Hot Cheetos & Takis | 108 Things I Love Tonight

There’s a cool nip in the Wisconsin air. We’ve just rolled past the autumnal equinox, along with the rest of the world. Fall is a morphing time for me. This is the time of year I change my habits. Now is the season to shape shift, set goals and blow on hot chai.

I sit on the patio with my children while my husband makes the abode perfect before he leaves for work. A bee lands on my knee. He moves ever so slowly. Maybe he smells honeycrisp apple on my breath.

I slow down when the weather dries and cools too. It gives me a chance to study details in what I see, feel, hear, taste and touch. Hot day sun and cool night moon- the contrast wakes me up. All becomes a mirror and I see how wrong I was about a first impression. How right I am to change my mind, be forgiven, offer a second, third, fourth chance. Music becomes more vital and I choose all orange foods on my visit to the co-op; dry mango, butternut squash cubes, the last wet cantaloupe. Oh hai, second chakra. Chakalaka. Boomboom. Fall is when my body likes to get pregnant. But thanks to Planned Parenthood I got contraception on lock. So there, second chakra.

I’ve already rinse cycled and spun dry through 108 sun salutations. Hitchhiked through Surya Namaskar next to my mala beaded GF- I wouldn’t have gone on my own. Too predictable.

It’s easy to love when the sky darkens early. We need each other to warm, to mirror, to alight.

108 Things I Love Tonight

1. Hot Cheetos & Takis

2. Long sleeves

3. Boots

4. The sound of my son playing his stand up bass

5. The sound of my daughter’s sweet high voice. She says, “I wanna see bunnies, I wanna see bunnies. I will eat a bunny.” One headless cheese-bunny. Ah, ah, ah.

Count von Count

6. Black coffee

7. Sitting outside at Indie Coffee. The baristas are marvelous. They have perfectly mussed hair and square eyewear. I will ask them to make an Om symbol in my soy latte.  ॐ

8. Hay bales in the grocery store

9. The new Cat Power album

10. Going to the movies at Sundance 608, where I first met my husband

11. Writing at a snail’s pace morning, noon, night

12. Body glitter

13. Two bangin’ local pints every Friday evening

14. Tofu dipped in vegan barbecue sauce

15. Goose sounds from the farm across the road

16. Horse smells from the farm down the road

17. Sweet Grass incense smells from a new friend <3

18. A whole city dressed in red fleece for Badger football games

19. Bubblegum

20. Eating basil leaves off the plant

21. Pumpkins everywhere

22. Slanted afternoon sun

23. My evening yoga classes can be candle lit

24. The smell of frankincense

23. The taste of green apples

24. Trees with changing leaves look like they’re in flames

25. Toasted pecans

26. No heat, no A/C, just open windows

27. The chime of church bells. Because I don’t have to go to church.

28. Obama stickers everywhere

29. Sheep’s milk cupcake

Cheese cupcake, you shall be mine one day.

30. Plodding UW- Arboretum turkeys

31. Cherry sparkling water

32. Dark chocolate chips

33. Fooling around with Tittibhasana

Voila! An inaccurate representation of me in this pose. How’d the internetz get this photo?

Steven Tyler called. He wants his coiffe back.

34. Watching Kino Macgregor’s Ashtanga tutorials at 2am and sneaking downstairs to roll out a mat and attempt to decipher that sh!t. Look at her. You’d expect her to have a cute girly voice, but she’s got a super tough east coast accent. Boss.

35. I didn’t get the job at Wisconsin Public Radio, but I did get the job at Inner Fire Yoga.

36. Looking for more bike-friendly ‘hoods.

37. New music from David f@#king Byrne. The video for “Who” is stupid good.

38. This tweet by Chloe Sladden:

“Evening approach to JFK

bejeweled by the pink & gold comb of summertime Manhattan,

shimmery with the energy of a million heartbeats.”

39. Photos of Ana Forrest being an elfin, glorious alien messenger of good

40. Honey Licorice tea

41. Having close, loving friendships with people who would never vote for the same candidates as me. Then SMH (shakin’ mah head) in bewilderment.

42. My two year old daughter when I brought her a single cake pop said, “I see my birthday.”

43. Seeduction Bread from Whole Paycheck

44. The impending arrival of Dexter Morgan in my tv machine

45. Red beans & brown rice polka dotted with Sriracha

46. Food so spicy it makes my face sweat

47. Panmela Castro’s street art

48. Celery salt

49. Jordan Matter’s Dancers Among Us photos

Sharon Gallagher


Tenealle Farragher


Matt Oaks

52. Hot chili flakes

53. Tabasco sauce

54. Jalapeños (I wish some one would nickname me Hallapeño. No pressure)

55. A tiny hint of nutmeg in pasta sauce

56. One of Susie’s most common exclamations is “Hiyah!”

57. Rolling my eyes at people who say, “Karma’s a bitch.”

58. This live performance of Radiohead’s Karma Police:

59. For some reason Clive Deamer, half of Radiohead’s drum duo accepted my Facebook friend request. We so tight. I stalk his pics. Do you know why? I’m a creep. I’m a weirdo.

60. This cuddly and ethereal cover of Radiohead’s Creep by Ingrid Michaelson on the mandolin.

61. Yoga teachers who play loud music in class

62. Yoga teachers who play no music in class

63. Being assisted or adjusted through asana by a yoga teacher

64. My teachers who take time to offer and break down challenging arm balances

65. Hovering in chaturanga longer than necessary to make my heart get freaky.

66. My teachers who give us yogis plenty of time in child’s pose and not too much time in Savasana.

67. Reading about doshas and realizing, dude I’m so Kapha I can’t get my feet outta the mud. To balance my earth-loving, rooted ways I seek out yoga instructors who give time to invert (go upside down) and keep the class eka pada (one-footed / on one foot or leg) for a good cook.

68. Fresh diced bell peppers in orange, yellow, green, purple and red. In a black bean burrito. With face-melting salsa. Snap.

69. Michelle Obama’s recipe for Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese. Sticks to the ribs. It will make you strong like bull.

70. Working hard to live up to my “Namaste.”

71. Sour cherries

72. Almond butter

73. Fakon. Fake bacon. I love real bacon, but meat makes me suspicious and feral.

74. Wearing my son’s hoodies. He doesn’t approve because he doesn’t want perfume smell on his boy-clothes at school.

75. Saffron. I’m just wild about it.

76. Absolutely Fabulous reruns

77. My hand callouses from the apparently manual labor of yoga

78. Having a quiet home and a peaceful family for the first time in my life.

79. Common and Erykah Badu on the track

80. Grits

81. My friends who are succeeding

82. My friends who are struggling

83. This NPR interview with Damien Echols, one third of The West Memphis Three, who were wrongly accused of murder and convicted in 1993. Echols was sentenced to death by lethal injection. He served 18 years and is now free. The innocent WM3 were forced into a plea deal. Echols talks about turning Zen to escape and cope with the daily horrors of prison life.

84. The Innocence Project

85. Prison Yoga Project

Tony Willie

86. That feeling in Savasana when you turn your head and a drop of sweat trickles back into your brain. I like it.

87. The throwback Bookslut interview with Marjane Satrapi, creator of the Persepolis graphic film and books.

88. Cinnamon in my smoothie

89. Javier Rabadan’s Primitive Art


90. This photo of the spread my friend Kelly put together for her Leo’s birthday.

91. One of my favorite yoga teachers just got a job working for the Obama Campaign.

92. Being a dirty pink liberal.

93. Living in Madison, Wisconsin.

94. Pumpkin pie

95. Black Fender guitar and my black el gato.

96. Pico de Gallo. And the chili pepper door handle at Pasqual’s.

97. My husband is a stand up guy. He’s tall, salt & peppered, handsome and an excellent father.

98. I got 99 Problems but a b!tch ain’t one. Hit me.

99. Jaydiohead’s Optimistic Moment Instrumental joint. Smoke it.

100. lululemon Athletica Madison asked me to be an Ambassador and gave me yellow roses.

Smell it.

101. Whole wheat organic elbow macaronis. And the people who throw elbows to get their favorite spot before yoga class. Gee whiz.

102. Bryan Kest quotes, with Bryan Kest’s punctuation: “Just ate kangaroo, not bad at all.”

103. And “One last time. Fuck in Bulgarian “Manhata”

104. And “Here you go fuck in Turkish ‘Sikhtir'”

105. And “Not sure why I was saying that, I haven’t been smoking promise!”

106. And “Your children will always fail to listen to you, but your children will always succeed in becoming you. So who the fuck are you?”

107. And of course “Who cares if you fall? I hope you fall. I hope the whole fucking row goes down.” Smart ass, that Bryan Kest.

108. Om Shanti, Shanti Om

Hold steady.

What are your 108 loves? Post ‘em up on my Facebook page as a list or your own link. I’ll choose one random response on Halloween night (October 31) to win a six pack of  Knot Stock from Furthermore Beer. Happy writing.

2 thoughts on “Hot Cheetos & Takis | 108 Things I Love Tonight

  1. Dear Hallapeño,
    Words cannot describe how much I love this post and your musical choices (particularly Common and Erykah Badu). This makes me grateful for fall. Usually I dislike it, because it means winter is on the horizon, but you’ve made me appreciate the little things that make it kind of awesome. Open windows…holla!

    • My peño sista. Yeah, I’m freaked about winter too. But looking forward to some dark cozy nights to curl up and write. We’ll keep in touch and get through it together. You spicy little thing. xoxo, h

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