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Archives for 08/20/2006 - 08/26/2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Victory is Mine

posted by on August 26 at 12:29 PM

From Savage Love last week

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 11 years now, not 7 or 8. We met sleazy when I was 23, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. If we celebrated anniversaries, we’d be celebrating our dirty dozen in January 2007.

From Savage Love this week

You write that you met your boyfriend “when I was 23” 11 years ago. C’mon, Dan! You’re not 34 (23 + 11), at least according to multiple online sources. (Wikipedia, IMDB.) Lying about your age is beneath you!—Boy Utterly Saddened To Encounter Deceit

You’re right, BUSTED, I shouldn’t lie about my age. But I worry that people won’t take my advice seriously when they learn that I’m only 27 and I’ve been with the same guy for 11 years. Readers might conclude that I can’t know all that much about dating, relationships, and heartbreak if I’ve been with the same guy since my junior year of high school. But the cat’s out of the bag now—damn you, Wikipedia!

From the mailbox this morning…

You’re only 27! And have been with the same guy for 11 years? And you’re worried people won’t take you seriously because of that? Dan I’ve been reading your columns since oh, at least 2000/2001 I guess, maybe longer, and I always assumed you were older than me. I love that you’re my age, I feel like we’ve grown up together now (although you never publish or respond to my letters and I’ve written you a few over the years. I can only hope that you read them.) First of all, don’t lie about your age. I think that’s so sweet and so beautiful. Think about it, somehow you had the stuff, from a young age (and 10 years ago it was harder to be young and gay than today I think) to find the right guy and you’re still together? Granted it’s not as sick and twisted as most of the people you get letters from, but would you rather get love advice from the sweet old couple that were high school sweethearts and have been married 50 years, or from the whore who has had the most sexual partners? I’m all for being GGG, and experimenting and I love the power and courage you give people both gay and straight, but isn’t there something good and honorable about the people who have commitment and love and dedication to a relationship? I know how hard it is to be young and successful, and the struggles that presents, but we’re almost thirty now Dan (once you hit 27 I think you can say pushing 30) and we can now stand tall as ourselves professionally. I don’t know if there is another sex advice columnist out there as well known or as well respected as you. It’s time to revel in your success. You’ve earned it. Enjoy!


Wow—pushing 30, that blows my mind. But you know what’s really going to blow Shannon’s mind? When she finds out that I’ve been writing “Savage Love” for 15 years—since I was, oh, 12 years old. Man, it sure was cool that old man Keck was willing to take a chance on a prepubescent sex-advice columnist way back in 1991, huh?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Stranger Suggests: More Bikes

posted by on August 25 at 4:18 PM


The new bicycle shop at 20th and E. Union, 20/20 Cycle, has a fake fireplace, charts depicting the anatomy of birds and rattlesnakes, lots of cool old bikes, and a visionary/owner of the best variety. On Sunday starting at 5 p.m., as a part of the Seattle Carousel Festival: a bike workshop, music by the Dead Science, something mysteriously called “Pillow Fight Fight,” and the screening of odd-sounding movies.


posted by on August 25 at 4:16 PM

Though it’s all too easy to pooh-pooh the American version of THE OFFICE, I will go to my grave saying this show has really improved over it’s run, becoming it’s own entity which is in someways BETTER than the original.
Then NBC comes along with the following promo featuring Jim and Pam, and tries to make me look like an insane asshole for ever liking this show! TRUST ME, the show is NOTHING like this!
NBC… I’m going to BEAT YOUR ASS.


posted by on August 25 at 3:43 PM


The five HUMP screenings we announced in this week’s paper have sold out, so we’ve added three additional screenings: Friday September 8 at 10 PM and Midnight, Saturday September 9 at 2 PM. Tickets for these added screenings are on sale now. Go to our HUMP page for more info and a link to ticket sales.

To Play or Not to Play

posted by on August 25 at 3:11 PM

Like some of the transit purists, I too have trouble swallowing the idea that Transportation Choices Coalition is making nice with RTID. (I’m a dues paying member!) In particular I don’t like TCC’s willingness to make lemonade out of the added auto capacity lemon. But TCC does deserve credit. Moderating their message (playing politics) has resulted in some good.

Check this out. Previous state legislation prevented RTID from funding transit programs. During the 2006 session, however, TCC was able to add language into the legislation (TCC executive director Jessyn Schor actually wrote the provision) that eliminated the prohibition and allowed RTID money to be spent on “mitigation”—meaning stuff like increased bus service hours, bus pass programs, and trip reduction incentives.

Amending the authorizing legislation set up TCC to make its first demand on any RTID package: Any investment in roads must be coupled with a “meaningful investment” in transit in the same corridor.

While I agree with people who say this demand is a bit squishy, at least TCC has reframed the debate so that RTID isn’t just about roads. That’s a push in the right direction, and one that didn’t happen previously because TCC was relegated to nay saying from the sidelines.

Can’t Visit the Maryhill Double?

posted by on August 25 at 3:11 PM

Jen Graves’s piece about the Maryhill Double, by the geniuses that compose Lead Pencil Studio, is great: Read it here.

While I was editing her piece, I discovered that the Capitol Hill mansion built by Sam Hill in 1910 is actually for sale. It’s obviously no substitute, but if you can’t make it to north Oregon to visit the Maryhill Museum and its double, maybe you can find consolation on Highland Dr. (And if you look especially fancy, perhaps you can cop an open house? There’s a really sweet Louis XIV fireplace in the living room.)

Here’s the Maryhill Double:


Here’s Sam Hill’s house:


Our Bumbershoot Guide is Online!

posted by on August 25 at 2:28 PM

Go to for write-ups on every single act at the three-day festival, as well as our picks, podcasts, and a whole lot more!

The Spirit of Cities

posted by on August 25 at 2:25 PM

Most of Julee Holcombe digital photographic compositions are bad (what she does to Vermeer is an excellent example of what Hume called, in his analysis of aesthetics, “bad taste”), and so the greatness of her revision of Bruegel’s 1563 painting “The Tower of Babel” is entirely accidental.

Out of this:

Comes this:

Bruegel’s art is mad and beautiful, and few paintings capture the madness and beauty of the human will better than a “The Tower Babel.” In the world there are only two types of great cities: Athens and Babylon. New York City is Babylon; Seattle is Athens—though a part of Seattle wants to become Babylon, which will never happen, and besides, being Athens is not at all a bad thing (Jerry Garcia’s Denny Park proposal has this as its most powerful meaning—to finalize Seattle’s spiritual continuation of Athens by giving us the Acropolis).

Holcombe’s digital revision (or revisit) is successful because it brings to the present the forces at work in the past, in the image by Bruegel. The spirit of Babylon, a spirit that will be around for as long as humans are around, is this congestion of towers and people. “Too much/too many people/too much.”


posted by on August 25 at 1:55 PM


Well, that didn’t take long. All the tickets for HUMP 2 are sold out! We’re going to have an emergency meeting in three minutes and see if we can add some extra screenings. Hold tight. Watch the Slog or the HUMP 2 page for updates.

Gorilla Gay Coffee House

posted by on August 25 at 1:45 PM

Spotted this flyer on light pole near the office…


Apparently the gays are planning to take over the Wayward Coffee House in Greenwood this evening. The coffee shop is 100% alcohol, attitude, and drama free now, but how long will it stay that way once the homos show up? Well, that depends on the kind of homos that show. They’re going to play Cranium, according the part of the poster that’s cut off in the picture, so if you enjoy trivia games, coffee drinks, and booze- and attitude-free homosexuals (and the people who love them), you might want to swing by Wayward Coffee House tonight. (And, hey, report back in the comments if you do decide to attend.)

Gorilla Gay Coffee House @
Wayward Coffee House
Friday Aug 25, 7:30 PM
8570 Greenwood Ave N
(just north of 85th N on east side of street)

Wherever the Automobile Congregates

posted by on August 25 at 1:40 PM


An excerpt from the introduction to Bicycling the Backroads Around Puget Sound, 1973:

For the bicycling enthusiast some good things have been happening recently. For example, for the first time in over half a century, more bicycles than motor cars are being sold annually in the United States. Bicycling has suddenly become popular. Young people, particularly those with a concern for their environment, see the bicycle as practical transportation for short hauls. Adults are finding it a respectable vehicle for exercise, commuting, recreation and family fun.
The automobile in recent bouts with environmentalists and the government has not come off unscathed. A few years ago it seemed that the auto and its proponents could do no wrong. Now it is recognized universally as one of our chief polluters and major cause of degradation of our living environment…. A segment of the population…and a portion of government is questioning the utter domination of urban lives by the automobile—the ruin of the central cities, the sprawl of suburbia…the waste of fuel and other resources, the noise, smog and ugliness that follow the automobile wherever it congregates in large numbers.

It goes on in heartbreaking detail about “this hard look at the auto and the depressing future it is helping to create,” and about how citizens of the Pacific Northwest are demanding a better balance of transportation, looking at alternatives, and, of course, embracing our friend the bike. The good people of 1973 are advised to look to Europe as a model for cycling-friendly planning, paths, and drivers. The cartoon bicyclists depicted wear propeller beanies or crumpled fedoras—not a helmet or mention thereof in the entire book. A couple of rides tour the scenic Southcenter area (starting “at the base of the Southcenter sign pylon near Nordstom Best”). (My favorite part so far in this book my dear aunt just gave me is the note for the “Mileage Log” section for a ride around Index, Washington: “You don’t need one; you can’t get lost.”)

Flash Mob at Home Depot

posted by on August 25 at 1:36 PM

While the whole “flash mob” thing may be a bit played, it’s obviously still wicked fun, and here’s an organized group in NYC who are doing it right. 225 members of “Improv Everywhere” got together to walk in slow motion through Home Depot for five minutes, shop normally for five minutes, and then freeze wherever they were for five minutes. The result freaked out EVERYBODY in the store, and makes for really interesting (and kinda artsy) viewing.

Tip o’ the hat to Wired Blog!

Eric Fischl’s Lecture at EMP Last Night

posted by on August 25 at 1:30 PM

There were a lot of weird bodies in the audience at Eric Fischl’s lecture at EMP last night. In my row alone, there was a guy with a huge nose, a woman with no chin, and a guy with a burned neck.

Fischl himself looked like he had just been waterskiing: enviable tan, messy silver hair, rumpled cotton suit. He looked very comfortable, totally in command, and as he talked he ran his fingers through his hair, shifted his weight side to side, licked his lips, and gestured using both hands, as when he put one out in front of the other while saying, “At the same time, it goes a tremendous distance.”

He was talking about the difference between photography (which goes a tremendous distance, showing us literal physical life in a given instant, but which is “terrifying” because “you don’t know how it feels”) and painting (“You walk away from a painting with a shared experience on a deep level, and the painting becomes a socially unifying object, in the way that it shares not just the image but the experience”). Fischl said, “What painting does that the photograph doesn’t do is it takes you through the construction of the moment. You see him building the scene.” The “him” at this point was Edvard Munch, whose 1896 oil painting “Sick Child” was projected onto a huge screen above Fischl’s head, next to one of Nicholas Nixon’s terrifying 1987 photos of AIDS sufferer Thomas Moran.

The title of Fischl’s talk was “The Death of Painting: Van Gogh to Chris Burden.” The basic thrust of it wasn’t photography versus painting—that digression that didn’t make sense until the end—but art’s relationship to “the body and the difficulty we have coming to terms with the body.” Fischl is famous for painting bodies: naked bodies, bodies post coitus, bodies with bright stripes on them (“created by unseen Venetian blinds” that make the subjects “seem like animals in a cage,” to quote the program’s description of Krefeld Project, Bedroom #6 (Surviving the Fall Meant Using You for Handholds), the Fischl painting currently hanging in EMP’s DoubleTake exhibit). Fischl began with Van Gogh’s vulnerable self-portraits (art about the human body) and ended with modernism (art about art itself).

Then he flashed a picture of the World Trade Center.

There were “odd reactions” to 9/11, he said. Artists ignored it. Artists thought it would be pretentious to make art about it. In this respect, did modernism fail us? “Three thousand people died and there were no bodies, we saw very few bodies.” Everyone immediately “turned from the loss of life to the loss of architecture, as a way of expressing the loss of life.” But what about those lives? What about those bodies? Then Fischl showed a slide of his 2002 sculpture “Tumbling Woman,” depicting a woman falling from one of the towers. Here’s an image of it:


“Tumbling Woman” was first shown outside at Rockefeller Plaza, but it was quickly removed “because people were shocked.” People accused Fischl of cashing in on the tragedy, of trying to be controversial. Fischl said, “I maintain that they were freaked out because they saw a body.”

“Children’s Pink”?

posted by on August 25 at 1:01 PM


Uh, anyone who spends time thinking about the capabilities of “children’s pink” should be in jail.

Thanks to the Georgetown Heckler.

Stranger Suggests, Hippie Division

posted by on August 25 at 12:55 PM


That’s right, Bike-In.

Northwest Flm Forum announces Seattle’s Bike-In, an outdoor bike-themed extravaganza featuring films from local and national filmmakers on a big outdoor screen, live music, bike repair demonstrations, and more. The event’s free & all-ages.

Flms for Seattle’s Bike-In have been curated from NWFF’s recent Bicycle Film Challenge submissions and other existing classic bicycle films. Local films shown will include a satire about Seattle’s bicycle-friendliness, a mockumentary about the life of a tricycle messenger, and a stop-motion short shot in the style of early French cinema. Other films in the program include Louis Malle’s dazzling and impressionistic VIVE LA TOUR; the disturbingly funny 1950s bike-safety short ONE GOT FAT, and a splendid musical about Critical Mass, TINY EXPLOSIONS.

And also!

BMX bicycle dancing from Locust Dance Company, brainchild of choreographer/video artist Amy O’Neal and composer Zeke Keeble;

Music from Bicycle, the sonic art project of Seattle musician Kurt Liebert;

The Balkan-influenced dance band Orkestar Zirkonium;

And the stylings of Pillow Flight, Fight!

To quote my colleague Josh Feit, HOW exCITing!

Third ECB’s post

posted by on August 25 at 12:43 PM

Josh, Erica, and I enjoyed an excellent meal at the Capitol Club last night. The sausage sandwich I ordered had the virtue of looking good and tasting like it looked. I cant stand foods that look good and taste bad, and I absolutely hate foods that look bad and taste good. The Capitol Club also offers a decent house wine at a happy hour price.

As the Certain Colleague Who’s Had The Capitol Club Eggplant Sandwiches the Last Two Nights Running…

posted by on August 25 at 12:23 PM

I must second ECB’s post.

I’m no foodie. In fact, just yesterday Bradley Steinbacher told me I had the worst diet he’d ever seen. I don’t eat breakfast, I snack during the day, and then I usually have a crummy dinner. But I didn’t have a crummy dinner the last two nights running. I had two great dinners. Damn: The new menu at the Capitol Club is fantastic!

Try the calamari appetizer. It used to be limp flavorless nonsense…now, it comes doused in a delicious spicy sauce. Oh, and there are also great empanadas. Try the gorgonzola one. And yes, the eggplant sandwich is divine. I might even go again, tonight!

New Club Regs In West Seattle

posted by on August 25 at 12:19 PM

There’s a good story in the West Seattle Herald today about how Mayor Greg Nickels’s proposed new nightclub regulations would affect bars and clubs in West Seattle. Under the proposed regulations (which would apply to any establishment that serves liquor and has “amplified music” after 10 pm), Salty’s on Alki would be considered a “nightclub,” prompting Salty’s owner Gerry Kingen to vow to fight “tooth and nail” against the regulations.

As the ordinance is written now, Salty’s, which has live music two nights a week and closes by 11:30 p.m., would be considered a nightclub.

“We have a trio band and a piano player,” said Kingen. “To call us a nightclub is just ludicrous.”

James Keblas, director of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Music, told the Herald the new nightclub license would “do away with ‘subjective Good Neighbor Agreements’ and instead impose the new operating standards to solve problems between residents and club owners.” However, those good neighbor agreements have been aimed primarily at bars (like Twist in Belltown) and restaurants (like Slices pizza on Alki, which has no live music and closes at 10 pm) that would not be affected by the club regulations. Which raises the inevitable question: What problem, exactly, is Nickels trying to solve?

News for Barflies, Good and Bad

posted by on August 25 at 12:01 PM

Good: The Capitol Club on East Pine, which I had just about given up on after a series of overpriced, lackluster meals (bland, overcooked roast chicken; babaghanoush with an unpleasant, baby-food-like texture) has a new chef (from Argentina!) and a brand-new, non-Moroccan menu. Worth trying: the sausage sandwich with chimichurri; the eggplant sandwich (a certain colleague has had it the last two nights running), and the chilled tomato gazpacho, which is an ice-cold, spicy miracle.

Bad: The Jade Pagoda is closing its doors. Last night, the scene at the Jade was that of a bar that had already abandoned hope: The regulars who usually congregate on the Jade’s ratty barstools were gone, replaced by a pack of rowdy, obnoxious thirtysomethings trying desperately to shock. (Confidential to the lady in pink: In the future, feel free to assume that complete strangers do not want to see your breasts. In the corner, meanwhile were two sad-looking middle-aged men, including a semiconscious, shoeless vagrant, drinking alone.

Staffers were circumspect about the reason why (“it’s the landlord’s decision,” one waiter said), although condos were mentioned. (I have a call in to the citys’ Department of Planning and Development to see if there’s any truth to the rumors.)

The Jade closes forever August 31.

I Buzz, You Buzz, We All Buzz for iBuzz

posted by on August 25 at 11:28 AM


This has been around for a while, but this post by Mistress Matisse reminded me of it again: iBuzz, the music-activated orgasm machine.

Using iBuzz is easy! Connect iBuzz to your music player, turn on your favourite tune and let the vibrations take you to heaven. iBuzz vibrates in time to your music so you can get off while getting down. Use the his-and-hers attachments to add extra excitement! Turn him into a vibrator with the stretchy ring and use the soft sleeve for sensitive stimulation.

Now I’m lightly obsessed with what songs would be most gratifying to play on an iBuzz, but I’m not willing to shuck out $60 to find out, so I’m just left to guess.

Most promising options: “Gimme Shelter,” Public Enemy’s “Welcome to the Terrordome,” or any one of those soft-n-pretty-then-furious-n-noisy tunes by Nine Inch Nails. (Thelonius Monk would probably be memorable as well.)

Least promising options: the Muzac-classic “Popcorn,” and Tori Amos’ “Me and a Gun.”

Get your iBuzz here.

Mk!ie MkiGvcac

posted by on August 25 at 11:25 AM

Yesterday, Mike McGavick did a post on his campaign blog acknowledging that he got pulled over for drunk driving in 1993. He said he registered 0.17 on a blood alcohol level test

David Goldstein over at HorsesAss figured out just how drunk McGavick was.

And what does it take to get this incredibly drunk? Well according to every blood-alcohol calculator and chart I checked online, an awful damn lot. For example, using the University of Oklahoma Police Department’s online calculator I plugged in 8 drinks over the course of an hour for a 200 pound man, and I only got up to 0.16 percent. (Perhaps it’s telling that OK’s calculator only goes up to 8 drinks an hour.)

Out in the Open

posted by on August 25 at 10:51 AM

According to the city’s latest semi-weekly Land Use Info Bulletin, there’s a permit request for a “sidewalk cafe” adjacent to Starbucks at Fauntleroy and California. Considering it’s got several outdoor tables now (and a few by the back door), wonder what that’s all about…

Today’s stolen Slog post was swiped from West Seattle Blog.

They Sent It to Us: PSAs Ăśber Alles

posted by on August 25 at 10:46 AM

Selected, verbatim excerpts from an open letter to the mayor by a “visionary dancer” named Delilah, whose solution to the city’s problems is to turn Fremont into a miniature Singapore:

Dear Greg Nickels,

I have a company called Visionary Dance Productions, aptly named because I am a visionary. I always try to see more, not less. I try to open up the field of vision so new and better ideas have a chance. However, when systems are locked inside themselves, they have a hard time seeing beyond. With the same procedures and same thinking, the same problems will arise…

When I was a kid people used to throw things out the windows of cars. It was called littering. I was small but I remember this and I remembered the change… Why? What’s the difference? “Awareness” was the key. A national campaign was adopted in 1953 by a bunch of beverage and packaging businessmen who were afraid that the government was going to pass a bunch of ordinances and hold them responsible. So they launched a champagne… It was leadership and awareness and slogans that changed things, not fines.

When I hear or think about the Fremont neighborhood problems in regards to the night life scene, it feels like the club goers are anonymous figures in the debate… Actually the patrons are the neighbors for a huge part. If I’m going to drink I want to go local.

A campaign should be launched to bring about awareness. Public service announcements on radio and TV. Posters around town. Make everyone responsible. Club owners and bands could make public service announcements from the stage:

“Hey, be cool in the hoods. Take a cab where the parking is residential.”

Whisper in the streets after 11 pm.”

Most people get that you gotta be quiet in a library. It’s not hard to get the message out!

“Support your favorite establishments and be cool!”

“Be responsible for the love and honor of music, dance and creativity!”

“Celebrate artistic freedom by being responsible Night Lifers!”

“Keep the Night Life Cool!”

… We need culture! We need freedom! We need creative minds. We need to get people away from their TVs, computers, and gameboys and interacting with each other before it’s too late for any visionary minds.


Speaking of visionary minds—remember this, the best PSA in the history of ever? (Following the inevitable commercial.)

TCC: Not Up to Standard?

posted by on August 25 at 10:38 AM

Yesterday, I Slogged about Transportation Choices Coalition and their list of prerequisites for the RTID/Sound Transit package.

I concluded by saying that transit purists probably wouldn’t dig the list—to willing to compromise on roads expansion!!

(I also think pro-roads republicans will frown at TCC’s list as well…because it makes too many transit demands.)

Anyway, someone who went by Mickymse posted a comment saying a lot of transit Greens weren’t too happy with TCC these days…

I posted back:


Are you down on TCC because they support Nickels’s tunnel rather than the People’s Waterfront Coalition’s no build/transit/grid fix option?

Mickymse didn’t respond, but former monorail activist and monorail staffer Michael Taylor-Judd did. He has a lot to say. If TCC members read the Slog, I’d like to hear a response.

Here’s the beginning of Taylor-Judd’s post. (To read the rest of it…click on the jump):

Well, Josh it seems to be a number of things, actually… Their stance on the tunnel is a big issue, as well as their loving embrace of Sims’s Transit Now proposal when many of us would like to see them pushing harder to get some things fixed in the proposal prior to the vote.

I can’t really speak for other people, but I can tell you that I have been meeting and speaking recently with a number of former monorail supporters, pedestrian and bicycle group folks, anti-tunnel activists, and the like. And I can say that many people are unhappy with TCC right now. I have also been recently lobbying City and County Council members on transit issues in Seattle, and I have had more than one of them ask me to start a pro-transit organization. Each time I have responded that I thought this was what TCC was formed to do… and each of them has in one way or another expressed frustration or disappointment with how that has turned out.

Personally, I think it has a lot to do with the group pursuing funding and hiring staff, which forces them to then have to work to justify continued funding and support in order to keep their jobs. This is leading them to make political compromises that some are uneasy with, created an unwillingness to rock the boat, and a stated interest in pursuing more statewide issues over local ones. And that’s not really what we need around here.

Continue reading "TCC: Not Up to Standard?" »

Stop the presses! Iran exhibits anti-Jewish art!

posted by on August 25 at 10:35 AM

A drawing of a Jew with a nose so large it obscures his entire head? How interesting!
A depiction of Ariel Sharon wearing a Nazi uniform emblazoned with Stars of David? How provocative!
A picture of a vampire wearing a giant Star of David, drinking the blood of Palestinians? How original!

The Times reports that the exhibit is “intended to expose what some here see as Western hypocrisy for invoking freedom of expression regarding the publication of cartoons that lampooned the Prophet Muhammad while condemning President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran for questioning the Holocaust.”

Because America would never allow anti-Semitism on our shores, obviously.

HUMP 2 Tickets Going Fast!

posted by on August 25 at 10:24 AM


If you want to get tickets to HUMP2—which goes down September 8-9 at Northwest Film Forum (get it? goes down?)—you need to get your tickets quick. Go to our HUMP page for ticket ordering details. The 8 PM shows on Friday and Saturday nights are already sold out, and the 6 PM shows are going to be sold out soon…

Does It Come With A “Vibrate” Feature?

posted by on August 25 at 10:21 AM

I think, somehow, that Debra Winger is really the one responsible for this. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the rightful heir to Suzanne Somers’ ButtMaster, the newest in just-dripping-with-sexual-overtones exercise equipment, the OSIM iGallop.

Safe for work. In a “clinging to plausible deniability by your fingernails” sort of way.

Puffy’s Video Diary, Part II

posted by on August 25 at 9:12 AM

OMIGOD! I am now officially and deeply in love with Sean “H.R. Puff ‘n’ Diddy” Comb’s video diary! If you missed yesterday’s hilarious installment, check it out HERE. But for all that’s holy, DO NOT MISS today’s video diary below, in which Puffy scolds Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan for coming to the Proactive skin care party LATE. (They are so… how you say… “wack”?)

Now with Crispy Bits of Real Gorilla!

posted by on August 25 at 9:00 AM

Could this be the most unappetizing breakfast food ever? My kids, however, say you can barely taste the gorilla.

Morning News

posted by on August 25 at 7:37 AM

After finding U.S.-made cluster bombs around Lebanon, the State Department is investigating whether Israel violated “secret agreements” with the U.S. that restrict American cluster bomb use. Also, Chirac thinks 15,000 UN troops deployed is in the Middle East“excessive”.

Nigerian troops— angry after a soldier’s death— burn hundreds of “slum houses”.

Studly Senator Barak Obama visits Kenya, where he plans to take a public HIV test as a message against HIV stigma.

Stop gloating, Mac nerds: Apple recalls 1.6 million lithium-ion batteries… though there are only two reported “minor burns”, no Dell-esque flames.

“I’m as Jewish as a matzo ball or kosher salami!” says exuberant celebrity Jackie Mason as he sues Jews for Jesus for using his image to “attract converts.”

The Seattle Times and its union strike a tentative deal that calls for no across-the-board wage increases, as an inquiry showed the paper lost millions of dollars from 2000-2005.

Seattle Planning Commission disagrees with the mayor’s strip club district plan. Erica had a good slog about this yesterday.

Straight woman suing Honeywell for providing health insurance benefits to gay partners but not her live-in partner.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Did You See On the Boards’s Marquee Today?

posted by on August 24 at 6:10 PM

Here’s what it looks like:


What’s that about, you ask? Well, as intrepid Slog readers and P-I reporters can tell you, On the Boards has won the Stranger Genius Award in the organization category this year. (You may recall Brendan Kiley’s profane praise of On the Boards from a couple months ago.) On the Boards got its cake announcing the good news yesterday during a staff meeting and, according to sources, spent the rest of the meeting trying to figure out how they could thank us. They decided to put a message up on their marquee, take a picture of it, and get the picture frosted onto a reciprocal cake. Which was delicious, by the way.

Who are the other four winners? Well, this year we decided to return a little of the fun and mystery to this part of the process, so we didn’t invite the P-I in on the cake delivering. (The recipient in the literature category, a well known writer who lives on Queen Anne, came to his front door disheveled, unshaven, and wearing socks, and sent an email afterward thanking us for not surprising him with a reporter and photographer, which would have exposed him “as the loony psychopath I really am when I’m writing.”)

There are five Genius Awards—organization, literature, film, visual arts, and theater. Each winner receives $5000 and a party in his/her/its honor on Oct. 21.

Re: Transportation Standards

posted by on August 24 at 5:33 PM

As one of the below-mentioned transit purists, I find plenty not to like about Transportation Choices’ standards for supporting the roads-heavy Regional Transportation Investment District. First, the list is a line in the sand, not written in stone. As such, it’s a pretty weak starting place for a group that’s dedicated to promoting transportation alternatives. Here’s why.

1) Mitigation. TCC says any RTID ballot measure must include “significant” investments in transit along any corridor where road capacity is expanded. In theory, adding transit serves as mitigation for expanding car capacity. In practice, unless TCC defines what those transit investments should be and what percentage of road money should be devoted to them, this provision is toothless. It also gives road proponents tacit permission to expand freeways like 520 and 405—something TCC itself opposed without reservation in the not-so-distant past.

2) “Fix-it First”. TCC says maintenance and repairs must come before roads expansion, which is actually a great idea, as long as the “maintenance” isn’t actually deferred construction (i.e. road expansion).

3) No Cuts to Sound Transit Phase 2. I’m 100 percent in favor of keeping Sound Transit’s (still-unreleased) proposal intact. This needs to be an absolute, however, not a starting point. If TCC sticks to this one, great. But why not fight instead to de-link RTID and Sound Transit in the next legislative session, so that transit proponents aren’t forced to bite the bullet and vote for a massive road-building measure that will only lead to more pollution and suburban sprawl?

4) All Capacity Expansion Must Be HOV, HOT or tolled. This is where TCC’s proposal goes off the rails for me. A group that says it’s for “transportation choices” should be opposing all road expansion,* not capitulating to road developers as long as any new lanes of pavement come with toll booths. (HOT lanes allow solo drivers to buy their way onto high-occupancy vehicle lanes). Whether drivers pay for access or not, more lanes and more cars mean more greenhouse-gas emissions, more traffic, more freeway runoff and more sprawl. TCC should be advocating for real solutions to the region’s environmental and transportation problems, not compromising on environmental disasters in the making, like 405 expansion. (In fairness, TCC does a great job on other fronts, and is no different than other mainstream environmental groups in its “greater-good” position on road expansion. Overall, I think TCC is a great group that’s doing good work. Hell, I’m a member. But still.)

Instead of tacitly endorsing roads expansion, transit proponents ought to be opposing RTID and campaigning like hell for Sound Transit. True: Even if Sound Transit wins decisively, RTID must pass too for it to take effect. Nonetheless, a decisive win by Sound Transit, coupled with a decisive defeat for RTID, would create momentum for Sound Transit to go back to the ballot in 2008. Currently, Ron Sims’s “Transit Now” bus proposal is reportedly polling at 70%. So people like transit. They shouldn’t have to accept road expansion in order to get it.

* Then again, I think cars should be banned from cities. So, grain of salt.

McGavick on McGavick

posted by on August 24 at 4:58 PM

McGavick cops to an old DUI.

Here’s McGavick’s blog post about it:

In my personal life I reflect on two great failures:

Most important, my first marriage ended in divorce, and as a result my eldest son, Jack, grew up with me as a “part-time” dad.

Those who have gone through a divorce know the pain and special challenges of raising a child under such circumstances. I am happy to report that my former wife, Kim Rainey, and I did a good job of staying focused on Jack’s well-being and parented successfully (thus far!). Admittedly, Kim carried the lion’s share of the burden (as so many moms do), but she was a great help in assuring that I would have a constant role in Jack’s life. Jack is now 18, off to college, and is a kind and well-rounded young adult. I am especially pleased by how my younger sons look up to their big brother Jack, an environment fostered by my wife Gaelynn.

The second terrible mistake, which was difficult to discuss with my teenage son, was that I was cited for DUI when I cut a yellow light too close in 1993. I was driving Gaelynn home from several celebrations honoring our new relationship and should not have gotten behind the wheel. Thankfully, there was no accident, but it still haunts me that I put other people at risk by driving while impaired. All in all, it was and remains a humbling and powerful event in my life.

Re: A Ghost Story

posted by on August 24 at 4:36 PM

I believe Charles’ Gerontophobia stems from the misconception that elderly people trade in their sex lives for 20 extra rolls of skin and a hard-on for Matlock. Rest assured, Charles, just because you’re old doesn’t mean your sex drive withers away. My late grandfather was a very horny man. Hours after he died at the ripe age of 82 (or something), my grandmother ordered my mom into the basement to find his secret stash of porn. “Judy,” she said to my mom Katy, “go fetch Melvin’s porn.” She turned to glare at me. “Go help your mother.”

I still don’t know if she wanted that porn to commemorate her dead spouse or to sell on ebay. Either way, is there anything more life-affirming than an old man who likes porn? Or more horrifying than being ordered by your grieving grandmother to go ferret out your dead grandfather’s stash? I think not.

Except for maybe this cat:

Speaking of cats and the elderly, a 14-year-old boy in Pennsylvania has been accused of harassing his geriatric neighbor by meowing at her.

The boy’s family and [78-year-old Alexandria] Carasia do not get along. The boy’s mother said the family got rid of their cat after Carasia complained to police that it used her flower garden as a litter box.

See what I mean? Growing old isn’t solely about pity, medication and death. It’s also about staying youthful through daily masturbation while earning the right to be senile.
When I am old, I will call the police every time the mailman comes, and play bridge and masturbate in the hours between.

More on Pill Pricejacking

posted by on August 24 at 4:35 PM


As I promised in my post yesterday, The Stranger contacted the local Planned Parenthood affiliate to ask them about the impact of Ortho-McNeil’s steep pill-price hike on their clinics and clients. In a nutshell, they refused to talk about it. Kristen Glundberg-Prosser, the agency’s Director of Public Affairs, simply said, “We do not discuss any contractual agreements with have with Ortho.” I’m sort of mystified (and disappointed) by that dispassionate response, but clinic workers in upstate New York, West Virginia, and even North Dakota have plenty to say.

Not Safe for Work, or Anywhere Else

posted by on August 24 at 4:29 PM

This has got the be the most amazing album cover ever.

(Thanks to

Transportation Standards

posted by on August 24 at 4:14 PM

The smart smart-growth troops over at Transportation Choices Coalition have come up with a list of four musts that the Regional Transportation Improvement District (RTID) package must meet to get TCC’s stamp of approval. You’ll remember that when Seattle’s environmental/transit groups didn’t get behind the R-51 gas tax for transportation projects in 2002 (they felt it was too roads-heavy), the package went down. Three years later, the same gang supported the fight to save the legislature’s 9-cent gas tax for transportation projects (less road project-heavy), and helped defeat the attempt (I-912) to repeal it.

Obviously, transpo taxes need the a-okay from Seattle’s green/transit community.

The RTID list of projects, which includes things like replacing 520, is currently at about $7.5 billion, although rumor is it might get up to $12 billion when new cost estimates come out. It’s on the ballot with Sound Transit phase two ($3-$6 billion?): Both have to pass for either one to pass.

Here are the four standards TCC says RTID and/or Sound Transit must meet to get TCC’s a-okay.

1) Mitigation. Any investment in roads must be coupled with a “meaningful investment” in transit in the same corridor. I asked TCC’s Rob Johnson to define “meaningful” and he said there’s no set percentage of dollars across the board, but he offered an example of what TCC might fight for: “20% of 520 traffic is transit, so maybe 20 percent of the money in RTID that goes to 520 should be dedicated to transit there.”

2) Prioritize fixes over new projects. As the RTID board starts winnowing down its projects to cut costs, TCC says roads projects have to go to the bottom of the list while repairs and maintenance must go to the top of the list.

3) As to Sound Transit: TCC says they will not tolerate any cuts to Phase Two. It must include the run to Northgate and Federal Way. It must include light rail across I-90. And it must include the First Hill trolley that replaced the station there. Johnson says he’s worried that the RTID/ST campaign—when trying to make their package more appealing to voters—may get pressure from the RTID wing to slash light rail costs.

4) All roads (“new capacity”) projects in the RTID must either be toll lanes, HOV lanes, or HOT lanes. HOT lanes are when single passenger cars can pay to drive in an HOV lane.

TCC says its support is contingent on these four criteria.

Transit purists may not be crazy about this list—not tough enough, too forgiving on road expansion—but I imagine the roads stalwarts will absolutely hate it.

This Is What Delusional Looks Like

posted by on August 24 at 4:11 PM

Right-wing blogger John Hinderacker (known as “Assrocket” on liberal blogs) managed to finagle himself a tour of the Oval Office with President Bush the other day. Here’s some of what he had to say about it:

It was an absolutely riveting experience. It was the best I’ve ever seen him. Not only that; it may have been the best I’ve ever seen any politician. If I summarized what he said, it would all sound familiar: the difficult times we live in; the threat from Islamic fascism—the phrase drew an enthusiastic round of applause—the universal yearning for freedom; the need to confront evil now, with all the tools at our disposal, so that our children and grandchildren can live in a better and safer world. As he often does, the President structured his comments loosely around a tour of the Oval Office. But the digressions and interpolations were priceless.

The conventional wisdom is that Bush is not a very good speaker. But up close, he is a great communicator, in a way that, in my opinion, Ronald Reagan was not.

Hinderacker has gone off his rocker in a similar fashion (at least) once before, back in July of 2005 when he famously wrote:

It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.

Hysterical, I know. But as many a blogger often points out, it’s not so funny when you consider Hinderacker is routinely a guest pundit on CNN’s Reliable Sources. “The Most Trusted Name In News” indeed.

Who’s Drunkest?

posted by on August 24 at 3:44 PM

It is clearly time for the world’s biggest drinking game: Milwaukee versus Scotland.

Planning Commission Opposes Concentrating Strip Clubs

posted by on August 24 at 3:14 PM

As I originally reported yesterday, the city’s Planning Commission came down hard on Mayor Nickels’s proposed strip-club zone near Georgetown, arguing in a draft report that dispersing strip clubs throughout the city, rather than isolating them in a single district, “helps in lowering overall impact to the city.”

Multiple studies have found that dispersing adult entertainment uses lowers the impact of these uses overall. Based on our reviwe, we would recommend that the current city-wide dispersement policy [which allows strip clubs in coommercial and industrial zones throughout the city] remain in place. The application of a buffer overlay would be appropriate; however, we feel that further study is necessary to determine the optimal size for the buffer.

Makes sense to me—there’s no reason one neighborhood (Georgetown) should have to bear the (arguable) burden of being home to every strip club in the city. Dispersement and regulation will ensure that strip clubs are treated like the legal businesses they are without disproportionately impacting a single area.

The council will take up the mayor’s proposed strip-club zone (which has also been opposed by Georgetown residents, industrial businesses, and neighborhood activists throughout the city) this fall; urban planning and development committee chair Peter Steinbrueck, who originally asked for the commission’s input, says “if there’s support for a shift [toward dispersing clubs instead of concentrating them] I’ll consider it”; but, he adds, “I’m not going to do this on my own.”

Olympic Sculpture Park Opening Delayed

posted by on August 24 at 2:50 PM

With Ms. Graves out of town, it’s fallen to me to keep tabs on the new waterfront sculpture park and its concrete supply problems—which have now, according to this hot-off-the-email-server release from SAM, officially delayed the park’s opening:

Due to the continuing King County concrete workers strike, the opening for SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park this October will be delayed. The strike, which began July 31st, has cut off the concrete supply to building projects throughout the region including the park.

Construction, including art installation and landscaping, is still underway, but we will need to continue to assess the situation and impact the strike will have on the park’s schedule. We are dedicated to opening the park as soon as possible and will announce a new opening date when the strike is resolved and we have a clearer understanding of the full impact.

I’m told no new opening date will be set until the concrete pourers return to work.

NY Times Fills a Critical Niche

posted by on August 24 at 2:38 PM

Apparently The Stranger needs to consider expanding the scope of its coverage to include olfactory-related news items.

Re: Morning News Reprise

posted by on August 24 at 2:34 PM

I agree with Erica: It sucks that the feds aren’t allowing girls under 17-and-under to buy Plan B over the counter. But it’s not going to be that hard for 17 year-old high school juniors to find an 18 year-old high school seniors willing to buy them packs of morning-after pills. A young, sexually-active woman shouldn’t have to hit up her 18 year-old friends, siblings, and classmates for morning-after pills, but as restrictions-on-access-to-reproductive-services go, this one’s a fucking joke. It’s no “parental notification law,” for instance.

Hell, I’ll buy a case of morning-after pills now and keep ‘em in my desk for anyone who needs ‘em—assuming, of course, that there’s nothing stoppin’ 34 year-old fags from stocking up.

Morning News Reprise

posted by on August 24 at 2:32 PM

The FDA approves Plan B, the emergency contraception pill, for over-the-counter sale: Yay!

The FDA denies access to plan B for women 17 and younger, arguing that pharmacies already restrict sales of cigarettes and cold medicine to people 18 years and older.

Overwhelming evidence shows that Plan B is effective at preventing pregnancy among women of any age, and not—unlike, say, cold medicine, cigarettes, and teen pregnancy—potentially hazardous to young women’s health. According to a 2006 survey, nearly a third of sexually active girls between 15 and 19 had been pregnant, a rate that is higher, unsurprisingly, among poor, minority, and less educated women.

(Also, is it just me or is the phrase “morning-after pill” totally condescending? “Whoo-hoo! I can have sex with reckless abandon thanks to this over-the-counter bottle of Baby-Be-Gone pills!” Then again, I’m grouchy.)

More Flaming Laptop Batteries Recalled

posted by on August 24 at 2:22 PM

And this time it’s the cute little Macs that are in trouble:

Apple Computer said today that it was recalling 1.8 million battery packs from its iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 laptop computers because of a risk that they could catch fire.

Coming with next year’s model: This?

Goldy’s New Column

posted by on August 24 at 2:08 PM

Ask a Secular Jew Who Married a Shiksa and Lives Near Two Orthodox Synagogues!

(Back story: This week, Seattle Weekly replaced Knute Berger’s “Mossback” column with the New Times staple “Ask a Mexican!”, in which “The Mexican” answers your “spicy questions” (get it? see what they did there?) and asks readers to “Include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we’ll make one up for you!”)

Farewell, Sweet Jade

posted by on August 24 at 1:43 PM

The Jade Pagoda is closing forever on the 31st of August. Truly, nothing gold can stay. I phoned last night to ascertain why (why, oh why?), and while the barkeep was very nice on the phone, he did not call me back as promised. Further heartbreak. Probably it has something to do with the fried-egg sandwich incident. I’m still sorry, sweet Jade, and I will miss you.

HUMP 2 Tickets on Sale Tomorrow!

posted by on August 24 at 1:19 PM


The HUMP 2 submissions are in, they were screened for the judges last night, and all I can say is that HUMP 2 audiences are in for some awesome fucking porn viewing. We got funny HUMPs, we got hot HUMPs, we got funny/hot HUMPs, and we got WTF HUMPs. HUMP 2 is not to be missed!

But to see the funny/hot/funnyhot/WTF HUMP films—and to vote for the winner—you’re going to need HUMP tickets, which go on sale tomorrow morning at 9 AM. To order tickets for one of the five—count ‘em, five!—screenings, go to

A note about the judges: We don’t pick the winner, we just narrowed the number of films down. All the HUMP submissions will be screened, but only 20 or so are in competition. The audience will decide who wins the $2000 and the trip to Las Fucking Vegas.

Inside Politics Gossip: Shelton Out. Shelton In.

posted by on August 24 at 1:11 PM

25-year-old Viet Shelton was the state Democratic Party’s spokesman—until he got demoted to assistant when the paranoid Cantwell campaign (which relies on the state party to do its sound-biting) decided he didn’t have enough experience.

Well, in a loss to the Dem party, Shelton—a rising star in local politics until his weird demotion—left his assistant position this week to take a hefty job as a senior staffer for Team Nickels. Shelton is going to be Nickels’s political outreach director.

Congrats to Shelton. Although, he’s inherited quite a mess: Nickels’s costly, environmentally uncool tunnel plan; Nickels’s clunky clampdown on music venues; Nickels’s plan to kill strip clubs; and Nickels’s forever tax for roads maintenance (and potentially roads expansion).

Of course, Shelton got a nice break on Nickels’s tax plan. Now that Tim Eyman is campaigning against it, the $1.6 billion plan is sure to pass.

Welcome to Team Nickels, Mr. Shelton. They’ve been out of whack for months and could certainly use your help.

*Shelton is half filling the spot of Marco Lowe, Nickels’s former outreach director, who left last month after 7 years as a Nickels’s staffer (dating back to Nickels’s county council days). Lowe’s job has been divvied up and Shelton is taking on the politicking piece. As Zander points out in the comments, Shelton was Nickels campaign manager in 2005. Lowe was Nickels’s campaign manager in ‘01.

A Ghost Story

posted by on August 24 at 12:59 PM

I do not dislike the old, and I definitely want to die like them—old. But, admittedly, I do hold an idea about old people, about their place in the human world, their role in the family, that they may not appreciate. This idea is best expressed in a Japanese ghost story collected and preserved by Lafcadio Hearn, a 19th century writer who was born in Europe, lived in America, and spent the last 14 years of his life turning Japanese—he moved to Japan in 1890 and found its society to be the best fit for his personality. The world remembers Hearn, whose Japanese name is Koizumi Yakumo, for Kwaidan, a book of ghost stories that was made into a beautiful film (by Masaki Kobayashi) that has an equally beautiful soundtrack (by Toru Takemitsu).

Let’s get down to the story, which can be found in either In Ghostly Japan or Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (if I’m correct, kwaidan means weird or strange happenings—another quick note, anything by Hearn on Japanese society is worth reading for the content and not for the writing itself, which is mediocre).

The story goes like this: An old woman is dying, and sitting next to her, taking care of her, is a young woman (in her late teens). Feeling the end is near, the old woman, who is in bed, asks the young woman to take her outside to see a cherry blossom tree that’s blooming. The young woman offers the support of her shoulders to the old woman, and the old woman stands, places her old hands on the young woman’s shoulders, and is led to the tree in the garden. Once under the tree, with its falling pink petals, the old woman’s hands suddenly let go of the shoulders, violently reach over and around the young woman, grab each of her breasts, squeezes them with the remaining energy in her long life, and dies, clinging to the breasts.

The young woman screams in horror.

Members of her family run outside, see what has happened, and attempt to remove the dead woman’s old hands from her breasts. But the fingers wont separate. With the cloth, the old woman’s flesh has somehow fused with the young woman’s flesh. When a finger is pulled from a breast, the fused flesh tears apart and begins bleeding. At the end of the day there is only one solution left: they cut the old woman’s wrists and hope the fixed hands eventually rot and drop off. But this never happens, and the young woman is forced to live with the old hands on her breasts.

And that is what comes to my mind when I think about old people. That is my image (those old hands and those young breasts), my symbol of their condition—or, more broadly, the human condition.

I Want an ISUZU Gemini!

posted by on August 24 at 12:51 PM

Back in the ’80s—long before the development of CGI technology—there were a group of people commonly refered to as “STUNT DRIVERS.” Check out this AMAZING display of actual stunt driving from this series of late ’80s ISUZU Gemini commercials! (Hang with it… it gets even better toward the end!)

Tip o’ the hat to Best Week Ever!

Newspaper Guild Gripes

posted by on August 24 at 12:37 PM

Check out the comments on this entry over at the Northwest Newspaper Guild’s blog for its contract negotiations with the Seattle Times.

Looks like union negotiators for the roughly 650 reporters, photographers, and ad sales reps at the Times have accepted a wage freeze proposed by the company—and some of the rank and file union members are pissed. (By the sound of the post, the union negotiators are pretty unhappy too.)

The union membership will be voting on Sept. 13 and 14 to decide whether to accept the new contract. In the run-up to the vote, what are the union commenters saying?

At Thursday, August 24, 2006, Anonymous said…

those Bastards.

Hell No, Vote No ! ! ! !

Among other things

Dep’t of Ed to Low-Income Students: You Can’t Major in Evolutionary Biology

posted by on August 24 at 12:24 PM

When it comes to evolution, there ain’t no such thing as a “clerical error.”

DJ No Name returns to 107.7 The End

posted by on August 24 at 12:05 PM

They’ve yet to send out the official press release, but it is official—DJ No Name, former morning show host (until the insufferable Adam Carolla show took over), is returning to 107.7 the End as the mid-morning DJ in the 10 am to 2 pm slot. He’ll start Sept 5th. Jim Keller, who’s currently on air at that time, will stay at the station as the Assistant Program Director.

Project Runway

posted by on August 24 at 11:53 AM

A great idea from the comments thread for last night’s Project Runway post…

Hey, lets have a finale party… kick out the sports lovers at a local sports bar and take over with Project Runway!

It’s a great idea. I think it would be swell for all the Project Runway obsessives that lurk on Slog to get together and watch the finale. Any suggestions for sports bars? Fox Sports Bar on 6th Ave.? Spitfire on 4th? Sluggers by Qwest Field? So long as there’s nothing sportsy going down the night of the PR finale I’m sure one call from our promotions department—hi, Caroline!—promising a crowd of hard-drinking fashion fans could score us a location. Let’s do it!

On Sadness and the Demotion of Planetary Objects

posted by on August 24 at 11:49 AM

I have to say, I am not at all sad that Pluto has been demoted to the lowly status of “dwarf planet.” What’s easier to love? A full-fledged planet that orbits all loopy and is made mostly of ice? Or a “dwarf planet,” first admitted to a privileged class and then cast out, like a leper, to fend for itself among the rabble of asteroids and moon-like pseudo-planets and the “icy wrecks of the Kuiper Belt.”

And isn’t this the most adorable definition ever? “Dwarf planets only have to be round.”



Lunch Time Slog Post

posted by on August 24 at 11:41 AM

Linda Derschang, the Linda who owns Capitol Hill hangout Linda’s, had a super size lunch yesterday: Six burgers—including one with peanut butter and bacon!

image 61.jpg

Linda was sampling a crop of new burger specialties for the place she’s opening in Ballard, King’s—in the old King’s Hardware store next to Hattie’s.

Cute. Not So Cute.

posted by on August 24 at 11:38 AM

Cute: This is so saccharine, so precious—it’s the kind of thing I would expect emailed from one of my New Testament-quoting, baby-doll-hoarding, Hallmark-card-sending kin from just south of the Mason-Dixon and just right of Pat Buchanan. But I keep watching it. And enjoying it. What the hell is wrong with me? Is it the hangover?

Not so cute, but equally riveting: the new issue of Vice. I know, everybody’s over Vice magazine (because there’s nothing cooler than being too cool for something that’s already too cool for school), but I idly picked up a copy at Bimbo’s the other day, and their first annual story contest is incredible. Not stories as in written, stories as in told to a Sony tape recorder. There’s the one about the young metalheads getting ambushed and dragged into the woods by an army of rednecks. And the one about the man who died twice. And the one about the white hardcore rockers and the black bikers uniting for a night in Camden, New Jersey in 1982. And the one about the Jewish BBC journalist kidnapped in Tehran. And on and on…

(Updated postscript: I have Mr. John O. to thank for the cute-as-a-pile-of-pink-kittens video. He is the arbiter of cute.)

Love is more constant than light

posted by on August 24 at 11:24 AM

Charles, I must disagree about your Watada post. You stated that, “those who have led young soldiers to their deaths in Iraq are not virtuous but vicious; and those who are dying in Iraq are not courageous but foolish.” In Orwell’s Why I Write, he states

The left-wing intelligentsia wanted to go on and on, sniggering at the Blimps, sapping away at middle-class morale, but still keeping their favoured position as hangers-on of the dividend-drawers… Obviously the snobbishness and political ignorance of people like airmen and naval officers will be a very great difficulty. But without those airmen, destroyer commanders, etc. etc. we could not survive for a week. The only approach to them is through their patriotism.

Rather, as a whole, we must move forward. To quote Negri and Hardt’s Multitude,

In order to speak of a new Left today one has to speak, on one hand, in terms of a postsocialist and postliberal program, based on a material and conceptual rupture, an ontological break with the ideological traditions of the industrial workers movements… One also has to deal with the new anthropological reality, with new agents of production and subjects of exploitation that remain singular. One must consider the activity of the singular agents as the matrix of the freedom and multiplicity of everyone. Here democracy becomes a direct object. Democracy can no longer be evaluated in the liberal manner as a limit of equality or in the socialist way as a limit of freedom but rather must be the radicalization without reserve of both freedom and equality. Perhaps some day soon we will have arrived at the point when we can look back with irony at the barbaric old times when in order to be free we had to keep our own brothers and sisters slaves or to be equal we were constrained to inhuman sacrifices of freedom. In our view, freedom and equality can be the motors of a revolutionary reinvention of democracy.

In short, the people must come together as we all fall prey to closed-circuit global hegemony. The Multitude of people will include the material and immaterial worker, the civilian and combatant, the poor and the (somewhat) rich.

Eli makes an excellent point that this is truly a new manifestation of dialectic reasoning in the collective consciousness of the United States. While President Bush has steeped his legacy in the outcome of Iraq in a most Utilitarian of fashions, Lieutenant Watada has opened up the discourse of the Categorical Imperative. Watada’s persistence has demonstrated the need for Americans to address the moral (and legal) qualms of the war in its primacy, rather than Bush’s intent for the end to justify the means.

Brandon Eng

1 nice thing about 22 Doors, 1 not as nice, plus a bonus nice thing about Monsoon

posted by on August 24 at 10:49 AM

We’re guessing you could give a hoot about the Blue Angels at this point so we figure we better ramp up with some interesting non whiny stuff about the neighborhood ASAP. Here you go: 22 Doors’ cocktail list—its most impressive attribute—has been updated. This may be old news to you but we haven’t visited since the start of summer. The version on the Web is now outdated and we’re pretty sure the super pretentious $75 cocktail didn’t make the update—but we’d guess you could order off menu, Mr. $. Save your bucks and go for the Pimm’s cocktail.

While we recommend you save your $60 for dinner to spend at Monsoon a few blocks away instead, we do recommend you utilize your $20 for foo-foo fancy cocktails at 22 Doors.

Today’s stolen Slog post was swiped from CapitolHillSeattle.

Why am I stealing posts? Well, earlier this week IHeartSeattle accused Slog of failing to link to local blogs, which is not true: we link to other local blogs frequently (but weren’t aware that was a solemn obligation). IHS also accused us of stealing posts from local blogs—something we absolutely have not done. IHS said it would come through with some examples—you know, some proof—that Slog has been stealing items from local blogs and failing to link or credit. While we wait for the proof (and it looks like it might be in a long wait), I’ve been stealing from and linking to local blogs.

Props to PI

posted by on August 24 at 10:38 AM

The PI has two goodies this morning.

First, reporter Angela Galloway’s front page story links two companies that worked on Boston’s infamous “Big Dig” to Mayor Nickels’s tunnel campaign.* The firms, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Hatch MacDonald, gave $10K and $5K respectively. They funneled the money through the Washington Engineers PAC.

(*Judging from a naive Seattle Ethics and Elections (SEEC) ruling, there’s actually no campaign for the tunnel yet. And so, the SEEC let Nickels make a video using city resources to promote his tunnel.)

Anyway, the PI has a nice round up of the contributors to Nickels’s $80K “non-campaign.”

And as Dan already flagged, the other noteworthy item in this morning’s PI is its endorsement in the race for the state house rep in the 43rd. They give the nod to former Seattle city council member and Superior Court Judge Jim Street. Of the five other candidates in the race they only mention one other: Peter Steinbrueck aide, Stephanie Pure—calling her a “young activist with a bright political future.”

We agree that Street and Pure are standouts.

The Stranger Election Control Board conducted our own “Top 3 Primary.” After meeting with all six contenders for the 43rd house seat, we narrowed it down to Street, Pure, and gay rights activist/attorney Jamie Pedersen.

Our endorsements hit next week.

Elderly Weapons of Mass Destruction

posted by on August 24 at 10:33 AM


Okay. For, like, the fifth time in twelve months, an elderly driver has “accidentally” plowed down numerous bystanders at a public market.

The latest incident comes from Rochester, NY, where yesterday an SUV driven by an 83-year-old man rammed through at least eight food stalls at the Rochester Public Market, injuring eight people, one of them seriously. (Full story here.)

As usual, the carnage was blamed on the accidental slip of the oldster’s foot from brake to accelerator—but do such accidents ever happen to anyone outside of the geriatric set?

Unlike Charles Mudede, I’m pro-old person. I’m fine with seeing them in pharmacies, I enjoy hearing their long rambling stories, and I wish them all the smoothest releases from this mortal coil when the time comes.

But how many innocent marketgoers must be crushed before states put tighter restrictions on septuagenarian-and-above drivers??

Independence for elders is important, but so is the ability to go to a farmer’s market without being run over. Elderly driver reform now!

PI Backs Street

posted by on August 24 at 10:09 AM

The PI endorsed Jim Street in Seattle’s 43rd District race today.

This is an influential legislative district that has produced influential leaders over the years, including Rep. Ed Murray, whose run for the state Senate leaves this House seat open.

District voters deserve a representative with the experience, savvy and relationship-building skills to be a player in Olympia from day one. Street offers just that.

Before serving as a judge for four years, he spent 12 years on the City Council and was the first president of the Puget Sound Regional Council.

The issues he’s pursued resonate with the district’s values. He proposed what became the Families and Education Levy, was an early endorser of a limit on downtown building heights and has been called the father of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods.

While the PI praised all the candidates in the race (“Six solid candidates… an exceptional slate”), the only other candidate the PI singled out for praise—the only other candidate name-checked by the PI—was Stephanie Pure.

An impressive newcomer in that cadre is Stephanie Pure, a young activist with a bright political future.

Good Morning, P. Diddy!

posted by on August 24 at 9:49 AM

Do you ever wake up and wonder, “WOW. I wonder what Sean “P. Diddy Puff Daddy” Combs is doing this morning?” Then do you wonder, “MAN. I wonder how bad his breath smells?” And then do you wonder, “DAG! When does P.Diddy’s new album drop, anyway?”
Well, check out Puffy’s new morning VIDEO BLOG—in which he tells you EXACTLY how he’s feeling this morning (and every morning from now until the end of time, presumably), and does a little bit of advertising while he’s at it! Thank GOD for the commercialization of YouTube! (I was really beginning to enjoy it a little too much.)

And Now… France.

posted by on August 24 at 9:41 AM

One day we’re going to look back on the time when we allowed people to smoke in enclosed public spaces and wonder what the fuck we were thinking. From today’s New York Times:

France is preparing to ban smoking in restaurants, bars, cafes other public areas starting next year, the newspaper Le Figaro reported, citing the health minister, Xavier Bertrand.

The ban would come into effect in January. “That’s going to happen,” Mr. Bertrand was quoted as saying.

Ah, great news. I love Paris, but man I hate the fucking smoke. Unfortunately the French smoking ban has a loophole you could drive a cancer ward through…

The newspaper said the government was planning a decree rather than legislation that would have to go through Parliament, but would make exceptions for bars that sold cigarettes and for casinos and nightclubs.

Great Minds

posted by on August 24 at 9:18 AM

The cover of this week’s Stranger


The cover of the Thursday Styles section of today’s New York Times


Morning News

posted by on August 24 at 7:55 AM

Nooooooo! Astronomers declare Pluto is not a planet! Neutron star specialist Jocelyn Bell Burnell cruelly waves around a stuffed Disney Pluto while making announcement.

Yes! Yes! Yes! The FDA approves the Plan B morning after pill for over-the-counter sales for women 18 and older.

Child labor is declining worldwide, except in Sub-Saharan African, where rates remain at 1960’s levels — 1 in 4 children are working.

Syria threatens to close its border if the UN takes the “hostile action” of deploying troops in Lebanon. Also, Amnesty International accuses Israel of war crimes for its bombing campaign.

US housing market may be “cooling” after years of hot, hot action.

Big Dig contractors are bankrolling Seattle’s pro-tunnel group to the tune of at least $15,000

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Vincent Won

posted by on August 23 at 10:59 PM

No shit, Vincent.

City Commission To Blast Red-Light District

posted by on August 23 at 5:53 PM

Tomorrow morning, at the unforgivable hour of 7:30 am, the city’s planning commission will release a report on the mayor’s proposed strip-club district near Georgetown. The report, which the city council will use in making its decision to approve or reject the proposed red-light district, reportedly recommends that the council reject the mayor’s proposal in harsh, unequivocal terms. Council member Peter Steinbrueck requested the report in April, after a public meeting at which citizens overwhelmingly opposed concentrating strip clubs but seemed open to the idea of dispersing them throughout the city.

If you’re up at the crack of dawn with nothing else to do, the commission will meet in the boards and commissions room on level L2 in the basement of city hall. Let me know how it goes.

The Evils of Ortho-McNeil

posted by on August 23 at 5:30 PM

Slog reader Gavin Cummins alerted us to this alarming piece on Slate about Orth-McNeil jacking up the price of the birth control pills it manufactures. This is a potentially crippling increase for publically funded clinics, who had previously paid as little as a penny a pack for the popular brand of pills. That a major pharmaceutical company would make a greedy move that jeopardizes the reproductive health of women is no shocker, but I think increasing the cost to as much as $18 a pack is positively obscene. The Stranger is waiting on commentary from our local Planned Parenthood affiliate and we’ll have more information on the local impact of this change tomorrow.

Overheard in the Office

posted by on August 23 at 5:09 PM

Dan Savage: (singing) I like big butts and I cannot lie… (BEAT) Actually, that is a lie. I don’t like big butts.

It should be noted that Savage was talking to himself. This is our fearless leader.

We Got a Cake This Afternoon!

posted by on August 23 at 4:39 PM

For four years now we’ve been notifying Stranger Genius Award winners by cake that they have, you know, just won a Stranger Genius Award and everything.

Why cake?

Well everybody likes cake, right? And who doesn’t like being handed a cake that has “You’re a Friggin’ Genius” written on it? Particularly when it comes with a $5,000 no-strings-attached cash grant?

This year, for the first time ever, a Stranger Genius Award winner—notified this morning by cake—sent us a cake in return.


How thoughtful! And the huge bottle of Jack Daniels? Nice touch!

If any of 2006’s other Stranger Genius Award winners would like to make a similar gesture, a few ounces of pot would make our day complete. The cake isn’t going to eat itself, after all.

Did You Get a Cake This Morning?

posted by on August 23 at 4:01 PM

This year marks a return to form for the Genius Awards. For the last two years, we’ve had P-I art critic Regina Hackett tag along with the person delivering the “You’re a Friggin’ Genius” cakes. We use chocolate cakes to let Genius Award winners know they’ve won. The cakes are from QFC. Very posh.

Well… this morning, this year’s cakes went out. We didn’t tell anyone it was happening. No photographers. No P-I writers. We wanted it to be a surprise again. Other media outlets: Have you figured it out yet? It will be interesting to see who has enough sources in the arts world to put together the whole list first. There are four awards to individuals—in literature, visual art, theater, and film—and one award for an arts organization

Each winner gets $5,000, which they can spend however they like, and a party thrown in their honor. This year’s party is at Henry Art Gallery on October 21. There’s a lot more going on this year too—in addition to what we’ve done in past years—but I don’t want to divulge all the details just yet.

Curious George: APELET!

posted by on August 23 at 3:54 PM

Curious George: monkey or ape?

P-I TV critic Melanie McFarland says “monkey.” But there ain’t no tail! And as one of her commentators points out,

Posted by unregistered user at 7/27/06 11:02 a.m.

Couple points about monky vs. CG the chimp: CG is seen brachiating throughout in the book. A monkey can brachiate but can not rotate the arm in a complete circle so as to brachiate. More importantly you would not see a monkey be able to hold a hand and walk because of the design difference in the shoulder. A monky does not walk on the knuckle but on the palm and CG either walks biped or on the knuckle further evidence that he is a chimp. The most obvious one is no tail but also the fact that he has great ape features in his hands and feet.

I like unregistered user! Hey unregistered user, can you come over to the Slog and post here? The trees are very swingy and grippable.

Via Metroblogging Seattle.

Now That You’ve Quit Your Career: “How to Land a Rich Man”

posted by on August 23 at 2:11 PM

I got so worked up about Forbes’s article lambasting “career girls” that I didn’t even notice the companion piece, “How to Land a Rich Man.” Anyway, here it is in all its cheesy clip-art glory. Tips include: “Put those heels to use and walk to wealthier areas”; go to tennis matches and golf opens “even if you don’t like sports”; and my favorite—get involved in politics, “joining both parties if you must.”

Via Broadsheet.

Forbes to Men: “Whatever You Do, Don’t Marry A Career Woman.”

posted by on August 23 at 1:57 PM

UPDATE Forbes has taken the article down. However, here’s a link to the complete text, via BoingBoing. Also, here’s the discussion board on Forbes about the story. Damn, I love the Internet.

Or, How To Marry A Doormat in Nine Easy Steps!

Yes, the article itself (actual headline: “Don’t Marry Career Women”) is a scream. (Best unintentionally hilarious line: “The more successful she is, the more likely she is to grow dissatisfied with you.”) But if you want to get to the really scarily retrograde heart of the story, by all means skip straight to the slideshow of reasons to avoid “career girls,” which is, yes, how Forbes refers to working women.

1. You’re less likely to get married to her.

Among white women, anyway,

(1) success in the labor market makes it harder for women to make a marital match, (2) women with relatively high wages and earnings search less intensively for a match, [and] (3) successful women have higher standards for an acceptable match than women who work less and earn less.”

In other words, get `em while they’re unsuccessful and desperate, because anyone with “higher standards” wouldn’t give you the time of day.

2. If you do marry, you’re more likely to get divorced.

For this, Forbes digs up a two-year-old study, which found that

Women’s work hours consistently increase divorce, whereas increases in men’s work hours often have no statistical effect.

Nice correlation/ causation flip. Women’s work hours “increase divorce”? More likely, women with their own incomes are more able to leave bad marriages than those who are financially dependent on their husbands. And even that study, Forbes grudgingly admits, was contradicted by numerous other studies that found that “working outside the home actually increases marital stability, at least when the marriage is a happy one. But even in these studies, wives’ employment does correlate positively to divorce rates, when the marriage is of “low marital quality.”

In other words, bad marriages (those of “low marital quality”) correlate to divorce. Which should be no surprise to anyone.

3. She is more likely to cheat on you.

According to a wide-ranging review of the published literature, highly educated people are more likely to have had extra-marital sex… “The work environment provides a host of potential partners, and individuals frequently find themselves spending a great deal of time with these individuals.”

That’s right: Women who work outside the home might be exposed to people they like more than you. Keep them inside, poorly educated and financially dependent, and they’ll never be tempted by any other “potential partners.” Note that employed women and men are more likely to cheat; but Forbes apparently doesn’t regard men’s cheating as a problem.

Here, by the way, is Forbes’s depiction the “cheating wife.” Note the diamond-festooned finger and the vacuous stare. “If only I hadn’t taken this well-paying job, I would have never found myself spending a great deal of time with this individual!”

4. You are much less likely to have kids.

The problem [of childlessness]—and it is a problem because the vast majority of women desire children—is much more extreme for career women. According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist and the author of Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children, only 51% of ultra-achieving women (those earning more than $100,000 a year) have had children by age 40. Among comparable men, the figure was 81%. A third of less successful working women (earning either $55,000 or $65,000) were also childless at age 40.

Yes, but so were a quarter of all “less successful” working men—hardly the vast baby gap Forbes’s panicky slide show implies. Isn’t the problem here supposed to be men’s inabiltiy to have children? Because according to those statistics, they’re doing just fine. And isn’t the answer here more equality and support, not financial dependence on men?

5. If you do have kids, your wife is more likely to be unhappy.

A 2003 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family concluded that wealthier couples with children suffer a drop in marital satisfaction three times as great as their less affluent peers. One of the study’s co-authors publicly speculated that the reason is that wealthier women are used to “a professional life, a fun, active, entertaining life.”

And that’s a bad thing?

6. Your house will be dirtier.

If your wife has a job earning more than $15 an hour (roughly $30,000 a year), she will do 1.9 hours less housework a week. Of course, this can be solved if the husband picks up a broom.

Ha. That’s a good one.

7. You’ll be unhappy if she makes more than you.

It’s obviously true! Just look how sad he is!

You aren’t going to like it if she makes more than you do: “Married men’s well-being is significantly lower when married women’s proportional contributions to the total family income are increased.”

So by all means, cling to your idiotic insecurities and forgo the financial security of a second income. You may be in debt for the rest of your life, but at least keeping her in her place will give you something to feel good about!

8. She will be unhappy if she makes more than you

Reason? “Husbands who are successful breadwinners probably give their wives the opportunity to make more choices about work and family—e.g., working part-time, staying home, or pursuing a meaningful but not particularly remunerative job.”

Sure, sounds logical—we’d all love to have the opportunity to work a meaningful job without worrying about whether we can pay the bills. But wouldn’t that also apply to men, contradicting Point No. 7? Hmm.

And finally,

9. You are more likely to fall ill.

That’s right, having a wife who works more than 40 hours a week

has “substantial, statistically significant, negative effects on changes in her husband’s health over that time span.” The author of another study summarizes that “wives working longer hours not do not have adequate time to monitor their husband’s health and healthy behavior, to manage their husband’s emotional well-being or buffer his workplace stress.”

Because as everyone knows (and as Point No. 6 makes clear) men are helpless, emotionally crippled, delicate creatures who have never been taught how to “monitor” their own health, manage stress, and take care of themselves. That, like raising the kids, cleaning the house, and maintaining men’s delicate self-esteem, is women’s work.

New stem cell technique doesn’t kill embryos

posted by on August 23 at 1:29 PM

Scientists have found a way to create stem cell cultures without killing embryos. After a fertilized egg divides into eight cells, doctors can extract one of the cells and use it to grow stem cells, instead of using the entire embryo.

There is no rational reason left to oppose this research,” said Dr. Robert Lanza, as if there was before.

There are, of course, still those who deride the research:

But critics of human embryonic stem cell research raised other objections, such as the possible risk to the embryo and the in vitro fertilization procedure itself in which embryos are generated from a couple’s egg and sperm.

If this technique works, it may be the end of the divisive stem cell debate. Or is that just wishful thinking?

This is for those of you who really care about the Booker Prize…

posted by on August 23 at 12:45 PM

…as I do: A review in the Guardian of Andrew O’Hagan’s Booker-longlisted novel Be Near Me. The reason I say this is only for those who really care about the Booker Prize is because this book is not for sale in America and won’t be until next year. (I could see them bumping up the pub date here now that the book’s getting attention.) But you can buy it here and have them ship it to you if you’re interested.

Here’s the Guardian’s page of Booker coverage if you’re just joining us…

In other Englishness, Zadie Smith’s On Beauty is just out in paperback and Michael Wells at Bailey/Coy Books tells me it’s red and gorgeous. I just bought this book of two short stories by Smith—yet another book you can’t buy in America (one’s from The New Yorker, one’s from Granta, plus there’s an introduction by the author)—and it arrived in my mail box yesterday…

Project Heartbreak

posted by on August 23 at 12:30 PM

This season’s Project Runway has done nothing but disappoint me.

First, they got rid of Malan just as I was starting to not be totally creeped out by him. Then they kick off one of the more talented and entertainingly bitchy designers for having pattern books. In that same show, they allow Angela and her stupid junior high rosettes win a project! Gross! And if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, next to go was the so adorably weird Bradley. Sigh. And just last week, the judges voted to keep crazy as batshit Vincent over Alison because the paper dress made her model look fat!?

Fuck you, Project Runway!

Michael is our only hope…

pictures of you: pudgy airplane

posted by on August 23 at 12:13 PM


How cute! This is what an airplane designed to carry other airplane parts looks like. FlightGlobal turned up some pictures of the pig-in-blanketlike aircraft designed to ship 787 components from their overseas origin to the Everett assembly line [flightglobal].

[Today’s stolen Slog post was swiped from Metroblogging Seattle.]

Paramount Gives Tom Cruise the Boot

posted by on August 23 at 11:51 AM

Tom Cruise’s big blabby mouth and psychotic Scientological proselityzing have finally led to a concrete punishment: Paramount Pictures has announced the cessation of its 14-year relationship with Cruise’s film production company due to Cruise’s “unaccetable” offscreen behavior.

“As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal,” said Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone in The Wall Street Journal. “His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount.”

Full Cruise-dumping story here.

To add insult to injury, Paramount also announced its signing of a two-picture deal with professional Cruise-bashers Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who’ll create two live-action features for the studio.

Meanwhile, LA Weekly’s Nikki Finke asks, “Who’s crazier—Tom Cruise or [Paramount-owning] Viacom?”

Reality Racism?

posted by on August 23 at 11:38 AM

survivor.cook.082306.jpgThe long-running reality show Survivor is famous throwing “twists” into the game in their attempt to keep an aging show fresh—but HAVE THEY GONE TOO FAR? From E! online…

Host Jeff Probst popped in on The Early Show Wednesday morning, confirming the reports that the 20 castaways for Survivor: Cook Islands will be grouped by race, with competitors divided into four tribes consisting of whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics.

Probst had nothing but praise for the producers’ controversial brainchild, calling the exercise in segregation a valuable social experiment, rather than a stunt to dig up some controversy—and raise ratings.

“The idea for this actually came from the criticism that Survivor was not ethnically diverse enough, because for whatever reason, we always have a low number of minority applicants apply for the show,” Probst said.

“So we set out and said, ‘Let’s turn this criticism into creative for the show.’ And I think it fits perfectly with what Survivor does, which is, it is a social experiment. And this is adding another layer to that experiment, which is taking the show to a completely different level.”

While the 43-year-old host admitted that the players themselves had “mixed reactions” to the racial separation, he made clear that the division was not meant to incite any controversy, add to the tension during the competition or simply be viewed as a gimmick.

A last ditch effort for a dying show, or honkies trying to start a televised race war? Sound off, Sloggers!

Dithyrambic Loos

posted by on August 23 at 11:24 AM

This passage is from the introduction of Edward Fords’ The Details of Modern Architecture: Volume Two:

Richard Neutra [a friend of the early-20th century Viennese modernist architect Adolf Noos, who if famous for his manifesto “Ornament and Crime”] recalled: “….Smiling, Loos would say that the most beautiful piece of cabinetwork was the American oak toilet seat. It was wonderful! Today plastic is used, but in those days there were well-curved and shaped oak seats. Loos became dithyrambic aboout this graceful but matter-of-fact article, how it was fitted on the china fixture, how neatly it was joined, and how well it would withstand all abuse. He always gave this as an example of American cabinetwork….”

Loos is also famous for designing this ornamentless house, Villa Muller:

How NOT to Take a Train to Portland

posted by on August 23 at 10:40 AM

Yesterday Seattlest had a post about the pleasures of the train to Portland. I concur with Mr. van Baker on all points, but had to point out that the Coast Starlight is the route that is always, but always, late. Never take the Coast Starlight.

I don’t know if NPR is reading Seattlest or what, but today they had a story about the Coast Starlight and its egregious delays. (11 hours!) According to RenĂ©e Montagne (side note: what is with radio names? Norr Rom? Remember KUOW’s Spritz Arbegast?), it’s the fault of Union Pacific. More from the Mercury News and a wire story reprinted in, I kid you not, the North Korea Times.

A sad day for China’s horny-in-mourning

posted by on August 23 at 9:52 AM

Five people were recently arrested in east China for providing stripteases at funerals despite, I assume, healthy protests from all that their services are a necessary part of the grieving process.

Via Reuters:

“Striptease used to be a common practice at funerals in Donghai’s rural areas to allure viewers,” it said. “Local villagers believe that the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honored.”

And the less clothes strippers are wearing, the more the dead are saluted.

Wealthy families often employed two troupes of performers to attract a crowd. Two hundred showed up at last week’s funeral.

Now village officials must submit plans for funerals within 12 hours after a villager dies. And residents can report “funeral misdeeds” on a hotline.

Sigh. Losing a loved one and the right to bury your grief in a funeral lap dance from obliging strippers sounds like a double tragedy to me.

Generation HIV

posted by on August 23 at 9:02 AM

I’m a bit burned out on AIDS/HIV writing, but this seemed alarming enough to merit a post:

TORONTO (AFP) — The gay community in the western world, mauled by the first wave of the AIDS pandemic, now faces a second storm, according to a forecast released at the International AIDS conference.

Since 2001, new cases of HIV in the homosexual population in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australasia have been rising by about 1.9 percent per year, the research by the University of Pittsburgh said.

Without action to correct this trend — a return to safe sex or an unexpected medical breakthrough — the infection rate is set to soar as the population ages.

In 2001, HIV affected on average roughly one in 12 gay 20-year-olds in these countries. By the time they are 30, researchers projected, the rate could rise to one in four. And by the time this group reaches 60, 58 percent could be infected.

The Mariners’ Comeback

posted by on August 23 at 7:32 AM

Like being a parent or owning a poodle (the breed my son chose when it was time for him to get a dog), the fact that my adult self holds season tickets to the Mariners would rock my teenage theater fag self to his core. But hold `em I do, so I was at Safeco Field last night when the Ms broke their 11-game losing streak by beating the New York Yankees.

We came home with some very special merchandise last night. There was a promotional giveaway at the game: the first 35,000 fans through the gates got to “bring home the MOJO and a Mariners Rally Towel courtesy of Safeco.” Rally towels are too big for washcloths, too small for handtowels, and that means they’re good for just one thing. I’m now the proud owner of three Mariners Come Rags courtesy of Safeco.

We also picked up a pair of “Yankees Suck” T-shirts on the way into the ballpark—T-shirts the Ms tried to ban a few years back because they aren’t civil or polite. Seattle is a civil, polite, passive-aggressive kind of town, and wearing or screaming “Yankees Suck” is just too aggressive-aggressive, too New York, for our delicate sensibilities. Before every game the announcer at Safeco reminds fans that shouting “abusive or profane language” isn’t allowed in our baseball park.

So imagine my shock when, walking around the concourse with the kid, I spotted a man wearing a T-shirt that said “It’s Not Going to Suck Itself.” The kid spotted it too, naturally, and read it out loud. Really loud. Then he asked what it meant.


If “Yankees Suck” T-shirts are contraband, and we’re not allowed to shout abusive or profane language, how come this guy was allowed to stroll around the park all night in that T-shirt? It’s easy to explain what “Yankees Suck” means to an 8-year-old: “It means the Yankees are a bunch of steroid-taking, show-boating, money-grubbing jerks, son.” It’s a little harder to explain—or come up with a bullshit explanation for—”It’s Not Going to Suck Itself.”

The Kid: “What does ‘It’s Not Going to Suck Itself’ mean? What’s `It’?”

Me: “Well, gee, um, it means… `it’ is… um… you see, that man there wants everyone at the ballpark to know that he likes getting blowjobs but that he can’t, or his cock can’t, perform oral sex on himself, or itself, and so he’s letting the person he’s with, that woman standing there, and, again, everyone else at the ballpark know that he expects her to put his penis in her mouth—his penis is `it’—and leave it there until he ejaculates because his penis can’t `suck itself,’ meaning it doesn’t have a mouth of its own, so someone else will have to suck his cock for him. Crackerjack?”

Explaining that T-shirt was a lot harder than explaining those pornographic Comeback posters that cover all of Capitol Hill once a month.

The Kid: “What are those men doing, daddy?”

Me: “Roughhousing.”

Morning News

posted by on August 23 at 7:02 AM

Iran refuses to consider suspending its nuclear program during “serious talks”.

Relief groups in Lebanon avoid handing out aid to Hezbollah members — but are having a hard time telling who is and isn’t a member.

Police questions Israeli president Moshe about allegations of sexual harrassment from two employees.

New Orleans, a year after Katrina

Seven states still have archaic cohabitation laws on the books (ruling it illegal for unmarried couples to live together) — and 1.6 million Americans are breaking them.

Microsoft is filing suit against “cybersquatters” — people who register web site addresses with common misspellings and trademarked names to attract some accidental traffic.

Proposed Seattle booze ban raises some ire among small shop owners.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ask a Mexican

posted by on August 22 at 6:00 PM

The new owners of Seattle Weekly have ordered the paper to shed its older readers and start pulling in younger readers who actually go out, listen to music, have pulses, etc.

First move, get rid all the old hippies. Bye Skip, Chuck, George, Geov. Second move, attract some attention to the “new” SW by generating a little outrage. To accomplish this, SW is going to be running a new column. Or not a new column, but a syndicated column that runs in many other New Times papers. According to a distraught SW staffer, the venerable Mossback has been permanently replaced with “Ask a Mexican,” an advice column that originates in the OC Weekly down in Orange Country, California.

Here’s the graphic that runs with the column…


Here’s the concept…

Bienvenidos to ¡Ask a Mexican!, the world’s foremost authority on America’s favorite beaners! The Mexican can answer any and every question on his race, from why Mexicans stick the Virgin of Guadalupe everywhere to our obsession with dwarves and transvestites.

Here’s a sample.

Hmm… I wonder how “Ask a Mexican” will play here? We don’t have as many Mexican immigrants—legal or illegal—as Southern California, so the satire hardly seems as relevant. Still, Phil Dawdy in the SW’s PR department will do all he can to present this as some shocking and wild move on their part, but it just goes to show how unshocking they really are. I mean, this is all they’ve got? The column is fine, it runs in a dozen or more other papers without incident, and it was offered to us last year. (We passed.) It’s not anything worth freaking out over, and it’s hardly a bold move on the part of SW to pick it up.

Mysteries of the universe unraveling

posted by on August 22 at 5:30 PM

After painstakingly observing two galaxies collide at 10 million miles per hour, scientists think they have proof that dark matter exists! Dark matter doesn’t emit or reflect enough light to actually be detected directly, but scientists have long believed that they can infer that it exists because of its effects on visible matter. For example, astro-stud Fritz Zwicky first theorized the existense of dark matter back in the 1930s. From Wikipedia:

Zwicky estimated the total amount of mass in a cluster of galaxies… based on the motions of the galaxies near the edge of the cluster. When he compared this mass estimate to one based on the number of galaxies and total brightness of the cluster, he found that there was about 400 times more mass than expected.

That weighty difference? The best they could come up with was calling it “dark matter.” Anyway, now, “We’ve closed this loophole about gravity, and we’ve come closer than ever to seeing this invisible matter,” says University of Arizona scientist Doug Clowe.

Check out the NASA’s press release if you want to be a real nerd.

via boingboing


posted by on August 22 at 4:59 PM

This week’s Stranger has the following starred item listed under the Wednesday 8/23 Live/DJ listings:

BUS STOP—DJ One of God’s Beautiful Creatures spinning Mooncity Plaza Hotel, free.

The Bus Stop is at 508 E. Pine St.

Expect: Without irony, Highway Star for the teenage revolution circa 1972, civil rights teen pop circa 1963, shards of ideological new wave guitar circa 1979, glowing Bill Evans records from 1959, and, of course, a song or two from the 28th Album, Ho Chi Minh City.

A History of Courage

posted by on August 22 at 4:32 PM

In the case of Ehren Watada’s refusal to go to the war in Iraq, because it is an illegal war and a war that was made possible by obvious lies, it is common for his denouncers to call him a coward.

The men and women who are risking their lives in Iraq are called courageous; whereas Watada is called a coward. The problem with Watada’s denouncers, however, is that they have not read Aristotle’s book on ethics. Much of their confusion would clear up if they understood exactly what military courage meant to the ancient Greeks, and should still mean to 21st century Americans. Courage, according to Aristotle, is, true, expressed on the battlefield; but courage also doesn’t mean running into battle for the sake of showing courage, charging into battle without thinking about why you are charging into battle. Courage is about knowing when to use that virtue, which stands at the middle of two extremes: cowardice and brashness. To thoughtlessly go into any old battle is not being courageous; that’s being foolish. Courage is something that requires intelligent activation; a good soldier (good in Aristotle’s sense, which is the substance of any ethic), knows when not to fight as well as he knows when to fight. Those who have led young soldiers to their deaths in Iraq are not virtuous but vicious; and those who are dying in Iraq are not courageous but foolish.

From the Letter Bag

posted by on August 22 at 4:02 PM

Specifically, from

You know you really should do yourself a favor, take your own advice and go see STYX! Quoting you…”Now Styx is a desiccated shadow of its Paradise Theater days”. Nothing could be further than the truth, when you are talking about STYX ! So don’t insult them, just go to the show, and you’ll find that they more than “Rock The Paradise”. Then come back and right a fair review, instead of one that is made up from your preconceived notions.

Okay, lady. A fair review: I went to the motherfucking Styx show at the Southwest Washington Fair. (In Chehalis. With fresh-dipped corn dogs. And funnel cakes. And tallboys of Budweiser. And other things that make you feel like you’ve been on 15 carnival rides when you have not, in fact, been on any.) Styx was energetic. They asked: “Are you ready to get Styx-ified, Chehalis?!” Chehalis was. They played all the good songs (“Lorelei,” “Come Sail Away”) except “Mr. Roboto” (it got one short chorus during an 18-Styx-songs-in-one medley, I assume for legal reasons. They hit their notes, wailed on their guitars, they did all the stuff.

But there was that inescapable air of a group whose aesthetics and sense of self-regard had frozen decades ago, when they were at their peak. Exhibit A: the weirdly straight-ahead cover of “I Am the Walrus.” (I though the rule in rock ‘n’ roll was to cover down, not cover up, unless you’re going to do something great and weird with the song. Exhibit B: the new vocalist/keyboardist (who, appropriately, sounded pretty much like the original one) stood atop a raised, circular platform with his keyboard on a pivot, so he could prance in circles without interrupting his playing. He played behind his back. A lot. Too much. (Be sparing with your top moves, dude.) Exhibit C: the copious Styx frisbees and t-shirts hucked into the crowd, the many, many picks thrown from the stage (dozens a song), which presumed Chehalis wanted 12,000 guitar picks briefly touched by a Styx guitarist.

So there you have it, I hope I’ve writed a rong.

(Her name isn’t really Susan, so don’t try to email her. I just wanted to share that bitchin’ domain name.)

Blackbird Insists On Being Hottest Men’s Boutique In Town By Hiring Hottest Employees, Models

posted by on August 22 at 3:31 PM


First of all, who is this hot guy? I went on search of him at Blackbird in Ballard, but instead went home with some amazing fall styles. They’re one of the few stores in Seattle with their finger firmly on the pulse. They make Barney’s look like a Versace boutique in South Beach!

[There you go, IHeartSeattle—an honest-to-God stolen post. And a link to your blog. Knock yourselves out.]

I Don’t Heart The Stranger

posted by on August 22 at 2:48 PM

The bad news: I Heart Seattle has some complaints about us.

The good news: At least he/she thinks Christopher Frizzelle is a “hottie.”

Jane Magazine Pimps Desperate Virgin

posted by on August 22 at 2:43 PM


According to the cover text, Sarah is a “funny, gorgeous” 29-year-old who “wants to lose her virginity by her 30th birthday in November.” That gives the guys just two months to sweep Sarah off her (literal and metaphorical) feet.

A few observations:

1. Eww. Has the post-feminist pendulum swung clear around, to the point that it’s OK to whore yourself out via national fashion mag as long as you’re “sex-positive” about it?

2. I have some doubts about Sarah’s “prospects.” (Their answers to Jane’s “interview” questions are pretty laughable, although I wouldn’t have much to say to questions like “What are [sic] your favorite pair of shoes?” and “What’s your favorite food and why?” either). Jane calls them “pure eye candy.” Judge for yourself.

Would you choose:

Daniel, who describes himself as “fucking brilliant” in bed and says he “would want to be closer to Sarah than I was to the woman who deflowered me”?

David, who says he’d offer Sarah “candles and bubble bath” for her first time (sounds hazardous!) and whose favorite books are “sci-fi and computer books”?

Mike, who says he’d “prepare a comfortable room” for Sarah’s “deflowering”, and “light candles, burn incense, soft lights, and sink into the aura of love”?

Or Adam, a trainer and raw-foodist who claims to “care more about Sarah than just getting laid”?

In case you’re feeling too sorry for Sarah after viewing her “prospects,” I invite you read this excerpt from her blog, updated daily on Jane’s web site:

Hey everyone! So let me just get you up to date on what’s been happening. I have a date tonight with this guy, and I kid you not, his name is Lucky! Talk about fortuitous!!! What a great way to start my little project off! So I will dish all about my “Lucky” date in my blog to be posted tomorrow morning. I also have ANOTHER date on Thursday and again I will give you all the detes in Friday’s blogs. So check in. Also, feel free to ask me any questions or make any comments in the forum. I picked Jane magazine because of it’s readers and content, so anything you can contribute would be sooooo greatly appreciated!!! I am a bit nervous about tonight’s date as I haven’t been on a date “date” in almost a year! I will also be taking some pics of my adventures so check back for those highlights! Alright, I have my favorite white jeans, a funky tank top, and gold espadrilles at the ready! I am sooooo ready for my “Lucky” adventure!

Hmm. Do you think the reason Sarah hasn’t “been on a date ‘date’” in a year might because, emotionally, she’s still 13?

And also, isn’t Jane supposed to be the “thinking” twentysomething woman’s magazine? If so: No longer.

“Take control of Sarah’s love life and vote for her next date” yourself—or nominate a friend!—here.

Life Imitates Trash

posted by on August 22 at 2:02 PM

Two live diamondback rattlesnakes were released in an Arizona movie theater during a showing of the new film “Snakes on a Plane,” according to Local 6 News.

Authorities said pranksters released the young venomous rattlesnakes in a dark theater at the AMC Desert Ridge near Tatum and Loop 101 in Phoenix.

The two snakes caused a panic in the dark theater, according to the report.

“That to me is very scary,” herpetological association representative Tom Whiting said. “I would hate to be watching a movie about snakes and have a rattlesnake bite me.”

Wranglers were called to collect the snakes, the report said.

No one was injured in the incident and, so far, the culprits have not been caught.

(Thanks to reader Matt Hickey for the tip.)

Total Recall

posted by on August 22 at 1:56 PM

Don’t call it a draft—it’s an “involuntary troop recall.”

The U.S. Marine Corps will start ordering what could be thousands of inactive service members to return to duty in the coming months to counter a steady decline in the number of such troops who volunteer, the service said on Tuesday…. President George W. Bush authorized the Marine Corps to issue involuntary recall orders to members of the Individual Ready Reserve, part of the non-active force. It will be the Marine Corps’ first involuntary recall since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The authorization limits the number of Marines who can be activated involuntarily to no more 2,500 at any one time, out of a pool of about 35,000, Stratton said. The length of each activated service member’s duty is capped at 24 months but will likely last 12 to 18 months.

And, yes, I realize that this is all my fault.


posted by on August 22 at 1:53 PM

I haven’t much liked the last few Comeback posters, but this one caught my, er, eye.



posted by on August 22 at 12:27 PM

The raccoons in Olympia just don’t give a fuck.


posted by on August 22 at 12:10 PM

We’re coming up on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the tragedy in New Orleans, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty of one-year-later commemorations in the coming weeks. (If I had cable, I’d totally be watching this.)

Yesterday I caught an unusual bit of post-Katrina footage on YouTube (where I’d been directed by Towleroad). It’s, uh, Celine Dion (ew) being interviewed via satellite by Larry King (ew!), and for the first minute or so I was certain the point was Celion Dion is an asshole. But then it totally turns around. By the end, or at least before the closing song, I was feeling something I’d never, ever felt before: the urge to applaud Celine Dion.

Check it out here.

The WalMart Vote

posted by on August 22 at 12:10 PM

There’s an noteworthy footnote in the new Zogby poll (which has Bush’s approval rating at 34%). Check it out: Although 76% of weekly Wal-Mart shoppers voted for Bush instead of Kerry in ‘04, only 45% currently give Bush positive job performance marks.

Pickled Punks, Protested

posted by on August 22 at 12:00 PM

The press release begins like this: The “Seattle Museum of the Mysteries condemns Premier Exhibitions and the Seattle Theater Group’s exhibit ‘Bodies: The Exhibition’ as a blatant exploitation of cadavers for financial gain.”

I saw a different version of the same idea a few years ago in Chicago—real dead people, in action poses, some without skin, some just skeletons—and it was satisfyingly gross. And educational. Just like the marketing said.

The controversy: the dead folks in this exhibit come from Dalian, China (“the hub of the corpse-processing industry”), where poverty, corruption, human rights abuses, and a robust black market in human organs casts suspicion on the origin of the bodies. The exhibitors say they have certification from the Chinese government that the corpses (including bona fide, old timey pickled punks) died of natural causes, were not disappeared Falun Gong members, etc., etc. But, according to the Seattle Times they have refused to show the documentation.

The Museum of the Mysteries press release continues: “The directors feel the exhibit of over 21 cadavers which are displayed without consent of the deceased is a gross disrespect of the dead… The cadavers have no public verification of their origin and have a history of leaking fluids.”

The recalls the Victorian-era anatomical museums and freak shows (also billed as educational). Ironically, the Museum of the Mysteries is the closest thing we have to those old-fashioned oddity emporiums—it features exhibits about crop circles, bigfoot, UFOs, an oxygen bar (“to help hangovers, headaches and allergies… ask for price and nose hoses at desk”), and their famous ghost tours. Wait a second—ghost tours? Isn’t that exploitation of the dead for financial gain?


posted by on August 22 at 11:59 AM

Where have all the flowers gone?
This little piece of boy or girl art is what remains of a once thriving shrine for Officer Joselito Barber, who was buried yesterday. I somehow felt cheated by the evident cleanup, which happened between today and Sunday. The way the shrine came to be, should’ve been the way it came not to be: extemporaneously.

Adding Insult to Injury…

posted by on August 22 at 11:50 AM

by adding feces to burglary. As Reuters reports:

Thieves in Germany stole 7,500 euros, about $9,554, from a man by throwing faeces at him from behind and then pick-pocketing him while they pretended to help clean up the mess…

Full stinky story here.

It’s Unanimous: McGavick Doesn’t Get It on Iraq

posted by on August 22 at 11:48 AM

GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Mike McGavick doesn’t support an amendment (passed unanimously by the Senate earlier this month) that bans establishing permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.

Sen. Cantwell was the cosponsor of the amendment along with Sen. Joseph Biden of Deleware.

Here’s the August 3, 2006 amendment.

AMENDMENT NO. 4851 (Purpose: To prohibit the use of funds for establishing United States military installations in Iraq or exercising United States control over the oil resources of Iraq) At the end of title VIII, add the following: SEC. 8109. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be obligated or expended by the United States government for a purpose as follows: (1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq. (2) To exercise United States control over any oil resource of Iraq.

A brief one-liner in last Thursday’s Seattle Times noted: “Cantwell recently voted for a measure to ban permanent military bases in Iraq. McGavick disagreed, saying it was premature to decide.”

“Blowjobs Cause Acne Scars,” Says Dr. Paris Hilton

posted by on August 22 at 11:39 AM

Rush, don’t dawdle, to your supermarket checkout aisle to read Us Weekly’s highlights of Blender’s upcoming interview with Paris Hilton! Not only does she admit to crying with joy after listening to her own new album, and how she hates it when people touch her, but the reason Paris never gave blowjobs as a youth was because her mother told her she’d develop ACNE SCARS.

“My mom told me that you get those holes in your face, craters — she knew this person who had craters. I’m like, `What is that from?’ She’s like, from giving bl-w j-bs.” “I’m like, `You get craters?’ And I totally believed her. She’s like, `It’s from sucking.’ I’m like, `Ewwww!’ I told my boyfriend — he’s like, `Why don’t you ever do that?’ I’m like, `Because my mom told me you get these craters.’ And he’s like, `Paris, you’re 19. You’re allowed to do this.‘”

Don’t rush to judgement too soon, Paris! Perhaps your mother DID develop holes in her face from giving too many forceful blowjobs. Becoming a hotel heiress is never easy!


Lipstick Traces is Closing

posted by on August 22 at 11:10 AM

Owner Jenn Gallucci sent out this email to customers and friends last Sunday:

After 7 great years Lipstick Traces is closing it’s doors. I have decided to devote my time and energy to raising our new baby son. Thank you for all of your support over these past years.

We are currently selling everything in the store, excluding those great dressing room curtains which were on loan from our family. The sale includes all merchandise, furniture, fixtures, displays, office equipment and furniture, wooden hangers and other retail supplies. Send me an email if you would like to know any specifics or just stop by the store. We will be closing August 31st.

Thank you again to all I have had the pleasure of working with and all my loyal customers. I’ll be sure to let you know if Lipstick Traces continues online.

Best wishes,
Jenn Gallucci

I’m glad she has a happy reason to be closing up shop, but I’ll sure miss her store.

Stamper on Sullivan

posted by on August 22 at 11:05 AM

That guy in the “Cops Against the Drug War” video that’s up on Sullivan today? That’s Seattle’s former police chief, Norm Stamper.

True or False?

posted by on August 22 at 10:59 AM

Love and Death is the funniest movie there is.


“If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. I think that the worst you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.”


posted by on August 22 at 10:54 AM

They’ve banned smoking in bars and pubs in Scotland—good for them—but now they government is attacking an older and more beloved Scottish tradition: buying rounds of drinks for your friends.

Round-buying is a cherished tradition throughout Britain and in Ireland, but it’s only in Scotland that lawmakers are trying to end the ritual.

From the most glamorous bars to seedy spit-and-sawdust pubs, drinking alcohol is a Scottish pastime that ranks in importance alongside soccer, history, politics and meat pies. The ritual of the round ranks among the worlds most hazardous etiquette exchanges and can be as fraught as a first business meeting in Japan or courting Sicilian style.

Each round must be honored and reciprocated as a symbol of bonhomie, generosity and swagger….

The Scottish government’s dilemma is clear. Drinking is big business in Scotland with breweries and scotch whisky distilleries making a major contribution to the 11 billion pounds (US$20.6 million (euro16.09 million) in taxes. The drinks and hospitality sector is the biggest employer in the country, accounting for more than 200,000 jobs.

But alcohol is also highly destructive. The number of alcohol-related deaths is rising faster in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe. Male deaths from cirrhosis of the liver have quadrupled in the last 50 years. The death rate for women has trebled in the same period.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Glasgow, but I don’t think I could live there—I just don’t have the constitution (or the liver) for it. Bars are everywhere, and they’re always packed. In Scotland you either develop a very high tolerance for booze or you don’t go out drinking at all. There’s no such thing as one or two drinks—if you step in a bar, you’re going to be out drinking for the rest of the night.

In other bar news, you can still smoke in bars in Chicago, which makes bars in Chicago extremely unpleasant.

My Cat Did Not Write This

posted by on August 22 at 10:18 AM

I have a cat. A cranky old cat, who sleeps on my desk because it’s warm under the lamp, and who has been known to walk across my key board. Thus, when someone sent me a link to this link, I viewed it with a flicker of interest. PawSense: Cat Proof Your Computer.
It’s a software utility that recognizes “cat-like typing” and does two things. First, it plays a WAV file that (supposedly) annoys cats — the implication being that they’d then go away. Second, it freezes keyboard input and throws up this screen.
So I tested it. My cat lay on my desk next to me, snoring and occasionally batting irritably at my arm when my movement disturbed her slumbers. I turned up my speakers and played the first of the two special cat-annoying WAV files, watching her carefully.
No response. From her, that is. I myself found the discordant-harmonica noise very annoying.
Then I played the second cat-annoying sound, the hissing noise.
Nothing. She didn’t so much as crack an eye. I strongly doubt she’d respond to it even if she were strolling across my keyboard. PawSense claims you can also record your own noises, but I can’t believe that would do any good. Rammstein, the 1812 Overture, dogs barking, whatever, no mere WAV file would deter my cat from her chosen path. So that was pretty much a bust.
And frankly, I’m not sure my typing is always so reliably human-like. Some days it’s hard enough staying confident about yourself as a writer without having some software program constantly questioning whether you have opposable thumbs.

Burner at the DNC Convention

posted by on August 22 at 10:15 AM

Via Goldy, via MyDD.

Morning News

posted by on August 22 at 7:30 AM

UN and EU peacekeepers evacuate foreigners from Congo as gun battles rage between political factions fighting after a contentious election.

Zimbabwe rolls out a new currency to battle hyper (hyper-hyper-hyper) inflation. The new currency cuts three zeroes off the value of the old, so $220,000 bread is now worth $220.

$127 billion over ten years: Estimated cost of the Senate’s immigration bill — most of which is for beefing up enforcement and border patrols. For some reason, the gov’t doesn’t give an exact figure for the cost of the more enforcement-heavy House Bill, just “substantial amounts” over the next decade.

Nuclear Power Plants: America’s future — again?

AOL tries to bolster user privacy after making thousands of user’s seach records publicly accessible. We may never discover who that mysterious masturbation and Martha Stewart obsessed user 927 was, after all.

Budgets are slashed for UW stem cell research thanks to decreased federal funding. That link also has a picture nonchalantly captioned: “rat with a tiny video camera inside his brain”.

Blue Moon and the City finally, finally strike a compromise agreement… though the owner thinks he still might sell the “historic dive bar.”

Monday, August 21, 2006

Diary of a high quality mid-life crisis

posted by on August 21 at 5:14 PM

A Seattlite named Doug just called in to inform us that he is officially leaving Seattle and driving his motorcycle down to Tierra del Fuego, perhaps never to return. Several months ago, the vice president of the pharmaceutical company where he worked left Doug a typically long-winded voicemail message, which he was supposed forward to a co-worker. Doug forwarded the message with his own scathing rant attached… and then discovered he had accidentally replied to the message, instead of forwarding it.

This is what, according to Doug, his VP heard:

This fucking guy can go on forever without saying a goddamn fucking thing. This goddamn voicemail is going to take you fifteen minutes to listen to. After the first five minutes, you’re going to want to slit your wrists! The second five minutes, you’ll want to stab yourself in the fucking forehead! And the third five minutes, you’re going to have to stab your eyes with fucking sticks just to stay awake long enough to listen to the FIVE SECONDS of information contained somewhere in this goddamn voicemail!!!

So Doug is a little crazy, yes. He says it had been a long week. In any case, shortly thereafter he quit his job, sold his house, bought a motorcycle (“this is the first time I’ll be riding one legally,” he says) and plans to escape to South America, his bags alledgedly packed with only “a digital camera, a laptop and underwear.”

Yes, Doug will be making extensive digital documentation of his trip from Seattle to South America. He’s hoping to write a “coffee-table-travel-adventure book” about it. His website is kind of small and weird right now, but who knows? He might even make it past Tijuana. All persons currently entrenched in Office Space-style jobs might want to take note.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on August 21 at 4:52 PM

It’s not clear exactly what malady the Prayer Warrior is suffering from, but in his latest email, he reports that things are looking up…


August 21, 2006

Thank you for praying for me! The Lord answered your prayers, and my blood counts are way down, which means the treatment has been effective. Praise God!

Your Pastor,

Brooklyn’s Bookfest

posted by on August 21 at 4:32 PM

Brooklyn—probably the most literary neighborhood in America (going back at least to Walt Whitman)—now has a Bookfest. Er, a Book Fest. (Brooklyn’s is two words; Seattle’s, which has been dead since 2004, was one word.) Seattle’s Bookfest had, well, lots of problems. But Brooklyn’s Book Fest sounds like it’s going to succeed. Why? Lots of reasons: it has a purpose, it has excellent programming, the venue is not in the middle of nowhere, the admission is free

New York: 567,456; Seattle: 0. Sigh…


posted by on August 21 at 4:22 PM

I’ve been all restless and art-hungry for the last week or so (must have been those Sleater-Kinney shows—I had a bizarre dream last night that Carrie Brownstein was running for Washington state representative, so I’m clearly not so over that). Various remedies, including:

Diary of a Country Priest, by Robert Bresson, which made me cry a little, being very susceptible to Catholic crises of faith


… and a short story by Kevin A. González, about a guy who calls himself Antonio, which had some good parts about raising a sunken pleasure boat

… and my aforementioned new favorite photo blog, which sure does have a lot of pictures of girls in bikinis


… were not satiating me. But then I went to Seattle Asian Art Museum, which is still exhibiting Shirin Neshat’s Tooba (previously suggested and slogged by Jen Graves). And it was so good.


Tooba is composed of two films (shot on 35 mm, but of course exhibited on a looped DVD), projected on opposite walls. On one wall, a council of black-robed men sit in a circle, chanting and swaying. The camera periodically pans across their faces until they blur (my favorite mode of inducing horror of anonymous aggression—there’s a similar shot in Fight Club I particularly admire). On the opposite screen, a woman presses herself into a lonely tree (the “tooba” of the title, a reference to the tree that grows in paradise) in a courtyard, surrounded by brick walls. A crowd of men and a few women start on the council half of the film and migrate to the woman side, surround the wall, and climb toward her. But she has disappeared; a little snaky bit of trunk the only sign of the place her feet used to be.

Tooba is my favorite film of Neshat’s because it’s so much more open and theatrical—fairytale-like, even—than the other work I’ve seen. There’s all the obvious gender stuff, but more than that… The tree is a sanctuary, but what is more horrible than the idea of being swallowed up by bark? What do you sacrifice for safety? Tooba is up at the beautiful Seattle Asian Art Museum through October 15. It costs a mere $5 (and you can probably get away with paying less, though I didn’t try). Go, go, go, go.



posted by on August 21 at 3:52 PM

This weekend’s Sunday Styles section of the New York Times has a story by Paul Vitello about lesbians who decide to become men—or decide they always were men, to be transgenderly correct. (“The Trouble When Jane Becomes Jack,” Sunday August 20, 2006.) The piece unpacks the debate among lesbians about butch women who decide to start identifying as men; they change their names, start taking hormones. Some get complete sex-reassignment surgery, some just have their tits taken off.

One of the ex-lesbians profiled, Shane Caya, had been in a lesbian relationship and was about to have a baby with his lesbian partner when he decided to make the switch. His lesbian partner left him. Another of the profiled ex-lesbians, Jacob Anderson-Minshall, was able to legally marry his lesbian partner, Diane Anderson-Minshall, after he made the switch. (Ah, our marriage laws. Two women can’t get married unless one of them starts taking hormones and changes her name. So two women can get married—so long as one has an elective double-mastectomy and hair on her chin.) Oh, and the happily-married-to-a-man-now Diane Anderson-Minshall? She’s the executive editor of Curve, a glossy lesbian magazine.

Anyway, two things jumped out at me about the story.

First, in addition to angst about lesbians accessing dreaded male privilege (to say nothing of the Anderson-Minshalls accessing heterosexual privilege), Vitello unpacks some practical issues…

What places should transgendered men have in women’s spaces such as bathhouses, charter cruises, music festivals, and, more tricky still, at women’s colleges, where some “transmen” taking testosterone are reportedly playing on school sports teams?

Women who identify as men and take testosterone shouldn’t be playing on women’s sports teams. Period. (If that’s not a loaded word choice in this context.) If it was unfair for the East German Women’s Swim Team to be taking testosterone, if it was illegal for Floyd Landis to be taking it, it really isn’t fair for the other women on the lacrosse teams to have to compete against bulked-up transmen.

But what really jumped out at me was “…women’s spaces such as bathhouses….” Women go to bathhouses? In the gay sense of the word? Skeezy and depressing places where they meet for anonymous, soul-killing sexual encounters? In most cities lesbians are lucky enough to have a bar, but a bathhouse?

But this is what really floored me:

The fact that there is no apparent parallel imbroglio in the gay community toward men who become women is a subject of some speculation.
If anyone in the gay male community is speculating about this, it’s new to me. But perhaps the speculating is all going on in the lesbian community, not the gay-male community. If that’s the case, I can clue you in, ladies, and put a quick end to the speculation:

The reason there’s no parallel imbroglio is because adult gay men don’t decide to switch their genders at anywhere near the rate that lesbians do. I’ve been out of the closet and gay more than two decades now and in all that time I’ve never known a single gay man who decided—particularly in mid-life—to run off and become a woman. Most of the men I’ve known who switched their genders began identifying as female at a very early age; a handful identify as lesbians. I want to say “they hardly ever identified as gay men before identifying as women,” but I’ve never met or even heard of a single out gay man who became a woman.

I have, on the other hand, known lots of lesbians who decided to become men. Many more of the lesbians I’ve known have also decided to become—or revert to—heterosexual women. At the risk of being burned in effigy at the next dyke march, lesbian identity seems fluid past the point of all reason at times. I may have to worry about my boyfriend leaving me and running off with another man (he assures me that these concerns are irrational—but he would, right?), but I don’t have to worry about him deciding to get a sex change or walking into the kitchen and announcing that he’s really straight.

Gays and lesbians—our lives, our identities, our relationships—constantly feel like we’re being undermined from without. It must be distressing to feel like your relationship is at risk of being undermined from within.

The Things You Find on Flickr

posted by on August 21 at 3:38 PM

In search of aerial Seattle photos, I stumbled upon this interesting flickr page, where a kite was sent up above Cal Anderson park, right here next to our office. Kinda cool to see a new view of a park I walk through about 20 times a week.

The Absolute Lord

posted by on August 21 at 2:32 PM

This is the site of a recent death.
On August 12, Officer Joselito Barber was brutally undone here, 23rd and Yesler, by a Yukon that charged through a red light and smashed his patrol car, and himself, into nothing. The shrine that has since grown at this site of tragedy contains pictures of youthful Barber by himself and with his youthful wife, a cross with handcuffs and a badge on it, flowers of every type, various toys, flags, condolence cards, and other thoughtful items. In shifts, one or two cop cars park next to the ad-hoc shrine and observe it with activated emergency lights. On Sunday, a group of people gathered in the bus shelter and prayed for the thing they believed continued without Barber’s body, his soul. The worshippers formed a primitive circle, closed their eyes tightly, bowed their heads as if before a brilliant king, and whispered words of worship to this invisible king. The sun was strong that day.

Let’s now get to the root of all this sympathy, loyalty, and open display of communal sorrow. This particular death is powerful for three reasons, all of which correspond with three ideological categories that dominate the American mind: one, Barber died young; two, Barber died while doing his job; three, Barber was a pure victim.

The pure victim line leads to the American belief that there are in life situations that really don’t have a political, racial, or personal agenda. Each of these final situations is made up of a clear good and a clear bad. And a practical mind can see the practical truth. The woman in the Yukon is pure wrong and Barber in the cop car is pure right. As for Barber dying while doing his job, this has two components: one, the American ethic of working, of paying your bills, of buying property, of being productive; and two, because police work is also war work—a war against crime, a war against drugs, a war against public disorder—Barber died in the line of duty (this connects a patriotic connotation to the connotation of being an industrious member of society). Finally, Barber died at the physical peak of life. The beastly drug addict, that zero of a human being, robbed him of the best experience that the body itself has to offer. After your 20s, it’s a matter of increasing muscle aches, bone pains, and poor performance. Americans worship youth.

Osama and Whitney, Sittin’ in a Tree…

posted by on August 21 at 2:28 PM

According to a new book by novelist and former Osama bin Laden sex slave Kola Boof, the terrorist who masterminded the 9/11 attack was also TOTALLY obsessed with Whitney Houston! So much so, in fact, he considered murdering Bobby Brown.
The World Trade Center is one thing… but putting a hit on Bobby “My Prerogative” Brown??



In her autobiography, Diary of a Lost Girl, she writes: “He told me Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.”

Boof, 37, who claims bin Laden raped her and held her prisoner in a Moroccan hotel, says he could not stop talking about the songbird, even though he disapproved of music.

“He said that he had a paramount desire for Whitney Houston,” Koof wrote, “and although he claimed music was evil he spoke of someday spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting with the superstar.

“He explained to me that to possess Whitney he would be willing to break his colour rule and make her one of his wives.

“Whitney Houston’s name was the one that would be mentioned constantly: How beautiful she was, what a nice smile she has, how truly Islamic she is but is just brainwashed by American culture and by her husband Bobby Brown, whom Osama talked about having killed, as if it were normal to have women’s husbands killed.”

And as a sidenote: Not only did bin Laden reportedly love reading Star magazine and Playboy, his fave TV shows “included The Wonder Years, Miami Vice and MacGyver.”

Terrorists… So much like us!

Sieg Hurl

posted by on August 21 at 1:44 PM

“Hitler’s Cross,” a Hitler-themed restaurant decorated with images of the Fuhrer and serving “a wide range of continental fare,” has opened in Mumbai, India.

No, really.

Brook v. Rumsfeld

posted by on August 21 at 12:42 PM

In this corner: Peter Brook, a Brit, born 1925, famous theater producer and director, author of The Empty Space, a book of theater theory published in 1969 that launched a thousand dickbags who fancied themselves directors.

In the other corner: Donald Rumsfeld, an American, born 1932, current Secretary of Defense, author of Rumsfeld’s Rules, a series of suggestions for White House staffers that includes the maddeningly prescient: “it is easier to get into something than to get out of it.”

Can you distinguish between these two masters of obfuscation and sound-bite-sized bullshit? Take this quiz and find out. The winner gets a bottle of middle-quality sparkling wine and a DVD copy of Oh! Calcutta! which, incidentally, totally blows.

The Latest in Christian Pajamas!

posted by on August 21 at 12:00 PM

It’s the newest thing in Christian child sleepwear, ARMOR OF GOD PJS!


“Mommy protected me from the evils of sin sneaking into my mouth at night—and for only $39.95!”

And while you’re at it, check out this wicked awesome “Cross on a Sweatband” from!
Wear this beauty to the b-ball court and put a slamma-jamma-whamma on SATAN! Only $2.99!

Thanks and a tip o’ the hat to RT!

LA School District Offers Free HPV Vaccine

posted by on August 21 at 11:29 AM

The Los Angeles school district will distribute the newly approved human papillovirus (HPV) vaccine to middle-school girls starting this school year, defying right-wing critics who argue that making the vaccine available will encourage girls to become sexually active. The vaccine is nearly 100% effective in preventing HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer—a disease that kills nearly 4,000 women in the U.S. annually.

On Friday, the LA Times (free reg. required) editorialized in favor of the district’s decision, arguing that objections to the HPV vaccine

mostly center on the notion that giving young girls a vaccine against STDs could encourage them to be become sexually active. But there is no research suggesting that this is the case — any more than there is evidence that giving people tetanus shots encourages them to step on rusty nails.

The value of a vaccine is in the disease it has been proved to prevent, not in the behavior it may or may not encourage. In this case, Gardasil could prevent thousands of women from dying of cervical cancer.


What’s Left? Dry Humping?

posted by on August 21 at 11:17 AM

Fundamentalists have long argued that many methods of contraception, including IUDs, the Pill, and emergency contraception (Plan B), cause abortion (embryonic death) by blocking the implantation of a conceived embryo in the uterus. By that standard, the Journal of Medical Ethics reports, the “rhythm method” is a veritable embryonic genocide.

Now suppose that we were to learn that the success of the rhythm method is actually due, not to the fact that conception does not happen—sperm and ova are much more long lived than we previously thought—but rather because the viability of conceived ova outside the [heightened fertility] period is minimal due to the limited resilience of the embryo and the limited receptivity of the uterine wall. If this were the case, then one should oppose the rhythm method for the same reasons as one opposes IUDs. If it is callous to use a technique that makes embryonic death likely by making the uterine wall inhospitable to implantation, then clearly it is callous to use a technique that makes embryonic death likely by organising one’s sex life so that conceived ova lack resilience and will face a uterine wall that is inhospitable to implantation. … And if embryos are unborn children, is it not callous indeed to organise one’s sex life on the basis of a technique whose success is partly dependent on the fact that unborn children will starve because they are brought to life in a hostile environment?


Even a policy of practising condom usage and having an abortion in case of failure would cause less embryonic deaths than the rhythm method.

Of course, the article concludes,

one person’s modus ponens is another person’s modus tollens. One could simply conceive of this whole argument as a reductio ad absurdum of the cornerstone of the argument of the pro-life movement, namely that deaths of early embryos are a matter of grave concern.

A Democratic Senate?

posted by on August 21 at 10:43 AM

The odds, long though they may be, just got a little better. (Via Kos)

Letter to the Art Director

posted by on August 21 at 10:31 AM


Corianton Hale, Art Director,

So, I’m picking up my weekly edition of the stranger and I turn to my girlfriend and ask if that’s a picture of Alki on the cover. She looks at it and says that’s Alki and you. I looked and sure enough there is my bloated self.

That got me wondering why someone would take my picture and why someone else would think it’s Stranger cover worthy.

I’m progressive and a member of a local trade union, local 242. I’m an environmentalist, metaphysically inclined, and treat everyone I meet with respect regardless of race, orientation or anything else. I support local artists and music so, I’m kind of in alignment with The Stranger. Maybe that’s why I’m on the cover.

But, when I really think about it, it’s because I was snoring so loud that day, I was waking myself up and scaring the kids into the water. Thanks for giving myself and my friends a huge laugh.

Steve Olson,

Learn to Fly

posted by on August 21 at 10:30 AM

I drove through Vancouver, WA this weekend and came across this stunning sign:


Penis Pump Judge Gets 4-year Jail Term

posted by on August 21 at 10:26 AM

That’s a penis pump, in case you didn’t know. It’s a masturbation device, and former judge Donald Thompson has been convicted of using it on the job. How does it work? You put your dick into it, and then, in the words of the women of Babeland, “through squeezing a bulb or working a plunger the air is sucked out of a cylinder that is over the shaft. As the air is suctioned out and a vacuum is created, your penis gets pulled into the cylinder and extra blood rushes into the erectile tissue creating greater-than-average engorgement.”
On one hand, four years for masturbating seems extreme. On the other — dude, what were you thinking? You’re sitting there hearing cases while you take the dog for a walk? And talk about limp excuses: Thompson “said he may have absentmindedly squeezed the pump’s handle during court cases, but he never used it to masturbate.” Uh, so you’re holding a sex toy under your desk, under your robe, and you’re squeezing the bulb - but you’re not using it to masturbate. Sure you’re not. Bad judgment, Your Honor.

Horizontal Sprawl

posted by on August 21 at 9:49 AM

I’m in McHenry, Illinois, a small town embedded in McHenry township, which itself is in McHenry County. My mom’s lived out here for fifteen years. I’ve visited occasionally over the years, and I’ve watched as fields of corn and soybeans were overrun by new roads, big-box stores, and housing developments (including the one where my mother and step-father live).

Seeing a place like McHenry County puts the debate we’re having in Seattle over density into perspective. Back at home the density debate can feel somewhat abstract—do we build up or out? do we let developers run riot in the city or in rural areas?—so it’s instructive to see, first-hand, just what sprawl looks and feels like. I’m convinced that an afternoon in McHenry County would convert Seattle’s rabid anti-density dimwits into passionate backers of urban density, DADUs, increased building heights downtown, and true rapid transit. (Ahem: “true rapid transit” excludes BRT, Mr. Sims.)

The revulsion McHenry inspires isn’t merely aesthetic—if you think some of the condos going up in Seattle are ugly (and some—not all, some—of them are), you should see the rows and rows of boxy, identical houses out here—but all encompassing. The place is not just an aesthetic nightmare, but environmentally unsustainable, and, with rising gas prices and the potential “end of oil,” completely irrational as a public and private investment. Only cheap gas makes this kind of horizontal sprawl possible. (Cheap gas and the towering sense of entitlement that characterizes 99 out 100 drivers. Roads? Endless subsidies! Mass transit? Endless bitching about the tax dollars that pay for it.)

A lot of people want this, of course. People choose to live in these god-awful, sidewalk-free exurbs for a reason, as David Brooks is constantly pointing out. They want the soullessness, they want the “safety,” they want a huge fenced yard (most of which sit empty all day long), and they want to live in a house that shows only its backside—a two or three-car garage—to the street and the neighbors.

Cities can either contribute to the sprawl in places like McHenry County or slow it by growing more dense and building up. But density isn’t enough. While dense cities are more environmentally friendly, cities can’t compete with places like McHenry just by shouting, “Hey, we’re better for the environment!” The folks flooding into places like McHenry don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment. Cities can only compete by appealing to peoples’ self-interest.

Leaving a place like McHenry for, say, a place like Chicago or Seattle means leaving behind the private fenced yard and the extra bedroom. People are only going to do that if they get something of value in return. Cities have to offer not just quality housing (affordable and market rate) but also the kinds of urban amenities that attract and keep families—things like numerous public parks (large and small), good schools, and the option of living without an automobile. Shared public spaces in dense, family-friendly cities take the place of private spaces, just as shared public transportation can take the place of private automobiles.

Anyway, I’m not sure where I’m going with this—I have a bad headache, and my mom slipped me a Vicodin, so maybe I’m just blathering. It’s just that having spent the last four days out here in the horizontal sprawl has me anxious to get back to Seattle and its comparatively benign and absolutely essential “vertical sprawl.”

But simply building more housing units for the three or four hundred thousand new residents the mayor is expecting in the next decade or three isn’t enough. We have to build up the rest of the urban infrastructure too—and not just sewage treatment plants and more police officers. We have to think about the tradeoffs, the things that make city living, and density, not just bearable but attractive and worthwhile, the things that will offset the “loss” of a three car garage or a private yard.

You know, things like this. And if not this, then this.

K.Fed at the Teen Choice Awards!

posted by on August 21 at 9:38 AM

It was a night that would live in infamy. Kevin Federline made his television debut last night at the Teen Choice Awards. (Teens? Your stock just went WAY DOWN.) The entire evening his performance was being pumped up by announcers who were apologizing in advance, and when the big moment finally came, he was introduced by his very pregnant wife Britney Spears—whose subtext was “PLEASE DON’T BOO HIM.” (Her fun bags looked incredible, BTW.) Anyway! Here’s the performance!

Continue reading "K.Fed at the Teen Choice Awards!" »

Wafting Through Hempfest

posted by on August 21 at 8:49 AM


This weekend my dude and I spent a lovely couple hours wandering around Hempfest. We arrived early in the afternoon, with a surge of others, and the slow-moving, sweaty crowds lumbering into and out of the festival’s narrow channels were daunting. But the weather was lovely, and once in the park, so was the view, and thanks to a few generous individuals, we had a very memorable day.

A hippie grandpa had Rice Krispie treats that tasted like garbage and made us feel like we were floating. A guy who looked like a Rastafarian Brad Steinbacher had brownies that were so perfectly delicious—with a precise layer of frosting sprinkled with chopped pecans—I was sure we’d been duped with placebos, though Jake swore he could taste green. We never found out, exactly, as a sweet Edie Brickell-looking lady had hunks of fudge that made trees start talking, and we cabbed to Volunteer Park to stretch out on the grass near the azalea garden, where we watched the clouds do slow-motion judo for a couple hours. Eventually the fudge receded, we drank some beer, then watched Ninotchka.

Thanks, Hempfest!

Monday Morning Sports Report

posted by on August 21 at 8:13 AM

Seattle Mariners: 11 losses in a row. Ouch. Still, U.S.S. Mariner finds a silver lining.

Seattle Seahawks: The good news is they beat the Colts. The bad news is it’s still the preseason. The best news is there were no major injuries.

Seattle Storm: Dropped game two against the L.A. Sparks. Plus, Sue Bird took a nasty elbow to her honker, may miss game 3.

New York Yankees: Owning the Boston Red Sox.

Tiger Woods: Shot a 4-under par 68 at Medinah to capture his twelfth major title at the age of 30.

Bradley Steinbacher: Shot a 34-over par 106 at Jefferson Municipal to capture nothing but shame at the age of 32.

The Morning News

posted by on August 21 at 7:33 AM

Saddam Hussein refuses to enter a plea in his trial for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Bush wants to send peacekeepers to Lebanon quickly, but some European leaders are holding back.

South Korea is looking for an astronaut to launch into space.

Venezuela and Iran are becoming close trading partners.

John McCain is assembling a crack squad of Bush supporters to prepare for his next presidential run.

A decade after the welfare reform its drafters are claiming success.

Nearly a third of people running for Washington state legislature are running unopposed — that’s a new state record!

Snakes on a Plane had disappointingly low box office haul for opening weekend, but it’s still the nation’s #1 film! USA! USA!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Cantwell on Gay Marriage (not into it), Hezbollah, WalMart, and Snakes on a Plane.

posted by on August 20 at 1:40 PM

Last month, I drove 3 hours east (to Moses Lake, WA) to watch Mike McGavick on the campaign trail.

Yesterday, I drove two-and-a-half hours south (to Woodland, WA) to watch Maria Cantwell on the campaign trail. Woodland is a small logging town about twenty minutes north of Vancouver, WA.

I pulled into town off exit 21 from I-5 around 1pm and landed at a strip mall on the main drag, Goerig Street. Cantwell was scheduled to speak across the street at Horseshoe Lake Park, a pretty beachfront park with a colorful playground, happy sunbathers, a gazebo, and a large picnic shelter—all hidden behind a towering batch of trees. First thing I did was get some food at the Eager Beaver Drive In, a burger shack in the strip mall parking lot.

“Hey,” I asked a curly haired blonde woman in blue jean shorts and a tank top with a tattoo stamped on her chest. (She was leaning into the screened burger shack window, flirting with a younger blonde, bearded guy working the grill.) “Washington’s U.S. Senator, Maria Cantwell, is doing a campaign event across the street later today,” I said. “I’m from a newspaper in Seattle, and I’m going to interview the Senator. What should I ask her?”

“I don’t know anything about her. Who is she? I don’t know,” the woman said.

The burger guy, in an apron and white tee shirt, chimed in: “Ask her what she’s going to do about all the tweakers living near my house.”

The woman laughed and then, to the chagrin of the burger guy’s co-workers, continued chatting away. She was adding burger guy’s cell phone number into her phone.

I jumped in again: “So, what kind of town is this? What’s the economy?”

The woman: “Logging.”
Burger guy: “It used to be a logging town. Now it’s a tweaker town.”

The Cantwell event didn’t start until 2pm, so I stopped a few people in the hot parking lot to ask them what I should ask Cantwell. Most everybody was coming in and out of Big Deals, the anchor discount store along this strip of guitar shops, tattoo parlors, manicure shops, a massage center (Serendipity Massage), and a dentist’s office.

The response from everybody—from the tiny white-haired old lady getting out of her silver Honda LX to the 50-something guy hauling a fan across the parking lot to his truck—was this: They didn’t know who Cantwell was, and they had nothing to ask her.

I walked across the street to the park. I asked an older guy pushing a little girl on a swing (“No comment.”) I asked a family eating sandwiches and cheetos at one of the red picnic tables. (“Don’t know anything about her.”) Nobody had anything to ask Cantwell.

Finally, I found two 50-something women sunbathing on straw mats, dressed in flowery green bathing suits. “Is she a Democrat?” they wanted to know. Yes.

The derisive follow-up: “Is she a liberal?”

I said that Cantwell was a liberal, but she voted for the war.
“Well, that’s good.”

“Where is she on abortion?” one of the woman, her name was Luella Viollette, asked.

She’s pro-choice.

“Well, then you should ask her what makes her believe that a fetus is not a human being,” Viollette said. “How do we have the right to murder children? It’s God’s choice, not our choice. We’re Christians.” The women thanked me for taking the time to talk to them.

I didn’t get a chance to put Viollette’s question to Cantwell. The Senator was running behind schedule, and my time with her was rushed. I got about three minutes at the end of the event as she walked with her entourage back to her car. (I’ll say this: Cantwell has a rep for being uptight. But she was relaxed. In a good mood. Comfortable. At the picnic shelter she had schmoozed the crowd with ease. My sense was more that her entourage is uptight. Prior to the event, a flummoxed woman in a Cantwell staff shirt named Karin appeared to be having a meltdown over logistics.)

Anyway: I asked Cantwell about the war—to reconcile all her positions. I asked her if she was willing to censure Bush in the wake of the NSA ruling. I asked her about Frank Blethen and the estate tax.

I’ll file a piece on all this in the upcoming Stranger, but I do want to Slog a brief outtake from the brief interview.

Realizing there wasn’t going to be time for a real Q&A, I went to Plan B. I played that pop psychology quiz game with Cantwell…where I would say something, and she had to say the first thing that came to her mind.

JF: I’m going to say something, and you’re going to say the first thing that comes to your mind. MC: Okay JF:WalMart? MC: Ucchhhhh. Can you write that? JF: Mark Wilson? MC: Good Guy. JF: Hezbollah? MC: Ouch. Need to change this. Out of control. JF: Mel Gibson? MC: Needs help. JF: CAFTA? MC: Better policy for labor. JF: Ummm… MC: Not that.. but we need better policies for labor. JF: But you voted for it. MC: Yeah. Listen, it was very good for the farmers of our state… taxes were already lifted on a lot of the products that were coming into our country. What this did is lift some of the tariffs on our products going into their countries. Matt Butler (Cantwell campaign staffer): Last one, Josh. JF: Snakes on a Plane? MC: I’m not watching that movie. JF: Last thing. On the DOMA ruling from Washington’s Supreme Court. Good ruling? Bad ruling? Basically, do you support gay marriage? MC: I support civil unions.