What I’m into, November edition

I love November. Here in southeastern Pennsylvania the month starts with peak fall color. It ends with the coziness of the holiday season. The air is crisp, but it's usually still fine to run outside. The slush all comes later. Here's what’s making me happy this month:

100 Grand bars. I've moved beyond most check-out line candy, in the sense that I prefer high-end dark chocolate, nuts and caramels, sea salt, etc. But I'll make an exception for these. I lived on them, coffee, and Wawa roast beef hoagies while writing my senior theses (two of them!) in college and I guess I have fond memories. We had some in the mixed bag of Costco candy we gave out last night, and though we actually had a few trick or treaters (unlike in past years) we still have plenty.

Honey wheat pretzel rods. Clearly (between this and the above) I fell off the low-carb bandwagon. I got a giant vat of these from Costco three weeks go, and it is now gone.

NaNoWriMo. I love the concept of National Novel Writing Month. Write a 50,000 word novel in November. It's 1667 words a day. Turning nothing into something is the hard part. After November, you can turn that something into something better. I'm writing the draft of something this month, but since it only needs to be about 30,000 words, I'll do the discount version of NaNoWriMo.

Roses. They are still blooming. Right alongside the mums. Fuchsia is a curious addition to a fall color scheme, but I like it. I love that there are flowers in my yard in November.

My fall fun list. I'm pretty much all the way through it! I'll give an update shortly on it.

The Faure Requiem. I am singing it with my church's chamber choir this weekend for All Souls Sunday. With orchestra. It will be wonderful. I am so excited to be performing again after six years. As long as this cold I can sort of feel coming on holds off!

The PHL airport. Having lived in NYC for years, with the fun that is LaGuardia (and to a degree, JFK and Newark) I do not take a nice, clean, spacious airport for granted at all. Plus parking is close, relatively affordable (even if it is often reimbursed), and we have a fair amount of direct service both domestic and international. I realize I may be jinxing myself by saying this, but if one travels a lot, this is really not a bad airport to travel out of. Philadelphia's 30th St. Station is also a lot nicer than Penn Station. Just throwing that out there.

Trunk Club. I just got a box this week. I may do a post on the items in my closet I actually wear one of these days. Two new recent items are from M.M. LaFleur, which is another good service for professional clothes (for people who don't want to take the time to shop).

Thomas the Train toys. These little wooden trains are not cheap (there's a riff about it in the last chapter of All the Money in the World) but our inventory has survived four children. This morning I was playing with the 2-year-old. He parked Gordon in the shed and said "Is Gordon muddy?" Playing along, I said something along the lines of oh, he must have driven through the mud. Then my kid purposefully dropped a wooden toy into my coffee mug to cause it to splash out and spill on the train tracks. I was scolding him, and went to get a paper towel to wipe the coffee up when he said "But can it be mud?" Darned if the coffee with cream spilled on the tracks didn't look just like a muddy puddle. It's like there's a method to his naughtiness.

Sirius XM channel 17 - PopRocks. This had to have hatched from the brain of someone who is precisely between the ages of 36-40. It is late 1990s, early 2000s "rock songs that became pop hits." Think Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Smashing Pumpkins… It has been a pretty high percentage of songs I actually want to listen to. Plus it conjures up all sorts of nostalgia, tied as it is to late high school/college. I was getting so tired of The Pulse (15) and The Blend (16). Yay.

The podcast. Best of Both Worlds is two months old, and I think we're really getting into our groove. We are recording a few more episodes this afternoon.

Crossing stuff off the life maintenance list. My husband and I visited our lawyer and signed our wills today (November 1 being a very appropriate day for such things!) Have you done yours?

 

View Comments

  • I hardily concur on PHL...but don't give everyone the secret. The Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon is a real jewel of the urban long races as well. Beautiful course and logistics are much better than NYC and Chicago!

  • It is perhaps not a coincidence that my final PhD thesis submission date is on 27th this month. Do you think revising 50,000 words (instead of making the draft itself) is still doable as part of NaNoWriMo? :(

  • yeah, Penn station is so depressingly awful! 30th street is much better. And I love how close PHL is to the city (not that anything is that far away here...). Its so nice to hop in a taxi and be home in 15 minutes. I haven't had a 100 Grand bar in years. I don't even know what was in our candy mix---its all gone this year, darn, I kind of enjoy finishing it off in November. I used to think November was a depressing month---I think it was, where I used to live. Just thinking of November conjures up gray and drab for some reason. But its absolutely lovely here, and we still have loads of bright flowers blooming (which looks a bit odd against the Halloween decor) I need to change my mindset around automatically thinking "ugh, November"

    • @Ana- all about the mindset. Maybe "yay, November?" And Penn station is truly the worse. I had some thought they were renovating (or moving?) but I'm not sure.

  • Love love love that at 30th Street Station you can arrive while the train is boarding and still make it! Also, much cleaner bathrooms than the wretched Penn Station - or even Union Station in DC. But I vote Union Station on architecture. So elegant. On the music-of-our-youth topic: if you ever want to hear live covers of everything current 36-to-40 year olds knew and loved, White Ford Bronco (yes, that name...) is a super fun DC-area cover band. Worth checking out if they ever make it to Philly!

  • I recently started listening to Ch 17 too. I'm 38 and every song they play reminds me of high school and college. I'm loving it!

  • 30th Street Station kind of reminds me of Grand Central station in NYC. You're right! Penn station is so seedy! And the airport is extremely convenient. I can take be driven there in literally 15 minutes, or I can take the train for $6.25. I also really love the city itself. So many cute places to go eat and cultural things to take advantage of, and super duper cheap. And the weather has been fantastic this year. I gotta say, Philly has a lot going for it. PS -- My favorite candy bar is Almond Joy. LOVE IT! 100 Grands are pretty good too, though. :-)

  • Good luck with the writing! I'm not doing NaNo but I just discovered 4thewords.com -- it's basically a video game, but to kill off monsters you have to write a certain amount of words in a certain amount of time (say 250 words in 20 minutes). It's actually helping me turn off my critical brain and write!

  • We did our wills recently, too! I dreaded it for so long, but it was actually pretty painless and took far less time than I imagined. Happy November! :)