Thursday, December 01, 2016

Those little pleasures

Especially now, I’ll take all the pleasures – little or otherwise – that I can get. Here are a few of mine. What are some of yours? 

You’re listening to the radio and a song comes on that you really love and haven’t heard in awhile. Just the first few notes make you smile and you know for the next three or four minutes you’re going to be happy.

You're in a restaurant and get one of those tables at the window with a view.

You upload some computer program and it actually works. (This pleasure, by the way, has never happened to me.)

Same restaurant, you look around and see you have a better table than Beyonce.  

Your kid plays Tree #3 in the school pageant and gives a bravura performance.

You don’t need X-Rays until your next visit to the dentist.

Coke with real sugar. 

You’re trying to find a parking space in a crowded mall and someone pulls out just in front of you.

They honor the Group-On even after the expiration date.

You drink a Coke out of the bottle on a staggeringly hot day.

You get upgraded.

You take your first bite of a food you’ve been craving for weeks. And it tastes as good as you had imagined.

You’re watching reruns of a classic show, you’ve seen every episode ten times, and suddenly one appears that you’ve never seen before.  

You find a cherished toy from your youth at a flea market.

The Tylenol kicks in.

People you don’t even know wish you Happy Birthday on Facebook.

You have time for a nap.

You find a seat on a crowded subway car. And it’s next to someone who bathes.

You get TSA pre-check.

Your printer jams and you actually fix it yourself. Is there a greater sound than a printer resuming its print job?

You order medium rare and it comes out medium rare.

You stumble upon a new TV show you really like. And you set a season pass immediately because you know you’ll never find it again. What is Epix anyway?

You find that favorite cozy sweatshirt you thought your mom/step mom/spouse/lover threw out.  


UPS shows up with the package you’ve been waiting for.

The automated kiosk in the parking structure works. That rush of excitement and relief when the wooden arm goes up.

And finally… a new blog post where all the photos are of Natalie Wood.


slgc said...

That moment when your morning cup of coffee kicks in - Ahhhh........

bruce said...

"Today's committee meeting is cancelled"

MikeAdamson said...

Mmmm...Natalie Wood

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

nothing beats pics of Natalie.
I don't recall seeing you mention the TCM Friday night highlights of Natalie's movies with Robert Wagner and Natasha Gregson Wagner.
I really enjoyed their fond memories of Natalie and what they recollect about Natalie's views of each movie.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

FRIDAY Question:
Ken, I've been taking a Leadership Class for my MBA. One of our projects has to do with multiple leaders. That is, what happens when you have 2 or more equal leaders. How does that work, etc.
When you and David were either Head Writers/Show Creators/Show Runners, was there a balance you struck dividing up functions? Did other writers,cast members approach the two of you separately or individually with personal/professional issues? How did the 2 of you cope with people wanting more of his time vs your time?

thank you.

Kosmo13 said...

Both of these actually happened to me recently:

You walk into the barber shop expecting to see a lot of other customers sitting on the bench waiting their turn for one of the barbers, but instead the barber you like is sitting on the bench waiting for customers to come into the shop.

You come home on a plane and the cab driver who picks you up at the airport speaks English well enough to understand the instructions for finding your house.

sumerlad said...

A movie comes on you never heard of and you see "Starring Teresa Wright"

Jeff C in DC said...

> And finally… a new blog post where all the photos are of Natalie Wood.

You discover a gifted photo editor who drops wistful delight into your morning. You do have a talent for the Natalies.

VP81955 said...

"You're listening to the radio and a song comes on that you really love and haven't heard in a while."

Then you're obviously not listening to KRTH. According to their ridiculously tight playlist, the only thing Billy Joel ever recorded is "My Life"(?). Even if they overplayed my favorite song of his ("A Matter of Trust"), it wouldn't be doing him justice. KRTH used to be a decent oldies station, nearly as good as its New York sister WCBS-FM. Not anymore, not by a long shot.

Stoney said...

Regarding the fourth from the bottom:

My pleasure, turning on the TV in the morning to find the TCM movie I missed the night before is available on demand. (Most recent case; Marx Bros. "A Night At The Opera")

Friday question in advance of the upcoming 100th birthday (Dec. 9th) tributes; What are your favorite Kirk Douglas films?

Anonymous said...

Hello Ken,

A good night of sleep, a perfectly well made cup of coffee (milk, sugar, not too hot, NOT COLD OR ICED), Seinfeld re-run of "The Marine Biologist", catching your bus, train or elevator at the perfect time, Italian food, Pulp Fiction whenever it's on (at any point),
your boss out of the office, quiet, Chipotle for lunch, the "everydayness" of baseball, everything about football and of course, Ken Levine's daily blog postings, --LL

kent said...

A person you've never seen before throws you a genuine smile.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Learning new software without having to ask my daughter.
Finding a new audio clip of the Real Don Steele on
Going out to the wood bin and finding it not in need of refilling.
Having the chainsaw start on the first crank.
Being kind to folks who really need it.

Tim G said...

Things to be grateful for:

Seeing Ken's column each day

The bullshit-free face of my dog

Bingeing on Becker episodes

Hot black coffee

Medium rare ribeye


Neighbors with warm smiles

The enduring wit of the MTM house sitcoms

NYRB paperback reprint editions

Maria Callas recordings

Carol Burnett's Eunice

Toast with butter

Children of the age when they say hello to everyone

Root beer floats

Exchanging smiles with people on the sidewalk as we unavoidably walk toward and then almost into each other

People who tell me what music they love

Charlie Hebdo said...

Oh, oh baby! Natalie Wood!

Jahn Ghalt said...

You get TSA pre-check. Love it - I got that several times in a row! Plus, the TSA dude toldd me you can apply for it - fee is something like $160.

Here's a couple that I like:

The team you've been following since Wilt/West/Goodrich has sucked for years and is now young, gaining confidence, and just got a young coach who might be the next Jackson/Riley/Popovich/Auerbach (that is a might be a future HOF'er)

The team you're currently following plays tonight on TNT.

Mister Charlie said...

GREAT pictures of Natalie. She was soooo beautiful.

Dave Creek said...

I don't expect a better seat at the restaurant than Beyonce, but then I don't think I'll see her at Steak 'n' Shake.

DBenson said...

You browse a used book store you've been to in the past few weeks and they've got a LOT of fresh stuff.

Email from a not-favorite relative with GOOD news.

Hitting the bagel place just as they're putting out hot ones.

Having to show ID for the senior discount.

Ordered purchase delivered a day or more early.

Getting a laugh when that's what you were trying for.

Covarr said...

There are few pleasures in life greater than a good chair. Big enough that it doesn't feel cramped, cushioned enough that you aren't constantly adjusting your weight or avoiding hard edges, thick enough as to stay warm, and reclining in case you want to take a short nap. There's nothing fancy or innovative about this chair. No seat warmers, no cupholders, no massage features. Just a good, old-fashioned recliner that does one thing and does it so perfectly even Marty Crane and Archie Bunker would gladly trade up for it without a second thought.

And also pizza. Pizza is great.

slgc said...

Bringing the exact number of reusable canvas bags with you to the supermarket that you ultimately need for your groceries!

Scott O. said...

I'm happy when I hear a song that I haven't heard in, say 30 years.

Then I get depressed because I'll probably never hear it again. In another 30 years I'll be dead.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Netflix allows downloading. My data plan breathes a sigh of relief.

Ken's blog. Also Mark Evanier's blog.

Getting "Hail to the Victors" stuck in my head.

Vin Scully.

Petting a dog. Any dog.

Sleeping in.

Time to read, and having something good, either from a new author or from an old favorite.

Steve McLean said...

You come across an envelope of old photos with memories (and people) you'd forgotten about

tavm said...

Steve Stoliar wished me Happy Birthday on Facebook.

"Linus and Lucy" is one of the songs played on 24/7 Christmas stations. Same goes for "Christmastime is Here".

Some former classmates from elementary/high school that you haven't seen in a long time do reply to your posts on FB. And I manage to accidentally to bump into some of them occasionally.

Classic shows you used to watch on afternoon TV on local channels is still shown on classic show channels that are not on cable but on regular TV.

Stu R said...

Coke with real sugar. My grandson's pleasure since he has corn allergies. Glad it is a pleasure for you.

tavm said...

I always love when It's a Wonderful Life and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" comes on.

I'll always love having pizza for lunch or dinner.

Donald said...

Thank you for Wood-apalooza.
And please check your emails (assuming I'm using the current correct address)

Anonymous said...


Astroboy said...

A film clip of Mickey Mantle hitting a home run that you have never seen before.

John the Red said...

When someone tells you that you've changed their life (positively, of course). What an awesome feeling to know you've made a difference to someone.

My wife's amazing smile.

The Hal Roach-era Laurel and Hardy comedies. Seriously, who was funnier than Stan Laurel and (especially) Oliver Hardy?

Discovering a new musical artist or band that just knocks your socks off.

Sundays with the family at my sister's place.

Working a job away from the hustle and bustle; out in nature with only deer, birds, turkeys, foxes, trees, etc. for company as the sun rises.

Jimmy Page and Jerry Garcia's guitar playing when they were in their prime. Two guys who played with heart and soul, not just with technique.

Being behind someone who actually uses their turn signal, and at the proper time to boot!

Making it to/from work without having had some jerk right on my ass the whole way, even though I'm hardly driving slowly. Sadly, this is a rare occurence these days.

Hitting all the green lights.

Looking at the heavens, with or without a telescope.

Meteorites! I just love 'em.

When the Boston Bruins actually win a game.

The sound of my beautiful Gibson J-200 acoustic.

Discovering great new books and cherishing the old ones you've read a thousand times.

Finding a copy of a concert you were at that you figured you'd never, ever find. This is especially cool when it happens 10+ years after the fact.

And finally, being alive to experience all of this!

Mark said...

A little sad that so many of yours are simply "not being disappointed when you expected to be"...

Unknown said...

A day where my kids' school doesn't phone me or text me or email me to tell me something bad about my kids.

Steve Bailey said...

For you it's Natalie Wood, for me it's Adrienne Barbeau. No matter how old she gets (and she's well into AARP territory now), to me, she'll always be that BBB (buxom, braless, bouncing) number from "Maude."

John the Red said...

I just thought of another one: not having to deal with people who (mis)read things into what you say. That's a biggie!

Pete Grossman said...

Thanks Ken. While I enjoy your snarky list posts, this is a wonderful flip side.

Back in the day one of my fave things was to hear the fax machine connecting - AND then seeing the read out say "Transmitted."

iamr4man said...

Some guy cuts you off in traffic and a cop sees it and pulls the guy over (actually happened once).

John Hammes said...

Much as we complain about the internet, the fact we now have an internet, and can post/comment/meet interesting people on interesting blogs.

Much as we are immersed - and overwhelmed - with digital visual information, the fact we can still enjoy radio (terrestrial, satellite, internet, whatever else they will think of), and the colorful collage of images and emotions that good music and good storytelling will always evoke... all in the mind and heart. Think Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe or Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, that sort of thing.