Tag Archives: Olympia

it’s not just the water, it’s also the vortex and a town laden with taverns

Diary: (inexplicably) myriad tasks from Gravelly Beach, Oct. 15, 2004

As it goes, while looking for something else, I came across a diary from 2005 – published in a proto-blog software (w/o RSS) made by Ben Livingston and hosted by Jay Stewart – or something like that… anyway… for whatever reason I can’t find the original text but oddly, there is a screenshot of “entry #5”.

Notable because of the monumental tasks checked down the list like no big deal.

  • Was days of running Zhonka Broadband ISP, making documents of all sorts
  • Alluding to starting “Postcards from Gravelly Beach” and “Choogle on with Uncle Weed” pods (check and check)
  • Moving to Bernice’s double wide on Gravelly Beach road
  • Doing renovations on the Puget Street house and sore back after a bit of shock seeing the police shakedown unsuspecting neighbour kids coming out of their house and laying them down in the middle of the road with guns drawn for no fcking reason(!)
  • Writing letters of judicial political support (lotta lobbying in those days)
  • Adding links to a website (hello here we are)
  • Thinking about starting on oil paintings (done) and a novel length project (not done)

Yep, all that like its no big deal.

Oh of course, what i was reading at the time (Salinger bio, Keroauc, Dostoevsky, Hemingway) – note namecheck for Last Word Books – and digging clams

Around the same time I also wrote the LSAT (law school admission test) studying for which is notably not on the list.

Anyhow, always be archiving.

(Disjointed) Musings about Kurt Cobain (2014)

Re: Cobain, 2014 / disjointed miscellaneous annotations 

Thinking of poor dead Kurdt today.

Barely bearable. So many memories:

Accidentally fortunate enough to be dialed in to the Nirvana zeitgeist.

I saw Nirvana at a perfect time, before Nevermind but after Dave Grohl joined. They opened for Dinosaur Jr. at the Pompadour (an old church) in Salt Lake City.

Went away with nothing but the thoughts that they were the *most perfect* band i’d seen: i could hum the songs right away (“gramma take me home, i wanna be alone”) and they were loud (i love loud but Dino Jr. afterwards made everyone huddle in a mass at the back with bleeding ears), and *dareisay* charisma & confidence oozed from all three. They knew what they had ready.

I’ve met Krist a few times since and had him sign the poster from that show, he was surprised to see it as it was part of a few show run to stretch the band out before the whole world changed (for them and us) when Nevermind dropped.

My fave jukebox track was playing the last song on NM which was followed by 10 minute-ish of silence to confuse the bar patrons before the psychedelic mystery track melted their heads.

At Subpop HQ

At Subpop HQ

At Subpop HQ

Living in Olympia after he died, his ghost was everywhere and people always spoke in hushed tones about him.

His old house (from where he used to shoot at the Lottery bldg.) was right by my (OlyWa.net / Zhonka) office – the current resident was a customer even – i saw the graffiti he put on the walls of their jam space, drank at the bars he did, spent a year driving to Aberdeen on weekends for college classes and sadness of that town was palatable.

I learned he was dead weeks after it happened. I was in Japan working high in the remote mountains as a mushroom farmer and a pithy Brit mentioned it in a “good riddance” tone around a campfire at a log home builders party. I had to walk away.

{As an aside, i can’t thinking about another Olympia refugee who met an early self-inflicted (yet somewhat mysterious) demise, Elliott Smith. These dudes were more or less my age and i think my best work is still ahead of me at 43 and feel cheated from the songs we’ll never hear from them.}

But the strongest emotion is one is empathy and how i wished i could have helped them navigate the pitfalls of the “machine” which turned their outward projection into something they didn’t want to be.

And we all want to be known as who we really are.

The relentless photo, tours, hangers-on, pressure, misunderstandings. Let him breathe!

Be kind to artists, be kind to battered souls, be nurturing to those who dull the pain with the easiest escapes.

Here’s a peace pipe for us all to pass and remember a remarkable lightning bolt.

The 5 albums (counting Unplugged & Insecticide but not the endless bootlegs, other live, compilations, reissues blah blah blah) are all significantly different and explore so much musical territory in such rapid time is rather remarkable – reacquainting his muse with each release.

We missed the Kurt album with the 20 minute jams, the one where he played with Roma, the one where with spoken word stories, the one with lullabies, the one where he went surrealist, the one where Dave sang the songs, the one when they added an accordion player or a melodica, the one where he played right handed.

PS If you haven’t seen it, watch “About A Son” – a curious doc with intimate voice recordings with Cobain overlaid with scenes of Aberdeen, Olympia and Seattle. His voice oozes sincerity, intensity, sadness, elation and confusion.

“HempenRoad: Activism in OlyWa” Uncle Weed Storytime for Cannaverse Club

Blurb: In the historic kura barn studio in provincial Japan, digging into the archive from 1996/7 documentary film “HempenRoad”, Uncle Weed shares the backstories of the project with a binder full of artifacts, reviews, plans, scripts, etc

Then plays a “producer’s cut” of a segment from Olympia, Washington featured Dennis Peron on the road promoting ground-breaking California Prop 215 at the Capitol Dome – along with diligent activists out the rain and Lt Governor candidate Bob Owen of WHEN. 

Next a visit to a pioneering Internet Service Provider (OlyWa) for a peek at a (now vintage) data center with modems(!) and remarks about the importance of the (new) word wide web for disseminating information about cannabis.

Finally, riffs about how the film was produced with analog and digital tools, the importance of “showing up” and working with all parties to effectuate positive change and a personal manifesto of sorts about UW’s objectives and edicts when becoming a dedicated activist in 1990. 

Questions welcome about the film – segments from Vancouver, Victoria, Portland, Eugene and more to come – as well as logistical inquiries about making creative projects.

Gist: I’m collaborating with some pals on a new Cannabis Community project – its all metavers-y and NFTs and such as and while that’s not my forte, sharing stories from rambles, campaigns, and creative riffs is (fer sure) so here’s the firestarter video to spark the project series. Links below to get in on the hi-jinks. So happy to be getting studio barn set-up with all the wires, dongles, adapters, extenders, lights and mics. Catch all the topics in the riff below and come on along!

Join in the hijinks at the #uncle-weed-storytime on the Cannaverse Club discord server and/or https://Cannaverseclub.com & Cannaverse Club Youtube

#AlwaysBeKind

Hockey Primer (for Seattle and beyond)

Hockey Lounge 4:20 24/7, immortalized at Olympic Plaza in SLC, Utah, 2002
Preamble: for years, mostly living in Olympia, Washington and later Vancouver, BC I wrangled a website called HockeyNW tracking historic and contemporary hockey culture around Cascadia including teams: Tacoma SaberCats, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, flashing back to Seattle Metropolitans,  bits of Portland and of course Vancouver, as well the in-line hockey teams i coached through a YMCA league in Olympia.

During this time my brother Dan and i (something) hosted the “Hockey Lounge” in Olympia, Washington – a speak / toke easy” to spread hockey culture (and provide occasional crash space for rock n roll bands – another story).

 
Some of the artifacts are shared in this archive, others might be eventually.
 
Anyhow… what I’m saying is: all of this was anticipating the arrival of another NHL franchise in the Northwest which eventually became the Seattle Kraken. Took a while and now I live far away but, recently shared a bit of an “hockey primer” with a friend who lives in Washington State who is a soccer/football supporter to share a little bit of culture and basics about the sport.
I don’t really write about hockey anymore and my “consumption experience” is generally solo, with coffee in the cottage in Japan, regardless, sharing here for posterity:
June 11, 2021 Hello [redacted],
 
Been meaning to tell you a few things about hockey and now it’s a really good time for you to start paying attention because it’s almost into the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I’m currently listening to Seattle’s “expansion cousins” Vegas Golden Knights game six against the Colorado Avalanche (who used to be the Quebec Nordiques) yes it’s a little bit confusing especially when you consider the winner of the series will play the Montréal Canadiens, who are from Quebec – Canada sorta / of course but the French-centric part and who shocked the hockey world by running over their long time rival Toronto (a.k.a. the centre of the universe) Maple Leafs and then swept aside the Winnipeg Jets (who used to be the Atlanta Thrashers) it’s things like this that require a good primer.
 
The good thing about Seattle Kraken is now Vancouver has a natural geographical rival. In the past, the other teams would all match-up with natural dance-partners and Van was sort of stranded in their own little glorious West Coast anomaly. As we’ve seen with MLS, having teams in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver makes for good times for supporters/fans/whatever.

Continue reading Hockey Primer (for Seattle and beyond)

Postbox Haiku Painting exhibit artifacts from the Goat Farm

+ Postbox Haiku Exhibit at the Goat Farm: In which I combine love of poetry, painting and postal mail and recaps an exhibit at buddy Mac’s goat farm.

So happy to share my mixed media project with a new audience at a very special place

Gist: Produced by dDesign to promote Okayama design, tourist and culture, the campaign included a painting in Shibuya as well as paintings of post boxes and office in: The Vatican; Kathmandu, Nepal; Olympia, Greece; and, Muscat, Oman as well as a new haiku on a postbox about “nonconfidential postcards” along with a book of paintings, a book of postboxes, and postcards of well… postboxes with poetry – both painted and functional.

DaveO at Goat Farm with postbox haiku, both sides now sport a custom poem
Transported the paintings in a velvety suitcase (notice the key for keeping them imaginary safe)
The paintings of postboxes had custom postcards with shodo ink by Junko Fujita and decorated up with appropriate postal and inky stamps by me

Continue reading Postbox Haiku Painting exhibit artifacts from the Goat Farm

Collection: Typewriters – Olympia SM9 (at Alas Manis, Nusa Ceningan), 2019

Olympia SM9, outdoor typing

Continuing the story of the Olympia SM9 typewriter (from 2018 at Wonder Hotel) simply to show the difference a year of diligence and intrepidness can bring.

Yup, it truly was the most difficult of times, pulled in directions i didn’t want to go but then… states and provinces crossed, affairs sorted, planes and memories faced, trains and ferries joined / turmoil, bureaucracy, paperwork, disrespect and frustration, all well, just sort of sorted itself out. I mean, I know how but the point is: the time came when i was reunited with this typewriter and all was different from when i left it.

changing the ribbon, over and over for some reason…

Still the keys get jammed, the ribbon inexplicably requires flipping/rewinding after barely a page of typing but, now smudged with thumbprints from changing said ribbon and supplied with aerogrammes from often lost countries, used envelopes with franked stamps (and sometimes intimate thoughts), and the usual hotel stationery, I made things.

Aerogramme loaded on splendid work table

Mostly poems and erstwhile letters, quite literally banged out without regard for perfection, just passion! Rapid  transcriptions from scribbled journals, imagined lives of a doppelgänger, and notes from undergrounds.

Then joyfully accessorized with inky stamps and collages of postage stamps which may or may not have anything to do with the poem at hand (actually, they were all very intentionally consciously chosen but hey… that’s for the art to say). Oh, you can find evidence of these sessions in Items: Forgotten cycle vol. 7 Espionage and bits in vol. 6 Circumnavigation.

from Items: Forgotten, vol. 7, Espionage

Now, the burly beast sits in a teakwood closet awaiting another opportunity to resist my indelicate fingers. Reminding me to touch gently with nuance and care. 

waiting in teakwood closet (behind)

All this is to say, art saves lives (in some cases anyhow).

Collection: Typewriters – Olympia SM9 (at Wonder Hotel, Sanur), 2018

Typewriter: Words Aren't for Processing

Somewhere along the line, the wheels fell off completely, everything gone: life (rather death), love (so much), parents (both), career (ugh), health, confidence, desire, happiness, trust… all completely vanished.

Strung out, hospitals of a kind I won’t even mention, wrung out, battered and so very bruised… but, I pulled it together (thanks to kind pal) and found a safe place to hide.

A tiny room in a guest house ran by a kindly family who brought me coffee in the morning and otherwise gave me space to just be alone with, one small window, a fridge, a wet bathroom, a desk and bar, hard bed and two power outlets.

I purchased a typewriter and a printer and used in both extensively, enjoyably and liberally. The walls became covered with photos which caught my fancy, art which sparked something else, mementos of joys and fears to face. 

The typewriter, and Olympia SM-9 from the 1970s (note: Owner’s manual (pdf): SM9-1970s) seems to be a knock off of some kind as I can’t find a serial number and, it just doesn’t have that solid precise action that the machine “should have”. There are a few foibles but it’s made of heavy solid metal, came “new in box” – shiny and pristine, just something is not quite right, kind of like me.

Poetry, typed: Lie To Me (Olympia SM4)
Poetry, typed: Lie To Me (Olympia SM9)

Anyhow, me and this machine typed poems on pads of hotel stationery, occasional repurposed telegram, letters which i’ll never send, and punk rock lyrics of angst and despair.

The neighbour was from Slovenia with a local mistress and a cigarette hobby and a little enough communication to be just the right amount.

I called this room “the Wonder Hotel” inspired by a SRO flophouse in my broken heart at home city of Vancouver. When i left, the daughters took down all my art bits and i made a massive scrapbook of rejuvenations, inspirations + amusements

I (mostly) hid, I (mostly) became calm, I pulled it together and then the future started. And started with this typewriter. Sloppiness and all. Maybe it is me after all.

 

#daveo50 ~ 2018 / 50 years > days > photos

#daveo50 ~ 2018 / for passport, visa, or other ID, Vegas (photo Andrew Olson)

Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).

Continue reading #daveo50 ~ 2018 / 50 years > days > photos

Subpop HQ: photos, stickers, posters, wall collages etc / Seattle, 2010

Who can you name? Mark Arm, front and centre + Dean H, thanks eh / Subpop, 2010

Yeah i know the pics aren’t great but just to document my trip to Subpop HQ, Seattle (of course)… in March 2010 – I was in the city for a conference, gig, start-up internet-y meeting or some thing, I remember eating some Hawaiian/Japanese hybrid at an izakaya and a few other activities but importantly, visiting Subpop.

The photo strip booth was broken now but so many notable humans capture in instant b&w goodness

Note: This was the third company I had SubPop (OlyWa, Zhonka, Hootsuite) as a customer and received a warm familiar welcome and buncha questions about social marketing for bands/labels strategy. Felt useful.

all the stickers! I cover doors and suitcase and laptops with stickers and enjoy a satisfying collage / Subpop, 2010

Carrying on anyway,… i had visited the old HQ years ago (with Banghi and scored a Sebadoh “Zippo” and other treats) but this time got the full tour, especially loved the walls various photo strip booth and instant-photo collages – So many faces from bands I know and appreciate over decades, all presented in a style that’s right out of my erstwhile playbook.

Plus various walls of silk screen posters (silkscreening done on site), walls of stickers (yeah my style!), bunch of other neat stuff like original invoice for the Nirvana 7″, original LOSER ads, the framed “Wood Records” for bands that sold fewer than a gold record or whatever, some of the gold/platinum records are displayed in the toilet, and, at-the-time-just-recently framed and hung properly B&W Charles Peterson (who rocks the instagram like whoa) classic photos.

Posters, handbills, promo sheets – much of which done right on premises, love the DIY goodness / Subpop, 2010

I left with a box of CDs, bunch of posters and other ephemera, most importantly , a Mudhoney double signed by fcking legend Mark Arm of Mudhoney who works as a shipping warehouse wrangler (and to whom I asked a stupid question about his other band Monkeywrench) PS thanks Dean H.

More posters including Iron and Wine and Flight of the Conchords, not who you first think of right? / Subpop, 2010
Mudhoney (my fave) + shade of The Constantines, Sleater-Kinney, couple more i dig / Subpop, 2010

Digression: Remember back when Subpop was a column in the fine alt/news-weekly “The Rocket” (thanks Marty) and Olympia/ Evergreen was sort of where Poneman/Pavitt started it up, and most of the bands first came through, a lot more to say about this but you probably know already… (see also: Go With the Flow).

PS so I have some more lousy photos cobbled together in a post but well, don’t know if it’s worth it… yeah or nay on the part 2?

Once the photo strip booth konked out, they switched it up to Polaroid and markers, dig it / Subpop, 2010

#daveo50 ~ 2004 / 50 years > days > photos

#daveo50 ~ 2004 / for passport, visa, or other ID

Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).

Continue reading #daveo50 ~ 2004 / 50 years > days > photos