Is it normal for a game to go gold more than a month away from release?
You'd think that they could move up the release date even more now
It is normal for games to gold a month before the release.
Exactly. Then they may or may not put all the people who do the programming/developing and now have nothing to do to work making DLC, which, if released on day one, results in a swarm of angry blogs. Of course, day one DLC is sometimes cut out of the game and sold separately, which is a valid reason for angry blogs, boycotting, etc.