Friday, October 5, 2012

Another Sputtering Return of the Friday Favorites

1. Favorite moments of the debate (note: this was the first presidential debate I have watched in 20 years, not counting SNL. I might wait another 20 years before I watch the next one.) Was it when Silas, turning away from the evening's Educational Entertainment, emerged with a carefully chosen alternative viewing choice? Or when he realized that no, sorry, we weren't going to turn off the debate to watch Spongebob? Was it the end, when it was finally over? Was it forty minutes before the debate started, when Helen and I were driving home through deserted streets that were gray with dusk and blooming with big dimly orange puffs of autumn ash tree - the debates were held here in Denver, not far from our house, and the interstate closed at 5, so it was like a little holiday time at the end of a busy working day. This one, I think. This was my favorite moment. Before they started.

2. Favorite part of the season. Every fall I think about Kenko's injunction that "branches about to blossom or gardens strewn with faded flowers are worthier of our admiration" - and then I think, nah. The fall leaves at their red and gold peak thrill me much more than a pile of brown leaves on the ground, even if that means I am privileging a certain moment in the eternal flux of the universe. There will be plenty of time for austere beauty in November. Today I remain resolutely delighted by the first flush of golden ash and bitter red sumac. This right here is my favorite moment of fall.

3. Favorite book I read in September: Finders Keepers by Craig Childs. This book hits on pretty much everything I struggled with when I lived in southwest Colorado and made my living (such as it was) walking the National Forest looking for pottery shards and rock flakes. I hated how anytime we found something interesting our job was to seal it in a plastic baggy and ship it to a big artifact storage locker. I hated the feeling of salacious pleasure I got anytime we poked our noses into something that was once private. I hated how I couldn't just slip a pretty little shard into my pocket, no matter how much more I'd appreciate it than the artifact storage locker.

4. Favorite mood for the week: recovering invalid. Between the sewer mess, the melancholy fact of fall, and the trip for work to Las Vegas (whoo boy) (it wasn't like that, just DULL), I am feeling the need to treat myself like a delicate Victorian convalescent this week. Someone who needs to lie about in the sun wrapped in lots of clean linen, being administered medicinal doses of tea and fresh air. So I took yesterday off. I volunteered in Helen's classroom this morning (which was awesome. I will definitely do this again.) I slept in two days this week.

5. Favorite dinner I made this week: make-your-own tacos. I cooked the beef with a new chili powder I picked up on a trip to the Littleton Penzey's: this is actually the first time in my cooking life that I have deliberately purchased a spice mix and to paraphrase a friend, I will need to live forty more years in order to make up for forty years of not using spice mixes. The mix is delicious. I think it has sugar in it, and possibly powdered heroin. It is so, so yummy.

6. Favorite work thing*: my personalized stationery. I like it so much that I hoard it: no ordinary to-do lists for this stationery, no sir. Only the biggest and most important lists go on this stuff.

*I have been feeling insulted and put upon lately by the fact that I need to work. This is not a feeling specific to my particular job, which happens to be going fine, but an irritation at a basic life condition (namely, that I am not independently wealthy; or possibly that the world has not chosen to pay me for doing what I like to do. Harrumph.) However, I am going to counteract this feeling by listing my favorite work activity each week. Identifying details will be redacted, obv.

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