Month: May 2010

Circa for Seattle Beer Week

The second annual Seattle Beer Week came and I only made it to one event, like “last year”: Tonight, we took the kids into West Seattle to Circa. Circa was having a Stone event so they had 4 Stone beers on tap: Levitation Ale, Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Ruination IPA and Imperial Russian Stout. We’d never even heard of the first two and have never had any of them on tap. I love their Imperial Russian Stout and make it a point to get it when they make it two times a year, so I was happy to see that and knew I would have it for my dessert beer.

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Arguing 3 Strikes

The New York Times published an article about a friend of ours (the husband of a friend of Gay’s), Mike Romano, about his work to get egregious life-terms under California’s strict 3-strikes policy overturned. I’m all for locking career criminals up for life, but not for petty crimes. Accused murderers get more free legal resources, and a better chance of acquittal or successful appeal, than those accused of their 3rd strike:

In practical terms, Romano points out, the difference between being convicted of capital murder and a small-time third strike is this: a murderer is entitled to a far greater share of legal resources. California spends at least $300,000 on the defense side of a capital murder trial. The courts give extra scrutiny to each capital appeal that comes before them. And it’s only in death-penalty cases that the state pays lawyers to file a writ of habeas corpus, the route to challenging a conviction once direct appeal has been exhausted.

The article talks of a guy who was convicted of three thefts over 15 years amounting to a few hundred dollars in property. He was thrown in jail for the rest of his life.

In court, Romano and his students don’t simply argue that their clients are minor offenders who don’t deserve to spend the rest of their lives in prison. … Romano argues that, as in capital cases, his clients deserve to ask for lesser sentences based on “mitigating evidence” — often of child abuse, mental illness or mental retardation.

Mike’s a lawyer who is using his powers for good instead of evil. (That’s a joke, I have a ton of respect for good lawyers).

The power of the internet (and Yelp)

We planned to go to the Volunteer Park Cafe last night and made a reservation the day before. We ended up not being able to make it so I called to cancel my reservation. I always do this and even call when we’re running late for a reservation because it’s the right thing to do. I imagine most people don’t call and just don’t show up so the restaurant is left holding a table too long. I assume that’s why I’ve _always_ been thanked for it. I was surprised, however, when the person I talked to wasn’t appreciative and sarcastically said “Thanks for canceling at the super last-minute” (“super last-minute” being three hours before the 7pm reservation). I thought it was such bad form that I posted my first-ever review on Yelp about it.

This afternoon, having seen the review, the manager called me to apologize and explain that it was him I talked to and that he was having a stressful day. He was very contrite. Little things like that go a long way and I have a lot more respect for someone who can admit that they were wrong and apologize for it.

High Violet

The National’s High Violet was finally released yesterday and I bought it immediately, even though I’ve been listening to it practically non-stop streaming from the New York Times and, when that ended, from NPR. I haven’t listened to an album this repeatedly since Radiohead’s 1997 OK Computer, one of the greatest albums ever made — to this day, I still listen to a song or two from that album almost every day (they’re surprisingly good songs to run to).
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Havana's dance recital

Havana had her first dance recital tonight. She’d been going to rehearsal for a few weeks, something parents weren’t allowed in to see. After about 45 minutes, Havana made her debut.


We had to leave at intermission so Gay could drop me off at Reid’s bachelor party at his dad’s cabin on the island. There I saw some Jon, Mark, Peter and Reid’s brother who I hadn’t seen in a long time as well as Mark and Reid, of course. I was late but they saved me the biggest steak I’ve ever seen, that was perfectly-cooked.