Likes and Dislikes

# These are a few of my favorite things. #

Acrobatics and gymnastics, as a spectator

All-time favorite films: Auntie Mame, Ben-Hur, La Cage aux Folles, Caged, Ghost, The Green Pastures, High Anxiety, Hollywood Shuffle, Imitation of Life (remake), Inherit the Wind, The King and I, Murder by Death, My Cousin Vinny, Night of the Living Dead (original), The Odd Couple, The Out-of-Towners (original), Same Time Next Year, Silver Streak, Sister Act, Some Like It Hot, The Ten Commandments, Theatre of Blood, 12 Angry Men (original), Wait Until Dark, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, What’s Up Doc?, Witness for the Prosecution, The Wizard of Oz, The World According to Garp


Books, bookstores and libraries


Cinematic train wrecks

Eating and food

The Empire State Building

Favorite acappella groups (other than those I have been involved with myself): The Bobs, Chanticleer and The King’s Singers

Favorite female actors: Jennifer Anniston, Lucille Ball, Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Bette Davis, Doris Day, Loretta Devine, Edith Evans, Anna Faris, Whoopi Goldberg, Julie Hagerty, Goldie Hawn, Eileen Heckert, Allison Janney, Madeline Kahn, Deborah Kerr, Angela Lansbury, Queen Latifah, Cloris Leachman, Jenifer Lewis, Shirley MacLaine, Hayley Mills, Mary Tyler Moore, Niecy Nash, Edna May Oliver, Geraldine Page, Rosalind Russell, Margaret Rutherford, Susan Sarandon, Madge Sinclair, Maggie Smith, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Holland Taylor, Emma Thompson, Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, Shelley Winters

Favorite male actors: Matthew Broderick, Michael Caine, Steve Carrell, Jim Carrey, Robert DeNiro, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr., Peter Falk, Colin Firth, Michael J. Fox, Morgan Freeman, Hugh Grant, Tom Hanks, Jonah Hill, Dustin Hoffman, John Hurt, Leslie Jordan, Christopher Lee, Jack Lemmon, Thomas Lennon, Steve Martin, Roddy McDowall, Eddie Murphy, Carroll O’Connor, Al Pacino, Tyler Perry, Sidney Poitier, Vincent Price, Richard Pryor, Eric Roberts, Adam Sandler, George Segal, Tony Shalhoub, William Shatner, Kevin Spacey, James Spader, James Stewart, Ben Stiller, Christoph Waltz, Denzel Washington, Robin Williams

Favorite adventure film series: The Indiana Jones Tetralogy

Favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber work: Tell Me on a Sunday

Favorite animals: chimpanzees, dolphins, felines, most baby animals

Favorite authors and novels of theirs: Dan Brown (Angels & Demons), Stephen King (The Stand), Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City series), Thomas Tryon (Harvest Home)

Favorite automobile: Ford Mustang

Favorite card games: Hearts and Spades

Favorite cartoonists: Gary Larsen and Don Martin

Favorite character names: Cruella DeVil, Elmer Fudd, Motel Kamzoil, Foghorn Leghorn, Scrooge McDuck, Strangé, Truly Scrumptious, Pootie Tang

Favorite choral works: Beethoven Ninth Symphony “Ode to Joy” Finale, Bernstein Mass, Handel Messiah

Favorite colors: black, green and purple

Favorite conductors: Ernest Ansermet, Robert Shaw, Arturo Toscanini

Favorite film producers: William Castle and Tyler Perry

Favorite flavors: coconut, garlic, lemon, mint, pepper

Favorite foods: cheese, deviled eggs, pasta, pizza, pork, potatoes, poultry, salads, soups, veggies

Favorite TV game shows: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Duel, Hollywood Game Night, Jeopardy!, Mental Samurai, The Million Dollar Money Drop, 1 Vs. 100, Password, To Tell the Truth (reboot), The Wall, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (of course!)

Favorite Italian opera composer: Joe Green (aka Giuseppe Verdi)

Favorite lyricists: Oscar Hammerstein II, Tom Lehrer, Stephen Sondheim

Favorite movie directors: Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Alfred Hitchcock, Mike Nichols, Frank Oz, Carl Reiner, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Billy Wilder

Favorite non-rhyming inspirational poem: Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Favorite opera divas: Marilyn Horne and Leontyne Price

Favorite operas: Aida, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Carmen, Porgy and Bess

Favorite operatic arias: “E Lucevan le Stelle,” “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Nessun Dorma”

Favorite people: actors, babies, men(!)

Favorite plays: The Boys in the Band and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Favorite playwright: Neil Simon

Favorite poet: Ogden Nash

Favorite reality-based TV shows: America’s Got Talent, Big Brother, Inside the Actors Studio, Penn and Teller: Fool Us, RuPaul’s Drag Race

Favorite real person’s names: Fletcher Surratt, Ciro Tesoro, Tonda Tiedge

Favorite snacks and guilty pleasures: cake, donuts, egg nog, ice cream, marshmallows, mixed nuts, pie, popcorn, potato chips, white chocolate

Favorite sisters: Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad

Favorite standup comics (still living): Margaret Cho, Ellen Degeneres, Alec Mapa, Trevor Noah

Favorite Stephen Sondheim musical: Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Favorite tenors: Mario Lanza and Karen Carpenter

Favorite TV characters: Archie Bunker, Lt. Columbo, Sheldon Cooper, Genevieve Delatour, Fran Fine, Jessica Fletcher, Lorelei Gilmore, Scott Guber, Maxine Gray, Thelma Harper, Sue Heck, Florence Johnston, Adrian Monk, Bonnie Plunkett, Lucy Ricardo, Alan Shore, Wilhemina Slater, Suzanne Sugarbaker, Douglas Wambaugh

Favorite TV dramatic series: American Horror Story–Freak Show, Any Day Now, Army Wives, Boston Legal, Boston Public, Breaking Bad, Bull, Castle, Charmed (the original), Chicago Fire, Chicago Hope, Chicago Med, City of Angels, The Closer/Major Crimes, Columbo, Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, Diagnosis Murder, Doc Martin, Downton Abbey, Drop Dead Diva, Evil, Father Dowling Mysteries, FBI, Feed the Beast, Forever, For the People, The Fosters, Franklin and Bash, Gilmore Girls, Glee, God Friended Me, The Good Doctor, The Good Life, The Good Wife, Greenleaf, Grimm, The Haves and the Have Nots, House, Judging Amy, L.A. Law, Lethal Weapon, Lincoln Heights, Matlock, Medium, The Mentalist, Monk, Murder She Wrote, Murdoch Mysteries, 9-1-1, Nip/Tuck, Northern Exposure, Orange Is the New Black, The Orville, Oz, Picket Fences, The Practice, Proven Innocent, Queer As Folk, Rescue Me, The Resident, Rizzoli and Isles, The Rookie, Royal Pains, Scorpion, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Scandal, Smash, Suits, Switched at Birth, This Is Us

Favorite TV producers: Marc Cherry, David E. Kelley, Norman Lear, Ryan Murphy

Favorite TV sitcoms: All in the Family, Ally McBeal, American Housewife, The Big Bang Theory, ‘black-ish,’ Bob [Heart] Abishola, The Carmichael Show, The Cool Kids, Designing Women, The Exes, The Goldbergs, The Golden Girls, Happily Divorced, Hot in Cleveland, I Love Lucy, Impastor, The Jeffersons, Malcolm in the Middle, Mama’s Family, The Middle, ‘mixed-ish’, Mom, The Nanny, The Neighborhood, The Neighbors, The New Normal, The (New) Odd Couple, Psych, Raising Hope, Roseanne, Schooled, Sirens, 227, Ugly Betty, Young Sheldon

Fresh chlorinated water for swimming in

Games and puzzles, especially word games (particularly cryptic crosswords)

Ghost stories

Grocery shopping

Magic acts and illusions

Making lists (Hello?!)

Most-talented artist, in my opinion: Noel Coward–he was an actor, dancer, singer, songwriter/composer, playwright, director and humorist.

Movies and television

Music in all its aspects–performing, composing, arranging, notating, sequencing

My three greatest inspirations and admired: Michael Callen, Nelson Mandela and Elizabeth Taylor

The number five

Parties and social gatherings

Peeling things

Poetry that rhymes

Producing and compiling thematic compact disks

Records (listening, playing, shopping and collecting songs)

Riding my bicycle


Satisfying an itch

The sex act

Smells that I love: bacon cooking, coriander


The Statue of Liberty

Taking pictures

Visiting houses of worship

Walking (but not so much anymore)

Warm and hot weather

Wearing caps



# On the list of the things that I will not miss… #

Chain letters
Deceit and dishonesty
Extremely cold weather
The filth on New York City streets and littering
Firearms of any kind
Loud, obnoxious or incredibly stupid people
Megalomanic law enforcement officers
Perpetual inflation
Politicians, especially those in higher positions
Religious fanatics
Saltwater for swimming in
Smells that I dislike: cigarette smoke, garbage truck, shit, stale piss
Spectator sports
Strenuous exercise
Unwanted phone solicitations
Vandalism and destruction of public property
Waiting in lines
Wasting things

[Related article: Philosophical Epigrams]

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