Top 17 of ‘17

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes
— Oscar Wilde

Happy New Year everyone! 2017 ended up being a pretty interesting year for me. Lots of travel, lots of changes. I wanted to get a quick post up wishing everyone good luck in the new year, and to bid farewell to 2017.

For a lot of people, last year was pretty bad. There was a lot of division and anxiety worldwide. I’m not going to talk about any of that. Instead I want to focus on the things that made 2017 great, and that I’ll be taking with me into 2018. There were a lot of new things that were released into the world, and a lot of things that were already around but I came across for the first time. So I thought I would through together my top 17 things of 2017. Whether it was new to everyone or just to me, these are my favourite things of last year. So, in no particular order:

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had heard things about this show for a long time, but had never gotten around to watching it. Then I heard about a podcast, Buffering the Vampire Slayer, that was doing discussions on the episodes one at a time. It seemed like the perfect time to jump and listen along. I quickly outpaced the podcast because I loved the show so much. It’s become one of my favourites of all time, possibly the favourite of all time.
  2. Nintendo Switch. I used to be a major gamer. I spent a ton of time in my childhood and teens playing video games, and even my early adulthood. To be completely honest I had a bit of an unhealthy relationship with gaming, often prioritizing it instead of school or work. So I took a step back a few years ago, then my gaming PC broke down and I just never bothered to fix it, so I hadn’t been playing a lot of games. Then the Nintendo Switch came out and I picked one up and it completely reinvigorated my love of gaming. It started with only a couple good games in March, but now the catalogue is huge and amazing. I love my switch, and I’m so grateful that it got me back to playing amazing games. Speaking of amazing games...
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Holy crap this game is amazing. It’s certainly my favourite Zelda game of all time, and it might be very close to becoming my favourite game in general. It’s the first open world Zelda game, which is a huge departure for the franchise, but it works so well. It’s hard to say what I love so much about this game other than that, after half a year and over 150 hours, I still want to play it all the time. It’s fantastic.
  4. Super Mario Odyssey. One more game for the switch which makes my top 17. I have very fond memories of playing Mario with my aunt and sister when I was younger, the traditional side scrolling games for the NES and SNES. Since about Super Mario 64 I haven’t paid all that much attention to the franchise, but it comes back in a huge way with Odyssey. It’s such a brilliant game, and tons of fun. I would say that it’s equally as good as Breath of the Wild, but the reason Zelda gets higher honours is because after I beat the main campaign in SMO, I just didn’t feel the drive to continue playing it. Still, it took around 16 hours to finish the game, and those were some amazing hours very well spent.
  5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I was lucky enough to be able to travel over to London to see this play live, and it was worth every penny for the ticket price and travel cost. I haven’t seen very many live plays, so I don’t have much to compare to, but all I know is that I was very entertained for the entirety of this two part play. The acting was great, the production was phenomenal, and despite the storyline not being all that amazing it was still good enough to be entertaining.
  6. My Brother, My Brother, and Me. 2017 was a big year for podcasts for me, and even as a late comer, MBMBAM turned out to be one of my favourites of the year. It’s 3 brothers giving “advice” for the modern era. I don’t have much to say other than listen to an episode. If you aren’t laughing your ass off by the end then maybe it’s not for you, but I find it hilarious.
  7. The Adventure Zone. Another amazing podcast by the same brothers who make MBMBAM. This is a dungeons and dragons playthrough that the brother’s do with their dad. The youngest brother is the DM, and all the others play their way through his amazingly crafted storyline. They aren’t the most adept DnD players, but the sheer amazing-ness of the story that they craft makes up for it. This was my favourite podcast of 2017.
  8. The Unmade Podcast. Brady Haran of Numberphile and Hello Internet (my all time favourite podcast) fame started this podcast with his friend Tim. They talk about ideas for podcasts that will never get made, ranging from the interesting and plausible to the hilarious and impossible.
  9. Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This movie probably deserves a post of its own, considering all the controversy revolving around it. I won’t say much other than that I loved it. I think it’s in my top 3 for favourite Star Wars films of all time.
  10. The Dresden Files. This is a pretty massive book series with 15 currently in the main series and a bunch of short stories to go along with them. It’s about a modern day wizard living and solving crimes in Chicago. The books are formulaic but that doesn’t even matter because each one is incredibly interesting. I quickly went from 1 to 15 this summer and now I’m (not so) patiently waiting for the next instalment with everyone else.
  11. Apple Watch. I picked one up in January, and it was a game changer. It helped me keep track of my health and pay attention to what I was doing in a way that exercise and diet hasn’t been able to do by themselves in the past.
  12. Spotify. I signed up for Spotify early in 2017, then moved back to Apple Music after a few months, and now I’m back to Spotify. I am pretty deep in the Apple ecosystem, so AM is nice for seamlessly working with most of my technology, but that’s the only advantage it has over Spotify. The music discovery side of Spotify has helped me diversify my listening habits a lot last year. It helped me find some of my favourite music of the year, like...
  13. Rainbow by Kesha. This is my favourite album of the year, and it probably jumps up to my top 10, maybe even my top 5. It’s incredibly diverse and moving, and the title track, Rainbow, gave me one of the most visceral reactions to a song I’ve had in a long, long time. Fantastic work from Kesha, who I’ve always liked since the first time I heard an acoustic version of one of her earlier songs.
  14. Ulysses. This is the app I’m using right this second to write this blog post. It’s helped me become a more consistent writer, and it’s got extremely powerful features that will really help me out in the future when I go to edit manuscripts. If you do any major long form writing I would highly recommend it.
  15. iPhone X. I was the kind of person that would always buy a new phone every year, so the last three with my iPhone 6 have been a big change. But that phone finally started to crap out, so I was very happy when Apple announced the X. It’s a truly amazing phone and I am so in love with the camera on it. I bought a DSLR in the summer of 2016 and I barely even think about it since getting my X.
  16. iPad Pro 10.5. This iPad has possibly changed my life more than any piece of technology. I use it to read the news more often, keep up with blogs, write notes with the Apple Pencil, watch videos, play games, and more. It’s a wonderful piece of tech, and if I end up going back to school, it will be invaluable to me.
  17. Olivia Mabelynn. I became an Uncle this year. My sister had her first baby, Olivia, on November 24th. She’s incredibly adorable and my whole family, me included, is infatuated. Plus this takes the pressure off of me to have kids right away, so bonus!

Thanks for reading. What were some of your favourite things from 2017? And what are you looking forward to in 2018? I’m going to do a resolutions post soon and talk about my plans for the year ahead. Until then, Happy New Year, and have a great day! Text here