My Favorite Opera: The Barber of Seville at Seattle Opera

Daniel Sumegi (Basilio)/Kevin Glavin (Bartolo)/Marc Kenison (Ambrogio)/Margaret Gawrysiak (Berta)/Will Liverman (Figaro)/Andrew Owens (Almaviva)/Sofia Fomina (Rosina). Jacob Lucas photo c/o Seattle Opera

I think The Barber of Seville might be my favorite opera. The only thing that detracted from my enjoyment when I watched it last weekend was that every scene made me think, “I wish I’d brought my kids.” Because every single scene is so delightful, so funny, so beautiful, I hated for them to miss it. Even though my kids have already been to the opera before, I left determined to come back with them before the production finishes. Continue reading


Laser Iceland

The first laser show I ever attended was in a symphony hall in 1991 or 1992. Accompanied by a classic rock soundtrack, green lines flashed around the room, sometimes joined by a smoke machine. I wasn’t particularly impressed.

The next laser show I attended was Northern Lights, part of the annual Taste of Iceland Festival. Hosted in the Pacific Science Center Laser Dome, the free show was set to an hour of Icelandic indie music curated by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole. It was a little different from what I remembered. Continue reading

Doe Babies Forever

October is a favorite month, filled with birthdays, anniversaries, and that bestest of holidays, Halloween. But in a few more weeks, the winter gloom will start to sink in, the holidays will start to feel like pressure, and I’ll start thinking about early bird tickets to summer festivals. I’ve taken my kids to lots of them, but nothing compares to Doe Bay Fest, where grown ups are almost as welcome as the kids.

Stank Baby

That time my daughter’s friend from rock camp pulled her up on stage at a music festival. That day at Doe Bay they danced, but earlier that summer she taught my girl the importance of Stank Face. For those who don’t know, it’s the ugly face you make when you’re getting down and the music is more important than looking pretty.

Adra Boo, then of Fly Moon Royalty, is still a favorite at Doe Bay (playing music at the fest and teaching at the writing camp). She also writes for The Stranger, and perhaps most importantly, mentors young women in music through Rain City Rock Camp.

Rethinking the Blue Lagoon

The first time I went to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon was during Airwaves 2012. I entered on a press pass and listened to DJs while I soaked in the milky blue water, surrounded by lava rock. It was so cold and windy that day they couldn’t keep the water warm enough, but I stuck it out long enough to get a drink from the swim-up bar and experience each of the pool’s special features – waterfall, sauna, silica face mask. I concluded the Blue Lagoon was cool, but overpriced and over-hyped. Despite the pretty setting, the difference from normal Icelandic swimming pools didn’t justify the price.

Still, when I brought my whole family to Iceland this April, it felt obligatory. And now I’ve had to rethink my opinion. Continue reading

Just a Moment


Photo from

Photo from

I am not a morning person. I do my best work at night, after the kids have gone to bed. I have to get up early to get my kids to school, but I do it in a fog, and my kids know not to expect more from me than transportation. This morning, I dropped my seventh grader off at school, and as she walked away, noticed for the first time what she was wearing. Athletic shorts and cowboy boots, an outfit almost guaranteed to generate teasing, even at her liberal, be yourself, everyone’s a snowflake school. Continue reading