Tag Archives: seattle

The Safety of Smoke & Mirrors

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Much has been said about the clusterfuckery that came to Charlottesville this week, and more will be coming down the pipeline. I think it’s safe to say, as a progressive woman of color, that I stand firmly on America’s Team Punch-A-Nazi, even if I haven’t personally punched one myself. I blame arthritic hands and a tendency to turtle in times of stress.

The world seems crazy now. I know we’re only supposed to use that word in the correct context, but I think in this case, I am. I frequently ask myself if this is real life and then wonder if I really just said that. I carefully clip the shadow of fear from my spine every morning, even though it grows back stronger throughout the day. I’m an online agent of mass punctuation, grinding out worried exclamation points and throwing them in every direction, 24/7. This is my new normal.

Two things that fascinate me in America’s Fascism Reboot are storytelling and safety.

Everyone thinks their reality is the real authentic one. Because of this, I’m amazed that people agree on anything at all. To back up their reality, which is surely the best reality on the market, they will tell themselves a story. You can be a bleeding heart liberal, a diehard libertarian, a straight-up Nazi, or someone who doesn’t give a shit about this country; every day, we tell ourselves stories, backed by information from our favorite storytelling sites – New York Times, Fox News, Stormfront, your weird Uncle Pete – and then we tell those stories to others. We are a nation of storytellers, barely listening to each other.

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What Is The Evergrey?

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It’s not this.

-Seattle singles meetup for people over 60

-University of Washington meteorology-psychology blog about weather and depression

-Craft cocktail bar located in the heart of Georgetown and sister to Pioneer Square’s ‘Damn the Weather’

-Seattle’s first built-green community and bold new approach to apartment micro-living in partnership with Amazon’s real estate arm, Amazoned

-Seattle’s on-the-rise gothic metal band singing everyone’s favorite hits from the Nineties and beyond

-A new CW series following the Tech Rich Kids of Instagram — featuring the extravagant lifestyles of the Evergrey twins, who will stop at nothing in their rise to the top

-Favorite ice cream flavor of The Queen of England: two-parts Earl Grey tea, one-part orange blossom, one-part vanilla bean

-Subreddit group dedicated to The Nothing in a Netflix original documentary about fanatics of The Neverending Story

-Popular Instagram account for people rocking grey hair at any age

-A fictional disease on Game of Thrones

-A comprehensive daily Seattle newsletter written by two kickass women about staying connected to a city that’s currently on steroids

If you guessed the last one, you’re correct; if you guessed any of the others, how will you look at yourself in the mirror from this day forward?

To anyone coming from The Evergrey today, or perhaps my Facebook announcement, I shout hello through this series of complicated tubes *shakes fist at Al Gore* and look forward to shouting in person.

I’m excited to be facilitating The Everygrey’s newly-announced writing group, beginning January 2017. The application deadline is December 31, 2016 — my wedding anniversary, in fact, where we will be out and about having legendary adventures in every corner of Seattle*.

*or: pizza, pajamas, a Westworld marathon, sawing logs the size of Ents before midnight

For those who came here wondering what my deal is before applying, take the leap! What do you have to lose besides four limbs, a car, and part of your Roth IRA? At the very least, connections will be made and you’ll get some time to workshop your writing. At best, we’ll create a nude writing group calendar for charity and Ellen will invite us on her show and we’ll get famous for like four minutes and then you know she’ll give someone a car (pleasebeme). Ellen’s always trying to out-Oprah herself. I’d like to be there when she finally succeeds.

My leadership qualifications include: I read the first two chapters of Infinite Jest and know all the words to Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’. A strong voice. An open mind. Dated a guy who ran for high school president and won.

As for the structure of our writing group, I’m thinking something like The Voice in that it’s exactly like The Voice. Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Country Guy, and I will sit in our rotating plastic Tron chairs and judge you. Finally, a job that plays to my strengths.

I look forward to working with a great group of people, whatever circus parade we decide on! Let’s stay in touch like we met five weeks ago at miniature horse camp:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | what’s a newspaper

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Take Me To There

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“We are a plague on the Earth.” -David Attenborough

All night I thought, “Marika, get your ass up, turn on your computer, and write DoYoReHoBloMo: Day 18!” but I couldn’t because of fleece sheets and David Attenborough and reasons.

Of course I mean Sir David Attenborough, international sex symbol and notable human treasure, the narrative voice for the world around us and for those who cannot speak — like rivers, tomatoes, volcanoes, and cats, among other incredible things. I started watching Planet Earth Part 2 last night and could. not. stop.

I’ve been a superfan of every Attenborough globe-trotting project throughout the years. I remember watching The Private Life of Plants with my parents and realizing how little I knew about everything on the planet — and that one was just about plants. I watched episodes of Planet Earth back-to-back, immersed in the world we live in but one that’s brighter, more beautiful, and terribly savage. If we’d watched stuff like that in school, I think it would have been inspiring (at least inspirational enough for me to go). Instead, it was always some bullshit afterschool special where you always knew the answer: Don’t be a bully like Travis, a pushover like Nancy, a bad girl like Rhonda. Later on in life, Travis probably comes out of the closet, poor Nancy joins a cult, and Rhonda becomes your favorite stoner friend who gets you discounts at the yoga studio.

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Employment Tails

I know people who do interesting things for money, and by that I mean employment beyond a TPS report-based occupation in a cubicle. Those are what I call jobby-jobs. What I’m talking about is this scenario:

Me: What do you do?

Guy: Oh, I’m a [cat portraitist/fake executive/Prancercise instructor/professional stunt cock].

Me: I know there are stories! TELL ME YOUR STORIES.

I love a good work story, provided your work is a little bit bonkers.

One guy I know snowboards for a living, another one blogs about booze. There’s the family friend who was CEO of Court TV; a medical marijuana dispensary owner; and the head of a mental institution. I’ve met an actual rocket scientist (a guy who made “being a dick” his secondary job), and a veteran soap actor on Young & The Restless (nicest guy ever).

I know a performance artist who scares the shit out of me, and a professional drag queen who makes even the smallest thing (things like dressing, pooping, driving to Starbucks) look like a Pride Parade on the 4th of July. And their work stories! Part genius, part insanity.

Some of my friends have earned nicknames for their interesting jobs: The Button Beast, Mr. Anti-Drug, The Ugly One, P-Waxa.

The Ugly One used to work for Deja Vu – “100 Beautiful Girls & 3 Ugly Ones!” – and yes, she was one of the uggos. Her stories gave me what can only be described as ‘rollicking pleasure Tourette’s.’ She traveled all over the country blessing the Deja Vu chain with her very special talents: Being a 5 in the Looks Department and a 10 in the Body Department. She shook her ass all the way through a Master’s Degree in Psychology, and now has one of those jobby-jobs.

Mr. Anti-Drug is a guy who makes his living off of white tech guys who are into cocaine. What sets him apart from other drug dealers is that he’s totally into AA; he’s been sober for probably 10 years now. He drives an electric car, has a nice family, likes hiking and soccer, and sells drugs to pay the mortgage. The stories I love are his varied responses (read: lies) to the question, “So what do you do for a living?”

The Button Beast actually gets paid to, yes, collect buttons. She deals in antiques and rarities – still, buttons only – meaning she meets some kooky characters while being one herself. She told me a story once about a $4,000 button she found in a Manhattan attic that belonged to a historical figure; that button is in a museum now.

I happen to work with P-Waxa. She’s an esthetician who specializes in Brazilian waxing, and sees more front parlors in one day than most men will see in a lifetime. One day, after lunch, I heard her call my name from the waxing room.

P-Waxa: Psst! C’mere!

Me: What’s up?

P-Waxa: Dude, check out my delicious junk!

If you’ve never had the pleasure of a co-worker saying “Did you see my labia today? YO-LO!” in the middle of your job while pointing at their vagina, you should probably get a new job because it’s seriously awesome.

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When Walrus Met Carpenter

Fluffiest, cheesiest, winningest polenta

It’s not rocket science. It’s polenta, goat cheese, basil, and tomatoes. Total no-brainer; of course these things go together. Of course they do. And yet somehow I’d never experienced this combination before. The polenta was light and fluffy; the cheese dense but forgiving. The tomatoes burst with acidic flavor, a melty pot of tangy sweet and my grandmother’s garden.

At The Walrus & The Carpenter, they serve nice little meals. They offer drinks that have exotic, unrecognizable booze in them. They serve Coho salmon and in-house smoked trout. They prepare interesting oysters at a bar that looks like Nantucket-Northwest chic, minus the actual chic. It’s simple, and I loved the chandelier.

Plus the rock star reviews.

But I married that polenta, forever and for always. I committed my foreseeable future to that reasonably-priced vegetarian dish. And that’s saying something since I’ll eat anything with a nervous system or a smile.

The second time I visited The Walrus & The Carpenter, with my esteemed food partner, Fox, I was determined to reunite with my polenta domestic partner. But like so many new restaurants these days, the menu had changed, as it often does daily. That allows for greater flexibility in the kitchen, plus fresher fish and ingredients, but I was slightly disappointed…for about two seconds. The new menu was equally intriguing, i.e.; FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS.

I wouldn’t classify myself as a ‘Brussel sprouts’ person, but ‘Fried’ is the spirit name of my old, fatty heart — so when I saw them on the menu, my first fleeting thought was ‘Oh! A fried something-or-other!’ I can’t remember what else was on the sprouts besides salt (butter? olive oil?), but I swear on a stack of Martha’s special issue magazines that I liked them more than french fries. MORE THAN FRENCH FRIES. Why aren’t we introducing our children to this phenomenon? If they had some of these, they might be willing to try other veggies.

Then again, I felt like I’d somehow earned that bowl of Brussels sprouts, like they were my reward for eating the grody un-fun ones when I was a defiant little girl-eater. If you visit, and the restaurant has them, demand an order or five.

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