In 2012, my 20th year, I wrote a quick blog post wrapping up some of my favorite things from what I called a ‘jumbled and transitory’ year. If 2012 was jumbled, I lack the vocabulary to describe this year. (Jumbled-er?) Exhausting and edifying might be close.
This year, despite being incredibly difficult, was my most creatively productive. I launched projects, both personal and professional, that I’m proud to talk about: Color Composer, an interactive installation for the Nelson-Atkins’ new Bloch Galleries; Carmen, a chatbot made to help Barkley partners find their way; the Mapkins Machine, an Arduino-powered vending machine that dispenses branded napkins when sent a text; Rotten Trumpatoes, a silly website inspired by a tweet; They LinkedIn, a silly Chrome extension inspired by a podcast; this site (still a work in progress), my first made with the very promising Gatsby.js.
I also made significant steps towards bettering my health overall: I sought and heeded the aid of mental health professionals; I quit even ‘casual’ smoking entirely; I flossed more than all my previous years combined (gross, I know, sorry).
Still, 2017 was emotionally wrenching. I’ll gloss over the details because I know this year was exhausting for nearly everyone, maybe save for those who get their news exclusively from Fox. In March my dearly loved childhood dog, Keegan, passed away. I gained, then lost, relationships dear to me. My laundromat, staffed by a pair of lovely women who all but adopted me, who gave me leftover roast and sent me a Christmas card, abruptly closed. I probably drank too much.
Despite all that, there was plenty of good in 2017. I had the opportunity to travel to places I’d never been with people I love. I was enriched by the work of artists and creators I have the privilege to know. I ate a shit-ton of good food (excuse the expression).
Without further ado, here’s a list, in no particular order, of a few of the things I enjoyed last year. Cheers!
- Pho (raw steak, to go)
- 39th Street Laundromat (RIP)
- SF, Minneapolis, Boston, P-town, Wichita, & Weston with T; Portland & Manzanitas with Brooks; Seattle & Vancouver with Anna; Durham & Virginia Beach with the family
- Harmony of Difference by Kamasi Washington
- This emoji: 🤠
- Zach Lieberman’s Instagram
- Universal Paperclips
- VR on the HTC Vive (Google Earth, SUPERHOT, Accounting)
- Ethel’s Creamy Lobster Roll at Row 34 in Boston
- 40 Part Motet at the Nelson-Atkins
- Podcasts: S-Town, Reply All, Bodega Boys, Stoner
- Binging With Babish
- Radiohead at Sprint Center
- Overnight Swoalts
- Launching weather balloons during the solar eclipse in Beatrice, NE
- Eyeo Festival (particularly, talks from Jenny Odell, Robin Sloan, & Gene Kogan)
- The arugula salad at Westport Cafe and Bar
- 17776, by Jon Bois
- Thompson Tees