Sunday, March 29

That ain't workin'...

Today was to be all about mowing and edging and weeding, but Seattle pulled yet another precipitatious switcheroo on us, so instead, there's this:
Wyatt rocks his guitars (all six)

Thursday, January 8

A night to remember

With all the misdirection and off-topic speculation I've been hearing during the runup to the historic event that is now only 12 days away (the end of the W Era and the beginning of the Age of O), I thought I'd just post a reminder of how completely damn amazing all this is.

The following is a verbatim transcription of my journal from those fantastic days in early November (only 10 weeks ago, but already seems like a lifetime):

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dark, cold, rainy night. Even though the extra hour gives us a merciful dose of light in the morning, an extra measure of sleep, all of which is absolutely necessary and more than welcome, it also throws us squarely into the dead of winter. Just last week, the sun came beaming brightly into our office window at 5:00, blinding us. Now, at 5:00 it's completely dark. You emerge from work onto a wet, drizzly street, everyone bundled up, blinded by headlights reflected on the wet pavement. Just like THAT you've arrived. Winter.

The bus is hotter, steamier, smellier than usual -- everyone is dressed warmly, heaters are on, driving up the temperature and humidity and pungence. You don't gaze out the window -- what's there to see in the dark? Your eyes defocus and you stare blankly ahead. The passing scenery doesn't mark your progress -- you have to strain somewhat to keep up with how far you've come.

So, the election: My blood is up, my heart is in my throat, my stomach in knots. I can't even begin to imagine that this might actually happen. My heart has been so thoroughly broken by this nation, by the bigoted and the ignorant and the uneducated and the mean-spirited and the simply evil. Can it be that we will really elect a bona fide symbol of hope, of change, of progress and tolerance and compromise and thoughtfulness and nuance and high ideals?

It seems impossible. It seems like too much to hope for. But I'm suppressing the hope with everything I have. I can't let it out until the thing is done. I can't go through another 2004. I can't go through another round of the goddamned GOP assholes smugly strutting over their victory. They need to be soundly walloped, shunned, sent to the corner to sit quietly for the next four years to think about what they've done.

The main thing, though, is that we have the chance to put a truly good and great man, possibly a historic man, into the highest office on Earth. And God help us if we fail to do it. God help us if we can't summon up that much optimism, that much courage, that much hope.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

9 AM

Maus & I rose early to get Wyatt to daycare so we could vote, this time in the basement of the church up on 65th. Last time, too -- from here on out, all voting in Washington will be mail-in. Sad. I love going to the polls. It's very real, very concrete, immediate, interactive, gratifying. Civic. Not an era, not a practice that I want to see vanish. Anyway, here we go... the game's afoot.

4 PM

Trying to keep my mind off it, but I can't. The numbers are starting to come in (McCain wins Kentucky; Obama wins Vermont). So many ways this could go bad. So many ways it could go right. My stomach is in knots. I feel like I'm going to throw up. Believe. Believe. Believe.

6 PM

Just picked up Wyatt -- very cold and very wet out there. Almost no visibility. And snow/ice on the deck when we got home. So: Last we heard, they called Pennsylvania and most of New England for Obama -- the latter not a surprise, but Pennsylvania was a worry. Liddy Dole has been unseated in North Carolina; John Sununu also has been deposed. So far the Dems have gained 3 seats in the Senate. Long night ahead, but so far it looks promising.

6:30 PM

Oh my God. They just projected Ohio for Obama. That puts him way up (if it's so). New Mexico, also Obama. Maybe my math is off, but if he gets the whole West Coast, he takes it all. My God My God My God. Please let it be so.

8 PM

West Coast polls have closed. McCain is closing the gap: 207 to 142. West Coast, Viriginia, North Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, Colorado still in play.

8:05 PM


They just called it. Barack Obama is president. Holy shit.

8:35 PM

McCain just gave his concession speech. Very gracious, very magnanimous and genuine -- unlike his crowd of supporters, who booed every mention of Obama.

I remember when I first heard the name Obama. I think it was a blog post relating the story of Bush seeing a "Got Obama?" button on a woman, and being taken aback (thinking it said "Osama"). He asked her about it. "You haven't heard of Obama?" she asked him. He said no. "You will," she said.

10:30 PM

The parties continue. Obama's speech was incredible. People are spilling into the streets of Seattle in celebration. I've heard from a lot of people who called just to share the joy. The celebrations will go on all night. Damn it feels good. And now it seems that Gregoire has beaten Rossi again for Governor. It's a landslide, a near-complete sweep. And I'm so glad I was here to see it. And equally glad that Wyatt will grow up in a country without Bush in the White House. A good, a great day to have voted.

11 PM

The parties in the streets are ballooning -- up on Broadway and down by Pike Place. Huge crowds pouring out into the street in joy and celebration. What a beautiful sight (especially if one remembers the 1999 WTO demonstrations).

CNN is replaying Obama's speech. What a man. And Joe Biden --this guy I love. Oh, the times ahead.

Oh yeah I forgot (as the West Coast put him over the top): Obama won Virginia (!), Colorado, and Florida (!!!). FLORIDA. Without Florida in 2000, we wouldn't have had to suffer through the last 8 years. And now they've come around. The electoral map looks really good right now.

Wow, what a speech.


They're dancing in the streets in San Francisco, in Times Square, outside the White House, and here. What a thing to see.

November 5, 2008

Euphoria. It still hasn't completely sunk in, but it is like coming out of a bad dream. An 8-year-long bad dream. And now, still just trying to get my bearings, trying to fathom the fact that it's over.

President Barack Obama. Say it again. Just say it and listen to the words and consider what they mean.

Thank you. Whoever you are, wherever you are, if you exist... Thank you.

Wednesday, November 5


“In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity. Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”
President-Elect Barack Obama
November 4, 2008

Tuesday, November 4

Am I dreaming?




Thank you.

Monday, November 3

I can't watch

Let me know when it's over.

Saturday, November 1

I think it's safe to assume it isn't a zombie...

Halloween 2008

"I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies."

(I hope beyond hope you all get that reference, but if not: we're Ripley and Ash from Alien.)

"I never drink... milk."

(No, Wyatt's costume isn't thematically connected with ours, unless you're willing to consider that Alien was clearly influenced by Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires... Huh? Huh? Huh? Yeah.)

Saturday, September 27

"For a moment there, I thought we were in trouble."

I remember once trying to figure out where one could place the cut-off between the generations of "classic" film actors and "modern" film actors. First off, you have the giants: Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda and Clark Gable. Close on their heels you have the era of Gregory Peck and Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum. Then the transition starts to happen: you get Chalton Heston, Jack Lemmon, Marlon Brando, Rock Hudson, Rod Steiger, George C. Scott – the generation that would bridge the divide into the era of television, the age of Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Robert Duvall, and Robert Redford.

With all these overlapping generations of great actors, where does one place the segue between, to co-opt comics terminology, the Golden and Silver ages? (In comics, that moment would be the emergence of the Flash in 1956.)

It's tempting to place this bridge at the appearance of Heston and Brando in the early 1950s, but somehow, they feel like they still belong to the older, classic generation more than the new.

No, the real moment of transition, I think, can be placed on the rise of two men: James Dean in 1955, and following his death, the man who stepped into the void – the great Paul Newman.

Newman didn't really "hit" until 1958, with three great films: The Long Hot Summer, The Left-Handed Gun, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. It's not hard to see that early on (and even as late as Hud in 1963 and Cool Hand Luke in 1967) Newman was very much the continuation of Dean. But by the time of Butch & Sundance in 1969, it's clear that Newman had broken out of that angsty mold and was embracing broader and more joyful roles. And that's the Newman that I think most of us loved best.

In any case, if you want to talk about the greatest actors of all time, you have to look at two camps: pre-Newman and post-Newman. He was both the Last of the Classics and the First of the Modern Greats.

Tough news today. We lost our Flash.

Wednesday, June 4

Work work work, work work work... Hello boys, I missed you!

Looooong time gone. For that, I lay the blame squarely at the feet of a highly challenging and deeply engaging job. That, and of course Wyatt, recently turned 1. Both are gratifying in the extreme, to be sure, but the tradeoff is collected from my cache of free time. And so.

Three items I feel obliged to sound off on:

Hillary Clinton
Obama wrapped up the nomination yesterday. And even though she wasn't my candidate, I have to say I admire and respect the support and momentum Clinton was able to cultivate. She proved out as a formidable political force, not just a holdover icon of the 90s. A real and undeniable movement coalesced around her candidacy — for which Obama deserves at least part of the credit — and I for one am glad she stuck with it as long as she did. She should stand up proudly at the convention in Denver and take every vote she gets like a badge of honor. She earned every last one of them.

The M******s
Oh the humanity. Somehow, part of me finds a little bit of solace in the fact that they're sucking this much — it makes the season more interesting than if they were just mostly sucking. Heads will, must, roll after a debacle of these proportions. It's nothing less than a fiasco.

Read a very disturbing statistic in the Times today: no team in history has ever spent $100 million and lost 100 games in the same season. The Ms are very much on pace to be the first.

It hurts, but it hurts with a wry smile. Like I keep telling Maus, this is what being a fan is all about. It's 90% pain. (I did grow up in a Chicago Cubs household, after all.)

Best Picture
Maus and I finally saw Juno, thus completing at long last our goal of seeing all 5 Best Picture nominees (a feat that before we became parents was reliably accomplished within 2 weeks of the Oscars). I have to say, this year's pack of nominees was the tightest, strongest field I've seen in a very long time. I'd be really hard pressed to pick a winner from this bunch.

There Will Be Blood was, for me, the weakest of the 5, although buoyed by a(nother) remarkable performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. Michael Clayton was a great movie, and certainly a worthy Best Picture nominee, if not a Best Picture.

The other three, though, are damn near a deadlock for me. No Country For Old Men was, as one comes to expect from the Coens, something very new and very different. Those guys defy the conventional “laws” of cinematic expression — you can never see what's coming in a Coen Brothers movie. Old Men, however, was not their magnum opus. But it was impressive.

Atonement was easily the most beautiful movie of the year. And also the most fascinating. Like Old Men, it took me in directions I didn't see coming. And then, of course, there's the delightful Juno, which was everything a movie should be. Maus nailed it when she said that of all the 5 Best Picture nominees, Juno was the only one she'd go out of her way to see again. That fact alone should probably put it over the top.

The point, though, isn't so much whether the best film won, but that all the candidates deserved to win.

Not unlike Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. A solid field is itself the real victory.

Thursday, April 24

Are you a cylon?

From Wetpaint's Battlestar Galactica Wiki:

Dr. Baltar's Cylon Detector

Turns out that I'm Billy. Great! I love Billy. Except, of course, that he's dead. If I retake the test and place conscience over loyalty (which is a tough call), I end up as Helo. Not bad. But yeah, probably I'm really Billy. Probably should stay out of bars for while.

At any rate, I'm human. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.
Cylon Detector Test :: Battlestar Galactica Wiki

Sunday, April 13

Credit where credit is due

A friend forwarded me this post on The ScreengrabThe Twelve Greatest Opening Credits in Movie History. Not a bad selection, with some highly appropriate honorees:
  • The great Saul Bass. Hard to choose between Vertigo, Psycho, and North by Northwest, but if pressed I think I'd favor the latter.

  • Robert Brownjohn and Maurice Binder, for their immortal work on the Bond series. Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me — all excellent. I have to also throw in GoldenEye and Casino Royale as two of the best Bonds for opening credits.

  • Denis Rich (designer) and John Williams (music), for the main titles of Superman: The Movie. No kidding.

Conspicuously missing from the list, possibly because there aren't any opening credits per se, is the greatest opening title of all time: the Star Wars crawl. (Fun: Star Wars titles as done by Saul Bass, courtesy Popwatch.)

Setting aside Hitchcock, Bond, and Star Wars, I have to add my own Top 10, all missing from the Screengrab list:

  1. Once Upon a Time in the West — Now this is an opening credits sequence. Best performance of Jack Elam's career, and he barely lives past the director's title. Nothing else in the movie lives up to the promise of its first 10 minutes. A masterpiece unto itself.

  2. The Shining — Scariest credits ever. The steadicam skims that placid alpine lake, rises and descends menacingly upon a tiny car winding its way higher and higher into the mountains and towards the evil destiny that awaits its driver. And that music. And those crazy moaning/wailing voices, or whatever they're supposed to be. Freaks me out to this day.

  3. Alien — Never was an orchestra put to such great and subtle effect as the windlike moaning punctuated by light, haunting chords in the opening to Alien. The camera pans very slowly across a grim starfield and eclipsed planet, and one by one those five hashmarks (representing victims?) appear along the top of the screen, and then turn into the letters A L I E N. What follows is equally effective: the camera wanders through the cold, still corridors of the hibernating ship, which suddenly yawns to life with some of the strangest, most unnatural-sounding computer sound effects ever devised. The ventilation comes on , then the lights, then the doors whoosh open. Never has an inanimate object come to life so eerily.

  4. McCabe & Mrs. Miller — The wind. The movie opens with the whistle of a cold, merciless wind as the camera pans across a soggy, uninviting landscape. Then the quiet strums of Leonard Cohen's woeful The Stranger Song come up as we see a lone rider — McCabe — slogging his way toward one very bleak town. He crosses a rather unpleasant rope bridge over an icy river, muttering to himself. He finally finds and enters the town's only hotel-restaurant-saloon, a dark, crowded, dank, close structure. He shakes the water from his hat, checks the back door, then clears off a table and starts up a poker game with the locals. The beautifully filmed sequence is chilling, claustrophobic, oppressive, and gorgeously bleak.

  5. Blood Simple — Probably the most clever opening credits I've seen. We see two occupants of a vehicle, driving at night and shot from behind, illuminated only as silhouettes by the light refracted on the wet windshield. The only punctuation is the swipe of the car's wipers, and the flashes of the headlights of passing cars. Each bright flash leaves behind a new title, which hangs on their windshield until the next pass of the wipers clears it away. Brilliant.

  6. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly — Rough, grainy, weathered, and explosive, and most importantly, backed by Ennio Morricone's greatest score.

  7. Contact — We zoom away from the Earth, deeper and deeper into space (and back through time as the radio signals on the soundtrack weaken and fade away). Finally, there's nothing but a heavy, desolate silence as we retreat even from our own galaxy and into the big black empty. And then, suddenly, we're pulling away from Jena Malone's iris — all the universe in the eye of a child.

  8. The Usual Supects — These credits aren't really anything special, they're just good. A slow pan across lights reflected as wavy lines in the dark waters of the harbor, backed by John Ottman's beautiful, dreamlike score. Very sleepy, very haunting, and classically noir.

  9. Memento — A closeup of a hand holding a Polaroid photo of a dead body. Every few seconds, the hand waves the photo back and forth, they way you do when “developing” a fresh Polaroid. Only, after few moments, you realize that you're seeing the photo develop in reverse — the image slowly fades away, just like the memories of the man who snapped the photo. Sets the tone of the movie perfectly. Also cool because due to the film's time structure, this is actually the final shot of the story.

  10. Jaws — One chord. Just one chord, played over the Universal Studios logo. You know immediately what movie this is going to be. Sure, John Williams's rapid two-chord refrain and the swimming shark's-view footage of the ocean floor are all classic. But really, it's that one low, murky, simple chord at the very beginning that does it.

Sunday, April 6


... is now soylent green.

Not a great actor, really, but still, a great actor (in the “big” sense). Larger than life, with a face that could part the waters and a voice that could blow up the planet. No matter how much as I disliked (despised, actually) his politics, I did come to admire the fierce sincerity of his convictions.

He was known for his loyalty and idealism (he foreited his salary on Major Dundee to keep Sam Peckinpah in the director's chair). And as an icon, he was the closest the Right ever came to having their own Gregory Peck. In fact, there's a great scene between Peck and Heston in the epic western The Big Country that sums up the two men perfectly:

Ranch foreman Heston, jealous of Peck's engagement to his boss's daughter, tries to goad Peck into a fight in front of all the other ranch hands (as well as the girl and her father). When Peck refuses to fight in front of an audience, and even lets Heston call him a coward, the girl is humiliated and furious with him for “dishonoring” her. Peck decides to leave the ranch, but first goes to Heston and tells him “there's a little business unfinished between us.”

The two men duke it out in the middle of the night, in the middle of the prairie, with no audience and no “prize” on the line. The scene is shown in wide shot without music — two little men scuffling the dust like ants, dwarfed by the expansive and impassive landscape. They beat on each other until they're both unable to stand, then collapse in the dirt, bruised and bloodied and winded. Heston, having obviously underestimated his opponent, is as gracious as his character allows: “You sure take a long time to say goodbye.”

Peck's answer is perfect: “Tell me — what did we prove?”

No actor's passing has affected me the way Peck's did, but losing Heston (and, only 2 weeks ago, Richard Widmark) just hammers home how very close we are to the true finale of a cinematic era. Only a few more obits, and the book will be closed. And of those remaining, I can think of only one of Heston's stature — Kirk Douglas.

(I do not count Paul Newman, even though he and Heston are only a year apart. In my own personal and highly biased view of American movies, Heston is the last book of the Old Testament, and Newman is the first book of the New.)

Saturday, April 5

The Mother of all Reversals

BSG is back on, and so far in top form, picking up exactly where it left off over a year ago... (About frakkin' time! What is this, HBO?)

Good, good, good: A gorgeous opening battle scene with some very sneaky Cylon maneuvers and brilliant visual flourishes. A raider explodes in a splatter of blood; the ferris-wheel ship catches fire but doesn't explode...

The show has a lot to explain in its final season, but they have 19 episodes to go, and one thing I'll say about BSG: they can cover a lot of ground very fast. These guys do not hold back and milk every mystery to death (ahem, Lost, I'm looking at you...) — I expect great things, big surprises.

A couple of welcome touches: We knew when Starbuck returned that she'd be greeted with suspicion and skepticism, but I was glad to see that they didn't just summarily chuck her in the brig like every other Cylon suspect (or perennial screwups like Apollo, Helo, and the Chief). Their suspicions were tempered by their genuine affection for Kara — they want so badly to believe her story, even though it's thoroughly unbelievable. And Kara, who seemed uncharacteristically serene when she reappeared at the end of last season, is back to her usual Starbuckian roguishness, and that's what's going to land her in the brig more than anything else.

And then there's Baltar: His storyline has been marinating in desperation, hallucination, torture, misery, and paranoia for so damn long, it's nice to see a little humor and wry irony injected into the character. They've morphed him from George W. Baltar into Julius and Ethel Baltar into Jesus H. Baltar all in the span of a single season. And now that he has his own personal harem of disciples, he is turning into one sleazy Jesus. A big tip of the hat to James Callis, who might very well steal the season, the way things are going.

All of this brings to mind what is the great and central irony of BSG: in 1978, the original Battlestar series was widely panned and dismissed as a cheap knockoff of Star Wars — which in many ways it was, if not in story, then at least in the particulars of its production. Star Wars used SFX carefully and deliberately, and to great effect, while Battlestar was infamous for its endlessly recycled and respliced SFX. Star Wars gave us a plot that widened and deepened with each new film; Battlestar shamelessly swiped its stories from the likes of Shane, Guns of Navarone, and Towering Inferno.

Today, it's Battlestar that's fresh, innovative, and compelling — the best thing to hit science fiction since Firefly — and Star Wars is now the disappointingly uninspired knockoff, with its stilted dialog and overreliance on SFX. Battlestar gives us a great story, a rich array of characters, and compelling drama; Star Wars (and you know I'm talking about the prequels here) is basically an 8-hour cartoon with really good music.

Case in point: If Lucas were helming Battlestar, that ferris-wheel ship totally would have exploded...

Monday, March 31

Play ball

Happy Opening Day! I made it, you made it, we're here at last. Congratulations. (Never mind that it was snowing in Seattle 3 days ago — God also is entitled to his little jokes.)

So here we go. The Ms are, on paper, quite improved over last year, but as always, there are far too many variables on this team. For one thing, their 88-win record from last year was a huge confluence of luck, which may or may not roll over into this season (I'm not a die-hard stats junkie when it comes to baseball... I place very high value on the intangibles — especially little things like luck and fate).

The pitching looks very promising this year — if nothing else, Bedard-instead-of-Weaver has “tipping point” written all over it. If the bullpen (pretty much the same guys from last year, with long-relief knuckleballer Dickey thrown into the mix) can match their performance from last year, we are in business.

Offensively, there doesn't seem to be much cooking for the season, except of course for Ichiro, who will doubtlessly buttress his Hall-of-Fame stats with another 200-hitter. Wilkerson for Guillen in right has me worried. Say what you will about Guillen's attitude — he brought something to the team last year that has been missing ever since Piniella's departure. And Wilkerson? I just hope he stays out of the way of Ichiro, who will have to play center and right this year.

I expect consistent (above average, but not stellar) performances from the likes of Ibanez and Beltre. Ibanez will make up for his poor defense with his cool-headed clutch hitting and his role as de facto team captain; Beltre will make up for his soft offensive numbers with his glove. Behind the plate, we're solid — for me, Jamie Burke is the team's most reassuring bench presence since Mark McLemore (I do wish we still had Broussard, though).

Which brings us to the Big Variable. The mofo of all variables. It hardly seems fair (or statistically responsible) to place a whole season on one man's shoulders, but really: Richie Sexson will make or break this team. He's the only dedicated power-hitter on the squad, and given the share of the payroll he takes home, he has only one damn job to do: Drive. Them. In.

If opposing pitchers don't respect and fear the middle of our lineup, we haven't a chance. Sexson needs to be, must be, the Big Bad Ugly. Who else is gonna do it? Vidro? Ibanez? Beltre? In shifts, maybe, but not over the course of a whole season. Last year, Guillen shouldered much of the offensive responsibility. This year, there is no Plan B for power. Sexson has to produce. I won't be counting his strikeouts, but I'll be counting his LOBs for damn sure.

A big year for Sexson will give us a Division title. I think it really could be that simple, assuming the rest of the squad plays at least at 85% of their potential. Another toilet year from Sexson, and everyone else's performance will merely decide whether we finish 2nd or 4th.

No pressure, big guy.

Tuesday, March 18

Well OK, if you insist

Don't usually meme much, but Tim posted this intriguing one:
  1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people.

Which I couldn't resist, especially since the book nearest to me was AJ Rathbun's Good Spirits (yes, that fact says it all).

And wouldn't you know it? On page 123, one of my very favorite drinks, the Negroni. I give you sentences 5-7:

"Add the gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Stir thrice. Garnish with the orange twist."

Now that is literature.

Missing here is AJ's intro to the drink, which describes it as the "the Wonder Woman" of cocktails (Superman being the Martini; Batman the Manhattan). Therein lies another debate. But not just now — I have an orange to twist.

Oh yes, nearly forgot — consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, March 9

Lighten up, Seattle, I'm in love with you

Daylight Savings Time! Hallie-louie-yaw!

Love it though I do, it seems ridiculously early for DST to be kicking in. I think I'm going to miss the serendipitous calendrical alignment of my two favorite heralds of spring: Opening Day of baseball and the beginning of Daylight Savings. The two went so well together.

I'm not complaining, mind you. This 3-week jumpstart will make March a little less lion and lot more lamb. It will also render the prognostications of Punxsutawney Phil wholly irrelevant.

I only hope Pyramid has adjusted their Curve Ball distribution schedule accordingly. It is time.

Tuesday, February 12

Still here

These days it's all work, Wyatt, wikis, and, I'll be honest, Guitar Hero III. What can I say? Rock 'n' roll stole my soul.

I just popped in real quick to raise a glass to three items of note and honor:
  • Roy Scheider. A real loss. A fantastic and underrated/underused actor. The king of lowkey delivery. Seriously, watch Jaws again, and pay attention to how Scheider underplays every line, every look — which is all the more remarkable when you realize just how over-the-top his costars go (the shark ain't the only one chewing scenery... Dreyfuss, Shaw, I'm looking at you). But even that must have been child's play compared to playing straight man to Gene Hackman The French Connection.

  • Geek Parenting. Here now is a blog! Dress your kids up like superheroes, get them sHello, Miss Lane!tarted early on video games, grow them into geeks just like you. I'm in! The author even has a 1-year-old daughter named Lois Lane. I wonder if arranged marriages are still legal?

  • Guess what tomorrow is? Any guesses? Anyone? Tim, I know you know. That's right, it's the official light at the end of the tunnel: Pitchers and Catchers.


Wednesday, January 30


Edwards is out. So is Rudy.

I liked Edwards. A lot. He'll be back.

I also liked Rudy, though in a very different way — he was the one GOP candidate I thought Hillary could beat. And when it comes to Republicans, I'll take a pro-war/tough-on-crime one over a god/guns/gays one any day.

I'm terrified of a Hillary nomination because it would galvanize and mobilize the far right in way not seen since gay people tried to -- gasp! -- assert their right to actually live as families. Well, thank jebus that ludicrous notion got nipped in the bud, eh? And just for good measure, the united bigots of America gave us four more years of Bush while they were at it, because everyone knows dead soldiers, melting ice caps, and an economy in a tailspin are preferable to married gays.


Then again, there's always the chance that a Hillary nom would so outrage the right that they all simultaneously choke to death on their own bile. Is it too much to hope for?

Saturday, January 19

Snoop jobby job

This postlessness of January has a name, and it is Jay Oh Bee. As in a real job, job-type job.

I have joined the ranks of Wetpaint, a fine young Seattle startup comprising brilliant, energetic minds, among which I feel distinctly like the squad's little Timmy Lupus. Glad to be here — just don't hit the ball to me.

Really, though: wonderful people, exciting environment, fun work, great place to job. And it's in Pioneer Square, surrounded by good restaurants, just two blocks from the ballpark, and... (and!) situated on an express bus line that runs almost literally from my couch to my desk in under 30 minutes. After 15 years of hideous life-sucking, aneurysm-inducing commutes to the East Side, this is a very big deal (ouch — I just worked out the math on that, and it seems I've actually spent one whole year of my life on the road between Seattle and Kirkland-Redmond-Bellevue-Factoria).

The one downside is that it takes every ounce of my precious mental fluids just to keep up with these people, and thus suffers the after-hours blogging. Apologies for that.

Do take a peek at some of these excellent Wetpaint wikis. (If I spend my days on sites like these, it can't be that jobby a job-type job, can it?)


Tuesday, January 1

Happy 2008

And good riddance to 2007!

If nothing else, 2008 holds the following prospects:
  • A new job, brimming with possiblilities.
  • My son's first steps, and first words.
  • The end of George W. Bush's so-called presidency.

On all counts, Hallelujah! And bring it on.

Monday, December 17

Creatures are stirring, and they ain't mice

Rats. We have rats in our house. Already they have destroyed several items of Maus's (sigh) cookware, infected a large cabinet, and locked down the attic (the insulation up there looks like a giant poppyseed cake). Plus, one of them has completely ruined a major appliance. Major.

We've already purchased a replacement which arrives tomorrow. The plan is to fill the old one with cheese to get as many rats in it as possible before the Albert Lee guys haul it away.

Shmool has taken no action as of yet, though we can hardly fault him as his recent ailments have really taken the wind out of his sails. When I try to explain the situation to him, he gazes back at me with Dubya's My Pet Goat face. Sad.

We did call in a professional hit squad, and the house now has more booby-traps than the Cube. (I avoid them by staying in one room as much as possible.)

The cavalcade of grandparents begins this week, so over and out for the holidays. See you on the other side (in the big black of January).

I leave you with this broad face and little round belly, that shakes when he laughs, like a bowl full of jelly: