Over the weekend I attended a morning of music by the Olympia Peace Choir at the Olympia Farmer's Market. The songs were refreshing on a typical overcast day in May.
After the performance I had an opportunity to ask their Director Kerri Lynn Nichols an open ended question, Why the Olympia Peace Choir?
“The Olympia Peace Choir is truly the community choir,” said Nichols with a trademark smile across her face and an energetic bounce in her voice. “We include everyone and believe in quality through inclusion. That’s why we don’t have auditions.”
The love and spirit of the Choir radiated into the atmosphere with every piece they lifted up. The smiles and expressions on its musicians provided an inviting and caring experience unique to a group so large. It was clear to this photographer that those providing the entertainment were passionate about what they were doing and truly enjoying in the experience of sharing it with others.
Nichols ended our very brief conversation by saying, “I love the group. It’s an honor to be their director.” I believe they are honored to have you too.
Someone drove around two teams of Dragon Boat participants from China a couple of weeks ago. While I was not the official photographer for Dragon Boat (meaning I didn't get paid and had limited access) I was however in attendance. The following slideshows are what I captured.
Day One: Campus tour and practice. These students are from two different schools, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (in red) and Shanghai Maritime (in blue & yellow). Practice was preformed in a light to moderate rain that didn't seem to slow either team down one bit. TCM was fun to watch and had the first few passes. Then Maritime stared up and blew my mind. This team was clearly going to be the ringer in the upcoming races.
Day Two: Dragon Boat Festival! No photos of the races (wasn't allowed access to the dock) so I focused on photos of my friends who were performing and some other performances. If you think they look fun then you should attend next year, it was a blast. The dances performed by SMU students were my favorite but in all fairness most of those on stage are personal friends so my judgement is a little skewed. TCM had martial arts demonstrations by three champions and music that were fantastic. I couldn't help getting a few shots of the International Students lining up for their next run too.
Day Three: Trip to the Capitol, Capital Medical Center, Tumwater Falls, Capital Mall and Walmart with TCM. I have the most fun on these type of days getting to know the students a little better. They were curious about our government and had a lot of questions about my personal feelings on the matter. I'd like to say I left them with a balanced idea of where we are as a nation. The hospital tour was in depth and I learned a lot walking around the different departments. The students were surprised that the hospital took the time and money to wall paper and decorate the birthing suites.
A good few days with some great teachers, coaches and students. Can't wait till next year!
Today was a super fun freebie: Free Comic Book Day! Held on the first Saturday in May since 2002 fans or first timers from all ages and interests were offered free comics and large discounts on other comics for one day only (Technically the shop I visited is having a 3 day sale but the free books were today only).
This is Gabi, owner of Gabi's Olympic Cards and Comics in Lacey, WA where we celebrated this event. First let me say I get no discounts or payment for anything I write about them. That being said, if you are in the area and have even the slightest interest in comic books, figurines, card games, board games etc visit this place. Gabi herself is awesome to talk to though I doubt she would remember little old me and the one time we conversed. The staff are friendly, informative and the selection... they easily have something for everyone.
Next year if you go BRING THE KIDS! Totally a kid friendly space with a lego play area. Aside from one very vocal tantrum from a little girl (not pictured) who couldn't convince her mom to buy a HUGE figurine, the kids were great. The energy and enthusiasm they bring to a comic book store, in a large crowd, was infectious.
There was even a signing by comic book writer Greg Rucka! He seemed like a chill dude, signing books, shirts and what I would guess just about anything else you put in front of him. Hey Mr. Rucka, if you're reading this how about we do a shoot together! :)
In the end we walked out with three free comics a piece and a few extra purchases. Like I said, they have something for everyone! But don't forget our men and women in uniform...