so, i asked liz, who has been connected with the management for folklife for decades, if she could tell me who to contact regarding the lady in the yellow dress.
it turns out that she knows her, vaguely… she (the lady in the yellow dress) is connected to a group of balkan dancers in the seattle area, and she might be married to a balkan accordion player. liz said that she might have even gone to the place of residence for the lady in the yellow dress.
i showed her a picture of the face of the PHBFH, and she confirmed that it was definitely the same person as the lady in the yellow dress.
she’s discretely going to find out more information and get back to me.
on the one hand, it will be good, particularly for ezra, to find out exactly what happened to his mother: the last time he heard anything was at least 3 and possibly more than 5 years ago, when she was being discharged from the state mental institution (she refused to take the medications that made her remotely sane). the doctors called him to find out if he wanted to take care of her. when he said he couldn’t, that was the last time anyone that i know of heard from her.
on the other hand… it’s the PHBFH… 😱
ETA: it turns out the lady liz knows is someone named margaret mckibben, and not the PHBFH… although they look and behave DISTURBINGLY… ALARMINGLY similar. 😕
i saw someone who i believe to be the PHBFH today, at 11:41 am at the folklife festival, at the seattle centergrounds.
i’m not 100% sure it’s her, but i’m about 98% sure. i walked past her, on my way to play at the mural amphitheatre, and recognised her immediately. i’m not sure if she recognised me immediately, but when i tried to work my way around to a point where i could take a better picture, she recognised me and ran away, which adds to the probability that it was her. also she did a little ballet pose before she disappeared around a corner, which further adds to the probability that it was her.
when i texted the photo to ezra, he said that he wasn’t able to tell for sure, but that it looked “like her style”. he also said that it is unusual for her to be in the city without showing up at ezra’s home… or in bellingham… i also noticed that she was wearing what looked like leather boots, which is uncharacteristic for the PHBFH that i know, but not entirely out of the question, since it has been almost 30 years since i’ve actually seen her.
it was creepy seeing her… 😱
but she looked healthy, strong, and happy, which makes me glad.
when you hang around the pike place market enough, particularly if you don’t look exactly like pretty much everybody else, you will eventually end up having your photo taken by one of the multitude of street photographers who descend in droves on the market thinking that they will get “that shot” which will propell them into the realm of famous photographers like ansel adams or robert mapplethorpe. in this case, it was a chap called jon leach, who has been doing street photography for about 5 years — no clue what he did before that — and he took a photo of me that i like, because when you look at the whole, reduced photo, i look serious, almost frowning, but if you look at the photo up close, i’m actually smiling.
busking this week has been a mass of contradictions: yesterday, we played two sets, after having been displaced at 11:00 from the place where i had added us to the list at 8:00 because an amplified band (which is “banned from busking at the market”) was setting up to play in a “flower festival” which the market managers had neglected to tell us buskers about until we actually got there — and they posted a new notice regarding the closure in exactly the same place where the “get your new buskers’ permit” notice had been, so the people (including me) who signed up on the list didn’t notice it until it was too late… so we went up the alley, behind the iron stairs, and busked for an hour, took an hour break (because “the official rules” say you have to), and played most of a second set before we got fed up — in the middle of a song — and said fuck it.
the reason we got fed up is because there were probably 20 people, from people taking pictures with their cell phones all the way up to people who had professional camera equipment, taking our photos, which includes a sign in a very prominent, central location, which says, in large letters “TIP FOR PHOTOS”, but NOT TIPPING FOR PHOTOS! 😠🤬
seriously! some of these people came in pairs, one of them standing next to, or behind us, and the other person, with the camera, lining up the shot so that we were both in the frame, with the sign that says “TIP FOR PHOTOS” in the frame as well, and when they were done mugging for the camera, they just turned around and walked off as though we were plastic manequins… and not starving musicians who have a combined total of more than a century of experience playing music.
my understanding is that the problem is partially because of the cruise ship companies which offer fares that “include all gratuities”, and partially because of the common myth that buskers are paid by the market. both are WRONG!! and it make life particularly awful for folks that have to make their living busking when people act like buskers are free.
on the other end of the scale are days like today, when we played 3 sets and made almost $50 a piece, which works out to around $16 an hour… which is not outstanding, but it’s enough that it makes you want to come back out and try it again tomorrow.
and then there’s the pike place market foundation. back in the ’80s, when the market was being renovated for the first time, i bought an inscribed tile, which was originally placed outside of the athenian tavern…
i had a picture of it, at one time, but i can’t locate it currently. 😒
anyway, they had to replace the floor in front of the athenian, in the ’90s, because it was unstable, and they tore out the section of floor that had my tile in it, and replaced it with somebody else’s tile.
when i bought that tile, i was in the tech school, and the price of the tile was in lieu of half a week’s groceries, but when i asked the market foundation about it when i discovered it was missing, in 2016, their response was to say that if it was not there, then it was not going to be replaced, and my money meant nothing. they offered me a “market charm” to be installed in the new section of the market (which they hadn’t even built yet) as a replacement, to which i agreed.
but it was, apparently, never installed. yesterday, i asked the lady custodian of the market charm database to check, and she couldn’t find it. so i filled out another market charm request, and she said it should be installed this fall, and i can check at their database at PikeUp dot org. while i was at the market foundation booth, i also bought a “pig pin” which came with this interesting printed card:
i noticed a design detail on the card, which caused this conversation between me and the lady at the booth: ME: this card has swastikas on it! cool! Lady At The Booth: those aren’t swastikas. ME: they’re swastikas, they’re just not what you expected to see when i said “swastika”… they’re not nazi swastikas, they’re ORIGINAL swastikas, from before the nazis got hold of it: they’re “little good luck charms”, which is what the word “swastika” means, in sanskrit. Lady At The Booth: yeah, but they’re not swastikas, there’s another name for it. ME: the german word for a swastika is “hakenkreuz”. the reason english-speaking people use the word “swastika” is because nobody could figure out how to say “hakenkreuz”. Lady At The Booth: but there’s another name for them. ME: the word “swastika” is a sanskrit word that means “little good luck charm”. it’s the perfect symbol to put on the pike place market “good luck token”, and most people probably wouldn’t even realise that it’s a swastika, because it’s not a nazi swastika. the swastika is one of the world’s oldest symbols, and it was around, as a symbol of good luck for, literally, thousands of years before the nazis got hold of it! it’s about time we started taking it back, and making it into a symbol of good luck again! Lady At The Booth: really? cool! 😊
allegedly, they’re going to snail-mail me when the charm is installed, but they said they were going to install it in 2016, and they didn’t, so it remains to be seen what they’re really going to do.
my wonderful pet, Frank Zappa, the cat, honoured my presence (and the fact that i had just fed him) yesterday, by waiting until i had a full bottle of beer on my desk, and then jumping into my lap and doing the happy-cat-dance, which involves swirling around and waving his tail in such a way that it impacts the bottle of beer on the desk, spilling the contents into my keyboard.
because of the fact that i have worked in several companies that actually, physically MADE keyboards — they really do wash partially finished keyboards in a household dishwasher before assembly — i wasn’t as upset as i could have been, but, nevertheless, i spent the entire rest of the evening taking my keyboard apart, cleaning the beer (and assorted dust, feathers, cat hair and other detritus) out of it, and re-assembling it…
only to discover that only half of the keys actually work. and not in a normal “right half works, left half doesn’t” way, but in a more random “half the keys in this line sometimes work and sometimes don’t” way, which indicates that some moisture probably got inside the four or five layers of waterproof linings — seriously, keyboards, these days, are practically impervious to spills… not like when i was a kid… — either that, or there was something that didn’t want to get bent, that got bent in the process of disassembling the keyboard: i tried to be careful and not bend any of the parts that looked like they might be upset if they got bent, but i may have bent them, anyway, without meaning to.
in any event, i have an alternate keyboard, just for such emergencies, which is the same model, but different colour keys. i have occasionally ransacked the alternate keyboard for spare parts, like when my “B” key’s spring broke, and the F2 and F3 keys died, so it doesn’t get used for anything, anyway… so i decided to make a frankenkeyboard…
in honour of my wonderful pet, Frank Zappa the cat.
i’ve known about this guy for a while: his name is Howard Tayler, he is the author of the web-comic Schlock Mercenary, and he looks like me… or i look like him, or something like that.
originally, it was pointed out that i looked like him when i posted a (now deleted, but reproduced here) photo here, in january, 2006, and when i sent the same photo to howard, he said that it looked similar enough to him that he started going through his photos, trying to figure out where it was taken.
eventually he shaved his beard, and we didn’t look so similar any longer.
but, recently, he’s either grown a beard again, or has a very accomplished makeup artist that has fashioned an appliance for him, because, once again, we look similar — except now he looks even more like me… in fact, i get the impression that he may be trying to look like me!
it is very creepy…
here’s a pingback to his blog. maybe, he will have something to say about this odd coincidence.
There will be no revolution so long as Netflix remains cheap,
No revolution while the Super Bowl continues,
And the bombs killing kids in Yemen get yawns.
There will be no revolution today,
Or tomorrow, since there is a big sale up the street,
And people are camping out the night before.
There will be no revolution because people are weary
And besides, Game of Thrones is ending
And Avengers: Endgame has taken all my hope quotient for this year.
There will be no revolution while people work 2 jobs
But can´t afford homes in their cities
And the countryside is too poisoned, too addled with meth
To worry about that stuff.
There will be no revolution so long as Teen Vogue has better articles
Than the New York Times.
There will be no revolution that poses for selfies.
There will be no revolution with kitten pictures.
There will be no revolution on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday as those are “holy” days.
There will be no revolution on Mondays because that would be asking too much.
There will be no revolution on Wednesdays because that´s hump day and people are
Getting excited for the weekend.
There will be no revolution while the Earth cooks since
If the “earth dying is not inspiration enough”
We´re fucked anyway.
There will be no revolution since guillotine makers are out of fashion
And nobody is angry enough to hold hands.
There will be no revolution now since Biden jumped in the race
And will probably take the word with him
Leaving Bernie fuming.
There will be no revolution because paying bills takes more of our time than reading.
There will be no revolution because Coachella with Bey is more riveting than
Talking to our neighbors.
There will be no revolution because no one has neighbors anymore.
There will be no revolution because the stars aren´t aligned for it.
There will be no revolution because Fox can´t say the word.
There will be no revolution at night because most people are too tired to drive.
There will be no revolution at noon because the days are getting hotter.
There will be no revolution since apparently “America is great again.”
There will be no revolution since no one saw the preview or billboards
Or heard anything on their morning drive to work.
There will be no revolution because the pamphlets aren’t printed in Spanish.
There will be no revolution while our guns are turned on each other.
There will be no revolution since “they” have bigger guns.
There will be no revolution since getting hurt would be too expensive
And my co-pay doesn´t cover “wounds inflicted in liberation struggles. “
There will be no revolution since many are too busy looking for 80% work.
There will be no revolution once we get 15$ an hour.
There will be no revolution since the rich tell us there is no need for one.
There will be no revolution because the economy is booming.
There will be no revolution since the only boom in our economy
Are bomb makers and bunker builders.
There will be no revolution since Jesus is coming anyway so it won´t matter.
There will be no revolution on Christmas, Hanukah, Eid or any other big holiday
Since people will be buying bullet-proof vests and hiring security
So they can pray safely to a compassionate God
To please, take away the need for a revolution.
there’s a guy in portland — The Unipiper — who rides around portland on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.
i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for YEARS. i’ve got all the necessary equipment to make a flaming tuba. the ONLY reason i have not made a flaming tuba before now is that i don’t want to set myself on fire. fortunately, i have a few friends who can alleviate that problem for me (i’ll set them on fire instead… 😉), so it’s just a matter of building it…
i’m actually doing really well, considering that i’ve never done it before, and i deliberately signed up for a “Level 1/2” class instead of a “Level 1” class (so that i could combine the class with my already existing “Basic Circus Skills for Handicapped Adults” class, which occurs on the same day), and i’m keeping up…
although, to be honest, there’s a BIG motivation behind being in a class with two 8- to 10-year-old girls who are “Level 2” riders, and who, literally, ride circles around me. 😉 i REALLY want to ride as well as they do!! and they’re not even free-mounting, or riding around turns, or any of the “fancy” stuff that the unipiper does…
i’ve taken my third class, and i’m almost to the point where i can, honestly, say that i can actually “ride” the unicycle without holding on to anything: i can ride between two bars, only one of which i am holding on to, and ride beyond the end of the bars without holding on to anything… for about two cycles of the pedals, before i have to “dismount”… or fall…
the falling part is the part that i have been trying to avoid, and, for the most part, i have. however, i came home, last week, with a fancy bruise on my right knee, which was the first actual bruise i have gotten since i started the class, and, this week, i fell hard enough that, today, i strained to put my left knee in a brace, because it is hurting A LOT when i do relatively normal things like bending it, or lifting it… or doing pretty much anything except holding it straight with my leg elevated.
so, now, the question is, will i actually learn to ride a unicycle, or will i blow out my knees and end up in a wheelchair?
“courage is knowing it might hurt, but doing it anyway. stupidity is the same thing, which is why life is so hard.” — jeremy goldberg
i’m hoping it is the former, and not the latter.
although, either way, i can play the flaming tuba, so it’s all good… 😉