A Seattleite's Guide to Surviving Winter with Weed

Slog PM: A Big Day for Media Layoffs, Upstream Takes a Break, Measles!

Image filed under things that would prevent measles outbreak
Image filed under "things that would prevent measles outbreak" Tero Vesalainen/Getty Images

A grim portent for the free press: BuzzFeed is going to lay off 15 percent of its staff, or, around 200 employees. The move is meant to trim costs. There's not much more information at the moment. It's wild though because BuzzFeed raked in over $300 million in revenue in 2018 which is a 15 percent increase from 2017, according to the New York Times.

Upstream takes a hiatus: Paul Allen's Pioneer Square music fest isn't happening in 2019. It's only been around for two years, but it's already time for Upstream to rest. The festival announced in a press release today that it would be "taking a break." Upstream may grace Pioneer Square again in the future. Rest easy, Upstream, we hardly knew ye.

Heads up, measles are afoot: There are 23 cases of measles in Clark County. The outbreak there is mostly hitting unvaccinated children (vaccinate your kids, idiots!!!) but a 50-something-year-old man in King County has contracted the disease.

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The Top 100 Free, Cheap & Easy Things To Do All Year Long in Seattle

If you love dancing and drag queens, Pony has you covered with recurring events like GGNZLA: I Hate Karaoke on Tuesdays, Queen4Queen on Thursdays, and Sex.Wav every first Thursday.
If you love dancing and drag queens, Pony has you covered with recurring events like GGNZLA: I Hate Karaoke on Tuesdays, Queen4Queen on Thursdays, and Sex.Wav every first Thursday. Courtesy of Pony

If you follow our Things To Do calendar, you've come to expect a weekly roundup of events for the weekend that cost no more than $10 and don't require advance planning. But those don't include all the great frugal-minded happenings that recur throughout the year—even on weeknights. So, behold! Below, you'll find the 100 best ongoing activities in every genre that you can return to as many times as you like, from drag events like Queen4Queen to active events like the Sunday Public Sail, from dance parties like Motown on Mondays to artsy favorites like the Silent Reading Party and the Pioneer Square Art Walk, and from food events like the Happy Hour Food Walk to geeky events like Nerd Nite. As always, you can find a full list of events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.


1. The Magic Hat Presented by Emmett Montgomery and Friends
Five "brilliant humans(?)," ranging from seasoned stand-up comics to sketch performers to audience members, are selected (presumably out of the Magic Hat) throughout the show to perform weekly at this comedy variety show, otherwise described as a "friendship machine that will make the world a better place."
(Every Monday, Belltown, $5)

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Why Pain Sufferers Are Turning to CBD

Every day, millions of people suffer from chronic or injury-related pain. Until recently, the only options for dealing with moderate to severe pain involved addictive opioids, or pharmaceuticals that have their own laundry list of side effects, often outweighing the pain you suffer from in the first place. No longer.

Green Roads CBD offers a new path forward for people who want a natural alternative that works with your body instead of against it.

Seth MacFarlane's The Orville Is Much Better Than It Needs to Be


I was wrong about Seth MacFarlane.

Until recently, I've never thought of myself as a MacFarlane fan—whether it was Family Guy or Ted or A Million Ways to Die in the West, his TV shows and movies never worked for me, and something about him just... rubbed me the wrong way? (It happens sometimes!) Even when MacFarlane was involved with stuff I loved (he had a key role in bringing 2014's great Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey to the screen, and he popped up in Steven Soderbergh's fantastic Logan Lucky), I grudgingly noted his involvement with a fair amount of crankiness.

Then he made The Orville.

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A Song to Get You Through Your Commute Home

I love listening to good music on long, dreary commutes. It's the only thing that gets me through humping it from the city to the provincial village north of the lake where I'm living with my parents (the city of Bothell, and, yes, I'm moving soon).

Lately, Portland-based band Y La Bamba has really been holding it down for me. Their music is dreamy, fun, and a bit melancholic, ready to receive you and move you. Bandleader Luz Elena Mendoza's voice seems to grace us from another plane—knowing and strong.

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The Sleeping Beauty – Just in time for Valentines at Pacific Northwest Ballet

You can keep scrolling, or taking recommendations from friends, or going out on a limb with a show that doesn't perfectly suit your tastes. Or...you could binge watch a ballet! Time-tested for over 100 years, The Sleeping Beauty is a treasured piece of entertainment with fairies that fly, live orchestra, and PNB dancers performing extraordinary feats of ballet majesty. 9 performances only at Seattle’s Center’s McCaw Hall.

Get Tickets Here

Inbox Jukebox Track of the Day: “Viktor Borgia,” Pavement Figurehead Stephen Malkmus's New-Wave/Electro-Pop Move

Indie-rock icon vacations in the synth-pop realm, and it kind of (Kraft)werks.
Indie-rock icon vacations in the synth-pop realm, and it kind of (Kraft)werks. Robbie Augspurger

Stephen Malkmus, “Viktor Borgia” (Matador)

Pavement figurehead and cryptic lyricist extraordinaire Stephen Malkmus has reached the "I'll do whatever the fuck I want" stage of his career. Or perhaps he's been in that phase for a while, but only now decided that 2019 is the time to "go electronic." Whatever the case, the first single from the forthcoming, wonderfully titled Groove Denied album, "Viktor Borgia," deviates from Pavement's arch, skewed indie-rock and Malkmus's more serpentine prog-rock excursions with the Jicks. It should be interesting to see if his not inconsiderable fan base will follow the guy who also thought it was a good idea to cover CAN's Ege Bamyasi in its entirety.

The press release notes that Matador initially rejected Groove Denied, but eventually realized (if I may conjecture) that any Malkmus release, even at this late date, equals money in the bank. "Viktor Borgia" tippy-toes into earshot like one of those early new-wave/electronic forays by artists who invested as much time in their hairstyles and clothes as they did in synth-twiddling. Our guy's vocals are more stilted and effete than usual here, in keeping with the genre's tropes while the methodical, tinny beats and poinging synthesizer motif create a nice contrast. The best part of the song comes near the end: a passage of soaring, naïve melodiousness that evokes Kraftwerk in circa Ralf Und Florian/Autobahn. Regarding "Viktor Borgia," Malkmus says he was thinking "about how in the New Wave Eighties, these suburban 18-and-over dance clubs were where all the freaks would meet—a sanctuary.” Well played, sir.

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New Bill Threatens to Eliminate Jobs for Hair Stylists in Washington State

Hair cut small talk advice: How is your livelihood being threatened these days?
Haircut small talk advice: "How is your livelihood being threatened these days?" Zoran Zeremski/Getty Images

A new bill in the Washington State Senate that specifically targets salons has hairdressers and stylists panicking.

"Everybody wants to thoroughly understand what the bill is," Susie Powers, a stylist based in Fremont with 30 years in the industry told The Stranger. "So many hairdressers are terrified that it is what it is, that they’re really going to pass something that will ruin our independent livelihood."

The bill, SB 5326, would seemingly make it illegal for salons to lease out booth spaces to independent stylists. The reasoning behind it is opaque, it could be well-intentioned but misguided progressivism. The bill states that this business model—renting out booth spaces to independent stylists—"denies individuals eligibility for unemployment insurance and industrial insurance, and gives businesses that use booth renters an unfair competitive advantage."

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The MAGA Hat Kids and Viral Truth

Episode 182 talks about the viral stare-down at the Lincoln Memorial, as well as whether Kamala Harris is a cop and whether the Oscars snubbed the wrong people.
Episode 182 talks about the viral stare-down at the Lincoln Memorial, as well as whether Kamala Harris is a "cop" and whether the Oscars snubbed the wrong people. Getty Images

Eli Sanders, Rich Smith, and Katie Herzog talk about the State of the Union standoff, whether Kamala Harris is really a “cop” in progressive clothing, and a horrifying new report on global inequality.

After that, they go where many Americans have gone over the last few days—to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where they try to figure out what happened in a viral stare-down that has infuriated pretty much everyone, led to endless online and offline recriminations, and called into question the very idea of observable, “Saw it with my own eyes," truth. As seems to be happening to a lot of people who wade into the Lincoln Memorial MAGA hat kids controversy, this discussion went looooong—so if you’re sick of the whole thing already, skip ahead!

In the third segment, Jasmyne Keimig and Chase Burns run through the list of Oscar nominees and talk about who was wrongly snubbed, who should win, and why. Plus...

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He Would Rather Be With a Sex Worker Than a Waitress

Originally published on June 25, 2009.


I am a fairly successful man. I don't make bank like Wall Streeters back in the day, but I haven't been hungry since college. My girlfriend is younger. We met when she was in grad school. Like many recent grads, she's not steadily employed, in debt, and driving an unsafe car. So I support her, house her, feed her, and pay her bills (medical, etc.). She needed to pay off her credit-card debt—28 percent interest rate!—so she took work stripping and later as an escort. Through escorting she was able to pay off her credit-card debt in a month.

Now some guys would find this distressing, but I found it kind of hot. Here's the thing: After she paid off her credit-card debt, she stopped escorting. I'd like her to continue part-time until she finds a career. She's mixed on this. We would like to buy a house and make things more permanent, but our income isn't enough to do that if she's making waitress wages. I guess it boils down to this: I would prefer to be with a sex worker than a waitress. I'd rather she make $200/hour on her back than $10/hour on her feet. She says she has issues with sex work. What do you think?

Perhaps I'm Mildly Perverted

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House Speaker Frank Chopp Does Not Like Being Compared to Vladimir Putin

Talking shopp with Frank Chopp, topp popp of the Democratic stock. Okay, Ill stopp.
Talking shopp with Frank Chopp, topp popp of the Democratic stock. Okay, I'll stopp. WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE
During a phone interview yesterday with House Speaker Frank Chopp about the Democratic legislative agenda this session, I learned that he does not like being compared to Vladimir Putin.

In November of last year, Rep. Chopp said he’d step down as Speaker after this session in an attempt “to provide an orderly leadership transition" after serving in that role for 20 years. But he also said he planned to continue to run for the seat in the 43rd Legislative District, which he’s held since 1994. That move seemed weird to me. Can a guy so accustomed to wielding power in the House really prevent himself from being a backseat Speaker for as long as he serves?

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It's OK Not to "Get" Art

Danny Giless The Practice and Science of Drawing a Sharp White Background at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery
Danny Giles's The Practice and Science of Drawing a Sharp White Background at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery Courtesy of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Last night at the opening of Chicago-based artist Danny Giles's The Practice and Science of Drawing a Sharp White Background at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, something happened to me that doesn't often happen: I walked out of the gallery space not really "getting" what I'd just seen. Like, at all.

I did everything someone who looks and writes about art for a living does—I researched the artist's previous work, prepped questions, scanned sources to get a sense of what I was about to see, sat in on the artist's lecture. The subject matter is even in my wheelhouse—I foam at the mouth at art that seeks to respond and examine whiteness as a concept. I usually know how to look, what to look for, what questions to ask, how to let what my thoughts see marinate in images, in brushstrokes, in wall texts. And yet.

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Alex Pedersen Is the City Council Candidate in District 4 Who Wants to Bring Trust Back to City Hall

Hes running!
He's running! Alex Pedersen Campaign

Alex Pedersen has an impressive resumé. From working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during the Clinton administration, and then an extensive foray into the private sector, to working for multiple city council members, including Tim Burgess, Pedersen is ready to throw his own hat into the ring. Pedersen lives at the convergence of the University District, Ravenna, and Roosevelt neighborhoods. He's running to fill Councilmember Rob Johnson's seat in District 4 in what is shaping up to be a competitive race. Pedersen is the first city council candidate to have qualified for the Democracy Voucher program. It takes at least 150 contributions and signatures from Seattleites to qualify. Pedersen's campaign also claims to have raised the most money in the race through traditional fundraising.

Pedersen and I chatted on the phone this morning. I almost missed the call (thanks for nothing, traffic) but made it in the nick of time.

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19 Lunar New Year 2019 Events in Seattle

Head to Chinatowns Lunar New Year Celebration for cultural performances, the $3 happy hour food walk, and more.
Head to Chinatown's Lunar New Year Celebration for cultural performances, the $3 happy hour food walk, and more. Cham Roeun Bunphoath

The Lunar New Year officially begins on February 5, but there are several weeks of Seattle celebrations to welcome the Year of the Pig with traditions from China, Vietnam, Japan, and beyond. We've rounded them all up below, from Chinatown's Lunar New Year Celebration to the annual Asian/Scottish mashup event Gung Haggis Fat Choy to the Seattle Art Museum's Lunar New Year Family Festival. Find them all below, or on our Lunar New Year calendar.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.


Têt in Seattle – Vietnamese Lunar New Year
Celebrate the Year of the Pig at this annual festival in anticipation of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year in early February. As always, there will be hands-on cultural activities, traditional food, crafts, martial arts performances, a market, and more.
Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center

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Thanks to Anti-Vaxxers, There's Another Measles Outbreak in Washington State

Poor Indigos mom doesnt believe in vaccines.
Poor Indigo's mom doesn't believe in vaccines. SOUTH_AGENCY/GETTY

Officials in Clark County, Washington, have declared a public health emergency after an outbreak of measles infected at least 22 people. Nineteen of the 22 confirmed sick were not vaccinated.

Just across the Columbia River from Portland, which is having a measles outbreak of its own, vaccination rates in Washington state have plummeted over the past decade. As KATU2 News reported, 91.4 percent of kindergartners were vaccinated during the 2004-2005 school year. By the 2017-2018 school year, the rate was down to 76.5 percent.

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The Lost History of Female Bicycle Explorers

In the early 1900s, bicycles allowed women to leave the home unchaperoned.
On January 30 at Rhino Room, Tessa Hulls of the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau gives a talk, "Women, Trans, and Femme Riders in Early Cycling History," packed with facts about newly resurfaced documents about the first female-identified riders. TESSA HULLS

When Tessa Hulls looks at a bicycle, she doesn't see it as a cool toy she can use for adventures. She sees it as a cool toy she can use for adventures and a tool for social liberation.

In the last eight years, the polymath visual artist/comic/writer/adventurer has biked all over the planet, rolling over approximately 14,000 miles of paved road and donkey trail at 12 miles per hour. She rode solo from Southern California to Maine, and she's ridden all over Alaska, Ghana, Mexico, and Cuba.

The people she met along the way were extraordinarily generous, but every day, without fail, Hulls would hear the same refrain: "You know, a woman can't travel alone." Many wouldn't believe her when she told them otherwise. Encountering that level of bullshit and disbelief sent her down a three-month research rabbit hole, and she's since emerged with a new line on her résumé: feminist historian with a focus on little-known turn-of-the-20th-century adventurers.

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State Senate Moves to Privately Confirm Embattled Liquor and Cannabis Board

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board members Russ Hauge, Board Chair Jane Rushford, and Ollie Garrett.
Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board members Russ Hauge, Board Chair Jane Rushford, and Ollie Garrett. Lester Black

Tomorrow morning, a committee in the state Senate will hear the confirmation of three board members overseeing the state's Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). If the hearing was open to the public the three board members up for confirmation would likely get an earful after a year of almost relentless missteps by the state's pot regulator, but guess what? The Senate is acting entirely in private, moving to act on these confirmations without giving the public any room for comment.

That is generating anger across the weed industry, including the state's most powerful trade group, the Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA). Vicki Christophersen, WACA's executive director, said in a statement that she is urging the state Senate to open up the hearing so the board members are not confirmed "for a new term without any public process or comment period."

“Our members in the regulated cannabis industry are concerned about the culture of the LCB, which is under the purview of an unelected board of directors, and whose enforcement behavior is the catalyst for bipartisan support for compliance reform this session," Christophersen said.

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