Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Name?

So I've been thinking..... I might rename my blog. Don't get me wrong, I very much love Pepe. And I also love the alliteration with pontificates... But I'm wondering if I should do a play on words, a la my e-mail address. Something like the Julery box (which I think looks very strange typed out) or maybe Finejulery? It reminds me a little of tomfoolery, which is an excellent word. I'm not sure yet, but I've been thinking about it for about a week. So I'm just saying, don't be surprised if there's a name change in the near future. It'll still be me, just different.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Only in Florida, y'all

Greetings. Michael and I went up to Homosassa Springs to see manatees on Saturday; it was a lovely trip, but not particularly interesting from a blogging perspective. However, we encountered many local yokel Florida types of things on our journey which were much more amusing. The items spotted are listed below and are 100% true and not exaggerated at all. I swear to God.
  • A Jeep Liberty SUV towing a pickup truck (not on a flatbed or anything.... both cars wheels were on the road). Inside the pickup truck bed were a 2-wheel bike and a 4-wheeler. This was immediately followed, in the same lane on the highway, by:
  • A pickup truck full of plywood towing a car (not on a bed or anything.... both cars wheels were on the road)
  • A flat bed truck with a jacuzzi wedged diagonally on the bed. Not tied down properly. Jacuzzi was not covered or anything... the inside, jets, pipes, etc. all exposed
  • A Jeep Wrangler with the hatch open, HUGE ladder sticking out the back window. No red flag on the overhang
  • A pickup truck with two adults in the bed, chatting. I think one was shirtless, but that is unconfirmed
  • A pickup truck with a canoe/kayak sticking out of the bed, no tiedown or red flag visible on overhang
  • A school bus with blacked out windows towing a pickup truck. Inside the pickup cab were miscellaneous junk items, my favorite of which was a broken box fan. The school bus was stalled at a stoplight with its flashers on. The driver was a VERY SCARY looking man who hopefully did not actually drive children anywhere. He was checking things out but the light turned green and we got the hell outta dodge

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Training Wheels, Anyone?

I realize this is my second video blog in as many entries. But come on, who doesn't love the Muppets? If you don't, please stop reading and don't ever speak to me again. But back to today's topic. My mother sends me a lot of links to YouTube videos, movie trailers, NYT articles, random thoughts, etc. etc. etc. You see, she was a high school librarian for 20 (!) years and it's in her nature to find all sorts of information and share it with others. Admittedly my sister and I do not always read/watch everything she sends. I often let the e-mails pile up and then take a chunk of time to read the articles and watch the videos, and then feel good when I delete ten e-mails at once! I love throwing things away, both real and virtual. So anyway, this afternoon I decided to watch some of the videos. Check this one out! It's a great five-minute distraction and in a strange way, excellent prep for the Olympics, which, according to my Wall Street Journal, are just 22 days away! I know there are no bikes in the winter games, but it seems as scary as ski jumping or the skeleton or something. Enjoy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just call me Ebert

I'm not a huge movie theater person... When $20 can't get two people tickets and a snack, something is wrong with the world. That said, we do love our Netflix subscription. And w all know, some movies you just have to see in the theater. Such as Avatar. Over the holiday weekend, Michael's dad decided we should see Avatar in IMAX 3D, so on Saturday January 2 off we went to the 11 AM showing. Along with the rest of Orlando! The first three shows were sold out. We bought tickets for Sunday and saw Up in the Air that afternoon instead. The two movies are extremely different (blue aliens on a mythical planet vs. George Clooney) but both quite enjoyable. I am very glad we saw Avatar 3D IMAX in the theater; it was awesome and highly recommended. It was, in fact, the only theater movie we planned on seeing. But due to below-freezing temperatures in Florida we spent a lot of time in movie theaters in the past week. In fact, in the last seven days I have seen the following five films:
  • Up in the Air
  • Avatar
  • Nine
  • Leap Year
  • The Princess and the Frog

There are a few more coming out soon that I would like to see sooner rather than later (mostly because of the upcoming Golden Globes and Oscars) At this rate, I will view approximately 180 movies in the theater in 2010. And you can just call me Roger Ebert.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


It's a good thing my New Year's resolution wasn't "Run more" because I haven't been able to work out in the great outdoors for awhile.... DUDE IT'S COLD HERE! Below freezing in Florida?! Yes, it's true. You might say Jules, go to the gym and run. And that would be a good suggestion, except for the fact that I loathe cardio machines (I used to be a devoted treadmill and bike user all 4 years of college. Perhaps I overdid it for all eternity) so I decided I had to be creative. Michael and I received a WiiFit as a wedding gift (no joke, and yes we registered for it) so I thought this would be the perfect time to test it out. Do you know about the WiiFit? I will tell you.

The WiiFit is essentially a white platform that looks kind of like a step-aerobics step. [Please take a moment to time travel to the 1990s. Don't forget your thong leotard, shiny spandex pants, slouch socks and high-tops] You set the Fit on the floor in front of the TV and Wii videogame console, press a red button to sync the devices, and you're set. I did all of that, and then had to register my Mii. This involved taking a 'body test' where the fancy pants machine asked my birth year and height, measured my weight, calculated my BMI and took two short balance tests to assess my 'WiiFit age' in order to better track my progress. I scored a 37! DUDE! WTF?! I thought I was in decent shape. Oh well, I have never been good at video games, so why start now? I plugged along and started the real exercise options.

First up: Step aerobics [we are evidently still in the 90s] It very much reminded me of Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) which was quite popular my senior year of high school. Arrows and footprints and a platform. I spent quite a bit of time with DDR and would totally rock this aerobics game. I started the workout, followed it to a T and was feeling great; I knew I would get a good score. Except I didn't!!!!!! I had 50% 'ok' and 50% miss. Not one perfect even though I kept up with the routine the entire time. Hmmmmm perhaps I'm still getting used to the board. Repeated exercise, exact same score. Perhaps I am not meant to do aerobics.

On to yoga. I don't especially enjoy yoga but evidently I am good at it. Go figure. I can stand on the board and keep my center of balance in the yellow circle on the screen. I learned that I am quite adept at deep breathing, the Tree pose, Sun Salutation, and a bunch of other weird stretches with silly names. I felt ridiculous so decided to venture into more familiar territory: strength training.

In the strength training menu, I selected something that required balancing on one leg (don't ask why). My first instruction was "Raise left leg" so I, of course, raised my left leg. But the damn platform kept flashing "Raise left leg" on the screen. Hmmmmm. Perhaps the platform has switched its left and right. So I raised my right leg, and wouldn't you know, it stopped flashing "Raise left leg" at me. I glanced down at my WiiFit platform, and I'll be damned: the board was UPSIDE DOWN!!!! The Wii logo was (upside down) by my heels and the bottom of the board was up by my toes, facing the TV. No wonder I did so abysmally at step aerobics. I immediately flipped the device around and re-attempted aerobics. I got a super-duper score!!!! And felt much better about myself. I might not be a genius, but dammit, I am physically fit. I re-took the 'real age' test and scored a 27. That's more like it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I just found a rather lengthy questionnaire on a favorite blog; it seems very appropo for the new year and an entry for today. I realize I have said nothing of Christmas, which was enjoyable and very COLD the last two days, what with a mini blizzard and all. Also I got a cold. But that was 2009, and here we are, launching into 2010. Which is NOT a new decade, media folks. 2001 was the start of the new millennium, thus 2011 will be the start of a new decade.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
I got married! (And along with that, bought a wedding gown, planned a wedding, etc. etc. etc.) Michael and I moved into our own house!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't recall making any. I'm not usually the resolutions type... I say, if something needs to be done, do it, no matter what day it is.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Molly (from AU) had baby #2 and Alexa (from high school) had baby #1, named JULIA :)

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. Grandma Bilz died in June :(

5. What countries did you visit?
I haven't left the country in quite some time, though I did cross a couple time zones on our honeymoon to Arizona.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Perhaps a job?! Oh that might be nice. And artwork on the walls of our house. And the Indians winning the world series, but come on, now. This should be a serious list.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Our wedding day, 9/19/09, stands out as the obvious biggie

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Oh I don't know- did I achieve anything this year? I became a wife but I didn't really do anything to become one, if you think about it. I helped keep a single family home in working order, which is also called 'basic living 101'

9. What was your biggest failure?
That job thing, probably

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not until five days ago while I was home. Thanks, Ohio, for the congestion and coughing to ring in the new year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Oh, Michael would say our fancy pants HD big screen TV. And I enjoy it and can't think of anything else right now, so there it is.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My mother, for planning a wedding for children living 1000 miles away. Lots of phone hours logged on that one. Thanks, mom! And of course all the bridesmaids and friends for assistance in the previously mentioned celebration. Finally, Michael, for putting up with me, and for getting into Cornell's graduate program! WOOOOOOOOOOO

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Mostly celebrities... namely, Tiger Woods.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Into Michael's checking account when we combined our money. And also to the Osceola County tax collector.

15. What did you get really excited about?
The usual suspects: Space Mountain, ice cream, Ohio sports teams, taking photos

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Ironically, a song that was not written in 2009.... Don't Stop Believin' as performed by the Glee cast

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

- happier or sadder? About the same, probably. I don't remember
- thinner or fatter? I weigh the same as I did last year, but maybe with a smidge more muscle tone? So technically thinner (as in, less fat)
- richer or poorer? Richer because our two accounts have merged as one. But poorer since we are a one-income famiglia

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Relaxed and enjoyed the present moment.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Flitting about from task to task instead of focusing on one thing at a time. Perhaps I have found my 2010 NY Resolution?!

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We were in Ohio, as usual, with our families. The Sertich grandparents were in town, but Marissa was still externing, as the gang celebrated Christmas in the new house! Also, poor ML had swine flu, ick. My family role call was the same, as was our loud, joyful celebration.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I darn well better- I have a husband now!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Dude. GLEE!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Tiger Woods?

24. What was the best book you read?
It's a toss-up: One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Both highly recommended.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Sadly, I am an ignoramus when it comes to music. I do not recall making any discoveries, except maybe the Glee soundtracks, which is kind of pathetic isn't it? I have mostly oldies and goodies on my iPod

26. What did you want and get?
Lots of things! Most notable and concrete: A beautiful wedding surrounded by all the people we love. A new computer

27. What did you want and not get?
I don't remember having a list of wants last year, to be honest.

27a. What did you not want and not get? Lots of things! A nasty hurricane season, to name one

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
What movies did I see this year?! Well, I really enjoyed Star Trek and Up in theaters. And I think we watched Slumdog Millionaire in early January, so that counts, too

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26 and PANNIE WAS HERE! Also, we had delicious cake.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I am a glass is half-full person and plead the 5th.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Tank tops, flip-flops and a pedicure

32. What kept you sane?
Pannie, Michael, Mom and Al, in no particular order. This is ironic because the majority of people on that list are NOT sane at all.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Same as always: Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman. Yes, I saw Invictus. No, I did not drool.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I hear about so many, since Michael is my political nerd... I'd go with health care of gay marriage. Different issues, but both mind-boggling

35. Who did you miss?
Family and friends we've met along the way who do not live in Florida and therefore don't see enough.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I don't even know who I have met this year - how pathetic.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Jules, you gotta relax. (TM Michael, who has been saying it since 2002. I am slowly learning this lesson)

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
This poses a great challenge to those who have trouble remembering words to songs... "Whatever comes our way, ah, we'll see it through/And you know that's what our love can do" Michael Buble, Everything