Bigger is better
There’s nothing more American than a recreational vehicle. Here’s a car that’s literally as big as a house, equipped to the nines with every sort of modern amenity you can think of, a brazen gas-guzzler ready to tear giant swaths of land apart, highway by scenic highway. Indeed, the modern RV is an apt metaphor for the United States. In one bloated behemoth, we’ve managed to capture the classic spirit of adventure that made our country so great while showcasing the posh excess and luxury that have inspired half the world to loathe us.
(Hey Tacoma RV Show! How do you like me so far?)
The show will feature hundreds of new RVs, ranging from Class A motor homes to lightweight pop-up trailers, including toy haulers, the 40-foot 2008 Allegro Phaeton with HD TV and solid tile floors, and the 40-foot Fleetwood Discovery 40X with a 42” HD TV, side aisle, huge bath and solid surface counters.
Go big! — Suzy Stump
[Tacoma Dome, Jan. 3 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Jan. 4-5 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Jan. 6 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $7-$9, 12 and younger free, 2525 E D St., Tacoma, www.otshows.com/TRV/tv.htm]
Before The New York Times called knitting “the new yoga,” before anybody who had ever set needle to cloth began calling herself a “textile artist,” there was your grandmother. She made quilts like nobody’s business, and the skill and love that went into her craft stood you through two breakups and a failed career move while you snuggled up in her cotton patchwork creation to watch FX repeats of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
The excellent craft of quilt-making lives on in the American West, and the Tacoma Art Gallery hosts members of the Association of the Pacific Northwest African American Quilters as artists-in-residence every Saturday in its Open Arts Studio. The quilters will create squares to be incorporated into a community quilt, and provide instruction to those who wish to participate.
Then Tuesday, Jan. 8 (10:30 a.m., free with admission), Gwendolyn Maxwell-Williams, a quilt big-wig, talks about the traditions and techniques of quilting that put the Association of the Pacific Northwest African American Quilters on the map. She also will lead a hands-on quilt-making activity.
So you can lie there snug in your quilt on the couch or make your way to the Tacoma Art Museum. Let me point out that’s it’s a new year and you SO need to be new. — SS
[Tacoma Art Museum, Saturdays, Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.4258]
“One, two, three, four”
Back in the day, P.E. class meant nailing the stinky, skinny kid during dodge ball and gagging if you had to bust through his arms during Red Rover. The worst? Taking the arm of said stinky, skinny kid and clutching it dutifully while forming a circle with fellow fifth-graders before launching into a spirited merengue.
I find adult dance lessons more pleasant, especially at Arthur Murray’s house. If you haven’t taken lessons at the Arthur Murray School of Dance, check out its open house Saturday. Besides free appetizers and wine tasting, adults will be doing the salsa, swing, rumba, mambo, cha-cha, foxtrot, waltz, tango and on and on. Everybody starts out pretty much like fifth-graders, warily grasping potentially cootie-contaminated hands and stumbling over toes. Thanks to “Dancing With the Stars,” people are trying harder. — SS
[Arthur Murray School of Dance, Saturday, Jan. 5, 6 p.m., no cost, 5849 Tacoma Mall Blvd., Tacoma, 253.474.2955]
The fans of Garrison Keillor are a fierce bunch whose radios have for years been tuned religiously on Saturday nights to public radio’s resurrected “A Prairie Home Companion.” And it’s no wonder: A deadpan exemplar of the word “wry,” Keillor has a singular way with the tall tale and an old-fashioned, provincial wit that borders on —and sometimes plunges into — sentimentality. All this serves as a sort of a warning: When Keillor appears Jan. 10 at the Pantages Theater, the staunch are certain to turn out in legions. If you count yourself among them, get your tickets NOW! — SS
[Pantages Theater, Thursday, Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m., $48-$70, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5894]