STRANGERCROMBIE WINNER! This article was bought-and-paid-for in The Stranger’s annual charity auction—which this year raised more than $50,000 for the Seattle nonprofit Treehouse, helping foster kids since 1988. Thank you, everybody!
MONDAY, JANUARY 12 Welcome to a Very Special Last Days, devoted to honoring promises made/sold in the Strangercrombie charity auction. For Last Days, this means devoting our column to the highest bidder, which proved to be Office Nomads, the Capitol Hill coworking space that won this very same auction last year. For an overview of Office Nomads, we turn to words we wrote a year ago:
Office Nomads is the coworking space on the second floor of the Heath Printers building at 1617 Boylston Avenue. What is "coworking"? According to the Office Nomads' website, coworking is "[similar to] cohousing... at Office Nomads you'll find a workspace with all the tools of a modern office shared by a cadre of independent workers but none of the soul-crushing corporate values." "The digital revolution gave people an incredible amount of independence in being able to get work done from home, or anywhere," says Office Nomads co-owner Jacob Sayles. "But that independence can be isolating, and you see people starving for community. That's what we offer here." "Anyone who's worked from home can tell you how blurry the boundaries can get," adds co-owner Susan Evans. "A coworking space can help you compartmentalize your life. Your home can be home again."
(As someone who routinely works cross-legged on a bed until our lower extremities scream from the restricted blood flow, Last Days understands.)
TUESDAY, JANUARY 13 Today, Last Days returned to Office Nomads, where we were greeted by the aforementioned Susan and Jacob, as well as a bustling office of Nomads. "It's working!" said Jacob, walking us through the large, casually professional, sunny-when-it's-sunny space where a couple dozen independent workers were happily plugging away. (In addition to its bevy of desks, conference rooms, sofas, easy chairs, and full kitchen, Office Nomads offers "full office amenities," including high-speed internet access and complimentary fax and printing services, with prices ranging from $25 a day to $375 a month.) As we've mentioned, a major component of the Office Nomads philosophy is community, and today that philosophy was put into full effect, not just through the day's citizen-mingling labor, but through an on-site after-work boozefest. The host of the party: Seattle Greendrinks, the nonprofit founded in 2003 by Gabriel Scheer, devoted to "good times shared among people working in, or interested in, environmental and sustainability issues." What this looked like: a friendly mini-mob of people milling around with smiles on their faces and drinks (in a variety of nondisposable cups and glasses, of course) in their hands. As a testament to the ideals of both Seattle Greendrinks and Office Nomads, tomorrow morning's Office Nomads workers will find literally no evidence of tonight's beer-and-wine fiesta.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14 The week continues with another casually productive day at Office Nomads, where Last Days plopped ourselves down in an overstuffed chair only to be lightly horrified by an e-mail sent by Hot Tipper Nathan, who writes: "I was in the library at Seattle Central Community College when I walked by one of the computer stations. I noticed a lot of skin on one of the screens and instantly recognized that the person was looking at porn. And not just any porn—ANIMAL PORN. I was flabbergasted! The site's name blared something like 'ZOO EXPERIENCE,' and he was clicking around like he was in his apartment by himself. WTF?!" Thanks to the miracle of coworking, Last Days was able to commiserate with/solicit the opinions of the Office Nomads, to whom we put the following question: What should Hot Tipper Nathan have done in this situation?
1. Alerted a librarian.
2. Ignored the would-be animal lover, who was merely accessing information, not actively engaging in lewd behavior (i.e., wanking).
3. "Accidentally" spilled a quad caramel mocha on Casanova Dolittle.
Responses ranged from Office Nomad Brandon's "Number two, I guess, though I'm not happy about it" to numerous suggestions for "other" (from public shaming to targeted whinnying). But the most inspired response came from Office Nomad Casey, who directed us to comments made by the Swedish minister of agriculture: "Is it, and should it be, legal to spread something on the genitalia that might smell or taste nice to a dog, in order to allow the dog to lick off whatever is spread on the genitalia? Should [we] be permitted to stroke a bitch's teats with love, or should it be classified as animal sexual abuse?" "As you can see, the Swedes are way ahead of us in this arena," wrote Casey. "Their administration is directly confronting hot-button issues like the loving teat-stroke, while I have yet to hear Obama mention bestiality even once as a priority issue for his Department of Agriculture cabinet selection. So I recommend option four: Defer to the Swedes. Whatever their library-bestiality policies are, so, too, should ours be."
THURSDAY, JANUARY 15 The week continues with a hilarious bit of business from the American Life League, aka "the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States," which is taking vehement exception to the Obama-celebrating machinations of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. As Krispy Kreme announced in a press release, "Krispy Kreme is honoring American's sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer." As the American Life League made clear in its own press release, Krispy Kreme can keep their evil abortion doughnuts: "The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed doughnuts at your local Krispy Kreme, you just might be supporting President-elect Obama's radical support for abortion on demand. The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that 'choice' is synonymous with abortion access." Once again, color commentary was provided by the Office Nomads peanut gallery: "This is the best and funniest thing to come out of the conservative movement since Sarah Palin," wrote Office Nomad Charles. "Thank God they've embraced their role as America's comedians." Or as Office Nomad Chris put it, "Abortion doughnuts! Avoiding 18 years of backbreaking responsibility never tasted so good."
FRIDAY, JANUARY 16 Of course life isn't all just animal porn and abortion doughnuts—there's also stuff like the global economic downturn/major U.S. recession, a topic on which Last Days today solicited opinions from the Office Nomads, receiving a bounty of wise, highly contextualized musings, all of them too long to include in full and too rich to excerpt.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 17 Nothing happened today, unless you count the various Saturday adventures of the liberated Office Nomads.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 18 The week ends with the penultimate day of the godforsaken Bush administration, celebrated by Office Nomads' benevolent queen bee Susan by jetting off to Washington, D.C. "A few of us who were here in the office for election night got all fired up and bought flights immediately," reports Susan. "So there will be a Nomadic crew in D.C. to welcome Barack and Joe."
Interested in Office Nomads? Stop by anytime for a free trial day—www.officenomads.com.