November arrived in a beautiful fashion here in Kansas City. The fall colors are at their finest. The air is crisp. While there is some melancholy to see the door of warm weather close, these final days of the year will surely have many good things.
Along with seeing some very cute costumed children (and animals) this week, here were five of the good things of note as October moved out and November rolled in.
- Lobster Rolls – Our local grocery store declared October to be Lobster Fest month. All month long, lobster tails sold at bargain prices. Inspired by this celebratory occasion, Dan tried his hand at creating a lobster roll early in the month. As the end of the month came, we had not one, but two lobster rolls this week. He nailed them. For me, the secret of the lobster roll is simplicity. The steamed tail meat is combined with a little mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. That is it. The receptacle is a hot dog roll: buttered and toasted. Accompaniment: potato chips. This is a decadent delight! Oh Lobster Fest month, I will miss thee!
- Cindy’s Upcoming Journey – My friend Cindy grew up in Iowa. She now lives in Southern Missouri. She likes to garden and she adores her beautiful grand-daughter. She knows that she is lucky. Next week, Cindy will travel halfway across the world to help raise awareness about those who do not share her good fortune. The Freedom to Walk website states that “By definition, trafficking involves some element of force, fraud, or coercion. Because of the illicit nature of this crime, estimates of trafficked persons worldwide are difficult to verify, but they range from a few hundred thousand to more than 30 million. Individuals are trafficked for work across industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, fishing, garment production, mining, and domestic work.” Cindy is participating in the DREAM Project Foundation’s walk to stop human trafficking. The walk will last for fifteen days and cover 220 miles across the country of Thailand. Along the way, she will reflect her commitment to make the world better. On Friday, Cindy’s daughter and son-in-law held a gathering so we could wish Cindy well and learn more about her journey. I am so inspired by what she is doing. If you are interested in learning more, or contributing to the cause, you can click here.
- Wet leaves – Early this week we had several rainy days. The rain and the accompanying wind created a layer of wet leaves across most surfaces. Like temporary tattoos, the leaves stuck to cars creating pretty designs. The road, as I set out to drive to work, looked like it had a multi-colored carpet. While I love the sound of shuffling through dry leaves on an autumn day, this week really made me appreciate the beauty of the sticky wet autumn leaf.
- Will Sheff’s article about the death of Lou Reed – There were many tributes to Lou Reed this month. The poet singer meant much to many. When I was once asked what my movie theme song would be (i.e. if someone made a movie of your life and the final scene is you walking along the beach, what song should be playing? ), my choice was Perfect Day. I love that song so much! Will Sheff leads the bank Okkervil River – another favorite of mine. Will wrote a tribute to Lou Reed for the website, Gawker. Will has an unconventional voice, that I like, but which has its critics. He looked to Reed as an inspiration, and, it turned out, Reed really liked Sheff’s music and invited him to open one of his concerts. After the concert, Will went into the inner sanctum to meet Lou. Sheff writes, “When my turn came to talk with Lou, he gave me a soft handshake that he held for an uncomfortably long time. Eventually I had to extricate my hand from his. He told me, “You are a great rock singer. You’ve got a great rock voice. You can sing anything.” Everything in my life changed when Lou Reed, my musical hero, said that to me. Everything I’ve had the guts to do as an artist since 2007 came out of that moment. I am a different artist now. It was one of the kindest and most perfect three sentences anyone could have uttered, and coming from Lou Reed its effect was profound. I transformed into something else once he spoke those words to me.” It’s a beautiful piece about listening to and loving music.
- Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – I finished Ben Fountain’s great novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk this week. I read somewhere that this book might be this generation’s Catch-22 or Slaughterhouse 5. I can see that. Fountain’s novel describes an extraordinary day in the life of Billy Lynn. Because of war heroism, Billy and his unit are on a hero tour in the US. They are trotted out and interviewed and feted. It is all pretty surreal for the eighteen year old soldier who is still processing and mentally trying to heal. The last day of the tour brings them to a Dallas Cowboys game where they are the guests of honor. At first, the owners gush over them, the crowd cheers them, they get close to cheerleaders and Beyonce. In the end, things fall apart in many ways. It is a thoughtful read that I would very much recommend.
Another good thing from this week was October was the third month in a row that the number of visitors to my blog and visits to my blog increased from the month before. I am so thankful for each of you who reads and when you pass it along to someone else, I am really touched. I will never attract the thousands that many blogs do, but knowing that there are readers enjoying what I get down, is pretty great! Thanks everyone! What about you? What was a good thing for you this week?