Tag Archives: fall

I’m Raising an Animal

dominance
King of the Rock

Last Saturday was one of those picture perfect autumn afternoons that is wonderfully unique to New England.

The weather was cool and crisp, requiring a sweater in the morning and short-sleeves during the day. Summer hasn’t quite left your system but you can feel the fall wind prickling your senses as winter looms just out of sight. The leaves on the trees suddenly turn to fire and bright yellow. Then the dried leaves fall to the ground where the autumn breeze scrapes them along the roads and sidewalks.

For approximately 4-5 weekends in September and October — after the leaves turn color but before the Halloween parties commence — all of New England turns out for an annual event that is a prerequisite for anyone living in the area. Apple picking.

So what does apple picking have to do with raising an animal, television, and my parental humiliation?

Continue reading I’m Raising an Animal

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Autumnal Orgy


Fall is by far my favorite season.

First of all, autumn brings what I call “Fat Guy Weather.” The infernal summer heat finally subsides which means the sweat underneath my man boobs finally disappears. Not to mention I get to break out my fine collection of sweaters. And because we’re in New England, it means you get that weird phenomenon where you need a jacket in the morning, air conditioning during the middle of the day and long sleeves again at night. I swear if I could have the temps in the low 60s on a year-round basis I’d be a very happy guy.

September also brings back football. As a diehard New England Patriots fan who has been faithfully attending home games via my dad’s season tickets since the age of 6, this brings me much joy. A crisp September/October day, putting on my Brady jersey, walking the 1/2 mile from our super secret parking spot to the stadium, being with my dad and his best friend Rick, watching a team I’ve loved all my life? There’s not much better. And since all the guys in my family are in the same fantasy league, we shoot each other texts and taunting phone calls all day to boot. Basically it is maleness in its most basic form. Good times.

But fall is more than just football and the weather.

As the leaves turn colors, I invariably make a trip out to western Massachusetts. The Berkshires. The sparsely populated portion of Massachusetts where I attended college for four years. Crammed in the upper left hand corner of the state between New York and Vermont.

To get there you should drive on the Mohawk Trail, which is a 63-mile stretch of road filled with unsurpassed beauty. Mountains, valleys, bridges, rivers. And if you go at the right time, the foliage is nothing short of heart-stopping. Every time I drive on that road it’s like someone shoots a dose of adrenaline and nostalgia into my soul. I can’t help but think of driving to school every September. Driving back to my good friends after a summer away. Back to my tiny, but wonderful college that I truly loved. Back to the Mound, our favorite bar. The newspaper office where I ran everything.  But most important, it reminds me of a time in my life that was full of promise. A time when absolutely anything was possible. When classes, friends and parties were all I needed to worry about.

Not to mention the apple cider at The Apple Barn in Vermont.

And my last reason for loving the fall? Well that’s easy. I’m sure most of you have heard of Cape Cod, and I’ll bet a good portion of you have vacationed here. Some of you may have even come from out of town this summer. And while I love each and every one of you dear readers, I’d like to take this opportunity to say GET THE FUCK OFF MY PENINSULA!

Seriously, the lack of tourists is one of the best things about the fall. No more Friday and Sunday traffic jams at the bridges. And you bastards are EVERYWHERE. And since you’re on vacation, you drive like you don’t have a care in the world. Stopping suddenly to look at the bridges, turning left into every antique shop you come across and let’s not even get into your driving behavior when it comes to rotaries. Sweet Jesus people, it’s a traffic circle. The cars already in the rotary have the right of way. That’s it. Drive accordingly. What’s so friggin hard about that?? Yet some of you (and I’m looking your way here Jersey drivers) feel the need to panic and just stop in the middle of everything.

Ugh.

I guess it’s a little weird that I like fall so much. It is a season of decay, after all. Everything is slowly dying or hibernating in preparation for a cold, bleak winter. I guess it’s the optimist in me, poking his head out to tell me there’s still a lot of beauty in things even though they’re past their peak. That the descent into winter and a bleak frozen season doesn’t have to be filled with dread if you can just manage to enjoy the ride.

Happy Autumn.

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Autumn is the Best!

Summer is too sweltering and the winter cold can be too biting and harsh. But the fall? Well Goldilocks, the fall is proof that Mother Nature is quite a woman.

I know bloggers aren’t supposed to post about the weather because it’s boring. But I just muddled through three months of a rainy, hot and ridiculously humid summer. I endured yet another summer season of tourists, beaches, traffic and the Fat Guy Sweats from the damn humidity. I know so many people love the summer because it means ice cream, tank tops, swimming, etc but not me. In fact that only thing that gets me through the summer is knowing that autumn is right around the corner.

And thankfully, the fall weather has arrived.

This morning I woke up and felt a slight chill, which is great because I’d sleep in a meat locker if possible. We can finally sleep with the windows open and the air conditioner off, so I was able to feel the cool morning breeze on my face. I smiled as I got up and hugged myself just a little because of the nip in the air. Fall in New England is like a roller coaster. You wake up and you need a jacket. But after a few hours you can ditch it because temperatures have climbed to high 60s/low 70s. Warm but not stifling hot. It stays that way until dinner time and then it’s back to high 50s/low 60s, which is absolute perfection for me.

But there’s so much more to fall than the weather.

First and foremost, it means football season is upon us. And as much as I love attending and watching Patriots games, that’s only part of the appeal. I’ve tried to explain this to MJ and she doesn’t get it, so maybe you have to be a guy to appreciate what I’m about to describe. But every Sunday, Will and I head to my parents’ house for football. My dad has the DirectTV NFL Sunday Ticket, which means we can watch every game. And the best feature of Sunday Ticket? The Red Zone channel. It brings us live to every game in which the offense is at the 20-yard-line or closer, which means it brings us to every game where there’s about to be scoring. We also set up another TV, right next to the big screen. This screen is reserved for when the Red Sox are playing at the same time as football, or for the football game we want to have on constantly instead of jumping all around.

With two TVs, the grill going and lots of testosterone in the air, we sit there all day. I mean all day. The 1 o’clock games, the 4 o’clock games and then the Sunday night game. Its upward of 12 hours of football and it’s pure heaven. We all hang out together, track our fantasy teams and make fun of each other. It’s truly great and it’s one of the main reasons I’m exhilarated that I had a son.

Fall also means an inevitable trip to the Berkshires and North Adams, where MJ and I went to college. For those who don’t know, the Berkshires are the western part of Massachusetts. While eastern Mass. is Boston and beaches, western Mass is far less populated and consists mostly of mountains. The best way to get there is to drive along Route 2 and the Mohawk Trail. It is one of the most beautiful rides you will ever take. Especially in the fall.

When all the leaves turn it truly becomes nature’s canvas. It’s an entire mountain range of orange, yellow, red and brown and it never fails to stop me dead in my tracks.

Every year while visiting the Berkshires we indulge in all of fall’s greatest pleasures. We go pumpkin picking and continue our quest for the perfect pumpkin. We head to a corn maze. And then there’s my favorite thing in the whole freaking world: cider. I love apple cider in all its forms. There is nothing in the world more satisfying and peaceful than overlooking a gorgeous vista of colored leaves, breathing in cool mountain air and sipping on a piping hot cup of apple cider. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

So if you’re a summer aficionado, sorry. But your time is over. It’s time for sweaters in’stead of bathing suits. The mountains instead of the beach. Football as opposed to baseball. And it means I can finally drive around the Cape sans tourists who don’t know how to navigate a damn rotary !

Welcome to town fall, it’s been too long!

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