Friday, May 11, 2007

Putting the Baby To Bed

We started this blog over a year ago because there wasn't anyone paying attention to all the random happenings around town, or rather they weren't being collected in any organized fashion. There was definite purpose. Over the course of the last year though, other blogs have picked up the slack and are doing a damn fine job of keeping track of the things that we considered our domain. Sure, we could keep this going, but it doesn't make sense to be a vestigial tail to the Seattle blogosphere. So we're done. Turn your attentions to Seattlest, Metblogs, and SLOG for your various WTF event listings (they're each doing their part - and we'll turn our attentions to Seattlest in that regard). We're going to keep the calendar going, but for the most part, spanning_time as blog is done.

Now don't fret. Those of you that know us in real life know that we're all over the Seattle blogosphere, so there's no shortage of opportunities to read our stilted prose. We've also made the leap to print with a column in The Stranger, which is still incredibly exciting and scary as hell. There are also some ideas percolating around about new projects that get us excited, the main one being another blog more in the "A Revolution Stunted" vein, the other centered around brunch. We'll see how those work out, and we'll likely make a post here just to let you know about them once they're more solid.

Thanks to all of you for reading, for your comments, and for your suggestions. It truly meant a lot to us. The spanning_time blog might be gone, but the spirit certainly lives on, and every one of you helped to make it what it is. Now get off the Internet and go do something!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Now this is how you celebrate 4/20

[via BostonSteamer]

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Notes & The New spanning_time Creed

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

-- from "Leisure," by W.H. Davies

- The above phrase appears in a very excellent article from the Washington Post. It describes the results when a celebrated violinist took up his instrument to play in the arcade of a Metro stop during rush hour. Great exercise, and a very worthy read despite its length. If that article doesn't reinforce the spirit of this here blog, we don't know what does.

- spanning_timer Ario spent the weekend in San Francisco. He was lucky enough to be there for the ultimate in s_t events: Bring Your Own Big Wheel. For this event, adults grab a big wheel (you know, the one for kids) and race down San Fran's hilly streets. Much like our own Idiotarod, it involves costumes, drinking, and a whole lot of fun. It's definitely on our list of things to catch someday. For now, view the link above. We'll share pictures once they show up on Flickr.

- Last night's video game festivities were more fun than we expected. They certainly need more marketing help (we'll remind you next month), but with the dual tournaments for Guitar Hero 2 and Street Fighter 2 (on the Super Nintendo!), they've got an idea we're willing to support. We came in third in the latter tournament, which was surprising since we spent the bulk of every match trying to make sense of the oddly mapped controller buttons.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Dusting Off the Cobwebs - Console Gaming Competition

3D Worldrunner, a game we remember liking a lot, but that wasn't really that fun upon revisiting.
So where have we been the last month or so? Well, we hit SXSW and came back exhausted from that, and since then have been busy with...important work stuff. In any case, we were prodded by a reader this weekend, so we're back after a bit of a blog-break. Here's something we promised to fill you in on once we had more details.

Tonight is the start of Console Chaos at Rebar. It's a monthly (2nd Mondays) video game competition sponsored by Pink Godzilla. The only new details we have to offer are that doors are at 7pm, and that the cover is $5. They haven't really offered much information outside of that. But who needs more details anyway? It's video games, it's competition. Just show up and get humbled by someone that's wasted more time playing games than you spend sleeping (and no we're not referring to ourselves there).

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

You Should See 300

We saw 300 last night. We'd recommend you go see it as well. It's definitely got the feel of a comic book movie, but it's much more Sin City (also Frank Miller) than Superman Returns. It's ridiculously violent, but not repulsively so. The story works well enough, only getting mired down with pesky monologues near the end of the film (seriously, it's almost like it was adapted from a play at that point). But it's still a must-see.

A few months back we posted about Rize, the documentary by David LaChappele on the krumping dance phenomenon. While the pacing of that film left something to be desired, the actual dance footage was beatifully shot, with oversaturated colors, adjustments to camera speed and an overall sheen that drew you in. 300 uses a similar mechanic for the fight scenes, with adjustments to color (desaturated this time) and film speed working to enhance the overall effect. People often say about these movies that it feels like a comic book come to life, but those words aren't mere cliché here. Momentary freezes remind you of a comic frame, but that moment is fleeting, a cinematic homage to the source material.

We didn't have the internal hype for this movie that we could have, but having seen the film, our hype-meter is at a maximum. Go see this film. You can even one-up the Cinerama experience and catch this at IMAX (we'd recommend it - the bigger the screen the better).

Agree with us? Think we're full of it (regarding this movie, not our personal life)? Leave us a comment.


The Next Snakes on a Plane?

If this isn't a joke, you can bet we'll be there opening day.


Friday, March 09, 2007


- Another blogger has put together a list of the Top 10 uses of "the 'N' word." It's a great read. [Thanks Audrey!]

- We picked up some praise from Seattlest this week. It wasn't entirely surprising since we'd answered some questions about the A Revolution Stunted series, but we continue to be amazed by the overall response. We get outed in the post, but it's not like we took our blog anonymity very seriously anyway.

- Mark your calendars (in pencil) for the next sample sale. From one of the vendors:
I think we'll be back in Seattle doing something similar, but on a bigger, less basement-of-a-now-defunct-chinese-restaurant sort of feel on April 22.

- Captain America died this week. Some people are taking it far too seriously, but being comic readers, we're pretty sure this won't be permanent. He'll be back. As for as those saying this is some sort of political allegory, sure, it could be that, but if you actually take a look at some of the storyline in question, the writing is sharp as a sledgehammer and half as subtle. If you're looking for a comic that really has something to say, read Uncle Sam, which features beautiful art by Alex Ross, a wonderfully nuanced storyline, and an open-endedness that can only exist in a form not meant for kids (the Captain America storyline has to work on two levels, which weakens it a bit).

- Things we forgot to mention in Weekending: new opening at OKOK, new opening at BLVD, and 300 opens today for you comic book movie junkies.

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ByDesign - NWFF is exploring the intersection between art and technology this weekend, with a series of films and events featuring true masters of their craft in the areas of music, graphic design, and overall artistic badassery. We're most excited about 8-Bit: A Documentary About Art and Video Games, which is making its Northwest debut.

Seattle Notables Costume Party: The McLeods are at it yet again. They've got the art exhibit, now they're throwing a party to celebrate Seattle's microcelebrities. We're dedicating ourselves to joining those ranks for next year's exhibit, but we have yet to figure out how we'll make ourselves more (in)famous. In any case, costume party Friday. It's going to be insane. Expect to see nipple on the Flickr photostream.

LebowskiFest: The bowling on Saturday is already sold out, but the screening of the Big Lebowski features The Real Dude, and a whole lot of people drinking white Russians. We're sure that this is going to be a memorable time. Watch out for nihilists. Congrats to BostonSteamer for all his work coming to fruition.

Bot Battles: The Transformers movie doesn't come out until the 4th of July, but this should be a good stopgap. One 12 foot square ring. Two robots enter, one robot leaves.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

We Got It For Cheap

It's mathematically incorrect, but this is still a great t-shirt.
This weekend spanning_time made our way down to 6th Avenue for a sample sale that we picked up a flyer for while out on our various Friday adventures. We didn't have a chance to give a heads up to our readership, but we're posting now to give you the heads up for future events. Sales reps from a few different companies got together to do a one-day sale of some of their excess inventory. T-shirts (and other things) were plentiful, and it was all at low, low, prices. We picked up some stuff we're pleased with, and would have picked up more had we showed up earlier. In any case, they'll be doing this sale again at some point in the future, and we highly recommend you shoot an email to the powers-that-be to get on their mailing list. It's worth your while.

Here are the clothing lines that were represented this time around (likely to change next time):

Paul Frank
No Star
Monsieur T


The Revolution Continues...

- The "N" Word? Banned in New York.

- There's a backlash against rap? Ya don't say...

- Oprah, you know we love you, but perhaps you should do a bit more research before wielding your mighty hammer of influence.

[via Slog, ReluctantNinja, and Seattlest]

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rock Music, Rockin' Robots, and Rock Stars

We've picked up a few new readers over the last month, drawn in by the videos and commentary we were posting. It'll be interesting to see how many of them stick around now that we're going back to more activity-oriented posting, but we must stick to our original mission: filling your free time with random activities around Seattle.

We're just getting our heads back into that world (trust us, it's dark and sordid), and have to mention these things to you in case you're lacking things to do tonight (and you shouldn't be - it's First Thursday!). Also, for you new readers, be sure to either join the spanning_time group on or subscribe to our calendar in your app of choice (click from the badge on the blog).

- Ellen Forney is doing another performance/reading of "I Love Led Zeppelin." We were so excited to see this we actually made the trek twice to catch it (we only caught the Q&A the first time due to traffic), and it was completely worth the effort. Ellen's work is very human, very funny, and very Seattle. At the Wild Rose, 8pm.

- This is a bit more academic, but there's a talk [.pdf link] on "The Art and Science of Social Robots" at UW. Cynthia Breazeal of the MIT Media Lab will talk about her research program, which focuses on the interaction between humans and robots. So in short, when the robots make their first moves to overthrow the world, it may be tips from this night that make all the difference for humanity. UW's Kane Hall 120, 7pm.

- McLeod Residence is having a preview of their newest exhibit, a series of photos and etc. of Seattle Notables as part of their weekly happy hour. That's cool and all, but by now you shouldn't need any prodding to go to the McLeod Residence. Just go!

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Whoa, It's Our Blog-o-versary!

We almost completely missed the one-year anniversary of spanning_time. We've managed to stick with this for a full year, which is a bit surprising to us, but we're glad we've done it. We've already told you all how much we appreciate your readership today, but consider this post a reiteration. Thanks for your time, your participation, and for the comments. Huzzah to you! As always, let us know if there's something you'd like to see here - we aim to please.

Now we're off to take a celebratory nap.


A Revolution Stunted: Until Next Year...

This is the last post for the A Revolution Stunted series. It's an occasion, so I'm going to break out of the Editorial We for a moment. I'm glad my readers (this means you) have not only stuck around, but have enjoyed the series. I wasn't sure how it would be received and I won't be so quick to doubt my readership in the future. Thanks to everyone for the comments, both here on the Interweb and in the real world. Really, it means a lot to know my words weren't falling on deaf ears.

So how do you close out a series like this? It's been a fun, frustrating, disheartening, and enlightening exercise finding these videos every day and I'm really glad I did it, if only to get some thoughts out into the world. I feel so much pride in my history (as you should for yours), but it's hard to feel so powerless about where things stand. There's so much potential, so much progress left to be made and sometimes it doesn't feel like anyone's stepping in to fill the void. I certainly didn't do this to propose solutions, but venting about the problems has to count for something, right?

So to close things out, I'm flipping things a bit. After a month of samples of the revolution being stunted, here are three videos to close things out on a hopeful note. The revolution may be stunted, but the revolution moves on, and that's what matters most. Until next year...

This is from an episode of The Boondocks that posits that MLK didn't die, but instead ended up in a coma. This speech closes out the episode, and sums up things up nicely.

James Brown represents both the shame and the glory. He was a drug abuser and wife-beater, but he was also one of the greatest entertainers the world has ever known. R.I.P.

This is the book they're referring to at the beginning of this clip.


A Revolution Stunted: The Second-to-Last Day Blowout

Only one more day of videos left, so here's a blowout of three classics that we don't think would stand on their own, but in aggregate make for a fitting post. If you're up on your memes, there's no way you've missed these, but consider this a reminder of Internets past. If you're not so Internet-addicted, we're doing our part to catch you up. How these fit the series requires no explanation.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Black Cocaine

We came home tonight to find a man outside our building very obviously having a bad drug reaction. He was flailing about, pants around his ankles, looking like he was doing a cross between dancing and fighting. We watched from our window while waiting for the cops to show and it just made us sad. This was a man probably trying to escape his problems, but at this point his chosen solution was in itself the problem. Rather than feeling hopeful he'll get the help he needs, we're now feeling guilty for being the catalyst for someone getting in trouble with the authorities. We know it's a silly reaction, but we can't help it. Guess this is one of those "ripple effects" from drugs in the community.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Little Man

In honor of the Academy Awards, today's video is for one of the worst movies to ever grace theaters. We've dogged on the Wayans before in this series, but we have no problem doing so again. Other movies in the running included Soul Plane, White Chicks, and Big Momma's House, but really, there's no shortage of crap to choose from. And that's the problem. "Black" movies don't have to be bad movies. We had The Color Purple, we had Roots (yeah, it was a mini-series, but whatever). We can have movies as good as The Departed, but we're going to have to stop supporting the worst of the worst first.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: What What

Today's video has been making the rounds the last couple of days, and understandably so. It shows up here not because of the content. We actually think it could be considered progress that this video can be made, shared, and not entirely demonized. So on that front, it's a sign of how far the revolution has come. That said, the production on both the video and song leaves a bit to be desired (compare this with RuPaul's output, where the production values are a lot higher). So we applaud this video for what it represents, but we include it here as a reminder that being part of a niche is no reason for quality to slip.

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Friday, February 23, 2007


Drunk Puppet Night 7: We haven't been to one of these, but the last time we saw "puppets for grownups" it was a puppet porno flick at the Grand Illusion that left us a bit emotionally scarred. We're hoping this is more funny than traumatic.

Bruce Nauman @ The Henry: We would have been sucked into this exhibit anyway, but it's only intensified with the latest piece at the McLeod Residence, which has us all amped up about the art possibilities of light (and the use of "amped" was not an intentional pun).

WeTube @ NWFF: Pay money to do what you do while you're getting paid.

Upcoming @ Rebar: "Sponsored by Pink Godzilla, this is a new night of video game competition- games will be announced soon. Fight your way to the end of each season and come out the victor! More info soon...."

A Revolution Stunted: How to Not Get Your Ass Kicked

Chappelle's Show gets a lot of credit for bringing racial humor to the forefront, but a few years prior to his breakout hit, Chris Rock also had a run as the Funniest Man In America with a similar style. His HBO show had plenty of great moments, the below being one of them. We thought of posting an Al Jolson in blackface video, but decided we wanted a funnier segue into the weekend.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Two For One Post - Twice the Shame!

On account of our being late in posting a video for yesterday, here are two for today. The first follows the same logic as yesterday's (all of yesterday's statements apply), an abomination that squeaks through in the guise of music. This one's certainly got more of a minstrel aspect to it however - seriously, didn't they have anyone with any knowledge of history in the editing booth!? The second video explains that minstrel/rap connection a bit more. You'll want headphones for that one.

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A Revolution Stunted: This is Why I'm Hot

We're late with this one and we apologize. We thought this would have happened long ago, and yet somehow it took until the 22nd. Now on to the video.

This song is blowing up, and has even made it into our head, but for as catchy as it is, it angers up the blood. The legacy of great New York MCs leads to this?
I'm hot 'cause I'm fly, you ain't 'cause you not, this is why this is why this is why I'm hot.

Chris Rock explains it best, but it's hard to defend the current state of rap and hip-hop. CNN of the ghetto? Not so much anymore.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Smackfest

This video doesn't necessarily need to be singled out for just this series, it's demeaning to all of mankind. Apparently the cost of one's dignity is a lot lower than we thought. Wow,

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Holy Crap, It's Free Pancake Day

We've been so caught up with "the revolution" that we haven't been spending much time on our bread and butter, things to do around town. We caught wind (by way of FierceFlawless) that today is the return of Free Pancake Day at IHOP. It was one of our favorite days last year, and despite the fact that today's a busy one at the s_t day job, our spirits are high upon hearing the news. Pancakes for lunch, dinner, whatever. This is a big faceless corporation looking to fill your belly. Let them.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Def Poetry Jam - The N Word

Some days choosing these videos is easier than others. Something will stick out as part of our day, then it's just a matter of finding to right video to convey what we had in mind. Usually it doesn't take too much. Today took a bit more effort, and we went through at lot of videos before settling on this one. It's definitely on the more serious side of things, and while it is spoken word, it's at least not the crappy kind. Instead, it more eloquently states the case against usage of the N word than we ever could. Listen with headphones on.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Revolution Stunted: Tyra Banks

There's another video of Tyra Banks overestimating the importance of her being the first black solo model on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition that was sent to us as a potential candidate. Don't get us wrong, that is a notable achievement, but it's not like she discovered a million and one uses for the peanut. However, if Tyra Banks is making this series of posts, it's because of the video below (something light to close out the weekend). Way to perpetuate the stereotype of the hysterical black woman.

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