Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Hopper Best-Ofs!

Well, twas a krazy year for me. I don’t think I’ve ever traveled so far in the span of 12 months. This time a year ago I was unemployed, with no prospects as they say, depressed, drifting, living basically day to day if not hour to hour. Now, one terran solar revolution later, I’m seven months in to a decent job I can do with my eyes closed and getting ready to start a part-time nightly career doing something I’d never thought I’d do. The absence of that living-paycheck-to-paycheck thing is a beauteous thing.

Anyway, “TAX” would be the dominant “fad” or “vision” for the year. So I’m taking it off the table for this post. At the end of every year I like to think back on the types of books I’ve read, movies and shows I’ve watched, music I’ve listened to, and other fads that might have consumed me. Then I let you know of the best one. If one really, really, really sucked, I let you know about that.

Now … without further ado …

Best Book Read

Moby Dick (a reread; first traversed in 1998; a thousand-percent better this time around for some inexplicable reason)

Following closely by a pair of mutinies … The Caine Mutiny and Mutiny on the Bounty

Bounty is reviewed, here.

Strange note: 8 of the 53 books I read this year were tax/economy related…

Otherwise, I read a fairly equitable and diverse grouping of books. Some history, some sci fi, some fantasy, some religious, some fringe-y, some Westerns, some classics. It was a good reading year, though I for obvious reasons had an unusually difficult task of carving the time to actually disappear to a quiet spot to get lost in a book.

Worst Read

Deerslayer, reviewed here.

Best Movie

The Revenant

Thought Keanu (the movie about gangsters stealing this dude’s kitten) was really funny and bizarre.

Worst Movie

Sausage Party was pretty bad. So was Jason Bourne. Couldn’t make it 15 minutes in to Deadpool.

Best TV

Breaking Bad, entire series in its awesome entirety, watched during three weeks in March.

My lengthy if tardy take on Walter White, here.

Worst TV

Uh, I try not to waste too much time on the boob tube. I only really watch a couple of shows with any degree of regularity. That being said, I’ve been extremely down on Walking Dead this past fall. Thoughts on that whole turning, here.

Best Music

Dunno … again, it wasn’t a musical year for me, which is strange ’cause I grew up always listening to stuff, learning guitar, playing in a band from 86-96, then delving deep into jazz, classical, and opera. Past five, six, seven years, though, barely listen to anything. Didn’t buy a single CD all year. My girls taught me how to download songs on my iPhone, and I downloaded an old Rush album, but haven’t listened to it.

If you put a proverbial gun to my head, I’d have to reach back and pull out a fossilized gem, “You and Me” by the Moody Blues. I had much excitement about the tune, explained here, and probably listened to it more than any one thing the entire year.


First and foremost – Work! (began June 1 and continuing …)

Secondly, starting my tax preparer certification process (began September 12 and continuing …)

Third, the March madness of Breaking Bad

Finally, the literary fads:

- Sea-faring novels (Moby Dick, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Caine Mutiny, The Terror)

- Return to WW2 (in January) and the Civil War (in October)

- Peaceful Warrior stuff (movie and book, in April)

- Revisit of The Lord of the Rings (July-August)

- Some UFO books (spread out over the summer)

- Coin collecting (brief June fad)

- Some Bible reading (Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Mark) over course of the year

Aaaaaand that was basically Hopper’s 2016.

Most fun fad though? Impossible to decide – I loved them all, and still do.

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