Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When I Think of You ST, I think Nasty ...

always happy to see someone cares about a Lovely Tacoma...a Tacoma that works well...and why does it always take an outsider group? Why can't government employees/politicians get with the Pretty+Functional program ?

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

oh, right.

meeting tonight...

Do It Right Tacoma

Join us the Anti-Berm group at our next information meeting. and tour. Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 26th, 5:00, 402 East 26th, Tacoma 98421 in the Dome District. Short meeting scheduled at 5:00 p.m., so it won't conflict with other evening plans.... Please join and show your support, bring friends and family members, and spread the word about this event.
anyway, when I think of The Berm...I think of this...

Nasty Berm...I used to live there, I drive there all the time....a berm is nasty...
Look ...

now if they would just turn it into a lovely always-maintained park...a community Pea Patch...I could support it...maybe.
Long Live Post and Beam!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hey You Get Off My Cloud

Hey Tacoma !
Thanks for all you are doing...
Here's your song of the day.
Russell Employees and anyone in a suit or pantyhose, I suggest you play this song LOUD.
Now. At Work. You have nothing to lose. My next post will be about the Parking Ordinance the City Council will consider. They want to tax your mother when she comes to visit ...
You won't get this perspective on Exit 133.
....I was sick and tired, fed up with this
And decided to take a drive downtown
It was so very quiet and peaceful
There was nobody, not a soul around
I laid myself out, I was so tired and I started to dream
In the morning the parking tickets were just like
A flag stuck on my window screen

(M. Jagger/K. Richards)

I live in an apartment on the ninety-ninth floor of my block
And I sit at home looking out the window
Imagining the world has stopped
Then in flies a guy who's all dressed up like a Union Jack
And says, I've won five pounds if I have his kind of detergent pack

I said, Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Don't hang around 'cause two's a crowd
On my cloud, baby

The telephone is ringing
I say, "Hi, it's me. Who is it there on the line?"
A voice says, "Hi, hello, how are you
Well, I guess I'm doin' fine"
He says, "It's three a.m., there's too much noise
Don't you people ever wanna go to bed?
Just 'cause you feel so good, do you have
To drive me out of my head?"

I said, Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Don't hang around 'cause two's a crowd
On my cloud baby

I was sick and tired, fed up with this
And decided to take a drive downtown
It was so very quiet and peaceful
There was nobody, not a soul around
I laid myself out, I was so tired and I started to dream
In the morning the parking tickets were just like
A flag stuck on my window screen

I said, Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Don't hang around 'cause two's a crowd
On my cloud

Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Don't hang around, baby, two's a crowd

Friday, August 21, 2009

Audrey Hepburn...Sabrina...Cream & Black

oh why do we love her so? What is it about the gracile Audrey that has girls and guys alike... swooning?

Audrey was born in 1929 to a wealthy family and she lived a fairy tale life until the Nazi regime interrupted her life of European luxury and private schools. Her name was Audrey Kathleen Ruston, but her father changed their last name to Hepburn, an old family name, just after the war's end.

Once the war was over, her life began anew with a ballet scholarship to a London school.
She then began a modeling career with her graceful presence and seemed quite happy.
Discovered by a producer, she was signed to a small acting part in a European film in 1948. Then in 1951, she landed a speaking role in another film and soon left for America to seek her destiny.

Her first American role in Roman Holiday was in 1953 and she won an Oscar for Best Actress. She was a different kind of star....glamourous, but not a sexpot like Marilyn Monroe. Finally, in 1954 she played an ingenue in Sabrina and received another Academy nomination.

When Audrey played Holly Golightly in 1961's, Breakfast At Tiffany's, she was the world's darling. Her career endured for decades and she never lost her popularity with the world's adoring fans.

Along the way, Audrey was dressed for her film roles by the most wonderful couturiers of the times...from the 50s thru the 60s and again, finally, in 1987, the fashion designer she is most associated with is Hubert de Givenchy.
He dressed her in Sabrina, Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Paris-When It Sizzles, How to Steal a Million, Charade, and Love Among Thieves.

It was Givenchy who designed "the little black dress" in Breakfast at Tiffany's and in 2006 the dress she wore in that movie was sold at a Christie's auction for approximately $1.2 million dollars!

I love all her films but I especially love Sabrina, and not just because it was filmed in 1954! I love the twirling of Paris into the story and I especially love the dress she wore on the tennis court during a party, long before she figures out who she really loves.
So you can imagine my delight when I found this Jessica McClintock 80s dress that is very reminiscent of the Givenchy Sabrina dress, shown at the top.

This Jessica McClintock dress, she of Gunne Sax fame, would be a lovely find even without the idea of Audrey Hepburn floating in my head. That it has an Audrey aura, makes it just that more special.

Listed at etsy, it has black velvet flocking on the cream satin skirt in a detailed baroque design, and a rich black velvet bodice. The neckline is not a simple is swurvy and curvy and the back dress (bows!) has a small peek-a-boo cut out!

This is not a dress for the faint of must be prepared to command attention...and to stand tall and gracious....and think of Audrey and love in the air!

So this is What I Learned About Parking in Tacoma

1. You cannot at all park for any length of time on a driveway.

2. You cannot drive on the sidewalk into my building which is actually a parking garage. (This will make my landlord really happy.)

3. The law requires back-in parking on Broadway because of the slope....because someone is afraid of some car's brakes failing, and rolling backwards into traffic or a toddler, or a blind nun, and hurting something/someone. (Head-in parking on Broadway worked just fine for 100 years, back when brake systems were iffy, but modern cars have stopped using cables for brakes about 90 years ago.)

4. Sidewalks must be 5 feet wide at least. From the curb to the yellow line is 12 feet. (Seems fatter and skinnier)

5. Cars are not going as fast as you think they are. (I watch cars zoom by at 35mph - 45mph all day long.)

6. Tacoma does not make more money by writing parking tickets than they do from their share of sales tax revenue.

7. Tacoma Parking Viceroy, Mr. Kingsolver, has a really cool last name.

8. There is no legal way to load in Mountain Mist water bottles, park your FedEx or UPS truck, etc. for the offices in the Broadway LID, because you can't 1.)Double park, 2.)Park on a driveway, 3. Park in a slot and unload a load from the back into traffic.

9. There are no conspiracies to change downtown Tacoma into a series of One Way Streets.

10. Metered Paid Parking will happen next year. I'm glad Viceroy Kingsolver told me this, because I thought there were still some public citizen hearings with the City Council before a final decision was made. I could be wrong (it does happen) but he seemed pretty damn sure about that.

Your friendly gadfly, Tressie

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's Your Birfday...Party like it's your mirfday..

So, guess what I was doing August 18, 1979???
I was in labor and having a baby!
wow, am I talented or what...

I love this saying...I'm so crafty I make humans...

Well, today is my youngest childs Birthday...
I really, wasn't sure I was up to handling it all...I mean I already had 2 other amazing intelligent kids...was I crazy. Yes. It was surely one of the top best 5 decisions of my life....(top 3..have 3 kids)

So who is this stunningly clever child...the mommy-looking one in the top picture?
She's Annie Rose Bastian..

Always a sweet and sensitive baby, she has grown into a real person that astounds me...with her ability to be her own person...
I find this trait missing from most humans...Annie isn't a pale copy of some lifestyle magazine....
She has made her life just what she wants...and the love and smartness is like a fragrant aura around her...she has an amazing gift for making you feel the center of attention...

When she was in elementary school, which really did not suit her, and had I been a better mother, I'd have home-schooled her more...but she had me make her, among others, a Pippi Longstocking costume and an Alice In Wonderland costume so she could wear them to school..often...and not just on Halloween...Can you imagine the nasty comments she had to put up with as a 9 year old girl in a middle-class neighborhood? It didn't deter her from letting her Freak Flag Fly !

She had a lot of fun at Grant Elementary tho...but she always kept her teachers on their toes...she wasn't one to receive their knowledge without some challenges to the orthodoxy and provincialism.

She's a talented artist who sews her own clothes and makes things for her home..she paints..she gardens...she recycles...she writes...she crafts....she embroiders and appliques and changes things up, to remake everyday things so the world she creates for her husband and daughter is even more lovely and unique than the boring old daily.

A picture she took...I love her lighting and what she created with only a few evocative...

She mostly vegan...far more than I...if you go to her house to eat you'll get brown rice, raisins, and walnuts in your salad and you will love it ! It will taste like the best meal you have ever had because she has a knack for mixing things you wouldn't think would go together, but Annie makes them wonderful.....She mixed me a special tea blend...for my ailments...

She decided to have her baby in a warm water tub with a midwife...and she did...& even with a supportive community, that is a first-world triumph. But that attests to her fortitude ...

Her husband is a darling and my granddaughter Ruby is a Bee Charmer...I love how she takes me around the yard, climbs her trees, invites me up, shows me the chickens, the berry patch, the swing, and makes sure I have a trowel so I can dig with her while we look for worms.

When I am with Annie I sometimes I forget she's my daughter...I see her as her own someone I met in college, someone who works at the co-op, an artist at a Farmer's Market...because she is.....

The thing I love about her most is her super-sharp wit and dry observances of life, of the people she meets and how it all doesn't knock her off the path...while she packs it all away in her mind ....all the cacophony of the modern world...

So Happy Birthday Annie...thanks for letting me be your Mom!

no, I still haven't scanned in the mountains of pictures I took the old-fashioned way...I have only a darn few of here goes. She's the tiny one in these first 2...

A few years ago at christmas...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why Paid Public Parking in Tacoma is Stupid

First, did ya forget that you and I already own the Parking Spaces in Tacoma? We have paid and paid and paid for them.

Second, Tacoma is a tiny tiny tiny city. With a tiny tiny tiny downtown. In Seattle, for instance, there are at least 10 neighborhoods (but actually more), that are all about the size of Tacoma's downtown.
About half of Dtown Ttown would fit inside Ballard.

There are about 17,ooo parking spots downtown. More or less.

So, there is never, and I mean never a problem to find a place to park your car in downtown. Not yet. I've lived here almost 30 years, and I have yet to have to park more than 3 blocks away from anywhere I wanted to park. (and this includes those days when I have a carfull or a truckfull of merchandise for my store...all through the 90s and right now!)

If I walk outside my shop here at 712 Broadway, within 2 blocks I can count 38 empty pay parking slots. And....12 empty free slots on a Monday morning. That top picture was taken just on last August 11, Tuesday at 1 pm) (I'm only counting the ones I can see, and not the ones behind locked doors.)
And that is with streets under construction within 6 blocks of me, which moves parked cars closer to me and farther away from me.

In the future, when all the condos are full in downtown, and when all the empty retail is full up again...then we should talk Paid Parking.......but not yet.

This whole paid parking idea is the half-baked idea of City Mangler, Eric Anderson. He and uber-capitalist Julie Anderson are fibbers. Don't ya love how their rhetoric is "I love society, I love community, I love business...." but every syllable that falls from their respective cakeholes is really about how to get more money from us in User Taxes.........those little tiny ways of extracting money for municipal services that we already have paid for and pay for again and again again.

Instead of getting a Parking Tax in the bi-yearly tax bill (property owners) or higher rent (renters) they want to squeeze it out of us a dollar or 2 at a whack.

I am in my shop daily, and I hear this:
"Am I gonna get a ticket? I've been parked for 2 hours and I'm not done..."
"I have an appointment at the dentist, will I get a ticket?"
"I want to go down to Pacific and eat, but I guess I have to move my car."
In other words, the draconian Parking Time Limits and fear of a ticket, has scared shoppers and $$$$$ away from me, away from all merchants in our area. And for no good reason.

I think that the blogosphere support for Paid Parking comes from 3 main types of vainglorious emotional thinking...

1.Small Penis Behavior.
A lot of people that have just moved to Tacoma, say, have lived here less than 10 years, are just a bit ashamed that they live in Tacoma. They have internalized the criticism that others have slammed this cute little city with for years. In order to make themselves feel as if they live in a big city that is muscular they want to install "big city services and features" in order to deflect that emotional feeling of being the little kid in the playground.

2. Sometimes Imitation isn't the Sincerest Form of Flattery, sometimes it's a real lack of imagination.
There is more to life than aping a bad decision just because someone else does it. Surely, you've heard the story of the mom who asked an angry child "Just because Johnny jumps off the bridge, does that mean you have to do it too?" Just because some smart ass comes to town and is The Parking King, doesn't mean you have to fall into lockstep just because it is the latest Urban Planning fad.
Tacoma has many features of other cities its size, and many features of small towns...we are charming and we need to find solutions that are correct for Tacoma. A little imagination would reveal that City Mangler, Eric Anderson's solution to "Tacoma's Parking Problem" (which doesn't even exist!) is nothing more than a blood-letting of a thousand cuts. If you think parking in downtown Tacoma is a problem, stop driving in! Bus, train, walk, or bike.
I bussed all over Tacoma during the 80s and 90s with my 3 children to pay bills and do light shopping. We went to parks in the South end, we attended child activities using the bus. Amazing!
Tacoma needs more bus routes more often. Tacoma needs a program to encourage the downtown office workers to stop driving into town in their big fat cars when all they need to come to work with is a small backpack...a person and her backpack can,
a) Walk.
b) Bus.
c) Bike.
d) Train.
e) Carpool. (This is what I mean by a lack of imagination...sometimes the solution isn't Taxing Your Car, ie ...Paid Parking)
Although I love to make fun of The Link thru town, I use it all the time! So do the hobos, which is why I call it The Hobo Train, because it is.
I used to live on N. 21st street and on N.13th street between Pine and Junett. It takes only 20 minutes to walk to downtown, or walk to Proctor. I had my choice of 3 different bus routes all within 6 blocks of my houses to get anywhere I wanted to go. So stop whining.

3. The money that will get pumped into the meters is a tiny amount...out of a middle-class income. But it burdens those who can least afford it.
But for the rest of us, those who make less than $ 40,000, 40 thou! a year...this shit adds up!
A dollar here, a dollar there and pretty soon there is millions streaming into city coffers for no reason other than to habituate you to pay for a government service that you have paid for, and there is no need to charge for it except to charge for it.
This is a naked money grab. Does Tacoma need this money to improve its services? No. Plenty of money in other places for fixing roads and city sidewalks.
This "Pay for Play" is part of a scheme government types drummed up and it spread like wildfire from the Reagan Years and Beyond. (And I like government!)

Who drives in and parks on the streets all damn day? Lazy people with money. Poor people with no transit service from the hinterlands where they are stuck. Lazy people with money should be taxed other ways, or not at all. Poor people already pay a disproportionate amount of their income in State Sales Tax.

Look, you love to go on and on about how much you love living in Tacoma. So why are you constantly trying to change it into a big big city which you hate? A big big city is crowded with super-high real estate prices, and super-high rent.
It nicklesAnddimes you to death.
Tacoma is wonderful, but it will soon be not-so-wonderful in small incremental creeping ways, if you don't wake up and smell the freshly roasted Fair Trade coffee!

Here's a list of what has been done in Tacoma that is just right.
1. The Tacoma Dome, tho that project is not finished. It has an unfinished parking scheme. Cars stream in to get to the Dome on skinny surface residential/business streets. When a large event is on, a 20 block radius of the neighborhood becomes impassable for hours. There needs to be a huge dedicated overpass/road directly into the Dome parking lots, and more transit needs to be added from towns outside the Tacoma core. Also, that blue diamond paint job is plain FUGLY.

2. Moving the Transit/Train center to Puyallup avenue is just right. It should be a transit center. Duh. Trains, buses, freeway. Yup. Perfect. Tho I don't like how the Hobo Link runs thru town, I really really like it. I like thinking of the Czech people that built it. Keep building on more public transit, and Tacoma will rule!

3. Remodeling the Union Station, putting museums in a concentrated circle, and reusing old buildings for the UWT (in spite of the MBA program) is Brilliant! Compact and busy, this lower Pacific neighborhood is perfect! And, it was done by homegrown Tacomans....long before I had to suffer with Julie and Eric Anderson, City Mangler.

4. Establishing neighborhoods with signs and emphasis on character is one way the city has been kind and neighborly. One thing all cities desperately need is more kindness and neighborlyness.
Hi neighbor! The crows dumped your garbage can, let me help pick it up.....
Hi neighbor! I love your Farmer's Market, so I'll take the bus to shop there.
Hi neighbor! I see your park needs some cleaning up, so I'll be happy to come on a Saturday morning and help with the work. (You get the idea...we're all connected, yet we are different and alike)

5. Revitalizing the waterfront. I own The Waterfront! Thanks for the Nixon Era Superfund Legislation and the EPA.
The water ! It's mine and yours, and I think you forget that. It does not belong to corporations for them to build big nasty condos on. It's my space to enjoy what God made for soothe my soul and to give me space to breathe when the crowded city presses me down.
I know some of you new kids in town think that we Tacomans didn't know we lived on the Water, but we know. We just didn't go bragging on it all the time because we knew you'd move in and forget to bargain down the price when buying a home, thereby driving real estate prices through the "roof", meaning those of us who live here and work here, will never be able to buy a house. Thanks.

6. Click! Allowed me to have a job in my jammies. Till they refused to hook me up downtown, bitch. But still. Investing in the internet to go almost everywhere in Tacoma is a great example of a Good Idea that creates commerce, increases intelligence, and allows rednecks to insult liberals, and vice versa, from the comfort of their homes, or from their desk at Russell.

Friday, August 7, 2009

So, I sew, you know...some weirdness on etsy...

Here's the funniest craft pattern I've seen in a long long time...and I've seen a lot of craft patterns in my day.....Hillbillies, yes, I said's on etsy here at Valzays

Here's the funniest sweater I've seen in a long time, and I've seen a lot of sweaters in my's Snails ! yuk. cool. it's here on etsy at ThousandShipsVintage

And a book about pockets that Erin of Dress A Day might's here on etsy at TheBakersDaughterToo

and I love how this seller, uses ballons for boobies...see her listings at Groovintuesday at etsy

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Best of Tacoma....

well, it's baaaack...
The Volcano sends you its Best...
of Tacoma issue.
or whatever.
So, Thanks! to Julie Bennett of urbanXchange for giving me, funkoma vintage, and Laurel of Orange on Broadway some sweet PROPS!
yes, we rule.
We are the BEST !

oh yeah...
new stuff is arriving daily in my shop...
and on etsy......
click the etsy link over there --->

*********2 year etsy-versary*********
**Buy 2 * Freeeee Shipping in the US *
**Buy 2 * Half Off International Shipping *

yes I discount shipping for multi-buys.

Oh yeah, did you notice that Flaming Dragon Tattoo is moving up on the hill, on Pacific Ave...way up the hill to about, oh Pacific and S. 34th, in that weird stone building???
If you ran into the building, wearing just your skin....
it would really really hurt....