There is something about fall.

Fall always sends me into a bit of a tailspin. Like things should have happened by now, like maybe this was all the wrong plan — and as I bite my lip and suck it up, maybe I’m missing out on an alternate universe where everyone’s actually blissful. I think it’s a hangover from summer. Maybe this is the part where I wake up with a headache and fight through a groggy veil and wonder why everything’s tilted sideways. But pretty soon I’ll get to the part where I’m huddled in a diner booth with pancakes and eggs, hands cupping a heavy, steaming ceramic mug of coffee, watching the midafternoon light stream through the windows.

For a moment, I was reading this blog aloud

On Wednesday night, I read excerpts from this blog at a staged reading for bloggers.It was lovely to be immersed in a room full of smarty-pants people who ran with the chance to take their writing out of the web world and onto the tiny stage at the Uptown Writer’s Space. I felt like a lucky girl to hear their rantings and ramblings all in one place. (update 9.24: Dave Awl posts about The Nod, hosted by Don Hall and Joe Janes.)

The lunch line

My friend Matt is the least corporate person I know but is working a corporate job to finance his improv habit. He’s a temp-to-perm sort of functionary, and I’m not really sure what he does all day… other than record the voice message for the hotline where employees can find out what their cafeteria is serving for lunch. I call it every day. Because it’s amazing. (312) 884-3070.

Two weeks ago…

I was packing and cleaning, foraging in closets for dusty socks and cleaning out long-forgotten cheeses from the refrigerator. I was hauling too many typewriters and book boxes, hyperventilating over U-Haul and thanking my lucky stars for Becca, Caleb and Kevin. Then I boarded a plane to Massachusetts for a week with Kevin’s family on the island of Humarock. After a week’s worth of schlepping, it was indescribably refreshing to wake up to the ocean and the sky. Just the ocean and the sky. We stayed in a beach house oriented for beach-ness, with three rooms filled with comfy couches, giant picture windows that faced the water and five small bedrooms so you could bring the whole clan and lounge around staring at the beauty of summer. I picked up tiny multicolored stones worn smooth from the ocean. I had my first watermelon Slush Puppy from the general store. Kevin made us a campfire on the beach. I read three books in four days, one of which was Harry Potter 4. Every day after dinner, his family gathered to play some kind of board game. Structured competitive activities cause me to panic, instantly. But with enough peer pressure, I stuck it out and began accruing pieces of Trivial Pursuit pie.

Now I’m back in Chicago, and we’ve set up our little hobbit hole. It’s the second floor of a carriage house, and all the surfaces are slanty — floors, ceilings, everything. We’re unpacking and realizing what we don’t own — ground pepper — and finding out what happens next.