Wednesday, November 24

Tomorrow is Turkey Day!!

Okay ... the passage of time. So crazy. Like, for instance, the lightning bolt that struck me square in the forehead two minutes ago while I was looking at my Netflix queue, and realized that DECEMBER is next week. I had such high hopes for this year, as I'm sure you'll remember. I. actually, can't remember them right at this moment, but I feel certain that the list was at least five items, and that probably only one of those items was actually accomplished. I'm not sure which, because, as I sit here, I can't really come up with any serious accomplishments for the year. And that's disappointing, isn't it? Thank goodness I can have a smile on my face as I write that!
So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We are off to celebrate with Brian's family. Of all the things I wanted to have done before we leave in the morning, I think maybe two or three are done. I'm having a crazy giggle right now about my apparent lack of ability to get anything done lately!!
But, as a point of random information, I am taking the Thanksgiving weekend off from my farming. I've got no crops growing, and all is just going to chill for the next few days. I'm feeling oddly liberated. Oddly.

Tuesday, November 23

You see it? The shadow looks like a bear

ITEM!: You remember how I had that tantrum not-too-long ago about how Cox Communications and Facebook changed their font and made it harder to read? Well, let's just add FarmVille's Market to the changed and harder to read, and Netflix to just changed. (I imagine Netflix must have felt they had to do something to the website to make it seem like they would make good use of the more money they will start charging their customers in January.) I'm really pissy about the FarmVille thing, too. They took a very simple, straight-forward menu, and turned it into a multi-sectional, less intuitive, and, yes, harder to read, market. I feel like all my complaining about things being harder to read will make you all wonder about my own vision acuity. Rest assured, my eyes are fine; I'm just cranky about change when it's pointless.
ITEM!: I had no interest in watching Dancing with the Stars this season, and, in fact, I didn't see a single episode. Though I have been peripherally aware of my friends' frustration, entertainment website commentary, and the news, so I do know the current happenings on the show. So, to find out that Jennifer Grey, she of Dirty Dancing and "No one puts Baby in a corner," won this season's contest is good news. I'm having mixed feelings about missing this season though, I feel kinda bummed that I have no ownership in Grey's win, but I feel kind of good to have stayed so far from the Sarah Palin thing. I think she exploited Bristol's participation on the show, and used it for her own publicity. Bad form.
ITEM!: I have so much to do tomorrow, that it ended up being a good thing that almost all our social plans for the day were foiled by various incidents. Our whirlwind weekend begins in earnest on Thursday morning, so it all needs to be ready to get going by Wednesday night. That means, everyone needs to be packed, there must be copious amounts of preparedness, and more importantly, that Kimmie needs to take an attitudinal chill pill before embarking on any of these adventures.
ITEM!: Also, Glee was frickin' awesome tonight. This show is, by far, one of the best television shows ever. Love. It!

Monday, November 22

This must be awesome to see

Okay, so I did get a lot of my story written today, and I'm pretty excited about it. Actually, I shared my idea with Brian this morning, and he was impressed, too! But, it's super late right now, and I just want to go to bed.

Sunday, November 21

Random image in "Blog Photos" folder

To answer your question, no, I did not write my story today. I actually didn't think I would. Did I even promise that last night? I don't remember, and will not check. So, it's all good, I've done some "research" on the piece, and am, in fact, debating how subtle or not-at-all subtle the poetry will be in the story. It's rolling around in my head, I assure you. I will not forget it.
Anyway, as Sundays go, this one was okay. I feel like it lasted long enough. We tried a Five Guys Hamburgers place for lunch today, and walked away with a distinct feeling of "meh." But having checked in on Facebook for Five Guys, we discovered that for checking in at Chipotle right next door, we would get a two-for-one deal on burritos, tacos and salads. So, after eating our lunch, we walked next door and bought our dinner ... for $8. Can't beat that!
Tonight's Family Movie Night film was Finding Nemo. I'm beginning to wonder if Sydney might just be too young for this exercise, because she won't sit still, and gets easily distracted from the movie. Yeah, yeah, that's a kid thing. And she does get excited about Family Movie Night, so I'll keep it going, but my goodness, child needs to learn to sit still.
Also, could someone tell me why I seem incapable of sitting down and writing out these thank-you notes from Sydney's birthday party? Jeez, they're like the craziest monkey on my back, and I can't ring myself to take care of them. I'm a dork. And becoming borderline rude and ungrateful. I need to get on those. Like yesterday. Or tomorrow.

Saturday, November 20

The story is not about a cow

My Christmas present to myself is going to be sending in the last of my 10 assignments for the children's writing course that, yes, I still have yet to complete. I bet you all thought I had totally bailed on it. Not the case, though I forgive you for thinking that.
It's a bizarreness to me that I can go a couple months in between assignments, to the point where the course I fancied would take only a year to finish is now closing in on its third year. You don't have to say it, because I will: "That is ridiculous, Kimberly." Because of that, I'm more embarrassed than proud for having gotten this far in the course.
All my assignments have been praised when they should be, and critiqued when they should have been, so I don't have a negative opinion, merely a LAZY disposition. And this concerns me on several fronts. The most obvious of which is my complete and utter disdain for a deadline when I'm writing my own fiction. And really, my low esteem for the fiction as well. But, that is neither here nor there, as I have an idea for my final project, and will get to work on it soon.
Okay, okay. You want to know. I get that. Well, I've had an affinity and talent for cheesy poetry all my life, and I really love bright, fun books. The answer, and therefore, my calling, must be children's read-aloud picture books. This really has been my goal since I started this course -- figuring out how to write these kinds of books and getting them published.
Unfortunately, the focus of the course is more along the lines of magazine articles written for kids, and chapter books, too. I know that this is why I take so much time between assignments really: I've no interest in writing these kinds of pieces. But, with Assignment 10, we are encouraged to write our own story, for either a magazine or a book, and take advantage of the instructor's advice. (I'll admit to thinking that this kind of encouragement should have been put out there in Assignment 2 or 3, but whatever.)
They make me feel like there's a smaller market for picture books by saving it to the end. That could be good, and it could be bad. But I'm liking my story idea, and I can see it becoming a series, of sorts. Tomorrow, I write cheesy children's poetry! I'm so excited!!

Friday, November 19

Is there really a place like that?

I'm watching this movie, Letters to Juliet. I'm actually liking it. I didn't think I would, but I find myself quite entranced. In fact, every time I start to type, I get all sucked into the film again. I've been staring at this screen for an hour. Honestly. Okay, but the end was kinda cheesy. Fantastic!

Thursday, November 18

Cookies! Cookies!

I wish I could tell you about all the lovely things I did today, but since there are no things I did today, I've got nothing to tell you. And that sucks ... right out loud. Sydney and I left the house for exactly one errand -- swim school -- and that was it. I hate living the life of a sick person, but colds just do that to you sometimes. I'm so over it.
I think a chocolate chip cookie will help.

Wednesday, November 17

A good, and a badder, day

I am both incredibly pissy and incredibly loved at the same time right now.
First, because it'll make me feel better, I'll start with the being incredibly loved. You remember how I dropped my cold-beverage Starbucks reusable cup a few months ago? Do you remember how frickin' upset I was about the loss of this ridiculously difficult-to-find cup? Well, a week or so ago, Brian found the grande-sized cup on the Starbucks site, with a peppermint-striped straw. I promptly forgot about it. Then, yesterday, my hubby came home with the awesome cup for me! Yay me!! Then, I told my mommy about it later that night, and guess what!! She had bought me the venti-sized cup (which, admittedly, is my preferred size for cold drinks) that day, too, and was saving it as a surprise! And THEN! I got a text from Katy this evening that had a picture of a surprise she had gotten for me today: ANOTHER STARBUCKS CUP!! Check me out! I am plentiful of Starbucks cups!! Having said that, I told Katy to hold onto the one she bought, because there is no way that even I could use three cold-beverage Starbucks cups.
Now, on to the incredibly pissy. I have a child who, with a snotty nose, does not appreciate sick-person boundaries. She's all in my face, which, on its own, is okay. But let's add to that the husband who seems to just refuse to cover his mouth when he coughs. And so, with that lovely little grouping of gross ickiness, I submit the following: my nose is running, my throat hurts, and I taste a cold in my mouth.
My family, that I love, has come together in a seemingly benign fashion to wreck my health, and make life miserable for the next few days. I swear, we simply can not have the same kind of winter as we did last year, where we, as a family, were sick for the entire season. I have to get this illness out of the house. Anyone know how to anti-bacterialize a house? Because I need a sterile environment; STAT.

Tuesday, November 16

Catching some waves, dude

Check out this picture. It was taken by Michael Cunningham, a surfer, photographer and advocate in New Zealand. The orcas come to the area regularly, and are frequently seen surfing the waves. The anomaly here is that someone had a camera to take their picture doing it. Here's the article, found on

New Zealand orcas join surfers in search for the perfect wave
When the latest big swell arrived at Sandy Bay in northern New Zealand, it wasn't the waves making headlines, but the sleek black-and-white surfers who rode them.
Orcas, or killer whales, positioned themselves prominently and made it clear they were the real experts -- and that no mere human on a surfboard was going to deny them whatever waves they wanted.
"They knew what they were doing," Michael Cunningham, a Northern Advocate photographer and witness, told the newspaper. "They looked like they'd done it before."
New Zealand's orcas, unlike those in other parts of the world, are known to occasionally embark on surfing forays, but rarely is someone on the beach ready with a camera.
Cunningham had been bodysurfing when the orcas arrived Friday, but quickly swam ashore to grab his camera. His images, which show orcas charging through the waves, remain in high demand.

Ingrid Visser, founder of the Orca Research Trust near Sandy Bay, said few sharp images of this phenomenon exist and that Cunningham's photos could be used in a research paper on the island nation's surfing orcas.
Visser, a foremost authority on orcas, said she does not know of anywhere else on earth where orcas spend a significant amount of time riding waves. She and a research crew had observed the same orcas surfing at different beaches the day before and after their now-famous session at Sandy Bay, which is north of Auckland.
Because Visser spends so much time studying orcas she has witnessed them surfing many times, but always from a boat behind the breaking waves. However, that's also a sight to behold because their kick-outs, as the waves close out or get too close to land, are far more dramatic than those of ordinary surfers.
"They'll often come right out of the back of the wave and breach out into the trough that follows behind," Visser said in a Monday interview. "And that's really exciting to see as well."
She said New Zealand orcas are a distinct population and that playfully riding waves, the way dolphins ride waves in many places throughout the world, is part of their culture. However, since orcas can weigh up to eight tons and are atop the food chain, surfing alongside them can be unsettling, to say the least.
"Some of the surfers, like the orca, just go for it and have an absolute buzz," Visser said. "And then other surfers freak out and tell people how it was a life-threatening situation, so you get both extremes."
New Zealand's orcas prey largely on rays and small sharks and have never been implicated in attacks on humans.
Cunningham said foreign tourists were the first out of the water when the orcas appeared Friday. He had been swimming for about an hour before they arrived, and after catching a wave in he looked back and saw several orcas, including a calf, riding a large wave shoreward.
Had he been holding a camera then, it would have been quite the family snapshot.

I still have such a love for these amazing animals. I love that they're playful ... and surfing ... in New Zealand. This is just an awesome story.

Monday, November 15

Monday, Monday, Monday

ITEM!: The pediatrician has verified my thought that perhaps it may be time to lose Sydney's naps. The kid is taking her naps later than she should lately, and because of that, she's falling asleep way past her bedtime. So, to get her to fall asleep at the appropriate time, we need to not take naps. This, of course, is more an issue for me that for her. She's happy to roll with quiet time, but me, I prefer the couple hours of uninterrupted solitude that the nap provides.
ITEM!: Today was free bundtlet day at Nothing Bundt Cakes. I made my way to the store after a reminder text from Mom, so didn't have the opportunity to stop at home and print out the coupon. And you know what? They would not give me the bundtlet, even though I had the damn notice on Facebook on my phone! So, we left, and I was pissy. Then, I realized that there is a FedEx Office (formerly Kinko's) next door to the shop. I showed Sydney how easy and fast it could be to bop into a shop, log on to the Internets, print out a coupon, and BAM!! get a free cake. You see? I am a good mother.
ITEM!: I am getting a total kick out of my love for the canceled television show Firefly tonight. The fact that Castle's Nathan Fillion is my TV Boyfriend is no secret, but on tonight's Chuck, we saw both Adam Baldwin and Summer Glau together on screen again. Fillion, Baldwin and Glau all starred on the wonderful Firefly. It's pretty awesome that they're all on TV, and that I got to see them all on one night is gravy.
ITEM!: I need a babysitter for a couple hours this weekend. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 hits the theaters on Friday, and I simply can't bring my four-year-old little girl, who has no knowledge of Harry Potter's universe, and therefore couldn't appreciate the movie. Also, she'd talk the whole time.

Friday, November 12

Pained neck, TV trays and iPads, oh my!

ITEM!: I have the weirdest neck pain right now. I really can't explain where it is very well: along the back, but right at the base of my head. The weirdest part is that I can feel it through my jaw, and when I lean my head back, it seems to travel up my head. I am incredibly excited to take some NyQuil and go to bed.
ITEM!: Katy had the most brilliant idea on how to solve my current issue with Daisy stealing Sydney's food off the coffee table: TV trays. This, actually, is incredibly brilliant. The problem stems from our eating arrangements. Sydney eats her food in front of the television. I always swore my kid wouldn't do that, but she does. The coffee table is low, as coffee tables are, making any left-over, or unattended, food a prime target for the shark. Getting a TV tray, and setting Sydney up on the floral chair, which still is in front of the television, is a great solution. Sydney has a safe place to put her food; Daisy can't get to it; and maybe there will be a bit less trouble rolling around.
ITEM!: The battery on my laptop decided to shut down abruptly this evening, so I'm composing is post on the iPad. I see up at e top of the screen that there is a place to attach a photo to the post. I am intrigued to see what kind of artwork is available for me to use.

Beautifully written via iPhone or iPad.

Thursday, November 11

No! I will win!! I will win!!

If you can believe it, I'm feeling icky again. And this one, I completely blame on my husband. He's been fighting a nasty cold over the last few days. I say "fighting," but really he's just suffering from it and refusing to take any medication. So, because of him, I woke up this morning with a soreness in my throat, and my left nostril all closed up. I've sneezed a few times today, blown my nose a few times, and even coughed twice. It's a problem.
Of course, what I am not telling you is that the kid has had a runny nose for the last week, and she doesn't appreciate personal "sick" space. But still, this illness is completely Brian's fault.
As it is, I declare war on this one. W-A-R. I will not submit.

Wednesday, November 10

The second yearly anniversary

I love today as a cheesy anniversary. Nineteen years ago today, Brian and I kissed for the very first time. It's ridiculous that I remember it so well, but until the actual wedding anniversary came along, this was the date by which we judged our longevity. I know it because it was our first year of college, and I had the next day, Veteran's Day, off from school. I'd love to tell you that it was all about romance and flowers and a date and all that, but if I remember right, we were kinda drunk and in my dorm room. Still, it was an awesome first kiss. As it must have been, to keep me around for 19 years.
I've given up insisting that this date be remembered as significantly as July 21, but in my head it really is as important as the wedding day. It's like my own special day. I like reminding my hubby about it, because in the same look that tells me I'm being silly for remembering it, he holds my hand and smiles. It's fun to remember ourselves all those years ago, how young we were, and how bright the future was ahead of us.
Damn. I wish Brian didn't have a crazy, bad cold right now. I'd suggest a make-out session. Boo.

Tuesday, November 9

Cruises, actually, are pretty awesome

So, Mom and I were kind of giggling about this unfortunate cruise ship incident. (We know that no one is hurt on the ship. We're not totally evil.) See, for Mom, she gets perverse enjoyment out of someone else being stuck on a cruise ship in the water, as she and Howie had a similar incident one year when cruising through the Panama Canal. (My terror from that incident was in learning that they were coming home four or five days earlier than their original itinerary. Not that the house was trashed or anything ... because I was a good kid. It's just, you know, everything had to be put back in its place really fast.)
Mom was disappointed that Carnival Cruise Lines couldn't do more for their guests' comfort, as in barbecuing food, as well as serving yummy cold entrees. Her cruise made the most out of the situation, and the guests really didn't suffer a whole lot. I mentioned that yes, their food is an issue, and that the USS Ronald Reagan is on the way to save the cruise ship, but reminded Mom that she was on a Crystal Cruise. These people are on a Carnival Cruise. The passengers may have to develop a taste for Spam once the aircraft carrier arrives, but you don't hear a word about how the ship's low on booze. Plenty of that!

Monday, November 8

Finally!! Cold nights!!

Even though it's not cold, cold outside yet, I've begun the cooler-weather preparations in the house. Our micro-fleece blanket is in the dryer, and Sydney's is in the washer. I knew it was time because I had to lay a throw blanket over our regular blanket for me to get cozy warm in bed last night, even with my two little space heaters cuddled up next to me. And this morning, at about 6:30 a.m., Sydney crawled into be with me saying that she wanted to sleep under the warm covers. And when I asked her to clarify if she was cold last night, and was told yes, I knew it was definitely time to get the warm blankets out. I will not have a cold baby in my house. It's just not allowed. So, to the blankets we go. Of course, I do have a space heater for her room, but I figure that with the new bed and official covers instead of just a blanket or two, she should be okay without the actual heater. We'll see though. No. Cold. Babies.
Also, I'm having a hard time explaining to my kid why no one else is really decorated for Thanksgiving, and why everyone is just going straight to Christmas. I do have Thanksgiving decorations, which include turkeys and pilgrims out and about through the house. I enjoy the process of building up to the big holiday, which means only turkeys and pilgrims through November, and that Christmas only comes in December. In my neurotic, holiday-crazed head, I get really tired of any decorations that are out for more than a month, so to keep it nice and fresh for my head, any holiday's accessories are out for only those 30 to 31 days. Any longer, and I start to get bugged by them. That's why I love January so much: no holiday. And why May is such a welcome month: no holidays for six months. It's no secret that I love my holidays, but I can only take so much of them. I hate that stores have so much Christmas stuff out already. It starts my inner-holiday-decoration-appreciation clock too early.

p.s. This picture is of Mt. Erebus in New Zealand. I don't know if it actually is cold here, but it sure does look it!

Sunday, November 7

I like pumpkin

I think I can safely say that I like the taste of pumpkin. Examples that verify this: good, old-fashioned pumpkin pie; The Cheesecake Factory's pumpkin cheesecake; Starbucks' pumpkin latte; and finally, Einstein's pumpkin bagel. The pumpkin bagel is actually the one thing that made me think, "Wow. I like pumpkin." I tried one last week, as I thought to take a chance on the 99-cent delight behind the glass, and was very happy that I did. In fact, I've been craving another ever since. So, I asked Brian to stop and pick up a couple bagels for me, including the pumpkin (because blueberry is always the required bagel purchase). I ate a blueberry this morning, saving the pumpkin for later today or tomorrow. Since my food selections ranged in different ways over the course of the day, and the pumpkin bagel was not eaten, it waits in the kitchen. Good stuff that I can't wait to get to eating tomorrow morning.

Saturday, November 6

Time changes, again

I know I whine about this every year, but I hate, hate, hate that Arizona does not follow Daylight Savings Time. I think that every state should either do it, or not do it. I don't think they should be allowed to be all, whatever, about staying in step with the time zones throughout the rest of the country. It's just wrong. It's just the consistency of it. When we were in Boston, at the least, I was always three hours ahead of California. Summer, winter, spring or fall, it was always a three-hour difference. Living in Arizona means that half the year it's one hour ahead, half the year it's the same. It's lame. Also, I don't get an extra hour of sleep tomorrow.
Though actually, I might, because Sydney didn't fall asleep until close to 10 p.m. tonight.

Friday, November 5

I am a very productive farmer

ITEM!: My friend, Tara, just returned from a FarmVille sabbatical. I'm constantly surprised by my neighbors in FarmVille that a.) just stop playing, like Danielle, Shauna, Rosemary and Kim; or b.) decide to take a break from the game, like Tara. I've been playing this game for more than a year, and I can't bring myself to step away from it for more than a couple days at a time. And that's only when I've set up my crops for the time away. I'm envious, honestly, of those that can walk away without looking back, or without carrying a guilty conscience. I imagine most of my love of the game is the control over everything on it: crops, buildings, animals, design. It's my own little universe, I guess, where I'm in charge, and that's the attraction.
ITEM!: I'm beginning to love the Places function of Facebook. I check in most everywhere I go, especially Starbucks. I only check in at the locations that don't specifically link me personally to any place; for example, I don't check in at Syd's school, or at my home, or someone else's home. But I've got no problem telling people the cool places I go in my very exciting life.
ITEM!: My Thanksgiving decorations rock this year, and my kid agrees with me. In fact, when we were in Target the other day, and we spied all the Christmas stuff, Sydney asked me, "Don't they have Thanksgiving, too? Where are the Thanksgiving decorations?" I had to explain that some stores don't do Thanksgiving; they just go straight to Christmas. She said, "But don't they know that Thanksgiving comes first, and then Christmas?" Amen, sister!
ITEM!: You know, I vowed to not eat any McDonald's or french fries for the rest of the year, and I've held to that. I'm increasingly pleased that I did not choose to give up the peppermint mochas. Because they are delicious!

Thursday, November 4

Why make it hard to read you?

Okay, I've had two pieces of technology near and dear to me go wonky over the last 36 hours. Not really wonky, but it's like they're plotting against me to try to convince me I need glasses.
First, our cable company, Cox, changed the format of it's DVR guide, to what I'm sure some dork in programming thought was edgy, but instead is frickin' difficult to read. Instead of light purple background and white text, it is now some turquoise and teal combination that hurts my eyes.
Second, Facebook has messed with its font size on the news feed, making it smaller and black. It used to be light blue text, in a larger size, on a white background. No kidding, the font size dropped from 16 pt. to, like, 10 pt. It's ridiculous. And with the black text, it's painful to look at.
So, here I am. I love my Facebook, and I love my DVR. And right now, they both hurt my eyes. Is this some kind of conspiracy? Are the technology gods trying to tell me that I spend too much time with them? Are they ... *gasp* ... breaking up with me?

Wednesday, November 3

"I love you most of all, peppermint mocha"

Sydney and I had a playdate with some friends yesterday, and among other things Nicole and I discussed working out. She mentioned that her trainer had sent out an e-mail on Monday that asked her clients to reply back to her with one thing that they would give up for the rest of the year. Nicole hadn't yet decided what she wanted to give up, but the conversation has inspired me. I too will give up something that's not good. Well, it's good, but bad for me, workout-wise.
Is the suspense getting to you?
McDonald's and french fries. (Though probably the best thing for me to give up for the rest of the year is Starbucks' peppermint mocha. But since they only have red cups with peppermint mochas for this season, I will not be making that pledge. The peppermint mocha stays.)
McDonald's, in general and including all food, except iced tea. And french fries. Of course, french fries, because I really do love them, and because I think it might make a large impact on my eating habits. If french fries no longer drive my food choices, then we may just have hit on the best way to get me to change my eating practices. I feel better already!

Tuesday, November 2

I voted

I enjoy the process of voting. I've not missed a single election or voting opportunity since I was 18. I feel pretty strongly about it, and I think voting is a privilege and our right as Americans, and I think it's a waste of citizenship to not vote. I appreciate the struggles that the country's founding fathers put forth to establish a REPUBLIC, and I love the suffragettes for fighting for my right to vote and be counted with any man standing next to me.
Slight digression: I think that the men and women of the current military are brave and amazing, but I do not believe that anyone is fighting a war -- right now -- to ensure my right to vote. That war was fought a long time ago. The possibility that our country would actually be attacked to endanger our right to vote is highly unlikely. While I honor each person's commitment to the military, and I thank them for their service and protection of the country (and its interests), I don't think they're fighting a war for the civil rights of American citizens. Politicians should stop acting like the current military actions are the reason why we are able to vote today.
HOWEVER, I do sometimes feel like the whole political system and its "representatives" should be scrapped. The whole thing just seems flawed lately. I don't think any of the current crop of politicians really cares too much about "the people," and are all out to either make a name for themselves or make money for themselves. It's disheartening. As much as you hear about working together and compromise, the themes are just not part of the Washington, D.C. culture. It's the business of hate. And fear. And not caring about anything but money.
Yes, I'm incredibly blue in my opinions regarding the good of the "people." I'm incredibly liberal about a whole lot of stuff. I won't apologize for that. I want the government to do more for its people, and I want the people to do more for their government. Why can't we all just get along? How, in the stars, are we ever to become a better nation of better people if we don't make some drastic changes?
Ditch it and start over, with people who aren't politicians, but who are smart enough to know their stuff. Christine O'Donnell need not apply.
I submit no solutions. I merely voice my concerns. Isn't it cool how that's my right? And that's why I vote.

Monday, November 1


I actually really like the month of November. It's the beginning of the actual holiday season, as far as my neurotic head is concerned, and generally, it also is the start of the cooler months. (Not so much right now. It's highs in the 90s over the next couple days here.) I like that it's the end of the year, almost, which means it's about time to start fresh. I also like that it starts with "N."