Dearest Uptight Seattleite,Can you pleasea explain half-assed art cars? I'm not talking about the ones with blue LEGOs meticulously epoxyed over every square centimeter or detailed Roman coliseums on their roofs. I mean the ones where people let their kids paint crappy-looking flowers on one door using cheap acrylic paint that immediately starts to fade and chip.Clement Greenberg
Dear Clem,Can I call you Clem? There comes a time, Neil Young said, to talk of many things, Clem. Of bikes and bags and farmer's cheese, of doggy parks and swings. Sorry for getting a little punchy. I'm trying to find the right words to announce that I'm giving up this column. Wait! Did I just say "giving up"? That was a terrible way to put it. More like "releasing like a leaf on the stream of time" or "orbiting serenely away from." The words we use matter, Clem. They matter a lot. I was reflecting on how best to tell you this—strolling the western slope of Phinney Ridge yesterday with my trusty Moleskine along for one last ride—when I came across a tree hung with trinkets and candy. A sign on it said:The Spring TreeTake something, leave something.This column has been my attempt to leave my own silly little trinket for anyone who wanted it. My own "half-assed art car," to use your term, Clem. Perhaps my repeating this term back to you helps you hear its ring of condemnation. And condemnation of what, exactly? Of creativity, Clem, and the honoring of the creative urge. The creative urge should NOT be honored, according to you, when it's badly thought-out or ineptly executed. And sorry, I can't go there with you, Clem. I'm cranking hard the other way on the creativity dial in my own life. That's really why I'm ending the column—to make room for exciting new projects. I've already mentioned Lint Catcher, and my plan to enter the field of humor writing. I'm also experimenting with a top knot. After a few top-knotted dry runs around the neighborhood, I'm close to making it my official new look. And I've decided to change my name to Rhythm.Since this is the last column, I can reveal one more important change: My relationship with Deb has become something more than intern and interner. We've gone so far as to settle on a single hot yoga place we're both comfortable with. One of our rituals is sharing a bowl of frozen yogurt after every hot yoga session. PO-HOYO FROYO, we call it. We want to merge households at some point, but Deb thinks her son Chad needs a little more time to get used to the idea. He's been unhappy with his private business turning up in this column, and doesn't like it when I accidentally call him Chip. I always tell him, "Hey, now it's OK if you forget to call me Rhythm!" I'm confident I'll win him over eventually. One neat surprise he doesn't know about is that I'm going to chaperone an overnight field trip his class is taking, which will be a great opportunity to hang out and get to know him and his friends. As for the other family members, our doggies couldn't be happier. Boxy's like the neutered sibling Georgina never had.That bottom margin is coming up fast here, but I don't want to end without thanking you, Clem, and everyone else reading this. Please feel free to stop by and say hi on Facebook. Thanks also to Seattle Weekly for letting me hang out at the front of the paper for so long. I know people sometimes lose patience with the Weekly for their lack of reverence toward burlesque performers and various other lapses, but their hearts are (probably) in the right place. And finally, thanks to Gotham Books for making available to a wider audience some of the wisdom 'n' smiles we've rustled up in this space. (I won't be so tasteless as to slip in a plug for my book here. I won't even mention its title.)Apologies to anyone who sent in questions I never got to. Like the nice woman who wrote, "What does Starbucks do with all the caffeine they remove from their decaf coffees? Does it get recycled?" Sorry, ma'am, I don't know! You know what, though? More questions than answers feels right to me. In fact, I'd like to sign off with one last unanswered question. This one comes from my close personal Facebook friend Nadine Drisseq:My friend found an egg at a bus stop yesterday. She wondered whether it had a bus pass. Are eggs even allowed on buses here?Are they indeed, Nadine. Are they indeed. Thank you and good night!