Archive for August, 2010


As the primary dust settles, let’s see what we’ve got

Phew. Feels a tad like November, doesn’t it? Some primaries go softly into that good night. Others – notably our current 2010 version – go out with a bang.

So now that the returns are (in large part) in the door, what can we say about the state of the Bus, the state of you, the awesome volunteer, and the state of our state? Let us begin.

The State of the Bus: behold the rise of young politics.

Let’s just come straight out and say this first and foremost: young people have never mattered more in Washington State politics. Sure, we could quote our recent op-ed in the Seattle Times about voting trends, but there’s an even simpler metric to go by: young candidates, across the board, owned this primary election. In the three primary races the Bus was working on, Joe Fitzgibbon in the 34th Legislative District, Andy Billig in the 3rd Legislative District, and Nick Harper in the 38th Legislative District, the younger candidates came through the primary across the board. The Bus is proud that young people are headed towards elective office, and we’re glad that with each election, more and more campaigns realize that young people are a key constituency to be considered and valued. Pow!

The State of You: every door counts.

Did you know that you were the most important person in the primary? It’s true. In each of the Bus’s three primary races, the difference between the top two vote-getters was razor thin: as close as 21 votes, and no more than 246. Oooooweee! Bus volunteers knocked on thousands of doors, and made thousands of calls – more than enough to be decisive in each of these races. Your work as a volunteer is what made these races so competitive, and as we take a deep breath and look towards the general election together, know that your time and energy is going to be as important, if not more. It’s an exciting time – and you’re the reason it’s happening!

The State of the State: engaged.

The Bus is proud to be a part of a most excellent trend, which is a higher-than-usual turnout in a primary election. As the ballots continue to pour in (watch out this afternoon for another update), the Secretary of State’s office is predicting a primary turnout of 38 percent – enough to tie the recent (2006) record – and is crossing their fingers for the grand total to break 40. Now, we realize that means there’s much much more to do, but the fact that the dial is moving in the right direction, and that young people are a big part of it, is making us do the “high fiving my cousin” dance (fyi, there is no such dance. It simply sounds like fun).

The moral of the story? The wheels are in motion, the Bus is rolling, and you’re in the driver’s seat. Whether you’re in Vancouver, Spokane, Tenino or Tacoma, the Bus is going to be in your area this fall! We have miles to go before we sleep, so get your catnap in now, and let’s get ready to rumble!


It is primary night, and the feeling is right

Seriously, have you mailed your ballot?

It is primary night, oh what a night.

Where will you be this evening, as the ballot results flow in? Excellent question. The answer, of course, is that you should be with the Bus. Which begs a further question: just where in our evergreen state will the Bus lay its weary treads to rest? Aha. Let us enumerate.

Firstly and foremostly, the Bus is happy to be co-sponsoring the only non candidate-oriented primary party we’re aware of. It’s in co-conspiracy with the good folks of Publicola, Strategies 360, Northwest Passage, and Sound View Strategies. It’s going down from 6 to 11 at the estimable, unimpeachably amazing Five Point Cafe (415 Cedar St), and it is highly recommended you attend.

Secondly and fivemostly, various elements of the Bus’s shadowy army of volunteers will be kicking up their heels at the election night party of one Joe Fitzgibbon, noted young person, candidate for 34th LD State Rep, and all around nice guy. That particular throwdown is on the go down at the Bembow Room in the Admiral District (4210 SW Admiral Way).

Regardless of where you end up, make sure you’ve already gotten your ballot postmarked and in the mail, and that you’re near a tv or computer at 8:15 when the first bath of results will be released. Thanks to everyone for all your hard work this primary election – tonight’s a night to celebrate that which you have wrought!

And now, the song which inspired the title of this post.


Magic Vote Bust a move!

The correct term is pow pow!

You know what’s beautiful? Sunshine, hot weather, the sound of birds chirping their way through a slow balmy breeze. Know what else is beautiful? Tons and tons of young people knocking on doors, and making sure their peers turn in their primary ballots! Two beautiful things, eh? Luckily, this last Saturday, those two things just happened to overlap into the awesome glory that is/was/forever will be the Magic Vote Bus!

It was, indeed, an amazing day: over 70 young people knocked on over 1,500 doors in mere hours, showing the oomph and pow (and also ka-blam) that our generation truly has. The Fellows decided to target voters under the age of forty, and target they did. The best way to get someone to vote is to ask them to, face to face, and thanks to the Fellows, young voters got the extra push they needed to get their primary ballots in on time.

A huge thanks to everyone who made it possible: to Youngstown Cultural Center for hosting the afterparty, to the amazing volunteers who came out and got the job done, and of course to the Summer Fellows, for a) organizing the whole awesome shebang, b) providing what is possibly best dramatic interpretation of the Magic School Bus EVER, and c) for proving that it is possible to devour 150 Cupcake Royale cupcakes in the blink of an eye.

And of course, if you’re reading this and haven’t turned in your ballot, remember: election day (such as it is) is tomorrow. There is no better time to turn in your ballot than RIGHT NOW ! West Seattle was served this message on a silver platter this Saturday, so get on the Bus and get your ballots in!

I can feel the canvassing power coursing through to veins.

I wouldn't mind if these beautiful faces showed up at my door...

Mr. BronSkills. Our token Canadian.

According to my research the Summer Fellows ROCK!

Did we mention there were cupcakes?

Look at all these early risers!

Is that sun???


Burt Reynolds: the man behind the mustache

So dreamy.

You might have heard about the recent news about mustaches. You know, how they enhance your power and prestige. And in a recent interview with Hella Bus, mustachioed sex symbol Burt Reynolds credited his magnificent facial hair for the vast majority of his considerable achievements, such as Deliverance, Boogie Nights and Smokey and the Bandit Part 3.

When we sat down at Bus HQ, Reynolds was wearing the sort of classy attire you could find him showing off in the late 70s: jeans, jean shirt, jean jacket, jean tie(?). The man knows how to wear a (Canadian) tuxedo.

Here’s a few selections from the interview:

Thanks for sitting down with us, Burt.

No problem.

So you’re an eminently successful movie star.

I am. I also am notably handsome.

And you’ve been in the biz for a few years, so you must have a few ideas about why you’ve made it so big.

Yeah, it’s true. I think it’s my mustache.

Really? Facial hair has that sort of effect?

Sure does. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been propositioned by men and women who were intrigued by my mustache.

Uh… cool. I really wanted to know that. But the mustache has an affect on your business dealings too?

Yeah. If my representatives are having trouble getting my quote from a producer, they take me along to a face-to-face.

So you can show off your mustache?

Yeah. I just stroke it lovingly and glare at the producer. They usually exceed my quote at that point.

You’d think they’d just give you the quote up front then.

That’s what it’d seem like, but they gave me the quote no questions asked for the version of The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler and we all know how that went.

Oof. That’s a good point.

Yep. It’d have gone a lot better if the kid had grown a mustache like I’d said he should.

You think Adam Sandler in a mustache would have made The Longest Yard a good movie?

Ask it again.

You think Adam Sandler in a mustache… oh, man, that’s hilarious


Great talking to you, Burt.

You too. This is a great organization you got going here.

A real class act. I should mention that even though Reynolds is like the general population of mustache-wearers mentioned above in that he earns more money and gets more respect than the barefaced, he also blames it for the “painful” handsomeness he has had to endure for more than fifty years as a movie star. You feel for the guy.


Later y’all

So this is my last day writing on Hella Bus- thanks for reading.

I’ve been writing a fair bit of posts this summer, which is what y’all have seen. But the part of my work this summer I’m more excited about is the style guide we’ve developed here at Hella Bus Labs. We think that the style guide will be the foundation of a bigger, better Hella Bus. Eventually we want to be statewide, with several writers in different cities and towns and all kids of posting goodness every single day of the week. I guess the real point of this post (besides self-indulgence) is to tell readers that we have a brite (sic) future at Hella Bus.

Same thing with the Bus itself. I can’t mention what the big, exciting stuff that’s in the works, but the Bus’s fall election program is going to be HUGE. Books will be written, folks. Well, blog posts anyway. Even though I’ll be back at school on the least coast, it’ll be fun to read all the recaps and summaries of Bus voter reg shenanigans and know I played some small part in the writing.

I’m sure the same is true for everyone whom I want to shout out: Toby, for his vision of Hella Bus; Gabe and Helena, for writing rad stuff each time out; the Summer Fellows, for turning out voters and goofy Saturday morning cartoon dialogues; the Bus community for being just oh so totally rad all the time, and the Bus staff for being good at everything.

More than anything, though, I’d like to thank you, readers, for reading. Make sure you continue doing it. Hella Bus going to get crazy good.

Peace. Continue reading ‘Later y’all’


The Magic Vote Bus, Episode 3: Exploring the elusive cupcake

Dorothy Ann: Ms. Frizzle, Did you know that some group called The Washington Bus will be giving  away free cupcakes and cupcake gift certificates from Cupcake Royale this Saturday?

Frizzle: Why of course Dorothy Ann, the Bus will be hosting a Doorbelling for Democracy extravaganza on August 14th in one of my favorite neighborhoods, West Seattle.

Ralphie: They are going to give away sooo many cupcakes!

Frizzle: Yes Ralphie, I can’t think of a better way to turn out young voters and eager volunteers.

Carlos: What’s so great about cupcakes anyway?

Dorothy Ann: According to my research, cupcakes are a delicious treat that inspires joy and happiness.

Frizzle: That’s correct Dorothy Ann, and a great way to get excited about this Saturday, is to go on a field trip to the best Cupcake factory in town, Cupcake Royale!


It was the 70s…

…and horrific things happened as the West German charts were conquered by the ghost of Ghengis Khan.

Wait, what?