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Me dressed up as Captain America for Halloween
Me as Captain America. Remember, kids, eat your veggies and punch fascists.

Let's Love Where We Live

This past weekend, Jacob and I went out of town. My neighbor Julie stopped by to check on my cats and collect a package off my porch. She even so kindly cleaned up the cat vomit on my floor. When we had another package delivered, my neighbor Ambyr grabbed it off my porch and stored it inside her own until we were home. It turned out there was a package delivery mix up this weekend, and now I've met my neighbor Paul, who brought back our package and we got him his. Turns out, Paul's father originally owned my house.

I walk all over my neighborhood Beacon Hill and frankly, all over this city.

I frequent the greengrocer, the taco shop, and the Chinese market, and the place they know my face the most is the gardening store. I know the seasonal plants in people's yards, and the little girl who loves to play on the sidewalk, despite having a nice yard. The kids at the school only make a loud ruckus when they're posing for a 20 person selfie, and my neighbor Roberta texts me to see if there's an evening activity happening there because her son hasn't come home yet.

My garden sits in my front yard, and even if I don't know all my neighbor's names, I recognize most of their faces. There's an elderly couple that walks by almost every evening. While we don't speak the same language, they always wave and compliment my garden.

Several years ago, I got rid of my car, and while Jacob still has his, I'm not supposed to drive long distance and we use it together maybe once a week. Otherwise, we're on public transit. While sometimes we have to wait or it might be crowded, it's less stressful and less expensive than finding parking downtown or sitting on I-5. During rush hour, Jacob couldn't get to work downtown faster than on a short bus ride and light rail trip.

I'm not saying Seattle is without problems. Like everywhere in the US, with a special accelerator due to the tech industry, there's major income inequality, leading to problems like massive homelessness. We suffer from gun violence, corrupt policing, ICE raids, school-to-prison pipelines, and just not being able to feed low income students school lunches. Amazon and other PACs are trying to buy our elections and have gotten their way with our mayor. Our media is obsessed with poop, and while no one yells about Canadian immigrants, we do have "documentaries" that demonize the homeless in the same way our POTUS talks about immigrants. We have one bouncy house king who screams about people having sex in cemeteries — he definitely didn't read sexy Anne Rice books as a teen — and a chair thief who's trying to hurt public transit that voters voted in. While we all cry when our beloved orcas die, our old infrastructure still sometimes dumps raw sewage from homes and businesses into the Sound and other waterways. We don't know what to do with our recycling, or how to stop rich people from ripping out old growth trees as they can afford the fines.

But, Seattle isn't a warzone. It's not a hellscape. It's not filled with violence or covered in human feces. Most people are just people trying to get through the day and trying to live their lives. Most people have their own concerns, and maybe you should learn their names and a little about them. I might not be able to solve our waterway, but I can pick up the litter in front of mine and my neighbor's homes and stop it from going into the gutter. I can give extra food or water to the homeless person on my way to taco shop because they're a human being.

And most of all — I can push back on the hyperbole and fear-mongering. I can make tiny movements to restore hope, inspire people, heal, provide comfort, and encourage others.The next time someone cries that Seattle is DYING! remind them that the mountain might be out and ask them to name three things they love about this city.

Bookworm corner

Black Panther, Book 7: The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, Part Two by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kev Walker, and Jen Bartel 3/5 stars
If you want to know how Coates would write Star Wars, this is the book for you.

Cemetery Beach by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard 3/5 stars
I predicted the ending too easily. Ellis has a lot of short comics about exploring other worlds and dimensions, but they never seem to culminate into something new.

Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2) by Gail Carriger 3/5 stars
Fluffy and fun. Better than the first one. The book attempts to address colonialism, but now how has child labor issues since Rue is an adult. It could be more humorous and have less battles. I was pretty fighting fatigued by the end.

Let Me Go (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #6) by Chelsea Cain 2/5 stars
** spoiler alert ** Gretchen not being killed worst. The gender essentialism got old, and no doubt far more pronounced since Cain's Man-eaters series brought to light her transphobic views. Susan was far too much of a damsel here.

Outfoxed: A Fable by Dylan Meconis 4/5 stars
Highly entertaining fable and the art is just splendid.

Rainbow Brite by Jeremy Whitley and Brittney Williams 3.5/5 stars
Super cute and fun. I don't really remember anything about the original tv show, except playing with my doll and stuffed sprites, so no nuanced comparison there.

Visiting by Alivia Horsley 3/5 stars
Cute story about a visit with family you haven't seen in a while, but have a deep relationship with.

Things I wrote recently

On Patron:

Reviews on my comics blog:

  • Black Panther #7, #8, and #9, book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kev Walker, Stéphane Paitreau, and VC’s Joe Sabino, rating 2.6/5 stars
  • Blackbird #4, #5, and #6, book by Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel, Paul Reinwand, Triona Farrell, Jodi Wynne, and Dylan Todd, rating 5/5 stars
  • Gothic Tales of Haunted Love, book edited by Hope Nicholson and S.M. Beiko, creative by Jacque Nodell, Janet Hetherington, Ronn Sutton, Becka Kinzie, Zakk Saam, Colleen Coover, Nika, Femi Sobowale, Caroline Dougherty, Hope Nicholson, Scott Chantler, Hien Pham, David A. Robertson, Scott B. Henderson, Cherelle Higgins, Rina Rozsas, Sarah Winifred Searle, H. Pueyo, Dante L., S.M. Beiko, Maia Kobabe, Chris Stone, Dani Bee, Megan Kearney, Derek Spencer, Amber Noelle, Allison Paige, Barbara Guttman, Svetla Nikolova, LAB, Cecil Castellucci, Willow Dawson, Becka Kinzie, Katie West, Ray Fawkes, Sanho Kim, Kitty Curran, and Larissa Zageris, rating 4/5 stars
  • Ms. Marvel #36, #37, and #38, book by G. Willow Wilson, Devin Grayson, Eve L. Ewing, Jim Zub, Saladin Ahmed, Nico Leon, Takeshi Miyazawa, Joey Vazquez, Kevin Libranda, Minkyu Jung, Juan Vlasco, Ian Herring, and VC’s Joe Caramagna, rating 4/5 stars
  • Supergirl #21, #22, and #23, book by Marc Andreyko, Kevin Maguire, Sean Parsons, Wade Von Grawbadger, FCO Plascencia, Chris Sotomayor, and Tom Napolitano, rating 2/5 stars
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #34, #35, and #36, book by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Madeline McGrane, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham, rating 4/5 stars
  • West Coast Avengers #1, #2, and #3, book by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli, Tríona Farrell, and VC’s Joe Caramagna, rating 3.6/5 stars
  • West Coast Avengers #4, #5, and #6, book by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli, Tríona Farrell, Daniele Di Nicuolo, and VC’s Joe Caramagna, rating 4/5 stars
  • The Wicked + the Divine #43, #44, and #45, book by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson, and Clayton Cowles, rating 5/5 stars
  • The Wild Storm #19, #20, and #21, book by Warren Ellis, Jon Davis-Hunt, Steve Buccellato, and Simon Bowland, rating 5/5 stars
  • The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #4, #5, and #6, book by Bryan Hill, N. Steven Harris, Larry Hama, Dexter Vines, Andy Owens, Dearbhla Kelly, and Simon Bowland, rating 3/5 stars
  • Wonder Woman #52, #53, and #54, book by Steve Orlando, Aco, David Lorenzo, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Saida Temofonte, Hugo Petrus, Raúl Allén, Patricia Martín, and Borja Pindado, rating 3.6/5 stars
  • Wonder Woman #55, #58, and #59, book by Steve Orlando, Raúl Allén, Patricia Martín, Borja Pindado, Saida Temofonte, G. Willow Wilson, Cary Nord, Mick Gray, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Pat Brosseau, rating 3/5 stars

Elections and my Seattle endorsements. Vote 🗳!

Time again to vote! Except in a couple races where the candidate I voted for didn't make it to the final round, my recommendations from newsletter #52 stand.

Checklist on those:

  • Girmay Zahilay — Metropolitan King County, Council District No. 2
  • Fred Felleman — Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 5
  • Tammy Morales — Seattle City Council District No. 2

Other important matters. (As a reminder, I cover what my District ballot covers.)

Approved — Referendum Measure No. 88

With language confusing as hell, 88 repeals I-200, which stopped affirmative action in WA State. Vote to confirm affirmative action and repeal this racist garbage from our past.

No — Initiative Measure No. 976

This is a Tim Eyman initiative. Eyman claims that he's protecting voters, but he's trying to repeal ST3, which was passed by the voters and funds transit across WA through car tabs. I know many of you have been upset by your car tab bill, but please vote No. We need modern transit solutions everywhere, and it costs a lot of money. Not all of us have the luxury of being able to drive everywhere, and please don't discount the mobility needs of your elderly, disabled, youth, and other neighbors who rely on public transit and frankly also cause massive problems for car drivers. Also, do you really want the asshole in a new Ferrari paying as much for their tabs as you do for your secondhand Subaru?

Approved — Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200

Changes and adjusts language to let government be more flexible in states of emergency and appointing leadership in those situations.

Yes — King County Proposition No. 1, Medic One Levy

Personally, in a medical emergency, I'd like to have the option to call an ambulance.

Julie Wise — King County, Director of Elections

The other candidate is a joke, and Wise is an elections nerd who got us more ballot boxes and ballots translated into more languages. She also will lobby to get rid of (Eyman passed) advisory votes, which waste a lot of tax payer money and trees.

Sam Cho — Commissioner Position No. 2

The Port is always a mess, and Cho has regional and national political experience. And for the business crowd, he runs a successful imports retail business, which he has promised to divest from if he wins. His opponent used to be the Mayor of Bellevue, well-known port town… (Those not from this area, it's not a port town.)

School Board Elections — Sorry, friends. While I believe I made the best choices, I feel woefully uninformed here. Nor did I see any of these people debate each other. Plus, the only more thankless role in Seattle elections besides the Port is the School Board. Almost every guide and opinion I looked at was like "either are good options," except Liza Rankin, who is the standout in her race.

While I don't normally endorse elections not in my neighborhood, I have a couple Seattle City Council recommendations:

Kshama Sawant — Seattle City Council District No. 3

Many alarmist neighbors believe our incumbent lone socialist city councilperson Sawant controls Seattle. 🤔🙄 Besides her opponents biggest accomplishments being running a flash mob and organizing the super corporate pride parade, Sawant gets the things she believes in done, like passing $15 minimum wage (which businesses acted like would destroy Seattle businesses, spoiler: still here). She does it, of course, through collection action, which is not how Dems or the GOP get things done. And even though my politics are leftist, most of the time socialist candidates are jokes, but Sawant is the real deal.

Shaun Scott — Seattle City Council District No. 4

I used to live in Scott's District, and this is the candidate that District needs. It's an odd District that runs from the mega rich (or rich homeowners, who bought their $1-2 million house for $30k in the 90s and they are protecting that value at all costs to other humans and our planet) to poor students and working class just trying to get by. The fear-mongering about Scott is his stance on police abolition — but as a reminder, even if you disagree with that, one person on City Council cannot alone take down the policing institution. Scott's opponent looks like a forgettable white man in a real estate ad and has nothing interesting to say beyond calming down those rich homeowners. Scott's also been running a grassroots campaign, and perhaps of all the Council candidates has knocked on the most doors. He's also been the first candidate to propose what a Green New Deal would look like in Seattle.

Green thumb update

So Jacob has decided he wants to get into houseplants too, and it's been interesting because...we don't like the same plants!

My hand holding carrots, freshly pulled from my garden
My pilea peperomioides and its babies
Left: Carrots fresh from my garden. Or as I call it, the carrot fridge.
Right: In a few months, I'll have a ton of pilea peperomioides babies to share.

Other things

The Case for Checking a Bag by Roxane Gay — Yes, check a bag. Do yourself a favor and everyone else. (Obviously, if you cannot afford to: bring that carry on.) Also, the plane isn't going to leave without you, don't hoard around the gate.

My super rad friend Markia Malaea has a new newsletter Hamletter.

Take care and put some hope back into the world,


Erica McGillivray

Copyright © 2019 Erica McGillivray, All rights reserved.

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