Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's Mistress America Is a Cleverly Self-Critical Sister Act

Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke navigate the pitiless maw.
Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke navigate the pitiless maw.

Leaving the comfort and familiarity of home for college is scary enough, but entering the pitiless maw of New York City makes it doubly so. In his third collaboration with writer/actress/lady-love Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach serves up a scenario in which a naive freshman has a secret weapon: an older pseudo-sister to help her navigate the city as an independent adult…

Read article »

VIDEO: Here's How Bad the Air Quality Is Near the Okanogan Wildfire

An air-quality monitor in Omak measured hazardous levels of smoke today.
An air-quality monitor in Omak measured hazardous levels of smoke today. SB

The smoke. Oh my fucking god, the smoke. You don’t get it until you see it. It’s thick and hot and makes your eyes water and the back of your tongue itch. The burned landscape looks like the fucking moon. Or Mars. And hills obliterated by the Carlton Complex fire last year are now just blanketed with smoke. You can barely tell a smoky mountainside from a dried-up stream the color of milk. And some people are smoking outside. And picking fruit. And rebuilding houses from last year's fire while a new wildfire rages nearby.

When Nyla Sutherland, 13, went to volleyball practice at the Brewster High School on Wednesday, she met a big, smoky haze hovering in the middle of the gym.

"And the question was, where are we supposed to run, how are we supposed to practice?" she said. "I was like, 'Coach, I'm not going to do this. There's a big, old haze in the middle of the gym. You see it, too. Everybody sees it. I'm not going to run.'"

Continue reading »

My Romance with Breezes in the Summer of 2015

The breeze that have come in and out of this window have changed my life.
The breezes that have come in and out of this window have changed my life. Charles Mudede

Beginning around June, the hot nights of Seattle have come with the most amazing and sensual breezes I've ever known. And the hotter the night, the more loving the breeze. This is the kind of love that can only be measured by coolness and length of stay. Though I have encountered breezes that stayed for almost a minute, most last for no more than a few seconds. These beings of the air come and go at random, which is why they are so useless on a hot night. They only relieve you from the heat for as long as they are around. Once they lift and depart, they take all of their coolness with them.

Nor can you hear the approach of a breeze. The leaves of nearby trees indicate nothing. All is profoundly silent when it slips in through the windows, stirs the curtains, settles on your bed, and cools your nakedness. And if you have been sweating, the more present is the body of a breeze. I have never felt a human touch my skin with as much affection as some of these summer breezes.

I have also never known a human lover to reject me with the suddenness of a breeze. Humans take their time to dump you; it's a gradual process. And when they finally tell you it is really over, they sometimes grant a mercy fuck. But no matter how loving the moment with a breeze has been, when it loses interest in you, it goes just like that. The coolness lifts and leaves your window with seemingly no thought of you or your time together. Its mind is already elsewhere. This hot night has other rooms, beds, and bodies. The breeze belongs to the city.

Just Announced: The Complete Bumbershoot 2015 Schedule

Neko Case will perform on Sunday at 9:30 pm. Read Dave Segals review here.
Neko Case will perform on Sunday at 9:30 pm. Read Dave Segal's review here.

The complete schedule for Bumbershoot was just announced, and it's live on our Things To Do calendar right now!

Everything you could possibly need to plan your weekend at Bumbershoot is on there: performance times, stages, band photos, SoundCloud links, and even links to buy your tickets, in case you haven't done that yet. Plus, we have music, comedy, words and ideas, and visual art recommendations from our critics!

What are you waiting for? Go check it out, now! And while you're there, bookmark it on your phone so you'll have a handy pocket guide to carry around next weekend while you're at the festival.


Records Show Officer Cynthia Whitlatch Believes She Was Investigated Because of Her Race

Officer Cynthia Whitlatch was praised by SPD in 2013 as
Officer Cynthia Whitlatch was praised by SPD in 2013 as "one of our many great officers." SPD

Public records obtained regarding the investigation of Cynthia Whitlatch—the Seattle police officer who came under fire for her arrest last year of then-69-year-old William Wingate, who is black, for allegedly swinging a golf club at her patrol car—reveal that the officer, who is white, believes she is a victim of reverse racism.

The Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) carried out the investigation into the July 2014 incident, as well as racially fueled Facebook posts made by Whitlatch. The records show that Whitlatch accused judge Fred Bonner, who is black, and deputy chief Carmen Best, who is also black, of collusion, and blamed her race for not being supported for her actions.

Whitlatch was fired but appealed her termination and pleaded her case before the chief last Friday. There is no deadline by which O'Toole must make her final decision. (Ron Smith, the president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, declined to comment.)

Initially, Wingate had been charged with obstruction, spent the night in jail, and pleaded guilty. But after a meeting between police commanders and former state representative Dawn Mason, who got involved with the case, the police department asked the city attorney's office to dismiss the charges.

Continue reading »

There Was "a Large Sewage Spill" in Lake Washington Wednesday Morning

If youre in Lake Washington right now, you might want to make like this guys doing.
If you're in Lake Washington right now, you might want make like that guy. Kelly O

UPDATE: This was originally posted on Wednesday, August 26, but I'm bumping it up because the city has just alerted us "Swimming beach will remain closed at least until Friday afternoon." Shit!

I don't know what you're talking about, Heidi. The people with shitty jobs at City Hall are working today. They don't give a crap about the primary or the council races. They're up to their eyeballs in another problem.

According to a 5:02 pm news alert from Seattle Public Utilities:

Seattle’s Seward Park swimming beach has been ordered closed following a large sewage spill Wednesday morning into Lake Washington.

Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks) and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) made the decision to close the park as a precaution based on the estimated size of the spill, about 12,000 gallons. The park will remain closed at least until test results are back from the lab, Thursday afternoon.

Parks and SPU are posting signs in the affected areas.

The cause of the spill, from an underground sewage storage tank, is under investigation.

Couple things:

Continue reading »

Savage Love: Ashley's Ashes


Please do a public-service announcement about the Ashley Madison hack, and request that NO ONE look up information on ANYONE other than their own spouse. I'm a former AM user. I've been married to my wife for 20 years. We met when we were both 20 years old. Seven years ago, I made a selfish decision to have an affair, and five years ago, my wife found out. She hated me for a while, but we worked things out. I have been faithful since then, and our marriage is better than ever. Since my wife already knows everything, I have no worries about her finding out. But what about every other person I know? It is mortifying to think about my colleagues or my wife's family poring over my profile information. I'm going to assume the best—most people have the common decency not to snoop into their neighbors' bedroom habits—but it would be great if you could ask people to respect other people's privacy…

Read article »

Scharpling & Wurster's Ongoing Conversation

Jon Wurster and Tom Scharpling talk it out.
Jon Wurster and Tom Scharpling talk it out.

When they began assembling The Best of the Best Show box set, Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster were faced with a problem a lot of artists would probably consider a good problem to have: too much material to choose from. Scharpling hosted The Best Show on New Jersey public radio station WFMU every week for 13 years, talking irascibly about current events and pop culture, interviewing guests, playing music, and, most notably, fielding calls from listeners. These calls offered a great inversion of the classic talk-radio formula, aided by Scharpling's quick wit and effortlessly caustic tone—rarely has a broadcaster gotten more comedic mileage from simply repeating words that have just been spoken by a caller…

Read article »

10 Great Tracks Pitchfork Left Out of Its Best Songs of the ’80s List

A meta-love song supreme, left out of the Pitchfork list for some unfathomable reason.
A meta-love song supreme, left out of the Pitchfork list for some unfathomable reason.

All best-music lists are subjective and open to nerdy nitpicking, including Pitchfork’s recently posted 200 Best Songs of the ’80s rundown, which has been stirring up the social mediasphere lately. The site’s staffers and contributors composed a decent enough list (kudos for Liquid Liquid’s “Optimo,” My Bloody Valentine’s “You Made Me Realise,” ESG’s “Moody,” Fela Kuti’s “Coffin for Head of State,” Spacemen 3's "Walking with Jesus," and Kraftwerk’s “Computer Love”—although Zapp’s “Computer Love” should’ve been replaced by the elite funk workouts of “More Bounce to the Ounce” or “Dance Floor”). But, as you can imagine, there were some glaring omissions that cannot go unaddressed. Below I present the 10 tracks that strike me as most conspicuous by their absence. I suspect you’ll be shaking of your damn head over my list, as well. There’s just no pleasing anybody anymore.

Continue reading »


An Email Exchange With One of the Few Women on Ashley Madison


Yesterday, moments after reading widely circulated Gizmodo piece that revealed how few women were on Ashley Madison (and that many of the actual real created by actual women were barely active), and not long after I was interviewed about the hack on the CBC's program Q, I got an email from a woman who said she used Ashley Madison. We had an interesting email exchange about her experiences. I'm posting here with her permission.

Thank you for the perspective you keep bringing to this. It is like you are throwing us a rope, when others are eager to eviscerate us.

I tried Ashley Madison after my husband of two decades gave me the green light to explore, with the condition that I be very discreet and ensure he never, ever heard even a whisper about the details. We had married young and while our sex life is good, both my libido and my curiosity are far stronger than his. I have honored his request and am so grateful for this freedom.

I have connected with friends and lovers who deeply enrich my life, and I remain happily married. Some of them have far more difficult situations at home. While I and my lovers created special email addresses for AM and other sites that we use, even those of us who were careful are terrified. The way our modern devices sync and correlate data makes us all feel exposed.

Dan, I would hate my husband to regret the freedom he gave me. I ache for my dear friends who fear the loss of their spouses, children, and jobs. I am an public official and I would have so much to lose if exposed. And why should I have to explain myself or the "legitimacy" of my actions? Why have people decided they can be arbiters of someone else's private behavior? And why on earth have some government agencies decided to ruin lives over this—this expression of loneliness, longing, the need for connection.

Anyway, I know you are getting a zillion emails like mine, but please keep it up. We need you.—Former Ashley Madison Member

Can I ask you a question? People are pointing out that almost all the members of AM were men—there were very, very few women on the site, and many of the women who were on the site never responded to any of the men who contracted them via AM (as opposed to the thousands of fake accounts that were fake, which no one got a response from obviously). I’m curious what your experience on the site was like—as one of the few women there. Were you buried in responses? Was your experience on AM generally positive? Or, as one of the very few women with an active account, did you find the attention overwhelming?—Dan

Continue reading »

Hillary's Piles of Wall Street Gold Are So Bright She's Gotta Wear Shades

Hillarys piles of Wall Street gold are so bright shes gotta wear shades.
Progressives to Clinton: Will you continue to take backdoor bribes from Wall Street? Marianne Campolongo /

Progressives often criticize Hillary Clinton for her cozy relationship with Wall Street. Their evidence: her top donors. How could she really mean what she says when she talks about reducing income equality by growing incomes for the middle class when her top five donors include four banks and a law firm?

I'm sympathetic to this argument, even though I don't want to be. Isn't Hillary her own person? Can't she take money with one hand and do her own thing with the other? And so what if people who are close to her used to work at banks and big financial firms? They were hired and rose to prominence in highly competitive companies presumably because they were smart, super-qualified people with a deep understanding of the way money works. And what does the mechanism of influence even look like? According to some progressives, it looks a lot like bribery.

Continue reading »

Seahawks Lose Two Preseason Games, Which Doesn't Matter at All

If you disagree with me, allow me to set fire to the strawman that is your argument.
If you disagree with me, allow me to set fire to the strawman that is your argument. f11photo /

This week I overheard someone say that they’re genuinely worried about the Seahawks because of their 0-2 record through their first two preseason games. “Genuinely worried” were the words I heard, in reference to preseason football results. It was an existentially horrifying moment.

This is completely unacceptable behavior for so many reasons, the first few of which could be grouped under "person genuinely worried about preseason football for reasons unrelated to the possibility of someone suffering a life-altering injury playing a football game with zero meaningful ramifications.”

It’s also unacceptable because it scared me into thinking there maybe are more people out there genuinely worried about preseason football.

So, if you will, allow me to construct the strawman of “people genuinely worried about the Seahawks' preseason performance” by looking at why a person could be worried about preseason football, and then to light it on fire so that strawman is nothing but stupid, stupid ash.

Continue reading »

The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am

Not nearly enough people know about this mind-blowing characteristic of breast milk: It changes daily based on signals from the baby.
Not nearly enough people know about this mind-blowing characteristic of breast milk: It changes daily based on signals from the baby. LILY PADULA

To produce breast milk, mothers melt their own body fat. Are you with me? We literally dissolve parts of ourselves, starting with gluteal-femoral fat, aka our butts, and turn it into liquid to feed our babies. Before and after giving birth to my daughter 10 months ago, I was inundated with urgent directives from well-meaning, very insistent health practitioners, parenting book authors, mommy bloggers, journalists, and opinionated strangers that "breast is best." The message was clear: In order to be a good mom, I had to breast-feed.

But breast-feeding is more than being a good mom. And breast milk is much more than food: It's potent medicine and, simultaneously, a powerful medium of communication between mothers and their babies. It's astonishing…

Read article »


Mayor Murray Will Temporarily Hold Off on Hookah Lounge Crackdown

Mayor Ed Murray has said the 11 hookah lounges in the city violate the state ban on indoor smoking. Now, his administration will give the lounges a chance to change their business model to come into compliance.
Mayor Ed Murray has said the 11 hookah lounges in the city violate the state ban on indoor smoking. Now, his administration will give the lounges a chance to change their business model to come into compliance. City of Seattle

PubliCola has the news this morning that the mayor's staff will hold off on shutting down hookah lounges until they see what comes of a meeting with the lounge owners expected to happen today or tomorrow.

“We’ve been trying to do a sit down because it seems like that it would be helpful for everybody one way or the other, to sit down and chat face to face,” [mayoral spokesperson Viet] Shelton told PubliCola.

He confirmed that the previous set-in-stone crackdown date of August 31st rests on the outcome of the upcoming meeting. “I think that’s [the blanket closures] entirely dependent on how these conversations go,” he said.

Continue reading »

In Food News: New Savory and Sweet Thai Spots, Charlie's Space Being Redeveloped, PFI Founder Big John Passes Away

Wann Yen, from the owners of Thai Curry Simple, serve Thai shaved ice with ingredients like mangoes, dates, evaporated milk, sweet corn, and smoked coconut.
Wann Yen, from the owners of Thai Curry Simple, serve Thai shaved ice with ingredients like mangoes, dates, evaporated milk, sweet corn, and smoked coconut. Dawn Fornear

Soi and Wann Yen Are Open

Two notable new Thai restaurants have recently opened, one specializing in the deeply savory Issan cuisine, the other entirely devoted to Thai sweets:

Soi, which translates to “side street,” specializes in traditional Thai food, particularly funky, spicy, and boldly flavored dishes (such as green papaya salad with pickled crab and fish sauce, grilled game hen, and sour pork) from the Issan region of Northeast Thailand. “Our food is fiery,” Soi’s menu states, as much a warning as a declaration of pride. You can take a look at the menu here. (The bar menu also features an impressive amount of whiskey and scotch.)

The restaurant, located on what used to be the quiet side street of 10th Avenue at Union Street, opened softly last week in the same building that will house Renee Erickson's upcoming trio of restaurants, reports CHS. Soi is open daily from 11 a.m. until midnight, and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

• The owners of beloved weekday lunch spot Thai Curry Simple, Mark and Picha Pinkaow, have opened Wann Yen, a vibrant temple dedicated to Thai shaved ice desserts. Fresh fruit like mango, dates, lychee, and jackfruit are topped with shaved ice and sweet liquids such as rose syrup and evaporated milk. There are also bright green pandan noodles served with sweet corn and smoked coconut. All of Wann Yen’s treats cost just $5.

Continue reading »