Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolution: Real Change

Last time I checked, Real Change was still working toward it's big winter fundraising goal of $150K (so...familiar...). Real Change's goals of creating a more humane Seattle, creating more low-income housing, having enough shelters for everyone who's still stuck on the street and so forth are great.

Do you know what I like even better?

Their newspaper.

They write good articles. They cover super-local social justice issues that in other papers are covered briefly, not covered at all, or buried on a back page. And they hire the people they're trying to help to sell the paper.

Therefore, my first New Year's resolution is to keep them in business. Want to help?

In the two weeks before Christmas

It was no one's fault it snowed, and the City can't be expected to be fully prepared for such a ridiculous (1861!) meteorological event. But Mayor Nickels did do a fairly wretched job of dealing with Snowmegeddon...and then proceeded to give himself a passing grade on his handling of the situation.

I think it's time for some satire.

Below is a poem that was posted up in the Seattle PI blog: it showed up in Councilmember Rasmussen's office, no author named.

Twas the night before Christmas, and next to the Sound, not a creature was stirring for all were snowbound.
Greyhound buses quit running, no matter the fare, and mailmen and garbagemen said they just couldn't get there!
The children were sliding Queen Anne Hill on their sleds.
While roofs were collapsing on old peoples' heads.
And Mama in her boots and I in my cap, were stuck in the snow and ice and such crap.
When at the Home Depot there arose such a clatter, I trudged from my car to see what was the matter.
A group of sad souls were waving their cash. They couldn't buy shovels, they sold in a flash!
Tires were spinning and just wouldn't go, and chains lay broken in the dirty old snow.
Then, what to my surprise did my eyes look over and see?
Eight representatives of SDOT,
With a politician so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it was Mayor "Salt Nick."
More rapid than gun bans, his excuses they came, "To save our environment the roads stay the same!"
On Broadway! On Boren! On Yesler and Denny! To clear off these roads would cost such a penny!
Sliding down Thomas and onto a wall.
The buses hung over I-5, ready to fall.
Still, he insisted it wasn't his fault, as the world's greenest mayor he wouldn't use salt.
That stuff's corrosive, could hurt the fish.
But Puget Sound is salt water, you ignorant kish! So snowy Seattle continued to stew, but Mayor "Salt Nick" just hadn't a clue.
While I stood there astonished, on nearby TV sets, I saw the airport was packed, no de-icer for jets.
Since others could get down the roads to the ferry, the city decided to close Denny and Cherry.
An accident closed the I-90 bridge.
And people couldn't drive down Phinney Ridge.
Shovels, and salt had just flown off the shelf. And I laughed when I heard Mayor "Salt Nick", in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, he tried to convey we had nothing to dread.
Then thumbing his nose at his citizens' plight, he turned to the crowd and exclaimed, "We've done alright."
And then to his SUV refusing to yield, he left to get solar panels installed on Qwest Field.
But I heard him exclaim, as he skidded past me, "Happy Christmas to all. Heck, I give myself a 'B.'"


The ice age we just braved was the longest period of freezing temperatures and snow in Seattle since 1861. Holy crap.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holly Jolly Christmas

For Life on the Hill's special Christmas post, I've decided that I'll share a little family tradition: really terrible jokes. Every year my mom brings Christmas crackers to Christmas dinner. The little paper hats and prizes are fairly amusing, and pulling the crackers open to make a loud noise is fun. Dry British humor paired with really dumb jokes: priceless.

Q: Why didn't the skeleton go to the Christmas party?
A: Because he had no body to go with.

Q: What do you need to know to be an auctioneer?
A: Lots.

Q: What do you get if you cross a detective with a skeleton?
A: Sherlock Bones

Monday, December 22, 2008

Escape from Seattle

I can't believe it. I caught a flight out of SeaTac this morning. I kid you not.

Mind you, I had to heff my butt down to the bus tunnel with all my baggage because no taxi driver in their right mind was out on the road. Metro drivers, on the other hand, are fuckin' hardcore.

I only had to wait an extra hour for the flight. I swear I got out on one of exactly three flights that left the city today. I was sitting next to two different families who had been stranded at the airport for three days. One woman was in tears because she finally got a chance to go home.

There was jubilation when we took off. There was an ovation when we landed.

My mom got the best Christmas present ever.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pictures of the Snowpocalypse

Around the Hill at 2am with Blogazar

Flickr: Snow Seattle, December 20, 2008

Flickr: Snow Seattle, December 21, 2008

Snowpocalypse 3: Bring it!

I braved the new ice age and headed with my roommate over to The Mercury, the best little goth club in Seattle. Tonight was the night to go. Not only was it "Snowpocalypse 3: Bring it!", Santarchy came to visit. A dozen goths + a dozen Santas + 80s and industrial music = priceless.

{Pictures forthcoming}

PS I've been rickrolled many a time, but I have never before been buttrolled. Until tonight.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

CHS Giving Snowball to the Park

I appreciate that the CHS Giving Snowball 2008 was awarded to the park-to-be at John & Summit/P-Patch Trust for two reasons:

1) When you're raising $150,000, every dollar donated counts.

2) I got to write the title of this blog post.


Camera One

Camera Two

I am so happy nobody got hurt when this happened on Friday, especially since at least one of the buses was full of students. How Thomas St. looked like the way to go, I will never understand.

Public Service Announcement

The full version, courtesy of King County and SeaDevi.

The short version, courtesy of hillku.

The names for all this just kill me. The most serious-sounding one is Hanukkah Eve Storm III. Then there's Cap Hill Snow Deathwatch 2008. I prefer "The Snowpocalypse", or even better..."Snowmegeddon".

This is even better than when the news stations freak out in Southern California when it rains. I mean, they have special music and "Storm Watch (present year here)", but nobody gets to stay home and there isn't any weather-induced camaraderie. Also, no sledding.

Kidding aside, stay close to home tonight. I just got in from walking across the Hill - still passable, but it's supposed to get nasty later. It could just be meteorologists having panic attacks, but I prefer to be on the safe side.

{Snowmedgeddon...hee hee hee}

Woohoo, I'm famous :D

Guess who got posted on WorldChanging Seattle again?

The 7 penny snowman

Where there's a will there's a way - as I was heading out for lunch Thursday the folks at EHS Design were putting the finishing touches on the 7 penny snowman. This is the first decent-sized snow person I've seen so far and he was downtown of all places. I figured I should share the niftiness.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Solstice Sunday

The longest night of the year is almost upon us. Since it falls on a Sunday, and there's SNOW, I plan on celebrating. Since I can't have a discreet bonfire and drum circle anywhere closer than Alki, I figured I should look up some parties closer to home.

Shop local - celebrate with the 1300 block of Pine St., 12/21 from 4-7pm
  • Bootyland, The Copper Vine & Whimsy invite you to join them for a Solstice evening of cider, cookies & great deals on last minute gifts:
    + Buy 2, Get 1 Free on Holiday Items at Whimsy
    + 10% off Gifts at Bootyland (Offer Valid WITH Other Coupons)
    + 20% off Any Item Purchased as a gift at The Copper Vine.
  • My favorite part (besides the cider) - For each customer that mentions Unpaving Paradise when making a purchase, The Copper Vine will donate $5 to the park-to-be at John and Summit!
Yule - Public Yule ceremony at Edge of the Circle Books, 12/21 at 7pm
Fiery drama - Winter Solstice Fire Festival at Seattle Center, 12/20 & 21 from 4-9pm
  • To quote the website:
The spectacle begins at 4pm with a performance recognizing the Winter Solstice. Orbis and Solaris create a dynamic outdoor performing art installation that weaves together words, movement, music, fire performances and large luminaries to transform the Seattle Center International Fountain into a stunning celestial wonder.

There are all the events that I know about. If my faithful readers know of any other nifty solstice celebrations, tell me in the comments so I can post it up.

If you didn't get a chance to go sledding...

I was lucky enough to run into some friendly neighbors with toboggans on Little Olive. (Thanks guys! You made my snow day!) However, I realize not everyone got that chance. Now you can, at least virtually - ride along with jseattle as he risks life and limb riding down the Aloha sledding run.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thundersnow Day

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
Thanks to jseattle for this photo of Aloha as an idyllic sled run.

For more pretty, pretty Thundersnow pics, head on over to CHS blog.

Help, I'm trapped in a giant snowglobe

The view from the 10th floor of the One Union Square Building is crazy. Snow is flying in all directions as far as the eye can see. If we have an earthquake, I will know we are trapped in a giant snowglobe. Wait...there was thunder last night....SNOWGLOBE!

CHCC Holiday Potluck - Snow Cancellation

Sadly, the Capitol Hill Community Council Holiday Potluck will not be tonight because Parks's is keeping certain facilities (like the Cal Anderson Shelterhouse) closed due to snow. It looks like it will be rescheduled to January 8th, same bat time, same

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What you should do tomorrow

  1. Play in the snow!
  2. Go to Vino Verite's free wine tasting - it starts at six. Have a glass of wine and then...
  3. Run over to the Capitol Hill Community Council's delicious holiday potluck! It's from 7-9pm at the Cal Anderson Shelterhouse. There will be tasty cider, a little gas fireplace all aglow, and the friendly and informative Capitol Hill Community Council.
    Because I'm sure someone will ask: The Shelterhouse is the cute little bungalow right across from the bathrooms, right next to the brightly lit soccer field. The closest street is 10th.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Again with the Viaduct

The Times and the PI have written about it, WorldChanging Seattle has written about, hell, I've even written about it. But time to decide what we're going to do about the Alaskan Way Viaduct, so I will sit down to my keyboard once more.

The surface/transit option may not be shiny, Frank Chopp and Christine Gregoire and Greg Nickels may not be fond of it, but it's effective, relatively inexpensive, and sustainable. It's also quicker to build and we'll get our waterfront back when the project's done.

This post is a little late, considering that the viaduct project team's public meeting was last night at Town Hall. However, we can still all make Cary Moon and Julie Parrett's day by writing to Ron Sims, Christine Gregoire, and Greg Nickels and telling them how important it is that they endorse the surface/transit option to replace the Viaduct. The People's Waterfront Coalition's form letter as well as the contact info of the aforementioned public officials is below. If you want more resources, just click around this post.

PS If you completely disagree with my opinions on the matter, you should write to Gregoire and Sims and Nickels too. If you think the surface/transit idea is crap, write to your public representatives! The most important thing is that the people who make this decision hear from those who will be most affected.


Dear Governor Gregoire, County Executive Sims, and Mayor Nickels,

As you prepare to select a preferred alternative for viaduct replacement, I am taking this opportunity to express my views.

I believe the surface / transit / I-5 option is the best choice for future Seattle for three reasons.
1. Transportation experts at the three Departments of Transportation have concluded that surface / transit / I-5 will effectively move people and freight where they need to go, both locally and regionally.
2. Surface / transit / I-5 is the least cost approach, important in these tough economic times.
3. Surface / transit / I-5 provides the greatest long-term benefits to our community, economy, and environment. Reconnecting Seattle to the water, providing new public space downtown, improving transit and regional mobility, and creating new opportunities for economic development together can create a prosperous future Seattle less dependent on cars.

It would be a terrible shame to waste this opportunity by erecting a barrier between Seattle and the water for another 100 years.

It is time to head in a new direction with transportation investments. We need a solution that is pragmatic from an economic standpoint, responsible from an environmental standpoint, and constructive of the future city we want Seattle to become. This will be the legacy you leave to future generations. Please select the surface / transit/ I-5 option.

Thank you for your leadership on this difficult and important decision.

Contact Information

Mayor Greg Nickels
600 4th Ave, 7th floor
PO Box 94749
Seattle, WA 98124

King County Executive Ron Sims
701 5th Ave Ste 3210
Seattle, WA 98104

Governor Christine Gregoire
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504

Geek of the Week: Raspberries

I've always wondered why making farting noises was called "blowing raspberries". Now I know, thanks to my wonderful boyfriend and the glory that is Wikipedia.

The term originated in Cockney rhyming slang; terms are derived from taking an expression which rhymes with a word and using the first word of that expression to replace the original word. Example: When entering a dangerous area, watch out for barney. Barney comes from Barney Rubble, which rhymes with trouble - watch out for trouble.

So where did "raspberry" come from? Raspberry comes from raspberry tarts, which rhymes guessed it, farts.

22 Doors: Lemon Conjunction

I found out about 22 Doors upcoming all-staff art show when me and the housemates were up there for brunch this Sunday

(We braved ice and snow for their delicious breakfast foods!)

Our waitperson, Mandy, just happens to be the 22 Doors curator so she could tell us all about the amazingness that is Lemon Conjunction. Apparently, "the whole staff is pretty artistic in some way" (Mandy is a painter and printmaker herself), so it just made sense to put together a show of their work.

Lemon Conjunction
22 Doors Presents: Our Staff Show
Showing 12/15/08 - 1/15/09

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 6-9pm

Art by:

Trivia Question: What does Lemon Conjunction mean?

Answer: Nothing. Mandy said she was having trouble getting her colleagues to come up with a theme, so she asked two people to give her a word each.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More weekend fun

Two events are coming up this weekend that I really want to attend: Rainbow Natural Remedies' tasty snacks workshop and a lecture at Edge of the Circle Book on the historical use of runes. (Rainbow's workshop is actually called "Herbal Holiday Balls", but I like my title better.)

Rainbow's snack class is this Saturday from 1-3pm and is absolutely free. "Rune-Magic in the Eddas and the Sagas" is on Sunday from 1-4pm and is $5 at the door - email irisgately(at) to reserve a spot.

CHS Giving Snowball 2008

Jseattle of CHS fame just started a community collaboration fundraiser. Throw in some money by clicking on the widget (which takes you to paypal), then make a comment on the thread to vote on where the money goes. Nonprofit with the most votes gets the money. I have no money, but I still managed to donate twenty-five bucks. If I can do it, you can do it. Get clicking - the fundraising ends on Dec. 19th.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Capitol Hill Light Rail Station Construction Update Meeting

Nifty things learned from the CHLRSCUM:
  • There will be surface activity on the site 24/7 to support tunnel construction. 40-60 workers will be on site during any given shift. Pro: The site will be continuously occupied, eliminating the public safety issue of a nocturnally abandoned jobsite. Con: Noise issues at night. Sound Transit said they'd limit the use of vehicles during night shifts, but they haven't come up with a detailed noise abatement plan yet.
  • Where will all the construction workers park? ST says they have a potential parking site on First Hill, and the workers will be shuttled to work from there.

  • Demolition will start in January 2009. Tunneling and excavation will take place from January 2010 until December 2012. During tunneling and excavation, Denny and parts of Nagle will be closed to traffic. Sidewalks will remain open except for a few short term closures.

  • One side effect of the tunneling and excavation activity are the large empty trucks coming to the site and large dirt filled trucks leaving the site. They will be coming up Olive and down Denny ever few minutes for three years. Pedestrian safety issues (the need for more crosswalks on Denny and Olive) were noted, but have not been resolved. I'm still waiting for a reply back from the SDOT's bike and pedestrian group on the matter - last time I checked they were still doing research.

  • Sound Transit says that the project's financing is secure. Apparently, the only side effect they will see from the bad economy is more competitive bidding from contractors.

  • Someone besides me brought up the issue of tree removal on the light rail station site. ST confirmed that 73 trees are to be removed from the site in the course of demolition. NRC Environmental, ST's demolition contractor for the project, is working with Big Trees, Inc. to identify and remove trees that can be relocated to new homes. Since trees will be evaluated when the demolition contractor needs to work around them, ST doesn't presently have any information about the number of trees that will be salvaged. Stay tuned for updates.

Sidenote: I got interviewed by KUOW about the community's response to tree removal and construction-related pedestrian safety issues. Super awesome!

A festive evening

Last night's 12th Ave holiday walk was the most fun and effective marketing campaign I have ever participated in. I had a great time and now I want to hang out on 12th more often. Thanks to whoever thought it up and put in the time to make a really nice event.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hollow Earth Radio

Wowzers. These people are great. They literally record their radio shows in the basement of someone's house in Ballard.

From the DIY lookin' pamphlet I found in the literature stand at Kaladi Coffee/Gay City:
HOLLOW EARTH RADIO is the Pacific Northwest's freeform online radio station that provides a forum for underrepresented music, sounds, and perspectives. When you "tune in" to H.E.R. online, you can listen to a slew of local artists, new and old music usually ignored by other media, live recordings of house shows you may attended, interviews of favorite and unknown artists where earnest questions are asked, mountains of found sound and field recordings, and a lot more you never thought you'd hear on a radio broadcast.
They are not fuckin' kidding. This thing is crazy and aurally addictive.

Attn: Frank Chopp

Dear Frank Chopp:

Viaduct Update: Surface/Transit is Cheaper

Please listen to us. It's the people of Seattle: you know, the ones who live right next to the Alaskan Way Viaduct. We want a surface option to replace the Viaduct. It will support the traffic flow we need it to support, it will shorten the period of time that downtown Seattle is a giant traffic snarl, and it will be cheaper.

Our economy is in a shambles and we needed rebuild the Viaduct ten years ago. We can't afford to wait, but we'll hardly be able to afford to build the replacement. Do you realize how important it is that there's a viable option for the viaduct that hugely less expensive than the others? Do you realize how much we'll need those hundreds of millions of dollars for other important city and state services, like public transportation, education, housing aid, parks, public libraries, and infrastructure maintenance?

So, please, work with us on this one. We know how important giant freeway malls are to you, but now is not the time and our waterfront is not the place.

Go Local!

Don't forget - tomorrow (today?) is the last day of Seattle City Stimulus. There are a lot of really good sales, so if you haven't yet finished your Christmas shopping (like me), now's your chance.

22 Doors

My boyfriend and I recently found ourselves a new favorite breakfast spot on the Hill. 22 Doors has been up on 15th Ave for a few years now, but I'd never been in since I tend to stay closer to home for bar food and brunch. Last Saturday my sweetie pie and I found ourselves wandering around in search of breakfast food - our first choice only did brunch on Sundays and the Coastal Kitchen was packed to the gills, as usual. 22 Doors was a block away, had tasty looking foods, and lo and behold - there were open tables.

We went back again this weekend because it was so good and so not crowded. Collectively, my significant other and I have had the cowboy beans, mushroom omelet, breakfast sandwich and the cheesy biscuit. All of them were great except for the breakfast sandwich, which was only so-so. Do you know which one was the best? The cheesy biscuit. I kid you not. I was expecting Velveeta with a name like that, but the creamy cheddar sauce is amazing and made with real cheddar.

The coffee is good, the wait people are quick and friendly, and the atmosphere is hip yet inviting. They even have a lovely open air courtyard for the summer and a little gas fireplace for the rest of the year.

The coolest thing about the decor is that a lot of it is salvaged. Their weirdly retro chandeliers are from a Red Lion Hotel and the booths are from a Chinese restaurant (nobody seemed to know which one). The bar is made up of the 22 doors the place is named after. They're all mahogany, and they came from one of the redecorations of the Camlin. It's irritating to think some dumbass would want to get rid of amazing doors like that, but I'm happy they found such a good home.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Straight from the horse's mouth

I can't believe its already December. Sparkly lights season is upon us, and Christmas and New Year's are just around the corner. Among the plethora of community events the holidays bring is the Sound Transit Construction Preparation Meeting for the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station. Not terribly festive, but since construction on the Cap Hill Light Rail Station will be going on for years, I figure it's best to be prepared. The meeting's next Wednesday, December 3rd from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Seattle Central, Room 1110. If you don't make it, don't worry too much: this meeting is the first of many.

Speaking of demolition on the station site - turns out that Sound Transit's demolition contractor is looking into salvaging trees on the light rail station site all by itself. The contractor is working with Big Trees Inc. to evaluate the trees on the site and see if any are good candidates for moving to a new home. It looks like Big Trees only takes trees that are up to 30ft. tall, so that still means plenty of wood will be coming out of that site. Benches for John and Summit anyone?

Info meetings, tree salvages - next, signalized crosswalks on Olive and Denny? The bike and pedestrian arm of SDOT is still looking into it, so...maybe sometime next year. Hopefully before all those giant construction trucks show up.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Straight from the bulletin boards

The event-a-thon continues...well, actually begins this Saturday. For some reason December 6th is just jam-packed with holidays festivities. Here's the best from the posters and fliers:

The bulletin board bonanza starts out with the Holiday Health Fair at the Union Center for Healing (2100 E Union) from 11am - 4pm.

Why you should go: The Union Center for Healing is all cool and alternative and holistic, and I think they'll also be giving away free herbal tea.

South Park Arts is having the 'Art for Under $100' sale from 4-10pm down at the Old Fire House (8201 10th Ave S).

Why you should go: Affordable original art, tasty foods, and two art raffles an hour. Also, local gift shopping just in time for the holidays.

The Annie Bonny (the best little vintage store on Olive) is hosting the 'Bald Man Show' opening reception from 6-9pm.

Why you should go: Now we will finally get to meet the man who has been putting these funny little stickers up all over town.

And so begins the holiday event marathon...

I usually try to avoid most of the holiday event-a-thon, but the 12th Ave. festivities as well as the Seattle City Stimulus are all about supporting small local businesses, so I think I'll end up attending both.