Thursday, December 29, 2005

john hodgman

so as of tomorrow, i'm dogsitting in durham for a few days. to prepare for several car trips back and forth, i put a bunch of this american life episodes on cd to listen to in the car (b/c i don't have car-playing capabilities for my ipod), and had the superpowers episode playing on the way home from dinner in durham tonight. dude, john hodgman is totally the guy who did the (in)famous flight vs. invisibility story! but of course now i know his name. :) (he also had a piece on the recent tal christmas spectacular.)

i always figured i'd choose flight--it just seems more useful! you wouldn't need to like sneak onto airplanes (something invisible people apparently would do) if you could just fly there yourself, after all. totally would take the hassle out of travel! and if you ever accidentally fell out of a window or something, you could fly instead of dying. i think invisibility would be depressing and not very helpful--i wouldn't really want to hear what people said about me when i'm not around, and i'm just not into shoplifting. i'd like to think i'd use flying for heroic things, but of course i'm not particularly strong, so that's not very realistic. efficient traveling, though! that would be sweet!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

year-end lists

jessa crispin (of bookslut) has an interesting take on year-end lists. despite being someone who reads a lotttttttttt of comics and graphic novels (and is officially writing a master's paper about them), i actually do not think any graphic novels will end up on my best-of-2005 list. SOR-RY, bookslut! i guess i'm just not AWARE enough to be as good as you! stunted reading, my fanny.

i mean, epileptic was pretty good, but not enough to beat some of the other 154 things i've read this year. ice haven wasn't new, and i haven't read black hole yet (dude, that thing is HEAVY, and i generally stop by the comic book store on my way home from campus, when i'm already lugging a bunch of books). i did really love spiral-bound but otherwise there weren't any books that really grabbed me this year. i have been very into some of the continuing series that i read, but they don't count. i think 2006 will be a good year for graphic novels, but 2005 was a little bland.

i haven't actually even begun thinking about my top ten books this year--narrowing it down is gonna be rough. i did read some pretty bad books this year, though, so at least that'll make it a little easier. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

2005 book 155

mark helprin's freddy and fredericka
helprin's winter's tale was probably my favorite book throughout high school and college (though since i was 22, i haven't continued my practice of rereading it annually--i really should give it another go) and so i was sort of eager, sort of hesistant when his new novel came out, especially when it got so many mixed reviews. once the bull's head annual sale rolled around, however, i couldn't resist the urge to see how it was and promptly bought a copy. this slightly silly novel centers on the fictional prince of wales and his fictional wife, who, through a somewhat bizarre and labored set-up, are sent to america to reclaim the colonies. madcap adventures and wacky misunderstandings ensue, of course. there aren't really any surprises here, but helprin's penchance for the romantic and idealistic and scenic is evident throughout.


my usual thursday afternoon timeslot has been preempted this week by 24 hours of afrobeat (i have no idea when the 24 hours starts, but i'm sure georg will have more info), but do not fear! i am subbing the wednesday afternoon 4-6 show and thus you can still hear my dulcet tones on the airwaves as you close out 2005. listen at 88.7fm for triangle denizens, or for those in other regions.

Monday, December 26, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
i liked knitting this scarf so much that i made another one with some yarn my mom got me. i know this photo isn't as cute as the other one, but it does show the scarf's full wavy glory. best pattern ever (once christina deciphered it, that is)!

sorry for nothing but photo posts over the past few days--the book i'm reading is sort of longish, and i guess i've just been enjoying knitting and watching law and order marathons on tnt instead of reading. however, my arms are pretty sore from cranking out scarves and i should be getting back to the book soon.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
happy first night of hanukkah!


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
check out this scarf i made w/ some awesome self-striping yarn! it knitted up really quickly, thanks to a pattern using short rows--i only started it on christmas eve eve during my annual festivities with christina (hey, has anyone seen the brideshead revisited miniseries? we watched the first five episodes and still can't figure out if charles and sebastian are gay and/or have consummated their love, and i don't remember the book at all).

Thursday, December 22, 2005

2005 book 154

james meek's the people's act of love
here is my customary "dang, this book was good" entry opening: wow. wow, wow, wow. dang, this book was good. it's the story of a small town in siberia in 1920, where various characters face upheaval due to various revolutions. some of these characters include a widowed photographer and her young son, a jewish lieutenant with the czech army, his insane cokehead commander, an escaped prisoner, and a community of castrates. this book is jsut so well-written, though; lots of hints appear as gradually layers of the story are peeled away and secrets are revealed. i think this was on the booker longlist, proving yet again that booker nominees are way awesomer than national book award nominees (or maybe proving that british(/affiliated) authors had a way better year than american ones). :)

unrelated: i stayed up late last night to watch dirty dancing on cable tv (damn commercial breaks always come at the good parts). it's weird, b/c i loved that movie when i was a little kid (it took me a few years to figure out what was wrong w/ penny), but by college i thought it was pretty boring and stupid. and yet last night i was totally into it! it was filled with dramatic tension and sexy dancin' and jerry orbach! i found the class warfare very compelling, and the portrayal of that small chunk of time when jewish resorts in the poconos were total hot spots to be pretty fascinating. for a moment i had the urge to reread marjorie morningstar but i'd rather keep making my way through my immense to-read pile for the time being.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


thursday, 2-4 pm, fm. you know your brain is already on vacation, you might as well listen as you while away your last workday before break! or as you do whatever it is you're doing tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

2005 book 153

john hodgman's the areas of my expertise
seeing this dude on the daily show cemented my resolve to get this book, and i wasn't disappointed--it's really funny, and covers a wide range of topics (the 50 states, hoboes, how to write a book, etc). however, it's a little hard to read straight through at times--of course, maybe i'm the sort of person who can only handle thirty-eight states' worth of humor in one sitting. with 50, it can get a bit repetitive. still, it's awesome in small doses--apparently this guy contributes to this american life sometimes, so i may try and track down some of his pieces, b/c he has just the sort of bizarre wit i find so entertaining.

another milestone: according to blogger, this is my 600th post! i have no idea if that's accurate or not, but i am pretty verbose, so it certainly seems realistic. thank you, my four or five readers, for sticking with me even this long. :)

Monday, December 19, 2005

2005 book 152

sarah shun-lien bynum's madeleine is sleeping
a finalist for the national book award in 2004 (it lost to lily tuck's the news from paraguay, whcih i also didn't think was anything special), this is the story of a girl who falls into a deep sleep and has weird dreams where she joins up with a sort of freak show. these dreams are interspersed with brief looks at her family, although the line between the dreams and the reality is often blurry. i suppose this was meant to be all fairy-tale-like, but i didn't really like it much. there's no real sense of the characters and it just feels like bynum was trying a little too hard. now i remember why i think the national book award is a crock.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

king kong

two thumbs up! adrian brody, surprisingly good as a writer-cum-action-hero. jack black, excellent as an asshole, which is perhaps less surprising. naomi watts, awesome at evoking various emotions without saying anything, and gosh she's pretty! big monkey, aw, he's jsut a widdle fuzzy monkey cutiekins! andy serkis, great as a one-eyed sailor and as the basis for the monkey's movements.

there were also plenty of action sequences, gross moments (people with serious bug phobias should not see this movie), sad moments, etc etc. i mean, it's a peter jackson movie.

but as a side note to movie theaters: it's just mean to have 22 minutes of commercials and previews before a three-hour movie--especially when i'd already seen two of those commercials on tv earlier today. ok, ok, you want me to buy coke. i get it!

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
today i spent the afternoon baking--keith and kate are having folks over tongiht, which was the perfect chance to test two new recipes. the hummingbird cupcakes are courtesy chockylit, and the gingerbread cakes (waaaay in the background) are an adaptation of tis recipe over at 101cookbooks (i didn't have the correctly sized cake pan, hence the teeny cakes, which will be perfect for single servings with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream!).

have i mentioned lately that i love my kitchenaid stand mixer?

2005 book 151

david foster wallace's infinite jest
hey, i did read it in a week! although it took me a little while to get into it (it shifts perspectives frequently, often abruptly), i was sorry to see it end as i've been nearly addicted to it this week--the lovable and sympathetic characters made up for the vile and abusive ones, and the portrayals of (generally dysfunctional) family dynamics were really intriguing. i have some questions about things, but i won't bring them up here as david and robert are still reading (as far as i know). now i am extra-eager for them to finish b/c i really want to talk about it with someone!

and to bring up another pet peeve of mine, whoever wrote the book jacket copy totally DID NOT read the book. it's so misleading.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

crappy holiday movies!

what happens when you cram every cliche into a holiday movie with an ensemble cast? the family stone. be forewarned: there's a cancer subplot so it's not all idiotic predictable comedy stylings. ps: cancer plots and predictable comedy stylings don't mesh well, at least with this sort of cast. surprise, the high point was coach! no, really.

free movies are always awesome, thoguh, so points for that.

book update: i'm plowing along on infinite jest--i'm past page 650!

fun update: looks like i'll be dogsitting one of my favorite dogs over new year's! this should not at all hamper my plans to go see the wusses at local 506, however. yay for doggies! (speaking of doggies--there was this preview for some live-action disney movie about 8 adorable huskies trapped in the south pole! me and the girls were all, "oh no!!!! the puppies!!!" i hope it has a happy ending.)

i swear the book updates will start up again soon.


oh, i almost forgot! i'm on the air this afternoon from 2-4pm. listen online at or in person at 88.7 fm if you live in the triangle area and can get reception.

hopefully last night's nyquil will wear off by 2!

humor transcends the decades

i never knew a.a. milne was so freakin' funny. seriously, that could have been written yesterday, and anyway i'm giggling no matter when it was written. i may have to employ some of those tricks next time i'm at a gathering for the festive season . . .

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

the horror

Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
what makes a better blog post than a monty python reference? why, embarrassing photos of oneself! (and one's family. hey, if you guys want me to black our your faces or something, i'm happy to oblige.)

christina alerted me to this story on npr, and i really think that's a book i need to read. i mean, just LOOK at what i'm wearing (i'm the awkward-looking one in the middle, bedecked in fake flowers, with heels dyed-to-match). frankly, 1992 wasn't a good year for anyone, which is just one of the reasons i don't look at my bat mitzvah album much. but i do have my pretty pretty portraits from the day, along with this hilarious wallet-sized family shot. i wanted to make sure you could all fully comprehend my terrible dress, which is why i didn't put up one of the pictures with the pretty/hazy filter on it. c'mon, you guys know what filter i mean, right? where everything is all soft-focus and flattering to a poor little thirteen year old girl bedecked in bright pink fake flowers? the top of that dress is stretchy white iridescent sequins, by the way.

latent geekery

as much as i claim to be a word nerd through and through, there are still some vestiges of out-and-out geekiness in my system. for instance, i just heard chopin's polonaise no. 6 as the background music on some tv show (i was doing my physical therapy exercises--by the way, i am getting some impressive guns! guns are arm muscles, right?) . . . anyway, i heard the piece and immediately starting singing (in my head) "oliver cromwell, lord protector of england . . . "

of course, i'll always be grateful to the monty python boys--that song really got me through the european history AP exam! more historical figures should be memorialized in catchy songs.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


i'm too lazy to type up my thoughts about the movie, so here is the conversation i just had w/ erin over aim:

basilessa: what did you think of the movie?
leesharama: i liked it a lot, actually
basilessa: oh hooray! that's a good endorsement
leesharama: yeah, it was a teeny bit battle heavy, a la lord of the rings, but i thought they did a good job of it
leesharama: it was mostly very true to the book
basilessa: yaaaaay
leesharama: yes, i nod my head in appreciation of the movie
leesharama: also little lucy was adooooorable
leesharama: with her little-girl tummy and her little crooked smile!
basilessa: awesommmmme
basilessa: i am excited
leesharama: there was a little kid behind us who'd obviously read the book and made some really funny comments
leesharama: i definitely recommend it

other thoughts: the dude playing tumnus was pretty cute! i swear i'm not into kinky stuff, at least not in a public forum like this one that my parents read, but he was younger and hotter than i remember him being in the book. tilda swinton was a very icy ice queen, and i thought they did a good job w/ aslan (at first i was all, he should be bigger, but i forgot that pretty quickly).

and obviously i'm not up on all that newfangled christian theology, but i didn't catch too much overt stuff in the movie. now, if they make the seventh one into a book, the christians will have cause to see it in droves, but not so much with this one. do christians like the idea of talking animals? (ooh, i loved mr and mrs beaver most of all!)

it's serendipity

that on the very morning i am going to start reading infinite jest, an article on david foster wallace appeared in the guardian (calling IJ a "cult bestseller"--who knew? well, i guess if i'm going to join a cult, it's got to be book-related).

Saturday, December 10, 2005


i am officially DONE for the semester!!!! the fun will start tomorrow, when i go see chronicles of narnia with the girls, and maybe bake cookies. the possibilities are endless! also, i have mondays off for the month starting this week, which means i still get two days of weekend to do what i want to do: reading and crafting and baking and hanging out and smiling.

here's something i was thinking about last night: astronomy. the night sky is pretty amazing right now--mars is pretty bright and located fairly near the moon; if you're out and about and see a yellow dot in the sky that isn't flickering, now you know that it's mars. also, venus (the evening star) is seriously bright right around 6:30--if you have bad eyesight like i do, you will understnad why people draw stars with five points. venus totally has five points, until you squint really hard. they look almost like little arms and legs, and suddenly it's easy to understand why faraway dots were anthropomorphized as gods and goddesses.

i wanted to try and get a picture of mars and the moon, but sadly my apartment building gets in the way. if i happen to be carrying my camera around at night in the next few days, i'll definitely give it a go. when i was out w/ k and k last night, keith claimed he had read that you could get a good picture right now, since the moon is so bright. here's hoping for more clear nights.

speaking of being out last night: k and k and i went to go see walk the line. my bosses both scoffed at this, but i was curious about the movie and happen to be a joaquin phoenix fan. actually, though, i thought reese witherspoon did a better job with the whole thing. ok, here's how it went--i really liked the first half, with all its music and stuff, and then it really started dragging! all these montages of joaquin phoenix all sweaty and jonesin' for drugs, with superimposed images of reese, or of johnny cash playbills in a puddle. total lack of subtlety! kate and i agreed the second half needed to be dialed down a few notches, and even keith (who loved the movie) thought it could have benefited from some editing. ok, johnny is on drugs and pining for june. WE GET IT.

i do wonder how many albums they've sold with the release of this movie--i was certainly in the mood for some johnny and june tunes afterward (but managed to fight the urge to go shopping on the ituns store--so convenient and easy! so much trouble!).


can you tell my brain has melted a little over the past week?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

top 10 albums of 2005

by popular demand . . . or, y'know, christina's. it looks like 9/10 of these are local bands, on merge, or both, so take this list as you will. presented alphabetically, b/c hey, i like the alphabet (who doesn't?). a list of my top books will appear in january, b/c i could read something totally amazing in the next few weeks, but i feel pretty good about these album selections. i am pretty sure they all came out in 2005:

1. audubon park--the bunny is not as popular as julius
2. lou barlow--emoh
3. blockhead--downtown science
4. crooked fingers--dignity and shame
5. erie choir--bad tsars is a drag
6. kingsbury manx--the fast rise and fall of the south
7. portastatic--bright ideas
8. the rosebuds--birds make good neighbors
9. tenement halls--knitting needles and bicycle bells
10. work clothes--these are the shoes we wear

there you have it--the ten albums/EPs i listened to most in 2005, and put on the most mix cds so i could sing along in my car.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
a-ha! look what i finally laid hands on!

this is my reward for spending the next three days sequestered in my apartment doing schoolwork (except for the times i'm at my actual job). as of friday evening, i will be done for the semester, and thus will be putting in a brief appearance of celebration at the sils holiday party (unless the exhaustion catches up with me first).

but as of saturday, this baby is mine!

it's slightly less intimidating in hardback, and much easier to hold. i'm looking forward to getting buried in a book again--i haven't read for fun since thanksgiving weekend.

saturday night: minutemen tribute at local 506! another way to celebrate being DONE FOR THE SEMESTER! december is suddenly going to become my favorite month--i think i'll love the 20 hour workweek and all the books i can tackle in those other 20 hours. :)

radio! and, an informal poll

alas, i will not be doing my usual thursday shift this week (thanks to alex for subbing!) due to having a big paper due on friday. however! i WILL be on the air on wednesday from 4-6, with the lovely christina as my co-host (and those who know christina also know that at this time of year she is practically transformed into a christmas elf, so infused is she with holiday spirit--so undoubtedly there will be some holiday tunes on the airwaves at that time).

now, a poll!

yesterday i received some new contact lenses to replace the ones i haven't worn since september (which were causing me all sorts of problems). since it has been several months of glasses-wearing, however, i have grown used to a contacts-less life. plus i have such cute glasses these days!

pros of contacts: don't fog up, more peripheral vision, better eyesight i guess, conform to some weird ideal of beauty i learned in middle school
cons of contacts: don't always stay where they're supposed to, which is both terrifying and painful.

pros of glasses: cute, can actually see with new prescription, my mom thinks glasses look better with my short hair
cons of glasses: less peripheral vision, sometimes they hurt my nose, "men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses" (is that even true? who cares, i like rhymes)

so, an informal poll: should i try out the new contacts and wear them on a daily basis, save them for special occasions, stick to glasses, what?

Monday, December 05, 2005

norton anthology

ooh, i want this new anthology of children's literature. however, i'm really posting this link to point out that its editor, jack zipes, is one of those horrible literature snobs who feels the need to get in a dig at harry potter (which was too expensive to include). i'm not sure he's really read the books closely--his depiction of hermione as a cheerleader seems to come straight from the movies. in the books, hermione is frequently called "the cleverest witch of her age" and although harry is the chosen-type one, he wouldn't really get anywhere without her intelligence and common sense. particularly in books five and six, she's presented as the only smart one around--not just in the book smart sense, but in the clued-in sense--as harry and ron bumble around full of teenage crapola.

obviously i'm a big hermione fan, and so zipes' comments raised my hackles just a little. :) the anthology does sound really cool though--it's going straight to my amazon wish list. hint hint, relatives, my wishlist is ready to go and there's even a handy link on the sidebar on the left. :)

Sunday, December 04, 2005


i swear i saw this guy in an advil commercial last night . . . man, he was totally a star in the 80s! he played the android kid that alan thicke invented in not quite human, and if that's not fame i don't know what is. poor ol' 80s stars. can't someone get them on a vh1 reality show or something? maybe the advil commercial was more dignified.

speaking of last night: great recess show at nightlight. i was very into the first performance, which featured an animal parade, an accordion, and gas canisters (which make great percussion thingies--who knew?), and i really liked matt kalb's song inspired by his son's imaginary friend, but it was the tennis academy kids who really put on an amazing performance. i demand more extended instrumentals! (i reward with cookies, you know.)

i will be so happy when monday ngiht rolls around and i can rest my typing arm and make some cookies and relax a little.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

great cover-up, night 2!

brief comments b/c i am sleepy! (so sleepy that i drovepast my exit--oops!)

thigns started off w/ an atrocious freddie mercury--now, i would love to see someone do justice to queen at the great cover-up (hey, i like queen--family lore claims that i listened to queen as a baby and loved it. and my status as a hopeless nerd was cemented in fifth grade when i impugned the honor of one vanilla ice by pointing out his robbery of queen and david bowie--i am pretty sure the other ten year olds tried to say that vanilla ice had the beat first) but this dude was even worse than the ramones from last night.

2nd: elvis costello and the attractions. they were pretty good, actually, though i sort of preferred finn's rendition last year (it's more fun when you know the people playing).

3rd: THE WUSSES!!!! doing three dog night!! with dave bjorkback, jeffy herrick, and bob wall sharing vocals! ooohhh, so fun. absolutely made my night.

4th: cy et al doing the birthday party (i'm not really a birthday party fan).

last: some band called pious, or something? *shrug*

anyway, the best part of the great cover-up is schmoozin' with other music fans (and charity fans): my favorite raleigh denizens (jason, laurie, margaret, sean, becky, dawn [who is coming with me to see the wusses on new year's eve!], taj and the other rollergirls, crystal, and so on!), the lovely pinky (with mr pinky), the awesome susie cupcakes (w/ mr cupcakes), and the irrepressible bean3 (w/ mr bean3). it was especially nice to see matt tomich, the world's best hugger, who i hadn't seen in months and who is moving to switzerland for good in april. matt always reminds me of those mountaintop gurus who have achieved inner peace and now spread it to everyone around them. also it's nice to practically be tackled by hugs whenever i see the guy!

tomorrow: serious buckling down. now: sleep.

ETA: here are jason's more lucid and informed comments! here are pinky's!

Friday, December 02, 2005

music library book of the week

it's been a while since we had a book this awesome come into the music library, hence the long awaited return of the music library book of the week!

it's 50 cent's from pieces to weight!

i think it might be a movie/cd tie-in, as the header on the inside flap reads "get rich or die tryin'"--oh, 50 cent, you rascal!* but he's ready for anyone who might front:

i wrote this book to explain the world i come from. to a lot of people, i may be too young to reflect on life. and they may be right. but i'd be wasting my blessings if i didn't use the attention i'm getting to shed light on the experiences that have caused me to say the things i say and make the kind of music i make. i want to explain my environment to those who don't come any closer to it than the records they buy or the images they see on television. people want the truth. even if they can't handle it, they want it. i let you know that i survived nine bullets not to sell records, but because it's the truth. every time i sit down for an interview, i'm asked, "well, 50, how did it feel to get shot nine times? . . . "

pretty crappy, that's how! what lame interviewers.

*tribute to veronica mars

great cover-up, ngiht 1!

things started off w/ some silly kids playing tv theme songs and singing off-key. highlights for me were law and order and the muppet babies (the kermit and miss piggy voices were especially spot-on). it was entertaining and all, but wtf, it's the great cover-up! pick a band and play their songs! is it that hard?

next were the ramones--or as one member of my party described them, "rammstein covering the ramones." horrible, just horrible. most of the audience went to the bar while they played.

then came the smoking popes, who seemed ok, but i don't know any smoking popes songs and couldn't really judge.

kind of an underwhelming ngiht--UNTIL!!! stingy, cy, tim ross (former sils dude, or maybe current, i don't actually know), and some other dude came out full-force as cypress hill!! [did i listen to a cypress hill tape repeatedly the summer after 8th grade? yes. did i understand the drug references? no.] the audience went nuts! tehre was a dude in a bong costume! and they were actually really good! and occasionally some of us would turn to others and go, "oh my god, that's stingy!" which somehow made things even better and definitely much funnier.

definitely turn out tomorrow ngiht, music fans, b/c the awesomest bands always seem to be on friday. and the wusses are playing, and you know we've all been talking about the wusses sicne last year, so are you really gonna miss them again?

ETA: here are jason's comments!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


after a brief holiday hiatus, i am back to my regular thursday afternoon shift, so listen to me on the radio at 88.7 fm/ from 2-4 tomorrow. requests are welcome and you can even email them to wordnerd at if you are afraid of telephones and/or the request line.

man, why is it to hard to take full-length photos of oneself? i am wearing the cutest librarian outfit ever (i just gave a teeny speech at the big TRLN event at duke) and there is no way to document it!

um, sorry for the lack of book-related discussion: i feel guilty reading for fun when i should be working on final papers (or, y'know, baking cookies and watching veronica mars w/ christina, which is the agenda for tongiht). my time should free up a little next week and i may make a dent in the to-read pile then (or jsut delve into infinite jest, if i can get my hot little hands on a copy).


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
ooh, check out my swanky new glasses! i think all my other glasses have had the same prescription for the past few years, so suddenly seeing things in hyperfocus is a little weird. should i drive with them? i need to decide soon, b/c the great cover-up (THE event of the season, and for a good cause to boot!) begins tomorrow night, and i'll be making me way over to raleigh for the festivities. the wusses are apparently playing on friday night, so if you think you can only handle one night of total awesomeness, it should be friday for sure. i am sure all the homework i will be doing this weekend will only be enhanced by my rock-and-roll lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

mmm, cookbooks

here is a great article about some awesome new cookbooks (which make drool-worthy holiday gift ideas). i almost got that chocolate chocolate one a couple weeks ago, but it was too heavy to carry around campus all day. :)

anyway, there are some great books on this list--i think if my amazon wishlist wasn't already full of cookbooks, i'd add about six or seven of these.

Monday, November 28, 2005

music stuff

last night i saw an awesome show: the burdocks (from canada), a northern chorus (also from canada), and audubon park (featuring birthday boy stingy jones on a pavement cover). the burdocks were especially awesome and so i got their cd and added them to the latest mix cd that's been burgeoning in my brain. random-as-usual track listing:

1. hal--what a lovely dance
2. willie hightower--it's too late
3. work clothes--the new pop mafia
4. audubon park--esp territory
5. portastatic--truckstop cassettes
6. sun kil moon--tiny cities made of ashes
7. boduf songs--this one is cursed
8. pleasant--lowly
9. whirlaway--when i think of you
10. heavenly--smile
11. acid house kings--this heart is a stone
12. east river pipe--i'll walk my robot home
13. essex green--the rabbit
14. mirah (w/ the black cat orchestra)--si se calla
15. naw--canal lock swim lesson
16. mr. scruff--bobby's jazz pony
17. the rosebuds--hold hands and fight
18. the burdocks--we will all be ghosts
19. tenement halls--plenty is never enough
20. erie choir--pan-pan, where did you go?
21. yuka honda--i dream about you

speaking of audubon park, david tells me he and robert are both reading infinite jest. i've actually picked up this book at stores on several occasions and put it back down, not sure i have the patience for such a long book, or for such a long david foster wallace book (i've read girl with the curious hair and vaguely remember liking it, but thinking he was a little pretentious. at least i think that's what i thought. probably i should grab it off the shelf and give it a glance). however, now that i've hit my goal of 150 books, it seems like a good time to try and read a behemoth (and, oh my god, book club!!!! so cute!), in between end-of-the-semester paper-writing and during my few days off work at christmas. have any of my few readers read this book? can you offer some comments? is it worth the time commitment? (last night i claimed i could read it in a week, but that's not likely when i have so many assignments due. maybe a week at the end of december . . . i do love a challenge.)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

2005 book 150

ok, let the fanfare and accolades commence! . . . . er, ok, never mind, on with the review.

scarlett thomas' going out
hey, not a bad choice for book 150! (i made it halfway through another julian barnes book before deciding that the review for such a momentous number shouldn't begin, "the only thing more boring than this book was the incessant football on tv.") anyway, this wasn't some amazing groundbreaking book or anything, but i did like it a lot--it's about a girl basically crippled by fears of various things, whose best friend is allergic to the sun, and she and various other eccentric figures decide to quest to find a cure for the boy who's never been outside. it was a nice counterpart to my own momentary anxiety that my flight to rdu had taken off without me (it disappeared from the departures board through some weird glitch and was an hour late boarding as it was--honestly, if i hadn't once been stranded in newark for something like 16 hours, i'd think my experience at reagan airport was a pretty poor one, but my standards for airports are generally pretty low). anyway, one minor thing that i really liked about this book was the occasional decision by a character to look something up on the internet. just like real life!

Friday, November 25, 2005

why alcohol is awesome

because after two galsses of wine (with dinner) and four or five amaretto sours at a dueling piano bar called sing-sing (i lost count), you will lose all musical snobbery and joyously sing along to "brown eyed girl" and "living on a prayer" with your college friends, and be filled with glee when your group's requests for "bohemian rhapsody" and "take me home tongiht" (among other songs) are filled, and will absolutely scream along when you get the dudes to sing the penn state fight song, and will shriek "oh my god mike balzer!!!" when you see a friend from high school who you haven't seen in eight years while heading back from the bathroom, and when you get to hug and jump up and down and celebrate with people you haven't seen in a few years and it's just like the last time you did those things . . .

pictures are forthcoming--oh yes, pictures are forthcoming.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

2005 book 149

cecil castellucci's boy proof
pinky recommended this cute YA book to me, and i think i would have loved it when i was its traget audience, but i found it slightly less adorable now. the whole socially awkward geek growing up in hollywood thing had its moments, but it's not like that perfect awesome deep and cute guy is really going to come and sweep the geeky girl off of her feet in most cases. i actually realized on about page 2 of this book that i'd seen castellucci on a YA lit panel at ALA, so that was pretty cool.

happy thanksgiving everyone! we have several inches of snow here!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

2005 book 148

dude, it's totally snowing in pittsburgh, oh my god i am freezing despite layers of clothes, scarves, a big blanket, and my mom's slippers, plus a heater. living in north carolina for so long has made me even a bigger wuss about weather!

anyway, the book:
kate atkinson's behind the scenes at the museum
i enjoyed case histories a lot when i read it earlier this year (but i'm on a modem, so i'm not going to go find that entry) so i deicded to give atkinson's first book, a whitbread winner, a go. bawsically it's the story of the youngest daughter in a pretty dysfunctional family, with flashbaks to her mother and gradnmother's childhoods and adolescences. there's a sort of mystery that was hinted at, which i figured out about halfway through with a sudden shock, which generally makes for a satisfying experience. so, i liked this book, although the last paragraph or so sort of felt trite. i think most last paragraphs must be that wayy--i imagine it's pretty hard to end a book.

2005 book 147

scarlett thomas' popco
i had planned to read this at the airport tomorrow, but threw it into my backpack today anyway to start during that downtime between classes and homework and whatnot. i figured, hey, it's just over 500 pages, so i'll definitely have a good chunk of it left for the plane ride to pittsburgh. however, i wasn't counting on how enthralled i would be (obviously!)--this story of a young woman working at a large toy company, with its romance and code-breaking and historical tidbits on pirates/buried treasure and general anti-corporate sentiments, really struck my fancy. there are lengthy digressions on various topics, but i found the stuff on encryption to be pretty fascinating. also, there's a crossword and a recipe for cake in the book, so you can see how i'm basically its target audience. i highly recommend this book, with extreme enthusiasm and exclamation points!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

harry potter movie (minor spoilers)

well, no surprise: i didn't like it very much (though of course i did cry several times). most of my problems are with the script--the acting, with the exception of the dude playing dumbledore, was actually pretty good, and i had no serious issues with the directing or cinematography (ok, there were a few weird camera angles). and don't think my issues are with the things that were cut--i get that they have to allot for movie-time--b/c my problems were with the things they ADDED. it's not like the movie needs more dramatic tension, so why does the dragon fight have to be so much more troublesome in the movie? it's just as scary without crushing buildings and hanging-off-rooftops. and dumbledore's speeches! ugh! i'm not sure how all the people i was with felt, but those in my immediate vicinity also had some serious dumbledore-related annoyance. and this is a minor thing, but why mention the foe-glass at all if it's not going to be featured in the climactic scene (which was hardly climactic at all, i thought--i missed the explanation of all the motives, and the flicking tongue was way too renfield in dracula).

seriously, harry potter screenwriters--i would be happy to go over the scripts for future movies and explain fully why your awkward writing and lame additions should be changed to better reflect the spirit of the book. you have the teen angst/romance down, and you put neville in a bunch of scenes, and that's awesome, but stop making such sucky harry potter movies!!!

on a slightly related note, i got to see the superman trailer. as sarah mentioned, the trailer REALLY portrays superman as a jesus-figure--totally freaky and slightly inappropriate, since superman was created by jews (i've never fully bought the superman as golem legend, but certainly he's not a jesus kind of guy). friggin' christianizing of our society. quit it, already.


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
don't you hate when you accidentally dye your hand?

Saturday, November 19, 2005


cassidy and i went and got massages today: two thumbs up for being pampered, and two thumbs up for aveda (and its affordability)!

Friday, November 18, 2005


the great latke-hamentashen debate.

i think i have to agree w/ usishkin's analysis of the matter.


sicne this was my first time seeing a show at wetlands, i'll start off with a few thoughts on the venue. first of all, it was much larger than i expected, and the sound was pretty great, and there were these weird green lights that reminded me of the laser shows i used to go to in high school (laser rush baybee!!!!). however, they have some ventilation issues--the place was dense with gross smoke and i actually has to leave just a few songs into work clothes' set b/c i felt like i was gonna barf. friggin' smokers. wetlands would be a great venue if they went non-smoking; as it is now, i'm not going to go back there again unless it's for a band i really really really want to see.

speaking of firsts, it was also my first time seeing bringerer live, and i liked them a lot. and although it was my second time seeing tenement halls, it was my first time seeing chris lopez with facial hair, and he is way hotter with it. rock star news flash: chris lopez and shannon wright are having a baby!!!! i didn't even know they were married (it was upon hearing this news that i lost my voice for the evening shrieking, "OH MY GOD AWESOME!!!!!!").

it was also my first time meeting elizabeth, who came and introduced herself to me, which was hilarious. i think she's the first reader of my blog who i didn't previously know in real life!

anyway, those who missed the show are lame, b/c it was awesome. work clothes was selling their cd--remastered/remixed from the version we have at wxdu, with new cover art by ron--for just five dollars, and they were totally adorable. although i left after like their 5th song, i was pleased to hear "over the moon," which is about the best love song ever (and whcih i know all the words to, b/c it's on one of the mix cds that plays incessantly in my car). i'm looking forward to checking out the officially released version of the cd, but for now i'm going to bed!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

important announcement!

i'm not seeing the harry potter movie till sunday (to accommodate friends who are out of town till then) so PLEEEEEEASE don't post about the movie without putting a warning of some sort! [i had written "spoiler warning" but of course i know what happens . . . i just don't want to read anything about the movie till i can see it myself.]

2005 book 146

seth kantner's ordinary wolves
this won a whole bunch of book awards (not the fancy ones--ones from publisher's weekly and booklist and places like that), but it was a really slow read for me for some reason. it;s about a white kid growing up in the middle of nowhere in alaska w/ his siblings and father, and his desperation to fit in with the local population, and how consumer culture starts to invade the little town, and there are little interludes about wolves. it's sort of a quiet and meditative novel (obviously based on the author's life), so not too much happens (barring the ingesting of bizarre substances like hairspray for recreational purposes), but nicely written and engaging enough. definitely good winter reading. :)

tonight at wetlands

work clothes cd release show! and the new cd is REALLLLLLYYYYYY good. tenenment halls and bringerer (ron liberti's current band) are also playing. i think it doesn't start till ten but some things are worth total sleep deprivation, and work clothes definitely is worth it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
in case you ever wondered, i am the sort of person who generally has all the necessary ingredients for chocolate-chip cookies on hand. :)

and hooray, my mixer definitely works! it looks like i will have lots of cookies to give away (i doubt christina and i will make a noticeable dent in the supply tongiht at dinner) so let me know if you're hungry for baked goods.

unrelated: radio show tomorrow, 2-4 pm, (the usual thursday fare).

Monday, November 14, 2005


i have to say, i never expected to be working on a term paper that would take me to four libraries across campus--including the chemistry library!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

2005 book 145 (and other stuff)

sebastian barry's a long long way
now, i didn't read the book that won the booker prize this year, but after cloud atlas was robbed last year, and this shortlisted book was beaten by a john banville novel (i am not a banville fan), i am starting to doubt the booker judges. ok, this was no cloud atlas, but it was a moving and powerful WWI story about an irish soldier dealing with the messy horrific terrifying trench warfare, while everything back in ireland is in upheaval (the home rule thing, society fracturing, etc). i'm not generally a fan of books about battles, but this was really well-written and really captured the confusion and chaos of the period.

other stuff: pox world compulation volume 2 release party at 506 last night was awesome! i especially liked seeing summer set, who i've never seen live, and the finks, who i haven't seen in a year or so. an especially nice touch was the pox logo on all the homemade cakes (apparently stencils were involved). hey, just for the record: i think girl drummers can be considered great drummers on their own merit, and not just "for a girl", and i am not generally interested in their cleavage. thank you for your consideration. nice to see all the audubon park boys in attendance, as well as mr. pinky (who i think got some good photos).

also, i saw good night and good luck today--pretty good movie, the guy playing edward r. murrow was amazing, but all the talking (and smoking) heads got a little tiresome for me after a while. christina loved it, so ymmv. i did think it was an interesting allegory for our current political climate--i found myself thinking about how arthur miller went all the way back to the salem witch trials to find allegories for the 1950s, and now the 1950s are the allegory for today . . .

Friday, November 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
oh my gosh!! dave cantwell gets DOUBLE CUPCAKES because he has freed the bowl from my mixer! tomorrow i'll put the new baseplate in and see if i can actually use the dang thing. :)

seriously--thank you, dave! [he laughed a little incredulously when i marched into cd alley bearing a 15-pound mixer--or however much it weighs--in ice blue, leading me to announce, "i have been ridiculous my whole life and i see no reason to stop now!" but hey, i can make extra-awesome cupcakes now. zeno raves about the performance from these things.]

here is a picture of audubon park rocking out, to celebrate. more pictures from last night's show are up at flickr! i wonder why rock shows are almost always lit with red.


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
great show last night--audubon park, pleasant, second story man (from louisville), and roh delikat (from boston). unfortunately my internet is being dodgy so i can't get all the photos to upload--after work, i guess (this is a picture of second story man). i can't figure out why my internet connection will merrily chug along for days and then as soon as i need it to behave so i can look up articles for a paper or upload something, it suddenly disconnects! (probably that would be less frustrating if i wasn't so addicted to the internet.) oh yeah, the show: it's rare that i actually watch all the bands when four are playing, but all four bands were so good that i was just boppin' around the whole time. and taking goofy pictures.

anyway, i owe chocolate cupcakes to dave bjorkback and baked goods of some sort to robert biggers, who both gave me some awesome local music last night. and speaking of cupcakes, zeno is my new hero for telling me that he also got a refurbished mixer recently and it also had a bowl stuck in the baseplate, but he got it loose! apparently it requires some brute force, so i will try and hunt down some brute force this evening.

ALSO! the wusses at local 506 on new year's eve!! i am SO THERE. i seriously cannot think of a better way to ring in 2006.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
hey, i made another scarf from yarn i made, only this was done in shades of blue (obviously). sorry, i couldn't get as cute a picture as last time. :)

2005 book 144

laila lalami's hope and other dangerous pursuits
this series of interconnected stories focuses on a group of moroccans attempting to illegally emigrate to spain via boat. and DAMN, are they some good stories. all of the characters, no matter how briefly they appear, are fully fleshed-out and riveting. the befores and afters surrounding the boat trip are filled with pathos, love, family, and tourists. this book was really, really good. i wonder if lalami (who, by the way, runs the moorishgirl blog) is doing any local readings, since algonquin published this--she's one i might actually drive to durham for. :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

wtf moment of the day

lewis black on the weather channel?!???

speaking of random guest stars, nice to see both joss whedon and kim from antm on veronica mars tonight (and the return of harry hamlin to boot!).

field of dreams

it's one of the movies that always makes me cry.

2005 book 143

paul auster's moon palace
i think paul auster likes to write about dudes at the end of their ropes, and dudes traveling sort of aimlessly, and dudes getting and losing lots of money. although this wasn't as haunting as the music of chance, it was pretty entertaining, with lots of (predictable) dickensian relationships and wackiness. auster is actually pretty good at changing up his storylines and characters--this really only had superficial similarities to anything else i've read of his. oh, you want to know what it's about? a college student in the late 60s who runs out of money and takes to the street, and ends up assisting an old dude in a wheelchair and helping track down his son. there's some romance (that isn't very fleshed-out), also. anyway, a good read.


yay, pennsylvania redeems itself!

in less-awesome pennsylvania news, the latest issue of the penn state alumni magazine (whihc i received yesterday) featured a long article on rick santorum that did not make fun of him or cast him in an unappealing light. this was slightly balanced by two letters-to-the-editor dissing the senator for only recommending books written by his wife in the summer reading issue of the magazine--nut only slightly. i of course threw the whole issue down in disgust when i saw santorum's big smarmy face peering up at me, and was only consoled upon googling "santorum" and seeing that this is still the number one link.

Monday, November 07, 2005

2005 book 142

julian barnes' before she met me
this dark little novel centers on an academic who gradually becomes obsessed w/ the past sexual escapades of his wife, a former actress. i think that pretty much sums it up--i was sort of ambivalent about it, since i found the husband's obsession to be pretty annoying. i was all, "get a grip, dude! sheesh!" which of course misses the point of the novel, but not being married to a former actress, i couldn't really relate.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
here's the first thing i've knitted in over two months--from yarn i hand-dyed, hand-spun, and plied all by myself!

i've decided to keep it to small projects till my arms get better--which hopefully will be soon!

action shot!

Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
huge thanks to david and robert of audubon park for stopping by for an interview while i did the local music show today--especially considering my complete lack of interviewing abilities (this picture shows robert making up questions for me to ask). you guys are awesome!

2005 book 141

leah stewart's body of a girl
stewart's first book is quite different than her latest (which was book 107), although both do sort of deal with the inner lives of young women. this one, however, is more aprt of the mystery/thriller genre--much darker, more intense, and seedier than the story of two estranged friends. here, reporter olivia dale starts to become obsessed w/ a murder case whose victim was a young girl who at least superficially resembles olivia. for anyone else who's needle-phobic, there are some needle-related scenes (which unfortunately i read as i ate some cereal for breakfast, and thought i was going to be sick). good book though--very intense and troubling. i'm not sure i'd recommend it to my avid-mystery-readin' mom due to the aforementioned seediness, but other fans of the genre--and fans of good stories in general--should give it a go.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

2005 book 140

i'm trying to deicde if i should formally declare a goal to read 150 books this year--it's so close! but it's already november. will free time over holidays triumph over final papers??? anyway, book 140:

sean stewart's mockingbird
i mean, when practically the first thing that happens is that the narrator's mother brings a dead frog back to life (zombie frog!), you know you're in for a pretty good book. and this tale of an actuary learning about her voodoo-doin' mother's inner life after said mother's death--and all the other accompanying family themes--made for a great read. there were a few things that didn't quite work for me (extended pages on the stock market, the oh-so-obvious tragic death, the last page that's jsut a pretty little ending that feels tacked on) but on the whole i really, really liked this book and will definitely be seeking out more by stewart.

essex green

sorry folks, i didn't bring a camera to this show so as not to strain my achin' back--which i regretted as soon as the drummer began playing ukelele with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth (during a song about western pennsylvania, of all places! shoutout to the youghigheny!). anyway, the essex green played tons of new songs--i am soooo excited for their upcoming album. it is going to be REALLY GOOD. i always love bands w/ everyone playing multiple instruments--sasha does keyboards and flute, and chris does guitar and keyboard, and julia does bass and violin, and the drummer also plays ukelele, and jeff makes funny faces while he plays guitar. good times. tidbit of the night: julia the bassist's dad wrote the oscar meyer song!!

also playing tongiht: the cassettes, who had a theremin player, and the shout-out-louds, who had a street team handing out pins and stickers (and occasionally making out w/ each other).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

2005 book 139

vikram seth's two lives
here, seth writes a compelling double biography of his great-uncle and great-aunt--one a one-armed indian dentist, the other his german-jewish wife--and their lives in the 1930s and 40s. seth's research into their pasts is fascinating, and his presentation of aunt henny's family being decimated in the Holocaust is a compassionate one--though i could have done without his imaginings of their deaths. this somewhat unlikely pair and seth's obvious affection for them make for an engaging story, and my only complaint is that the brief appendixes didn't include charts/family trees (i especially was confused by some of seth's family's relationships, since their closeness transcended generational lines and i occasionally got confused about who was an uncle and who a brother). anyway, both members of this pair led fascinating lives, and the exercpts from his aunt's correspondence were an especially interesting read.

newsflash of the day

it turns out i don't actually have carpal tunnel . . . i know, what the fuck? i went to physical therapy today and it was quickly determined that this is what's actually wrong with me, and i've been given some back/shoulder exercises to do, and been told to STAND UP STRAIGHT, GODDAMMIT! only in nice PT terms, of course. ah, posture. i guess i should have been sticking my chest out all those years after all.

two awesome pieces of awesomeness that are the result of this diagnosis:


b) i am allowed to knit again! in moderation.

triple threat

somehow i'm djing three shows this week: wednesday 4-6 pm, my usual tuesday 2-4 pm slot, and the local music show (sunday 5-7 pm). i am totally psyched for the latter and probably will drag special guests/interview subjects into the studio to ward off any dj burnout. :)

there: being forewarned is being forearmed, and now you know when to change the station. :)


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
chapel hill is known for its wacky halloweens--tongiht we donned costumes and hit local 506 to see pleasant, annie hayden, and the clientele, but we saw plenty of crazy costumes between bands. for instance, the ever-popular slut costume was out in droves--slutty nurses, slutty maids, slutty firefighters, slutty hooters girls . . . we also saw a pack of girls in biohazard suits with something like "ho cleanup patrol" written on the back (i forget exactly--does anyone remember?) which was very clever and appreciated.

still, the highlight of the evening was papa smurf (a former member of spent) doing backup vocals for annie hayden. now that was a dedicated halloween-goer. he even had a little blue tail (which i got a picture of, hee!).

Sunday, October 30, 2005

2005 book 138

colm toibin's the master
this book is making the rounds among people whose taste in books i tend to respect--josh gave it to christina who gave it to me--but i don't think i liked it quite as much as they did. i think my problem is the problem that's inherent in novelizing a real person--there are certain things that have to be included, even if they don't make the story flow as well. also, henry james just didn't do much besides hobnob with various society people and write books. things definitely picked up in the second half, although the disappearance of several characters i thought would have more importance was a little frustrating. i did enjoy all of the bits revolving around the writing of "turn of the screw" (the only thing james wrote that i actually enjoyed reading), although the depictions of his writing process were certainly unflattering--james comes across as a scavenger, mining stories he hears and people he knows to get material for his work.

i guess this is coming across as a negative review, and i don't really mean it to be. i can't think of much else to say about it though . . . mayvbe toibin got a little ambitious here, or something.

Friday, October 28, 2005

i love vh1 loving the 80s

hey, i'm really enjoying the current go-round of 80s nostalgia on vh1 (i love the 80s: 3D! note that it's not actually in 3D--it's just the third 80s nostalgiathon they've done). apparently all my favorite 80s things are third-string--we're finally seeing stuff on snorks, monchichis, and mannequin. the interesting thing about watching two in a row is that it's more noticeable that the commenters always have the same clothes on. i wonder how long they have to sit and try and think of snarky and witty things to say about bad movies and big hair--i mean, do they just take a day where the producers sit them in a chair and show them a my buddy doll (my family totally had my buddy AND kid sister) or whatever, for hours on end? i am impressed at the stamina of these d-list celebs--i would run out of thigns to say pretty quickly, unless they had something totally awesome to show me, like clips from just one of the guys. man, i must have seen that movie a million times, and it never really got good. side note: the blonde girl that rick likes in that movie is also in one of my favorite cheesy horror movies, april fool's day (other 80s luminaries in the cast include the dude who played rick, a girl from friday the 13th part 2, and most famously, the dude who played biff in back to the future).

ETA: i have just been informed that it actually IS in 3D--but of course i don't have 3D glasses so was unaware of this. apparently best buy is giving 3D glasses away so you can fully enjoy the experience of watching michael ian black say something silly (or so you can get a little nauseous, whichever).

Thursday, October 27, 2005

the usual announcement

i'm djing today (as i generally do on thursdays) from 2-4 pm: 88.7 or playlist will be here or thereabout.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

2005 book 137

gideon defoe's the pirates! in an adventure with scientists
well, this was a very silly book. full of lots of cute anachronisms and goofballs and dimwits, this book straddles the line between amusing and overly-hipster-pretentious (but never crosses it) as a band of wacky pirates encounter a young charles darwin. i would not be surprised to see excerpts from this sort of thing in a mcsweeney's publication, for instance. anyway, at a scant 133 pages, it's a nice harmless diversion, and i might even read the sequel for more silly pirate goodness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

link round-up

uh-oh! look out, pittsburgh!
(it's true, though--the city was pretty ravaged during the night of the living dead and the subsequent dawn of the dead.)

hey, science proves that hobbits liked food.

and: what the hell. it's interesting, because i often wonder why there aren't more shows with jewish characters, but i'm not sure this is what i was looking for . . .

an open letter to nickelodeon

Dear Nickelodeon,

Last night while channel-surfing before I love the 80s: 3D was coming on [hey, I like shows where D-list celebrities wax nostalgic and snark about my childhood, ok?] I came across your show Zoey 101. During the bits I saw, Zoey and her brunette friend were upset about their new roommate, a "freak" who they were plotting to kick out. They eventually said something like "She can be normal or she can move back to Weirdsville!"

I really have to wonder about the message this was sending to the preteen girls watching your show. So little goth girls can't hang out with "normal" girls in their halter tops and tight jeans? It's conform or get out? I was fully expecting Zoey and her friend to discover the little goth girl was acutally sweet and intelligent under her cotton-candy-pink hair and eyeliner and realize that understanding each other's differences would make them better people. But instead, it is revealed that the "freak" is actually an actress PRETENDING to be a freak! Problem solved! Soon she is in trendy clothes (and I'm sure the Fug Blog would have something to say about her belt over dress over jeans ensemble) along with her new friends.

Seriously--what the hell, Nickelodeon?? Who writes this show, ultraconservative PTA moms? "Dress differently and you'll be an outcast"--that is NOT a positive message by any stretch of the imagination, and it's certainly not funny. I find this attitude especially odd considering that one of the main characters on your show Danny Phantom is Sam, a little goth girl who eschews conforming with the popular kids, and still remains the titular hero's best friend and love interest. I strongly suggest you remove this episode of Zoey 101 from your rotation and show Danny Phantom intead.


Alicia Korenman (not a goth)

PS--Avatar: The Last Airbender is an awesome show! Please show it more, and on a more regular schedule. Having shows start at 7:52 is very confusing. If I had a TIVO I'd probably be pretty annoyed about your weird tv schedules.

Monday, October 24, 2005

2005 book 136

lucia nevai's seriously
a little slip of a book about a photographer at a crossroads in life, with a tragic past moves to a new town, etc--the usual drill, but somehow the characters are compelling and funny and heartbreaking enough to make it work.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

2005 book 135

edward eager's seven-day magic
one of the best things to do on a nice chilly fall sunday afternoon is to curl up with a favorite book.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
well, this is shaping up to be an awesome weekend: schooner and strugglers last night were awesome, i've gotten some spinning done, and i made pumpkin cupcakes! check it out, i even colored the icing all orangish for autumn! YUMMMMM, pumpkin things are my favorite.

and later i'm seeing the wallace and gromit movie, followed by hotel lights and the rosebuds at the cradle!

tomorrow: mirrormask? and homework. but i think after such a fun weekend i can stand a little homework. :)

Friday, October 21, 2005


this neatly encapsulates why torch marauder is so awesome.

can some durham local hook me up w/ a copy of that cd? or tell me if they're selling it somewhere? carrboro residents like the life and science museum too . . .

Thursday, October 20, 2005

2005 book 134

kate atkinson's case histories
when genres collide! literary fiction meets detective-type books in this novel, where three cold cases and one private eye become intertwined. i liked it a lot, actually--there were a few parts where i was all, "gaaah, this is so predictable!" but by the end i was pleased with the storylines, as atkinson wrapped things up fairly subtly. apparently her next book will also featurethis detective, and just like the classic genre mysteries, a few pages of the next book appear at the end of this one, and it seems a lot more traditional. so if you're a mystery reader, check this out, and be assured that its followup will conform to the norms of your genre, but in the meantime you might like all these characters, 'cause they're very nicely written.


hey, i'm on the air from 2-4 today. 88.7/, as always. and there's now a handy link to my playlists on the sidebar of this site! EXCITING.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

2005 book 133

sarah hall's the electric michelangelo
i'm too tired to really dothis justice right now, but here's the short version: booker-nominated novel about a british kid who grows up to be a tattoo artist in coney island. really well-written and great characters, trails off a little at the end, but definitely recommended. hall will be at the regulator soon, or maybe she was already there, who knows? not me, b/c i'm rather nap than look it up. :)


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
who knew carpal tunnel could be so cool??? suddenly my arm splints are the awesomest things ever! these are just a few of the new signatures--the blue one is john vanderslice, the circley one is mac, and the adorable rodent thing is laura. jim wilbur is on the other side of this one (click through for photos) so now i have 3/4 of superchunk! kelly rosebud wrote an adorable thing on my other arm which i have a blurry photo of--it's hard to do left-handed photos. thanks again to christina for corralling rock stars for my entertainment and to make my splints actually fun to wear. :)

anyway, awesome show tonight, not least b/c both portastatic and jv played my favorite songs of theirs!! i was thrilled to hear mac do "center of the world" which is my favorite track from the new album, and jv did "me and my 424" whcih is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE jv song (jared's too!). oh, i took some pics of the bands--click through for those too.

yay for tuesdays!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

2005 book 132

lemony snicket's the penultimate peril
ARG! dang that title! now i can't use the word "penultimate" in this entry to talk about this series, and harry potter, and conclusions. oh well. anyway, the 12th lemony snicket book came out today, and it's pretty good--i mean, if you're a fan, you'll like it, probably. it features the return of many previous character, most of whom i didn't really remember, and some great new ones, including a sub-sub-librarian (named, of course, dewey). librarians abound in fiction these days!

Monday, October 17, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
so this weekend everyone was making fun of my splints for being undecorated--i mean really, like 6 people said something about it! so over dinner we started joking that i should get dan bejar to sign my splints, b/c jared had a sharpie with him and it was funny.

oh yeah, awesome show tonight: i liked immaculate machine a lot--that's the band w/ a.c. newman's cousin, the newest new pornographer. and destroyer of course was awesome, playing mostly old stuff--i can't wait to hear the new songs live though!! he even dedicated a song to the treacherous fops, who of course i strongly believe were the best destroyer backup band ever (maybe i'm biased 'cause i love those guys, but seriously, that show rocked). and the new pornographers were adorable and played plenty of their old fun stuff and did two encores--great closer of "letter to an occupant"--totally high-energy and fun. and kate t. had a great yelled conversation w/ a.c. newman, who played her request 'cause she gave them raspberry beer from new orleans--tooooo hilarious.

so annnnyway, after the show dan was talking to christina and she made him sign my splint for me. this reads: "dan bejar says i want this to get better s--" and the rest of soon is written on my other arm. :) i think this photo came out ok considering i took it with my left hand. christina then decided we should get john vanderslice and portastatic to decorate the other sides on tuesday, in red and/or green sharpie.

i think rock star goofiness is much better than ribbons and sparkles, but that's jsut me. :) thank you dan bejar!! you are totally nice!! no wonder all the ladies love you!

(and thank you christina for getting him to sign it, and jared for having a sharpie!)

oh, also: a bunch of my favorite girls and i saw elizabethtown this afternoon. it didn't suck as much as i was expecting--i really liked all the family scenes--but it felt like cameron crowe was trying to squeeze two movies into one, and a lot of the romantic scenes (esp. the extended phone call montage) didn't work for me. i did, however, love both rusty and freebird. and judy greer.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
apparently the hamsters aren't done with me yet--these little guys arrived on yom kippur, considerably brightening up the day of atonement fasting thing. and gee, they were mailed from los angeles . . . i wonder who's behind them? ;)

thank you, hamster-giver! they glow in the dark and that is totally awesome.

on an unrelated note, yesterday my grandmother pointed out that perhaps my insane typing style is aggravating my carpal tunnel--because, of course, i type with only about 5 fingers (and yet still manage 78 wpm). i havent typed w/ all ten fingers since eighth grade keyboarding class, so trying to type correctly will be an interesting challenge. i'm failing miserably at it right now . . .

Thursday, October 13, 2005

2005 book 131

luis alberto urrea's the hummingbird's daughter
reminiscent of isabel allende's recent zorro, except about a girl who becomes a medicine woman instead of a sword-fighting dude, this was a pretty good story. it definitely drags in the middle, but picks up again by the end. apparently it's based on a true story about a relative of urrea's, but honestly i'd rather have read a book about his discovery of all of this info than this story itself--not that all its political turmoil and saints and illegitimate children and discussion of class aren't interesting. it's just that this was urrea's first novel (although he's written a bunch of non-fiction stuff), and sometimes it shows.

vqr/art spiegelman

dudes, it is time to subscribe to virginia quarterly review. the folks over at bookslut have been touting its awesomeness for ages, but, foolishly, i didn't pay attention. and so i almost missed art spiegelman's new serialized story, portrait of the artist as a young %@?*! which, by the way, is REALLY GOOD. i was fortunate enough to read a copy tonight and was pretty blown away. i know it'll be published in book form eventually, but do you really want to wait that long? no, you do not. i will be trying to track a copy down locally (i guess it's sacrilegious to go to the regulator on yom kippur, but a quick errand on the way to dinner in durham might just be the thing!).

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


so, it turns out getting electric shocks for two and a half hours kind of sucks. a lot.

for the first hour i composed many amusing blog entries in my head, on topics like: the strengthening of my electrical superpowers, how my hair was going to turn out all crimped like in movies when people get electrocuted, how the resident smelled like my high-school boyfriend. by hour two i was mostly concentrating on not wincing too obviously, and hiding my head under my sweater so the doctors wouldn't see my grimace. by the time it went past two hours of getting shocked (and they had started shocking my leg for some reason that i still don't comprehend) i was openly crying (but trying to be a good sport; i kept telling them it was fine as they shocked me). i esimate that i was given over 150 shocks in my left arm alone.

the good news: the tests were normal so i didn't have to have subsequent tests involving needles and won't have to have surgery. the bad news: i can still feel electricity bouncing around in me, and i'm still confined to the splints and still in a lot of arm pain that's not related to electric shocks.

time for my last meal before the fast: weaver street sushi and cupcake!


look what i have in my hot little hands! [actually my hands are usually cold, but that's not as good an expression.]

thank you pinky!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
my (very) early hanukkah present came today--a (refurbished) kitchenaid mixer (color: ICE). and just in time to make cupcakes for cassidy's birthday! i am so excited. it's basically the best appliance ever--now i just need the ice cream attachment and i'll be queen of desserts! or maybe the princess of desserts--that seems more fun.

Monday, October 10, 2005

2005 book 130

gerard woodward's i'll go to bed at noon
who knew a story about a british family in the 70s mostly comprised of alcoholics could be so compelling and even amusing? sure, there are some dark parts, but the lovable drunks balance out the scary ones, and the crazy stuff is sort of taken in stride. i totally loved the ending, especially.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


what should i read? (note that it's hard for me to hold paperbacks for long periods of time, which is beyond frustrating.) schoolwork should lessen in a week or so and i'll be craving some good stories by then!

Friday, October 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
girls' night out at kings to see the rosebuds involved lots of temporary tattoos (thank you ivan rosebud!) and some drinks and some great music. the rosebuds are playing the cradle on the 22nd with hotel lights and it's not even a school night so you all should come. (also schooner and the strugglers are playing 506 on the 21st so it's a great weekend for music.)

although let me jusy say, while one sparks is awesome, two is like asking for death to come knock on your door. my, my, my. caffeine and alcohol is like the wackiest combination ever, and made for some extra-wacky photography of the show, which can be viewed by clicking on this photo here and browsing around flickr. it's all so . . . red.

ooh!! i want this shirt like whoa.

but yeah--the rosebuds rock! their new album ROCKS!!!!!!! their live show totally rocks. so don't miss it again!!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
it's always funny to come home from getting an awesome haircut to hear some kid on ANTM whining about getting a similar cut. suck it, sister! you don't know what you're missing.

of course, her hair wasn't purple like mine currently is, so maybe that's why she was so upset.


starting during tomorrow's show (2-4 pm, of course!), my playlists will be available online, here. i might enter in some old ones eventually, too.


it looks like mirrormask is opening across the triangle on the 21st. woo!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

daily show

let me be the first to say: new daily show correspondent nate corddry (brother of rob) is totally adorable!

also, the daily show is just about the only thing getting me through these trying times. thank you for making me laugh about the crappy state of the world, jon stewart, or else i would probably be crying.

also, please continue to feature adorable correspondents. or else samantha bee, 'cause she's really funny.

2005 book 129

elizabeth crane's all this heavenly glory
i had some mixed feelings about this book. on the one hand, i liked the structure--stories/chapters all about one character, alternating between her adulthood and childhood--and i also especially liked the bits focusing on her childhood, but on the other hand, the stream-of-consciousness adult sections were a little wearing. i started losing track of the parenthetical-notes-within-parenthetical-notes--and god knows i use parentheses enough to be forgiving of that sort of thing! so anyway, a mixed bag. great cover though.

good things of the day: high holiday services with friends, favorite songs on mix cds, new shoes, postacrds from friends for no reason, and apple crisp!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

those wacky vegetarians

i had some propaganda from this group stuck into my door when i came home from seeing a movie this evening--it featured a kitten and a piglet with "which do you pet? which do you eat? WHY?" in bold yellow letters (i would scan it for you, but my external keyboard and mouse are using all my usb ports).

this of course amused me on several levels, because even when i wasn't a vegetarian (and i've been one for over half my life now, more or less) i surely did not eat piglets, or pigs of any variety, due to being a good jewish girl.

so, there you go, vegetarian propagandists! a convert! good for you. way to hit your target audience.

speaking of being a good jewish girl, rosh hashanah begins tomorrow night. i actually ran out of apples a day or so ago whihc means an emergency trip to the weav will take place tomorrow! i'm not sure yet what i'll be baking on tuesday, but it will be full of appley goodness.

l'shana tova, everyone! err, every jewish one!

Friday, September 30, 2005

scott pilgrim!!!

preview of volume 3!!!

music library book of the week

i guess it's been a while since i put one of these up, but this book is worth it! man, this is the history of rock and roll, featuring tons of photos of everyone from cbgb's regulars the ramones to crappy dave matthews and oc-theme-song band phantom planet (who, at least in the photos, looks just like crappy also-featured-on-the-oc band rooney). but most of the photos are great--fuzzed out wild black and white pictures of rock gods. i don't think this was meant to be a tribute to cbgb's, since i imagine the place was still open when they worked on it, but it's a fitting one.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


well, i will say this for myself: i make some pretty damned good mix cds!

2005 book 128

louise erdrich's the painted drum
erdrich is a reliably entertaining and engrossing writer, and this book is no exception. it's the story of several families in two different states all connected by one drum. some of the characters from erdrich's other books make brief appearances (notably the ubiquitous fleur pillager), which is always a nice touch.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

veronica mars season 2!

hey, i think season 2 is going to be totally awesome! season one is out on dvd on october 11th!

yay for classy and sassy tv heroines.

did all you ANTM fans stay tuned in? i decided that show is a good prelude to veronica mars and so now i will be watching that every week, too. man, that lisa girl is annoying. and as someone who also has a rosemary's baby-haircut and loooves it, that one little whiny girl was making me nuts. i like the big-haired girl though!

hey, as long as i'm blogging about tv, i'll throw this out there: i can't figure out if some tv characters are badly written, or if they're supposed to be unlikable. i'm mainly thinking about rory from the gilmore girls, who is an unsufferable snot these days, and jack and kate from lost, who are self-righteous and obnoxious (and although that show has plenty of excellent cast members, i'm totally watching veronica mars in that time slot. thank goodness for reruns, dvds, and twop to keep me up to date!). am i the only person who wishes these characters would either a) have smaller parts (in the case of lost), or b) go back to being endearing nerds (that one is rory)?

2005 book 127

robert pinsky's the life of david
this is the first in the jewish encounters series that nextbook is putting out, and i really hate to say this, but i found it pretty disappointing. i can't at all figure out who the audience was meant to be--it's too quasi-academic and dry for the general person, and nowhere near informed enough for a scholar of the field (pinsky's primary text--and he does some textual analysis from it--was the king james translation). i'm not sure how david, one of the most interesting characters of the bible, suddenly became so boring in pinsky's hands, but that's what happened. maybe this book is at the perfect level for grad students with a mild interest in the bible, instead of former religion grad students, but i was actually expecting sort of a fast-paced retelling of the david stories, and this definitely wasn't that.

on the plus side, some of the upcoming books in the series look pretty cool--and i don't know that much about maimonides, so i may pick that one up soon and have far fewer expectations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

the rabbi's cat

yay, chapel hill comics got this book back in stock last week! besides being lushly illustrated (i loved all the little details in each panel), the story was profound and compelling and full of interesting and arcane philosophical discussions of judaism between the rabbi and his cat, who gains the ability to talk after eating a parrot. the relationships between the rabbi, the cat, and the rabbi's daughter are all really touching too--sfar (perhaps best known in american for the little vampire books) has really created something awesome here!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

another amazing library link

a high school librarian is the newest staff writer on veronica mars!

2005 book 126

sydney taylor's all-of-a-kind family
one of my childhood favorites (because it reminds me of my family stories and my own childhood!) has recently been reissued with an intro by francine prose--it's a really nice hardcover edition and i hope they follow suit with the rest of the series! ah, those irrepressible little lower east side jewish girls. i wonder if librarians have always been a major part of the books i've read, and i'm only just noticing it now that i'm in library school? i could go off onto a long tangent here about my own childhood library trips and whatnot, but i'm still in these dang splints. another time. :)

awesome library-related link of the day

jason shiga's bookhunter is freakin' hilarious--and is about a thousand times better than the rex libris comic book, which is stupid, not to mention text-heavy.

plus, shiga's story is pretty accurate--yay for mentioning tattle-tape! :)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

2005 book 125

julie powell's julie & julia
i'm all a-flutter trying to think of how to explain how great this book is. as if the story of a new york temp (and buffy fan!) determined to cook all 524 recipes in julia child's mastering the art of french cooking--and blog about it--isn't inspiring enough, powell injects a large amount of humor into her quest. and for those who have read the blog, no worries--it's hardly a rehash of her entries; it's really the story of what went on behind the scenes and she--and her husband--struggled with her mission and with her about-to-turn-30 angst. i think even people who aren't into food writing would enjoy this book, b/c powell does seem like such a likable person--we're all rooting for her to succeed. this is probably my favorite food-writing-cum-memoir i've ever read--she totally trumps ruth reichl and amanda hesser! go julie! i hope you continue to parlay your project into a lucrative and fulfilling career.

2005 book 124

jill soloway's tiny ladies in shiny pants
despite my earlier annoyance at the obviously unedited intro to this book, i read it anyway--hey, i bought it in hardback, you know? and although there are a few funny bits, and a few bits i related to as a jewish girl, the majority of this book was soloway ranting about stuff--complete with caps lock! maybe her rants would be funny in (much) smaller doses, but a whole book-full? no. no, no, no. she's a very talented screen writer, but these autobiographical vignettes fall far short of the mark.

Friday, September 23, 2005

corpse bride

oh yay, it looks like this movie is opening here this weekend! the movie, of course, is based on an old jewish story--i've read a version in this book, which (if i recall correctly) focuses primarily on the role of rabbi isaac luria in determining whether a man can be married to a dead woman. this tim burton page also gives a version of the story--although apparently the movie has taken out all the jewish content in a bid at inclusivity (i read an article faturing a comment from the screenwriter the other day about this--i think here).

anyway, the point is that i am excited to see this mvoie, jewish content or no.

also, i never mentioned this, but i saw junebug on tuesday and liked it a lot. amy adams definitely deserves an oscar nomination for that one!


why is my next-door neighbor hammering at 6:20 am? (don't worry, i was already awake.)

also, apparently it is tiny frog season. besides the one lisa saw, and the one on my door a few weeks ago, one landed onto my windshield the other night as i was driving home from durham. i lingered at stop signs, hoping he would jump off safely, but he just stayed there, hunkered down, little throat gulping. i was trying to imagine a life for him with the carrboro frogs--would they accept him??--when he sort of flew off the window as i approached 15-501. i hope he's ok . . .

Thursday, September 22, 2005

2005 book 123

tony diterlizzi and holly black's the spiderwick chronicles (books 1 and 2)
um, ok. this series wants to be, like, lemony snicket meets edward eager (and/or e. nesbit). maybe it's because they're aimed at a slightly younger audience than either of those series, but i was really unimpressed. part of the problem is, like, nothing HAPPENS in these books. in the first one, one of the characters find a book about faeries! in the second, another is kidnapped by goblins! there's not much dramatic tension or character development or anything really. on the plus side, the illustrations are cute, and i can read one of these books in about 20-25 minutes. don't think i'm going to spend the hour reading the other three books in the series though; i'd rather reread edward eager.

(to be fair, jon raises the point that sometimes the books we love as children and still love as adults seem so good b/c of childhood nostalgia, etc, but i really think eager is a much better writer than these two--and of course, i didn't read the lemony snicket books as a kid, since they didn't exist then, and i really like that series a lot.)