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!).