Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reason Number 30 - The Anticipation of The Holiday Season

Well folks, we are here, thirty days have past, September has been September, and fall is soon upon us.  I close this blog with the 30th and final reason as to why September is my dearest month on the calendar and it is the anticipation of the holiday season.  

Now I must preface, when I use the word "holiday" I use this in the context of the conglomerate of holidays/events that occur over the next three month period.  This would include, but is not limited to Halloween, Thanksgiving, shopping the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve, New Years, college bowl games, etc., this however excludes Kwanza, Canadian Boxing day, and any other fake holiday annoying people makeup.  Though menorahs are commonplace in New York, diamond stores, and majority of law firms during this period previously stated, and I recognize Hanukah as a holiday, it is not included in my definition of the “holiday season”.  Furthermore, it should not be misconstrued; there is a strong difference between the “holiday” season and “Christmas” season.  The Holiday season encapsulates both Thanksgiving and New Years, whereas Christmas encompasses the most heart-warming period of the year between these two “Holidays”.  This is why you say “Merry Christmas” and there is no reason to every actually say “Happy Holidays”, there is only one Holiday at a time, but I digress…

Today marks the last day of September, which puts us in the month of October, which will soon kick off harvest festivals, all hallows eve, and soon Thanksgiving.  The weather is going to turn and the parties will be aplenty like the eggnog flowing from Christmas parties in a few months time.  Though the season has not fully started the anticipation is sometimes just as tantalizing.  You can’t help but to look ahead to the festivities to come over the closing months of the year and get a little twinkle in your eye and pep in your step.  Each holiday could deserve its own blog entry so I won’t go in to too much detail, but I know you can feel the excitement coming.  Stores are stocking up on Christmas decorations, you have probably already looked for you Halloween costume, and turkeys are being plumped for their slaughter, free-range naturally.  We prep hard for this season, think about it…  You knit sweaters for this season, you cut down trees for this season, kill animals and stuff them on a silver platter, dress up in costumes, stab gourds and light them on fire for this season, scare children, make babies, carol, eat till you physically hurt, put additional lighting on your house, and rejoice in this season!  The anticipation is tough to bear, but soon we will take delight in the many holidays to come. 

I would like to close with a thank you to the month of September and all its beauty.  I look forward to October and all the joy the fall season will bring.  If you find yourself bored, please reference the many joys September brings to this time of year and embrace your time this fall.  DeuceUp-ATown-PeaceOut. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reason Number 29 - Smells

With warm summer breezes and the aroma of evening bbq's fading away new fall smells and reason number twenty-nine are on their way in.  Though the human sense of smell is not near as keen as that of lets say a chocolate lab puppy it is still a powerful sense nonetheless.  Though we cant see them, smells are all around us and this powerful sense gets used plenty during the fall.

Aromas of fallen leaves and damp ground to home cooked meals, the plethora of reminiscent smells continue to pour in the closer to fall we get.  It is all a part of changing of the seasons and seems to bring excitement and emotion each year.  The sense of smell is strongly linked to our memory so it is fun to breathe in smells and be reminded of previous fall seasons.  With each fall smell excitement is to follow so breathe the fresh September air in deep and take delight.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reason Number 28 - The Angle of The Sun

We are all caught up and we are only a few days away from the end of the greatest month on the calendar, reason number twenty-eight is brought to you by geometry and the earths axis, and it is the angle of the sun.  You may think I am pulling for straws trying to find enough reasons September is amazing and the angle of the sun is not worthy, how does it apply, can you even quantify it as a quality, and to these questions, just keep reading, I have had this idea from the get go.  

It is simple and subtle, yet dramatic and powerful.  This time of year the angle of the sun creates a whole new world and it is honestly one of my favorite things about fall, it enhances absolutely everything.  If you take a second to notice this evening and some of the next beautiful sunny mornings to come this fall you will notice the angle of the sun and how it is at a lower angle than other times of the year, this due to the fall equinox.  This time of the year the sun beams through the beautiful fall colors, it stretches the shadows cast across the varying landscapes.  Sunsets become more vibrant and take on richer tones, some of the most beautiful of the year, for the Northwest at least.  Take a drive and notice the sun cutting in and out like a flickering light as it breaks through branches and trees splashing a color show of stripes on the road ahead.  Yeah they days are becoming shorter, but when does 6-7pm become more romantic than it is right now.  Ask any photographer and they are going to tell you the best times to take pictures to create dramatic effects are a little after sunrise and a little before sunset, with the angle of the sun we get to multiply this out even more.  It is still the same sun every other day of the year, so yes it is pretty simple, but sometimes the simple things are what matter most and for me the angle of the sun is amazing.    

Reason Number 27 - Major League Baseball Season

Reason number twenty-seven, which is not even one fifth of the season, is Major League Baseball.  Now I fully realize this may not be the most popular of reasons September is amazing, but nonetheless if we had a baseball team in Portland or if you had a tie to a team that was on the verge of the playoffs this surely would be exciting.  Baseball is a different game all together, included in this is the fact MLB teams play 162 games in the regular season.  When you really sit down and think about it that is pretty crazy, but what is even crazier is that at the end of September teams face off in division playoff series to determine who played 162 games for nothing and who played for a shot at the crown.  You would think the disparity between teams respective records over a 162 game season would be pretty evident at this point, but with five games to play teams are often a ½ to 2 games back of playing into October or playing golf.  So in the end, September means a lot to those who play baseball, those who aspire to make it to the SHOW, and for those who respect a game that has the longest schedule of any professional sport.  

Reason Number 26 - Fall Walks/Runs/Rides

Reason number twenty-six is summed up in moving around in some capacity outside in the fall weather and scenery.  If you want to get out and truly enjoy the splendor of September and all its offerings you should embark on a run, walk, or ride - all of these activities seem to be enhanced in September.  Playing on a common theme throughout any September joy; the changing of the seasons, the cooler temperatures, foliage, etc., all play a vital role in increasing the enjoyment of a normal walk in the park, a fall jog, or even a car ride through the countryside.  Without a doubt there is a sense of happiness that comes with taking a walk on a chilly morning with a cup of coffee, cooling down after a nice run with a fall breeze, or driving through the landscape as it takes on a new form for the months ahead.  

Reason Number 25 - Tossing The Ol' Pigskin Around

Reason number twenty-five is as American as apple pie, tossing the ol’ pigskin around.  Men who are men wait eagerly for the season of football to arrive, whether it is the NFL, college, or high school, we all love the game we grew up playing and/or watching.  With this, it creates an inner desire to run around and pretend like we can still play the real “football”, the game that uses an oval shaped leather wrapped ball with random seams hish-hashed across the top.

Come September it is inevitable you pick up that trusty rawhide pill and head to the park with some friends to drop dimes.  Wobbly passes soon become spirals and you make your routes as tight as a hickory stick (completely fake saying), or so you try.  You let your hands gain the feel for catching the ball and soon enough you will be running around playing 7 on 7 and pulling a muscle or tweaking something because you are now old and out of shape.  However, you will never stop heading out during halftime of a game and getting a little sweat on throwing around the football, it is one of the many joys of life in September and one that is looked forward to every year. 

Reason Number 24 - Weddings

“It’s been a hell of a season” the line goes in Wedding Crashers, reason twenty-four, weddings.  Come June-July-August weddings flood our schedules like hurricane Katrina, filling in the 5pm time slot on a good chunk of Saturdays throughout the summer.  Well, “wedding season” as scholars call it starts to wind down and come to a close in September, but this is where we find some great end of the season weddings, ala today September 24, 2010, the uniting of Spawntonio Holmes, the consecration of two loved ones on a beautiful September evening.  

Everyone loves weddings and rightfully so, they are extremely enjoyable events, everyone is happy, the mingling, the food, the drinks, the dancing, you name it, there is something for everyone, the entertainment does not end.  September weddings start to close down the season for a while, but they do not disappoint.  You can use all the wedding skills you have picked up all summer to have one last good performance.  Whether it is perfecting the skill of the awkward catch-up conversation, remembering to carry your drink in your left hand so you can politely shake with your right, engaging with people you should know, but don’t remember their name so you have to call them “champ”, “buddy”, “ace”, “Kevin”, either way you get to show up and celebrate with a peak wedding performance.  So a toast to September weddings and intoxicated adults above the age of 50 who love to dance at them. 

Reason Number 23 - Yard Work

Holding down the number twenty-three spot would be yard work.  At first this may seem ridiculous, but in fact I along with many others take great pride in manual labor and doing so in the fall adds to this.  There is immediate gratification in yard work; you can spend just 30 minutes mowing your yard or planting a few plants and your landscape takes on a whole knew shape and design.  

Summer is spent with hot days and wiping sweat off the brow, sowing your seed, baling hay, among other manual outdoor activities.  Not that I bale hay, but I do mow my lawn and plant things, and the cooler temperatures in the fall make this a very relaxing and rewarding job.  Also, it begins the season of raking leaves, and everyone enjoys a little leaf raking from time to time.  You remember the days back when, building up big piles of leaves and jumping around in them, one of those simple joys.  In the fall you also get to reap what you sow, pick up your pumpkins, shuck your corn, I don’t know, but whatever your crop may be those long days in the summer are now spent collecting your reward.  Harvest time. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reason Number 22 - Falling and Crunch Leaves

Reason number double-deuce would be falling and crunchy leaves.  You know the scene, cruising down the street on a fall day with those trees that line your common everyday road.  They have those circular leaves which have turned yellow, orange, and red and have come to a gentle rest on the pavement creating a tightened path for you to drive.  As you meander through the leaves they billow up to create a cloud of color all around you.  Or the scene of a nice fall day with wind gusting through the trees as though they are wind-chimes, releasing the leaves from the branches and into a freefall to the ground below.  The common areas we have seen for the past six months are now taking on a new shape and design as leaves begin to paint the ground we walk.  Every step you take you can hear the leaves crunching beneath your feet and as the wind blows the leaves roll across the ground with the familiar sound of dry leaves cracking on each tumble.  This seems so simple, which it is, but it is sometimes the simple things like this that bring joy to your normal routine.  Take a moment today and pay attention to the different beautiful sights and sounds of falling and crunchy leaves.  Just yet another reason why September is so uh-mazing!  

Reason Number 21 - Crisp Golf

Reason number twenty-one, which in fact could simply be the number twenty-one because the number harnesses such power, would be crisp golf.  What is crisp golf you ask?  It is golf played in a climate of cool, dry, somewhat chilly weather.  Golf where you rep a quarter-zip dri-fit and never break a sweat.  Your ball doesn’t fly as much, you aren’t as loose, but you play in control and a little tighter around the hole.  The wind whips a little more than normal and takes a bite as you breathe cool air deep into your lungs, refreshed and invigorated.  Coffee is substituted for Gatorade and hot hands are in your pockets as your approach your ball.  The season is coming to an end, but you tie together what you have developed all summer to card that last low round before tucking the trusty 8-iron in for the winter slumber.  You approach the game with a new outlook, you play knowing this round could be the last for many months to come, and you see the course take on a new view with the colors of fall foliage.  Being outdoors, playing the game you love, and enjoying the combination of fresh and cold air is a pure joy for golfers that only comes in a short period each year, so don’t forget to get outside and get 18 in before the weather turns.  

Reason Number 20 - Heated Seats

Reason number twenty, two-thirds of the way home, would be heated seats.  Heated seats to this day rank up next to sliced bread and the Trapper Keeper ™ as the being in the top five inventions of all time.  On cold fall mornings and/or evenings you simply press a button, roll a dial, or click a switch to feel warmth radiate down your back and butt to cut any chill you initially felt as you entered your automobile.  It ends up giving you a heat massage, loosening muscles, relaxing your body, and making your drive that much more enjoyable.  I love the ability of heated seats to make you feel like you are tucked in a warm blanket as you look out at the visibly cold elements outside of your whip knowing you are going to stay nice and toasty as you maneuver through traffic.  Furthermore on this, Jeep has now released a heated steering wheel in their new Grand Cherokees, which only seems to be a logical next step in heated car enjoyment. 

Reason Number 19 - My Man's Birthday

My man Dan Sagers is reason number nineteen.  On September 19, 1983 Dan took his first breath as a baby, this moment marks a monumental day for the month of September.  From that moment on he has blessed the world with his presence and continually grows as a Godly man.   Dan is honest, sincere, engaged, encouraging, and a role model for all men to look to.  Plain and simple anyone who can call him a friend is better for it.  

Each year Danimal gets to do celebrate his birthday in the month of September and that is pretty amazing.  It is like a shindig in a party, a festival in a celebration, a mazel in a tov, you simply get to take an already great month and a great day and multiply them together in greatness, yes three greats one sentence, four if you count the counting of each great, which would now make that five.  So this day becomes a holiday, Dan Sagers will long hold on to the 19th day of September and hold it as his own, long live my man’s day of birth.  

Reason Number 18 - Fires

Reason number 18 would be the delight of fire(s).  Though I with much disdain did not participate in a single bonfire on the beach this summer, which sickens me to the pit of my stomach, I know fall is going to bring fires with great abundance.  I have had one thus far and I thoroughly look forward to many more in the coming months. 

Fire has long been in our society, from a tool for cooking to heating fire has provided homes and bungalows with these necessities since at least the 1980’s, I am not sure if it existed before then.  Back then you would head out to the backyard, ax in hand, flannel on, and split wood to bring it inside and toss it on the open flames which you ignited with flint.  Today this is still commonplace in some regions, however we have also progressed to flipping a switch to turn on natural gas, or crackling Duraflame logs conveniently wrapped in paper that is easily lit.  Nonetheless there is something enchanting about fire, when encompassed in a fireplace that is, the whole burning buildings and fiery pit of hell is not something anyone desires.  There is something about the evenings as they continue to get darker and cooler where tossing in a few logs in the fire and hearing the crackling and seeing the flickering light that is peaceful and exciting at the same time.  It provides the perfect ambience for a relaxing evening and enhances your coziness factor by 2.8.  Though this week we are experiencing abnormally warm weather I hope you all look forward to the evenings of fires to come.  

Reason Number 17 - Release of Fall Catalogs

Reason number seventeen would be the fall release of catalogs.  There are two major prepping points for the year, one of which is the initiation of summer and the second of which is the preparation for fall/winter.  With the changing of season you are either refreshing the wardrobe, furniture, storage, or just in need of a refresh in general.  Each September our mail boxes (both physical and electronic) are ballooned with a plethora of catalogs.  From cooking to electronics to clothing to storage, everyone from J. Crew to Crate & Barrel has a catalog they send out come fall time.  

To some this may seem like a stupid thing to look forward to, but in fact is quite the contrary; it helps make educated buying decisions as consumers and reduce the propensity for buyer’s remorse.  Furthermore, it allows for proper cost-benefit analysis and side-by-side product comparisons to make well informed decisions and increases overall purchasing power.  It is also just fun to see what new designs, functions, form this fall will bring for the months ahead.  Costco has released their fall catalog for viewing and once again Mr. Cost seizes to amaze me with the new items he will bring in to his stores with the upmost quality and the most competitive warehouse pricing.  Example, I saw for $200 off an 8-pack of HD.264 Night Vision security camera’s with a 500gb hard-drive, do I need this, well no, am I going to get it, probably not, but nonetheless it is $399 after that discount, a shockingly good price for what is being offered.  With the economy down and out it is darn enjoyable to see the price wars on refreshed item lineups from our favorite stores/manufacturers and these catalogs bring out the first glimpses each fall.  So patiently keep checking your mailboxes for the new fall catalogs to arrive and enjoy flipping through the pages of new product offerings. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reason Number 16 - Comfort Food

The clouds darkened, the temperature drew back, and the rains fell, you found yourself with a shiver of cold striking you down to the bones.  The increasing darkness and the cold made you a little drowsy and strangely hungry on your drive home from work; what to eat for dinner?  Does this sound familiar?  I experienced this scenario yesterday, and this is where we find reason number sixteen, September brings in the season of plumping ourselves up from time to time with comfort food.  

Summer carries with it light chilled beverages, chicken kabobs, cold fruit, and other frozen treats.  Sure a burger is in there every now and again at a bbq, but for the most part we enjoy chilled food on the lighter side of the menu.  Conversely, there something about a chilly fall night with rain that makes you want to eat something that has some substance, “sticks to the bones” if you will.  A nice lasagna, some hearty steak and potatoes, grilled cheese and tomato soup, meatloaf, perhaps even pork chops and applesauce accompanied by a freshly baked apple pie (all supplied by your trip to the Fruit Loop).  I can’t sit here and tell you what you like to use as a utensil to eat baked mac-n-cheese, a spoon, a fork, a spork, I don’t know, that is up to you and your meal, I won’t make that call, but I do know it hits the spot on a cold rainy night.  This time of year the oven starts to get more burn (no pun), the kitchen is filled with heat, the scent of warm toasty food, and women naturally (haha, I kid, come on) and these kinds of evenings when we find ourselves wanting to occasionally fatten up on a carb loaded feast of pasta to wrap our tummys with a sense of fullness and inner warmth.  So put down the lemonade in exchange for hot apple cider, forget the deli cold cuts and step into the land of slow cooked pot roast and enjoy a nice warm fall meal.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reason Number 15 - Fog

Halfway through the month and the delights of September keep on pouring in, today’s special, fog.  Let’s see January try to pull this off - January 1st, new year, bowl games, resolutions you will break in two days, what a great start to a month… 30 days later, Jan 31st the only other good day in the month, the day of birth of my amazing little nephew and the month is over.  Keep holding dear to September and embrace its splendor.  

As you have probably experienced this past week or so, and as previously mentioned, September brings us weather that is an alluring jumble of warmth and cold.  
Yesterday I was walking in the sun, UV rays embracing me in warmth, but as soon as I got under the trees a delightful gust of cool wind blew through my long locks of hair, invigorating to say the least.  By the same token, when a mass of warm air hits a mass of settled cold air foglamiaea (Latin for fog naturally) is formed.  

This morning driving to work over Sylvan I got my first glimpse of fall fog.  Fog plain and simple, is neat; it brings with it a tranquility, calmness, and romance of nature.  Your eyes and senses relax as your world becomes smaller, the fog drawing the shades on the sun, hovering low to the ground, and encapsulating the trees.  It is pretty to look at and creates complementary scenes of fall Foliage (Reason 11).  There are going to be plenty of beautiful foggy settings to come, so enjoy the calmness and loveliness of fall fog.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reason Number 14 - New Fall TV Series

Reason fourteen is the beginning of new television seasons/series.  As much as I would like to say I am above being stimulated by something as simple as television, I am not, my eyes love HD and I love The Office.  I look forward to it starting this fall and the laughter Dwight Schrute will bring to my life.  I will put myself in Jim’s shoes and pretend my real workplace is in fact “The Office”.  I will increasingly engage myself in this made up storyline as though it is real and look forward to tuning in every Thursday.  

Last night I was flipping through the channels and noticed Gossip Girl had the momentous “New” next to the episode header.  Now, don’t get caught up on me mentioning Gossip Girl, yes I know there is a Claire and Chuck Bass, but that is neither here nor there, I was flipping to watch my boy Mark Sanchez drop all of 60 yards and 6 first downs on ESPN.  Furthermore, don’t think I would ever watch a series on the CW, any company who supports the name Tyler Perry and considers it entertainment should not receive viewers who pay their cable bill.  Nonetheless, the point I am getting at is September starts the new fall line up of TV shows.  

Gone are the days of the star-studded lineups with the likes of Patrick Duffey and Step-by-Step holding down TGIF, talent and TV shows like that just don’t come around every decade folks, feel blessed to grow up in the days of the 90’s.  These days each media giant claims they have a new show worth your time come September, chalk full of C-List actors and Tom Sellek, so in agreement we tune in to watch these new smash hits and try to find out if there is going to be another series that catches our fancy.  I don’t know if you are in to singing cops or werewolves with bad gambling habits, I can’t answer this, but let yourself peruse the new series this fall and take a guess at how many make it past the pilot episodes.  The Office – September 24th 6am Central European Time, September 23rd 7pm Hawaiian, watch it.  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reason Number 13 - The First Fall Frost

Reason number thirteen definitely did not happen today, but I am eagerly awaiting its arrival; the first time you wake up and see the ground covered in frost. More likely than not September will welcome the first seasons chill. Though it is definitely nice to enjoy the lingering of summer’s warmth there is an excitement that comes with the first frost. There will be a morning coming soon when you will awaken from a nice cozy slumber…

**Side note here, I am not going to include this in another reason September is amazing, but it should be duly noted, another benefit of a frost filled morning is the warmth of a nice goose down pillow and comforter. You are slightly chilled, but the feathers of the goosey keep you warm and cozy, a fantastic thing. You know how part of the pillow and part of the comforter are warm, so if you wake up and get out of bed and then come back you can nuzzle back into the warm spots, yeah you do.**

…Back to the reason at hand, after awakening you throw on your sweats and hoodie (Reason 5) and saunter through your morning before you will head out to make the trek to work where you will be engulfed by a cold breath of fresh air. You will see your breath puff away in a billow of haze and your lungs will thank you for not living in a city of smog. This haze is not smoke nor pollution, it is your warm breath meeting ways with the crisp fall air. As the crisp air rejuvenates your senses and awakens you like 20oz of VISO you gaze upon the quieted ground covered in frost. Not quite a winterwonderland, but enjoyable nonetheless. This invigorating experience is just yet another reason why September has dominated the calendar for centuries.

Reason Number 12 - September Sundays

Reason twelve I love September so much is something that only happens a few times a month; Sunday mornings. Each time of the year holds certain qualities which make certain routines a little more enjoyable, or maybe as enjoyable, but just with a different flair. That is the case for Sundays in September for me, or shall I say Splendid September Sundays for alliterative purposes. There is something invigorating and humbly old school American about September Sundays and the Sundays to come throughout fall. For me, it brings true joy to wake up early, layer your clothes (Reason 10) , head to church and walk in bible in one hand coffee (or Pumpkin Spice Latte (Reason 4)) in the other. If that doesn’t bring a smile to your face I don’t know what can. Each Sunday brings endless opportunities to be outside, take a fall Sunday drive somewhere, do some yard work, or just relax and lounge watching football. I urge all to relish in the coming Sunday’s left in September and enjoy the beginning of fall.

Reason Number 11 - Fall Foliage

Moment of silence for 2001… Reason eleven is a quintessential aspect of fall – foliage.  The changing color of autumn leaves is without a doubt one of the more breathtaking and beautiful sights we get to experience on this planet, it is truly something amazing.  As the days begin to shorten and the lack of water becomes evident, trees start to settle in for a long winter and stop the process of photosynthesis.  In turn this “leaves” (haha, get it) us with a brilliant display of bright, bold, and vibrant red, yellow, purple, orange, and brown leaves.  It is as though God is painting on the canvas of the world and delighting all who inhabit with a color pallet of natural beauty. Not even a 55” Edge-Lit LED TV with 3D goggles can replace what we get to see with our own eyes every September-November.  I don’t know a soul who does not enjoy the changing color of leaves and the exciting autumn colors trees provide to us each fall. September is the month that kicks this ever-changing color show off, so make sure to head out on these sunny days to come and enjoy not only the outdoors, but all the beautiful fall foliage we are blessed with in the northwest.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Reason Number 10 - Layering of Clothing

Reason number ten September is amazing is the proposition it poses for us as consumers and wearers of clothing to layer these articles. As mentioned in Reason 1 – Changing of The Seasons September boasts both warm and cool moments, but increasingly colder as the month progresses. As we have spent the past few months in the heat of summer we find ourselves wearing less of a variety of clothing. You dress to stay cool; you dress more or less out of necessity to keep the core body temperature at a reasonable 98.3 degrees. As fall rolls in we dawn new apparel in not only necessity to stay warm, but also to switch it up and throw a little “swag” on. So to sum up the layering of clothing in September, it brings in two facets, one of which is out of necessity the other of which is swag appeal and self expression.

We layer clothing out of necessity not knowing what the day may bring. You may very well see your breath in the morning and need a nice warm jacket or long sleeved shirt. However, by afternoon you may need to strip down to something a little cooler. This sometimes fun and sometimes annoying balance of what is best to wear is entertaining nonetheless.

The second facet of layering of clothing is based off self expression and buying cool new soft warm stuff. We all like to express ourselves for who we are, our personalities, tastes, style, etc. This is easily shown visually when you can wear different layers of clothing. So when September rolls around you get to bust out everything from a nice pair of jeans (furthermore, who doesn’t love a nice pair of jeans? Nice designer premium 12oz denim does anyone a service, to wear and to look at. Girls look good in them and men can feel like men wearing jeans, fantastic article of clothing) to a nice cozy flannel. Some of you, especially you girls love pulling out all the varieties of scarves for the fall season. I could go on for quite a while here with the vast array of clothing options, but I have to go, and the point is layering of clothing is fun and allows a new season of self expression. So whether you are bundling up or bundling down enjoy pulling out your fall colors, fabrics, materials, and layering away. Also, for all, special thanks to J.Crew for supporting September fashion.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reason Number 9 - Apple Season

Reason number nine September holds down the number one spot is yes, apple season. As I sit here eating an apple and already hit up Bucks this morning for a caramel apple cider I am taking part in arguably the most diverse fruit there is, a jack of all trades, or jack of all fruits if you will. What other fruits can boast such a resume; high in fiber, fun to eat, fun to throw, the fall of man, multiple colors, comes in a plethora of forms – juice, cider, sliced, pies, sauce, dried, etc. Not to mention, what other fruit can you think and ponder with? Surely not the watermelon, I know this. In any movie if someone is thinking or talking with a fruit it is naturally an apple; they toss it up and down, if it is a serious moment they take that annoyingly loud bite. You never see someone doing this with a pear, a kiwi, a cantaloupe, no, just the apple. We are blessed in Oregon to have a strong climate for growing this fruit and each September we get the opportunity to take part in the harvest season.

You can head to the Fruit Loop, after throwing on a nice Yuppy Jacket (Reason 3) and cruise the winding roads amidst beautiful landscapes to pick your apples by hand as in days past. After loading up on freshly picked apples and trying various apple flavored concoctions you can head home for a nice evening and if you are lucky perhaps a kind little lady will bake up a nice apple pie or can some apple sauce for a nice fall meal later on. The month of the apple – September, drink your cider and plan your apple picking trip!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Reason Number 8 - The Slowdown of Life

This one may seem somewhat ambiguous, but I also feel you may know what I am talking about. A certain feeling almost hits you out of nowhere, you find yourself a little more relaxed, a little less stretched out, with fewer obligations, and more you time. All of a sudden life just seems to slow down, and for me it always happens in September. You spend all summer hitting up bbq’s, parties, outdoor activities, weddings, golfing, or for me also heading to that gold digging whore Home Depot every Saturday and Sunday. You enjoy these activities and look forward to every summer to take part in them, but after a while you can get a little burnt out and could settle for a slowdown - like Dierks Bentley (I like song references for play on words).

One day all of a sudden you look out on a rainy day, look at the fall colors; you can feel the change of seasons and there is something soothing about it. In a gaze and thought you realize you are a little less tense and kind of in a daze. It leaves you time to think, ponder, plan, rest, put the engine back in neutral and chill for a bit. For me it kind of hit me in the car the other day, I almost felt like I was driving slower, I was in less of a hurry, and I was just a little more relaxed, I am experiencing the calming and slowdown of life that occurs every September. I think we are blessed with the opportunity between the summer and holiday hurries to settle down and embrace this period of slowdown. So if you experience this same feeling, soak it up, enjoy the down time, get some you time, take a nap in the middle of the day (going to happen in about 12 minutes for me), kick back, enjoy a movie night on a Tuesday and cuddle up in a blanket (Reason 6). Take pleasure in breathing in deep and enjoying September and all its amazing offerings.

Reason Number 7 - The Star of The School Year

In days past we thrived in the summer months, we held on to them dear, and dreaded for the school year to come. For as long as I can remember though, secretly it was exciting to start the school year. Even today when I have no school to attend I still look forward to this time of the year to see those yellow school buses cruise around picking up all the young’ns with new Jansport backpacks and a fresh box of 64 different colors of Crayons. It is amazing what the new school year can bring, a new beginning, a new opportunity, a sense of anticipation in what could play out over the next 9-10 months, the world is ripe for the picking. I remember looking back heading to the school to see what teacher I had, who was in my class, what my supplies list was. You get to head to the store and pick out everything from Mr. Sketch Markers to Stanford Titanium 0.5mm mechanical pencils to TI-86 calculators to protractors to “peachies” to a fresh new pair of Nike kicks, you name it. You wake up early that fateful day, pop tags pull stickers and throw on your new gear. Strap up that 74lb backpack full of supplies and have mom give you that brown bag lunch. I can’t lie here and say that after this you hop on the bus, because after one day in Kindergarten on the yellow school bus, my parents quickly learned this is not the way I would roll to school, but the idea is still the same. You make your way to school with the hum of busses and the excitement of all the other kids, you walk carefully not to scuff your new Nike Air Max and find your way to your classroom where that familiar smell and feel remains for months to come. It is an experience like no other and a pretty fun one to look back on at that. Even as times progressed it was still fun, in college getting to head down a week or so prior to the start of school and see all your friends back in the same friendly confines of your respective college town, it was always a joy, always new excitement. September brings this time without question every year, so even though we continue day to day at our respective jobs and have no defined “new year” we can still take joy in this time and start fresh beginnings and bring new forms of excitement into our lives.

Reason Number 6 - Blankets

Reason number six I love September is because blankets are back in.  Much like sweats and hoodies (Reason 5) blankets bring a soft cozy feel and increased warmth.  Everyone who is normal loves to cuddle up, it is ingrained in us as we did so for 9 months in our mother's womb.  You now have moved away from the days of amniotic fluid and would now preferably curl and cuddle up with someone of the opposite sex, September and blankets provide this opportunity, we get to create our own lil warm cocoon.  With summers passing we move in to a season of colder weather and as we saw yesterday downpours of rain.  Even though it may be tough from time to time to see the warm days go, it still is nice to grab a blanket, curl up, take a nap, and/or watch a movie.  I know, right now you are thinking how amazing that would be.  Well, bright side is the time is here.  In a coming weekend join in with delight as you grab a blanket and cuddle up. 

Reason Number 5 - Sweats and Hoodies

I got caught up in the Holiday weekend, so I am a few reasons off, but I will try to finish those as the day goes along.

Nonetheless, reason number five I love September is the use of sweats and hoodies.  You trade in your shorts and tees and cozy up in soft cotton pantalones and a snuggly hood.  There is something really nice to me about waking up in the morning and tossing on a pair of sweats and a hoody and watching Gameday or heading out into the increasingly chillier mornings and being shielded with these articles of clothing to run some errands.  They bring a relaxation and laziness to everyday life that just kind of slows things down a bit.  This weekend it was finally time to bust both sweats and a hoodie out and that is not a bad thing.  So I urge all of you in due respect to September to go pick up a fresh new pair of sweats or a new hoodie, because we all know when new brushed cotton rubs against the skin it brings a smile to our face!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reason Number 4 - Pumpkin Spice Lattes

September brings us coffee drinkers a present each year; the delightful Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I haven't been a huge coffee drinker all my life, but I am a pretty big fan now and being able to mix Pumpkin Spice and coffee together is a true delight.  I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte this week and it tantalized the taste buds just as I had hoped. 

I always find it funny how there are certain things in life that come around each "season", and you savor them while they are here and tuck them away for the remainder of the year once the season is over.  Pumpkin is one of these things.  Each September when this Pumpkin Spice Latte is released it not only ignites our joy and anticipation for fall, but starts the season for pumpkin treats of all kinds, pies, breads, bagels, you name it.  I thank September for starting the pumpkin season and especially the Pumpkin Spice Latte. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Reason Number 3 - Yuppy Jackets

Us folk born and bread in the PNDub (Pacific Northwest) know them well it is part of our culture... they are what I like to call the Portland T-Shirt. You first took note of them around 6th or 7th grade, you talked your parents into buying you that North Face Denali jacket - or vest, let's not kid, fleece vests were pretty sweet in middle school. Maybe you went with the classic black or tried to pull off the more bold red, either way at this juncture you stepped into the lifestyle of being a yuppy jacket owner. September rolls around and you busted out that trusty and trendy jacket and headed to the big High School football games on Friday night to spit game at the other 12 year olds...

Times have now progressed, but trusty and trendy are still here to stay. The North Face Denali is out and so are umbra-ella-ella-ella ays, water is meant to be blocked by our new yuppy jackets. We have transitioned into bonded fleece softshells, 3-Layer Gore-Tex, fully taped seems, waterproof zippers, and chin guards softer than the wool of a freshly groomed baby lamb. These jackets caress you, hug you intimately, and provide the safety and protection of a loving father from the elements fall will soon bring. You stay warm in amazement of your thin shell, yet cool due to intricately placed pit-zips on warm September days. The wind beats and tries to cut, but it's blocked by the finely woven fleece, the water sheds away, but you breathe out, you are amazed by the sprinkle of magic in each of these high-end finely crafted jackets. And let's not be confused, I am not talking about Columbia Titanium here, we are talking Arc'Teryx, Patagonia, Haglofs, Norrona, North Face.

September allows the opportunity not only to bring out your trusty jacket from the previous year, but it also brings new excitement to be an American consumer and scour the web and yuppy jacket stores alike for the new fall line of the finest jackets the US Dollar can buy. Will this new jacket have an additional trinket pocket? A new color? A Recco avalanche device? A goggle wipe? Who knows, but September brings this answer! Which is reason number three I love September, it is time to get your yuppy jacket on and where that Gore-Tex logo like a right of passage as a true Pacific Northwesterner. A color for each day is what I say, we will be wearing them like t-shirts the next 284 days.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reason Number 2 - Commencement of the College Football Season

September boasts the commencement of an athletic season like no other. Today September 2, 2010 marks the official start of the College Football season. The mighty men of Troy will take on the boys from the islands (USC vs. Hawaii) and all will be right in the world when that weird shaped pigskin is booted into the air and the first crack of a helmet is heard. No other sport on any other level takes on the anticipation and excitement that college football brings. Every team starts with a clean slate, every team has a shot at the title, hopes ride high as alumni and fans cheer on their beloved team(s). After ESPN has been consumed by WNBA playoff games, bowling, and the 14th matchup of the Mariners and Rangers all summer, we yearn for sporting excitement. Up to over 100,000 fans will pack stadiums all over the country and join in on fanfare like no other this coming weekend thanks to September. You wake up extra early, you watch Kirk Herbsreit and Erin Andrews on Gameday, and you sit back and spend your Saturday delighting in a sport at its purest form, seeing what upset may shakeup the current Top 25 or what single loss may cost a team their shot for the championship. Or perhaps you have the opportunity to actually head to a game and partake in such activities as “tailgating” – where the aroma of delicious food and beer fill the air, where the sounds of the marching band and the buzz of anticipation ring in your ears. You eat a hotdog and sip on a fine brew, play bean bag toss or ladder golf, toss the football around, and make what seems like a lifetime friendship (for the moment) with people you don’t know simply because they are hammered and wearing the same bright colored shirt you are. You ask your season ticket friend Kevin who you haven’t seen since last year how the wife and kids are, you discuss what players to watch, what the coach should do this season because you clearly know best, and what your season expectations are for 18-22 year old kids you consider assets with ROI. You chuckle, sit back and watch the sweaty overweight 30-35yr old men wearing 19yr old kid’s jerseys, who clearly take the game more serious than the players themselves, run around with a football firmly tucked in their gut dodging and spin-moving each other as though they are scoring a game winning touchdown… but in the parking lot. All in all, you come together in a form of camaraderie that rivals that of a finely trained Navy Seal group and relish in the joy of being on a college campus, packing a stadium, and cheering on your team. This season, college football season, is brought to us by the fine month of September. Fight on!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reason 1 - Changing of the seasons...

One may say, "Bjorn there are four seasons, so if you do the math that means there are four months that have "changing of the seasons", what would make September more enjoyable than the others?" 

To the of little understanding, no one talks about the other transitional months.  Do people really care when it gets from fall to winter, no, because at that juncture majority of the time us as Oregonians know winter as dark at 4pm, 38-48 degrees, and rainy.  So what about winter to spring, nope wrong again, people fully recognize this as the transition of rain to heavy rain.  Then what about spring to summer you say, everyone loves summer.  Precisely, people love summer, not what random month it may start heating up in, there is no defined month we get an abrupt transition of cold to warmth. 

Only September holds such power, in fact it harnesses power of the best of two seasons.  September still allows for the last signs of summer, the 85 degree day we all know and love, but it also gives you that beautiful first taste of crisp fresh air, the first morning you see your breath.  It invigorates your lungs, you get a little pep in your step.  You seem more alive and we always seem to welcome this change with open arms.  September is the only month to harness such energy.  You are still able to wear t-shirt and shorts, but at the same time you find yourself starting to bundle up for the increasingly colder mornings/evenings.  This reason is the first of many to come as to why September is my favorite month - it ignites a change of rejuvenation in the "changing of seasons".