Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Good and the Bad

First the good. Two Ben and Jerry's flavors have pushed Phish Food out of my number one spot: Creme Brulee and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. For weeks I debated getting the Creme Brulee, thinking it might be nasty, but I'm so glad I did. The texture of the caramelized sugar is perfect. Of course, it has been sold out for me since coffee is my absolute favorite ice cream flavor and I every week since I tried it. Coffee Heath Bar Crunch is a no-brainerloooove toffee. Of course, Vermonty Python, One Sweet Whirrled (which for some strange reason isn't in the list of current flavors or the flavor graveyard on their website; I know I didn't hallucinate it), Cherry Garcia, and Mint Chocolate Cookie (no green dye!) are also awesome. I've actually only had one flavor I didn't like: Chubby Hubby.

Now for the bad: There's going to be an Oprah store in Chicago.

B.: Per your request, a Knocked Up review is coming soon!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This and That

I'm getting increasingly excited for The Simpsons movie to come out on July 27. Their website has launched. Here's the trailer:

As if I didn't want to go to London badly enough, Ricky Gervais and Mackenzie Crook are going to be preforming Free Love Freeway at a concert for Princess Diana on July 1. Here's the clip from the show:

I had a pretty good weekend. I took Friday off and Rusty and I were supposed to go hiking, but I got hives from my meds again (including on the bottom of my feet), so that pretty much ruled out hiking and I had to make a doctor's appointment at 8 AM anyway. I'm all roided up and doing well; this round of hives wasn't one millionth as bad as the last time. I went to the Amish farmer's market with Rusty and her parents in the afternoon and then L., Rusty, and I saw Knocked Up and went out to dinner.

On Saturday we went to a baseball game. York decided it was a good idea to kick people out of their homes and waste taxpayer money to build a stadium; thus the York Revolution was born. We left around 11 PM at the end of the 10th inning and my dad turned on the radio in the car while they were in the bottom of the 12th. Apparently we scored one run to win it at the bottom of the 13th inning. It was a long game.

Sunday was a leisurely day spent reading and relaxing. I finished Keeping the House, the book I was sent for the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. It comes out July 10, and while I wouldn't necessarily pay the $25 list price for it, I would check it out at the library or a used book store. Here's my review:

Keeping the House, Ellen Baker's first novel, intricately weaves the stories of two families, the Mickelsons and the Magnusons, before allowing them to collide. The story takes place over a period of time from the late 19th century until 1950, spanning several generations. Baker has a knack for story-telling and her background in American Studies and as the curator of a World War II museum helps to add authenticity to the story.

When Byron and Dolly Magnuson move to a small town in the mid-west, Dolly has trouble adapting. She admires a grand but dilapidated house on a hill and hears stories from the town gossips about the Michelson family who once inhabited it. She secretly enters the house to fix it up, hoping that her husband will buy it for her, thus solving all of their problems, only to be discovered by one of the family members who gives her a more accurate, if not entirely truthful version of his family's story. It is said that the house puts a curse on one's love life, and Dolly finds her marriage unraveling in a self-fulfilling prophecy as other relationships did before hers.

Some of the characters in this novel are a little wooden, but this could be due in part to the expected submission of women of the time. The story becomes a little soap opera-esque at the end with everything wrapping up in a somewhat unrealistic manner; that said, this novel is a solid first effort by Ms. Baker.

That's pretty much it. I hope everyone had a good weekend. A photo journal of Rusty's and my trip to Centralia will hopefully be up soon!

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Monday, June 18, 2007


Here are some pics from Rusty's and my road trip today. Our first stop was Lemoyne to try to get a closer look at some of the grand houses overlooking the Susquehanna that I see on my way to work. After that we went to see where my classes will be this fall, then we headed up to Centralia. Our last stop was the Yuengling Brewery, American's Oldest Brewery in Pottsville. I'll write more details later.

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Monday, June 11, 2007


I'm back on Wellbutrin. The meds that gave me hives were samples, so they were brand name and this is generic, so maybe that will keep me from having a reaction. I'm a little nervous though, because generally if you have an allergic reaction to something and you come in contact with it again, it's worse the second time around, and I really don't feel like going into anaphylactic shock. When I went to pick up my pills the pharmacy person told me there were two scripts for me. I said, "Ummm...nooo..." She said, "Lexapro and Wellbutrin are both here." WTF?! Apparently my insurance does cover Lexapro and when I talked to my doctor last Thursday he said he never head from the pharmacy about it not being covered when the woman specifically told me they called. Another thing that bothers me about this pharmacy is that they blatantly ignore you when you go up to the counter. I don't expect them to stop what they're doing, but they could at least say, "I'll be right with you." Ce-rist! I still have 6 refills left on my birth control, but after that I'm switching to Walgreen's. Grocery stores are local, so I won't be making them lose much business by posting this, but it's Weis Markets. They're affiliated with King's and Mr. Z's if any of those are in your area.

I got my LibraryThing book in the mail today and it's actually Keeping the House by Ellen Baker, not the book they said it was going to be. That's ok with me though, because this book sounds more interesting to me than the one I was supposed to get. The review for this one calls it long and uneven, but then it calls the characters engaging. The awesome thing about this is that I just got a $25 book for free, and that's more than I paid for my LT lifetime membership. My only worry is that the book is around 500 pages, and I'm a pretty slow reader since I generally only read before bed and at work.

I downloaded the new version of Firefox and it randomly closes all of my windows. Not liking this, Mozilla!

Update 8:08 P.M. I'm watching Hell's Kitchen. Gordon Ramsay is so hot!

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

I Feel Special

Thanks for the well wishes on the last post, everyone.

I was selected by LibraryThing to be an early reviewer for Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward. One of the reviews on Amazon called it contrived, so I'm not expecting a lot, but we'll see. After I read it I'm supposed to review it on LibraryThing. I'm not that good at reviews unless I really don't like something, but your chances of being selected as an early reviewer for additional books increases if you review the books you've received. Have any of you who use LibraryThing signed up to be early reviewers? If so, were you accepted?


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

No Meds Make Jen a Sad Girl

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I don't think anyone wants to be regaled with stories about how I cleaned my refrigerator and played hours of Diner Dash 2 this weekend. If there was ever a sliver of doubt in my mind that my depression is chemically-based, it's gone now. This is day 6 off of meds and I'm right back to where I was before I started taking them. I'm sitting here on the verge of tears and I'm not even PMS-ing. To quote the late, great Kurt Cobain, "I hate myself and want to die." I go back to see the doctor on Thursday, so hopefully he can find something that my insurance will pay for. I could go on a big, long rant about pharmaceutical companies, drug advertising, and making small changes to brand name drugs to prevent them from going generic, but I won't.

It's definitely better to be numb than depressed and I think I'll take what I can get as far as that goes.