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Looking back at 2016

Looking back at 2016

Well, it took me three weeks to come to grips with 2016, but I’m finally ready to talk about it. Here’s the annual year-in-review thingee. Previous editions can be found here.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

  • Went to the NFL’s Super Bowl fanfest thing.1
  • Received a complimentary photo of a taxi driver wearing a horse mask from the driver himself.
  • Took the kids on an overseas trip.
  • Ate Turkish food.
  • Visited Greece, Malta, Spain, and Turkey.
  • Swam in the Mediterranean.
  • Missed the online Jeopardy! test.
  • Shaved a cat.
  • Traveled across the U.S. and back in 36-hour period.
  • Donated to a presidential campaign.
  • Toured schools2 and went through the incredibly and unnecessarily convoluted SFUSD high school application process with The Boy.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I made no resolutions for 2016, so I had nothing to keep. In 2017, I’d like to read more, lose some weight, and visit a new ballpark. That’s about it.

Oh, and survive the horrific nuclear war that will inevitably break out when our new president3 tweets something about China at 3 a.m. on a random Tuesday night.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My sister-in-law gave birth to a quite cute baby girl in April, so I’m now a three-time uncle.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, we had to make the difficult decision to put our dear sweet greyhound to sleep in March. She had a good 13 years, the last nine of which were spent with us, but old age had made life confusing and no longer enjoyable for her. She was my couch buddy and still miss her every night when I sit down in the evening and she’s not there to snuggle with me.

5. What countries did you visit?

Sweden4, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Italy, France, and Spain.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

Mo’ money. Fewer trips to the hospital. Infinite nachos.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  • June 28 – Terrorists attacked the airport in Istanbul during the middle of our trip, just days after we had been in Turkey and about five days before we had to go through that very same airport on the way home.
  • November 8 – The day the merry-go-round broke down.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I still continued to kick ass at my job, despite not having any idea as to what I’m doing. So I guess I’ll go with that.

9. What was your biggest failure?

My attempt to go back in time and prevent Donald Trump from ever being born.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Oh, good lord, yes. In February, I had another bout with kidney stones.5 This time, however, things didn’t resolve themselves on their own, so I had to have surgery to remove the stones in May.

The surgery itself was fairly easy and uneventful.6 Afterwards though, I had to be catheterized for three days. THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that I refuse to ever have one of those things in me again.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Right at the end of the year, I got a hearing aid for my bum right ear and it’s already had a huge impact on my daily life. I didn’t realize how much I had been missing for many years. And how loud our children are.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Our landlord, various airlines, and Carnival Cruise Lines.

13. What did you get really excited about?

I hate to beat a dead horse, but our summer vacation was definitely the highlight of the year. I don’t think any of us looked forward to anything more than that.

14. What song will always remind you of 2016?

Honestly, I don’t think there is a song that will remind me of this past year. Nothing really stood out to me or had any kind of deep, spiritual connection with my soul.7

If I had to pick one song, I guess it would be Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” It came out early in the summer and seemed to always be on the radio when we were in the car, but it really hit the big time in our house after I took The Girl to go see Trolls in November. Since then, it’s been playing pretty much 24-7.

 15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • Happier or sadder? Yes.
  • Thinner or fatter? Yes.
  • Richer or poorer? Yes.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Books, baseball, blogging, exercise, flamenco dancing.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Working late, cable TV news, shaving.8

18. How did you spend Christmas?

At my in-laws’ house in Texas, followed by a trip down to my parents house for a second Christmas. Then we had a third Christmas here in San Francisco when we returned. Might have another one next week.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

The only thing I watch regularly these days is Jeopardy! and the local evening news. Well, that’s not true – The Wife and I have been watching the new Lethal Weapon series and enjoying it quite a bit. I think I’ll have to go with that as my favorite new program of the year.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

2016 was really a poor reading year for me. I’ve been stuck on a book for a while that I feel compelled to finish, but I don’t really like it. So I just read the newspaper instead.

Probably the best book I actually finished this year was Roger Moore’s autobiography from a few years ago. It was pretty pointless and vapid, but it was easily consumed in 10-15 minutes chunks on the bus to and from work.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Hmm, I guess I’d have to say Henry Jackman’s soundtrack for Captain America: Civil War. Giacchino’s score for Rogue One had a few moments when it seemed to be on the edge of greatness, but it was really disappointing overall.

In music with words…meh. Nothing blew my proverbial skirt up.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

Hmm, we’ll let’s start off with what I watched in 2016: Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One, Star Trek: Beyond, and the aforementioned Trolls. And Star Wars: The Force Awakens three more times, but I guess that’s a 2015 movie.

Of those, I’d have to say that honestly the one I enjoyed the most was probably Civil War. It was a better Avengers film than Avengers 2.

The final half of Rogue One was really good, but the first hour dragged. I found that I didn’t really care about any of the characters at all, even the main ones. That movie could’ve used a little more backstory and a lot more K-2SO.

Coming in much higher on the list than I would of thought was Trolls.9 And Star Trek: Tokyo Drift was somewhat better than the first two films, but it criminally underused Idris Elba. The franchise deserved a much, much better film to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary.

Things I wish I had seen, but haven’t yet: DeadpoolDoctor Strange, Elvis & NixonHail, Caesar!, A Hologram for the KingFinding DoryThe Magnificent Seven, Money MonsterSully, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

It was a Thursday, so I went to work. I turned 38.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Anyone other than the worst person on Earth winning our nation’s presidential election.10

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Whatever’s clean.11

26. What kept you sane?

Baseball and soft drinks, which is terrible because there’s no baseball again until March and I’m trying to cut out soft drinks.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

Never doubt the power of idiots in large numbers.

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