What did I do with my first night off, you ask? Whatever I damn well pleased, that’s what. Actually, I went to Tavern Law for dinner with a friend, but that’s not what I’m going to write about. I had my topics force-fed to me for 28 straight days, so for my last entry, I will write about whatever the fuck I want. How you like that, Stranger beeyatches??
First, some advice for anyone who wants to take this assignment on (and I see Savage has already selected somebody for March, so hopefully she has some of these qualities):
Be unemployed/underemployed. Or be ready to use some vacation. You will need it.
Have an understanding spouse, an absent spouse, or no spouse. Mine was understanding the first half of the month, absent the second. But here’s a little secret: This would be a good gig for single folk. You have a date activity every day, and a +1 to use as bait. How long until there’s a “Yesterday” entry that involves getting laid?
Careful with the drink. Hangovers are deadly.
Cultivate your friends. Everything is more fun with good company.
Be open-minded and flexible. I’m old; I know what I like. But the more I let go of that, the more fun I had.
Be young. Related to “be open-minded and flexible,” but also an advantage in dealing with the sheer bodily strain.
Live on or near Cap Hill. Up until the last day of the month, every event was somewhere on Cap Hill (including Central Cinema), Downtown, or at the Varsity or Grand Illusion. I intend to spend a lot of time in Ballard, Fremont and Wallingford in March.
Finally, and most importantly:
Have thick skin. Most of the Slog commenters were fair to me, and some were downright awesome. You know who you are, and I love you for it. You reaffirmed my belief in the wisdom of crowds… even if there were a few dickwads in the mix who acted as if my month of volunteer commentary was some kind of fucking blood oath.
5 things I learned about Seattle:
1) The best seat at Grand Illusion: third row, left side, aisle. Dead center, unobstructed view of the screen. 2) 50th and University is the most delicious corner in the city. 3) There are two theaters at the Rep (including the Leo K), and the only way into the building is through the Center, even though the sign and the address are on Mercer. 4) Where to park near the Pike/Pine corridor: It’s a non-descript strip that looks illegal, but it’s not. It’s right across the street from… oh, please. Of course I’m not going to tell you. 5) If people think you write for The Stranger, they will introduce themselves to you with little provocation, let you into shows without being on the list, and hand you demo tapes for their bands.
I saw some unbelievably cool shit in February. But Kyle Loven’s surreal blend of puppets and pathos stuck with me more than anything. A big part of the entire “Suggests” endeavor, in my view, is to champion the new, and this is exactly the kind of thing that would have flown completely under my radar ordinarily. Thanks for exposing me to such a thoughtful, creative artist.
Best (Worst) Comment: After posting my Defriending Cancer piece, commenters were outraged that I left early. Some very silly things were said, but my favorite—I can’t stop marveling at it—was this: “If your wife needs to go (to) the airport in the morning, stick her in a cab.” I see. So on the night before my wife leaves town for 3 weeks, I should “stick her in a cab” so I can stay at the event longer? This person has never been married, is divorced, or is going to be divorced soon.
Honorable mention (in the David Shields post): “Mr Cooke's writing makes me want to cut off my dick and eat it raw.”
Now that’s what I call constructive criticism!
Thanks to all for keeping me honest, propping me up, reading my posts, and being a part of this fantastic city.