Dear Uptight Seattleite,Can the French braid be modified somehow to signal one isn't a member of a polygamist cult?Red Sonja
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Dear Red,On the condition that we not reveal any further information about her divorce, her 12-year-old son, or her views on organic dyeing (on which she's very nearly an encyclopedia!), my intern Deb has agreed to step out from behind the curtain to answer your question. She says you should consider weaving a flower or some other type of ornament into your French braid. For your coloration, she suggests something turquoise.I obviously am not qualified to add anything here, but some people do say I have a green thumb. To which I always reply that plant care is simply a matter of following the nurturing instincts bestowed upon you by nature. Once you learn to close your eyes and do that, nurturance will arise naturally out of the process of being true to your natural self. Truly being a true being, if you will."Tired of the dreary London rain, which was a very loud sound effect, Lotty comes across an advertisement for an Italian country villa for rent in the month of April." That's from a review of Taproot Theatre's Enchanted April on the PhinneyWood blog, and is the other thing I wanted to share with you, Red. You see, sometimes effects are effective, and sometimes they're just effects.Deb says these two points are not related in any way to your hair, but I thought I'd throw them out there anyway. Deb might actually be right, though. I was just kidding her about this the other day. "Deb," I was saying, "sometimes I wonder who's whose intern!"Dear Uptight Seattleite,As a self-styled expert on men's fashions, can you please explain the ball-cap-and-suit-jacket look?Dapless Dan
Dear Dan,The only cap I wear is strictly functional. It's a hiking cap with a Thermax Skull Liner and a removable neck flap. If I've been on a day trip to the Pass or something, I might forget I have it on and just keep wearing it for the rest of the month. But I think I can understand the impulse to wear a more conventional ball cap, the kind that expresses allegiance to a sports team and shows you're a regular guy. And combining the regular-guy ball-cap effect with the tweedy distinction of a suit jacket makes for some pretty darn powerful "character armor," as Wilhelm Reich called it.This combination projects the image of a man who can as easily bullshit with a construction worker as he can expound on chaos theory, Hindu mythology, and the history of rock and roll. Dan, perhaps like me you wonder if there isn't also a touch of anger in this look. How about we both have a think about that and report to each other in six months? I'll see you back here on April 14, 2010.Dear Uptight Seattleite,All those people out on boats in the summer look as if they're having such a good time. But another boating season has come to an end, and I still have never been on a boat in Seattle. I feel left out and depressed.Trudging Transplant
Dear Transplant,Consider the seaplane, how it putters through the sky. The sound of the seaplane's motor overhead is a distinctive feature of this city, and yet I don't think most of us have ever been on one. Does its pollution and elitist nature mean it should be banned? The question hangs balanced in space like the seaplane itself, silhouetted against an October sunset as it banks slowly over Gas Works Park.My point is that some of the city's richest sensations must be experienced ambiently. Besides the seaplane and sailboat rides you aren't getting, there are entire worlds of pleasure behind thorny shrubs, high walls, and locked doors. Amazing views, fabulous gardens, expensive wine. Rather than resent it, it's better to enjoy the silky rustling emanating from beautiful homes all over the city, just as you probably used to enjoy the sight of sailboats on the water before you allowed resentment to taint the view, Transplant. Oh, and Deb says that before the next boating season, you should look into Sail Sand Point, which offers very affordable sailing lessons.Questions? Write firstname.lastname@example.org.