Certain thrills and chills of the previous month stuck with me. And I want to keep remembering them as I move ahead.
Here are the 7 Good Luck Charms that made October 2019 the Octoberest for me:
1. A Night at the Opera: Rusalka
Early in the month, my friend Teresa offered us a pair of last-minute tickets to the dress rehearsal of the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Dvorak’s Rusalka. Of course I said yes, and so did my daughter, Bea! Who wouldn’t cross continents to listen to Sondra Radvanovsky’s “Song to the Moon”? This production had the Octoberest vibe: dancers in raven costumes, the witch Jezibaba immersing her stuffed cat in a cauldron for some comic relief, woodsmen with killer voices, and some badass mermaids. As a Wagner fan, this was definitely in my wheelhouse. Plus, any opportunity to sip a glass of champagne and have “life chats” with my daughter during an intermission is a gift in itself. Once last month’s incredible full hunter’s moon came into view, I kept going back to that evening and thrilling….
2. Evil Eyes Everywhere
On a walk together, Bea I picked up a few baubles from Collected Joy on Kingston Road. My find: a pair of budget-friendly Suetables Evil Eye Earrings. I put them on right away and just as quickly put them to darn good use: channeling the energy to make Thanksgiving pies after an epic 80-hour work week. They happen to match my favourite pie-dough-making-evil eye bowl, a long-ago gift from the in-laws via the Gardiner ceramics museum. Then, on a walk with our dog, Elvis, I found an evil eye on a rock, and I was slain by the power of threeeeeeevil!
3. Gold-Standard Reading: Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts
Since I loved Kate Racculia’s novel, Bellweather Rhapsody, I was super-psyched to hit my local bookstore for her October release, Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts [HMH]. The book is an #allhallowsread of epic proportions: a Poe-forward “traysure” hunt through Boston narrated by a motley crew, featuring a haunted house, a sub-terranean theatre, a subway tunnel sequence, and Racculia’s characteristic nods to vintage horror and the transformative power of music – this time in the form of extra-loud karaoke. What made reading the book “Octoberest” for me? The gold lining on the inside jacket cover. At first, I was a little distracted by the glare. Then, the shimmer became part of the thrill of the chase. Wait, is the image on the cover an eye, too?
4. Forging a Man Ray
As part of the epic work-week, alluded to above, I melted a printer and replaced it with its 2019 double. That’s right, I replaced my work wife with a younger model. To test out its prowess, I decided, on the fly, to try and make a version of the Man Ray “Indestructible Object” I like to photograph at the Royal Conservatory of Music on occasion, usually after a very good piano lesson. So, I printed out a photograph of my own eye and mounted it to the metronome our friend Renato gave us as a wedding gift in the late nineties. Another evil eye Octoberest. This one, mine. Maybe I should make the kids use this one when they practice….
5. Discovering Warden Woods
In October, I also discovered a local walking route I’d never explored, the Gus Harris Trail. Of course, I “discovered” it in the dark at 6 a.m., scaring myself silly speed-walking alone by iphone-light through a new-to-me sunken ravine, which was blessedly deserted except for some rabbits and foxes. [Lucky for me. More about this idiot business later.] Anywho, in order to quell the inner-terror, I took myself back to see it by daylight. And, I’m so glad I did. The Warden Woods are gorgeous. I’ve already brought Elvis for a sunrise jaunt. And, I enticed a pair of dear friends for a foggy morning double-dip. Forest bathing with fall colours on fleek.
6. Cosmic Scarf Leads to City Betty Star-Sign Cocktails
Towards the end of the month, I stopped in at a local Winners to grab a kid a pair of socks and nabbed a cosmic Zara scarf for $9.99. It’s full of ringed planets and stars, and I love it. It’s pinkish on one side and maroonish on the other. So, it goes with all of my outerwear, except, perhaps, the vintage leopard. Or, would that be fresh? Like magic, that night, realizing both kids would be out, Blaise and I nabbed ourselves a table at one of our favourite local restos, City Betty, where the entrées are seasonal and the cocktails are curated to align with the stars. Blaise had two of the special Smokin’ Scorp [Mezcal, Tequila, his favourite Grapefruit Jarritos, Lime, and Burnt Rosemary]. After I sampled a Manhattan [I’m on a Manhattan tour of the Earth!], I had one of CB’s “Earth Sign” offerings, the Date Night [Bourbon, Date Puree, Kinsip Spirits Bitters and Lemon]. Transported!
7. Impromptu Midsommar Brunch and Killer Zinnias
Back in late July, I found a packet of zinnia seeds in the back of a drawer in the basement and decided I’d drop them in an old dilapidated planter to see what happened. I pretty much forgot about them. Then, serendipity. Last month, I asked a few girlfriends if I should watch the horror film, Midsommar. And they suggested I only do so if we did it altogether. The result: an impromptu brunch chez moi with a freaking yogurt bar and a my famous frittata. I loved the movie, much more so because of the friends I got to see it with, my squad since grad school. [The film is about a bunch of graduate students, ahem.] Then, of course, our buzz about potential Midsommar Halloween costumes, complete with flower crowns, made me go back to the house and check on my zinnias. They’d managed to bloom, despite the season, proving the lesser known theorem: