1. The New York Mets. I know, this is rather stereotypical of a guy to name his sports team as one of his loves...but I really do have a serious emotional connection with this team that goes beyond sports. The Mets are the not-so-lovable losers. They don't have the resources of their city brethren, the pedigree, the history or background, the advantages, or the admiration of their peers. My insecurities lead me to identify with these sorts of problems. I am a first generation college student, first generation lawyer, and first generation move the hell out of Staten Island-er. A few years ago when the Giants won the Superbowl, I teared up, mostly because the Giants are the only team I share with my father, with whom I don't get along. If the Mets were to ever win the World Series (big if!), I would be a balling, blubbering mess. Literally, typing that sentence just now actually made my eyes slightly tear up. This team means the world to me...not just because it's baseball...but because it's me.
2. Swimming. I love swimming. Not like exercisey swimming, but just jumping in a pool or lake and splashing around for a long, long time. I didn't have a pool in my backyard growing up. However, my family spent each summer in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains where my campground had a pool. I used to go down to the pool at 10 am and not leave until 5 pm. I was out of the pool for maybe 1 hour in between. Even now, when I have access to a pool I never get out. I sit there and prune up and splash around like a ten year old.
3. Scotch. Yeah, I love Scotch. Yesterday I mentioned a fear of alcoholism, but this is different. It goes to a lot of aspects of my personality. I love socializing. I always wish to be out with people to converse with and there is no better place than sitting and having a drink. I don't believe any spirit conduces itself to debate, sharing, hilarity, or reminiscing more than two fingers of Black Label. I like that it burns a little bit. It lets you know it's there. I love the sophistication of it. It makes me feel better about myself. It's something to be earned. As Roger Sterling of Mad Men, a noted Scotch drinker said, "we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do".
4. Waterville, Ireland. This is the greatest place I have ever been. If I ever become wealthy enough to maintain three residences, I will have one here. I consider it the most beautiful place on earth. When I was 14 I went on a trip through Ireland with my older brother and cousin. We pretty much stumbled upon this place accidentally and couldn't believe what we saw. You can see pictures of it in this post.
5. Blondes. This is certainly not to the exclusion of other hair colored women...but I am an absolute sucker for a blonde girl. It has caused....problems. I have absolutely no idea why that is, or what it is about blondes...but I have trouble saying no.
6. Manhattan. I remember coming to the city as a child and always being amazed. I was sure the only people that lived here were obscenely rich and important. While I now know that not to be true, I think there is a subconscious adherence to that line of thought in my brain. Even outside of that association I love everything about this city. I love that I don't need a car and I can get anything I want, and I mean anything, in under a half an hour. I love that I take the subway with my really famous mayor. I love that there is a place for everything and everybody. I love the way I feel when I'm walking around the streets. I love that if you stay outside for just a few hours you will definitely see something amazing that you've never seen before. I love that everyone has business to take care of and doesn't have time for pleasantries. I love that a lot of the country thinks everyone here wears suits and ties to the office when in fact a vast majority of our workforce are blue collar to the core. Most of all though, I love that I live in a place that to a lot of the world is a grand and impossible place to imagine living, much like I did as a kid.
7. Breakfast. By far the best meal of the day. I think everyone can agree on bacon...so we can move on from there. My perfect breakfast includes: orange juice, tea, unlimited bacon, unlimited toast, sunny-side up eggs, sausage links, blood pudding, and one piece of french toast.
8. U2. This is my favorite band. When their music comes on, I go into a trance. "With or Without You" is my favorite song of all time...go ahead and mock me. When we went on that Ireland trip I mentioned earlier we rented a car and had one
cd CASSETTE with us, U2 the best of 1980-1990. I fell in love on those car rides listening to an Irish band while driving by the fields, mountains and pubs of Ireland. I've seen them live twice, once in May of 2004 and once in September 2009 and both were beyond amazing. I know, Bono is kind of a douche...I get it. I love his music.
9. My Friends. I know I mentioned them yesterday but it's worth mentioning again. These people are my family and without them I would not survive. I have a very, very close group of nine or ten people who have been close to me since 2005 and close to each other since 2003. I have never been so comfortable with a group of people like this. I struggle with the idea that some may leave one day, or marry themselves out of regular visits, or move on. But while we are all still together I try to take advantage of every opportunity.
That was easier.