yesterday i successfully unclogged the drain in the upstairs sink.
when it worked, i celebrated in almost exactly the way i did when i was awarded a superior rating for the piece for solo trombone i had written, and performed, when i was 18. 😒
yesterday i successfully unclogged the drain in the upstairs sink.
when it worked, i celebrated in almost exactly the way i did when i was awarded a superior rating for the piece for solo trombone i had written, and performed, when i was 18. 😒
this is a picture of my kindergarten class. i am second from the right, in the second row.
interestingly enough, this was at marvista elementary school, in normandy park, in 1966. another of my friends, smerdyakov karamazov was also at marvista in 1966, but he was in the second grade, and i didn’t know him at the time… 😵 (that’s a “dizzy face”, in case it isn’t obvious)
but the real point of this whole study is the teacher, Mrs. Peace — her name was Shirley, but i didn’t find that out until much later. the reason i found out her first name is because, about 20 years or so ago, moe started hanging around with another local dog trainer, named ali. she was always coming home talking about something ali had done, or had not done, that was really interesting, ali having surgery, ali living her life, that sort of thing. i paid attention, but it was all from a distance, because i had never met ali, and didn’t know her… until one day, moe happened to mention ali’s last name…
peace is not a particularly common name, so immediately, i asked if she was related to mrs. peace, my kindergarten teacher.
the answer is yes.
ali peace is the granddaughter of shirley peace. shirley died earlier this year, at the age of 98. unfortunately, i wasn’t able to find out if she remembered me, but…
this woman, who i have now met, who is a frequent guest at our house, who has been a friend and colleague of moe’s for 20-plus years, is the granddaughter of my kindergarten teacher… 🤯
so, i’ve been thinking about my spiritual experiences from the “early days” of my spiritual quest (i.e. 1978-1990), and i remembered visiting a man i knew as “father satchakrananda” in… oh, i guess it must have been 1981 or 1982… at the “raj-yoga math and retreat center” in deming. he was an older man, with a long grey beard, who wore a cassock, and had the brusque shortness of a person who had been in the business of teaching others who don’t want to (or can’t) learn, as i would come to recognise later, and his orthodox christian mass was topped off by handmade, crusty bread, real wine, and a dab of tiger balm on my ajña chakra, which was refreshingly unusual. his “monastery” consisted of, apparently, one female disciple, who looked totally overworked and underfed, who was silent, and jumped when father satchakrananda said so, but i didn’t get the chance to look around very much, since i was going with the PHBFH and her friend, bhakti, who was driving. at the time, i wasn’t really looking for reasons not to believe that these folks really had supernatural powers, and the “set and setting” was okay, for a short visit, so i wasn’t really impressed by this guy, because he insisted that he was “father”, NOT “swami”, and used christian jargon for everything, when i knew that what he was talking about was really hindu ideas — this was shortly before i started my own in-depth study of christianity — but nothing really struck me as unusual, apart from the sincerity of the mass.
then — NOW, 40 years later — i looked him up on internet… and what i found was surprisingly unsettling, for as little as it was. the first link i found was the Raj-Yoga Math And Retreat page from encyclopedia.com, which looks as though it was either copied from some advertising or promotional material, or written by father satchakrananda, himself. it was on this page that i learned that he is referred to as “Yogi Father Satchakrananda Bodhisattvaguru”. 🙄
i was IMMEDIATELY reminded of my brother-in-law (the one who is married to my older-younger sister), who decided that he wanted me to refer to him as “paramahansa brahmavatar”… 🙄🙄🙄
another reason i think the information was copied was because of the misspelling of the “Nooksuck” River, near Deming, Washington… it’s spelled that way in every link i found relating to father satchakrananda, and it SHOULD BE spelled “Nooksack”… and the fact that he was “mystically initiated” in 1973 by swami sivananda who DIED 10 years earlier, is “IN NO WAY” suspiciously convenient, or an indication that he may be a phony… 😒 not to mention the fact that all of the “encyclopedia.com” “references” are books by “yogi father satchakrananda”… 🙄
for the record, i believe that anybody who has to put the fact that they are a “guru” or “avatar” or whatever, INTO THEIR NAME, and then INSIST that one call them by that name, is about as far away from being a REAL “guru” or “avatar” (or whatever) as you can possibly be, without outright denying that “gurus” or “avatars” (or whatever) even EXIST… and i REFUSE to satisfy their desires by referring to them with that appellation. it is egotistical, and wrong! 😠
and THEN i found a link to the Suspicious Berean, and his 2018 screed entitled “30 years ago: Yogi Satchakrananda underwhelms Edmonton… 🙄 it starts out promisingly enough, with a mention of a performance by peter popoff, the disgraced so-called “christian” televangelist whose “mystical powers” turned out to involve his wife on a CB channel and an un-announced ear-piece with which she directed the supposedly “divine” “words of knowledge” and “healings”… and he, too, repeats the “nooksuck” mis-spelling, which makes me wonder where HE got it from… but then he mentions self-proclaimed “christian” evangelist “cult experts”, dave hunt, and rabi maharaj, as having “excellent” resource material to counter father satchakrananda’s phony-ness, which strikes me as a ludicrous joke. if this guy thinks rabi maharaj and dave hunt are any LESS phony than father satchakrananda, then he’s not worth paying attention to in the slightest… 🙄
what astounds me is that EVERY SINGLE link that i rounded up for the “raj-yoga math and retreat” had, essentially, the same wording, down to the “nooksuck” mis-spelling, but, apart from that, i could find NO further information about father satchakrananda. i know he was the coordinator for the “northwest free university”, and taught yoga there in the late ’70s, but i couldn’t find any information on line about the northwest free university — even though i KNOW it existed, because i looked into attending classes there, at one point… ⁇⁇
apparently ezra has been talking to my father recently.
ezra texted me to say that my father had given him two photo albums that contain mostly pictures of me…
the fact that my father gave them to ezra, and not to me, is one of the reasons i haven’t talked to my father in a very long time, now. 😒
i believe this picture was taken between 1972 and 1974, and i believe it was taken in new york, before we moved back to seattle… i may be wrong, but the seamless backdrop was something that my father didn’t have room to set up more than a few times, and i don’t remember seeing it after we moved, but that could just be my swiss-cheese brain at work. the closer it was taken to 1972, the more “brand new” the trombone was…
of course, the original photo may have a date on the back, but because of the fact that i have COVID, currently, i can’t rush over to ezra’s place to look. 😒
this was taken on 221024 by someone at the fisher pavilion who wanted a picture of me, and i liked it so much that i asked for a copy of it. this is my current Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band uniform, and i was at the fisher pavilion to play for Festa Italiana, like we do every year… the coat is a new acquisition that i bought at a “purge-o-rama” sale at a costume shop in redmond. i have been looking at that, exact coat, in the display window of the costume shop, ever since i worked in redmond (in 1995 or thereabouts), and i finally went in because i had heard that the shop was closing (it’s not, they’re just moving to a new location… one without display windows), only to discover that they wanted $300 for it, but because of the fact that they were having a “purge-o-rama” sale to prepare for the move, they had reduced the price to $100… so i bought it immediately.
prior to that, i wore a uniform that i got from working for the Floating World Circus, after i graduated from high school. it was also red, but a lot it was also a lot more “normal” for a band uniform…
this picture, i believe, was taken in 1991, in anacortes, where the band that i was playing in at the time was playing for a parade.
the astute observer will immediately realise that the trombone depicted in all of these photos, is exactly the same. 😉
a VERY long time ago — i would guess somewhere between 1964 and 1967, or thereabouts — i participated in a “market research study” (for which my parents, hopefully, got paid), where, over the course of a week or so, i would try various different dry cereals, and “potential” dry cereals — which they had produced, but hadn’t “hit the market” yet — without knowing anything about them, and rate them according to what i thought dry cereal should look and taste like.
i’m fairly sure i screwed up ALL of their data points, because i was a combination of three things, which severely skewed my personal experience of dry cereal. the first was that, when i was very small, there was a concern that i might be allergic to cows’ milk (which had been proven false, by the time this took place), and so, when i was learning which cereals i liked, i was only given cereals that could be eaten “without milk”… which, for some reason, meant various different kinds of oatmeal and grits… i wasn’t even given “cream of wheat” because it had the word “cream” in it, and, particularly, my mother was CONVINCED that it wouldn’t be good for me. the second was that my parents were “progressive”: not full-blown “hippies” (however, my dad did have long hair and a beard, but it wasn’t until the ’70s) but definitely not the standard fare for the time and place they were from, which was central illinois “corn country” in the mid-to-late ’60s. thus, they were CONVINCED that sugar was “bad”, so, as a result, when it was determined that dry cereal was “a thing”, i was only given ‘bland’ cereals, such as cheerios, kix, chex, puffed wheat, and grape nuts. by the time i was part of the survey, i was eating cows’ milk all the time, but i never liked “sugar frosted flakes”, “sugar smacks”, “chocolate frosted sugar bombs” or anything like that… and the third thing is that, when i was very small, i was forced to eat fruit at a time when i really DID NOT want to eat fruit, and, as a result, i developed a lifelong distaste for fruit, in general, and about 75% of the cereal that i tested was fruit flavoured, in some way or another.
i spent a few days trying, and rejecting about 95% of the “chocolate frosted sugar bombs” they offered me, primarily because they were so sweet that it overpowered any “cereal-like” taste there may have been.
however, there is one thing that i remember clearly, and that was that “they” (the people conducting the survey, who were, according to my interpretation, in a position to know these things) told me that there would NEVER be “chocolate cheerios”. they told me that the makers of cheerios were totally against making their cereal “pre-sweetened”, and if i saw chocolate cheerios on sale, it would mean the end of the world. cheerios was, by definition, NOT a “pre-sweetened” cereal.
over the years, they have come close… the closest they’ve gotten that i know about was “honey-nut cheerios”, which was “pre-sweetened”, but, because of the fact that it was, alledgedly, sweetened with honey, and not sugar, it was, alledgedly, “okay”…
however, when i came across this, yesterday… 😱
from before the wayback machine… these tracts that i just found, were prototypes for smaller versions, which were originally designed to counter the “occult” graffiti i found in an abandoned house in the woods near bellingham… the same house i found the tail coat, which i still have (although it’s been substantially modified, at this point)… the house was obviously a place where teenage doodlehums gathered to do illegal and/or immoral things, and i wanted to “enlighten” them by leaving bizarre literature in their abandoned hideaway. it was in a section of fairly dense, second growth forest, on the outskirts to the northeast of bellingham… there were some neighbourhoods east of there, along alabama street, but the place where the railroad had been was, basically, second growth forest. not even a driveway to the house. the house was two stories, but when i was there, the second story was not safe (although i did go up there, a couple of times), and there was a well-house with a working well… and about 50 feet beyond that were what used to be a railway. it was a perfect place for teenage doodlehums to gather, mark up the walls with “satanic” graffiti, smoke pot, write graffiti about smoking pot, and dream about having illicit sex with their imaginary girlfriends.
i figured they had probably heard all the standard propaganda from the “christians” (the “satanic” graffiti was all the evidence i needed), and this was back when i was full of fire to enlighten the masses, so i came up with a number of tracts which were left in the abandoned house, in phone booths (remember them?), and traded for chick tracts at the local storefront ministries that bellingham had at the time. the first version of these tracts was originally published in 1987. one of the later versions was published in 1992.
now, the place where the abandoned house was, is a neighbourhood of slightly-more-upper-class tract houses with a trail that, 75 years ago, was a railroad that served the logging community in that area.
another casualty of the cloud drive crack:
my “HANDY-DANDY LIST OF WHEN THINGS HAPPENED”
which i have been updating since my injury (2003) to help me keep track of what happened in my life, and when it happened in relation to other things that happened in my life.
my recollection is that it was a fairly complete, if compact, version of an “autobiography”, which i had been updating with new material, or changing around the position of old material when new evidence came to light, for a LOOOOOONG time… it was DEFINITELY a “working document”, and it’s gone. poof. 😩😖
a couple weeks ago, i started to rebuild it, but i’m confounded by the fact that things that appear very vividly in my memory don’t seem to match up in a predictable way with the timeline of my life. i don’t remember when important things happened:
for example, i am reasonably certain that i lived in St. Gordy’s house in 1988, but the job i remember having — working at mellowoods and music in friday harbour, doing musical instrument repair for the friday harbor traditional jazz festival — didn’t happen until 1991… and i actually HAVE a button from the friday harbor traditional jazz festival, and it actually SAYS “1991” on it, so it’s kind of hard for me to argue…
but, the problem is that i lived in St. Gordy’s house for a while, then i moved up the street a couple blocks and lived there for a year or so, then i moved into the dome in 1990, and i lived there until i moved to thillberg road, in mount vernon, with ruth…
or, when i freight hopped to wenatchee… i know i lived in the dorms during 1979 and 1980, and i moved to lummi island for 6 to 8 months, and then i moved to mackenzie street, and lived there until i moved to seattle to start the tech school, in 1984. i also know that i didn’t freight hop to wenatchee until i lived at mackenzie street, but i can’t remember, for sure, whether it happened in 1982 or 1983. at this point, i’m LEANING TOWARDS 1982, because i have calendars and sketchbooks from the early 1980s that may seem to indicate that, but nothing is written in clear enough language that i can be totally certain. 😖
fortunately, Ezra, St. Igon (with whom i freight hopped to wenatchee), and St. Gordy are still in my “contacts” list, but this whole thing started when St. Igon ASKED ME when we went to wenatchee, and that was AFTER i had already started to rebuild my list.
and ezra is in michigan with his sweetie, and won’t be back until mid-december…
when i was in high school, i took latin, but that’s not the story.
the story is that, when i found out they were going to offer a latin class, i IMMEDIATELY wanted to sign up for it… but my parents said no, that latin was a “dead” language, that nobody spoke any longer, or used for anything (😏), that i would never use it, and it would just waste my time.
i was a junior in high school, and i REALLY wanted to learn latin. i pestered my parents for a few weeks about it, but they stood fast…
so i went to my high school guidance counsellor, and told her. she immediately agreed with me, and gave me a bunch of “hints” that i could use to try to convince my parents, but none of them worked. my parents were the stubborn, pig-headed people that i have come to know them to be since then, and they were adamant that it would be a collosal waste of my time to learn latin.
i went back to my high school guidance counsellor and told her that the hints didn’t work, and that i still REALLY wanted to learn latin… so she CALLED them.
she talked with my mother (who was the louder of the two) for about half an hour, and, somehow, convinced her that my studying latin would NOT be a waste of my time. i was overjoyed.
today, 40 years later, latin is something that i use on a DAILY basis, to help me understand, and better utilise the language i speak… to help other people understand confusing things (of which there are many)… to learn about places, and things, in a way that english, by itself, doesn’t even have a clue about… to have a better grip on romance languages that ARE used in the modern world — i also studied french in high school, and it gave me a better understanding of the french language, as well as giving me a sneak peek at spanish, italian, and portuguese… at this point, it would take me about 3 days of immersion to get functional in any romance language, and probably not more than a week before i was understanding most of what was said to me…
WRITING, on the other hand, would very likely take quite a bit longer, particularly in italian or portuguese, because they spell things strangely, have silly, inconsistent silent letters, “non-standard” pronunciation for other letters, and are, generally, more laid back, which makes learning to write more difficult 😉
and that’s ALL because i studied latin. 😉
and i use approximately ZILCH of the other subjects i studied in high school, with the exception of music, which i also use, on a daily basis… actually, that’s not entirely correct: high school taught me skills, like how to study, how to use the scientific method, logic and reason to figure things out, the proper use of tools like a wood lathe, proportional dividers, engineering scales, and a linotype, all of whose skills can be transferred to the “modern” world in a variety of ways…
in other “forward into the past” news, i finally got around to editing the Wraith Ugly/Bob Larson tapes. i’ve been flogging them on bob larson’s twitter feed, which is somewhat amusing. 😈
this afternoon, i was doing some yard work, and i found this in the gravel between the house and the trailer…
it’s small enough that i’m 100% certain that, if i didn’t already know what it was, i wouldn’t have even noticed it, but…
AS IT HAPPENS… i know EXACTLY what it is, which is a 1909-2009 Alaska Yukon Pacific 100th Anniversary pin, which was given to performers at the celebration, and (i believe) were also for sale to the people who came to the celebration. i know this because, in 2009, the ballard sedentary sousa band peformed at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exhibition 100th Anniversary… although, for some (now) unknown reason, i was unable to make that gig, so i had liz get me a pin, becuase i have always been interested in the alaska yukon pacific exhibition, and i was really dissapointed that i couldn’t be there… and i THOUGHT that pin was on my red fedora, because that’s the last place i saw it, and it was only last week that i wore that hat…
could i have lost my AYP pin? 😨
so i ran upstairs to check, and… no, my AYP pin is right where it’s supposed to be:
so, that raises a new question… was the former owner of my house at the AYP 100th anniversary, and did he/she/they buy a pin? or were they performers? i consider the latter to be EXTREMELY unlikely…
i’ve got a lot on my mind… my new car, my old car, monique’s old car, my cloud drive, the data, which still needs A LOT of categorising and sorting. there’s so much of it, and about a third to one half of it is corrupt, but i can’t tell without attempting to read it…
next to my tablet is a cup which contains pens, pencils, permanent markers, a divider, a compass, a bong reamer, several dental tools, a couple of hemostats… miscelaneous things that i need on a regular basis. i was looking for the original gear shift knob for my old car, which involved emptying out a bag of miscelaneous leftovers from when we moved (last year), which i never got around to sorting out. it had a number of things that i had been looking for, like my extra vape battery, an extra container for concentrates, my (ORIGINAL!) fidget-cube, and some extra pens and pencils, which i proceded to put in the cup next to my tablet… but it was full.
so, i decided to get a larger can, from my workshop, into which to transfer the pens, pencils, and miscelaneous tools, which took a while, because i had to find the can that i was looking for. when i’d found the can, i went back into my office, and transferred the stuff into it, in the bottom of the cup, i found this…
i got this… i don’t know how many years ago… i think it was before my injury… i got it a clear quartz ganesha, and this citrine one, at the same time, but i lost the citrine one almost immediately — like, within the first two weeks — and i have never seen it since.
a long time ago — probably mid-1970s or thereabouts — i was at the Marrowstone Music Festival at Fort Flagler State Park (which should give those people who know about such things a much clearer idea of exactly when this occurred) for a two week “intensive”, where we learned, rehearsed, an at the end of the two weeks, performed a concert of orchestral works.
a lot of the trombone parts were mostly rests, with occasional blasts of fanfare, or glissandos, or other suchlike “trombone” things. trombones in a classical orchestra have a reputation for being lazy, and jokers, but that’s only because we have nothing else to do! nobody writes for trombones in a classical orchestra setting!
it’s true! beethoven, the quintessential classical composer, wrote NINE symphonies for “full orchestra”, but he only wrote one piece that had parts for trombones, the Three Equale for Four Trombones, which is one of the most beautiful pieces in existence.
for the most part, the classical period was before what we know as the modern “trombone” existed, and, at best, the “trombone” parts that exist are usually parts for serpent or ophecleide which have been transposed.
after one morning rehearsal — where the trombones had rests and didn’t play at all for the 4½ hours of the morning rehearsal — we were all feeling a little punchy as we went to lunch. for some time, i had been warning the other trombonists that, if they left their instruments out, on the stage, when we weren’t there, something bad could happen to their instruments… i was thinking something along the lines of “someone bumped into your horn and now the horn has a disabling slide injury that will cost several hundred dollars to repair” or something like that, and i always put MY horn away, when i was not actively holding it in my hand, but, despite my almost constant, annoying reminders, the other trombonists left their horns on the stage as we went to lunch.
so, i developed a plan…
while the other trombone players were eating lunch, i attacked their horns.
trombones that have “attachments” (i.e. every trombone that is LOWER THAN a “tenor” trombone) have at least one valve, which lowers the trombone’s pitch. when that valve is not activated (most of the time), the trombone plays in B-flat, but when the valve is activated, it plays in F (or some other key, depending on other things). most trombone players that have a valve, only use it occasionally, to play notes that they would, otherwise, be unable to play reliably. the valve section of tubing is like a separate little bit of the trombone, that is only used occasionally. it has its own tuning slide, and, when the horn is being played without the valve, the extra tubing is sealed off from the main part of the instrument.
what i did was remove the tuning slides for the valve sections of their horns, and filled the valve sections with water. then, turning the horns upside down, i replaced the valve section tuning slide, and placed the horn, right side up, on the stand, so that it looked like it hadn’t been touched.
when they came back from lunch, they picked up their horns, blew a few notes, and then cycled the valve, which released the water into the main part of their horns…
then they “emptied their spit valves”, thinking that their horns just had water that accumulates when they went to lunch… after about 5 minutes of emptying their spit valves, they gave up, and took the slides off and dumped the rest of the water out of their instruments…
all the while i was busting a gut trying NOT to laugh, which, among other things, would have disturbed the rest of the people in the rehearsal, some of whom were actually rehearsing by this time…
and, you know what?
they never left their horns out on the stage after that… 🤣
my first direct experience with databases was in the late 1980s or early 1990s, when i got a “job”, “working” for this… guy…
i don’t remember his name — possibly “henry” — but i remember his attitudes: he was always right, nothing he thought of had ever been thought of before, he was the richest, smartest, trendiest, most “on-top-of-it” dude that ever hit the face of the planet, and GAWD HELP YOU if you EVER got in his way.
needless to say, the “job” didn’t last long. it started with him demonstrating how generous he was, by buying me a disk caddy, so that i would have somewhere to keep all of the disks i was going to accumulate working for him. then he started asking me about computers. at the time, i was NOT a “computer geek”, nor did i want to be one (my father was one of the original “computer geeks” and i DID NOT want to be like my father), but i knew about computers because i had been working as a typesetter for a few years. he asked me what i didn’t know about computers, and one of the first things out of my mouth was “databases”, so he signed me up for a week of training with “FileMaker”…
what i learned was a bunch of recycled stuff from my already ample knowledge of microslut word and excel, with a bunch of “hypercard-like” stuff which i sort of vaguely understood (but nobody i knew used hypercard for anything, so i never really knew what i had missed until years later), and, at the same time i was doing this training, i was helping this… guy… clean out his house, because he was going through a divorce, or some awful shit like that, and he, basically, had to move EVERYTHING that was “his”, out of one house and into another, that was a few houses down the street…
which is where i learned that his “rich” persona was heavily financed by several HUNDRED overdrawn credit cards — he had been using one credit card to pay off another credit card, and when he ran out of credit cards, he would just start up a new one, and use it to pay off the previous ones… FOR YEARS… — at which point i decided that working for this guy might not be such a good idea, if i wanted to get paid.
quite apart from the fact that working for him was REALLY annoying…
so, ultimately, i spent a week learning really complex software that i never got to use for anything, and that was it, until i got my job at software.com, testing email servers, in 2001.
and, for all of my work with databases at software.com/openwave, i still don’t have a really solid grasp of what they are… where they “live”, what they do, how they work… anything… all i know is that, under the right set of circumstances, you can give “commands” to a database, and it will perform certain functions with a variety of different “objects”, the outcomes of which can be used in a multitude of different ways, depending on what is contained in your database.
i get the impression that databases are a lot like the world wide web, in that they both have a lot of objects (web sites) that are linked together in a somewhat-haphazard, but definitely organised way.
so, you can imagine that it was something of a surprise when, the other morning, i woke up, checked my email, and discovered two somewhat alarming notices. the first was warning me that i had used up 90% of my disk space on my server, and the other was warning me that a “table” on my main database was malfunctioning… or something… and collecting 251 GB worth of data… which, somehow, was NOT showing up in my cPanel, which says “Disk Usage 18.43 GB / 292.97 GB”…
and, of course, it happened on a sunday, when nobody’s in the office, and on mothers day, when even fewer people are in the office, and during a PANDEMIC… 😒
so, first thing this morning, after waking up to a broken heat pump, and a wife who wrenched her back, i wrote to my web designer, who said, oh yeah, we’ve seen this kind of thing before, it’ll cost between $200 and $500 to fix it…
and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S WRONG… 😖
i don’t know who took this, or when it was taken, but my impression is that it was taken while i was working at evergreen station organic farm (pulling weeds), which would make ezra about 6. i really enjoy the look on ezra’s face. it’s clear that his parents may not realise it yet, but he knows what’s coming down, and it’s not good. 🤣
by the way, here’s a photo of the PHBFH on internet about which she can do nothing… 🤣
i’m not sure where this was taken, or who took it. it’s possible that it was taken by ruth, and it’s possible that it was taken in anacortes, or possibly west seattle, in around 1990 to 1992.
i found a whole pile of black and white negatives that are between 25 and 35 years old. possibly older, as i don’t have a great memory for these things, so i keep a list of when things happened. according to that list, the picture above was taken in 1991 or 1992. it was taken to honour the fact that i had just experienced sabikalpasamadhi (सविकल्पसमाधि) for the first (and only) time, on the banks of the skagit river.
i just got back from picking up 182 4″x6″ prints. there are a bunch of pictures of ezra, the PHBFH, randy, and ruth. there are a few pictures of other people, including me, and jim robertson.
there are also a lot of pictures for the legendary “Trash” issue of “Tina Magazine”, which was never published, as well as several pictures of the Tina literature which is now, suspiciously, for sale at Alta-Glamour.
now i gotta get started scanning them. 😉
i started an experiment a few days ago: i bought a vape-pen and, for the past three days, i have been vaping instead of smoking pot. i noticed a couple of things right off the top, which are that i get SIGNIFICANTLY higher from vaping than i do from smoking — although i knew that already, from vaping using darol’s pipette-and-lighter method. the second is that i haven’t been wheezing as much, particularly at night… which is a good thing. it’s bizarre, though, because i’ve got a few buds and my bong sitting on my desk next to me, and they haven’t been being used, and i don’t know when i am going to be motivated to use them, or do something with them… another thing that is kind of strange is that i bought a gram of “wax” (for under $35) that looks like it’s going to last me at least a week, and possibly two.
i went for a walk today, and, while in jovita park, i encountered a random, ambient smell that was kind of minty, that immediately reminded me of music, trombones, and my 4th grade school music locker. it’s possible that whatever made that smell is used in a cleaning product that was used in the music locker, or on the instruments, i have no clue. also, the smell was quite random: i smelled it, and then it was gone, and i stopped when i smelled it because the recollection was so powerful… and then, on the way back, i smelled it again, and stopped, and the smell was gone in just a couple of seconds. it was a musty, minty, trombone-y smell. 👃
the fairhaven college 50th anniversary reunion was friday, saturday, and today. i went to perform a ritual vegetable sacrifice, which happened this morning.
i just want to say that i am SO glad i married monique. i spent a couple of days with a lot of old, crazy people, talking about other old, crazy people and the crazy things they did, and continued to do… and i could have an up-close-and-personal part in all those crazy things, except i NO LONGER LIVE IN BELLINGHAM, and the crazy people in monique’s circle of friends do stuff that DOESN’T AFFECT ME! 😁
darol isn’t growing any longer. it was decided that his mental instability(!) made the fact that he was growing a danger to the community at large, so somebody distracted him, and other people went in and cleaned out the entire operation. then pot became legal. now darol is getting old and fat and doesn’t have anything to do any longer.
crazy people i haven’t thought about in 30 years: julie, collette, katharyn, almitra, jim… i heard about the crazy, stoned antics of calvin, the youngest son of alana, who i haven’t seen since 1992…
friday, i went to an undisco in the fairhaven auditorium — the first one that has been held in the auditorium in 25 years… the music was way too loud, and 95% of it hadn’t even been written the last time there was an undisco in the auditorium… it was really weird: i visited the classroom where my first flybottle class was held, but there were computers everywhere… even in the hallways, there were “publically accessible” computers — you still need to be a student to use them, but they were there… and the auditorium is completely different: it’s been turned into two rooms that have a temporary divider between them. the stage and the light booth are still the same, but the sloped floor and the carpeting have been removed… and there are two computers, one in each “room”, that control huge video screens, which had “meditationHD” videos — 😒 — in them for the undisco. kenyth was supposed to be there, but, because of the fact that his care-givers(!) screwed up, he wasn’t there.
saturday, i played my overtone flute in the back stairway at fairhaven. it sounded FANTASTIC! i realised that the reason it’s not in tune with other instruments is because it was specifically made for that stairway. it sounds good by itself, whereas, in most other places (including, significantly, fort worden), it needs electronic help (in the form of an amplifier and a delay box) to sound HALF AS GOOD… i decided that it sounded so good that i had to record some, so i set up my H2 (which, conveniently, was in the suitcase with the amplifier and the delay box), and recorded about half an hour, before i realised that the batteries in the H2 had died shortly after i first started playing, so i had to change the batteries and do it all again. that was interrupted by ken yanik, who i spent a couple of hours after that, talking to, catching up after 36 years…
kenyth showed up for a “special ceremony” in his honour, which was, apparently, people who were, marginally, his students, giving him mementos and other random tchatchkes, for which he has no need, and, for the most part, he doesn’t remember his students anyway. i saw him. he had to be reminded who i was. i gave him an announcement for the vegetable sacrifice. he didn’t show up. when we went to his care-facility(!), later in the evening, for what passes for “the jam” these days, he had to be reminded, again, who i was. the jam was cut short by his care-givers, who were concerned that the music(!) was keeping the other residents awake. he seemed happy to see everyone, and, once he had been reminded who i was, it was okay, but it’s really sad to see him losing his mind, and it’s really sad knowing that the fact that he’s losing his mind is the reason he’s being subjected to this.
the campus has changed a lot. there are a whole bunch of new buildings, new sculputres, and new athletic facilities. there is also a lot of other changes that i only heard about: the cube sculpture that used to be near the library is now in the fairhaven courtyard. rock rings and the steam scupture are now in a forgotten corner, behind a new, huge building, which has a massive new sculpture, “the stairs to nowhere”, in front of it… the old sculptures haven’t moved, the campus has just been built up around them. it’s nice for the campus, i guess, but there’s a lot of brick, glass and concrete where there used to be apple orchards and pine trees.
i made 100 vegetable sacrifice announcements. i handed out a bunch of them at the undisco, and a bunch more to various people at fairhaven, and elsewhere on campus. it was scheduled for 9:00 am, which was RIDICULOUSLY early compared to the “traditional” sacrifice (which is always held at noon), but what else could i do? that was what they offered me. still, i handed out about 75 announcements, and quite a few people said that they were going to come: tarzan said he was going to bring some vegetable sacrifice virgins; sasha and jeff also indicated that they would be there, and i sort of half expected ian to show up as well. i got to the tower(!) at 8:30 in the morning, and prepared. at 9:03, ken and kamalla (with whom i had been staying) showed up, followed shortly thereafter by ken yanik and a guy called “morf” — a former fairhaven student who, apparently, knows a lot more about me than i do about him (which isn’t that surprising). about 15 minutes later, after we had already finished the random circular reading, jamie jedinak and her doggie, pepper, showed up… there were also two innocent bystanders at the top of the tower, and (unbeknownst to me, until i decended, after sacrificing my vegatables) another innocent bystander at the bottom. ken whitley was very concerned that the person at the bottom had “witnessed something illegal” and started cleaning up the sacrifical remains almost immediately, which i found somewhat disappointing.
there’s a really long, 1.5GB video of the vegetable sacrifice ceremony, which was recorded on the holy camera of video by morf. i can’t figure out how to turn it into something that i can post on the COTC web site, but i’ll figure it out eventually. i figured it out. i also reduced the size to a much more realistic size of 113.2MB… now i have to figure out where to stick it.
it was enjoyable, driving through the skagit valley, on my way south, but once i hit stanwood, i hit the freeway. it’s REALLY good to be home.
where do i start?
quite a number of years ago… maybe 35 or 40… i used to entertain myself by calling radio preachers and saying bizarre stuff. after a while, i started recording these
conversations arguments, particularly with one specific radio preacher, Bob Larson, and playing them for my friends. i also sent a copy to a friendly person named Matt Jasper, who ran a little company called Tray Full Of Lab Mice Publications, who combined it with other sound sources and released his own tape, which was called “Tina Chopp vs. Bob Larson”… in spite of the fact that “Tina Chopp vs. Bob Larson” was only a small part of that tape, which included other people interacting with bob in a similarly strange way.
at some point, someone at Bananafish Magazine got hold of matt’s tape, and combined it with a bunch of other, nominally musical, sources, and, in 1992, released a 7" EP vinyl album, called “Perceptual Motor Rhythm Skills – Teachers’ Edition” which was released, as a pressing of 1,500, with issue #7.
and i FINALLY had to BUY my copy, a couple of weeks ago, from the River Street Beats Shop, because i didn’t even know the album existed until a couple of weeks ago… 😎
all that’s left is to find an appropriate place to set it free… 😉
a long time ago… after i got married, but before my injury, when ezra was living with the PHBFH on capitol hill, and i was living on beacon hill, somebody (i always suspected that ezra knew who, but he never admitted to it) lobbed a fist-sized rock through the PHBFH’s front window, which struck ezra in the face and broke his nose. shortly after that, the PHBFH moved everything to an even rougher part of town in an attempt to get away from the roughness that she perceived surrounding her, pretty much everywhere.
i retrieved the rock, wrote the words “I BROKE EZRA’S NOSE” on it, put it into storage, and promptly forgot it, because i was up to my eyeballs in other stuff, including dealing with the PHBFH and her erstwhile lawyer.
i found the rock the other day:
i texted ezra, to see if he wanted it. he didn’t, but he suggested that i carve the words into the rock and then “let it back out into nature :)” which sounded like an admirable idea to me, so i did:
the next step is to paint the letters with some durable, shiny paint in some bright colour, i’m thinking neon green, or yellow or something. i’m also debating whether or not to “enhance” the blood stains that are still on the rock, for dramatic effect.
then, to release it back to nature… possibly at double bluff park, since we have a tradition of going there every year. or at fort worden… i’m seeing ezra on sunday, so i’ll get a chance to talk with him about it, as well…
in 2009 i uploaded a picture that was taken in 1981 of me and a bunch of guys juggling on the lawn in front of old main, at western:
one of those guys, barry alexander, was a friend of mine who was also a jeweler, and made the silver Ritual Object that has been used in countless Ritual Vegetable Sacrifices by The Church of Tina Chopp throughout the intervening years.
on sunday, the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band played a concert at the Peace Arch in blaine. after the concert, as i was putting my instrument away, i was approached by barry alexander, who i haven’t seen in probably 35 years. this is what he looks like now:
apparently, he knows a lot more about what’s going on with me than i do about him, because he knows about things like Hybrid Elephant, whereas what i know about him ceased to be updated when i lost contact with him, some time in the early 1980s…
i believe it was either summer of 1983 or 1984, the PHBFH decided that she had to take her either 6-month old, or her 18-month old baby (depending on what year it was, and i’m not 100% certain which one it was), to see her grandmother, who lived in gilroy, california, and her great aunt, who lived in san bernadino, california. it was important to her to “introduce the generations to each other”, but, as she didn’t know how to drive, i became the default driver for her
crazy scheme well-thought-out plan… which was sensible, since her baby was my son, but i didn’t have a regular job, and she didn’t have a job at all, and the whole trip was (supposed to be) without any cannabis whatsoever (because the PHBFH is a paranoid psycho) so it took some figuring out to figure out how we were going to pay for a two week road-trip to california in a borrowed ford pinto station wagon…
never the less, she figured it out, and we packed up the station wagon and headed out to california.
at that time, there was a place just north of kelso, washington (about a two hour drive south of where we lived) where there was a planned nuclear power station, part of the trojan nuclear power plant. it was never an active nuclear power plant, and never housed nuclear material of any kind, but i didn’t know that at the time. all i knew was that it was there, quite visible from southbound I-5. i also knew that the PHBFH was TERRIFIED of nuclear power, and was constantly “muscle testing” for the presence of “elevated levels of background radiation” which made her “sick”.
she actually claimed that she was able, through “muscle testing” to tell the difference between an “irradiated” carrot and an “organic” carrot. naturally, she couldn’t, but that didn’t stop her claiming that she could… 😐
so, anyway, i pulled off the freeway, before we got within view of the trojan nuclear power plant, and, innocently, asked her to “muscle test” for background radiation. she did, and couldn’t detect any elevation… then we drove around the bend in the freeway, and came into view of the plant, and she IMMEDIATELY started complaining that she was getting sick from the elevated radiation levels, which stayed in the “danger zone” (i.e. the Making-the-PHBFH-sick range) until we were well south of portland, approximately another hour’s drive south from kelso.
i didn’t know at the time that there was no radiation level AT ALL, otherwise i would very likely have turned around in kelso and proceded immediately back to bellingham. at the time, i was only slightly less ignorant than the PHBFH, herself — although i had enough sense to ignore her paranoia and bring some cannabis with me, which probably saved the entire trip.
a long, long time ago… probably 1980 or thereabouts… i had just moved to bellingham and was a student at fairhaven college, on the campus of western washington university. there was a “student market” called the “VU Vendors” on weekdays, where “professional” vendors (somewhat like what Hybrid Elephant was like, at the FSM) and students who wanted to sell stuff congregated. one of the latter vendors was a guy who had made a cape out of army blankets, which he wanted to sell because he needed some “medication” (i never asked what kind of “medication” he wanted), but i didn’t have the amount of money he was looking for, so i memorised the pattern and went on my way. about a year later, after i had gotten a job, i bought a couple of wool army blankets and made my own cape, which have worn, more or less constantly, since then.
i wore it when i went to the rainbow gathering in 1982. i wore it when i was a migrant fruit picker in 1983. i wore it when i freight-hopped to various places, i wore it when i hitch hiked places, i slept under freeway bridges, and in farmers’ fields wrapped in my cape… in 1993 or thereabouts, i wore it when i went out picking mushrooms, got it caught on a barbed-wire fence and tore a hole in it, which i repaired. eventually i modified the design a little, and cut arm-holes, which fastened with velcro, so that i could wear a backpack and still wear the cape, when it was raining. originally it had three buttons that i rescued from a pea-coat, but the buttonholes failed, so i removed them and replaced it with a metal frog that i got at OCF, where i wore it to protect me from mosquitos.
eventually, i learned that it wasn’t really a “cape”. it is actually a garment called a burnous, a traditional garment worn by Berbers… but nobody knows what a burnous is, despite the fact that it is actually a really cool garment…
it was well worn, and well loved, so it wasn’t particularly surprising when i was putting it on a couple months ago, and the frog ripped a big hole in the front, and i decided that it was time to retire it as a garment…
but i still
want need a cape… i NEED a cape. it has been a part of my wardrobe for 40 years, and it’s lack has been felt intensely… so i went out and spent $250 on real wool fabric, and real lycra lining material, and made a new one. 😎
at this point, it’s about 85% finished. i put together the pieces, and sewed the neck, but i’m letting it hang for a couple of days before i finish it, because that way the lining will have a chance to “settle”… the old cape didn’t have a lining, so it wasn’t a problem. i found it rather bizarre, essentially, to have to make two capes, and sew them together inside out, so that the lining came out right.
and i didn’t realise until i hung it up, that, because of the fact that it’s made of brown cloth, it looks suspiciously like a “jedi” cape… which, naturally, means that i’ll be getting a lot of comments from tourists at OCF next year, but… oh well, i’ll deal with it…
Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center
17620 International Blvd
Seattle, WA 98188
Starts @ 7pm Free and open to the public
FEBRUARY 27-28: ONE-ON-ONE ENCOUNTERS WITH BOB LARSON
To schedule a one-on-one personal SPIRITUAL ENCOUNTER with Pastor Bob, call 303-980-1511.
the phone number is the same one he used back when i was messing with his head, which, if i recall correctly, is a denver, colorado area code… but my understanding is that his headquarters is now in phoenix, arizona…
okay, this is going to be another one of those “forward into the past” posts that contains, among other things a possibly amusing, possibly appalling story from my distant past, and a link to how it all plays into what is happening today. procede at your own risk.
in 1980, or thereabouts, i began listening to religious
freaks preachers on AM radio… it was either that, or listen to gawd-awful music or mindless conservative babble on the AM-only radio that was in the taxi that i drove, and religious freaks preachers were the only thing i could stand to listen to. in the afternoons, i listened to one particular preacher — bob larson — with great amusement because of the ridiculous things he would say. eventually i adopted a persona, sort of an alter-ego, named Wraith Ugly (alternately spelled Ralph Ewggleigh), with whom i called him up (remember, this was before cell phones, when you actually had to have a wire connecting the telephone to the wall) and taunted him mercilessly, while recording the conversations. after several years, i got tired of this merciless taunting, and had a friend of mine call bob and tell him that “wraith” had committed suicide. then, about a year later, when bob had all but forgotten me, i called and told him that i had been brought back to life by The Church of Tina Chopp, who had held a secret ceremony where they planted cucumbers, in accordance with the Word of Tina…
all of this is documented, more or less, at The Church of Tina Chopp web site, and on a 2-CD set called “The Wacky Adventures of Bob Larson, Ralph Ewggleigh, Osiris Ranebo, and Other Freaks, Live, On The Air” which is finished, but hasn’t been released on bandcamp yet, because it mostly contains tracks that are larger than i can upload to bandcamp… 😐
every now and then i think that it might be fun to renew my acquaintance with bob… actually, what i’d really like to do is get somebody else, possibly somebody with whom bob is already familiar, outfit them with a hidden camera and recording device, and have them approach bob and ask him if he has heard anything about wraith ugly recently, just to see what he does… 👿
but then i realise that doing so would very likely cause me more stress, and i really don’t need that in my life these days… especially when jon stewart is doing such a fantastic job of harrassing bob without me… 😎
oh, by the way, “Reverend” bob larson isn’t really a reverend, or, if he is, he was ordained by the Universal Life church, or something like it. when bob and i were “palling around”, he was not only not a reverend, but held the title in disdain, because it was so easily abused… 😐
i went to bellingham saturday, and came back today. there are a number of interesting developments that came about as a result:
apparently there is a “bullet shuttle” that runs from downtown bellingham to downtown seattle and back, that only costs $11… which means that there’s a good chance that i will be taking it to bellingham, and/or whitley will be taking it to seattle more regularly, for the purposes of, basically, getting And More back together. along the same lines, whitley and kamalla have offered to house my keyboards in their house, which means that when i go to bellingham, my keyboards will be set up and ready to go, and when i’m not there, other people will be playing them. the piano (which is missing three tines) has been packed up in a box and sitting behind the couch for about 7 years, and before that it was in a box in the hallway… i haven’t actually had it set up since we moved in to this house… so putting it to good use again is most desirable, and this seems like a prime opportunity.
while i was on my way to bellingham, yesterday, i took sort of a detour through mount vernon, so that i could go by the places i used to live. while i was in mount vernon, it started to rain, and then, quite suddenly, it started to rain so hard that, after slowing down, and slowing down, and turning my windshield wipers to their highest settings, i still could not see, and was forced to take refuge in a parking lot for about half an hour, until the rain let up. as i was pulling out of the parking lot, i saw a building across the street that was, literally, pouring water, tens of gallons a minute, from all of the downspouts… and the streets were flooded in several places, to the point where, when i had to drive through a flooded part, i was concerned because it was over the floorboards of my car… i haven’t seen it rain that much in that short a period of time more than once or twice before in my entire life.
the main reason i went to bellingham in the first place was that kenyth’s 80th birthday was last week, and i went to deliver a birthday present (Operation Mindfuck) on monday. while i was there, i heard that there was going to be a music jam (which is what they’re calling the stairway jam these days), and it was suggested that i come up for it, so i did. another thing that we discussed while i was there was the fact (in my opinion) that kenyth really needs a wikipedia page… a fact that is complicated by the fact that kenyth has kept absolutely ZERO archives of the work that he has done, class notes from classes he has taught, personal correspondence, and that sort of thing, and further complicated by the fact that, to be a wikipedia page that isn’t deleted immediately, a lot of the information posted has to be backed up by stuff that is publically available from internet, which, in this case, would be practically impossible in anything like a realistic way. the upshot is that i am going to help the community of people who want to see this happen, by registering a domain (how about http://KenythFreeman.dance/ or http://JosephPFaddlefum.name/ or something like that? 😉 ) and pointing that domain name towards a blog that i can set up, and then give to the people who actually know what content there is, and can organise it the way it’s supposed to be.
on my way back, today, i mostly took surface streets, and only hit the freeway once or twice. i was north of burlington on what i think was Highway 99, and i found the new location of “The Music Shoppe”, which was a place i worked a couple of times a VERY long time ago: the first time was right after i graduated from the tech school, and ended when i got fired for telling sam, the owner, that the “chemical tank” that he bought, ostensibly to “dip musical instruments”, was full of the chromic acid that he bought and then discovered he couldn’t use because it’s carcinogenic (and, generally, only used as a “bright dip” for brass instruments before they are buffed and refinished), and it was beginning to leak, because it wasn’t really a “chemical tank” but, rather, a stainless steel dairy tank with a bright brass stopper… and the chromic acid was dissolving the bright brass stopper, because, well… chromic acid dissolves brass… 😐
anyway, the second time, he actually subcontracted my musical instrument repair business to repair musical instruments for “The Music Shoppe”, and that ended when he refused to pay me for an instrument that i had fixed, that his customer had refused to pay for. basically i said that, until i got paid i wasn’t going to fix any more instruments for him. he said that he hadn’t paid me because his customer hadn’t paid him, and i pointed out that his customer was HIS customer, and that MY customer was him, but that didn’t seem to make any difference. they apparently moved from their shop in the fountain district in north bellingham, some time in the past, and they are, as of 1st november, moving in to burlington. i left Operation Mindfuck in the front door for them to find when they open up tomorrow. 👿
i was cleaning out my desk and i found a bit of paper that probably hasn’t changed relative locations in close to 35 years. it was written on the back of a photocopied “description of statues” that was from Sindhu International, which, among other things, was my landlord when i was in the tech school, but the important part was written on the back, several years later, when i was working as a flagger…
THE TANGERINE VEST OF VISIBILITY
THE AMBER HELMET OF HARDNESS
I BEAR ON MY STAFF THE POWER OF
THE SCARLET OCTAGON
AND I COMMAND YOU TO
between 1982 and 1984, before i went into the tech school, i had a “job” as a cookie baker. part of that job involved making halvah, a yummy treat made of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cocoa powder and other goodies, stuck together with honey or maple syrup. the reason i called it a “job” was because, as far as i knew, i was the owner of the business, and more-or-less it’s only employee, which may have actually been the case, although i never found out. i got the “job” from the PHBFH when she got pregnant with ezra and couldn’t work any longer, and when the “job” ended – when i went to seattle to start attending the tech school – i “gave” the business, called “Celebration Cookies”, back to the guy who had originally started it as a restaurant called “Celebration Cookery” several years before… but i never worked out of an “approved” kitchen, i never paid B&O taxes, i never had a health-department inspection or any of that “real business” stuff that normally goes on, so i don’t know for sure whether or not it was a “real” business, and thus i don’t know for sure whether or not it was a “real” job…
and, after i gave it back to the guy, i probably shouldn’t have worried about whether it was a “real” job or not, because, while i tried (and mostly succeeded) at making it a profitable use of my time, the guy i “gave it back to” was out of business within two months: he went out and spent the entire bank account on two ingredients that we used only a very little, and when he needed more of an ingredient that we used fairly regularly, there was no money in the bank account for it… so he went out of business… oh well, i’ve never looked back.
after having baked anywhere from 25 to 100 dozen cookies a week for a short period of time, i got to the point where i stopped eating cookies all together, except for the gingerbread cookies, and the halvah, because they were both yummy enough that, despite the fact that i had experienced the raw ingredients up to my elbows (and in my hair, and pretty much everywhere else), i still wanted to experience the finished product. eventually, after giving up the cookie business, i still made halvah, because the grain grinder was the only part of the business that i didn’t give back to the guy… because he didn’t ask for it back, and because i wanted to keep it so that i could continue to make halvah, because it
was IS so yummy… 😎
i even modified the halvah recipe to make it more yummy, because… well, that’s what you do with recipes for yummy treats… 😎
the last time i remember making halvah was before we moved into our current house. the grain grinder “disappeared” around the time that we moved, and i didn’t notice it until several years later. i tore the house apart looking for it, and couldn’t find it anywhere… it was because i wasn’t looking in the correct place, of course, but i didn’t find that out until i had given up looking for it, and had considered it a lost piece of history for several years.
until yesterday, when i looked in the correct place, while i was in the process of looking for something else… i suppose i should have looked for something else in that place before last night, but it was behind a whole pile of other stuff, and the cabinet that it was in was full of a whole bunch of other stuff that is “too cool to throw out, but otherwise useless”, which was put back in the cabinet and had stuff piled up in front of it, so it isn’t too surprising that it was overlooked…
but, the upshot is that i found my grain-grinder. so, i decided to make halvah. 😎
and it still is as yummy as i remember it. 😎
i only made half a pan, because i wasn’t sure if i remembered the modified recipe correctly, but i did, so now, as soon as that’s finished (likely within the next two or three days, depending on how yummy moe thinks it is), i’m all set to make a full pan. 😎
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.
a long time ago, before cell phones, internet tubes, and the evil koch brothers…
during the mid-1980s, i had been living in a rooming house on capitol hill, whose landlord was a young guy whose father actually owned the house, and he was “gaining job experience” by being the live-in landlord. i really didn’t know him that well, but he was very lax in keeping up the house: he did nothing about the windows which were leaking water when it rained, he did nothing to fix the central heating of the house, which meant that the upper floors (including where i lived) had no heat at all, he wasn’t too concerned about the fact that i regularly bought my own food, but had nowhere separate to store it, and if i left it in the “common areas” it would get eaten by the other housemates (including himself), even if it was clearly marked… when he refused to address any of these issues, i went to the city housing authority, who informed me that he didn’t have a permit to have a rooming house, and it was in a residential area that didn’t allow rooming houses, so the housing authority came in and shut the guy down, which meant that i had to find another place to live, fast.
i looked at an apartment on
terry belmont and east union (terry and east union was where i lived in the mid-1990s), where it appeared that they were in the process of completely remodeling the place. as it turned out, the apartment had been inhabited by an old lady, and her cats, who had lived there for 50 years… but nobody knew she had cats, until she was out shopping one day, and had a heart attack (or something like that) and was taken to the hospital, where she died. she apparently didn’t have any relatives, and she had paid her rent in advance, so nobody bothered to access her apartment until several months (like “more than six”) later, at which point they discovered what used to be the cats, which had clawed open the refrigerator and eaten the food that they could before dying of starvation… which resulted in a BIG mess, which they were in the process of cleaning up when i came around to look at the place.
at that point, i really didn’t care who used to live in the apartment, or their cats. i was just interested in getting out of the rooming house before something (or someone) blew up, so i said that i was moving in whether they were done cleaning up or not. it turned out that they did a pretty good job of cleaning up everything except the refrigerator. while it was “clean”, it had a smell like rotten death, and the only thing i could find that would successfully mask the smell was pine-sol, which, of course, made everything that i kept in my refrigerator taste of pine-sol… believe me, it was WAY better than tasting of rotten death.
anyway, about a week or so after i moved in, i had this really weird dream, where this little old lady was ranting and fussing about because there was some unknown person in her apartment, and she couldn’t find any of her cats. i had the same dream for a couple of weeks, with minor variations in the plot and the cast, until i consciously realised that this was the old lady who used to live in my apartment… at which point, the next time i had the dream, i told the old lady that i was the person in her apartment, and she could hang around as long as she left me alone. after that, i started noticing that somebody was calling my name from the kitchen when i was in the living room… or someone was opening latched cupboards or slamming the bathroom door, when i was in the kitchen… friends of mine commented on these bizarre phenomena on a regular basis. even when whe wasn’t making her presence physically known, i could tell she was around, because everything would smell of pine-sol, instead of incense or cannabis…
at some point, i found a piece of cardboard with the words “ADOPT A GHOST” on it – i think it was on a pizza box, but i can’t be sure – which i still have.
eventually, after about 2 years, i moved out, and back to bellingham… and the ghost came with me. she would call my name from the kitchen of the new house i lived in, and open the closed cabinets, but it seemed like she was fading away. probably a year later, i didn’t notice these things happening any longer. my guess is that she moved on.
at this point in my life, i would say that, quite apart from my being enlightened, my belief system falls somewhere between athiest and esoteric shivaite (with hints of buddhism, judaism, and unorthodox christianity thrown in for good measure), and i’m not sure i would believe a story like that if it hadn’t happened to me… for that matter, i’m not sure i would believe a story like that in spite of the fact that it happened to me… i guess i may just be waiting for someone to tell me that i’m crazy, so that i can tell them “i know, i know…” 😐
so i went to bellingham yesterday. it has been a long time since i’ve been in belligham, and it has been even longer since i have seen the…
crazy hippy freaks unique crowd that was there for kenyth’s 77th birthday party last night.
kenyth was my advisor when i first started college, and i started college during the latter part of the last century, but that comes later.
first, i drove through mt. vernon and saw many cow-fields adjacent to the nookachamps river that are going to be ripe for mushrooming in a few weeks, and, basically, i’ve decided that i’m going to take at least one weekend day and do exactly that… because mushrooms are my second favourite drug (the first is hashish, but that’s a separate story).
it took me about an hour longer than i thought it was going to, to get to bellingham, which still puzzles me somewhat. i went to ken & kamalla’s place, but nobody was home, so i then went to the madhouse, which is where i spent the night last night, and talked to darol and the lady who lives in the cabin (which was my space, 25 years ago) for a while, then i went out to wander until it was time for kenyth’s party.
the first place i went was the lake whatcom railroad trail, near where i used to live on valencia street, where i walked east (up hill) on the trail to this spot, where i found this:
it was somewhat strange back before everything got developed, but it is somewhat stranger now that it’s the only remaining evidence of a railroad line that used to go right through the middle of what is now a shopping mall and a fairly populated neighbourhood.
i then continued wandering east on the old railroad grade until i found a place that was built about the same time i lived there, which is a dam which funnels all of the water into a creek. a long time ago, shortly after the dam was first built, i used to go there and hide in the tube at the south end of the dam, and grafitti the inside of the tube. at one point, i even took a couple of sheets of plywood down there, so that i didn’t have to worry about getting soaked while i worked. i cleaned debris and gravel out of the tube at least twice, and i had a cozy, invisible little camp/hidey-hole there for a couple of years. now you can still get into the tube, but there’s a sizable pool at the bottom of it at this point, so you’d have to be a spry 20-something to get in there… i imagine that i could probably get in there now, but i imagine that if i wasn’t careful, i would get wet, and i didn’t want to do that yesterday, because it was threatening rain, and i didn’t have a change of clothes handy…
then i went down the tracks a little further, until i got to whatcom falls park, which is another place i used to live eons ago, when ezra was small. this is the place where the PHBFH lived, while i lived in the madhouse (when the PHBFH was living up to her acronym, which was about half of the time), when we went to vancouver BC to see the opera, when ezra was a tiny baby, and there were several old lady opera attenders who looked down their noses at us because we had a “babe-in-arms” at the opera, and everybody knows that babes-in-arms disrupt civilised things like opera… and they didn’t even notice when ezra went to sleep, shortly after the opening chorus, and slept all the way through, without making any noise at all. then, when we got home, very late at night, it was raining, so i parked the car while the PHBFH got out to open the door, so that we could avoid having ezra out in the rain for too long… except that the PHBFH wouldn’t open, or go anywhere close to the door, because it had a teensy little frog, smaller than the diameter of a dime, sitting on the door handle… 8)
then i went back to ken and kamalla’s place, where there was someone home this time, although it wasn’t kamalla, because she was apparently in california visiting her grandkids. i engaged in geek/music and/or music/geek talk with ken until it was time to go to kenyth’s party… which, coincidentally, was in the same dance studio where ezra took lessons from the time that he was 5 until he started at the pacific northwest ballet school, which used to be the nancy whyte studio, but is now called the “Presence Dance Studio”…
as i said previously, kenyth was my advisor during the time that i was at fairhaven college, which was 1979 through 1984, and again, on and off, from 1986 to 1989. prior to my arrival at fairhaven, kenyth was actually the dean of the college, but by the time i got there, he was “just a professor”. his two “specialty” classes were “Introduction to Personal Philosophy 101” which was informally known as “the fly in the flybottle” or simply “the flybottle class”, and “Awareness Through The Body”. when i first started at fairhaven, you could take body awareness as many times as you wanted, but you could only take the flybottle class once… however, it had such a powerful effect on me that i actually took it twice (with kenyth’s approval) – although i never took body awareness at all (which is kind of a shame, now that i think about it).
before i met kenyth, i was a child from bellevue, a place which is, like it’s new york namesake, an excellent place from which to escape. kenyth introduced me to the person i would eventually become. he did this by allowing me to be me, gently, uncritically and with a great deal of humour (as well as various other things), and by not requiring me to be anything which i was not. it didn’t take long for me to realise that i acutally am another person, one who is 180 degrees different from the person my parents wanted me to be (who was boring and had no life).
and i saw a whole bunch of
crazy hippy freaks unique people whom i haven’t seen for quite some time. i saw: douglas drake and joni papp, who i saw at burning man in 2008; karl meyer and stephan freeman, who i see at the moisture festival every year; sally peyou, who i got email from last week, but haven’t actually seen since 2007; yoav and yael yanich, deirdre morgan, kathy veterane, darby freeman, lisa carderelli, dani cutler, jamie jedinak, and a lot of other people whose names i am already forgetting again… all of whom i haven’t seen in at least 20 years… i got email addresses for the people i’ve been thinking about, and wondering what ever happened to them…
i went to sleep, and woke up in the madhouse for the first time since 1989 and it felt so right… if i ever have the opportunity to move back to bellingham at any point in the future, you can bet that i’m going to jump on it in a second. 8)
Today, while I was sleeping, my girlfriend took my phone and set the ringtone to a bloodcurdling scream. I found this out when I received a call while driving to work and, thinking someone was being murdered in my backseat, I panicked and swerved into a parked car.
mean… but funny… 8) (as long as it’s not happening to me)
which reminds me of a funny story…
a long time ago, when i was in college, i had come home for the break between spring and summer sessions and discovered that my parents had rented out my room, so i was forced to sleep in the family room. i didn’t spent an awful lot of time at home anyway, so it wasn’t much of a problem, but the problem came when i changed the phone-answering-machine message to a quote from a song by Crème & Godley:
This is The Bad Samaritans, hello loved-one. Sorry there was nobody here to take your call personally, but we understand what you’re going through; how you’ve travelled life’s highways with your smile on upside down. And now you think you’ve found the ultimate answer to all your problems. Don’t be hasty. Why waste a life? Wait ’till there’s a crowd down below. Give a little when you go.
— Crème & Godley, The Sporting Life
everything would have been fine, except that the woman(!) to whom they had rented my room was a suicide counsellor, who had, among her clients, a couple of parents whose son had just committed suicide…
and, naturally, they called shortly after i changed the message, when nobody was home…