Here are some awesome things other people will be doing tonight. It's OK to be jealous of them while you're sipping on Austi Spumante.
Residents of Sao Paulo and La Paz in South America rock out in bright red underwear while ringing in the new year. But only if they're seeking love. If it's cash you're after, yellow underwear are called for. Dollar, Dollar Bill, Y'all.
In Port Clinton, Ohio, they say screw Dick Clark and his ball. The residents gather in the square to watch a 600-pound fiberglass walleye fish descend from a crane. Now that's a party.
Someone called "itsjustmeagain" on a commenting section of yourcranberry.com puts a piece of bread and a dollar in a baggie outside their front door to ensure a steady supply of food and money in the new year. I think I'll put an iPhone ad and a Mercedes hood ornament in my baggie. And no, this tradition does not work for potheads, so leave your bong resin and pizza crust where it is.
To drive away the bad spirits from last year, men in a Scottish village swing huge fireballs made of tar and wire over their heads as they walk through town. You can try this on New Year's Day if you wake up beside someone you don't entirely remember. Nothing says "this was probably a mistake and you should go home" better than a balls of flames mixed with a big helping of crazy.
In Finland, people will melt tin with a blow torch and throw it into water. They then interpret the shape to predict what the next year will bring. Hearts and rings mean marriage. But if by some stroke of magic your lump of tin looks like a ship, you're in for trip, and a pig shape means you won't go hungry. I don't know what part of this is more crazy: trying to argue that your lump resembles a pig or playing with a blow torch and molten metal after a night of New Year's drinking. "Aww, Haliisteen dropped his tin in his Vodka, again." I'm imagining people going into work the next day with their hands bandaged from the burns. "What happened to your hand, Bjocken?" someone would ask. A slightly hung over Bjocken replies, "I'm getting MARRIED!"
Have a great New Year's Eve everyone. Check out the parties here.
Going to the zoo isn't just for kids (though there always a million of them there). Whether you are a child, have 'em or hate 'em this weekend is perfect for a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Friday-Sunday are Visitor Appreciation Days at the zoo, which means half price admission and parking for everyone! If you need any more reason to visit, there are tons of new exhibits like Night Hunters, African Savannah, Go Green Garden and more. Go here for special prices, hours and directions.
Craftmasters takes over Mainstay Rock Bar Saturday, offering up 10 local bands and 10 $4 craft beers all night long. Get down with Lions Rampant, Frankl Project, Eat Sugar and more as you sip tasty brews like Stone IPA, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier and Two Brothers Dog Days Dortmunder Lager. Music starts at 7 p.m. with bands on two stages. Five bucks gets you in the door. Get the whole lineup here.
Worried no event will satiate your hunger this weekend? For-goetta-bout it! Glier's annual Goettafest is back with enough pork and oats to satisfy even the hungriest of visitors. Enjoy classics like goetta omelets, goetta burgers and goetta dogs or go crazy with goetta sushi, goetta brownies and goetta eggrolls. As always, there will be plenty of live music, games and rides to keep everyone happy (but wait 30 minutes after eating before going on The Scrambler. Goetta's even less pretty coming up.). The festival runs Friday-Sunday at Newport on the Levee. Go here for festival hours and parking information.
Cincy Blues Fest is one of largest volunteer-run Blues festivals in the world. Celebrate the music and the hard work Friday and Saturday at Sawyer Point. Besides checking out local, regional and national Blues acts, Mike Breen has come up with 19 reasons this is a can't-miss event. Go here to read 'em all.
The Cincinnati Art Museum makes so many fantastic works of art accessible to visitors. This Sunday, you can get an even more in-depth look at one artist's life during its Reel Art film series. Filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod's documentary A Woman Like That focuses on the life of Artemisia Gentileschi, a 17th century Italian woman who pursued art during a period when female artists faced much prejudice. Learn about this important Baroque-era artist and meet Weissbrod and co-filmmaker Melissa Powell at a Q&A session following the screening. Go here for ticket information and screening time.
As always, there are many more events, concerts, gallery exhibits and theater shows going on this weekend. Go here to see 'em all. Got a kick-ass event that should be on everyone's To Do list? E-mail arts and event listings to email@example.com at least two weeks in advance.
Comedian Stewart Huff: Primarily a storyteller, he now focuses on stand-up. Huff started off wanting to be a writer of short stories. He wrote in secret, but after doing an open mic he became intrigued by what that art form had to offer. “I was obsessed with the idea of telling a story on stage and getting immediate feedback,” he says. After a time, Huff decided to focus solely on stand-up. Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.
Last night after the snow started coming in really thick, I took my dog outside without his leash so we could walk around. I live on a big hill that basically shuts down anytime there's inclement weather. Salt trucks don't even bother with it. So at around 2 a.m. the street was covered with this layer of untouched snow and I filled a red keg cup with some wine and walked my dog up and down the street. It was really dreamy until some college kids, who do amazing and hilarious things in snow, came out with what appeared to be their corn hole set and tried to sled down my street using the wooden part as sleds.
Seriously. Where's the best place to hang out and await the fate of our nation? Preferably somewhere with food and booze (besides Charlie's house) so one can either celebrate victory or drink enough to black out the bad news.
The lovely people at PROJECTMILL filmed the Cinciditarod. If you missed the race, check out this footage.
A little over 24 hours ago, when I am telling my mother I am headed to Austin to film several showcases with Cincinnati's own PROJECTMILL at SXSW, I tell her my idea for the name of my blog for "The Morning After" would more or less be titled "Ostentatious." In a lowered voice, she questions the originality of the idea. Touche, Mom, touche.
In quirkier event news, did you know there's a monthly meet-up of the Skeptical Society of Cincinnati where the group introduces a professional scientist to the public? Cincy Science Cafe is a casual gathering (usually at a bar) where the community can learn about interesting discoveries being made by area scientists. Tonight the crew meets at Glendale's Cock & Bull at 6 p.m. Go here for details.
Wednesdays are extra sexy at Northside Tavern — Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke takes over the back room this night each week. For those unfamiliar, STLBK is just how it sounds — the ultimate karaoke experience. You provide the vocals (and preferably hot dance moves) while a live band accompanies you. Be a Rock Star for, like, four minutes! Check out the group on Facebook. SexyTime for details and the song list. STLBK kicks off at 9 p.m.
If you're a festie fan, this is your weekend because there are three music festivals going on around the Tristate. Ohmstead Music Festival returns to Hannon's Camp American through Sunday, bringing Reggae/Rock groups The Cliftones, Skeetones, Revenge Pinata and more, joining The Ohms (who created the annual fest 10 years ago). Camp, browse vendors and listen to everything from brand new acts to regional talent. Tickets at the gate are only $30 for the weekend.