Under the Weather

I hate feeling sick.

Every Christmas break I always get a little under the weather–I think I finally relax for the first time in months, and my defenses against illnesses seem to let their guard down. It’s like a personal little Christmas gift: cough, headaches, achey limbs, involuntary sneezing and a loss of my voice. It’s like clock work. Every. Single. Year.

Here are some of my tips for overcoming Christmas break’s inevitable failing immune system:

*Disclaimer* I’m not a doctor. I’m an English major. So these are mostly personal remedies that I think are pretty nifty.

  • Honey and lemon. My mother swears by it. Just heat up a spoonful of honey and a dash of lemon in the microwave, and let the tart stickiness slide down your throat and do its magic.
  • Sweat it out. As a student athlete, I know I can’t take a full break during the holidays, so even when I get a little sick (I’m talking about a little cold, not the plague or anything), I try to fit in a modified sweat session. I know I can’t go all out when I’m sick, but sometimes I feel so much better after I sweat out some toxins.
  • Sleep. This one comes harder for me–see my post entitled “Insomnia.” But it’s important, apparently.
  • Distraction. A good book, some movies, your dogs. Utilize your favorite things to distract you from your seasonal discomforts.
  • Water. This is important all of the time, but it really helps when you’re sick.
  • Hot Diet Dr. Pepper and lemon. This might sound weird, but it works. When your chest is tight and congested, just heat up some Diet Dr. Pepper with a dash of lemon juice in the microwave for 45 seconds. Drink up–it makes me feel so much better, and really soothes and loosens my cough. My mom has given me this concoction since I was little; it’s not a sick day unless I have it.

These are just some of the things that help me feel better–of course, see a doctor when your sick. Or a witch doctor. Or a shaman. Anyways.

If you’re anything like me for the past couple of days, grab some hot Diet Dr. Pepper with some lemon and get a good night’s rest. You have a new semester to prepare for!


‘Tis the Season to be Reading

Christmas break is the time for reading–recreationally!

I love getting to actually choose what I get to read for almost an entire month! Of course, this Christmas break I plan to get ahead in my “The Novel” course next semester, but for right now I am enjoying reading whatever my little heart desires.

Some of the following books are in the “to be read” category, and some are in the “currently reading” category. Here are a few little reviews of the books I’ve read/am reading/about to read so far:

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Oh, this was good. If you like historical fiction sort of reminiscent of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, you’ll like this. People of the Book holds a lot more literary merit, however, and it made me want to Google the Sarajevo Haggadah (an ancient illustrated Jewish book; illustrations are extremely rare in Jewish tradition) until the wee hours of the morning. I highly recommend this.

March by Geraldine Brooks

Because of People of the Book, I decided to check out another one by Brooks. March tells the story of the father absent in the beloved children’s classic, Little Women. I am actually  in the middle of listening to this book; it was the audio book of choice as I made my journey home yesterday. I really like it so far–it’s full of Civil War gore and poignant flashbacks in which Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson make an appearance. I also decided I really like Brook’s writing style–rich and full and beautiful; the language flows so nicely as I continue listening, and the narrator’s slight English accent makes it that much better.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I LOVED this book. Told from a dog’s perspective, this book is funny and heartbreaking and inspiring and just so so good. You’ll never look at a dog the same way again–I’m telling you, dogs know. They just do. Read this. It’s an easy read, and you’ll just want to hug and pet your dog for all they do for you.

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

I recently finished all two seasons of The Carrie Diaries on Netflix, so of course I had to read the book. If you don’t know, The Carrie Diaries follows a young Carrie Bradshaw (pre- Sex and the City) as she navigates her senior year of high school. I’m only half-way through, and so far so good. It’s not mind-shattering or anything, but it is entertaining. The back cover of my copy simply says, “Carrie Bradshaw was a small-town girl who knew she wanted more…” Classic coming of age–can’t complain.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I literally just picked this up at the bookstore tonight, and I am so excited to start reading this. I’ve heard it’s a lot like Tina Fey’s Bossypants which I LOVED. What’s funny is I’m not particularly a huge fan of either–of course, I think they are so talented and good at what they do. I just can’t help but absolutely love the way they write. They’re just plain funny and they can convey this through their written word. That takes talent. Even the back cover made me laugh, and the hardcover under the flap: on the front it says the title, Yes Please. On the back, it says, “Thank you.” HA. It’s the little touches that make Fey and Poehler hilarious.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I only have read the first chapter or so, but I am determined to finish it. I’ve heard it’s great, and it’s written by a woman who bet her husband that she could write a better horror story than he could. You go, girl. Can’t wait to uncover the genius that is Frankenstein.

And that, my friends, is the tentative list of what I have read/ what I’ll be reading over break. Of course, I hope this list expands as Christmas comes and goes.

Happy reading, everyone.