Tag Archives: Whatcom County

The Value of Independence

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You probably don’t see an obvious connection between independent film and politics, but right now, its all up in my face.

I wrote this Bellingham Experience Insider Blog about my community’s independent film theater, Pickford Film Center, for Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism because it is one of the many things that makes my city great. It began, and remains, independent. Its programs, films, and decisions are made locally, by a non-profit board, for the betterment of film, the community, and education. The concerns of profit and shareholders don’t need to be included in decision-making, nor is their content dictated at a corporate level. These are among the many things I love about them.

Did I just go see a multi-billion dollar Rogue One Star Wars franchise film yesterday at the mega-plex and love it? Yes. My point is that we must preserve independent operations at the local level and not allow them to be overtaken by the big girls. Because individual choice–freedom–is among our highest ideals as a nation. If our choices become too narrow because of our profit motivations, then we, by default, are slowly losing that freedom. Will some of us be content eating only apples and oranges? Sure. But once the bananas disappear from the store front, once other options are removed from infrastructure, it will be a hell of an effort to get them back.

The meaning of the word ‘independent’ calls back to our earliest days as a country and today, our right, our duty, our responsibility to protect and preserve it is more relevant than ever.

 

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Channeling a Ghost for the Holidays

Momix at Mount Baker Theater.

Momix at Mount Baker Theater.

I am honored to be a part of Mount Baker Theatre’s (MBT’s) brilliance. Since the fall, they have allowed their resident ghost Judy to channel her thoughts about the beautiful, historic theater through me.

This week Judy is helping Pacific Northwesterners cross a few things off their holiday shopping list by giving the gift of a MBT experience through my WhatcomTalk.com blog post.

I hope you’ll appreciate how much fun it is to be Judy. I’ve always wanted a writing gig like Dear Sugar where I can give advice and thoughts anonymously. For now, this is the next best thing.

Holiday Music is My Favorite Part of the Season

Florist Natalie Ransom of Pozie By Natalie styles any holiday for events, businesses, and individuals.

Florist Natalie Ransom of Pozie By Natalie styles any holiday for events, businesses, and individuals.

I jumped at the chance to write an article for WhatcomTalk.com about my favorite holiday music. In addition to Christmas lights and movies, music is one of the best parts of the season. I love to play it in the background and sing along. Last night I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas with my kids and realized that its the music that makes willing to watch that animated classic every year. It is also one of the reasons I learned to play a little piano as an adult.

Make sure that you listen to as much holiday music as you can, and if you’re within driving distance, get your Mount Baker Theatre tickets before the season is over.

My (and Your) Baby Cakes

One of the reasons I love the Bellingham-based band Baby Cakes is because of the good people that make up this 9-piece funk, soul, and R & B supergroup.

Stephanie Walbon is just one of them, but she is kind, interesting, and a quality human being. That’s why I wrote about her for WhatcomTalk.com.

Go check out my article, including the stellar photos by Kenneth Kearney Photography, and then be sure to follow them yourself via social media. You’ll see why I keep going to show after show.

It’s Snowing in Whatcom County!

sledding-sky-duryee-mt-bakerI know, so what, right? But in the greater Puget Sound area of Washington State, we only get a few days of snow a year, if any, so its a big deal to us.

No one knows how to drive in it, schools and businesses close, its like you’re a kid again with an extra day off school. I choose to embrace the snow day.

I wrote an article about sledding in Whatcom County  for WhatcomTalk.com last season and it still applies so I’ll share it again now.

Don’t forget to take your snow day sometime soon.

Fishing Back to My Roots

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Yes, the fish my sister Wanda is holding on the left is frozen solid. And yes, that really is the hairdo and glasses I had in the late 80’s, just like everyone else.

When I mention my roots, I’m not talking about changing my hair color. The older we get, the more we sift through our old memories and experiences.

To tame the chaos, I have been dedicating time to declutter and get organized. That includes going through old boxes, papers, and photos. I’m descended from a line of collectors and pilers on my mother’s side so my tendency to keep is strong. I think, you never know when you might need that, or how will I remember that moment without the photo? Lately I’ve been talking myself out of that mindset and answering those thoughts instead with live in the present because it is so precious, you’re not remembering it while its in a box in the attic anyway, and that unfinished project is keeping you awake at night.

While sifting old photos I was reminded of my time spent fishing. I fished bluegill and perch, pike, and whatever else would bite in the humid mosquitoey summers and below zero winters where I grew up in Lower Michigan. I fished alone, with my younger sister, and with my father, who taught me the little I know.

My fishing experience continued when I moved to Washington, shifting from lakes and ponds to the deep, cold waters of Lake Whatcom and the Puget Sound. Instead of standing on the shore, I bobbed in a sailboat or kayak.

Its been a while since I fished for anything. I’m recently practicing a vegan lifestyle for all the usual environmental and ethical reasons. But I loved fishing. For me, it wasn’t about the size of what I caught or catching what I ate. It was always about being on the water, learning about the fish and its life cycle, slowing down, and shutting out everything else but the quiet hum of the outdoors.

That’s why I wrote this article for WhatcomTalk.com about the new Bellingham, WA-based North Sound Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I understand where they are coming from and I respect that they are willing to take action to preserve and conserve rivers and their fish for generations to come.

I’m recycling most of the pictures of the fish I once caught. Then I’m going to head out to my local stream to see the salmon coming in. I’ll spend some time with the pictures in my head and then head home with any trash I find along the way.

Theater in Bellingham

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BTG’s 2008 production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

I love Bellingham and all it has to offer. We’re fortunate to have local original theater, improv, dance, and even nationally touring shows that stop by. I enjoy blogging for Bellingham Experience Whatcom County Tourism about the theater, music, and the arts that contribute to the culture and entertainment in our community. My hope is that by writing about them, I’ll bring them more attention, help them reach new audiences, and hopefully be appreciated more fully.

I got to speak with my friend Jeff Braswell, Bellingham Theatre Guild’s (BTG’s) publicity director, about all the exciting upgrades that are happening there, and just in time for their production of White Christmas. Please check out my blog post and then help BTG spread the word.