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It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life Ah, the holidays. Rain in your boots, Christmas music playing in every store, having to find gifts for people you only pretend to like — it’s all enough to drive one mad. But don’t despair! Remember what Grandma (or was it Charlie Brown?) told you: “‘Tis better

Only in Tacoma

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Only in Tacoma

If you think about it, Tacoma isn’t just a city.  It’s also a source of holiday gift inspiration. What do I mean by that?  I mean that there are gift items and gift ideas that represent the City of Destiny, or remind us of the City of Destiny, and may be

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BANFF Mountain Film Festival

Let’s say you’re suffering from scratches from your mountain hike last weekend. Your first instinct is to reach for the Noxzema and a bottle of Yoo-Hoo (the Yoo-Hoo is to cool your insides, natch). But the folks at Olympia Mountaineers Club maintain that art is also important for healing —

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Ask Amy

Loot Conquers All I always tell my wife I love her and buy her gifts I can't afford. I know she loves me. She works so hard at school, and works to pay her tuition, and still washes my clothes, cooks, and cleans. And I never ask her to. When

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Something for the fellas

Bruce Nicholson, owner of Nicholson’s Men’s Clothiers in Gig Harbor, has been in business for 25 years. That’s pure braggin’ rights in the privately owned clothing store world. How has Nicholson done it? He stays up on fashion trends, pays attention to what people are wearing locally and talks to

 Shop till you starve

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Shop till you starve

The deals available to consumers this holiday season may, if expert predictions prove right, stagger the mind. But more importantly, they’ll leave a little extra for lunch or dinner.  Forget the extra sweater, a good meal means more holiday cheer than cotton and gabardine. To assist the merry mall shopper, I

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Surrealist impulse

Along with the big shows at Tacoma Art Museum — Oasis: Western Dreams of the Ottoman Empire and Don Fels: What is a Trade? — there are a couple of smaller but interesting shows from the permanent collection: The Surrealist Impulse and Speaking Parts (I eliminated the wordy subtitles from

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Festival of Trees

You’ll get sick of Christmas. So much to do and it’s all basically the same stuff. This is why we love the Festival of Trees. It does it all and better than anybody else. There’s the massive gift shop, all sorts of Christmas stuff (namely, 70 trees, all decorated to

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Havilah Rogers

Looking cute doesn't have to cost a fortune. I’m thankful for that; otherwise I'd be one electric/heat bill away from making a garbage sack my raincoat. It all comes down to having a keen eye for basic reusable pieces and, most importantly, knowing where to get great deals at a

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Wojack and War Music

We have hit the apex of the holiday season, and like Freeway said, “The stomach’s rumble.”  Hip-Hoppas and community members in the 25360 are standing up and being counted this Saturday, Dec. 6, at The China Clipper in Olympia for the third annual Hip-Hop for The Homeless Benefit.  I have

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Miser reviser

There are few signature roles for actors in the South Sound. So many theaters stage the same shows that it is hard to find one role an actor essentially owns to the point that any other theater staging the same play would simply be producing it in the shadow of

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Blue cheese bacon treat

Well, holy pig on a pogo stick, someone actually took a challenge of mine to heart.  Several months ago, I wrote about the bacon craze and all the wacky recipes that have arisen: chocolate chip and bacon cookies, bacon ice cream, chicken fried bacon (a personal gag), bacon vodka, and

Songs of the season

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Songs of the season

Tacoma Symphony continues its 2008-2009 season Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7, with the first of its series of pops music programs, Sounds of the Season, at the Pantages Theater.  The orchestra, led by Music Director Harvey Felder, is being joined by members of the Tacoma Youth Chorus as

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Early dinner special

$30 Prix Fixe Before Six The brain trust over at Sea Grill have  devised an economy-defying prix fixe dinner offered Monday through Friday, slick for both palate and wallet. Start the $30 three-course extravaganza by diving into Sea Grill chowder or Caesar salad before moving on to sautéed prawns, salmon piccata

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Sipping beers at the mall

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse Where: 4502 S. Steele, Tacoma, 253.472.1220 Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday Cuisine: Bar and grill fare with emphasis on burgers, pizza, and pasta. Scene: Pleasant, warm, inviting, spacious — a far cry from the Tacoma Mall interior on the

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Britney Spears and more on sale

SECRET TICKET CODE TM = Ticketmaster, (253) 627-TIXS, www.ticketmaster.com TW = TicketsWest, (800) 325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com TWEB = Ticketweb, (866) 468-7623, www.ticketweb.com On sale now Holly Cole, A Night Before Christmas Seattle. Dec. 22-23 7:30 pm. $24.50 (Jazz Alley, 206.441.9729). Sacred Music by Duke Ellington featuring Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra Bellevue. Dec. 27 7:30 pm. $24-$28 (First

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Tricia Berglund

The Muse, an all-ages venue in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue District, hosts a lineup of talent from bluegrass musicians to poets to acoustic indie and rock performers.  There’s a minimal cover charge and two free open mic nights a week.  Bandito Betty and I stopped in for a freshly made (delicious)

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House Blend Thursdays

All of you young and young-at-heart readers know that it’s fairly easy to coast through a Friday at work after a Thursday night on the town, and that’s why so many of you are constantly on the hunt for Thursday functions. After thoroughly scouring this city for an excellent weekend prefunc,

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Overcoming the odds

Bobble Tiki loves a good story about overcoming long odds. It’s one of the reasons he thinks he should receive extra credit from his bosses here at the Weekly Volcano for making it to work on time on Mondays. Few, if any, expect Bobble Tiki to pull off the feat

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2121 Tavern

There’s huge dive bar territory over in the Parkland/Spanaway area that I have yet to uncover, and man, it’s a freakin’ gold mine up in that ’hood. It literally gets my heart racing as I think of the trashy possibilities that lie upon Pacific Highway and its surrounding streets. For years

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