Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Shoes!

Does anyone remember that line in The Toy where Fancy said, "New Boobs!" That's how I want you to read the title "New Shoes!" I bought them off of eBay. They are Descendents Vans. The Descendents have been one of my favorite bands since high school. Vans made special edition Descendents shoes, but I didn't buy them when they were in the Vans store because they weren't the slip-on type, and I was being lazy. But lately, I have really been wanting them. Sadly, since they are limited edition, they were nowhere to be found in regular shoe-purchasing arenas. But lo (low?) and behold-- they had a brand new pair on eBay in my size! And they weren't that expensive! And they came so fast! Tobin is sitting next to one of them right now. Here's a picture:
You know that feeling when you get a new pair of shoes that you just love to death? That's how I feel right now. I must remember this feeling. So rare.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I was on Roadshow!!!!!

OMG (as the teens say)-- I was on Roadshow tonight!!! At around the halfway point! You totally have to watch! Aaaaahhhhh! My voice is hideous, btw. But I didn't look like a dork! Hooray!!! Milwaukee Episode 1!!! Go PBS!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Antiques Roadshow is Finally Here!

For those who don't know, I was filmed in Milwaukee the summer of 2006 to be on Antiques Roadshow. I don't know why they waited so long to show the Milwaukee Roadshows, but they are finally starting tomorrow night on PBS. I don't know which night I'll be on (Milwaukee is airing for the next three Mondays) or if I'll definitely be on (not everyone who is filmed gets aired, but I was told that my youth is on my side), but I'm excited to watch! Read about the whole adventure in this very early Blog of Wonder post. I am so nervous about a) looking like an idiot and b) looking like the final dollar amount isn't enough. I hate those people. Just remember that I hadn't eaten all day, and usually I am an all day eater. I was just too nervous!

In other news, my husband, Matthew Cordell, has started a new illustrator blog. Check it out at

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Today was a very cultural day. First my mom, Matt, and I went to see Gary Paulsen receive an award at the Chicago Public Library. He was so fantastic. I could listen to him tell stories for hours. Then we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art to see an exhibit called "Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967." It was interesting, although, as I believe I've said before, I am no art critic. I like either what appeals to me visually or something that tells a good story. I'm not so much into the abstract stuff or the concept stuff or the annoyingly pretentious stuff. The best part of the exhibit (excuse me, ) was this room with several screen and an individual avant garde musician on each screen playing a different instrument (it was film, so you could see and hear them). One of the screens had this middle aged guy enthusiastically swinging some bells. My mom could not contain her laughter and was practically crying when a large group came into the room. We must have looked very classy. The other exciting part of the day happened when we were about to leave the parking lot and my mom discovered that she lost her phone. We had already paid for parking, so we had to run to and through the museum before our parking lot grace period ran out (do you guys know what I mean?). My keen eyes spotted the phone underneath the table that we ate lunch at in the museum restaurant. Art and excitement.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Scare Me

Today and yesterday (that sounds awkward for some reason) I worked with a couple eighth grade English classes on a seminar about horror stories. It was pretty fun, since I love the scary. I ended today’s class with the teens saying the name of the movie that scares them the most and why. It was a response that went along with some stories we read, a discussion we had on the elements that make a scary story scary, and another discussion about why we like to be scared. My top two movies that scare me the most: 28 Days Later and The Blair Witch Project. Actually, I don’t know if Blair Witch would scare me now as much as it did when I first saw it. I saw it the night it opened, and back then people didn’t know that the people in the movie were actors; it really seemed like they were seeking out a witch legend and found one. I happen to have a fear of camping, so that part of the movie was particularly freaky to me. But it was also the unknown, the lack of control, and being lost. Scary! And while I was watching the movie in the theater, I had to leave to throw up! It turned out I was just sick to my stomach because I had mono (man, did that suck), but still. And then there was this huge fight between this big, fat guy and a woman with a baby in the lobby after the movie. He was yelling at her because she brought her baby to a movie (not Blair Witch) and it was crying the whole time. Ah, the classiness of seeing a movie in the city. How I do NOT miss it.
I believe I have already gone on and on about zombies and 28 Days Later, so no need to say it again. But if you have questions, please ask.

Question O the Day: What movie scares YOU the most and why?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Confusion and Candy

First off, I reread the blog post with five comments (wooo!), and forgot to comment on Amy's comment. I think I was thrown because I kept wondering if it was my sister, Amy, but I don't think it was. I love how people are testing the My Heritage Celebrity Collage. I still feel a little bad. Bad enough that at work today the guy came to do picture retakes, and I had him retake mine. It made me realize I like my hair shorter.

About the candy: Matt and I bought a ton of candy, and today I had one mini Twix. I'm trying to be good, but the candy cabinet it calling...

In other exciting news, I cahnged my cell phone ring from Beverly Hills 90210 to the original Degrassi theme song. It is in my soul, that theme song. Best. Show. Ever.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

One More!

I can't stop! Here's a funny one of me dressed like Napoleon Dynamite:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Call Me Cuba

Well, I must say I am disappointed in you, blog readers. Why is Kaleb the only one who a) answered my questions o the day (which I am not even posting anymore because no one expect Kaleb answered them) and b) commented on my HILARIOUS celebrity look-alike? Did you not find it fall on the floor with laughter hysterical, as I did? Maybe it was funnier because it was me...

I can't believe Halloween is next week! In my hood, the kids have to trick or treat during the day on Sunday, which sucks for them. I haven't even bought any candy yet (except for the Jelly Bellys in tiny packages that I bought at the Jelly Belly Factory outlet for two bucks). Where have I been? Tomorrow Matt and I are going to the grocery store after work to pick up the goods. I love it. I always try to have the maximum amount of crowd-pleasing treats. So- I guess I will have a question o the day for you after all. A two-parter: What is your favorite Halloween candy to give out? What is your favorite Halloween candy to get? My answers: give = Sponge Bob Crabby Patties, get = little bags of peanut m&ms.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Now I'm Depressed

At first I was absolutely laughing my ass off about the funny look-alikes, but I keep doing it with different pictures, and every time my number one match is a guy! Do I look manly? I mean, there were Rachel McAdams and Ali Landry included in my matches, but the number ones were always guys. Is it pathetic that I'm letting this upset me?

Even funnier!

Is this some kind of a joke?


He was my number one match!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gym Loons

I was at the gym today, in the locker room, getting dressed for step class, when this woman starts chatting me up. She was very nice, but it went on and on, even while she was changing. She was somewhat discrete, though, unlike other people. Once, this woman was totally naked and standing in front of the mirror, blow-drying her hair. No thank you! And what about those people who spread out a towel on the bench and sit their naked asses down? I think that's crossing the line of acceptable gym behavior.

The other funny thing that happened at the gym was that a few minutes into the class, my least favorite step teacher came in and set up a step right behind me (to take the class. There was a great teacher actually teaching). Most people hate her because she's mean and gets mad at you every time you screw up. So sometimes I screw up on purpose when I'm in her class just to piss her off. But there she was, behind me, being a psycho and doing all her own crazy moves, completely messing me up. It was pretty freakin' annoying. The funny part was when the person teaching the class today told us to get a drink and then started demonstrating a new step. The psycho teacher was bouncing like a madwoman the whole break time, and she even was yelling, "Get your heart rate up!!!" Like SCREAMING it. In somebody else's class! Freak of the week. Did this story make sense? Let me know if I didn't explain it well.

Time to watch The Office.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nose Job for Alex

I don't know how many of my blog readers watch Degrassi: The Next Generation, but I'm still going to talk about it. I watched last week's episode online last night, the one where Paige and Alex break up (Ha! For about the fiftieth time), and there's some lame plot line about Degrassi and Lakehurst integrating. I am so not into that. Maybe it's because I'm in my thirties, but I'm over the Lakehurst crap already. And when will Manny dye her hair back? Anyway, the biggest surprise of the episode was Alex's nose job (not actually part of the episode, but absolutely noticeable). Why did she get a nose job? Her nose had character, and not in a bad, unattractive way. She doesn't' even look like herself. It's almost as freakish as the Jennifer Grey nose job debacle. Sad what Canadian Hollywood forces people to do to themselves. (Is Toronto the Hollywood of Canada?)

I am having some serious high anxiety lately, and all of the candy I ate today can't help. I even changed my MySpace background to all candy. That's just where I am. Good thing Halloween is coming up.

Question O the Day (not like any of you are answering!): Do you watch Degrassi?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Night Done Right

I am quite happy with the state of Monday night TV these days. I don't watch any of the one hour shows (in fact, the only one hour shows I watch are on Bravo. Or sometimes Las Vegas), but I do watch Monday night sitcoms. I like Everybody Hates Chris, and then I turn to this new show that's actually pretty funny called The Big Bang Theory. Then I go back to the CW for Girlfriends and The Game. Girlfriends is, no joke, one of my favorite shows. Don't ask me why. I've been watching it for years. I love the ladies, and the guys are pretty funny, too. Two weeks from now, everyone has to watch PBS and Antiques Roadshow from Milwaukee. I'll be on one of the three episodes! More on that later.

So my question o the day: What do you watch on Monday nights?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Very First Question O' the Day

I have decided that I would like to post a question o' the day every time I blog. Maybe it will make my blog more interactive. My first question o' the day is: What music do you like to listen to when you clean? This can be cleaning your house, your room, the dishes, whatever. My favorite music to listen to while I clean is the fanastic CD, Booty Shakin' Hits, that I ordered off an infomercial. This baby's got it all:

This is How We Do It by Montell Jordan
The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground
Ba' Butt by E.U.
No Diggity by BLACKstreet featuring Dr. Dre
Push It by Salt-N-Pepa
Do Me! by Bell Biv DeVoe
and many more!

Sadly, this does not appear to be available anymore, although you can buy it used on Amazon for 50 cents. It's a shame, because this CD definitely keeps the cleaning party going', if ya know what I'm sayin'! (Sorry. Must be a all the cleaning products going to my brain.)

So, what do you like to listen to when you clean?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm gonna win!

I just did something I have never done before. I entered the New Yorker magazine's cartoon caption contest. It's this thing they do every week, where they have a comic without a caption, and readers have to think of a caption. Not that I'm a reader. The articles in The New Yorker are a tad long for my magazine taste, but Matt likes it for the illustrations. Anyway, there was a picture in this week's issue of two men sitting on lounge chairs in the middle of a circus ring. I'd love to tell you may caption, but Matt seems to think that if I tell, then someone else will steal my idea. I think that's hilarious, but whatever. The contest ends tomorrow night (and in a week I find out if I'm a finalist), so I'll tell you my caption on Monday. If you care. I think it's quite funny, in an absurd way, which may fit with the New Yorker randomness. Click on this link to see the picture. But don't enter. I want to keep my competition to a minimum.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Degrassi High Out on DVD!

FYI: Degrassi High: The Complete Series is now out on DVD!!! I got it in the mail today!!! No one call me this weekend. Unless your name happens to be Clutch.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Zombies Invade My Dreams!

Last night I had terrible dreams about zombies. As you all know (or not), I am absolutely afraid of zombies. Not much scary-type stuff scares me (meaning, more real-type stuff scares me, like needles), except for zombies. I was trying to figure out why I had the dreams (plural, because they went on all night, even when I rolled over!). I’m sure there’s some zombie subconscious thing about why I’m afraid of them in the first place, but I could have had the dreams for three reasons:
1) One of my students did a book talk in the library yesterday on The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
2) I have Walking Dead 2-4 next to my bed (although I didn’t read them)
3) I saw a commercial for 28 Weeks Later

I’m pretty sure the dreams were because of number 3. Those movies scare the crap out of me. Back to the dreams. They were SO SCARY. It was like I knew the zombies were coming, and I had to pack up the car perfectly full of supplies (a la Life As We Knew It, a book that also scared the crap out of me). I kept trying to pack winter clothes and boots and canned goods and anything we may need. Then my dad turned into a zombie and tried to come into the house. I couldn’t close the garage door… I feel panicky just thinking about it!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Book Stall and Degrassi

So—The Book Stall. It was amazing. It was like the craziest, best dinner party ever with the strangest mix of guests. I had lots of my family there and good friends and new students and old students. It was such a love fest. I felt really happy. I started with an explanation of my book, how it’s loosely based on my life, and then went on to do a reading (sans swears—I just couldn’t say them in front of my relatives, my students, AND my students’ parents). We had a really cool discussion afterward. Lots of questions about the writing process, the content, swearing vs. not swearing in books. It was a very multi-generational conversation. Wonderful! And then I signed books. Again, I wish I kept a tally. I think The Book Stall will tell me how many sold because I can’t help but be curious. Was that enough info about the event? Ask me questions if you’d like to know m more.

In Degrassi news, what did people think of the new episodes? I hate that they keep focusing on the two yuckiest turds at Degrassi- Darcy and Peter. Something seriously rotten needs to happen to Peter. With all of the crap he’s done to other people, it’s not fair that he’s still living the good life. I did feel sorry for Darcy. I can’t imagine how awful and disgusting I’d feel if that happened to me (I won’t say what happened, just in case you haven’t’ watched it yet). And don’t get me started on poor Manny’s hair. Such a pretty girl. With such bad hair.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I will post soon about my amazing reading experience at The Book Stall yesterday, but I first have to talk more about C-Diddy, the International Air Guitar Champion (read my blog post about Air Guitar Nation). I cannot get enough of this guy's air guitar genius. Check out this video from his MySpace page. I could watch it over and over again. And I have.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Nervy B

My tummy is churning. I am quite nervous about my reading/signing at The Book Stall today. I think it's because a) the unknown-- who will be there? Which students? Which relatives? How many people?, b) The weird combo of relatives vs. students, and c) my reading. I don't know why I'm worried about the reading, considering reading aloud is one of my absolute favorite things to do at work and I am (she says modestly) very good at it. But this is my book with my words, so any reaction- or non-reaction- they may have is what I'm worried about. Ah well. It'll all be over in 6 hours. Then I go on to the Kidlitosphere conference to schmooze with the kidlit bloggers. I will post about all of my adventures this weekend.

I found another great GWS blog review this morning at The Book Heaven. Keep the happy vibes coming!

I did not, btw, watch Degrassi last night, so please don't tell me what happened yet. I'm afraid that one of my students today will give something away. It couldn't possibly be as bad as the "JT is dead" debacle.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Blogger Plugin

I was thinking about a ton of hilarious blog posts I could write as I drove home today. Alas, just as it often prevents me from going to the gym, my one hour commute has also prevented me from remembering any of my creative blog posts once I leave the car. I think the ideas are often about the music on my iPod, so perhaps I will pull out my iPod one day and write some blog posts around it. I had an idea about a series of posts about songs I like to listen to in certain situations. For example, I love to listen to the song "Golden Brown" by the Australian band The Stranglers (the video link, btw, appears to be homemade. It looks funny, but it is the right song) when I drive through a carwash. Try it sometime. It's like being transported to a circusy, soapy world.

Two awesome movies are on basic cable tonight: Boomerang, starring Eddie Murphy (one of my FAVES-- "You got to coordinate!") and Desperately Seeking Susan. So I better go enjoy. With only three cable channels, I'll take what I can get. Although, tonight is the season premiere of Degrassi. I wonder if I can watch it on

Saturday at the Book Stall!

For any Chicago locals, please come and see me read and sign at The Book Stall in Winnetka tomorrow (Saturday, October 6) at 2:00.

A great review in K.L. Going's blog written by one of my students:

I'll write more later. Gotta get to work! (It's 6:30 am right now.)
I promise to reply to some of the blog reader comments. I am bad
about that-- sorry!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Get Well Soon Out Today!

The news for today is:

My novel, Get Well Soon, is finally out! Today! Look for it in stores! On Amazon! Time for me to go to bed!

Monday, October 01, 2007


I admit to searching Google about once a day to see if anything new on Get Well Soon pops up. I know I have to prepare myself for the negative someday(I have just the one lame review, as well as some boring butthead on a blog dissing the book. Otherwise, I'm happy to report that people have been extremely positive), but not yet. I found another fun review (more of a booktalk, really) at a public library site. I think it's great, and shall paste it below, along with the link. (I could just paste the link, but I'm afraid that someday the link will die and I'll lose the kind words).

"Depression and panic attacks send Anna to a mental hospital, where she records her twenty-two days there through a series of letters to her best friend. Ending up in the hospital turns out to be the start of a better time in Anna’s life in this deceptively charming coming-of-age tale. Through her relationships with the other patients, especially the enigmatic, attractive Justin, Anna becomes more sure of herself, and gains the confidence to establish her place in the world outside the hospital."

In other news, in my attempt to try and go to the gym more than once a month, I changed into my gym clothes before my after school faculty meeting. Alas, there were some fightin' words (not to me, of course), and the meeting ran long. Will I ever get to Zumba again?