces to view then there would have been pieces of writing, sculpting has filled many happy hours. I signed up for a resin molding class that takes place in March of 2024, and I'm looking forward to it. I also began attending a life drawing session this year, attending just about every other week. This has been an enjoyable, and humbling experience. I did have a few decent images, but it has been challenging. Thankfully, outside of a couple occassions when I felt like tossing my supplies in the trash and walking out, it has been a good experience. I intend to continue to do this.


There has been a lot of music throughout the year. Many new discoveries and many hours of listening. In October I joined Erin on a duo Spotify account. Having recieved my "Wrapped" update from Spotify a few days ago, I have, from October until the point they generated this overview, listened to 15,951 minutes of music. This breaks down to 265.85 hours, which amounts to 11 days. It will be interesting to see a full years worth of listening at the end of next year. This reminds me I need to get one more Heavy Rotation post this year. So, music is easy. So long as I have ears I will be listening and searching for new bands, so here is to another year of music.

Life in General

Life has been fairly good this year. Out here in Boise everyone is healthy, and after what we went through during the past 5 years, that is ultimately my most important wish. This year it was granted. Erin wrapped up 5 years of Tamoxifen and was able to stop taking it. It really provided her a sense of closure and that was a good feeling seeing her so happy about it. That drug was a sonofabitch. Juniper continues to grow and develop into an amazing young woman who is not only incredibly intelligent but so academically driven. It's wonderful to see and shocking. Shocking because while her whole family has always stressed the importance of her education, we've never hovered over her or pressured her. We've always said, do your best, and if you fail, then you know you gave it your all and that is okay. Sometimes we fail, and we learn from it, and we move on.

I mentioned that a lot had changed with my employment last year and there was a lot of stress. The stress has lessoned a bit, the team having implemented new approaches and having dropped some rotten apples. We have a pretty solid team now, and things, most days, run fairly smooth. Things can still improve, but we've made a lot of ground.

In my wrap up last year I also mentioned that I was looking to start some counseling. I did. I've been going since May and will continue to do so. I take a daily anti-depressant and that has affected my life in a very positive way. It has dramatically lessoned the way stress affects me, and I feel much more calm and relaxed most of the time. If only I had began them thirty years ago...

We never ended up xeriscaping the front yard. It was too expensive. We added a sprinkler system instead, pretty much flying in the face of our original water conservation efforts. We didn't do the kitchen remodel either. I don't know why, but Erin just decided she didn't want to. For this coming year, we have to look at a new roof. Looking forward to seeing what it is going to cost.

We did have a couple of vacations. Erin and I went to Las Vegas in March. Totally not a place I thought we would ever go, and likely the last time I'll be there, but we had a blast. We saw the "Beatles Love" show at the Mirage. What an incredible experience. I had never seen anything like it. We also visited the Meow Wolf art...installation, center? Not sure what you call it. That was a trip as well. Beyond this we did a lot of walking and sight seeing, enjoying some incredible vegan food along the way. We didn't even gamble.

After Vegas we did a trip to McCall for a few days. I personally can abstain from ever going back there. And then we spent a quick week in Seattle. Seattle was a great trip and so much fun. It really put a longing in my heart to move to a place with greater diversity and culture. Boise is great, but it's whitey mcwhite-ville. To be able to see wonderful art, and music, and eat great food, and smell the ocean, and see all of the different types of people was wonderous. So hopefully this coming year has some good trips in store. We talked about Japan until the sticker shock of the plane tickets, but have considered Hawaii.

So here’s to the end of the year, and to the year to come. Cheers!

Author: Jason Jacobs

Jason Jacobs is an artist, project manager, and frontend web designer living and working in Boise, Idaho. Beyond work he spends his time with family, as well as reading, writing articles for Uhmm, and working on his art. All words and opinions, etc., are his and do not reflect the positions or beliefs of anyone other than himself.