I found the ultimate zebra-print pajamas at Goodwill, completing my safari winterization outfit, and moreover, allowing me to mix stripes with spots. Given how the first cold nights are moseying on in, interspersed with occasional bouts of 50s temperatured afternoons, it makes sense to mix mammals. Last night, on my way to a wonderful poetry and essay reading with Kevin Rabas (poetry, and really fabulous stuff — check out his award-winning book Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano) and Cheryl Unruh (essays — new book, Flyover People: Life on the Ground in a Rectangular State), I felt that first blast and tweak of deep cold. It was the kind of cold that Cheryl spoke to so well in one of her essays, explaining how it finds every part of us, sneaking up pant legs, and between coat and hat on the back of our necks. Having come through the most slow-motion fall I’ve ever experienced (some of the trees downtown STILL have green leaves, not feathered with Christmas lights), it’s a relief to land in these first throes of winter, knowing what will come next but not how or when it will come. Meanwhile, I have my zebra and leopard flannel and fleece, and all is well in this house.