Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumn Aspirations.

First of all, happy first day of fall!

Isn't the word "aspiration" interesting? It means both "a hope or ambition of achieving something" and "the action or process of drawing breath." Originally, I intended this blog post title to mean the former, but then I thought about how one of the best parts of fall is breathing in lungfuls of tangy, crisp, air tinged with the scent of mouldering, trodden on foliage. Sigh. So I decided I like it both ways.

Anyway, I was inspired by this post on A Beautiful Mess to make a sort of bucket list for the Autumn of 2015. I am facing the distinct possibility that this could be my last full season in Minneapolis (I said POSSIBILITY, everyone. It's all very undecided still. So nobody needs to either get their hopes up or get their knickers in a twist, as the case may be) which makes me want to take full advantage of my time here.

So, with no further ado, the list of things I wish to accomplish before going home for Christmas (regardless of whether it is a move or just a visit):

1. Pick apples. I learned the other day that the family I work for won't be going to their family friend's farm to pick wild apples this year, so I figured I'd try to get to an orchard myself.

2. Knit something. I haven't really knit anything since moving to Minnesota. Whoops.

3. Bake lots of pies. I don't even eat them all that much, but I used to bake pies quite often and I've gotten out of the habit-- now that I spend five mornings a week baking at a coffeeshop, I do rather less baking on my own time.

4. Bake other things, too. I'm looking at you, anadama bread and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

5. Go on an adventure. (I'm dearly hoping to make it to North Dakota before I move away from Minnesota.)

6. Dress up for Halloween (I've already got the bones of two separate costumes...neither of them are a skeleton. *ba dum cha*)  Maybe go to a party. Maybe go out dancing. We'll see what happens.

7. Make a leaf crown. I used to do this sometimes, and I miss it.

8. Complete NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. In a way, this has been a goal of mine for like a decade now. It hasn't happened yet. It's on my 25 before 25 list and this is the last November before I hit a quarter century.

9. Go to a concert. Minneapolis has a great music scene and I need to keep my eyes open more for bands I like coming to town.

10. Drink apple cider. Because duh.

11. Have a Friendsgiving.

12. Work on making Christmas presents instead of buying them. We'll see.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


As you all may or may not know, I was in Maine over Labor Day weekend. This trip home came about because one of my oldest friends from school, Natasha, texted me in the wee hours one morning months ago and said that she'd bought us tickets to see Death Cab for Cutie in Portland and that now I just needed to get myself home for it.

That might seem a bit random, but if you understood the fact that Death Cab has been my favorite band since Natasha introduced me to them about ten years ago, it might start to make more sense. In fact, we've been trying to see them in concert for almost that entire decade. Now, I use the term "trying" pretty loosely here to mean "we actually tried once about seven years ago, and want to see them together but haven't lived in the same state since high school so haven't really tried since." You know, the usual meaning of the word "trying."

So anyway, Natasha bought us tickets and I bought a plane ticket and we made our way to Portland last Friday night. Now, I think possibly it would have been better to see them seven years ago when I was actually up to date on their music (I hadn't really listened to their two most recent albums until two weeks ago in preparation for the show), but this show didn't disappoint. They played a really excellent selection of songs from all of their albums throughout the years, so I there were plenty of songs that I know and love in the set that night. And as I frantically listened to "Codes and Keys" and "Kintsugi" (the two most recent albums) over the past couple weeks, I realized that I actually do like them a lot. And the concert reminded me how much I love all the classic songs that I have always liked.

Which brings me to the realization/remembrance of how dearly I love Death Cab for Cutie's music. It's just so special. All of it. So I wanted to share that with all of you. Because chances are, if you take the time to read my blog, I think you're special too.

Above is the song "Passenger Seat," which they performed at the concert and might just be my favorite of all their songs.  (It's hard to choose just one with Death Cab...) The words go:
I roll the window down and then begin to breathe in
The darkest country road and the strong scent of evergreen
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.
Then looking upwards, I strain my eyes and try
To tell the difference between shooting stars and satellites 
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.
"Do they collide?" I ask and you smile.
With my feet on the dash the world doesn't matter.
When you feel embarrassed, I'll be your pride.
When you need directions then I'll be the guide.
For all time. For all time.

Lovely, right? Anyway, here are some recordings of a few of my other favorite Death Cab songs. Enjoy!