Tag Archives: forward into the past

blast from the past

i was cleaning out my desk and i found a bit of paper that probably hasn’t changed relative locations in close to 35 years. it was written on the back of a photocopied “description of statues” that was from Sindhu International, which, among other things, was my landlord when i was in the tech school, but the important part was written on the back, several years later, when i was working as a flagger…

GIRDED IN

THE TANGERINE VEST OF VISIBILITY

AND

THE AMBER HELMET OF HARDNESS

I BEAR ON MY STAFF THE POWER OF

THE SCARLET OCTAGON

AND I COMMAND YOU TO

STOP!

halvah!

0011between 1982 and 1984, before i went into the tech school, i had a “job” as a cookie baker. part of that job involved making halvah, a yummy treat made of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cocoa powder and other goodies, stuck together with honey or maple syrup. the reason i called it a “job” was because, as far as i knew, i was the owner of the business, and more-or-less it’s only employee, which may have actually been the case, although i never found out. i got the “job” from the PHBFH when she got pregnant with ezra and couldn’t work any longer, and when the “job” ended – when i went to seattle to start attending the tech school – i “gave” the business, called “Celebration Cookies”, back to the guy who had originally started it as a restaurant called “Celebration Cookery” several years before… but i never worked out of an “approved” kitchen, i never paid B&O taxes, i never had a health-department inspection or any of that “real business” stuff that normally goes on, so i don’t know for sure whether or not it was a “real” business, and thus i don’t know for sure whether or not it was a “real” job…

and, after i gave it back to the guy, i probably shouldn’t have worried about whether it was a “real” job or not, because, while i tried (and mostly succeeded) at making it a profitable use of my time, the guy i “gave it back to” was out of business within two months: he went out and spent the entire bank account on two ingredients that we used only a very little, and when he needed more of an ingredient that we used fairly regularly, there was no money in the bank account for it… so he went out of business… oh well, i’ve never looked back.

after having baked anywhere from 25 to 100 dozen cookies a week for a short period of time, i got to the point where i stopped eating cookies all together, except for the gingerbread cookies, and the halvah, because they were both yummy enough that, despite the fact that i had experienced the raw ingredients up to my elbows (and in my hair, and pretty much everywhere else), i still wanted to experience the finished product. eventually, after giving up the cookie business, i still made halvah, because the grain grinder was the only part of the business that i didn’t give back to the guy… because he didn’t ask for it back, and because i wanted to keep it so that i could continue to make halvah, because it was IS so yummy… 😎

i even modified the halvah recipe to make it more yummy, because… well, that’s what you do with recipes for yummy treats… 😎

Halvah!the last time i remember making halvah was before we moved into our current house. the grain grinder “disappeared” around the time that we moved, and i didn’t notice it until several years later. i tore the house apart looking for it, and couldn’t find it anywhere… it was because i wasn’t looking in the correct place, of course, but i didn’t find that out until i had given up looking for it, and had considered it a lost piece of history for several years.

until yesterday, when i looked in the correct place, while i was in the process of looking for something else… i suppose i should have looked for something else in that place before last night, but it was behind a whole pile of other stuff, and the cabinet that it was in was full of a whole bunch of other stuff that is “too cool to throw out, but otherwise useless”, which was put back in the cabinet and had stuff piled up in front of it, so it isn’t too surprising that it was overlooked…

but, the upshot is that i found my grain-grinder. so, i decided to make halvah. 😎

and it still is as yummy as i remember it. 😎

Halvah!

i only made half a pan, because i wasn’t sure if i remembered the modified recipe correctly, but i did, so now, as soon as that’s finished (likely within the next two or three days, depending on how yummy moe thinks it is), i’m all set to make a full pan. 😎

the week in review

i completed the replacement of the lead pipe on the ugly sousaphone. i have yet to replace the water key, and patch the split third-valve upper tubing, but those things shouldn’t take long at all, and then i will be able to deliver the ugly sousaphone to its rightful owner (thaddeus), who will, then, hand over to me the double B-flat tuba seen here… and i will play the HELL out of it! 8)

i was contacted by a person who claims to be my grandfather’s half-sister… but she’s around the same age as me… and for someone who might not be who she says she is, she certainly has an over abundance of trivial information and unimportant, but entirely, independently verified facts about people who would otherwise be completely unknown, so at this point i tend to agree that she’s probably my grandfather’s half-sister… but, because of the fact that my family is all that’s left of a bunch of massively inbred yokels and hillbillies, she hasn’t cleared up any of the “family mysteries”, and, in fact, has come up with several new ones that will, likely, never be completely understood, because they have to do with my family, who, traditionally, ignores, berates, or tries to shout down anybody (like me) who says that the way they live is not the best. rosemary, my great aunt, is also a child of the ’60s, and has a hippy heart, which is probably why she survived this long without doing the traditional family thing and going crazy.

seriously… there’s a family history going back almost 200 years, of family members getting killed or maimed by insane people, some of whom have also been family members… weird… 😐

the moisture festival has been going well, but i haven’t started playing shows "for real" yet, despite the fact that i have already played 6 shows with two different bands… starting on saturday, i have 12 shows over the course of 8 days, with two different bands, so i’m going to be more than ordinarily busy. until then, i’ve got a rehearsal this evening, and a rehearsal tomorrow evening, and probably a rehearsal either wednesday or thursday.

i got the business cards i made for chris, which look astoundingly good, given the fact that the phone number is deliberately off center… supposedly he’s going to get back to me on a postcard, for which i sent out a preliminary draft on tuesday, and talked with him on wendesday, but haven’t heard anything since. i don’t want to hassle him too much, though, because apart from having a more-or-less full time job, he’s also got a new clinic that he’s in the process of opening up… at the same time, this postcard is “time sensitive” at this point, and i don’t want to wait too long, or i won’t be able to get them printed in time.

here’s a bizarre tale…

a long time ago, before cell phones, internet tubes, and the evil koch brothers…

during the mid-1980s, i had been living in a rooming house on capitol hill, whose landlord was a young guy whose father actually owned the house, and he was “gaining job experience” by being the live-in landlord. i really didn’t know him that well, but he was very lax in keeping up the house: he did nothing about the windows which were leaking water when it rained, he did nothing to fix the central heating of the house, which meant that the upper floors (including where i lived) had no heat at all, he wasn’t too concerned about the fact that i regularly bought my own food, but had nowhere separate to store it, and if i left it in the “common areas” it would get eaten by the other housemates (including himself), even if it was clearly marked… when he refused to address any of these issues, i went to the city housing authority, who informed me that he didn’t have a permit to have a rooming house, and it was in a residential area that didn’t allow rooming houses, so the housing authority came in and shut the guy down, which meant that i had to find another place to live, fast.

i looked at an apartment on terry belmont and east union (terry and east union was where i lived in the mid-1990s), where it appeared that they were in the process of completely remodeling the place. as it turned out, the apartment had been inhabited by an old lady, and her cats, who had lived there for 50 years… but nobody knew she had cats, until she was out shopping one day, and had a heart attack (or something like that) and was taken to the hospital, where she died. she apparently didn’t have any relatives, and she had paid her rent in advance, so nobody bothered to access her apartment until several months (like “more than six”) later, at which point they discovered what used to be the cats, which had clawed open the refrigerator and eaten the food that they could before dying of starvation… which resulted in a BIG mess, which they were in the process of cleaning up when i came around to look at the place.

at that point, i really didn’t care who used to live in the apartment, or their cats. i was just interested in getting out of the rooming house before something (or someone) blew up, so i said that i was moving in whether they were done cleaning up or not. it turned out that they did a pretty good job of cleaning up everything except the refrigerator. while it was “clean”, it had a smell like rotten death, and the only thing i could find that would successfully mask the smell was pine-sol, which, of course, made everything that i kept in my refrigerator taste of pine-sol… believe me, it was WAY better than tasting of rotten death.

anyway, about a week or so after i moved in, i had this really weird dream, where this little old lady was ranting and fussing about because there was some unknown person in her apartment, and she couldn’t find any of her cats. i had the same dream for a couple of weeks, with minor variations in the plot and the cast, until i consciously realised that this was the old lady who used to live in my apartment… at which point, the next time i had the dream, i told the old lady that i was the person in her apartment, and she could hang around as long as she left me alone. after that, i started noticing that somebody was calling my name from the kitchen when i was in the living room… or someone was opening latched cupboards or slamming the bathroom door, when i was in the kitchen… friends of mine commented on these bizarre phenomena on a regular basis. even when whe wasn’t making her presence physically known, i could tell she was around, because everything would smell of pine-sol, instead of incense or cannabis…

adopt a ghost

at some point, i found a piece of cardboard with the words “ADOPT A GHOST” on it – i think it was on a pizza box, but i can’t be sure – which i still have.

eventually, after about 2 years, i moved out, and back to bellingham… and the ghost came with me. she would call my name from the kitchen of the new house i lived in, and open the closed cabinets, but it seemed like she was fading away. probably a year later, i didn’t notice these things happening any longer. my guess is that she moved on.

at this point in my life, i would say that, quite apart from my being enlightened, my belief system falls somewhere between athiest and esoteric shivaite (with hints of buddhism, judaism, and unorthodox christianity thrown in for good measure), and i’m not sure i would believe a story like that if it hadn’t happened to me… for that matter, i’m not sure i would believe a story like that in spite of the fact that it happened to me… i guess i may just be waiting for someone to tell me that i’m crazy, so that i can tell them “i know, i know…” 😐

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