A Year in the Maine Woods

Monday, September 21, 2009

Now that MANIPULATION WEEKEND is mercifully over, it's time to share with you the other thing I did this past weekend - I went to see the movie Julie & Julia. I decided that I simply must keep up on what the other members of the blogging club are up to (I like to really dramatically pretend like we are all part of some secret club that no one else could possibly ever get into because being dramatic about blogging makes it twice as fun.) I discovered three things: 1. Julie and I have more in common than just blogging - we both turned thirty the year or our blog, we both started our blogs out of boredom, we're both really melodramatic and have blogging-related meltdowns, which brings me to 2. Despite how melodramatic my blogging-related meltdowns are - and they're quite dramatic, as anyone who came in contact with me throughout the month of March can attest - I have left out one critic step that will make the meltdown extra dramatic, a step which Julie does not leave out: throwing myself on the floor while sobbing. The sobbing part has occurred, but I'm sad to say that I was standing up while it happened. I will not make this mistake in the future. The next time I have a blogging meltdown, I'm taking it to the floor. 3. I'm much too obsessed with the number of comments I get. I knew I was before this - but when Julie talked about getting 56 comments and I let out an audible gasp and then spent the rest of the movie repeating "56 comments" over and over again, I knew that I had a serious problem.

Today's book, "A professor of zoology at the University of Vermont, Heinrich here recounts a recent year he spent in the western Maine wilderness. With his pet raven Jack, he began his sojourn at the end of May. His cabin, without electricity or plumbing, sat in a clearing a half-mile up a steep brush-filled hill accessible only to four-wheel-drive vehicles. His mailbox was at the foot of the trail, and his nearest neighbors lived on the road beyond the mailbox. To keep in touch with family and friends, Heinrich, author of the National Book Award nominee Bumblebee Economics, installed a phone and answering machine in the neighbors' outhouse. He takes us through his busy summer and fall of chopping wood and making repairs to the cabin, all the while observing the wildlife around him."

Shallow thoughts:

  • I picked today's book because I wanted to read something wholesome that would wash away the filth from MANIPULATION WEEKEND. The book wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either - which has led me to decide that perhaps I need to take my "No More Books About Moving to a House by the Sea" rule and extend it into "No More Reading About People Who Are Getting Back to Nature in Any Way" because clearly I don't find this topic interesting enough to read a whole book about, despite what the part of my brain that picks the books thinks.

  • The book starts out talking about Vermont. I have no idea why but whenever something is labeled as being from Vermont I instantly like it better. Maple Syrup? Oh, no thanks, I'm not crazy about that. Oh, wait, it's from Vermont - well on second thought. . . Let's just try that out with a few other things. Would you care for some cheddar cheese? It sounds good doesn't it? But Vermont Cheddar cheese - why that sounds amazing, wholesome, and the perfect compliment to any cracker. Regular cheese might be good on a Ritz cracker, possibly even a Wheat Thin (can you tell I was raised on preservatives dear readers?) But a Saltine? Why it's unimaginable. But I have a feeling that Vermont Cheddar cheese would taste good on any cracker, even those horribly misguided Cheez-Its that don't even taste like actual food. And then there are the country houses in Vermont, which people in old movies always seem to own. Occasionally they have country homes in Connecticut, and that sounds nice to. But a Vermont country house sounds like the kind of place where no one is ever unhappy and everyone always has good hair and perfectly coordinated outfits.

  • And now it's time to address the horrifying notion of a person living without electricity. . . no Dallas DVD's . . . no hair straightener . . . no lights to allow a person to stay up to a totally unnatural hour that no one has any business being awake at anyway. Why it's too horrible to even think about. Although I am able to handle a brief (no more than a few days) bout with no electricity because it gives me a chance to get out the Little House book, The Long Winter, and be really dramatic and then spend the whole time deluding myself into think that I'm far more resourceful than I really am, all the while walking around saying things like, "We're practically pioneers."

So, in conclusion, I really wouldn't recommend this book to you dear readers - unless you have a deep and abiding love for nature.