One year ends and another year begins—fiscal cliff or no fiscal cliff. To go on you have to have optimism. You’ve got to have a raison d’être, right? Stuff that makes life worth living! (Work with me here, people.) Well, I’m feeling positive. And in the spirit of our Best of the City issue I’ve put together a list of personal bests—things that get me out of bed in the morning and keep my eyes on the prize. Here goes:Mantras. Technically I’m 45, but psychologically I hit my seventies about 20 years ago. Which explains why I mutter a lot and punctuate my muttering with lofty, exasperated pronouncements. I return to the same themes often enough to think of them as mantras. My current favorite go-to is “Nothing works anymore.” Closely followed by “All the wrong people are dying.” Psychologically I may actually be in my eighties. But these mantra things, they work.My wife. Who puts up with most of my muttering.Scotch. See above. Also see the scotch selection at the Party Source, overseen by the estimable Jay Erisman. Findlay Market. The tub butter at Gibb’s. The fresh pasta at Bouchard’s. The cherry-lamb sausages and pepper bacon at Kroeger & Sons. The lachsschinken at Krause’s. The Dutch chocolate gelato at Dojo. I could go on. Instead I’ll just keep going back—until my cardiologist says I can’t.The way my daughter laughs at old I Love Lucy shows. Especially the episode where Ricky thinks he’s going bald.The burgers at Terry’s Turf Club.Washington Park. Perhaps the most wonderful thing to happen to Over-the-Rhine since Music Hall was built. Plus: Synchronized water jets! The 11th hole at Shawnee Lookout. And any round of golf I get to play with my 83-year-old father, who still knows how to lock it, cock it, and sock it.Sifting through the used record bins at Everybody’s Records and Shake It.Fries Café. A pint, a game of pool, and “Cowgirl in the Sand” on the jukebox.English muffins from Blue Oven Bakery. The. Best. Ever.Withnail and I. One of the greatest films of all time. Along with The Third Man, Manhattan, Dr. Strangelove, The Big Lebowski, The In-Laws.... Which reminds me, why don’t we have a repertory cinema in this town? The view from... The right field seats at GABP. The balcony in Music Hall. The top of Carew Tower. The Celestial Bar at midnight.Fool Moon Rides. With Captain Phil Roberto on the Loveland Bike Trail.I admit it’s an incomplete list. But that’s what the next 45 years are for.
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