Sunday, July 27, 2008

No Clean

I don't want to clean the house! I always have tons of enthusiasm for it in the morning, but then the afternoon rolls around and I just want to sleep. I am about half way done with my share (Matt and I split the duties), so I should finish. Sometime.

Yersterday we went to the county fair. I had this grandios image of Charlotte's Web, but when did everything get so freakin' expensive? The fair iteslef cost $8.00 per person! Then there was an actual bathroom (in addition to outhouses), and there was this crazy lady bitching outside the door about how she keeps the bathroom clean and people better tip her. Scazry! It cost $4.00 for a slice of pizza, and $3.00 if I wanted to play a game of Wack-a-mole! Shouldn't a game at a carnival cost $.50, $1.00 max? Or am I dillisioanl, stuck in some previouis fair era. The animals, however, were very cute (and huge! Pigs and cows can be huge!), but I couldn't help wondering if they were going to turn into food. Sad. All in all, it was kind of a disppointing experience.

In other news, Matt has been going crazy looking at all of the San Diego Comic-Con news that's on the web. As you may recall, Matt and I went to the Comic-Con on our honeymoon five years ago, and also went last year. Click here for my awesome photo album (sorry for the slow load). I think we may end up going again next year. But guess who was there this year-- James Franco! Weird. Not like I would have waited in line to see him. I mean, what do you do when you see an actor you like? "Um, hi, I liked you on this show." "Wow, gee, thanks. Do you want an autograph?" "What am I going to do with an autograph? Put it in my scrapbook?" "No need to be rude. What do you want?" "Um, never mind." And scene.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer Rut

I don't know why I can't just be happy to be on vacation, but I always get in a weird state at this time of summer. I'm not happy to be doing nothing, and I'm stressed about going back to work. I keep having work anxiety dreams, which makes sleeping unpleasant, as well. I should remember that this really does happen every summer, but that doesn't seem to make things much better. And I am beating myself up, arguing in my brain about going to the gym. What else is new. I could leave in twenty minutes to go to water walking class. It has been pretty fun, but the last time it was too crowded and the people were talking the whole time. But if I don't go, I may end up stuck in the house all day. Why am I completely incapable of relaxing? How does that happen?

I am starting to obsessively use the internet with nothing to search for. Today I did a Julie Halpern "Get Well Soon" search, which I haven't done in a long time. I found this:
which is a picture from the American Library Association conference in July at the Best Books for Young Adults discussion. That means that teens were discussing my book because it was nominated, but I won't know if it makes the list until the Midwinter conference in January. I love the picture, but I wish it was a video! I want to know what she's saying. Maybe one of you can write me a fake dialog for it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Strange Days with No Address Pages

The last two days have been strange and though-provoking. Yesterday I attended the funeral of the 95 year-old mother of my uncle (married to my mom's sister), Pearl. Pearl was a wonderfully smart and clever woman. She attended one of my readings for Get Well Soon in the fall, and was very open-minded. I never knew her that well, but I loved hearing the stories people told about her. After the funeral and the burial, we went back to her house for Shiva, where you visit with the mourners to keep them company, nosh, and reminisce about the deceased. There I got to hang with a bunch of cousins I haven't seen in ages. It was really wonderful. I do love being around family.

Today I drove an hour and a half to meet up with a person with whom I went to high school, Wendy. The interesting thing is that while Wendy and I were friendly in high school, I don't know if you'd consider us friends. We never hung out outside of school or anything. The crazy thing is that Wendy inspired one of the characters in my new novel, a sort of quirky, nerdy character named Dottie. The REALLY crazy thing is that the day I finished writing my novel, Wendy contacted me out of the blue to say hello. Again, we hadn't really been in touch since high school. We had a great time today, chatting and eating at Applebee's in Beloit, WI (although my meal was kind of gross. They didn't have a lot of options for my picky taste buds). One of our stops after lunch was Staples, where I tried to find a suitable replacement for my Chandler's. I looked through every assignment notebook they had, but none of them had a satisfactory address section. Am I the only idiot who likes to rewrite my address book at the end of each summer into a new Chandler's? Surely not!

Exciting news: I think my celebrity crush has moved on from Ron Weasley/Rupert Grint (although I still love the guy) to Daniel Desario (played by James Franco) on Freaks and Geeks. Not that I have any interest in finding out anything about the actor. The characters are always more interesting anyway. Real people always end up driving Hummers and dating super models. (Although I have heard that Rupert Grint owns an ice cream truck. Food for thought.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chandler Plan

No, I am not writing about Friends. Truthfully, I was never a huge Friends fan, although toward the end I watched it every week. It really bothered me that there was no genuine emotion on the show-- everything was solved too quickly, and no one on the show could actually cry. They would just whine and pretend to cry. Unlike my favorite recent sitcom, Girlfriends, which always took comedy and emotion to a new level. What the hell am I talking about?

The point of this post was to see if anyone out there knows of a suitable replacement for my beloved Chandler's assignment notebook. The qualities I am looking for:

-Same portable size as Chandler
-Sturdy-ish cover, but nothing too thick or heavy
-Weekly layout, with little monthly calendars on the top of each week
-A decent-sized address book in the back (I really use this feature)

I think that's it. I found a kind of good one called Snapperz (I couldn't find a link for it, but I will try to get one later), which may have to do, at Walgreen's. The address section was small, but not as small as the Mead Five Star.

All help is appreciated.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why must life be so difficult?

I don't know what to do. So You Think You Can Dance is on from 7-9 tonight, but Project Runway premieres at 8:00, followed by a new episode of Sheer Genius. I have to watch Dance in a timely fashion so that I may vote Joshua and Katee are my faves), but I don't want to have to wait until 10:00 to watch Runway. Oh, tough call! And no, I don't have Tivo. Wednesday night done right! I have so been sucked into summer crap TV...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cue Rocky Theme (not Eye of the Tiger)

I finished my revision! I finished my revision! I told my editor I would be done by July 15th, and I did it! I actually worked on over one hundred pages yesterday (typing the changes into my computer, not actually revising), which was more than half way, so it would make things easier today. And it did! The second half had way fewer changes to make, so it went twice as fast! Now I have to wait to hear back from my editor. I think I should hear within the next month. I wonder what she'll say. I hope she likes it and thinks it's way better than the last version. I hope my readers like it, too!

Now what to do? I have some thank you notes and letters to write, and I'm trying to catch up on some long, lost email friends. I am also going to meet up with some old friends, and hopefully put my photos from last summer's vacations into photo albums. But I really do have to find something more to focus on, or I will go insane (as I do every summer). For today, though, I am going to cut myself some slack and watch crappy TV (i.e. Full House). Let the wild rumpus begin!

Monday, July 14, 2008


My mom just called me from Ravinia, a local outdoor music venue, where she's seeing the Beach Boys. She said that John Stamos is on stage playing the drums with them! Is that hilarious or what?! Matt and I always joke about how he plays with them on Full House and how he was in their godawful video for the godawful song, Kokomo. And there he is! I asked my mom to take a pic with her cell phone, but we'll see how that turns out. I wish I was there! Just to laugh at it at least.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Can you believe this:


I can't believe it! Mine is almost out, and I want to start writing my August plans. What will I do now? What will I do, I ask you?!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lame Julie Updates

Yeah, I am a slack blogger. Do I need to start every blog post that way, though? Things are going on right now, some of which you know about and some of which you don't, that are making my mind mush. I am almost finished with my revision of my second novel (although I will then have to type in the changes, which as I have said before, takes me forever and is my least favorite part). But then I will have some lazy summer days! What to do with myself? Oh, I know, I will eat a bunch of crap, watch bad TV, and hate myself for it. Sounds fun, ay? Matt and I are pricing new sliding glass doors (get excited, people!). I joined a new gym and have been taking water classes, which are super fun but always make me need to pee really badly. I wonder if anyone pees during the class? Eeeewww. Matt and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary this past weekend, and we celebrated by buying me an awesome Goblet of Fire movie promo poster with Ron Weasley front and center. We also went to a fun flea market and to a nice dinner and watched our wedding DVD for the first time in a long time (it is so weird to watch myself dance). Yes, this is unfocused, but I am saving my focus for my novel. When I'm done with that, I will focus all my focus on the crappy TV I'm watching so I can give you the latest reports on who fell off the giant balls on Wipeout. Does any of this make sense? Time to make dinner!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Spam Hilarity

While being a slacker and not working on my book when I'm supposed to (I make myself schedules and promptly disregard them), I have been fooling around online. I am still enjoying the random spam emails I get (not that I open them, but their subjects and senders are funny enough). Matt has noticed lately that he gets these really nasty subjects that have his name in them and basically insult him. I hadn't been getting those (although I get "Update your penis" about three times a day. And that subject makes me laugh every time. What does that even mean?), but today I finally got, "Julie is an idiot." It made me laugh. And then wonder if I'm an idiot for laughing. Maybe the subject was right!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


You may recall many months ago that I had a small obsession with baby pandas. Well have you heard the news that they inseminated 38 pandas, and are now having a large crop of adorable, rolling babies? I'm sure there are more pictures out there (and you better believe I will seek them out), but here is a link to what I believe is someone else's blog posting of the photos. I love the ones of the baby in a plastic tub! Why is he in a plastic tub?! So cute I can't stand it! And I'm really not one of those people who is overly obsessed with cute stuff.

Today has been a good day. I went to the gym this morning and took my Zumba class, and then I worked in my writer's nook and got through twenty pages of my new novel revisions. My goal is to get through twenty pages per day over the next two weeks, and then I will be finished! With at least a month of summer to slack around! Huzzah! What shall I do with my time? Maybe I will start writing another book. Or maybe I will play the Sims. Or maybe I will look at baby pandas all day because, really, who wouldn't be happy doing that?