Tag Archives: bellingham

so i went to bellingham yesterday…

so i went to bellingham yesterday. it has been a long time since i’ve been in belligham, and it has been even longer since i have seen the… crazy hippy freaks unique crowd that was there for kenyth’s 77th birthday party last night.

kenyth was my advisor when i first started college, and i started college during the latter part of the last century, but that comes later.

first, i drove through mt. vernon and saw many cow-fields adjacent to the nookachamps river that are going to be ripe for mushrooming in a few weeks, and, basically, i’ve decided that i’m going to take at least one weekend day and do exactly that… because mushrooms are my second favourite drug (the first is hashish, but that’s a separate story).

it took me about an hour longer than i thought it was going to, to get to bellingham, which still puzzles me somewhat. i went to ken & kamalla’s place, but nobody was home, so i then went to the madhouse, which is where i spent the night last night, and talked to darol and the lady who lives in the cabin (which was my space, 25 years ago) for a while, then i went out to wander until it was time for kenyth’s party.

the first place i went was the lake whatcom railroad trail, near where i used to live on valencia street, where i walked east (up hill) on the trail to this spot, where i found this:
old railroad bridge
it was somewhat strange back before everything got developed, but it is somewhat stranger now that it’s the only remaining evidence of a railroad line that used to go right through the middle of what is now a shopping mall and a fairly populated neighbourhood.

i then continued wandering east on the old railroad grade until i found a place that was built about the same time i lived there, which is a dam which funnels all of the water into a creek. a long time ago, shortly after the dam was first built, i used to go there and hide in the tube at the south end of the dam, and grafitti the inside of the tube. at one point, i even took a couple of sheets of plywood down there, so that i didn’t have to worry about getting soaked while i worked. i cleaned debris and gravel out of the tube at least twice, and i had a cozy, invisible little camp/hidey-hole there for a couple of years. now you can still get into the tube, but there’s a sizable pool at the bottom of it at this point, so you’d have to be a spry 20-something to get in there… i imagine that i could probably get in there now, but i imagine that if i wasn’t careful, i would get wet, and i didn’t want to do that yesterday, because it was threatening rain, and i didn’t have a change of clothes handy…

then i went down the tracks a little further, until i got to whatcom falls park, which is another place i used to live eons ago, when ezra was small. this is the place where the PHBFH lived, while i lived in the madhouse (when the PHBFH was living up to her acronym, which was about half of the time), when we went to vancouver BC to see the opera, when ezra was a tiny baby, and there were several old lady opera attenders who looked down their noses at us because we had a “babe-in-arms” at the opera, and everybody knows that babes-in-arms disrupt civilised things like opera… and they didn’t even notice when ezra went to sleep, shortly after the opening chorus, and slept all the way through, without making any noise at all. then, when we got home, very late at night, it was raining, so i parked the car while the PHBFH got out to open the door, so that we could avoid having ezra out in the rain for too long… except that the PHBFH wouldn’t open, or go anywhere close to the door, because it had a teensy little frog, smaller than the diameter of a dime, sitting on the door handle… 8)

then i went back to ken and kamalla’s place, where there was someone home this time, although it wasn’t kamalla, because she was apparently in california visiting her grandkids. i engaged in geek/music and/or music/geek talk with ken until it was time to go to kenyth’s party… which, coincidentally, was in the same dance studio where ezra took lessons from the time that he was 5 until he started at the pacific northwest ballet school, which used to be the nancy whyte studio, but is now called the “Presence Dance Studio”…

kenyth & francieas i said previously, kenyth was my advisor during the time that i was at fairhaven college, which was 1979 through 1984, and again, on and off, from 1986 to 1989. prior to my arrival at fairhaven, kenyth was actually the dean of the college, but by the time i got there, he was “just a professor”. his two “specialty” classes were “Introduction to Personal Philosophy 101” which was informally known as “the fly in the flybottle” or simply “the flybottle class”, and “Awareness Through The Body”. when i first started at fairhaven, you could take body awareness as many times as you wanted, but you could only take the flybottle class once… however, it had such a powerful effect on me that i actually took it twice (with kenyth’s approval) – although i never took body awareness at all (which is kind of a shame, now that i think about it).

before i met kenyth, i was a child from bellevue, a place which is, like it’s new york namesake, an excellent place from which to escape. kenyth introduced me to the person i would eventually become. he did this by allowing me to be me, gently, uncritically and with a great deal of humour (as well as various other things), and by not requiring me to be anything which i was not. it didn’t take long for me to realise that i acutally am another person, one who is 180 degrees different from the person my parents wanted me to be (who was boring and had no life).

and i saw a whole bunch of crazy hippy freaks unique people whom i haven’t seen for quite some time. i saw: douglas drake and joni papp, who i saw at burning man in 2008; karl meyer and stephan freeman, who i see at the moisture festival every year; sally peyou, who i got email from last week, but haven’t actually seen since 2007; yoav and yael yanich, deirdre morgan, kathy veterane, darby freeman, lisa carderelli, dani cutler, jamie jedinak, and a lot of other people whose names i am already forgetting again… all of whom i haven’t seen in at least 20 years… i got email addresses for the people i’ve been thinking about, and wondering what ever happened to them…

i went to sleep, and woke up in the madhouse for the first time since 1989 and it felt so right… if i ever have the opportunity to move back to bellingham at any point in the future, you can bet that i’m going to jump on it in a second. 8)

kenyth's dance

mump…

the new ganesha the vehicle developed its first problem a couple of days ago. the speedometer quit working… and, along with that, the odometer and the cruise control quit. 😛

i called the dealer(!) i bought it from the other day, and he said he’d get back to me, but he hasn’t called yet. i just called him, and they want me to bring the car up to them tomorrow.

i’m going to bellingham on friday. i might not be back until saturday.

bellingham &C.

bellingham yesterday.

the banda gozona gig was cancelled, but i went through mount vernon anyway, to check up on a couple of places i used to live. the house on thillberg road has been completely replaced with a new, bigger house. from there i drove up through sedro woolley and then across to chuckanut, and then north on chuckanut to bellingham. i was alarmed to see how much development has gone on on the outskirts of mount vernon. the places that were big open fields full of cows and swans when i lived there are now seemingly endless tracts of identical, cheap-looking houses, with more on the way, almost all the way out to mud lake (which is now, ironically enough, called “clear” lake). there has also been a fair amount of development in sedro woolley. also, the building south of sedro woolley that had the “Talkie Tooter” sign that i always used to wonder about has a bright, new, spiffy sign that says Rothenbuhler Engineering, which is a lot less confusing… all thanks to internet (which didn’t exist when i actually lived in mount vernon).

Kamalla & low rider

so anyway, i got to bellingham about 1:00 and smoked a bowl or two with ken and kamalla, and then we went up to the college where they were having a low rider show in red square. when i wanted to have an event that involved driving on red square, the people in charge said that red square was “too unstable” to drive on, but the low rider show was a whole bunch of cars parked all around the fountain. i guess when i wanted to do it there were “political” reasons for preventing me from doing so, and that was the excuse they used. the low rider show was a bunch of people from various low rider clubs from seattle, although i did see one or two cars that said they were from bellingham, and a bunch of “cholos” (kamalla’s word for them) – hispanic/mexican culture folks – but hardly any actual WWU students, which i thought was rather unusual. there were also about half the cops in bellingham, apparently because they were worried that there might be some racially motivated violence from the large quantity of black and hispanic (read “not from around here”) people. of course there wasn’t any violence, and there were a bunch of dancers from mexico that were performing to a CD of the same music that i had originally thought i was going to perform in mount vernon.

then i went out to drive around and “reconnect” with the town that i lived in for 15 years before moving to seattle, getting married and having a brain injury. i was really surprised to discover that i remembered where things were that didn’t really make any difference (like Current Industries, one of the places i used to work), and that i remembered all of the secret ways to get various different places. i ran into darol, who was out on a bike ride towards lummi island. i saw this guy from behind who had stopped to pick up some litter by the side of the road and when i drove past him, i realised that it was darol, so i just pulled over to the side of the road and we chatted for half an hour or so. after that i drove around in the lummi reservation, past the lummi island ferry, and back through marietta.

then i went back to “the land” and went to a jam at kenyth’s. he was very surprised to see me, because nobody had told him that i was going to be there, and even more surprised when i said that i had an amp that i wanted to plug my long flute into, until he realised that it was me, who has the capability to play the trombone very quietly, playing into the amp. apparently he was worried that it was going to be some blasting noise that he was going to have to play with. silly kenyth… 8)

i got home around midnight. even despite the fact that the gig in mount vernon was cancelled, overall i would say that my visit to bellingham was a lot of fun and i had great time, and i am going to have to find an excuse to go visit again a lot sooner than i did the last time.

this morning i got verbal confirmation from the SSDI folks in baltimore that my claim for disability has been approved… finally… after 4 denials, three years of waiting, and – HELLO! I HAVE A HOLE IN MY SKULL! there’s no word on how much they’re going to give me yet, or when it’s going to start, but it’s a small step in the right direction.

a few miscellaneous items

the word “fire” is one syllable. not two syllables, not one and a half syllables (whatever that means), one syllable. people who use it as two syllables are simply stupid. it appears in my rhyming dictionary in the list of one-syllable words that includes ire, byre, dire, gyre, hire, lyre, mire, pyre, spire, quire, choir, squire, sire, shire, tire, Tyre, tyre and wire. also, my prosody dictionary (which is more concerned with form than it is with metrics) doesn’t have anything specific to the word “fire”, but what it does have (definitions of ictus, secondary accent, division, foot, iamb, trochee, dactyl, anapest, spondee, pyrrhic, amphibrach, tribrach and amphimacer) seems to indicate that if “ire” is recognisably one syllable, then “fire” is also, recognisably, only one syllable.

Alien Hand Syndrome is a video of a woman who is in recovery after having an AVM rupture, very similar to what happened to me. i am surprised by how similar her experiences are to mine, especially when she says “let go” and had to get her right hand to get her left hand to let go of the wires. this is exactly what i have experienced on a daily basis since my injury, although i have to get my left hand to get my right hand to stop doing stuff it’s not supposed to be doing.

bellingham tomorrow