Portland Mercury's Abe Asher added a few blurbs to this round-up.

Not dead. Just has COVID. Here he was last week performing at New Orleans Smoothie King Center.
Not dead. Just has COVID. Here he was last week performing at New Orleans' Smoothie King Center. Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images

I'm sorry if I'm the one to break the news to you: But Shi Shi is dead.


Capitol Hill Block Party returns this summer on July 22nd thru 24th!
Featuring Charli XCX, Diplo, and more! Full line-up and tickets at capitolhillblockparty.com

Noted Ballard High School graduate Jesse Harris, the founder of NFFTY, has a new movie out called Borrego. It's screening on Wednesday at SIFF. We're told Harris will be there. Say hey.

She's running: Nancy isn't retiring, reports everyone.

You wanna be on top? Two dudes are competing to be Seattle's Next Top Librarian. It's either gonna be Tom or Chad. You can ask them what their favorite book is (and other, more important questions) at public candidate interviews on February 9 and 10. Click "Tom or Chad" for more info.

Elton John has COVID-19: Boosted and vaxxed, he says he's only experiencing minor symptoms. Still, he's had to postpone some concerts in Texas. Between you and me, I've been on Elton John Death Watch ever since he started doing new duets with pop divas and greenlit that better-than-average biopic. I'm always worried celebrities are gonna David Bowie us when they start doing a flurry of late-career activity.

I forgot another Olympics was happening until I saw this headline: Condoms available but hugs discouraged at Beijing Winter Olympics. The games start soon. Next month.

I don't care about sports but I do love ceremonies: So please let me share three Olympics-related things very quickly.

1: If you want a glimpse into an Olympic Village, check out the film Olympic Dreams, starring and written by Big Mouth's Nick Kroll and Olympic runner Alexi Pappas. It's sweet, but the real reason to watch is for its prime location.

2: We stan Nathan Chen in this house.

3: Freddie Mercury's final public performance was of this song, Barcelona, created with one of his heroes, operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé, as the official song for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Mercury died from AIDS complications before performing the number at the ceremony.

:) Moving on.

There's a lot of talk about a so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill in Florida: The legislation, technically called the Parental Rights in Education bill, is getting international attention because it would "restrict the teaching of LGBTQ+ subjects in schools." Proponents say: “This bill is about defending the most awesome responsibility a person can have: being a parent." Opponents say:

I say: Best of luck determining where LGBTQ+ subjects start and end. Emily Dickinson? Computer science? Parallel lines? Seem pretty gay to me. I'm still mad about Trump turning The Village People into MAGA propaganda. "Go West" goes off.

Staying in Florida for a sec: The Florida Republican Party, led by 2024 GOP hopeful Ron DeSantis, is attempting to pass a bill that would require governments to produce economic impact statements for any ordinances they pass and another that would allow businesses to sue the government for passing any law that impeded its ability to make a profit.

Zooming out: US and NATO officials continue to prepare for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the US planning to help direct natural gas supplies to Europe in the event that the continent's Russian supply is cut off in a potential conflict.

Hazard pay for many grocery workers in Seattle will stay in place: Despite votes from Councilmembers Nelson and Pedersen. Late last year, the Seattle City Council voted to end the temporary hazard pay for the workers. Some grocery workers said they felt "abandoned" by the council. Then, omicron hit, ramping up the hazard. So, Mayor Durkan vetoed the council's new end to hazard pay, trolling progressives on her way out of office. The council accepted that veto today.

I know you know we publish labor news round-ups on Fridays: But sometimes we publish labor news on Tuesdays, as a treat.

Peter Dinklage says fuck Snow White and specifically fuck her seven dwarfs.

A group of ten Indigenous tribes is reclaiming ancestral land on the northern California coast after the Save the Redwoods League announced that it will transfer control of more than 500 acres on the Lost Coast, or Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ, to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council. The tribes will, rightfully, be responsible for protecting the land.

Stuart Elway with the take that is everyone's* take: "The Democrats may be heading into [the 2022 elections] with less of an advantage than they have had in a quite a while."

* See here and here and here and and and...

Today? Sunny! More of that to come, eventually.

Strangers love a shoutout.

Jerry Falwell Jr. is back in the news a year-and-a-half after resigning as president of Liberty University, telling Vanity Fair, "People think I’m a religious person. But I’m not." We're sure many Christians would readily agree.

Let's end the day with a snack alert. It's a known fact that 50% of The Stranger's editorial staff would die for Capitol Hill's Tamari Bar and its sister izakayas, so more Tamari Bar propaganda is coming your way. We've learned through our Instagram feeds that Tamari Bar has partnered with Fuji Bakery and Sugimoto Tea Company to bring a lunchtime takeout window called Baiten to its space on Summit and Pine. They'll serve fruit sandwiches, cookie sandwiches, Japanese soft serve, and Japanese sundaes during the lunchtime hour on Thursdays through Sundays, starting this week. It's right next to Sankaku, so grab some onigiri and make it a lunch.