Jason (jcreed) wrote,

I like the idea of this list a lot. Just as the "just go ahead and do it" attitude of NaNoWriMo can find novels in people that thought they didn't have it in them, just as the time pressure and arbitrary collection demand of Album-A-Day has found for me musical ideas I didn't know I had, this exercise found me ways of being happy I had forgotten about.

1. The smell of old books in libraries
2. Resolving sus4 chords
3. Black tea with honey
4. Doing a fuckton of annoying algebra and having everything cancel out,
leaving something beautifully simple
5. Dictionaries
6. The early morning chill on a spring day that will eventually be warmer
7. Escher
8. Kandinsky
9. Letterforms
10. Low-saturation colors
11. Art Nouveau
12. The scene of "Shawshank Redemption" when Andy is in the bank, setting his freedom in motion
13. Watching television series five or six episodes at a time late at night with friends
14. Walking from one place to another on campus and randomly bumping into a half-dozen people I know along the way
15. The French "r" sound, being the sexiest phoneme on earth
16. With the possible exception of palatalized consonants in Russian
17. Whiteboards full of writing
18. Blackboards full of writing
19. Shaving
20. Long underwear in winter
21. Sleeping in
22. Wrestling with ideas centuries older than me
23. Playing music to an audience of one
24. Perfect, silent corners of anonymous, institutional buildings
25. Long walks through decaying urban sprawl
26. Well-written nonfiction
27. The way my fingers feel when I play a D7 chord on the guitar
28. ...and when I play a F-B-E triad over G7 on the piano
29. Cranberry juice
30. Grilled cheese sandwiches made with way too much butter
31. ...and grape jam (not jelly) on them
32. French toast
33. Orange juice, if it's cold enough, and has not too little pulp
34. Those burger king sausage egg and cheese biscuit things
35. Bach
36. The sound of nylon strings
37. The climax of Radiohead's "Exit Music". Goosebumps every time.
38. "In My Life"
39. "Blackbird"
40. "Here Comes the Sun"
41. "I Will"
42. Any number of other Beatles songs, in the right circumstances
43. Scanning things in and messing with them in photoshop and illustrator
44. Hearing people speak other languages in public places
45. Filling bookshelves
46. Finding receipts or tickets or jotted-down notes while cleaning that remind me of old events and friends and loves and crushes
47. Having hundreds of pages of written journals to do the same thing with
48. The "Hit the road, Jack" A-G-F-E7 chord progression
49. The "Canon in D" D-A-Bm-F#m-G-D-A chord progression
50. The blues and all its 10,000 offspring
51. Writing throwaway little C programs that produce some little algorithmic picture or sound clip, pixel by pixel, sample by sample
52. The feeling of having automated a repetitive task by writing a program to do it
53. Courduroy
54. The way a girl looks wearing a shirt of mine
55. Sitting down after walking for a long time
56. White rice
57. Mustard on cold cuts
58. Taking my backpack off and setting it down in a single motion
59. Taking my wallet out of my pocket and flipping it open and
getting my ID out to swipe through a card reader, in a single
fluent motion
60. The aggressively chemical smell of modern printing presses
61. Pantone color swatches
62. Watching movies with subtitles
63. Especially if I know just a little about the language being spoken
64. For the same reason, books written with the original on one page
and the translation on the facing page.
65. Conference proceedings
66. Screwing the loose screws in my glasses back in
67. Headphones that cover your whole ear
68. Big clunky tape measures that noisily snap back when you let go
69. Spirit levels
70. The smell of sawdust
71. People like my grandparents that have whole rooms and buildings
set aside for making stuff: woodcarving, machining, etc.
72. Carrots right out of the garden
73. Chicken noodle soup
74. Plugging all the cables back in to a computer after moving into a new home
75. Joni Mitchell in "Circle Game" singing, "and the years spin by and now the boy is twenty /
though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true" and how I cry nearly every
fucking time I hear it
76. Having old friends of whom you're sure know you could meet after twenty years and
need only five minutes of catching up before it'd be like the twenty years
had never passed
77. Crusty ol' diners where the waitress calls you 'hon'
78. Being a regular at a restaurant so that they know what you want to order every time
79. Coming into an air conditioned building in summer
80. Coming into a heated building in the winter
81. Arguing for hours with people that like to argue and try to understand concepts
more clearly for its own sake
82. Strangers that strike up conversation at bus stops
83. The Portuguese part "The Girl from Ipanema"
84. The beautifully half-desafinado lazily-sung English part of "The Girl from Ipanema"
85. Finding a piano on campus that has been tuned since last I used it
86. The graphic design on the covers of Dover books
87. 3-3-2 rhythms
88. The sighing, deliriously content, stretched-out-between-cool-sheets-on-a-summer-night sound of the beginning of "Mood Indigo"
89. The sad, nostalgic, stood-up-at-a-school-dance-in-the-1960s sound of "Whiter Shade of Pale"
90. The sustain pedal
91. In-jokes
92. Pretentious experimental typography and narrative structure
93. Putting socks on in the middle of the night after waking up to too-cold feet
94. Seeing little kids with that facial expression of "oh WOW! things!! people!! moving around!! wow!!!"
95. Borrowing and lending books
96. Sleeping close to the floor
97. The smell of deodorant
98. The smell of shampooed hair
99. Awake and talking and dreaming at four in the morning
100. Making other people happy, even if I never know when and how and why

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