Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Are you supposed to eat one at a time? Are you supposed to know which ones you’re eating before you pop them in your mouth? Because I’ve been unceremoniously cramming small handfuls into my mouth, gang raping my taste buds with cute things like cherry and juicy pear and popcorn and blueberry and cream soda. I paid $10.34 the other day for a 40oz bag and it’s becoming my friend. I’ll lay in bed with my iPhone, pop a handful of these on my chest (they don’t roll off because I have no tits and the terrain is remarkably flat), and shove handfuls into my face hole without looking at them first. I feel dangerous doing this. An oral rebel. Like their carefully planned chart on the back of the bag represents safe and responsible enjoyment, and that eating them this way is on par with promiscuous sexual activity, allowing me to put whatever I want to into my mouth at whatever volume. And they’re so individually cute. I ought to fear the sheer volume I’ve purchased, but fuck it. I’m not afraid.

The hookah. Such an intimidating, yet beautiful contraption. Foreign to most. And now I’m hooked. It’s almost upsetting how many people are afraid to try it. It’s probably the safest way to smoke tobacco, as almost all of the impurities are left in the water. I don’t feel bad smoking it inside the house because it smells aromatic like potpourri and not smoky. There are so many awesome flavors available to hookah smokers, like acai berry and double apple, and grape and cherry… the list goes on. I haven’t found one I dislike. And it’s a good shared experience. Set it up on the coffee table. The table on your deck. The floor. Unfurl the hoses and you have a great interactive centerpiece for those that don’t mind hanging with this strange item.

Tennis shoes. I used to think that one wore these (in spite of their name) for only the purposes of running or serious walking. I’d poo on them for everyday wear, thinking they weren’t real shoes and just utilitarian pieces of footwear. Flip-flops were it for me for over a decade. And then I worked on my feet for four years straight, ruining and horribly disrespecting the parts I amble around earth on. I’ve found myself reluctantly needing and appreciating tennis shoes, my tired feet unable to walk comfortably atop the centimeter of “cushion” that flip-flops provide. (Never mind that I have about twelve pair of them that get rarely worn now.) I’m entering a new phase where I don’t give a shit what is on my feet as long as they are comfortable, and I might love my tennis shoes more than the Bible. (Just kidding, dear six Baptist readers.)

Hummus. I’m not afraid of a little mashed up and seasoned chick peas. It’s not a foreign food anymore, in case you haven’t noticed. I’ve been to many sports bars where they now carry this delightful creamy item on their appetizer menu. It’s inexpensive. Healthy. Vegetarian. And you can put it on anything. It’s always in my fridge. I can’t remember what I snacked on before I discovered hummus. If you havent’ tried it, go for the plain stuff first and get used to that. Then go nuts and try the roasted red pepper and egg plant varieties and branch out. It’s grand stuff, this bean paste.

Watching television by the season on DVD. I won’t pay for cable. Watching TV wastes too much time, and I can’t be bothered to remember what time which show is on. I can’t plan my life around the boob tube. I got other things to do! So when I want to enjoy some television, I do it commercial-free and I binge on it in the form of disc after disc one season at a time. I’ve caught up on so much stuff that I’ve missed, and it takes me sometimes a week to do so, enjoying a couple or three episodes at a time. I spent one week with Arrested Development this way. I also watched and re-watched The Office (American version) more often than I care to admit. Whether it’s a TV binge, catching up on past seasons, or navigating all the way through an unfamiliar series, I’m sold on watching TV this way.

Bourbon. After years of Bud Light and Captain and Coke or Captain and Diet Dr. Thunder, (thanks, Walmart!) I have discovered what I feel like is the real stuff. I know that everyone’s tastes are different, and that not everyone is a drinker, but this stuff is what changed drinking for me forever. I like the hard stuff because I have to respect and slowly enjoy it, much unlike the drinking I did in my college years. A few of my favorites are Woodford Reserve, Bulleit, and Maker’s Mark. Hell, whiskey in general is great, but the bourbons are where it’s at for me with so much nuance hiding underneath the bite. I feel like I’ve been freed from boring and pretentious drinking with this great stuff.

These are just a few of my recent favorite things I don’t care to live without. They keep my status somewhere between content and thrilled. I’m sure I’m still a crappy person, but I’m full of jelly beans and proud.