|The Cirque Lab, home of the Bellingham Circus Guild, has found a new home. While the old space was pretty dang neat (and home to many great memories*), circumstances dictated finding a new place to better accommodate Vaudevillingham and the other great shows that are in store.
Anyway, along with a new space comes moving. It's really amazing how much stuff can accumulate in a shared space, esp. when shared by circus folk that can turn pretty much anything into a prop or costume. A bunch of people helped out on the moving, so it was a hoot. There was climbing around to unhook aerial equipment, trying on old costumes, and alternative transportation.
So now all the is left is organizing the new space to get ready for this month's Vaudevillingham show. Speaking of which, you should come. Use it as an excuse to check out the new space, see a great show, and support a worthy local circus group. Info (address, times, etc.) can be found on the website. Hope to see you there!
|Wednesday April 14 2010||File under: misc|
|I love my job. For those of you who don't know (or are saying to yourself "You have a job!?!?"), I am a professional housesitter*. While technically the focus is usually on pets, since I do the plants, mail, papers, etc., I think "housesitter" encompasses the job better than "petsitter".
Why do I love this job? It's always different. I get to shop at different grocery stores, see different views, hang out with different pets, get to know different neighborhoods, and ride different buses, just to name a few things. And while housesitting requires you to be around the house as much as possible, it still leaves time for me to do my thing: make and do crosswords, draw comics, read, watch t.v., make websites, etc. But what I like most of all about housesitting is that I can see the direct result of my work. There is no middle man between me and the people for whom the service is being rendered, and they always appreciate it so much. That, the being able to directly help someone out, is what I love most about my job.
Do you know someone who needs a housesitter? I'm always looking to take on new clients and move into new markets*. And the jobs don't have to be in the northwest. I'd be happy to do a stint in Delaware, California, or Germany. Just get ahold of me and we'll work something out.
|Monday April 12 2010||File under: work|
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|Woohoo!! Comic number one hundred!* I'm halfway tempted to review the history of Friday Comics, from a one-time shot to a month long experiment to what it is today, but won't. If you are feeling nostalgic, however, have a browse through some of the past 3 years of comics.
Instead of a nostalgic look back though, I thought it might be fun to look at a few stats:
|Thursday April 8 2010||File under: comic|
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|I am the proud owner of an April 2010 WTA bus pass. "Big deal", you might be saying to yourself. For me, it is. It has been many years since I've had a bus pass* and I am super excited to have one again.
My schedule is such that owning a month long bus pass wouldn't benefit me. Either I am in Anacortes, where the bus is only really useful for getting out of town, and I don't do that very often, or I am only in a place for a short period of time, not long enough to justify getting a pass.
This month, I have a couple of housesitting gigs lined up back to back in Bellingham and it works out calendar-wise that I can justify buying a pass. The benefits of having a pass aren't just saving money when you ride often. There is also not having to think about transfers*, never needing correct change, and the knowing smile exchanged between you and the driver that you are a frequent rider, a user of public transit.
Yes, I am excited to have a bus pass again and am reminded of that every time I swipe my card. YAY FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT!
|Tuesday April 6 2010||File under: transportation|
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|Saturday April 3 2010||File under: travel, Mexico|
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|I know how hard it has been for you all without the beloved Friday Comic series this past month. Don't worry; it's back! And since I don't foresee any epic adventures in the near future*, hopefully there will be FCs for at least a couple more weeks.
Some of my comics have no basis in my life: I've never met a talking emerald and never crossed paths with Fuzzy Wuzzy. Some, however, are totally taken from real life (84, 66, and 90 just to name a few). This week's is so taken from my life right now that I even used my own name in it. (I was going to go into an explanation of what's going on, resplendent with all sorts of cutsie euphemisms*, but then I realized that's what old people do, talk about their health maladies. If you're under 50, you can't really get away with it (and for good reason!))
Anyway, I got a few good comic ideas on the road, so I'm looking forward to the next couple FCs. But, as well all know, good ideas don't necessarily equal good comics, so time will tell.
|Thursday April 1 2010||File under: comic|
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|A popular topic of conversation for travelers is money. From how you work it to travel (if you are on a longer trip or travel frequently) to daily budgets, it pretty much all gets covered. Luckily for me, instead of feeling like this is an intrusive topic, it is one that really interests me. How do other people find funds to travel? How long with their saving hold out? What do they plan on spending per day and what do they actually spend?
For this last trip, I gathered up all my recipes and compiled them to have a better idea of my travel budget (which could help with future planning). I post them here not only for posterity and for my own reference's sake, but also because the finances of travel are a big part of it all, so it is just another piece of the puzzle.
Overall, this trip cost $1384 (on ground expenses, flights, and getting home from the airport). Not bad for 24 days of adventure. Some interesting observations:
|Monday March 29 2010||File under: travel, Mexico|
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|Friday March 26 2010||File under: travel, Guatemala|
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|DISCLAIMER: Another wordy post, I know*, but no attempts at art or style in this one; just a regular, run-of-the-mill travel anecdote.
Sometimes bureaucratic/logistical disorganization can work for you. Sometimes it works against you. Today, while navigating my way back to the good old U.S. of A., I experienced both to a blog-worthy degree.
It all started at the airport in Tuxtla-Guetierez airport at an hour when I would rather be asleep in bed. Small airports have a certain degree of advanrage over their megalith cousins: short lines for both tickets and security. At ticketing, I checked in simply by showing my passport, as always do. I've since done away with even printing my itinerary because it hardly matters anymore. Anyway, with a smile and nod, I was handed my boarding pass and pointed on my way, no exchanged words needed. Only after I had cleared security did I realize that I was only given one boarding pass instead of 3 as I might have expected (being as there were three legs to my flight). A minor detail, I thought, that I could easily work out at the Mexico city airport.
As soon as I stepped off the plane, I realized it wasn't going to be so minor. For one, I didn't know what airline I was transferring. A silly fact, I know, but an important one, it turns out. I knew I started on Mexicana and knew I was continuing on one of the biggies (Delta, American, or Contential) through somewhere in Texas (Houston or Dallas). That array creates an astounding number of permeations, which, when coupled with the two vastly separated terminals of Benito Juarez International Airport sent me on quite a goose chase. Finally, after an hour of roaming around, asking contridicting, but very smiley, information people, I got my boarding passes. Relieved, I asked the counter agent about paying my exit tax*. She vaguely mentions a bank location "somewhere downstairs" and hustles me away. So begins another goose chase.
I can't find a bank and am getting kind of getting tired of looking. Again, many helpful but ultimately uninformed information booth operators point me varoius directions with nothing doing, so I decide that when I need to pay something, I will be more explicitly told. In my experience, this usually happens when you go through pre-security or another ticket checker somewhere in the pipeline, so I proceeded. The ticket/passport checkers for my security checkpoint seemed to be on a gossip break, so I wasn't approached as I headed on my way. Cautious not to let my optimism about saving $25 run wild, I was wary that surely there would be a double check on this down the way. Afterall, didn't I have to let someone know I was leaving the country?
Next onto security*: upside, no lines; downside, over-anxious security personnel. First, they determined my fork to be questionable lethal so set it aside with a rapid Spanish explanation as to why. My broken attempt at conveying that I had already been on a flight that very same day with the very same fork failed to dissuade him. He must be in cahoots with that damn Jamaican that stole Loafy last year. Then they decided my juggling clubs were weapons with which I planned to raise an army against the flight attendents if I didn't get my choice of soda. This I would not stand for. I first attempted to explain the situation in Spanish: "Estos son clavas para hacer malabarismo. Queries una demonstracion? Los tuve en el vuelto esta manana y entrada el pias del avion CON estos. Cual is el problema?" That didn't work, either because I didn't convey myself properly or it wasn't a valid arguement. Next I requested an agent who spoke english so I could more properly explain/vent. He arrives, and, after tossing the club into the air and knocking it experimentally against his palm, he says the same thing in broken english that the woman before said in spanish: no pueden pasar.
I've never actually jumped up and down in frusteration before. Okay, maybe I have, but usually it is in a place where the gesture can be understood to be ironic or funny. Here, not so much. I did, however, manage to convey that I wanted to speak to the manager about this issue. By now, a group was developing. Yeehaw, another showdown.
The manager arrives and I can tell right away by his demeanor that he is on my side. He tosses the club in the air, spins it in his fingers, and jokingly asks something about the circus. Saved. With a nod and smile, he sends me on my way. The others gathered around all smile an apologetic smile and wish me a good trip. As I'm repacking my bag (juggling clubs, computer, pocketables, etc.) I see my fork unattended and grab it. I'm not letting go of Loafy II that easily. As I walk off to find my gate, I smile that knowing that standing up for myself has proven valueable again. Could this become a habit?
Checking in at that gate, the agent asks for my tourist card (the card which I was supposed to get stamped for $25 when I visited immigration to let them know I was leaving the country). I handed her the wad of papers that they handed me down on the Guatemalan border, try to look as innocent as possible. She flipped through it more than she had with other the passengers, but then gave a quick nod. I must not have seen or something because she then glanced up with a look that said you're-still-here? but politely said, "That's all." Now for sure I knew I had dodged the exit fee.
Sometimes disogranization can work for you and sometimes it can work against you. When it works for you, you smile at your triumph. When it works against, you're inclined to deride the lack of logic or effort or discipline that has caused it al. But in either case, looking back you end up with a story and there is definitely value in that.
|Wednesday March 24 2010||File under: travel, Mexico|
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|DISCLAIMER: through a combination of randomly reading a novel about writing, wanting to keep blog posts fresh and new, and being rained in for the better part of a day, I found myself writing this. A word of caution to those who didn't like my last foray into prose (Four Nights): you might as well skip this one. Otherwise, if you're up for a little boredom-induced, unedited experimentation, read on.
|Monday March 22 2010||File under: travel, Mexico|
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