Of course, I’m not talking about MY relatives. They’re all perfect! But I thought, in a gesture of holiday benevolence, I’d say what you’ve been thinking for a long time, mainly to lessen all that stress you’re no doubt going through, anticipating seeing them again. In any event, here’s to a wonderful holiday season, no matter how or when or with whom you celebrate it. I’ll be seeing you on the spanky-new side of 2020, wishing you all the best in the new year. Let’s start the new decade with all the success, health, and happiness we can stand.
I didn’t have the most exciting summer. Didn’t really go anywhere or do anything exciting. Mostly I just worked–teaching, and on my current work-in-progress which is just about ready to be launched off my desk. So mostly, I existed in air conditioning, just plugging away with not even a chance to get to the beach. So, bye-bye to summer, but welcome to what’s actually my favorite season of the year. For one thing the temps will be a whole hell of a lot more bearable, at least what’s been passing as “weather” in my part of Jersey. I’m so over these 90 degree days. But to give a bit of a better insight what I’m talking about, look at these reasons I am so much more about Autumn than I was about Summer (at least this year):
1. Apples – Gala, Cortland, Mac, Granny – sure you can get them at the supermarket all year ’round, but this time of year, you can pluck them right off the tree. And here in the Northeast, there’s no shortage of apple farms. Matter of fact, this time of year there’s no shortage of Apple Festivals, with their accompanying Hard Apple Cider samples. And this abundance of apples leads to the inevitable apple cakes, apple muffins, apple sauce, fried apples, apple fritters, apple dumplings, apple doughnuts, applesauce, apple lasagna…
2. Cooler Nights – Seriously, I have nothing intrinsically against summer, but I also like to get a good night’s sleep. And I don’t care what you say about air conditioning – the only difference it makes to my downtime is I get a bit of Sinus Inflamed Fitful Sleep instead of wallowing the night away in a pool of sweat-soaked sheets. Big difference from leaving the window opened a tad and tucking the covers under your chin. Plus you can snuggle up with the person next to you and not have your skin go phwhuck! from the contact. So much pleasanter. And quieter!
3. Better Movies – With the summer blockbuster season behind us, the studios finally roll out their “serious” films, as we get closer to Oscar time. Goodbye car chases, blue screens and dick flicks, I can finally revel in some meaningful dialogue and decent acting. Now if I could only find a theater that’s actually showing one I would be happy.
4. Boots – Ah yes, for awhile at least, I can toss the sandals and forget about painting my toenails. And I can where shorter skirts with tights as boots look so great with them, and I don’t have to angst about those terrible knees. Boots are just great period.
5. Scarves Are Back – Love them. LOVE THEM. They make you look artsy and dramatic, and keep your neck warm at the same time. What other article of clothing can you buy at Target that says so much for so little? Plus they keep the collar of that wool jacket you look tres chic in from itching so bad you’d like to rip your skin off. Ah, the price of fashion…
Let the leaves fall!
I’ve been an American Express cardholder for years, so when I saw this “Invitation” envelope arrive today well…I thought I really arrived myself. I mean seriously, a Black Card! For a pedestrian writer and lowly academic? Me? Wow! I’m so not worthy! Who am I to think? The only explanation I could think of was they must have me confused with some other more affluent and jet-setting Jones. That was until this English teacher took the time to actually read the invite that boasts their metal card weighs an intimidating and wallet-busting 22g.
Not AMEX. Mastercard. It’s not the same. No matter if their website address is luxurycard.com. It’s still a Mastercard, it has no mystery qualifying criteria, it’s not for millionaires, it’s still welcome at Walmart. So no, I don’t feel special, I feel like I’ve been catfished, and no matter how much they tried to woo me with their 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge, 1.5% Cash Back, or $100 Annual Airline Credit, its invitation is still going in the trash.
I shall try to recover from the glance from the rich and famous.
Sure, that’s me amid all that mess. It’s summer, and I’ve just finished my last summer class, and I’m just about finished with my work-in-progress–just about. So I’m needed these next few days to finish up then park myself in a spot of sand, by a lake, or under a tree and take a breather. So if you’re looking for me, you’ll find me there with a cool drink in my hand, chillin.
See you in September!
Sometimes I write stuff and no one pays attention. Okay, a LOT of times I write stuff and no one pays attention. The following post is one of those, that I wrote a few years back, but it’s reflecting exactly how I feel right now. So with a few updates (in italics) you can see easily how this writer is feeling on this mid-summer night’s eve…
Been working hot and obsessively developing another project (actually, the same one I’ve been working on for the past two years, wound like a bitch in editing hell) the last few weeks. When I do this I so live in my head I’m apt to leave lights on or subsist on string cheese and blueberries because I can eat them with one hand. Because of that I’m giving myself a pass tonight to let my mind wander. I have too many topics rolling around the fertile landscape of my brain to settle on one, so I’m treating you to a virtual sampler of each. Think of it as the Jones version of the Olive Garden’s ‘Tour of Italy,” (more like a keto snax box filled with cherries, hard boiled eggs, any nuts I can find, and an everything bagel and cream cheese to blow all good intentions straight to hell) except not about chain restaurant Italian food or really anything to do with food at all. Please don’t ask me to explain…
~ Why is it harder to write in the summer when it should be easier? Okay, I”m a college professor, right? And I “theoretically” have the summer off (except for the [three] summer class[s] I’m teaching, which really is cake next to my usual load). So my brain should be my own (mostly), and I should be able to sail through what I’m working on, producing so many pages a day I’d best keep a fire extinguisher near my desk. Wrong! Phuque moi! Could it be the sun shining through my window? The fact I have no schedule? The lure of the beach? Distraction by a shiny object? Or I’m still trying to get to know my characters? Hmm…I going to have to think about that one. Where’s the string cheese? (Yuengling)
~ You can lose weight on summer fruit. (All right; I lied about the food reference) I live in the heart of the South Jersey farm belt, and you can’t drive more than a couple of miles without either passing a farm or a farm stand. This morning I happened to visit the latter, where I purchased tomatoes (early, but there’s nothing like a Jersey tomato!), cukes, blueberries (another iconic Jersey crop), cantaloupe and peaches, both yellow and white. Lately I’ve been gorging on berries and melons and cherries, instead of the usual snacky-type foods, and in the past month I’ve lost seven pounds! (gained three on summer ice cream) Of course, this may have something to do with the 1725 calories I’ve been allowing myself to eat, the half-hour of daily exercise, and the frequent swims in the ocean (haven’t visited the beach yet, but swam in a pool once. Yeah, it was only four feet deep, and I was hooked to a pool noodle, but I was out in the sun–Vitamin D, you know) BUT! I have had more than a couple Bacchanalia events and let me tell you, the Yuengling hasn’t been lonely!
~ Beer tastes better in summer. That’s all I got. Any other commentary on that topic would be redundant.
~ Socks suck in summer. I haven’t worn a pair of socks since, oh…probably early May. I hate the fricking little cotton casings anyway–hate the way they bunch up under your instep, hate the indentations they make on your shins, hate how the heels always wear out when the rest of the sock can go for another 10,000 miles. But MOST of all I HATE folding them. (Hate! Hate! Hate! still) Just sayin’.
~ I love the sound of birdsong at dusk. The sun has set, the western sky is stained red, outside a soft breeze is blowing and you can finally shut off the A.C. and let in some fresh air. You venture out on your porch or you open your car window, or maybe you’re out for a walk and there in the bushes, the trees or on an overhead wire is a whip-poor-will or a mockingbird or who knows what kind of bird, only that their song is lovely, a tiny gratis pleasure on a soft summer night. What else can you possibly need?
(Except it’s as hot as balls out there tonight and there’s no beer in the house. Still, there’s watermelon in the fridge and I don’t have to work tomorrow, unless you count working on the edit again, which I’m enjoying so much it’s not really like work at all. Life is good, peeps.)
All right, I have a cold, and my head is so stuffed it’s clogged my brain. I’m living on tea and Smith Brothers Cough Drops, so expect no words of writing wisdom from me this week. So lieu of that, here’s my cat Gracie, who never met a pair of unoccupied pants she didn’t want to sublet. Did I mention she’s exceedingly cute? I believe it goes without saying. She’s my cat, after all.