Geoff Girardin

Best of 2018

This year, I thought I'd look back and share what I consider the Best Things of 2018. My reason for doing this is because everyone else is doing it, and I am a follower.

Here we go.


This year, I listened to some good music. I'd like to share this music with you, and I'd like you to enjoy it.

Geoff Girardin

Georgia Anne Muldrow - Overload

Georgia Anne Muldrow's 17th album in 12 years is here to say that she's still got it. An absolute joy to listen to from beginning to end, the entire album had me feeling like I was experiencing something beautiful from the other side of a window, and maybe I should stop staring in amazement, but I can't bring myself to stop. Notable tracks include Vital Transformation, These Are The Things I Really Like About You, Bobbie's Dittie

Geoff Girardin

Matthew Thiessen & The Earthquakes - Wind Up Bird

I've been waiting for this album for 12 years, ever since Mono vs. Stereo put out the side project compilation My Other Band Vol. 1 in 2006. Matthew Thiessen of Relient K has three songs on the EP, which never received a second volume, and I was left with these three tracks for over a decade. He finally dropped a full album this year, and honestly, it's very much just a sequel to Relient K's latest, 2016's Air For Free. This isn't a bad thing! It still stands on its own as a solid first release by someone who has been putting out material for 20 years. Notable tracks: Forest, Man of Stone, Daydream

Geoff Girardin

Diet Cig - Swear I'm Good At This

okay. I'll admit, this album didn't come out in 2018. But! 2017's Swear I'm Good At This is easily the album I've listened to the most in 2018. It hits everything I love about music, and it's some of the most fun I've ever had with my ears. Pop punk will live forever, especially with albums like this spinning in our heads for the rest of our lives. Notable tracks: Maid of the Mist, Bite Back, Barf Day


This year, I realized that everything I read was a tweet or a status update. That sucked, so I deleted the Twitter app and replaced it with my local library's ebook app. Over the past two months, I've read 10 books, which is more than I've read in 10 years. Some of them were great, some of them weren't. Here's the great ones.

Geoff Girardin

Tim Mohr, Burning Down the Haus

Did you know that a key force in bringing down the Berlin Wall was underground punk rock? Tim Mohr covers a number of integral people who brought punk music to East Berlin and kept bringing it back in the face of oppression. He details how the police state set up a special team to investigate and punish punk teens, and how they fought back.

Geoff Girardin

Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Refugees

In The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen offers up a series of stories that capture and express the experience of being a refugee in America. It covers what makes them unique, and what makes us all the same. It is truly beautiful.

Geoff Girardin

Various Authors, Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America

Young Adult authors shape the minds of our youth, and provide some of the greatest tools with which readers can grow and determine who they are. This incredible collection of essays about their lives and coming into their own is a must read for everyone, youth or adult.


I played a few video games this year, and some of them were good.

Geoff Girardin


Celeste is one of the finest games I've played in a long time. The beautiful art, delightful music, and fun gameplay aside, it also offered up a great view of mental illness that resonated with me all year, and helped me to face some things about myself. I also need to mention the great difficulty customization, which allows you to apply different scenarios on the fly. If you're facing a particularly tough set of levels, throw on some invincibility, or give yourself an extra mid-air jump. Using these options doesn't disqualify you from any part of the game, and it's healthy to acknowledge when you need help, isn't it?

Geoff Girardin

Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator

In what can only be described as the ultimate dad game, you are a single dad who moves to a new home with your teenage daughter. As you navigate the intricacies of settling into a new place, you must also establish new relationships with the neighborhood dad population. You can take it as far as you feel comfortable with, and each prospective Dad has his own unique storyline with different mini games. Find love, find friendship, or focus on the true point of the whole game, your relationship with your daughter. The writing is hilarious, the dads are lovable, and your daughter is the coolest person you know. It was a joy from beginning to end.

Geoff Girardin

Donut County

People keep disappearing since the raccoons moved in, and the common thread seems to be the donut shop. As you work backwards and uncover what happened, you play as a hole, dropping items 999 feet below town and growing as you go. Donut County was an absolute joy to play, with hilarious jokes and a game mechanic that stayed fun throughout. Plus, who doesn't love donuts?


I got some good use out of my Netflix subscription this year, and this is what I particularly enjoyed.

Geoff Girardin

Queer Eye

How much praise can one show receive? All of the praise left on earth? All of the praise in space? Multiply that by a thousand and maybe you've praised Queer Eye enough (maybe). Each one of these amazing men is a national treasure, even if Antoni is the best one. (Ok, JVN. Ok maybe Karamo. No maybe Tan. Bobby? Yes. All of them.) Every episode has left me in tears, and with season 3 on the way soon, I'm preparing myself for more.

Geoff Girardin


There is no shortage of kid content on Netflix, and since all of it is usually streaming in my house, you can bet that when something like Hilda comes along, I jump on it. Centered on a brave, adventurous, curious girl who must leave the wilderness she calls home behind as her mother moves her to the City for the first time. She makes friends, who join her in magical adventures, and the entire thing is just delightful. I want a pet deer-Fox. Wood Man is the best there ever will be.

Best hug: one day my wife hugged me and it was wonderful. She hugged me all the other days, too, so they were all the best. I love my wife.

Podcast: Stuck with Taryn Arnold. Taryn Arnold is one of my favorite people to follow. She's affirming, caring, funny, and authentic, and she really wants to help other people be the best version of themselves. Every episode of her podcast, like her email newsletter before it, has been a fantastic time spent reflecting and growing, and I can not recommend it enough. Thanks, Taryn!

Best hot dog: I ate a hot dog in November that was topped with cheese fries, and it was like looking at the face of God.

I hope you enjoyed my list. It is a good list and I like it.

Remember that you're great, and I love you.