10. Nature’s Generator Elite (tech)
This is a great electric battery generator that comes with solar panels to charge it off the grid. It has built in wheels and a retractable handle, which makes it perfect for carting around. Buying this unlocked a whole world of potential activities for me. Kind of expensive and heavy, but absolutely worth it.
9. Eddie Kingston (wrestler)
He’s the best promo on TV, and his match with Bryan Danielson on the October 29th episode of Rampage was a classic. I’ve been sold on Kingston since I heckled him at a Chikara show in 2012 and he yelled at I way that struck fear in me like I haven’t felt since childhood. Glad to see this man finally get his due.
8. oversized white dress shirts (clothes)
If you want to feel like you’re on top of the world then go to a thrift store, buy a white dress shirt that is two sizes too big, get it cleaned, pressed, starched, roll up the sleeves, and keep it unbuttoned so it flies behind you as you ride a bike downhill. Dress like you can’t be touched and act like you can’t get hurt. The best.
7. The Morning Show (tv)
I have never seen a single thing in my life where the chasm between terrible and masterful is this wide. The writing and direction of this show are often college undergrad levels of depth, but the cast of all bring A+ levels of performance even if it sometimes feels as if they are acting in different shows.
6. A decade and a half of instability (article)
This Ars Technica article covers the entirety of Google's forays into messaging. Good insight on how one of the biggest tech companies in the world cannot get something simple like messaging right simply because of its size. Also, I am old enough that I remember vividly when each of these messaging platforms came out, so reading this felt to me like how watching the movie Boyhood felt. This is an incredibly read if you have several hours to kill.
5. contemporary X-Men series (comics)
X-Men comics have frequently been Marvel’s weirdest franchise, and since 2019 it feels as if Marvel is giving them one last hurrah before they get folded into the MCU machine and have all their rough edges sanded off. Basically, in this story all the mutants, hero and villain, team up and move to an island together and figure out how to remove the soul from the body. Also the island is alive and can teleport them places. It's a new sci-fi classic.
4. “Cool” by Gwen Stefani (music)
I don’t remember this song being a massive hit, but I’ve been noticing it get covered, played at parties and performed on karaoke a lot this year. It is about coming out the other side of a bad break-up being friends with your ex. In the chorus the narrator reminds us, maybe a little too much, that they’re cool now. This over-eagerness to reconcile the past and move forward makes it truly the perfect song for the Joe Biden era. Shoutout to Mallory Hawk for being the first person I saw cover it, and for doing a great job with it.
3. white ribbed cotton (clothes)
I saw a lot of this over the summer and into the fall, and honestly I think there is a lot of juice left in this trend going into 2022. We’re going to see a lot of different color ribbed cottons, but is there anything sexier than a clean ribbed cotton tank top so white and thin you can practically see through it? I think not.
2. Pupusas Ridgewood (restaurant)
These are the best pupusas, and they are $3 a pop and half a block from my apartment. I made a habit of going here for dinner every Monday, and it was the perfect way to start each week. This trend will also go hard into 2022.
1. Sailor Moon (tv show / Internet half-life)
I had never watched Sailor Moon before this year, but my sister is a huge fan of the show, so when I saw it was up on Hulu I made it my New Year's Resolution to watch every episode in 2021. I finished by the end of August, and watched all of Sailor Moon Crystal in September. The algo picked up on my newfound Sailor Moon preoccupation and it flooded my IG Discover page with the best find being the admittedly basic and obvious account @nocontextsailormoon.
My favorite thing about Sailor Moon is that basically nothing happens in an episode, and the structure of the show is so formulaic that the 90 seconds of actual plot you get in any given episode is pretty much the same thing that happened in all the other episodes. All this leaves is these 5 girls that make up the Sailor Guardians and they're relationship with each other. Usagi cries. Rei fights. Ami mediates. Mako longs. Minako envies.
I'd watch exactly one episode before bed. I'd take a melatonin, go outside and watch a Sailor Moon on my phone as I smoked a cigarette, then go inside and take another melatonin before falling asleep. They all felt like my friends, and it seems unavoidable that 2021 is the year of Sailor Moon.