Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: January, 2007 (68) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 68

January 12, 2007 at 1:05pm

Weekend Blowdown

This week turned the South Sound into a giant snow globe â€" but there's still a whole lotta shaking going on this weekend.

Friday, Jan. 12
CELEBRATE EXHIBITS CLOSING: The Tacoma Art Museum celebrates the end of “Conloninpurple” and “Symphonic Poem” with special parties today.

FIREHOUSE COFFEE COMPANY ANNIVERSARY:  Celebrate this Sixth Avenue's one-year anniversary with a DJ and acoustic rock by Evan Purcell tonight at 8 p.m.

SEAN COSTELLO: When you first hear Sean Costello, you’ll probably say â€" “He’s only 27?”  Like Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Costello has been playing the blues since he was a young lad. Check him out tonight at 9 p.m. at Jazzbones.

Saturday, Jan. 13
QUEEN OF CHAMBER MUSIC: Go hear award-winning pianist Judith Cohen perform Scarlatti, Rachmaninoff, Bartok, and Bernstein at 8 p.m. at South Puget Sound Community College. Cohen is artistic director for the Governor's Chamber Music Series. 

SPECIAL GLASS ACT: The William Traver Gallery celebrates emerging glassblowers Sean O'Neill and Benjamin Cobb with a hip reception from 6 to 9 p.m. DJ Karlito will spin.

ELVIS BIRTHDAY BASH: Elvis Presley would have turned 72 last Monday. Pause for a moment and consider how old that makes you feel. Now, shake that thought from your noggin and consider watching Robert Washington shake his hips and sing El’s songs at the Capitol Theater at 8 p.m. Washington also performs Sunday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m. at the Brotherhood Lounge in downtown Olympia for $4 at the door.

Sunday, Jan. 14
DEVIN THE DUDE: Rapper brings his self-deprecating humor and raw lyrical wit to The Factory at 9 p.m. Tickets are a$15-$25 at TicketsWest.

Filed under: Olympia, Tacoma,

January 13, 2007 at 11:01am

Original Roadhouse Grill private opening last night

The latest location for the Original Roadhouse Grill is a killer. It's in the Federal Way retail bottleneck, at the back of some plaza that sits like a box canyon; shoppers, diners, movie-goers alike all funnel into this zone off 320th and Highway 99, half-blind from wholesale excess, wondering where they can eat. The Original Roadhouse Grill, born in Gresham, Ore., has to compete with numerous other restaurant chains in that mess.

Their atmosphere will win many restaurant choice battles.

Last night’s Roadhouse Grill private opening I witnessed the kind of chaos that would completely shatter any normal restaurant crew: dining rooms filled to capacity, marketing crew bottlenecking the lobby, people slipping on the ice outside, people slipping on the greasy, peanut shell littered concrete floor inside and the bathrooms blocked by the staff’s periodic line-dancing routine.  Craziness.  But this staff is trained well.  My cute redheaded server answered every question, gave quick service, all with a smile.

Originalroadhousegrill Like the other 15 Roadhouse locations, the new Federal Way location â€" set to open Jan. 15 â€" is designed for a roadhouse feel, although it needs to be beaten up a bit for a true roadhouse feel.  It’s too slick.  It needs a few beer bottled throw at the walls.  Maybe some spilled chew cups, blood and lipstick should be incorporated somewhere.  Indoors tin roofs and old road signs set a tone, but it needs roughing up a bit.

The portions and drinks are big as a roadhouse.  Categorized in trucker lingo â€" Short Hauls for appetizers, Extra Cargo for sides, The Garage for pork chops and salmon (?) â€" the plates arrive large, stacked with juicy prime rib, typical burger variations, and Midwestern corn-fed beef.  The Petite Filet Mignon arrived bland.  Specialty drinks arrive in 30-ounce mason jars.  Beers stand tall 23-ounce glasses. 

Owner Ralph Cimmarusti, who own original Roadhouse Grills up and down the Wets Coast including a Lacey location next year with his brother Larry, broke the roar last night with a speech.  “This is our first entry into Washington state,” he stated, “and we chose Federal Way. The city welcomed us and did a great job.
“On Monday, 50 percent of all sales will be donated to the Federal Way Boys & Girls Club.”

Fifty percent on last night’s bar bill went to the Boys & Girls Club too.  Those kids will do well off the Weekly Volcano’s table alone.  Carmen Jones and Suzy Stump were well over 100 ounces each.

Entrees ranger in price from $12 to $21, burgers and entreé salads hover around $9 and Short Hauls are $5 to $7. â€" Jake de Paul

Filed under: Federal Way, Food & Drink,

January 14, 2007 at 6:44am

Taking a vacation on South Tacoma Way

It’s cold.  I’m ready for a hot vacation.  But I’m broke. So, naturally, I head down South Tacoma Way.

My friend Maria and I make the Olympus Spa our destination, casting off the thoughts of snow with our clothes as we head to the pools and heated rooms that transplant us into Shangri-la for the afternoon.

I‘ve also scheduled myself a wrap, which I thought was the same as the moisturizing treatment I’ve seen.  I was wrong, gloriously wrong.

The moisturizing treatments look like dying and going to salad heaven â€" basically, you sit in an open treatment room with up to six other women, all as naked as you, and get olive oil rubbed on your body and cucumber mulch packed onto your face. In the same rooms, the exfoliating body scrubs also happen, where teeny, biking-shorts clad Korean women harf on every part of your body with what is, effectively, plastic sandpaper.  Your skin tingles and glows like you’ve just drunk a gallon of neon after this treatment, and even the rougher parts of you feel like a newborn baby’s bum.

It’s divine, even when the woman scrubbing you is pulling up a butt cheek to get at skin you had no idea needed exfoliating.

But today, I’m not getting one of those treatments. After sitting in the 104 degree hot-tub, the 97 degree hot-tub, the 93 degree mineral bath, and then back to the 97 degree tub, I get taken by massage therapist Kari Welch into a private room, and get a mud-like concoction, good for detoxification, slathered on me.  Then I’m wrapped in a plastic sheet (painter’s drop cloth?) and one of those mylar emergency blankets. I get a sublime face and scalp massage, and then sit for a while. 

For me, it’s excruciating. I’m a multi-tasker by nature, but here in the dark, sweating profusely, I can do nothing but clear my mind and relax.

Time passes quickly.  I shower, and then decide to extend my “vacation” by going into the Sand Room.  The thing I love about this room is that I can pretend I’m on a beach, and create wells for the parts of my body that extend beyond flat (use your imagination.)  I can only last in the heat for about 15 minutes, after which I sit on the heated flat room in between the waiting room, the wet room, and the heated rooms.  Groups sit and chat, or read magazines, or, like me, just rest.

It’s about time to get back onto the ice, so I make one last visit to the wet room, shed my robe, and heat my body up in the 104 degree tub.  Nearly poached to well-done, I head over to the 60 degree pool (with waterfall!) and do the super-quick dunk, then rinse off with a sluicing from the mugwort well.

My vacation is abruptly ended as I walk into a parking lot covered with ice, while snow flurries around; but even though I’m no longer relaxing in the heat with a group of naked women, the warm afterglow remains with me. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Lakewood,

January 14, 2007 at 6:49pm

Undauntingly hip William Traver Gallery in Tacoma

Traverone I walked through a snowball fight at the Museum of Glass cone to get into the artists reception at William Traver Gallery Saturday.  I was half expecting a somber-toned event centered around intent, theme, and composition, and found a fun, young group of individuals gawking at the cool glass while sipping wine and beer. The perfect ambiance was set with music by DJ Karlitos and Che Guevara-like artist Wyatt Landis, while Lani Ladbon chatted and hostessed in her trademark cheery fashion: she took my coat, procured a glass of wine for me, and I felt at home.

Travertwo Traverfour The art itself, glass by two different artists whose themes coincidentally seemed to mesh really well, was amazing.  Sean O’Neill, who slumps, blows, etches, and carves patterns into his works, says pieces shown are “a pretty raw direct translation of my experience in the world.”

Similarly, Benjamin Cobb says his works are “Abstract takes on natural forms.”

United in theme, the works diverge in form.  Upon first glance, Cobb’s vase-like pieces and monotype prints have a decidedly '60s feel to them, with bright colors and modern forms that look like they would be at home in a Guggenheim Museum.  But upon closer inspection, the pieces have a technical edge to them, with windows that enable the viewer to see the contrasting interiors of the forms.  Names like “Bladder,” “Bursa,” “Stomach,” and “Ventricle” allude to the types of life forms Cobb had in mind as he created the pieces; the asymmetrical works call these biological specimens to mind.  In both “Bursa 12” and “Bursa 2,” the etched exterior obscures the vivid interior of Murrini; the striations and layers do actually look like cut-away tendons and muscles. My favorite was probably “pill” with it’s white exterior, deliciously grape interior, and its capsular form.

Traverthree Traverfive Traversix O’Neill’s works, with titles like  “Rain,” “Rift,” “Iris,” “Corona,"  and “Nimbus” recall a bigger natural picture.  O’Neill’s items appear to transcend the material he uses, appearing to be more like Bake-Lite, or enamel on metal, than glass.  His shallow bowls, with radial patterns etched into them, are unlike work I have ever seen, and are amazingly cool; it’s the kind of cool you have to look at, so you can see the texture and depth of the items.  While quite a few have a very geometrical pattern of lines creating a circle, others that appealed to me the most were the obscure haloes of shape. I tried to blink to bring them into focus, but the ghost-like haze was inherent to the art. O’Neill says of his work, “This is the first time I’m making things that appeal to my aesthetic.” â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Arts, Culture, Tacoma,

January 15, 2007 at 8:28am

Dream time for free

To most people, the holidays just mean another glorious day off work.  After all, who isn't desperate for extra secs in their day?  But what I've recently realized is that instead of sleeping in we should actually be celebrating the people who made our stupendous country what it is - free. 

So, we at the Weekly Volcano are serving you up a couple of activities sure to school you on why we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Today the Washington State History Museum on Pacific Avenue will honor the late Dr. King through various exhibits and events. 

Through Tuesday, Jan. 16: the four-year traveling exhibit - "381 Days: The Montgomery Bus Boycott Story" - will exit the museum Tuesday.  Originating from the Smithsonian, the exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks and her struggle for equality.  The exhibit brings to life the change that more than fifty thousand people brought upon the segregated bus system in Montgomery, Ala.  Looking at the photos, quotes, and historical texts, I could actually feel the energy of this movement.  It's inspiring seeing how so many diverse people stood and worked together as one.  I learned that during the bus boycott blacks with cars would take others to and from work, so they wouldn't have to take the bus, even if they didn't know them.  They called this the "private taxi."  Freedom wasn't given to them; they fought and got it for themselves.  I was struck by a black and white photo of a young African American boy warming his hands over a burning cross.  It shows how they were fazed by nothing.  They set out to achieve one goal and reached it.  Roberta Wright once wrote of the boycott, "It helped to launch a 10-year national struggle for freedom and justice, the Civil Rights Movement, that stimulated others to do the same at home and abroad."

Today: From 1 to 4:30 p.m. the Washington State History Museum will present Juanita Jones Abernathy.  Abernathy, an activist in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, will share her thoughts and memories of the time.  Then global artist Eddie Walker will create a mural commemorating the boycott and its creators.  Don't be scared to wear your painter's overalls, because he'll even let you help - with his instruction of course. 

There isn't an admission fee today.  Nice.â€" Julie Jordan

Filed under: Culture, Tacoma,

January 15, 2007 at 8:49pm

Matador lunch

The Matador Restaurant and Tequila Bar says they'll open for lunch beginning Monday, Jan. 22.  Neat. â€" Jake de Paul

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

January 16, 2007 at 10:47am

"Goodnight Moon" review

Seattle Children’s Theatre’s world premier of “Goodnight Moon,” a book that has delighted children drawn to the simplicity of bunnies and mice living together in a green room for 60 years looks, feels and sounds fabulous on stage. 

At first thought, most parents who have read this book to their children will wonder how one makes a play from a book that barely has any sense of a story.  “Goodnight Moon” is more a shout-out to a few friends, like the ending of a “Walton’s” episode, than something a playwright can hang a climax on.  But, not everyone is Chad Henry â€" one of Seattle’s greatest talents, who took the simplicity of “Goodnight Moon,” kept to its general themes and created a funny, musical, enriching show.

The set is a near photocopy of the book’s illustrations.  Expanded with 100 times the words, some fancy dance steps and fun songs, the show more than delights the children in the audience, it works for the parents as well. 

“Goodnight Moon” runs through March 10, Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 5:30 p.m., at Seattle Children’s Theatre, located at 201 Thomas St., at the Seattle Center.  Tickets are $16 to $32. â€" Ken Swarner

Filed under: Culture, Theater,

January 16, 2007 at 2:04pm

The Spar Cafe in Olympia is now open

Months after Alan McWain sold the landmark Spar Cafe, a 71-year-old Olympia hangout and meeting mainstay to the Portland-based McMenamins, the place has opened and return to its pedestal of South Sound establishments.  Check out story here. â€" Steve Dunkelberger

January 16, 2007 at 2:52pm

New downtown Tacoma restaurant

That part of Pacific Avenue witnessing a recent food boom is about to welcome another eatery.  Set to open in spring, Capers will initially offer lunches (and wine and beer) and then expand to the services offered by their Proctor location. Current Capers Take Home Eatery sous-chef Shannon O’Dell will become the downtown chef, while current chef Gwen Hayes will assume executive chef responsibilities.

Capers Take Home Eatery is currently located at 2602 N Proctor, in back by Starbucks.  Give them a buzz at 253.761.4444. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

January 16, 2007 at 4:27pm

Hilltop Tacoma Restaurant Guide

Hilltopbusinessmap1 Hilltop Tacoma â€" or rather the Upper Tacoma Business District (natch!) â€" is just a hop, skip, and a stumble away from downtown Tacoma and Sixth Avenue, yet it doesn’t receive as much love as those budding restaurant scenes. Which is a shame, because its dining and drinking options are worthy.

The Hilltop businesses have produced a nifty guide to help the world discover the noshing and sipping options available on Hilltop Tacoma.  Here is a sneak peek.  The official program will hit the streets soon.

Hilltopbusinessmap2 Hilltopbusinessmap3 Cheers! â€" Jake de Paul

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

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