Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Getting a handle

These two door handles caught my eye recently, one on a 1970's era building on lower Queen Anne, the other at a club along Dexter Avenue.
The symmetry of the shapes appeals to me, the simplicity, the sense of retro honesty.
I like that a humble, useful object can also be interesting, and beautiful.
These handles seem to possess a certain timelessness but maybe that's an invention, maybe I'm seeing more than is really there.
I do that sometimes.
I have this need to idolize, to hero-worship, and this can make me blind.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tha oatmeal

Man, if laughter has health benefits I'm gonna live to be 110. It's been that kind of weekend.
Belly laughs.
Disbelieving chuckles (I mean rilly, who rants about North Dakota?).

If you need a good laugh, go here. Or here or here.

And, I'm mulling over a new project. Media-related, but not writing. More soon.

Friday, April 23, 2010


This image (which I snapped along Dexter Avenue) makes me think of a hot summer day on the Mediterranean Sea. Maybe I've seen too many art house movies but I imagine glamorous overtanned socialites mingle just out of camera range. There's a half-empty champagne flute with a single floating cigarette butt. Smeared coral lipstick. The air bears the alcoholic tang of hair gel, and oleander, with a pungent edge of canal, because the sea is filthy as well as beautiful and there's no use denying that it can be both.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Achieving maximum clarity

I keep thinking about balance.
For me the writing life ain't this or this or even this . Writing is the temporary adrenaline thrill of a rough draft, lopsided and slightly loco, and then the hard work, the long desert slog of editing, re-writing, revising, and revising some more.

And despite all those cappuccino-sipping hipsters pecking on their Macs at Uptown and Trabant and Zeitgeist, writing occurs mostly in solitude, long hours behind a locked door, staring at a screen or a notepad, thinking and puzzling and writing.

To get at what's true means you need to stay in the locked room and get at the pain, to find that raw edge and probe it.
You know me, I try to be funny. But I'm trying harder to be true.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Honest living

The aw-dammit truth from Author Magazine's Editor's Blog:

"Saying what do not want to say, doing what you do not want to do—these are all lies of a sort. Honesty is the expression of truth, which for all of us is the expression of ourselves, which extends from how we greet our neighbors to how we earn our living."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Maximum withdrawl

So sez the sign on an ATM in Limon, Colorado, spotted on the tail end of our five hour drive back from Kansas.
A sunny clear day, the wind blasting across the plains so hard that tumbleweeds became projectiles, and the walk from car to gift shop required a military-style crouch and then a dash across open parking lot, hands over vulnerable eyes, later picking grit out of our ears and bare arms.
This was the West (my home is Seattle which is considered too liberal-left-coasty to be truly Western) where the welcome was genuine, if subdued, and flag couture and lite beer and drawls seemed de rigueur.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Roger that

I see this tag all over town.
These were snapped on different days, on a parking paybox on lower Queen Anne, along Highway 99, and on a bus stop in the U-district.
Same tagger? I dunno.
The message is the same though.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I talk to myself

I talk to myself. I do.
And I write myself notes, cryptic doodling commentary.
Because there's this ongoing conversation in my head, a whispering voiceover, and it's not always complimentary: you're alone elise--your writing sucks--you smile funny--you're old--no one wants to be with you--you're making huge mistakes--you'll never be good enough...

So, I tell myself stuff. Debate myself--not always a winning proposition--remind myself to do and feel and think about things I love--graffiti and cool quirky people and bubbly and late nights on the town and really loud music--the kind of lit torch that keeps those barking dogs at bay.

I keep talking to myself but--I'm not always positive that I'm listening.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Seattle urban art

Got something to talk about but it's not quite ready.
In the meantime check out these links to urban art in Seattle. As for what "urban art" is -- I'm not quite sure, other than it feels fresh and immediate and badass. And may not set you back six figures.

s3a hosts links to a bunch of galleries and neighborhoods
Bherd Studios -- gonna check out an artist opening there Friday night
**Solace -- I bought one of his pieces at Bherd
**Nate Stottrup does woodcuts and confided to me that he posted a bunch of prints to utility poles in Ballard not long ago (keep your eyes open people)
ArtWorks features murals along the light rail route to the airport
Seattle Mural Art
Augie Pagan is a friend of a friend doing a lot of cool stuff
Free Sheep Foundation seem to have regrouped on fb

If you know of others, hit me up in the comments.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I get scared

I got in a lot of solid thinking time last week. It was a 5 hour drive from DEN to my grandma's house, the damn rental car didn't have an iPod jack, and all we could get on the radio was turn-or-burn preachers, sports talkradio, and America's Truckin' Network.
So, I drove and thought.
I've been scared a lot lately. My marriage is over, I moved out of my house, the future feels uncertain. When I see a happy couple I get the urge to smack them. Sometimes there are long lonely hours to fill. I go out plenty, don't get me wrong. I've met a ton of cool people and even gone out with a boy or two.
But still, I get scared. That may just have to be okay for awhile.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Murder your darlings

“Murder your darlings” was a phrase supposedly coined by F Scott Fitzgerald. He believed that writers should always edit their "best bits” out of their work. Elmore Leonard said, “If I come across anything in my work that smacks of ‘good writing,’ I immediately strike it out.” Eliminate the precious, that of which you are most proud and upon which you have expended the most labor.
It's a dark introduction to my first post in a week, n'est pas? My time away was great--lots of family jokes and stories, confessions, bleak realizations, congratulations. And, plenty of time to think. I feel like I've returned to a bit of a dark place. Figuring out what you want effectively closes off entree to other things you thought you wanted. I'm saying this to myself--and perhaps to you--as a reminder, a challenge, a warning.

bsp videos don't sleep on 'em