Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where Have All the Manners Gone?!

Our country sure did go to town this week, huh? A brief conversation with my mother this evening brought my attention to the extraordinary amount of yelling that went down in the past few days.

Let's recap:
  • Wednesday, 9/9/09: In a shocking move of total disrespect for the position of Commander-in-Chief, virtually unknown Rep. Joe Wilson makes himself wildly (in)famous by yelling "YOU LIE!" during President Obama's address to both chambers of Congress about the need for health care reform. As my (mostly online) pal DCC wrote, " [Obama] will forever be the President and you will forever be the Honorable Joe Wilson who acted to ... dishonor his position, his office and his constituents."

  • Saturday, 9/12/09: Rep. Wilson's fellow misguided countrymen converge in our nation's capital to display racism & idiocy at its finest, waving signs bearing Nazi comparisons & general terrifyingness, as they crowd the National Mall for Glenn Beck's "9/12 Project." Calling themselves patriots & reveling in their own lies, these disgraces to the word "patriot" invaded our fair city for a full 24 hours, inspiring fear in its residents - fear, that is, of contracting that deadly disease known as conservativism, albeit conservatism's most ignorant faction.

  • Saturday, 9/12/09, cont'd: Taking the War Against Manners off the political court and onto the real court, tennis phenom Serena Williams is disqualified from the U.S. Open when she turns on the lineswoman & threatens to "shove this f*cking ball down your throat" after a less-than-desirable call. Mind you, this is after she smashes a racket in rage.

  • Sunday, 9/13/09: Hip-hop hothead Kanye West storms the stage at MTV's Video Music Awards, interrupting country cutie Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video. Declaring to God & the world that Beyonce deserved the award instead, Kanye proceeds to storm off stage (& be escorted out of the building) while Swift, open-mouthed, slowly makes her way off stage in a flurry of confusion & receding boos.
What a week. Miss Manners would be ashamed!

When Autumn Comes, It Doesn't Ask

It’s fall in the city. Sort of. Sure, it feels like it now, but what about when Mother Nature gets fussy & it’s suddenly 85 degrees in mid-October? Yeah, Mother Nature, I’ve got your number. I know what’s up.

Anyway. Fall in the “south” (sort of, as DC isn’t south of much) is nothing like fall in the Midwest (sort of, as Ohio is similarly not west of very much). In Ohio, everything turns from green to autumn, almost literally overnight. One day it’s regular old foliage, & the next day it’s fall. Brilliant, gold-toned fall, the kind that heightens all of your senses & makes you feel alive.

Here, there aren’t so many colors. And there’s a lot more rain. Nature just kind of clams up, like someone murdered summer & winter’s too slow to come take its place yet, so everything’s on hiatus in between. Nothing is ever really red or orange or yellow. It’s still green or it’s already brown.

A lot of people hate autumn because it means winter’s on its way. Me? Well, I’ll save my description of the differences between winters for another day, probably a winter day. But I love fall, even here. It’s too short to spend the whole beautiful season dreading the impending cold & wind. Even without the colors, I’ll take fall over summer any day.

Things I look forward to in the fall:
  • Having an excuse not to go outside. I hate summer, so I think the heat is a good enough reason to stay in, but no one else does. The fall rainy season, however, is widely accepted as a legitimate reason to be an indoor kid.
  • Oktoberfest on the Cuyahoga Falls Riverfront, though I haven’t been in years. This also means kettle corn, corndogs & mullet-spotting.
  • Pumpkin carving. Again, it’s been a few years (ludicrous to carve a pumpkin with no porch to put it on), but this is one of my absolute favorite fall activities, & I’ve been known to force friends & family into participation.
  • The return of primetime TV. Dear "Grey's Anatomy"/"Desperate Housewives"/"Fringe" - I've missed you so.
  • Halloween. Everyone here hates it, so it hasn’t been properly celebrated for at least three years, but I get a rush out of pretending to be something else for a night. And having an excuse to drink & stuff my face. (See photo for last year's costume: "fishing for compliments.")
  • Similarly, Thanksgiving, which means a trip to my grandma’s to spend QT with the fam, which also involves our annual Chanukkah/Christmas gift exchange. Ah, the joys of an interreligious clan.
  • A time to be emo. Fall just feels a little more introspective than the other seasons, giving me the go-ahead to be slightly emotionally wimpy for at least two months.
  • Scarves. And sweaters, though I promise to take it easy on turtlenecks this year. Oh, & boots, too. Also, a bonus: no shorts.
  • Starbucks' caramel apple cider. On a related note, Starbucks' salted hot chocolate, though this often gets pushed off until it’s truly cold.
  • The dwindling of tourist season. Everyone's too busy with school & work to make it into the city to clog up our escalators with stupidity.
What do you love about fall? And how can I end this post wittily?

I cannot.
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