Monday, November 29, 2004

wxdu benefit redux

hey, i made an album of photos from the wxdu benefit show. my camera battery died early into hotel motel's set, hence fewer photos of them. i think some of the ones i got of torch marauder are pretty awesome though. and i like the erie choir ones a lot. also, there are some entertaining shots of people--mainly nathan b., since i spent the night working the merch table with him, but also jeffy h. and dave b.

i know they all look dark and stuff, and they're way better all big on my computer, but click on them and try to fully experience the joys of no-flash rock-show photos!


the new york times raves about a book we got at the music library last week.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

t-giving photos

after spending way too much time playing w/ secure shell transfer client tonight, no way was i going back in there just to upload the hilarious picture of the pumpkin-eggnog pie i made that my dad decorated. so here is the ofoto album of some of my thanksgiving photos--you can see me and my sibs drinking warm spiced apple wine, the aforementioned pie, and my hilarious attempts to capture the lights of pittsburgh from a moving car at night. can you spot the incline?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

book 108

just a few brief notes, as i'm still a little green around the gills from my flight:

michael chabon's the final solution
i've seen some blah-bordering-on-negative reviews of this novella (only something like 130 pages), but i liked it. some people apparently were annoyed that sherlock holmes is never named, but i really didn't find that distracting--actually, the only thing that bothered me was the title (which related to both the Holocaust and to holmes solving the mystery) which i forgot as soon as i was engrossed in the story. i figured out the tiny twist a few pages before holmes but i don't think that made me feel smart or anything. it was more a result of page layout than anything else. um, i'm blabbering, sorry. anyway, i don't regret buying this in hardback--though to be accurate, my mom paid for it--and will happily recommend it to all, especially chabon fans.

book 107

amos oz's a tale of love and darkness
this memoir by one of my favorite novelists actually disappointed me a little--mainly in terms of writing style, which i'm hoping was actually more the fault of the translator than of oz. although the totally non-chronological structure annoyed me some(it worked better once oz got to his own life, but was really hard to follow when he was talking about his grandparents), the constant repetition of phrases was the thing that really bugged me. the constant mentions of peer gynt, the constant notation that such-and-such friend of his mother's wrote two books on child psychology (when she really had no gift for communicating w/ oz, at least), etc. of course, the anecdotes themselves are engaging and i personally enjoyed all the memories of joseph klausner, who turned out to be oz's great-uncle, and whose works i read for one of my religion classes at duke. the second half of this book was significantly stronger than the first. i have to say that it wasn't worth buying in hardback.

Friday, November 26, 2004

book 106

alice hoffman's the probable future
i become extra-cranky when in the midst of a full-fledged cat allergy attack, and my mom has gotten pretty good at distracting me with books and knitting. knowing i have little patience for formulaic chick lit or mysteries, my mom gave me this, and though it wraps up quite neatly, i did enjoy it. it's about a long line of women in a small massachusetts town who all receive some bizarre gift when they turn 13--the ability to not feel pain, the ability to stay underwater for like 20 minutes, the ability to detect falsehoods, etc. now the latest little girl has received the gift to see someone's death, and when she foresees a violent murder, she tries to get her dad to intervene--and he of course becomes a suspect in the murder, meaning the girl has to be sent away to her mother's estranged mother for safekeeping, where she begins to discover the family history. actually, probably one of the reasons i liked it so much was the little girl's history nerd uncle, who's attempting to write a thesis on one of her forebears, and hangs out in the library looking at old journals a lot. hee.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

book 105!

jhumpa lahiri's interpreter of maladies
having enjoyed her her novel and the few short stories of hers i've read in magazines, i decided to pick this up to read while i'm home--i somehow get lots of reading done in pittsburgh. :) anyway, i really liked all of these stories--the different angles on the immigrant experience/family interactions are emotionally and intellectually engaging, and really raise a lot of interesting questions (for me) about culture in america.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

book 104

julia glass' three junes
this was awesome airplane reading--actually, it was awesome anytime, anywhere reading. told in three parts with three different focal characters who are all somehow related to each other, it gradually unfolds a picture of a family who have their share of misunderstandings and issues, but who ultimately love each other. not to make it sound sappy, b/c it certainly isn't--it's very funny and more than a little dark, but ultimately comes full circle, and i like when things come full circle.

Monday, November 22, 2004

book 103

the only nice thing about getting one's car inspected: reading time. sadly, one book is often not enough and one is forced to watch dr. phil berate showbiz moms for putting their daughters in pageants.

charles brockden brown's weiland, or the tranformation
brown was apparently the first american novelist who actually made a living off of his writing, and with weiland, i can certainly see why. apparently it has all this symbolism about the role of authority in american life, but i'll leave those discussions to the high school english classes, and just note that this was a creepy, ghostly sort of story that really would lend itself well to a movie (david, did jennifer ever really make a movie of this?). it's the story of two siblings whose zealotrous father died under somewhat mysterious circumstances, and the brother grows up to also have a weird religious thing going on. meanwhile, everyone keeps hearing these voices everywhere, and misunderstandings and murders ensue. interestingly, the book is narrated by the sister--considering it was written in like 1789 or thereabouts, i thought that was pretty unusual, especially since she's a fairly intelligent and sympathetic character.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

wxdu benefit

tonight i discovered the joys of taking pictures without a flash.

more will follow, maybe. mostly they all look like that. :)

Monday, November 15, 2004

book 102

sarah vowell's the partly cloudy patriot
i feel like i've been talking about sarah vowell for weeks, between her great voice work in the incredibles and her upcoming talk at duke (on wednesday, but i can't go), and since i have never actually read one of her books (i've mostly just heard her on the radio or read stuff of hers in magazines), this seems like an opportune time to get on that, already. this book was mildly painful to read--several of the essays focus on the 2000 election, and in this post-election period, it was just a little hard--but most of the essays made me grin and even guffaw. i especially enjoyed her stories dealing w/ american history--most notably, the one on teddy roosevelt and the one on presidential librarians. yes, i too am a history nerd--what else is new? the ones about her family were also entertaining--who can't relate to her dread when her family comes to visit? and her meditations on twin-dom are particularly relevant to my recent thoughts, considering this thread over at the 6:35 forum. but anyway, these were really some nice essays sort of all centered around the theme of "being an American!" but with lots of nice lighhearted moments, like comparing clinton and gore to jordan catalano and brian krakow. very nice.

PS--unrelated, and just a test: in theory, here is a picture of all the hamsters i have received to date (at the behest of lisa b., and with the help of mike p., who pointed out that i can just put pictures on my unc webspace and not have to worry about flickr's space limits . . . )

Friday, November 12, 2004

book 101

kelly link's stranger things happen
here's another book david n. recommended--though actually, it had been on my amazon wishlist since salon reviewed it in 2001. i was glad to have the excuse to finally order it--and it was sooo worth it. these stories are creepy and lovely. link brings in some fairy tale favorites and totally skews them (most notably in "the girl detective," one of my favorites) but it's her other stories that are most memorable--i really think "the specialist's hat" and "louise's ghost" might make it hard to fall asleep tonight, and "survivor's ball" was also a doozy. and on a mostly unrelated note, the cover art for this book is pretty awesome. high marks all around, 5/5 cute star-gazing, coffee-drinking bunnies, or whatever i decided that my rating scale would be. i am really quite glad i finally read this book! don't wait three years to read awesome books, people!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

comic goodness

went over to chapel hill comics the other day on my lunch break and picked up some good stuff--including peanuts volume 2! i love these early peanuts strips--tiny linus and tiny schroeder are my favorites.

i also got the new issues of y the last man (DRAMATIC!!), blue monday (BOWLING FUN!!), and SiP (which i mostly read out of habit, but still enjoy), along w/ the spx 2004 anthology.

but the BEST thing i got was a book of photos called hello kitty everywhere!: photographs and haiku. i'm sure you can guess the subject matter and how much i squee'd when i saw it. most adorable book ever.


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
i've put up a few pictures of recent knitting projects--inspired by the scarf i finished tonight, the scarf i knitted in entirety tonight, and the little blanket i started tonight.

these legwarmers are one of the most fun things i've made!

Monday, November 08, 2004

the best cartoon ever

will be the one about puffy amiyumi. i've seen commercials relating to this but did not imagine that it was REAL! thanks for the link, MIke!

BOOK 100!!!!

*fanfare* *fireworks*

paul auster's the new york trilogy
this is one of several books that david n. had recommended to me--weirdly, shortly after i read the graphic novel adaptation of city of glass, the first part of the trilogy. i did enjoy that and wanted to see where the story came from, so was happy to take david's recommendation. and actually, i'm glad they come in one volume, b/c although city of glass stood on its own fairly well, the three stories are much more parts of a whole--especially the locked room. all three deal with similar themes of mysterious disappearances, confused identities, private detectives, and narrators who have a severe sense of disconnect. anyway, all three parts make an exciting read, and once you realize they're meant to be tied together, you stop thinking auster is a hack who can't get past a certain idea, and realize that he's pretty fucking brilliant.

now on to the rest of the stack of books i have piled up. and really i'll just be reading for fun--i don't know if i could even get ten more books read this year with final projects and everything.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
this is hamster 38--an old woman hamster in a lavendar shirt with a yellow and lavendar party hat. i apologize for the weird color--this is the clearest picture i could get (i have not entirely mastered my new camera yet).

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

book 99!

cynthia ozick's heir to the glimmering world

to me, this seemed like a pretty big departure from ozick's previous works--mainly b/c her novels tend to annoy me, and i really liked this one. it's the story of a young girl who takes an unspecified job for a professor and his family, who turn out to be financially supported by an extremely wealthy, adult christopher robin type. i realize that doesn't make sense, so i'll clarify, even though it's not important to the summary: the character's father wrote a series of much-loved children's book starring his son, the "bear boy." the mother of the family is perpetually in the midst of a nervous breakdown, the professor is studying the karaites, a weird mystical sect, and when the bear boy comes to visit, all hell breaks loose. ozick's characters--even the most minor--are really vividly drawn and i really liked the wrap-up here. so, two thumbs up. hm, maybe i should get a ratings system. like 4/5 bookshelves, or 4/5 cute bunnies . . .

amos oz

something to maybe distract you all: a great article from the new yorker on one of my favorite israeli authors, amos oz. man, why doesn't he become prime minister?

the occasion for the article: oz's memoir, a huge bestseller in israel, appeared in english translation this month. an arabic translation is forthcoming (or so the new yorker informs me).

also, the adrian tomine cover of this week's issue was pretty great. special mention to the dude on the left w/ the blue ipod mini.

Monday, November 01, 2004

free beer!

carrburritos is offering free beer to kerry supporters tomorrow.

(other businesses offering incentives to voters are also in that article--note that the bull's head on unc's campus and chapel hill comics are both giving discounts to voters tomorrow as well.)

GO VOTE!!!!!!!! i'll give you a gold star if you do?