Dear Uptight Seattleite,Please do me a favor and pass this note along to TLA, my adult-DVD rental service: Dear TLA, Why, pray tell, must you keep sending me, a certified queer, your filthy hetero catalogues?!? And why, oh sweet damn why, am I *so* enjoying looking through them?!?LMQAO,Muscle Man
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Dear Muscle Man,The first question—why are you getting those catalogs?—can only be answered by the adult-DVD rental service that's sending them. I'm not sure why you also want me to pass along the second question in your note, the one about why you're enjoying looking through the catalogs. That seems more like something you'd want me to tackle myself. It's OK, though, if you think someone in the porn industry can offer a fresher perspective.Speaking of which, Seattle Weekly Web site commenter "Jim" has praise for the fresh perspective of the Anonymous Milwaukeean whose letter we published two weeks ago. "I would go out of my way to read more of what this writer has to say," comments "Jim." "No matter what else he or she does, Anonymous M definitely is a writer of unusual depth and quality." You're in luck, "Jim." M (who is a he) has written in to share more of his misadventures, in which a winning scratch ticket plays a key role, though not in the way you expect. "I have been blessed with the discernment that I must accept responsibility for my situation or the solution will flee from me," M says. "Hope is given as a gift with this attitude, something I believe separates me from so many of the homeless people I have known." You can read the whole thing on my Facebook page. I apologize if directing readers to my Facebook page makes anyone feel that their platform is being leveraged.I also apologize to you, Muscle Man, for not having any connections in the adult-DVD distribution industry. All I can do is reproduce your note here and hope for the best. I'll let you know if I hear anything.Hi Uptight,My morning routine usually involves breakfast and/or coffee at a few downtown establishments. Eerily, during three recent visits to two separate places, I've found myself sharing my morning with Bill Gates. Should I be flattered that I possess a billionaire's taste, or freaked out if and when he arrives at my third favorite local?Microspooked
Dear Microspooked,A friend who bussed tables in the early '90s at this Japanese place they once had in the basement of the Westin said Bill Gates used to come in by himself on Friday nights and read the Microsoft newsletter. Which at the time was still printed on paper, if you can imagine that. Apparently he would rock in his seat and generally seem tense, but sit without complaint in one of the noisier parts of the restaurant and tip well. Or at least average. No other customers ever bothered him.I've never seen Bill myself, but back in the same era—around when Paul Simon married Edie Brickell—I saw the guy who played the DJ on Northern Exposure walking down Broadway. I used to love how his character would serve up poetry and wisdom with a side of rock and roll, and really wanted to say something to him. But he turned out to be a lot taller than I expected, and I somehow ended up not talking to him. It just didn't seem like the thing to do. I gather that, despite your intense curiosity, you similarly have not spoken to Bill Gates during your close encounters. Some people think we're too reticent in this town, but you know who appreciates this quality? Famous people.Dear Uptight Seattleite,I'm a tech guy who's been looking for work for a while now. I was recently given a test over the phone of my knowledge of a computer script known as Perl, administered by a junior HR lady who had no idea what she was reading. Plus, Perl is not exactly designed to be spoken out loud. As she repeated my answers, I could tell she was writing Perl terms like $one as "dollar one" and @childclass as "at child class." I legitimately missed two questions, but on about three others I had no idea what she was talking about, so I asked for clarification, but this consisted of her repeating the question and asking me what I thought it meant.Cody Coder
Dear Cody,She asked what you thought it meant? What do you think THAT means? Sorry, I know that wasn't helpful. But a little bit of the funny might be helpful right now. Because while that interview sounds totally fucked up (please don't be surprised that I'm capable of expressing myself in the vernacular), you need the larger perspective that comes with chest-opening laughter. Tickle those chakras, Cody! Hey, you wanna hear a joke? A grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartender says, "We have a drink named after you," and the grasshopper says, "You have a drink named Fred?" I sent that one to Maggie Savarino, but she doesn't seem inclined to even acknowledge my submission. Which of course is totally fine.