Sunday, February 25, 2007

Back by Popular Demand

So, it has been pointed out to me by some that I haven't been blogging much lately. I guess I've been too busy thinking about things that I can't blog about yet. Hopefully, I will be able to discuss those things soon. Until then, I've decided to go back to that post where I pretended to blog about a bunch of things without going into detail about any of them, and turn a couple of those things into proper posts. Starting with emo poetry, requested specifically by TwilightTreader, in haiku form, and who can say no to a haikued request?

Also requested specifically by TwilightTreader, I've decided to elaborate on how I got a deep fryer from bras. Actually, it's not that exciting of a story. A friend of mine was selected to participate in a marketing research study about bras and panties and was allowed to include a couple of her girlfriends in the discussion. So, we talked about bras for an hour or so, surprised ourselves at how much we ended up having to say on the subject, and then were each handed an envelope of money for our time. I decided that I didn't want my bra money to disappear into the abyss of my bank account, so rather than depositing it, I decided to spend it on specific items. That way, those items would always have that special significance for me: I bought this with my bra money.

A couple of weeks ago, I had lunch with Jon in the city, and the place where we ate had these amazing sweet potato fries with pesto mayonnaise dipping sauce. I liked them so much I decided to replicate them. I actually had great success with the dipping sauce, but I couldn't get the fries to crisp up. That's when I made bra money purchase number one: a deep fryer. And I have since mastered the art of sweet potato fries with pesto dipping sauce, which, when it comes right down to it, could actually save me money, when you consider the train ticket into the city and the price of lunch at 30th Street Station...

Other things I have deep fried with great success: Chicken wings, battered Oreo cookies.
Things I have deep fried with some success: Battered Snickers bars, just plain batter.
Things I have been completely unsuccessful at deep frying: Cheesecake.
Things I hope to deep fry in the near future: Corn fritters, funnel cakes, french fries, tempura, sushi, doughnuts, fruit. Other suggestions always welcome.

For those who are curious, the rest of my bra money went to the purchase of Season 2 of Lost on DVD, to accompany Season 1, which I was given for my birthday, and which my newly-converted Lost-fan friends were almost finished with. At the rate Dan is going, he might actually be caught up in time to watch this week's episode with us. I'm rooting for you, Dan! Who needs sleep, when there is Lost to watch?


Pesto Dipping Sauce
- 1 packet Knorr Pesto Sauce Mix
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I think, I didn't really measure)
Mix oil and pesto mix in a bowl. Add mayonnaise.

Sweet Potato Fries
- About 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and julienned
- Salt and pepper
Frying times will depend on your individual fryer and the exact amount of fries, but basically, fry them for about 8-10 minutes to cook them, then lift frying basket out of the oil, allow it to heat back up to temperature, then put them back in the oil for about 5 minutes to crisp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve with pesto sauce.

Deep Fried Oreos
- A box of double-stuffed Oreo cookies
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk
Mix all ingredients except for the cookies in a bowl while oil heats. Ignore the instructions all over the deep fryer that say not to operate with the lid open, and operate with the lid open and the basket submerged. (Just don't sue me if you burn yourself. I am not giving advice here, I swear. I'm just explaining how I did it.) Dip cookies one at a time into the batter to coat them, then lower them slowly into the hot oil with a fork, making sure they don't get stuck to the brew basket at the bottom. They should float to the top in a few seconds, as long as they aren't stuck. Allow the cookies to float and cook for, uh, I have no idea how much time, not very long, turning them every 30 seconds or so, until they are a pretty golden brown color. Let them cool for a minute or two before eating them, but don't let them cool too much, because the whole point of the exercise is the gooeyness of the melty white stuff in the middle, which congeals again fairly quickly.


I pinned a butterfly down -
To see what made her beautiful.
I poked and prodded until the fluttering stopped.
I pulled off her wings,
And cut her into tiny, little pieces
To examine on a glass plate under a microscope.
That's when I realized that I had been wrong -
She wasn't beautiful after all.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I blame the silliness of this post on the new Blogger format

So, Starbucks is doing this thing right now where you can put your favorite customized drink on a T-shirt (if you're fast enough to click submit immediately after 10 am PST and get one of the very few they are handing out, that is). Not all of the modifications are available, but there are quite a few fun variations. And, because I am a geek, I've been amusing myself by trying to make impossible drink combinations (even though I had to boot into Windows and use IExplore to make the darned thing work). Here is my favorite so far:

Go, my bored internet friends, see what you can come up with. And, if you happen to score a shirt with a freakish drink on it, you would be my hero.

In other news, this head cold that took hold of me on Wednesday, and knocked me almost completely out on Friday seems to be on its way out. Thank goodness I finally figured out how to acquire proper Sudafed. Stupid DayQuil being made with some other useless decongestant now...

Speaking of meth addicts, I had this conversation with a friend the other day:

(18:47:56) ragingchihuahuaX: Ta Da! You're ahead of somebody! :-P
(18:51:17) jule aka b: honestly, though, they're ahead of me
(18:51:28) jule aka b: they have zero net worth
(18:51:34) jule aka b: mine is negative
(18:51:37) ragingchihuahuaX: lol
(18:51:51) ragingchihuahuaX: no, you are not permitted to turn my meth addict joke into self-depreciation
(18:51:55) jule aka b: hahaha
(18:52:01) jule aka b: plus, they have METH
(18:52:19) ragingchihuahuaX: they're the reason you can't buy Sudafed easily anymore
(18:52:30) ragingchihuahuaX: imagine being that hated?
(18:52:37) jule aka b: um
(18:52:41) jule aka b: i'm a LAWYER
(18:52:49) ragingchihuahuaX: lol
(18:53:00) ragingchihuahuaX: I think lawyers are ahead of meth addicts, seriously
(18:53:08) jule aka b: hmm
(18:53:13) jule aka b: perhaps i should ask the internet

So, Internet, which is it? Who is more hated, meth addicts or lawyers?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

An Open Letter to My Blog

I'm sorry I missed our anniversary. I had written a really nice post, well, half of one, but then I ran out of energy, and the head cold took over, and I set it aside to finish later, which I didn't, because I went to work and then to bed with nothing else in between, except for taking some nyquil to facilitate the sleeping. Besides, I wasn't really happy with what I wrote, and I didn't want to give you a less-than-perfect blogiversary post. So, in true Jule Ann form, I opted for nothing at all, rather than settling for less than the best.
Fortunately, my standard for apology letters is slightly lower, so this one will do. Please accept my humblest apologies and this flower that I swear I ordered yesterday, that idiot florist is so getting a piece of my mind...
Happy one-year anniversary, my artificial friend.
Jule Ann.

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"IMmm, ,IM:000IM:0IM, ,m"
"IMMIMMIMm:0IM::000IM00==mm ,mIM"
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"IM:0000000IM:00000mIMIMM"". . . . . .,mM" "M
IMm::00000IM:000IIMM" . . . . . ..,mMM"
,IM". . ."IMIM". . . .,mMMMMMMMM"
,IM . . . .,IMM".. . . ,mMMMMMMMMM"
IM. . . .,mIIMM,. . ..mMMMMMMMMMM"
.,mIMMIMMIMM, ,mIMM, IMM""" ,mIM". .
,IMMM' . . . "IMM.\ "M, IMM ,IM". . . .
.mIM' . . . / .:"IM.\ MM "MM, ,M". . . /
,IM'. . . / . .:;,IMIMIMMM IMM ,M". . / .:m
,IM'. . . / . .:;,mIM" `"IMM IMM IM.. . / .mm
,IM . . / . .:;,mIM" "IMMMMM MM,. / ,mM
IM'. . / . .;,mIM" "IIMMM ,IMIM,.,IM"
IM . . / . .,mIM" IMMMMMMM' """
`IM,. / ;,mIM" IIMMM
"IMI, /,mIM" __IMMM
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hello, out there!

Ever the delinquent blogger, here I am, two weeksish after my last post, trying to decide which of the mediocre, partially-formed posts that are flitting around my brain to commit to type. Some of the contenders:

  1. A thrilling narrative account of the Superbowl party I went to last weekend, including how I didn't really care about the game, but everything looks good in HD, and how I tried to set up a tent in 50 mph winds (it didn't work).

  2. All of my burning thoughts on the return of Lost. The BUS!!! So crazy!!

  3. The official rules for choosing a radio station on a long car trip by yourself.

  4. A one-line post that goes something like, "I am never ever ever driving by myself to Vermont and back in one weekend. Ever." (Composed while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 45 minutes in New Jersey.)

  5. A thrilling narrative account of my weekend trip to Vermont, including snowshoeing with my sister, eating amazing food, and finally visiting two people's houses whom I've been promising to visit ever since they bought said houses.

  6. A rant about how amazing my sister's cooking is.

  7. My thoughts on that thing I am doing tomorrow that I haven't yet decided whether I want to talk about on my blog or not.

  8. A story about that night last week when I got paid to talk about bras, and how I spent my bra money on a deep fryer so I could make sweet potato fries.

  9. An anecdote about my quirky gastro-intestinal system that amuses me but would probably just gross everybody else out.

  10. Free verse emo poetry about Valentine's Day and how I am not upset to be working tomorrow night until 11:30 pm doing the retail turn (except that it means I will need to tape Lost).

  11. All of the above, except in list form, so I don't have to think too hard, and so I don't have to choose.

I bet you can guess which one I went with...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Non-Political Post

I haven't been very political lately. When I started this blog, I occasionally went on feminist or socialist rants, but lately, it's been much more of a "this is what I've been doing lately" blog. Some days, I feel like I should be saying something more important, but frankly, the internet is full of people with opinions, and only one person living my life. Not that my life is anything extraordinary, but one of the greatest compliments I have ever received on my blog was being told that it was like being in the room with a good friend. So, I guess I don't blog to be heard so much as to connect. And when I go through dryish spells like I have been on lately, I don't miss the exposition as much as the connection. So, I might not have anything deep to say, but here I am, saying it.

I've noticed that I go through cycles in my thinking, which reflects in my writing. Not too long ago, I went through a very introspective phase, and blogged a lot about internal issues. Quite a while before that, I went through a political phase, and every item in my news feeds seemed to spark some kind of political rant (be grateful that I only wrote a fraction of them down.) Since then, I have actually deleted all my news feeds, because I found myself not caring about what I was reading, let alone being inspired to write about them. And today, when at least four people on my blogroll wrote about the Mooninite bomb scare, I just kindof shrugged my shoulders, unsurprised and not inspired to rant in the least. I already knew America was stupidly paranoid. Sure, there are days when, although you already knew the sky was blue, the sheer, beautiful, blue, brilliance of a certain day's sky inspires you to write about it. But not today. The sky is actually kindof gray today. Don't worry, though, my political junkie friends, I'm sure I will cycle back through my political ire phase again at some point.

Until then, here is a brief housekeeping note and a pointless anecdote.

I've been getting a lot of spam comments on this blog lately. In and of themselves, they aren't all that annoying, but when I check my inbox and see that seven people commented on my blog, it gets my hopes up, and I feel loved, and I get all excited to see what people said, and then it's such a let down to discover that, no, in fact, seven robots spammed my blog, attempting to incite my readers to purchase cialis or viagra. It's also just plain tedious to go through and delete them. So, I've turned on word verification, which I realize is extremely annoying, but it's better than not allowing anonymous comments, because I know some of my readers don't have blogs of their own, and I am such a comment junkie that I would like to make it possible for the greatest number of non-robot people to give me feedback on what they have read. Stupid robots don't even click on my ads.

So, Kate recently blogged about her new schedule, which includes working out every day except Sunday, and how she did Tae-Bo as part of this new schedule. And it almost inspired me to start a workout schedule of my own. Almost, but not quite. Because I have gotten quite wary of new regimes for my life. I'm an excellent self-motivator if, say, someone else is paying me or grading me on the results of my motivation. But I am terrible at things like self-imposed fitness regimes. New year's resolutions for me usually last about a month, and the last time I tried to read the Bible in a year, I think I kept it up for about three months (which was probably a record for me, actually). That rule of thumb that doing something for three weeks makes it a habit? Not true.

Last year, I decided to set myself a short enough timeline for a fitness regime that I might actually carry it through to completion. Forty days of exercising every day - nothing elaborate, just something every day. Forty days is nothing, right? I could do that. I think I lasted two weeks. Perhaps part of my problem is that I am an all-or-nothing sort of person, so if I miss one day, I throw in the towel completely, rather than simply getting back in the groove the next day. But that's a rant for another day, when I am in a more introspective blogging mood. I promised a pointless anecdote.

I woke up this morning, and I saw my Tae-Bo DVD sitting on the coffee table, and I thought of Kate and her fitness regime, and I decided to start a fitness regime of my own that I knew I could follow through. I decided to put in the DVD, and do the workout. Once. Every day, for one entire day. And I did it, and it felt good, and now I'm going to go celebrate with a shower.