Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2007 (138) Currently Viewing: 51 - 60 of 138

December 11, 2007 at 11:31am

Toilet Tales: Ruby Collection

Toilettalesrubybig They didn't want me there, but I showed up anyway.  I have no class.  I will crash any party and not look back.

Swarner Communications had their annual Christmas party at Ruby Collection this year.  For those of you who live under a rock, they are the ones who sign my paycheck. They are the ones I had the Italian mafia talk to in order to get me this space in the Spew. (By the way, Pappi Swarner should be regaining his eyesight within the next month, and he thanks everyone for all the nice get well soon cards.)

The food was great, the wine and beer were flowing, and everyone looked gorgeous.  Especially Carmen Jones.  You guys all recognize the name, I'm sure.  She's the ultimate Tacoma socialite, so of course she HAD to be there.  Sheââ?¬â?¢d never miss a party.  Apparently she couldn't decide on which of the many, many guys at her heels to take to the Christmas party, because she showed up with Syd Vicious, a chick.  This is the part where it turns scary.  Put the kids to bed before you continue reading.

There was a gift exchange.  You know the kind.  Bring a gift, draw a number, pick a gift, it gets to be taken three times, people try and give away their ugly gifts, others hide the good gifts, you know the drill.  In some parts of Tacoma (the DeRosa parts), fights break out, people are shot, and ultimately jail time is spent.  Then there's Syd Vicious, Carmen's date.She beautiful, she's powerful, and she has the eyes of the devil.  The entire evening leading up the incident was an effin blast.  We had the crew huddled around a cocktail table.  Me, Mojitomamma (Jessica Corey-Butler), Carmen, KAke, and Syd.  We were laughing, hugging, and the world was our oyster.  Syd had her eyes on a beautiful black purse that Angela Jossy had brought, yet Allison Swarner had her hands on it.  Let me warn you, Allison is married to the nice Swarner brother, Ken.  (Not Pappi Swarner.)

The fact that it was the boss's wife who held the immaculate purse Syd wanted had no effect on her.  She didn't care.  She took the purse from Allison.  It was down to one more take.  My turn was coming. At this point in the evening is when the horns came out of Syd's head, her eyes caught fire, and I was given my options:

  1. Take the purse from Allison, and Syd would pay for my next two Tacoma Beer Society fees. ($10 each)
  2. Die.

Toilettalesrubytwo Now, usually I am one tough bitch, but I got a little scared. Syd Vicious had some high heel boots on that would leave a scar on my forehead for the rest of my life.  I took the purse.  I had the final, third take.I got the glare from Allison Swarner.  Ken then announced the end of any future Spew Toilet Tales.  Pappi Swarner threw his green bean casserole in my face and called me a loser.  I was done.

And all because of Carmen and her sidekick, Syd.

But just like the Grinch that stole Christmas, I had a revelation.  (Actually KAke walked up to me and whispered in my ear.)   I won't tell you what our grand plan is, but I will tell you that Syd is not getting the purse.   I am going to keep the purse, and show it a good time before I retire it to a comfortable home.  So from here on out, the purse will be highlighted in my Toilet Tales pictures. 

Oh, and some pictures of the bathrooms in Ruby Collection.  The pictures do not do it justice; you absolutely MUST see the detail.  Best bathrooms by far to date.

Until next week¬" Steph DeRosa

Filed under: Holidays, Tacoma,

December 11, 2007 at 3:31pm

Santarchy hits Tacoma Friday

Santarchy Finally, anarchy is coming to Tacoma, and it’s wearing a Santa suit. Well, hopefully hundreds of Santa suits. The pan-continental holiday riot known as Santarchy could easily be denounced as just another excuse to get shitfaced â€" like wedding receptions or a visit to Sea World. In this case, the revelry involves dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of Santa-suited sots marauding about town. Weekly Volcano readers are encouraged to suit up, drink a Red Bull and come out to judge for themselves when the cheer comes to Tacoma Friday, Dec. 14.

Santarchy began some 14 years ago in San Francisco, where a score of shabby Santas brought chaos to town, following a serpentine path through the city’s bars, leaving ruin in their wake. Like all great ideas, it caught on quickly. Twenty years later, anarchist Santas have organized themselves enough to make Santarchy a synchronized global phenomenon. Until this year, Tacomans had to travel to Seattle to join a fairly pedestrian Santa mob. Having experienced Seattle’s pansy-ass version, a brave young woman, who shall be referred here as “Head Santa” to preserve the illusion for children, decided to bring Santarchy to Tacoma.

“I just like to drink and have a good time. And I like to push people’s buttons. So I’m a good candidate,” says Head Santa. “Also, I’m an atheist, and I hate Christmas. So this is as close as I get to celebrating the holiday.”

The Tacoma manifestation will begin at the Swiss Pub and meander from there. The only rules are: wear a Christmas costume (beer-bellied, drunken Jesus strongly encouraged by the author), don’t break the law, and don’t puke on the bus. Oh, and bring a $5 donation to help cover the cost of the bus, sawdust and Febreeze.

“We booked a giant school bus to avoid massive death,” says Head Santa. “We’ll start drinking at the Swiss, and try and keep it loose. It is anarchy after all.”

National Santarchy organizers insist that the phenomenon is not a protest against Christmas or commercialization. Frequently, however, it does produce events that blaspheme against both.
“One year we went to the mall and all danced around a real [mall] Santa,” says serial Santarchist Craig. “There were a lot of confused children.”

Costumes are often embellished â€" red suits are the standard, but not the law. Craig recalls an Icecapade-style nutcracker that offered walnuts to onlookers. The walnuts were produced from an unknown container in the crotch of the nutcracker’s pants.

“There’s a lot of good stuff that happens,” says Craig.

Santarchy starts around 6 p.m. The bus leaves at 8 p.m. Help anarchy (and Santa) keeps its good name, and don’t drive. â€" Robert Dodds

[The Swiss Pub, Friday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m., $5, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma]

Filed under: Club Hopping, Holidays, Tacoma,

December 11, 2007 at 9:18pm

Jason Ricci interview

Jasonricci1213 Blues is alive and well in the 21st century, and while there might not be any bluesmen left from the cotton fields of the Mississippi, thanks to a batch of young musicians who are dedicated to keeping the genre alive, the sound of the Delta can still be heard like a distant train whistle on a dark night. Jason Ricci is one such artist who plays with respect for those who rose out of the oppressive South and changed music forever, but his surprisingly fresh take on the blues opens a new chapter for the time-honored music. Jason Ricci and New Blood will bleed onstage at Jazzbones Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.

I caught up with Ricci before Thursday's show.  Check out my interview here. â€" Tony Engelhart

Filed under: Music, Tacoma,

December 12, 2007 at 6:41am

It's on today!

Volcanoblastart MUSEUM
“Art of the Stamp"
“Art of the Stamp,” a stamp art exhibition at the Washington State History Museum, is a mind-boggling example of the ways in which a miniaturist’s vision can evolve into a life’s work. More than 55 artists, who, I believe, painted with tiny tiny brushes on tiny tiny canvases, exhibit 100 small works of original art at the downtown Tacoma museum.  â€" Suzy Stump

[Washington State History Museum, Dec. 8-March 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., open until 8 p.m. Thursday, $6-$8. 1911 Pacific Ave., downtown Tacoma, 253.798.5877]

MORE ART: Local galleries and museums.

Failing Winter
While the Olympia-based trio of Jamie McPheeters (guitar/vox), Chad Maurer (bass/vox) and Tex (drums) also list classic rockers Led Zeppelin and Rush as influences, their core sound is closer to the Clash on crack and coffee.

Throughout all the band’s three-minute songs, there are intricate and melodic change-ups as well as inventive and complex chord progressions. In other words, this aint your parents’ punk.

[Hell’s Kitchen, 9 p.m., with One Last Look, Red White & Die and Y.I.A., 9 p.m., $3, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

MORE MUSIC: In the clubs tonight.

Filed under: Arts, Culture, Music, Tacoma,

December 12, 2007 at 10:04am

24 Days of Cookies: Day 12

Cookieexchange Screw the bakeries; I held my own cookie exchange.

The mini-me got to have some friends over and eat endless amounts of sugar, so mommy got hers as well. Except mine included alcohol-induced boob pictures. Amongst the many privileged guests were Katie (owner extraordinaire of House of Tattoo), Mojitomamma JCB (Jessica Corey-Butler), Jenny Fab (Jennifer Johnson), Snoops (My Tacoma Beer Society co-founder), The Fitz and his wife Joy (Tacoma’s very own beer snob), my favorite cousin Shelly (We’re both married into the DeRosa family, so we like to stick together), and of course The KAke! (Like I would have anything involving liquor and not have her there, duh.)

Cookieexchangeboobs So, we all chowed on a brunch whipped up by Mr.Steffie and downed mimosas, Townshend T3 red wine, Baileys and coffee, and Alaskan Winter Ale. The cookies were to die for. There were sugar cookies, mod-inspired sugar cookies, maple nut bars, peanut butter balls, ornament sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, candy cane cookies, truffles, and stained glass cookies. That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout! Give me the peanut butter thumbprints, the ginger snaps, the chocolate bourbon balls, cream cheese almond poinsettia drops, honey balls, popcorn balls, merengue cookies, Night Before Christmas Mice, nutmeg logs, and ribbon cookies.

And what about sugarplum cookies? Can anyone tell me where I can find some good, old fashioned, traditional cookies like the ones I listed? No, you probably can’t. Those are the kinds of cookies that come from our friends and from our families. And from alcohol-induced cookie exchanges with a bunch of MAWGW (Middle Aged Women Gone Wild). â€" Steph DeRosa

MORE COOKIES: See what's already in our cookie jar. 

December 12, 2007 at 4:12pm


Topoftacomapatron I had finally made my way to the elusive Top of Tacoma Bar.  "Follow me, " said Carmen Jones, batting her eyelashes as she gets in her car.  I had no idea which way we were heading, just that I was leaving downtown Tacoma.  You mean there are bars outside of downtown?  Who knew?

Happiness is walking in to a Tacoma bar, hearing Mother Love Bone playing in the background, seeing rare microbrews on tap, and being greeted by beautiful Jaime Kay Newton, owner of Top of Tacoma Bar.  I was there to talk Tacoma Beer Society, and what does she put in front of me?  Patron XO Cafe, on the rocks.  She says,  "You gotta try this, you're not going to believe it."

This girl knows her shit.

It's a drink all it's own.  Nothing else is needed with Patron XO Cafe, which is an offspring of Patron Spirits Company.  It is smooth, it is dry, and it lends itself to nothing but the purest taste of coffee.  Not sweet, not bitter, and not tequila-ish at all.  That night I learned a new lesson in life:  all you need is Patron XO Cafe on the rocks, some time to sip, some time to enjoy, and some old school Depeche Mode blaring from the best jukebox in Tacoma. â€" Steph DeRosa

Filed under: Food & Drink, Steph DeRosa, Tacoma,

December 12, 2007 at 11:25pm

Heidelberg Brewery to be Holiday Inn?

Like a pack of well dressed, predominantly Caucasian wolverines, vested with preserving the historical identity of our city, the Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission met Wednesday night to, among other things, discuss a proposal to demolish the old Heidelberg Brewery building, located at 2102 S. C St. near the University of Washington Tacoma Campus.  All that was known going into the meeting was that the owners of the brewery had applied for a demolition permit, and they hoped to replace the historical structure with something exciting and new. What exactly that might be was what drew a handful of retired guys, John Larson of the Tacoma Weekly, a reporter from the TNT, and this writer to the Tacoma Municipal Building at 5 p.m.

So what is the exciting new plan for the Heidelberg Brewery? What might the old building’s exciting new replacement be?

A fucking Holiday Inn.

You heard it Tacoma. While the plan is still in its infantile stages, and will likely face heavy opposition from the Landmark Preservation Commission and up, as it stands right now there’s a group of business types hoping to put a 160 room Holiday Inn at the current location of the Heidelberg Brewery. After much talk, anticipation, and excitement over the locally publicized unveiling, you could feel the disappointment fill the room, affecting both the wolverines and interested citizens in the gallery, as Han G. Kim, Ph. D. of Hotel Concepts passed around early sketches of his vision for the Holiday Inn. The owner of the property to his right, Kim began to feel the wrath of the Landmark Preservation Commission almost as soon as Historic Preservation Officer Reuben McKnight (the most competent of the group) finished briefing his fellow wolverines on the proposed demolition and new construction.

“What I’ve seen here doesn’t impress me,” scolded one member of the Commission, adding “I’ve seen it along every freeway in America.”

At the heart of the issue is the debatable historical importance of the Heidelberg Brewery. Currently, thanks to about a half dozen renovations since the building’s original construction sometime around 1900, the Heidelberg Brewery is classified, in historical preservation terms, as a non contributing structure. However, it is in a historical district, meaning the Commission still has the right to review any plans for demolition. Any new building would almost certainly have to fit with the existing historical theme of the “brewery district,” or “warehouse district” (depending on which you prefer) where the brewery is located. Now that the owners of the Heidelberg Brewery have applied for a demolition permit, the Commission has the option of changing their mind, and deciding the building is of historical importance. Or they can reaffirm the building as “non contributing.” If the building keeps its “non contributing” status Kim and Hotel Concepts will be able to move forward with their plans for a Holiday Inn, but if it’s deemed historical, the demolition will be squashed and the group will work to achieve “compromise.” Given the disgust displayed by members of the Landmark Commission over Kim’s proposed Holiday Inn, it seems imminent the wolverines who guard our history will seek “compromise.” “Compromise” likely means Kim and Co are shit out of luck.

“If there’s anything I like less than a retroactive vinyl window application,” said a male member of the Commission, whose name and face was obscured from my vision by head of the TNT writer who wouldn’t stop clearing his god forsaken throat, “it’s the demolition of a historical building.” (Referring to an earlier appeal by a home owner being forced into removing all the vinyl windows she recently replaced because they don’t meet the snooty requirements of the historical “North Slope”)

Later in the meeting, Sharon Winters of the Historic Tacoma group, testified that Kim’s plans for a parking lot accompanying his Holiday Inn gave her “heartburn.”

Through all of it, the barrages and plastic diplomacy, Kim stayed strong.

“Our main concern is, without the building being gone our hotel will be impossible. (The Heidelberg Brewery building) makes the neighborhood feel dangerous. We want a feeling of safety, not run down buildings,” said Kim.

Tonight’s meeting was the first in a long, drawn-out, bureaucratic process that will ultimately decide the fate of the Heidelberg Brewery â€" at least in terms of whether or not it becomes a Holiday Inn. After sitting through the two hour meeting, I’d put everything I own on the plan failing. But I’m not a betting man. All I know is the Tacoma Landmark Preservation Commission seems to have a newfound love for the old brewery, and my guess is they’ll soon realize its “historical importance” and block the proposed demolition.

I guess that’s what happens when the other option is a Holiday Inn. â€" Matt Driscoll

Filed under: Matt Driscoll, News To Us, Tacoma,

December 13, 2007 at 9:12am

It's on today!

Volcanoblastart THE CRAFT
Rockin’ Knit Night
Tacoma Art Place hosts Rockin’ Knit Night tonight where knitters â€" beginners to experts â€" drop stitch with master knitter Megan Peters and listen to CDs. Cable needles and “Crazy Train!” Nice! â€" Suzy Stump

[Tacoma Art Place, Thursdays, 5:30-8 p.m., no cover, 1116 S. 11th, Tacoma, 253.238.1006]

Six friends share a passion for crafting challenging compositions with pop sensibility, and they are good at it. The band combines elements of soul, rock and jazz to create a Steely Dan/Stevie Wonder-like groove. â€" Brad Allen

[Masa, 9:30 p.m., no cover, 2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.254.0560]

Original Booty Burglars
They’re original and ridiculously entertaining. It’s not quantum physics. It’s rock and roll. The Original Booty Burglars know how to take control of a stage and know how to mesmerize a crowd. The first time I saw the Booty Burglars they whipped the whole crowd into a foamy lather, and then proceeded to have their filthy way with everyone in attendance. By the time things were over, every female in the room had a new favorite band, and the Burglar’s guitarist was down to his skivvies.

It was dirty, but it was a performance forever etched in my memory. â€" Matt Driscoll

[Hell’s Kitchen, with Who Cares, 9 p.m., $3, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

MORE MUSIC: In the clubs tonight.

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Culture, Music, Tacoma,

December 13, 2007 at 10:04am

Breakfast With Bobble Tiki

Breakfastatbobbletikis THE DAILY WORD
Learn it, use it, spell it

Reticent \RET-ih-suhnt\, adjective:
1. Inclined to keep silent; reserved; uncommunicative.
2. Restrained or reserved in style.
3. Reluctant; unwilling.

USAGE EXAMPLE: After the late Ike Turner would finish beating the living shit out of Tina, the long-legged singer often seemed reticent. Of course, she'd just had the shit beat out of her, so Bobble Tiki supposes that's to be expected.


WASHINGTON: Keeping track of sex offenders.

KING COUNTY: Nine bucks to get to Renton?

LONDON: No more swords along the Thames.

BRAZIL: iPods in Popsicles.

You can stand atop the mountain and scream your naked desires to the universe or shed that synapse epilepsy and hug the South Sound today with your fellow man:

Tonight, Portland soul rockers Intervision will play Sixth Avenue's Masa restaurant (of all places). Bobble Tiki isn't exactly sure how that will work, but the music should be groovy.  A couple months ago Intervision sent Bobble Tiki their latest CD, 2007's Shades of Neptune, and now every time Bobble Tiki's getting his white-guy soul on he slips in the disc. The band's show at Jazzbones earlier this year was evidence of Intervision's skill.

MORE MUSIC: What's on tonight.

THE ARTS:  Grab some culture today.

THE DRINK: The Western R is back.

THE FILMS: On local screens today.

This week Bobble Tiki is focused on comedy, and specifically Jason Stewart’s show coming up at Jazzbones Tuesday, Dec. 18. A well known name around these parts, thanks to a 13-year professional career that has featured heavy doses of the Comedy Underground and Jazzbones Comedy Night, Stewart is one of the funniest individuals Bobble Tiki has ever met. Check out Bobble Tiki's story here.

Breakfast with Bobble Tiki runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Deal with it.

December 13, 2007 at 10:10am

24 Days of Cookies: Day 13

German Pastry Shop
German Pastry Shop is the name of the place. There’s no second guessing what kind of establishment this is, its right there in the store title. No clever or kitschy names, just genuine 100-percent German pastry baking going on in this joint. Owned and operated by Wolfgang and Edeltraud Hatmann, they are nothing but serious about serving up authentic German cuisine. (When you say their names in your head, make sure to use your best German accent. Try it, it’s fun!)

Cookiesgermanbakerysprit Aside from Stolen, Wolfgang and Edeltraud have three other German Christmas goodies. Butter cookies, butter spritz, and hazelnut macaroons. Let me just say right here that I’ll be heading back there ASAP for some more butter cookies. Upon my first taste of these cookies, I had died and gone to Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

Mmmmmmmm … butter cookies … mmmmmmm. (This is the part where you imagine me drooling like Homer Simpson.)

Cookiesgermanbakerymacar Now as for the other two varieties, the butter spritz and the hazelnut macaroons, well I maybe could’ve done without them. I’m almost positive this opinion is purely based on my American taste buds, but they had a different taste than I’m used to in a Christmas cookie. I actually can’t even describe them due to the lack of flavor.

So go! Beeilen Sie sich! Run and get some butter cookies! I like exclamation points! I mean what I say when I use exclamation points! So gibt!

[German Pastry Shop, 6108 Mount Tacoma Drive S.W., Lakewood, 253.588.5777]

See what's already in our cookie jar.

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