Archive for January, 2006

Wanna be a rock star?

Local nightclub Chop Suey that great space with funky decor and way too much air conditioning (in contrast to all of those who have too little) is offering a chance for bands to try out for gigs: “Rock Tutorial 101…school or be schooled”. Selected bands will play with similar bands while Chop Suey booking personnel assess the talent.

Participating bands will receive tickets to sell to their friends, family, hair stylists, or whoever wants to attend. The top 3 bands (he, she, they, it) that sell the most tickets will win cash prizes. Even non-winners could get the chance to play the club again and get exposure to a new crowd.

Contact Colin@chopsuey.com for details on how to sign up.

The 12th man (TM)

Texas A&M, after asking the Seattle Seahawks to cease and desist their use of the phrase “12th man” in marketing of the team, has requested a restraining order. Apparently the 12th man thing is big in Aggieland, having been a central part of their football tradition since the 1920s. They even have something called the 12th Man Foundation. I’m not sure what this Foundation does … perhaps they’re charged with raising money to support lawsuits?

This move has caused much scorn to be heaped on Texas A&M, including some delicious snark on Salon.com (note: registration or ad-watching required!) and an outraged column in today’s Seattle Times.

What do you think about all this?

Meanwhile down at City Hall…

Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata was voted Council President by the other members of the Council on January 23rd.

The president runs Council meetings, and oversees personnel issues for Central, Administrative and City Clerk staff. All legislation referred to the Council from the Mayoral and Executive Departments goes to the Council President for assignment to committee. When there is an issue that could be referred to more than one Committee, the President decides which Committee will receive it.

When you hear mention of the City Council Committees, ever wonder what they are? Who is on each committee and what do they do? Read on:
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All’s not well at the Burke

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I’m a sucker for some good paleontology impropriety. I know that I shouldn’t be rubbernecking at scandalous dinosaurs, but I can’t help it; that’s just how I roll, people. So you can imagine my slightly guilty delight when I checked on the Burke Museum’s website this morning and saw a suspicious looking note about the vertebrate paleontological collection.

As it happens, the museum commissioned a report on the collection because they had some questions about the scientific integrity of it. (You can find a PDF version of the report here.) Apparently they have some suspicions about the collecting practices of Dr. John Rensberger, who has been collecting for the museum for 35 years.

Long story short–and I do recommend that you read the report, ’cause it’s pretty interesting stuff–it looks like Dr. Rensberger made two serious scientific faux pas. First off, he seems to have done a lot of his excavating without permits, sometimes going so far as to misrepresent the exact location of a dig so that he could keep his favorite spots secret. Permits for archaeological excavations have been pretty heavily required since the 1980’s.
He also had a habit of restricting access to the Burke’s collection to his friends and colleagues, even though legally they are supposed to be open to any qualified investigator. Way to alienate your peers, Dr.

Because of all of the hiding and misrepresenting, not to mention the vaguely reported data that he did make public, our fossils’, “significance to modern paleontology may have been drastically and perhaps irretrievably reduced.” That’s a shame, because we have a damn good collection of fossils, even if they are largely hidden away.

Rensberger turned over his field notebooks the other day, and hopefully a crack team of grad students will be able to help fill in some of the holes [komo]. The museum is working to correct whatever might be wrong, including returning wrongfully removed specimens to their rightful owners.

Politics and the law of reaction

It was inevitable, after the landmark passage of the gay civil rights act, that there would be an attempt made to repeal the law. Those afraid of homosexuals would surely feel compelled to respond using Washington’s charming ballot initiative system.

In retrospect, I’m surprised we didn’t expect Tim Eyman to step in. The man never met a headline he didn’t like.

When you see his signature-gatherers around the state, make sure everyone around you knows that Eyman – the so-called libertarian hero who, let us remember, paid himself a six-figure salary from supporter’s donations and lied about it – is supporting an initiative to take away the legal rights of Washington state citizens.

Aside from the local papers, Slog and David Goldstein are covering the story with their usual flair.

Rock breaks scissors, scissors cut paper, paper covers rock

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All right, folks, you have six more days to squeeze your stress balls, brush up on your throwing form, and figure out a winning strategy. The first annual Groundhog Day Rock Paper Scissors Tournament will be held at The Mission (2325 California Ave SW – that’s in West Seattle) this Saturday at 8 o’clock.

If you decide RPS isn’t worth a whole Saturday evening, however, do at least check out the World Rock Paper Scissors Society’s website for all the information you could want about this, um, “sport” — and then some.

grey’s anatomy recap: walking the line (season2, episode 15)

{Note: O.K. Ducklings, I’m out of town; so tonight’s recap comes to you by way of Ellen, a onetime Seattleite who’s funnier, more timely, and has better grammar than your usual recapper; so do your best to be extra nice to her!}

Previously: Bailey pregnant, Meredith is the only one who can see her
mother, the dog, Izzy as underwear model, unhappy nurses.

Narration: In surgery, there’s a red line on the floor that marks the point
where the hospital goes from being accessible to being off limits to all but
a special few. Crossing the line unauthorized is not tolerated.

Shot:
Nurses striking.

[More: An episode about lines, but refreshingly not too heavy handed and
only involving 3 patients, a new Nazi who turns out to be the anti-Nazi, a
musical Burke, and secrets about Izzy revealed . . . ]
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Imogen Heap @ Neumo’s tonight

Imogen Heap [warning: launches audio] is playing at Neumo’s tonight — so if you’re in the mood for a pretty, layered sound this evening you might want to head on over. (Doors at 7:00, $15. Zoë Keating, radical cellist, opens.)

More of you have heard Heap than realize it: she’s the voice of Frou Frou, whose song Let Go was the gem of the Garden State soundtrack.

Mr. and Miss Gay Asian Pacific Islander: Followup

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Last night the new Mr. and Miss Gay Asian Pacific Islander were crowned–Mr. Melvin Foifua and Miss Marisa Rachinee. The reason I haven’t got a picture of the two of them together for you is because there was a bit of drama when, right after the audience emptied, the judges realized that there had been an incorrect tabulation of the votes and the wrong girl had originally been crowned.

Aside from that, a good time was had. The crowd was rowdy, Chaka Kwan and Teriyaki Temple made great hostesses, and all the performances–from dragon dancing to salsa to Britney Spears–were amazing.

Congrats, Melvin and Marisa!

Farmhouse Restaurant: superlatives necessary

I don’t think it was a particularly busy Saturday, but still, the ten of us came in right at 12:30PM, and were seated in a quiet corner under the care of the most awesome waitress in the universe. Without batting an eye, she took our orders on separate checks (except for the two couples who had theirs together), and when it came time to hand out the bill, remembered which eight people ate what. (Well, of course she did. She handed out the food correctly, too.) Holy crap. I watched openmouthed as she efficiently collected 4 credit cards and 4 sets of cash, returning with 4 correctly charged receipts and 2 sets of change. Absolutely none of that mandatory 18 percent tip charge, for “parties of six or more” — so I felt empowered to put in as much tip as I wanted to. (I’m sorry — if you feel you need to protect your waitstaff from poor tippers, then I’m in the wrong restaurant.)

I had come in ten minutes behind everyone else’s order, but my grilled cheese sandwich order was only a minute behind everyone else’s order. The two women who had ordered breakfast rolled their eyes as they struggled to finish their food. Curled slices of bacon, meaty rather than fatty, languished indolently on top of the mountain of hash browns. I was envious, a little, until I bit into the best cheese sandwich of my entire life. Farmhouse’s “five-way” grilled cheese has (of course) five kinds of cheese, which is four more kinds than I know about, and I’m only slightly joking. The sourdough bread is not so toothsome that it’s going to fight back when you eat it — but it’s not so soft that it’s going to stick to the roof of your mouth and force you to crowbar it off with a fingernail. It’s spread on the outside with garlic butter and sprinkled with parmesan, and then so lightly toasted that the parmesan is a little crunchy, but the toasty bits don’t scratch the hell out of the inside of your mouth. Inside the sandwich is a huge handful of four other kinds of cheese. Biting into it is like eating a fondue sandwich — and I’m sure that was the point.

As we left the restaurant, we took the time to oggle the dessert cabinet. The lemon meringue pies were at least twelve inches tall and we argued amongst ourselves about how they cut those, but the answer surprised us all. Feel free to make your guess in the comments below, if you like.

The Farmhouse is somewhere along SR20 between I-5 and Anacortes (if you cross a bridge, you’ve gone too far), on the left side of the road at an intersection that has a traffic light. “You can’t miss it,” was all that my group would tell me, but sure enough, I can miss anything, so I drove on into Anacortes and the friendly visitor information people sent me back from whence I came, with the additional info about the bridge. “Where are you visiting from?” they wanted to know, and I couldn’t help thinking “oh, sure, I’ll tell you and then you’ll know where all the dumb people live.”

Farmhouse is truly the perfect place to stop on your way to the ferry. Or on your way to look for tulips or daffodils this spring. I would even make the stop if I was on my way to Vancouver — truly, it’s just a few miles off the interstate for a melting mouthful of cheese.

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