So I cart TI to Berkeley and find Weeny and guess what, I was right. She is not Weeny's guest, and the "no room in the truck" ruse did mean "no room in the truck FOR YOU" . So now I know I have a person who is either oblivious to hints, or a con artist, or both on my hands. Greeeeeat.
Lunch is fabulous, and I get to chat with many old and new acquaintances. Charles "The Grape" Hunt bestows the first of his 100+ (!!) handmade concrete trophies upon the owner of the cafe- it is in the shape of a 10-12 inch meatball and noodle. We adjourn to Caravan to San Jose, where we will be camping at an orchard for the next two nights. We temporarily foist TI and her gear upon someone else, but this still means she follows us to the campsite.
Upon arriving, the organizers are informed about the problem of TI. It turns out that while her intention in tagging along was to video the parade/festival, she hasn't received any clearance from the organizers for "behind the scenes"/ non-public events, and thus, shouldn't be at the campsite. Philo immediately gets a bad feeling about her, says "We've had this type of 'groupie' problem before" and arranges for her to be taken to the Caltrain station where she can get back to SF, go to Oregon, or whatever. Before this is resolved, though, she's flitting from person to person, trying to wrangle a "no, she's cool, she can stay as my guest" type of invite. I had made the mistake of mentioning at lunch the name of a Bay Area car artist that RC knew, that he was thinking of staying with one night in lieu of camping, and gee, it turns out that TI is "a good friend" of his, and will I give her his cell number? I am not good in these types of confrontations with people I barely know and can only say "look, I gave you a ride down here, that's all I agreed to, anything else is up to you. I don't feel comfortable giving you his number" while I'm thinking, "Look bitch, if you're such pals, why isn't his number in your address book? And if you came down here without your address book, well, then you're just an unprepared moron." It turns out one of the artists camping at the orchard DOES know her from about 5 years before and is -sorta- willing to vouch for her, but Philo's bad feeling and decision is final. Thank God. This is the last I will see of her, although I am told later she showed up for the parade, and possibly other events.
The last irony of The Interloper is that the camera she brought down to the event is borrowed and the batteries won't charge properly, and the problem doesn't seem to be fixable through regular troubleshooting. She didn't even bother to test her camera before ostensibly coming down to "make a film". Dumbass.
Anyway, the weight of TI off my shoulders, a group of us leave the campsite to hit a thriftstore and to get a battery for RC, whose battery has somehow lost water the night before and is now dead. When we return, the drinking and the festivities are in full swing. Later, needing a shower and having no real facility available (there is a shower in the house, but it seems like a potential "tragedy of the commons" situation, and since we're not even supposed to use the inside toilet since there's a portapottie on the campsite...), the hot tub seems ideal. After my dip, I am sleepy and ready for bad, even though its probably only 11pm or so. It's too dark to pitch a tent, so I elect to sleep in my car. In the morning, I will feel cramped and bruised and not well rested.
What I missed from my early bedtime is that one artist (name concealed to protect the guilty) who is certainly old enough to know better got SOOOO drunk that he made a spectacle of himself by not only vomiting repeatedly while passed out, but vomiting AND farting simultaneously while passed out. There was debate as to who to call first: the artist that's also a nurse, or someone with a video camera. The nurse having cleared the situation as non-serious, the video camera apparently went to work. I haven't seen the footage, but it's a good lesson in group interaction: the more people who like you and feel that you're a good guy, the fewer that are likely to want to document your less savory moments. I'm fairly sure that the victim is unaware of this documentation, which makes it all the more schadenfreudische.
The next morning, Philo and his bullhorn wake us up at what seems like the crack of dawn to caravan to the San Jose Art museum. Another lesson of Art Car Time: try to get everyone awake and ready at least 90 minutes before they REALLY need to leave. The caravan goes well enough, although there is a wreck on the 101 on the way. A few people ask "Did we cause it"?, as the sight of 60+ artcars on the freeway has to be a bit bizarre even by Bay Area standards.
Of all the events, the SJ Museum of Art was my least favorite. For one, it went on way too long. We had cars parked there from 11am to 8pm, and while there was musical entertainment for the first 6 hours, you try hanging out on a plaza for 8 hours with nothing to really "do". By hour 3, I was restless and wanted to leave, only I couldn't, really. I did dash over to the downtown library and checked my email, but the endurance test aspect of this event was really unpleasant. I could have hung out by my car and answered questions from the public for 4 hours, but I was so fatigued from inertia I didn't feel like it. After you've socialized and "made the rounds" and looked at the art in the museum, there's nothing to do but hang out. Forever. But the public response to the cars was pretty good, I thought.
Of the bands, the Phenomenauts were probably the best. They're a Bay area Man or Astroman type of band, and they have their own artcar, so they end up playing at a lot of West Coast artcar events. They came on late in the day when I was pretty agitated and wanting to leave, but they none-the-less made me feel a bit peppier.
After the music was the trophy ceremony. There's a "special Olympics" tradition in the artcar world of giving everyone a trophy as thanks for participating, rather than awarding "merit" trophies. While this is admirable, it means that someone (or many someones) has to make all the trophies. Even if you don't make them very elaborate, making 100 trophies is a major time and effort commitment.
Here's a pic (which I didn't take) of this year's trophies, made by Charles "The Grape" Hunt.
Each one is unique, and about half of them are specific to the awardee's artcar; ie, the trophy mimicks or includes design elements of the artcar of the person receiving the trophy. He did a pretty amazing job. My trophy is a "miscellaneous" one with seashells embedded in the poured concrete. And yes, they all say "Best Frog Taco" on the label.
I was surprised at the trophy ceremony by the appearance of jtemperance, a friend who lived in the Bay Area when I did, who I'd hope to visit with but hadn't made plans with. After the trophies, we bailed on the "Fashion show" to catch up and chat for an hour or so.
Back to the orchard for more merriment. Another dip in the Hot tub substitutes for a shower, but I am so looking forward to being able to shave the next day. I end up catching a second wind (possibly due to caffeine intake) and don't go to sleep til 4am. Oddly enough, I'm not the last one to turn in.
In our next episode: The Berkeley to SF Amoeba to Amoeba caravan.