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.