Fall To-Do List


pumpkineverythingSome folks like the spring, while other yearn for the summer. For me, Autumn is the best season of all. I can feel its arrival in the air— the crisp mornings, later sunrises, and the stench of rotting leaves. I like to attack the season with vigor and purpose, which, for a Type-A person like me, means that I must make a list of all the things I’d like to accomplish. It’s no secret that I love lists. So, I just pulled out my favorite notepad and scribbled out the first three things that came to mind.

The first item on my to-do list is a perennial fall favorite— the Fantozzi Farms Corn Maze. Here in Patterson, we’re lucky to have this fun, family-friendly destination right at our door step. Each year, they select a unique theme for their corn maze design. This time, they’ve etched the US Capitol Building, along with the heads of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump into their massive corn field. While it’s difficult to tell which candidate has the most inflated head, Trump’s hair, alone, should at least cover a couple of acres.

As always, there are lots of other fun and spooky activities for kids of all ages at the Fantozzi Corn Maze. You should check it out this October. After all, who knows when we’ll get another opportunity to run around in these candidates’ heads? I can imagine what kind of scary stuff we may find lurking around in there. Perhaps the thousands of Hillary’s lost emails and the remnants of Trump’s sanity? Who knows!

This leads me to the second item on my autumn to-do list— voting in the 2016 Election. Voting is our civic duty and responsibility. When I turned 18, I was so excited to vote in my first election— which turned out to be the historic 2000 Presidential Election. With all the Florida recounts, ‘hanging chads,’ and Supreme Court hearings, that election had more drama than an episode of the Real Housewives.

While voting at the polling stations on Election Day is more atmospheric, I’m personally a fan of mail-in voting. I like sitting in the privacy of my own home and wearing my favorite pajama pants while I vote. Being an informed citizen is key, so while filling out my ballot, I like to have access to Google and Facebook. These resources are our main sources of super-factual information. After all, everyone knows that everything you read on the Internet must be true. I’m pretty sure that Benjamin Franklin once said that. And, he should know since I once saw online that he also invented Wi-Fi.

Anyway, I suspect my voting experience this time around to be a much more somber affair. After I fill out my ballot, I plan to sit in a corner and cry.

To make myself feel better, I plan to start my Christmas shopping early— which is the 3rd and final item on my impromptu to-do list. I collect online coupons the way some people collect baseball cards, ceramic frogs, and if you’re Donald Trump, staggering business losses.

It’s a compulsion, and nothing makes me happier than getting 25% off my purchase with a coupon code that I found online. It’s the best feeling. So, I find that holiday shopping is best tackled when I’ve collected a varied assortment of coupons. As the old saying goes, ‘the early bird gets the coupon for free shipping!

Whatever your own personal fall to-do list entails, I hope you have fun with it. Just don’t get lost in that corn maze— there are just some things from which we can never recover…

Morning Routines


I’m a morning person— the perky, annoying kind that wakes up without an alarm. Night owls tend to view folks like me with suspicion, as if we’re asking them to join a religious cult like Scientology or Weight Watchers.

The key to a happy morning is making sure your routine contains at least a few minutes that you can call your own. If you have to wake up 10 minutes earlier, do it. I don’t care if you spend that time on the toilet while you play Candy Crush on your cell phone for so long that the edge of the toilet seat creates a red ring on your butt. It’s still worth it. You can get an ointment for that.

I love my morning routine. I wake up, eat an English muffin and check my email. Unlike Hillary’s lost classified goodies, most of my email is junk from random companies that want to sell me crap at 10% off. It doesn’t take much brain power to tap the delete button, so while I’m doing this, I watch the morning news on TV.

I love watching the morning news, but recently it has majorly sucked. It seems the entire broadcast is devoted to the presidential election and/or celebrity news. There are probably hundreds of children dying in third world countries— but we’d have no way of knowing because the TV anchors are too busy giving a recap from the MTV Video Music Awards.

When the media does choose to cover real news stories, it’s incredibly unhelpful. I’d like to know when debating a presidential candidate’s physical robustness became an important issue? I don’t care if a candidate has high cholesterol, has spray-tanned skin and small hands, or sometimes has a cough. I care if they are mentally prepared, capable and qualified.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of the greatest US presidents and the longest-serving, was in a wheelchair. Polio struck him as a young man and he never regained the use of his legs. The truth of his condition was known to most journalists at the time, but they chose not to make a big deal of it. They recognized that FDR was a devoted public servant that was fit to be president.

Have we now regressed? To the ancient tribal days when the chieftain or warlord was always the brawniest guy with the biggest… err, sword?

In today’s political climate, I’m very sad to say that a person like FDR would never be elected president. It wouldn’t matter how qualified he may have been. As a person in a wheelchair myself, this makes me very disappointed to admit that. But, in a culture that only values beauty, celebrity and strength, it comes as no surprise.

For the next couple of months, perhaps I should forgo watching the news during my morning routine. I think playing Candy Crush might be a better bet…