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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lunchtime Quickie: Ahmed Angel Is Planet?

Posted by on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Can someone explain why Ahmed Angel is suddenly planet? I am confused! Also, get a load of this guy. He paid a wizard $500 to make him invisible. Doesn't he know, being invisible doesn't make him planet?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Big Trees of San Francisco

Posted by on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 9:33 AM

It's really something else. It dominates Jefferson Square Park.



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Springtime for Hitler

Posted by on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

This just in from our man in Thailand (formerly known as "our man in Vietnam" and "our man in Myanmar"):

  • Our Man in Southeast Asia

Wikipedia says that Thailand was briefly allied with the Axis powers during WWII—mostly because they were pissed at the French colonialists—but I don't think this is about that.

I don't know what this is about.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Photo Fun: Summertime in Soap Lake

Posted by on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM

On this supremely gray day, I wish I could magically make it July, and make a run for the sun this weekend... More photos after the jump, and read more about my favorite Washington swimming hole right here.

Continue reading »

Friday, March 15, 2013

SXSW: Endurance & Reincarnation

Posted by on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Stevie Nicks takes a bow
  • Stevie Nicks takes a bow

Perhaps my favorite thing that happened yesterday at South by Southwest was when Stevie Nicks spent a good five minutes just recounting, in intricate detail, the major plot points of Joe Wright's film adaptation of Anna Karenina. This was in response to a question from Ann Powers, I think, about her songwriting inspiration and process, and was only one of many fascinating digressions in an hourlong afternoon interview that included a glimpse into her entry into Fleetwood Mac, the role of women in rock music (and her general outrage at a sense of modern-day setbacks for women), and negotiating the dynamics of taking breaks from a band to pursue a solo career. Other fun facts: she really loves Beauty and the Beast both the Jean Cocteau and television version) and always wanted/wants to be a witch for Halloween.

Continue reading »


Thursday, March 14, 2013

On Being Solicited for Sex

Posted by on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 7:40 AM

The other afternoon, I was in the parking lot of a boarded-up motel on Aurora at 41st taking notes about a Grrrl Army mural on prostitution ("Do what you wanna do just know that you're not...alone"). A shiny black Passat pulled into the lot and sat there. I realized the driver was waiting for me to come over.

I'm just curious. So here's a question for the non-sex workers out there: How many times has this happened to you? Has it ever flashed into your head that you could just get in the car? What crosses your mind?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hotel Guests in LA Brushing Teeth with Remains of Missing Tourist

Posted by on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Did some bored jerk add grapefruit to your breakfast order* in the middle of the night? That sucks. But your last hotel stay could've been a whole lot worse. You could've been brushing your teeth with the slowly liquifying remains of a missing Canadian tourist:

When a maintenance worker at L.A.'s Cecil Hotel opened the hotel's rooftop water tank to investigate low water pressure, he found something unexpected: a dead body. Investigators believe the remains of Elisa Lam had been inside the tank since January 31, when the 21-year-old was last seen. As police work to determine if her death was the result of foul play or "a very, very strange accident," the LA County Department of Public Health is investigating a more urgent matter: the potentially contaminated water, which hotel residents had, for several weeks, used to bathe in and brush their teeth.

Water from that particular tank was also used in the hotel's coffee shop and restaurant. So, um, yeah. The grapefruit isn't looking so bad now, is it?

* If you've already read Jacob Tomsky's Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality, then you know how easy it is to get things you didn't order removed from your bill—and things you did order.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How I Spent My Winter Vacation: A Few Notes on Burma/Myanmar

Posted by on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 4:56 PM

(Note: This song by Burmese hiphop artist Snare was in heavy rotation on our trip, especially by kids playing it on acoustic guitars in groups at night—electricity can be dicey around there, and the kids seem to love to sing, even when they're just walking down the street. So it might make an appropriate soundtrack to this post.)

On Christmas night, Bethany Jean Clement and I flew from Seattle to Thailand to get ourselves organized for our trip to Myanmar/Burma—we had to get lots of crisp $100 bills for changing (no ATMs for US cards), submit a slightly doctored work history for our visa (journalists are not welcome there), adjust to the time change, etc.

The long line for visas at the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.
  • bk
  • The long line for visas at the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.

Because the country's military dictatorship has recently held elections and seems nominally interested in honoring their results (last time they had an election, many years ago, they were surprised by now many non-cronies got elected and threw the winners in jail), the National League for Democracy, the pro-reform party with Aung San Suu Kyi as its figurehead, recently called off its travel boycott to Myanmar/Burma.

We wouldn't have gone otherwise. But Suu Kyi has gone on record saying that individual travelers should go to Burma, meet the people, patronize independent businesses, and see what's going on. (Package tourists and staying in the country's few huge resorts and hotels are discouraged, since that money goes to the military cadres.)

First question: What to call the country?

Continue reading »


Monday, January 7, 2013

Poja Watch

Posted by on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 5:19 PM


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Five Things You Should Know Before You Travel to Peru

Posted by on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I spent the last two weeks in Peru for Christmas break. I'm not going to bore you to death with a slideshow or a blow-by-blow account of what I did, but I do want to make a couple of recommendations.

* If you've ever wanted to take a trip to South America, I highly recommend the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. I was part of a group doing the standard hike—four days, three nights—and it kicked my ass, but I was glad I did it by the end of the trail. The tour group I traveled with was named Enigma, and I did the Classic Inca Trail package. It takes you along a trail of mostly stone steps to saddlebacks that are higher than Mount Rainier and swiftly descending staircases of 3000 steps that the guides refer to as the gringo killer. The landscapes varied tremendously over the three days, from gently rolling hills to scrubby mountain trails to lush jungle. (This hike was decidedly not roughing it; Enigma provided a team of porters who did the cooking, carried the equipment, and set up and took down the tents. Peru started cracking down on Inca Trail tourism around the turn of the century; you're required to have guides, and there are even laws insisting that the tour groups provide camping tables and chairs for their customers along the way. I think these laws are more for the good of the trail than the tourists; apparently, tourists just used to trash the trail when they were left to their own devices.) Machu Picchu itself was incredible and mysterious and weird and totally worth it. My group was there during the rainy season and so there were fewer tourist groups funneling through the city; my guide said that the crowds are so thick in July and August that you can barely move.

* If you're hiking the Inca Trail, or if you're even going to Cuzco, you'll want to take something to fight altitude sickness. I took Diamox the whole way through, but even then you'll want lots of coca tea and coca leaves for chewing; the high you get from coca leaves is not unlike a caffeine high, but it helps the oxygen circulate in a way that Diamox can't. (Coca leaf hard candy is a surprisingly good delivery system, too.)

* A person I know, who heard I was going to Peru for Christmas, informed me that she had been to Peru and her entire story was summed up in one sentence: "It's really dirty there."

Continue reading »

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cockfighting: It's Kind of Like Soccer, But Bloodier

Posted by on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Grant Cogswell's essay in this week's paper—about watching cockfights in Mexico in the middle of winter—begins:

My first night on the Oaxaca coast, the roosters kept me up till dawn. It is an urban myth—literally—of cartoons, cereal box packaging, and Dracula movies, that the male gallus gallus greets the sun with a sudden, singular cry. Truth is, they cry all the time. At midnight in Oaxaca in January, it is a wet 80 degrees. It is never cold here. The state of Oaxaca is where Mexico's belly sticks out into the Pacific, catching the deep, clean flow of open sea. You have never seen so many animals, so many fish. And this being Mexico, the nights are a storm of noise—the Catholic imperfectability of the world meaning no one ever yells to any person or animal to shut up. After midnight on the coast road southeast of Puerto Escondido, you can track the last lone pedestrians by the dogs going off like sensors and the roosters following, their humanlike screams propelled by their own tyrannical sperm count as if avatars through which the hard-ons in the boys' and bachelors' beds of Oaxaca were let sing. That sounds grandiose, but that's what I kept thinking about that winter, how the roosters' animal response vented what humans instead hold close or cook inside our minds into disorders that last long past when the people causing them are dead.

Keep reading >>


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Meanwhile at QFC

Posted by on Thu, Nov 22, 2012 at 2:10 PM

  • C.F.

If what you need is a gigantic chocolate chip cookie trimmed with frosting and frosting-flowers and frosting-cornucopias and covered in autumnal sprinkles, they have that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More on Why China Terrifies Us

Posted by on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Charles slogged earlier about China's plans to build the tallest skyscraper in the world in just three months...

You should read this terrifying article.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Is a Frog's Ass Waterproof?"

Posted by on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Inspired by Leslie Dean.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Posted by on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Just give him his stuff back already.

click to read
  • me
  • click to read

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What Is Going On In This Photo?

Posted by on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Tis' the season [but in downtown Vegas, you don't need a reason]. Click!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Caption This Photo!

Posted by on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 9:36 AM

  • Photo by Jason Lajeunesse

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New York City Shows Us How It's Done

Posted by on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM


Sidewalk, curb, bike path, parking, traffic.

Of course we could never do this in Seattle. Because nothing that works anywhere else—even things that work everywhere else—works in Seattle. Our streets are too narrow (all of them), our hills are too steep (every street in Seattle goes oneway uphill), our weather is too rainy (except for the last six months), our cyclists are too crazy (totally crazy! totally crazy!), our drivers are too entitled (war on cars! war on cars!), etc., etc. Let's list all the reasons something like this couldn't work in Seattle—not even on wide streets, not even on flat streets—in the comments thread.

UPDATE: Whoops. I seem to have violated—brutally violated—Slog silence. In my defense, um, I'm in New York City and it's 1:30 PM here.

UPDATE 2: As Dominic wrote on Slog back in April, this is the kind of shit that ruined Paris.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Find Nahla the Non-Spayed Diabetic Australian Shepherd/Husky Mix!

Posted by on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Click to read if your screen is big enough.
  • Click to read if your screen is big enough.

LOOK HOW GODDAMN CUTE THIS DOG IS. Nahla has been missing since September 27. She is a diabetic. She needs meds and special food. Yes, her owner chose not to spay her, which is stupid, and may or may not have left her tied up outside a bar at 45th and Latona. Sure, her owner also evidently has some spelling and penmanship issues, but don't be a jerk—you don't know all the details. One time during a party at our house on Capitol Hill, my dog Otto escaped. I spent all night looking for him. The next morning, I found him down the street with a bunch of meth heads who were using a belt for a leash, feeding him Keebler Elves cookies, and trying to hot-wire a 1980s Ford Mustang. I bought him back for $11. IT WAS A BARGAIN.

Full text after the jump.

Continue reading »

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Love Sureshot in the U-District

Posted by on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM

The coffee here is pretty much the best, and their punk rock thing reminds me of the Black Cat, Puss-Puss, the Globe, and other much-missed Seattle dives. Right now, I'm loving my temporary afternoon desk:


There are a couple of "playing hints" printed on the table for folks who want to spend a quarter on Burger Time: "Passing over ice cream, tea, and fries gives additional pepper," and, "Drop burger part on enemy and squash him." Good to know.

Sureshot rocks and it's at: 4505 University Way NE.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

As Seen in Springfield, Oregon

Posted by on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 2:45 PM

These folks were hanging out in front of the Albertsons in Springfield over the weekend, and lots of drivers were smiling and waving at them:


I'd love to see Oregon's Coat Hanger Army come to Seattle.

Walking in Los Angeles

Posted by on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM


Walked past this sign first and didn't think much of it. Then I walked past this one...

Continue reading »

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Column In Question

Posted by on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Here's one of the questions that was submitted to me by an audience member at my "Savage Love Live" Q&A appearance last week at the University of North Carolina at Asheville:


I read the question but wasn't able to answer it. Because I couldn't recall ever telling a reader who claimed that she was raped that she hadn't been raped. So I invited the person who asked the question to email a link to the column she was referring to and I promised to answer her question on Slog. And away we go:

Dear Dan: Here it is. I can't believe you don't remember this. I think it speaks to your character. Especially when you told us tonight that you don't know your own flaws. For all the good that you do, sometimes you really suck as a human being. Have a lovely night,


P.S. People ask questions to you like tonight in an anonymous setting because they know that you just brush off any criticism. Being witty doesn't give you "A Get Out of Being a Human Being" card either.

My response to Lauren after the jump...

Continue reading »

Friday, August 31, 2012

How Do You Interview a Muppet?

Posted by on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 8:02 AM

The BBC sat down with the late, great Count von Count in December 2009... "The Count loved all numbers, but 34,969 in particular. Why?"

Thanks, Caitlin!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reince Priebus Is a Welfare Queen

Posted by on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 3:32 AM

This infographic started making the Twitter rounds last night, and it is highly, as the kids say, relevant to my interests right now, because it's an accounting of all the money that's gone into the preparation for the Republican National Convention. Which basically means, it's all the money that the local and federal governments have spent so that Republicans can throw this party.

I dunno, this is my first convention, so maybe I'll experience some sort of an epiphany once the speeches get under way tonight, but right now, it's repulsive to me that this entire city has been temporarily disfigured, its downtown gutted, and its citizens more or less placed under martial law for a week so that cable networks can provide a few hours of video. And it's frustrating for me to realize that we're paying for this, especially when one of the major themes of the convention is lack of dependence on the government.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do You Know Who Pussy Riot Is? You Should.

Posted by on Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

  • Emily Nokes
Pussy Riot is an all-female feminist-punk art collective currently on trial in Russia for staging public performances in protest of their government. They are smart women. Frustrated women. And they are catalysts, reviving ideas of unapologetic feminism on a worldwide scale and proving that shit is still fucked up and there is so much work to be done. Their fight against the patriarchy is a literal one—after being arrested five months ago, three of them are now being put through a ridiculous trial, where the lines between church and state are blurred beyond recognition. Pussy Riot has no formal membership, tries to operate anonymously, and cites the riot grrrl movement as inspiration. According to a member of the collective: "We developed what they did in the 1990s, although in an absolutely different context and with an exaggerated political stance, which leads to all of our performances being illegal—we'll never gig in a club or special musical space." Now they face up to seven years in prison. I was in awe of Pussy Riot—and their focus on gender and LGBT rights and rejection of male dominance, not to mention their neon aesthetic—even before fully understanding what they were up against. In case you've just started to pay attention, here's Pussy Riot's story so far.

September 2011: Pussy Riot forms in protest of Vladimir Putin's third term as president, citing brutal corruption, poverty, and the loss of civil rights under his leadership. Putin has been either prime minister or president of Russia since 1999. To remain anonymous, Pussy Riot wear brightly colored balaclavas.

January 2012: Pussy Riot stages a performance on Red Square to a song with the lyrics "Revolt in Russia! Putin pissed himself! Revolt in Russia! We exist!"

February 21: Five members of Pussy Riot storm Moscow's main Orthodox church to perform a "punk prayer"—dancing, jumping, and shouting the chorus "Virgin Mary, become feminist/Virgin Mary, chase Putin away." Guards remove the women after less than one minute.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Greetings from Doe Bay: Photos from the 2012 Festival

Posted by on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM


I hope it doesn't sound too cliche or dismissive to say that Doe Bay Fest isn't really about the music, but I submit as evidence that the festival's headliner was swapped out at the last minute and barely anyone thought to notice it or care. Surely part of this acceptance was that by the simple nature of their respective genres neo-soul pinch-hitters Pickwick almost certainly provided a much more upbeat and danceable mainstage finale than the previously scheduled Cave Singers. Another part seemed to be that while most everyone appeared to enjoy the string of solid, mostly thematically similar performances, the general mood felt like one of being pleased at being there: at the resort, on this particular weekend, with a thousand similarly-inclined relentlessly polite fans, for an event that very rapidly built its own mythology, in part to to its near-unattainability. And really, you'd have to be some sort of monster not to delight in a weekend on Orcas Island, let alone in near-perfect temperate summer weather on a gorgeous wooded coastal property with its own locally-sourced gourmet restaurant under clear skies in the middle of a meteor shower.

Continue reading »

Overheard in the Office

Posted by on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM

An editor on the telephone: "That sounds very romantic... say hi to the sheep for me."

Thursday, August 9, 2012



Wednesday, August 8, 2012



Southern Bavaria Watch

Posted by at 12:24 AM in

Monday, August 6, 2012



Thursday, August 2, 2012



Wednesday, July 18, 2012



Tuesday, July 17, 2012



Port Sanilac Watch

Posted by at 11:04 AM in

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



Sunday, July 8, 2012



Port Sanilac Watch

Posted by at 11:44 AM in

Friday, July 6, 2012



Port Sanilac Watch

Posted by at 4:34 PM in

Thursday, July 5, 2012



Port Sanilac Watch

Posted by at 7:38 PM in

Monday, July 2, 2012



Port Sanilac Watch

Posted by at 8:27 PM in

Monday, June 18, 2012



Friday, June 1, 2012



Sunday, May 27, 2012



Rural America

Posted by at 5:00 PM in

Monday, May 21, 2012





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