Sunday, January 30, 2011


Naïve [adj] (nah eev)
  1. Lacking sophistication or experience

I have never been one to be naive about weather, particularly the variety we receive in Vermont.  The Green Mountain State entices many with its lush greenery during the spring, serene lakes during the summer, confetti farmlands during the fall, and white-capped mountains during the winter.  These sites are iconic for a reason- if my opinion means anything, I highly recommend visiting our state to witness each season in action.


As a native, the weather that each season brings uncovers something a little different for me.  Spring means boots for Mud Season, summer means sunblock for every excursion, and fall means having a handkerchief handy for when the wind picks up woodsmoke.  And winter?  Winter means sunlight, or  a lack thereof.  The colder months - which can range from November to April - bring a series of cloudy days that can span for weeks on end.  After a few days without sunshine, the lack of vitamin D starts to wear on the system and make the winter feel much, much longer.   May it be winter blues, cabin fever, or the more formal Seasonal Affective Disorder, there's no reason to accept that winter has to be this way.  Say it with me, "Winter can be fun!" The colder months can be just as buoyant as any other - just with the right tools in place, such as:
  • Water: Drink more of it.  The majority of the human body is made up of water. When we're dehydrated we feel like less than our normal selves, relatively inept.  By drinking more water, you're replenishing your body and allowing it to work as it should.
  • Vitamins: Get them.  Like water, our bodies need certain vitamins and minerals to function properly.  Whether you take supplements or have a nutritious diet, giving your body the fuel it needs is important when certain vitamins (like Vitamin D from the sun) are in demand.
  • Exercise: Yeah, yeah, yeah: We've all heard this one before.  I myself have spent many a winter curled up by the fireplace, munching on baked goods, and waiting for the winter (and my blues) to end.  But moving around, even if it's just a little, will get your system going again - endorphins, adrenaline, basic blood flow - and, as a result, make you feel better.
  • Light: Embrace it.  Sunlight is your friend during the winter.  When it's sunny, get ready to be active.  No cave dwelling allowed - well, maybe on certain days, if you're near a window.
With these things in mind, winter weather may move from being a chore to being a gift - even without a lot of sunlight.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hapless [adj] (haap luhs)
  1. Unfortunate
  2. Having bad luck

Won't someone help this poor, hapless Lego® man?  What Lego man, you ask?  This one.

Toys R Us in NYC, November 2010

Don't you see him? Okay, how about now?

Lego (jumper) Man, Toys R Us, NYC, November 2010

Yes, that Lego man, the one teetering on the edge of that very tall skyscraper.  Thankfully, even in this position, he has a weather-controlled environment, interlocking feet, and a low center of gravity in his favor.  However, one good bump from the unruly herd of remote controlled car/helicopter/My Little Pony-wielding 9-year-olds below will send Monsieur Lego to a carpeted grave.  Or tiled grave.  Or laminate.  I don't remember the exact flooring treatment, to be honest.  In the end, there were hundreds of little feet scurrying around the toy store when these pictures were taken, so it's unlikely that the Lego man survived with all of his plastic limbs (or hairpiece) intact. 

Knowing of the fate this precariously posed toy likely faced, I suppose the real question is not whether anyone will help him, but rather if someone will help the poor, hapless sales representative who set-up this display?

Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Nadir [noun] (nay dihr)(nay duhr)
  1. Lowest Point


    In an attempt to make room for a few new additions, I decided to reorganize/confront my entire library this week.  I was grabbing for a just-out-of-my-reach Tamora Pierce novel while preventing a tsunami of literature from tumbling off the shelf when I realized I had reached the nadir of my bibliophilism.  Up to my knees in memoirs, sci-fi, and textbooks, I saw just how many books were laid out before me, and I thought, “Geeze.  That’s a lot of books.  But … I can’t think of getting rid of a single one of them.  Well, maybe that one.”    

    And I’ll admit it: I wanted more.  I had a list of books in my iPhone that begged for perusal at my local shop.  Did I need to go on Addicted?  Perhaps Hoarders?  Or maybe even Celebrity Rehab (okay, this was a long shot)?  Was there anyone else out there who felt like his or her library was more than just a collection of papers, but a collage of his or her self? 

    Thankfully, there was.  Enter Forever Young Adult, stage right.  This post asked the question, “What does your shelf say about you?” and I think I’m ready to answer.

    The Library in all of it's Glory (Yes, with a capitol G)

    1.   I will never, ever own an eReader.  I love real, honest-to-goodness books, with book fragrances! Books are meant to be held; pages are meant to be turned.  Plus, I like to live dangerously.  Where’s the risk of losing your place or receiving a paper cut with an eReader?  Live on the edge, say I!

    Shelf 1

    2.   I buy books I plan to read and read often.  I may have started my bookworm life as a library rat (thank you elementary school library!), but I am now a hoarder of preferred literature.  See double stuffed Shelf 1 – which I love!  Double stuffed is really just another way to say, “I want you to be happy, books. Please, frolic merrily with your ilk on this shelf.”

    Shelf 2

    3.   I believe that books are meant to be shared.  Odd, considering the previous bullet, I know.  I have books missing from my shelf that are currently in the hands of those I am trying to educate on the wonder and miracle that is *Insert Name Here – like Hunger Games or anything by Mary Roach.*  I worship at the altar of these books and proudly sing their praises in public.  See something you like?  Let me know. [Note: I have been burned a number of times.  A book ingested by canines, a book finding a watery grave, a book chopped by a not-so-amiable lawnmower… Been there, done that.  However, I suppose I still believe that people are intrinsically good (Take that, Hobbes!) and continue to lend to those with a literary lust in their eyes.]

    Shelf 3

    4.   I am, and always will be, a lover of science fiction/fantasy. Shelves 1-3 are proof of this statement – Anne McCaffrey, Tamora Piece, Harry Potter (Hardcover – 1-3 received this year for Christmas, 5 & 6 preordered months in advance, and 4 & 7 picked up at two ubber-hip midnight releases at a local shop.], Stephanie Meyer (Twilight is the best cotton candy a girl could ask for!  Though, my preference lies with The Host.), Holly Black, (Team Unicorn.) Cassandra Clare, Sara Rees Brennan (BTW – Not only an excellent crafter of dialogue, character, and demonology that is – dare I say it? – logical, but the Best. Blogger. Ever.), The Hunger Games, Killer Unicorn Series, and my Jane-Austen-Meets-Zombies-And-Sea-Monsters duet.  These books say, “Hey, I get reality.  Really, I do.  I do not, however, choose to spend all of my time there.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a clockwork army to catch up with.”
    5.   I bow before wit in any form.  Alan Alda, Mary Roach, and Christopher Moore make my brain and funny bone(s) happy.   If you do nothing else this week, I recommend picking up Mary Roach’s Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. A lively read (pun intended). 

    Shelf 4

    6.   I went to college.  You know this because Shelf 4 consists of books that A) I cherish from favorite courses, or B) I really, really wanted to sell back but the promise of $5 for a $150 book just didn’t sound that appealing.  This shelf also alludes to my chosen profession, which may or may not say something about me.
    7.   Finally, I am a bit of a liar.  You see, this isn’t my only bookshelf.  I have volumes on three other shelves around my abode.  Now, the contents are not quite as telling as that shown above, but I still cherish each cookbook, classic novel, and coffee table tome.  Because, you must admit: There is nothing as splendid as a good book no matter where it is housed.

    Thanks for pulling me out of my nadir, FYA! Oh, and a special thanks to my library, whom without this post would have never occurred.