My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
Not much chance in topping that, I won’t even bother to try. So how about we count the ways? No really! Actually count them, the things that I actually do love! How about fifty of them? Now you may say to yourself ” How can someone love 50 things?” It’s pretty easy actually, I fall in love every day! When I hear a piece of music that touches my heart, I fall in love with it. We all say it, probably a hundred times a day. Things like, “Oh, man I LOVE this piece of chocolate cake! It is to die for!” Now tell me you can’t come up with a list of at least 50 things!
So without further adieu, broken down into 10 categories are the things, I love…
Food: Who doesn’t love food?
5. I love… Froot Loops Cereal! Tucan Sam is da bomb!!! It takes me back to childhood every time I dive into this colorful bowl of round sugary yumminess! Sitting in front of the TV and waiting for Superfriends to come on! Nostalgia baby pure nostalgia!
4. I love… Peanut Butter! Oh lord, peanut butter should be included in the main staples of human life! I’m a creamy guy through and through. No chunky for me, unless I run out of creamy that is, then I’ll bite the bullet and delve into the wife’s chunky peanut butter stash! I could pile it on some toast and go to town and never look back!! And I have a special way to spread it on toast, you have to scratch the bread with the peanut butter and mix it in there real good! Try it, you might be surprised at the subtle difference it makes.
3. I love… Chocolate, of any type! There isn’t a piece of chocolate that I would kick out of bed for eating crackers! Hell, I would put the chocolate on the crackers! There isn’t much that chocolate cannot make better. Maybe we should try dipping World Peace in a some milk chocolate! Maybe then it would taste better to some of our leaders. I’m just saying! You never know, it could work! Ever tried it? Nope ya didn’t because we still haven’t achieved it! 😉
2. I love… Hot dogs! To borrow a term from the latest incarnation of “Valley Speak” OMG!!!! I adore this little tubes of spiced processed meat! Grilled, boiled, baked, fried or cut into little chunks and thrown in a tub of baked beans! I’m drooling as I type here. The old-fashioned way in a bun slathered in ketchup, mustard, relish and onions is almost…dare I say it? Orgasmic!!! But there is a close second way for me to enjoy this wonder tube ‘o’ meat. A VERY close second. I enjoy them wrapped in a croissant dough , like Pillsbury Crescent dough, and dipped in ketchup. Is anybody else hungry now or is it just me?
1. I love.. Barbecued Ribs, particularly my homemade ribs. Now, I know people are very particular about their BBQ, but I have yet to have anyone tell me that mine aren’t the best they have ever had! Slather on my homemade BBQ sauce and I swear these ribs will buy your way outta Hell if you need to!
Places: There are places on this planet that I have not yet had the pleasure to visit, so I’m not going to include them into my list, but one day this list will change!
5. I love… Rome, Italy! This place is filled with history, thousands of years of it and it transports you back to where you can almost feel it. Whether your religious or not, The Vatican is the single most incredible place I have ever laid my eyes upon! A hike up to the top to view Saint Peters Square is so worth the burning in your legs as you wind you way up and up and around and around the inside of the dome! A coin toss over the shoulder without looking into the Trevi Fountain will have you returning to Rome before you die. At least that’s how the legend goes.
4. I love… Door County Wisconsin. Door County is a four-season, outdoor recreation and pleasure lover’s dream come true with 300 miles of shoreline and 5 state parks. Door County is also home to 11 cool lighthouses, very unique communities, performing arts, entertainment, music, boutiques, galleries and mouth-watering cuisine. Door County truly is like nowhere else!
3. I love… Banff Alberta Canada. Banff is an incredible resort town nestled among the Rocky mountains. It’s an old style town that has some of the best pubs and scenery around. Just a short hop from Calgary to get you there and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Close by is Radium Hot Springs which is one of the best places to camp if your into the outdoors. A dip in the naturally heated springs will invigorate and rejuvenate your entire outlook on life. And God knows we all could sure use a recharge from our daily hustle and bustle of life!
2. I love… Heidelberg Germany! This place is an amazing taste of the old world. Heidelberg was hit hard during 17th-century wars and rebuilt in the 18th century with beautiful baroque buildings. For a pleasant walk, stroll through the historic city center’s Gothic streets. Be sure to take in Heidelberg Castle, the symbolic heart of the city; Alte Brucke, a beautiful 18th-century bridge; and the Student Jail. Built as long ago as the 16th century, it was used to keep mischievous students off the streets for three days to a month at a time. And they say Penn State is the number-one party school!
1. I love… British Columbia, Canada. I would be remiss to not include British Columbia. They don’t call it Super-Natural BC for nothing. And no it’s not haunted, see the hyphen? I am probably a tad biased about BC as I was born and raised there. Kelowna was the town of my birth, located in the heart of The Okanagan Valley. BC has everything you could imagine to do, at any time, of any season. You can literally go skiing in Whistler in the morning and drive the scenic Sea to Sky highway and go for a dip in the ocean, or any of the multitude of fresh water lakes that dot the landscape. Vancouver is a must see for anyone visiting BC and a ferry trip to Victoria, the capital should be included as well. But there are so many places that harbor the best foods, sights and people you will ever come across.
Things: Not not from the Adam’s family, you know… things! 😉
5. I love… Space! I suppose this would fit under places, but I figured since it is a place that I haven’t visited (yet!) that it goes here. Besides being a Sci-Fi fan, the beauty that Space provides is mind-boggling. We have only just begun to scratch the surface of what is around. Will we ever know all of what is out there? About the same chance of that as there is of a Twinkie being left to sit in my cupboard! So that would be a resounding nope! Nada, zilch, niet, nein! I truly do hope that one day I will be able to take a trip there. Well without mortgaging my home and selling most of my organs to get there.
4. I love… Big Dogs! There is something about big dogs of almost any breed. Maybe it’s the association with myself as being a big guy as well. But they have a soul within their eyes that I feel I can actually see. They have and extreme amount of expression within them. Sure some of them can be intimidating but there is something to laying on the floor and putting your arms around a big dog and feeling that substance there. And you can’t beat the protection that they provide you with just being in their presence. A robber is more likely to leave you alone if at the end of the lead you have a Bull mastiff as opposed to say… a chihuahua! Again, just my opinion here, if you like little dogs, fill your boat. They just ain’t my bag.
3. I love… Heavy Metal music! Yup, I’m a card-carrying member of the head banger’s society! There is something to this genre of music. to me it is a primal force that ebbs and flows with each drumbeat as it pound into your brain and heart. Don’t get me wrong, I am into many varying styles of music, but first and foremost in my heart. I love metal! It carries me to a place that allows the beast within to surge forth to rend and tear at the air around me! Hellz yeah baby, horns up!!!!
2. I love… The Ocean! Any large body of water draws me in. There is a siren song being sung to me from somewhere out the among the waves. Calling to me to come closer, to be apart of it. The creatures that dwell underneath the surface fascinate me to the Nth degree! So many mysteries to explore. Some of my most cherished memories have taken place in or around the water. Ya , I almost drowned as a kid one time and that was definitely memorable. But I am talking about boating, swimming and doing the little kids version of free diving. We used to take a large rock and transport it on a blow up floating, rafty thingy and take it out to what we considered fairly deep. We would then hold our breath and yank the rock off and let it take us to the bottom. Where we would lay on the bottom with the rock sitting on our lap watching the goings on from far below the surface for as long as our lungs could take it then zoom to the surface. Good times!!! And no, that wasn’t when I almost drowned! 😉
1. I love… My Home! My home is truly my sanctuary. It is my place to feel safe from the eyes of the world. It’s not a mansion or sprawling country estate, but it is ours. My wife and my furry family make it a place of comfort, warmth and love. We can walk around nikkid if we want to and no one will judge us. Just make sure you knock before you walk in, because we may be enjoying some of that comfort when you arrive! 😉
Libations: I don’t think we can have a food category and not have a drink category! Wouldn’t you agree?
5. I love… Tequila! Ahh yes Ta-kill-ya!!! The beginning to every bad story out there isn’t it? Well for me it’s the beginning of many good stories! Very very good stories. But we’ll save that for another list shall we? 😉 When I want to get the party rolling I will inevitably reach for that distilled juices of the Blue Agave plant! two or three shot to start and the ball be a rolling. Time to get out on the dance floor and boogie oogie oogie! Liquid courage in a tiny little glass, makes a man out of the boys and the girls!! 😉
4. I love… Pina Colada’s! The best fru-fru drink on this plant! When done right this will satisfy the desire to dwell among the palm trees and dream of some long sandy beach watching the island girls dance the hula! The coconut rum and pineapple concoction is one of my absolute favorite drink out there.
3. I love…Absinthe. Yup, the green dragon. There is a knack to preparing this drink and definitely something to be consumed in moderation.It has a history as old as Methuselah himself. Steeped in Bohemian traditions and lore, Absinthe is made from the Wormwood plant and was once considered to a potion of sorcerers. As it’s fire raged inside your belly, the veil to the other side would open,allowing you access to its wonders and secrets. Or maybe it just got you really, really wasted! 🙂
2. I love… Margarita’s! Truthfully who doesn’t? A main staple at any summertime party. Both men and women alike delve into this libation by the gallon-full! Whether you’re an on the rocks, blended, with salt or without kind of person, this drink will take your party hardy moments up-up and away!
1. I love… Rum and Coke! My goto drink whenever I am out. I may start the party with my beloved tequila but the rum and coke is my constant companion throughout the night. Specifically I am a Cuba Libre style of rum and coke dude. With a splash of lime juice, not just a lime wedge. So if you see me out on the club and buy me one of these, you’ve just got yourself a new friend!
Movies: Going to the movie theater has been something I have enjoyed since I was a little kid. My wife isn’t that big a fan of it so it has forced me to be that guy who goes to the theater alone. But that’s okay! I get immersed in watching a movie. Transporting myself for a couple of hours to some other realm!
5. I love… Star Wars! There are fanatics out there that live and breathe Star Wars. It has become a global phenomenon. It was one of my earliest memories of my movie going experiences. My dad and I would go to the theater and he took me to these films. My father has long since passed on but I have inherited his love for science fiction and I cannot think of this movie series that I am not taken back to a simpler time in life when the sci-fi opera captivated my dad and I and allowed us some great memories to share! I remember him walking around the house breathing like Darth Vader going “Kevin…I am….your father!!” and I would respond “Nooooooooooo!!!” Good times!! 🙂
4. I love… Avatar! This movie was something else. I know many didn’t like it but I watch it on a regular basis on my Blu Ray! James Cameron’s vision of this other world is spectacular. The 3D is cutting edge and I cannot wait for the sequels to come out! For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s about a paraplegic Marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission and becomes torn between following his orders and protecting this new world he feels is his home. Through the “Avatar” program he is able to place his consciousness into and embody a clone of the indigenous life forms there and becomes one of them. Great story and awesome special effects.
3. I love… Some Kind of Wonderful! Oh did I have a crush on Mary Stuart Masterson and Lea Thompson. A story of unrequited love (something I could identify with at the time) It is about a young tomboy, Watts, who finds her feelings for her best friend, Keith, run deeper than just friendship when he gets a date with the most popular girl in school. Unfortunately, the girl’s old boyfriend, who is from the rich section of town, is unable to let go of her, and plans to get back at Keith and the drama ensues! Fluffy but awesome!
2. I love… The Terminator: Judgment Day. One of my all time favorite flicks! Another James Cameron vehicle. Arnold Schwarzenegger at his best (if that’s actually possible) follows the story from the first Terminator about a cyborg that was sent from the future to kill the leader of the rebellion before he was ever born. The sequel takes place a few years after the first where a cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John, from a more advanced cyborg, made out of liquid metal. Cool stuff!!!
1. I love… Stand By Me! A classic film, one of the best “buddy” films ever made in my opinion. Based on Stephen King’s Short story “The Body”, “Stand By Me” tells the tale of Gordie Lachance, a writer who looks back on his preteen days when he and three close friends went on their own adventure to find the body of a kid their age who had gone missing and presumed dead. The stakes are upped when the bad kids in town are closely tailing – and it becomes a race to see who’ll be able to find the body first. A great story of friendship and adventure.
Music: You can’t have movies and not include music. Just like food and drink! As I stated above I am a metal head. But there are other types of music that touches me in some way.
5. I love… Metallica: One of the foremost heavy metal bands ever! They tell a story with each song and drive that into your soul with their searing guitars and pounding drumbeat. Hetfield crushing vocals weaves the lyrical tapestry of Metallica while Lars percussion prowess is second to none. Little man Kirk Hammet brings the music to life with what is hands down some the best guitar craft ever recorded. Although their bass players have changed through the years with the original bass player Cliff Burton who passed away to Jason Newsted and now Robert Trujillo. Jason to me was there best bassist and a big mistake to ever let that man go.
4. I love… Led Zepplin: Classic and everlasting, their music has spanned several generations and boundaries. Stairway to Heaven is still one of the most played songs ever recorded. Robert Plants vocals are a thing of legend. He can carry you on the wings of a dove and through into the depths of hell with the passion he has inside his vocal abilities. Jimmy Page has guitar abilities that exceed that of us mere mortals with John Paul Jones and John Bonham bring up the rhythm section they have created some of the most memorable music that will ever be heard.
3. I love… KISS: Unequivocally the hardest working band in the world. Or so Gene Simmons likes to say. But undoubtedly KISS is a wonder to behold. With Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons making up the originals of this currently best-selling touring band on the road today. Former band members Ace Frehley on guitars and Peter Criss on drums are still in any member of the KISS armies heart, as I am a long-standing card caring member! They have had a number of different guitarists and drummers but Ace and Peter are what people think of when they think of KISS.
2. I love… Queensryche: I feel in love with Queensryche from the word go! Geoff Tate is probably the best vocalist out there. His way of telling the stories they create or some of the best I have ever been privileged to witness. With soaring leads and rhythmic drums Queensryche transport into a world of heavy metal opera. If you ever get a chance to go and see them perform do so. You won’t ever be disappointed!
1. I love… Queen: What can I say here? Freddy Mercury is hands down, the single best singer EVER! There music stands the test of time and then some. There anthems can be heard at almost every sporting event and I would venture there would be a very minor portion of this planets inhabitants that have not heard Queen at some point. Maybe only some nomadic tribe deep in the snow-capped mountains of the Alps. But even then I highly doubt it!!!!
Animals: Cute and cuddly or ferocious and regal. Animals are a big part of our world. This list mentions only a few of my top favorites. I am an animal lover, always have been and I always will be.
5. I love… Elephants: There is an old aged soul that lives behind an Elephants eyes. I find an uncanny connection to these creatures. As a young man I snuck around the tents of the circus that was in town one day. I came across a couple of elephants in their enclosure around back. They both turned to look at me and both came to me and stood before me staring intently into my eyes. They told me a story with one look. A story of sadness, longing and a wisdom that was beyond simple words. We stared at each other form a long time. One reached out to me with it trunk and caressed my cheek with a gentleness that you wouldn’t think capable of such an enormous animal. Before I was shooed away from there by its caretaker those elephants and I shared a moment that has stuck with me to this day. I remember it with complete clarity and I feel I always will.
4. I love… Ligers: “I’m sorry, did I hear you right? A Liger?” Yup you did! What’s a Liger you ask? Well let me tell you. A Liger is a new breed of animal out there in the world. It is the result of a Lion mating with a Tiger and let me tell you… they are spectacular beasts!!!! I came across them a few years ago and they are gorgeous animals. And just so you know I’m not messing with ya, I’ve included a couple of pictures for your perusal of a gigantic cat, fittingly named… Hercules!
3. I love… Sharks: They touch a primal fear in almost all of us. Something that lurks beneath the surface of the water, unseen and silent. Waiting for that moment when your fear is at its height to rend and tear at your flesh and devour all that is you. Or at least that’s what Jaws has made us think. Sharks haven’t had the need to evolve since the dinosaurs roamed the earth. They don’t need to, they are natures perfect hunter. They are elegant killers and the wolves of the oceans. They have been apart of my bucket list long before bucket lists became popular jargon in modern language. A dream I have always had is to be inside a shark cage down at the Great Barrier Reef and to have a Great White Shark come gnawing at a piece of fish attached to the outside of the cage and when his mouth opens wide and its teeth are about to rip the flesh of the cage. I want to reach out and pat him!!! It Gives me the willies just thinking about it, but the excitement holds sway just that much more!
2. I love… Snakes: Another primal fear instilled within our psyche. Adam and Eve and all that! But I have had the pleasure of being the proud papa of a nine and half-foot long Red Tail Colombian Boa Constrictor. Her name was Kai and she was an amazing creature. If anyone tells you a snake doesn’t love, I’ll beg to differ. Kai would lay around my neck and caress my back with her tail in a fashion that cannot be misconstrued as anything but love. She knew me and I knew her. We would go down to the beach and the crowds would flock. We had a special moment with a small group of children who were in the area that came from some Eastern European Bloc country that had cancer and were in the area for treatment. They (as many others) had not experienced a snake of this size and they were so taken with Kai. They learned that not all things dubbed “evil” in this world are actually anything but! I miss her to this day as I had to find her a new home because of an unfounded fear of an ex of mine. The things we do sometimes!!!
1. I love… Dogs & Cats: I have to lump these two together because as I have stated I love animals, of all shapes and forms. I have had a dog in my life since I was a baby and cats as well. I currently have a Husky/Shepherd mix who is my world named Buddy. He is getting old now and has s number of health issues stemming from a bout with cancer, but he is my Buddy and always will be. We also have 3 cats Fletcher, Taiko and Felix. They are an integral part of our little family and a bunch of characters who’s entertainment value is priceless!
Vehicles: Whether they move or fly they are a everywhere. They have held our fascination since they first came into our lives. One of the greatest inventions to ever ooze out of someones brain. Planes, trains and automobiles oh my!!!
5. I love… Apache Helicopters! These whirling contraptions are the scourge of bad guys everywhere! There immense firepower and flying capabilities are almost unrivaled in the sky! To me they are just the coolest out flying machine out there.
4. I love… The International Space Station! This multinational laboratory orbiting two hundred and thirty miles straight up is a thing of wonder and imagination made real. The thought of someone living and working in a man-made vehicle that orbits the earth at 17,150 miles per hour is the stuff of science fiction. Truly an amazing accomplishment of the human race. And we have only more discoveries and wonders to come, if we don’t kill each other off first that is!
3. I love… The Shuttles! Even though they are now decommissioned they are a marvel of technology and imagination that will forever live on in the hearts and minds of space enthusiasts everywhere. Like the JFK assassination and the attack on the Twin Towers we all remember where we were when the Shuttles exploded above our skies. I know I sure do, it is a memory forever burned into my mind.
2. I love… Ford Mustangs! Okay bring on all the Ford jokes, Found on road dead, Fix Or Repair Daily blah blah blah. I love these things people! I had a ’87 Mustang when I was a teen and it was my baby. I traveled across the country in it racing here and there and everywhere! Man it was fast! Ever since then I have had an affinity for them, regardless of what people say!
1. I love… Lamborghini’s! The car of my dream people. Although fitting in it my provide a slight challenge, one day I will ride in one. Lamborghini has come out with several incarnations and I can’t say they have done it wrong! The sleek lines and raw power and space age bodies. Mmmm mmmm mmmmm!!! Drool fest people dah-rool-fest!
Activities: What makes you move? This category is all about what makes me move. Whether I do or not is another story! 😉
5. I love… Martial Arts! I have studied Martial Arts for most of my life. Even though I am a big guy, let me tell you. Don’t under-estimate my abilities to take your head off with my kicks! I have always been able to throw my body around with extreme ease and flexibility that my opponents have not anticipated. Giving me the edge in many a situation. I studied a few styles of Martial Art over my lifetime, but Pak Mei Kung Fu has captured my soul. It embodies everything that I am. I understand it in a way that a mechanic understands engines. Okay, at least that is what I used to be! 😉 Now, I love my couch too much, but I still make moves like I’m a Kung Fu Master. Just now I’m more like Kung Fu Panda!
4. I love… Swimming! Again, the water! It has a draw for me that makes me feel at home whenever I immerse myself in it. I can head out into the water and not get out for hours on end. I feel no fear out there. I love to swim out to the middle of a lake somewhere and float there staring at the sky and embracing the cool liquid flowing and ebbing around me. Nothing like it!
3. I love… Reading! Reading is a pastime for many people. I have, over the past couple of years, devoured more books than I have ever read in my entire lifetime. Sci-Fi and fantasy are the genres I adore. I love reading and transporting myself to the worlds between the words! It brings a sense of peace to my soul that I somehow missed when I was a rambunctious youth. But I’m definitely making up lost time now!
2. I love… Camping! Getting out into nature and sitting by the campfire roasting whatever we have is the best vacation I can think of. There has to have a swimmable lake near it for me to really be in camping heaven. We are tent campers and I used to make fun of camper trailers but as I get older I find I am probably going to get myself one. The thought of the campsite set up is daunting to me and now I just want to get in, set up quickly and be ready to chill!
1. I love… Video Games! More specifically Call of Duty multiplayer!!! Oh yeah baby! That is the stuff right there! Waging war on unsuspecting gamers all in the comfort of my living room Heck ya! I have a 54″ big screen television that I plant myself in front of and get immersed for hours at a time if I am not careful. It has become a bit of an obsession that I have to watch myself for not becoming too much out of control. Because it sure is easy to lose track of time. Just one more match! Okay, just one more, that one was good. Then 6 hours have passed and you find you haven’t done a darn thing! Yup, way to easy to get addicted to. But I love em!
People: This is the category that makes the most sense for things I love. Love between people is what is at the most basic and complex of human emotions. It drives us in ways that we don’t understand and probably never will. It is the driving force behind all of creation.
5. I love… The Human Race! I truly do love the human race. yes we are capable of such atrocities, but we are also capable of so much more. I have faith in us as human beings. One day we will understand the fruitless meaning of war and violence. It may take a thousand years or more, but we will get there and what a state of being that will be!
4. I love… My Friends! I cannot say enough about my friends. I make great acquaintances very easy as I am an easy-going amiable fellow. But I have only a handle of true friends. They are my family in a way that family cannot be. We have shared struggles and overcome obstacles together. You know who you are out there if your reading this. And you know I would die for you without hesitation or regret.
3. I love… My In-Laws! I have to include my in-laws in this list. Because when I came here to America I came alone. My wife’s family took me in like I was meant to be there. They accepted all my foibles and moods. They laugh with me, they cry with me, they are my family. I have a hard time placing the distinction of brother-in-law, or sister-in-law. They are my brothers and my sisters too and do truly love them.
2. I love… My Family! I cannot say enough about my family. My kith and kin, my blood. There are struggles within each and every family and you’d be lying if you said there wasn’t. But because of that blood tie, we overlook those differences and back them with all that we are. They shape us to who we are to become and in turn we shape their life as well. There is no greater bond than that of la familia!
1. I love… My wife! Last but most definitely not least. I love my wife! With all my heart and soul. She is mine and I am hers and nothing will stand between us. She accepts me for who I am unconditionally. I could say that I would take a bullet for her, but that isn’t enough. I could say I would walk to the ends of the earth and back, but that wouldn’t be far enough. I could say that I would keep her safe no matter what, but that isn’t hardly enough. There are truly no words that I can use to tell my wife what it is that I feel for her or what I would do for her, because that isn’t enough. I love her with all that I am and all that I will ever be. From the heavens above to the fires below and all that lies in between. It isn’t enough.
And there you have it folks. 50 things that I love! Thanks for hanging out with me and I hope it wasn’t to tedious going through it all!
Stay safe, stay warm, and be kind to each other.