Friday, November 1, 2013

I Like / I Don't Like: a collective list

I like my life
I like that when I look at my wrinkles I think of my mother
I like the sounds of tap dancing and rain
I like voices in the morning, when they are deep and sleepy
I like to have string cheese and dried, tart cherries always in the house
I like it on days when I get almost as much mail as dear occupant 
I like asking, but I also really like being asked
I like parades, road trips and diners
I like naming things — I once owned a shed named Trixie
I like knowing the difference between "present" and "accounted for"
I like to write in little unlined notebooks using mechanical pencils with HB lead
I like that my 10-year-old nephew Joey's favorite movie is a documentary about Coco Chanel
I like containers and thinking about storage
I like to carry my worry stone in my front right pocket
I like to listen to Bach's Goldberg Variations first thing in the morning when my day is still slow and I can drink tea with Glenn Gould

I don't like narcissists

I don't like the way my back aches in the morning

I don't like when one of my socks gets eaten by the demon in the dryer

I like a crisp winter afternoon when the sun is low in the sky and the clouds look like layers of soft pillows

I don't like cats using my veggie garden as a litter box

I don't like being so far away from family

I like peanut butter and avocado sandwiches

I like — actually I worship — the writers Margaret Atwood and the late Adrienne Rich

I don't like pink or floral prints

I like taking long hot baths and then getting right into bed

I like sudoku puzzles but they have to be really, really hard

I don't like being stuck somewhere I don't want to be

I don't like people who refuse to uphold their end of the conversation 

I like having a neat, clean, organized house as much as I like reserving the right to be messy here and there and wherever, and whenever, I choose

I like using a fountain pen

I like to see the blooms on an orchid unfold

I like to read a book under a cozy quilt 

I like to look at the sky, especially the autumn sky, full of sun and clouds and shades of blue not seen any other time of the year 

I don't like being called madam

I like walking along the beach, feeling the ocean water tumble over my feet, feeling the warm sun on my body, or just sitting on the sand savoring sweet watermelon

I don't like playing Monopoly

I like eating whole pans of Rice Krispie Treats

I like boys in old fashioned hats, dressing up in costumes, going for walks alone, and kisses on my cheeks

I don't like touching ice cubes

I like the sound of the wind

I don't like being afraid that the tree out front is going to fall into my apartment

I like planting tulip bulbs and imagining the colors and fragrance that will arrive in the spring

I like the tiny downy woodpecker hammering just feet from where I’m weeding

I like feeling good and strong after exercise class

I like to hear the harmonies when six of us sing together

I like green hills, butterflies, children's giggles and the warmth from a wood stove

I don't like cancer

I like the last day of school for the school year (I am a teacher)

I like when both of my daughters visit me and my apartment feels so alive

I don't like my hair while it is growing out

I don't like the way the weather affects me

I don't like huge textbooks 

I like big, open ballrooms

I like sleeping outside 

I like the way what I like changes

I like working on a math problem, so long as I’m getting some indication that I’ll lick it eventually

I like getting a bargain, especially on something small but annoyingly expensive

I like having my 24-pound cat fall asleep on my belly and now I’m stuck for at least an hour in this position, might as well take a nap

I like reading a book that makes reference to several great books that I can look up now

I like when people laugh at themselves

I like when people in a restaurant know me and are happy to see me when I come in to eat (like the waitress)

I like talking to someone who has had the same exact frustration I've had, especially if no one else has sufficiently commiserated

I like yoga, deep breathing, standing on my head, and the exhilaration of handstands
I like my daughter’s laugh and I like her artwork too
I like imagining anything I want to happen and then making it happen
I like being alone, free to do what I want, when I want 
I like green chile and beans with sapodillas
I like a mug of strong hot working class tea and biscuits
I like the kids who work in the head-shop on the Commons that plays the Grateful Dead music, and I like that they don’t treat me like a weirdo because I’m not there to buy a bong
I like Ithaca more now than I did 20 years ago
I like memoirs, mysteries, thrillers, travel writing, nature writing, essays, poetry — I like book sales
I like going to the movies by myself and I like that I say “the movies” and not “the cinema”
I like riding on the bus when I am one of the only passengers, which is not nearly often enough
I like the idea that I can collect social security, starting this spring
I like who I am, who I have become
I like that I am a “Native New Yorker,” like the song says
I don’t like people who tell me, within the first minute of meeting them, that they are spiritual

I don’t like it when, in the midst of an unpleasant discussion, someone flashes me a big smile

I like that my Pilates teacher adapts her teaching style to my non-linear-ness

I like to eat toasted rice bread with garlic olive oil and goat cheese, every night

I like going away and coming home

I like fireflies, fireplaces, fire pits, fire roasted tomatoes, and fired up fillies; baskets, beadwork, birch bark, feathers, and fry bread

I like waterfalls, watermelon, wading birds, weather vanes, words, wise women, and wizardry

I like ragtime, blues, the violin, Muddy Waters , Stefan Grapelli, and Franz Liszt

I don't like ticks and stings or mold, mildew, mites, or pollen

I like Mondays — a day when I get back to my regular routine after an ambiguous weekend
I don’t like it too cold or too hot, but just right, the way Goldilocks liked her porridge
I like living in the country, but I don’t like septic systems and wells
I like pistachio nuts and walnuts and pine nuts and filberts — I just like nuts
I like to be on time, so I’m always early, and when I try to be late, I get there on time, so I wait for other people a lot
I like watching violent weather, but not being in it
I like being a fervently sophomoric and immature person, as well as a senior citizen

I don't like dark, dreary days but even then I am grateful to be alive

I like watching Chasing Classic Cars on the Velocity Channel, reading autobiographies, drinking Earl Grey tea, and talking on the phone to my sisters
I like Hawaiian pizza and Southern Comfort Old Fashions
I like watching the birds at our bird feeder
I don’t like hitting a slice off the tee, wet socks, and parents yelling at their children in public places
I like the rhyme of thesaurus with dinosaurous

I like drinking those little coffee creamers like shots when no one is looking

I don't like certain musical notes, especially those hit in guttural singing by Gyuto Monks

I like warm pudding in a pottery bowl

I don't like walking into a room where small talk is required, unless there are snacks

I like making faces at babies in the grocery store line until they giggle

I like creating with others — the playful silence of busy hands and muse-infused minds 

I like every animal that slithers, crawls, hops, swims and flies (and even those that just sit!)

I don't like hot air balloons in June, any other month might be okay

I like the soft sound of a snoring cat, like 'snurup, snurp" (while I type)

I like stacking wood — the satisfying triptych that includes: physical activity; the puzzle of fitting the right wedge into the right groove; and the handsome product, a roughly organized mound of repeating shapes

I don't like jarred garlic 

I don't like yoga rooms with mirrors in them

I like dots on just about anything  

I like anything cooked in duck fat

I like ice cream, but only once a year

I like to dawdle

I like to dance in my kitchen with the lights off and the volume of the music turned all the way up 

I like old photos, torn and dark around the edges

I like crystal dishes filled with candy

I like flowers of every color, but especially violets, lilacs, lilies of the valley, and pansies

I don't like to be interrupted when I am talking

I like being distracted by a moth, a falling leaf, a busy squirrel, or the bark of a distant dog
I don’t like being misunderstood
I don’t like deceptive people but I like catching them in their deceit
I like clean windows, the sparkle of clean glasses in my cupboard, the porch light shining in the dark

I like making up rhymes and playing word games
I like maps

I like sitting and watching November roses bob in the afternoon breeze

I like Brussels sprouts, old-time traditional music, and reading historical mysteries  

I like sitting silently with friends, following my breathing

I don't like radishes, stepping in bear scat, or being left out of the loop

I don't like eating standing up, bowl in one hand, fork in the other, thoughts flying around my head

I don't like deadlines, rules that say no pets allowed, or missing your phone calls

I like when a stranger walks by singing the song that's already in my head

I like even numbers, unbirthday parties, and holding hands as we walk

I like thinking my younger self would admire me

I like being described as "having character"

I like laughing so hard I cry

I like alive things in the face of winter

I don’t like people thinking I’m stupid because they can’t understand my thinking

I like building and watching huge bonfires on a late August evening

I like knowing all that I know

I don’t like not having won the multimillion dollar lottery (so far)

I don’t like scare tactics

I like taking time to sit and think about where I am and where I will be next

I don't like the smell of Yankee Candle's new bacon scented candle

I don't like having to spend money on new tires, underpants, or toilet paper
I don't like the cat's tone of voice when she's demanding dinner
I like emerald moss on dark brown logs, especially when all else seems barren

I like the subtle, bronzed, leathery tan of oak leaves
I like having lots of blueberries in the freezer — for eating and for remembering summer
I like the smell of chocolate cake, cooling on a rack on the counter
I like "forever" stamps
I like a surprise visit from someone I love

I like to keep things simple

I like being included and being "in the know"

I like spontaneous outings

I like the quiet just after my kids fall asleep

I like drinking from the carton when no one is looking

I don't like ending a hot shower

I don't like emptying the compost

I don't like anguish

I like having a book on deck for after I finish the one I'm reading now

I don't like commitments, appointments, or waiting rooms

I like watching the leaves dance down the street, choreographed by the wind

I like it when people agree with me

I don't like plastic cutlery, clowns, hydrangeas, coupons, parallel parking, the birthday song, or vacuuming

I don't like the sound of bagpipes or the smell of burnt toast

I don't like the name "Debbie"

I like chopsticks, roller coasters, catalpa trees, cocktails, Brie, and home renovation TV shows

I like the word "lachrymose"

I like sitting up to my neck in hot water

I like the way we met, all those many years ago

I don't like waiting for clothes at the laundromat and no amount of mystery reading, Sudoku puzzles, or junk food will ever make it okay

I like the way the sun is shining in through the sliding glass doors to be caught in the odd mosaic globe I bought in a coffee shop and now the ceiling and walls are sprinkled with dozens of sunlight polka dots

I like to open my desk calendar and find that today nothing is scheduled for maintenance — not the car, or the furnace, or the vegetable garden, or the fence, or me — but I do recognize there comes a point when it is all about maintenance

I like 6:30 in the evening when the oven is almost ready to receive the scrubbed potatoes and the salad greens are rinsed and I am trimming beans while you are peeling the garlic and we talk about nothing much and everything all at once

I like having something to look forward to, packing for a trip, the getting ready for sleep routine, and keeping my watch set on military time

I like that I don't stay mad for too long — usually 

I like my massage therapist — a lot 

I like imagining my bones

I like remembering the clothes I wore in the past

I like distant views, wading in water, being baffled by time zones, and slowing down

I like my big red couch, d’Anjou pears, hand knit wool socks, buckeyes, the Cornell skyline, pickled beets

I like being surprised by a red leaf

I like making vegetable beef soup that tastes just like my mother’s

I like saying hi to the Johnson Museum’s huge wooden statue of Kwan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion

I like daydreaming, crickets in the corners, Thai restaurant menus, the way Fontina cheese melts, and Broadway show tunes

I like tiny statues of animals, the symmetry of succulent plants, looking in dollhouse windows, and fifty-year friendships 

I don't like it that when I see a man barely able to walk down the street because his pants are buckled around the middle of his thighs, the only thing I hope for is to see him step on his own cuff and lose his pants completely

I don't like it when I take a sip of coffee before remembering that I just rinsed my mouth out with Listerine

I don't like it when overanxious opera buffs spoil the end of a beautiful aria by shouting "Bravo" before the last note has had a chance to resound through the air and settle completely in the hearts of the audience

I like the inside curve of a freshly broken eggshell

I like the way a cat can be asleep but still talk to you by idly waving the tip of its tail in the air

I like being newly retired and often having no idea what day of the week it is

I like taking the time to help a ladybug find a bit of greenery to sit on instead of facing certain crushing death any second on the ground in front of  Wegmans' busy front doors

I don’t like thinking about what I don’t like 
I like to write, read, find and collect lists

Thank you to all these contributors:
Amy E. Bartell
Annie Wexler
Antonia Matthew
Barbara Cartwright
Barbara Kane Lewis 
Barbara West
Bill Holcombe
Blue Waters
Cady Fontana
Carol Bossard
Chaya Spector
Diana Kreutzer
John Peiffer
Julia Rosoff
June Wolfman
Kathleen Thompson
Kelly Morris
Laura LaRosa
Laura Levinson
Lillian Tuskey
Lynn Johnson
Lynne Taetzsch
M Richard Leopold
Melissa Hamilton
Melissa Zarem
Meryl Young
Pamela Goddard
Patty Little
Peggy Adams
Pilar Greenwood
Quina Weber-Shirk
Raymond Edwin
Stephanie Mulinos
Sue Norvell
Summer Killian
Susan English
Susan Lesser
Wendy Gutman
Zee Zahava