Afternoon Inquisition

AI: What do you love?

Happy Valentine’s Day people!

If you have yourself a Valentine in the form of a person, well, that’s great. Happy Heart Day to you both. In fact, happy everyday to you all.  But that’s not what I’m asking about today.

There is a lot to love in this world, today and everyday.  And everybody loves all kinds of things for different reasons.  Things I’ve never heard of, that I might love too if I knew what they were.  That is what I’m asking about today. Tell me about some of the things you love. At least one; no more than five.  You can talk about your Valentine if you want to, but I’m more interested in your favorite caramel or oilcloth or whatever.

I’ll go first, with five things I love, including a couple that I don’t understand why I love so much, which makes me love them more:

  1. The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams. A story about a stuffed toy on a quest to be Real. I loved it as a kid, I loved it when I first had my heart broken, and I love it today, as a childless adult.
  2. Everything Alive Will Die Someday, by George Hrab. Fatalistic optimism, if there is such a thing.  And the lyric “In the meantime, I get to see you smile, and that makes it okay for a while.”
  3. The art of Jasper Johns, especially this.  I don’t understand why I love that inverted flag so much, but I do. I also think that’s a pretty sweet name, Jasper Johns.
  4. My new Crock Pot.
  5. This shade of green.

So, what do you love?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, 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. 1. Gail Carriger’s new book.

    2. This nail polish – Green/gold shimmery prettiness. Made by a kickass skeptic lady and named after Battlestar Galactica. I can’t stop staring at my fingers.

    3. Videos of cephalopods breaking into things, opening things and wearing things as hats on youtube.

    I’m in a pretty darn good mood. I kind of love *everything* right now.

    1. Awesome! I went to look at your nail polish and instantly bought another color as a gift for a friend. WIN!

  2. 1. My (first generation) Kindle Fire. I still love paper books, but man, oh man, I LOVE my Kindle. It was actually given to me by my best friend, who found he wasn’t going to use it (he also got an iPad … he has a problem lol). Best gift ever. I carry it with me all the time . I have way more books than I need on it, most free or under $8. I am not an app or game person, so it’s perfect for me.

    2. My ugly as sin 2000 Mazda Protege which I paid cash for and which will probably outlive me.

    3., my second favorite site (after Skepchick, of course).

    4. Craig Ferguson, otherwise known as CraigyFerg. Sigh. His show makes me happier it probably should.

    5. I am terrible at pop culture sometimes, and JUST learned that Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally have been married forever. BEST NEWS EVER. Sometimes the world is just right.

    1. “I am terrible at pop culture sometimes” delights me. I know just what you mean, but it makes me smile to hear it phrased that way. I’m not sure it’s a bad thing to be terrible at pop culture sometimes.

  3. Oh, a lot of things. Some things get added to the list now and then; some things drop off. These four, though, have a lot of staying power for me:
    1. Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry night”.
    2. M. C. Escher’s “Relativity”
    3. The monument at the Wright Brothers memorial.
    4. The theme from “Doctor Who”.

    1. I just looked up the monument at the Wright Brothers memorial to see what you loved and I saw that there are also markers for the start and end of the first flight! That’s pretty damn cool. I would like to visit there someday.

  4. Madisono’s Gelato and Sorbet. Helps that my son is one of the two employees of the company.

    Any book by Arthur C. Clarke or Issac Assimov.

    Being around a bunch of folk musicians.

    1960 muscle cars. But I’m the GM person, my husband the Ford guy.

    New Orleans. I just love the anything is ok atmosphere of the city.

    1. You say there are only two people who make ALL THAT GELATO? Did you see the list of places that sell it? Oh, man. That’s one hard working son you’ve got.

      1. Yep. They are looking to expand in the next few months. But this is shorter hours than his previous job. The garde manger for a French Bistro. That was an 80 hour a week job.

  5. In no particular order (because I hate ranking) (Wait. Sorry. This is about love. I love ranking less than I love eye surgery):

    The Archived by Victoria Schwab:

    The Dark Poodle of the Apocalypse, AKA the cutest widdle wuppy ever, AKA, my little muffin, AKA, well, you get the idea.

    My offspring, the annoying little nitwits.

    My sweetie.

    And, hey, Crock Pots are the best!

  6. I love a lot of things, but particularly…

    1. Keane — A British rock band that’s often compared to Coldplay. Don’t let that turn you off, though, Keane is actually talented. Their singer is amazing, and their drummer is a cat-loving human rights activist who interacts with the fans on Twitter (@richardkeane–check him out, he’s lovely.)
    2. My iPhone. Seriously. All of my friends accessible in an instant at my fingertips. Instant entertainment during my lunch break when I don’t want to talk to anyone after a whole morning of teaching music to young’uns.
    3. Green. Not any one particular shade. I just love green.
    4. The way my leg muscles feel when I walk or run. Sometimes I reach down and put my hands on my hamstrings while I walk just to feel how strong my legs are. I’ve worked hard for this strength.
    5. My 2003 Mazda Protege, Rosie Pro. She has 120,000 miles, her fair share of nicks and bruises to the paint job, but she’s been on many an adventure with me and I love her.

  7. 1) My wife, daughters, parents, and sister.
    2) Swedish Fish (seriously, best candy EVER!)
    3) Apple pie (but only if my mom or I make it)
    4) Anything done by Joss Whedon (especially Firefly!)
    5) A capella music.

    Until a few weeks ago, this list would have included my job, but since they just forced out my longtime boss, divided up my research group, and are bringing in someone who is clearly a psychopath to be our new boss, this one’s not so much on the list anymore. :(

  8. I’m not sure I can say there’s really anything I love.

    There are people and things that make me feel better, but as for love…. nope.

  9. Leaving aside the obvious ie people and dogs
    Chocolate coated mint icecream (actually cherry is better but harder to find)
    Our old National microwave/convection oven from 1982 – it never fails
    Star Parties
    The Foundation Trilogy

    Crock pots rock – try my pork shoulder in teryaki sauce recipe,- somewhere on Skepchick when the search tool re-emerges!

  10. Skepticism. It’s been my passion since I first stuck my toes into it at TAM 7. It allowed me to define, and focus, my thoughts and ways of thinking in a way that I had already been unconsciously moving towards, but couldn’t quite grasp. It was a coming home to a people I never knew I had. A long strange, interesting, fascinating, and exhilarating journey :)
    And then, the Skepchicks. They were the people who got me to put my toes into that water. Their courage, sense of humor, commitment, perseverance, and fierce loyalty, to each other and to their friends, is something I will always admire, and never forget

  11. That flag? One of my nieces made a painting for me where “everything is the wrong color” when she was about 5 or 6. Exact same principle, but a typical little-kid landscape with a house and a tree (purple trunk, red leaves), an orange sky with black clouds and dark blue Sun up in the corner. I’ve had it up on my bulletin board at work for about 15 years (she’s a sophomore math major at Georgia Tech now…) It’s really faded, but still in a place of honor. It took me several months to realize it wasn’t just random but complimentary colors.

    (All my nieces and nephews are brilliant, which is really odd, since all my siblings are idiots. Oh, yeah, to answer your question, *them*,)

  12. Other than people and cats (I often lovely cats more than people).

    I love my iPhone. It makes life awesome.

    I love my digital SLR it helps me take awesome photos.

    I love my ability to think critically. It makes me awesome :)

    I love skepchicks! You guys are awesome!

    Oh and I love the word awesome. :)

  13. As persons (such as my dog) should be left out, my list consists of beautiful things.
    1. Beautiful houses. I just love beautiful houses: castles, manor houses, villas, townhouses. Also beautiful ruins (as in archaeological sites) make my heart race.
    2. Lace. Who does not love lace? So pretty.
    3. All shades of purple / violet. Especially in houses and lace…
    4. Cheese, but preferably not purple.

  14. 1. I love it when my cat runs sideways
    2. I love that my wife’s car has both a key ignition and a start button, making it actually more difficult to start the car with no apparent benefit
    3. I love anything that was ever made by Psion
    4. I love it when I suddenly realise that we’re living in the 21st century

  15. 1. Sweet Jane by VU, original version w/o the bridge
    2. Indian Food or Sushi, depending on the day
    3. The Bourgeois Soloist guitar – @$7K out of my league, but Oh My!
    4. Pie
    5. “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin

  16. 1. Cafe au lait – There shouldn’t be anything magical about coffee with steamed milk, but there is.
    2. The color coral and that it’s still “in” this year, so I can buy all the things in that color.
    3. NPR – I get so much of my news from them and WGBH is a fantastic station.
    4. The sensation of knitting with bamboo knitting needles.
    5. This vegetarian smoked split pea soup recipe. Very easy and very, very delicious. (Smoked paprika is a magical ingredient, especially if you’re veg. It gives a great savoriness without any effort.)

  17. 1. Being pain-free
    2. Kitties
    3. Cooking cajun in iron
    4. Discovering a new passion
    5. Recording
    6. Collecting music
    7. Gardening
    8. Making stuff
    9. Creepy Victorian art
    10. Creepy old patent medical devices
    11. Smelly ladies’ soaps and creams
    12. The Church of the SubGenius (Praise “Bob!”)
    13. Quebec movies
    14. Quebec culture
    15. Dreaming of Istanbul
    16. “Xanadu,” “Pleasantville,” “Fiddler on the Roof”

    1. You say you like collecting music, and Quebec culture. Have you heard of “Le Vent Du Nord”? One of our favorite Quebecois groups.

  18. My ex. She has seen me at my most vulnerable and knows all of my worst qualities and still likes me enough to brighten my day with a few kind words only she would know to say. Valentine’s day is always hard for me, but while I may not have anybody to hold right now, I do have someone that knows me intimately, likes me, and cares about me.

    To The Moon. That game made me cry.

    Americone Dream.

  19. Being on the golf course early on a sunny morning.
    National Parks, hiking, and camp fires.
    Live music.
    A book I can’t put down.
    Friends and conversation.
    Being above ground.

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