Tag Archives: ocf

i did it

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

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

some random hippie, 2019

fair was fair:

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

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

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

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

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

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

bleah…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

add new

it’s june.

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

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

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

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

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

OCF is going to be interesting, this year…

new madness from veneta

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

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

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

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

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

oh no… 😕

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OCF… woo…

i leave for OCF in seven days.

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

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

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

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

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

update

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

so, anyway…

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

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

that’s it…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

😕

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

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

anagrams of Oregon Country Fair
anagrams of Oregon Country Fair

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

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

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

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

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

yawn

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

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

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

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

ho hum, default new entry title…

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

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

cuica
cuica
cuica
cuica

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

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

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

2016 some random hippie
2016 some random hippie

other years:

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

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

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

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

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

now that things are…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

post OCF…

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

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

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

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

another advantage: cold beer. that is all.

OCF and heat

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

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

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

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

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

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

OCF 2014

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

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

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

140709 Keith Neale tends bar at the Morningwood dedication

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

140709 Morningwood Odditorium

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

140709 Morningwood Odditorium

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

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

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

wtf?

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

WTF, ‘eh?

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

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

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

SACBO, OCF et cetera

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

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

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

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

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

meh

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

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

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

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

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

OCF afterglow

πŸ™‚

i got back from OCF yesterday.

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

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

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

and more pictures, if anyone is truly interested.