I decided since this New Year's holiday has been markedly better than ones of the past, that I'd compile a list of my favorite things about 2012. I've made some amazing friends, had an epic amount of good food, and listened to a you know what ton of music. So, here's a brief "Best of" Lucky Girl Style...
Best Coffeehouse - Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Logan Square (http://gaslightcoffeeroasters.com/). Hands down the best espresso you will have in Chicago. And I should know. Also, this place gets bonus points for having a superb staff of non-douchey baristas and supplying music via turntable.
Best Restaurant - Yusho (http://yusho-chicago.com/) If you want a gin and tonic that will change your life served alongside twice fried chicken with matcha- you should come eat with me. This place is less like going out to eat and more like an edible euphoria. The bar staff are also incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. They don't judge when you tell them to bring you all the desserts.
Best Podcast - Wrestling with Depression (http://www.wrestlingwithdepression.com/) Why is this worth listening to? Because it's a realistic, non-sugared, humorous way to talk about things that suck. It's engaging and enlightening look into how individuals cope with depression while making others laugh.
Best Place to Drink Beer and Make Poor Dietary Decisions - The Rocking Horse (http://www.rockinghorsechicago.com/) Tater tots and $4 craft pints. Enough said.
Best New Album - The Gaslight Anthem's Handwritten. But I think we all knew I was going to say that. These guys just don't make anything that isn't amazing. And their new album, written as a letter to their fans is full of gorgeous emotions. I've listened to it a solid 100 times. It's still beautiful.
The Best Show to Watch in my Pajamas While Ordering off Grubhub - How I Met Your Mother. I can't express enough how much I love Neil Patrick Harris. Like a whole real lot y'all. I had never really watched the show, but I once drank a beer with Josh Radnor on a porch in the Berkshires. True story. He's a super nice guy.
Best Book - "Air" by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker. My first real foray into graphic fiction and I'm smitten. Surreal and smart and addicting. It's amazing reading a story mostly conveyed in pictures, I like creating my own gaps of dialogue and am eager to finish the series in 2013.
Best Concert - Dropkick Murphys at Riot Fest. Yeah, I danced.
Best Accomplishment - Maintaining a healthy weight and not giving into set backs that tend to draw out my self-destructive tendencies. I also finally started going back to a doctor. I get out more and feel a lot more hopeful. That feels pretty nice. And I wish the same to all of you as you start a new year. Sometimes bad shit happens, but there's a lot of good things going on at the same time. Sometimes we make mistakes and hurt those we love, but we learn to move past those mistakes and fix ourselves. Sometimes we sit alone in the evening and feel sorry for ourselves, but we reach out to our friends who make those evenings fewer and further between. I'm not much of one for resolutions, but for this year I'll continue to keep my head up and my humor in tact and surround myself with people who make me smiley. I hope you do as well. Good game 2012, here's to the next round...