Friday, August 21, 2009

Iced Coffee Jello

I don't even like coffee, but I saw this and thought I might try it for the hubby:

Iced Coffee “Gumdrops”
Makes two dozen 1-inch cubes

4 cups coffee
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on your desired level of sweetness)
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

In a small saucepan, bring the coffee to a boil. Once it is simmering, whisk in the sugar and gelatin. Stir until they are completely dissolved. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Pour the coffee mixture in a shallow pan. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm.

These are apparently very strong unless you eat them with some whipped cream or something similar.

Spork, meet Splayd

This blog also has some other really entertaining entries, including the history of the McGangBang, which I guess is a very poorly named McChicken sandwich in the middle of a Double Cheeseburger. All things I cannot eat, but find wildly entertaining.

The Spife wins "most useless" in my book. A coworker noted that any of these utensils is still better than chopsticks, but I personally don't hate on the chopsticks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Last Abortion Doctor

This is a very touching, human profile of Dr. Warren Hern in the aftermath of the abominable murder of Dr. George Tiller. There's not much more to say, except to express my sadness for the loss of Dr. Tiller and to implore people to see the need for care of this kind, for anyone who requires it.

It's well-written and really puts a point on the need for abortion care:

Julie Pickett-Hall

facebook high

I cannot possibly be alone in getting this weird, excited high when you find someone on facebook. I'm becoming quite the addict... always finding more people on there from high school, college, extended family. It's shocking to realize you know so many people!

Very exciting.

Though just today I found an old dear friend of mine, but I cannot add her or send her a message. There is just no button to contact her in any way. Does this mean I'm somehow blocked from her? It's very strange, I've tried to contact her several times over the years.

Facebook has failed me today! How sad. I won't give up though... addicts rarely do.

Monday, August 17, 2009

movie wish-list

I frequently think of movies I want to see, and then forget all about them come time to actually watch a movie. So for posterity, these are movies I would like to see:
  • Cadillac Records
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • Wanted
  • Benjamin Button
  • Single White Female
  • The Way We Were
  • The Deal
  • Then She Found Me
  • Dreamgirls
Now I can throw away the little slip of paper on my desk with random movies scrawled across it, in the fear that I will forget.

Had to add some coming-of age movies to my wishlist:
  • Adventureland
  • Kicking and Screaming
  • Reality Bites
  • The Graduate
St. Elmo's Fire is also on this list, but I'm pretty sure I've already seen it.

Julie Pickett-Hall

literary classics, zombies

I recently picked up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which has thus far been pretty entertaining. It's a re-edit of the classic, plus a repressive zombie hoard. I feel like the zombies really add forward motion to the plot, and it's entertaining to hear elongated discussions as to whether the strange plague is more troublesome in the city or out in the countryside.

The characters remain much the same, though most of the descriptions have been greatly condensed, so it's good to know the more elaborate characterizations of the original. The choice as to who is an effective and skilled zombie-killer and who is not is also interesting.

As with the original, there is a bit of a "why her" issue with Elizabeth, who doesn't do much to distinguish herself, but somehow becomes the early interest of Mr. Darcy. To this extent, you can see where Twilight was inspired to have such a bland leading lady with very little reason to catch the interest of the ill-mannered leading man. At least in this version, Darcy is drawn by the thoughtful expression of Elizabeth. It's something, I suppose... and certainly more believable than the unexplained "personal brand of heroin" draw to Bella's blood that is the basis for that whole abusive brand of sudden ownership/relationship.

In any case, it's definitely entertaining enough to read, and I should finish it sometime this week or next.

Mad Men!

My last post was about waiting for Mad Men, and then I happened upon the season opener last night, which was good. I really loved how they made Salvatore's intentions really unclear with the whole bellhop-thing, and then who would have thought that Don Draper, the repressed skirt-chaser that he is, would be so open-minded. Good for him.

Peggy seems totally confident and comfortable in her own skin, which is great. And Pete is the same entitled man-boy that we all love to hate. Usually we want to see a character grow in some small way, but Pete actually seems to be regressing.

Is Joan really going to leave Sterling Cooper? I can't see it.

A commenter on Feministing pointed out that Sal being late to the meeting the next morning could imply that he did, in fact, meet back up with his sexy bellhop. A possibility that hadn't even occurred to me... go Sal!

Julie Pickett-Hall

Monday, August 10, 2009

eagerly anticipating Mad Men

I really like the show Mad Men, and I'm excited that it's coming back on. One thing that I like more than Mad Men, though, is Heather Havrilesky. Heather is a TV reviewer for Salon, and I totally love her writing. Very snarky:

" with responsibilities is just like one of those mazes made of bushes they put in British gardens for self-hating Brits to torture themselves with. One minute you think you're strolling along at a leisurely pace like the heroine of a Jane Austen novel, the next minute you're confused, bleeding, sobbing and covered in thorny brambles, and the last five hours are a complete blank. That, and you're surrounded by dirty laundry, hungry children, resentful domesticated animals and a drunk stranger who claims to be your spouse."

I especially love the notion that domesticated animals would resent you. She must have cats.

Julie Pickett-Hall

Friday, August 7, 2009

wealth porn

I was reading my beloved Broadsheet today, and happened across the this term, "wealth porn". I love it, really. It says a lot about the way we portray life on television and fantasy wealth as the new norm.

It's interesting that the average TV family has changed so much over the last 50 years or so. TV families used to be modest and average, weighing the possibilities of buying a second family car in a realistic way. These days, nearly every family on TV is unrealistically wealthy and far out of pace with the norm.

I just had to share my delight with this term.

Julie Pickett-Hall

when mysogyny meets homicidal narcissism

If you haven't heard the sad story of the man who walked into a fitness club, killed or wounded over a dozen women, and then shot himself, you may want to miss out on this particular episode of rubbernecking. If you'd like to hear some thoughts anyway, here goes...

The main story is that this man has been lonely for 20+ years, and blamed the hot women of the world for causing his misery. Story here:

It's very possible that this man was simply nuts, and that he would have found some reason to resort to mass murder eventually (insurance salesmen, a company who fired him, etc). In any case, his particular poison was trying to find a hot woman to love him. He sought advice from various pick-up artist communities, but didn't have much luck.

It seems that the pick-up community, while claiming him as one of their own, is primarily painting his actions with contempt, which is hopeful:
"If anything, it's a sad example of why people labelled a "nice guy" really aren't, because they're covering up a lot of ugly truths about themselves. This was someone's mom, someone's sister, someone's daughter. Just your run of the mill average to hot women trying to keep in shape, fighting age. How angry do you have to be to want to destroy a family out of pure hate and selfishness, and not be around to take the responsibility for it?
Women are pretty savvy about a guy's body language. Sometimes people give you an unsettling feeling even if they did nothing bad to you."

This man was unable or unwilling to grasp that his misery was the result of his own actions, instead placing the blame on women in general for not being attracted to him. To any woman, this sort of creep factor is the kind of thing that broadcasts itself to anyone within a mile radius, instantly negating his chances for 'conquest'.

Mostly I find myself glad that this man didn't manage to draw a partner into his web of creepiness. What would have happened then? Maybe fewer people would have died, but I expect that violence and loss would be much the same.

I'm also reminded of one of my favorite sites of all time, Heartless Bitches International. Their section on "nice guys" is immensely thought-provoking and well-written, and serves as a useful primer:

Give the site a glance if you have time. It's both educational and hopeful, and I think very relevant to this tragedy as astutely identified by poster
"sdnightfly" of

Thursday, August 6, 2009

holy cow, it's Thursday

Things have been *so* busy at work this week that I haven't really had a chance to read anything interesting to link to. So I'll sum up the past week!

Friday N and I had a little adventure in UC. Heritage Days necessitated blocking off several streets in what turned out to be a pretty haphazard, unpredictable way. So our jaunt to the bowling alley was more interesting than it had any right to be. I gave up at one point and jumped out of the car to move some barriers out of our way (I did put them back). I'd never been to the bowling alley there before, but it was a happening place... a fistfight nearly broke out on top of our table. Fun.

Saturday was *awesome*. We went uptown, knowing that some people we knew would be there, and it turned into a party! N and L were both celebrating their Bday, D was there with her cousin, N's cousin was there, some old high school friends joined us, and my husband invited a few friends to stop by as well. We had a blast and took up most of the room. There was much dancing and merriment.

Not much else of note has really happened this week, other than lots of working. I did finish the last Twilight book last night. It was purely accidental and I was up way too late. We also moved the hot tub over onto the new patio, so it's ready to be refilled and back in action. If we're in town this weekend, we may have to cookout and partake of the new patio goodness.

My BIL is pulling tonight at the Preble County Fair, so I'm meeting them after work to catch a ride to Eaton. Should be fun, and S really loves fair food. Go AC orange, woo!

Julie Pickett-Hall

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

a pause

My 3-day break in blogging gave me a chance to make sure that my online life doesn't stress me out or take too much time out of my other interests and responsibilities. Ok, mostly responsibilities.

It's really a good thing to take regular internet vacations, which is why I don't blog on the weekends. I've lost too many friends (and had too many friends lose their college sponsorship) to the siren call of the interweb.

It's not the same for everyone, but I know that I start to feel stressed out physically, and anxious mentally, when I feel like I need to get back on the computer to do this or that. When this or that is a game or a promotional something or twitter or email... I know I need a break.

So, here's to taking a deep breath and gaining perspective on our habits. May we all have the strength to maintain a healthy relationship with our browsers. Cheers.

Julie Pickett-Hall