Sweet Music – 28 Things I Love (that aren’t you)

Welcome to Day 9 of my 28 days series! If you’re visiting for the first time, you can catch up on my intro and Day #1 post here. You can also follow the tag “28thingsIlovethataren’tyou” to read all the posts so far in one place. And if you decide to play along with your own 28 Things list, let me know in the comments!

Things I Love – Day 9

Music!

Photo by Spencer Imbrock on Unsplash

I thought talking about why I love music would be a good follow-up to the alcohol post since music is probably my biggest happy-mood inducer, even more than drinking. Not to mention, music is way easier to get, cheaper, and I’ve yet to have a music-fueled hangover the next morning.

Like movies, I don’t really talk a lot about what kind of music I listen to, mostly because a) I assume that nobody fucking cares what mp3’s I’m playing on my phone and b) if they did care, it’d probably only be to tell me that it’s crap and shove their idea of what good music is in my general direction. I like listening to new sounds, but I also like what I like – be it old, new, obscure, popular or just plain weird.

And usually, what I like is music that makes me feel something. I think everyone, at some point in their life, has heard a song or two that just hits a nerve and feels like it was created for that moment, for you. I’m willing to lay money down that, buried on everyone’s cell phone or in their computer is some secret playlist of songs that you feel sum up your life. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.

Music is a lot of things to me; it’s a warm, happy hug for my brain that magically prevents me from shoving obnoxious people into oncoming traffic when they cut me off or crash into me while walking. It’s the ongoing soundtrack for the existential thriller that is my life. On a more spiritual level, there’s always been something about music that makes me feel…more present? More in-step (or in-beat) with the world around me. Actually, there’s a movie that has a really close example of what I mean. It’s the movie Ink, which is definitely one of my top favorite movies of all time. Seriously, if you can, watch it. If not, then hopefully, this little clip will give some impression of what I feel when I’m out and about with a good song in my ears.

When I’m listening to music, it’s as if the rhythm of the song echos out into my surroundings and everything just becomes another layer of sound in harmony with what I’m listening to.

What about you? What does music do for you? If your life was a movie, what genre (real or imagined) would it be? Comment below, or leave a link to your favorite song at this moment.

Booze and Books – 28 Things I Love (that aren’t you)

Welcome to Days 7 & 8 of my 28 days series! If you’re visiting for the first time, you can catch up on my intro and Day #1 post here. You can also follow the tag “28thingsIlovethataren’tyou” to read all the posts so far all in one place. And if you decide to play along with your own 28 Things list, let me know in the comments!

Things I Love – Day 7

Getting drunk!

Disclaimer – The below entry is based solely on my own personal experience and is not meant to promote or encourage alcohol consumption or any general law-breaking. Please feel free to skip this section and go right to the Day 8 entry below.

The official Friday Night anthem

I didn’t start drinking until maybe my second year of college. For my birthday a bunch of my friends and I hung out in my dorm room and we all got plastered while watching a marathon of bad movies that I think included Pink Flamingos and some truly hilarious 70’s porn. Technically, it was my 20th birthday and none of us were legal yet. The big 2-1 though, was a much more subdued affair because there was no way I’d ever top that party. But it was the first time I actually got drunk and the uninhibited giddiness I felt while intoxicated hooked me way more than the actual taste. At first, anyway.

By the end of my college career (and for a few years afterward) I basically became known for ordering two drinks – coconut rum and Sprite (and even then I only drank Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay Coconut Rum – which if that isn’t proof that I have terrible taste in literally everything, then nothing is) and amaretto sours. Even then, as long as the drink came with a guarantee that it would give me cavities, then I was all over, that’s how much of a sweet tooth I had. Still, I drank for the effect, the sugar rush that it came with was usually just a bonus. When I was drunk I felt lighter, carefree, and life in general just felt adorable and delightfully hilarious. So of course, through my twenties, I got drunk as often as I could get away with. Because, hell, it was fun.

But drinking was never a problem. My body chemistry wouldn’t allow it – usually I made it about two and a half drinks before my stomach would start protesting and then it was a question of how many hours of sleep I’d lose detoxing and if finishing that last half was worth the lost sleep. Nine times out of ten, the sleep won out. Plus, me being a total homebody, anti-social introvert, I didn’t like drinking in bars around strangers and loud music. Usually it was way more appealing to get a few bottles, drag all my friends over to my place and conduct social experiments on them play drinking games.

Of course, that was in my twenties. My thirties kicked off with tons of kidney drama that, obviously put any and all partying to a screeching halt and now with the majority of my friends all off being grown-ups with kids and spouses and soul-crushing jobs, there’s no time for 2am drunken philosophical roundtables. I probably get drunk with my mother more these days than my friends – and she is the most adorably cute drunk, so I can’t complain.

I still love my amaretto sours, though if you like the drink yourself and want to try a twist on it, instead of using sour mixer swap in margarita mix. The credit for discovering this totally goes to my mom and I haven’t made my drinks with a normal sour mix since.

Things I Love – Day 8

Bookshops!

I have a whole separate section about actual stories and reading, so this one is just about physical spaces that we find books in. Because those spaces are awesome and important and don’t get nearly enough love in this day and age.

Libraries, shiny new bookstores, and dust-filled, cluttered second-hand shops – I adore them all. There’s always some kind of magic that comes with just being in a space that’s filled from floor to ceiling with books. In college I loved just roaming around the campus library (yes, in my free time and not just when writing papers, and yes I’m a nerd, bite me) and just looking at all the book titles, plucking out whatever sounded interesting and skimming a few pages. Academic libraries are lightyears different from public libraries and I do miss having easy access to one. Then again, public libraries have way more resources (I only have my college experience to compare to though). But libraries are always a good time, especially if I’m not looking for something specific to read. They’re more fun to browse through than say, a Barnes and Noble, because a library isn’t obsessed with promoting whatever hot author is popular right now. You can browse the stacks and find books from twenty years ago alongside books from just last year. I like having access to a wider time-range of books.

That range is also the reason I love second-hand bookstores. For starters, they can be irresistibly cheap (looking at you Strand $1 book racks, sitting there on the sidewalk, tempting me with your cruddy $1 sign and…books). Secondly, you can find some really cool treasures. Some of my favorite finds include a book of quotes about writing, the book version of my favorite Sherlock Holmes-based movie, a biography about one of my favorite actresses of all time, Mae West, and a book of slightly dirty limericks. All of those books were published between the 1940’s and the 1980’s. But like pawing through a thrift store or any local junk shop, part of the fun is not finding what you’re actually looking for, but finding something better.

Okay, what do you think about libraries and bookshops? With the advent of ebooks do people even really go to physical bookstores anymore? Got any good drink recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!

#5 and #6 – 28 Things I Love (that aren’t you)

I might get knocked off schedule a bit, due to a death in the family, but I’ll try my best to keep on track.

If you’re visiting for the first time, you can catch up on my intro and Day #1 post here. Or can follow the tag “28thingsIlovethataren’tyou” to read everything that’s up so far. And if you decide to follow along with your own 28 Things I Love list, let me know in the comments below!

Things I Love – Day 5

Tea!

Photo © Ro Molina
(no stealing, please)

I was never a big coffee person. It tends to aggravate my stomach. I adore the smell though; back in my Starbucks days slinging fancy lattes at people, one of the highlights was cracking open a new bag of coffee beans. All the employees would crowd around as that absolutely divine aroma would just waft out of the bag. But that’s about the extent of my love for coffee.

Tea, though, is a whole different story. Yeah, yeah with coffee you have different beans from different places all over the globe and different roast styles which results in a nice variety. But tea doesn’t quit; if you’re going by the super-general definition of tea as “leaves/roots/flowers boiled in water” then you’ve got variety for days. Even if you go by the stricter definition of tea being only camellia sinensis leaves, you still get radically different flavors from different roasting techniques and all kinds of additions like scented oils (in Earl Grey) or flower petals. And that’s even before you get to fancy stuff like blooming teas.

Honestly, tea is a taste you get used to, like anything else. But hey, I love my tiny collection of teapots, the spicy smell of chai when I brew it in the morning, the caffeinated kick I get from mate, the tart taste of hibiscus flower tea (paired with rosehips and lemon peel – one of my favorite blends). My dad was actually the one who turned me on to tea. He told me once it was mankind’s original medicine. And he’s brought me some of the strangest blends, like the time he brought me tea brewed from neem leaves.

But yeah, tea’s a fun beverage with a lot of wiggle room for experimentation. And you already know that I love experimentation.

Things I Love – Day 6

Making things!

Photo © Ro Molina
(no stealing, please)

One of the biggest bummers about having lupus is the total havoc it tends to play on my joints. Until my last year at high school, my doctors diagnosed me with garden-variety arthritis, and even with the meds they gave me for that, all the joints in my fingers were puffy and swollen all the time. And I went to an arts school! Still, I stubbornly plodded through all four years (along with the help with of a billion bottles of over-the-counter painkillers) until my hair started falling out the docs never even thought to test for lupus.

But none of that stopped me from making stuff. I like crafts of all kinds really. Just last month I started learning how to crochet (my practice project is in the photo above). So far, aside from some shooting pains in my left hand now (hey I pulled my neck muscles reading one time, so this is just totally how my life is) I’m really enjoying it. It’s mindless, repetitive, and I get something pretty out of it. I’m a boring person; this is what I like in my life. It balances out all the crazy medical episodes.

For you tea-lovers out there – I’m always looking for new flavors to try. What’s on your shelf right now? And for any crafty/crocheters – is the pain thing something I need to worry about? Any good hat patterns for beginners?

Fuzzy – 28 Things I Love (that aren’t you)

Monday was a little crazy. I was trained to use my very first injectable medication, then kicked off my birthday month festivities by going to see Black Panther with my Mom.

Note: In case you haven’t heard already, this awesome flick is being shown free at theaters in more than thirty states. Info and ticket link here.

But I came home too tired to put up day four’s post, so today is catch-up.

If you’re visiting for the first time, you can catch up on my intro and Day #1 post here. Or can follow the tag “28thingsIlovethataren’tyou” to read everything that’s up so far. And if you decide to follow along with your own 28 Things I Love list, let me know in the comments below!

Things I Love – Day 4

Baby animals!

Photos via Pixabay

Seriously, does this even need an explanation? Even the Grinch had a little furry dude to hang around with. Even science bows before the power of cuteness. Adorable little (or big, I don’t judge if you want a dog the size of horse) animals are just furry balls of joy and even a dedicated snark master like myself is not immune to their charms. If I didn’t live in a 150 sq ft apartment where my computer desk is also literally where I eat all my meals, I’d consider getting a pet. Probably a cat, but not really because I’m sure any cat would hate my place and piss on everything I own in disdain.

So, in honor of fur babies everywhere, here are videos of drunk people with puppies to brighten your day.

What’s your favorite baby animal? Let me know in the comments!

Zzzz… – 28 Things I Love (that aren’t you)

Welcome to Day #3 of my 28 days series! If you’re visiting for the first time, you can catch up on my intro and Day #1 post here. Or can follow the tag “28thingsIlovethataren’tyou” to read everything that’s up so far. And if you decide to follow along with your own 28 Things I Love list, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to check them out!

Things I Love – Day 3

Sleep!

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Sleep is amazing. It ranks right up next to reading, music, and breathing on my list of favorite things to do. Pity my poor mother for having to drag my zombie ass out of bed for school and even now she makes me sound like some die-hard slacker when I tell her not to call me before 10am, always chiding me about how much more productive I’d be and how many more hours I could enjoy in my day if I just left my bed earlier.

I’m not disagreeing with her, but you can pry me from my mattress when I’m dead.

I love curling up in my blanket like a goddamned burrito, beating my pillow into a proper shape (in 2018 alone I went through five pillows trying to find one that didn’t kill my neck), and then I get to close my eyes and SHUT THE FUCK OFF. My brain shuts up (which is a minor miracle), all my body’s nagging pains and aches go away (mostly, there are times I have to pop some pain relievers), I don’t have to feel my body anymore – I can’t even express how great it is to not feel my body for a few hours.

And I get to dream (and hallucinate, but that’s another post… and I’m told I talk a lot in my sleep)! Since childhood, I’ve always dreamed a lot at night and they’re pretty varied from super boring to just all-time levels of WTFery. And as I pointed out in my Weird Science post yesterday, all my dreams, good or bad, get my curious, analytical side going, so even scary stuff doesn’t usually register in my brain as a nightmare. I mean, I had a dream once about some killer ghost similar to Samara (The Ring) and in the dream I told her that if she wanted attention she should go on American Idol, which I guess goes to show how my brain works sometimes. But stuff like that makes me eager to nose-dive into my pillow and see what other crazy shit my brain will cook up.

Finally, I get a golden 3-5 minutes when I wake up and I’m still all groggy (and my eyes and sinuses feel like sandpaper from all the dry winter air) and I’m just not fully awake yet and I don’t feel anything but awesome. Most of the time, I have to drag myself out of bed. Sleeping is awesome and even if it weren’t necessary to live, I’d still do it.

How do you feel about sleep? Do you love it? Do you avoid it? Hate it, even?