A Weekend in the Hoh

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast year I had an attitude adjustment. As a traveler, I have always felt that a trip didn’t count unless it involved a lengthy flight and resulted in at least one new passport stamp. At last straightened financial circumstances and complex family logistics have combined with the belated realization that people from all over the world dream of traveling (via long flights requiring passport stamps) to see the natural environment in which I live. The result is that I no longer catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier on a sunny day and say, “Mountain’s out,” in the same careless tone as Kiran from Bride and Prejudice saying “Flag’s up, Queen’s home.” In 2014, for the first time since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I made a conscious decision to explore closer to home. Continue reading


Looking at the grave of the invisible man


Björk’s new album is deservedly getting a lot of attention, but there is another, much quieter release from an Icelandic artist – literally quieter. It’s not an album, it’s a poetry chapbook. Wait! Don’t go! I know what it sounds like. It sounds like photocopied, stapled pages sold out of a backpack on the sidewalk by attractive yet poorly groomed, self-absorbed youths. If you buy a copy (out of an impulse to support the arts, and greatness might appear anywhere, even in a homeless kid; or you want to help the homeless; or simply because you’re charmed by the poet’s combination of sincerity and homemade tattoos) inside the pages you will find verses without rhyme or meter or quite possibly, meaning. I know. That’s usually what it means. But I’m talking about Sjón here. Continue reading

Everyone has a right to their opinion, right?

My blunt rephrasing of my friend’s thoughtful words:
You have a right voice your stupid opinion. But we don’t have to listen to that shit.

WYS Words

Recently, I came across an article on Facebook from a conservative leaning website about the case of a florist in Washington state who had been sued (and lost) because she refused to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding. Nothing like taking a bold stance against someone else’s happiness. The article was bemoaning this miscarriage of justice and I began to mentally file it in my “circular file.” (This link is not to the original article- I can’t bear to drive traffic to the original article.)

Obviously, justice was served. Just as you shouldn’t be able to refuse service to women, or people of color, or the disabled, you should not be able to refuse service to someone because of their sexual orientation. It reminds me of Ellen’s recent response to a vitriolic pastor who was quoted saying that Ellen’s marriage (and he uses “quotes” around the word to undermine its validity) and…

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Tosca Talk

ToscaBookletHow much should an audience member prepare for a performance? Some of my best memories come from the surprises, shows I stumbled into blindly only to be completely blown away. But most of the time, concerts are more fun when you already know the music. It’s no fun to see a David Mamet play without some idea of what you are in for. Anyone who attends The Marriage of Figaro, as I once did, without knowing that the song made famous by Bugs Bunny is actually in The Barber of Seville will be sorely disappointed. In theory, I like to be prepared, but I don’t always find the time for research ahead of time. Continue reading

A History of My Life in 10 Songs

I have been reading Greil Marcus. I haven’t read “A History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in 10 Songs” yet, but the title intrigues me. One night I couldn’t sleep, and the result is the following chronological history of my life in ten songs. With only a couple exceptions, it would be more appropriate to list albums, but if singles are good enough for Marcus… Continue reading

Guardians of the Galaxy for the Win

AwesomeMixLast week I had a good whine about parenting, so it’s only fair that I crow about the high point in my family life to date. Guardians of the Galaxy. Okay, that probably needs a little backstory. Before kids, a perfect date night was a bootleg John Woo movie. Like Tarantino, we would have had no qualms watching Shogun Assassin with our kindergartener. Except… Continue reading