Earlier this week, Sarah posted a brilliant list of her 2012 Kentucky Resolutions. Her list got me thinking about my own goals for the New Year. How can I find new ways to enjoy being a Kentuckian in 2012? I wondered. I've already perfected my own beer cheese and bourbon ball recipes. I've seen the Commonwealth's major tourist sites, I've been to Derby and Oaks, and I've joined in the frenzy following a National Championship win.
But, of course, there are always new ways to enjoy the Bluegrass State. Here are a few goals I came up with for the upcoming year. I tried to keep them realistic; I'm probably not going to become BFF with Mark Badgley and James Mischka this year (but I'm not going to stop hoping for that...)
- Shop(and Eat) Kentucky.I lived in Louisville's Highlands neighborhood for years. Now, when you live in the heart of the Keep Louisville Weird movement, it's pretty easy to have locally-sourced meals and locally-crafted products within your reach. But, recently, I've found myself gradually backsliding into more suburban, mainstream purchasing habits. Over the holidays, I was reminded how delightful local products can be when my aunt gave me a sampler of coffees roasted in-house at Lexington's Coffee Times Coffee House. The Big Blue Blend was so bright and sunny, but with a spicy bite -- it started sweet, like mocha ice cream, but finished with almost a chicory note. I was instantly smitten, and reminded that good things are often made just around the corner!
- Tour the Bourbon Trail; learn to place Box and Wheel bets. Yep, I resolve to do some sinnin' this year, but I want to learn to do it well. I want to see where my favorite bourbons are made -- I've driven past the distilleries hundreds of times, but I've just never taken the time to stop for the tour. And, I want to learn to make the kind of sophisticated bets that yield high payouts -- the kind that come from a deeper knowledge of horses and wagering. It's been a long time since I took a statistics class, but I think this will be a fun skill to acquire.
- Get involved with Kentucky politics. It's been way too long since I contacted a Congressman about an issue I believed in, volunteeered with a campaign, or generally gotten involved. I kind of miss it.
- Publish a story or essay set in Appalachia. As a writer, I've frequently struggled with how to include my hometown in my work while preserving my own experience. I love so many cultural elements of Appalachia, but I really hate some of the imagery of poverty and ignorance that so often emerges in Appalachian fiction. This year, I want to write a piece that is set in Eastern Kentucky, but which doesn't involve bad stereotypes, trips "to the Walmarts", or exploitative dialogue.