FALL

27 Sep

[Editor’s Note:  Normally we approach our resident Steed about things we’d like him to write about, but earlier this week, we received the following over a series of several hundred text messages.  Apparently he was in a state he called Fall Heat, and just had to get it all out.  We transcribed as best we could.]

“A few nights ago, as I was out on my bi-weekly night jog, I felt the clammy grip of Indian Summer loosen up just a bit, allowing the brisk nip of Fall to sneak in and get a little face time for the first time in 2012.  This always happens at some point in September, and there are always a couple of cues right off the bat to indicate that seasons are changing.  The air burns just a little as it goes down your throat – a good burn that feels natural.  There’s a flush of red in your cheeks after you’ve been outside, and for the first time in several months, it’s not because someone passed you the SPF 5 Oil Bronzer and not the SPF 35 Sport like you fucking asked him to seven times.

No, it is because there’s a chill in the air that tingles when it hits your face – a tingle that increases as you realize that, yes, Fall has finally come again.

Whatever you want to call it – Fall, Autumn, Harvest, Autumnal Equinox – this time of year is always one that I greatly enjoy.  It always seems as if the September-October-November period is filled with nonstop events and activities, as if the Pause button that social life often hits-and-sticks during the long dog days of Summer is replaced by a vigorous push-and-hold of Play.

This might have a lot to do with the ritualized school schedule – whether you’re currently in school or spent most of your younger years getting acclimated to the school calendar, you know that the start of classes in late Aug./early Sept. is just a footnote to the onslaught of football games, tailgates, kegs in the leaves, homecomings, dances, festivals, holiday parties, etc.  All coming within a three month span.  There’s the best month of the year, Roktober, and the first (Halloween) and fourth (Thanksgiving) best holidays of the year.  Fall?  Or Foll – Full Of Life & Love?  Shit’s about to get crazy.  Here are some reasons why.

Football Season

The greatness of the football season should and does include both the NFL and College games, but for me, it’s really just about College.  That’s where the soft, keg-fueled core of my Fall Football lovin’ heart lives.  There isn’t much you can think of that beats a classic College GameDay Saturday – spending the early part of the day ‘gating and foolin’ with some fellow fans, building up a solid buzz off Schlitz and school spirit, getting asked to leave the library because you can’t do certain things in the bookstacks, joining the band-led procession to the stadium for the game, getting asked to leave the stadium because you can’t do certain things in the bathrooms, waking up on the intramural fields with no pants on and only six and a half more days to go until it starts all over again.  God I love College Football season.

Roktober

There is a difference between October and Roktober.  October isn’t bad – it’s a great sweet spot on the calendar right when Fall really gets going, and is often full of quaint pumpkin- and leave-dotted landscapes.  However on some years, if you know what you’re doing, all or at least most of October can shift into Roktober.  When it becomes Roktober, all bets are off.  The only thing that’s certain is that the party never stops during Roktober.  It just keeps going until it shudders to a gentle stop at some ambiguous date after Halloween.  It doesn’t matter what kind of event you’re partying at – all that matters during Roktober is that there’s a general fall theme to festivities, and that you’ll never be able to find a good reason not to keep partying.

You’ll be able to tell when you’re in full Roktober mode when you notice that you have four party events planned over the next four days as you’re just starting to piece together certain events of the last four days.  There is no stopping in Roktober, and why would you want to?  Just because you’re tired from the Oktoberfest “dinner” at your local Breu Haus doesn’t mean you want to miss out on that Pumpkin Carving + Shots get-together your cute neighbor is throwing tomorrow night.  Roktober is no joke, but you’ll be smiling the entire time.

Scarf for Two

The advent of the -er months comes with the previously discussed chillier weather.  And in most areas around the country, said chilly weather is combated by bundling up in more layers and warmer clothes.  (This bundling-up practice in itself is a welcome new habit after the sweaty nonsense of late summer – you can put that sweaty tank away and enjoy the self-important feeling you get as you suit up just for a short walk outside.)  There are times, however, when bundling up in just your own warm clothes is not enough to truly warm you where it counts.  These times often come when you find yourself spending some outdoors time with particularly alluring members of the opposite sex.

There just seems to be something in the Fall air that adds a little tingling sense of danger to the outdoor flirting process, and this understandably leads to a lot of emotionally charged situations.  You both get a little chilly, someone happened to bring more layers than the other person, and all of a sudden, you’re both hunched under one overcoat or sharing one short scarf, frantically hooking up to fight off the falling temperatures.  Fall(in)Love.  Get it?

Pilot Cancellation Season

I’m a very positive dude, and I usually don’t like to take pleasure in other people’s misery.  But there is a particular time during the Fall months when some strangers’ miseries make me a very happy camper.  This yearly event has its roots back in Pilot Season – or actually, a little before that.  For the unaware out there, Pilot Season is when all of the TV networks pick up the pilots of whichever shows they’re going to debut in the Fall.  Pilot Season is when many actors get their first big breaks, and as a budding thespian, it’s thus the time of year when I put my hopes and silver-screen dreams on the line.

If I happen to be in LA, then I’ll be out on the dirty-dog streets, getting my moneymaker out there and shooting whatever scripts they put in front of me.  If I can’t be in LA, which was the case this year, I’ll put together some sizzle reels of myself doing quirky sitcom-ready things and try to get it viral among the Tinseltown rainmakers.  No matter I’m doing, I’ve put my dreams on the line every year for the last several years.  And every year, nothing has happened.  No pick-ups, not even to a TLC mid-season replacement.  So every year, when the first new Fall show ads go up, it’s like a dozen little slaps to the face every time I turn on the TV or open up my latest issue of EW.  It’s brutal.

Every year, it’s almost too much to bear.  But then, just as I’m reaching for that Jag to soothe the pain – a glorious epiphany comes to me in the form of early-season TV show cancellations.  After a couple of weeks, execs realize their decisions on some shows not featuring me were wrong, and things start to get pulled off the air.  And my, is it a flood of renewed optimism in myself when I see all of those new slots start to open up for the next year’s Fall season.  I know that I’ll get another chance to make it big, and that if I had been on this year’s crop of freshly cancelled shows, they most definitely would not have gotten the axe.  Every cancellation season, I pour myself a cold Autumn seasonal brew and soak in the fresh chances that only Fall can bring.

Thanks for letting me air out this seasonal excitement sirs.  I’ll see you in Roktober.”

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