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Capt. Dale rushes to greet guests

As you enter Tacoma’s former Sheraton Hotel, now Hotel Murano on Broadway, Bell Captain Dale Rush’s smiling face usually greets you. He’s a 61-year-old who not only enjoys life, his job and Tacoma, but every hotel visitor. “What I like most about my job is seeing the new faces that

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My favorite albums of 2007

I noticed recently that the Internet, music festivals, movies, television shows and even commercials have replaced radio as the place I find new music. Should I be embarrassed to say that I bought a song because I heard it on a commercial? In the past I think I would have

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The gift of art

Christmas is not the best time for artists and art galleries. Nobody ever gives art for Christmas. They should, but they don’t. I, for one, would love to get a painting by Ron Hinson or Chauney Peck or one of Holly Senn’s sculptures made from old books. But most people

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Gift of Music

PBS, pay attention. This is how you do a fundraiser. The Gift of Music doesn’t do the pledge and tote bag thing; they just throw a great party where attendees have a blast and give free musical instruments to talented children. The Emanuel Church Ensemble, Darren Motamedy, Michael Powers and

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No argument here

“The Great Debaters” is about an underdog debate team that wins a national championship, and some critics have complained that it follows the formula of all sports movies by leading up, through great adversity, to a victory at the end.  So it does.  How many sports movies, or movies about

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So clutch

Now that the excruciating holiday events have transpired and your bank account has regained consciousness, it’s time to splurge on yourself a bit. This winter, fashion is all about ridding ourselves of the redundant trends of seasons past. I’m still suffering severely from skinny pants overload, but even worse are

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The Drug Purse

Some holidays have a higher purpose. Thanksgiving, yes; Memorial Day, yes; Christmas, yes. These days are supposed to inspire some sort of personal reflection or appreciation or spirit of giving or love of mankind. Then there are the holidays that are just for the hell of it. New Year’s Eve

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Atomic Housewives, .38 special and more

Saturday, Dec. 29 BLUES john nemeth, junior watson Two headliners are sliding into Jazzbones to quench your post-Christmas blues thirst. John Nemeth, white, sounds black, and I don’t believe he’s trying. Entrenched in tradition, the Boise native plays in the fashion of old-school blues, R&B and soul singers of the ’50s and ’60s.

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Q Dot

Congratulations to First Night organizers for including a little something dirty in their New Year’s Eve lineup. Bouncing us into this pivotal year will be Federal Way-based emcees Q Dot and Fame Rilla, members of Federal Way-based mini label Tre’dmarks.  Q Dot, a.k.a. Quincy Henry, has been getting glow for

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Go Latin

It’s a Thursday night — ladies night — at Cans in downtown Tacoma, and everyone is ramping up for the disc jockey to take the stage. He arrives at around 9:30 p.m. to set up, and it doesn’t take long for the dance floor to start filling up. Pedro Lopez

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Give good toast

While a good New Year’s Eve toast seems like a string of eloquent words simply strung together at just the right moment, there was likely at least a bit of work beforehand to make that speech sparkle. Here are some tips from Toastmasters, a group designed to make speakers better at

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(Insert 'Terminator' joke here)

I’m kind of a slacker. If you read this column with any regularity, you probably already know this. I admit the fact freely, and I wear the slacker colors with pride. Like all great slackers before me, I’ve worked diligently to perfect my craft of finding the path of least

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Hangover remedy

If you follow at least a few of the directives this rag throws at you regarding party hot spots on New Year’s Eve, chances are you’ll be in desperate need of an effective hangover remedy Tuesday, the first day (cough! ouch!) of 2008. Since the main culprit of a nasty

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Side Door Lounge's Whitecliff Brut NV

Tator Tot complains that with every mirror I pass by, I must stop and gaze at myself. Well, no s***. If you avert your eyes when looking in a mirror, you probably shouldn’t leave the house. And I think it’s this narcissistic tendency that draws me back to The Hob

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Be the best you can be

It’s hard to believe that Christmas 2007 has come and gone already. I hope you at least enjoyed yourself a little bit. So much to do, so little time. In a small way, I am glad to see it over. There was lots of celebrating and visiting with family and

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Trains, poetry and parties

THE FESTIVAL Choo-choo There are some hobbies better kept to yourself. You know, the ones you do alone in your basement late at night. And then there are some truly cool hobbies, like model railroads. These should be celebrated and dragged out in the open for all to admire. Which is why

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Home is where the bar is

The home bar is a place where you can drink in peace, inexpensively, and in various stages of undress without those curious stares from strangers. Sure, your home bar could comprise a stack of Kwik Shop 64-ounce plastic cups and a half-gallon jug that says “Hy Vee Orange Juice” containing

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Mario's Mercato Italiano

Sandwiched for the last two years between University Place Indochine and a women’s fitness center, Mario’s Mercato Italiano offers surprisingly large portioned menu items and moderately low prices. Crab cakes boasting “not a lot of filler” for $11.00, chicken marsala and picata for $7.99 filled out the plate nicely. Flavors

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Taste the good grape

Fridays: Wine tastings, 6-8 p.m., Mandolin Cafe, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, 253.761.3482. Saturdays: Wine tasting, 2-5 p.m., Wine Bank, 7017 27th St. W., University Place, 253.564.1101. Saturdays: Wine tasting, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Corky Cellars, 22511 Marine View Dr., Des Moines, 206.622.2010. Saturdays: Wine tasting, 1-6 p.m., Wildside Wine, 608A S.

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First Night

It’s time to banish the ghost of 2007 once and for all, Tacoma. It’s been two years since teetotaler Tacomans had something to do on New Year’s Eve. Well, this year, dry or sauced, there will be more than enough for everybody thanks to the return of First Night, which

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