Monday, February 22, 2010

When I was in the Cardin Circus all the equipment had wooden boxes to move in.

In my jankey ass circus we put the stuff in an unmarked vehicle or pile it on the big bikes ("see ya after the show dear").

My old banjo can take can use it to row your boat if ya had to... but the other stuff?
The Popcorn machine for one hates all the travel time every day. That thing is designed to stay put for long periods. It would like living in a gas station.
Anything that doesnt fit in a red bucket is getting hammered by all the loading and unloading.
I could slim down the operation but then how the hell would I be able to blame the equipment when things go wrong?
This is a problem that requires Magic, Science and careful planning to resolve here is what I'm conjuring today...

I will become semi permanent, happy and healthy for the Spring summer season without trashing all my gear.

I need to put the stuff up permanently or find a big truck for it to live in.
Trucks are for touring, they stink, they are expensive and they don't hide well.
I don't want a truck for Hawthorne street it's a nightmare to even park a tall bike.
Renting a spot isn't an don't rebuild a fortune by writing a lot of rent checks.

Like what we do? Donation bucket!
I hope you are working on your Windfall today.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My great grandmother dies in a fire with her child and dog.

Because of this fact her name was in the paper and with a few phone calls I got her name.
Now this evening I'm with my children and we are using our precious time together to go over who the hell we are anyways! Click above to see the tragic tale of my great grandmothers demise way back East in Massachusetts.

Thats the Yankee side of my family, now the Tejanos...
My Texas native family are Hispanic (not my word)they come from the counties around San Antonio. I grew up in Corpus Christi on the coast.
When I die I want my body pitched in Oso Bay.

My Great Grandfather's Birth certificate.
I love that my great great grandfather's name was Mereguildo Barrera but he was listed as "White" on the form.

My Grandfather, he was a police officer and his brother was a fireman. When I was young my uncle put me on the firetruck a lot. At the time my grandfather was a Homicide detective so I never got to ride in a squad car but he did introduce me to a murderer once.
This is my great Grandmothers birth certificate. Looks like my great great grandmother on my moms side was an irish lady. Green tacos?

When my mother was in her 50s she got a visit from her brother...WHAT BROTHER?
My mom was raised in an upper class home in the city with a maid. It was her and her sister she didn't have a brother.
Turns out a lady on her death bed revealed to her 8 or so grown children that they had a mom.
She told them that the sister went away with a police man when she was a baby.
It's not clear if my grandfather bought my mom, stole her or rescued her.
So I'm not related to anyone I grew up with. Do I care HELL NO!
I know who took care of me, put up with my weirdness and juvenile delinquency that lasted a decade after I turned 18. I miss the Texans a lot.

I'm in a conversation with a friend planning the next few weeks. I saw some good ideas for buskers that I thought I should share....

Here is my letter back to a good friend who has agreed to work with me on a day project in South East Portland.

"You want in on this one? That's sweet it couldn't have happened to a nicer lady!
OK your job is to learn three songs people want to hear and that you can do solo.
Buskers work for the People so the selections should inspire them. You already have great cover songs indeed. I suggest adding some oldies, Elvis, the Ramones, Patsy Cline, Beatles, TV show themes work really well.
If we were in San Antonio we would be playing LaBamba on the Riverwalk all day and getting paid in half pennies half pesos. Sometimes chicken sometimes feathers amigo!
It's up to you of course but we are playing for a lot of many as we can pick up in a short time.
MY job is to make people pay you (and introduce them to our Patron).
Olives job is to make people pay me (she hass Vays off makink zem pay hoo hoo haa haa!).
We have the coolest spot at 33rd. We are Sanctioned by the Dollar Scholar so we are the only buskers with electrics, bathroom, a barker, a concession stand that we keep all the money from. and endless prizes to give away from the shop.
"Buskers showcase"" is what I'm calling it. We will develop and evolve this event to do multiple jobs. One job is directing people into the D.S. another being the public interface where we tell passing and asking humans where to go in the Portland nightlife. We give out fliers for our shows, events and our patrons, we tell them what burrito trucks are best and where to buy drinks that contain Tapioca on the bottom.
I have to make sure we get paid to do that.
Whenever I'm on the street and people ask me for "Information" if there isn't any "cutter in the hand" then I am obliged as a clown to send them in all kinds of awful directions.
I decided that if anyone is rude while asking directions I'm sending them to the Rebuilding center in North Portland.
"Oh Madam your looking for the closest toilette? Then you need to take the 4 bus and get off at Fremont and Mississippi they have lots of them".
Other Buskers have nothing to lose and a lot to gain rolling with us. They are never competition but if they suck we have to get them out of there quick. There is a bar next door and we don't want to drive anyone away from the outside seating thats directly to our right.
The rough competition this season will be the bums. They have no overhead (lol) so they can pole better positions than us. Those guys hit the people up hard and put them in a bad mood for handing out money...we have to turn that around!
Just like it behooves them to look feeble and downtrodden, it behooves us to look sharp, large and in charge!
Muddy Waters showed me how bad a bum infestation can Kill the Till and I'm not letting that happen ever again.
I'm looking for payola to bribe the friends we need hula hooping and wearing the giant animal costumes. I bet I could get a gift certificate from the Vintage shop and some of the other shops to pay loopy lackeys.
See if the bums didn't stink so bad THEY could be in the giant chicken suit.
If our friends get something out of the deal they will protect us too, they always do.
I just don't want anyone around OUR plumbs.
How is every weekday at 3 to start the Buskers Showcase?"

Hey buskers! Your music means a lot to you...unfortunately unless you have a harp or some exotic instrument AND you look amazingly attractive (like Pandi's usually not enough to stop someone who is hussling by with two screaming kids and five shopping bags.
you need to inspire folks with songs they know. Pick your targets well and look like you work there. I don't profess to have all the answers but I have made a lot of mistakes that I plan to profit from. Contact me through the facebook if you want in on this gravytrain.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ok now Olive and I were looking for someone to work FOR.

And then our friends at the Dollar Scholar just hooked us up working for ourselves.
They know that whats good for the clown is good for them so they gave me some free space.
Right at 33rd and Hawthorne I'm developing a scene there where we can showcase local and traveling artists.
It's starting off a bit slow as my partner and I get used to the new equipment set up.
We set up the concession stand and wait.
We aren't used to waiting around for action to blow our way.
Our M.O. is attacking from the direction of the sun and fighting all day until we win or have been killed.
This biz takes patience and careful planning.
Maybe i will trade a kid some pop corn for one of his Ritalin.
If public school in South Texas taught me anything they taught me "Heavily sedate Pirate children" and I plan to stick by the Yellow Rose YeeHaw!
Just kidding I hate all pills and powder drugs.
As a kid I was on Ritalin and it made me a zombie...I think i needed a simple farm job to cure my hyper activity...or a concession stand on Hawthorne Ave.
When we get time to rest Kate the Beekeeper invited us to the coast for a weekend of bike riding and clowning the coastal locals!
I think it will be great practice for the Long Beach gig in July.
Thanks Kate!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I love a good plan (Draw My Girlfriend@Acme)

An owner did the above drawing of Blair.

I drew her with a green paint marker...I decided to draw her worshiping a tomato.

Olive makes all the gigs more fun. Olive makes my whole life.

Dirty Lil Christmas is a perfect band for D.M.G...they work for free.

Olive sat on the floor and sculpted our model out of balloons...from memory!

"Rebel without a Consequence" played while Kitten posed.

Poor Kitten was sick and had to bus from Gresham just for this event.

Blair has the kind of rump that strippers WISH they had. This event isn't an event about boo-tay it's about beu-tay and talent. Lucky for us (and real lucky for Rich Mackin)Blair brings it every time. The angle of my table made me have a perspective that was um....curvy.

New faces and old friends made D.M.G. a plan to stay with.

I didn't know if the people would come...but they did!That's incredible that they found us because all lettering in this place is backwards! Or Rootbeer's laptop takes crappy pictures.

Jason Gooder (half owner)makes stickers that go on auto windows, the other owner Ken sat down and did a sweet drawing of Blair.

I'm still broke but this is clearly a good plan that works.
I'M Diggin OUT!
Thank you everyone who is giving me so much help to get back on my feet.
By helping me you are voting for me to continue being the village idiot.
I promise to stay in Portland and keep up the good fight!
I don't know what the hell was wrong with my mustache all night...that damn catapiller was all over the place.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sooo satisfying.

I been messed with a lot lately and this old croc is my inspiration to think I might get a good bite on a stupid ape sometime soon.

Hey I'm still getting letters that remind me that if I'm ranting on my blog it stays there long after I have cooled off.
I'm stoked to be with my woman and kids, I love Portland and the changing season...good things are afoot and I'm only looking forward (even though I'm currently watching a "They Might Be Giants" video thats old).
I haven't found a landing place for all my equipment so it's all in this apartment.
We don't watch TV we watch the Arcade game, we don't have breakfast of champions we have hot dogs from concession stand. We did teach the Popcorn machine to make blows the shit out of them but they taste good.

Friday, February 12, 2010

some Fave pics of 29th st

I woke up LIVID!....Now I'm relieved.

I hadn't had a Thursday off in two years. I did three or so Thursdays a month on Alberta but for the rest of it...every Thursday regardless of weather or crowd I showed up and put on a show. Everywhere I went I asked nice people with jobs to come to the cafe I work at and spend quality time with us.
Last night I rode my bike around town for hours hunting and thinking. Portland sure is a beautiful city full of promise and splendor.
If Muddy's could diss me that bad after so much loyal hard work... then who the hell can I trust?
Those guys didn't pay me for 6 months! I never got any tips from baristas, I never got any dough for the prizes and balloons I bought every week.
I did get plenty of demands made on me.
The only thank you I got was from customers and other employees who also were getting the shaft. I guess it's my own fault for believing what they told me. The other day the bully that should have been protecting me told me not to come around.
What was my crime?
Delivering shirts one day I hadn't got in the door before they told me that the place I just invested $200 in was closing in three weeks I quickly knew why...they didn't act on any of my recommendations about pilfering volunteers, really drunk rock stars sucking down the beer money and the tolerance for huge crowds of bums.
I wrote (re-wrote)the same letter I had been writing and speaking ad-nausium, posted it here and for that I was treated AWFUL.
Mike rolled a whole dump truck of negativity on me and treated me like a criminal.
I hear that that is a tactic that corporations use when they need to get rid of someone they owe money to.
Without the "Tofu Restraining Order" I could have moved my gear out in the dry and with free help but I guess he thought I would steal from them because he only let me come get my stuff on the day he could watch me. Just because I got ripped off doesn't mean I will rip off.
It was raining, I had to pay a guy with a truck, I only had Olive and him to help move my stuff and she hurt her head really good while we were unloading.
As I say my woman holding her head and crying I saw the faces responsible for this misery.
If you spend any money at the Flipside or Muddy Waters you are stabbing me in the back by helping the jerks who stiffed my children of 6 mos. daddys pay.
Imagine if you made your company a lot of money and they squandered it so bad they couldn't pay you for 6 months.

Damn! just as I was getting my angry to a fever pitch my friend from upstairs came down and bought my guitar. I'm so relieved to have $100 (for bills)but I still need to process my outrage.Maybe after I reach for my guitar and it's not there I will get pissed off again. I hope not.
I'm gonna spend the next hour in coffee,sex,toke,shower,stretch mode trying to feel better.Then out to find fortune (and more fame) on the streets of Portland...the best town in the world for Dingozian to make a fresh start.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I took the unpleasant rant down.

I wasn't being heard, now I have, I took down my angry rant. Not because I don't stand by my words (It was all true)but because I'm not holding bad vibes on my blog or in my mind.
Also my rant didn't mention all the people who work very hard and do well for themselves and for Muddy's.

Time is's time to dig out and get back to the biz of prospering again.
It feels like I'm going to the race track...I need to pick a winner!

Look around you...are you surrounded by winners?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Artists welcomen!!

The Blair Rich Project continues their weekly residence at Draw My Girlfriend, a life drawing and live music event at Muddy Waters CommunityHouse at SE 29th and Belmont! Starts every Wednesday around 7 (in reality).

This event is coming together swimmingly with more lovely models and the addition of kitchen-table blues outfit, Dirty Little Christmas, and folk-metal virtuoso, Radiate. As always, my cohost Dingo Dizmal brings it with tampon cannons, hot dice, and other shenanigans. Blair-Rich Project usually goes on sometime between 9 and 10, but it's definitely worth experiencing the whole enchilada.

As always, participants/audience are encouraged to bring art supplies and draw, and enjoy Muddy Waters sundry lovely treats.

Draw, drink and be merry!!

-Blair (and Rich)