Thursday, February 28, 2008


Has anyone seen the commercial for a new radio station called Fresh? I know radio is local, but I think most of the stations on the air now are syndicated. This one claims, in its commercials, that it's not too young but not too soft. The way they do this is by having a woman upset about her choice in radio stations-- This one is too young (and she's dressed like a teenager listening to rap)! And this one is too old and tired! Guess what she's dressed as in the "old and tired" section? Yup. A librarian. Such a dis! Every time I turn that station on they are just playing crap, and I yell at the radio, "Yeah- no librarian would want to listen to your lame station!" I have definitely taken this personally. See for yourself here:

Now what to do about it?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Well, I'm sucked into the Idol right now. Not like sucked in because I can't stop watching, but sucked in like I am forced to watch it. I was just remembering how last week everyone was sick, and even though I wasn't in the studio with them it made me feel gross. I need to find something to do while Idol is on. I can't just watch their lame performances. But what to do? I'd like to do a jigsaw puzzle, but the one I have (where do they go after I do them? I have no idea) has really loose pieces. I hate that! How can I really tell if the pieces are fitting if they're all slidey?

Tonight is number one of the Project Runway finale. I am planning on falling asleep by 9:30, so I will have to watch the second half tomorrow. Last night I woke myself up at 3:00 a.m. because I thought I heard the smoke detector. I sleep with earplugs and a fan on, so I had to take out the plugs and run into the hallway. No detecting. Who knows why I woke up thinking that? And then I couldn't get back to sleep and when I did I had all sorts of dreams of myself yelling at my students to clean up. How pleasant.

What I should really be doing with my time is reading this book I am loving (Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. Historical fiction, which I kidded myself for a long time that I didn't like but I actually LOVE, so now I am indulging in it). Chances are I am too tired to move my butt off the couch, and shall be punished for my sloth by the mediocre, repetitive performances of Idol. But don't get me wrong: I don't hate American Idol. I just hate how frequently it's on.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Avoiding Idol

How can they possibly have this show on for three nights a week? And why must Matt watch them all? He is so funny- much more entertaining than American Idol- to watch. He makes all sorts of uncomfortable noises as he watches the contestants suck it up. I guess he likes cringing. I always try to get why he likes to watch so much, and he can't really answer. He never votes. It's a phenomenon every time AI is on-- why is it always on and why does Matt enjoy it so much? I'm hoping these three nights a week will be over SOON.

Speaking of Matt, he blogged about our Anderson's Bookshop Breakfast and includes some funny pictures. Check it out at

Monday, February 25, 2008

Audio and Oscars

So the Oscars. I have little to say, except that I'm thrilled the song from Once won for best song. So incredibly beautiful and a joy to watch the two of them perform it at the Academy Awards. What was the deal with those awful songs from Enchanted, though? I haven't seen the movie, though I'm sure I'll like it enough, but those songs were HIDEOUS. Generic and bland and not funny or clever. Am I wrong? Would I think differently if I saw the movie? But kudos to Amy Adams for getting up and singing, alone on stage (why did they torture her like that?), in front of all of those people. Seriously brave.

I found out some fantastic news today (that I'm really not sure if I'm supposed to share or not, but it's super cool so I'm sharing)-- Mandy Siegfried is reading the Get Well Soon audiobook for Listening Library! She is so fantastic and has read a couple of my faves. I think she will be wonderful as Anna. How cool! Here's a clip of her reading Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli:

My very own audiobook! A dream come true! Perhaps I can get Amy Adams to sing a song about it...

Sunday, February 24, 2008


On our way back from the Anderson's Breakfast, Matt and I went to lunch at Fuddruckers. They have great veggie burgers (probably because they are cooked on top of the actual meat juice) and great fries. They also have a gigantic, one pound burger, so I asked the kid taking our order, "Do you have a giant bun to go with the giant burger?" He answered, "Yeah, and we have a giant plate, too." That peaked my interest, so I asked, "How many giant burgers get ordered in a day?" He answered (more enthusiastically this time), "About five or so per shift." Sick! Then I asked, "Can you predict who's going to order them?" You could totally see that this kid, all nonchalant, couldn't-give-a-crap teenager, perked up at this conversation because then he said, "No. But every time anyone orders it, I can't believe they could actually eat that much meat." I could have gone all day with this conversation, but I could tell Matt was getting embarrassed or something (whatever), and there was a line forming behind us. I don't know why this story makes me smile so much. That's a lot of meat.

Anderson's Breakfast

Yesterday Matt and I went to our fourth Anderson's Bookshop Children's Literature Breakfast. They are always fun because we meet a lot of teachers and librarians and authors, but they are also always stressful for several reasons. Matt is public speaking phobic, and even though the format is that there are a few Mega Author Speakers who speak in front of the whole crowd of 600 (this year was Richard Peck and Keven Henkes and a no-show Ann M. Martin [due to weather]), and the rest of the authors sit at each of the sixty tables, rotating every half hour or so, telling our tablemates about our books and stuff, it's still like being on for a full four hours. I find it difficult, as well, because it's always on a Saturday after having worked all week, and it's always at a venue that's at least an hour away from our house. We have to wake early, drive far, and smile a lot. This year there were so many authors that I think a lot of the teachers and librarians had trouble deciding whose books to purchase (they have a little store set up so you can buy any of the authors' books). In the past, there weren't as many authors (or attendees), and, therefore, people we talked to at tables often bought our books (probably to be nice or out of obligation after we visited with them, but a sale's a sale). This year only one of Matt's books was purchased and zero of mine were[pause to note that I don't actually know how many of our books were purchased, but only one person came over to us during the autographing time]. There were so many authors spread out in a huge room, waiting desperately (or it felt like that) for someone to want an autograph. It would be a little humiliating, except that most authors were in the same boat. Oh well. So is the life of a relatively unknown author. I wonder what it would be like to be the Richard Peck, with his line around the block for autographs for over an hour. Someday, maybe. Speaking of Richard Peck, he wrote one of my favorite novels of all time, Fair Weather, about kids going to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. I had him sign my book and told him I was seeing Erik Larson speak today about Devil in the White City. Mr. Peck and I talked a tiny bit about how he wished that Larson's book had been written earlier, so that he could have used it as research for Fair Weather. Then he said, "Larson has a new book out, doesn't he?" And I said I didn't know. And then Peck said, "Well that's probably what he's going to be talking about." And I felt all stupid because it made me seem like a poseur, so I said, "No, he's talking about Devil in the White City because it's a One Book One City thing," but I still felt stupid. And then I had to rush out of there for the next person. Sigh. It's never quite what you expect, is it?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

At the Car Wash

I finally, finally had a car wash today. It has been so snowy here over the last month, and then so cold or messy, that I haven't been able to get a car wash. I did it today. I tried to do it the other day, and I pulled into this gas station car wash where you have to drive around a paved circle, and then it turned out that the machine only accepted exact change. I had to back it out of there, and I was screaming and swearing the whole way. Luckily no one pulled into the circle behind me. I would have lost it.

Today's car wash was almost a bust, too, because I thought my credit card went through and I was all ready to pull in, but I ended up having to swipe it again. I thought the car wash forces may have been against me.

Every time I get a car wash, I play a song called "Golden Brown" by the Australian band The Stranglers. (I think I may have blogged about this before, so indulge me). You can hear it here at my MySpace page. I think it is a perfect, whimsical song for a car wash. This time was SO FUNNY because I spazzed out when the water started squirting and had to double check my windows, and then I double-checked my sunroof. But it's been so long since I used my sunroof that I accidentally OPENED it! My heart was spazzing out, and luckily I got it closed in time. It was pretty funny.

Does anyone else out there have car wash songs? (Please do not say "At the Car Wash.")

Where My Dogs At?

Sorry about the "dogs" in the title. Guess I've been watching (not by choice. Well, maybe a little) American Idol too much.

I don't know if my website maintenance thing is wrong, or if people have really stopped reading my blog (the reader statistics have been super low for a couple of weeks). So-- please indulge me today, since I have to have blood taken and you know that's my worst fear and I'm freaking out right now-- if you read my blog, can you just give a tiny, shoutout blog comment so I know I still have readers? Please? I am feeling weird about blogging to no one and am hoping it's just a glitch in the stats system. So just comment anything. One word. One letter. I don't care. So that when I get back from the doctor and am reliving the embarrassment of me freaking out in the doctor's office, I can at least see that I have some blog friends. Is this a pathetic enough post for you?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Eclipse and Runway!

Wow. The eclipse is AMAZING. Matt and I went outside (I in my pajamas) to check out the eclipse. The neighbor across the street was out, too. We saw a shooting star right next to the moon! I have never seen a shooting star. I took it as a good sign. Between Project Runway commercials, I keep going outside to check on the eclipse's progress. I can't wait until this summer's solar eclipse!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm Not Over It

I'm still in my Harry Potter phase. I can't get past it! I love everything about the books and movies and actors. It's insane. I think it's taking me away from some miserable crap going on in my life right now, and it's much more fun to be in a magical universe. I found this interview online with the three main actors, and it's so cute I have to include it here:

How cute is Rupert and his fear of spiders? I always like to hear about other people's irrational fears; it makes me feel better about my own. There was an episode of Tyra on once about people and their crazy fears, and I think Tyra's was dolphins. They showed her seeing a dolphin, and she was shaking and crying. It was like me and needles. But with dolphins. Kind of makes me look more normal.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Does anyone watch the show Num3rs? I don't, but I titled the blog "Numbers," and it made me think. I am a huge Northern Exposure fan (and Fleischman is on Numb3rs), and I also like that other curly-haired guy on that show because he was in 10 Things I Hate About You. Anyway, not the point of this post...

I loved seeing what everyone thought I chose for my cell phone ring. The actual new ring is--- The Golden Girls! And I hate it! Not that I hate the GGs, but the ring is so boring. I thought it would be much funnier. I ordered a cord so I could connect my phone to my computer, and that works, but now I need a micro SD card so I have room to save songs to my phone. Then I can choose my ultimate ring. Click on this video clip to hear the ringtone I hope to use (Greatest Air Guitarist EVER. See my posts on my love of C-Diddy):

So, yeah, can't wait until that's my ring. Think of the hilarity every time I get a phone call!

In other numbery news, I have been checking on Amazon at least once a day to see how the ol' Get Well Soon is ranking, and for a couple of weeks now (at least) it's ranking goes up every single day! Does that mean someone is buying a copy every day? Does anyone know more about how this works?

In case anyone was wondering (I really don't know if you are), I have the blog option of labeling my posts (so it would have labels at the bottom of each post). I would like to do that, but there's a glitch that won't allow me to do it (I think. I actually haven't tried for a while). I'm reconsidering, though, because it would make it much easier for me to connect my posts (as in my frequent references to C-Diddy). It would be a huge project at this point, so maybe something to shoot for this summer.

It's sleeting out. February can suck it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lydia, Oh Lydia

I am a huge Muppets fan, and I have been forever. My first full-length record was the soundtrack to The Muppet Movie (and before that I was watching The Muppet Show on TV). My sister and I used to rent these Best of Muppet Show tapes in the 80s, and that's where I really remember my favorite skits (I think I was a little young when the show originally aired, since I was under the age of five). One of my all time faves is the following skit, which is perfectly reproduced on YouTube. The song is "Lydia the Tattooed Lady," which is a funny old song not original to the Muppet Show, but perfected by Muppets nonetheless. It makes me laugh and smile until my face hurts every time I watch it. Enjoy:

Fashion Geek

Is anyone else into Project Runway? This season isn’t super exciting, although I prefer it to last season which had a lot of fighting and meanness. Last night’s episode, where they chose the final three, annoyed me, since they actually chose a final four and then said that two of them had to duke it out at the last minute to see whose runway show would count toward the final three. Does that make sense? If not, it’s not my fault. The catch is that if you’re a regular Runway watcher, you know that more people than the three finalists always show their final collections in Bryant Park, something to do with the timing of the show and New York Fashion Week. What I want to know is, do they get paid for not working a real job while trying to make all of their clothes for Fashion Week? Matt found this article that shared a ton of behind-the-scenes secrets about how the show was really made. I need to see that article. Matt, if you’re reading my blog, help me find that article! You can see all five of the final Runway contestants’ shows on Bravo or read negative reviews of all five contestants’ shows online. My favorite in the final five’s Fashion Week collections was Chris.

Tomorrow I shall reveal my new ringtone! I bet you are all vibrating with anticipation (ha! Vibrating! Like a cell phone!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Poor SMG

I don't know what it is about Sarah Michelle Gellar, but why are all of her movies (besides Scooby Doo and that Japanese Horror movie for which I can't remember the name even though it's probably one word and totally simple) bombs? The latest is a movie Matt and I rented called Suburban Girl. Lame name. The movie was about Gellar as a junior editor at a publishing house who ends up hooking up with the way older Alec Baldwin. While the movie wasn't that bad, it was definitely missing some flow. And I was kind of grossed out by Alec Baldwin. He's hysterical on 30 Rock, but next to the tiny, very young-looking Gellar, he just looked like an old block (he is rather square in shape). Gellar had or has a few others that are almost straight to video, including the controversial (and yet to be seen by me) Southland Tales. Doesn't matter, though, cause I'll watch anything she's in. Even if SMG continually denies her Buffy roots(she's never at any Buffy type reunions), I can not. She will always be the slayer to me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Phone Poll

So I downloaded a ringtone for my new phone. Actually, I'm not all that excited about it. I think a cell phone ring should have a humorous spark every time I hear it. Now with this new stupid "real song" sound, it's harder to find the funny. Eventually, I would like to connect my cell phone to my computer and choose my own ring, but while I wait for that special cord to arrive in the mail, I'm stuck with one of the following rings, From what you know about me (or think you know):

What do you think my new cell phone ring is?
The music from Donkey Kong
The theme from The Monkees
The theme from The Golden Girls
The theme from Beverly Hills 90210
We Will Rock You by Queen

Sunday, February 10, 2008

And the Champion is...

Me! Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am the gobstones champion of Hogwarts. I had to beat a lot of hardcore gobstones players (well, computer people in my HP game), but I finally did it. Now I can relax.

Matt and I saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets this weekend. I really liked it. The theater was packed, which is weird because it's been out for a while. Every time I go to the movies, though, there's always someone doing something idiotic and inconsiderate. This time it was a young couple (with a very young military guy in town from the local Navy base-- I always notice the Navy dudes who go to movies would rather talk to their girlfriends than watch a movie. Then why GO TO A MOVIE?), and they seemed to think they were on their couch watching a movie, so they could comment on everything. I was right next to them at first, until I moved to the other side of Matt. There could have been some serious movie theater rumbling going on. Anyway, the movie was fun and silly and light, people laughed, and it kept my attention. I wish there were more movies in theaters like that. I don't want to be saddened or made to think when I go to the movies; I just don't. And I was a film major in college, so I know it's not "cool" to think this way. Whatever.

Tina Turner is on the Grammys (Grammies?) right now, and she is dangerously close to dancing out of her silver top... I never watch this awards show. It's really boring to me, except for the outfits, but I can see those online. I just asked Matt whose hair is on Beyonce's head. He said, "Fergie's." He he.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Crud Test

I had my blood taken today, and for anyone who knows me, that is the scariest thing on Earth. It was as crappy and humiliating as I anticipated. I don’t know what the fear is, so don’t give me any annoying advice about not looking. In fact, if anyone else says that to me (“Just don’t look.”), I might have to kick them in the knees. This is a PHOBIA, people, and all of you have at least one. I can do a lot of things that other people are terrified of, but the blood test is my weakness. I even saw a hypnotist about it. He made me go to a safe place, blah blah. The thing about that is that I have to focus and think and focus and think, and who can do that when they’re terrified out of their mind? I was hoping that he would just magically implant some subliminal thing in my brain that would take away my fear, but no such luck. The only thing that has gotten better is that I am slightly more able to avoid the fear of anticipation, meaning I actually slept not too terribly last night and I was even able to forget about it for periods of time over the past week. And I wasn’t too bad in the waiting room. But once they called my name and I went into the back, I lost it. I have no control. I equate it to being a werewolf, where I change into another, crazy person. I cry, I can’t breathe, and I can’t get it together. And that’s why I hate it so much. It’s so embarrassing and humiliating. And then afterward I had to keep sitting down because I thought I was going to puke. Thoroughly an experience I don’t want to relive, and yet, I am doomed to relive it. Pathetic.

So, to make me feel a little better: Does anyone else have any phobias they’d like to share?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ringing and Singing

Man. We got SO MUCH SNOW today. Our town was hit way worse than a lot of places South of us, and apparently the town is out of salt for the roads. Frightening. At least a foot fell, and looking at our outdoor table, I'd say eighteen inches. But definitely at least a foot. Surprisingly, the Fed-Ex guy made it to our door (and then got stuck outside at the bottom of our driveway) and delivered our brand new cell phones! I am the last person on Earth to want a new cell phone. It just seems like a waste if I have one that works well. And my Nokia worked well for a long time, but lately the reception hasn't been as good, and phantom, flashing icons keep randomly appearing on the screen. AT&T had a fab deal online for free flip phones- and mine is pink!- so Matt and I decided it was time. But our ancient phones did have a good run. The thing that's upsetting me is that with the new phone there are no more polyphonic (or monophonic? What is even lower than poly? Cause that's what my old phone had) ringtones. Now I have to choose a real song, which just isn't as funny. I liked the old Casio sounds. Now I have to find a song that is unique and sounds good and says Julie. But what is that? I was hoping for the Buffy theme song, but I don't want to go to some random site and then get junk texts forever (since they don't have it at AT&T). I may go with Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher." I love the song, and it sounds good in phone form. We'll see. It's a huge decision. I will miss my old 90210 theme song. Sniff. But speaking of Van Halen, the absolute funniest thing I have ever heard is on You Tube. I have always thought that Van Halen's "Running with the Devil" is hilarious because David Lee Roth will NOT SHUT UP the entire song. It's beyond comical. Well, someone else thought so, too, because they stripped away all of the music and have a clip of just the DLR part. I can't stop laughing. Crying, actually. Genius.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Is anyone else over the American Idol auditions? Enough already! It's boring me, but Matt loves to watch.

So tonight is crazy snowy out. Slippery and scary. It took me an hour and a half to get home from work, and then Matt and I went out to vote. It's so weird, but we have to vote in a church. Doesn't that seem wrong? I always feel like I'm going to burn or something from walking inside (because I'm Jewish, not because I'm evil). Stupid fear, I know, but it doesn't seem right to vote in a church. Separation of church and state? I can't really complain, though, since it's practically across the street from our house.

Every time I vote, I get a tiny but choked up. It feels like such a big deal, and I'm proud to be a part of it. But I'm also terrified of the outcome. It hasn't been great for the last, oh, eight years. So now the waiting begins...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Musical Drives

Every time I’m driving to work, I think that my iPod would make great blog fodder. So today I’m finally going with it. Now that I’m off the YALSA Audiobooks Committee, I actually have the luxury of listening to music when I want to. Occasionally I’ll listen to an entire album, but more often than not I put on the ol’ Shuffle feature. The funny thing is that I skip probably 75% of the songs, and I stop on favorites depending on my mood. This morning I was feeling more eclectic and open-minded than usual (sometimes I just want happy songs or sad songs or Hip Hop or metal). So here is a list of the songs I listened to today on the way to work:

Legal Tender – B-52’s

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Hot for Teacher – Van Halen

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths

The Door Into Summer – The Monkees

If We Wait – Guided By Voices

Radar – Britney Spears

Walk - Pantera

Pink Houses - John Mellencamp

On most days I probably would have skipped the B-52’s and Mellencamp songs, but today I enjoyed them. What about you guys? How do you use like your music served?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

No, I'm Not Watching the Superbowl

Check out this great review of Get Well Soon I found online from Clovis West High School in Fresno. Very cool!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Snow Day!!!

I doubt there is a finer sound than the phone ringing at six o'clock in the morning signifying it's a snow day. Of course, I knew we had a snow day before the phone rang because I had been up since 5:25, getting ready to shovel (until Matt took over) and just about stepped into the shower when I decided to check my school district's website. Lo and behold-- snow day! They really should call us earlier. So many of us live far away from the school, and 6:00 is just about when some of us would have to leave to get to school when the weather is horrible. But how can I complain, really, since it's a snow day!!!

In other SUPER FANTASTIC news, I recently found out that I am receiving a Ken Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness! It's quite a prestigious book award, considering some of its past winners--including Rick Moody, Jane Pauley, and Garry Trudeau! Check out these photos from last year's awards breakfast. This year's winners are:

Norman Doidge. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. Penguin.

Roy Richard Grinker. Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism. Basic Books.

Julie Halpern. Get Well Soon. Feiwel and Friends. (duh)

Elyn Saks. The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness. Hyperion.

Kenneth Talan. Help Your Child or Teen Get Back on Track: What Parents and Professionals Can Do for Childhood Emotional and Behavioral Problems. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

I will receive the award at The Yale Club on May 1 in NYC. W00t! (or however it is I'm supposed to spell that). I have to make a tiny acceptance speech, which I'm quiet nervous about considering the intellectual company. In fact, I believe very few children's books win this award, so I am definitely the odd gal out. No biggie. Everyone's a little odd, aren't they? And as a school librarian, I'm used to speaking in front of large groups. We'll see how I'm feeling closer to the date.

Now what to do with the snow day... Ah yes. The Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix game awaits. (I bet none of the other Ken winners are ranting about Harry Potter video games.) Happy snow day!