Dear Uptight Seattleite,As a supporter of Mike McGinn, what do you think of his wanting to use Macs in the mayor's office? Shouldn't the mayor of Seattle support the hometown product?Clippie
Dear Clippie,The mayor's office being run on Macs makes about as much sense as the governor's plane being an Airbus—that's your point, as best I understand it. Is there a "governor's plane"? Does it matter? No, it doesn't. That was just an example. But not a very carefully chosen one, and that should give you pause. Because if you really propose that Mike should be a bike-riding, hugeasscity.com-reading, European-models-of-transportation-supporting PC user, you'll immediately hear me say, "Hey Louie! Cue 'One of These Things Is Not Like the Other,' pronto!" (I like to pretend there's a guy named Louie who's in charge of what songs play in my head. Louie's been big on The Band lately, but you won't hear me complaining about that any.)Sure, Microsoft is a pillar of the region's economic well-being and all that, but you have to balance that against the Mac experience. The hushed responsiveness, the futuristic translucence—using a Mac is like falling into a better version of yourself. The warm feelings of self-regard this produces are far closer to the heart of Seattle than any superficial financial ties to Microsoft. That Mike understands this is part of what makes him one of us.Dear Uptight Seattleite,I heard an announcement on KBCS for an evening event at the Bellevue Arts Museum that featured "Beets by DJ Scientific." Bellevue is a long way to go, but I just LOVE beets, so I went. But instead of velvety red, potassium-rich beets, served roasted and buttered, juiced with apples, or in borscht with a dollop of sour cream, all I found was loud music and young people drinking liquor out of plastic cups. Now I feel like a fool.Beet Down
Dear Beet Down,You're right, that doesn't sound like a very "Scientific" approach to beet purveyorship at all! But I bet what really bothered you was feeling excluded from that group of young people having a good time, and that this is part of a larger feeling that the world has passed you by. Buck up, Beet Down! Your devotion to vegetable fiber shows you're in it for the long haul. Just because you may be exiting the highway doesn't mean you're stopping. And sunsets on back roads are even lovelier when matched by the inner vitamin glow of the beet eater.Dear Uptight Seattleite,How can I prevent other yoga-goers from mistakenly taking my Dansko clogs from the communal changing area at the yoga studio? I'm sure it's an oversight, but I hate getting stuck with a crappier pair of shoes, even if they're the same kind and the same size. I like yoga and I like to wear my comfy clogs, but why does every other woman in Seattle have to do the same thing?Atha
Dear Atha,I recently read this in The New York Times: "That's the problem with loving typography. It's always a pleasure to discover a formally gorgeous, subtly expressive typeface while walking along a street or leafing through a magazine. But that joy is swiftly obliterated by the sight of a typographic howler. It's like having a heightened sense of smell. You spend much more of your time wincing at noxious stinks than reveling in delightful aromas." I immediately gripped my coffee cup a little bit tighter because ME TOO! I also feel the burden of my own sensitivity! Not sensitivity to typography (I like to think I'm beyond such visual trivialities), but to patterns of consumerism. When friends seem to actually think a phone will make their lives better, all I can do is hope my sad smile will someday pierce the digital haze that obscures their more authentic selves.I bring up this New York connection, Atha, only because I was there recently and couldn't help noticing that the women have a different style than here. Much more flashy and fashionable. But this only made me appreciate the women of Seattle all the more. Say what you will about them, they are what they are. They've got master's degrees and dog-hair-covered jackets, but can still do a little something with a scarf to give themselves a dash of femininity. (Yes, I am of course aware of the dangers of the male gaze, which is why I've been careful to make these observations solely through my peripheral vision.) I'd say making do with a slightly more broken-in pair of Danskos is a small price to pay for walking among this sisterhood of comfy practicality.Questions? Write firstname.lastname@example.org.