March 29, 2009

Things from the past week

Last Tuesday, a bit belatedly in my opinion, I finally received my pre-ordered copy of Hazards of Love, along with the t-shirt I ordered with it. To my surprise, I actually managed to nab one of the first 750 copies of the CD to come with a signed booklet. Yay! Now I have all 5 of the band member's signatures, unlike my copy of The Crane Wife, which only has 3. Sadly, I did not bag the signed baglama saz that went to one lucky fan, though I'm not quite sure what I would have done with it aside from have it as a conversation piece.

I actually had a 3-day weekend. Friday seems so long ago that I've nearly forgotten that. I didn't do much with my day off anyway except blissfully sleep in. From Wednesday through Saturday, I had a friend of E's from the US staying with me while she attended a conference in Leiden. Bit of tight quarters in my little apartment, but it was nice to have met her and I think she enjoyed what she saw of Leiden.

With the sun out today, M and I went for a walk in the Leidse Hout near my house. We stopped at the cafe in the park and ended up getting slices of this chocolate cake they had, which was really lovely. It may be a bit dangerous knowing that that place is so near to me...

As if that weren't enough sugar, I then baked the snickerdoodles I had planned to make. I've never made them before, but a (non-American) friend at work requested ages ago that I make them because she'd had them once and really liked them. I didn't make them back then because it was before I got my oven, but I'd been meaning to get around to it once certain people at work were all back from various holidays. So, a bit of a surprise for them tomorrow. I'm quite happy with how they turned out, they taste as they should, heh, and I guess M liked them since between the two of us there are probably about 10 less cookies for my co-workers. Which isn't as bad as it could have been, really...

It is pretty sad that I still have not started to ride my bike this year. I really need to take it out of its winter hibernation.

I've been watching so many movies lately I feel like I should start keeping track of them like I do with the books I've read. They include: Eagle vs Shark, Magnolia, Milk, La Vie en Rose, and Chopper.

I have 4 concerts planned, and frustratingly, the first one is still more than a month away. Still, it's nice to have what should be some great shows planned. I haven't been to a show since December and then I'll suddenly have 3 shows in one week:

May 3: Liam Finn, Tivoli, Utrecht
May 5: Beirut, Paradiso
May 7: Andrew Bird, Paradiso
June 30: Fleet Foxes, Paradiso

What would make me a very happy bunny though is the announcement of a European Decemberists tour...

March 21, 2009

People are going to die tonight.

Recently Colin Meloy posted to Twitter that he had a spreadsheet tallying the amount of people who died in Decemberists songs. Paste Magazine has now posted their own list of deaths, with input from Colin. The final count is a rather-low-seeming 70, but this only counts the characters created by Colin who actually die; there are many more songs that allude to vicious deeds or refer to ghosts of people who didn't die in the song. Cheery stuff, but then that's what we love the band for.

To balance out the gloom, here's a happy photo. I was feeling rather shitty and borderline sick yesterday, so M brought me some flowers. It's been awhile since a guy gave me flowers. And aren't they lovely:

March 17, 2009

Recent weird comments

- Today from a co-worker: "You must have Irish in you with a name like Diamond." ?? Since when is Diamond Irish?
- A couple from a guy I used to know on the Nirvana mailing list who I got in contact with again via Facebook: "M? Of M and O fame?" It's not like we were Sonny and Cher...
- He also hoped I was still loving Belle & Sebastian. It's just weird that I'm remembered as a Belle & Sebastian fan. Especially since I'm completely failing at it right now, only realizing now that I'm missing two of their CDs.

March 10, 2009

Onwards with Australia photos

Considering I've now been back from Australia for over a year and I still have a month's worth of travelling to get through, I figured I need to cut corners a bit and focus on getting the photos online. So I've not written much of a story about this part of the trip, but instead tried to tell a bit about things in the photo captions.

I headed back to Australia from New Zealand on Christmas Eve and spent a couple of days in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Then I spent about a week in Sydney, including New Year's, which was amazing. You can view the photos here. Some videos from this part of the trip are here.

March 7, 2009

Continuing the weak photo taking

Last Sunday I got roped into going on a 14k walk from Gouda to Oudewater. I had hoped to take a bunch of photos that I could post, but a combination of gray weather and a rather bland walk, first along a road, and then through fields, resulted in a whole 3 photos being taken, one of which is really boring, so I'm not posting it. But here are the two ok ones, taken when we were still in the center of Gouda.

Here's a photo someone else in the group took during the walk through the fields. Yeah, it was like that for about half the walk. It was only occasionally broken up by coming to a gate and having to walk on some boards out over the water to get around it, so then there was at least some vague threat of someone falling in the water, but that was about all.

I really need to get somewhere with some sun and scenery so I can get some better photos taken. Though, I do still have a bazillion photos from Australia to put online.