Sunday, December 4, 2011

I know what you're doing to me, boy,
You move so fast like a psychopathic color TV.
With your Christmas bag and your jolly face,
And the reindeer stomping all over the place.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thank You Alban. You're My Zombie!

A little over a year ago Alban approached me; he said, "Dude, we should drive to my house for Thanksgiving." We were in college in Walla Walla at the time, and Alban's house is in Maryland, the state. I said, "Woah, I don't know man. Who wants to drive across the country in the middle of winter?" To which, Alban replied, "I do. I'm always down for a new adventure, especially something that requires me to get out of my comfort zone and act unscrupulous."

I was taken back by Alban's wild enthusiasm, either he just finished a math assignment, I thought to myself, or he just drank a sensational new coffee blend, or he's been bitten by one of the undead. Still, even with his contagious 'let's go for it' attitude,  I drug my feet. "It sounds like it might be kinda fun man, but I'm just not sure. What if you bail on me? I still haven't forgotten the canoe trip." Alban had promised me to go white water canoeing the previous spring, but to make a long story real, he bailed on me last minute.

He hurdled my excuse like it was a small shrub, "C'mon man. That was last spring, things are different now. Besides, my house is only eight hours from Southern, you can make a mini-road trip down there to visit friends."

I couldn't believe it, not only was Alban suggesting that I drive 40 hours one way across the Contiguous 48, he was even suggesting I drive an additional sixteen hours to go to ... to ... Southern. The quadruple-bypassed-heartland of Lil' Dees.

"I really don't think it's a good idea man...." I wasn't going to be persuaded easily.

But in the end, Alban successfully convinced me.

Looking back a year later, I have to say Alban was right. It was a great trip. Alex joined in, and even Kate for a while. Wyoming tried to kill us, and we saw Cody and Phil. I didn't believe it at first, but Alban your vision was right in there, right in the place that makes dreams come true.

I guess there's even a moral to this story: adventure is lurking, sometimes behind dark foggy corners in port towns, like a zombie waiting to bite, and every bite is worth it, every time. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

the walkmen

I first saw the Walkmen up in Montreal with David, Phil, and Evan. Not long ago Evan and Jenny and I went to see Fleet Foxes and The Walkmen play at Merriweather Post Pavilion. When Fleet Foxes came on, Robin Pecknold said, "If God was going to create a band, he would have created The Walkmen." I think this is just about right.

Check it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kryptonite for Hipsters

Newton's third law states that, "The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear."

Now, I'm not really a science guy. I tend to follow the teachings of Stephen Colbert and usually just stick with the idea that the jury is still out on the whole science thing. Sorry Phil. So, without a background in science/physics, I tend to interpret Newton's third law as a suggestion that everything in nature has its opposite. I think mother nature backs me up on this one. Good v. Evil. Batman v. Spiderman. Stumptown v. Starbucks. Arsenal v. Tottenham, Chelsea, and both teams from Manchester. (Kind of an axis of evil if you will. And i know you will).

However, I have come to the conclusion that there is but one more example of something good and its polar opposite. Cody v. Hipsters.

First, Hipsters love trendy clothes. They will search far and wide for the perfect "Loafer-flannel-scarf" combo. Cody on the other hand prefers his "service day" T's and a Carhartt jacket. I'm pretty sure he travelled all the way across the country wearing nothing but his Carhartt jacket and a prideful grin. If i'm not mistaken, he referred to it as "spreading the Carhartt gospel."

Another thing Hipsters love is indie music. The more obscure the better. Now, i'm not saying that Cody doesn't enjoy music. He certainly does. No one shakes his money maker quite as aggressively as Cody during a lights-off half-naked Prince-inspired dance party. However, I've also seen him pound nothing but Jimmy Eat World and Thousand Foot Krutch Cd's for months on end. So i'll let you make the call on that one.

Finally, Hipsters love angst. They love the feeling of seemingly inescapable turmoil that makes them feel burdened and deep. Again i must split hairs. Cody too enjoys a bit of turmoil from time to time. I think Cody is at his happiest when sticking it to an incompetent, evil administrator who will remain unnamed and loves ginger snap cookies. In fact, I think he is currently somewhere in Berkeley/Oakland occupying stuff. The difference is that Cody attacks the things that make him feel angsty. Instead of sitting in a coffee shop and complaining about "the man," Cody goes out and sticks it to him by physically taking over his shipping ports. While wearing Carhartt.

I think the difference is summed up well by these two photos.

'Nough said.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

remember, remember ...

Last night I went to the newer Peregrin location on 14th street with Brian and Tiffany. Brian was my closest friend in highschool, and one of a handful I am still in contact with. He teaches first grade, which is crazy, and awesome. His wife Tiffany is the office manager at TA. I'm not sure exactly what she does, other than everything. She does a pretty kick-ass job.

The new Peregrine is even smaller than the first. It has seating for about six. Maybe eight, if you're willing to share a seat. But even though every seat was taken, we still got our cappuccinos "for here." Who wants beautiful art in a paper cup, right? We then proceeded to quiz ourselves using a Trivial Pursuit book.

"Who hit is head on the diving board on the way to winning a 1988 olympic gold medal?"

"Greg Louganis!" asserted the nearest barista. Amazed, we turned the page to discover the correct answer: Greg Louganis.

It wasn't long before we had a nice competition going, and I'm pretty sure it was the most entertaining evening yet for the coffee artists at Peregrine. And the cappuccinos were delicious.

As a side note, Happy Birthday, Jacqueline! The Estate thinks you are pretty cool. And at least one member thinks being a barista is pretty cool, too. And that it's important to have a comma after "Happy Birthday."

Monday, October 24, 2011

This weekend I bounced all around the State of Washington. I hit Seattle, Spokane, Spangle, and Sewiston. I wanted four "S" words in a row.

I spent the weekend with Chelsea and got to experience the life of a pastor's wife for a few days. Let me just say, it's no fun to be judged by the length of your skirt and the texture of your casserole. She shared with the kids and afterwards I threw dodge balls at them. Also we met a pumpkin with a drinking problem.

Today I got a surprise call from Tommy. After the initial obligatory pleasantries we got down to business discussing the commune. We decided the ultimate goal besides living simply within a tight knit community would be to get our own show on cable. A tougher decision is what kind of show to film. There are a lot of options. Maybe something for PBS like, "Sustainable living with Cody" or a show about cooking with things you grow in your own garden. I'm thinking "Natural Delights with Alban, Phil and Jacqueline." Or maybe something a bit more spicy like, "The Real Housewives of the West Whitman Estate." Or we swing for the fences with a concept show featuring impromptu musical numbers and Alban and I as an ambiguous couple who own a frisbee fetching border collie. I'm open to suggestions.

Also, Coldplay has a new album out. I like it. I don't care what the ivory tower hipsters at pitchfork think.

In a perfect world we would all be lying in the middle of the floor listening to it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teachers need excitement. If their lives don't provide it ...

Remember in Arrested Development when George senior tries to teach his children lessons with help from his one-armed friend? "AND THAT'S WHY, YOU NEVER ..."

Sometimes I wish I had a one-armed friend for handy demonstrations. "AND THAT'S WHY, YOU NEVER TURN YOUR HOMEWORK IN LATE!"

Quotes from our favorite movies and shows still come in handy, one-armed man aside. See if you can place them.

Reference 1:
Theo: "Mr. Howe, look at my perfect project!"
Mr. Howe: "Nice one, Theo!"
Marissa: "Look at mine! It's beautiful!
Mr. Howe: "Nice one, Marissa AND Theo!"

Reference 2, at attendance time:
Mr. Howe: "Diamond?"
Diamond: "Here."
Mr. Howe: "SEAN!!!!! Pick up the phone!!!!!"
Sean: "What are you talking about Mr. Howe?"

Reference 3, outside of class:
Mr. Howe: "So you will be coming by during E-block to make up that test?"
Student: "I think so."
Mr. Howe: "Promise me dude."

Reference 4, during a particularly difficult and lengthy problem:
Student 1: "This is too hard!"
Student 2: "And it's taking forever!"
Mr. Howe, thinking, while struggling to continue on: "Bojangles."

And with that, I head to bed. 3 minutes until 9:30, at which time I become a pumpkin. Or lose my slipper. Or something?

PS Bonus points if you can identify the reference in the title.

Monday, October 17, 2011


There are malls everywhere in Hong Kong. They're usually woven into the concrete jungle, connected by sky-bridges and tunnels. Often times they're built on top of a subway stop, with more housing and apartment space above. So, potentially, a person can take care of all their daily needs in Hong Kong without ever being exposed to sunlight, or walking really. Apartment to elevator to escalator to subway to escalator to elevator to office to elevator to escalator to subway to escalator to shopping center (including foods) to elevator to apartment. 

The closest subway-stop/mall is a 10 minute mini-bus. I like the store at my usual entrance. It's called "UNI QLO." Every time I see it, I think of David. He'd start laughing and then show Alban. Alban would stop. Point. Tilt his head. Then David would tell Alban to go get a picture with it.  Phil would catch up with us around this time and ask me where everyone went. Then he'd see them, a second later he would see the sign and start laughing. 

Cody would be busy buying fro yo at the other end of the mall. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tommy "Bright Eyes" Poole

Every couple has "their song."

I spent the majority of last Thursday in the Law library. At one point during the day I decided to migrate downstairs to get a sandwich. As I approached the counter in the law school dining area, it hit me like a glittery wave of 80's awesomeness... "I want to know what love is... I want you to show me..." I instantly came down with an uncontrollable case of the giggles.

Needless to say, I spent a fair amount of the afternoon letting Pandora feed me a never ending diet of hairspray, leather pants, and guitar solos. Naturally, my thoughts drifted to Tommy Poole.

Tommy is a special breed of man that appreciates majestic 80's love ballads as much as I do. We have spent the better part of a friendship sexting each other snip-its of Bonnie Tyler lyrics and enjoying Bon Jovi's music videos. There was even a brief "Jon Bovi" phase.

"Once upon a time there was light in my life,
Now theres only love in the dark.
Nothing I can say,
A total eclipse of the heart."

A true hero. I miss you buddy.

Oh, also Chelsea showed me this video. It's well worth your time...

Monday, October 10, 2011

David's First Food Blog

Last week I decided to cook something.

I was unsure of where the sudden motivation to up and cook something came from, but i assume it came from the place that all motivation comes from. That place has an old wooden sign on it that says, "Boys will do almost anything to impress girls."

First, I decided to consult the three women in my life who spend more time looking at food blogs than I do reading Arsenal transfer rumors. Jacque, Ansley, and Elise all gave me the green light to attempt a spicy pumpkin soup recipe. Ansley suggested I get a pumpkin and cook it in the oven, which i considered until i discovered that you can buy it in a can... sorry Ansley...

Chelsea arrived on Friday and we raided Trader Joe's for the ingredients. After that we proceeded to put onions, butter and spices in a pot and put fire underneath it. It smelled amazing. It was nice to be the person making everyone in my building jealous for once. Also it covered up the persistent weed smell from upstairs.

We measured, poured and processed for about 45 minutes and then finally sat down to eat it. In reality, the soup was probably mediocre. But somehow things always seem to taste a little better when you cook them yourself.

I won't be dropping out of law school anytime soon, but i may end up with a couple cook books before its run its course.

Clean Post With No Obscene References

 Me eating ice cream on the sidewalk. 

As H Davis and I were wandering through Sai Kung, a coastal hangout away from the big city, we bought some ice cream and ate it.  People eat ice cream in Hong Kong like they do in most places around the world. And they cross the road in the same way too –– from one side to the other. Another thing people in Hong Kong have in common with other people is language, in that they have one. I'm still learning to use it; some of the words are harder to pronounce than others. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Inner City Pressure

Last weekend I turned the big 2-4. I spent most of last weekend helping Chelsea eat her way around Seattle and hanging out with Jessi, who is attached to Auburn Academy with a new pair of golden handcuffs.

On Sabbath, we all went to church out in Auburn. After the service, an old man sat down and proceeded to chat Chelsea and I up.

Old Man: Where are you from?
Me: Seattle.
Old Man: I'm sorry. What do you do?
Me: I'm in law school.
Old Man: I'm sorry. I just don't know how you lawyers can defend guilty people.
Me: oh... uh yeah. Well, you don't have to do that kind of law i guess...
Old Man: How do you feel about living in the city during the end days? Or have you not gotten that far in your bible study yet???
Me: uh... i guess i haven't?

At this point Chelsea reached over and squeezed my arm with that squeeze all women have perfected that says... "This is not affection. This is me sending you a message not do anything stupid." Message received.

I had another experience with unwanted advice today while i was studying in a certain coffee shop that will remain nameless for my own protection.

I overheard an old man talking to a hipster. The old man asked the hipster what he did.

Old Man: So, what do you do?
Hipster: I'm a waiter.
Old Man: (Not impressed) Oh... Do you like that line of work?
Hipster: Well, I don't know... I don't want to do it forever...
Old Man: Well, you should go back to school and try...

The old man went on to give this hipster a bunch of stale advice about what he should do with his future. Kind of like when a basketball coach tries to encourage his players by telling them to "leave it on the court," or "want it more." The old man might have been right, who knows... his mistake was misunderstanding the beast that is the hipster. Hipsters love jobs that have weird hours and lead to lives without things like health care and stability.

Advice is a tricky thing. It's one of those things that everyone seems to think they have enough of to share. I guess it's just a chance for me to remember that one day I'll be the old guy eagerly waiting to impart some wisdom on the young man next to me in the pew.

Friday, September 9, 2011

On the branches

I feel like the West Whitman diaspora has taken place. The inhabitants have been spread like Bang cards across the living room floor. Maybe it's less like bang and more like Pandemic. Phil and I are covering one of the more diseasey areas of the globe, but somebody better get to the middle east soon or we're SIALOT (sure in a lot of trouble).

Also, I don't remember the characters right now, but I'll be the one who builds outposts and anyone who wants to fly to Hong Kong is welcome to. I have a place for you.

In the meantime, check it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Sometimes tradition is a good thing.

Last Tuesday I took Tommy to the airport. His visit accomplished a few things.

First, it preserved two traditions that we have. It is a well known fact that Tommy always comes to visit me immediately after i start a new school year. Last year i picked him up from the airport during my second week of law school. I complained to him about my new experience with pain that only a well-trained wielder of the Socratic sword can inflict on someone. This year I told him that the shine of law school had worn off and now it was just work.

The other tradition is our habit of going on questionable dates together. In previous years we have gone to fancy Italian restaurants, where we ate $80 worth of food before Tommy asked me if i could spot him a couple bucks, and participated in a Valentine's day chocolate tasting, with other couples. This year I took him to Cafe Flora, my "go-to" restaurant for when I take girls on dates. And by girls i mean pretty much just my mom... or Tara, Jessi and Chelsea all at the same time.

I guess his visit also allowed him to pawn his sweaty shirt and undies off on me. So i guess you could argue his visit actually accomplished three things...

Sometimes traditions are good. Family Dinner, Mario Kart and Man Dates, just to name a few...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Neil Cox: Big Wooden Sign

I parked and got out of my car as a man in a JC Penny's dress-shirt and slacks was exiting this building. He was a little hunched and his eye-sockets were desaturated. He watched me. "What's going on, if you don't mind me asking," he said.

"I have a couple of friends going to law school," I said pridefully, "I just wanted to show them ...." I paused because I wasn't sure what to say at this point; "I just wanted to show them your office/house/big wooden sign, it's really nice," or "I just wanted to show them what they could have someday, if they work really hard." I just said, "I just wanted to show them ... this."

"Oh, ok," he said, "I never know who's watching me," he said. "Where are they going to school?"

"One's in Seattle and the other is starting at Berkley."

"Oh, wow, that's expensive," he said. "I went to Moscow, it was cheaper."

"Oh yeah," I said. "What kind of law do you do mos..."

"...Criminal and divorce. Small town shit."

"Nice. ... Well, you got a nice office here. Thanks for letting me take a few pictures." I said the words to his face, then I waved as I walked.

"You bet."

We got into our cars and went away.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dear Sonya...

Life is full of challenges.

The greatest of which may be accepting yourself for who you truly are. Don't be afraid to show the world your true, rainbow colors. There is no need to stay hidden in the dark. Sometimes it is important to acknowledge in public the things you enjoy in private. We would all be thrilled if you would join us here.

It's time to come out of The Tickle Closet.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I prefer my dancing al dente

We went to the Sleigh Bells concert in Portland. The music was so-so, the company was stellar, but the dancing was alarming. In the middle of the concert, I found myself thinking: "Is this what dancing has become in the 21st century?"

There were a couple different styles. A few people were dancing as if they were worshiping the northern lights (aurora borealis). Kind of a shimmery trance dancing. I think they were high.

The most prominent dance though (and what has me worried) involved people bent over and wobbling around like wet noodles. I don't know if Portland has been experiencing a pandemic of a disease that renders its victims unable to utilize their abdominal muscles, but that would have been a better explanation than: "They're dancing."

By my calculation, dancing has long been the best indicator of a society's character and moral clarity. Have we become morally overcooked pasta unable to maintain rigidity in what we believe? I'll tell you one demographic that hasn't succumbed to flopping over: congressional Republicans. They've proved time and time again that they are willing to push the country to the brink of disaster in their tireless service of the wealthy. They'll protect the wealthy at the detriment of the rest of us if it kills the country.

But congressional Republicans are mostly elderly white men. I'm not worried about them. I'm worried about our generation. What happened to anti-war riots that our police state can only put down through violent oppression? What happened to committed Americans bombing "symbols of American injustice"? And most importantly, what happened to filling the streets in support of human rights for all?

The greatest challenge a member of our generation faces is whether his skinny jeans are tight enough. Or whether his coffee has foam on it as David mentioned. We've been duped into pining after flat screens and Porsches.

Why aren't we outraged that our neighbors are hungry? Why aren't we outraged that our poverty stricken brothers and sisters are segregated to dirty and undesirable areas of town? Why aren't we outraged that the petrochemical industry dumps toxins into our air and waterways creating "cancer alleys" where the death toll continues to climb year after year, while oil profits do the same? Why aren't we outraged that the wealthy class builds their wealth by trampling the human rights of people across the globe and destroying the very ecosystems that keep us alive?

And why aren't we outraged that kids in our generation are more eagerly gathering to hear bad music than to stop injustice?

We shall overcome... only if we stop bending over.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Man Cards

So, i stayed up pretty late last night.

The next morning as i prepared to trudge off to a capitalist's idea of a great 9-5, i decided to stop and get something with enough caffeine to ensure my employability. This is where i witnessed a crime against the human spirit.

As i stood in line next to what Starbucks apparently considers cutting edge music, i saw him. He was soft. Wearing an ill conceived polo and plaid shorts combo. It was clear this man hadn't been touched by manual labor in years. The only callus on his body was where his tongue rubbed against his teeth whenever he submissively uttered his life's motto, "yes dear." This guy had clearly turned in his "man card" years ago. However, what put me over the edge was when he ordered a "venti chai green tea... with no foam."

I turned my head and looked at him, symbolically offering him a chance to say he had made a mistake and choose something else, but he just smiled.

Ordinarily i would have been eager to commence the proceedings by which a man must forfeit his man card to a man of greater qualification. But not today. Because the ceremony would have consisted of the two of us handing our cards to each other as i ordered a "tall soy carmel latte" and politely asked the barista if she could put it in the old hipster thermos that i had brought from home...

Monday, July 18, 2011


I took this picture the day I left the estate. I wish I had taken a picture before I moved in. Anybody remember how many bunk-beds were in my room?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Unifying Thread

This blog doesn't have one.

I learned a few things today...

First, women's soccer can be truly inspiring.

Second, wearing brightly colored sunglasses and white athletic socks to a law office draws more attention than i care to have. I've had multiple lawyers tell me to go buy some black socks... I refuse.

Third, if i wear a tie and my totally not dorky "Volunteer Prosecutor" badge to Fred Meyer, people think i'm a manager. I wasn't in the mood to take advantage of this today, but i'm definitely tucking it away for later...

Today i met a lawyer. When he found out that i had just finished my first year of law school, he quickly told me that I "didn't know my ass from my head." I smiled politely and later wrote down his name.

While i was running on the treadmill, i watched part of JUNO. It made me glad to not be pregnant. Next year, i'm going to celebrate "not-a-father's day." Hopefully.

I've also spent some time re-listening to Coldplay's album X&Y.

And I found this book...

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Models are brilliant; they lasso the abstract and wrestle it to the ground so that everyone, not just the academic cowboys and cowgirls, can have a piece. It's like killing a wild bear, stuffing it, and standing it in the family room for guests to wonder at and talk about. Or, maybe it's more like drawing a picture of a wild bear using numbers and new terms, photocopying it, and putting it in your syllabus for everyone to wonder at, and talk about.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It Begins...

Today the bad men came.

They took the proud, majestic tree that towered over the grounds of the West Whitman Estate and defiled it. They stripped it naked and left its branches in a pile all around it. As if to flaunt their ruthlessness. The shamed beast left erect to serve as a reminder that College Place Utility will destroy anything or anyone that dare stand in their way.

As of yet, no one has lifted up the banner of insurrection. Revolution. Freedom. So far, all who have witnessed the awesome destructive power of the enemy have melted into the soft bosom of surrender.

Not these men. Not here. Not this time...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fight Club

My mother doesn't appreciate the movie Fight Club. I think it has something to do with the brutal violence.

What she doesn't realize is that the main character (Edward Norton) and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) engage in brutal street fights (and basement fights, etc. etc. etc.) in order to experience life. Why does Edward Norton quit going to self-help meetings after they started Fight Club? Why did he go to them in the first place?

I went to church today. While we sang hymns, I found myself listening to a question that has been bouncing around in my head for several days now. "What are we doing?" (I've also been wondering what good a mass administration of frontal lobotomies would do if American voters refuse to make rational decisions anyway).

This past week, David finished up his first year of law school finals. Now he's an expert on the elaborate laws we've constructed to make ourselves good people... how has that worked out? I must think it's working well, because I'm going to join him. And Jacqueline waded through a swamp of homework. I don't know what Tommy is doing. I talked to him on the phone, but he never seems stressed. I'm sure Phil is perched beside his telephone (or email machine) waiting for me to tell him what colors I want in my hat. Alban is probably still floundering in the pleasure of being done with his senior recital; I would be.

I had two huge problems over the past week: 1) which video game to play, and 2) which articles to post on my Facebook page. 

Sometimes I think wading into a big vat of mud and splashing some on my face would be refreshing. Or gnawing some bark off a tree. Or starting a fight club and getting my teeth punched out until I was kneeling watching my blood drip into the pool of it on the cold concrete floor.

Sixteen thousand children starved to death yesterday, as they do every day. What are we doing?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fruit Loops

I had some Annie's Mac and Cheese for lunch today. I like mac and cheese. I've eaten it my whole life. It's good brain food.

As I was eating it, I started to think about other things that have stuck with me. I came to the conclusion that, for better or worse, I'm pretty much the same person I was when I was 8.

Sure, I've finished college and am now in graduate school, but as I was eating lunch, I wasn't thinking about smart college things. I was thinking about how much I was looking forward to the cookie I was planning to eat afterwards.

I still like whales, music, dinosaurs and the 49ers. Girls are still interesting and scary at the same time. Although, the respective levels of those two categories have probably adjusted since I was 8.

I'm pretty sure the only difference is that now I can grow facial hair and buy my own breakfast cereal.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The Leopard may be the smallest of the "big four," but it is definitely the sexiest. You're probably thinking, "what?... that doesn't follow at all." However, I think after a little analysis, you'll agree it probably doesn't matter.

First, the Leopard is well traveled. Their territory spans across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa. However, due to hunting and deforestation, they have been largely confined to sub-Sahara Africa. This is sexy for a couple reasons. First, as Alban would be quick to point out, a well traveled woman with a broad knowledge of culture and geography is undeniably sexy. Second, why would someone hunt something? Perhaps because it is a little mysterious? Even Dangerous? Also sexy.

Second, Leopards get what they want. Leopards are successful in the wild due largely to their opportunistic nature, adaptability, and tremendous speed. In addition, they are stealthy, strong and able to climb trees in a single bound. They dominate, kill and eat anything they can get their manicured paws on. Gentlemen, if a Leopard wants you, she will get you. This is scary, but also sexy. Like Tina Fey telling a ghost story in the dark.

Finally, Leopards are doing everything they can to restore the natural order of life. Leopards limit their production of babies to sustainable levels based on the availability of food so that no one will go hungry or be over hunted. Leopard mothers also save money on clothes by always wearing a sexy, Leopard print tracksuit. They try to live by Sir Elton John's advice, "You should never take more than you give, in the circle of life." Sexy.

The Tickle Closet thinks that a Leopard would be an ideal pet for a hip, laid-back 20-something who is looking for a sexy partner that is in tune with global social issues. A preference for Leopard print tracksuits is also a bonus.

This concludes our series on the Big Cats. As you spend time with your own snugly little jungle cat, take a moment to remember that even though you think your cat enjoys all the overrated comforts of suburbia, he is really dreaming of stalking large prey through the jungle or chasing down a herd of water buffalo. Watch your back, you never know when the wild will call.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Cheetah

Don't worry, you didn't miss the vote. The cat series is not over yet. There is still one more cat after this. Wait for it.

The cheetah, according to Dave Thomas, is the most easily domesticated large cat. In Systematic Theology a few days back, DT shared a memory from his childhood in Africa of a family friend who adopted two orphaned cheetah cubs. As the days passed, the cheetahs became like living gargoyles over the familie's estate. On Saturday afternoons when DT and his family bounced up the long ruts in their friend's clay drive, the cheetahs would approach like spotted grey-hounds to investigate the visitors. "We were a little nervous to exit the car," he confessed, "but the cats were as safe as the doctrine of God's providence."

Dr. Thomas's childhood anecdote aside, cheetahs are no persian puss. Theses cats are infamous for their speed and veracity. Not only are cheetahs the fastest cat, they're the fastest mammal, clocking in at speeds as fast as, "Wow, that's fast!" and, "Dang man." The cheetah paw is unique, they're pads and claws don't retract, which means cheetahs aren't able to climb trees, and something about orange cheddar.

The TC thinks the cheetah is ideal for young families. Their quickness will keep the parents active and agile. Plus their gaurd-dog mentality will keep the house safe. Furthermore their domesticadability means they're safe to leave alone with the kids, which could potentially reduce the cost of babysitters significantly.

Warning to light sleepers: Dave Thomas also mentioned the cheetah's purr. I don't remember exactly what he said but it was something then a snare drum.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Update

In the past few weeks I've seen Phil, Abigail, Alban and Cody. And Tommy is coming to visit me on Friday. Sort of...

Phil and Abby taught me that Thai food is spicy. Both times. Also, Abby, why do you abbreviate your name that way? I think "Abi" would make more sense. No charge.

When Alban visited I watched him try and survive a vigorous round of questioning from new friend Jessi.
Jessi: "I like these cooking pots"
Alban: "Me too"
Jessi: "What do you like about them specifically?"
Alban: "ummm..."

Cody was the most recent visitor. We looked at UW law and managed to have a conversation with a guy who tried to get us to participate in some kind of "Orphan rent-to-own" program and a Mormon girl working on her Mission. Cody asked her if this was her first mission.
Cody: "Is this your first mission?"
Sister Howell: "No. This is my second. I got here three days ago."
Cody: "Where were you working before this?"
Sister Howell: "Salt Lake City."
Cody: "Isn't that market already pretty saturated?"

Tommy is arriving this Friday. I am expecting a few more pieces of quality dialogue.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Snakes on a Plain

Unfortunately, this post has nothing to do with Samuel L. Jackson. Also, I'm not very confident in my ability to express these kinds of thoughts... so... here goes.

I was reading the story of "The Brazen Serpent" yesterday. (Num. 21) The story starts off with the people traveling from Mount Hor to the land of Edom by way of the Red Sea. It sounds like the people were taking the scenic route in their travels, as they so often did. However, what really got to me is the next sentence. It says, "The soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way."

I was tempted to stop reading because i felt that i already had enough to think about for the day. However, i continued through the familiar story. Moses makes a snake and puts it on a stick and people are healed from their snake bites when they look at it. Take that modern medicine. I feel like the story of the Children of Israel is pretty formulaic. First, they don't get it and start complaining. Second, God removes his protection. Third, they beg for someone to "fix it." Fixing things is also a three step formula... ask Tommy. He gets it.

After the story, i started looking at the notes in my Bible. They say that God told Moses to use a brass snake because of its simplicity. It was obvious that a snake made of brass could not heal people. Because of this, some people "would not believe that simply looking at the snake would heal them." The notes go on to say that, "In His wisdom, He chose this way of displaying His power." By this they were required to show their faith in the "provision he had made." The Lord taught them that their sacrifices, in themselves, had no more power or virtue than the serpent of brass, but were, like that, to lead their minds to Christ, the great sin offering."

"If we are conscious of our needs, we should not devote all our powers to mourning over them. We are not to yield to discouragement, but to trust in the merits of a crucified and risen savior. God will never remove every occasion for doubt. He only gives sufficient evidence on which to base faith. It is our duty first to look."

I don't know how I'm supposed to help. Or what choices I'm supposed to make. Or what the plan is. Sometimes I feel discouraged because of the way. I need to look.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


File:Lynx lynx poing.jpg

According to the bastion of information that is Wikipedia, the genus Lynx contains only four living species and a web browser. Meh. Go figure. American readers of The Tickle Closet are probably most familiar with the bobcat; however the lynx comes in Spain-ish(Iberian), Eurasian, and Canadian flavors as well. The Eurasian lynx is the largest of the lynx cousins, and both this and the Canadian varieties are known for their large footpadsperfect for a snowy climate. The bobcat and Iberian lynx are smaller cats that are better suited to more temperate climates.

According to ancient bestiaries (defined here as an awkward-sounding illustrated animal dictionary) buried lynx urine will turn into rubies. Accordingly, the lynx represents a sound investment opportunity, though if you are looking to turn your pet into cold hard cash, current market conditions favor the golden-egg-laying variety of goose.

Lynx are a good choice for pet owners who want the elevated status associated with keeping a wild cat at home, without the safety concerns or space requirements of larger cats. Lynx tend to be intelligent, easy-going creatures and get along well with other household pets, save rabbits—lynx enjoy those raw or with a light lemon-basil reduction.

The Tickle Closet believes the lynx to be an excellent companion for those young singles in a small apartment with other pets. They can be especially useful for attracting females (see: The Lynx Effect).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Low

This is possibly the saddest book ever.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Foodora... or Something.

I had an idea today while eating lunch.

People love gambling and the unknown. This is evidenced by the high percentage of my law school classmates who flew to Vegas for spring break. People also love food. As is evidenced by the delicious number of obese people in America.

This led me to an idea. I want to pitch a restaurant based on chance. The menu would operate a little like Pandora. The customer would enter information regarding their favorite food or what they felt like eating at the moment. The computer program would then provide a few new options based on choices from the seasonal menu, along with possible drink and dessert combinations.

This set up would give the customer a degree of control, but also allow the chance to broaden their culinary palette. This would be a great option for husbands and boyfriends who are tired of hearing their partner complain about how they "never do anything new."

I'll need Alban and Abigail to write the code for the program. Phil and Jax will run the kitchen. Tommy will be in charge of waitstaff and booking guests for the small stage. Cody will drum up investment capital.

I'm still not sure what to call it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Never, ever, ever, ever say it like that again, you ignorant gringo. Seriously. Jaguars take great pride in their heritage. As such, you must always pronounce Jaguar, Hhhaaaguarrrrrrr. Lots of h. Lots of r. It feels good, doesn't it? Just let that r keep rolling.

Jaguars require the most respect of the wild cats. They have ancient souls. In fact, according to some Mayan legends, it is Yaguar Sol who rises each day in the east and prowls across the sky to the west. And I think you know how to verify that one: east to west, 24 hours, spring equinox, un templo del sol erĂ³tico, and BAM! 365: believe it or not.

Jaguars are passionate. They do not mess around with things - they are passionate about them. For example, Jaguars do not take food lightly. Unlike other cats, they do not eat their meat raw. Instead, they eat it seasoned and medium-rare. This might be a concern for future owners, as it requires more time to prepare each meal, but it might also be a benefit. Jaguars are surprisingly giving and have been known to enjoy sharing their meals with others.

One important quality that distinguishes the Jaguar from most other cats is its love for swimming. In fact, as you may have already guessed, Jaguars are passionate about swimming. They really get into it. If you and your young Jaguar decide to go swimming around Caimans, however, make sure you have a talk first to avoid a nasty surprise.

The Tickle Closet thinks the Jaguar is an ideal pet for recently broken-up singles who need a little passion back in their lives. Especially bilingual singles who enjoy swimming.


Because tigers are the largest of the "great cats" and because they have a long history of being persecuted, it is important to cultivate trust between you and your tiger when first introduced. Once your trustworthiness is acknowledged, tigers tend to be the most playful of cats (think Tony the Tiger). They love to splash in rain puddles and chase squirrels through the park. However, be careful when walking your Tiger without a leash. Despite their excellent eyesight, tigers often mistake cocker spaniels and other small dogs for squirrels (unfortunately cocker spaniels are significantly slower runners than the average park squirrel).

Tigers can grow to a weight of 660 pounds. So, they should be trained at a young age to not "jump up." Though tigers love to play and wrestle, they can easily get carried away during play time. Tiger owners must commit to consistently enforcing the rules of the household and shouldn't hesitate to use time-outs as punishment. Many tigers have developed "adolescent insolence" as a result of being sheltered from consequences.

Tigers are excessively territorial and routinely mark their territory by spraying urine and anal gland secretions. It is best to respect your Tiger's territory so as not to provoke additional markings on the carpet.

Because tiger stripes create a distinctly frightening pattern when blended with shadows and leafy undergrowth, tigers have often be misunderstood as having darker natures than they really do. Consequently, they often identify with the villain in movies, especially Scar.

Tiger fur, a favorite of long-time owners, is excellent for cuddling around the fireplace. An added bonus is that it is fully machine washable–wash cold with like colors, tumble-dry low (think Hobbes).

An estimated 12,000 tigers (more than the wild population) are kept as domestic pets in the U.S. alone. This popularity provides new owners with a well-established support network.

The Tickle Closet thinks tigers are perfect for active couples who have strong bones and want to cuddle, but aren't afraid to discipline their cat.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Lions are Apex predators. This means that they are the top of the food chain. The best at what they do. Like Alban hunting freshman, they almost always take down what they set their eye on.

Lions are untenable outside of large game reserves or giant areas of largely uninhabited land. Such as Africa. So, unless you have a backyard capable of supporting a large herd of water-buffalo, you may want to think twice about adopting a lion. However, a baby lion fed a steady diet of nicotine will remain tiny, cute and manageable. Think Simba, pre-Hakuna Matata interlude.

Male lions live 10-14 years in the wild. This relatively short life span is due in large part to wounds sustained fighting other lions for food, women and access to health care.

Lions are natural lovers. Their name, similar in many of the "Romance Languages," is derived from the Latin name, Leo, and the Hebrew name, Lavi, which are widely recognized as the sexiest names by etymologists, whose own mating rituals are not fully understood. Lions, like most humans, are blessed with sexual dimorphism. This means that there are obvious distinctions between males and females. This makes hunting at night more enjoyable for everyone.

The Tickle Closet thinks the Lion is an ideal pet for well established, middle-aged couples, looking for a challenging project. However, we advise against using it to try an legitimize your grandchild's bland, jungled-themed birthday party.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Cougars are solitary cats. Besides a mother and her cubs, cougars travel alone. They are a secretive species, only seen in the wild when they want to be seen. An animal owner who enjoys spending lots of time with their pet, may not be best suited with a cougar. Also, prospective owners should be sure to know their sleeping habits because cougars are crepuscular.

The best science available suggests that cougars are more closely related to small cats than big. Which means they have the attitude of a kitty in a frame of a full size feline. And although they’re big, they are by no means bulky. Cougars are slender and agile, prime for apartments or townhouses.

One thing that sets cougars apart from the rest of the big cats is their roar. They don’t have one. Cougars hiss, growl, purr, chirp and whistle, but they can’t let it rip like Mufasa. Legend has it that they mimic the sound of a women in distress in order to lure in curious minors.

The cougar is notoriously crafty among the hunting community. Many seasoned woodsman have entered the wilderness to pursue cougar and have found that they themselves are the one being pursued. Most cougar experts agree that the best way to approach a cougar in the wild is to stand tall, look it in the eye, and talk softly. Supposedly, if you can recite lyrics from Jon Bon Jovi rock ballads ... even better.

The Tickle Closet thinks the cougar would make an excellent house cat for young singles who prefer a good deal of autonomy and are most active around dawn and dusk.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wild Cat

The Tickle Closet is beginning a new post series entitled Wild Cat. The purpose of this series is to ponder the question: “Which wild cat makes the best house pet?” Over the next few weeks we will take a collective peek at the advantages and disadvantages of each of the large cats — cougar, jaguar, cheetah, lion, tiger, leopard — as well as the medium cats — featuring the bobcat and lynx — and finally the small cats — featuring the scottish wild cat.

At the end, whichever cat gets the most votes will be given the “Tickle Closet Best Wild Cat House Cat Award.”

Two important rules to keep in mind during this discussion. First, cats are obligate carnivores. Second, you can take the cat out of the wild ... but you can’t do it legally, unless you have a permit, which is hard to come by I imagine.

Expect the first cat in the next few days...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Supplemental Jurisdiction

This is a pretty typical representation of law school.

Also, it's probably poor form to shoot pictures from the front row with your iphone.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Don't Let the Bastard Grind You Down!

This is professor Dworkin. He teaches torts. He is not the bastard.

His class has taught me many lessons about law, life and love. Maybe not love... but i needed a third L word.

All of these lessons are from Cobbs v. Grant.

1. Procedure is everything.
In law, like in life, you can say the right thing at the wrong time and mess everything up.
2. Look out for formulaic standards, they are usually worthless.
3. There is a difference between a fact and a reason.
4. Question the ability of a concept to achieve its stated goals.
5. Words are nothing but bundles of consequences. Choose them carefully.
6. Always question authority.
7. Don't let the bastard grind you down.

The last one is my favorite because it encompasses all the others. It reinforces how absolutely essential it is to be your own person and never lose sight of what you're after. Sometimes you need to give the finger to a cop. Or maybe just blow off your homework. Boom!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stuff It

There is a restaurant with a huge window next to my gym.

I like watching people stuff their faces while I do cardio.

It makes me feel like I am getting ahead.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tickling the Closet

David told me to tickle the closet. I've been remiss.  Though others have certainly been worse (Phil), David (and Tommy–did you see that guy's last post?) has for too long been propping up (though quite skillfully) the prestigious reputation of this blog.

I'm going to do my best to bring this blog down to a level not quite so vaunted.

Last night I rode the train into Manhattan (though I hate cities, it is pretty exciting to be so close to the mecca of materialism–it's so sensually overwhelming). I was waiting for my train and noticed an object down near the tracks.

I couldn't really tell what the thing was, it almost looked like a raccoon that had at one point had the head and shoulders of a human (the head having been severed by the time the picture was taken). Kind of a miniature raccoon/human cross. Like a demonic gnome or something. 

While I was pondering this, Alban called me back (I had called him to celebrate the Arsenal win). We discussed the victory for a while, but then I told him about this decapitated creature. Just before he called, I had decided that they only way to properly investigate the animal was the descend to the tracks, but then had noticed a sign that said something along the lines of: "Don't you dare go down there."

So I relayed my dilemma to Alban. His response was good: "Get down there. I want a full report later." I should  have known enough to ignore signage warning me of the dangers of leaping down into a semi-enclosed space through which a train would soon be speeding, but I had a moment of weakness. For reviving my spirit of adventure, we have Alban to thank.

I promptly lept off the platform and snapped this shot (actually this is one of the shots I took from the platform, but I like it better than the one I took while I was closer...ironic?).

Note: don't click on the picture if you are faint of heart.

The most interesting thing I discovered while I was down with this creature was that it had been cleanly bisected. This was fascinating. Was it running ON one of the tracks when a train came by and sliced it in two? I don't know and I could never find the other half. 

The point of all this is that train stations in the United States are cleaner than they are in Great Britain.

 Note: though this is a train station in Great Britain from my time in England with Thomas, it's not a good example of what I'm talking about–this remote station was quite clean.

In Great Britain, they empty the bathroom contents onto the tracks at stations. I didn't hear that or read that anywhere; I was standing on the platform in England and spied a pile of fecal matter interlaced with toilet paper. No joke. Pretty gross.

Anyway, the real point to all of this is that we, as energetic young people (in body or at least spirit), ought to be willing to break some rules. Ignore signs at train stations that are trying to enforce your safety. Skip school to go to Hawaii, Obama's inauguration, Cancun, or the beaches of Southern California. Burn something down. Firebomb something. Fight the man (WWU administration... or ASWWU administration when they try to use student money to send themselves to a John Mayer concert). Vote third party. Reject materialism and passivity. Don't do your homework. Play Mario Kart. Kick over the mouse-wheel (not the computer kind, the rat race kind) of life instead of running on it. And most of all: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, invite the stranger in, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Alone on Valentine's Day?

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"The ball is in your court." -a phrase in question.

Tony is a fictitious cereal cartoon who inspires children to do their best at eating food with a high sugar content.

I never really understood that phrase. I've always understood it to mean, "I've done all I can do; now it's your turn." That seems simple enough. Although, you could say the same thing even more simply, i.e., "Now it's your turn," or even just, "Your turn."

Well, maybe not, "The ball is in your court," does seem to connote a sense of positive anticipation, or a satisfied resignation, as in "I've done my very best, the decision is up to 'them,'" or "my fate is out of my hands," or, "it could go either way, but whatever way it goes, I will die in peace." "Your turn," doesn't carry the same semantical perspicuity.

However, the sui generis nature of the phrase in question, with regard to the world of sports, raises some serious questions about its adequacy. It is counterintuitive in that it doesn't make sense in the context of the most prominent sports of today's world. Would you ever hear someone in the NASCAR circuit say "Wale, I guerss that thar ball thar, is en ther curt?" No, well ... maybe, but NASCAR is not played on a court. The same is true for football, hockey, baseball, and soccer. Although all these sports are played with balls, none of them are played on a court. There is one left though, basketball.

Basketball is played with a ball on a court. Perhaps the phrase in question has some validity after all. But even in basketball, upon close inspection, this phrase is ill-fitted. What would it mean for the ball to be in the opponents court? Are there multiple courts? Is it an away game? Or, like football, is the 'opponents side' of the court the side which they are charged to defend? Unlikely at best! Furthermore, when would you ever want the opponent to have the ball? When would that be remotely positive? Now, I do acknowledge that the phrase itself is ambiguous, and yes, perhaps it is possible that "the ball is in your court," could just as easily be interpreted, "the ball is in your court, and it is also in my possession," but based on the original connotation cited above, I find this interpretation highly improbable. Maybe you will say that it is an advantage for the other team to have the ball if your team is better at defense than offense. To this I ask, who are you? Why are you reading this blog? I'm curious. No, it would seem that the phrase in question doesn't work in the world of Michael Jordan and Tony the Tiger.

Maybe if we look at more obscure sports we will find a closer fit. "Ah, yes. A good idea," you propound. "Perhaps tennis," you suggest. Well, it would appear that this phrase fits best here. In fact, according to Wiki Answers, "The ball is in your court" developed on the refined grass of American racquetry. But still I remain recalcitrant, and hold that even in tennis, the above phrase is an impostor. I've heard tennis theoreticians argue that, at its most profound, wining tennis, is simply a matter of getting the ball over the net once more than your opponent. As good as that strategy may sound when spoken aloud, it doesn't relate to the issue at hand.

Yet still, there are some things we put down, and cannot, whether by volition or otherwise, pick back up, or, to continue with the spirit of the phrase in question, cannot hit back to ourselves. You see tennis, in the true sense, not in the sense of drills etc., is impossible to play alone, and if your opponent leaves, the fence will not sufficiently take their place. Until they return with racquet in hand, the dialogue remains impossible. It's the only way tennis is possible. Which brings to mind another questionable phrase involving a kind of tangy dance and the necessity of two. Next time perhaps.

In conclusion, I've said all I can say, the ball is in your court. Watch this video.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


1) To deal with successfully
2) To make clear or understandable
3) To reach a firm decision
4) To progress from dissonance to consonance

People arrive preprogrammed with an intense desire for it. It gets played out over and over again in stories, music and real life. I would even go so far as to say that the desire for love, acceptance, and justice all fall within its grasp.

It's tough to look at your own life and the world around you and see all of the issues that need resolution.

For me, the most fulfilling side of God is the side that one day "will set all things right."

Also, I really wish I was at the beach right now.

Friday, January 14, 2011

May I Proposition You?

Last week Tommy and I stood up and created a list of all the people who have gotten engaged lately. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like there have been a lot of people lately who have been making the move from just dating to being engaged. Now, personally, i don't really get what the engagement is all about. As far as the man is concerned, it's just more time he has to wait before he can... umm... legally... be the perfect husband? And I know it isn't about giving the bride time to plan a wedding because she started that long before she met you.

The only reason i can think of for being engaged is to give each person a major heads up. Being engaged seems to say, "Hey! If you don't change something, this is going to happen! You will have to spend the rest of your life with this one person! Or lose half of your stuff!" I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty scary. I do know a few couples who seem to have it all figured. And that is great for them. However, i have a proposition for the rest of us. I'd like to proposition you if i may...

Recent science suggests that humans were made to be monogamous in three year increments and then move on to share different things with different people. So, in light of this, instead of opting for the more traditional arrangement that currently has a less than 50% success rate, I think it would be interesting if people lived their lives in "combinations."

In a combination, a group of men and a group of women would coexist in a certain area. I haven't thought it out far enough to know if this would be in one house or one piece of property, or a community, but I'm leaning towards one piece of property with multiple buildings... I'm not sure. Anyway, in this living arrangement, each person would be able to draw on the collective talents of the entire group to meet their needs. Say one night you really wanted to do something musical, you would have the option of hanging out with Alban and I and making some music. Maybe after that you really felt like you wanted to go and have an intelligent discussion about the true purpose of education and how to raise children? In that case you would go and spend some time with Cody. And then after that you really wanted to have a good conversation with someone who would listen, not judge you, and provide some meaningful feedback. In that case Phil would be your man.

Now, i know that you are all thinking about the elephant in the room... Well, clearly that would be left to Tommy.

Just kidding... I think in this arrangement it would probably be best not to share that kind of thing with everyone. I think it would probably be best to have some sort of a functioning "marriage" situation that would allow two people to live in a committed relationship within the context of the combination.

Think about it... most people who consider entering a relationship say, "Man, i don't know. I really like these things about that person, but i really wish they were more... "musical," "athletic" or whatever. Now in this way, you would be able to have a meaningful relationship with someone, and not worry about that person being responsible for meeting all of your needs. It's sort of like taking vitamins to supplement your vegan diet. A "supplemented marriage" if you will.

This combination also makes life easier for those people who lack certain skills. Maybe you're not good at fixing stuff or balancing a checkbook? I'm not a good cook. But that problem would be solved if i lived in a combination with Phil because he's a fantastic cook. Actually, as i think about this... Phil is a good cook, well read, sensitive, funny, athletic, and manly... Phil might be one of the few men who are qualified to go out on their own. Well done Phil.

For the rest of you, the combination known as The West Whitman Estate will begin accepting applications early next week.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ice Cream Maker

At the beginning of fall quarter we resolved to document every time we used the ice cream maker. I think we captured around 84%.

Starting things right with some vanilla.

Theology Club tries their hand at the crank.

Not sure exactly but we'll attribute it to math club getting in on the fun.

Why not some coffee with Garrett, Doug, and Austin?

Alban's down for some coconut at Tina's.

And Alban's up for some peaceful vanilla and Rhubarb pie at Dustin's.

Pumpkin tribute for the fall season.

Vanilla for the party...

and the after party. Two parties in one night, can you say, "oh boy!?"

Can't go wrong with mint.

Finishing strong with Darigold Classic, pure Nog.