Stranger Things... -- It's not every day you get to read something like this subhead in a Seattle newspaper: "Northwest Bookfest is a ridiculous disaster. Meanwhile, Spokane just hosted an awesome book festival. Why can't we?"
Yeah. You read that right. The April 29 issue of The Stranger has a great article by Christopher Frizzelle on Get Lit! and how it compares to Seattle's 10-year-old Northwest Bookfest. Bookfest, as Frizzelle points out, has become an embarrassing and irrelevant exercise in self-congratulation. The last two big authors they had (T. C. Boyle and Joyce Carol Oates) appeared years ago (and coincidentally, years apart), whereas our festival had Kurt Vonnegut AND Garrison Keillor AND Dave Barry AND Sarah Vowell plus a whole lotta regional authors, all in the same week. Frizzelle rightfully gives former director Scott Poole (now on his way to direct a similar festival in Portland) and his staff at EWU Press their rightful props for pulling off such an impressive feat year after year.
To read the article in its entirety, visit www.thestranger.com.
More Honors -- As long as we're doling out the kudos, we've recently received news that sculptor, artist and jewelry designer Margot Casstevens just won second place in the 2004 Silver Accessories Award in Tokyo. Casstevens -- who, with her husband Kurt Madison, helms Punctum Design -- was selected from a pool of 600 artists and awarded an honor that "is rarely given to anyone outside of Japan."
Also on the art front, painter Denae Veselits tells us that the Rosalie Whyel Museum in Bellevue has agreed to purchase her 18-painting oil series "Diaspora -- the Doll's Tale," which has been on exhibit at that museum since November. Public response to the series (inspired by rare, historical black dolls) has been so great that the museum wanted the series as part of its private collection. Congratulations!
Work Schwork -- Just when you were afraid you might actually have to do some work today, we thought we'd share a few of our favorite goof off Web sites. Ever wondered what your Mafioso name might be? Check out www.rickmelfi.com/sopranos.html
Several folks were so inspired by Lynda Barry's appearance here several weeks ago that they've asked us where they can read her weekly comic strip. Your best bet is at her own Web site, www.marlysmagazine.com. While you're there, be sure to play with the sliding puzzle!
And finally, if you're as addicted to David Levinson Wilk's crossword puzzles as we are (check out our Coffee Break page in the Classified Ads section), you'll be happy to know he's just published a great big book of them, entitled Really Clever Crosswords.
The Inlander: Helping you screw around on company time since 1993.