Here are some lists, in no particular order, of my favorite things. I’ve probably left out a lot of them just because my brain wasn’t focused in that direction when I made the list.
Lolita, Valdimir Nabokov
Cry to Heaven, Anne Rice
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Forever Amber, Kathleen Winsor
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman
Smiley’s People, John Le Carre
Misery, Stephen King
In This House of Brede, Rumer Godden
The Boys From Brazil, Ira Levin
The Crystal Cave, Mary Stewart
Shogun, James Clavell
Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
Watership Down, Richard Adams
Child of the Morning, Pauline Gedge
The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Amy Tan
Dead Can Dance
Duffy: Mercy, Distant Dreamer
Gotan Project: Arrabal
Bob Dylan: I Want You (Blonde on Blonde)
Dido: Life For Rent
Alison Iraheta: Scars
Puccini: Madama Butterfly: Con Onor Muore
Puccini: Turandot: Nessun Dorma
Verdi: Ave Verum Corpus
Bartok: Viola Concerto (1945)
Roy Orbison: Only the Lonely
The Rolling Stones: Satisfaction
The Beastie Boys: Sabotage
Radiohead: There There
Amy Winehouse: Rehab
The Beatles: Blackbird
Ben E. King: Stand By Me
Etta James: At Last
Boy George: The Crying Game
Aaron Copeland: Appalachian Spring
Charles Ives: Variations on America
Creedence Clearwater: Heard It Through The Grapevine
Danny Gatton: Sleepwalk
Paul Desmond: Bossa Antigua
Edith Piaf: Milord
Kobialka: Celtic Quilt
Madeleine Peyroux: Dreamland
Maurice Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe
Oasis: Stop Crying Your Heart Out
The Postal Service: Such Great Heights
Ralph Stanley: Man of Constant Sorrow
Stan Getz: Desafinado
Tom Waits: Blow Wind Blow
Devin Murphy: Concerto #1 for Alto Sax and piano
The Red Shoes
The Red Violin
The Good Shepherd
Nothing To Lose
Arsenic and Old Lace
The Color Purple
The Incredible Journey
The Gay Divorcee
The Right Stuff
What Dreams May Come
Harry Potter I and III
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Polar bears & Dogs
Tulips & Poppies
Singing, Dancing, Baking, Cheap plastic wind-up toys
Actor: Edward Norton
Actress: Chloe Sevigny; also the brainless girl on GLEE
Food: Concord grapes
Unusual talent: Reading tarot cards
Things I loathe: Insurance companies, know-it-alls
Things I love: Funny people, sunlight
Favorite TV show: So You Think You Can Dance
More things I loathe: Indecisive people. Liars. Puke.
Things that scare me: Really religious people. People who think about politics all the time. Bossy, controlling people. People who hate dogs. Electrical wires. Dentists. Vegans.
More things I love: Book catalogues. The smell of citrus. Cake. Big friendly animals. People who don’t clean their houses when you visit them. That show about meerkats. Paris. Watching the sky turn dark blue for about a minute every summer evening. Earrings with faces on them. Hummingbirds. Obese cats. Black coffee. Guitar blues. Silk pajamas. Old books. Fuzzy socks. History. Gossip about the British royal family. Fart jokes. Sumie (Japanese brush painting). Madrigals. Baths. The scent of carnations.
Things I spend time doing when I’m alone: Wondering what it would be like to go back in time and know things no one else knew, like that bread mold creates penicillin. Figuring out the components of perfumes by smell alone. Reading cookbooks from cover to cover. Trying on wigs. Making up songs to sing to my dog. Draping all my lamps and windows in colored tulle. Practicing my reaction if a young Marlon Brando, circa 1950, accidentally showed up in my doorway. Taking pictures of myself being terrorized by cheap plastic wind-up toys.
Another thing I do: Move. I mean places. I move a lot. It’s like wading in a stream: Once it gets murky, I want to move on to a different place. I like being a stranger in a strange land. One of my favorite memories is waking up and hearing everyone outside speaking French. I’d just moved to Paris, and I kept the window open at night so I’d hear French things in the morning. And I did.
Secret addiction: American Idol. I’m sorry, I can’t help it.
Other secret: I watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy all the time. I’m not a LOTR dork, though. Honest. But I always cry when Samwise tells Frodo that he can’t carry the ring, but he can carry Frodo, and then he picks him up. I think Sean Astin steals all those movies.
Third: Opera. That’s not much of a secret, though, considering I’ve included two Puccini arias in my “favorite music” list. Those of you who are opera fans are probably making fake retching noises and saying, “Ugh, Puccini!” because opera lovers generally don’t love Puccini. The rest of you are saying, “huh? Wasn’t Puccini like a dress designer in the sixties?” I once wanted to be an opera singer. I was twelve, I think. I’ve always been mad for Italian opera. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a very good singer.
Secret shame: My weight. I’m always gaining and losing. And gaining. It’s really hard for a baker to be thin. There’s a bread machine in the trunk of my car at this moment. I’m afraid that if I bring it inside the house, I’ll start baking uncontrollably. I used to be thin, though. Before I learned how to cook.
Secret pride: I’m really good at learning languages. When my ex-husband and I were dating, I made up an alphabet so that we could write secret correspondences. Being a man, though, he mostly used it to write dirty letters to me.
Secret ambition: To be an Ikette, going “Wo-wo-wo” behind Tina Turner. But I gave up that fantasy when I found out what a prick Ike was.
My son: is a strange dude. A classical saxophonist, perennial scholar, and experimental hairstylist. I think he’s the most interesting person I know.
My dog: I brush Lucy’s teeth every night. I hate bad breath in dogs.
My fans: I believe I have the world’s smallest official fan club. It consists of two people in Las Cruces, New Mexico. If you want to join, I’ll try to find out how to do that, although membership may be closed.
Favorite mindless time waster: This is my cure for writer’s block.