2016 Annual Report: Antipodal

Most of these annual wrap-up blog posts are about the incremental changes from the year before. Slight changes, evolutionary changes. This year the change was bigger and more drastic than that.

Sure, I still did a lot of the same things: watched movies (47, up from 44 in 2015) and bought new music (20, down from 22 in 2015), and I actually read a few books this year (3) unlike 2015 when I read a grand total of zero. My consumption continued to drop in another area: I lost even more weight, getting down to my lowest level since 2001. Low enough that I could, and did, break out some of my favourite old t-shirts.

Meanwhile, work continued to dominate the year, especially early on. The thing I’d been working on so hard in 2014 and 2015 launched in January, and through the end of March it consumed pretty much every waking hour I had. It was a huge success, though, so it all seemed worth it.

I somehow managed to escape the office long enough for vacations to Costa Rica and Rwanda (with a stop in Amsterdam), and work jaunts to Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa twice, and Vancouver. I got away to Montreal two more times in the fall as well.

Of course, there was also a lot going on right here at home in Toronto, like hosting a New Year’s Eve party, seeing Jane Goodall speak, a Jays game, the Session craft beer fest, watching The Hip’s final concert in friends’ backyard, TIFF, visits from brother #1 and brother #2, a frigid MLS Cup final, and some live music.

I tried some new restaurants too, both in Toronto (Batch, Bar Hop 2, Pukka, The Wren, Buca Yorkville, The Gabardine, Thirsty & Miserable, and Little AAA) and out (Modern Steak, Charcut, The Catch, and Beer Revolution in Calgary; Redstone in Beamsville; Heaven in Kigali; Little Collins in Amsterdam; Modavie, Bocata, Brouhaha, and Mamm Bolduc in Montreal; Maison Publique, L’Amère A Boire, Pullman, and Station Ho.st also in Montreal; Union 613 in Ottawa; Bières et Compagnie, Pub Pit Caribou, and Brasserie Boswell in Montreal; and Gotham in Vancouver.

I did manage to get outside the city a little bit too, to Bat Lake in March, Niagara with brother #2 and my sister-in-law in the summer, and Eigensinn Farm with friends. Nothing after the summer though. After the summer things got complicated.

Without getting into too much detail, Nellie and I separated in September after being married more than twelve years. That was a pretty big, jarring event which threw the rest of the year into some disarray — for the last four months or so it’s been moving and lawyers and finances and such. Again, I won’t get too into the details, but in a year where people were selling 2016 Sucked tshirts, this was one more very tough event close to home.

And so a year that started off with so much success and celebration ended in a lot of chaos, making the year feel very bipolar. But there were some very silver linings too, which I’ll talk about some other time. For now, I’m going to wave goodbye to 2016, and not be the least bit sad to see it go.


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