Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Give me a little sugar, people!

I’m quite happy to be back contributing at here at Skepchick. I’ve been regrettably absent for a while, and after a bit of rough year in my own life, it’s very nice.

And how delightful are you people? I know y’all already know it, but you’re a bunch of interesting, thoughtful, funny people.

So today, I’m asking you to put your beautiful minds to giving me a little sweetness. I’ll go first:

I love chicken soup, my eighteen-year-old cat George Burns, the way Beyonce dances in that one video, and Zombies, Run! LOLcats and human error make me laugh and my business partners make me proud.  I cherish the silver bracelet that my Nana left me when she died. I’ve rarely met a pickle I do not dig.

What makes you happy, or makes you giggle, or might maybe make me do both?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays and Thursdays 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. Daughter: Why do boys have pointy bottoms?
    Me: That’s called a penis.
    Daughter: Oh. Why do boys have pointy peen-aids?

  2. I love chicken soup too, I’ve making some tonight. I love the happy sounds my wife makes when I cook the soup for her. I love my four cats and my dog. I laugh my ass off at the baby cat when she starts chasing around my office in hot pursuit of nothing I can see. I love the long conversations I have with my oldest cat, and it makes my wife laugh which is cool too. I love and laugh about confusing people with my GFL T-shirts… “No, not THAT Wolfpack!”

  3. Two of my kitties have taught my husband and I to lift up the blankets so they can get under the covers when it’s cold out (or for morning snuggles). They pat the edge of the blanket with a paw and stare intently until they’re let in. They could get under the covers by themselves, but why would they?

  4. Ghibli Studio movies make me smile so hard.

    Avocado and Kumato (brownish tomatoes) sandwiches on crusty French bread.

    My daughter’s dwarf hamster Harry when he tries to burrow into the couch.

    Black Books, The IT Crowd, Spaced, Peep Show, Father Ted, sensing a theme?

    Adele, just all of Adele.

  5. I love my Skepchicks and my dog and all things Surly. And I SUPER LOVE that Ms A is back posting regularly!

  6. Hi A!
    The biggest smile I’ve had today was my goofy dog, Koda greeting me this morning. She makes this crazy face, she’s trying so hard to smile! Yeah, looks like she’s just showing her teeth, but I know she’s smiling. :-)

  7. The Moon in the daytime. You look up an there’s a whole world right there! It’s got mountains and valleys and stuff and it’s just hanging there in the air. Yeah, I know it’s there at night too but somehow, when it’s all hazy and bluish, it seems more real.

  8. I was having a really crappy day and then I saw Ruby the Feminist and everything changed.

    Also, iced coffee while playing a really good online multiplayer match. It doesn’t matter what game just as long as it’s free from the immature people yelling homophobic, racist, and sexist obscenities at each other. Those kinds of matches are rare but when they do happen, it’s fuckin sweet.

  9. 1) OH MY GOSH! I am super happy that you’re back, yes I am!

    2) My kitties make me happy. Twix sleeps with me every night — right above my head. As soon as I lay down, he’s right there. My kitten is starting to sleep with me, too; I often wake up with her at my feet. It’s a nice feeling. :)

    3) Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I just watch Anderson Cooper completely lose it on national TV. I swear, his giggle is like the sound of angels:

    4) Jimmy Johns is selling their main subs for $1 today until 3pm. There is one only a couple miles from me. I am just about to chow down on a $1 sub. HELLS YEAH.

    1. Oh, and one last thing: 5) Weed. Takes care of my general anxiety (somewhat) and also helps me *tremendously* with my insomnia, without also giving me nightmares/night terrors, which most sleep aids do (I am really afraid to try Ambien!).

      So, thank you, delicious green plant. You’re the best.

    2. I realized the nearest Jimmy Johns is not worth the cost in gas, hah, so I was sad again, but then I remembered that I have Ruffles Tapatio+Limon chips, so my life is now complete again.

      1. 1. You have a kitty named Twix?! So cute!
        2. Ruffles makes tapatio & lime flavored chips? I’m going to have to hunt those down.

  10. My partners make me happy. Being wrapped up in a hug when I walk in the room, little kisses and touches while watching tv, or being cuddled up between them in bed. Seriously, being snuggled on both sides is the safest, warmest feeling.

    Salad makes me happy. My love of salad nearly (but not quite) offsets my love of junkfood and soda.

    I love really bad tv. Survivor and Drag Race and Masterchef and all of the crime procedurals I can get my hands on.

    Picking peas in the garden and eating them immediately makes me happy. I’m really sad that I don’t have any planting space at the moment.

      1. Yesss Crossing Jordan! I just started re-watching it. I watched it a ton when I was younger, and was excited to see it online.

  11. I love Chocodiles. I love scantily clad people (of all persuasions, thank you very much) eating Chocodiles. I like Twinkies because they are naked Chocodiles, and naked is naughty. More naughty than scantily clad (see #2, above), but not quite as naught. I love two Chocodiles tied together with a string, because they are nunchaku Chocodiles (nunchaku Chocodiles are not a very effective weapon, but if you hit your enemy in his or her open mouth and he/she takes a bite, the fight is over, because now you have a common love for Chocodiles in common and how can you fight someone who likes the same confections as you?).

    Chocodiles are the El Chupa Cabra of snack cakes, and I love them.

  12. 1. Hands down, least complicated, full out joy is my little dog, Laika. Interesting how many of us treasure our furry friends.

    2. A close second is SINGING with my almost all white, atheist embracing gospel choir. Raising our voices together under the direction of the gifted Ms. Angela Clemmons is deeply moving. We still need a little work on our swaying while clapping on 2 and 4.

    Video #1 is the best

    3. Wine

    4. Scramble with friends

    5. Being alive

  13. I know, I know. Silly little pop song. But I am starting to fall in love with the silly little summer song “Call Me Maybe”.

    Look at this!

    Is just silly fun. I love that it’s done with irony. Plus, Quest Love is always awesome.

    And this is a lot sweeter than I expected: (Hot young shirtless male models dancing along to the song.)

    Also, I am way too old for this song I *know* (but I will listen to it anyway!), but it’s something my little niece and I could dance and sing along to, without making me uncomfortable (like Lady Gaga lol).

    1. **Done WITHOUT irony. Haha. That’s important. They are just having fun, not making a joke of it. I wish I was there!

  14. Unexpectedly hearing a song that you used to love, but haven’t heard in 20 years.

    Driving very late at night in the summer, with the windows down on a nearly empty highway.

    Cooking some long and complicated recipe while blasting down and dirty rock and roll.

    My old black pug, Maverick and his surprisingly wide variety of snorty, wheezy, and grumpy old man noises.

    A good beer on the front porch in the cool night air, after the rest of the neighborhood has gone to bed and all is quiet.

  15. Rocking out to Beethoven! Especially his Eroica symphony.

    I also love when I’m full of ennui and I find a quote or a video or a song or even a word that reminds me of what’s worth living for.

    Hm. What else…

    Oh! Making this for breakfast.

    Go on, try it. It’s friggin’ delicious—you won’t be dissapointed. No, seriously. Don’t have tomatoes or mushrooms? Use whatever veggies you have! Don’t like butter? Use olive oil! Don’t have crême fraiche? Use creamer or milk (soy works fine too)!

    Riding my bike down a quiet but windy neighborhood with a slight overcast overhead and trees losing their leaves on either side of me. For some reason, it leaves me with the impression of cosmic oneness and I can’t help grinning like a madwoman.

    1. Eggs. Eggs are so great. They are cheap and filling and delicious. I love a good over-easy egg, with a yummy piece of whole wheat and buttered toast for dippin’ :D

  16. i love chicken soup too! i like blowing bubbles, playing wiffleball, drinking soda, singing, coloring, wine, caramels, the beach, bright colors, mahogany, thunder, glitter….I could go on for days about all the things I like ahahaha.

  17. Dogs. Just seeing dogs almost invariably makes me smile, they’re so awesome.

    Also food. I love all of the food.

    And fresh snow.

  18. Baby ducks.

    Our apartment complex has a duck pond right in front of my front door, and, in addition to 3 white (pet) ducks and some thuggish Canada geese, we have various mallards that like to hang out there.

    This year, one of the mallards hatched some ducklings. No day is complete without at least a few minutes spent hanging out at the pond, counting and watching the ducklings. There are four of them, but there used to be five, so every day that I can verify that all four are still alive is a good day.

    The one remaining Canada goose appears to have appointed himself (step-)daddy for the ducklings, and if anyone (human or animal) gets within 10 meters of the ducklings, they get treated to the full threat display. We do sometimes see male mallards in the pond, but none of them seems to take any particular interest in the young’uns the way the goose does.

    When I went down to the pond this morning, it looked like they have fledged; at least, they seemed to have adult coloring. Maybe I’ll bring out some bread crumbs to encourage them to come closer so I can see for sure.

  19. 1) Food, which I should be eating less of but omfg food.
    2) My pets. I lost my husband and I’s “first” kitty early this year, and we still have two cats and my Great Dane at home. I love them a lot and spending time with them is so very valuable.
    3) My husband. It’s cheesy, but we hang out together a lot and even though we get frustrated with each other sometimes, we have a great relationship and common interests, so he’s also my best friend.
    4) Gaming. We play Pathfinder on the weekends and it’s so great!
    5) Bad movies. Our go-to hangout agenda is almost always bad monster movies, bad disaster movies, Nicholas Cage movies, or bad action movies. So much fun!
    6) Right now, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Legend of Korra are AMAZING. I love MLP and have watched both seasons quite a few times, and we’re re-watching all of Avatar, and Legend of Korra is one of the best things currently on television – plus Nickelodeon keeps trailing episodes on their website! Korra is officially one of the best written female characters I have seen in cartoons, and in media in general(and the show in general is full of developed, non-porny females, most of whom are SO BADASS. I recommend it.

  20. Welcome back!

    So many things make me happy.
    This week’s Doonesbury—it’s a wedding between two of the younger characters, and it includes many of the long-time characters. It’s been making me a little weepy, in a very happy sort of way (this is significant because I’m generally not a fan of weddings). I grew up on Doonesbury. GB Trudeau has done an amazing job chronicling Military Sexual Trauma, PTSD, aphasia, and all sorts of other things. The man is brilliant. I need to write him a love letter one of these days.

    My cats, of course. Our latest addition (we fostered and rehabbed him and just decided to keep him) is Kirby, and he sounds like a cross between a Tribble and a squeaky fan belt when he purrs. Clawdia is our youngest, and she’s the personification of Cute and Floofy. Last summer we cared for her and her littermates. Their mama wasn’t lactating, but she stayed with them to do the other cat-mama things. We had to start with tube-feeding—when you slide a tube down the kitten’s gullet and squirt the formula directly into her stomach. I guess it’s much more efficient and safer than syringe feeding. Clawdia’s sibs didn’t make it, but she did. The plan was to take her to the local humane society to be adopted out once she was old enough, and I did get to the point where I took her there and checked her in. I cried in the parking lot. Later that week we officially adopted her.

    I’ll spare you details of our other fabulous felines, for the sake of brevity.

    My partner makes me giggle when he talks to and for the cats. Yes, we talk for our cats; they each have their own voice. They tend to refer to us humans as monkeys. As in, “Don’t patronize me, Monkey!” I love that he adores cats as much as I do. We do silly thing with our cats, like recasting Farscape with them. Or deciding what their Hip Hop (like Sistah Hiss) or European Royalty (Duke Sir Buddy of Purrchester) names would be. Yes, it’s dorky. But it makes me happy.

    Food makes me happy. Indian food makes my feet do a happy dance under the table. Summer vegetables and fruits are glorious! Picking the first cherry tomato off the vine in the front yard is a joy beyond compare. That’s assuming I remember to water, of course.

    Knitting. Spinning. Fiber in general, actually. When I’m feeling really stressed, getting out my spinning wheel, putting on some good music (or a good audiobook), and spinning some glorious fiber does wonders. So does Strongbow, actually. Or coloring with my lovely colored pencils.

    Music. Two of my recent favorites are Lucy Wainwright Roche and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Long time favorites are Loreena McKennitt and Over the Rhine. And showtunes!

    My nieces. The 14 year old will come for a visit later this month. She still thinks Aunt CatFurniture and Uncle Thor are cool. (BTW, I ordered the “Keep the Thor in Thursday” t-shirt for him for his birthday!)

    Mailing letters. Writing them is a hassle, but I love the feeling of satisfaction of mailing off a long letter to someone. These days I mainly write cards, because they’re shorter, and all these nonprofits keep sending me blank cards. Yes, I’m a neo-Luddite.

    The death of fleas makes me very happy. We’ve been dealing with a nasty outbreak, and crushing one of the little fuckers between my fingernails makes me smile. I’m just a primate, after all.

  21. My wife and I get an inordinate amount of pleasure out of making up words. Not even sad pet-names for each other, just random words for everyday things. I’m honour-bound to keep some of the more personal ones secret, but here are some that may be suitable to be let out into the wild:

    “pantastophe” (the situation that occurs when you open up your underwear drawer and realise you haven’t done the laundry for ages (“socktastrope” is a similar event)

    “hug-fu” (a particular martial art that is neither offensive or defensive, it just involves hugs)

    “yumsome” (something tasty. eg: “this triple-chocolate fudge cake is most yumsome”)

    Some other things that make me happy are:
    – the opening titles to Buck Rogers
    – the sound of the Millenium Falcon’s engines
    – Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds rock opera
    – 1970s Dr Who
    – saying “I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition” when someone asks me a difficult question
    – syrup sponge pudding and custard
    – puppies
    – Louis Armstrong’s “We Have All The Time In The World”
    … and too many more to mention

  22. Motown and blues, my lovers, being hugged by children, making a fancy-spancy recipe, reading weapons grade clever snark, making the MVP board on TF2 servers, racking up kill counts for my minigun, Pathfinder games with friends, rowing, Ella Fitzgerald’s “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, Minecraft, the taste of homemade Indian food (I make a mean chutney and curry) and cuddles.

  23. My munchkin cats (here’s one:, my daughter singing, watching my bf interact with her and love her as if she were his own, coming up with a particularly damaging remark against my opponent’s argument in a debate, really rich French cuisine, Seals and Crofts station on Pandora, the smell of honeysuckle and salty air on Cape Cod, getting lost in a great book, my very comfy memory foam mattress, cuddles.

  24. 1) My recently adopted cat Alice. I don’t know yet if it’s adorable or creepy to wake up every morning to her staring at me. Or her running/hopping towards me when I get home from work.
    2) My sister. She’s fourteen years younger and I can’t talk about her without getting incredibly mushy. But even when she drives me nuts, I’m alway happy hearing from her.
    3) Seeing birds on my walk to work, whether they’re old favorites or species I hadn’t noticed before.
    4) Cooking something delicious and cheap.
    5) Watching movies with friends and either genuinely enjoying it or getting to tear it apart critically with snarky humor.
    6) Reading a really good book for the first time. Or, you know, the fiftieth.

  25. Eating magic mushrooms and watching Pixar films, particularly Wall-e. Rango was awesome too.

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