Sometimes I feel like a creep for putting my thoughts and ramblings out here like they’re somehow significant. There is something appealing in the idea that someone, somewhere might stumble on my nonsense and say “She’s just like me. I love that too!” or “I hate when that happens – she’s my kindred spirit.”
It pleases me to discover someone shares my obsession with Kindersurprise eggs for example, or that http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/recommends/ Hang On Little Tomato by Pink Martini which is in my CD collection and Italicized Garamond Ampersand [&] which I also love because ampersands are cool and Garamond is an elegeant typeface and I like the name Garamond, along with the name Bodoni.
It’s about validating my penchants and preferences which in essence in some way validates me? Someone at McSweeneys likes the same things I do. They are cool, successful writers, therefore I must be cool too.
So with that said and with my assertion that it’s all done purely for internal satisfaction here is a list of things I recommend, because I am just as important/unimportant as anyone/everyone. I’m leaving off obvious stuff like Jane Austen, Sopranos, Bach and rain. It’s all wonderful but everyone knows that already. Let me tout the less obvious.
Pancakes: Just so good any time of day
Oliva: This is Greek olive oil bar soap that I buy at the Greek Shrine in St. Augustine. It smells fabulous and lasts a long time.
Cats: Yes this is an obvious and redundant addition to the list but I recommend them in any color or flavor.
Being barefoot: Even though it can be dangerous in Florida, I still love not wearing shoes (though I hate it when people do it in public – except at the beach where it’s acceptable)
Maple syrup: Not fake-corn-syrup-maple-flavored stuff but the real deal that comes from Maple trees. It’s divine.
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg: Chris Van Allsburg is wonderful and this book is a very sweet story about a mysterious Frosty character and the changing seasons. Chris has a nice website too http://www.chrisvanallsburg.com/flash.html
The Convenience of Indecision Sorry About Dresden: I love this CD mostly in the late winter/early spring. I don’t have any of their other CDs but they might be good too.
Addidas soccer sandals: These are the next best thing to being barefoot, but they have to be a specific kind with no velcro and stripey straps across the top.
Biscoff: These are the biscuity cookies they sometimes give you on flights. They are tasty and just quirky enough to make them cool.
Old postcards: These can be very lovely or silly or historical. As an added bonus Unlike collectors, I like to buy circulated ones because the handwriting is usually pretty and the names are interesting.
Marjoram and thyme: Two of my favorite herbs for their scent and their delicate leaves.
Basil: For scent and flavor
Bird’s nests: Bird’s nests are a wonder of architecture. How do they weave tiny hairs and fibers into such a cozy structure? While I don’t condone stealing them – if you find one on the ground I think it’s only fair that you should keep, admire and treasure it.
Summers With Juliet by Bill Roorbach: I reread this book many times and always enjoy it. It’s a nice combination of travel/nature writing & love story from that time in your twenties when anything seemed possible but you didn’t really know what you wanted.
Another Green World Brian Eno: This CD takes me some other place and time. I’m not sure where but it’s good and it’s timeless.
Tom Wahl’s or Bill Wahl’s: I haven’t actually been here since I was in college in Rochester, NY, but it will live in my mind as having the best burgers and shakes ever.
Pinecones and acorns: Pinecones and acorns are pretty neat. (Pretty neat? Who even says that?)
Chet Baker: Beautiful music, good-looking guy and the heartbreaking history behind his career.
South Otselic: This is the tiny “hamlet” in Chenango County, NY where I grew up. There is not much to recommend it other than the countryside that surrounds it. Yet I recommend it because like any kid, I didn’t appreciate it when I lived there and have spent the bulk of my adult life wishing I could go back.
Bill Bryson: He’s too big and popular to be on the list but I’m putting him on anyway because his writing makes me laugh out loud in public places.
Stationery supplies: Like calligraphy pens, mechanical pencils, pretty notecards, journals and stuff.