douglas firs

rugged bark reaches from the ground

from where its roots built a mound

wind sweeps its limbs in a loud breeze

towering above all other trees

maples alders and cedars

bow to the mighty douglas firs

high above birds find their nests to lay

and a place to swoop down from upon their pray

lining up trunk to trunk like the needles on their branches

from the sky they billow deep green ranches

from below forming pitch dark jungles of moss

yet when lightning strikes the whole jungle can be lost

roars of pine fashioning a forest of fire

leaving all below in an endless ash mire

 

 

now you’ve seen it snow, you can call yourself a local

it always seems like it never snows in seattle, but it actually does almost every year, for like a day, or at least an overnight dusting.

we homegrown seattleites know folks from eastern washington, eastern oregon, idaho, and montana laugh at us and say, “that’s not snow.”

like when you meet those folks at work in the morning, the ones that get in earlier when it snows, laughing to themselves, getting to work early just to greet you, when you walk in the office wet, breathing fog, just to be able to say to you “what took you so long?” …. as you pregnant pause, then finally give in, and admit the snowy roads made you a little extra cautious, and the commute took longer than you expected (of course it did, because YOU don’t know how to drive in the snow).

well, when i was a kid (over 3 and a half decades ago, ugh), it seemed to snow here pretty hard and consistently every year.  not as much as the eastern part of the northwest, but enough to get me stoked, when in the AM (right after starblazers on channel 11), the AM radio announcer would do the role call through the list of schools who got out of school because the roads WERE ACTUALLY TOO DANGEROUS to drive on back then. especially the windy ones down to issaquah from pine lake, where the suburban sprawl was farmland.

the poor kids in the banana belt never caught a break back then, like some of the seattle kids did this year. yeah seattle kids, i might be an old ass man, but i noticed you got a snow day already this year, before christmas. i secretly got stoked for you, even though i can still pretend to roll and role with the other oldies, and hate on snow for its dangerous annoyance in the streets.

if you’ve been feeling like an immigrant, or a refugee, at your home in seattle, and are sick of being an outsider, AND saw the snow on the ground yesterday (1/1/2017), well now you can finally call yourself a local. that’s what it takes to call yourself a local in seattle: one good snow story.  and now there’s new meaning to the “seattle freeze.”

(another thing, besides being part of the seattle snow witnesses, that makes you a local: remembering what something used to be, like a condo in ballard where a denny’s and bowling alley used to be).

yes, even if you’re from california or new york, and everyone blames you for mean people and shitty traffic. you can call yourself a local if you get mail here, or live on your girlfriend’s couch, and have witnessed snow on the ground. bonus points for actually going out in it. double bonus points for going out and having fun in it. triple points for commuting to work in it.

yes, even if you’re an east indian who keeps getting blamed for amazon campus, and suburban district condo sprawl. if this is your first sight of snow, you are most definitely a local now.  if not, double points for being able to quote snow from a previous year. triple points for a backhand sarcastic comment like, “ever hear of the ganges or the himalayas?”

the snow storm of 1991 was probably one of my favorites.  i was well quipped in driving my first car, a white, 1983 subaru brat (go figure), and lived on the 7th floor of the Bay Vista Tower (2nd and Broad). although, that fun quickly ended when i was doing doughnuts in the tower records parking lot (now qfc tower), and hit a curb hiding in the SUPER SUPER DEEPEST SNOW EVVERRR.

after that ordeal, messing up my 4×4 brat in snowmageddon ’91 (quit laughing eastern northwest), i had to walk around seattle to get my kicks. good thing too… for i got to witness and take part in sledding down denny avenue on box spring mattresses, cardboard, and whatever else was laying around curbside pickup. someone was smart enough to pull one of those mattresses out (it was probably some san franciscan punk rocker with experience (capitol hill before amazon wasn’t so “little bellevue,” just old money, punks and gays back in the day)). i was too chicken to ride that, but it struck me as hella cool (i’m not worthy). those dudes were hauling ass down denny ave on capitol hill, and by the time they hit the I5 overpass, they hauled ass even moreso, as they descended to cross stewart st..

not a fear in the world on that racing, screaming box spring mattress, because there were no cars on the roads; they were caked with snow and ice. that was before snow plows were really a thing in downtown seattle. i think we had one or two, but they were probably too busy cleaning up counterbalance on queen anne hill.

happy snow day, yesterday. go hawks!

that reminds me, speaking of snow, like snow on astroturf… one other thing that makes you a local: when you get really excited about the seahawks or mariners doing really well the whole season, then choking right at the end.  a choke that keeps them out of the playoffs, or right before the end of the playoffs, for some off reason… like not utilizing beastmode when it could’ve won the superbowl.

now THAT’s a plain as day, normal, local seattleite experience.  THAT’S what being a seattlelite is all about. not just guilt, regret, and embarassment, but major disappointment that gets you tail spun in a good hard depression to match the clouds in the sky, and the tailpipe smog laden snow on the side of the road.

Copenhagen, DK – Adventure for a Seattle patient

I’ve ventured to Copenhagen, Denmark twice: once in 2015 and again in 2016. Both times i was flooded with adventure. People ask me why i went back, and not somewhere else. Probably because it feels like a home away from home, and I’ve never really toured Europe.  Not to mention skateboarding is a passion of mine, and their cities are currently booming with new parks. So when I go there, I get a taste of the new with the old. It feels like home, Seattle, but with a richer taste of history. Castles that burned down in the 16th century are still standing today. Much like the Great Seattle Fire, but that was just 127 or so years ago.

Following is a short photo journal. The journal part is a bit wacky, like a lot of the blog posts on this site. Like most Seattleites, I’m kinda a wacky person, so when stress and high adventure inundate my brain, I deal with it differently than normal people. Normal people in the United States grab anger and their fists, or a gun… whereas, I grab my pen, a murder of angels, and go to town with wacky writings.

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although i must admit, you did not tell me to avoid copenhagen, so i reverse listened and went back for more. there was this beautiful thing you showed me last time called dreamspot, and i wanted to shoot video of my line for you, take more pictures, and document it more for my app skatecreteordie aka Skate ‘Crete Or Die

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we made it, finally beautiful and well planned copenhagen. a place were people think

a place where you can 24 hour drink (if that’s your thing)

and a place where skateboarders aren’t yesterdays trash

but more like

football players rising up from the ash

i even proved it with a location update in skatecreteordie

remember that light girl?

lg for short, don’t laugh,

i know you’re a guardian angel who’s been with me since birth,

so you don’t have to hide no more

let’s talk this trip

like it was meant to happen

let’s spit this trip

so people stop trippin’

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did you see that girl, they know what negative numbers mean on their elevators in denmark. these folks are always thinking, and that’s not sarcastic. it was weird at first, but then we were like, “oh, that’s fucking brilliant… beats the hell out of letters for garage floor levels, like they do at fancy downtown malls in seattle.”

we were mad at starbucks at the time for whatever reason (onward and upward, jaemz, onward and upward), so we did a little funny to their signz in copenhagen. that was a good joke. onward and upward, the cool thing about starbucks being the mcdonalds of the world, is that you can get the same great tasting, addictive coffee bean no matter where you are; you see because, lg, coffee beans are to starbucks what fries are to mcdonalds.

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so we walked. always walking you make me do girl. i learned my lesson last trip. i looked like an asshole in the rental car. they have no hills in copenhagen, so everything is flat. especially all of the bike paths. and that was a hard lesson to learn as an american… about the no free right hand turn, because it crosses the bike lane….

signs signs always reading signs. maybe instead of a barista, i’ll be a graffiti decipherista. not sho what this one says, but someone likes the biz. then lg, you were like “stop! hammer time… go skate dude”

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that wasn’t a picture of you in christiania though girl, no it wasn’t. i don’t know who that was. she was really pretty though. i find it hard to believe she’d be sunbathing on that kind of day though. a day like seattle; overcast with no rain… my favorite weather in the world. it was almost like you were, like, lookin’ over me or something 😉  jokes and all. sure, i can take a joke, or a bazillion this year alone lol (zlolz).

we shredded that wonderland bowl too. that’s my old board. we got a new one. that kick ass 8 and an 1/8th welcome deck with the jackl on it (you were sending me on a mission for the princess). haven’t skated that much since then. you’re trying to teach me too many damn lessons. onward and upward. this trip i was a walk boarder. if i wasn’t a walk boarder, i wouldn’t have been able to skate as an old time danish queen, like that rainy day, taking dry lines with magnus the immortal viking in haderslev.

let’s not get to that story yet though. thank you for the killer air bnb place. it was a beautiful setting; although, i still kind of feel bad (onward and upward) for being such an ordeal for our host. we’ll have to send her some flowers or something nice sometime for putting up with us. till then, here’s a photo from the window where we wrote star shimmer tale of the other side of defeat, with my daughter kayla’s confirmation keepsake getting us ready for what was in store. copenhagen has a pretty sordid past, judging from the underworld we encountered as the jackl working for the princess, but we got through the labyrinth with this: pray often, love much, laugh more.

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oh yeah, this airport smoking section was cool. there’s nothing like a smoke after 10 hours on a plane, and this was the perfect spot for it. insane comfort indeed.

fortunately for me the air bnb i got was right close to the train station. pretty easy to find where i left from (till i lost my keys, see works like the dry effigy , an echo about eccos , and copenhagen cemetary part III).

the cool thing about shopping in copenhagen too is you can just walk around like you’re a tourist, and stumble on some amazing deals on christmas tree earrings. that was a steal lg. they were very pretty, and not too expensive. i think i got 2 pair of earrings and a ring for holly for like 15US. such a score.

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what goes 4 miles an hour and doesn’t have a sense of direction?  me, jaemz, soon to be zeee jackl here. this beautiful cobblestone and stair entry way meant i knew i was close to christiania, to skate for your princess lg, whoever she was, and wherever she was.

(that was a fun night, princess. maybe we’ll cross paths again someday, but for now i have some stuff to write and a home to plan. you see, i’m selling my home and plan to move my home base in washington usa, before i return to roam your beautiful land again… sometime in 2017. the plan is to set base camp in eastern dk next time… gotta ask my viking buddy for more intel… and maybe i’ll make it to visit the beautiful lands of sweden, norway, and switzerland next time).copenhagen dk copenhagen dk copenhagen dk

success lg, this is where the boundary to christiania was.  i cleared out a nice little board slide spot on the same block as this thing. the walking danes were like, “what the fuck are you doing weeding a railroad tie.”  well danes, i was boardsliding it. some of you saw me attempt, some of you saw me bail… and those of you that saw me bail, now know what it is to skate ‘crete or die, or in this case, skate asphalt, cobblestone, and railroad ties or die.

in any case, i’d stumbled upon this beautiful thing that fashioned itself by probably alis and the hardworking danes of christiania diy. skate crete or die? sure. i probably can’t get all the way around, but i’ll look pretty badass anyway, fakie’ing the thing, and running out before hitting dirt. wonder if there’s concrete where i had to run out by now, wonderland?copenhagen dk

hey, nice view wonderland, i wonder where that phone box with nothing but graffitti in it went to?  perhaps i’ll never know.  what’s up with the island across the way. i always wondered what was over there too, wonderland.

i liked this spot on the water a lot, but a better one was down and to the right a- ways, right before the streets of torvegade and prinsessgade (where i was staying, see, i picked my airbnb close by for a reason… walking distance to christiania and fresh diy ‘crete. it was good times amongst the hard times. it’s pretty easy to be homeless in christiania, like when you lose the keys to your airbnb).copenhagen dk copenhagen dk

the next days walk was when i started thinking about just walking more, and dropping the board in favor of being a less noisy tourist. i was already bright as a sore thumb american, who didn’t speak a lick of danish, so why be loud too. this walk i was enamoured by the outdoor sights of christiansborg palace.  the deep brownish oily black tower with gold studded balls atop was enough to put fear in the heart of any onlooker. perhaps that was the purpose. its sight was both beautiful and fierce. hard to look away from; although not pictured in this following series, you can see it in that wikipedia link. photos don’t do the ominousness of the tower justice. you have to see it to believe it. much like the poked polar bear (shown in the following series here).

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This looked like a princess to me. Sure takes a lot of dudes to carry her around. She’s no “piggy back ride” kind of girl, which means she was probably extra special. Normally I take additional photos of the name plates that go with artwork, but I seem to have misplaced those for now, or this painting didn’t have one… probably not needed … probably really obvious who this was, but I was too busy being enamoured by the art to go to history class, but you better believe me, I will find out and know one day, and this photo will be much brighter next time.

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This is my favorite tree in the city. perhaps in the world. it’s a tree that just wouldn’t take any shit, and grew right up through the cobblestone. i sat under this thing to collect my thoughts. i will definitely return, and perhaps tie some sort of unnoticable ornament to it or something. i love it that much, and i’m from the land of evergreens, the emerald city, seattle, washington, USA.copenhagen dk christiansborg palace

The first of the following photos are more from our walk around Frederiksberg, LG, the shopping district of Copenhagen. I’ve referred to it as the Kayla District in the past, because that is the name of my only daughter in the world, who is both my princess and a teenager. So you better believe she would love to shop here.

This is also where I got my friend holly a dress, earrings, and ring; although misplaced at the moment (lost in the move)… perhaps I need to return WITH Holly for more shopping. I invited her this trip, but see, she’s a very very saavy and busy girl with her own agenda.
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And back for another view of Christiansberg

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The rest of these, LG, were photos you made me take of random things along the way, that may have reminded you of someone in the past, present, or my future. Not sure what, but you sure like random stuff. What a coincidence. These photos are not random though. They are our art, and they were taken on this walk. It was a good walk, it was a long walk, it was a cold walk, it was a fun walk. It was a walk when we could have used a bicycle built for 2, but we opted to carry a skateboard around with barely skating anything. What a weird day. What an amazing city. Thank you Copenhagen. After this batch of randomness fellow onlookers, I will find and post more. Another walk took me inside Christiansborg. They’re all on LG’s facebook, but she’ll give them up soon enough I imagine.

Hope you enjoyed viewing these as much as we enjoyed taking them, princess.

Signed, Jackl Jaemz and Light Girl Mishayl

PS I think I left my pen at Baresso, Copenhagen. This was my favorite cafe to stop and write in. I’m so sad I don’t have this pen anymore. It makes me cry every damn day LG. Moreso than the loss of Holly’s board. I have a secret wish, LG, that either you or the princess we were walking for gets all my lost stuff, and enjoys it to the fullest. Till next time Copenhagen… perhaps I’ll fashion a 100 pens just like this next time I’m out, and instead of getting mad about the whole thing, pass them out to kids, and tell them to write some random poems in made up words… or something.

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North Star Diner

YES!! ANOTHER 24 HOUR DINER IN SEATTLE: The North Star Diner!! (87th and Greenwood, next to Safeway) You can never have too many 24 Hour diners. This one is the newest gem. These guys took a run down sketchy Chinese Karaoke Restaurant, and turned it into a 24 Hour diner for all ages on one side, and a Bar with Awesome karaoke on the other side. I had the Little Dipper, but promise to get the Steak and Prawns next time.

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North Star Diner Karaoke Bar

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Sign on the north side of the North Star Diner

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Drink Booze at the North Star Diner

ATS Indoor – Fremont Updates

When ATS first opened, the old guys griped about there not being a mini in the layout. Now there is! Winter shred sessions are a go!

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Relatively new mini ramp at ATS indoor, under EVO in Seattle Washington

The funny story is I was one of those old guys, but could not resist going to ATS, despite the fact there was only street skating to be had. There aren’t a lot of dry, lit places in Seattle during the Winter months… let alone warm. Anyway, after hitting mini-less ATS for a while, and moving right down the street from Roxhill skatepark last Summer, I like the street more than the mini, and don’t care so much anymore.

Mt. Ranier

Nearly everywhere in Seattle there’s a great view of Mt. Rainier towering over the southern horizon. And every time you fly into or out of Seattle, you get a breath taking birds eye view of it. Here are a couple shots I took from a recent flight.

 

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An even better view, if you’re into snow sports, is the view from Crystal Mountain Ski Resort, which is butted up pretty much right next to the volcano.  Sometimes it’s hard to catch it on a sunny day though.

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Melvins – Showbox – 10/18/2014

Melvins played the Showbox last night for their “Hold it In” tour.

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It was Buzz, Dale, and Butthole Surfers bassist JD Pinkus. Power trio. They lit the place up. Unfortunately no encore, but killer set. They did the Butthole Surfers tune Moving to Florida with Buzz singing. So good. Other tunes I recognized from the Melvins: Night Goat, Youth of America, The Bit, Sweet Willy Rollbar and a few others.