Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2012 (151) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 151

December 3, 2012 at 10:06am

Bandito Betty Lou Who spotted in Tacoma's Museum District

ANTHEM COFFEE & TEA: "Fahoo forays, dahoo dorays, Welcome Christmas, bring your light; Fahoo forays, dahoo dorays, Welcome in the cold of night.


Bandito Betty Lou Who isn't a huge fan of jingtinglers, floofloovers, trumtookas, blumbloopas and the other wack musical instruments her fellow Whos bang during the holiday season. Every two years she gets the hell out of Whoville and spends the holiday season in the South Sound.

She's back. The Weekly Volcano secretly attached a GPS device to her whocarnio. We're tracking her. Apparently, she loves Almond Roca.

Today, we found her leaping inside Anthem Coffee & Tea, the hip coffee joint next to the Washington State History Museum. Bandito Betty Lou Who sang at the top of her lungs in anticipation of Anthem's Wednesday open mic, which begins at 6 p.m. She was mid-song before blazing out the door. Don't fret. The Weekly Volcano is hot on her trail. Expect more Lou Who action tomorrow.

LINK: Bandito Betty Lou Who jumps archive

LINK: Weekly Volcano loves the holidays, cats and crafts, so we joined Pinterest.

December 3, 2012 at 10:55am

Christmas Ship to sail into Tacoma



But once a year, the Christmas Ship and its flotilla of twinkle grace Tacoma with a floating parade of holiday glee. Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. is the date and time. Go to the Museum of Glass. Wait for the ship. Ride the ship. The choice is yours.

This Christmas convoy consists not of just one ship, but of many. Argosy Cruises heads up the display with the official Christmas Ship, which is bedecked in lights and carries upon it a choir, followed by an official "Parade Boat" carrying Santa, a cruise director, activities for the kids and food. Community members who are fortunate enough to own watercraft can also light up their boats and join in the fun. Those who wish to ride one of the boats may buy tickets at ArgosyCruises.com on the Christmas Ship ($35 or $19 for youth) or the parade boat ($25 or $12 for youth).

But what if you don't want to pay the cost of admission? What if you don't own your own yacht? Never fear. This festival has many points of entry.

Hundreds to thousands of people gather around warm bonfires on shores to welcome the Christmas Ship without paying a dime. Each night, the flotilla visits different communities around the Puget Sound. But Thursday is Tacoma's night to shine. Expect the Federal Way Harmony Kings to perform a 20-minute set to those on the boats as well as the shivering Tacomans waiting on shore.

Filed under: Events, Holidays, Tacoma,

December 3, 2012 at 11:59am

BARE music show comes to Tacoma

ELK AND BOAR: The band will will leave its instruments at home Friday night. Photo courtesy of Facebook


Perhaps when you think of a cappella you think of Sweet Adelines and old men wearing bashers.

This is not the case when it comes to BARE Tacoma - Holiday, an a cappella performance Friday night at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Instead, you will hear 12 performers ranging from Tacoma School of Arts students to Northwest indie favorites such as Shenandoah Davis, Noah Gunderson, Sean Nelson (of Harvey Danger), Luke Stevens, Goldfinch, Colin Reynolds, Elk & Boar, Hannalee, Eternal Fair and others. Each artist will bust out a holiday song or two, as well as share their own songs and covers.

"There's a whole different set of nerves when you use only your voice and no instruments," says Aaron Stevens, programming manager at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, the organization producing the musical event.

Stevens is also the lead singer and songwriter in the band Goldfinch. He's also performed in the original BARE series at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center in Seattle.

"These shows always sell out in Seattle," says Stevens, who borrowed the concept from developers Kevin Barrans and Fremont Abbey.

"I've been to all the BARE shows at Fremont Abbey and I love seeing what the artists do with their songs without instruments," says Kenny Coble, marketing manager for the event. "It is beautiful, vulnerable and special. And this show will include holiday songs, which I love."

You won't see a microphone or instrument on Immanuel's stage. The ambiance of the show will be heightened by the church's glorious acoustics and the glow of candles.

"I'm trying to bring different and unique ideas to Tacoma," says Stevens. "I thought it would be a really interesting show."

Stevens and band mate Emily Ann Peterson will be performing a Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton duet. But, Stevens won't disclose which song.

"It's a secret," says Stevens, a smile in his voice. 

Stevens says he's also looking forward to Noah Gunderson. "He's one of the most phenomenal performers in the Northwest right now.

"I'm also looking forward to Sean Nelson of Harvey Danger. I saw him perform a cappella once before," Stevens grasps to find words, then continues. "I was startled by his performance. I didn't know what to expect - but he's an amazing performer."

Stevens goes on to say that each performance has a completely different kind of feel and style, there may be groups of three or four, or they may be solo and the final song will be an entire group performance.

Tickets cost $16 and are available on the Broadway Center's ticket hub.


LINK: BARE Facebook event page

LINK: Meet Aaron Stevens

December 3, 2012 at 2:16pm

WORDS & VIDEO: Live music at Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink

ELECTRIC SALCHOW STAGE: Igneous Rocks performed to folks going around in circles.


Saturday night in downtown Tacoma adults and children danced on ice to "Green Eyed Lady" by Sugarloaf. Rest assured, the Weekly Volcano isn't clever enough to be making this up. It happened. The crowd also danced to songs by Michael Jackson, The B-52s, Aerosmith, Jerry Lee Lewis, Stray Cats, Adele and many others. The band performing the songs - Igneous Rocks - crammed into a corner of the Franciscan Polar Plaza outdoor ice rink in a space the Weekly Volcano likes to call the Electric Salchow Stage. Yes, it's named after a figure skating jump Brian Boitano might perform to the music of Five for Fighting on the Today show. We can name it whatever we want. The Tacoma Art Museum asked us to produce the live music stage at the rink every Saturday night during its run. And Igneous Rocks kicked it off Saturday night in fine fashion, providing an awesome soundtrack for butterfly jumps, cherry-flips, layback spins - but mostly moves such as the unstable skating, the fall, the skid and the mixed-gender collision. It was a fun night, indeed.

Here's the Electric Salchow Stage band schedule:

Saturday, Dec. 8: Kim Archer

Saturday, Dec. 15: Champagne Sunday

Saturday, Dec. 22: Monday Ukulele Ohana Holiday Show

Saturday, Dec. 29: BODYBOX

Saturday, Jan. 5: Sweetkiss Momma

The bands perform two sets from 7-9 p.m. with a couple of breaks during surface repair sessions.

It was cool to see many familiar faces Saturday. Folks actually look good precariously balanced on steel blades.

[Tollefson Plaza, through Jan. 6, 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, $8, $1 off active duty military and family, $2 skate rental, Pacific Avenue and South 17th Street, Tacoma, website]

LINK: More photos from Igenous Rock's performance at Polar Plaza

LINK: Ten reasons why the Franciscan Polar Plaza is so awesome

December 4, 2012 at 7:56am

5 Things To Do Today: Jim Day at Red Robin, Foundation of Art Award, two films and more ...

RED ROBIN: You may spot your favorite Jim at the restaurant today.

TUESDAY, DEC. 4 2012  >>>

1. Today, Red Robin is awarding every person with the first name of Jim a free Sweet Jim Beam Bacon Swiss Burger. That includes you too Jimbo! It's a dine-in only promotion for those 18 and older. Burgers are served a la carte; fries, drink and tip are not included. And, Jimmy, no one is going to sing to you.

2. The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation's Foundation of Art Award has been recognized as one the most notable art awards in the South Sound region. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Award, the Foundation is hosting a culminating exhibit featuring 40 talented artists that have been nominated for this Award, including winner Oliver Doriss, at the B2 Fine Art Gallery in Tacoma, which opens today at 11 a.m.

3. The Grand Cinema screens The House I Live In at 2:15 and 6:55 p.m. as part of its Tuesday Film Series. The film looks at the heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America's War on Drugs. From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge, offering a definitive portrait and revealing its profound human rights implications.

4. CANCELED: Robert Michael Pyle has laryngitis. "It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, " wrote Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species. In the Tangled Bank, Northwest naturalist Robert Michael Pyle explores Charles Darwin's contention that the elements of such a bank, and by extension all the living world, are endlessly interesting and ever evolving. Hear Pyle's discoveries at 7 p.m. inside Orca Books in Olympia.

5. Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg is a ficto-documentary of, yup Winnipeg filmed in Maddin's signature Vigo-esque Super 8 black-and-white, bizarre re-enactments-cum-exorcisms. Check it out at 8 p.m. inside Northern in downtown Olympia.

LINK: Tuesday, Dec. 4 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 4, 2012 at 9:13am

Santa Silvia is back with toys for Mary Bridge

SANTA SILVIA: She delivers toys and smiles every Christmas to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma.


"For the past twelve years, I have collected toys that are later delivered to the many sick kids at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital on Christmas Day," says Silvia Cordova-Tapia. "It warms my heart to know that these kids will realize they are loved and that life is precious. I feel honored to have the opportunity to serve these kids each year."

Yes, for 12 years Santa Silvia, as she is known throughout the halls of Mary Bridge, has collected toys for the kids. Friday, Dec. 7 at the Varsity Grill in downtown Tacoma, Santa Silvia taps into the holiday spirit again. From noon to 7 p.m. Santa Silvia and her elves will begin collecting donated toys, supporting children in our community who often can't be at home for Christmas.

"On Christmas Eve, two other people and I - and I'm hoping I can get a Santa Claus, too - will be delivering the toys to the ER at Mary Bridge. That's the good part," she says. "It's breathtaking."

Tapia has organized this toy collection every year since 1999, when a chance encounter with a doctor at Children's Hospital in Seattle inspired her to do something to help. At first, she collected toys for Children's Hospital, but later began a collection for Mary Bridge instead, to better serve her own community.

As an early present, Varsity Grill will serve a free happy hour appetizer or offer 50 percent off a regular menu item to those who donate toys.

Also Friday at Varsity Grill, KIRO TV and Toys for Tots will kick off their toy drive. Bring a toy and donate to either cause - or both! There will be donation boxes for both, side by side. Or bring cash, which will go to Toys for Tots.

After the kick-off, Santa Silvia's toy drive will continue through Dec. 23. To donate, bring a new, unwrapped toy, ideally for a child ages 5 to 12. There's a shortage of toys donated this year, so please donate.


December 4, 2012 at 9:54am

Same-sex marriage is a go Dec. 6 in Pierce County


Last week the Human Rights Campaign unveiled its Municipal Equality Index, which rates the public policies and legal rights of LGBT citizens in 137 U.S. cities. Seattle is rated one of the most progressive cities in the country. Seattle was one of only 11 cities to score a perfect 100. The Emerald City was right up there with St. Louis (who knew?), New York and - shocker - San Francisco. Olympia came in with an index of 60. Tacoma wasn't rated. Seattle serves as a shining example of LGBT inclusivity, with excellent policies ranging from non-discrimination laws, equal employee benefits and cutting-edge city services. 

Of course Seattle's gayness rubbed off on the rest of Washington state, at least in regards to its view on same-sex marriage. "Washingtonians overwhelmingly approved Referendum 74 on Election Day by a margin of 7.4 percent and voters in Maine, Minnesota and Maryland, states where marriage equality was also on the ballot, all voted in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples," states statement released by Tacoma City Councilperson Ryan Mello this morning. Mello's press release to the Weekly Volcano World Headquarters - announcing marriage licenses issued for Washington state same-sex couples will be available beginning Thursday, Dec. 6 - felt like it was going to burst into confetti.

According to Mello, the Pierce County Auditor's Office has updated its marriage certificate and website.  The Pierce County Auditor's Office will open at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 "for this historic moment."

Here's the rest of Mello's press release:

"We have been having a long conversation about our families and our lives with lawmakers and voters in Washington State," said State Representative Laurie Jinkins, one of the lead authors of the freedom to marry legislation in the state legislature.  "I'm thrilled that all committed and loving couples who choose to marry can now do that.   It's going to make thousands of families stronger and I'm overjoyed this day has come in Washington."

Tacomans John McCluskey and Rudy Henry have been together for 53 years. Due to Rudy's ill health, they will take a "cabulance" to make sure they are the first in line at the Pierce County Auditor's Office as soon as the doors open at 6:30 a.m. on December 6th

"Long ago I felt sad to think that, unlike my siblings, I would never experience marriage," said John McCluskey, long-time Tacoma civil rights advocate, age 76.  "Although we kind of felt married after half a century, it doesn't compare to the joy we feel at finally having our relationship acknowledged by our community. My parents must be looking down and high-fiving."

John and his soon to be husband, Rudy Henry will be wed at a ceremony produced by close friends and community members on Saturday, December 15th at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma (621 Tacoma Avenue South) from 3 - 5:30 p.m.  Everything from the invitations to the food and music have been organized by their friends so that John and Rudy can have the wedding they always dreamed about.  After Rudy suffered a stroke a couple of years ago and other health problems, it became even more important to John and Rudy that they publicly acknowledge their  lifelong commitment, sharing the joy that comes with making that commitment before friends and family. 

Another Tacoma couple, Heather Kawamoto and Kay Lancaster will be the second couple in line early Thursday morning to secure their marriage license.  Heather and Kay will marry after the mandatory 3-day waiting period on Sunday, December 9th at the Primo Grill reception space in central Tacoma. 

"My partner and I getting married is our 9 year old daughter's dream, to have her two moms marry, and I'm thrilled to not only make her dream come true, but mine as well!  Marriage is about love, commitment, and family, and it's my honor to legally commit to and marry the love of my life and continue to instill these core values in our family," said Heather Kawamoto who worked countless hours on the phone and knocking on doors to tell her story to voters in Tacoma during Referendum 74. 

Filed under: Tacoma, News To Us, Gay Rights,

December 4, 2012 at 10:21am

Bandito Betty Lou Who's sugar high

WANNA CUPCAKE?: Bandito Betty Lou Who goes big inside the tiny cupcake outpost.


Bandito Betty Lou Who isn't a huge fan of jingtinglers, floofloovers, trumtookas, blumbloopas and the other wack musical instruments her fellow Whos bang during the holiday season. Every two years she gets the hell out of Whoville and spends the holiday season in the South Sound.

She's back. The Weekly Volcano secretly attached a GPS device to her whocarnio. We're tracking her. Apparently, Bandito Betty Lou Who has been hanging out with goats.

Yesterday, we caught her leaping at Anthem Coffee & Tea in downtown Tacoma. This morning our tracking device showed her headed back to Anthem. We waited behind the building. Coffee wasn't part of her morning agenda. Cupcakes were. Bandito Betty Lou Who leaped inside Wanna Cupcake? - the tiny cupcake bakery embedded inside Anthem's tiny foyer. The only thing not tiny was Bandito's jump. Once spotted, she immediately fled the cupcake kiosk. Don't fret. The Weekly Volcano is hot on her trail. Expect more Lou Who action tomorrow.


LINK: Bandito Betty Lou Who jumps archive

LINK: Weekly Volcano loves the holidays, cats and crafts, so we joined Pinterest.

December 4, 2012 at 10:42am

Love My Life (and drinks) fundraiser this weekend



The holidays are officially, officially upon us. If the hustle and bustle of trying to find the perfect gift is making you wonder what the holidays are really about, you might want to consider the less fortunate. There's nothing like giving back to make you thankful for what you have. Yes, it's hard to find time. One of the easiest ways to do good deeds is to find ways to contribute with activities you'd likely be doing anyhow, such as drinking and gabbing with friends.

So peel off your Scrooge duds and drape on something dapper because The Social Bar & Grill will host a fundraiser Saturday ... and there will be drinks.

A group of do-gooders will raise mad funds in support of YWCA Pierce County with its LML (Love My Life) 3rd annual holiday party Saturday. I'm told the Social's featured cocktail will be a Madras ($7), which is vodka, cranberry juice with a touch of citrus from orange juice. The specialty cocktail proceeds will benefit the YWCA.

Bring unwrapped gifts for the wee-ones to teens of families in need.

The fundraising team will also be accepting donations of bottled wine to be featured at YWCA's January fundraiser, The Glam that Gives.

The party will play host to live entertainment, ample libations and good eats.  

Can you think of an easier way to help members of our community and benefit a local non-profit? I'm thinking this is as good as it gets.

Parking is available on the street as well as some reserved spaces in the garage under the Thea's Landing Condominiums. The Social will validate parking from the Museum of Glasses garage for three hours or less.


December 4, 2012 at 12:07pm

CLAYTON ON ART: It's about the artistic merits

CHARLES SALAK: His "Orange Still Life" watercolor is on display at Pierce College Puyallup.


A friend posted a photo on Facebook this morning. It was a sculpture of two horses mounted on the wall in such a way to create the impression that they were coming out of the wall in a powerful burst of motion. The form of the horses was skeletal, a mass of open-weave flowing lines like bones and muscles and the horses' flowing manes but no skin. The viewer sees into and through the horses much like those by Deborah Butterfield - the primary difference being that Butterfield's horses are static and these horses by Sayaka Ganz are depicted as in fast motion. Of the hundreds and hundreds of horses she has created, nearly every one stands in an almost identical position as if reaching his head down to munch on hay.

I saw a few Butterfield horses at Greg Kucera Gallery a few years back, and I was suitably impressed. But this morning while perusing a page filled with images of her horse sculptures I quickly grew bored.

Ganz's horses are dynamic. The forms and lines are free-flowing, lyrical and dramatic. My only criticism is that they may be a little too romantic and fanciful. Given time I suspect I might get bored with them as well. But here's the interesting thing: the comments on my friend's Facebook post were all about the movement and the smoothly flowing lines. Nobody even bothered to mention the fact that the sculptures were made out of recycled plastic utensils - knives, forks, spoons, colanders and spatulas, a veritable garbage heap of used kitchen ware.

I love that nobody mentioned that. I get rather disgusted at times when people rave over how clever it is that an artist can make art out of odd found materials. Granted, it takes a certain amount of skill, in some cases a huge amount of skill. And it's nice when waste material can be put to use as art rather than tossed in the landfill. But that's not what art is about. Art is about the emotions and the ideas expressed and about the aesthetic arrangement of shapes and colors. At least the people commenting on Ganz's sculpture were talking about the artistic quality of the work and not just how cool it was that it was made out of plastic utensils.

My disgust with people who gush over recycled art without consideration of the artistic merits of the work is equaled only by my disgust with people who gush over photo-realistic paintings regardless of any merits or lack thereof of anything other than how "real" it looks. I can admire the technical skill, but that's not what art is about.

It used to be called trompe l'oeil, a French phrase meaning fool the eye. The phrase comes from the baroque period (around 1600), and it was a kind of visual trickery or optical illusion created by a combination of deep perspective and smooth modeling of light and shadow. In the hands of giants like Carravagio it was art of the highest order. In the hands of many others it was trickery and nothing more.

Since the 1960s a lot of American realists have painted what came to be known as photo-realist art, a form of trompe l'oeil. Probably the best of these is Phillip Pearlstein who paints nudes in interior scenes. Pearlstein has referred to himself as an abstract artist because even though his nudes look strikingly realistic his major concern is the arrangement of forms on a flat surface - pure abstraction.

I recently discovered a local painter of ultra-realistic scenes who may warrant attention. His name is Charles Salak. He lives in Gig Harbor and his work is currently included in a group show at Pierce College Puyallup. I have seen only a handful of his paintings and those only in photographs, so I can't judge them, but at least one of them, "Orange Still Life" rivals some of the best still life paintings from the baroque era in both composition and richness of color. It would be nice to think that he could be another Pearlstein, but I will withhold judgment until I get to see more.

Filed under: Arts, Gig Harbor, Puyallup,

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