Happy Columbus Day! Happy Thanksgiving, Canadian colleagues!
Via Mr. Frog:
Have you ever been apple picking?
Why yes, though not recently.
Is there a dish you make/eat only during this time of the year?
Pumpkin pie. It’s not nearly my favorite pie, but if tradition demands, tradition demands.
Will you attend a tail gate party this season?
Have I EVER gone to a tailgate party? Maybe inadvertently – someone was tailgating and invited me to join, but I’d say no.
When do you turn on the heat?
The heat comes on automatically when my fingers turn blue while I’m inside the house. Actually, the heat turns on automatically when the house temp goes below some threshold; it’s been on at least one night already.
How many sweaters do you own?
Probably four, but I’m never sure. My wife put them away last spring and I have no idea where they are.
Are you fond of Nouveau Beaujolais wine?
Je ne comprends pas.
Do you get excited about Halloween?
I did even into my twenties, then not so much. I do now because my daughter is trick-or-treating, and since she’s allergic to peanuts, my wife and I can swipe her Sanheim swag.
How about Thanksgiving?
I feel real ambivalence about Thanksgiving. On the one hand I am thankful for what I have. On the other hand, it often feels like a real hassle, either going to the in-laws or, on a couple occasions, hosting my in-laws. No offense to my in-laws, many of whom live less than an hour and a quarter away, but it’s one of those times when my tiny birth family’s distance really bugs me. Also, I’ve had some really crummy Thanksgivings in the past, probably none worse than being invited to someone’s house, then having the invitation withdrawn – for reasons that were unclear – the day before; I sulked on takeout Chinese that year.
Is there an activity you do only in the autumn?
Well, rake leaves, which I add to the compost pile. I usually wait until Veterans Day.
Have you ever burned leaves?
Do you own any ‘scarecrow’ decorations?
I don’t believe so.
Do you plant bulbs?
A few years ago, we planted tulips on an extremely mild December 1. I think Carol still does, but I’ve lost my gardening mojo.
Your fondest autumn memory?
It was a party in 1987…well, that’s all you get.
When does fall begin for you?
When I need a warmer jacket. Sometimes it’s September 15, other years it’s more like November. It’s definitely fall now; I need gloves to ride my bike.
What is your favorite aspect of fall?
I love playoff baseball, football starting around Thanksgiving.
What do you like to drink in the fall?
What is fall weather like where you live?
It seems so variable. It usually gets gradually, or occasionally suddenly cooler. Often, there is a temperature recovery for a few days, before it gets colder and windy I associate November with a dance of the dead leaves.
What color is fall?
Do you have a favorite fall chore?
I believe “favorite” and “chore” don’t belong in the same sentence.
What is your least favorite thing about fall?
That impending feeling of death. One fall about four years ago, a friend of mine, the husband of another friend of mine, and the mother of still another friend of mine all died, and I ended up at all of those funerals. And there were others for which I did not attend the service because of distance.
What is your favorite fall holiday?
It used to be Columbus Day because Lydia’s day care was open, Carol and I had it off from work, and we could go on a date (lunch and/or movie), but her day care’s closed this year. So, I pick Veterans Day: the notion of a war to end all wars is so appealing, if ultimately unreachable.
What’s your favorite kind of pie?
Almost any fruit pie: strawberry-rhubarb, apple, blueberry, cherry.
Do you have a favorite fall book?
No. Winter, yes, spring, yes.
What I’m recording tonight:
Koppel: The Last Lynching
Ted Koppel speaks with three Democratic delegates whose journeys to nominate Barack Obama took them through thornier moments in American racial history.
Discovery Channel, 10 pm, EDT (also early tomorrow morning at 2 am EDT).