Andy Gainey

Favorites

Welcome to my daunting lists of favorites. If you're looking to get an idea of who I am and what I'm into, the following will serve as one kind of lens into my personality. If you already find my tastes interesting and are hoping to find some new stuff that you could enjoy also, I hope the following serves you well.

I have discovered over the years that ordering and organizing one's favorites is very tricky and changes over time. Thus, instead of attempting to determine once and for all my first, second, third favorite items in any given category, I have found it easier to loosely place things within multiple tiers of favorites. The first tier is the cream of the crop, the things that I unquestionably love, deeply appreciate, or otherwise derive great value from. The second tier I still consider really good, but fails for whatever reason to hold a uniquely privileged place in my hierarchy of preferences. The third tier includes things that I believe deserve mention, as they still fill in some of the details of where my interests roam, and can also offer opportunities of great discoveries for people who have similar but not identical interests to my own; something I consider good could end up becoming one of your first tier favorites.

Here are the categories within which I have organized many of my favorite things (very much a work in progress):

Music

Stuff and things.

Dream Theater

I first got into Dream Theater through the album Systematic Chaos (bookended by the two-part song In the Presence of Enemies). That expanded to the album Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory, including the song Home, which I discovered I was already familiar thanks to a friend during college. (If only I had further explored the band at that earlier time!) From there, I've eagerly sought out and consumed all their other studio albums (aside from Falling into Infinity, reportedly produced with significant pressure to make something more radio-friendly; I've listened to it a few times and just can't get into it).

Stuff and things.

They Might Be Giants

My discovery of They Might Be Giants began with their classic albums Flood and Apollo 18, including songs such as Istanbul, Particle Man, Mammal, and the eclectic mix of shorts collectively known as Fingertips.

Stuff and things.

more…

Movies and Shows

Stuff and things.

American Beauty
Stuff and things.
Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight
Stuff and things.
Donnie Darko
Stuff and things.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Stuff and things.
Fight Club
Stuff and things.
The Fountain
Stuff and things.
K-PAX
Stuff and things.
Lost in Translation
Stuff and things.
Memento
Stuff and things.
The Truman Show
Stuff and things.
Watchmen
Stuff and things.
more…

Digital Games

Stuff and things.

Alpha Centauri
Stuff and things.
Civilization II, IV
Stuff and things.
Europa Univeralis III, IV
Stuff and things.
Factorio
Stuff and things.
Fantasy General
Stuff and things.
Jagged Alliance, Jagged Alliance 2
Stuff and things.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Stuff and things.
Shogun, Medieval: Total War
Stuff and things.
SimCity (SNES), SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000, SimCity 4
Stuff and things.
SpaceChem
Stuff and things.
TIS-100
Stuff and things.
Warlords 2
Stuff and things.
more…

Literature, Fiction

Stuff and things.

Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson
Stuff and things.
The Culture series, by Iain M. Banks
Stuff and things.
Earthsea series, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Stuff and things.
The Ender Quintet, by Orson Scott Card
Stuff and things.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, by Douglas Adams
Stuff and things.
more…

Literature, Non-Fiction

Stuff and things.

The Art of Game Design, by Jesse Schell
Stuff and things.
Consciousness Explained, by Daniel C. Dennett
Stuff and things.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, by Richard Rorty
Stuff and things.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea, by Daniel C. Dennett
Stuff and things.
Finite and Infinite Games, by James P. Carse
Stuff and things.
I Am a Strange Loop, by Douglas Hofstadter
Stuff and things.
A New Kind of Science, by Stephen Wolfram
Stuff and things.
Peace Is Every Step, by Thích Nhất Hạnh
Stuff and things.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, by Richard Rorty
Stuff and things.
Self-Reliance, by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stuff and things.
The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins
Stuff and things.
more…

Philosophy

Stuff and things.

Richard Rorty
Stuff and things.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Stuff and things.
Epictetus
Stuff and things.
John Dewey
Stuff and things.
Aristotle
Stuff and things.
Marcus Aurelius
Stuff and things.
more…

Software Engineering

Stuff and things.

C++
Stuff and things.
Lua and LuaJIT
Stuff and things.
more…

Foods and Beverages

Stuff and things.

Carbohydrates
Stuff and things.
Earl Grey Tea
Stuff and things.
Coffee
Stuff and things.
Hot Apple Juice with Mulling Spices
Stuff and things.
Grain and Root Coffee Substitutes
Stuff and things.
more…

Other Entertainment

Stuff and things.

LEGO
Stuff and things.
Jigsaw Puzzles
Stuff and things.
more…

Everything Else

Stuff and things.

Azure (color)
Stuff and things.
more…