At the request of one of my three fans, this will be a column about things I like very much. This is my short happy statement, lest Renaissance Man – said fan – thinks I didn’t take his request seriously.
Harry Potter towels. A strange thing, I know. But when Mr. Halfstory emerges from the shower, looking for a towel, any towel please, he is usually forced to use the Harry Potter towel (bought in a thrift store years ago) and a damp one he picked up off the floor. It should be noted that both Yvette and Ramona each have 7 towels in their rooms, at all times, presumably for emergency hair issues or because the long walk to the bathroom is 18 uphill miles. One of Mr. Halfstory’s other household questions is “what can I eat here?” because I am always shutting him out of the snack drawer. True, he funds 90% the snacks, but I retain the right to dole them out. Note to self: probably should try to be nicer to Mr. Halfstory.
Inadvertent hand-holding. One of the students at my school/place of employment is 7 years old and has some emotional issues, which, when shifted onto a playground, doesn’t make him a lot of friends. He’s obsessed with very specific subjects and is one of the library regulars. Every once in a while, when he asks for a book, his hand sneaks into mine.
House Hunters International. I’ve seen enough luxury Fijian villas to render me a permanent 10th Commandment criminal – just the part about the neighbor’s house – but where else can you see the young couple looking for a house in Kyrgystan or Slovenia? The only scary thing here is the other night, while toggling between one episode in Bergen, Norway and one in rural Italy (a property with a bread stove but no bathroom), I recognized the real estate agent from another episode. By her first name. It may be time to move on.
“We call him Swish.” Back when Nick Swisher was an Oakland A, I was talking to my other boss, the L.E., and referred to him by his full name. She looked at me with a tiny bit of disdain, kind of like I was wearing the wrong shoes with my handbag, and declared, “we call him Swish.” Just the idea of a highly-educated, well-read and intellectual librarian correcting me on that is tremendous.
Reviewing the best Little League and Girls Softball moments. Or even carpooling baseball players. This one just for the conversation, which can only be described as both brilliant and hare-brained. One of the better things about having teens is that now, finally, we can refer to memories as something other than “remember when my shoe was untied?” Last night The Son, Mr. Halfstory and I were recalling the season when not one single fly ball was caught in the outfield. Start to finish, not a single 7, 8 or 9 put-out. Also reviewed was the 11-point pitching motion of one of the pitchers and the sharp grounder up the middle that left the entire infield standing on second base. Because softball is way more bang-bang, there are no base-running mistakes for which you don’t pay…usually in 7 runs scored or 7 runs that should have scored. Hence, when your baserunner has her back turned to you while you’re giving the signs or she is busy hair-twirling, it can be frustrating. Also frustrating is when 3/4 of the team leaves in a group to “go to the bathroom.”
Shortbread. Expensive European butter. Pinch of salt. Superfine sugar balanced with flour. Pure vanilla. Baked within seconds of a brown edge. Hot cup of coffee in which you’ve ladled in cream or half-n-half. There is nothing more to say here.
Art. Too broad, I realize, so I’ll be specific: any art you’ve bought or you can visit. I own two pieces of contemporary art – a quilt and a very small painting – and every time I look at them I feel energized. This also applies to dance performances. I’ve performed and failed at it so I appreciate anyone who can groove before an audience, rhythmically-speaking.
And, finally, a very short list of assorted favorites: bar-b-qued chicken sandwiches at Fleming golf course, Tom Petty songs, a catcher’s perfect throw down to second, Nick Hornby’s writing, dogs that sleep on their backs, expensive rum, filthy change-ups, infant cargo pants, muffins that aren’t big, dry headfakes, the Presidio’s gloomy quality, and a TV character that says “I’m Eddie. How you like me so far?”