Monday, March 29, 2010

Hey, all:

The past week has been the strangest (not the worst, but the strangest) since TJ died. And that's saying something. All news has been incredibly wonderful or massively stressful with nothing in between.

I'm signing off for the next week and will only be returning exigent personal and professional emails.

In the meantime, if you want, you can read my newest piece for KOMO 4's Capitol Hill blog, this one an interview with Summer Robinson, the thoroughly engaging owner of Pilot Books, Seattle's only bookstore to exclusively carry independent titles:

XO and the good stuff,

Friday, March 26, 2010

I don't know which are worse...

...the dreams in which he's alive or the ones in which he's dead.

This is hell.

Stalin didn't tolerate a lot of megaphones, dumbfucks:

Hey, Tea Party protesters who met in Iowa City yesterday outside of where President Obama was speaking to scream that he is "a communist" and that the U.S. is now a totalitarian nation, you realize, don't you, that if this were true, you'd be in the gulag right now?

Tea Party-ers are well within their rights to protest, of course, but their inability to grasp facts or recall history would be laughable if it weren't so potentially dangerous.

WaPo's feature on a day through the eyes of Tea Party-er, Randy Millam, 52, illustrates this point. Telling quote from Millam, "I'm not ready for outright violence yet. We have to be civil as long as we can."

"Iowa man joins protest against Obama and health-care reform":

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Is he sorry? Or sorry he got caught?

Chris Reichert, 40, is one of the Tea Party-ers who, in protesting health care reform in front of Representative Mary Jo Killory's district office this past weekend, berated a former nuclear physicist sitting near the crowd with a sign proclaiming he has Parkinson's Disease. Reichert proceeded to hurl dollar bills at the physicist and screamed in the man's face.

Now, in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Reichert apologizes profusely. And indeed, he sounds genuinely contrite. But is it because he has re-evaluated his deplorable actions? Or is it because they were captured on video, have spread throughout the web, and were entered into the Congressional Record by Representative Killroy?

Does a 40 year-old man really disavow his purportedly deeply held beliefs in the period of a few days?


This was never intended as a Woodward and Bernstein-type... It's not as if I set out to blow the lid off the fact sun is nice. (Nor is the headline my original one.)

Still, it contains a dollop of joy and one of my favorite photos I've taken, that of a Black Lab splashing in Cal Anderson Park's fountain. And as today it's 15 degrees cooler and mordantly gray, it's useful to be reminded the clouds do part, literally and metaphorically.

My newest piece for KOMO 4's Capitol Hill blog:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Unfettered hoorays!

I found out yesterday one of my friends won the Central Park of writing awards (Central Park being enormous and awesome) and discovered today one of my closest friends has been nominated for the Washington Square Park of writing awards (slightly less enormous; equally awesome).

Goddamn, it's nice when the world gets it right.

A stellar example of why Andy Borowitz remains one of my favorite scribes:

"Poll: Majority Favor Earlier Bedtime for McCain:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) - In the wake of several cranky public utterances by Arizona's senior senator in recent days, a new poll shows that a majority of Americans favor an earlier bedtime for John McCain."


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


As a result of my pointing out illegalities re the disabled and federal law within my building, a neighbor is harassing me and calling my editors and making false and defamatory statements about me.

All three editors, because they know me, respect the quality of my work, and like me, have called to let me know of her illegal behavior and have been hugely sympathetic.

If she contacts you, please let me know immediately.

Thank you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

And now, I have just read what is perhaps my favorite headline...

...of my life so far: "Obama Will Sign Health Care Bill Within Two Days".

Congrats to all who have worked so hard to bring this to fruition. Of course, I'm including the huge swath of individuals I know--myself included--who continually called and emailed their elected representatives this past year.

Much, much work remains, of course. But still, what a hell of a start.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

So far, no elected Republican has denounced the extreme and appalling...

...behavior of certain Tea Party members who hurled the n-word at members of the Congressional Black Caucus and gay slurs at Representative Barney Frank yesterday in D.C. Which is pathetic morally. And moderate Republicans don't think and act like this.

Are they going to stand idly by while their party is hijacked by lunatics?


Self-publishing author succeeds on own unusual terms:

My newest piece for KOMO 4's Capitol Hill blog went up yesterday:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kind of amusing...

...I'm on two deadlines today while the temperature is approaching 70 for the first time this year.

Still, vastly better than the alternative in either case.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm cautiously optimistic as the House heads into...

...its health care vote on Sunday, but even in writing that sentence, my stomach lurched eight or nine more times.

I keep thinking one day our nation will look back and find it inconceivable that a president, a large swath of Congress, and most citizens had to engage in such a protracted and bitter fight to convince the remainder that universal health care is imperative morally and financially. I don't mind, of course, that it's been difficult--sweeping reform shouldn't be enacted lightly or without meticulous attention to detail--and reasonable individuals, obviously, can reach differing conclusions. But from the false accusations of "death panels" to those that reform is a cloak for "slavery reparations", there has been a level of surrealism to the past year's debate that would be comical if it weren't, in fact, real.

History is on our side. Let's hope the vote is, too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alex Chilton R.I.P.

I discovered Big Star via the myriad of R.E.M. interviews I started reading back in 1983, in which both Michael Stipe and Peter Buck would tout Alex Chilton as a huge influence. And those two, for being in the same band, could almost always be counted on to cite musicians on opposite ends of the spectrum. So their collective praise sparked my interest and it grew from there.

Some people should be alive and some should be dead and Chilton belongs with the former. I just found out via a pal that Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen (D) honored Chilton on the House floor today and at first I was skeptical that it was mere political theater. Then I watched Cohen's tribute to his friend and found it comprehensive and moving and sincere:

Kind thoughts to Chilton's loved ones.

Burritos: a recession-proof investment?

My newest piece for KOMO 4's Capitol Hill blog is up:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Adults who tout getting drunk on St. Patrick's Day...

...are missing the point of adulthood: you don't need an excuse.

Next they're going to brag about eating pizza for breakfast and staying up waaaay past bedtime.

Apocalypse (almost) now:

My fourth piece for KOMO 4's Capitol Hill blog went up yesterday:

Monday, March 15, 2010

More evidence John Edwards' dick has spectacularly bad judgment:

Rielle Hunter's hypocrisy, neediness, self-centered kind of New Ageism, and ultimately, self-loathing remind me of someone I was friends with years ago: after I'd helped her through a series of protracted medical tests (bringing her dinner, listening for hours on the phone, dropping off videos, et al), she didn't come visit me after a complicated surgery because she had just started seeing a new guy but said, "I sent you healing thoughts while doing yoga." I ended the friendship shortly thereafter and several others who viewed this as the final straw also told her to fuck off.

Too bad John Edwards lacks the same sort of bullshit detector:

R.I.P. Slats and kind thoughts to his loved ones in their time of grief:

My third piece for KOMO 4's Capitol Hill blog went up yesterday:

Obits of this sort break your heart. And I feel fortunate my editor let me run it the way I chose, without bothering his loved ones in their agony.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My second installment for KOMO 4's Capitol Hill blog went up...


It's probably the easiest assignment I've had, but fun nonetheless and I like my editor a lot. And while my health stays in remission, I've been sending out longer pieces to larger venues again. So this is a tasty side-dish while I continue to whip up entrees.

For her loved ones' sake...

...I'm glad her body was found:

But still. Everything about this is haunting and sad.

Thinking of her friends and family.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I write and take pics for KOMO 4's Capitol Hill blog now:

My first piece for the Capitol Hill blog on is up now:

So part of what I do here and on Facebook, I now do for KOMO 4's site. I'm about to turn in my second post and am enjoying myself so far. (Very friendly editor helps.)

Feel free to send me Capitol Hill info that might be relevant.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Haiti, two months later:

I've known since he died five months ago that I've been incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by ceaselessly, unfailingly kind family and friends and that, also, I'm grieving in a part of the world in which I have access to ample food, clean water, a safe home and freedom of speech. (A large swath of my family lived under Nazi occupation; when my father's mother died when he was six, he had no grief counseling because, indeed, he had no food or shelter.)

So I keep returning to Haiti again and again. Like everyone I know who is in a position to donate to relief efforts, I've done so repeatedly. But I keep thinking of the 1.2 million displaced individuals who are grieving multiple loved ones without privacy or even basic sanitation.

Liesl Gernholtz of Human Rights Watch writes for the Daily Beast on the particular horrors in the quake's aftermath endemic to women, many of whom of have been raped in the resulting breakdown of any infrastructure:

Ian Urbina writes for the New York Times on the particular hardships of Haiti's elderly, who survived both Duvalier regimes and Haiti's continuing AIDS crisis only to face the quake's nearly unfathomable devastation at the end of their lives:

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Thank you, internet...

...for introducing me in one week to two opinions so earth-shatteringly stupid that their proponents should be flogged then sterilized: 1) Kathryn Bigelow had an Oscar in each hand, "but no one to hug." 2) The Who "aren't in the pantheon with the Beatles and the Stones."

I have to live in a world wherein TJ is dead but these cocksuckers draw breath? Holy fucking jesus goddammed christ.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Sunday, March 07, 2010

This is the first year since 1992...

...he and I won't be betting on the Oscars and it's one more thing that feels horribly awry.

Still it's easy for me to choose my favorite films of 2009: the myriad we saw together while he was alive.

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.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Okay, this is a tough one, but we're at the 72 hour mark now:

One of my closest friends was in France when the massive storm, Xynthia, hit three days ago and none of us have heard back from him yet. Much of France is still without power so we're hoping this or something equally benign is the tripwire.

Still, the good thoughts would be appreciated.

[Postscript 2:15 p.m. My friend is fine. He wasn't checking email so he never got his brother's messages. Also, he didn't realize the extent of damage to the country and that President Sarkozy has declared a state of emergency in France. I.e. my friend had no idea there was reason for a number of us to be worried.]

Thanks to all involved! Also, high five, Canoe Club. And yet:

Felt bisected last night: really enjoyed telling another story as part of the A Guide to Visitors salon and, as always, loved working with the AGTV producers; spent time w/ excellent friends in attendance; was tickled by the capacity crowd; found everyone on the bill compelling; and am groovin' on the new(ish) Canoe Club venue. Overwhelmingly wish my story had been about anything else, though. But what other story is important now?

More on the Canoe Club:

I've had rabbits for twelve years...

...and can attest, as can anyone who has lived with them, that they are highly intelligent and social companion animals. It's one thing to eat them out of exigency, another matter entirely to ingest them by choice. The New York Times feature briefly touches on this issue, but largely avoids it:

Eating rabbit is akin to eating cat or dog.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Ten hours in and... far, March seems scripted by Edgar Allan Poe after a large pot of coffee.

Some days, all you can do is breathe and keep writing.