Lion Dancing through the Lunar New Year

Today, marks the last day of the 2022 Lunar New Year festivities as we welcome the Year of the Tiger. I hope many readers caught some part of this longtime 15-day tradition. I almost missed out with schedule complications and untimely weather.

But, I was fortunate to be around the Seattle Center last Sunday, getting some fresh air. I wasn’t very excited about this year’s Super Bowl this year, but did enjoy the halftime special later. This day was the only chance I had for a while to spend extensive time outside, and that’s important to me.

So, I felt rewarded in that time, for I witnessed a glorious gathering for the continued Lunar New Year celebrations with the White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance group. These are very talented performers in colorful costumes, from Portland, Oregon. They do a variety of dances, musical numbers, sharing of Asian culture rooted from longtime traditions, for entertainment and promotions.

This stylish lion dancing dates back over a 1000 years, rooted in ancient China, backed by related folktales that add mystique to this creature rarely seen by locals. Traditions have remained steady since, with regional variations, promoting Chinese culture around the world now. Unlike Chinese Dragons who need many to animate the creature movement, Chinese Lions only unit persons per unit. Music is added, often introduced with fireworks, and stunts may be performed. To witness these lions in action, is an awesome spectacle.

I enjoyed this colorful display, of which I share further with these pics from my camera.

The White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance group performs for many events, and remain local to the Pacific Northwest. For more info, visit www.whitelotusliondance.com.

Orion T

Remembering the wonderful snowpeople of Seattle

Sadly, a recent weather report concluded to zero chance of lowland Seattle, for the coming days, and likely the rest of this month. The weather will warm up instead.

Which is too bad for those who don’t get enough snow in their life, but enjoy what it brings. Meanwhile, I do love those pics of the northeast U.S snowfall. And then I remember, that I have pics to look back on, with many I have yet to publish on travelingorion.com.

Last year here in Seattle, we received much low-land snow where in Seattle. I posted some pictures here, and here. But, I held back on many pictures of handmade snowpeople, with an intention to feature in a separate post. But sadly, the plan was set aside in favor of editing and producing a video. I was hoping to revive the theme with the recent snowfall, but didn’t quite find any more snowpersons, and also was a bit too busy to seek any out. So, I remembered last year’s adventures, and now would like to share these special pics.

What a nice bunch! Someday, I will build one of my own. That’s on my bucket list now.

– Orion T

My thrill of podcasting as a special guest

I love podcasts, and will someday elaborate further with some personal favorites listened to.

But for now, surprise! I’m a special guest on Junk Food Dinner, an awesome, long-running podcast reviewing pop-culture, cult, obscure movies of the past and present. Hosts (currently Kevin Moss, Sean Byron, Parker Bowman) cover related news, share commentary, slice of life stuff with wit and fun bits of trivia. Usually each week, three movie works are chosen and discussed. For movies fans, I highly recommend you add Junk Food Dinner to your podcast list, or check out their vast 10 plus years of over 600 episodes.

For episode #604, I co-host as cover for Parker Bowman, keeping its trio formula. I have covered for Kevin Moss on Junk Food Dinner many years ago. Keep in mind though, I am not a podcasting professional. Talking with no script for public consumption with the least stress for the editor is tough work, and takes practice and skill to get that radio-quality banter and confidence. To be a guest with less experience takes bravery, but also super fun. I think I did better this latest time.

For this episode, we kick off their Junk Food Dinner’s “Sci-Fi-ebruary,” focused on science fiction movies. But this year, JFD delves into various films focused on various Afro-centric, Afro-futurism, and African American cultural themes. For #604, we cover The Last Angel of History, Welcome II the Terrordome, Attack the Block. I also share my thoughts and views on recent cult movie/TV news, having a good time with personal tidbits on my cultural background. You can give that a listen by clicking on the link on the picture below the following disclaimer, or seeking out JFD on various podcast apps and check out #604.

Disclaimer: The podcast contains some profanity, body humor, sometimes crude humor (while doing their best to keep things positive) with some subject matter that may not be family friendly. The JFD audience may differ from the Traveling Orion audience. Much of my input is a side of that I don’t share often share here.

I brought in The Last Angel of History for discussion, an amazing short film from the mid 90s. It’s a meta lined art documentary with a fictional outline, but with real life perspectives on the relation of Black contributions to science fiction, music, writing, and futurist ideals. We get a plethora of guest input from important culture contributors including George Clinton, Derrick May, Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, Nichelle Nichols, Juan Atkins, DJ Spooky, Goldie, Ishmael Reed, Greg Tate, Bernard Harris, Kodwo Eshun, Carl Craig, and more.

Here’s a trailer. I highly recommend you check this out if such things interest you.

Overall, I had a wonderful time being a podcast co-host, and would love to do this again. But, I would definitely need to improve, taking each broadcast as an experience. If I had the time and funds to do it, I would also love to take this Traveling Orion blog on the road as a podcast (also do more filming shorts). That’s all still possible someday, so please help encourage me if you think I should!

– Orion T

All great adventures begins with small steps

I love a good bookstore, especially with a staircase that leads to room with more books.

One favorite staircase is from Ophelia Books in the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, located one block north of the Fremont Bridge. It’s got a nice collection of used books at very decent prices.

But the coolest aside from the books, is that awesome staircase noticeable at entrance. It’s a narrow spiral, and important that you watch your step going down. Take it downstairs, then browse their science fiction, mystery, lots of non-fiction books of many subjects.

I was there recently, filling in time before a meeting. I found some good books on journalism history, and The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places. I would take the past and future with me, back up the spiral staircase. I will travel this way again.

And now I ask. Do you have any favorite used book stores with cool book cases? Or just favorite book stores? Please share with me in the comments!

– Orion T