Category Archives: forward into the past

flash from the distant past

Hybrid Elephant at the Fremont Sunday Market

i went to the fremont sunday market yesterday. i didn’t do as well as i did last week, but i still made $60, which is nothing to sneeze at.

i had this really strange experience, but first, a little back story.

when i was living in bellingham, before i moved to mount vernon (let me see, mental calculations, approximately 15 years ago – gawd, am i really that old?), i was doing graphic design work for almitra, who was trying to pull together a “new-age” business, or commune, or teaching center, or something like that. she was also my introduction to the the himalayan academy, because she had found the 500 pound sphatika lingam that ordains their temple. looking back on it, i don’t see why i worked for her as long as i did, not only because she was one of the truly crazy people that have plagued my life, but also because she didn’t actually pay me in money, but rather in tangible goods, like an african aligator-skin drum, and a Mac LCII computer (which she ended up having a good friends of mine steal back from me), but this all happened before that.

one of the things that i designed for almitra was a deck of cards called “Words of Power”. they were triangular cards with a sri yantra on the back, and various words and their “interpretations” in fancy print on the front. i don’t remember all of the words, but they were all in a very fancy typeface that was very distinctive, and there were enough individual words to make a deck of 50 – 75 cards. all almitra did was come up with a list of words, and this idea, i did all of the design work and had the cards printed at this place in mount vernon, near where i lived several years later. after the cards were printed, i gave them to almitra, keeping a couple decks myself for my portfolio, and quickly forgot about them. i remember finding them when we moved from renton to auburn, but they’re currently buried somewhere in the pile of boxes in our dining room, and have been for at least two years.

Words of Power cards

yesterday, i was at the fremont sunday market, and i had occasion to see one of the people who really appreciates fine quality incense that i have come to know. she was a vendor as well, and someone i first met last year when i went to the FSM (i can’t help but think of the Flying Spaghetti Monster when i use that abbrevation). she had a table where she was giving “readings from a real, live psycho”, and – and this is the really weird part – she was using a deck of “Words of Power” cards as her medium.

Readings with a live psycho

i was passing by, and i saw the cards, and, without saying anything, i picked one up and turned it over to make sure that they really were the same cards i designed, and then i said “i designed these cards.” she immediately responded by grabbing the card back from me and saying “no you didn’t!” she said that she had a mystical relationship with the cards, and when i came back, a little later, with my camera so that i could take a picture of her with the cards, she said “no, no!” and tried to hide them from me – she was in the middle of a reading, though, and i got a shot of her and the cards anyway.

i haven’t even thought about those cards in 15 years! and almitra is one of the many truly crazy people i have dealt with in my life. i couldn’t have possibly imagined that anyone would use something that a crazy woman came up with as a legitimate vehicle for discerning the future before i actually saw it for myself.

dead people

William F. Buckley Jr. 1925 – 2008 – in 1982, while the PHBFH was pregnant with ezra, i went to eastern washington to be a migrant fruit picker for a season. because of the fact that i didn’t have any money, i found a telephone credit card number, that allegedly belonged to William F. Buckley, which i used to call the PHBFH every day. i talked for hours, from the pay-phone up the road about a mile from the orchard i was working at, which was about 50 miles outside of lake chelan, washington. i can only imagine how large “William F. Buckley’s” phone bill must have been, because i figured that if i was using it with no consequences, there had to have been several hundred (at least) other hippies who were also using it. it finally quit working after i returned home, around christmas or so of that year. ezra was born in january of 1983.

1039

it’s the first of july… where has 2007 gone anyway?

next week, at this time, i will be going to “art on the ave” in tacoma, with my art car. i have recently got the brakes and the left front CV axle replaced, with money given to me by moe who was given it by ann a couple weeks ago when she went to portland after her mother had a stroke. it turned out to cost about half of what i was fearing, which means that, potentially, i can get the muffler fixed soon as well. it’s probably not going to get fixed until after oregon country fair, but that’s a lot sooner than i thought a week ago when i first learned how serious it really was. it all started when i got a flat tire, and ended up getting four new tires, but at the same time, learning that i had no brakes in either the front or the back, and that the ominous clicking sound that i was hearing when i went around a corner was the CV axle trying to work it’s way loose. i had about a week of worrying about that when the muffler started making a lot of noise. now the only thing left to fix is the muffler, which (i learned yesterday), is due to a broken weld just before the exhaust pipe enters the muffler, which can be fixed very easily if i knew how to weld…

when i was in fourth grade i took a career aptitude test that said i was most suited to be a welder. at the time, i was absolutely convinced that i was going to be a musician, and completely rejected the idea of becoming a welder. i have had several opportunities to learn how to weld since then, including in high school and in the tech school, and, while i admit that i didn’t completely reject the idea, at the same time, i also didn’t learn how to weld. i have been noticing, more and more frequently, how desirable knowing how to weld would be, and i’ve been wishing that i would have done things differently when i was in fourth grade. i can’t imagine that welding is an awful lot different than soldering, and i know several different techniques for soldering, so i get the impression that welding would not be that great a stretch for me at this time… it’s just a matter of finding someone who wants to teach an old dog new tricks… and then buying a whole bunch of new, expensive tools that i don’t have room for…

and then, two weeks from today will already be the last official day of the oregon country fair, which is what i was talking about when i said “where has 2007 gone” earlier… this is the first year in the (now) 5 years that i have been going to OCF that moe is going with me, although she’s going with me on thursday and coming back on saturday because she has to teach classes on sunday and she took off sunday a couple of weeks ago to go to portland when her mother had a stroke, so she can’t skip another week. it also means that i’ve got to find another way to get home, but considering that we’re going down as part of a large group of performers, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and if it is, i’ll be stuck in eugene with my tuba and all the camping gear, so i’ll probably be able to come up with some ideas for ways to get home — after all, i am a hippie… 8) it will be fun to have moe along. she’s not obligated to do anything, so she can hang out and check out the fair, and help out with our theatre stuff if she wants to… and she’ll get to see all kinds of performances, such as the fremont philharmonic at the ritz, and BBWP, which will probably perform at the friday night fire show again this year. also, this year is the first year since i started going to OCF that my physical birthday will not happen while i am at the fair. ready for this? i’m going to be 47 in a couple weeks… even if you were ready for it, i wasn’t… it feels like i haven’t gotten that much older since i was 30, which, if i recall correctly, is very much like what my grandparents said when i asked them when i was in fourth grade…

where has 2007 gone, anyway?