Sunday, July 30, 2006

Big Party, No Pandemonium

They didn’t try to feel me up.

They didn’t ask to look through my bag.

They didn’t even bother to inquire whether or not I was concealing a bloody, man-slaughtering mandolin in my sock.

It was all very strange.

If this was Seattle’s “biggest, craziest” outdoor musical Big Bang of the summer…, well…, let’s just call it soft and sweetly refreshing.

Where were the outlandishly deranged assholes with existential “beef”? Where were the violence-threatening eco-terrorists, the gekko-footed wall-climbers with odd inclinations, the crafty wallet appropriators, the stool-starting Gangstas with attitude, sneaky new-but-used cocaine salesmen, the mad audience-exciting movers and shakers of silliness/insanity, and the crowd-cramping cannibals offering cheap carne-on-e-stick, guey??

I just didn’t see them.
(…or, at least…, I didn’t see them loudly enough to notice…)

I almost felt like I was back in Japan; the three-block audience a colony of bopping heads, hive well-wishers, appreciative observers, deep-thinking smilers and inactive silent revolutionaries.

There were tons of bands and people, but there were no practicing trouble starters, and no police.

Quite astounding really.

And, though I’m a strong proponent of subversive behavior, poking fun at the ordinary, and causing chaos for the sake of rocking the boat, it was still quite refreshing to see such a big event held with such relaxed maturity and class.

I'm starting to think these so-called Seattleites are actually just actors, playing chill peeps roles for my benefit. As soon as I sign a long-term rental lease and a work contract here, I'm expecting the syringes to start flowing through the streets, undulating under the weight of maniacal, pitchfork wielding, mutated politician clones with the blood of suburbanites dripping from their fangs.

But, maybe I'm just being paranoid.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Boat Party

I couldn't have felt any older, even if a giant purple dinosaur had emerged from a paper-machet volcano to lead us in rounds of "row, row, row your boat" as we struggled to string painted pasta-piece necklaces…, and stopped only to exchange exasperated "poo poo heads" over who got the dried, lavender tortellini.

I could almost feel crows trampling the muddy corners of my eyes, leaving near fossilized footprints on my face as flocks of undergrads in pirate costumes passed around alligator masks, candy cigarettes, skittle-colored jello shots, and talked of "deconstructing old paradigms of understanding," and "annihilating out-moded education models with heavy-handed pourings of Whiskey Sours."

Yeah, I was feeling old…
… old like I-had-just-crampon-crunched-my-way-past-Mallory and-Sisyphus-and-was-on-my-way-over-the-hill Old.

Old like I just didn’t care anymore and could scream: “We’re all being attacked by bow-tied, flute-playing ants!” in the middle of a church barbeque without minding if I upset someone’s discussion about how much dill is just the right amount in a potato salad…

But…, yeah, I swear someone was sprinkling gray hair seedlings in remote areas of oft-succulent growth on my body when I overheard Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's recent escapades used to illustrate the meaning behind an arguably profound Samuel Beckette quote, and when my refusal to drink Tequilla (that was obviously fermented in a re-used trashbag-lined kiddy pool outside of a carnival goldfish cemetery-slash-nuclear storage site) provoked a dissonant chorus of "CHUG it! CHUG it! CHUG its!"

Oh well. Maybe it’s not about age at all…

After all.., I couldn’t even handle those kind of parties when I was that age…


Most of my “grown-up” friends now are admittedly still prone to bouts of freestyle poetry recitations (with an emphasize on fellatio puns and shunning of political buns), sessions of banging on household items (for no reason except that- wow, those are some “cool sounds”!), rounds of summer-saulting and skinny-dipping (only where appropriate and attention-grabbing, of course!), and improvised skits performed in public places (the louder, goofier, and more obnoxious, the better!)…

So, I guess it’s safe to say that even though I felt quite old at the party, those cheap booze-guzzling, liberal arts sea mariners are, in fact, a lot more “grown-up” than I am.

Afterall, I’m certainly not mature enough yet to use the words imperialism, secularism, logical positivism, multilateralism, and Clitorism all in a single, chatty conversation with someone I just met.

But, give me a few years.

I’m sure I’ll work them all into a coherent pick-up line one day.

Of the Devil’s condoms and food stamps

So, when I was a teenager, I was known, on occasion, to drop arbitrary condoms and pregnancy tests into poor couples' unwatched shopping carts in the super market.

(thanks, frustrated writer for rekindling this memory☺)

I hoped that it would spark exciting conversation and dialogue (maybe a bit of humor and otherwise difficult-to-invoke exchange between the discoverers of the merchandise), result in microcosmic pandemonium, and create (if nothing else) a great source of laughter for myself and my friends.

Yes, it was quite cruel.
Maybe even a bit too ‘prophetic, pubescent proselytizing’ for anyone’s taste…
…but, I was young and dumb…

But, now…, it’s quite boring, actually…

I don’t get to play the trouble-starting, world-examining, piss-taking critic anymore…

I don’t get to apply anti-flea lotion to the devil’s advocate’s tail. I don’t get to grease the spokes of absurdity’s earlobe and swing his daughter’s umbilical-cord jump rope as her friends chant: “One LeapFrog, 2 LeapFrog, 3 LeapFrog more!”.

Instead, I dress up and interview for jobs doing the other thing that I LOVE more than anything: working with children. I share my experience, ability and over-qualified enthusiasm, only to realize that the pay couldn’t support the needs of a domesticated, half-pedigree dog in any part of the city.

Anyway, I’m sure that some enlightened guru of the east once said that living off of happiness, rice, noodles, library books, vagabond blogging and un-paid editorializing was the ultimate key to existence…

At least…, if he didn’t, he should have said that… ☺

*Update/Edit: To preserve my credibility as a dedicated educator, I’ll have you know that I would never drop condoms or pregnancy tests into a child’s lunch box. After all, we all know that abstinence pills work far better. Especially when the children are still in their formative years.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ring, ring. Hello?

There's no fooling a sweet, honest, greesy-haired techie who's just diagnosed your ailing cell phone. You might as well try telling a 40-year-cop-turned-neuro-psychologist that you've never had lustful thoughts or acted upon them.

"Well, your phone's circuits have been fried, and it appears that someone has tampered with your cell phone. Are you sure it hasn't been exposed to a city-block-sized vat of sticky, citrus consistency-based beverage, as well as some evil-intentioned intruder who tried to mop it up?"

Me: " perhaps a tiny droplet of... er orange juice... uh... dropped within its reach...and, er.. maybe someone very similar to myself in appearance slipped in through the open screen window downstairs to try and dry it out... ah, man! I've divulged too much!"

"Well...," (dramatic flat-lining image drowns out all WiFi connections in a 3 block radius) "there's nothing I can do for it now. Please see the Salesman for an absurdly over-priced new phone, or consult eBay and Craigslist for a better deal."

And away the all-knowlegeable, late-teen doctor goes...

Luckily, I'm still feeling happy today.

I mean..., it's hard to feel down when you've spent the week doing awesome things like visiting Seattle's Coolest Science Museum (the best fun, interactive displays and exhibits ever!), The Inner-Geek-Invoking Science Fiction Museum (c'mon, am I the only one who grew up loving Bradbury, Ursela K. LeGuin, Heinlein, Douglas Adams, Harlan Ellison, Orwell, Arthur C. Clark, Shelly, & Jules Verne??!) , Summerfest (if your boyfriend's an artist, never take him to an art fair unless you're ready to spend hours reading and writing about Chaos and Funny Feynman while he sketches and creates...) as well as lots of coffee shops, used-book stores, and a couple of job interviews. Overall..., very good stuff!

I'm loving Seattle!

P.S. Anyone have an old cell phone with a verizon serial number they want to toss my way?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Juice the improbable

It's not an easy thing to do.
Not just anyone can do it the first time they try.
Really, it takes a bit of dexterous flair, a certain tactical finesse, and a few servings of cosmic luck.

But, miraculously, I managed it.

I successfully tossed my cell phone from my inflatable mattress into a narrow-mouthed glass of orange juice.

I instinctually, unintentionally and exactly calculated the weight and velocity of my flying communication devise, while taking into account gravitational and morning-wind-through-the-window variables to successfully perform this act.
What a miracle to accomplish such a grand feat purely by accident! Just imagine the ego-tickling pride and self-reaffirming dignity I must be feeling right now! Such inspirational and self-glorifying accomplishments don't come every day, you know.

Well..., perhaps it was for the best... Mister E suggested that it was my subconscious’s only way of chewing through the leash; its only way of liberating its free spirit from the confining whips of lovers, prospective employers, family and those ever-pesky good friends.

I, on the other hand, just can't help but be amused by the ever-outstanding preciseness of the universe's random exactness.

I mean..., how many other times in my life have I arbitrarily tossed an object, only for it to fall safely onto a stack of books, a carpet or a pine-needled floor? What are the odds that my projectile should land directly in a glass of citrus sweetness, complete with home-style pulp?!

Anyway, it’s occurrences like this that re-instill my momma’s-milk faith in the Great Winged Platypus and her crafty plans for us all.

(P.S. If you’re still finding that your questions about life, existence, meaning (and why arbitrary objects land in orange juice) are not being satisfactorily answered…, I’d be happy to send you further info on the religious teachings of the Great Platy-Pussy).

Sunday, July 09, 2006

First "Hmmm....s"

I, once, semi-accidentally walked into a "Snack Bar" in Japan and, upon immediate observation of the chatty, paid girls in fabric-lacking tops and hemmed-to-the-hyena-howl skirts, I drew my impressions of what the establishment embodied.
I thought it had to be another pay-for-company escort service-based business, marketing to high-paid, lonely (most-probably-married) salary men. I thought it was just another 'please-the-Money-with-prospects-of-pussy' kind of place.
But then, after many an evening, I finally met the owners, got to know them, their kids and their grandchildren, and eventually realised that there was far more to the business than just that...
The family wasn't making money off of simply night-capping pine cones...; they were making green bills off of--

...well, honestly, I still don't know...

But.., my point is that you can never know fully what is going on in a certain place based solely on your initial, intuitive responses.

First impressions should seldom be relied upon to accurately reflect what will come to exemplify the way you will know a place over time.

BUT..., they (1st impressions) can certainly illustrate significant milestones in evolving perceptions...
So..., before I forget what reflex-like responses Seattle has inspired in me, I present:

My First Impressions of Seattle (... First REgressions to come later...):

1)Damn, there are a lot of white people here. (*disclaimer: yes, I'm white too:))

2)Wow, it's outstandingly beautiful here. (*disclaimer: yes, I'm outstandingly beautiful too)

3)Man, everyone and their dog's pet-sitter's hampster has a tattoo. (*disclaimer: no, I have not yet artistically branded myself)

4)Since when does a single split second of the sun peaking out from behind the clouds constitute a heat wave? (*disclaimer: I'm used to having scalding, near-fatal, humid temperatures help ignite my barbeque)

5)Green, good. Trees, good. Parks with winding trails, very good. (*Disclaimer: unecessarry)

6)Wow, people are pretty relaxed here-- As mentioned in the previous post, they lack the bundles of splintery chopsticks up the butt found in so many other modern Arsch-concaves of modern metropolises ( ... or is it metropoli? metropoloose?--Anyway, *disclaimer: again, unecessarry)

7)People really covet their coffee here. (*disclaimer: I've coffeed a coveter before, but... that's not something I advertise on the internet...hahr.hahr.)

8)Public transportation is pretty good in this city (*disclaimer: not always. Yesterday, our awesome, environmentally-friendly, veggie-run bus broke down on us. Mister E said that's what happens when you let Maize run the maze. I'm still not so condemning yet, though...)

9)This is an awesome location, beautiful environment, good people

(*disclaimer: but, damn!, there are a lot of white people...).

----Far more impressions and experiences of Seattle to come soon. ----

(*Current News: inflatable mattress-residing, bus-pass-toting, museum ticket-reusing, used book store leach on the loose in the Pacific northwest tries a local pale ale and demonstrates-- charades-style-- how hoppy she thinks the brew is.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Nice Price

I've always been skeptical of those probing psychological quizzes used to shallowly diagnose personalities (I mean, who doesn't consider themselves caring and kind? ... and, who doesn't see albino guinnea pigs in pink laederhosen and Hendrix headbands playing badminton in 90% of inkblots these days?)

But, if a bored psych intern threatened to psycho-babble me to sleep if I didn't make a list of adjectives that best describe me, 'friendly' and 'outgoing' would probably make the top 15 (nestled, of course, among 'introspective', 'shy', 'creatively aberrational (read slightly demented)', and 'excessively silly (as in, a well-phrased bodilly function joke can excite my wet-my-pants giggle reflex just as easilly as a geniusly-timed sarcastic and intelligent remark can'...)).

But, I, like, way digress...

I speak now of 'friendly' and 'outgoing' qualities because I had always considered these to be great attributes worthy of more wide-spread demonstration among members of the human race (and among certain members of the animal and insect kingdoms as well-- I mean, why can't wasps be more like their social butterfly counterparts, and grizzlies more like their friendly Yogi bear brothers?).

But, now I'm starting to wonder if the qualities of kindness and amicability are not a tad bit over-rated. In fact, I'm starting to think that these characteristics are highly suspicious.

It's just that I'm not used to so much 'niceness'.
Unlike L.A., Seattle seems to be boiling with benevolence and extreme cordiality. Everyone seems to be a little nicer, a little more open, and a little less suffering-from-a-thorny-barbeque-skewer-up-their-ass.

Half of the time it's really wonderful to be talked to as a human being by strangers, engaged in light-hearted conversation at the bus stop, and treated with a bit of respect and humanity.
The other half of the time, though, I find myself questioning the motives of such unfettered kindness. Who does this guy think he is, asking about my first pet dog when all I want is a coffee? Why is this lady arbitrarilly asking my boyfriend what color m&m's he likes best? Does she want to bake him some fancy brownies? Or ascertain what color bottons to decorate our effigies with?

I dunno... I suppose I'm joking. I suppose I value openness and friendliness more than I'll admit, and I suppose a little extra random kindness in the world really isn't such a terrifying thing...

But, one thing I'm certain of is that anyone soliciting my feelings on the day's temperature and amount of cloud-cover must be up to something. Most likely they're involved in some super-secret, sociological and meteorological recconnaissance mission aimed at annexing the planet and securing domination over all of our manufactured robots, Hello Kitty dolls and Elvis impersonators...

As usual, people, this is no joke. I don't make this stuff up.