I was watching SportsCenter this morning and found myself unexpectedly cheered by the sight of Giants pitcher Barry Zito. No, I haven’t traded in my allegiance to the Phillies. It was his socks.

Allow me to explain. There are certain things that trigger huge swells of complicated, wonderful emotions for most of us. The fact that most of the Giants sport the very traditional, pulled-up, this-here-is-a-uniform look gave me such a twinge of nostalgia! Hot dogs with my dad, the sound of Vin Scully’s voice in late spring, good sportsmanship, sobbing in disbelief when my beloved Phils won the series a few years back. For some reason, this look doesn’t do it for me, even though my team tends to sport a more “sweatpants” look, themselves. I really can’t moan too much: I happen to enjoy sweatpants. No wonder people don’t experience huge swells of nostalgia when they see me. Maybe I should wear knee socks. I’ll try that and report back.

Anyway, I started thinking about other things that provide disproportionate levels of goodness, and I came up with the following, and encourage you to do the same. Even searching my mind for them left me with a residual grin.

1. The sound of an orchestra tuning, then the swift decrescendo and the conductor’s footsteps.

2. The smell of old books.

3. Hearing a song you haven’t heard in 15 years and remembering all of the words.

4. Having #3 happen and the other person in the car sings along with you.

5. A good cup of coffee.

6.  Cat paws.

7. The sound of tires crunching on gravel.

8. Beating the meter maid to your car.

9. The smell of pipe smoke.

10. Hearing a child say “Thank you.”

Working on another newsletter-format über blog. More soon.

Photo: Getty Images.

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6 Responses

  1. Old books and pipe smoke, yes. And I agree about the "forgot to take off my pajamas" baseball uniforms as well. Eew.

    As for Ten Things That Prove The Universe Isn't Entirely Hostile:

    1) The pipe organ in the Wanamaker Grand Court in Philadelphia, and center city at Christmas in general.

    2) Steve Perry (as long as I don't have to work with him, because he's apparently a giant pain in the ass).

    3) A purring cat on my pillow on a weekend morning.

    4) My mom's stuffed shells.

    5) Yarn. 🙂

    6) An unexpectedly light commute. I take the 5 to work every day for 30 miles one way. Light commutes are manna from heaven.

    7) Having a good day at the piano.

    8) Homemade gnocchi.

    9) Almost any margarita at all.

    10) Completing a craft project and then throwing it on the bed or pulling it on. There is something wonderful about putting on clothing that you remember when it was nothing but a couple balls of string.

  2. There is a wonderful poem by Rupert Brooke the first world war poet. He talks about 'the cool kindliness of sheets' and another memorable line is 'the benison of hot water'.In a nutshell he wants to be remembered as 'A Great Lover' and we learn in the poem all the beautiful things that he loves. I love your list. I notice that you don't mention your cello?!
    I LOVE MY CELLO, seriously!.

  3. Janis: Oh yes, yarn. The möbius cast on especially.

    Clare: Agreed, but this is "a lot for a little". The cello is more like "a lot for a whole helluva lot", wouldn't you say? 🙂

  4. Thanks for your 'prompt'(old fashioned word) reply. I also blog as you may know
    claredeniz.blogspot.com and I twitter
    You have a great blog. What strings are you using at the present time? Have you seen the forum on cello cases on the internet? Its good, but some of those very good soft padded ones are not available in the UK.At least there isn't a facility as yet for shipping from what I can tell. Anyway that is another story.I look forward to your next publication.

  5. Clare:

    Thanks for the compliment! Right now, I have Larsens across all 4 strings, but the move really kicked my cello's butt. I need to take it in and have it adjusted because (are you ready for a cello-y double entendre) my G string pokes out, especially in 4th position. It's also gone pretty wolfy, and we're not talking Amadeus. My more normal setup is Larsen A and D and then Evah Pirazzi G and C. The C is so taut and direct sounding, although sometimes can maintain that dorky "I'm a new string" sound for a little too long, especially during pizzicato passages. After I get it back from Potter's, I'll be at liberty to mess with the strings.

    As for cello case forums, I'm not really a visitor of those things too much. If there's any way of finding a cheap carbon fiber or fiberglass case, that's what I'd suggest, even if you have a cheapie cello (and especially if you don't).

  6. Warm fuzzies with a touch of nostalgia:
    1. Windshield wipers
    2. Rain on the roof
    3. A really good book with a happy ending
    4. Playing a piece one loves on the cello
    5. Fresh flowers
    6. Rocks and surf
    7. A good bone to gnaw on
    8. First day of cool weather
    9. A really long restful sleep
    10. Seeing old friends

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