Friday, January 30, 2009

What Earthquake?

This earthquake.

Did it wake any of you guys up? I slept right through it.


I can't believe I found this candy. Marketed for Valentine's Day, of all things. What were the marketing people at Lotte thinking? "Hey, nothing says love like a high school student trying to put their fingers in your butt! Right?" Well, this is Seattle...

My guess is that they never read Gaijin Smash, so they have no idea how funny this is. I have to thank them for that - it made my day.

Special Bonus Feature: Kancho Demonstration Video by Naruto

P.S. Why? Why is it so cute?! Is this candy a diabolical scheme by Japanese high school students to deceive Americans into thinking a kancho is a delicious chocolate-filled cookie snack? Can you imagine the horror and betrayal some naive young teacher would feel when they learned the (painful) truth!?

P.P.S. "Would you like a kancho, sensei?" THE HORROR!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The things I learn from watching too many video games

My boyfriend's been playing a lot of Persona 4...watching the main character's little cartoon life is addicting.

There are little pop quizzes that come up as part of the game and they're surprisingly difficult. I've learned all kinds of interesting things from having to Google up the answers to about half the questions. My favoritest random fact so far:
Dawn, or astronomical dawn, is defined as "that time at which there is enough light for objects to be distiguishable and that outdoor activities can commence." Nautical dawn is defined as "that time at which there is just enough sunlight for objects to be distiguishable." (Thanks to the NOAA office in Peachtree, GA for the answer on that one.)
The things we have definitions for. It makes me happy.

Things I saw on The Slog

A roundup's roundup.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

National Endowment for the Newspapers

I picked this up off of WorldChanging Seattle, though it's originally from The Common Language Project - Fourth Estate Foreclosure: Why we need a National Endowment for Journalism.

All I've been hearing about is how the internet killed the newspaper star. It's true that the inter-tubes are fierce competition in the realm of information delivery. However, while it's easy for bloggers to get the advantage on local issues, it's not as if they have the money to pay for investigative or international journalism. And for some reason, that's what always gets cut first... by, as Mr. Stonehill points out, the newspaper's parent corporation board of directors. Ah, sound business sense at it's finest.

Who knows? Maybe President Obama [:D] will find a little money left over to bolster one of the cornerstones of a modern democracy: high-quality journalism.

On the Cheap Green Edition

Every so often, The Environmental Outreach and Stewardship (EOS) Alliance hosts free workshops and brownbags on green topics and issues. The next one is on Solar Power in the Northwest (subtitle: yes, we do technically get sunlight here). The workshops are worth attending, and the EOS Alliance offices aren't very far from the tasty, tasty foods of Georgetown.


Red Dwarf's back on TV! Ok, only for a wrap-up two-part special, but still, Holy Crap!

I heart discounts

The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is now offering "member-to-member" discounts, allowing businesses that are members of the Chamber to offer discounts to other members. No news on who's offering what, but it should be up on the Chamber's website soon.

P.S. Non-business owners (like myself) can be members of the Chamber of Commerce, too. $75 means free entrance to their events, email updates, and now, discounts at local businesses.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Lunar New Year :)

One of my favorite benefits of living in a multicultural environment: more holidays (It's right behind the expansion of one's cultural horizons and new kinds of tasty food). If you haven't celebrated the Lunar New Year yet, now's your chance. Maybe I'll see you there.

Sun Liquor

It's terrible, but it's true: I have never, ever been inside Sun Liquor. There's no excuse; it's right down the street from me, next to my favoritest donut shop in the whole wide world. I've walked past it many a time, thinking to myself how it looks like a nice place to have a drink. But did I ever stop in to help support this friendly neighborhood business? Nope.

Ganymeda made the place sound so nice I had to write this post to absolve myself of the guilt of never having been there myself. It might even convince me to get my butt over there later this week.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Huggin' Trees

Spent the morning at Earthcorps' Interlaken restoration. Tearing up English ivy and putting down mulch is very satisfying, especially with several dozen other volunteers doing it at the same time. We covered so much ground!

The fruits of our labor:



Huggin' trees one restoration site at a time :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

At the corner of

I saw this weeks ago, but only managed to get a cell phone picture of it. Now there is picture plus poem courtesy of hillku.

I was there

I promise I'll post all the pictures I took. Really I will. But after dancing up and down Pike/Pine and then attending the Mercury's Inauguration Ball, I was done for the night.

For now, a video of the proceedings courtesy of yelahneb and CHS blog:

inauguration day victory march from yelahneb on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Seattle: Wow

I was planning to go to this anyway, assuming I could find it. Now that I have the specifics, I can tell you all to go too. Vamola is going to have a samba street party on the Pike/Pine corridor near Broadway. And you're invited.

Am I tired? Yes. Do I have other things to do tonight? Yes. Am I going to this Obama-flavored Cap Hill samba-fest anyway? Oh hells yes.

Inauguration Seattle

Jseattle is roaming the Hill visiting inauguration parties and posting to his Obama Inauguration Thread. A bunch of other Hill folks are posting their inaugural comments there too.

Both King 5 and the Seattle Times have bloggers in DC: I couldn't find a good link to King 5's blogonaut, but here's where you can find the ST bloggers.

Inauguration Fun

I got up ridiculously early so I could hit the Paramount's Inauguration Day Party before I went to work. I ended up at the theater at a quarter after seven, figuring that since there were so many parties planned and the Paramount was so big that I would be able to walk right in. Nuh-uh. The line went up Pine, turned down Boren, and then went down Pike for half a block. Holy crap.

I ran into a friend of mine while I was making my way up the line (Bless you, Schteevie!), so I did get to see some of the action on the big screen before I had to put in my punchcard. There was still room on the inside, but it was getting full fast.
And man, was that an enthusiastic crowd. Every time Obama's likeness or name showed up on the screen, there was cheering. Heck, there was cheering when we could see his silhouette right before he came out to the limo to make his way to the Inauguratoin Stage. When Cheney came out of the White House to the limo, there was booing...lots of booing. I think he got booed more than Bush did.

That's what I got to stay to see. At work, we tried to get a live feed so we could show it on a project in our conference room, but that was a no-go. Cuz, you know, everyone and their second cousin was online watching this thing. We finally did get a feed on someone's computer, so I got to see the swearing-in live, then we listened to his speech on the radio. It was so cute when he couldn't remember what to repeat back to the swearing-in guy!

I was so excited that I didn't really hear half of Obama's speech. I'll just have to be a fangirl and listen to the whole thing over again once I get home tonight.


Happy Obama Day!

And your 44th President is....{drumroll}


Yay! He made it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On the Cheap Part II

When I was writing the first "On the Cheap" post, I completely forgot about all the workshops that the Department of Neighborhoods is putting on this winter. They're all held at Seattle Central Community College (1701 Broadway) in Room 3211 -RSVP Wendy Watson (wendy dot watson at seattle dot gov) if you'd like to attend. The workshops are free and super useful, so reserve your spot before they're all gone

  • Shaking the Money Tree (Tonight!)
    The ABC’s of Grassroots Fund Raising
    Learn basic principles of how grassroots organizations can raise money from individuals.
    Wednesday, January 14 6:30–8:30 pm

  • People Power - Community Empowerment & Organizing
    Learn how communities can empower and organize themselves to take collective action!
    Wednesday, January 28 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Technology 101 A Building Community, One Website or Blog at a Time!
    Learn to increase your community’s resources & flow of information through a website or blog.
    Wednesday, February 11 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Sharing Our Gifts & Assets - A Model for Community Change
    Share personal & community stories about challenges & opportunities for involvement to improve your community.
    Wednesday, February 25 6:30–8:30 pm

The Dept. of Neighborhoods is also hosting one more Large Projects Fund (aka Neighborhood Matching Fund) Technical Assistance Workshop on January 22nd from 6-7:30pm at Yesler Community Center (917 E Yesler Way). This is an essential class if you, like me, are going to be involved in the Neighborhood Matching Fund application process any time soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On the cheap

I'm a big believer in a cheap good time. Seeing that we're in a recession and all, I thought I'd share some of my finds in the hope that everyone can save some money and maybe even keep some local establishments in business.
  1. Twice Sold Tales Winter Happy Hour (Harvard and Denny)- Used bookstores are always good times when you have no money - they let you sit around and read forever, and you might just be able to afford the book you got so interested in. Now add cats and a 25% off all books for the last two hours Twice Sold is open (6-8pm Sunday through Thursday, 8-10pm Friday & Saturday). Delightful.

  2. Central Basics Program at Madison Market (Madison and 16th) - After getting a lot of feedback from its members, Madison Market decided to start Central Basics: starting this month, the co-op will regularly rotate deeply discounted organic food staples. The only catch is that you need to be a member of the co-op to take advantage of the discount. Considering that lifetime membership is $60, you can pay as you go along in $5 increments, and I just got 89 cent organic beans today, I think it's worth it to sign up.

  3. Meditation Satsang @ 8 Limbs Yoga (Summit and Pike) - Every Thursday from 8:30 - 9:30pm. From the website:"Satsang means a gathering of people seeking "sat", truth. Join Natasha for meditation, chanting, and lots of bhakti, devotion." Meditation is good for you, learning more about meditation is good for you, meeting nice mellow new people is good for you. Also, it's free.

  4. The International District - The contrast between Cap Hill, Downtown and the ID is much sharper than between, say, Ballard, Fremont and Wallingford. This means I can get away from the Hill and Downtown (where I spend all my time) without even having to take a bus. Also, cheap food all around - restaurants, produce, you name it. (Kinokuniya doesn't count.) I recommend the Green Leaf on Maynard, Hong Kong Homestyle Barbecue on King, and all the indy markets on Jackson.

  5. Volunteer Park Conservatory (Volunteer Park) - It's a very, very nice place to visit on a Seattle winter's day. The conservatory is nice and warm, it's full of lush plants, and now there's even a sound sculpture installed in one of the rooms that sounds like wind chimes.

  6. Seattle Free School (all over Seattle)- Community members learn new skills and teach others new skills, and money never changes hands. Learn how to keep bees! Learn how to keep chickens! Learn how to keep a straight face while improvising!
  7. Williams-Sonoma Complimentary Cooking Classes (U Village and Pacific Place locations) - I stopped by the U Village store during the Snowpocalypse and picked up a flyer listing all kinds of technique and cooking classes that are coming up in January and February. A few examples: Braising Basics, Simple Desserts, Breakfast Essentials, Fabulous Flavors of Slow Cooking. Nom? Nom. Call the location you want to go to in order to RSVP - tiny free classes fill up fast.

Almost forgot

I nearly forgot to post this up, which is ridiculous, because I'm the one running event. If my head wasn't attached to my shoulders...

When: Saturday, January 17, 2009 02:00 PM - 01/17/2009 06:00 PM
Where: Faire Gallery and Cafe - 1351 East Olive Way
What: Battle for Wii supremacy at the first annual Wii Sports Tournament! Pizza for all and prizes for the winners. $10 entry fee - all proceeds go to the park-to-be at John and Summit.

Hosted by the Capitol Hill Community Council

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Now why would someone go and do that?

I refer to "The Ricin Letters", which a bitter, angry individual sent out to 11 gay bars around the Hill on Tuesday. It was enough of a threat that the CDC and the FBI are involved, but the general sentiment is that if we all watch our drinks, we'll get through this ok. The main threat to the bars was economic - a threat like this on top of the present downtown could keep everyone away, putting our favorite homosexual watering holes into a financial bind.

I am delighted to write that the response on the Hill has been to support the threatened bars and to pity the poor benighted soul who thought writing those threats was a good idea. Of course, there will be a pub crawl this Friday through ten of the eleven bars targeted.

What could be more thoughtful than a community pub crawl? This message from the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce:
The Capitol Hill Community is very concerned about the hostile threats made to 11 gay bars in our neighborhood and we would like to encourage everybody to come together to show their support.

James Kearny of Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church is arranging a prayer walk this Saturday at 9 am (Jan 10) and has invited members of his church as well as members of a couple other churches on the hill and would also like to extend an invitation out members of the Chamber.

Participants will meet at the church steps and split into groups to walk over and pray at the various locations. It should take an hour or so. Pastor Kearny hopes this will help lead us to being a better, safer, more loving neighborhood.
This is the sweetest damn thing I've ever heard. I am absolutely serious when I say thank you, Capitol Hill Presbyterian, for showing your support to one of the pillars of our community - gay bars.

They make night life delightful, relatively safe, and karaoke-filled, and they've been suffering in this economy like the rest of us. It's really nice to hear that there will be spiritual as well as economic support from the community in the face of this latest kick to the nads.

My dance card is full

I am going straight from work to the Capitol Hill Art Walk, where I will talk up the park-to-be at John and Summit and hang out with Kim and her plants at The Copper Vine. From there I'm going over to Cal Anderson Park for the much anticipated Cap Hill Community Council Winter Potluck to eat tasty pie and yet again chat everyone up about the park. Good times.

Tut tut

If I had written this yesterday, I could have titled it "Deluge". Ah, the pain of regret.

I can still talk about how cool everything looked yesterday - I was reminded of the outdoor city scenes in Bladerunner. Sci-fi film noir chic. Wait...does that mean that Seattle is LA from the future?

Per usual, Seattle didn't get the worst of it. Although I think we may have acquired a moat...
I feel terrible for everyone who is being flooded or is about be. I hope this is a clue-in to policymakers that we need a better flood prevention strategy, especially since deluges during the winter are only going to become more common due to climate change. Less development on the floodplain, perhaps?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Everybody walks on the Hill

The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is having a party tonight celebrating the release of "long anticipated Capitol Hill Walking Map" - 7pm, their place at 10th and Thomas, free for members and $5 for everybody else. Along with the much anticipated walking map, there will be tasty treats and hot drinks.

I hope to wander by this evening, and not just for the free food (yes, I'm a member of the Chamber). I was excited when I found out that Feet First had made walking maps for a bunch of Seattle neighborhoods. My excitement was tempered when I found out that Feet First hadn't made one for the Hill and wasn't going to anytime soon simply because we were so awesome that everybody already knew where all the cool stuff was.

But now, our time has come! We too get a super shiny walking map to peruse and hang with pride in our apartments! Now tourists can escape the the boredom of Downtown and discover the wonder that is Capitol Hill...without having to use their cars!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Starting the New Year off right...

With more terrible jokes from British Christmas Crackers:

Q. How did the human cannonball lose his job?
A. He was fired.

Q. What does the word minimum mean?
A. A very small Mother.

Q. What did the beaver say to the tree?
A. Nice gnawing you.

These are courtesy of my grandma, who humored her weird, weird grandchild and sent me the awful jokes from the crackers she opened on New Year's. Which I have posted just for you, my loyal readers.

I know what I'll be doing on January 21st

I can't believe that there's still money around for new developments, but apparently there is. On January 21st there are two Design Reviews for Cap Hill: a six-story residential+1st floor retail at 1623 Bellevue and at1650 Olive, the development that's supposed to replace the B&O Building (dun dun DUN!).

In the immortal words of JoshMahar: "If you want to help make sure these projects don't suck, be sure to go to the Design Review Meetings"

Wednesday, January 21st

SCCC, Room 4106

6:30pm - 1623 Bellevue Review

8:00pm - 1650 Olive Way Review

New Year's Resolution: Dark Sky Parks

I just saw this great article from WorldChanging Seattle. This would be an excellent idea to implement here. Maybe the folks at the Lighting Design Lab can help the commercial building owners/managers community figure out how to pull it off?

Sadly, I can't do it by myself. So how about it Capitol Hill? City of Seattle? Want to see the stars?

Happy New Year!

Picture courtesy of Brad P and CHS blog. Sadly, I didn't have a camera on me when I got to watch the fireworks from my friend's apartment building roof, so this is the best I can do.