Well, it has been quite some time since I've posted. I am now working in a bookstore and enjoying it, though I do miss being able to stay home and do whatever I feel like.
Tonight, I finished reading Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle and very much enjoyed it. I had read the first chapter of the book waiting in line for Colin Meloy's performance at the Park West in April and was loathe to read any more of it. So it sat in my to-read pile while I finished Middlemarch and Quicksilver, both of which were enjoyable but time-consuming (and Quicksilver is only the first in a trilogy which will be continued perhaps after Christmas). I restarted Castle recently and read a good chunk while waiting for the Decemberists performance at Wheaton College, which will be detailed later. The rest of the novel was very engrossing, and, as always, I am glad to have finished it but sad that it is now over.
This Wednesday, Chris and I will go back to the Ladies Literary Club in Grand Rapids to once again see My Brightest Diamond play there. It is the second of three concerts that will take place within three weeks--it always seems as though concerts pour in between dry spells. I am looking forward to the show and have to finish writing clues for the crossword puzzle I made for Shara Worden (I hope she enjoys crossword puzzles).
The Decemberists played Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL on Halloween. For those not in the know, the college is very, very religious. So, it seemed interesting that a band such as the Decemberists would be invited there and that they would play on Halloween night. I arrived at the chapel/auditorium where the performance would take place at 11am and began my day of sitting on concrete and hoping to talk to a Decemberist or two. Sadly, no one from the band came out that day, which is unusual, but the performance and post-performance made up for the day (which was nice and balmy, at least). The band came out dressed as the cast from The Shining, with Colin Meloy playing the part of Danny, John Moen and Nate Query as the twins, Jenny Conlee as Wendy, and Chris Funk as Jack. They did a brief reenactment for the intro and then proceeded to play a set list that highlighted the more Halloween-appropriate part of their catalogue. I had come to the show dressed as the uncle from "July, July" (a crooked French Canadian who was gut-shot running fin), which consisted of a red and white-striped shirt, some fake blood on my gut, a neckerchief, beret, a plastic carafe filled with water and a label that read "Water, No Gin in Here!", and a little Canadian flag. Colin commented that I had a nice costume (only a handful of audience members had dressed up) and at the beginning of "16 Military Wives", sat down on the stage near me and put my flag in the headstock of his guitar!
As usual, there were several times during the show where he came towards me--I like to think it's because he likes me and not just because I am standing to his left, while all of his pedals are to his right. I was not pulled onstage to play any instruments or sing any parts, but it was still a very fantastic concert, albeit the sound guys could've been much better at their job. Afterwards, I waited outside for the band to come out. I was able to talk to Nate and he signed my copy of We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Now, I should mention that the Decemberists are playing the Wharton Center at MSU on November 12th (!) and that the promotions lady at my bookstore e-mailed the band to see if they could come do a signing that day (!!), though the band didn't respond. So, I took it upon myself to try and persuade them to come hang out at the bookstore before they play on campus. So, I told Nate to come and he said he'd see what he could do. Then, I got to talk to Colin Meloy. There have been two times where I have been talking to Mr. Meloy and another fan has asked me to take a picture of him/her and Colin. I have been happy to oblige, but because I get so nervous, my hands are always shaking while I take the picture. I am happy to report that, for some reason, when I was talking to Colin this time (and taking a picture for a fellow fan), I wasn't very nervous at all. It was almost as if I was talking to some regular person. Colin remembered that I had give him a book for his son (The Berenstain Bears' The Messy Room) and thanked me. We talked a little bit and I told him that the band should visit the bookstore and he said that they might call and arrange a ride to our store (since it is not within walking distance of the campus)!!!!! So I am looking forward to seeing the show on the 12th and keeping everything that I can crossed, hoping that I'll be able to hang out with the Decemberists during the day. Wish me luck!