Chaos Attraction

Mandala Vest and Storytelling

2018-12-04, 6:28 a.m.

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This is really for the day of December 1....

I went off on this year’s Tour de Craft Fair, which seemed more interesting than last year’s in which we mostly seemed to be kind of bored and jaded with things. We went to the county fairgrounds one, which actually I think had better things this year that I was impressed with, such as super fancy embroidered boxes. I would not do a damn thing with a fancy box, but I considered buying one because they were so nice. We went to the Art Center show afterwards but I didn’t get anything at that one either--I don’t think a whole lot of people did. I got lunch, anyway.

Then we went back to the steampunk fair in Loomis that we went to last year and that was still awesome. I really like High Hand and all of its various businesses (restaurant, store, garden center, carpet store, awesome textile shop, art gallery....). I found the same awesome vendor I bought a butterfly pendant from and bought another one and had a nice chat with her. I bought some roving in “my colors” in the textile store. I think I might borrow Meg’s peg board next time I’m at her house and spin them all into a small yarn and make a necklace out of those or something.

I also saw a dog named Noodles the Goldendoodle. It was adorable and wearing a sweater and watching the koi pond--and the koi were watching right back.

After that we were trying to see if there was much else to do in Loomis and drove by a sign for a Friends of the Library craft fair fundraiser. Since this trip was a bunch of library people + me, we ran in there during their last hour (yup, that’s four craft fairs in a day), and this ended up being the most surprising time of the day.

You see, I walked into the place and saw this vest. And I was all, that is my vest. Like they knew I was coming. It’s in rainbow. It’s in my favorite color scheme of DK yarn that I’ve already made a sweater out of before.* And I’ve pondered making a mandala vest over the years, but never gotten to it because those are pretty complicated and most of the time I stick to relatively simple stuff. I was thinking, “I wasn’t expecting to spend that much today, but I guess I am just going to have to get this no matter what it costs.” And then out of the blue, Dawn offered to buy it for me. I was flabbergasted. (Guess who wins for “best present ever” this year :)

* Yes, I went home and tried the two on together later.

I walked up to the booth and immediately hit it off with the lady running it. She was selling crocheted goods by her daughter (not sure where the daughter was, maybe home with the kid or something) and her son-in-law was there running a 3D printer and selling printed headbands. Apparently I would have hit it off with the daughter too, if we ever met. She had me send the daughter photos of me in the vest (daughter wrote back asking to post on social media....okay, I guess) and we talked for quite a while. She said sometimes you’re making something for someone else and then that person shows up, which was so clearly the case here. I think she didn’t want me to leave and I kinda didn’t want to either, but life does go on and I had other things to do and the show closed at four anyway. The lady doesn’t do e-mail and I only go to this area about once a year so this will only be only a one-off, but it was an awesome one-off, you know?

I do have some really cool experiences with people I meet once from time to time, but sadly they never carry over, you know? Even when we exchange contact information* nobody ever actually does anything about it because you never had enough time to make a long term connection in the first place. I wish, but life doesn’t work like that.

* yeah, yeah, I know, “Facebook friends!” except Facebook makes it easy for you to get harassed and stalked these days so I can’t participate and make “friends” there. Well, that and I got bored of Facebook after 24 hours years ago so even before social media became psychotic, it was never fun for me.

That said, I need to remember to go to this fair again next year on the tour.


After that we went out for dinner and then on to the next storytelling show in Woodland. The folks in it this time were a lot of folks I’ve seen recently at other shows here.

* Kirk Waller, previously seen at one of our town events but I forget which one it was to look for the link. He did a cool version of the King Midas story, except it was a sugar-obsessed kid who wished for everything he touched to become sweet. Oops...He later told a story about how he made up a story at school and then his teacher encouraged him to act, and then she looked him up in adulthood. His final story was about a stepmom trying to get “in” with a surly stepchild and how she went to a guy to ask him to mix a potion for her and he said she had to get a whisker off a live lion first. So she gentles the lion into eating when she brings him food, then gets the whisker. She brings it back to potion guy, who just sets the whisker on fire and that’s all he does... After that, she gets the hint that her stepson needs to be gentled too. Very good.

* Juliet Pokorny, who told a story about how her dad would have them do scavenger-hunt-ish hunts for their gifts with clues and the like, and when she and her brother tried to do the same for their dad, they ended up cutting up antique fabric for it. Oops!

* Dave Tarvin dressed up as a train conductor to tell a story about cooking on a train and how “French toast is life.”

* The lady who runs CASA (the charity this fundraises for) decided to scrap telling sad stories and instead told us about marrying the same husband multiple times in different countries. Aww. A CASA kid also told her story again, she’s been there before.

* Ed told the jazz choir story he did at the last Tellebration.

* Dave Pokorny, previously at the last Tellebration, told some of the same stories about doing stand-up that he did at the last one and threw in some other ones too. Like his car getting broken into and robbed and then his jacket with his last name on the back turning up on the back of a hooker.

He also told a rocking one about “I believe in karma and revenge...If the universe gives me the opportunity.” In this case, he remembered the cop who gave him his first ticket, and then 12 years later he was doing a sold out show in Modesto (“because my career is on fire”) and a classmate of his came to show and brought her husband...that cop. Dave then proceeded to tell this story and make fun of the guy and the audience lost it. At the end of the night the guy said “I’m an undercover cop.” Dave said, “Not any more!”

Dave also had a memorable story about having a super awful gig where the audience already hated him and he had to do 25 minutes to get paid. So he does the best he can for 23 minutes or so while they all hate on him, and then breaks into this joke, and then he says he’s out of time before he gets to the punch line. The next comic to come out, I think called him an asshole, and then said he’d tell the end of the joke...at the end of his own set.

I went at this point, and I told the Disney rides story I’d tried out last month, except longer. I have been noodling with that for a few months because I originally wrote it out with about three parts. Part 1: Jennifer is easily scared of easy Disney rides, Part 2: Jennifer works her way out of that, Part 3: Now Jennifer’s mother has issues with rides and the tables have turned. I was having a hard time getting Part 3 to work in the written piece, so I only did parts 1 and 2 last month and that seemed to work. I tried out some different ways to tell Part 3 and tried that out this time. I don’t know how well that went over (this might not be quite as crazy-go-nuts as some other things I’ve told about), but that’s okay. Guess and check and all that. I was a little concerned to be retelling that one because a few folks from last night’s show were supposed to be going to this one, but they either didn’t come or bailed after intermission (see below), so never mind, I guess.

* Truman, another guy who’s been there before, told the same story about managing to find a float pin for his Land Rover in Nairobi in a fancy hotel bathroom when they hadn’t been able to find or replicate one all over the country. He also mentioned at one point that a fellow “bush mechanic” filled a tire with elephant dung in an emergency. This did lead to the memorable line, “If you know anything about elephant dung, and I’m sure you do...”

And finally, we had Tanner (see aforementioned Tellebration link) in the dead last spot, telling another story about the time he used to work at the Santa Barbara Zoo and started wondering about the mysterious weird fruit that the giraffes were obsessed with. One day he managed to get one down and spent way too much time trying to open the thing. He tried to eat it and it was disgusting, so he threw it out.

The next day, nothing happens and everything is fine.

On day three, Tanner is in gut-burning agony, calls in sick to work, and a regular doctor and two gastroenterologists can’t figure out what the hell is wrong with him. Unfortunately, since 24 hours had passed, Tanner totally forgot when the doctors asked him if he ate anything unusual.

A day or two after that, Tanner is totally fine again. When he returns back to work, his work provides him with (a) a “Thanks for not dying” card, (b) a sign with a picture of the giraffe fruit with a “No” slash over it, and (c) a lot of information about sausage fruit and how it is toxic to humans and eating 2 seeds usually kills you. So he’s one of the few people alive who knows what that stuff tastes like, and lived. So now that he’s had a near death experience, he wants his legacy to be...anything but this! “Please don’t think I’m an idiot. Any more.” So he was a delight to all.

However, the thing that’s annoying about this Woodland show is that at least half the audience (which normally fills the room or so by 6) empties out during the intermission and doesn’t return back in. The show goes from 6 to 9:30-ish officially so yeah, I admit it’s long and they had 10 tellers and the “featured” professionals got 2 different times to tell, but they have a 25 minute intermission and I think that kind of kills the momentum. I wondered why it was that long and someone suggested it was to encourage others to get food since this is at a coffeehouse/restaurant, but in all honesty I didn’t see too many people ordering more food during that time, since they were leaving instead. It might, I dunno, keep some butts in the seats if they had a shorter intermission. I don’t recall half the audience bailing during the 10 minute Tellebration intermission, you know? Also, what the heck are you doing leaving between 7:30 and 8? Where the hell else are you going to go in this town (trust me, there isn’t much else that goes on there for night life)? I guess I just don’t get bailing on a show early unless you’re finding everything to be awful. Well, maybe they do, who knows, but it doesn’t seem like it in the moment.

Anyway, it kind of sucks for those of us going after intermission, myself included. There was actually a SECOND exodus after mine (okay, so maybe they thought I sucked and that’s why they left, I admit that’s a possibility!) so I think we were down to maybe 20 or less people in the room by the time poor Tanner got to go. The emcee had some comments about that. Anyway, those who left early missed out.


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