Archive for March, 2011

A Post of Sorts

So I feel like I need to get in on this posting thing – everyone else is doing it. But I’ve been having a really hard time coming up with things to write about BEFORE April starts. I have an actual LIST of subjects I’m going to write about for BEDA and I’m super duper excited! Hopefully having a list this year means I’ll actually complete BEDA unlike years before where I just kind of pretended April ended midway through the month.

So instead of giving you an ACTUAL post, I’m just going to talk about random things and what I have planned for the upcoming month! This totally counts towards posting 🙂

I’m not sure how I want to start off – should I do a super awesome post for the first day of BEDA, or would a regular one be better and save the awesome sauce for later? Toughie. Right now I have in the Day 1 spot a post about what kind of geek I am. I will also attempt to differentiate between nerds, geeks and spazzes (wasn’t that an SNL skit? Or am I thinking of All That? I don’t know – the 90s were a confusing time for us all). Then throughout the month of April you will be hit with book reviews (or more like me talking about how awesome a book/author is), websites I frequent, messed up children’s shows I used to watch, a video of my dance recital next week, shows I watch now (you be the judge of whether they’re messed up or not), a certain pop star who I think is adorable, a much needed Doctor Who post (or maybe even multiple posts?), and even the story behind THE PANCAKE MOVIE and how confused I was about puberty before I hit it. There will be some other posts that I didn’t detail up above, but I won’t ruin the surprise by telling you about them now. So far I’ve got 24 slots filled (I had 30 originally but realized that I could condense some posts into 1). I’m thinking I’d like to challenge my fellow nerd girls to write about things during April, but I’m clueless as of right now.

So that’s for the planned part of this post. Now onto the “random” things. So today I was eating an orange. It was weird because it had a baby orange in the middle of it. Also, I lost track of where I was in eating the orange and so I got confused when I had finished it because I thought I still had half of it go. On Wednesdays I go to Zumba class. It’s pretty awesome. It’s the perfect class for me because I’m the kind of exerciser that likes to bounce around a lot and my specific class is very bouncy. Lots of hip hop as opposed to the more Latin feel I thought it would have, but I think I like that even better than if it were mostly Latin-y. I highly suggest you look into Zumba if you like dance-y exercise. A good teacher will make it fun and easy, like mine does.

Oh, today was a really nice day. Not nice as in warm and sunny – it was actually kind of misty/cloudy/cold/miserable out. But it was nice because I kept having moments where I would think to myself “I like me.” It sounds really cheesy because it is, but it still feels nice to smile and like yourself.

Although! I do feel bad because I had vowed to stop shopping at Borders and Barnes and Noble and try to support my local independent stores, and then I went and bought the latest Thursday Next book at B&N out in Nevada because I just HAD to have it right away.  😦  And then I still haven’t read it because I realized that Jasper Fforde is the kind of author that you need to remember who’s who and what’s what before getting into his next book. I read the first page of the the latest one and I was like….WHAT IS GOING ON?! So I had to start over at the beginning. I’m almost done with the 3rd one (The Well of Lost Plots), and so I would have had AMPLE time to go to the bookstore down the street and have them order it for me. Shame on me. Next time though.  Next time.

Speaking of books! City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is out next week!  WHAT!  YES!  THE TORTURE! Have you guys read The Mortal Instruments series or Clockwork Angel? They are FANTASTIC books! I’m excited for CoFA even though I know I’m going to finish it and scream in agony over the cliffhanger and the knowledge that I’ll have to wait another year for the next book. But on the bright side, the second book in the Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Prince, comes out in September (I think), so I have that to soften the blow.

If you haven’t read them, don’t worry, I have a post planned where I talk about them. I will try to be as non-spoilery as possible, which will be SUPER hard because that means I’ll really only be able to talk about City of Bones (TMI#1) and Clockwork Angel (ID#1). I live such a hard life.

And that’s all I’m going to write for now. I’m going to go and scavenge for a chemical now. Yeah, I’m totally at work. Not working though. Just sitting around, waiting to be picked up. I’m going to try and convince my husband-o to take me out for hot dogs. Yes, hot dogs. It’s called The Dog and they have AMAZING french fries. If you come visit me (and are not named Jen) we’ll be visiting The Dog. (Unless, Jen, you like veggie dogs? I’m guessing not, but maybe?)

Hufflepuff out.


They were happy because they didn't know what would happen to them.

Nerdgirls love MC Chris and Neville Longbottom

Sooooo I am really really disappointed in myself. This song has been out for awhile and I JUST HEARD IT–you may remember MC Chris from his NERDGIRL anthem? as seen here in this Nerdgirltalking post titled Our new Anthem and our new Musical God. Anyway, so Steve and I were driving to Kohls the other day:

Steve: Oh! I have to show you a song that you will get stupid about.
Amber: Yay!
Steve: It’s an MC Chris song that Nick (Steve’s friend) had me listen to.
Amber: yeah, I’m already feeling stupid about it.
Steve: It’s all Harry Potter…
Amber: SQUEEEEEEEEL play it play it!
Steve: Is there some character that is good with plants or something?

Here it is:

so Neville as a “drug” dealer? Hmmm, I see Seamus as being more of the class’ supplier of recreational medicines. or, well, the Weasley Twins since that is kinda what they already did! Either way, I get super duper excited at any mention of Harry Potter in surprising places (I SWEAR there is a Mac Miller song that mentions Hermione, but I couldn’t find it in any online lyrics… speaking of Mac Miller, I am addicted to Knock Knock right now.)

Happy Tangled Day!!!

Today is the day I have been waiting for with bated breath for a very long time.  Today’s the day Tangled comes out on DVD!!!  My copy is winging its way towards me and will hopefully arrive sooner rather than later (that’s one of the downfalls of living in small town Iowa…’s always LATER).

Since I have already posted about Tangled way too many times, I am going to celebrate today by posting a video that showcases all of Disney’s 50 animated features.

No matter who you are, there has got to be at least one movie in there that touches your heart.  Watching it makes me damn glad that I grew up when I did.  I was just turning 8 when The Little Mermaid came out, so I was the perfect age to appreciate the wondrous string of films that included Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.

So go out and buy Tangled today because it is right up there with the Disney classics as one of my all-time favorites!


P.S.  I think my favorite clip in that whole thing has to be Winnie the Pooh sitting there dancing in front of his honey.  So adorable!

Documentary Monday~~Trekkies



Awards–Won the Sierra Award for Best Documentary at the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards in 2000

Summary–Delves into the world of Star Trek fandom through interviews with actors from the series and the fans themselves.

My Thoughts–I honestly don’t know much about Star Trek, only having seen a few episodes of various incarnations of the show and two of the movies (one of them being the new one, so that probably shouldn’t even count….the other was the one with the whales, which I used to watch with my dad all the time), but I know many people who are huge fans, including my dad and several close friends.  So as someone who is not an “insider” I did not know if I would like it or not, but I LOVED it!!!!

I might not be a Star Trek fan, but I am a Harry Potter fanatic and there are a lot of things I could relate to in Trekkies.  The filmmakers interview and follow several very hardcore Star Trek fans in their daily lives and at special events like conventions.  I could totally understand where many of them were coming from, even though I don’t normally walk around in Potter gear all day long.  Several people were a little too extreme even for me, but they were all really interesting to listen to.

There are also interviews with actors and other people behind the scenes from the various shows (original series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, etc.)  who talk about some of their experiences with fans.  I really enjoyed these a lot because they all seemed so astounded and humbled by how deeply people have been affected by Star Trek.  My favorite was a touching story that James Doohan told about how he helped a young woman who was contemplating suicide (but anything he said was my favorite because I LOVE Scotty).

Now, saying all of that, there are some people who will watch this movie and laugh hysterically.  I admit to laughing several times at some pretty outlandish behavior.  There was one teenage boy who was so particular and nitpicky about a Starfleet uniform that had been custom made for him that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes (then I think back to how nitpicky I was about the Harry Potter display at my library and realize that I had no place to judge).

My absolute favorite part of the film was when one guy (who might have been from Riverside, Iowa, but I can’t remember for sure) was talking about the yearly birthday parties they have for Captain Kirk.  He basically said, “It started out with a few people, then some young people started coming, and this year we had a girl come, you know!”  I laughed so hard I almost cried.  That statement is true of the Harry Potter fandom as well, except it is reversed.  Go to a Harry Potter conference and you will be surrounded by hundreds of giddy girls and a couple dozen very lucky males.

Final Verdict–Very interesting (though slightly dated–my God the hairstyles!!!) look into the world of passionate fans.  Great for anyone who enjoys Star Trek or knows what it’s like to truly love something bigger than yourself.


It’s Phineas and Ferb Friday!

Whilst preparing for BEDA, I’ve been coming up with weekly topics that I can post about.  My first idea was Documentary Monday, which I think is going to be really fun.  My next idea is to to Phineas and Ferb Fridays!

As most of you know, I am a huge groupie of Phineas and Ferb.  I love the show and try to catch it whenever it’s on.*  So I thought I would take some time each week to celebrate this little show that I love.  I will do different things in these posts, like post videos of my favorite episodes, songs, and in-depth character studies.  I will also post tidbits about the actors who do the voices on the show, just to give the people who might not like the show something to read every once in a while.

I thought I would start off this first Friday post with one of my very favorite musical montages.  One thing that you have to know about Phineas and Ferb is that songs and music are a HUGE part of the show.  Each 11 minute episode usually has at least one original song in it, sometimes more.

The following song is from the episode “Nerds of a Feather” which takes place at a sci-fi/fantasy convention (it is also the episode that totally got my dad hooked on the show).  Candace goes to the convention dressed as her favorite character Ducky Momo, only to find out that Ducky Momo is a big joke to all the hardcore sci-fi/fantasy geeks.

I love this song because it has a really beautiful melody that I couldn’t get out of my head all day.  I’m pretty sure people thought I was crazy at work as I was muttering “Ducky Momo is my friend” under my breath while the kids did their storytime craft.  Also, the video has Toddler Candace in it!!!  I always get super excited when young versions of the characters show up because they are so freakin’ adorable!!!

Look at how cute she is!!!!

We all have a Ducky Momo that we hide from everyone else.  Mine would be my baby beluga whale stuffed animal that I’ve slept with every night for years.  Yes, I am a 29 year-old woman who sleeps with a stuffed animal……and proud of it!

So if you are not a fan of Phineas and Ferb (or if you are like my sister and absolutely loathe the show) feel free to ignore these posts.  If you love the show like me, then there will be more coming in the future!


*Btw Disney Channel, you are on my list!  I am not impressed with how you seem to randomly schedule this show to air whenever the hell you feel like it.  One week it is on every night at 10:00, then the next week it’s every night at 9:00, and then the next week it is only on at 2:00 in the morning!  Not cool, Disney Channel, not cool.  You better get your act together for people like me who don’t have DVRs.

Documentary Monday Update!

I am thrilled to pieces that all of you are so excited about my documentary post!  And by all I mean my fellow nerdgirls and our two loyal readers (shout out to Abby and Diana!).  I am definitely going to watch all of the films that you recommended, but I will also try to pick out some different ones that might be new to you.  Hopefully I will be able to introduce you to some you haven’t heard of before (although that might be difficult, since you all seem to be very well versed in the world of documentaries).

I went to the big city library yesterday and checked out 15 documentaries!  I probably won’t be able to watch them all in the 3 week time limit, but I started browsing the shelves and I couldn’t control myself.  I am going to try to get a large number of blog posts done in advance, especially for the Mondays this summer, since I can barely function during the 6 weeks that summer reading is going on at my library.

I have decided to play pretty fast and loose with the definition of “documentary.”  Anything that I find on the DVD NonFiction shelves will fall into that category.  So there will be “real” documentaries as well as television special from PBS and the History Channel and stuff like that.  I’m hoping that if I can find it on DVD, then anybody else should be able to get it from a library or from Netflix.

I am really excited about watching my huge pile of DVDs!  I am also pumped for BEDA, because I already have lots of great ideas in the works.


Documentary Monday~~Maya Lin: a Strong Clear Vision

For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to think of various continuing blog posts I can do to practice for BEDA.  Since I enjoy movies a lot, many of the ideas have been film related.  Ever since my library started buying adult DVDs (not THOSE kind of adult DVDs…..get your mind out of the gutter!) I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries, so I am going to try to post about a new one every Monday.  For the first 28 years of my life, I don’t know if I ever even watched a documentary, but I’ve discovered that I LOVE them!  So hopefully these posts will help other documentary newbies find some titles they might like.

TitleMaya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision


Awards–Won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1995

Summary–This film is about Maya Lin, the artist who designed the Vietnam Memorial.  It goes into detail about the controversy surrounding the Vietnam Memorial and also features some of the important pieces she has designed since then.

My Thoughts–I really loved all the stuff about the Vietnam Memorial.  I knew almost nothing about it before I saw this film.  I have never been there, but I have always pictured it as a solemn place where family members and friends can remember their loved ones.  Apparently it was super controversial when it was first being built.

Back in 1979, a group of Vietnam vets formed a committee to create a memorial and they had a contest for people and companies to enter a design.  There were over 1,400 designs entered, many of them done by prestigious architectural firms.  Well, the winning design came from a 21 year-old student!!!  I think that is so awesome!!!  Maya Lin and the committee had an uphill battle to fight because some people (mainly a small but outspoken group of veterans) were opposed to the design.  There were even some people who were upset that Maya Lin was the designer because of her Asian heritage.

All of this was so fascinating to me!  My favorite parts were the interviews with members of the committee and Maya herself.  Even though the documentary was filmed almost 15 years after everything took place, it was still an emotional topic for several of the interviewees.  I totally admired Maya and kind of want her to teach me all about art.  She was so well spoken and mature, even in the news footage from when she was 21.  Even while her work was being viciously attacked by people twice her age, she was unwavering in her commitment to the design.  As a person in that situation, I would have burst into tears and hid under my bed (that’s what I would do NOW…..who knows what I would have done at 21).

The rest of the documentary focuses on some of the other important projects she has worked on including the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama and a piece celebrating women at Yale University.  I did like this part of the film, especially seeing how her designs all had a similar feel, but were completely unique to each situation, but I thought that the filmmakers could have spent more time talking about the Vietnam Memorial.  I honestly thought the whole thing could have been just about that.  That section seemed to end really abruptly and then move on to her other works.

Final Verdict–Overall I liked it a lot.  I don’t know a lot about art, but I found her pieces and her explanations for them fascinating.  Good for history buffs or art lovers.


P.S.  I picked Mondays because it makes me think of NonFiction Monday, which is something a lot of Kidlit bloggers take part in.  Since documentaries are nonfiction…well, you know.


The only way I will exercise…

So somehow I seem to have forgotten about Mousercise for the last 20 years until the library started a wellness program where we have to stretch every morning. And since my supervisor is awesome, she interlibrary loaned the Mousercise soundtrack for us to listen to while side-bending and lunging. I totally had a mousercise VHS tape when I was little and felt totally AWESOME when I did my own work-outs. (I also did the Jane Fonda tapes with my mom which made me giggle uncontrollably) I actually don’t remember too much of it, but several of the librarians actually remembered whole routines–I am in such awe of my coworkers.


Harry Potter Theme Park!

Hey guys!  I just got back from a FABULOUS week in Florida!  In case you were wondering, the weather there is absolutely PERFECT, and it was really hard to come back to highs in the 40s/50s (if we’re lucky!).  *sigh*

Anyway, while my sisters and I were visiting my aunt, uncle, and cousin, one of the things we made sure to do was visit Universal Studios in Orlando.  Of course, we went to the park that has the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  🙂

I honestly didn’t know too much about the theme park before going…the rides, what you could do, etc.  I was so busy before I left that I didn’t really investigate what I would be doing.  So everything was a new experience.  When we got into the Islands of Adventure, we immediately headed through the Dr. Seuss area to get to Harry Potter.

Seuss Landing

Unfortunately, the Harry Potter area was so crowded when we got back there, they weren’t letting anyone in.  So we took a ticket and had to wait a few hours.  We ate lunch and walked through Jurassic Park and headed back.


The castle looks just as you’d imagine.  I guess I’d been expecting to be able to explore the castle and see rooms and stuff, but actually, inside the castle is a ride:  HP and the Forbidden Journey.  It was pretty awesome.  You basically go on a journey via a moving car and a screen with projections.  To be honest it was jaw-dropping and I have NO IDEA how the ride works and was so mesmerized, I can’t even remember what actually happened.  I do remember that it takes you flying during a quidditch game…and really felt like flying!  It also really shows how dark Harry Potter is – with dementors and giant spiders (I squeezed my eyes shut during this park) and everything else popping up suddenly in your face.  I highly recommend this one.  (Tip if you’re going:  Pick the single rider line.  You can’t talk to the person next to you anyway and the line is SO MUCH shorter!)

The other two rides – Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge – are pretty good too.  The Hippogriff one is much tamer, so if you’re not a fan of loops and corkscrews, opt for that one.

Hogsmeade was a lot like I’d envisioned.  There are a lot of shops that I guess you can go into, but we didn’t because the lines were SOOO long.

Owl Post in Hogsmeade

They sell Butterbeer out in the street(?), and the lines for that are also long…but totally worth it!  Amber, I told everyone about how I had had Butterbeer before and they all thought it was awesome.  This time I had frozen Butterbeer, and it was DELICIOUS too.  Not to mention incredibly refreshing.  (That Florida sun is hot even in March!)


So if you guys are wanting to go, I highly recommend it, and would definitely go back.  🙂  (Especially if we make it a 2-day, 2-park adventure.  I really want to go to Universal Studios Florida too, but we didn’t have time.)

– Jill

What Amber has been up to

Not much. But BEDA is coming up and I figured I needed to get back into practice since I haven’t blogged here in oooooh several monthy months.
Oh gosh, only two sentences in and I have already run out of things to say! Hmmm, this sound like a job for BRIEF RANDOM BULLET POINTS!

● I have been really into tucking in my shirts lately–into my trousers, my jeans and even my pajama pants. I imagine it makes me look more glamourous and deliberate like this:

● I am suddenly checking out LOTS of magazines from the library. So I always checked out the US Weeklys, Vogues, Martha Stewart Weddings, Mental Floss, House Beautiful, Kiki, etc…but now I am also unable to pass up a Wired, Technology Review, Newsweek, or Bloomberg Businessweek. Weird. I think I finally realized that this is how I must stay informed since I am no longer in high school when I used to actually watch news programs, no longer in college with lots of free access to newspapers during mealtime, and no longer in grad school where I was constantly exploring online. Bloomberg Businessweek and Wired always have lots of fun graphs! No plans on reading the Paris Review or the New Yorker anytime soon. Once I grabbed the New York Book Review…never again. It was all frowny and wordy; I don’t think they have heard of graphs or bullet points. I wish this whole bullet point as a graph…If I were you I would have skipped from Shirt-tucked-pants to Disney Video, this was by far the least brief of the brief random bullet points.

● I watched this about ten minutes ago:

Magic magic magic magic magic magic magic main street electrical parade magic

later alligators!