Fifteen Favorite Feelings

A while ago, Hank Green of Vlogbrothers (a youtube channel he runs with his somewhat more famous brother, author John Green) did a video on his fifteen favorite feelings. He did it because in part because videos like “fifteen things that annoy you” were commonly requested, and despite their popularity, they always left him feeling bad. He wanted to do a listy video that was positive. It actually was a very popular post as well, and since then some other people have borrowed the idea, like Malinda Kathleen Reese of the Google Translate Sings videos. (She runs song lyrics through Google Translate until they screw up, and then sings them dramatically. It’s wonderful.)

I’ve liked all these videos, so I decided to steal the concept for my blog. I’m doing two versions; one here that for general good feelings, and one over on my writing blog for good feelings associated with the writing process.

  1. Seeing somebody’s reaction when you’ve just given them the perfect gift.
    I remember the first time I got this feeling. I don’t remember how old I was, but I was old enough to pick out presents for people on my own, but not old enough that I’d been doing that for very long. My Mom had said something about wanting a new watch, and I found one that I thought looked great, and it was just $20 (I was a frugal little kid, so I could afford that). Up until that moment my favorite thing about Christmas was the cool stuff I would get, but this year the number one thing I was thinking about was whether or not she would like it. The rush I got from the look on her face was incredible. She still wears the watch to this day.
  2. Going to a live performance with a friend.  There really is a special energy to live entertainment. The ephemeral joy of it really needs to be shared with someone, so years later you can go “that concert though,” and they can go “yeah man…” and you both know.
  3. Watching animals do nearly anything. What is it about animals that makes everything they do this peculiarly delightful thing to behold? It spurs some mixture of paternal tenderness and naturalist’s awe. Or at least, that’s how it feels to me.
  4. The excited fear that precedes the first drop of a roller coaster. I am, paradoxically, both an anxious person and a junkie for scary-type entertainment.
  5. Cuddling my boyfriend. I am a serious cuddleholic. I think I like snuggling even better than sex (I can reveal that to who knows how many strangers on the internet, right? Yeah, people do that these days).
  6. When a friend introduces me to some book or show that becomes an instant new obsession. Fandom is fun to share. When somebody introduces me to something, I have a built-in person to run to every time something squee or rant or flail inducing happens.
  7. Meeting somebody who is genuinely eager to hear about something I’m passionate about. I always have that problem of wanting to talk about stuff I like, for basically forever. While I’ve learned to hold off pretty well, it’s nice to let that side of me loose sometimes.
  8. Teasing with somebody when there is mutual liking and respect. Obviously teasing when there isn’t that camaraderie is awful, but I’ve always been a huge fan of friendly banter.
  9. Hearing something nice said about me, without any prompts. Sometimes you just need a boost. It’s great to get some reassurance that you’re a basically decent person and somebody likes you. Hearing somebody say it when you’ve dropped a bunch of hints that you need a pick me up is okay, but it’s never as good as when somebody says something nice just out of the blue.
  10. Going to a movie or museum on my own. In contrast to the second item on the list, I know this one is more particular to me. Sometimes when I’m with other people, even close friends, wondering about their reactions and keeping track of them can be exhausting. It’s nice to just quietly process things on my own terms, especially when I’m around other people who I can enjoy stuff with, but not actually interact with at all.
  11. Watching somebody else be happy. Have you ever stopped at a stoplight, and next to you somebody has the music on and is singing along and doing a little dance in their seat? Isn’t that just the funniest and most delightful thing? I don’t even care if it’s music I like or not. I just like seeing other people have a good time.
  12. Playing with kids. They’re just so fun. I love having the excuse to be silly and imaginative without caring what people think. They aren’t everybody’s favorite thing, and that’s okay, but I really like kids.
  13. Seeing somebody’s life improved in some way by something I’ve said. Look, I’m an INFJ. Sometimes nicknamed the Counselor. We are always trying to say something helpful. Sometimes we aren’t as helpful as we want to be. But when we are, it’s awesome.
  14. Reading. Turning words into a world in my head, and then just hanging out in that world for a bit. Reading. Yeah.
  15. Quietly noticing something beautiful. My Mom always loved to point out pretty sunsets and trees, and I’m glad she did. It really taught me to appreciate the world around me. Still, her style of appreciation was always so boisterous, and I often felt daunted by the desire to match her level of enthusiasm. Perhaps it’s just the difference between our personalities, and perhaps it’s partly my sense that no words I say can be equal to the experience of whatever it is. In any case, I really love just wandering on my own, noticing something lovely and taking a moment to observe it, and do nothing else.

Hope you enjoyed this list. Please feel free to copy the idea, or post a comment with some of your own favorite feelings. Thanks for reading!

Reviewing Veggie Tales as an Atheist; Josh and the Big Wall, Part 1

Thoughts and Stories of Lane William Maxfield

This episode  opens with a letter from a kid who was told not to beat people up, which he thinks sucks, because sometimes other people are mean and he just wants to give them a pounding. Scary kid. Larry and Bob turn this into a lesson on why its important to follow God’s directions even when you don’t want to. That way this kid will understand that no matter how much he wants to punch people in the face, he shouldn’t, because God doesn’t condone violence.

So they tell the story of the destruction of Jericho, where God commands the Israelites destroy an entire city and slaughter its inhabitants.

Interesting choice, but okay.

Now, understand, when I say slaughter, I don’t even mean a slaughter by ancient barbaric Biblical times. Back then, at least there was a decent probability of women and children being spared. The elderly and sick might…

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Beautiful Characters

Thoughts and Stories of Lane William Maxfield

I just came back from a party I went to, mostly to keep my extroverted boyfriend happy, but I ended up having a good time. There was a guest there who I hopefully didn’t stare at too much. I’m bad about staring at people. I blame it on being a writer; often I notice things about people that trigger some writerly thoughts. There’s something about the way they are dressed or carrying themselves that gives me an idea, and I want to stare to imprint the idea into my head, to fully process it, sometimes even to consciously understand what is unconsciously appealing about them. Of course, at the same time I  don’t want to make them uncomfortable, so I keep finding my eyes drawn to them when I’m bored, catching myself and looking away in a way that I’m sure people notice. In this case I felt particularly awkward…

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Reviewing VeggieTales as an Atheist; Lyle the Kindly Viking

Thoughts and Stories of Lane William Maxfield

This is the thirdepisode on the general topic of not being greedy (fourth if you count The Toy That Saved Christmas, which I’m saving for Christmas). I remember this episode not being my favorite as a kid, so I was curious to see what adult Lane’s reaction would be. This one is specifically about sharing, and just as Bob and Larry are announcing the topic, Archibald runs up to them, begging to have a chance to run the show. He points out that Jerry and Jimmy Gourd got to run a show, so why can’t he? Bob and Larry clearly aren’t comfortable with this, but they decide that it would be pretty hypocritical of them to announce that they’re about to teach kids to share and then, you know, not share. So Archibald gets to take over the show.

A while back I found this article about teaching kids…

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Inside Out’s Defense of Sadness

Thoughts and Stories of Lane William Maxfield

Last weekend I went to see Inside Out, finally. Pixar movies are generally good, but this one was more than just good as a story. A lot of stories claim to be out to teach kids important things, and often this is somewhat true, and even more often it’s the writers puffing themselves up or advertising themselves to concerned parents. This story actually teaches kids about their emotions, in a way that isn’t cloying or condescending and is genuinely fun.

Spoilers ahead.

The story is about Riley, eleven year old girl, goofball and hockey lover, who has just moved from Minnesota to San Francisco and having difficulty adjusting. But Riley isn’t the protagonist. She’s the setting. She’s a genius loci, inhabited by her own mind, which includes imaginary friends, little mental construction workers and, running the show up at headquarters, her emotions; Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and Sadness.

The protagonist…

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