WHILST BUYING a double tall lattÉ with extra cheese at the Upper Queen Anne Starbucks Thurs 3/4, my pals Freddy & Terri spotted dashing and much-discussed Q13 weathercaster Jim Castillo! Terri says, "So anyways, Jim comes in and heads straight to the bathroom... where he STAYS. Shirley, we were in Starbucks for a while, and he NEVER came out of there!" Now, didja ever stop to think that maybe he was waiting for you to come in and ask him for an autograph? Or maybe... just maybe... Hey, JIM! Thanks for STINKIN' UP THE CAN!!

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THE WEAK IN ROCK: I hear that at the Beth Orton Central Reservation CD hype party (in beautiful W. Seattle), Orton's folky jams could hardly be heard over the din of chatty party-goers. But then, oddly, Orton got nixed entirely when a crappy alternaband by the stoopid name of "Papa Vegas" was blasted over the speakers. The Stranger was there, and we objected; the gal manning the record player kept the blecchy grunge playing and apologized: you see, the BMG poobah at Beth's party just had to "rock out" to new discovery Papa Vegas--LOUD. To hell with Orton! She's in the hospital with Crohn's disease, anyway.

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KICKIN' IT AT THE KEY: Famous photog and Olympia transplant Alice Wheeler was contracted to photograph Marilyn Manson at KeyArena on Wed 3/3 (see Police Beat, p. 13, for more KeyArena action), but the way she tells it, plastic fantastic Courtney Love made sure Alice's name got scratched off the guest list--reason being, the merry widow had just seen Nick Broomfield's Kurt and Courtney (recently out on video), and Alice (who was interviewed extensively in the movie) was on her shit list. ···Courtney, of course, couldn't be reached for comment, but Everett True, who's totally in love with Courtney, says No way! Courtney never ever saw Broomfield's movie! I'm sure of it! ···My pal Emily went to KeyArena especially to see Courtney--but was so disappointed in Hole, and so blown away by Manson, that she's surprised Hole didn't drop out of the tour after that first night in Spokane! Anyway, later Emily saw Courtney and other Hole-sters in the audience, and says, "Dear Courtney came out to see the beginning of Marilyn Manson. She was obviously really fucked-up. ...[She] stood right in front of me." I mentioned this to Evvie, and he says No way! I was with Courtney, and she wasn't drunk OR high! When pressed, he admitted she was probably just acting that way. Pretending she's drunk? What a horse's patoot! (And a poser to boot!)

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AT CHOCHA FRESCA'S: Neighbours show the next night, Thurs 3/4, it was Twiggy from Marilyn Manson and the drummer from Hole. Chocha reports: "Do they like to wait in line for drinks? NO! They paraded up to the front of the line and told the bartender who they were. Of course, they were served immediately, but I thought it was funny."

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SEATTLE'S NEXT HARVEY DANGER? Local four-piece band Loudermilk (see profile p.33) had label scouts from Dreamworks, Reprise, Atlantic, and Hollywood at their Showbox gig Wed 3/3 (AND the local teens had just returned from a wild weekend hosted by American Recordings' Rick Rubin!). After the show, a rep from Giant took the band to 13 Coins, where they ordered Surf 'n' Turf at $50 a plate!

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KEVIN COSTNER-- What was he doing at Wild Ginger Mon night 3/8? Looking H-O-T HOT! according to fellow diner Gillian. He was very gracious, she says, and dressed to kill. Scuttlebutt indicated that Warren Beatty and David Hyde Pierce may have stopped by too. The old boys ain't filming anything here... maybe they came up north to visit ME!!

BTW, THANXXX to all my pals sending me so many juicy, juicy tidbits! I need a longer column (and a 28-hour day!)--but rest assured I'm eatin' it up! Love, shirley@thestranger.com