Fun Fact:  When Pearl Street in Boulder, CO, first started to be a big place to be, horses and buggies were used to transport people.  An undertake named John Teuzise took over a stable and began to rent out horses and buggies with dapper gentlemen driving them.  These were the predecessors to today’s taxis and limousines.

Mr. E.  Well, today Seth and I performed in Boulder, CO.  It was great.  Then, I began to wonder, “Why do they call it Boulder?”  Well, the answer became apparent when I saw a giant boulder.  Oh.  That is why they call it Boulder, CO.

Of course, Mr. E. did not bother asking if this was the particular boulder that gives Boulder its name.  However, I am not sure that it matters.  Pearl Street in Boulder is a really nice place to perform!  I was able to set up and get lots of joyful moments.  There were several great places that I could use to set up.  Furthermore, Mr. E. was able to meet several children that he loved!  In fact, he added to his joke list.

Mr. E.  I get to tell jokes now?  (Seth nods) Oh good!  For the purposes of telling these jokes, I am going to assume that you will say all the right things.

Knock knock

(Who’s there?)

Dwayne

(Dwayne who?)

Dwayne the bathtub I’m dwowning.

—————————————————————————————————–

Knock knock

(Who’s there?)

Boo

(Boo who?)

Why are you crying?  It’s all right!

—————————————————————————————————–

Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?

He didn’t have any guts

—————————————————————————————————–

Okay!  So, I have a really good knock knock joke.  Okay!  You start!

(Knock knock)

Who’s there?

……………..

Yeah.  You are not very good at telling jokes, are you?

—————————————————————————————————–

Yes, today Mr. E. had lots of fun, especially with Henry and Ansley.  Mr. E. started to love eating paper with them.  Why?  I do not know.  Does it matter if children are playing?

Finally, while I was performing, I met my first balloon twister!  Surprising that no other city has had one yet!  Anyhow.  She was nice.  She started laughing at all my jokes in all the right places.  I hope that I was able to help her a bit just as she did me.  She asked if I did parties, but, sadly, I am moving on to keep touring my show.  The number is up!  Currently, the This and That Cabaret has been seen by 1,086 people.  For now good night everyone.  Tomorrow there will be more performances at the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO.  HAPPY DAY!

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First, I must say that there is one thing that I am disappointed that I posted in my last one.  I wish that I had the urge to bash the mans head in in self-defense.  I do not like violence, and I do not really approve of it.  I am glad that I did not act on that urge.  I think the best choice of action in that case was definitely non-action.

The weekend in Deer Park Monastery was amazing!  I had so many things happen to me that I do not think that I will be able to recount them all to you.  However, I will do my best.  First, the monastery itself is absolutely beautiful!  It is nestled in a mountain with lots of wonderful plants.

This is the sign that greeted me when I first drove in by taxi.  The next sign said, “I am home.”  This is a gatha, a verse that can be recited to keep one in the present moment.  It sort of became what I said to myself repeatedly throughout the weekend.  This was perfect since I have been trying to consider what a home really is for some time.  The answer that the monastery gave me:  home is here and now, the present moment.  After all, that is home for now.

The monks at the monastery were all so happy with smiles on their faces.  This was the perfect place to spend a weekend as I am attempting to explore what joy really is.  Each morning we woke up at 5:00AM.  We went to the meditation hall, and we meditated as the sun rose.  It was extremely beautiful to walk out of my dorm in silence with several other people.  I was able to see the moon and the stars.  Then, after meditation, I could continue to watch the sun rise above the mountain before breakfast.  Nature and all of its wonders always makes me joyful.

We also participated in walking meditation each day as a group.  I had another moment during this meditation where I heard the earth breathe.  One of the monks talked about being able to see the entire universe in a carrot because so much of the universe and so many people went into the creation of one carrot.  Therefore, I think that being able to contemplate the earth as a living being makes so much sense to me.  It must breath, and hearing it breath and be alive makes me very joyful.

During a different session of walking meditation we stopped to contemplate a fire.  Then, we went to where there was a flower coming out of an old fire ring.  These are two different symbols from my own life, and it seemed serendipitous that we stopped there.  Fire is a way to destroy the old, but the ashes of the fire can be used to plant a flower, which is very beautiful.  This was reflected on so many people’s shirts, “No mud.  No lotus.”  If there is not the bad part of life, then you cannot grow a flower.  The flower also returns to become mud eventually again.  This was truly a healing weekend.  Flowers actually are growing from the ashes of a fire, which can itself be beautiful.

Furthermore, I met so many amazing people this weekend!  I also met Noah and Bella.  Two children.  We fed the turtles and fish.  Bella sneaked some bread from the dining hall in her bike helmet so that we could do this.  Beauty is everywhere and in everything just as it is.  By the way I must say, “Happy birthday Bella!  I wish I could have stayed for your party tomorrow.  I will dedicate my performance in Boulder to you!”

I gave Noah my camera, and he took some wonderful artsy photographs for me.  I call this one the abstract lotus.  Spending time with kids continues to affirm that I want to have a family one day.  Thank you for letting me spend time with you Noah and Bella, and thank you Grace for being so wonderful.  Perhaps I will see you again soon?

The weekend was truly a healing one.  It is my choice to be happy.  I just have to be present.  I do not need to worry about the future unnecessarily.  I will take things as they come.  Otherwise, I can simply contemplate the flowers or a carrot.  After all, they both contain the entire universe.

For now, I am in Colorado.  Performances tomorrow at the Pearl Street Mall and perhaps on Wednesday at the Farmer’s Market.  Much love in your life.

Seth

I recognize totally and completely that I have not updated for nearly a week. It is because I have not been able to use my own computer. I have been using Cathie’s! Thank you very much Cathie for being such a huge support to me in this project and getting me three puppet shows in Stockton! Also, for letting me see your beautiful puppets for Delta Fusion.

Since it has been so long and so many things have happened, I am going to organize it by day to a certain extent. I will also intermittently put photographs in as I can.  I know it is long, but stay with it.  There is a near-death story at the end!

August 6, 2012

Fun Fact: At any given day if you walk down the main street of Stockton, CA, you could hear up to ninety-six different languages.

Mr. E. I am holding something very special here in my hands (Holds up a ziploc bag full of cheerios.). Yes, this is very special because in the spring-time you can plant these little seeds, and you can get a full donut tree in just a matter of years!

Today, I arrived in Stockton. I must say seeing the way that Cathie interacts with her family is beautiful. I hope that I am able to continue to have such a positive, loving relationship with my family. It is good to see love in all of its forms as I travel. No matter where I go I can find it!

My first day here I had a performance with 35 people! This brings my total audience up to 951 people! Soon, I will reach 1,000! That was my original audience goal, so I have moved that up to 1,500. I think that this is doable within the time frame that I have and given the number of shows that I have left. The performance today was cut short by a twelve-year-old heckler! That is fine, however. It is good that children are so brutally honest. I finished off the variety acts for the show, and I left out the Punch and Judy show. I will have plenty of other shows soon enough!

This is the front of the museum in which I performed.  Pretty swanky, don’t you think?

August 7, 2012

Fun Fact:  Stockton is the home of California’s oldest school of higher education.  The University of the Pacific became a chartered institution in 1851.

Mr. E. Today. I do not really feel like telling a joke. It is a lazy day. So, I will not. Insert a good bad joke here.

I hope that was not a cop-out.  Today was a relatively lazy day. However, I was able to see some of the beautiful puppets created for Delta Fusion! This is a big pageant/spectacle event that Cathie McClellan has organized in the community of Stockton. There are five river puppets, representing each of the five rivers of the delta. Additionally, there is the entrance of water and land. Puppets that stuck out in my mind were the fish, which made an excellent use of old cd’s to create scales! It is so beautiful and moves really well. Also, the potato king and tomato queen puppet. These two puppets are apparently based off of Stockton’s local folklore. There were two people who became well-known for processing tomatos and potatoes, and they earned this title. As my potato puppet would say, “Potato, potato, potato.”  I felt much more at home.  I always feel at home around giant heads and hands.

 

Also, today I got my confirmation email to go to the Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, CA. It is for sure. I will spend this weekend in a Buddhist monastery. I am anxious to get there and see what it is about. However, I am slightly nervous as well. I think that I will like it, but I have been without a solid structure in my life for just long enough that I am not sure that throwing it back in will be easy. We shall see when it comes. For now I am focused on the puppet shows at the Haggin Museum in Stockton tomorrow.

August 8, 2012

Fun Fact:  Stockton is home of the world’s inmost eastern seaport.  Battleships can be brought into port in Stockton.

Mr. E. Do you know what you say when you are playing video games? Weeeeeeeee (Wii)!

This was mostly another lazy day. I played Wii fit this morning, and I cracked some pecans that I was so kindly given for a snack on the road. Otherwise, there was a puppet show in the evening/afternoon. The puppet show had 41 people see it, so my total is now up to 992 people! I am short only 8 people from my original goal of having 1,000 people see the show. The performances themselves went well, and I had a few kids who came back to watch multiple times. I did not count them in the 41 people who saw the show.

 

Tomorrow I should be able to reach the goal because I have another show at 12:00PM in the Children’s Museum.  Also, while I was performing I came upon a woman in a petty cab.  She had this beautiful flag in the back:

Pace!  It is Italian for, “Peace.”  Why fight?  We can celebrate what makes us different and recognize that we are all the same.  Pace!  Pace!  Pace!  It is so much fun to say, “Pah-CHAY!”

August 9, 2012

Fun Fact:  Stockton’s Asparagus festival was named a “Best in the West” Food Fest in 2000.  Apparently, they grow a lot of asparagus in Stockton.

Mr. E. Do you like Mexican food? Well, I have a question for you besides that, but I cannot ask you today. I will have to ask you tomale!

I have performed for 1,034 people! WOO HOO! I have exceeded my original goal of performing for 1,000 people this summer. I am so excited that I am setting my new goal for 1,500 people to see the This and That Cabaret. Today, I also say goodbye to Cathie and her family. We had a really wonderful goodbye supper at an authentic Mexican restauarant. I drank so much water because of the spiciness of the salsa, and the tomales were amazing. So, thank you Cathie and family for letting me stay with you for so long. You are beautiful and amazing people. Thank you Marilyn for the God’s Eye. It will definitely be up in my new place of residence and be an addition to my home objects for the rest of the trip. Thank you! Thank you for the wonderful week.  So goodbye kittens that I helped feed this week!  Goodbye Cathie and family!  Thank you so much!

In a few hours, I will be off to Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, CA. I will definitely not be able to use a cell phone or computer or camera there. I will try to take a picture of the outside of the monastery, but we shall see. I imagine that I will have a lot to write about my stay there after the weekend is over. We shall see. For now goodbye Stockton. I will see you later. Hello Escondido and a weekend retreat of trying to be at peace with who I am and where I am in life. I think you will be perfect.

August 10, 2012

Well, I am finally in Escondido, CA.  I was not expecting to be able to update, but I have a few hours before I can check in at the monastery, so I am relaxing and looking at jobs for when I a move.  I am beginning to stress about this!  Perhaps it is because of what happened last night.  Let me back up a moment and tell you what happened.

I was in Stockton and Cathie had just dropped me off at the bus station.  The station was closed, so I was waiting outside with one other woman.  I tried to talk to her, but she did not seem to know English very well.  Anyhow.  She dozed off really quickly.  Suddenly, four men came along with crowbars.  They started talking pretty far off, and they went behind a fence.  There was definitely the sound of glass breaking and metal being beaten in.  I think they were trying to get into the Waterfront Pharmacy right behind the bus station.  Then, one of them dressed in a white shirt with pants that were barely on and showing lots of boxer shorts came over to the bus station with his crowbar.  I immediately thought, “AHHH I DO NOT WANT TO GET MIXED UP IN THIS!  WHAT DO I DO?  WHAT DO I DO?”  My first thought was, “Run!”  My next thought was, “That would be stupid.  He has a crowbar and is probably three times as big as me.”  My next thought was, “I wonder if I can bribe him with my honey sunflower seeds if I do not say anything.  No!  That’s stupid.  If he is trying to get into a pharmacy, why would he want sunflower seeds?  Oh!  Play possum.”  So, I pretended to be asleep as my entire body sat tense for about twenty minutes.  I kept one eye open.  I figured that if he did try to come close to me and take some of my things, I could at least knock him out with my puppet suitcase and call the police!  He got really close a few times.  The other men kept bashing something in and breaking glass.  The lady beside me just stayed asleep.  I stayed really tense just in case I had to bash the guy with my suitcase to defend myself.  He did not do anything, but a car drove by with really bright lights.  All of the men scattered into the darkness.  I kept pretending to be asleep.  Then, they came back and there was more bashing and glass shattering.  I thought about just getting out my phone, but the man in white was still watching me, so I did not.  Finally, a bus came.  I tried to get the phone number from the police via text because I thought that they still might be around.  The bus driver told me to just wait for the next bus because it was not the connection that I needed.  I freaked out!  The lady who was beside me had woken up, but she did not understand anything when I tried to ask her if she heard the glass breaking.  A few other people were in cars, but they were all parked about a block away and had their windows shut.  So, no one was around to see what I saw but me!  AHH!  Then, the bus left.  I waited a bit longer, and the men came back.  I pretended to be asleep yet again.  The man in white kept watching me and the lady who had also immediately fallen asleep.  Finally, our bus came!  I called the police and reported the incident.  I do not know if anything was found, but I am alive!  I was not bashed in by a crowbar!  I think that that is a pretty joyful moment!  It seems that joy can come from near-death experiences pretty easily!  I am alive, and that is just enough for now.

The rest of the bus ride was uneventful, except I continued to be anxious about making ends meet once I move.  I should not be so anxious.  I have enough money to be set for a time, and I need to just learn to go with the flow and be in the moment as it is.  I have applied for plenty of work, and I am looking to start something full-time that is flexible to work around a theatre schedule in October.  We shall see what I can find.  I am just nervous I think because of last night because I have seen so much homelessness and poverty.   I am nervous because some of my friends still do not have jobs after a few months of looking.  I hope that I can something to make ends meet when I need it.  We shall see.  I simply need to go with the flow. I think this weekend will be good.  I can learn to breath.

I have arrived.  I am home.

In the here.  In the now.

I am solid.  I am free.

In the infinite, is where I dwell.

Mr. E.  There were three men trapped on an island, and they came upon a genie’s lamp.  They agreed that they could each have one of the three wishes.  The first man rubbed the lamp and wished to be 25% smarter.  He swam to escape the island.  The second man rubbed the lamp and wished to be 50% smarter.  He cut down a tree, built a boat, and boated away from the island.  Then, the last man rubbed the lamp and wished to be 100% smarter.  He walked across the bridge.

Fun Fact:  The island of Alcatraz was named by the Spanish explorer Jose Canizares, who named it La La Isla de los Alcatraces because of the large population of black cormorants (alcatraceo in Spanish).

This is Alcatraz.

I did not blog yesterday.  I think that I can sum it up quickly and breeze over it.  I tried to street perform, and I failed quite abysmally.  Sacramento has no laws against street performing.  However, if a shop keeper asks you to leave, you must move along.  I thought staying in front of a candy store and ushering people into the store after my show would be mutually beneficial.  Alas, not so.  I was asked to move three times.  So, I took a break and went with Yuki and Andrea, two quick friends from the hostel at which I am staying to the railroad museum.  We got to go on trains.  This revived me, so I tried a few more times to be met with more rejection.  After this bit of trying, some Scientologists came along with some pamphlets and tried to push them on everyone in the area.  This was quickly followed by a group of conservative Christians who were opening up their Bibles and quoting verses.  The two sides faced off and started a shouting match at each other.  The shop keepers did not ask them to leave.  Strange.  I would think a shouting match would be worse for business than a children’s puppet show.  Finally, I got desperate to do at least one performance in Sacramento.  So, I went up to a group of people who were already sitting, and asked them if I could perform for them just so that I could say I did a show.  It was not a very good performance, but I did Punch and Judy in Sacramento.  I got one joyful moment in return.

The day was book ended well, however.  I started the day with a party during a thing called the color run.  People threw powder on each other as they ran a 5k.  It looked like a lot of fun.  I ended the day with a Latino concert in the park.  Perfect.  The festivals seem to be wherever I am.  This is the dust in the air during the color run:

Finally, I got to San Francisco this morning.  It was quite cold, so I got a nice warm bowl of soup.  Then, I departed and started to walk everywhere that I possibly could.  I went to Union Square.  There are some really nice hearts that represent the city.  The city itself seems really friendly and the people seem very open and accepting, especially of love.  I do hope that everyone who reads this is able to share a moment of love today.  Love is beautiful.

Then, I walked to Fisherman’s Wharf.  On the way I came across a woman who was homeless. She was huddled with a blanket and shivering because it was quite cold in the morning.  I am always conflicted about things like this.  People tell me that if I constantly talk to homeless people that one day I will be assaulted by one.  Honestly, I do not think that would be the worst way to die.  At least I tried to make things better for a moment.  Anyhow.  I went into a convenience store and bought her a cup of coffee and a banana.  She was so thankful.  I would have liked to have stayed and talked and gotten to know her better, but I had my friends in the back of my head.  I moved on.  At least I made her day better at least for a moment.  I always feel like I need to find a solution to problems like this.  I know that I do not, but I feel like I must.  I have an idea brewing, but I do not know when or how it will be accomplished.  I do think that it will, however, even if on a small scale.

Finally, I made it to Fisherman’s Wharf via China Town and Little Italy.  They were both great places to walk through!  The Wharf itself was a huge tourist attraction.  Lots of overpriced food and trinket shops.  I did learn some valuable things there, however.  There were quite a few street performers.  While there were the normal walk-by acts, such as the living statues and musicians.  There were also some good circle acts, and I think that I am going to steal some of their methods.  It will be good!  Also, I found out that San Francisco has a training school for acrobats.  Who knew?

Finally, I saw the seals.  Everything is better with seals.  It has been good in San Francisco and…all right…in Sacramento.  I am ready to do some more puppet shows and keep collecting joy.  I guess, however, that there are times when you will learn things that you did not expect to learn.  Also, I think that I have learned to handle rejection.  I did not cry once when I was told to move along.  I simply moved along.  I know there will always be more opportunity for other shows and to do other things.  Life is pretty limitless.  Why cry when that is time and energy that could be spent making the world just a little bit better one moment at a time?  Just one moment at a time.  Yes, I think that seals the deal.

Fun Fact:  Sacramento, California is also known as, “the Camellia Capital of the World,” “River City,” and “City of Trees.”  Locals call it, “Sac” or “Sactown.”  Others call it, “The Big Tomato.”

Mr. E:  Somebody came up to me the other day and told me that he could name all of the state capitals.  I did not believe him, so I asked him, “What is the capital of California?”  He says, “That is an easy one.  The capital of California is, ‘C.'”

I have started to mix my philosophical wanderings with my actual wanderings, so pardon me for not labeling this like the rest of my wanderings.  I had a lovely last few hours in Portland for the most part, but the hours also got me thinking quite a bit.  I went to Powell’s City of Books:  a full city block of books.  I spent lots of time there.  I also spent some time at the beautiful courthouse square.  There is a lot of brick.  It is a nice place.  There I met some high school students who were spending a full twenty-four hours to see what it is like to be homeless.  It was interesting.  Anyhow.  I read somewhere that Portland’s courthouse square is one of the top public spaces in the world.

First, I must explain something about this picture and how I am travelling.  In all reality and for all purposes of definition, I have never been farther than an hour or two’s walk away from home.  You see part of this project has been:  what is a home?  Well, I did a large project on this in the fall, and most people determined that home is not necessarily a place.  It is where the people you love are.  It is where the things that you need to remember and do are.  Well, I am a puppeteer, so I am very interested in endowing objects with special meaning.  Throughout the past three years of my life, I have gone to bed with two objects beside me.  They have been the last two things that I see as I drift off to sleep.  First, home is where my family is.  The small brown box on the right in the picture is a dream box.  My parents gave it to me long ago, and each of them have written a dream for me in it.  I also have a reminder for myself in it.  The purple statuette on the left is a joyful Buddha figurine.  I have set these two objects up all over and taken their picture.  They are always at my bed, and they are still the last two things that I see before I go to bed.  As I said, I have never really traveled far from home yet.  Also, I have intentionally not taken images of them next to something really recognizable.  I think that if home were mixed with something monumental it loses its ability to ground you.  For example, I will not put home in the same picture as the Statue of Liberty or Golden Gate Bridge.  That is not home.  Home is these two things that remind me to be joyful and to remember that I will always have family.  I will never be homeless.

Well, now that you know what home is, I must tell you that I am concerned that we as a people do not know what public spaces are.  I have been frustrated a bit at trying to understand if a city has laws against street performing or if a permit is required.  I found out after I performed in Portland that I was technically supposed to have a permit for one of the parks in which I performed.  However, I also did not ask for money.  I asked for people to share the happiest moment of their lives.  This makes the issue tricky.  The woman who told me to contact her further in advance also frustrated me because she wanted me to tell her in advance.  The city of Sacramento told me that in order to do a puppet show in a park I would need to apply for a permit at least twenty-eight days in advance.  It seems that nothing spontaneous is allowed anymore.  Why is it that planning too far in advance makes it so that city officials will not respond to requests but being spontaneous does not get results either?  I am still able to perform in Old Town Sacramento tomorrow.  I simply have to follow a few rules.  However, this begs a question.  Is our society becoming so full of schedules that we no longer allow room for spontaneity?  I have lived by a very structured schedule for a very long time, and this is the first time that I have gotten away from it for a time.  Perhaps if we continue on the path that we are right now, we will enter a time where no family may eat in a park unless the apply for a permit at least twenty-eight days in advance.  No one may have a spontaneous picnic in the park.  Walks in the park will require licenses on how to walk properly on the pathway.  Blowing bubbles will require proper tags and licenses because if the bubbles are not blown at just the right moment then they may disturb someone else who is licensed to walk.  Stay back 100 meters or you will be shot.  You must understand I was thinking this while walking through a military museum.

Bear with me.  I understand that I am speaking in extremes, but I am doing a puppet show.  I do not see anything more harmful than blowing bubbles in that.  Simple!  I am not asking for money.  I am asking for people to share the stories of their joyful moments with me.  I am not trying to spread a particular agenda.  I want people to see beauty in the world around them and to have true happiness.  Happiness only real when shared.

This brings up yet another topic that I would like to discuss: killjoys.  Perhaps I am gradually becoming disillusioned.  If so, then I believe that my stay in the monastery this next weekend will help me become centered once again.  Anyhow.  While I was in Portland, I was watching a group of Japanese tourists in the middle of the courthouse square.  They found a space in an amphitheater that would sound like an echo chamber to anyone who stood on one square.  Each of them tried it, and their reactions were perfect.  However, one woman shouted out at them, “What are you doing?  God, only in Portland.  I hate this place.”

What makes a person try to ruin somebody else’s time?  Why would you try to eliminate someone else’s joy?  I would assume that it has something to do with a lack of joy in one’s own life.  I considered wishing her a nice day, but I think that it only would have aggravated her based on the way that she left.  If there is joy, its opposite must also exist.  I was pondering this on the bus.  It seems that opposites allow each other to shine more brightly in the end.  Perhaps an understanding of something fully also needs to come from an understanding of its opposite.  If people were only joyful all of the time, they could not know it.  I have felt immense joy recently only because of loss.  I will simply have to remember that I do not need to kill joy.  I will not be a killjoy.  I will be a lovejoy!  It is the opposite you must understand.  Love and joy together are two of my favorite things.  Why not combine them into a new term for somebody who wants to spread them?

Well, I believe that is enough philosophizing. I hope that I did not complain and rant too much.  I must say that besides all of those thoughts.  Today was nice.  I went to the military museum in Old Town.  I explored the Old Town Sacrament as well, which is how I discovered it will be the perfect place to perform.  I am going to find a candy shop to sit in front of and perform.  I believe that it will work well.  Furthermore, I went to the art museum and grounded myself very well.  I splurged quite a lot by going to two museums, but they were both very informative.

This evening I made a friend named Yuki.  He is from Japan, and we made spaghetti together.  He was working in Vancouver for a time, and just like everyone else in Sacramento, it seems he is on his way to San Francisco.  I think that I made a good decision to make it a day trip.  Yuki and I also explored a bit, and saw some interesting things.

For now, good night.  I am going home.

I was going to go to Yosemite national park, but last night as I was about to publish a new blog post, the internet went out.  I was frantically looking for a place to stay, and I could not find anywhere.  When the internet stopped working, I once more took a breath, just like when the bus broke down last week.  I do not need to worry.  I will figure something out.  So, I thought about all of my options, and I decided to sleep on it.  I woke up completely refreshed, and I decided that I would try to book a stay at a Buddhist monastery in California that has a wonderful meditation place in the mountains.  I called, and they would not allow for this weekend, which is fine, but I am going to meditate next weekend in the middle of my trip.  It will be a good way to breathe halfway through everything.

Then, I began to look for alternate places to stay.  Everyone told me that I should go to San Francisco because it is so nice.  There are no rooms in San Francisco this weekend either.  However, there are in Sacramento.  So, I am going to Sacramento, California this weekend to do some puppet shows.  We shall see what I can see!  Going with the flow certainly does make things interesting.

Otherwise, yesterday was my first day that I was somewhat disappointed with the puppet shows.  My first performance I had twenty-five people watch.  However, I only had one person actually write down the most joyful moment of their life.  Since I am performing to get the stories of the most joyful moments of people’s lives, I was very disappointed.  I did get two joyful scribbles from small children, which I have fondly kept!  I will definitely find a way to use those.  It made me sad that no one was willing to share their joys with me.

After such a disappointing performance, yet a responsive audience.  I went to get fitted for a tux.  This went very well, and it was very amusing because the store was really excited to see a puppet show in a Men’s Wearhouse!

I also received a tip that there may be a park nearby in which to perform!  I went, and it was perfect.  However, I was stopped from performing because I did not contact them enough in advance.  It was a bit frustrating because I had sent an email to the Portland Parks and Recreation Department a month in advance but had received no response.  I remained as polite as possible, however.  So, I left and said thank you, and I performed in a different park where I received at least another 15 joyful moments.  I did two more performances at this park, which brought my total number of audience members up to 906 people.  I think that my goal of performing for 1,000 people by the end of the summer is quite attainable.

At these last two performances, Kate met with me once more, and we drove to Forest Park.  This place was absolutely beautiful.  It is amazing how calm being in a green space can make you.  The cool air of the evergreens and the smell of the damp earth coupled with good conversation was wonderful.  It was also a nice way to unwind as we hiked on a trail.  It made me recognize that I do not always have to be successful.  I simply need to keep working, and I will get by.  I am glad that both Kate and I are experiencing the same feeling of freedom.  We can do anything at all that we want to, and we are figuring out what the world is telling us to do.  It is a wonderful feeling for both of us I think.  I think there is a song that says it best, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”  I think that neither of us have anything to lose, so we are truly free right now.

As we were walking through the forest, I began to consider Shakespeare’s green world.  Each time characters enter the green world, unexpected things can and do happen.  Mishaps occur, but they are resolved in the end.  I think that we are both in this green world.  Anything can and will happen, and that is exactly where we should be right now:  the green world.  In the green world a new tree can grow out of the stump of an old one just like this:

Fun Fact: There is a garden in Portland that was founded as a public rose test garden.  It was originally founded to protect new rose hybrids from being destroyed during World War I.

Mr. E.  What do you get when you cross a tarantula and a rose?  I don’t know, but I certainly wouldn’t smell it.

I arrived late last night in Portland, OR.  The ride here was very uneventful, and it was very short compared to the previous bus rides that I have done:  only four hours.  I was able to meet an old friend from high school.  We caught up by having donuts really late at night.  Voodoo donuts and hot cocoa.  I was a tourist.  We went to the water front and watched the gentle ripple of the waves on the river and saw some of the beautiful street lights of the city of Portland.

We had a lot of catching up to do, but it was really nice.  I think that our talking was also therapeutic for me.  Very…very nice.  After that, I went directly to bed.

This morning I got up far earlier than I expected to.  I got an early started and performed two shows in the morning at Jamison Park.  It has a fantastic fountain that floods and allows people to wade in it.  It seems that Portland has designed a lot of its public fountains to allow people to enter them directly.  They are very nice, and there were lots of families at the fountain.  They were a great audience.

After that, I had lunch and tried to get an audience near the waterfront.  There were lots of people, but not many who were interested in a puppet show.  I did one show.  Then, I went back to Jamison Park for my last show of the day.  This one went very well, and I am going to do another show tomorrow.  I met a couple with kids who had both gone to Dell’arte.  They were fantastic to talk to about theatre, and they gave me lots of nice feedback on my show.  Once again, people are so kind.  In some ways they made me want to live in Portland.  Very nice people.

Finally, I went back to the hostel and relaxed for a time.  Once I was done with that, I went on a very long walk to the rose garden.  It was so beautiful.  I had so many nice and pure breaths of air.  I could not help but contemplate the wonders and mysteries of the universe.  I feel like Mr. E., who does contemplate the wonders of the universe on a daily basis, was merged almost completely with me.  I wanted to think about everything and every single potential that could possibly occur.  I wanted to consider the beauty of each leaf and petal.

Finally, I went back to the hostel once more to be greeted to an evening of relaxing music and meeting some wonderful women from the area.  They were telling me that some of the people playing were some of the original hippies from Portland.  It seems that Portland is a big hippie hang out.  I completely believe it based on the little of Portland that I already know.  I think that today was very nice and relaxing.  I do not believe I have any big insights to share.  However, I do not think that every day needs to have huge insights.  I think that sometimes things happen little by little.

Right now I am going with the Keep Portland Weird initiative, which is meant to promote local small businesses in Portland.  I am recognizing just how weird I am.  Little by little I am accepting it.  I am letting myself be who I am without suppressing it any long.  I hope that all of you can do the same, even if it is little by little.

Example:  LOOK A BATHROOM!

Fun Fact:  It turns out that Seattle is soon going to build the largest tunnel project ever attempted.  They are going to create a four lane highway that goes underneath the city so that they can get rid of a highway that runs has pavement all over it.  No one seems to like the way it looks.  It is this big grey thing with vines growing all over it.  I must admit that the skyline would look nicer without it.

Mr. E:  Today when I was travelling I came across a pig in the public market in Seattle.  I guess it is the mascot for the market.  Anyhow.  I began to wonder.  What do you get when you cross a pig with a canary?  Well, I thought about it, and I could not decide what to name it.  However, I think that when it would sit on your power lines and sing all of your lights would go out.  Also, the pig left little footprints everywhere.  It was very interesting.  Instead of pickled pigs feet it had brass pigs feet.

I had very good performances and responses at the West Seattle Farmer’s Market yesterday.  It was four hours of solid performing, and it went really well.  After that, I must admit that I was exhausted, so I got some raspberries from a vendor and was given a nice free cucumber and I munched on those as I rose the bus back to the hostel where I relaxed for a time.  Soon enough, I got up and started walking around the city again taking more pictures.

Of course, this would be the time when I started to muse about life and love and change once again.  So, I started gazing intently at a water fountain that kept changing unpredictably depending on how hard the breeze was.  I began to wonder how unpredictable change in human’s lives were and how much we can actually control the changes that each of us undergoes.  Then, I stopped myself because things got far too serious.  I do not want to take myself too seriously.  There are enough people who do that.  Luckily for me, a kind woman who was going to a benefit at the aquarium sat by my and started to talk to me.  I told her about Puppets ‘n’ People and asking people to share their joyful moments with me.  She absolutely loved theatre, and we had a really grand conversation.  As we were talking, I started to notice all of the people around us again.  So many people were meeting for the first time.  There was even a child who was trying to meet a dog for the first time.  The look of joy on each of their faces was amazing.  Then, it hit me.  This must be another source of joy.  I just met this kind woman, and she was giving me joy by sharing just a few minutes with me.  Meeting for the first time must be another source of joy!

Soon enough, she went on her way, and I kept walking.  I passed by a bus.  I was not sure how to take it at first.  It was covered with words saying that if you did certain things, then God would send you to the bad place.  I took a picture and was harangued to give a donation.  I felt somewhat bad, but I thought about it, and I realized that I did not want to support such a negative world view.  I hope this is not too inappropriate to share but, here is the picture of the bus that says God hates you if you do lots of things.  If I remember correctly, I was taught that God is love.

Well, I needed to recover after that, so I went back to the Hostel, and I started to meet new people.  What joy!  Meeting new people!  I met Jenine, who was a flute player, and we did the dishes together after eating.  I met Sian, who is from Australia.  Sian, Kristina, and I went out together in the evening and had a wonderful time.  If I was travelling with someone, I do not think that I would have had the gumption to go out and meet any of them.  However, I did!  It was wonderful!  Kristina was from Spain, and we talked quite a bit while we were out.  Sian and I made quick friends, and we met again this morning and went on a walking tour.  Sadly, we parted ways, but we both enjoy travelling quite a lot, and we both seem to be the same sort of free-spirited people.  It is lovely to share small moments with people that you just meet along the way.  Little bits of joy and little bits of love.

For now, so long Seattle.  I was not really sleepless in you, but it was nice to see you.  For now, I will find more joy elsewhere!

Fun Fact of the Day:  Seattle was the site of the 1962 World Fair.  The Seattle Space needle and the surrounding area are what were created for it.

Mr. E.  Today, as I was walking along and exploring Seattle with Seth.  I came upon a balloon twister.  Yes.  He seemed very nice.  He was a bit of a sad clown, but that is fine.  Well, he started twisting a balloon dog.  However, mid-twist, the dog exploded!  “Dog gone,” he said.  He also said that if it were finished, it would be named spot.  I asked him, “Why?”  He said because there would be a spot here and a spot there.  Boy, he sure would get around.

Today’s performances went fine.  I made friends with an accordion player, and we collaborated for a short period of time.  She played and my puppets danced.  We had a fun moment where a man, who I am quite certain was speaking with a Russian accent asked us if we were married.  Her response, “We’re taking it slowly.”  It was amusing.  After that, I went on my way, and I got a loaf of fresh bread, peanut butter, hummus, crackers, and peas for the meals for the rest of the day.  They were delicious!

We are taking it slowly do not worry.

Once I got back to the hostel, I was prepared to go see the art museum.  However, I was distracted by a mission to figure out where the locals said the best cup of coffee was.  I went on a very long walk to get this cup of coffee.  It was very strong, and very good.  Then, I walked in the opposite direction, and, instead of stopping at the art museum walked to the space needle and watched as people began to set up chairs for the parade, starting at 12:00PM already.

I discovered that there is a Chihuly sculpture garden there!  I may try to go on Monday when I have time.  We shall see.  I also discovered a wonderful fountain that coordinated its jets of water to music.  I watched for about an hour.  Then, I ran through it myself.  I had this moment where a kid and I made eye contact and we ran around together for a bit.  Then, I got out of the water.  Right when I got out, it seems that the world aligned.  The point of this journey is to explore what joy is.  At that moment the Ode to Joy began to play.  The jets of water began to shoot up in coordination with the music and in ways that were much more surprising than it had been doing before.  This surprise created so much joy in all of the children playing in the fountain that they started running all over the place.  It kept catching them off guard, and the Ode to Joy ended with a solid wall of water on top of the children.  It was beautiful.  All around you could see that families and lovers were having this beautiful moment that everyone had shared.

Next, I went to get a nice spot for the parade and began to enjoy hummus and crackers.  I made several parade-watching friends.  This was interesting.  I wanted to make a point to find some people that I could talk to about the parade.  Remember:  happiness only real when shared.  I found two girls to talk to, and one woman asked if I was dating another of them.  My second girlfriend of the day.  Interesting, considering I was wearing rhinestones on my sunglasses.  I found out that no one in Seattle seemed to know what the parade was for.  However, the pirates that are part of the parade cause mischief all throughout the summer by firing canons randomly and doing other benign bits of mischief.  This brings up another point.  Each time one of the pirates would cause mischief, other people would be surprised, creating a bit of joy in them.  then, the pirate, after causing the mischief, would also seem quite joyful.  Happiness only real when shared.  The parade was another time full of beautiful moments, joy, and love.

Tomorrow there will be another puppet show at the West Seattle Farmer’s market.  More to follow, probably both surprising and mischievous.

Mr. E:  Today, I was walking along, and I saw a huge wall of gum!  It was right outside of a theatre that does improvisational comedy.  All that I could think was, “Wow!  This is one sticky situation.”  This reminds me of two men who were arguing over the ingredients that go into come.  One of them thought that the gum was too brittle, so they should add more water and secret ingredient, called, “Yewin.”  The other thought that this would not work at all.  He said, “No!   No! No!  It is not wetter Yewin that counts.  It’s how you ply the gum.”  Yes.  I feel that in the situation of the sticky gum wall.  They did indeed forget to ply the gum.

Also, check out the Where Is Puppets ‘n’ People Now? page to see the new state fact about Washington!

Today was an early start from Idaho.  The bus ride was relatively uneventful, but I did have two things happen that I think are worth mentioning.  First, I realized that I have unintentionally become a vegetarian, but I have been eating fish still.  So, I suppose that I have unintentionally become a pescatarian.  I am going to try to keep this up because my it feels very good!

Second, I started to think that a landscape was ugly.  This was an awful thing for me, and I did not like it.  I love looking out at nature, but the way that the landscape was dry and seemed sparse did not appeal to me.  It was not the same kind of beautiful emptiness of Montana.  It was just dry with strange orchards cropping up occasionally.  I hated that I did not like the landscape, and this is why today was a day of looking.  I thought to myself, “What right do I have to judge whether something is beautiful or ugly?  I do not have any right at all.  I can only say that I think something is beautiful or ugly, but that does not stop it from being.  However, it is the very act of being that makes something beautiful.”  In that moment I closed my eyes for a few moments and breathed in and out to recognize that the landscape only needed to be exactly as it was to be beautiful.  Then, I recognized that it, too, was beautiful.  I started to like it immensely.

Soon, the sparse landscape changed into the forest of the Pacific Northwest, which is absolutely beautiful.  Also, it must be true that Seattle is always overcast.  It is right now, and there were lots of clouds as we were driving over the mountains.

Once I got into Seattle, I was warmly greeted by the tinkling (bells?) a woman who was peeing in the middle of the street while her daughter watched to make sure that no cops were around.  That was a very warm welcome indeed.  Then, I walked to my hostel and walked EVERYWHERE THAT I POSSIBLY COULD.

Mostly, I walked around the public market.  I watched sea gulls compete for food being thrown out of a fried food shop.  I watched lovers and friends in the Olympic Sculpture Garden.  I watched cars passing by.  I watched flowers blowing in the breeze.  I looked as deeply as I could to see how everyone and everything that I saw was related, and even the things that I once would have found ugly or annoying, such as a sea gull that would not stop whining to give it another fry three feet away from me, was beautiful.  It was being exactly as it needed to be.  Yes.  Looking deeply and breathing to see that everything is being as it should be does allow everything to be more beautiful.  Tomorrow there will be performances for most of the day at the University District Farmer’s Market here.  I am looking forward to being able to get some fresh produce for my next few days of staying at the Green Tortoise and perhaps at a hostel in Portland.

We shall see.

For now.

Look.