Saturday, December 3, 2016

the seven tenets

I ran across these seven tenets this week and immediately felt "YES."
  • One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
  • The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  • One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  • The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
  • Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
  • People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
  • Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word
I was very surprised to learn of their origin. And what other things the group is doing to fight the regime.  As with so much of the shitstorm-dumpster-fire that has been 2016, I never imagined writing or saying these words but: thanks, Satanic Temple.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Stress about work, life, the state of the world all got me feeling like I'm carrying around a backpack full of wet towels. The little things seem big and the big things seem unbearable.
One little thing I'm taking pleasure from right now is being a regular.
I'm familiar at a few coffee shops around town. There's of course the undeniable pleasure of not having to place an order. But there's also the chit-chat, the confidences, the catching-up.
The day after the election shat out its final turd (or did it?), I limped into the coffee place near work. The barista proudly wore a t-shirt depicting her native Switzerland. She offered sympathy along with my coffee and bagel. The next guy in line said he was Canadian and would take any of us who wanted to leave.
Most weekends I pop into a Fremont spot, where the morning barista is also a video stylist for a major Seattle rapper. I look forward to her hairstyle, her clothes, her attitude, her stories--including rocking at a metal show in Tacoma with her brother, and how a colleague came in to work on no sleep and a lot of whisky (our conclusion: keep rolling with whisky, or complete hydration/catnap therapy).
I have good friends and family and this extended circle of welcoming establishments is a salve, a tonic, a haven. It feels good. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Scenes from election day

Boy what a tough week. I don't know what I think yet. I'm still feeling. A lot of feels. Disbelief, still. Anger. Disgust. Frustration.
I ain't leaving. I'm sticking around to fight.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I was afraid of this

I'm taking a 3-quarter writing course for work and between the homework and the class itself, I am neglecting my WRITING writing. The important stuff. I was afraid this would happen and it is.
Also this week:
On Thursday, the barista at the bagel place didn't give me my change. She's new. I'd given her $6 and the manager had to gently show her how to make 65 cents in change.
That same day, the server at Shultzy's managed to lose my debit card in the 2 minutes between me handing her the card, going to the ladies', and returning to sign the charge slip. 
Two people on the 49 bus were talking to themselves. Not each other. Just their own selves. It was beautiful and unbearably sad.
And, the geniuses at Amazon shipped me a toilet seat cover I did not order. So I had to print a label and go to the UPS store yesterday to return a shit cover I didn't even ask for.
It seems like a metaphor for the week.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

the flatlands

Last weekend I visited family in Colorado and Kansas. My grandmother celebrated a major birthday recently and my cousins, aunt and I agreed it was time for a road trip. Interstate 70 takes you directly from the Denver area into western Kansas, and it was a pleasant drive both directions: unusually warm fall days, calm winds, and the company of family.
I forget each time how beautiful the landscape is, so flat and broad, the sky an enormous blue bowl overhead. At home we see snippets of sky, framed by evergreens or reflected in the coastal sea. In western Kansas, the sky fills your vision, edged with crispy sunflower fields, bristly rolls of hay, furrowed dirt roads, the occasional sparkling pond.
My Kansas aunt cooked up two days' worth of goodies, including coleslaw and pumpkin pie. We wandered downtown, sat in the shade with Gram and my cousin's pet dog, played marbles and talked sports and laughed and reminisced about the ones we've lost. My shrink keeps telling me I'm lonely and I keep saying that I'm not, but I will say that this weekend, I felt like I belonged, like people were looking out for me, and that felt pretty great.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


It's been fun checking out my new neighborhood.
In less than a week I've been in 5 bars, a pizza place, 2 thrift stores, and a couple of galleries. And this is just the beginning, if my liver holds out.
Let's start with the bad news. The pizza place was a big disappointment. Overpriced soggy pie with a weirdly salty tomato sauce, attitudinous servers--carded twice on a Wednesday night!?--irritating soundtrack--I doubt I'll go back.
It's a competitive neighborhood, and some of the bars shone with personality.
Clever Dunnes is an Irish pub with TV's showing whatever sporting event is going on, a rock-heavy soundtrack, and a boisterous bartender who was quick with drinks, food advice, and some light kidding. Great for MLB and a veggie burger.
I've been in Redwood a couple times before. Not a fan of the taxidermied animal heads but the lighting is dim and the booths are comfy and the price was right for a couple of Olympias on tap ($3 I think?). Not a fan of the indie soundtrack but the bartender was prompt. Weirdly, the door guy was already carding people at the tender hour of 7 p.m.
Bait Shop may be my favorite of the bunch. It's busy and loud, but somehow there's always a spot to be found. The server this night was funny and cool and brought drinks quickly, even as our little group expanded. Every table around us was packed with people having a good time, and my rye Manhattan was perfect.
Corvus was new to me. I didn't love our table by the door, and the crowd was oddly diverse--a group of serious-looking Asian men in suits, couples on quiet dates, a rowdy threesome at the bar--but the server was quirkily friendly, and brought out delicious cocktails and a plate of hot salty fries to stave off impending hangover.
DeLuxe is also an old favorite, and didn't disappoint on an after-midnight stop. The bar seemed stacked with regulars, drinks came out fast, and the bartender dutifully helped a friend get over a bout of hiccups.
Kessler's was my last stop this week, when I stopped en route to art walk for a beer and some Thursday night football. This may be a go-to for sporting events--fast, efficient bartenders, hometown crowd, and low prices.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

super deluxe

I've been checking out the creative brains behind Super Deluxe lately (mostly this provocative video about the first presidential debate). There's also Super Deluxe Animation, which recently featured a bunch of very short (short as in a couple dozen seconds) videos.
This one is my fave. I can't get enough! Check out Morpha! Utila!

As a creative person, this series has made me think: How can I make my own stories shorter, brighter, more fun and engaging? I'm going to figure out how.