Tuesday, January 31, 2006

my life is complete

Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.

also, chocolate chip waffles! yum!

some comments

on tv and movies.

a) yay! amy adams got nominated for the best supporting actress oscar! she had better not get robbed again. i'm also gunning for wallace and gromit to win best animated feautre (sorry, myazaki).

b) ok. confession time: i am not loving this season of veronica mars as much as i expected. it actually wasn't the main plot last week that bugged me so much (though there were some serious holes), but the whole wallace thing! as he was explaining why he came back to neptune, i kept waiting for him to say, "sike! that's the plot of 'i know what you did last summer'" and bust out laughing. i mean, wallace wouldn't say "sike" but you get the point. is a hook-handed man going to show up in later episodes? sheesh. don't teenagers on tv and in the movies have anything better to do than drink beers and run over old homeless men?

at least britt daniel is on tomorrow ngiht's episode, which should be entertaining.

c) i'm still loving this season of project runway--i didn't think anything could be better than last season, but i'm totally sucked in again!

Monday, January 30, 2006

2006 book 15

kate atkinson's human croquet
seriously, who writes the copy for the back of books? what's written on the back of my paperback copy of this novel bears absolutely no relation to the story (which is excellent, by the way). i think atkinson is intrigued by family secrets--here, sixteen year old isobel, growing up in england in 1960, wonders what happened to her long-gone mother as everyone around her--including herself--seems to be going a little bit mad. i only got it this afternoon and basically devoured it, so obviously i enjoyed it. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
i decided to finally make red velvet cupcakes today, but it turns out you need more than half a bottle of red food coloring to really make them red! now i know and can make REALLY red velvet cupcakes another day.

they're tasty, at least, and have pretty pink frosting!


great show last night--we stopped in briefly at ocsc for shots of sunshine juice in bob pollard's honor, then headed to the cradle so as not to miss portastatic (work clothes had been slated to open, but somewhat ironically couldn't get off work). mac played a solo acoustic show--i love full-band portastatic, but i have to say that mac is one of the few dudes who can put on a mesmerizing show with just him and a guitar. there was a brief intermission (with a looney tunes cartoon) and then uncle bob himself came out, backed by tommy keene, jon wurster, et al. by the fourth song he was basically speaking gibberish, thanks to the sunshine juice--man, that guy can really rock out for someone my parents' age. in fact, he can rock out harder than i can, b/c the sleepies took me over and i didn't stay for too long (he was scheduled for a 2+ hour set and i knew i'd never last).

speaking of music, i finished making two mix cds yesterday. one had a theme, but i kept coming across other songs i wanted to put on a mix that didn't fit at all, so i just decided to go for a two-parter. here is the track list for the (extremely random) second one:

1. destroyer, european oils
2. the long winters, delicate hands
3. east river pipe, what does ts eliot know about you?
4. ursula 1000, tigerbeat
5. treva whateva, music's made of memories
6. kissing tigers, i died in a mall
7. work clothes, south bronx
8. saint etienne, action
9. paris combo, calendar
10. neko case, star witness
11. true love always, for you alone
12. the four tops, reach out, i'll be there (extended stereo mix)
13. blockhead, quiet storm
14. one self, hollow human beings
15. pizzicato five, concerto
16. galaxie 500, submission
17. kingsbury manx, zero g
18. bjorn olsson, juli
19. yuka honda, some things should be kept under wraps

Friday, January 27, 2006

jamie and me

Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
happy birthday, little sister!

i think 1986 was the last time you had to reach up high to put your arm around me. :)


1) starting this sunday, i'm back on wxdu from 3-5 pm, every other weekend, right before the local music show. woohoo!

2) it's my baby sister's 23rd birthday today! i meant to scan a cute baby picture of her to post, but it's hard to sustain a train of thought before 7 am, so it'll have to wait till tonight.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

2006 book 14

kristen allio's garner
some book blog or another recommended this, and the library actually had it, so i checked it out. and it started off strong--1925, new hampshire (the titular small town), the local postman discovers a young local girl's body in a pond in the woods. and then it sort of weaves in and out, focusing briefly on random characters in the town, and you think that as more is revealed the mystery will become clear, but it doesn't! i mean, the killer is revealed, but there are a lot of things left hanging. plus there are random paragraphs in parentheses, which greatly annoyed me. i absolutely hated the writing style, which was really dull--i think allio was trying to imitate 19th century writing, but didn't quite make it. i have another book recommended by whatever blog it was, but now i'm not sure i'll bother reading it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
so, i live right near the local fire station. sometimes they do weird things after dark--i assume some sort of practice things, but i came home from yoga to find them crawling around some junked-up old red car that's been sitting in the lot across the street. i didn't bother getting closer b/c it's really cold out! and also i thought they might yell at me for interrupting their important messing-around-with-cars activities.


my ears are ringing, so you know the show at local 506 tonight was pretty awesome. i was pleased to finally see en garde--it's been too long since i saw matt tomich on stage! and they were lots of fun. and audubon park is awlays great, and criteria were good too, but i left partway through their set 'cause i have work in the morning and i'm still sleep-deprived from all my travels. i didn't bring my camera, sorry. sometimes i get tired of trying to get a good rock show photo (read: a photo where david looks like a ghost) instead of just enjoying the music.

lots of other good shows coming up this weekend--i was torn all week about whether to see bob pollard or the erie choir/summer set/sames/schooner split cd release party on friday, but i think mr pollard finally won out. saturday has some fun shows scheduled too, but it's the lovely miss dawn's birthday and a sushi dinner followed by cake and champagne is going to beat out kingsbury manx at the wetlands, 80s cover bands at 506, and whatever else i'm forgetting. 'cause, dang, it's dawn! and sushi! and cake! i love each one individually, but the combination is just killer.

Monday, January 23, 2006

2006 book 13

susan fromberg schaeffer's poison
yay for free advance copies of good books at ala!!! schaeffer's last book, the snow fox, was one of my top ten of 2004, so i was thrilled to see her new one was being given away. the best thing about schaeffer is how different each of her books is from the others--snow fox takes place in feudal japan, whereas this novel takes place in modern day england. the story of a philandering poet (whose first two wives both killed themselves) and the toll his death takes on his squabbling family and friends bears more than a few hints of the plath-hughes family, and i was very into it until the somewhat abrupt ending (considering the book was already 600 pages, i felt things could have been fleshed out a little more for the finale).

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
oh ho ho! i bet you didn't think i'd brought my camera cord with me to texas! BUT I DID!

this is a cactus margarita that i had with my dinner tonight, and it was pretty darn tasty.

there are some other pictures uploaded, including a few of the alamo (which is about a three minute walk from the convention center). unfortunately i couldn't take pictures inside the alamo exhibits, so you don't get to see the knife davy crockett used to hunt b'ars (presumably when he was only three).

oh yeah: go steelers!!!! maybe i'll actually watch the super bowl this year.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

2006 book 12

the best thing about ALA? free advance copies of books! i cleaned up today, for sure.

i read a book of short stories today between meetings and discussion groups and things, but it wasn;t one of the free ones.

joy williams' honored guest
if i had to pick some adjectives to collectively describe these stories, i would choose: odd, dark, a little funny, a little depressing. also, full of crumbling relationships between people. odd and dark are definitely the top two, though.

Friday, January 20, 2006

2006 books 10 and 11

flying to san antonio means ample reading time, and free hotel wireless means timely book updates!

ali smith's the accidental
this novel focused on a slightly dysfunctional family sort of thrown into chaos by a random woman who shows up at their house. there was some creative lack-of-punctuation used throughout, which annoyed me greatly. seriously, you're allowed to actually end sentences with periods and still be a serious writer. what the hell.

wendy mcclure's i'm not the new me
pinky says this is the only book by a blogger that she actually liked--i've never really followed poundy.com (though i have read it a few times) so i wasn't really predisposed to like or dislike it. and it was well-written, and very funny at times, but i found the whole thing to be a little depressing.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

music library book of the week!

following in the footsteps of nancy pearl, author of book lust, the host of kcrw's morning becomes eclectic has compiled music lust: recommended listening for every mood, moment, and reason. i just flipped through it and there's some cool stuff in there; with categories from "it's raining cats and dogs" (musicians/bands w/ animal names!) to "o canada" to "xenophilia: music without borders" to "the motown sound" to "turning japanese" to "the twenty best double albums"--well, there's really a lot to choose from, be inspired by, etc.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


i wish i could justify spending 32 bucks on this shirt, because it's a sentiment i wholeheartedly support!

2006 books 6, 7, 8, 9

normally i'm the sort of girl who's overprepared (or indecisive--i usually pack extra outfits for trips just so i can have options!) but since my quick jaunt to new york was just an overnighter, bringing extra clothes and books seemed silly. after being faced with multiple delays and ending up stranded overnight in atlanta, i have realized what a fool i was! never again will i go on a trip without extra socks and undies. (this will be put into practice in less than 48 hours, when i leave for texas.)

onto the books:

hilary mantel's a change of climate
weirdly, this had a similar plot to kate atkinson's behind the scenes at the museum (book 148 last year), but it was still a good read about a couple who were went to africa as missionaries, the tragedies that unfolded there, and their aftermath for the family even twenty years later.

david grossman's someone to run with
i really liked this book! its lynchpin is a dog; a teenager on his summer break is assigned the task of tracking down the apparently abandoned dog's owner, and gradually his life becomes intertwined with hers (which has become hectic of late).

arthur golden's memoirs of a geisha
ok, you're stuck in laguardia and out of reading material. you quickly exhasut vogue and ew and browse the newsstand for something else to read (dammit, why doesn't laguardia have bookstores????). hey, mass market paperbacks. maybe this will be ok. and actually it is, till about 100 pages from the end when you realize the narrator is a hopeless prat, and the abrupt hollywood ending (as christina dubbed it) is pretty lame.

alice hoffman's the ice queen
this book was even lamer than the end of memoirs of a geisha. i mean, i get that the narrator is tormented by her mother's death. YOU DON'T NEED TO TELL ME THAT EVERY PARAGRAPH!!!! i don't know how a novel whose major characters are victims of lightning strikes can be so trite and boring, but it really, really is.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
it's amazing how many things you can dunk in chocolate.


look what's for sale again!!! last time i checked, they were going for like 80 dollars on ebay . . . i think i'm a-gonna order one after my week of travel, so i know i'll be able to get the package, and enjoy waffle-y goodness immediately.

oh yeah--i'm traveling a LOTTTT over the next week, so updates will be more sporadic than usual. i imagine i'll get a lot of airport reading done, though, so when there are updates, they will be book-related! (i didn't really read too much this weekend--instead i knitted up a storm and watched the entire first season of scrubs on dvd.)

tongiht is fondue night! pictures forthcoming, if it's photogenic at all!

Friday, January 13, 2006

derek kirk kim

is starting a webcomic. i'm mainly linking to this because of the first panel--i wonder if his friend is matt groening, who famously said the same in one of his love is hell comics. well, famously to me--i know i cite it pretty regularly. :)

ooh, ooh!

etgar keret now has a column over at nextbook. (my favorite part is the bit with the kinder egg.)

i'm a big keret fan--i read a lot of his stories in hebrew for an independent study during college, and will never ever forget the one about the magician. or the ambulance driver. or . . . any of them. he also did the writing for one of the ongoing stories in the hanuka brothers' comic book bipolar, which i liked a lot. he's sort of the master of that surreal, dark, twisted short story, to me.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

2005 book 5

jennifer stevenson's trash sex magic
i think this story falls squarely into the realm of magical realism (think a la kelly link, whose small beer press published it). what happens when a construction company tears down a big ol' tree next to a river? well, the locals--especially a mother and daughter who can seduce any man at will--aren't too pleased. i really liked the characterizations here, and especially enjoyed the bits with the foxes. well, anyway, this wasn't some big heavy read but it was a darn good story.

ok, back to miyazaki night on tcm!


does anyone in the area know where i can obtain cake flour? do i need to go to some specialty store? harris teeter does not seem to carry it (????) and i want to experiment with some recipes over the weekend.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
i started to make chai cupcakes tonight, but realized as i stuck them into the oven that i was out of powdered sugar and thus couldn't make icing, so now they're chai muffins. dang, i was really looking forward to using my new second bowl (a hanukkah present from my mom) for my fancy mixer! i think i might make red velvet cupcakes over the weekend, though, so i can give it a test run then.

2005 book 4

david foster wallace's oblivion
because i liked infinite jest so much, robert suggested i check out this book of dfw's short stories. unfortunately i thought the last two were the weakest (the second-to-last-one made me wince with every one of its deliberately overused quotation marks, like someone was doing those air/finger quotes every three seconds), but i'm trying not to let the ones freshest in my mind color this commentary too much. :) what i found really interesting was that dfw seems to do equally well with lengthy tomes (IJ) and with a short story that's less than two pages long ("incarnations of burned children" was probably the most powerful of the bunch, although i liked "the soul is not a smithy" and "good old neon" best). one of the things that often annoys me about short stories is that i don't feel fulfilled after reading them, like there's so much more that could be said, but dfw really does a good job with the form. i think that i probably will add brief interviews with hideous men to my to-read pile and consider myself a dfw convert.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
i took some photos of some ads from hymnals from the early twentieth century . . .

it seems like there must be more efficient (and safe!) ways to paint.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

2006 book 3

elliot perlman's seven types of ambiguity
this hefty novel revolves around a unemployed pretentious teacher with an extremely unhealthy obsession with an ex-girlfriend from college, and the effects this obsession has on the lives of those connected to both parties. each section is narrated by one of the major players, leading the ny times to declare this a "rashomonian novel"--hee hee hee, that might be my new favorite adjective. anyway, i really liked this book until the end, which didn't work for me and i don't want to give it away so i can't say why it bugged me. but, ok, i want to, so ignore the rest of this entry that's in parentheses if you don't want to be spoiled. (it's not the continued interconnectedness between characters--i did like that and didn't find it too hard to believe--it's that i don't think creepy stalkers should be rewarded!!! i would not be flattered by being stalked by an ex!! it's creepy!)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

attn: miyazaki fans!

i'm pretty sure the few miyazaki fans who read this blog are also regular tcm watchers, but in case you aren't, let me alert you to the fact that miyazaki month on tcm begins tonight, with spirited away and princess mononoke. it looks like every thursday this month will have miyazaki flicks (and hopefully they'll be rerun at other times too). notes to self: my neighbor totoro is on the 19th! two you've never seen are on the 26th! suddenly i'm glad that i randomly bought blank vhs tapes at the supermarket a couple of weeks ago.

sorry for the lack of book postings: i actually haven't read at all in a few days, as nothing in my to-read pile is appealing to me, and i've been busy spinning and knitting anyway.

almost forgot

djing, 2-4 pm today, wxdu.org, blah blah.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


go penn state!!!

i actually fell asleep long before the orange bowl ended, but my school spirit hasn't been so high since the night i drank all those amaretto sours and we kept giving the piano bar guys money to play the penn state fight song.

so let me reiterate: woohoo!!!

there--that's probably the only sports-related post you will ever see on this blog. :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
if loving my hair is wrong*, i don't want to be right!

there is nothing like a fresh new haircut--i'll definitely be spending the evening periodically stroking the back of my head. (not in a dirty way!)

*probably it is, so don't narc on me!

Monday, January 02, 2006

15 favorite books of 2005! (and more)

hey, c'mon, i read ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FIVE books this year. narrowing it down to just ten was way too hard--i mean, i totally had forgotten that i read david mitchell's first two books back in january. and a lot of really good books came out this year!

not all of thse were published in 2005, but they were all new reads for me and they're the ones that i couldn't put down, and that i'm still thinking and talking about. they appear in the order in which i read them:

top books of 2005!
1. david mitchell's number9dream (book 5 of 2005)
2. nicholas shakespeare's the dancer upstairs (book 19)
3. kent haruf's plainsong (book 36)
4. rachel cusk's the lucky ones (book 48)
5. andrea levy's small island (book 76)
6. j.k. rowling's harry potter and the half-blood prince (book 90)
7. gabrielle zevin's margarettown (book 92)
8. paul auster's the music of chance (book 95)
9. chieh chieng's a long stay in a distant land (book 97)
10. tash aw's the harmony silk factory (book 117)
11. diana evans' 26a (book 118)
12. laila lalami's hope and other dangerous pursuits (book 144)
12. scarlett thomas' popco (book 146)
14. david foster wallace's infinite jest (book 151)
15. james meek's the people's act of love (book 154)

books that deserved the hype, but didn't make my top 15
shalom auslander's beware of god: stories
haruki murakami's kafka on the shore
zadie smith's on beauty
marina lewycka's a short history of tractors in ukrainian
jan lars jensen's nervous system

most overrated books (also, books i really didn't like)
jonathan safran foer's extremely loud and incredibly close
sam lipsyte's home land
robert pinsky's the life of david

2006 books 1 and 2

frances sherwood's the book of splendor
between dogsitting and not going to bed until 11am on new year's day, i've been a little sleep-deprived lately, to the point where i was totally unable to remember this book's name unless i was looking at its cover. its content proved more memorable--it takes place in prague in 1601, during the emperor's descent into madness and during the persecution of the jews that led rabbi judah loew to build his famous golem. central to the plot is a young orphan, rochel (whose name is part of my own hebrew name, and by the way, it's not pronounced like rachel, it's got that guttural CH sound and the O is an O like in "good"), recently married to a local widower. she and the golem fall in love (wha?) leading to dramatic consequences. or whatever. the end wrapped things up a little too neatly for my taste, and the historical accuracy is pretty questionable, but it was a nice enough story.

kai meyer's the water mirror
this YA novel (translated from the german) takes place in an early 20th century venice touched by magic. two young orphan girls are apprenticed to a master mirror-maker (who makes magic mirrors, and feuds with the magic weaver across the canal). meanwhile, the egyptians, led by a pharoah, have the city under siege, and there's a plot afoot against the mysterious flowing queen. this is the first book in a series and i'll definitely be checking out the second one (whenever it comes out).

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
what's the best way to start 2006 off right? seeing the wusses (and gerty, and the hackey sac crue) at local 506, of course!

highlights included spending the evening with the lovely dawn, seeing some of my favorite bloggers, getting to shout lines into the microphone (most notably "the things we do for love" and "joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea"--sorry for my inability to carry a tune!), the apparently offensive emcee stylings of silk nogg, the many fabulously attired ladies and gents, and the rooftop champagne party. definitely a great way to start 2006!

eta: here are some photos--mostly i was having too much fun singing along and dancing to take photos, and the hackey sac crue were hard to get good shots of, but there you go.

and you know, i think i say this every year, but dang! 2006 already?? i feel like we're living way in the future or something . . . so where are the damned flying cars already?