The Sadly Gone Newsstand

Last Christmas Eve, I stopped by the world-famous Pike Place Market, to have a last look at a familiar staple of preserved atmosphere for 40 years within Downtown Seattle. There was the First and Pike News newsstand in all its glory, for over 40 years on the corner, ever welcoming and giving locals and tourists a deep look into Seattle culture in print, along with a very wide selection of magazines and reads from around the world.

First and Pike News closed on December 31st, 2019.

That part of the market hit me as a wonderful, nostalgic part of this city, that will likely never come back. Meanwhile, the local Barnes and Noble book store, with another large newsstand holding rows of magazines, recently closed on January 18th, 2020. Both closings add a sadness, of a declining city tradition that is the great multiple newspapers and magazine newsstand.

Both, doubly sad signs of that wholesome access to news and magazines in print, dwindling as not just from its outdated model of receiving ad revenues, but its lessening exposure in public places. More people are exponentially are drawn to new media with our Reddits, Facebooks, Twitters. Then battle it out with instant messages, notifications, invitations, interruptions, memes, all taking our attention to faster and shorter spans, as we frantically swipe through ad revenue life-streams, polluted with data mining, privacy-invading bots, mostly run by online conglomerates.

But for a moment, let’s take a look at the beauty that was a wholesome, plentiful newsstand, with its cheapo snacks, postcards, maps, other helpful things that would help both travelers and locals find their way. We then swipe those eyes on printed pages, keep us focused on just the words and images. Those were light, convenient, with no battery charge notice.

That is a beautiful view of colorful machine-bound printed paperworks.

To see a row of frequent prints, each and choice of topics tailor-made by a passionate and dedicated staff is a joy that I shall remember. The newsstand has the nostalgia of browsing and enjoyment of sampling through what’s worth paying. Also, as a light read for that day in the park or evening on a porch. Some places give a little more like snacks and maps. The sadly gone First and Pike News stand offered many more delights and souvenirs for the passing tourists.

Now, that thrill left this part of Seattle. But maybe, you might know of some newsstands in your area. Stop by, browse and appreciate the joy of printed media, formatted for your full attention. Buy some papers and cheap stuff, and smile to the seller. Every little bit of support helps, and maybe keep that wholesome bit of honest joy a part of your neighborhood for more days ahead.

Orion T

Just sharing some comic books today…

This following is for sequential art lovers, and those who appreciate a good list.

I read a lot in my spare time, and always interested in good fresh stuff. And, I really love comic books, for at least 30 years now. The above pic is a small, very unorganized portion of my comic volumes and graphic novel shelf. These day, I am not much of a comic book collector however, as my supply of single monthly issues have been drastically reduced to a couple short boxes of treasured stuff. Maybe, I will share some of those gems someday for another posting. Meanwhile, I just read while adding the best reads and interesting finds in mostly wide release book form, to my shelf.

So, at strangerworlds.com (a site I sometimes manage), I recently posted a list of my favorite comic book series reads of the 2010s decade. Click and read the link here! You might find something worth checking out. And, I would love to know your best comic reads of the last decade too!

Orion T

A Jurassic Crossing

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Always make way for a dinosaur.

That was a few weeks ago, by the SeaTac airport on a quiet afternoon. I see this fully animatronic T-Rex crossing the green light walkway, casually as one should in Seattle. Very lifelike!

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This creature previously walked from my toward destination at the time, the Doubletree Hotel. There happened the annual Crypticon, a  horror/occult/spooky fun fandom convention. I had a great time there, engaging with friends new and old. I will share some pics on that visit soon.

Look forward, and keep walking!

– Orion T

Lively Olives at the Granville Public Market

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Currently, I am not a fan of olives. I dislike the taste of them, especially on salads….too oily and weird tasting. But, I will accept them on pizzas in small amounts and thinly sliced, on the vegetarian combo style looking tempting enough sometimes.

I do find olives as oddly satisfying to just stare at. I am not sure exactly why, but I think the answer lies in the composition it’s shape, texture, and hollowness. I can further stare at an olive and appreciate it’s beauty and usefulness in flavor, oil, and other odd uses.

Did you know that the olive is a fruit, not a vegetable? They come in different color hues. The color of each olive depends on its stage of growth. Unripe fruit is green. Ripe fruit ranges from dark purple to black. Olives are hollow as each originally had a stone stem plucked out.

Olives are also big sources of minerals and vitamins A, B, E, K, B. These are low in sugar, but high in oil.

So, I did a morning visit to the big Public Market on Granville Island, in Vancouver, Canada. It’s a big place, crowded, with not much in time to appreciate the large variety of foods and drinks available there. Someday, I will come back and explore further. But for then, I  passed a stand for Duso’c Italian Foods, drawn to its presentation of olive varieties for sale. I would stare like long enough, pondering on buying some before realizing I didn’t like olives (also overspent on food the past few days of my Vancouver visit).

I wondered, what the different tastes and textures of each olive could be. I thought olives, for just being olives. Seeing these, gave me a realization of complexity and variety, then perhaps some that could change my tastebud reaction to whole olives. Then, I can learn to love olives and not just stare (and snap a photo) at them.

– Orion T

The last day of Zanadu

Today brings a somber feeling to my sequential art loving heart, as my local comic store (Zanadu Comics) is having its last day of business today.

In downtown Seattle, Zanadu Comics has sold books, graphic novels, manga, and comic books of all kinds to its consumer community for over 40 years. For me, it was a place to pick up new titles and follow up on recommendations for over 5 years. I appreciated this store for its attention to local artists, indie titles, and good recommendations from the staff. It felt old-fashioned in a time when comic-book properties are now associated with movies, TV, and video games. Sad, for the printed industry is a struggling one, which is a partial reason for its departure (the rest probably being Seattle’s rising cost of living and lessening consumer traffic in the area).

There are other comic stores, but not as near or focused on the indie support. But, I will still go when I can and continue my loving excitement for all comics books until the last one is printed, or there are no more stores to buy them.

Orion T

PAX West 2017 Gamingbalooza…

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I spent much of the weekend with friends and strangers, at the PAX West 2017, an annual event gathering for gamers of the video and tabletop variety. The feelings shared among us involved excitement, cheer, and anticipation of gaming.

The event itself is the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Now held at Washington State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle, the event is host to hundreds of companies big and small, and its many ticket holders (at least 70,000).

For me, the event was about exploration into the ever changing industry of interactive games and its culture. I sought out a lot of new indie games, and stuff coming out for PC (not much of a console gamer anymore). Though VR and MMOs are the rising rage, I loved the new treasures of side-scrolling platformers, tactical turn-based strategy, and single-player RPGs; many with a nostalgic old-school edge to them.  For the tabletop variety, I gravitated toward fun, storyline based card games for play at parties (plenty of new stuff around here).

Now, I am exhausted and will write more of my PAX impressions soon on my other blog, strangerworlds.com. Meanwhile, here are some pics taken by me of select moments of this crazy fun show.

– Orion T

 

Picture of Today 5/25/2017, “Don’t call me a mindless philosopher”

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40 years ago on this day, a cinematic vision appeared detailing interesting conflict in a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. That was the first the world would truly know of the STAR WARS!

You may have heard of it. If not, here is a trailer.

I would know of it a bit later in my childhood, initially through the first sequel. But its presence was clear, and ingrained into my constant pop-culture appreciation for all things that involved dueling space wizards, weird-looking spaceships, bizarre aliens with mundane lifestyles, and robots that beep or speak with English accents.

My favorite character in the original is C-3PO (See-Threepio), a humanoid shaped droid with fluency in over six-million languages yet still seems to know so little of the universe around him. He discovered much but with hesitation, guided by his beeping, short astromech droid companion. His journey is not center through the film, and not very useful. But his humorous observations and interactions give the story a much needed dimension from someone less familiar or interest with galactic conflicts and strange religions. He just tags along, and provides funny comments.

My favorite Threepio line of the 1977 classic:  “Don’t call me a mindless philosopher.you overweight glob of grease!.”

 – Orion T

Picture of Today 12/21/16, Winter Begins..


First night of the new Winter,

I went to the bi-annual Punk Rock Flea Market in Cap Hill, Seattle. Always glorious, and just in time for the some last week holiday shopping. I highly recommend to those looking in the area looking to shop local, then buy DIY trinkets and art, used goodies, vintage clothes, plenty of cool odds and ends. The Punk Rock Flea Market has more more day to go, Thursday 12/22. For more info, visit punkrockfleamarketseattle.com.

Here are a few more pics from my trusty phone..


That’s all for now. 

Orion T

Picture of Today 9/3/2016, the Much Colorful Cosplay..

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The PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) returned to Seattle, bringing the unusual bunch special, colorful bunch of gaming enthusiasts together.

Though this year, the event is now PAX West (former PAX Prime), an annual convention for gamers of both the video interactive and the physical tabletop variety. Tomorrow, I will be attending the inside of the event and intend on doing much mingling and observing of a culture I enjoy taking part in.

But outside (where I was strolling by for a walk behind the convention center), there was an interesting sub-group of gaming enthusiasts among the PAX participants gathering around; the cosplayers, who dress up as their favorite characters of their current favorite fandom. Often, they gravitate towards other and court the local photographing paparazzi. With the nice weather peeking out, there were clusters of cosplayers about presenting their colorful attires.

Above, are a sub-group of cosplayers who are growing in presence with their costumes familiar to the League of Legends online MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). I have yet to play this fascinating game, but very much enjoy the character designs that bring a worthy challenge to its fans who cosplay. The costumes are traditionally hand-made or assembled from ordered fabrics, with some parts taking great craftsmanship and skills to bring about the wonderful details.

Here, is another shot of the League of Legends gathering, taken from my smartphone..

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That’s all for now. More pics soon!

– Orion T

Pictures of Today 5/26/14

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All in a good day, with extra special added to the established special..

This Memorial Day, I enjoyed the annual Seattle Folklife Festival, with a kaleidoscope and my cheap smartphone camera (and first posted on Instagram).

The festival was nice; a huge annual event in Seattle, where musicians of a humble variety performed in different spots all near (some on stage, rooms, sidewalks) and play for the cheerful gatherings. All free, and donation backed by sponsors and collected tips. I did not feel much on the picture-taking; just enjoyed the sounds with a preference for jazz and bluegrass. The passing time was best spent on the grass under a warm sun and cloudy sky. I would change spots; with some engaging casual conversations with strangers, light writing, consuming sugary deep friend confectionaries and playing with my kaleidoscope.

Good times..

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Picture of Yesterday 5/9/14

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Doug Trumball (sitting on the right), after a special viewing of the classic science fiction film, 2001: a Space Odyssey, in a Q & A session And slIdeshow. He was the special photographic effects supervisor 2001 (and also Star Trek: the Motion Picture and Blade Runner).

Pictures of Yesterday 4/19/14

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Stranger worlds are ever close..

And here, are some pics from my great adventure at the annual NorWesCon science fiction and fantasy convention. This was my first attendance to this event (now in its 37th year); of which I had a grand time discovering new fiction, turning strangers into friends, and cheering on the boldest among us.

There will be more pics (and more musings) for a few alt-pop websites, soon

In the meantime:

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Picture by Orion Tippens. Note: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2014 Orion Tippens. All Rights Reserved

Back to some Science Fiction..

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Back to some science fiction..

I recently wrote another comics review for the graphic novel, Shifter by Anomaly Productions. Shifter is a story involving multi-dimensional travel, mind-linking and murder. I read and reviewed the motion comic version smartphone app for its story and interactivity (print version also available out there). For that, check out the review on my friend’s blog, All Day Comics (click here).

So lately, I was thinking over my renewed love for science fiction. But not just in our traditional print and media forms, but how changing technology could bring new dimensions to such storytelling. I discuss on the how in my Shifter review, where the addition of an accessible appendix lore enhances the overall story. Throw in augments to the art and sound mixes, than the product can change for the better. I am also currently reading and engaging with the interactive puzzle/novel Device 6, playing Tengami, and looking forward to the listening to the Clarkesworld Magazine podcast for new sci-fi/fantasy short stories.

Such quick gratifications on these curious escapes enriches my sci-fi geekiness. But, I wonder what else is possible, or changeable in how we receive our imaginative stories? And perhaps more importantly, how soon?

 

 

Turtle Love..

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For anyone who loves comic books, ninja turtles, storytelling and art..

I wrote a review on the last two monthly comic issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If interested, take a read at alldaycomics.com, and follow the site if you love the sequential arts.

Also, I love this cover.

Picture of Today 2/1/14

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The eve for the Super Bowl XLVIII, 2014

Here in Seattle, there is much 12th Man excitement for their mighty Seahawks football team, as they face off against the Denver Broncos tomorrow, in New York City. This will be their second Super Bowl, after making it thus far in their 2005 season.

So what does 12 represent?

A football team has 11 players. The 12th man is..are the fans, all legion as one; showing their support, and becoming a big motivator for victory.

Why Seattle?

The 12th man goes back further for back for decades, with the originators for the fandom term being Texas A&M University. Through stubborn continuation of the 12th Man (and an eventual settlement with Texas A&M in 2003), Seahawks became the official team in the NFL to now use this phrase.

Go Seahawks!

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….

Pictures by Orion Tippens. NOTE: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2014 Orion Tippens. All Rights Reserved

Picture of Yesterday (1/12/14)

Seattle Space Needle Seahawks pride

Go ‘Hawks!

The great Space Needle show its colorful spirit for the recent Seattle Seahawks win and advancement in the playoffs. Above the saucer, a large blue flag displays the number 12, a traditional honor to the 12th Man; a term used by sports fans with a long history, but now more exclusive to Seattle, thanks to a large lawsuit and settlement with Texas A&M University (who originally coined it as a fan term since 1921).

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Another fun term among Seattle football fans is the “Beast Quake.” This came from a Seahawks game back on January 8, 2011; where fans literally shook the Earth in excitement during the playoffs in the 4th quarter as its star running back, Marshawn Lynch made a 67-yard touchdown run, ensuring the crucial win against the New Orleans Saints.

Picture by Orion Tippens. NOTE: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2014 Orion Tippens. All rights reserved

The Commentary of Comic Cons – Part 1

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I love convention gatherings, especially those catering to alternative pop culture or as others may refer to these as gatherings of “geek.”

This con life is my best time to enjoy among others my odd taste in the strange realms of drama, fantasy, science fiction, a good story, etc. Such things I have no preference for in delivery whether by print or digital, motion, still, active or interactive. However, I love the comic serialized format, the constant in my life since childhood.

A good “geek” convention covers as much as possible of these realms, breaking boundaries between. From there, personal experiences are gained where I could deep involve myself in all related joys and obsessions. One could make many new friends, mine inspiration, renew nostalgia, or best of all; involve oneself by becoming a creator, a become a part of something larger in creation.

So now, I would like to share some experiences I recently (last month) had at the great San Diego Comic Con, 2013 year. The Comic Con International, as this is currently known, is special and now arguably the largest geek gathering of its kind. Over 130,000 now attend, not counting the estimated extra 50,000 without badges checking out the expanded festivities throughout the Gaslamp District and beyond. Now, the great San Diego Comic Con is more than comics, including all the relatives crossing into the wonderful, “geek” territories of film, games, books, toys, etc.

One product of my related joys and obsessions, is my growing passion for concept art and world building. Below is an inspiring example from a small press booth at Comic Con, featuring the work of the Aen Chronicles by Robert Carter (shades-of-shadow.com)

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So for me, the Con caters to my bizarre tastes from the familiar superheroes and mainstream counter cultures to the obscure oddities and curious collaborations. From vintage comics of generations past to the latest trash movies to the multi-articulate action figures to the odd video game, and so so much more in between. All of it, and more is here.  Also, this is my 19th consecutive year attending this great show. So, I am remain excited for every year as my experiences with goofy things expand.

For this San Diego Comic Con 2013, I spend much of this time in the grand Exhibit Hall. For which, I will focus on for the remainder of this segment.

The Exhibit Hall, or Showroom Floor, or “the downstairs,” of any convention is the heart of any “geek” convention. Here, a myriad of dealers, creators, artists, writers, producers, exhibitions, distributors, and companies representing product await. All from the mega-companies/publishers/studios/distributors to the little indie creative soul standing before a small table with a stack of books to sign and sell. For Comic Con, there are subjects divided from drama, humor, fantasy, Sci-fi and related including but not limited to literature, motion pictures, animation, collectibles, etc.

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(For a future segment, I will focus on the history and my changing observations of the Exhibit Hall, of which I have much).

The grand Exhibit Hall is the fantasy come true for the imaginative mind to be exposed to new things, concepts, passions. New comics, especially from lesser known publishers can be easily obtained with a personal touch by the creators. It was here some years ago, I turned on to a favorite comic series, Locke and Key (by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez), simply from browsing at the impressive cover display at the IDW company booth. I purchased the first hardcover at a discount.and a some years later, I met writer, Joe Hill  at the same booth, same room.

I love the Exhibit Hall.

This year, I obtained much on the free previews of comics and graphic novels of interest. A few looking forward to but not limited to are: the new upcoming The Star Wars (comic basing itself on the earliest film script by George Lucas), the new Sandman series by original writer/creator, Neil Gaiman / artist, J.H. Williams III (a dream combo come true), Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction (loved his Hawkeye series), Spera: Volume 3 (great ongoing fantasy story by changing artists).  Also, I have interest in some more recent award winning series including Bandette by Paul Tobin, Sabertooth Swordsman by Damon Gentry. And there, is so much more..

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Overall, the Exhibit Hall is great for exposure to the expansion of your tastes. If you close yourself to the unfamiliar around here, your not getting the most of your Exhibit Hall experience.

The Exhibit Hall is complement to gathering new experiences, meeting interesting creative souls or perhaps becoming one yourself with the right timing or inspiring motivation. Experiences also include the gaining of new collectibles, or the exchange of currency for some special treasure.

Could you spot the potential for new experiences below?

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Here pictured above, is one tiny portion of the SDCC Exhibit Hall. On average is this crowded the large room becomes in prime hours. The space is over 460,000 square feet. The estimated walk time when crowded between both far ends is around 20-30 minutes. The areas most claustrophobic-inducing are the movie or television studios booths, where often free swag is given or presenting the occasional celebrity for photo-ops and signings. Some fancy their booth with set props, or previews of related merch, sometimes a giant HD screen.

During one stroll, suddenly the entire cast of the Game of Thrones HBO TV series.

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Included with these surrounding crowds, massive lines coil around the popular booths. Many involve the sale of convention exclusives or pre-sale items (mostly toys). Popular 2013 exclusives include a glow-in-the-dark Jason figure from the vintage Nintendo game based on the Friday the 13th films, a Breaking Bad Walter White figure in Hazmat gear, a 1966 style Batman figure doing the classic Batsui dance pose. The typical line for Hasbro on the opening days could cost one 2-3 hours of precious con time, but could be worthwhile for the early release of the largest Transformers toy to date (Titan Class Metroplex about 2 feet, transforms into a city).

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Honestly, many present are for the flipping of such items to others for much larger prices elsewhere (like eBay). For example, the Power Ranger Gold Morpher (whatever that is) will cost you $100 and a likely three-hour wait at the Bandai Entertainment Booth. The eBay sold average is a sure $400.00. Now for those in line for the collecting thrill, such an insane wait can be still worthwhile, because of saved money and the experience of a more direct contact with the producing company.

For a different example of direct experiences, not related to money…

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This is the giant head of the Ice King of the popular Adventure Time cartoon. I will be honest, of my ignorance of this strange cartoon. I have never watched a full episode. Yet seeing this, and the fans in line, cheering with their Adventure Time apparel and hats (worn by the popular main character, Finn), I could only feel a sort of empathetic joy with them, to have their love given back with such a tribute in the clever form of this booth, and others like it.

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Above, is my favorite display of the Comic Con 2013; the Nickelodeon Studios booth known for kid-friendly cable programming.  It seemed no matter what angle, the crazy aesthetics of Nickelodeons whimsical appeal called to the child in us all. Such a display is refreshing as these presenters are seemingly having as much fun as the attendees.

For me, I most look forward to the DC Comics booth, a consistent to every San Diego Comic Con. Here, a familiar roster of super-heroes are official represented: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other Justice Leaguers. For them, new stories and introductions across multiple formats of digital, print, collectibles are displayed.   Here and often, cool freebies including pins and comics are given out. This year for the DC booth, featured props of Superman costumes worn from past movies and TV shows were displayed. Also, much meet and greet happened with the writers, artists, and creators of current DC reads.

A favorite was witnessing fan favorite artist Dustin Nguyen (Lil Gotham) live-drawing.

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(To be continued in Part 2 for another day, when I discuss and focus more on the creative talent of the great Comic Con)

More San Diego Comic Con snaps…

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This week, I have more pics taken by me with a point and shoot camera,  of my 19th annual visit to the San Diego Comic Con posted on the site I contribute to, All Day Comics. For part 2 click here and for part 3 click here. Part 1 is here.

So, all that and more there. I’ll soon share further details, fun of my observations and involvement with the greatest comics, alternative pop-culture, geek gathering in the world. Much will be in my next post, right here. I also have a planned write-up on the place of comics in a convention growing with influence from the big Hollywood, big gaming, and big collectibles industries.

I have much to share soon.

Seattle May Day yesterday..

May Day is an interesting day for this great Seattle city.

In the past, the day seemed worldly focused more on festivities, associated with some kind of pole. Now and especially in Seattle, May 1 is part of the International Workers’ Day movement. So, there are big massive public gatherings of protest and solidarity. In most, the participant organize well with much shouting and marching with a focus on worker and human rights. However last year, the city had its troubled incidents involving the Black Bloc anarchist group, the Seattle Police Department and a local famous superhero.

Yesterday, I took an errand-filled evening walk on this bright and sunny day, almost forgetting the May 1st significance. Then, I heard the chanting and cheering. Streets closed, and a march through the downtown city streets happened. All seemed to move well, as I joined with curious intent.

For 2013, the majority issue was on immigration rights and reform. For this particular portion, the atmosphere was positive and feel good. I listened to the loud voices, chanting with the American flags waving and large signs held high. Not all was agreeable, some messages were unclear. Overall, I felt reassured and positive for this society where peaceful gatherings are allowed, encouraged, and attended with many participants.

Also noticeable, were the large number of people snapping and recording visuals. Many will spread online, especially to the great social networks where the message will go global and observed with inspiration. Also, much police stood aside and ready; keeping the peace as they should. Other places and times nearby not so much, as violence broke out and questionable tactics happened, ending with 17 arrests, 8 police officers reported injured.

Here below, are my low-res phone pics on the lighter side of Seattle’s May Day 2013.

photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens photo by Orion Tippens

Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack masterpiece

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My personal favorite among movie soundtracks.

Once Upon a Time in the West..

Once Upon a Time in the West is Sergio Leone’s 1968 spaghetti western, cinematic masterpiece film; starring Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, and Claudia Cardinale. It’s a tale of epic badassery involving a harmonica playing man of mystery, a vengeful widow, an innocent thief, and a murderous villain. The overall production is beautiful, amazing; attributing to its detailed settings, inventive sequences, developed story and characterizations.

And, I love the soundtrack composed by Ennio Morricone, now and forever among the greatest movie soundtrack creators of all cinematic history. He sets everything wonderful about this movie in its proper place, with lyrical tones and character specific themes. I love his use of varied simple handheld instruments, and use of natural hums and whistles.

Enjoy below, the very best of his music for Once Upon a Time in the West. Even if never seen, there is much to appreciate.

The main theme

Cheyenne’s theme.

Jill’s theme

The mystery man with the harmonica, and his final duel:

And, the Finale:

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The original angry birds, 50 years ago…

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50 years ago, on this day.. March 28, 1963.

A great and wonderful film made its debut. A thriller, being a masterpiece of horror, suspense. This film was directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, and will never be forgotten. This film is also a personal favorite of mine.

The Birds.

The Birds, broke out and terrified audiences everywhere.The brilliant editing, silent lack of musical score, vicious special effects, and overall paranoid tones developed fear, excitement. The story itself, demanded questions. Why are these birds attacking? Will they stop? Is this a sign of the Apocalypse? Can our star players in this drama escape? Can we escape?

Imagine being among the first to witness The Birds in its opening days on the big screen. I could imagine, and emotional tension to be stronger than my first viewing. I shivered in my childhood watching this, curious about the idea while after putting down my TV guide. I felt uneasy about birds for a while. Outside my apartment in San Francisco, I was often startled, excited when many birds gathered usually for bread crumbs in the park. After seeing this film, I believed they could attack or kill me. I still do, as anything could happen in our interesting days.

So today, I learned of its 50th anniversary and did some browsing.  I found these fun promos on Youtube, shared below. Enjoy!

The haunting tune of Metamorphosis – Phillip Glass

The night was late under the rainy Seattle sky. I, among friends, sipping wine and dipping crackers.

In between, this beautiful piece of music played:

 

I asked the host, what is this? Beautiful, I probably said (was a little drunk).

Metamorphosis….Phillip Glass, scribbling pen on my hand. The night carried on, enjoying this tune long afters. There was something hypnotic, entrancing about this. I could still hear the enduring rhythm yet forgetting the writing. My scribbles faded through short time, more so after some restroom breaks.

After midnight, I walked home through the streets of Seattle. This, being down the  Queen Anne hills, through and between the postmodern structures of Seattle Center park, passing under its great Space Needle, towards the illuminate Belltown district. All, under a heavy rainfall. The tune looped on the entire time.

The next morning, I was awakened by the piercing sunlight. That tune carried on. I continued much else, while looking at my hand at times. The writing faded, nearly unreadable.

After errands, I deciphered my scribble. Phillip Glass, easy (famous composer of many films, over the last few decades). The rest, was Metamorphosis. That word is beautiful, with five syllables coming together to represent a special process of change. I thought of Goethe, Kafka, butterflies, myself towards the next life stage.

And then, there was YouTube. Then surprise, Phillip Glass composed five different stages of this Metamorphosis. How appropriate, I thought. Its history of use began with a stage play on Kafka’s famous work of the same title, revised in the movie The Thin Red Line, and brought partially back in the recent Battlestar Galactica TV series revival.

I listened to all parts, wonderful in completion. The first one was the correct one, or not. Was it the last one? They both sound similar. A cycle perhaps?

Enough! I share the remaining four parts of Metamorphosis below.

Enjoy.