Monday, January 7, 2019

The Year in Review

Once upon a time, Christmas and/or New Years included writing an old-fashioned family newsletter. These reports included lots of pictures of the kids, together with a few humble-bragging anecdotes. 

Then my life got ugly. For the last few years I couldn't bring myself to look back, or forward.

Fortunately, things are much better these days. Indeed, in some ways this entire blog is a verbose attempt to catch up with life. 

Rather than repeat myself in a newsletter, here's a quick recap of the year in review:

Best things about 2018:

1.   Family
2.   Mental health
3.   Writing
4.   Vancouver
4a.   …Men’s Chorus  

Worst things about 2018:

1.  People with cancer
2.  Frustrating job search
3.  Mean people
4.  Piano bar closed
5.  Moving 

Favorite Nonfiction:

1.  Robert Sapolsky, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
2.  Robert Wright, The Moral Animal
3.  Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind

Favorite Fiction:

1.    Andre Aciman, Call Me By Your Name
2.  Andrew Greer, Less
3.  P.G. Wodehouse, Joy in the Morning

Favorite Animated Movies:

1.  Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse 
2.  Incredibles 2          
3.  Ralph Breaks the Internet

Favorite Other Movies (I don’t get to see many other movies):

1.   I, Tonya
2.  Black Panther
3.  Crazy Rich Asians

Favorite TV shows:

            1.   Hannah Gadsby, Nanette 
            2.   Bojack Horseman
            3.   American Horror Story

I've also had a productive year of writing. I published 96 blog posts in 2018, totaling 102,162 words. The most common words are summarized in the word cloud above.  

Favorite blog posts about family:

1.  I Come From Good People (1/7/2018)
3.  High School Musicals (11/28/18)
4.  Blaming the Children (9/21/19)
5.  Growing Up with the Chorus (11/14/18)

Favorite blog posts about everything else:

1.  Lilies that Fester (3/25/18)
3.  My Best Friend Paul (6/7/18)
4.  Lost in a Good Book (10/23/18)
5.  Woke Humans (12/11/18)
6.  Backing Up (12/5/18)

Most read blog posts:

2.  Vote for Roger (7/22/18)
3.  Blaming Your Parents (4/1/18)
4.  Caring for your INFP (3/9/18)
5.  Moral Alignment (1/11/18)

Apparently the last two posts are some kind of search engine bait.

[When they came home from school, I gave each of my kids a writing assignment before turning on the electronics.]

Oliver's Top Apps:

1.  Fortnite 
2.  YouTube
3.  Sound Cloud

Rosalind's Favorite Video Games:

1.  Five Nights at Freddy's
2.  Overwatch
3.  Fran bow

Eleanor's Current Favorite TV Shows:

1.  Grey's Anatomy
2.  Friends
3.  Riverdale
4.  The Flash
5.  Jane the Virgin
6.  The Fosters
7.  Gossip Girl

Happy New Year from Bellingham and Vancouver


  1. Happy New Year! One of our challenges is finding a show everyone will like. 1 person can't be sucked into anything animated. 3 people don't like dark BBC murder mysteries. 3 people don't like romantic BBC costume dramas. 1 person has seen everything already. Our big find this year was the most recent Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. BBC. Perfect fun. Only two seasons, the bastards.

  2. Great idea! "write an old-fashioned family"