It’s Not What You’re Like, It’s What You Like: A Valentine’s Day Roundtable

Everyone has a thing — something that holds a special, unadulterated space in your heart — a thing that could almost be credited with making you the person you are today. Or something you go back to over and over because it knows you better than anyone. It almost is you. Naturally you’ll want to share your things with your very best best friends and girlfriends at some point, because they’ll need to understand how you got here and what the world looks like behind your eyeballs.

It might take you awhile to be sure, but one day you’ll just know that it’s time to lend her your copy of Birds of America and hold your breath while you wait to see if she likes it. One day you’ll tire of reciting entire scenes from Six Feet Under to her and suggest she just go watch it herself so you can exist in the same world. One day it’ll be time to watch Best In Show together, and you won’t even try to stop yourself from reciting the entire script. One day you’ll just lay all your cards down: either she gets BTVS and Ani and The Blue Album, or she doesn’t, and it’s time to find out.

So you’ll share your thing — the cinematic, literary or musical embodiment of you you you — and when she calls to say she had to read “Terrific Mother” three times and she still can’t eat, or she genuinely falls apart laughing at Cookie and Gerry Fleck, or she needs to process her conflicting feelings about how they really should’ve just ended the series with the Season 5 finale but then there wouldn’t have been “Once More With Feeling” and “Tabula Rasa” so it’s a tough call, you’ll let out a sigh of relieved satisfaction — she gets it. She gets you. It’s gonna be so much easier to sing about evil bunnies now.

We asked the Team to tell us about their things — the stuff they feel compelled to share with only the best of people — so we’d know exactly what we’d need to appreciate or learn to appreciate in order to really get them. It’s a broad topic, so we stuck to film, television, books and music.

Katrina, Writer

Tegan and Sara

Tegan and SaraYep, I’m a lesbian and I love Tegan and Sara completely without irony and only a little bit of self-consciousness. I have Tegan and Sara lyric tattoos on the backs of my arms, and I’m not sorry. Yep, I loved them in high school, yep they helped me come out, yep, I met my first group of queer friends on their message boards my senior year. Before I allow you to really “get” me, I need you to understand that Tegan and Sara, in combination with the Internet, changed my life, taught me how to be gay, and will still be blasting out my iTunes directly after you break my heart.

Almost FamousIt’s now coming to my attention that all of the things that I need you to know before you know me are sort of terrible hipster cliches, which makes me wonder if I’m just a horrible hipster cliche, which I realize is okay because people have loved me in the past, and maybe you can love me in the future! Maybe we can consume a substance and watch Almost Famous together while cuddling. I would really like that. I seriously cannot get through a viewing of this movie without singing, crying, without my heart soaring, and especially not without explaining to you in emphatic detail that this — THIS — is why I want to be a journalist. I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be near fame, to touch it and maybe taste it and then record a conversation with it for Rolling Stone or maybe We’ll talk about living the dream, falling in love with Penny Lane, we’ll realize halfway through that, yes, that is Zooey Deschanel playing William’s older sister, and I’ll cry again when she leaves him because I’ll think about leaving my little brother that one time a long time ago. Almost Famous came out in 2000, and it was my favorite thing about the world not ending, because since then, I’ve been able to watch it at least once a year for the past 12 years. It’s warm, fuzzy, a little scary, and a little too close. It makes you feel high, and it won’t let you forget this about your life: “It’s happening, it’s all happening.”

Crystal, Music Editor

Jack, Bret & Billy

On The Road by Jack KerouacThis is my favorite novel, I always gift it to the people who are important to me. Mostly because sometimes I’ll imagine that one day we’ll be like Sal and Dean, that we’ll write each other letters and go off on adventures and burn burn burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars. And if I tell you this and you ask me “who’re Sal and Dean?” then that sort of kills the dream.

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton EllisLess Than Zero is a novel about a bunch of unlikeable college kids living in Los Angeles during the 80’s. It was important to me as a teenager because I could sort of relate to their emptiness and their imperfect lives. It’s a very special feeling whenever someone reads it in an effort to understand my connection with it.

Green DayGreen Day were my very first love and to this day their music provides me with a heightened sense of calm that cannot be achieved through any other means. I don’t need the special people in my life to enjoy Green Day’s music, but I do need them to tolerate me listening to it in the car and to at least pretend to have a good time when I drag them to a concert or musical.

Caroyn, Contributing Editor

Springsteen & Grammar

Thing 1: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is not the first book I ever loved, but it is the book that I have loved the hardest and longest. I used to make obscure references to it constantly in every day conversation, but now I settle for re-reading it at least once a year. But also: the mix of weirdness, dry cynicism, humour, and references to the apocalypse really fit my personality.

I cannot love you if you do not know how to use commas, so you should have a firm understanding and love for Eats Shoots & Leaves. It would be nice to be able to talk about our respective feelings w/r/t serial commas and semi-colons, otherwise our love/friendship will not be real.

Thing 3: Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is the first band I ever loved, and even though I really hated Magic, The Promise made everything better. Sometimes I really wish I had a way of reconciling my love for Bruce Springsteen with my love for not glorifying white dudes or America, but then I listen to “Thunder Road” or something and it all melts away. Also I have known the words to most of his collected works since age nine.

Thing 4: Janelle Monae

I just really like everything about Janelle Monae.

Riese, Editor-in-Chief

Things to See and Hear

The first thing is Stephen Dunn. Always Stephen Dunn. He’s like my bible so knowing at least some of Stephen Dunn is essential to knowing me.

What’s funny is that when it comes to most of my absolute favoritest writers — Mary Gaitskill, Eileen Myles and Lorrie Moore — I don’t expect my activity partner to read or enjoy them. My personal relationship with those writers is so intimate and private that it barely ever comes up, really, and I suppose I’d be scared to find out that my activity partner didn’t “get” Lorrie Moore and then I’d feel really sad. However, most of my best friends love Lorrie Moore, so.

To be honest, I kinda need you to see The L Word, ’cause I reference it so frequently and it’s such a giant part of my career, really, at this point. Since we’re talking about television let’s talk about Six Feet Under and My So-Called Life, too. I quote them both constantly and the characters were so vivid, I’m often seeking a way to describe the real world by comparing it to their worlds.

You must know all of these people

My models for Good Relationships are Tami Taylor & Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights and Pam & Jim on The Office, so that’s another required viewing.

I never thought I’d ever date anyone who loved Ani DiFranco, but now I am, and jesus christ it makes talking so much easier, when we know all the same lines. But I’ve yet to date anybody seriously who liked Tegan & Sara or The Indigo Girls, so I’ve just given up on that.

There are some movies I’d like you to see — Closer, for example, because I changed watching that movie, and when I walked out of it I wasn’t the same person anymore — “Lying’s the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off – but it’s better if you do.”

Mostly the movie part isn’t hard — most of you have seen Girl Interrupted, But I’m a Cheerleader, etc. It’s likely at some point I’ll make you see Roger & Me and Welcome to the Dollhouse.

I have this theory that I developed a few weeks ago that whether or not somebody reads some Gawker Media site every day is a really good predictor of whether or not we’re on the same page in general. It’s like reading the same newspaper, maybe.

Intern Bren

Comforting Things

Starship Troopers and Tremors 1-4. I’ll want to lie on the couch with an assortment of blankets and a glass of chocolate milk and watch these corny / awesome sci-fi movies that I’ve seen a million times. Besides, the original Tremors stars Kevin Bacon, Reba McEntire and the dad from Family Ties. Has there ever been a better casting decision?

Futurama. Just the television series is a requirement, but you get added bonus points for having the movies as well. I used this show to teach my nephew about robots and cyclops, so it’s special. Important Note: I skip the one where Fry’s dog waits for him cause I just can’t deal. Also, at some point I’m going to call you my “smizmar.” It’d be useful if you know what that means.

Rachel, Senior Editor

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

I read this when I was twenty and I don’t know that there’s been a single day since that I haven’t thought about it in one way or another. I also don’t think there’s a single person in my life who’s read it at my behest, no matter how much I beg. I actually don’t have my copy anymore, because my ex never gave it back and, I am fairly certain, also still hasn’t fucking read it. Which means this would also make a great Valentine’s gift for me! If I ever date anyone who has read both the Alex Haley book and the more recent Manning Marable one, it will be a sign that we will end up having a commitment ceremony in a field of flowers barefoot and wearing white flowing matching outfits.

Game 6

This movie is a secret gem that no one else has ever heard of, and I love it in ways I cannot explain. Written by Don DeLillo (I know, right?) it follows the story of one playwright the day of the infamous Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. I mean, I have a Bill Buckner card stuck to my fridge. What more do you want from me. Just watch the movie so you’ll know what I mean when I mutter “this could be it” under my breath at the end of a long day, okay?

Bring It On 3

At some point in the course of our hypothetical relationship, I’m going to chant to you “Hey [name,] introduce yourself!” And if you don’t know what to respond with, I can’t make any promises about our future together. At some point I’m probably also going to have a blubbering breakdown over the fact that I will never be as fierce as Solange Knowles, so if you’ve seen this, you’ll have at least one point of reference.

Price of the Ticket

Apparently produced solely for educational purposes and therefore very difficult to find a copy of for personal consumption, this documentary tribute to James Baldwin is fucking amazing, and even if we never date you’re doing yourself a disservice not watching it. I’m a little embarrassed by the lengths I went to to find a DVD copy, but then also not embarrassed at all. You will never really know me until you watch me get a little teary watching James Baldwin say “Baby, they’re going to burn your house down.”

Whitney, Contributing Editor

Kaki King and Mothlight

You won’t get me until you get Stan Brakhage’s Mothlight. I’m an experimental and avant garde film buff, so I love watching minutes and minutes of odd shapes and colors being projected onto a screen ad nauseum (sometimes literally). I got started thinking about non-commercial film through Mothlight, so that piece holds some importance for me and I’ve been known to talk about it into early morning hours.

Mothlight by Brakhage:

Another thing is Sara Ryan’s Empress of the World, a queer and Lambda-award-winning young adult book. I first read it when I was about 15 years old — I was incredibly closeted and incredibly uncomfortable with myself and my sexuality, and reading it was like taking in oxygen after years and years of holding my breath. It was my staple nightstand book throughout high school and through the beginning of college. I ended up emailing the author when I first read the book, and the email consisted mostly of “OH MY GOD I THINK I AM GAY WHAT DO I DO” and Ryan’s kind and immediate email back consisted mostly of “It’s okay to be gay! Just take things one step at a time.” Seven years later I emailed her again to thank her for writing the email to me and to tell her how important her book was to me as a queer, closeted woman of color living in a largely conservative town, and how much of an impact the book made on my life. Never underestimate the power of YA books.

My first musical crush was guitar-virtuoso-slash-queer-hottie Kaki King, and one of the first mix CDs I made for my girlfriend (and now fiancée, so something worked) was a mix consisting of Kaki King songs all over her oeuvre at the time, which included the albums Everybody Loves You, Legs to Make Us Longer and Until We Felt Red. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for King, and I maintain her as my I’m-joking-but-I’m-really-not-joking celebrity exception.

Kaki King covering Morrissey’s “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”:

Laura, Contributing Editor

Harry Potter & The Science of Sleep

First of all, I can not date anyone who doesn’t love Harry Potter. It would be like trying to date a Republican or someone who hates my family. Harry Potter means something to me because I grew up anticipating, reading, and imagining the books. He’s non-negotiable. Then there’s The Science of Sleep, which my friends and I rented on a whim one night and which I’ve watched a hundred times since. It’s got everything a good movie requires: love, arts and crafts, magical realism, confusion, and jokes about penises and mistranslations. It’s really very perfect.

In the world of music, there’s Iron and Wine, whose music sounds like home, or at least the home I want to have someday. I could listen to “The Trapeze Swinger” over and over, but I don’t so that it’s ready whenever I need it. I love Patrick Wolf for being whatever he wants to be and Ingrid Michaelson for having a beautiful voice and both of them for playing the ukulele.

A lot of my favorite things to read come from Riese, like Stephen Dunn and Rainer Maria Rilke. And Lynda Barry, whose workbook I found sitting under her coffee table one night. Emily and I devoured it and drew our own version and then I went home and remembered that I knew how to write. It’s required perusing for anyone who I hope to spend a lot of time with.

Jess, Senior Editor

Fiona Apple

Fiona AppleTidal / When The Pawn

I fell in love with Fiona Apple in high school and her music was pivotal to my coming out soundtrack and accompanying angst. I made two friends (boy and girl) in my early twenties who obsessed over her music as much as I did and it bonded us for life. I rarely see these friends anymore but whenever Fiona is in the news (new CD this Spring!), I know I can expect an email where we gush and trade YouTube links and momentarily reconnect over the musical genius of Ms. Maggart.

Lizz, Fashion Editor

TV and Books Reminiscent of TV

I’m no stranger to watching an entire series over the course of a weekend, but there are two shows in particular that just begged to be watched front to back: Gossip Girl and The O.C. My roommate and I could probably watch Gossip Girl and endless number of times and I would never stop being shocked/tearful/excited every time. Also I sort of want to be Blair Waldorf and that could be difficult to understand if someone has no clue who that is. Similarly with The O.C., I think that my two friends from preschool and I have watched it on at least 50% of the times we are all in our hometown. The thing about both shows is that they’re totally superficial but I don’t care and I love them anyways. I think that’s important, to be able to relax and enjoy a show that’s dramatic, fun and a total feminist’s nightmare and just have that be okay for a little while.

Not all TV has to be hour long dramas to be awesome. There’s something about watching Sister Wives that’s so engrossing I can’t stop. I know it’s bad TV and I don’t have the same sort of passionate love for it that I do Gossip Girl, but I need it to be okay with someone to get fully invested in the lives of Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn and maybe also text about them in the middle of the day as though they are people we actually know.

Excerpt from an actual text message conversation with Rachel:

Me: Meri is totally the best sister wife
Rachel: I aspire to be her, really
Me: Samesies.
Rachel: What season are you on?
Me: Mid-Second season
Rachel: I am hanging out with people but I sort of wish I was watching instead? Is that embarrassing?

See? Is that true friendship or what?

Alright, I should probably stop dancing around pretending there isn’t going to be a ton of TV here. In addition to those shows, there’s a whole host of other shows/movies I feel like someone would have to have seen in order to even just have a normal conversation with me. I sometimes can be a little quote-heavy. It’s not that these shows tap in to something deep and important in my inner psychy, it’s more that I can’t go a full day without telling someone “the choice is yours and yours alone.” In no particular order, it would mean seeing at least an episode each of Legends of the Hidden Temple, Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and Community along with at least the first season of How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Hannah Montana, True Blood and Big Bang Theory. It’s probably a good idea to catch Wedding Crashers, Super Troopers and all of the Will Ferrell movies too. I’m not saying someone has to be obsessed with these shows/movies, I’m just saying that might be the basic criteria for holding conversation. A basic working knowledge of X-Men and the Marvel Universe might be handy too. God, I need to get out more.

I watch a lot of tv

I swear there are times when I read though, and lately I’ve just really been needing everyone in my life to read George Saunders short stories. CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, one of his books of short stories, has just the perfect balance of quirk, darkness and humor. I just think it perfectly taps in to what I think is interesting to think about while staying away from getting too serious. You should really go read it right now. Additionally, even if someone doesn’t think they’re in to graphic novels, I try to push Fables because it just has that perfect Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Charmed balance between fantasy and reality.

Jamie, Contributing Editor

Poetry and Political Radicals

Apparently I’m a sucker for French women promoting radical politics in prime colors and dark eyeliner. I saw Godard’s La Chinoise for the first time on the big screen in NYC and basically sat mouth agape having what seemed like a lucid wet dream.

I really, really, really like the album He Poos Clouds (2006) by Final Fantasy (Owen Pallet). An experimental album featuring Pallet’s classically trained violin skills. Don’t know anything about D&D but I read it gets referenced a lot. Whatever the case, “Song, Song, Song” is my favorite track on the album. And then there was that time when Pallett covered Joanna Newsom’s “Peach, Plum, Pear” who I saw at Carnegie Hall last year where someone from the crowd shouted at her “What’s it like to be a goddess!”

I picked up Edward Gorey’s The Doubtful Guest years ago in a no longer existent bookshop in Cincinnati and felt like I’d stumbled into a world of wonderful. One of my friends in high school after reading the Gashlycrumb Tinies at my house took to quoting the morbid lines from the book as personal greeting. I find happiness in Edward Gorey. And turns out you can watch a video of someone reading “The Epiplectic Bicycle.

Emily, Contributor

Tegan and Sara and Harry


Before somebody can really truly “get” me they must appreciate Tegan and Sara at nearly the same level as I do. I mean, if you like Tegan and Sara then we are already friends. But I need to be able to say “I feel most like the cherry pie” and then you need to giggle nonstop with me for 5 minutes after that and then say “at first, it’s hard to get into…”

Also it would be great if you believed that I am Harry Potter. These books are basically my adolescence, so if you don’t like Harry Potter, then this will never work. And if you don’t like tea, then I see this as being a huge problem for our future relationship, as in what will we sit around and drink all day while having a Charmed marathon?

Laneia, Executive Editor

It’s in Your Ears

Music and movies is almost all of me. I always want a movie on, even if I’m not technically watching it. In fact, most of the time I don’t have to watch them at all. They’re like family and I’m just always glad they’re here. Almost Famous, The Big Chill, Goonies, Dazed and Confused, Peter Pan, Home for the Holidays, Reality Bites, Away We Go, Beautiful Girls and Mystic Pizza — there, now you know practically all there is to know about me.

We have to listen to music while we’re cooking. There’s a perfect record for every occasion, but the two that feel like I’ve put myself on the turntable is Camera Obscura’s My Maudlin Career and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. I have a complicated relationship with Liz Phair, but not with her first three albums, so they’re like aural prozac. There’s this thing that happens in “Go On Ahead” and “Jealousy” that I hope I wouldn’t need to explain to anyone. I mean, I would if I had to, but it would be a lot cooler if I didn’t.

Finally, there’s Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery. There are images and stories in this book that I guess would make most people not want anything to do with babies, but it was the first book that I read when I was pregnant and I’ve kept a copy with me for the past 13 years. It’s not even just about the midwifery and the childbirth and aftercare that’s explained — I reread it when I need a reminder that I’m strong, that I can trust myself, and that most pains can be endured by remembering to breathe slowly.

Carmen, Contributing Editor

Old School Things

I’ve already talked about how The Darjeeling Limited is an integral part of my life. I like to watch it on repeat and sometimes I like to watch it even though I’m happy because of the parts where they ride around India in the sun together. I like to watch this movie with people I’m close to I guess because I feel like it says something about me I’ve never said. Watch it with me. You have to.

I own Skies by Eileen Myles (among other books from the same Wonder of Lesbian Poets) and it’s one of the books I travel with always, keeping it close to me at all times. I’ve bookmarked pages with different disposable camera photographs and I reread it and mark it up as much as possible. I want you to like Eileen Myles, or at least think it’s cute that I love her too much.

If you’ve never read Notes to Myself: My Struggle To Become a Person, then you have never had a realization about life while riding the Bolt Bus and crying next to a stranger. The book is excerpts of author Hugh Prather’s journal. Need I say more?


Do not ever make fun of me ever for listing Death Cab for Cutie as my favorite band. Do not ever make fun of them when I listen to them loudly in cars, on buses, and in my room in my underwear. Do not mock me when I put their lyrics on the Internet. It’s not that I’m still a 16-year-old girl. It’s just my feelings. I love Death Cab for Cutie. I hope you do, too.

Via SoundUnwound

Rose, Contributor

All the Things

1. The Beatles, obviously.
2. Animaniacs – This cartoon was so vital to my childhood and the development of my current sense of humor that I think if you don’t laugh while watching this we might not be able to be friends.
3. Opera, Wagnerian opera and Russian opera in particular
4. Skins (UK)
5. Kurt Vonnegut books
6. Annie Hall and “golden age” Woody Allen movies in general
7. Schubert lieder, especially Winterreise

Brittani, Contributing Editor

Jay-Z and McD

The Black AlbumWhen I was in high school, mp3 players were just starting to get big and there was the iPod/portable CD player divide (which is similar to the North Face/hoodie divide in college). Before every basketball game my sophomore year, I listened to the Black Album straight through. One day, the batteries on my CD player ran out midway through the album. I proceeded to throw a mini-concert in the back of the bus with my teammates while rapping the remainder of the songs from memory. It’s my hope that you would be able to join in should a catastrophe such as this strike again. It’s no secret that I think I’m Jay-Z so I hope you think you’re Beyonce.

Six Characters in Search of an AuthorNot only is Luigi Pirandello hilarious, this play makes you think about the construction of characters and the art of performance in a way nothing else does. I want you to talk to me about how man is nobody and what it means when the illusion of reality is the very thing making the best case that reality is the illusion. Every now and then I like to think about the big picture just long enough to feel like I should go cry brain tears in a corner but stop just before I do. If you haven’t read it, I will assume there’s no way you could follow the spiraling thoughts this play brings on.

The McDonald’s breakfast dilemma. If you don’t have an existential crisis when you have to order from McDonald’s breakfast menu, you will never be able to help me understand my life’s purpose because right now I think it somehow involves Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuits or the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes and it’s up to you to help me decide my life’s true path starting with my breakfast order. It’s not about the choice, it’s about the process.

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  1. Yesterday I said to my family, “Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and for the first time in my life, I’m not single!” and they all burst out laughing. A love of Amy Winehouse and Ryan Adams’ music is my ‘thing’. She went to school in the place I grew up and as a fellow North London Jewish girl, I just loved her personality and her music. And Ryan Adams’ music helped me through a difficult period at school.

    I also really like reading autobiographies and feminist literature so it’s really difficult to talk about books with people because most people read fiction and I basically read only non-fiction books.

  2. YES THE CHERRY PIE!! Every time I have a shitty day I watch that and then starting laughing so hard I cry. It’s very cathartic.

  3. I think Lizz should be my bff. If you believe Wolverine was born with adamantium in his body and dont know his real name, we can not date or be friends. EVER.

        • The big, true answer is always THE FANTASTIC FOUR.

          X-MEN vs. AVENGERS? FANTASTIC FOUR. DOOM PATROL vs. TEEN TITANS? FANTASTIC FOUR. Kirk or Picard? FANTASTIC FOUR; how are you not getting this?

        • I’m just starting the New Avengers (reading in order is for squares) and I LOVE the addition of Spidey. Anything without Iron Man and Cap is irrelevant.

          And don’t get me started on Young Avengers…

    • Same here! I got sick of The L Word about halfway through the first season, and think of Tegan & Sara as inoffensive background music, not something to actually *listen* to.

      I do love Iron & Wine, though. I could listen to The Shepherd’s Dog on replay for days. In fact, I probably have.

  4. My heart sank when I saw Fiona Apple on this post. I feel that’s my main pop culture “get” for my partner. They would have to understand that I think Fiona is a great american poet and a g-ddamn national treasure. My next scheduled tattoo is “Go with yourself”. And all the feelings I feel will always be accompanied by the genius of her music.

  5. This is great!
    I’m holding out for someone who loves Norman Rush’s Mating as much as I do. If you don’t get that book, you don’t get me.
    Also, Woody Allen. Must Love Woody Allen.

  6. This post is like eskimo kisses. It’s like pressing your fingertips together to see whose are longer.

    It’s like… I just love the way we are all, essentially, the same. It’s so comforting.

  7. Star Wars, West Wing, the Enders Game series and Mariana’s Trench. I can appreciate art on my own, or introduce you to it, but if you can’t hold up a conversation about who shot first, I’m out.


      everybody buy all of the books and all the companion books and read them forever. But buy them used, cause Orson Scott Card hates gays so he doesn’t need our money.

      But even if he’s a jerk, he’s a great writer.

    • HAN SHOT FIRST and Star Wars is like 4/5 of my personality because I saw the movies when I was 6 and highly impressionable. Lauren I like you already.

      The other parts of my personality are composed of French and Russian literature, specifically Tolstoy for the latter. And also Glee and Harry Potter.

  8. Dear Bren, please sit on my sofa and watch Futurama with me. I have all four movies too. I think we should be friends. Okay thanks bye.

      • Whenever I’m in a bad mood I watch Bender’s Big Score and wonder why my life doesn’t involve time paradoxes and stealing things with my robotic arms.

        • It is not uncommon for my nephew to cover one eye and proclaim he is Leela and I fully support him in this.

          • Sometimes me and my brother end up singing the songs from The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings. No regrets, just the dictionary definition of irony.

  9. I gotta go with: Arrested Development, Firefly, Evil Dead 2, Harry Potter, The Fifth Element, Get Smart, Spaceballs & some kind of acknowledgment that Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue is what heaven probably sounds like.

  10. I’m addicted to Stargate SG-1, have a thing for astrophysics, and can frequently be found outside with my telescope looking at the stars. I think Stargate is my big thing though, that’s just one obsession she’d have to get. Also, having read The Bell Jar is a bit of a must. Hm. Picky.

    • SG-1 was a major influence in my formative years and yet I’ve never met anyone IRL I wasn’t related to who’s seen more than a couple snippets of random reruns. I JUST WANT SOMEONE TO GUSH OVER THE PERFECTION THAT WAS ‘1969’, IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK? (Sam was hot and brilliant and fallible and perfect and she talked to her plants and I love her to pieces.)

      Tragically, I can’t properly stargaze. I love hearing people talk about stellar dynamics and astronomy but I cannot pick out individual stars or constellations to save my life and telescopes defeat me.

      • “I JUST WANT SOMEONE TO GUSH OVER THE PERFECTION THAT WAS ’1969′, IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK? (Sam was hot and brilliant and fallible and perfect and she talked to her plants and I love her to pieces.)”

        I have not seen this episode in so long. I may have to rewatch, but I remember it being fantastic. Basically, yes, Sam was wonderful.

        • The talking to plants thing was actually from a different episode–really early on, when Stargate couldn’t really afford much special effects and they didn’t really have the species types in the universe quite worked out yet. The pale naked people with the white body paint and the symbiotic relationship with plaster squash. (It pains me that I both like and remember this much of an episode I haven’t seen since I was thirteen.)

          But 1969 is still excellent. Everyone is both hilarious and FABULOUSLY ATTIRED.

          • OMG *squee* there are other Stargate people out there!!! The episode with the naked, painted aliens is actually only a couple of episodes before 1969. It’s called One False Step.

            So, uhm, I’m clearly obsessed. And I don’t think there ever was a truly terrible episode. I liked ALL THE THINGS!

  11. My 10th grade math teacher introduced me to Welcome to the Dollhouse, which, as you know if you’ve seen it, is a little weird, so there’s that.

    “Harold and Maude” is my thing. I make everyone I love watch it, because it’s just that life changing.

    • The first “thing” that came to mind when reading this article was Harold and Maude! Don’t even know where to start on how influential that movie has been and continues to be on my life.

      “I think I’d like to be a sunflower most of all.” :)

  12. the number one “thing” for me is autostraddle.
    after that, the only things we need to be able to work with are Pump Up the Volume and a band called Blue Mountain.

  13. I have a quiet, intense, un-ironic love for National Treasure and National Treasure 2. Insult these movies and I WILL LEAVE YOU. At the altar or otherwise.

  14. Mystic Pizza!!!!! Laneia! YES.

    I keep making people watch it and I feel like none of them truly understand how amazing it is. But I don’t care, I love all of it. Especially Lili Taylor’s outfits, everyone’s hair and how odd it is to see Vincent D’Onofrio look vaguely attractive.

      • um i need you to know that we would have so much to talk about re: home for the holidays. no one i know in my life loves claudia like i do. i have absorbed so many little lines from that movie that i wish i knew you in real life so when i say little things like “is this your car? it looks like carnival ride” you wouldnt look at me like a weirdo you would understand i am referencing my personal hero, claudia larson.

  15. Also, Riese, I started watching (and have almost finished)My So-Called Life so I could understand what you’re talking about (writing about) all the time and also because I’m a sucker for teenage angst and highschool TV/movies. It’s the best and it makes me feel 15 in a good way and I have so many feelings about Jordan Catalano.

    But last night when I was watching it I was thinking about how the parents are actually really annoying, especially the mom, and that the show would be so much better if Angela’s parents were Eric and Tami Taylor. I wish we could make that happen.

  16. If you don’t like Ellen Degeneres’s standup comedy I will never want to go down on you. Thanks to autostraddle I found the band Hannah and Maggie, and if you don’t want to cry every time they sing “She feels brand new and just like home” I’ll start crying for more negative reasons. Also, you’d have to understand my hopeless romantic urge to recite random Shakespeare soliloquies.

    • People always make fun of me for liking (and owning on DVD, and quoting constantly…) Ellen’s standup, but I think it’s great!

  17. Harry Potter, John Green/vlogbrothers, Doctor Who, and video games are my thing. You have to be at least willing to try them.

  18. Monty Python (the TV show), Doctor Who (the original series), and the BBC Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie. If you do not know these things, we will be unable to communicate, and if you can quote fluently from all three of them, I will marry you immedicately.

  19. Tegan and Sara grew up in the city that I grew up in, so ive always been able to unironocally love tegan and Sara until I moved to Australia last year. Now I’m an ironic Canadian cliche for loving them and/or poutine :(

  20. Sailor Moon! I made my girlfriend both read and watch the entire series. Okay, no, I made her watch the first 5 episodes, and she did the rest herself.

  21. Music:

    -Sloan – my favourite band. I saw them 5 times in my last year of highschool. Love them, always will.


    -The Brave Little Toaster – the first thing I was ever obsessed with.

    -The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – favourite movie. I don’t have a particularly flamboyant or theatrical personality, but in my heart there’s a crass little drag queen who wants to break free from her oppressive upbringing, and go have an adventure!

    -Submarine – this is a relatively new one for me, but I adore it. It’s dry and sweet and hilarious, and if a guy ever wants to have sex with me, he needs to watch it.

    -This is Spinal Tap/Waiting for Guffman/Best in Show/A Mighty Wind – these films had a tremendous influence on my sense of humour.


    -David Sedaris – he’s just so morose and kind of pathetic. I can relate.

    -Watership Down – favourite piece of literature.

    -Scott Pilgrim series – at the risk of sounding like an asshole, this is my life. This is how my friends and I act. This is mostly how we dress (the guys, anyway).


    -Home Movies – Coach McGuirk is hilarity incarnate.

    -Gargoyles – LOVELOVELOVE! So much love! Best cartoon ever!

    -MTV’s Downtown – a one season wonder from the late ’90s. This is probably the first “adult” cartoon I ever got into (The Simpsons and South Park were strictly verboten in our household, so I’d watch this in my room late on Friday nights). I felt so cool, grown up, and edgy watching it.

    -Skins – because it’s Skins.

    • Omg, Brave Little Toaster was my first obsession too! I think I drove all my babysitters insane when I was three making them watch that movie over and over again.

      • Haha, my grandmother had a toaster that looked exactly like the one in the movie in her basement. I would seriously drag that thing around her house and yard by the cord whenever I was over.

    • Gargoyles was a perfect cartoon and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. I even ordered one of the trade paperbacks of the short-lived comics follow-up off Amazon! (And then my brother stole it and lost it, not that I’m bitter.)

    • omg surprised that someone else remembers downtown. i definitely stayed up to watch it too. also i do like sloan a lot but have never seen them live unfortunately.

  22. “Six Characters in Search of an Author”–well played Brittani, well played. Love that damn play!

    ps–my 1st autostraddle comment! yeaya, bitches!

  23. Oh, man, just requested ” The Price of The Ticket” from the library.

    I actually feel like as I get older, shared loves are less important than shared antipathies. Girls don’t have to love what I love (though it’d be nice, of course) but I really want them to hate with a passion the same things I do. Like, I’m just not sure if I could completely respect a lady who really loved Garden State or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Or the works of Ayn Rand.

    But, among my things are Broadcast News, screwball comedies, film noir, Clue, Confederacy of Dunces, and, most embarrassingly, much of the 90s oeuvre of Meg Ryan. (I saw Sleepless in Seattle at a very impressionable age, and it can’t be helped.) Also: Addams Family Values, Soapdish. Boomerang, Eddie Murphy’s semi-successful attempt at a sophisticated comedy. (Grace Jones is in it!) The films of Whit Stillman. Ella Fitzgerald, Dusty Springfield, most 60s and 70s soul, really good disco.

  24. Star Wars, Doctor Who, Arrested Development, and Douglas Adams are the big ones. Also important, The Great Mouse Detective.

  25. n is for neville who died of ennui.
    yoga pants.
    sufjan stevens.
    young frankenstein.
    the new diary.
    I have so many feelings about these I can’t talk about them all at one time.

  26. Dead Like Me. You have to understand why I love George Lass, who was unpolished, uncouth, unskilled, and unprepared for the real world, not to mention lazy as fuck, but she had a sweet sentimental streak and watching her made me feel for the first time like it was okay to be kind of a mess.

    It will also reveal why I will occasionally give my name at Starbucks as “Daisy–Daisy Adair” and why I associate Mandy Patinkin with grandpa sweaters and the strong desire to be gruffly affectionate with everyone.

    • I watched this entire series just because I was in such a weird place at the time. I didn’t particularly love the show but I couldn’t pull away from George. Also, Mandy Patinkin is a pristine specimen of male actor.

  27. Ooh, this is actually fairly easy.
    Books: Fahrenheit 451, Harry Potter, 1984, Tamora Pierce
    Music: Amanda Palmer
    TV: Gilmore Girls, Firefly, Dollhouse, Skins, Dr. Horrible
    Also Tumblr. Also Autostraddle. Also Renaissance/Faerie Faires.

  28. re. Empress of the World and queer YA books: I did THE SAME THING with Julie Anne Peters (author of Keeping You a Secret, among other things) when I was about 15 and heard back from her too! We kept up a small and irregular email correspondence until I left for the queer wonderland that is Smith College, and she was one of my biggest supporters coming out. Queer books make a difference, yay!

  29. Harold and Maude.
    Eddie Izzard.
    Ellen DeGeneres.
    A tolerance (no love required) of Star Trek: Voyager.
    Harry Potter – the ability to discuss themes and details at length.

  30. music:
    Michael Jackson
    Tori Amos
    Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder
    90’s+old school Hip-hop
    riot grrrl everything

    ALL of Star Trek (except Enterprise because that was just horrible)
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    BBC comedies

    bad horror movies
    kids movies from the 80s
    Lifetime movies
    science fiction movies ABOUT SPACE YOU GUYS IT’S SPACE OK!?!
    movies about zombies.

    All books… really baby I’m seriously OK just sitting here reading.. I mean I guess if you want me to come outside with you while you are gardening that’s fine but it’s cool if I bring my book right? I’m just right in the middle of this chapter and it’s really good/fun/interesting/educational/intense.

    other stuff:
    Progressive/Liberal Talk Radio (podcasts)
    lesbians and other assorted queers (no really, I’m super into you gays, all of you!) and gender and feminisms…
    Zombies. Zombies. Zombies. Zombies.

    ^ That, all of that is me. I mean you don’t really have to be into all the stuff that I’m into but if you’re not I’m probably going to judge you.

    • sldfaslkfli

      for tv also:
      My So-Called Life and The L Word and also Six Feet Under and also The Wire

      Also for other: coffee and tea. I’m really into coffees and teas.

  31. In no particular order:
    Books: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, also The Passion
    and MARY OLIVER. If you have never read her poem Wild Geese you are depriving yourself of the most amazing feeling in the world.

    Music: Girlyman-folky queer harmonies that are amazing!
    And Brandi Carlile!

    These are my things.

  32. How Katrina feels about Almost Famous is a lot of how I feel about Almost Famous.

    Also, if I’d never seen 10 Things I Hate About You, The West Wing or Buffy I’d be a different person, so we could probably begin there.

    Bookwise, where would I even start. A lot of me lives outside my body, on my bookshelf.

    Musically, you will be made to listen to lot of musical theatre and country/western, because that is where my soul lives. And those are the two genres lots of people think they don’t like, but I’ve never failed to make a convert. You have to listen to the right ones, and listen to the stories. You only think you don’t like them. You’ll see.

  33. For me, it’s:
    Ani DiFranco
    Sylvia Plath
    30 Rock
    Joan Didion
    Annie Dillard
    Virginia Woolf
    Ellen Degeneres
    Rachel Maddow

  34. Film: A League of Their Own, Two Weeks Notice, The Birdcage, Finding Nemo, A White Christmas
    Television: Big Bang Theory, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Arrested Development
    Books: Vonnegut, Sedaris (Amy or David), & lesbian romance novels
    Poetry: Andrea Gibson
    Music: Tegan & Sara, Matt & Kim, and just be able to deal with the fact that I will listen to Bon Iver, Erasure, the Pointers Sisters, Tool, and Zac Brown Band all in the span of a day

  35. My subtitle would’ve been “Blatant 90’s Child”.

    Whitney……Houston. The album of my life is “I’m Your Baby Tonight”. I’ve gone through two cassette tapes and three cd’s of that album because I played them that much. So of course I have been crying for days since I heard of her passing. I mean she was the fairy godmother of Cinderella I don’t really need another reason to love her after that.

    Movie of my life? Matilda. Why? One thing and one thing only: Ms. Honey.

    The book or books of my life is of course Harry Potter. I wept in my room after I met Daniel Radcliffe and I am not even ashamed in the least bit. If I ever meet Emma Watson I mind need to be sedated.

    TV Show is a tie between Alias and Darkwing Duck. Alias because uhm, hello? Sydney Bristow aka Jennifer Garner is a super spy. What else do you need? Darkwing Duck because of all the puns that were made every time he appeared in a cloud of smoke.

  36. – RuPaul’s Drag Race: continually inspired to be more fabulous
    – college football: I haz season tickets & I love tailgating & I’m not sorry

    – Drop Dead Gorgeous: because the swan ate my baby, and I reference it CONSTANTLY
    – Hocus Pocus: I can’t explain it, but the love is overwhelming

    – ALL THE SKA: judge me not for skanking around in my underwear on saturdays while cleaning my bathroom
    – bluegrass: how can we argue with banjos and fiddles? how?!

    and beer. my love for beer runneth over, please let me teach you to love it as me, or at least let me geek out freely when I brew something delicious or find the beer I’ve been waiting for for MONTHS.

    (please share books with me? I love to read and I’m not picky, I never know where to start)

    • Ohmygod. Drop Dead Gorgeous. Can we just talk about how relevant this was to my life?

      Raised in a Lutheran church. Mom made me take debutant classes. Raised in the South. I’m still obsessed with Diane Sawyer.

      I was obsessed with this movie. My first “Mean Girls” if you will.

  37. My ex hated Harry Potter. We were together for over three years. When I told my current partner this, their reaction was “How did you manage to stay with this person?” I’m not really sure anymore.

  38. Thank the gods of Autostraddle for the Buffy reference in the opening paragraph. My life wouldn’t be the same without Sarah Michelle Gellar with her quippy punchlines and trendy haircuts.

  39. My So-Called Life was key to my formative years though I didn’t watch it until 2004 when it was aired on Canadian television and I was actually the right age to watch it.

    I’ve tried to make people watch it but haven’t found anyone else who has the same feelings. Finding out through posts here that Riese is a fan was like finding a kindred spirit of sorts.

  40. Lizz I can’t believe I forgot to add Pokemon and Sailor Moon to my list. Especially the Pokemon video games. I am currently making my way through Ruby and could use some battle buddies.

  41. i still have yet to find a girl who “gets” my love of Lucero. the all-male, scruffy punkrockabilly band, not the Latina star. also someone who doesn’t mind when I whistle the entire original “Star Wars” theme while cooking.

    • also also someone who’s seen Eddie Izzard’s Dressed to Kill and most of Monty Python, because I will quote from them liberally. oh, and poetry.

  42. I think Rose’s “things” are closest to my own. The Beatles are essential to my being, especially Paul (Paul and John). I also love opera and Woody Allen and Kurt Vonnegut, to varying degrees. But my other main things are Lord of the Rings (the books mainly, but also the movies), because I grew up on them and read them every summer since I was like 8 or something. Also Harry Potter is essential, and a love of Bob Hope would be amazing. And Monty Python. Also Poirot.

    I don’t know anyone who likes any of these things, apart from my brother and a cousin. I mostly really wish there was someone to share my love of the Beatles with, and especially Paul, but I’ve never found that. Oh well.

  43. my ex had never ready any harry potter. i think maybe that’s why it didn’t work.

    For the most part, i find i connect movies and music with certain phases of my life. There are a few that have lasted through, but there are things that are so much a part of where i came from that it’s like they should be required reading before the semester starts. Like, i don’t actually ever want to watch “empire records” or hear the soundtrack ever again, but you should know them to know me.

    India Arie’s albums carried me through great and terrible times in my life. Know her, but i’m not sure i’m up for listening with you, because every song takes me back to a particular time, and i’ve never been big on looking anywhere but forward.

    I love all of this. Thanks, Autoteam

  44. Hm, this is interesting to think about! I used to think I had a lot of these kinds of taste-requirements but over the years it’s seemed more important to me that two people like to live the same way more than it is for them to like the same things. A few, though, still probably do remain essential for anyone I’m with to at least see some appeal in: Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Nabokov, It’s a Wonderful Life, Hitchcock, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dr. Katz, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Belle & Sebastian, Velvet Underground, ’60s girl groups, the Clash.

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