At the risk of belaboring the obvious, 2016 was nothing short of a brutal year, one rife with no small amount of turmoil. That said, on a purely personal level, things were relatively calm for myself and my family -- I'm still gainfully employed at a job I'm greatly enjoying, and certain other elements that were in frightening flux at the beginning of the year have since been relatively stabilized. There were still a few setbacks, but those are always to be expected. No, the turmoil in question was more on the larger scale. If you need me to point out specific instances, deaths and/or pivotal events to illustrate same, I'll have to assume you spent 2016 in a coma. Regardless of your predilections, sensibilities and/or political affiliations, this year had something for virtually everyone to frown about. As such, it's time to dust off the ol' Year-End survey once again.
What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
I can't say that it was a major year for "firsts," but let's see -- I went on the London Eye and I was bequeathed with my first corporate credit card, which I remain deathly afraid of using.
Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
If I made any, I don't believe I did a very good job of keeping them. I did largely swear of soft-drinks this year. I'd do well to lay off the beer for a bit, but we'll see.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Some former colleagues had babies, yes, but no one in my immediate orbit.
Did anyone close to you die?
Death touches everyone at one point or another, whether it's expected or not. While mercifully no one in my immediate family, some folks close to us did pass away this year. I wouldn't want to get more detailed than that.
What countries did you visit?
We brought the kids to London, England for this first trip abroad (as you may remember from this post).
What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
It's not so much that we "lacked it" in 2016, but I'd really love to reclaim some semblance of the hope that we probably took for granted prior to Election Day. I don't know what's waiting for us around the bend, but it's damn hard to be optimistic about it.
What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?
At the risk of paying Trump some sort of backhanded accolade, I'm not going to say Election Day and instead cite January 10. Losing David Bowie changed everything ... and it never really got better from there.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Thriving at my new job and being asked to write that goddamn book."
What was your biggest failure?
It's certainly not limited to 2016, but I have a big mouth and sometimes spout things out of it without considering how those things are going to sound to certain folks who may not share my perspective.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
While I can feel my 49-year-old self starting to gradually erode, I was largely illness and injury free for the duration of 2016.
What was the best thing you bought?
I honestly cannot remember. I mean, I bought a couple of albums I really like, but I don't think that's the question. I did buy a nice pair of maroon wingtips from Dr. Marten which I think are pretty stylin'.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
My two children continue to amaze me. Sure, they can be annoying, but they are both turning into remarkable, thoughtful and kind little individuals.
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Trump and his acolytes.
What did you get really, really excited about?
The end results of Election Day, but not in a positive way.
Where did most of your money go?
While ultimately on the affordable side, comparatively speaking, the London trip wasn't cheap.
What song will always remind you of 2016?
"Sunday" by Iggy Pop
Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
At this point last year, I had just started my new job, but was also dealing with a certain loved one's illness. Said illness is still a factor a year later, but it is currently in a more manageable state. As such, on a personal level, I would say I am happier.
Thinner or fatter?
Fatter, always fatter.
Richer or poorer?
About the same.
What do you wish you'd done more of?
I can't say, really.
What do you wish you'd done less of?
Shooting my mouth off about politics, wasting time on Facebook.
How did you spend Christmas?
In Brooklyn with my wife's siblings and my brothers-in-law.
Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Did you fall in love in 2016?
Was already in love. Still am. Same woman.
How many one night stands in this last year?
I can't say I've had any one night stands since the mid-90's.
What was your favorite TV program?
"Stranger Things" by a country mile, followed by "The Affair" and "The Crown."
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I actively hate Donald Trump, whereas before, I just considered him a pathetic clown.
What was the best book you read?
Probably "My Damage" by Keith Morriss.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
I mentioned her in another post, but probably Morly.
What did you want and get?
A long overdue vacation abroad with my kids.
What did you want and not get?
Someone other than Donald Trump in the fucking White House
What were your favorite films of this year?
I can barely remember. It wasn't "Citizen Kane," but Oliver and I both quite enjoyed "Doctor Strange."
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 49 and didn't do anything, really. Quiet night at home.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Trump losing by the landslide evident in the popular vote.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
"Am I too old to wear this?"
What kept you sane?
My incomparable wife.
What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I didn't and I don't
What political issue stirred you the most?
Do you really need to ask?
Who did you miss?
The first response will always be David Bowie
Who was the best new person you met?
Some great folks at the job.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016
Don't think "It Can't Happen Here," `cos it fucking well can.
Song lyric that sums up 2016
It's not so much a song lyric as a quote by fabled horror author, Bram Stoker...