Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Horizon Used Books on 15th

Horizon Bookstore
Originally uploaded by JeanineAnderson
First time in Horizon Books and boy, what a fun surprise! There's a real maze of bookshelves inside this tiny converted house. Whimsical organization makes room for serendipity.

1. A section for "Gypsies" with one book. 2. Science Fiction anthologies two rooms away from the other Sci Fi books. 3. Auto repair next to computer-related,shelved in the kitchen. 4. Baseball, psychology, science and a ladder in that room.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Suite 100 Gallery to Move Next to Roq La Rue

Suite 100 Gallery is moving 1 block north and next to Roq La Rue Gallery, in the space lately vacated by BLVD Gallery. The first show in the new space will open January 9th, as part of the monthly Belltown artwalk.

Even though it is only a one block move, it's a good one. No longer will we need to weave our way through clusters of smokers and clumps of pan handlers which gather on the sidewalk one block south -- a block with Mama's Mexican Kitchen, Lava Lounge, Bad Juju Bar, Noodle Ranch, Shorty's, and Buddha Bar between Roq La Rue and the starter location for the Suite 100 gallery.

The new gallery space is two to three times larger in square footage than the old Suite 100 space, so curators will need to step up their game to use it to their advantage. I hope they consider creating a few dividers to break up the wide open space; the BLVD gallery always felt a little too open. (Picture a large living room where all the furniture is anchored against a wall. Would you want to stay very long? )

The first show in the new space looks promising. "Local Aesthetic" will feature artwork from three local artists: Greg Boudreau, Ryan Molenkamp and Troy Gua.

Starter location, buh-bye
Opening feathered friends

New space, hello-o-o-o
BLVD Gallery on 2nd Ave
(Not a great picture, but the only exterior shot I have.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dear Santa: are you lactose and tolerant?

The note my niece left for Santa.
"The cookies are on the dining room table...
p.s. Are you lactose and tolerant?"
photo by my sis: Suzanne Strong Photography.

Check out her online portfolio and pencil in the Feb 5th First Thursday opening at 619 Western, where she'll be in a group show.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Hood Internet: masters of mashups

If you like clever remixes and mashups, check out The Hood Internet and their ingenious tracks.
Here's one of my favorites: a remix of The Rosebuds' Get Up Get Out with Aesop Rock's None Shall Pass. I like both of the songs alone and they sound great mixed together by The Hood Internet. (rss readers may need to click through to see the Imeem player.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow dog

Snow dog
Originally uploaded by JeanineAnderson
The snow keeps coming: we had another 6 inches overnight and it started up again about 2 hours ago. Wow.
The dog doesn't mind, though. She was born and raised in MN so she knows all about snow and actually loves it! I run the hair dryer on her when she comes in because the snow clumps like a m-fkr in her fur. As soon as she's warm and dry, she wants out again.

(iPhone photo)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

photos: first snow of the season

Went on a little walkabout Saturday night during the snowfall.











Friday, December 12, 2008

Don't judge me, it was for charity

Not sure how to explain this, so I'll just get to it. I bid on a Strangercrombie auction item. Strangercrombie is an annual fundraiser organized by The Stranger, and is known for very clever groupings of donations into ingenious packages. This year's beneficiary is Treehouse, a worthy organization which provides for childen in foster care. (Yes I'm stalling a little, working up the nerve to tell you what I bid on.)

So...I passed on all the music-related packages cause I got me a pretty good hook up for music events already. Besides, they were going for a lot more than my budget.

Instead, I bid on this: Chicks with Guns. The package includes a visit to Wade's Gun Range with the female managing editor of The Stranger and a female photographer to learn how to shoot a gun and take some shots at the practice range, followed by dinner at Redwood. (A neighborhood joint where you can throw peanut shells on the floor. They supply the peanuts in-shell.)
I've never shot a gun or rifle -- or really, any firearm --and I am to-the-core afraid of the power of firearms. I figure what better way to better understand that power (and respect it) than try it once with sympatico chicas. (And bonus: chicas I suspect I have some things in common with.)

Drat those auction sniper bots: I lost out in the last minute. Oh well. Must be a sign I shouldn't be allowed to handle a firearm. I'll have to kill zombies a different way.

Friday, December 5, 2008

you are here

You are here. Where the accumulation of everything ended in keeping nothing.

This piece of street art is particularly site-specific and serves as a pointed reminder of the false value of "things." Look for it when walking on Pike or waiting for the bus near the intersection with Bellevue Ave.

More about the site and the sad story of what happened here one early morning in late October.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Belltown gets a Sloth Bear for the Holidays

Check out Free Sheep Foundation during the month of December to visit a sloth bear. This is not a prank. A living, breathing sloth bear is staying in Belltown before taking up permanent residence at Woodland Park zoo.

Pedestrians and animal enthusiasts to the corner of 3rd and Battery in Belltown can view Toshi, a four year old, 1,200 pound Japanese sloth bear from Hokkaido Island, Japan. Toshi was raised in captivity and is very comfortable around humans. Safe inside an adapted storefront, Toshi can be viewed throughout the day as she eats, plays and slumbers with her favorite toy doll Benji.

Toshi comes to Seattle from the Kushiro Municipal Zoo in Hokkaido, Japan. I trust the bear experts at Kushiro are sure about Toshi's gender, unlike these polar bears.

This exhibit is brought to you by Zoo to You Foundation, Woodland Park Zoo, Free Sheep Foundation and PDL.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I've been cheating on you, Blogger. With Twitter.

I have a confession to make, Google Blogger: I've been cheating on you. Sometimes I just don't have time for what our relationship requires. Yet, I still have needs. That's when I turn to Twitter for a quickie.

Information which can be fit into 140 characters (including spaces) are making their way online via "tweets" these days rather than full-on blog posts. Visitors to this blog page can see my Twitter updates, however RSS readers do not.

To get the full meal deal, "follow" me on Twitter. I'm at http://twitter.com/JeanineA And if you have/get a Twitter account, I'll follow you back.

chirp, chirp

Let's condoming! Only in Japan

To make condoms something a Japanese girl would be comfortable buying, a teen magazine has loaned their brand to condoms.
The magazine name: Popteen. And now a brand of condom. Ha!
Why not verbatize* "condom" while they're at it? Let's condoming!

* I can make up words, too.

Via photographer Jim O'Connell's blog.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Craft show overload: buy local

This upcoming weekend is a busy one for alternative shopping. Plan your Saturday schedule properly and you'll be able to hit up four craft shows in one day -- and catch some live music while you shop. Peruse unique alternative goods and support local crafters at these upcoming events.

To the point in presentation-ready short-form:

  • Punk Rock Flea Market: December 6th
  • The Vera Project Bazaar: December 6th
  • Hollow Earth Radio's Local Label Record Show and Crafts: December 6th
  • Urban Craft Uprising: December 6th and 7th
  • I Heart Rummage: December 21st
Here's the long-form details:

Punk Rock Flea Market, Dec 6th
10am - 6pm, Underground Events Center (Belltown)

In addition to handmade craft goods, the Punk Rock Flea Market typically offers artwork, vintage stuff, books, housewares, records, and whatever else DIY people want to sell. And don't worry that you might not be punk enough to go: "punk rock" refers to the DIY spirit of the event rather than a specific music genre or lifestyle. All are welcome. Sale ends at 6pm, bands play into the evening. A buck or two donation is requested for entry.

The Vera Project Bazaar, Dec 6th
10am - ??, Vera Project (in Seattle Center)

The Vera Project Bazaar features local artists, craft-makers, musicians, and designers. The style tends toward the street sensibilities. Last year nothing was priced more than $40 and terrific art bargains abounded. Get there early if artwork is on your shopping list. Free.

In addition to the Bazaar, the non-profit, all-ages music and art venue is hosting it's annual Bring It, Screen It/Bazaar fundraiser, where you can learn to silkscreen with a Vera project instructor for $5. Here's how it works: bring an article of clothing (or anything of fabric), select one of 10 newly-designed Vera Project logos, pay $5, and a Vera instructor will help you silkscreen the image onto your item.

Hollow Earth Radio's Local Label Record Show, Dec 6th
3pm - 8pm, Healthy Times Fun Club (Capitol Hill)

Crafts and 'zines will be featured along with 20+ local record labels in this local-music-oriented DIY event. (Yes, Sub Pop will be there, but so will other worthy local labels worth checking out.) This first annual show is organized by internet-only local radio station Hollow Earth Radio and will be held at Healthy Times Fun Club. I'm particularly looking forward to checking out the 'zines and picking up some affordable, ultra-indie, and ultra-unique gifts. Free.

Five bands will be performing during the sale. The evening continues with a four-band lineup starting at 8:00; a $5 donation is requested for the evening performances. Email healthytimesfunclub at gmail dot com for exact address, or in cases of super last minute address requests call Rebecca at (206) 422-5387.

Urban Craft Uprising, Dec 6th and 7th
11am - 5pm, Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

The annual Urban Craft Uprising is an upscale event with higher-end goods and prices to match. You won't find many items selling for less than $20 here. However, quality leads: you definitely get what you pay for. Last year I picked up a couple of leather wristbands and a T-shirt and have been very happy with the purchases. Your favorite vendors from neighborhood street fairs will likely be at this event. Early arrivers will be rewarded with a gift bag of freebies. A $1 entry donation is requested.

I Heart Rummage, Dec 21st
12pm - 4pm, Chop Suey (Capitol Hill)

December's I Heart Rummage sale is for procrastinators and folks who regret not buying that special something from a local crafter earlier in the month. All items are orginal and handmade (no imports) and jewelry is limited to no more than six of the 35 spots. At previous IHR events I've bought awesome hand-knitted wrist warmers and unique cuffs and jewelry. Prices tend toward the reasonable end of the spectrum. Free.

have new tee from Revival Ink

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Video: autoKratz "Stay the Same"

"Stay the Same" is a fun animation vid, perfect for autoKratz's bleepy, noisy, irresistable beat. It gets bonus points for being particularly appropriate for the holiday turkey dinner season.

Tracks from British duo autoKratz are burning up DJ decks and bouncing dance floors these days. They are represented on the Kitsune label, also home to Digitalism and Simian Mobile Disco. (Love those guys, too!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My SF Reading List

Here's what's on my nightstand currently.

I intend to read these books in top-down order. I fully expect they will be much better than the last two books I read -- which really were pretty awful so it took me months to finish them. (Trust me: don't read Waking the Moon or Island in the Sea of Time.)

I'm reading The Watchmen right now but it's a bit of a slow go for me. Its a graphic novel (new format for me), and the text size is done for eyes younger than mine. Ha! The movie trailer looks pretty good, so I thought I'd give the graphic novel a try. Not sure if I'll make it all the way to the end, though.

Neal Stephenson is one of my very favorite authors so I am looking forward to his newest novel Anathem. He did a reading in Seattle not long ago, where he shared that he is ambivalent about pronounciation. AN-a-them, a-NATH-em. To-may-to, to-mah-to.

Not sure what to expect from The Algebraist. I read an earlier work by the same author and was underwhelmed. I hope I don't have to do any math problems.

The book on the bottom is a re-read in case I finish or abandon the other books: the classic Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. A good re-read, particularly since it's been years and years since I read it. I still remember, however, that the answer is 42.

Movie Trailer: Coraline

I like Neil Gaiman's fiction work, so I'm looking forward to seeing the movie Coraline, due out in February, 2009. Coraline is a children's picture book written by Gaiman and illustrated by Gaiman Dave Mckean, in Gaiman's odd and slightly creepy way. (Where the Wild Things Are, redux.) However, the movie wasn't written by Gaiman, so I'm a little worried the story will just be a vehicle to show off awesome animation in 3-D. The trailer looks pretty good, though.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Big Rabbit not named Harvey

Just to balance out the rant in the previous post, here's a picture of one of the ginormous rabbits I saw at a r-urban (rural, but almost urban) hobby farm in Monroe on Thursday. These bunnies were about 30 lbs each. I am NOT kdding. Almost Night of Lepus big.

Speaking of rabbit movies, The Grand Illusion Cinema on 50th is showing the classic Jimmy Stewart film Harvey through Thursday, Nov 27th.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This painting pissed me off

More specifically, an art writer's catalog description of the work pissed me off. The painting itself only made me uncomfortable. And curious.

Temma on Earth (Tim Lowly, 1999) hit me hard. My impression of the work and my emotional reaction was disconcerting and uncomfortable: This is a crime scene. This child is a victim. Good god, who would paint such a thing, and why?

Tim Lowly @ Frye Art Museum

The work hanging opposite of Temma only reinforced my impression. Robert McGurdy's untitled work is a large photorealistic oil-on-canvas portrait of an expressionless man and woman, looking straight on - - as if to bear witness to the crime across the room.

I was uncomfortable enough with Temma to later research it on teh internets. Temma is a portrait of the artist's child, physically and mentally disabled since birth. This backstory fits my initial impression of the work and what was visually communicated: a tragedy, a child who isn't living the life we wish for her. Deep sorrow. Inability to change the outcome. Ok. Get it.

My irritation is not with Temma or the artist. Rather, it is with a catalog description of Temma in which the writer completely recasts the work as something uplifting and even "peaceful." In a 2001 essay, John Brunetti describes the piece using words such as poetic expression, calmly rests, peaceful, free of the earth's gravity, luminously celestial, lighter than air, transcend. Are. you. f*cking. crazy? Are we looking at the same painting?

The hubris and I'm-smarter-than-you attitude of many art critics and writers is what turns off ordinary people from the art world. I honestly and truly do appreciate backstory and context of a work: it deepens an understanding of the piece and of the artist. However, at the end of the day a painting is a visual communication medium and a good one must be able to stand on its own visually, without reliance on context to explain, nor require backstory to help a viewer get 'the point."

Should art critics and art writers to use context and backstory to completely recolor an art work's visual message?

Hell no. By doing so, the art establishment creates a self-serving barrier between the artist and the viewer, as in: "You little ordinary people can't understand or appreciate a work unless one of us important and much more knowledgeable people interpret it for you."

To that I say, "F*ck you."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Video: Anti-Prop8 Rally and March

I participated in the rally and march for marriage equality on Saturday in Seattle. The turnout was phenomenal. Crowd estimates are varied, ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 participants: gay, straight, young, old, married, single, hipster, techie, professional, children, dogs -- even a hedgehog.

Here's a super-short compilation of vid clips I recorded during the march from Volunteer Park to Westlake Center. View a few photo snaps here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vinyl: Rickie Lee Jones

I'm having a hard time breaking up with Rickie Lee Jones.

In the effort to get rid of more stuff, I'm going through a box of old vinyls which haven't seen daylight in years. I repeat: years. But I'm having a hard time letting go of Miss Rickie on vinyl. I am still loving on this cool chica's music style and street attitude.

I remember seeing her on SNL in 1982, performing Chuck E.'s in Love. I was blown away. I could hardly breathe. It was so different than anything else going on at the time: different from what my friends and I heard played on KJR radio and the like.

And what a cool-headed performer she was. After singing Chuck E., she was unexpected signaled by the producer to play another song because the producers had mis-calculated the show's running time. Seven minutes remained before the end of the show and they were out of material. (That's the "live" part of SNL, kids.) She and her band quickly rolled into Woody and Dutch on the slow train to Peking and filled in another 5 minutes of the show. Woody and Dutch was later released on her second album, Pirates.

I was a youngster and a music neophyte back then. My friends did not understand why I liked her music nor could they see how she was disrupting the pop nonsense of the time. The SNL version of her (stoned?) performance isn't available online, but here's the next best thing: a music video of Chuck E.'s in Love. Stands the test of time, doesn't it? As do several of her other tracks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Too Cute: Shiba Inu Puppy Cam has Twitter updates

Have you been checking in on the Shiba Inu puppy cam? Cute puppy addicts, you can now get puppy updates on Twitter. Follow Pupdate and you'll be alerted if the pups wake up and start doing something. (They sure do sleep a LOT.)

The Pupdate Twitter account just started today and sprang from a casual suggestion from Alexis Madrigal (via Twitter, of course), a writer for Wired Magazine. The Pupdate account is run by a virtual puppy watcher and not the owner of the puppies.

No guarantee on the frequency or quality of the tweets, folks. But it is an interesting use of Twitter, all the same.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Seattle Celebrates and Obama Flickrs

What happened one night in my neighborhood.

I am thrilled to learn Barack Obama has a Flickr photostream.
I love that he is so tuned in to modern communication channels.
A president for our generation.

My current fav in the Election Night set -- so candid, so unguarded:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Google street view Seattle: Hey, I know this girl!

What are the odds? I spotted someone I know on the newly-launched Google street view of Seattle!

Bon Bon, you have been captured forever in Google-land. This was probably taken in June 2008 when you were living at my place for a minute.

Not a bad picture here, particularly when compared to this poor guy (third pic down).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today's hottest fashion accessory

Absentee ballot stub turned cuff +
I Voted sticker =
the hottest fashion accessory
on November 4th.
You know
you want it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The brown fox is still quick: I gotz mad skillz

I took a touch typing/keyboarding class in junior high and hated it.

Looks like I could still pass that class today though, thanks to millions of pages of user documentation, presentations, instructor guides, online and print articles, emails, business plans, class guides, management reports, team performance reviews, marketing plans, proposals, RFPs, SOPs, project plans, requirements, specifications, case studies, customer communications, and other what-have-you written word.

Can you beat this typing test score?

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog, yo.

Friday, October 31, 2008

DJ Spooky + One Pot = Hot Ticket

Saturday evening Nov 1 offers a trifecta of food, conversation, and music, featuring DJ Spooky (Paul Miller), tasty eats from Michael Hebb's One Pot, and sharp wit from Charles Mudede.

The get together is in honor of DJ Spooky's new book "
Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture." (Party-goers will receive a copy.) About the book, Branford Marsalis said, "Paul Miller has grabbed disparate philosophies and references from the past five hundred years and tied them into a neat and interesting narrative on music, sound, and current thought in our time. Sound Unbound is an excellent reference on art—in the popular context—in the twenty-first century."
This intriguing and sure-to-be-yummy get together will take place at the Caffe Vita loft space on Capitol Hill. RSVP is required; space is limited and going fast. You can opt for with or without the One Pot dinner ($45/$30). Dinner package starts at 6pm and the post-dinner event begins at 8:30. Things will wrap up by 10:00pm so DJ Spooky can get over to Fremont for his show at The Nectar later.
If interested, email hebberoy@gmail.com NOW to reserve your space.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Photo: where's he looking?

This picture I snapped of Crystal Castle's Alice Glass isn't great but it totally cracks me up. Look closely at fella at the bottom middle of the frame. Where's his eye gaze? Yep: right up the dress. You have been MADE, dude!

I'm still laughing about this, and it's been hours. Heh heh heh heh.

(You may need to check out the larger version to see it clearly. Click the pic to do so.)

Congrats Phillies! and superfan Mark

According to Mark and Sandra (both Penn alums) authentic Philly cheesesteak must include Cheez Whiz. Mark hosted a little viewing party for World Series game #4 at his home in Seattle, after attending game #3 in Philadelphia the night before! Now that's a superfan.

He brought back genuine cheesesteak fixin's, pretzels, and TastyKakes (which are like Philly's version of Hostess brand sweets).

Apparently a genuine cheesesteak is all about the bread, the onion (no peppers!) and the Cheez. No peppers - that's sacrilege.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Try The Kingfish Cafe for knockout southern comfort food

Believe everything you've heard about The Kingfish Cafe. Yes it really is that good, and yes, you will wait for a table --unless you arrive ahead of the 5:30 dinner opening and hang out with other hopefuls who skipped lunch in anticipation.

The nine dinner entrees range in price from $11.25 for red beans and rice up to $18.75 for a ribeye steak. Entrees include appropriate accompaniments, such as collard greens, grits, or mashed potatoes. Starter salad or soup is not included.

For a delicious sharable starter, try the trio of Wonderful Dips. The catfish spread is the southern version of the northwest's salmon spread: fresh, creamy and rich: perfect on the sturdy and salty crackers. Slather the spicy black-eyed pea spread on a piece of crispy flat bread for a treat which puts mexi bean dip to shame. The cool artichoke garlic dip is tasty, but not as remarkable as the other two. Saying that, I must admit to mopping the artichoke dip bowl clean with the last bite of lightly toasted bread.

I had the griddled catfish entree: a generous portion of cornmeal-dredged and pan-fried fish, accompanied by a hearty scoop of tomatoey, garlicky, spicy grits and enough collard greens to make both your mom and your nana happy ($12.75) The catfish was cooked to perfection: crispy brown outer and moist, flavorful inner. The grits were mighty fine - the savory seasoning was a new thing for me. (Growing up with southern parents, grits were dressed up with butter and sugar and served with breakfast.) Collard greens hit the spot too, but if you are vegetarian, ask questions first. I'm pretty sure I tasted ham hock along with the onion and other flavors in the dish.

The menu warns that the buttermilk fried chicken entree may run out and I can understand why($15.50). I tasted a bite and it beats Ezell's chicken hands down. (Granted, Ezell's costs less and you get it quicker.)

I rarely RARELY order dessert, but couldn't pass up pineapple upside down cake. Another staple in my childhood kitchen, I imagined it would be something like the Duncan Hines kit: a flat one-layer cake, pineapple rings shining through the butter/sugar topping, and a half of maraschino cherry centered in each circle. I couldn't be more wrong. The Kingfish Cafe version of pineapple upside down cake was so right.

Kingfish Cafe

Check out Kingfish Cafe for the knockout southern home comfort food, attentive service, and warm and friendly staff. Well worth the wait.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Art on Broadway: artist reception & guided tour tonight

You can view the STart on Broadway art installations anytime through November 15th, however tonight is the only opportunity to meet the artists and have a guided tour of the works staged in empty retail spaces.

The reception is tonight from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Artist Trust office (1835 12th Ave), followed by an hour-long guided tour on Broadway.

untitled, Jason Puccinelli
Broadway STart art

If you can't make it tonight, plan your own walking tour when it is dark; many of the works are washouts during daylight.

Look for one of my favorites, Sky Dance. It's like a mashup of the Nutcracker with Disney's Haunted Mansion.

Parasol, by Webster Crowell

Band Smoosh likes this picture

I forgot to mention Asy of Smoosh contacted me a few weeks ago to arrange use of a few of my pictures from one of their live performances. The following is currently Smoosh's MySpace profile pic.

Smoosh @ Neumos 5.18.08

Smoosh is a sister-duo who started writing songs and performing in their 'tween years -- a mere 5 years ago. Asy and Chloe acheived enough noteriety in their first year to open for the likes of Cat Power, Sleater-Kinney, Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab for Cutie and even Pearl Jam by the end of 2004. [#] At first a novelty, the young ladies have matured their song-writing and performing skills to grow a solid fanbase which reaches well beyond their own demographic group.

This picture is from a Smoosh performance at the Head Like a Kite CD release party this summer. Speaking of HLAK, you really MUST check this group out. Asy co-wrote and sings the track "Daydream Vacation" on HLAK's 2008 release There is Loud Laughter Everywhere. Stream that tune on HLAK's MySpace page, and while you're there check out one of my favs from HLAK's release, "We Were So Entangled." Dave Einmo sings into an analog phone on this one. Rad.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Now at Blvd Gallery: Gremlins and Mogwai Terror by 179

The eclectic collection of works at the Blvd Gallery this month include this asian-influenced piece by artist OneSevenNine (179).

I first saw 179's work on the Seattle Georgetown graffiti wall in December, 2007.
OneSevenNine's style is consistent, but also showing good artistic development: compare this Gremins piece to the koi on the Georgetown wall. OneSevenNine's flair for the asian style and color palette creates images which take common asian architectural elements and turns them into gently affectionate figures. The Gremlin's piece is a cleaner image and more mature understanding of line, without loss of faint irony seen in earlier work.

Several other pieces at Blvd Gallery are worth a look-see if you are in the Belltown neighborhood. I particularly liked Julio Guerrero's collage "Día de los Muertos," located in the back left corner of the gallery. This is Julio's first gallery show.

The Fanatic show runs through November 8th.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Build your own solar-powered theramin or robot

The Seattle Dorkbot group is holding a MAKE-worthy fundraiser workshop Wednesday November 5th. A few weeks out yet however, the deadline is today Oct 20th to register and select a kit for the group-build evening.

Late notice, but who plans ahead in Seattle anyways?

Kit choices:

Solar-Powered Theremin beginners
Use free energy from the sun to produce lovely music, or at the least some fun sounding warbles. This is the simplest choice and is best for beginners. The kit is designed to fit in an "industry standard" mint tin which is not included, so if you want an enclosure you will need to bring your own.

Solar-Powered BEAM Robot experience recommended
BEAM is an acronym standing for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, Mechanics and represents a very simple approach to building low power robots with almost biological properties. These aren't kits, as much as they are an inexpensive bag of components so you can build yourself a small robot (instructions included).

The Infamous TV-B-Gone experience recommended
This is a fairly complex kit, but it comes with a high quality printed circuit board and all the parts needed to turn off any modern TV from up to 150 feet! If you choose this one be sure to bring 2 AA batteries to power your kit.

More info. Register.

artwork: "Ghosts" by Brian Despain, @ Roq La Rue Gallery

Craigslist quirky gigs (v.3): Cymbal Crasher Wanted

Wanted - Cymbal Crasher (SEATTLE) A marriage proposal? I asked the poster but didn't get a reply.


"i'm in the market for a qualified cymbal crasher. . . throughout the day i've been known to spew out some 'classic' lines often leaving my fellow co-workers in stitches"


"must have own equipment. . .variety of cymbals preferred in order to punctuate various one liners and their tone including but not limited to - sarcasm, zingers, jabs, puns, irony, etc. . . must be: available 24/7. . .willing to travel. . .comfortable with nudity. . ."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How to tell if your co-workers are zombies

Evil Nine's They Live music video illustrates identifying markers of zombie office workers.
The new album They Live drops October 28th in the US. (October 20th in the UK.)

In this vid, the two policemen are Tom Beaufoy and Pat Pardy (Evil Nine), and I spotted their manager Steve Sattherwhite as one of the office workers. Nice guys, all. Tom's a new daddy, and Steve is newly married. Don't know what's up with Pat -- perhaps he's a real zombie and doesn't just play one on TV.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lake View Cemetery: just 'cause it's OctoberWeen

Graves and headstones and crows: oh my!

crows and stones
Lake View Cemetery, Seattle

I shot this photo back in March and blogged it then, but it seems much more appropriate to share with you this month of OctoberWeen.

Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee are buried here in Lake View. (How to find their spot.)

Four quickie reviews of documentaries

I've started using the Seattle Public Library for videos. There's always a long wait for fiction - I think I'm number three-hundred-something for "Weeds." However the non-fiction section at the downtown (central) library has a decent selection sitting on the shelves. Here's four quickie reviews of videos I've borrowed in the last couple of weeks:

A Brilliant Madness - The real John Nash was not married to Jennifer Connelly. Grade: A -
Spellbound - Get to know kids who spell well and the families who support them. Grade: A
An Inconvenient Truth - An overlong lecture on global warming. Grade: B
Crazy Love - How an obessessive, possessive relationship goes off the chart. Grade: B+

You'll find the non-fiction video section in the book spiral at the Central library.

Seattle Public Library

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Neil Gaiman Reads to You

Good news for everyone who didn't make it to a reading The Graveyard Book: British author Neil Gaiman reads the entire novel to you, a chapter at time, on the The Graveyard Book Video Tour, available (free) here.

The video readings are not particularly interesting visually but are definitely a treat to hear. Listening to an author express out loud the phrasing and pacing of the internal voice heard while writing is a learning experience.

What's the book about?

"Gaiman’s latest novel, The Graveyard Book, is an affectionate homage to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book channeled through Webster’s morbid aesthetic. Aimed at both younger and adult readers alike, the story opens on a dark night, following a shadowy assassin as he calmly and dispassionately slaughters a sleeping family one by one," says Bridget McGovern of Tor.

My favorite Gaiman work is American Gods. Neverwhere is a close second and I just recently learned that book is a companion to a BBC TV series. Perhaps the Seattle public library has the BBC series on DVD.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spoken Word Advert Rocks My World

This ad is art.

Directed by Shilo, it blends spoken word artist Ainsley Burrows' magnetic performance with smoke-drift-like images to immerse the viewer in a provocative and mesmerising space of poetic substance. Powerful words, powerful images: it's a challenge to live life fully in the moment.

Only in the last few seconds do we see it is an advertisement for Guinness beer. Created for Carribean TV by Shilo, with Saatchi & Saatchi London.


Play golf on city streets on Saturday October 18th

Nine holes, nine bars.

Seattle's Fifth Biannual Urban Golf Tournament/Bar Crawl is next Saturday October 18th, around Capitol Hill neighborhood. Check Seattlest's write up on the July event to get a sense of how not-serious this goes down.

The deets:

Meet at Cal Anderson Park at 2pm Saturday October 18th

Bring $3, or your golf ball from the previous tournament to play for free

Bring a golf club (Goodwill has cheap ones)

Bring cash for the bar crawl part

Dress appropriately for the seriousness of the event

Maps, rules and golf balls will be provided

Players will be assigned a tee time in groups of 8 - 10

RSVP to greensmaster@seattleurbangolf.com. It's not necessary, but it helps give the organizers an accurate ball count.

This is a 21+ event. These Scottish girls will have to stick with St. Andrews

Who wants to play?

photo: lauralemur

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

iPhone + cupcakes = sweet tech lust

Behold the winning entry in the cupcake decorating contest at last month's IgniteNYC : the iPhone!

I'm tech-lusting for an iPhone 3g but not quite ready to pull the trigger. The two-year AT&T contract requirement is giving me pause, not to mention other barriers to entry: upgrading my service (ka-ching) and the actual h/w purchase outlay.

Anyone know where I can get an iPhone cupcake in the meantime?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Music: DJ Z-Trip's Obama mix

Check out this great mix from mashup DJ Z-Trip. He and artist Shepard Fairey organized a "Party for Change" fundraiser for Barack Obama last month, and Z-Trip has made the mix freely available for download. It's the soundtrack of our lives over the next few weeks. Get it.

And BTW, Adam Freeland's Aer O-B-A-M-A speak-and-spell track get's hit at 45:35. It is R-A-D, defined.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Banned Books Week, now through Oct 4th

We all know Huckleberry Finn shows up on the list of banned and challenged books year after year. Did you realize Huck has plenty of youthful company? Harry Potter, Alice (Go Ask Alice), Lyra (The Golden Compass), and Scout and Jem (To Kill a Mockingbird).

For more, check the list of banned and challenged books from the American Library Association. The ALA explains, "The challenges documented in this list are not brought by people merely expressing a point of view; rather, they represent requests to remove materials from schools or libraries, thus restricting access to them by others. Even when the eventual outcome allows the book to stay on the library shelves and even when the person is a lone protester, the censorship attempt is real."

Top Ten Challenged Books in 2007
  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
  2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
  3. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
  4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  7. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle
  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  9. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
  10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Primary reasons for book challenges: (2000 - 2005)
  • Offensive language
  • Sexually explicit
  • Unsuited to age group
  • Violence
  • Occult/Satanism
  • Other (something that doesn't fit the other 19 categories)

Additional interesting information and datapoints here. (I'd love to get my hands on the raw data and make their graphs pop.)

Returning now to reading the slim little novel from 6th grade Minnesotan curriculum: The Giver. Good stuff.

How to irritate a retail customer: make her play 20 questions

I needed to get a quart of paint which matches the other front doors in the row of townhouse condos. I have the specific brand (rhymes with herman millions), type of paint, and color code. I'm a dream sale: I know exactly what I want and don't need advice on complimentary colors or the type of paint for the surface I'm working with.

Easy sale, right? Here's how it actually went down.

Customer enters the storefront in Sodo. A chime alerts a worker in the warehouse.

Worker: (enters) Hi.

Me: Hi. I'd like to get a quart of this paint. (Shows page with specific paint type and color code.)

Worker: (Looks at the information.) I don't think we have that.

Me: Oh. What don't you have? The quart size, or this type of paint?

Worker: I don't think we stock that.

Me: Ok. What do you suggest? (Starting to get irritated.)

Worker: I can check if we have any. (Types on computer.) Nope, we don't have any of that in stock.

Me: What do you mean by that? Do you still make it? May I order it? Or is it discontinued?

Worker: I guess I can check to see if another store has it.

Me: Ok.

Worker: (Types on computer.) Ballard has it.

Me: Great, thanks. Where is the store located in Ballard?

Worker: Do you know the Ballard Bridge?

Me: Yes.

Worker: (silence)

Me: Do you have an address or a phone number?

Worker: It is at NE corner of Leary and 15th.

Me: Ok, thanks. (exit)

How could this have gone better? Start by incorporating three principles into customer interactions:

  • Anticipate the customer's questions

  • Offer options

  • Help solve the customer's problem or need
Here's an alternate-universe version of the interaction, where these three service principles were incorporated:

Worker: Hi, can I help you?

Me: Hi, I'd like to get a quart of this paint.

Worker: I don't think we have that in stock. Let me check. (Types on computer.) I'm sorry, we don't have it at this store. Would you like me to check another location?

Me: Yes, thank you.

Worker: Looks like the Ballard store has it in stock, or I can order it for you to be delivered here.

Me: The Ballard store is fine. Where is it located?

Worker: The store is on the NE corner of 15th and Leary. They are open until 5 pm today. Do you need the address or phone number?

Me: No thanks, I know the cross streeets. Thanks for your help.

Worker: Thanks for coming in. Have a good day.

Notice how much shorter this exchange is? Not only am I more satisfied as a customer, the worker is more efficient as well and can go back to whatever he was doing. Probably picking dried paint off his nails.

some of which has been used

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Decibel Festival: Mercy!

After reviewing the Decibel Festival schedule and making recommendations for dB newbies (TIG), I'm ready to work on my own plan and decide whether to pay-as-I-go or just buy a damn pass.
Here's what I'm considering hitting:

  • Deconstructing Pop (Tujiko Noriko, Jahcoozi)
  • dB Conference, panel 1
  • The Trinity (Jerry Abstract, Jeff Samuel)
  • Dirty Dancing Showcase (Deadmau5)
  • Native State Label Showcase (Nalepa)
  • dB In the Park
  • Detroit Techno (Carl Craig)
  • Innerflight Showcase (Kadeejah Streets)
  • Decibel Festival Finale (The Bug/Warrior Queen, SuperMayer)
Some of these are simultaneous which could make for some interesting and fast hill walking. Not to mention the number of ink stamps to collect on my inner right wrist.

The Carl Craig set at Opulent Temple at Burning Man this year drew a huge (I mean HUGE) crowd. If that is any indication, the Detroit Techno show on Saturday will be off the hook: sweaty people dancing as if wearing Hans Christian Anderson's Red Shoes, crying "Mercy!"

go into the light

the outer edge of the crowd 100 yards from Opulent Temple, right before Carl Craig went on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Music: Bill Frisell for Change

Thanks to my dentist, I have a new crush for come-down music: Bill Frisell. Frisell is recognized as one of the top jazz guitarists in the country and got his major break via a referral from Pat Metheny. (I am so way late to this party, I realize.) And no shit, he lives in Seattle.

Frisell's open, lush phrasing and amazing skill are just the ticket when you're in the mood for chill.

Here's Bill Frisell, with "A Change is Gonna Come." (Appropos for Obama's campaign, yes?)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Art of Mathematics

This rainbow cauliflower image is a visual representation of a mathematical theory known as dynamical systems.

the University of Liverpool has an exhibit of images based on dynamical systems expressions and formulas. Check out additional images and learn more about dynamical systems at the BBC website, which offers a 90-second slide show with narrative.

The dynamical system formula which produced the cauliflower is the deceptively simple x squared plus one quarter.

These are pretty interesting, yet similar to fractals we've seen around for quite a while.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The History Hacker: Catch the TV pilot Friday

Former Seattlite Bre Pettis, now of MAKE and Etsy fame, is the host of a new TV show on the History Channel. The History Hacker is essentially a mashup of history, science, MAKE, and TLC's Mythbusters.

"The pilot is all about Nikola Tesla and the war of the currents between Tesla and Edison. In the show I learn how to blow a neon tube, explore wireless electricity and build an AC generator from a bike. I also go to Boston to visit an MIT space lab to see how the principles that Tesla pioneered are being applied to space propulsion," Bre says. [more]

The pilot airs this Friday September 26th at 8pm (and again at midnight) on the History Channel. Set your Tivo or DVR or whatever and check it out.

DIY to the core.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

PARK(ing) Day in Seattle

Park(ing) Day in Seattle resulted in 30 parking slots around the city transformed into micro-parks for one day only, Friday, September 19th. I rode my bike on a Capitol Hill-South Lake Union-Downtown circuit to visit a baker's dozen or so.

The following picture is of a spaced titled Victory Garden, located on Capitol Hill. The folks here encouraged growing your own veggies and herbs on your city balcony or window. They brought potted plants from their own spaces to prove it could be done. The tomatoes were looking good.

Park(ing) day

This next photo is of a space Downtown on 1st Avenue near the Market. It was run by AIA Seattle and was a lovely little park. It featured furniture using wood planks from naturally-downed trees (offered from Myer Wells). Gorgeous!

Park(ing) day

The Zen Garden (below) was in the South Lake Union neighborhood and took up 3 spaces. One segment had a zen rock garden created with coffee beans.

Park(ing) day

Oh, and about the coffee beans: they felt so nice in hand I commented that it would probably be nice to walk on. The folks running the spot insisted I try it out. So off went my shoes and socks. It felt heavenly! And smelled good too. (Hmmm. A patented spa treatment might be in my future.)

See more pictures of Seattle PARK(ing) day -- including me in coffee beans up to my ankles -- here.