Upcoming Travel

The last year and a half have been the least travelly of my adult life. Besides a few short domestic trips (Maine, Las Vegas), two stints with the circus (Alasqua, Oregon), and a handful of trips to Portland, I've mostly been hanging out in good old Northwest Washington. While it's been nice to see what the sedentary life is all about*, the travel urge has been growing. I happy to announce that plans are in the works!

Firstly, Della and I are headed to Hawaii at the end of February, with the current plan being Maui for 5ish days and Oahu for 4ish days. Besides a frisbee tournament on Maui and visiting some friends on Oahu, we don't have any huge agenda. Also, that means we are open to suggestion (including, but not limited to, friend-of-a-friend hookups! Otherwise the plan is to camp on the beach eat sand flies.)

Secondly, and [I can't help but saying] way more excitingly, is that we are going on a cruise!!!(!!!) Of all the ways I picture myself travelling, a cruise is probably towards the bottom of the list*. But an opportunistic traveller takes what he can get. It turns out that if you keep your eyes open, you can get ridiculously good cruise deals.

Our cruise goes from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Lisbon, Portugal, with stops on St. Thomas and Sint Maartin. It's 10 days with [all-you-can-eat] food and room included*. And what was the price? $299pp! Of course with taxes and mandatory gratuity, that price jumps to more like $470pp and you have to get yourself to Puerto Rico and back from Portugal, but still! I'm stoked.

It's my hope, that since I'm already in Europe, I will putz around there a bit afterwards, but that's all yet to be decided. April/May of 2013 is going to be a heck of a ride!

Just the thought of getting back on the road has me more excited than I can convey. Hopefully, besides a healthy tan, some awesome new experiences, and a few more places to add to my "been there" list, I'll also get a few fun blog posts out of it. So stay tuned!
Thursday January 31 2013File under: travel

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Ken Jennings at Village Books

I'm not much of a celebrity hound. If I passed Usher on the streets of Anacortes, 1) I totally wouldn't recognize him and 2) if he was pointed out to me, I gaze curiously for a moment and then move on. But there are a few people out there who do get true celebrity status in my eyes. Last night, I got to go see one of them speak.

Ken Jennings first attained fame through an epic run on Jeopardy!, earning a cool $3.7mil. Since then, he's taken to writing books. I've read Braniac, a history of trivia interwoven with his experience on Jeopardy! and Maphead, a great look at geography nerds of all types. I recommend them both highly.

Last night, he was speaking a Village Books in Bellingham about his latest book Because I Said So!, an interesting look into the facts behind the myths and lies our parents told us when we were kids. He recounted some of the facts from the book and they were quite funny. I don't know if I've ever go to hear an author speak, and I was pleasantly surprised by the experience.

Afterwards, I stood in line to get a book signed only to realize it was already signed! Solution: have him sign it again!

Celebrity-ism is funny to me, but also neat. All in all, a neat experience!
Friday January 25 2013File under: books

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Performance Videos

Remember those recent posts where I mentioned some of the performing I've been doing? Well, I found some video evidence. First we have me and Della's rope performed at the Lookout Arts Circus Campout* this past August. Awesome costumes by Della.


Next week have a clip from this month's Vaudevillingham. It was a piece we wrote for Frank's birthday party. We performed it in the early V-ham show and people liked it so much, they had us close the late show. Good times.


Monday January 21 2013File under: circus, juggling

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Hot Pizza! Get Your Hot Pizza!

Scene opens on water cooler with 2 people standing around
You:Wicked cold this weekend, eh? What did you end up doing?
Me:Oh, you know, the usual: hung out at the quarry, caught up on computer work, dressed as a giant slice of pizza and juggled fire on the late night streets of Bellingham, much to the delight of the drunkards. Nothing too exciting..
You:Ga?
Me: I've told you about the quarry, right? It's this circus hippie commune where we all—
You:Yes, yes, I know about the quarry. What was that part about dressing like a slice of pizza and juggling fire?!?
Me:Oh, that. La Fiamma wood fire pizza is doing this promotion thing with the Bellingham Circus Guild to try and promote it's new late-night pizza by the slice. Della talked me into it. We thought: pizza juggling fire...wood fire pizza...get it? Get it?? We had a great time and even made a little bit of money in tips (plus a nice gift certificate), so that lets me maintain my "professional juggler" status for another year.
You:Professional?
Me:Sure. Any time you get paid for something, you're a professional at it, right?
YouSo you are saying that that time I won $5 on video poker makes me a professional poker player?
Me:Technically, yes, but we're getting off topic. Besides juggling fire, I did some fun rope tricks (people loved those), and general circus/juggling merriment. Good times.
You:Riiiiight. Anyway, I think I hear my boss calling me. Those TPS reports aren't going to file themselves, you know.
You slowly backs away from the water cooler while scene fades to black













Monday January 14 2013File under: juggling, circus

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Friday Comics 2 - Another Freaking Book!!!!

The moment you've all been waiting for is finally here! Friday Comics 2, a compilation of the best of my* Friday Comics in the last 2 years (since the first book came out), is hot off the presses and ready to find its way to your bookshelf (or coffee table or toilet reading stand*). We're talking 48 full color, painstakingly drawn*, hilarious comics in this handsome book. How can you say no?*

I went with a different form factor this time around, and am very pleased with how it turned out. It makes for slightly larger comics than the last book, so no strained eyes in reading those hilarious captions.

So get them while they're hot. Like last time, I'm asking $10 a copy to offset printing and shipping costs ($8 if I hand deliver). Or if you'd like to order a copy of the first book as well, I'll do a combo pack for $15 ($12 hand delivered). Contact me for details and we'll work it out. Thank you for supporting local "art".
Friday January 11 2013File under: comics, books

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New Years Eve Costume Fun

For the past 2 years, Della and I have gone to an awesome New Year's Eve party at Pandaland* in Bellingham. Besides great food (pies!), great music, and great people, the party invites folks to come in costume. While most people interpret this as fancy-dressed-to-the-nines type costume, we always seem to take a different approach.

I particularly like this year's costume because of the juxtaposition of obviousness and subtlety. My costume (which I've worn before) is totally covered in personal ads of men seeking women. Wearing something like this leads to people staring at you all night, which is unsettling until you realize they are just reading the ads. Della's costume is just as you see it, as subtle as can be.

There is a photo booth* upstairs which feeds images to a projector downstairs, so the party can see the fun. It's really a great time. Here's our photo from last year.

Anyway, I hope you had a happy (or restful or exciting or ecstatic) New Year. Here's to 2013 being as awesome as 2012!
Saturday January 5 2013File under: holidays, pics

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Tracking Cabin Spending

One of the questions I know I will want to know the answer to when this cabin building project is all done is how much did it cost? So far, I haven't done a good job of tracking this. But as the build-with-stuff-I-find-lying-around-the-quarry phase is coming to an end and the oh-jeez-another-expensive-trip-to-the-hardware-store phase is starting, I wanted to attempt to start tracking costs.

As I remember it, so far:
  • Mortar: ~$300
  • Framing and sheeting lumber: ~$300
  • Concrete (for the floor): $120
  • Windows: $20
With this post, I will have a place to track money spent so I can have the final number, when the time comes.

Speaking of the time coming, I am making some good progress. As you can see from the picture, I've got the last wall built (to hold up the bed platform). This weekend, I just poured the concrete floor, which will be the basis for a flagstone floor. But more importantly, it means I can install the wood stove so I can keep working even when the weather ain't great. Here's to progress!!
Wednesday January 2 2013File under: quarry

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2013 Bellingham Circus Guild Calendar

Speaking of traditions, it's time* for the Bellingham Circus Guild's annual fundraiser calendar! This year Della took a break from design and layout and I partnered with the ever talented Kayla to make it happen. I did the template, grids, covers, and layout-for-printing logistics, and she did the picture gathering, grouping, and laying out. I think the result turned out super great and I'm stoked to have my portable, perfectly-sized, life-planning calendar to fill in with my busy busy schedule*.

The cover should be enough to make you want your own copy, but in case it's not, here's a few pages: June, September, and October. What's that? Now you've gotta have your own copy, you say? Well, don't delay. Go find a Cirque Guild member and plop down your big monies. Or contact me, and I'll see what I can do. And remember, you're supporting a pretty dang neat organizations whose state mission is "to assist and support the circus arts community of Whatcom County, to promote circus arts to the community at large, and to radically proliferate delight at every opportunity." How can you not want to support that?

Oh, and if you want to check out the previous calendars (which are also pretty dang neat), you can do so here: 2012, 2011, 2010. Yeehaw*!
Thursday December 27 2012File under: circus, misc

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Twas the Night Before Christmas 2012

Twas the night before Christmas
The most low-key in years
No van living, no cruising,
no circus, no gears

It's just me and my sweetie
with no big to do
We quietly watch Jeopardy!
While petting tussie-roo

There's comfort in the quiet
No stress and no hurry
Instead of ham or a turkey
We nibble veggie curry

Our holiday duties
with her kin then mine
Were nice but now finished
Which suits us just fine

Her folks' house was bustling
Full of wonderful smells
With my fam we gathered
In our sweaters with bells

But now is the time
For our traditions to grow
Whether they involve presents
Or a t.v. game show

But all that will happen
For it takes many a year
For now I'm content
with my brand of holiday cheer

So we shuffle off to bed
Just like any old night
Feeling blessed and lucky
And that everything's right

So with that I will end
This holiday rendition
And wish you Happy Christmas
As is our tradition.
Monday December 24 2012File under: holidays, poetry

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Sucked Back In

Two weeks ago, with a stomach full of all-you-can-eat Chinese food and dirty, cold, and wet, I came home from work a happy dude. Why? Because it was the end of my work for the season. For the past couple years, I've been doing a month or two of mason/landscaping work in the fall to refill the coffers, strengthen up my lazy back, and justify such unwise endeavors as all-you-can-eat Chinese food buffets.

After two weeks of much enjoyed time off, with a little of this (Chautauqua Board retreat) and a little of that (chillin' with my homies, I find myself back on the job. I'm thinking this stint will be a short one, because my pile of to-dos is not so tiny* and working outside in the winter in the Northwest isn't as much as you may think.

But just as the weather, hard work, and lack of free time reminds me of why I don't like working, the camaraderie, sense of purpose, and the scrilla reminds me why I do. So I guess it all comes out in the wash. Which reminds me, I should go do wash.

(In my occasional self-portraits series, here's me looking ever so happy to be back on the job.)
Thursday December 13 2012File under: work

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updated at 11:14 am Aug 17th


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