Monday, September 29, 2008

Quote of the Day

One of the things I love about my character is I can make vast declarations and it doesn't matter if I'm wrong. I love being wrong. So my character can tell you exactly what's going to happen: The Democrats are going to change everything. We're going to have gay parents marrying their own gay babies. Obama's gonna be sworn in on a gay baby. The oath is gonna end ''So help me, gay baby.''

-Stephen Colbert, in Entertainment Weekly

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Goodwill Outlet

Today I went with my friend Daniel to the hugeass / fucking overwhelming Goodwill Outlet in SODO. I had never been there before. I go to places like Value Village all the time, but the Goodwill Outlet took the thriftstore minimalistic environment to an industrial level I wasn't prepared for.

(Why does Goodwill need an outlet? Isn't it already the outlet of all outlet stores?)

The rubbermaid buckets were overflowing with clothing, books, tchotchkies, kitchen appliances, lightbulbs, bras... and digging through it all felt dangerous. Dampness was foremost on my mind. As was brown stains. Or lacy anything.

My friend Daniel has an unhealthy relationship with the citizens of Seattle who are giving away their suits to Goodwill. Please stop giving them away to Daniel. He has enough and, as I remind him, not every day is dress-like-a-an-out-of-touch-businessman-ironically-day. I don't care if you can buy 8 for only 6 dollars because they don't weigh very much. YOO HAVE TOO MUCH CRAP.

Anyone who wants to feel abused and upset can read someone's just-tossed Ann Coulter book, "How to Talk To A Liberal (if you must)" located in the back right bin. After I'd exhausted all the levels of the game on my phone, I began to read the book. Eight pages later and my head was spinning with enough dogma about Liberal Gay Hollywood Socialist Conspiracy Theories To Destroy America that I could have written a very bad very angry letter. Goodwill-I am offended by the placement of that book on the top of the heap. Can someone please come and bury it underneath that coffee-stained 1977 edition of "Women's World" where no one will ever think to look? Thank you.

Daniel was scarily good at mechanically sifting crap from discarded jewels (like Ferragamo shoes). He had the search and seize movements down, his eyes darted everywhere, his brow furrowed, his lips pursed. Watching him was like watching a Project Runway contestant clawing his way through an overpriced fabric store bin. Or a homeless person, desperate for clothing. Either / or.

Not to go all Chuck Klosterman on your ass, but I sometimes feel like Daniel and I simply act out Project Runway when we shop. I feel more comfortable criticizing his choice of dress because we'd just watched Michael Kors ape on that unfortunate overly tanned dude from West Seattle on television. Daniel doesn't get angry at me because the Project Runway Fashion Gods are watching us both interact, nodding their heads in silent approval.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Deborah Soloman Tears Into the Author of "The Bell Curve"

And what a blithering, non-sensical, elitest, hypocritical, asshole he is.

Money quote:

What do you make of the fact that John McCain was ranked 894 in a class of 899 when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy? I like to think that the reason he ranked so low is that he was out drinking beer, as opposed to just unable to learn stuff.

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you are uncool.”

That wonderful line, originally spoken in Almost Famous, is used to anchor a brilliant essay about contrarian teaching in tomorrow's New York Times Magazine. Read it now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Chow Bio!

I interviewed Ronnie Santone of "Hay Paison!" Read it here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Baby Palin Names

According to an email just sent to me by friends...

Max Berde is Comma Liberty Palin

Chris Kinzig is Nam Guadalupe Palin

Max Silver is Bush Gator Palin

Matan Barnea is Ammo Canal Palin

Daniel Frum is Clamp Noodle Palin


Lock Pepper Palin

The trend seems to be animals, patriotic words, places where America has fought wars, a city in New Mexico, a president's surname, something that goes into guns, an artificial water channel, a food made from unleavened dough that is cooked in a boiling liquid, a mechanical fastening device, and a spicy plant. In other words, uhm, there is no trend.

You Know The Movie's Going to Be Bad...

When the only reviews advertised on the movie's website are from some dude named "D.W. Bostaph" (perhaps the neighbor of the filmmaker?) and S.T. Josi (the other neighbor?) .

Overheard at Another Gay Bar in New York

"I think that's stupid. Just because you're gay doesn't mean you're more creative, or witty, or anything. Come on. We live in a post-gay world. Stop clinging to your gay identity. You are who you are because you are who you are, not because you're gay."

Overheard at a Gay Bar

"Why's everyone so crazy about the New Yorker?"

"I think it's just the font."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Goes Down Must Come Up, But I'd Rather It Stayed Down

The toilet in my apartment is broken, and it's been broken ever since I moved in. You can take a crap in it (it still allows you to do that) but then, around the fifth time you use it, the flush just brings the water back up, to my apartment, where all my clothes and books and rugs and beds and desks are. And it brings your poop and toilet paper with it. It's disgusting, and I've called in my manager about six times to come up and look at it. He brings this big long metal thing called a snake and sticks it into the bowl, through the wads of toilet paper and, uh, other things, and then he cranks the handle on top until he's unclogged it. Let me reiterate: he's done this six times. I don't really know him that well, but now he's seen my poo over and over again, gotten up close to it, smelled it, talked to me about it. Over and over again.

All of this is frustrating, in and of itself, but what's even worse is that my manager somehow thinks I'm making up the whole story. He thinks I've been clogging the toilet, intentionally!, with toilet paper, because, you know, I have nothing else better to do in my life. He's also asked me if I take hard poops, if I eat enough ruffage, yada yada because I am an old man with poop problems, apparently. I usually sit on the couch, while he takes the snake and winds it through my toilet bowl, asking me about how much toilet paper I used, and questioning me like I'm a poop fetishist on Law and Order and I'm trying to reel him into my poop themed life and watch him touch my poop (so hot).

All of this reached a breaking point when I left my apartment and he had a plumber take out my entire toilet, and take a look around to see if there was anything wrong with my plumbing. There was nothing wrong with my plumbing. So he left me a note. Let me read it to you. It says...

"Hi, Steven,

The Plumber was here and pulled your toilet for a complete examination. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the toilet or the toilet bend. He said it worked perfectly and is a good brand of toilet. He turned it upside down, sideways, and in every way inspected it for anything that may have been in it and reported it was 'clean as a whistle.'

None of the past tenants in your unit has ever reported a problem with a blocked toilet.

In the last 20 days I have cleared your toilet 5 times and have observed a large amount of toilet paper. More than what a reasonable person would expect to be flushed in one flush.

If you block up the toilet it is your responsibility to unblock it. The plumber had two recommendations.
1. Use the flush method. If you have a large load, flush, then continue your process and flush again after the water has filled the bowl.
2. Get a better plunger that is pliable. The plumber tested yours and said it was worthless.

I have purchases for you a new plunger and a toilet snake. You have observed me enough times clearing your toilet with the snake that by now you probably already know how to use it, but if not, there are instructions and drawings included with your new snake. Try using the plunger first. It will probably take care of the clog. If not, then use the snake."

Did you see what he just did? He just blamed me for clogging the toilet. I do not use an excess of toilet paper. I do not have hard poos. I'm not trying to sabotage him and distract him from his busy busy life with my inability to use a reasonable amount of toilet paper. The toilet doesn't fucking flush!

Day 2 of being back from New York and the toilet is already clogged. I guess I'm going to have to cover my face with my t-shirt and stick this snake thing inside of it, wind it up until my poo and toilet paper break apart.

Life, man. It just keeps going.

Queer Resource Room

I like the idea of having a queer resource room on campus. You know, a place where gay students can rent gay movies, read gay books, network with gay profs and talk about gay things with other gays. But I can't help but notice how insanely unpopular these places are. Today I went to the UW Queer Resource Room and there were 3 people there, all of whom were staff. I sat down on a chair and some lady looked up from the book she was reading. "Oh hi there!" she said, "I didn't see ya other there!" "Well, here I am, a gay, in your presence," I said. I felt like I should have a problem to talk about, but I didn't. "Jus' lookin around!" There were a few local gay publications on the coffee table ('mo, SGN, the GSBA guide for people who only want their teeth cleaned by a gay dude). There was absolutely nothing to say to these people. It was like, expected, for me to have some sort of issue to work out. Like, I felt like I should have started complaining about coming out to mah mom, and how there were no queer studies classes at UW, and then the two ladies would have nodded their heads and said "oh man, gosh, yeah, hard," and they would have felt really good about themselves but I would have felt absolutely nothing. So, some time passed, and I thought, oh hell, I'll just give some criticisms of the university because I have nothing else to do and at least they'll listen to me, so I said, "Yeah, being gay is rough. hard. There are no real good queer studies classes here, and CHID is just a bunch of people calling each other racist. I hate being singled out patronizingly for being gay and then being used as a token, and I understand why my generation is totally apathetic about gay activism. Why should we care?" The ladies just sort of looked stunned. I felt like I had shat all over their faces. "Well, you know, Queer Studies is an up and coming minor here at UW," one of the ladies said to me. "That's good," I responded. "But these things take a while." "Yeah." "Hard." "Tough." Then I thought about how I wished I was somewhere else. Then I left.

It's not that I don't think there should be places where gays can go and talk about their problems, I just think the gay resource room could be, I dunno, a bit "hipper"? It felt so clinical there. There were all these posters about AIDS and HOMOPHOBIA and TRANS PHOBIA, where there could have been art or something else that didn't make me feel like I was in a social worker's office. If you want to create a relaxed vibe, don't make gay students feel like they should all be collectively outraged constantly by the invisible web of white male heterosexist patriarchy. The Queer Resource Room should look like "The Cock" in New York, or the late great "Pony" on Pine, staffed with indie arts fags. This is Seattle, not Albuquerque, can't we have a bit of playful fun with the a gay resource room in the center of one of the gayer cities in the country? If you want activism, queer theory, Tony Kushner and all that to be hip again, start with your wall art.

The Daily

So, today I went to the Daily at UW for an interview...just sort of popped my head in to see if there was anyone around to talk about writing for the paper. Everyone was really super busy, of course, and I ended up sitting down and talking to this asian woman who's head of "development" for the paper or whatever. She told me it was really really hard to write for the daily, and that they don't accept just anyone and that this year 102 students applied for 10 (!) positions on staff. Then, being the bitch I am, I told her that yeah, I've actually taken like hella journalism classes in college (they're excrutiatingly lame and will suck all creativity out of your writing. don't do it) and that, you know, I interviewed David Sedaris, and I've also written for the PI, and I was Opinions editor of my high school paper, and a columnist for The Stranger. You know, trying to say it all very nicely, reeling back the bitch, trying to look all bright eyed and happy to have some floosy student "journalist" looking down her nose at me. Then she says, "well, that's really nice but that doesn't mean you know how to write for the daily"

(Just to pick a random sentence written for the daily, let's look at this one: "While clichéd, formulaic and predictable, this Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants sequel is an undeniably great chick flick." Uhm, how can something cliched and formulaic and predictable also be undeniably great? How do these two parts of the sentence fit together? What, exactly, are you looking for in a great movie mister reviewer dude?)

In real life, I was very polite to this woman, and told her I understand students need to be "socialized" as to how the daily works, but ten fucking weeks of training to get a mothafucking sentance in a fucking student paper? The daily must really think the students at UW are fucking retarded, that's the only way I can account for this program. Maybe if they didn't have this dumbass socialization program, the Daily wouldn't sound like it plopped right out of the AP's asshole, and writers would have the freedom to really write the way they want to write. I, quite frankly, don't have the time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Going Back to Seattle Soon

And Tao Lin's words are irritatingly spinning in my head. Uch. Please Leave Me Alone Tao Lin!

So "Seattle" abstractly means to me something like "basking in the sunlight of overwhelming gratitude for life and art" but concretely means to me something like "feeling like there's no possible routes for escaping a life of poverty and alcoholism while staring at sentences written by Sherman Alexie in an environment of people shouting things like 'quadruple soy latte.'" I don't know. I feel "tricked."

3 Days Ago

Slept on the floor in Phoebe's Brooklyn Apartment, woke up and went to PS1. The first image on this page was my favorite Olafur Eliasson. A distended waterfall that looked like smoke. Walking through it made you feel like you were temporarily on fire. The anti-war art was tired and boring. Gaodi liked the complaint songs sung by choirs in the foyer. Very pedestrian complaints sung in falsetto. like "and my computer takes too long to start." I'm going to try to start a complaints choir in Seattle.

2 Days Ago

Saw Phoebe perform at Stella Adler Conservatory. She was magnetic. Everyone watched her like they were watching a star being born. Went out with Winston to a very nice pasta bar in Soho with all of his witty college friends. We all watched McCain on the View and collectively gasped. Spent my birthday at the bar, The Cock. Feel so grown up now. 22 years old. Don't wanna go back home.


Took the train back from New York early in the morning. So glad the train ride is over. Got up this morning and went to a theme park in montreal and rode on the rides in the rain. Head kinda hurts. Saw the Yves Saint Laurent Show at Le Musee Des Beaux Arts, and bought a few cool postcards. Went out to eat at a fair trade restaurant near McGill and ate a huge fluffy salmon sandwich. The Cabbage tastes different here. Sour. Getting up early tomorrow to fly back home.

Palin-Free Zone

Welcome to the New "OH MY GOD SEATTLE"...a comforting respite from any and all news about Palin (starting, uh, with this post). I promise to not say anything (more) about Palin's public record in Alaska, her private text messages to former aides, her resemblance to Tina Fey, or her autistic son. The lady has received all the press she could ever hope for, and I refuse to feed the media beast she has become. So, instead, let us all just stare at this image and imagine a Palin free future.

Canada: shit's better here.

I'd Like You To Meet The New Secretary of Defense... He Was My Shootin' Partner in High School

He don't know diddly, but he'll learn.

Ms. Palin chose Talis Colberg, a borough assemblyman from the Matanuska valley, as her attorney general, provoking a bewildered question from the legal community: “Who?” Mr. Colberg, who did not return calls, moved from a one-room building in the valley to one of the most powerful offices in the state, supervising some 500 people.

“I called him and asked, ‘Do you know how to supervise people?’ ” said a family friend, Kathy Wells. “He said, ‘No, but I think I’ll get some help.’

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Toy Story" is just sick and wrong and disgusting and if you can't tell, you're not looking hard enough.

Some dude named "woody" who comes alive only at night? A vibrating toy that promises to take you to "infinity and beyond"?

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Real John McCain

The New York Times has a great editorial on the RNC.

A choice excerpt:

On Wednesday, the nastiest night of the week, Mr. McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, and other speakers offered punch lines, rather than solutions for this country’s many problems — ridiculing the Washington elite (of which most were solid members) and Barack Obama.

“Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights,” Ms. Palin said.

Mr. Obama, in reality, wants to give basic human rights to prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, only a handful of whom are Qaeda members, and shield them from torture. So, once upon a time, did Mr. McCain, but there was no mention of that in St. Paul, or of the bill he wrote protecting those prisoners.

Mike Huckabee dismissed Mr. Obama, the first black candidate of any major party, as a mere “symbolic” choice for president.

At the same time, the Republicans tried to co-opt Mr. Obama’s talk of change and paint themselves as the real Americans. It is an ill-fitting suit for the least diverse, most conservative and richest Republican delegates since The Times started tracking such data in 1996.

It was, in short, a gathering devoted almost entirely to the culture war refined by Mr. Rove in Mr. Bush’s two campaigns.

The grand 'ol party is fighting just as dirty as the Obama campaign said it would. They're resurrecting the wedge politics he's tried so hard to transcend. Oh, but I guess since he writes books and shit, he can't really be trusted to talk to world leaders. Since the whole "Obama is a Muslim Terrorist" jab is old, they've found a new line of attack: he's just too popular. He's just too good of a speaker for America. He's too eloquent. He's too smart. He's obviously out-of-touch.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Chow Bio!

I interviewed this nice young lady at Grateful Bread. Read it here.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Lauren Weedman Does Not Want To Sign Your Book

Funnylady Lauren Weedman was at Bumbershoot yesterday, and I tried to flag her down after her show for an autograph but she was too busy talking to a gay dude and doing a shtick about how no one buys her books.

"This is pathetic. Just one person," she said, looking at me, the sole person in line, holding her own book. "Hi there!"

I handed her the book and said, "just write something offensive in it."

This is what she wrote:

In case you can't read her handwriting, the note says:
"Steven- I was really busy and you rudely interrupted my friends and I. Thanks."

I think I adore her even more now

Obama and the Jews

Today I had a very frustrating conversation with a Jewish woman who's voting for McCain. She told me she doesn't "trust" Obama, and doesn't think he would support Israel. She also explained to me that she was still very worried about terrorism, very worried that Iran would bomb Israel, and was even more worried Obama would be too "soft on terror."

We talked for a long time.

I told her about how I thought "terror" was a brilliant word used by Republicans to create mandates for unreasonable wars, and that McCain, like any elected president in '08, would be forced to into diplomacy with Iran, and that Obama has shown, with his incredibly uniting campaign, that he is a shrewd diplomat, and could engage in diplomatic talks with Iran. And he's even said that he would use force if necesery. "What's so soft about that?" I asked. She didn't have a response.

We also talked about Israel. Both candidates are going to be put into situations where they're going to have to talk about Israel, and both candidates are going to have to respond to political situations in Israel.

It seems she was still a bit affected by some of the internet rumors she'd read- about Obama being a muslim, about Obama being anti-Israel, and she even seemed to have some sort of vague idea that because Obama went to a Muslim school during his "formative years", this would somehow affect his dealings with Israel, and he would have more sympathy for Muslims than for Jews. She seemed to think no one can ever outgrow their secoundary education, and that his "muslim education" would continue, perhaps unconsciously, to affect his decisions.

There's more.

She told me she thought Bush was a "terrible president" and that Palin was a serious mistake of a VP. She admitted McCain had made many gaffes already in his campaign, that he was old, and that she liked Obama's message of uniting the country, but she was ultimately too cynical to think it would actually work.

She had no real reasons not to vote for Obama, besides the fact that she "didn't trust him." She talked a lot about the threat of terrorism, and the threat muslims posed against America, but she didn't know how McCain would better protect America from terrorism.

All of which is to say- I guess I'm just kind of shocked that these people still exist. Oh, and of course-she's not from Seattle.