|It's not often that I get to go to jail*. Well, chalk up another life experience to running away with the circus!
On Chautauqua tour, we do a combination of big shows in local theaters and smaller shows in community spaces (assisted living facilities, children's groups, and jails). My first three tours, we never made it to a jail show, for whatever reason. This year, however, we have 2! Let me tell you, they are awesome!
At the first [minimum security] facility, we had no stage, no lights, and no microphones. The audience sat in the grass or stood. Backstage was behind a tree. But despite all that, it was easily the best show I've been involved in. The inmates really really appreciated it. They clapped, hooted, and laughed when appropriate and were nothing but the best audience one could hope for. The audience participation bits were even more hilarious than usual because everyone knew everyone else. So much of a show is in the enthusiasm of the audience. This enthusiasm was off the charts.
While the scene and stage was very different at the second [medium/maximum] facility (we performed indoor in the chapel with the audience neatly seated in chairs], the enthusiasm, behavior, and appreciation of the audience was just the same. There was a lot of laughing, smiling, and cheering going on. Afterwards, we all formed a line to accept their hearty handshakes, joke about the show, and mingle. It was great.
Yeah, going to jail is pretty awesome. Here's hoping it becomes a part of every Chautauqua tour!
(To read more about this year's Chautauqua's tour, check out our official blog here)
|Monday July 2 2012||File under: circus, travel|
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It's that time again, time for the New Old Time Chautauqua's summer tour! This year, we are headed to Eastern Oregon, and I couldn't be more excited about it. I recently cruised through there and it is gorgeous countryside with lots of good people (not to mention all the good people we'll be traveling and juggling(!) with)!
This year I've turned in my chef's hat for a clipboard and will be doing some logistics work. I've spent the last 4 or so months helping to plan an awesome tour and it will be great see it all come together. If you have any friends or acquaintances in Eastern Oregon, send them our way! The schedule is below. Any questions you can send my way. Otherwise, follow tour on NOTC's blog (hopefully with the occasional post here on BdW!)
Baker City - Saturday, June 23
noon: Parade from Main Street to Geiser Pollman Park
1:00-3:00 Free Workshops in Geiser Pollman Park
7:30 Vaudeville Show at Baker City High School
Enterprise - Thursday, June 28
4:00: Parade to Farmer's Market
7:30: Vaudeville showat the OK Theater
Friday, June 29th
noon-3:00: Free workshops & band performance at Watershed Festival at Wallowa County Fairgrounds
Pendleton - Saturday, June 30
noon: Parade down Main Street
1:00: Free Workshops at SW 4th and Court Avenue
7:30 Vaudeville show at the Vert Auditorium
John Day - Tuesday, July 3
Noon: parade down Main Street
1:00: Workshops at Grant County Fairgrounds
7:30 Vaudeville Show at the Grant County Fairgronds
Bend - Friday, July 6
1:00 Workshops at Bend Circus Center
6:00 Parade from Wall Street to Mirror Pond Plaza
Saturday, July 7
7:30pm Vaudeville show at the Tower Theater
|Tuesday June 19 2012||File under: circus|
To those comic artists/creators who create comics every day, I'm in total awe. I used to struggle to get one per week, and now I can't even churn out one every other week. This week, I had to go to the archives and co-opt this comic from a birthday card I created a while back. My apologies to the original recipient.
I'm taking the next couple weeks off from comics while I'm on Chautauqua tour. Perhaps I will come back refreshed, read to step back up the comic schedule. Or perhaps not. Anyhoo, I'm off to eat a donut and go to bed.
|Friday June 15 2012||File under: comic|
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|I had originally hoped, when composing a blog post about my 10-year college reunion, to be writing about how comforting it is to see those with whom I've shared a significant experiences (like college) and be reminded of how friendship can effortlessly pick right back up, to relive old stories and perhaps even create a few new ones. Unfortunately, however, I can't. Not because it was discomforting to see old friends or because my ideal of friendship was disproved but because all my friends chose to skip out due to complexities of life, travel, and memories. While a bit of a bummer to not get to catch up with folks who I seem to see less and less, it turned out to be a fun weekend nonetheless.
Maine is down right beautiful. Bates goes all out spiffing up the place and putting on a show for the attendees. And to frolic about a place I used to live after having been away for so long was a wonderful dose of nostalgia*. And while none of my '02 friends made the trek north, I ran into an old juggling buddy with whom I spent a fair number of pleasant practice hours*. So the weekend was not without the requisite "where are you what are you doing?" conversations.
We mostly spent the reunion simply just enjoying the place. We wandered around, Della being so kind to let me tell her stories. We took a few pictures, ate in the new dining hall*, and noticed changes around campus. I ate a lobster roll* and we toured a friend's brewery.
No, my 10-year college reunion wasn't I was hoping. I imagine my 20-year won't be either. But however it goes down, I'm sure it will be great, just like this one.
|Wednesday June 13 2012||File under: travel|
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I now feel like I know what it would be like to be a traveling salesman. I just spent 2 days on the road from dawn til dusk, covering 900 miles and meeting with 10+ people in 5 town in Eastern Oregon in preparation for this year's Chautauqua tour. From navigating in new places to eating fast food on the go to living out of a rental car, I felt the experience was just a motel away from the epitome of traveling salesman*.
The upshots: seeing beautiful countryside*, meeting with our partners in great communities, getting back on the road*, and feeling more prepared for tour this year.
The downsides: go go and then go some more, way too much time in a car, not any time to keep up on normal life, and, well, the loneliness.
All in all, a great trip and super helpful to the cause. But next time, I'm taking someone with me and going about half as fast!
|Wednesday June 6 2012||File under: travel, USA|
But more importantly, this week's Friday Comic has a real treat in store. Like's been done a time or two in the past, this week I've invited a guest artist to provide a different style on the same idea. We take one of my comic ideas and both do our own thing with it. Then I post 'em both here to BdW and you, the reader, get to benefit. Two for the price of one.
I don't even need to tell you who did which comic. I did one and the amazingly talented Stef (who blogs over at StefCo) did the ridiculously awesome other. Did I mention it's incredibly freaking awesome? Good good fun. I'm thinking we might need to convince Stef to do another here in the near future.
Anyway, a big thanks to Stef for the awesome comic and a big thanks to all you readers* for, well, reading. Happy Friday!
|Friday June 1 2012||File under: comic|
|It has been a long time since I've done a true beard post*. In fact, it's been a long time since I've shaved. According to my records, it's been 7.5 months(!) since last semi-respectable Wren graced the world with his presence. Well, to go with my fancy hair cut*, I decided it was time. And since an opportunity like this can't be passed up, we had some fun.
Artistic director Della took control of the camera and the razor. I did the fancy* computer work afterwards to stitch it all together (my first animated .gif, believe it or not.) Anyway, I think it is pretty darn fun. Hope you get a kick out of it too.
|Wednesday May 30 2012||File under: beard|
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|It's not often that I can say I worked a 60 hour work week. In fact, I don't think, outside of volunteer work*, I've ever put in that many hours in a week. This past week, however, I worked 60 hours hauling gravel, weeding, spreading bark, building trails, painting, planting, driving a fully loaded truck, crawling under the house to do plumbing, and more. And while I am pooped, I'm happy.|
In terms of jobs, you couldn't really ask for a better gig. We spent the week just outside Mt. Rainer National Park*, working on a million dollar cabin right along the river with beautiful grounds complete with waterfalls, private forest paths, and beautiful stonework everywhere you turned (my personal favorite being the spiral outdoor shower*). My boss has been going down there for a week or two per year for over 25 years and to see the culmination of all that work was amazing. And to participate in the storied trip was a real opportunity.
In our few off hours, we played horseshoes*, frisbee golf, poker, and ate well! It was dude time. There was even a surfer movie and some Simpsons. The combination of working and living together in a place where it is all about the work* really suits me. And with the overtime I logged and the spare change I put away, I could see doing it every year, if I'm lucky enough to be asked back.
Yes, work comes in all shapes and forms. A week working under the sun in a beautiful place with a bunch of cool dudes is one of my favorite forms.
|Tuesday May 22 2012||File under: work|
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For every idea that eventually makes it to Friday Comics, there are probably 3 that don't. This is not for lack of hilarity, but merely from not remembering to write the idea down. Quite often, an amusing situation will arise in my life where someone will say "That would make a great comic!" looking my direction. I try to keep track, but I often fail.
Anyway, this idea was among such real life occurrences. After we all had a good laugh at the awkward situation I was put in and my oh so clever escape, someone said "You should make that a comic!". And I did. So there.
(There was some discussion as to whether people would get the whole "Line." reference. Do you? You might think you don't, but you do and it just isn't that funny. "Line." is what actors say when they don't know/remember what to say next, right? Did you get it? Well, I hope at least someone had a chuckle.)
|Thursday May 10 2012||File under: comic|
|Blogs, as I've mentioned here before, are kind of a thing of the past*. People are into twitter and facebook now (which I consider blogging for the lazy man). So when a new blog comes around, I'm happy to give it props and encourage you all to check it out.
Saxtor, frequent commenter, one-time personal blogger, and hummus maker extraordinaire, has started a themed blog on bebidas ricas Mexicanas (or rich Mexican drinks to you no hablo espanol people). From it's about page:
This blog aims to collect in one place all of the delicious beverages that accompany Mexican cuisine. We are all familiar with tequila, and probably horchata and other agua frescas, but just as the world of Mexican food extends far beyond burritos and nachos, so does the world of Mexican beverages.
While many of the recipes/post cover alcoholic beverages, I picked a simple cucumber-lime agua fresca to try out for this post. Verdict? Simple and clear instructions, easy to make, and super yummy; perfect for those rare sunny days here in the NW.
Anyway, I highly suggest checking out bebidas.saxtor.com. Expand those horizons and viva las bebidas!
|Wednesday May 9 2012||File under: food, links|
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