Raindrops on Roses…

Well, it’s my birthday. I’m 28. It’s very hard for me not to get depressed around this time of year. I can’t help but marvel at how little I’ve accomplished. We can discuss why I feel this way later and over drinks.

Consequently, in an attempt to actually be happy and grateful, I’ve compiled a list of 500 things I like and/or which make me happy and/or which make me smile. It’s taken quite a while to form this list (especially since I wanted to keep it essentially PG-rated)–I challenge you to make your own.

N.B. The only reason for alphabetizing is because this actually took a while, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t repeat.

  1. $20,000 pyramid (playing, not watching. It’s so painful to watch. And yes, I’m an old fart.)
  2. The Academy Awards
  3. Aerial fabrics (or other Cirque du Soleil stuff. And watching only. I don’t have the upper body strength or sense of balance to attempt anything like that)
  4. Against Me!
  5. Alfredo sauce
  6. African masks/tribal statues
  7. Almond butter
  8. Ansari, Aziz
  9. Apple cider donuts
  10. Archer
  11. Argentinian wine
  12. Arrested Development
  13. Artichokes
  14. Asparagus
  15. Atlanta
  16. Athens, GA
  17. Australian football (I only went to a live game once. I still have no clue what the rules are…or even who won…but it was probably the best live sports experience of my life–and I’ve been to the summer Olympics)
  18. Avenue Q
  19. Avocados
  20. Bach, J.S.
  21. Bacon (fresh bacon, that is….as if there’s really any other kind)
  22. Baggy clothes
  23. Barcelona
  24. Bailey’s
  25. Bar trivia (you want me on your team)
  26. Bathrobes (long, soft)
  27. Bay windows
  28. The Beatles (it may be cliche, but I actually am a honest fan)
  29. Beets (preferably roasted)
  30. Being a redhead
  31. Being home
  32. Being in love
  33. Being in lust
  34. Being on time
  35. Being organized
  36. Being wakened by a cold wet nose or by a soft furry paw (i.e., not by barking but otherwise by a dog)
  37. Berkeley, CA
  38. Biscuits
  39. Black (the color)
  40. Black-and-white photography
  41. Blackberries
  42. Blenheim’s ginger ale (extra spicy)
  43. Bleu cheese
  44. Blogging
  45. Bloody Mary’s
  46. Blue (the color)
  47. Blue eyes (I’m a sucker for blue eyes)
  48. Bookcases with ladders
  49. Books (actual books, none of that Kindle shit. Be a man. Turn a page.)
  50. Bookstores
  51. Boots
  52. Boston (city, not the band)
  53. Bourbon
  54. Bowie, David
  55. Brahms, Johannes
  56. Brie
  57. British humour (and spelling, while we’re at it)
  58. Brunch
  59. Brunettes
  60. Buckley, Jeff
  61. Caesar salad
  62. Calzones
  63. Candide (I read this about once a year in undergrad…which should tell you something)
  64. Candles
  65. Cannolis
  66. Capers
  67. Caramelized onions
  68. Caramel popcorn
  69. Carbonara sauce
  70. Cards Against Humanity (I’m a terrible human being)
  71. Caress soap
  72. Carlin, George
  73. Carmen (I’m not an opera person, but this one’s beautiful)
  74. Car Talk
  75. Cash, Johnny
  76. Cashmere
  77. Chai tea lattes
  78. Challah
  79. Charles, Ray
  80. Chaucer, Geoffrey
  81. Cheesecake
  82. Cheese courses (as a concept and reality in fine restaurants)
  83. Chenille socks
  84. Cherries
  85. Chess
  86. Chevy corvettes (stingrays. 1967-1972)
  87. Chicago (the city)
  88. Chicago (the musical)
  89. Chicken liver mousse
  90. Chile rellenos
  91. Chocolate chip cookies
  92. Chocolate torte
  93. Chow fun (beef, if that’s not redundant)
  94. Christmas/holiday concerts
  95. Christmas-edition catalogs
  96. Christmas Eve
  97. Christmas spirit (I’m a softie at heart)
  98. Cigarettes (haven’t bought a pack in almost 5 years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still miss or enjoy the product)
  99. Clean bathrooms
  100. Clean PJs
  101. Clean sheets
  102. Clean towels
  103. Clocks (especially exposed gears)
  104. Coconut
  105. Coffee (I’m a “medium roast, with room for cream” chick)
  106. Coffee shops (literal, not in the Dutch sense)
  107. Coke and peanuts on road trips
  108. College football
  109. Community (at least the first couple of seasons. Once they’ve spent 4+ years at a 2 year college…kinda loses the magic)
  110. “A Confederacy of Dunces”
  111. Conroy, Pat’s character development (plots/themes, etc., may be “meh”. But his characters have a special charm)
  112. Cookie dough
  113. Cooking
  114. Copper finishes (thinking of cooking and sheets for backsplashes)
  115. Cords (they’re comfy!)
  116. Cowl neck sweater
  117. Crab cakes (specifically, my dad’s crab cakes)
  118. Cranberries
  119. Croque madames
  120. Cubano especial (a local sandwich. Total blood sludge. Only eat it once a year–takes that long to work it off.)
  121. Cuddling
  122. Cusack, John
  123. Cussing
  124. Dancing with a partner
  125. Dark and stormys
  126. Dark chocolate
  127. (Dark-wash) denim
  128. Davis, Miles (Sketches of Spain is my favorite album)
  129. The Decemberists (mostly for their lyrics. They just scream “English majors” with their lyrics, and that makes me smile)
  130. Diamonds (I am a girl. They are my best friends.)
  131. Dogs
  132. Don Quixote (book and character)
  133. Doritos (total junk food, but it’s a weakness)
  134. Down comforters
  135. Dried fruit (especially bananas and berries)
  136. Driving in places where skill is required (like when a steering wheel and/or gas pedal is truly needed–none of that country road/oh, crap, I have to dodge a cow bullshit)
  137. Duck
  138. Dusting (I’m weird. It’s my favorite household chore.)
  139. Eavesdropping at coffee shops or airports
  140. Eggnog
  141. Elephants
  142. Evans, Bill
  143. Everything bagels toasted with lox, cream cheese, and capers.
  144. Exposed brick
  145. Feeling accomplished
  146. Feeling appreciated
  147. Feeling attractive
  148. Feeling budget-less
  149. Feeling flexible (literally)
  150. Feeling helpful
  151. Feeling intellectually challenged
  152. Feeling independent
  153. Feeling loved
  154. Feeling of clean hair
  155. Feeling the opposite of the outside temperature (i.e., cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s freezing)
  156. Feeling respected
  157. Feeling skinny
  158. Feeling smart
  159. Feeling that–IF I wanted to–I could sleep in
  160. Feeling wanted
  161. Finding bargains
  162. Finishing something (anything) I started
  163. Fires in fireplaces
  164. First dates (I adore wholesomely awkward situations)
  165. First day of classes
  166. Flamenco guitar
  167. Flannel
  168. Flirting
  169. Fog
  170. Foodporndaily.com, foodgawker.com, and similar sites
  171. Food & Wine magazine
  172. Forests (while I have a fear of open spaces, trees make me happy)
  173. Fortune cookies
  174. Frasier (the show, not the character. Niles Crane is the best character–try to dispute me!)
  175. Free tracks from play.google or amazon mp3 stores at the beginning of the month
  176. Fresh honey
  177. Friends (in terms of long TV series, it lasted longer than most in terms of quality.)
  178. Freckles
  179. French romantic comedies (the more predictable, the better!)
  180. Fried green tomatoes
  181. Fried okra
  182. Fried pickles
  183. Garlic bread
  184. Gastropubs
  185. Getting an aisle seat on a plane
  186. Getting a free drink from a stranger (at a bar)
  187. Getting a good parking space
  188. Getting a package in the mail (especially if it’s something I ordered and am expecting)
  189. Getting a paper accepted
  190. Getting carded
  191. Getting dressed up
  192. Getting good teaching evaluations
  193. Getting into Zone 1
  194. Getting job offers (KNOCK ON WOOD)
  195. Getting phone calls from friends
  196. Getting (reimbursement) checks
  197. Getting someone I love *the* perfect gift
  198. Girl Talk (music, not concept…well…unsure on concept)
  199. Giving blood (it’s painful quite frequently, but it makes me feel good. And makes me a cheap date afterward.)
  200. Gladiolas
  201. Gnocchi
  202. Goldfish crackers
  203. Good conversation
  204. Gould, Glenn
  205. Granados
  206. Gravy (on Turkey Day. And you GOTTA have giblets)
  207. Green (the color)
  208. Gregorian chants
  209. Grits (though admittedly I am a snob)
  210. Grocery stores (they are my shoe stores)
  211. Guys in white t-shirts and jeans
  212. Guys with no, or VERY well-kept facial hair
  213. Hammocks
  214. Hanging pictures on a wall (VERY satisfying. so many levels)
  215. Happy hour
  216. Hardware stores
  217. Harrison, George (he was the best Beatle. By a long shot.)
  218. The Harry Potter series
  219. Hashbrowns
  220. Hats, and hat weather
  221. Having a good blood pressure reading (I know. Old fart. Bu if you had my genes, you’d be grateful too.)
  222. Having a good story to tell
  223. Having a reason to get dressed up
  224. Having code that compiles and is bug-free
  225. Having frat boys in an early-morning class I’m teaching
  226. Having friends over
  227. Having someone else drive so I can read
  228. Having someone smell my hair
  229. Having students show up to office hours
  230. Having students thank me
  231. Having the warm fuzzies
  232. Hedberg, Mitch
  233. Hepburn, Katharine
  234. High Fidelity (book and movie)
  235. High fives
  236. High heels
  237. High thread-count sheets
  238. Hindemith’s piano works
  239. Hip hop and rap (and not just when I’m working out)
  240. Home remodeling shows (I’m picky about the ones I like, but I could watch them all day)
  241. Horseradish
  242. Hostess mirrors (aka decorative convex mirrors.)
  243. Hot apple cider (with cinnamon sticks AND cloves)
  244. Hot sandwiches
  245. Hot showers
  246. Hot toddies
  247. House, M.D.
  248. Hudson, Kate (as a sex symbol, not as an actress)
  249. Hugs
  250. Ice cream
  251. The idea of being an ex-pat.
  252. Industrial modern furniture/architecture
  253. Intellectual/philosophical debates
  254. Irish wool sweaters
  255. Iron & Wine
  256. Irony
  257. Italian sausage
  258. Izzard, Eddie
  259. Jack Daniels
  260. Jazz
  261. Jeopardy!
  262. Joplin, Janis
  263. Kakuros
  264. Keyboard shortcuts
  265. The Kinks
  266. Kisses (and at this point, I hope my father quit subscribing…)
  267. Kitchen Nightmares (both American and UK versions. Don’t hate; appreciate.)
  268. Knowing “guy” things as a woman/nerd (like sports, cars, etc.)
  269. Knowing how things work (like basic plumbing and electrical, etc. Especially as a professional nerd, this is a point of pride)
  270. La Boheme (same description as Carmen)
  271. Lace
  272. Lamb
  273. Laughing
  274. Laurie, Hugh (and I don’t just mean as House. His work with Stephen Fry is great. His work on Blackadder was hilarious. He can tickle the ivories. He’s amaze-balls)
  275. Learning
  276. Leather jackets
  277. Led Zeppelin
  278. Leggings (and not when I’m working out)
  279. Les Miserables (the musical. Not the book or movie)
  280. Leviathan (again, this should explain a lot but I was really into this book at 17)
  281. Lewis, Ramsey (BEST live jazz I’ve ever seen in my life)
  282. Libraries (particularly those on college campuses. Particularly those on college campuses with coffee shops built in or nearby).
  283. Lidell, Jamie
  284. Lima beans (even as a kid they were my favorite)
  285. The Lion in Winter (play, movie…)
  286. Live jazz
  287. Lou Holtz on Saturday afternoons (he is the sole reason why I had ESPN and he’s totally worth it)
  288. LPs
  289. Lynch, Stephen
  290. Macs (I’m no PC chick)
  291. Magnolias
  292. Mahogany
  293. Making an IRA contribution (it’s hard NOT to feel accomplished when you do that)
  294. Making mix tapes (or CDs, or 8tracks.com/Spotify lists…)
  295. Making someone I like laugh
  296. Massages
  297. Mental Floss magazine
  298. MG B (1962. Hunter green color preferred.)
  299. Mid-century modern furniture
  300. “Midsomer Murders”
  301. Milkshakes
  302. Minesweeper (as far as these types of games go, it’s better than Solitaire)
  303. Mint
  304. Mom’s turkey stuffing (she uses wild rice instead of bread. SO GOOD)
  305. Monster energy drinks (blue tabs).
  306. Mozart’s Requiem (note: not Mozart)
  307. The Muppet Christmas Carol (BEST version ever made).
  308. Mussels
  309. My dog’s reaction every time I come home (Dogs have a concept of time where “anything over five minutes” is “forever”. When you come home after being gone “forever”, the reaction is always priceless).
  310. My legs (trust me. I have damn nice legs)
  311. My research
  312. Netflix
  313. Next-day soreness from an awesome workout
  314. New England clam chowder
  315. Newman, Paul
  316. Nirvana (the band, though the concept is good too)
  317. Norton, Edward
  318. Not having debt
  319. Not having to eat out
  320. N.Y. Times Sunday crossword puzzles
  321. Oban
  322. Octopus
  323. Offal (I smile every time I see it on a menu. Frequently order it if I can. LOVE organ meat)
  324. Onion rings
  325. Online shopping
  326. Orchids
  327. OutKast
  328. Oyster bars
  329. Pacific Northwest
  330. Paella
  331. Painting (I’m weird. I enjoy painting–like indoor with rollers, non-art)
  332. Pan’s Labyrinth (most beautiful film to watch)
  333. Pasta
  334. Pay day
  335. Peanut butter (creamy)
  336. Peanut butter cookies
  337. Pearls
  338. People-watching at the airport, or at malls during Christmas.
  339. Peppermint bark
  340. Pesto
  341. PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) comics
  342. Pho
  343. Piaf, Edith
  344. Pickled veggies
  345. Pinecones
  346. Pizza
  347. Playing pool
  348. Playing the stock market (knock on major wood)
  349. Poached eggs
  350. Pollock, Jackson
  351. Pope, Alexander
  352. Popping bubbles in bubble wrap (I’m easy to please)
  353. Poppyseed muffins
  354. Portland, Oregon
  355. Portman, Natalie (as a sex symbol AND as an actress)
  356. Pottery Barn catalogs (I’ll admit it)
  357. Prokofiev, S.
  358. Prosciutto
  359. Puff pastry
  360. Pumpkin bread
  361. Pumpkin muffins
  362. Pumpkin pie (sense a theme?)
  363. Puns
  364. Puppy wiggles (if you’ve ever held a puppy, you know what I’m talking about)
  365. Purple (the color)
  366. Putting on leggings or skinny jeans right after shaving legs.
  367. QI (check it out on youtube if you don’t know what I’m talking about)
  368. Queso (it’s so unhealthful, but when it’s an option you’re normally eating something unhealthful anyway, so…yolo?)
  369. R&B
  370. Radiohead
  371. Rain storms
  372. Rare steaks
  373. Raspberries
  374. Raw oysters
  375. Reality TV Shows (some…mostly British ones…are good and I watch them instead of other “quality” programming. The really bad ones, like the VH1 and MTV stuff is great to have on in the background while coding or grading or cleaning…)
  376. Record stores
  377. Red (the color)
  378. Red heads
  379. Reeses pieces (E.T., phone home)
  380. Resting my head against a loved one’s chest
  381. Reubens
  382. Rides in limos
  383. Roasted vegetables
  384. Rocking chairs
  385. Romeo and Juliet (love that play. Call me an old softie)
  386. Root beer
  387. Rosemary
  388. Rubbing my toes in clean carpet (try it before you knock it. Works especially well with shag.)
  389. Rubber spatulas (they make life SO much easier)
  390. Rugby
  391. Saint Patrick’s Day
  392. Salad lyonnaise
  393. Salmon
  394. Samoas (best Girl Scout cookie of all time)
  395. Sarcasm
  396. Savory ice cream (it’s a thing. Like bacon-bourbon ice cream. Magical)
  397. Scalp massages when you get your hair shampooed at a salon
  398. Scarves you can wear when it’s cold
  399. Scarves you can wear when it’s not cold
  400. Screened porches
  401. Seattle
  402. Seaweed salad
  403. Seeing my hip and collar bones
  404. She-crab soup
  405. Sherlock Holmes (the short stories, the character, the BBC version…)
  406. Singing in the car
  407. Singing in the shower
  408. Skeleton watches
  409. Skinny jeans (dark wash)
  410. Sleeping
  411. Sleuth (old version, not Jude Law remake)
  412. My smart phone (in the first two weeks of owning it, it literally helped me out of a 4-foot ditch, got me two job interviews, and allowed me to deposit a check. it’s amazing)
  413. Smell of a (real) Christmas tree
  414. Smell of cigarettes (in the moment. The day-after smells rivals that of day-after beer smells, i.e., it sucks)
  415. Smell of cinnamon
  416. Smell of a clean house
  417. Smell of clean laundry
  418. Smell of coffee (like even going down coffee aisles in grocery stores)
  419. Smell of fresh garlic while cooking
  420. Smell of leather
  421. Smell of my parents’ cologne/perfume
  422. Smell of vanilla
  423. Snaps on “button” downs
  424. Sno-caps at the movies
  425. Snooping through other people’s book and music collections.
  426. Snow
  427. Snow days (you actually have more snow days than days of snow in the South. Slightly counter-intuitive)
  428. Snuggies
  429. Soccer
  430. Some Like it Hot
  431. Sound of a dog’s paws running across hard wood floors or tile
  432. Sound of my mother’s laugh
  433. Sound of rain
  434. Spanish wine
  435. Spiced rum
  436. Spinach and artichoke (dip, pizza, sandwiches…)
  437. Spooning
  438. sporcle.com (It sometimes amazes me that I completed my thesis…)
  439. Squid
  440. The Sting
  441. Submitting a paper for publication
  442. Stone work
  443. Sudokus
  444. Summer rains in the American south
  445. Sur la Table, Williams Sonoma, or any other ridiculously over-priced kitchen store typically found in malls
  446. Sushi
  447. Sweaters/cardigans with elbow patches
  448. “Sweater weather”
  449. Sweetbreads
  450. Sweet potato pie
  451. Taboo
  452. Taco Bell (specifically the cheese, bean and rice burrito. It’s completely blood sludge, but it’s the only fast food I can handle)
  453. Tagalongs (second-best girl scout cookie. GREAT frozen)
  454. Talking to strangers in (hotel) bars
  455. Tapas
  456. Teaching
  457. Three Musketeers candy bars
  458. Thursdays
  459. Tiramisu
  460. Toulouse-Latrec, H.
  461. Trimming Christmas trees
  462. Turning in final grades for a semester
  463. Turtlenecks
  464. Tying ties
  465. Uncle Shelby’s ABZ’s
  466. Understanding conversations/movies/songs in a foreign language
  467. Vancouver
  468. Vanilla
  469. Velvet Underground
  470. Vermonty Python ice cream (it should NEVER have been discontinued!)
  471. Vineyards
  472. Vintage travel and advertising posters
  473. Vitamin water (I know it’s a ripoff. But the XXX stuff…)
  474. Vodka
  475. Walnuts
  476. Watching half and half slowly ooze through a cup of coffee.
  477. Watching someone get their just come-uppance.
  478. Waters, Muddy
  479. The way Christmas lights look when I take off my glasses
  480. Weeds
  481. The Weeknd
  482. Weekends
  483. When Harry Met Sally
  484. Whipped cream
  485. White House, Black Market (they have some of the most beautiful, most well-made clothes I’ve ever seen…even if they cost a small fortune)
  486. Whole Foods (I’m a food snob…slash yuppie)
  487. Winehouse, Amy
  488. Winning breakups (it’s petty and juvenile. But every woman knows what I’m talking about.)
  489. Winslet, Kate (as an actress, not as a sex symbol)
  490. Wireless keyboards, mice, and internet.
  491. Wit
  492. Wontons
  493. Working out regularly
  494. Wright, Frank Lloyd (and I suppose….Oak Park, IL)
  495. Wuthering Heights
  496. Yoga
  497. Yoga pants (which are just as awesome, if not more awesome, than yoga itself)
  498. Young Frankenstein
  499. The Zombies (underrated band if ever there were one)
  500. Zucchini
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