I found this list of 101 favorite things, and I realized that we haven't done a GTKY Sunday in a long time, so I decided there's no time like the present! Some of the things I've changed as they felt repetitive or more geared toward women, but I tried to stay within the rules. Answer some (or all) of them in the comments if you'd like!
1. Favorite pet I ever had? My dog growing up, who was with me from ages 7 to 21. We got her from the pound, and she was a sweetheart.
2. Favorite car I've owned? My green Ford Taurus named Buck (I still miss that car, even though toward the end when it went into reverse the radio would turn off).
3. Favorite meal out, ever? I am not one of those people that is good at restaurants. My favorite place to eat is Mozza Mia in Edina, and I love their Fettuccine Carbonara.
4. Favorite food I've cooked? My “impress people” specialty is a Patricia Wells recipe for Sausage Penne with Chianti and Fennel. It's divine-I love the smell of boiling red wine.
5. Favorite food from childhood? Mac-and-Cheese with hot dogs
6. Favorite drink on a hot summer day (include event)? Mojito, on the rare occasion I'm outdoors.
7. Favorite drink on a cold winter night (include event)? Chocolate Milk-I hate hot drinks.
8. Favorite conversation I've ever had with a person? Oh, I don't know how to pinpoint just one, but I do remember a conversation I had with an old woman when I was fourteen. Her name was Louise and I was in a lending library on a cruise ship, and we talked for about a half hour about school and about her life. I don't know why I was alone on the cruise (I was with my family), but even decades later it still sticks with me how she lived her life, and how she did what she wanted, going from cruise to cruise enjoying her retirement. It was refreshing for a boy who lived down the street from a corn field to see someone who had seen so much of the world and had such a fascinating life.
9. Favorite total meal that I cook (list all items)? Spaghetti with sausage, a french baguette, a dark greens salad, and a dessert which is one scoop chocolate sorbet, one scoop blood orange sorbet, and with Grey Goose drizzled over it.
10. Favorite movie of all time? Casablanca
11. Favorite book of all time? Either Wuthering Heights or On Chesil Beach
12. Teacher who changed my life, and why? My French teacher in high school taught me to dream higher and believe in myself in a way I don't think any other teacher has. Also, my whole family is teachers so any of them even though I wasn't in their classroom.
13. Professional mentor who changed my life, and why? I don't know if I have one, but I have a guy named Ben I worked with whose advice I never forgot (I'm not sharing it here as it's between he and I), and never goes far from my mind when I'm feeling lost.
14. Favorite item to go shopping for with a friend? Books-mountains and mountains of books
15. Perfect day out: what, where, with whom? It depends-I love going out for long leisurely afternoons of either brunch or dinner with friends, or perhaps a day of movies with my brother, or in a museum with my parents. Or just me out for dinner-and-a-movie-I'm an introvert, so that's just as relaxing.
17. Favorite artist? Rothko
18. Favorite song? "Unchained Melody," by the Righteous Brothers
19. The best paid entertainment I've ever seen? Tina Turner in concert-unbelievable (and I had floor seats)
20. Favorite hobby activity that makes me get lost for hours? Writing, reading, or movies.
21. Most rewarding time I've ever spent volunteering? Giving out trees to people in Minneapolis-it was great to get to impact of the city in such a positive way.
22. The most exciting secret I've ever been told? I was one of the first people to know one of my friends was pregnant, even before the father knew.
23. My greatest skill (past or current)? Oscar Trivia, for always
24. The best advice I've ever been given? Don't waste time-you never get it back, and it's a finite resource.
25. The best advice I've ever given? It's always stupid to worry about what other people think of you if it stops you from pursuing a dream (I need to tell myself this one quite frequently).
26. The best birthday I ever had and why? My 29th-it was my golden birthday, and I had a list of 29 of my favorite things to do, and my friends coordinated so that I could do all of them that day from dawn til dusk.
27. The coolest natural wonder I've ever seen? The ocean still leaves me breathless even after living near it.
28. The most fun road trip I've ever taken, where and with whom? My grandma and I road-tripped all the way across South Dakota to Wyoming to visit my aunt the summer after the first year of college. It was great getting to know her in those twelve hours as an adult and not as a kid.
29. The closest call I've ever had? I was in the middle of a police chase once (as a bystander)-that was pretty scary.
30. My favorite flower? Blue Roses
31. My favorite secret alone-time activity? I sometimes have "Paris Days" in my apartment where I buy champagne, put on Edith Piaf, and make a French dessert while randomly thinking of lost loves.
32. My best hair day ever? I love when my hair is really shaggy, and it starts to curl as I always wanted curly hair.
33. The best gift I've ever gotten: what and from whom? My brother made me a book of my annual awards for best movies/TV/music I do for the 15th anniversary of the ceremony.
34. My most suspenseful moment? Coming out of the closet
35. My most unexpected achievement? This blog-I gave it up for years and to sustain it so long afterwards is very cool.
36. Person you'd most like to meet. My epistolary friend Andrew.
37. My favorite paid employment, ever? Working at a library in college.
38. The best dessert I've ever eaten? Anything Ben & Jerry's ever put in a pint.
39. The prettiest natural landscape I've ever seen? Wallis Sands State Beach in New Hampshire, or perhaps anything tin Brattleboro Vermont (it's such a beautiful little hamlet).
40. The most scared I've been by a bug or critter? When there were rattlesnakes on my aunt's sidewalk I think would be the top of the list-snakes are not my favorite.
41. My favorite household chore? Laundry
42. The most decadent thing you've ever bought for yourself. My library is drenched in books-they are my biggest indulgence.
43. The best cup of coffee I've ever had? I actually never drink coffee. I kind of wish I did since people seem to have such specific tastes in it, but I don't have a palette for it.
44. The hardest question a child has ever asked me? "I'm not sure if Santa is real-do you think he is?"
45. The most important time I've had to "be there" for a friend? I've sat through some pregnancy tests.
46. The most unusual pet I've ever had? I've never had an unusual pet, but I've always wanted a teacup pig.
47. My favorite athlete? Andy Murray or Serena Williams
48. The most treasured book in my library? I have a book autographed by Dame Julie Andrews.
49. Most beautiful building you've ever been in? Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
50. The coolest handmade gift I ever gave anyone? I made my brother a letter inviting him into Hogwarts for Christmas one year-it was the end of a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt through the house.
51. The best anonymous thing I have ever done or given? It wasn't exactly anonymous, but I once gave a really lovely waitress a $100 tip while I was on vacation.
52. The most healthy and vital time in my life? Hopefully now.
53. The worst thing I ever got away with? Oh lord, let's not go there.
54. My first celebrity crush? Wil Wheaton in Star Trek: The Next Generation
55. My current celebrity crush? Prince Harry
56. Favorite cologne? Ralph Lauren Blue
57. Favorite indoor smell? White Wine Vinegar (I can't explain it either).
58. Favorite outdoor smell? Rain
59. Most fun I ever had on a Saturday night? A lady never reveals her secrets. 😀
60. Favorite song I ever danced to; with whom? I have never really danced with a guy I've dated, so this would be learning how to polka with my grandma-and-grandpa when I was ten.
61. Favorite dinner my mom made? Spaghetti, definitely.
62. The happiest moment I can remember? We'll just say it involved a guy named Matt.
63. Song that makes me move no matter how bad I feel? "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston
64. My favorite patriotic experience? I got to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
65. My biggest moment of celebrity? I met Leonardo DiCaprio in college-he was...not talkative.
66. My one favorite item of clothing? My Mavi jeans.
67. The one item I would take to the desert island? Pen-and-unlimited-paper.
68. The one person I loved who never knew? I kind of think he knew.
69. The most fun sporting event I ever attended? No idea-maybe my first baseball game with my dad?
70. The best place I have ever traveled; where I'd spend my whole life if I could? New York City
71. My favorite moment as a parent? Not there yet, but god-willing.
72. My favorite moment as a sister or brother? My brother and I have 1000 inside jokes-whenever one of them comes up, I love it.
73. My favorite moment as a spouse or significant other? Not there yet, but god-willing.
74. My favorite moment as a daughter or son? Saturday night movies when we were kids.
75. My favorite fast food place? Five Guys
76. My favorite exercise? Swimming
77. The most significant change I've had to go through and how it made me better? Coming out of the closet, and it made me a stronger person in ways I never expected.
78. My favorite place growing up? My grandparents' farm
79. My favorite non-relative adult growing up? Hmm-maybe one of our neighbors?
80. My favorite aunt or uncle? Two favorite aunts-Debby and Sandy.
81. Best Sunday afternoon I ever had? I famously hate Sunday afternoons, so anything that feels productive-I like to start the week off right.
82. Favorite ice cream ever, and from where? Ben & Jerry's Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownie, which is sadly in their graveyard right now (hopefully Oat of this Swirled doesn't share a similar fate as that's my current go-to)
83. Favorite musician? Joni Mitchell or Dolly Parton
84. Famous person I've admired, living or dead, whom I'd most like to meet? Martin Scorsese or Robert Kennedy
85. Favorite environmental sound (rain, thunder, etc.)? Wind in the trees
86. Favorite person to take a walk on a beach or in the woods with? Me-I like nature walks by myself.
87. Best time I've had playing with a pet? Every time? I love animals (dogs, cats, pigs, horses), so much; I'm the person who heads straight to the animal at a party.
88. Favorite TV show? Lost
89. Favorite TV rerun I could watch 50 times? The Twilight Zone
90. Favorite item no one knows I own? A body pillow
91. My favorite story or experience with the paranormal? I was alone in the Tower of London (I broke off from a tour group), and it got very cold and there was a rustling of wind even though the windows weren't open. It was eery.
92. The one "splurge" grocery item I have never yet splurged on? Ooh, I like this one. I'd say filet mignon from a good butcher's shop-I'm afraid to cook it!
93. The most competent activity I do? I am weirdly good at goal-planning
94. The one food item I can never run out of? Parmesan Cheese
95. The favorite picture I've ever taken? There's this gorgeous shot of a wooden bridge that's being flooded by the Mississippi River that I have from my 29th birthday-probably that?
96. The most fun game I've ever played? Clue-I am OBSESSED with the game Clue. If not that, I once played Cutthroat Kitchen at a dinner party and that was marvelous.
97. The biggest secret I still safeguard? (Don't reveal it!) I mean, how do you answer this? Let's just say I have one, and leave it at that. lol
98. The hardest I ever laughed in my life was...? The first time I saw the movie Clue.
99. My favorite fabric to pet is? Silk
100. If I could go anywhere, be with anyone, be doing anything, right now: Where? Who? What? Having my first date with my future husband...or if he doesn't exist, maybe on a nice hike through Scotland by myself.
101. If I had one hour to live, what would I spend it doing? I'd watch "The Constant" episode of Lost while eating spaghetti.