10 Things That Make Derek Happy

For today's 10 Things, we have a very special guest, my oldest friend in the world- Derek Estes.  We met in high school and instantly bonded in that way that only teenagers who love things before their time can!  
Derek has beyond excellent taste and lives for film.  He has what seems to be the world's largest DVD collection, consisting of only the finest moving pictures, and collects vintage movie posters with an emphasis on westerns.  Derek lives in Portland, Oregon and is soon to embark on a new career in mixology.
Here are Derek's 10 Things That Make Him Happy:

1. The scent of Lavender
This is something that has happened over the past couple years. I've always liked the scent of Lavender okay, but recently it's something that I'm drawn to more and more. This fascination has also creeped into my eating habits too. I recently made a delicious Honey-Lavender ice cream, and I have to recommend Scrappy's Lavender Bitters in a Manhattan, amazing!
2. Game Theory
This is a band from the 80's that I stumbled upon about a year ago. I had read about them first, hearing that they were influenced by another band I really love, Big Star. At first I wasn't super into their music, until one magical day when everything clicked in my head it was the only thing I wanted to listen to. This band has a very small but vocal fan base and I've now joined their chorus.
3. Vintage snaphots and Photobooth pictures.
From about the 6th grade I've been collecting vintage snapshots from antique stores. I really love the small size of vintage photos, it makes them more mysterious and intimate. I'm also a huge fan of black and white photobooth pictures. They take the most flattering pictures, it's almost like a little Josef Von Sternberg in a box.
4. Buster Keaton
If forced to use one word to describe Buster Keaton's films I would choose "sublime". They are like perfect little jewels, with a million sparkling facets. His stunts are still breathtaking 80+ years later. He was also quite handsome, better looking than Valentino in my opinion!
5. Warren Oates' style as GTO in Two Lane Blacktop.
Those sweaters!
I should say Warren Oates in general. What a treasure! Warren Oates is both the coolest man in the room (or on the screen), and also the most unassuming. An actor who can both transport the head of Alfredo Garcia in white suit and sunglasses, and quietly break your heart in films like Two Lane Blacktop, The Hired Hand and Cockfighter.
6. "The Lubitsch Touch"
"The Lubitsch Touch" is a brief description that embraces a long list of virtues: sophistication, style, subtlety, wit, charm, elegance, suavity, polished nonchalance and audacious sexual nuance." -- Richard Christiansen
I couldn't have said it better myself!  Two of my favorite places to find the Lubitsch Touch:
-Trouble in Paradise
-Design for Living (based on Noel Coward's play! Can anything be more obscenely sophisticated?)
7. Cacti and succulents
A perfect plant for four reasons:
1. They are very modern looking.
2. They help me romanticize a life where I live somewhere sunny and dry.
3. I'm lazy, and cacti love being ignored.
4. Sometimes they reward you with blossoms.
8. Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
Ok, now I'm not about to front that I'm any kind of expert on poetry. But, what makes this collection of poems so great for me is that their beauty is so clear and warm that it makes reading them a total pleasure.
9. Florsheim Comfortech Riva slip on shoes
Not only are these the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn, they look great with both formal and casual attire.  On a side note, these shoes also fit well with number 5 on this list.
10. The paintings of Emile Friant
I recently came across a few paintings by this great artist, and have been totally enamored with them. What strikes me most about these paintings is how casual and natural they feel. Friant's paintings feel like privileged moments that are staring back at us from the 19th century.

Ok, I'm cheating!

11. Marlene Dietrich's ABC
I couldn't help but squeeze this in. In some ways this book is the ultimate list. Arranged alphabetically, screen goddess Marlene Dietrich shares her thoughts on everything from romance to hardware stores, favorite recipes, famous lovers and thinly veiled jabs at Elizabeth Taylor and Yoko Ono.

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