An open door

leftovers & links
Wednesday, May 24, 2023

I sleep naked, in a shared house, with a shared bathroom. My flatmates have normal levels of modesty, and I don't want to see my flatmates' junk, so I never walk naked out of my room, across the kitchen, down the hall, and into the bathroom to take a shower. I have to get at least slightly dressed first — at a minimum, underwear.

Which is ridiculous in itself, getting dressed only to get undressed. But here's another level of ridiculousness: slipping into the underwear, I look for the fly in the front, so I don't accidentally wear the shorts backwards for ten seconds.

I've tried not to care whether the underwear is on right, but I can't not do it unless I remember to make a conscious effort not to look for the fly or the label in the back.

The house is a little run-down — floors tilted, stairs rickety, some gaps in the kitchen tile, etc — but the landlord responds quickly when something's needed, and I've lived in far worse places, structurally. 

The front door has never quite locked, but that's OK — it opens only into the laundry room. From there, anther door opens into my half of the house, and that door locks fine. The problem with the front door, the door to the laundry room, is that if it's rained recently, it swells up ever-so-slightly, and doesn't latch.

People sure try, though. They slam the front door, the shoulder-shove it, and with enough effort you can get the door latched, but if you do then good luck getting it unlatched. And that's a safety hazard. If the house goes up in flames, we'd prefer a front door that opens please.

Someone complained, and the landlord came 'round last weekend and solved the problem, by taking the front door off its hinges. It's leaning it against the wall, beside the door. The door is beside itself. 

It's a workable solution, and cheap like the landlord. It's a bit surreal, though, to see the washing machine from across the street.

If the weather is right and there's time before my bus home in the evening, I like to walk a few extra blocks downtown, jotting down addresses of buildings that look cheap and residential.

Wish there were rez hotels like in San Francisco, but there are none — Seattle stupidly banned them decades ago. 

Which means, I'm looking for a genuine apartment, or at least seriously daydreaming about it. I want someplace cheap, and cheap means shitty but I don't mind shitty. I've lived in shitty places before. It's my habitat.

So I often walk the blocks downtown, jotting addresses of old buildings that look shabby, and maybe affordable. I come home and Google the addresses, and time after time the places that look perfect for me turn out to be homeless shelters. Or if they're not shelters, they've been closed and empty since the '90s or '10s.

I had high hopes for one tower with gray, sooty curtains on obviously residential windows, but the door was padlocked and the internet says it's going to be reconstructed as a "boutique hotel." Because Seattle needs more of those.

Another place that looked cheap and run-down had a doorbell nobody answered, and that's great — a broken doorbell means someplace shitty, so I was optimistic. When I got home, though, the internet told me there are only super-swanky "lofts" at that address, with ridiculous rents. $2,695 p/month, my ass. That's four times what I want to pay, and I've seen rez hotels in better shape than that building.

I'll find a place downtown eventually, though. Or die daydreaming about it, while still spending hours every day commuting downtown and back and downtown and back.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

A judge struck down an anti-press restraining order. Why does it feel so lousy? 

DeSantis's $13.5m police program lures officers with violent records to Florida 

Los Angeles Dodgers backtrack, apologize to Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

The Sisters say, "We believe the apology is sincere. And please remember: Love always wins!"

In-N-Out Burger is fighting a landmark climate bill 

NAACP, with Hispanic and gay rights groups, says Florida is "actively hostile" to minorities and issues travel warning 

By the end of this century, climate change will put ⅓ of humanity outside the "human climate niche" 

Faster and faster: The pace of climate change keeps surprising us 

A warming world is costing you precious hours of sleep 

Italy's deadly floods just latest example of climate change's all-or-nothing weather extremes 

Minneapolis to pay $700,000 to family of man murdered by police 

Border Patrol shoots and kills Arizona man who called them for help 

Parents of US man killed by police during mental health crisis to get $19m 

A "blue wall" inside New York state prisons protects abusive guards 

Jordan says maybe Republicans need to re-investigate Hillary Clinton 

Republican CongressCreature aghast over trans-friendly swimsuits 

South Carolina state senate considering six-week abortion ban 

Arizona judge rejects wingnut's latest 2022 election lawsuit 

Nebraska teen pleads guilty to charges related to self-managed abortion 

Mystery links
There's no knowing where you're going


My browser history
without the porn

Steal this idea: the larger the car, the more you pay to park 

Hellbillies, horns, and Satanic self-pleasure" Welcome to the Satanists' convention 

Armed school police make schools less safe for black girls 

♫♬  It don't mean a thing  ♫
if it don't have that swing

The Ballad of Jed Clampett — Flatt & Scruggs

 • Laughing — The Guess Who 

Pick Up the Pieces — Average White Band 

Seattle Afternoon — Reilly & Maloney 

Trouble — Yusuf Islam 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Adam Brace 

Maria Mies

David Miranda 

Bill Oesterle 

Andy Rourke 

Algy Ward


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.  

Tip 'o the hat to ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, One Finger Medical, Two Finger Magical, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration. 

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. Captain HampocketsMay 24, 2023 at 8:22 AM

    >I've tried not to care whether the underwear is on right,

    I only make sure the front is in the front. They are cut so that it feels wrong if the fly is in back. But inside out? Fuggit, I don't care.


    > Faster and faster: The pace of climate change keeps surprising us



    1. Would you make sure the front is in front if you were wearing underwear for a quick walk across the kitchen and down the hall?

    2. Captain HampocketsMay 25, 2023 at 5:04 AM

      Maybe. Shit, why not just get a skirt? Easier to put on. Or a towel around the waist?

    3. I think you'd have to walk backwards to look normal. How do you walk backwards gracefully? Practice, practice, practice.


    4. I look better from behind, I've been told.

      A skirt's not a dumb idea. I have a bathrobe, though... somewhere in this mess... haven't seen it this year...

  2. Thanks for today's musical selections. A little history might be in order, although you probably know this already. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were originally members of the group Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys. They didn't just play bluegrass -- that's where the name bluegrass originates, describing the music the group originated.

    In 1948, Flatt and Scruggs broke away from Bill Monroe's group and formed their own group, Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. They played together for 20 years until Earl Scruggs broke away to play slightly more progressive bluegrass.

    Lester Flatt died rather young in 1979, but Earl Scruggs made it to 88, playing all the way. In the early part of this millennium, Earl and Steve Martin found some other hot banjo players and performed in New York as Men With Banjos Who Know How to Use Them. They played on Letterman to promote their show. The song they played was Foggy Mountain Breakdown, a tune written by Earl. Flatt and Scruggs had played the song, and it became the theme song for the movie Bonnie & Clyde.

    Earl Scruggs died in 2012, leaving behind some wonderful music and two musical sons, Randy and Gary Scruggs.



    1. That was more than moderately musical. Yee-haw. If I was the kind of man who'd get out of the recliner and dance, I'd be a different man , but I'd be dancing.

      How's come Men With Banjos Who Know How to Use Them never recorded?

    2. Earl had a really bad back from an early automobile accident. He could play now and then, but recording is a pretty intensive exercise. He did record an album in 2005 with his sons and a few guest players.


    3. So MWB only existed for TV appearances? They must've loved the live performances, but you'd think a studio would be easier on the back — pick a convenient location, sit in the same comfy chair every day, and show up and start strumming. As opposed to navigating trips and strange studios and waiting in a green room doing nothing for an hour.


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