Are fictional teenagers are TOO smart?

“Seriously.  Like, seriously?  Whateves”

This is how I hear normal teenagers talking but when I pick up a Young Adult book (and oh how I love them), I’m smacked with fictional teenage characters discussing classical literature and reciting poetry?!

So, are the authors of these books dreaming that the next generation is actually of sound mind and we can all have hope that these millennials and aughts will fair well in our warmer but uncertain global future?

Or, are teenagers truly embracing the “nerd-chic” trend beyond clothing?

I can’t answer these questions, I’m generation X and therefore don’t care enough to put in any effort to solve these complexities.

I can tell you the latest YA book I’m reading had me pulling out a vocabulary list though.  Sure, the amount of unknown words was nothing compared to when I read “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”, with that freakishly deep 12 year old, but there were a handful.  And while I’m ranting, what’s with author’s adding other languages in their books with no subtitles, oh mon dieu, it’s  annoying.  Almost as annoying as when authors use text-speak, OMG Jennifer Egan, I”m talking to you, that chapter in “A Visit from the Goon Squad” nearly killed me.

Where was I?

Oh yes, young adult books, I sort of credit “Twilight” for this rise of fictional teenage intelligence.  Their talk of “Wuthering Heights”, Jane Austen books, reading Tennyson to their immortal child……it all seemed so normal, even cool.

In conclusion, to answer my original question, I firmly support the higher IQs of fictional teenagers, if nothing else it usually makes for a great story.


Show me what you’re walkin’ with

There’s been a little interest in what my family is packing.bringing and wearing on our upcoming trip to France.  We are trying to keep all new purchases to a minimum however there were two things that were needed.  1. Shoes, we actually all needed some shoes for this outing.  We had a tall order: needed to be sturdy, comfy, could get wet (not soaked hopefully but wet), had to be comfy walking, not just on a flat trail but up hills, down hills, around hills and because I like to make things impossible, I wanted SOME element of style.  Well folks, I found it ALL in a Blundstone.

photo via the internet

photo via the internet

My husband has been swearing by this “Austrailian cowboy boot” for years, when we go to the gym and walk on the treadmill, he has Blundstone’s on his feet – not Nike, not New Balance, no Adidas…..Blundstone’s.  He had already insisted on these for the kids.  “No muddy laces”, he said.  The kids boots arrived at Christmas so they had time to break in and I realized two things, 1.  the boots didn’t really require breaking in and 2.  When your kids are 7 and 5, they grow fast, especially in the foot area.  So now my kids are both in their second pair of boots – fingers crossed no one grows in the next 6 weeks.

I was a harder sell, I was confident my old trustworthy Camper boots could handle one more trip, but after a few of our “practice walks” I realized I was feeling every pebble and the water was finding ways in to my socks.  I have troubled feet and I knew I could trust my Campers so I ordered a new pair.  My brand new Camper boots arrived and they were NOTHING like my old ones.  Thin leather, narrow foot bed, thinner sole……they didn’t even look as cute as my old ones.

Photo via Camper

Photo via Camper


“Alright, alright, I’ll try the Blunnies”, I told my husband.  Long story short, they have rarely left my feet since they arrived.  I’ve probably logged over 30 miles in them so far.  They are completely comfy, super light, I love the “moto” styling, they remind me of my beloved Doc Martins from the 90’s however my feet do NOT look huge in them (that was always my complaint with Docs).  They arrived with a solution to apply to the boot to help with water resistance, seems to work really well.  I am very happy, very confident these shoes will keep us all walking happily wether in France or down the street.

Next time, our second purchase, my SMALL backpack.

Going on a walkabout

Except I’m not Australian, or male or in adolescence.  But we are taking a walking trip…… FRANCE.


I am mildly, hyper excited.  We will pack up our seven and five year old for a 16 day trip, we will have several days in the city of Paris and 10 days walking through the Northwest region of Normandy.  We will be walking on well established trails winding through countryside, small villages and, of course, in the city too.  My husband and I have vowed that this will be a backpack only trip, my own pack will be no more and no less than 16 liters (that is SMALL folks).  Our reasoning is: 1.  Once we are in Normandy, we will have to carry everything on our backs anyway…..for about 10 miles a day.  2.  This will force us to keep things simple for the kids, and for us.  3.  A test to free ourselves from some of our usual “comforts”.

I fear I might have to break one of my own travel rules and leave the bathing suit at home this time.

For advice and tips on undertaking this packing challenge, I’ve turned to Miss Minimalist:

This post as well as this one I found pretty inspiring and helpful….packing cubes – was I the last to know?

Also, we are trying out Air BnB for the first time, renting two different apartments during our trip, I’ll be sure to let you know our experience with them.

In the meantime, I’m watching “Finding Nemo” in French a lot…..think that’ll help??