“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

And an internal exclamation of MERDE is what happens when you’re walking down Broadway, minus your camera, and you pass a guy who is an honest-to-god one-man band, with one of those multi-instrument backpack contraptions and everything, busking in the Chase entryway.

I gave him a dollar because I want him to come back. But in the meantime: keep an eye out! That guy is out there, and he’s amazing! And please give him a dollar so that I’ll see him on a better-prepared kind of day!

It was not this guy, but now that I know that guy exists, that’s a thing that’s going to have to happen. Never let it be said that Deviation Obligatoire does not support, appreciate, and love living cartoons.

Out of the Old, Into the New

Upstairs at the previous location of BauhausThis picture looks like it should be part of a real estate ad for a loft with a price approaching seven figures. “Lots of original charm! Plenty of evidence of this commanding space’s former life as a vibrant neighborhood hangout! Eclectic!” But of course it’s just the emptied-out upstairs of the former Bauhaus space. Even so, I kind of want to put my swank queen mattress here and have an unparalled life of bohemian beauty. Continue reading

What I Got Up to Today

Sadness at the Depressed Cake Shop in SeattleI experienced sadness at the Depressed Cake Shop of Seattle. A mere four minutes before I arrived, my friend witnessed the announcement that there were no more grey cakes or pies or anything to be had. Cheers to the fundraiser; alas for the rest of us.

Billie, Pike Place Market Piggy BankI discovered there is a second piggy bank at Pike Place Market. Billie, Rachel‘s more retiring younger sister, sits at a back entrance of the market. She is also pleased to take your spare change.

She’s harder to sit on for pictures, though, as I watched an 11-year-old girl discover as she slid down the back, clutching desperately but futilely to Billie’s back.

upper wall art pike marketI saw some Pike Market art I’d never witnessed. It pleases me that this is still possible. I attribute it to the magic of wandering Pike Market with someone who doesn’t live here. It’s like the Room of Requirement, but with public art.

Mount Rainier, showing off over SODOAnd then we saw this. If my friend wasn’t already pretty much convinced to move here, this might’ve settled it.

My last Americano at Bauhaus, for nowI had my last Americano at Bauhaus – for at least a couple weeks. Appropriately, I was joined by the person I’ve known the longest in Seattle. I’ll talk more about this outing later.

And this is what it looked like on that last night:

The verdant beauty of Bauhaus at nightI realize I’ve been to the last night of several Capitol Hill things – the Vogue, Bailey Coy, and now this. Black widow or opportunist? You decide.

Not pictured: several hours of reading for school; a fine siesta; being in bed with cats; the midnight toast n’ eggs meal I made to settle my coffee-roiled belly.

African Store Descending a Closure

Ok, guys. I’ve been to the place formerly known as the Seattle Museum of Mysteries.* I touched a yeti hair. And recently, I smelled bone-released myrrh. What I’m saying is that I have both a comfort with and an attraction to the inexplicable. It informs much of what I seek and love.

And yet, this has been baffling me for years.

africa mama seattleYes. I am talking about Africa Mama.

I have lived here since 2004. The store was closing when I first set foot on the Hill, back in those halcyon days. I think it may, at this point, have been dying for longer than it’s been alive.

I did a little hunting to see if anyone else has been recording the endless legend of this place. I found a Yelp page for their former location and a 2011 KOMO article… about it closing. Note the exasperation in the headline.

So my impression has always been that it’s a store that takes advantage of cheaper short leases, a la this space in the soon-to-be-transformed building on Broadway just south of Olive. And yet it reincarnates like its using god mode or something.

Someone told me once – probably back in 2006, when I was already wondering out loud about this – that there are laws that are meant to keep people from this kind of constant clearance farce. But tell that to the dude who will be waving the FINAL CLEARANCE!!!! signs at the corner of Olive and Broadway tomorrow.

I admire its tenacity, I guess? And yet, like reality shows, tanning salons, and other things I don’t get, they persist in a way that’s more annoying than it should be.

After the apocalypse: cockroaches, Twinkies… and Africa Mama.



*Its old location. Clearly I need to go again.

Treasure at Central Lutheran Church

Wait… what’s this?

A magical treasure in the yard of a Seattle churchIs it a portal to another, better reality? A bitchin’ poster from a fabulous 12-year-old girl’s room from 1989? Let’s get closer.

A HERO IN SEATTLEOH SHIT. What? Why would someone leave this out? Why is this abandoned?

Wait… not abandoned. No no. Someone shared this with us. Our lives are embiggened and embettered by this new fact. We walk away from this vision fuller, more effective humans, ready to spread beauty, bravery, and the purest kind of love.

IMG_0803aHave you ever seen the color of your dreams while awake? NOW YOU HAVE.

Go forth, child, and enrich others.

Tales from the Ladies’

A very small selection of the carefully added graffiti in the women’s bathroom of Smith.



A fact not universally known: women’s bathroom walls often contain some hot truth. If you need advice, especially on your worth and how to conduct yourself in a relationship, you could do worse.

These pictures are mine, but if you want LOTS more from other people, go here.

Bellevue and Pine, 17 September 2013

IMG_0703aIMG_0704aAnd, later, at Cal Anderson, another of the ENORMOUS BEAUTIFUL INFINITE SKY moments I’ve been experiencing lately. I was born in the spring, and I was made to adore the in-between seasons. I’m going to say “liminal” here just so I have an excuse to use that tag again.

IMG_0708aIMG_0709aPeople who get it.