Blogs Stories

Play That Song Again: Before They Were Cool, Man

by Erik Christensen in Blogs, Music

Ah, springtime: when a young music nerd’s thoughts turn to saying, “I know more than you, and I liked that band before they caught on to the mainstream.” I’m ashamed to admit it, but I fall victim to this dread disease; I try very hard to be nice and unassuming, but every now and then, the “cooler-than-thou” feeling deep within me rears its ugly head.

In May, 1994, I was at the much-beloved Crocodile Café in Seattle, waiting to see great Georgia songwriter Kevn Kinney. I was unfamiliar with the opening act, a local Seattle band called, auspiciously, The Presidents of the United States of America. Since I was in the front of the crowd pushed up against the stage, I could see that they had a small drum kit and — wait, did the bass player have only two strings on his guitar? And look, the guitarist with the Fender Telecaster had only the middle three strings of his guitar. Pretty interesting. This power-trio then proceeded to explode into a crazy set — loud, silly, energetic songs that had the 100 or so people in the audience jumping up and down with pure joy. Those minimally-stringed guitars packed a real Ramones-like wallop. “Holy cow,” I thought. “These guys are really great.”

Pigment, Perspectives, and Pandas || Through the Looking Glass

by Anne Belov in Blogs

I recently returned from what I would have to call a very improbable journey. When I first dipped my toes into the fast-moving stream of social media, it was reluctantly and with great trepidation.

What if everyone out there is a complete weirdo?
What if no one reads my blog?
What if they think I’m a complete weirdo???

I started my blog (The Panda Chronicles) to share my panda cartoons with a wider audience than whoever I could catch unawares in the produce aisles of Payless, waving a stack of cartoons in the air.

Rock Bottom Line || Taxed by Taxes: Who Pays How Much on Whidbey?

by Harry Anderson in Blogs

I’m not one to complain about the cost of our county government here on the Rock. In fact, I think it’s just short of amazing how much our government does for the relatively small amount of tax dollars it receives.

Island County is the second-smallest county in the state of Washington. Latest population estimate: about 80,500. Approved county budget for 2017: $85.7 million. Do the math. That’s about $1,065 for every person who lives here, and it has to cover public safety and law enforcement, roads and bridges, county courts, public health, parks and recreation, and a host of other services we all take for granted.

In Search of Truth and Beauty | The Birthing of Spring

by Joni Takanikos in Blogs, Literary, Nature

It’s hard not to be hopeful in spring. It feels like the season where hope is born. Spring is the season of such continual change. It seems the least static of all the seasons. It is easier to stay truly present, watching new lives gaze at the world with force and fascination. Witnessing this presence allows us to reignite the places in ourselves that may have grown stagnant, frozen, or hidden away in the hibernating nature of winter.

What bulbs of color and bloom lie within our psyches ready to break through onto the spring field? Let’s go easy on ourselves in these beginning days of spring. Rather than rushing too hastily forward, let’s take our time to nourish these new shoots. Spring rain can be the perfect musical accompaniment for reading, writing poetry, or simply gazing out the window.