Keeping an open mind: Nov. 13

I heard the Christmas music, a bit early for my taste, but didn’t pay it any mind otherwise.

Not that I’m bringing back the Holiday Creep amnesty, but whether it’s because I’ve had other things on my mind or I’ve found myself looking forward to the start of this year’s Suzi’s Wonderful Christmas, I just haven’t gotten worked up about it.

Don’t get me wrong … I’m still not partaking yet. My evening drink of choice is still apple cider and not egg nog, and I am definitely not even contemplating organizing my Christmas shopping like Becky does.

Of course, I don’t do that closer to Christmas, either.

There’s something that for lack of a better term I call “red car syndrome,” as in, if you buy a red car, for a while, you only notice red cars. Ever since Suzi bought one of these bags for our trip to Switzerland, we’ve seen them everywhere!

We were on the annual excursion where Suzi and her mom do Christmas shopping for each other and I hang out in the bookstore working on my own list while they do.

“Relax,” I told myself. “You have time. Take your time.”

I even lingered in the self-help books. Sure, I think most self-help is hokum and almost certainly wasn’t going to ask for any, but who knows? If I took a few minutes to look at some, maybe one would jump out at me.

None did, but I learned what Annie Duke has been doing since televised poker was a thing — she actually looks like she has a really interesting background, and has written a book on knowing when to quit — and who the person is behind God’s Twitter account.

I also saw a book called “The Power of the Downstate,” which is not a lamentation from where I grew up in upstate New York, but something about recharging your life … which might actually be useful in my case.

So maybe self-help wasn’t going to be on my Christmas list, but as I tried not to hurry through the stacks, I made an effort to give myself a chance to be interested, to actually pick up books, look them over and give them a shot.

It was fruitful. Several books that I probably wouldn’t have given a second glance wound up typed up in the Notes app on my phone, along with a book about the Hartford Whalers … one of two that I saw, because Connecticut’s going to Connecticut.

It’s actually a pretty good thing to try to remember for life in general — to give myself a chance to be interested. (No self-help book required.)

But I know that’s only going to be the first half of it. It’s good to keep my mind open about what books to get, but then when I get them, I also have to open them.

I’ve been absolutely awful about reading books this year, and I need to get back in the habit.

Stuff I read

Kristian believes in celebrating, like for her birthday, which she just had. (Happy birthday!)

Bruce had another interesting dinner.

Sally writes about being born in the “olden days,” which concerns me, since I’m pretty sure I’m a few years older than her.

Kat is not interested in nursing.

Rosie went to Amsterdam.

This piece from Diana about anxiety, had me wondering where the space is between “some amount of anxiety” and what she experienced. When is it no longer “some amount of anxiety”?

Renata breaks down trivia nights.

I am very, very happy the election is over. Austin shares Aaron’s thoughts about one of the worst parts of election season.

The BosssyBabe deals with writer’s block.

Tweets I liked

Before we get into the tweets, if you’re worried about the bird losing all its feathers and are considering decamping somewhere else, here’s where you can find me.

“When Harry Met Sally” is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I’d put “Four Weddings and a Funeral” high on this list, too. (And while I’ve never seen any of the movies in the “Before Sunrise” trilogy, I read Helena Fitzgerald’s fascinating essays about them.)

As I recall, this was a very dramatic scene in “Les Miserables.”

Most of the sunsets I watch are at beaches, but still …

Moving into a new house is always an interesting experience!

I wouldn’t be able to dance to this version, either.

No matter the show, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the villain right the first time.


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