Saturday, July 30, 2005

2005 book 95

paul auster's the music of chance
my immediate family has all safely arrived in south carolina and the vacationing has begun! i have only read one book so far, but expect to get to at least 100 while at the beach/pool. anyway, this book is about a poker game that goes terribly awry--jim, who has recently inherited a bunch of money from his father, is traveling aimlessly around the country when he encounters poker hotshot jack pozzi and offers him his last ten thousand dollars for a high-stake poker game against two eccentric millionaires. there's also a lot of wall-building that goes on in this book. you must realize that while this sounds like a harmless, perhaps wacky, story, it's actually deeply unsettling and very dark. it's more straightforward than some of the other auster books i've read, and i liked it a lot--it was nominated for the pen/faulkner award, and i'm curious to see what beat it (but since i'm on a modem connected at 31200 bps, i think the internet search can wait for another day!).

eta: i accidentally left my cell phone in carrboro (the agony!!!!!), so don't bother calling. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2005



i got this yesterday and it was pretty freakin' funny. apparently one of the chapel hill comics dudes laughed so hard he cried while reading it. i didn't laugh quite that hard myself, but it was definitely a good read.

speaking of comics, here's an interview w/ brian k. vaughn (writer of y the last man, runaways, etc) at the onion av club (whose latest redesign is slightly annoying).

christina already linked to this but i think it bears repeating: jon wurster is hilarious. i am pretty bummed to be missing tomorrow's superchunk show (and i have a ticket if anyone needs one!).

banned books

apparently i'm feeling uppity this morning. i just received the following in my inbox, about some banned books discussion one of the many sils groups is holding:

If you are interested in attending, here’s what you need to do: Read a banned or challenged book. It doesn’t have to be Lolita or anything, King and King is also fine. Read your banned/challenged book, and be prepared to discuss why it was challenged and what you think about those reasons. It might help to do a little outside reading on why the book was challenged, but you don’t have to. If you would like to join our discussion group during Banned Books Week, just find a book you would like to read and go for it. What better way to spend the rest of your summer? You know you need something to read at the beach.*

so what did i do? i immediately wrote back asking why NOT read lolita. i mean, way to enforce the mindset of banning books! "that book is gross so you shouldn't read it!" the whole point is that it's gross--the dude is hardly heroic for his lustful activities. he comes off as creepy and unpleasant. that's one of the reasons it's an interesting book. [i didn't say all of that. i believe my email read, "what's wrong w/ lolita? nabokov is a brilliant writer." i only thought of the other stuff just now.]

i mean, it's not my favorite nabokov, but it doesn't deserve to be called out like that. i think everyone should read lolita.

by the way, here is the ALA's list of the 100 books that were most frequently challenged between 1990 and 2000. I've read 50 of them (but a bunch seem to be kid books that were written after my time and that i've never heard of).

*i don't mean to offend any of the scala folk who composed this email--i'm sure it was one of those early morning, spur of the moment things, and i know i'm taking it more seriously than necessary, b/c that's just how i am.

ETA: my bad! apparently the author of this email was referring to the length of the books and not their content. i don't remember lolita being that long, but it has been about 8 or 9 years since i've read it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

2005 book 94

augusten burroughs' running with scissors
this is like the polar opposite of the other memoir i finished today. although there is some dark (very dark) humor, on the whole this is a pretty depressing read, b/c burroughs had a mightily fucked up childhood. if reading about fucked up childhoods are your thing, then this is the book for you. although it was well-written and moving, reading about fucked up childhoods is not really my thing, so i'm glad to be done with it.

2005 book 93

susan jane gilman's hypocrite in a pouffy white dress
this was a pretty hilarious memoir of a woman who grew up in new york in the early 70s, was a social outcast, had a wacky family, and so on. but every time it seems about to get cliched, gilman cracks wise and it's all good again. the stuff on her childhood and adolescence is perhaps more poignant and funny than the stuff on her job working in washington, but it reads well on the whole. i definitely recommend this one for summer reading--it's mostly nice and light and laugh-out-loud-y.

Monday, July 25, 2005


so hey--i've read some comic book recently, and here are some thoughts about them!

love and rockets v. 2 no. 14--i especially like the day by day with hopey things jaime has been doing.
finder no. 37--the conclusion of the kidnapped baby storyline? i look forward to seeing what's next. this series never lets me down.
y the last man no. 35--trouble's brewing! the return of the bad israelis! eek!
fables no. 39--MOWGLI!! oh, that is so awesome.
plastic man no. 17--this series has grown on me in the past few issues and i guess just won two eisners, so go kyle baker.
nyx no. 6 of 7--wait, this is a miniseries now? how is this all going to wrap up in one issue? whatever.
neverwhere no. 1--i couldn't even get through this. why does door look like a balding goth wharf rat? why is everything so stilted? maybe the book is like that too, but i read it about six years ago so it's not like i remember much besides door and her door-named family. i'm pretty sure neil gaiman doesn't actually have anything to do with this series, so i can ignore it in good faith.

if you're wondering where all the regular book reviews are--i do have a huge stack of books in the to-read pile, but i'm trying to save most (or all) of them for next week's vacation! i need them for beach reading. :) although i imagine my mom will come armed with some magazines, which also make excellent beach reading.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

unrelated rambling

it amazes me how people LOVE to spread bad news. maybe it has to do with our own fears of dying, like people might never know, so it's our obligation to tell everyone we know about deaths in the community to make sure sad events are acknowledged.

this has all been brought on by a girl i sort of knew in college (b/c we were on the same study abroad trip and then later in the same yoga class, but haven't kept in touch, really) iming me to tell me that this one guy from our study abroad trip died of a sudden brain aneurysm this morning. it took me a second to place him--he wasn't in my core group of friends there--but now i can't get his face out of my head. i actually have a photo with him on the bookshelf behind me--from my 21st birthday potluck dinner, a big group shot--and i can feel the back of my neck burning with the knowledge that it's directly behind me, but i haven't gone over to look at it yet b/c that feels morbid.

i'm looking at my buddy list and noting that one of the few people from that semester abroad that i do occasionally talk to is online--should i assume he's heard the news, or should i im him and check? it feels like the worst kind of gossip: "have you heard that he's dead?" anyway, i'm sure that he has heard, since he seems like the sort who is good about keeping in touch with people, and i know he was friends with a lot of those guys.

this feels like especially weird timing, b/c i was just thinking earlier that i'm extremely fortunate in that only one person close to me has ever died (my grandfather, when i was 20). my sister has had a number of tragic deaths of friends her own age (including one extremely close friend) and that seems a lot harder to comprehend. who expects a funny guy in his mid-20s to suddenly drop dead? i don't even know if he was still funny--i hadn't seen or talked to or even thought about him in about six years. there's nothing there for me to mourn, you know?

i'm told that they're considering setting up a scholarship for the program in his memory--a lot of the kids from that semester apparently all live in boston and i guess keep in touch, and that seems like an appropriate thing for them to do. i told them of course to let me know the details, and of course i'd donate some money for that (once i get those good ol' student loan checks), because what else can i do?

i just went and looked at that photo--there he is on the far right, with almost a sad look on his face. obviously i'm projecting, but since everyone else in the photo is more-or-less grinning, and since he's in the front, it's sort of noticeable and a little strange and a little chilling.

perhaps this is a good time to renew contacts--i haven't talked to the kids who were my best friends that semester in literally years, b/c i'm not one of those people who is very good at keeping in touch, and i was worse about it when i was 21 and didn't think much about the future--i tended to take it for granted. [and it seems so hard: copying and pasting an email address that might not even work anymore, to email . . . what? "hey, it's been five years since we were close, but i've always been curious about how you're doing and what you're up to, and i'm not sure you even remember me, and congratulations on the wedding you apparently had last year to your boyfriend of many years--and tell him hi, too, b/c he was pretty awesome also . . . " i mean, seriously, what would i even say?]

it always takes some sudden death of someone our own age to make us not take the future for granted, i guess. and then we almost always forget.

anyway, here's to warren, and my vague memory of a funny, nice guy.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
hamsters 76-80! wow, who'd have ever thoguht that when the first two appeared in my mailbox at wxdu that i'd eventually have 80 of them--all without the giver revealing him- or herself!

i like that there's a monk to go with the nun from last time--what is the significance of the little green star on his ear?? who made hamtaro guys look like religious figures, anwyay?

i also like the little angry guy, with furrowed eyebrows and raised fists.

in other news, i am wearing a sundress and slathered with jailbait. i feel extra girly today! supershort hair is the best!

Friday, July 22, 2005

new staple drink

my new favorite drink is the blue motorcycle. not only is it yummy, it's BLUE! (which you probably guessed from the name.)


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
ooooh, dramatic new haircut!

mary dubbed this color "cherry cola."

i'm in love with my own hair!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

2005 book 92

gabrielle zevin's margarettown
gosh. just, gosh. i really liked this book. i'm not sure i can even articulate how much, or why exactly. it's narrated by a dying man, telling the story of his wife to their daughter--she was no ordinary woman, but many women at once. this book made me feel the way sharon creech's love that dog does (again, i cannot explain way), only i didn't cry as much on this one. i almost missed my stop on the bus ride home because i was reading it, and i never read on the bus, but somehow i was holding it and couldn't let it go.
plus i really liked the cover.
just a wonderful book, stark and full of love and uncertainty.

ETA: weird. i was just googling zevin to see if she'd written anything else (looks like she has a YA book coming out this fall), and came across this. i can't believe she talks about love that dog in this interview. that's weird, right??? since i just compared those two books, which are different in every conceivable way except for their similar size and brightly-colored covers?


hmm, maybe i should think about scheduling a trip home: this installation looks really cool. plus, an american childhood is one of my favorite books b/c it evokes so much of my own childhood in pittsburgh (and probably no one else has ever taken such a romantic view of the city).

i also wouldn't mind seeing the john waters exhibition at the warhol, but that's only running through early september so i don't think i'll get the chance.

in other news . . . today's the full moon which means limited edition bpal scents! fruit moon sounds really yummy . . .
speaking of yummy, today i'm taking jodi to loco pops (i also went w/ erin just the other day). i still don't think i'll work up the courage to try the avocado one, but i'm definitely going for mango chili today. chocolate chili was awesome! and nothing provides relief from the unending muggy weather like a loco pop (or three). i'm definitely going to bring a cooler sometime next week and get some for when my family is here!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

2005 book 91

ruth reichl's garlic and sapphires
there's a massive thunderstorm going on just outside, which means it was the perfect time to finish a nice book about food. actually, this third memoir by reichl isn't just about food or food writing, it's about the experience of being an important critic at the new york times. reichl assumes a series of disguises to hide her identity as she visits various restaurants, but eventually these personalities start to take her over--which makes for a fascinating read. of course, the book is a good one anyway for those of us who enjoy food writing--some of reichl's reviews are included, rounding out her anecdotes. however, reichl doesn't always seem likable even when she's not costumed as some smarmy tweedy woman--she's totally a bitch about some of her former ny times colleagues, and actually calls one editor smelly. oh, that is just not right. although i enjoy reichl's easygoing writing and her thoughts on food, i sort of hope this is her last memoir. i'm not sure her current job as editor of gourmet would make for such a compelling read, and i personally don't want to read any more snark about her co-workers. it just seems impolitic and makes reichl a lot less sympathetic.

on air

hey superfans! i'm subbing at wxdu tomorrow afternoon from 4-6. locals can listen at 88.7 or anyone can listen online at expect lots of technical problems since i have not used the new board yet! and expect lots of local music (including new ROSEBUDS!) since i'm not on before the local music show and can go wild. :)

requests are welcome!

and i'll try and remember to bring my knitting stuff with me, so i can swing by knitting night on the way home. :)

rosebuds/teenage fanclub

i know, i know--where are all the posts about books? isn't this supposed to be a blog about books??/ well hey, look at the description up in the corner there. note the "local-music-loving" and then perhaps my latest posts will be put into context.

actually, i did start reading a book yesterday, but it turned out to be a series of vignettes (not quite short stories) about all different characters, and dammit i thought it was going to be a novel, so screw that.

the point is to let all six of my dedicated readers know that you should see the rosebuds and teenage fanclub when they come to your town--the rosebuds are playing a ton of new material, which is REALLY good--kelly even sings on one song!! actually, i'm listening to that song now (their new album is also REALLY good!) b/c it is just so awesome. reid from schooner is playing with them now, which makes them rock even harder. go rosebuds!!!

and teenage fanclub was totally adorable and full of poppy toe-tappin' goodness. i may have mentioned my dislike of encores here, but i even stayed to hear theirs (possibly b/c they revealed the whole thing is a pretense, much to my amusement). anyway, this tour looks totally awesome, so don't miss it when it comes to your town!

today i am going to the library (and possibly a used bookstore) in an attempt to find actual novels, so the book blogging should return to full force soon.

Monday, July 18, 2005

weekend wrapup

so after my harry-potter-filled saturday (not that the pottermania has ended--i am still exchanging flurries of emails and conversations on the topic!), i went to go see the new charlie and the chocolate factory movie. althoguh i was not feeling the whole invented daddy issues subplot, i liked that the movie was otherwise more faithful to the book (prince pondicherry's palace was priceless) and thought the kids did an excellent job. i had mixed feelings about the oompa-loompa over the top dance numbers but giggled throughout so i guess they pandered to my baser entertainment instincts. the whole thing was a visual marvel as well and once again i wished for a garden made of candy. *swoon*

then last ngiht i hit 506 for the first in a series of free shows featuring local bands and being broadcast on wxyc's local music show, backyard bbq. there actually was bbq on hand last night--also free--but there were no hushpuppies so fie on that bbq place. anyway, david nahm tells me the next show will feature north elementary (and fashion design) and i think it's august 21st.

so anyway, erie choir was doing the full band thing--i know last time i saw full band erie choir i was all "blah blah blah it's better acoustic blah" but i had to take it back last ngiht b/c they were awesome--i especially loved bob wall's guitarin' and abby's keyboardin'. ok, the drums and bass were also awesome, so props to biggers and andy as well. :) i need to hunt down the recording of their hour (the interview i think will be especially silly and worth hearing again) on the xyc website. i'm hoping it recorded well b/c it was a great live show and i want to put it on my ipod.

and let me just take a moment here to tell you all that schooner, who headlined, is really doing some amazing things these days. i hadn't seen them play in a while, and this was my first time seeing them as a 6 piece (with mark l. on viola and tambourine, and some dude on upright bass and guitar--and y'all know i love the upright bass) and i was just stunned at how much better they are. i mean, they were always a great band that i'd usually make an effort to go see, but DAMN. they were REALLY good last night. it was incredible, amazing etc, blah. in theory they'll be recording a full-length soon and maybe playing more shows, although various members of the band will be touring with the rosebuds (and teenage fanclub) for the next few weeks. speaking of which, the rosebuds (who have a new album coming out in september and will be playing lots of new stuff) and teenage fanclub are playing at the cradle tonight so everyone should come to that.

yay local music! [and yay harry potter!]

Saturday, July 16, 2005


now that i've read the new harry potter twice (i always cry more on the second reading), it's time to go see charlie and the chocolate factory! after watching a making-of special, i've decided to see it for the squirrels, even though johnny depp looks scary and even though there is apparently an evil dentist in the movie. what-EVER! can we get a movie or book about a kindly dentist, please??

ps. has anyone else read the new harry potter yet?? i REALLYYYYYY need to talk about it with someone! please email me!!!!


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
man, i won't even tell you which house that talking hat put me in. the vast majority of internet quizzes have put me in gryffindor (with the occasional hufflepuff or ravenclaw) and i trust the internet way more than i trust mechanical hats. there's a sentence i never pictured myself saying . . .

anyway, with my obvious bitterness in mind, you can feel free to take my comments with a grain of salt. although i admired the regulator's efficiency at dispersing the book, i don't think they did nearly enough in the entertainment arena (this hat was pretty much it, and you could only get to that after midnight). i really think for book 7, if they're going to make everyone wait outside, they should bring the sorting hat out there and bring the hogwarts trivia brigade out a little earlier to entertain the crowd. not that we didn't entertain ourselves well enough--plenty of potter-talk, along with some judy blume and v.c. andrews discussion thrown in for good measure (don't worry, there weren't young kids in our vicinity). i'm glad we killed over an hour at francesca's, which had some nice harry-potter-themed stuff, instead of standing around aimlessly for two hours.

anyway, click the photo to get to my other random shots of the evening, and see below for my comments on the book. i am obviously still too hyped from reading it to go to sleep. :)

2005 book 90

j.k. rowling's harry potter and the half-blood prince
did any of you doubt that i would stay up until i finished it? it took just under three and a half hours--it was worth it. i don't want to give anything away to anyone who may see this, but i'll just say i was very pleased with this one--harry does have his stubborn moments but isn't nearly as aggravating as in book 5, and there wasn't enough neville for my tastes, and i did figure out the half-blood prince early on (and was very proud of being right!), but none of these are bad things. christina, there aren't as many lighter moments as you were hoping for--although there is some romancin' (all of whihc made me grin!). and dudes, it's dark. but the set-up for book 7 . . . wowsas. it's gonna break the mold, folks.

probably i will follow form and reread it tomorrow. now i will try and stop thinking about it long enough to sleep.

and hey! all of you hurry up and read it, b/c there is a lot to talk about and i'm ready for some talkin'!!!

Friday, July 15, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
here's some yarn i spun in rainbow sherbet colors!

oh, although i am planning on taking photos at the regulator tonight, don't expect me to post them before tomorrow--i am pretty sure the urge to read harry potter will supersede the urge to upload photos immediately. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

nerd alert

something only a devoted wordnerd would notice (how many of you caught it, too?):

just now on the daily show, they did a hilarious piece on the massive harry potter security efforts. rob corddry's line was "could it happen here??" and they answered it using book titles: stephen king's "it," the little engine that could--and for "happen," they totally used kelly link's first book! now, how many other people could identify a book from seeing one word of its cover title?? and, go daily team for choosing to use such an awesome book, even if you didn't show the full title or author or anything.

anyway, i know they rerun the daily show at various times, so you should watch, b/c it was pretty funny.

happy alicia

i am a happy camper today. first of all, i have fallen back in love w/ bpal's jailbait and am currently slathered in the stuff, so i smell like yummy bubblebum and candy.

AAAANNNDDDD harry potter!!! TOMORROW!!! i keep reading all these snide articles and comments from potter-haters, which i have to admit leave me puzzled. i mean, sure, they're not some great work of literature, but they ARE great works of children's literature and fun for all ages. screw you, potter-haters! there is nothing wrong with liking popular stuff! and i'm a book snob, y'all. i happen to think they're pretty well-written--i've read them all like eighteen times each and only don't unconditionally love book 5 (which has nothing to do with the writing, really).

anyway, i am totally, totally, totally looking forward to this. friday night at the regulator baby!! i wish i'd thought to get a little outfit together.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

2005 book 89

lev grossman's codex
well, y'all know i love those books about people researching things, so this was a pretty fun read. the main character is this young banker guy who's about to move to london for a new job, but somehow gets hired to catalog all these old books for a wealthy client. soon he's knee-deep in a search for a mysterious codex, with the help of a determined young girl grad student, who actually collates an old book at one point, to my great amusement (i learned collation in my rare books seminar). if ever a book was going to appeal to library nerds, this is it (not that all of that stuff is totally accurate, but it's still fun to see in a novel). meanwhile, he's also becoming obsessed with a mysterious computer game--could there be a connection??? actually, this book wasn't nearly as predictable as i expected, and the minor characters are pretty fleshed out and interesting too, making for a really enjoyable read. yes, i liked this book much more than i expected to--now i demand more novels where characters research things!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
here's some more yarn that i spun!

2005 book 88

ethan canin's for kings and planets
here's your typical "midwestern youth goes to new york for college, where he is seduced by the glamorous world of his rich but troubled friend" story. actually, i think in most of the books i've read with that plot, the midwestern youth is usually a poorish jewish youth seduced by the world of WASPs, but same difference. so that's the first third of the book. in the second third, said midwestern youth goes to dental school, something that is continually mocked and looked down upon by most of the other characters--which of course pissed me off to no end, b/c my dad is a dentist, and it's a perfectly respectable and normal profession. seriously, these characters go ON and ON about how terribly tragic it is to be a dentist. i would think being a proctologist would be worse, but that's just me. in the last third, things settle down a little--i actually liked the last third, but it's pretty in keeping with the rest of the book and is somewhat predictable.


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
hamsters 70-75 arrived in the mail today--along with more hello kitty candy AND some powerpuff girl figures! [note that buttercup is doing an elbow drop.]

i think the nun hamster is my favorite. the little cross is an especially nice touch!

Monday, July 11, 2005

more bpal comments

here are some more scents i've tried recently:

empyreal mist
A hazy, soft, veiled scent: mist floating through twilit skies, curling gently towards the heavens.
in the bottle: a pleasant green sort of smell--not at all overpowering
wet--it smells like bamboo!! it's very . . . fresh.
dry--now i can also smell berries!
later--it's very nice but doesn't last that long.

A maddeningly festive blend of warm, buttery rum, cocoa, coconut, vanilla and a jolt of peppermint. It’s a sweet, decadent, slightly silly scent, reminicent of rum-laced holiday cookies.
in the bottle--it smells like candy canes and rum!
wet--it's very pepperminty with a little vanilla--nice and cool.
dry-now i can also smell coconut--yum!
later--it smells like malibu rum and peppermint--i love malibu rum, so this pleases me. i really hope they bring back this limited edition b/c i want a big bottle!

A gentle white scent, breezes laced with the scent of springtime blooms and citrus. Lemon, lemon verbena, neroli, white musk, white florals, white sandalwood, China musk, bergamot and a drop of vanilla.
in the bottle--lemony!
wet--REALLY lemony. and a little bitter.
later--it's all soapy. dang, the description sounded so nice.

A soft, sensual, luxuriant blend with a wicked bite: hazelnut, buttercream, honey mead, rum and sweet almond.
in the bottle--it smells really sweet, but i'm not sure which ingredient i'm smelling. buttercream?
wet--same smell, but a little softer. yum.
dry--hey, where'd it go?
later--i can get a hint of a warm, honeyish smell, but i can't distinguish it from my lotion, or something. it just sinks right in! i'll have to try this again b/c it's definitely a nice smell.

Biblical witch, priestess of Astarte, and general troublemaker. A true role model for today's upwardly mobile Modern Woman. A gloriously decadent blend of honey, roses, orange blossom and sandalwood.
in bottle--it's definitely floral.
wet--i'm smelling roses and orange blossom, a lot.
dry--roses and orange blossom are getting overwhelmed with powdery stuff.
shortly thereafter--it's all powder.

Selune, the Moon Goddess, fell in love with a beautiful shepherd named Endymion. She appealed to Zeus, asking him to cast Endymion into everlasting slumber so that she could be with him for all eternity. Her wish was granted, and every night the Goddess visited her love as he slept. A sweet, wistful blend of d'Anjou pear, Lily of the Valley, bois du rose and white musk.
this was the one sarah swapped me!
in the bottle--mmm, PEAR! this reminds me of this pear juice i used to drink all the time in israel. it was called pear nectar and i drank it allll the time.
wet--the florals are a little more apparent now.
dry--i really like this--a hint of pear and musk, and it's a nice light scent.
later--hmm, it didn't last that long. but it was lovely while it was there!

bpal/rock show

tonight began with the fun and exciting bpal sniffing evening, as blogged in greater detail by sarah, lisa, and pinky. great fun was had by all, i think we made brand new addicts of erin and pinky, and i was pleased to smell lots of interesting scents and add some to my ever-expanding wishlist. sarah and i had our first swap--i'm totally excited to test endymion, which has a great pear smell! by the way, i have tried several scents over the past few days, but won't blog about them just yet b/c i would like to get some sleep tonight.

anyway, after the sniff-fest i headed to the cradle for an evening o' rock--the first band, the magic markers, was godawful--within three seconds of their start, i had put in earplugs to try and block the noise (and i never wear earplugs--along with driving fast, that's just part of my reckless rock star lifestyle. actually i just hate how everything sounds underwater when i wear them). their 25 minute performance felt like 25 hours; i surmised that they were part of a plot by the cradle to sell more beer, since everyone was fleeing to the back, and kate quipped that they must have been sniffing magic markers before they went on.

luckily superchunk came on soon thereafter, making up for the hellish opener. in an adorable tribute to dinosaur jr, they only played songs from their first three albums. i did not wear earplugs to better enjoy the AWESOME ROCK. superchunk has put on a stellar live show every time i've seen them--they are one of the most fun live bands, ever.

dino jr, of course, was also awesome. i did put the earplugs back in for them, b/c their speakers were taller than they were, and i do value my hearing a little bit. it's fascinating to watch a dude w/ long gray hair rock out--josh said j. mascis looked like albus dumbledore, and i realized that's why he kind of looks weird--anyone w/ long gray hair should totally have a long gray beard to match! speaking of hair, and confidential to the dude who was standing in front of me, if you're a dude who's thinning on top, don't let the rest of your hair get really shaggy. we all remember what michael bolton looked like in the early 90s--do you really want to make that same mistake? just sayin'.

besides the music, the highlight of dino jr was some girl getting on stage and kissing j mascis right smack on the lips. what the hell! it was crazy, man.

i actually left early b/c i like to get more than 5 hours of sleep on a work night, if it's at all possible. anyway, i was mostly there to see superchunk. :) sacrilege, i know!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

the wusses!!

so, yay, i made it to raleigh and back on my spare tire! my dad had cautioned me not to drive above 50 mph, but of course it was physically impossible for me to drive that slow on 40--i did manage to stay right at the speed limit thanks to cruise control, and even managed to control my usual speeding (despite the fact that even mormons were passing me) through fear of a fiery death.

anyway, after a yummy dinner at udupi and some robot chicken reruns, jason and i headed over to king's where we ran into lots of awesome people, including several of my favorite bloggers and several of my favorite rock stars (the rosebuds were even in costume--so cute!).

unfortunately for keith, who arrived only in time to hear their last song, the wusses went on first (which was bullshit, b/c they were WAYYYY better than the hall and oates cover band, who were only notable for oates losing his mustache) and regaled us with all of our favorite 70s soft rock tunes (i still know all the words to "sister golden hair" and will sing along with impunity with only one sparks under my belt. to further point out my lack of coolness, my very first cds, purchased when i was 12, were america's greatest hits and james taylor's greatest hits. to be fair to my parents, my dad did instill some excellent musical tastes in me at a young age, but i guess i've always had a soft spot for the soft rock). the wusses, of course, consist of several rock luminaries, from bands including sorry about dresden, cantwell gomez & jordan, razzle, torch marauder, erie choir, hotel motel, and chamber corps. and if it's possible to simultaneously fall in love briefly with seven men in bad wigs and/or bad pants, then i definitely did tonight, b/c they are amazing performers (especially dave bjorkback, who is one of the most charismatic frontmen/dudes who occasionally paint themselves blue that i have ever seen). i hadn't seen them since the great cover-up, and i won't be making the mistake of missing any more of their shows (i really hope they'll be doing more shows).

a highlight of the show may have been hepler serenading his wife a la billy joel in honor of her birthday--she jumped up and down in surprised delight, and every girl in the audience went, "awwww!" it was pretty friggin' adorable.

i was kicking myself all evening for forgetting my camera--although i'm not sure i could have captured their hilarious and endearing energy anyway.

quite a good night, and worth risking life and limb for.

don't worry, i'm getting my tire patched on monday. :)

Saturday, July 09, 2005


nothing ruins a weekend like a flat tire that is unable to be changed for various reasons.

anyone want to drive me to raleigh tonight, and all around chapel hill tomorrow?


contest winner

aaaaaand the winner of scott pilgrim 2 is . . .


jon, email me your address and i will mail scott pilgrim 2 to australia. better than a postcard, isn't it? :)

Friday, July 08, 2005

2005 book 87

eva hoffman's the secret
hoffman is probably best known for her memoir of moving to canada from poland in the 50s with her parents, who were Holocaust survivors. she's written several other books, apparently, but this is her first novel. it's pretty good--mainly about the search for identity, only with a sci-fi twist: it takes place in the near future (the 2020s) and its protagonist grows up with the feeling that there's something not quite right about herself. as she uncovers her mother's secret, she tries to figure out what it means for her identity. the plot gets a little bit weaker toward the end, especially as some of the futuristic touches begin to ring false, but it's not a terrible book or anything. i don't really have much else to say about it, i guess!

gas prices

the price for regular gas at one of the stations near my house went up 17 cents yesterday (from $2.15 to $2.32)--is that some cynical gas station owner reaction to the bombings in london? i vaguely recall gas prices shooting up after 9/11 . . . like all the gas station people assumed oil would be harder to get once we were bombing various middle eastern countries, or something.

hey, who else remembers when gas was like a dollar? being sixteen in 1995 was awesome--i had my little ol' '85 corolla and could fill the tank for ten bucks. yay nostalgia.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

unrelated nonsense/bpal stuff

i was just knitting and watching kept on vh1, when a commercial for the new hulk hogan reality show came on (didn't he have a cartoon in the 80s? with a redheaded girl and rowdy roddy piper and captain lou and andre the giant?) and, dude, THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS were playing in the background of the commercial (it was "letter from an occupant," playing as hulk planned to track his daughter to some party)--further proving the point that mtv and its affiliates have shitty contracts for bands, where they can use the songs however they want and never play the videos (not that those channels play videos).

now, onto bpal stuff:
forbidden fruit
As light and innocent as your first time should have been. The fresh scent of lotus hidden behind lightly scented flowers, amber, and citrus.
in the bottle--fruity, but not really sweet, with a hint of florals.
wet--the florals are much more prominent, but it's not the typical cloying floral perfume scent--is it the lotus that smells so nice?
dry--it's a really pretty floral with a little twist of citrus--definitely a keeper!

The scent of warm, glowing jack o'lanterns on a warm autumn night: true Halloween pumpkin, spiced with nutmeg, glowing peach and murky clove.
in the bottle--i'm a little scared of this one--it's strong and spicy in an unpleasant way.
wet--i can definitely smell pumpkin and nutmeg.
dry--i smell like a friggin' candle. i swear i have a candle that smells exactly like this (pumpkin pie scent!). it's kind of artificial-smelling and definitely nor a good perfume--maybe it could be a room scent in the fall.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

local celebrities on the news

so i was just flipping through the channels (a&e has some special on right now about cats, for those interested and near a tv) and came across local rock star shirle hale-koslowski (of gerty) doing a cooking segment on news 14 carolina. it was pretty cool--she made some kind of chicken thing (i missed that part) and some yummy-looking sugar snap peas.

so all local rock fans should watch news 14 carolina, in case she comes on to cook again, b/c . . . well, i don't know why really. it looks like she makes pretty good food, and she's an entertaining lady, so what have you got to lose?

i wonder how one gets on the local news (not that i would want to cook on tv--i'm pretty sure i'm camera-shy--but i just think it's an interesting thing. do they have auditions or what? did she have a cooking show on public access that they liked? it's a mystery, all right).

ps: oh, the whole segment is actually also online.

bpal roundup

if you are curious about any of these scents or any of the others we've all been posting about, come meet me and sarah and lisa this sunday at 7 at driade for a sniffing party. :) [yes, you do have time to sniff pretty perfume before the superchunk/dino jr show, which i will be attending later that night.]

anyway, here's some scents i've tried recently (i've mostly just been wearing march hare, b/c i looooove it):

A mournful, poignant scent, thick with foreboding. Soft golden amber darkened with a touch of murky black musk.
in the bottle: i'm really smelling the musk, if musk smells like patchouli (which i hate).
wet--it still smells like patchouli, only there's a sharper note as well.
dry--this had better change.
later--still mostly musky, or whatever. it's not a bad scent, but it's not for me.

la petit mort
Seduction, sensuality, the Act, and the aftermath all in one. The scent of warm, damp skin flushed with the glow of passion, touched by the luxuriant potency of ylang ylang and myrrh
in the bottle--it has a slightly herbal smell. what does myrrh smell like?
wet--a little powdery
dry--powdery with a hippie undertone--is that ylang ylang?
later--all powdery. everything turns to powder on me!!!!

A strong, willful blend with a soft, utterly lovely soul: white musk with a trickle of bright, sharp apricot and orange blossom.
in the bottle--fruity--it smells like march hare!!
wet--very fruity and light--it's nice and apricot-y, like march hare without the spiciness.
a little later--still fruity and sweet, but i can smell a teeny bit of musk too. i really like this (not as much as march hare, though!).

Huckleberry and red currant with the incisive bite of neroli.
in the bottle--i'm not sure if it's currant or huckleberry, but there's a really nice fruity smell.
wet--sort of a sharp berry smell, with--oh no!--soap. i hope this doesn't go all soapy.
dry--it's strong, and i can smell a slightly bitter undertone
later--it's warm and woodsy--i think i'll save this for fall and winter--it's a nice scent but not quite right for summer.

pink moon
his Lunar blend is soft with phlox, tulip, daffodil, dogwood and muscari, dusted with pink sugar, carnation and honey, and a touch of the first strawberries of the season.
in the bottle--uh oh, does this have a powdery smell?
wet--all floral-y and pretty, with a hint of powder and a little bit of sugar
dry--hee, it does smell pink! it's soooo pretty, sugary and berry-ish!
later--it's mostly powder now. but still pink . . . sigh. i am so disappointed that it turned to powder on me. maybe i'll try it again another day . . .

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
hey, check it out: i have an autographed copy of scott pilgrim volume 2 (note the plumtree shirt on scott!).

so anyway, now i have two copies of this hilarious and sweet graphic novel, which means i have one copy to give away to one of my six diligent readers. :)

all you have to do is email me [wordnerd at gmail dot com] and say you want it, and i will pull the names out of a hat (assuming more than two people want it--if just two people want it, i will do eenie meenie instead). deadline is friday night at midnight so get those emails in!

note that i wholeheartedly recommend reading volume 1 so that volume 2 has some context--i'm sure you can pick it up from the fine folks at chapel hill comics, or check the new book shelf at the chapel hill public library (i saw it there just this morning). as scott tells kim several times in volume two when she asks about previous events, "read the book!"

basically i want to spread the scott pilgrim love, because both of these volumes have shot up into my top five all-time-favorite comics/graphic novels/pretty-pictures-with-words sorts of things.


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
here's some more yarn that i spun--all pinks and purples.

2005 book 86

haven kimmel's a girl named zippy
i vaguely remember reading reviews of this when it first came out--whether they were good or bad or mixed, i can't remember. i personally was never tempted to buy it until i saw the british version of the cover on sale at the regulator. i mean, check it out. plus the cover subtitle reads: "growing up sparky in an innocent world." that's just so thought-provoking on several different levels.

anyway, this is kimmel's memoir of her childhood, and since she had a lovably eccentric sort of family, it's a pretty good read. my own favorite moment came when kimmel's older sister told her she was adopted, and when she went to ask her mother about it, her mother claims they bought her from gypsies. hee! my own brother and i used to constantly tell our little sister she was adopted--considering that i was a miniature version of my mom, and my brother looks a lot like my dad, whereas my sister didn't look like any of us (which, actually, isn't true--my sister looks kind of like my brother and a lot like my dad's side of the family, she just had much lighter coloring when she was younger, and the rest of us all have dark hair and eyes), she found this easy enough to believe. of course, when she went crying to my mom, my mom never told her she was a gypsy child, and instead consoled her and said we were just being mean (which we were). kimmel's mother's response is pretty friggin' funny, though.

this whole book is pretty funny, actually. it's sort of small-town idyllic, lots of animals and romping around and things, but certainly the darker elements of childhood (dead pets, scary neighbors, new girls at school, etc) are evident as well. kimmel really is a great writer, so i'm glad i finally picked this up.

Monday, July 04, 2005

2005 books 84 and 85

j.k. rowling's harry potter and the sorcerer's stone and harry potter and the chamber of secrets
i am SO READY for book 6 to come out!!!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

2005 book 83

adrienne miller's the coast of akron
deciding to take a break from harry potter for the time being, i picked up the top book on my to-read pile, which was this. unfortunately, i really didn't like it much. it has four main characters: a divorced couple, their daughter, and his lover. the first half was promising--the daughter was a pretty interesting character, sort of morally bankrupt but still sympathetic, and part of the book features her mother's diaries (my favorite part)--but in the second half, the third voice in the book--that of the lover--becomes more prominent, and godDAMN is he annoying! a delusional, syncophantic, quivering mess of a man with no appealing qualities whatsoever . . . of course, the artist father of the clan is also a jackass, but he's not narrating the book. also, i think whininess is more annoying to slough through than cockiness. in the second half, the daughter becomes less appealing as well, but at least her mother is still a pretty awesome character. anyway, the point is, i had to keep taking breaks from reading this b/c it was so annoying (the worst bits are the loooong imagined articles the lover creates for himself).

Saturday, July 02, 2005

another comic

i drew another comic today. it's goofier than the last one, and even more badly drawn!

same deal as before--click it with the magnifying glass to get it at a legible size. :)

more bpal!

i tried two more today:

White geranium, calla lily, cedarwood and black orchid. A gentle floral bouquet masks a sinister and black-hearted core.

in the bottle, this has a dark, foresty sort of smell (florals and cedar?).
wet, on me--it smells herbal, and there's definitely a clean scent.
dry--it smells like soap.
a few hours later--still soap.
a few hours after that--now it smells like cedar.
i guess this one doesn't work on me, either--i wish i could figure out which ingredient makes it smell soapy on me.

This delicate, spectral perfume gives rise to an eerie distortion of of the senses. It bestows an ephemeral, ghostly, and truly haunting quality to your presence. Green tea, lemon verbena, jasmine and neroli.

in the bottle--i can definitely smell the citrus and i think the green tea.
wet, on me--very lemony, like lemon rind.
dry--citrus with an undercurrent of something floral--it's VERY nice!
a few hours later--still citrusy, but not as strong--it's fading already, alas.
i really liked this one and might consider getting a bottle.

2005 book 82

j.k. rowling's harry potter and the goblet of fire
i firmly maintain that the 4th harry potter book is the best one.

bpal stuff

i've tried a few scents over the past couple of days, so here are my comments on those:

la bella donna mia mente

Soft, lush myrtle and dry, sweet melilot with wild rose, pomegranate juice and peach blossom against a background of deep aquatic notes and a twirl of melancholy autumn breezes.

in the bottle, this has a sort of traditional perfumey smell--flowery and fruity. i definitely can smell the peach, which is nice.
on my skin, it gets a little sweeter, but it dries to a strong floral scent. where did the fruits go?
an hour later, it's all roses.
several hours later, i finally washed it off. ugh. i was really disappointed that this didn't work for me.

march hare
A twisted teatime tart: apricot and sweet clove

in the bottle, this smells sweet and fruity--i'm actually smelling orangey things, i think, maybe something a little more tropical.
wet on skin--it's even more orangey, almost an orange rind smell, but there's a nice hint of sugar.
dry--it comes close to smelling like a cleaning product but doesn't, thanks to the clove.
a few hours later--peachy and nice! i love this one!

follow me boy
A houdoun recipe dating back almost 150 years. This blend is favored by prostitutes, exotic dancers and others in the sex industry for its power to attract, seduce, and enthrall. Ensures financial gain and increased profits.

i think i thought this was supposed to smell honeyish and pretty, but in the bottle it smells like a hippie store--i don't think it's patchouli, so maybe jasmine?
wet on skin--ugh, baby powder.
dry--still baby powder.
hours later--nothing but baby powder. not for me, oh well.

A gentlemen's blend, possessed of dignity, charm and refinement, but in truth masking a corrupted, hideous, soulless core. White musk, lime, lilac and citron.

although this is supposed to be a masculine scent, i liked the description--in the bottle i can definitely smell the white musk (i vaguely recall buying a white musk perfume in spain when i was 16, and it smells a little like that).
wet on skin--oooh, citrusy! i can definitely smell the lime. it's just sharp enough not to smell like furniture polish or something.
dry--lime and musk together works pretty well.
a few hours later--it's mellowed a little, but is still very pleasant. i don't think i'd buy a bottle of this, but i'm definitely keeping the imp.

Friday, July 01, 2005

2005 book 81

j.k. rowling's harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban
despite what i said when i reread book 5 a couple weeks ago, christina has inspired me to reread more harry potters before book 6 comes out (in two weeks!!!!). i know i should reread book 2, since apparently it's important to the new book's plot, but prisoner is my favorite so it's hard to resist the temptation to start there. :) i think i'll go ahead and read book 4 and then go back to the first two . . . i've read them both myriad times in the last 6 or so years, but it's always fun to go back and see hints of things that happen in later books.

on a better note

the text of barack obama's speech from ala can be found here.



xdu takes over the world

i hope everyone has been paying close attention to salon's audiofile column this week, as its author continues his summer playlist contest thing--yesterday, of course, featured lisa b's playlist of awesome world music (discussed here), and today, bendy's playlist appears, entitled "theme from an imaginary john hughes movie"--note the plethora of triangle bands he threw on there, along w/ some of my other favorite bands (the capricorns!).

well, i sincerely hope one of these kids wins themselves an ipod, or whatever else salon is giving away to music nerds.

2005 book 80

diana wynne jones' castle in the air
this cover claims that this book is a sequel to howl's moving castle, but it's really more of a companion, as its characters are entirely different people who encounter some of my favorites from howl's in the second half of the book. if jones was taking on the european fairy tale in this book's predecessor, here she's messing around with the sorts of stories one would find in a thousand and one nights. the main character is a daydreamy carpet merchant named abdullah who, thanks to a magic carpet, encounters the girl of his dreams--only to have her whisked away by a djinn. of course he's determined to rescue her and has lots of madcap adventures on the way. the first few chapters sort of plodded along for me, but then i got into it and found most of the book very funny, if a little formulaic (it follows the howl's formula pretty well, though none of the characters here are quite as lovable or interesting as any of those were). definitely it's the second half that stands out, as things come to a head and as jones' other characters get involved--abdullah, being one of the arabian nights sorts of heros, doesn't really have much personality, but luckily has some pretty entertaining traveling companions. anyway, the point is, this book is fairly entertaining, but nowhere near as awesome as its predecessor, and is mostly only great once the characters from howl's make an appearance (though at that point, the new characters get a lot more fun as well).

sorry if this is incoherent--i read this last ngiht but none of my web browsers were working (sooo weird) and it's a little early for intelligent thought on young adult fantasy novels.