Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Snow Day Effect. Or Why the World Goes Crazy Over a Flake of Snow.

It seems that with weather predictions of only a few inches of snow, whole schools, towns and counties go into a state of panic. Grocery stores are packed with frenzied people stocking up on essentials. Seriously people, how many days do you think you’ll be socked in? With modern refrigeration, canned goods and packaged food; you have no food in your house? I have to say, though, that it is fun to watch people in the grocery stores. I am usually there accidentally and not because of the storm prep. Loaves of bread and dozens of eggs plus yummy things like Hostess Cupcakes fill grocery carts. You just have to be more patient in lines if you end up shopping on those days.
Every child would prefer to be king of the mountain on a weekday instead of in school.
So, why is there such a frenzy? I think we can blame it on the butterfly. And the snowball. And the school-aged child. Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect? The chaos theory that says that tiny variations can affect giant systems. Such as the flap of a butterfly’s wings can cause a tsunami half a world away?
Or, when a child hears the prediction of snow and sees the first flake involved with that prediction? They are then unable to think about anything else but having a snow day. Then, that thought, like the beat of a butterfly’s wing, goes out into the universe. Multiply that by a school full of kids. Times a town full of schools. Multiplied by all the towns in a county or in the predicted snowfall area. That energy revs everyone up. Plus, the excitement that TV weathermen add. Whoa. That’s a lot of wing beats.
Even adults love a good day in the snow vs. going to work.
Students' wishes of a snow day rub off on the teachers and staff and then they take it home to their parents. The parents rush out to stock up for the impending kids to be at home. The butterfly effect has just snowballed to giant proportions of a snow day tsunami.
What the morning ride in to school looked like the other day when everyone was hoping for a snow day.

Before the predicted snow this past week, I was telling a friend that most of the local towns might have a snow day. She laughed at me and questioned why I was getting all riled up over 4-6”. “For Pete’s sake, you are from Upstate New York! You learned to drive in Lake Effect snow! You have a Subaru!” Yea. She was right. And New England isn’t that much different. My butterfly rested its wings.

A tiger swallowtail butterfly I took with my cell phone last summer.
How many storms were caused by those wingbeats?

Turns out, there wasn't a snow day anywhere. Even though six inches of snow fell during the night, it was light and fluffy. Crews were able to clear the roads while everyone slept. School came and went. It was like any other day. Hopes for a snow day were dashed and temporarily forgotten. Until snow is predicted again. Now, if only the thoughts of all those kids could actually affect the weather and not just make normally-thinking people go crazy. Crazy over tiny flakes of snow.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Ta-Da! An Amazon Author Page

A mutual friend of mine and fellow author, Leesa Freeman, posted about her new Amazon Author Page today on Facebook. Hmm...I don't have an Author Page, I thought. Ta-Da. Now I do!

Here's the link to my new author page:

Uploaded this picture to Amazon for my author page.
Nice green grass outside compared to the ten inches of ice-covered
snow we have right now (that we just got this past week).

For the life of me I can't figure out how to get this blog to be a part of my page, but I'll work on that.

I would appreciate any reviews that you may like to write about my book to post on Amazon (that would make you a published author of sorts too!). Obviously, I can't do that myself. Please let other possible readers know what you thought of the book. Thanks!

If you would like to check out Leesa's book, here's the link to that. I haven't read it yet, but it's on my to-read list (as are a zillion other books). Let me know what you thought of it too.

I thought writing enough words down to make up an entire novel would be difficult, but it was relatively easy compared to the marketing part that an author has to do afterwards. I'm doing tons of research in that department and I'm sure you'll be seeing more of me all over the place. I can only hope.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Tofu, Vulvas and General Squishiness

I was involved in two interesting conversations today. Not that they were out of the ordinary for me or my friends that I had them with. But, others may find them extra interesting. Or, maybe they are horrified by them?

Topic One was about tofu. I'm a big tofu fan. Been eating it more and more instead of pork or red meat (I haven't given in to the vegetarian thing yet...). I cook with it and even eat it raw. That thought can make people squeamish right there. I had told a friend about my tofu fried rice dish that I make. She is interested in starting to eat more tofu and that seemed like a good beginner meal suggestion. My version is very low-fat. You almost can't even use the term 'fried' for it. But, 'tofu rice' doesn't really describe the dish or even suggest a flavor like 'tofu fried rice' does. Even if you've never had tofu, but you've had fried rice, you can semi-guess on the taste.

My tofu fried rice. Low fat, easy to make and delicious.

Anyway, she is new to tofu and researched it because that's what she does. She found some interesting information on the web that I didn't know. Like young children shouldn't eat raw tofu. I had to look that up myself and found that as long as it was individually packaged and pasteurized, it was okay. She also found that because it had so much protein, it shouldn't be over-eaten. I do eat a very high-protein diet. Between my Greek yogurt every morning and other sources of protein...hmm...may have to rethink the mega protein thing...but I do balance my diet out with lots of fruits and veggies and healthy carbs. (Okay, so the homemade sourdough bread I'm making every few days may not be able to include the moniker of 'healthy' but it's homemade...doesn't have preservatives and crap in it's healthier than not. And, it's darned yummy).

My sourdough francese bread that I make every few days. Not quite as good as Iggy's Bakery in MA, but darned close.

I posed the question on Facebook tonight as to what came to mind when my friends thought of tofu. With over twenty responses, I got things like "Yum," "Cooking some at this very moment" to "Where's the nearest Five Guys?" and "Sponge." Who knew it could be such an interesting topic?

Tofu cubes and half a block. I'll eat them raw like
this with edamame and Bragg's liquid aminos on them or
maybe topped with a ginger miso dressing of some sort.

Now, if I posed the question of Topic Two that came up at work today, I may have got even more interesting answers. Or, I may have been defriended by many conservative friends. But, then again, I'm guessing that I could have had friend requests from friends of friends. That question would have been, "How fleshy is your vulva?"

This whole diagram of the female parts "down there" falls into the vulva category...
just so you know for sure what  we're talking about.

How does that topic even come up, you ask? Through yoga. You know, those tofu-eating, healthy people? Actually, it came up with two awesome friends who are share-anything-with kinds of people. It was really more about yoga pants than yoga itself. And, the question of do you wear underwear under them? A thong? Or, nothing at all? If it's nothing at all, and you have a fleshy vulva, the whole camel-toe thing could come into play. Remember Sally O'Malley from Saturday Night Live? She liked to kick! Stretch! And she was 50 years old? She was proud of her red outfit that she called her Desert Rose because it featured her camel toes. She sure liked to show hers off. (Check out the link to below if you haven't seen it before...or at least in a while).

So, I was talking with another friend tonight about the vulva conversation that I had had and she was absolutely horrified that I'd be involved in talking about that. I honestly don't think anything of talking about this stuff. It's the human body. I see it like a medical professional would. I don't think of it from any sort of sexual point of view. Is that how others see it? Maybe? Maybe not? This all goes back to my theory that the more things are kept taboo and hush hush, the creepier people get about them.

Why don't we just talk more about tofu and vulvas and take the squeamish out of squishy?

Do you ever talk about vulvas at work? Leave your comments below!
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