Autumn can be a little depressing…especially if your favorite baseball team is no longer making this an Orange October for you. Or if you live in California, where Mother Nature decides to extend summer an extra six weeks while the rest of the world is enjoying an actual seasonal change. (Note to the climate – I’m over shaving my legs, please usher in the clouds and frost. Thank you). But we’ve had glimpses of the cold coming in, the leaves begin to turn, and I had my first cup of hot tea the other night, so I feel as though one of my four favorite seasons is finally ready to make an appearance.

Here are the things I am looking forward to the mostest:

 10. GLOOM. Everyone loves to feel gloomy every now and then. Even Pollyanna had her moments of cheerful doubt. And there is nothing like waking up to a dark, cloudy sky, and just saying “aw the hell with it, I’m staying inside ALL DAY in sweats. I fart on the world!” (Note – I’ve never said this, but it made me laugh really hard imagining my great grandma saying it) Sometimes it feels great to be inexplicably miserable. But remember, misery loves company, so make sure you have a fully stocked bar and snacks. Food is a friend.

9. SOUP.Nom nom. I will spend all day making a  good batch to share with friends. Read here.

we got a twofer here! Tea AND fire. thanks, internet.

8. Tea. With honey. And a book. And a nap.

7. Fireplaces.The sounds they make crackling. The smells of the wood burning. Smores. Story-telling around them. They have a hypnotizing calmness to them.

snuggles are not optional.

6. Cuddles and Snuggles.Either with a good friend, a sister, a baby, or a small pet. I love to stick my toes under someone’s leg to keep me warm, and sharing an old blanket and burying deep so you can only see my eyes and hear a muffled laugh. Insert rom-com, fall asleep on couch. Perfect.

"im so hipster."

 5. The clothing. Its no secret that white people love scarves. We wear them year-round because we can’t regulate our body temperature. Hot arms/cold neck is a major problem for us gringos. But when its Fall, everyone can join the trend without irony! Just add your 3d movie glasses with lenses poked out and colored skinny jeans or cords tucked into riding boots for your invisible steed and you’re all set.

PS I’m most excited to wear my peacoat. mustard yellow. heavenly.

4. Leaves turning colors. The thrill of stepping on a particularly crunchy one. The way bare trees look when the sun is setting. The fun that raking is for a good three minutes. Making someone else rake the pile up and then you jump in it.

3. Halloween. As a UCSB grad, believe me, I know a good Halloween. It lasts at least four days and nights, and you better have as many costumes. You should spend at least one night

one of the greatest Hweens of all time...2005

separated from your friends but making new ones, one standing on the back of a truck watching the crowds and posing for pictures with randos, run into your boss, TAs, University President and his wife, and definitely everyone you’ve ever loved or hated. Your costume should be something like “Naughty/Sexy/Ironic/Retro ________________.” This is a great time for a group effort costume. IE crayons, Ninja Turtles, DNA, bananas being chased by gorillas, etc.

But that was college. Now I’m mostly into candy and watching little kids run around and scream. I wear my banana suit and Indian headdress and pound Whoppers.

2. All things Pumpkin. Lattes, bread, candles, wine, beer, muffins, scones. I even have pumpkin shampoo. There should be a carving of some sort, and a roasting of the seeds is key. Eat yourself sick on those. Come up with a sick pumpkin decoration but get discouraged half-way through and just leave it to sit on your friend’s balcony to mold for all time. (sorry jess :))

thanks with little brothers - 2009

1. Thanksgiving.

Aw, I know its cheesy, but so am I. Something about breaking bread with loved ones, remembering how blessed we are, copious amounts of red wine, some sort of family game, and mashed potatoes makes me all warm inside. The football game on, the half-day change into sweatpants so you can eat more, the food coma, the pie. Its so American and beautiful.

And I like it a lot.