In Holiday Guide Commentary

Gypsy Taco's corn cup. Lower left. I'm in love. (PHOTO: Lori Fredrich)

2016 picks: Molly Snyder

Tis the season for Milwaukee merriment and BMO Harris Bank is bringing you happy holiday stories all season long.

I really hate to be one of those people who harp about how much 2016 sucked, but dang, 2016 sucked. And yet, it didn't suck. It was, quite possibly, the epitome of "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times." So here's to focusing on the positive, the good and the light patches of the year.

Movie: Although you could not pay me to see it again, "Manchester By the Sea" moved me more than any film I've seen this year (with "Moonlight" a close second). "Manchester" is a slow, painful, beautiful journey through one man's grief. It is messy and heart-wrenching and confusing and unresolved. Grief often brings out our worst selves, and this film, unlike other Hollywood movies about losing a loved one, offers a raw and real portrayal of this sad fact of grief. Much of what I saw on the screen was painful to watch, at times unbearable, but as a person who continues to live with grief, I also felt less alone. Writer and director Kenneth Lonergan nailed it.

Milwaukee event: After the devastating terrorist attack at the Pulse gay nightclub in Miami, a massive pride flag was hung on City Hall. Obviously this didn't alleviate the fact so many lives were lost or the pain of the surviving loved ones, but it did send a message to the city of Milwaukee that love triumphs in the face of tragedy.

Food item: I ate many delicious meals in Milwaukee this year, but surprisingly, the corn cup from Gypsy Taco is the most memorable. Located on the patio of Boone & Crockett all year 'round, Gypsy Taco offers up unique and tasty taco creations, but their corn cup – featuring grilled corn, arugula, aioli, cotija cheese and fresh radish – is a dish of dreams and orgasms. How can something called a "corn cup" cause such fervor? You'll have to try it yourself to understand it.

Concert: Three songs into the L7 concert last August at the Rave, and I knew it was going to be the year's best. Not only was it a bucket list show for me, but it was also the first time my partner experienced a concert in the Rave. Also, as someone who sometimes struggles with the aging process, seeing those middle-aged women rock their cocks off was extremely inspiring. The evening of the show was bass guitarist Jennifer Finch's 50th birthday, and she flashed her breasts to the audience saying, "This is what 50 looks like, bitches!" Best of all, the grrrl's got a helluva rack.

Personal moment: In March, I posted a video of my son reciting from memory the first 103 numbers of pi for Pi Day, which is March 14. A few weeks later, I received an anonymous letter at work, with a check for my son for $314.15, the first five numbers of pi. To this day, I do not know who sent this to me / my son, but I thought about this extraordinary act on some of 2016's darkest days. Thank you, whoever you are.

Professional moment: Winning a Rad Woman award was pretty, well, rad. It was the first time I won a business-related award. But there's another work-related milestone I'm quite fond of as well. A former boss told me many years ago that my "personal currency is relationships, not money." This is one of the most valuable pieces of insight a person has ever given to me. Of course, I want and need to make money, but I am definitely most motivated by the people around me and I gauge my success by the strength of my relationships. This year, my professional relationships have strengthened tenfold – with colleagues I already knew, and with new connections. Grateful.

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