I'm not going to go on a walk down the memory lane of 2011. Katie Couric did a very good job of that on her TV special. End-of-year lists usually make me kind of sad, like you're saying goodbye to your constant companion of a year and you'll never see them again. But this year I'm like, "See ya later, asshole!"

With the winter solstice and the return of the light, I'm looking forward to new and exciting things in the year ahead.

And I'm pretty sure that 2012 is going to be a good one – nay, a great one. If only because it'll be 2012, the big cosmic year that will finally answer the big question of "will the world end or won't it?" If it does, John Cusack will save us anyway, so we really don't have anything to worry about.

And then in 2013 we can all look forward to new programming on The History Channel, because without their "Mayan prediction apocalypse" shows, what will they have?

So here are some of the things I'll be looking forward to in 2012:

Mardi Gras.


Back where I'm from in Ohio, the weeks after Christmas are miserable because there is nothing to look forward to. After January 1 and all the festivities, it's time to hide the razor blades because the midwest is in store for three months of bitter cold, driving in ice for the morning commute and grey, dreary skies. But in New Orleans there is Mardi Gras to look forward to and a lot of people will tell you that it's their favorite time of year. The fact that February has become a month that I look forward to blows my mind. But I can't wait!

The return of Mad Men.


It's about effing time!

Will Don Draper continue down his path of misery or will his new secretary-wife break him out of his despair? Will he be cheating on her by the third episode? Probably!

I'm also looking forward to new seasons of Game of Thrones, Treme and True Blood (please, TV Gods, let True Blood be better this year… last season was kind of disappointing. The whole "witches" thing seemed cool at first but just ended up being really dumb.)

My wedding.


I'm getting married y'all!

I've decided to end things with Colin Firth and Jason Segel and finally settle down already. In just a few months, I'll be marrying my southern gentleman in a Southern Comfort-soaked celebration, and I can't wait.

Finishing my book.

This isn't just one of those New Year's resolutions you always make with the best of intentions only to subtly sweep it under the rug of procrastination and other uninvited crap popping up in your life to divert your attention. No, this is a cold hard fact. I will finish writing my book in 2012. What's it about? Well, it's a fantasy novel set in New Orleans about evil trolls who live on the West Bank, practice black magic in the swamps and want to take over the world. The West Bank is the new Mordor, folks!



I'm a huge nerd so I'm looking forward to The Hobbit and The Hunger Games like no one's business. I'm also pretty stoked about the new Disney Pixar movie called Brave about a cute little Scottish princess.

As for movie roles, I can't wait to see Daniel Day Lewis play Abraham Lincoln in Spielberg's new movie. Also, Javier Bardem is going to be in the next Bond movie. Holy. Shit.

I'm also looking forward to the last Twilight movie coming out so it can all be over and done with and we can get on with our lives.

Urban Meyer at OSU.

I don't care what the NCAA does to punish The Ohio State University anymore cause we got Urban. And so what if we can thank him for the holier-than-thou-and-everyone-else-on-the-planet-and-everyone-who-has-ever-lived-for-that-matter, Mr. Tim Tebow, I don't care. We got Urban.

Jazz Fest.


I'm really looking forward to seeing Tom Petty, Florence + the Machine, Bon Iver and My Morning Jacket this year at Jazz Fest. Honestly, the lineups lately have been looking a little more like Bonnaroo but I'm actually totally cool with that.

And, okay, I'll say it, I can't wait to see John Mayer. I'll be the one way up front screaming, "play 'Your Body is a Wonderland'! Play it! Play it!"



I haven't really gone on a proper vacation since I moved down here. I usually take my time to go back home to Ohio. Well not this year! I'm going somewhere tropical and beachy where they hand you drinks with little umbrellas in them.

So there's a handful of things that will be fun to look forward to in 2012. I'd say that I was also looking forward to the presidential election, if only so that it will finally be over, but I'm honestly dreading the next several months of vitriol and mudslinging. Maybe I'll just go on a year-long media fast so I don't have to hear about it. But being the pop-culture junkie that I am, I'm not sure that fast would last very long.

I wish everyone the best possible new year. A new year full of hope and awesome things to look forward to.

And please tell me what y'all are looking forward to for 2012 in the comments.