2017: Making 2016 Look Like the Golden Age

2017 has been a Jekyll-and-Hyde kind of year. In the larger sense it often feels like I’m living through some of my history books that were dedicated to illustrating where great societies chose to fail, written with the optimism that having learned the lesson, we would be smart enough to avoid such mistakes in the future. Whether we have learned those lessons yet or not still remains to be seen. Personally, it was a good year. There is tension in that disconnect, but all I can do is try not to focus on the things that are out of my control.

The first big event of the year was trading in my one Mazda for a different Mazda. Driving the Speed 3 was the most fun I’ve had while wearing pants. It was the most reliable car I’ve ever owned, so I’m hoping for a good long life out of the new MX-5. It’s also a ton of fun to drive around.

The highlight of the year was the two vacations that we were able to take in August. The first was a trip up to Tennessee in hopes of seeing a total solar eclipse. When I found out that a total solar eclipse would pass over Nashville, I immediately booked hotel rooms for that weekend. At worst, I would get to visit friends up there. Good thing we booked ahead of time. As the date approached it became impossible to find a room anywhere near the totality. The next decision was trying to figure out where we wanted to view it from. I was thinking about Centennial Park or downtown Nashville, but ended up settling (at the last moment) on Edgar Evins State Park which would have a slightly longer totality. Another lucky choice as much of downtown Nashville got clouded over at the crucial moment. We had perfectly clear skies, and it was AMAZING! I definitely plan on going to see the next one if we can.

Next up was a trip to France. I had never been there, and it was just a fantastic trip from beginning to end. I am very fortunate to have been able to make the trip.
Eiffel Tower

It’s starting to sink in that not only are my mosh pit days behind me, but it’s getting more difficult to commit to standing for 4-7 hours for a show. As a result, I find myself getting more choosy about which shows I go to see. With that in mind, there were still a lot of top-notch shows in 2017.

For non-concert events, we got to see John Cleese, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Henry Rollins, and the USA women’s hockey team.

Concerts included Ghost, Iron Maiden, U2, Lady Gaga, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Muse.

There were others, including some that I got to see for the first time, but the top concert for the year had to be seeing Frank Turner at the Sanibel Writer’s Conference. This was a weird one since it wasn’t a traditional concert venue and we found out about it from a social media post just about a week before it happened. We were not attending the conference, but they said that the evening events were free and open to the public, assuming that there was still space after the conference attendees were seated. We went to Sanibel for a night (about a three hour drive) Not knowing if we’d be able to get in. In the end we managed to see Frank Turner for free from about 10 feet away in a room with only about 100 people in it. It wasn’t strictly free considering it took a tank of gas and a hotel room, and we did make a contribution to the conference for hosting the whole thing, but it was worth it. What a memorable show.

And with that, as 2017 draws to a close, I’ll keep my fingers crossed in the hopes that things better in the coming year.

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