January 6th, 2017

1000 Things We Like: into triple digits

Colette Maitland says

78. Chickadees at the bird feeder
79. Multi-coloured Christmas lights
80. Quilts
81. The perfect butter tart

Mark Sampson says

82. My wife
83. New Year’s Eve parties
84. Star Wars nostalgia
85. Donairs
86. The West Wing Weekly Podcast Series
87. Fancy hotel rooms
88. Cask ale
89. Netflix
90. The New Yorker
91. Snow days
92. P.G. Wodehouse novels
93. Homemade biscuits with homemade jam on them.
94. Wine tours
95. Taking a break once I’ve earned it
96. Tweed coats
97. Preprandial cocktails
98. Working with smart people
99. Travelling to new cities and figuring out how to get around

And from me again, just to get us into the triple digits
100. Round numbers
101. The smell of sparklers
102. The smell of babies’ heads
103. Falling asleep on the subway and waking up just at my stop
104. licorice spice tea
105. expensive moisturizers that promise to make me live forever
106. the charity coin collectors where the coin spins around and around
107. seeing I have a new text
108. Gruyere
109. chewing on pens
110. lip balm
111. Weekends

January 5th, 2017

1000 Things We Like 2017: More to like

This is making me so happy–thanks for playing along, Fred, Jill, Kyrielea! And keep the likes coming, everyone!

Frederique Delapree says

34. The struggle required to eat a pomegranate.
35. The song “You can call me Al”
36. Barack Obama
37. Turkey sandwiches
38. Old-fashion glazed Timbits
39. Glitter
40. Tic-tacs
41. Cutting out Snowflakes
42. Fried chicken
43. Paintings by George Bellows
44. Paintings by Edward Hopper
45. The People vs. OJ Simpson miniseries
46. Scrapbooks
47. Magnets
48. Attending a Major League Baseball game on a breezy but sunny May afternoon.
49. Washington, D.C.
50. Bumper stickers
51. Blanket scarves
52. North Face polar fleece jackets
53. Pencil cases
54. Someone else doing the dishes
55. Shoveling snow (when you are dressed for it)
56. The Complete Works of Fifth Harmony
57. White Teeth, the book
58. White Teeth, the enamel-y things in your mouth
59. The TV show Unsolved Mysteries

Jill Hefley says
60. Corn in the summer
61. Weekend crossword puzzles
62. Funny animal videos
63. 90s Rom-Coms
64. Canada
65. House Hunters
66. Robertson Davies

Kyrielea says
67. The smell of someone making you dinner
68. Watching snowfall from a warm home
69. Hot showers
70. When your car can’t make it up an icy hill, until you try driving it in reverse
71. Snow covered forest
72. The level of quiet in a snow covered forest
73. Evening power outages (when you’re ready for it)
74. Pre-making 10 awesome lunches at a time so your work-lunch game is on point, all week
75. Freshly cleaned sheets
76. Happy dogs
77. 0 unopened emails left at the end of the work day

January 2nd, 2017

1000 Things We Like: the fourth thousand

Fred reminded me recently that 2017 marks the 15th year since we did our first 1000 things we like, a list we made in 2002, and then again in 2007, and again in 2012 of things that we like. I can’t find the post that explains the original ethos, so here it is again: I once read a novel, title and author now lost to the mist, that was about adult characters but had two teenage girls in the background. The girls were making a list of 1000 things they liked, and this was thought to be silly and dismissible by the adult characters. But I thought it was great–what a revolutionary act it would be, to work that hard at simply being pleased. And I liked the “we” too–the collaborative act. Fred and I were the spearheads of all three lists so far, but anyone we knew could and did contribute, and we got a lot of great and varied ideas about what is likeable. The exercise itself, as well as the specific liked things, brought a lot of joy, at least to me!

As I’ve mentioned, I wasn’t crazy about 2016 and I’m feeling a lot of trepidation about 2017 as well, so let’s dive right into the good stuff–won’t you play 1000 things we like with us? Here’s how it works–the rules are pretty simple and more for clarity than anything:

a. Send me some things you like–in the comments of this post or subsequent ones, as an email to rebeccabooksATexciteDOTcom, or any of the varied social media I am on. I’ll number the items appropriately and run them on the main blog, and credit you however you like (let me know!)
b. No sneaky negatives–no “when other people DON’T step on my feet” or that sort of thing. It has to be an extant thing that you genuinely enjoy.
c. Don’t worry about going through old lists unless you want to–some things will repeat and that’s fine (we have had “little staplers” several times on multiple lists). And don’t worry about contradicting other likes, either–if someone else has already liked “eating the frosting first” you can still have “saving the frosting for last” as well. Both are likeable, and “we” is a multitudinous thing.

And just to get things kicked off, here’s a few likes from me, which taken together form a summary of how my holidays were, or at least, the highlights:

1. Better news than expected
2. Merengue
3. How driveway salt works, every time
4. Tom Stoppard
5. Record players
6. The tiny brush you use to clean the needle on a record player
7. Billy Galecki
8. Spooning a cat and he actually stays
9. My parents
10. My brother
11. My cats
12. Thai food
13. Waiting patiently at the airport gate with a good book
14. Being picked up at the airport
15. Pink squares (a very sugary type of bake-sale treat, I can’t really explain them)
16. Scrabble
17. Hugs
18. Overheard song
19. When children are pleased I’m paying attention
20. Christmas tree lights
21. Spice racks
22. Balloon animals
23. Dirty jokes (when I get them, anyway)
24. The game “Things”
25. Having zillions of in-laws
26. Olive Garden
27. That Seventies Show
28. Marriage
29. the TTC
30. Holiday cards
31. Old friends
32. The playground next to my building
33. Being home

October 29th, 2012

1000 Things–We Like Endings Too

These are from Andrew

965) Getting my braces tightened (when I had braces)
966) The smell of hop tea before it got the wort added to it, specifically as huffed during my first week working in a brewery
967) Seasons 1 through 8 of The Simpsons (RR says: there’s always such debate on where the good stuff ended on that show. My husband says season 9 is the last good one, but when I was shopping for his anniversary gift at Future Shop, like three sales associates ganged up on me and said season 12!)
968) Falling asleep and then waking up–what feels like immediately–a bunch of hours later
969) When someone asks for a recommendation in the bookstore
970) When my angry friend and I would get caught hugging on the job
971) When the stupid government sends me money I didn’t know they owed me
972) Badly Stuffed Animals
973) The first day of patio season
974) The stubborn last day of patio season
975) When I worked night shift, having a beer after work and watching the sun come up in Parc Lafonatine
976) Having a second beer while all the office shlubs came to the park for their morning boot camp workout

And these are from Scott:
977) eye sight
978) Tom Hanks doing the Nerdist podcast
979) typewriters
980) watching someone enjoy a board game
981) comfortable office chairs
982) watching the rain (RR says: my weekend in a nutshell!)
983) finding twenty bucks in your winter jacket when you first bring it out for the season
984) web comics
985) freshwater pools

And so it’s down to me…let’s do this thing

986) when the doctor says everything is fine
987) mini bags of microwave popcorns, so I can eat the whole thing and not hate myself
988) small victories
989) toddlers wearing age-inappropriate clothes, like a 3-year-old in a suit
990) naps
991) cloche hats
992) enthuasiasm
993) exhaustiveness
994) extreme weather (any minute now…Frankenstorm!)
995) meeting famous people and finding out they are nice
996) meeting anyone and finding out they are nice
997) collective endeavours
998) positivity
999) everyone who contributed to this list
1000) love

Seriously, thanks to everyone who took the time to list their likings, especially to Fred, my partner in crime. See y’all back here in 2017 for the fourth 1000, and our 15th years. Amazing!!

October 26th, 2012

Back and last of the 1000 Things

So I went to Vancouver and it was awesome, but caused me some confusing days with the wrong number of hours in them, as well as a lot of time slouched up against an airplane window while a broad-shouldered man tried really hard not to squash me. So I’m tired but I met a lot of amazing folks, heard brilliant readings, and ate as much salmon as humanly possible without being an embarrassment (I don’t think). So let’s get a bit closer to polishing off this liking list while I’m in such a good mood.

First, from Fred,

942) Becky’s cat channel (RR says: aw, thanks!)

And from Jane,

943) paper warm from the printer

And now me, with a heavily west-coast tinged bunch

944) candied salmon
945) Walking along and suddenly seeing a body of water where you didn’t expect one
946) farmers markets
947) tiered tea trays
948) holding a baby who doesn’t mind
949) Irish accents in general and Anakana Schofield‘s in particular
950) Anakana’s novel, Malarky
951) Really good huggers, like VIWF’s head honcho, Hal Wake. In the midst dozens of authors, staff and volunteers, hundreds of audience members, too many potential problems to count, and basically a perfectly awesome festival, he still found time to hug like he meant it.
952) When Alice the kitten stands on the palm of my hand
953) Not even starting to fret that it won’t work out before it does in fact work out
954) GIFs
955) Zsuzsi Gartner
956) Angie Abdou
957) Caroline Adderson
958) Biting into a chocolate-covered cookie to discover it’s actually a chocolate-covered cream puff
959) When my suitcase is first one to hit the baggage carousel (I swear, this actually happened for my return to Toronto)
960) Toronto, city of my love
961) Fluffy pillows
962) My brother
963) Blogging
964) Swiss Chalet (less than an hour to go!)

October 11th, 2012

1000 Things We Like: So Close Now!!

Let’s get started with 10 from the lovely Annie:

831) the smell of freshly cut grass
832) people who string their skates over their shoulders
833) sitting on the floor (RR says: yes!!)
834) bonfires
835) leaving work on time
836) peeling off labels on “school supplies”
837) pouring a fresh cup of coffee or tea
838) sitting with elderly people on benches
839) when you find out a famous person you like is Canadian
840) live music

And 100 (!!) from David:

841) The Internet
842) Semi colons
843) Mashing words together to make new words
844) The German language
845) Microscopic art
846) Electron microscopes
847) Vowels (RR says: Never thought about it before, but actually, yes)
848) SQL database programming language
849) MP3 format
850) The existence of sounds that humans can’t hear
851) The LHC
852) Dopamine
853) Photo bombs
854) External validation
855) Micro Machines
856) Commercial ditty’s that you don’t think much of at the time, but then you catch yourself singing them later on and raise your fist at the sky to curse Capitalism for making you like a song about a fabric wholesaler (RR says….yes)
857) John Stewart
858) Theater chairs that go back exactly the right amount
859) Lake Huron
860) The internal combustion engine
861) Nikola Tesla
862) Tesla Coil
863) Super Mario Brothers 3 (RR says: half my childhood)
864) Brand name facial tissue
865) Honeysuckles
866) Sweet Corn
867) When really smart people appreciate your input (RR says: the best!)
868) Ice cubes shaped into things that are not cubes
869) Space Invaders!
870) Pinball (RR says: I like the Back to the Future one!)
871) Morticia from the original Adam’s Family show
872) People in costumes at comic conventions
873) People who are not at comic conventions but are inexplicably in costumes anyway
874) Musical parody
875) Weird Al Yankovic
876) Hilarious T-shirts
877) The Pixies
878) Internet Memes
879) Pixie sticks
880) JavaScript
881) Cherry Cheesecake
882) Rib festivals
883) When that song you love, but totally forgot about comes up on your playlist
884) Pulled Pork
885) The ability to format e-mails in HTML
886) All-inclusive resorts
887) Fight Club (movie)
888) Dark Dark Dark (RR says: the number matches the thing–weird!)
889) Tire swings
890) Cheap wine/booze that tastes as good as the more expensive stuff
891) When you attempt to pronounce a name you don’t recognize, and find out that you’ve pronounced it perfectly
892) Specialized farm machinery
893) Humming birds
894) Indie music
895) When the total on a bill or receipt is inexplicably a perfectly round dollar value
896) Prime numbers
897) Animaniac re-runs (RR says: so few people realize the greatness!)
898) The Hawaii Five-O theme song
899) Rocks for diving off from
900) An elusive sandbar
901) The unrealistic romantic idealism of Ninjas, Samurai, and Cowboys
902) When dogs sit like human beings
903) The Android convention of naming versions after deserts
904) Reasonably easy to solve jigsaw puzzles
905) FileZilla
906) A waiter/waitress who remembers your name
907) Beach Volleyball
908) When the politician you hate makes a gaff (RR says: smiley face)
909) The Pride Parade
910) The human need to name ships, planets, cars, animals, etc…
911) Centreville
912) A female vocalist accompanied by a cello
913) Drinking songs
914) Bars with over 100 types of beer
915) Excel
916) Cars that count down how many kilometers of gas is left (RR says: that’s a thing now?)
917) Honest mechanics
918) Chuckit brand dog toys
919) Voyager 1 and 2
920) Plane seats with an interactive screen built into the back so you can watch movies/TV
921) Lego
922) Coral Reefs
923) Sharks and Octopuses at a safe distance
924) Hotels made of ice
925) James Bond movies
926) Popcorn at movie theaters
927) Movie previews
928) Free Wi-Fi hotspots
929) Half day Friday workdays
930) Slushies and other frozen convenience store drinks
931) Listening to personal music at work
932) Online news sites
933) Professional hockey
934) Apricot jam
935) Sunflower seeds
936) Futurama
937) Ancient Roman history
938) Hands-free bathroom facilities
939) Pizza delivery
940) Candy-bar flavoured ice cream
941) Home-made gifts from young children

Oh my god, 59 things to go–amazing!!!

October 10th, 2012

1000 Things We Like: Ever Closer

Fred and I have been going through the archives–the 2002 and 2007 1000s, and they are so great. I do not know how to make a Word document available on this blog, but feel free to hit me up if you are curious. What’s interesting is that different people contributed to each of the three lists, and some I am no longer in touch or never actually knew that well–they were just kind list contributors! So some of the stuff on the lists, I’m like…why? But such is the wonder of the world–everything is liked by *someone*. On a sadder note, the 2002 list includes a cat, a dog, and two goldfish all now deceased. Good to be reminded of them, though.

Onwards–back in 2012, we have some contributions from Liz:

812) Shamefully, pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks (RR says: everyone is obsessed with these lately. I do not like the idea of a pumpkin beverage, but may have to try it….)
813) Having skin tags removed
814) Eight-year-old girls talking about lighting their farts on fire and subsequently burning their houses down

And back to me…

815) Taylor Swift’s Mever Getting Back Together (sorry, cool people!)
816) when something huge happens to someone I really like, and then I see them again and they are exactly the same
817) tuxedo cake
818) when my good news genuinely lights up someone else
819) a surprise ride home in the rain
820) pub curry
821) tiny kitten feet
822) scratching a really itchy spot
823) peanut brittle (anything brittle, really)
824) the way you can roll sideways on a futon that is in couch formation so you are kind of in a gully at the back
825) really shiny hair
826) friend dogs in the elevator
827) “The Variance” by Miranda Hill
828) palindromes
829) rhinestones
830) green gum–particularly the 5 flavour called “Rain,” even though I realize that’s a very dumb name, even for gum

Let’s keep this going, gang–what do you like?

October 3rd, 2012

1000 Things We Like: So Close Now

Thanks to Fred for the encouragement to keep things moving–and her excellent likes:

751) Honey barbecue sauce
752) Stamp collections
753) Scrunchies (yes, I’m not afraid to say it!!!)
754) The University College of the Cariboo (RIP)
755) The Schumpeter column in the Economist
756) Tide pens
757) The day before you go to a new country for the first time
758) Grosgrain ribbons
759) The ubiquity of Cherry coke in the United States (RR says: there is a sad flip side to this in Canada)
760) Limited edition Pumpkin spice Hershey’s kisses (RR says: further Canadian sadness here)
761) Tassels
762) Fake moustaches
763) The George Bellows retrospective at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
764) Peggy’s Cove
765) Homemade meatball sandwiches
766) Dry-erase boards
767) Sparrows
768) Any sort of certificate of recognition, even if it was clearly made in MS Word
769) The Oprah Winfrey Show (I miss it terribly)
770) Colouring
771) Ferns
772) The opening bit of “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
773) Antananarivo as a city name
774) Commemorative loonies
775) Blueberry fritters at Tim Hortons
776) The shape of the state of Oklahoma
777) Getting upgraded to first class
778) San Francisco
779) Butter tarts

And I’ll keep the love alive with

780) Canadian Dance Moves
781) The Raveonettes
782) When I finally get around to polishing my nails
783) xylophones
784) seeing my cat eat something with gusto
785) the kind of oatmeal cookies only I can bake
786) AL Kennedy‘s sense of humour
787) The character of Pop Streets in People Park
788) The evolution of Lutz’s character on *30 Rock*
789) Naps
790) When the apartment’s really clean
792) Crazy eights
793) Even better: crazy countdown
794) When someone explains a political issue to me and I actually understand
795) Newfoundland and Labrador accents
796) This tiny baby Akita puppy that lives in my building
797) Cocoa butter as moisturizer and/or chapstick
798) Reverb
799) The terrible newspaper that I always read when I visit my parents
800) Scabs (sorry, but isn’t it amazing that blood just *knows how to clot*??)
801) Old clothes I forgot about, then rediscover
802) Turkey stuff two days this weekend
803) iCoke points
804) That dreamy read-nap-read-snack-nap-read-look out the window thing I do on long trips
805) Smiles from strangers on the subway
806) At a party with only one child at it, when the child’s mother said sternly, “Do you see anyone else climbing on the tables?” and said child looked hopefully at all us boring, chair-sitting adults.
807) The all-ways crossing at Yonge and Bloor
808) The fact that my bro cals 807 a barn dance
809) Shoes I would never wear–just that they exist is perfect
810) Scraping mascara off my eyelashes with my fingernails
811) The mushy white insides of a dinner roll

More to come–as soon as you send them!

September 24th, 2012

1000 Things We Like: New Week, New Likes

These are from the stalwart and innovative liker, Fred:

715) Looking through someone’s scrapbook
716) Getting sucked into a particular awesome infomercial
717) Hydrangeas
718) Mt. Tam cheese from Cowgirl Creamery.
719) Someone smiling at you from across the room (RR says: especially if you aren’t expecting it!)
720) Fridges with icemakers built in
721) Shoeboxes
722) Food samples at Costco (someone must have said this already, but it bears repeating) (RR says: No, I think you’re first–oversight on everyone else’s part!)
723) The resurgence of neon colours
724) Someone letting you french braid their hair (RR says: OMG, I did not know you could do that. Next time I see you…)
725) Paper lanterns
726) That big umbrella-looking flash thing they use when you get pictures taken.

And from me, even though I’m feeling the Mondayness:

727) souffle (just found out)
728) dozing off to the sound of rain
729) Tina Fey
730) Cheetos Crunchits
731) babies who stare at me like I’m the best
732) realizing we’ve spent the entire afternoon talking
733) rich people’s houses
734) decent photos of myself (very rare)
735) iCoke points
736) “what went wrong?” case studies in business textbooks
737) racing the moving sidewalk at the airport
738) “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann
739) the prospect of more short stories if I ever finish reading my business textbook
740) skilled huggers
741) that Michael Crummey story in the last issue of *The Walrus*
742) my new fall boots, which are very glamourous-looking but actually from Zellers
743) Corn Pops
744) collaborative projects
745) discovering something new to like on this list
746) being reminded of something old I like on this list
747) counting things
748) progress
749) friends
750) exclamations like “yay!” and “awesome-sauce!” and “wicked!”

September 21st, 2012

1000 Things We Like: 70% there!

From lovely Nadia:
637) endorphins
638) bluegrass festivals
639) the smell of books that have been sitting in the sun (RR says: Have to find out what this is like!)
640) discovering words in other languages that have no conceptual equivalent in english
641) lately, gelato, a lot
642) setting the table
643) running at night
644) wondering if animals can tell when you’re teasing them
645) eating something salty after swimming in the ocean
646) kindness
647) people who find ways to make a living that don’t involve cubicles
648) coming terms with something less-than-fabulous about yourself and feeling pumped to change it
649) Letting fall favoured illusions
650) Windows, from a cubicle (RR says: yes!)
651) pigeons, raccoons and other creatures who share the city with us and get a bad rap for wanting to eat.
652) Finding a writer that is new to you that you want to read
653) Deep Roots on cbc radio
654) sloth videos (RR says: so much love!!)
655) irreverant people

And from Zai, who I believe took a break from studying to make this list–thanks, lady!

656) Chocolate with chili peppers
657) New sheets
658) Comfy socks
659) Window seats where you can stare at the world go by (RR says: always!)
670) Kisses on the forehead
671) Kids who smile at you in the grocery store
672) Newly cut hair
673) McGill JAMS (RR says: yay!)
674) Poutine
675) Foot massages
676) Being unsure what you dreamed about but waking up happy
677) Babies
678) Oatmeal
679) Discovering a new restaurant
670) Avocado
671) Spicy Gouda
672) Freshly baked granola
673) The Sound of Music
674) Natural Hot Springs
675) When facebook actually finds a long lost friend for you (vs all the randoms it usually recommends lol)

From Susie, just one but very likable:

676) wearing a new piece of clothing that makes you feel great!

From Matilda Magtree, originally posted here:

677) making lists (and repeating myself)
678) ginger snaps with blackberry tea on the patio at the end of the day
679) BBQ’d shrimp and chilled sauvignon blanc on the patio at the end of the day
680) the family in my neighbourhood that are always making dinner together when I stroll past their house
681) seeing into people’s windows, especially in winter with all that coziness inside, especially at dinner time (RR says: also good for decorating ideas!)
682) seedless watermelon
683) shadows
684) the letter zed
685) my almond cherry torte recipe that I live in fear of losing so have made several copies but still worry constantly that I’ll lose them
686) Lake Ontario in the dark when the waves are crazy
687) Lake Ontario in the day… any day
688) the summer and winter solstice
689) driving long distances over empty roads, thinking out loud
690) swimming (first choice: lakes; second choice: pool with VERY little chlorine; third choice: oceans without jellyfish or sharks) (RR says: my priorizations are different, but any swimming is good!)
691) making soup or spaghetti sauce or anything that requires chopping, stirring, simmering
692) cooking smells in a house
693) sheets and towels and tee shirts from the line
694) a cat snuggled up beside me like a teddy bear
695) sandals
696) the movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
697) the [operatic] song from Big Night, first heard while having lunch al fresco at Quail’s Gate Winery
698) the sound of cutlery against plates in that final scene in Big Night
699) goat cheese omelletes with purslane (RR says: another thing I don’t know what it is. This list is educational!)
700) Cat’s Eye, the book
701) Drinking the Rain, by Alix Kates Shulman, which I read almost every year
702) the way insects and animals and birds and trees know exactly what to do
703) choosing well from a menu
704) painting with bold colours
705) discovering a new place in my own ‘hood
706) the word ‘hood
707) beeswax candles
708) walking, hiking, climbing, none of it too strenuously
709) the sight of the Andes from a small plane
710) the colour green, indoors and out
711) people who get excited about possibilities, art and words
712) the smell of dirt in Spring
713) the smell of snow and the way it looks in the sunshine
714) sharpened pencils and fast writing pens

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