Welcome to Night Vale: The Librarian

The entire point of our trip to Paris was to see a live show of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. The title of the show they’re currently performing in Europe is The Librarian. I went with Jan and my friend K, who is the one that first got us into it. Amazingly I was the one who told her about the European shows though! All the performances in Germany were either too far away (Hamburg!) or in the middle of the week, but Paris is only 3 hours from us and the show was on a Friday, meaning only one day off was needed. Perfect!

For those of you who don’t know the podcast, a brief summary. Night Vale is a desert community somewhere in America (presumably the south-west – that’s where all the seserts are, right?). The premise of the podcast is that it’s community radio, so each podcast contains things like the community calendar, traffic, local news and announcements  about things that are happening in town, all read out by narrator Cecil (voiced by Cecil Baldwin). But all is not as it seems in Night Vale. For instance, there are angels… or at least beings claiming to be angels and a dog park that neither dogs nor humans are allowed to enter. Also, beware of helicoptors, librarians and hooded figures. Basically listen to it! It’s free to download, so at least go and get the pilot. If you don’t like it, you haven’t wasted any money.

As I’ve said, the show we went to see was entitled The Librarian. I won’t tell you too much about what happens because a recording will be released at some point in the future, and also the tour isn’t even over yet! I will, however, say this much: it all starts when the town council decides to renovate the public library and one of the librarians gets loose. Also, creator Joseph Fink shows up as new intern Joseph… and we all know what happens to interns! Seeing Night Vale live was an amazing experience. The shows are always good, but Cecil’s facial expressions and gesticulations added a whole extra dimension. In fact, everyone did a great job (other performers included former mayor Pamela Winchell, who called a press conference (what else?) right in the studio and Deb as one of Night Vale’s sponsors, played by Meg Bashwiner better known as the voice of the credits). Here are some photos of the show:

The weather was performed by Mary Epworth, a British singer-songwriter who I liked a lot.

There were quite a few people with the Night Vale moon drawn on them or extra eyes, but there were also some really good costumes. One of my favourites was an excellent girl scout! Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of her, although Jan did get one of a different girl scout. K went as the glow cloud, and was quite rightly hailed/worshipped all night. I think every single audience member wanted a photo either of or with her! I went as Tamika Flynn (as I’ve already mentioned) and was very disappointed by how few people actually knew what I was supposed to be! Especially considering Tamika is one of the few characters who is actually described even vaguely. And you would have thought the librarian head would have given it away! Most people only understood after I showed them my sticker chart, which had “my” name on it. One group of hooded figures actually thought I was supposed to be a librarian, which was a bit weird! Here are a few photos anyway (some taken by me, some by Jan). I have included one of K which I hope gives a good enough impression of her costume without revealing her identity too much (yes, I know it seems hypocritical to care about that considering I’m using photos of a bunch of strangers, but being strangers it’s less likely that people will figure out who they are via me!)

At the end of the show, we hung around for a bit waiting for the performers to come out. I bought a CD by Mary Epworth, which she signed for me, then eventually Cecil Baldwin and Joseph Fink showed up. I got them to sign my ticket (Cecil also signed my sticker chart) and got a photo with each of them. They were both lovely 🙂

After the show, we decided to go for a drink with two other girls we had met there. One we met in the queue (she came over to meet the glow cloud) and she ended up sitting with us and the other we met after the show when she wanted a photo with K. Appropriately enough, she was wearing a glow cloud T-shirt. All in all, it was an excellent night and I’m glad we went. It being on Halloween was just an added touch of brilliance. If there is ever another tour of Europe, I would definitely think about going!

You can download all the episodes of Welcome to Night Vale here or also on iTunes.

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Look Up, Look Down – Signs

This morning, my train was full of people dressed as monsters and snake charmers and ladybirds, all drinking beer and wine at 7:30 a.m. I assume they were all on their way to Cologne for schmutziger Donnerstag (Wikipedia tells me it’s actually schmotziger Donnerstag, but in my region it’s schmutzig!), aka Fat Thursday – not to be confused with Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). It’s the last Thursday before lent and part of the Fastnacht/Fasching/Carnival season. I’m not actually sure what schmutziger Donnerstag is for… apart from yet another excuse to wear costumes and get drunk. I would have tried to get some sneaky photos for you, but I fed to the quiet carriage with all the other commuters. The Fasching celebraters all had beer, wine and – most annoyingly – bells! Not what you want to put up with on the way to work. So instead, here’s my entry for the weekly Look Up – Look Down photo challenge with Travel With Intent.

When out and about, I often take photos of interesting signs and random features that I spot high up on the walls of buildings. All of the photos below were taken in Weil der Stadt.

Do you ever find yourself taking photos of random interesting signs? Which of the above is your favourite?

Travel theme: Costume

I’m jumping in to this week’s travel theme on Where’s My Backpack at the last minute – the new travel theme comes out tomorrow! What can I say… it’s been a busy week and I’m only just getting round to it. But when I saw that the theme was Costumes I couldn’t possibly not join in!

As soon as I read what the theme was, I knew I would have to include this photo:

Witch
Witch

It was taken at the Fachingsumzug (Carnival Parade) in Feldkirch, Austria. Karlsruhe technically has a parade on Shorve Tuesday – which is Karnival, Fastnacht or Fasching here, depending on your region – but it’s kind of half-hearted. In Feldkirch, it was brilliant. You could see that everyone had put loads of effort into their costumes. Here’s another photo from that occasion.

Monkey
Monkey

Next up, a photo from Barcelona. La Ramblas is famous for these living statues. I don’t know how people manage it… I would definitely have to cough or get a sudden itch if I tried to stay still for that long!

Living statue
Living statue

And finally, something very rare for this blog.

Bzzzzz
Bzzzzz

It’s me! Dressed as a bee for Halloween 2007. Make the most of it, because you probably won’t be seeing another photo of me on here for a loooong time!

Now I have to go and finish packing, but to see more photos of costumes, click here. There’s probably no time for you to take part in this week’s travel theme, but the next one will be out tomorrow (Friday) so you can always have a go at that…

Preparing for Halloween

As I am sure you all now, tomorrow is Halloween. While the Germans don’t really do Halloween, I am not German and I most definitely do! (Any excuse to get dressed up). Which is why I spent most of the weekend and all of yesterday evening sewing. NOT something I’m good at. I don’t own a sewing machine (confession time; they terrify me!) and my hand stitching is, quite frankly, messy! I am now almost done, and I’m both relieved and more than a little proud of myself. Our costumes may not be perfect, but neither are they particularly bad.

Because my costume doesn’t allow me to wear a coat (I can’t get my arms in the sleeves!), my task for tomorrow in between getting home from work and going out dressed up is to attempt to purchase a poncho. I have been looking, but whereas they were everywhere last year, nobody seems to have them in now. I didn’t buy one last year because I’m not a particular fan of them, but needs must – the weather is set to warm up tomorrow, with highs of 7 whole degrees celcius (or 8, depending on which forecast you choose to believe), as opposed to today’s 4-5°C, but even that isn’t particularly warm, and at night it will be dropping down to between 0 and 2°C. Brrr!

Right now though, my task is to attempt to create some ears (my real reason for being online was to find a template, but WordPress called…), and I’d really better get on with it otherwise I’ll never get any sleep tonight. I have NO idea what I’m doing, so please wish me luck… A Happy Halloween to all of you for tomorrow. Don’t let the ghosts get you!

In which I am reminded of why I do not sew…

Once again the weekend has gone by far too fast. It’s Sunday evening already, back to work again tomorrow and as usual I haven’t even managed to get through half of the things I had planned to do over the weekend. This time, though, I think it may have something to do with the fact that Jan and I spent most of yesterday sewing. Actually, that sounds far too tame to describe what we went through. Let’s replace sewing with “4 hours of kneeling on the floor, needle and thread in hand, wishing I had never heard of the word costume”. Yes, you did read that right, I said four hours. I felt like a cripple afterwards. my knee was hurting again, my left leg had gone completely dead and my lower back was killing. And why did I spend my entire Saturday afternoon sewing on the living room floor? Because the boyfriend and I were invited to a birthday party last night with the theme “comics”. Jan decided to go as something called The Phantom Blot (no, I’d never heard of it either. Something to do with Mickey Mouse apparantly…) So he found instructions on how to make a black robe, bought a huge piece of black fabric for a ridiculous amount of money and made him a costume. I’ve never been so glad to finish anything in my life! It was worth it though. The robe ended up looking really good. I refuse to go through that again any time soon though… I’ve already told him he has to keep the costume and dress up as something involving a black robe at every fancy-dress party for at least  the next four years…
By the way, in case anyone was wondering, I went as Minnie the Minx. Predictably none of the Germans had ever heard of her. I thought I looked good though…

Photo meme

Katyboo tagged me for this meme days ago, but as you can see I’m only getting round to doing it now.
The idea is that you open the fourth folder of photos on your PC, take the fourth photo from that album and post it on your blog. Then I suppose you’re meant to talk about it – at least that’s what everyone else has done.
I was a little afraid I might have to cheat on this one. You see, most of my photos are of people I know – family, friends, people from my student residence… that sort of thing. And while I don’t mind writing about my own life I do draw the line at posting photos of people on the internet without their knowledge (I don’t even use people’s full first names on my blog, unless they’re really, really common names meaning they could be anybody). As it turned out I didn’t even have to do any cheating. Photo four from album number four was this:
Halloween

I’m sure none of you need me to tell you that “this” is a photo of a skull and cross bones necklace. What you may, however, be wondering is why.

It’s part of my Halloween costume from 2007. I went as Susan Sto Helit. I had a half black, half white wig that I rearranged a bit to make look white with a black streak. I wore a long black skirt, long sleeved black top and a lacy kind of cardigan, black lipstick and lots of black mascara. This necklace was something I had discovered that very day in a one euro shop and decided it would be the perfect accessory for my costume. I thought I did a good job. Unfortunately nobody managed to figure out who I was. Most of you are probably asking yourselves who Susan Sto Helit is as well**. *Sigh*. Where, oh where have all the Terry Pratchett readers gone?
I’m not entirely sure why I took a photo of the random euro shop necklace part of my costume. But for some reason I did. Maybe I knew even back then I would one day be called upon to find a fourth photo in a fourth album that was hopefully not a picture of one of my friends…

** Just in case any of you actually is wondering who Susan Sto helit is, she’s Death’s granddaughter in the Discworld novels. Yes, I said Death. Huge skeleton, walks around with a scythe, that Death. Obviously she’s not his real granddaughter. She can walk through walls though. Look, you’ll just have to read the books. It will all make perfect sense then.