A World Less Certain | A Penny for Your Thoughts

The pandemic quiz of your likes and dislikes, loves and hates

PHOTO: Farah Sosa | SouthPasadenan.com News | Author Rick Thomas

Getting to know yourself better during difficult times is the basis of a quiz I made up. If you’re game, let’s have some fun!

Make a list. Here’s the kicker: you can’t be concerned about what people think. No one will see your list, unless you’re a fool and publish it for everyone to see. The idea is to be completely candid with yourself.


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You have 15 minutes. List as many likes and dislikes as possible, alternating between them. Write down the first thing that comes to mind, which can be quite revealing, as you will see.

My Likes and Dislikes

I like the crunch of Crème Brulèe and the sound my shoe makes when it slowly presses down on a fat roach.

I dislike killing animals for human consumption.

I like solar energy and space exploration.

I dislike falling asleep at my laptop and my head free-falls, making contact with the keyboard.

I like coffee with oat milk.

I dislike not being able to see hundreds of years into the future.

I like songs about sweaters; my favorites are “Sweater Weather” by The Neighborhood, and “Undone – The Sweater Song” by Weezer.

I dislike stains. The blot. The dot. The spot. Especially when they rhyme like that. They mock me.

I like adorable dogs; ugly ones not so much. Puppies and old dogs are the cutest.

I dislike spikey hairdos. They require hair I don’t have.

I like blue skies and sunny days because they lack the dreary downpour of the chemical compound: one part hydrogen and two parts oxygen.

I dislike bad news.

I like meditation. Both God believers and doubters use it.

I dislike pain unless it’s telling me my hand is on fire.

I like making people laugh so hard they cry, or cry so hard they pee.

I dislike the rock band KISS because they are bad musicians, can’t sing worth a damn, and their live album is a massively overdubbed patchwork of best recordings from their awful concerts.

I like the Beatles and just about every other rock band except KISS.

I dislike swallowing my snot. Don’t know why. I used to love it!


You have only 5 minutes. Make a list of 15 loves and hates (in no particular order). This time, try to limit them to one or two words – no more than three. Ready? Go!

My Loves and Hates

I love family, friends, writing, coffee, motocross, contemporary art, South Pasadena, hard rock, speed, being curious, itching bug bites, space exploration, solar power, riding motorcycles, and making people laugh.

I hate double standards, hypocrisy, liars, murderers, cancer, injustice, poverty, big government, elitist liberals, self-righteous conservatives, littering, humidity, mosquitoes, slackers, and my second ex-wife.

That’s much quicker. Now you know why I gave you only 5 minutes. Did you notice how your values suddenly come into play? That’s because your feelings of love and hate sit close to the surface of your emotions.

You may have one or more love-hate relationships on this list. I hate mosquitoes but love to scratch the bite until it bleeds.

The final love and hate is for me. I love myself for being a good father. I hate myself for settling on a corporate career that failed to feed my soul.


Now, create your post-pandemic wish list. What would you like to change? No time limit on this one. You have all the time in the world while the pandemic rages on.

My Wish List

  1. Eliminate Daylight Savings Time. It’s about time we observe the natural Earth/Sun seasons.
  2. Eliminate subsidies for the methane-producing animal-slaughtering meat and dairy industries.
  3. Equalize Federal Income Tax exposure (“Flat Tax”). Everybody pays the same percentage of their income – no deductions, write-offs, or loopholes. No political party pandering. No tax attorneys, accountants, or special interest manipulation. No mountain-high stack of tax code documentation. No IRS, except to aggressively prosecute people who evade paying the same percent tax as everyone else. And, no H&R Block.
  4. Change the five-day workweek to four days. The four-day 8-hour work cycle (36 hour week) is not only sufficient it’s highly productive and humane.
  5. The economic disparity in the U.S. is staggering, especially between race, gender, and age. Government and private industries need to form a partnership that offers additional education, training, and inclusionary mandates to assist these three societal segments.
  6. Initiate the process of reconciliation with the Native American people:
  • Eliminate offensive stereotypes, racist gestures, logos, and mascots in professional, collegiate, and public school sports programs. (team owners and public school officials)
  • Acknowledge The American Genocide: detail the extent of the massacres, murders, broken treaties, and displacement of the Native American people. (U.S. President and Congress)
  • Rescind the 20 Medals of Honor awarded to the U.S. 7th Calvary soldiers for the massacre at Wounded Knee (U.S. Congress)
  • Return the Black Hills of South Dakota to the legal tribal owners. (U.S. President and Congress)

Now, it’s your turn.

Hopefully, you found the quizzes enjoyable, and perhaps, a welcome relief from yet another lazy-COVID-19 summer day.



Rick Thomas
Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.