Posts categorized “Seattle”.

Snowverfield

They should remake Cloverfield, except set it in Seattle and have a quarter-inch of snow as the monster.

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Halloween: Post Mortem

We get no trick-or-treaters at our house. Zero. So we went over to the home of some friends, who live on Capitol Hill.

When they invited us, they made it sound like it would be a delightful, relaxing evening. Some food. A little wine. The occasional interruption by visiting children. Little did we know that we were being conscripted to work in their candy-handing-out sweatshop.

The quantity of trick-or-treaters they expected to receive was described to us as “a lot.” I took this to mean, like, 100. Instead, it was more like “a throng” or “a battalion” … possibly even “a multitude.” I don’t know what time they opened their front door (the insanity was already well on its way by the time we arrived at 6:00), but it did not close again until well after 9:00. The stream of kidmanity was ceaseless.

Handing out candy was a three-person operation: two stood on either side of the door, frantically shoving Fun-Sized Snickers bars and Laffy Taffy into the gaping maws of waiting bags; the third served as a kind of bucket brigade, feverishly scooping tooth-rot from the supply barrel and feeding it to the hander-outers, to ensure that their ammunition never ran low. Any hesitation and we would get overwhelmed. At one point a surge of kids drove us back into the house; the doorframe filled with a mass of costume-clad bodies, threatening to explode into the foyer if the pressure behind them continued to swell. We began just hurling handfuls of candy at the crowd, the high-caloric equivalent of firing a shotgun indiscriminately into an approaching zombie horde.

Our friends had purchased 100 pounds of candy; by the end of the evening, every last Tootsie Roll had been distributed.

Some observations from the front lines:

  • The most common non-generic costume (“generic” being define as a mainstay: pirate, ninja, superhero, witch, sexy ______, etc.) was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. A surprising number Dorothys. But perhaps not as surprising as the four different kids dressed as bananas. Am I so out-of-touch that I’ve missed the resurgence of the banana as a pop culture icon?
  • Also in the “more popular than you’d expect” column: penguins, Boba Fett, Santa Claus.
  • Favorite costume (tie): the two teens dressed as Jemaine and Bret. Bret had disheveled hair and a guitar strapped to his back; Jemaine had muttonchops and was crooning about how he was going to buy us a kebab. When The Queen and I complemented them on their costumes, they looked astonished. “Do you know who we are?” one asked. Sure, the Flight of the Conchords guys, we replied. “You’re the first people all night!” they cried. “We have a fan!”
  • Second favorite costume: kid dressed up like a box of Chinese take-out.
  • A homemade costume is, by default, 30 x more awesome than any store-bought costume. Fact! I would refer doubters to this photo.
  • On the porch, standing next to the door, was a plastic skeleton with a long, curly dark wig and gummy eyeballs in its sockets. Early in the night, one young boy looked at it and exclaimed, “It’s Michael Jackson!” He wasn’t joking; he honestly mistook it for Captain EO. We though that was pretty hilarious / odd. Then, an hour later, another kid had the exact same reaction. And 20 minutes later, another. All were totally sincere; we were completely baffled.

    At the end of the night a few of us stood around it, trying to figure out the resemblance. “Well, it doesn’t have a nose,” my friend observed. “And it’s about the same shade of white.”

  • The only thing more shameful than waking up after a night of heavy drinking to find a stranger in your bed is waking up the night after Halloween to find your jacket pocket literally bulging with empty candy wrappers.
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Local News: Blows!

Seattle has been rocked by, like, 14 mph winds today. So naturally the local media is reacting as if flesh-eating marmosets devoured the mayor.

WIND STORM 2007 IS FUCKING ON!!

Please to be noting:

  • Video caption reading “One man was forced to hold onto a tree to keep from being blown over.”
  • Actual video shows man using single hand to grasp sapling about 1/50th his diameter and approximately 1° off perpendicular from the ground.
  • Lovable seven-year-old ragamuffin nonchalantly walks his bicycle past in the background.

You can’t truly appreciate the devastation until you’ve seen the raw footage. (Warning: contains scenes of umbrella carnage not suitable for all viewers.)

Of course HOLY SHIT WINDSTORM 2007!!! did manage knock out power at my house, which left me without access to online porn for an hour or so. Fortunately I have a copy of the 1977 Sears Catalog in our emergency kit for just such a contingency.

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Sick Leave

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I’ve been sick as a dog.

If you scour my previous entries, you may craftily deduce the identity of the infecter.

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Seattle Follies

Last Friday I got email from my friend Phyllis Fletcher:

To: Matthew
From: Phyllis
Subject: Help--need jokes!!

I will represent KUOW at Town Hall's Seattle Follies, Thu April 26, 7:30PM. Send me some jokes!

Phyllis
 
 

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To: Phyllis
From: Matthew
Subject: Re: Help--need jokes!!

How many Seattlites does it take to replace a light bulb?

One to propose replacing it with a traditional light bulb, one to propose replacing it with a energy-efficient fluorescent bulb, one to propose replacing it with a single candle in protest of the Iraq war, and 100,000 to vote on a non-binding referendum.

Matthew
 
 

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To: Matthew
From: Phyllis
Subject: Re: Help--need jokes!!

Hahaha. But I will be delivering a fake newscast, so what I really need are jokey/satirical news items.

Phyllis
 
 

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To: Phyllis
From: Matthew
Subject: Re: Help--need jokes!!

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously today to reappropriate the $4 billion currently earmarked for the 520 floating bridge replacement project. The funds will now be given to the research department of Blue Origin, to be used for the development of jetpacks and hoverboards. Richard Conlin, chairman of the council's state Route 520 committee, defended the decision, pointing out that the creation of such alternative commuter technology for crossing Lake Washington would likely require less time and prove more feasible than finding a 520 plan everyone can agree on.

Meanwhile, the Seattle chapter of NORML unveiled another 520 replacement proposal last Friday at the Hempfest benefit concert: the 420 floating bridge. The six-lane "high-way" would have a speed limit of 7 miles an hour and just kind of meander around aimlessly, without any real direction.

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A Walk In The Park

I wrote a tribute to Seattle’s park system and it’s available today at The Morning News.

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Where There’s Smoke There’s Ire

If you drive around downtown Seattle long enough, eventually you’ll see the billboard of a little girl eating a dead, bloodied rat. (Warning: the hypertext immediately preceding this sentence reading “a little girl eating a dead, bloodied rat” links to a picture of a little girl eating a dead, bloodied rat.) It’s a wonderful thing to see as I’m commuting to work. One moment I’m humming along, fantasizing about the two Top Pot donuts I’m going to buy from the corner bakery when I arrive at the office, and the next I’m looking at a 20 ft. high portrayal of rodentaphagy.

The aim of the billboard is not to ensure that I maintain my girlish figure. It is, in fact, an anti-smoking ad. Below the picture is the text “Kissing A Smoker Is Just As Gross,” along with the slogan “Tobacco Smokes You.” You can find our more that their website, ashtraymouth.com, which has the following in the “keywords” section of its HTML header:

Ashtraymouth, ashtray mouth, Kissing a smoker, Tobacco smokes you, Kissing a smoker is just as gross, Don’t kiss a smoker, Yuck Chuck Challenge, Spin the Bottle and smoking, Gross Factor and smoking, Gross things and smoking, Eating a dead rat, Eating a cockroach, Eating roadkill, Eating a hairball, Eating cat throw-up, Eating a dirty sock…

All of this courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health.

To be fair, the billboard doesn’t show an actual photograph of a girl. It’s more like an adorable Nightmare Before Christmas-style doll eating a dead, bloody rat. The whole thing looks like something a emo girl would have tattooed on her lower back and then publish a picture of on her MySpace page. But, still.

This is not the first time that the WSDOH has used gross-out tactics to discourage people from smoking. I remember back in the 90′s I used to watch reruns of The Simpsons at 6:30 and, during the first commercial break, the screen would invariably get filled with a shot of diseased lung tissue. Just what you wanna see during the dinner hour.

I don’t smoke, and never have. So why am I subjected to this stuff? The fact that I’m paying for it as well just twists the knife. There’s much ado about the perils of secondhand smoke, but who’s raging against the scourge of secondhand smoker education? I mean, let’s face it: at this point I would pretty much have to voluntarily put myself in the position of inhaling secondhand smoke (especially since the passage of Initiative 901, Washington’s recent paean to the Nanny State), while these unappetizing ads are erected in the middle of our public square.

For that matter, why should smokers be subjected to these? These billboards don’t even offer education, only condemnation. At least when they cut from Ralph Wiggum to lip cancer, they were showing you something connected to the hazards of smoking. What the hell does a billboard of Gothy McMopper eating rat-on-the-cob have to do with anything? They aren’t supplying smokers with the facts so they can make informed decision anymore — now their goal, as near as I can tell, is simply to make smoking Not Enjoyable. I dislike your habit, so I’m going to make you dislike it too. It’s aversion therapy without the high electrical bill.

When you think about it, though, this ad isn’t even for smokers. It says “Kissing A Smoker Is Just as Gross,” implying that this billboard is aimed at friends of smokers. That’s right: we’re paying the state to run ads to train us to shun people for smoking. Jeeze, I can’t imagine why the folks in this city are perpetually pissed off about taxes.

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Blue State Skies

The Queen: I think Bush is in town for a few days.

Me: He was just here this morning. He left a few hours ago.

The Queen: Ah. I wondered why the sun came back out.

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A Pitcher’s Worth A Thousand Words

I get a lot email. Not all of it is mine.

To: Matthew Baldwin
From: Geoffrey Ambler
Subject: Friday Night

Hey Matt,

I was talking to frazz last night and we were talking about how we should have a late night dinner before we go out of friday. I have work til like 630 on friday and then I am coming into the city with bull should be there by 9. Make a reservation somewhere for like 930. I mean bars don't get good til after 11- 1130 anyway. We might aswell eat and drink and then drink drink delta til 6 am. Let me know what you think?

I love you,
Geoff

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To: Geoffrey Ambler
From: Matthew Baldwin
Subject: Re: Friday Night

Hey, Geoff. This sounds great, except I think you're probably talking about a different city than the one I live in (Seattle). Also, you may have intended this to go to a different Matthew Baldwin. Sounds like a good time, though.

Best to frazz and bull,
Matthew

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To: Matthew Baldwin
From: Geoffrey Ambler
Subject: Re: Friday Night

You know what you're right the baldwin I am talking about is straight. You must be his gay twin who his fucking Jamie Moyer (pitcher for the seattle mariners). I'm sorry man I won't bother you anymore. Seattle, huh, doesn't it rain 23 hours a day 6 days a week there?

Best to grunge rock and starbucks!

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To: Geoffrey Ambler
From: Matthew Baldwin
Subject: Re: Friday Night

Oh hey man, I thought you knew: Jamie Moyer (pitcher for the seattle mariners) and I broke up back in February. It was probably for the best. Honestly, we'd been drifting apart for years. He spent so much time on the road with the team, and I was spending so much time on my latch-hook ... you know how it goes. We were really only staying together for the kids there at the end, you know?

I still see him occationally, at Starbucks or grunge music concerts. He's moved on now, I guess -- got a new guy named Trevor or Tyler or something.

Thanks for asking, though -- it means a lot to me that you care.

Well, too bad Friday night didn't work out for us. I guess I'll just stay at home this weekend. Been doing that a lot, lately. Just staying home and listening to the rain and thinking about Jamie. We had some great times together, me and Jamie. Some really great times.

I love you too,
Matthew

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The Most Loneliest Jack of My Life

You know who the most boring people in the world are? People who describe television commercials to those who haven’t seen them.

And yet …

So there

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