Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2011 (129) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 129

December 3, 2011 at 9:45am

MORNING SPEW: Don't swear at PLU, Mailin not mailing it in, exploding cocktails set to Beastie Boys music ...

Tacoma's Feeling Smitten Bath Bakery is the bomb. Photo credit: Facebook


Up For Debate: Pacific Lutheran University's student newspaper website shutdown due to potty language. (News Tribune)

Malin Not Mailing It In: Davenport, Iowa City Manager still intereste din City of Tacoma Manager job. (News Tribune)

Fun To Say, Dangerous To Eat: Ocean Spray expands Craisins recall. (Boston.com)

Tacoma Bath Bombs: Oprah loves them. (News Tribune)

Evil Craigslist: More than 100 people in Ohio responded to a Craigslist ad asking them to "watch over a 688 acre patch of hilly farmland and feed a few cows." Some of them are buried in shallow graves. (New York Times)

GOP Focus Groups: GOP voters in a Virginia focus group say they have not warmed to Mitt Romney, are worried about Newt Gingrich's volatility and have all but dismissed Herman Cain. (CNN)

Best Toys Of All Time: Stick, dirt ... (Wired)

Maybe This Shall Destroy Them Both: Anne Hathaway vs. Jessica Biel. (Celebitchy)

Beautiful slo-mo footage of exploding cocktails

Phantom Cocktails from Ty Migota on Vimeo.

December 3, 2011 at 1:01pm

TONIGHT: Occupy Neverland

Pirates In Tacoma: Mark Rake-Marona (Hook) and John Miller (Smee) must have an awesome dry cleaner. Photo credit: Kat Dollarhide


Piers Chater Robinson's Peter Pan is adapted from the play by J.M. Barrie. The story strikes a chord with kids who don't want to grow up, as well as adults who wish they were responsibility-free like children. Or people who just wish they could fly.  

Having only experienced Disney's version of Peter Pan and the Robin Williams movie, Hook, I went into Tacoma Musical Playhouse with a fair amount of skepticism (which, to be quite honest, is how I approach most musicals). I was hoping it would be a short evening, clocking in around an hour since the website said play was suitable for children ages 4 and up. I was a little dismayed to see Act I alone is 70 minutes. Act II is 55 minutes and, there's a 15-minute intermission. I tried not to be too disgruntled (or focus on how sleepy I was) and prepared to take my notes like a good little critic. 

The opening number went on longer than necessary to establish the story. But, thankfully, the other numbers were more entertaining. The entire Darling family was comprised of good actors, and even though Bailey Boyd portrayed Wendy fantastically, Caleb Haalstrup stole several scenes as Michael Darling. Haalstrup's dancing and pirate fighting were adorable. 

To read Joann Varnell's full review, click here.

[Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Peter Pan, through Dec. 18, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and Saturday, Dec. 3, $20-$27, 7116 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.565.6867]

Filed under: Theater, Tacoma,

December 4, 2011 at 7:00am

5 Things To Do Today: Calling Morocco, Too Slim & The King Size Troublemakers, Friends of the Holidays, Sounds of the Season and more ...

Catch Calling Morocco tonight at Le Voyeur in Olympia

SUNDAY, DEC.4, 2011 >>>

1. Fight as you may, it's officially "the season." Kids are already sitting on various Santa laps at malls across the country, and A Christmas Story is probably already re-running on TBS. The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra will spend Sunday at the Pantages Theater with the Tacoma Youth Chorus, jaw-dropping vocalist Stephanie Porter and singer and trumpeter Jake Bergevin and doling out beloved seasonal music, probably a few familiar classics and a maxed-out credit card full of sing-along enjoyment for the whole family.

2. They're still going strong, and still swarming The Swiss to do good, get loaded, auction and raffle stuff off, and enjoy the spirit of the season in Tacoma. The Friends of the Holidays benefit is today at The Swiss, and the T-Town institution shouldn't disappoint: Linda Meyers Band, Kathi McDonald, Fingertips, Mojo Overload, Junkyard Jane and James King & the Southsiders will all be doing their part to help provide meal support for low-income families during the December holiday season.

3. Despite what you've been told by Joe Capitalism, the holidays are really about spending time with your family and loved ones. We promise. Start today, with the little ones, as the Tacoma Main Library hosts "A Fire for Winter's Eve" - described as a live painting workshop for families. Designed for children 3-8 years old and their families, Sunday's event will be heavy on the storytelling and the art, promising a chance for kids and their families to, "circle around our fire as snowflakes fall and stories are shared of adventures taking place deep in the winter's snow." The hype also says, "[c]hildren will create an art project based on our wintry theme that are perfect to give as a gift to someone they love. Children will also be invited to create cards that will be given to residents in an adult living facility." This is what it's all about.

4. Too Slim & The King Size Troublemakers will play The Spar in Old Town Tacoma tonight - continuing the Sunday evening tradition of blues in one of Tacoma's most iconic watering holes.

5. Calling Morocco will rock Le Voyeur in Olympia tonight. It's Sunday, sure, but that doesn't mean a rock show is a bad idea ...

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

LINK: This week's freebies

December 4, 2011 at 10:19pm

FREELOADERS: Lesser-known Holidays Edition

Celebrate Mallard Day this Friday.


Feeling disenchanted this holiday season? Well, there's a holiday for that. A Festivus for the Rest of Us, created by Seinfeld character Frank Costanza who thought the holidays became to be too much: too much buying, too much stress, too much glitz. Costanza's Festivus holiday included a Festivus pole, feats of strength and the ritual airing of grievances.

What other holidays take place during this time of year?

Bobble Tiki found seven local, lesser-known holidays this week, all without an admission charge.

MONDAY, DEC. 5: "Roadiem"

  • Wake up a noon
  • Watch Spinal Tap three times
  • Drive to Ted Brown Music and discuss replacing heads and sandbagging hardware with the employees until they want to kill you
  • Hit the free Percussion Ensemble concert at 7:30 p.m. inside the Schneebeck Concert Hall at the University of Puget Sound
  • Stay up until 4 a.m. building and dismantling an Erector Set

TUESDAY, DEC. 6: "Pretendus"

  • Admit the biggest damper on holiday cheer is your adulthood
  • Banish grown-ups
  • Catch the free 10:30 a.m. Caspar Babypants show at the Tacoma Public Library in downtown Tacoma
  • Make a fort in your living room
  • Fall asleep to Shake It Up

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 7: "Heat Miser Day"

  • Sing the song, obviously
  • Turn the heat dial in your car to 90
  • Gather up your greener friends and head to the Joy Building on the University of Washington Tacoma campus for Ellen Moore's free 12:30 p.m. lecture titled "Feeling The Heat: How American Mainstream Media Cover Environmental Issues."
  • Make fun of the people working at Baskin-Robbins
  • Fall asleep with your electric blanket on

THURSDAY, DEC. 8: "Waterstock"

  • Turn on the oven
  • Tune in KZOK
  • Cook a burrito
  • Eat the burrito in front of The Dancing Lights Show, a computer-animated light show with music, featuring a 50-foot yacht decorated with more than 15,000 lights that turn on around 7 p.m. at the Olympia Yacht Club
  • Think about dropping out, but instead play Angry Birds on your phone

FRIDAY, DEC. 9: "Mallard Day"

  • Gather your entire extended family at the first annual "Duck the Halls Caroling Competition" at 6:30 p.m. at the Market Square in University Place. Bring food for the food bank.
  • Put the younger generation in uncomfortable duck costumes
  • Invite your Allstate agent because Aflac reduces ducks' humanity
  • Eat bread pudding

SATURDAY, DEC. 10: "Brass Knocks"

  • Put on your David Titterington black turtleneck sweater
  • Watch every brass and organ concert on television
  • When there isn't a brass and organ concert going on, talk about brass and organ concerts you saw over the last 10 years or are about to see with everyone around you
  • Submit your brass and organ players to your fantasy league commissioner
  • End the day with the free 7 p.m. Brass and Organ Christmas Concert at St. John's Episcopal Church in Gig Harbor

SUNDAY, DEC. 11: "Wonder Year Day"

  • Start your day with a bowl of Quisp
  • Attend the free 2 p.m. book and slide presentation by Paul J. Stein on the 1962 Seattle World's Fair inside the Tacoma Public Library in downtown Tacoma
  • Ride your bike accross town then call someone on a pay phone to pick you up
  • Don't wear a seatbelt on the ride home

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Santa Says Blog

December 5, 2011 at 5:40am

5 Things To Do Today: Artscapes, Repeal Day, Tear In Yr Beer Night and more ...

"Light Escape-Tacoma Array," an installation by the Portland-based design team of RSVR in the Woolworth Building. Photo courtesy of RSVR

MONDAY, DEC. 5, 2011 >>>

1. Spaceworks Tacoma has filled the city's vacant spaces will a new round of art. Nine new installations have added color to downtown Tacoma. Take a stroll up and down 11th street, jutting over to Broadway, Commerce and Pacific Avenue to check out art by Diane Hansen, Brian Hutcheson, Maria Meneses, Kelly June Mitchell, Mary Rothlisberger and Lauren McCleary, Jessica Spring, RSVR visual research (Ian Campbell and Benjamin Gray), Janette Ryan, the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and Metro Parks Tacoma, as well as Metro Parks Tacoma's dragon at Ninth and Pacific Avenue.

2. On this date in history, 1933, Prohibition was repealed. There's was much rejoicing. Olympia bartenders and the folks at the Olympia Film Society will be celebrating in grand style with an evening of burlesque, music, films and craft cocktails. For party specific, read Molly Gilmore's full story here. Also, Doyle's Public House traditional honors this day too. Stop by the Stadium District watering hole and see what's up.

3. Jeff Ross hosts the Mandolin Cafe Trivia Night beginning at 6 p.m. All the sweet details can be found here.

4. Harlequin Productions hosts a first read-through of this comedic tale of redemption The Seafarer at 7 p.m. in the Wine Cellar Room at Waterstreet Cafe and Bar. The Olympia theater company suggests you arrive by 6 p.m., since seating is limited to about 70, and it can fill up quickly. Its cast of five actors will get together for the first time to read the play out loud. You get to be there. Neat.

5. Le Voyeur Café and Lounge in downtown Olympia hosts Tear In Yr Beer Night featuring Dana Jewel & The Hungry Hearts and DJ Oki Brown beginning at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: 2011 South Sound Holiday Happenings

LINK: This week's freebies

December 5, 2011 at 7:59am

MORNING SPEW: Tacoma utilities bad news, arts ticket prices might rise, psycho captain ...

Are you ready for some football?


Yikes: A state audit has found the city of Tacoma potentially overbilled city utilities by more than $1 million. (News Tribune)

Tacoma City Council Vs. The Arts: Ticket prices might go up. (News Tribune)

Back To The Drawing Board: European leaders are meeting this week to discuss ways to solve the deepening debt crisis, and this time they are talking about rewriting European Union treaties. (CNN)

Madonna: She'll play the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVI with help from Cirque du Soleil. (Rolling Stone)

iPhone Not Loud Enough?: You need the Crazy Megaphone. (DVice)

Most Expensive Car Crash of the Day: At least eight Ferraris, two Mercedes, and a Lamborghini were among 14 cars involved. (The Daily What)

Video: Psycho captain crashes into yacht. (Dumb As A Blog)


December 5, 2011 at 10:14am

Lisa Lampanelli headed back to Tacoma


The Queen of Mean returns to Tacoma's Temple Theatre for a stand up show Saturday, Feb. 4. Lisa Lampanelli is becoming an annual fixture at Tacoma's Temple Theatre. The 50-year-old Lampanelli is by all accounts one of the funniest, dirtiest and most irreverent comedians working today.

Tickets are $39.50 at all Ticketmaster locations. They go on sale Friday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.

LINK: Complete concert listing for Western Washington

December 5, 2011 at 11:14am

Helping homelessness in Pierce County


As the administrator for homeless programs for Pierce County Community Connections, Troy Christensen works hard every day to eliminate homeless in the county and the surrounding areas.

But that goal is getting much tougher these days.

The programs Christensen oversees were making strides three years ago, as homeless in Pierce County dropped by 68 percent from 2005 to 2008.

"We were making great progress," Christensen says.

Then the national economy took a hit, wreaking havoc on many in the county. The wave not only shook those who got laid off, but it also struck a blow to many federal and state programs that provide people on the very edge of the poverty line much-needed income, Christensen says.

It also hurt small, local shelters and organizations that provide services to the homeless.

"It completely overwhelmed the network of our many providers," he says. "They have much smaller budgets to work with."

Those budgets are getting taxed mainly due to wave of new people seeking help.

"The majority of people that have requested services are repeat customers, but there is a lot more people affected by the economy calling for the first time," Christensen adds.

The administrator believes those numbers will continue to rise.

While the unemployment rate might be officially around nine percent in Pierce County, Christensen said that number is likely much higher.

"You could make a case for it being around 15 percent due to the fact it's not counting the people whose unemployment benefits have run out," he says.

And since the state has yet to balance its budget, more support programs could be on the chopping block, he adds.

But there are plenty of ways people can help out this holiday season when it comes to providing for the homeless.

There are several local agencies that work with Pierce County Community Connections: Associated Ministries (www.associatedministries.org), Metropolitan Development Council (www.mdc-tacoma.org), Helping Hand House (www.helpinghandhouse.org), Tacoma Rescue Mission (www.rescue-mission.org) and Shared Housing Services (www.shstac-pc.com).

"They can always use donations," Christensen says. "Homelessness is expanding and there are fewer resources to help people in Pierce County and on the Key Peninsula."

You can help

To donate money to United Way's effort to provide affordable housing to those in need, text HOUSE to 20222 and donate $10 to provide housing for all.

Filed under: Social Welfare, Community, Tacoma,

December 5, 2011 at 4:04pm

PLAN AHEAD: Jaime Wyatt returns to Gig Harbor

Jaime Wyatt / Photo credit: MySpace


Americana music is as much a melting pot as the country it takes its name from. The music genre cuts a wide swath these days, encircling just about anything that involves singing and songwriting by, well, an American. Bill Monroe, the Carter Family and ilk were the seeds of what we know today, while a few roots dug a darker, alcohol-laced, honky-tonkin' offshoot (see: Hank Williams). Sprung by this groundwork, true Americana has been blossoming ever since, from Johnny Cash to the rough anthems of Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams.

2004 Gig Harbor High School graduate Jaime Wyatt has followed the growth of Americana music. At 14, she put pen to paper and started working out chord progressions on the guitar. In her middle teens, she stepped on the Antique Sandwich Company's worn-out rugs and blew the Tuesday night Victory Music Open Mike crowd away. By 17, Wyatt had joined the Lakeshore records roster.

Wyatt, 26, has followed her musical dreams, traveling the American roads and taking new roots in Los Angeles. Between her own studio recording and touring, she has shared the stage with Lucinda Williams, John Fogerty and even landed on the set of Desperate Housewives. Her version of Americana incorporates pop music and a little R&B, but has lineage in blues and country. Wyatt knows the American roads well. When she's not touring solo, she the third singer/songwriter with Jane and Jonathan Sheldon in the heart-on-the-sleeve band American Bloomers, which just released a new EP, Part One.

Wyatt returns to Gig Harbor Friday for a performance at Morso Wine Bar. We sprinkled a few questions her way.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: What do you miss most about Gig Harbor?

JAIME WYATT: Fresh air, slower lifestyle, enthusiasm for local music and community causes, my mom's baking ... Oh yeah and El Pueblito restaurant has really good tortilla soup. I have yet to find a soup that compares.

VOLCANO: What did you have blasting in your car on the way to high school? Did those musicians influence your work?

WYATT: I lived on Fox Island and the Metzger brothers, Joe and Josh, would pick me up blasting Zeppelin, Beatles and lots of Jimi Hendrix. When I started driving Tom Petty, Bob Marley, Jeff Buckley, Neil Young and Lucinda Williams were in heavy rotation. High school was predominately my classics era and a much larger part of my general education!

VOLCANO: What advice would you give to teens trying to make it in the business?

WYATT: hmm, I don't wanna sound like I know a lot about anything, but here's what I've discovered works for me: Write songs and more songs, study song structure, melodies and lyrics. Keep it simple. We are here to have fun and help our friends and fans enjoy themselves. Learn covers and play them in your own voice. What works in the studio, doesn't always work for live shows, so be open to change.  Find joy and satisfaction in the process of writing and playing with others, because the kickbacks - including money and recognition - will take a while. Luckily, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are good for the soul. Last but most importantly, learn to take direction and criticism. It takes a healthy amount of conviction to want to perform and promote yourself, but even more humility and listening skills to evolve as an artist.

VOLCANO: So ... what's this we hear you have a Desperate Housewives story?

WYATT: My other band - American Bloomers - played a charity benefit on the set of Desperate Housewives right on Wisteria Lane! It was pretty cool to meet most of the cast and hang out on set. Terri Hatcher is super nice and loves music. She sang some songs with the band from TV and sounded really good.

VOLCANO: Will you be performing new material at Morso?

WYATT: Yes! I will be playing songs that will be released on my record titled This Side Up in 2012. One new song, "Neon Love" is going to be on the soundtrack to a new movie with Katherine Heigl, alongside Colbie Caillat. Another song, "Walked Through Fire," was co-written and produced by Barrett Yretsian who did Christina Perri's recent hit, "Jar of Hearts." I'll also play songs from my self-titled EP on Lakeshore Records, recorded on Vashon Island with Pete Droge. It pays homage to some of the classics by singing some fun covers.

Wyatt will perform with Chicago-born rocker Ted Wulfers as part of the Americana Music Series produced by Michael ONeill and Morso.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling the restaurant at 253.530.3463. 

[Morso Wine Bar, Friday, Dec. 9, 8 p.m., $25, 9014 Peacock Hill Ave., Gig Harbor, 253.229.0187]  

LINK: Live music tonight in the South Sound

December 5, 2011 at 6:13pm

Peterson Bros. to open restaurant/bar in Hilltop Tacoma

Justin and Rob Peterson are number 1111. Photo credit: Jennifer Johnson


Putting in a hood system for a grill can be a daunting task, especially in older buildings. It also means burgers and grilled sandwiches will be a reality at Peterson Bros 1111, the latest venture of twin brothers Justin and Rob Peterson, schedule to open at 11th and MLK Way in Tacoma next year.

What about steaks?

"It will be a sandwich kind of place open for lunch and then later for dinner and drinks," explains Justin Peterson. It will mostly be Rob and I working - doing it all. We're the bartender, the cook - all of it." It's a small space so they're not worried.

The menu hasn't been decided, but simple, good food is the direction the brothers want to go. Justin says they want to use local food products and beers, but haven't nailed down specifics yet.

Doing most of the construction work themselves, they expect to open the 21 and older restaurant and bar in late January.

Walking outside to photograph the Petersons, a man across the street calls out in friendly fashion asking when the bar will open. Justin's smile peaks through his impressive beard and moustache as he shouts, "Soon," giving a courtesy wave.

Why Hilltop Tacoma?

"I have always liked the area. I've been eating at Pho Bac and Thai Garden since high school," Justin explains.

It also fell into place with builder owner Rand Chiarovano, who purchased the mammoth Hilltop brickwork building seven years ago.

"The same day we were talking about doing our own place, Rand called 20 minutes later and suggested we open a sandwich shop," says Rob. Both laugh at the coincidental timing that now has them standing amid what looks like chaos at their construction site - sandwiched between Hilltop Pawn and Loan and Vietnamese noodle shop Pho Bac Café.

No strangers to bars or restaurants, the two have worked in both. Rob has concentrated his effort in the construction field, although worked a stint at The Hotel Bar & Grill, a defunct live music and dance club at 24th and Pacific Avenue owned by the folks behind The Swiss, which includes the brothers' father, Bob Hill. Justin learned the ropes at The Swiss, as well as Jazzbones, Fenders (now Chopstix) and Hell's Kitchen.

Going for a truly vintage look, a lot of reclaimed products and materials from other local businesses are being used.

"The wood on the bar is from the Nalley Valley pickle company. We're calling it dill wood; it's from the floor of the barrel room" Justin explains, pointing out the stained wood and then gestures at the front door area and shares that a set of 10 restored windows will be installed above the awning to allow more natural light in, some of them will open for ventilation. At the opposite end is a game area that will hold pinball, golf or similar games. Bench-backed high top tables will make up most of the seating; a lean-against buddy bar and bar stools will comprise the rest.

Justin guesses Peterson Bros. 1111 will hold 50 people.

Though the space is small, the Petersons have put in two bathrooms - a women's and a unisex. "We want to the ladies to have a nice bathroom."

A decade ago the space was a bar with a less than sterling reputation called Michael's 1111. It was rented out as an artist studio, a live-work space and as an apartment, where Chiarovano bunked for four years calling it his bar apartment. Some years after Michael's closed and the last tenant left, Pho Bac increased their seating area by pushing into the adjacent space that had become a storage area for Chiarovano.

The brothers say people in the area have expressed excitement that they are bringing a new business to Hilltop. "Seems like I meet one person a week that has just bought a home or just moved to Hilltop," says Rob. "They're all saying they are glad we'll be open soon."

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

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