I've been taking a class at W&M just to get my feet wet in the academic ocean again and most of the stuff for the class has been due in the last few weeks and will continue to be for the rest of the month. I've been enjoying the business though it has kept me from my online thought sharing.
The thing that I'm enjoying the most of anything in life right now is definitely the trees. I don't remember ever seeing a fall this brilliant and colorful. It's probably got a lot do to with my perspective. I keep thinking where I was in fall of last year. Working 70 hours a week, being fed lie after lie and promise after promise, dealing with issues that were WAY over my head, and feeling totally overwhelmed and lost. I'm glad I'm not there anymore. I missed fall because all I experienced from September to December 19th of last year was the walk to my car in the morning when it was dark and then at night when I left the hotel when it was dark again. I completely missed my favorite season. Maybe it's my favorite season. I'm a fairweather fan, you see. Whichever season I'm in is usually my favorite.
I busted out some of my sweaters for the brief chilly period we had two weeks ago. What is better than a cozy sweater, a brisk autumn breeze with colorful leaves swirling around you, pumpkin bread in the oven, and hot cocoa to sip on? I would submit the follow response: nothing. I have been absolutely revelling in fall. I think I'm overcompensating for last year's loss, but I could care less. My co-workers have been forced to consume mass quantities of all my fall-inspired baking attempts, I cannot shut up about how beautiful the leaves are, I could write a sonnet about honeycrisp apples every time I bite into one (today I spent $7 on 5 of them at the store. I shouldn't have spent that much on apples but I had to have them)...the list continues. I spent the better part of my day off on Wednesday going around Williamsburg and taking pictures. I just wanted to preserve and remember the beauty somehow.
I had a birthday last week. I didn't do a whole lot except invite a bunch of friends out to dinner. We went to this place that Chapel has absolutely overrun called Pancho Villa's. It's a mexican chain restaurant. It's not particularly amazing food or atmosphere, but Chapel people are seriously obsessed with it. I hear about it WEEKLY. It's come to be known as "The Paunch". (Oh the clever double entendre!) Anyway, I had never been so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Plus mexican restaurants never care if you make a rukus. They usually encourage it, so it's a good place to celebrate a birthday.
The food wasn't anything to write home about but it was a fun night. One of my other friends in Williamsburg, John, had celebrated his birthday at The Paunch not too long before mine and I guess people made him do a shot. So they decided I should be subjected to the same punishment (and believe you me, a shot of cheap tequila and lord knows what else is indeed a punishment). So the mexican guys come out and scrunch an obscenely large and heavy sombrero on my head, and place said shot down on my right. Then this one guy covers it with a napkin and picks it up and slams it down three times. It's obvious after the third time that I'm supposed to take it (it's fizzing now and I really didn't want to). So I took it and then immediately after I set it down the mexican guy covers my mouth with a napkin (KINDA like gagging me and I was not prepared for this at all, see photo) and pushes me back and forth in my chair three times. Then that's over and the waiters yell and one of them hits me on the head with a PIE TIN. (Please note Exhibit A to the right: the pie tin/assault weapon poised for attack AFTER he gags me with the napkin.) Then the same mexican guy sets a pepper plant down next to me which is clearly marked DO NOT EAT, NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, DECORATIVE PEPPER PLANT. I wasn't sure if it was a present or if I was supposed to eat a non-edible pepper or what! At this point I was so confused by the recent chain of events I had no place left to turn except laughter (see photo above). And I laughed until it hurt. I kept replaying the whole ridiculous sequence in my head and never understanding and THEN seeing the pepper plant again and the cycle just kept getting funnier. It also might have had something to do with the tequila, but I'm not sure it played a huge role.
So the birthday was very fun. I was set on getting cowboy boots as a present to myself. So I bought a pair I liked and now they are sitting on my floor in my apartment and I'm not totally sure I can pull them off. I am having second thoughts. I bought a second pair and am going to compare the two and send at least one, possibly both back because I'm not exactly sure I'm hip enough to do this. I haven't given it enough of a shot I suppose but apparently the cool thing to do is wear cowboy boots with dresses and skirts. No way is that ever happening for this kid. I think I would really like the boots I have now if it weren't for the pink stitching all over the tops. We'll see what ultimately wins. I may just need to wait until I have a greater selection at my disposal.
Now it's time to start gearing up (saving up!!) for Christmas. I think I might actually get to spend Thanksgiving with my family this year which would be fantastic. And, fingers crossed, Christmas too. My co-workers better get ready for the onslaught of gingerbread, sugar cookies, pumpkin bars, chocolate and other goodies coming their way.