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I've been pretty good about keeping my New Year's resolutions in the past couple years. I've made resolutions since I was a kid, but usually I start slacking off by February. As I get older and busier, though, I like the sense of structure a few annual goals offer me, and I've learned to pick goals that are important to me to achieve.

Two years ago, for example, I quit drinking Coke cold turkey. Between the migraines, the extra weight, and the cavities, I had to get that bubbly brown monkey off my back. That resolution helped me eliminate a lot of the other high-fructose corn syrup out of my diet as well. That shit is nasty.

Last year I decided not to buy any books that weren't required for school. I didn't have time to read for pleasure, I already had a shitload of books I hadn't read, and I was starting to feel overwhelmed by stuff. I made it through the year without one book purchase -- except a copy of Zadie Smith's latest that I picked up with a gift certificate I got for my birthday. Going without new books wasn't as hard as I thought. And I managed to read a bunch of cool books I never got around to before, including the companion book to this history of 19th Century Chicago. It was fascinating (if a little slow going, as I could only really read it during my commute), and it made me fall in love with this city all over again.

Which brings me to this year's resolution. After my school-imposed semi-exile of the past 3.5 years, I'm itching to get back into Chicago and see everything it has to offer. This year, I want to throw myself at the city like a drunken cheerleader at a keg party. At least once a month, I want to try a new restaurant (even if it's just new to me), walk through a different neighborhood, check out all the cultural institutions I've been meaning to see or just haven't made it back to in years -- the Botanic Garden, the Chicago History Museum, the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Baha'i Temple, those Chicago Architecture Foundation walking tours, skating in Millennium Park, all that shit. I'll use the blog to record my progress throughout the year, and maybe post pictures with the wee digital camera Jim got me as a graduation present.

Suggestions totally welcome. If there's a cool, out-of-the-way joint that you love, or a dance company that rocks your world, or an "I thought this would be totally cheesy and touristy, but it ended up being really fun and interesting" event, post it in the comments.

Replies: 2 Confessions

I don't have any recommends at the moment, but I am totally with you on the Chicago lurve. Last August was my 10th anniversary of living here and the place still amazes me. It is by turns maddening, beautiful, fascinating, aggravating--sometimes within the same block. I am working on my own list of Chicago Stuff I Really Want to Do, so when I finish it, I'll let you know. Maybe we'll have a match.

ChgoRed @ 01/03/2007 08:27 AM CST

If they still do it, the Architecture Foundation does a walking tour of Chicago public art that is just fabulous. I've always wanted to go to that St Valentines day massacre reenactment thing that runs every year, but I'm twisted like that! lol.
And you should get on the Library's email list, they run some really awesome programs with visiting authors, tours, workshops, etc.
Sounds like a fun year ahead for your guys

the other amy @ 01/06/2007 03:58 PM CST

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