Side Eye


I understand cat. People often make me feel that way too.


A Brief Wondrous Read – Oscar Wao


Since I started hanging out with writers, I’ve discovered that I don’t read the Right Sort of Books. Even though I read all the time, and don’t spend too much time in the genre ghettos, I never seem to have read the authors that everyone is buzzing about, or the ones that get included in MFA curricula, or the ones that authors cite as influences in interviews, or any of the books in those online “how well-read are you” quizzes. Sometimes I’m left wondering, “Well, what have I read?”

Once I took an online quiz about modern Japanese authors, and got a whopping six out of ten – a record for me in online book quizzes. I mentioned it to another writer friend, “I guess what I have been reading is modern Japanese fiction,” I said with some relief (after all, what an impressive niche, right?)

“Ooh,” she responded excitedly, “What did you think about the new Ishiguro?”

“I haven’t read it.” Continue reading

Independent Bookstore Day

OpenBooksSome people think I’m awful because I never remember birthdays, and holidays like Mother’s Day register more as minor annoyances than celebrations. But I’m not completely unsentimental. Sometimes I get quite excited over minor holidays. Like Independent Bookstore Day. Of course, I can never remember when it’s coming up, but even caught by surprise, I try to make the day special. Continue reading

What a pretty fire


In the Hayao Miyazaki movie Howl’s Moving Castle, Lauren Bacall voices the English version of the Witch of the Waste. Even as an animated old hag, the fabulous Bacall steals the show. My favorite line of hers is, “What a pretty fire,” as she stares at the fire demon that powers the castle.

Wagner Ladles Crazysauce in The Flying Dutchman

Seattle Opera Dress Rehearsal Flying Dutchman 2016 McCaw Hall

Alfred Walker (The Dutchman) photo by Philip Newton c/o Seattle Opera

Opera is about so much more than the story – it’s the entire theatrical experience: sets, costumes, voices, music, emotion. But me, I’m about the story. And the story of The Flying Dutchman is pure Smart Bitches F+ crazysauce. In other words, delightful.

If you are, as I was before attending Seattle Opera’s production of The Flying Dutchman, unfamiliar with the story, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Continue reading