Tuesday Thoughts on Happiness

Happiness is...
     :-) Last minute, on a whim travel
     :-) Free airport WiFi
     :-) Fancy breakfast in bed
     :-) Unexpected gems that I would never find in a travel guide
     :-) Candy
     :-) Good friends
     :-) Seeing something I've always heard about.
     :-) Being reminded that we had the right idea long long ago
     :-) All around us
Tuesday July 27 2010File under: travel, misc

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FC 110 - Wheeeeee!

As you all know, I don't really need a new reason to ride public transportation. "Oh, that bus is a new color. I must ride it", "I've got 13 minutes left on my transfer. I'd better not let that go to waste", or "new route? Sure I don't need to go that way, but a new route is a new route". But some people are still working to overcome the hurdle of becoming users of public transit.

With increasing ridership in mind, I've submitted a proposal to the cities of Atlanta, Miami, and Detroit* to install roller coaster based transit systems. Think of the impact this could have: people clamber to ride public transit instead of driving because it is so fun, children get hooked at a young age possibly going on to never own a personal car, the system pays for itself by lost change under the loop-d-loop, new jobs will be created for saw dust shovelers to cover "transit related sicknesses"—the list goes on and on.

Or maybe we can all just have a chuckle at the thought. Happy Friday!
Friday July 23 2010File under: comic

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Dreams Come True Pavilion

Yesterday, I finished the Dreams Come True Pavilion, a project began almost a year ago first with a wishing well and then a [fancy] rock wall. This last phase has been laying stone and broken concrete to create the "pavilion" part of the pavilion. The project has been an outlet for a creative need, an exercise in my stone stacking skillz, an investment in a project that I believe in, and an attempt to create something that really affects people in a positive way.

The result of hauling, stacking, and laying all these rocks is something I'm quite proud of. I would love to show it to you sometime if you ever find the chance* to make it up to the Quarry (between Anacortes and Bellingham). If you come, be sure to bring some coins for wishing (and a swimsuit for the best swimming hole in the county). Until then, have a look at a picture or two: dedication stone, the well front and center, an artist's self portrait (posted here for archival purposes).

And remember, dreams do come true. (They really do.)
Wednesday July 21 2010File under: pics, quarry

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Phone Booth Score

You've heard of a ground score, right? When you find something neat on the ground (ex: money, a crossword puzzle, train ticket to Peru, etc.) Well, the "score" concept can be applied to other locations as well—pocket score (finding something in your pocket you had forgotten about or that maybe you didn't even put there), public transportation score, etc. Well, this weekend at the farmers' market in Port Townsend, I had myself quite the phone booth score.

Have you tried Baconnaise? I haven't yet either, but the slogan alone has me extra curious: "The ultimate bacon flavored spread". Sounds like a pretty freaking good idea to me. Anyway, I found this sealed container of Baconnaise in a phone booth in Port Townsend and was forbidden from trying it while under a friend's roof (because the use by date was 3 months ago and the ingredients contain egg yoke). So now I am just waiting for the right "sandwich, salad, dip, sauce, chicken, fish, or fries" to come along so I can give it an initial try. I'll keep you posted.

(P.S. Dear animal loving friends: it's "kosher and even safe for vegetarians"!)
Monday July 19 2010File under: food, misc

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FC 109 - Seeking an Outlet

I'm pleased to report that Friday Comics are back! The reason I'm pleased is not only because I've missed them, but I've gotten a few compliments and inquiries of late about them. It is always nice to know that your work is appreciated and since this is what passes for my work these days, I'll take it.

I had a few great comic ideas find their way into my brain over the last month, and I hope to let some of them out soon (as I don't have many travel plans in the near future (although one never knows...)). So stay tuned (if you want) for the [attempted] cubicle comforting routine I call Friday Comics.
Thursday July 15 2010File under: comic

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2010 Chautauqua Picture Round-Up

After a trip, there's a whole list of things to do. Go through the mail, do a load (or 8*) of laundry, deal with e-mails and calls you've been putting off, etc. And then there's the pictures. It's both a burden and a pleasure, at least for me. Luckily I've got the blog as an outlet for sharing them, giving me more incentive to get them dealt with. Anyway, I hope they put a smile on your face.

Wednesday July 14 2010File under: circus, pics

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Overheard at OCF 2010

The midnight show's not at midnight. It's at 10:00. Every is SO OLD now.
Cry randomly but in a cute way.*
I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you. You look different without pants.*
How long do I have to keep my fake butt?
Ew, poop sauna*
Boyfriends? Boyfriends are for home.

How do you describe in 200 words or less something that is almost indescribable? That's kind of how I feel about making a post about the Oregon Country Fair. (Here is my attempt from a couple years ago.) I could talk of it's magic, heat, crowdedness, shows, music, talent, dust, nature, extreme hippiness, and food. Pictures sure would help, but anytime I tried a shot, it didn't even come close to doing the scene justice. So instead, I selected a random smattering of quotes I overheard (or were directly told) to share with you. I hope you enjoy! (Oh, and a tech note*)
Tuesday July 13 2010File under: misc

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Oregon Coast

Alas, 2010's New Old Time Chautauqua is over. But instead of returning to the real world, I've opted to let the fun and magic continue, albeit in a slightly different form. I'm currently enjoying all that the Oregon Coast has to offer, and believe me, it has lots.

The past 2 nights have been spent at Nehalem Falls campground, a small county park up Nehalem River that is exactly what we were looking for (after being hugely disappointed by the commercialness of Oregon State Park campgrounds).

During the day, entertainment has been found in the form of playing on the beach, exploring the quaint little towns, and visiting the Tillamook cheese factory....twice*. On the possible agenda for the rest of the time is sea lion caves, more beach time, and maybe, just maybe, another visit to the cheese factory.

This little vacay to the coast has been just what I needed to buffer re-entry into the real world. Back to back vacations is really the way to go. Dare I try back to back to back? Stay tuned to see.
Thursday July 8 2010File under: travel, USA

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Subtleties of the Show

I watch a lot of vaudeville/circus acts in a given year–Cirque du Soleil, Vaudevillingham, etc. In most cases, they are new to me, if not in content, at least in arrangement. Traveling with the circus, I get to see more than a few shows. While the content varies some from show to show, there are also a lot of repeated acts.

Don't get me wrong, seeing repeat acts isn't a bad thing. In fact, it lends a new light on the whole performance process. Seeing the subtle difference in timing on jokes, order of tricks, combined with other variables (weather (for outdoor shows), sound set-ups, etc.) make for each show being different enough that it stays interesting.

Yep, I saw the Flying Karamazov perform in at least 7 shows, and from each one I saw something new, understood a joke in a new way, or learned which jokes are improvised, etc. Not only did I not get burned out, I would welcome watching them, or any of our other performers, do their act 10 more times. Knowing that no two performances is quite the same makes me that much more excited to go out and see some more. Who knows, maybe I'll even get out on the stage myself someday.
Monday July 5 2010File under: circus

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Solar Living Institute

Chautauqua is currently camped* at the ever so lovely Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA. Talk about an amazing piece of property—a pond, carousel, solar panels everywhere, solar ovens, gardens, straw bale structures, outdoor kitchen, and so much more. Besides hosting random bands of roving circus folk, they teach classes and have a store full of alternative products. Not a bad place to spend 5 or 6 nights*

We did a show here a couple nights ago on an outdoor stage (set up on straw bales: totally awesome). The attendance was good and very energetic. Tonight is the Ben Show, a show by Chautauquans for Chautauquans. Much mockery, drunken antics, and lewdness is expected. It won't fit in so well with the gorgeous setting, but luckily it will be after business hours so the public won't be subjected to the ridiculousness.

Have I mentioned that running with the circus is pretty awesome? Because it is.
Wednesday June 30 2010File under: circus

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