Welcome to the Debutant Ball . . .

or at least my personal "Coming Out" party here at my cool new Bryght Powered OlyBlog.Net Site.

As to introductions, I'm Cosmo G Spacely, (The Unabonger), host of the Clubside Breakfast Time Podcast, an Olympia based podcast, with Music, News and (sometimes witty) commentary on Life in Olympia. I'm a long-time Olympia resident, and frequent Evergreen "Community Member", having started on my degree back in 1984, (I'm closer than three years ago on getting my degree, I swear!)

There's also an associated CBT WordPress Blog but since I'm a Podcaster, and not a Blogger, it's largely a "work in progress", so to speak.

To get the Podcast, here's a browser friendly feed, which also doubles as the RSS syndication XML file for aggregators, and a Link for iTunes.

Come on by and have breakfast with me (and sometimes a special guest or two!


You Should Have Died

While reading Steve's great Evergroove Trivia stories, a story of my own keeps knocking at my mind and insisting on being told, so I'll concede and write it.

Mid 1990s or so, I'm at TESC, enjoying my studies. One day on a break during some sort of group activity, several of us fell into chit chat, nothing important being said, just idle conversation.

Somehow we ended up talking about food poisoning. Stories of various food poisoning episodes were shared, we laughed a lot and competed to tell the worst story. I piped up with my story of getting very sick on clam chowder, two different times at two different restaurants in Port Townsend.


The Tale of Two White Cars

On my walk to the downtown library I was met by an eruption of sudden loud noise and noxious fumes. A nominally white beater of a car pulled out of The Vault parking lot and was haltingly making its way elsewhere. With many a belch and crackle and cloud of exhaust.

I felt a headache kick in and thought I'd best distract myself, maybe by figuring out just what sort of car that was so I could perhaps report it to some Authority that could make it stop. I squinted to see what was written on the car but then quickly looked away when I discovered that the solo driver, while halted at a red light, was gesticulating wildly. I think to himself and the situation at large.

Once done at the library, I walked back towards my eventual goal of Bayview. Once on Capitol Way I noticed that an eerie calm had settled. In this calm rolled a long white limo. Silent, no visible exhaust, windows darkened so I could not tell what the inhabitants were doing.

The beater car had been headed somewhat towards the Dome. The sleek limo away from the Dome. I'm determined to come up with something wise and pithy to say about this. Certainly the two white cars of such contrast can be used in an eloquent metaphor.

I've no clue how to do so, though. And I still have that headache.

Evergroove trivia, pt. 87

During the late 1970s, when the campus atmosphere was growing less libertarian, I gained a partner in crime in the person of a NYC anarchist. In hindsight, I now recognize this was pretty obnoxious, but at the time we told ourselves we were conducting an experiment in Evergreen iconoclasm. In seminar, we decided to offer the following opinions not for the sake of discussion but simply to see how long it would take for our classmates to blow their collective fuse.

--Picasso was a bald fraud. He drew merely for money. There is a story that Pablo visited a collector who was very proud of his Picasso painting. The Great Man viewed it and said it was a fake. The collector was beside himself with fury. "You mean I paid all that money for a counterfeit?!" "Oh, I painted it alright," Picasso supposedly said, "But I produced just for the cash. It's a fake."

--Bob Dylan was the musical equivalent of Picasso. He had just converted as a Jew for Jesus at this time, which freaked out the class anyway.

--Emma Goldman, as her autobiography proves, was highly dependent on men for her self-esteem.

--Carl Jung had a highly questionable relationship with the Nazis.

--And so on.

Yes, you guessed it. Statements like these elicited the predicted response. Rage. The faculty knew full well what we were doing, but I think she egged us on anyway. But at least no one got hit (see Evergroove Trivia pt. 35)

Evergroove trivia, pt. 86

For a college now famous for producing so many cartoonists, it sure was hard finding anyone who could act as a faculty sponsor in the 1970s. For my own part, all of my cartooning instructors were English teachers. I never took a course at TESC in graphic art technique. (Some would say, "Yeah, and it shows!") Teachers like Thad Curtz, Josie Reed, Margaret Gribskov, and Peter Elbow taught me about cartooning through the written word, not the drawn line.

This was before the days of affordable photocopying with the ability to reduce and enlarge images on your own. But as a student, I had access to the campus print shop and was able to produce three comix from 1976-1978 as part of my academic work. The second book, An Untitled Portfolio, (pictured here) was produced with the teaching/editing of Thad Curtz. Charles Schulz once said something to the effect that cartooning was a "sort of" art. You had to be sort of good at writing, and sort of good at drawing. Not great, just sort of good. The trick was blending the two together. Thad knew this and sent me in some great directions. A couple years later, Seattle cartoonist Ray Collins told me, confirming Thad's view, that the best way to learn cartooning is to study poetry.

I did have one informal class in art while a student at Evergroove, probably about 1975. I went to the home of a fellow student where his eccentric father had boxes of art clippings throughout the house. When he learned I was a cartoonist he launched into a long (and boozy) lecture on the place of the cartoon in American culture. A modern painter, he said, could use abstraction in a work and hang it in a gallery and the normal Joe on the street would reject it. But the same principles of abstraction, like the squiggle for Charlie Brown's hair, or Nancy's dot eyes, or that incredibly disturbing > symbol for Fred Flintstone's ear, are accepted as, well, normal by normal Joe. As long as cartoons were on the low end of the art chain-of-being, they would maintain their power. But once a cartoonist starts running with the gallery crowd, they might as well crawl in the grave and cover themselves up.

He was funny. He was engaging. He was wearing a t-shirt with ketchup stains on it. It was the best lecture on art I had ever heard. I learned he died shortly after my visit. And you know, I never got his name!

The business of art


Olympia Artist Joins Arts Business Institute

Pamela Corwin to travel and teach with the Institute while continuing local classes.

OLYMPIA, WA (PRWEB) January 4, 2006 -- Put simply, art is business. Artists are in need of information about how to run their businesses, how the retail world works, how to get involved with wholesale, and a host of other questions. Fortunately, there are artists out there who have been in business for many years who are working to educate fellow crafters.

Local artist Pamela Corwin recently joined the faculty of the Arts Business Institute. She will travel with the Institute teaching the business side of the arts world. Corwin brings more than 24 years experience to the Institute and will begin with their workshop in Edmonds, Washington this spring.

City council on the web

This is cool. From the Olympian:

OLYMPIA — Come spring, you’ll be able to watch the City Council on your computer anytime you want. The Olympian - Click Here

The City Council decided Tuesday to start streaming its weekly meetings live on the Internet, then keep them archived on the city Web site for a year so residents can tune in anytime for free.

“Olympia was the first local jurisdiction to televise its meetings,

Evergroove trivia, pt. 85

Peter Elbow, the author of Writing Without Teachers, was one of my faculty members in the 1978-79 year. Or, come to think of it, the academic time I call the Year From Hell. Peter required us to deliver several pages of freewriting every week and to read our work out loud in class. Meanwhile, he was working on a manuscript that eventually was published under the title Writing With Power. Several of my classmates are mentioned in that book, since he used as a sounding board and unofficial editors. A few years after graduating, I knew a guy who really wanted to study freewriting with Peter but TESC required three letters of reference since his academic career had pretty much consisted of partying. I wrote a reference for him, and so did the writer Stephen King, who knew him back in his home state of Maine. I have hitchhiked through Maine. On one ride I asked a guy, "I'm from Washington. We call ourselves Washingtonians. What do people from Maine call themselves?" "Maniacs!" he cheerfully replied. I made it as far north as the town of Dover-Foxcroft, or Dover-Foxtrot as one native called it. I took foxtrot lessons in Santa Barbara in 1974 but can't remember any of it except I stepped on a lot of feet. The needle on the LP record player was jostling a bit when the floor bounced. I also watched a chess tournament down there. That was excitement plus, let me tell you. My cousin Richard was with me. Roland and Patti too. We tried to see which one of us could do the best Peter Lorre imitation. If only he had lived long enough to have been a villain on TV's Batman, at least they had Vincent Price as Egghead. Richard, who was an avid student of Timothy Leary's work at the time, visited me at Evergreen in 1975 just in time to participate in the Jobbo Bonobo cult. Hey, I'm back to Evergroove again, which reminds me: Peter required us to deliver several pages of freewriting every week. Elbow, not Lorre.

During my very last quarter at Evergreen, I attended an evening class on classical expository writing from the very European and stern Niels Skov.

. .

The Face!

It was a busy night at the restaurant in Olympia and many diners were ordering lobster. With each order, the man in the kitchen grabbed a fresh lobster, and while skewering it on the cutting board yelled "The Face! The Face!".

No one asked why he yelled this, they were all too busy with their own work. Diners were happy with their lobsters and the restaurant had a record night.

Now that I've heard this story, I am left pondering why that particular refrain ushered each lobster to their tasty death. Is it an arcane Olympia lobster prep ritual? Was the lobster prepper channeling the lobster's last thoughts?

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