What’s top of my mind: The Elantra. A few weeks ago the engine light came on, signaling doom and a large mechanical bill. I immediately rang the dealership who were very nice but didn’t have any openings until 20 September. I drove about on tenterhooks, fearful the engine would suddenly shut down or explode. Then a few days ago the light went out on its own, how mysterious. I kept the appointment. The good news is all faults found are addressed and repaired. The bad news: the 1700$ bill. Oh the pain. There goes any hopes for travel plans this year. I haven’t yet heard if the repairs were just normal old-car wear and tear or the results of driving for two weeks with the engine light on.

Where I’ve been: The pharmacy to get my covid-19 booster. Last weekend I got my booster shot. I think this makes #4 or #5 I forget. I get one every time the MDs say to do so. As usual, I felt nothing afterwards but a sore arm. Besides feeling good for doing the right thing, I got a grocery shopping coupon good for 10% off , which I used to fill up the freezer with good-to-eat meaty treats.

Where I’m going: The Ballet. Someone told me the other day we have tickets this Thursday for the ballet. It’s the season again. I am looking forward to it. I don’t recall what we are seeing, probably one of those ‘story book’ productions. I have a good ear for the opera and the symphony but when it comes to ballet I am a dillenente who appreciates it at a superficial level. Ballet is pretty but it all sort of looks the same. Even the dancers blur to be identical in looks. I wonder if anyone will be wearing a mask other than Urs Truly.

Mr Brown (the dear!) Please don’t feed him buns and things.

What I’m watching: Lost in the Pond. Mr. Brown is a fine fellow from England and is well over four feet. His schtick is playing the bewildered Briton living in the Midwest and comparing life there to here. He has a droll sense of humor. In his latest video he talks about words from his youth that Americans don’t use, such as argy-bargy, brolly, cheeky, cling-film, flyover, peckish, and queueing up. I like the sound of cling-film; I want to use it sometime.

What I’m reading: Emails sent from friends. Nearly all emails I get are rubbish types. This has recently changed. I’m beginning to receive regular correspondences from friends who have taken time to write out their thoughts and happenings. It feels like the old days when I delivered letters in the post and not just bills and junk mail which is now the wont. I read these emails slowly and carefully and I attempt to return each one to let them know what I thought of their contents. What a delight it is to see one in the inbox among the spam and phishing attempts.

What I’m listening to: Old tunes about autumn. Around Labor Day I pull out the playlist of tunes suitable to autumn: “Autumn Leaves”; “Autumn Serenade”; “It’s Autumn” – those sort of ditties. They are like Christmas carols for the fall. My parents played them on the combination TV and stereo system with the record player on the right and the albums on the left side of the bulbous grey glass television screen (remember them?). Fall tunes have some of melancholy to them, as summer has ended and winter approaches. Back then the falls were cool and crisp and full of yellow leaves from the majestic elm trees that lined our street.

What I’m eating: A brownie. It’s been nearly a month since I ate anything sweet. The Boss made a tray of brownies, marbled with peanut butter. I felt it politic to have one, which I did and I ate it with relish. It was very good, especially with that hot cup of sugarless coffee to balance it off. After a hiatus from sweets the sudden surge of sucrose was quite intense and slightly unpleasant; my taste buds deregulated down a bit. It was a nice treat.

Who needs a good slap: The head shop next door. The office space next to my MESA office has been under construction for some time and it wasn’t clear what it would become. The stank of the renovations seeped into our office at times, causing breathing problems and once we shut down from the fumes. It turns out it is a cannabis dispensary. We can smell someone smoking weed coming from their place. I have an old bias against having these sorts for neighbors as thems that sell drugs can attract crime and ne’er-do-wells. I will work on these bad assumptions but the smell of pot in our office is not nice. I feel sorry for the daycare center on the other side of the CBD shop. Imagine how their business may be effected by the same smell seeping into their kiddy areas.

On my 1-5 scale, I give the new neighbors three slaps. Sell your product but no smoking during working hours.

Who gets a fist bump: The Fates. Someone’s boss has been away on holiday for some weeks, creating more work and extra-long days for him, poor fellow. Monday last as he dressed for work he wistfully said ‘there are two more weeks to go’. That very day, lo! His boss suddenly showed up unannounced stating she was back to work; she felt it was ‘just time to come home’ or something. He takes tomorrow off and he will probably sleep all day. Thank you, ladies.

What I’m planning: Nothing. This is the W for which I cannot find an answer this week. It’s a little early to plan Hallowe’en happenings and there is nothing needing planning at home or at work for awhile. Life looks to be mundane doings.

What’s making me smile: Brown paper packages tied up with strings. Last weekend I wrote to Mr. Bezos to send me some cheer-me-up items toot suite and charge it please thank you very much. I will get the 2023 office calendar (Inuit art) along with some imperial tidbits like hot sauce from Barbados and bucatini noodles from Italy (no rubbish). I also ordered some sauces from Africa, their names escape me. For good measure I threw in a few orders of plastic pumpkins as one can never have enough. I also asked the good fellows (I think they are human) at The Spring-Heeled Jack Coffee Company to send me ‘from the dark heart of Ohio’ some diabolical coffee beans.

Having something to look forward to arriving in the post is a nice feeling that makes me smile.