Archive for June, 2009

in other blogs : neighborhood showdown, IE will make you puke, 600,000 naked air guitarists can’t be wrong about the public option

this ‘near infrared’ photo of the international fountain during sunday’s pride festivities comes to us by way of Tom Dobrowolsky [flickr] who was nice enough to add it to our reader-powered group pool [#].
  • the Seattle P-I is looking for neighborhood bloggers to help Hearst compete with Seattle’s wealth of neighborhood blogs. No payment, but free training. [bigblog]
  • Capitol Hill Seattle counters with a call for volunteer ad reps to help spread the word of the virtues of paid advertising on neighborhood blogs. Oh, snaps. [chs]
  • Maria Cantwell supports a public plan for health care reform, but no one managed to ask her if that includes co-ops. [slog]
  • Congratulations Seattle, we’ve grown our way past 600,000 residents. [seattletransitblog]
  • Some of them even play air guitar competitively. [seattlest]
  • For the love of all things modest & musical, though, please keep your clothes on at Doe Bay. [soundonthesound]
  • This advertisement inadvertently captures how so many people feel about Internet Explorer. [toomuchnick]

Free Tip of the Day: Guest Edition

Besides the obvious Art Walk this Thursday, what free things will you be doing this holiday weekend? The reason I ask is because I’ll be entertaining a guest and I’d like to keep our spending to a minimum. Here are some of my thoughts.

-Spend a morning at Wallace Falls
-Stick a piece of gum on the Gum Wall in Pike Place Market
-Go to the 5 spot to see this “glory hole” I’ve been hearing about
-Careek Park
-Ravenna Park
-Discovery Park
-Golden Gardens
-Witness the biggest Zombie walk ever in Fremont, this Friday at 8pm
-Peruse the new Wallingford Archie McPhee’s
-Finally go to the Fisherman Terminal
-Sunday’s Ballard Market
-The Locks
-Walk to Gas Works for fireworks

Anything else? Is there free music, free food, free anything happening this weekend? Holla!

Readings, signings, and other events vaguely literary for Tuesday, June 30, 2009


6:30 PM – Elizabeth Austen: Reading
SPL Northgate Branch
Seattle poet Elizabeth Austen talks about her poetry and the authors who have influenced her work.

7:00 PM – Karen Joy Fowler: Reading
UW Bookstore, U District
Clarion West presents the World Fantasy and two-time Nebula Award winner.

7:00 PM – Ultimate Tuesday!: Reading
Secret Garden Bookshop
Tickle Monster, by Kevin J. Atteberry, winner of a 2009 National Children’s Choice Picture Book award.


7:30 PM – Catherine Whitney: Soldiers Once: My Brother and the Lost Dreams of America’s Veterans
Elliott Bay Book Co.
A moving memoir about why we, as a society, must do better: “Whitney takes her veteran brother’s untimely death—alone at age 53 with just $62 in his bank account—as a starting point for this meditation on what it means to be a veteran in America … Whitney persuasively argues that her brother’s fates is common among veterans of all ages.” -Kirkus Reviews

in other blogs: quiet, openings, closings, dance parties

photo by william [flickr]; we’d love to see your pride photos in our group pool, too [#]
  • Certain people in Wallingford seem to wish that they lived in the placid countryside instead of in the heart of a city where people hold concerts or launch fireworks. [dailyweekly]
  • Will you take a look at this beautiful bar? Bastille opened its doors about an hour ago in Ballard. [twitpic]
  • Of course Fremont zombie fanatics will include a Thriller re-enactment [bigblog]; it is unlikely to outcharm the one-shot French lipdub. [dailymotion]
  • On Saturday, a dance party reclaimed the “people’s parking lot” [ppl], kicking up dust [lineout], and attracting some police officers who shut down the soundsystem and made one arrest. [chs]
  • Want to learn how to get rich from the internet for free? Sign-up now for a 9 July seminar in the garden. [pingg]
  • Regarding the above, Caveat emptor. Keith Vance calls it quits on his online news experiment for lack of cash. [seattlecourant]

Bruno: Will It Be Funny?

Do you appreciate a good roasting of American cultural values? Bruno, Sasha Baron Cohen’s new movie about an outrageously gay Austrian fashion designer, is set to land in Seattle theaters on July 10th. There’s been a fair amount of buzz about the movie, and I know a lot of folks in Seattle who are expecting to fall as hard for Bruno as they did for Borat.  But the reviews  trickling in  appear…mixed. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Borat was, despite his cheerful bigotry, somehow a lovable character. His questions sprang from the sweet innocence of a third-world bumpkin wallowing in isolated ignorance. With Bruno, you mostly feel annoyed. A gay Austrian fashionista would be no ignorant rube. He would be sophisticated, savvy and certainly aware of prejudices against gays. Would he really prance semi-naked through Middle Eastern holy sites?

….Consequently, the character’s gayness reads false. Baron Cohen needs to spend more time in certain gay bars if he wants to learn how to do “flamboyant” and “fabulous.” It’s a ghost of the real thing.

Now, I don’t think Sasha needs to go to bars to learn how to ‘act like a gay man’. If Sasha accurately portrayed a gay man in Bruno, it would be a terribly boring movie (gay people, like straight people, can be really boring to watch for an hour and a half). On the other hand, if the portrayal doesn’t contain a germ of truth, it will probably  fall into the trap of being too ridiculous to be funny.

…I guess we’ll all just have to wait until July 10th before passing judgement.

Silent Movie Monday: Seventh Heaven

The Paramount wraps up another Silent Movie Monday series tonight with Seventh Heaven, an epic melodrama that covers ambition, hope, crime, love, war, injury, faithlessness and faithfulness in a story of two lovers in the less glamorous part of Paris. One of the most famous and popular romances of the silent era, Seventh Heaven won Oscars for Best Actress for Janet Gaynor, Best Director for Frank Borzage and Best Screenplay for Benjamin F. Glazer.

Screens tonight at 7:00 pm; as always, co-sponsor Trader Joe’s is on hand with snacks and the chance to win cool prizes.

Readings, signings, and other events vaguely literary for Monday, June 29, 2009


7:00 PM – Jacqueline Carey: Naamah’s Kiss
UW Bookstore, U District
The author signs her much anticipated new novel, featuring a new heroine in the same universe as her previous six Kushiel books. They are all very well done: complex, sexy, layered, with great world building and characterization. I haven’t read Naamah’s Kiss, yet, but I’ve enjoyed the previous books, and I’m looking forward to this one. Only 16 SPL patrons are ahead of me, in queue!

7:30 PM – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie : The Thing Around Your Neck
Elliott Bay Book Co.
Winner of Orange Broadband Prize, the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the novelist debuts her first story collection.


7:30 PM – Roger Thurow & Scott Kilman: Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty
Town Hall Seattle, Downstairs
Why are 25,000 people per day dying of hunger, malnutrition, and related diseases, while thousands and thousands of pounds of food are thrown away? How are hunger and famine even possible? If we can ship apples to China and import tomatoes from Argentina, why are people still dying from lack of good food? It’s ridiculous. Learn how to be the change.

Readings, signings, and other events vaguely literary for Saturday, June 27, 2009


2:00 PM – Jt Stewart, Pesha Joyce Gertler, Felicia Gonzalez & Jourdan Keith: Cultural Collisions: Women Writers & Their Craft
SPL Beacon Hill Branch
“JT Stewart, lead artist of La Jefa, writes poetry, fiction, and plays, and teaches writing at Hugo House and The Seattle Public Library. Pesha Joyce Gertler, 2005 Seattle Poet Populist, teaches writing at North Seattle Community College and the UW Women’s Center. Poet Felicia Gonzalez, born and raised in Cuba, is a Jack Straw Writers program alum, and as received awards from Artist Trust, Washington State Arts Commission, 4Culture, and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. Jourdan Imani Keith, 2006 Seattle Poet Populist and The Seattle Public Library’s first Naturalist-in-Residence, is a playwright, storyteller, and educator.” –EBBC

2:00 PM – Patricia K. Batta: Why Did You Die in the Park?
Seattle Mystery Bookshop
Tea and conversation with the author.

4:30 PM – Mishna Wolff: I’m Down
Elliott Bay Book Co.
“In a memoir that is frequently hilarious, occasionally terrifying, and ultimately bittersweet, Wolff forces readers to consider whether racial identity is the result of nature, derived through nurture, or constructed and reconstructed throughout life. The author was born to white parents and raised into early adolescence mostly by her father, a man who worked harder to remake his own and his children’s identities as black than he did at earning a living…Wolff writes fluidly and offers moments of great insight through story rather than through explanation, making it easy for readers to engage with the child’s questions and growing frustrations. An excellent choice for discussion in ethnic identity curricula, but absorbing reading, too.” –Francisca Goldsmith, School Library Journal

6:00 PM – Todd Shimoda: Oh! A Mystery of Mono No Aware
Panama Hotel
“The event, like another one held on Thursday, June 25, at the Kobo Gallery, also in Seattle, will feature both the author and the artist, as well as display copies of the original artwork used in the book.”
I was sick on Thursday, and thus neglected this column, so didn’t announce Shimoda’s Kobo visit, to my chagrin. Please extend apologies on my behalf, should you have the opportunity, tonight.


7:30 PM – Beth Taylor: The Plain Language of Love and Loss
Elliott Bay Book Co.
“Beth Taylor’s memoir is one of the most tender and moving books I’ve read in a long time. Written with poise and grace, never falling into self-pity, The Plain Language of Love and Loss, will surely touch the heart of anyone who has found the means to salvage a kind of meaning out of great tragedy. This is a book I will not forget.” – Tim O’Brien

NOTE: Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park is technically out of the range of this blog, but Candy Tan, co-owner (with Sarah Wendell) of the snarktastic Romance review blog “Smart Bitches, Trashy Books” is in town, and she is ONLY reading and signing at Third Place Books, 6:30 PM, this evening (Woe! Oh, woe!). Candy and Sarah are the authors of Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels, the definitive overview of the romance genre. I have the Smart Bitches to thank for a whole lot of really good (and really terrible) reading material over the past few years. The good has been wonderful; the bad has been hysterical. The Bitches have never led me astray. Check out their blog at

Attention drivers! Saturday road closures.

Tomorrow is the inaugural Seattle Rock-N-Roll marathon and there will be a lot of road closures between 6am and 3pm.

I’ll be running the marathon and have a 3am wakeup call, but before I sign off, here’s a link for road closure information.

weekend agenda: pride, rock, marathon, market, georgetown

photo by b. k. dewey [flickr] via our group pool [#].
  • Pride engulfs Seattle this weekend, with club nights around town (Comeback @ Chop Suey tonight) and events ranging from a night with the Storm, BendIt performances in Cal Anderson tonight and extravaganza all weekend; a march/rally, and three-level four-hour cruise on the high seas tomorrow; the official parade (beginning at 11) running through downtown into Seattle Center for all-day festivities on Sunday. [seattlepride]
  • Beginning just after dawn on Saturday, the Rock & Roll Marathon commences in Tukwila and leads racers past live music performances [gif] for each of the next twenty-six miles leading into a racers-only festival in Quest Field. [rnrseattle]
  • It’s a Wolf Parade side-projects year, bringing Spencer Krug and Sunset Rubdown on tour just weeks in the wake of a Handsome Furs appearance; they’ll in town on Saturday showing off tracks from the recently-released Dragonslayer. $13, 8pm [chopsuey]
  • Georgetown hosts its annual free music festival on Saturday with a ton of local bands spread over three stages in conjunction with Artopia. [georgetownmusicfest]
  • The West Seattle Farmer’s market celebrates its 10th birthday with free berry sundaes, cooking demonstrations, live music, and giant vegetable puppets. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., The Junction (California Ave. SW & SW Alaska St.)
  • Looking far ahead: Tickets for Girl Talk (18 September, SoDoShow) and Sunny Day Real Estate (16 October, Paramount) go on sale Saturday morning on the Ticketmaster.
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