26 July 2006

Catch Up, Fünf ...

Tuesday and Wednesday are, as always, a blur of activity ... meeting and crisis intervention training behind the dragon at 1:00 (with a quick pit-stop to nod at Adele at her noon meeting with the E, F, and G crews in the kids' loop), getting everyone their T-shirts and laminates (Marcus did that (and so much running around)for me, this year ... good gawds, I want an assistant every year!), making changes with Registration, staying put to vouch for anyone who showed up to register without photo ID, filling last-minute crew spots, switching SOPs around, telling Linda "Yes, you may go to the playground and play with the dead piano (old upright with the whole front missing, so the strings and soundboard are exposed) but check in in half an hour" every half-hour, greeting friends I haven't seen in a year, meeting new ones, charging back to camp to set up my tent and get changed for our first shift, shift change, shift from 7pm Tues.-2am Wed. (for which we turn up at least an hour early), figuring out how to cover more spots than we have bodies, shift change, accounting for missing folks, sleep, catching up with folks, more registration changes, more dead-piano trips, another shift from 2pm-8pm Wed. (with the hour+ early thing and the more spots than bodies things again) with shift changes on either end and then we were free! ... for a while. There's a gathering in Dubland on Thursday, and showers to be had and friends to see and so many things for Linda to discover!

Ever since Cory went to the Fair, folks have been asking Linda what she was going to deal with the communal showers ... bit of a prude, our Linda. Her response has always been that it'll be fine because when she goes to the Fair with Auntie Lynn, she's going to become a hippy. True to her word, the first time we went to the Ritz, she stuffed her things into a cubby, peeled off her clothes, turned around with a grin on her face and beat a ba-dum-bah on her belly. Just like that.

We had a standing shower date with Marcus, each night. I've just had an e-mail from him, saying how much he misses that (so do I), and how tough it is to adjust back to showering (and sleeping and everything else) under a roof.

Linda and I did a round in the Fair each of the three days, and saw parades and jugglers and freaks and magic and plays and, and, and! On her own, Linda would spend a ton of time in the playground, whacking on the dead pianos (two, now, as one of the crew brought a second soundboard and set of strings, mounted flat on a trailer) with drilled-out bouncy-balls on sticks, or playing in the Meadow with her ribbons on sticks, or sitting at the stage right outside our camp, watching all manner of Vaudeville, from jugglers to bawdy fairy tale plays.

Here she is, watching a fellow who balances on all that nonsense and juggles a plunger, a bunch of roses, and a machete:

The significance of the name of the stage was completely lost on me 'til I walked past one day and heard someone say, "Morning Wood!?" I must've had quite the look on my face 'cuz Simon (of the Fremont Players, who set up and perform on that stage) laughed and laughed, "Aw, no, Luv! You just got it now!? Hawhawhaw"

I saw some of the coolest things at the Fair, this year, and left me feeling that I must learn to weld.

Imagine a tennis ball with 3cm dia. hollow cylinders sticking out all over it, making a spikey ball ... now take away the tennis ball and open up the cylinders to the middle ... now make it out of 45 gal. drums instead, paint them all different colours, and open up a couple of the out-ends, too, so the sound can get out and hang hang mallets from them, so people wandering by can bang on it. There was one of those out front of the Dragon ... kinda cool ... it was very cool once it was taped up with warning tape and moved away from in front of the Dragon, out to the edge of the parking lot.

And the fellow who makes the steel dragons and kinda-double-little-cowbell-things made a bunch of hollow steel shapes ... like gaming dice and crystals. And a half-dozen other booths had cool stuff that gave me ideas of what to weld.

Adele pointed out that I'd been walking around with Pat's dragon's eye ring around my neck. Pat was a welder. He was making awfully cool stuff before he got sick again and stopped welding.

So I walked around the Fair agian on Sunday to see if I felt the same way about it without the ring on ... I couldn't find any of that stuff and didn't think to go look at the one out in the parking lot. Hmph. But I ran into James while I was doing that. We don't seem to run into each other much, except for shift changes, so we try to sneak off for a few minutes whenever we do. There were open theatre seats in front of the Ritz (due to Honey Bucket cleaning), so we curled up and reconnected. We seem to've traded years ... last year, he lost Jenn and my heart was broken ... this year, I lost Pat and his heart is broken.

James in the theatre seats at the Ritz, oblivious to the dancing bear:

Linda tried to stay up for the Sunday-night-at-midnight shift and ended up asleep in her woobie in the grass next to one of the benches. Marcus took her back to camp (how did I ever do this without an assistant before? ... he's going to want to be on the crew next year ... maybe I can draught his sister for next year). Since we were done early on Monday, many folks packed up and left early, so we didn't have our usual gathering up at the Ritz Monday night. I definitely missed it. We went up for a shower, but it was a quick one with just Linda and me and Adele and Doug. We had a fire behind the dragon afterwards, but Linda was in bed already and camp was pretty empty, so I didn't stay long. Since we've planned this for several years and not ended up doing it, not many folks showed up. Maybe we'll be more organized next year.

Linda and I packed the car and left on Tuesday. We left the site by noon and drove to a place called Spokane Valley or Falls or something, just past Spokane. We went from motel to motel, being told they were full and check with this or that one, until we spotted one none of them had mentioned and tried it. They had one room left with a jacuzzi and including a hot breakfast in the morning, at $295/night ... that they'd be willing to let us have for $109. We checked in, went next door for dinner just before they closed, and went for a splash.

I think Linda stopped listening after 'jacuzzi':

There were conveniently placed handles around the tub and in the shower, mirrors on the ceiling over the tub and bed, and black lights on either side of the bed ... but the tub worked (after I fixed the plug) and the windows opened, and Linda didn't notice the extras.

Noone was home when we got to Patty's, so we let ourselves in and cleaned up some. We were to spend Jaime's birthday with him in Nelson, but he wasn't there. He'd bought himself a fixer-upper Harley on eB*y and gone to pick it up in CA. He stopped in at the Fair site on Tuesday night, but we'd already left. So we spent the evening with Patty and the girls and Patty's brother and his girlfriend and the next day with Patty and the girls. We left the following morning, Sarah and Linda having become fast friends, and me promising to visit one more time before the snow flies ... maybe for Sarah's birthday.

Sarah, Ally and Raye waving goodbye:

I took Sarah home Saturday night and asked to trade her for someone who wasn't going to laugh at my hair every time we stopped the car. I got Cory. Actually, Dad brought him in Sunday afternoon. I picked the cats up in the morning. We got groceries and went for dinner and to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. He had guitar lessons here every day for five days, with homework each day. After his lesson on Friday, we went to Mona's and hung out for a little while, then he caught a lift home with Mona and Pete and the girls. I met them all and Mom and Dad at Mary's on Saturday for her Open Farm Day. It was stinkin' hot! It took me 'til yesterday to get the house below 30°C.

Tomorrow, I drop the cats off at the kennel again and pick up Ernie and we'll head to the Sasquatch Gathering on Friday. We'll work at the gate from Noon 'til six on Saturday ... dash back to camp and throw together something for the potluck (I must remember to take something for Tippy's Stone Soup). I have no idea what's going on after I get him back home.

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