It's a cliché that frequently appears in the letters sections of newspapers the world over: An angry reader angrily informs a publication's editors that their newspaper is only fit for wrapping fish.
Most editors and writers reject that characterization. Not here at The Stranger. We take our jobs as producers of fine fish wrappers very seriously. We may not spell words "correctly," we may not put commas in the "right" places, we may prevaricate wildly about the possessive form of a singular word ending in "s," we may get the occasional "fact" wrong, but it can't be denied that, week in and week out, we provide our readers with plenty of big, colorful pages—more pages than certain other weekly newspapers—to keep your birdcages lined, your floors covered when you're painting, and your hands dry and clean of fish stank on the way home from that open-air fish market everyone seems to love.
As professionals, we strive to provide you with an unimpeachable fish wrapper. That's why we dedicate the last issue of the year to correcting the "record," setting those "facts" straight, coming clean about our "mistakes"—and while we're at it, yours. In addition to publishing the best regrets sent to us by readers, we are proud this year to have exclusive regrets from individuals outside of The Stranger—from the entertainment world (Michael Jackson) to the animal world (a horse in Enumclaw) to the world of the unborn (Katie Holmes's fetus). This recounting of a year's worth of regrets and corrections is exhaustive, to say the least. We at The Stranger take pride in knowing that when Seattle wraps its fish or kindles its campfires or tapes up pages of newsprint inside the windows of its shuttered businesses, it does so with the very finest, frequently accurate, mostly factual fish wrapper available. That is our pledge to you, and it's something we'll never regret. —Eds.
♦ In The Stranger's news section last week, an announcement of City Council Member Nick Licata's wedding to Andrea Okomski was missing a comma. According to the announcement, "a traditional Polish buffet danced to '80s music." We regret the error.
♦ Last week's feature, "A Season in Hell," erroneously referred to the kitchen-supply store Williams-Sonoma as "Williams and Sonoma." Also, Nordstrom was spelled "Nordstroms." Also, "recovery" was spelled "reccovery." Also, "checkbook" was spelled "check book." Finally, metaphorical reference was made to "a partridge in a pair tree." We regret these errors, especially that last one.
♦ Stranger associate editor David Schmader regrets calling Britney Spears "retarded" in front of a bunch of fourth-graders at Shoreline's Meridian Elementary School this year. Mr. Schmader was so busy trying not to cuss he forgot that, while "retarded" isn't a cuss word, it's not appropriate for fourth-graders. Still, Britney Spears is totally retarded.
♦ A Stranger Suggests item in our October 26 issue sent fans of heavy metal, disco, and deep Miami booty bass to the wrong bar on Halloween, of all nights. We regret the error. We also regret the phrase "deep Miami booty bass."
♦ In our November 3 issue we spelled November "Novemer" at the top of the "November 8 Election Cheat Sheet." November, November, November. Won't happen again.
♦ Speaking of the "November 8 Election Cheat Sheet," Bob Ferguson's name was is cut in half, due to a production department error. We regret that, Bob.
♦ Come to think of it, the entire November 3 issue sucked. Sorry.
♦ In the September 22 installment of In Theater News, we misidentified local actor Stacey Plum. Her first name is not Stephanie. We regret the error.
♦ As the book section of the September 15 Stranger was going to press, a chunk of text in a wonderful audience review by author Dave Eggers was inadvertently highlighted by a production staffer, who then inadvertently typed the letter "z," replacing an entire paragraph, and then some, with that final letter of the alphabet, followed by a space. We will never stop regretting this.
♦ Dan Savage, the editor of The Stranger, regrets the abundant spelling and grammar mistakes in his daily Slog posts. Actually, no, strike that, he doesn't give a shit.
♦ In the January 6 issue of The Stranger, film critic Bradley Steinbacher called A Tale of Two Sisters "Japanese." It is in fact Korean. We regret his probable racism, his lack of research skills, and the fact that Annie Wagner's little brother, Gabe, was the first to tell Mr. Steinbacher what was what.
♦ Stranger film editor Annie Wagner deeply regrets misspelling Bennet, the last name of the family in Pride & Prejudice, no less than six times in her November 10 review of the adaptation, making it appear as though she did not reread the novel for the purposes of the review, which she did, cover to cover, with her cell phone off, and to the detriment of her social life, all right?
♦ On May 19, Stranger news editor Josh Feit wrote a column titled "West Seattle Is Cool." He regrets the error.
♦ The King County Republican Party regrets its attempts to intimidate and harass likely Democratic voters with specious last-minute voter challenges this year—specifically, the King County Republican Party regrets that they didn't attempt more of them. They'll try to do better next year, and even better than that in 2008.
♦ In an interview with Shellac in the August 25 issue of The Stranger, music writer Hannah Levin referred to the Pixies' Surfer Rosa as a "'90s album"; it actually came out in 1988. We regret the error.
♦ In the June 22 issue of The Stranger, we confused "perspective" with "prospective." We regret the error.
♦ Jennifer Maerz, music editor of The Stranger, regrets that it would've been unethical to trade a "positive review" of a certain major-label rock band for the lead singer's handmade shirt (a cool shirt hand-painted with guns), even if said shirt was offered in trade at 3:00 a.m. by a singer who just "really wants some good write-ups."
♦ Stranger news reporter Thomas Francis regrets his pituitary gland, an underachiever.
♦ The name of the Re-bar's techno monthly, KRAKT, was spelled "KRAFT" once or twice in our pages in 2005. We regret the error(s).
♦ Stranger writer Megan Seling reviewed the movies Rebound, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Racing Stripes, Elektra, Hide and Seek, and Son of the Mask this year. She regrets every second.
♦ Stranger writer Cienna Madrid regrets assuming that performance editor Brendan Kiley was gay simply because he is the performance editor for The Stranger, although you can probably imagine how she could make that mistake.
♦ Stranger performance editor Brendan Kiley regrets his overuse of the words "crap," "brilliant," "hilarious," "funny," and "pathos," which are some pretty gay words to be overusing.
♦ The Stranger regrets our multiple incorrect renderings of the band name Clap Your Hands Say Yeah this year.
♦ Kelly O, The Stranger's managing art director, deeply regrets that one of the few photos she published in 2005 that had absolutely NOTHING to do with alcohol or being drunk—and everything to do with having fun and rainbow-colored panties—resulted in the subject of the photo getting fired from her job. You yoga people are hypocrites and should be ashamed of yourselves.
♦ In our May 19 issue, Bradley Steinbacher, who was film editor at the time, gave a positive review to Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Upon watching the film for a second time, Mr. Steinbacher realized his initial reaction was way off the mark and promptly resigned from the film desk. We don't regret this.
♦ In an April 21 review of Seattle Shakespeare Company's Othello, Stranger critic Charles Mudede continually referred to the character Desdemona as Desdamonia, possibly because he was drunk.
♦ Stranger music writer Dave Segal regrets misquoting Hunter S. Thompson in a June 2 article about Gang Gang Dance.
♦ Eli Sanders, news writer at The Stranger, regrets the location of King County's voter challenge hearings, as justice cannot possibly be accomplished under fluorescent lighting inside a concrete bunker at Boeing Field.
♦ Stanley "Tookie" Williams regrets being a huge fan of Conan the Barbarian.
♦ Stranger writer Hannah Levin regrets moving back to Capitol Hill in February of this year. The War Room is a delight during the summer and Via Tribunali is one of the best restaurants to open this year, Ms. Levin believes, but other than that, the neighborhood is both incredibly boring and crack-infested. She's moving to Ballard in January.
♦ City council hopeful Casey Corr regrets the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth times he shamelessly asked Stranger news editor Josh Feit, "What can I do to get The Stranger's endorsement?"
♦ In the process of copyediting an article by Jonathan Raban about jihadi bombers, Sayyid Qutb, and Western culture for our August 4 issue, The Stranger's copy department regrettably changed a reference to the 7th century to the 17th century—a difference of, oh, a millennium.
♦ In July of 2005, Dan Savage, in his capacity as The Stranger's sex-advice columnist, was preparing to interview M. R. Strict, author of Intimate Invasion: The Erotic Ins & Outs of Enema Play. Mr. Savage regrets taking the book home to read and foolishly leaving it on the dining room table where his 7-year-old son discovered it and began asking what "intimate," "erotic," and "enema" mean.
♦ Tim Sanders, local writer and designer, regrets shattering both his feet while rope-swinging into a river. He also regrets inadvertently insulting his surgeon just before his operation. He asked someone whether his surgeon was worth a damn. This someone turned out to be his surgeon.
♦ The word "science" regrets that it is distantly related to "shit." They share a Proto-Indo-European word ancestor, "skheid-" ("to separate"). "Science" finds nothing wrong with excreta, but "shit" is just crass.
♦ In the August 4 issue of The Stranger, associate editor David Schmader, in a feature called "The Intermission Escape Artist," described Intiman's The Light in the Piazza as "the genius collision of Elizabeth Spencer's morally complex novella and Adam Guettel's romantic score," failing to credit the adaptor Craig Lucas, who also deserved mad props. Mr. Schmader regrets the error.
♦ David Schmader also regrets the hurt feelings the abovementioned feature caused some of his dearest friends. But would he write it again? Hell yes.
♦ Lynne Cheney regrets that her husband and his boss won't let her publicly declare her love and approval for her daughter and all American gays, even though she communicated as much with Sisters, her 1981 Western bodice-ripper with multiple sympathetic lesbian characters who sigh lines like: "How well her words describe our love—or the way it would be if we could remove all impediments, leave this place, and join together. Then our union would be complete. Our lives would flow together, twin streams merging into a single river."
♦ Stranger staff writer Eli Sanders regrets Max Hardcore in general. In particular he regrets the existence of Max Hardcore Fists of Fury #3, Max Hardcore Extreme Schoolgirls #6, Max Hardcore Golden Guzzlers #5, and Max Hardcore Golden Guzzlers #6.
♦ In reference to the following Coors Light advertisement that ran frequently in The Stranger throughout the year, arts editor Christopher Frizzelle regrets that he is not that bowl of chips:
♦ The Stranger's music department regrets recommending the RTX show last January without having first mentioned that you would have had to be a full-time acid casualty to understand what the fuck that was all about.
♦ The suits at 20th Century Fox regret that it's taken them five years (and counting) to figure out what century it is.
♦ In an August 18 review of Dr. Israel's Inna City Pressure, the title of Willie Williams's Armagideon Time appeared in The Stranger as "Armageddon Time." This error was actually inserted by a Stranger copy editor, if you can believe that, which you probably can.
♦ Of the 20 articles Stranger news editor Josh Feit wrote about Mayor Greg Nickels in 2005, Mr. Feit regrets that as many as three of them ("Political Climate Change" on June 16, "Blue Balls" on June 9, and "Nickels is Pro-Neighborhood" on May 12) were pro-Nickels.
♦ Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking regrets advancing the theory that a black hole could provide a portal into a new universe, when any fool can see that the path integral over all topographically nontrivial metrics is asymptotically independent of the initial state.
♦ You'd think Stranger music calendar editor Megan Seling would regret volunteering to make all 106 cookies from Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies magazine in 55 days for the sake of a $20 bet, but she totally doesn't.
♦ Associate editor David Schmader regrets suggesting that The Stranger run the classic war photo of the little naked girl fleeing a napalmed village as a Movie Times photo for the romantic comedy Runaway Bride.
♦ The Stranger's copy department regrets that in the July 28 issue untitillating was spelled "untitilating." On a related note, untitillating isn't a word either.
♦ Tyra Banks regrets her forehead.
♦ The Stranger regrets that, due to a miscommunication, a review of the excellent documentary Murderball did not make it into the paper the week the film was released. This was no one's fault except Bradley Steinbacher's.
♦ In 2005, a Stranger reader left Seattle for Chicago and there discovered that Chicago is colder than Seattle, which she regrets. She also regrets neglecting to tell the boy she is currently crushing on that she is currently crushing on him, and failing to kiss a friend (a girl) this summer when the opportunity presented itself, as this girl is very beautiful and beautiful girls are there to be kissed.
♦ Eli Sanders, a staff writer at The Stranger, regrets not having asked City Attorney Tom Carr for some of whatever it was Mr. Carr was smoking when he gave bogus numbers on pot prosecutions.
♦ City Attorney Tom Carr, for his part, regrets the numbers 74 and 160.
♦ Stranger critic Charles Mudede regrets writing a positive review of Happy Endings in the July 14 issue, as Happy Endings was a bad movie. Have we mentioned Mr. Mudede drinks?
♦ Former Stranger political writer Sandeep Kaushik regrets that his first assignment as assistant communications director for King County Executive Ron Sims was to put a positive spin on that Southwest Airlines thing.
♦ Josef Krebs, "man about town," regrets vomiting all over the bathroom at a cast party in October.
♦ The Stranger regrets that art director Corianton Hale, who writes Poster of the Week, did not bestow a laurel on the neon-green tree-removal parody poster "This Pole Shall Be Removed," which will go down in history as the funniest parody of a Seattle Department of Transportation Urban Forestry publication EVER.
♦ In the April 14 Stranger, Roman Polanski's name was misspelled in the headline of Sean Nelson's review of Chinatown. We regret the error, which was either the copy department's or Mr. Nelson's. Depends whom you ask.
♦ Several Stranger staffers regret the current scarcity of BC bud and implore local growers to get their shit together.
♦ In advance of Bumbershoot this year, Seattle Weekly ran a listing for the band "Iggy and the Three Stooges." We regret their error. Idiots.
♦ Cienna Madrid, a writer for The Stranger, regrets mocking Seattle Times managing editor David Boardman in a recent article about Seattle Magazine's Best of 2005 party. Ms. Madrid especially regrets that Mr. Boardman did not hear her when she tried to introduce herself to him, resulting in her feeling snubbed. She further regrets not following up her attempted introduction with, "Hey motherfucker, I'm talking to YOU," so that the two could have started their Great Friendship off on the right foot. Madrid has since discovered that Mr. Boardman is extremely nice.
♦ The copy department at The Stranger regrets the numerous subject-verb-agreement problems that pepper our music coverage as a result of our house style of referring to bands in the plural.
♦ Christopher Frizzelle, arts editor of The Stranger, regrets the use of the word "pepper" in contexts such as the one above.
♦ Regrettably, Stranger music columnist Megan Seling did not attend the Explosion show at Neumo's back in February, during which the lead singer confirmed onstage and mid-show that, yes, Ms. Seling is indeed an asshole for not liking his stupid band and for saying so in The Stranger. That would've been hilarious to see.
♦ In the February 17 issue of The Stranger, we published the cover of the previous week's Seattle Weekly, which was a disgusting image of a man with shit on his hands. We regret republishing it. In the event you've forgotten, here's what it looked like:
♦ Also in the February 17 issue, we implied that Seattle Weekly editor Knute "Skip" Berger had just recently lost his virginity. This was untrue. We regret the error.
♦ A Stranger reader who was employed in 2005 at a certain cafe on Capitol Hill where paychecks were always late (and short), where manipulation and harassment were routine, and where the owner would get massaged at his house next door while the employee baked, worked the counter, and washed dishes simultaneously, regrets not stealing from the cafe while he had the chance.
♦ Former Spokane Mayor Jim West regrets the chatroom at www.gay.com, which is fucking addictive.
♦ In the February 24 edition of The Stranger, news editor Josh Feit wrote a column debunking monorail critics titled "Don't Believe the Hype." We regret the error.
♦ "Scooter" Libby regrets including the following passage in his 1996 novel, The Apprentice, featuring a deeply disgusting one-two punch of kiddie sex and bestiality: "At age 10 the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest."
♦ The Stranger regrets rockabilly.
♦ Stranger critic Charles Mudede regrets not writing more sentences like this, which he wrote in the book section of the January 20 issue: "If a reader of Remembrance of Things Past wants to become a magician instead of the subject of a magician's unearthly powers, then he must do his best to get ahold of Proust's Ariel, pull him out of the air, strap his delicate body to an operating table, open him up (rib cage apart, gooey heart squeezed to a stop), and examine the grape- and olive-colored organs of the creature who charmed his ears with Debussian music, his eyes with Whistlerian colors, and his mind with Bergsonian philosophies."
♦ Performance editor Brendan Kiley regrets forcing copy editor Kim Hayden to decipher the following sentence that almost made it into last week's issue of The Stranger: "He also says his isn't afraid to great out-of-towners to meet and work with our sometimes artistically xenophobic locals." Jesus, that's awful.
♦ City council hopeful Casey Corr regrets spending $230,000 on his failed election bid. Mr. Corr received 58,000 votes, which works out to $4 per vote, whereas his opponent, Jan Drago, spent about $2.50 per vote. Even more embarrassing for Mr. Corr, the phenomenally unqualified (and ultimately unsuccessful) mayoral challenger Al Runte spent about 25 cents per vote and got over 62,000 of them, 4,252 more votes than Mr. Corr received.
♦ On a related note, Mr. Runte regrets misquoting Teddy Roosevelt in his concession speech. He also regrets that his concession speech took place at Rock Salt.
♦ Among the many unpleasant tasks that Dan Savage, editor of The Stranger, is charged with, none is more unpleasant to him than firing a member of his staff. It can be extremely awkward for Mr. Savage to encounter someone he has fired on the street, at an arts function, or in a restaurant. This happened a dozen times or more in 2005, and consequently Mr. Savage regrets leaving the house so much. When not at work in 2006, Mr. Savage resolves to stay at home, smoke pot, and watch fine television programs like Project Runway and Best Week Ever.
♦ Eli Sanders, a staff writer at The Stranger, regrets taking the position that the proper way to form a possessive from a singular noun ending in s is to simply add an apostrophe. He's come to learn, to the glee of other staffers, that when one engages in battle against the Chicago Manual of Style, one invariably gets creamed.
♦ The Capitol Hill Block Party regrets heatstroke.
♦ A Stranger reader regrets listening to and believing a bunch of lying bitches' rumors rather than seeking the truth for himself in 2005. Here is what happened: He asked a girl to homecoming and was stoked to go with her. Then certain snobby bitches started a bunch of rumors about how this girl was going with someone else; this Stranger reader, rather than just asking her, believed the rumors and dumped the girl in question. As a result, he ended up going to homecoming with one of those snobby-ass bitches who started the rumor in the first place. He regrets these errors and wishes to apologize to the girl he dumped.
♦ The Stranger's music department regrets not taking acid before the No-Neck Blues Band's December show, as the naked hippie, flying paper airplanes, and giant beekeeper suit made for some really Dennis-Hopper-in-Apocalypse-Now moments.
♦ Hannah Levin, a music writer for The Stranger, regrets recommending the Def Leppard show in November. Despite her claim that they would be "sticking to their early catalog," the audience was afforded merely one song from High 'n' Dry and had to endure wince-worthy dreck like "Let's Get Rocked" and "Love Bites," along with the laughable and depressing use of videotaped pyrotechnics.
♦ The copy department regrets the departure of music intern Nicholas Scholl, who was detail-oriented, damn fun to have around, and the best-dressed intern we've ever known.
♦ Josh Feit, news editor of The Stranger, regrets editorializing against NARAL's "Screw Abstinence" fundraiser in our July 21 issue. Word was, the fundraiser was jam-packed with good-looking women. Mr. Feit wished later that he'd just pretended to support the event and gone.
♦ The Stranger regrets misspelling Wall of Sound co-owner Jeffery Taylor's name. We've done this repeatedly.
♦ Stranger critic Charles Mudede regrets fucking up M.I.A.'s last name in a lead article earlier this year for the music section; he wrote the name of her album as her last name. Given the accuracy of Mr. Mudede's work in 2005 and the best interests of our readers, The Stranger has instituted administering a Breathalyzer before allowing Mr. Mudede to hand in his "work."
♦ Colonel Muammar al Qadhafi regrets that Pacific Northwest Ballet refused to stage his version of Nutcracker.
♦ The copy department regrets not realizing until May of this year, when a persnickety reader pointed it out, that Broadway is simply Broadway, and not Broadway Avenue. DUH.
♦ Karl Rove regrets speaking to anyone, ever.
♦ On the cover of 2005's Valentine's Day issue, Dan Savage, the editor of The Stranger, came into conflict with Corianton Hale, the art director of The Stranger, over which image of Logan Neitzel, Seattle's Sexiest Barback, would appear on the issue's cover. Mr. Savage preferred the image below, while Mr. Hale preferred the image below that. In the end Mr. Savage deferred to Mr. Hale, and the image Mr. Hale preferred appeared on the cover. That image, however, is considerably less sexy than the image preferred by Mr. Savage, and seeing as the sexiness of an image should be the paramount concern in selecting an image for the cover of an issue that is ostensibly about the city's sexiest people, Mr. Savage should have overruled Mr. Hale and ordered him to use the sexier image of Mr. Neitzel. Mr. Savage did not. He regrets the error.
♦ Corianton Hale, the art director of The Stranger, regrets fighting Mr. Savage so hard for something so undeniably irrelevant.
♦ By a wide margin, Stranger news reporter Thomas Francis (who is straight, single, and new to Seattle) regrets signing a lease at an apartment building that he would subsequently learn is nicknamed "La Casa del Gay."
♦ In the April 28 issue, Stranger managing editor Bradley Steinbacher declared that Sony's new handheld system, the PSP, would end rival Nintendo's reign as handheld gaming king. Time, however, has not proved Mr. Steinbacher right—as it never does when he makes predictions. We regret the error that is Bradley Steinbacher.
♦ Stranger writer Cienna Madrid regrets lying about her friend Tom Watson's death in 2001 to win a scholarship for college. During her interview, Ms. Madrid was asked to describe a regret. She said that she regretted not seeing her friend Tom one last time before he died. What she meant was, she regretted not seeing Tom one last time before he went to Iowa to visit relatives.
♦ Staff writer Eli Sanders regrets that after The Stranger sent him to the September 24 antiwar march on Washington, D.C., he read an article in Salon about a botched biological attack that might have taken place that same day in D.C. and been subsequently hushed up. He also regrets that the symptoms people were experiencing from the supposed attack closely mirrored a bad cold, which Mr. Sanders developed during the trip, which leads him to further regret his occasional hypochondria, although not as much as he regrets the biological agent F. tularensis.
♦ Michael Hutchence regrets ever telling INXS, "If I ever die of autoerotic asphyxiation, please further the humiliation by creating a reality show some 20 years later so some douchebag named J.D. Fortune can sing my lyrics while you play karaoke band in the background."
♦ A Stranger reader who lives in Sand Point regrets many things about his actions in 2005, namely, leaving his own party to play darts at a bar; missing a Calexico show for the hundredth time; and leaping out of the 72 bus, one hand at his mouth, the other clutching his bag, while projectile vomiting all over the bus tunnel during afternoon rush hour. Apologies to everyone who witnessed that.
♦ Stranger news editor Josh Feit still regrets breaking up with Andrea Koa to go with Sharon Lean in the 11th grade.
♦ Former Stranger associate editor Sean Nelson regrets leaving the only job he was ever good at and the only group of people he ever truly respected to work at a massive corporation that treats him like a robot and values his contribution only slightly more than that of its custodial staff.
♦ The Stranger regrets that associate editor Charles Mudede has recently discovered the German composer Wagner, because it can only mean that next year Wagner will appear, in one form or another, in every single one of Mr. Mudede's film, book, art, music, and food reviews. God help us.