Thursday, December 31, 2015

nye eve

I spent New Year's Eve eve at a Digable Planets reunion show. The show felt like the Seattle I love--a full house, laid back hip hop, friends and a good crowd and hanging out and dancing. A ton of hip hop heads from the 206 were there. Ish presided over the bongos. The Seattle Times gave it some space.
A couple of oddities--during the show, two guys got into a fistfight at the front of the first balcony, but security was there and escorting them out within 30 seconds. And to be sure, the venue didn't make a whole lot of sense--due to demand, it was moved from the Neptune to the strange old Moore Theatre, with its narrow rows of hard fixed seats and two nosebleed balconies. However, it's age and eccentricity make it a delightful place to explore, find hidden bathrooms and the intimate downstairs bar where denizens of the green room pop in and out. Happy NYE everyone. Be cool like dat.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Today what I can offer is this, from the very grounded and sublime Subhan Schenker:
Isn't it strange that we live as if the NEXT moment is MORE IMPORTANT than THIS one?! In doing that, we miss all the blessings that THIS MOMENT - which is the ONLY moment we have! - has to offer.
Oh and this, from a Charles D'Ambrosio interview in Tin House:
It’s a good reminder that you don’t have to indulge a goopy confessional mode to write a personal essay—you’re more mysterious than you know, more naked than you imagine, and whether you intend it or not, you’re going to be exposed.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

say whuuuut

My massage person yesterday was the much-dreaded Talker. She asked if I was comfortable (lying face down with the warmer on, I said yes), if I had big weekend plans (oh god, I thought, hesitating--do I say don't talk to me, please don't talk to me--and finally said, mmhmm) and then she said boy, I hope the weekend will be nice. I elected not to answer. The silence felt awkward at first, then less so, and then I slipped into a sort of meditative peace. At the end, I tipped generously and moved back into the world with a deliciously-relaxed ease.
I felt similarly at peace on Thursday night. A friend and I volunteered as ushers with Homo for the Holidays' opening night. We helped set up chairs, direct people to will call and the bathroom, checked hand stamped, and pick up empty glasses. In between we sat in the back and enjoyed the two-hour show, a heady mix of burlesque, comedy, parody, and sheer talent. It was my first time seeing Cherdonna (!!). Not to mention, a sexy Santa striptease, delicious temptations Candy and Cookie, and the selfie-obsessed pronouncements of Waxie Moon as the Sugarplum Fairy. The "Uptown Funk" rip-off was amazingly en pointe. It felt so good to laugh and cackle and get a little scared of the Grim Reaper and admire the jaw dropping physiques. I walked down from the Hill feeling happy and comforted. Not all is lost in the 206.
Yesterday I watched "Tangerine," and fell in love. What story-telling! All in dialogue and raw acting.
And today this yoga video, somewhere between vinyasa and yin yoga.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

monkey mind

The only thing keeping me running these days is yoga.
Specifically, yin yoga. Such a treat for sore knees and tight hammies.
Holding a pose for 3 or 4 minutes is surprisingly tough; I find it much easier to grind through the sweaty warrior 2's and chatarunga's of a vinyasa class.
Yin yoga helps me shut off the monkey mind, swinging from thought to thought, rehashing grievances, worrying about what-not, solving nothing.
It ain't perfect but it's something.
This practice is one of my faves:

My agenda on this rainy Saturday: writing, thinking, and maybe a coconut-nog latte.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


It's been that kind of a week.
Ditch City.
Ditchity ditch ditch DITCH.
I rented a car that has sat parked for days.
I paid for four covers and 1/2 the group split before their wrist stamps had dried.
I trusted a friend and they turned shady as a snake.
Time to re-erect the walls.
Time to remember: ditch-before-ye-be-ditched.
Good thing I'm good at walls.
Today's soundtrack for writing:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I realize

Yeah I realize some of my posts are more serious than others.
I'm a complicated human like the rest of you. Each day has its blend of smiles and dread and snacks and headache and success and worry. I saw a really cool show this week, Warren G (preceded by Slum Village), a chill hip hop kind of night, cold and drizzly, Nectar's garage doors half open to let in cooler air and clouds and clouds of smoooke. What a pleasure to see such professionals, old school artists and confident performers. The entertaining DJ Indica Jones kept us laughing and grooving in between sets.
Then yesterday, the Parisian horror, people mowed down by a death cult and why? Because they were out for a drink and music and dancing, the exact thing we'd done the night before.
To continue the thread from last week, there's this post. The yin and yang of abuse. It's thin-ice territory for me.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


you beat me
you wouldn't let me cry
you sat beside me with your arm around me and told me that you loved me
. . .
Chaos right now.
I have love, I have people, I have I have I have.
But no one can reach me.
No one can save me but me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I've been told that I'm resourceful.
The word makes me suspicious. Is it code for something? A back-handed compliment, the way my father would tell me I was "attractive" and we both knew he meant "not as pretty as your sister?"
But then I think, well I am resourceful.
Once, when I was younger, my parents went out and left me in charge. There was a fight and my littlest sister slammed my hand in the bathroom door. I knew if our parents found out about the fight, we'd all be in trouble, so I concealed my injured, rapidly blackening index fingernail. Over the following weeks, as fluids built up under the dead nail, I meticulously drilled a hole in the nail bed with a safety pin, relieving the pressure. The nail eventually curled up and flaked off, replaced by a tender, snail-like new nail and I was still called on to be in charge, sometimes.
There was the job I got when I was an exchange student in Germany. My Spanish boyfriend had accidentally crushed the bumper of our group's rental van, after a weekend in Berlin. Everyone else's parents sent them money to pay for the repairs. Not me. My parents were broke as a joke, so, I studied the Marburg classifieds and found a job helping a doctor's wife in Elnhausen with housework. I still remember my German mother Ilse's incredulity when I announced my new position over dinner.
During college, I lived on $10 a week for groceries. (Thank you, Food Giant.)
Anyway, the thing is, I come from a long line of hard-headed Kansan women. One great-grandmother emigrated to western Kansas on a wagon train from Oklahoma. The other taught in a one-room schoolhouse and raised my grandmother as a single parent. My beloved Gram has had three careers so far--mother, schoolteacher, and real estate mogul. So I guess when someone says hey you're resourceful, it doesn't resonate too much.
Being resourceful what's expected. It's how we do.
It's who we are.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

curious about that 8 percent tho

I did an audit of my Facebook friends. Occasionally I'll see a post by someone and I can't even remember who they are or how I know them. I'd like to say it's a product of my charm and wit, that I'm connected to so many strangers, but more likely it's a result of one of those late-nights at the bar when it seems like you and your drunken comrades will be friends forever and then the next day you accidentally mop up spilled coffee with the napkin they wrote their numbers on.
Anyway, here's what it looks like for me. At 15%, work is a bigger chunk than I'd anticipated, but there are people from the King Street McD's which for me is almost ancient history. Acquaintances are people I've met on my own and for some reason wanted to connect with, but never really have. Friends, friend of friends, family, you get it.
The intriguing one is Not sure. I may spend some time researching that one. Why do I hang on? Why do I care to see "Bro Tino's" status updates if I have no idea who the hell this person is?
More to come.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

life goals no asterisk

Traveling alone is such a fertile time for me, for reflection and decision-making.
On this last trip I came up with some directions or goals or what-have-you:
--Stay positive (think of the nola guy who lost everything to Katrina, think of the woman who lived in a cabin in NC for 2 years with her husband and 2 kids waiting to return, both of them radiating enthusiasm for life)
--Hang with good people (no more wasting time with those who have agendas or aren't nice)
--Be of service (keep volunteering, keep listening and noticing)
--Do more things that contribute to happiness (no backing away from the h-word, no getting complacent or smug or judgey, be honest and say what you mean)
Well anyway all this said, I came home and nearly immediately got my feelings hurt, picked a fight with a friend over text no less, snapped at my fella. They wouldn't be goals if I was already there but the road looks long and I will have to keep this all front of mind, tattooed on my forearm or something.
Or something.
I saw at least a half-dozen establishments last week with a sign that says "Be nice or leave."
Lots of people say "asterik" instead of "asterisk," I'm sure there's a linguistic reason.
Kind of like "mute point."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

a lil lol

I read two articles on Jonathan Franzen at lunch today: one penned by a Financial Times writer who interviewed him over a self-consciously mid-range English lunch, the other written by an inmate in a federal prison headlined: Stop Sending me Jonathan Franzen Novels.
One pseudo-fawning, the other an impatiently brutal takedown, both ultimately an indictment of an over-privileged and hugely successful white dude who can't quite admit he was born on third base.
In any case, I enjoyed the dismantling. I re-read The Corrections earlier this year and found the tone so sneering and tone-deaf and cliche'd, I wondered how I'd enjoyed so much the first time.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Back from some travels and I'm tired and happy. I visited some family in the Florida panhandle, then spent a week helping renovate a house in New Orleans. St Bernard Project is close to my heart, helping families 10 years post-Katrina to get back home. A buddy went with me and we shared an Airbnb shotgun house, complete with an early-morning wakeup call from the rooster next door. We installed drywall and cement board, painted and spackled and mudded, cut baseboards and learned to use a nail gun. Green Corps students came in twice, upping the energy and noise levels. The SBP site supervisors, serving through Americorps, were bright, funny and skillful twenty-somethings. Most days there was some impromptu dancing and a long line of running jokes by the end of the week.  And always, we kept in mind the goal of returning the Hendersons home by the end of October.
Evenings, my buddy and dined like royalty and listened to stellar jazz, on the outdoor courtyard at Bacchanal, then on Frenchmen Street at Maison, dba, 3 Muses, and Vaso. We drank Sazeracs and Abita beer and sobered up with street pizza and beignets and groceries from the Mardi Gras Zone Supermarket.
I don't quite know how to wrap up my thoughts quite yet.
There's more to come.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


My new ink is finished, I think. Me likes, and am already thinking about the next one. Thanks Ashley at 522 Tatoo.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


I got some writing advice last weekend.
From non-writers. A fair amount of whiskey was involved. And, I asked for it. I was feeling stuck on a particular story ending and decided to solicit some help.
For me, talking about a story in progress ranks pretty high on the discomfort list, right up there with dental work and public speaking. It's hard to talk about writing and I don't want what I'm working on to sound trivial or unimaginative.
But, I asked, they answered, and I took mental notes. I made revisions this week, and now I'm letting them settle. When I go back in a week or two, we'll see how it feels.
Trying to find the thread, man. It's a lifelong quest.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Finally had some time to get out to the coast last weekend. Even though the weather has turned mercifully cooler, there's still a burn ban, so the only fire possible was the candles I posted outside the day tent. I enjoyed a day of outdoor work: finishing the driveway gate, pulling out brambles, clearing the septic field, sweeping and scrubbing. Then, a gentle hit from the pipe, and it was beer o'clock. Birds rustled blissfully in the misty alders, and nearby, a frog croaked.
Scroll down for today's writing soundtrack, dj Shmeejay.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

looking for patterns

I broke a necklace and a bracelet over the weekend.
My rental car got a flat tire.
My alarm didn't go off this morning.
And as I waited for the bus, a man boarding the D-line got his foot caught in the disabled ramp and screamed like a stuck pig.
A pattern of unfortunate events?
Who knows?
Good things happened too: I saw pink-glazed clouds at sunset on Sunday, I went dancing and played a card game with friends, I heard frogs croaking on a coastal visit, and yet all I remember is the broken chain, the mad rush to shower and get to work, the screams of an agitated rider.
C'mon now. The pattern is life.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

my shrink, the ceo

My shrink runs our sessions in a very businesslike manner.
We meet at the same time each week. We work through the same agenda: ritual breathing to relax, recap of last visit, any new business, then on to the topics at hand.
She wears variations on the same outfits--1970's Mary Tyler Moore chic, loose slacks with matching vests, long-sleeved stretchy shirts, no prints.
Once a month we analyze where I'm at, with 3 separate measures.
And for gnarly problems, she busts out the white board.
It's a lot like work, only the project is me.
For so many of the situations I bring to her, the answers are the same, too.
You have little to no influence here.
You can choose understanding, acceptance.
I've been discovering the photos of Saul Leiter. Snapshots of mid-century NYC. I'm drawn to the layers, the filters--windows of a shop or a taxicab, rain or snow, half-glimpses of a face or a hat or a breast. He evokes such  feelings of recognition and longing.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Yesterday I was all set to write about rain and unwatered lawns and the beauty of chaotic vegetation.
Then came a windstorm, power outages, an absence of internet, gashes of rain, and late in the night, desperate times for a good friend.
Today is better only because it is light, and I don't know whether the light can find its way through the darkness coiled around a frail human heart, blanketing and choking out all reason. I have wept and talked and begged and texted and called the authorities and run up friends and wept some more.
If only my buddy knew how many people love them, care about them, enjoy their sarcastic cackle and funny/sad poems and passion for sports and music. I've said it, I've texted it, I've tried to burn it into a fevered brain. But, I'm scared. There are other factors in play, chemical, genealogical.
Now, I'm afraid I can only wait.

Monday, August 24, 2015


I've been thinking about the importance of first lines. A first line that grabs the reader by the lapels and says, "Hey you, I got something you want to hear." I don't even mind the bait-n-switch first lines that end up being  not quite true.
Now is the place in the blog entry where I'm supposed to cut and paste some of the great first lines of literature, but I'm going to resist doing that. It's too easy. And honestly, a lot of first lines aren't that great, either because we've heard them too often: "It was the best of times etc etc.," or, if you haven't read the piece of fiction, the line doesn't mean much to you anyway.
I guess I'm saying it's a matter of personal taste. I'm resolved to think more about it, and do more about it.
c'est tout.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

he looks good

I've been posting a lot of videos and links lately. It's been a dizzyling busy summer and while yes, I have been writing, I have so little time and energy left for blogging. A friend introduced me to Steve Kardynal videos not long ago and I watched a half dozen and fell in love. He's talented and funny and yet I'm almost more in love with the reactions around him. The world is scary and sad and this wriggly, sassy little performance artist makes people laugh and dance in the most un-self-conscious way. It's a gift.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


On days when I feel low and at all kinds of loose ends, I watch me some Little Britain.
All hail Vicky Pollard:

Little Britain: Vicky Pollard on school visit by larsen42

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I was here recently, overlooking Diablo Lake.
On my way home from a long-awaited wedding, feeling a swirl of emotion--people seen, dances danced, disagreements aired--and disliking the swirl so much I bought Tums at the next gas station stop.
Soundtrack today is Wesley Holmes' Lost in Seattle. Check the beats at about 13:50 and drop dat ass.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

chbp 2015

Every year I say this is it, no more Block Party for me. Yet, here I am again with a grimy 3-day pass bracelet and a hangover. Bands of note so far:
  • Shabazz Palaces played an eclectic set, with drumming, humming, and enough choreography and old-fashioned rhyming that I realized they could pull off whatever the hell they want whenever they want
  • Killing time at Cha cha, we sipped on Jameson's slushies and compared Grenades with Great Falls (I'm no metal head but the latter rocked it)
  • Jarv Dee and Moor Gang alum Gifted Gab delivered a fun, dancy hip hop set
  • Brothers from Another--adorable boy-band hip hop lite
  • The Fabulous Party Boys got us dancing and made me long for a sequined jumpsuit
Filed in the guess-I'm-not-cool-enough drawer, I realized Don't Talk to the Cops were part of a semi-secret show last night, a block away from CHBP and the baby-raver shenanigans that chased us away from Com Truise (booked at Vera instead of the main stage or Neumo's, WHYYYYYYYY!).

Saturday, July 18, 2015

more vacay

En route to a baseball game, we spied graffiti and stopped to take some pictures. The middle 3 are by 84 pages, a Colorado artist. Dunno who created the first and last but they're lovely.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Just back from three days in Colorado with the fam. It was a treat: four generations, twenty-five of us, and not a lot of drama (even including a cousin's tagalong ex). There's a pleasure in chillaxing among family, the ease of sharing a couple of Coors Lights in the back yard, catching up, playing with the little ones, or coming up alongside Gram and seeing that special sparkle in her eye. We ran around a lot, to a tea factory and a ballgame, then a flea market. We descended en masse at an unsuspecting Waffle House, then decamped across the street for free Slurpies on 7-11. We came home exhausted and sunburnt and a little melancholy for the herd. The marks of a successful vacation.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015


So I met one half of Fly Moon Royalty over the weekend. I've seen them perform around town on occasion. Fresh.
Sad news from a friend today, of another fallen parent. Two friends have lost their fathers in the past six months. I know the deep gash of hurt and shock. It's a journey you make alone, despite the presence of lovers and family and friends. You must learn to survive without the parent. You must go on without the parent. And eventually you can thrive, without the parent.
Starting to mend. This has been a patience-testing voyage for sure. And all I can do is keep on, keep calm, and heal. 

Monday, June 8, 2015


Recovering from a bad fall. It happened after a night out, a few whiskys and some fine-ass 420, so I can only conclude that it was mostly self-inflicted.
Today is day three holed up with Advil, bandages and ice packs.
A faint and a visit to the ER.
Cautions about confusion.
Drinking iced coffee through a straw.
Binge netflixing.
And, it's a June heat-wave.
I'm ready for a break in the weather, internal and ex.
Graffiti from lower QA.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

hott city

It's been hot in Seattle. Hot and dry after a non-winter. We've had 80-degree days and it's only May.
People here get sun-crazy. On the train ride home last night, the guy behind me spent most of the trip on his phone, trying to get a ride from whatever station was coming up next, all conversation conducted in a loud urgent monotone. Across the aisle, two pairs of nerds in My Little Pony backpacks loudly debated Simpsons versus South Park. Merciful arrival at Westlake, transfer to a bus, where a contingent of drunk, still-drinking men lay across the back seats and talked belligerently, so much so that the driver got on her scratchy intercom and asked them to knock it off. Which of course made them more irate, and scream even louder. The guy sitting in front of me turned around to ask me for a dollar. Seriously, dude? I declined. One of the angry men lurched forward, yelling for the driver to let him off the bus and calling her a bitch.
I looked outside at the hazy moon and wished for rain.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

new art

I put up new art this week by John Malta. Found it at Flatcolor's April art walk. Gosh, this picture makes me happy. I'm running out of wall space but--first world problems, somehow I will go on.
Uncertainty on so many fronts. I worry that the climate is fucked and as humans, repeatedly and enthusiastically shitting where we eat, so to speak, we kind of deserve whatever is coming. Kids don't, and they're the ones who will be around to clean up our mess. So much violence and hate. I try to balance the news with funny stuff (Broad City, holla!) and creative stuff. Hence the new art, and also because it scratches some itch, apparently. Closer in, I puzzle over a familial relationship that I wish was stronger but just isn't, and I have no idea what to do. The new shrink wants to work on intimacy and intellectually I guess I want to but realistically, no, the walls are working for me just fine, thank.
Busysmartypants is making a go of it on Twitter. Lots of cool cats and interesting chats happening there, vs the smarmy brag-fest of facebook. I'm no Twitxpert but I'm feeling my way around. Check me out, say hi, heckle, share, whatever.

Friday, May 8, 2015

danielle is a hottie

Seen on the wall at the College Inn ladies.' I wonder if anyone's studied the graffiti on the women's bathroom walls in dive bars. It's always an entertaining and emotional narrative.
Illing this week. Hoping to be healthy again soon.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

the weirdest

Shows two nights in a row this week. At the Crocodile, Rust on the Rails made me a fan, with two barefoot, lumbersexuals on violin, guitar and didgeridoo, another beardy guy singing, just a soulful, rhythmic sound. Then Tango Alpha Tango blew it up. Spotted down front, Ayron Jones, hanging out with a tall brunette. The next night, Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme, fronted by a tight, energetic super-mariachi band Banda Vagos. En route to the show, our bus was diverted onto a pre-emptive May Day re-route, so we abandoned ship and walked up 12th Avenue, helicopters crackling and hovering overhead, and came around the corner by the SPD precinct, suddenly confronted with an alcove stuffed with riot cops.
Pictured, graffiti from the ladies at the Five Point.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

the luxury of Reacher

I started a new Reacher novel the other day. For me, luxury is having a stack of unread mystery novels at hand. Fiction leaves me kind of meh these days--mostly because I'm not quite sure who to read and I'm tired of self-conscious New Yorker/MFA prose.
However. Lee Child's Reacher series never fails to thrill. The main character is a brawny, six-and-a-half foot tall ex-MP roaming around the USA righting wrongs, mostly with his bare hands and his wits. The stories are funny and amazingly detailed. You know how Reacher makes decisions and why and as a reader you're on edge until the last page. No data dumps at the end, no wild explanations, and almost never a happy ending for the occasional woman who crosses his path.
Starting a Reacher novel is bittersweet, as I'm already regretting how soon I'll finish it. The last one I read almost made me miss a bus! I was so engrossed in the story that the Metro bus pulled up to my stop and sat there, door open, the driver peering out at me until I came to, folded over the page to mark my spot, and hopped on.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

todays jam

Mein Gott, how I love this woman.
(And the html width from Youtube to embed the image was 420, hah.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

things are happening if you only look and see

Yesterday I noticed the same guy walking back and forth in the alley behind my apartment building. Five or six buildings share the same back alley/refuse bin/garage entrance/parking lot, so there's a lot of coming and going. This guy was tall and thin, with a weathered complexion and a straggly reddish beard. His clothes hung off him as though they were too big or he was too skinny, or maybe both. He walked like someone with nowhere to go, and the usual alley traffic carried on past him--three guys searching a dumpster, cars entering the condo building's below-ground parking garage, smokers hanging out by the recycling bins, an elderly man cutting through en route to the senior housing nearby. No one spoke to the guy, even when he stopped directly behind my building, stared at the trash bin and spoke to it for awhile. I watched, a little worried at first, but all he did was pace up and down the alley, and eventually he walked out of view, and did not reappear.
Today I came around the corner to the Fortress of Solitude and here was a kid, maybe twelve or thirteen, in baggy basketball shorts, trying the door of the office next to mine. He punched in the code--it's a conference room--and I wondered what kind of meeting this kid was in. He was still attempting to punch in the code when I stepped out to refill my water bottle. By the time I came back, he was slumped in the chair opposite the shrink's office at the end of the hall, which was presumably where he was supposed to have been the whole time.
I bought a ring today, at the Atlas vintage mall for six dollars. It reminded me of the Chanel camellia ring, also pictured above. I'll let you deduce which is which.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

the struggle it is real

Last week's Free Will Astrology brought me to tears. I read it in the back of The Stranger, on the bus home. What do my heart and soul have to tell me? I'm doing a pretty good job of tuning them out.
Right next to my keyboard at work, I keep 3 things: an acorn, a tiny gold buddha, and a paper on which I wrote, "is it true? is it necessary? is it kind?"

Saturday, March 28, 2015


 Pictures left and below are of a carpet and bus shelter.
Looking at them together I see how my eye was drawn to the rectangular patterns.
Looking at my closet this week I noticed the plethora of black and white stripes.
I have a hard time wearing patterns that are not symmetrical, or clothes don't match--I saw a girl at the bus stop yesterday in black pants and a blue top and I could hardly stand looking at her. How did she go about her day like that? My shrink gave me homework  once, where I was to wear an outfit to work that I knew *did not* match, to see how my co-workers would react. No one said anything, of course, which proved--honestly, I'm not sure what it proved, other than being a soul-crushing exercise in realizing that no one really sees you.
Think about that. You can never see someone as you once did. As you first did, when you were strangers.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

how alive?

I had lunch with my pal from the food bank recently. We caught up on our volunteer job gossip, traded mystery novels, shot the shite. I read your busysmartypants, he said, munching his sandwich. I didn't understand what the heck was going on!
A co-worker said to me once, off-handedly, You pretty much do exactly what you want to do.
This is all okay by me. This little corner of the internet is my island. I have visitors on occasion but the words and the music and the pictures and the videos--those are all for me. This is my life now. Was my life then. Who am I when no one I know is around?
Tin House posted an Anne Lamott quote the other day: "How alive are you willing to be?" It struck me as kin to the George Saunders quotation at the top of this page. Then, then I re-read it and it felt so smug, so I found the full passage and lo here is Ms. Lamott in all her righteous rage. Have you asked yourself lately, how alive am I willing to be?
x-posted with busysmartypants 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

the end is the beginning is the end

Not much to say today because I have this story on my mind.
The ending, specifically. I am not sure how to end it and I know the beginning of the story will tell me how to finish it.
Yet--I haven't quite figured it out.
I wrote every word, and it's a mystery to me.
This photo is of a seat somewhere in New York.
x-posted with busysmartypants

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

found: a dollar

I tried on some gray hoodies and coats at Crossroads yesterday.
This Gap blazer had a wadded up dollar in the pocket.
I debated the seven dollar purchase and did not buy the blazer. Nor did I take the dollar.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

the big red 9

I read at open mic on Thursday, though I didn't want to, especially. What I read didn't get laughs where I thought it might, so clearly I have work to do. The vibe was odd, too, perhaps due to the full moon? The March full moon is known as the full worm moon.
Lunch with a good friend on Friday, followed by beach time with Ms Hammy. Yesterday, a leisurely morning (which can be anxiety provoking)--and then a long bus ride north, with stops at a brew shop, an Ethiopian market, a retail 420 shoppe, and then an afternoon helping a friend move a mountain of wood chips, interspersed with beer breaks and tossing around
a tennis ball for tiny terrier Jack to fetch. We finished the evening at the Viking, with pickle chips and pitchers of Rolling Rock. On the walk home, this enormous glowing red 9 loomed overhead.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


It's been a week of reconnecting, a weeknight show with a long-time friend--THEESatisfaction's new album!--dinner another night with another good pal. It feels good.
It's all ebb and flow. I'm down for some flow.
Gifted Gab was the opener, and boy can this girl spit. I'm a fan. Here's her bandcamp.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

the vibe

A weird run today. After spending a day indoors yesterday--completely worn out and fighting a bug--I ran the long route today, a brisk, windy morning. At Starbucks, a cluster of cars trying to get into the drive-thru, and an empty parking lot. I ran into the street, dodging the ginormous SUV blocking the sidewalk. The panhandler who's usually by the exit gave me a "whaddya gonna do" shrug and I said Guess he needs his coffee and we laughed and he half-screamed It's urgent! Farther along, 2 pedestrians, one apparently on the phone but said Hi, another puffing on a Swisher Sweet and called How ya doing.
Next, a dead rat flopped on the path, which I jumped over, last minute. Then, towards the end, I passed a flushed-looking female runner coming the other direction. Next thing, she's running past me, apparently having U-turned and turned on the afterburners. Sprinted past me, and then stopped a few yards later. It's infuriating to be used to clock some lame ass's run. I wanted to clock something, all right.
Now--coffee and words.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Bittersweet is great for chocolate but tough on the heart. Missing my momash today.
Eleven years since I kissed her goodbye for the last time.
At the coffee shop today I picked up a heart-n-hatchet cookie.
Seems appropriate for this conflicted kind of day.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

thinkng about movng... Tumblr--it's so easy to reblog and seems more now.
Blogger feels so 1992. The cool kids left ages ago which I don't care about but maybe I do, since I'm mentioning it?
On the other hand, I've seen a few Myspace pages recently. Huh.
Or possibly a Facebook persona page.
I dunno. I'm thinking about it though.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I saw a great deal of the western part of the state this weekend, from a fun workday Friday in Mineral--overalls, face masks and paint rollers--to the peninsula interior for coffee, a pub visit and a squishy inspection of beachfront property, and finally out to my place, to check in, clean up, and breath spectacularly clean air.
The photos are from my first stop.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

well anyway

I'm feeling abandoned and unimportant.
There's no one to discuss this with. How would I even start?
Which leads to, I'm feeling mad at myself for not doing the things I know I love so that the first thing doesn't matter so much. So, enough of the Pity Partie and onwards to photos, music, people, writing, creating, laughs, art, and the night.
Re-reading the biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay, I wish the author wasn't so coyly trying to understand-slash-explain ESVM's dichotomies. Why couldn't she be passionate and an addict and wildly creative and loving and cruel, a terrific and terrible spouse, a woman known widely and not at all? Hello, almost every male writer evar. The sexist double standard endures, no, it flourishes.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Re Cap

I wore my Seahawks beanie in New York City a couple of Sundays ago, before, during and after the championship game versus the Packers. You want to talk disbelieving, unbridled joy? That was us during the final few minutes, a gang of out-of-towners and New Yorkers, having taken over an Irish pub in Williamsburg that didn't take credit cards, reluctantly changed the channel on one TV to the game, and didn't even want to turn up the sound. By the time we left, there was football on all 3 TVs, blaring sound, high-fiving and much giddiness. That hat was my ticket to fist bumps, cheerful yells, and more than one whiskey shot.
The trip alternated between intense busy-ness and suburban boredom. We hit the city fresh off the Jetblue redeye on a twenty-degree weekend morning, introduced my niece to the NYC subway courtesy of a napping homeless guy, the seat of his pants blown out with poop or what looked like poop. Coffee and bagels at The Bean, a quick freshening-up at my cuz's place in the East Village, and then off to the Staten Island Ferry, where the freezing breeze stiffened our grins into grimaces, but we sailed past the Statue of Liberty twice, gratis! Next, warm-up, lunch and bloody marys on Stone Street, then a wander through the World Trade Center site. Thirty minutes at Century 21 was time enough to examine some three thousand dollar gowns and set out for TKTS, in a futile quest for show tickets. Finally, we slowed down enough to nap, then had a delicious Italian dinner at Spina, strange and   delicious desserts at Momofuku Milk Bar, and then the next several hours roaming the lights at Times Square, us and a million tourists and a forlorn Cookie Monster staring up at a Jumbo-Tron.
Sunday: rain. I made a damp jaunt to Tompkins Square Bagels for breakfast, then we schlepped uptown to check out Dylan's. Our attempt at Central Park failed, due to extreme wetness, sleet, and sloshing shoes, so we abandoned ship and went to the Plaza food court, for Payard macarons, local coffee and pastries. Then it was time to dump our stuff and head for the Irish sports bar! Later on, after another trip to a different Milk, we packed into an Uber SUV, grabbed up some bodega beer and snacks, and crashed a spectacular Brooklyn pad, with a killer view of the city, sorta watched the Pats/Colts blowout, drank and hung out and admired the city.
Monday, with little time left, again uptown to Ess-A Bagel, where elderly Abe regulated the line. Then onward to the Waldorf Astoria, where a buddy gave us the grand tour and we admired Frette sheets and the gloriously mismatched furniture in the penthouse suite. A quick stop at Uniqlo and then a cab to Grand Central, where we parted ways, some to JFK, another to Metro North, and me to a hotel on 39th St.
I saw friends for the next day, met a pal from Zambia days in Chinatown, hung out with my cuz on the LES, lunch with a lovely lady in Midtown the next day, and a hangout at the aptly named Coffee Shop in Union Square the next afternoon. Then, sadly, time to head to the 'burbs, I stocked up on whisky and snacks and found a quiet seat on a Connecticut-bound train.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hard to believe

New story alert! "Hard to Believe," in the East Bay Review.
Also, Your Impossible Voice notified me last week that they'd deposited $0.25 for royalties in my Paypal. I'm not sure whether to be happy about it or depressed.
Four more quarters and I can do a load of laundry.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

a very merry

Thanks Moore Coffee for the sweetest mochas I've seen in awhile. A delightful note to a weekend full of happy moments.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

new year's revolutions

So here we are in 2015 and it feels both fresh and familiar.
The days are surely getting longer, aren't they?
It's been a tough start. Tbh, I'm feeling lost, anxious, fretful, not quite sure where I belong.
Who's my tribe? What the hell am I doing with myself?
I rang in the new year with good people, partied late and slept late and enjoyed a brisk sunny afternoon restorative walk. The next day dawned misty and cold and I went to a friend's dad's funeral, sat among long-time friends and contemplated life and loss and love. I heard the priests talk about God and Heaven and I wondered, do people really believe this? I did, for a time. Can I begrudge them the small comfort of believing their loved one has passed on to dwell with others who have gone before?
I think I can. This fantastical belief, against all facts and sense, it serves as an insulation from the reality, that life is short and difficult and exhilarating and we'd best spend our time not listening to some tired old man's querulous ideological interpretations of mythological deities, but instead, helping each other, taking care of each other, loving each other, finding and bringing what joy we can during our brief awake time on the planet.
Then I go get coffee from ETG and find the front door window covered in plywood. A man broke in at 11.30pm Saturday night, and is on security camera rifling through the cash register, making away with a couple of rolls of quarters. 11.30pm on a Saturday night in Fremont--party central for much of twenty-something Seattle, and no one stopped or called the cops? Apparently someone else happened along and went inside too, to poke around. No coffee was stolen, none of the delectable pastries, not the enormous Kitchen Aid or the espresso machine. The antique mall was targeted recently too, the barista told me. A man in a trench coat walked out with a bearskin rug. Someone else made off with several of her rings. For crying out loud, Seattle, what is happening to us? Who the hell are we?

bsp videos don't sleep on 'em