December 29, 2003

AB keeps a blog!

It has come to my attention (via Sarcasmo's Corner) that Alton Brown of Good Eats keeps a weblog on his site! Hot dog! In addition, a future episode will feature toast. Many of you may already know that toast is one of my top ten favorite foods. Yum!

Meanwhile, I may as well share my other food obsession: loose tea. Now, I love tea in general, especially those that answer to the names Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Irish Blend. But, tea gets even better when you forgo the little paper baggie and strain it yourself. Of course, unsightly broken leaf parts can sometimes slip through. Sometimes I find this highly disturbing, and need to use the screened tea infuser.

For a little over a year now, I've been coveting a travel mug/tea press. Too good to be true! Also, too expensive for a travel mug...they give those things away!

Anyway, I was reading the most recent issue of Gourmet and they said that loose tea was "out" and sweet tea was "in" for 2004. I'm distressed! Of course, they also said that goat was "in." We'll see.

Posted by Julie Young at 10:35 PM | Comments (2)

December 28, 2003

George Alert!

George Washington (or at least something like him) was spotted in Southwest PA!

Posted by Julie Young at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

Critic at large: Cheaper by the Dozen

Tonight I saw Cheaper by the Dozen. I bet you're wondering how I liked this adaptation of one of my more favored books from my childhood.

It's nothing like the book. It doesn't even pretend to have the same characters. It's also aimed at a young audience, or so I gathered from the miniature individuals that filled the theater.

That aside, it was a good time! Sure, the reviewers called it "schmaltzy," but then again, I like Doris Day movies....flims that rank on the Velveeta side of the cheese scale. Even things like "oops, boy falls in puke" that don't normally amuse me (unless it happens in the cafeteria or something) were funny! Amazing!

To top it off, I got a a small popcorn for a dollar! It wasn't puny, either. It was as large as a brown paper lunch bag, but smaller than a white paper donut bag. My medium drink was also a dollar. How fantastic! They just raised prices on the tickets to $5 for adults. I tend to think that is getting a little steep for two small screens, no cupholders (on most seats), an extremely sticky floor, and, well, funny smells in certain areas. However, a movie is a movie, and the Diamond Theater certainly smells better than the Irwin Lamp.

Anyway, I digress. To summarize, I saw a decent movie, and ate some good popcorn. And if you were wondering, I eat popcorn one kernel at a time at a somewhat accelerated pace. I've been informed that it is normal to eat two or three pieces at a time, but who needs normal when you've got a tub of popcorn for just $1?

Posted by Julie Young at 10:42 PM | Comments (3)

December 22, 2003

It's not fun unless it's Doris Day!

I confess: I love Doris Day movies. When I come across one on a movie channel, I am transfixed. No, it's not the way that she sings "Que Sera Sera" in every film, it's the sheer lightheartedness of the entire affair. Thus, Doris ranks first with me -- right up there with Kelly/Sinatra movie musicals. (Pause in appreciation of On the Town. I wish Doris were in that one.) So, for your movie enjoyment...

    Julie's List of Fun Doris Day Films
  • Please Don't Eat the Daisies In this film, Day's character is married to an irritable theater critic who is getting too big for his britches. They move the family to the country, where she manages to redecorate a ramshackle house in only a week, while producing a play for charity! Plus, she frequently locks her toddler son in a cage. What fun!
  • Glass Bottom Boat One of the best -- this time it's Doris Day does spy flick. Look for state-of-the-art vacuum cleaners, bugged Spanish olives, guy-on-guy action, and a certain Soviet named Vladimir.
  • The Thrill of It All Not to be confused with Please Don't Eat the Daisies, this time Doris plays a housewife turned soap commercial diva. Hot dog! Except for the slight anti-feminist agenda about working mothers/wives...
  • Send Me No Flowers The only Rock Hudson to make the list. Hudson plays a hypochondriac who thinks he's going to die. He consequently attempts to set up Day's character with a new husband, and as to be expected, Tony Randall steals the show.
  • Caprice This is a whacked-out Day film. You'll be wondering if your face powder can be melted into the next crack cocaine after watching it.
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much Yup, "Que Sera Sera" is in a Hitchcock film. This makes the list only because Jimmy Stewart (second to George Washington in the "main squeeze who also happens to be dead" department) takes a starring role.
What? You didn't see Pillow Talk or The Pajama Game on the list? Well, fortunes conspired against me seeing Pillow Talk on the free channels. The Pajama Game? Not watching it...bad experience with the live version. Day's role was played by someone who looked like one of my grade school cafeteria ladies.

Side note: Until my freshman year of college, I often confused Doris Day with Dorothy Day. Ooops.

Posted by Julie Young at 11:42 PM | Comments (5)

December 21, 2003

Deleted comment on the ASCII entry

One of my comment spammers left behind this interesting unattributed saying: "Love can damage more than you can heal with drinking." Although I hate the spam, sometimes I do enjoy the catchy quotations.

This makes me imagine: Alice, a gruff waitress at an all-night diner, leans over the counter and pours a cup of coffee for a drunken customer. The above sentiment spills from the corner of her mouth.

As you can see, I've been heavily influenced by Arlo Guthrie and a certain 70's sitcom.

Posted by Julie Young at 11:44 PM | Comments (1)

Noam Chomsky: display of geekiness

Last night I was listening to the BBC World Service before I drifted off to sleep, and the weekend interview was Noam Chomsky. Very enlightening! He spoke about how he became a linguist, and also about current events. He said something interesting about the evolution of protesting since Vietnam. In the 60's, they waited years to protest the war. With the situation in Iraq, people were protesting the war before there was a war.

I also was very happy to finally learn how to pronounce "Noam Chomsky."

In case you were wondering, the web is abound with Chomsky linkage:

  • By the Left...About Turn: Ouch. Review of Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance
  • The Noam Chomsky Archive: You guessed it, all about Noam.
  • Noam Chomsky's MIT site: His email address is really chomsky@mit.edu? Unreal.
  • Noam in the News: Because it wouldn't be a complete websearch until I ran him through Google News.

    As I proof this, I realize that I sound like a deranged fan. Note that the above links and observations are not meant to be creepy, but rather, a starting point for more scholarship....that won't have anything to do with the MIT email address that likely goes to his administrative assistant.

    Posted by Julie Young at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)
  • December 20, 2003

    Odd news out of Britain

    Two discoveries:
    1. The UK's longest road is paved with romance novels.

    2. There's a ghost in Henry VIII's palace. Not shocking.

    If you want weird, move across the pond...

    Posted by Julie Young at 08:59 PM | Comments (1)

    December 18, 2003

    Dweezil and Lisa?

    I have no idea what to make of the newest offering by the Food Network: Dweezil and Lisa. Dweezil Zappa? What did he ever do? As for Lisa Loeb, are things so bad that she is getting her own Food TV show? Why can't she crank out another fabulous hit like "Stay?" (You know you can sing all of the words...) Was I really in grade school when that came out? Reality does bite.

    And uh oh, Lisa cooks with green onions. I hope she's cooking those babies!

    Posted by Julie Young at 11:55 PM | Comments (1)

    December 17, 2003

    A good poem is hard to find...

    So here's an enjoyable one by Aimee Nezhukumatathil that was on Slate this week.

    I love the first stanza -- the comparison of a fried onion to a corsage is priceless -- but what is up with the second appetizer of clams casino? Or is the onion blossom being consumed at the end of the meal? It does say "bad corsage at the end of prom night." Anyway, read it and let me know what you think...

    Posted by Julie Young at 11:38 PM | Comments (2)

    December 15, 2003

    $30 and a box of, well, stuff.

    Since if finally stopped snowing, I was finally able to take my new car out for a spin. Hot dog. I shall recount the adventure for you.

    Sex and Wal*Mart
    I needed floor mats for the vehicle, as one must not sully the mats provided by the dealership. Plus, the only snow brush I have is one rather short one left over from the previous inhabitants of this house. Since I too am rather short, I needed something different. So, off to Wal*Mart I went. I found a super floor mat, the rubber kind with ridges to catch the snow and anti-skid. Very high class. Then, I picked up a flashlight (red, of course) because it seems like one should have a flashlight in one's car, just in case. In case what? I assume it's to find things that you lose underneath your seat, but my mom informs me that it could come in handy when inspecting parts of your car -- like a flat tire or something.

    I attempted to find a snowbrush, but they only had cheap 88-cent scrapers and the ultra-short brushes like what was abandoned (for good reason) in our garage. I decided to save that purchase for another time.

    I headed to the checkout, and opted not to wait in line behind a girl who looked younger than me who was purchasing 20-odd cans of formula. It was too depressing. So, I scooted into the next lane behind a guy sporting that special "hunting camp" look -- a poorly grown, rarely groomed beard. His only purchase was a box of (cover your ears) prophylactics. Twelve count. He shuffled foot to foot, clearly nervous about either buying the product, or about current events, I don't know. Anyway, it was rather embarassing. So, I tried not to look too closely. I did my best to not strike up conversation. Possible starter, you wonder? "Only 12?" I'd ask.

    Then I wondered: Why wouldn't you buy a bag of chips to lay on the belt after the prophylactics in order to hide what you were buying if you were so embarassed by them? Good grief. So, I did my best to look away, wistfully yearning for the line one over, behind the unwed teenage mother and her case of formula.

    On my way out, I encountered condom-man again. This time he was playing with the "magic claw" machine. Trying to win his girlfriend a gift, I wondered?

    Parking? 30 dollars, ma'am.
    Then I drove home. I have to park in the yard by our driveway, and I should've known better. In order to get into my spot, I had to back in from the road. Not a big deal. Frankly, our old driveway was an ice-covered mountain, so this flat surface should be a piece of cake, right?

    Guess again. I went to straighten my car and back it in, so I inched forward. Over the edge of the driveway. Down an embankment. An embankment that didn't exist before we got a foot of snow. Yikes.

    Thank god I was still on our property line.

    So, here I was, stuck on my own front lawn. I attempted to back out. It didn't work. I called my mom and followed her instructions. No help. Big trouble. I read the owner's manual, "How to free a stuck car," tried that -- didn't help.

    My only recourse was to wait for Grumbles the Christmas Elf. You guessed it, my dad.

    Yikes.

    See, he likes his girl-children to have newer cars, so that they don't have loads of operating trouble. I doubt he realized just what a bad parker I was, and what trouble that could be.

    Anyway, he glowered at me, and then worked at unsticking my car. It didn't work.

    My mom called the tow truck. Yup. I had to get my car towed from my own front yard. It's a sad world indeed. The going rate for such things is $30, just so you know, in case it happens to you.

    Posted by Julie Young at 10:49 PM | Comments (7)

    December 14, 2003

    Missed two days...

    And boy was it great! I'm thinking of removing the calendar from my template just so I don't feel guilty.

    Anyway, it's lovely to finally be home. This evening I actually had food for dinner, and not just Cheerios. :)

    Posted by Julie Young at 08:40 PM | Comments (2)

    December 11, 2003

    Drugs won't help...

    Just when you think that the really creative people have to be on crack....well, they just might be. But, it's not helping them, apparently. Writers are just a normal cross-section of the human race, and just as prone to substance abuse as any random person. (You'll have to excuse me, I've been reading Arts & Letters Daily again.)

    Posted by Julie Young at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

    December 10, 2003

    Blame it on a rush of blood to the head...

    As if last week's celebrity news wasn't bad enough (for those who missed my tormented cries, Gwyneth Paltrow announced she was on the nest, thanks to my favorite Coldplay guy), this week's news is much worse!

    A secret wedding!

    Oh well, guess it was unlikely that I'd meet Chris Martin and have him fall madly in love with me anyway.

    On a happy note, I hope it's a girl! The girl baby clothes are much more fun...

    Posted by Julie Young at 10:32 PM | Comments (0)

    December 09, 2003

    Spam and excuses.

    I've finally been spammed in my comments field by a certain "Polk Karry" (verbalize those words for added humor). Polk apparently keeps an enlarging website, and is trying to drum up business. He's deleted now.

    Anyway, my dad likes Spam meat, and once collected enough Spam points for a free tee-shirt.

    In other news, my good friend Liz and I have decided that excuses are useless, and should instead be made fun. Think about it -- do you really believe that person who says they couldn't do something because "something came up?" That they couldn't do their homework because the printer broke? Lame. If no one actually believes these excuses, even if they are true, why not just make up lies for excuses all of the time?

    These lies will work as excuses because no one believes excuses anyway! And to think, if they are outrageous lies, they will become more believable because they are just that inventive!

    Some examples:

  • "A plane crashed off the coast of Madagascar."
  • "I was stranded on a desert island."
  • "I had an unfortunate run-in with an overhead projector, and now must wear goggles until my wound heals."
  • "The sun didn't come up this morning at my house, and I rely on roosters to wake me."

    Fun, huh? And much, much more inventive than the regular lies.

    Posted by Julie Young at 11:59 PM | Comments (5)
  • December 08, 2003

    In the Year 2000...

    Yes, my favorite part of late night TV is Conan O'Brien's "In the Year 2000" bit. It previously annoyed me, but I love it now to the point where I hear the little "Year 2000" jingle in my head. This is one of my favorites:

    (Eerie jingle) Michael Jackson's son, Prince Michael II will write a memoir in which he wistfully recalls that one glorious moment on the balcony when he nearly escaped.
    Har har.

    Other strange news: Religious denominations love Groundhog Day. What, I wonder, is the hidden religious subtext of What About Bob? Bob as a Christ figure? Prophet?

    Posted by Julie Young at 11:17 PM | Comments (2)

    December 07, 2003

    New book! Yippee!

    Today was our RA Christmas party, and my secret Santa got me Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. A Dan Brown went to my high school...presumably not the same guy.

    Anyway, I'm astounded by how floppy the book is. It's a Pocket Book, and when compared to another Pocket Book brand of a similiar size, it seems flimsy. I'm testing it by holding onto the bottom right corner of the book with my thumb and my first finger and making a gentle wave. I don't know why exactly I am doing this, or what conclusions I am drawing about the book due to this small experiment.

    It's finals week -- am I that far gone? I've been in a bizarre mood all day, thinking on very random things such as the meaning of "obligation" and sticking my head out of windows for no apparent reason (and getting caught in the act doing so). And now I think I smell OFF bug repellant.

    Meanwhile, why isn't my tab button working properly? For whatever reason, it's pulling up other windows! I hope it reverts back to normal upon next start-up, as I am a frequent tabber and this is getting more than a little inconvenient.

    Posted by Julie Young at 11:54 PM | Comments (5)

    December 06, 2003

    Happy St. Nicholas Day!

    This year my floor put out their shoes again, and "Belsnickle" dropped little bags of candy in them. What fun!

    Posted by Julie Young at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

    December 05, 2003

    Where are my sent messages?

    To think, Seton Hill wonders why so few students use their email account. In honor of my lame acad.setonhill.edu account, I've compiled a list.

      Top 10 Reasons To Avoid SHU's Email System
    1. Where are my sent messages? I have the option, but the folder for them is invisible. I assume they are saved, but where???
    2. "Delete checked items" only works half the time, yet the message is still deleted....honest.
    3. When you delete, you have to empty the recycle bin icon too, or else you'll get mysterious over-capacity emails.
    4. You don't have a visible deleted items folder, so you don't know that you are storing them until you receive a message (as above).
    5. Your email extension is too long.
    6. When you use the bcc field, the message will never actually get to its recipient.
    7. The "close" button doesn't save or give a "you need to save" warning, it just x's out the window. The save button is actually a very tiny thing sure to be missed the first few uses.
    8. Overuse of social security digits.
    9. An icon suggests that you can "create folder" but if you try to create it, you'll get a "cannot create folder" message. Hmm.
    10. Those mysterious deleted items/sent messages folders? Finally found them. Have to hit the little "up folder" button above "Inbox" on the left bar. Who knew? I've only been using this lame thing for 3.5 years.
    And a bonus: The Seton Hill people set dates to delete everything from your account...which stinks for a few days if you actually use it for your primary email.

    With all this in mind, why would you use this email account?

    Posted by Julie Young at 07:41 PM | Comments (3)

    December 04, 2003

    True Confessions

    Want to know what it's really like to be an RA?

    Posted by Julie Young at 07:52 PM | Comments (2)

    December 03, 2003

    The Zippo Saga.

    I've already run out of fluid in my lighter.

    I don't smoke. I haven't lit anything on fire yet with it, except for the food well wick things at the Class of 2004 hot dog sale.

    Where has the lighter fluid gone, you ask?

    It could possibly be that I like to strike the flint and watch it burn. I also like the smell. It reminds me of the stock of a rifle, and I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps it's because you rub the wood with an oil cloth. Maybe. Hmm. No clue if you even use an oil cloth for such a thing, or if I'm making up the term oil cloth, because I swear that's what they call the floor coverings from Revolutionary era houses. And Webster agrees with the Mt. Vernon definition, according to my handy dictionary, so I'm not sure at all about my smell associations.

    I ought to just read a book or something.

    Posted by Julie Young at 11:59 PM | Comments (3)

    December 02, 2003

    Parkinson's Law and the Portfolio

    It's happened again. I am the only person on earth who is done with the majority of her work. All my friends are frantically studying for tests, and all I have left is my portfolio and a final next week. Arg! I've already vacuumed my room and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas.

    I should be writing my portfolio paper -- an argument on how I met the objectives of the liberal arts curriculum. Hot dog! These are actually papers that I enjoy writing! Few things are more fun than paging through your old stuff and figuring out what good it did you.

    But I have all the time in the world. That is, all the time before Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

    I could also be writing out Christmas cards to my floors. I think that will cause a minor hand cramp, so I'm not into that.

    The problem is that I have too much time in which to get things done. For the past two weeks, I have had no time whatsoever in which to get everything done, and miraculously, I did it all. That's because, according to Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." Now that I have less work, it will take me longer to complete it. More work? More productive use of time.

    Anyway, I'm off to Sheetz.

    Posted by Julie Young at 09:44 PM | Comments (4)

    December 01, 2003

    It's alive!

    Julie M. Young formally announces the birth of La Tour Eiffel, a beautiful, bouncing 29-page work of hypertext fiction.

    In lieu of gifts, the mother requests typo and dead link corrections. ;)

    Posted by Julie Young at 09:16 PM | Comments (1)