Weekly Photography Challenge: State of Mind

This week, an invitation to be moody, or rather, to show a state of mind via photographs. It’s odd that when we say “moody” or ” in a mood”, it always has a negative and gloomy/grumpy connotation, whereas the word “mood” simply refers to a state of mind, which could be excitement, bliss, apprehension, boredom etc etc.

I’ve gone back to August 2011 – our Trip of a Lifetime – and chosen some different states of mind in Washington State…There’s elation in the pink’n’orange cladding of the Experience Music Project, wonder in the amazing architecture of that building, mixed feelings with the Here Forever sculpture -I love it, but it’s not quite true – pleasure and contentment sitting on the grass at an outdoor concert (where I saw Sub Pop photographer Charles Peterson at work! Exciting!), and awe with every sighting of the Space Needle. I picked up a flyer somewhere in Seattle for a photography tour that promised the “right” view point for the “perfect” shot of the Space Needle. I was disgusted with this idea, and made sure and take pictures that were not “perfect”, but interesting instead. I just don’t see the point of reproducing a postcard…

Weekly Photography Challenge: Signs

The challenge this week is Signs. I’ve been busy with visiting family most of the week, but today I dived back into the photos of our Trip Of A Lifetime to find as many signs as I could. I didn’t find the ‘Yield’ sign I first thought of however – which I had to take a photo of because I like the Pearl Jam album of that name (the equivalent sign in Australia is “Give Way”).

There’s the sign outside the Experience Music Project, which was a major attraction for me, a stenciled sign on the street in Seattle, an extreme carnivore farmer’s market stall in Portland, the sign on a cafe and bar near our hotel in Seattle (we had a dessert called “tsunami”…), a sign in Portland reminding us how far we were from home (kangaroos – 8003ml), an unhappily prophetic sign in a photo in the Washington State Museum, and a sign advertising treats, which was across the road from the museum, in Tacoma.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says II

misogyny Old anti-women’s suffrage sign in the Aberdeen Historical museum. Hard to believe that it’s genuine   – but apparently it is!

Nirvana, EMP

Banner advertising “Nirvana – Taking Punk To The masses” exhibition at EMP, Seattle, August 2011.faux Banksy

Sign on our bathroom door – a genuine faux Banksy rat. I put it there when we had a pet rat as well as Morgen the cat, and the bathroom was the refuge of Aladdin the rat ( in her cage, not running around chewing all the towels into rat’s nests..)


10 Things You might Not Know About Kurt Cobain

EMP Alice wheeler pic


1. He claimed to have written “God is Gay” on a wall in Aberdeen Wa. as a teenager. He actually wrote “Ain’t got no whatchamacallit’.Kurt mugshot

2. His Dad tried to get him to join the Navy, presumably to Make a Man of him, and so he’d learn to do as he was told. (Incompatible aims, in my opinion…)

3. He preferred cats to dogs. Dogs are too obliging.

4. He didn’t like Indian or French food, but he loved Kraft macaroni and cheese. EMP flyer

5. He was fisherman, and enjoyed cooking and eating fish. “It’s OK to eat fish, cos they don’t have any feelings…”

6. He owned a tent, when he lived in Olympia Wa.  EMP set list

7. He quit a job that involved dish-washing, because it ruined his nails for guitar playing.

8. He re-built broken guitars in the garage of his Olympia home. The broken guitar on display at EMP had been repainted several times.EMP blue guitar

9. He loved thrift/op shopping.  Old cardigans were cheap, and warm. Who knew they’d become trendy?EMP video T-shirt

10. He flunked Math at high school, but was very good at Art.EMP Kurt art

It’s nineteen years since he locked himself in the greenhouse of  his beautiful home, and ended his life.

He was a polite, kind and generous man, whose music brought, and still brings, joy and meaning to thousands of people.EMP Charles Petersen pic

Let’s remember him that way.

“I want people to remember him as the cool guy he was ” – Michael Azzerad

“When I think of Kurt, I think of the way he giggled, or how he loved Abba,  or of him saying to me, ‘God, man, I wish I could wear sweatpants’.  He was a human being, a nice guy, and maybe it’s selective memory, but I don’t want to think of him as some brooding suicidal genius.” – Dave Grohl

“He was an amazing guy, he was a complete gentleman. A good-hearted guy. He was one of those people – everybody’s got them in their life – somebody that you turn to when things aren’t going so good.” – Mark Lanegan

EMP Nirvana billboard

The photos in this post, apart from the mugshot, were taken at the Experience Music Project, Seattle Centre,  in the Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses exhibition. We visited Seattle in August 2011, and have been planning a return trip to the Pacific North West ever since.

Weekly Phoneography Challenge: Lunchtime

Apparently it’s a very adolescent thing to do., photographing your lunch.

That’s what my kids said when I showed them photos of  some of my meals in America…hot dog emp

I may never eat a hot dog at the Experience Music Project in Seattle again. Of course I took a photo!

brownie empAnd of the brownie that came next.Lunch time

Lunch time in the Seattle Center on another day – soup and sandwiches. The soup was broccoli and cheese – a method of turning a healthy vegetable into a potential heart attack – delicious. We are Australians. We didn’t eat those pickle spears.Oregon blackberries.

Lunch one day in Portland, at one of the Farmer’s markets. A punnet of blackberries…Divine Pie

and an aptly named Divine Pie, sufficient reason in itself to want to return to Portland asap!Mason Jar lunch

Next stop, Olympia. We found the Mason Jar, a quirky Diner entirely staffed by nanas, across the carpark from Safeway, and had a delicious , home-style lunch.Indian at the Farmer's market

Another day in Olympia, we went to the Farmer’s market, where the local Indian Restaurant does lunches. Heaven.

I want to live in Olympia, just to go to the Farmer’s market every day.Susie's cakes

Not exactly lunch, but Susie’s Cakes had the best pecan baklava! We went there on the way back to Aberdeen from Hoquaim, and I’m not sure which town we were in – they kind of overlap.

pizza in Ocean ShoresThe day we went to the coast – Ocean Shores – it rained in proper PNW fashion, and we took refuge in a pizza joint, more or less until the bus was due to take us back to Aberdeen. We were ravenous, and ordered far too much food. Junkyard fries

None of the other photos were phoneographs – I didn’t have a camera phone. But when my son took me to Misty’s Diner in South Melbourne for an American-style lunch, I had to get the phone out and take pictures!

That’s Junkyard fries, above. Yum.Chili

My chili. I’d already eaten quite a lot. Can you tell?milkshake

Alex finished off his lunch with a gaudy milk drink. I settled for coffee.

If you are ever in Melbourne, and really hungry, track down Misty’s Diner! You’ll be glad you did.