Category Archives: ocf

immediatly post-OCF

microdosing the fair was successful beyond my wildest imaginations!! i took a .25 gram capsule, every morning at 0700 or so, so if i were to have some kind of major psychedelic effects manifest, i would probably be over them by 1100, which was when our “call” was, every day.

i was actually able to relax(!), and have a good time(!!), despite the fact that i avoided the ritz, because of COVID concerns (mine, not theirs)… however, i will say that being, literally, right across the path from a place that makes mac and cheese with smoked salmon in ENORMOUS bowls didn’t hurt anything. 😉

AND i experienced at least two occasions where, absent the .25 gram dose, i would have been SIGNIFICANTLY more cranky and disagreeable afterwards. the first was yesterday, when the guitar player (chris gross) and i conspired to take a cart full of gear to our respective cars, because having two people drag a cart is infinitely easier than having to either drag it yourself, or having to wait, sometimes as much as an hour, for the cart to return… so we loaded up a bunch of gear that we were no longer using, and schlepped it out to the “SCOFlot”, where the “handicapped” people (and marginally-handicapped people, such as myself, who have a valid placard 😈) are allowed to park… only to discover that i had left my key-fob back in camp, three quarters of a mile away… so, i trudged back to camp and retrieved my key-fob, and we unloaded my gear into my car, but in our original schlepp-age, one of the cart’s tires had bit the dust, and we got about halfway to chris’s car when the inner-tube got wrapped around the axle, and ceased moving forward… so we spent 15 minutes untangling the inner-tube and schlepped another quarter mile out to chris’s car. chris unloaded his stuff, only to discover that he had left his guitar back in camp! 🤣 so we went back to camp AGAIN… the second was this morning. naturally, after a glorious, sun-shiney weekend, it rained monday morning, which meant that i had to put the tent away wet. i got everything packed up and moved out to the staging area (on the stage), and slogged out to retrieve my car, but when i got there, i couldn’t get the key-fob to work… like, AT ALL!… and it’s a new enough car that i haven’t poked around and actually FOUND the manual key slot… my comment (to no one in particular) was that it sucks AND blows: all things a good vacuum cleaner should do. 🤣 i phoned moe (thank cthulhu i had cell service) and she gave me some suggestions, and said she would look up a youtube video for me… and then i got the key-fob to work, ONCE, which was all it took… i was able to start the car by holding the key-fob up to the start button, and i was on my way… but when i got to camp, “somebody” (not a part of our group) had parked an ENORMOUS camper, with an ENORMOUS trailer, directly across the opening to our stage/staging area, blocking three cars IN and making it impossible for me to park remotely close to the stage. i started carrying a load of stuff around the camper-trailer-conflagration and i ran into (literally) someone who was helping a kid into the truck, and i asked them how long they were planning on staying there, to which they responded five minutes… fifteen minutes later, they were STILL there, so i got someone from our group to help me move the big, heavy, bulky power cart to a place where it blocked the camper, and went back to loading. 😈

the guy eventually left (after struggling to move the power cart by himself 😈), and i was able to pull in next to the stage, but when i shut my car off, the key-fob stopped working AGAIN, only, this time, because i was already in the car, i was able to get it started again, but it was only after i was in the car, ready to go, and the car said “key-fob not present” that i realised that it was the battery in the key-fob, and not something more serious… and, when i got home, i took the fob apart and replaced the battery. 😎

the panto is a re-run of one we did a few years ago, “Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs”, and it was together, with no missed cues from either the band OR the actors in record time: by the second day, we pretty much had it down, and the actors were starting to modify the script in ways that will be reflected in the productions this winter.

230706 some random hippie
230706 some random hippie
230707 some random hippie
230707 some random hippie
230708 some random hippie
230708 some random hippie
230709 some random hippie
230709 some random hippie

also,

230709 simon neale
230709 simon neale

and,

230708
230708
230708 i invited her to morningwood odditorium, where we had been pasting googly eyes on everything, but she never showed up
230708 i invited her to morningwood odditorium, where we had been pasting googly eyes on everything, but she never showed up
230709 i asked him if he was the Muffin Man, and he said no, he's a cupcake
230709 i asked him if he was the Muffin Man, and he said no, he’s a cupcake, so i had to mention the line from the frank zappa song about the muffin man: “some people like cupcakes better. i, for one, care less for them.” 🤣 he said he had heard that a few times.

finally,

salamandir and harmonic flute, and sam and fujara

immenently pre-OCF

interesting, informative and educational blurb about the difference between “imminent” and “eminent” goes here.

july 4th (🤢) today. we’re planning on taking a drive in the back country, rather as we did last year at this time, when we came down with COVID. this year, we’ve already got the COVID out of the way, so i have every intention to leave for OCF around 08:00 tomorrow. as i did last year, with some creative ingenuity, i fit everything EXCEPT my foghorn* into the car, so the only things i have to do tomorrow is take a shower, put the stuff from the fridge into the cooler, put freezer-blocks into the cooler, and put the cooler, and the 5 gallon water bottle, into the car, and gather a few, small items — my soap and foot ointment, my tablet, my reading glasses, my phone, my weed, pipes, and vape supplies — into their assigned boxes, and then i can leave. moe doesn’t have to be in to the clinic tommorrow until 10:00, so there’s a chance that i’ll be gone before she gets out of bed… at least i hope so, because she works WAY too hard, and doesn’t take time off as frequently as she should.

230702 salamandir in a kayak
230702 salamandir in a kayak

in the past week, we have gone from having NO boats, to having TWO boats (kayaks), three paddles, PFDs for one human and one dog, and the roof support rack (with “all the trimmings”) to carry one kayak… the other (smaller) kayak needs some foam pads to carry on the roof, because it is short enough that it doesn’t fit… but that’s okay, because it means that i can carry it on the top of MY car, as well as moe’s… this morning, moe took the larger boat out on rattlesnake lake, with the “puppy”, quill (who is now the largest of our three dogs 😒), and he only fell in once (🤣) before he decided that he was going to sit in the center of the boat and be a good doggie…

230703 moe and quill in a kayak in the pond across the street
230703 moe and quill in a kayak in the pond across the street
230704 quill being a good doggie on rattlesnake lake
230704 quill being a good doggie on rattlesnake lake

how we made the journey so quickly has to do with moe’s boss giving us the smaller kayak and paddle, and moe developing an insistent obsession. 😉 i know that goat island has a web site, now, but it seems like everywhere has a web site, so it’s not as surprising as it once was. it makes me wonder what’s happening in what used to be fishtown, these days.

after OCF…

* i have wanted to take the foghorn to OCF for a few years, but i have never been able to fit it into my car, with all the other stuff i have to take to OCF… but, it’s probably a good thing, because i think that it would annoy a lot more people than it would amuse… oh well…

less than a week until OCF… why am i paralyzed with anxiety? 😒

officially, less than a week until OCF, and i’ve been accomplishing a lot, but i feel like i’m headed for doom… my list of things to take to OCF is about 80% complete and prepared, and i’m already getting things staged to load up the car on monday, because the probability is very high that we (moe, me, and three dogs) are going to leave EARLY tuesday morning, and go some place remote, where there are few people and fireworks… because we have a dog who is afraid of fireworks

she, literally, hides, when people shoot guns, in the distance, which is a fairly common occurrence around these parts, and we’ve learned that, if we go somewhere remote, we can have a good time and the dogs don’t get so stressed out.

i’ve got most of the camping gear assembled, and about 90% of the music stuff assembled (including the harmonic flute/electronics, and the foghorn). pretty much the only thing i haven’t packed yet are my “working clothes” (costumes) and my “mundane clothes” (for hiding in large crowds), a few essential items, and the hats, which i haven’t even decided what i’m going to bring yet…

i ordered a “capsule filling machine” the other day (it’s supposed to be delivered tomorrow), which SHOULD make it easier to fill capsules… which is a good thing, because 1) i have a (new) connection to more psychedelic mushrooms, and 2) i already have one person who wants to buy some, and another person who is interested, but hasn’t committed yet, and filling the capsules by hand is time-consuming, messy, and wasteful. i still marvel at the fact that what was one of my favourite illegal drugs, when i was in my 20s, is, in my 60s, on the verge of legitimacy, and widely praised for it’s qualities.

monday was the “panic rehearsal” for the pre-OCF panto — usually the “panic rehearsal” gets finished at 23:00 or thereabouts, because it’s SUPPOSED TO BE the last complete runthrough before the fair… it’s usually, also, the FIRST complete runthrough before the fair, which it WAS NOT this time… and it actually got out at 21:00 instead, which is when it is supposed to be finished. tuesday, i had an alto sax to work on, which went far easier and faster than i anticipated. the alto belongs to one of the members of the fremont phil, who is going to OCF, so it was important that i got it done post haste, and i delivered it to him on tuesday evening, at the sousa band rehearsal… because he’s thinking about joining the sousa band, because he’s got a serrusophone, and various other things that would fit right in to sousa’s music. 😉 wednesday i went busking with thaddeus. we didn’t make that much ($17 a piece), but it was enough to cover parking with some left over, and it’s kind of difficult to compare with the last time we busked, which was at the fremont solstice festival, where we busked for 3 hours and made almost $100 a piece. but, while we were busking, thaddeus got email from the PDA, asking us if we want to play for another “sunset supper” in august. thursday (today) i went to my circus class, rode my unicycle for the longest time i have EVER ridden it, TWICE, and rode in a complete, 360° circle, TWICE, but i totally forgot that i was going to take some medication from home (for moe’s mom’s dog, her name is lacey, but we call her “the unicorn”), stop by the clinic to pick up more medication for moe’s mom’s dog, and deliver both of them to moe’s mom before my class. 😖 so, AFTER my class, i went to the clinic to pick up the most necessary medication, and delivered that to moe’s mom… she can wait a few days for the other one.

tomorrow, i’ve got to get the last few, essential items for the fair, and i might take mushrooms, if everything works out… because i really need to “not give a fuck” for a while.

impending SACBO update

SACBO officially starts tomorrow, but it generally involves a caravan to various weird places around seattle, and, because of the fact that the caravan is done by a different person, and the people participating don’t always have radios, or ways to contact the “leader” in case they get lost, there is a lot of chaos, usually involving lost people being followed by other art cars because “they should know where we’re going”, or “they should know where they’re going”, or something like that, which isn’t actually the case about half the time… and, not having a radio myself, i opted out of the art car caravans a LONG time ago. i’m going for the actual festival, though, which is saturday and sunday. i’m taking my canopy, busking gear, and my harmonic flute and affiliated electronics, and MAYBE some incense, if there is enough room and i’m not too lazy. thaddeus is supposed to show up saturday for busking activities, but i’ll probably be on my own sunday.

i got a new tuba hard case. it is smaller than the previous case, which is both an advantage and a problem: the advantage is that it is smaller, and somewhat easier to lug around, but it doesn’t have a handle on the end, as the old case did, which makes lifting it a bit more difficult. and, the fact that it is smaller also means that there isn’t the separate case, inside, to keep mouthpieces, my tuba strap, and polishing cloths, which is a problem. it also doesn’t have wheels, and is a more rounded shape at the bell end, which means that it only fits on my folding hand cart one way, and it is the wrong way… but it cost $950, which means that i’ve got to get creative to solve these problems, because i’m not just going to send it back and look for a tuba case somewhere else. a lot of the cases don’t fit the instrument (particularly those sold by amazon(⁇⁇), sweeTWATer, and others), or cost WAY too much to order, wait for delivery, discover that it’s for a “right-hand bell” tuba, and send it back… it turns out that the ONLY place to buy a case for a conn 2J is allied supply — the same company that i have been ordering musical instrument parts and materials from for… <mumble, mumble> 30-some years — and i actually have an account with allied… so i ordered it from allied, and instead of paying $1800 for it from a local retailer, i paid $550… and another $400 for shipping… 😧

it came in a BIG box!! with a lot of plastic packing materials that couldn’t be recycled, so i put it out with the trash last night, and some time during the night, bears came and raided our trash can, spreading plastic packing materials all over… 😒

i actually, successfully, “microdosed” mushrooms last weekend. it all started on saturday, 230527, when the BSSB played at folklife. apparently, at some time during my stay at the TREMENDOUSLY CROWDED seattle center grounds (which included several people who wanted to take pictures with me, because i was wearing my fancy band outfit), i was exposed to COVID AGAIN, and i tested positive on 230528. 😒 unfortunately, we had scheduled a birthday party for moe’s mom on the 28th, which got cancelled… and then moe got COVID, as well… 🤬 ultimately, we put off the birthday party until 230611, two weeks later (when both moe and i were testing clear), but i woke up on the 11th in an absolutely FOUL mood, and moe was also feeling under the weather and disagreeable… so i took 0.05 grams, just as moe’s mom was getting here… not enough to really get me off, but definitely enough to change my mood… and, sure enough, it changed my mood. it was moe’s mom, so i wasn’t exactly exuberant or anything, but i wasn’t snapping at everybody and hiding in my office. my case of COVID was mild: i probably wouldn’t have even noticed i had it, if i hadn’t tested. and the good part is that now i’ve got “natural immunity” for the next 2 or 3 months, which means that i WON’T get COVID and not be able to go to the oregon country fair, AND, even if i get exposed at the fair, the probably is fairly high that i won’t get it at the fair, either… i hope… 😉

what the…?

i don’t know for sure, because i don’t know what it would be like if i HADN’T taken mushrooms a week ago, but i will say that it’s PROBABLY a good thing i took mushrooms a week ago, because the intervening week was depressing beyond belief.

last tuesday, which was also our 24th wedding anniversary, when i was IN THE MIDST of a significantly more powerful psychedelic experience than i EXPECTED (considering how weak and impotent the immediately previous psychedelic experience had been), i got a text from moe, which said that some unknown thing had happened to rye (currently, our most senior dog, at 11½ years), and he was having trouble walking, moving, and standing — quelle horreur!!

220624 injured rye
220624 injured rye
when moe came home (still in the midst of a significantly more powerful psychedelic experience than i was expecting), rye was barely recognisable: he was curled up and bent over like a dog that was in SEVERE pain, he could barely walk, and he couldn’t even manage the two stairs leading from the garage to the back yard. they had done everything they could at moe’s veterinary practice to alleviate his pain, but they didn’t have a clue, and when they sent his x-rays out to a specialist, there was still no clue why he was in pain, so thursday, he had an MRI, and had surgery on his neck THAT DAY, because it was that emergent. 😱

the neurologist said that they were suprised the dog was walking at all. 😟

he came home from the hospital friday, and has been recovering ever since… which, basically, means that his movement is severely restricted: he lives in an ExPen, in the living room, full time, except for 4 or 5 bathroom breaks every 24 hours, and he sleeps in a kennel in monique’s office. it’s going to be two weeks before he will be allowed to go up and down stairs again, so moe has moved all of her stuff downstairs for a couple weeks.

SINCE THEN, i have had to deal with, suddenly, being in the middle of rehearsal season (rehearsals wendesday, sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, and so on) which i haven’t experienced AT ALL for two years, AND i’m going to the oregon country fair, for the first time in two years, which TERRIFIES me, even though i really want to go, AND (oh, joy), we’re getting a NEW PUPPY WHILE i will be at the oregon country fair… which means that, when i get home from OCF, we’re going to have a disabled dog, and a new puppy, AT THE SAME TIME

😩😰

i am running low enough on spoons that i actually cancelled busking this week, because i have a rehearsal later that day, and i’m pretty sure that if i went busking, i would be totally useless by the time the rehearsal came around.

quite apart from it being EXTREMELY WEIRD to be high on mushrooms while dealing with emotional people (who don’t know i am on mushrooms), and a severely injured dog, and quite apart from the fact that i am committed to doing something (OCF) that simultaneously terrifies me and is something i REALLY want to do, this entire sequence of events has not been particularly easy or enjoyable for me… 😒

and i’m REALLY not sure how i would have been able to handle it if it were NOT for mushrooms.

just realised…

this year will be the first year that i have been going to the oregon country fair in which i have had ENOUGH cannabis! it’s legal in oregon, and i have a medical permit AND i still have more than a pound of buds from last year’s harvest… 😎

of course, it’s still prohibited by the fair, but everyone knows how much that is enforced. 😉

i did it

i finally went through all of my photos and found a “some random hippie” photo for every year from 2004 until the present, with the exception (for some, as-yet unknown reason) of 2010. the current trend of a picture in the mirror began in 2009.

Some Random Hippie, 2019
Some Random Hippie, 2018
Some Random Hippie, 2017
Some Random Hippie, 2016
Some Random Hippie, 2015
Some Random Hippie, 2014
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2011
Some Random Hippie, 2010 – apparently doesn’t exist… 😕
Some Random Hippie, 2009
Some Random Hippie, 2008
Some Random Hippie, 2007
Some Random Hippie, 2006
Some Random Hippie, 2005 (with Schmootzi The Clod)
Some Random Hippie, 2004

some random hippie, 2019

fair was fair:

i didn’t camp where i wanted to (right next to the stage), because my tent was too large, so i camped where i was last year, which was down in the gully behind the stage; i connected with people i only see once a year, including the bearded guy from the mighty tiny puppet theatre, whose name i don’t remember; we didn’t play at the ritz (again), however i took three saunas and got 4 tokens, one from the hat after the show (i now have 35 tokens);

2019 OCF 50th anniversary
2019 OCF 50th anniversary
i connected with the hat-lady, who said that her life had fallen apart, and then she wasn’t sure i would like my (wonderful, amazing, outrageous) hat, which is why it took her eight months to send it to me… i told her she doesn’t know me very well, and gave her many hugs to reassure her that i do, indeed, love THE HELL out of my WONDERFUL, AMAZING, OUTRAGEOUS HAT — 😍 — i stayed up way later than i should have, multiple days in a row, and i only slept through one cue, i didn’t take any pictures, because, for the most part, they would be the same pictures i have taken since i first started going to the fair, i gave away 60 “Step Into Panto-Land” buttons, mostly to people who have no idea what it meant, the electronics for my harmonic flute decided to malfunction in a way that i have to be at home to fix, so i didn’t play my harmonic flute more than a little bit, although i learned how to play another style of end-blown flute, and i’m really excited to try new stuff with PVC as a result, i was part of the group that was disinvited to the memorial service for dead fair family (the whole Fremont Players troupe was disinvited, after having exchanged numerous emails with the people organising it, which indicated that we would, indeed, be a part of the program, prior to the fair), and i don’t know why, nor will i ever, probably…

nobody knows what happened to the totem pole, that i talked to, and one person told me not to bring it up. 😒

however, barring other, cooler things happening at the same time, i’ll more than likely go back again next year. i’m still open to other suggestions, however. 😉

some random hippie, 2019
some random hippie, 2019
some random hippie, 2019
some random hippie, 2019

Some Random Hippie, 2018
Some Random Hippie, 2017
Some Random Hippie, 2016
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2011

bleah…

i’ve been under the attack of anhedonia and depression. my mushrooms have lost their potency: the last time i tried, i took 6 of them and they had, essentially, no effect at all. i connected with a person at SACBO — ranger’s connection — but she is only one step closer to the source… although she did mention that starter kits are available on ebay, and that they practically grow themselves, so that’s worth looking into.

part of the reason i have been so depressed is because of what i call the “political situation”: that is, drumpf and his latest atrocities. it just keeps on getting worse, and, when i think there’s no way he can get any worse, he blows the world away with the magnitude of his atrocities… and his republicon base of supporters get upset about a black disney princess and a pair of nike sneakers, but totally ignore the concentration camps and the gestapo Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, not to mention the totally inept people, including his own children, he’s put in charge of such things as education, housing, healthcare and the environment. it’s literally going to take us 100 years JUST to fix his fuckups, and that’s not taking into account the fact that the world is already in a crisis mode. it’s almost as though everything i’ve ever fought for throughout my entire life has been eliminated by this orange babboon in less than 3 years, and replaced with climate-change deniers, corporate stooges, forced-birth and anti-vax controversies, and so-called “christian” love, which is only for the so-called “christians”.

drumpf spent $92 million, which he appropriated from the national parks department (🤬), on a “military parade” in washington DC, complete with tanks and a flyover by the blue angels and “airforce one” — which, of course, wasn’t “airforce one” because the #SCROTUS was on the ground, observing the flyover… and the tanks were stationary, because, apparently, if they had moving tanks, they would have destroyed the streets and damaged the lincoln memorial… but the only people who could view this were his donors, because everyone else had to pay to get in… and then it rained, HARD and everything was postponed. the photos and videos i’ve seen show a very few thoroughly wet people and drumpf giving a long, boring, confusing speech that one writer i read compared to having been written by artificial intelligence, and a retired admiral said that it was on the level of an 8th grade history lesson… and the live video feeds from the top of the washington memorial, and the lincoln memorial were inexplicably shut down and removed from the whitehouse dot gov address, apparently to cover up how few people actually attended this debacle.

so, basically, we, the american people, threw away $92,000,000,000 on an egotistical, childish, boorish, dictator-emulating orange rapist with the IQ of half a rock, instead of addressing the concentration camps, or the homeless issue, or the healthcare issue, or… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

as can be well imagined, despite my love for exploding things, i take little interest in such activities in celebration of this country, this year… which is, also, at least partially, because of the fact that we now have a dog who is totally terrified of fireworks, AND a next-door neighbour who is prone to setting off a ton of fireworks which ignite their lawn, and other suchlike wonderful things. 😒

OCF is 5 days away, and i’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. by this time, we’ve usually had one run through, and have some rough idea of how long the show will be. this year, we’re nowhere close to that, despite the fact that we started out with a working script, which we created 15 years ago, when we did this show (Jack And The Beanstalk) the last time. and we’re still missing two songs, one of which is probably not going to make it into the show for OCF.

and, on top of everything else, MAD magazine is shutting down! PBLFLLT!! 😠

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…

new madness from veneta

in sanskrit (the ancient language of india), छेल (chela) means “a devotee”, and मेल (mela) means “a festival”, so छेल मेल (“chela mela”, TWO WORDS) is “a festival of devotees”.

the band of north american kalapuya “indians” (otherwise known as “native americans”) called chelamela is ONE WORD

the following pictures illustrate the fact that, at the oregon country fair, “CHELA MELA MEADOW” is TWO words… well, three, if you count the word “MEADOW”… 😕

chela mela
chela mela
chela mela
chela mela
chela mela
chela mela

i wonder if anyone else knows this. according to their own definition, this is CULTURAL APPROPRIATION!!

oh no… 😕

sombunall of the not-“native-american” artwork at the ritz is back in place, but the totem pole is nowhere to be found, and nobody knows what’s going to happen to it. the “archaeology” group (which was behind the lady who raised all the fuss last year) is still there, and still thinks we shouldn’t even have an oregon country fair, because it’s on “indian ground” (seriously, they’ve excavated a 10,000 year old camas oven from the bank of the long tom river, so there have been humans around that area for a LONG time) but the lady behind all the fuss last year was nowhere to be seen, as far as i could tell, and nobody was talking about indians feeling put out by the fair.

we didn’t play at the ritz. they didn’t make new tokens this year, so i only got one — last year’s design — in lieu of hat money, on saturday.

the fair was fun, and i’m not giving up on it, but it’s definitely time to find another therapeutic gathering in which i can get involved.

this year i took four pictures to make up for the fact that i missed a few years previously:

some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018

these were taken in order, on thursday, friday, saturday, and sunday. i also wore a djellaba and a red kufi (to piss off the cultural appropriation crowd), but i didn’t take pictures of that

Some Random Hippie, 2011
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2016
Some Random Hippie, 2017

the mac
the mac
there is a new “pirate ship” next door to the morningwood odditorium, called “The Mac”, which produces macaroni and cheese in ENORMOUS bowls. i ate there four times. they also had smoked salmon mac&cheese, and bacon brocolli mac&cheese. yum.

tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude

sunday afternoon, i found a tiny frog trying to get into my tent.

on the way home, i drove up highway 101, and stopped in newport, where i got the business card for the company that made moe’s kite that broke. now all i have to do is find the stay that broke, measure it, and send them the measurements, and they’ll make a new one for it.

when i left the fair, i ran “off the map” with my GPS, almost immediately. i tried using waze, as well, but i didn’t have reception or connectivity until i got to lincoln city. then, when i got to astoria, i turned left, instead of following the default GPS and turning right, and i got the “return to the route” message no less than TEN TIMES, before it figured out where i was going… it’s a good thing one of us knew where they were going. 😉 on the other hand, waze looked at where i was going, and figured out a new route almost immediately.

it’s weird that this post is allegedly about OCF, and the parts that i get the most amusement out of are the parts where i have left the fair. oh well… 😕

i was forced into a fecesbook moratorium, because of the lack of connectivity. it was partially deliberate — i didn’t take my tablet, and couldn’t use my phone for anything except a camera, pretty much all week — and i’m thinking very strongly that this is a good excuse to abandon fecesbook all together. it’s awful, it doesn’t do anything to improve my mood, and the only reason i was there, to begin with, was because it’s the only way to get booked at the ritz… but now that job has been foisted off on someone else (or not, i don’t care), and there’s no obvious reason to continue wasting my time with it.

OCF… woo…

i leave for OCF in seven days.

we’re probably not going to do a show at the ritz this year. it is primarily because we haven’t rehearsed any of the music that is not directly related to the show (Puss In Boots) with this iteration of the philharmonic, which includes two members that haven’t played with us for a couple of years (naoyuki on cavaquiño and flute, and brandi on vibraphone), and one completely new member (harlan on bandoneon, concertina and toy piano). once again, kiki has decided to be a cast member, which means that she’s not available to be the conductor, which falls to stuart, who has, in the past, said that he doesn’t want to be the band leader any longer. the result is that we have had NO rehearsals, which means that we’re basically going to be sight reading any preshow and intermission music, and, basically, we’ve decided that we would be, essentially, doing the same thing with a ritz show, and the ritz is definitely NOT a show that we want to do a halfway job of playing.

so, we’re not playing the ritz for the second time in three years…

i’ve become a lot more ambivalent about the oregon country fair the past few years. it seems as though there has been a lot of politics and negativity introduced in the past few years, that, with the already heavily persistent “hippie-mall” vibe, has turned the oregon country fair into a totally different beast than it was 10 years ago… of course, 10 years ago, i was still a relative “newbie” to OCF, and there were, no doubt, a lot of things happening that totally went over my head because i was still focusing on the hippy-love, twinkly lights, and the “hippy-potamus”…

i remember, distinctly, “cutting out” without checking with people, before everyone had finished breaking down the stage, last year, because i was so tired of the hippy-griping and general bad feelings that had been going on pretty much all weekend. not from my group, specifically, but from the fair, in general. a lot of it had to do with the ridiculous accusations of “cultural appropriation” that were flying around. if that happens again, this year, it may be my last year of going to the fair for a while.

which, of course, means that, along with everything else, i have to find something new to replace the medicinal high that i used to get from going to the fair. 😕

update

story pole update –according to what george braddock says, they didn’t have any native assistance during the design part. i think that’s horse-shit, but george is one of the people who would know, so i’m torn… although i’m leaning heavily in the direction of horse-shit. also, david lewis, the cultural anthropoligist from the confederated tribes of the grande ronde, obviously doesn’t know that there actually were haida people involved, and that they’ve got the blessing of both haida and kalapuya elders. not only that, but the kalapuya, who are native to the area, didn’t have permanent art, because they were nomads, so it’s not really any kind of cultural appropriation. it sounds very much like this guy is in the camp of the lady who is behind this whole thing. 😐

so, anyway…

i got back from OCF, which, apart from the fact that my email was screwed up when i left, and nothing had been done about it by the time i came back, was excellent. i left on tuesday the 4th, and returned on monday the 10th, got bit by at least 50 different mosquitoes. they were huge and ravenous this year, pretty much the same as always, but they definitely dissappeared by thursday. i don’t know whether or not it had to do with the incoming throngs of people, but there was a definite difference between the clouds of mosquitoes surrounding me on wednesday, and their dissappearance on thursday.

chela mela
chela mela
the big conversation this year was around “cultural appropriation”, specifically the “cultural appropriation” perceived by a few, very vocal, “native american” (or not) people who aren’t even associated with the fair, when The Ritz (one of my favourite places about the fair) after 5 years of carving this EXQUISITE “story pole” outside the ritz, in a very public way, decided to raise the pole.

that’s it…

the “native americans” (or not) decided, after 5 years of public carving, without saying a SINGLE WORD, that the ritz raising their “story pole” is “cultural appropriation”.

first of all, i don’t actually know anything (which is the way 90% of the fair is run, from the beginning). all i pretend to know is what other, very passionate, people, some of whom actually do “know”, have told me. but what they say is:

the lady that’s behind the cry of “cultural appropriation” is a “troublemaker” and has been for many years. she may or may not be native herself and she has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the fair, but she has made an “anti-story-pole” web site and invited other “native american” groups to rally behind her standard. a small number have actually done so.

the ritz, in response to this lady’s blandishments, have COMPLETELY REMOVED ALL of the “native american” art from the premises, taken down the boiler that had native american artwork on it, that was prominently placed at the entrance, flipped over a fence that had native american style carvings, and replaced it with “vanilla” art, taken away 90% of the T-shirts, tote bags, bandanas and other merchandise that had “inappropriate” artwork, and minted new tokens this year, as well as taking the story pole off site for the fair.

at the same time, elders from a variety of northwest tribes, including the native kalapuya tribe, and elders from standing rock, have blessed the ritz, said that the artwork, and the ritz itself, HONOURS native traditions, and that this whole “cultural appropriation” fiasco is totally unimportant, considering how many actual issues of grave importance there are facing native americans, and society at large, these days.

finally, my own opinion is that ART IS CULTURAL APPROPRIATION. people like picasso (or was it banksy?) have said “IMMATURE ARTISTS IMMITATE. MATURE ARTISTS STEAL.” ever listen to “jazz”?

not only that, but having studied, and tried to imitate, northwest native artwork, i can tell you, from personal experience, that it’s not easy at all. the guy who carved the story pole wasn’t native, himself, but he obviously had experienced and expert native assistance, as well as YEARS of personal experience, to make a story pole that looked as authentic as it did, despite having elements that would NEVER HAVE APPEARED on an authentic native pole…

which it was never presented as being in the first place! 😕

so i was intrigued when i read a blurb that was posted in “Xavanadu” (what used to be called “The Craft Lot”, outside Morningwood Odditorium), concerning why the fair decided not to raise the story pole this year. it said, among other things, that there were a band of the kalapuya tribe called “chelamela”.

i haven’t yet met anyone who knows for sure, but it was always my impression (and the sign above supports the idea) that “chelamela” was a sanskrit compound word: छेल (chela) means “a devotee”, and मेल (mela) means “a festival”, so छेलमेल (chelamela) is “a festival of devotees”.

the idea that there may have been a band of kalapuya indians called “chelamela” is intriguing to me — suspicious, but intriguing — especially considering all of this “cultural appropriation” furor that is currently going on.

apparently, it’s true… who knew? 😉 so, the next question is, who “culturally appropriated” who, here?

there wasn’t a single day in the week that i was there, when i wasn’t involved in a PASSIONATE discussion about this issue, with MANY people. it made for a REALLY INTERESTING fair…

😕

north trotter's
north trotter’s
above, is “north trotter’s” on wednesday. it’s about a mile from Morningwood Odditorium: to get there, i had to walk through fields called “Xavanadu”, “Miss Piggy”, “North Piggy” and “Kermit” to get to the “Cabal Crossing”, which is where i signed in. by friday, this ENTIRE FIELD was filled with cars. near the center of the photo, in the background, you can see a structure that marks the beginning of the exit road. on the other side of that structure is another, similar sized field, “The Dead Lot” (named for a Grateful Dead performance that happened in 1989(?) in the lot), and beyond that is another similar sized field called “Outta Site”… which is where i parked my car this year. there is a shuttle, called “F.A.R.T.S.” (Fair Area Rapid Transit System) which i had to ride if i didn’t want to walk.

bird
bird
this was the bird that was over the dead lot, one of the times i decided to walk.

anagrams of Oregon Country Fair
anagrams of Oregon Country Fair

a huge load of hippie crap
a huge load of hippie crap
on wednesday, someone delivered a huge load of “hippie crap” to “xavanadu”. they eventually assembled it all into this. at night, the “roots” lit up with rainbow crawling LEDs.

Godfrey Daniels
Godfrey Daniels
he was my next door neighbour. 😎

more huge loads of hippie crap
more huge loads of hippie crap
more huge loads of hippie crap. at night it lit up with rainbow colour-changing LEDs.

some random hippie, 2017
some random hippie, 2017
what’s wrong with this picture? 😉

Some Random Hippie, 2011
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2016

yawn

nothing except #drumpf and depression happening for the past couple of weeks.

moe stepped on zorah and dislocated her hip (zorah’s, not moe’s), which, naturally, mortified moe, and made it so that zorah has to undergo at least eight weeks of crate-rest before we will discover whether or not she has to have surgery.

the two ounces of space queen that i was gushing about is either not space queen, or, if it is, it lacks the characteristic flavour of space queen, which is one of the reasons i like it. on the other hand, it was cheap enough that i’m not going to complain. 😐

SACBO next weekend. 19th wedding anniversary on the 21st. OCF in three weeks.

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…

now that things are…

now that things are in a state which could be referred to as “normal”, if such a concept existed (which it doesn’t, but that’s a discussion for another time), i actually have the time to update this thing…

so, OCF happened: six shows in three days, with the completely predictable “no complete rehearsal, with everybody present, until the opening show”, which went surprisingly well despite everything, and worked out, once again, to be universally applauded as “the best show we’ve ever done”. the saturday that was my “birthday” included playing at the open mike and a show for naked hippies at the ritz, which has some really cool “added extras” this year, including the ability to record our set on professional level equipment, which dramatically increases the probability that there’s actually going to be a CD later in the year… 😉

there are pictures, but they’re still on my phone… and the only real disadvantage this year was the fact that i didn’t get to spend my “birthday” with my sweetie… 😕

immediately upon getting home, however, things took a turn to the chaotic side and that’s what i’m recovering from more than anything… although the fact that i’m coming off a week of unreality at OCF may, at the same time, contribute to my ability to get through the following week of chaos, and, basically, leave me with absolutely no spoons to spare, and in a really, really strange mental state.

i played a gig with snake suspenderz at ida culver house in ravenna, which is right across the street from the former home of a woman i used to work with (which has now been turned into condominiums) who was my supervisor before mike cummings, and i believe her name was laura culver… but i’m not sure, and i’m no longer in contact with anyone who might know… and it’s pointless anyway, because the real point is that the company who engaged us, ERA Living, has, once again, stiffed us in a way that i AM NOT going to allow to happen again: basically, they had me fill out the necessay paperwork back in may, and they STILL haven’t presented a check to me for the performance that happened on thursday… and it’s now saturday… not only that, but when i got there, i was told that we would also be fed, however when we approached the guy who was laying out the food, we were told that we “had to wait until the rest of the guests were served”… and when we finally got done playing, there was no more food. 😠

and that’s not to mention that there were actually two separate groups engaged — “snake suspenderz” and “hobbit and hare” — and they paid us for one hour, in spite of the fact that some of us actually performed for two hours…

and when i approached the lady that had hired us, and said “we didn’t get fed, and we didn’t get paid”, i had to hound her every step, while she tried to sidestep the issue and blame it on everyone else for an extra 30 minutes, before she agreed to go to an ATM and withdraw the money from her personal account.

once again, this is an upscale retirement home in a trendy, gentrified area north of the university district, where the residents have gold-plated nametags, which is run by a corporation that regularly deals in hundreds of thousands of dollars (at least), and they appear to have no regard for the musicians they “hire” to entertain their high-paying residents… they wouldn’t treat a caterer like this… hell, they have a caterer on staff (which didn’t improve his attitude when we wanted to eat, however), but they feel perfectly justified in STIFFING THE BAND, because anybody can blow through a heavy collection of plumbing and make sounds that are acceptable to old people… 😠

and even if (as i was repeatedly assured would happen) the check does arrive on monday, the fact is, i filled out their fecking paperwork IN MAY so that they would be able to present me a check on THE DAY OF THE PERFORMANCE, and it DIDN’T HAPPEN… AGAIN!! 😠

which leaves us in a difficult position indeed, because the people for whom we are playing both LOVE us, and, decidedly, AREN’T the ones who are (or, apparently, aren’t) paying us. if we refuse to play, the old people suffer… 😕

anyway, the day after, i had my “annual wellness check” with dr. wacka-loon, which went more-or-less as expected, and then we had eleven friends over for “game night”, which, by the time it started i was already out of spoons, and was able to hold on only through liberal application of various mind-altering substances… all of which, surprisingly, are now legal, in spite of everything. 😉

post OCF…

and despite the fact that the “real” world expects me to hit the ground running, i still haven’t quite managed it… i’ve already tackled, more or less, an erroneous water shut-off notice and ⅔ of a confirmation for a snake suspenderz gig that’s happening on thursday…

more later, but for now: two major advantages to being at home, rather than camping out at the oregon country fair: flush toilets that are mere steps away from my current location, instead of significantly used porta-pottys that are two blocks away, and refrigerated, artesian well water instead of warm, chlorinated tap water that has seen the inside of a tanker truck. πŸ˜›

damn, that’s supposed to be a disgusted face with its tongue stuck out… i’m going to have to work on that… 😐

and that’s not to mention driving for 5 hours, and unpacking from a weeks worth of camping… i still have to do several loads of laundry, put my camping gear away, and take a shower…

another advantage: cold beer. that is all.

OCF and heat

this is my official pre-OCF post for 2015, among other things.

it has been SO FUCKING HOT for the past couple of days that i haven’t been able to run either of my real “computers” except for a couple of brief periods when i had to set up a trial wordpress instance for AVBT, and then produce some simple graphics for the site. it’s been hot enough that, if i keep my computers running for more than a couple of hours, they start acting funny… and, to be honest, i don’t blame them. it’s a good thing this is a holiday weekend, and even better that we don’t have to go on a one-day road-trip to portland — the mother-in-law and her housemate are not throwing a party this year because the housemate has had another stroke recently, and isn’t in any shape to do anything but smoke cigarettes (which is what caused the first stroke), and convalesce in her air-conditioned house…

on the up side, i’m almost ready to go to OCF again this year. there have been the standard rumours of intense heat, bugs, tight camping, changes in the layout of the fair, and other stuff that may or may not actually be things that affect me… this year, for the first time since i actually started going to the fair (2004), simon will not have to put up the stage (the stage was made into a “permanent structure”, like the ritz and the main stage, last year) which means that he’ll have more time to hang around and get drunk, which may or may not be a good thing, especially since he actually has a speaking part (The Ringmaster of The Ding-A-Ling Brothers Circus) this year.

amazingly enough, i may actually post on this blog from the fair this year, because i have several technological “helpers” that i have never had before: i have a solar charger for my phone and tablet, i have access to a secure cloud storage device, and i am definitely going to take my phone, and probably going to take my tablet to the fair this year… i can just imagine sitting out in the woods and updating my blog… all i need is a wifi password, which i know they have, i just don’t know what it is… yet… and, actually, i don’t even need that, because my phone is also a wifi hotspot… it’s amazing, scary and incomprehensible, all at the same time…

until then, i’m hunkering down in my hole beside the fan, not having access to either of my “real” computers, reassuring the dogs that it will all be over soon (they don’t believe me) and hoping that by next week things will be somewhat cooler. πŸ˜›

and while i have been typing this, i got a text-message from that same mother-in-law, who informs me that she’s getting some cannabis plants tomorrow… and, yes, she lives in a place where it is currently legal on the state level… this is another thing that’s amazing, scary and totally incomprehensible, at the same time… 😐

OCF 2014

i arrived at the fair on tuesday, 140708 and returned home yesterday, 140714, which is also the 11th anniversary of my brain injury.

needless to say, i did not have another brain injury.

this year, as far as it concerns me, everything went right enough that i can consider this year’s OCF experience one of the best vacations i have ever had. things didn’t go 100% right all the time: i lost my sunglasses, there was some controversy about a new part of the theatre, there was the usual tensions regarding whether incense smoke or the odour of porta-potty was more preferable, the booking representative from the ritz didn’t communicate with me directly regarding our tokens… and it rained… but it all worked out in the end: i found my sunglasses immediately after arriving at home, the part of the theatre that was causing the controversy (a place that i called the “wheelchair-exclusion zone”) was summarily dispensed with, next year they’re going to expand the theatre (AGAIN!! πŸ˜€ ) and move the porta-potties farther from our noses, we received our tokens anyway, and it rained for almost exactly an hour, before the fair actually opened, and it was cool and cloudy all the rest of the day.

140709 Keith Neale tends bar at the Morningwood dedication

morningwood is now a permanent, year-round installation, rather than having to be taken apart and stored elsewhere during the off season — much to the relief of simon, who now gets to arrive and NOT have to spend a month moving pieces, sorting them out, and building the stage from scratch. as a part of the approval for making it permanent, there were a number of archaelogical digs in the area, and a lot of investigation into the prior use of the site. i got to participate in martini hour with some of the high-up bigwigs from archaeology, who have proved that where morningwood odditorium now stands has been a gathering place for humans for at least 10,000 years.

140709 Morningwood Odditorium

the dress rehearsal on thursday night, according to tradition(?), is the first time the show is performed in its entirity by a majority of the cast and band, and this time was no exception… what was the exception is that, for the most part, it was a much more complete show than it has been in the past. two years ago we substantially modified a significant portion of the script on friday, after the first day of performances. this year, it was, more-or-less, the same show on thursday as it was on sunday. the primary difference was that there were more lines that were forgotten on sunday than there were on thursday, which is about the least amount of hassle for the amount of entertainment we got out of it that is possible, under the circumstances. there will have to be some re-writing of the parts before december, to remove the OCF-specific references: lines like “lets go to the barter fair! best shopping at OCF!” and references to “flower children” and the ritz will have to be changed in order for our seattle audiences to make sense of the plot

140709 Morningwood Odditorium

sunday afternoon, after the last show, i was in the ritz, and a guy was leaving. he walked to the bottom of the stairs, and kept on going down. somebody asked him if he needed help, and he mumbled something which could have been “yes”, “no” or “potato”, and two or three people gathered around him. i came down from the top level, and asked if he was diabetic, to which he responded “no, well… yeah”. at that point a couple of the people ahead of me took his shoulders and started guiding him out of the sauna. we got him outside, and sat down on one of the benches outside of the sauna, and he started coming around. he said that he had been “voluntarily” lowering his blood-pressure (it sounded a lot like the kinds of things the PHBFH used to say) and that the “chanting” had put him into a “mind-space” from which he couldn’t recover… i was concerned that he may have been having a heart attack or something. i left him when the ritz’s “certified medical professional” showed up. i went by about a half-hour later and the guy and the “CMP” were still sitting on the bench, talking, but i didn’t hear any sirens or anything that might have implied that he was taken away in an ambulance. i imagine that they have pretty regular medical “emergencies”, especially considering that they let pretty much anybody in to the sauna, regardless of how drunk, high, handicapped or screwed up they are, so they must, either, be pretty good at dealing with these emergencies, or are even better at covering them up. considering that it is OCF, either one is a good option.

140709 Simon and Keith Neale, unknown martini-drinker, and the guy who taught the horse's ass to tap-dance... no, really!
140709 Simon and Keith Neale, unknown martini-drinker, and the guy who taught the horse’s ass to tap-dance… no, really!

there are more pictures, which, if i get around to it, will be posted on flickr.

wtf?

okay, it’s the 30th of june and i haven’t been ranting about SACBO (which happened last weekend) and OCF (which occurs in a little more than a week)…

WTF, ‘eh?

oh, yeah… i’ve also got a parade in darrington with the fighting instruments of karma on the 4th of july. unfortunately, i believe my mother-in-law is coming for the whole weekend, rather than us going to see her, so it won’t get me out of seeing her, as i believed it would… oh well…

fact is, i am pretty apathetic about the whole thing this year. i’ve got a few photos from SACBO, which i haven’t looked at myself, and once the phil got its ritz performance time confirmed (which was last month), i really can’t be arsed to care very much. it will, undoubtedly, be all screwed up by the time i arrive at OCF, and, even if it isn’t, it’ll all be over soon anyway…

ned has decided that he can’t see me any longer. i’ve got two more appointments with him before eight years of “counselling” goes up in smoke. the people he recommended can’t help me, and when he said that they could contact him, they responded by saying that they are restrained by HIPAA from contacting him about me, even if i ask them to… it all has to do with medicare (which i have, but doesn’t include “mental health” coverage) and medicaid (which i don’t have, but which does include “mental health” coverage). apparently the company he works for now (which used to be part of the “public health” system, but is now a privately run company called navos) decided that they are only going to accept medicaid payments, and because of the fact that i don’t have medicaid, i’m being tossed out on my ear. now, technically, i don’t need to see a counsellor for anything any longer… apparently that requirement went away when i qualified for disability (which includes medicare), and i’m doing fairly well, recently, which means that, theoretically, i could just dump ned after two more appointments and be done with it… but… i’ve been in counselling for a LONG time, and it doesn’t feel right to just throw it away… not only that, but moe seems to think that, despite the fact that most of what ned and i talk about these days is frivolous stuff, it would be a good idea to continue in counselling… and i don’t totally disagree with her.

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.

meh

i’m still alive and kicking, however at this point, whenever i think about posting anything the “meh” takes over.

i played for NANDA‘s 10th anniversary in the balloon hangar at ft. worden, which is now called the “McCurdy Pavillion”. 35 years ago, when i first came across it, it was a mouldy, forgotten world war II relic, taken over by the navy, that had been officially abandoned for 10 years or so. it’s amazing what a little bit of paint and a few hundred thousand dollars can do to a place. i spent saturday morning re-visiting the sacred sound-spaces with which i have become so familiar over the past 35 years, played music with members of my karass, and slept in a motorhome in port townsend. if i had my way, i would have spent quite a bit more time exploring the subterranean vaults, but i had to get thaddeus back so that he could take care of his obligations. i noticed, however, that port townsend is a little more than an hour’s drive from here, which (on heavy traffic days) is not that much further than seattle, which has got me wondering why i don’t get out to port townsend more frequently.

along the same lines, i have been in discussion with eben, clayton and andrew (the leader, and the two other tuba players for the fighting instruments of karma, respectively), and it has been more or less decided that i am now the “official” tuba player for the SANCApators. SANCA is a place in georgetown that is most known for its “School Of Flight”, but offers a variety of classes for all levels, including “drop in” classes in trapeze (the idea of which makes me wonder a little). they have classes in a number of pursuits that, i think, would be both fun and “therapeutic”, such as tumbling, acrobatics, juggling and so forth… it would be interesting to take classes there, but i would have to be sure that they knew about my brain injury, and talk with them about how it would be accounted for.

i’ve got 3 snake suspenderz gigs in the next three weeks: one at horizon house, which we played for a couple of years ago, one at university house, wallingford, which i booked in spite of objections from hobbit, and one at SACBO. the day SACBO starts, i am also going to be showing off my art car at the LeMay Automotive Museum with a whole bunch of other “car-tists”.

through sheer, stubborn will and determination, i got the fremont phil booked at the ritz at OCF before OCF, for the first time EVER… now, instead of wondering when we’re going on, and not knowing until 15 minutes before it actually happens (like what happened last year), we know, ahead of time, that we’re going on at 7:00 pm, saturday, 12th july, and OCF hasn’t even started yet! now, insha’llah, barring unforseen (and 51% likely, due to HIF) other circumstances, we actually know when we’re going to be playing at the naked hippie sauna… 😎

OCF afterglow

πŸ™‚

i got back from OCF yesterday.

apparently i got a call from gliz about business cards when i was out of town a while ago (when i went to heppner, possibly?), but i had never done them, and forgotten about them, so when i got a call from gliz this morning about “where are my business cards?” i was a bit taken aback… but i believe i handled it very well, starting with an apology for spacing out on them whenever it was that he originally called about them, and then making arrangements to have them printed post haste…

i must take a REAL camera to OCF next year. this year i only took my phone, which was a big mistake: lack of disk space, weird focusing rules, practically no control over the shutter speed and no tripod mount are the primary difficulties… i got some decent quality pictures, but nowhere near as many as i would have if i had a real camera.

there were prayer wheels made out of 50-gallon drums yellow kid!
Gospodor's Monument

and more pictures, if anyone is truly interested.

getting ready for OCF

i’ve been consciously getting ready for OCF for a couple of weeks now — it strikes me very odd that OCF and OCD are so similar…

i bought a cot which will raise me off the cold ground by a few inches, but will still fit into my tube-tent, which means that i will not have to deal with blowing up a mattress that will just need blowing up again before the night is over. i’ve got out my trippy-toy that you hold over your eyes and blow into… and try not to fall over when you get hyperventilated and/or see the trippy patterns that it makes. i’ve got two boxes of camping gear, including my tent, poles and stakes, tarps, plastic end-clips, paracord, bungee cords, therma-rest, sleeping bag, hatchet, and machete (only don’t tell anyone, especially simon), my box of sound effects, including a dozen self-inflating whoopie cushions, my didjeri-flute, microphone, digital delay and amplifier (so that i won’t have to figure out how to hook into the sound system at the last minute, like i did last year), and my tuba and requisite gear (music, chair, folding stand, battery-powered light, spare batteries)…

this is as much a list of things i have to bring, in order to pinpoint any things that i might have forgotten as much as it is anything else…

i’m still not decided whether i’m leaving on tuesday or wednesday… i’m leaning steadily towards tuesday, but i might change my mind at some point… i’m coming back monday, with seanjohn, so i have to make sure i’ve got enough room for his gear as well as mine.

tomorrow is monday. i’ve got a rehearsal tomorrow evening at 7:30, and i want to go to the leather store in the pike place market to see if they have utility belts, so that i will have a belt to carry all my utilities in… the next day is tuesday. at best, i’m leaving around 8:00 am or thereabouts. i may actually stay and go to a sousa band rehearsal tuesday evening, and if i do, then i’m leaving around 8:00 am wednesday.

now…

i was going to post yesterday, but then i spent two nights ago not sleeping very well and having dreams that i wished i wasn’t having — and waking up on more than one occasion, specifically to end a particularly annoying dream, only to have it resume, more or less, when i succeeded in getting back to sleep — so when i finally got up yesterday i was already in a sour mood… and then i turned on my computer and the sour mood increased about ten-fold, which was not made any better by the fact that i couldn’t get my backups to work the way i wanted to, because of the fact that the crack used a “new, different” way of intruding, which the host provider was less than forthcoming about explaining…

i actually had everything fixed by 11:00 am or so, but my mood was so bad, and it was so hot, that, by that time, all i wanted to do was watch the god-damned-noisy-box, smoke cannabis and drink… first mountain dew, then water, then beer. seriously, the temperatures have been in the low-90s and upper-80s, but it has been more humid than i have ever seen before (around here, it’s par for the course in illinois and alabama), and the overall effect is that the temperature is oppressively hot, which made the god-damned-noisy-box even more inviting… if i had a swimming pool, it be a lot better…

but, unfortunately, if i had a swimming pool, realistically, it would only get used a week or so a year, and the rest of the time i would have to maintain it… so it’s probably better this way… it’s a lot more realistic to dream of a sauna, because i’d use that year round EXCEPT for the really hot days…

anyway, if i had posted yesterday, this would have been that post:

the oregon country fair is in a little more than a week. i had in mind to distribute QR code stickers for music at the fair, but they haven’t even contacted me with a shipping date yet, and i placed the order almost a month ago. so THIS is the reason why NOT to use StickerRobot when time is sensitive. they may make the best stickers in the world (for all i know, they haven’t delivered them yet), but if a simple, square, black-and-white sticker takes them a month, i am less than impressed.

the panto this year is Dick Whittington, which i have wanted to do for two years now. it should be a great show, although i haven’t seen it yet. we’ve got some of the music, we’re getting more tonight, and, as usual, we’re probably going to get new music when we arrive at the fair… at this point, the fact that we’ve never performed the panto all the way through, even once, doesn’t faze me very much… we have almost exactly the same routine every year, and it invariably comes out on the other end as a finished work of art. the real fun is working together to make it a work of art… and the reactions of the audiences when we perform.

a long, rambling post about OCF

i screwed up my leg immediately before the fair, so my original intent of going down to help with the construction of the stage was pretty much shot before i even started, but i went on tuesday anyway, basically, as i said, because i can, but also because i knew that i would have an easier time actually making it to camp on tuesday than i would on wednesday, and i was entirely correct. i didn’t have a vehicle permit (they cost $20, and allow one to park in the SCOF lot, but they don’t go on sale until wednesday), however i talked my way into a “full load teddy” which is a document that allows you to drive into “the eight” (or, in my case, into chelamela meadow), so i didn’t have to unload my gear, load it onto a “gator”, and then unload it again at the stage (which is what you have to do if you don’t know how to wheedle a “full load teddy” out of the hippies whose job it is not to give you such a document)… having an obvious limp due to a recent leg injury definitely helps. i unloaded at the stage and went out again and parked my car in the lot called “miss piggy” (there is also a lot called “kermit”). wednesday i got up early and went to get my wrist band cut off, and to buy a vehicle permit, which got me into SCOF lot a lot easier than the lady who sold the permit to me said it was going to be… πŸ˜‰

tuesday and wednesday i basically spent taking it easy, setting up my camp, and walking slowly, with a pronounced limp, which had gone away by the time thursday came around.

camp sitewhen i finally got unloaded and back to the stage, i was in for a major shock. the oregon country fairgrounds had experienced a late snowfall last winter, and it had brought down a whole bunch of trees in our camping area, which meant that (oh, horror of horrors!) i had to find a completely new place to camp this year. not only was what was left of my campsite already taken, but the rest of it, and two or three other camp sites adjacent to what used to be mine, were completely filled with tree-detritus, or actual fallen trees. simon and kenny took up what used to be my camp site, and i was forced to find camping in “new jersey” (which is the camping area in front of the stage). i did manage to find a spot that was enough like my previous place that i was able to pretty much duplicate the camp site from last year, with a few differences — the overhead was a little higher, and the path to my camp site lead through a bunch of other camp sites, and was separated from the path by a rope on which curtains and blankets had been hung, to obscure the camping area from casual view.

Lightsit was a much more subdued fair this year, without anywhere near as many twinkly, sparkly things as in previous years. i’m sure at least part of it was because, prior to the fair, some of the fair “big wigs” were taking a joy ride, thanks to a pilot who was apparently “one of them”, over the fair, and were involved in a plane crash in which everybody was killed. i didn’t know any of them, but a lot of people knew at least one, and some people knew more than one of them, so i understand why things were more than ordinarily subdued.

the shows were… interesting. we did a mashup called “Sleeping Beauty and The Magic Pea”. they were all, very definitely, good, even the ones where nobody could remember their lines and all of the music cues got screwed up. apparently none of the fair-going public noticed… which is to be expected, more or less (after all, the audience doesn’t know the show ahead of time), but the first 3 shows were definitely more rough than the last 3 were. this is primarily because norma (who wasn’t in the show this year), essentially, publically shamed simon into learning his lines (her specific words were “simon, you need to learn your lines, because it’s making everybody else look bad”). i understand that simon has been having quite a few personal difficulties the past few months, but we’re a more-or-less “professional” theater group, and “the show must go on”… once everybody (and it very definitely wasn’t just simon) learned their lines, and the music cues were straightened out, it turned into a finished production very quickly, and, once again, i can say that i’m proud to be a part of the crew that turns out shows like this. 8)

Ritz & Rati sought out Lem, who is one of the guys responsible for booking acts for the Ritz, early in the fair (i think it was wednesday or thursday) and he said that he would be sure to book the philharmonic for saturday at 7:00 pm… which actually happened! we finished our 3:00 show (at 4:10, as usual) on saturday, and i threw all of my stuff together, lashed my tuba to a convenient set of wheels (actually, moe gave me a collapsible hand cart a couple of years ago, which works perfectly for an instrument of this size and girth) and made it up to the ritz by 4:30, where i proceded to sauna until it was time to perform. then, when it was all over, i put my gear away and had some more sauna, and still got out of the ritz before it became crowded. i got 3 tokens this year: one that i bought, one that i earned for playing at the ritz (which was a brand new one, minted this year), and one that i earned as “hat money” after the final show. i now have a “pirate stash” of ritz tokens… πŸ˜‰ an average of two per year for the past 9 years. the ritz has a stylised eagle sculpture in front, and this year someone had put a stuffed rat in its beak… which was amusing in a vaguely disturbing way.

and, once again, playing “Il Ballo Di Qua-qua”, naked, for a bunch of naked hippies who were all doing The Chicken Dance, was one of the major highlights of the entire weekend. i would pay to do a performance like that… seriously! 8)

signsthe “new” tuba was an interesting experience. because of the two or three rehearsals that we had pre-fair, i had a reasonably good idea of what i was in for, and busking before the fair also solidified my confidence, but there were a couple of instances where i KNEW that “the information is in there” (pointing to my brain), and all that is necessary is for me to re-establish the connectons that got screwed up when i had my injury. there were a couple of times, specifically, where i was asked something about transposition, fingerings, and my tuba: i answered without thinking, and at the same time, i was thinking exactly the opposite of what i just said… i thought about what i had said, and considered it against what i had just been thinking, before i decided that what i had said was actually correct, in spite of the fact that what i had been thinking at exactly the same time was incorrect… it happened one time, i noticed it, and figured that it may have just been a coincidence, but then it happened again within a 24 hour period, and that convinced me (if i needed convincing to begin with) that “the information is in there” and it is my job to re-establish the connections so that information will be free again.

other stuff happened, but i will probably write about them some other time.

i left on tuesday, and returned on monday. the week went way too quickly, ended much too suddenly, and left me with major withdrawal symptoms. more pictures can be seen here.

back

tired.

going through withdrawal.

it was very interesting. i have a much better handle on the C tuba. norma made simon cry. it all worked out for the best, though, and we have a reasonably complete show for december… as usual.

more later, when things are more settled.

leaving for OCF

despite the fact that i appear to have screwed up my right leg pretty substantially, yesterday (i was wearing my vibram five-fingers and i was running for a bus, one minute i was running normally, and the next minute i was hopping up and down on one foot – the left one – while screaming in agony… i caught the bus, though), i am leaving for OCF today, rather than tomorrow. at least half of the reason why i am leaving today is BECAUSE I CAN! at least half of the rest of the reason is that i’ll have a much more difficult time driving in to the camp tomorrow, than i would today, and even though my leg feels quite a bit better, i’m still limping on and off, and i don’t think i’d be able to schlep all of my gear ¾ of a mile into the camp without injuring myself even more…

anyway, see you next week, with a bunch of pictures and stories. it’s going to be interesting! 8)

tubaaaaaa! 8)

we went busking today, which went WAY better than i anticipated. there were even a couple of tunes that i got about halfway through before i realised that i thought i was using the E♭ fingerings (i.e. what would have been the wrong notes), but it sounded right anyway… and then i realised that, if it sounded right,then i probably wasn’t using the E♭ fingerings, at which point i tried to find my place in the music, which i had lost track of making all of these unexpected realisations, and when i couldn’t find my place in the music, i just played what came naturally and it sounded right… so i think i may have found at least part of the right connection which was screwed up when they started messing around inside my skull. 8)

and all of these realisations make me a lot more comfortable about going to OCF. after 7 shows in 3 days, i’ll probably be playing the C tuba as though i had been playing it my entire life… 8)

my obligatory pre-oregon country fair post

we had our second rehearsal with about half the cast for the panto last night. the other half either weren’t there because they have already left for the fair, or they had “other obligations”, but one way or the other, it’s evident that we’re basically going to do the same thing this year that we have in past years, which is NOT have a show ready when we open at the fair. other people have taken to referring to it as the “oregon country theatrical workshop”, because basically we have made a habit of going in to it with sort of a half-baked idea for a show, and coming out of it with a more-or-less fully realised show.

what makes it extra scary exciting for me, this year, is that i am, essentially, learning a new instrument. it’s an instrument with which i am fairly familiar, and if left to myself, i can play it quite well, but, when other people are involved, the fingerings are all screwed up, and i have to learn new fingerings. unfortunately, it’s not a “logical” transposition (i.e. “up a fifth” or “down a fourth”) it’s “down a full step”, which means that Bb is equal to Ab, and C is equal to Bb. it would be a lot easier if i were to have “transposed” parts, but tubas aren’t supposed to be transposing instruments, which means that i have to learn the fingerings, rather than having my parts transposed for me (as i have in the past, with my Eb tuba). it’s better for me in the long run, because once i learn, i’ll be able to play music with anyone, but in the short run (meaning “at the oregon country fair”) it’s going to mean that i’m not going to be able to play anything like as well as i can, and want to… 😐

needless to say, i WILL NOT be playing Rubber Duckie at the ritz this year… 😐

they’ve been threatening to saying that they’re going to modify chela mela meadow for the past couple of years, to give us more of an actual theater space, and less of a “roadside attraction” with thousands of non-audience-members wandering past our audience, while we are trying to distract the audience. they haven’t done anything yet (meaning, within the past couple of years), but there’s a very strong possibility that the morningwood stage with which we are so familiar will be moodged around in some way or another. there’s also a fairly good possibility that nothing, whatsoever, will have been done since last year, and everything will be exactly the same, but i don’t know.

after busting my balls trying to find another passenger who need a ride to the fair, it appears that both of my “very strong possibilities” have decided that they’re going to drive themselves this year, so i am driving myself (boo!), which means that i’m leaving on tuesday (yay!)…

a very dangerous objectbecause of the fact that i’m taking, essentially, two-and-a-half times as much tuba, i’m not sure whether i’m going to take all of my sound effects… they’re all in a shipping-sized box, so taking only some of them would be a little more difficult than taking all of them, but taking none of them would be orders of magnitude easier… i don’t know if any of them will be used, however (sort of like how they weren’t used last year), and with that much more tuba, it’s questionable whether or not they’d even be missed.

i’ve settled on the place that’s going to tint the back windows of my car, but because of the fact that they’ve had not-professionally-installed tint on them in the past (which was removed before i bought the car), the back windows are all skundged up with glue residue which will have to be completely scraped off before new, professionally-installed tint will adhere correctly, and if the back windows aren’t scraped clean, the new, professionally-installed tint will not adhere correctly… which means that instead of getting my car windows tinted before going to the fair, i now have to wait until after the fair, and pay an extra $100 to the people who are going to clean the windows before tinting them… and all of this because i keep my tuba in the back of my car and i don’t want it to wander off with someone who sees it there while i am off doing something else.

interesting

i recently found out that the person known as John Michael Greer, the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, and reputed to be one of 21st Century America’s most noted occultists, is the same john michael greer with whom i went to college, between 1979 and 1981. i wonder if the way i feel about this is anything like the people who were personal friends of aleister crowley felt… i wonder if it’s even appropriate to feel this way.

snake suspenderz has a gig this evening at the horizon house, which is the same place that my elderly, brain injured client lives. i haven’t heard anything from him since a couple of months ago, when there was a problem with his power supply that turned out to be a motherboard issue, and then i stopped hearing from him… so i don’t know whether he got another computer, or what, but he doesn’t know that i’m going to be playing music there this evening, so things might get a little “interesting”…

SACBO is saturday. snake suspenderz is playing, and i may put some more paint on my car, depending on when snake suspenderz decides to show up, and whether or not the weather coöperates. the weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow, so i may paint some more tomorrow, as well.

moe needs my help trimming sheep feet tomorrow… trimming sheep feet? and i’m supposed to be holding the sheep, while she trims their feet… we’ll see how that goes. πŸ˜‰

snake suspenderz has two gigs on sunday. we play in the early afternoon at the burien wild strawberry festival (which i attended with an art-car caravan, a few years ago, and was witness to the guy selling gold jewelry next to my car getting ripped off by a pre-teenaged doodlehum), and then, in the evening, we play at the can-can, along with the Wanderlust Circus, featuring my friend noah, from portland.

OCF is looming, and we haven’t had even one rehearsal. i don’t even know what play we’re doing… the princess and the pea? rapunzel? rumplestiltskin? a mash-up? this is definitely going to be an interesting year…

2011 Oregon Country Fair

meadow lightsthere’s only so many pictures i can take of essentially the same thing… except for meadow lights. i could take endless pictures of them, because they’re all different in some way or another. i suppose you could say the same thing about two pictures of anything else, taken a year apart, but i’ll ignore that, for now.maque-animée
animated Maque, with Lindsay, backstage at the Morningwood Odditorium, OCF, 2011
i left on tuesday with myron and marilyn, and stayed with marilyn’s daughter, son-in-law, and their two kids, in their HUGE house in portland. siri (marilyn’s daughter) is a cello player, and her husband (whose name i don’t remember) is a music professor at one of the colleges that is not Reed, in the area. their house has at least 3 floors (they may have a basement, i didn’t check) in a very nice area, in the eastern part of town, near a catholic school/convent (for monique, who doubtlessly knows where i am talking about). we had breakfast at the Cadillac Café, and hit the road around 10:00 or so, which meant that we arrived at the fair around noon on wednesday.

there was the standard, and expected “hippy ineptitude factor” in play at the gate, but they actually had me listed under the correct spelling of my name this year (which is a miracle!), and, apart from waiting in line for an hour or so, it was nothing out of the ordinary… and we didn’t even need a “full load teddy” to drive in to morningwood, even though, technically, we had to have one (reminder for next year: get a full load teddy after getting wrist-banded, and before heading back to the car. grumpy said so.). wednesday and thursday were somewhat of a blur, because there were the “traditional” things; getting my camp set up, making runs to various cars to get things that had been forgotten, building up the last bits of backstage that hadn’t been done yet, finding out which showers were open (the ritz was open, but very crowded because only the showers in the front half were accessible), and that kind of thing, along with the mental adjustments necessary to go from the “normal” world to the “fantasy” world, and having to figure out how to deal with the unexpected things, like the baby robins that were not quite fledged, and nesting in the tree right next to the bandstand that we didn’t want to scare.baby robins seriously, they were cheeping and flapping around more or less effectively in the tree on wednesday, and thursday, and we were not sure what was going to happen when thousands of people and an amplified sound system started working right next to their nest, but all three of them were out of the nest by the time the gates opened at 10:00 friday morning.

we had a final dress-rehearsal on thursday, which was more like a “run through”, that was about as raw and unfinished as anything i’ve ever seen from the group, and despite the fact that we had all the music, we ended up cutting one of the songs, because the actor who was supposed to sing it hadn’t learned the words (no names – you know who you are). but despite the fact that the dress rehearsal well and truly SUCKED, it had come together surprisingly well by noon on friday… so well, in fact, that several people in the group (including me) expressed their extreme relief that the “run through” on thursday hadn’t been an indication of what the show was really going to be like. and it just got better from there. i remember saying that last year’s show was the best we have done so far, and that is what i say about this year’s show as well. not that all of the parts were totally memorised, but those that weren’t were skillfully covered, and nobody noticed. the jokes were as funny, and as fresh as ever, and there was the expected, and the unexpected in the proper quantities to make it easy to riff off the stuff that we didn’t have quite down yet, and easy to learn the stuff that we didn’t have quite down yet.

Long Fluteof course there was also the standard “horseplay” or “messing with peoples’ minds” or what-have-you, which included the dozen whoopie-cushions that i brought and distributed, and the “hippy fishing” that i participated in — after sunset, take a glow-stick and tie it to some black rigging twine, and toss it out into the path. when some stoned hippy tries to pick it up, yank on the string. — as well as four days, one more than the actual fair, where i went out and “hid” somewhere along the path, at night, with my cape, so that people couldn’t immediately tell that i was a human being, and played my long flute… which, i have more or less decided, with the help of those people who noticed me, in spite of the fact that i was “hiding”, is called a “didjeri-flute”. fossil-fool with maquei met a whole bunch of musicians, some of whom i have met before, but none of whose names i remember. there was the guy with the bright red sousaphone from the fighting instruments of karma, who is not the guy with the bright silver sousaphone from the fighting instruments of karma that i have run into in previous years. the bass player that i met at the ritz, and “fossil fool” the rock-the-bike rider/rapper were also memorable. and there were stories of famous people like steve weber from the holy modal rounders (stuart was out wandering around and he came across a band playing in the path, and a guy walked up to him and, forcefully, told him to take his guitar out of the case and play. it turned out that the guy was steve weber), and chris chandler, and bill kreuzmann, and a famous oud player being at the fair this year.

band plays the ritzthe ritz was kind of a trip this year. i was there on thursday evening when simon contacted lem, the guy in charge of booking acts for the ritz, and i told them that we wanted the saturday, 8:00 or 9:00 slot. lem took simon’s phone number and said he would call, because the staff at the ritz was really anxious to have the phil play there again this year. however, friday came and went without any word from lem. saturday, we were informed that we had been offered the midnight slot at the ritz, which was then changed to 6:00. we jumped on 6:00 and they said they’d get back to us, but when 4:30 came around and we hadn’t heard anything, we decided that we’d better go up to the ritz, just on the off chance that we actually had been scheduled for 6:00 and they’d forgotten to tell us (which would not be out of the question by any means). we got there and discovered that we were expected, which was a relief that was quickly dashed when another band showed up and it turned out that they were also “expected” to play at 6:00. after about a half-hour of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off, kim from the sauna, the person who is actually responsible for booking bands at the ritz, showed up, and it was decided that we would play at 6:00 saturday, and the other band would play at 6:00 sunday. the upshot is that i gave kim from the sauna my phone number, and talked with her extensively. she said that, primarily because of the fact that we played “Il Balon di Qua-qua” (otherwise known as “The Chicken Dance”) they were really anxious to have us back next year, and she actually said that we would be in the 7:30 saturday slot next year, and that she would call me to confirm that closer to the actual event. i got four ritz tokens this year: one that i bought, one that i found on the path(!), one that i got instead of “hat money”, and one from playing at the ritz. i now have 15 tokens. 8) yeah, i know that i could use them in the sauna, but i like keeping them as souvenirs instead.

weird cardsaturday afternoon, i was sitting on stage next to my tuba, before a performance, and some guy came up and handed me a laminated card — similar to the “photo id” card that some people (including me) wear instead of a wrist-band — and said “i think you dropped this”. i took it and looked at it, and it was clearly not mine, so i said “no, i didn’t”, to which he replied “well, you have now…” and walked off into the crowd. the laminated card had the “Pre-Post Sideshow Circus” logo that i had seen on a number of the “security” peoples’ t-shirts prior to that time, and the other side had a picture of a sousaphone player. i subsequently learned that this was a souvenir as well, which would explain why the guy who gave it to me seemed to have about 50 laminated cards on the lanyard around his neck.

morningwood without awningthe fair ended on sunday, and we left on monday. sunday evening was full of whoopie-cushions, hippy fishing, playing my didjeri-flute, smoking a lot of cannabis, wandering and hanging out with my friends. monday morning i got up, broke camp and helped them take down the stage. we left the fair around noon, and i got home around 6:00. sasha and stuart showed up with my two “heavy” boxes yesterday. the weather clouded up on the way home, and it has been raining on and off since then… it’s probably a good thing i came home when i did.

there are more pictures for those who are interested.

another week closer to the eschaton…

this week has been spent at the Oregon Country Fair, so regardless of how many new indications that the eschaton is eminently upon us there are (and i’m sure that there are very many indeed), thankfully, i have no evidence of it apart from the hippie ineptitude factor that is common at such events.

eventually i will write about my experiences this week, and i guarantee, if the eschaton doesn’t actually happen between now and then, that there will be more next week.

oh, and happy “birthday” to me… that’s what i get for being born on february 29th… actually i’m coming up on my 13th birthday, even though i’m 51 this year. everyone else my age is waltzing into middle age and i am just reaching puberty! whee…

obligatory OCF post

this will be my 8th OCF. i’m leaving on tuesday, getting a ride with myron and marylin, and arriving on wednesday, after staying with their kids in portland, and returning monday, which is more or less exactly what i wanted… if it had been exactly what i wanted, i would have arrived on tuesday, but when relying on the good graces of others to provide my transportation, i can’t be as picky as i would be otherwise. i’m also going to send a couple of boxes of “heavy gear” with sasha, who is going to be stopping by on monday, so that the car-top carrier won’t get overloaded.

this year’s production is Peter Pan. as it is now a tradition, we are going to have the first – and final – “complete” run-through of the panto at the fair, on thursday, and we’ll be doing two shows a day, at 12:00 noon, and 3:00 pm, in the “purpose built” Morningwood Odditorium, friday through sunday for (presumably) paying audiences. at the rehearsal i attended yesterday, we didn’t have all of the music, and the lyrics hadn’t yet been written for most of the songs… i wonder if those (presumably) paying audiences are aware of what is waiting in store for them… actually, my impression is that most of them have either seen our performances before, or don’t care, because they’ve ingested some combination of drugs and/or alcohol and are oblivious… and the ones who are neither of the aforementioned groups are usually the ones who actually pay us the most.

and, in spite of everything: in spite of the long lines for the porta-potties, and long lines for breakfast and lunch, and the long lines for the showers, and the overpriced food, and the “hippie ineptitude factor” — in spite of the fact that it is a “hippie mall” with all the trimmings and a “footd court”, i’m actually looking forward to going again this year, in spite of the fact that i was full of trepidation when i first went to the fair.

by the way, in order to circumvent the aforementioned “hippie ineptitude factor”, simon has arranged for my pass to be under the name “Harry Smith”, because they don’t seem to understand anything else… πŸ˜‰

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…

damn… etc.

i transferred the photos from last week, from two cameras on to a USB flash disk which turned out to be corrupt, which means that i lost about half of the photos i took from last week… so instead of around 200 photos, i was only able to post around 100, which can be seen here. it turns out that even the photos that i was able to save lost some of their exif information, so they all say that they were taken last night or this morning, which isn’t true, but at least i didn’t lose the image information.

so, anyway, i went to OCF last week. we were going to leave monday, but chris decided that he didn’t want to leave the day after the 4th of july, so we left on tuesday instead. the trip down was uneventful, except for the fact that because i wasn’t driving i was able to take a few photos of things that i have seen before, but been unable to take photos of them. unfortunately, all but one of them fell afoul of the disk corruption, so i didn’t get them anyway.

nichole the sailmakermorningwood odditorium was a lot further along than i anticipated: all of the “heavy construction” was done (i.e. the stage was complete and most of the rigging had been completed when we got there), but there were a couple of sailmakers, nichole and somebody else who had a very strange, russian sounding name that i don’t remember (but who was, apparently, not russian or anything like it, judging by her accent, which sounded like it came from the midwest of america), who had more or less taken over the stage, because it was “the perfect place” to do the kind of things sailmakers do, so we got to work around, and watch the sailmakers do their thing, which was actually really interesting and i learned a lot about how machine sewing works in general, which will probably do me some good the next time i have to sew something.

big brown batmorningwood was blessed by two rather unusual guests thursday and friday. the first was a big brown bat, who roosted backstage left thursday afternoon. while i was taking pictures of him, he roused himself and looked at me with a bleary expression, and yawned before going back to sleep, which was intensely cute. rainforest skinkthen, on friday, a rainforest skink and i crossed paths backstage. here is another photo of him from a different site. i’m not sure, but it may be that skinks are not native to the northwest united states, so it’s possible that this guy escaped from captivity, but one way or the other, we crossed paths at the fair, which was cool.

BBWP FTW (as they say) at the friday night fire show. on thursday there was what was supposed to be a “dress” rehearsal that we attended, but it wasn’t a “dress” rehearsal, because only about half of the acts were actually lit (we weren’t one of them), and the acts that were lit were going first, regardless of where they appeared in the show. macque managed to sweet-talk the production manager into letting us go early, and when we were done, somebody came up to us and said that the performance was “too long” and that we would have to cut something out. we debated with them for about 10 minutes, but they were relentless in their desire to cut something from our five-minute performance. we were convinced that they didn’t understand the performance, since we hadn’t lit up anyway, so we said we would cut something and promptly forgot about it once they were gone. unfortunately, i didn’t get any pictures (and this time it was not because of disk corruption), but there were 10 acts, and, for 9 of them, the audience was respectful, and applauded at appropriate times, but when BBWP came out and chris started with “GENTLEMEN, BEND OVER!” there was an immediate response while the glamazons were lighting our dongy-things, and the laughter and applause just escalated, repeatedly, from there: with the “reveal”, again when we lit our boobs and again when we started swinging our “tassels”. i really wonder what the person who had said that we had to cut our act thought of the performance that stole the show, but after thursday night, i never actually saw her again. one of my buckets fell apart during the performance, but nobody noticed, and i was able to limp off stage without breaking something important. the lady from B. Coole Designs watched us rehearsing before the show and said that she could make team patches for us, which is probably going to happen.

psycho-spiritual rejuvenation for allthe fact that the oregon country fair is very similar to a mall in a lot of ways was driven home to me by a card saying “BUY MORE STUFF” that was given to me by sasha and stuart, who had gotten it from a stilt-clown with a sign that said “HURRY”. it made me think a lot about why i was there, despite the aura of “Psycho-Spiritual Rejuvanation For All” that overshadows the fair. it also gave me an idea for making buttons and stickers that say, alternately “BE AWARE” and “BEWARE”, which i’m probably going to do.

while i was on my way up to the ritz saturday night i ran into Anne Feeney, whose album with Chris Chandler called Live from The Wholly Stolen Empire is one of my all-time favourites. she was looking for a trombone player and zeroed in on the fact that i was carrying a trombone case. she invited me to play with her at the midnight show on the main stage. i decided that, much as i really appreciated the offer, that i didn’t want to do it, because she wasn’t actually scheduled to go on until 2:30, which would have meant standing around backstage in a mosquito-infested swamp (which is what the OCF mainstage is, even under the best of circumstances) for a couple of hours, waiting to go on and play one song, which i didn’t know, and probably wouldn’t get an actual part for at all… but to be given the invitation to be in the midnight show by anne feeney, just by itself, is one of the reasons i’ll be back next year, in spite of the general attitude of “BUY MORE STUFF”.

thank you for being usi was very careful and conscientious, and made liberal use of DEET, and actually didn’t get any mosquito bites at all…

… until sunday night, when i was packing up my tarp, which i thought was going to take much less time and be an easier job than it turned out to be. still, i came home with only about seven bites, and because of the fact that i had taken a sauna sunday night, after getting the bites, they didn’t itch at all.

next year i’ve got to get Snake Suspenderz to the fair. i don’t know what’s happening with the phil, although i’m pretty sure that whatever happens, they’re going to be the musical accompaniment for the fremont players, but at the same time, i think Snake Suspenderz would be a good way to go in general.

meadow lights

return from OCF

i have returned, but i’ve got a lot of stuff to catch up on: unpacking, dealing with 450 email messages (most of which are spam or freecycle offers that are from last week), laundry, i’ve got to find out about the wanna-be art-car, i’ve got about 200 pictures to sort out, and i’ve got to get started on fixing the holes in the floor (which i said i would do a couple of months ago).

ocf was definitely fun: i got my picture in the peach pit, BBWP stole the fire show friday night, we played at the ritz saturday night, and i actually got to take six saunas over the course of the four days that it was open, and i only had to pay for four of them, but being gone for a week sort of screwed things up and now i’ve got to take care of straightening them out, because apparently nobody else is gonna do it…

oh, and i’m fifty now… happy birthday to me, or something like that. 😐

OCF

i was pretty sick last night, woke up at 3:00 in the morning with diarrhea and sweating like it was hotter than it really was. took a shower and went back to a slimy, sweaty bed and woke up at 6:00 feeling a whole lot better. i’ll probably do okay at OCF, because the “party” doesn’t officially start until friday, and i’m going down today, so i’ve got a few days to recover.

see you on the flip side! 8)

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.

Enter title here

i upgraded to wordpress 3.0. whoopie. at this point, wordpress is stable enough that you don’t see anything from the outside, and apart from a few telling colour changes, nothing is really that obvious from the back end either. i suppose once i try to do something that isn’t part of the plan we’ll see whether or not they’ve actually done a good job this version.

evan, moe’s boss and the guy who gave me the current version of Ganesha The Car, has said that something regarding the car will get worked out, eventually. meanwhile, i have an incomplete art car that won’t run sitting at a transmission shop 20 miles from where i live, which is closed saturday and sunday, so i won’t even have the chance to deal with it until at least tomorrow. once again, i thank Ganesha for the jeep, which means that i’ve been able to get to rehearsals and performances, like the performance i had at st. mary’s church in the central district this morning, or the rehearsal i have in the university district this evening, without too much difficulty (although the jeep does get fairly awful gas mileage and it still stalls at stop lights occasionally).

OCF in a week. i’m going down with chris this year, because i don’t have a working car, and he wants to get there monday, which is the earliest i have ever arrived at country fair… not that i’m complaining or anything, although it will mean that i’ll have a three or four day head start on mosquito bites when everybody else gets there. BBWP is on the schedule for the friday night fire show.

Country Is Dumb
by Pliny Keep

Well, I’m proud to be a yuppie from Kentucky
Where we pretend we’re farming in the mall
And cowboys ride in cars
And waste their lives in bars
And our music’s still the biggest joke of all

Country is dumb, country is dumb
You only got three chords to work with, number one
And the songs all ramble on about
Women and chicken and trucks and guns
Well all I’ve got to say is country is dumb!

Well they brag about hospitality here in Nashville
They give the spotlight to the common man
But out in that sea of faces
I see no other races
And I hope there ain’t no homos in my band

‘Cause country is sexist and racist and country is dumb
You only got three chords to work with, number one
And the songs all ramble on about
Women and chicken and trucks and guns
Well all I’ve got to say is country is dumb!

(solo yodeling)

Now country is number one across the nation
People say it brings them closer to their roots
Like ignorance and hate
And a submissive mate
That fits as cozy as a pair of cowboy boots

Country is dumb, country is dumb
You only got three chords to work with, number one
And the songs all ramble on about
Women and chicken and trucks and guns
And busted hearts and trailer parks
And calloused hands and one night stands
And faithful dogs and white male Gods
And all I’ve got to say is country is dumb!

COUNTRY IS DUMB!

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.

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.

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.

1059

okay, here’s another reason why i have been grumpy and out of sorts since my return from OCF:

a couple of friends of mine from bellingham, ken and kamalla, have been planning a celebration of “the summer of love” for a while, and i have been invited to play music, along with a bunch of other musicians including a guy who is a famous musician (he played with some big name musicians back in the ’60s and ’70s but i can’t remember their names at the moment). i was planning on staying at the house that i lived at when i was in bellingham, called the “madhouse”, but then i learned that the madhouse is currently vacant because of the fact that collette, a very old friend of mine who has also been staying at the madhouse recently, has gone crazy and has driven everyone else away. the guy who owns the madhouse, darol (another very old friend of mine) and collette are the only people living there – there are usually at least 4 people, apart from darol, who lives there all the time, living there, and sometimes more than that.

the thing is, the psycho hose-beast from hell also lived at the madhouse before her first visit to the state loony bin a couple years ago, and i don’t want my association with these people (collette and the PHBFH) to affect my relationship with darol, and i don’t have anyplace else to stay in bellingham these days, because ken and kamalla have decided that they can’t have house guests while they’re preparing for the show. i have been waffling back and forth, one day i’m going to go to bellingham, and the next day i’m not, ever since i came back from OCF, and i’m getting really tired of not knowing whether i’m going to go or not, especially since the show is supposed to be in two weeks.

i had an appointment with ned this afternoon, but i had a BSSB performance at highline community college beforehand, and there was a massive traffic jam, so i arrived to my appointment 10 minutes late, and ned had already left for the day – something that wouldn’t have happened if i were paying him, which i can’t do because i don’t have health insurance. at the same time, i have been feeling more and more grumpy and out of sorts, and i have been seriously considering things like attacking the car that i saw ahead of me in the traffic jam today that had a bumper sticker that said “marriage = 1 man + 1 woman” with my car, or jumping out and giving them a lecture on why discrimination of any kind is the exact opposite of what jesus would do, and i have been more and more concerned that this country is going to hell in a handbasket and there’s nothing i can do about it. i’ve even been seriously considering suicide because things seem so hopeless and there’s no possibility that things are going to change, except for the worse, any time in the forseeable future

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.

1055

i’m back from OCF. i’m extremely exhausted and going to sleep soon. the fair was a lot of fun and i have 264 pictures that i will post over the next few days.

1053

today is my physical birthday. my actual birthday is 29 february, which only comes once every four years, so i get 11 july as a physical birthday on the years when 29 february doesn’t appear and i get two birthdays (but i only age 1 year) on the years when 29 february does happen. as far as i know, there will be no party or presents or anything like that, but my “consolation prize” is that we (as in me and moe) are going to OCF tomorrow, which is the first time in 4 years that we will have spent my birthday together, as in the previous 3 years my birthday has been when i am at OCF. my understanding is that my mother-in-law has procured a 17″ flat screen monitor for me as well, which we will pick up on the way to the fair tomorrow, but considering how much my mother-in-law knows about computers, i’m gonna wait until i see it before i decide whether i’m gonna use it or freecycle it.

i celebrated today by going out this morning and harvesting a baggie full of seeds from one of our neighbours’ opium poppies. this time next year, with a little luck, i will have opium to smoke for the first time since we moved here. yay!

1046

i spent most of yesterday making a vest which i will wear for the first time at OCF this year. it’s made of two very “loud” brocade fabrics which are fuchsia and purple, and very shiny. i spent most of the day on it because i had it most of the way assembled and i discovered that i made a mistake (this is the first garment with a lining that i have made) which resulted in my having to almost completely disassemble it and then re-assemble it the “right” way… which was extremely frustrating, but probably was for the best in the end. today i hope to make a set of clown pants out of a similarly “loud” brocade fabric that is red. i plan on wearing the vest and the pants with my tie-dye shirt which adamchristopher made for me last year. sorry, no pictures yet.

1039

it’s the first of july… where has 2007 gone anyway?

next week, at this time, i will be going to “art on the ave” in tacoma, with my art car. i have recently got the brakes and the left front CV axle replaced, with money given to me by moe who was given it by ann a couple weeks ago when she went to portland after her mother had a stroke. it turned out to cost about half of what i was fearing, which means that, potentially, i can get the muffler fixed soon as well. it’s probably not going to get fixed until after oregon country fair, but that’s a lot sooner than i thought a week ago when i first learned how serious it really was. it all started when i got a flat tire, and ended up getting four new tires, but at the same time, learning that i had no brakes in either the front or the back, and that the ominous clicking sound that i was hearing when i went around a corner was the CV axle trying to work it’s way loose. i had about a week of worrying about that when the muffler started making a lot of noise. now the only thing left to fix is the muffler, which (i learned yesterday), is due to a broken weld just before the exhaust pipe enters the muffler, which can be fixed very easily if i knew how to weld…

when i was in fourth grade i took a career aptitude test that said i was most suited to be a welder. at the time, i was absolutely convinced that i was going to be a musician, and completely rejected the idea of becoming a welder. i have had several opportunities to learn how to weld since then, including in high school and in the tech school, and, while i admit that i didn’t completely reject the idea, at the same time, i also didn’t learn how to weld. i have been noticing, more and more frequently, how desirable knowing how to weld would be, and i’ve been wishing that i would have done things differently when i was in fourth grade. i can’t imagine that welding is an awful lot different than soldering, and i know several different techniques for soldering, so i get the impression that welding would not be that great a stretch for me at this time… it’s just a matter of finding someone who wants to teach an old dog new tricks… and then buying a whole bunch of new, expensive tools that i don’t have room for…

and then, two weeks from today will already be the last official day of the oregon country fair, which is what i was talking about when i said “where has 2007 gone” earlier… this is the first year in the (now) 5 years that i have been going to OCF that moe is going with me, although she’s going with me on thursday and coming back on saturday because she has to teach classes on sunday and she took off sunday a couple of weeks ago to go to portland when her mother had a stroke, so she can’t skip another week. it also means that i’ve got to find another way to get home, but considering that we’re going down as part of a large group of performers, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and if it is, i’ll be stuck in eugene with my tuba and all the camping gear, so i’ll probably be able to come up with some ideas for ways to get home — after all, i am a hippie… 8) it will be fun to have moe along. she’s not obligated to do anything, so she can hang out and check out the fair, and help out with our theatre stuff if she wants to… and she’ll get to see all kinds of performances, such as the fremont philharmonic at the ritz, and BBWP, which will probably perform at the friday night fire show again this year. also, this year is the first year since i started going to OCF that my physical birthday will not happen while i am at the fair. ready for this? i’m going to be 47 in a couple weeks… even if you were ready for it, i wasn’t… it feels like i haven’t gotten that much older since i was 30, which, if i recall correctly, is very much like what my grandparents said when i asked them when i was in fourth grade…

where has 2007 gone, anyway?