1) Here by Richard McGuire
I was not a comic-book kid and I don’t know why. I had tailor-made qualities for it—tendency toward nerdery, introversion, being in band—yet I’ve only recently scratched the surface of recent popular graphic novels. One I heard about from the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast was Richard McGuire’s Here, which plants itself in the space of one living room and hops into a time machine. It’s almost entirely visual and plotless; life and death play out through time, forward and backward, by inches and by millennia—yet all within the contained space of one living room. Moments from 1995, 1879, 2113, or 110,000 BC come and go, overlap, talk to each other. Ingenious, profound, and peppered with soupçons of sly meta-wit (in one frame overlaying 1941 a character from 1990 says, “I took a nap. And when I woke I didn’t know where I was.”), Here is like McGuire’s cover version of The Tree of Life, or if someone hit shuffle in the Interstellar tesseract.
2) Aaron Rodgers winning MVP again
Though if he only wins for seasons when the Packers lose heartbreakers in the playoffs, then I hope he never wins one again.
3) Sharpening pencils
I’m a mechanical pencil man myself, but I get a strange thrill out of sharpening pencils to see their dull tips become pointed again.