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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why Do I Have to Poop When Browsing, Redux

posted by on September 18 at 2:18 PM

This just in to the Dear Science mailbag:

Dear Science, I recently read your response to Bothered Bowels' inquiry from 2/13/2008. Sadly, BB is not alone. I actually know several people who experience this same issue, most with #2, but others with #1. Indeed, it particularly occurs at Value Village, libraries, bookstores, and also when shopping to CD's. I find your Pavlovian theory rather interesting and plausible, but I would like to be so bold as to add a comment. The common theme for BB and others like him/her seems to be situations that involve the act of browsing. Is there something relaxing about the process of roaming through large spaces while searching for non-specific items of marginal necessity that activates the parasympathetic nervous symptom and its associated "urges"? Or, could it be that people are more likely to have downed a cup of coffee shortly before entering one of these establishments? Thanks for your excellent column, Laurie


I like your theories as well. I almost always have to pee after public speaking--I figure from the loss of sympathetic tone from the relief of it finally being over allows my bladder to reassert itself.

Coffee is a sympathomimetic, forcing the activation of the wrong side of the autonomic nervous system. But it's also a diuretic, causing you to have to pee. More research is warranted.

Thanks for reading and writing!

- Jonathan (aka Science)

(Don't forget to check out the podcast for this column, one of my all-time favorites!)

You've Gotta Eat Sometime

posted by on September 18 at 1:53 PM

And if you're hungry right now and have no idea where to eat, head on over the for over 5,000 reader-submitted reviews. 5,000! That's a lot!

So go ahead, trust your fellow Stranger-readers and try something new. Here's just a sample of some of the places currently holding five-star ratings: Cafe Besalu in Ballard, the Other Coast Cafe (with locations both Downtown and in Ballard), Bilbao Tapas Bar in the University District, Chopsticks on Capitol Hill, Hangar Cafe in Georgetown, Shoofly Pie Company in West Seattle (mmm... pie)...

There are hundreds of places listed, with thousands of reviews to read (and hardly any of 'em mention Palin or WaMu or pitbulls). You can search by neighborhood or cuisine, and you can search for places that are vegetarian, dog-friendly, romantic, or good for groups. And, of course, you can also leave some reviews of your own.

And if we don't have a place you're looking for, you can also add a listing!

Okay, now I'm hungry.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Favorite Slog Comment of the Day...

posted by on September 16 at 6:00 PM from the thread following Aislinn's wonderful book report. Commenter Alicia writes about a book that she once read. Though the whole post is very funny, the best line in her comment is the last sentence, which is a direct quote from the book she's discussing:

This one reminds me of the very first galley I ever read, way back in my college bookstore days. It was about Mormons studying abroad in the Holy Land (!) and the author was clearly obsessed with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (again, !), and it took me six chapters before I realized that when the author said "racist," he really meant "racial." Which is, you know, kind of a significant suffix change. The kids spent a lot of time awkwardly wrestling across gender lines (and giggling -- oh, the giggling) and exchanging lines of expositional dialogue about soil composition. Reading the book was like giving yourself whiplash while holding still.

One sentence burned itself into my memory:

"'Don't you like charity?' Kirsten asked with seduction."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Comcast Appeals FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling, Notifies Customers of Gigabyte Cap

posted by on September 15 at 4:16 PM

Comcast recently appealed the FCC ruling against its peer-to-peer traffic practices:

Comcast, the second-largest broadband provider in the U.S., filed a court appeal of a U.S. Federal Communications Commission ruling last month saying the company couldn't delay some peer-to-peer traffic on its network.

The FCC, on Aug. 1, voted 3-2 to prohibit Comcast from slowing BitTorrent P-to-P traffic in an effort to reduce network congestion. Commissioners voting against Comcast said the traffic throttling violated FCC net neutrality principles.

Comcast on Thursday asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review the FCC decision, saying the commission had no hard rules against the company's network management practices. The FCC's net neutrality principles, adopted in 2005, set out general guidelines, but no specific prohibitions, Comcast said.

Comcast filed the appeal to protect its legal rights and to "challenge the basis on which the commission found that Comcast violated federal policy in the absence of pre-existing legally enforceable standards or rules," David Cohen, Comcast's executive vice president, said in a statement. "We are compelled to appeal because we strongly believe that, in this particular case, the Commission's action was legally inappropriate and its findings were not justified by the record."

In addition, the telecom giant began notifying its Internet customers this week about a 250-Gigabyte data transfer limit, which will go into effect in October. Jonah first reported about it on Slog here.

Via The Industry Standard

Friday, September 12, 2008

Me So Corny

posted by on September 12 at 4:00 PM

This is what Slog Happy has done to Megan Seling:


She refuses to take the corn suit off and has been walking around the office mimicking Sarah Palin for the last half-hour.

I say we put her in the microwave and be done with it.

The Sky Is Falling

posted by on September 12 at 3:06 PM

Yesterday, One World Report on KBCS aired an interview with me about 9/11 Truth groups. (Coincidentally, yesterday was September 11th.) That interview is up for free at KBCS right now.

Thanks For Coming to Slog Happy!

posted by on September 12 at 10:53 AM

sloghappy3.JPGSlog Happy on the roof was a big success! Thanks to the War Room for letting us invade for the evening, and thanks to everyone who came out, drank mojitos, braved the blinding glare of the setting sun, and grabbed a free book (Paul's desk was starting to look like a used book store)--I saw a lot of familiar faces, but also a few new ones! I hope you had as much fun as I did.

And congrats to Will in Seattle for winning the VIP Genius tickets! And for those of you who didn't win, remember that this Saturday's Genius Party is free and open to the public starting at 9 pm Saturday night. We're taking over every corner of the Moore, and there will be music by Dyme Def, Daedelus, and James Pants!

And now, the very, very important question: Where should we have October's Slog Happy? I'm thinking somewhere North--University District, Fremont, Ballard, Wallingford... You've been requesting that for awhile now. And maybe a bar with some food? We can sit, eat, play trivia, and hide from the cold, wet impending fall and winter. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for coming! Can't wait for next month. (No, really, I'm not just saying that to be nice. I actually look forward to Slog Happy.)

(Also, there are two more photos here and here.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Look Who's Coming to Slog Happy

posted by on September 11 at 3:17 PM

mojito.jpgDan Savage, Tim Keck, David Schmader, Dominic Holden, Lindy West, Kelly O, Paul Constant, Dave Segal, Grant Brissey, Charles Mudede, and probably a few others too. It's going to be a blast.

See you in a couple hours for mojitos on the roof!

(Incase you forgot: War Room, on Pike between Harvard and Boylston, 6 pm.)

Happy Patriot Day Slog Happy Day!

posted by on September 11 at 10:30 AM

Tonight! War Room! 6 pm! It's going to be a lovely, mojito-flavored summer's evening.


Aside from giving away VIP tickets to this weekend's Genius Awards, Paul is bringing books, and Scary Tyler Moore promised some fresh vegetables!

Slog Happy: We don't have to bribe you to come, we just choose to.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Slog Happy Is Tomorrow

posted by on September 10 at 2:00 PM


Can't wait to see everyone! Wear sunscreen.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Reasons for Coming to Slog Happy

posted by on September 9 at 11:30 AM

* says it will be sunny with a high of 77 degrees, what a perfect day for a party on the rooftop.
*Paul Constant is bringing more free books for you to take home and enjoy.
*It's fun to wear name tags.
*You can win passes to the invite-only VIP Genius pre-party where there will be free booze, free food, and music by the Emerald City Soul Club.
*Slog commenters are nice. In person.
*I will not be bringing Candy Corn Hershey Kisses.


See you Thursday!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Slog Happy! This Thursday!

posted by on September 8 at 10:52 AM


Friday, September 5, 2008

This Week in The Stranger

posted by on September 5 at 4:09 PM


Cover art--with hand lettering!--by Ellen Forney.

How the Party Parties--A Report from the DNC by Eli Sanders
"Some parties were just strange, and made one wonder whether the combination of perpetual boozing and Denver's high altitude was triggering some sort of psychic break. A friend of a friend reported: 'It was right about the time that I was eating coconut-covered shrimp at the Denver Aquarium and watching a tiger lick up the words 'DNC 2008' written in whipped cream that I realized I had no idea what the convention was about.' Why there was a tiger at the Denver Aquarium could not be answered by anyone I encountered."

Rebecca Brown, David Shields, Tao Lin, Kathleen Wilson, Everett True, et al. on a Certain Album By a Certain Band Called Built to Spill
"I once thought if I tried I could be perfect. If I did what one should, was nice and good, worked very hard, one day I could become as pretty and perfect as you. But I was wrong."

Bethany Jean Clement on Getting Friendly with the Main Course
"My grandmother raised Angus cattle east of the mountains, outside Sunnyside. We often went over on weekends. When we branded—heating the branding iron to red-hot over a fire in the corral, guiding the cattle through a labyrinth of fences with more yells than whipping, squeezing them tight one at a time in the metal-barred chute—my job was to clip off the fur on their sides in a square so my dad or brother could apply the iron. It smelled pretty bad, and the cow would bellow mightily, its eyes rolling back in its head. Then, released, it would forget instantly, walking away calm and docile."

Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on How the SPD Is Training the Next Generation of Cops
"In many ways, it seems strange that such a program even exists—teenagers, practically by definition, aren't supposed to want to hang out with cops. But every other week, between 15 and 20 young men and women—the current class is predominantly white and male, save for one ex-cheerleader—show up to hear officers talk about life on the beat, learn tactical maneuvers and shoot guns with SWAT teams, and even run security or direct traffic at events such as Seafair."

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: One of the guys in Polvo answers Dave Segal's questions; Charles Mudede makes a grocery-shopping list out of Žižek's latest book; Jen Graves and Brendan Kiley attempt to make sense of STRIKETHROUGH; Dan Savage asks Sherman Alexie about Native American porn; Lindy West goes to a Mayor's Office of Film + Music mixer; Last Days begins with the psychotic meth-heads who tried to get Obama; Sarah Palin pens her first of (let's hope!) many columns for The Stranger; A. Birch Steen hates everything; plus all the usual news, columns, calendar listings, and movie times.

Sorry for the Technical Difficulties...

posted by on September 5 at 1:55 PM

We were having some issues with our blogging software, which is why a) We have been so quiet this afternoon, and b) Some posts appeared multiple times.

Things should be better now.

In other news! Put this on your calendar... Slog Happy, Thursday, September 11th! What a way to celebrate Patriot's Day. We'll meet at the War Room, were we've reserved the rooftop deck (and says it should be sunny and in the mid-70s).

Paul's bringing more books, I'm bringing a pair of tickets to the VIP Genius Party, and hopefully you're bringing your lovely selves.

See you there!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Welcome To the Palindrome

posted by on September 4 at 11:00 AM

As you probably already know, last night Sarah Palin gave the most embarrassing, blatantly pandering speech since Nixon blathered on about Checkers and Republican cloth coats. Personally, I think it was a Hail Mary speech from a Hail Mary candidate (and I don't know much about sports, but I do know that you can't Hail Mary all the fucking time because you will lose badly if you try.)

But forget all that for one moment. Did you know that, just as she was launching herself all up into America's face, Sarah Palin wrote a column for this week's issue of The Stranger? It's true! Take a look:

Click to enlarge

The Stranger. Providing equal time for Bible-thumping haters of community organizers for 18 years now.

Monday, September 1, 2008

You're In Our Thoughts, Sheryl

posted by on September 1 at 5:18 PM

Sheryl writes in this comments thread...

Listen. I'm in Baton Rouge with no power (the power is out to the entire parish). I'm on dialup with a laptop battery that is less than 50%.

Louisiana is in really, really bad shape, throughout the entire southern part of the state. The damage is really severe. I understand that there is other news out there, but why isn't anyone talking about this? This recovery process is going to be at least as long as the one from Katrina was going to be. The government has done a better job, as have the citizens, but the damage is... well... catastrophic.

There is a time for snarkiness, and I'm all for that, but this isn't it.

We're sorry you're getting hammered again like this, Sheryl, and it seems so cosmically unfuckingfair after what you all went through just three years ago. But I hope you don't think we're being snarky here about the hurricane. We're not. (Bush, yes; Rs, yes; Gustav, no.) But the reason there's no one Slogging about Gustav or much else besides the RNC is because... well... it's pretty much just me and Brendan on duty today and we're both at the RNC.

As hard as it may be to believe... we're not actually getting much news inside the Xcel Center (which is in St. Paul and not, as I've been sloppily blogging all day, Minneapolis), where I'm currently glowering at Brit Hume, or outside at the protests, where Brendan recently got his ass pepper sprayed. We're both offline most of the time here and even with the media all around us... we're not actually consuming much media. We're kind of cut off from the news.

And the rest of the Stranger staff is off today... so there's no one to pick up the slack, Gustav-wise. But readers can follow the storm here, and make a donation here. And Republican delegates are welcome to stop by the YouTube booth at the Xcel Center to, er, show their support.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Smelled in the Office

posted by on August 28 at 11:59 AM

This thing:


Dear god! It smells like Schmader's been smoking sherm up in here. Why, unless you have to write "Spring Break! (boobies/penis)" on something that doesn't belong to you, why would you use anything but these:


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Slog Commenter Book Report: PopTart Does Northline

posted by on August 26 at 2:34 PM

As you may remember, I brought a bunch of advance reader copies with me to Slog Happy. Everybody got books, and I promised to run the book reviews on Slog. Mr. Poe went first. Now it's PopTart's turn, which is appropriate since this Slog Commenter Book Report thing is her idea:


Here is my book report on Northline by Willy Vlautin, a gritty realistic American novel that…blah, blah, blah. If you want the adjective-laced drivel about what a great American novel this is, check out Vlautin’s website, but this is a book report for Slog so I’m just going to skip right to the good stuff. Northline has drugs, heavy drinking, a skinhead party in the desert, a gay bashing of a not gay, awful sexual encounters, and Paul Newman.

Well, Paul Newman isn’t in the novel, per se. The main character, Allison Johnson, carries on imaginary conversations with him. It’s a plot device, get it? See she’s fleeing Las Vegas because of some shit like being pregnant and having a crazy boyfriend, and Paul Newman is her hero so she has imaginary conversations with him. I’m not sure he’d be my choice in the imaginary conversation department. But, whatever, it sort of works in the story.

The book is short; there are even a couple chapters that are only about half a page. The shortness works for me on account of my short attention span*.

Allison flees to Reno where she attempts to rebuild her life and meets some characters along the way and gets a couple of jobs and meets a guy and instead of riding off into the sunset they stand around and hold hands and watch an old casino implode.

My only complaint about Northline is that it just sort of ends with parts of the plot hanging out there, but gee, I guess that’s JUST LIKE gritty America, where you never do know what happens with your sister stranded in Mexico and if your crazy stalker boyfriend is about to appear and rain down some bad shit on your head.

The best part of the book is that with the first edition you get a soundtrack for the novel, composed by the author who is a member of an alternative country band, Richmond Fontaine, based in Portland Oregon. Maybe all authors should think about including a soundtrack for their novels. But, not all authors are accomplished musicians like Mr. Vlautin. So, maybe authors and bands could team up and create something the suits like to call “synergy.”

For example, Death Cab for Cutie’s song “I will Possess your Heart” would be the perfect accompaniment to Kate Brennan’s new book about being stalked, In His Sights.

But, I digress.

If you are looking for a short read where the main characters will make you feel vastly superior about your own life then Northline is for you.

Many thanks to PopTart and any errors in this book report should be blamed on the editor of the piece, which would be me.

Continue reading "Slog Commenter Book Report: PopTart Does Northline" »

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stranger Writers Are a Superstitious and Cowardly Lot

posted by on August 22 at 6:02 PM

This monstrous thing just terrorized our offices for the last half hour.


I know it doesn't look like it from the picture, but it was as big as a goddamned bat.

Continue reading "Stranger Writers Are a Superstitious and Cowardly Lot" »

Where the Hell's Eat & Tell?

posted by on August 22 at 11:54 AM

Sad news: Due to stupid space restrictions, this week brings the final installment of Angela Garbes' beloved column Eat & Tell. Due to even stupider space restrictions, the final installment of Eat & Tell was bumped from this week's print edition. As usual, it's a goodie, and here it is:

Pork & Grief

Two weeks ago, a beloved family friend passed away. Feeling a little sad all the time is, well, sad. And, in moments, crippling and overwhelming. At the funeral last week, easels holding photos collages celebrating our friend Rudy’s life were set up in the church lobby. I looked at the collages—“Friends,” “Church Activities,” “Family,” “Travels,” “Knights of Columbus”—and had to laugh when I noticed that, in every single display, there was at least one photo of Rudy hovering over a lechon, a Filipino whole roasted pig. “Oh yeah,” my dad smiled when I pointed this out to him, “Rudy loved lechon. There’s going to be one at the reception afterwards.”

Indeed, after the funeral, a whole pig served in the church social hall fed the hundreds of people who came to say goodbye. “It’s perfect,” Rudy’s daughter said to me, “that guy just loved to eat.” Last week, on the ninth night of mourning his death, before and after saying the rosary, friends and family devoured yet another whole pig, chopped impressively (with a cleaver and rubber mallet) by his daughter. I like to think that Rudy is quite pleased by all of this.

Of course, roasted pig is appropriate for all celebrations. It can even be the cause of one, as it will be this Saturday at Ballard’s Old Pequliar, when they roast two 120-pound pigs. Go and eat in honor of someone you love.

Pig and Pipes, with music by the Seattle Firefighters Pipes and Drums Corps, Saturday, August 23, 12:00 pm, the Old Pequliar, 1722 NW Market Street. Tickets $15; 782-8886.

If it's any consolation, and it is, the divine Ms. Garbes will continue to share her eloquent, one-of-a-kind food lust with Stranger readers in reviews and profiles and what-have-you for The Stranger's Chow section.

But for now, a moment's silence for Eat & Tell.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This Week in The Stranger

posted by on August 21 at 1:50 PM

Save the Parking Lots!
Dominic Holden tours Seattle's most endangered open spaces.
It’s thanks to attitudes like developer Martin Tobias’s that photographs are all that remain of most of Ballard’s beloved parking lots and Belltown’s historic parking lots; they may be all that remain of the parking lots in your neighborhood one day, too. Unless we take action now, your future grandchildren may point to a photograph in a book and ask, 'Grandma, what’s that a picture of?' And you will have to answer, 'That’s a parking lot, sweetheart. The city used to be covered with them. But they’re all gone now.'

No, Not Here, That's Not Possible
Jen Graves sends an intern--undercover--to Seattle Art Museum.
SAM is the only stop on the Inspiring Impressionism exhibition's national tour, which also stops in Denver and Atlanta, that universally forbids painting in its galleries. The Stranger sent an intern, John Borges, to the museum posing as a great-artist-in-training, with paints, a palette, a drop cloth, and a traditional French easel, and he was escorted straight up to the administration offices and told what he wanted to do was impossible. 'It seemed like the guard was rooting for me,' Borges said afterward. But no dice.

NEWS: Erica C. Barnett on the campaign against this November's light-rail expansion measure; Dominic Holden on an ex-criminal success story; Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on the SPD and hate crimes; an accusation of election-related dirty tricks; our comprehensive, party-crashing primary election night coverage; and more.

MUSIC: Sam Mickens interrogates GZA; Ryan Adams and Oasis, the charticle; Charles Mudede on Library Science; plus all the usual show previews and columns.

FILM: Lindy West goes to Mock Up on Mu at Northwest Film Forum with a friend who gets up and leaves 15 minutes into it. Plus, lots of new reviews and our searchable and lovingly updated Movie Times.

BOOKS: Eli Sanders on McCain, Obama, and the men who made them. Plus, the readings calendar.

THEATER: Brendan Kiley on a mini fringe festival at Hugo House and a review of last weekend at Smoke Farm. Plus, the theater calendar.

CHOW: Joan Hiller eats a ton of chicken-fried steak and Bethany Jean Clement pays a visit to the Elite.

AND THAT'S NOT EVEN MENTIONING Last Days; I Love Television; Savage Love; Drunk of the Week; Control Tower; and A. Birch Steen's critical overview of this issue. Anything I've forgotten? If so, it'd be here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How We Got This Week's Issue to the Printer

posted by on August 20 at 12:46 PM

Tuesday is the busiest day in The Stranger's production cycle--the day the paper goes to the printer. Yesterday afternoon, in the middle of the usual stress, our phones went blank and some of the lights in our offices went out. A second later, Dan Savage looked up from his computer and said, "Why can't I get on Slog?"

A transformer across the street had just blown. In addition to the power we'd lost--some departments had it, some didn't (the phone system had lost power)--we'd lost internet and email access. This posed a special problem: Without the internet, we couldn't get pages to the printer. Our solution? Senior ad designer Mary Traverse took a computer to Grey Gallery & Lounge across the street from our offices, because they have free wi-fi, and uploaded one page (the one that was ready at that moment) to the printer's FTP site from there. Meanwhile, we were still finishing up and proofreading pages on the few computers in the production department that still had power.

Eventually, big orange trucks from Seattle City Light showed up.


There was a white truck too--according to our tech support guy Brian Geoghagan, the white truck is always the supervisor's truck--and Geoghagan took it upon himself to march up to the white truck and ask the man inside when the power was going to come back. The man in the white truck informed him that, actually, the power was about to go out. All of it. The whole block. More than the whole block. The City Light guys needed all the power out in the area to solve whatever the problem was.

Continue reading "How We Got This Week's Issue to the Printer" »

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties. Please Stand By.

posted by on August 19 at 5:12 PM

A transformer blew up outside our office a moment or two ago. Our phones are down, our internet is down, our email is down. If you've been trying to reach someone at our office via phone or email without luck, now you know what's up.

This post was filed from the Stranger's command and control bunker.

Monday, August 18, 2008


posted by on August 18 at 6:40 PM

Attention iPhone-enabled Slog & Line Out readers!

Your slow-page-loading days are over. Some time ago, because I have an iPhone and very little patience, I created an iPhone-optimized interface for Slog. Some time later, Nick improved it and then the other day New Nick made one for Line Out. Now, in a fit of selflessness and doing-my-job, I'm sharing it with the world. I hope that it makes you as happy as it has me.

I'm very happy, ask anyone.

slog.jpg lineout.jpg

Don't have an iPhone? Well, this might work just fine in your mobile "browser," but I can't promise anything. Please let us know how it goes if you try it. I attempted to test it in Windows Mobile, but I don't associate with Windows Mobile users, and attempts to get Microsoft's emulators working proved predictably annoying, and then I got hungry. YMMV!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thanks for Making Last Night's Slog Happy So Fun

posted by on August 15 at 10:10 AM

Genuinely. The Hideout was hot and sticky with everyone crammed in there, but it was a great place to have the party, I'd say.

As promised, Chicago Fan was there along with Savage, Annie, Christopher, Bethany, Paul, Dominic... am I forgetting anyone? Books were flying everywhere, there were bags of tea and veggies, and lucky Abby won the Bumbershoot tickets!

I had a blast. I hope you did too. And now that it's over, if you have any suggestions for next month's Slog Happy, let's hear 'em. Location ideas? Up north, maybe? Ballard or Fremont? Want trivia? Bingo? Karaoke?

Slog Happy is your party, you tell us what you want.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tonight! Slog Happy! 6 pm!

posted by on August 14 at 11:24 AM

The day has finally come; August's Slog Happy is tonight at the Hideout.

Paul Constant is bringing free books, I'm bringing Bumbershoot tickets to win (well, I'm not really bringing the actual tickets, I'm just bringing the opportunity to win them, which means I'm bringing a hat in which to draw names from) and the Hideout's supplying some drink specials ($1.50 Rainiers and $2.50 wells), good art, pretzles, and a neat-o vending machine filled with presents to buy.


It starts at 6 pm--get there early to get the first crack at Paul's books. That sounds weirdly dirty...

A Sad Day for Inky Kink

posted by on August 14 at 9:59 AM


As several blogs have already noted, Ellen Forney's long-beloved Lustlab Ad of the Week—in which kinky personal ads were brought to inky life—will no longer be gracing the pages of The Stranger.

Better news: Babeland will be hosting a show of Forney's Lustlab originals on Sept. 9, as part of the Capitol Hill Art Walk, and we'll always have Lust...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Slog Happy Tomorrow at the Hideout

posted by on August 13 at 10:15 AM

You haven't forgotten about this, have you?


The Hideout, by the way, has a four out of five star rating in The Stranger's online bar/restaurant reviews. Not too shabby at all.

See you tomorrow night!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Superintendent Bergeson Says Her Failing Eyes Caused Her to Fail the WASL

posted by on August 11 at 2:00 PM

Hey, remember when State School Superintendent Terry Bergeson bombed her WASL test in front of the Stranger Election Control Board?


Well, KIRO picked up the story and got the official line on Bergeson's failing score:

Bergeson's campaign manager told KIRO 7 that The Stranger surprised Bergeson with the questions, which she had trouble seeing, because she didn't have her glasses with her.

Slog Happy! This Thursday!

posted by on August 11 at 11:25 AM


Now with free books! And a chance to win Bumbershoot tickets!

The Hideout is on Boren at Madison. Hope to see you there!

(Is that enough exclamation points for you?)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ding Ding Ding! We Have a Winner!

posted by on August 7 at 4:50 PM

It's official: only three people have read The Stranger Election Control Board's 2008 endorsements.

Halfway through the endorsements, buried in the text for the oh-so-exciting Attorney General race, we wrote:

McKenna's Democratic opponent, Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, is a funny, smart, savvy politician with a strong environmental record. As a county executive, he worked hard to clean up illegal dumps and junk cars, earning the endorsement of the überliberal Sierra Club despite his support for the controversial Cross-Base Highway across Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base. (To see if anyone actually read this far, The Stranger is proud to offer a $50 check and a minibottle of Jack Daniels to the first person that e-mails us at

So far, we've only received three emails. The first one came from 33-year-old William Lee, who read through the SECB's endorsements on his lunch break, mostly because he didn't have anything better to do. "I [was] out of new reading material," Lee says. "Usually if I’m reading at lunch time it’s novels."

Did Lee gain anything by reading the SECB's endorsements? "I already knew I wasn’t going to be voting for Rossi," he says. "That’s a given."

I See Your Free Books, Paul Constant, and I Raise You a Pair of Bumbershoot Tickets

posted by on August 7 at 2:37 PM

As announced earlier, the next Slog Happy is August 14 at the fantastic Hideout. Paul Constant sweetened the pot by promising free books for those in attendance who craved some new summer reading material.

It gets even better! We don't have trivia this time, but we will also be giving away one pair of Bumbershoot tickets for any one day of the festival (winner chooses which day). Visit to see the complete schedule where you can also pick only the acts your interested in and print our your own customized version.

See you Thursday!

A Couple Notes on Slog Happy

posted by on August 7 at 1:14 PM

I'm excited for Slog Happy. I also love the Hideout, and I don't go there nearly enough.

But I know that some of you have been complaining about the lack of sit-down meals, and I'd like to suggest that, before, during, or after Slog Happy, you stop by Thai Star, just next door to the Hideout. It's really great, cheap Thai food, although the ambiance leaves something to be desired. I recommend all the soups and the curries. You won't regret it.

Also of note for some of you: In an effort to class up Slog happy with some old-fashioned book-learnin', I'll be bringing some advance reader's copies for anyone who's interested. They're not for resale, but they're perfectly good for reading. I'll try to bring a mixture of genres and interests.

Actually, now that I've written this, I can't tell if the free books will bring new people out or inspire more people to stay home. I guess we'll find out.

Slog Happy Is One Week Away

posted by on August 7 at 11:30 AM


Have you been to the Hideout yet? It's a great bar. There's tons of pretty art on the walls and vending machines with little treasures and affordable art instead of snacks. And while the lack of candy would usually get me in a tizzy (I like candy), instead you can order yummy treats from the bar including cheese and spreads platters, chocolate, and nuts. And they also have free pretzels for you cheapskates.

Join us, won't you?

Letter of the Day

posted by on August 7 at 11:04 AM

Oh, we get letters. This is going to be a long one, so get your scrolling fingers ready and prepare your bitchy comments about why I didn't put this after the jump. Everything below is (sic), but emphasis is mine:

Thursday, August 7, 2008 Dear Ms Wagner/Mr. Savage:

We read with great interest this recent film nutice in your aptly named publication The Stranger, insofar as The Stranger is a greater degree of The Strange. We define "nutice" as a message alerting us to any nuts possibly being involved in a given event, either by its content or its drafting:

THE REFLECTING POOL A group of 9/11 conspiracy nuts presents this "investigative drama" about a reporter. It' s heartening to see 9/11 "Truth" movement (sic) is finally giving up on the inconveniently truth-oriented documentary format. Screened with A Tribute to Fresh Kills, a seven-minute "poetry video" about 9/11. Trinity United Methodist Church Gymnasium, Fri. August 8 at 7 PM.

Although we are not amused that you even posted this nutice, we are presently acting as hiring consultants for the Bush White House and Hannity & Combs, as well as The O'Reilly Report on Faux News.

We are looking for hotshot twenty- and thirty-somethings with advanced degrees and/or experience in the new field of jeernalism, which reflects the new unprofessional standards which we in thecorporate community heartily applaud, and from which we manifestoly benefit. We define jeernalism as the current corporate media practice of substituting the reporting of boring information with ill-informed opinion repeatedly, crudely and incivilly expressed without proper investigation or proofreading, of which the above-cited nutice is a nutable example.

We would therefore appreciate your providing us with contact information of the above-cited author and editor, so that we might cite them as well. We would like to thank you in advance for this unprofessional courtesy.

We would also like to point out in a hopefully helpful way that, with the above-cited nutice, you have left yourself open not only to lawsuits for slander, but worse, to someone pointing out the obvious: that just as you have urged the 9/11 Truth movement to revert to just portraying fiction, you as an alleged alternative newspaper might be urged to revert to just reporting fact.

Yours all too truly,

Prisis Wright-CEO

I don't have much to offer by way of analysis except to say that I gave 9/11 Truth groups more of a chance to impress me than just about anybody in the mainstream media. After the piece came out (and was reprinted in the UTNE Reader), people bashed me left and right for being too easy on Truth groups, but I felt that the point in my article—that they developed a huge political organization out of virtually nothing in just a few years—was pertinent. They could have been a major force in the 2008 election, and instead they put all their money toward buying a fucking blimp for Ron Paul.

I'm fucking done with 9/11 Truth groups and their stupid misspelled e-mails and their dumb "confrontation" videos. I've read your books and seen your movies and you have fuck-all. Hundreds of people have written rational, compassionate arguments against your stupid theories (hell, get Jonathan Golob drunk and ask him about Building 7 and he'll go on a tear that's alternately hilarious and enlightening) and you don't buy any of it because you're not about reason, you're about being the heroes of the stupid fucking conspiracy movies in your fucking heads. Talk to me when you come back to reality and we can get some shit done. I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Friday, August 1, 2008

This Week In The Stranger

posted by on August 1 at 1:00 PM

(Personal note: One day I'm going to leave my apartment, look to the horizon at the east, and see the Sonics Deathwatch logo rising where the sun should be. It's just something that I feel in my bones to be true.)

Brand-New Stranger Genius Sherman Alexie Shares 61 Things He Learned During the Sonics Trial
"23. "Motherfucker" is, of course, the purest distillation of mama insults. Since single mothers are sadly common and sweetly revered in black culture, mama jokes are ironically hilarious. However, I've always wondered why the term "fatherfucker" is so rarely used as an insult. I think it's far more original, powerful, and disturbing than "motherfucker." I assume that "motherfucker" is an insult borne of misogyny, so wouldn't "fatherfucker" be a more egalitarian, homoerotic, and therefore more disturbing obscenity? Wouldn't we all be challenging the patriarchy if we adopted its use?"

Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, Erica C. Barnett, Jonathan Golob, and A. Birch Steen on the Critical Mass Whumpin'
[From Jonah's Critical Mess:] "Tom Braun, a 35-year-old insurance attorney who was injured in the clash, says he had nothing to do with the attack on the driver. Still, he ended up in the hospital with bruises and possible internal injuries: Doctors found blood in his urine. The next morning, Braun checked for news on the clash. He wasn't pleased with what he found."

Some Jackass On the Pleasures of Attending Readings Wherein the Author (In This Case, Ethan Canin) is Drinking a Large, Very Alcoholic Pink Beverage
"When asked a question, Canin would ramble pleasurably for 10 minutes before moving on, sometimes never actually answering the original question, although no one minded. Canin is a graduate of Harvard Medical School who decided to become a novelist after reading Saul Bellow. He talked at length about his career as a doctor, mentioning, for example, that "the only time I ever got sued" was a result of attempting to treat a gunshot victim, adding cryptically that 'finding an entry wound is much harder than finding the exit wound.'"

Jeff Kirby Talks to Mike Kinsella of Owen About Being Kind of a Fuckup
"Every other day I wake up and think, "Ugh, I should really get some sort of job," but then an hour and a half later I'm playing video games saying, 'God, I am so glad I don't have a job.'"

Charles Mudede on the Death of Buildings
"We all know the end of, say, Northgate Mall is not going to be pretty. It has in it no proper way to die. It wants to look perpetually new, so if it is not destroyed, it is destined to leave a horrifying corpse. But Kundig's Delta Shelter, a cabin in Eastern Washington, has an infusion of time in the core of its being. It is very much alive, but it does not conceal its fate, its future, its rust, its temporality."

Bethany Jean Clement Thinks About Boom Noodle"Boom Noodle would make an excellent cafeteria for an upscale space station. Lightbulbs hang in marshaled rows, not too glaring, like just-pretty-good ideas; diners sit at long tables in curved, ergonomic Eames-alike chairs. The supersleek aesthetic, while nothing new, is nicely accented with green walls and panels of wood—a reminder of the existence, somewhere distant, of trees."

Also discussed: John McCain as Mr. Magoo, Margarita Prentice suggests that her constituents are poor, Erica C. Barnett on why the city doesn't classify car violence as assault, bitchery over kitschery in Georgetown, a King Cobra employee on cleaning up Sugar's violent mess, liking a band despite their promotional videos, whether there's a worse word for penis than "penis", and more.

Ever Wonder What It's Like to Be a News Intern?

posted by on August 1 at 11:55 AM

Do you enjoy trolling through mind-numbing court filings? Do you like taking long walks down to city hall to pick up always-exciting legislative action agendas? Do you wish you spent more time interviewing crazy people about everything from the fascinating world of mass transit to gay robot conspiracies?

Then have we got a job for you!

The Stranger's news department is looking for a few good interns.

If you have any aspirations to be a journalist, can string together a sentence, and don't mind acting as a drug mule every once in awhile, then send a resume and clips (if you have them) to

Stranger internships: You can't say you hate it if you haven't tried it.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Very, Very Best (It's Hard to Decide!) of Erica C. Barnett

posted by on July 31 at 1:51 PM

Four score and seven years ago, Erica C. Barnett became the news editor of The Stranger. (It happened in April.) Someone (ahem) was on vacation the week it happened and completely forgot to give the news the treatment that other similar promotions get these days. Barnett, as you undoubtedly know, is one of The Stranger's sharpest political thinkers and writers. But she's written on subjects outside of politics, too--like books and movies and veggie BLTS. Here, belatedly, are five of her most memorable essays.

"Hell for the Holidays: A Red State Refugee Heads Back to Texas for Thanksgiving"
"Among people I know with red-state relatives, one spent the holiday with friends in Oregon; one left the country entirely; and another headed, girlfriend in tow, to the bluest place she could find: New York City. Me? I decided to confront my fears head-on. I traveled straight to the heart of red America--to hell for the holidays--on the condition that my family agree to avoid the only topic that was on my mind."

Viaduct I: "Nothing Goes Here"
"As the state transportation department was releasing its initial look at the impacts of replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a new group was rolling out a farsighted--and potentially contentious--viaduct proposal of its own. Instead of replacing the viaduct, the new plan proposes tearing it down and replacing it with... absolutely nothing."

Viaduct II: "No and Hell No"
"Seattle voters are being asked to vote 'yes' or 'no' on two new freeways on the city's waterfront--a larger elevated viaduct (the option preferred by Governor Christine Gregoire, key members of the state legislature, and the Seattle public, if opinion polls can be believed) and a scaled-down, four-lane, cut-and-cover tunnel (the option that's still preferred by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, despite being declared dead by the governor earlier this month). A third option, tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct and investing in transit and improvements to surface streets instead of a new waterfront freeway, isn't on the ballot despite being (a) cheaper, (b) less disruptive, and (c) the most environmentally responsible option."

"Frito Pie 101: From the Land of Dubya, the Food of Kings"
"The first Frito pie, according to legend, was assembled in Dallas, Texas, by one Daisy Dean Doolin, the mother of Fritos inventor C. E. Doolin. Asked to come up with recipes requiring her son's corn-chip snack, the story goes, Daisy Dean got the idea of pouring a ladleful of Texas red (a fiery chili made without tomatoes or beans) into a bag of Fritos. And from these humble ingredients, Frito pie was born. Traditionally, Frito pie was consumed straight out of the bag; however, as the bags got thinner, this preparation became too hot to handle, and today most Frito pie is served school-cafeteria style, in a cardboard nacho boat. As a native Texan, I grew up eating buckets of the stuff. It's standard fare in school lunchrooms, at Friday-night high-school football games, and in Junior League cookbooks across the Lone Star State."

"On the Rocks: Richard McIver's Arrest for Domestic Violence Highlights a Taboo Issue--His Drinking"
"The Four Seas, McIver's favorite watering hole, is a dingy, black-painted cavern of a bar in the back of a massive Chinese restaurant. Men sit alone drinking shots and manhattans under a soundtrack of R&B and soul; a sign on the wall reads, 'Herradura Blast Off! 20 Dollars.' A young waitress named Rachel (who politely declined to comment for this story) flirts good-naturedly with the mostly middle-aged, exclusively male, clientele; a plate of chicken, cooked to a rubbery texture, is hard to distinguish in the gloom."

This doesn't even include her staggering Slog output or her widely read city hall column--still excellent after all these years. Many more of her pieces--461 since 2003--can be found here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's the antonym of "unison"?

posted by on July 29 at 3:43 PM

Annie Wagner and Brendan Kiley--editing a piece together--are looking for one word that means the opposite of "unison."


Whither Slog Happy?

posted by on July 29 at 11:04 AM

Dear Slog,

Since Amy Kate is leaving the paper for the fancy, high-stakes world of cattle auctioneering, this means that Megan Seling and I are splitting the duties of overseeing Slog Happy. However, Megan Seling doesn't drink and I can drink nail polish remover on a street corner and be perfectly happy, so we'd like your opinions in the comments about where the next Slog Happy should be held.

Also, I'd be interested to hear from anyone who hasn't attended Slog Happy about what it would take for them to actually attend Slog Happy. And if you have attended Slog Happy, what would you like more of? Food? Trivia? A mud-wrestling match between a Critical Mass bike rider and a 20-cent plastic bag?

I appreciate your comments in advance.

Paul Bobby