Saturday, November 28, 2009

Overheard At Work

"What are you working on, mam?...TPS reports?"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Job Application Gone Awry

Some of my readers may or may not know that I recently interviewed for and was given the opportunity to be the Stranger's next News Intern. Everyone has asked me "what exactly does a news intern do?" Well, here is the job advertisement that was posted a few weeks ago:
"Do you spend your days dreaming of digging through court records to find out terrible things about secret Republican politicians? Or following the often mind-numbing actions of the city and county councils? Or perhaps fighting grizzly bears?

How about doing two of those three things for free? (You have to pay to see the bears.) If so, we have the opportunity of a lifetime. The Stranger is looking for a news intern.

Just think—the Slog posts you will post! The arcane information you will look up! The Morning News-es you will post on weekends still slightly drunk with a screaming headache at 8 a.m.! I have lived through all of those experiences, and emerged stronger.

Interested? Send an e-mail telling us why you should be the chosen one (with two or three clips or other writing samples, if you've got 'em)..."
Today was my first day, and it went well. My assignment was to head over to the SPD East Precinct and obtain hundreds of electronic police report copies. After that, I spent a few hours skimming through them all trying to find something worthwhile. There were hardly any interesting ones. However, I picked one, and did a short write-up of the incident. It's a rough copy, but we all have to start somewhere. And I present it as such:
In these troubled economic times, dropping off a job application can get you mugged on the side of the road. A Seattle Police report obtained from the East Precinct indicates that on November 19th at approximately 2:20 p.m. the victim in this case was driving from Renton to North Seattle in order to deliver an application for employment. "He was then driving south on 3 Ave NW from Holman Rd NW and hit a pothole, flattening his right front tire." After pulling off to the side of the road, he went to his trunk to obtain a can of flat repair spray. Soon thereafter he noticed a "large sidewall hole" on the flat tire. The victim reported feeling a blow to the back of the head, but initially thought it was the side-view mirror. The victim turned to notice an unidentified suspect standing over him with a kitchen knife--"possible black handled steak knife, stainless blade, with a copper colored cap where the blade joins handle"--pointed, at close range, at the victim's neck. The suspect took the victim's cash and fled the scene on foot. "Victim thought about driving after the suspect but then recalled that his tire was flat," the report concludes.
Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? This is all a work in progress, and I hope to get the most out of this internship before it ends in three months time.

[Update] - Here is the actual post.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When Toothbrushes Turn Gay

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Were You Aware That...

Okay, I have been off the radar for quite some time now.  That's called life, get over it.  But now I've discovered some new topics about which to blog.

Patty Murray is the senior U.S. Senator from Washington, and she is up for re-election next November.  I thought it rather appropriate to dig into her legislative record and find what exactly she has done for us as a representative of our state.  Thus, I'll be posting information regarding bills (and resolutions) that she has sponsored or co-sponsored, in the hopes that we can all be a little more educated for the upcoming midterm elections.  This will (hopefully) be a running series of "Were You Aware That..." posts.  I may or may not confine the information to just Patty Murray, but to other members of Congress as well.

To begin with, let's look at some of Senator Murray's Sponsored Resolutions: 
S.Res.288 - A resolution designating September 26, 2009, as "National Mesothelioma Awareness Day".

S.Res.181 - A resolution designating June 10, 2009, as "National Pipeline Safety Day".

S.Res.168 - A resolution commending the University of Washington women's softball team for winning the 2009 NCAA Women's College World Series.

S.Res.150 - A resolution commemorating and celebrating the lives of Officer Kristine Marie Fairbanks, Deputy Anne Marie Jackson, and Sergeant Nelson Kai Ng who gave their lives in the service of the people of Washington State in 2008.

S.Res.16 - A resolution designating the week of February 2 through February 6, 2009, as "National School Counseling Week".
More information to come soon (I hope).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yesterday Was A Victory, Tomorrow Is A Battle Of Preservation

As of November 4th, 6:24pm, the election results for Referendum 71 are as follows:
593,956 (51.65%) Approved | 556,090 (48.35%) Rejected
That's a positive lead of 37,866 votes in support of the 'everything-but-marriage' law in Washington State.  Equality is, in fact, winning right now.  However, I sense this is far from being over.  Of the 39 counties in Washington, only nine of them [Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan, Kitsap, Thurston, King, Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish] consisted of a majority to approve the referendum.

I am aware of the fact that the voter population in several of those counties totals less than 20, 15, 10, and even 5 thousand people.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Time And Feeling Reminiscent Of November 5, 2008

Right now I feel like I did on November 5, 2008.  The candidates and measures that I voted (and lobbied) for all won their respective offices, but in another state, gay marriage was voted down.  Last year, Californians went to the polls to strip away marriage--equal protection--rights from gay couples.  In 2009, in Maine, voters went to the polls, driven by the same fear tactics used in California, to do the same.  While we may be 'losing' at present, rest assured that this is not the end.  We're not going to just go away and accept your own insecurities and bigotry as the law of the land.

Update: 12:59pm (Eastern) - With 589 of 605 (97%) of Maine's precincts reporting, the totals are now: 298,002 voting 'Yes' (reject the same-sex marriage law) and 266,599 voting 'No' (uphold the same-sex marriage law).  That's 52.78% to 47.22%, and a difference of 31,403 votes.

While the ballots are still being counted here in Washington state, it looks as though Referendum 71--on whether or not to allow a legislative bill expanding the rights and responsibilities of domestic partners to pass--is going to be approved by the electorate.  We could not have done this without your support, outreach, and most importantly, your vote.  This is a big win for us today, and I couldn't be happier.

On that note, I would like to take this time to thank each and every one of my friends, family members, and coworkers for putting up with my incessant heckling to get their voter registration up-to-date and voting.  Your support means the world to me (and to everyone in the gay community).  Again, thank you.  Now, let's roll up our sleeves and get to work!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Now That Everyone Should Have Their Ballots...'s time to do the right thing, and vote!  Approve Referendum 71 | No on Initiative 1033


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Are You Registered To Vote?

Tomorrow, October 5th, is the last day to register to vote in the upcoming election via mail or onlineAfter that, you will need to register (in person) at the King County Elections Office in Tukwila--and who wants to travel out there?--by October 26th.  If you live in King County, and you don't know the status of your registration, you can check here (or call 206.296.VOTE).

There are some very important positions and measures up for a vote this year, and Washington needs a substantial voter turnout.  For me, Referendum 71--expanding the rights and responsibilities of Washington domestic partnerships*--needs to pass.  This is a big step forward for LGBT equality if it passes; it would be three steps backward if it is rejected by the voters.

Please register and/or ensure that your name and address are current...and most importantly, VOTE!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gmail Can Keep You Occupied In Different Ways

I cleaned house: 'All Mail' went from 6,751 to 4,570.

Simple Psychology

A customer once said to me, "you really should ask people if they need a bag (for their books), rather than want a'll make them think."  I've been doing it ever since, and the results are somewhat amazing.  Hardly anyone has needed a bag.  However, this may change as summer is now gone, and we'll be moving into a season of dreary weather.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Reason Why You Should Vote To Approve Referendum 71 (Sort Of)

From the voicemail my sister left me this morning:
"Um, hello, it's me, I'm home sick today, and I'm watching divorce court, and I just wanted you to know's true, we can't let gay marriage happen because these people really exemplify the sanctity of marriage.  The first couple is divorcing after 90 days...this one's divorcing after four months.  Haha!  [Whispered] It's awesome!  Okay, I'll talk to you later, love you, bye."
Just to serve as a reminder to all Washington voters, the Approval of Referendum 71 expands the rights and responsibilities of the State's domestic partnerships.  This is not same-sex marriage.  That is made explicit in the ballot summary language.  In Washington State, marriage is currently, and would still be (with the Approval of Referendum 71), only between a man and a woman.  Period.  Furthermore, domestic partnerships are not limited to only same-sex couples; domestic partnerships are defined as being between parties consisting of two people of the same sex, or of different sexes where one of the parties is at least 65 years of age.  The conservative right would like you to remove rights from heterosexual couples as well by voting to Reject Referendum 71.  That seems fair, right?

Again, VOTE TO APPROVE REFERENDUM 71.  This is going to be a close one, and we need as many people to voice their support for domestic partnerships by VOTING.  Simply being in support of the rights expansion will not suffice.  Please, vote.  You have until October 5th to register to vote or update your voter registration.  You can update your registration here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I've Found The Root Cause Of My Homosexuality

I have these to blame:

First of all, don't ask.  They were in a box with a bunch of other crap I've saved over the years.  Second of all, "all pornography is homosexual pornography."  By the way, that's a direct quote from Michael Schwartz, Senator Tob Coburn's (R-OK) Chief of Staff, speaking at the Values Voters Summit this past weekend.  Rachel Maddow has the story:

In my life, that claim might make sense, considering all the kittens me and my friend murdered the summer when we were both 13--or was it 14--years old.  Seriously, that's all we did.  We watched porn...all summer long.  I can't say nothing happened.  And then he stole my clothes.  Thanks for the memories, James!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You Couldn't Schedule This For One Of The Days I'm Working?

From the note that every tenant in my building received last Thursday:
"...will be performing the annual boiler inspection on Wednesday, September 23, 2009, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PMDuring this time water to the building will be shut off.  Please make arrangements for your water needs during that time."
Really?  This means I either have to wake up at 7:30 in the morning (on my Saturday) and take a shower, or wait until 5:00 in the evening.  And I've been having stomach problems the past few days as well--requiring a toilet to be close by at all times.  This is not going to be a swell day off.

I Wasn't Aware Of That 'Fact'

Conversation between me and my friend, Jess:
Jess - "What are you doing in there?"
Jon - "I'm peeing."
Jess - "You pee weird."
Jon - "Why are you listening to me pee?"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Offered With Very Little Explanation

It's a game.  Have several people write down random "what if...?" questions.  Mix them up.  Read the questions.  Write responses.  Mix all the Q's and A's together.  Randomly pair them.  Read the Q and A's aloud.  Here are ours.  Enjoy.
"What if elephants were used for mass transit instead of buses?"
She would feel either very comfortable or very weird around knives.

"What if Jesus were here?"
Then he'd just go back to being a Nazi.

"What if Jon gave birth to a cat?"
Then we'd be in for one hell of a mayoral race.

"What if Atlantis was a real country?"
He would've first had to bone a Tomcat.

"What if Kristin was Jack the Ripper in her previous life?"
He would probably have some serious health issues or would look like a meth addict.  Not even once, Jon.

"What if Jon weighed 100 pounds?"
We would probably look at each other, then ask him if he wanted to smoke pot--or if he was a cop.

"What if we were at a KKK meeting right now?"
Atlantis would probably be an American "territory" by now, and we'd all go there for vacation and not need passports.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Ad From WAFST (Via A Volunteer)

Please inform others of this!  We need you to vote!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wedding Date Selection Trivia

Two of my good friends are engaged to each other and have set their wedding date for 09/10/11.  I've been giving that date some thought: in this century there are only12 opportunities to utilize such a sequence of (date) numbers:
January 2, 2003 [01/02/03]

February 3, 2004 [02/03/04]

March 4, 2005 [03/04/05]

April 5, 2006 [04/05/06]

May 6, 2007 [05/06/07]

June 7, 2008 [06/07/08]

July 8, 2009 [07/08/09]

August 9, 2010 [08/09/10]

September 10, 2011 [09/10/11]

October 11, 2012 [10/11/12]

November 12, 2013 [11/12/13]

December 13, 2014 [12/13/14]

After December 13, 2014, one will have to wait another 89 years until the next batch of sequential dates comes around.  That would be January 2, 2103.  Of course, don't forget about the first day of the first month of the first year (01/01/01) up through the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year (12/12/12).  Are there any other unique date combinations that I am forgetting?  Leave them in comments!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

You Have The Right To Not Say Anything Specific: Or, My Civilian Ridealong

This may come as a surprise to some--it has thus far--but any civilian can sign up to ride along with a Seattle police officer for a four hour period.  All you have to do is go into a Seattle Police Precinct--I chose East--and fill out a small form, provide a piece of I.D., and pass a background check.  If you can do all that, you're in!

However, I am afraid that I can't share much information on the things to which I beared witness; this is for the legal protection of myself, the officers involved, the suspects, the victims, the bystanders, etc.  What I can tell you is that my ride was focused only in the Central District--they call it George sector (see the dark purple sections on the left).  And let's just say that the following things may or may not have happened: a belligerent drunk threatened to harm hospital staff and needed to be restrained; a crack house standoff ensued (see also the CDN); some crackheads were having sex in an open garage stairwell.  Like I said, I can neither affirm nor deny that those things happened.

For me to say that the experience was 'fun' would only weaken the actual reality of it all; that is, it was depressing.  I have nothing but the highest respect for the Seattle Police Officers that have to deal with this bullshit on a daily basisThis is a job in which I wouldn't make it through a first full day's work.  These men and women work hard, and I appreciate that they are willing to do it.  I strongly suggest that you sign up and experience this as I have.  It is both exhilarating and enlightening.  And I would also suggest that you do it sooner rather than later, because I was informed that SPD is talking about ending the civilian ridealong program.  As to why, I have only one response: YouTube.

If you want the dirtier details of the night, you will need to ask me in person.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

At Least There Are Some Signs Of Ideological Awakenings

This video is terrible, given the overwhelming amount of ignorance contained within:

The most astounding remark comes from the gentleman at 7:58.  Enjoy.

Gay Paris Hits Gay Seattle On September 25th!

I wrote about this film last month, but I present it to you again.  The trailer is here*.  It will begin showing at the Harvard Exit Theatre (off Broadway and Roy) starting September 25th.  Who wants to go with me?

*I can embed the trailer in this post, but it, unfortunately, is set to play whenever anyone comes to my blog.  To avoid this nuasance, I have merely provided the link to the trailer.  Thanks!

Glenn Beck Writes Another Piece Of Shit Book...

...and I'm referenced on Slog again!

I Feel Like An Adult Now: Or, How Magazines Are In Trouble

It seems weird to me that I read all the things I do and I still am not a subscriber to any particular publications.  Every now and then I will pick one up at work and read some articles, but never fully commit my time to it; afterall, I am supposed to be working.  So, as a treat to myself, I am now subscribing to three magazines: Out, The Atlantic, and Esquire.  I purchased the first and last magazines because of their current pricing: 10 issues of Out for $9.97 and 12 issues of Esquire for $8.00.  How could I resist?  As for The Atlantic, I've been wanting that for a while now, and I finally went ahead with subscribing to it.  Sorry Playboy, you'll have to wait...indefinitely (for obvious reasons).

Oh, and as to why I titled this post "...How Magazines Are In Trouble", I am taking my cue from Andrew Sullivan's post here.  He says:
So please, if you haven't already, subscribe. It's only $14.95 for a year - ten issues for the price of eight.


I love this magazine, and its editorial integrity, and want it to continue to flourish in an increasingly beleaguered industry. If you do too, please subscribe.
Also, Esquire was selling its subscriptions for 83% off the cover price.  Not a good sign of things to come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Didn't Know That The Israeli Youth Hated Obama So Much

I just came across this video--it's a bit old--(via Slog Commenter dnt trust me):

I think that there are both American and Israeli youths in the video.

Not One Review, But Many

I can spend hours thinking of ways to review films, books, bands, etc., and I never succeed (at least by my own standards).  But I would feel bad if I did not share my joviality with my readers regarding some new film and music news.  Let's get to it, shall we?

First off, I rented the 2008 film "Hunger" starring Michael Fassbender.  It tells the story of Bobby Sands, a young member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (the violent--some would call terrorist--IRA faction) who leads a hunger strike while imprisoned in the Maze prison in 1981.  The film is one of the best I've seen in recent years.  At 96 minutes long, the film features barely any dialogue, but is directed perfectly.  The most noteworthy scene is near the end in which Fassbender's character is conversing with a Catholic priest about his intent to hold the hunger strike.  The camera does not move, and it is a single 16-minute take.  The entire dialogue between the two is 22 minutes long.  As one of my friends so succinctly put it, "that's art."  Indeed, it is.

The trailer is here.

[Updated: I failed to mention the true brilliance of the film.  There is no established context to the prisoners.  We obviously know that they are in prison for violent acts, but this is never elaborated further.  I feel that the director was giving us the depiction of raw humanity; we can (and do) brutalize, murder, and torture each other.  And for what?  That is the question.]

In music news, I came across the new album--This Is What You Get--the Norwegian (electronic band) Flunk released back on May 11th.  The songs are okay, but I would at least recommend you give "Common Sense" a listen.  It has good lyrics mixed with a catchy bass beat.  On an interesting note, they also covered Radiohead's "Karma Police".  I have mixed feelings about it, but if you like electronic covers, you may enjoy it.

Lastly, I have seen the first six episodes of season one of AMC's Mad Men.  On this, too, I have mixed feelings.  I think I need to finish out the season and render my verdict at that time.  However, from what I have seen thus far, I think it is a superb show that grasps the reality of the advertising industry culture in 1960I appreciate how the characters are extremely dynamic.  One can empathize with a character one instanct, and hate him or her the next.  It illustrates the fact that there is no single way to define an individual.  We are too complex to categorize.  The show is now into its third season, so I need to catch up.

Enjoy Saturday Night Live's take on the show:

Along with Don Draper's Guide To Picking Up Women:

(Both videos are from the Huffington Post.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do You Support The Legalization Of Marijuana?

Regardless of whether you use it or not, you can have your support noted by calling 973.409.3274, listening to the 30 second message, and pressing #.  Just do it already.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Wonderful World Of Advertising...And Sex

It took me about ten (non-consecutive) minutes to figure out this ad.  I discovered that Wallpaper* Magazine's website features a selection of condom advertisements from around the world.  Check them out here.  My personal favorite, and the explanation of the ad above, is after the jump.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thank You, Saturday Night Live

After my quick run-in with a cougar in North Seattle (read about it here), I was reminded of a Saturday Night Live sketch that was absolutely hysterical.  It's finally been posted online:

The best line: "Well you don't have to tell me about IDs.  Last year I met a striking young Puerto Rican man in a McDonald's PlayPlace.  Yes.  After I bought him an Oreo McFlurry, he told me he was 21 and I took him home.  Three weeks later I found out he was 12 and a half."

What Ever Happened To 'Practicing What You Preach'?

If you haven't heard already, (now-former) California Assemblyman Mike Duvall has resigned after being caught on tape describing to a colleague his sexual exploits with two separate women.  Neither of those women are his wife.  The best part of the story is that he claimed his resignation was due only to his poor choice of words in telling a story, and not that the story was actually true.  Oh, and did I mention that one of the women works for a lobbying firm, because that's important?  The L.A. Times reports:
Assemblyman Michael Duvall (R-Yorba Linda), whose remarks were videotaped in July during a lull in a Sacramento hearing, stepped down less than 24 hours after the tape spread online Tuesday night.

In the video, the married family-values crusader from Yorba Linda talks in graphic detail about women he said he slept with -- at least one of whom appeared to be a lobbyist with business before the utilities committee on which Duvall sat as vice chairman.
The italics are my own emphasis.  Let me see if I understand this correctly.  Same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry because they would destory the sanctity of marriage as an institution, but heterosexual pigs such as Mr. Duvall can freely marry because...why?  Could someone please help me out on this, because I really cannot find an answer to this riddle?  The article further adds:
The Capitol Resource Institute, a conservative, self-described "pro-family" advocacy organization that had given Duvall a 100% score for his voting record on issues of concern to the group, denounced the lawmaker in a statement.

"It is always disappointing when a champion of traditional values does not practice the same in his private life," said Karen England, executive director of the institute.
Several news outlets have covered this story.  Click here for a search of all articles.

Picture from

This Is Why You Should Go To Hump 5

There are two prizes awarded at Hump (link probably NSFW) each year: best hardcore film and best comedic film.  The following video is the winner of the latter.  I might add that both of the films I voted for won last year.  I guess I have an eye for award-winning amateur porn.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Re: The Washington Post Vindicates Discrimination

I wrote about this shitstorm here.  WaPo's Ombudsman responded on Sunday.

David Foster Wallace's "Brief Interviews..." Film Adaptation

John Krasinski, of "The Office" fame, has written and directed the upcoming feature film adaptation of DFW's "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men".  BIWHM is one of the books I have yet to read by Wallace, and I should probably do so before watching the film.  It looks promising.  The guy at 0:40 (and his subsequent exclamatory remark) is hilarious.  Here is the trailer:

Things I Learned From "Plan 9 From Outer Space"

In no particular order:
  1. If aliens try to communicate with you, don't ignore them.  They will get really pissed off, and send vampires to kill you.
  2. If you ever see a flying saucer, and the government swears you to secrecy, it's okay to tell your wife.
  3. Flying saucers apparently resemble cigars.
  4. In space, women are not meant to fight mens' battles for them.
  5. If you're a vampire, be sure to walk very slowly and with a cape draped in front of your face, or with your hands sticking straight out, or arms high in the air.
  6. The best way to take down a cop is to quickly brush the sides of his arms in a downward motion.  This is highly effective.
  7. When making a film, it's perfectly okay to have the shots change between daytime and nighttime every other second.
  8. Skeletons from a high school anatomy class make perfect dead bodies.
  9. The best way to explain someone's death is to not explain it at all.  Just turn them into vampires, it's all good.
  10. It's okay to scratch your chin with the barrel end of your loaded revolver.
  11. It's okay to point said gun at your fellow detectives while describing what happened.
  12. A broken shovel handle to the back of the head can easily take down a 400-pound man.
  13. Appreciate your shoulders.  They can very easily (almost) be broken.  See #6.
  14. Ed Wood was a visionary genius.

Does anyone else have any more to add to this list?  Leave them in comments.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Or, How Cruel Kids Can Be.

The other night I was at a friend's apartment, and he asked me to choose something for us to watch. I perused his DVD collection and I noticed he had "Death Becomes Her", which stars Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis. I remembered most of what happened in the movie, but there was a scene about 10-12 minutes in about which I completely forgot. Here is that scene:

Why is this scene so nostalgic for me? Well, it stems from the fact that my mom and I used to comment that that was how my middle sister was going to end up later in life. Yep. We were beyond cruel to her. We told her that she would be living in a dump, with several stray cats running around, and be eating frosting out of cans. For the record, let me just mention that tomorrow I turn 25 years old, and I have still not cleaned up the coffee mug that fell and broke onto my kitchen floor several days ago. I think we call that karma (or laziness).

Who Says That Living In A Paperless World Was A Good Thing?

This is a rather neat--yes, I used that word--commercial. Also, this marks my 400th post!

Reunited And It Feels So Good

I don't remember exactly when I lent out my copy of Hemingway's, "The Old Man and the Sea," but it has finally found its way back to me. I suggested to my former manager that her daughter read it, and as I would imagine, she never did. I base that solely on the fact that she found it "in a drawer that [she hasn't] opened in a longgggg time." Either way, it is nice to come home and find a little package waiting for you in the mail.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reversing On Moral Relativism

I've considered myself a moral relativist for quite some time now, but John Corvino has made me question and re-define my stance on the subject. Read his article, "Other People's Judgments", here. It's a quick read, and worth your time.

A Reminder Of A Perspective

The ad speaks for itself. Thank you, Chris Bodenner (via The Daily Dish).

The Art Of Visual Manipulation

I took this photo on Broadway, across the street from Seattle Central Community College. The photo doesn't fully grasp what my eye was capable of capturing. That is, the sidewalk tunnel seemingly gets smaller as you move forward, and at the end of it is a perfectly centered vehicle. From where I was standing, that car could easily fit in said tunnel. However, this is not realistically possible. This is the same thing we encounter when we view train tracks at a distance. The two rails appear to connect, but they never do. They are always equidistant apart.

Apparently I Can Refrain From Being A Glutton

I had lunch with a friend today at Broadway's Jai Thai. I didn't know what was wrong with me; I was completely unable to finish my meal (like I always do). I don't think I even consumed half of it. This has to be a first. I had the Swimming Rama with some modifications: broccoli substituted for the spinach, with the peanut sauce on the side. This is what I left on my plate:

It was a sad afternoon for my stomach. However, I was conveniently able to down a blueberry and cream cheese danish about 30 minutes later. It was delicious.

A New Documentary On William S. Burroughs

I've only read "Junky" and "Queer"--both very short and accessible books--and I am still perturbed by the life of William S. Burroughs. The man was a thief, heroin addict, and shot his wife in the head whilst trying to shoot a glass off of it to entertain party guests. Despite all of that, this new documentary, "A Man Within", looks very interesting. As John Waters so eloquently puts it:
"He was the first person that was famous for things you were supposed to hide. He was gay, he was a junk(ie/y), he didn't look handsome, he shot his wife, he wrote poetry about assholes and heroin. It was not easy to like."

Vote To Approve Referendum 71

An email I sent out this morning:

Hello -

I need your support on November 3rd. Earlier this year, the Washington State Senate passed a bill (SB 5688) expanding the rights and responsibilities of state registered domestic partnerships. However, before this law—it was signed by Governor Christine Gregoire on May 18th—could go into effect, groups seeking to block the expansion of the rights petitioned for a referendum to put it to a statewide vote. This is Referendum 71, and it will be on the November ballot. This is the case for all Washington residents, not just residents of King County or elsewhere. As I said, I need your support in APPROVING this referendum. A vote to Approve it is a vote to allow for the bill to pass. Here is how it will appear on your ballot:

Referendum 71

Ballot Title
Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].

Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

Should this bill be: Approved ___ Rejected ___

Ballot Measure Summary
Same-sex couples, or any couple that includes one person age sixty-two or older, may register as a domestic partnership with the state. Registered domestic partnerships are not marriages, and marriage is prohibited except between one man and one woman. This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of registered domestic partners and their families to include all rights, responsibilities, and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples and their families.

Please tell your friends, family, and coworkers that we need to vote to preserve equal rights protection for domestic partners.

If you are not registered to vote, or your registration information needs updating, please go here. You can also call (206) 296 – VOTE (8683). I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding any of this. Feel free to forward this email to everyone you know. Thank you! Remember, APPROVE Referendum 71.

Jon Brock
[Phone number omitted]

Washington Voter Turnout Rates For General Elections

The upcoming election on November 3rd (in Washington State) is not likely to have a large voter turnout; that's at least according to my inductive assessment. A significant amount of voters do not participate in elections that are not of a national scale (i.e., President, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives). The 2008 general election produced an 84.61% turnout rate in this state. That is nearly 2.5 percentage points higher than the 2004 election between Bush and Kerry. In retrospect, even though I would not have voted for Bush, I regret voting for Kerry.

Here are the numerical breakdowns (statewide only) of the past five general elections, except for 2005, whose data I could not readily locate:
2008: 84.61 % // 3,071,587 votes counted // 3,630,118 registered voters
2007: 50.04% // 1,645,652 votes counted // 3,288,642 registered voters
2006: 64.55% // 2,107,370 votes counted // 3,264,511 registered voters
2004: 82.20% // 2,883,499 votes counted //3,508,208 registered voters
Despite the fact that everything on the November ballot will be local, it is still a very important time to get out and vote. I'd be happy to address any election questions or issues you may have. Simply forward an email to jonbrock [at] I will absolutely get back to you. All of this information was freely obtained online from the Washington Secretary of State's website.

I'm Always Late To The Party

Bloc Party released a new single, with accompanying video, titled "One More Chance". I have mixed feelings about it. The keyboards sound way too, shall we say, 'cabana' for my liking. On the plus side of things, Matt Tong is so adorable to watch in the video. He's the guy in the opening/ending parts. No, not the overly enthusiastic middle-aged keyboardist.

I Found A Pair Of Hipster Pants...

Originally posted on August 31st. Now includes a poll.

...and I like them. They are by Toddland. The downside--isn't it always?--is that I do not have a spare $58, and hardly anything else to wear with them. A gay, male friend told me they looked good. My sister told me, in essence, hell no. A straight, female friend is undecided, but claimed "they don't look bad on you". She added further, "they are a bit too hipster." Eh. I can take it. My fashion sense slowly changes here and there as I continue to lose weight. It's amazing what one can do when nice clothes actually fit! Here are the front and side photos:

I would wear the white Chuck Taylor's with the pants, but not the green button-up shirt. Those just happened to be the items that I was wearing at the time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

HUMP 5 Will Be Here Soon!

Have you ever been to HUMP? Do you even know what HUMP is? Well, it's the amateur porn festival hosted by The Stranger. Okay, you think I'm weird--perhaps that was already the case--but it's incredibly fun, and you should all go! Tickets go on sale September 15th, and the show plays October 9-10. Who wants to come with me?

Photo from

Monday, August 31, 2009

Referendum 71 Has Made It Onto The Ballot

Washington State's Referendum 71, the attempt to block the expansion of domestic partnership rights, has reportedly made the ballot for the November 3rd general election. However, nothing is official at this point, which means we must continue to agonize over whether or not our--being the gay community--rights are up for a vote in two months time. The Stranger has more information here.

The Washington Post Vindicates Discrimination

I was referred to a recent Washington Post article (you can read the whole thing here) that, in essence, treats the gay community as if we are the enemy. It's a profile of Brian Brown, the Executive Director for the National Organization for Marriage. Here are some of my selected excerpts, and my subsequent responses to them:
He shoulders the accusations of bigotry; it's horrible when people say that your life's mission is actually just prejudice. He tries to help people see that opposing gay marriage does not make them bigots, that the argument should have nothing to do with hate or fear, and everything to do with history and tradition.
No, marriage has two standings: legal and religious. The United States is not a theocracy. Religious denominations do not run the legal system. They do not get to pick and choose which rights to bestow unto whom. The gay community simply wants its legally entitled rights. We are not fighting for religious institutions to bow down to our wishes. You can go on disagreeing with our right to equal treatment under the law, but to the extent that it does not take away our rights.
The reason Brian Brown is so effective is that he is pleasantly, ruthlessly sane.
The implicit statement here is that the gay community is, or comes off as, insane.
He sends out regular e-mail updates to NOM's mailing list, conveying his excitement on the issues with exclamation points. Some pro-gay marriage activists then get hold of these e-mails and mock them.
I can't possibly fathom having a job where I get excitement from removing the legal rights from other human beings. This is a disgusting sign of humanity.
But his more informed opponents know that scoffing is a response born of fear.
Are we to live in fear? Is that the world in which you're going to let us live our lives? We are afraid that we won't get to see our partners as they lie dying in a hospital, or make decisions for them in a time of incapacity. Does that feeling make you thrive?
Jackson says Brown and NOM "have a sense of dignity about human beings. They simply believe that marriage between a man and a woman is the best for society. But they're not gay bashers."
You can't have it both ways. You are either pro-gay and pro-gay rights, or you're anti-gay and anti-gay-rights. I'm afraid that there really can be no gray area on this issue.
It is irrational when the opposition points to polls suggesting that most young people support gay marriage. "People mature," he says. Their views change.
I liken this statement to 'maturation generates regression'.
Brown is Catholic. He converted at Oxford, where he studied after a BA at Whittier College (he grew up surfing in California). He liked Catholicism's traditions of social justice and work for the poor. Along the way, he met Sue, also a devout Catholic. After UCLA he accepted a position with the Family Institute of Connecticut, and worked to prevent the distribution of condoms in schools. "People would ask, 'What does your husband do?' " Sue says. "It was embarrassing to say he worked on condoms. But it was nothing compared to this."
It must have been completely embarrassing to tell your friends and family that your husband worked hard to make sure that sexually transmitted diseases were widely spread among students. I feel so much sympathy for you.
In short: The institution of marriage has always been between a man and a woman. Yes, there have been homosexual relationships. But no society that he knows of, in the history of the world, has ever condoned same-sex marriage.
I can think of a few: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Canada, Norway, and Sweden. And on a more regional level: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. Yes, those are included in the history of time.
"I can only go by my own experience, and I believe there's a huge difference in gender." The kids don't need Brian "walking in the door because he's another person. They need him because he's a man."
Not all heterosexual couples have children. When will you start to move on taking away their marriage rights? By your logic, should it not be legally mandated that all married couples bear children?
And then he's out the door, going off to quietly crusade for the hearts and minds of people who, like Brown, pride themselves on being rational, mainstream and sane.
Yep. We gays, and our supporters, are nothing but a collective group of highly irrational, fringe, and insane people. The real, caring, supportive people here are the ones that want to preserve a tradition, while at the same time keeping their select friends, family, and coworkers marginalized and empty of any legal rights that are already given to heterosexuals.

If you'd like to send an email to the writer of this antagonizing article, Monica Hesse, you can go here.

Let's Put Your "Marriage" Up For A Vote

The general election for Washington State is on November 3rd. If Referendum 71, which seeks to block the expansion of state registered domestic partnerships, makes it onto the ballot, then voters need to vote to APPROVE the referendum. A vote to approve it is a vote to grant domestic partners* rights almost equal to those of married couples under Washington State law. If you're against same-sex marriage, fine; I strongly disagree with you. But this is not a legalization of same-sex marriage. So what does this domestic partnership do, exactly? From the Olympian:

The Senate Bill gives same-sex couples:

• The right to use sick leave to care for a domestic partner.

• The right to wages and benefits when a domestic partner is injured, and to unpaid wages upon the death of a domestic partner. The right to unemployment and disability insurance benefits.

• The right to workers’ compensation coverage.

• Insurance rights, including rights under group policies, policy rights after the death of a domestic partner, conversion rights and continuing coverage rights.

• Rights related to adoption, child custody and child support.

• Business succession rights.

Please vote on November 3rd, if for nothing else, to APPROVE Referendum 71. A vote to Reject or not voting at all tells me that you do not support equal rights protection.

*According to RCW 26.60.030, "To enter into a state registered domestic partnership the two persons involved must meet the following requirements: ... (6) Either (a) both persons are members of the same sex; or (b) at least one of the persons is sixty-two years of age or older."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Referenced At Work Today

And posted here for good measure:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Please Call Governor Scwarzenegger's Office Regarding Harvey Milk Day

The State of California's SB 572 "would require the governor proclaim May 22 each year as Harvey Milk Day. It would encourage public schools and educational institutions to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date," says Equality California. We need you to express your support for this piece of important legislation by calling the governor's office at 916.445.2841 or signing the online petition here. You don't even need to speak to anyone on the phone. You need only press a few buttons, and you will have voiced your support for Harvey Milk Day in California.

Via Towleroad.

The Hire - "Ticker"

In 2001 and 2002, BMW utilized a rather remarkable marketing tool: make short films (8-10 minutes in length) that feature different BMW models. It might sound rather ridiculous, but these are some great films. Directors such as John Woo, Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie, and Tony Scott contributed to some very interesting driving-oriented shorts. There were a total of two seasons, with five episodes in the first, and three in the second. I think my favorite has to be "Ticker", which was directed by Joe Carnahan, and features cameos from Don Cheadle, Ray Liota, Robert Patrick, and a few other notable actors. I find it amazing that someone can package so much story into a nine minute film; there's politics, gun fights, ambushes, ethics, and so much more. See it for yourself and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunny Day Real Estate Is Playing The Paramount?

I couldn't believe it when I saw this today:

Apparently they're doing a reunion tour. Who would have thought?

North Seattle Cougar Watch

A coworker and I were sitting out in front of the store this afternoon, and a white Jaguar (vehicle) slowly pulled up near us and subsequently circled the parking lot at (the most) two miles per hour. She did this at least four times. Our break ended, and we had to return to work. However, I was able to see that she parked her car in one spot, only to put the car in reverse, pull out, and park again two parking spaces away. She then took about five minutes to get out of the car, and eventually staggered her way into Curves. My guess is that she should not be exercising in her condition, let alone operating a motor vehicle.

We suspect that she was hunting for some young hunks. After all, her license plate did read "PURRRRN". I read it as purr-in' (like a cat in heat). And her rear window had a sign that said "Hunk In Trunk". Like I said, watch out for this cougar; she's on the prowl.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Latest From Things That Are Awesome

The quality of content on this blog is rapidly decreasing; I think I need to rejuvenate myself. In the meantime, enjoy this product that a coworker showed me at work today (and yes, we sell them at our store). You put them on your beer can to hide the fact that you're drinking beer. They would be put to good use in public.

Clearly they reinvented the wheel with these beer covers, but they made them, shall we say, interesting. They have Tiger Piss, Bacon Mist, Corn Squeeze, Fruitee, Clown Tears, and Diet Wow! The Tiger Piss contains: carbonated water, tiger urine, felinus domesticus brine, thick salty froth, caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, strawberry flavoring. Remember, ingredients are listed from largest amount to smallest amount.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Relationship That Gays Have With Democrats

From James Kirchick's article, "Time to Crash the Party", in the September issue of The Advocate:
"Why move pro-gay legislation forward when their are no consequences for doing nothing? The relationship between gays and Democrats is like battered wife syndrome. We keep coming back for more abuse."
Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Choosing The Lesser Of Two Evils

People complain that they don't vote because they have to choose between the lesser of two evils (or something to that effect). They wouldn't be necessarily in that difficult position if they focused more on the primary elections. We have eight candidates running for King County executive, eight for Seattle City Mayor, five for Seattle City Council Position No. 4, six for Seattle City Council Position No. 8, and several other races where there are at least three candidates. You have choices, but when you don't act on them, it's your own fault for what the general election offers. The majority of voters from the August 2008 primary were ages 65 & older (72%). Compare that to the 18 to 24 year olds (18%) and the 25 - 34 year olds (19%).

The one saving grace is that a significant increase in voter turnout occurred for the November 4th general election. This is no doubt due to the presidential election (Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin). For Washington State registered voters, the general election produced:
  • 18 - 24: 68% voter turnout
  • 25 - 34: 74% voter turnout
  • 35 - 44: 82% voter turnout
  • 45 - 54: 87% voter turnout
  • 55 - 64: 91% voter turnout
  • 65+: 91% voter turnout
If we could only generate these levels of voter turnout in every election, we might come off as more of a democratic society.

We've Made It Through The Primary Election... it's time to gear up for the general election, which will take place on November 3rd. That's only 76 days away from now! Okay, so maybe you didn't vote in the primary (and I know for a fact those of you who didn't). But it's okay. There's still time to redeem yourselves! You can vote in the general election and help send the right people to office.

First off, we need to check the status of your voter registration. This is easy. Go here and type in your first and last name and your birthdate. This will tell you where you are currently registered and what positions and measures on which you'll be voting. If your registration is incorrect--most likely this would be due to a change of address--then you'll need to update your information to correspond with your current voting precinct. This part is easy too! Simply call 206.296.VOTE (8683). As a friend told me, it takes "like three minutes" to complete. That's all there is to it. Once your information is updated, you'll receive your ballot in the mail, and you can vote!

While there is ample time to waste, don't procrastinate on this too long. You have to update your information no later than 30 days prior to the election date in order to be eligible to vote in your new precinct. That means you have until Monday, October 5th to update your information if it needs to be so. I've done all I can at this point, the rest is up to you.

Any other questions you might have can be answered at the King County Elections website.

4-Way Stop. You Go, No You Go, No You Go Guy

I have to hand it to Pemco; they have some really funny commercials.

I can identify with the runner. Well, okay, so I don't run. But I walk (practically everywhere).

Thank You, Barney Frank

For those of you without sound, here is the transcription:
Town Hall Woman: "Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy, as Obama has expressly supported this policy? Why are you supporting it?"
Barney Frank: "Let me, uh..."
Town Hall Woman: "Why are you trying to [inaudible]..."
Barney Frank: "But I will..."
Town Hall Woman: "...a real solution!"
Barney Frank: "When you ask me that question, I am gonna revert to my ethnic heritage, and [???] your question with a question: on what planet do you spend most of your time?"
[Laughs and applause]
Barney Frank: "You want me to answer the question?"
Town Hall Woman: "Yes!"
Barney Frank: "You stand there with a picture of the president defaced to look like Hitler and compare the effort to increase healthcare to the Nazis. My answer to you is, as I said before, it is a tribute to the First Amendment that this kind of vile contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated. [Applause] Mam, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table, [Applause] I have no interest in doing it."
As if it wasn't obvious from the dialogue, Mr. Frank is Jewish. For any human being to freely throw around terms such as Nazi and Hitler without any rational basis for doing so, especially toward a person who (presumably) has family ties to the atrocities committed by the Nazis, is an absolute unveiling of that person's internal ugliness. It sickens me to know that human beings can have such ugly hearts (and opinions). And as if that wasn't bad enough, here is a video of a woman heiling Hitler at an Israeli, and then mocking him for his lack of healthcare coverage. Warning: it's an absolutely disgusting view of humanity.

(Both videos via Slog and Towleroad).

Something You Should Never Do When It Comes To Food

If you're ever hungry, and you find an unmarked bag of what appears to be cheese-sticks in someone's freezer, do not ever assume that they're actually cheese-sticks.  Oh you're going to want them to be cheese-sticks all right; you imagine how good the gooey cheese will taste.  Sounds delicious, right?  It would be, if they weren't actually fish-sticks!  Gross!  I'm glad I didn't overdo it and microwave more than eight of them.  (Some friends helped consume them, albeit hesitantly).  So, you've been warned.  If it looks like a cheese-stick, and smells like a fish-stick, it's a fish-stick.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Pros And Cons Of Employer Provided Healthcare Coverage

From a Sullivan reader:
"The truth is, I’d rather spend $15,000.00 a year and keep my job, rather than go on my employer’s group plan and be looking for work in 3 months."
Read the whole thing here.

Things Are Not Looking Good For The Democrats

Did You Know That There's A Local Election Today?

Well, there is! And you should vote, if you can. King County Executive, Seattle City Council, Seattle Mayor, Referendum 1 (the bag fee), and more are all up for a vote. Your mail-in ballot needs to be postmarked today. This is an important election. So stop your bitching and moaning, get off your ass, and perform your civic duty! My primary endorsements are here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lacking Creativity Is Currently On Hiatus From Reading Books

I've tried to read three different books--"Inherent Vice" by Thomas Pynchon, "A Boy's Own Story" by Edmund White, and "The Waxman Report: How Congress Really Works" by Henry Waxman and Joshua Green--this week, and nothing stuck.  I guess I'm still recovering from my Infinite Summer.  On top of everything else, I have way too many things on my mind right now.  When you start reading the same page, sentence, word multiple times, it's time to take a break.  That's exactly what I intend to do.  Time for a nap.

The Normal Way To Meet Guys

The email I wrote to some friends this morning:
I've been house-sitting for Kim since Thursday, so I have not been home since. Although, last night I drove home and picked up all the laundry I've needed to wash so I could do it for free at Kim's. Usually when I come home in the late hours, there is a woman sitting outside smoking. She's always been nice and said hello to me, etc. Well, last week or so we had a fire alarm, and as we were all outside, I noticed that this really cute guy came out and was talking with her.

So, as I was about to leave last night, I stopped and turned to her and said, "this may be a strange question..." I explained how I saw the cute guy and I inquired as to whether or not he was gay. She said yes, but that he's in a now three-month long relationship. Then she said, "but between you and me, they're having some trouble." So we kind of chit-chatted for a few minutes. She was surprised that I was about to turn 25, because she thought of me (at face value) as being very well-adjusted and mature. That was a nice compliment to receive. The guy is 22. I believe she said his name was Chad. I guess I should have remembered that part. Oops. She asked if it was okay to tell him that I thought he was cute, or that I asked about him. I told her she could do that if she liked.

She said she'd introduce me sometime. I guess now I have to pull the fire alarm.
The response from one of my friends:
See! This is the normal way to meet guys.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Projected United States Resident Population

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the resident population of the United States, projected to 08/16/09 at 06:08 GMT (EST+5) is:
Component settings for August 2009:
One birth every 07 seconds
One death every 13 seconds
One international migrant (net) every 36 seconds
Net gain of one person every 10 seconds
Data taken directly from

Lacking Creativity Celebrates Its 25th Year (In A Way)

Okay, so has only been around since December 2008, but I've been here since September 1984! Yes, I'm turning 25 this year, and it's time to embrace the mid-mid-life crisis that is looming over me at this point. I'm told it won't be that bad, though. Despite the fact that I'm notorious for rarely (if ever) getting anyone else a birthday present--I prefer to give little gifts here and there throughout the year, if and when I can--I'm here to announce what would be an ideal gift for me: magazine subscription(s). The following would please my intellect:
The Advocate - $19.95/1 year (12 issues)
Out Magazine - $9.97/1 year (10 issues)
The Atlantic - $24.50/1 year (10 issues)
The New Yorker - $39.95/1 year (47 issues)
Time Magazine - $20.00/1 year (56 issues)
Foreign Policy - $19.95/1 year (6 issues)
Those are listed in no particular order. One of these days I'll be able to afford daily delivery of the New York Times. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later; you know, because printed news is soon to be history.