February 9, 2018

Nerdy, Wordy, and Over Thirty


Ariel Birdoff is, indeed, nerdy, wordy, and over thirty. She is the author of pop-culture nerdy poetry book: NERD!VERSE, and is currently living the dream working as a School Outreach Librarian at the New York Public Library's MyLibraryNYC program. Ariel also freelances as an editor, proofreader, book reviewer, and organizer. When she is not busy working, she can be found making things out of yarn, binge watching television, reading copious amounts of YA literature, or referring to herself in the third person. 

Ariel is also the founder, singer, and manager of the wizard rock band Madam Pince and the Librarians. You can download much of their music for free. Ariel recently released a music video with Dandy Decadance for HufflePride!

Besides Nerdy, Wordy, and Over Thirty, Ariel writes for several other blogs:


October 11, 2017

Does This Husband Make Me Look Straight?

I am a cis woman. I am married to a cis man. I am in a heterosexual relationship. I am not heterosexual. Too often, people are defined solely by the relationships they're currently in.

If a woman who only dated women, marries a man, people might say that being gay was a phase, and that she had always been straight. If a man dated only women, and ended up with another a man, he must have "turned gay". If a person dates people of all genders, and ends up in a monogamous relationship with someone who identifies with one of the gender binaries, that person did not "finally figure out their sexuality", they simply chose the person they love.

No matter with whom you are romantically or sexually involved (or not involved), your sexuality is whatever YOU define it as. Don't let anyone tell you different.

Happy National Coming Out Day! 


July 26, 2016

Reader, I Married Him (explicit)

Hello, old friend. Life as an Outreach Librarian has been pretty busy lately, and I haven't had a chance to blog. That, and I recently got married.

Remember that guy Adam I met at Jewish Speed Dating a few years ago?
2012: The Good, The Bad, and the @#&$!: I did not know it at the time, but the Jewish boy I met at the speed-dating-event-I-went-to-only-to-please-my-mother, would soon find a place in my heart.  Adam and I really hit if off and have been together for several months now. In fact, we have just returned from our first vacation together, and I have a really good feeling about him.
Apparently it was a great feeling because I married him. (!!) Our ceremony and reception took place on May 15, 2016 at the Royalton Mansion in Roslyn Heights, NY. We had about 200 guests for a Reconstructionist ceremony, a pescatarian dinner, and a raging dance party. I know it sounds like your run of the mill fancy-pants Long Island Jewish Wedding... and it definitely was... but it was also the Geek Affair of the Century. With Funko Pops of Dumbledore, Locutus of Borg, and Dalek Sek, copies of all seven Harry Potter books, a TARDIS card box, a book cake, and hand crocheted Hufflepuff and Slytherin bride and groom cake toppers, it was certainly the nerdiest thing we'd done all year, and we attend NYComicCon.

Now, while getting married and being nerdy was certainly the focus of the event, I want to tell you about the lessons we learned while planning. Actually it's one big lesson. There are two very important words that go into planning and having a wedding. You might think they are: "I do," (which are very important, admittedly)  but they are actually: "FUCK IT". Seriously.

Society thinks you should have a certain weight of paper for your invitation? Fuck it. It's paper. Your florist tells you that the lavender flowers you ordered had to be sent back and replaced with different flowers at the last minute? Fuck it. They're flowers. The groom forgot his funky polka dot dress socks that we spent hours picking out? Fuck it. Borrow someone else's socks. These two happy words gave me and Adam one of the happiest days of our lives. Even when the wind gusts were so strong that we had to move our long-planned "secret garden" wedding indoors 20 minutes before go time. Fuck it.

So, while "fuck it" was definitely our mantra for the entire event, what we really meant was "As long as we get married today, it will have been perfect." So, I guess "I do" really are the two most important words after all. And here I am writing this whole thing... fuck it.  

September 18, 2015

Madam Pince's Top 10 YA Books of 2015 (so far, anyway)

2015 has been a fantastic year for young adult literature. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading my way through historical fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, graphic novels, and more. While the year is certainly not over, I feel the need to share these exquisite examples of wonderful YA literature.

In no particular order, I give you:

Madam Pince's Top 10 YA Books of 2015

(so far, anyway)

June 26, 2015

Happy Pride Nation Wide!

In the wake of all the crap that can sometimes be the United States, today I can say that I am DAMN proud to be an American. You guys, I think we did something right! The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in favor of love and marriage for all its citizens. 

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy delivered the majority opinion with heartfelt words:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
As well it should. I am amazed it took us this long to get here, but I am so glad we finally made it. 

Before I leave (to go find rainbow things to wear and then go dance in the streets), I want to remember a night not too long ago, when my state (New York) legalized same-sex marriage.  When I heard the wonderful news that night, I began to cry: big, happy tears. A few of the people that I was with asked me why I was so happy. "Are  you gay?" they wondered. As if, only someone who was gay should be this happy about a couple's right to marriage. I responded to their asinine question with a glare, and continued celebrating. What I now realize I should have said, when they asked me if the reason I was so happy was because I was gay, my response should have been: "It doesn't matter. I'm human."

LGBT rights are not solely an LGBT issue. These rights, as with ALL civil rights, are HUMAN rights. The oppressed should never stand alone. Stand for yourself. Stand with others. Stand for the citizens of the world who have a right to be themselves safely and happily. 

"If I am not for me, who will be?
If I am only for me, who am I?
If not now, when?"
-Rabbi Hillel 

March 28, 2015

Master of My Own Domain

Well, Internet, I purchased my own domain. All the recent shenanigans of the wrong (or perhaps right) people getting a hold of other people's domains, have inspired me to purchase my own. Behold: www.arielbirdoff.com. Isn't she beautiful?

January 23, 2015

It's Been a While, Internet

Hi there! Remember me? Got laid off in June? Is a giant nerd?

Yep. That's me.

So anyway, a lot has happened since I reminisced about Deathly Hallows back in July. Since things have been kind of hectic, I guess I could sum up the last six months in three easy bullets:

July 21, 2014

Seven Years Since Book Seven

Today marks seven years since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I remember sitting and reading, silently crying as I mourned the loss of my favorite characters, as well as the closing of the most magical story I had ever read. But even though the books are over, the gifts that Jo Rowling gave to me are still coming. Harry Potter changed my life. I have friends that I call my family.

I have The Group That Shall Not Be Named to fill my calendar with the most awesome events every month, I have Kelly Zepha Owen and her wonderful family who are so dear to me, it's as if we were blood, I have Adam Rothstein, my partner in all things... and while we didn't meet at a convention, pretty much the only reason we made it past round one of Jewish Speed Dating is because he mentioned the two words that touched my heart (Harry Potter), and I have everyone else in this wonderful fandom family. I am so grateful for all of you. You are all a gift to me every day.

And let's face it. It's been seven years since the end of an era... but the wonderful thing about books is that you can start all over again.

July 14, 2014

At Home on a Monday Morning

It's 10:00 on Monday morning and I am at home. I just woke up. Usually at this time, I am prepping for meetings, hankering for lunch, or sifting through the many emails that came in over the weekend. I should be at my desk, in my office, with one of my many pashminas draped over my shoulders, because no matter what season it is, it's always freezing in my cubicle. But I am not. I am home. Last month I was laid off.

You may think that I was angry, but I wasn't.  My relationship with my job was a long and committed one. I had almost 10 years of a mostly healthy, mutually beneficial, and comfortable relationship with my employing company. I was surrounded by like-minded and kind people who became much more to me than the faces I saw each day. We cared about each other's lives, professionally, and personally. I attended their weddings, performances, and relatives' funerals. When my grandfather passed away, my boss gave everyone the afternoon off to pay my family a shiva call out on Long Island. My tiny department at our not-for-profit company was a family.  But despite my comfort and happiness, there was no future with my career besides more of the same. I was cared for, and appreciated, but there was never any hope of growth. Perhaps this is the reason for my lack of anger. Perhaps I've known for quite some time, that my professional life required more out of my place of employment. That I deserved to receive as much as I gave out. And now, finally, (though it was not planned) I have the motivation and resources I need to move forward toward a healthier and happier relationship with a successful career.

May 8, 2014


Do you like Shel Silverstein? Are you in a fandom? Would you like to read PG-13 nerdy verse written by yours truly? Well...my NERD!VERSE campaign ends in just a couple weeks. I am 2/3 of the way to my goal of $600. There are still some good perks left! For a small donation, you could receive:

  • A signed copy of the book with your name in the acknowledgments!
  • A hand made minimal (read tiny adorable animal)!
  • A poem of YOUR choosing about the fandom and person of YOUR choice!
  • Virtual hugs, thanks, and a plug from me (priceless, I know)!
If I hit my goal, my stretch is to raise $750 so I can hire fellow fandom friend, Hufflepuff, and graphic designer extraordinaire, Jennifer Drucker to design my cover art! 

Come on! Only 1/3 to go before I reach my goal! 

Your help is much appreciated.

April 16, 2014


I am one lucky lady. And just in case I ever forget that, I only have to look at the below list of friends and family to remind me. As a lot of you know, I am currently raising funds to self publish my book of nerd poetry called NERD!VERSE. Due to my unique style of poetry, which tends to be a mix of classic verse form and Shel Silverstein rhyme (and strong language), traditional publishers have perpetually decided against printing my book. So, in the spirit of today's crowd-funding trend, I turned to Indiegogo and the generosity of the people I know to help me in my quest for self-publication. So far I have raised more than half of my goal, with more than a month to go.

To those people who have donated and shared my campaign with others, I am humbled by your confidence in me and my writing ability. Thank you so much for your support. <3

Below is a list of people who are helping me make my self-publishing dreams come true. Because so many of these people are talented in their own right, I have tried to include links to their websites whenever applicable. If I do not have a link for you, please message me or leave a comment and I will add it to the list.