The Weekly Wire: This Week’s Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 9/16Food/Books: One Mind, One PotThe first resident cook at California's Tassajara Zen Center, Edward Espe Brown wrote the Tassajara Bread Book in 1970, which became a canonical hippie cookbook. Since then, he has continued to teach both Buddhist practice and cooking skills—often at the same time. His workshops later became the subject of Doris Dörrie's 2007 documentary How to Cook Your Life. (Brown is probably the only Zen priest in the world with a muffin recipe on Oprah's Web site.) Now he's coming to Seattle with The Complete Tassajara Cookbook: Recipes, Techniques, and Reflections From the Famed Zen Kitchen (Shambhala, $35), which brings together old recipes and new insights. To non-foodies, it may sound like the epitome of California flakiness to teach mindfulness and pizza-making, but for those of us who retreat to the kitchen to find solace, the two pursuits are one and the same. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., 366-3333, thirdplacebooks.com. Free. 7 p.m. (Also: Elliott Bay, Thurs., 7:30 p.m.) JONATHAN KAUFFMANTHURSDAY 9/17Visual Arts: Housing BubblesSometimes it's better not to read the artist's statement. (Corollary: It's almost always better not to read the curator's statement.) Affixed to a wall, the 300 delicate white pillows crafted by Seattle artist Michelle de la Vega for her Dream House installation defy obvious utility. They look too fragile for your couch. And forget about pillow fights. On closer inspection, they're made of old architectural blueprints for residential designs long faded. They're not the trendy new domiciles of Dwell or avant-anything—mostly large suburban homes with yawning garages. The difference in scale between the diminutive pillows and cul-de-sac behemoths gives Dream House part of its poignant mystery: These headrests suggest obsolete dreams, the visions of the past. And indeed, per the artist's statement, they are—the handiwork of her father, now in his 80s, who wasn't an architect but obsessively sketched these designs. None of them were built. And today, their paper walls enclose only the air. (Through Sept. 26.) Monarch Studio, 312 S. Washington St., 682-1710, monarchartstudio.com. Free. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. BRIAN MILLERFRIDAY 9/18Comedy: Toiling for LaughterSo if you missed him at Bumbershoot, or didn't get enough of the guy during those shows, Patton Oswalt now returns to a much bigger, grander stage. Though, no matter that he supplied the starring voice in Pixar's hit Ratatouille, he remains a very unassuming, underdog sort of comic—one more accustomed to playing cretins on Reno 911!. Or obsessive losers, like the football-crazed nebbish in Big Fan, which opens today at the Varsity. At 40, now married and a parent, Oswalt organized the successful "Comedians of Comedy" tour and is still associated with the alt-comedy movement of the '90s. But he's no slacker; with a résumé that includes The King of Queens and Steven Soderbergh's The Informant! (opening today), he's often dissed the whole indie-rock-shoegazer shtick. He has no patience for those, in comedy or music, who pretend they don't want to be on stage. He worked hard to get his name on the marquee; and his fans appreciate the effort. The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 877-787-4849, themoore.com. $26.50–$28. 8 p.m. BRIAN MILLERBaseball: Yank MeWhen the Red Sox or Yankees (or, evidently, the Blue Jays) come to town, Mariners fans are often outnumbered, or at least out-vocalized, in the stands. This is unacceptable, especially when it's the fucking Yankees, who still have fucking A-Rod on their team. In short, any Yankee fan who's not from fucking New York (or at least lived there for a spell) can fucking go fuck themselves, the bandwagon-hopping, fair-weather fucks. Granted, if you say "fuck" too many times in Safeco Field, you're liable to get tossed out on your fucking ass, but who fucking cares at this point? While the M's have had a brilliant season compared to what was expected of them (zilch), there's fucking nothing left to play for now—no fucking pennant, no fucking playoffs. Really, the only reasons to visit Safeco Fucking Field at this juncture in the season are to: a) watch Ken Griffey Jr. play what could be the fucking final games of his fucking career, or b) fucking boo the fucking Yankees, because they fucking suck, even if they're the best fucking team in baseball, record-wise. Safeco Field, 1250 First Ave. S., 622-HITS, mariners.com. $8–$70. 7:10 p.m. MIKE SEELYBooks: Pill PopperMost nonfiction writers, when insinuating themselves into the story they're supposedly reporting, try to disguise that tendency. Not Stephen Elliott, the Bay Area author who took a crack at crime writing by following a murder trial. (In 2006, Hans Reiser was charged with killing his Russian mail-order bride, the mother of his two children.) The Adderall Diaries (Graywolf, $22) are emphatically and forthrightly diaries—first-person and candid, more confessional than investigative, a series of very loosely related ruminations on the author's drug addictions, sex addictions, unhappy family history, things he's read, writing classes he's taught, old girlfriends, and his doppel-gänger relationship with a key trial witness. (The latter, also fond of drugs and S&M, was briefly the lover of the slain woman.) Though Elliott interviews Reiser in prison, the former Silicon Valley executive remains unknowable—a study in denial who refuses to acknowledge his own worst impulses. By contrast, Elliott tells us everything about his failings, which makes him seem comparatively healthy. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. SATURDAY 9/19Dance Contest: Now Put Your Hands UpWill Beyoncé's video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" become the "Thriller" of our time? Will we one day see 13,000 Mexicans recreate its gluteophilic dance moves in perfect synchronization? (Already, a hundred women have donned one-sleeved leotards and flash-mobbed Piccadilly Circus, performing the dance en masse to promote Trident gum.) Velocity Dance Center is making the video the center of tonight's dance fundraiser, staging a competition for the best duplication/reinterpretation of its glorious black-and-white fierceness. The finalists, already chosen by video audition, will perform tonight and be judged by a panel of experts, with the audience's pick equaling one judge vote. (Democracy in action!) $300 goes to the winners. Century Ballroom, 915 E. Pine St. (second floor), 324-7263, centuryballroom.com. $18-$20. Doors open at 8 p.m. Dance at 9 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERTMONDAY 9/21Karaoke: Heavy RotationThe Crescent is easily the most popular karaoke bar on Capitol Hill. Drag queens, dykes, and hipsters squeeze into the claustrophobic space like sardines on any given night, and by midnight it's usually standing room only. The booze is dirt cheap ($3 wells, $4 pitchers), the bathrooms are filthy, and the karaoke hosts have names like Johnny Cock Ring. The Crescent is an unabashedly shady joint. And that's why people—very eclectic people—love it so damn much. According to the bartenders, no karaoke night is the same—except for the three songs that make it into the rotation without fail: 4 Non Blondes' "What's Up," Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart," and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Stay clear of those, and you'll be a crowd and staff favorite in no time. Crescent Lounge, 1413 E. Olive Way, 720-8188. Free (21 and over). Noon–2 a.m. ERIKA HOBARTTUESDAY 9/22Photography: High Life and Hard TimesTwo very different sets of vintage black-and-white prints are on view through October 10. Unlike her contemporary Dorothea Lange, Marion Post Wolcott (1910–1990) is less known today for her socially conscious images of the Depression era. She was employed by the Farm Security Administration to document rural life, so her shots aren't all soup kitchens and bread lines. We also see Americans still hard at work (though earning very little), children at play, men playing cards, and jitterbug dancers at a social. Unlike Lange's Dust Bowl refugees, these aren't portraits of despair, but studies in quiet endurance. French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894–1986) is more playfully whimsical in his tiny contact prints, especially in those taken before World War I. The medium was new; war lay ahead (two of them, actually); and the rich young artist was free to indulge his love of airplanes, blimps, pretty girls, and race cars. Absent are any traces of politics or economic hardship. His world is lost, enchanted, innocent—and only discovered abroad in 1962, when the boy—then an old man—finally became a world-famous photographer. G. Gibson Gallery, 300 S. Washington St., 587-4033, ggibsongallery.com. Free. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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