Well, is there anything darker or more dreary than the end of November?

Right now it’s 59 gray, sodden degrees outside; for days the sun has been just a rumor in the sky. The leaves are all gone, and by 3 o’clock in the afternoon you would swear that night was already here.

I keep thinking of the beginning of Moby Dick, where Ishmael says that whenever it’s a damp, drizzly November in his soul, he decides to go to sea. I could go to sea today.

Instead, I’m doing what humans have been doing for centuries: I lit all the candles I could find, put on a pot of potato soup, and made a CD.  (OK, so early man probably didn’t have the CD-making option.)

Anyhow, here’s what is working for me right now. (And, hey, I haven’t gone to sea yet, so it must be doing something.)

1. “Galuppi Baldessare” by Kris Delmhorst, whom I heard being interviewed on All Things Considered a couple of weeks ago, and have been listening to practically non-stop ever since I downloaded it. (I love the ghostly cricket part.)

2. “This Love” by Maroon Five. (A good screaming-along-in-the-car song.)

3. “Smooth” by Santana.

4. “Home” by Michael Buble. (For those necessary moments of indulging in sentimentality.)

5. “I’m Going to Get Another You” by John Mayer. (You need the blues when it’s gray.) 

6. “I’m Checking Out of This Heartbreak Hotel” by Meryl Streep from “Postcards from the Edge.”

7. “Desperado” by the Eagles. (The main guy character in my new book would sing that if he knew how to sing.)

8. “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter. (Always an upper…and plus, it reminds me that my secret guilty pleasure, “American Idol,” will come back on soon.)