Tag Archives: seattle

Lunch at Din Thai Fung…

Their orders were brought to the table — juicy pork dumplings, spicy shrimp and pork wonton, chicken rice cakes, and an order of vegetable dumplings Sara had mostly to herself. Cindy cheerfully tried half of one so Sara wouldn’t feel left out of the family style lunch.

“Ken’s into trivia,” Cindy said to Jane, “so maybe we could do that sometime with you and Chris.”

“Yeah, totally.” Jane mixed vinegar, soy sauce, and wasabi as if conducting a delicate chemistry experiment. “But we don’t wanna become boring couples, ya know? I just love hangin’ with my gals.” She spooned the mixture onto a juicy pork dumpling and asked Sara, “Have you read ‘Bold’?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Well, it’s an awesome book, and everyone is reading it. ”

“What’s it about?”

“It’s a memoir, so it’s not like fiction or anything that can be aggressive with plot and themes. This reads real natural, like you’re just texting with the author. It starts out with her losing everything — she got canned at this business journal she edited. It’s tough for a few weeks, but she manages to get a consulting gig, and since she’s not tied down or anything with kids, she decides to work remotely from Italy for a year. That’s where the title comes from. It’s about her journey of self discovery.”

“What does she discover?” Sara asked with polite skepticism.

“First, that she really likes Italy. You’ve been, right?”

Sara said she had. Cindy confessed she hadn’t: “I’ve always wanted to. My brothers and sister all spent a semester in Florence.”

Jane took the last spicy shrimp wonton. “OK, so you’ve at least heard enough to get the gist. The whole Tuscan country side life. She stayed in a friend’s place there. But she was otherwise all on her own. Then she met this Italian guy in a farmer’s market and they wound up getting married and running a vineyard together. I’ve had their wine. It’s not Napa but it’s pretty good.” She glanced at her phone, which sat beside her on the table like a fourth guest. “Oh, sorry, chickadees, I have to bounce. You know my friend Jess? She’s director of sales and channels at Amazon. She invited me to her two year old’s birthday party — or is the kid two all ready and is turning three?” She shrugged as she stood. “Doesn’t matter. My gift still works. Anyway, I have to go. They see me as family, really. I got her into Greenlake. It took some doing. And she’s super grateful. She’s also the first of her friends to buy a real home. So you want to maintain the connections. But it’s a bear. There’s never any women to talk to at these things — just mothers.”

— from “The Wrong Questions”

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Posted by on August 5, 2017 in The Wrong Questions


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Copywriting Fails…



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This Old House…

The following week, a few days after her thirty-eighth birthday, Cindy Prior asked Sara to meet her at the corner of 20th and Cherry, just a few blocks from where Sara worked. They walked together over cracked and buckled sidewalk down a row of distraught houses. When they reached a faded yellow-brown bungalow, Cindy swung open her arms as if to embrace it.

“Ta-da!” Cindy’s enthusiasm only confused Sara until she added, “It’s mine! It’s my house!” She fished a set of keys from her khakis. “We can go inside and everything!”

They entered through the kitchen, which seemed like it had served the previous owner more as a mud room. The refrigerator was avocado green, and the stove the grisly scene of perhaps one aborted attempt at a meal.

“Everything’s original, and there’s a lot of potential,” Cindy said, quoting her real estate agent and friend Jane Hind. Sara heard more of Jane’s euphemistic descriptions — “classy lines,” “unique,” “old Seattle” — as Cindy escorted her through the house. Off the kitchen were two small bedrooms, one putatively the master but by too small a degree to lord over the other. Instead of a showcase interior, the perfect idealized moment in home owning captured for display, the front room looked as if people arguing about money had left suddenly and violently.

“My lease isn’t up at the Wallingford apartment until the end of the year,” Cindy said, “so you don’t have to feel any rush to leave. And, you know, you can always stay here… once it’s ready for me… or us…  to move in. I mean, I know you wanted your own place.”

Sara was only interested in privacy. She’d legally owned two houses with Matt, but she could never maintain a quiet space in either of them.

“Have you had the property inspected?” Sara asked.

“Yeah, Jane has been super helpful. She referred me to a friend of hers who handled it for a fair price.”

“It’s quite a purchase,” Sara said delicately, because the tattered residence was still likely beyond Cindy’s reach, at least on her own.

“My dad loaned me money for the down payment,” she confessed, “… a big part, to be honest… well, all of it, actually. He won’t even consider it a loan. He was so thrilled to help. When I discussed it with him, he just laughed and said, ‘Sure, Captain! You’ve never asked for anything.’”

“You never asked him to stop calling you Captain?” Sara wondered.

“Now you have to see this!” Cindy pushed open the front door, which rattled uneasily on its hinges and revealed a sweeping wraparound porch. “It’s my favorite part of the whole house.” She stopped to look at Sara with consoling eyes. “I’m sorry. This doesn’t bother you, does it?”

Sara cocked her blonde head, considering. “No, I like porches.”

“Oh, I mean, well, your old house had that spectacular porch. I was so peanut butter jealous whenever I came over.” Cindy pulled on her rusty curls like someone trying to straighten lopsided blinds. “But, you know, ‘isn’t that nice?’ jealous not Corinthians jealous.”

“Right,” Sara replied. She had lived in the house on 17th and Prospect for almost a decade, but the day she left, it just felt like checking out of a luxury hotel after a long stay. “I still like porches,” she reassured Cindy.

The swing had left with a past occupant, and orphaned twin chains hung from the ceiling, no longer securing anything. Sara gripped them briefly as if building momentum to propel herself to the knee wall, where she sat and looked out over the faded, ragged lawn.

“So, what do you think?” Cindy zipped and unzipped her down vest as she sat next to Sara. “Do you like the place? Should I keep it?”

Sara frowned. “I thought you’d already bought it.” The closest Sara’s voice came to alarm was when she learned she’d proceeded into a discussion while misunderstanding its key premise.

“Yeah, I have!” Cindy still glowed with the pleasure from her impulsiveness. “But Jane said I have three business days from the closing to kill the deal without penalty.”

Jane usually joked to her clients that this period was the “first trimester of the sale,” but she’d correctly guessed that Cindy wouldn’t appreciate the humor.

“I don’t think my opinion is as relevant as yours,” Sara said.

“Oh, but it is! Maybe even more so. I’m too close to this. It’s like being in love.” Cindy had no personal example to illustrate her point, so instead she said, “When Tim brought home Cyndi, he said he didn’t know how right she was until he saw how much we all loved her. So, you see, it’s really important to me to know how you feel.”

What Sara felt right now was the sudden force of Cindy hurling a decision at her like a medicine ball. She caught her breath and started to speak into her steepled fingers.

“Well,” she said, “this is only my casual observation, but it seems to me the house is in a significant state of disrepair. The exterior paint is peeling and mildewed. The basement is damp. The flooring in the front room will need to be replaced and the sloping addressed. There’s black mold in the bathroom. There’s a steady leak from the roof into the first bedroom. The second has a smell I can’t identify, but it’s possible something died behind one of the walls in the closet.”

“Oh, sure,” Cindy agreed with the trusting reliance of a blind woman being led across a four-lane highway. “But there’s a nice-sized dining room. I could put a real table in there, and I’m already dreaming up all the fun meals I could serve.”

Cindy loved to entertain but it was unrequited. Her apartment was too small; its location not ideal, so she was always a guest and never a hostess. She patted the knee wall, which coughed up dust. “Can’t you imagine sitting out here on a nice day with a beer?” Remembering who she was talking to, she added, “… or a lemonade? Or barbecuing in the backyard?”

“The grass in the backyard is run down and sparse,” Sara noted, “and where there’s no grass, there’s mud and large holes. I think the previous owners had dogs — probably German Shepherds based on the dirt path around the fence.”

Cindy perched her chin on her folded hands. “They’re very happy running in circles, aren’t they?” She spoke as if she saw the former canine tenants romping through the backyard. “Not really going anyplace.”

“I don’t think happiness is what they feel,” Sara said. “They’re just reacting on instinct.”

“Oh, you’re probably right,” Cindy conceded without a struggle, “but I hope that’s not true. Even if they tore up the yard, I’d hate for them to be unhappy.”

“But they’re not unhappy,” Sara stressed, “because they don’t worry about being happy. That’s how they can experience joy.”

Cindy smiled at Sara as though she’d shared something intimate and profound.  “I think this place could be my joy,” she declared, waving her hands in front of the house as if performing an illusion. “It’s like my Charlie Brown tree.”

She’d interpreted Sara’s words as something far different than what was intended, but rather than correct her, Sara chose to bolster her optimism with practicality.

“Most of what I described can be repaired,” Sara said. “It would just take some work.”

“And love!” Cindy added, but Sara, who’d been in love, wasn’t sure how the emotion could combat black mold.

“I think,” Sara said after a moment, “ ‘some work’ might be less accurate than ‘a lot of work.’”

“Well, you probably know more about all this than I do,” Cindy said. “You’ve been through it all before when you moved into… the place on 17th.”

“Not really,” Sara said. “Matt just hired someone. There were always people whose job it was to come to us with options. They never provided clarity, just more choices, which I believe Matt secretly enjoyed — anything to delay an actual decision. I remember all this discussion over the color of an accent wall in the den. It eventually wound up being…” She realized she couldn’t remember. “Blue… I think.” She squinted, as if trying to see the wall in her mind. “Maybe purple.”

“Aubergine,” Cindy said quickly. “I loved how the wall provided contrast but didn’t clash with the purple exterior of the house.”

“I thought the exterior was blue,” Sara said, pausing to process this new fact. Perhaps nothing in her life had ever been blue. “See, I’m obviously of no help to you in that area. But I’m happy to assist with…” She started to say “things that matter” but if accent walls mattered to Cindy, she didn’t want to impose her own views on the subject. She walked over to the swing chains. “You know, I used to build things. When I lived with Adam and Barbara, we mowed our own lawn, cooked our own meals, fixed things around the house — not because we had to, but because we wanted to. It’s so peaceful, in a way, to just focus on a simple task without the distraction of needless complexity.”

Cindy lightly fingered the peeling paint, and flush with excitement, she whispered to Sara, “I’m thinking this would look great as a nice, deep blue gray.”

“OK,” Sara said, smiling. She wasn’t moved by the choice of color, nor did she find it “nautical” and “serene” as Cindy described, but it pleased her that the decision was made quickly and with so little fuss.

“I’m not married to it, of course,” Cindy said, although she’d had her heart set on the color after first seeing the house.

Sara cocked her head again. “Well, I wouldn’t think so. It’s only paint.” Loose, leathery sheets came off with her touch. “When can we start?

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Posted by on November 18, 2015 in The Wrong Questions



Kay’s Burgers and Fries…

It was the fourth of July, and everyone was celebrating elsewhere. Kay’s Burgers and Fries, on Cherry Street in Seattle, was a small brick building between a dumpster and a beauty supply store that was rarely open. The owner of the establishment leaned across the counter from Sara and scanned her application like it was the Sunday crossword. The waitress, who was nine months into her twenties and six months into her first pregnancy, sat with her feet up at a round metal table and stared out the window that looked out onto the dumpster.

“What do you wanna wait tables for, Richter?” Kay called everyone by their last names. It was a habit she’d picked up from her late husband, who’d served in the Marines during Vietnam. A framed Polaroid of him in front of a flat-top grill hung on the wall.

“I don’t,” Sara said, and a frown further creased Kay’s nicotine-etched face. She continued, reassuring Kay that she wasn’t wasting her time. “I’m answering your posting for a cook.”

Sara’s voice was deep and placid, but it rippled slightly when she expressed her need for a job. It was the first time in her thirty-six years that she’d had a definite need for anything.

“Oh, right, I put out something for both. I got two waitresses ready to hatch.” Kay pulled a pencil from behind her ear and started to scribble on the application. “Can you work late afternoons, nights? We close at 11.”

“Yes,” Sara replied, nodding, “I’ll work anytime at all.”

“You’ll work Jewish holidays?” Kay raised her head and looked over Sara. She was tall and blonde with high cheekbones and large blue eyes. “I suppose that won’t affect you, but I just like to be upfront. This is a business: We’re open every day but Christmas.”

“I understand,” Sara said. “I’d actually like to work long hours.”

Kay grabbed Sara’s hands. They were firm, thin, and unmarked, without even the mild irritation from wearing rings.

“Well,” Kay said after a moment’s careful study, “you’ve either never worked a day in your life or you’re pretty good.” She tapped her on the knuckles. “All right, come with me and we’ll sort you out.”

Kay took Sara through a pair of swinging doors into the kitchen. It was clean but cramped with barely enough room for the cook, who Kay introduced as her son Kevin. He quickly straightened himself to match Sara’s height and wobbled slightly on the leg he’d injured in Iraq. The wound was self-inflicted, much like the war itself, but accidental, so there were no medals or honors, just an early release home. When he returned, he started working for his mother. “Just temporary,” he insisted then and even now to Sara. “Until I can find something else…” He gestured grandly at the undefined dreams that lay somewhere over Sara’s shoulder. “You know, with some opportunity.”

“Yeah, good luck,” Kay snapped, and her son slumped back to his normal, unadjusted five feet nine inches. She lamented to Sara with a shrug, “I had him late. I was barely thirty, and I spoiled him, as you can see.”

Kevin insisted he hadn’t been spoiled. He even did his own laundry and cleaned the bathroom twice a month. (Kay, it seemed, was both his employer and roommate.)

Sara raised her hand. “Excuse me. I think you wanted to ‘sort me out’?”

“Right!” Kay snapped her thick fingers. “Show her how we make a burger, honey.”

Kevin, his face reddening, grumbled under his breath in undecipherable protest over Kay’s calling him “honey” in front of another woman, especially one he hoped to impress. Most men either subtly or overtly tried to impress Sara. She’d been the audience for an unending series of auditions ever since she left Pennsylvania eighteen years ago.

“We do just two things here — burgers and fries,” Kay said. “The fries anyone can learn, but if you can’t cook a burger right the first time, there’s no helping you.”

“Eighty-twenty ground chuck,” Kevin said, forming two patties between the palms of his hands. “All our burgers are the same size — no tall, no venti, no grande… just large.” Pleased with his own clevernesses, he offered Sara a smile, which she accepted patiently.

— from The Wrong Questions

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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in The Wrong Questions


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The Seattle Box

Sara had wandered to the outskirts of the North Courtyard. Her arms crossed behind her, she silently soaked in the weeping lace leaf maple and moist ferns. After a while, she felt the crunch of high heels pressing into the gravel path, and Gina’s voice tapped her forcefully on the shoulder.
“There you are, Miss Sara.” Dark eyes scanned the floppy spruce trees covered in stiff, square needles. “It’s pretty,” she said with respect to her friend, who found something in the outdoors that forever eluded Gina — like the Easter egg hunts of her childhood that she avoided because she might stain her dress. “I brought you something you could eat.” She held a plate loaded with pasta, kale, and squash, and wrapped in cellophane. “I noticed the caterers bungled your meal. You know, I’ve come to expect a certain level of incompetence around here.” She cast a backhanded wave of the gardens as if the spruce were responsible for the mishap. “But this really dills my pickle.”

“Thank you,” Sara replied, “but I just had some of Cindy’s cake.” 
“Oh… that… thing.” She squeezed the knife resting on her plate. “I thought it was a little too spongy, thick, and syrupy. Where is Cindy now?”
“She went back inside with Jane.”
“Ah…” Gina set the plate on the bronze head of a Native American girl that looked like she was sticking out her tongue. “So have you heard from Matt?”
It occurred to Sara that she and Gina talked more about Matt now than before she’d left him, but perhaps that was because when he was her husband, he was a settled issue, a matter of fact they could put aside while they discussed other things.
“Yes, early this week. He wants me to have the house.” Sara also added, as if reading directly from a formal document, an exact dollar amount, which startled even Gina with its magnitude. 
“I’m so relieved,” Gina said breathlessly, as though she’d successfully fled a grizzly. “I’m glad you won’t have to worry about money. I didn’t think Matt would be petty about the settlement.”
“I don’t want it.”
“The house? Oh, it’s full of memories, I know, but that can be overcome. It’s also a Seattle Box, which is harder to move past. Still, you don’t even have to think about it until you’re ready. You have a deep cushion, so you can…”
“I’m not taking his money, either.”
Gina reached up and flicked away something that buzzed near Sara’s honey-blonde hair. “It’s your money, too,” she stated.
Sara folded her arms, and although she never slouched, she managed to stand even straighter.
“No. It’s not. I didn’t earn it.”
“Neither did Matt!” Gina snorted. “Don’t be prideful. That’s how Atlanta wound up an ashtray.” 

“It’s not about pride,” Sara insisted. “You didn’t take money from your parents for grad school or for your home or for…”

Rubbing her eyes with her fists, Gina broke in, “I had a job!”

“So do I.”
“Honey, any vocation where you leave dirtier than when you showed up is not worth discussing. You’re better than that.”
“This isn’t philosophy class! Now, I have tried not to meddle, but there’s a limit to how long I can stand by while you come down with the crazy pants! Whatever Matt might have done or didn’t do is not worth you ruining your life! Just. Take. The. Money! Consider it an extremely favorable fee for your release from the marriage. Matt will feel better about the whole thing knowing you’re not sleeping in your car.”

“That’s not his concern anymore!” Sara realized she’d addressed the emotional instead of the practical: “And I don’t have a car. Besides, no matter what, the divorce is finalized in thirty-seven days.”

“Unless he contests it.”

“He can’t.” Sara’s lips puckered from the sour taste of her words. “OK. Yes, I know he can legally, but that was never the agreement we made. We both have to choose to stay together.”

“You’re expecting logic from a man you’re divorcing,” Gina said, shaking her head. “You’re expecting logic from a man.”

“Matt will respect my decision.”

Gina pressed her hands together as if at prayer.

“I hear you. Look, accepting the settlement… taking what you are owed… doesn’t mean you  have to keep it. Well, all of it, I mean. Choose your favorite charity. Give to the poor. Just don’t become one of them.”
Sara squinted, and her tongue probed the back of her mouth, as if working to dislodge a logical inconsistency wedged between her teeth. 

“Have you ever been poor?”

Gina drew back as if Sara had struck her.

“No! Of course not! No one in my family has.” 

“Then how do you know it’s worse than this?” Sara flung her arm in the direction of the reception. “How do you know anything about it?” She moved in close to Gina. “Haven’t you noticed how terrified everyone you know is of not having enough? And the more they have, the more they’re afraid of losing. It never ends.”
“Is this when you ask me to hit you as hard as I can?” Gina asked, her hands on her hips. “I’m sorry. I’m being flip, but you’re acting like a little boy. They run around pretending to be ninjas or bass players because they’re living in a fantasy world. Girls play with well-dressed dolls and fancy houses, because they know what’s real!”
— from “The Wrong Questions”



Scene from a baby shower…

April 15, 2007

The women gathered in Sara and Matt’s living room where waves of “oohs” and “awes” crashed and settled around the furniture as the presents were opened. Dana and Gina perched regally in identical high-backed wing chairs separated by the wood-burning fireplace. Sara had pulled a club chair next to Gina, and she jotted down in a legal pad pressed against her thigh a description of each gift and the guest responsible for it. Cindy’s handwriting was easier to read, but Sara was more detailed-oriented and didn’t punctuate her sentences with smiley faces, so Gina had delegated the administrative task to her.

Dana Cody retrieved a digital camera from her bag and handed it to Cindy, who sat on the four-cushioned sofa opposite her with Abby, Brenda, Margaret, and Jane.

“Could you please take a quick photo of me and my baby sister?” she asked, as if suddenly remembering to have her parking validated.

Wiping her hands on a pink napkin, Cindy put down her plate of food and accepted the assignment graciously.

Dana draped a threadbare arm around Gina, and they posed with her shower gift: A pink onesie with the image of an American flag, of which Gina approved, and a blue-tinted donkey with the words “Tiny Democrat” smeared underneath. Gina’s pert nose scrunched up at the sight, as if her unborn child had already soiled herself while wearing it. The sour expression became instantly cordial with a click of the camera, but her posture remained stiff and formal, like a celebrity posing with a slightly repellent fan at a convention.

“Thank you, Dana,” Gina said, handing off the onesie to Sara with the tip of her fingers. “Not on the registry,” she whispered.

Gina considered the Afghan Whigs tee-shirt Tom and Dana gave her two year old benign enough for one polite photo before being banished to the attic. This onesie, however, would never come in contact with her child. The socialism might seep into the skin.

Dana patted her sister-in-law on her trousered knee.

“Regina doesn’t mind if Tom and I put our liberal stamp on our nieces, right?” She then said, with brittle laughter, to the rest of the group, “We used to call Regina ‘Alexis P. Keaton’.”

Gina moved a strand of wavy blonde hair from one end of her forehead to the other. As a child, she’d developed this habit as a polite replacement for eye rolling.

“Why?” Sara asked.

Attributing Sara’s lack of recognition to their seven-year age difference, Dana kindly explained to her the premise of the TV series Family Ties.

“Progressive politics runs in my family,” she continued. “I’m related to Rebecca Felton on my mother’s side.”

The other women were more familiar with Alex Keaton, so Dana proudly declared, “She was the first woman senator.”

Sara reached for the sterling silver tea service, a gift for the occasion from Matt’s mother, and started to pour herself a cup of Darjeeling.

“She served for just one day.”

“Oh, you’ve heard of her?”

“Yes,” Sara replied as she diverted a stream of her cool blonde hair from the path of hot tea. “She was a slave owner and white supremacist who supported the lynching of Sam Hose in 1899. He was dismembered and burned alive. His knuckles were sold at Atlanta grocery stores.”

Jane Hind slowly and dramatically lowered her dish containing an untouched lady finger onto the coffee table.

“Well, we don’t talk about that,” Dana said with a rhetorical sweep of the matter under the nearest afghan. “We focus on the positive. She did a lot for the woman’s suffrage movement. That’s how history remembers her. Not the other stuff. She’s a Georgia woman of achievement. Her papers are at Athens.”

Teresa Bryan, sloshing out of a slipper chair, asked, “Greece?”

“No,” Gina clarified, “the University of Georgia. In the South, Athens means UGA and UPS means packages.”

“I dated a black guy once,” Jane announced, straightening up in her seat as though addressing the Nobel committee. The ladies’ heads snapped back from the force of the non-sequitur.

“African-American,” Brenda corrected in a nervous whisper, as if speaking louder might summon one to tea.

“Oh, she’s entitled,” Gina wryly insisted, “she gives to Save the Children.”

Wiggles sat cross-legged in rolled-up yoga pants on the floor where she wrapped a piece of smoked salmon around a cinnamon-raisin scone. Gina turned away from the sight and asked Jane, “Would you like to share with the congregation?”

“It was fine for a while, but… ” Jane had retrieved her lady finger and now wiped off crumbs from her own french-tipped fingers. “Whenever we were around babies — my friends’ kids; he never met my family — they would freak out or just stare oddly at him. It was impossible to know if it was because of… you know…” She completed the thought with a twirl of her hand. “Or if they just sensed something off about him.”

“What did you do?” Brenda asked.

“I couldn’t take any chances, you see. Five years ago, it might have been edgy, but there are more parents and kids in my social circle now. It’s like a real thing.”

Wiggles’s broad flat nose trembled in agreement.

“And he was really obsessed with race, which is kinda unfortunate in this day and age. For instance, it bothered him that I believe Michael Jackson’s a child molester but Woody Allen isn’t. I don’t even see race, but he made a big deal about it.”

“Really?” Margaret wondered. “Why? There’s like zero racism out here.”

“Yeah, it’s not like it’s the South,” Abby said, and upon the twin glare from the Cody sisters, quickly added, “You know, like, Alabama.”

— from The Wrong Questions

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Posted by on June 22, 2014 in The Wrong Questions


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Senseless in Seattle…

I met a colleague at Black Coffee Coop on Capitol Hill today, which we selected because of its mutually beneficial location. I had an event that evening and was dressed in a suit and tie, so I stood out more than I usually do in Seattle.

As the barista rang up my coffee on an iPad, I noticed some Help Wanted flyers on the counter, which violated more laws simultaneously than any random scene from The Wolf of Wall Street.


It’s illegal in Washington state to refuse to hire someone because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Diversity is a noble goal — if somewhat futile in Seattle — but you can’t achieve it through blatantly discriminatory hiring practices.

It’s less clear if you can legally base hiring decisions on political beliefs or their tolerance for being called “dude.” Personally, I think a FOX News viewer can pour my coffee and charge me too much for the privilege as well as an MSNBC viewer. It doesn’t appear relevant. Also, I imagine a good lawyer can argue that “political views” are different than party affiliation, and if they refuse to hire someone based on their views on marriage equality and abortion, they are in effect discriminating against their religious beliefs.

And a Muslim can probably pour my coffee as well as a Catholic, Jew, or atheist.


Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Social Commentary


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Not Carl Anderson Park…

Michael Harthorne writes about the “struggling” Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill, Seattle.

“Cal Anderson really functions as the backyard for so many Capitol Hill residents,” said Michael Wells, executive director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce. “The last thing we want is for Cal Anderson to have a reputation as a place that’s not safe for people.”

This is a backyard with “at least 11 assaults and one robbery” within the past month, which is the kind of thing you can expect when you’re lax with your landscape maintenance.

Capitol Hill Community Council member Lisa Kothari walks her dog in Cal Anderson three or four times a day… Kothari said she’s been hearing from others in the community that the park is changing, that it’s not like it was even three years ago. She said she doesn’t feel comfortable walking her dog through the park after 7 p.m.

“It’s sad,” she said. “It’s staying light out later; I should feel comfortable walking my dog until 10 or 11.”

Cal Anderson was Washington’s first openly gay legislator. He died in 1995 and Lincoln Park was renamed in his honor. Pat Robertson or Michele Bachmann might see a connection between the name change and the park’s decline, but those with a foothold in reality link it to the recent light rail construction nearby and my arrival in the neighborhood.

And now, for no logical reason, I present a clip of Carl Anderson performing “Heaven on Their Minds” on The Today Show.

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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Social Commentary


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Now time for “False Equivalency Theatre”…

20130520-154323.jpg I saw this plastered on a sign post in Capitol Hill. I guess it makes sense. I sometimes leave my loaded lesbian lying around where a small child can reach her and fire her at himself or another child. I also stockpile lesbians in the event I need to defend myself against a tyrannical government. And this country’s laughably easy access to lesbians results in a disturbing number of deaths each year.

Also, is that a bullet bracelet? What is the fashion goal here?

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Political Theatre


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