The odds ‘n’ ends of November

So besides going to Ireland and posting an online memorial to my cat, I haven’t really done too much at the end of November (and let’s face it, I didn’t do too terribly much in Ireland ever. Worst traveler award goes to me.). But in deference to my clamoring readership (aka because I’d rather write a blog post than work), I decided to do a little Potpourri Jeopardy Category for what I’ve been doing in the last few weeks of November, besides work (boooooring). Prepare yourselves for a life of adventure, excitement, and danger.

Or a photo montage depicting how I filled my time.

I watched a LOT of holiday-appropriate TV

My former roommate Kathleen made the fortuitous decision to do a tour around Europe in November, which positively impacted me as A) London was the “bookend” and so I only had to deal with jet-laggy Kathleen or worn-out-from-travel Kathleen, which meant we got to just lounge around together and I felt less pathetic than when I do it alone; and B) She was in my life in the beginning of November and right before Thanksgiving, which means we got to celebrate Halloween, Election Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas together.

Allow me to explain (because I will anyway): my holiday traditions dictate that on Halloween, I watch Hocus Pocus and the scary episode of Boy Meets World, originally with my dear friend Sean and then whoever else was around; on Election Day, we watch West Wing episodes (OBVIOUSLY, like a good DC kid would); on Thanksgiving, all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes; and on Christmas, a mish-mash of Christmas movies that last year included a shared calendar of about 15 movies but always requires a viewing of The Santa Clause while decorating.

Clearly we had to stuff as many holidays into as few days as possible (especially since Kathleen is the holder of the WW and Friends DVDs). Thus resulted in a day where we watched about 4 straight hours of Friends while I made a pummple pie (pumpkin and apple), and then we switched to Christmas while I put on the best onesie the world has ever seen and put up the saddest decorations while watching The Santa Clause (a teeny little USB Christmas tree and one sad tinsel streamer). Perfect.

(And did a pilgrimage to Primark to pick up the most comfortable and attractive PJs known to man)

I put on my tour-guide hat and took the Me in Ireland around my city 

To follow up from my wonderful visit to Dublin, my pal Rachel came over to visit London for the first time! While I realized I am a bit of a nervous tour guide (I kept asking if she was having a good time and at one point got so overwhelmed with emotions and nerves that she had to give me an Underground-turnstile hug – EVERYONE COME VISIT!), I like to think we had a grand time that included NITROGEN ICE CREAM (yum!), huge hunks of cheese (and Scottish hunks as well GOT EM), and the Kristen McCarthy Tour of London.

Most importantly: I had an incredible Thanksgiving meal 

While I’m not the biggest fan of Thanksgiving food, I had a pretty awesome Thanksgiving. We took the students out to a restaurant and served them a “British Thanksgiving meal” (aka the Christmas menu of soup, roasted turkey, and special-ordered pumpkin pie). The staff promptly established the “grown up table.”

You know how sometimes you’re out in a restaurant and you see a table of people having the best time? That was us. It was one of those nights where everything just crackled, everyone was hysterical, and we made everyone else super jealous with how much fun we were having. We did the whole go around the table and say what you’re thankful for, and our British colleague (who was very nervous about this tradition and made us all go before she did) NAILED that tradition so hard with the best little speech that we gave her a round of applause.

Most importantly, I had the best. pumpkin pie. ever. In between the mains and dessert we were taking pictures with our students. When we caught a glimpse of the pie being placed on our table, we literally shoved the students aside to leap back to the table and devour.

Aaaaand that’s about it for November. Besides sharing how on the way over to the restaurant, I said very seriously, “I really want there to be ice cream on the pie. A. LOT.” Imagine my delight when there was! I dug in quickly and didn’t even breathe in between bites – until someone idly said, “This ice cream is good!” I clasped the spoon in my fist, rammed it into the plate, and said passionately, “That’s what I’m TALKING about!!!”

The epitome of November to me — our genial British coworker and friend experiencing turkey belly after her first Thanksgiving meal.


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