Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

Today my dad flew in from Spokane. We walked down on the pier and stopped by Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. I'm assuming that most kids who grew up in the northwest have been to this place at one time or another. I like the old machines the shop is filled with. Some of these might have even sparked my personal interest in slide projectors, old typewriters and other contraptions of antiquity. This occurred to me today. It also occurred to me that one of the reasons I enjoy reading Arman's blog, aside from learning about what he's doing with his new album and laughing at the movie of our friend Dave dressed up like a clown, is because Arman seems like a person who is also fascinated by interesting machines. I wonder if we have this in common because we were born on the same day? There's no telling. Come to think of it, my cousin Daniel, who is a DJ, also seems like someone who is fascinated by interesting machines. I bet that Arman and Daniel would get along well with one another. Daniel lives in Hong Kong with his wife and owns/runs a club named yumla . I hope that Erin and I can visit Yumla and Dan while we're in China. My best friend Zach was a little disturbed when he met Daniel, years ago when Zach and I were both eighteen, because Zach thought Daniel and I looked very similar back then. It genuinely freaked Zach out. He told me after our trip that Daniel and I even stood in similar postures and that the whole experience was like watching the Patty Duke Show. This has been a really long tangent. Back to what I was saying about Ye Olde Curiosity Shop:

My sister and I used to ask our parents for change so that we could see what all of the different machines did. I remember one machine absolutely terrifying me. Part of the terror, I think, was that I didn't expect the machine to be sinister, and it turned out to be very sinister. I think that Jolly Jack's laugh is maybe the most disturbing thing I've ever heard. To commemorate this childhood terror, I made a movie of what happens when you put a coin into Jolly Jack. Make sure you turn the volume up so that you can hear his creepy laugh:

I also found all of the antique "film" machines I remember from when I was a kid. I was maybe five or six the first time I put some change in the machine with the Charlie Chaplin images. Using this thing today made me think of my good friend Elliott Stevens and our mutual love of Charlie Chaplin. Elliott even dressed up like Charlie Chaplin one Halloween. Here's a picture of Elliott and Erin at a Halloween party that year:

Anyways, I made I made a movie of the Chaplin machine specifically for Elliott, who, along with Rob Baumann and both of their roommates, is taking care of our cats while we're in China. So, Elliott, this one's for you:

I also remember being maybe nine or ten and finding the following machine at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. I think I had to distract my parents and my sister so that I could use it without them knowing:

Finally, right before we left the shop today, I used the fortune telling machine I've used every time that I've ever been there. I received a rather disturbing fortune. Actually, the first half of the fortune is spot-on for me, but the last part about traveling is troublesome. I tried to take a picture of the fortune, but it didn't turn out very well. I may post it here. This is what the fortune from the machine said:

Estrella's Prophecies:

A wise old owl sat on an oak
The more he sat the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard
Why can't you be like that wise old bird?

Yes my friend your greatest fault is that you talk too much. Learn to keep a secret. However, your other golden qualities make up for your talkativeness. Your anxiety to help others, and your consideration of other people's wishes has earned you many friends.

A friend will urge you to take a trip. Don't do it. Your best interest lies in remaining at home. I'm depending on your good sense to lead you on the right path.

Drop another Coin in the slot and I will tell more

Your Luck Numbers--286--87, 88, 89, 90.

Here is a movie of the machine giving me my fortune. Also, you can see Erin and me waving in the reflection of the glass:


shannondg said...

since erin put the money in the machine, isn't this technically HER fortune?

Benjamin Dean-Cartwright said...

I thought about that as a way out from under the hammer of fate, but unfortunately, I said very clearly to her before we started recording "Hey, will you help me put money in there for MY fortune?"

No dice. The fortune is mine.