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).
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.