Cancel Your Plans for Tonight.

Go on. Get your phone. Tell your mom you can’t come over for dinner, cancel your Bible study group, and tell your sweetheart they’ll have to have a ménage à moi tonight. You have new plans for Saturday night, and here they are:

You are going to see shadow puppets tonight.*

“What?” you just said. I heard you. I’ll play along with you, even.

You are going to see shadow puppets tonight.

You see, the newest installment of the seriously-I-cannot-overstate-how-delightful-it-is Sgt. Rigsby series at the Theatre Off Jackson is closing tonight. Ignore what it says on the site and go with Brown Paper Tickets – tonight is the last night it is playing and you need to go see this.

Look, I even took a surreptitious picture of the set for you. Just look.

The set of Sgt. Rigsby at the Theatre Off JacksonOk, that doesn’t tell you much except that it’s neat. But you’ve got four voice actors on your right, voicing a cast of dozens and providing sound effects. You’ve got a pair of musicians on the left, providing mood music and the musical numbers liberally studded through this thing, and you have the salacious, wonderful story of Chicken Jenny, scrappy chanteuse and gal who simply cannot escape her own bad luck. And happens to be a chicken. There’s a rentboy lamb, multiple poisonings, topless mermaids, double- and triple-crossing, dreams come true, fallen priests, and more noir-style similes than I can even begin to recount here at this late hour.

Just go. Get a friend you like and trust, grab yourself a banana beer or lime rickey at the bar, and just go. And then wait eagerly with the rest of us for the next installment.

If you must, there are some snippets on YouTube. It’s late, so I haven’t vetted them, but the first several are relevant.

Make it a full night and take your friend to Harbor City around the corner first. You can order baskets of dim sum dumplings before waddling, full to the top, over to take in culture.

Go. Go! What else were you going to do, hand-wash your dainties and catch up on your Tivo? Get out of the house! Go see this thing! Laugh your ass off and thank me later.

*Assuming you are within reasonable distance of Seattle. Which, in this case, is up to a three-hour drive.

An Exercise in Incongruity: Luminasia

When you grow up feeling out of place, it’s easy and probably healthy to grow a sturdy exoskeleton of disdain and ironic distance. We have to get out alive somehow, and if that means your default expression has to be a sneer of a derision for a while, well, then that’s what it’s going to take.

I think this is fine unless it follows you into adulthood. Some of my favorite people are the ones who came through hard times as teenagers and young adults; some of my least favorite are the ones who did the same but let those experiences rob them of their vulnerability and easy humanity.

As you might have guessed, I generally consider myself to be in the former category, something that took some work and distance to achieve. However, the legacy of a rich background of self-defensive contempt is that it can sneak back up on me without warning sometimes.

If you’re lucky, though, that makes certain things into that much more of a delightful surprise.

With that in mind: ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else, I give you Luminasia.

luminasia-0I decided to go to Luminasia because a certain online travel deal site had a special and because I was then able to talk my neighbor into going. He’s just as into the unlikely as I am, and I sweetened the deal by buying his ticket. These are the things one must do when one decides not to own a car. By which I mean: make awesome friends who are willing to spend a Sunday night doing something odd. And, joy of joys, another friend decided to join us too.* Continue reading

On the Return of SAD Season in Seattle and Elsewhere


Be vulnerable or go away by Clara Bee Lavery, via Bossy Femme

My curious superpower, which turned out to be vitally necessary in this region where I’ve chosen to spend my adulthood so far, is that I am emotionally unaffected by the changes of light and season.* Am I glad it’s dark before five now? No, but only because it means I have almost no free time during the daylight five days a week and because it makes the streets less safe for more time. But I persevere and feel generally ok through til spring, and my adaptations are mostly just to eat more soup, drink more tea, and wear more sweaters. And I like those things anyway.

It’s not thus for many people I care about, and I admire them so for crafting careful plans to get through approximately half of each year. Online and real-life friend Bossy Femme has created a smart roundup of things to be grateful for and things to keep close during this tough transition to a tough time. Follow the included links too – they are killer.

And as for the rest of you SAD people – may you have a happy lamp, a sympathetic friend, and a warm place to be when you need it.**

This will probably help too, considering that all 15 of the top 15 cities with the least sunshine are in Western Washington.

A post-script: here, we do not have groundhogs. Here, we have the guy I saw walking down Third yesterday, reading his Kindle, its screen illuminated by the pull-out light of its case. SIX MORE WEEKS (MONTHS).

*Lest you think I am a blase sort, here is a selection of things I am emotionally affected by: my art and craft, my job, my friends, triumphs and defeats, hopes and their fruition or dashing, the goings-on and well-being of my cats, fates of favorite fictional characters, dreams, imaginary conversations in my head, obligations, whether I feel I’m accomplishing all I want with this blog, choices, advice from Free Will Astrology, revelations and epiphanies, trial and error, longing, heartrending advice columns, the arrival and departure of cheap squash and figs at Trader Joe’s, the enormity of the world and its possibilities, the narrowing of our choices that’s concurrent with the broadening of our wisdom as we age, the possibilities and limitations of being fragile mortal beings, the quality or lack thereof of the upcoming Star Wars movies, and the constant indescribable beauty and horror of this world we find ourselves in. In short, my blood type is feelings.

**Fun fact: this was originally the stub of this week’s Hither and Thither, but I had more to say than I thought. Hello!

One of the Most Beautiful Things I Saw This Weekend

the best sign of the timesMy god, it’s full of stars.

This was taken at the bus stop at Queen Anne Ave and Roy, just in front of Kidd Valley. Do you know how I have longed for this? Do you know how I have envied other cities this? Even One Bus Away is far from infallible.

Years ago, on my first visit to San Francisco, I was surprised to find that the thing I was most awed by – the thing I longed for the most in retrospect – was not the interesting culture or the beautiful houses or the great food (though those are all, of course, mighty fine, and continue to have their own gravity for me in these uncertain days).

No. It was the “bus is coming in X minutes” signs and the easy-to-understand, readily available bus route maps. Seattle, at the time, was still claiming that making a bus route map was technically impossible, a claim that was just insulting to all involved.

Because of that clear information, we were able to get around the city via the bus in a pre-iPhone era, even though we had no idea of where we were going. And, at the time, such a thing would’ve been just about impossible for a newbie visitor to Seattle.

So yes, this makes me happy. And it was accurate the whole time I stood there. May the lord bless thee and keep thee, Seattle. You’re getting there.

Though Sunday found me sick and coughing, I still had the good fortune to see a variety of beautiful things this weekend before the plague claimed me. The various short features at Hump fell within this category – or FAR WITHOUT. As is the way of the thing.

Hither and Thither #10

Prosthetic eyesOcularists: a creator of prosthetic eyes. It’s meant a lot of things over the last couple millennia, but for a pair of families, it means two strikingly different philosophies. The LA Times explores the gulf that exists between the art and science of ocularistry.

division squiggleBecause Halloween is so awkwardly midweek, I declare that this weekend has also been Halloweekend. (The substantial number of costume-wearing people I saw Friday and Saturday night agree with me.) As such, this excellent roundup of horror movies set in New York is still timely. This is a new blog I’ve found, which looks at New York from the distinctive view of a location scout.

Also, this kind of thing is why going to New York feels like entering the real world, and leaving feels like going back to the outside to look in.

division squiggle

Capitol Hill has a new bookstore, and I can’t wait to wander through it!

Continue reading