I Saw His Hairy Legs. I'm Just Saying.

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

What bulbs can I plant this late in the season?Doubtful Digger

Dear Doubtful Digger,

Readers of gardening literature know that planting a bulb is an act of hope. And that an act of hope is a leap of faith. For there truly is something faithful in acting hopefully, and hopeful in leaping faithfully. Hope. Faith. An act. A leap. Panama! Panama tulips, that is. Plant them now and hope that retired accountant across the street won't show you up again next May. She always has a word of unsolicited advice on how to make your garden bloom like hers. Which is frankly easy for her to say, since she doesn't have to go to work like the rest of us. Your wordless springtime response to her will be the purple profusion of several dozen of these hardy perennials clustered dramatically in a semi-shady area of your yard. Remember not to overfertilize, and your pleasant smile will ever after have the power to silence her from a dozen paces. Good luck!

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

I saw this guy on the bus wearing shorts, and his legs were really hairy. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, I'm...Just Saying

Dear Just Saying,

Have you seen middle-aged men riding mountain bikes through wildflowers in the commercial for the pills that help you pee? You don't have be a victim of Big Pharm propaganda to find the vision in this commercial a comforting one. For why shouldn't a guy sporting a few extra rings in his tree trunk continue to enjoy exercising with his peers? (Yes, I'm secure enough in my sexuality not to mind the snickers this phrase may raise among the emotionally immature.) But what does this vision need? Male group unity. That's what lies at the emotional heart of the scene. For without peers, a man is a lonely pilgrim instead of a happy teammate. Point is, you should never rule out any potential peer because of the hairiness of his legs.

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

I am a writer and always carry a small personal notebook in my purse and use it to write down personal thoughts, parts of a story, and anything else that needs to be recorded while the thought is fresh. Lately I've taken to writing these things starting at the last page and going toward the front. I do this partly so when I'm taking down someone's phone number or something, they won't see my personal writings. Keeping phone numbers and other nonpersonal stuff at the front makes it more accessible, too. Would you agree that this is a smart idea, or am I insane?Reverie-Prone Jotter

Dear Reverie-Prone Jotter,

Hey, I carry a little notebook around, too! A Moleskine, the legendary notebook that's held the ideas of artists and freethinkers from Picasso and Hemingway to famed author Bruce Chatwin. You may sometimes see me in the morning with my Moleskine, porcelain Swan Neck pen pressed pensively to my lips, gazing out the window of the No. 5 bus as it clatters over the George Washington Memorial Bridge. (Have you been incorrectly calling this the Aurora Bridge? Tag, you're it! Now go even up the karmic score by tagging someone else with the correct terminology.) Maybe you'll notice the dreamy look in my eyes as I grasp in my silly way at the wisdom in the air above Mount Rainier. If a wry little smile suddenly flashes across my face, it may mean I've wrestled a helpful little nugget out of the ether. Like here, on p. 16, the words Let go! are underlined heavily three times. Is this a reminder for myself or my readers? Both, of course.

And that brings me to you and your own little notebook. It will improve your writing if you draw a less severe boundary between your private and public jottings. Take a cue from how All Things Considered uses a tender, tinkly little variation on its theme music to transition from a story about poverty to a StoryCorps segment. The music instructs us how to feel about poverty (sad!) and also gives us a meditative space to Let go! and relax into the folksy tale of someone who remembers the smell of her grandmother's garden. See how these seeds all grow together? I hope so.

Have a question for the Uptight Seattleite? Send it to uptight@seattleweekly.com.

 
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