Archive for February, 2010

February 20, 2010

Nanny State My Ass, Sally Bagshaw!

I was driving home from a meeting and I heard Sally Bagshaw on NPR, talking about the smoking ban in Seattle Parks (which lasted all of a day or two before it was relaxed), and she said something dumb like “I don’t want Seattle to turn into a Nanny state, and every time the government tries to dictate behavior . . .”

And she went on for a bit. I didn’t know if I should laugh, cry, or go light up in a city park. I mean – how completely crappy that a small time elected official here in Seattle thinks that banning smoking in parks means we’re a nanny state. God. Maybe she doesn’t know a few things about parks and Seattle, such as:

  • You can’t drink in a park
  • You can’t urinate in a park
  • You can’t walk your dog off leash in a park
  • you can’t have a campfire in a park
  • You can’t beat someone up in a park
  • You can’t stay in the park after 10:00 PM

And if you think about other “nanny state” types of things we’ve got going on in the greater Seattle area, you come up with things such as:

  • You can’t build a house that doesn’t meet code (which means we’re pretty safe from earthquakes)
  • You can’t dump your motor oil in the creek (which means our water quality is better than most)
  • You can’t drive with snow tires after a certain date (don’t get me started on that one! May? Really? In Puget Sound?!)
  • You can’t burn your trash in your back yard (which means our air quality is better than most)

I could go on. And on, and on, and on. But you see what I mean, don’t you?

Sally opted for a dumb ass sound bite instead of a real conversation. She opted for pandering, rather than being thoughtful. She was probably thinking more about re-election than about doing the right thing for the community. And THAT makes me angry.

We can do better. We should ask for better. Maybe Sally was having a bad day. But she’s being paid to do her job well, and she just blew it.

February 14, 2010

Seattle Red Dress Run

I sneaked out of the house with my red dress tucked up under my tee-shirt – my wife didn’t think that the new neighbors should see me sporting a spaghetti strap dress and running shoes this early in their tenure here in Wallingford!

The Red Dress Run was hilarious – I jogged down to Gasworks park to find close to 60 men and women milling around (beer cups in hand) in all manner of red dress: Slinky, gaudy, stylish, garish – you name it. The guy with the tattoos, beehive hairdo and beer belly was especially attractive!

Red Dress Prep As I approached the group, I un-tucked my dress, peeled off my t-shirt and handed my entry fee over. “Honey”, she said, “You really want that tee "UNDER the dress, not over it”.

I explained that since I’d borrowed a sleeveless dress, that I thought I should let the whole world see – even though it was cold and rainy. “You DO have nice shoulders, she commented,”  handing me a plastic beer mug and a Sharpie “You’ll need that mug several times today”.

 

Hash runs (this one is sponsored by the Seattle Hash House Harriers) are fun, silly and freeing: where else can you find a group of 60 men and women cavorting around Seattle, singing beer drinking songs, and charging into local pubs yelling “beer check!”? And they are a class/income/race/gender/you name it erasing event, too: No last names, no talk about work, just a get together to socialize, run a little, drink some beer and laugh. We did ALL of that for the next 90 minutes, including stops at the Fremont Troll, The George and the Dragon, and a few other local hot spots.

I had to leave early to get to another event. I had a few bad moments on the way back home: It is one thing to be a man in a red dress amongst a group of men and women wearing red dresses, and quite another to be charging home to Wallingford on the Burke Gilman in a red dress by myself!

Hashing (as it’s called) has a long history, a growing presence on YouTube and Facebook, and is tons of fun and non-competitive.