AI: The “These are a few of my favorite things” edition

Have I mentioned I’m a big fan of human error?  People falling down, cake wrecks, the FailBlog, every second of that show Wipeout.  Also, I love sushi.  And grapes. And watching movies at the theater.  And the Dropkick Murphys.  And when TheRealBoy does crazy stuff with his facial hair.  And Keanu Reeves (don’t judge). And the smell of lemongrass.  And other people’s birthdays (ok, maybe any birthday.)  Oh, and thou.

What are some of your favorite things?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.


A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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  1. Sewing odd things: juggling props, custom bike panniers, backpack attachments, and anything else you can’t buy in a store.

    The awesome, rythmic sounds of Big Pig. Seven percussionists and a singer. What’s not to love?

    _Disclosure_: I’ve watched that movie a few hundred times, but usually skip the long, boring CGI sequence.

    Birdwatching. All my life. Intellectually it makes no sense yet I still do.

    Writing poetry, but I need a massive deadline.

    Making a big meal all come together at the right time without resorting to a bunch of room-temperature dishes.

  2. Sitting down to home cooked (by someone else) meal when very hungry

    Letter openers

    Stacks of books


    Puzzle Games

    Getting a random email or phone call that says “thinking of you”

    My sisters

    Sleeping in with a nice warm boyfriend

    Sending people emails telling them that unless they return the paperwork we sent them, there will be dire consequences



    Having my hair pulled

    Folk music

  3. Iced tea (unsweetened), especially really good sun tea.

    QT (Quik Trip) is like, the best convenience store EVER.


    John Steinbeck

    Pineapple Express, because it makes me looool.

    The Back to the Future Trilogy, because, hello, Marty McFly and Doc!

    A good action flick, especially if it has Bruce Willis (don’t judge!).

    Ben Folds.

    Eddie Izzard.

    My kitties (especially when I wake up in the middle of the night, and a kitty is curled up on either side of my head, awwww).

    The Southwest Chicken Salad at Jack in the Box; I don’t know why, but I fucking LOVE IT.

    My amazing friends <3

    My independence.

  4. I love potatoes.
    And reading.
    And looking at the moon.
    And potatoes.
    And lilacs.
    And when people fall down. Just in movies, though. I don’t like it so much when it’s real. Except this one time at a local band show when this complete idiot face-planted on the stage. That was awesome.
    Old books.
    George Hrab.

  5. learning something new
    good cheese
    gardening magazines
    a really good book
    my sewing machine
    my 3 year old niece
    my husband and his motorcycle

  6. having a cold beer while writing,
    snus ( I know it is disgusting, but I cannot help ),
    singing along with a song I like,
    wasabi and its making me feel as if my brain is melting,
    looking at old pictures of people I know,
    red velvet cupcake,
    and purple…

  7. The first ten (or so) things that came to mind:

    The Privilege of Being Alive and Aware
    Going to the Beach in the Winter with My Wife
    Spending Time with My Daughter the Teen Skepchick
    Books (Science & SF)
    Building Computers & Robots
    Weight Training & Running
    Star Trek
    SF Movies in the Theatre
    House M.D. and Lie To Me

  8. To crush my enemies. To see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

    And kitties.

  9. People who’s first name that can be spelt with only one letter ;)

    Mr. Bean (greatest show of all time), sexy boots, apple cider, italian food, sexy skepchicks drinking apple cider while wearing sexy boots, and the ocean.

  10. Cuddling with my husband
    Being covered in cats
    Good beer*
    Boulder hopping*

    * pre-pregnancy.

  11. When you lay down on the couch, and your dog follows you up there, curls up in the little spot behind your legs, and just sleeps.

    That feeling you get when you are so stuck on a problem, you are just about ready to give it up, but then you give it one last look, and totally figure it out.

    Coming home on Friday after a long week or work, and opening that first ice cold beer.

  12. sushi, dim sum, pizza, chocolate, cannoli, red wine

    Mythbusters, The Daily Show, Doctor Who, House

    Kurt Vonnegut, Greg Bear, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams

    GPS, wifi, Netflix, Google, Amazon

    Escher, Dali, Van Gogh

    spaceflight, robots, stars, nanotech

    smart beautiful women

  13. Disneyland
    Pumpkin seeds
    My iPhone
    When my daughter says snarky things
    Coke Zero
    Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion
    Provalone cheese

  14. A.

    The cinnamon-y smell of Skepchick HQ on Sundays

    Tree Lobsters

    The blues at sunrise

    Margaritas at sunset

    Loose shoes

    A nicely rounded booty

  15. I can’t believe I’m the first person to say “boobs.”

    A well-told story, in any form (book, movie, television, song, etc.)
    A well-told joke.
    Laughing, more than nearly anything else.
    Having a drive-in theatre just outside of my city.
    Finally living with the love of my life (see also: cuddling.)
    Ice cream.
    Sweets of nearly any kind.
    Travel, though I don’t get to do nearly enough.

  16. Books. Skeptical or atheist or science blogs. Hacker News.

    Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mitch Hedburg, Conan O’Brien, and Michael Cera.

    Learning new words, especially insults (thank you PZ Myers!). Etymology.

    Reading or writing well-factored program code. User interface design. Database development.

    DIY. Making anything from scratch. Working with my hands.

    Beer, wine, whiskey, and gin.

    Oh, and crosswords.

  17. Hey there,

    The smell of an unknown woman as she passes me on the street, and I get that lingering mixture of perfume, hair products and natural scents. In one second, my brain is flooded with the thoughts of a tumultuous romantic fling that will never happen. The scent of her on my pillow in the morning, the warmth of her body next to mine on a cold beach somewhere, her laugh as we run through the rain. All of this imagery is contained in that first passing scent. Everything that will never be. It’s fantastic. :)

    Also, orgasms, as previously mentioned.

  18. I like a hot bath after an intense workout, bubbles, flying through clouds when I can see out the window, alone time, work time, resting my head on someone’s shoulder (right at the top of the chest and just inside the end of the clavicle, so they can hug my head with their chin and neck), tarsiers, coffee, pasties, fractals and people watching.

  19. Harry Potter (don’t judge)
    Dykes to Watch Out For comics
    PG Wodehouse
    Stephen Fry
    Movie nights with friends
    Karl Urban (again, don’t judge me, okay? Especially since I bought a copy of DOOM b/c he was in it. I’m so ashamed.)
    Star Trek TOS
    Questionable Content
    Flight anthologies
    Skeptically Speaking radio show
    Boot camp fitness
    Kevin Smith movies (and by extension,
    The Skepchicks

  20. Picking blackberries
    Euler’s Identity
    Hobbit holes
    Patrick Moore
    The Natural History Museum
    Elgar’s Cello Concerto
    Stabbing the foil on a new jar of instant coffee
    Tim Minchin
    Panama hats

  21. (In no particular order)
    ~Roller derby (hopefully I’ll pass tryouts in July)
    ~Cat feet (jelly bean toes!!!)
    ~My dog
    ~Being married to my husband
    ~Going on trips (but not getting ready for them)
    ~Erasing the board (chalk or dry erase) – so satisfying
    ~Playing music in an ensemble
    ~Mashed potatoes
    ~BLTs, fried chicken, and pot roast (I’ve been vegetarian 3 years, these are the only meats I miss)
    ~Being in a new place (but not moving my stuff)
    ~Teaching (some days…)

  22. Zenobia pistachio nuts
    (hard for me to get except online and so expensive I perhaps get them once a year… boohooo)

    (please note, American pistachio nuts look pretty but taste blah…)

  23. my dog
    craft beer
    seeing former students doing well and happy
    Pythagorean Theorem
    well written and played music
    live hockey games
    sunny and 60 (F), 16 (C)
    Robin Williams “letting go”
    smart women

  24. A few things:
    – shows where the music is good and people are dancing and having fun
    – chocolate cake
    – Dr. Pepper
    – webcomics
    – when my cat crawls into my lap and rolls on his back so I can scritch his belly
    – random unexpected emails from people I haven’t heard from in a while
    – theatre. Even bad theatre has its charm.
    – Jean Pierre Jeunet movies
    – trying new recipes
    – a fresh pot of really good tea
    – when I have a good idea, no, a GREAT idea for a play or a story or an essay, and I can see the whole thing in my head from start to finish and it’s just a matter of filling in the details and getting it down on paper and I’m actually excited about doing so. That may be the best feeling in the world.

  25. When an experiment in the lab behaves as I have predicted. (pretty effing rare!)

    4-part men’s acapella music

    hard cider on a hot day.

    echidnae (cause they shouldn’t exist!)

  26. Microwbrewed/craft beer.

    Progressive rock.

    First-person shooter PC games.

    Good books. Especially sci-fi.

    Good humor. Especially parody.

    Any cool geeky stuff, especially space related. (I work at JSC.)

  27. *in no order:

    -the smell outside right after it starts raining
    -women’s shampoo (the smell, not the taste)
    -chocolate chip cookies and Heineken
    -people in the mental heath field (they’re comfortable to be around)
    -Mrs. me
    -a map of somthing
    -old friends
    -my cute kids
    -seeing someone get pulled over that just recently zinged by me at way over the speed limit
    -pesto crust pizza

    These are just a few…

  28. Making people laugh.

    My Mid-Wife.

    Making kids laugh.

    A damn good story.

    Making myself laugh.


    My nephews that make me laugh.

    Puppies that make me laugh.


    My Grandma, still going at 95!

    Tickling my wife so she does that cute laugh.


    Listening to my parents bicker.

    Red heads.

    Big brown eyes.


    Working with my hands.

    Figuring out a puzzle.

    My wife’s cooking.

    Getting a good intelligent conversation going.

    Elvis Costello.

    Prairie Home Companion. (Working on my Garrison Keillor impression.)

    Tori Amos. (Am I weird for this?)

    Comic books. (Yes, I am weird for this, but I don’t care.)


    Studying about medical diseases.

    Myths and religions.

    -etc, etc

  29. hmm, well a few of my favorite things are:
    Good Whisky (single malt, some blended, Got me a bottle of Glen Morangie that I need to crack into here eventually),
    Running and weight training, especially running (I better as I am in the beginning stages of training to do my first marathon. I have until August of next year)
    Tom Waits
    Corvus Corax (4 pipers, and several hand made instruments playing old medieval songs, also scientific name for raven)
    Good Books (Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Stephen King, the various classics such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, also non-fiction books like Big Boys Rules, The Trouble with Physics, The Year of Living Biblically)
    Good Movies (The Wrestler, anything Pixar, nearly anything Tarantino, Sin City, The El Mariachi Trilogy, Planet Terror, Doubt, Hero, etc)
    Comics/Graphic Novels (The Boys, Devil’s Panties, The Preacher, Serenity Rose, JTHM, Lenore, The Sandman, Hellboy, The Walking Dead, etc)
    Zombies and Zombie related entertainment (Left4Dead, Re: Your Brains, World War Z, Land of the Dead)
    Scam School

  30. My kids

    Thunderstorms with lots of lightning and houseshaking thunder and the feeling of power they share with me

    How the internet lets me interact with people like me

    Old things

    Fountain pens



    Panama hats

    Leather gloves

    Sun glasses


    Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams, TRR Tolkien, Robert Heinlien, Neil Gaimen, Superman, Batman, Swamp Thing, Dark Horse, Top Cow, Kitchen Sink

    The movie Pop!

    Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia, Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks II, Zack and Miri make a Porno

    Moby Dick


    Tegan and Sara, Liz Phair, They might be giants, barenaked ladies, crash test dummies, All american rejects, ritalin kids, miles davis, woody guthrie, Bob wills, Tennesse ernie ford, chopin, credence clearwater revivle, greenday, nirvana, sound garden, pearl jam, clash,

    dancing naked in the rain

    walking barefoot in the snow

    pulling weeds in the flower bed




    watching bugs fly into the bug zapper


    sneaking up on people and goosing them

    climbing trees




    starry nights

    cloudy days

    gray hair and wrinkles

    the ocean


  31. In no particular order.

    Hanging out with my wife.
    Live music: classical, symphonic, choral, rock, folk, Celtic pub, alternative…
    Morning sex with the sun coming through the blinds. (any sex really but lazy sunny mornings with no place to be except in bed makes me feel all is right with the world)
    Craft beer, single malt scotch and good wine.
    Cooking and eating good food with family and friends. (especially any fresh seafood)
    Reading a Neil Stephenson book on the floor in front of a fire in the fireplace.
    Golfing with my buddies early in the morning on a sunny day and having no one in front of us.
    Talking to smart engaging people and learning new things.
    Starting house and landscaping projects. (I hope to get the finishing part sorted out someday)
    Thunder and lightening.
    The ocean and the mountains.

  32. Continuing with yesterday’s AI, orgasms.
    Talking with my wife, my daughter, and other smart people.
    Cats and dogs.
    Playing games.
    Folk dancing.
    Dorothy Sayers.
    Pornographic parodies of movies and TV shows.
    Pot (in the right setting).

  33. Stunning natural phenomena, like seeing a glistening waterfall or mountain valley.

    Rain, rainclouds, and the smell of rain.

    Video games and puzzles — intellectual stimulation even in the most boring places!

    Cuddling with my girlfriend, and going places with her.

    Science in general.

    Suddenly seeing science I’ve learned in school be ingeniously put to use in the lab, like genetically modifying Salmonella bacteria to make vaccines that have never been made before, and to do it almost free. And the great feeling it brings to finally understand how something works.

    How intricate and amazing our bodies and other lifeforms are.

    Starry nights, and galaxies through a telescope.

    Big trees and lush vegetation.

    Non-human animals, particularly furry ones, like my cats.

    Good conversation, good food, and good friends.

  34. @MathMike: I’d love to, but I have limited access to the good stuff (as well as limited funds), I can easily get McCallen and the Glen Morangie, eventually I do intend to try as many as I can when I can find them.

  35. Video games where I kill something-nonhuman
    fluffy puppies that like to lick
    household pets that like to play
    pondering the insolvable
    seeing my stock portfolio going up
    action movies with melee/hand to hand fighting
    listening to female singers who hold notes
    dark and/or self-depreciating humor
    puns-the lamer the better
    running my hands through hair
    feeling facial hair on the back of my neck (heaven!!!)

  36. Friendly people
    Cats…actually most animals…
    Good books that make me forget because I’m so enthralled…
    Things that make me laugh, like Douglas Adams
    My wife, kids and grandkids
    Star Trek TOS, NG
    Well done science fiction
    Aviation, whether watching or participating
    A good, cold drink on a hot day
    Caribbean beaches
    Good music, from progressive rock to classical
    Duh Intertoobz
    I’ll let you know about sex…not sure I remember that anymore…

  37. Hey all,

    I’m new here but I had to get in on this. So much stuff, but here’s a taste.

    Movies-Miyazaki film IN JAPANESE, The Frighteners, anything by PIXAR, The Iron Giant, The Triplets of Belville (seeing a trend? ;), Ang Lee films, (even Hulk), The BTTF Trilogy, Steel Magnolias (“Oh, I’d rather eat dirt!”), Dark City, Joe vs. the Volcano (I’m alone on this one, I know)

    TV-The Dick VanDyke Show, Deep Space Nine, Fringe (don’t shoot), Bones, Planet Earth in HD, Mythbusters, The Big Bang Theory, Ugly Betty

    Writing-Amy Tan, Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, Robert Frost, Poe, Scott Sigler, Shakespeare

    Actors-Neil Patrick Harris, Johnny Depp, Alan Arkin, Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep

    Music-Sade, Billie Holiday, Sarah McLaughlin, Tori Amos, Dixie Chicks, Indigo Girls (I may actually be a lesbian), 80’s power ballads (I know0, Grand classical/operatic pieces, filk music (Jonathan Coultan rules)

    General-Walking the neighborhood after 2-3 inches of snow (so quiet with the squeeky crunch under your feet), dancing with utter abandon, tickle fights with my daughter, a hot shower after a hard day of dirty work

    That’s just off the top of my head.

    Oh, and of course The Skepchicks (and all good skeptics)

  38. In no particular order:

    Knowing that I’m pretentious about beer, coffee, ciggarettes and grammar

    Shiner Bock


    A really dry red wine


    Being sarcastic and snarky…. snarkastic if you will


    Walking in the rain

    Tremendous thunderstorms

    The way my significant other smells

    Hanging out with my brothers

    My mother’s infinite wisdom

    Having conversations about things that no one else would ever consider…

  39. my absolute favorite thing to do is driving.

    also hiking and backpacking

    eating out especially with a large group of friends

    movies ( I will go anywere if they are showing Audrey Hepburn movies in a theater )

    and single malt scotch perticularly Balvenie

    And 80’s music of any kind

  40. *Food! Making it, eating it, thinking about making and eating it, reading about it, watching it being made competitively on television
    *Running and yoga (to combat aforementioned love of food)
    *Drinking and chatting with friends
    *Dancing to 80s music
    *Museums (primarily to look at art, but I love visiting any public repository of knowledge and artifacts)
    *Chicago in the summertime (subcategories: street festivals, beer gardens, the Lake)
    *Gummy candy
    *My triumvirate of best friends, all of whom I’ve known since grade school, and all of the other wonderful friends I made after the age of 6
    *My family

    This list should be ranked in reverse order…

  41. Steam trains (showing my age here)
    Military history of WWII and modern European history in general.
    Science and rational thinking but:-
    I believe a good dog is truly magical and can teach you lessons about love and loyalty – lessons some people sadly never learn.
    Helping a friend.
    Right now:-
    Questionable Content
    Maybe I don’t totally fit the skeptical mold, but mostly..

  42. @Jack99:
    “I believe a good dog is truly magical and can teach you lessons about love and loyalty – lessons some people sadly never learn.” Exactly my thought. (Like the old saying, “I hope to become the person my dog(s) think I am.”)

    “Helping a friend.” Definitely. Nothing like it.

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