Nell Boeschenstein

Political science

Local computer geek Waldo Jacquith has many tricks up his sleeve when it comes to showing Charlottesville the ropes of the Internet (ah, the joys of mixed metaphors). Seeing as I was stuck at work in New York as the primaries were unfolding in Virginia, I relied on one of those tricks—Waldo’s Virginia Political Blogroll—to […]

Dog town

After former Atlanta Falcons (and Virginia Tech) quarterback Michael Vick was convicted last year of felonious dog fighting, 47 pit bulls were seized from his property and spared euthanasia. Rather, the animals were distributed to various rescue groups that were then charged with either rehabilitating the dogs or caring for the animals for the rest […]

In stitches

I recently attended a panel discussion entitled “Crafting Protest,” where I heard four amazing women speak about the work they are doing in fields traditionally considered “craft” (as opposed to “art”). One of these women was new media artist and activist Cat Mazza, the woman behind microRevolt. MicroRevolt is an online protest of sweatshops that […]

The reviews are in

The review as a form of literature is, I think, a natural way of thinking. I truly believe that it is part of our human nature to have opinions about the things in which we come into contact (books, movies, art shows, fashion shows, food, service, etc.) and to impart those opinions to those around […]

Green-eyed lady

I really want to see my carbon footprint get smaller, but when faced with a pile of paper to recycle, my thoughts tend to run a little something like, “How do I recycle paper again? Does brown paper go with glossy paper or newspaper? Or does newspaper go with white paper? Or is newspaper its […]

Star power

After reading Doug Nordfors’ contribution to a recent C-VILLE cover story—a few hundred words pondering the lackluster literary scene in Charlottesville—I began pondering the same question myself, specifically regarding the under-35 literary demographic. Being on break from my own MFA program, I decided to investigate ways to get the local, under-35 literary demographic off their […]

Shaping up

Even if they aren’t always followed, New Year’s resolutions are a ritual for many of us. What’s more, year after year, Americans tend to resolve to do the same things they resolved to do the year before, probably because when we made our resolutions the previous year we stuck to our guns through mid-February, but […]

For a good cause

What’s really nice is when the Internet allows for a little armchair activism. I say that without a trace of cynicism in my voice because, with most people chained to their desks all day every day, armchair activism is all any of us have a chance to do before going home and crashing into bed. […]

Here kitty, kitty

It’s a well-established fact that the holidays can be depressing and stressful. So, if you’re feeling the seasonal pressure, suffering from holiday shopping crowd-related claustrophobia and finding it difficult to meaningfully commune with anything aside from your computer screen, and that in turn is making you more depressed, may I suggest a brief Lolcat intermission? […]

Minute by minute

There is no doubt that there are some things that the Internet is very good for: gossip, news, pointless games, funny videos, research tools. One thing I have never really thought that the Internet was very good for was art. I stand corrected. The latest project from artist, designer and computer scientist Jonathan Harris (known […]

Book marks

A friend helpfully pointed out to me the other night that I am, beyond any doubt, the most utterly nerdy example of uncoolness. I recommend this website to you with his words ringing in my ears. BibliOdyssey is without a doubt a nerdy website, but it is also a treasure trove of human accomplishment and […]

Web masters

I used to be a fan of Slate. Not so much anymore. It’s gotten to the point where I can have a stupid conversation with a friend and end up thinking that, with the right headline, the conversation could become a 3,000-word Slate tirade. "How Patchouli Came to be the Scent of a Subculture," for […]

Now boarding

It’s a bit embarrassing for me to admit that sometimes I much prefer reading the Internet to reading a good, old-fashioned book, or even a chapter of a book. I suppose this means I have become what my parents and their friends fear. No doubt I am scary, but in my defense, allow me to […]

Nobel efforts

I don’t know about everyone else out there, but I was totally thrilled that Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. Talk about one hell of a decade that man has lived. Good God. I was sitting in a coffee shop when I read the news of the award and I was so touched and […]

Laughing with…

You know how whenever people are asked what they are looking for in a mate, more often than not at the top of that list is something along the lines of "has to make me laugh"? I certainly fall into that segment of the population, and this has forced me to pointlessly ponder the following […]

Ask and do tell

The best gifts are always those that you didn’t ask for. For example, that set of pots and pans is great, but really it’s every time you wear that cashmere sweater that you feel like you’re opening up a present all over again. I would say that the website The Edge is similar to this […]


Guys: NBC. Have you heard of it? Maybe? Sorta kinda? Yeah, it’s pretty famous. It’s a network television station. They have a show called "The Today Show" and other shows, too. Now, as some people might remember, NBC went through a rough period with the end of "Seinfeld" and "Friends," but the network is back […]

Quiz nation

Occasionally there are sites I like to give shout outs to not because they have any staying power or even any significant entertainment value beyond an initial five minutes, but because the initial five minutes you spend at the site are more entertaining that the first five minutes you spend on other sites. These sites […]

All the voices in the room

Why are the most obvious things always the last things to come to mind? In other words, why haven’t I written about the Charlottesville Blogs site yet? Realizing that I hadn’t written about it yet for this column was like the time I was giving a stranger directions to the Rotunda that involved many lefts […]

Mind games

Every day I seem to realize anew that people are crazy. Every day this elicits from me some comment to some person along the lines of “People are crazy,” “It blows my mind how crazy people are,” or “How do people walk around all day inside these brains? They’re crazy!” Inevitably, my companion accepts these […]

Reader’s digest

I am getting to that age of being just past the age of being able to stay abreast of the latest “thing.” I know this because I do not know the answer to the question, “Is Facebook already passé?” But when I asked a friend who works at Wired whether these social networking sites were […]

Le mot juste

Sitting at dinner with a few friends the other night, one friend recounted how, when she used to babysit, she would set the clocks ahead and tell the kids it was time to go to bed; she would then raid the refrigerator. “Literally,” she said, “I would change the clocks.” Another friend—a high school English […]

Bursting our bubble

For months now it’s seemed everyone has been biting their nails in anticipation of when the housing bubble is going to burst. Well, the needle may finally have touched the balloon: Toll Brothers—the nation’s largest builder of luxury homes, previously reported by C-VILLE to be scouting Albemarle for future development opportunities—recently announced plans to scale […]

Bye, bye land. Bye, bye emptiness…

For 25 years hippie artists David and Elizabeth Breeden have been sitting on 1,000 acres of prime property just five minutes south of town. But last spring the Breedens put much of Forest Lodge, as their property is known, on the market. Speculation as to who would grab the hefty parcel ran rampant—but lately, a […]

Shades of gray

It’s not uncommon for a common type of snob to thumb his or her nose at the notion of "anthology," be it an anthology of modern American poetry (ah, Norton) or an emo-themed mix CD. I’ve never really held that attitude, preferring instead to just be thankful that there are people out there that have […]

Talk of the town

One of the best and worst things about Charlottesville is that it’s a small town. This is a dichotomy that I have long struggled with: On the one hand, I delight in knowing a good piece of gossip about the random person sitting next to me at the bar; on the other hand, I cringe […]

Writing on the wall

The whole notion of a "celebrity artist" inspires a knee-jerk reaction in me that makes me want to dismiss said artist out of hand, complain that said artist is famous thanks simply to having landed on a successful gimmick and then go on to list a litany of reasons of why said artist is overrated. […]