2012-06-20T09:31:27-07:00Categories: midlife, urban life|Tags: , , , , |

When did “speed” become an adjective? Speed-dating, speed-networking, speed-parenting.  Maybe the question should be: when are we not speeding? For months, I planned to upgrade to a smart phone the minute my wireless phone company declared I would be eligible for the big discount. But as the date approached and then passed, I dragged my feet. I found excuses. I felt a sudden fondness for my not-smart phone, for its tiny slide-out keyboard and charming doorbell text-tone. Finally, I placed my order and the Fed-Ex man brought me my little device, the one that will make me a truly 21st century speed-person. By the time you read this, I will have activated it. I haven’t yet. Just give me a day or two. Because I know what’s going to happen. I’m going to be like Mickey Mouse in that "Sorcerer’s Apprentice" scene in Fantasia, right? Moving faster and faster until I wake up sweating and gasping for air and longing to time-travel backwards to the moment before I turned loose this malevolent instrument, this miniature servant whom I now serve! One of my more creative excuses for delaying the big smart-phone purchase was the Seattle International Film Festival. I did not go to an absurd number of films; just enough to make those three weeks extra speedy, what with balancing work and film-going. But what a food-for-thought feast some of these films have been. For example: the essay-like documentary Five Star Existence, in which Finnish filmmaker Sonja Lindén trains her creative eye and curious mind on [...]


2012-05-30T14:59:58-07:00Categories: Uncategorized, urban life, women's rights|Tags: , , , , , , |

I’m a big fan of optimism. Often, I’m brave enough to actually call myself an optimist. Other words I like are: Hope. Compassion. Love. But sometimes—and this is one of those times—we have to acknowledge that there is evil in the world. And because evil is often so random, arbitrary, senseless—all words I don’t like at all, and I’m sure you don’t either—because this is true, there is no such thing as total immunity from evil. Safety is an illusion. Let it go. Be sensible, don’t go courting evil, but just let go of the fantasy that it won’t ever touch you. Ask the families and friends of the four people killed and two wounded in gun violence in Seattle today. Today: Wednesday, May 30, 2012. One shooting happened at a café in the University District, the other in a parking lot outside Town Hall. We don’t know much more than that yet, but we will soon. We’ll learn names and heartbreaking details. Ask the family of Justin Ferrari, caught in the crossfire of an argument on a Seattle street last week, dead at 43 from a gunshot wound to the head.  May 24. Ask the family of Nicole Westbrook, just 21 and brand-new to our city when she too was killed by a stray bullet. April 22. Ask the parents of Etan Patz, missing for 33 years and in the news again because Pedro Hernandez has suddenly confessed to killing Etan, a New York 6-year-old who was excited about walking to the school bus stop [...]

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