the diary thing 
IT DOESN'T SEEM FAIR to make a big list of all the things I hate, without giving equal time to the things that make life worth living. Here, then, is a map of the bulwark that keeps me from the edge of the cliff, or the wobbly chair under the noose.
  • The "hash brownies" episode of "Barney Miller".
  • Early spring and early autumn. The only times of the year when I feel utterly, helplessly hopeful.
  • Nectarines.
  • The fair sex, or I have strange taste in women: Myrna Loy, Claudette Colbert, Jean Arthur, Teri Garr, Dixie Carter, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Joan Allen, Joanna Lumley in "The New Avengers".
  • Soft ice cream from an ice-cream truck. Vanilla. No chocolate dip, no sprinkles.
  • An untucked shirt.
  • A well-cut suit.
  • The Moviegoer by Walker Percy.
  • Suede shoes.
  • The human skull.
  • Gore Vidal calling William F. Buckley a "crypto-fascist" on national television, at the 1968 Democratic Convention.
  • Buckley asking Gore to "step outside".
  • Gore shaking his head in dismay.
  • Dictionaries.
  • Cities.
  • Our friend V.'s crab dip with Triscuits.
  • Patton.
  • The smile on Humphrey Bogart's face when he punches Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon.

"No pleasure is fully delightsome without communication; and no delight absolute, except imparted."
- Montaigne

The good stuff, or a fast way of getting up another diary entry.
  • Son House singing "John the Revelator".
  • The Lockheed Constellation. The most beautiful airliner ever -- thank you, Howard Hughes.
  • The moment when the print comes up in the developing bath.
  • The light and echo in an old church.
  • Little kids playing happily by themselves.
  • Ladybugs.
  • Almost every car produced before 1960. Not that I want to learn to drive, but if I must live in a world filled with cars, why can't they look like a Nash, or a Packard?
  • Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding.
  • Tom Jones by Henry Fielding.
  • The eighteenth century.
  • A Hogarth caricature.
  • Edward Everett Horton.
  • John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • Topper.
  • The way Cary Grant wears a suit.
  • A new book.
  • An old book.
  • Fowler's Modern English Usage, first edition.
  • Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 11th edition.
  • Tapenade.
  • Stilton.
  • Technology that really works. Clue -- this isn't it.
  • Cats that sleep on their back.
  • Vinho verde.
  • Gramercy Park. I'd have an apartment there, in a perfect world.
  • An old library with no internet connections.
  • A museum without "interactive displays".
  • Stella Artois.
  • Buying the International Herald Tribune from a newspaper kiosk on the Rambla in Barcelona.
  • Thyme.
  • Old snapshots.
  • Roasted potatoes.
  • Panoramic photos.
  • Juan Talega, the greatest cante jondo singer ever.
writing ©2001
Rick McGinnis
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