The Best (and Worst) of 2016


It’s the end of the year and so, as so many people and media outlets tend to do, I figured I would list MY favorite things of 2016. Can’t say there’s a rhyme or reason to them. Just happen to be things I liked or disliked about those 365 days around the sun…

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2nd BEST TV SHOW: “Love” (Netflix)

Honestly, I was just flipping through all of the Netflix programming available and came across this little gem. Who would’ve thought it would grab me the way it did? I can’t explain it…it just did. Two completely different personalities find themselves together one regular day and that starts a relationship (of sorts) that manages to get more & more criss-crossed as the season goes on. It’s a nice little change of pace from all the other heavy stuff out there and I found myself rooting for the leads more & more as the episodes went on. Can’t wait for the 2nd season!

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BEST NATIONAL SPORTS MOMENT: The NCAA Championship

Look…I love me some good basketball. THIS was the best championship in years…maybe decades…maybe EVER! Ok…maybe not ever but still…it was a good one. It was a hard fought battle from beginning to end between Villanova and North Carolina and there were not just one…but TWO buzzer-beaters!!! North Carolina hit the first when senior Marcus Paige hit a double-clutch 3 to tie the game with 4 seconds remaining and then Villanova forward Kris Jenkins hit a long 3 at the buzzer to shock the Tar Heels and give ‘Nova the 77-74 win. It was AWESOME!

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BEST STAND UP COMEDY ALBUM: Tom Papa – “Human Mule”

I love stand-up comedy and Tom Papa has hit the nail on the head with his latest comedy album! So many brilliant jokes about love, life, marriage and kids. Too often I found myself laughing hysterically because…quite frankly…EVERYTHING he jokes about is 100% true! Go check out this awesome comedy album, “Human Mule,” on iTunes now!

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FUNNIEST TV MOMENT: “David S. Pumpkins”

Nothing made me laugh longer or harder than this absolutely ridiculous character created by Saturday Night Live for Halloween. Tom Hanks IS very funny, but it’s the B-Boy skeletons, a bouncy instrumental track and the incredulous looks of Kate McKinnon and Beck Bennett that truly make this a classic!

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2nd BEST VACATION: Chicago Trip

Nothing like a little “me time” with 3 of my best friends in the Windy City! Chicago really is a great town and one of our country’s premier shopping locations. We didn’t do any of that, choosing instead to drink and eat our way through 3 days of fun! But still….if you WANTED to shop…Chicago would be a good place to go. Just saying…

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MOVIE OF THE YEAR: “Deadpool”

I’m a BIG fan of the Marvel movie world and I thought I had it all down until Deadpool hit theaters in the early part of the year and BLEW ME AWAY! The merc with a mouth was the most fun I’ve had in theaters since….well….since Captain America: Winter Soldier! If you like action and humor and super heroes and adult stuff? Then THIS movie is the one you want to see!

Other good flicks from this past year…

“The Lobster”
“Doctor Strange”
“Rogue One”
“Captain America: Civil War”
“10 Cloverfield Lane”
“Hell Or High Water”
“Passengers”
“Sing Street”

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2nd BEST FAMILY MOMENT: Thanksgiving With My Family

Let’s face it…this holiday will be in my favorites EVERY year. I love visiting my family during the holidays and this year we celebrated at my sister’s house. Thanks to Mandy for housing us for an afternoon of food, football and family! As always, this year was a lot of fun! Here’s hoping Frank revives out of that food coma any day now…

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TELEVISION SHOW OF THE YEAR: “Stranger Things” (Netflix)

Basically ripped from the best 80’s movies, this homage to my favorite decade was taylor made for me and my generation. Part “Goonies,” part “The Thing”, part “Every Other 80’s sci-fi, scary, action flick you can think of,” the writers of this 8 episode series nailed it PERFECTLY in every way. I highly recommend it…even if you AREN’T from the 80’s. It’s just SOOOOOO good!

TOP 3 ALBUMS OF THE YEAR:

Bear Hands – “You’ll Pay For This” (alternative rock)

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Watsky – “x Infinity” (hip hop)

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Sturgill Simpson – “A Sailor’s Guide To The Earth” (alt-country)

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All 3 of these albums offer something that a lot of artists don’t give you these days….quality lyrics. Sure, the music is excellent…but when you listen to the lyrics, that can make ALL the difference! From Bear Hands’ “2AM”…

All your friends are sober
Yeah we’re getting older
Going out’s a drag now
All my spots have closed
And we can fantasize
Without much of a mess
And making love is fine
But all I want is to forget
How old I am

From Watsky’s poetic “Tiny Glowing Screens Pt. 3″…

Some days I throw my hands up like this shit right here is hopeless
but today I throw my hands up like this shit right here’s the dopest
I’ll never sew my family’s holes up saying hocus pocus
So I focus love on what is whole and chase my magnum opus
There’s so much more life before I leave this skin behind me
Right now I’m feeling finer than Aaliyah in the 90s
Yeah, today I’m feeling firmly like my faith could never burn me
like I’m apt to move that mountain just by glaring at it sternly

Or how about THESE lyric from my favorite album this year…Sturgill Simpson and his song, “Brace For Impact”…

Some will beg for forgiveness
From someone above
For something they did
To someone they love
Some scream like a baby
Some go out crying
Some bid the world goodbye
And welcome to die
Go out and live a little
Bone turns brittle
And skin withers before your eyes
Make sure you give a little
Before you go to the great unknown in the sky
I could post meaningful lyrics from all 3 of these albums all day…but I won’t. Just go check them out. It will be worth your time. A few other albums of note…
A Tribe Called Quest – “We Got It From Here….Thank You For Your Service.” (rap)
POP ETC – “Souvenir” (alt-pop)
Jason Aldean – “They Don’t Know” (country)
Kings Of Leon – “WALLS” (rock)
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BEST VACATION: Family Trip To Gatlinburg 
If there was one thing I didn’t like about this little trip into the mountains of Gatlinburg, it was that it was too short! We were only able to go for a few days, but we rented a cabin in the woods in the Smokey Mountains, played some pool, hung out in the hot tub and visited this little tourist destination before a wildfire took out so much of the area in late November.
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BEST SPORTS MOMENT: Chris Throws 3 TD in his freshman year debut
This being his first game of his high school career, I can only imagine the butterflies Chris may have had going into this game. But he came out, did what he needed to do and threw 3 touchdowns to help lead the Tigers freshman squad to a nice win over Lawrenceberg!
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BEST DADDY MOMENT: The Father/Daughter Dance
I miss so much as a working father and for the first time in Ava’s grade school career, I was able to attend this annual event. We had a lot of fun and it was funny how Ava kept checking on me despite the fact that she wanted to be with her friends. I bought a new shirt and tie and everything! LOL! We had a lot of fun though and it is a memory I will never forget…
THE ABSOLUTE BEST MOMENT OF 2016…
Seeing Mom back home.
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What a long, difficult year 2016 was. Mom was in the hospital for 177 days, pretty much the entire summer, with a variety of health issues. Once the doctors got one thing under control, 2 more things would go wrong. But not once did I ever believe she wouldn’t be here to see 2017 and thank you God for proving me correct. She has rebounded in every way, she’s getting her legs back under her and her strength is returning and she is every bit as loving and chatty as she was before this whole thing began. My entire family is thankful for all of the prayers, comments and well-wishes sent through the entire ordeal and we are all very happy to see her back where she belongs!
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THE WORST THINGS ABOUT 2016…
Other than the obvious with my Mom, here are the absolute worst things about this past year. And trust me…it was an extremely rough year…
3. The deaths of the following…
 Prince
David Bowie
Gene Wilder
George Michael
Carrie Fisher
Kenny Baker (R2D2)
Muhammad Ali
Alan Rickman
Florence Henderson
Arnold Palmer
John Glenn
Gary Marshall
Glen Frey
Leonard Cohen
Nancy Reagan
and so many more. It was an extremely sad year for my generation.
2. The Presidential election
Possibly THE ugliest election of ANY election of my lifetime. I can’t remember when our country has ever been SO divided & downright ugly. In the end, who knows how it will all turn out but all I can say is that I hope the differences can be mended and our country can move forward. I’m not confident in where we are headed…but for the sake of our democracy, I hope I’m completely wrong and our new President proves me wrong.
1. Community struggles
This year we had many of our neighbors go through a variety of health & home issues. With Mom being in the hospital and work being what it is, I wasn’t able to be around for them when they needed support. I know that one has made a turn for the best and she has been cleared of cancer (CONGRATS MADISON!) and the other is doing well despite losing her partner and having been diagnosed with cancer also.
We also lost a friend from Christopher’s high school class at Beechwood. Mason B. struggled with Dravet Syndrome, which is a rare, severe form of epilepsy. On December 27th, Mason suffered a seizure that put him in a coma for 2 days. He passed on December 29th. Mason was a happy, spirited young man who always seemed to be smiling. He will always be remembered and he will always be a part of our hearts and a part of our community. Rest In Peace, Mason. We will always remember you.
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Here’s hoping 2017 is better to ALL of us and that we can all learn to be sympathetic, loving and thoughtful to those who need support.
So….See ya 2016! Wouldn’t wanna be ya! Now….ON TO 2017!!! Happy New Year everyone!!!
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On the field after Denver won Super Bowl 50. Ok…so THAT was kinda cool…

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