My favorite product I bought last year was a dustbuster. No joke. And in a way, wasn’t the majority of 2015 about busting the dust of life? I wrote the most words, wrote the most code, took the most flights, took the most vacation and spent the most time in my hometown of my adult life. I went to Disneyland for the first time in two decades. I went to a feminist science fiction convention. I went to PAX in Seattle. I became an HBO subscriber. I went house-hunting in San Diego. I built a new computer in real life, and time machines in my writing life.
Still, time moves on. I’ve only managed to post a Best Of list two out of the past four years so let’s not get too precious about it. Here are some of my favorite things I remember from the year that was 2015:
Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, the soundtrack of It Follows, Bill Hader and LeBron James in Trainwreck, anything and everything Amy Schumer, the brave structure of Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for Steve Jobs, the surprising lightheartedness of Ridley Scott’s The Martian, the simple profundity of Wild Strawberries, the matter-of-fact devastation in episode 3 of Scenes From a Marriage, the incredible Cubs playoff run to the NLCS, Jake Arrieta, the bat of Kyle Schwarber, the improved play of Jay Cutler, Pernell McPhee, Joe Maddon and John Fox and Vic Fangio and Adam Gase proving that coaching does matter in professional sports, the full emergence of Jimmy Butler, going to my first and only taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Disneyland with Angie and Ben, drinking Old Fashioneds in Kishan’s apartment, hanging out in the backyard with Eric and Emiko, driving around SF with Seeyew, visiting Sid and Ron’s office, living with three generations of relatives in Aunt Ya-Yi and Uncle Wilfred’s house for a week in San Diego, drinks and burritos with the Shakedown crew, any and every burrito consumed in the state of California, writing classes with Ryan B at the Singularity, road tripping to North Carolina with Chad, the short stories and award speeches of Connie Willis, anything by Karen Russell, the impressive worldbuilding of Neuromancer, the closing paragraph of Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, Chapter 9 of Moneyball, Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys, anything by Etgar Keret, “My Writing Education” by George Saunders, “How It Feels” by Jenny Zhang, this Valentine’s Day piece by same featuring a cameo from yours truly, every issue of Saga, the Milkfed Criminals newsletter, the Orbital Operations newsletter, the Letters section of Sex Criminals and pretty much anything written by Chip Zdarsky, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Joe Biden’s interview on Colbert, the nascent trend of seeing more Asian-Americans on television shows like Fresh Off the Boat and Master of None, the opening credits and production design of The Man in the High Castle, the final season of Mad Men, the impressive execution and killer soundtrack of Mr. Robot, the moralist underpinnings of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Ellie Kemper in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Melissa Benoist in Supergirl, this Kate KcKinnon sketch from Saturday Night Live, the incredible staff of Presence St. Joseph’s Hospital, the skylight in Cafe Devocion, Warren Ellis’s Spektrmodule podcast, The Startup Podcast and most everything from Gimlet Media, especially Episode 2 of The Mystery Show, the launch of the Bill Simmons Podcast Network, Tim Ferriss’s podcast interview with B.J. Novak, Hearthstone, Tomb Raider, the writing of Portal 2 and Broken Age, premiering our short film “What We Talk About When We Talk About Zombies” at the Nitehawk Film Festival, anytime Karan came to New York, anytime Felicia came to New York, anytime the Stanford writers group got together, any and all Crystal Lake rituals with Kishan, the production design of Sleep No More, the audacity of The Book of Mormon, the Sleater-Kinney concert at Terminal 5 with Anthony, the open bar at the Governors Club of the Madison Concourse Hotel, WisCon with Anthony, Anna and Toby’s wedding, PAX with Anthony M, podcasting with Jordan, drinks at Bar B with Liz and Joe, Roebling Sporting Club with Pat and crew, any and all drinks with Huy in Seattle, brunches and Chinese food with Jenny, any meal I had at Xi’an Famous Foods, “Half of My Heart” by John Mayer, “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore, “Pictures of You” by the Cure, “A New Wave” by Sleater-Kinney, “Pay Attention” and its video by Pomplamoose, “Style” and “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift, “If I Ever Feel Better” by Phoenix, Windows 10, HBO Go, Kinja Deals, Thyme, Google Cardboard, my dustbuster, my iPhone 6S Plus, my Amazon Echo, Amazon Prime, any incarnation of Bluetooth headphones, Mad Max: Fury Road, Mad Max: Fury Road, Mad Max: Fury Road.