My best things: 2017
A working list...
The best thing I did for myself in 2017 was cut off all my hair. It made me 1,000 years younger and lighter and happier. I recommend it to anyone with a head.
The best things I read in 2017: Lincoln in the Bardo and This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare. I didn't read many books this year, which I regret, but these are difficult times and in difficult times I crave a steady brain-numbing diet of The Big Bang Theory. Sorry man. I know it's the flamin' hot Cheetos of network TV.
The best thing I watched in 2017: The Leftovers. Also The Big Sick. Both are warm and generous and funny and sad and smart as hell. Other best things, on Netflix (thumbs up Netflix): Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King, Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes.
The best thing I consumed in 2017: afternoon tea service at Janam Tea, which is a cozy, slightly fussy little spot tucked away above a burger joint on the Lower East Side and which at night becomes a speakeasy. I swallowed 65 finger foods and a billion pots of tea in two hours but still I wanted more.
The best thing I replaced in 2017: my microwave. Now I can eat Amy's cheddar cheese burritos at least 10 times a week, the way the lord intended.
The best thing I dropped on the bathroom floor in 2017: a whole bottle of Chanel COCO. Very expensive accidental room fragrance and an exercise not likely to be repeated.
The best tweet I faved in 2017 was this one. A close second was this one from Kevin Biegel, a TV producer who keeps a life-sized cutout of Dame Judi Dench in his stairwell, known (naturally) as the Stairwell Dench.
The best thing I bought from Amazon in 2017 was without a doubt this Hypoallergenic Pillow – ADJUSTABLE THICKNESS Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow - Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Bamboo Cover, Dust Mite Resistant & Machine Washable - Premium Quality - MADE IN USA - QUEEN — which is to say "a pillow." It saved my life. (I also did a tally on all my Amazon purchases for the year and let's just say I finally figured out where all my money goes.)
The best thing I realized in 2017 was that I don't have to care about everything. Last week I listened to a Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast on teens & fake news and the hosts kept asking this kid why he's not freaking out about the state of the world and finally he said "My English paper is more important than collusion." And I thought, yes. It is. Just as the fate of the world does not rest upon my public participation in every moral or social outrage or idiotic miscarriage of justice. It's not lost on me that every new day reveals a new horror, but I can no longer operate at a level of anxiety that dials every single emotion up to 100. Not if I expect to see 2018.