Wednesday, August 30, 2006

guilty pleasure song

OK, it's time to just admit it publicly: after hearing it incessantly at the start of summer on HBO's promos, and for the last month on the new Grey's Anatomy promos, and just now on one of Scrubs' dramatic montages--I like that song "How to Save a Life" by the Fray. I totally can even sing along to it. I'm even considering downloading it from iTunes and putting it on a mix cd so I can sing along in my car.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

2006 book 99

A.B. Yehoshua's A Woman in Jerusalem
Woohoo, new Yehoshua novel! He's one of my favorite writers and this book did not disappoint. Shorter and less epic than many of his works, this story of a bakery's human resources manager trying to track down the identity of a woman killed in a terrorist attack is by turns bittersweet, hilarious, and heartbreaking. I'm pretty sure I once wrote a paper (in college, no doubt--it's such a college paper) arguing that with the publication of his then-latest work, A Journey to the End of the Millennium, the focus of his novels had shifted from Israel's relationship with external forces to internal forces battling within Israeli society--of course, this was at a time when things were going well with the peace talks, so that argument holds less weight now. That's all moot when it comes to this present novel, and I'm not in the analytical frame of mind anymore--I just know that I liked it a lot!

Anyway, my kitten is currently scratching the hell out of my legs as he attacks my shorts, so this seems as good a time as any to wrap it up. Book 100 is next!! I wonder what I'll decide is worthy of the honor of being my ONE HUNDREDTH BOOK OF THE YEAR!

Monday, August 28, 2006

another birthday

Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
As you can probably tell, August is a big month for celebrations in my family. Today is my brother Phil's birthday! I hope it's a great one!

This will probably be the last baby photo for a while--although I have enjoyed mining a couple of albums gifted to me by the grandparents, there aren't any more birthdays coming up for several months. :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

2006 book 98

John Barlow's Intoxicated: A Novel of Money, Madness, and the Invention of the World's Favorite Soft Drink
This was a somewhat silly but very entertaining novel about, well, the above subtitle. It all begins when a wealthy wool mill owner encounters a midget on a train; the two hatch a plan to create and market an amazing non-alcoholic beverage. The wealthy man's family (especially his wife) also come to play a huge role in the enterprise, as one son comes into his own and one keeps being an alcoholic jerk. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this one--it was a nice summer sort of read.


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
there have been some complaints that i have not done enough to feature james bond on this blog (despite the flood of pictures on flickr), so here is an action shot of mr. bond attacking a kitten's natural enemy, a blue shoe.

i've been watching the comeback on dvd this weekend (between weekend work functions and erranding), which alternates between being very funny and being painfully awkward. so, good times.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
Happy birthday, Daddy!

I actually think this picture is celebrating my 4th birthday, but it's cute and festive and all, so close enough!

I hope you have a great day and many more!

Friday, August 25, 2006

library book of the week

It's been a while since I've done this, but the book sitting on my desk right now is worth it! It's called Art Out of Time and it is amazing. I want a copy of my own!

i give up

I've given up on the book I've been reading all week--over a hundred pages into it, I still didn't care about the characters and just wished I was done, already. Then I remembered something Pinky said to me earlier this week: No law says you have to finish a library book.

So, Peter Orner's The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, I'm through with you! You were disappointing all around--I vaguely remember liking Orner's Esther Stories but he was way out of his element writing about Namibia (even if he has lived there) and his 1-3 page chapter, multiple narrator, annoying American-in-Namibia thing was no fun at all.

This is the first book I've given up on in a while (usually I slog through them looking for a redeeming quality, or to boost my numbers at least) but I see no reason to make myself crazy for 200 more pages.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Re-ment finally is available in stores, but they're all on the west coast and none seem to have websites. *cries* I demand access to adorable tiny plastic food!!! (One of the stores is named "Mishegoss"--hee!)

Unrelated: Triangle people--John Hodgman is coming back to town in October, so some of you go see him for me, ok?

Also, I get to see Little Miss Sunshine this weekend, yay!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


My Netflix queue is growing smaller by the day--I am soliciting some recommendations (please).

I only like to watch TV shows (don't ask), so maybe that will help narrow things down.

Currently in queue:
The Comeback
Firefly (can you believe I still haven't seen this?)
Deadwood season 1

TV shows I've Netflixed (or own on DVD) and love:
Six Feet Under
Grey's Anatomy
Freaks and Geeks
Greg the Bunny
Brideshead Revisited
Joan of Arcadia season 1 (I saw bits of season 2 when it aired, but it wasn't as good)
Arrested Development
Veronica Mars

TV shows I thought were ok:
Dead Like Me
Sports Night

TV shows I didn't get into:
Footballers' Wives

Help! What else is out there to watch?? Some of my favorite shows don't start till like October and I need something to watch while I knit and do crosswords and cuddle my poor sneezy kitty.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

2006 book 97

Amy Ephron's One Sunday Morning
It's funny that all the descriptions of this book (which all read something like, "When a group of society women in the 1920s catch sight of a young woman of their acquaintance leaving a hotel with someone else's fiance, they vow to keep it a secret. They don't know the whole story, yet the secret is spilled, with disastrous consquences for all!") make it seem so dramatic, when it isn't at all dramatic, and actually none of the consequences are disastrous or even troubling in any way. The ending felt partially tacked on and partially unresolved. This was a little slip of a book and was mildly entertaining, but honestly, there was no suspense at all and the ending really was pretty lame.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

2006 book 96

Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss
This had been on my to-read list for a while, and when it was put on the Booker longlist I was especially pleased at the timing, since it was in my stack of library books! It takes place during political uprisings in the Himalayas, focusing primarily on a young girl whose first love affair is interrupted by fighting, and on her cook's son, who is trying to make his way in America. Most of the characters are outsiders in some way or another, and there's a lot of rumination on that sort of theme. The first half was kind of slow, but things picked up toward the end (the more I think about it, the less I like the ending); still, I'm not sure this book is going to make it onto the shortlist. I mean, I wouldn't shortlist it. It's a good story and all, but I didn't think it was anything amazing. Of course, I've disagreed with the Booker judges on more than one occasion--I sometimes think they must have a majority of old white men who like to reflect on their lives, because those are the sorts of books that tend to be rewarded. David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas was totally robbed! (Not that I think Black Swan Green should win it this time.)

So far I am not totally impressed by either of the Booker nominees I've read--they were good novels, but nothing that blew me away.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

new feature: KITTENBLOG!!

Multimedia message
Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
and now i shall introduce mr. james bond!!

james bond is a 4 month old, just-under-three-pounds dapper tuxedo cat. this is the best picture i've managed to get of him--thank you cameraphone! there are a couple others posted too.

he's been busy running around and meowing most of the evening--though he did take time out to nuzzle my face (he likes to nuzzle, apparently) and to nap on my lap. he also seems to enjoy watching tv. now he is knowing over all my cd-rs!

so now i'm one step closer to being that stereotypical librarian--yes, i am a single woman with a cat!

happy anniversary!!!

Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
Happy anniversay, Mom and Dad!!

I believe this picture is from 1978, from Daddy's dental school graduation, when you'd been married almost three years and none of us kids were even proverbial gleams in your eye!

Anyway, I hope you have a great day, and here is to another 31 years of marriage. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


This is not the exciting new feature, but something else entirely. Since the book I've just started is on the Booker longlist, and since a couple other books on there are ones I've been meaning to read, I have decided to read the whole list! (I've already read one, so I'm well on my way.) I guess I should vow to read them all within some period of time, but I'm pretty sure at least one hasn't been published in the US yet. Feel free to suggest lengths of time (a month? 6 weeks?) that you feel are appropriate, and ones that aren't published yet won't count.

Depending on what the library has on hand, I may be reading other books in between the ones on the list. [I'm trying to stop buying as many books, so that I can buy food instead; luckily, the local public library system is really amazing.]

Attention publishers: I am accepting free copies of any and all of these! I swear that lots of people read my blog and I am very influential!

exciting new feature/pennsylvania

Stay tuned, b/c we're scheduled to debut an exciting new feature to this blog tomorrow night!

In book news, more Americans know who Harry Potter is than who Tony Blair is. I find these statistics hard to believe--there's no way only 57 percent of Americans know who Harry Potter is! :)

And hey, if you're in Pittsburgh, you should head to the open casting call for Mysteries of Pittsburgh on Friday. I would if I was in town! Throw on your 80s clothes and make me jealous.

Know what else I would do if I was in town? VOTE AGAINST RICK SANTORUM. C'mon, do yinz really want that national joke representing you for another six years? His name is literally synonymous with yucky ooze! Get registered and go vote!! i am disturbed by reports that he's gaining in the polls--don't break my heart, Pennsylvania.

Monday, August 14, 2006

sad day in books

first gunter grass admits to being in the SS (and lech walesa goes on the offensive; meanwhile, internet cynics surmise that grass is drumming up publicity for his new memoir--it does seem like odd timing for a crisis of conscience after 60+ years), then the news comes out that israel author (one of my faves) and peace activist david grossman's son was killed in lebanon. i know that i normally don't write about my more serious concerns, but since these news stories involve authors i love, i figured i'd at least take note of them. obviously my sympathies are going out to grossman and his family; his novels and his moral stance have always been an inspiration to me.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

2006 book 95

claire messud's the last life
this is kind of a heady novel, centering on a 14 year old french girl with an american mother, a family with ties to algeria, and a disabled younder brother. her more-or-less normal adolescence is interrupted by her grandfather firing a gun, and in the aftermath her family life begins to spiral out of control.

in other news, i've seen a couple omvies recently, monster house (cute) and talladega nights (awesome silly fun, and i especially loved sacha baron cohen, though i wished for more amy adams).

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
this morning i went over to the farmer's market to buy obscenely cheap fruits and to ogle the kittens (should i get a kitten?). anyway, i went to slice up my apples and peaches and plums for a fruit salad, only they were all quite ripe and i saw they wouldn't last too long. so i made a summer fruit cobbler! (i also threw in some berries i had in the fridge.)

man, it's tasty! it would go perfectly with some vanilla ice cream--but it's pretty awesome on its own, too.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

attention triangle denizens!

i will be in town the weekend of september 22nd! you can find me at local 506 on friday night, some show or another on saturday night, and in rosh hashanah services saturday afternoon. :)

in other news, i had a pretty sweet day today. this town has a really great public library, and there's even some good shows coming through in october. (neither of those things has much bearing on the "sweet day" thing, but i figured i'd mention them.)

and to top it all off, it's wednesday! my long weekend confused me a little and i almost didn't even realize it was project runway night. by the way, you all should netflix the pilot of studio 60 on the sunset strip. it's REALLY GOOD (though despite the explanation given, i just don't buy amanda peet as a high-powered studio exec. wasn't she still playing high-schoolers like a year ago?). but yeah, REALLY GOOD. it's been added to my must-see-tv list for fall.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

2006 book 94

bobbie ann mason's nancy culpepper
brief comments: series of stories revolving around the titular character (and, in a lengthy section, her parents), taking place from the early 80s to 2005. doesn't quite read as a novel, but does flow really well. i liked it a lot and may seek out more of mason's work.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
so man, that was an awesome long weekend, and i am very sorry that it has already ended!

i mean, how could it not be a great weekend when people were wearing dresses like these? :)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

white f-in' whale!!!!

Originally uploaded by wordnerdy.
my long weekend of rock is still ongoing (i'm in atlanta now, prepping for a cookout with the clientele and then their show at the earl) but i figured i'd upload some pictures while using c&c's awesome wireless! descriptions et al will be added eventually, but in the meantime there are over 100 pictures to scroll through!

it's been a great weekend so far--lots of music, dancing, friends, and even a massive thunderstorm causing a power outage while we were at dinner. such excitement!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

the devil went down to georgia

actually, i'm going up to georgia for a long weekend of rock! pictures will be forthcoming--and if i remember to bring my laptop with me, they may even come in a timely manner.

thank you to christina for kicking off my weekend of rock by calling me during audubon park tonight and holding up her cellphone so i could hear part of my favorite song! [i was watching the world series of pop culture finale and was all, "huh? wha?" and then it suddenly hit me that i recognized that guitar riff!] i actually almost got a little weepy b/c it was so sweet and b/c i totally love audubon park and am sorry i couldn't see them open for white whale.

but i'm seeing white whale tomorrow! and elf power saturday! and the clientele on sunday! and there's proms and kickballs and swimming pools in there too--all in all, an excellent way to use my first over grownup job vacation days.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

happy news!

via sarah dyer: rement is launching in the US! presumably this means adorable tiny food will be easier to procure (and perhaps cheaper). hooray! i obviously need tiny cupcakes to make my life complete.