Friday, July 27, 2007

Seattle Times! Again!

I wrote this article that was on the front page of the Northwest Life section today. It's my new ideas for Seafair, Seattle interminable and nebulous summer fiesta. My favorite part: the awesometacular illustrations.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Acting Career Resumed!

Well, kind of. The Weekly asked me to read some actual incident reports from bus drivers. They're posted here. I'm joined by luminaries like Jonathan Raban and Tess Gallagher, both of whom sound like they're trapped at the bottom of a well. A well that's made of steel. Someone should go rescue them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Am Become Media

Yesterday marked my debut in The Seattle Times with an article about my search for the soul of Federal Way. It's a lot of the same smart-alecky jokes I've been making since I lived there but with hopefully some coherent writing. I especially love the stock photo they found of the "Federal Shopping Way" sign being taken apart. I have kind of a giddy thrill about being in The Seattle Times since it was the paper we used to get when I was a kid and so it really feels like I've accomplished something. I'm going to be writing for them some more.

Torch-wielding Federal Waynians should be arriving at my door by the end of the day.

Also, I hosted this past weekend's Weekend America and did a fun story about how Hillary Clinton can be more likeable and then I use that advice on my own life by trying to get KUOW folks to like me. To no avail.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dear Indy Hipster Coffee Shop Near Where I Work,

I think our relationship is broken. It just isn't a two-way street like it's supposed to be. It's not about OUR needs. It's become only about you. Well, you and my money, that is.

Look, I know you have a lot on your mind lately, what with the play you're directing at the tiny theater, the band you may or may not be in, and your busy scowling schedule, but maybe when I come by you could sometimes look at me with a hint of welcome. Like I'm not a burden. Maybe you could treat me like the one who brings the money, and really the activity, into this relationship. Because that's what I am.

In fact, there are some things you do that just seem hostile. Like $2.25 for a bagel. A bagel. A. Bagel. And this whole drip coffee coming up on two bucks thing. That's just passive aggressive.

I think you have a lot of anger, Indy Hipster Coffee Shop Near Where I Work. It takes the form of self-consciously rejecting the dominant Starbucks paradigm but I think it's much more personal than that. As you point your finger at Starbucks, please note all those other fingers on your hand pointing back at you.

I went to see Starbucks this morning. It was nice to me. Asked how I was doing. Got a little pushy about its taste for Paul McCartney but that's no biggie. It had cleaned up around the place. Swept. Maybe got some cleaning solutions out. Looked like it had been working out. Had the New York Times available instead of shabbily stacked back issues of The Stranger. This is what I want, Indy Hipster Coffee Shop Near Where I Work.

Look, we'll still see each other around. I'm in the neighborhood. You're definitely in the neighborhood. And I'd love to stay in touch and meet up some time. Just not for coffee.

Your friend,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Keep Forgetting To Tell You Guys

I write for MSN sometimes. Music articles mostly. The latest one is about what I call Bands of the Living Dead, who keep putting out records long after you thought they broke up.

On 7/22, the Seattle Times will publish my investigation of whether Federal Way has soul.
A Joke From Charlie (Age 6)

Why did the amoeba drift around?
Because nothing had been invented yet! It's the beginning of life!

A Joke From Kate (Age 4), Who Is Trying To Keep Up

Knock knock
(who's there?)
(Pom who?)
Pom! I'm an amoeba! I'm drifting around! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sometimes You Just Do Something That Takes A Lot Out Of You

I've been in St Paul this week (yes, everyone's nice, no, I have no plans to move here unless the Vikings are serious about that punting job) and I've been hosting Weekend America.

I've been really interested in the way people live with music lately. It's what I really want to be writing about. And on this week's show, I did a little exploration of the shuffle setting on the computer and how it relates to myself, my wife, my kids, and also how it relates to my late brother and late father. Thanks to some outstanding editing and sound mixing, I think it turned out really well. I think it's beautiful, actually. I'm very proud of it even though it's very hard to listen for me personally.

Anyway, here it is. Audio is either up there now or will be soon depending on when you listen. Don't be deterred by The Wiggles. There's more to it than that.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Update on Friendliness of St Paul Baristas

BARISTA: "Hey Dave, how was that run you did? Did you go the same way."
(PRESUMABLY) DAVE: "No, we went a different way this time but hoo boy I got tired."

In St Paul again. Thunder and lightning. Wind. Evenings not so devastatingly hot as I had feared.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Conversation With Charlie (Age 6) About Six

We're in the car listening, as always, to Movin' 92.5 and the song "Let's Talk About Sex" by Salt-n-Pepa comes on.
HIM: Turn it up! I love this song!
JILL: (worried look)
ME: (singing along) Let's talk about six, baby, let's talk about you and me.
HIM: What are they saying?
JILL: They're talking about six. All the good things and the bad things that can be.
ME: Having to go to school all day but also learning to swim.
JILL: (singing) Let's talk ABOUT six, let's talk about six!
ME: So no wonder you like this song.
HIM: Yeah!

And THAT is some serious bad-ass parenting, y'all!
My Wife...

thinks Modest Mouse sounds like The Cure. "It's total new wave", she says. But she's wrong and crazy, isn't she?

I thought so.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


It's been a while since I posted a new one of these but I wanted to make sure I delivered quality.


"Can you pretend you're Grandma just once and give us whatever we want?"



"Make sure you stop a car with a roof rack."


The shadowy men of Herman (which one is Herman, by the way?) are back with their odd Grandma fixations. This time they're lurking in the bushes. And it's the use of first person plural that's troubling. How many are there? And what's involved with the chair? What do they want the elderly hitchhiker to give them that Grandma normally provides? Solace? Are they still so inconsolable after the death of Grandma (presumably decades ago) that they now live in the shrubs near her house, hoarding her old furniture? It's literally a cry for help.

Dolly and Jeffy have had enough of living in their house. The dotted line paths wherever they travel, the dog named Barfy, the inhuman hauntings of Not Me and Dead Grandpa In Heaven. Screw it. They're taking off. Too young to drive, they've demanded Mommy perform a carjacking. And they're taking the damn fridge. There's still some perfectly good pasketti in there.