Forget Raindrops on Roses; Pass the Rye!

What are my favorite things? Why, I’m so glad you asked! Because I have so many favorite things and I have SUCH strong feelings about them! Let me tell you about my favorite…

Writing tool: Scrivener! The corkboard option is worth the price of admission alone. Such an easy way to organize my writing.

Running shoe: Yes, I’m a geek and I love my Sauconys. They should pay me, I love them so much. I’ve tried other brands, but my pronating flat feet always scurry back to Sauconys.

Child: The one currently not asking for “just twenty more minutes of screen time because I really need to record one more Video Star song/get to the next level on my game.”

Ice cream:
Mint chocolate chip or coffee, depending upon my mood.

Bourbon: Ha, ha, fooled you! I don’t have a favorite bourbon. But I do have a favorite rye, Angel’s Envy. Smoky and vanilla. So yummy!

Food that actually is food:
Pasta. Piles of pasta with so much cheese your fork can barely get through. Mmmm, pasta. (Which makes me want pasta, but it’s Passover, and pasta is on the naughty list, so no pasta for me!)

Food that isn’t actually food, but that I still consume anyway: Two-way tie between Peeps and gummy bears. The Peeps must be pure–no weird flavors or chocolate coatings. The gummy bears must be European. I can’t control myself with either of these. Close runner up: Oreos.

Movie: Casablanca. No, The Women (the original). No, Double Indemnity. No, Duck Soup. No, The Women (the original). No, Jules et Jim. No, Casablanca. (This could go on all day.)

Planet: Jupiter. Duh.

Color: Green.

Game: Apples to Apples. My family can have some pretty rousing evenings playing the game. We totally pander to the judge (no matter what the topic is, if my husband is the judge, the answer should be “donuts”).

Punctuation mark: Yes, I have a favorite punctuation mark! Are you telling me you don’t? The semi-colon. A well placed semi-colon can change your life. (You thought I was going to say serial comma, didn’t you? But I prefer a punctuation mark I don’t get into–as many–arguments over.)

Sports team: The Miami Dolphins! Granted, they suck. Granted, I haven’t actually followed them since my kids were born. Granted, I have no idea who is on the team anymore. But I will root for them till the bitter end, especially up here in Patriots territory. I’m basically cheering for the colors orange and turquoise, but dammit, I love those colors!

Commercial: This one. So totally this one:

Childhood crush: Scott Baio. I had a huge poster of him (from Tiger Beat magazine) hanging on my childhood bulletin board. No one was dreamier than Chachi.

Book: I’m not falling into that trap. They’re all my favorite books!

Job: Kiwi farmer (on the kibbutz in Israel). I even learned to (barely) drive a tractor.
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Holiday: Thanksgiving. While I make a mean Passover seder and I love the ritual of the Jewish New Year, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. First off, it’s one all my friends celebrated, no matter their cultural traditions. Second of all, it’s the one holiday my family always comes together for. Third, turkey! Need I say more?

Song: “Oxford Comma” by Vampire Weekend (warning: contains NSFW language), if for no other reason than I love a good beat and I love an Oxford comma (even if it doesn’t beat out the semi-colon as my favorite punctuation mark).

Joke: On the very first day of school, a mother goes into her son’s room to wake him up. “Good morning, my bubelah*! It’s your first day of school! Time to get up and dressed.”

The little boy gets his clothes on and goes downstairs. “Bubelah,” the mother says, “I’ve made your favorite breakfast! Pancakes.”

The boy sits and eats his breakfast, while his mother chats with him. “Oh, bubelah, you are going to have a terrific time at school. You’re going to learn so many things. Bubelah, you will have so much fun.”

The clock nears eight, so the mother hands the boy his lunch. “Here you go, bubelah. It’s your favorite sandwich. Now, go, have a wonderful day.” She leans down and kisses him on the cheek. “Go, bubelah, and learn!”

The mother waits all day for her son to get home, and when she hears him coming up the front steps, she hurries to open the door. “Bubelah!” she says, greeting him with kisses. “I’m so happy to see you! So, nu! Tell me! How was your first day of school? What did you learn?”

The boy looks up at his mother and says, “I learned my name is Irving!”

*a Yiddish term of endearment from a parent/grandparent to a child.

And you? What are your favorites?

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Jennifer S. Brown is the author of MODERN GIRLS (NAL/Penguin). The novel, set in 1935 in the Lower East Side of New York, is about a Russian-born Jewish mother and her American-born unmarried daughter. Each discovers that she is expecting, although the pregnancies are unplanned and unwanted, in this story about women’s roles, standards, and choices, set against the backdrop of the impending war. Learn more at www.jennifersbrown.com.

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This article has 12 Comments

    1. The rye? I mean, the bourbon is excellent too, but that rye is to die for. (Do you think I can get a sponsorship from them? My next novel does take place in speakeasies. “Wow,” Minnie said, “this is an excellent rye! If we lived 90 years in the future, I’d say it’s almost as good as Angel’s Envy!”)

  1. There was a time that I resisted the semicolon, but that was a long time ago. Now I embrace it (though in dialog I only use it with characters who speak precisely).

    I think my favorite punctuation mark is the comma. I feel like I’m still learning the rules, and sometimes, just for fun, I write as if I’m writing for the New Yorker. And, yes, the serial comma. Always.

  2. I don’t have tv so I’ve never seen those Cookie Monster commercials. I laughed the whole time. Thanks for the whole list, but especially Cookie Monster. Hmmm, makes me want to say my favorite ice cream is mint cookies and cream.

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