Sunday, August 23, 2009


By now most folks in the journalism world are ready to kill themselves. Ad revenues are still down. The internet is filled with folks who want to break news faster than us / want our jobs and tend to murder us in the comments section. But there is one field that seems to be hiring: Seattle neighborhood blogs. Yes, neighborhood blogs. Apparently, the creator of West Seattle Blog makes thousands in ad revenues each month, and both Komo4 and the Seattle PI have already been infected by the neighborhood blogging pandemic. So...what kind of news breaks in neighborhoods? Yesterday, I set out to see for myself...

Weather is a balmy 76 degrees. It looks like Bagel Oasis is open, and there's some music coming from the Ida Culver retirement home. Wanted to do an "Arts and Culture" feature on the band but realized it was just one woman's very loud gramophone.

Someone just yelled at a man at Bagel Oasis for taking too long shmearing lox on his poppyseed bagel. Victim described man as a "rude ass" about "five foot seven with dark hair." Decided to investigate by getting a bagel shmear of my own but then gave up after waiting 25 minutes.

Someone just drove really, really fast down 70th and 15th. Tried calling the police but they were all "do you have the license plate number?" Am now banned from calling 911 for the year.

Moan / cry heard from the therapy office on 65th and 20th. Went to investigate, but door was locked.

A very self-assured man just walked by wearing a tie-die t-shirt that was clearly too large for his frame. Asked him why he felt so confident wearing something so hideous, but he waved his hands and said "no comment." Could tie into recession-era clothing story. Come back to this later.

Tried to interview a child at the Ravenna Eckstein playground but child's mom ran up and grabbed his arm before I could offer him a candy treat.

Tried to cobble together a meal at the Whole Foods at Roosevelt Center using only free samples. Was able to eat 6 cheese flakes, 4 cracker slivers, 3 cherries, a crum of a snickerdoodle and a hair of lobster. Potential food lead.

The man selling "Real Change" kind of looks like my Dad.

People seem to be snorting mysterious potions at the Herbalist on 65th and 20th. Tried to talk to a man about it but he just told me my posture was bad and asked if I would like to drink some corrective chamomile-based liquid. Potential crime story. Will look into later.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Joke time. How many Seattle-based drama nerds does it take to create fourteen plays in forty-eight hours? Who knows? What I witnessed tonight were not "plays." "Plays" are surely not collections of inside jokes wrapped around mock-plywood-bedroom-stage-pieces and set to the tune of "earthy" vibrado housebands. No, I would call that a depressing and alienating dinner party (in an IKEA showroom), or a night spent in an abandon warehouse with 200 people who don't know me but know each other. That is not "THEATAH"...that is inspiration drained from my face, that is high school, that is just. fucking. painful.

'Hensani Sefari' consisted of an erotic moth, three hikers and a fishnet. The moth was sensual. This, I suppose, was the joke, since moths are not usually sensual. This play made me feel bad. It hurt me. The words coming out of the characters mouths came too fast, like someone who rushes through life, barely noticing who or where they are or the affect they might be having on people. Actors relied on cliche character constructions, that maybe reflected a minute of intelligent thought. Nothing surprised me. It was like watching a clip reel of all the times I've ever been fake and awkward around people. I can just go and do that in my real life, thank you very much.

'When I Slip Out to Play.' This play contained the only funny line in the entire first act. A fairy was talking about how she gets high off her own pixie dust by snorting it up her nose. I had the feeling: hmm. Wow. Maybe I can laugh now, a little bit, at life. This feeling was incredibly rare, and so I tried to soak it up by laughing a little bit louder than the way I felt inside. The rest of the piece was just a mess, and weird, and sad, and stupid. I guess it was meant to be a play about "the secret lives of toys" a la Toy Story, but didn't that come out over a decade ago? Yes, yes, I'm pretty sure it did. The audience was so rapt, so in love with their own friends, that certain characters didn't even have to do anything to get a laugh. All they had to do was like, stand up, or sit down, and boom: laughter. I wish that was my life. No, wait, I don't. I'd hope people wouldn't laugh at the dumb things I do, because then I couldn't trust them. I'm worried about these people. Do they realize they're not funny? The idea that they've been living under this false reality is totally scary to me. Jesus.

'Wilderness' was a play about a bunch of high schoolers who go out camping. One girl played a very loud cheerleader type character, while another was the classic nerdish girl. The cheerleader had a very loud voice. That was her "thing." She said everything really, really loudly and the crowd erupted in laughter. One time, she threw her cell phone down on the stage, and it bounced, and she got more laughter. I tried shooting her evil eyes but it didn't work: she was still soo loud. The other girl gave the only felt performance in the entire night. I could semi-believe the words coming out of her mouth. They maybe reflected a few hours of thought rather than five seconds of thought. She knew this character. It was close to her. Maybe it was her. Maybe she asked to play "herself."

'Just Drink it' was the worst play of all. It simply made no sense, had no coherent plot, no believable characters. It was loosely about lesbianism: this is somehow still a taboo, I guess (although it's really, terribly not). It was also about 'space landings' and weird magical potions that may or may not do anything. People in the audience "aw, awwoood" the lesbian scenes (you know, like with a whistle) which made me feel like the playwright could have simply slipped a boob FTW with this audience. I mean, it was just such a bad, dumb audience. You really could have done anything, and they would have laughed. Bad acting = more laughs. Stupid plots = cheers, yelling, applause. A boob slip would have likely brought the house down.

I can't tell you about the second act because I left after the first.

The Pile of Inspiration

I'm looking for answers...

Is it possible to write with the 'sensitivity' and 'alienation' of Miranda July, the 'bracing sexual candor' of BUTT magazine and the 'pithiness' of David Sedaris, all at once?


Kelly O's Upcoming Photo Show!

Kelly O knows drunk people. As creator of the Stranger’s “Drunk of the Week” column, she has faithfully captured Seattle’s inebriated since 2006. Her boozy, woozy photos have the tinge of 35mm film strips developed in vats of PBR, and her oft-hilarious captions read like the charming barfly who’s desperately, sometimes frustratingly, attempting to articulate the theory of the universe in between shots of Jager. The world represented in O’s photos is the ideal drunken Capitol Hill situation: everyone’s passed out, nekkid, sharpied with a penis on their forehead, and wearing something absolutely ridiculous. I absolutely cannot wait for this show.

Opens Saturday, August 15th, 7pm at Gossamer Collective. 1406 18th Avenue. Through September 17th.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Insane Story Pitch of the Day

Attn: freelancers. Does anyone have time for this story? It seems like it might take years to write..

I need to contact a reporter, I'm thinking maybe The Stranger would be appropriate ...

The story involves DSHS, illegal immigrants, domestic violence, Guatamalen gang wars, Native American (Mayan indian) rights, custody wars, family dynamics, a mother abandoning her children, anger issues, passive aggressive parenting, emotional abuse, gay parenting, grandparents' rights, bad practices naturopathic physician, HIPAA violations, interstate child custody laws, child kidnapping and abuse, and much more.

Any recommendations?

Thanks everyone,