Thursday, June 29, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
i baked 8 dozen cookies tonight for tomorrow's office party--oatmeal chocolate chip and snickerdoodles!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

library thing

is anyone using library thing? should i? i'm not really into social networking sites, but it's centered on books!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


this intriguing news makes me glad i get hbo!!

everyone has already linked to the many j.k. rowling articles (dang, being on the road made me miss all the good news) but i'm still willing to bet that harry survives and that's all i'm gonna say about that! i'm pretty much just excited the book is due in 2007.

most importantly: what should i purchase with my $100 barnes and noble gift card?? SO MANY CHOICES!!!!!! i mean, should i just load up on hardbacks that i wouldn't normally be able to afford? paperbacks, so i can get more reading material? cookbooks? some really expensive book? i just can't decide.

Monday, June 26, 2006

no fair

i've read way more books than this guy. 51 since september 2005?? come on, i have read at least a hundred since then. why aren't I featured on npr??? is it because i'm too lazy to hit the shift key when i blog? i bet it's the shift key thing.

2006 book 82/home

i'm back from new orleans! and i'm pretty beat, so here's just a brief commentary:

michael perry's truck: a love story
let me reiterate that i love advance copies! i picked this up on a whim and really enjoyed it--it's a memoir about one year of perry's life in which he tries to grow a garden, restore a 1951 pickup truck, meets a girl, and goes hunting sometimes. i know, that doesn't necessarily sound like something i'd like, but perry is a very personable writer and shows how lovable his eccentric family and friends really are.

eta: dang, i just found out that aaron spelling died. that's totally sad. i demand a marathon of all his over-the-top shows!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Multimedia message

Multimedia message
Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.

2006 books 80 and 81, ala

so if the pictures below (which hopefully actually posted, i haven't actually checked yet) haven't indicated--i had an awesome day yesterday! besides hitting the lush store, getting neil gaiman's signature, and attending some awesome sessions, i also won a 100 dollar gift certificate to barnes and noble! oh, ala, i love you.

i also have read a couple books:

juliana baggott's girl talk
despite its title and bright pink cover, this first novel by baggott isn't chick lit. baggott (who i believe teaches creative writing at fsu) tells a beautifully written story about a young woman whose father left for a summer, and the impact that summer has had on the rest of her life. it's a riveting novel about families and love--and according to the reader's guide in the back, baggott is also a poet, whcih explains her powerful imagery (especially about water).

heather o'neill's lullabies for little criminals
yay advance copies!! this comes out in the fall and i think you all should read it. o'neill is apparently a contributer to this american life, but she's also an excellent novelist. her story focuses on a twelve year old girl living with her junkie father, who was only 15 when she was born. the novel never descends into melodrama despite its occasional squalor--the narrative voice is really well done. i really liked this book.

ETA: my pictures didn't post! i'll stick them up now. grr.

Friday, June 23, 2006

2006 book 79/etc

here i am in new orleans! i have taken some pictures with both my camera and my cameraphone, eo expect to see those in a few days.

i hit the d-day museum this morning with dawn and jesse--my late grandfather was at d-day so i was pretty interested. it was a nicely set-up museum and the staff were all really sweet. i totally recommend it for wwII buffs as well as a general audience.

i read a book last night:

ayun halliday's dirty sugar cookies
i like halliday's columns in bust magazine, usually, so was interested in reading this food-related memoirs. it's a serious of generally humorous and often sweet autobiographical essays that all center on food, and each chapter ends with a recipe. it's especially entertaining to see halliday's transformation from a picky eater to an adventurous one, and then to see her dealings with her own picky eater daughter. this was a fast and fun read.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

hooray scott pilgrim!!

EW reviews Scott Pilgrim 3
Originally uploaded by radiomaru.
(this was swiped from bryan lee o'malley's blog)

also, here are some annotations for volume 1 of scott pilgrim!

by the way, i leave for new orleans tomorrow morning! for some reason i thought neil gaiman was coming to do a signing at ala, but i can't find any evidence that this is actually the case.

meanwhile, the speakers this year are totally lame. last year featured barack obama, david sedaris, and henry winkler (who i missed, much to my dismay--it would have been a fitting tribute to my former pet mouse fonzie to see the man in person)--this year we have madeline albright, anderson cooper, and cokie roberts. oh, and the first lady. whatever! i don't care how obsessed gawker is with the guy, i just do not care about anderson cooper. the ala totally dropped the ball on awesomeness this year.

here's hoping i score some sweet free books to assuage my sorrows!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

2006 book 78

kathryn davis' the girl who trod on a loaf
you'd think a book with opera, multiple love affairs, intrigue, and folk tales would be interesting--but you'd be very wrong.

luckily i know the next thing i read will be awesome--i got the collected castle waiting! the book is gorgeous.


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
here's a shawl-thing i knitted to cover my shoulders when the a/c is blowing (it's longer in back)!

by the way, i love the local yarn store wooly bully. the owner is right up my alley--and totally nice! i now have leads on good local bands (including her husband, and also a band with one of the members of iron and wine) and an awesome hairstylist. not to mention a whole lot of amazing yarn!



Saturday, June 17, 2006

2006 book 77

curtis sittenfeld's prep
yay! my crappy-book-reading streak is over! and now i am amazed that i never read this book before. i think i'd heard somewhere it was about a prep school, and i was all, why would i want to read some book some dude wrote about a prep school, like that's never been done before. it took me a while to figure out that sittenfeld is actually a woman (i mean, come on, you can't blame me--who names a girl "curtis"?). anyway, this is about a young girl who goes to boarding school on scholarship, but it's actually REALLY good, full of teenage angst identity crisis, only REALLY GOOD, not the usual cliched drek you might expect from a description like that.

also good? the cartoon movie over the hedge. i mean, nowhere near as good as this book, but entertaining, and with a soundtrack by ben folds.

summer tv

does crappy summer tv have you down? then you should start exploring your other channels! i highly recommend animal planet, which has this awesome series called meerkat manor. the meerkat matriarch is named flower, and her male companion is zaphod (they have adult children named tosca, mozart, and shakespeare), so that is entertaining enough to be worth watching, but there are also turf wars, baby meerkats, forbidden romance, and the meerkat named shakespeare getting bit by a puff adder--WILL HE SURVIVE???? (i don't know yet.)

i guess a new season of project runway starts soon too, and entourage is pretty awesome, but i don't recommend hbo's weird new sitcom lucky louie, which is like any horribly stupid sitcom on network tv, only with worse language. by the way, i hate laugh tracks.

what are you guys watching this summer?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Multimedia message
Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
ok, just one more picture post! i love this statue.

big brick building

Multimedia message
Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
in lieu of a post with actual content, here is a picture that i took with my cameraphone earlier today of (one small part of) the country's largest brick structure (or so i hear). note that although the brick building is actually red, the sky was pretty friggin' blue today--not too bad considering we were in the midst of a (wussy) tropical storm yesterday.

this brick structure houses a big stadium, a parking deck, all the admin offices, and the schools of communication, hospitality, business, and one or two others that i'm forgetting. talk about your multitasking!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


is this for real?????

sheesh, it'd be cheaper just to get allergy shots if you want a cat that badly.

Monday, June 12, 2006

2006 book 76

shan sa's empress
i can't seem to find a book i actually really like these days. this one started off pretty strong--it's based on the real-life empress wu of china who lived and reigned in the 600s, and sa's recounting of her rise to power is riveting. but towards the middle things really stagnate--lots of descriptions of ceremonies, lots of ministers and relatives conspiring and all of them are interchangeable. there was a lot of potential with this story, but somehow it ends up pretty boring and by the end i was practically counting down the pages till she finally died.

have any of you read any good books lately? i need some.

top books

erin and i have been busily swapping links regarding the whole new york times top american books of the past 25 years blah blah. we have also been busily discussing the lack of younger contemporary authors on the list. she jsut sent me a link presenting an alternate list--one with books i actually like!* i look forward to seeing further results from this survey.

the folks at critical mass (scroll down, link on the left) have also been presenting some interesting commentary on the whole debacle.

i jsut don't think philip roth is the greatest living american author--but as i keep saying, that is probably because i am a girl.

*note--i do like beloved and some of the other books on the list, but the very masculine tenor of the list, and the fact that most of the authors are currently like 60+, means that most of my own favorite american works didn't appear.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
i got adorable blue shoes this weekend, on sale at payless for just $12.99. sweet!! i'm wearing them tomorrow!

current music: new order, age of consent (this is the song over the trailer for marie antoinette, which i am dying to see!)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

2006 book 75

elizabeth mckenzie's stop that girl
this is your sort of generic coming-of-age book, about a girl with a somewhat mentally unstable mother and grandmother. i liked it for the first 3/4 or so, but then it suddenly jumped ahead like ten years in the narrative and never really went back and explained what happened in those years. i actually thoguht i was missing a chapter or something. and then it ends pretty abruptly with the main character pondering things, as these things often do. i am pretty sure the ny times gave this a good review, furthering my recent distrust of their opinions.

on the agenda for today: building shelves! my last set (for now)! probably watching more of entourage season 2 (the new season starts the 11th). maybe more sitting outside in the shade and reading. yay sunny saturdays! oh wait, never mind, i'm seeing cars, yay!!! i guess i'll do that other stuff later. :)

ETA: actually we ended up seeing prairie home companion, which apparently features many favorite characters from keillor's show (although i liked the characters and i've never once heard his show). virginia madsen's character didn't work for me, but otherwise the behind-the-scenes stuff and the performances were entertaining.

and hey, any day that culminates in proposal-writing/brainstorming over creme brulee is totally awesome, in case you didn't know.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

more nostalgia

how can i NOT be homesick when my hometown is featured on cnn?

aw, people talking about how pittsburgh is cool now is almost as old as people writing about how girls read comic books. but i still like to read about pittsburgh. :)

the weekend i'm in new orleans, the essex green will be playing at the pittsburgh arts festival and will be recording something for world cafe at the warhol. maybe i can find something equally awesome to do in NO--something tells me i can. :)

current music: opening flower happy bird (anyone know how i can get a copy of their full-length?)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

2006 book 74

alison bechdel's fun home
i don't usually count graphic novels toward my book totals--i mean, how can you accurately calculate length?--but i think this one is long enough (and garnering enough critical attention) to merit inclusion. (now i feel bad for not including scott pilgrim 3, but its adorable small size seems to preclude it from meeting the length requirement.)

anyway, this is sort of bechdel's tour du force--she's been writing the dykes to watch out for strip since the 80s, and that's always been entertaining and pointed, but this book is really powerful. her drawings here are a lot more detailed, for one thing, although some of the characters do bear more than a passing resemblance to various dtwof cast members. the settings are lush and beautiful, which is unsurprising considering that one of her father's pastimes was restoring their victorian house. the story here is moving and powerful as well; this memoir of her family centers on bechdel's own coming out soon before her father's possible suicide and the revelation that he had many affairs with men throughout his life. the complicated family relationships are vividly drawn (literally and figuratively) and bechdel's own recollections of the whole coming-of-age thing are really poignant (bechdel is honestly the first person i've ever seen write about how boobs hurt when they start growing).

of course, like everything i read lately, this has evoked some nostalgia in me--bechdel's family lived in small-town central pennsylvania, not far from state college (in fact, i am fairly sure that after her father's death, her mother moved to the bellefonte area--when svoboda's still existed, they awlays had signed copies of bechdel's books). there is plenty here on central pennsylvania geography and even the occasional psu shirt on a minor character. aw, yay nittany lions.

anyway, i highly recommend this--the family dynamics and the wistfulness in the narration are extremely compelling.


meanwhile, i've been trying like crazy to a) create a 30-second snippet of a song i love to be my ringtone, and b) get it onto my new phone . . . and failing miserably at both! how disappointing--usually i'm good at that sort of thing.

Monday, June 05, 2006

2006 book 73

i guess it's been a while since i posted. here's what i've been up to: starting a new job, going on a first friday art walk (they have those here, too!) and buying awesome yarn at a cute yarn store, getting a mild stomach virus and spending the entire weekend on the couch, watching 2 discs of scrubs season three straight through, watching the finale of big love, knitting more than half a scarf before deciding to frog it and make a shawl instead, sitting through what was possibly the most boring day of my life, realizing i don't get oxygen here and thus will be missing the janice dickinson reality show (which starts tomorrow night), receiving the new portastatic and camera obscura albums in the mail (i love merge preorder!) which also debut tomorrow, and trying desperately to finish the following book:

george singleton's novel
i really had to force myself to finish this, despite the cute jackalope on the cover, and the many references to chapel hill (the cat's cradle even gets a mention). it's basically this horrible stream-of-consciousness pile of crap narrated by a guy who's stuck in some tiny town in south carolina where everything is totally insane, and he seems to be a little insane himself, only none of them are insane in an entertaining or even a compelling way. this book was stupid. the folks at bookslut seem to love this guy though, so ymmv.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


i'm officially going to ala at the end of the month! sils people--let me know if you're going so we can meet up.

also i have a new phone number, so let me know if you're going so i can get it to you. :)