What Should I Leave on Jimi Hendrix’s Grave?

We went to Jimi Hendrix’s grave in the pouring rain, en route to the Seattle airport. I had been plagued by the problem of what to leave. My first thought, of course, being a baby boomer, was a bra. I don’t know where this comes from, but underwear seems the appropriate gift to the revered dead. However, in the cold light of day this didn’t seem like such a great idea. And good thing too, because there is a sign at the grave asking visitors to keep it tidy and free of trash!
Nicely done winter floral arrangements decorated the memorial in an organized fashion. Someone HAD left some beer cans, though–neatly woven in with a bouquet of berries. I whipped out my gift–a card of the Queen of Hearts I’d acquired on a Valentine’s Day in Las Vegas.
It expressed what I wanted to.
A bunch of kids came by, snapped pics on their cell phones, stood a moment reverentially, and zipped off.
We left too, off into a different life.

(Photo of me and Rich by Miriam Bobkoff).

Victoria BC

There is little I like more than a ferry. And on the one from Port Angeles to Victoria, British Columbia the experience was enhanced by mist, snowy mountains, and the feeling of crossing from one country into another. Plus the perfect book–a Regency romance by Georgette Heyer–Frederica–with one elegant twist after another. And a bad cup of coffee. Perfect.
We didn’t make it to the famous gardens in Victoria, but were satisfied by the X-mas lights right on the harbor. Parliament looked made for the display.
The Empress Hotel is beyond classic–as iconic as Victoria herself. I always think of the great painter Emily Carr who lived in Victoria and liked the conservatory in the hotel–now madly decked out for X-mas.
An early modernist, and independent woman in the Georgia O’K mold, she painted the decaying totem poles in remote abandoned villages in a kind of cubism in the mist fashion.

Flotsam and Jetsam from Japanese Tsunami

I Found One by Miriam Bobkoff

Tsunami debris? Tsunami debris. Here. Now.
Curtis Ebbesmeyer, the flotsam guy, was here in Port Angeles earlier in the month. He and James Ingraham gave a presentation at the college about the science of flotsam, their computer model, and the likelihoods— including that the earliest arriving tsunami debris, driven by wind as well as the known movements of water in the North Pacific Gyre, could show up at the 8-month point, like now, rather than at the two-year point as NOAA’s water-driven models predict. They showed a lot of debris collected east of Neah Bay, including a big float that they were persuaded is surely from the tsunami coast. I was ambling along at Rialto Beach. We crossed Ellen Creek, and there far back in the drift was, yes, a buoy, looking just like the one found at Neah Bay that they had on the stage at the presentation. But English markings.

I emailed Dr. Ebbesmeyer. English markings, said I, so I assume not tsunami debris. Oh yes, he said, the same as the others and tentatively identified by Japanese officials. Eeeep, said I. Who manufactured it, what do the markings tell us, [doesn’t seem very confirmed to me, I really meant], said I. Still doing research, said he.
But really it seems most likely. Why else are these things suddenly up and down the west coast here, exactly as predicted by the computer models for high-floating objects, unless truly they were carried away from the tsunami coast in the spring and now they are here? As will eventually be boats and houses and all the rest of what is now still out in the ocean… Dr. Ebbesmeyer says people in Japan hide mementos in their house walls, and we will need to be cautiously and even reverently attentive to the debris as it arrives, to preserve what traces we find for their families’ sake. Oh my.

For complete story, see http://oceaninview.blogspot.com

Trolls, Totem Poles, and The Real

Enjoyed a stroll at Peninsula Community College–and why not, accustomed as I am to appreciating a nice campus. This one very different than SFCC, although of course with a similar mission. There is a longhouse on campus, with art gallery and space for cultural meeting and dances…not to mention wi-fi if students need it.

I’ve developed a fascination with casino architecture, born of the Las Vegas trips of several years to visit family for Thanksgiving, which turned into a general liking for the place. Not to mention the Indian casinos of northern New Mexico.

Jamestown S’Kallam has a successful casino adorned with vibrant beautifully carved totem poles that nonetheless manage to look more like a Vegas idea of one than the traditional thing. Designed and partially carved by Dale Faulstich, a non-Native carver, these poles have a bit of cultural crisscross in them I can’t completely unravel. But they are very handsome public art.

On the level of cultural crisscross, there is an extensive troll folly outside of Sequim which ports a complex array of Scandinavia style dragons and trolls.

Basically just out and about in a bit of rural neighborhood-but we left before darkness fell (and went in search of bookstores in Port Townsend) on the off chance that they come to life.

Glimmering Gone

I could go on and on about our visit to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. I’ve become increasingly obsessed with glass, and Tacoma is an epicenter–home of Chihuly. There is a bridge of glass objects across the highway, and a train station turned courthouse hung with Chihuly installations that pretty much defy my descriptive powers–think living coral reef hung in midair in a neoclassical dome.
But I did want to show you GLIMMERING GONE: Ingalena Klenell and Beth Lipman, a clear glass collaboration between two women.

Remember in the fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses?” How they go down a trap door to three underworld woods–silver, gold, and finally crystal? I think I found that third magical forest.