Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Thanksgiving Turkey

I've been dating my boyfriend for almost a year. He's 25, I'm 27. I asked him to have Thanksgiving dinner with me and my mother at my house. He said no. I also invited him to have dinner with my father, my brother, my stepmom and me the day after Thanksgiving. He said no again. His reasoning: "It would be too awkward." He has met both sides of my family before, and I have met his parents as well. His parents are having Thanksgiving dinner with family friends and he doesn't have other Thanksgiving plans. This is not the first time he has turned down invitations to spend time with my family. I've told him the only way for us to feel less awkward with each other's families is to spend more time with them. He just said "I know" via text.

I believe he loves me, he is a wonderful partner in many areas of my life, but this is bothering me. What should I do, Dan? At this point I am fighting the urge to tell him that maybe our relationship is "too awkward" and we should part ways before Christmas rolls around. What do you think?

Single On Thanksgiving

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The Seattle Police Department Hasn't Fired the Cops Who Beat Up a Family in 2010

Officers David Bauer and Brandon Eggers beat up Rufino Ocampo Estrada, one of four family members injured during their run-in with the SPD, whose motto is "Service, Pride, Dedication." SPD

Today, now that the federal prosecutors have declined to file charges against one of the officers, the Seattle Police Department has released a sought-after dashcam video of a 2010 incident showing officers punching and kicking a man on the ground.

The video shows an unremarkable incident until the 4:50 mark, when an altercation gets underway on the opposite side of the red car. By the 6 minute mark, a woman can be heard crying out. A man wearing a blue shirt in the car gets out and approaches the officers. One of officers starts shoving him away, eventually bringing him around the front of the car and tripping him on to the ground. An officer comes over and kicks the man in the blue shirt. As he flails his arms, the officer who kicked him punches him in the face, while another officer knees him in the stomach, until he is turned onto his chest.

The Seattle Times' Steve Miletich reports on the context that evening:

Bauer was one of three officers who responded to a call on Nov. 4, 2010, outside a South Seattle bank, where physical confrontations erupted with four people who were working as an after-hours cleaning crew.

[Chief Kathleen] O’Toole was alerted to the video by city attorneys as they were preparing to release it as part of a bulk request for videos by KOMO-TV. The request resulted in a state Supreme Court ruling last year that the videos must be released, but the footage of the bank incident was withheld pending the criminal investigation.

A lawsuit stemming from the incident was filed in October 2013 by Eulogia Morales Cayetano and settled by the city for $25,000.

You can read that lawsuit, filed against Officers David Bauer, Brandon Eggers, and Lindsey Brown, right here. It includes this allegation: "Ms. Morales begged Officers Brown and Bauer to stop beating, shoving, and grabbing Emmanuel [her son] in Spanish, and, as a result, the officers began beating, shoving, and grabbing Ms. Morales." The entire family suffered injuries. Emmanuel was deported.

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Chicago Police Release Video Showing Killing of Black Teenager

Here it is:

The officer who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was charged with first-degree murder today. But cops in Chicago upheld a blue wall of silence—which I wrote about in the Seattle context here—around this incident, which occurred on October 20, 2014. You have to read this Chicago Reporter story about how police tried to "cover up a police execution:"

It was just about a year ago that a city whistleblower came to journalist Jamie Kalven and attorney Craig Futterman out of concern that Laquan McDonald’s shooting a few weeks earlier “wasn’t being vigorously investigated,” as Kalven recalls. The source told them “that there was a video and that it was horrific,” he said.

Without that whistleblower—and without that video—it’s highly unlikely that Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke would be facing first-degree murder charges today.

“When it was first reported it was a typical police shooting story,” Kalven said, where police claim self-defense and announce an investigation, and “at that point the story disappears.” And, typically, a year or 18 months later, the Independent Police Review Authority confirms the self-defense claim, and “by then no one remembers the initial incident.”

“There are an average of 50 police shootings of civilians every year in Chicago, and no one is ever charged,” said Futterman. “Without the video, this would have been just one more of 50 such incidents, where the police blotter defines the narrative and nothing changes.”

A Burger King manager has now gone on record claiming that Chicago police entered her store and diligently deleted surveillance video footage of the incident. The dashcam video itself is now being released because of a judge's order, and despite the department's claim that releasing it would hinder its investigations.

Considering the way police go out of their way to shield those within their ranks from accountability for horrific crimes, the efforts of prolific government records requesters—people like Tim Clemans, Phil Mocek, and Eric Rachner—to simply get all police information out into the public domain seem more vital than ever.

Announcing This Year's Winning Films—And a Call for Submissions for HUMP! 2016!

Watching porn the way your grandparents used to.
Watching porn the way your grandparents used to. KELLY O

The Pacific Northwest's biggest, best, and only amateur porn festival wrapped up its 11th annual run last weekend. And it was our biggest HUMP! yet: More than 20,000 people poured into theaters in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia over two long, wet weekends to watch porn the way their grandparents used to—sitting next to strangers in the dark.

We like to think HUMP! audiences have a better time than the audiences at those old dirty movie theaters. Actually, we know HUMP! audiences have a better time—audiences at those old dirty movie theaters didn't cheer for the performers and filmmakers after each film!

And what did audiences see at HUMP! this year? HUMP! audiences cheered live-action video games; transformative blowjobs (emphasis on trans); human lube dispensers; buckets of orca semen; bondage play for all ages, orientations, and gender identities; googly-eyed penis puppets; a climatic passage from Mike Huckabee's newest book—and so much more…

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What If the City Allowed Homeless Encampments in Residential Neighborhoods?

Imagine if homeless encampments were allowed in residential areas—you know, where the rest of us are allowed to live.
Imagine if homeless encampments were allowed in residential areas—you know, where the rest of us are allowed to live. Kelly O

Earlier this year, as the Seattle City Council found itself suddenly unanimously in favor of new city-sanctioned homeless encampments, there was one wrinkle that divided them: Should those encampments be allowed in residential areas?

Mayor Ed Murray didn't think so. In the encampment law he sent to the city council, the camps were only allowed in industrial and commercial parts of the city.

Council Member Kshama Sawant disagreed, so she introduced a plan to have the city study what it would look like if camps were allowed in residential areas. After some sneaky maneuvering from her colleagues, the study idea finally passed. New camps would only be allowed in commercial and industrial zones, but the city would study a possible future expansion.

Now that study is in. It shows 1,500 potential new locations for homeless encampments, but the mayor has no plans to change course.

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Gits Reunion Show Added to Benefit for James Atkins


HOLY WOW! Just announced today:

The Gits will perform first show in 20+ years with Visqueen singer Rachel Flotard. We’re excited to announce that Joe Spleen, Matt Dresdner and Steve Moriarty will reunite with longtime friend Rachel Flotard to perform a short set of Gits classics on 12/4/15 at Seattle’s Chop Suey. Their appearance is part of a benefit to raise money for fellow comrade James Atkins (Hammerbox) as he fights esophageal cancer.
This will be the first time they’ve performed these songs in 20+ years.

The Gits will play with 7 Year Bitch, Hammerbox, Alcohol Funnycar, and Coffin Break. This will truly be a once in a lifetime event.

Tickets can be purchased here. Get 'em fast, they are almost sold out. Friends of musician James Atkins can also donate to his cancer help fund here.

TMR: A Couple of Neighborhood Notes


Some lovely leaded glass uncovered on Pike Street, a reminder of a long-forgotten business.

Note to the all the Laptop Hobos at Little Oddfellows: Start doubling up and sharing tables or you're gonna get laptops banned. Three times recently I've dropped into Little Oddfellows with someone hoping to have lunch and turned around and left because every single table in the place was occupied by a lone person with a laptop and what looked like a two- or three-hour-old cup of coffee. Like being able to get some work done at Little Oddfellows? Me too! So start doubling up and sharing tables—and leaving some space for diners—or LO's owner (hi, Linda!) will have no choice but to ban all laptop users, considerate and inconsiderate alike. It's a cafe, FFS, not a library/wifi hotspot/your living room.

It's been three days since we've had a drive-by shooting within our two-block radius. Keep up the good not-shooting-people work, folks.

What It's Like to Be a Woman in the Writing Industry

Author Claire Vaye Watkins says shes lived a life of pandering to old white dudes.
Author Claire Vaye Watkins says she's lived a life of pandering to old white dudes. Heike Steinweg

The editors over at Tin House's generally excellent blog, Open Bar, have published a compelling, long-ish braided essay by Claire Vaye Watkins on her experience of being a woman in the writing industry. Watkins wrote the critically praised book of stories Battleborn. Her novel, Gold Fame Citrus, came out last month.

The piece was going around the literary internet all day yesterday, and it's looking like it might go viral. In case the words "compelling, long-ish braided essay" and "viral" turn you off, here's a précis:

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Stranger (Than Usual) Things To Do This Week

Star Wars-themed gingerbread houses, like this Death Star, will be on display at the Sheraton starting today.
Star Wars-themed gingerbread houses, like this Death Star, will be on display at the Sheraton starting today. IMGUR/SILLSTRYPARN PHOTO

We've got a strong lineup of strange and unusual events this week, including the Internet Cat Video Festival, the Seattle Bizarre Bazaar and a "ThanksKilling blood feast." Just in case you were sad you had to wait another 11 months until Halloween. As always, check out our Things To Do calendar for the rest of the best.

Internet Cat Video Festival
"A three-day celebration of the internet's greatest (and arguably only) contribution to the cultural life of this planet: short clips of humankind's second-cutest pets being cute as hail." -Sean Nelson

Star Wars Gingerbread Houses
Every year, Sheraton Seattle builds an amazing village of gingerbread houses and lets the public in for free. (Although you should really consider donating; all the money goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.) This year, they've outdone themselves with a Star Wars theme. Ignore the kinda lame title (May the Holidays Be With You), and just check out the craftsmanship and massive amount of sugar put into this theatrical re-creation.

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KPLU's Advisory Board Will Ask Pacific Lutheran University Not to Sell the Station

Dozens of people came out in the middle of the afternoon to protest the sale of KPLU, including one man who drove from Tacoma.
All these people came out in the middle of the afternoon to protest the sale of KPLU, including one man who drove up from Tacoma. Ansel Herz

In the middle of a Monday afternoon at the Westin Hotel, KPLU's community advisory board held an open meeting regarding Pacific Lutheran University's plans to sell the station to KUOW and the University of Washington. They were joined by dozens of KPLU listeners, who testified unanimously during a public comment session against the deal. Without any dissension, the 29-member board followed suit and voted to write a letter to urging the PLU regents not to go through with the sale.

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Lorena González, the First Latina Ever Elected to the Seattle City Council, Will Be Sworn In Today

Lorena González: Officially a city council member as of today at 5 p.m.
Lorena González: Officially a city council member as of today at 5 p.m. Courtesy of Lorena González

Lorena González, the civil rights attorney who won a landslide victory for citywide Position 9 on the Seattle City Council, will officially take her new post tonight at 5 p.m.

González is being sworn into office sooner than the other soon-to-be council members because she's replacing temporary Council Member John Okamoto. (Okamoto replaced Sally Clark, who resigned earlier this year to take a new job at the University of Washington. City rules stated that his term would last until the November 2015 election results were certified, which happens today.) Three more new council members will be sworn in in January.

González is a former civil rights attorney who also briefly worked as legal counsel to Mayor Ed Murray. During the campaign, she won support ranging from establishment business interests to labor unions and The Stranger. She will be the first Latina on the city council. She's hired former District 1 city council candidate and political organizer Brianna Thomas to work in her council office.

The swearing in is at 5 p.m. today at City Hall and González will host an open house in her new office tomorrow morning. The public is welcome at both.

Sludge-Rock Heavies godheadSilo Reschedule Comeback Show for Jan. 29 at Chop Suey


Olympia via North Dakota power duo godheadSilo have rescheduled their Seattle comeback gig at Chop Suey for January 29. Bassist Mike Kunka and drummer Dan Hough originally were slated to return to the live arena November 20 for their first local show since the late '90s, but they had to postpone due to a serious illness suffered by Hough's young son. Pioneers of the (godheadSi)lo-fi subsonic genre, Kunka and Hough released three albums and a handful of singles and EPs in the '90s that brought a new high in low-end havoc to heavy Northwestern rock. godheadSilo are also responsible for perhaps the gnarliest Phil Collins cover ever. [See clip after the jump.] While godheadSilo's recordings are great, they really thrive onstage, where the brute physicality of their music makes a much deeper impression. You can purchase tickets for the show here.

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Wait, Turkey and Gravy Potato Chips?

Live better with these authentic foods? I stood in Safeway for waaaaay too long staring at these last night. Should I have bought them? Would YOU eat turkey and gravy potato chips?

photo kelly o

Sources Say Paul Allen's Brand-New Art Venture Will Close in March

This is Benedict Heywood, director of Pivot Art + Culture, gregariously opening the door to the new space just a few weeks ago.
This is Benedict Heywood, director of Pivot Art + Culture, gregariously opening the door to the new space just a few weeks ago. JG

Pivot Art + Culture, Paul Allen's new nonprofit arts institution opening in 11 days in South Lake Union, will close in March and be used only occasionally as a gallery, sources close to Pivot say.

In other words, Pivot will not be an ongoing arts center after all.

After confirming with multiple sources, I called Benedict Heywood, director of Pivot, to ask him what's going on. I was hoping he would tell me it's all just a rumor. He didn't call me back.

Instead, the PR firm representing Vulcan emailed to say they were responding on behalf of Heywood.

"Responding to the questions you asked Ben — The exhibition will be on view from December 5 through February 28. The next show has not yet been determined," wrote Fitz. & Co. senior vice president Meg Blackburn.

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CDC: Marriage Rates Up in 2014, Divorce Rates Down

Remember how religious conservatives insisted that allowing same-sex couples to marry would destroy the institution of marriage? Yeah, no: The CDC says more Americans married in last year and fewer married couples divorced. The numbers are small—tiny uptick in the marriage rate (reversing a 15 year trend), tiny downtick in the divorce rate—and this CDC report covers 2014, the year before the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. But same-sex couples were already marrying in a majority of states in 2014.

And 2014 or 2015: If marriage rates were down a even a fraction of a tick and divorce rates were up even a fraction of a tick... Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz and that homicidal anti-gay preacher/terrorist they were pallin' around with would be howling about the evidence being in, holding up a single CDC report as proof that marriage equality was already laying waste to the super-sacred institution of marriage. Why, the third, fourth, and fifth marriages of Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, and Rush Limbaugh might be in danger! They'd be out there calling for the next president of these united states to spark a constitutional crisis by ignoring the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality.

Actually... Mike Huckabee is already promising us a constitutional crisis if he's our next president:

At Friday’s “Presidential Family Forum” hosted by the Iowa conservative group The Family Leader, Mike Huckabee doubled down on his pledge to “ignore the court” and “defy the court” as president by recriminalizing abortion and gay marriage through executive fiats. “I’m convinced the next president should ignore the unconstitutional and illegal rulings of the courts, including that of same-sex marriage, because it is not the law of the land,” Huckabee said.

Spoiler: Mike Huckabee is not going to be our next president.