Category Archives: philharmonic

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blah blah, new year, new me, blah blah blah… 😒 i’ll tell you what: i’m going to do the best that i can NOT to kill myself this year, through direct or indirect action (indirect, in case you’re dense, refers to COVID or something like that). my “new years intention” (because “resolutions” are too restrictive) is less depression.

along those lines, i didn’t get a harvest from my “experimental” mushroom patch last year, but it has developed LOADS of mycelia… now, there’s no GUARANTEE that they’re “the right kind” of mycelia, and, until they start sprouting mushrooms, there will be no way to know for sure, but… it was three unplanted containers of sterile potting soil, covered with a thin layer of wood chips and straw, which i inoculated with mycelia LAST YEAR. i didn’t plant anything else in the containers, and, basically, i have left them alone for a year… apart from watering them occasionally, during the dry months last summer. i don’t KNOW that the mycelia i propagated is the one i’m looking at, but… well… there’s enough mycelia that all i had to do was disturb the top layer of wood chips SLIGHTLY to expose A LOT of mycelium… so there’s always hope…

however, even with auxiliary mushrooms from matrix genetix, the weather has been snowy/rainy/awful enough that it has been difficult to take as much mushrooms as i like, so i’ve been taking “microdoses” that i can’t perceive, but which smooth out the bumps to the point where i’m not snapping at people, complaining about everything, and being a complete recluse… but i’m still not particularly pleasant to be around. 😒

i’ve got to have my car serviced. i’ve been noticing a significant decrease in mileage for the past few months, i may need new tires, and, apparently there are “firmware upgrades” that are only available from the dealer. but the closest hyundai dealer is in renton, and i’ve pretty much burnt my bridges with the renton hyundai dealer years ago. there’s a dealer in auburn, with whom i haven’t burnt as many bridges, and there’s the dealer in puyallup where i bought the car, but this is sunday AND new year’s day, so i’m not even going to be able to call anyone about it until tomorrow. meanwhile, i’ve got to go to costco (tomorrow), and moe is leaving for a week in orlando on the 14th, which, coincidentally, is the same day thaddeus and i have our first paying gig of the year.

i got a “small” package, yesterday, of incense from one of the more reliable US distributors i deal with (“small” meaning only two kilos 😉), delivered by USPS, which was totally saturated, as though it had sat outside in the rain overnight, or something like that — which it certainly did not do outside of my house. 😠 only half a kilo of the two kilos of incense were damaged, and i have notified the shipper, but (once again) it is the new year, which means at least there won’t be anybody there until tomorrow, and i’m not sure there is anything that can be done about it, anyway. 😒

the moisture festival is happening. hooray(?). it’s going to be at the broadway performance hall, a “union shop” — meaning that there are going to be people not associated with the moisture festival doing things like managing the stage, moving sets, setting lights, operating spotlights and other suchlike stuff, and there’s nothing that can be done to change it. i’m kind of wondering how they’re going to deal with the fact that the bands are definitely not union organisations, but, at the same time, it’s for someone else to deal with. 😒 fortunately. 😒

calm, still no storm… weird…

still calm, still a few “false positives” which are easily dealt with, and forwardable almost immediately… ‼👍 but no “bitcoin sextortion” spam since 191202… and the record is currently held by 1LfYcbCsssB2niF3VWRBTVZFExzsweyPGQ, who i last heard from on 191127, who spammed me four hundred eighty-seven times

spam assassin has, apparently, figured out a regex (or something) for capturing bitcoin addresses, so after 191127, there have been no bitcoin sextortion spams that have NOT been labeled as ***SPAM*** by spam assassin, which makes them a lot easier to filter out.

but it’s weird, because, even though it has been almost a week now, waking up in the morning and NOT having two or three DOZEN spam messages to process makes me nervous that something else may be happening to all of those messages, and, potentially, legitimate messages, as well, and i have no clue what may be happening to them, because nobody other than me is even aware of the fact that they’re not there any longer. 😕

we started the panto. it’s Jack and The Beanstalk… i don’t remember whether this is the first panto we did, or the second panto we did, way back when we first started doing pantos, 17 years or so ago… but it’s largely the same script: different actors but the same characters… and no simon, but he hasn’t been involved since he got drunk, did something which he wasn’t supposed to (sexual harrassment? stealing stuff? something that only drunk people do… 😒), and was banned from the palladium, a few years ago. we did the first four of 20 performances, last weekend, and only missed one music cue: half the band started a half a measure before the other half of the band, and none of the singers came in at the right point, but we recognised it almost immediately, and kiki said “wait, can we start that again?” and everybody came in on cue when we tried it again… and there was one place at the end of the panto, where the giant chops down the beanstalk, and the ogress (represented by a puppet) falls from the castle in the sky, along a zip-line, to the back of the palladium. but, this time, the doors to the castle opened, but no ogress came out… so we just continued, where the ogress (this time, the real actor) then “falls” back up to the front of the stage, and has a few lines… and then the puppet ogress decided it was time to fall… 🤣

but, all in all, the panto is going well.

add new

it’s june.

when it changes to july, we’re going to have to go to OCF and put on something resembling a show for the folks.

usually, by this time, we’ve got a finished script that the cast has been rehearsing for a few weeks, and most of the music, which the band has been rehearsing for a couple of weeks.

this year, they JUST got the script finished a few days ago, they just got their characters a few days ago, they still have to make all of their costumes and props, and the band has NO music — which has to be completely rewritten from scratch, even though we’re doing a panto that we have done in the past, Jack And The Beanstalk.

and, as far as the band goes, as far as i know, we don’t have enough people to make the band more than a rhythm section, and, MAYBE a saxophone, or a bassoon… or, possibly, both…

the only thing i know, for sure, that is already planned and in the works, is a memorial parade for simon… thrill… walking over uneven ground (not even going to try marching) with a tuba, slung from an over-the-shoulder strap while trying to manage music on a lyre… 😒 😟

OCF is going to be interesting, this year…

hrmph!

i am done with the moisture festival for another year: 13 shares. we’ll see what a share costs in about a month, but i’m not holding my breath.

during the fremont phil part of the run, i broke my tuba: the mouthpiece receiver came loose, which made playing the instrument sort of interesting, but not absolutely impossible, which is why i took it to the repair shop today, instead of when it happened.

i’m still recovering from the flu. i’ve got a persistent cough which, according to what i’ve read recently, may never go away, although it seems to be, so i don’t know yet.

and, while i was busy with the moisture festival, a subscriber to one of the mailing lists i maintain, who has an email address at micro$awful, unknowingly sent email to the wrong address, and got the mailing list blacklisted from sending to addresses at micro$awful. the host provider’s response to this was to believe micro$awful, and to say that if i don’t move the mailing list to a third-party, commercial SMTP provider, that they were going to refuse to provide service to me any longer. i don’t want to do that, but i am running out of other choices very quickly, and informing micro$awful that their automated blacklister made a mistake is almost impossible. i’m getting really tired of dealing with other peoples’ screw-ups, and, once again, am debating whether or not to just toss all of my “web clients” except for my wife, and just deal with my own domains. it would be so much easier than explaining stuff to people who don’t understand, who don’t pay attention, and who do continue to do the stuff that makes problems happen which i can’t fix.

now that the moisture festival is over, i’ve got a band-mate’s saxophone to work on for a couple days, and moe and i are going to the beach in a week or so. hopefully that will give me the chance to get back to normal for a while. 😒

bleh

new year blah. had dinner at the akers’, went to bed at 10, and listened to the neighbours blowing stuff up and frightening the animals until two in the morning.

#SCROTUS #drumpf threatening to blow up the world… again… among other, somewhat less horrendous alternatives… blah, blah, blah.

panto blah, sickness blah… i’m actually just starting to feel relatively normal, after having the season’s cold compounded by being around panto people who all have similar colds, for about a month. the panto, itself, is as good a show as we’ve ever done, considering that we’re doing the same show, cinderella, with essentially the same script as the one we did 10 years ago. however, they’ve sold the palladium and nobody’s told me what they’re going to do with the moisture festival, for which they’ve already scheduled the bands: the philharmonic is one of them, snake suspenderz is not. 😕 blah… everybody’s acting as though the moisture festival is happening, but nobody seems to care where it’s theoretically going to happen. it would be great if we could continue using the palladium, but if we’re not, presumably someone has started making arrangements to have it somewhere else.

bleh.

sigh, i guess i’d better update this thing again…

not much has been happening, except for the world slowly blowing up because of the inanity of #drumpf.

i’ve finished one week of moisture festival performances, with the phil, and snake suspenderz actually has a rehearsal (our first one in more than a year), on wednesday, three days prior to us going on stage on saturday, for two more moisture festival shows. the moisture festival is over on sunday. i keep wondering why i do this, and i am still wondering why i do this, unlike my previous predicition.

there are a few more snake suspenderz gigs coming up, for a change…

apart from that, it’s pretty much rehearsal season.

i found a new dispensary, fairly close to my house — commencement bay cannabis — which appears to have high quality material for insanely low prices… like, for the price of an ounce in a number of other places i have been to, i can get TWO ounces at CBC. current fave is Cinex.

rehearsal season

we’re gearing up for the moisture festival in a couple of weeks. the ballard sedentary sousa band starts rehearsals for the 2017 season tomorrow. we start the season may 28th at the folklife festival. and snake suspenderz has gigs at the moisture festival, a winery in woodinville, and the blue moon in april.

things continue to get orders of magnitude worse in drumpf-land. at this point, if he were to disappear today, we would have approximately 10 years of cleanup to do before the society got back to “normal”… and there’s no way he’s going to “disappear” until at least next year. at this point, there’s an equal chance that he will destroy the world, or i will die before then. 😑

sickness and depression

i’ve been “sick or not” for a week now, and it’s really starting to get on my nerves. i don’t “feel” sick, but if i don’t take immune boosters and/or if i work too hard i get a sore throat and really congested. it never really comes on strong and takes hold, but it also doesn’t seem to want to go away any time soon. i’ve been taking immune boosters along with my 5HTP, and i can feel it helping, but it’s apparently not enough to make the “sickness or not” go away completely. combine that with depression that has been increasing or decreasing in intensity, but never actually going away, ever since #drumpf was elected, and it makes for a really difficult time merely existing in the world.

i’m playing for a burlesque show at the substation in ballard on march 7th, and then a week of moisture festival performances with the fremont philharmonic starting on march 22nd, plus 2 moisture festival performances by snake suspenderz on april 8th, and a gig with snake suspenderz on march 22nd in woodinville that pays $125 an hour, cash…

but i would still prefer it if i died, or, even better, if everybody else died, except for moe, the fremont philharmonic, snake suspenderz, the people with whom i’m doing the burlesque show, the significant others of the aforementioned people… and, MAYBE a few audience members…

plotz

drumpf continues to be a gold-plated asshole. his “muslim/immigrant ban” has been halted, temporarily, but he’s still building a wall, continuing with construction of two major oil pipelines, removing restrictions on coal companies dumping waste into streams, removing the affordable care act, blatantly censoring publically funded government entities like the parks department, the department of agriculture, NASA, and the environmental protection agency, firing people who resist him, and filling all available government positions with his cronies, who he has been encouraging to do similar things. he has gone on record opposing environmental restrictions by saying that his “friends” have businesses and they can’t borrow… 😠

i am getting an upgrade on the hybrid elephant web site. should be ready monday, with no down time. i’m wondering how long i can do this before i have to go out of business. reluctantly, i’ve spent about $1,000 on my web site in around a year, and i am pretty sure the web site hasn’t provided me with a commensurate amount of income. 😒

panto check came in. $100 less than last year. i’m not sure why, but it’s still the single greatest source of income i have for the entire year. next up is moisture festival. i know of at least a week’s worth of performances with the phil, for sure, and i know that snake suspenderz is “in”, but there’s still no clue how many shows, and/or whether or not we’re going to be a “show band”. i really need to find a new band and/or get us playing more frequently. 😐

puppies are still alive. mother (sis) is also still alive. the puppies have turned into alligators, so when they’re not actually feeding, sis has to wear a t-shirt or something to prevent the puppies from biting her tits off. we’re going to either visit, or to pick up a puppy (depending on as yet unknown other circumstances) on the 11th, and if we don’t pick up a puppy at that time, presumably we’re going to pick it up on the 17th… and then moe is going to some conference, somewhere, and i’m going to be left by myself to take care of three adult dogs and one 8-week-old puppy… thrill…

twerk

the third of four weeks of panto performances finished today. i’m confident that Rapunzel Stiltskin is the best panto we have done in the fifteen years that we have been doing pantos. we’ve got one more week, four more performances, and it can only get better from here.

i got a kurt weill songbook yesterday, and i intend to write arrangements for the phil, which, hopefully, we can work into moisture festival performances in some way or another. unofficially, we have been offered the second week of performances. once again, unofficially, the “old boy network” is still trying to replace the phil with their buddies, but they still haven’t done more than replace the last two weeks of bands with people who are part of the network, which, strangely enough (because the phil has played every moisture festival since the beginning) doesn’t include the phil. snake suspenderz hasn’t been offered anything, as far as i have heard, which is odd, because the guy who supposedly books music for the festival said that he had more gigs for us… two years ago… needless to say, i am less than enthusiastic about participating in the moisture festival this year.

moe is going to visit the puppies again on friday. at this point, 9 puppies are doing great, and the health of the mother, Sis, is improving massively, although there are still some mysterious deficiencies that are still eluding everyone. at this point, everyone agrees that everyone is going to survive, which is considerably different than the opinion a week and a half ago.

ho hum, default new entry title…

returned from OCF yesterday. logged into farcebook this morning and was immediately confronted with political stupidity and people making fun of human failure. we weren’t able to play at the ritz this year, despite my being in contact with the booker through farcebook for two years now. i’m seriously wondering whether or not this experiment with “social media” is worth the hassle.

however, interestingly, i only went to the ritz twice, because it rained on saturday, but, in spite of not getting booked to play this year, i ended up with three ritz tokens, and actually got to play one song with stuart’s band, choro loco. i played cuica:

cuica
cuica
cuica
cuica

i went to OCF last tuesday. the mosquitos were ravenous, and numerous… and HUGE! i got bit a lot tuesday and wednesday. thursday they calmed down a bit, and by friday they were all concentrating on the tens of thousands of other people who had just arrived. wednesday i slept for most of the day, which was luxurious, but somehow i wish there had been more activity.

there weren’t as many pictures, but they were memorable.

there were also a few pictures, not included, of daylight, close-up shots of the pedal-powered scroll saw i want to make.

2016 some random hippie
2016 some random hippie

other years:

2011 some random hippie
2011 some random hippie
2012 some random hippie
2012 some random hippie
2013 some random hippie
2013 some random hippie
Morningwood Odditorium, with the back of David Barnes' and Julia Kingrey's heads
Morningwood Odditorium, with the back of David Barnes’ and Julia Kingrey’s heads
my tuba, at Morningwood Odditorium
my tuba, at Morningwood Odditorium
Strangely stole my phone
Strangely stole my phone
found on monday
found on monday
found on monday
found on monday

it’s time to get that negative horseshit off the top of my blog… 8/

OCF is fast approaching. today is the 26th of june, and i leave for OCF on the 5th of july. instead of driving, this year i’m getting a ride with michael marconi. the fremont philharmonic has several changes in personnel, and hasn’t had a single rehearsal. allegedly, we’re going to have two rehearsals with the cast members who haven’t already gone to the fair to set things up, and allegedly we’re going to have one or two rehearsals without the cast, presumably to rehearse for the ritz, which we haven’t heard from yet… in fact, i’m going to write to matt now…

i’m really trying not to stress too much about not having any rehearsal, but i guess what i’m saying is that, despite the fact that i know it won’t do any good, i’m stressing about it anyway. i’ve got two new pieces of music out of who knows how many more, and there’s a good chance that we won’t be able to rehearse this, even once, with the entire crew, until thursday evening, before we have to start performing on friday morning. it must be worse for kiki, since she is actually writing the new music. fortunately, it’s for the oregon country fair, so even if we totally screw up, it’s highly likely that nobody will notice.

i’m having the hybrid elephant web site re-designed. i decided that it would take a lot less time for someone who already knows how to use all of the new technology do it than it would for me to learn how to use the technology, and do it myself. it’s still not exactly what i want, but we’ve already put a method of payment in place that doesn’t involve paypal, so that’s a really good trade-off… and, while it is not exactly what i wanted, it largely has all of the things that i want, more or less where i want them, it’s got some really cool new features that i didn’t have in the old site (starting with a SSL certificate, so no more doing business over an unsecure network), it uses wordpress and woo commerce, so it will be really easy to add on to, and it’s going to be A LOT easier to keep up to date, so i won’t have to do this whole thing again in 5 years…

so far…

i’m done playing moisture festival shows with the “show band” for this year. i still have a few other moisture festival related shows coming up as “artists” this year, with snake suspenderz: we’re playing the volunteer party, three “on stage” appearances, and at least one “fluffing” (where we entertain the audience waiting outside the theatre, before the performances start) that are still upcoming.

i’m waiting to see whether or not the band that is taken up the last two weeks of shows as the “show band” is any good before i make a firm decision, but there’s a good chance that i will be bowing out of next year’s moisture festival performances all together, if things don’t work out. i’m just getting way to tired of watching other people become part of the “old boy network” with a fraction of the input that i have made to the festival, when i am not even considered for that network, in spite of the fact that i’ve been in it since the beginning. it’s getting to be the same way with the oregon country fair, as well. i’ve never been a person that appreciates “old boy networks”, and these two things have been grating against that dislike for quite some time now. there are definite advantages to both, but, if not soon, definitely eventually, i’m going to have to bow out of both, because, fundamentally, i dislike the way they take advantage of me without offering sufficient benefits.

at the same time, i want to create a new act for next year’s moisture festival, that is a sextet (or larger group) that plays bach or mozart or something like that, on nose-flutes. so my feelings are definitely conflicted.

arf…

i’m well and truly into the midst of rehearsal season: we’ve been rehearsing the fremont philharmonic for 3 weeks for a week of shows at the moisture farcetival, we’ve been rehearsing snake suspenderz for a week for a gig at the château, a recording session with deb seymour(!), three moisture farcetival shows, and a moisture farcetival volunteer party, and next week rehearsals for the sousa band, whose first gig will be while i am in orlando.

and, speaking of orlando, this evening, i made, and paid for, the reservations for my trip from seattle, to orlando, to warrensburg, to seattle between may 23 and june 3. this is the first trip i’ve taken where i’ve had to fly, by myself, for my own enjoyment, in my entire life. i haven’t flown anywhere since the big bois with poise went to san francisco in 2012, and i haven’t been on the east coast since i went to boston when i started at software dot com in 1998… and then i was working (actually, i slept through most of the training classes, because i had stayed up until 4:00 in the morning drinking beer with spods), so i didn’t get the chance to see that much… and this is sort of the opposite corner of the continent…

i guess i’m officially starting to get “excited” about going on this trip…

but the visa signature conceirge service, in the process of giving me options for the trip, gave me the option of flying from orlando to kansas city, by way of… wait for it… seattle. yes, they tried to make what would ordinarily be a 3 hour non-stop flight into an 18 hour trip back home, with a 9 hour layover. really! 😕

flight weirdness
flight weirdness
flight weirdness
flight weirdness

pantoo

panto started yesterday. 4 shows in and it’s already the best show we’ve ever done, despite the fact that the two fairy tales that we mashed up (Hansel & Gretel and Goldilocks & The Three Bears) are not very strong stories in and of themselves. i ordered a metal slide whistle because my PVC one has finally bit the big one. i also sold a single LP album for $200 at discogs.

updated

nothing much has happened since the last update:

i got an app for my tablet that will do what i want it to: it’s a drum-pad-sequencer gadget that has a built-in sampler, so i’ll be able to sample a service bell, and a whip, and whatever else i need and have them electronically reproducible on demand. it will do a number of things, including decreasing the amount of crap i’m going to have to haul, be volume-controllable, be fail-safe, and that sort of thing. it probably won’t work so well for the oregon country fair, but that’s a ways down the road yet. it’s kind of amusing to me, primarily because this is very definitely NOT the purpose for which it was intended to be used… but, to quote frank zappa, i, truly, don’t care.

two weeks until the panto starts. get your tickets now, because they’re going fast.

monday, this week (151123) was Church/State Separatation Day, and also Fibonacci Day.

i’ve been listing a lot of old vinyl for sale on discogs recently, and i’ve been selling a surprising amount of it. i’ve even gotten an inquiry about the album whose “recommended price” is close to $250, which surprised me a lot.

i’ve been taking 5HTP as a mood controller for a couple of months, and it seems to be having some effect. it doesn’t decrease the amount of depression, but it does put me in a space where i can observe the depression, rather than being affected by it… as much… i’m not sure whether this is an improvement or not, but it’s something… interesting, perhaps…

thanksgiving was yesterday. the world is fucked: climate change is upon us, there have been shootings and bombings all over the world (including a new one, today, when a 40ish-year-old, white male shot up a planned parenthood branch), people are getting stupider and they’ve got stellar education in how to do it, because the stupidest ones of all are the ones that they want to elect as the next president… humanity, as a species, is killing itself off in astounding numbers, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. i have never wanted to do it, but i’m afraid i’m going to have to apologise to my son for bringing him into a world that is dead set on destroying itself. yeah, i’ve got good health, good friends, and good eats, but hitler had them too, and so does donald trump. but instead of assuring that everyone can have them, we’re more interested in keeping syrian refugees out of our country and giving people who are truly insane, the power to start the next world war. it’s time for some more realistic holidays that aren’t based on religion, coercion and genocide.

so i’ve got good reason to be depressed.

and, now that “thanksgiving” is past, there’s going to be a headlong dash into the pile of crap that is the most materialistic portion of the entire year, which decreases the probability of my getting any less depressed any time soon a lot more.

stuff & nonsense

i brought home the glass bong that i made in the previous post, and now have two glasses in the annealer, waiting for me to pick them up. 8)

the fremont phil has a gig on friday, which is tomorrow. i’m probably going up to b’ham to visit with kenyth on saturday. maybe coming back saturday, maybe sunday… haven’t decided yet.

saturday is also frank zappa day, and international talk-like-a-pirate day. a week from saturday is festa italiana for the BSSB. the thursday after that (which is the first of october), snake suspenderz has a gig at the chateau retirement center. maybe they’ll remember to pay us this time.

there’s a video that goes here, but it’s taking forever to upload, so i’ll put it in later.

ketchup

for those of you who may be trying to guess my administrator password, good luck… seriously… you can start with not trying to login as “admin” or “przxqgl”, because either one will get you banned for 6 hours (the first time). and it doesn’t matter how many IP addresses you use, you’ll still get banned if you try to login as “admin” or “przxqgl”, so you may as well give it up.

they finally got the check to us on saturday, which is sooner than they told us the last time, but four days later than they originally agreed upon. it’s really bizarre, because the audiences love us and ask us when will be the next time we’re coming back, but if the “MAN”agement doesn’t get it together to pay us on time, there aren’t going to be too many more shows like this.

i’m deep into rehearsal season again. the panto starts on 13th december and the fremont philharmonic is playing for the fremont lenin lighting/festivus celebration on 5th december. we’re rehearsing twice a week for the panto, we still haven’t got all the music, or finalised who is going to play (or not) for which shows, i just created yet another “new” mailing list for the players, and, already macque has had to delete one address and add another one because of some fiasco in which he’s involved.

my mother-in-law (who may be reading this) came to visit last week, so that she could accompany moe to the fleetwood mac concert. i’m not a big fleetwood mac fan, so i drove them to the venue and then went to the Poodle Dog, which i used to frequent when i was a cab driver, in the middle-1980s. as far as i could tell, the only thing that has changed about the poodle dog is the computer screens in place of the cash register, and the wide-screen flat-panel televisions in place of the CRT screens above the bar… even the smell was the same. we arranged to go to a friend’s birthday party with the M-I-L, as well, but, as we were on our way out the door to go to the party, she fell and fractured her wrist in three places, causing her and moe to be in the emergency room until 3:00 in the morning. she was wondering why i seemed to be expressing a desire not to be in contact with her, and this is the reason why. she’s way too fragile to be an ongoing part of our (meaning mine and moe’s) life. she’s always going to be moe’s mom, so i’m always going to get along with her, more or less; really, it’s not as though i don’t get along with her, like i don’t get along with my parents, but i also don’t want her to put herself into situations where she’s going to get broken. we’ve experienced enough broken-ness without her adding to the batch.

yesterday

yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away…

no, no… that’s not right…

yesterday i got up early enough to be in magnolia by 8:00 so that i could sit by the side of the road for three hours while i waited for the magnolia seafair parade to happen around me… with me as the tuba player in the SANCApators. because of the fact that i was the tuba player, there are no pictures — of me or anyone else — that i took, but i’m pretty sure there were pictures taken of me by other folks, because i wore my kilt, a rainbow tie-dyed shirt, my tall hat-of-many-buttons, and my steampunk goggles. carrying an enormous tuba in a parade, dressed in that costume, was definitely an experience… unfortunately it was an experience for everyone else, because i was too busy trying to play the parts and keep more-or-less in line with the six other members of the band… 😐

this is the second seafair related parade that i have participated in this year. i didn’t go to greenwood, because my car isn’t “finished” yet, but i’ve been in chinatown, magnolia, and, in a couple weeks, briar…

next weekend is august 9th, the day that will live in infamy… because i have three different gigs scheduled with three different bands, in three different cities…

i’ve got the festival of the river with the fighting instruments of karma; i’ve got the ballard locks gig with the ballard sedentary sousa band; AND i’ve got the huson’s garden party with the fremont philharmonic… ALL ON THE SAME DAY… πŸ˜›

i’m going to make the fighting instruments gig, because they are actually paying the chautaqua $10,000 to do the show, so the chautaqua wants to give them their money’s worth… i may be able to make the garden party, which starts at 7:00, if everything goes as planned and i am able to leave arlington by 6:00, and i encounter no traffic in everett or seattle…

… now i need a place to hide away, oh i believe in yesterday.

SACBO, OCF et cetera

we have three snake suspenderz gigs next week. tuesday we have a gig at horizon house, which we played for last year to great acclaim. thursday we have a gig at the university house, wallingford, which doesn’t pay enough and only wants “background music” for their art opening (they could easily afford to pay us twice the amount they are, out of petty cash, considering how swank and regal the place is, but it’s for a friend of a friend, so we can’t really say much). saturday we have SACBO, which is in a new place this year. apparently, in spite of the crowds of people who attend, the fremont solstice fair budget is on the “shoe-string” level, and they decided to use the parking lot that we have been holding SACBO in for the past few years as a “pay-for” concert venue, which means that SACBO has to move to the former sound mind & body parking lot. it’s good because there won’t be the possibility for loud interruptions, like what happened last year, and it’s a nicer location, with more shade, right next to the water.

this year will also be the 14th 16th anniversary (this is why my wife is always right and i am always wrong) of our wedding, which now moves into the class of things i have done for the longest amount of time in my life, including smoking cannabis and being a musician.

the fighting instruments of karma (for which i am now, more-or-less, the “official” tuba player) has a parade in which i am actually going to be “marching”, in darrington, on the 4th of july. moe says i “dodged a bullet” because her mom wants us to come down to portland for a barbecue on the 4th. i’m still not totally sure whether moe will attend or not (although i don’t see any reason why not), but at this point, i’m grateful for anything that puts distance between me and moe’s mother.

then OCF happens from july 8th (or 9th, at the latest) until the 14th. we are already scheduled to perform at the ritz, on saturday, 12th july, at 7:30 pm. if you’re interested, and in the area, i encourage you to come: it is, definitely, not to be missed. both kiki and sasha are cast members this year, which means that stuart will be the pro-tem leader of the band, we will have an alternate drummer (possibly) and at least one new player whose name i have seen bandied about in email, but have never actually met. the philharmonic still hasn’t had any rehearsals, and there is no new music, although some is rumoured to exist, at least in kiki’s mind… in other words, we’re coming into OCF with practically no rehearsals at all, and (at this point) no rehearsals with the cast… just like normal… i’m not even 100% sure what show we are doing this year (although i think it might be “Sleeping Beauty”)…

it’s gotten to be so much of a “tradition” that i’m not particularly worried any longer, but it still causes a small amount of stress.

bleh

the days keep going by.

i got my computer fixed by the kubuntu gods at Kubuntu Forums, where they are quite a bit better than just about anybody else at diagnosing and helping to fix any problems that one might have with one’s kubuntu system… and, by the way, it wasn’t the video drivers. the people who put together the update packages left out an important part of the desktop manager, and released a new update that had that important part in it the next day… πŸ˜‰ i suppose that’s what i get for using a free, community-based operating system.

it could be worse. i could be using <shudder> micro$lop…

moe returned very early friday morning, so the doggies have calmed back down to their standard level of chaos.

i’ve got a rehearsal later on this evening with the fremont philharmonic, whose moisture festival dates are april 2nd through april 6th. we’ve only had one rehearsal, we still don’t know exactly who is playing when, and there’s a WHOLE BUNCH of new music that we haven’t learned yet. then i’ve got a rehearsal with the SANCApators (which is eben sprinsock‘s other band) on wednesday. they’ve got two rehearsals, and then i’m playing with them at the moisture festival on march 23rd. then i’ve got a rehearsal with snake suspenderz on thursday. snake suspenderz is playing a private gig at a corporate party on saturday, and a public gig on sunday, at C&P Coffee in west seattle, if you’re interested in seeing us play: we’re doing a special performance with Katy Webber, who is a FANTASTIC jazz singer (who also played the part of Dick Whittington in the most recent panto)… snake suspenderz is also playing as a “pit band” at the moisture festival march 26th through march 30th. i don’t know if we’re going to have any “on stage” performances this year, but even still, i’ve got a total of 19 performances, which should make up for any loss that i experience due to the fact that i’ve gotten paid less per share than last year (grumble, mutter).

i’ve got a whole bunch more moisture festival performances this year than i had last year, and a combination of widely varying circumstances means that they’re actually taking snake suspenderz seriously this year, but if they maintain the new “tradition” of paying a smaller share than they did last year (which started last year), this will probably be the last year that i participate in the moisture festival in the way that i have been for the past ELEVEN YEARS now… πŸ˜› of course i don’t know that they’re going to pay less per share than they did last year, but at this point i don’t trust the board of directors to do anything rational any longer.

and before any of that happens, moe and i are going to heppner oregon again (like we did last year), and after that, we’re going to the ocean for a few days. we’re going to a place that DOES NOT have wifi, so it’s going to mean that we’re going to have to exist for a few days without our smart-phones, or ipads, or laptops… we’re going to have to do with kites, dogs, beach, and each other… like in olden times.

wump

we now have four completed performances of the panto under our belts. it’s going surprisingly well, considering that it’s only the first weekend. our houses have been sparse, but energetic, and i’ve actually got to the point where i’m playing more than 75% of the notes on the piece with which i’ve been having the most difficulty, i.e. the piece that is in the normally-totally-okay key of E♭, but because of the fact that it re-focuses my attention on the two fingers of my right hand (middle and ring fingers) which are the LEAST under my control, since my injury, it is a real challenge… but it’s getting better, because we’re only four performances into the run and i’m already playing >75% of the notes correctly, so i’ll probably have it after a few more performances.

i got out of the palladium shortly after the last performance of the day concluded, and was home by 6:00 pm, when i discovered that i had left my computer glasses at the palladium, so now i’m sitting as far away from the screen as possible, but not so far away that i can’t see the letters i am typing… sasha has my glasses, and i plan on retreiving them tomorrow, but it’s really frustrating typing and reading what i type without my reading glasses… getting old is a drag, sometimes…

moe’s father is in the hospital, and his wife is in montana (or some place like that) helping moe’s half-brother’s wife who has had premature twins recently — the deeper i dive in to the pool, the more moe’s family is like a television situation comedy gone horribly, and irretrievably wrong, really… but my family is not much better, despite (or, because of) the fact that i haven’t communicated with any of them for more than 5 minutes or so in thirty years… but that is a different story, entirely. in any event, moe’s father has nobody else to care for him, and the last i heard, the hospital was giving him a 50% chance, so moe has taken an emergency trip to portland to whip some doctors into shape and get her father’s wife back from wherever it is that she is, so that moe doesn’t have to do it any longer. end result is that i am here taking care of frank, zorah, the parrots and snake on my own, while moe is in portland for an indeterminate period of time.

wonderful… just in time for the holidays… 😐

sibelius

the software, not the composer…

i bit the bullet and bought the academic version of sibelius 7… which cost $300, rather than the standard version, which has less capabilities, but costs $700 (a thing which i have yet to figure out, even though the capabilities that the educational version has are useless to me, because it requires that i have a network with at least one other installation of the educational version installed on it).

it actually took me a few days to make it “legal” because of the fact that moe’s WSU email address had been changed (since she graduated… oops!) and we had to work around that until she was able to phone the helpdesk and get things straightened out.

now that it is all legal and everything, i’ve gotta start actually learning how to use it. but it’s easy enough to use that, already, before i’ve even completed one of the FOUR two-hour tutorials it came with(!), i have been able to complete two lead sheets for beatles tunes that i copied from THE BOOK for snake suspenderz, and create a 6-part arrangement of a piano rag by scott joplin for the fremont philharmonic.

i still haven’t realised all of the goodies that this new, legal software holds in store for me, but i think it’s already well on the way to paying me back for the money i spent on it. 😎

⥣ .333333333333333333333333333333333333…

i’ve been noticing a distinctly moldy-like smell the past few days, but i haven’t found the source. then, this morning, moe mentioned that the kitchen floor was feeling a little soft, so i went down and looked, and sure enough, there was a leak in one of the pipes… so i spent $500 on a plumber at 11:30 in the morning on a sunday. he was actually the second plumber i called, because the first one was in church and not answering his cell phone. i know he was in church because his dispatcher told me he was. i guess going to church means that you don’t get paid on a sunday… 😐 the guy who finally came out recommended a complete repiping of the entire house, which would cost around $7,000. the thing is, i don’t know whether this house is worth it or not… after all, it was a “manufactured” (read “mobile”) home, installed in the early 1970s, which is currently under water with its mortgage… 😐

on the plus side, since the plumber went away, there has been a surprisingly dissipated moldy-like smell… and the leaky pipe may also have been the source of the windows sweating so much over the past couple of weeks…

regular fremont phil rehearsals have started. regular ballard sedentary sousa band rehearsals are starting on tuesday. regular snake suspenderz rehearsals haven’t started yet, which is probably not as bad a thing as it seems at this point, but my impression is that they’d better start soon, or we’re going to be in trouble, because we’ve got a number of performances starting in less than a month. next weekend, moe and i are taking a part vacation and part sheepdog trial in heppner, oregon starting friday and ending monday.

pzfthqgler

i re-evaluated my bong-making facility, and modified it somewhat to accomodate some additions to the glass-bottle-drilling area so that i can actually fill the bottles with water while i am drilling them. apparently being full of water “stabilises the bottle on a molecular level” and makes them less likely to break. i haven’t really noticed that much of a difference yet, because i’ve only actually tried it with one bottle, but if i can break fewer bottles than i have been so far, it will be an improvement. i went to another smoke shop yesterday, and they responded positively, but didn’t actually buy anything. they told me to call again today, so i’m going to do that later this afternoon.

we’re gearing up for the moisture festival again. the first rehearsal was supposed to be yesterday, but, typically, it got cancelled at the last moment. the moisture festival will be 10 years old this march, and it’s actually smaller than it was last year. last year we had shows in four different venues, and this year we’re only filling two venues. it makes me wonder what they’re planning on doing with all the $100 “donations” they got last year, that they said were going to make this years’ moisture festival “something really special”… 😐

the fremont phil has 5 days of performances, which is two less than last year, which was three less than the year before… and i’ve heard some “rumblings” from the powers-that-be in the moisture festival that they’re thinking of getting entirely new bands next year… nothing official, at this point, but the fact that it’s out there is something to shudder about.

on the other hand, snake suspenderz is playing (on stage) two nights, on which i am also performing with the phil, AND we’re also “subbing” for stuart’s band, the Super 8s, one night as “the pit band” or “the house band” or whatever you may call it… so that’s something.

rick has been going through hell recently. it started when i dropped him off at the emergency room of good samaritan hospital (the same one i did my rehabilitation in, after my injury). he proceded to almost die and is now recovering at an “assisted living facility” in puyallup: basically it’s one of those “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” places, where 95% of the population is never going to be released… but at the same time, if rick were to be released, the only place he has to go back to is so moldy that it’s very likely toxic, and rick has a self-admitted ambivalence toward living in squalor… i remember thinking, as i was moving the boxes of crap from rick’s storage place to his house, that i could very easily be contributing to a future episode of Hoarders… i want to help, but i’m not sure how much good it will do… 😐 i’ve been taking him to various different doctors’ appointments, when he can’t arrange transportation, but i don’t know how much more i have in me.

so…

this weekend is the start of four weeks of panto performances. tickets are selling out quickly, but if you’re in the area, we are still accepting “friends and family” for the 15th december performances. tickets are available brown paper tickets, and if you choose the 15th performance and enter the code mushy peas you’ll be getting in for no cost.

if you’re not in the area… tough luck. πŸ˜‰

i played my sousaphone last month for the first time in around a year, and it went fairly well… now, the difficult part, is getting back to playing a C tuba. i thought it was going to be an easy transition, because i went from C to B♭ without any difficulty at all, but the difficult part is going back to C. i played the music for the panto reasonably well this summer, but, despite the fact that i played my B♭ sousaphone last month, for one day, remembering the C fingerings is a REAL problem… 😐

and it makes it that much worse that the panto starts this weekend, and goes for four weeks… presumably, i’ll be playing the parts reasonably well by the time it’s done, but — of course — by that time, it’ll be too late. 😐

moe graduated from college on saturday — summa cum laude — and her parents are coming for her reception, which is on the same day that the panto opens, so i’m going not going to be able to make it, but i’m not particularly disappointed, as it will be a party with a whole bunch of people i don’t know, plus monique’s parents.

music, video

i played with the fremont philharmonic at big red last night, and also played my didjeriflute for a “talent show”. then, this morning, i got up at an unreasonably early hour and went to the ballard sunday market, where i busked with snake suspenderz until noon, whereupon i went to the edmonds city park and played with the ballard sedentary sousa band.

the video is pretty much exactly what i wanted, but i really need to figure out how to work iMovie a little better, because it could be a lot better… i’m not sure if i want to make a separate video explaining how the flute is made and how to play it, or whether i want to re-make the current video with that information included… or even if i actually want to include information about how it is made and how it is played… i mean, i suppose anybody with a little imagination can probably figure those things out, but it’s kinda neat that, as far as i can tell, NOBODY has done this kind of thing, and made a video of it before. 😎

↑ ⅕

get it? up… date…

well, i thought it was amusing…

i am feeling a good deal better, although i am still not back to 100% health, yet. i still have a lingering cough that comes up at random times, particularly whenever i lie down, but i’m a lot better than i was a week ago.

the brakes in my car have to be replaced, to the tune of $800. moe claims that this car is “nickle-and-dime-ing” me, but the previous car (of which she approved) had already cost me almost $3000 by this point in our relationship, including $1500 for a replacement transmission, and this car has only cost me $450, plus the proposed brake work, and it appears, in spite of the fact that i’ve had to replace the timing belt, and now i have to get all four brakes and wheel bearings replaced, that this is going to continue to be a functional car for a lot longer than the previous one was. and, because of the fact that it’s a honda and not a ford (or whatever the previous car was, i don’t remember), i can actually take it to jack to have the repair work done for (hopefully) cheaper than edgewood tire quoted me. i’m also going to try to enlist the aid of the friend who worked on my brakes the day i had my brain injury (although, again, hopefully, i won’t have another brain injury), which has the definite possibility of saving me a good deal of money.

i got a reply from the incense people regarding the meaning of the word “pieces” and, as i suspected, it was entirely due to the fact that they were translating from hindi to english. if it weren’t for the fact that i have to think about providing at least part of the money for my car, i would already have sent the guy $100 for incense. as soon as i actually get paid for the postcards i made last month, i will probably do that anyway.

we had a recording session with a real, live, professional recording technician, last night, which went outstandingly well, and we’ve got another session with him tomorrow night, which, if it goes half as well as last night’s session did, will make a real, live CD of the fremont philharmonic a lot closer to being actual reality than it has ever been before. also, friday is a New Old Time Chautaqua benefit show in olympia, for which i have been recruited as a sousaphone player. it should be fun, if nothing else.

today is may day. everybody go home and don’t work. also, friday is Bongwater Day, for those of you who are interested.

okay, here it is, all at once…

because the next few weeks are going to be tremendously busy, and i’m not sure how much time or energy i’m going to have for trendy computer gizmos…

i’m getting ever closer to finishing the repair work on thaddeus’ E-flat sousaphone, for which he intends to give me (on the condition that, when he absolutely NEEDS a tuba, it’s his) a BB-flat tuba that he is in possession of, which used to belong to hokum w. jeebs. i’ve finished the “hard” part, which was actually procuring the correct piece (the “mouth pipe” or “lead pipe” pictured here). the rest of the process, of course, is soldering everything back together… which i have done before, but it was a LOOOOOOOONG time ago, before my injury, and so i’m a little nervous about the whole thing… one of the good things, that i need to remember, is that this is thaddeus’ UGLY E-flat sousaphone, despite the fact that the lead pipe is brand new and shiny, and pretty much anything i do to it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s playable when i get done… and it WILL be playable, i guarantee that… 8)

then, i’ve been working with chris, who owns neighborhood acupuncture, making a business card, and i’ve been going back and forth with him for about a week. he keeps leading me to believe that he’s ready to send it off to get it printed, and then, at the last minute, there are a bunch of minor changes… which wouldn’t be so bad if chris was more accessible by email, but he’s not… he makes changes, and then he might not check his email again until tomorrow… and if he really needed the business cards “last week” (as he assured me, when i asked him), that’s not the way to get it done…

also, while i was in seattle dealing with the illusion that chris’ business cards were ready to send out, my elderly, brain-injured client called me with news that his computer suddenly quit working. from his (hazy, inaccurate) description of what had happened to his computer, i deduced that he was very likely having power supply issues. so when i was done at chris’, i went to capitol hill and took out my client’s power supply which i suspected had gone tits-up, and took it down to RE-PC, where i confirmed that it had, indeed, gone tits-up: the guy plugged it in, listened to the (annoying, high-pitched) noise it was making, and said that it had at least two blown capacitors. so i recycled the old power supply and bought a new one, which i’m going to put in tomorrow, after the snake suspenderz rehearsal.

AND there’s the moisture festival, which starts on thursday. i’m playing 13 performances over 24 days with the fremont phil, and 4 performances during the same period of time, with snake suspenderz, two of which are “fluffing” the crowd pre-show, and two of which are on the stage with the rest of the performers.

so, without further ado, i’m going to morph into my alternate personality, one of the busiest low-brass players on the west coast… 8)

the first of december

a year ago, paddy was still alive and i was getting ready for a litter of new puppies. now, paddy is dead, the litter is gone except for one huge monstrostity of a dog who is now as big plus half as his mother, but is STILL digging random holes in the back yard… πŸ˜›

the 4th anniversary of this blog was yesterday. also, yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the death of sri daya mata.

there’s still a week to go before the panto, this year, unlike last year when it was this week. i thank GAWD that we’re waiting an extra week this year, because in spite of the fact that we wrote it ourselves, we’re still not quite “up to speed” with the “new, improved” peter pan — it’s still the same basic story that we took to OCF over the summer, but there are several new “twists” to the plot that make the whole thing more understandable and flow easier. as far as i can tell, we do, indeed, have all of the music at this point, including a “patter song” á la Gilbert & Sullivan, which should make the show a good deal more entertaining than it was this summer.

the fremont phil is playing for the traditional, annual lighting of lenin tomorrow, and snake suspenderz is playing for the drawing jam at the gage art academy on saturday.

鮭汁

鮭汁

so i’ve been feeling really subdued since being cracked last week… despite the fact that it didn’t really affect me that much, and i recovered quickly and completely with no more hassle and upset than the crack caused itself, i just haven’t felt like communicating that much.

we have only just gotten started with the panto rehearsals, although my understanding is that the players have actually been working separately for some time. we’ve only got a few weeks before the show goes live, and it has been almost completely rewritten between OCF and now, so it would really be good if things were moving somewhat more quickly, but i imagine it will all work out in the end.

snake suspenderz has a gig at mosaic coffee house on friday, which nobody remembered until i made some comment about a week ago that i had this gig on my schedule… and, at first, it was dismissed as a hallucination until hobbit realised that he had, in fact, scheduled the gig. we were doing really well, had a whole bunch of gigs in a row there for a while, and were making regular money busking, but recently it’s gone downhill, and we haven’t even rehearsed since the middle of last month.

the sousa bash went off without a hitch, and the sousa band is now officially on vacation until spring, with the exception of the phinney ridge holiday festival, which i’m not sure i’m going to this year, because it is REALLY crowded.

ketchup

If you go to the Third World and find 100 people who have never tasted ketchup before, you find out two things: one is that people don’t actually like tomato ketchup, the other is that they dislike all ketchups equally.
     –Rob Young

i downloaded a whole bunch of music from Sharps a burning-man related dub DJ with whom i am related – he’s either my fourth or fifth cousin, either twice or thrice removed… i’m not sure about the particular details, but our shared ancestor is my great-grandfather… or great-great-grandfather, or something like that… i find it somewhat incredible that i am related to so many people, most of whom i don’t know, and that there are other people, some of whom i am related to, who know a lot more about my family, even though they are completely unknown to me, than i do. it’s also good to see that i’ve got relatives who are not my immediate family (who all seem to despise me for not entirely unknown, but entirely unrealistic reasons) who, never the less, have the same predilictions for artistic expression as i do. it is definitely very grounding for me. i keep having to remind myself that i – and everyone else alive – has 1024 great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents, and the further you go back in time, the fewer people there are… eventually – and it’s a lot sooner than most people think – you’re bound to run into similar family relationships.

along similar lines, through another guy i met who is from whitecourt, alberta, i got a new pile of information about my mother’s family, and i now have more-or-less confirmed lineage back to the early 1600s, and a “home turf” in st. vigeans and arbroath, scotland. i’m still hoping that someone will come along and give me similar information about my father’s side of the family: i’ve only been able to trace them back to the mid-1800s, and, although possibly the father (or, possibly, grandfather) of the last guy in my current list was originally from “the old country” (whichever one that is), i don’t know anything about him… of course i am one of a long tradition from that part of my family, of oldest-children who have been estranged from their families for one reason or another, on top of the fact that the civil war put extreme pressures on family loyalties, and that part of my family was in the thick of the action on both sides of the conflict – which would mean that there are more-than-likely parts of my family history that were deliberately forgotten over the years.

i’ve been doing a lot of performances with snake suspenderz over the past couple of weeks. we’ve been busking at the ballard sunday market for a while now, and the past couple of weeks we haven’t been busking there, but we’ve made up for it by busking at the wallingford market on wednesday, and the interbay market on thursday… and hobbit and i went and busked at the phinney ridge market on friday last week. the fremont phil did a gig at the fremont outdoor cinema on saturday last week, and we’ve got another gig scheduled for the mobile food rodeo, coming up on the 17th… and the day after that, snake suspenderz is doing two gigs in the same day, at the pike place market and beneroya hall… and i’ve discovered that puyallup has a sunday market, which opens up the possibility of going to ballard in the morning and puyallup in the afternoon… 8)

i’ve also had a surprising amount of hybrid elephant business. i’ve got a button order in the process that’s 500 buttons, plus at least two international orders and at least two more domestic orders over the past few weeks, and another one just came in… but the reciept from paypal hasn’t come in yet, so it may not be a real order… ah, there it is… it’s a real order now… 8)

i torture myself in private

well, not exactly in private…

a few weeks ago – it was on a sunday – i made the mistake of scheduling two gigs on the same day. i realised it was a mistake, and yet…

i scheduled myself for two gigs in one day, two more times within the next month. one of those days was today. i scheduled busking at the phinney farmers’ market in the afternoon, and a fremont phil rehearsal in the evening. to make this self-torture even worse, i got up with moe and went out to worm and vaccinate 20 sheep before 11:00 this morning.

moe left this afternoon around 1:00 to go to another dog trial in the portland area. she took all the doggles with her this time, because i’ve had, and will be having so much to do over the next few days.

i just got home, it’s 11:30, i still need to feed the cats, i haven’t been home all day, and i was ready to go to bed about two hours ago. we’ve got an actual gig (but only one of them) tomorrow. i don’t think we’re going to busk at ballard on sunday, so i may take that day to make the counterweights i’ve been needing for my canopy…

not only that, but i’ve got another two-gigs-in-one-day coming up, where snake suspenderz is doing the pike place market buskers’ festival, at pike place, and the seattle symphony day of music, at beneroya hall, within three hours of each other… sure, beneroya hall is only a couple of blocks from pike place, but… GODDAMIT, it’s TWO gigs in one day… and as much as they’re really prestigious, and really cool, and what other band can say that they played in the pike place market and beneroya hall IN THE SAME DAY, i just know that it’s going to stretch my spoons to the limit… πŸ˜›

whuff

i realised, once again, why i don’t schedule more than one gig per day yesterday…

i’m beginning a couple weeks of relative busy-ness, and it started off with partying and not getting enough sleep saturday night, and continued abruptly yesterday, when i got up way too early and went to the ballard sunday market with snake suspenderz and busked for approximately 1½ hours before we were run off by a string quartet which was playing vivaldi and bach. while they were playing acceptably well, they set up 20 feet away from us and wouldn’t fess up when confronted with their rudeness… and then we discovered that it’s apparently a “new policy” that buskers have to get up and move every half an hour…

by the time we had played for half an hour or so with a classical accompaniment (which was really confusing, at best, and downright distracting most of the time) we decided to bag it, especially since i had to go to my second gig anyway, which was the ballard sedentary sousa band at the ballard locks… which was, fortunately, just down the street.

it was clear from the start that i wasn’t going to be able to play my best, because i had already been playing my best for an hour and a half at the previous gig, but this was on my trombone and that was on my tuba, and i figured that would account for something… but if it did, i probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway, because by the time we were done playing i was getting really tired… then the BSSB-at-the-locks concert was followed by the traditional beer-and-pizza-in-walter’s-back-yard, which got me home around 6:00 pm.

i actually tried to take a nap between 7:00 and 7:30 or so, but the doggie-alarm kept going off every time a twig snapped outside, until moe got home around 8:00. i finally went to bed at 9:30 and was asleep almost immediately.

i’ve got a ninja concert at the good shepherd center with the fremont philharmonic this evening, and a rehearsal with the sousa band on tuesday, wednesday i have a snake suspenderz rehearsal, and thursday is my “weekend” this week. then i’ve got a gig with snake suspenderz at chumleighland on friday… which has the distinct possibility of leaking over into saturday as well… and possibly another ninja performance with the fremont phil on saturday, then the ballard sunday market on the 14th, and on the 15th is the party that we were hired to do as a result of the sunday market…

and then there’s the “Garden Party” at krissy and chris’ on the 20th, which the fremont phil is probably not playing for in any official capacity, but we’re probably going to be there, and i’m going to bet that we’ll play a little. and then, next month, we’ve already got a two-gigs-in-one-day scheduled, on 18th september, when we’re scheduled for the pike place busker festival and the seattle symphony day of music at beneroya hall…

plus i got an incense order today, for the last of my old tulasi deepak stock, which, because, from what i’ve been able to find out, they don’t make it any longer is another incense that i have carried that nobody else carries…

busy busy busy…

let’s see… fremont phil rehearsals this week, monday and wednesday, tuesday was my 13th wedding anniversary, thursday held a fremont phil performance at a private “ice cream social” in richmond beach, and today was a sousa band performance at the king street station, commemorating the remodeling (which hasn’t actually happened yet) and reopening of the king street station, and to which i actually took public transportation from federal way (which is the closest actual bus station to my house)… really, $2.50 and 40 minutes from federal way transit center to the king street station makes taking the bus almost realistic enough that i would be willing to consider it… if it weren’t for the fact that, usually, i am travelling with my tuba and all my gear, which i’m sure they’d let me do on the bus, but i’m also fairly sure that it would irritate the hell out of certain passengers. tomorrow is pretty much open (although i’m going to go replace the tire that moe blew out on the freeway last weekend) and sunday looks like it’s going to be another snake suspenderz performance at the ballard sunday market…

that enough for ya? it’s not over… next monday i’m breaking the tradition of only having one rehearsal per day, and rehearsing (again) with snake suspenderz, as well as a rehearsal with the fremont phil, tuesday i have a snake suspenderz performance at the can can, and wednesday i’m back to one rehearsal per day, with the phil… thursday, next week, is far enough in the future that, to my mind, it doesn’t even exist yet, but by that time i will have expended enough spoons that it will be time for a couple of days break… we’ll see how it goes…

and that’s not to mention OCF, which is coming up very quickly, and this year’s panto, which is peter pan, for which we (still) don’t have all of the music, despite the fact that it’s going to go on stage for the first time in a little more than 2 weeks…

whuff…

update

i’ve been working on a business card, but i’ve needed important things like the location of hi-res images and the names of the fonts and stuff like that before i can actually create anything… which means waiting for them to get back to me… of course, once i actually have all those things it took me about 15 minutes to put together a business card that is like the example they sent me, and now i’ve got to wait (again) for the customer to either approve the card, or make changes… and, being that it’s a business card for an artist, if there are changes, they’ll most likely want something exotic, unusual and expensive…

we had a snake suspenderz rehearsal on tuesday. it’s really great to play with the guys again, but i’m afraid that, once we’re through with the (one) gig that we’ve got scheduled so far (28th june, at the can can) the band will fade from existence again… and, as much as some people complain that it’s a “hobby band”, i get the very strong feeling that it could very easily be a good deal more than that. we’re going to be playing for SACBO on saturday and sunday. i have my canopy, and i’m going to be there anyway, because of my art car, so i figured what the hell… we can busk, and because of the fact that it’s the fremont solstice festival, we’ll probably make some money, and it’s a couple more “rehearsals” before we have to do it “for real” at the can can…

i decided that, because of the fact that SACBO is imminent, and because of the fact that the continued working existence of the current Ganesha The Car is still very much in question (it’s still working – touch wood – but who knows whether or not it’ll be working tomorrow, much less next week), i decided that i was going to put “freeform” art on it, and save the complicated design work for a car that i have confidence is going to last me a little bit longer. i haven’t taken any pictures of it, yet, but it vaguely resembles this drawing from my sketchbook. it’s not nearly as “artistic” (read “exotic and unusual”) as i would like it to be, but it will have to do for the time being.

we had a fremont phil rehearsal on wednesday. there was a rehearsal last week, as well, but i was in the middle of preparing for my colonoscopy last week, so i didn’t go to that one. the phil has taken off in a new direction, which is interesting and intriguing, and not entirely unwelcome. we’ve gotten a couple of new flutists, a new trumpet player and the baritone player and the EWI player from last year, who are all dedicated musicians and very interested in moving forwards with the group. we’re playing a private “ice cream social” near edmonds on the 23rd, and we’re sounding surprisingly good, considering the small amount of rehearsal we’ve had.

speaking of the colonoscopy, the results arrived yesterday. the other two polyps that i had removed were benign as well, and there’s nothing to worry about, but they want to see inside my ass again in two years, rather than the three that they told me originally, because of the fact that the polyps were there to begin with.

this is our opening night for the moisture festival

the moisture festival has actually been going on for a week, now, but tonight is the opening night of comedie/varieté at the palladium featuring the fremont philharmonic. we’ve settled on “whatever is your take on ‘formal'” for the uniform-of-the-day, and this is what i’m wearing:cam-whoring pre-moisture-festivalwe’re supposed to show up around 5:00 pm, i think doors for the first show are at 7:00, and doors for the second show are at 10:00… which means, conservatively, that we’ll be finished around 12:00 or thereabouts… which means that i won’t actually get out of there until 1:00 or so, and it usually takes me around 45 minutes to drive home, so i won’t be getting to bed until around 2:00 or thereabouts… and i’ve got the same schedule again tomorrow, only it starts with me getting to the palladium at 1:00…

busy, busy, busy…

by the way, for those of you who are wondering (and i know you’re out there), the altar cloth behind me is tucked up behind the box to keep it away from the puppy. there have already been several “near miss messes” that have involved the puppy, who wants to tug and chew on everything that hangs down, and the altar… i keep telling myself that he’ll grow out of it, but i keep wondering if he’ll do it before or after destroying my altar… 😐

OY!!! 8P

after i logged off last night, our most senior dog – paddy, the one who scared me so badly a few months ago – who, despite the fact that she’s been in pretty good health for the most part, suddenly had a grand mal seizure last night. it wasn’t entirely unexpected (moe said she commented to one of the vets just the other day about the possibility), but once again it scared the holy hell out of me…

once again, i hope i don’t have another day like yesterday for a long, long time. never would be a totally acceptible option.

today was the second day of shows for the panto. today, we didn’t have a drummer. for the first show, he didn’t call or anything, and just didn’t show up. he’s put up posters and passed out flyers with the show times printed on them, and the show times are also available on the web site, and he’s always been late for, or entirely missed rehearsals, and we’ve had to wait to start the show because nobody knew where he was at least twice, so when he finally showed up, about ten minutes before the end of the show, it was the last straw, and kiki fired him… she said that it was the first time she had fired anybody, and as far as i know, it was the first time anyone has been fired from the fremont philharmonic, but he had it coming… you don’t schedule yourself for a show with “professional” musicians (is there such a thing? i still don’t really know for sure) and then just not show up for a performance without at least calling ahead of time (like i did for the show at the gage, yesterday)…

i’m about ready for the holidays to be over, and today’s only the 5th… 8P

OY!!

today was one of the most infuriating days i have lived through in a long, long time…

i woke up this morning and turned on my computer, and it wouldn’t connect to internet… wonderful… 😐 and, of course, it’s saturday, so the technical support goons at drizzle aren’t going to return any calls until monday anyway… so i fire up the mac, which – for some mysterious reason – is connecting to internet, and i log into my webmail account… and i discover three thousand messages with the same subject line in my inbox… and, of course, because of the fact that they’re IMAP (“Internet Message Access Protocol” or webmail), i can’t delete them all at once, i have to select each one… so i log into my spamcop account and discover fifteen thousand more messages with exactly the same subject line… and, once again, because of the fact that it’s IMAP and not POP (“Post Office Protocol”, or local mail), in order to delete them all, i have to select every one of them individually before i can delete them… and because of the fact that my drizzle webmail account is on drizzle, they’ve set things so that i can only see twenty messages at a time, which means that i can only delete 20 messages at a time, even after i have selected each one individually (because the “Select All Messages” button at the top of drizzle’s webmail interface conveniently doesn’t work… 😐

quite apart from everything else, i wonder why it is that people do things like that… the only thing it does is waste a whole hell of a lot of time, and infuriate people massively… it doesn’t actually do anything positive for your business, and in most states, it’s actually illegal (which doesn’t make any difference on internet, as long as you don’t get caught, but that’s not the point)… examining one of the messages i discovered that one of the reasons i got so many of them was because each one had been addressed to me no less than 7 times, so there’s a strong probability that whoever is responsible for this is a professional spammer that i have reported often enough that he’s angry with me and is doing it as revenge, but even that doesn’t work the way he would expect, because i reported every single one of his 20,000 email messages…

anyway, i delete all the messages i can (which turns out to be around 800) before i have to leave for the opening performance of the panto…

the way i’ve got it planned, i will get finished with the first show around 5:30, and then i have arranged for a cab to take me from the panto to the gage art academy, where i’m scheduled to play with snake suspenders until 6:30, whereupon i have arranged another cab to take me back to the palladium for the second show. if i hit all the stoplights just right i should have enough time to get back to the palladium for the 7:00 show, right?

except for the fact that the cab that was supposed to show up at 5:30 actually showed up at 5:00, and the guy said he couldn’t wait, and to call another cab… except that when i call, the dispatcher says that they can’t get another cab there for an hour…

so i call thaddeus (what did i ever do before cell phones were invented?) during my 10-minute intermission and tell him that i can’t make it… at the last possible minute, before i have to start the second act of the current show…

i REALLY hate having to bail on a show at the last minute, and i hate even more to have to bail on a show at the gage, because last year i got to ogle a lot of well-built naked models, play my tuba and i got a nifty picture out of the deal as well, but there was nothing to be done.

after that, though, things started to go better. i finished the second show and came home to discover that my computer had magically decided to work (i blame demons, and i’m probably right), which meant that all those spam messages hit my “second wave” of spam filtering and were deleted without my having to do anything. and, now that i’m home and don’t have to go anywhere until tomorrow, i reset the spamcop webmail application to display 1000 messages at a time and reported/deleted all of them in a lot less time than it would have taken me deleting 20 messages at a time…

and now, i’m going to bed.

hopefully tomorrow will be less frustrating… it would have to work fairly hard to be more frustrating than today was… 😐

beer good…

so lucy is pregnant again and we’re expecting puppies in the next few weeks. i bought a roll of linoleum for the floor, and most of the materials to make a whelping box. i didn’t get the materials to make a pig rail for it because i want to wait until we have a box that’s the right size.

the panto starts on saturday, at 4 and 7. in between, i’m playing with snake suspenderz at the gage for about half an hour.

i’d post more, but nablopomo has left me a little drained…

update

i didn’t have a rehearsal yesterday, because it’s the “sousa-torium” (i.e. the break between sousa’s birthday and march or so, when we start rehearsing for next year. also, i don’t have a rehearsal tonight, because kiki’s going to the memorial for george shangrow, and anyway, they’re changing the whole story around (big surprise) so they don’t need the band, which is good because i could use the time off. it will also give me time to design a xmas postcard for the BSSB, which we are going to try to do again this year.

i went to help out my brain-injured client again yesterday. he had somehow added a wiget that he didn’t want to his panel. he said he didn’t, but i certainly didn’t put it there, and he’s the only other person to have access to the hardware, so i tend to believe that he did it in spite of what he says. after talking with tamzin, who also has aged, brain-injured clients, i bit the bullet and locked the panel, so that he can’t do it again. it’s obvious that he doesn’t really know what he’s doing about half of the time, and to leave “secret” methods of modifying the interface does more harm than good. also, he apparently has a preference for the “kickoff” style menu, rather than the “classic” windows-style menu, which is a good thing to remember.

something went wrong with one of the stylesheets and suddenly the login page for my blog looked all wonky. the last time this happened was a couple of years ago, when my blog was hacked, so i was pretty worried. i checked, and the blog didn’t appear to be hacked in the same way it was before, but still: the error i was getting was “Failed to load login.css” and i could see that login.css was there, and i looked at it and it looked the way it was supposed to… so i went to the wordpress “support” site, which is probably good for some people, but i have never gotten a usable solution when i have gone there with problems with my wordpress installation. nevertheless, it’s a place to start, so i did. i waited two days and nobody responded to my query… 😐 so i then logged into IRC, went to #wordpress and asked there. the guy who (finally) responded asked if i had tried uploading the file from a backup.

d’oh!

once i had uploaded and replaced the stylesheet, everything went back to the way it’s supposed to be.

dio de los muertos and other gig-related ramblings

tapetei had a gig last sunday, a rehearsal monday and wednesday, another gig yesterday, and a gig today. i get sunday off (because our usual rehearsal space will not be available this week), then i have a rehearsal monday, tuesday and wednesday of next week.sugar skull the gig yesterday was for the dio de los muertos celebration at the seattle art museum. unlike most of the previous banda gozona performances i’ve been to, this one included my camera and i took some really cool photos, not all of which are related to dio de los muertos. but most of them are… the gig today is the ballard sedentary sousa band’s “Sousa Bash” for john philip sousa’s birthday. unlike previous years, when we have had an outsized saxophone and a standing-room-only crowd, or last year, when there was a major storm, the bridge closed, and we had to start a half-hour late because most of the band wasn’t there, this year promises to be relatively tame… although that was said before the performance, and a lot could change between now and 6:00 pm. the philharmonic is into full rehearsal mode for the december panto, which has been extended to four weeks this year.

busy busy busy…

gearing up for the holiday season

panto rehearsals start next monday, and are monday and wednesday until the performance starts, which is 4 december. for sure there is a banda gozona performance at the plymouth congregational church next sunday, and a possible snake suspenderz performance on friday, at chumleighland. then there is a banda gozona performance next thursday, at the SAM sculpture park, and a sousa band performance on 6 november (sousa’s birthday) at kenyon hall in west seattle.

oy… 😐

i just realised that i have a massive schedule conflict on 4 december: i have panto performances at hale’s palladium at 4:00 and 7:30, and i have a snake suspenderz performance at the drawing jam at the gage academy of art from 6:00 to 9:00… they’re both paying gigs… and last year i was actually the subject of a sketch by one of the artists at the drawing jam. i have to make a choice between playing music for a crowd of artists sketching naked people, or playing music for a crowd of british panto afficianados… what to do, what to do? 😐

spoons, etc.

yesterday i got up at an ungodly hour (6:30 am) and went to pick up my wanna-be-art-car from one repair shop, and drove it 15 miles to another repair shop where they’re allegedly going to fix it. on the 15 mile drive from one repair shop to the other, the car almost overheated, and smoke was coming out the fresh air vents when i arrived, but ganesha is in charge of this car, so if it’s going to be fixed, then it’s going to be fixed, and if it isn’t, there’s nothing i can do about it.

anyway, that left me in burien with no car. i had my bicycle, though it’s around 30 miles home from there, so i rode to the burien transit center and took a bus from there to international boulevard, where i transferred to another bus that was going to the federal way transit center, and from there i rode my bicycle the remaining 8 miles home.

when i got home, i turned around and went out again, to get an ink cartridge for my printer, so that everything won’t print green any longer, and i also went to the copy shop to get photocopies of the panto music of which i need multiple copies. then i came home again…

when i got home, i used the new ink cartridge to print an invoice, and packaged an order that came in the day before, and went out again to the post office to ship the order.

then i came home again, and searched for, and found a guy who would fix the free lawnmower that i got on freecycle the other day. he picked it up(!) last night.

today, i went to the bank to get cash for the guy who fixed the lawn mower, and when he delivered it(!), i mowed the lawn, taking a break in the middle to go out and buy a gas can and gas, because it ran out of gas and i didn’t have any because my previous lawn mower was electric.

then i got most of the rest of my gear ready for OCF. i still have to pack clothes, and there are probably some miscellaneous things that i haven’t remembered to pack.

i keep finding myself amazed at the fact that in a little more than a week there are going to be feral hippie children immitating the play that i only saw for the first time on monday, and that was an incomplete show, because all of the music isn’t written yet, and we’re still putting the final touches on the script… the final dress rehearsal for the panto here is tonight. i believe the people who aren’t going down early are having another rehearsal on monday, but the next complete rehearsal we’ve got scheduled for the panto is at OCF, a week from tomorrow evening before the fair opens on friday. i’ve still got to determine whether or not i’m bringing my saw. also i’ve got a pink bandana and a trumpet that i have to remember to take for katy.

tomorrow there’s supposed to be a banda gozona rehearsal, but it’s for a performance that i have to miss because of OCF, so i’m not sure whether or not i’m going to it. friday there’s the final BBWP rehearsal before the fire show the night of the fair opening.

as long as we hold it together, the panto this year has the potential for being the best show we’ve ever done. we’re doing a mash up of Red Riding Hood and The Three Pigs: they’re both fairly simple, short stories that have some similar characters – the big bad wolf, and the woodcutter, for example – and they’re both ripe for tweaking the plots a little bit (or a lot) so that they’ll fit together. of course we’ve got the standard gender bending and off-colour jokes which should go over the heads of the smaller members of the audience. if we don’t hold it together, well, it’s OCF, so the probability is very high that nobody will notice, or if they do, they’ll think we planned it that way.

okay, i’m here…

doughnut joustingi am totally exhausted from SACBO and surrounding festivities, and i’ve been pretty depressed most of the day (the morning after blues?), but i’m slowly coming around. it rained pretty much all day sunday, and there was at least a bracing dampness to the air all day saturday when it wasn’t actually raining. fortunately it cleared up for the actual parade, because i was very clear about the fact that if it was raining, all of my expensive electronic music production gear was going to stay in its respective boxes, which would have definitely put a cramp on our part of the parade. i didn’t vend sunday, but lack of motivation was only part of the reason. now that i’m fairly confident that the transmission on ganesha the car version two is going to last at least a year (because that’s how long the warranty on the new transmission that i bought for it lasts), i can turn my attention to the leak in the pressurised engine coolant system which causes the car to run really hot when it’s not on the freeway, smell funny, and requires engine coolant about every 4 days to a week. it’s annoying that i’ve had to put so much money into this free car to get it working reliably. about the most fun i had at SACBO was watching the doughnut jousting that evolved over the course of sunday afternoon. the crowds were really light because of the rain, but we were determined to make the best of it, which resulted in a couple of microphone stands and some coat hangers becoming targets on which were placed yesterday’s doughnuts, which were the target of jousters on bicycles, unicycles, wheelchairs, and pretty much anything else, armed with pool cues. i spent time with people that i only see once a year (mostly), was part of the centrepiece of the whole parade, and i was inducted into a secret society, the less said about which the better. fremont phil rehearsal tonight, BSSB rehearsal tomorrow, players rehearsal wednesday, LBG rehearsal thursday, BBWP rehearsal friday…

moe was at a sheepdog trial all weekend, and she won! she got a 92, and the person who came in second (who is also moe’s mentor and friend diane) got an 88. i’ll let her tell the story, but we’re all pretty proud of moe and her doggie. πŸ™‚ also, today is our 12th wedding anniversary.

it’s definitely rehearsal season…

BBWPlast week, monday i had a fremont phil rehearsal, tuesday i had a sousa band rehearsal, wednesday i had a players rehearsal, thursday i had a banda gozona rehearsal, friday i had a BBWP rehersal, saturday was the banda gozona performance at the seattle version of guelaguetza, and today i had a rehearsal of the beatles-simulacra-band for the solstice parade coming up on saturday. this week, monday i have a fremont phil rehearsal, wednesday i have a players rehearsal, thursday i have my choice of a banda gozona rehearsal (which i am going to miss, because it is in preparation for a performance at the solstice parade in which i am going to be otherwise engaged) or a beatles-simulacra rehearsal, friday i have a BBWP rehearsal, saturday i have the solstice parade, plus SACBO, sunday i have SACBO and a number of options, including vending… and then in a week, monday i’ve got a fremont phil rehearsal, tuesday i have a sousa band rehearsal, wednesday i have a players rehearsal, thursday i have a banda gozona rehearsal, friday i have a BBWP rehearsal, and it continues from there until OCF.

i’m going to OCF with chris this year, and chris wants to get there on monday, which is earlier than i have ever arrived at OCF before. which means that i’m going to have to be extra prepared this year (i.e. no “making a run to town to get things i forgot” this year). we’ve already been scheduled for a BBWP performance at the friday night fire show – which we didn’t do at all last year, and there was such a furor because we weren’t there that they demanded to have us back πŸ™‚ – so i’ve definitely got my work cut out for me, learning the new rap, practicing my poi and my tassel-twirling and the fire-avoidance thing to think about. plus i’ve got to do some homework and come up with sound effects for the beatles thing. we’re going to be in a “Yellow Submarine” float, and they want some appropriate submarine noises, along with the actual keyboard stuff that i signed up for.

푚??

the new Ganesha The Car is back in the shop because of a fuel leak. it should be ready today (ETA: it’s ready, i just have to go pick it up). i drove it for two days and went through a tank and a half of gas before i figured out what the problem was. hopefully it will get slightly better mileage now that it’s not leaking fuel all over the place. jack said he didn’t notice it because when he put gas in it he only put about a quarter tank in, and apparently the leak was higher up on the tank.

the moisture festival has started for me. i had a show last night, and i’ve got a show tonight, two shows on saturday and either one or two shows on sunday (typical moisture festival scheduling chaos), then there’s one or two shows(?) next saturday, a show the following thursday, friday, two or three shows the following saturday and the closing night performance on sunday 4 april. hacki’s back. he couldn’t get a visa last year, but he got one this year. this is the first year since the first year that we’ve had opening night somewhere other than the palladium. this year, opening night was last week at ACT theatre. we’ve also got four different venues this year – i get the impression that this is the beginning of the actualisation of the fantasy that they were throwing around last year. this year we’re having the comedie/varieté acts at the palladium, the burlesque (read "titty & ass") shows at ACT (because mike hale is a “christian” who doesn’t at all approve of exposed tits, despite the fact that the burlesque shows bring in the most money), and we’ve also got shows going on somewhere in georgetown and some others on vashon island.

i have been having a sharp pain in the joint of my left thunb for about a month. i went to see chris who spent several days poking me with needles, and that seemed to help, but once he quit, the pain came back over the course of several days. i went to see a hand specialist yesterday who said i probably have arthritis – i’m genetically predisposed to it; both my grandmothers had arthritis in their hands. she (the doctor) recommended that i take ibuprophen and go to a specialist that makes splints for when the pain gets intolerable. getting old sucks.

okay, 2010 has actually started now…

the busy season started about 2 weeks ago. i’ve had a rehearsal for the fremont philharmonic, and a rehearsal for the fremont players every week, plus i’ve had a banda gozona rehearsal every other week, plus i’ve had a snake suspenderz rehearsal and/or performance about every other week (next performance is thursday at smokin’ pete’s barbecue, in ballard), the BSSB is starting rehearsals every other tuesday starting next week, and there’s a BSSB performance coming up in may, the moisture festival is coming up in a couple weeks, and after the moisture festival is over i’m going to have two rehearsals for the fremont players per week until the oregon country fair, which is in july.

on top of everything else, i’ve had an order of business cards to print, an order of stickers to print and i’m doing yet another re-design of the BSSB web site, which is about half done. i’m not gonna post a sneak peek until i get approval from the boss lady, liz… at which point, it may be a live site anyway. there’s not an awful lot of actual re-designing going on. more just moving stuff around and making it look “more grown-up” – whatever that means.

the shows, the bobs, and not being home on xmas

the shows went amazingly well this weekend. i’m getting the hang of playing my saw with a bow, but i’m not that good at playing actual notes yet. it may take a while for me to be that good.

we went to the bobs show last night at the triple door. because of the fact that i went directly from the panto and got there at 6:30, we got a table in the front row, which was extremely cool. amy bob stopped by before the show (and before moe got there), and moe got spit on by dan bob (who also said “don’t look up my skirt” to the lady sitting next to moe). they’ve been on tour for a month, so i haven’t seen matt that much since before the panto started, but i got the chance to talk with him after the show. i’d be willing to bet that, before we were married, moe had no idea that she and i would be hanging out with her favourite singing group… 8)

i wasn’t at home over xmas, which was okay (despite the fact that the window got stuck on the minivan and we had to drive home with the window stuck down and the freezing wind blowing in our faces for 3½ hours), but i really wish i had been at home, because the husons had a xmas party and i would have much rather go and hang out with the husons than where i actually spent xmas.

monday

mitnick security business cardnow that the second weekend of performances are over, i can catch up on my real life…

while the servers were down, i got a business card in the mail from Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC… yes, that kevin mitnick. in order to get this business card i had to send him, among other things, my IP address and the password to my system. i think it was a pretty good trade, myself.

the performances went really well this week. the only frisson that we had was when stuart wasn’t going to be there for the evening show and he took off taking pam’s music with him, thinking it was his. after a few frantic phone calls and pam playing half of the preshow with charts borrowed from other people, stuart showed up and traded books with pam, and everything worked out grand.

fez-o-ramai’m a little worried, though… now that clayton is playing with us, there’s more of a probability that eben will be able to copy music that jeremy wrote for the phil… music that he has currently said he doesn’t want the phil to play because he’s going through a publishing/copyright thing and doesn’t want to have extra copies of his music in places of which he is not aware.

after the show yesterday, i met up with hobbit, who is number 8 in the order of the fez. he and i (number 32) got together with jason (number 13) who owns Fez-O-Rama and his wife maya, and we spread some fezzerocity through downtown seattle last night… which basically involved meeting at the carousel in westlake mall, getting lost walking up to Von’s (a whiskey bar on 6th and pine) and talking about fezzes, internet, theatre and other stuff until 9:00 or so. i’m sorry to say that i had to borrow a fez from hobbit, because i hadn’t brought mine. also i need to get an “order of the fez” fez some day…

i’ve made some progress on finding a new host provider, but i’m still really mad about the fact that the current one wants to charge me almost 300% more, so i’m going to wait until i’ve calmed down a bit. i’ve found that, since my injury, if i rant about what i’m angry about when i’m angry i end up sounding like a drooling half-wit. besides, i’ve got an appointment with ned that i’ve got to go to now.

fläwmp

the first weekend of alad’din performances are behind me, and i now have a few days free until next week’s performances begin, which will most likely be filled with projects like finishing the insulation on the workshop, working on xmas gifts and other artistic projects, picking up my business cards, doing laundry, washing dishes, random web surfing and hiding out until all of the VEWPRFs are behind me.

saturday’s performances were interesting. there’s definitely a different “feel” about the philharmonic now that stuart’s not an “official” part of it any longer – in spite of the fact that he’s been there for every performance so far. it hasn’t been made plainly obvious what is going to happen with the phil at this point, but the probability that we will be going to OCF this year is still pretty high. whether or not it will be the phil, or another group with many of the same members is still a question. there hasn’t been any talk of changing the name of the group, but it’s very definitely a different group. we’ve got kellan, who is a college student trumpet player who is quite good, but isn’t as sure of himself as some of the more mature band members. on the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got clayton, who is playing euphonium, who is also in the ballard sedentary sousa band, and in la banda gozona (that makes three groups in which clayton and i both play). clayton is also an incredible musician who plays many different instruments in many different bands. i originally met him at the moisture festival a few years ago. he also is part of the fighting instruments of karma. we’ve also got a substitute guitar player, jacque, but he’s only going to be there for one show, and i’m not sure whether he’s actually planning on joining the band on a more permanent basis or not.

i have been playing my saw recently. i decided that i would actually purchase a bow for it, which is a totally different way of playing it than i have been used to in the past. my bow won’t actually be delivered until wednesday, but i have been making do with kiki’s bow, which she’s not using at the moment. with a mallet you get a much more bell-like tone quality and there is more room for error where you strike it than with a bow. as stuart said the other day, using the bow is the most difficult part of playing a stringed instrument as well.

sunday’s performance was a lot better than saturday’s, but there was only one of them, which is probably a good thing for a number of reasons: i was really tired because of two weeks of intensive preparing for a number of different shows, and also it was beginning to snow and i wanted to get home so that i wouldn’t be stuck later on. it turns out that most of the snow melted over night, and it’s actually supposed to be getting warmer over the next few days, so i didn’t go to marysville to get my musical instrument repair business cards from troy yesterday after the show, but i will probably go pick them up within the next two or three days. it was really amazing to have clayton playing the trombone/euphonium parts for songs that haven’t had them since jeremy and fred left the band.

once again, i am performing on new years’ eve in tacoma for the most money i have ever made in my life. thad & ada are getting married on new years’ day.

VEWPRF, xmas, hinduism…

i’m getting fed up with the VEWPRF (primarily xmas) hype early this year. fortunately now i’ve got a gadget in my car that i can plug my music player into so i don’t have to listen to the radio. when i’m not listening to my own music, i usually listen to the classical music station, but even they are playing xmas carols far too frequently. i just got a package of CDs from india, including “Om Arunachaneswaraya Namaha” and “Ganesh Gayatri Mantra”, both of which are more than an hour of chanting, which should cover the period of time that i’m suceptible to going off on local “christians” too much.

speaking of which, Rudiments of Language Discovered in Monkeys – more indisputable evidence that evolution is real and the creationists are wrong, wrong WRONG, regardless of how much they claim that they’re “inspired” by “god”… if any further evidence was needed.

i feel a little guilty for going off at “christians” since i am a believer myself, but i accept that science probably has a lot more clear idea of what is going on in the world than the 2000-year-old myths of a society that i do not feel a part of. i don’t deny that those myths may have value to some people, but my impression is that they are far more detrimental to most people who claim to live by them than they would care to admit. and, largely, i can say the same thing about the myths to which i adhere, in spite of the fact that they are, for the most part, totally the opposite of “christian” myths. the difference, i think, is that i admit that my myths are myths, and act accordingly. sure, i occasionally do odd things like wear a tilak, but i’m not “religious” about it, and i certainly don’t let it go this far

we played for the lenin lighting on friday, and it was cold, but it wasn’t anywhere near as cold as it would have been in new york. i dressed for it, and kept my mouthpiece in my pocket when we weren’t actually playng, but there were a lot of complaints that it was too cold. the emcee was pat cashman… who?

Artists’ lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates – it’s about time, but i think that $50 million to $6 billion may not be enough to get the message across. remember, we’re talking about warner, sony and EMI… and it is only canada. let’s wait to see if it’s effective, and then try something like it in the untied states. definitely a step in the right direction, though.

Continue reading VEWPRF, xmas, hinduism…

update

happy 4/20. i’d be consuming more holy vegetable, but i still am terrifically short of breath and coughing a lot as a result of being sick still. i’ve been vapourising a bit and even that has been causing me to cough. i suppose i could probably make some ghee or something…

they’re putting on a new roof, so that it won’t leak any longer. it’s only about two years overdue, but there’s no point in complaining about it now. the dogs are being quiet, in spite of the roofers right over their heads, making all kinds of noises which dogs would definitely find suspicious. we’ll see how long that lasts.

the $300 withdrawal from my bank account has had a band-aid put on it, but it’s still an open and sucking chest wound. at this point i’m done talking with people until i hear from the bank concerning my contesting of the charges. moe has taken over talking with the people who actually withdrew the money, and considering that i never actually signed anything, combined with the fact that the first time i ever even heard about an “early cancellation fee” was when i checked my bank account on thursday, she seems to think that there’s a more-than-likely chance that there will be a positive (for me) outcome. we’ll see about that, as well… 8/

maybe i’ll go to the fremont sunday market on sunday. one way or the other, i could really use a day of doing nothing but making money, and there’s a good chance, since i haven’t been there in a while, that fremont will be itching for some new incense.

i got another order on the web site, but no corresponding order from paypal, which makes me seriously wonder about whether or not i’ve got it set up right. it should be that you confirm your order on my site, and then transfer to paypal’s secure server to complete your order, and of the three orders i’ve gotten since the site upgrade, two of them have confirmed the order on my site, but not completed their orders on paypal’s secure server. i wrote to one of them, but she was located in the UK and never responded. the new order came in on friday, from a guy in california, according to the site, but i never heard anything from either the customer or from paypal, so i don’t know what happened. the next step is to write to the guy and see what happened.

i’ve got to get my tabs for ganesha the car. also, i have a fremont phil rehearsal this evening.

hee…

i’m still sick. i went to see a doctor (i am uninsured, so it cost two arms and half a leg!) today. the good news is that i don’t have pneumonia, but i do have bronchitis, so now i have an inhaler (which cost the other half a leg) which is good for 20 days. the doctor said that i would probably be feeling better in a week or so, but that the inhaler would help me get through the banda gozona gig that i have on saturday, the fremont philharmonic rehearsal on monday, and the snake suspenderz gig on thursday. dr. wackaloon (no shit… okay, so he’s not really dr. wackaloon, but his real name is closer to “wackaloon” than you might think) said my blood pressure was a little high – 150/100 – my pulse was high and my oxygen level was low, so he told me to check my blood pressure again in a week, which is another reason to have a sphygmomanometer, one of which i have wanted for about 15 years. he also didn’t believe me when i said that my profession was “freak”. oh well.

coming to the end of another moisture festival

i met ukulele dick at the moisture festival the other day. his “real name”, acording to his schtick, is Banjo Penis. i traded him a copy of serpentine for a copy of his ukulele dick cd and a copy of his “Dick Dujour” cd, Music to Scare Children by. i’ve been listening to them on and off throughout the day, and i must say, the guy is more than just a ukulele player. i also made buttons for him that say “Act Dorky, Live Forever”. i’ve got performances on friday and sunday for sure, and possibly saturday.

the big news, or maybe not so big if you hang out with the right people, i guess, is that circus contraption is breaking up. i have no idea why, but i can imagine, as with most artistic organisations like that, that there were some artistic differences somewhere along the lines.

other news: my SSDI hearing is the 24th. i’m approaching it with an interesting mixture of hilarity and dread. i got to see part of the forms ned was filling out earlier in the week, and he said about 10 things, of which i would think that 1 of which should be enough to get me on the “disabled” list in a perfect world, but because of the fact that the world is decidedly imperfect, i don’t know if it will help or not. we’re going to work on it some more after the moisture festival is over.

also i’m getting ready to be able to accept credit cards on hybrid elephant, but i’ve only gotten one order since i went live with the new site, so i’m wondering if i can’t put it off for another month until i get more of an idea about whether or not people are going to notice it.

despite the fact that i won the battle of the computer in record time – this time – i learned a bunch of things that i didn’t know in the process. the main thing i learned is that the intermittent quiet scratching noise coming from the computer is the power supply fan, which, instead of turning on and doing what it is supposed to do when power is applied, in fact, it rotates weakly, not anywhere near fast enough to be anything like the heat sink that it’s supposed to be, and intermittently emits a scratching sound that makes me think that it, too, is not long for this world.

& stuff

me in 20 years

when you’re unemployed/unemployable/disabled, you get to a point where it doesn’t matter whether it’s the weekend or not. for me it comes down to working and doing what i do anyway, regardless of what day it is, or facing the possibility of even deeper depression because of the fact that i’m not really doing anything to bring income into the house. i’m a wage slave even when i deliberately try to remove myself from the cycle of wages and slavery.

along the same lines, i got a notice from the “Office of Disability Ajudication and Review” about my disability case the other day. a person who has never met me and knows nothing about me is going to decide whether or not i actually am “disabled”. thrill. if they decide that i am, then i’ll get disability retroactively from the time i first had my injury, a portion of which i will then have to fork over to the attorney who has sat there doing nothing for 2 years while the government decided to pull their collective thumb out of their ass and do something about it. if they decide i’m not disabled, then life continues exactly as it has been, except there is no further possibility of my being able to get disability from the government, ever. at this point, it’s still a 50/50 shot, which doesn’t make me feel particularly good about the chances.

meanwhile, i’ve been working hard on feeding the database, and i’ve run out of photos, which means that i’ve got to run another batch of product through the GIMP before going any further. i get the impression that i’m getting fairly close to being finished enough to go live with it, but there’s still darkness at the end of the tunnel. at this point, i don’t know if it’s because there’s still a long way to go, or if it will just be night when i reach the end.

the fremont philharmonic played at a benefit concert for HonkFest West at the Lo-Fi on friday. it went really well, despite having a substitute trumpet player. we had random dance/movement art going on while we played, including one piece that had a woman stripping, which was excellent. she said afterwards that she had only worked to a live band once before, and that we had blown them out of the water and wants to work more with us, which is amazing and exactly what i want to do – and it’s not because she’s a stripper, it’s because strippers always seem to have work, and if there’s money to be made, i wanna be a part of it.

moisture festival coming up. there’s a possibility that the circus contraption band has stolen april 1st from us, but i don’t know for sure.

bleep bloop boing bing…

snake suspenderz is playing at the national kazoo day celebration on saturday. we’ll be playing at the back gate stage at artichoke music on hawthorne in portland. we spent all day today and completed mixdown of all 16 tracks, and we should have a stack of 50 finished, marketable CDs to take with us on saturday.

the fremont philharmonic is in full rehearsal mode for the moisture festival, and i may be playing tuba for the sanca-pators in the moisture festival as well: i heard from a couple of sanca-pators (clayton – who also plays with BSSB and banda gozona – and thaddeus – who also plays with snake suspenderz) that they might need a tuba player, so i wrote to eben, the leader of the sanca-pators – who also plays with BSSB – but i haven’t heard back from him yet. is that incestuous enough for your sensibilities? the fremont phil has got a few other gigs coming up, including a benefit for honk fest west at the end of february. allegedly we’re going to play in honk fest west in june as well, although my recollection is that we were supposed to play last year, as well, and then we cancelled out at the last minute.

moe got home saturday, and i took the doggies with me to the airport, so that they could see that she really was somewhere else and not just hiding from them for the past 2 weeks. they spent almost the entire time she was gone, and they were home, staring at the door and barking occasionally when they imagined that they heard her driving up, as though they were going to cause her to walk through the front door by sheer force of their doggie wills. paddy, our oldest dog now that allie is gone (she’s 11) lost 5% of her body weight during the time moe was gone. she ate all of her food, and i didn’t notice her acting strangely or anything, but moe said she looked thin, so she took her to the clinic yesterday. she doesn’t appear unhealty, but moe is extra careful with paddy, because they are as close to soul mates as a person and a dog can be.

banda gozona played at the central area senior center in a benefit for cascade peoples’ center last saturday, after moe got home. it was the standard oaxacan shindig, which meant a lot of food, a lot of music, a lot of people speaking spanish, and a lot of chaotic disorganisation. i’m beginning to start to get the hang of what we are playing most of the time. it’s only taken me two years of playing with the group. it helps that i’m not the new guy any longer.

moisture madness &c.

slow but steady progress on the web site. i’ve discovered Simple Template System, which is a method of creating templates with keywords instead of actual code. one way or the other, it’ll give me some added control over the site that i would have to learn a lot of coding stuff before i’d be able to do any other way. it seems really odd that i was on top of the game in terms of web coding 10 years ago, and now i would have to learn several new coding languages before i would be anywhere close to as competent these days. of course, back then i didn’t have my own business, and i wasn’t doing the work i had always dreamed of doing, so i guess i don’t feel too bad about not being as knowledgable as i once was.

moisture festival is upon us again, and there’s as much chaos and disorganised speculation about how things are actually going to get done as i have ever seen for this early in the process. at this point it appears that we have been tapped for 13 performances, two of which are “burlesque” and one is the panto. alledgedly the plan is to keep stringing them along because, alledgedly, the plan is to eventually have the moisture festival in multiple venues, and then we will have our own venue and do all of the shows for that venue, but that’s in the future. this is now, and the fact that we’ve got 12 performances that aren’t panto, compared with the zebra kings getting 16 performances, and most of the “burlesque” performances (the “variete” performances are pretty much evenly split between the fremont philharmonic, the zebra kings, the sancapators, and the other bands that are involved). personally, i feel as though it is a known fact that RB is not the best person to be figuring out who does what in which shows, and it’s already showing itself to be a bad decision that RB is in charge, once again.

the 31st, snake suspenderz is going to portland for the national kazoo day celebration. we’re getting together some time this week to have a listening/mixing party, where we also intend to finalise the track order. i’ve been on several recordings in the past, but this one is exciting in a way that those other ones weren’t so much: there’s a good chance that i’ll actually get paid for this recording! 8)

i went out and took a look at loudspeakers for my car. first i had to learn a bit of terminology: there’s a difference between loudspeakers and a public address system (or a PA), and further, there’s a difference between a PA system and indoor/outdoor waterproof stereo speakers. i get the impression that any way i want to do this, i’m also going to have to upgrade the stereo in my car, which won’t hurt my feelings too much, but it’s an extra, added $150 or so, depending on where i actually buy it from. at this point, i think what i’m going to do is buy my stereo upgrade from car toys, because they have a deal where any stereo system over $100 that you buy from them is eligible for free installation, and free is always good. then i have to make the decision whether i want a (mono) PA speaker – which i can get for $35 or so – or whether i want to splurge for the indoor/outdoor waterproof stereo speakers, which cost more and likely have to be built into enclosures which also cost more, but will sound a great deal better than mono.

obama has only been president for two days, so i don’t want to get all freaked out about what a good job he’s doing, but he’s already doing things like shutting down gitmo and putting all of bush’s “midnight regulations” on hold before they can be enacted. he hasn’t come out and said that bush should stand trial for criminal malfeasance, but it’s a step in the right correct direction, if nothing else.

moosehead – a great beer and a novel experience for the moose.

here we go…

moe left for florida today. she’ll be back in two weeks. whee… 8/

meanwhile, i think i’ve got enough to keep me busy: i’ve got to build a web site and populate a database. i’ve been going back and forth with liz since drizzle FUMTUed hybrid elephant, and there is a bit of worry about whether or not the drizzle affliction has effected sedentarysousa.com. liz also mentioned that she’d like to get the kosher red-hots web site on my host as well. i’m not sure how much, if any web design work will go into that one, but as far as i’m concerned, the less i have to do the better. i’m also thinking about installing AWStats on hybridelephant, because as awesome as my new host is, they don’t have the stats the way i’d like them to be, and AWStats does it for me.

then i’ve got more recording sessions with snake suspenderz. the most recent one generated 3 new tracks, as did the previous three as well, and if everything goes according to the non-existent plan we have set up, the one on tuesday will generate at least 3, and possibly 4 more. then there’s also the fremont philharmonic, which is starting rehearsals for a yet-to-be-determined if we do it CD, plus we’ve got an offer to perform cinderella again at the end of march, and we’ve got the moisture festival coming up, which we have to start rehearsing for pretty soon… like next week…

oh, yeah… i’m also responsible for three doggies who haven’t realised that moe won’t be home tonight like usual. hopefully they won’t turn into the obnoxious pests that they have a tendency to be sometimes. i’m planning on going to the fremont sunday market next week if the weather looks good, and i’m taking the dogs with me so that they don’t have to stay home alone for 12 to 14 hours. because moe’s not here, i’m planning on taking her car, which is a minivan and much more suited to carrying a huge crapload of stuff, and 3 dogs in relative comfort.

now, all i gotta do is convince myself that two weeks will go by a lot quicker than it seems like now. i hope moe has fun, and i’m glad that she’s going to this conference, because it’s good exposure for her, and she’ll build professional credibility by being seen there (if nothing else), but i can’t wait until she gets home.

tweebit

okay, now that the “holiday” season is passed, i’ve got a lot of things to catch up with. i’ve got to file my annual excise tax, which means going through all of my invoices and receipts from last year, and filling out some web-form which i inevitably have to call for help to complete because of some technical screw up or another. i also have to get started on re-doing the hybrid elephant web site, which means, among other things, i’m going to deliberately ignore the fact that it’s been more than a month since i updated the counters on the pages with the most hits this month, because, hopefully, by next month they will be replaced or moved anyway. i’m also going to have to call ian to talk with him about the web site in general.

snake suspenderz is working on it’s new CD with me as the tuba player. we’ve got another recording session on wednesday, and another two or three after that, at some yet-to-be-determined time. it’s projected for release sometime in january, though, so it won’t be too long. i’m also going to push hard this time for the fremont philharmonic to record a CD – especially since i now actually know someone who does that sort of thing.

SNOWPOCALYPSE! OMG! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!1!

081221 snowpocalypse!

cinderella finished its second week of performances amid more snow than i’ve seen around here for a long time. it started snowing on thursday and finally quit yesterday, but there’s a prediction that it’s going to start up again tomorrow… i took the train from tacoma to seattle saturday (quite an enjoyable trip, by the way) and stayed at heather and stuart’s place saturday night. my windows computer is broken (again) – it appears to be the same sort of thing that it was the last time, in that it appears to be a power supply issue, so i’m hoping that i can replace the power cord (again) and everything will be back to normal, but i’m not holding my breath. i took my mac laptop with me on saturday and recorded both shows and 5 potential demos for the fremont phil, which i have since burned to a DVD (although i didn’t have to, because even with several gigs of space taken up by the recordings, i still had more than 120 gigs of free space left!!!). sunday i did another show, without a trumpet player, because our regular trumpet player, teacher ted, thought he was going to fly out early sunday morning (fat chance – all flights out of sea-tac were cancelled due to the snowpocalypse), and our substitute trumpet player, a high school student named shimpuku, was stuck north of lake washington. after the show, i got a ride home from macque and norma, who have a four-wheel-drive jeep with chains, which is a good thing, because the roads were almost totally impassable due to seattle’s having this weird thing about encouraging compact snow and ice rather than salting the roads. the national weather service prediction is for precipitation, most probably snow, at least 50% (and as much as 80%) of the time until thursday, and has predicted snow for 8 out of the past 10 days. we had around a foot and a half of snow, and had to dig the car out, and then dig the driveway out before we could go anywhere yesterday. when we finally got dug out, we went to buy tire chains for moe’s car, and on the way discovered that the car was overheating – or so we thought, it was actually the temperature gauge that died – not the thermostat, the temperature gauge in the instrument panel, fortunately, because if it had been the thermostat it would have cost several hundred dollars to fix, but because of the fact that it’s in the instrument panel, it’s actually safe to drive the car even though the temperature is wonky. of course, the first thing that happened this morning is that moe decided that it wasn’t snowing right then, so she would try to go in to work, and on the way she drove over something that broke the chains, so she had to stop the car in the middle of highway 99 (thank gawd she wasn’t on the freeway) and take them off, leaving her with a big, empty minivan with no traction, somewhere between home and mercer island at 6:30 in the morning.

anyway, the cinderella performances went amazingly well despite sunday’s lack of a trumpet player, and saturday evening, when we weren’t expecting anybody to show up, we actually had almost a full house, including a whole pile of noisy kids which was almost exactly like OCF. Fremont Philharmonic dot com is now in existence, but it doesn’t have much there at this point except for stuff that only applies to members of the fremont phil. also i’m talking with macque and bfly about consolidating all of the fremonstor theatrical organisations on one host.

a lot of new stuff

cinderella finished its first week of performances. there was a rumour that we were getting reviewed by the seattle times saturday night, but it snowed, and the reviewer didn’t pick up the tickets he called and asked for. of course that means either that he didn’t come, or he did come but didn’t want to alert us to his presence, which makes me wonder why he called and requested comps in the first place. apart from that, the performances are going reasonably well, no forgotten scenes, missing actors or long dead spaces. there have been a few missed cues and short dead spaces, but we haven’t actually performed this show since july, and we’ve got two more weeks of performances. unlike previous shows, i’m pretty sure we’re going to get it right several performances before we close.

snake suspenderz is supposed to be recording this week… snake suspenderz is actually supposed to be recording today, but we weren’t supposed to start until 1:00, and i’ve got to leave by 4:00 to pick up moe so that we can go to The Bobs show this evening, and besides, sketch already bailed for today anyway, so now we’re shooting for tomorrow. i still have to add snake suspenderz to my resume, and now i’ll be able to add another recording to my resume as well.

i really like my new host providers… no, i REALLY like my new host providers! their helpdesk techs have already been a lot more help than my previous host providers ever were (although somewhat more difficult to understand, because i get the impression that they’re outsourced to india, or mexico or some place like that): they’ve already helped me with importing a database, and fixing a CGI script, and apart from the fact that they provide several hundred times more disk space at less than half of the cost, they’ve also got a lot more user-based control panel, which means that i am the one in charge of creating and maintaining things like databases, domains and subdomains, FTP accounts, and so forth, plus they’ve got services like several different choices for a shopping cart, several different choices for marketing, including some of the most impressive web stats i have ever seen, and probably a lot more stuff i still haven’t discovered yet. this is going to make re-designing the hybrid elephant web site a lot easier! also, my impression is that part of the reason why they make it so easy is because it’s designed to be resold, and to that end, i’ve already got a couple of prospects for domains hooked up. also, i called and talked with ezra, and gave him 1gb of web space and talked about making a BaldManIsWatching.com or something like that, the idea of which he actually sounded really interested in discussing further.

also, really good potential news that may just be a fantasy at this point, so no details until it is more of a reality.

thweeth

Punk Rock Flea Market yesterday. made $50, which is not too bad, but had to spend $10 for parking, because i had to leave at 5:00 because of another gig. i figure 5:00 was about when i would have packed up anyway, but it was nice to have my car easily accessible, even if it was 3 blocks of one-way streets the wrong direction to pick it up once i was packed up. i had to drive about 10 blocks, including around one block twice because i got in the wrong lane the first time. it was really irritating, but i got through it somehow. and it was really nice to drive up, practically to the door, load out, and drive away, rather than having to carry my boxes downstairs, across the entire building – avoiding all of the other people who were also loading out, across the parking lot, and then having to wait while everybody else got loaded out and out of the parking lot before getting to go.

the other gig i had was at the gage academy of art, which used to be cornish, and before that was a catholic school associated with st. mark’s cathedral, on capitol hill. it was snake suspenderz doing two sets out of four (one set on, one set off) while another band, the KlezKatz, performed… with thaddeus, our trombone/guitar player). i wasn’t really expecting a lot from that gig, because i knew that the other snake suspenderz are dirty old men who love to hang out in a warm room and play with naked people just so they can ogle the naked people… well, okay, i’m one of those people too… and, goddammit, i wish that guy hadn’t put that empty easel right between me and the HAWT naked female model with dreadlocks and tattoos. i really didn’t have time to look appreciatively, because i was too busy playing, and by the time i was finished playing she had already put her clothes on again.oh well… 8/

anyway, through some SNAFU about which i didn’t get the entire story, thad actually cut me a check for $50 yesterday, so in all, i did pretty much exactly what i want to do ALL THE TIME and ended up $100 richer out of the deal. now if i could only have four or five of those days every month, i’d be fairly happy.

i got a phone call from fred hawkinson yesterday. he wanted to talk about the possibility of teaming up and getting a job in a music store, or, conversely, opening our own music store, with him doing brasswind repair and me doing woodwind repair. there’s nothing more than just the fantasy at this point, but the thought of actually doing musical instrument repair alone should be enough to keep my spirits up for a while.

now i have to go and play with the ballard sedentary sousa band for the phinney winter festival, and after that i might play with the banda gozona at a gig on alki point, but i’m not sure about that yet.

happy krampusnacht!

trolloween etc.

trolloween last night. it was awesome. i don’t know the plot of the story except that it was a classic “devil courts pretty young girl and gets beaten by virile young man” story. the awesome part is that we played at two different locations within 40 minutes of each other and we actually did it without too much difficulty, even with the extra added bonus of a nameless car parked in the middle of the parking lot that was supposed to be the stage for the second location. we simply got the audience together and lifed the car and moved it over to the side of the parking lot. i suggested that we should move it in between two columns at the end of the parking lot, where it would have been impossible to drive it away – which caused macque to say “i like how you think” – but there wasn’t enough time. my costume was a blue meanie, which is rather ironic since i am a tuba player, but the “band theme” costume was blue, so the blue meanie was appropriate. we played three songs at the first location, and then, while the audience (lead by a samba band whose name i don’t remember vamolá – brain injury) went off on the “Haunt of Fremont”, the band packed everything into a trailer and headed down to the final location, and we got set up and ready to play just as the audience arrived. a slight delay while the audience moved the car (with new york license plates), and we played 4 more songs as a part of the show, and then it devolved into a dance party, for which we also played. the fremont philharmonic has yet another new trombone player, which (surprisingly enough) is me – i played both tuba and trombone last night, which i suppose i could have been doing pretty much ever since i first joined the band if it weren’t for the fact that fred was the trombonist. but now that kiki (percussion and human-theremin) is part of band, she plays bass, and we don’t really have another trombone player. the band is going through another transmogrification, which is not over yet. the current contingent is tuba, clarinet, trumpet, sometimes sax, guitar, bass and drums. we’ve recently added a somewhat more reliable sax player who brought along a friend who is also a sax player (trombone, trumpet, clarinet, two saxes, guitar, bass and drums!) for trolloween – perfect for Thriller, which was one of the songs we played at the second location, under the fremont bridge. in spite of the fact that the current (sometimes) sax player who is currently a member of the band is an awesome player with a bunch of different saxes (he plays soprano in la banda gozona, he’s got an alto and a tenor that he plays with the fremont phil, and he just got a baritone), he just doesn’t show up enough to be a reliable member of the band. however, if we get the other two sax players, on the occasion where they all show up, we’ll have three saxes, which would be incredibly awesome indeed.

la banda gozona has a gig at the tacoma art museum tomorrow, and the Sousa Bash is thursday.

meanwhile the perils of machine translation and otto the octopus causes havoc.

cedarfest

i just got back from cedarfest. it was rainy, and i changed my mind a couple of times about whether or not to stay the night – i set up my camp, and the rain started coming down harder and harder, so i packed up my camp and decided that i would drive home late… then chumleigh invited me to a waffle breakfast in the morning, which was mighty strong temptation to stay, and finally the decision was made for me by a fellow who came up to me around 12:30 am or so and offered me a hashish brownie, at which point i decided that i would spend the night in my car. hashish has always been one of my favourite passtimes, and i haven’t had any in a long time. i didn’t get much sleep (i went to bed around 3:30 am or so, and got up at 8:30), but i slept fairly well and wasn’t all stiff and sore, like i sort of expected, seeing as how i couldn’t really recline the seat very far. i took my camera, but even with the flash, there really wasn’t enough light, and i only took two pictures because i was distracted playing music most of the night. it was sort of amusing being in the presence of people between the ages of 17 and 25 or so, who thought it was really cool that i was old as i was and still had insightful ideas about the future – or were getting totally plastered in a way that was a real reminder of what it was like when i was during my first couple of years of college. i tried to play my long-flute-digital-delay set-up a couple of times and succeded in almost shocking my nose off – seriously, it was a strong enough shock that it dimmed the lights. i plugged my (grounded) amplifier and my (ungrounded) digital delay pedal into the chaotic mess of extension cords and power strips that ran from the big top 100 yards or so to “the house,” and – big surprise – there was a grounding problem somewhere which made the microphone hot. when i held it up next to the flute embrochure, it touched my nose and shocked the hell out me, so i quickly decided to unplug everything and play “unplugged”. i really think that i could use the set-up to busk, as long as i didn’t have to rely on external power.

fremont philharmonic rehearsal tomorrow.

OCF 08 – a retrospective

milestonei left home for OCF at 6:30 am on wednesday. my first stop was the fred meyer’s in puyallup, which i got to before they opened, so i had to wait outside for 10 minutes or so until they got around to unlocking the doors. i got water, but neglected to get bug spray, a fact which i would intensely regret later. the trip down was relatively uneventful, however when i got off the freeway south of portland for a food and pee stop, i noticed that as soon as i stopped moving forward, the temperature in Ganesha The Car shot up to the red zone. i put some water in the radiator (which was completely empty) the temperature went back down to the normal range almost immediately, but it was a little frisson of anticipation that made life interesting.

before the fairi was actually able to get through the H.I.F. (Hippie Ineptitude Factor) surrounding checking in with little difficulty, but i didn’t realise that there is a big difference between asking and informing when it comes to announcing that your plan is to drive in to chelamela with a full load to be delivered to morningwood odditorium. if i had informed them of what i was doing, i would have been able to drive in without any problem, but because i asked if it would be okay for me to drive in, i was told that i couldn’t drive in without a van or a pickup load of stuff. so i waited for a gator (gaiter?), which is a motorised utility vehicle with a long string of carts that it tows behind it, to ferry my load to the stage. i then found a camping spot behind the stage, in the middle of a huge swarm of voracious mosquitoes which proceded to cover my back with about 5000000000 mosquito bites (of course, they chose the only place on my body where i can’t kill them or shoo them away, and where i can’t scratch). so i got my tent set up as quickly as possible, which was a chore, because it was hot and sweaty, which made the mosquito infestation even worse, and there wasn’t quite enough room under the bushes, so i had to incorporate the undergrowth into the structure of the tent, and got my stuff loaded into it, inflated my (new) bed, and then went back to the outside where i left my car, and parked in scoff-lot. i got finished with all the essential stuff around 3:00 pm or thereabouts, but because of the fact that the ritz was only open for showers (no saunas until thursday 8/ ) i had to put up with an extremely itchy night.

before the fairthursday was spent finishing the stage and wandering around gawking and taking pictures of the places that i knew would be full of people within the next 24 hours. it’s really odd to see nobody there, when you know that when everyone else sees it, they’re going to see everyone else as well. it really makes me want to come back in the winter, to see what the fair site is like when there’s really nobody there. i’ve got some friends in eugene that might actually make it possible for me to do that, at some point…

i also got attacked by huge swarms of voracious, bloodthirsty insects – something that very rarely happens to me – so i decided to go into town to buy bug spray… and ice… and beer… well, okay, the ice and beer were for other people, but i was going into town anyway, so i made the run so they didn’t have to, and that meant that i had beer when i got back. i blocked off my parking space in scoff-lot and told the guy at the gate that i would be back in half an hour, which i was. however, when i came back in, another guy told me that blocked spaces in scoff-lot were taken immediately, and that i should head for outta site parking, which is about a mile further down the road. this is where i learned the difference between asking and informing the people of what i am going to do. the next guy i came to (there were three or four of them along the road) i told him that i was going to scoff-lot. he told me that scoff-lot was full, and i said that was okay, so he let me get through. i drove up to scoff-lot right behind the tow truck, but because of the fact that i not only was able to say that i blocked a spot, but because of the fact that i was able to say that it was in row J, the guy let me in anyway – much to the chagrin of the people who were being towed to the dead lot, which is all the way at the far end of the site. and when i got to row J, what do you know? my spot was there, right where i left it… i am certain that at least part of this is because of the fact that i invoke The Remover of Obstacles ON my car, especially because, all the way back in, everyone was telling me that scoff-lot was full and the fact that i had blocked off a parking space didn’t make any difference.

still, it’s a LONG way from scoff-lot to chelamela when you’re carrying four bags of ice. stuart and i went back for the beer with a black plastic garbage bag, so that i wouldn’t have to carry it in alone, and so that we wouldn’t be stopped and potentially asked to share, which is definitely a possibility.

the discowe had a dress rehearsal thursday evening, immediately followed by a disco, which was an incarnation of the same un-namable evil that first manifested when disco was still popular, 30 years ago, so i took pictures of it from a distance, and then immediately left to go to the ritz, where i sweated out about half of the mosquito stingers in my back and got to feeling relatively clean again.

the lizard in the gazeeka boxfriday was the beginning of the fair for most “ordinary” people, which meant that it was the beginning of a working weekend for me. we did two shows a day, one at 12:00 noon, and one at 3:00 pm. on friday, we also did a 10:00 pm burlesque show. because of the fact that Big Bois With Poise were Short Dudes With Boobs this year, an act which doesn’t include fire, we opted out of the fire show. in spite of the fact that we didn’t use fire this year, they asked us to perform anyway, which gives you an idea of how intensely popular BBWP has become. the band really didn’t have much to do during the burlesque show (a fact which depressed stuart to the point where he said that if we do the show next year, we should ask for a specific slot to be an act, like everyone else, and then just vacate the stage rather than sitting there for the entire show), but because of the fact that i had BBWP duties, i also decided that it would be fun to be a part of the gazeeka box as well, so maque gave me a lizard costume and i was his ex-wife’s attorney, much to the amusement of everyone.

the cast and bandthis year’s panto is the traditional tale of cinderella, with the expected panto gender-bending, marginally obscene innuendo and horrendous puns. we’re getting good enough at this that this year we didn’t even have as many problems with the feral children who see every single performance and screw things up by anticipating lines and heckling us. at one point simon called a girl up onstage who had been anticipating his lines, and taped her mouth closed with gaffer tape, much to the amusement of everyone. the audiences absolutely despised the ugly stepsisters, who were played by chris huson and dan “the body” goodman. i actually heard him introduce himself to a group of tourists as ‘dan “the body” goodman’, which i found to be really amusing. we did actually get three new pieces of music on thursday at the dress rehearsal, and there’s still more to come, but presumably we’ve got a while to rehearse now that OCF is over. it was all 100% original, 100% new music, including a couple of pieces by amy bob.

i was standing in the food line at hospitality camp when a person i didn’t know came up to me and said “you’re salamandir”… i didn’t know what to say, so i said “yeah…” it turned out to be the mother of a friend of ezra’s from bellingham, who ezra refers to as “jordan(e)”. it seems oddly coincidental that i would have to go to the oregon country fair to meet a person who i know from bellingham, but oddly coincidental is a very good way of describing the oregon country fair.

friday was also my birthday. i’m 48 now, an age which i, in my wildest dreams, never imagined that i would actually reach. whoopie. 8/

saturday night the fremont philharmonic played at the ritz. i took off right after our 3:00 performance was over, and got there about 5:00, so i was well and truly sauna-ed by the time the rest of the band showed up, which was around 8:00. when i walked up, tuba in hand, i was met by a woman who said “NO tubas!” in an authoritative voice that i recognised immediately to be a joke, and, later on, i talked to lem and david, who were part of the ritz crew responsible for music. i was very suprised to learn that they don’t allow bands with drum sets to play. “at all?” i inquired, and they responded yes, which concerned me a great deal. it turned out that the guy who i thought was responsible for us getting to play, peter toms, aka professor petrol von huffenfuel, isn’t actually a part of the ritz crew, but the fremont philharmonic is apparently grandfathered in, so we weren’t kicked out for having a drum kit. i finally got around to arranging “Rubber Duckie” for the phil, and, of course, we played that. we also played “Il Ballon di Quaqua”, with a great effect. i talked to david on sunday and he said that he had frequently seen bands that had the entire ritz singing along, but he had never before seen a band that could get the entire ritz dancing. we also were offered a gig at a nudist colony near portland.

gnomesthe fair had to put up with an infestation of gnomes this year, which was amusing and frustrating at the same time: the gnomes were rowdy and rambunctious, and always getting into trouble. they broke in to our back stage area and drank all our tequila, and from there it went from bad to worse. they were ubiquitous. sunday, they were seen shaking down a vendor in the meadow, and when confronted, became belligerent… i think tricky bunny was a part of them, but i’m not sure, because they were wearing annoying gnome costumes, and avoiding my camera. also, i was walking up the eight saturday and i was accosted by a huge flock of people in flamingo costumes. they all gathered around me, honking and cooing and fanned me with their wings for about five minutes, and then flew off again. once again, it is my understanding that tricky bunny was a part of that as well, but i couldn’t tell. as i was walking away from the encounter, i wondered how one could take a picture of such an experience that would come anywhere close to reflecting what i actually experienced.

lightsi met a whole bunch of people, including positively stephie, who had vibrating massage bugs that felt really good on my mosquito-bitten back, and a family of neon people, the father of which works at adobe and will probably be looking for the pictures i took of them.lights

i saw a sign, of which i was not able to take a picture, unfortunately, which said “The Oregon Country Fair – Psycho-Spiritual Rejuvanation For Everyone”. it’s kind of ironic that i would see that, because i was talking with ned a week ago, and he was saying, based on what i have told him, that things like OCF are like medication for me, which is absolutely true. it’s just too bad that OCF only happens once a year. it’s even more ironic because i realised even more this year that an observation i made about OCF last year is also absolutely true, and that is that OCF is basically a big, hippie-oriented mall without the mall. it’s strange that i should get so much benefit from something that, at it’s lowest common denominator, is specifically designed to extract money from unsuspecting tourists.

there are a whole bunch more pictures which are the only things left of OCF 08. so go look at them… you know you want to…

blurgh…

it’s the end of june and i haven’t written about the oregon country fair yet… two more weeks…

so we’ve been rehearsing for cinderella twice a week, and the band has an extra rehearsal tonight. as far as i know, we still don’t have all the music, but i may be hallucinating. we have to learn “Do The Hustle” but i’m not going to learn it – i took a vow when i was in high school (when the song was still popular) that i would never learn the hustle, which i have never broken, and this performance is no exception. i’ll learn the chicken dance – which we also have to learn for this performance – but the line is drawn with the hustle. pam made this twisted suggestion that we play the chicken dance when we play at the ritz, and i totally agree: i can’t wait to see 300+ naked hippies doing the chicken dance.

a few weeks ago we changed rehearsal spaces for the BSSB. apparently, after warmly welcoming us to the crown hill baptist church a year ago, the baptists got a new pastor who decided that we weren’t “christian” enough for them, and so they summarily kicked us out, with very little warning. fortunately, the senior center at the good shepherd center was waiting for something like that to happen. the good shepherd center is closer by about 15 miles to where i live than just about anything in crown hill (although it’s still not in ballard, strictly speaking), and i’m already very familiar with the layout, because that’s where ezra went to the ballet school before the ballet school moved downtown. there’s an added bonus which i found about on the tenth, which was our first rehearsal there, which is that they also have a pancake supper from 4:00 to 6:30 on the second tuesday of the month, which, coincidentally, is the same night we have one of our rehearsals. i showed up early with my trombone and was ushered into the room where they plied me with food and adulation for being part of the band. not at all bad, especially since i wasn’t expecting it.

i’ve got a lot to do this week. the weeks are stacking up that way for me a lot at this time. i’ve got a fremont phil rehearsal tonight, a rehearsal for cinderella on monday and wednesday, a concert with the BSSB on thursday in burien (for which i still don’t have more than a time), then moe and i are going to portland to visit my god-help-me-mother-in-law, then i have to be back in seattle for the traditional BSSB at the locks concert on sunday, next monday is the final cinderella rehearsal, next tuesday is a rehearsal for the BSSB, and then next wednesday i’m leaving for OCF.

last year i was really depressed when i returned from OCF. i don’t see any reason why this year should be different, but at the same time, i’m hoping that this year it won’t be so severe. the fact that i am going to burning man (and not having a brain injury) this year may help, but at this point i’m not sure how.

busy busy busy

i went to the fremont sunday market last sunday, and made $97, plus i got three orders for incense and one for a sivalingam necklace, as well, which was enough to finish paying off the button machine that i’ve been paying on for about a month now, so i got a new toy – a one inch button machine, which i have been dreaming about owning for close to 20 years, if not more. unfortunately, my colour printer has decided to quit working, so i’ve got to figure out what to do about that (the most obvious choice is to go to rePC and purchase another one, but there are other options as well).

cinderella rehearsals are in full swing, twice a week. we’ve only got 5 more rehearsals (one is tonight) before the oregon country fair. i plan on going down on wednesday and coming back monday.

the solstice parade and art car blowout are this weekend. i’ve still got to wash my car and it would be nice if i could figure out a way to play CDs in my car, because my ipod died, and i recently got a recording of a guy reciting Sri Ganapati Sahasranaamavalih (which is playing now) which would be really cool to play around Ganesha The Car.

FSM

Hybrid Elephant at the FSM

FSM today – i’m still quite amused by the similarity between the FSM and the FSM. as far as i can tell, it was completely coincidental, which of course, makes me thing that the Flying Spaghetti Monster has touched my life with his noodly appendage. i made $76 and paid for a space in two weeks.

the guy with the cool garment

i had a lot of people ask me about nag champa today, and, of course, i didn’t bring any this time. it’s actually kind of funny, because someone up the row from me (i suspect it was the tibetan booth) was selling the exact nag champa that i don’t carry, because it’s really poor quality incense – you can, literally, go down to your corner gas station and buy “Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa” in the blue box… let ’em carry it. it just means that i don’t have to carry it! also one lady asked about three roses, so i should probably bring that next time, as well. also, i had several people ask me what my FNORD bumper sticker meant… what does FNORD mean, anyway… i’ve been giving them a marginally straight answer having to do with worshippers of the greek goddess eris, but i’m not sure if that’s entirely correct, and i’m not sure that they really want to hear the real answer anyway.

the people across the street and down two or three booths from me make the most amazing garmentsit’s difficult to describe, so i’ll let this picture, and their web site describe it for me it’s a hakama, but it’s built with the functionality of a utilikilt.

cinderella rehearsals start tomorrow – for the fremont philharmonic – they’ve actually been going on for a couple of months for the players. it’s a little more than five weeks until OCF this year, and we don’t have all the music and we’re just starting rehearsals… it’s gonna be another OCF performance: full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. also, stuart says we have to learn The Hustle for the ballroom scene, but a long time ago, when the hustle was a “popular” song, i made a solemn vow never to learn the hustle, and i’m not sure i want to break tradition at this late date. besides… <shudder> it’s the hustle… eeewww!

Yoga leads to possession by devils? – i’m tired of these people who don’t know anything about yoga proclaiming unquestionably that it leads to dire and evil consequences… i wonder how many people hear this guy ranting without the first clue what he’s talking about, and because of the fact that he’s “Father Jeremy Davies, exorcist for the leader of Catholics in the UK” will accept what he says without question… also, i wonder about how many such people there are compared to how many hindus in the world…

Prostitution reform has little effect and Masturbate-a-thon are for the “christians” who are getting ready to berate me because of the previous comment.

Cat turns into woman in Port Harcourt, Nigeria – let me see if i’ve got this straight: three cats were crossing the road, when they were struck by a vehicle. one of them escaped uninjured, one of them was beaten to death, and one of them turned into a woman, who is being held by police at a hospital where they’re treating the injuries that she sustained while in the form of a cat… right?

Japanese man discovers woman living in his closet – what more is to be said? except why do unemployed people in japan get to have cell phones?

Continue reading FSM

moisture festival

i’m leaving for the moisture festival in about 15 minutes, and i won’t be home until after 2:00 am tomorrow. i have three shows today, one at 3:00, one at 7:30 and one at 10:30, plus the Big Bois With Poise is also performing at the 10:30 show this evening. i have two shows tomorrow, one at 3:00 and one at 7:30, and then there’s going to be a party (we’re not going to do the “marathon” performance at 10:30 this year, because it is a very silly thing indeed, and besides, a lot of us have to get up and go to work monday morning anyway), so i probably won’t be doing much blogging until monday.

see you then. as my japanese friends would say, ?????!

moisture musings

the 5th annual moisture festival is into it’s second week of performances, most of which feature the fremont philharmonic. we’re getting more into playing “other peoples'” music more, which is a good idea, i think. we’re also becoming “the” band for a number of performers like godfrey daniels, which is amusing since apart from the moisture festival, we’ve never performed with him as godfrey daniels. it’s much more mellow and laid-back backstage this year, but i think that part of that is because i am not responsible for the programs this year.

these are some of the links i’ve been perusing in the mean time:

Archbishop of Canterbury attacks Creationism – it’s getting pretty obvious that something is wrong with intelligent design when someone like the archbishop of canturbury comes down on the side of the evolutionists…

Hybrid embryos created in Britain – speaking of “intelligent” design…

Two-headed baby hailed as divine – and here’s how india deals with it. (NOTE: i am discounting the fact that this was published on 1 april by knowing that they don’t have april fools day in india. i may be wrong.)

Faeces hint at first Americans – new evidence further negates any “young earth” intelligent design explanations that i have heard…

Pregnant man tells Oprah: It’s a miracle – now this is something i’ve been reading about for a couple of weeks, and it is one of those rare instances when my wife and i disagree. i think it’s perfectly natural for a transgender man to want to have children, but my wife thinks… i’m not sure what she thinks. it’s “unnatural” or something is my guess. maybe she thinks the kid will grow up confused or something. but my point is that kids already grow up confused with “normal” parents, and both my wife and i are fine examples of that. if a kid has even an outside chance of having a relatively normal life, parents should be able to be parents without regard to what their genitals look like, and if, as in this case, the man is already pregnant they should be able to get medical care without having to go through nine doctors! my son is an excellent example of how someone with screwed up parents can have a much more “normal” life than either of their parents had.

The Hypocrisy Gospel: Get Rich for Jesus? – ever wonder why the religious conservatives adore the prosperity gospel so much?

finally,

Battle over Pot Possession in Alaska Is Back in the Courts – prohibitionists, once again, make some sort of lame excuse to overturn alaska’s legal home use of cannabis. they’re going to lose, of course, because their excuse is lame (“it’s not your father’s marijuana”, reefer-madness propaganda), but it’s got a lot of people upset in both camps.

Continue reading moisture musings

moisture venting

diemo

the moisture festival opening was last night. the fremont philharmonic played a grand total of 4 tunes, and then vacated the stage, while artists with artificial music, and artists who performed with the zebra kings performed for 2 hours. this was primarily because of RB deciding that we would play the first half, and then conveniently scheduling all the artists that had artificial music for the first half, while saying that the zebra kings (which includes RB himself) would play the second half, including hacki’s performance, and godfrey daniels’ performance, both of whose music we have actually been rehearsing for the past month, unlike the zebra kings, who sound as though they haven’t played together since last year. i really think that once they actually get a professional theatre manager, instead of RB – who is a contractor and a musician on the side, but is definitely not anything like a professional anything – the moisture festival will actually be fun to play. until then, there are, by definition, going to be problems that are a direct result of having the person making the schedule one of the performers as well.

also, the program this year is a joke compared to the program that i produced last year! they actually copied my format – they used a different title font (they actually used papyrus, a “distressed” font that i find particularly annoying), but everything about the format is essentially the same. they even used some of the same ads. also, they cheaped on the printing, which means that the greyscale graphics are at a larger screen density, and coarser than they were last year, and the “colour” cover is on cheaper paper, with no UV coating, and is only colour on one side – and i’d be willing to bet that they paid at least twice as much for it than they did last year. of course they didn’t post the actual schedule in the program, and included numerous warnings that the schedule can change at a moment’s notice. in general, i say “ha ha!”

i took a whole bunch of pictures, but only three of them are worth looking at, because the rest of them were taken from the back of the theatre, with no flash, which means blurry at best. i like the picture of diemo, though. i got down on his level and snapped the photo, and then i was able to turn the camera around and show him the picture, which was really cool. he seemed to like it, too… 8)

random busy

my appointment with DVR was tuesday, and i presented the lady with the business plan that ian and i came up with. rather like the term paper that ian and i came up with 20-some-odd years ago, it was 95% bullshit, but presented in a way that made the lady say that it was very impressive, and not entirely because, not too infrequently, the DVR interviews people who are disabled and interested in self-employment, but when they are given the task of coming up with a business plan, they don’t. the next step is later on this week (and if it doesn’t happen by the end of the week, i’m supposed to call her), when either she, or a business consultant calls me to arrange an appointment.

i must say, DVR has done a lot more for me already, just in my mood, if nothing else. most of the other government organisations i have worked with since my injury have said they would help, but very quicly demonstrated that, in reality, they weren’t interested in me at all. i’m not holding my breath yet, but what they have told me about what they do with what i have already done makes me think that Hybrid Elephant could actually be an income-producing venture in the not-too-distant future.

i’ve been in rehearsals for the moisture festival for a few weeks now. the fremont philharmonic has a new trombone player, silveradept, who i recruited on internet. i’m so glad i’m not doing the program this year. i don’t even know where they are with the program, but they just posted the (tentative) schedule on their website on monday, and the moisture festival starts on the 27th. for something that puts itself off as a professional show, they really aren’t that professional.

also, depending on which (of three different) bands you’re talking about, i have also been in rehearsals for Honk Fest West for a while, which is the 21st through the 23rd. the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band starts rehearsals next week, which is a good thing because they are also performing for Honk Fest.

stuff

i took a 24-exposure roll of pictures of the lunar eclipse the other day. none of them came out, which really disappoints me because i had ideal lighting – i was out in the middle of nowhere with no artificial light pollution – i had a SLR with a telephoto lens and a tripod, and no trees or anything like that, but i totally forgot about aperture and exposure settings, and so i ended up with 24 clear, not-a-speck-on-them negatives. i feel like a lousy photographer, especially because there were a couple of the pictures that i would have been really proud of if they had come out, but i couldn’t even hit one out of 24, and it’s all because i forgot something as basic as aperture and exposure. 8/

i’m feeling really isolated because i’m in my tiny, crammed-full-of-boxes office with the door shut because apart from the four dogs and three cats that we normally have, there are no less than three temporary dogs (two of which are going home tomorrow, thankfully), and they keep on chasing the cats in here, or coming in to “check up” on me every five minutes, which is really distracting. i’m trying to be nice to moe, because of the fact that she couldn’t really help it this time, but at the same time, seven dogs puts me just about over the edge, especially when i wasn’t really expecting it… so i isolate myself and hope that it doesn’t get to be too much before tomorrow morning.

i went to the “Seattle Freeze” this afternoon. i wasn’t sure whether i was going to freeze, or whether i was going to take pictures of people trying to interact with frozen people until it was time to freeze. i decided to freeze, which is a good thing because it was only for 5 minutes, and compared to the total number of people in westlake mall, the number of people who actually froze was infinitesimal. i took a few pictures, but the only one that is more than just a small crowd of people milling around is this one.

big dog, small car

the huge hairy shape in the back of that convertible is a dog, who was barking at passers-by.

my first acupuncture appointment of 2008 was this afternoon. the treatment was to make the tips of the fingers of my right hand less numb than they have been, and it very definitely worked, although it was also the most painful acupuncture appointment i have ever had. not only was there a needle in the top of my skull, but there were needles in the tips of all five fingers, and in at least two places on my shins, and they were in exactly the right position to hurt really bad when i tried to move over so that i would have some place to put my hand so that it didn’t hang off the edge of the table. ever since my injury my right hand has had the sensation of being asleep and having a heavy glove on all the time. it’s been going away very, very slowly, and at this point the only place that still feels like it’s asleep is my fingertips, but they’re definitely more “awake” since acupuncture.

i also got word that the Big Bois With Poise is going to be in the moisture festival this year…

the moisture festival… aah, the moisture festival.

this time last year i was frantically trying to get the schedule from them so that i could get the typesetting finished and get the printing done on their program, and not getting anywhere because they had their heads so firmly implanted in their asses (collectively), and by the time the moisture festival was over, i was so dissatisfied with the whole thing that i wasn’t sure whether or not i was even going to be a part of it this year. now that this year has actually happened, i’m still attracted by the fact that it was the single highest paying gig i had last year, and this year the phil is going to play more than we did last year (which still isn’t enough, in my opinion, but there’s not very much i can, or desire to do about it). i haven’t had anything to do with the people that made life so miserable last year (although the likelyhood that that will change is dramatically increased the closer to actual production time we get), so i don’t really know anything, but from what i’ve heard so far, the chaos that i waded through last year doesn’t even scratch the surface of the chaos that is currently going on, so the probability that the phil is going to play more, and/or BBWP is going to perform more is a definite probability.

time to take brownies out of the oven.

more puss in boots ramblings

the “more later” from yesterday was because silver adept suddenly appeared at my front door, with the intention of going to yesterday’s closing night performance of puss in boots. it was a packed house, and i mean packed in the same way that i have seen moisture festival houses be packed. there were at least 200 people, including at least 50 kids in the audience – the kids were rowdy and rambunctious and i almost had to reach over and smack one of them for taking the potato “stage dressings” and repeatedly thumping them on the stage during the performance. it appears as though the fremont philharmonic does, indeed, have a new trombone player in the wings, whose name is silver adept, contingent on my being able to round up a trombone for him to use. the adults in the audience included about 50 brits who shouted “look behind you!”, argued with the cast, and made it even more like what a british pantomime should be. matt was there again last night, and, once again, he forgot to bring along the object that i plan on giving to moe as a holiday gift. this would be a lot less of a concern to me if it weren’t for the fact that the bobs concert at the kirkland performance center on saturday sold out about 10 minutes before i called to get tickets, but matt assured me that if i show up early, they will likely release a few tickets prior to the performance, so we’ll be able to get in anyway. if not, i sent him my mailing address, and hopefully that will be enough. i’d say more about it except that moe may actually be reading this. apparently we are going to resurrect puss in boots for the moisture festival, so if you missed it, it’s coming back in march or april.

puss in boots

friday: 1 performance. we had a lot of fun, the audience was impressed and went away humming the tunes. we got a lot of compliments, particularly from the natural-born brits in the audience, who were shouting “look behind you!” the loudest of the entire lot.

saturday: 2 performances with a dinner break in the middle. they were better than friday’s performance, and the earlier performance had at least 40 people walk up to the performance, having never seen or heard any advertisements about what the show was. matthew bob, the director, was very impressed and was raving about how good the whole show was…

more later.

Puss In Boots

performance friday: a “little moisture festival” for a party for the company owned by Rick Steves. comments included “how are we gonna top this one?”, “it’s not possible to attend a better party than this!” “best company party ever!” and other enthusiastic comments from the audience. acts included “Bing Croonsby & The Mildew Sisters”, Godfrey Daniels, Henrik Bothe, Nanda and, of course, The Fremont Philharmonic as well as a number of other performers i can’t remember. we got a lot of compliments, as a band, from both artists and audience. simon interrupted my solo in the godfrey daniels piece, but apart from that it went quite well. we even got $30 apiece for being the band! 8)

performances saturday: i left at 12:30 pm and didn’t get back until around 12:00 am. we did two performances of puss in boots, with a two and a half hour dinner break in between (which was a chicken curry that everybody else was yumming over, but i thought was kind of bland and mild without much flavour… oh well). i bought 15 pounds of potatoes as a set dressing (we’re peasants), which is now in my car because we didn’t want to encourage the rats (i actually saw one, walking across the floor like it belonged there!) in the hale’s palladium beer warehouse. the first performance was almost a full house – which means that almost all of the chairs we put out had butts in them, not that the beer warehouse palladium was full – and the second show didn’t have any kids and was about a quarter of what the previous crowd was, but more enthusiastic. it seems like we’re really getting “the hang” of this panto thing, because the second show was actually really good, in spite of the fact that about half the cast was sloshed.

performance today: i’ve got to be there at 1:00, which means that i have to leave in a little less than an hour.

busy, busy, busy…

mal, one of the witnesses on my wedding certificate, has recently moved here from alaska, and he left his car in my front yard last weekend so that he could go back to alaska for the holiday.

6:00 am, moe gets up to go to work. i stay at home (like usual) and go back to sleep when she leaves. approximately 7:00 am, the dog barks, but as it’s the dog that irrationally barks at anything at all for no reason whatsoever, i tell her to be quiet and go back to sleep. around 8:00 am, i am woken up by the telephone. it’s moe telling me that mal called the clinic, wants his car, and that i should call him, which i do. i learn that the reason the dog was barking was because mal was knocking on the door of my house – and i wasn’t answering because i was asleep and not paying attention to the dog, who was obviously telling me that someone was at the door… 8/

so i get up and call the printers to change the delivery address on the two packages that are scheduled to be delivered here soon. i talk to a guy who tells me that he’s got to call UPS and make sure that he can, and he will call me back. then i get into mal’s car, with a minor hiccup when mal’s car alarm apparently won’t let me in (fixed by replacing the battery in the remote), and head up toward microsoft to give mal’s car back around 9:00 am. while i’m on the way, i call the printer again and tell them that i called and the guy said he would call me back, but didn’t. the lady says sure, they can change the shipping address on the packages, but it will cost me $10 per package, is that okay? i say, no, it’s not okay! she takes my order numbers and puts me on hold, and while i’m on hold, i get another phone call from the printer – which i assume was in response to the message i left them on friday – to get the physical address so that i can get my packages delivered…

sigh…

so anyway, i give the lady the proper physical address, i don’t have to pay anything, i called UPS and they’re on board with the whole thing, although they might have to deliver one of the packages tomorrow, because it was out for delivery when they got the change of address (which means that i have to stay home all day, on the off chance that they actually are going to deliver it today). i also made a few changes in the Ballard Sedentary Sousa web site, and had a terse but productive email conversation with liz about tomorrow’s recording session and what’s going to happen afterwards.

and i printed out godfrey daniels music from stuart’s web site so that i can play the tuba part at the party.

rehearsal tonight, recording session tomorrow, rehearsal wednesday… thursday and friday are free, so far, but there’s a possibility that i’m going to have to go whip a computer back into shape on one of those two days. then there’s the punk rock flea market saturday, and the Phinney Neighborhood Holiday Fiesta on sunday, more rehearsals next monday and wednesday, the party on friday, and then two weeks of puss in boots performances…

bleh

i’m anxious.

one of my postcard orders is supposed to be delivered tomorrow, and when i called UPS to confirm that, they told me that it was addressed to my PO box, and they don’t (or can’t, i’ve never been sure of which) deliver to PO boxes, and i can’t change the delivery address, only the sender can do that. so i put in a call to the printer and asked them to change the delivery addresses on both packages, but (of course) they were closed because it was saturday, and i probably won’t hear back from them until tomorrow… but that’s when the first package is supposed to be delivered, which means that i likely won’t get a package by way of UPS tomorrow.

i have a rehearsal tonight, at 7:00 pm at hale’s, but it’s only 11:00 am, and i’m antsy. i realise it’s the weekend, but there should be more for me to do, to keep my mind out of the worrying and depressing that i’ve been so apt to do recently.

fremont peak park

salamandir with the fremont philharmonic certificate

so we played for the official opening of fremont peak park. i was late, which is to say that i was supposed to show up at 11:00, but i didn’t actually show up until 11:45, thinking that we were supposed to start playing at 12:00, but actually what happened was that politicians and park organisers started talking at 12:15 or so, and we didn’t actually start playing until almost 1:30… and the street was closed, but after driving around for longer than it should have taken, i was able to convince one of the “we’ve got the road closed” people with safety vests, that i was a part of the celebration, so they let me through. i parked across the street, and was able to watch from the “bandstand” (which was a little terrace off to one side of the park, with an excellent view) as people gawked at my car and wondered what it says. there was a couple of people who were old enough that they probably remember when the swastika was just a swastika, but the old lady looked disgusted as she was walking away from it. the cake that they made for the celebration was an exact, scale model of the park, and was entirely edible. the terrace that the band had set up on was supposed to be reserved for the band, but unfortunately, someone gave it away to someone else before we got there, so they gave us other parts of the park instead. i asked if it was ethical to eat the park that they had just opened, and the guy said “you can have your park and eat it too”…

i got some decent pictures, but my picture of the band turned out to be a movie, which i didn’t take correctly and didn’t work. better luck next time…

fremont peak park

the fremont philharmonic is playing for the official opening ceremony of fremont peak park today at noon. it’s one of the only non-fremonstor things we have done since i have been a part of the band, it’s open to the public, and it’s free.

i’m kind of worried about how long the fremont philharmonic is going to last as a band. we’ve had three Puss In Boots rehearsals in the past 3 weeks, and there have been a grand total of 3 band members there. we have a string of performances in a month, we have new music to learn, old music cues to re-learn, and new music cues to learn, and most of the band (which, admittedly, is only 3 or 4 other people) haven’t even seen fit to call and say they weren’t going to be at the rehearsals… which doesn’t sound like it’s much of what i would call a “real” band. we’ve been talking about re-arranging some of the parts, as well, with me doubling on tuba, trombone and sound effects, and getting a bass player who also doubles on something (trombone?). maybe malcat could do it…

random bits of this and that

last night was the Sousa Bash, in honour of John Phillip Sousa‘s 153rd birthday, and, coincidentally, it was also Antoine-Joseph Sax‘s 193rd birthday. it went well, in spite of the fact that the west seattle bridge was closed for 3 hours, immediately prior to our concert, which made everybody, including a significant portion of the band, late. it was held at Kenyon Hall (formerly “Hokum” Hall), which, despite the fact that i actually lived in west seattle for a year or so, and have driven past it so many times i have lost count, i have never heard of it. it’s a good thing i know were it is now, however, as we apparently have the hall scheduled for the next 2 tuesdays in a row for recording.

it also makes me interested in talking to lou (the proprietor) about scheduling the fremont philharmonic there at some point…

<weird dream>
i was in this hotel in a big city somewhere, lots of glass, modern architecture, doing something, when these three guys with automatic weapons came in and started screaming and spraying bullets everywhere. fortunately i was off to the side, so i wasn’t a direct target, but also the shots that i did take were, apparently, fairly low velocity, and they were buckshot about the size of a dust-speck, so they stung, but they didn’t actually injure me – it was frightening, none the less, and everybody was cringing and trying to convince the guys to let them go. somehow i managed to find my way to an elaborate laundry chute which lead to the basement, but the guys were not letting anyone escape that way – despite the fact that there were three or more people that jumped down the chute that i saw. when i was getting ready to jump, one of the guys waved a gun in my direction and told me to stay put, so i didn’t jump, but i continued to work my way towards the exit, and i eventually managed to escape into the parking garage. at this point, i realised that moe had been there as well, but instead of going back for her, or notifying the police or something like that, i decided to get out of town by the most direct means possible and not tell anybody about the fact that this hotel was being held up, or that my wife was in danger. towards the end of the dream, when i was going out of town, it vaguely resembled 5th ave., in downtown seattle, except the buildings were all different, and if it was 5th ave. then the hotel that i was coming from would have been approximately where the westlake mall is, except that it was backwards, and a hotel instead of a mall.
</weird dream>

i also got another email from the 2008 art car calendar people, indicating some vague interest in knowing more about the swastika, and the meaning of my car, which, on the surface, sounds like i may have made an impression on them. i’m not holding my breath, however, because one of the questions they asked was answered in plain, clear language, in the blurb i sent them about the car originally, which makes me wonder if they even bothered to read the blurb in the first place, or they just had a knee-jerk reaction to the swastika.

The Fremont Players “Puss in Boots”

Who: The Fremont Players

What: β€œPuss in Boots” A Panto-style play, a British holiday tradition

When: (two weekends)

Saturday, December 8 at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 p.m.

Friday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 15 at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 16 at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Hale’s Palladium at Hale’s Brewery
4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle (Ballard/Fremont)

Tickets:
$12/adults
$6/kids 15 and younger or seniors 65 and better
Tickets available at the door and in advance:
www.brownpapertickets.com 1-800-838-3006

The Fremont Players present β€œPuss in Boots” as a play in Panto style – the lively, interactive entertainment for the whole family that has been an English holiday tradition for hundreds of years. Our hero Will is down on his luck – shafted in the will, bullied by sibs, way out of his league romantically, and now, he thinks his cat is talking. Whether or not your family has experience with hearing voices or imaginary friends, Will needs your helpful vocal guidance! The Fremont Players welcome your cheers, boos, ad-libs, and β€œLook behind yous!” as a part of the appeal for all ages. Of course, no panto would be complete without full musical orchestration. To that purpose, the Fremont Philharmonic has composed 99.9% original music and plays it with vaudevillian gusto. There will be refreshing snacks, soda and Hale’s Ales, too!

busy

i’ve got to mail a package, and then take some extra computer parts to re-pc, and then get to issaquah by 1:00 to pick up business cards for NBAC, and then go to north bend to deliver the business cards to NBAC, and then potentially, go to the bank and deposit the check from NBAC for the business cards. then i haven’t yet decided whether or not i’m going to go home, because there’s a Puss In Boots rehearsal at hale’s tonight at 7:00, and i think it would be more efficient to go directly there rather than going home first, even though the rehearsal is at 7:00. but if i go directly to hale’s from there, then i have to have my tuba and related goo-bah, which i have to think about now… and if i do end up deciding to go home, then my tuba will already be in the car.

but i’ve got an appointment with ned at 3:00, which i didn’t realise until just a moment ago, which throws a wrench in the whole scheme of things… 8P

i’ve got something going on every day this week: i’ve got a trolloween rehearsal with the fremont phil on tuesday, then trolloween on wednesday, then a day of the dead gig with banda gozona on thursday, and another day of the dead gig on friday, then i think there is a gig at meany hall with banda gozona on saturday, but i’m not sure (relevant messages came through in email during the time when my email/schedule was malfunctioning). then, next tuesday is john phillip sousa’s birthday with the BSSB (tickets to the sousa bash are sold out, but if you want to go, i can probably get you in, standing room only), and next friday is my high school 30th reunion planning (i’m OLD!), which i’m not sure i’m going to go to, because i didn’t get along very well with those people when i was in high school, and i can’t think of any reason, other than time, that i would get along with them any better now. then next saturday is a performance of the fremont phil for the opening of a new park in fremont. next sunday is WORLD ART CAR DAY, and it is also the veterans’ day performance of the BSSB at the north shore senior center, and then, theoretically, there is a recording session for the BSSB on a week from next tuesday.

something other than my goddam broken computer…

the fremont phil had a rehearsal for trolloween this evening. trolloween is going to be on a wednesday, and i’m not sure what time it’s going to start, but it’s going to be a variety show. we’re backing up either sandy palmer doing “sexual healing” and matthew bob doing an as-yet-undecided song, and we’re backing up gary luke who is juggling, and we’re supposedly backing up myron sizer, who is going to do “everything i do will be funky from now on”, and we’re backing up a woman who is doing a spell or something… i suppose if they want it, there can be a vegetable sacrifice as well, but they didn’t have time last year, so i don’t think they’re going to have the time this year… which is kind of depressing, but there will be so much to do at trolloween anyway…

i have a fremont players rehearsal of “Puss In Boots” tomorrow at 7:00 at hale’s, a BSSB rehearsal tuesday on crown hill, and a banda gozona rehearsal on thursday at memo’s.

moe hurt her back some time between last night and this afternoon, which is really frightening to me. she went to a border collie/sheep dog trial (got 1st place, even though she doesn’t own a border collie, and won a trophy), but was having painful spasms through the whole thing. if moe gets sick or something and can’t work, my impression is that we’re right on the edge of losing everything.

1056

i’m grumpy and out of sorts, which is odd since i just got back from OCF, which was awesome. there is a bunch of shit going on in my life currently, which OCF distracted me from for long enough that, when i was forced to go back to it, it really sucked. i’ll post about OCF now, and get to the griping about shit later.

blurdge

there are a bunch of pictures, and there are still a huge quantity that i have yet to process. there will be more photos over the next few days as i get around to it.

i got a ride to the fair from moe(!), but she had to leave on saturday, so i rode back with norma. we got there thursday and ended up camping behind morningwood, which was much superior to mosquito acres (sorry ducky), where i camped last year. it was completely shaded, so it was much cooler even in the hottest part of the day, there weren’t any mosquitos or yellowjackets or obvious bug sex, and it was about 10 feet from the backstage area, behind a “secret” door next to the band locker.

blurdge

the shows went extremely well. we had our first and only dress rehearsal on thursday night, did a run of six shows in 3 days, and came away with a solid script that is being expanded on by the entire cast. it was amazing, because even though simon and a few others didn’t completely know their lines, we were able to pull it off with a humour that the crowd found infectious, and those who didn’t have their lines completely ready by the first show were doing quite well indeed by the second show. the music was outstanding. there were songs by stuart, jeremy(!), kiki, and amy bob, and the audience invariably went away humming the tunes.

blurdge

BBWP performed at the “real” fire show (which is the one for the public, in kermit lot) again this year. it was huge. the backdrop was enormous, and there were around 1,500 – 2,000 people in the audience. i fell off my buckets about 5 minutes before we were supposed to go on, but, miraculously, i didn’t sprain my ankle again. i don’t like performing on an uneven surface when i’m doing BBWP, but if i hadn’t done it, there would only have been two of them, so i “took one for the team” and did it anyway. it was exciting, too, because i haven’t been practicing as much as i probably should, and as a result, my spinning got so erratic that i had to stop and start over again, which resulted in my burning all the hair off of the exposed area of my hips and crotch… very exciting indeed… it was also a miracle that the diaper i was wearing didn’t catch fire. it didn’t matter, though, because that’s part of the show – it’s supposed to be humourous, and it was. everything was good.

blurdge

the fremont philharmonic played at the ritz saturday night. apparently we have a standing invitation to play at the ritz saturday nights from now on, and it’s likely because the guy who is the ringmaster of ceremonies for the fremont solstice parade, Baron Von Huffenfuel (otherwise known as peter toms) is in charge of scheduling artists to play at the ritz. this, too, is a very good thing, because it means that we get into the ritz for free, and the ritz is one of my favourite places at the fair. during the four days i was there, i spent at least 8 hours in the sauna.

saturday night i discovered that my digital camera doesn’t necessarily have to flash, and if i tell it not to flash, that it has a significantly slower shutter speed, which makes pictures of things at night really interesting. chelamela meadow is one of those things: it is full of hippies with sparkly and twinkly toys, costumes and suchlike, of all kinds. also, there was one installation where there were a bunch of solar-powered lights that were hidden in metal sculptures, and a solar-powered fire sculpture that was really cool: it was about 8 feet tall, and consisted of an elaborate base on which there was a narrow tube that had fire dripping down from the top of it.

in a strange way, OCF is comparable to an enormous, outdoor, hippie-oriented mall: the main thing to do there is buy stuff, eat, go to concerts and watch the strange people. it’s interesting to me that i dislike malls as much as i do, and yet i feel totally at home at OCF… although i do tend to avoid the crowds most of the time.

i’ll probably write more, but now i’m going to do something else.