Saturday, December 31, 2011

Catalog Christmas Day 7: Searching for Santa

Happy New Year's Eve everybody. Here's one last Santa card, since I figure I can't really get away with them anymore after today.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Catalog Christmas Days 5 & 6: Creepy Santa

This is hands-down one of my favorite cards I made this year. 

 Seriously, you don't want to eat that.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Catalog Christmas Day 4: Turkey

I got these bitches a turkey.
Bitches LOVE turkey.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Catalog Christmas Day 3: Thankful

She just looks so ... deviously self-satisfied ...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas with 12 Days of Catalog Christmas Cards

Merry Christmas, faithful readers, or at least Happy Boxing Day. This year, like last year, I'd like to celebrate the end of 2011 and the holiday season with some of my catalog Christmas cards. I made a raft of them, but I think I'll post about a dozen, one for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Here are two for today since I took the day off from the internet yesterday.

There was nothing inherently funny about the lady looking at her crotch until I figured I could put a wreath down there.

They were selling these things called "spirit hoods" and all I could think of was children raised in the woods by wolves.  Or in this case, owls.

Selections from Occupy Seattle Weekly Issue 3

Issue 3, 11.20.11 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Effective Marches, the Messy Business of Camping, and the Pepper-Sprayed Face of Dorli Rainey

The Good
This week was filled with fantastic events and demonstrations:  

  • Tuesday night’s extensively pepper-sprayed and photographed march in Belltown
  • Dr. Cornel West’s rousing speech at camp on Wednesday
  • Thursday’s labor-led march and occupation of the University Bridge
  • Fridays’ march to the Police Accountability Office with speeches by two of Seattle’s new pepper spray icons, 84-year old Dorli Rainey and Reverend Rich Lang
  • and the “Rise and Decolonize, Let’s Get Free!” concert and rally hosted by Hip Hop Occupies in Westlake Park on Friday night.
These peaceful rallies and direct actions kept Occupiers and allies motivated and square in the media limelight. Keep it up everybody!

The Bad
While Occupy Seattle’s demonstrations have been effective, camp hygiene has not. Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reported on letters issued by King County Public Health and the Chamber of Commerce regarding the public health hazard they perceive that the camp has become.  The list of issues can be found here, but main groupings of concerns are: 
  • food borne illness risk factors
  • communicable disease risks
  • unstable structures with limited fire safety planning or access
  • reports of drug dealing and illicit drug use
  • sewage and waste water not properly disposed of
  • waste water disposal into storm drains
  • no effective hygiene facilties
  • uncontrolled dogs defecating and urinating
  • rodent activity
  • discarded/used syringes and needles on the ground
Some of these issues are almost impossible for OS to address – where else can water be poured out in a camp on a street corner but down a stormdrain? And how on earth do you build proper hygiene facilities without access to water main and sewer hookups?  

That said, there are plenty of things on that list that Occupy Seattle can take care of. It’s totally doable to create better pedestrian access into and out of camp, ensuring dogs go to the bathroom outside of camp and their poo is picked up, and do daily sweeps for trash and discarded signs.  Even though some of these issues (like needles and rats) already existed before Occupy Seattle moved in, it’s in OS’s best interest to take care of them for their own sake.

In the letter addressing the Occupy Seattle encampment, Michael Wells of the Broadway Business Improvement District and the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce writes:

“While many of the businesses are sympathetic with the Occupy movement (75% of Broadway BIA members are small, locally owned businesses) these sanitation and safety concerns are very troubling…We would like to see occupy Seattle address the health and safety concerns around the encampment immediately.” 

Occupy Seattle should also find these health and safety issues very troubling: not only are they bad for the neighborhood, they’re bad for the campers.

11/17 - Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is preparing to file 1st degree trespass charges against five protesters arrested during an Occupy Seattle takeover of a Chase Bank on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, November 2nd. (Publicola, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog)

11/19 - The State Attorney General's office drafted an emergency rule that would create a 120-day window for removing the Occupy Seattle encampment from the Seattle Central campus.  The draft says the college needs to take action because of unsafe conditions at OS camp, including syringes and needles on the ground, drug and alcohol use, lack of hygiene facilities and other risk factors near the college child-care center. (Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, Seattle Times)

The Ugly (But in the end, also good)

Josh Trujillo of the Seattle PI’s now iconic picture of Dorli Rainey just after she was pepper-sprayed by Seattle police at a peaceful demonstration

Seattle’s mace sodden Wall St. March earlier this week seemed to be a culmination in local police’s willingness to use extremely painful but so far nonlethal force against peaceful protestors. However, this pain and conflict brought with it a boon – the picture of 84-year-old lifelong activist Dorli Rainey’s pepper-sprayed face, and story about police brutality so blatant, well-witnessed, and unprovoked it was impossible to ignore.

This picture was soon followed by images of a young woman being sprayed directly in the mouth with pepper-spray by the Portland PD and a peaceful sit-in of UC Davis students assaulted with mace by police called in by the dean. Images like this bring desperately needed attention to the twin crises of police brutality and the suppression of 1st amendment rights, problems common to Occupiers across the country.

In Seattle’s case, we got another gift – an excellent spokesperson. Not only does Dorli Rainey appear to be a nice old lady, she’s also quite eloquent and has been an activist since she escaped from Nazi Germany as a girl. Thanks for that, Josh Trujillo and the Seattle Police Department.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Selections from Occupy Seattle Weekly Issues 1 & 2

Issue 1, 11.5.11 - While We’re Giving Banks a Hard Time, Let’s Think of the Little Guy

Since demonstrations and actions against unjust and destructive financial institutions will continue into the near future, I feel it’s important to do something nice for all the 99%ers that happen work at those places.  There are a lot of lower level bank employees caught up in the crossfire between the Occupy movement and Chase/BofA/etc. upper management. 

I’m making it my mission to bring flowers and a condolences card (sorry about your bosses destroying the economy, we know you’re the 99% but sadly your bosses aren’t) to at least one Chase bank location on Capitol Hill before Black Friday.  Maybe I’ll add a little note about how it sucks to live in a world where we all have to live with the consequences by some ill-considered risks taken with other people’s money.

What’s not to love about an action like this? It’s inexpensive, dispersed, easy to recreate and propagate, doable with groups to 1 to however many can fit in a bank, not likely to bother the SPD, (hopefully) genuine enough to apologize to our fellow 99%ers, and quirky and whimsical enough to want to post to Facebook. If you think I’m right about this, then go out and do it, post it to the internet and tell all your friends.

Issue 2, 11.13.11 - A Question of Numbers

The Seattle PI sez; “The city’s price tag to monitor the entrenched Occupy Seattle protest ballooned to $529,609 this week, which includes last week’s pepper-spraying and arrests of protesters in Capitol Hill.” Occupy Seattle organizer Jesse Mulert sez right back: “How is it that that 50-300 peacefully assembled citizens warrant such a concentration of resources?” (Seattle PI). You have to wonder how OS got pinned with a half a million dollar bill that’s largely for police time. It’s almost as if the City of Seattle thinks the problems reported in and around camp didn’t exist before Occupy Seattle showed up. 

Will Capitol Hill and the City of Seattle suddenly be free of fights, drug use, vandalism and encampments of the un-housed if Occupy Seattle disbands? Maybe the concentration of those particular issues will decrease on that block, but they won’t really go away – they’ll just spread out through the city and the neighborhood again. It feels a little like the City is blaming the victim. For what are these things but symptoms of an economically unjust society and a massive wealth gap? The 99% didn’t create the disease, but it sure can get blamed for it.

Also: Who caused the Great Recession that tightened the city and the police department’s budget? The banks and financial firms whose actions led to the mortgage crisis. This cascade of economic disaster eventually led to the creation of the Occupy movement.  Why isn’t the city challenging these banks with this half a million dollar bill?

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Occupy Seattle Weekly, writer and editor: Me

For the last three weeks I have written, edited, printed. assembled and distributed the Occupy Seattle Weekly: Occupy Seattle local news articles on one side, Occupy worldwide news AP style on the other. I'm going to post up some of the local news section articles from the past three weeks soon. I'm proud of the world news section too, but AP style summaries of Occupies around the world will probably be less interesting to those who have access to the internet.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Welcome to the neighborhood, Occupy Seattle

I am totally and unqualifiedly thrilled that Occupy Seattle is going to be my nighttime neighbor at Seattle Central Community College starting tonight. I haven't been able to interact with the Occupy movement much with being in grad school and rarely passing through downtown. But now they're going to be in MY BACKYARD! Yay, big social justice sleepover! Hot cocoa and equity for everyone! So excited!!

In the midst of my enthusiasm, I am still aware that there are logistical issues that may not make this feasible in the long-run: OC HQ is presently downtown, hiking up and down the Hill everyday isn't practical for everyone and bussing may not be affordable. Then there's the fact that SCCC is a very reluctant host.

I know it might not work out. SCCC might telling the kids to get off their lawn, SPD might flip and start teargassing right next to my window (I am right next door), and Occupy Seattle folks might not live up to their good-neighbor promises. All this is totally possible. But for tonight, I have a bunch of new fun neighbors, and I am super excited.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rules of Avoidance: Restaurants

These are just rules of thumb, and can sometimes be ignored to your great gastronomical enjoyment. But once I thought about it a little (once I was done laughing), I find that they have generally held true in my experience.

{My S.O. thought these up, so as a note to the interested digital archaeologists of the future, the credit for this blog post goes to John Sepulveda.}

When considering where to eat, one should avoid:
  1. Restaurants with "hut", "den" or "shack" in their name. "House" is also suspect. I have never heard of a restaurant with the word "slum" or "tenement" in its title, but if I had I would not want to eat there either*.
  2. Restaurants whose names include their primary menu attraction, such as fish, BBQ, sandwich, or lobster.
  3. Restaurants named after a person who has, in all likelihood, never set foot inside the establishment named after them. Linda's is fine since it is named after local entrepreneur Linda Derschang and she does not yet have so many restaurants that she is not able to go and visit all of them. Marie Callendar's is not.
A hypothetical example of a place you probably don't want to eat is "Bob's Lobster Hut", unless of course Bob is right there in the kitchen boiling the fresh caught lobster and he has an ironic sense of humor.

*Though a place called "The Delicious Apartments" might be pretty cool, especially if it specialized in tapas that you could pick up out of little cubbies connected to the kitchen.

The summer that wasn't

This year started with a cool spring that coasted into a summer of meh. If wanted to be completely accurate, I would call this the summer that came late, but I wanted a title that also referenced how little I've blogged this summer. I could blame the lack of sun, but the real culprits were grad school induced lassitude and sheer laziness for the first month and a half and the 12th Avenue Neighborhood Festival for the month after that. In August and September summer finally arrived, so I was busy rejoicing with the rest of the city and enjoying the late start of circus folk season in Cal Anderson Park.

I will try to make up for my lack of blogging with a flurry of slideshow updates before school starts. After that, it is up to the will of the professors, but I live in hope.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

From the Washington State Nonprofit Conference: Jabez Lebret on Generation Y

Jabez Lebret's psychological profile of Generation Y for their future bosses:
  • We want to make a difference and we believe we can make that difference: Sometimes it feels like we've been raised to be a generation of optimistic activists. This is great, because it seems like this is just what the world needs. This can be irritating, because it means your 25 year old new hire will show up in your office with suggestions on how your organization can do things better on day two.
  • We want to be part of something bigger than us: This is great for the same reason as above. It also means we expect more out of our professional lives and volunteer experiences. But when we believe we're part of a good cause and that we're making a difference - watch us go.
  • We're natural collaborators and prefer to work in teams:
  • We want to be told when we're doing things the right way: Generation Y sometimes gets a bad rap because it seems like we need constant encouragement and pats on the head because of all those participation medals we got growing up. But another way to look at it is that positive reinforcement is
  • We have grown up with information always at our fingertips
  • We believe in work-lifestyle balance: I think the cliche is "work to live, don't live to work". Again, Gen. Y can get a bad rap because of this. The thing is, we're willing to work hard, but we don't think that working part time, having full sleeve tattoos, wearing hoodies to work, or wanting to be able to take a couple weeks off to hike cross country gets in the way of having a career.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different: The Washington State Nonprofit Conference

I don't usually blog outside of geek, green and Seattle here on Life on the Hill, but I'm going to make an exception for the Washington State Nonprofit Conference, which I attended this Friday at the Meydenbauer Convention Center in Bellevue. I am making this exception because it was an excellent conference and I had a wonderful time. The Meydenbauer Center was a lovely venue, the staff of Alliance for Nonprofits kept everything running smoothly (special thanks to Erin Tierney!), and all the conference sessions I attended were full of useful information. There is a lot I could write about, but I'll keep it to my two favorite presenters, Erica Mills and Jabez Lebret.

Erica Mills of Claxon Marketing told us all about Nonprofit Marketing Trends to Watch, Try & Avoid (you can find her full presentation here). The basic message I gleaned was that 1) it's all about your organization's story and 2) deliver that story in the way your potential members/donors want to get it. Which means translating your mission or brand into a story and finding a way to tell that story over social media, on smart phones, and broken up in chunks over time rather than once a year in the annual report.

I really appreciated that Erica also told us all what not to do, notably not to spread your organization too thin by trying to do and be everything. For social media, pick three outlets and do them right. Focus on the folks who are interested in what you, don't spend time on those who don't. Frame your message, but once it gets into the hands of your supporters on the internet, let them run with it.

I liked Jabez Lebret's keynote address on Generation Y so much that I decided to attend his afternoon workshop, "The Value of Attracting and Retaining the Social Media Generation." It was a little strange to go to a workshop that was focused on how to hire and keep my generation, but very useful.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cheap Date: Opening Night of The Great Puppet Happiness Machine

My boyfriend and I were fortunate enough to catch the opening night of The Great Puppet Happiness Machine by Puppet This! at Annex Theater. We had seen the posters go up last week and decided it would make a good event for date night; wandering in on opening night last night was just our good fortune. Our decidedly peculiar ideas about what makes a good date paid off - The Great Puppet Happiness Machine is ridiculous and well worth $10 ($5 for students).

There are basically two premises to the show: 1) a bunch of puppets decide the best way to make their sad puppet friend happy again is to visit a mad scientist and 2) improv. Improvisational comedians running around a blackbox stage with puppets on their hands does not sound like a recipe for success, but it works. Watching puppets gesticulate and flop around is way more interesting than watching the people behind them (pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...). It helps that the crew of Puppet This! are pretty funny, even when things don't go quite right.

The BF and I agree that the show was a little rocky: some of the song numbers stuttered when the puppeteers couldn't make up lyrics fast enough, and the crew was still trying to figure out who should chime in when. That said, this was the very first show of the run and my BF was so enthused about the whole thing he wants to go back again. I admit I'd be interested in seeing how the show changes over the season, and would find it vastly amusing to watch my friends discover the puppet-y wonder of "The Great Puppet Happiness Machine".

[TGPHM shows Wednesday nights at 8pm through May 18th]

PS This makes me really regret missing Manos: Hands of Felt.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Important and Free: Tax Prep Help at Seattle Public Libraries

The robins are chirping, the daffodils are blooming, oh crap, taxes are due soon. I did mine ages ago with TurboTax because I make hardly any money and can use the free version. However, if your taxes are a little more complicated or you just don't like the Internet, the AARP, Seattle Public Libraries and King County have got your back. These groups are collaborating to offer free tax prep to individuals from January 18th through April 17th at 11 library locations. The closest branch to the Hill is the Central Branch library and its tax help hours are below. For the other ten locations, see the Seattle Public Library website.

Central Library
1000 Fourth Ave.
Mixing Chamber, Level 5
Tuesday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, April 17
Drop-ins are welcome, no appointments.

Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday
Noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday
Noon to 7 p.m. Thursday
Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday
1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Save Evans: A Plea to Preserve the Independent Status of the Evans School of Public Affairs

I wrote the letter below because the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington might lose its independent status and be consolidated with another (unnamed) school. UW President Phyllis Wise wrote in a letter to Washington state legislators on February 23rd that the consolidation of the Evans School was one of the options being considered in the face of $190-250 cuts in state funding to UW. There's more on why this is a terrible idea in the letter, but basically, consolidation would destroy an excellent public affairs school in order to save an amount of money that's exactly piss compared to the budget cuts that UW is facing.

This matters a great deal to me because I'm an Evans student. I think that training cohorts of clever
and dedicated people to be servants of the public good (as the Evans School does so well) is a very important and worthwhile undertaking. There is a painful irony that during a nationwide governmental budget crisis of epic proportions, a school might be destroyed that is training people to deal with problems just like epic governmental budget crises.

March 8th, 2011

Interim President Phyllis Wise
Provost Mary Lindstrom
University of Washington

Dear President Wise and Provost Lindstrom,

The last thing I thought I’d hear when I started at the Evans School of Public Affairs was that the President of the University would consider doing away with our status as an independent school. The economic environment being what it was, harsh budget cuts from the state legislature were bound to be on the horizon. I expected that the Evans School would get their share of tough financial decisions along with everyone else. However, I never thought that an option as drastic as consolidation would be on the table.

After all, the cohort starting in 2010 was the largest and most competitive in the school’s history, and the Evans School ranks fifth in the US News World & Report’s listing of best schools of Public Affairs among programs in public universities. Evans School students can be found everywhere in the public and nonprofit sectors in Washington, making the Evans School of Public Affairs a name synonymous with quality public policy work throughout the state. This was, in fact, the reason I chose to apply to the Evans School of Public Affairs. Evans graduates are everywhere in Seattle, talking about the quality education they received in the program and doing the sort of work I’d like to have a career doing.

Knowing all this, it pains me that you would consider “consolidating the Evans School of Public Affairs with another college and significantly reduc[ing] course offerings” as an acceptable course of action. The grand total in financial savings of this plan would be a mere $700,000, the amount of state funding that the Evans School receives that does not go to tenured faculty. A budget reduction of less than 1% of the total cuts that the University of Washington is facing is a pittance compared to the damage that would be done by eliminating the educational quality and high-grade academic brand of the Evans School of Public Affairs. I hope that you take this into consideration as you move forward with budget decisions, and choose to make cuts that will preserve the independence of the Evans School.


Jennifer Power
Masters of Public Administration candidate, 2012
Evans School of Public Affairs

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2/26 - More cheap fun: Saturday University @ Seattle Asian Art Museum and Yoga in Volunteer Park

Saturday University: World Little Known
Central Asia, its Histories and Place in Today's World

The Silk Roads: Central Asia in the Wider World
February 26th - 9:30am-11am
Prof. Daniel Waugh, University of Washington
Seattle Asian Art Museum (Volunteer Park), Stimson Auditorium

Central Asia played a crucial role in cultural and economic exchange across Eurasia along the many routes that made up the historic "Silk Road."

Come early to stretch! Yoga classes offered by 8 Limbs Yoga at 8:30 am (beginners welcome); pay by voluntary donation. Please bring your own mats.

From Silk Road travel to contemporary social and political challenges in post-Soviet republics, this series investigates the region from Uzbekistan to Mongolia. Cosponsored by the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. Teacher clock hours available.

Other lectures in this series:
Mar 5: Crafting Culture in Soviet Central Asia: Writers, Actors and Ordinary People
Mar 12: Religious Pluralism of Central Asia
Mar 19, Part 1: Central Asian Nomads Today: Musical Storytelling
Mar 19, Part 2: Esoteric Buddhism in Japan: The Lineage of Shingon
Mar 26: Colorful Ikat Textile Design and Central Asian Aesthetics
Apr 2: Women’s Work in Central Asia: Past and Present
Apr 9: Struggles of Central Asia Since Independence
Apr 16: Creating Community Solutions to Rural Issues in Central Asia

Questions? Email Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas:

(buy them here! by phone: 206-654-3121 or email:
Members: $40.00
Adults: $80.00

Individual Lecture
Members: $5.00
Adults: $10.00

2/26 - Free "Plan Your Veggie Garden" Workshop by Howell Collective P-Patch

The robins are chirping, the crocuses are blooming - spring is on its way. Despite the fact that it was sleeting today and may snow tonight, it's time to start planning your garden for the year. In case you're a newbie like me and could use some guidance, Howell Collective P-Patch has got you covered with its "Plan your Veggie Garden" workshop.

Plan Your Veggie Garden
February 26th, 10am - noon
Madison Market (16th & Madison/ 1600 E. Madison)

This class will help you decide what to plan, when to plan and where to plant. Learn where to find organic and heirloom seeds, how to decide where crops should be placed in the garden and create a plan so you can be harvesting fresh veggies all year round.

Please RSVP by emailing, including your name, neighborhood, and how you found out about the Howell Collective P-Patch.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Slight Awkward Holiday Humor

The homemade Christmas cards below are a product of my relative poverty, perverse humor, three weeks off for winter break and a few strange photographs from catalogs that I will not name (they know who they are). I've only put up the ones I figured wouldn't keep me from getting jobs in the future. I swore to myself that I would get these posted shortly after Christmas. At least I've gotten them up before Epiphany.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Belated snOMG 2010 slideshow: views from North Broadway

All photos courtesy of me (see above, in fuzzy hat) on 11.23.10, taken with Metrix Create: Space's amazing shopcam.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I braved the drunken mobs in Belltown to visit some friends and watch the Space Needle fireworks go off at midnight. Totally worth it.

This video is thanks to the kind woman standing in front of me and my friends who was recording the proceedings with her iPhone. If you listen closely, you can hear myself and my friend Dave laughing and exclaiming about the pinwheels.

Happy New Year everyone. Hope 2011 goes better than 2010!