2011 wasn’t too bad… except for January and October. Both of those months sucked.
Best of 2011:
Greatest Personal Accomplishment: I climbed a mountain. So awesome. I’d say earning my Master’s degree is a decent runner-up, though.
Best Film: I saw only one film in the theatre this year, which was likely the lowest number in my entire adult life. Looking at the list of releases this past year, it’s easy to see why; 2011 was a piss-poor year for films. Probably the only new film I saw this year that was worth a tinker’s damn was The King’s Speech. Small wonder it won the Oscar.
Best TV Show: Game of Thrones. This show is electrifying as fuck. If you didn’t watch it, I feel sorry for you.
Best Game: Portal 2. Hands-down the most fun I had with a game all year. Last game I played that was this much fun was Red Dead Redemption in 2010.
Best Gadget: The iPad 2. It’s completely revolutionised the way I interact with computers in general. I poo-pooed the original iPad in 2010, but after using one for most of 2011, I’d never want to go back. Distant runner-up: the SSD I installed in my MacBook Pro, which made a 3.5-year-old machine feel brand new and like it could last me at least another 3.5 years.
Best Book: 11/22/63. Stephen King stepped way outside of his comfort zone with this book, but it was probably one of his best ever. The late 50s and early 60s have never felt so alive as they did in his book. Great read.
Best Album: Wasting Light by the Foo Fighters. I can’t think of many bands that deliver what’s unmistakably their best work after 15 years, but Dave Grohl and the gang did it this year.
Best Fuckin’ Around Time: The Foo Fighters Concert in Auckland a couple weeks ago. Finally, 15 years of wanting to see the Foos in concert but missing out for one reason or another came to an end.
Worst of 2011:
Worst thing that happened to me this year: Unquestionably, that would have to be coming down with chicken pox at age 33, in the middle of summer, while my wife was spending two months on another continent. Probably the closest to death I’ve ever been so far, too. I can’t stress enough just how much getting chicken pox as an adult sucked. I’ve got a couple new scars on my face to remind me of it for the rest of my life, too. Yaaaay.
Most disappointing game: LA Noire. Film noir is one of my favourite film genres, and Rockstar consistently makes great games, so this seemed like a guaranteed winner. The game lost faith in its own storyline and unique gameplay toward the end, though, undermining what was otherwise a great experience. It also didn’t help that this fully-realised reproduction of 1947 Los Angeles was almost completely devoid of anything to do. Also, I kept waiting in vain for the side quest where you get to remove the stick up the protagonist’s ass.
Biggest personal disappointment: I only got upper-second class honours on my Master’s degree. I think I missed the threshold for first-class honours by 1.5 percentage points. Also, I couldn’t find a single organisation willing to even interview me, much less hire me, even after eight months of searching. So, freelance for life, bitches. I like the hours better anyway.
Worst news: Christchurch didn’t deserve what happened to it. I visited the city in December of 09 and thought it would be a great place to live. Needless to say, I don’t think that anymore. It’s a terrible tragedy what’s happened there, and with the quakes last week it seems there’s no end in sight for that poor place.
2012 should be interesting. Most of all, I’m looking forward to pointing and laughing at the dullards who are hopping on the “Mayan prophecy” doomsday bullshit after December passes utterly without incident.