Friday, December 28, 2012

Not All Of It Sucked

One thing I do love is a solid tradition. One thing I hate is year end lists. The popular ones, like top movie lists, never seem to focus on anything that was released before October, anyway. They should really be called Top 10 Movies of the Year From October to December (subheading: Featuring Character Actors Doing Impressions of Defenseless Famous People.) Others seem perfunctory at best. (I mean, a Top list of spirits that only contains one kind of spirit and doesn't have anything new on it?)

But I digress...

Anyway, here's a little something I like to do each year, which I'm realizing is a great exercise in remembering to appreciate life. 2012 in particular was a doozy. I don't even have ten things about it to love (although I did eat, drink, see and hear some fabulous stuff, but that's not the point of this.) I'm not going to say it was bad. It just wasn't... whadya call it? Good. But some of the experiences I had I wouldn't trade for anything, and I'm thinking others will lend themselves to better times.

So it wasn't a total waste... Here we go!

9) The beverage and bartending community: I always knew you were my heroes. Then when communities were truly beaten down, you banded together all your contacts, assets and energy and used your super powers for the greater good. And you still made delicious drinks when we needed them. Not to mention the ladies of LUPEC and events like Speed Rack and Broad Appeal that continue to raise funds for important causes and help us all have a blast doing it. I am in awe of you people.

photo courtesy Gabi Porter

8) Tales of the Cocktail: Why did it take me three years to come back? It's about drinking cocktails, it's about making them. But take the heat and humidity of New Orleans in July, add colleagues and friends from all over the world, plus the character of the city itself and a dash of ancillary mischief, shake (or stir), and you have the greatest five-day bender cocktail of them all. I wouldn't have been able to go at all if it weren't for items 3 and 4 on this list.

7) Picking myself up, dusting off, moving on: Enough said.

6) Going to Jersey to see Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden: Seriously, some of the most fun I had all year.  Sometimes an idea sounds better in a bar at 2am than in reality (although I still think we should produce that Sanford and Son musical someday.) But in this case, reality didn't disappoint. We got the snake, the guillotine, Eddie and enough pyrotechnics to rival Number of The Beast himself. Plus the most I've laughed in a car since... I can't even remember when. What a great show.

5) Bruce didn't get one of those awful fast-acting killer cat diseases: It was a 24-hour nail-biter that scared the crap out of me. His doctors (that wonderful Veterinarian couple who live in the basement apartment and agree to make housecalls, and had to wear those gloves they use to handle birds of prey in order to take blood) prepared me for the worst. He was sick, weak and confused. Then next morning, he just woke up and carried on being the agile, willful, always-hungry, nudgy, sheddy bastard I've known and loved for the past nearly twelve years. However many lives you have left, Brucie. Make them count.

4) New friends: I made some great ones this year, who I think have some pretty serious sticking power. I'm so happy to have met you. You know who you are. (Especially the one who stalked me on Twitter till I tasted his delicious liqueur and wrote about it.)

3) Old friends: Never forgotten. You guys have been amazing. You drive me crazy-go-nuts sometimes, but I probably do that to you too and you're still here. For some reason.

2) My parents: They're on the list every year, and there's a reason for that. They're kind of awesome and put up with a lot. I'm very lucky. And it was their 50th wedding anniversary this year!

I'm still convinced sometimes that I was switched at the hospital. Probably with some other baby who is now a successful physician or lawyer or rocket scientist with three kids and a loving husband. But I like to think they'd rather have me anyway.

1) I met John Taylor!!!! Holy shit. I met John Taylor.

So now what? Surprise me, 2013! Happy New Year, everyone!

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