Finding Your Peace

There are times when I can write, write, write all day. The hours just melting away as I continue to pen the next Great American Novel or put the final touches on that record or book review I’ve been working on for over a week. Then there are days like this past Monday where I’m able to get out early and often. Yesterday’s sudden burst of energy and inspiration allowed me to explore yet to be traveled, yet eerily close destinations within ten minutes of my Columbia City apartment. The first photo was taken just before noon at a little spot I found on the way home for lunch. During my short time there. I couldn’t help but notice how calming the fresh, cool air and the water felt. I’d imagine a lot of folks going there to clear their mind while enjoying the peace and quiet. It was during my time there when I met a sweet pit bull named “Woof”.

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The second picture was taken at Sunset just a few blocks west of 15th Ave. S. Due to the cold and the fact that I had pretty much attained what I wanted. I began tthe walk back to my car. It was then when I noticed this van with the sunset perfectly reflected in it’d side window. Having watched several documentaries featuring people traveling the country in vans just like this one. I was ready for someone to emerge just as I focused my lens. That, or a full on zombie apocalypse. Luckily, neither occurred as I was able to get in my car, head home and warm myself with a hot cup of coffee. At the end of the day, I’m glad I decided to try something different by taking a few side roads and allowing myself to get a little lost.

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Local Escapes

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It’s Sunday and I’m still trying to finish a music review that, by all means, should have been finished and submitted this past Friday. After writing chapters extolling the virtues of this particular artist and their thirteen-song opus. Still, I hang on word, a sentence or the right description that will close out this upcoming release. Words that will allow me to finish and submit . Words that will allow me to go on with my life and maybe, just maybe, die a happy man.

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Knowing that, once again, I would not find the right words to properly articulate my feeling on the subject. I loaded up the mini cooper with my camera and bag of lenses I would not be using and drove to nearby West Seattle and Seacrest Park for a few photos of downtown Seattle. Though the sky was blue and the sun was shining bright. It felt as if this was one of the coldest days I’ve experienced here. Still, the chance of a blue sky and a clear day in Seattle is hard to pass on.

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Sun Drenched Seattle

GTIIIDuring my time in Columbia City, I’ve become rather familiar with the roads, streets and avenues that connect me to the places I like to go and need to be.  As Georgetown and West Settle have become regular destinations. I’ve become quite used to traveling from Alaska Way on to South  Colombia Way. When heading to Georgetown, like I’ve done the last two days. I remind myself to make a left at S Angeline before heading down the hill and to the left on cross street. Each time I do. I can’t help but think of stopping for a bit to admire the view before taking a few photos of the power lines that seem to cut through the backyards of the homes there.

Being in somewhat of a rush and the fact that it has rained every day in Seattle for over a hundred years, (Ask anyone.) the chance to stop and smell the green, green grass hasn’t exactly presented itself. Last night while driving down the same street. I decided to put it on my bucket list and set aside a less than rainy day to get a few shots.

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So today, when the rainy morning forecast turned to sun. We jumped in the car and headed on that same route to Georgetown where we basked in the sun and enjoyed bottomless cups of Joe at All City Coffee. All in all, a pretty good day. One in which we were able to take advantage of the beautiful weather while staying pretty local.

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A Last Minute Trip to Olympia

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Over the weekend, my wife and I drove south for our first ever trip to Olympia. Aside from all the rain I became increasingly excited when I began seeing  signs bearing the name “Sleater Kinney Road.” Being that a fairly recent vinyl reissue of the bands work has not only reintroduced, but enamored me to the band’s recorded history. I couldn’t help but imagine seeing Corin, Carrie and Janet seeking shelter under the nearest bus stop canopy. “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” I thought. After securing a parking spot. We headed over to the  Capitol Theatre to get a  glimpse at the historic building before crossing over to Burial Grounds for a hot cup of coffee. From there we dodged the rain drops and found an awesome book store to explore Browser Books before heading a few blocks over for some excellent pizza and 80’s eye candy at a place appropriately  called Old School Pizzeria. As we drove home in the rain. We agreed on what a good idea our little road trip was. Adding that we both looked forward to returning on a warmer, perhaps dryer day. I noted how it seemed we were only there for a quick hour or so. That’s when she reminded me of the two hours we spent digging in Rainy Day Records. With all the time I spend going to record stores.  I can honestly say, Rainy Days stock, prices and staff are all pretty awesome. I can’t wait to return with a thorough list and a few more hours to dig at Rainy Day Records

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Below are the two records I picked up. “Why two?” you ask. Well, shopping for records when your wife is standing just a few feet away. Isn’t the same as shopping for records when your wife is a few zip codes away.

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To Vashon and Back

I’ve been planning a trip back to Vashon with my wife all week, The chance to take the ferry and making a micro visit to a not so far away destination appealed to both of us on different levels. On our first trip, we enjoyed some very good baked goods at Snapdragon Bakery and Cafe. A basket of awfully greasy and stomach turning fried food at Zombies and a relaxing finale at The Vashon Island Coffee Rotisserie. This time around. We swore off the deep fried temptations and gave Snapdragon’s breakfast menu and dining a try. Turns out that was another bad decision on our part. As it took them over an hour to make us a couple of plates of eggs. Considering we had to bus and clean our own table, beg on all fours for refills on our coffee and ask for a refund on the order we placed more than an hour before. It’s safe to say. We won’t be going back. And while I won’t ignore the draw to visit the Island again. We will surely do so on full stomachs. Posted are images I took from the ferry. The first was taken around 11;00 am during some hard light. The second, around 4:00pm,  just prior to our trip back.

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Luckiest Man Alive

Every time I sign in for my appointment at Virginia Mason. I’m asked for my name and date of birth in order for me to check in and direct me to the right floor and pavilion. With a date of birth and birth weight that are exclusive to the number seven. I’ve more than become quite versed in the inevitable follow up “Oh wow. You must be the luckiest man alive. You should play the lottery.” Well, in the gazillion times I’ve heard those words.” I’ve smiled awkwardly, before advancing to point B.

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This time however, Perhaps due to the nature of my visit. Or the fact that I had yet to partake in my morning coffee ritual. I couldn’t help but respond with the first thing that came to mind. I leaned in and smiled, as the words  “I’m checking into a fucking hospital. How lucky should I feel?” rolled off my tongue. While not well thought or intended to have even the smallest hint of meanness. It felt good. As if I had been holding back a sneeze or postponing a celebratory jiz. Quickly adding “Besides, have you ever heard of someone winning the lottery using a succession of the same number?” I felt  a sense of release and satisfaction. A heaviness left me chest as if a curse had been lifted. “Sorry kid, I had to test these guns before I declared war on the rest of the small talkers.”  The next time someone hits me with a “God is testing you.”  I’ll hit them so hard, their words will be lying in blood two miles down the road. Until then…

 

 

Snowpocalypse 2018

After watching the news reporting arctic temperatures, bomb cyclones and record snow falls hitting the East Coast. I felt a sense duty to grab my shovel, ice pick and suitcase full of long john’s and winter garb and head back east to join the ranks of my comrades. After about thirty seconds of planning, I realized that I owned a condo back in New Jersey where I paid a pretty hefty maintenance fees to have someone do those kind of things. I took a deep breathe of relief and thought about our first snowfall here in Seattle on Christmas Eve 2017. Waking up to snow on Christmas Day was probably the most exciting part of my holiday. I recall racing up to the roof with my camera like a kid comes flying out of his bedroom towards the Christmas tree. That burst of joy and excitement is an incredible rush. One I wouldn’t recommend for someone with any heart problems. So as the deep freeze continues and the snowfall shakes loose the childhood memories of snowball fights and impenetrable snow forts. I wish my friends, family and loved ones back east safety and a chance to relive their childhood memories. June is only six months away.

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Having grown up in New York and having spent a good chunk of my life living in New Jersey. I got used to the town criers known to most as the local weather man.