Several days of non-significant-in-the-scheme-of-things (but still incredibly annoying) bringdowns. I am overheated and not pleased with myself at all.
More songs: "Go Olympia" (inspired by the below), "Fur Curl" (a severely unsuccessful attempt to play around with a tricky rhythm, hampered by the fact that I couldn't get it consistently right), and a slowed-down, heavied-up cover of WCKR SPGT's "Daphne Stepping Sideways" (best thing I've done this week, too bad I didn't write it myself).
So Sunday. Woke up at about 6:30 AM; Rebecca, semi-conscious, gave me a lift to the bus station, where I got the final ticket they had available for the early bus to Olympia. "The thing about Olympia is that there's really nothing there," somebody had told me the day before. "You might want to go have a look at the earthquake damage." I didn't want to oversleep my stop, so I read the Xgau festschrift instead. Lois Maffeo met me at the bus terminal and took me to breakfast at some sort of suitably Olympian brunchery: good tofu scramble, nice graphics, customers who looked pretty much like I expected. She gave me a bit of a walking tour of some Olympia landmarks on our way (notably an Artesian well that runs out of a pipe coming out of the ground--"if you drink from this, you'll have to come back," she said--and a tiny alley where people used to bring a boombox and put on a show), and took me to a very good used bookstore (got a collection of Rebecca West's early essays, J.P. Donleavy's The Ginger Man, and Peter DeVries' Slouching Toward Kalamazoo, which I'd been told was wildly funny, though actually I thought it was pretty lame--the one really good joke is given away on the back cover).
We sat under a gazebo in a public park and waited for other people to show up for the Go Olympia Walking Tour--and they did! (Rich Jensen, Nikki McClure, and a young poet whose name I forget.) The Go Olympia tours started back in 1983 or 1984, nobody can quite remember; it was an annual tradition for a while, and it was revived for the second Yo-Yo A-Go-Go, and this time it was happening basically because I was in town. I felt honored.
Go Olympia isn't a typical walking tour; it's a tour of personal rather than public landmarks. It drizzled the whole time. Nikki showed us the bushes that sometimes conceal daffodil bulbs; Lois showed us the bank that used to be a restaurant, and the back window where the dishwashers worked, so you could come around there at 10 PM when the restaurant was closing and if nobody was looking they'd dump some uneaten baked potatoes into your backpack and maybe even some butter, and then you could go home and feast on baked potatoes. We stopped by Tae Won Yu's place, which he was cleaning out in preparation to move to New Jersey; he remembered me from almost ten years ago, and gave me a Kicking Giant poster. (He had a poster up in town that he's selling his guitar amp--"impeccable indie cred!") He joined us as we wandered around a bit more, past the railroad tracks where many years ago a group of people agreed to meet in seven years' time at Wall Drug (a bunch of them actually did, and remembered independently), to the brand-new post office (shiny white, open 24 hours--Lois identified the K mailbox), through the spacious K offices ("that's the motorbike Calvin mentions in 'Indian Summer'... this used to be a high school gym, and we figured out the year of the people who wrote that graffiti and invited them back here for their reunion") and their attached print shop, and finally to a farmer's market where we bought Indian and Mexican food and ate it under the roof of a little stage area, where Rich sang us the Go Olympia theme song ("Olympia, Olympia, how are you?"). At a bus terminal nearby, Rich showed us a paper badge and a photo from the second Go Olympia tour in 1984 or so. I got the feeling that this wouldn't be the last tour--there were only six people there, but that's what it'd started with, too, and I don't know if it'd ever been that much larger.
I'll have to come back. I drank from the Artesian spring.