Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, and an epic book battle

9 Sep

You may have noticed a lull in posts this week. Let’s just say my absence has been for the best of reasons! This week was full of fabulous events!

Neil Gaiman was here.

Wednesday I was lucky enough to be one of 700 some-odd people in attendance at a reading by Neil Gaiman at the Fisher Center (Bard College’s eye-catching theater). In an announcement on the Fisher Center site, Neil said, “I just finished a new short story—I suppose it’s a way of looking at some fairy tales from a different direction—and wanted to read it to an audience, to find out whether it works.” And work it did! Neil received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of his reading (he asked the audience if we were standing because we liked the story or because after sitting so long we needed a stretch). I won’t give away too much of the story because it was a delight to hear it unfold, but there are some familiar fairy tale folks (a sleeping beauty, 7 or so dwarves) and a Queen who puts her wedding day on hold in pursuit of adventure and world saving. Neil also read two poems: “The Day the Saucers Came” and “The Isle of Iona” and offered another special treat – a ukulele performance by his wife and fellow artist Amanda Palmer. The entire event left me utterly charmed by both Gaiman and Palmer, so I couldn’t have been happier when Neil announced that the two of them will be back in April for “An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer”! Hurray!

The following night I returned to Bard for Amanda Palmer’s show, which was easily the most fun and creative live music event I have attended in years (possibly ever). For her upcoming album, Theatre is Evil (releasing Tuesday), she is joined by the Grand Theft Orchestra. I’m not sure how these four artists came together, but I’m sure glad they did! They played a mix of Amanda Palmer hits (Astronaut, Missed Me) and songs off the new album (The Killing Type, Want It Back), and even sneaked in a fun cover of George Michael/Wham’s Careless Whisper which left me wondering whether or not the college students in the crowd knew this 80s pop hit (there was surprisingly little audience sing along). Sometimes it’s hard being a child of the 90s.

Speaking of tough times, my concert companion was suffering from a migraine (which sadly, in the end cut short her night and made her miss Amanda’s set). While sitting out in the lobby with her during one of the opening acts, I happened to make eye-contact with Neil Gaiman who was briskly walking through the lobby (man on a mission: writing another Doctor Who episode in a backstage office during the show) and managed to get out the words “I really loved your story last night” to which he thanked me and smiled and I thanked him and smiled right back. My hopes and dreams are that someday (perhaps when he returns in April?) my radio tweens and I will have the opportunity to interview him for our show. For now, a brief expression of appreciation (and a smile in return) is enough for me.

Anyway, be sure to check out Amanda’s new album when it releases Tuesday, or if you are one of her many kickstarter supporters lucky enough to have the album feeding your ears already, enjoy and thanks for helping make this happen!

And then Saturday was our library system’s Battle of the Books where teams from five counties came together for some friendly but fierce, book trivia competition. The kids read the same eight books over the summer and then have to answer questions like “In which book does a character have a food-related nickname?” This year’s books were Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, Matched by Ally Condie, Heist Society by Ally Carter, The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong, Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis, The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis, and Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Our team didn’t win, but we had a fabulous time and I couldn’t be prouder of the girls for their hard work all summer and for how well they worked together as a team. It was also Maddie’s last day with us before her move across the state, so was a little bittersweet, though we sweetened things up with a stop for bubble tea on the way home – craving inspired by Raina Telgemeier’s fabulous Drama.

Hope you all had a fabulous week as well! What were some of the highlights of your week?!

3 Responses to “Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, and an epic book battle”

  1. Nancy 09. Sep, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Can I reserve your futon for the April Neil Gaiman event?

  2. em 09. Sep, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    That would be a strange comment if it weren’t coming from my mom. Yes, Mom, the futon is yours!

  3. Rebecca @ Crunchings and Munchings 16. Sep, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    I’m so jealous!!! That’s awesome.

Leave a Reply