Category Archives: family of origin

snerk…

in other news, i just purchased YakBoy dot net, which was previously owned by some random person in japan, and before that, was owned by my younger (by 10 years) brother, the former co-author of the “Seattle Geekly” podcast, and a registered nurse…

i wonder how long it’s going to be before i receive a “cease and desist” order, or something like that, and have him demand that i return his “intellectual property”… 🤣🤪

i should update this thing again…

the most recent thing is that i have “volunteered” to help make the artwork that is going to be used for this year’s panto: the program cover, poster, postcard and banner. i put “volunteered” in quotation marks because it was presented as a fairly straightforward job that has turned into a nightmare of emails between me and norma, on one side, and leah and the steering committee — who pretty much don’t know what they’re talking about — on the other side… which i would very definitely NOT have “volunteered” for, if i had known about it ahead of time.

it started with me and norma. we, plus mimi, produced the artwork for last year’s panto (to great success, i might add), and we started out to make it largely the same…

then leah got involved. leah is the “publicity manager” this year, and she has very specific — if not outrageously wrong — ideas about how the artwork should appear. leah also set a deadline of october 3rd for all of this to be done, so that i could send it to the printer so that we could have posters and postcards by the first week of october.

on the first round of feedback in which leah was involved (third week of september), one of her “suggestions” was

Remove the Fremont Players website and keep the brown paper tickets (if people google us, they will find our web site)

⁉⁉⁉⁉⁉🤨🤦

she also wanted me to remove the fremont players’ graphic logo, remove the year, reduce the amount of text, and “integrate other stylistic suggestions from the steering committee”, who, like i said before, have NO CLUE what they’re talking about.

so, norma and i ignored about 90% of their suggestions, did what we could to placate leah (including taking the graphic logo off the front of the postcard and putting it on the back, faded behind the text so it’s “not noticible”, and, after a few more “back-and-forths” which didn’t include leah, we came up with what we thought was finished artwork.

meanwhile, on october 1st, leah wrote to me, asking how much it would cost — PER POSTER — to print them. this is a very complex question, which has a different answer based on whether you are using a small, local print shop (like the kind i worked in for 20+ years) or a large, nation wide printing house (like the kind i use these days), and if you are using a large, nation wide printing house, how much posters cost depends on whether you want a small number or a large number.

i tried to explain this to leah, but she was more concerned with the fact that

If I’m reading this correctly, 150 posters cost $210 but 250 posters cost only $40 more and ordering 4000 postcards is $465 but 5000 is $125 cheaper??

to which i responded “that’s right.”

i know, it’s weird, but it’s how large, nation wide printing houses do business, and it appears to work for them. you can’t get different specific-size jobs unless you’re willing to pay more than you would if you get an amount that the printers produce, which is usually more than you want, but “per poster” it comes in WAY cheaper than if you get a different, specific-size job.

so, she approved the artwork on october 2nd, and on october 3rd, she said that i should hold off on contacting the printer, because she wanted to see if it was possible to get an exact size job for a cheaper price.

to which i responded

yes, you can probably get cheaper prices from somewhere else, but keep in mind the quality of the printing i provided last year: posters on 100lb gloss stock, and postcards on 16pt gloss stock with UV coating. i’m pretty sure you’re not going to get anywhere close to the same quality anywhere else, for anything close to the prices i have quoted.

which was ignored… 🤦

a couple of days later, she wrote asking for the high res files, because she had found a “digital printer” (read “photocopy shop”) who would do EXACTLY the size job she wanted for half the price (on much lower quality paper, but she doesn’t know the difference).

so i uploaded them to dropbox, and washed my hands of the whole deal. 😒

it turns out that she had something printed — i still don’t know whether or not she used the correct files (if i had actually been there, and she had shown up with printing from the wrong files, i would have walked out and never gone back… 😒), but my guess is that either she didn’t use the correct files, or she whipped something together in microsoft publisher (or something like that) and used that instead.

then, on october 9th, i get a request for more changes to the postcard. apparently, now, they actually want the date on the front of the card.

i respond by telling maque that they have the high res versions of the artwork, and that they are welcome to make whatever changes they like to the card, BY THEMSELVES, because i am done with this job, and there is a very good likelyhood that i will not be available to “help” again next year, or going forward, because i felt like it was too much work for too little actual gain.

then, yesterday, i get a call from chris huson. he wants to meet me to discuss why i am so upset with the printing process. actually, he SAYS he wants to “discuss further changes” to the postcard, but i nip that in the bud right away.

i explain exactly what i (and mimi and norma) did, and exactly what leah did. i show him emails from leah. i show him the finished artwork — which he says doesn’t look like what leah had printed. i explain about the confusing pricing, and the quality differences, and how none of this seemed to make a difference to leah.

it turns out that leah actually asked chris to take over managing the artwork portion of the job. given what chris already knew about leah, and about the fact that i was upset about the way this whole thing was working out — AND because chris is on the steering committee AND the board of directors, he made the executive decision to take over managing the production of the artwork.

he’s coming over tomorrow to finalise the “already finalised” artwork, to talk about run amounts, and the schedule of when we might have things.

——

from the time i was born until the time i finally escaped my parents’ house, when i was 20 or so, the primary message i received, over and over, was that i was not good enough, that i would never BE good enough, and that, unless i worked VERY hard at “being normal”, nobody would ever like me.

it wasn’t always very subtle, but that was the underlying message, regardless of what i did: they said they were “proud of me” when i won awards, but they refused to do anything to help me win more awards, and shot me down every time i thought i might be able to succeed at doing… pretty much anything…

and when i wasn’t winning awards for playing trombone, or doing magic shows, i didn’t even have a name: i was “the crummy child”. oldest by 6 years of four children, the other three of whom were born two years apart, starting when i was 6, then 8, then 10, when they got old enough to realise what was happening, my siblings called me “the crummy child” as well. when my first younger sister was born, i quickly faded into the background. after that, the only times anybody noticed me was when i was winning awards or when i was getting into trouble.

——

this whole business of working with leah brought all that back in one fell swoop: regardless of how good the art was, it wasn’t good enough. 😠

it has begun to be worked out, now that chris is more involved than he was before, but i’m still quite shaken, and stirred up (at the same time) by this whole fiasco.

genealogy

i got my DNA analysed a few years ago.

a couple months ago, i got rosemary’s DNA (my paternal great aunt) analysed. she has the same father as my great grandfather, but her mother is different than my great grandmother.

i figured that we would have some DNA in common, that we could both use to help determine who is part of our family.

apparently, we have ZERO DNA in common:

no DNA in common?
no DNA in common?

what the fuck?

ETA: it’s because the DNA analysis was done on our mitochondrial DNA, which, while easier to analyse, is passed through our mothers’ side. she had a different mother than my great grandmother, so there’s no overlap.

mystery solved.

only on internet… seriously… ONLY on internet.

today i’ve was reading through my RSS feeds, and i came across several references, in widely different publications, about An Open Letter To Bigot Diners by Hajime Sato, sushi chef and owner of the local japanese restaurant Mashiko (and, coincidentally, also owner of Katsu Burger, which is a place i’ve driven by quite often, and wondered what the hell it was…), concerning the presence of caucasian female sushi chefs behind the bar of their authentic japanese restaurant.

being a fairly regular customer of another local japanese restaurant, Maneki, i was interested in reading through his “Open Letter…” and agreed with it wholeheartedly, but that’s not the funny part.

the funny part is that i commented that i didn’t know he also owned Katsu Burger, and then, i noticed a very familiar name on the comment just ahead of mine

i find it very odd that both my father and i would be moved to comment on the same article within three hours of each other, with no other impetus than to voice our agreement with a third person, who neither of us know IRL…

eric

eric and i were good friends for a long time. we met back when i was seeing kitty, in the early 1980s. i don’t remember exactly what circumstances brought us together, but eric was living in the house of a friend of kitty’s (alan?) and because of the fact that we were both brass players (eric played french horn) and both enjoyed cannabis, we became friends.

later on, eric was playing french horn with kenyth in the stairway (excellent accoustics), and i started playing along with them on my flute, and we liked it so much that it became the Stairway Jam, which is the miscellaneous and ever-changing group of musicians that met and jammed in the stairway (and, later on, elsewhere) for 25 or 30 years, but only performed in public one time — which was the “Free Money Concert” where each of the audience members was payed 10Β’ if they stayed for the entire, 1½ hour performance… we only had to pay one audience member, a fellow named Ken Yanik, who had fallen asleep during the performance. every other audience member (and there were quite a few) left before the concert was finished, and before we revealed how much we were going to pay.

but, eventually, eric met my older-younger sister*, and my sister turned him against me. i don’t know exactly what she said (although i have a pretty good idea), but eric’s behaviour toward me got worse and worse, until there was a major “scene” at the stairway jam one evening, eric left the group for good, and i haven’t seen him since.

that is, until today. i responded to a linkedin request from Amy Denio, a musician whom i have admired for a long time, and while i was responding to that, linkedin suggested that i may also know Eric Barcus… as far as i can tell, this is the same eric as the one to whom i am referring, although i can’t be 100% certain, because the last time i knew for sure, kathryn and eric lived in bellingham, and he wasn’t a computer technician… the problem is that if it is the same eric, any message i send to him is likely to be responded to with the same kind of emotional outburst that i experienced at the stairway jam, these many years previously, and i’m not sure whether i want to experience that or not, regardless of how good a friend eric might have been at one time. UPDATE: nope, it’s not the same guy.

the one thing i do know for sure is that linkedin is getting more and more brash about advertising the fact that they know a lot more about people than the people, themselves, probably realise… 😐

Continue reading eric

wow…

that was TOTALLY unexpected…

and, because of the fact that i promised moe i wouldn’t post it on internet, i can’t say what “it” is…

but, suffice it to say that it was TOTALLY unexpected.

no, my parents didn’t die, and everything is fine (more than just “fine”, actually), but it’s something that is likely to bring about major, positive change in the lives of both me and moe.

the week in review

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

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

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

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

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

i should know better than this, part II

last week i discovered my sister and brother-in-law’s blog and this week i’ve discovered my brother and sister-in-law’s blog. my brother is ten years younger than me, and the last time we had any appreciable contact was when he was around 10 years old… although it’s frightening how much alike we look. he doesn’t have a beard, but…

now he apparently thinks he’s an edgy tech journalist, or something like that, and there’s at least a 50% chance that my brother and my brother-in-law are hosted by the same company, which may be owned by one or both of them…

i should know better than this…

i should know better than to go poking around on internet with a little bit more information than i should probably have. i feel the same way i did when i was a teenager about to get in trouble. i should stop now…

i found my sister and brother-in-law’s blog… one of the sisters that i haven’t spoken to or heard from for… um… a REEEEALY long time… the last time i remember seeing this particular sister (which is confounded by the fact that i have a swiss-cheese memory) was around 30 years ago or thereabouts… when she was about 12 years old… and i was about 20…

it’s not 100% for sure, but everything i’ve seen points towards that being their blog… everything matches up…

i don’t know whether i should link to it, but it’s definitely going into my RSS feed… πŸ‘Ώ

wump

i look unusuali look unusual.

when i was growing up, my parents took offense at the fact that i wanted to look unusual, and they tried very hard to get me to look more like i “fit in”. because of the fact that they were my parents, and i had very little control over the things they were requiring me to do, i complied. also, i am very much aware of how negatively “looking unusual” was portrayed by my parents, in an attempt to dissuade me from looking unusual. they always said that if i looked unusual, people would not want to hang around with me and it would affect the “opportunities” i would be presented.

the way i looked at it then, and the way i continue to look at it (because i still cannot see why there should be any other way of looking at it), is that if the fact that i look unusual means that people will be more hesitant to hang around with me, then i probably wouldn’t be that interested in hanging around with those people to begin with. it’s better that people who wouldn’t hang around with me for superficial reasons be repelled from me to begin with, because if they were not, I would be repelled by them when something superficial came up in which they weren’t interested. if people are going to be repelled by my unusual appearance, then if i looked more like everyone else, i would be forced to associate with people from whom I want to get away. only people who are willing to look beyond appearance get to know who i really am. everyone else just thinks i’m a freak, and that’s the way i like it.

i am especially that way when it comes to “work”. at this point i don’t have a “job” in the traditional sense, but if i had to wear a uniform, or dress a certain way every day in order to “fit in” and make a living among people i didn’t get along with, i would go mad very, very quickly. i’ve barely been able to get by in “corporate” jobs in the past, even under the best of circumstances. i’ve only had one job from which i was not fired, and i’ve only had one job that has lasted longer than two years in my entire life. in a lot of ways i feel like i wasn’t cut out for what “normal” people do every day, and my experience with “jobs” pretty much reflects that.

hungary harrison “christian”

that’s where some guy ordered incense from today – budapest, hungary. he ordered $4.25 worth of incense, so i have to add $50 shipping for $4.25 worth of incense.

personally, i think he should know that it would be cheaper (and probably better quality) to buy it closer to home, but i think the problem is that internet makes normal people stupid. i have many examples of this: regan fraser, brendan fraser‘s brother, was my housemate at one point about 15 years ago, and when he found out that i worked with internet, he begged me to get involved in this scheme that he had to rip people off by accessing their bank accounts over internet. or the client that i currently have who is convinced that his virus protection program “is tired” of notifying him that he has a virus – he’s convinced that he’s got a virus, even though three different virus scanners have given him a clean bill of health…

someone turned me on to a whole pile of information about my great-great-great-grandfather and his descendants that are a part of my family, but not directly related to me. apparently such people include William Henry Harrison along with several other william henry harrisons (I through V, i think).

i submitted the following to There Probably Is dot com, and i really hope they actually post it, but i get the impression that they won’t.

Brief Biography
I am a Hindu Christian Dervish Buddhist Thelemic Tinite Antichrist Anarchist Tuba-Playing ? (??? – Canis nyctereutes procyonoides) with a Brain Injury.

Submit your story
I believe in God because … i was raised by parents who were largely agnostic. They may have had some religion, but if they did, they kept it to themselves. I attended a Unitarian church when I was small, but the classes I took were more along creative lines than religious ones, and I grew up thinking of “church” as more of a social club than a place for worship.

Then, when I was first starting college, I encountered people who claimed to be “christian” but were more like parrots than people in terms of what they told me about “christianity”. They couldn’t give me a good enough reason to believe, apart from pie-in-the-sky promises to which nobody in their right mind would pay attention.

I took a class called “Introduction to Personal Philosophy” which everybody informally called “The Fly In The Fly-Bottle” or just “the fly-bottle class” in which there was an assignment that caused me to change my mind. The assignment was “for a certain, set period of time (I chose a month), act as though there is an all-powerful God and see how your life changes.” As soon as I believed that there was a God, I was able to see Him everywhere, although He (and I use the term advisedly) was not what the “christians” said He was like at all. For one thing, He wasn’t always a “He” – sometimes She was a thought, or feeling, or a smell. I quickly learned that when coincidences happen – for example, I went for an entire week where the price of everything I bought ended with 84 cents – that is God communicating with me in a way that I didn’t immediately understand. Everywhere I looked, and everywhere I look to this day, I see God essentially “peering out” from behind everything, saying “Here I am!” There is no question that I have of God that He has not answered, and He guides my every step.

His name is Ganesha.

i guess i’m disappointed with them for discriminating against me, but at the same time, what did i expect from a “christian” web site?

link dump

Inflatable Electric Cars – the wave of the future… if you can wait until they’re commercially available…

Giraffe milk, meat confirmed kosher – a long time ago, my mother used to go to an “exotic meats” butcher, and get things like hippo, rhino, giraffe, elephant, and other suchlike, unlikely meats, but not tell the rest of us what we were eating until after we ate. now i can be assured that, at least when we were eating giraffe, the meals were also kosher.

Hints of ‘time before Big Bang’ – more evidence that the creationists are wrong.

Dispatchwork – a group of artists went around Bocchignano, a village near rome, and made patches for the decrepit brickwork out of lego blocks.

All Indicators Point to a Softening of America’s Harsh Marijuana Laws – it’s about time, but i’ll believe it when i see it.

Good News – well, good headlines pasted over regular depressing news. i must admit, when i first clicked on the page, it made me feel really good, but once i clicked one of the links, i went from feeling good, to confusion, to depression very quickly.

Pictures of a Rocket Car from Los Angeles Metblogs

merry x-mas… 8/

i had a really depressing dream: i was in downtown seattle for something, but i was living in a homeless shelter and had practically nothing. the shelter was a big warehouse that had been divided up into “camps”, with walls about 4 feet high, so you could see over them fairly easily. the shower was a tiny space that was barely big enough to turn around in, and the plumbing was falling apart, so that if you adjusted the showerhead, the whole thing fell apart. i had just returned to the shelter from whatever it was that i was doing, and there was nobody there, which i figured would be an ideal time to take a shower, but as i was getting into the shower, a whole bunch of people that i didn’t know showed up and so i had to take a shower in the open, in the presence of a whole bunch of people that i didn’t know… and, of course, that was also exactly the same time that i discovered the fact that the shower plumbing was falling apart, so all the other people got wet and irritated with me.

moe and i went to see The Bobs at the Kirkland Performance Center last night, and some time between the time that we arrived and the time that the bobs took the stage, something (i suspect that it was the fog machine) invaded my throat and irritated it enough that it was difficult to swallow. it lasted most of the night, which didn’t help the dream any at all, and the result was that i woke up in a lousy mood this morning. it also didn’t help that we are going to portland today for x-mas with the in-laws. usually x-mas is a mellow time that we can get away from the normal, dismal miasma that we live in, but the fact that i woke up in a lousy mood today does not make me enthusiastic about going to visit moe’s extremely horrendously dysfunctional families, regardless of how mellow they are when they’re all together. i have developed the opinion that the in-laws base their lives on some sort of twisted television situation comedy, except that, as far as i’ve been able to tell, they don’t watch sit-coms on TV to begin with, and even if they did, the “comedy” writers for their show are on drugs or something, and their comedy isn’t anywhere near as funny as it would have to be to be tolerable as an actual family. the only thing that makes x-mas with the in-laws even remotely acceptable is that it’s not my own family.

the bobs put on an excellent holiday show, which was titled “Too Many Santas”. in spite of the title, it wasn’t an exact reproduction of their “Too Many Santas” CD, and actually contained a number of songs that i have never heard before, including “Imaginary Tuba” which was outrageous, and described my childhood quite accurately. it was really awesome to see matt in his venue, doing his stuff, rather than seeing him in my venue while i was doing my stuff, and i also got the chance to talk with richard and amy for a little while.

as i’m going to be in portland tomorrow, there’s a good chance that i won’t get the opportunity to post anything, but if the occasion presents itself, i’ll try to post something.