Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The rains are back, boo hoo.

It seems that the all too brief Seattle summer of 2011 is officially over. The rain has been pouring down for the last two days and the temperature has taken a dip. The autumn season is underway and the leaves will soon be changing. This weekend brought the Fall Carnival to B-Town and Oktoberfest is right around the corner which includes the B-Town Brat Trot, a charity 5k race benefitting the Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence, Safe Kids King County and Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital.


Our favorite eatery The Tin Room Bar puts this on each year and it's a blast. There will be a German Oompah band, beer and brats. The yodeling dominatrix will be there. Everything a great Oktoberfest needs. So there that to look forward to in the coming days. I will give you a full report.  But in the meantime it's chilly, rainy and windy. So I have made the first fire of the season and curled up with a good book. I am going to use my blog this week to give a shameless plug to my good friend Wayne Wise, the author of my current read, Scratch.

Wayne Wise is a writer, artist, seeker, shaman and magician, or at least claims to be in casual conversation. He has a BA in History and an MA in Clinical Psychology and in his life has worked as a counselor, an administrative assistant for a state legislator, an inter-office mail courier, a freelance comic book inker, and a department store Santa. He wrote music and comics-based articles for several local news mags and a couple of national magazines. In 1993 he and his business partner/collaborator Fred Wheaton self-published the comic book "Grey Legacy". In 2010 he wrote and drew a follow-up called "Grey Legacy Tales". Raised in rural southwestern Pennsylvania he is currently employed by the Eisner Award-nominated comic book store Phantom of the Attic in Pittsburgh and recently taught a course in Comics and Pop Culture as a guest lecturer at Chatham University. You can read his Blog at www.wayne-wise.com.

I am really enjoying the book and highly recommend it to you. A horror/fantasy  fiction that is entertaining and well written. If you are a Stephen King or Dean Koontz fan you will like Scratch.  Great charactor development that plays on our most primal fears. I also have to disclose that the illustrations are done by my brother, Marcel Lamont Walker. The story is:

Like all small rural towns, Canaan, West Virginia has its secrets: lies, infidelities, and even murder are kept hidden in the minds of the residents there. But there is one secret they will go to any lengths to protect.

A little girl named Gabrielle, believed to be an angel, has been kept chained in the church basement for over a century now, prisoner of an ancient pact. Unaging and unearthly beautiful, Gabrielle has the power to heal.

A madman pursues outsiders Adam and Holly Mansfield to Canaan, intent on kidnapping their daughter. Once there they discover there is one other secret in Canaan.

Chained deep in the heart of the mountain is another being, a demon called Scratch. If Gabrielle is freed, Scratch will be as well, and his vengeance and evil will consume the town.

A great read.

Monday, September 19, 2011

And nary a bumbershoot in sight!

We have been having remarkably great weather this past few weeks. As of yesterday, we have had nine days in a row of over 80 degrees, breaking the all time record for September in the Seattle area. It was really late, but summer has finally arrived in the Northwest. It seems that I have turned into a Northwester, when it hits 80 degrees I swelter. Last summer I chuckled at the folks complaining about the heat. Now I am one of them. I am now looking forward to Autumn weather. Perfect weather for enjoying the outdoors. And perfect weather for Bumbershoot!

Bumbershoot is an annual international music and arts festival held in Seattle. One of North Americas largest such festivals it takes place every September at the 74-acre Seattle Center, which was built for the 1962 Worlds FairThe name of the festival was taken from bumbershoot, a colloquial term for umbrella, probably coined in the 19th century a portmanteau of the words umbrella and parachute. Seattle Center is also the home of the world famous Space Needle.

Standing at the base of the Space Needle. Not a cloud in the sky.

 A picture perfect day for some great music and maybe a beer.  We met up with our good friend Gary McMinn from San Diego, one of Roger's Golf Club buddies.  He comes up for the festival every year and attends with his brother who lives in West Seattle not too far from us. It was great to see someone from home!  The festival runs for three days, however we only attended on Sunday. The list of performers is immense, covering about a dozen venues. The artists range from comedy and bluegrass, to jazz and rap with everything in between.  There were also many vender tents, art exhibits and street entertainers on the grounds.

The International Fountain at Seattle Center

The stage from inside the Beer Corral.

Jessica Lea Mayfield

Leon Russel
 Some of the acts this year were Hall and Oates, Wiz Khalifa, Big Boi, Fitz and the Tamtrums, local hits Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Butthole Surfers, Mavis Staples, Trombone Shorty and so on......
We saw a jazz singer Gail Pettis that was fantastic.  Approximately 200 hundred artists and groups performed over the three days. We had a great day.

On of the other things that the warm weather has brought to Western Washington, is forest fires. Nothing like the Texas fires that raged there, but fires none the less. One of these has been burning out of control on the Olympic Peninsula in a very remote area.  We can't see the fire itself, but the smoke has really effected our sunset views.

You can see the layer of smoke hanging over the mountains.
  Thats all I have for now, as I purchased a new carpet cleaner and need to give it a test drive aroung the dining room.  Love to all! Denise

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to me, or how Facebook changed my life!

Well, last week was my birthday. I don't really celebrate them much anymore because it just reminds me of the passage of time. I am not as young as I sometimes think I am. Do you ever sideways glance at a mirror that you are passing and think to yourself, "Who is that old person, thats not me!" When did that happen? But I digress....

It was a lovely day here in B-Town, the sun was shining without a cloud in the sky. The temperature got up to 82 degrees, which is quite warm for a Seattle summer day.

Sunny and crystal clear day at Three Tree Point

The one regret on this birthday is that I am so far away from family and friends. Occasions like this are when the loneliness of the move to Seattle set in. The group of friends that have a big "Virgo" party to celebrate our close string of birthdays in San Diego will be celebrating without me this year. My brother and sister in West Virginia will be celebrating their August birthdays together, again without me there. It does make one feel a bit disconnected from those near and dear. Don't get me wrong, my Roger gave me a great day with a wonderful evening out, flowers, the whole nine yards and I love him so. We went to our favorite hangout The Tin Room for dinner and drinks. We have a great life in a beautiful place. And the strongest, most loving marriage of anyone that I have ever known.
Birthday flowers from my sweetie!

My work friends gave me a little cake party at work and the sentiments were lovely.

But, this where Facebook comes into the story. The flood of birthday wishes that I received from family, friends and former co-workers was such a powerful link to those far away that I was reconnected with a life lived elsewhere. A far away move can really make you feel cut off from the world. Those brief digital posts let you know that someone is thinking of you and your life is still full of those relationships and the love and friendships that you share. I have found people on Facebook that I have not spoken to in years! I have an online friendship with a cousin and an aunt in Maryland that I have not seen since I was a child. A former co-worker that is now in Germany and I communicate occasionally and in the "real" world, we would have drifted our separate ways and not had further communication most likely. I got to know my youngest sons fiance through Facebook. Yes, my Peter is engaged to be married!

I have met a distant cousin in Scotland and a Vandenbroek in Ontario, Canada on Facebook and have developed friendships with both of them through subsequent online communication. Gotten to see their families and what their lives are like. It really has revolutionized my life, this Facebook thing.

I have watched babies grow up from South Carolina to San Diego. Kept up with the art and fiction world of Pittsburgh. Reconnected with my former boss that I have not seen in 20 years! And so on.

So thank you all for the birthday greetings and well wishes, it means more to me than you know. And keep posting the details of your everyday lives. And when you are browsing your friend list and run across that person you haven't communicated with in awhile, reach out. It just might make their day!