Sixteen Things That Rocked About 2016.

No one can argue that 2016 had two bolts sticking out from it’s neck. In other words, it was a monster of a year.

Yes, my punnery is truly wondrous to behold, thank you very much. I know many of us are still reeling from a tumultuous few days during which the Reaper collected some of our best and brightest, but as cold as it sounds, life goes on. (It’s life’s best quality, in my humble opinion.)

Now let’s do this thing!

ONE)  Stuart didn’t die.  Of course, this is only good news if you’re Stuart, but he was insistent he be included somewhere, and he signs my paycheck (sort of) so I had little choice but to acquiesce to his request.


TWO)  I didn’t die.  So I got that goin’ for me. Which is nice.


THREE)  I didn’t become a celebrity.  Which is actually a good thing, as it explains why I’m still alive. Seriously, what the heck was 2016’s problem? If this keeps up, next year the Kardashians will be the only celebrities left.


FOUR)  The Book Outlet had their annual Boxing Week sale.  As a ginormous bookworm, this is my real Christmas. I scored two-dozen graphic novels and biographies and my daughter? Well, I don’t even want to tell you how many boxes she walked away with…

(For the record, she did the walking, I did the carrying.)


FIVE)  My 5×5 series exploded this year!  Fortunately, no one was hurt. But this really was a milestone year for The Hook. Shantelle Bisson and that guy she’s married to. Murdoch Mysteries showrunner Peter Mitchell. Dozens of CBC personalities. There were literally so many cool folks that dropped by the blog to chat this year to recount here, in fact.


SIX)  The 5×5 series branched out to conquer “new worlds”.  Super-cool television weather guys. Writers of both the TV and print variety. Talk show hosts. Even an adult film star. This was the year I managed to con convince all sorts of folks that my blog is a cool place to hang out in the blogosphere. Let’s just hope I can keep it up. The variety of blogging guests, I mean…


SEVEN)  Tweets like this:

Sarah Michelle Gellar deleted Boy George/George Michael Tweet

Celebrities – and the chaos that seems to emerge from their antics – are worth their weight in gold. I’m not going to comment on whether or not Sarah Michelle Gellar should be flogged or given a pass. I’m just glad she did this; it was awesome. Humanity’s honest mistakes are far more entertaining than its successes, in my books.


EIGHT) Boy George is still alive!  Until Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets confused again, that is.


NINE)  I met one of my idols.  And he turned out to be even more down-to-earth and cooler than I ever thought he could be, considering how much he’s accomplished in life. All kidding aside, chatting with this cat is an experience I highly recommend.

Hook and SmithYou just knew I wasn’t done with this pic, right?


TEN)  Meeting one of my idols ignited a firestorm. (Sorta.)  Allowing Kevin Smith to snap a pic with me (he begged, so what could I do?) ruffled some feathers at the hotel. It passed immediately but in the end, it forced me to reexamine this blog’s focus. 

I’ve always respected guest privacy by being vague, frustratingly-so at times, but the risk of reprisal from a traveler has always hung over my balding head. And while I could have stayed the course and risked a battle down the road, I pulled back and focused on 5×5 interviews, travel tips and other assorted virtual literary shenanigans.

And it’s worked out great so far. I don’t know about you, but I love it when a seemingly-bleak situation turns around, especially when it turns in my favor.


ELEVEN)  My daughter graduated high school and got into university.  I knew I shouldn’t have blinked…

But seriously, there’s a lump in my throat typing these words; she’s grown up too fast. We can complain there’s enough time but the truth is, time is a gift we never truly appreciate or enjoy until it’s gone. And my daughter is the greatest blessing I’ve ever been given and every moment with her is a gift I feel unworthy of.


TWELVE)  I was in moving pictures!  Granted, it was my colleague Tim Moran’s proof-of-concept short for his project, Talk Show Host, and it was a brief appearance. But I had a blast.

CVz7HOTVAAA5vQ1It’s safe to say Ryan Reynold’s status as the Number One Bad Boy of Canadian actors is safe. For now.


THIRTEEN)  My wife still hasn’t kicked me to the curb!  Trust me when I say it took a lot of effort – and even more luck –  to win my wife’s heart, though it was certainly worth it. Sadly, the only problem with achieving your heart’s desire is living in fear of losing it afterwards. I live with this fear every day.

Well, this was an uplifting entry, wasn’t it?

tumblr_nh521zywhs1rm8425o1_500I know it’s hard to believe, but our first encounter wasn’t quite this smooth…


FOURTEEN)  A golden age of fandom.  All new installments in the Star Wars universe. (Though one was set in the past.) Magnificent, thought-provoking Doctor Who escapades. Amazing comic book adventures that reshaped entire universes. Kick-ass action/fantasy/comic flicks. The CW’s Arrowverse. (With episodes directed by Kevin Smith, no less.)

I’ll say this: 2016 was a heckuva year to be a nerd.


FIFTEEN)  Travelers: The Good, The Bad and The Ultra-Cheap.  No examination of any period of my life would be complete without at least a mention of the thousands of guests I frequently encounter as a bellman. Whether they’re shamelessly flirting with me (at least cougars are never boring), tipping me appropriately or throwing me a handful of change for an overloaded luggage cart, the travelers that enter my orbit all leave a lasting impression on my consciousness. 

The challenge me. They inspire me. They make me question whether humanity is fit to continue on its journey. They’ve helped make me The Hook I am today.


SIXTEEN)  Fill in the blank!  This space is for you, my dear friends. Feel free to share at least one of your personal 2016 milestones in the Comments section. You know you’ve had a few. Never say I’m not a giver, people…

And that’s all I have for you today. And for that matter, for this year. Be good to yourselves and try not to overdo the New Year celebrations. Hangovers suck.

See you in the lobby in 2017, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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35 Responses to Sixteen Things That Rocked About 2016.

  1. Here is my contribution Robert! There were indeed good things that happened in 2016!~ 😉

  2. Tara says:

    Well, you’ve inspired me to reflect on what things rocked in My 2016… which is going to take a while so I have nothing. Except maybe that I was unfriended by a bitter younger friend who has a very thin skin and an overactive imagination… and I count that among my achievements this year. I seriously just posted my first post in over a month, and I was planning a New Year’s one as well but seeing as much of that would probably be about an impending apocalypse, perhaps I should take a cue from you and spin it positive. Happy New Year, my friend.

  3. oceanswater says:

    I loved number 11 the most, probably because I can relate. We want our children to grow up yet we want them to still exhibit a need for us in some meaningful way. I totally understand the “lump in your throat…” 🙂

  4. I do believe you had a great year. I’m frankly envious of your daughter having graduated from high school and moving on. And I fully realize that even though 2016 was the most challenging year I’ve had in a very long time, directly because of those tough times, if I didn’t want to end up face down in the gutter, I had to do some serious work. Having risen to the occasion, I’m richer for it, and ready to roll into 2017. Keep stretching with your blog. I look forward to what you bring us this coming year. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  5. Josh Wrenn says:

    Um…I guess I also didn’t die?

  6. Allie P. says:

    What a wonderful list! I’m not dead yet either so I too have that going for me at the close of this year.


  7. Great list, Hook and I’m so glad none of them was a surprise to me. I guess my biggest this year was continuing to write and publish. I guess deep down I thought I would do one book and then be laughed out of the writer space. Well, here I am and will see another book out in July. (knock wood) I’ve enjoyed our interactions this year and look forward to 2017 and more fun.

  8. Doug in Oakland says:

    2016 was a pretty good year for me right up until the election. Let’s see, I visited Yosemite for the first time (how I managed to live in California for 55 years without seeing Yosemite I have no clue) and while visiting my friend who lives near there, I made it up and down a spiral staircase, which is a big deal for my disabled ass. Shortly thereafter I moved out of the horrible old foundry building I had been living in for far too long and into a nice little duplex down by the freeway with my friend and his adorable cat. And as if that wasn’t somehow enough, my friend Brenda gave us tickets to see Neko Case at the Fox Theater for our birthdays, and it was, well it was Neko Case, and there’s nothing I can add to that.
    So here’s to rising to the challenges that are sure to come our way in 2017!

  9. davidprosser says:

    I hope 2017 brings you even bigger and better things to brag about at the end of next year.

  10. Another milestone for you: the rich growth of your writing. You have always been an incredible writer, but I sensed even more depth this year. Remember that saying, “things happen for a reason.” I believe you had to dig in when your job got nervous about your blog. The result was incredible. I see only great things for you in 2017 ❤️

  11. The Hook says:

    Let’s hope your psychic powers are as strong as your charm, beauty and wit, Michelle.
    Thanks for your support, and of course, your friendship.

  12. Mark Myers says:

    I met The Hook – so I got that going for me… Merry New Year, my friend!

  13. This was a zippy fat year, Hook. (What? Graduated? University? How is that possible …sneaks up on you. Feel proud over that one, mom and dad!)
    Not a celebrity…guess it depends on the definition..oh, yeah, the money would be great – but hey, if you’d been discovered in 2016, what would you ahve to look forward to in 2017.
    (Hope springs enternal)
    Wishing you miles of smiles, intriguing musings, and lots of wonder in the New Year!

  14. The Guat says:

    You did have a great year. Aside from that awesome picture with your idol!!! your 5 x 5 series was definitely getting a lot of love. What a great year! Hope 2017 rocks too!

  15. Austin says:

    Happy New Year!

  16. Great list Hook!
    It finally paid off not to be iconic.
    2016 had it’s ups and downs for me, but when I look back there were definitely more ups.
    All the best to you and yours in 2017!

  17. Theresa says:

    Awesome as usual Hook! Happy New Year to you and much success in 2017. Maybe Shantelle will have you on her talk show when she gets it!!!
    I had 1 major accomplishment that I am both surprised and proud of. I was “forced” to go back to school and take a Boot Camp (14 hour/day; 3 day) course in Cybersecurity in order to “save” my position as a Network Admin/Systems Admin. I didn’t think my brain would absorb as much as it used to, and I was very anxious about it. This course and ultimate Exam is a freekin bitch to pass, and every one of my male colleagues flunked it the first time through. But Hook, not only did I pass the Certification Exam (90 minutes-timed), but I was the only woman in the class of 12! (this is not unusual in this field of Engineering). Woot Woot!
    I look forward to your brilliance again in 2017!

  18. curvyroads says:

    Robert your 5×5 series rocked in 2016 and super huge congrats to your daughter AND her parents for that accomplishment! I actually had a wonderful year in 2016 so I cannot complain and I think my best experiences were reconnecting with old friends! I feel very fortunate to be able to continue traveling into 2017 and will count my blessings every day. 🙂

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