Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Dreams!

Part II of demonstrating that miraculous gift, that of dream interpretation! I know you're all excited, and proud of me for starting a thread and actually following up on it later, so here goes:

Faceless Entities

Oftentimes, the Dreamer will experience a situation in which many of the people they are interacting with do not have any details on their faces. Reports of this occurrence range from faces with indistinct or metamorphic features to instances where the face is entirely featureless. One hypothesis is that if one such faceless entity plays a large role in a dream, you are actually interacting with your guardian angel. Another hypothesis postulates a dreamer may simply not be able to remember the faces of the dream, as with many of the details which are forgotten upon waking. A recent study has shown the frequency of this type of dream may be increased if the test subject has been exposed, directly prior to sleep, to a dozen or so episodes of COPS.

The key thing to remember is that anybody without a face should not be trusted. For whatever reason they are attempting to conceal their identity, the probability of their good nature is outweighed by the possibility of malicious intent. Even if one such character approaches you claiming to be a representative of a research team in charge of finding out how many people are willing to trust someone without a face and they are offering you money to participate in the study, be on your guard. This person is a stranger to you, and as such should not be allowed any access to your personal information until you get to know them better i.e. until they show you their face. If, however, they are smokin’ hot, all bets are off.

Grand Canyon

These are not good dreams. I don’t care if you had a blast dreaming of whitewater rafting or of an illicit rendezvous with John Denver, if the Grand Canyon appears to you in a dream it can only mean that you are about to lose a loved one. My advice: If you don’t know what the Grand Canyon looks like, that’s going to make it harder to dream about. It is speculated that through the power of hypnotic suggestion one might be able to avoid the subject of the Grand Canyon altogether by forgetting that there even is such a thing. Studies, however, have been inconclusive on account of the test subjects all being called away at the crucial time to deal with the death of a friend, or a pet if they don’t have any friends. Studies were halted after just ten of these occurrences, the lab ultimately issuing a two sentence report: Do not fool with the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon does not like to fool around.

See? Interpreting dreams is easy! You just pick an image, experience, or metaphor, and then make stuff up about it! It's exactly like writing a research paper!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Books Books Books

Now that my work load has subsided somewhat, I thought I'd share with you what I have been doing down there at Ride the Ducks. Because the tourist season is severely over these days, I've mostly been reading. Here's my recent reading list:

White Teeth
, by Zadie Smith

White Teeth is a story spanning generations of turmoil for two families. The families in question are those of Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal, two former soldiers, living out their twilight years in London from the seventies to the turn of the century. The stories in this book seem rambling, but if the tightness of Zadie's prose is any indication, there is a deeper subtext to the events depicted that suggests... What? I don't know. You'll have to read it find out I suppose. This is a novel about characters, and at the end of the book the greatest disappointment is only that you have can no longer live with these characters, the book is due back and you must hand them back over to the library. Not that I'm clamoring for a sequel, I only wish I could live my own life with the same delight in the strange world unfolding around me that this book inspires.

Inherent Vice, by Thomas Pynchon

Here's the premise: Doc is a private detective. He is also a reefer-loving hippie. Between his constant smoking of the herb and other reality altering substances he comes in contact with, it is very difficult to discern between evil plots and dope inspired paranoia. Other characters, from bikers to cops to undercover tenor sax players recovering from heroin addiction, are similarly unreliable, leading to a real mess of reality and super-reality that both enthralls and disorients the reader. It is hard to believe that this book, set in the late sixties, was published only months ago, but there are always little reminders, like characters predicting the future with alarming accuracy. Is Pynchon stuck in time, or unstuck? I don't know. Once again, read it if you want to find out.

Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk

This book is CRAZY. I guess you could call it science fiction, since it involves ports in the back of your neck and time travel, but these are all secondary details in a story that doesn't even try to make sense. The reality presented in this book is not fixed, but in flux, as the Doctor would say. Events are subject to change. Repeatedly. Am I giving up too much of the plot? Hell no. There's just to much going on to give away. Rather than discuss the plot, I guess I should just mention the brilliant style this book presents, that of an oral history. Every chapter is organized according to general subject, and anecdotes plus commentary are provided by a huge cast of characters who are each privy to a small portion of the bigger picture. Is there any better way to implement the old "unreliable narrator" device than by involving dozens of narrators, all presenting a different aspect of one story? I don't know. You know what you have to do to find out, though.

That's enough for now. I am currently halfway through "Everything is Illuminated", another fantastic, chimerical, and extremely funny/emotionally fraught tale. I am loving it. Fans of butchered English and characters that express truth through lies should check it out. Especially people who are familiar with, and interested in, the Ukraine. Ahem.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Bagheera has a website now! Much toil went in to making this. I even learned a little bit about HTML. Here's the link.

What do you think?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How Shows Go

Sometimes shows go well

Sometimes shows don't.

Where's the line? I don't know, but as the band gets tighter and tighter I expect to find out more on the subject.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Wow. The thing about working full time is that you can't get anything done. You work. You come home, try to relax, sleep, wake up and work again. Laundry piles up. Dishes pile up. My recycling bin has become a recycling pile. So when you get a day off, it becomes a day on. For the last four days I did nothing but work, punctuated by a show of brutal logistical proportions. Now I have two days to myself, to fill with all the stuff I used to do daily when I was unemployed. I emptied my recycling. I laid down vocal tracks for three songs and a bass track for one. I have four minutes to finish this blog post before my laundry is done and then it's off to work on my screenplay, which is shaping up beautifully, thank you for asking. Once I finish that, it's off to federal way to pick up all the equipment I left with Robert after the show, and record some more tracks, and hopefully rehearse for our next show.

Is this how real people live? I'm developing a tolerance to caffeine. And here I thought being a bard would be a relaxing lifestyle.

It might not be easy, but damned if it's not wildly exciting. I'll look forward to relaxing at work.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hack Work

So maybe I'm not really a professional photographer after all.

If I was a professional photographer, I'd know my camera inside out. I'd have my own printers. I probably wouldn't be able to sell my photos at the prices I do, but I'd know what it meant to be a professional photographer. As it stands, I am more of a hack.

But maybe I am a professional musician. Having been paid a cool five bucks by the Sunset Tavern, and with a check from the Cherry Street Coffee House coming down the pipes, it appears I have finally realized my dream of getting paid to make music. It's not much, obviously, but it boils down to less hack work than my real job. I think. Whatever. Still a long way to go.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another day Another dollar

Well, after a month and a half of writing and jamming, I can add another pastime to my list: Photography. Not that I can post any of the pictures I take here on the Internet. They are not mine to post. They belong to my employers, which is fair, since they provide me with the film and the camera.

What is this secretive, enigmatic employment I speak of? Is it some kind of spy work? FBI? Bird watching? Good guess, and kind of. While I haven't seen hide nor hair of Xena the Hawk for a while, I have been seeing a lot of ducks...

That's right. I take pictures of ducks. Professionally.

I get the feeling that I'll get tired of hearing the chorus of "YMCA" play as the tours roll in, but not yet.

In the meantime, I get to stand around trying not to get sunburned and meet small waves of tourist/passengers and take their picture and guide them towards their boat/bus contraption. After an hour and a half, when the passengers return, I sell the picture to them. Enough boats come in and go out every half-hour that you keep yourself pretty busy. It's pretty fun.

At about 4:00, the shadow of the space needle falls over our tiny parking lot. It's pretty cool. A short eclipse.

Anyhow, now I can add Photography to the list of professional (however loosely defined) trades I have held, joining Technical Support, Driving, Machining, and Hospitality. Whereas when it comes to the trade of Writing, probably my strongest skill, I am still an amateur.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dream Journals, the importance of

Few people know this, but I am psychically gifted with the ability to interpret dreams. I call it a gift because dreams are a potent storehouse of subliminal content, and it can be hard enough to remember them upon waking up to reality, let alone know what they mean. Nevertheless, dream interpretation comes down to sound logic in the end. Let me give you an example:

If you dream about Michael Caine, this means you have impeccable taste.

Easy, right? I know it is difficult to predict what dreams you might be having, but in future posts I intend to use my own dreams as fodder for casting a wide net over the dream-realm, and the inhabitants thereof. Let's not get confused here, though, this gift of interpretation is the opposite of divine influence. Do not take my advice as good advice. Dream interpretation is meant for entertainment purposes only.

So lets get right in to the good stuff. I know I'm not the only one who has had a full blown nude dream. Experts will tell you that this sort of dream represents insecurity about something in your life. I beg to differ.

In my dream, I was running through the African savanna, naked as a jay-bird. Some other stuff happened. I can't really remember. It is important to note, however, that I have never been to Africa, and only know what the savanna looks like from nature specials. In those specials, everything is naked, the lions, the elephants, the crocodiles.

Depending on the circumstances, nude dreams can mean you need to lay off the Planet Earth reruns for a while.

Additionally, is there anything more free than being completely naked? Even zoning out and listening to the soothing narration of David Attenborough (who'd have the Sigourney Weaver version?), can't compare to the breathless joy that comes from letting your stuff flap in the breeze. Insecurity? I think not. There's more to every dream than meets the inner eye.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Funny People, Transformers 2, Terminator 4, Harry Potter 6, The Hangover, Public Enemies, The Ugly Truth,


Used to like movies.
Put my hand to screenwriting.
Should have expected

scripts to be so long.
So long the tendons crackle,
stretched to fit the form.

Saw [Insert Film Here].
Didn't know what to expect.
Should have.

Monday, August 3, 2009


How to Rock:

1. Get a band. (Bagheera)
2. Practice the hell out of your songs. (16 hrs.)
3. No, seriously, practice until you bleed. (16+ hrs.)
4. Specifically, practice until your brain bleeds out through your ears. (24+)
5. Once you have mopped your brain up, find a venue. (Sunset Tavern is awesome!)
6. Practice some more. (Who's counting any more?)
7. Take a short break from practicing. (Good time to invite people to the show.)
8. Practice a lot more.
9. On the day of, get rid of the pre-show butterflies by practicing.
10. Get to the venue, set up early.
11. When it's time to rock, close your eyes. Imagine that you are rocking. When you open them, you probably already will be.

There you have it, Eleven Steps to nirvana like bliss. It's easier than it sounds.

Oh, and after the show, link people to your myspace.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Inappropriately Named Rivers

You've probably all heard me complain about how the name "Washington" is ill suited for our awesome state. Too many people who have lived here since the dawn of time regard Washington (George) as the land stealer, the the land killer, and of course, the man with a big sword.

However, that is beside the point. Also on my list of things that have no business, no business at all being named after some white dude that has no ties to this region, falls the Columbia River.

To quote from my moleskine, "Oh, Columbia, Yo, Columbia. That's not your real name."

Last weekend, I spent a night next to the Columbia. Frankly, that is one hell of a river. I took the opportunity to walk along side it for a mile or so and try to learn what the river had to teach me. I wish I could show you a picture, seeing as how those things are worth a thousand words, but I can't. I took none. Instead, I took a break every quarter-mile or so to scribble my thoughts into the afore mentioned moleskine.

Such as:

Along the sagebrush covered bank,
a line of trees, thirsty for a drink.
The river bank bleeds life
in a spiral. Cradle of
Flies, an ancient race,
I'm an admirer,
but I still can't figure the river.
And so it goes. I followed the river, and I got almost nowhere.
What is the river's true name? Does it matter?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

3 reasons you should watch Doctor Who

Not many people around here appreciate the glorious camp that is BBC's, and indeed the world's, longest running Science-Fiction show. When it was first conceived back in the sixties, Doctor Who was a psuedo-educational show, taking advantage of time travel to discuss in alternating episodes new science(cyber-men!) and the lessons of history(cavemen!). With the retirement of William Hartnell, the first Doctor, a clever plot device allowed them to continue the series with a new actor in the lead role. This brings me to my first argument:

1. Replay Value

Every now and then the Doctor regenerates. When he does, he takes on a new face, and a new personality. Each incarnation of the Doctor has been a refresh of the series, sometimes for good, sometimes for ill. The excitement of making a list of your favorite Doctors is equalled only by the excitement of wondering what the next Doctor will be like. With a fifty year history, and at least 11 different actors, there's a lot of variety in the show to explore. The latest Doctor, David Tennant, is seriously one of the best, but did he top the mad cap antics of Patrick Troughton, or the melancholic dispatcher of Daleks, Tom Baker? That is for you to decide.

2. Stephen Moffat

Believe it or not, I am not the last of the time-lord fans out there. Some people, some pretty old people, have been watching the show since they were a child. Stephen Moffat, who will be the head-writer for the show come 2010, is one such person. If you have doubts about his ability, look forward to his Spielberg produced script of Rin-Tin-Tin, coming soon to theaters. Having seen every episode for Doctor Who that he has penned, I can tell you he was born to write this series, kind of like a certain Doctor Who obsessed blogger you might have heard of. His previous episodes have won oodles of awards, so I'm not alone in this sentiment. Once this man gets the reins, it's going to be a whole new Who, and a damn fine one at that.

3. Being cool

Okay, last reason. I have plenty more, but I'll restrain myself for now. You know how kids from So-Cal are always complaining that their bands were cooler before they were popular? Well, Doctor Who can never be popular. No matter how many people love the show, and trust me there are a lot of us, none of them will ever take the show seriously. It's just not that kind of show. So you can be safe in the knowledge that even Doctor Who fans feel slightly uncomfortable talking about it.
(Present company excepted)

25 Random Things About Me

Lately, everybody is doing it. How are they doing it?

(Actually, nobody does any more. Too busy, I guess.)

Mostly, they post 25 random things about themselves and the rest is up to the incessant voyeurism Facebook breeds. Some people have hijacked this phenomenon and turned it into a "valid" literary form. Example: My brother's Facebook, where he parodies an SNL sketch and gives us as much if not more information about about himself as any of the rest of these things. Example: Eric McHenry, a fantastic Seattle based poet, created a cento of 25 random lines, rhymed and metered, that were drifting around in his head. The result was once again, just about as informative as a real 25 things post would be. I wish I could show you either of these examples, but when it comes to intellectual property, I guess possession is a little more than nine/tenths of the law.
So rather than show you theirs, I will shamelessly subject myself to the same experiment.

25 Random Things About Me:

1. An old school bus converted into a traveling home.
2. The cascade mountains, distant, huge and blue.
3. A girl walking down the street tugging anxiously on the arm thrown around her shoulder.
4. A pair of eyelash curlers left on a wall overnight, encrusted with dew-diamonds.
5. There is also a a single pink petal.
6. A rented Cello. I hear one of the strings is about to break.
7. A cannibalized soldering iron.
8. An old slice of cheese.
9. My Friend, on a couch.
10. Because a fire was in my head.
11. The hand that whirls the water in the pool, that stirs the quicksand,
12. That ropes the blowing wind.
13. My amusingly noisy neighbors.
14. Two crows, one sleek and black, the other a little the worse for wear.
15. The piece of sandwich they are fighting over.
16. A whole stack of old editions of The Stranger. Some of them are damp.
17. A girl walks out the door. "Oh it's cold!" she says, and goes back inside, locking the door behind her.
18. A crow, diving a couple feet before flapping up to altitude again
19. Barefoot vs. Bear foot. No contest.
20. I am the doubter and the doubt.
21. Electronic mail. Music. A resume.
22. The callouses on my feet migrate seasonally.
23. The consistent buzz of technology. Radiation.
24. A piano, acoustic guitar and bass guitar, electric guitar and bass guitar, ukulele, two saxophones, a banjo, a harmonica necklace, two harmonicas, a flute, a clarinet, a guiro, a conga drum, an afuche, an udu, wine bottles tuned to different notes, shaker, triangle, tambourine. Some other things I left out.
25. The most important thing about me is my skin. People have told me I have nice skin, and that's nice, but the most important thing is that it keeps my organs from spilling all over the place. If it weren't for my skin, I' d be a mess.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


A word about the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. They are pros. No doubt about that. Know how I know? I'll tell you.

Every song has different sections. In Jazz, there's also a tendency to allow players to take solos over a certain part of the form. How long will a solo last? When do you move to the next part of the song? This could all be written down, but the important thing is communication. The band leader of the drummer can easily signal for a change at any time if everyone is paying attention. This is a mark of the pros: they are ready for anything.

For example:

On the evening I attended, their last song began with an elaborate and improvised piano solo. He began gracefully and beautifully, but as he played, one of his sheets of music started to fall from the stand. He caught it with scarcely a musical blip and was back to business. The sheet leaned forward again, and again he caught it. As his solo became more and more intense, however, the sheet finally fell fully off of the stand and drifted gracefully into the audience. Soon another sheet followed. Sheet after sheet of music peeled off of the stand until soon all of his music was scattered around and off the stage. The intrepid pianist played through to the end of his solo, and the rest of the band came in on cue. Calmly, the pianist left the stage, collected his music, and rejoined the band unobtrusively.

It was cooler to see than read about, let me assure you. You see the things you can miss out on if you don't scrounge around for free tickets once in a while?

On a side note, stuff like that always happens. Always. You want to see something cool happen? Play some music.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cross town tour

Everybody knows that the best thing about Seattle is riding the bus, right? As the most economical form of cross town travel, some efficiency is sacrificed. Also, you never know who you'll end up sitting next to. That hot girl? That old lady? The dude who is off in his own world and then pukes in his lap? Buses kick ass, but sometimes they feel a little dangerous. Everybody who is on the bus is there because they must ride the bus. In a city this large, some distances can't be practically traveled by foot. The bad hip, the blind eye, the empty pocket, these are things the average bus riders might have in common.
Enter Billy. His full/real name is unknown, but probably something patriarchal, like William James III. This guy has been places. He's seen some things. If you ask him, robbing a bank is a perfectly reasonable way to overcome financial troubles. If you want his opinions on automatic weapons you don't even need to ask. He feels as though he rides the bus by choice, even though the reason he's not on his bike is because of the DUI. If you ask Billy, though, there are very practical ways of reversing that situation that involve little more than some strategic application of the right to bear arms. Billy has been selling his time and labor for an ungrateful wage for twenty years now, and he's getting tired of it. I did not have the balls to ask Billy what he would do if he got fully tired of it. I hope Billy remembers that everyone on the bus is there for the same reasons he is.
For who do we throw our lives and wages away? Where should Billy direct his inevitable anger? Can the United States government possibly represent this poor asshole? To me, Billy is represented by his choice to get off the bus, taking his backpack with him, and go have a beer. What was his other option? It was a good choice. For all of us still on the bus, what choices do we have?
I for one enjoy catching a free concert at Benaroya Hall, gratis a The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. It was spectacular. Just watch out for weirdos on the way there!

Goodbye Xena

I think Xena, the hawk, has peaced. There was a family of starlings in a ventilation duct I can see from my apartment. There is a long streak of bird shit under it. I think these starlings have also peaced. Where do birds go in the summer? Canada? The worst part is that now I have no signal, no grasp of what's to come. Birds make good omens, but they are staggeringly fickle in the end.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

When you wish upon a star

Dreams really do come true!

About a month ago, I had this dream where I found a tie die tee-shirt that said "Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am". I spent the rest of the dream walking around in it and showing it off to everybody. Dream everybody thought it was pretty cool and so did I. Then, last week, I received a cryptic text message about a secret batique session and where it was to go down. What is batique? It is the process by which shirts are painted with dye and prepared for tie-dying in such a way as to prevent the tie-dye from interfereing with the painted design. Score! Now I've got this tie-dyed shirt that says "Wham Bam" and I need someone to help me paint on the words "thanks you ma'am".

I'm halfway there!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Galaxy Bird

'Sbeen a long time since my last post, thanks to low internet access. For those of you who do have internet access, I encourage you to visit and enjoy the fruits of my friend Robbie's labors.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More like 22 Hours

24 Hour Film Competitions are fun.
This is the lesson I learned from yesterday's 24 hour film competition.

Other things I learned: Getting up early is not as hard when you care about what you're getting up for. Snakes are deadly. I am not a makeup artist. Larry David is a lazy genius.

For me, I suppose the last lesson there is a pretty important one. Here's the reason:

When you write a book, story, or even a poem or song lyrics, the characters may only exhibit traits that you as the writer have noticed in yourself or other people. Early on, we decided to do our movie in an improvised style, similar to an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm or The Office. This really freed up the constraints on characters, because the actors know what they are doing and what they need to do, but who they are is pretty much up to them. How they react, how they think, how they decide to act, it is all a little more surprising than anything I could write.

Oh! Here's one more lesson to throw in the pile:
All art is editing.

Deep, right?

Monday, April 27, 2009


Yesterday I traveled downtown on a bus. The bus ride was free with my U-Pass. Next I went to Westlake center and bought a Mango Lassie, $2.00 even. Outside Westlake, there were several street musicians, some of whom I recognized from the U-District. A friend of mine claims to have made $80 playing music in exactly that spot.

Next to the fitting room in Macy's, there is a small TV. It was playing CNN. According to some dude on CNN, the big govt. democrats are going to turn the federal government into a hulking behemoth that will devour all prosperity in it's path.

Obama, you are welcome to it! I doubt I'll ever know the difference.

Inside Nordstrom, I was already appalled, and so were they. I was wearing my cargo shorts and wool shirt(my clubbing gear, natch), they were all wearing suits and expensive cologne. How expensive? Too expensive. The man who was helping my roommate, Kevin, pick out a sportsjacket was quite helpful, though, and didn't discriminate against us just because we were poor white boys and he was a black man in a suit. He was pretty chatty:
"Here try this on.", "What do you need the jacket for?" "So you're musicians then?" "What's a bard?" "I dreamed I was a saxophone player once, in Jazz Alley, filled with smoke, I was just up on stage blowin"
Kevin picked a jacket he liked. 51% cotton and 49% linen. It looked good, and it was the right size. I noticed that while he held it up to the light I could see through it. We asked him what the price was.
You ever hear the phrase "If you have to ask, you can't afford it?" It turns out nobody actually uses that phrase, they can say it all with a look.
"I'm sorry" Said Kevin, "I can't buy a jacket that costs more than my rent."
Random stranger interjects here: "A suit should always cost more than your rent."
Kevin: "But how will I keep it clean when I'm sleeping on the street?"

Thank you, helpful suit man. Thanks to you I now know what size I should look for when I hit up the thrift stores on The Ave. And thank you for being willing to assume that either one of us could actually afford that jacket.
This is what happened next:
"Well sir, if you don't have the money now, would you like to open up an account with the store?"
No, no, no, get me out of here!
"If you open up an account..."
We (Nordstrom) will own you. And your suit.

No thanks. I want to look nice for my job interviews, not desperate.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blast from the Past

Uh Oh! Nerd quotient approaching maximum levels!
Maybe this will reverse the polarity.

Oh dear, now I'm stuck in a time loop.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Planet of the Dead

Really, for a Doctor Who special with a name like "Planet of the Dead" I was expecting something a little more creepy. Instead, what I got was an hour long eight by eleven glossy of David Tennant. Not really a bad thing by itself, but here's a few things I've come to expect from Doctor Who that did not happen in the latest episode:

Cliffhanger- When removed from a serial format, I suppose it isn't really fair to the audience to put The Doctor or anyone else in mortal danger for a whole three months. Nevertheless, since we know that within the first ten seconds of the next episode all forms of peril will be temporarily obliterated, why not? It sure beats sending his companion off in a flying- oop! Almost gave away the end there, didn't I?

Scary line repeated until it is no longer scary, and continuing until it is scary again- This obviously goes hand in hand with the aforementioned cliffhanger, but can stand on it's own as well. The only requirement is that the line is never interrupted until the trademark howl of the opening or closing credits. Here are some examples:
"Hey, who turned out the lights?"
"Are you my mummy?"
"This is your final destination"
and of course "Exterminate!"
Let it be known that in "Planet of the Dead", the most repeated line is "I love you".

The freakin' TARDIS- well, duh. Once again, a flying ******* is no replacement for anything. Certainly not a time traveling police box.

Don't get me wrong, I love The Doctor just as much as that crazy scientist guy, but there is something wrong when The Doctor starts acting like a pop star. Maybe when Stephen Moffat takes over as head writer we'll lose a little bit of the soapy atmosphere that has been haunting the set. In the meantime, here is a list of what they did right this time around:
Aliens that are obviously dudes in jumpsuits with rubber claws and bug masks.
Sonic screwdriver antics.
British through and through.
Smooches for The Doctor, wait no, no! He's 900 years old, ladies! Would you kiss Yoda? Seriously, the cradle robbing has got to stop.

Well, if you've made it this far in the post, I salute you. You must truly have great sympathy for the nuances of mantaining a glorious tradition in modern times. That's probably why you aren't asking this question right now: "Who cares?"

But if you are asking that question, then I'll tell you: Nobody. Nobody but me. That is why it is my goal, my burning passion, to write episodes of Doctor Who, episodes that make you care. So far I'm off to a rocky start, but as I come up with ideas I will post them here for the enjoyment of all. Thanks for tuning in.

-Seth Rasmussen

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Get busy

What is the difference between song lyrics and poems?

Let me tell you what I know:

In poetry, the idea of love must be treated carefully, so as not to overwork the concept or state the obvious. Generally, love poems are laughable. No, not generally, personally.

In song, love must be grasped by the neck and thrown around a little. No, not a little, it must be thoroughly thrashed. Successful love lyrics should result in a visit to the doctor to get a neck brace for love, which will be complaining of whiplash for weeks afterward.

And there you have it. Also, nobody will ever think that the word "aint" is inappropriate for song.

P.S. The distinction made above is also applicable to the cross media genres of "booty songs" and "booty poems" with the addendum that rather than thrashing, shaking is by far the more appropriate verb.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Plums Aren't There

It's National Poetry Month! Not only that, it's National Poetry Writing Month(NaPo WriMo!)! Not only that, it's April!

I've heard tell that April is the cruelest month. This I believe. What could be crueler than being subjected to the massive output of poetry that occurs when poets nationwide decide they are going to write one poem every day?

Don't worry. I have no desire to write a poem every single day. Likewise, I have no desire to post here every single day. Y'all are safe. On the other hand, I'd be remiss if I didn't kick off NaPo WriMo right.

So without further ado...

Thought I
Had been the
Perfect gentleman,
Until I talked to all your friends.
They told me you got caught, saying "Oh no, not again."


Not to
Have regrets,
Smoke less cigarettes,
Place past personal griefs aside,
Except tonight. I'm sorry, but I don't feel the vibe.


Your closet,
Ate hot dog, slopped it,
I stole your skirt and yellow scarf
So you couldn't see all the mustard I got on it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Tortoise and The Hare

Hare's funeral was held on March 13th. Tortoise was glad that he got the invitation three weeks early. At the funeral there was a great hullabaloo going up from all the gathered members of the forest community. Tortoise felt slightly out of place, but he had once been great friends with Hare, so he tucked his legs up into his shell and took a seat towards the front. He had a great view of the casket.

Animals took turns going up to the front and howling their condolences into the microphone. Bear told a story about when Hare tricked him into getting stuck in a tree. Raccoon told a story about how he and Hare used to go fishing, and Mouse recounted the hilarious episode in which he hoodwinked missus Hare into believing he was one of her young. Hare had plenty of young. They stretched out from the funeral in all directions, sniffing vaguely in the direction of Hare's lifeless body. When it was Tortoise's turn to speak he stood up and dragged his shelly ass up to the platform. His hard torso knocked against the wood of the podium. He cleared his throat.

“Many of you” Tortoise began, “have heard tell of the story in which Hare and I had a little dispute, decided to settle it with a race.”

“What was that dispute about?” Called Possum, who was known for his lapses of memory.

“Doesn't matter. Race was a bad idea.” said Tortoise. “Hare was at the finish line before my tail even left the block. I thought that would be the end of that, but Hare was a good sport and offered me another shot. I refused it, because I had realized that Hare's life would be short and there are better things to do with your time than race.” Tortoise glared at the other animals. “So you can all thank me.” He turned to the casket. “As for you, Hare, I now whole heartedly accept your offer for a rematch. Ready? Go.” And Tortoise hopped on his bicycle and rode away.

-Seth Rasmussen

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Xena returns

You are not going to believe this:

Yesterday I was sitting on my balcony pondering upon myself when a strange thought struck me. "How," I say to myself sezi, "am I going to survive graduating?" Maybe you do not consider this to be a strange thought. Maybe, under similar circumstances, you yourself experienced similar ponderances. Me, I don't think about things like the future that often. What is going to happen, as they(the fates) say, will happen. The fates have decreed that I will earn a diploma from the UW. I scarcely have a choice at this point. So why do I worry about what the fates have decreed?

Because every beginning implies an end?

Because every end implies a beginning?

Because a diploma implies I have developed my craft and skill to a professional level?

Because I don't know how to do anything except learn?

Because the fates have been shown, historically, to be unsentimental?

As I sat in what Lewis Carrol might describe as "uffish thought", suddenly a huge wingspan cast a shadow across my face. It was Xena, warrior hawk princess! She landed on the branch closest to me and stared straight at me. That basically freaked the hell out of me, but I wasn't about to run inside. I sat there and stared back at Xena for a long time.

Idea: I can talk to birds.
Test: "Hey, Xena! Tell me the meaning of life!"
Result: False

Idea: Though they can't reply, birds can understand what I'm saying.
Test: "Hey, Xena! You should catch me a mouse!"
Result: False

Idea: Don't worry, just be prepared.
Results: Pending

The moment passed. I went back inside. This morning there was a dead mouse next to my balcony door.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ada's Larvarium


"Je raffoule de tout ce qui rampe"
she said, as she led me into the swamp
to show me mud flies with too many legs,
certified colors, but darkly flossed.

"Qu'est-ce que vous avez, mon petit renard?"
she asked, while I protested with broken words,
"Do not compare me to the red fox," I said,
"Writers are magpies, filthy birds."

"Scusez-moi," she replied, her spine in an arch,
"mais je comprend pas de tout." Her eyes were dark.
Let me explain, the people of my trade
sift through rubbish and steal the shiny parts.

Saying "Regardez cet scarabee." she placed
an exotic beetle on my face,
stifling my breath, while she traced
her finger down its golden carapace.

"J'ai desolee. Tu n'es pas comme le renard,
et pas la pie. What is the word?
Tu es comme cet scarabee, et moi,
I'm just crazy about everything that crawls."

*I wasn't planning on putting any poetry up on here. This blog was meant to be a more prosey practicing place, but you know what? This poem is unpublishable because it is rife with blatant plagiarism. Should I give you a clue?

**There's that, and I'm not even sure is the parts in french make sense.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


You've all heard about
haikus, the multi-purpose
casual poem.

Did you ever think
"There must be a better way
to count syllables"?

I got
a new form
for you! Everyone
knows how it's done. It's natural
and fun. Let's all say "Thanks Fibonacci!" You're welcome.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Apple Capital

As I sit here eating my apple, I am pleased to note that this delicious fruit was grown from the soil of my home state. There's a lot to love about this place, this little region of the world. But you probably know that. For example, you probably know that we are the leading producers of asparagus for the entire nation. You probably know that we can grow wine grapes and hops so delicious that even German brewers are buying them up after a bad hops year across the pond. Agriculture aside, you probably also know that giant corporations like Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks are here, granting our state a tasty bonus of several ridiculously wealthy people. Additionally, a large percent of trade with Asian nations comes right through our own Puget Sound.

So here's the deal. It has been quite a long time since we heard Abraham Lincoln quip "A house divided shall fall, a house united shall stand" or what ever it was he actually said. I'm not suggesting that this is no longer true, I'm not suggesting that we should secede from the union or anything, only that we could.

Why would I bring up such a ridiculous idea? Why do you think it's ridiculous? A while back Thomas Jefferson himself reminded me that peaceful revolution is always an option. Why should we need any such thing, though? Things are just peachy as they are, right?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Just as a side note, I myself feel under no constraints to limit my Blog posts to the category of "Things That Actually Happened". In other words, I am going to be taking as many creative liberties I please. Just thought you ought to be aware.


There is a hawk living outside my apartment. Something about this fact is thrilling to me. What is it?

I choose to think of the hawk as a girl-hawk. I have no way of knowing for sure, I am not an ornithologist, but I have decided that Xena, for that is the name I have given her, is a mother of at least two snarling hawklings. Is it the right time of year for that thing? Do I even care? In my mind, I see her scouring the skies for fresh prey, which she locates and hunts. Having brought her prey then to a fuller understanding of mortality she tears it up by the ligaments and tucks the choices morsels away in her gullet, to be later regurgitated into the enthusiastic mouths of her young.

But, no, I do not think it is the spectacle of motherhood that draws me to hawk as a moth is drawn to, oh I don't even want to finish that cliché. Every morning I leap out onto my balcony and wait to see Xena making her morning rounds. When I do see her, not every morning, but when I do see her, I am usually only allowed a few quick glances before she spreads her broad shoulders and takes wing. These short moments are not just the coy exchanges between distant lovers, although there is a hint of that in the curve she cuts through the air as she dives. Instead, these moments are omens. If she appears from the south, with her beak open, there is a good chance of success, but it will be cut short. If she comes in from the east, with the sun, the long frame of her wingspan casts a shadow on the cars in the parking lot below. Depending on where the shadow falls, depending on which branch she chooses as her perch, the omen can change unexpectedly from good chance of love to the death of a loved one.

There are so many songs about birds.
Blackbird, Bluebird, Aluette, Birdland,
Is there no song for, Xena, Warrior Hark Princess?

Really, I think I just want to see her catch something. I know she is a bird of prey. I know she must eat. She will fly in front of me, she will poop in front of me, she will flap her wings in a most indiscreet way in front of me and she will preen in front of me, but I have yet to see her dine. I want to see her one morning, fresh carrion dripping from her talons, ripping through the red meat with her beak, which I understand is razor-sharp. Beyond that, I want to see her make the kill, diving out of sight for a moment, but returning in a moment with a still squirming rodent, who she twists into lifelessness with an efficient bite from her beak.

This is the thrill that keeps me coming back again and again. What keeps bringing her back?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Liam Neeson as an Action Star

You saw him in Star Wars, you saw him in Batman Begins, you saw him in, er, The Chronic(what?)les of Narnia, and you probably heard his voice in a nature documentary or two, but y'aint never seen Liam like this. By "this" I mean pissed off, lethal, and also "in the movie, Taken", which is actually the subject of this post. If you've already seen it, then you can skip ahead to the part where I talk about Doctor Who, which you haven't seen. If not, let me tell you a little bit about the movie. I'll keep spoilers to a minimum.

Taken is a movie made by Europeans about Americans in Europe. This is to me a very important fact. It is an opportunity to see how the rest of the world, and by that I mean the rest of the rich world, thinks of us on this side of the pond. Just how do we measure up?

As a father, good 'ol Liam is on the angsty side. He doesn't get to see his daughter that much. But when she goes to Europe unescorted and is kidnapped right off the plane he goes, and I'm pretty sure I'm using the medical term here, bananas.

As far as killers go, Liam Neeson is nothing but efficient. Completely unarmed, Liam is able to dispatch an entire cadre of banditos and them some, but this is not the over the top ingenuity of Jason Bourne. Liam's moves are simple, even repetitive, and alarmingly effective.

Really, I find it hard to be insulted by this portrayal of an American by a European. That's usually how I feel, even if maybe I should be insulted.

In the season finale of Doctor Who series 3, we get another taste of the European vibe for Americans. The "president" of the U.S. is a complete blowhard who gets assassinated by aliens. When the Doctor finally fixes things (Spoiler Alert!) by reversing time for a whole year, everything is back to normal. Oh, wait no, the president is still lying on the floor, dead.

The Doctor will save the entire planet, but not even a characature of George W. Bush? Frankly, I don't blame him, but does Europe even realize what they have to thank this man for? The weak dollar has turned to east coast into an ideal vacation spot for anyone with a Euro in their wallet, and at least we here in America won't steal their daughters.

Will Europeans ever give us the respect we deserve? With this movie, it appears that maybe we will. This movie presents an alternative to the current paradigm, which is, if Doctor Who is any indication, something along the lines of "Americans are disposable." With Taken, the paradigm seems to have shifted to something with a little more street cred: Americans don't know who you are, but they will find you and kill you. Americans won't stop there. We'll kill your crime lords, your police, we'll shoot your wife in the arm, we'll kick you in the balls and break your neck. And we have a black president.
Europe is sending a message to America too, namely "Stay the hell out". In Europe, they take your spoiled stupid daughter and get her high and slap her and do lewd things. That's about as dark as they can get with a PG-13 rating, but rest assured you do not want to send your daughter unless you have got yourself some ball kickin' skills.

Thank you Liam Neeson, for negotiating a new relationship between my people and yours. I will certainly remember this movie next time a friendly Francais offers to share a cab with me. I will definitely kick him right in the nuts if he tries anything funny.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Man vs. Lion

I have always had a difficult time with language. For some people, apparently, words contain specific meanings that can be easily shared and correctly interpreted. For me, it's all metaphor. You say "Castle", I think, "Castle-like". You see? No? It's really very simple: what you are saying to me, what I am saying to you, I have no idea what any of it means.

Language and linguistic articulation is controlled by the cerebral cortex. A useful little lump of brain matter, but only a certain portion of our experiences take place inside it. Involuntary actions, like the shiver that runs through my body when my ear gets cold, and emotions, like love (sweet love), come from other regions.

A colleague of mine suggested to me last week that in the near future, mankind will have the ability to live forever through the transcription of consciousness into computers. I like the idea. I love the idea. It's too horrible to imagine. But what is the big hullaballoo about consciousness anyways? Is it the capacity for reason that makes us alive? Take a look at this article about the Limbic System, and tell me if you think a copy of your consciousness inside of a computer could do what this thing does.

All I'm saying is, I've never seen a computer smoking a cigarette.

No, that's not what I'm saying at all. I don't know what I'm saying, but I am asking something:
If much of the information, the learning we do, takes the form of chemical processes that are interpreted as sensations, by which I mean real physical manifestations of our state of being, how is a writer supposed to emulate those process with words?

It's like touching a hot stove and pulling your hand away before you even register the feeling of heat. In order to experience this sensation, this reflex, first you need a hot stove.

Break Down

Let's break this down.
This is a weblog, or blog.
My name is Seth

That's about all the essential information. With this blog I intend to create a workspace for my brain, a writing playground through which I may indulge and explore my various interests. To explain myself further, here are a few of my interests:

Doctor Who. I'm a big fan.
Music. I write songs. Sometimes, if they are good enough, my friend Kevin and I record them.
Fiction and Literary Non-Fiction. I'll leave it up to you to figure out the difference. For me the borders are pretty murky.

The list could go on, but I'd rather save some surprises for later. If it's a form of creative writing, odds are I'll get around to it. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy what you read here and leave me with your comments.