Everything is very doomy and gloomy recently, ain't it? Strangely, I've been in a remarkably upbeat mood. This might be because times like this are sort of good for contrarians like myself. Today I feel like spreading the love. Here are five things that I really like a lot.
One: Craft root beer. I am not a big soda drinker. And I grew up on diet sodas (literally--my mom drank Tab when I was very little, Pepsi Lite when I was in elementary school and the weirdly addicting Diet Coke since). So I just generally do not drink regular sugared sodas. HOWEVER. I make a special occasion exception for craft root beer. Henry's, on tap, is my favorite (although I know it is a little too sweet and too smooth--if in fact root beer can be too smooth!--for some). But I also like Mt. Angel. Those monks make some very tasty root beer. I do not, however, love craft root beer as much as this dude.
Two: Pilot G-2 Extra Fine Gel Pens. It isn't so much that these are my favorite pens ever (far from it), but they are ideal for grading. They come in a variety of colors beyond black, blue and red (none of which I like to use to grade with). I particularly like the purple and burgundy ones because I find them easy to read against the black and white. They are nice and fine, but don't clump. I think I went through about 5 of them last term alone. (And if any of you feel like bitchin' about how little I blog, think about all the writing I'm doing on student papers.)
Three: North. Since I have now been there the last 4 weekends (or so) in a row, I think I can call this "my new bar." North is unpretentious and small and neighborhood-y. You can put music on the jukebox for free, and they have Kenny Rogers. There is also a lot of Bruce Springsteen. The clientele is somewhat eclectic. Mikey J. likes to sit at the bar. This is ok by me. The one drawback is this older guy we've seen a couple of times who drinks wine and tries to listen in on our conversations and smirks at everything I say. I could do without that dude. However, last week I told Mike that I was ready to rumble with the guy if he gives me any more attitude. Mike said, "You are not prepared to rumble with that old guy." I said "seriously, I'm ready to take him down." Then Mike told me that this might be the most ridiculous thing I've ever said.
Four: Iced Lattes from Peet's. Here's the thing: I know that Peet's is a chain and all, but I had just given up ordering lattes anywhere. Everywhere I went it seemed like I was getting coffee-flavored milk. When actually what I wanted was coffee with a lot of milk in it. (See the important distinction?) Peet's lattes taste like milky coffee. That is delicious, and just what I want sometimes (when I'm not in the mood for an Americano or cafe au lait, which are much more my "everyday" coffee drinks). Peet's used to really be marvy because they kept soy milk (for my Americanos) out with the cream, but they have ceased to do that, so I'm back to having to ask for it at the bar. I don't like that as much. It makes me feel high maintenance to have to ask.
Note: I do realize that 3 of the 5 things so far have to do with beverages. I like beverages. I think--and do not freak out about this--that I would rather stop eating solid food than stop drinking fluids.
Five: Chelsea Handler. OK. I realize that she is actually a person that I like, and not so much a thing. I resisted for a long time. But I think she's really funny. I can't help it. And--this is weird--she and I are exactly the same age. Check this out: Drew Barrymore was born on February 22nd, 1975. I was born the next day. Chelsea Handler was born on the 25th. I find this totally bizarre. CH clearly seems older than me. They dress her real old and adult-like on that show, and she dates the president of E!, who is sort of old. Drew Barrymore--I don't know. I guess she seems older too. But it is hard to say when you are talking about someone who is crazy and went through rehab at 13. I was just barely getting through Drama I my freshman year of high school. (Ask Qwanty. She will confirm that I spent a lot of time in the "little theatre" staring off into space and crying.) My point is this, don't compare yourself to famous people who were born the same week you were. It starts to make you feel sort of weird and bad, but also glad that you are NOT famous and so, thus, no one cares if you wear your kitty jama bottoms and beat up Chucks to the grocery store at night.
Oh wait. Except that was not my point. My point was, Chelsea Handler is funny.
And my larger point is this: you may not have a job past March 18th, and you may have a condo in Austin that just refuses to sell, and you may be turning the UNGODLY age of 34 in less than a week, and the American economy may be a disaster, but you can still take pleasure in the small stuff.