In this economic environment it’s a matter of what the market will bear or bare. As in shake down cook down distill slow cook boil over then simmer down. Like that sticky residue on the rice cooker. Continued cutbacks and empty storefronts. Seattle is bit behind the curve or on some other curve altogether. A warped curve that looks different around the 48th parallel and west of Cascades. Whatever that means…take the messenger industry for example. More specifically take a little look at the Seattle messenger industry as a mini microcosm of microeconomic indicators from which to extrapolate some bullshit predictions about the entire world economy. It’ll make as much sense as anything you’ve been hearing from the experts in DC on CNN or NPR. I got your consumer confidence right here.
In the salad days heyday Seattle was rolling over 206 messengers strong. When a bike could still beat a fax machine and travel agents printed paper plane tickets on dot-matrix printers. When dot-com venture capital was littering the streets sidewalks and elevator banks. When investors thought Kozmo.com had a viable business plan. When vacancy rates were under 5%.
Today, we’re down to about 35 bike messengers in the Emerald City. The behemoth ABC is relatively small, with only 11 riders. Jimmy Johns has surpassed them as the biggest company in town (I didn‘t add their riders to the grand total). Fleetfoot is vaporizing. Stealth is hourly. And at Attention-to-Detail Legal, I now have only 1.5 coworkers on the street.
Bike messenger companies won’t go away completely but they’ll look different. Just like stock brokers and bankers look a little different in 2010. Developers investors construction companies architects engineers and lawyers… look different. Messengers start their own messenger companies and turn into owners who then lose their street cred get fat and go out of business. Corrections in the market by the market. Outliers reeled back in or just left out to dry up. Bullshit bubbles popped and pooped. Gravy trains derailed. Gravy dogs go to law school get married have kids graduate school medical school nursing school law firm mailrooms film school rock star organic farm Microsoft construction FedEx PDX bookstore coffee shop river guide ski patrol dishwasher writer. Moving on growing up dropping out selling out.
it seemed like a good idea at the time we knew it going in the exit strategy built in that’s how I roll touch n go she watched channel zero side effects effectively affected my affect getting scolded by the librarian again butter sour cream cheddar cheese bacon jumbo baked potato somewhere under there Barcelona chairs high ceiling natural light standing by sitting down inertia weighed-in with its 2 cents what who where why when the idea of messenger the image the concept the theory the lifestyle the bike the bag the wardrobe however like 25 always said “they can never get the smell right” plowed right back into the local economy in and out of context sequence syntax the stinger embedded the venom sac intact do not pinch remove with a scraping motion accepting debit or credit cards from any major bank they don’t make ‘em like they used to acid-free archival quality ask Noam Chomsky intended audience target focus surgical precision blanket bombing napalm shower massage adjustable head burning curling iron aroma topped off with some serious hairspray diabetic diuretic dietetic dialectic Dianetics John Travolta what have you done for me lately catchy little bouncy acronyms disguise government contracts guaranteed through 2012 in conclusion finally in summary Ye Olde Curiosity killed the cat
1 Comment | Add Comment | Permalink
January 22, 2010
I know a shortcut follow me
jump around jump around
hanging around sticking lingering like the Sanford & Son theme song
my Phrenologist told me to drink red wine a glass or two is good she says
On the back side the odd side The other side the east side I’ll meet you there where there’re Thicker thins and deeper shallows Faster slows and higher lows On the sunny side of the street
If you’re seeking a cohesive narrative A logical linear progression With a smooth story line that unfolds in Complete sentences and paragraph structure You’ve come to the wrong place So What you want to do is walk up to 13th & Pine and wait for a bus Tell the driver you need to Get down in Fraggle Rock Or You can connect the dots Spackle the holes Fill in the gaps With dumptruck loads of inference Twigs and scraps of yarn-infused guesswork
Force-fit into the framework of reference You’ve constructed over time in your mind With or without conscious effort It’s there and it’s not going anywhere
What? Excuse me? What was that? Take it to the Hearing Examiner Present it to the Board of Equalization Or just keep it out of my face
In the beginning, intimidated by the pressure of unused potential the sight of so much ripe white space untainted the calendar the schedule the clockwork of productive production the time is now now is the time
In the end, intimidated by the pressure to live up to expectations the need to meet or beat what came before you’re next in line in a succession of successes that successfully succeeded you’re only as good as your last kick
In the middle, oblivious somewhere happy medium chugging along plugging away shrugging at play unburdened by back then it was better undistorted by nostalgia un intimidated by by then it should improve free from futuristic prediction
I had to walk five miles to school uphill in the snow it’s so twenty thirty years ago there they go with the kids these days did you ever sit at the big kid table propped up on two phonebooks have you ever seen a phonebook?
take a moment to contemplate not so long ago cordless phones the size of Montana taken out to the mailbox the neighbors porch the backyard feet soaking in the kiddy pool beep warning beep return to docking station your batteries are low
the look and feel of hand-tooled leather the due date rubber stamped library book back before barcodes the smell of a musty thesaurus the binding crackle of a 19-pound dictionary you won’t find that on the google
free wireless with any purchase four-top at the coffee shop four people four laptops no conversation no interaction people having a common experience sitting near each other separately
Navel gazing. On and on. Off and on. Ramble on. And so on. Moving on through the day with some help, from Johnnie Walker Red. Subscribed and sworn to me this 17th day of January. Spicy, oaky, peaty, salty. Sippy from a sippy cup. She knows that I know that her name isn’t really Smokey. Refrain from smoking within 25 feet of the entrance. Use the bike rack. Meet the new black. It’s the same as the old black. Smell the glove twelve years later. Nineteen years ago. Down by one. Eight seconds left. Wide right. Game over. Loser goes home. I’m going to Disney Land.
it’s not about being left-handed it’s about being right or wrong enlarged to show texture upper respiratory traffic congestion can’t you smell that smell butyric acid and the fine line between puke and parmesan cheese between rancid butter and body odor water beaded necklace strung out umbrella cropped view of the city you can’t see where you’re going you should stay in your hotel you wouldn’t want your hair to get wet roached four days a week can’t get past the spam filter lard laid on thick slathered to a lather Fiesta Fiesta pinto black refried mild medium hot it’s all the same only the names change watered down middle America blasé bland food court mall milquetoast airport corporate fare not to scare them away with authentic Reagan years Miami Vice pink shag toilet seat cover high heels hanging from the telephone pole minor details du jour take the express lane take the inflatable doll from the trunk take the passenger ferry take five take two of these take a number mark your calendar another day closer to retirement involuntary response drool permissive submission submissive permission the shipping container is better than the shipment shake shake shake cracker jack prize glows in the dark macaroni grows in the blue boxes with bright orange cheese powder envelopes twos too much eight is enough elevator up stairs down restrooms are for customers only please please please use the revolving door
two new synapses connect opening a window of awareness unlocking the mystery something seen everyday for years but never really seen until now what now now what what’s what stay on the scene gross net profit loss tax deductible like 801 2nd for Christ’s sake really “have a good day” for Jesus the backup plan was put in place before the toilet paper roll ran out shit forklift in forklift out loading and unloading loads of it Westlake Center cheapskate cheese nickel and dime next day economy you’re upfront with your saccharine smile in your artificial sugar and fake spice world everything is nice nice that’s nice do you want the messenger to be nice or do you want the messenger to do it right years ago you learned to shift the blame pointing fingers when you fucked up years later I’m still here mopping up equilateral isosceles scalene get to the point denial running away from commitment it’s a big commitment avoidance mechanism repairman he makes house calls everywhere all the time 4 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink
January 13, 2010
Those guys down at DANK bags are online. Please make a note of it. Tell two friends. Link to it. Tweet it. Blog about it. Facebook it up. Get in the drops. Go there and buy things. 1 Comment | Add Comment | Permalink
peanut butter Hobart overspray asparagus
January 13, 2010
all you can eat buffet you just have to pay by the pound buy the pound
bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun
January 12, 2010
Talking and talking hands-free holding her umbrella and her macchiato just so popping the power assist door button with her elbow as if she’s done all this before and she’ll do it all again.
The Court of Appeals overturned the lower court’s decision as a spatula flips a grilled cheese sandwich at just the right moment golden browning both sides properly evenly the tomato soup is already in the bowl.
Combining recombinant combinations. Strung together in a 5-day forecast.
You do delivery? No, only pickup. Take it where it goes.
I sing the toothbrush electric. Kurt Warner went to the University of Northern Iowa.
Prelude to a preview to a prolog to a peek. The sun will come out tomorrow, or not.
Insole to a dream. My shoes by any other name would smell as sweet.
Visualizing popcorn covered in asiago. Does nothing to curb the gag reflex.
Conversation inevitably turns to the weather. How do you answer elevator questions about the rain and maintain your composure when the water is literally dripping off your nose? I still wouldn’t want your job on a day like this. How do you talk about the rain after the fact without whining and complaining??? How do you hangout in wet socks for nine hours and talk about happy happy joy joy wonderful things? Maybe you don’t.
Supersaturation is a chemistry term describing the unusual circumstances that occur to allow an extra high amount of a dissolved material to be in solution. However I speak of the supersaturation that occurs when you’re out on a bike and you cannot possibly get any more wet. Wet wetter wettest. Soaked. Supersaturated. When this state is achieved you start to laugh maniacally and repeat nonsense phrases out loud. Extra profanity is added to everything. There is, however, a Zen-like state of relaxation that comes with the realization that you can’t absorb anymore water. Calculating the number of hours left in the work day doesn’t help. Time slows down. Slows to a crawl, raindrops seem to float in the air as if they are waiting for you, waiting for you to ride closer so they can each take their turn to hit you in the eye. So they can each take their turn to land on you and not on the street.
Fingers and toes wrinkled up and pruned, not dried plum, but pruned up like too much time in the bathtub. Two trench foot tacos to go. Walking on. Walking around in bread sacks full of grey water rubber banded to your ankles. Try it some day, just for nine hours. Conditions cannot be duplicated only simulated. Off camber slicker handi ramp squirrelly squishy bubbly sock juice. Smells of wet wool retro grouch gloves. Outfitted in the finest Capitol Hill thrift store gear sprinkled with REI. Dickies dry quick if the rain lets up. Swamp ass impressions left on fine office furniture everywhere. Chamois damp wetness revisited. 1 Comment | Add Comment | Permalink
January 11, 2010
How many Dorsey Whitneys does it take to call in a pickup?
How many ABCs does it take to pick up a C-203?
How many proposed orders does it take to screw in a light bulb?
How many monthly fees charged to little customers like me does it take to pay the annual bonus for one Bank of America executive?
The writing is on the wall. Sometimes it’s on the sidewalk. Take a moment to locate the exit nearest you. Keep in mind it may be behind you. Maybe you passed it or maybe it’s coming up. On your left through the tunnel around the corner over the hill. Interpolate Extrapolate Regurgitate. Manipulate. Triangulate. Locate.
a beeline is not that straight and as-the-crow-flies is a bit idealistic been bobbing allover the board hummingbird style for a while taking tempting testing tasting a sample a sip a smidge a sprinkle just a dash a dollop a doohickey
it’s not about efficiency
1040 EZ drunken disorderly Sebastian Janikowski
Dexter Avenue twinkie factory burnt sugar breeze
run it by the Bellevue Office, she said meet me at the library say it again like you mean it
one more time with feeling
three buttons unbuttoned slather your chest with Rogaine so you can wear more gold chains
What would Monorail Kevin do?
this vampire can see himself in the mirror except the motion sensors on paper towel dispensers don’t recognize him so he dries his hands on his pants
I am a six-speed freewheel forced onto a freehub body with a cheater bar chain whip by a bloody knuckle vice grip bike mechanic.
You are a one inch threadless Chris King headset mushroomed into an ovalized Motobecane head tube by a self-taught bigger is better brute force bike mechanic.
We wish we were simple elegant solutions to mechanical problems.
Instead we’re faced with gobs of JB Weld protruding from a hose-clamped duct-taped tube interface.
Rounded out like a square taper.
When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything.
Love is fixing the flat on your girlfriend’s bike.
Lust is buying your girlfriend an NJS saddle that matches her wheels but she doesn’t want it because it hurts like hell and in the end you’re the one getting all buttsore.
Pomegranate juice makes my eyeballs hurt.
The gargoyle on the mantel is speaking in tongues citing specific landlord-tenant laws, watching me, pretending not to be.
The deer in the garden are munching on fresh bunches of coincidences.
Three out of four attorneys do not wash their hands after using the restrooms in the courthouse.
Midmorning sunlight reflects off the dumpster recently repainted occupational orange and brimming with deceivingly heavy bags of human hair swept up each day from the floors of the Institute of Cosmetology.
Skipping kidney stones on the North Fork of the Urethra River.
Blotchy skin smattered with red splotches flattered by fluorescent lighting in a drop ceiling, acoustic flame-retardant tiles aligned accordingly, boring.
Six-month performance review stewing 24 months late and counting intestinal turbulence disturbance.
Excerpt from Motion to Strike Testimony of Chad Johnson:
…in minute 38 of the deposition (see line 221 in the verbatim transcript attached as exhibit B) Charles Schlockstein (attorney for the plaintiff) asks Chad Johnson, CFO of Chad Johnson Concepts, to explain the 2003 stock offering.
Johnson’s response, beginning on line 224, is completely inaudible because of the loud background noises that cover it up.
What is clearly audible on the recording of the deposition is the double chirping incoming call of a Nextel direct connect phone at a high volume and the single chirp outgoing response of same said phone shortly thereafter, followed by the profanity laced tirade unleashed by the person in possession of the phone, a bike messenger who was passing by the Whispering Winds conference room at the time of the Johnson deposition. The interruption lasted nearly one quarter of one minute.
Candy Cooper, legal assistant to Schlockstein, was later able to speak with building security and check the sign-in log for contractors and delivery personnel and narrow it down to a messenger delivering to floor 42 on that day and time. The messenger upon signing-in identified himself as Merckx, Ed. Stating he worked for a company called “Your Mom”. Delivery personnel are required to produce valid photo ID at the time of sign-in which theoretically would make it easier to resolve issues like this one. However, after repeated phone calls to every delivery company listed in Western Washington as well as Portland, Oregon and Vancouver Canada, Cooper has not been able to locate Merckx. In addition, extensive internet searches for companies dba Your Mom has yielded no results. The possibility that Merckx is an independent contractor does exist, therefore Cooper spent four days researching UBI numbers with the State Department of Revenue and the City of Seattle’s B&O office, attempting to cross reference Your Mom with Ed Merckx. She was unsuccessful. Remote searches in Oregon are difficult and access to Canadian business records is not granted to US parties over the phone…
This is a pile of legal horseshit over a simple everyday occurrence. All they had to do was ask Mr. Johnson to repeat his answer after the messenger walked by. The messenger was just doing his job. Perhaps he was a little pissed off, soaking wet, hungry, tired and stressed-out and I bet he had to waste 7 minutes with a slow security guard signing-in in the loading dock. Of course a few shits and fucks are going to slip out of his mouth in the heat of battle. We’re not in Kansas anymore. Perhaps later on they'll mention that Merckx smelled like cigar smoke, wet socks and beer.
Even if they found this Ed Merckx, what would they do? Say to him in a stern voice, “Don’t do that again”
Schlockstein is losing his case and Johnson’s testimony clearly favors the defense so he is grasping for anything to stall and look for another chance and of course along the way, rack-up amazing amounts of bullshit billable hours.
One-One-One Zero. Queen Anne High School condominium conversion sunrise on a new decade. Toe overlap. Front fender lower leg splatter pattern proprietary mixture of anodized aluminum, brake pad, road grime and rain. Bill Cosby sweater redacted. All you can eat butterball buffet reenacted. All in one. Basket. Fish head soup served with sourdough roll, to go, twice as far with a chocolate bar. Double short Americano. The word got out. Cat got your tongue. What are you eating under there? With a ten foot pole. If it aint broke don’t break it. The observation of national holidays unobserved. The next day spent recouping. Chairs inverted on tables. All the better to mop you with. Lemon scented glass cleaner. Stream or Spray. Ammonia. Don’t make eye contact. Bainbridge Island golf club function on the 8th fairway. What the client wanted was a country mile away from what they asked for. That’s no problem, we’ll be there right away. Do it right the third time. If A then B… coincidence proximity false causality superstition learned helplessness hypochondriac. Placebos should do the trick for a psychosomatic. Red Beers in morning, hangover warning. Red Beers at night, not so much. 1 Comment | Add Comment | Permalink