People I Saw at the Nine Inch Nails Show, Part Two

Let’s continue what we started, shall we?

nin 6This guy hasn’t worn this hoodie since 1998, but I bet he’s still wearing it as I type this. He had the look of a man who’d rediscovered something vital.

nin 7This couple will be tipping the sitter tonight, because they’re having their best night in a long time.

nin 8Enid Coleslaw made an appearance.

nin 9There was something almost architecture about this dude’s hair, as if he had the potential of taking an eye out with one of those stalagmites if he wasn’t careful.

nin 10Best. Mom. Ever.

There were a lot of these kid-sized NIN shirts floating around! Another favorite was the woman pulling a new Nine Inch Nails shirt on over her old Lady Gaga shirt. I would like to think that she had like five more shirts on under the Gaga shirt, each one from a show she’d seen at Key Arena in the previous months.

What have we learned from this? Well, I’ve learned I need to go out and doodle people more often. These were all done from memory, as I didn’t think to take something to the show to draw on. You? I would guess you’ve learned that you missed a rad show. Or that I devote a considerable amount of energy to not appearing to stare at people, even though I perpetually am.

P.S. A friend posited that Regretpants from last post was having the shifty britches feelings that can come with doing ecstasy. The more you know!

I Am Cool with Nerds Having Money

Meaning that, at least in certain ways, I live in exactly the right place.

A friend and I went and saw Catching Fire at Cinerama yesterday. It had been almost exactly a month since I was last there, long enough for the costumes in the cases to turn over. Oh, Adama’s fanciest dress. Sure, 7 of 9’s incredibly tiny catsuit. Good good.

And then, across the lobby, I saw it, and I knew it without even being within sight of its plaque.

dude and leelooOk, I was excited about Leeloo too. But THE DUDE! I’d know that manky cardigan everywhere.

the dudeTHE TINY HOLE. Probably as it was when it was pulled from Jeff Bridges’ closet.

So yeah, I’m cool with nerds having money. When I imagine being stupid wealthy, the first thing I dream about is travel and relative freedom. The second is preservation – buying up a couple favorite blocks in Capitol Hill and having them be – well, not preserved in amber, but having the liberty to evolve in a way uninfluenced by development.

I like Cinerama.* And I like that we do get the benefit of this ubernerd’s incredibly deep collection of… stuff.

*Fun fact: when I first drove into Seattle nine years and two or three weeks ago, I stayed near the Cinerama. I drove by it and was a little freaked out, because it looked, at first glance, like Boston’s porno theater, and I had a shivering moment of not knowing what the hell kind of neighborhood I had booked myself into. I spent the first night hiding in the Days Inn, eating pizza I’d had delivered and contemplating my fate while watching cable.

People I Saw at the Nine Inch Nails Show, Part One

So the Nine Inch Nails show last Friday was good. Great. Amazing. Really, I can’t say enough good things about it, so I’ll just refer you to someone else’s version of the same sentiment and leave it at that.

But the other great part of it, the part I didn’t anticipate? The people. My god, the people! You know that feeling when you’re walking toward a show, and you start recognizing your crowd as you get within a couple of blocks? The area around Key Arena was thick with it – a thousand men in black hoodies, battered 20-year-old NIN tour shirts worn with reverence, and so many people summoning their 1994 selves.

So while I loved the show – I loved the show! – the part that really turned my heart was the people watching. Everyone was having a stellar night.

I was so struck I came straight home (after cocktails, I mean) and drew. Here’s the first installment of two of People of Nine Inch Nails. (I can’t call it Nine Inch Nails Parking Lot, as I suspect a majority of us took the bus to get there.)

nin 1This is the first person I saw. Put me immediately at ease. Sometimes it’s nice to see someone and to have a good idea of about half of the contents of their bookshelves. Here, I see much Neil Gaiman, some obscure philosophy, and the earlier works of Anne Rice. Fine company in a diner for sure. Continue reading

Why, Honolulu?

Hawaii Interstate SignWhat state does this interstate go to?

measles bus fishWhy was this cartoon fish given smallpox? Is it meant to be cute smallpox?

sheraton sand sculptureWhy don’t I live somewhere that has a regularly updated sand sculpture in the lobby? Where are my life choices lacking?

sheraton sandmanAnd just what is he smirking at?

conedWhy don’t all states use “coned” as a verb on street signs? It’s delightful.

diamond head end of trail signWho made this sign necessary?

dog in bagWhat this dog? Why? How?

honolulu statue of libertyWhose idea was this?

honolulu tourist busesAre the trolleys just to convey the most “Americaness” possible in a single mode of transportation? What cultural thing is it exactly that makes cartoon-covered open-air buses a preferred method of transportation? (This is one version of many.)

shooting clubWhat on earth must we look like to other countries?

hawaiian airlines safetyWhy are region/country-specific airlines so rad?

honolulu dog clothes 1How awesome is this dog?

dog clothes 2Seriously, how awesome?

hnl airport lei standWhat would it take for every airport to have a lei stand?


Previously in Hawaii: Valuable Travel Tips for Your Waikiki Vacation and Hanauma Bay: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth. Still to come: in which we go hiking and get covered with mud.

Know Thyself

Since getting a camera in August (my beloved Canon PowerShot SX280, thank you), I’ve had regular and accumulating evidence of the things my eyes are drawn to. The shortlist:

  1. Trees, foliage, and other plant life
  2. Street art
  3. Birds
  4. Urban weirdness
  5. Repeating patterns
  6. Small, easily overlooked details

You can know these things about yourself. I’m a fairly visually oriented person and fairly self aware as well. Even so, you don’t quite get some things until you see them collected.


1. Victoria Maple, 2. victoria branches, 3. Allen Library, UW, with foliage, 4. yellow, 5. Tree by Diamondhead, 6. UW campus, early Saturday morning

I likes trees. No, not those trees.* Just… trees. Looking up at them, all flora unfurling above me.

What else do I enjoy? Well.

We all have our preoccupations. I just hope yours bring you as much happiness as mine bring me.

P.S. This grid is brought to you by this handy little site. If Deviation Obligatoire becomes a plague of photo mosaic grids, you know who to blame. (Me.)

*Ok, those trees too, but that’s another subject altogether.

Hither and Thither #12

florentijn-hofman-partyaardvark-designboom-08Oh, let me count the ways.

  1. “the Dutch artist has envisioned ‘feestaardvarken’ (partyaardvark)”
  2. “a 30-meter-long concrete sculpture that can be climbed upon and interacted with”
  3. It has nipples
  4. And a literal party hat too

The world is better for this being out there.

Now: do I need to borrow a child when I go to see this, or can I just gallop up there myself?

Also, new goal (to add to my considerable list): have my own name in a headline even a tenth as devastatingly delightful as that one.

division squiggleA few years old, but always always always worth repeating: 15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will at the AV Club. Continue reading

Forbidden Photos of Ancient Peru

Staring up at the lobby cars at the Seattle Art MuseumI can hear you from here. “My darling Standard Deviation, those cars are not Peruvian, ancient, or forbidden. What fresh hell is this?”

“Well,” my natural reply comes. “As those are Ford Tauruses, you are correct on all accounts. But I was able to take so few pictures of the main exhibit itself that I chose to use this as the title card instead.”

“Oh,” I hear you say. “Ok?”

Good enough.

Here are some things I don’t do as often as I’d like:

I could go on at length. But really, the list would just be a selection of likely upcoming blog posts for the next year, so I’ll spare you for now. What I’m saying is that there are basic cultural things I miss in the way of everyday life, same as most people. This past Sunday, I was reminded of how rad SAM is. Continue reading

My Favorite Art in Capitol Hill

It’s on a wall facing the patio of the twice and possibly future Online Coffee on Olive Way, just north of Boylston.

I lived very close to here when I moved to Seattle in 2004, and I ended up at Online Coffee a fair amount as I worked to get my life set up – as I waited for my wireless router to arrive so that I could get actual internet access in my actual apartment.

Coming as I did from a place I regard as sterile and artificial, I felt it deeply when I looked up and saw this, just idly sitting next to people sipping lattes at metal patio tables.

i will always love the false image i had of you“My god,” I thought. “Look at this vibrant, kind of weird place I find myself, that I found for myself. I’m among other people who do things because they want to – and who think of things like this, and who want to put them somewhere public. To share.”

Here‘s a picture of it from 2003, minus the chip it currently sports.

I imagine a good 70-plus percent of the people who have seen this would be able to say what I’m about to say, but: it became part of my background, appreciated but benignly ignored, and then a few months after we were first introduced, it exploded with new and deeper resonance.

“Damn right,” I’d grumble. “We’re all fools, every one of us.”


A conversation I’ve had with myself for the last couple of years has centered around two things: at what point will I make my departure from Capitol Hill? And what Capitol Hill mainstay would break my heart if it were pulled into the grind and churn of all the development?

I still don’t know the answer to the first. Maybe February. Or maybe later, when I decide to leave the city altogether.

The second has had a few answers. Six Arms, the Stumbling Monk? I like those places, and very much. Good memories there. My current yoga studio’s days seem numbered, but I soldier on, so it’s not that. The Egyptian, or Broadway Grill? Apparently not. This coffee shop, that store, that theater, that house’s perfect garden.

Nah, I think it’s this. One of the first things that told me I’d made the right choice and had a decent chance of finding my people.

I made this blog to explore, but also to see. Today I saw my past.