Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday favorites

1. Favorite month. November marks the start of real fall: no more silly warm days, brilliantine skies and frivolous scarlet leaves. Time to think about mortality and the ultimate random nature of all things: my favorite month. At least while I am in it. Plus there is the little reprieve at the end that reminds us that molecular disassociation aside, the real purpose of life is a full turkey dinner eaten after a long day of skiing in the company of family and friends (even if not all the family and all the friends.) That reminds me: it's time to book a condo for Thanksgiving.

2. Favorite holiday. Er, not Halloween. I am intrigued by the Day of the Dead (more on this here), but it is not really mine to celebrate.

Aside: Pros and cons of instituting new holidays/ traditions

Pros: Step outside your comfort zone
         Find rituals that address needs not covered in current holiday plan
         Feel pioneering and multicultural
         The creation of new traditions is a beautiful thing (according to parenting magazines, anyway)

Cons: The artificial quality emphasizes the absurdity of all holidays
          Feel like a dork
          Feel like an impostor
          The kids keep asking why are we doing this?
          So do I.

3. Favorite meal this week: the delicious pork and pepper stew my Mom made when Si and I flew out to visit them last weekend, or possibly the accompaniment, pasta and mushrooms made with the succulent fresh oyster mushrooms they picked on the walk we took. Man, oyster mushrooms are good. They make me revise my previous stance on mushrooms as food (which, succinctly: eh). On the same walk we stepped down to the muddy shore of a pond where there were hundreds - well, scores - of dime-sized froggies.

Second aside: I have mentioned before that there is a woeful lack of frogs in the lives of my kids. The frogs probably don't mind this, but it makes me ache a little that we don't live in a place where the perennial absurdity that is a frog can be a common experience. It's partly a climate thing: the high plains is not kind to amphibians. But it's more a situational state: it's because we live in the suburbs, near a creek and a marsh. Our waterways are frogless. And, possibly not coincidentally, largely kidless as well.

4. Favorite book I'm reading this week: The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Short, clever, damning yet generous and manages to open a drafty window on a different world before it slams shut at the end. Close runnerup: A Visit from the Goon Squad. I'm often leery of obvious experimentation - okay, we get it, you're brilliant - but here it is funny and it works.

5. Favorite powerpoint. The one in A Visit from the Goon Squad. Obviously. When else is a powerpoint presentation even going to be mentioned, actually. Which makes me wonder about the realism of using powerpoint for personal expression the way she does here - unless you think of it as a revived technology, some remnant from the past dragged up and put to new and vastly better use. That does happen.

8. Favorite work thing: that niggling nervous tummy feeling of always being late and behind the ball. Oh, wait. Different list.

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