Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2013 (66) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 66

December 1, 2013 at 8:34am

Tacoma City Ballet Scavenger Hunt December clue

For the past 11 months you have been chasing Tacoma City Ballet nuts around Tacoma. The ballet company has been hiding Golden Krakatuk Nuts as a promotion for its highly anticipated December performances of The Nutcracker and The Tale of the Hard Nut, a prequel to the original Nutcracker, which explains why a prince is trapped inside a nutcracker doll. The performanc eopens Dec. 7 at the Pantages Theater and runs for three weeks. The contest, on the other hand, is on today. The contest in a nutshell: TCB hides the nuts inside jewel boxes around Tacoma; inside the boxes is a scroll with prize details, such as gift certificates, merchandise or tickets to the performance.  

Anyway, the December Golden Krakatuk Nut clue - the last clue of the year - dropped this morning. This clue will guide you to a restaurant, shop or other business at which the nuts may be in plain sight or may be behind the counter.


Filed under: Arts, Contest, Holidays, Tacoma,

December 1, 2013 at 9:08am

5 Things To Do Today: Big Band Christmas, "Dickens Project," Friends of the Holidays, JLK & Babysitter and more ...

Rich Wetzel and the Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra will blast Stonegate Pizza with holiday tunes during dinner time.

SUNDAY, DEC. 1 2013 >>>

1. We've given trumpeter Rich Wetzel a lot of love over the years, not only because he's a groovy guy, but also because he's always playing a gig worth mentioning. Tonight is no exception as his Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra brings its annual jazzy holiday to a bar - Stonegate Pizza and Rum Bar this year, from 5-8 p.m. The high-note trumpeter promises three sets of jumpin' holiday tunes - "Winter Wonderland," "White Christmas," "Do You Hear What I Hear,"  "Let It Show," "The Christmas Song" and many more - as well as special holiday drinks egg nog, Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer and hot buttered rum.

2. Look, there's a decent chance you need a Christmas tree. Or, at the very least, you know someone who needs a Christmas tree. But acquiring said Christmas tree doesn't have to cost you at least $65 for anything that doesn't look ghetto, and more importantly it doesn't need to be a huge pain in the ass. Head on down to the rarely-used Tollefson Plaza and check out Two Five Trees. Today, in celebration of the Zip Cars in downtown Tacoma, Two Five Trees encourages you to walk or take transit to the Polar Plaza and the Two Five Trees elves with tie your Two Five Tree to the roof of a Zip Car and give you a lift home. The free rides will operate from noon to 6 p.m. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and chill.

3. At 1 p.m., storyteller Judy Cullen will join forces with Kevin Lee, a voice actor from Minnesota, and Shandon Loring, a Nevada storyteller. Together, the three will deliver a rendition of a Christmas classic in a way never before seen or experienced. Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Three performers in vastly different zip codes. One show. One digital platform. Inside the Knights of Pythias Hall in downtown Tacoma.

4. They're still going strong, and still swarming The Swiss to do good, get loaded, raffle stuff off and enjoy the spirit of the season. The Friends of the Holidays benefit from 1-8:30 p.m. at The Swiss, and the T-town institution shouldn't disappoint: The Rectifiers, Little Bill Trio, Twang Junkies, Dean Reichert, Nolan Garrett, Boneyard Preachers and Tahoma Souls Alive will all be doing their part for underprivileged families this year. Look, these times are tough for everyone, but if you can have a fun night out while also making someone else's life a little better, We call that Yahtzee. 

5. JLK is a band from Montreal. Babysitter is a band from Victoria, B.C. Together, they have joined forces to become: JLK & Babysitter. Well, OK, so their combined moniker may be somewhat lacking, but the sheer inventiveness of their music is liable to blindside you. Sounding at once timeless and utterly original, JLK & Babysitter reach back and draw both from the sparse blues of the 1910s and the sound experiments and free jazz that burst out of the '60s and '70s. The result of this mash-up is frequently disquieting while remaining strangely hypnotic. Catch the band with Happy Noose and Clayface at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

PLUS: Holiday Events Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Holiday Command Center

LINK: Sunday, Dec. 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 2, 2013 at 7:37am

5 Things To Do Today: "New Religious Intolerance," ice skating, Zoolights, Christmas cookies and more ...

University of Chicago scholar and national commentator Martha Nussbaum discusses religious freedom of minorities tonight at UPS.

MONDAY, DEC. 2 1013 >>>

1. Why are European communities imposing regulations on the Muslim head scarf? How did a proposed Muslim cultural center in Lower Manhattan provoke a fevered political debate? Drawing inspiration from philosophy, history and literature, University of Chicago scholar and national commentator Martha Nussbaum deconstructs the rise of anti-Muslim zealotry since Sept. 11 in her latest book, The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age. It's a vigorous defense of the religious freedom of minorities in the face of post-9/11 Islamophobia. And by minorities she mostly means Muslims. Nussbaum will discuss assaults on religious freedom at the University of Puget Sound at 7:30 p.m. in the Schneebeck Concert Hall. Admission is free, but you must RSVP at tickets.pugetsound.edu.

2. How do you escape the pressures of the holidays, like, really quickly? Bundle up, drop your packages in the trunk, pinch your cheeks until they glow and strap on a pair of silver skates, Hans Brinker, for a glide across the frozen expanse at Tollefson Plaza. The Franciscan Polar Plaza, located on the corner of Pacific Avenue and South 17th Street. The covered outdoor rink is about half the size of a hockey rink. It will have real ice and hold about 150 skaters at a time. It's open from 4-9 p.m.

3. You're sick and tired of driving through the neighborhood looking at the homes of people who think they deserve an award for their light displays. You deserve to take a night to go see Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Billed as the region's biggest walk-through light show, ZooLights includes animated light sculptures, live entertainment, snacks, animal encounters and the Paul Titus Carousel. While enjoying your stroll, be thankful you're not in charge of this holiday light display. The lights flip on at 5 p.m.

4. Cookies might be the only reason we'd consider applying for Santa Claus' job. First he has to make a list of the entire world's population of children - and then he has to check it twice. Can you imagine? No wonder Christmas only happens once a year. And we doubt it's easy to get those elves to turn out millions of mini iPods. But who wouldn't want to trade places with him to eat a world's supply of cookies for an entire night? Not us. And after you attend the Hands-on Italian Christmas Cookies class at 6 p.m. at the Bayview School of Cooking, you'll be wishing you were the jolly fat guy, too.

5. Every Monday at 9 p.m. Jazzbones is packed to the brim with college kids. Party types. The type that wear tight shirts and trucker hats. Throngs of Chad Fratguys and Sarah Sororitysisters swarm the bar, line up for the bathroom and dance to the Rockaraoke - live band karaoke. The Rockaraoke band is skilled, too. Expect $2 PBR drafts, $3 Sinfire shots and $4 Smirnoff flavor vodka bombs.

PLUS: Holiday Events Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Holiday Command Center

LINK: Monday, Dec. 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 2, 2013 at 10:01am

Where am I eating waffles?

So delicious.

The first thing you notice when you walk into the joint is the light, sweet smell of waffle batter wafting through the air. This bare-bones kitchen in Tacoma serves waffles will keep me coming back from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 14-15. Yes, it's open for a limited time.

You can order your waffle simple, with just a dusting of powdered sugar to accentuate the crisp-on-the-outside, light-and-moist-on-the-inside organic treat. That's right. The folks running the joint use fresh, organic, local, gleaned ingredients - with gluten-free and dairy-free options. Or you may choose from a variety of more complicated preparations, such as the roasted nuts waffles, roasted nuts and whipped cream waffles and seasonal fruits. My favorite preparation is plain: light and airy, moist without the overnight yeast base that can make waffles too firm and dry. I love waffles. These are truly delicious.

Can you guess where I'm eating?

Special bonus: Anyone who gives the correct answer below in the comment before 5 p.m. today is entered into a drawing for six free tickets to the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink.

Ed. Note: Congratulations to Debbie Corcoran who, among others, guessed the waffles were from the Free-Range Kitchen at 4427 Sixth Ave. in Tacoma. The waffles will be served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7-8 and 14-15. The cost is $2 a waffle. All proceeds go toward developing the culinary incubator.

Filed under: Contest, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 3, 2013 at 7:08am

5 Things To Do Today: "Lost Rivers," tree lighting, "Totem Pole History," poet Peter James Neff and more ...

Daylighting underground waterways through urban redevelopment is a topic in the Lost Rivers documentary screening at The Grand Cinema.

TUESDAY, DEC. 3 2013 >>>

1. Did you ever wonder where all that rainwater goes, once it runs down that grate in the street? In Tacoma, it’s headline news with the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project and its fancy green storm water infrastructure. In larger cities the infrastructure are often vast tunnels, an arcane and idiosyncratic series of interconnected waterways vital to a city’s daily functions, but invisible and forgotten by its citizens, save for a handful of construction and maintenance workers. At 2:40 and 7:50 p.m., The Grand Cinema will screen Lost Rivers, a recent documentary about urban underground waterways around the world.

2. One of the Pacific Northwest's leading Native artists, from a family long associated with The Evergreen State College, is the subject of a richly illustrated new book, A Totem Pole History: The Work of Lummi Carver Joe Hillaire. Lummi elder Pauline Hillaire writes about her father's legacy as one of the most influential Coast Salish artists of the 20th century.  The book includes photographs of Joe Hillaire's most significant totem poles, along with essays from contributors on Coast Salish art history, pigment technology, oral history, intercultural relations and the central role of art in Coast Salish life. Lummi/Haida carver Felix Solomon, editor Gregory Fields, and others associated with the publication will present images and readings from the book and its accompanying video and audio CDs at 3 p.m. in Seminar Building Two, Room C1105, at The Evergreen State College.

3. Olympia author Peter James Neff will read from his newly published collection of inspirational poetry, Prayers to Live, and answer questions about his poetry and artwork at 6 p.m. in the Tumwater Timberland Library. Neff, a young man with Down syndrome, lives with his parents, goes to work every day, volunteers in his community and takes an active role in his church. He is a prolific poet, responsive to each joy, sorrow, friend and everyday experience in his life.

4. Need a holiday season boost? Join the Pacific Lutheran University community at 5 p.m. for its annual lighting of the tree in Red Square. There will be singing of carols, sipping of hot cider and Pres. Anderson will throw the switch.

5. Every Tuesday, Maxwell's Speakeasy serves two chef's choice appetizers and two house wines or draft beers for $15. Chef Slater and server extraordinaire and wine pro Kent Bolden sample wines weeks in advance, mull them over, discuss possible pairings, sample more, then create an awesome dining experience.

PLUS: Holiday Events Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Holiday Command Center

LINK: Tuesday, Dec. 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 3, 2013 at 9:24am

Psst! Repeal Prohibition Day Celebration

Scene from the 2012 Repeal Prohibition Day Celebration at the historic Capitol Theater. Photo courtesy of Facebook

My co-worker at the bar is all excited. She just found the perfect silky black corset. She has matching rhinestone spanks, a cute hat and a classy cigar box. She has heels and a hairstyle to boot.

She is one of the hundreds of Olympians excited about the Repeal Day Celebration set for the 80th anniversary of the end of alcohol prohibition, Dec. 5.

The Capitol Theater, once again, will be a virtual time warp, as everything of the era will be resurrected. From classic cocktails to Tush! Burlesque and Greta Jane Quartet's old-timey music in the 1924 theater, it will indeed be a celebration.

>>> Tush! Burlesque celebrated Repeal Prohibition Day at the Capitol Theater in 2012. Photo courtesy of Facebook

A Scofflaw Cocktail with Four Roses Bourbon is one of the cocktails to expect.

"This is one drink I like to make every year for Repeal Day because of the drink's history," explains Bradford Knutson, event organizer. "In the early 1920s, a contest was held in America to find a demeaning term to describe a lawless drinker. The winning word was scofflaw."

An Italian Martini will also be on the menu, using Old English gin, a reproduction of a 1783 recipe, and Pisa nut liquor instead of Vermouth. Homemade bathtub gin using moonshine from McMenamin's The Spar will also be on hand.

Dressing from the era is encouraged.

Repeal Prohibition Day Celebration 2013, w/Tush! Burlesque, Greta Jane Quartet, host Elizabeth Lord, 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec 5, Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave, Olympia, $15, $10/OFS members, price includes one cocktail, olympiafilmsociety.org

See Also

South Sound Holiday Command Center

Calendar: Arts and Entertainment

Calendar: Music and Nightlife

Filed under: Food & Drink, Community, Olympia,

December 3, 2013 at 10:57am

Nerd Alert! - South Sound Geek Gift Guide

Nerdy Stuffs hosts DROIDS FOR TOTS 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Donate a new toy to its Toys for Tots donation drive.

Chag urim sameach!This is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

Some weeks there's just not that much going on. Trapped between Cyber Monday and the end-of-the-year movie rush, this is one of those weeks. However, it is a stellar time for holiday shopping. Yes, now's the time to find that special, nerdy something for the geek in your life, especially if that geek is you. I called some of my favorite area merchants to solicit ideas on what might fill that empty space beneath your Millennium Falcon and Autobot Christmas tree ornaments.

Dorky's Arcade

First off, how ‘bout some Dorky Dollars? You know, for all those classic arcade games! (Dibs on vector-graphics Star Wars!) Meanwhile, get ready for Cosplay Day, the evening of Dec. 15. 4 p.m. to midnight Monday, 11 a.m. to midnight Tuesday through Saturday, 754 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.4156

Nerdy Stuffs

I'm also a big fan of Nerdy Stuffs, Tacoma's genre collectibles shop. In fact, you should totally consider taking the kids in this Saturday between 11 and 3, when the store will accept Toys for Tots while offering free photos with Jawas and the 501st Legion of Imperial stormtroopers. Co-owner Jesus Areyano suggests the gift of gaming this holiday season: "Ascension is a pretty big card game, with a two-player edition for $10. It's stocking-stuffer-size." For $20, "Munchkin is a solid gift. There are so many versions, including a ‘Holiday Surprise' edition." For those with a bit more money to spend, Areyano raves about "the DC ‘New 52' figures ... they're these cool statues that run about $40. There's one for each character from the Justice League." Even Zan and Jayna? 1-9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 1-10 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 12223 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.537.1782

Sucher And Sons Star Wars Shop

It's a bit of a haul, but believe me, there's no better outpost for Rebel-scum gift shopping than Sucher and Sons Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen. I spoke to Don Sucher, owner, operator and superfan. "There's over a thousand action figures in the package for under $10," he says, plus a variety of ship toys in the $20 neighborhood. But if you really want to drop a joy bomb on somebody's Christmas, check out Sucher's car-sized display model of the Millennium Falcon. It's incredibly rare and would set you back a mere $2,500. That's a pittance for the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. ... I know, that doesn't make any sense. It's still smarter than giant robots that turn into cars and have fistfights. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, 413 E. Wishkah St., Aberdeen, 360.970.7080

Danger Room

Finally, I called Casey Bruce, co-owner of my favorite comics shop, Danger Room in Oly. For mainstream readers, he recommends comic series tied to other media projects: "You know, The Walking Dead, or Thor, The Avengers," he says. "We have all the book collections. They run about $15, $20 each." I asked him about games, of which the store carries dozens. "One of our top sellers, and one I've played and enjoyed, is called Robo Rally. It's made by the same people who made Magic: the Gathering." That game costs $50. For the true comics fan, however, Bruce suggests "Infinite Kung Fu, a graphic novel in the spirit of a '70s kung fu movie. The art's really nice, plus there's zombies and stuff." Win-win! 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday, 201 4th Ave. W, Olympia, 360.705.3050

The truth is you can walk into any of these places, point in any direction, and basically just buy the first thing that catches your eye. I accept any or all such gifts; please feel free to drop them by the Volcano office in Lakewood. Also, my wife Amanda has her eye on Edgar Wright's "Cornetto trilogy" on Blu-ray, for which she would thank you kindly.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may Santa Claus conquer the Martians.

See Also

Judging by the Movie Trailers

December 4, 2013 at 7:02am

5 Things To Do Today: Think and Drink, free museum admission, Burning Man film, Ring in the Season and more ...

Drink with the best of them tonight at the Engine House No. 9.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4 2013 >>>

1. There is the sometimes perilous aspect of holding a discussion in a room full of folks who have had a couple. People feel inclined to yell weird stuff like ‘I've done Jager! I've done Jager!' But it's that kind of energy that makes the Broadway Center's Think & Drink. Part of the Center's yearlong Free For All focus, Immanuel Presbyterian Church Tacoma and Humanities Washington team up two panelists and moderator/KPLU-FM business and labor reporter Ashley Gross for a discussion on holiday shopping and the American consumer culture at 7:30 p.m. in Engine House No. 9's upstairs room. As far as audience members go, if you can handle your alcohol without being a complete asshole, we totally suggest drinking your face off. Drink, drink, drink, drink - because the amount of money you will spend this holiday season will be depressing.

2. Stretch your legs and your mind today through Dec. 8 as Columbia Bank celebrates its 20th anniversary by sponsoring free admission to the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State History Museum and the Children's Museum of Tacoma. That's lovely of them.

3. Spark: a Burning Man Story is an engaging documentary that gives audiences a rare behind-the-scenes look at Burning Man - a week-long annual art exhibition/party/socioeconomic experiment held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. While on the surface it may appear to be nothing more than a bunch of hippies living it up in the desert, Burning Man is a monumental undertaking, requiring months of planning and the combined efforts of hundreds of people to pull off each year. The film screens at 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema. Read Jared Lovrak's full review of Spark: A Burning Man Story in the Movies section.

4. You're in denial, but the signs are hard to ignore. Shops are draped in red and green; cocktail parties - your calendar, and you can't button your skinny jeans anymore. Yep, it's the holiday season. As they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, which is why you'll be singing at the top of your lungs at the Saint Martin's University and South Puget Sound Community College's "Ring in the Season" holiday concert at 7 p.m. in the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts. The Department of Washington American Legion Band joins the two Thurston County institutions for a lively Christmas pops concert with multiple choral groups, holiday band music and a carol sing-along. Hark you sing!

5. At The Brotherhood Lounge, aerialists are about to take flight again. The re-vamped team is ready to amaze audiences with its color brand of trapeze, beginning at 8 p.m. Creativity never ceases and performances range from naughty to funny to just plain beautiful. The shows are free and tips are encouraged. New this year is a dance party to follow, with grooves by DJ Fir$t Lady. If you've ever been to one of the Broho's impromptu dances parties at past aerialist events, then you know about the twerking, pumping and shaking that goes on. 

PLUS: Holiday Events Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Holiday Command Center

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

December 5, 2013 at 9:11am

5 Things To Do Today: Repeal Prohibition Party, tree lighting, shopping benefit, Burning Man discussion, and more ...

Scene from the 2012 Repeal Prohibition Day Celebration at the historic Capitol Theater. Photo courtesy of Facebook

THURSDAY, DEC. 5 2013 >>>

1. This date in history marks the day Prohibition was repealed back in 1933, and 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 at 6 p.m. in the Capitol Theater. From classic cocktails to Tush! Burlesque and Greta Jane Quartet's old-timey music in the 1924 theater, it will indeed be a celebration. Read Nikki McCoy's full story on the event here.

2. Spark: a Burning Man Story is an engaging documentary that gives audiences a rare behind-the-scenes look at Burning Man - a week-long annual art exhibition/party/socioeconomic experiment held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. While on the surface it may appear to be nothing more than a bunch of hippies living it up in the desert, Burning Man is a monumental undertaking, requiring months of planning and the combined efforts of hundreds of people to pull off each year. The film screens at 2 and 9 p.m. with a film discussion after 9 p.m. show at The Grand Cinema. Read Jared Lovrak's full review of Spark: A Burning Man Story in the Movies section.

3. Hear ye, hear ye, longtime (or short time) people of Tacoma and the South Sound! Job Carr, Tacoma's original Gritizen and the first settler in these here parts, has a sweet little museum and original cabin replica in his honor in Tacoma's Old Town district (birthplace of our wonderful city), set near the shores of Commencement Bay. Feel all old-fashiony and nostalgic at the Old Town tree lighting celebration at the museum site and Old Town Park from 4-6 p.m. Free photos with Santa, cookies and hot cocoa (while supplies last) mark the event. Even better, non-perishable food donations for Food Connection will be accepted during the event.

4. Circle of Friends in Action, or COFIA, hosts a night of holiday shopping to benefit health and educational programs for the students in Rubongi, Uganda at St. Jude's Primary School. From 6-8:30 p.m. in Tacoma's Proctor and Triangle/St. Helens districts, select retailers, businesses and restaurants will donate a percentage of tonight's sales to the cause. St. Helens neighborhood: Dwelling, Giraffe and Maxwell's Speakeasy. Proctor District: Compass Rose, Megs & Mo, Pacific Northwest Shop, Soul, Teaching Toys, The Old House Mercantile Company, Envy, Foxfire Salon and Spa Aveda.

5. Tommy Johnagin started stand-up at the age of 18, dropping out of college at 21 to become a full time comedian. Tommy vows he will one day make enough money to pay his parents back for the six semesters of college he wasted. Catch him at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Comedy Club.

PLUS: Holiday Events Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Holiday Command Center

LINK: Thursday, Dec. 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 6, 2013 at 7:26am

5 Things To Do Today: Dan Navarro, comet chat, holiday theater, Dance Oly Dance and more ...

Dan Navarro has been out on the folk-rock circuit so long he has become an elder statesman.

FRIDAY, DEC. 6 2013 >>>

1. Dan Navarro, whose songs have been covered by Pat Benatar ("We Belong"), Dionne Warwick, Dave Edmunds, the Bangles and a host of others, was one-half of the very successful songwriting/performing team of Lowen and Navarro for 29 years, although as far as performances go he's had to go it alone in 2009 since Eric Lowen's diagnosis with ALS. At 8 p.m. in Gig Harbor's Morso Wine Bar, Navarro will take a break from yelling at lawmakers over intellectual property, performer and songwriter issues, to tease his album, Shed My Skin, which will be released early next year.

2. As you know, Comet ISON is "passing through" our earthly neighborhood. ISON is a giant ball of ice and rock discovered last fall by two Russian scientists using the 16-inch reflecting telescope of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON). The comet is hurtling toward the sun from the outer solar system, and as it passes the sun, its fate is unpredictable. The warmth from the sun could break it up into disappearing pieces or cause it to shine bright enough to be seen during the day. Learn about Comet ISON and other celestial bad asses at 5 p.m. in the Pierce College Science Dome.

3. CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER: Mushrooms and mycelium are an element of natural systems that can take your gardening and food production to another level. Protein, medicine and myoremediation are just the tips of the iceberg of how mycology can be of benefit to our ecosystem and ourselves. Ja Schindler of Fungi For the People will discuss traditional and modern reasons and methods for working with mushrooms for food, medicine, and mycoremediation at 7 p.m. in King's Books.

4. The "War on Christmas" decried by Sarah Palin and Bill O'Reilly isn't evident in South Sound theater, which is producing a rich variety of appropriately jolly and family-friendly shows for the holiday season. Weekly Volcano theater critics Joann Varnell and Christian Carvajal chime in with their thoughts on four local productions here.

5. It's the first Friday of the month and that means only one thing: Dance Oly Dance. Head on over to TCTV Studio A on Olympia's Westside and dance to local music – on TV! Sadly, this will be the last Dance Oly Dance. Don't miss this last historic taping at 8 p.m.

PLUS: Holiday Events Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Holiday Command Center

LINK: Friday, Dec. 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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