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2016 was bad—REALLY bad … but there were some good things too...
waldorkio
Ok, so we all agree that 2016 has been one of the worst years most of us can remember. Between the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, a general first-world order made up of ignorance and hate, the deaths of many beloved celebrities and pioneering human beings, and so much more, it would be easy to want to jump out of very tall building’s upper floor windows. But while last year, did indeed suck, there were a handful of good things that happened. Here’s my short list:

On the world and national front:

• Thanks largely to Obama and progressive leaders who pushed through measures as best they could, the economy has stabilized and unemployment is at its lowest rate in 10 years
• There were a number of significant health breakthroughs made in 2016. Among them: a potential cure for ALS, real hope now for an effective HIV vaccine; the successful implementation of new, safer, less painful cancer surgeries; the near-eradication of Ebola; and new, measurable ways to combat the Zika virus
• Pandas were removed from the endangered species list…and the tiger population grew for the first time in a long time in 2016
• So-called “alternative” energies (solar, hydro, wind) are booming!
• Caucusing for the election here in Washington…it was nice to see our state swing for Bernie.
• Post-election, it is good to see the dismantling of the current Democratic power establishment. Maybe, if things keep going in the right direction, I will return.
• Black Lives Matter turned into more than just a fly-by-night movement. It’s real, and growing, and hopefully our society will eventually start acting to diminish the number of people unjustly killed by law enforcement, as well as demilitarizing local police forces. Though with Trump in power, this job just got more difficult.

Sports:

• The Chicago Cubs broke their curse and won their first World Series since 1908…and my Mets again made the playoffs—even if for just one game, which we lost.
• Speaking of the Mets, they managed to hang onto their best player this offseason and the pitching staff FINALLY looks like they’ll all be healthy at once…for once. So 2017 should be an interesting season
• Though I’m not a huge soccer fan, it was nice to see Seattle take home the MLS championship this year
• I also won my third fantasy football championship. I was 11-2 in the regular season and BOTH of my losses came by less than a point. I dominated throughout the playoffs too.
• Got to see something I never thought I would see in my lifetime—husky pitcher Bartolo Colon hit a home run. If you don’t know who he is—look him up and watch videos of him batting. Then google his home run.

Home, social and personal achievements:

• We had our most successful garden of all time this year—of course we worked our asses off and dug 6 tons of dirt, sifted through another five tons and shoveled another 5-plus tons in order to make our garden happen. But we got beets, carrots, three different cauliflowers, cucumbers, zucchinis, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, eggplant, edamame, strawberries, different types of bell peppers, baby broccoli, artichokes, TONS of green beans and corn. Man, what a year!
• We got to partake in our friends’—Dan and Kristen’s—wedding. Such a lovely event and a very lovely coupling.
• Got new couches! And a new, awesome desk.
• Had an awesome anniversary dinner at El Gaucho
• Officially celebrated five years at my job, and, after a lengthy disruption, finally enjoying a mostly full-strength marketing department again.
• Miranda got a decent promotion and raise at work, making our financial situation a tad less stressful
• Had perhaps the best Christmas I can remember – and Miranda and I were able to give her folks something they’ve both yearned to partake of for so long – a trip to New Orleans!

Travel:

• Miranda and I got to take a lovely “working” vacation in Puerto Rico. The Caribbean breezes and cool waters, the stiff drinks and great food … oh man, I want to go back right now!
• Miranda and I also got to take a wonderful drive down to the Bay Area and I got me catch up with good family members I hadn’t seen in a long time, as well as meet some new family members!
• My niece also came up to Seattle a month or so before our trip to the Bay Area, so we got to play tourist here in Seattle, which was fun.
• Took Sparky to see his first ocean—at Westport. He didn’t like it. 
• Spent an awesome Oktoberfest weekend in Leavenworth—even got our own Jacuzzi suite!
• Our very good friend Rob successfully emigrated to the States from England.

Entertainment:

• Some OUTSTANDING movies this year: Captain America Civil War; The Nice Guys; Keanu; 10 Cloverfield Lane; Deadpool; Sausage Party; Doctor Strange; Rogue One; Office Christmas Party; The Magnificent Seven; and others
• Also some great concerts and events: Noel Fielding; Mish Mash Circus Bash at Teatro Zinzanni; The Specials, Dylan Moran, The Descendents;
• Enjoyed quite a few Questionable Content performances this year. This is the amazing comedy panel show my wife created, produces, directs and slaves over every month. I help too! This year’s panels were the funniest yet, and the show is getting good attendance and reviews!

Let's hope 2017 won't be as terrible as we all fear. Yes, bullshit is gonna fly, but maybe we can collectively fight the bad stuff off and still find some room to enjoy the little things or celebrate any positive events on the local, national and global stages, as well as any personal accomplishments when they occur.

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This year we'll learn from 2016's mistakes and do an even better garden!! It was still worth all the back-breaking work. No more sprouts, though.

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