Thanksgiving

Dusk in the neighborhood
Dusk in the neighborhood.

Tomorrow morning, Guion, Pyrrha, and I are setting off for Southern Pines for a long weekend with the Pratt family. I am looking forward to seeing everyone, taking long walks with Pyrrha and Windy around the neighborhood, and stuffing my face.

On the eve of this great American holiday, here is a preliminary list of things I am thankful for right now:

  1. Guion, everything that he is now and is becoming. And those blue eyes of his! Like an ice dragon! Have you looked at them lately? His eyes are a seriously unreal color, much like Jack Donaghy’s.
  2. Mom and Dad.
  3. Mike and Windy.
  4. Kelsey and Alex.
  5. Grace.
  6. Sam.
  7. Win (and Tracy, by extension).
  8. Pyrrha, our sweet and neurotic little baby.
  9. Our community in Charlottesville.
  10. Christ Episcopal Church.
  11. The women in my small group.
  12. A fenced-in backyard.
  13. Kind-hearted, attentive landlords.
  14. My job.
  15. My coworkers and bosses and the camaraderie we share.
  16. Louis, my new camera, inherited from Grace.
  17. The poetry of the Bible.
  18. The public library system.
  19. Used book sales.
  20. Ballet.
  21. Skype.
  22. Tea. Always and forever tea.
  23. All the dogs!
  24. Old friends.
  25. New friends.
  26. Maxi skirts and dresses.
  27. Makeup samples.
  28. Marcel Proust.
  29. The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th ed.
  30. The trees in Charlottesville in the fall.
  31. Marilynne Robinson.
  32. Our cars, that they run.
  33. Poetry.
  34. Sufjan Stevens.
  35. Japanese vocabulary that still comes back to me.
  36. Art museums.
  37. The Virginia Museum of Fine Art.
  38. The Atlantic Monthly.
  39. The New Yorker.
  40. Calligraphy.
  41. Pyrrha’s dog friends.
  42. Handwritten letters.
  43. Nettles.
  44. Joanna Newsom.
  45. Friends’ babies.
  46. America.
  47. Pyrrha’s ecstatic jumps in the air when I come home.
  48. Peace.
  49. Eyeglasses.
  50. Long walks around town.
  51. Enormous clouds of starlings.
  52. Virginia Woolf.
  53. Great restaurants.
  54. Brother Beer Works.
  55. Japanese ceramics.
  56. UNC-Chapel Hill.
  57. All of my beloved former English professors and even the journalism professors who scared me into a job.
  58. Boots.
  59. High-quality writing utensils (especially pens from Japan).
  60. Childhood memories.
  61. Horses.
  62. Letters from Aunt Lib.
  63. The Chicago Manual of Style.
  64. Soft leather leashes.
  65. Editing.
  66. Fonts.
  67. Vladimir Nabokov.
  68. The Eucharist.
  69. A community of artists.
  70. Little notebooks.
  71. Relay Foods.
  72. Ample storage space in our tiny hovel.
  73. Pie.
  74. Memories of the Compline service at the Chapel of the Cross.
  75. A new Trader Joe’s in town, even if the parking is apparently atrocious.
  76. Anton Chekhov.
  77. Tights.
  78. My beautiful rings, from Mary Windley.
  79. Cut flowers on the kitchen table.
  80. Homemade oatmeal.
  81. Journals, which I have kept for about 18 years now.
  82. Solitude.
  83. The Book of Common Prayer.
  84. A priest who loves William Faulkner.
  85. The view of the mountains as I drive home from work.
  86. Talking about film with Jonathan.
  87. Rabbits.
  88. American literature.
  89. Alphabetization.
  90. Sex.
  91. Grapefruit.
  92. A warm home in the winter.
  93. Forgiveness.
  94. The Virginian countryside.
  95. The person of Jesus.

A full week

Dinner with Stephanie (+ Baby Fishwick) at Monsoon.

Girl time = so good. Stephanie and I grabbed dinner on Wednesday night at Monsoon and talked about many things over our virgin strawberry daiquiris, including but not limited to street harassment, babies, and conflicts of etiquette. She is so lovely and bright.

Downtown at dusk.

It’s not exactly a gorgeous skyline, but I always like walking over the bridge toward downtown. The view always makes me remember, “Oh, I live here now, in this town where we once arrived as strangers.”

The photo is from Friday night, taken on our way to meet Guion’s beloved professor and mentor Alan Shapiro at South Street to watch the UNC vs. Ohio game. He is delightful company–so brilliant and kind and warm–and we talked of many things. I bonded with him particularly on our mutual love of Marilynne Robinson* and Wei Tchou. (*Somewhat out of the blue, Shapiro announced, “Housekeeping is probably one of the greatest novels in the English language.” And then I felt really justified in my unmitigated praise of that book. It is the greatest. Shapiro says so.)

"Mad Men" party at Colin and Rita's. (Mary Boyce + G)

Last night, Colin and Rita hosted a “Mad Men” season premiere party, in which we were supposed to wear our best “Mad Men”-esque outfits. For men, this just meant wearing a tie (or parting your hair with lots of pomade, as Colin displayed); for women, pearls + dress + pumps seemed to be the easy formula.

Rita, industrious housewife.
In our "Mad Men" best.

Very fun gathering (with great cocktails), but did anyone else think the premiere was kind of… boring? It was funnier and lighter than the closing episodes of last season (Stan always helps with that. And we were all humming zou bizou bizou afterward), but I felt like it was lacking some spark, some solid Draper broody moments. Or maybe the episodes will necessarily be duller in the absence of the incarnation of maternal evil.