Author of the Queen City Boys books


“I was just nowhere near your neighborhood”

I should have gone to bed two hours ago. Instead of sleeping I am drinking red wine and watching Singles. It’s making me incredibly homesick for a Seattle that doesn’t even exist anymore. For some reason this makes me want to pack a small bag, put an add on Craigslist Spain, offering to marry any guy in Barcelona to get citizenship, and disappear in the middle of the night. Or maybe it’s the good Spanish wine (and overdose of political blogs) that is making me want to do that.

Seriously though, the Seattle of Singles was kind of a fairytale to begin with, but even the Seattle it was based on is long gone. I’d say no one could understand what I mean, but I know for sure Boots does, and the other night I ended up in a long conversation with a friend’s sister who was lamenting the years she lived in Seattle in the 90s going to the Cha Cha and Linda’s. The apartment building in the movie is across the street from my middle school, a few blocks from where Boots and I grew up. Every filming location is instantly recognizable. It’s making me kind of teary.

The movie does almost entirely miss the point of the social movement in Seattle at that time. The characters aren’t even caricatures of anyone really living in that time at that age. But damn, the music is also making me, uh, not homesick, but, um, nostalgic, I guess. Though I always imagine nostalgia containing some sort of concept of wishing you could return to that time. I certainly don’t want that, but I do feel oddly heartsick for the loss of it. For the fact that only a few of my friends remember it. For the fact that my little sister will never know it. For it being strangely lost to my history in a way I could never completely share with a lover or a future partner. And of course my sister will have a version of Seattle that I will never really experience. And any potential partner doesn’t need to share my past because we’ll build a future and blah blah blah. Gah, I’m at risk of becoming maudlin here.

Tomorrow I will wear bright colors and walk in the Tennessee sun. There will be no unseasonable black tights, no North Face rain jackets (why do extras in this movie have umbrellas? No one in Seattle would carry an umbrella), no lamenting the loss of the SuperSonics. Look to the future in the clear light of day!

Say look, it’s my horoscope for tomorrow/today:

There are so many reasons for you to think positively about your life, so try not to focus on just the bad stuff! If you can just stop and let yourself see your life with clear eyes, you should be able to sense a new beginning coming. One that, in turn, that will give you the confidence you need to move into a new direction. Why not take a chance on someone who’s new to the scene? Add a bit of risk to your life right now, and you will embark upon a very exciting path. You’re feeling great about some new project or plan you’ve been putting into action, but you need to slow down just a bit, lest you overdo it somewhat. Just try to find a balance in your life.

Balance. Yes. As necessary and as hard to find as love.

Song for today: Labor Day – Goodness (click to download)

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golden casting

So I’m watching the Golden Compass and man, oh, man, it’s pretty but they made this really for only for people who had read the book.  The cast is GREAT!  And not just for my beloved Daniel Graig, but Ian McShane, Sam Elliot and especially Eva Green as the witch queen.  She should ALWAYS play roles like that.  Oh yeah.  Also Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee and Derek Jacobi!  HURRAH!

Now if if only life was as neatly and happily resolved as movies are, then everything would be perfect.

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so much time, so much not getting done

This is a post I started on Saturday and got so scattered that I never finished it:

I’m going to go out on a limb and say I have PMS, since this just made me cry (watch the video, don’t skip it).

I am very scattered today. I keep thinking, “Oh I need to do X,” and then I’m go make a cup of coffee and entirely forget what X is. So I ‘ll start to do Y and think of something else in the middle of it, leave it and start thinking about X again, with the intention to write it down, but get distracted by Z and start the whole process over again. UGH. Seriously, it is hard to be me sometimes.

Now it’s Monday and I am still scattered as I was two days ago. Whopperjaw came through town yesterday. I made Thai curry, both green and red, yum yum yum. And then we took Ladybug to See Batman on the Imax screen. YAY BATMAN. I have complaints about it, but they are so minor and bizarre that I expect anyone listening to my complaints would just roll their eyes at me. I did totally love it.

This morning Whopperjaw and I were having breakfast in this little diner in my neighborhood, and the cashier, an older gentleman, was asking me all about my tattoos. Finally, done, he turned to Whopperjaw and said, “You got your hands full with this one.” WJ snickered, and all the way to the car he nattered on about how it so nice to have someone else recognized the trials of his life, having his hands full with me. Hmmm, I am perhaps not relaying this as amusing as it really was.

Okay, off to the craft store. I got things to do today and I have to start somewhere!

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dreams, books, badness abounds

I had crazy stress dreams about moving.  Though this is a common theme for my stress dreams, it’s pretty clear where these came from. My loud, awful, crappy indie rock playing neighbors are moving out. Well, apparently they were supposed to move out by Saturday.  As far as I can tell they still aren’t out. From what I hear the new neighbors (two gay boys) We’re supposed to be moving in now -ish, but have to wait for the fuckheads to finish getting out. Anyway, I dreamt I was moving into some place I’d lived before (it looked like a combination of three places I’d had in Seattle), and I got half my stuff in only to discover the prior tenants hadn’t taken half their stuff, so I had to do all this work to move it outside, to fit my stuff in.  Then I realized I’d forgotten to tell my previous place that I was moving, so I had to come up with double rent.

Ugh, ugh, ugh, but on the plus side, in the dream, I had a job that sent me to the Caribbean occasionally.

This weekend I read Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. It’s the first Mieville I’ve read, and I have to confess, I don’t get what all the fuss was about. Maybe this simply wasn’t the book to start with, but I found it fairly tedious.  The whole elaborately created world was great and all.  Some of the characters were likable, and one even seemed to have something of a transformative journey (although unfortunately that coincided with making him unlikable to the reader). But over all the world building was a little sloppy.  There was no history of the place explained, which made it much harder to believe how such place could have come to exist. There were several places where the author directly went against previous statements he’d made about characters.  It was, in my perception, rife with little flaws.  And I can often over look that for good story-telling, or amazing world building.  Here, in this book, instead it just made me become increasingly annoyed through the whole book. the resolution at the end left much to be desired. Indeed there was little resolution at all.  Most characters had their lives completely destroyed, and the one seemed to have gone through some transformative sense of self turned out to be irredeemably bad, or at least didn’t seem able to understand the crime he’d initially paid for, and while accepting his punishment, he seemed more resigned than actually comprehending his crime and his punishment.  Over all, pretty much unsatisfying.  Also Mieville’s world here, while fascinating and quite clever at times, was pretty nightmarish. It felt so grim as to be entirely without the things that make city life wonderful and enjoyable.

As I do, I went a read the Amazon reviews after I’d finished the book.  I take some weird satisfaction in finding out if other people agreed with me.  The best one there starts “Overwrought, under-thought” which pretty well sums up the entire thing for me.  I mean, I didn’t hate it as much as that reviewer, but man, I’m feeling really unsatisfied after having waded through the muck of the entire book. Someone else said, “Five stars for imagination, two and a half stars for execution.” Which is perhaps a better description of how I felt about the whole thing.

Now I need to make my to-do list for the next few days.  And get lots done.  LOTS AND LOTS. So I wil feel satisfied with my days off. Vacations are for extra productivity, dontcha know. Although mostly what I want to do is pick a up book a know will be good and read Perdido Street Station right out of my memory.

Can someone tell me, are Mieville’s other books better? Did I pick up the one bad one? Or should I just skip all of them?