Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You complete me, October

Maybe it’s different in your world, but in mine, every day has it’s own special feeling to it. Take Mondays, for example. I can feel the dread of Monday the second I wake up. Wednesdays are good because that delicious feeling of optimism and freedom starts to seep back into my psyche. I love the anticipatory feeling that Thursdays bring. So close to the weekend! Only a few hours left! And then of course, there’s Friday. Two whole days of freedom await. Sleeping late, farmer’s markets, coffee with your peeps, dinner, movies and exercise. Fridays are all about possibilities. Fridays are just plain excellent.

But for as long as I can remember, the entire month of October has felt like 31 Fridays in a row. Not just any Friday, more like 31 Fridays before a 3-day weekend. Maybe a little bit of 11:59 p.m. on December 31 thrown in there too, with a dash of “it’s my birthday and a bunch of hot guys are coming to my party” added for good measure. It seems that no matter what’s happening in my life, where I work, who I’m dating (or not dating) or where I live, October just kicks ass, plain and simple.

Why is this? How can one month transcend all the crap in every day life and the world at large? Here in no particular order are a few things that make me count the days every year ‘til October 1.

College football and tailgating – There’s nothing better than a long Saturday afternoon spent with a bucket of Kentucky Fried, a little beer, a little bourbon and a little SEC action (yes, even Kentucky).

Better sunlight, crisper air – October sun has a unique color and intensity that I love. The air just feels and smells better, especially when there’s a bonfire blowin’ my way.

Back to school – This officially makes me a dork but I loved school. As awkward as I sometimes was in high school, sometimes I still wish life was as simple as who was gonna drive us all to the big Tates Creek/Lafayette soccer game on Friday.

Summer in San Francisco – I challenge any of you – nay, ALL of you – to come to San Francisco on one of our perfect Indian summer October days and tell me it isn’t the greatest city in the world. Go on. I’m waiting. A clear view of the bay, a glass of wine in hand, and - merciful God - finally a day that requires no jacket. I love it here every day but October reminds me that every penny I spend to live here is 100% worth it.

My first date ever: October 18, 1985 Thanks, Kevin. That was the best Pizza Hut pizza I’ve ever had.

Halloween – Admit it, the only thing that keeps Halloween from being everyone’s favorite holiday is that you don’t exchange gifts. Can we change that this year? Because really, dressing up like an idiot, drinking too much and carving gourds, you really can’t beat that. Nothing really captures the spirit of fall like dressing up as a buttery nipple shot or a fluffer.

The World Series – You can hate baseball all season long but you can’t hate it during The World Series. That’d be like spitting in the eye of autumn and who wants to do that? Even with Detroit and St. Louis, I still love catching a few innings with a cold one.

Beginning of college basketball season – All hail the official first day of the season of the GREATEST of all college sports. I loves me some October 15 stroke of midnight.

Pumpkins, apple cider and caramel apples - Don’t worry, I’m not about to pull a Julie Andrews and break into “Raindrops on Roses”. But come on. How can you be in a bad mood when you’ve got a chill in the air, a full moon, crisp leaves underfoot and a hot apple cider in hand while you walk through your neighborhood checking out the pumpkins?

Q4 and the Great Birthday Countdown - October is the passageway to all things fun. Haunted houses, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah (for my Jewish readers), holiday parties where I’ll dress in my finest black revealing velvet only to spend the night sipping cheap wine out of red Solo cups, Christmas, Boxing Day, a week of vacation that doesn’t count against my vacation time and of course, the holiday I spend kissing the same posse of beloved friends on the cheek (“I love you too, Grandma”), New Year’s Eve.

Oh, and no pressure, but there are only 35 shopping days ‘til my 23rd birthday. I’m just sayin’.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"What's up with the quotes?"

I’d just popped in a Brach’s sugar free cinnamon hard candy and was perusing the nutrition facts on the label when I saw it. A statement in quotes. And not just any statement….this statement:

“Excess consumption may have a laxative effect.”

Now, aside from my initial shock and delight at the possibility that cinnamon hard candy could actually replace my Fiber One cereal and Ryvyta crackers, I was confused as to why this statement needed to be in quotes. Did someone famous say this? George Washington? Mary Kate Olsen? Calista Flockhart? Was the nutrition-label-typist-person just so embarrassed at the mere mention of anything having to do with (shhhh) bowel movements that they had to put it in quotations so that no one would mistake this for a first person statement?

I can almost hear the inner dialogue now of Bertha, in Chattanooga, Tennessee (where my Brach’s candies were manufactured): “Ain’t no way I’m puttin’ nothin’ havin’ to do with shit on the back of this bag.” Maybe Bertha is afraid that her friends over in Monteagle, Tennessee, knowing that she is ultimately responsible for what goes on the back of that Brach’s sugar free cinnamon hard candy bag, will read it and give her shit for having to type something about bathroom habits? I just don’t know.

Why, why, WHY? Do people put things in quotes that don’t need to be in quotes? Does it drive anyone else crazy but me? When I’m reading a menu and I see “The best pancakes in town…guaranteed!” I want to know exactly who is making this guarantee.

It’s even worse when quotes are used for things that aren’t even interesting, like “Since 1959.” That’s not even a complete sentence. And it’s not interesting. And who cares? And who said it?

If there’s a reason for these random quotes, someone….please enlighten me.

“Bringing you quality ranting since 2005.”