Click here or on the computer above to visit Flying Lasagna Enterprises
The idea for starting an improbably named business such as Flying Lasagna Enterprises began with Bob’s spiral ring. One of my life’s great honors was when Bob’s daughter Christina gave me Bob’s ring after his passing. It was an opulent gesture of saying thank you for my simple efforts at “being there” when the estate, and in a large sense, Bob’s legacy, fell into Christina’s hands. I put the ring on a small altar on my desk so that I could see it while I was working on Bob’s websites, and then later when I started editing and redesigning his books for Hilaritas Press.
At some point I had the thought that sumbunall RAW fans might like to have a copy of Bob’s iconic ring. Christina loved the thought, and so to get an idea of what we might be able to offer, I took the ring to a local goldsmith who made an exact replica. I also asked him to make a pendant based on the ring as well. We were very pleased with the results, but to produce more than a few would be impossible for our local goldsmith. We contacted a small company in Rhode Island that a jeweler friend had suggested. My dear friend Marlis (who first introduced me to Bob and Arlen many years ago) accompanied me to the shop in Rhode Island. They gave us their copy of Bob’s ring, and we were delighted to see it was equally as nice as the one our local goldsmith made. We were excited driving home, talking about “Bob’s Ring Project” – excited to get started.
Or I was excited to get started, and Christina was excited to get started, however the wheels of the Probate Court didn’t seem to have any interest in the launch of Flying Lasagna. It took some years for Bob’s estate to get sorted out. Then we created Hilaritas Press, which has kept us hyper-occupied. Meanwhile, Bob’s ring sat on the small altar, staring at me the whole time. I had the copy from the Rhode Island company sitting in another part of my office, as a reminder of the awaiting project. I gave the ring our local goldsmith made to Christina, and I gave the pendant to Marlis. And then Daisy Eris Campbell, director of Cosmic Trigger the Play, came to RAWDAY 2017 in Santa Cruz. Marlis was wearing the pendant, and it immediately caught Daisy’s eye. Having grown up in the shadow of RAW, she easily recognized the design. I’m familiar with Marlis’ spontaneous generosity, but for Daisy it was a shock that Marlis simply took the pendant off and gave it to her.
It was that look on Daisy’s face, having that relic from Bob in her hands, and smiling with a golden RAW hilaritas – it was in that moment that I knew I had to get on the phone to Rhode Island.
Why a pendant? We realized that ordering replicas of Bob's ring in a variety of sizes would cost a bit more than the RAW Trust was able to fund. Getting 100 pendants made was more affordable, and so to get the lasagna off the ground, we are starting with pendants.
The sterling silver pendants are beautifully crafted and include all of Bob's original "karmic impressions." Each unique pendant is hand-stamped on the back with the word "maybe" and the number of the pendant – 1 through 100. The price is $123 – including Free USPS Priority Flat Rate domestic and international shipping. The pendants will be sold in sequential order. In the future, after we sell these pendants, we look forward to making more pendants and replicas of Bob's ring itself. We'll keep you posted on our progress!
We are almost ready to start taking orders on the pendants. We have only a few small packaging details to work out. In the meantime, we are opening Flying Lasagna Enterprises to the public.
Click here to send us a message if you are interested in buying a pendant.
Honestly, we have no idea at the moment what other RAW related products we may offer in the future, but in the meantime, we've created two online shops for all manner of RAW paraphernalia, including clothing, kitchenware, clocks, dartboards, playing cards, and, well, pretty much the coolest stuff we could find in the CafePress and Zazzle universes.
Click on the graphics above to visit each shop!
While visiting the new website, do click over to the Bob page and take a journey with Bob and Arlen in their inter-dimensional Space Cab. Many thanks to Brummbaer for helping to create that journey.
One other very cool thing – Lumi!
You may have noticed the little one-eyed running pyramid on the cover of our new edition of Cosmic Trigger I. That little guy looked familiar to me, but I couldn't find the reference in my brain. I wrote Scott McPherson, our amazing cover designer, and asked him where he got the little guy. It turns out he got it from Daisy Campbell. She showed him a letter that Bob had written to her father, Ken Campbell, and in the letter Bob had drawn the little running guy. After telling Christina that story, she told me that Bob used to draw that little guy a lot, and not only on letters he wrote.
In formally introducing the little guy to the world, we decided he needed a name. We've been referring to the guy with the male pronoun, admittedly out of programmed convenience, but I think "he" is somehow beyond gender. In any case, he needed a name, and so I wrote to the intrepid RAW Trust Advisors for suggestions. The ensuing email conversations were simultaneously goofy, cosmically inspired and gave rise to this list: Squink, Ziggur (from Ziggurat), Cosmo, Winky, Blinky, Quark, Chao, Holy Chao, Lux, Bucky, Schmucky the Cosmic Schmuck, Bob, Hasta la pasta, RAW head, Bob head, Deluminoid, Illuminoid, Bobbelator, Bobinator, Fnordman, Dinger, Larry (from Hilarrytas), and Baby Maybe. (Note: read that last sentence out loud for maximum benefit)
The suggestion of "Chopes" came with the Joyce reference, "with chopes pyramidous and mousselimes and beaconphires and colossets and ..." page 553, line 10 of Finnegans Wake. Some references were a bit obscure, like "ZemZem, or alternatively ZamZam, has a number of possible meanings: Zamzam Well is a sacred well in Mecca – Zamzam (soft drink) – Zamzama, a cannon outside Lahore Museum, immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his novel Kim."
At one point in the middle of this whole discussion Mike Johnson wrote,
Hey look everyone! It’s Lumi, the Friendly All-Seeing Eye of the Illuminati! Hi Lumi!
Don’t tell Lumi what you think: he already knows!
From that point on Lumi started getting the heads up. Other Advisors described the name "Lumi" as short, sweet, identifiable, positive, friendly and memorable. And so . . .
A final note . . .
We are stealing some of the text in this newsletter for the Flying Lasagna Enterprises website, but I'd like to include here one paragraph I wrote for the website on the origins of the new arm of the RAW Trust:
When Christina and I were first discussing republishing Bob’s books, we had the idea to create Hilaritas Press, but we didn’t want the publishing house to be selling jewelry, or whatever else we might think to offer, so we began thinking about creating another company, and what to call it. We both liked the idea of naming it with some reference to RAW’s world of ideas. Model Agnosticism Enterprises didn’t seem to have the necessary zing. Operation Mindfuck Emporium – no, too much zing. But Flying Lasagna – Bob’s humor, intellect and optimism all in one phrase – seemed like the perfect choice. The only hitch I can think of is that we really don’t plan on selling literal lasagna at any point, but I think mosbunall of our clientele can grok the metaphor. And who knows, if someone insists on ordering a lasagna, we may just send it to them.
As always, lots of love and lasagna to you all!
Rasa with Christina and Olga