These are a few of my favorite things …

by Erin on November 6, 2008

As most of you have probably figured out, I am a person of random enthusiasms. Get stuck talking to me for a few minutes at a party or in an elevator and I will try to convince you of how great roller-skating is, or that liverwurst sandwiches with spinach and mustard on wholegrain bread are underrated, or how you should really try my new stupidly-expensive-but-actually-worth-it favorite lip balm.

So I thought today would be a great day for a random post about stuff I like (but sadly, even though I live in Chicago, I can't actually GIVE you all the stuff I like, the way Oprah would). Stuff such as Pearson Coffee Nips, which I can't actually eat more than once or twice a year anymore because they really do a number on your teeth:

I know, they are total grandma candy, and weird because I don't actually like to drink liquid coffee in any form, but, oh, the deliciousness. Mmmm.

I also really like Veronica Mars. Seriously, if you have never watched this show, block out a week or two and sit yourself down on the couch. I've been rewatching (as I walk on my treadmill, another favorite thing) and I have been bowled over (again) by what a great show this is. (Also: LoVe 4eva!)

And has everyone here read Josephine Tey? I recently grabbed one of her books off the shelf — Brat Farrar, my favorite — to keep me from getting a cold (did you guys know this works? A favorite mystery novel, taken with either a hot bath or a bowl of popcorn, will usually pull me back from the brink if I feel like I'm coming down with something), and wondered if people even read Josephine Tey any more. And they should.

I also really like — and sometimes people are shocked to hear this — Wikipedia. I've worked on reference books professionally, and I know what kinds of shenanigans can go on with them, but I find that by and large, Wikipedians do a great job giving you the gist about anything you may care to look up. And if you can't trust an article unless you know that it was written by underpaid and overstressed professional reference book editors, well, you can always skim down to the bottom of any article and look for the source links, and then go read THEM. That alone is worth the (free) price of admission! (Disclosure: I'm on an advisory board for Wikimedia Foundation, but they don't pay me anything.) If you have used Wikipedia this past year, please seriously consider donating to the Wikimedia foundation's fundraiser:
Wikipedia Affiliate Button

I could go on and on — I haven't even gotten to how fun it is to carry around a toy sonic screwdriver, or even expounded on the whole liverwurst thing — but I'm sure you all have work to do or other blogs to read. (Speaking of which, I did a top-ten list of blogs for Blogs.com this morning … it was kind of a stream of consciousness list and was, by necessity, inadequate. Ten?? I need a "Top 350" list to represent all the blogs I really love … Anyway, if you were on my list, you can pick up your fancy-shmancy blog badge here.)

So, happy Stuff I Like Thursday! Let me know if you end up having liverwurst for lunch.

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 6, 2008 at 8:15 am

I love the phrase “grandma candy!” Memories of the cut glass candy dish next to Granny’s chair, always full.And Josephine Tey!! Immediately post-college, when I couldn’t read anything but mystery novels, I devoured her books. And Brat Farrar was my favorite. But, hey, that was almost 30 years ago, so I wonder, too, does anyone still read her? Thanks for the memories!kim p.

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sixties sewer November 6, 2008 at 8:31 am

My son, the Gen Y guy, once said that liverwurst tastes like the 1940s. Kind of makes sense, right?

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1912 Suffragette November 6, 2008 at 8:48 am

Josephine Tey is one of the greats IMHO. I absolutely adore “Daughter of Time” and “Brat Farrar”, but I think “The Singing Sands” is my favorite.Also, liverwurst is great on 7-grain with mayo and fresh-out-of-the-garden tomato.

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ANNA November 6, 2008 at 8:51 am

teh coffee nips sound like my idea of heaven its a shame we don’t have something so wonderful in UK !! Oh to live overseas!

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Mrs. Happy Housewife November 6, 2008 at 9:14 am

How interesting that you should mention Josephine Tey! I began reading “Daughter of Time” to my children yesterday.

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Jessica November 6, 2008 at 9:16 am

I like Josephine Tey! I actually discovered her when looking for audiobooks. I was looking by narrator, and seeing what I could find Derek Jacobi reading. That led to me listening to “Daughter of Time” which led to me reading it, which led to be exploring her other work.And I’m 27. So . . . not a teenager, but youngish?And I love your blog, btw. I’ve linked to it a couple of times, but I think this is my first comment. Sorry it took so long!

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Ellie Finlay November 6, 2008 at 9:19 am

Josephine Tey. WONDERFUL! And Brat Farrar is probably my favorite.I’ve been a vegetarian for some time now but I used to love liverwurst so your sandwich sounds delicious. I need to get creative and come up with a vegetarian version!

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lucitebox November 6, 2008 at 9:29 am

Veronica Mars was possibly the best show on television. I love it, too, and have watched ‘em all. I did watch season one more times than I care to admit. It’s definitely a must see.And, that lip balm is stupid money, but ain’t it the truth? It works! This brand can often be found at Mertz. It’s $8 and compares well to Dr. Hauschka.http://www.smallflower.com/labello/classic-lip-balm-5-g-stick.htmlNow I really want to take a bath with a book. I’ll have to check out Josephine Tey.I’d love to be trapped in the elevator with you because I always like product recommendations. The only downside (for you) is that you’d have to put up with my own proselytisms.

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Gail November 6, 2008 at 9:31 am

I loved Josephine Tey, but haven’t read her for years. It’s too bad that she wrote so few books.Now I am going to look for her books again.

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peanut November 6, 2008 at 9:38 am

Liverwurst is fantastic – alone or with other stuff.I first “met” Josephine Tey in University when a prof assigned “The Daughter of Time” as a text book for us to comment on! (It was a great class.)

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marcia in austin November 6, 2008 at 9:50 am

Josephine Tey is good stuff. I read Brat Farrar after seeing the “PBS Mystery” version of it some years back. Read a couple other things of hers; don’t recall which. I need to put her back on my reading list.

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the_lazymilliner November 6, 2008 at 10:01 am

I love liverwurst, especially with rye bread. It’s been a while since I’ve had this but I ate it regularly as a kid when my German grandmother would bring it over during her visits.

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Anonymous November 6, 2008 at 10:06 am

My Mom still loves to eat liverwurst, and when I was a kid she would put it on a sweet roll. I know, but she likes sweet and savory together, I guess. She also used to eat bridge mix with beer. (Does anyone eat bridge mix anymore?)Ann from Maryland

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Zoltar Panaflex November 6, 2008 at 10:30 am

That ‘grandma’ candy was something my mom always had around, that’s what got me hooked on coffee in the first place.I am not having liverwurst, but I spend a fair percent of my time finding ‘perfect liverwurst’ for the husband, who adores such things.Mission accomplished, thanks Whole Foods.

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Gretchen November 6, 2008 at 10:33 am

Ugh- memories of liver cheese on squishy white bread with Miracle Whip- I myself favored bologna and american cheese on the squishy bread. I considered it a thrill when I got my mom to buy me two slices of bologna at the meat counter in addition to her liver cheese. My husband got the pickle and pimento loaf- how old school is that?And my grandma candy? Wintergreen lozenges- the pink ones that taste like Pepto-Bismal. She always had a bag in her one chair home beauty shop for her customers.

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vespabelle November 6, 2008 at 10:48 am

My husband (then “just-a-friend”) sent Coffee Nips to me in when I was on an overseas trip. Then I knew, we would be more than “just friends.”

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chelle November 6, 2008 at 10:53 am

Oh, Brat Farrar. And Daughter of Time. And Miss Pym Disposes. Oh – and The Franchise Affair. Why the heck did she have to die so young with so few books under her belt?My mom’s reading group is doing British mysteries right now (some of the women are reading them for the first time). She’s trying to get them to read Brat. I hope she wins!

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Julie The Vintage Goddess November 6, 2008 at 10:56 am

If i get a Sonic Screwdriver does that mean The Dr. is my boyfriend?

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Kristen November 6, 2008 at 10:57 am

Must look up Josephine Tey.love, LOVE Veronica Mars. So good.

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wundermary November 6, 2008 at 11:02 am

I remember eating liverwurst as a kid (we called it braunschwager) but I do not eat it now. Your combo sounds good, especially if you are using a pungent, grainy mustard. But, the adult revelation that it is really a flavored lard spread is hard for me to get past.Isn’t it funny how coffee smells heavenly and coffee flavored things are so wonderful, yet coffee itself tends to disappoint? It’s a paradox I have often pondered.

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bonnie-ann black November 6, 2008 at 11:11 am

gosh erin, except for the whole dress thing we could be twins separated at birth. love josephine tey (though “Daughter of Time” is my favorite); and liverwurst — but only Boar’s Head, no other kind. i like it on buttered whole grain bread with american cheese and tomatoes! yum. now i am hungry. perhaps i can use the sonic screwdriver i carry everywhere to make a sandwich!

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Miss Amelina November 6, 2008 at 11:14 am

OK, that is just bizarre. There must be some connection between mocha flavored candies, a passion for words, liverwurst and mystery novels….my mom has the same loves too….well, those and quilting. You guys must be related somehow.

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Mimi November 6, 2008 at 11:23 am

My grandfather loved Coffee Nips but not as much as he loved Licorice Nips. I should pick some up in memory of him! Yum.

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Wendy November 6, 2008 at 11:41 am

Liverwurst must be a Chicago thing, it’s hard to find in delis in New Mexico. I like it on marble rye bread with onions and mayo.Yum!!Wendy in NM

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April November 6, 2008 at 11:49 am

VERONICA MARS IS THE BEST SHOW EVER.Hands down. No contest.You just made my day with your love (and LoVe!) of VMars! :]3

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Nadine November 6, 2008 at 11:58 am
Adelaide B November 6, 2008 at 11:59 am

Veronica Mars and Josephine Tey rock. I randomly checked out one of her books a couple of years ago and then devoured the rest. Daughter of Time is one my favorite gifts to give to mystery loving friends.

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Jenny November 6, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Another twin (triplet!) except for the sewing thing. Josephine Tey — check. Liverwurst — in my fridge. Veronica Mars — watched two episodes last night. Wikipedia, crosswords, pockets… I guess that’s why I enjoy your blog so much. Things I Like. :)

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Kelly November 6, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Cool stuff, Erin! Thanks!

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Anna November 6, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Rollerskating ROCKS!!!We go skating on a Sunday morning in our local park. And by ‘we’ I mean me, my Mum, my niece and my two kids. Oh how I love the puzzled expressions of passers-by when we all skate past on our way to the park cafe for the yummiest cups of hot chocolate with hazelnut syrup.

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geogrrl November 6, 2008 at 1:34 pm

I’m also a person of random enthusiasms. Whatever is capturing my attention at the moment is what I will rattle on (and on) about. Then it’s on to the next thing.Personally, I love liverwurst. But on buttered rye crackers, like Kavli.I’m not much on coffee-flavoured things, but my favourite “Grandma Candy” is humbugs. Funny, my grandma never ate them.I also enjoy Josephine Tey’s books. One of my favourites is “The Daughter of Time” in which her fictional character does a great job of separating the myths about Richard III from the reality.I also highly recommend Martha Grimes’ detective, Richard Jury (I think that’s right).

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bani November 6, 2008 at 1:35 pm

I absolutely ADORE Josephine Tey too – everyone should read her books (and burn the likes of Dan Brown).

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Stacie.Make.Do. November 6, 2008 at 1:37 pm

I still have an old Nips container from when they came in a tin. That was my mom’s; grandma’s was the pink pepto-like mints.Can you believe our library has ZERO Josephine Tey books? I will have to buy one, I guess.And we never had liverwurst by that name, it was always braunschweiger – and I still like it though I’ve never tried it with spinach.It bothers me that the modern Dr. Who is the same guy who played Barty Crouch, Jr.

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Liz November 6, 2008 at 4:00 pm

You’re the second person in a week to mention Josephine Tey so I’ll definitely go check her out now!

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Anonymous November 6, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Yeah! Josephine Tey and all of her books. Another vote for liverwurst and mustard, the spinach and the multi-grain bread sound wonderful.Margot

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mamafrog November 6, 2008 at 5:09 pm

I finally broke down and watched VM last year–wound up getting both myself and the hubby and our son hooked on it! It was such a good show to be canceled the way it was–and the ending was disappointing. I cringed at some of the high schooly angsty stuff, but it was well thought out and acted. If you want another series that has twists and turns with a great ending try watching the collection of Hamish Macbeth–much, much better than the books as far as I’m concerned!

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2paw November 6, 2008 at 5:12 pm

I cone for the dresses, but now, Doctor Who!! I have my own Sonic Screwdriver just like that!! I wear it with the Doctor Who cardigan I knitted and bedazzle normal people!!!

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Summerset November 6, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Mmmm – Coffee Nips – my dad and I love those! You can’t get any more fun or practical than the sonic screwdriver – does that mean the blue police call box has lurked on your corner?(Or did you order it like the rest of the mere mortals from ThinkGeek.com?)Last, but not least, I made *the list*?!? Wow, thanks!

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Jessica November 6, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Ooh, I remember the Nips from when I lived in the midwest. Yummy!I love Daughter of Time but have never read any other Tey. I’ll have to change that.

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patsijean November 6, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Veronica Mars, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, anything by Charlaine Harris, Laura Joh Rowland’s Sano Ichiro mysteries set in 17th century Japan, Kathy Reichs and Bones on TV, the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, Harry Potter, sewing books: YES Liverwurst: NO (but my husband likes it).

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Jen-TheAlienSpouse November 6, 2008 at 7:05 pm

I love Josephine Tey! As an ex-seller of theatre tickets my personal favourite is “The Man in the Queue”. Plus when she died she left all of the rights to her books to the National Trust, so buying her books helps preserve some of Britain’s most beautiful stately homes.

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Lorie November 6, 2008 at 7:29 pm

My Oma served me liverwurst/braunschweiger sandwiches (we used the terms interchangeably) when I was a kid, too. I still love it with mustard and pickles. She also made creamed spinach with garlic and sour cream which I still make and love. My partner thinks liverwurst with pickles and mustard is weird, but she makes glumpkes – which I refuse to eat on the grounds that I’ve already smelled them enough so why should I have to eat them, too?

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Linda November 6, 2008 at 7:45 pm

I don’t eat liverwurst now, but one of my fond childhood memories is getting to eat the ‘ends’ of it out of the plastic tube (Oscar Mayer?) it came in. I may have to try it again after all…LOVE coffee nips, but since I have a hard time stopping at one or two or three, I don’t start, haha. Just ordered Tey from my library, but I have a lip moisturizer I love already ; ) Great post!!!

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Caremel November 6, 2008 at 10:37 pm

Wow, we are actually the same person! I LOVE Veronica Mars (and, duh, LoVe forever! I do even write fanfiction for it, I am that pathetic.) and Brat Farrar is one of my favourite books. And I love Wikipedia. Also, I heard there might be a VM movie in the works. Seriously, wouldn’t that be amazing!

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Caremel November 6, 2008 at 10:39 pm

I forgot to add that I don’t make my own dresses, and I am only 19, so maybe not quite the same.

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JB Silks November 7, 2008 at 4:52 am

that’s great, i love roller skating too! it’s so much fun! and candy, even though i haven’t tried those coffee nips. coming up maybe.. :)

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Balwearie November 7, 2008 at 5:23 am

I’ve just been re-reading all of Josephine Tey and most recently finished “The Daughter of Time” which is my favourite. I’m reading them in order of publication which has been rather interesting.

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Renee November 7, 2008 at 9:38 am

Things were good until the liverwurst. I was the seamstress for Veronica Mars for its entire run! So funny to see it mentioned here. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of work. Chances there will be a movie are slim, slim, slim. But, I like remembering some things just as they were.

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bonnie-ann black November 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm

“I wear it with the Doctor Who cardigan I knitted and bedazzle normal people!!!”not the creepy question mark cardigan? maybe the cricket cardigan?

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Anonymous November 8, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Liverwurst? Yum, especially with mustard on rye!Dr. Hauschka products? Expensive but worth it. Love the lip balm. Use it every day. Also the eye cream. And that’s a good price on Amazon. I pay more for it locally.Love your blog!Andrea

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Carol November 10, 2008 at 1:42 am

Liverwurst/braunschweiger on buttered whole grain toast with paper thin slices of onion/shallot is one of my favorites. It’s funny how I’ll forget about it for months at a time, then rediscover it. Thanks for reminding me.

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Shay November 10, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Discovered Tey in high school, read everything they had, and then it dawned on me that she was no longer writing books (waaaah!).”A Shilling For Candles” is better than “Brat Farrar” (although that’s pretty good too) and if you are a history geek then “Daughter of Time” is her best.

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La BellaDonna November 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Daughter of Time is one of my all-time favorite books (Richard III geek here!), and Brat Farrar was close behind. Peanut, I’m so happy that Daughter of Time is being read in school! I just hate thinking that lies get passed down mindlessly in history books! Patsijean, you might want to take a look at the Marcus Didius Falco novels by Lindsey Davis. Wonderful writing – Falco is a PI (public informer) in Ancient Rome, with an appallingly complex family life, and a dry sense of humour.

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Denise@thebluegardenia.com November 20, 2008 at 6:04 pm

I’m going to go throw myself off a tall building. I am. Don’t try to talk me down. Why? Because I didn’t make your favorite blog list, Erin. Oh, the hurt. The pain. The tears are rolling down my face. Thank goodness I keep a box of Kleenex on my desk!

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Miss Amelina February 3, 2009 at 11:16 am

I have been fearfully watching my husband battle an awful virusy head cold. And now I am afraid that I too have been infected…..then I remembered this post. So the hot bath is running and I have “3 by Tey” in hand. Bret Farrar it is…. I am adding a cup of chamomile tea to the mix. Wish me luck.

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