Friday, December 31, 2010

Thanks, KEXP!

KEXP interviewed a bunch of us re our 2011 resolutions. Fun being included with Ken Stringfellow, Matthew Caws, King County Executive, Dow Constantine and others whose work I admire and/or with whom I'm friends. Plus, an added bonus: my younger brother is actually impressed:

Special thanks to KEXP writer Jon Harthun for eliciting my answers.

May 2011 kiss all of us on the cheek. Best to you and yours!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


  • To my loved ones and colleagues who helped assuage the searing grief to manageable levels, I remain forever and deeply grateful. I've written of this before but it's worth repeating: there's so much good in the world and I was surrounded by it and that made all the difference. The shock wore off months ago and the "new normal" everyone kept referring to continues to take shape. I incorporate his memory daily and will miss him 'til I'm dead, but in incremental ways, I'm getting the hang of the second half of my life.
  • To everyone wise enough not to inject their religious or philosophical beliefs into another's grief. The most salient card I received read, "It's always too soon." Really, that's all anyone needs to say.
  • I feel he helped look after me in the early months after his death. I realize some lose a partner or close loved one and experience their total absence. I'm not disputing their accounts; merely relaying mine. And I know I might be wrong.
  • I worked with a particularly fine crop of editors and producers this year and will be working with each of them throughout 2011 and that's high-five and heel-click prompting.
  • To the five conventionally married couples who like as well as love each other: nice job. Share tips with your friends; save the rest of us the headache of listening to another conversation delineating the ways in which marriage is not a porridge of rainbows and gold-leaf crumbles.
  • I loved my rabbits boundlessly and when the last one died in May, my home started to resemble a catacomb. So it's been pretty fucking great that my puppy, Thomas, is every bit as sweet, smart, life-affirming and reflexively goofy as I'd hoped he'd be. Thomas Puppy!
  • To each citizen and administration official who worked tirelessly to pass health care reform and to repeal DADT. So much left to accomplish, but this is a damned fine start. And I'm still glad I raised money and voted for President Obama.
  • There is some good news in the offing I've shared with almost no one because I'd rather unveil it when the ink is dry. Still, it's pleasant having things to look forward to again.
  • I am profoundly lucky my family, friends and colleagues are, in fact, my family, friends and colleagues. Much love now and forever.
[I know I wrote a few days ago that I wouldn't mention him in my year-end wrap-up because a set of grief-mongers apparently has little to do but search for his name here. Well, fuck 'em.]

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why the Jimmy Carter comparision makes no sense whatsoever:

As during the Carter years, there's a recession akin to a bloodbath; joblessness persists; house values keep plummeting and the nation's mood remains cranky as hell.

But to borrow Joe Biden's oft-quoted phrase, here's the huge fucking deal: Carter's one term held few historically notable successes. Obama's first two years contain a pair of gigantic victories: health care reform and the repeal of DADT. Also, the combat phase of the Iraq war is essentially over (not that we can breathe easy yet, but we're moving in the right direction).

No, Gitmo isn't closed and Obama hasn't devised a way to divide loaves and fishes or walk on water, but it'd be useful if my fellow compadres on the left took a sec, breathed deep and momentarily enjoyed what the administration has accomplished so far. The "to do" list still scrolls to the floor, but focusing on success builds momentum, which in turn leads to more success.

And for god's sake, media outlets, you must chill: no one is challenging him from the left in '12. With so many actual stories to cover, it's assinine to speculate where none exists.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Guy walking by absorbed by your Kindle...

...unless it contains Pakistan's nuclear codes and you've heard rumors President Asif Ali Zardari has an itchy trigger finger, you appear less intellectual, not more.

The smartest and most insightful response is usually to engage in the world surrounding you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

All thoughts and prayers for my friend and her family, please:

I'll heading out the door soon for Part #2 of the Christmas cacophony but my thoughts are with my good friend, whose sister died yesterday after a long bout with brain cancer. She died at home surrounded by her loved ones and for the past two weeks, each of them knew this would arrive any moment.

While her sister's suffering is over, there is a tragedy and, from where I sit, a meaningless to such deaths. Randomness is as brutal a force as the tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of individuals on this day six years ago.

I'll be seeing my friend soon and we've been there for each other through previous bouts of unfettered awfulness, but everything about this passing is spectacularly unfair and I know whatever comfort I can provide is di minimis and the whole point of this holiday seems perverse and darkly ridiculous right now.

I'm massively fortunate to have... many deeply thoughtful, extraordinarily intelligent, boundlessly talented and ridiculously super-cute friends and family members.

That said, my dear friend and colleague, Jade, just gave me an autographed first-edition Joan Didion, so unless someone wants to gift-wrap Bono and/or Jon Hamm, I think this is the gift-getting pinnacle.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm going to skip year-end reflections...

...because much of them would incorporate you-know-who and I long ago opted to withhold from the grief-mongers whatever it is they think they'll find here. (Seriously, when certain individuals do searches on his name here several times a week, it's not a question of loose screws so much as the degree of looseness.)

Instead, I'll offer a holiday piece I filmed for the Seattle Channel three years ago. (He and I watched it together on my living room couch when it first aired. There--I'll throw you a grief scrap.)

Re the piece itself, about the Christmas torment my brother unleashed on my high school boyfriend, what good are the holidays if you can't needle your younger sibling and remind him that even on the cusp of fatherhood, he remains your baby bro? Ah, payback, a quarter century later. I start at a minute and 17 seconds:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My new interview with John Vanderslice for Paste Magazine is here:

The lauded singer-songwriter and all-around swell guy on philanthropy, Three Imaginary Girls, Teen Feed and playing Santa:

I've had a spate of interviews lately I've really enjoyed and this ranks high among them. My editor made an error, though, and one of JV's answers makes a lot less sense without the question preceding it. So here's the full exchange:

PASTE: The Three Imaginary Girls told me how thrilled they were you stepped up with little notice to play Santa at their holiday concert benefiting Teen Feed, the non-profit that provides meals for homeless youth, and that you'll perform at the event, as well. The night before Three Imaginary Girls' soiree, you're joining your frequent compadres, the Mountain Goats, to play a live show accompanying a silent film in the Castro. So you're playing an intricately involved affair in your home city, San Francisco, then immediately hopping a plane to Seattle to help hungry teens. Few artists of your stature would put themselves through the rigors of performing the shows sequentially. What compelled you to say, "Yes"?

JOHN VANDERSLICE: Well, when Three Imaginary Girls calls, you best answer, “Yes.” I'm there for Three Imaginary Girls and Teen Feed! I'll fly in that night and don my suit in the mini-van (Town car? Limo? Ha!) on the way to the show. Teen Feed is a tremendous charity doing necessary work so helping them has to be a good thing. John Darnielle [of the Mountain Goats] asked me a few days after I had accepted the invitation to come to Seattle. I would have done both shows either way. I feel lucky to have such good people who want to do things with me!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Vanderslicer! Three Imaginary Girls! Teen Feed!

My new Seattle Weekly piece on Three Imaginary Girls' holiday benefit for Teen Feed, featuring the endlessly swell John Vanderslice, is online and on stands now:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

If you need a respite from holiday-induced madness, loved ones and/or deadlines:

The deeply talented and industrious Diane Mapes has a new feature on in which I'm among those interviewed. Bemused that a number of my friends recalled the person in question right away:

And Thomas was featured on Capitol Hill Blog a few months ago, but I had a bunch of deadlines and neglected to post it:

Hooray, puppydog!

The countdown to January 2nd resumes.

It was his birthday on Wednesday...

...but I'm not writing about it here.

You can stop doing word searches on his name.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Well, yeah, that makes sense:

The American Red Cross is now forbidding people with CFIDS from donating blood:

England and Canada implemented the same measure earlier this year. I've never donated blood in the 19 years I've had CFIDS, even in the early years when my doctors said I could (they've informally advised against it for awhile now), because I figured whatever was making me this ill didn't belong in the blood supply.

Glad the Red Cross is taking this step and I hope the Centers for Disease Control and NIH follow suit.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It's almost too easy to deem birther Texas State Representative Leo Berman (R) a racist, clinically paranoid...

...and skull-dented withered old man, but it's accurate on all counts, so what are you going to do?

Anderson Cooper dismantles Berman's inaccuracies in an exemplary televised interview that should inspire more journalists how to remain calm while shredding totally fabricated crap:

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm pretty damned fortunate nearly everyone in my life...

...understands at least the basics of CFIDS, including its severity and unpredictability.

Which is hugely appreciated, as I was too ill to attend Thanksgiving (marking the first time I've been so incapacitated I skipped a major holiday) or my friends' dinner party Saturday night. Except to walk the puppy, I've been unable to leave the house for days. Still on track with my upcoming deadlines, but I'm in so much pain it hurts to lift my head.

If you know me, you know this isn't a bid for sympathy. Far from it. I remain open about CFIDS because there are so many misconceptions surrounding it; the only way this changes is if those of us with the illness are honest about how we live. And it's as pointless to dwell on it as it is to hide it.

Really touched that my dad brought by holiday leftovers and that several friends volunteered to do the same. I'd gone grocery shopping before the worst of it hit, so I'm well-stocked, but still: I'm super-lucky in a lot of ways and this is one of them.

Laura Hillenbrand, lauded author of Seabiscuit and "A Sudden Illness", her essay detailing her life with CFIDS, has a new novel, Unbroken, receiving wide acclaim. (You can read a fine excerpt in this month's print version of Vanity Fair.) In yesterday's Washington Post, Hillenbrand discusses the intersection of CFIDS and writing:

And in the new Newsweek, the XMRV retrovirus and its possible causative or correlative role with CFIDS is examined:

I'm reminded of Chris Rock's line, that the last time science cured anything, "I Love Lucy" was still on the air, but like most of us, I'd be mighty thrilled with an even somewhat reliable treatment.

Good thing I can do my job lying down.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It speaks to how bad Seattle's snow situation is right now...

...that a man killed a stranger with an axe Monday morning a half-mile from my home in full view of school children and it has barely made the news.

In a strange and awful coincidence, the murderer lived on my street and was treating at the mental health facility on Olive; both were true of the 2007 knife-wielding New Year's Eve murderer.

Like everyone, I feel for the victims' families and wish no one had to suffer such horror.

And not to point fingers, but the mental health facility on Olive might want to step up its standard of care.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Particularly the drunk guys riding their bikes in the snow:

Don't get pieces like this because so much of the dogs vs. cats debate comes down to the genetics and environment of the individual animal:

That said, Thomas, of course, is smarter than most two-legged creatures roaming the planet.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sleep well!

Several inches of snow have fallen since this afternoon, which is fine for those of us who work from home. Thanksgiving is probably canceled for a large chunk of the city, though, as most of it is a series of hills. Local news is reporting two buses just spun out on I-5 and are blocking three lanes then they showed my neighborhood, which is too snowed over for cars at all. Not that this has stopped a cabal of drunken sledders from commandeering the nearby hills as they did two years ago. I'm bemused, but the puppy is calling total bullshit on these antics and for now, at least, I've kept him distracted.

Much more importantly, a friend of mine just posted Wall Street Journal reports that North Korea and South Korea have exchanged fire and it's utterly horrifying:

So this is all really useful because slumber tonight was looking too peaceful.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And vegans will like pizza, too:

There will be peace in the Middle East before non-writers understand how we write and why.

(With a few notable exceptions, of course.)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Belated good news re The Nervous Breakdown:

Fellow TNB colleague and pal Aaron Dietz reads from his new and well-received novel, Super, tonight at The Hideout. Details:

Hope to see you there!

Also, this appeared in my Google alerts yesterday a month and a half after the fact, but in addition to rave previews from The Stranger and from, it turns out The Nervous Breakdown Literary Experience Seattle Edition also received a swell write-up from City Arts Magazine:

Retroactive high fives to all.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Two reasons John Edwards remains useful:

1) Aaron Sorkin is writing a screenplay based on the Edwards biography, The Politician. The odds it will be less than brilliant and wildly entertaining are roughly the same John Boehner will forgo bronzer.

2) New York Magazine is reporting via the National Enquirer (yeah, I know, but the Enquirer has been dead accurate throughout Edwards' protracted imbroglios) that Rielle Hunter is now fucking around on him:

Still bummed those two opted to procreate. Nearly seven billion humans roaming the earth; we were fine without their contributing to the gene pool. (Not that it's their kid's fault, of course. I'm sure she's lovely.)

Friday, November 05, 2010

In seven short hours! Woo hoo!

I'm telling a story tonight as part of Annex Theatre Company's "60 Seconds Max", 11:00 p.m., 1100 E. Pike St., $10 at the door. Forty-six performers and readers and a panoply of great and good things. Also, ample booze on the premises.

Netflix can wait 'til tomorrow night!

[Saturday morning postscript: crackling and compelling show! Really enjoyed being part of it. More on Annex Theatre, one of Seattle's best and longest running:

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


We knew this was coming.

The best strategy? Take a deep breath and begin the fight for 2012.

And please forgo infantile "I'm moving to..." wailing. It accomplishes nothing, reinforces the perception we're crybabies and insults all who have fought real oppression.

My dad has Nazi shrapnel in his leg. I think I can begin and end my days with John Boehner as House Speaker. And history will vindicate Nancy Pelosi and her arduous work on behalf of health care reform.

Learn and move forward.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Then sniffing a bunch of glue:

The one thing we know for certain is that in 75 years, everyone reading this will be dead.

Some will die from accident, homicide, suicide, "act of God" (hurricane, et al), but the overwhelming majority of us will die from illness. And most of those illnesses will be protracted and probably grisly.

But yeah, President Obama's health care legislation backed by the Democrats was a "pet issue".

The electorate is gargling bongwater.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

With two days left until the election...

...Patty Murray and Dino Rossi, Washington State's senatorial candidates whose positions overlap not at all, are tied in polls at 47% to 47%. (It's axiomatic that King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties tilt heavily toward Murray but, of course, there's that pesky rest of the state.) The Tea Party, which I loathe, includes women to a greater degree than do Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, whose work I love and admire.

The person closest to me and I got drunk Election Night '08 and I think I might drink on Tuesday, but for entirely different reasons.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Rally to Restore Sanity:

Jon Stewart's closing remarks were incredibly salient and could have stood alone.

In three hours, though, three women performed, one briefly, none solo.

"Sanity" apparently has a ball sack.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nostalgia is fruitless and the Nineties were fraught with their own complications...

...but it's astounding it was a mere decade ago we had reasonable expectations flights and elections would go off without a hitch.

Monday, October 25, 2010

From New York Magazine, "Dogs Looking Depressed in Their Halloween Costumes":

Photo slideshow of the annual Halloween dog costume extravaganza at Tompkins Park, with dogs looking understandably pissed off:

To each their own and all that, but I'd never dress up Thomas because he's already one of history's cutest creatures and it'd just be gilding the lily. Plus, as the pictorial demonstrates, dogs don't want to wear your grandfather's fedora.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Caroline Leavitt's new novel, Pictures of You:

I'll be writing more about this in at least one upcoming piece, but when Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt (Girls in Trouble) is released January 25th, you'd be foolish to overlook it. Leavitt's is the best kind of literary fiction: vivid and warm and depicting a heightened reality while prompting one to read in lieu of eating or sleeping. I'm a slow reader (I remember nearly everything I read, but I imbibe it slowly) and I finished my advance copy in a few days. And sure, we're friends, but I'm close with dozens of writers and not all of them elicit this degree of enthusiasm. More on Leavitt's work:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I still believe Anita Hill:

Debate has ensued whether Anita Hill should have publicly disclosed Ginny Thomas' voicemail.

Hill was right for three reasons:

1) It demonstrates the bizarrely contorted views of harassers and those who defend them.

2) She prevents Ginny from publicly relaying an untrue version of events.

3) Hill demonstrates nearly two decades later she is resolutely unapologetic because she did absolutely nothing wrong.

I've always deeply admired Anita Hill and my respect for her has grown.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My KUOW piece is archived online now:

Much thanks to the A Guide to Visitors producers. And in addition to emails from friends and family, I've received a few from strangers. Buoying when the Internet uses its powers for good.

My piece is archived in "Hour Six" and it's the fourth one in:

Monday, October 18, 2010

KUOW, 8:00 tonight:

I have a piece airing on KUOW 94.9 FM (Seattle's NPR affiliate) at 8:00 tonight. Part of the stellar A Guide to Visitors series.


Saturday, October 16, 2010


A federal panel has urged changing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome's name to reflect the illness' serious and multi-systemic nature:

I spent most of my twenties having people ask me, "So, are you tired all the time?" The above news is overdue and vindicating.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sometimes it's almost too easy mocking Mitt Romney but... doesn't make it any less fun.

The latest? The once and future GOP presidential candidate who spent $40 million of his own cash to come in third behind Mike Huckabee in the '08 race has made it a condition of his speaking engagement contract that hosts purchase several thousand copies of his new "book", No Apology:

Say what you will about John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, but you gotta like that by all accounts they consider Romney a pretty-boy, flip-flopping stuffed shirt.

All sides can agree on something after all.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wishing the Chilean miners and their families all the best in the years ahead:

Everyone with a soul was moved by yesterday's astoundingly good news. Will things get a bit more complicated physically, psychologically and financially in the upcoming months? Undoubtedly. For now, though, it's glorious to revel in humanity at its best.

In context, this is de minimis, obviously, but my six-word memoir on the event was chosen by Smith Magazine as their Story of the Day:

Permalink to the story:

As always, thanks to editor Larry Smith and everyone at his eponymous mag for consistently generating compelling web content.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My TNB interview with Vanity Fair's Mike Sacks, who co-authored Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk with...

...some of his friends who write for "The Daily Show", The Onion and for Conan O'Brien:

OBOJ is like a bowl of pistachios: so tasty, you forget it's good for you. No mere "humor" book, it's brilliantly crafted and elicits the kind of laughs that might get you involuntarily committed.

Like everyone, I'm watching the Chilean mine workers' rescue and...'s impossible not to be moved by the courage and tenacity of all involved. Thinking of the miners, the rescuers, all of their families and everyone anywhere in the world who remains unable to walk free.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dogs and donuts and, of course, the rock: my two newest Seattle Weekly features:

My interview with the eminently talented singer-songwriter, Shelby Earl:

And all about the Hattie's Hat line-up for the Reverb Festival:

These came out last Wednesday but for obvious reasons, I didn't post them. The tete a tete with Earl was a total kick and I really enjoyed covering the Hattie's Hat roster. Skipped the festival on Saturday--again, for obvious reasons--but have heard swell reports.

Under the circumstances, things are as good as can be.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A year ago today...

...TJ's body was found.

An elderly man on a fixed income lived in TJ's building for decades. For 10 years, the man couldn't cover rent. TJ paid the remainder so the man could forgo assisted living and stay in his home. TJ never told anyone except me.

It's worth sharing now.

(As I did at his memorial last year.)

Friday, October 01, 2010

My interview with Kurt B. Reighley, author of the wholly engaging and critically lauded new book...

...United States of Americana went up earlier tonight at The Nervous Breakdown:

Of the dozens of folks I've interviewed, Reighley is among my favorites. Our culture is a better place for his work. And he's got a killer recipe for homemade pickles, rendering most books the poorer for lacking one.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Well we all shine on/ like the moon and the stars and the sun!"

For an upcoming feature, I need sources who remember where they were when John Lennon was killed. Particularly, but not exclusively, New Yorkers.

Feel free to share. Thanks!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Photographic evidence!

TNBLE Seattle Edition, shot by super-talented Emergency Press photographer, Kymberlee della Luce:

Rocky Votolato's "White Daisy Passing":

Especially resonates tonight.

"Please slow it down
there's a secret magic past world that you only notice when you're looking back at it
all I wanna do is turn around
I'm going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean
because I couldn't let go when the water hit the setting sun
passing white daisies taking turns
close the door walk into the street
catching raindrops on your tongue
and for a minute it all stops but it won't last man
it's just a passing moment gone
please slow it down
there's a secret place that I know where I could dig a grave out and climb underground for good
all I want to do is turn around
I'm going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean
because I couldn't let go when the water hit the setting sun
passing white daisies taking turns
all those evenings on the back deck of our first apartment
they meant everything but the wind just carried em off
and you can't go back now just a passing moment gone"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sports metaphor!

Grand slam, touchdown, three-pointer, all that: last night's The Nervous Breakdown Literary Experience (TNBLE), Seattle Edition was a rousing success! Capacity house filled with a delightfully kinetic audience and a roster of deeply talented authors who brought it. In addition to overseeing the event and emceeing, I read part of my upcoming novel, Antifreeze. I'm so fucking sick today it actually hurts to move but under the circumstances, it was totally worth it. Also, a wonderful on-air talent volunteered to emcee our next round, a gallery owner asked me to hold the next TNBLE at her venue and a publisher is taking me to lunch next week. So, you know, mazel tov.

Or whatever they'd say on ESPN.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Because so much of life is a geographic lottery:

I never pontificate to readers because I trust you're smart and informed. You don't need me to tell you what's occurring the world.

I know everyone's lives are brimming with good and with chaos, i.e we've all got a whole lot going on, but if you get a chance, please consider donating to the relief and rebuilding efforts in Pakistan. Its floods have received little attention, but two million people are currently homeless as a result of the water sweeping away huge swaths of the nation's infrastructure. The U.N. estimates the humanitarian crisis is worse than that in Haiti. (Not that it's a contest, but you get the point.) I posted a link earlier this week to an interview I conducted with my friend who is on the ground distributing food and water and helping to build new homes. He posted new photos today. They are indelible and heart-wrenching. Through chance, my puppy has a better existence than the people depicted.

Something is askew.

Mercy Corp's Pakistan donation page:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Stranger gives The Nervous Breakdown Literary Experience, Seattle Edition a fantastic write-up:


"This is a big goddamned reading of local authors that serves as a west-coast franchise of the popular online magazine for writers. Sean Beaudoin, Aaron Dietz, Litsa Dremousis, Tom Hansen, Lauren Hoffman, and Matthew Simmons."


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thank you, humanity:

This merits a much longer post, or perhaps it's best served by simplicity, but for the past 48 hours, I've encountered utterly delightful humans and I'm grateful and then grateful some more.

Plus, I've got a puppy curled up next to me and for now, at least, a welcome stillness prevails.

My friend is doing relief work in the devastating aftermath of Pakistan's recent floods:

I interviewed him for The Nervous Breakdown:

Also, TNB's editor-in-chief and founder, the estimable Brad Listi (Attention. Deficit. Disorder.) was just interviewed by the National Book Critics Circle:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"They called the people they loved--many of them... comfort instead of seeking it, explaining they were taking action, and that everything would be O.K. And then they rose as one, they acted as one, and together they changed history's course."
--Michelle Obama at the tribute to Flight 93 passengers

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

My new piece for The Nervous Breakdown is here:

Goddamnit, we just might pull this off:

Six months old today:

It's strange I brought Thomas home only three weeks ago because we bonded instantly and I've been astounded how rapidly the little guy has changed everything for the better. It's not that I'm no longer grieving, but that sense of being pummeled by a 2' x 4' throughout each day has been staved. Thomas is preternaturally intelligent and sweet tempered--he loves observing seagulls and squirrels but doesn't chase them--and his stealth rivals the CIA's. (I watch him closely and we've had few food mishaps so far, but the one time he snuck a strand of spaghetti from me it was with split-second timing.) And when he puts his head on my shoulder when I lie down to watch Netflix on my laptop, the world is several shades brighter.

From top to bottom: at Cal Anderson Park, at Thomas Street Park, at Thomas Street Park, at Cal Anderson Park, at an outside table at the Vivace on the north part of Broadway, at Cal Anderson Park.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

My new feature for Nerve is here:

My new feature for Nerve on how Mom and Dad met and overcame my iron-willed grandmother's opposition is up:

They've got the front page now. High five, parents!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Nervous Breakdown Seattle!

An intersection of lit and wit featuring Seattle-based authors who write for the lauded arts and culture site, The Nervous Breakdown: Sean Beaudoin (Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue, You Killed Wesley Payne), Aaron Dietz (Superheroes), Litsa Dremousis (Esquire, The Believer, Paste, the Seattle Weekly, Nerve, the forthcoming novel, Antifreeze), Tom Hansen (American Junkie), Lauren Hoffman (the forthcoming essay collection, When You I Feel Because), and Matthew Simmons (A Jello Horse, CAVES).

Thursday, September 23, 7:00 p.m. at the Jewel Box Theater in the Rendezvous. Five bucks at the door.

Be there. Or we will talk about you.

It's inconceivable you know me and don't read TNB, but if you're a cave-dweller or coma patient:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

From the New York Times: the latest breakthrough in CFIDS etiology

Last week made 19 years since I became ill.

Thrilled that a treatment might loom.

Hugely vindicating that the more is learned about CFIDS, the more science corroborates what those of us who have it and our loved ones know: it's pernicious, frequently degenerative and, obviously, real.

From the New York Times, August 23, 2010:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bunnies: the gay marriage of pets

Today marks ten days since I brought Thomas home. I love the little guy immensely and am incredibly touched by everyone's well wishes and offers to answer questions as they arise.

Bemused, however, by how many act as though I now have a "real" pet when, of course, that's exactly what I had for the previous twelve years. Contrary to common perception, rabbits are highly intelligent and interactive. Do they interact differently than dogs and cats? Sure, in some ways. But that's largely because rabbits are prey animals, so they're reluctant to open up, as it were, until they know you. After that, they're perpetually demonstrative.

So it's a little goofy how many times I've had to explain this in the past week and a half. But I'm in good company with other rabbit owners Amy Sedaris, Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood and Robert Kennedy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wanda Sykes weighs in on Tiger Woods' divorce:

Every once in awhile I encounter someone who doesn't find Wanda Sykes prescient and hilarious and I know this person should be avoided forevermore.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Full moon lunacy:

Spent a delightful two hours in the park today, mostly. I'm unsure if the police have done a sweep of the U District or Belltown and the junkies and meth-heads migrated up here in larger numbers than usual, if the full moon last night lanced everyone's craziness or if it coincidence, but poor Thomas couldn't quite relax at said park because two meth-heads, apropos of nothing, started screaming racial epithets then yelling, "Bob Dylan is coming! Bob Dylan is coming!"; a man whose schizophrenia, tragically, manifested itself with shouting at a nearby kitten and pretending to masturbate wouldn't stop blaring inanities and a crazy old Greek lady (total coincidence) thought Thomas was adorable and despite my kind but firm rebuttals, wouldn't leave us alone. Interspersed with all of this was a delightful breeze and many kind dog owners who popped over to say, "Hi." Thomas and I drank some water together in the shade and he enjoyed exploring the grass.

So there were pockets of wonderfulness. But in marked contrast to yesterday, when everyone we encountered was friendly and enchanted and, more importantly, not yelling of one's genitals, today's experience was tiring. Came home and we napped together, which turned into full-blown zonking out, which led to awaking at 3:00 a.m. Now we're winding down again for real. But I hope tomorrow's outing presents fewer people whose neurochemistry is betraying them and more happy solitude and/or folks who are normalsauce.

We can dream, can't we?

Monday, August 23, 2010


Occasionally, life works as it should.

On Thursday, I brought home a puppy. For the past year and a half, I'd been saving for one. I knew that when the last of the bunnies died, I'd grieve and save and a year or so after, I'd get a small dog. Of course, I didn't anticipate what happened in October and the horror of adjusting to it.

The puppy is a five and a half month-old blue Pomeranian and, as I've written elsewhere, he's smarter than most drummers and sweeter than cupcakes. The morning I picked him up, I was running pre-puppy errands and accidentally dropped my wallet, laden with cash, my ATM card and credit cards. A stranger named Sarah found it, turned it in and refused the $100 reward I insisted upon. She could have ruined me. Instead, she made a meaningful day that much more so.

She found my wallet on Thomas Street. So I named the puppy "Thomas" in honor of kindness, small miracles and fresh starts.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bunnies. Now more than ever:

Yeah, I know: baby Holland Lops on the Internet.

But if you're having a week like mine wherein you've considered severing your femoral artery and/or viewing Dane Cook's stand-up, watching bunnies frolic ranks as a sentient choice.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today is Charles Bukowski's birthday:

I've been celebrating by writing all day. And, of course, by getting blind drunk and nailing a once-beautiful woman with a now slightly large ass while the neighbors wail and break things.

And I offer my McSweeney's piece from 2004, "If Charles Bukowski Had Written Children's Books":

The Whore Who Snored

Why is Grandpa Heaving?

The Years Will Fly Like Hummingbirds and One Gray Day You'll Die

Love Turns to Crap Like a Sandwich

The Alley Cat and the Wounded Dog Share Scraps of Bird and Dung

Uncle Hank's Sack of Empties

Wishbones Come from Chicken, Harlots Come from Hell

The Park Bench Where You Eat Your Lunch Will Be Your Bed Someday

Give Up Now

And, also, a laudatory and wry feature Roger Ebert wrote on Bukowski last year and posted again today on Twitter:

Rest in peace, old man.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Men can counsel...

...and speak comfort to that grief which they themselves not feel."--Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

"Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved."--Iris Murdoch

If I take up meditation and choose...

...Bill Murray's line from Groundhog Day, "Morons, your bus is leaving" as my mantra, will it defeat the point?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In varying degrees, about New York:

1) Ephemeral New York ponders the lesser-known glories and horrors of New York. Richly curated; one of my favorites:

2) I don't want a mosque at Ground Zero for the same reason I don't want a church or temple at Ground Zero: religion, along with poverty and illiteracy, fuels most wars and is a huge element of this one. Honor the 9/11 dead and their loved ones but keep the locale secular.

And for the record, I believe in an omniscient deity. But I don't think he/she/it/what-have-you thinks treating our existence like a team-choosing playground soccer match is a swell plan.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I've been writing the past few days straight...

...and because I had to scan photos for an upcoming feature, I went on a scanning bender.

While it's been a creatively invigorating summer, the rest of it, for reasons obvious and less so, has been difficult. Really enjoy that I'm writing the most I have in three years and it's been good to rendezvous with friends. The flip side is that the constant writing and deadlines aren't improving my health and the person I most want to spend time with, I can't.

So it was good to delve into pictures of better times and remember that they do come 'round again.

Friday, August 06, 2010

My condensed take on the week's news before I meet two dear friends for coffee:

  • I've said this before, but unless gays stir plutonium into the mix, there's no way they're going to fuck up marriage as much as straights have. (Though, presumably, GLAAD isn't going to adopt this as a talking point.) Incredibly happy Proposition #8 was ruled unconstitutional. As for the yammering about judicial activism, as my mom (a retired attorney) put it yesterday, history has demonstrated repeatedly that the majority gets it wrong, i.e. with segregation, for example. That's why we have high courts.
  • Not to get all basket-weaving, but if you remember being a little girl and hating that almost everyone in power was a white Protestant dude, Elena Kagan's confirmation resonates that much more so. Congrats to the five GOP senators who voted to confirm her and Senator Nelson, Democrat, from Nebraska, I get that you stuck to your convictions when you voted against Kagan. Your convictions, however, are inherently sexist.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Interviewing Mom and Dad today...

...for an upcoming piece.

Easy part? We're super-close.

Downside? If I fuck this up, I'll never hear the end of it.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Again with the yin and the yang:

We celebrated Dad's 77th birthday and Mom and Dad's 46th anniversary (which was recently) in one big joyful amalgam yesterday and there was much banter and sumptuous food and it was a splendid, rejuvenating afternoon. (And my brother, who is reflexively hilarious, made one of his funniest comments maybe ever, but I'm not going to repeat it here. Also, he told me something deeply sweet, but that remains private, too.)

Today I can barely walk, which is hardly unprecedented, nor a big deal in the scheme of things. But in the last few hours I've read there were three more robberies at gunpoint near here, that my beloved Steve's Broadway News (a longtime Seattle lynch-pin) has closed, and that due to lack of funds, one of the city's largest shelter networks is broke and that 400 more homeless persons will have nowhere to go by the end of this week. All of which, in varying degrees, is horrifying.

A day in which an iced decaf americano and writing will have to do the trick.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

On my way home:

Certain things are returning to normal.

Dropped by the Seattle Weekly offices late yesterday afternoon to turn in the updated freelancer contract. I'm completing my newest essay for The Nervous Breakdown right now and I received another assignment from Nerve that's due soon and all of this pleases me tremendously. I've always derived great joy from my work and know how lucky I am to say it and mean it.

Feel disoriented and dislocated most of the time, though, and it's compounded by those who want this to be something it's not. And, of course, by the fact I don't leave the house unless I'm properly dressed and when I'm out with others I say reasonably funny things and present an approximation of a person who doesn't know irrefutably that part of her is dead, too.

But the writing is going very well and, as I said, I really can't emphasize how grateful I am. The rest will follow eventually, I know.

From top to bottom:

After I left the Seattle Weekly offices and started heading northeast, I saw this poor creature on 1st Ave. and Pike in front of Pike Place Market. As Seattleites know but others might not, this is one of the city's most populated intersections, with constant, dense traffic and ceaseless pedestrians. The horse seemed weary and crushed. I loathe these companies: animals shouldn't be ridden on city streets.

Free skates offered on Harrison in between Belmont and Summit. Bemused by the sign's text message spelling ("sk8s").

A few yards further down the hill on Harrison, an absolutely stunning flower. One of my guy friends once teased me the reason he loves me is, "You're not one of those girls who knows all the names of plants and makes a big deal out of it." Which is true, though in this case I wish it weren't. A gorgeous creation simply springing from the ground.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh, Twitter:

It's not yet 10:00 a.m. PST and I've been recommended by two colleagues and excoriated by a racist porn actress.

Doing my job right, I suppose.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm unsure why Oliver Stone aligns himself...

...with the left because if the hateful things he spewed came from the right, he'd be apoplectic. Under the auspices of presenting history from an internationalist point of view, which is honorable, he attacks Jews, which is deplorable. Stone proves it's possible to be a well-read idiot:,0

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One of the galleries nearby frequently hosts live music...

...(despite the fact they're not zoned for it, but okay, fine) and in the summer, when all our windows are open, it sounds like the stage is in my living room.

In a city that has launched so many great and good musicians, I keep hoping I'm going to hear an incipient Death Cab or Blue Scholars or Visqueen.

So far? A sonic approximation of dogs fucking cats, only not so interesting.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Two things I've heard repeatedly in the past nine and a half months that are completely fucking true:

1) There is a shared language and sensibility among those who have been through it, a shorthand, and it helps sustain you.

As I've written of before, TJ's was the 30th funeral I'd been to. (I have a large family and social circle and it stands to reason the more loved ones you have, the more you will lose. Also, because I learned from my mom how to respond in crisis, over the years others have asked me to accompany them to their loved ones' funerals and, of course, I did.)

I was familiar with grief and loss but had never experienced anything remotely as powerful or catastrophic as TJ's death, including the loss of my health when I was 24. Just as my life is organically divided before and after CFIDS, so it is with his death, only a million times more so.

And as I've written of dozens of times, I've been incredibly fortunate and moved by loved ones, colleagues, acquaintances and near-strangers who have reached out to me. I'm tenacious by nature, but there have been days I've thought the force and near-ceaselessness of the pain would break me. And it's then someone who has lived through it (and with it, as it takes different form in time but never goes away) says, as if on cue, "One day his death won't be the first thing you think of ten seconds after you wake up" or "It's the little things that'll catch you off-guard, like seeing his favorite foods in the grocery store" or "At this stage you feel like you're not going to get through it, but you will" or one my favorites, sent by a dear friend in all caps, "FUCK ANYONE WHO EXPECTS YOU TO GRIEVE ON THEIR SCHEDULE" and I feel loved and less alone and understood and, perversely, lucky. Lucky to have such insightful people in my life.

2) Within hours of receiving confirmation of TJ's death from the Chelan County Sherriff's Office, both my brother and one of my best friends, Tim, each of whom have been incredibly kind and empathetic--unfortunately, they'd each experienced horrific loss--warned me there are individuals who barely knew the dead but this won't stop them from seeking attention for knowing the dead, even if the connection was tangential, because they are strange and sad and they think this is the only thing for which they might receive attention and they will revel in it.

My brother and Tim were right.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What it means to have CFIDS:

At my high school reunion on Saturday evening, I stood for five hours. I used the cane (I've been back on it since April) and drank plenty of water and moved around in the course of the event, obviously, and had eaten lean turkey and veggies before my friend picked me up. When you look at the photos, I don't look sick and, indeed I received several compliments that night. (I only mention it as it relates here.)

It's now 3:10 on Wednesday afternoon and I've been able to leave my home for an hour and forty-five minutes total since my friend dropped me off later Saturday night: Sunday I made it across the street to pick up dinner and an iced decaf americano, returned and ate in bed; Monday I ran errands on Broadway and in 45 minutes, the symptoms hit so severely I barely made it to my last stop--oh, irony of ironies--at the health food store to pick up more high-grade multi-vitamins; yesterday the pain completely immobilized me--and if you know me, you know I have a very high tolerance for pain--and I could barely sit up, much less get dressed and leave here. I'm clothed now and about to depart to the south part of the neighborhood on an errand. I'll need the crutches to get there.

Like all of us, I have issues. Discipline is rarely a tripwire, though. During the aforementioned block of time, I've read the book I'm reviewing for the Seattle Weekly, nearly finished said (admittedly short) feature and completed half of my latest essay for The Nervous Breakdown. I sent off a new list of pitch ideas to, returned emails, cooked meals and unloaded the dishwasher. Next month makes 19 years since I became ill and I've been vastly sicker than this. And again, if you know me, you know I have perspective: a close friend's sister has brain cancer for fuck's sake and I just read another piece about the seemingly endless war in Congo--a mother saw all three of her sons die in front of her--and I only have to look at the schizophrenic man who lodges himself at the outdoor tables at Top Pot during the summer to know the boundless ways in which I'm lucky.

My health just isn't one of them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee just voted to...

...confirm Elena Kagan, 13-6.

Scalia and Thomas fear Kagan, Sotomayor and Ginsburg will make abortion free then pop out to buy shoes and frozen yogurt.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My new essay on Seattle's lit scene is up now at The Nervous Breakdown:

Part of our editor Brad Listi's series, "The View from the West", which explores West Coast literary culture. Brad's essay precedes mine, as does one from Anne Walls. Enjoyed each of theirs tremendously and am flattered to be included:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Last night's 25th high school reunion was...

...unremittingly hilarious, deeply moving, a mind-bending contortion of past and present and, also, irritating as hell.

Enjoyed it vastly more than the four years itself.

One of my classmates, Joe McDermott (D) is in the Washington State legislature, running for King County Council for District 8 and I'll be proud to vote for him. Another is a councilwoman for a culturally dead tiny Seattle suburb and she resembled Sarah Palin in her lack of intellectual or cultural acumen. (She pointedly lied to me and I called her on it.)

Discovered two of my classmates are incarcerated for child molestation.

More than anything, I enjoyed reconnecting with those with whom I was closest and still love.

Writing my essay on the evening right now for The Nervous Breakdown.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pope Benjamin has declared...

...ordaining women akin to pedophilia.

So that means the Vatican's okay with it?

Debating whether or not to open with this tonight at my 25th high school reunion from an uber-preppy, Catholic high school.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Because who doesn't want quality rigatoni nearby?

My newest post for's Capitol Hill blog, this one on Broadway's new and packed Italian restaurant, Panevino, went up earlier this week:

News that might alter the course of human history deserves a wee more attention: linked to this but I'm unsure why it's not getting traction yet because the implications are huge: scientists at the University of Arizona have created the first mosquito that is incapable of giving malaria to humans:

[Postscript, Saturday July 17th, 12:30 p.m.: The Seattle Times ran the Los Angeles Times' version of this story on its front page today. Hooray! At long last, I control the world with my mind:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hello, lovelies:

Much is percolating this week.

I'm signing off until next Monday and will only be returning exigent missives.



Sunday, July 11, 2010


...and nothing separates us from the dead.

Sometimes I feel ridiculously lucky to live here:

Earlier tonight, from top to bottom:

Pigeons eating the remnants of a foccacia sandwich in the middle of the street at 10th and John.

An incredibly sweet 16 year-old Pomeranian named Will in Cal Anderson Park.

A sign posted alongside Scripture passages outside the non-denominational church on Broadway at E. Republican.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Greetings, Armageddon:

After a night spent twining in and out of sleep, at which point I can now hear birds chirping so it's not really night at all, a cavalcade of sirens has erupted just south of here. I hope everyone is okay, but the sonic evidence indicates there's a bunch more Russian spies near Denny Avenue.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Nine months ago today:

"Time must have become a very odd kind of mirror-maze for her now; and mazes can change at any instant from being funny to being frightening."--A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood, p. 98

PJ puppy!

At Thomas St. Park early Monday evening. His name is PJ and he's a ridiculously sweet and massively energetic four month-old Maltese.

At one point, he took a bite of my maple cruller and I had to fish it from his mouth. Later we repeated the cycle with a pen cap he found in the grass. I didn't mind--he was just doing what puppies do--but wished his owner paid closer attention, for the little guy's sake.

I got this shot by holding my sandwich aloft: that what he's honed in on. He licked my face about a dozen times and one could argue it was kinda gross but I found it immensely cheerful.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The latest on Haitian children orphaned by the quake:

One of the most devastating features I've read.

Excerpt: “We don’t really know what to do next,” said the Rev. Gerald Bataille, the primary supervisor of the children. “Somehow, the whole world wants to help Haiti, but we feel like we’re on our own.”


A------e, by continuing to act like a batshit lunatic... do nothing to dispel the widely held notion you are a batshit lunatic.

Surely there must be some other misbegotten shred you can cling to besides poking around here at least once a day?

Like perhaps getting a job, hobby or friends.

Another birthday of note:

Does it compare in scope to the founding of our great nation? Not yet. But still, raise whatever's handy and toast the fourth anniversary of the highly lauded, rollicking and occasionally batshit literary site, The Nervous Breakdown!

Much continued success and joy to my TNB colleagues:

Saturday, July 03, 2010

"If the wind were colors/ And if the air could speak..."

I wish all weeks could be like the previous two.

Last week I wrote more in any seven-day period than I have in over two years--thank you, health and grief, for cooperating!--and then this past week, my dear friend, Kate, rolled through town from San Francisco and we had a rollicking good time. The atmosphere is always more buoyant when she's near and I haven't laughed so hard in awhile.

So, so lucky the people in my life are, in fact, the people in my life.

So, it looks like it's time to run this one again. From Thursday, March 04, 2010:

Greetings and salutations:

Like most sites on the web, The Slippery Fish has Sitemeter software installed and has had so for several years. I've always kept the Sitemeter logo displayed on the bottom left (scroll all the way down) instead of electing to hide it, as is the more standard practice, because it's fair to let readers know I can see their IP number, ISP, city, state, country, page hits, searches that preceded their arrival here, searches they conduct once they are here, whether they email an entry and if so which one, the entries they click on, the duration of each page view, the duration of their entire stay, if they have the site bookmarked or search for it individually several times a day, etc. As I said, nearly every web site features Sitemeter or equivalent software. This is common knowledge in 2010.

As with everything I write for public consumption, it is, in fact, for public consumption. I don't reveal secrets here, i.e. while much of the content is personal, none of it is private. So for the tiny but persistent band who still routinely searches for any shred about him here, and in some cases repeats this action daily, by all means, continue. I won't reveal your names. But keep in mind I'm not searching the web (or anywhere else) for information about him.

Because I don't have to.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adam Kellner is Somewhere:

Above: a photo of Adam shortly before his disappearance

Above: video Adam's family has compiled including news footage and vital information re his disappearance from the family's Stevenson Ranch, California home

Thirty-five year-old Adam Kellner helped his ailing stepfather to bed, then vanished. That was two and a half years ago. I just interviewed Adam's mother, Sherrill Britton, for The Nervous Breakdown re her son's possible whereabouts and the horror that shrouds her life:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mischief abounds!

Tomorrow through Friday, I will be frolicking with my dear friend, Kate, in town from San Francisco, and our itinerary is kinda spectacular.

And as if in honor of her arrival, Top Pot just created a new lemon-glaze old fashioned.

This gets good.

A year ago today:

Henry 1998-2009

In recent months, I've sardonically taken to referring to my home as "The Mausoleum". (If I weren't sardonic, I'd be suicidal.) When I moved here in September 2007, TJ, Elvis (his beloved and goofy cat), Lulu, Xander, Henry (my beloved and goofy rabbits) and I were alive, quite obviously. By May 2010, 20 months later, I was the only still left. (I might be scared of tempting fate, but having lived through the past eight months and three weeks, you're going to have to come after me with Kryptonite before I flinch.)

The pets, despite being spectacularly healthy, were each quite old and he and I knew the inevitable was approaching. If I live another 50 years, however, I'm still going to wish he were here. Quite lucky to have so many gifts from him and his things he kept here. Luckiest of all, of course, to have boundless memories of the two of us.

Here's to taking on more and more deadlines and to completing the novel; the first I'm doing now and the second I'm honing in on. "Knock wood", as he would say. And "When, not if."

Tweets from the past week (minus re-tweets and replies):

Monday, June 21st:

8:47 a.m. Pens, toothbrushes, razors. #ThingsThatShouldBeRecyclable

8:56 a.m. I'd love to go Robin Hood on #TonyHayward, steal his yacht & donate it to those whose lives have been upended by the #BPdisaster.

4:02 p.m. If there's a global shortage of Chico's summer apparel, it's b/c my neighbors seem to be hording it. #whygodwhy

Tuesday, June 22nd:

4:35 p.m. #McChrystal's lack of foresight is like that of Girls Gone Wild co-eds. What did he think was going to happen?

Wednesday, June 23rd:

7:21 a.m. #JoeBarton is sending #McChrystal a fruit basket right now.

9:21 a.m. My new Seattle Weekly feature on the whimsical & hook-laden Horace Pickett is out now:

6:58 p.m. Why is it the least interesting people are always afraid I'm going to write about them?

Thursday, June 24th:

9:49 a.m. My hairstylist only works two days a week b/c she just had a kid & my back-up stylist is on maternity leave. #BabiesRuinEverything

6:37 p.m. Breaks my heart to enter the once thriving Steve's Broadway News and find it, yet again, empty. #CapitolHill #Seattle

6:41 p.m. I've written for's Capitol Hill blog the past few months. Here's my latest post:

Friday, June 25th:

7:55 a.m. The great thing about #iPhone owners is that they don't talk about it all the time. Oh, wait.

8:38 a.m. The gardening service downstairs is using some loud plant-destroying machinery that's making my home reek of gasoline. This ends well.

10:26 a.m. #FF: @DavidCornDC, @Single_Shot, @thejoelstein, @mental_floss, @RebeccaSkloot, @afpakchannel, @Dr_Todd_Boyd, & of course, @swreverb

2:48 p.m. @jadewalker is as kind as pizza is tasty. Reminded again how lucky I am she's my friend.

2:57 p.m. Can't tell if the couple across the street is engaged in a murderous row or an afternoon romp. #OpenWindowWeather

Saturday, June 26th:

9:06 a.m. If you own and ignite fireworks on June 26th, what exactly in your life is worth celebrating?

10:05 a.m. Re my previous tweet, I'd forgotten today is Pride Day! So yeah, everyone, carry on igniting stuff.

Sunday, June 27th:

9:56 a.m. Watched "Spinal Tap" for the first time in years & among other things, it made me miss Bruno Kirby. "'Yes I Can' if Frank says I can."

1:25 p.m. Just read Sen. Byrd is "seriously ill". Am I an asshole for thinking, "Oh, shit. Another Democrat's seat up for grabs"?

6:27 p.m. Wait a second, I think I detect a theme to the Dalai Lama's tweets.

Monday, June 28th, today:

9 hours ago Sen. Orrin Hatch is worried that if #ElenaKagan is confirmed, she and Sotomayor & Ginsberg are going to make abortions free & then go shopping.

8 hours ago Wish there were also confirmation hearings for barristas and editors. #SCOTUS

4 hours ago Girl on cell at Denny & Summit: "Sorry to inform you I'm moving to Alaska in 3 mo. I love you. Bye."

3 hours ago Why do couples w/ agonizing marriages want to see everyone else wed?

1 hour ago Re #BillClinton announcing it's possible to blow up the #oilspill, does anyone else hear him say it in Darrell Hammond's voice?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tales from the neighborhood:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Riz Rollins paints with music and...

...has long exemplified the vast knowledge and reverberating love of the very best DJs. Trent Moorman's new Q & A in the Stranger with the veteran Seattle spinner and scribe:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My new Seattle Weekly feature is here:

The whimsical and hook-laden Seattle-based band, Horace Pickett, plays Artopia this week! Touring in a Volvo, a giant stuffed tiger and a drunk guy shredding hundred dollar bills:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Perhaps unsurprisingly... is easier to write for long periods of time when, unlike today, my nerve endings don't feel like someone took a cheese grater to them.

Cure or effective treatment, please.

Monday, June 21, 2010


As I wrote elsewhere yesterday, my father taught me to respect everyone but that trust should be earned and that, also, he's the reason I swear a lot. (And so well.)

Dad, Mom, George and I had a relaxed and silly Fathers Day, capped off with dessert at the B&O, which only augmented the joy.

Of course, we don't get to choose our parents and I have some friends who are kind and wonderful despite the monsters they were saddled with. With each passing year, my brother and I feel increasingly lucky to have parents we would have picked if we'd had the option.

Dad says I'll always be his "little girl", but from the time I was just that, he believed I could conquer the world. He's one of the rare Greek men of his generation who nourished his daughter's intellectual and creative acumen as he did his son's. Plus, Dad taught me an effective batting stance and how to get spin on the ball when shooting free throws.

And while he will always try to order food not on the menu and remains convinced the Internet is a fad and this sometimes drives me a tad bonkers, I wouldn't change a goddamned thing.

Except, as with Mom, to confer immortality.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just once...

...I'd like an editor to say, "Fuck it. If they don't know that word, they can look it up."

Sick of the lowest common denominator.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Mike Todd died in a plane crash and my father consoled Elizabeth Taylor with his penis."--Carrie Fisher

Sure, her recent work might benefit from tighter editing, but Carrie Fisher will always be in the pantheon as a writer and as an actress. In a characteristically hilarious new interview, she holds forth on her legacy; plans for her ongoing one-woman show, Wishful Drinking; her laugh-or-you'll-cry geneology; and Tea Baggers.

From Pop Eater:

Side note: If you don't consider "Rosemary's Baby", the season #2 episode of "30 Rock" in which Fisher guest-starred to be the reason TV was invented, odds are good I don't like you much.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Orayne Williams:

Of the slew of horrific details surrounding the BP disaster, one of the most unsettling is the huge role human error played at each juncture. Even the most optimistic of us can't help but feel shaken by the enormity of the damage we, as a species, caused.

There has been much sardonic (and cathartic) humor online that we're near the tipping point and our extinction might be for the best. And I've had moments when I've agreed.

But the best among us keep me hopeful. Orayne Williams, a homeless and abandoned Brooklyn high school student who still graduated with honors, earned a college scholarship and plans to become a doctor, is one such example:

Monday, June 14, 2010

We could all use a bit more Baxter:

Yesterday at Thomas St. Park in Seattle, 5:50 p.m. Baxter is nine weeks old and his owner told me it was the kitten's first day outside their apartment building. Yeah, I know, cat photos on the Internet, but whatever: Baxter is ridiculously sweet and preternaturally smart and a lovely counterbalance to a world sometimes teeming with crap.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bemused detachment... not only necessary at this stage but perhaps a key factor in getting one to the next.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


It's hardly a secret this is the worst year of my life.

However, I'm so massively fucking grateful to so many for so much.

Last night was a kick and I'm glad I rallied despite feeling wobbly inside and out. Incredibly fortunate to have such perceptive, wickedly funny and kind friends.

An apropos of nothing, if you need a laugh and/or to feel superior, check out this guy because he'll fill both requirements:

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

In six hours...

...I must be cogent and witty for a dinner party.

Right now, I feel like the bumblebee that just crashed against my bedroom window.

Still, I finished another chapter of final draft last night.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The most recent findings re the XMRV retrovirus and CFIDS/CFS from a new Chicago Tribune feature:

Despite the depressing-as-fuck headline, it's encouraging that in recent years, the illness has finally been recognized as the pernicious, debilitating force it is. Mad props to my loved ones who have always understood this.

From yesterday's Chicago Tribune:

Sunday, June 06, 2010

In a world that is often...

...unfathomable, slipshod and erratic, some mornings it is best to reach for the blackberry truffles.

How Botswana's government and citizens successfully mobilized to contain the worst fall-out from AIDS:

While the news isn't click-your-heels great--tragically, one in four Botswanans is HIV-positive--it's hugely invigorating the country defied the World Health Organizations projections and is treating HIV rapidly and effectively.

From the Daily Beast:

Defying the boundaries of logic and displaying the reasoning skills of single-cell organisms:

From yesterday's New York Times, "Before Oil Spill, It Was Unclear Who Was in Charge of Rig".


"As a result, deepwater rigs operate under an ad hoc system of exceptions. The deeper the water, the further the exceptions stretch, not just from federal guidelines but also often from company policy."


Saturday, June 05, 2010

RIP, sir:

I'm not a huge sports nut, but John Wooden was a sage and his words resonate. A compilation:

Two birds; one stone:

Put BP in charge of detaining aid to Gaza and let the Israeli military oversee oil stoppage.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

It's been a morning of hippie-wrangling:

I skew left, obviously, but find it incredibly irksome when those on the left condemn "Americans" as if our nation of 300 million individuals is a monolith or as if they, too, aren't American.

Also, it's imbecilic and self-defeating to abdicate the "American" moniker to the far right.

How we approach death...

...says everything about how we approach life.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

As horrifyingly often as we read stories like these... they ever become comprehensible?

A gunman has killed twelve in Cumbria (northwest England). One was his friend. The other 11 were strangers he shot randomly. There are 30 different crime scenes so far and he is still at large:

[Update at 7:15 p.m. PST. Friends, neighbors and acquaintances of the assailant, who has since killed himself, report he was an outwardly stable and affable man. No discernible motive so far:

It's futile, of course... think this way, but the wrong ones are dead.

Monday, May 31, 2010

While remembering those who have served honorably...

...let's not forget to include soldiers with Gulf War Syndrome. Earlier this year, the VA finally recognized it as a real and pernicious physical illness.

One soldier's perspective:

Gratitude and sorrow:

Between continued failed attempts to contain BP's spill, the Israeli military's immoral and stupid attack on the ship bringing aid supplies to Gaza, the gunman who killed 12 in a Pakistani hospital and now the tropical storm in Central America that's claimed 115 so far, the news today has been a fucking horror show.

I feel grateful for all I have and awful for those who are suffering.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Where's my parade?

This past week, I finished another chapter of final draft, had another pitch accepted and explained Twitter to both my parents.

Friday, May 28, 2010

In fairness:

Bumbershoot has amended its original and asinine plan re graphic design artists and the festival's logo. (See my May 24th entry.)


And now, perhaps the most diametrically opposite links ever:

1) The Wall Street Journal's meticulously detailed account of the staggering ineptitude of BP and the Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service:

2) Bad Postcards, via actor and writer, Stephen Fry, who is a delight to follow on Twitter:

Side note: when I worked in publicity at the Seattle International Film Festival in 1998 and Fry was one of the guests in conjunction with his lead role in the gorgeous and heartbreaking Wilde, he got my name right on the first try. There are still people in my building who mangle it.

Let's wrap this fucker:

If you haven't already, contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell when the full Senate votes on it in June.

And House of Representatives? High fives on last night's 234 to 194 vote. Ponies and snowcones, Speaker Pelosi.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My new Seattle Weekly feature on the Inside Out Jazz Awards is online and on stands now:

Really enjoyed writing this one!

David Pierre-Louis, owner of Lucid Lounge and the event's organizer, is wholly invigorating. All proceeds are going to Haiti and I got to speak with the legendary Clarence Wilcox:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

State Department, I'm on it:

Starting a fund to get Kim Jong-Il some Paxil and a blowjob in the hopes it will calm him down.

Who's in?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Today's "what the hell?" moments:

1) Bumbershoot, one of the best and most kaleidoscopic arts festivals in the nation, apparently sees no contradiction in profoundly disrespecting graphic design artists:

2) Last week on Facebook, a forum in which I usually generate scads of comments, I posted that BP executives should, fittingly, be boiled alive in oil. No response. Zilch. I'm sorry: does someone have a better idea?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fell asleep uncharacteristically early tonight and...

...awoke later with horrific nightmares.

No way to understand how relentless and all-encompassing grief is until you're in it.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali's new book, Nomad:

Compelling review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's new book, Nomad, and an examination of the corrosive and misogynist effects of Islam--or any religion--carried to the extreme. From Tunku Varadarajan at The Daily Beast:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just received a small but fun accolade from Smith Magazine:

Sort of the literary equivalent of a Frango:

Friends; calzones; Woody Allen before he was openly pervy:

Capped off a stressful and sad week with dinner last night at Via Tribunali. Companion and I cracked each other up, ran into a writer friend I adore, too, and I scarfed a calzone the size of a baby who'd eaten its twin.

Will be writing all day and again tomorrow, but between Xander's death, several deadlines and having all the windows in my unit replaced yesterday as part of a building-wide project that's been run as smoothly as the Warren Commission, I will induldge in two more hours of respite.

Love and Death, which I've seen scads of times and was lucky enough to first view at a Woody Allen film fest my folks took my brother and me to as kids, and I will be nestled in bed for the next two hours. And my unopened box of Dilletante truffles might get deflowered.

Too late. It's a grown-up now, but I was suitably gentle.