Thursday Night, November 16

1) My goodness, you’d think it had never snowed in November before! Would everyone just calm down, please?

1a) That said, I was surprised by how quickly it came down. There wasn’t a flake visible when I got home, and when I opened the curtains less than two hours later, poof! Winter wonderland!

2) While holiday card shopping with a couple colleagues late this morning, I unexpectedly stumbled on a fabulous new book, How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England: A Guide for Knaves, Fools, Harlots, Cuckolds, Drunkards, Liars, Thieves, and Braggarts, by Ruth Goodman. What fun!

3) First, sort all the blocks into piles by color. Decide what color is most fashionable, and begin your design with those. Highlight with complementary colors, and accent with all remaining colors. Be sure to consider what shapes fit best together!

Thursday Morning, November 15

1) So many thoughts about this article about absentee ballots in Florida and Georgia being rejected because voter signatures don’t match those on file. My head is imploding just thinking about it. Certainly my signature doesn’t match every time I write it. Hell, I was nicknamed Chickenscratch in third grade because my early cursive was so bad! But the fact that so VERY many schools no longer even teach penmanship means that young adults are either losing, or never even acquiring, the ability to WRITE their own signature! From the article: “The culture, and technology, are making signatures a devalued currency,” said Tamara Plakins Thornton, a University at Buffalo professor who wrote a cultural history of handwriting in America. “They came into popularity as a means of expressing a person’s individuality, which made them good for identification. Now people will just use an emoji.”

2) Last night I did something that will, finally, bring me into the 21st century. More news as it develops.

3) Another contented early morning state of (almost) deep relaxation. That makes three times this week. I have no idea why this is happening - I don’t deserve it! - but I am so grateful.

Wednesday Morning, November 14

1) Just now, for the very first time, I had to check the survey box labeled “Age: 55-64.” #agingactressyesterdaysglamorqueen

2) Gray, turquoise, purple.

3) Far too early to be so very ready for my nap . . . but there it is. (See #1 above :-) )

Tuesday Morning, November 13

1) Between 5:40 - 6:30 AM this morning, after fitful sleep, I achieved the most beautiful, contented state of deep relaxation, from which emerged just enough consciousness not to be upset when the alarm clock went off. I want to carry this feeling with me throughout the day.

1a) During this brief, beautiful period I had a dream in which Mrs. Keith appeared, the very kind and sweet Grande Dame of ye Byllyt when I worked there. She looked just as she always did, but she was upset that someone had removed a tree that had been planted by some Scandinavian dancers from the top of a hill. I turned around and, lo, there was a low hill in the sunshine from which a large tree had very clearly been removed! I suggested that [Insert Name of Unloved Person Here] had been responsible, which got general laughter and a couple gasps from the crowd.

2) Grateful to have had yesterday as a holiday, which I spent completely at home working on a project, writing, and keeping house.

3) Etiquetteer has started to remind people to update their holiday card lists, and my goodness, I sure need to start doing that myself!

Veterans Day Night, 2018 - The People You Meet

1) BRUNCH: In a development that will surprise no one, I arrived about half an hour early at Island Creek Oyster Bar for brunch with two of my closest friends. This allowed me not only the chance to enjoy an Aperol spritz at the bar first, but also to enjoy a conversation about mixology with the Handsome Bartender Younger Than I. Because our discussion started with Aperol, he actually made me a sample size of a cocktail he created involving bourbon (?) and Aperol and a few other things (“Just the essence of a few woodland herbs and flowers,” as I often say) called a Kingston . . . a Kingston . . . well, a Kingston something-or-other. And it was quite nice.

1a) Brunch with my friends, as always, yielded good, stimulating, comfortable conversation.

2) STAH MAHKET: Picking up some essential items I was very surprised to run into a) “Blodgett,” who I had just been talking about Friday night over dinner with a mutual friend, and b) the gentleman who used to run the 24-Hour Banned Book Vigil back when that used to take place during Banned Books Week.

3) YOGA: Sweet merciful heavens, I returned to yoga for the first time in far too long a time - in part because a friend was tonight’s yogi. Two or three other friends and acquaintances were there, too. After a class that really kicked my @$$, my mood brightened on the way out when I was talking with one of the two organizers. He had some information that could be really helpful to me in a creative project.

Saturday Night, November 10

1) Wind advisory + sun = cape!

2) Around the World in Eighty Days, both novel and movie.

3) “I went to a mahvelous pahty,” as the late Noel Coward said. Only this one was in the basement of Jacques’ (!) to celebrate the birthdays of not one but two friends. Delighted to see old and new friends - so delighted to see one particular friend that someone else suggested we might get a room. There’s life in the old boy yet . . . ;-)

Bonus: Tomorrow being the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, I really ought to be mustering up some energy to reread some of that history, but I haven’t been able to get further than putting up Grampa’s doughboy picture on ye Fycebykke (which I do every year) and ferreting around the Yewtybbe for Diana Wynyard’s best scene in Noel Coward’s Cavalcade (to which my dear friend Karl introduced me years ago). It isn’t there, but you can enjoy this pretty waltz from Cavalcade instead.

Bonus A: Maybe tomorrow I’ll retell the Story of the Pole Vaulter from Manila, which followed Grampa to France in 1918.

Friday Morning, November 9

1) As Jessie Ralph memorably said in Camille, “These are evil days, Monsieur, evil days.” You can bet I’m praying for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

2) Candlelight chicory coffee and (brief) devotional in the parlor before moving to the gray room to read the news and plan a little for the weekend. Turns out my whole candlelight thing is actually capturing the Danish concept of hygge - who knew?!

2a) Apparently it is really supposed to be pronounced hue-gah, which makes me want to say it like this.

2b) That is also how I pronounce Aouda’s name in Around the World in 80 Days.

3) Frankly I’m surprised ye Instytytte is giving us Monday for Veteran’s Day - like July 4, Veteran’s Day is always November 11 and simply doesn’t change whether it’s on a weekend or not, whereas the idea that Memorial Day is always May 30 now seems rather quaint - but I’m taking it gratefully.

Wednesday Night, November 7

1) Went to bed at 1 AM after monitoring the election results on 538, NYT, and Twyttyr. My body was so keyed up I didn’t get to sleep until after 2.

1a) Quote of the Day (from my Shakespearean Insult calendar): “The devil knew not what he did when he made man politic.” - Timon of Athens

2) I can hardly bend my head around the fact that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.

3) Gratitude, the concept, and the expression.

Tuesday Morning, November 6 - Election Day

1) Candlelight coffee and devotional in the parlor after a heavy but restless night of sleep.

1a) Quote of the Day, John 8:43-45: “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”

2) As Julianne Moore said in Boogie Nights, “Too many things, too many things, too many things, too many things.”

3) The darkest hours of the year are between 5-7 PM the week after Daylight Savings Time ends.