Academic-less Autumn

Autumn in NJ

This is the first autumn of my life that I have not been in school (since I was four, anyway). Even after I graduated from college, I still worked at one, and last fall, I was in grad school. This doesn’t mean too much, really, but it feels like a tiny milestone.

I missed September in the chaos of work and other various excuses. August-September are busy months for my organization, and it’s pretty much an all-hands-on-deck attitude. I did my share of meeting exchange students at the airport/seeing exchange students off to their home countries.  Outside of work I enjoyed staying home for a considerable stretch of time! The focus of this blog has always kind of been the travel in my life, so the official report of September travel does not come up with a wealth of stories.

However, September was filled with time spent with good friends. Labor Day Weekend brought a wine tasting at one of Emily’s friend’s place in Brooklyn. The food, wine and company were amazing.  After that, Emily and I made our way down to Princeton (me by way of home to pick up Oren) to attend a lovely engagement party for one of my oldest friends, John, and his beautiful, and whip smart, fiancée, Meaghan. A surprise appearance from across the pond made the celebration even more special when Ed made a fashionably late entrance. No one but a select few knew he was coming.

It was nice to spend quality time with people throughout September with sketchy mani/pedis (Samantha!), and one, all-day dentist/shopping/hair cut marathon with Mom; lunches/dinners with Courtney, and a dinner date with Noemi. Oren and I even got to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, featuring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette (which was simply wonderful!); thanks to Matt, Julie and Joseph for making that happen.

I also joined a choir in September. I’ve been toying with the idea for a while and I decided I had the time to do it for a while. I’m not totally thrilled with the choir, but it’s a good experience until I restart school again. Even if the choir itself isn’t that great, I got a great friend out of it, so it has been worth it so far.

So September was busy with the tame and mundane, and all the while I have been breaking in my Kindle. I’ve read so many books already:

  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (a re-read and one I absolutely love)
  • Chelsea Chelsea, Bang Bang and Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by (the hilarious and wildly inappropriate) Chelsea Handler
  • Born Standing Up, an autobiography by Steve Martin
  • Fire, by Kristin Cashore
  • The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
  • Home: A Memoir of my Early Years, by Julie Andrews (not a Kindle book, a REAL book!)

I am amazed at  just how many books I’ve been able to get through in a month and a half. That doesn’t even include the books that I’ve listened to and one book that I won’t admit to having read in a public arena ;). I’ve LOVED every second of this rediscovered reading for pleasure and the books have already started to back up. That feeling of getting completely and totally sucked into a story and letting go of all sense of where I am is truly delicious (and a little dangerous when commuting for fear of missing my stop on the train). I’ve got a couple more books in the queue and I couldn’t be more stoked.

October is going to make up for September’s home-body flavor. It revved up quickly with two, four-day weekends in a row because of the High Holidays, during which Oren and I reached the 2.5 year mark in our relationship. This is a record for me (but not for him…yet!). I’ve also got a couple of trips coming up–one is a vacation (!) to California to see friends and one to Italy for work. This coming weekend is the last one in which I will have the luxury of being home and I plan to enjoy it. October is my very favorite month. In New Jersey it’s the month of crisp sunshine and leaves that suddenly burst into color. The weather is not too hot and not too cold. It rains some, but mostly it’s just pure beauty. Some people thing autumn is sad because everything is dying–but what a show! And anyway, things have to die so spring can come again…at least in New Jersey they do.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the most recent political event that is creeping slowing into the news. I walk by the Occupy Wall St. movement every day. They are camping in a “park” (made of concrete, mostly) and have been doing so for weeks. It’s not my style, but I fully support citizens exercising their right to assembly and demonstrating peacefully for a cause they believe in. Every day I walk by and see people simply speaking their minds. We live in a country where we have that luxury. New York City has placed a lot of police force on the scene (presumably for the safety of ALL, including the demonstrators, which I also support, as long as the police are not causing any unrest themselves). Ben & Jerry’s has issued a quite mo(o)ving statement of support for the “Occupiers.”  (Sorry for the pun, I couldn’t resist. Heehee.) Yes, it’s smelly and it’s causing inconvenience for the residents of the Wall St. area, but as someone who works there, I can say that it’s not really impacting my day adversely or otherwise. Now there is talk of “eviction” of the Occupiers. We’ll see how it all ends up.

I’ll probably post again after my various excursions into other parts of the world to share some pictures.

Once again, thanks for reading.

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