Top 16 of 2016: A Year in Review

Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past 12 months already knows 2016 was… well, it was. A seemingly endless barrage of difficult events made 2016 a year that is already established in internet infamy. It wasn’t all bad however. In fact, 2016 was a pretty good year for me. I generally try to avoid writing lists but there really is no better way to rundown a year in review. (Plus I secretly like writing them.) Here it is: my Top 16 of 2016.

Top Moments

  • Getting Promoted

I managed to start the year off with a promotion at work and that’s almost never a bad thing. It came with more responsibility, new and interesting work, and of course a few extra bucks in the bank certainly didn’t hurt.

  • Moving to the City

My fiancé and I finally packed up our stuff and moved to the heart of Seattle. It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time and this year we finally found a great place in Capitol Hill. Slightly longer commute for me but it is well worth it to finally live in the best Seattle neighborhood where the finest Mexican tortas can be found just around the block.

  • Whale Watching in the San Juans

Last year for my birthday/Christmas Reina got me a whale watching excursion. It took us a while to find the time but we finally cashed that puppy in and were lucky enough to have found a pod of about 10 orcas. We made the conscious choice to not take any pictures and have the experience sans-camera phone. No pictures for you unfortunately but if you get the chance, jump on it.

  • Engagement Photos – Featured in Junebug Weddings

Since I wrote an entire post about this, I’ll spare you the details. Reina and I had our engagment photos taken in September. They turned out pretty fantastic. So much so they were featured on a huge Wedding website. Major props to our photographer.

Photo Cred: Tonie Christine Photography
  • Booking the Honeymoon

Reina and I are getting married this year. With weddings come honeymoons and we’re headed to Italy! Over our holiday break booked flights and accommodations. Still a ways away but I’m already craving wine and cheese on an Italian beach. Countdown engaged.

Top Books

  • Dune by Frank Herbert

I finally got around to reading the quintessential science fiction novel of all time. Not too bad. Not too bad at all. Read more about what I thought here.

  • The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Here’s a science fiction classic that I didn’t know was a classic until after a read it.  The Forever War is a loosely auto-biographical telling of the authors experience in Vietnam set to an time-jumping interstellar war. Both haunting and humanizing, this book upends most of the clichés found in space operas and war novels.

  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Stephen King writes a story about a novel-writing English teacher who becomes a time-traveller trying to foil the JFK assassination. Right up my alley. A fun but long read.

  • The Walking Dead, Compendium #1 by Robert Kirkman

I’ve been watching AMC’s The Walking Dead since my freshman year of college. It took me this long to go back and actually start reading the comics. Plot differences between the comics and the show were enough to make the story seem like new again.

  • Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy

A Hunt for Red October was the first “grown-up” novel I remember reading. It was 5th grade; which in hindsight might have been a tad early. Either way, Tom Clancy’s always has a favored place on my bookshelf and re-reading this one reminded me of why that is.

Top TV/Film

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star. Wars. I’m a nerd and I’m fine with that. PLUS DID YOU SEE THAT ENDING? Full review to follow shortly.

  • Stranger Things

Netflix killed it with this one. I could not give you one concrete reason why I liked this show so much but I did. I really did. And I wasn’t even born in the 80s. I’m slightly skeptical about a second season but I’ll definitely be checking in when it comes out.

  • Game of Thrones, Season 6

The first full season that outpaced the novels – George R. R. Martin, we need to talk about your 2017 Resolutions – did not disappoint. We got a few key theory confirmations and some significant plot movement all while treading water so that Martin might actually have a chance to release The Winds of Winter before Season 7 is released sometime in June.

  • The Godfather

Obviously I’m a little late in watching this Coppola classic. My apologies. Every bit as good as the reputation. I still cannot believe Francis Ford Coppola was only 27 when he directed that film. Looks like I have about two years to figure out what the hell I’m actually going to do with my life.

  • Westworld

I think I saved my favorite for last in this category. I literally could not say enough good things about HBO’s latest smash-hit. The story-telling, the acting, the scenery, the surprises. Like everyone else on Reddit, I thought I had it all figured out until I didn’t. In this age of discussion boards, podcasts, and theory mongers it was so refreshing to be completely thrown for a loop.

Photo Cred: HBO

Connor Griffin Writes

I’m going to be a little self-indulgent to end this post.

I’m really stoked about this project, even if the last couple months of 2016 were realistically a beta period for this site and the brand I’m creating behind it. I’ve spent the last month planning out 2017. I think I’ve got some pretty fun things lined up and a few projects I am really excited to start sharing with you. It’s nice to really have a creative focus for the first time since graduating college and entering the grown up world of Corporate America.

Thanks for tagging along, I really appreciate it.

Happy New Years!


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