Laugh-crying. I wish this happened more often, but I am thankful that it happens at all. It feels so cathartic and loosens up your muscles in a delicious way. What is the evolutionary advantage for humans of being able to laugh-cry? Did it scare away our potential predators, or merely bring us closer to our fellow laugh-cryers?
Shaggy dog tales. These are the jokes that go on forever and deliver very disappointing punchlines. Weird, right? I don't know why I like them so much, maybe they represent the pure joy of storytelling and remind me of my cool-ass dad, who is also very fond of them. My favorite shaggy-dog punchline is "Life ISN'T a fountain?"
Mexicanamese food. A proud native Angeleno, it warms my heart that my town is finally coming into its own as a hotbed of culinary innovation. So every time I see a new LA-bred cultural fusion I cry little tears of joy that Armenians and Koreans have come together through a shared love of skewers.
Getting older. OK I know this one is hard to believe, but there is something to be said for feeling comfortable in one's own skin. Dylan summed it up well: "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."
Vinyl records. I'm not a purist by any means... I dig the mp3 revolution and how easy it has made it for us to access all kinds of music and listen to it just about anywhere. But being in your cozy house on a rainy day, listening to Miles Davis or Toots and the Maytals on a fuzzy warm piece of vinyl while drinking Earl Grey tea... a little slice of heaven.
Long hikes in the wilderness. I especially love sun-dappled pools on a gurgling river, enormous trees and vistas that remind you of how small you are, and the feeling of solitude and remoteness afforded by deep nature. Also, mushrooms.
Maps. I love me all kinds of maps, loved 'em since I was a kid. Sure, they represent travel, both actual and potential... but I also just like them for what they are, their lines and contours, their orderly representation of a mad and complicated world.
Sunrise sets. The party has thinned, everyone's looking a little worse for wear, the music becomes less bombastic and tries to soothe you gently into the light of day, celebrating that you've made it through the long dark journey of the night...