please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thoughts on Place, Pigs

"We are forces of chaos and anarchy/ everything they say we are, we are
and we are very...Proud of ourselves..."

Jefferson Airplane, "We Can Be Together"

Portland's motto is (was?) "The City That Works". This has led to some interesting juxtapositions.
In the late '80's, there was a bunch of billboards in that War on Drugs motif -block letters, red white n' black (Nazi colors!) color palette- that read, "DRUGS DON'T WORK IN PORTLAND". As my friend and I were on acid as of this viewing, at least one of us must have said, "Shit; they seem to work just fine." Then we noticed the billboard next to it: A bunch of Corona bottles riding a chairlift to the top of the slopes. The brilliant punchline? "Brew-Ski."

Well, we certainly don't want you doing any drugs, but we fully encourage you to ski drunk. There are others who would suggest that maybe Portland's motto should be "The City That Is Way Too Proud of Itself". As I've said, as annoying as Portland's supporters are, Portland's detractors lose a lot of points with me for what seems like way too much anger at things that don't really damage anything noteworthy.
While just across the river is Linnton, who modestly posits that their community is "A Place to Live and Work." Unlike the rest of those places.

And for a while I had this t-shirt that said, "Missoula; A Place, sort of," and it had -I believe- a frog with a duck bill on it? I do not recall. Better still, I remember someone having an actual explanation for this, but I don't think it made any sense.

These issues of place loom large over the lady of the house and myself. That's us to the left there, on our fortieth anniversary, in 1985. Those damn kids got me a Cosby sweater again that year.
Anyway, we need to move to a smaller house, and we are. It, like our last house, is tiny, though situated on a large lot, and features a li'l shed out back for keeping tools and scheming darkly.

It's in a neighborhood whose existence I was not informed of. Hemmed in by industry of all sorts, it's out in the country while still entirely within city limits.
Across a large boulevard to the south, shootout territory; ghetto-type shit. To the north, railroa' tracks. To the west? The port!

And if you go east enough, Portland at large, Marine Drive, Edgefield, the Gorge, Mt. Hood, y'know.

"WE ARE AWESOME TO THE EARTH 42", reads the sign along Hwy. 99. It is ostensibly advertising some business along the way, but its unclear what that would be. Something that needs to be somewhat defensive about its earth-friendliness, I would imagine.
But it also looks like the work of someone who -bored- spends a lot of time wandering down the street/highway in the exurban sprawl that precedes Wine Country, changing around the letters on signs.
And '42'? Well, if you'll remember, that's the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. (And, by a nice coincidence, the episode number of the first Monty Python show Douglas Adams showed up on.) When the further issue of "...Okay, so what's the question, then?" came up, there was a search conducted, and when they found it, it was rendered in huge letters on the surface of a distant planet. But over the millenia, they had sunk into the soil so much that they now read, in the local dialect, "GO STICK YOUR HEAD IN A PIG".

More coming. This is all from a rather interesting week.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Being Just Plain Unfair

Personally, that thing we were always taught about not 'judging a book by its cover'? Buncha shit, if you ask me. While it is not a good idea to have this as your only measure, I keep noting that the crazy look crazy, the smug look smug, and the ones who wander around looking solemn all the time are bores. Examples? Let's go to the editorial board of The Oregonian.

Just look at Steve Duin. He's moustached, sort of like a loyal, faithful dog in appearance. Furthermore, that moustache is a reminder that once upon a time, there was an entire beard there, and probably long hair to match: I'M ONE OF YOU! I was a freak, then I grew up, had a family, you know...The upshot of this? In the middle of his boy-the-world-sure-is-a-scary-place columns, there will be some Bob Dylan quotes a-comin'.
He looks Serious, though, and that's important. It adds gravitas to his endless columns about high-school girls' basketball.

Anna Griffin looks Serious too, but this is pretty much undone by the fact that she, like a number of adult lesbians I've met in my life, looks like an angry fifteen-year-old boy. It is a fact that -in the privacy of my own home- I read her column aloud in my best Jodie Foster in "Silence of the Lambs" voice: all clipped syllables and empty macha.
With the exception that she would like to be legally married to the woman she lives with and has children with, she's kind of a reactionary, and seems to spend a lot of her time writing in that tone of faux-outrage that characterizes...Assholes in any category, I guess.

Susan Nielsen has that look (practiced by Kathleen Parker, among others) that says, "C'MONNN! You know what I'm sayin' is True! You know in your heart of hearts that I'm Right! C'MONNNNNN!"
It informs her writing style, too. She sort of breezily ridicules things without much in the way of examination. Or she'll throw in evidence that suggests that her viewpoint is crap, then blithely ignore it.
She also occasionally will fall into the awful ontological trap of 'I am a woman, so therefore I believe the following...' which -again- just doesn't help her case at all.

Of course, all of these people are Opinion writers, so they really don't have to adhere to any sort of strictures regarding...Much, really. But there is that duty you have to yourself as an opinion writer: try to make your opinion seem plausible and palatable.

Here's Andy Parker. He's got the 'C'MONNN!' going on too, but more in the Cool Community College Faculty way. The 'Hey, c'mon...', perhaps. He writes in a Steve Duin-esque sort of 'saddened and shocked, shocked, I tell you' way, but is sheltered in a way that makes Mr. Duin seem positively cosmopolitan.
Not a lot else, except that he seems to have taken S. Renee Mitchell's place, and I honestly can't say if that's a step forward or backward.

Dave Lister writes fairly consistent 'guest opinion' pieces. He distinguishes himself by taking the opposite opinion of pretty much anyone in their right mind on pretty much any topic. If I had to read that look on his face, it would be 'Dave Lister: Common Sense Man!'
Common Sense Man thinks that their viewpoint is underrepresented in our culture, which I think is also exactly the opposite of what is actually the case. If anything, we're swimming through an ocean of their horse shit every day. Their favorite phrase is 'If it ain't Broke, don't Fix it', which they think gives them an out as far as actually examining It to see if it is Broke, and in need of Fixin'.
In this way, I suspect that he's another one that starts making jokes about "Global Warming" (and never Catastrophic Global Climate Change) every time it snows. His column about why the minimum wage is unnecessary is a classic. (Turns out that it makes your Big Mac go up a few cents.)

But Elizabeth Hovde is the winner, hands down. She goes beyond the usual right-wing pose of 'c'mon, you know I'm right, and I'm right because this is just the good old horse sense that comes from the Gut, as opposed to corrupt, elitist Brain', and into the 'Yeah, YEAH? SEEEE? RIGHT? RIGHT?' look of pure, terrifying zealotry I often see on the face of militant Vegans.
She's got the one-spooky-eye thing going, and that doesn't help. It is a look I could see occurring on Ann Coulter's face if she ever actually smiled. I'm imagining that in the mind of this particular smiler, she looks enthusiastic and full of fresh ideas. But really, she just looks nuts.

I'm well aware that one can't accurately base an entire analysis of a person on one photograph: that's also not my point. I mean, this occasional guest commenter has two photos, one in which she looks like a fun-lovin' gal, and another where she looks like she has Down's Syndrome. The story is the photo itself, and what it says about you, since you've cleared it to be your representative (or, to use a somewhat-misused term, "avatar") in public.

That said, Chelsea Cain just looks evil.
She doesn't write for The Oregonian anymore, and was not evil, but banal. For all you Hannah Arendt fans out there, it's not The Banality of Evil, but The Evil of Banality. And again, the picture says nothing about the writing, and of course if this same test were applied to me, god knows what other people would come up with, and...
Aaagh! God, I'm sorry.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Treat Yourself to Quality Down Each and Every Aisle

These are actual TV listings:

(LIFE) Abduction of Innocence: A Moment of Truth movie ('96) Lumber heiress stands trial for her own kidnapping.
(STRZ) Mansfield Park ('94) A Girl Grows up with relatives and becomes a writer(PG-13)
(ENC) Car Wash ('76) Preacher, Cabby and others mingle to disco music.(PG)
(UPN) Seinfeld-Troubled Employee.
(UPN) The Hughleys-Ethnic barbs.
(TLC) How'd They Do That?- Storm chasers; bone-marrow donor.
(PAX) Diagnosis Murder- Someone is killing wealthy people.
(FX) NYPD Blue-Members of rich family are killed.
(AMC) Goodbye Charlie ('64) Tony Curtis-Shot by Angry Husband, a playboy writer comes back as a blonde, as his buddy finds out.
(DISN) Alley Cats Strike! ('00) Tim Reid. Teens join in an inter-school bowling rivalry.

These Are Not Actual TV Listings:

(FOOD) Let's Give Iced Coffee To The Poor (cc)
(TLC) Why'd They Do That?- Houseplant that belches fire; things.
(UNI) La Casa Borracho! (tvg)
(LIFE) Head In A Heart-Shaped Box ('87) Mare Winningham- After a tragic boating accident, Divorced woman cries.
(UPN) Punk Ass Bitch ('98) Martin Lawrence, Jamie Wayans- Large Feet Jokes.
(TNN) $mack-Robert Urich.
(AMC) Dial M for 'Miscegenation' ('64) Richard Basehart-Man's own daughter puts her hand in an ape's.
(STRZ) Drunk Guy From Another Planet ('83) Bill Cosby, Jason Robards- Actually a detailed account of the Teapot Dome scandal of the Harding administration.
(FAM) Monkey Angels!-Richard Thomas.
(FAM) Bronze Age Club-president of Me Think Fags Bad, Africans.
(FOX) Get That Crap Off My Fridge- Comedy.
(ESPN) Yer Outta There!- Great Sports Deaths.

I'll Let You Guess*:

(LIFE) Gone In A Heartbeat ('96) Jill Eikenberry-Teens kidnap heart patient, leave her out in the cold.
(DISC) Justice Files-Drugs and alcohol contribute to accidents.
(WB) Caroline In The City-Cancellation.
(ABC) Dharma & Greg-Mysterious Box.
(ABC) The Geena Davis Show-Acting.
(CBS) 60 Minutes II- Forensic psychiatrist spots psychopaths in the workplace.
(FAM) The 700 Club-Depression.

*Okay; those were all real.

And our friends at Something Awful have done it again. Actually, they do this sort of thing every day; taking the incisive making-fun-of-something and making it into an overarching story. Brilliant.
So please read The Invaders. "You have always been a smart friend to me," indeed.

Another version of me is having a weird little argument about the name of a popular Ethiopian dish, over on the AV Club blog. This is perhaps the only place I can think of where one's lack of oversight concerning a cuisine from the Horn of Africa would get one pegged as a "philistine". I can only assume that this will get worse.

I continue to answer weird-looking ads on Craigslist that promise unlikely amounts of money for very little work. One guy promised four hundred dollars for helping him move his shit from one apartment to another. When I emailed him, "Nelson Hudson" replied with this moving piece of weirdness:

I need someone who is honest cause I'm a Reverend and am on a missionary assignment,I want the moving to be done before I get back to the states ,I already made arrangements for the payment and also the keys to the apartment,my landlord will be showing you the apts so the locations shouldn't be a problem,I will be calling the landlord of the old apt so he can be around the house for packing,I will instruct my client to issue and mail out the payment he owes me so you can deduct the $400 which I believe is a reasonable amount for moving the items listed and have the remaining funds wired to the landlord of the new apt via western union so he can bring down the keys down to you or he could be available when you drop the items,the remaining funds you will be wiring to the new landlord is the balance payment for my new apt,I'm only doing this cause I'm presently out of the states like I said earlier and i want things to go smooth and perfect.Would like to know where you stay so as to be rest assured if this will easier for you or not.

I wrote back to say that my vehicle could not accommodate a refrigerator.

As I've seen before, the Internet has provided a wonderful new outlet for chain letters, which in the past had to be written on paper and put in the mail with expensive "stamps". Now any old freak with an internet connection can do things like this:


I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service Technician (could also be Telus) who was conducting a test on the telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine(9), zero(0), the pound sign (#), and then hang up. Luckily, I was suspicious and refused.

Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 90#, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number..

I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many local jails/prisons

DO NOT press 90# for ANYONE.

The GTE Security Department requested that I share this information with EVERYONE I KNOW.

After checking with Verizon they also said it was true, so do not dial 90# for anyone !!!!!


I note that this email originated in Hawaii. I wrote back that
"No: that one stops here. In the unlikely event of some guy claiming to be a lineman showing up at my door and asking me to do something for him, I'll say no. This message originated from pretty far away, and they're a little too interested in as many people as possible getting it in their inboxes."

So an old practice is alive and well. Hoorah. I like old things.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More of the Same

So what I did last weekend was log almost thirty-six hours working for World Wrestling Entertainment. That to the right there is not an image from that particular show, but it is an example of what can happen to you in the nutty world of show-biz: Chris Jericho might just ram your face up some dude's ass.
I guess the trip is notable for lots of reasons, but the thing that always fascinates me is how it seems clear to me now that the only ways one may make money anymore from a touring show are wrestling, children's shows, and religious shit.

We tend to fall into what I used to describe as 'the same twelve people over and over again,' but really I suspect there's something more on the order of perhaps twenty basic personality types, with permutations thereof and rarely, occasionally, someone who truly does not remind you of anyone else. This being said, it's lots of fun to go work in another city.
You get so used to working with/enduring the people in your own home sphere that it almost comes as a shock when you go somewhere else and note that they're there, they just changed clothes, genders, age...

This leaves me saying (in my mind, you understand); Oh, so you're the girl who complains about everything, even all the way up to refusing to accept the common phrase "good morning" with any sort of pleasantry. Or, so you're the guy who won't stop talking ever, until I find some reason to walk away, and what you're talking about is both ridiculously general and increasingly personal, spiralling down into itself with juxtapositions of, say, how folks at that other place you used to work treated you with so much more respect as well as how Americans are so blind to the 'cutthroat reality' of the world outside the United States...
Or, you're the Capital L Lesbian who needs to remind us all that you're a lesbian every five minutes, because you're a lesbian. Or you're the one who is somebody's kid, a higher-up in the local, who is a know-it-all that no one really likes, but everyone tolerates, and has dyed blue hair. Probably identifies as a lesbian, but really just can't get anyone at all -male or female- to have sex with her.
And, so you're the one that sees some sort of conspiracy at the fact that you don't work as much as I do, and you're the one who wants to only talk about health and dietary-related issues, likely to use phrases like, "See, we're only evolutionarily designed to process nuts and seeds..." And you're The Jewish Homeboy, literally from Long Island. Portland's local doesn't have one of those, but I'm always happy to see this archetype; we always get along.

Well, and in fact stagehands tend to be people who are not often seen as experts at anything else in their lives, I think. So when they have a chance to be a know-it-all loudmouth, they take it and run with it. At least he has something to be proud about, I often say.
So yes, a lot of them are not so bright, but good enough at this thing that they do that is just technical enough to be a craft that they get their rare chance at being that guy who gets to talk big.
There are also plenty of people in the industry who are quite good at their jobs and do not go around crowing about how clever they are. These tend to be the better stagehands, actually.

About The Talent: the women all have fake tits, the men all have fake tans, and are a great deal shorter than they appear on television. The Undertaker actually seems like a pretty nice man.

While in the middle of day three of this adventure, I had some hours to kill and went back to Hattie's Hat. It was Sunday Brunch, and there was critically little space for me, but I found some. I was seated next to a girl who was talking loudly about her disbelief that anyone would ever go to a gay bath house, what with all the exposure to disease, and all...
Actually, as much as she tried to make her disgust sound rational, really she was just going through the depths of The Ick Factor: all those fluids...So a guy who I had thought was her friend finally said, "Well, why does anybody do anything?" and launched into his own list of examples of how there is inherent danger in anything you do.

For some reason, this devolved into how, for instance, there's laws concerning the safe preparation of food, and (she said) that is something we can take comfort in, knowing how safe we are, while (he said) it also seems like those laws are guidelines at best that few people take seriously enough that it would seem that those laws safeguard almost no one.
At this moment, I noticed a foot-long black hair in my fries. I pulled it out of there, and joined the conversation long enough to point out that one of the codes in this law mandates that hairnets be worn if cooking, and you're long-haired.

Back to Portland, not enough sleep. Another one-day in-out with WWE, then three and a half hours of sleep, do the in for Thomas The Train... Creepy soundcheck with diseased carnival music and choruses of children screaming. (From behind the speakers, everything sounds more sinister.)
And in the middle of all of this, a focus group. I went into a room in the Terminal Sales Building (does every city have a building so named? I know Seattle does) downtown and was plied with information about Camel's new smoke-free options. The Orb (which is not, strictly speaking, an orb: more capsule-shaped), The Strip (which is much like a Listerine Strip, and every bit as tasty), and The Stick (which is pretty much a toothpick coated with nicotine). For sitting there for an hour, I received fifty dollars.

There's certainly some more to that story, but that's for another time. Tonight, more Thomas The Train, and the possibility that I'll just be called back to Seattle to do that all over again. When it rains, it floods.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

King City Diary

When the rest of the country was on that crazy kick of naming major-though-generally-economically-depressed thoroughfares after Martin Luther King, Seattle got off easy by already having a street named 'King'. They wisely stuck an 'M.L.' in front of it, and dusted off their hands with an easy finality.
When you see it, you've just passed Tukwila, and have not yet seen Boeing Field. It always gives me kinda a thrill: I love approaching that skyline.

First stop: Physical! I rolled into the industrial section of downtown, found a pretty nondescript-looking building that had a parking lot I wasn't sure I should park in, and made my mandatory appointment with ten minutes to spare.
"The city's doing lots of hiring, aren't they?" the nurse asked/said. It's true. It looked like the majority of the others in the waiting room that day were there to do what I was there to do. A hearing test -amazingly- showed that despite many years spent around loud music, early chronic eustachian tube infections and a hereditary propensity toward ear wax, my sonic sensitivity is actually pretty good. My formerly 20/15 vision is now 20/25 (the right eye recently was injured in a stupid kindling-wood-chopping incident), and I don't seem to have blood and/or excessive amounts of sugar in my urine.

Then the actual doctor arrived. He seemed rushed. Too rushed, if you ask me. "Squat down! Stand up with your feet together! Grab my fingers! Push back against me! Drop your drawers!"
Here we go, I thought, and was thoughtfully starting to turn around for him when he said, "No; I'm goin' in through the front!"
I beg your pardon, I almost said, but it quickly became clear that hernias were what he had in mind, not the health of my prostate.

After, a trip to Ballard. That neighborhood is pretty much my default when I'm in Seattle. Met up with Disco Boy, discussed a number of things, including his discomfort with writing when so many other people do it better, or at least have already said it all before.
Been up against that one myself. Strange though; pretty much everyone whose writing I enjoy seem to do it so little. And writing, like any art, is simply for its own sake: get into originality questions and you'll never do anything.

Thence over Wallingford over to Kirkland. A visit to The Baron, and his swanky condo overlooking Lake Washington. Kirkland strongly resembles a much larger version of the town we attended high school in, except it's on an actual lake as opposed to an artificially-enlarged sink hole. More like an inland sea, really.
It's a douchebaggy place of massive proportion. If you wish to cross the street, there are these little receptacles of neon-colored plastic flags affixed to each sign post, and you become your own crossing guard. The coffee place that wasn't a Starbuck's or Tully's was filled with overfed dudes boasting loudly about their Microsoft stock profits. It featured barristas hired -certainly- for their looks, not their skills.

For instance, my request for 'one of those english muffin things' in the case was met with the correction, "They're breakfast sandwiches!", to which I replied, "Whatever. I'd like one." And I was repeatedly asked if I was staying or going, with emphasis on my need to go. I didn't get the americano I asked for until asking for it again, as those who should have been at work making the damn thing were too busy flirting with other awful people..

The Baron's place is sad. It has a lovely view; the eastern-facing Seattle skyline twinkling invitingly in the lake waters at night, lit all gold and orange first thing in the morning. But it also is a stunningly empty place; great knife set, beautiful pots and pans, clearly never used. The place would be perfect for entertaining, but I'm pretty sure all it ever sees are endless role-playing-game tournees and...I just kept wanting to ask: "So...Prostitutes, is it?" I don't know how he manages sex when he's spent the last fifteen or years locked into the highly profitable but ultimately soul-killing corporate world, where you can get anything but don't necessarily have anything resembling a social life.
In any case, we drank whiskey and watched "House", made fun of teevee culture, etc. It was good to see him.

The next day I drove back into Seattle proper, tried to kill a couple hours on Capitol hill, couldn't quite work it out. I was trying to diarize on paper, just like I used to, especially when travelling.
I spoke to Disco Boy, who encouraged me to check out a small used record concern located in a used clothing shop right up "past the fish fry". The entry in my notebook reads:
Where de fuck's de fish fry? Wandering around a town that's not quite yours can be a heap of fun, or not. Especially when you've got the limited funds, and don't especially relish wearing the sign that says, "I'm not from around here."

I guess I was expecting some sort of open-air seafood festival. The Fish Fry is in fact a small restaurant. I was writing the above in Oddfellow's, which is a pretty okay restaurant, though crowded at lunch.

So back to Ballard, then, and Hattie's Hat, where I always feel at home. Conversations there included comic books, the music of The Animals and Van Dyke Parks, and how condos are evil. I drove out to Shilshole Bay around sundown, and just sat there for a long time, finally napping a bit.

Girly-Girl and I got some sandwich Cubano at a great -though tiny- place, and went back to the home of she and Disco Boy, where we sat around talking about everything until I just had to go to bed.

The next day was a paid orientation at Seattle Center. It was a whole lot of sitting there repeating the obvious-though-legally/ethically-mandated. Also present: two other Portlanders, one who suggested ride-sharing, as he had rented a car to get up there, and another who recently moved to Seattle but spends a lot of his time working in Portland, still. The reverse of my schedule, really.
The one who had rented a car was going on a bit, as is his wont: I can't believe more people in Portland don't take advantage of this! There's people down there who don't even know about this, and we should organize a whole bunch of people to come up here, and...I was looking at the faces of the equally work-poor Seattleites around him, and was quietly gesturing that maybe he should shut up, when one of them said, "No, you shouldn't do that."

Fergie, the one who lives in Seattle now, was ostensibly going to provide me with lodging that evening. But it soon became clear to me that he wasn't a hundred per cent sure of how to explain how to get to his house, and I said I'd go spend the night somewhere I could be completely sure of the location. This was during the tour that followed the orientation, in which we noted with some surprise that the loading dock for Key Arena isn't one big long windy drag from outside to center ice (a phenomenon which, at the Rose Garden, is known as 'The Pneumonia Hole'), but all semis either park by an enormous cargo elevator, or come down a ramp, park on a semi-sized slab of metal which then descends into the floor, allowing all present to offload with ease.
Fergie and myself noted how small the floor was at the Key, also how little in the way there was in the way of catwalks, upstairs. We talked about lots of things. I made plans to stay at Disco Boy's again, but told Ferg I'd be glad to meet up with him later.

And so we did. The Honey Hole, despite its borderline porn name, is a nice joint up on Capitol Hill. They have good food, and the people who work there are not assholes, which is amazing, kind of. Actually, I'm unsure if I can safely generalize about the quality of servers in Seattle vs. Portland. They might just be nicer up there.
Disco Boy and I were immediately beset by a guy with bangs that looked just like mine did in 1986, and another who had done that unfortunate just-growing-out-the-sideburns-to-beard-length thing. They were together, roaring drunk, and were overjoyed to see my friend.

Every few minutes, the one with bangs kept on yelling Disco Boy's name, which caused him finally to say, "It's like I keep sneakin' up on ya'." I had to remind dude of my name five or seven times.
Fergie arrived, looked at the fella with the bangs, looked at me, and stage whispered, "I think your friend is dr-hunnnk..." Eventually the three of us were left to discuss our various lives and fortunes. After this, Disco Boy's regular gig, mellow revelry and more talk of music, in which I sort of said something along the lines of...When you're geeking out on the arcana of music, you're telling the true story of the human race, or...Something. Did I mention the free drinks we got at that bar?

Down south, go see the folks, go see the kid...Strange stories there. Back up the next morning to Seattle.

Finally, a visit to the Convention Center, where I would be getting rid of Tech Ready '09, and where Bill Gates had recently exhibited his eccentric billionaire status by actually releasing a bunch of mosquitoes into the crowd. He reportedly said something along the lines of "poor people shouldn't be the only ones who have to endure this.." and as his employees looked at each other uncomfortably, I imagine he then screamed, "MOSQUITOOOES!" and threw open the fateful trap door. Great. Now we all have malaria. Well, it's a living.

But the people I worked with were very nice to me, and very professional. I actually recieved a compliment that I've been wanting to get for a while; that not only do I clearly know what I'm doing, I also don't spend great amounts of time telling other people (read: especially those senior to me) how to do their jobs. Folks appreciate this combination of attributes, turns out.

Escaped, but not for long: pestholey traffic caused me to crawl at twenty miles per from Seattle to Tacoma, and then again from Fort Lewis to Centralia. This weekend? Just goin' back up there again, for WWE. Wish me luck.