Monday, May 27, 2013

Heron Finished

Extended white wing feathers, like a ghost.
In Seattle for the Toonies, saw the mural by my favorite tofu shop, is finished. NOTE THE WALL-WIDE GRADIENT! Which is just as perfect in person. And yes, it was done with spray paints. Now THAT's some graffiti!

That's Northwest Tofu.  Everything the customers are drooling over on the page is true. Don't miss it. And don't forget to take home some of the best, freshest chunks of tofu you've ever tasted - and at a delicious price.

Perfect gradient.
Oh, and that person in the reviews whining about getting mugged - he probably saw the black children in the church park buying ice cream from the Mexican ice-cream car. I'd bet you congee with tiny pork livers.

Friday, May 24, 2013

2013 TOONIES! BlueBear's Perspective

Oh, you wish you were at the Toonies with Cartoonists Northwest this year.  I went because I was up for a Toonie, but Dave Lasky and The Carter Family so much deserved it more! Have some pictures, with BlueBear (found on the beach, came from Japan the hard way). 


Larry Lewis
Maureen ("Mom")


Pat Moriarty!

Elizabeth, her husband, and Mike the Tackett.

Monday, May 20, 2013

When Pagans Go Off The Cliff

Why can't I use my pretty bathroom as a shrine?
I guess my writing page is becoming kind of my political page. So here goes. Do you need to be told this is after a lot of crap on Facebook? So I have a link to a final statement and can go do something more useful?

To my Pagan Friends: When us of the atheist label hit on religists, your snickering, "I say atheism is just a belief, too!" is not only a dumb borrowing from religists, it makes me wonder where your head is at.

First of all, if you find a fuming atheist, remember most of us come from religist households, and it's all damage and repression in those places. Yes, we come out spitting rage and wanting to take on anybody who lights candles and talks to them. So "I met an angry damaged person" is NOT a fucking argument.

Atheism = "Leave me alone to live my life, don't put stupid laws on me or my friends based on delusion, and let me get these #!!! comic books done." It does NOT mean, "I've invented an invisible spirit and now I want peer review in science journals!"

We atheists are NOT going to show up with the sheriff and close down your magic circle - we will probably be joining in because, since we don't have a belief, we don't care about yours, but you have drumming and alcohol and fire, and us and the science community can't resist those (Oh, please. The scientists blow up bathtubs on YouTube).  Oh, and food. Loads of fabulous pagan feasts, because eating isn't one of the Seven Deadlies. An awful lot of religists in this country just offer a little sour wine and some tasteless bread. Really? Although the Catholics do some pretty good spaghetti suppers.

And if you're telling ghost stories, we'll believe 'em and tell ours - as long as they don't become part of what medications we're allowed to pick up at the pharmacy. Now remember who made the Burning Times - and who DIDn't. Oh, and who was killing all the cats - and why. And it wasn't US, thank you.

"Banzai, Stumpjumpers!"

I'm living where it's often still 1950. My email note to the editor of the Forks Forum:
Hi, Mark -
I couldn't resist. With an author who writes historical fiction in the house, and a history geek making comments across the room, you know we had to do it.

Have fun (I know you can't use it, but I couldn't resist).

Dan was the one who said, "Banzai, stump-jumpers!" He's from Ohio. I keep trying to tell him the PROPER term for Washingtonians is Webfoot. "Stump-jumper" is for Oregon.

BTW, my college Japanese teacher disappointed all of us when she told us "banzai" only means "hooray!"
The letter itself: 

"Banzai, Stump-jumpers."

I know I work for the Forum, but the controversy over the supposed Japanese airfield on the Ozette prairie reminds me of my own long experiences in writing historical fiction.

One of my writing rules is, "If it's funny, it's right." That includes weird, strange, unexpected, or just silly. It applies to writing, historical research and science, especially astronomy - the goofy story is going to be the real story.

Of course, the job of the military is to have attack plans ready, in case the peace negotiations fall through. All governments with a military do it that way; it's their job.

Just for musing - what if the Japanese had actually had contingency plans that included an Ozette airfield? Those of you with military experience can imagine what might have happened.

The Admiral knows he needs a staging area, even in obscure coastal areas, that include airfields. So he assigns the project to his Commander. The Commander passes it along to an area Captain. Some Lieutenant - with, say, art classes in college because - well, they draw, right? - gets the assignment. The Lieutenant grabs some sailor to sharpen pencils.

"Hm," mutters the young officer, looking over old 1899 maps, or if he's really lucky, 1920's surveys. "Well, this place has a sort of harbor look to it. I think this is deep water. What do you think, Watanabe?"

The sailor pauses in setting out the tea, and scratches his head. "I guess so, sir. But is that a cliff? No, wait, sir - I think there's a low place here. Would that work?"

"I wish there were forest or swamp symbols on this map. But I think it was for minerals or something. Well, at least it's flat. We'll use this."

The Lieutenant writes his report. The Captain is happy, and the Commander is happy, and the Admiral is already thinking about something else, and the maps and report are still in a dusty cabinet someplace.

I'm not saying it happened this way - but if any such plans ever existed, I'll bet a sushi dinner at that nice place in Port Angeles that there's some old sailor someplace who could say, "Oh, hai - I remember Lieutenant Rioku had me doing something with maps."

I'd bet dessert that somebody's trying to get out of paying reparations for interning the coastal Japanese, but I'm full.

Pass the saké.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eating in Seattle - Café Soleil

Writer Bruce Taylor was holding a table for comics classic Roberta Gregory and me at Seattle's Hot Spot. 

On the way to meet Bruce, we passed a little restaurant that was nearly empty - but a waitress was delivering two big breakfast plates that looked and smelled divine.

It was Mother's Day, and the Hot Spot was slammed. Bruce was still waiting. So I suggested we head back and check out the other café. 

Plenty of room in a big, roomy hall, with both outside walls mostly window. Now, let's just have the facts:

Café Soleil, Ethiopian Restaurant. Devoted to the organic and real.

Big, tasty, American-style breakfasts, served fast (haven't had a chance to try the Ethiopian dishes, but the dinner menu looked yummy). Fried potatoes tender and crisp, eggs tender, goat cheese, sausage and veggies scrumptious. No, it's not all vegetarian, but they have plenty of veggie choices.

Very reasonable prices, right in the Cheap Eats class.

Fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Bottomless cup of STRONG coffee.

Almond milk or soy for the lactose intolerant.

Attention to special needs and sensitivities, such as gluten-free upon request.

Cheerful, out-going wait-staff and cooks.

Bathroom (I always check, for a key to overall restaurant cleanliness): Let us say - old-time post office building needs floor help, but clean and charming. And organic: even the odor spray was nothing but orange oils, with no propellants. 

Where: Seattle's Madrona neighborhood, 1400 34th Avenue, Seattle, WA  206- 325-1120. Lots of neighborhood parking.

We didn't mean to bleed off the line of people standing in front of the Hot Spot, and fill up the Soleil - but those poor people were backed up for days, and neither place is huge. And two good restaurants attract more overall customers than one.  

Now we'll have to go back for dinner!

Brave THAT!

You know those people yelling about the "Brave" girl being prettied up by Disney? Hey - as a girl, I can tell you right now, I like BOTH versions. That's right - us girls can be the hard horse-riding bow-girl in the morning, and sparkle up for the evening parties.

Suggestion for Disney movie: That red-haired wildling has grown up, is regularly appearing before the people as a fancied-up royal adult - and then there's some crisis in which she has to get out in secret and take care of business. How does she pass in front of men used to seeing her with fabulous gowns and great makeup?

Wash her face and change her clothes.

She'll be able to walk right by any man and he'd never know her. The guards who see her every day won't know her, because men think that stuff paint on the face is REAL. She won't fool any of the women, but that's part of the plot. Or her brothers, for that matter. 

Yes, guys - with us girls, it's not the hero bow girl OR the royal beauty - it's BOTH! Because we're complicated, and you wouldn't have us any other way. :D

Monday, May 6, 2013

Why I Write Like I Do - or, Zombies Deconstructed

War Is For Stupid People
Yes, I will be 'splaining why I write that way. Getting a book done when I WANT it done, and as I want it done, and you just have to Keep Up. If you're too slow, that's your problem.

First of all, I've been wondering WHY the mania with alien colonization and now zombies. Now I think I've sussed it. Stay with me, here.

We've all been watching the battle of the brains all over social media - basically left vs. right, or liberal vs. illiberal, or fun vs. scared. I've been hyperlinking ideas and all of a sudden, it all fell onto a front monitor today - terms and all.

To my science and science-hag friends: YES, it's a theory (To my non-scientific friends: Look the term "theory" the fuck up and stop embarrassing yourselves).

There is an evolutionary upgrade going on in humans, from the 2-stroke antique (whose two sides could entertain two contradictory ideas at once - and actually still think that's how we define "smart") - to the 8-level modern hyperlink (I use 8 levels for convenience; it's a theory, okay?), in which all ideas are visible at once, and need to coincide.

The Antique operates on black-and-white. As in good/bad, white people/everybody else, men/women. It sees no gray. It may not be capable of seeing gray. This isn't its fault - and was probably originally perfectly complete or at least not harmful. It goes to war thumping its chest, and what survives creeps back whining how bad it was like it's learned something brand-new because Experience is a Dear Teacher, and as Goethe wrote, "Those who will not listen must feel." The Antique male has an over-developed breeding instinct, best expressed by "If I can't have her, nobody will!" They must destroy any female who will not breed with them, so no other male can pass on his DNA. The Zorba The Greek syndrome, if you will. During WWII, every army on the planet was promised the women, whether allied or conquered, as a prize (Oh, yes they WERE!). The Antique's motto is, "God is on my side and he hates YOU."

The Modern operates on gray (keep that word in mind). Since all ideas are visible at once, we're less capable of fooling ourselves or rejecting nonsense just to make things "fit." We often look indecisive. We're accused of being flip-floppers, because we change our minds based on the most recent information we can prove. It's why leading modern Democrats is like herding cats. We don't accept "masters" so good. Yes, we tend to be Democrats, if we're using a major political party at all, because that's the way it's developed, which is why that party is like herding fleas. Cats with fleas. More girls than not are Modern - and haven't we always been accused of being indecisive? We don't have to go to war to know it is for stupid people who can't accept responsibility, see consequences, or understand root causes. The Modern's motto is, "I'm thinking. I'm THINKING!" 

Guess which level of brain looks before it leaps. It's why we dance around on top of cliff tops, chortling at the wreckage below: "We TOLD you so!" It's because we were still trying to decide while you went roaring ahead (Remember, the point guy is the one with the arrow in his forehead).

(Speaking of metaphors using arrows {Moderns can also be called Junk-brained because everything's on the screen at once} - all my First Nations friends seem to have minds using circular time. Everybody else, especially those from the original Central Asian diaspora, use linear time. While linear time is good for a deadline, to quote from the movie "Thunderheart": "White man time will give you stomach cancer." Australian Aboriginals seem to work on circular time, too - if one of you is reading this, let me know. We're just working a theory, here. Otherwise known as letting my mind drivel on through the 8 levels. Keep the "native" brain in mind, too.)

When did the Modern brain get a real boost? Moderns tend to be less violent, and perceive fewer threats, because we can think around them. Antiques are afraid of everything, especially "others" who are violent. The first victims of the Antique would be women - who were already developing the Modern to take care of their complicated world. But the Antiques, by destroying threatening, violent or upstart women, would be destroying the violent gene in their own children.

When did the Antique begin to try to explain the Modern to itself? When "logic" came about as a discipline. It was the Antique desperately trying to hammer a gray world into black and white - and often sounding extremely silly doing it.

In the past, Antiques have managed to kill off many of the Moderns. But when Europe divided soldiers from tribal warriors, it automatically took the carnage of war into the Antique population. The 19th century and especially the 20th saw the Antiques killing themselves off.

Now, of course Moderns are not threatening to Antiques. If an Antique can understand that their disappearance is good for humanity, they can calm down. They probably won't - they may not be capable of it. And they're certainly afraid of Hispanics, who are almost all part First Nations, and partake of circular time - even though people on circular time are less likely to be violent, because all things have been, will be, and are. 

But the Antique fear that they are being taken over by what they perceive as a controlling intelligence - can we say "Aliens?"

Yup. And they call us "Grays," too. 

They think we'll make them calm and fearless and "unemotional."

And they think we want their brains.

Pod-people. Zombies. Aliens.

And why I write the way I do. I'm a Gray.

No wonder my books - and my hyperlinking readers - scare a lot of (but fewer all the time!) people. :D

And you know it was a Modern invented this thing: ()