My Public Apology to Spring, Summer and Winter

Dear Seasons That Are Not Fall*,

You got nothin'. I love Fall. Love it, love it, love it! And there are a number of ways you simply don't measure up to the glory of Fall.

Let's see ... weather. Spring, you can be very pleasant here in South Jersey. In fact, I've never enjoyed you even half as much as I do here. Your flowering bulbs, your hints of warm breezes, your sunshine and lengthening hours of daylight. Yeah, they're all terrific. Summer, fuhgeddaboudit. I don't like hot. I don't like humid. I don't like biting and stinging insects (which, let's face it ... in South Jersey droves of mosquitos almost count as their own weather patterns). You have them all. In spades. No dice. Winter. Well, you're close. In some parts of the country. If I can have snow and crisp blue skies and icy cold air that makes the inside of my nose crinkle up when I step outside, then you're the Best. But, otherwise? With the grey and the sleet and the freezing rain. No thank you.

But fall? Your crisp, cool sleep-with-the-windows-open nights. Your bright, sunny, bluer-than-blue skies. The absolute drop in moisture content of the air? Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about.

How about activities? Spring, well you have Easter and taking walks outside after being cooped up all winter long. But, you also have filing 1040 forms and piles of yard work. Not gonna cut it. Summer? You have plenty to do. Beach, Boardwalk, camping. But with the heat, the humidity and the bugs you make any of those activities akin to torture. I don't like hot. I don't like sticky. I don't like itchy. And on a slightly related note, I don't like sand and grittiness. You do have minor league baseball, which is almost enough by itself to redeem you. Almost. Winter, you have plenty of fun things to do, too. Provided that I lived somewhere with lots of snow. And hills. Which I don't. Sleet, freezing rain and flat terrain do not for a fun-filled winter make.

Fall wins it by several lengths with its leaf pile romping, football games, school activities, baseball playoffs, costuming, pumpkining.

Let's get down to brass tacks, though. A big hunk of this decision comes down to fashion and body image. I love fall clothes. I adore jackets, corduroy, plaid, argyle, jeans, short skirts with opaque tights. Giant winter sweaters and snow/slush boots, not so much. Light and floaty summer dresses, I don't think so. Pale pastel spring frocks? Definitely not. I want to cover up enough of my body to disguise its middle aged lumps and sags. And I want to cuddle up in cozy fabrics that aren't completely bulky and shapeless.

Fall, you got it all.

Sorry to the rest of you. Better luck next time,

* Not "autumn," unless referring to the equinox.


Life in the Fast Lane

Dugan Family Activities this Fall

Joe: teaching full-time at Cumberland County College, spending one day a week doing Doctoral Math stuff at Drexel (an hour+ away), singing in the church choir, starting a new bicycling exercise regimen, parenting (especially full-time on Thursday nights when I have class)

Emily: starting at the middle school for the first time (6th grade), band (French horn), chorus, GT, Girl Scouts, piano lessons, church choir

Matthew: fourth grade, football practicing and games, piano lessons, starting band for the first time (baritone horn), Cub Scouts, church choir

Myself: teaching very-nearly-full-time at Cumberland County College, starting my Master's in English Lit at Rutgers-Camden (an hour away), Ticket Chair for Cumberland Players theatre company, church choir, trying to walk Matthew to school more days than not (2 miles one way), parenting (especially full-time when Joe has classes ('til 5pm most days, 'til 10pm Mondays and Wednesdays))

We're busy. However, in our spare time (read: when the homework, music practice and grading is all done), we like to:
  • read (especially Emily, especially kid fantasy-type novels like Harry Potter et al; Matthew's more into magazines; as for Joe & I ... we only wish we had time to read for fun at the moment. We're pretty much stuck in textbook land.), 
  • play computer games (everyone...Xbox (Lego Rock Band for all of us, Lego Harry Potter, Star Wars and/or Indiana Jones for the kids) and the computer (lately Caesar 3 is the game of choice for the whole family)), 
  • knit (just me...working on an afghan)
  • play (mostly with the dog in some wrestly format or another)
  • watch TV (Between the Eagles and the new seasons, the DVR is busy with shows too many and varied to list; that's a whole 'nother blog post)

I don't claim we're any busier than anyone else. I just wish that my favorite time of the year by leaps and bounds allowed me enough free time to actually enjoy it that way I'd like to. It always bums me out when another fall has slid into the grey twilight season of pre-winter and I've missed the whole crisp, sunny, colorful thing.




It may seem as though I'm coming late to the whole Podcasting game, but this is actually more of a second-go-'round. I've tried Podcasting a few things in the past, but found that I never had even half the time necessary to listen to all the stuff rapidly filling up my iTunes folders.

So, now I'm commuting to Rutgers-Camden once a week for my Master's course. (hopefully in this future this will read "courses," as in plural) On the way up, it's All Things Considered, baby, but on the way home, I just don't have the patience for flipping stations through the songs I don't like to find the songs I do like (Ben-FM out of Philly wins most times, for those of you keeping score at home ... but after years and years of DVR-ing TV, I've lost all patience whatsoever for radio commercial breaks.). I'm also hoping to do more walking/listening to my iPod and less walking/talking on the phone ... kinda trying to wean myself off my cell phone, as that may soon become an expense I can no longer afford, but that's a whole 'nother blog post.

Consequently, I'm back to podcasting. So far I've subscribed to way more than I can possibly listen to. Here we go again. But, I'm in the trying-it-out-and-then-winnowing-out-the-chaff phase. I have mostly NPR: Science Friday, On the Media, The Weekend Edition Sunday Puzzle, RadioLab, All Songs Considered, Only a Game, and the 90-Second Naturalist. Other than that, there are a few from HowStuffWorks.com: Stuff You Should Know, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Tech Stuff, and Stuff From the Science Lab.

I'd love something literature-based (the Master's will be in English lit, specializing in British 18th Century and earlier, generally ... American lit pre-Civil War I can tolerate, as well as a bit of other European lits no later than mid-19th century ... but I'll be focusing, scholastically on the Brits). Even book reviews, though I never have time to read a book these days. Knitting, theatre and travel are other topics of interest.

Anyway, have any ideas for me???? Puh-leeeze? Let me know what's on your mobile media device.





Thanks, Adrienne! This cracked me up. A lot. I even read it out loud to my mom. Who kinda didn't get it, over the phone and all. But .... FUNNY! Earned the blog a spot on my links.