P.S. I really enjoy lists. And spreadsheets, for that matter. =]
Sun-dried tomatoes. These are at the front of my mind tonight as I muddled through an evening with friends I've neglected to keep in touch with for a while. About six weeks, to be exact. The food at the Medici is generally uninspiring, but their Mediterranean pizza is straight from the pearly gates of heaven. One of the reasons I like it so much is, of course, the sun-dried tomatoes. Even the tiniest morsel of this shriveled fruit explodes with flavor - all the sun-ripened goodness of a tomato in one bite. The kind I get probably comes from a stolid factory farm that picks and dries its tomatoes by the thousands in some mechanized dehydration process, but I like to think that I can taste the sunshine in every bite. It's a burst of happiness.
Frozen yogurt. Not the sugared kind that's basically ice cream with 20% less calories but the kind that actually tastes like yogurt. Tart, rough on the tongue with tiny ice crystals, and delicious with mochi bits. This is food I could eat for a lifetime and never tire of. Honestly, I want it every day of the summer and sometimes make a pilgrimmage up to the Berry Chill on State Street just to get my fix, even in the winter. A friend from New York introduced it to me about a year and a half ago, and I've been hooked ever since. I was outraged to discover there were no Red Mangos or Pinkberrys within reasonable distance of Chicago. I can only be grateful that Berry Chill was here to save me from a fate worse than death.
My vacuum cleaner. Of course. This had to be on the list. There's no better cure for a shitty day than getting to suck up all the shit on the floor to beautify your humble abode.
Christmas lights. Blinking, monochrome, icicle, or the works, Christmas lights remind me fresh snow, warm living rooms, and a beautiful sense of peace and comfort. There's nothing better than walking into a heated room after trudging through snow and wind, but when I see Christmas lights, no matter how cold I am, it's a different kind of warmth that settles in my chest. Christmastime is my favorite time of year, and nothing makes it feel more like Christmas than the millions of lights that go up around stores, on sidewalk trees, and all over peoples' houses. I'll have to make a special effort to put some up around the apartment this year.
Fluffy things!!!! I think there is an ingrained mechanism for squealing at cute fuzzy things. It is actually built into our genetic code. You cannot help but want to reach out and cuddle anything that looks like it has more fur than it can handle. Or just has four furry feet. I love furry feet! Fluffiness is the stuff of happiness. Just to give an example, this puppy makes my squeal every time.
One my note: there are no credit cards or shopping sites in this post. Huzzah!