1. Christmas trees... while it may be said with some veracity that it's simply Christmas that I love, I qualify that I adore Christmas trees. You may recall from my "25 Random Facts" list that I have 1300 ornaments for my tree; mine are all European glass that I've been collecting for the past 20 years. I've had friends comment that they don't want me to ever see their tree because of my 8' spinning monster, but I love to see the way different families decorate their trees. My folks have a 12' artificial tree that I help put up and take down every year on Thanksgiving. The top third the tree has to be completely assembled and decorated before the rest of the tree is assembled because the width of the base makes it impossible to get a ladder in close enough to reach the top... it's a chore, but it's stunning...
2. Cosmos... yes, I fell prey the "Sex in the City" fad that mixed vodka, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry. Out with friends more than once I ordered the concoction and decided that I had to try and perfect the mixology - which I did (tho mine are often referred to as jet fuel). ...and once, when I told the bartender I'd have a Cosmo my date said, "No you won't..." I gave a puzzled look and was told, "No date of mine is going to hang out at this bar with a PINK drink in his hand..."
3. Cupcakes... I love to make them and I love to eat them. Filled or with a simple white icing; vanilla, chocolate or lemon - I don't care what the variety. My nieces asked me to help them with a bakesale for their church group. They came by my apartment one Saturday afternoon and we made 36 dozen cupcakes (not 3 doz). batch after batch of batter and frosting we made and I repeatedly had to tell them to use more frosting, more, more, more... It was exhausting and wild fun and every surface of my place held trays and trays of them... to this day, when we're having a cake of any kind, my nieces will look at me, smile and say, "Remember, it's all about the icing..."
4. Chinese food... I'm not sure why but some of my fondest memories of friends center around Chinese food. Tomasio laughed until he couldn't laugh any more when his volcano chicken came with... ...a volcano - I laughed, too. The funniest time was eating out with HotDiana. We had both ordered General Tsao's chicken and when I asked for mine EXTRA spicy, she said she wanted hers hot too... the waiter put down my plate and smiled at me... the first bite was perhaps the hottest thing I have ever sunk my teeth into... tears streamed down my face and I coughed and wheezed through most of the meal... such abuse I got from HotDiana who claimed that hers was just as hot and that she was surprised I couldn't handle it... I gave in and went to the men's room to blow my nose which was running like Victoria Falls... when I got back to the table something was up. HotDiana sat there with a stunned look on her face. I asked her what was wrong. She coughed, blew her nose and said, "Yours is SOOOOOOO much hotter than mine."
5. Caller ID - none of my friends will be surprised to know that I screen my calls, talking on the phone is something that I just don't enjoy. Caller ID was an Edison-worthy invention and is only enhanced by the ability to give individual ringtones to people who might call - auditory caller-id (love it).
6. Crash bars - while the dubious reader might think I'm reaching for this one, I assure you that when left alone in a spot with an exit door that has a "good" crash bar I will stand there and push that bar just to watch it spring back. Over and over; something about it makes me laugh.
7. Candy Corn - it has nothing to do with the flavor or consistency of this waxy Autumn treat that holds any appeal for me, but rather the fact that my dad loved it. He loved it. He'd dip his big, rugged carpenter hand into the apothecary jar that mom kept on her buffet table and pop them in his mouth... and I would too, not because I particularly liked it, but because he was eating them and because I enjoyed eating them with him.
8. Chocolate - but it MUST be very, very dark. Dark chocolate is something I cannot resist.
9. Chronicles of Narnia - At 10 or 11 my friend Jeff Johnson (no nickname - I haven't seen him in 25 years) gave me his copy of these books and told me that I should read them; since Junior High School over and again I have read these classic children's stories. I wasn't altogether pleased to know that there were plans in the works to bring them to the big screen (tho I confess I loved the first movie). Almost without fail, when I am traveling I will carry a copy of one of these books to read at some point in the trip... and oddly enough, the only thing I ever thought I might have tattooed on my body is a picture of Mr. Tumnus with his umbrella.
10. Cold Cuts - In my book, there is just no better comfort food than a sandwich and if I could live on bologna and cheese or olive loaf or ham and swiss, I'd be a happy guy... few things tempt me to be improper at a buffet like rolled cold cuts... I'll put one roll in my mouth and eat it while I'm dishing others onto my plate and take another for my mouth to hold me over until I can get back to my seat...
I avoided "Creative outlets", "Crafting", "Clay", "Collecting" and of course, "Cher"... I think you may have expected these...