The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 3/30 Books: Cartoon Candor The oddly named MariNaomi is a San Francisco writer and illustrator who self-publishes Estrus Comics. She also has an extraordinary memory. In her new graphic memoir, Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Résumé, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, $15.99), she depicts, in sharp detail, seemingly every single boy, girl, man, and woman with whom she had some sort of intimate encounter. In doing so, she chronicles not just her incipient sexuality—elementary-school "Show me yours, I'll show you mine" moments; losing her virginity on her middle-school boyfriend's boat; her first serious relationship with a male model/jailbird, etc.—but also her turbulent adolescence. Growing up in the '90s, she experiments with drugs, drops out of high school, and becomes a teenage runaway. There's an often jarring contrast between her sweet drawings of cheerful teens and the sobering subject matter: out-of-control LSD trips, hasty sex, and cheating lovers. As her younger self says in the book, "It's too bad real-life stories never really end in fantastical dream sequences." Instead of fantasy, this good-humored and bracingly honest memoir provides a fitting resolution to the author's turbulent past. MariNaomi appears tonight as part of the Sister Spit: Next Generation tour, which also includes Michelle Tea, Kirk Read, Ali Liebegott, Blake Nelson, Amos Mac, Myriam Gurba, and local writer Rebecca Brown. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., 322-7030, hugohouse.org. $10–$15. 8 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON THURSDAY 3/31 Dance: Playful Patterns Trisha Brown grew up as a tomboy in Aberdeen, Wash., and went on to become one of our pre-eminent postmodern choreographers. Though her 40-year-old Trisha Brown Dance Company is today based in New York, there's still a playful thread in her work of hanging upside down from a tree. In her seminal Set and Reset, Brown uses many of the structural tricks that abound in postmodern dance, with performers calling out directions to one another while starting and stopping, rewinding and replaying. Her signature lanky/loopy movement style becomes the raw material for all this pattern-making. The twists and turns of the structure feel like the games we all played as kids, making Set and Reset almost a grown-up version of Simon Says. Also on the bill: Water Motor, Opal Loop, Pygmalion, and the world premiere of Les yeux et l'âme (the dance suite from the opera Pygmalion). (Through Sat.) Meany Hall, UW campus, 543-4880, uwworldseries.org. $20–$41. 8 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ Books: Remember His Name Coming from a family of famously brainy writers, young Joshua Foer acknowledges the pressure upon him to produce his first book, Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (Penguin, $26.95). Not long out of college, living with his parents, he sets out on a freelance journalistic quest to follow the self-described "mental athletes" who devise elaborate—and often smutty—methods of memorizing playing-card sequences, state capitals, and number strings. It's bad enough to study this tribe of geeks, worse to join them. Like George Plimpton before him, Foer plunges headlong into participatory journalism, becoming a fellow brain-jock who creates ever more baroque memory palaces—a method originated by the classical Greeks—to form catchy associations with the most mundane of facts. (The first 10 digits of pi equals, say, 10 naked cheerleaders eating pie!) Eventually, coached by a boozy English tutor, he begins to enter and actually win organized recollection contests. (Even the chess club looks down on such dorks.) And the story gets better (without divulging any spoilers): Foer's story has been optioned in Hollywood, meaning the outcome is more Rocky than The Alamo. Even as the rest of us can't remember our own phone numbers or friends' birthdays—They're in the iPhone, right? Shit, where did I leave that iPhone?—Foer immerses himself in a pre-digital regimen of mnemonic training and retrieval. While we readers now rely on chips and technology, Foer discovers his own internal software. Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER FRIDAY 4/1 Visual Arts: The New Antiquity China is all about change. Whooshing past Japan's economic clout, filling most of the container ships at the Port of Seattle, the country seems to be outgrowing the burden of its past. This is not exactly the case with expatriate artist Wanxin Zhang, a San Francisco resident since 1992. He indirectly addresses his homeland and heritage with 19 large ceramic figures obviously inspired by the famed terra-cotta army entombed with Emperor Qin. Those 8,000 clay soldiers, now over two millennia old, caused a sensation when discovered in 1974, just as China was opening to the West (and two years before the death of Chairman Mao, which ended the Cultural Revolution). Zhang visits BAM tonight to discuss his ceramic men, which he says "represent a sense of confusion and a quest for freedom." They're mottled and irregular on the surface, their features more globbed-on than finely sculpted. Lettering in both English and Mandarin is inscribed on some of these guys; look carefully and you'll note the historical incongruities—eyeglasses, cell phones, neckties, and cameras. Not everyone is Chinese, either—there's an African-American tearing up in Inauguration Day. And though you could imagine them being excavated from the earth, imagine the surprise an archaeologist would register at the guy with a modern baby-carrier mounted on his stomach. With the kid wearing Mickey Mouse ears. (RSVP recommended for lecture; exhibit continues through Aug. 9.) Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., 425-519-0770, bellevuearts.org. Free. 6:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Happy Hours: Sweet Like Candy Set on Lake Union, Citrus is an ambitious and trendy new establishment bathed in pink and blue lights—imagine a more spacious version of a Virgin America jet, plus more booze. The happy hour (Monday–Friday, plus all day Sunday) draws a crowd of attractive 20- and 30-something professionals from nearby offices wanting to indulge in fancy cocktail specials ($5), like the lychee martinis, and savory appetizers ($5–$6). Of the latter, we recommend the Dungeness crab cakes and Kobe beef sliders. The most popular drink selection is the Sourpatch Kid—a concoction of raspberry vodka, lime juice, and sour slush served in a sugar-rimmed glass. It tastes exactly like its candy namesake, but with far more potent effects. You're sure to order a second, perhaps even a third. And at that point, you might as well stay beyond happy hour and enjoy the DJ's Top-40-fueled record selection, which provides for a fun, tipsy night of dancing. Citrus, 1001 Fairview Ave. N., 402-6364, citruslakeunion.com. 21 and over. Free. 3–6 p.m. ERIKA HOBART Sports/Books: Foul Lines As a Seattle eighth-grader in the '80s, Doug Merlino and a handful of other privileged white boys at Lakeside Middle School joined an integrated basketball squad with Central Area kids, coached by an African-American and organized by a wealthy, well-meaning Lakeside parent. As recounted in The Hustle: One Team and Ten Lives in Black and White (Bloomsbury, $26), Merlino left Lakeside (and basketball) after ninth grade and lost touch with teammates both black and white. Then, in a shock that would later cause him to start researching the book, Merlino read in 1991 that ex-teammate Tyrell Johnson had been murdered and dismembered near Rainier Beach. Part of The Hustle investigates that crime, but Merlino's sociological curiosity is about what became of all his former teammates, for better and worse—something like the documentary Seven Up!. Today, the black players grown into parents must struggle with what Merlino, now living in New York, calls "a choice between racial solidarity and the potential for class mobility." Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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