Culture

My 2018 year in review: Very naughty, thrilling, justice-driven, and misinformed

In each of the past three years, there has been one undeniably horrible thing that has occurred to make me think “whew, thank god this year is over.” With hindsight, I can say those years, with the exception of 2017, were OK. With hindsight I can say 2017 was a horrific year but I learned, or rather it reconfirmed, how strong I am. This year of 2018 was a mixed bag but I am hoping to start off strong in 2019.

This year was incredibly hard. I saw four personal friends pass away and some grand icons moved on from Aretha Franklin, to Anthony Bourdain, to George Bush to John McCain.  Further, at every turn it seemed that I was presented with a new challenge or roadblock. But at the end, I came out OK. I was battered and bruised but came out with strength, integrity, and a knowledge that doing the right thing isn’t always easy but it brings peace to one’s being. And, peace of mind and spirit is worth whatever rocky, hard-worn path one must traverse.  And with that I am prepared for a new year and prepared to see 2018 from different frames of reference.

I played one of those silly Facebook tests which noted with certainty that my 2019 word was going to be “joy”.  I will most certainly take that. Who wouldn’t? Yet, according to Merriam-Webster “justice” was the 2018 word of the year. I am happy to hear that but worried as well that so many people would have to look up that word’s meaning.  Oxford dictionary meanwhile noted that “toxic” was its word of the year and Dictionary.com’s selection was “misinformation”.  And, you know what? All three words describe my year as well. I came across many happily misinformed people who tried to infect others with their blurred standards. I saw how some people tried to escape toxic situations but felt handcuffed. But I also felt even more social justice driven this year as I realized I needed to go back to my roots. Hence, my move back to New York. I didn’t look up any of those words but its interesting to note how big trends can be reflected, at times, in one’s own small word and space.  Speaking of words, we also collectively learned of the word “boofing” but I still don’t know what it means and I think I am happy in my ignorance on that one. Ok. Onwards.  But let me step back for a moment. How about Facebook? It apparently fed us misinformation. It was naughty and has angered everyone. So, in a way Facebook could be a savior for this divided country. Ok. Onwards. Wait. One last thing. The 2018 mid-term elections were electrifying in how many people voted. Can we continue this trend going forward? The right to vote is one we should never take for granted and must always try to exercise.

Here’s a random bit that I often do not write about but I do love to talk about. Sports brought a grand thrill to the year. I was super excited when the Philadelphia the Eagles defeated the Patriots to win their first Super Bowl. I was riveted to the end. Somehow, this felt like a David meets Goliath moment or a temp solves the office’s main problems and becomes the CEO moment. And, how awesome was that World Soccer match between Croatia and Russia?  It was a nail biter of a game that got people pumped up. Or what about Shaun White’s epic third run at the 2018 Winter Olympics?

It was also a year where I got to experience cool magic shows and celebrate my son’s 10th birthday in Las Vegas. He asked to go and I was happy to oblige. We enjoyed lasertag, good food, awesome pool and many cheers and laughs.

This past year, I also went back to the movies catching on average two movies in the theater each month. We managed to catch a ton of awesomely thrilling action-packed movies book-ended by Black Panther and Aquaman, as well as thought-provoking films such as Black KKKlansman and Roma. Each of these great in their own way. And, something out of a Hallmark movie, Megan Markle married Prince Harry and I got up early to watch it. And, something out of a big blockbuster summer movie, on January 13th, residents of Hawaii received an emergency alert warning them to “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER” due to a “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII.”   What? Yikes!  But let’s go back for a minute. Speaking of weddings, I cannot believe that Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin got married. I always though he would marry Selena Gomez. Yes, I love In Touch magazine. But back to movies. I do believe that Black Panther was the best movie this year in that it set a new bar for super-hero movies. Will this genre continue to rise? Only time will tell. Speaking of time, Bohemian Rhapsody made me want to time travel to go experience Live Aid in real time. That must have been an amazing experience.

Alas, I cannot travel back in time and must move forward. I truly hope 2019 will bring me and you all grand joy. May it be a time of good change and clear skies. oh, and may Avengers: Endgame be a completely awesome film that doesn’t take an easy way out of that devastating ending for Avengers: Infinity War.

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