Kate and I are in

Kate and I are in Seattle this weekend: Kate’s friends have a new crop of babies to poke, and we’re visiting my sister and her husband, Tony Dattilo (“King of the Olympic Peninsula.”) There’s no mistaking Seattle; from the hipsters in Camper shoes, sweatshirts, and beanie hats, to the fact that the shoe store next to our hotel in the U district sells only Birkenstocks and Dansko clogs, to the hilarious handwritten signs in the store windows. “WE CARRY CARHART” says one poster, above a magic-markered caricature of a buff Pacific Northwest lumberjack. ‘Gawd, I kick ass!’, exclaims the lumberjack while contemplating the timbered magic-marker horizon.


In the spirit of adventure, I headed straight to Rudy’s Barbershop, where (Kate tells me), the locals go to get their hipster haircuts. “Make me look like I fit in!” I told the rockabilly hipster behind the counter, and Emily, a magenta-haired, midriff-shirted lookalike for Tea Leoni, gave me a patented Seattle Caesar while telling me how much she enjoyed her recent trip to Williamsburg. I caught up with Kate at The Weaving Works, where she was very polite about the haircut, though I think I looked like Gilligan would if he spent time carrying Proust around to try and impress the chicks. Without the lean, gangly look that would make it work for Gilligan.


Then it was off to Archie McPhee, the BEST STORE IN THE UNIVERSE. I completed almost half of my Christmas shopping, assuming that people on my list will enjoy receiving genuine government-issue body bags and leopard-print fezzes. But, since that’s the first and question on my “should we be friends?” questionnaire, I feel pretty confident that my gifts won’t be too far off the mark.

QUESTION 1: GENERAL COMPATIBILITY

Which of the following would you rather have on your head?


  • An Eagles helmet with face paint, twin beer-holders and a giant novelty straw

  • A bicycle helmet, color-coordinated to matching Spandex bike shorts

  • An expression of ineffible contempt for the Naked Gun movies

  • A genuine Russian army-surplus gas mask, complete with canister and hood, topped with a leopard-print fez.


Anyway, that was yesterday. Today, I dropped Kate off at her friend Tiffany’s for a multi-friend, multi-baby catch-up lunch, and did some more Christmas shopping. I drove past the original Starbuck’s at the Pike Place market, where the logo still has breasts. Then I stumbled into the ass-kickingest vintage clothes store I had ever seen (check out this link), where I managed to find a great deal on a red tuxedo vest that had, at one time, been worn by David Niven. Thus far, the trip has been a five-star, slam-bang success.


(Okay, okay, the vest wasn’t a steal, and since it was made new, I really doubt that David Niven actually work it, but it looks like it’s straight out of A Shot in the Dark, and that’s close enough for me.)


Next, off to the REI mother ship! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!

Kate and I are in

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