Life is full of great stuff, so this will have to be a list of the first 20 things that come to mind. I’ve decided to not put my sister, Mom, Dad or any specific friends on here, because I could write waaaay too much about any of them. Instead, let’s just accept that my love for them is a given fact. From there, these are some other things that I enjoy very much and would label as ‘favorite things.’ And so…here goes nuthin’:
1) My dog. Hurley is the coolest little guy ever, and he is so very good. For the first time, when I ask the idiot-question of “who’s a good boy?” I really do have an answer. Other dogs have been awesome, but a little shifty. (Remember, Malcolm had a thing about wanting to escape all the time. And Sam would steal chocolate, eat it and try to hide the evidence.) Hurley’s like a little baby Jesus dog. I’m pretty sure he can heal the sick, too. I’ll get back to you on it.
2) My cat. Simon’s another cool little dude. I prided myself on being strictly a dog person for years, but something happened that one Friday and somehow I got Simon before I had a chance to think about it. It’s surreal how perfect it all came together, and how he and Hurley seem like they were always meant to be best friends. Simon is sweet, affectionate, smart and makes me laugh every single day. Especially when he wrestles with Hurley. Nothing’s better.
3) Night. I am absolutely a night person. I only wake up in the middle of the afternoon; and by the time it’s dark outside I am feeling ambitious, productive and a lot more creative. I love the moon. I would love to live somewhere with a wide open country sky someday, so I can see that powdery shimmer of stars stretching into every dark space. I love how music sounds nicer at night. Movies are more fun to watch. I can walk the dog without running into a bunch of idiots and their idiot dogs. I love to walk at night, thinking and mellowing out. I’m not scared. I feel more confident and more “me” when it’s night.
4) The woods. That’s vague, yeah… I know. But I simply love being in the middle of nature, swallowed up by dense trees, leaves and the hum of life all around. I feel so at-home when I am near trees. Hell, I talk to trees. (I ask the tree out in front of my house to stay strong and healthy.) I love the woods during all seasons, but the summer is the best. Especially a breezy summer day. That sound of the wind in the trees. Here’s a poem I wrote when I was a teenager. It’s lame, but: “What sweet music is the wind, and the sight of it in the trees.” I still mean that. I still hear music in the wind when I watch the leaves tossed about, rustling against one another in a soft symphony. God. I miss being in the woods. That’s the shittiest part of living in this part of Arizona: no forests, and not a lot of trees.
5) Bookstores. If I have a couple of hours to kill, I like to spend it wandering around a bookstore. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big chain store, a place filled with used books, or an independent little shop (those are the BEST, though!)… books on shelves, everywhere, gets my blood going. I love judging books by their covers; I love picking up something random, reading the jacket and finding something totally new and sometimes-great. I like the quiet buzz of a bookstore, the sound of people softly talking to one another about the books. I like seeing little kids in there, psyched about books and reading. I feel hopeful, inspired and motivated in bookstores. I think there is hope for the world, that video games and cell phones won’t ruin the world, and that I really might get my own book on those shelves someday.
6) Halloween. There’s so much to love about it! It’s got the creepy thing going on, and it’s the one time of the year where it’s socially acceptable to love dark and spooky stuff. I love the old-fashioned Halloween decor and style; Victorian and early 20th century postcards with singing pumpkins and little kids in costume skipping past cemetaries; anything vintage. I love candles. Stories like the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Black crows on black branches. Gothic homes and floaty ghosts. Skeletons and skulls, everywhere. Blasting my favorite song. Watching little kids trick-or-treat. Throwing Halloween parties, especially decorating my house. Reminiscing about Halloween in NJ, with the dead leaves and cold nights, the Stone Church, stories of our old town…I could really go on and on!
7) Science. Geek alert! But it’s true that I’m in love with so many things that fall under the science umbrella. When I read the news on Yahoo, the first link I always click is “Science.” Then, “Animals and Pets.” I get excited by new studies about human behavior, and also animal behavior. I am inspired by genetics and the art of taking the time to study the minutia of the world, trying to unlock secrets and find solutions to problems. It’s absolutely incredible how advanced our world really is, thanks to science of all kinds. I can’t believe that we’re still finding new species of animals, plants and hell, even caves that have never been seen before, and it’s 2011. My favorite websites: Live Science; Psychology Today; Scientific American Mind; NatGeo; Treehugger.
8) Tim & Eric. Every now and then, I still can’t believe that the show Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! actually happened… it’s like Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim plugged into my own stream of consciousness when I joke with my sister or close friends and made a show of it. I laugh until I cry watching this stuff. I quote it and constantly talk about it with my sister. And I truly plan to use it as a barometer for whomever I date from now on. I won’t date someone who thinks Tim & Eric is weird, stupid, “I don’t get it” or even gross/scary. Nope. My dream guy is going to love James Quall, know the words to Father and Son, and like to make weird faces and talk in nonsense sentences. (Also great stuff: anything that’s a spinoff, or features Tim & Eric… Tom Goes to the Mayor, Check it Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, Blood Into Wine.)
9) Hot guys with long hair. Why is it that there are not more guys with long hair? I mean, successful guys. Why is success usually equated with “clean cut” and short hair? Of course, I don’t like the dirtbag guys and creepy people who have long hair but live in a shitty studio apartment with three other guys (or their Mom) with bad hygiene and no job. I just think longer hair is so sexy. It always catches my eye. I think guys with longer hair stand out in a sea of sameness. So if you have a cute, smiley little nerd-guy (perhaps with glasses) with a kind-of preppy wardrobe and long hair, I’m basically ready to offer myself up right then and there. Dear God… where are those guys? Why don’t they seem to exist in real life? Well, I know they do. I just can’t seem to find one for me. It would be cool to be physically attracted to a guy I’m into on a mental level, that’s all I’m saying. I’m sick of being with guys who DON’T turn me on. It’s sad, but I have often settled for “mehhh” more times than I probably should have. I even married mehhh once. Shit’s gotta change! You know any long haired sweethearts? Send them my way, please. KTHNX.
10) Ben Barnes. I don’t get why I am so incredibly attracted to this guy. It sucks. It’s just a stupid actor-guy. I feel embarrassed; it’s like I am 15 again. It’s been forEVER since I gave a crap about anyone like him. A movie actor? Uh, no thank you. But it’s his face. I saw the Prince Caspian poster when I was at a movie with X; it was the first time I ever saw him and was like, “Whoa. Who is THAT?” I thought he could be the visual inspiration for Zachary, but as I found photos of him online I realized it wasn’t that. It was the way he’s put together. I love him for his big smile, his dorkiness, his darkness and his total hotness. He’s not Zachary. I don’t know who he is, but I do know I have dreams with him in them. And they are always awesome. Not necessarily sexual, either. Just fun stories. I’m glad he came along.
11) When people adopt a dog. Especially an adult dog. There’s just something hardwired into me to make me understand the dog and cat population disaster in this country, and I can’t even fathom having a mindset where it is OK to buy (or breed) a companion animal. So when I see families going to adoption events, walking into the local pound or shelter to see the animals (not drop one off), I feel incredibly happy and at-ease with the world. I love that other people get it. I love that there are still families that care and teach their children to care. I love that a sweet pet that was turned in or lost its home through no fault of its own gets a second chance. I love that it is one less animal that will be euthanized. All of it. It makes me glow. It’s part of my spiritual life, even, I think.
12) LOST. It was a fantastic show, and I miss it a lot already. I didn’t start watching until the summer before Season 3, when we got the DVDs from Netflix and watched back-to-back episodes even until the wee hours of the morning. It was impossible to not get into, for me. I loved the characters, the weaving storyline, the mindfucks, the twists and heartbreaking moments, all of it. The show went to places I never could have imagined, and genuinely impressed the crap out of me, every week. (Well, except the weeks that were Kate-centric, but that’s no bid deal.) I loved sorting out the details and thinkingthinkingthinking for days and days after each episode, trying to unlock some kind of pattern or hidden meaning in every little thing. I loved that it got me to read up on philosophy, religion, mythology, literature and of course, science. I found friends who loved it as much as I did, and I had the best time talking and writing about it with them. I sought out a “Dharma Initiative Car” bumper sticker for my car, because it’s so cool, and I’m hoping like-minded fans who happen to see it get a kick out it, like I would if I saw it on someone’s car. And I loved a character enough to name my dog after him. Without a doubt, it was a fantastic experience and I think it made me smarter, on some levels. When was the last time you could say that about a fictional show?
13) YA Novels. The lasting legacy of Stephenie Meyer will be, for me, not the books she wrote, but the fact that her books got me interested in reading young adult fiction. After that, it was no longer just the universe of traveling pants and prep school gossip girls or whatever… instead, there were books about people who were outsiders, supernatural romances, science mysteries, fantasy, adrenaline-pumping Games, wolves… and it keeps getting more interesting. The books right now are really good. I know I could be reading stuff considered intellectual or studious; I could be reading about history and learning things, but when it gets down to it, I like reading for FUN. And these stories are fun. There’s no big explanation necessary. I love what I love.
14) Salad. My ideal comfort food is a cold, crisp green salad, with French dressing. I love it. My ideal salad: romaine, green or red leaf lettuce; spinach; tomato; broccoli; carrots; red cabbage; sprouts; cucumber and possibly a little cheese and/or croutons. I don’t like pre-packaged salad because I can taste the plasticness of them. I don’t like bagged lettuce for the same reason. What I love is FRESH VEGETABLES. I crave them. And the dressing is a big deal, too. It has to be good otherwise I might not even want to eat the salad. French is my favorite, but it’s hard to find, anymore. I don’t know why. Second favorite is balsamic viniagrette, or any kind of tangy viniagrette. If a place only has white creamy dressings or that snot-looking stuff from a big bottle labeled “Italian” (think Kraft Italian; not a homemade Italian dressing with an olive oil base), I sadly refrain from the salad. I’m in the mood for salad on any day. If I have been throwing up, the first food I crave again is a vinegary salad or sandwich. There’s nothing like fresh produce. Nothing. If I could only have one food the rest of my life, I’d say fresh salad.
15) Memories of my childhood. I had a fantastic and happy childhood. I had a lot of fun experiences, met many friends who made impressions on me, and I was such a sponge. I took in so many strong visual, audio, tactile and imagination-laden cues that today, they’re a constant source for material. My memories are highly vivid and detailed. My family was wonderful. I always felt safe, loved and generally happy when I was with my family. Of course, my sister and I are best friends and we have an endless sea of stories and memories. A lot of funny things happened. We had a lot of weird experiences, and we had a bizarre grandmother who we didn’t like but, in retrospect, has been a source for comedy. My schools were good. I learned about a huge variety of subjects and loved learning. My parents had strong opinions on things, but still encouraged us to think for ourselves and find what we were passionate about. They let us experience things. If I wanted to go to camp, I went. If I wanted to try soccer or dancing school, I did. And if I wanted to watch a scary movie or read books that were probably a lot more mature than I should have been reading… I could. I’m so grateful today for all of that, because I think I’m a more well-rounded person on many levels and I definitely see the world in shades of gray, and not just black and white. I love my parents and my sister and the life they created around me. It all adds up to HAPPY CHILDHOOD, which I know isn’t something to take for granted.
16) Cupcakes. They’re so cute. So pretty. So girly. If I am offered a cupcake, I will always accept. Who could turn down a cupcake? And I don’t even need one of those trendy gourment cupcakes. Just give me a chocolate cupcake with white icing, or a white cupcake with chocolate icing, made from a boxed mix, and I’m good to go. Sprinkles are always welcome and appreciated, as well. Delicious little cakes of happiness. Mmmm.
17) Making my house MY house. It’s incredibly rewarding to look around at my house and think about all of the work that has gone into it since the summer of 2009. I love that it’s ALL me. Everything I have done is in my exact style, my taste, and I am surrounding myself by items and spaces that make me happy. I’m blessed to have my own home, really. It’s a fantastic feeling to love being home. Sure, I wish I had more money to get things done faster, but it’s OK. I’m getting there. And for the first time in forever, I feel like I am living somewhere permanently. I like knowing I can live here as long as I want, and I don’t have to move. I don’t want to move. I live here. And that means something.
18) Zooey Deschanel’s singing voice. The She & Him albums are like candy. They’re fun and mellow and happy and she can sing so well. I love the unflowery, unshowy voices, and hers is close to what I’d consider my ideal sound. If I am gonna listen to a singer, it should sound like that. Bonus: she’s in my range, so when I sing along with her songs, I don’t sound like a jackal.
19) Writing. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? And it is. I write every single day, and I hate when I don’t have a chance to jot down something, anything. The advent of Facebook has been a blessing and a huge curse, because of the instant gratification factor of it. I can write a little blah-nothing blurb and then another, and another, and they all melt away into nothing. It’s fun and addictive, but I worry it cuts into my attention-span problems and makes it less fun to write long-form. Either way, writing these blog posts is satisfying, and any time I open my fiction files I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I love re-reading my own stuff, and I love when a brand-new idea pops up. Writing is my all-time favorite hobby, and if I could have all the time to do my OWN writing, I’d be in heaven. I hate work-writing so much. I know now how much it destroys me by sucking out my soul. So my hope is that someday I will find another way to make a living. I want to love writing, always.
20) Bedtime. Ahhh… the best time of the day is when I climb into bed, all comfortable and ready to relax into sleep. Sleeping’s the bomb. I love it. So the moment when you know you have a whole night of sleeping and dreaming ahead of you, it’s such a nice feeling. I often read in bed (sometimes for hours and hours, which isn’t always a helpful thing when the alarm clock goes off), or do crossword puzzles with a little mechanical pencil, but I always call Hurley up onto the bed for some cuddling and kisses. Simon often comes up, too, and wants some petting and love. I love the settling-down of my brain, the ending of a day, and the ever-present prayers and wishes for the next day. And since my dreaming is so important to me, I set myself up for a nice dream. I can usually control my dreams, somewhat. I can program them so I have a weird dream, a sexy dream, a funny dream, or a story dream. Not always. But when I do, and it works, it’s the greatest thing ever. Like I said, I love sleep, and I love that I live alone and sleep alone so I can have the bed to myself. I’m a selfish sleeper. It’s my time and I do everything I can to make the most of it, every night. My brain gets to re-start itself and bloom.
That was a fun post, but WOW. My left wrist is killing me from all this typing! I better…go to bed. Oh, gee. What a shame. 😉