Apr 20, 2015

The walk along the water front --- Seattle (7)

We're on 81 Vine Street, two blocks from the water front, which was remodeled during the 80's to provide the ideal outdoor experience of city living. We go for a stroll every day in the afternoon, especially now, with the weather picture perfect.

The Alaskan Way, on the water front, in Northern direction

400 meters into this (Americans are learning about meters), past Pier 69, where the Elliot Bay Trail begins.

Apr 19, 2015

Forks (2) --- Seattle (6)

"Forks (2) --- Seattle (6)"---we stay true to form with this incomprehensible title. Almost as incomprehensible as this sign...

...yes, YES, that's why we had to visit Forks, because the place is the purported hub of the Twilight franchise:

(This picture is mildly misleading...)

Apr 18, 2015

Forks --- Seattle (5)

Forks. Forks? Bear with us, we'll explain later (next post). For the time being, let's note that Forks is the most precipitous town in the continental United States, rain-wise. Precipitatous, as it were. It's perched between the Olympic Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. 150 miles to the west of Seattle. We must visit.

150 miles. That's a long drive. We must get up early and catch the 8:25 AM ferry to Bainbridge. That's the view this morning, from our apartment, of Mount Fuji Rainier.

Apr 12, 2015

Seattle (4) (Chang)

The Puget Sound with the ferry for Bainbridge (picture taken from our apartment on Vine Street)

Apr 5, 2015


The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri (かなまら祭り, "Festival of the Steel Phallus") is held each spring at the Kanayama Shrine (金山神社 Kanayama-jinja) in Kawasaki, Japan. The phallus, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.

The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local phallus-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who prayed for protection from sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, there are sundry protections regarding prosperity, easy delivery, and marriage harmony. There is also a legend of a sharp-toothed demon (vagina dentata) that hid inside the vagina of a young woman and castrated two young men on their wedding nights. The young woman sought help from a blacksmith, who fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon's teeth, which led to the enshrinement of the item.

The festival has become something of a tourist attraction and is used to raise money for HIV research

Apr 4, 2015

Interstellar --- Seattle (2)

We're late with this review because we're always late---plus, we're early in the sense that the movie hasn't yet been released world wide.

Unfortunately, the sound through the Delta Airline ear plugs on Flight 467 from London-Heathrow to Seattle-Tacoma is so bad that we have trouble following the plot---although, wait---now having read the flick's Wikipedia entry we're realizing we somehow did manage to follow the plot but failed to appreciate the redeeming influence of Caltech professor Kip Thorne, the only excuse for this movie ("highly accurate, the movie, scientifically, highly accurate," reviewers rave). Kip Thorne is a real physicist and knows everything about black holes and wormholes and Einstein ("gravitational waves"), and he's listed as executive producer of this sci-fi production set in the year 2060.

What is it? You normally know inside 60 seconds whether you're watching a bad movie, right? Is it because the titles stink? That's oft the case, but not now. No, its something about the Midwestern accent of Texas-born Matthew McConaughey. It's like when you drive past this sex worker and you need to look no further, there's one layer of makeup too many. There has been one script conference too many for this movie, and Christopher Nolan, the director knows, knows deep inside...

Apr 2, 2015

Seattle (1)



And in between

Yes, we're swapping houses with a family in Seattle, WA, for a month.
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