2016 Recap

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I’m only recapping 2016 because it is pretty universally agreed that the year sucked. It seems like one of those times in history that somebody may ask me what it was like in the moment. Like “How great was it to experience 1969?” Or “How terrible was 1929 or 1941 or 2001?”

It seems like the negative sentiment is driven mostly by the enormous number of celebrity deaths and fatigue from the presidential election cycle, which was even worse for the half (actually 80%) that didn’t vote for Donald Trump. It will be interesting a generation from now to see how 2016 is remembered.

But how was 2016 for me? The celebrity deaths barely register for me. A buddy of mine seems to take every death like a punch to the gut. I don’t want to be that impacted, but I always feel weird that I basically have no feeling other than the occasional “That’s a shame.” As much as I like Reggie Jackson, Paul McCartney, Allen Iverson and Larry David, when they die I don’t expect to mope around because of it. They are all strangers to me. The only famous stranger that may bum me out is when John Sterling dies. But he’s almost not a stranger since I probably hear his voice more often than most of my family’s.

As for the election, well, it sucked. I expected Hillary to skate in untouched. I didn’t count on the press needing a close race, so they gave Trump a pass on everything and blew up anything they could find on Hillary. So much for the “liberal” media. This election made it clear that more than any ideology, the press wants a story. Besides the media, I also didn’t count on the FBI and Russia picking sides either. Oh, and I forgot we don’t live in a democracy…thank electoral college!

Not that Hillary is my ideal candidate – I think that she would’ve been fine as President – she is definitely qualified and capable. The problem is Trump. He is the least experienced President ever. And he’s so soft. He probably has the thinnest skin of anybody that has had his level of success.

Trump’s unpredictability makes him a huge risk. But maybe that means there is a slim chance that he surprises me in a good way. Let’s put it this way, the possible outcomes under a Ted Cruz presidency would’ve been narrow, but all terrible. For Trump it’s probably wider than anybody else. Yes, the down side is frighteningly bad, but maybe he flip-flops into an acceptable result.

As for me, well, a Trump presidency is a lot like the celebrity deaths – I’m not going to let it impact me. My favorite quote is this tweet:

Whether we’re talking about god or Trump, I can relate it the same. I am going to continue to work hard, succeed and take care of myself and my family. Neither god nor President Trump is going to dissuade me. I do feel bad for those that this becomes an obstacle for. Unfortunately all I can recommend is work harder, change the system, and vote in 2020.

The rest of 2016 wasn’t that bad. I started playing softball again this spring. I also ran my fastest 5k ever at 23:36. I took some great vacations too.

New York City
https://jeffgirgenti.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/pops-70/

Pittsburgh
https://jeffgirgenti.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/pittsburgh/

New England

OCNJ
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Disney
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And the best part of 2016 is that we booked our trip to Italy…

…wait, does is a 2017 trip OK to count? If not, well, at least 2017 already looks promising!

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OCNJ – Julia’s shirt deal


I took Julia and Madi down to the boardwalk tonight. (Susie and Trini didn’t want to walk that far.) The girls were popping into a lot of the shirt stores. Eventually Julia found the type of shirt she wanted. She asked the guy at the counter how much for a particular iron-on. He said $15.

Julia: “Oh, I only have $10.”
Guy: “Sorry, it’s $15.”
Julia: “How about for that smaller iron-on?”
Me (quietly to Julia): “I can buy it and you can pay me back later.”
Julia shoots me a look.
Guy: “Still $15.”
Julia: “I might have $12.”
Guy (looking around so nobody hears): “OK”

The guy takes the shirt goes to the other side of the counter where the iron-on machine is. Julia takes out her wallet to prepare to pay. She proceeds to pull out a massive wad of bills. I am shocked! Now I know what the look was for…she was negotiating!

Me and Madi run interference by jumping in front of her in case the guy comes back so he won’t see that he’s been scammed. In fact, it takes her so long to peel through all of the $20’s just to find a $10 and two $1’s that I spin her back to the counter as well.

Guy comes back. Julia pays him $12. We leave the store. Madi and I bust out laughing. I’m bringing her next time I go to buy a car.