Things That Especially Spoke To Me In 2016

I got my wisdom teeth removed right after my freshmen year of college. Thanks to the laughing gas, it was painless. Also thanks to the laughing gas, I strutted out of the operating room singing Paparazzi by Lady Gaga.


My memory’s foggy, but I remember the singing being loud and theatrical. My mom says it was my way of flirting with the dental hygienist. I’d like to think it was my way of providing a fitting soundtrack for my bubbly, post-surgery high. I was dancing down my own red carpet. I was the star, and everyone near me (cleaning up my trail of blood and saliva) was the paparazzi hoping to meet the star. They would be so lucky.

An hour after the singing, I felt less like a star. A week later, I met with the dentist (and the dental hygienist) to see how I was recovering. They seemed more interested in my singing career than my oral health. Typical paparazzi.

My younger sister just got hers removed the other day, and I was reminded of my wisdom-less episode. She’s handled it with lots more maturity and a lot less singing.

Anyway, here are Ten Things That Especially Spoke To Me In 2016:

  1. Gary Gulman’s dad-joke wordplay (He’s Demetri Martin meets John Stamos.)
  1. Marshawn Lynch doing Marshawn Lynch things
  1. Chance the Rapper’s infectious joy and energy
  1. This Georgia O’Keefe quote about creative unknowns, clarity, and success:
    1. “…and from that experience comes the desire to make the unknown—known. By unknown—I mean the thing that means so much to the person that wants to put it down—clarify something he feels but does not clearly understand—sometimes he partially knows why—sometimes he doesn’t—sometimes it is all working in the dark—but a working that must be done—Making the unknown—known—in terms of one’s medium is all-absorbing—if you stop to think of the form—as form you are lost—The artist’s form must be inevitable—You mustn’t even think you won’t succeed—Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant—there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing—and keeping the unknown always beyond you—catching crystallizing your simpler clearer version of life—only to see it turn stale compared to what you vaguely feel ahead—that you must always keep working to grasp—the form must take care of its self if you can keep your vision clear.”

  1. Colum McCann’s super compassionate, wonderfully chaotic novel, Let The Great World Spin
  1. The young Red Sox and their young, loose, dancin’, all-star outfielders
  1. Bon Iver’ new album, 22, A Million—a hopeful, uncertain, vulnerable thing of beauty
  1. Family ties and the Chicago Cubs
  1. Joe Biden memes (and all the charm, poise, and grace of Barack, Michelle, Joe, and Jill)
  1. George Saunders and failures of kindness

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