Five Things We're Quitting in 2012
Last year, we did some things we're not so proud of. The year before last too, and the year before that and ... well, enough of that. This being 2012, quite possibly the last year before some cataclysmic change such as the planet's polarity reversing or a Newt Gingrich presidency, we're going to cut out those bad habits and replace each with something a little more productive. Healthy. Legal, even.
Maybe it'll make God proud, maybe it'll shift some weight over on the karmic scale or maybe it'll just give us a few more moments of meaningless joy beneath the cold apathy of an empty sky. Who cares. We're doing it.
Eating so much junk food
Sara Kerens Mmm...junk food. No! No, stop drooling.
We got so excited over In-N-Out's arrival and spent so much time diligently measuring it against Whataburger and our other favorite burger joints that we didn't even realize we were eating red meat and french fries just about every day for a couple months there. Restaurants like Tracy Miller's Local (2936A Elm St.) in Deep Ellum, the soon-to-open family-friendly fast-casual Chicken Scratch, and The Foundry in the former Jack's Backyard location from chef Tim Byres all prove that fresh food from seasonal ingredients isn't just for the smug bastards who call themselves "foodies" or "locavores."
Remember when Black Friday in Mesquite got nuts?
Shopping at big-box stores
Maybe it's just our 99-percent hangover, but we feel like giving more of our money as we can to people who live in and care about our communities. Shopping at places like Urban Acres and the new Bolsa Mercado (634 W. Davis St.) -- locally owned and offering coffee, produce, beer and even ice cream that's made here in North Texas -- just feels better, and it doesn't require wearing one of those Guy Fawkes masks.
Watching so much TV
Why are we hoarding episodes of Hoarders?
Pegasus Theatre puts on one-of-a-kind shows in "Living Black and White" using top-secret stage magic. Matthew Posey's Ochre House creates brilliant experimental plays combining live actors and breathtaking puppetry on a shoestring budget. We have a world-class opera house in the Winspear. So why did we spend so much of last year watching junk collectors haggle over how much they'd pay for the contents of a storage unit?
It seemed sacrilege to suggest that our streets in Dallas could be used for anything other than cars, but those Better Block builders showed how easy -- and cheap! -- it can be to turn a barren stretch of concrete into a fun destination and make it pedestrian-friendly. So pedestrian-friendly, in fact, that you'll want to park the car for good and join them in their bike-loving, sustainable ways.
Gorilla Groove Why steal music, when you can Bro Fest?
OK, we're not going to stop that. Mick's probably not going to miss a jet payment because we Googled "Beggars Banquet zip," not that we'd feel too awful if he did. But for each album we download without paying, we're supporting the music industry by going to one show, whether it's a local buddy debuting a rambling folk outfit, an indie punk band making its first venture into Texas or some old British rockers cashing in with yet another North American tour (not the Stones -- we're looking at you, Radiohead). New venues like the DIY Canton Co-Op in Deep Ellum and the all-ages Queen City Hall (115 N. Carroll Ave.), the resuscitation of Ellum standbys Trees and Dada, and the expansion of the 35 Denton festival make doing so that much easier.