In Cold Air

I went to see Capote tonight at the Capitol Theater with my ex-boyfriend. As happens so often on Thursday nights, the place was mobbed; I arrived at about 6:32 and there was still a long line stretching past the Tea Lady. My ex had volunteer passes for us both, so he was waiting for me in the lobby, talking to one of his many acquaintances. Why is it always so crowded on Thursdays? It can't be because people are desperate to win that coupon for free tea and shortbread. Is it because we're a community of procrastinators who can't be bothered to see a movie on Sunday or Tuesday if there's still a chance of seeing it on Thursday? Or maybe there's nothing on TV on Thursday nights? (I don't have a TV, so I always feel as if I suffer from a popular culture information deficit in this area.) In any case, the place was packed, but somehow the balcony managed to feel much chillier than usual tonight... I suppose that had something to do with the weather, something that even a throng of entertainment-seeking, blood-warm bodies can't affect much.

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Susan Christian


Susan Christian is a painter in Olympia. She makes many beautiful paintings that you can see if you go visit her website. She also has a blog. Stop in and say hi.

TESC NOLA Project

[via email]

A number of Evergreen students are raising money to go to New Orleans to help with the rebuilding effort. They will donate ten days of their time during the upcoming spring break and will receive no monetary compensation. They have done extensive research to get the cheapest flight possible and they will be housed and fed for free by Common Cause while they are there. Much of the work will take place in New Orleans’ 9th Ward. Workers will also be helping people across the river in Mississippi, as well as the local indigenous population.

The number of students that can participate is limited by the amount of money they raise. At this time, they are about $1,500 short of covering the travel costs of all the students who have expressed an interest in going.

Please, if you possibly can, consider making a donation to the TESC N.O.L.A. account. It will make a real difference in the lives of people who were devastated by Katrina. To do so, go to the Cashier’s Office (1st floor, Library Building) or to WashPIRG (cubicle #19, 3rd floor, CAB). Please make checks payable to “TESC NOLA account

Comment Policy

Due to the appearance of abusive comments on Olyblog, our crack team of specialists has been working 24/7 to get a fix up and running. So, here it is:

Comments can now be rated, and each user can choose what categories they would like to view. Here are the categories:

  • Profound -- Comments that leave you speechless b/c they are so amazing and life-changing.
  • Insightful -- The wisdom that we've come to expect from Olyblog users.
  • Useful -- Gets the job done.
  • Off topic -- Not really what the thread is about.
  • Driveby -- Commenter has no context and crashes the party in a rude manner.
  • Abusive -- Clearly focused on hate, violence, or degradation.

Some examples from recent comments:

Protest Detention Policies and Militarism

Join us as we call for an end to discriminatory immigration and deportation policies that target people of color and Muslims in particular. We will start at the Northwest Detention Center on the Tacoma Tideflats and then march to the Tacoma Sheraton, location of the Pacific Northwest National Security Forum, which is bringing together military commanders to chart the course of US foreign aggression “beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.

Snow!

Big fat flakes of snow falling. Anyone have a snow haiku?

Somebody needs a sense of humor

From The Olympian:

On the same day Rep. Brendan Williams celebrated passage of his bill ensuring abortion clinics can keep fire insurance even after arson attacks, the Olympia lawmaker found himself in a fire of a different kind.

Angry Republicans demanded Tuesday that Williams, a Democrat, apologize on the floor of the House for allegedly making mischievous facial gestures behind the back of a Republican lawmaker who was making a serious speech on the floor during a rhetorical dispute over how best to give health care subsidies to small employers.

“It was acting like a child. We don’t appreciate that. We do serious work here,” House Republican Deputy Leader Mike Armstrong of Wenatchee said of Williams. “If it was an isolated incident, it would be different.”

An open letter

This is an exerpt from an open letter to Jim Nicola, Artistic Director, New York Theater Workshop from Warren Guykema. From Palestine Chronicle Who is Afraid of Rachel Corrie?:

Dear Mr. Nicola:

I write an open letter to encourage you to set a firm date for the opening of "My Name is Rachel Corrie" and to ask you to help me understand what is going on at the workshop that caused it to "postpone" the production that, while apparently not "announced" as firm, was deemed certain enough that its London-based authors booked flights to New York to see it, and tickets were advertised on the Internet.

I live in Olympia, Washington and am a friend and supporter of the Corrie family, and also a friend of Andrew Ford Lyons, with whom you recently corresponded. I also read widely, and notice a substantial difference in your very personal response to Mr. Lyons -- it was simply all about having enough time, though this is a one-actor play and the actor knows the play cold -- and the report in The New York Times that you polled "the Jewish community" and detected a lot of edginess about several factors that really have nothing to do with the magnificent life Rachel lived for 23 years which is enshrined in this award-winning play. Now I see on your web site the suggestion that you are simply waiting to hear from the Royal Court Theatre in London. Which is it, Jim?

In a lifetime of playgoing, journalism and public service, I can't recall a theatre company polling any particular community to determine whether or when a dramatic work should be presented. The fact that you have done this and, on the basis of the results, have "postponed" this drama to a time uncertain makes me extremely uncomfortable about whether the arts are to retain their traditional, vigorous freedom of subject and expression. I speak as one who has consistently opposed attempts by the National Endowment for the Arts or other groups to pressure or influence what artists do.

Help Promote Walkability at Street Standards Meeting

From email:

The City of Olympia is considering adopting new street design standards to apply to new subdivisions.

Generally, the new standards will be more pedestrian friendly, slow traffic, make intersections easier to cross, and significantly reduce stormwater runoff.

The new standards will also reduce speed limits on some high-speed city streets.

These were developed over the past year by a committee consisting of two city council members (TJ Johnson and Joe Hyer), two Planning Commissioners (Cary Retlin and Roger Wilson), and two Bike/Ped Committee members (Christopher Jennings and Joe Ward).   They are a big improvement over the current standards.

The City is having a workshop and open house to discuss the standards. I strongly urge you to attend this workshop, Thursday, March 16, at City Hall.

I've attached the City's flyer on these new standards.

Please come to the open house, express your support for new street standards that encourage walking and slow traffic.  It will only take a few minutes.  We would prefer to NOT be outnumbered by the Master Builders (who probably SHOULD support these changes, as the narrower streets give them more land to sell in any given subdivision -- bigger lots or more lots -- but they don't always figure out what they should support).

Alernatively, an email to citycouncil@ci.olympia.wa.us expressing your support will also help.

The Phantom Gardener

I just visited Olympia for the first time since 1989. My uncle was the legendary Phantom Gardener, Jay Butts (d. 10/1993). It is very inspiring for me to see that even years after his passing, Olympia still recognizes Uncle Bud (as we knew him) for his committment to the natural environment of your city. Sarah's blog mentioned him towards the end of January, just this year. I also see that there is an annual Friend of the Trees award given in Uncle Bud's name. Thank you for maintaining his passion in these ways. Being from New York (though I live in Montana) it is difficult for our family to visit and promote his legacy. It seems, however, that y'all are doing a fine job anyways. Thanks again. I would like to close by saying how fortunate you are to have a great park such as Priest Point. Many cities aren't so lucky. Last weekend, as my friends and I were visiting, we realized, too, how important Uncle Bud's donation to the city has become. Residential development on all sides of the park was noticeable, except, of course, where he willed some land aside for everyone to enjoy. Please continue to treat the land well, honor his wishes, and we'll see you again soon...
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