Sunday, October 31, 2004


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
happy halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

book 98

a.l. kennedy's original bliss
gosh, i really, really love kennedy's novels. here, she takes what could be totally stereotypical characters--an abused housewife and a sex-obsessed self-help guru--and brings them together in an entirely different and almost romantic way. her writing is simple and lovely, and her characters seem to heighten awareness of pleasure and pain. ok, i'm actually kind of sick tonight and am obviously incoherent, so let's just leave it at: really a wonderful book.


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
adult swim pub crawl!!

i have to admit, it's pretty tempting . . . adult swim rocks.

i regret not taking one of the carl keychains hanging on the fence (pictures of those can be seen by clicking on this photo and browsing my other photos).


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
there's one path i walk a lot on campus that has all this graffiti along it--the yellow bunnies on the construction cloth are fine (i love bunnies), but i have mixed feelings about the stuff spraypainted on actual buildings. it is really neat though--i have a few pictures on flickr so click on this guy and browse them. the w. "i am a terrorist" picture is a recent addition to the wall.

halloween spirit

here are some articles to get that scary halloween feeling running all through you.

this article ran in the penn state collegian my sophomore year--the year a rumor was circulating that a psychic on oprah had predicted a murder in an h-shaped dorm at penn state, and OH MY GOD I LIVED IN AN H-SHAPED DORM. that was also the year my then-boyfriend introduced me to the urban legends reference page, to assuage my fears.

here's more info on the 1969 library murder at penn state, also courtesy of the collegian. the stacks at pattee are probably the creepiest place i've ever been.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


jared (and jodi too!) sent me a link to the comic book periodical table of elements. i am amazed at the sheer geekiness behind this project--and, of course, am enjoying it thoroughly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
i voted today (the line at town hall took an hour!).

yay for citizenship! be a good citizen: GO VOTE!

book 97

jean nathan's the secret life of the lonely doll: the search for dare wright
when i bought this book the other day, the bookstore chick warned me that it was "really sad," and boy, that's no lie. dare wright had a pretty troubled life; everything was a fairy tale that eventually fell apart. this book is almost more tragedy than literary biography. the best thing about this book is all the photographs--pictures of dare (including creepy nude shots taken by her mother) and pictures of edith and the bears. i really wish more photos could have been included though--nathan describes some that seem really interesting, and i'd have liked to have seen them. anyway, this is a must-read for those of us who had the lonely doll when we were little girls--i'm sort of hoping all this attention will get the entire series reissued, maybe in one big volume.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

book 96

the best american nonrequired reading 2004
i really like these anthologies. sure, there are always one or two items that doesn't really float my boat (i still don't understand the inclusion of the adrian tomine story last year, which is my least-favorite tomine story ever, and which i maintain was probably picked to up their indie cred), but the vast majority of the stories and essays are really great things i might not have seen otherwise (i'd only read two of these before--the sedaris story, of course, and the piece on the guy living in the paris airport). highlights for me came in pairs: the stories "zoanthropy" and "we have a pope" from the first half, and the stories "good world" and "the minor wars" from the middle. i was also pretty engaged by the final essay, a piece on that michigan's womyn's festival and its exclusion of transsexual women. i can't believe that argument has been raging for over ten years. camp trans sounds like a lot more fun anyway.

another hamster . . .

Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
this is hamster 37!

he has a little leafy thing on his head and a red shirt. i suspect he is supposed to have a connection to strawberries.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

fangirl ahoy


i sent bryan lee o'malley money, 'cause he was doing watercolors for his fans. i was all, "please do pictures of one of your indie rockers for me please!" YEAH! kim pine!

(you can see the picture he drew me here.)

this is totally going on my big blank wall. thank you bryan!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

large quantities of comics

i decided this morning that i could no longer wait to pick up whatever comics i had waiting for me (i think it's been almost 4 weeks since i last bought comics!), and walked down to chapel hill comics during my lunch break. woo! i had some great stuff on hold, plus i splurged and bought the love and rockets locas book (which seems to be missing the very first maggie and hopey story, wtf, unless it's out of order--and really, that NEEDS to be in there, b/c the hair-cutting scene comes back again way later in the series! also, none of the izzy/flies on the ceiling stories made the cut). i also picked up jeffrey brown's book bighead, which i hadn't planned on buying ever, but which got pretty good reviews from andrew and his lovely wife (and i was so amused at andrew saying "it's a nice change from him whining about his girlfriend" that i had to buy it).

so far, the issues from my haul that i've most enjoyed have been luba #9 (oh my god, talk about cliffhangers), kabuki #2 (david mack's art and arrangements never fail to amaze me), y the last man (ok, THAT is the most cliffhanger-y of the bunch!!!), powers (yes, cooper, this issue was awesome, but did the end of it actually surprise you?), and fables (snow white gives birth!). i also got the new luba's comics and stories, nyx, caper, batgirl, plastic man, and a couple issues of a minicomic called snake pit that looks pretty adorable.

it's enough to make a girl procrastinate further on her homework!

the lonely doll

i meant to post this article the other day, about the bizarre author of the children's book (and the fact that suddenly everyone thinks this book is very creepy).

i had this book when i was a kid, and loved it. maybe i'll try and look for it during thanksgiving and see if i need to reassess my memories (although really, i did like this book a lot. i think i had a doll just like edith).


david mitchell didn't win the booker award.


Monday, October 18, 2004

arcade fire

hey, does anyone get the ny times? apparently the arcade fire is on the cover of the arts section today! here's the link.

(via christina, of course, who notes:

christinamerge (10:45:20 AM): the writer was adorable, too!
christinamerge (10:45:21 AM): just 27
christinamerge (10:45:29 AM): and completely in love with this band
christinamerge (10:45:35 AM): he went to the russian baths with them!

AMAZING. such an adorable article.

go merge!!! you rock!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

book 95

philip roth's the plot against america
this is probably the most terrifying book i've ever read, and definitely roth's best (not that i have read all of his books, but still). the reviewer totally and completely missed the point. interestingly, there's biographical information on all the historical figures he uses in a postscript in the back. i can't really say anything else right now--i'm still processing the story, and how it relates to the political situation now--but that this wasn't nominated for the national book award is the biggest travesty of the year.

Friday, October 15, 2004

book 94

steve martin's the pleasure of my company
sigh. this book took me forever to read, which is ridiculous b/c it wasn't even 200 pages. the problem is that the narrator/protagonist is a guy who i guess has ocd, and his voice is just really over the top. none of the other characters are really fleshed out either, and the ending was really pat--it's kind of lame when books are resolved in three pages. i don't want to be hard on this book, b/c it wasn't awful, but it certainly wasn't great or even cutely entertaining like shopgirl.

jon stewart/cnn

apparently jon stewart was just on crossfire. dang, i totally would have watched that.

the transcript is hilarious. here's an excerpt:

CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?

STEWART: Absolutely.

CARLSON: You've got to be kidding me. He comes on and you...


STEWART: You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.


STEWART: What is wrong with you?

(APPLAUSE) CARLSON: Well, I'm just saying, there's no reason for you -- when you have this marvelous opportunity not to be the guy's butt boy, to go ahead and be his butt boy. Come on. It's embarrassing.

STEWART: I was absolutely his butt boy. I was so far -- you would not believe what he ate two weeks ago.



STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.

CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

STEWART: You need to go to one.

(more from metafilter)

Monday, October 11, 2004


apparently jacques derrida died this weekend. i'm kind of upset that i didn't see this really mentioned online anywhere (except bookslut, of course), whereas every blog or website i read last night or today talked about christopher reeve's death (which is also very sad). i mean, derrida is a huge name! how is his death not newsworthy?!

i saw him speak at sbl/aar a couple years ago--when did i go? november 2002?--and i liked him a lot more than i expected to--i really struggled with his stuff in college, at first, and didn't think his speech would be intelligible at all. and yet it was. he was such a sweet, charming old man, full of lovely little anecdotes about his french/jewish upbringing. his keynote speech was actually the highlight of the weekend for me, even beating out that masterpiece of cinema, jesus christ, vampire hunter.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
this is hamster number 36! note the umbrella. whoever leaves these for me has attached a piece of paper with little clouds on it to the hamster to fit this weather theme.

sorry for the poor quality--the hamster is dark grey and the light in my office-room isn't great.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

book 93

a.l. kennedy's indelible acts
those of you who have followed this blog for a while may remember that i loooved the two novels by kennedy i read this year. sadly, this book of short stories didn't quite hit the same highs for me, though i did really enjoy it. most of the stories revolve around sex in some way--forbidden, forgotten, regained--but they're never cheap or tawdry or any other adjective like that. kennedy is such a lovely writer that i'm not sure she could write anything tawdry (i just like saying "tawdry"). these stories have a sense of loneliness and alienation--people trying to connect with one another, and sometimes succeeding, but usually not. still, there were a few in here that really blew me away, especially "the immaculate man" and the final story, "how to find your way in woods." i'm definitely looking forward to getting a copy of kennedy's latest novel, even if i have to order it from!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

historical nerdiness

some archaeologists have discovered gengis khan's palace/mausoleum. pretty cool stuff.

the best part of the article is one of the accompanying photos, though; its caption reads: the legendary warrior as portrayed in a 1965 film.

no, really, it's funny.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

oct. bookslut

the new issue of bookslut is up. my favorite new feature of the past couple months is the one discussing book cover/designs--this month's raves about the lovely daily show book ANNNNNNDDDD compares the great cover of david maine's the preservationist w/ james morrow's bible stories for adults. i agree that morrow's rewritten bible stuff is way more entertaining than maine's, but mostly i'm just excited to see a nod to morrow on bookslut.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

book 92

helen fielding's bridget jones: on the edge of reason
i know i have spent much of the year mocking chick lit, vowing not to read it again, etc. but christina and brooke and i have been very excited about the trailer for this movie (colin firth--hello!), and christina said i MUST read this before we go to see the movie, and it was a nice relaxing afternoon, and thus perfect for reading something fluffy. and this was very funny and entertaining, though of course there's that frustration where you just want to scream, "just call him, you twit!" but of course then there wouldn't be a story. the thailand bits were pretty hilarious--i'm looking forward to seeing the movie even more now. but again, mostly for colin firth.

Friday, October 01, 2004

book 91

david mitchell's cloud atlas
wow. wow, wow, wow. this book definitely deserves the booker prize. first, let me comment on its brilliant structure--stories sandwiched within stories, like nesting dolls--or as mitchell himself writes, regarding a score being composed by one of the characters, "in the first set, each solo is interrupted by its successor: in the second, each interruption is recontinued, in order. revolutionary or gimmicky? shan't know until it's finished, and by then it will be too late . . . " (445). trust me when i say it doesn't come off as gimmicky--all the stories are tied together, and each one revolves around an entirely different world than the one before. they interrupt each other at moments of high tension, which at first annoys ("but i want to know what happens to that character!") but then i was too wrapped up in the new story to care about the one before. don't worry, it all cycles back through to a lovely conclusion.

let me just reiterate here: wow. an amazing book.