Thursday, November 17, 2005

November miscellany

I love November.

The weather here has been erratic this fall. Yesterday we had a high around 70 degrees, but by the time I left my office it was pouring rain, and I shivered as I waited for the bus in my zip-up fleece. Today we are set for a high of 45, which to me sounded like a great excuse to stop for a caramel apple cider on the way to the office. To The Husband, it sounds like a great excuse to work from home. The Husband spent the majority of his life in Los Angeles County. The Husband doesn’t cope so well with the coming of winter.

But I am just relieved that it’s not hot and sticky anymore. We probably have until about mid-January before I start complaining about the weather again. I’m also distracted from the cold by all the other lovely parts of late fall. There are, of course, apple cider and pumpkin treats. The ground is covered in leaves. They are mostly brown, but there are still a few shiny spot of bright red and yellow. They make a lovely noise as I shuffle through them on my way to and from the bus. However, I have also been looking forward to November for some time now, ticking off on my fingers the many good things about this particular month, to pretty much anyone willing to listen:

  1. Two great concerts that I got to go to
  2. A new Harry Potter movie
  3. My birthday
  4. Thanksgiving
  5. A trip to London
  6. Getting to see friends that I haven’t seen in months

We shall address each item in order.

1. The concerts have already happened. We saw Joan Baez at the Birchmere the first week of November. She was absolutely wonderful, telling funny stories and singing pretty much all the songs I wanted to hear. “Forty years ago, I bought you some cufflinks,” she sang on “Diamonds and Rust” during her encore, interrupting herself to say that she’d better not be singing that at fifty years. She did, however, hum the last few lines of the last verse of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” after missing the words. We sat at one of the front tables, and Julian Bond was at the next table. Actually, after the show, Brian went to find the restroom, and came back quickly.

“Long line?” I asked

“Not too bad. But I would have been right behind Julian Bond and that made me nervous.”

I laughed at him. And told him I would tell the internet.

1b. On Monday night, we went to see Dar Williams, also at the Birchmere. This time, we were not among the youngest in the audience (Nobody was buying that I just looked really good for a 52-year-old at the Joan Baez show), which was kind of nice. Our seats weren’t quite as good, but it was still a fabulous show. I love seeing musicians enjoying themselves on stage, and Dar and her band seemed to be having a lot of fun. Girlyman opened. I’d never heard of them before, but you should definitely check them out if you’re into new folk music. We ended up buying two albums after their set. Of course, I may have been biased by the fact that they started their set with “Born at the Right Time.” I am a big sucker for Paul Simon songs.

2. Not much to say about Harry Potter. The Chron gave it a good review yesterday, and I’m excited. I need to Fandango some tickets for tomorrow night.

3. I am oddly excited about my birthday this year. The Father-in-law asked last weekend what was such a big deal about turning 27. I couldn’t come up with an answer. The Husband point out that I am like this every year. I think it amuses him, and he certainly does his best to go along with my celebratory attitude, letting me celebrate all week long. My actual birthday is on Saturday, but The Husband had flowers delivered to my office yesterday, which got me plenty of attention at work, especially as they were at first delivered to the wrong Elizabeth. In some ways I would love to be surprised by something wildly romantic for my birthday, but I am a bit of a control freak, so I take care to plan my birthday myself. Saturday I have a full day planned: we’re going out to brunch in the morning, so I can have some birthday French toast, then I am going to get a facial and pedicure, and we will go out for Mexican tapas and perhaps a pomegranate margarita or four that night with friends.

4-6. The last three are all going to happen simultaneously, so I will write about them all together, but each one is a good thing in and of itself, so I’m counting them all separately. First of all, I think Thanksgiving is a fabulous holiday. What’s not to like about a special day set aside to eat a lot and think about all the good things that are going on? Last year we spent Thanksgiving in London. My very good friend Becca from grad school married a wonderful Englishman and moved to London after we graduated. I would have objected, except she was engaged and had these plans before we got to know each other, so I didn’t really have any say in the matter. Besides, now I have a free place to stay in London. Thanksgiving seemed like a great time to go visit: she would have Americans to celebrate with, and we could use the vacation days from work. We had such a grand time that we decided we ought to go back this year. This year will be even better. Becca has been doing her best to avoid getting strep throat (she apologized for the fact that it slowed her down last year. All I could think was “That was slow? Thank god for that fever, then.), and I am going to try not to get drunk in front of her in-laws (I spent a good part of our Thanksgiving dinner giggling and saying “That was so British!” every time any of them said anything. Then I passed out on the couch and didn’t help with dishes.). As an added bonus for this year, Christie will be joining us from India. It will be a busy few days, trying to fit in plenty of sightseeing and prepare our Thanksgiving dinner, but it will be fun. We have a trip to Oxford planned, which I am very excited about.

I am looking forward to my birthday this weekend and the upcoming trip, but for now I must go try to understand price index theory. I took three semesters of economics in graduate school, so you’d think I would have some glimmer of understanding, but I got a B+ in each and every one of those classes (and was pretty proud). These things just don’t come naturally to me. I am, however, concerned that all these articles I am reading use ‘indexes’ as the plural instead of ‘indices.’ Why doesn’t that feel right to me?


Jennifer said...

Everything you describe sounds wondrously autumnal and cozy. Happy Birthday!

Christie Grabyan said...

Nothing against spending Thanksgiving with my family, but I am SO looking forward to spending it with you, Brian, Becca, and Alex this year, and in LONDON! This might need to become a tradition, albeit it odd for Americans to travel to the UK for such a holiday. At least we aren't trying to celebrate the 4th of July there. :)