Simply The Best

Simply The Best

It’s no secret that 2020 was like a carnival corndog…It seemed like a great idea at first, and proved to be delicious for a few bites, but soon it became a giant shitstorm. Rather than reflect on the negative aspects of the past 12-or-so months, which we’ve all lost sleep over already, I wanted to share some of my favorite 2020 outcomes. This is a moment of self-reflection, but I would love to hear about your favorites. Be sure to leave them in the comments section below!

Favorite TV Show Watched During Quarantine:
Schitt’s Creek…I know this wasn’t necessarily released in 2020, but this year I watched the entire series twice. If there weren’t so many other streaming options, I could have easily watched it a third time. My advice – when you start this show up, grab an iPad and play some games or surf the web while you’re watching. The first 3-4 episodes don’t fairly represent the series as a whole. By the 5th episode or so the story will begin to demand your attention and by the end of the first season you will be completely hooked. Oh ok, and Queen’s Gambit lived up to the hype.

Favorite Horror Film:
The Dark And The Wicked…Why “horror?” Every year my wife leaves for New Jersey to spend Christmas with her family and I take advantage by binging horror/thrillers films since she’s not a fan. The latter part of this arrangement has been a tradition for about 6 years. Of the 15 movies that I watched during this year’s break, The Dark And The Wicked was at the top of the list. It was weird, dark, and pointless. Perfect. Close behind on the list was The Rental (Dave Franco’s directorial debut) and Sea Fever.

Favorite New Restaurant:
Thistle & Leek…I’ve yet to find someone that hasn’t fully enjoyed their order from this fresh Newton spot.

Favorite Takeout:
Sarma. Hands down. It’s the closest to eating at the restaurant that I’ve experienced since we stopped dining out.

Favorite Use Of A Restaurant Patio During The Winter:
Alcove…Grab an Alcove branded blanket and snuggle up to one of their many fire pits. S’mores provided!

Favorite Debate:
“When is it ok to use those gift cards I bought at the beginning of the pandemic?” I maintain the answer is never.

Favorite Sports Moment:
The Kansas City Chiefs winning the Superbowl…Could also be my favorite sports moment of 2021 (knock on wood). 

Favorite New Album:
Tame Impala, The Slow Rush…According to my Spotify 2020 Wrapped report.

Favorite National Trend:
Pet adoption and fostering.

Favorite Hornet:

Favorite Use Of Zoom:
Family gatherings…Not sure why we didn’t think of this sooner. I’m looking forward to carrying on this tradition well beyond quarantine to keep in touch with parents/family in other states. Plus, no house cleaning necessary!

Favorite Zoom Joke or Prank:
The clear winners are anyone that used the Four Seasons Total Landscaping wall as their virtual background for meetings on Monday, November 9th. You are comedy legends.

Favorite Luxury Purchase:
Kamado Joe Classic II smoker and countless accessories.

Favorite Budget Purchase:
DYMO Embossing Label Maker 

Favorite Graffito Podcast Episode:
Season 1, Episode 5 with Chef Nookie…Ok, this was tough because I enjoyed every episode. The guests that joined us during the first season were generous with their time and sounded great. But this quick episode with Chef Nookie represented everything I had envisioned when we started the podcast. A quick, spontaneous conversation discussing a serious issue with some laughs along the way.

Favorite Graffito Blog Post:
Here’s The Poop: The Coming Wave…Corey’s year started with a sewer pipe break in her basement, so it seemed appropriate that her end-of-year fascination was with test results from the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. There were a ton of great posts, but I never knew we could learn so much from our collective poop, which as Corey says is, “simultaneously cool and gross, but recently, totally terrifying.”

Favorite Business Pivot:
Distilleries of all sizes using their resources to produce hand sanitizer. Ok, it turns out that the risk of surface contamination wasn’t as bad as we first thought, but as a germaphobe I still think this is cool and worthy of a mention.

Favorite Twitter Account:
Michael Pence’s Fly

Favorite Cognitive Test Answer:
person woman man camera tv

Favorite Road Trip:
My wife and I managed to get a vacation together in early October. We used Woodstock, NY, as our home base and explored the region by car during the day. Highlights: Day tripping to Storm King and Dia Beacon, which happened to have a sound/light installation by Carl Craig, that completely blew me away.

Favorite Moment That Made Me Tear Up:
SpaceX Dragon 2 launch…I watched from my backyard hammock on an iPad. It was a beautiful summer’s day. I was taken by the bravery of the astronauts, who we were watching live from inside their capsule. It also brought back memories of watching the Challenger launch in my elementary school gymnasium. I don’t know, the emotions came out of nowhere and I nearly lost it.

Favorite Moment That Made Me Cry:
Van Jones’s speech after Biden was declared the winner of the election on November 7th.

Favorite Business Collaboration:
Toast and Kendall Square Association…We chatted with Nolan DeCoster on the first episode of the Graffito Podcast about Toast Drop, which was created to feed corporate employees (who were discouraged from leaving the office during the day) while helping local restaurants stay afloat. Full disclosure, Jesse helped activate this program and Graffito ID designed the pitch deck. Regardless, great cause, great partnerships, and great results.

Favorite Unintended Consequence:
As a result of the Black Lives Matter movement which has accelerated after George Floyd’s murder, Graffito has been working far harder than ever before to become a more anti-racist company, and I’m lucky to be a part of it.

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