2016 had to be the worst year in memory in terms of celebrities who left us; but not just celebrities, ICONS. LEGENDS. Not sure? Here is a list of some of them we lost in 2016, and I suspect you will know most or all of them, without my mentioning a single name.
Ziggy Stardust, The Purple One, The Greatest, Mr. Hockey, Jason Seaver, Carol Brady, Larry Sanders, R2-D2, Professor Snape, The Okie from Muskogie, and just yesterday, our dear Princess Leia.
And so many others that will live on in our memories.
John Glenn, Nancy Reagan, Janet Reno, Arnold Palmer, Gene Wilder, George Michael, Patty Duke, Harper Lee, Joe Garagiola, John McLaughlin, Abe Vigoda, George Kennedy, Garry Marshall, Robert Vaughn, Doris Roberts, Ron Glass, Leonard Cohen, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, Morley Safer, Anton Yelchin and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Oh, and Harambe.
And that's hardly a complete list.
That's a pretty bad year, and I haven't even mentioned the worst thing that happened to the world in 2016: the election of a misogynistic, racist, narcissistic, untruthful, grandiose, unstable, attention-seeking, homophobic, arrogant piece of human garbage to the highest office in the land. Certainly it wasn't a secret that racism and homophobia still existed in the USA, but Drumpf has brought it to the forefront, and made it 'cool' again. The next four years are going to be a nightmare.
And we can't leave out how incredibly stupid the general population continued to be this year. Fuck you, Pokemon Go. Fuck you, Mannequin Challenge. And to all those creepy clowns, well go fuck each other you sadistic lunatics.
Not a spectacular year personally, either. In March we lost our dear old cat, Madeline, and we miss her every day. My mom was diagnosed with Lupus and although her medication is allowing her to manage the disease fairly well, her age has really caught up with her. Two years ago I would have said she was "75 going on 50". Now, sadly, she's "77 going on 100". Her memory is failing, physically she is starting to break down, and a month or so ago she lost her longtime common-law husband to cancer. And since he had not updated his will to include her, there is a (likely long) legal battle ahead to settle his estate and make sure she is taken care of.
My amazing wife continues to be the reason I get out of bed every day, but she fell ill this year as well and was diagnosed with a condition called Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD), which is basically a hodgepodge of auto-immune diseases. Some Lupus, some Rheumatoid Arthritis, some Psoriasis. Lots of fun. She was put on some medication (the same medication that has worked well for my Mom, actually), and promptly had a significant allergic reaction to it, ending up in the ER (on my birthday!) with hives all over most of her body. They lasted for almost two weeks. In order to try to 'cure' the condition, she has taken the recommendation of several people and eliminated gluten and dairy from her diet. She has done incredibly well, and we are optimistic that between these changes and her new medication, the symptoms will be manageable going forward. I am so proud of her. There are no circumstances under which I could be able to give up gluten OR dairy, let alone both of them.
It wasn't ALL bad, though; we had an absolutely incredible vacation in March/April, consisting of a spectacular cruise in the Caribbean and then two weeks at Disneyworld. It's tough to imagine a better vacation. But we will try!!
We also spent a lovely week in Vegas in July. It had been over two years since Tracey had been to Vegas, and she made up for the time lapse with a phenomenal amount of relaxation.
Great wine continues to be our passion, and we certainly experienced lots of that this past year, not only at home, but with several great trips to the Okanagan (see the wine blog). And we both got lots of amazing wine for Christmas. In fact, the year ended perfectly from a personal standpoint, as we had another wonderful Christmas. It is our favorite time of the year and we, admittedly, tend to go a little overboard.
So that's basically it. A year that started well and ended well, sort of, with a lot of not-so-great in between.
To sum it up, here is John Oliver with a little clip that puts a bow on this tire fire of a year fairly well.
Here's to 2017. Let's face it, it can't get a helluva lot worse. The bar has been set pretty low (that's not a challenge, Drumpf).