- The mass of solid ice cream that sinks to the bottom of a chocolate shake mixer cup and that smacks you in the mouth when you attempt to drink the last bit of milkshake by tipping the cup and tapping it.
- The beams of sunlight that shine through the window in the afternoon, and within them the dust particles that weave and flow according to the dictates of entropy.
- Alcohol. Alcohol is the elixir of love. It's fun. It's a great social lubricant. It makes everything a little more pleasant (except a game of lawn darts; stay sober for that!). Barring abuse, alcohol promotes good health. I love alcohol in all forms: spirits, wine, "girl drinks," Jello shooters -- everything except beer, which tastes like carbonated urine.
- The modern personal computer. Sure, they're 90% social networking and porn, which is to say they're wonderful. You have to stand back in awe of computers and how they enrich our lives. Think of how many curiosities you've satisfied with a trip to Wikipedia. Imagine how many times YouTube made you laugh or showed you how to install a new sink. Recall the excitement the last time you brokered a sex date via your smart phone with your spouse or significant other. Anybody who claims we're not making progress is overlooking the glowing, 24" hi-def LCD monitor shining in his face as he laments the world in his blog. Irony.
- The one pizza place within driving distance that makes a great pizza. We all have one, even if we need Vasco da Gama, a GPS and a bloodhound to locate it. Good pizza places are hard to find. That's what makes them so special.
- The hot tub on a cold night. Bubbles off. I can't stand the noise from the air pump and all those bubbles bursting. No bubbles, just the micro-bubbles that fizz from the hot water return jet. Ahhhhhhhh....
- Homemade salsa with thin, crispy tortilla chips. Made correctly, salsa is the champion of appetizers.
- The night before a day off work. I exalt in the sense of freedom and possibility. Sure, I wind up sleeping in and giving way to the tug of lethargy. I blow off my plans and waste my precious day off. But the night before is undiluted bliss. It's the sweet spot of the weekend.
- That psychological phenomenon by which a piece of music brings you back to a time in your life when you were brimming with love, or in youthful rapture, or tranquility, or a particularly happy interval in your past.
- Ripping through hours of your favorite TV series once the new season hits DVD. We did this with the Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Mad Men, Dexter, Weeds, and Sex and the City. Sometimes we'll order a pizza and let the episodes play until our eyes are burning.
- The promise of a new book.
- The uncanny way that mishaps turn into the most precious of memories: the cancelled flight that forced you to buy an incredible book you otherwise wouldn't have read, the power failure in which my family drove to the neighborhood ice cream shop, or the time my wife and I broke down on Mt. Lemmon and had to coast the car down the mountain and then walk home late at night. That kind of stuff.
- Comets, shooting starts and celestial bodies. Also, the smoke trails that jet planes lay across the sky.
- The aftereffects of exercise or vigorous physical activity.
- My "go-to" clothes -- a collection of shirts and pants that fit me perfectly and always look good, even when the rest of me doesn't. You never know which items of clothing will become your go-to clothes. Most won't. You can never tell at the store or in the dressing room. Only time will reveal which clothes are your go-to's. That's when you wish you'd bought 3 of whatever your go-to clothes are.
- Exceeding 300 points in a game of Scrabble.
- The Dennis Miller Show. It's a 3-hour daily podcast with no commercials. If the idea of talk radio appeals to you, but the hosts are bombastic and overly partisan, try Dennis Miller.
- The sensation of cleanliness after a shower and shave, floss and brush.
- A bunch of comments pending publication on my latest blog post. I must admit I love devouring those.
- A field at dusk awash in lightning bugs.
My last couple posts came off caustic. That's the risk I take when I sit down to write while sober. No such risk today, I'm glad to report; I've got a glass of homemade limoncello as my co-pilot. I'm feeling magnanimous just now. So want to write something lighter. Plus I recently read a blog post in which the writer listed the things she's grateful for (I forget which blog, but I remember enjoying it). It prompted me to make a list of some things that I love. Here it is: