Category Archives: Off the Hill

Good Fortune in the Year of the Dragon

Last night we began our Year of the Dragon in a hurry, having heard news that Beautiful Angle’s posters celebrating the Chinese New Year had been spotted. We quickly grabbed pliers and drove to our favorite place to find them at the corner of Sixth and Cedar. We were so excited to get one of the few that were left. It’s our third Beautiful Angle poster and we hope to get many more.

Beautiful Angle's dragon story tells of the arrival of a seven-headed dragon.

We went to bed with high hopes for the morning and set our alarms for before the crack of dawn. Overnight I dreamt we were searching for Monkeyshines and found a planter on Hilltop overflowing with colorful orbs and medallions.

This morning we left the house at 4:45. Wearing rainboots, the only kind of boots we own, we tromped up and down the icy streets of Hilltop with our flashlights. We searched MLK Way from People’s Park to Quickie Too. Finding nothing, we then walked a few blocks up and down both 11th and 12th Streets.

With no success we decided to leave Hilltop, hopped in the car, and drove down Yakima to Lincoln-Eldridge Park. We combed the area where we had found our medallion last year, but found only oddly placed boxes of bananas, green beans, and peas that looked like they’d escaped their fate at the fruit stand.

Green beans frozen by winter's chill seek refuge from tummies in Lincoln-Eldridge Park.

On our way back to the car, another family of Monkeyshine searchers arrived. Not two minutes after they entered the park, we heard a little boy yell, “Dad, I found one!” We felt waves of defeat. Once we got to where they were searching for another, they happily showed us their prize. The little boy’s eyes sparkled as he proudly told us that he’d found the bright yellow orb.

It was time to go home. With frozen toes we stopped at McCarver Park, Ferry Park, People’s Park, and Neighbors Park on our way to get ready for the day. I went to work and Kevin, our photographer, took the kids to school. On his way home he stopped in the Dome District to take one last look. From there he sent me three text messages:

Busted my ass on an icy hill.

Guess I fell into dog poop. It’s all over my jeans. Yuck.

I was walking with a frown and then I looked up and BOOM there it was! My heart stopped and I ran over and picked it up. I’m so happy.

Our dragon Monkeyshine was beneath a little bridge at the Tacoma Dome Station.

In our family we have two tigers, a horse, and a rooster. We are also expecting a little dragon later this year. In the last 24 hours we’ve had great fortune and there’s more to go around if you look for it. Happy Year of the Dragon to you and yours.

Winter’s Gifts

Yesterday morning we made our daily trek to Northeast Tacoma to visit family. Along the way we saw the progression of a beautiful January sunrise. It reminded us of why we love living here in Tacoma: We get to be a part of a wonderfully artsy city, plus seeing the grandeur of the Puget Sound’s water, mountains, and more, is just a short drive away from the city skyline.

The beginning of a new year always brings hope and little blessings. Little by little as the days get longer, these winter sunrises seem to brighten even the dullest of gray days. They are little gifts that come with the rain.

Deep purples and pinks brighten Hilltop at the corner of 19th and J Streets.

The sun rises with yellows and pinks over Mt. Rainier and the Puyallup River.

*These photos are not edited. Only Mother Nature could paint skies so beautifully.

Kill Yourself

Tagger Meta4 offers words of advice on the eastbound Highway 16 off-ramp at Sprague.

We came. We marched.

Yesterday afternoon we joined other citizens to march in the first-ever Occupy Tacoma event. We began the march at Fireman’s Park and walked all the way down Pacific Avenue to Tollefson Plaza. There we had a small rally and photo op. Marchers then continued on down Pacific, stopped to chant in front of the federal courthouse at the old Union Station, and moved on to the University of Washington Tacoma Campus. The march ended with another rally at Tollefson Plaza and the event ended around 6pm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Occupy Tacoma was an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, an event that has lasted for weeks. Citizens nationwide are now joining in the movement as the 99% of our society who is being abused by the 1%, the corporations, broken promises, war, and skyrocketing healthcare, among other things.

The march was peaceful and fun. We found support from motorists honking as they drove by and spectators looking on from windows high above. Occupy Tacoma organizers are planning more events, including a longer occupation.

Neither of us are particularly the protest type, but found this one important. It was an all-inclusive event and we fit right in. Try to catch the next one. Stand up. We are the 99%.

For more information, check out the Occupy Tacoma website.

Tacoma teachers, while you were out. . .

We were having our second summer. We did some of the things we wished we had done before September 1. We ate sporadically and drank too many pops. We slept in, visited our aunties and uncles, and had sleepovers. We had a fun time. Now we are ready to be back in school.

Ethan, JorjaAnn, and Shane toured the city during the Tacoma teachers' strike.

Today we realize how important you all are to us. We are excited to see you, wear our uniforms, learn, and talk to our friends. We’re also happy for you and proud of the work you did to secure your contract. Happy teachers make learning fun.

I can be your hero, baby.

Somebody's hero awaits alongside 21st Street near piles of trash and a broken toilet.

Tape Networks

This week we shot footage of the tape network creation process here in Tacoma. Tape networks are a movement that started in the Tacoma area–check out Street Sign Project on Facebook to learn more about them.