Nov 1st, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

Went to the ol’ hometown on Tuesday. Marysville had never been a particularly “fun” or “friendly” place. Even the tiny “old” downtown has essentially no “street life.”

You drive, or are driven, everywhere, across long and increasingly crowded roads between subdivisions, strip malls, churches, schools, the golf course, the casino, the surviving still-rural patches, and the relatively low-density sidewalked streets of the original central town.

Still, there is a sense of community.

And it comes together in times of crisis, of which last week’s is the biggest in years.

These ribbons are in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School colors. When the old Marysville High (in the old town) was merged with the newer Pilchuck campus (out further into the suburban sprawl), the combined institution took Marysville High’s colors (strawberry red and white) and team name (Tomahawks).

We now know a little more about the boy who committed the murder-suicide shootings at Marysville-Pilchuck High. He’d had an emotional breakup with a girlfriend (who didn’t go to MPHS); and he may have wanted to get back at the same-age relatives and friends whom, he may have decided, had helped to cause that breakup.

But it still doesn’t really make any sense.

Oct 27th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

mark mulligan, ap via seattlepi.com

I had to break my three-month unplanned blogging hiatus to write about this.

But it’s been more than three days since the event, and I still haven’t figured out what to say.

As a few of you know, I went to the old Marysville High School. After I left, it merged with the newer Pilchuck campus. The combined Marysville-Pilchuck school took Marysville High’s red-and-white colors and “Tomahawks” team name.

My younger brother attended MPHS. (The campus is just up the road a bit from the family’s old house.) He knew many of the families involved in last Friday’s horrible shooting, including the extended family that included the shooter and the shooter’s cousins (two of the victims).

Marysville was never much of a town. The half-mile square old town (grid streets, sidewalks) was just a centrifugal point for miles of suburban and exurban sprawl, and for the Tulalip Indian Reservation.

“The Rez” was where dozens of tribes (some of whom hated each other) had been forcibly relocated in the second half of the 19th century. While the Tulalips as a whole were not as impoverished as some other tribes, they still had to deal with issues of cultural identity, drug/alcohol abuse, and the rest.

I left Marysville long before the shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, was born. But Everett Herald writer Andrew Gobin did know Fryberg. Gobin can’t figure out what happened either.

But if he or I don’t have a clue, at least we’re more knowledgable than the wingnuts who are already spreading so-called “false flag” conspiracy theories and blaming, of all people, New York ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg. (The premise being that gun-control advocates would hypnotize boys into shooting people, in order to promote taking guns away from other people.)

It’s patently false and ridiculous, but it’s more of a “rational” explanation than anything you can find in the reality of the tragedy.

Jun 19th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

Yep, this li’l venture in snarky commenting and pseudo-intellectual aggrandizing has gone on now for one score years plus eight. Slightly over half my life.

The last few months, I know, I’ve been away from the site a lot.

It’s not that there hasn’t been a plethora of potential subject matter, both on the local front (the waterfront tunnel machine’s woes, the rise of jocks-with-laptops aka “brogrammers,” the ugly new buildings going up everywhere) and the national-p0p-culture front (weird crimes, dumb online “meme” obsessions, the ongoing collapse of almost all professionally-made media genres).

It’s just that the site/column’s “persona” isn’t a personality mode I’ve been into lately.

For the past two years, ever since my mother’s death, I’ve been forced to scramble and hustle just to keep a roof over my head.

Some acquaintances and friends have understood this.

Others have just told me, why don’t I just write full time? They offer “cool” book ideas, imagining that that’s a viable substitute for the real job I tell them I really need. They tell me to just “do what you love” and “don’t worry about the money.”

But I do have to worry about the money. (Despite the occasional rumors over the years, I’m not, and have never been, independently wealthy.)

And I’m working on that, on several fronts.

Among them are two new projects in the “writing” line, neither of which I’m ready to announce right now.

Watch this space for further details.

May 16th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

Just a heads-up here. I’ve been busy working a part-time job while looking for a full-time job, while also pursuing a book project I still can’t announce yet.

And I’ve been toying with new formats and shticks for this site.

But I’ll have new full-length and quickie material soon. Within days even.

Apr 28th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

An abscess does NOT make the heart grow fonder.

Jan 1st, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

I can reasonably state that I wasn’t the only person in Seattle who wanted to personally witness 2013 go bye bye. Certainly, the bottom of the Space Needle had even more than its regular yearly throng of fireworks watchers.

Before the blast, the Needle was bathed in a very pleasant plum-esque lighting scheme.

Then, right on time, the big kaboom began.

By the end of the seven minute spectacular, the smoke had failed to disperse, leaving the whole tower looking like, as one KING-TV commentator called it, “internally illuminated cotton candy.”

Dec 16th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

Due to some wonderful donations from you loyal readers, MISCmedia.com lives for another year.

And it’s time for our annual tradition, unmissed since the pre-online days of 1986: Our annual In/Out List. As always, this list predicts what will become hot and not-so-hot in the coming year, in any category you can imagine (except the really boring categories such as drugs and porn).

Get your suggestions in via our handy dandy comment thread or by email to clark (at) miscmedia dot com.

May 30th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

Most of you know about the horrors inflicted on May 30, 2012.

About the crazed disgruntled customer who strode into Café Racer and shot five people, four of them fatally.

Who then got on a bus to downtown, where he killed a woman to steal her car.

Who then drove to West Seattle, where he killed himself as police closed in on him.

For a lot of people around the Seattle music, art, and nightlife scenes, it was a day of shock and devastation.

For me, it was just the start of the worst two weeks of my life.


While all the mourning was going on around me, I had a little birthday, gave one of my semiannual Costco Vanishing Seattle book signings, and visited the Georgetown Carnival. Racer owner Kurt Geissel was at the latter, essentially showing concerned friends that he was surviving.

It was there that I got the cell call from my brother.

My mother had gone into the hospital, for what would be the last time.

Two buses and two hours later, I was in Everett.

She had stayed un-sedated long enough for me to arrive and pay my respects, along with seven or eight of her closest friends.

An hour after that, she agreed to take the morphine.

She passed on 54 hours later.

She had always been there for me.

Now I was truly on my own.

It was, and continues to be, a struggle.

Only now am I beginning to get something of a life back together, thanks to the help of many of the same people who kept one another together after the Racer tragedy.

Dec 26th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

'he-man and she-ra: a christmas special,' part of the festivities at siff film center on xmas eve

And a dreadful sorry for not posting in the last 12 days.

What I’ve been up to: Not much. Just wallowing in the ol’ clinical depression again over my first mom-less Xmas, trying to figure out how the heck I’m gonna pay January’s rent.

(For those of you who came in late, I’m not independently wealthy despite the old rumors; a few little local photo books don’t earn anything near a decent living; and my eternal search for a little ol’ paying day job has gone nowhere slowly.)

But I have vowed to stay at it. And there will be new MISCmedia products in the new year.

And, as always, it’s the time of year for MISCmedia’s annual In/Out List, the only accurate guide to what will become hot and not-so-hot in the coming 12 months. Send in your suggestions now.

On with the accumulated random links:

Aug 19th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


  • The images used to sell prog-rock LPs are often more intriguing than the noodle-y music itself.
  • Jonah Keri at the ESPN/McSweeney’s site Grantland lists 27 notable things about Felix Hernandez’s perfect game. That’s one item for each out.
  • And here are some clips and GIFs of Hernandez’s feat, and a video compiling all his 27 consecutive outs.
  • When Metro Transit dumps the downtown “ride free area” next month, ride times and congestion could get significantly longer/worse. That’s in addition to the impact on people of all economic castes getting around in the city’s center.
  • Tuition at Washington’s major colleges and universities more than doubled over the past 20 years, while average incomes stayed flat.…
  • …while state-government employment dropped by more than 15,000 people this past year.
  • Bill Maher says outright that “voter ID laws are racist;” while a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri suggests repealing the Voter Rights Act.
  • Unknown artists spent a lot of time creating a big installation piece using stuff found inside an abandoned Detroit church.
  • Tony Scott, 1944-2012: The director of Top Gun died from a depression-inspired suicide, just like too many of our real-life troops.
Jun 22nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

lindsay lowe, kplu

  • It’s like Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, only without the whales. It’s Greenpeace submarines trailing Shell oil-exploration rigs in the Arctic.
  • There’s a “celebration of life” service for my mother today in Marysville.
  • Huge swaths of Wash. state exist in a “rural information ghetto,” with little local news media, little or no broadband access, and even spotty or no cellphone reception.
  • Local bands in Spin‘s all-time greatest-band-names countdown include Mudhoney and Bikini Kill. But Motorhead as the #1 greatest band name of all time? Sorry. Do over.
  • Speaking of which, Duff McKagan will be this year’s Seafair Grand Marshall. Still waiting for Mark Arm’s equally deserved official recognition.
  • Online Media Shrinkage Watch: Salon.com, one of the pioneers of web-based punditry, is bringing in exactly half the revenue it needs to survive.
  • Who owns the rights to the classic series Route 66 and Naked City? Hard to tell. What’s more certain is that the two shows’ exec producer had some very rough final days.
  • If the producers of The Looney Tunes Show had wanted to effectively depict Bugs and co. in a domestic setting, they should have perused old issues of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies comic books.
  • Tired of stick figure construction workers? Then look at these animated .GIFs in which the moving objects tend to be graceful women’s skirts and hair.


Jun 12th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

My mother did so much more than simply make me. She was my anchor, my unconditional “home base.”

Others will talk about her as a tough lady of hearty eastern Washington pioneer stock, sturdy support system to friends and strangers, a bulwark of the Snohomish antique-shop strip, and a valiant survivor of condition after condition (breast cancer, macular degeneration, chronic bronchitis, two fractured vertebrae, and finally a series of heart attacks).

But I will think of her (always) as a gentle heart within a tough-as-steel soul.

Jun 11th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

I spent much of the past weekend at Providence Everett Medical Center. My mother, who would be 82 next month, is in a medically-assisted unconscious state following a relapse from her third heart attack. Her condition is currently stable; when it changes I’ll let you all know.

Feb 14th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

Last June, I wrote a piece entitled “Notes to a Potential Girlfriend.

That piece was all about me.

This time, I’m fantasizing/riffing about who I would like that potential girlfriend to be.

She would be, more or less, as follows:

  • Any adult age; though if you’re much younger, be aware that I don’t stay up ’til 2 as often as I used to.
  • Any ethnicity, skin color, or hair color.
  • Won’t try to convert me into becoming a Christian, a vegan, a stoner, or a Libertarian.
  • Will let me keep my “room of one’s own;” will let me keep it messy.
  • Will let me hold, more or less, to my odd (but never deliberately so) tastes in food, music, apparel, and entertainment. Will let me continue to own and use a television.
  • Believes in gender equality, in BOTH directions.
  • Allows my needed daily work-at-home time.
  • More into soul-melding, intimate lovemaking than porn-style fucking.
  • Progressive populist, not alt-culture elitist. (i.e., not a square-basher.)
  • Not a female me, which couldn’t exist anyway. A complement rather than a clone.
  • Notices things I don’t notice. Knows things I don’t know (which covers, I admit, a LOT of ground).
  • Has an open and voracious mind.
  • Cares about people and the future and stuff.
  • Sees the heart and humanity in other people, no matter what their niche or lifestyle.
  • Has eyes that light up the night, and lips to melt into.
  • Equally at home in social and private situations.
  • A “city mouse.” (I’m not moving to Bainbridge.)
  • Preferably not currently married. Preferably.
  • NS/LD.
  • Preferably without preteen kids (but that’s not a requirement).
  • Preferably without implants (but that’s not a requirement).
  • Isn’t looking for a guy with money (goes w/o saying).
  • Isn’t looking for an “enabler.”
  • Doesn’t need to conform to others’ standards of “nonconformity” (ideology-wise or fashion-wise).
  • Tells me what she wants; doesn’t just expect me to already know.
  • Relatively free of psychotic episodes.
  • Centered, self confident, and comfortable in her self.
  • Believes love is more important than self righteousness.
  • Believes in herself, in others, and in me.
Jan 18th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

Without any further ado, the big new product announcement promised here on Tuesday.

Actually, it’s an old product.

But a new way to buy and enjoy it!

It’s The Myrtle of Venus, my short, funny novel of “Sex, Art, and Real Estate.”

It’s now out in ultra handy e-book form, for the insanely low price of merely $2.99.

Yes, that link goes to the “Kindle Store.” But you don’t need a genuine Kindle machine to read it. They’ve got free apps for Macs, PCs, iPads, and lots of mobile platforms.

Why should all of this site’s loyal friends and true download it?

Because it’s alternately sexy, hilarious, and poignant.

Because it takes you back to those heady days of the real estate bubble.

Because it’s a rollicking tale of eleven lively characters who combine, clash, and re-combine.

The action all occurs amid the dying days of an artists’ studio cooperative. The artists’ new landlady, the World’s Blandest Woman, wants them out. But the artists have a plan. They’ll seduce her into becoming one of them.

But their best laid plans don’t get her laid the way they plan.

What happens next is as wild as it is unpredictable.

To find out, you’ll just have to get the thing and read it already.

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