Saturday, December 27, 2014

the pnw

Spotted this graffiti in an alley along Mercer the other night. I've been wearing my The Northwest trucker hat with pride. It comes from a Port Angeles outfit called Mystery Decals.
The holidaze roll on. Dina Martina last week, with people I treasure; when she sang "Merry Chrishmush" my friend had his arm around me and I felt so grateful for our little posse that I couldn't help but cry a little. Not one but two Hannukkah dinners, complete with latkes and matzoh ball soup. A day of football at a fun friend/neighbor's apartment, with food and beer and laughs and smokes and a view of the Needle and downtown. The fam in town, for PNB and gifts and hanging out over pizza and bean dip. Xmas Eve drinks at the Five Point with my buddy, grieving the loss of his father. We raised a glass to the legendary old gentleman. In the background, PeeWee's Playhouse Christmas special played on the bar TV. Xmas morning pajama party at another friend/neighbor's place, egg bake and Miller High-Life and lots of laughs, before a relaxed day with my sisters and nieces and a bro-in-law and my fella. Yesterday, an unplanned walk downtown in the cold sun, thrift shopping with a pal, Campari and soda and then one more little shindig last night. Today I settle down to write and reflect.
2015 looms.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Listening to a friend's new mix, and it's hott.
Roaming around town today, amid the holiday bustle. Shoppers and clerks are pretty nice (with the exception of one grocery store in particular ..cough..PCC..cough) but the drivers. Well, the drivers are maniacs. It's like a dodgeball game in the crosswalks, only SUVs the size of boxcars are hurtling at you, windows fogged over, tires screaming as they brake only just in time to not mow you down. It's energizing, and terrifying.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


A stressful work week and I'm happy the 9-to-5 part of it is in the can, as I ended up on a rainy porch Thursday night sobbing that I wanted to go home. My mental state is much improved, after sleeping in on Friday, hanging with the fam at the movies, then drinks and music later on, with pals.
Also, a final good-bye to my dentist, Dr. Jeff Files, who passed away last night. He was diagnosed just over a year ago with ALS. I can hardly believe this all happened so quickly. I mourn the loss of this man; he was patient with and worked with my anxieties, did beautiful work, loved talking about his kids and his motorcycle travels around the state. He was the dentist who called the day after a tough procedure to make sure I was hanging in there. RIP Dr. Files. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

open mic

My buddy hosts a monthly open mic event at a bookstore up north. The Buzzard serves beer and wine so it's more like a dive bar/bookstore. Regulars play Go, at a table up front. The weekly version of open mic features everyone from extemporaneous speakers to a tap-dancer to nervous first-time guitarists. One of the baristas also sings in a band, Little Sara and the Night Owls.
Anyway, the monthly open mic is for poets and writers. Sometimes there's only a handful of readers and we're done by 8.30. Other times, like last week, it's more.
Last week, first-timer Scarlet read a piece, too fast but passionately, about a stoner guardian angel.
I read an excerpt from "Hard to Believe," getting enthusiastic applause when I mentioned the story would be published in March.
My buddy read a few poems, also about to be published, one so hilariously disgusting that one of the  readers/Go players called, "Ewwww," grinning widely as he catcalled.
The barista/singer read from her phone, a piece inspired by The Thomas Crown Affair.
Koon Woon sat in a corner quietly until just before the featured poet. Then he stood up and shared two poems with great depth and beauty. "He won the American Book Award," someone said, and I understood why.
At the end of the night, Noel Franklin, the featured poet, performed, and her poems seemed like more than words, they seemed like her, wrought from pain and experience and love of art. Afterwards, she gave me one of her books. I said goodbye to my buddy and his new friend, a quietly fierce East Coast transplant, and caught a bus home.
Picture is from a very cold day-hike at Carkeek.

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