Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Happy List, Part VII: Seventh Heaven

Those of you who just started reading my blog this spring may not be familiar with my "Happy Lists"--occasional lists of things that make me happy or that I'm grateful to have in my life. I usually try to compile one at least once every three months; by accident much more than design, I haven't done one since last November. As a result, this list will be far from exhaustive, but here goes:

  • Clicking down New York City streets in heels
  • Torchlight processions
  • English country dancing
  • The shape of the whiskey glass I received at the Scotch Whiskey Heritage Centre in Edinburgh (where we rode in reproduction whiskey barrels through a diorama tour of whiskey-making history)
  • Guinness and the Guinness Storehouse
  • Literary pub crawls
  • Cobbled streets
  • The music of Lyle Lovett
  • Brad Pitt and Eric Bana in "Troy"
  • Midwest Airlines, especially their wide leather seats and hot chocolate-chip cookies
  • My new black Bandolino heels
  • And my little black J. Crew dress
  • Hotel beds with down pillows and comforters
  • Having my hair washed by someone else
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Jacques Torres chocolate
  • John's Pizza in the West Village, which is possibly better than Lombardi's, though I believe I need to do more exhaustive testing before I can come to an official conclusion
  • Letting a laundry basket slide down stairs, and the satisfying crash it makes at the end
  • Also pushing a shopping cart into a cart corral in a parking lot, and the even more satisfying crash there
  • Dance numbers in movie musicals, including "Dirty Dancing" (sigh), "High School Musical," and "Singin' in the Rain"
  • Croquet, particularly as played by my ruthless, cutthroat, utterly hilarious family (a version known as "Killer Klein Croquet")
  • My sister's dead-on (and also hilarious) imitations of our dad
  • Playing pool
  • Jacuzzis
  • "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and "House"
  • My little Palm Zire
  • Fresh bedsheets
  • Eating an entire saucepan of macaroni and cheese from a box all by myself
  • "A Little Night Music" and the current Broadway production of "Sweeney Todd"
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Mini Coopers
  • Long drives listening to good music
  • Making flower chains
  • The blessed Automated Postal Center at the Soho Post Office
  • The beautiful terraced loess hills of western Iowa
  • The satisfaction of discovering something true as I'm writing
  • The fact that when you delete spam from gmail, it says "Hooray! No spam here!"


  1. Yes, you can’t beat a good torchlight procession. . . a torch in one hand, a pitchfork in the other, the fevered hordes chanting, “Frankenstein! Frankenstein!” as they slam the castle door with a log. *Sigh*

  2. re: Pizza: Make sure to try Grimaldi's and Arturo's before you make any snap judgements :).

  3. Good list! I must say, I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes Mac 'n Cheese from the box. I was a closet eater, but no more! I will no longer claim to be purchasing the boxed delight for my children. NO! I will join the ranks of the Mac 'n Cheese eaters and proudly proclaim, "This box is for me!" :-D

  4. I always find it interesting how one written phrase is interpreted by many. When I read “torchlight procession”, my vision was not of Frankenstein, but rather the annual Christmas Eve torchlight procession/parade at the Big Mountain Ski Resort in Whitefish, Montana. It goes like this…
    It is Christmas Eve, around 6 p.m. The snowcapped Big Mountain is faintly lit by a zillion stars. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the top of Big Mountain, dressed in their best red and whites. A few dozen interested and able skiers are then given a torch, lit by Santa. After he shouts a few encouraging, “HO! HO! Hos”, Santa leads the skiers down the mountain.
    At the base of the mountain, Christmas carols blare. It is packed with anxious kids and tired parents, still donning their skiwear. To them the torchlight procession looks like a fiery ribbon, snaking down the mountain. And when Santa finally arrives, there are loud cheers and singing. After hot chocolate and cookies, Santa and Mrs. Claus jump into a helicopter, decorated with Christmas lights and fly through the sky.
    The evening continues with a candlelight carol service at the church on the corner.
    [By the way… this is one of my favourite things!]

  5. I really like the enthusiasm of gmail as well.

  6. I like the floodplain those loess hills are edging, said the river rat.

    When you send the laundry basket down the stairs, is it full or empty? I'd rather do let it slide than carry a full basket downstairs. Let the dang thing carry itself.

  7. The torchlight procession that prompted the list entry was the Hogmanay parade from Edinburgh Castle to Calton Hill on December 29, 2005. A group of men dressed as Vikings hauled a ship along in front of us, which they burned with great joy at the crest of Calton Hill, while Katy and I handed our joint torch (a flaming roll of wax-dipped cardboard, very effective for the purpose) back and forth, stamped our feet to keep them warm, and shouted "Up-helly-a!" It was an excellent time, even without traditional Scottish warming beverages. :-)

  8. I can't hit the high notes, but I sing along to "Soon, Now, Later" from "A Little Night Music" in my car. It makes me smile, and "Every Day a Little Death," always flips something inside me. Wistful and lovely. Thank you, Mr. Sondheim.

  9. Did you go inside the Edinburgh Castle? The things I remember most about it were the creepy dungeon and the birthing chair of Mary, Queen of Scots. Both looked torturous.

    While in Edinburgh did you taste Turkish Delight? I had always thought it a figment of C.S. Lewis' imagination, but it was bountiful as BubbleYum and Butterfingers over there. I failed to see the enchanting qualities of rose flavored gel, but enjoyed the novelty...

    I missed the torchlight boat burning thingy. Sounds toasty.

    Christy Lenzi