Being the narcissist that I am, most people know I enjoy nothing more than talking about myself. I like to discuss my weird violent bug dreams, the $9.00 organic boxed wine sold at Whole Foods (So cheap! And so good!), and why I have recently become a San Francisco Giants fan. (OK, I’ll admit, it’s more because I just bought a cute baseball cap when watching a home game. But hey, baby steps, right? We can’t always root for The Clippers each season. [Sorry, Dad.])
ANYWAY, when I’m not yammering on about myself, I like to share the things that I love, in hopes of inspiring prolonged conversations about what I adore.
So, without further adieu, here are some of my favorite things from the past year. And if you tell me about one of your favorite things in our comments section, you may just win a beautiful broadside of The Watery Part of the World, autographed by author Michael Parker. We’ll notify the lucky winner next week.
1. Last year, I mentioned one of my favorite bookstores, Housing Works, which donates all proceeds to homeless people living with AIDS. This year, I thought I’d point out a few other independent bookstores that rock my socks off:
- Battery Park Book Exchange in Asheville, NC. It’s a bookstore and wine bar. You can walk around, perusing the Faulkner first editions, with a glass of Chardonnay in your hand. I like to believe that when writers die and go to heaven, Battery Park Book Exchange is what’s waiting for them.
- Back in high school, when I was going through my Beat Phase (not to be confused with my Wiccan phase), I was obsessed with any and all things Beat-related. When I first visited City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, CA, I wandered upstairs and bumped smack into the owner, the amazing poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Readers, it’s true: I geeked out. Recently, I had the chance to visit the bookstore again and felt nostalgic for the days when I participated in Poetry Slams.
- During grad school in Charlottesville, VA, I took on many odd jobs, but nothing was more fun than working at the used bookstore Blue Whale Books. Sadly, I may have spent most (if not all) of my paycheck on our books. I read the short stories of Andres Dubus there, and also scored a first-edition Truman Capote and an excellent photography book featuring Marcel Marceau posing as letters of the alphabet.
2. Last year my blog of choice was Hyperbole and a Half. Much to my dismay (excitement?), Allie Brosh has stopped posting as of late, in order to work on her own book. So in the meantime, I turn to Hannah Hart’s My Drunk Kitchen. Check out the episode on tacos–it’s a side-splitter.
3. It’s no secret that if we are what we eat, I’d probably turn into a cheeseburger. Second to my love for cheeseburgers is my love for guacamole. Oh my goodness, I could put it on everything. (Have you tried it on ribs? It’s a delightful combo.) That being said, I recently went to Austin for a wedding and fell madly in love with Torchy’s Tacos. I always like trying out new restaurants when I’m visiting from out of town, but since I was so enthralled with Torchy’s, I went back not once, but twice. I’m going to Austin again in a few weeks, and you can bet I’ll be starting my morning off with their egg, cheese, and chorizo breakfast taco.
4. I’m getting married this year and part of the process includes searching for the perfect wedding song. So in honor of Ted, my most favorite thing ever—this jam by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros is for you.