The Perils of Democracy

Kat was thumbing through our voters' guide and noticed this:

I wonder if there's a set threshold of silly write-in votes King County is willing to accept before they feel it necessary to place a full-page ad kindly admonishing us idiots to stop writing in "Boba Fett" for County Commissioner or "Goofy" for City Treasurer. 

Surely they expect a few every time. I usually do it when there's only one person running but I disagree with their politics. (Speaking of which, there is a surprising number of these city- and county-level positions where people run unopposed. Want to make a difference and start your political career? Take a shot! I would but, y'know, I think they run background checks on candidates.)

So someone, somewhere, held a meeting. And I like to think they stood at the end of a long boardroom table, slamming their fist on it and screaming, red-faced, that GOD DAMMIT IF JESSE PINKMAN WINS THE PORT COMMISSIONER ELECTION AGAIN I WILL STAGE A COUP AND RUN THIS CITY MYSELF!

But it's city politics, so more likely it was a series of emails sent to and from people working in various cube farms trying to find some voice of reason, some celebrity with whom people would identify, to carry the important message that democracy is a privilege, not a right, and we should all stop electing Jake from Adventure Time as our Mayor because this is serious. So they settled on...uh, J.A. Jance, who Wikipedia tells me "is an American author of mystery and horror novels. She writes at least three series of novels, centering on retired Seattle Police Department officer J. P. Beaumont, Arizona county sheriff Joanna Brady, and Ali Reynolds."

So take it from that lady, kids! This ain't Soviet Russia, god dammit. Stop suggesting Corky from Life Goes On would make a good County Clerk, because he's a fictional character and we already asked him last election but he's busy touring with his band.


I Married an International Criminal

I spent the weekend in Vancouver with my wife celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary. It was awesome! We walked around the city and played fast and loose with the schedule, just kind of wandering into fun things to do like the aquarium, Granville Island Market, and of course the most fantastic dinner I've ever had in Canada at Hawksworth restaurant. 

My wife picked the dinner because she's a chef and super plugged into the food scene. Which is awesome because I get to tag along on awesome trips to amazing restaurants and markets I normally would pass by on my way to a McDonald's or something. So Saturday night we enjoyed an amazing six course meal with wine pairings as we stole sideways glances at a double date next to us that had gone quickly down a wine bottle. At one point we literally put our hands up in preparation for catching a drunk man before he could fall on our table.

But he didn't fall and dinner was fantastic and it was, I thought, a fantastic cap to our weekend in Vancouver. But little did I know Kat had an ulterior motive for our trip up North. Sunday, before we left, her eyes sparkled with a devious glint.

"We're going to buy some illicit cheese," she purred. I married the dairy world's Carmen Sandiego.


There is a SAW Movie Unfolding in My Attic

Picture this:

It is a dark, dystopian world. Giant, bloodthirsty monsters roam the land, preying on anyone foolish enough to venture outside. Though you've lost the ability to understand WHY, you carry on. You and your loved ones rush from hiding place to hiding place, seeking out just enough food to fend off starvation while risking life and limb every time you venture out into visibility. You move under cover of darkness and spend your days cowering in any dark recess you can fit in. Your life is basically a Cormac McCarthy novel.

Eventually, you stumble across a cave. It's warm and quiet. There are no monsters in here, but you can hear them nearby. They seem to live below the cave, but appear to be unaware of your presence. You use the cave for shelter, still risking the outside world when hunger strikes, but overall you and your loved ones are much safer.

Then, suddenly, tragedy. One of your party slips and makes a noise that alerts the giants below to your presence. Before you can react one pokes its head up THROUGH THE FLOOR and scans the area, seeking you out. You freeze, terrified. It lasts only seconds but feels like centuries. Eventually the monstrous beast loses interest and disappears below the floor again. Your compatriots rejoice, silently, at having defied death. You have your doubts...

Three days later your daytime slumber is interrupted. The monsters are back! They seem less interested in you than the entrance to your home. One of them bolts a steel plate across the door, locking your group inside. Everyone panics, but in this world the only instinct that has served you well is to freeze and wait for danger to subside. You watch and wait. Eventually the floor moves again, and the ogre appears. He lays out several devices with food on them. The devices, you can tell, are evil. They will smash your brains in should you try to take any of the food. You know this. You've seen it happen before to friends.

But there's no escape. Your home, once so warm and comforting and safe, has become a tomb. Your allies scratch and dig at the walls in futility. The stress rises to palpable levels in the room. Your children cry out in fear. And slowly, insidiously, the hunger in all of you rises. The food beckons. You know in your heart the only escape is going to be the sweet release of death as a steel bar crashes down on your skull as you reach for your last meal.

That's basically what the rats in my attic are going through right now.


Here's the Most Terrifying Fucking Thing Ever

My wife loves to ski. She grew up learning with her dad, bombing down hillsides as a little girl and not really bothering to learn to turn so much as avoid obstacles. Every winter she buys a pass to one of the local resorts and then laments not getting to go as often as she'd like because she doesn't have a lot of ski buddies.

Growing up in the Midwest, my skiing experience is one outing at Hidden Valley, an artificial-snow-covered hillside in Missouri. I fell and busted my ass and swore I'd never do it again. But Kat has begged and cajoled and sweet-talked me enough that I agreed to go this winter when ski season kicks in.

Of course that was before I watched this:

Now I know, in my logical brain, that this isn't likely to happen to me on a public ski trail. After all, I've never skied. It's not like I'm going to hit the Black Diamond trail or venture into the back country to ski where the Park Rangers warn you not to. 

But holy shit, man. This makes me want to outlaw skiing entirely.