Hairspray-The Musical is a delightful night at the movies. I found myself smiling throughout the evening at the exuberance, joy, costumes, and the hilarious dialogue. Unknown Nikki Blonsky plays the heroine, Tracy Turnblad, with an enthusiasm and grin that is contagious. John Travolta plays her mom, Edna, with respect and sensitivity for this woman of large size and heart. A measure of Travolta's success is that I stopped thinking of the character as John Travolta in drag about half way through the movie in the joyous number, "Welcome to the '60's". The whole movie is a reminder of the fashions, silliness, and racial stereotypes of that decade. It is also a tribute to those who were willing to risk all to create the changes that needed to come. Owen Gleiberman writing in Entertainment weekly gets it right when he writes, "Hairspray is a fizzy and delirious high-camp message-movie musical that may just turn out to be the happiest movie of the summer." Christopher Walken plays Tracy's father with a goofy weirdness that is fun to watch especially when the villainous Velma Von Tussle, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, attempts to seduce him in his joke shop. The movie ends with the exhuberant "You Can't Stop the Beat" and if you go to this movie, I bet you can't stop smiling.


The following is a short coming-of-age story from our guest contributor, Mr. Jared McSharry, entitled, "The Taste Isn't That Bad". Enjoy.

"The Taste Isn't That Bad"

by Jared McSharry

When I was 13 I was playing in the back yard of some Neighbors. The ratio of grass to poop was about 51% grass...49% poop. Kevin points his toe like a ballerina would and digs under a dry pile. He lifts his foot...poop is making forward flips toward me in slow motion...I notice that the under belly of the poop is where the moisture had settled...Poop comes to a stop on my tongue. Why my tongue? I was screaming like it was a horrer flick. Mouth wide. Poop was trying to get down my throat. Luckly tongue was a skilled guardian. With my tongue out of my mouth I ran from house to house telling people that I needed a wash cloth to wipe the poop off of my tongue. They asked me several times to repeat. Its difficult to talk with your mouth full.

Isaac VS Craigslist (MORE!)

More flights of classified-ad fancy, from the world in my head where everything makes me chuckle.

seattle-tacoma craigslist > seattle > cars & trucks


Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-18, 8:44PM PDT

My husband has recently passed on, and I am selling his old car. I do not know anything about cars, but this one looks pretty fancy. I am not sure what kind it is, the logo is a circle with bars in it--it looks a little like the "peace" symbol that hippies use. On the trunk it says "Kompressor" so I think that is the brand. I have no idea how to find out how old the car is, it might be from 1990 or 1960, I wouldn't know, but when I turn the car on there is a screen in the dashboard that looks like a computer screen, and it has a bunch of computer jargon that I don't understand like "XM" and "HD". Do you know what these mean? If so, maybe this is the car for you! I don't really know what a fair price is for this car, it looks pretty nice but there are some problems, like the tires seem to be much thinner than they should be compared to the hubcaps, and the steering wheel is made out of wood instead of rubber, so I think it might be pretty old.
I saw a car that was about the same size selling for $8,000 at a car lot so I was going to sell it for that amount, but that one was bright red and this one is black, so I'll ask $7,000. If that is too much, please let me know! Thanks!

seattle-tacoma craigslist > seattle > electronics

17" TV ! Watch your favorite TV shows!!

Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-18, 8:48PM PDT

17" TV. Screen is not flat, sorry. If I had to describe the screen's shape I would describe it as "slightly convex". Works great, volume goes up and down, channels change, also has knobs that control "color" "tint" and "sharpness", for if you want to make the image blurrier. It also does that cool thing where when you turn it off a white dot stays in the middle for a while, which newer TVs do not do--enjoy some nostalgia! This TV is good for watching anything you want to watch--sitcoms, news, soap operas, movies, it will work for all of these. I'm asking 30$, but make me an offer! (I will not accept any offers less than 30$)

seattle-tacoma craigslist > seattle > electronics

Memorex Blank CDrs, 50 packs! - $22

Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-18, 8:53PM PDT

High quality blank CDs for burning music, data, etc. I buy these packs at Office Max for 20$ each, I am selling them for only 22$ each, so I am barely even making a profit.

seattle-tacoma craigslist > seattle > items wanted

Looking to trade-- pressure washer for Anne Geddes art

Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-18, 8:57PM PDT

I have a newer pressure washer, only used about 5 times, in great condition, nozzle is clean, pressure is still very strong, motor usually starts with one pull. Looking to trade for Anne Gedde's prints, preferably the ones where the babies are inside vegetables, not so much the flower ones.

Isaac VS Craigslist (Part 1)

Craigslist adds that I wrote while thinking about Craigslist ads while drinking Doubleshots at my job during a visit:

seattle-tacoma craigslist > seattle > items wanted

Tickets to Greg's show, Friday 7/20, at Greg's basement.

Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-17, 6:55PM PDT

Need 2 tickets. I asked if I could go to his show and greg told me it was sold out. I think greg is lying so that I wont come there. Need to buy 2 tickets so me and Wayne can go. If it is really sold out please scalp them to me, I will pay 20 dolars. Thnks..>..>

PostingID: 376259264

seattle-tacoma craigslist > seattle > electronics

Nokia cell phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-17, 7:07PM PDT

I have a Nokia cell phone from 1999. Lots of scratches (I keep a lot of change in my pockets) and earpiece is clogged with dirt, but still works fine. (numbers are worn off buttons but you can still see the "1" and the asterisk) Has a Color Screen (Green) and an antenna that can be pulled out 2 inches for better reception. (Manual claims it has a range of up to 500 feet from cell tower, but I haven't tested this) It features 3 "telephone style" ringtones (one sounds a lot like a real telephone!) and 2 musical ringtones ("The Can-Can", and "Mexican Hat Dance") which can be changed at any time, depending on your mood or your personality. This phone also allows you to "compose" your own ringtones, and comes with 1 tone that I made myself, called "Twilight's Aria". (It has 14 notes! Took forever.) This is a great little phone (it fits in the palm of your hand, if you put both hands together and allow for a little "overhang") the only drawback is the phone is assigned to a company called Sky Phone Wirefree, which may or may not still be in business (I quit using the phone in 2003) but if they're still out there, the phone is pre-paid and I think it still has 14 minutes of talk-time on it. (Call your mom, your girlfriend, whoever!) The phone was cutting-edge and cost 300$ when I bought it. I'm asking half that, but since the scratches mostly obscure the screen in direct sunlight (if you turn it at an angle or shade it with your other hand you can usually see it fine) I will consider dropping the price a little. Make an offer!..>..>

PostingID: 376263594

seattle-tacoma craigslist > seattle > baby & kid stuff

for sail -- my little brothr!!! - $5

Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-17, 6:48PM PDT

super anoying little kid for sail. he is 5 years old and super anoying. He will do stuff like throw stuff at you and mess with your stuff. please by him from me I will sell him for only 5 dolars to a good home. serios buyers only pleas.

PostingID: 376254939

seattle-tacoma craigslist > seattle > cars & trucks

2007 BMW 7 Series, fully loaded! Cheap!

Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-17, 7:14PM PDT

Brand new BMW 7, cherry red, black leather interior, walnut wood detailing, HD radio, in-dash DVD,—fully loaded. Looks like only 3,500 miles on it. I am selling this car *as-is*---I DO NOT HAVE THE KEYS OR REGISTRATION FOR THIS CAR.

5,000$ cash, OBO. (no reasonable offer will be refused) Car is currently parked on corner outside Columbia Tower, downtown Seattle. Call Darin, 206-555-2678. (cell) I will be standing nearby.

PostingID: 376271674

Vermont Weekend Log

I had the opportunity this weekend to visit with son, Josh, and his wife, Elizabeth, and their son, Noah, at their home in Barre, Vermont. It is a beautiful three hour drive up the Northway, then east to Rutland, and a winding journey on routes 100 and 107 to Interstate 89 to Barre. On Thursday evening Josh and I went to Thunder Road Speed Bowl, a beautiful facility in the hills above the city. It was a cool and crisp summer evening with plenty of exciting racing.On Friday, Noah went bike riding in the morning and then we headed to Barre to meet his Dad for lunch. We ate at LACE, a cafe and natural food store, opened by Josh and Elizabeth's friends, Ariel and Ben. I had a delicious turkey club sandwich as we sat at the front window so Noah could watch the trucks drive by. All the food served and sold at LACE is grown and produced in Vermont. Saturday morning we took Noah to the tiny Washington County Fair where he fed goats, horses, and cows. Noah also went on a few rides.
In the afternoon we went to a soccer field that is situated in the woods in a local park.
Breakfast on Sunday morning was in Plainfield, Vt. at our favorite restaurant, River Run. I ordered scrambled eggs with vegetables and one of their famous pancakes. Noah loves their pancakes. Delicious! After walking the stone wall around the church, we visited the local used bookstore.On the way home I stopped at
Devil's Bowl Speedway for a Sunday evening of exciting racing. They featured winged mini-sprints as well as an old timers club of sprints and midgets.

It was a clear night, the track was fast, and very dusty.


Found at:



Unapproved personal shuttle trips are NOT acceptable. Last Monday the Shuttle had 1200 extra miles on it that were NOT accounted for by the last orbit launch, and some of our employees came in to work looking suspiciously tan. The shuttle is a multi-million dollar piece of government equipment, it is NOT for personal use. Thank you.

Found at:

SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)


To whoever has been making the late-night phone calls to the receiving room and talking in an "alien" voice about outer space and other planets, please stop doing this. The search for extraterrestrial life is a serious pursuit which for most of us here is the focus of our entire lives. Apparently a few jokers in the call center think it's funny to make light of this and to trick their fellow employees into thinking that "aliens" are calling them on the phone. Whoever is doing this, please try to exhibit professional behavior from now on. Thank you.

Found at:

Department of Homeland Security


This is not a toy, people.


I take a long, relaxing shower, draining my entire water tank. I get out, and grab my towel off the rack. As I'm bringing it to my face to dry off, I see a dark shape, made blurry by the water in my eyes. IT MOVES!

I jerk the towel away from my face and see that there's a HUGE, BLACK MOTH in my towel, and I just came within inches of french kissing it.

I scream like a little girl and fling my towel into the shower. The moth rises up, and flies DIRECTLY AT ME. I can see its tiny red eyes glowing with demonic intent.

Thinking quickly like a soaking wet naked action hero, I grab the latest issue of Maisonneuve off the counter, and swing with all my considerable strength. The Moth hurtles back into the shower and hits the wall with a pleasant splat, then slowly slides down the wall and into the tub, leaving a trail of black ichor the entire way down.

I utter some kind of badass one-liner like "Eat magazine you sonofabitch..." and then dry off with a new towel.

The End

Fishing with Jake

"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." Steven Wright-comedian

You don't have to worry about that fine line when you take a child fishing with you. Today I had the pleasure of fishing with grandson, Jacob. I was with him last summer when he caught his first fish and this was our first time out fishing this season. There is nothing like the excitement of a three year old catching fish. Jacob giggled and laughed and cheered as he caught 6 fish in just over an hour. He wanted to "pet" each fish before we released it back into the lake. It was a joyous morning!

"Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish." Steven Wright

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~Al Gallagher, 1971

Most of my life, I haven't been much of a baseball fan. Oh, I would watch the playoffs and the World Series. I grew up at a time when all the World Series games were played during the day and teachers would let us listen to the games in school. After school we would all gather around someone's transistor radio to hear the play by play. I vividly remember the great Maris/Mantle home run chase. I became a fan of the Amaz'n Mets early in their history because I'm a sucker for the underdog. Three years ago I began watching Mets' games on the TV in the back porch. I liked hearing the peepers through the screen windows as the game flickered on the screen.

When they start the game, they don't yell, "Work ball." They say, "Play ball." ~Willie Stargell, 1981

This summer I discovered the Saratoga Phillies and the New York Collegiate Baseball League and my appreciation for the game has increased tenfold. The NYCBL draws talent from some of the major colleges in the country. The Phillies are the defending league champions in only their fourth year of play. Their home games are played at East Side Rec in Saratoga, a ballpark in the middle of a city park. All the games are free and it is a wonderful way to spend a summer evening. These young players are excited to have the opportunity to play and their enthusiasm for the game is infectious. Spectators can sit in the covered bleachers behind home plate or in a lawn chair along the baselines. Scores of children patrol the park, gloves in hand, pursuing the elusive foul ball that is hit out of the park. All games begin at 7pm and my favorite part of the evening is when the sun disappears over the horizon. The sky turns pink, the air cools, and the sound of the collision between ball and bat becomes sharper.

That's baseball, and it's my game. Y' know, you take your worries to the game, and you leave 'em there. You yell like crazy for your guys. It's good for your lungs, gives you a lift, and nobody calls the cops.
Pretty girls, lots of 'em. ~Humphrey Bogart

I feel like I am maturing into a true baseball fan. Tonight I even went to the game alone and as I sat in my chair there was a moment when a foul ball headed my way, people began to shout and point, children ran towards me with their gloved hands stretched skyward, and magic happened. The first baseman leaped into the air, stretched his arm over the 8 foot high chain link fence and caught the ball. A cheer erupted from fans of both teams not only for the spectacular play but as a hymn of praise for summer and baseball.

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. ~A. Bartlett Giamatti, "The Green Fields of the Mind," Yale Alumni Magazine, November 1977

Impeach Political Music! (A Laughless Opinion Piece)

I can't wait for Bush to leave office and be replaced by an extreme Left administration, just so the great musicians of our day can stop writing bumper-sticker music.

We've come to a sad place when lyrically oblique art rock bands like Radiohead and Elbow—British bands, by the way, residents of the U.K, not the U.S--are trading in their abstract poetics for blunt attacks on George Bush. Is it just me or does this trivialize the music? If Conor Oberst writes an album about time, history, and human mortality (Digital Ash in a Digital Urn) that's timeless stuff. I can relate to that at any time, and so will people 30 years from now. If he writes a political album attacking U.S policy and American culture (Casadega) or songs directly addressed to George Bush, ("When the President Talks to God") then that's valid for about a year and then it expires. One of my favorite bands, the above-mentioned Elbow, writes an album called Leaders of the Free World, and it's almost comical to think of the amount of heart and craft, blood sweat and tears, that went into writing an epic musical suite whose topic is the current president of this one particular country, right now, in 2007, who will be gone in a year. It's just such a waste of musical energy. If you want to pair your gorgeous music with temporary, superficial, and ultimately meaningless subject matter, why not write an album about last night's episode of American Idol?

Here's my beef with "political music". Politics is probably one of the most complex subjects in existence. Every political issue has two or three or ten sides to it. Points, counterpoints, background, context. It's complicated, ok? These issues are complicated. They are nuanced. To me it's ridiculous for musicians to try to "weigh in" on these issues through song. If two very smart people can argue about something on NPR for 30 minutes, that issue can't be boiled down to a single line on a bumper sticker or a clever couplet in a song. Attempting to distill years worth of political debate and discourse into a few lines of melody is absurd. Just because your political views rhyme doesn't make them any more correct.

Politics is not an artistic medium. It shouldn't be connected with emotions and feelings, it should be viewed dispassionately and objectively, based on facts and reason. I can't think of a more inappropriate arena for musicians to be inserting themselves. Would you ask a Congressman to draft a piece of legislation about heartbreak and lost love? Would you expect Initiative-598 to move you to tears? Then why expect a young dude singing and playing a guitar to provide useful ideas on foreign policy and the economy?

There's an annoying pattern of musicians starting out writing about things like love, sadness, personal struggles, triumphs, their own lives and the lives of other people, ideas, dreams… Real things, things that they actually know. But then a few albums later, when they've been elevated to the world stage and all eyes are on them, they feel like these subjects are no longer "important" enough, so they shift their focus to those two old standards—attacking the government, and attacking American society. (See Bright Eyes Casadega, Elbow Leaders of the Free World, Arcade Fire Neon Bible, and to some extent, Radiohead Hail to the Thief, among many others) Why is this necessary? Just because these issues are on a global or at least national scale, does that make them more important than the basic human issues that have been affecting us since the dawn of civilization? Is it just a ploy for attention by artists wanting to be taken seriously? Being "current", being "relevant"?
Please, guys, just relax, will you? We love because you're you, not because you watched CNN last night.

Happy 4th of July

Grandson Jacob celebrates this holiday by expressing his joy.


Amerrca is the greatest country in the world. Amerrca kicks ass. Aint no country in Amerrca like Amerrca. If you don't like Amerrca, you can get the hell out. Head over to Afghanistan, try to find Amerrca over there. You can't, cuz it's here, right here, in Amerrca. Amerrca is the Land of the Free. Amerrca is a free country. Amerrcans love freedom. Only country in the world that loves freedom more than Amerrca is Hawaii. I love freedom. I love Amerrca. Amerrca is the only place on the planet that matters. Some anti-Amerrcan liberal told me that this planet is called Earth, but it should be called Amerrca. I love Planet Amerrca more than I love my own mother. You know what my mother's name is? Her name's Amerrca. My daughter's name's Amerrca too. I tried to name my son Amerrca too, but I got distracted by an Amerrcan flag on the TV. I ended up naming him President George Washington instead. I didn't give him a middle name. Amerrcan's don't need middle names to kick ass. They just need to be Amerrcan. Sometimes I hold little President George Washington Marion in my arms and I think about how great it is to be an Amerrcan. I watched a firework show for Independance Day, and thought about all the things Amerrca invented, like cars, computers, houses, oil rigs, Cadillacs, and fireworks. Amerrca invented all that stuff because of how Amerrcan it was. Now it's more Amerrcan than ever. Amerrca is the most Amerrcan place on Planet Amerrca. Happy birthday, Amerrca. Goodnight.


West Coast Chuck pointed me to this story about life and death, loss and found, and mystery. It might bring you comfort or leave you wondering. You may simply choose to scoff. As for me and my house, we believe. Read the story by clicking here.

Senior High Camp

Thirty years ago we began Senior High Camp as an opportunity for young people to make friends, grow in faith, have fun, and learn to love and forgive in Christian community. Last week, 46 campers and 18 staff gathered once again at Sonrise Camp for this annual rite. Nine of the staff were young adults who had come up through the camp experience themselves. They did a marvelous job of leading activities and creating a welcoming and exciting environement. Ten of our campers this year were graduated seniors and we celebrated their accomplishment at our annual Senior Banquet. Words cannot describe the joy and depth of relationships that we experience at this camp. These photos might give you a hint at what goes on.