About littleguurrl

Professional Vagabond currently residing in Seattle, WA.

Proust Questionnaire: Birthday Edition

img_6328Today is my birthday, yet again. Forty-three of them so far. I’m doing pretty good with living life and having fun, which I do believe is the point of this whole deal. I’m past the point of giving a shit what people think of me, and I no longer accept or make labels for myself. (“I’m a caretaker. I’m a people pleaser. I’m a Millenial. I’m an approval seeker.”) Ugh. Just take responsibility for what you do and say and you won’t need labels. I hate labels. Go hang them somewhere else, thanks.

I thought I’d mark this year with the ol’ Proust questionnaire.I did this the first time close to ten years ago, and I’m curious to see how my answers have changed with age and wisdom. Or at least with age. All I remember about doing it the first time was an immense pressure to do it “right”. As if there is a right way to do such a thing. I wanted to be funny and make my answers entertaining. As I stated above, that no longer concerns me. You either like me or you don’t. If it’s the latter, move on. No offense taken. We don’t all have to like each other, but we can still get along. So, without further ado, here is my Proust Questionnaire. Age 43. (Here are the first and second round of questions. First 2006. Second, 2012)

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Living in a remote cabin someplace that overlooks a stream or lake. A place that has a studio for me to make art, read and write. And my friends are there also reading and we meet up after for a very boozy brunch which turns into dinner. Talking about books is just as good as the reading of the books.

2. What is your greatest fear? Looking back on my life with regret. So far so good.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I’m not sure that I deplore anything about myself. I can be a little pushy and forward, but that is a needed trait in Seattle. 

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Arrogance. Can’t stand it in men. Hate it in women. Oh! And when people say, “My brand” about themselves. EWWWWW!

5. Which living person do you most admire? Barak Obama. Michelle Obama. Joyce Carol Oates. Amy Poehler. Anyone who lives life on their own terms.

6. What is your greatest extravagance? Books. Travel. Funko Pop Toys. 

7. What is your current state of mind? Brimming. I’m all at once peaceful and excited. I have projects percolating and I’m off for the next five days!

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Decency? I mean, sometimes you just have to say, FUCK OFF. Swearing is okay sometimes.

9. On what occasion do you lie? Like I’m gonna tell you that.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance? I wish my hair would finish growing out already.

11. Which living person do you most despise? BIG FAT BABY TRUMP.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man? I like a man who will listen. Really listen. Not just pretend to listen then tell you how it really is. All men think they know better than you, as a woman. I like a man who can admit that he doesn’t know everything. 

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Humility. In this day and age I really, really cannot stand women who post pictures of themselves all the fucking time. At the gym. At the subway. At lunch. At work. On vacation last year. On vacation three years ago. JESUS! Get over yourself already! If all you’ve got going for you is pretty, then you are in trouble sister. Or posting pictures of yourself without make-up and calling yourself brave. Uh huh. Loser.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I think I call people “asshole” a lot.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? Books.

16. When and where were you happiest? I can remember being extremely happy in Cesky Krumlov. Also Tranny Shack Reno the time we got snowed in. That was pretty happy. It is just a coincidence that drugs were a part of both happy times. 

17. Which talent would you most like to have? I’d like to master an instrument without having to learn it.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d be more famous for singing and being awesome.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’ve lived life all over the map. That has not been easy. I’ve also written three novels.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Eleana Ferrante.

21. Where would you most like to live? I don’t know. Spain? Greece? Scotland?

22. What is your most treasured possession? Le Mutt.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Living in the past, or an imagined future.

24. What is your favorite occupation? I have a few: Singing. Reading. Writing. Drawing or painting. Watching a good film in the theater. Going to a museum. 

25. What is your most marked characteristic? I’m hilarious.

26. What do you most value in your friends? Honesty.

27. Who are your favorite writers? Joyce Carol Oates. Haruki Murakami. John Irving. Tom Robbins. Margaret Atwood. Lauren Groff. The Brontë sisters. Zadie Smith.

28. Who is your hero of fiction? Cathy/Heathcliff. Jane Eyre. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Anna Karenina. Princess Leia. Wonder Woman.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with? The women of the Salem Witch trials. I mean, I get what its like to be told what you are and them blamed for it.

30. Who are your heroes in real life? Me. Michelle Obama. Meryl Streep.

31. What are your favorite names? Lola. Roxanne. Max. Lucy.

32. What is it that you most dislike? The smell of tuna from a can. Ugh! The worst! Also, people who stand in doorways. Those people suck. Oh! And how about FB posts that read like a therapy session? I mean, c’mon! Shall I continue….?

33. What is your greatest regret? I don’t do regret.

34. How would you like to die? Fat. Happy. Loved. 

35. What is your motto? Live in the NOW. Now is all you’ve got!

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I Got Your Resolution Right Here

img_7351Are you in need of a good, old-fashioned New Year’s Resolution? Are you in the market for some change? You need a kick in the hiney? A life re-charge? Well friend, look no more. Like the title says, I got your resolution right here. I’ve actually used some of these myself!

  1. Don’t use the word AMAZING at all. All year. Re-discover other adjectives!
  2. For every hour spent in front of a screen, read a book. You’ll be surprised.
  3. Visit every museum in your city. Do it! Art is out there, just waiting for you to look at it. And some of it is even free! You have 365 days to do it. That’s more than enough time.
  4. Look up more often. You never know…
  5. Sparkle more. Duh.
  6. Pledge to stop posting inspirational quotes and pictures on your Instagram feed. Your friends are too nice, so I’ll tell you. They’re annoying. They’re obvious. And, they’re usually misquoted which makes you look stupid. So Just post a picture of a flower that you took yourself. It will be more appreciated.  
  7. Stop being passive aggressive. I’m totally not saying that you are. I mean, I’m so sorry if you thought I was talking about you. But if you think that you might be, passive aggressive I mean, and it’s totally cool if you are, then try to maybe say what you mean. But you don’t have too. Whatever. We have all the time in the world to wait for you to spit it out.
  8. Call bullshit when you hear and see it. No explanation needed, but honestly, things won’t change if you just wait for other people to do all the hard shit.
  9. Walk more.
  10. Be nicer.

End of the Year Book Round-Up: 2016

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Original art by ALICIA K. BROOKS.

Yeah, sure this year sucked. I agree. In fact, I bet I had a worse year than you. But 2016 was a great year for books and reading. I read a total of 52 books this year, and that’s not including the books I put down (Girl on the Train, What is Yours is Not Yours) because they were too stupid or too boring to finish. I fell in love with mystery writing from the 1930’s and 1940’s and decided that working at The Snobbiest Bookstore in Seattle was not all it was cracked up to be. Getting fired from that low paying, demeaning job was probably the best and worst thing to happen to me all year. So… thanks? But good riddance to bad rubbish. Good riddance to 2016!

This year, instead of writing about every book I read, I thought I’d break it down a little differently. Enjoy!  And please do some research about titles you are interested in reading. I didn’t write the authors name next to each book because I’m lazy.

Books are awesome! read!

Total Books Read: 52   Re-reads: 7

Total Fiction: 44      Total Non-Fiction: 8

Mystery or Horror: 15!

Favorites in Fiction: Swing Time, The Story of the Lost Child, Slammerkin, Rosemary’s Baby, Black Wings has my Angel, The Gap of Time, Ragtime, Desperate Characters, A Bloodsmoor Romance, Romie Futch… and many more!

Favorites in Non Fiction: Killing Pablo, In Other Words, Absolutely on Music, On Writing…

Least Favorites: Damed, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Boy Snow Bird, The Buried Giant

Oldest Book: Wuthering Heights, 1847 (I’ve read this book about once a year for the last twenty years. It’s one of my all time favorites.)

Biggest Surprises: Romie Futch, Desperate Characters, Little Tales of Misogyny, The Metaphysical Ukulele, Black Wings Has My Angel, Rabbit Back Literature Society, The Pets

 
    • Absolutely on Music by Haruki MurakamiSwing Time by Zadie SmithSlammerkin by Emma DonoghueOn Writing by Stephen KingZen in the Art of Writing by Ray BradburyShadow Show by Sam WellerYou Are a Cat in the Zombie Apocalypse by Sherwin Tjia'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingSlade House by David MitchellRosemary's Baby by Ira LevinSmoke by Dan VyletaLittle Tales of Misogyny by Patricia HighsmithLiberty Bar by Georges SimenonThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingThe Gap of Time by Jeanette WintersonKilling Pablo by Mark BowdenThe Complete Poems by Emily DickinsonBoy, Snow, Bird by Helen OyeyemiIn Other Words by Jhumpa LahiriThe Carter of 'La Providence' by Georges SimenonMe Talk Pretty One Day by David SedarisWild Nights! by Joyce Carol OatesThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire NorthRagtime by E.L. DoctorowThe Shining Girls by Lauren BeukesMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom RiggsThe Metaphysical Ukulele by Sean CarswellThe Four Agreements by Miguel RuizA New Earth by Eckhart TolleWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëGet in Trouble by Kelly LinkDamned by Chuck PalahniukThe Buried Giant by Kazuo IshiguroIndigo by Ron KoertgeThe Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari JääskeläinenThe Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen KingBlack Wings Has My Angel by Elliott ChazeThe Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges SimenonA Bloodsmoor Romance by Joyce Carol OatesSailing Alone Around the Room by Billy CollinsDesperate Characters by Paula FoxThe Pets by Bragi ÓlafssonRoom by Emma DonoghueThe Yellow Dog by Georges SimenonGateway to Paradise by Matthew VollmerHow To Be a Good Wife by Emma  ChapmanThe New and Improved Romie Futch by Julia  ElliottThe Girl in the Red Coat by Kate HamerThe Story of the Lost Child by Elena FerranteWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

 

 

Goodbye 2016, Hello Future

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Original artwork by Alicia K. Brooks 2016

I think I say this every year, but I absolutely cannot stand the end of the year. I guess I should clarify. What I can’t stand about the end of the year -every year- is the looking back. The nostalgia. The tendency for people to live in the past year and pat themselves on the back for being a part of it. Well, good on ya. But I’m bored now. I lived through all those pictures the first time. You can save it. Thanks.

Social media has made every day a year in review. There is Throw Back Thursday, and Flash-Back Friday. There are daily posts about what you looked like last year, or as a kid, or during the summer. Or last month. Instagram has lost its INSTA. It’s more of a “Live in the Past-agram”. I know YOU might be enamored of what you used to look like, but it’s rather annoying for the rest of us. It reeks of desperation to be looked at and liked. Living in the past just robs you of today.

December is the worst of it. Here come all of the pictures: Here is what I’ve  accomplished! What I’ve eaten! Who I’ve loved! Where we have traveled! Here is how long my hair is now! My kid has grown this much! While the temptation towards nostalgia is great, I’d rather look forward. Not back.

And this year it is even more important to look forward. 2016 was a shit show of the stickiest shit ever. Not just for me personally, but for the world. Brexit. Big Fat Baby Trump. Bill Cosby a confirmed rapist. Gun Violence. There is no need for me to recap all of the nastiness. We lived it. We know.

For me the end of the year is a time for regrouping and figuring out the next step. Where do I want to live? What do I want to get done? Who do I want to meet? What do I want to accomplish? After I figure out the questions, it’s time to sit down and get concrete answers. New Year’s resolutions usually don’t pan out because folks don’t consider the actual “doing” of said resolution. For instance, to state that you want to lose weight is fine, but you won’t get very far. Instead why not say you will work out for an hour, five days a week? Why not make concrete goals that are not easy to wiggle out of?

So… here’s to 2017! Let’s do it right! Let’s make it about standing up for those who cannot. Let’s make it about accomplishments and the road we take daily to make them happen. Let’s make 2017 the year we say, “Look at what I’ve DONE!“,  instead of “LOOK AT ME!

An Open Letter to Donald Trump

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Donald,

Can I call you Donald? I hope so because I won’t call you Mr. President. I don’t know if I should feel sad or angry today. Or just horrified. How do you feel? Do you feel? I sometimes wonder. I mean there is a right side and a wrong side of history, and you ARE the wrong side. Do you get that?

I’m a NASTY WOMAN. I’m talking horrid. Super Duper Nasty. I’m disgusting! And this Nasty Woman isn’t scared of little boys like you. And there are a lot of us. Hillary. Michelle. Beyoncé. Samantha. Megan. We are legion, and we are a helluva lot stronger than you are. We are daughters. We are wives. We are mothers. We are fighters.

And we’re not scared of you.

That’s right. We’re not scared of you. Not even a little. You are a tiny man who used the most undereducated voters to win. You used fear. Good for you, you clown. People like you try to scare people like me. But it doesn’t work. Because I’m smarter than you. I read books. Lots of books with words… all the best words. 

“The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic.” ― Chris Hedges, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America

If you understood that, then you’ll get why the entire country is pissed today. Because we just put a fascist in the White House. You won because you pandered to the Americans who think they are being ‘displaced’. You pandered to people who are scared to lose their guns, lives, homes, money, country…anything…

But like I said. That’s not me. I don’t scare easy, and it takes more than a big, orange molester to scare me. I’ve gone up against men scarier than you. I can do it again.

I’m not scared of you because… You are a bigot. You openly hate people based on the color of their skin, or where they were born. That is something ignorant, stupid people do. Smart people look to those different to see what they can learn. Smart people think about how differences make us stronger. Not you. You want to build walls and deport people and assault women and who knows what else since you never really laid out any actual plans. Idiot.

I’m not scared of you because… you are scared of women. That’s right. You are scared of us. You called Hillary a nasty woman because you are scared of her. Of all of us. Of what our power, together, united could do. Will do. You judge women based on their looks. How “Hot” they are to you. (Good thing for you voters didn’t do the same. You fat, ugly, incoherent windbag.)

American women have been putting up with dickheads like you for decades. At home. At work. Walking to work. At the store. You name it. We get told about ourselves all the fucking time. (Just ask all of your ex wives! Two out of three being IMMIGRANTS, I might add.) Now we get to deal with a self-loving, woman hating, dickhead in the White House. And after Obama! He loved us! It sucks, but we’ll manage. Because we are not afraid of you. Hillary Clinton wasn’t scared of you. She’s smarter than you. You know it. She knows it. We know it. Her husband knows it. And speaking of Bill… please, PLEASE stop pointing out that Bill Clinton cheated on her twenty years ago. You hit on your own daughter in public all the time. You don’t deserve my respect. Or my fear. Just my vomit.

I’m not scared of you because... you are not intimidating. You are a joke. You mock people. You make little “jokes” at their expense. (Here’s a clue. A joke is supposed to be funny) You mutter under your breath like a child in trouble. Being afraid of you would be like being afraid of a three-year old.

And finally I’m not scared of you because I won’t let you take my rights aways from me. Or any woman. I won’t let you step on the constitution and I won’t let you try to hurt my immigrant brothers and sisters. My LGBTQ friends and neighbors. I won’t let you forget that BLACK LIVES MATTER. That WOMENS LIVES MATTER. That my body is MY BODY and if you even think of grabbing me by the pussy you’ll regret it.

So Fuck you, Donald. I don’t respect you now and I won’t when you are sworn in. You are a liar, a cheater, an idiot, and a bad salesman. And a bad writer. Your book is a piece of shit just like all of your businesses. Which You’ve bankrupted. And now you get to be in charge of Fucking Over America and our Daughters. And our Sons. You’ve set this country back decades with your bullshit machismo. With your blatant racism.

We had a chance to keep moving forward but collectively chose to move backwards. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

And it’s all your fault.

 

Sincerely,

Alicia

More HORROR, Please!

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I went grocery shopping on Thursday to get a jump on all the assholes getting ready for the “big storm” we are supposed to be having here in Seattle. But like a true Seattleite, this storm just couldn’t be bothered to be where it said it would. So I cooked chili and have a list of horror to watch and no storm. Not really. I mean, it’s windy. It’s grey. It’s been raining off and on for two days. But this is Seattle.

So, while my fella catches up with GLaDOS, I’ll give you a brand new list of horror movies. Movies I haven’t listed before! I’ve made a few lists of horror movies. I’ll link them here for you. https://alicia-prague-blog.com/2010/10/24/boo-25-best-movies-for-halloween/https://alicia-prague-blog.com/2013/07/05/top-10-horror-satires/https://alicia-prague-blog.com/2012/10/13/3213/https://alicia-prague-blog.com/2013/10/01/the-scariest-ghost-movies-of-all-time/

Since some awesome movies have come out in the past few years, and I have overlooked a few, I thought it was the right time for another list. Enjoy!

Lake Mungo, (2008) – I’m putting it first so you don’t miss it. This is by far the scariest film on the list. And I do NOT scare easy. If at all. This is a documentary style horror film that leaves you wondering if it really isn’t true after all. It makes Blair Witch look like the footage my mom found of our camping trip to Lake Tahoe in 1988. I don’t want to say anything else. If you see one of these movies, make it this one. You’ll be sorry in all the right ways.

From the Dark, (2014) – I put this in the “survive the night” category of horror movies. All they have to do is make it until the sun comes up. That’s all. A couple who has… car trouble… finds a creepy house to take shelter in. Stupid.

Antichrist, (2009) – All of Lars Von Trier’s films should be classified as horror. I’m just saying. But this one… THIS ONE! Let’s just say you haven’t seen a “couple in a cabin in the woods” movie like this one before. Known only as HE and SHE, the already terrifying Willem Dafoe, and the always in need of a hug or a valium Charlotte Gainsbourg play the couple. If you have the stomach for it, this is a fantastically horrifying film that even seasoned horror fans like myself had trouble sitting through. A fucked up movie. It’s violent. It’s gory. And again, it’s directed by Lars Von Trier.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, (2014)large_sgkw6ifftakwlqy2olfdq4ubxv0I love horror movies in black and white. Maybe it’s a sentimental thing, but every shadow is creepier in black and white. This movie takes place in the aptly named Bad City, where darkness, death and loneliness are your new neighbors. It’s also about a skateboarding vampire badass bitch. It’s an Iranian film written and directed by a woman named Ana Lily Amirpourhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WSMrSucjGA

The Vanishing (Spoorloos, 1988) – This movie fucked me up for a few days. Psychological terror is worse than a guy with a knife any day. This movie deals with that feeling of needing to know… A woman is abducted from a truck stop. Years later, after dedicating his life to finding her, he receives a letter from her abductor. An utterly devastating movie.

Wolf Creek, (2005) – My favorite way to begin any movie: BASED ON TRUE EVENTS. Ah, yes… Backpackers on a road trip. Does it ever end well for them? Not onscreen. Without giving too much away, this one deals with three Australians in the outback who run into some trouble and go looking for help. This movie is disturbing and it feels like someone is breathing over your shoulder the entire time. You’ll hate every second as much as you love it. A remake is due out this year, but see this first!

Dead End, (2003) – As the title suggests a family makes a really bad decision on their way to a family Christmas dinner. This is low budget horror at its best. And that’s all I’ll say about it. I don’t want to give anything away.

The Bad Seed, (1956)bad-seed-1956-patty-mccormackAn oldie but a goodie. The original Kiddie Killer is still the creepiest. Played to perfection by a young Patty McCormack, Rhoda Penmark is the perfect little angel. Most of the time. She just gets real upset sometimes. Another movie in black and white, this 1950’s film breaks from the monsters of the time and gives us something far more horrifying: CHILDREN.

Grace, (2009) – Speaking of fucked up children, have you seen Grace? I guess this is more of a fucked up mom, but still. After a tragic accident kills her husband and unborn baby, Madeline Matheson insists on delivering the baby to term anyway. And as you might have guessed, this baby doesn’t want Mother’s Milk. It’s gross and disturbing and pretty much perfect for mom’s to be.

Bug, (2006) – I’m still pissed at my friend who told me to watch this. This movie messed me up for like… six years now? It stars Ashley Judd and the always frightening Michael Shannon as two lonely losers who find solace in each other and a shared delusion. It’s insane. It’s scary. I took a shower after.

Seattle: You Beautiful, Passive Aggressive Bastard

img_2119I’ve lived in the Emerald City for two years now, and that’s long enough for me to form some qualified opinions. Hopefully the people of Seattle will handle criticism a little better than the folks of Austin!  Because, who am I? Why get pissed at some girl and her blog? This is just my opinion. I’m  writing from my  personal experience. That experience may be different from your own. And, I hate having to even say this, but there is always some asshole who has to comment, “Not ALL ______ are _____.” No shit. It’s called a generalization and it takes into consideration that, of course not every person in Seattle will be like I describe. But, there. I’ve said it. Feel free to give up now if you don’t like reading criticism of things which you might not agree. 

The Nature: You can’t get a greener, more beautiful city than Seattle. It’s the first thing you notice when you get here. There are trees everywhere! Green spaces all over the city. And there is the bay! Most days you can see Mt. Rainer in the distance. Even grey, cloudy days are beautiful here. And you still get all of the seasons, more or less. As I type this, I can feel Fall on the horizon. People here genuinely love to be outdoors, and there are plenty of places within city limits to do just that. Whether you love being on the water, hiking in the mountains, or just taking the long way to brunch – you’ll fit in here. Seattle prides itself on its green spaces and dedication to being a Green City. And it is on a large-scale. It’s when you get down to the personal level that it gets fuzzy. For example I see people getting their groceries delivered by Amazon (as well as everything else) and then drive to work in their SUV plastered with an SHOP LOCAL bumper sticker. When I worked in a bookstore, people would tell me how much they detested Amazon…until the book they “had to have right now” wasn’t available. Seattle can’t put its money where it’s mouth is.

This is a dog loving, baby loving, cat on a leash loving, chickens in your back yard loving, bike loving city. If you happen to be a Bike person, you will love it here. There are tons of Bike trails for you and your dog and baby to cruise down. There are bike lanes all over the city which go unused because this city has no clue how to drive anything. Cars. Bikes. Strollers all seem too overwhelming to the Seattleite. The Seattleite in control of a vehicle is an oxymoron. They are not in control. The Seattle Driver will stop at any given moment to let you, a pigeon, or a stray dog cross the street. But if there is a Stop sign, they’ll ignore it. The only city in the world responsible for its own traffic.

Weather and StuffThe weather here is awesome! I loathe heat and humidity, so the cool bay breeziness of Seattle is perfect. It gets hot here in the summer (90-95 F) but it only lasts a few days at a time. It rains here, but not as much as movies and TV would make you think. I like it here. I often leave my flat and say, “Man! It’s beautiful today!” Sun and clouds. It’s usually not too hot, and not too cold. YAY! img_0193
I don’t drive here. I donated my car to charity a few years back  and I feel free! Seattle is FOR SURE, a walkable city. You do not need a car to get around here. There is public transit (bus, tram, metro) and it’s pretty good towards getting better. Not as good as Europe, but way better than L.A. or Texas. Traffic is a real thing here, but I never deal with it.

As far as Culture and stuff – Seattle is awesome. There are tons of museums and galleries here at different price points. So if you can’t make it to see art and shit, that’s on you. The EMP Museum, The SAM and the Asian Art Museum are awesome, and that’s just scratching the surface. It’s like San Francisco here in that, what ever you are into – you can indulge it here. For example, I happen to love Drag Queens. Seattle is a fantastic place to love Drag. Or all things Gay. Or Food. Or sports. (Which is HUGE here, but I loathe sports so I ant gonna write about it.) Or tech. Or Dance. Whatever “Lifestyle” you identify with is welcome here. Seattle prides itself on being welcoming. And it is. To an extent. (See PEOPLE, below)

Food: What ever you want, you can get it in Seattle. Seattle is not only a Foodie paradise, but a Chef’s Haven as well. Seattle not only has some of the best restaurants in the country, but also some of the best available ingredients in the world. Fish, produce, meat, artisan ice-cream … whatever you want you can find it here. And unlike Austin, the finest food isn’t reserved for the rich. You can get a really good meal here for $10 or less if you know where to go. From food trucks to pizza to fine dining, you can’t beat Seattle for food. People here like to eat and take pictures of their food and talk about it. You could go into any neighborhood and get a good meal. That is something.

img_2177Seattle is a BRUNCH and HAPPY HOUR city. It LOVES Brunch. It LOVES Happy Hour. But be careful. Not all Happy Hour and Brunch menus are created equal. You might end up paying an arm and a leg just to be in a cool place with shitty food. But, that’s also part of Seattle. For the Seattleite getting a pretty picture of the food is almost better than the food tasting good.

Cost of Living: If you are reading this hoping for statistics and facts, you should stop now. The following is based solely on my personal opinion and experience living here and there. So that being said… Is Seattle expensive? Yes. I mean, I guess. It’s like a slightly less expensive San Francisco. You get everything you could want in a city: diversity, culture, night life, boozygoodtimes, live music venues, and all the other things people look for in a cool city. But it’s not unlike any other major US city. It depends on where you live. I happen to live in a small studio with my boyfriend. We split rent. It’s a little cramped, but it’s alright. We are walking distance from work and fun so it evens out.

The law passed making the minimum wage here $15.oo and weed is legal. Like You can go to pot stores. Or have it delivered like I do. A bag of Peet’s Coffee will set you back about $8.00 at the market. Don’t ask me how much Starbucks is because I’m not an asshole and I don’t spend money there.

The People: Anyone will tell you that the folks of Seattle, WA are nice. And that’s true. They are. Excessively. Seattleites will happily stop what they are doing to give you directions or say hi. It is a friendly city. On the surface. Which is to say that friendly is surface level only. If you wanna make friends with a Seattleite, good luck. Welcome to the land of Passive Aggressive.

img_1933It’s called The Seattle Freeze. Basically it’s a nice way of saying that everyone here is so far up their own ass that they don’t want to make new friends, but they are too passive aggressive to just say so. Nobody wants to offend here so they lie instead. If you Google the term SEATTLE FREEZE, you will get this: refers to a belief that it is especially difficult to make new friends (particularly for transplants from other cities) in the city of Seattle, Washington. According to KUOW radio, a 2005 Seattle Times article was the oldest reference to the term found. 

That shit is real. Two years in and have like three actual friends. I’ve made friends all over the world, easy! But Seattle? Sorry girl. Not here. The free paper here, The Stranger, wrote an article last year which basically blames YOU for Seattleites bad behavior. Honestly. YOU should smile. YOU should get out there! The article says, if a Seattleite bails on plans you should do the following. “Rather than mope about how this person let you down by not doing what they said they would do in a hastily sketched conversation days or even weeks before, try to empathize with them. People are busy, and it’s impossible to fulfill every potential social commitment. Pretend for a moment it’s possible that they might have something more important on their calendar than you.” Did you notice how full of excuses that was? Like its hard to pick up the goddamn phone and cancel. Be a grown up.

img_0175And that’s Seattle in a nutshell. It expects you to make excuses for its bad behavior. If you get stood up, that’s your fault for expecting people to do what they say. I don’t give a shit where you are from, or what excuses you have all packed up,  don’t be a dick. Don’t make plans you don’t expect to follow through on. And don’t expect ME to be the guy who fills in lulls in conversations. Why can’t YOU help? Stop blaming everyone who isn’t from Seattle for your shortcomings. You guys aren’t perfect.
For starters, learn to be direct. I grew up in L.A. and it’s hard for me to deal with people who are not direct. People who are not direct come across as self-indulgent, time-wasting jerks. How hard is it to ask for what you want? How hard is it to say what you mean? I worked at Seattle’s Snobbiest Bookstore for two years and endured people taking ten minutes to ask where the goddamn bathroom was. Here is a typical conversation: “Um, excuse me? Um…Hi. Um. Do you work here? Okay good. I was wondering if you happen to know if there might be a place  for me to use the bathroom around here.” Are you fucking kidding me? Try this: “Where’s the bathroom?”

So. There it is. The good and the bad. In a nutshell – Seattle is a fantastic place to live. It’s pretty. The food is great. There is a ton of fun stuff happening here year round. Theatre, Dance, Burlesque, Karaoke, Festivals, Live music – Seattle has it all. And, If you get along well with passive aggressive people who don’t think they are passive aggressive, then you’ll be ahead of the game.

 

Fame Costs

I love Chelsea Handler. I am late to the party on this, I know. People have been loving her for years, and I just started. Her new show on Netflix is BADASSfame_quote, and I completely agree with her on everything from NOT HAVING KIDS to NOT GETTING MARRIED. Honestly I think she and I could be friends except for her obsession with dogs. But, we all have our faults.

Her show is great with one exception: When her niece is on. For someone who is constantly telling everyone how obnoxious other people are about their kids, (PREACH!) she’s doing the same thing with her niece. She has her on often, and the kid is annoying. REALLY ANNOYING. The kind of kid who is only adorable to their family…like all kids. She is twelve (I think) and says she wants to be “well-known” when she grows up. She doesn’t really care how or what for, she just wants to be famous. SO NOT CUTE.

Being famous for the sake of being famous is… weird. And gross. When I was coming up you had to actually have a talent in order to get famous. Well, a talent or a scandal. But that is a horse of a different color and I digress. I bet it’s confusing for kids today. I mean, Chelsea Handler seemed to work hard and pay her dues. But there are so many “models” out there and … whatever the Kardashians are, who make being pretty sound like a talent. It isn’t. Modeling is (barely) a job, and you are lucky if you can earn a living at it. Lucky, not talented. Maybe it takes some sort of talent to model, but not the same kind as it does to act or sing or dance or sew or cook or design or direct or teach or write.

If you look at the social media of any famous pretty person you’ll see all of the “hard work” that goes into being famous for being pretty. I call bullshit. Nobody NEEDS a cryogenic freezing chamber to be pretty. And, I’m pretty sure Kate Hudson was just as pretty BEFORE her weird electro-eye treatment as she was AFTER. It’s all bullshit. All of it. The worst are the selfies from the gym. Is this supposed to show me what an effort it is for you? Tips? What? I mean really. How shallow are you that you need to post videos of your workouts? If you want to lose my respect, just post a video or a selfie from the gym.

I guess what I am trying to say is this: Shift focus. Focus on what is INSIDE. Perhaps learn a SKILL and “get famous” for actually DOING something. And here’s a crazy idea, don’t post everything to social media! You don’t need applause or LIKES for living your life. You’ll keep living even if nobody sees it. The more we encourage kids (especially girls) to “look pretty” the longer we perpetuate the myth that beauty matters; that beauty is something you can achieve. It isn’t. Nothing subjective can ever be achieved. You will never be beautiful to everyone. Sorry to burst your bubble. Sure you can have surgery, use make-up, weaves, extensions… but you will still be you underneath all of those excuses. Instead, work on being YOU. Work on thinking you ARE beautiful just the way you are. And if you STILL want to be famous, figure out what you are good at DOING and practice it. You can be famous and perhaps be remembered for something other than your face. Cause guess what… your face won’t last forever.