This was fun to write last month, so here’s a new installment in the what-now-must-be-a series. Apologies for the slight delay, but here are my friends and foes in the month of November.
– Asakusa. Wouldn’t you know: Fort Wayne, Indiana has a superb Japanese restaurant. This is especially shocking because Fort Wayne previously had scarcely any creditable food at all. But Asakusa supplied udon as good as any I’d had and other fixings; my father’s sashimi came on a preposterous wooden boat, too.
– Having Thanksgiving on a Friday. Not only do you have an excuse for not shopping, but there’s also less awkward day-after-Thanksgiving griping about the food! Actually, by a weird twist of fate, this year I had Thanksgiving dinner on Friday and leftovers the day before. There can only be one explanation: I am in control of time-travel technology.
– Barack Obama. Okay, this is not about politics. This is not about Obama’s governance. I just had a thought the other day: there has been no Obama sex scandal. How hard is it to be a politician and keep your pants on at the appropriate times? “Oh, come on,” you say, “it can’t be that hard.” But then there’s Herman Cain, paying off his mistress for thirteen years behind his wife’s back; Newt Gingrich, having an affair behind his wife’s hospital charts; Anthony Weiner, getting a little too intimate on Twitter; John Edwards, pulling a Newt Gingrich; Mark Sanford, running away to Argentina; Eliot Spitzer, hooked on hookers; John Ensign, paying off those in the know; and who was the last Democratic president? There are more or less three major politicians around today who still have squeaky-clean sexual records: Mitt Romney, probably because he was born without the part of the brain that loves things; Ron Paul, because he’s Ron Paul; and Barack Obama, who’s youngish and dashing and has a great smile and more power than he thinks he has but keeps his belt buckled. So until we find out what Barry’s having on the side, I think it’s appropriate to say: kudos.
– Sarah Nixon. My co-worker kindly reminded me about the existence of National Novel Writing Month exactly five days before it began, giving me just enough time to write a good outline. Just kidding: I figured out the idea for my story on the evening of October 30, and on November 1 didn’t really know the names or behaviors or relationships of any characters at all. I had to pause halfway down the first page to figure out the name of the person giving the opening monologue. This is what veterans of the write-a-novel-in-a-month process call “pantsing” (going by the seat of your pants), and I can now confirm that I did indeed successfully finish an entire novel in a month with no planning at all. Call it writing in the second degree. Thanks, Sarah!
– Everyone who put up with me doing nothing but write a novel for a month, even if it meant waiting longer to get replies to letters or emails or requests for Christmas gift ideas. Seriously, folks. Thank you.
– Patricia Ladd. Patricia was my nefarious archenemy in a slightly imaginary race to see who could finish their NaNoWriMo novel first. Patricia’s devastatingly devious device to defeat my dazzling debut was derailed due to a delayed day one, but she defied the disparity by devilishly discharging her drama with dizzying dispatch. In other words, I had a head start but she finished first. For that rough beginning, Patricia can blame an amazing wedding and a tactfully unblogged-about honeymoon.
– Some English website that apparently was selling the complete Haydn string quartets and the complete Haydn symphonies for $5 each but they fixed the pricing error before I could get home from work and find out about it. But the people who did order in time actually got their copies sent to them at that price. Moral: I should shop more at work?
– Amazon.com. For shipping all the Christmas gifts I ordered to my former address by default. Okay, I probably could have paid more attention, but I hadn’t had anything shipped there in 20 months. Why would that be my default?
– Bud Selig. Thanks to the Houston Astros’ impending (2013) departure from the National League (NL), baseball’s two leagues will have an equal number of teams. That’s a worthy goal, but it also means that literally every baseball team within nine hundred miles of my home will play in the Artificial League (AL). Consider: