Thursday, December 24, 2009

We wish you a Merry Christmas (2)

A Christmas card for my faithful readers, courtesy of St. Matthew-in-the-City of Auckland, New Zealand and AP News.



The true meaning of Christmas...

Happy Hols everyone,

We wish you a Merry Christmas

In the fine and upstanding Life on the Hill Christmas tradition, it is customary to post bad jokes that hail from the British Christmas Crackers that my mom buys every year. Since she told me one a few days early, I will now deliver it fresh to you:

What do you call a video game system in a Nativity Scene?
A Wii In a Manger

Don't worry, there's more where that came from.

P.S. Courtesy of XKCD, here's a much better Christmas joke.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Busy week for the Community Council

This week is going to be a busy one for the Capitol Hill Community Council: the CHCC Holiday Benefit Bash is on Tuesday (12/15) and the December General Meeting is just two days later (12/17). I will have the pleasure of attending both.

If you find your holiday schedule too tight to handle this much civic participation, I suggest the Holiday Benefit Bash: it's more laid-back, you still have the chance to find out about what's going on in the neighborhood, and there's jello shots. They are asking for a ten dollar suggested donation (i.e. we understand if you're poorer than we are), but it's a good value for live music, pizza, Rock Band with your neighbors, and the charm and wit of the officers of the Community Council :)

UPDATE: Turns out that the Holiday Benefit Bash was THE event of last Tuesday night - about 100 people came, the Council raised about $400, and everybody had a good time (and possibly a few jello shots).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

All Tomorrow's Parties: Cap Hill Holiday Hoopla

Since the Capitol Hill Community Council is one of the co-sponsors of the Capitol Hill Holiday Hoopla, I'll be there this Tuesday night at the "So You Think You Know Capitol Hill" Trivia Table (complete with lovely assistants and sugar-filled prizes).

After looking at all the RSVPs on the Hoopla Facebook page, I'm really, really happy I'll be tabling there that night - it looks to be an excellent outreach opportunity plus I don't think I'd be able to fight my way in otherwise. But what do you expect when there's an absolutely free party/food/drinks to be had on Capitol Hill?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This week in obnoxious side projects: S.T.E.A.M. Assembly at Metrix Create Space

Words are more potent when spoken to a group of creative, like-minded people. Instead of simply being idle, talk becomes action. When one speaks to steampunk types about creating a union for airship mechanics, zeppelin grease-monkeys and the like...idle talk can become extremely silly action. And hence I will be serving tea and cakes in Metrix Create Space at 3PM this Saturday afternoon to the members and supporters of the newly formed Society to Emancipate Airship Mechanics. First a Facebook group, then a blog, and now plans to agitate openly in the streets for the rights of airship workers everywhere. I'm almost afraid to ask what's next...our own cooperatively owned and fully functional airship?

{image courtesy of the ineffable Molly Friedrich}

Fare thee well, sweet Bailey Coy

I was bummed when I heard Bailey Coy Books was going to close at the end of November, but Cheesecake's video interview of Michael Wells has me sniffling. All good things must come to an end and all, but watching this interview makes it feel like closing this bookstore is kicking people out of their home.

Anyway, I'll see you at the wake.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fresh from my inbox to you: SNG Landlord Training - Nov. 17th

Seattle Neighborhood Group offers training workshops for landlords, property managers, and real estate managers! Seattle Neighborhood Group is a local non-profit organization dedicated to making our communities strong and safe places to live. We support local property managers and landlords by providing critical information on keeping properties safe and crime free.

This workshop is great for managers who want to brush up on their management skills, as well as for people who have never been landlords before.

After attending this workshop you will be able to...

• Screen applications fairly & legally
• Create excellent rental agreements
• Deal with problems before they escalate
• Identify illegal behavior, especially relating to drug activity on your property
• Avoid situations that lead to difficult evictions
• Learn about recent changes to landlord/tenant laws
• Prevent illegal activity
• Work with your residents to make your property a great place to be.

SNG's upcoming training is 8 hours, and costs $25, which includes a comprehensive Landlord Manual, and of course...snacks! (breakfast, morning, and afternoon).

The workshop will be held at the at 3515 S. Alaska on November 17th. Check-in begins at 8:00.
You must register before Nov. 17! Register online at:

Workshop presenters include:
Ron Oldham, National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials Director
Gary Kinner, SPD Narcotics Detective
Chris Benis, Attorney, director of Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound
Michael Neguse, Community Organizer, Seattle Neighborhood Group

Register online at:
More information at:
Or call Seattle Neighborhood Group at 206-323-9666

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Busy Halloween - Life on the Hill's Schedule of Events

The last one is up in the air at the moment since a friend of mine is trying to lure me to Sand Point with the promise of good company and pumpkin cheesecake. We'll see where I end up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rise Up, O Workers of the Air!

One of the side effects of a good convention are all the new projects that pop up afterward. It's just what happens when creative like-minded people gather in those numbers. I don't know about all the creative fallout after Steam-Con, but I do know about the part of it that fell on me: the Society To Emancipate Airship Mechanics. One moment I was just a simple zeppelin grease monkey enjoying my day off and then - BAM - I'm in charge of an airship workers union. I must have been extremely charming on Sunday. That and everyone must be really tired of losing extremities to unprotected propellers.

Friday, October 23, 2009

In case you missed it: Article and Video on CHCC sponsored Mayoral Candidate Forum

Last Saturday's Mayoral Candidate Forum went remarkably well, especially considering it was the Council's first venture into wrangling political candidates to be at the same place at relatively the same time. We had a good crowd (approx. 100) and good press: CHS blog sent along their intern and their videographer to cover the event. You can see Lucas the intern's article here and cheesecake's video here.

Even Localler: Ads now available on Life on the Hill from Instiads

I've been doing Google ads for awhile now, but they've been fairly unsatisfactory. As a hyperlocal blog, I want hyperlocal ads, right? Instead I get randomized selections of advertisements from the Google bin based on keywords from my latest blog posts. Luckily, they pull up a lot of Seattle stuff, but sometimes I get weird picks...I may write about the Seattle city attorney, but I'm pretty sure no one is coming to my site to find ads about Seattle lawyers.

So when Justin of Capitol Hill Seattle Blog started talking about a system that would let me sell my own ads to local businesses, I asked where to sign up. InstiAd's has a setup a lot like the ads on CHS blog - once the blog owner has an account, buyers can go to that blog's InstiAd site and make their own ads whenever they want. You can find my InstiAd account here. I can guarantee a focused audience (geek, green, Capitol Hill) for low, low prices. You know, if you're interested.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sky Pirate

I signed up for the listserve at because Nick Valentino's new steampunk novel looked interesting and they said that they were recruiting sky pirates. I thought they were just being cute until I got my enlistment papers and flight credentials:

This is fan-fuckin-tastic - I am so showing this off at Steam-Con this weekend.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Grand Opening - Metrix: Create Space

After this month's Capitol Hill Community Council meeting and a quick stop at "Dead Stay Dead" at Cafe Metropolitain (more on those later), I finally got a chance to visit Metrix: Create Space's grand opening. The quick way to describe it is Best Crafty Geek Basement Ever. It's a little bare since they're still working on decor, but they've made a good start with the art they've already got up on the walls. And anyway, it's really about the geek tools, of which they have an impressive array at decent hourly rates.

The only slightly negative thing I have to say is pretty peripheral- it would be nice if their coffee didn't come from a push button machine. That said, it's not like you can't just walk upstairs and find real espresso within spitting distance. And who knows, maybe some folks will think it gives the place some extra geeky atmosphere.

Anyway, congrats to owner Matt Westervelt, and may we see many crafty endeavors enabled by you soon.

Bioneers Free Webcasts All Weekend :)

Fresh from my email box: news of free online eco lectures courtesy of Bioneers. Last year's Bioneers Conference had really good speakers (I interviewed a few of them here and here) so it's fair to expect they'll be spot-on again this year. Not to mention, it's free and you can watch it at home in your jam-jams :D


We know that not everyone could make it out to San Rafael or to one of our 19 Beaming Bioneers sites, so we've decided to do something unprecedented this year and bring part of the conference to you.

For the first time ever, we will be offering a live webcast for free of two of our keynote speakers on each day of the conference, this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

On Friday:
· Sarah James will report from the Arctic on climate change and its impact on indigenous people.
· Michael Pollan will speak on reforming our broken industrial food system and what it means to for our health.
This webcast will begin Friday, starting at 11:30 AM PST.

On Saturday:
· Jason McLennan will talk about living buildings and the future of architecture.
· Lily Yeh will recount her experiences with the Rwanda Healing Project.
This webcast will begin this Saturday, starting at 9:00 AM PST.

On Sunday:
· Jerome Ringo will address the reality of green jobs in our re-made economy.
· Annie Leonard will help us find our way beyond the Age of Stuff.
This webcast will begin this Sunday, starting at 11:30 AM PST.

In addition, on both Friday and Saturday at 4:30 PM PST, we will be webcasting a panel and workshop on sustainable social media, in partnership with InfluenceXchange.

To view these live streaming webcasts, just go to this web address:

These amazing presentations will be live, so don't miss it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

10/17 Capitol Hill Community Council Presents: Mayoral Candidate Forum @ Seattle U

I've been so busy putting this event together that I haven't had a chance to put up a post about it. Here's the boilerplate:

Seattle Mayoral Candidate Forum

Date: Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Time: 4:30-6pm

Location: Pigott Auditorium
Albers School of Business & Economics
Seattle University

The purpose of the forum is to provide an opportunity for residents and other stakeholders on Capitol Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods to meet the candidates and learn more about them. More specifically, the Council will engage the candidates in dialogue concerning their vision for the city and how they will seek to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Seattle. We will discuss topics such as the relationship of city government to its residents & neighborhoods, city planning in regard to open space & land use, and transportation.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Crafty with something to show for it

As I've said before, I've been feeling awfully crafty lately. Behold the fruit of my labors:

Not only are they shiny, they're green too - I made 'em from upholstery remnants I found in the Value Village basement. Since I still don't know how to use a sewing machine (working on that), I've been making them by hand. My fingers are crossed that I'll have enough of them done by Steam-Con that I can make a good showing...though to be honest, I have no idea how much demand there is for these things, so maybe fewer is better.

Sign of the Times - Paramount Theater Sign Replication

I was heading up the hill from downtown about noon on Tuesday when I saw this nice lady and her homemade sign.

It turns out that she has this fun job because the old Paramount sign is being replaced. We got to talking about the process - the historic Paramount sign had been up since 1930 and was now about as sturdy as the Viaduct, so it was coming down and being replaced by a super eco-friendly down-to-the-bolt replica made of recycled aluminum and LEDs.

The work was going pretty quickly. At about eight that morning I had seen someone up at the top of the sign with an arc welder, but by afternoon

it looked like this.

I asked the nice staff lady what was going to happen with the sign. She said that they wouldn't know until it was evaluated for structural integrity, but that the most likely thing was that it would be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Much better than ending up in a landfill. I just hope the highest bidder is someplace I can visit in Seattle :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spirit of the Hill in Pictures

I got there right at six and Poppy was packed. Luckily Hong and Razz and I found a nice little table with a good view of the room.

Barefoot Wines donated the red, white and bubbly - I was fond of the champagne and the white they served, but the red was a little too tart for me.

Everyone else had roasted black cod, but I called vegetarian so I got the salad course instead. I was only a little jealous - the vinaigrette balanced nicely with the walnuts and the figs in the salad. Though I wasn't so sure how I felt about the little berries.

Chanterelle, Leek and Chard Lasagna - the slices between layers aren't noodles, but thin little slices of parmesan. I am presently drooling just remembering it.

Herb Gnudi (ricotta dumplings) with King Bolete Mushrooms - again with the salivation. This was so very rich I was not at all envious of the meat-eaters option, Lavender Crusted Duck Breast with Lavender Sauce.

I did try a little of the mushroom majoram bread pudding and the sage roasted delicata squash. Freakin' amazing.

Dark chocolate terrine with ginger, sesame and pine nut - world's fanciest brownie. Also, chocolate nirvana. I think there was some cayenne pepper in there too.

Our lovely tablemate Lisa with her raffle winnings, six bottles of wine hand-picked by the Chamber board members.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Speaking of crafty - Metrix Create:Space

Jeanine of the Capitol Hill Arts Walk tipped me off to the arrival of Metrix Create:Space on the Hill via Twitter (here's her full write-up on CHS Blog). It'll open up on Oct. 15th in the basement of 623 Broadway E., which'll make them next door neighbors to the Museum of Mysteries. I've never heard of the like of it before - it looks like the love child of an indy coffeeshop and a crafter's co-working space. They'll have all kinds of crafty tools available for use: sewing machines, soldering irons, laser cutting services and even a MakerBot. Wowzers. I feel compelled to investigate.

(picture courtesy of Metrix Create:Space wiki)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Spirit of the Hill

Oh. My. Goodness. The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce always has the best parties - everybody who's everybody was there so it was like attending a super-concentrated dose of schmooze. I'd take up a blog post and more if I wrote down all the people I ran into. But I can tell you that Leslie Lippi of B-Bam (and the Chamber VP) was at the table across from me, I was introduced to Chip Ragen of Ragen and Associates, met the head pastor of Capitol Hill Presbyterian, and chatted up the table of my alma mater, Seattle University. Among other things.

Oh yes. And then there was the food. I had heard meh reviews of Poppy before - I will pay no heed to them now. That dinner was tasty foods heaven. I will have rants and raves of it soon, along with pictures, once I have enough perspective to be able to put words to the experience.

Congrats to Michael Wells of Bailey Coy Books and Chip Ragen for receiving the first ever Spirit of the Hill awards. I didn't get a good look at the trophies, but I heard them described as "flaming crystal"...which is a remarkably appropriate representation for the spirit of our neighborhood.

That said, a first event of any kind is not without its problems. While Jerry Traunfeld is an excellent chef, he wasn't the best keynote speaker. I also heard that some people were asked to give up their tickets, though I have no idea why ... I certainly hope they get their money back. And maybe their own private wine tasting party or something. Because that was quite an event to be asked to miss.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Feeling crafty

Since it's now autumn and Steam-Con will soon be upon us, I've been feeling exceptionally crafty of late. The problem is, as always, I don't have any money but I really want to go out and buy supplies. What is an impoverished crafter to do? Get salvagepunk and hit the bargain bins.

My favorite Hill stop in the autumn and winter is the Value Village basement. They're open late and they price all their stock to move cuz they're constantly getting new stuff in. Also, since garage sale season is over, if somebody's moving and wants to get rid of all their extra crap, a quick stop to drop things off at Value Village is the best way to do it.

Second favorite is the Capitol Hill Trading Post on 12th. They're prices are a little higher, but they have the neat vintage shtuff that is essential when putting together steampunk contraptions. The only real problem I have with the place is that they're hours aren't too extensive, which makes spur of the moment shopping a little difficult.

I'll be honest - you need to have a practiced eye, adequate self-control, and a willingness to sort through lots and lots of crap. But it's totally worth it when you figure out that all that lovely cloth you found as fabric samples turns out to cost all of $2 a yard.

I Heart (Affordable) Massage - Introducing Casey Shea

I am a huge fan of massage, but it has sadly gone on the list of "things that the recession won't let me do anymore". So when I was heading out of 8 Limbs Yoga on Pike and I saw a massage chair with a "free chair massage" sign next to it, I was hooked. When I got a massage, my next thought after :D was "Hello, new best friend!"

The kind and generous soul giving away massages was Casey Shea, a long-time masseuse who's recently started practicing at 8 Limbs (they have a massage room, who knew?). Since she's new to doing business in the neighborhood, she's been doing free chair massages as a way to drum up business. Best. Advertising. Ever.

Not only is Casey good at what she does, but she's got really reasonable prices too: $55/60 min., $70/75, and $15 off your first massage. For now, Casey's just working at 8 Limbs on Fridays from 2-8pm. You can get ahold of her at caseyshea(at) or at 360-820-2279 and 360-671-4489. Here's to massages that poor Hill kids can afford.

10/3 - Co-op Conference and Groundbreaking for 16th & Howell Park

I got their letter in the mail awhile ago, but Capitol Hill Seattle blog was also kind enough to remind me that Madison Market is holding a Co-Op conference this Saturday at Richard Hugo House (you can see the schedule here). It's $30 for the day, but Mad Market being the kind hearted folks that they are, scholarship and work-trade opportunities are also available.

If you're thinking about running your own business or community concern someday, I would recommend attending the SLICE conference. A co-operative is a good model to work with, and even if you don't decide to go that route, there are plenty of things from this model that apply to others: financial planning, figuring out what the community wants, how to lead effectively, etc., etc.

= = = = =

They beat John and Summit to it by a long shot - 16th and Howell Park is having their groundbreaking ceremony this Saturday from 4-5pm in the parking lot that will become the park. There will be a poetry reading and community members are encouraged to bring a favorite line from a poem or play to add to the community poetry tree (communi-tree?). This all sounds lovely as long as the weather doesn't get too soggy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

No HUMP for you >:(

Gay Cap Hill just reminded me that HUMP 5 is next weekend....and that I can't go because I'm flying home for a friend's wedding at noon on Friday. Please, The Stranger, add a Thursday showing! Maybe Sunday night?

For all of you staying in town from October 9 - 10 who haven't yet gotten their tickets to everyone's favorite amateur porn film festival , it's your lucky day - The Stranger just added two matinee showings on Friday because all the other ones sold out. Act now or forever hold your...hump?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday at ROW Garden

More pictures of everyone's favorite Capitol Hill gardening collective.

Getting ready for fall.

The vegetables of our labor :)

The gardeners victorious - myself and our fearless leader, Kristin.

Seattle AIDS Walk with the Sisters of the Mother House

When I signed up for the Seattle AIDS Walk with the Gothic Pride Seattle team, I did it because Dizzy (now a Rep. of the Capitol Hill Community Council :D) would be there and it's always fun to go on a promenade decked out in my gothic finest. I did not know I was also going to have the company of these fine ladies:

Meet the Sisters of the Mother House of Washington, the founding and recently resurrected charitable drag nun sisterhood of Seattle. Sister Angela Merici (flying nun hat with blue boa, novice sister on the lower right) was the organizer of the Gothic Pride Seattle team and also a gracious answerer of questions about the Sisters of the Mother House.

The park was just full of people. It would've made finding the team interesting, except that I was walking with towering drag nuns.

McGinn sighting! Seriously, this guy is everywhere.

No event with the Sisters is complete without lots and lots of photo ops. The nice man on the left without the flying nun hat is Ambrosio de Membro Sancto (heh heh), a guard of the Sisters of the Mother House. He's there expressly to make sure that the Sisters get where they're supposed to be on time and don't get completely sidetracked by said photo ops.

On the road with the Gothic Pride Seattle team.

We arrive at Harem for a welcome cup of Turkish coffee and are greeted by Dizzy in his....festive...hat....

M. Theresa Nervina of the Mother House of Washington and Sr. Dorothy Faith of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence of the Abbey of St. Joan.

The Mother and a possible future Sister of the Mother House.

The organizer of the Gothic Pride Seattle team, Sr. Angela Merici, plus admirers.

And of course I had to have a picture with the Mother of the Mother House, M. Theresa Nervina. I'm happy to announce that there will be more opportunities for photo ops soon - the Sisters of the Mother House will be accompanying the Capitol Hill Community Council's Halloween Walk. I'm delighted - what better way is there to start Halloween on Capitol Hill than going door to door for candy on Broadway with a charitable sisterhood of drag nuns?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last Minute Plans: Seattle AIDS Walk

I just heard about this Saturday's Seattle AIDS Walk earlier this week. Just today I found out that the Gothic Seattle Pageant has a team in the walk. So of course I had to sign up with them. If you want to help me contribute some last minute money to charity, you can donate here.

Haunted by Street Art

I found these little buddies on my street just this week. They're all along Boylston and Olive. Thanks artsy neighbor!