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The Ruston Inn's Stoli Elit

So I find myself at the Ruston Inn, yet again. Oh, boy. The 12 or 15 loud talkers on a recent Thursday, all in their 40s and 50s, wearing NASCAR jackets, flannel shirts and hockey jerseys. It’s gonna be another fun night indeed. Over in the corner is the eldest: A

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Trip The Light Fantastic

Turning on the radio can be a fairly depressing proposition. There was a time when stations on the FM dial had integrity, but those days are long gone. With the obvious exception of KEXP, chances are anything you tune in on the car radio is going to suck hardcore, and

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BuyOlympia for shirts

In July 1999 some were worrying about Y2K and the end of days, but Pat Castaldo and Aaron Tuller, two young veterans of the Northwest music scene, were hatching a plan to create a Web site to sell artwork by their friends in bands. Not the music, the visual artwork

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I hope I have seen our future

Hey Tacoma, I have seen the light, and this bright beacon of hope illuminated it’s way into my heart when I least expected it. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to accompany the husband to his company Christmas party, and in all places, Spokane. Yes, you heard me, Spokane.

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Dickens Festival, glass sale and more

THE FILM I’ll hang her up! The Associated Ministries hosts a screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” tonight at the Blue Mouse Theatre to benefit the Family Emergency Fund. Yeah! Wonderful, yes, but remember that Frank Capra’s postwar holiday classic is about a guy who, for much of the film, is on a

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Sparkles style

You’ve seen him around, without a doubt — spinning every Thursday night at The Monsoon Room, or maybe behind the drum kit at The Scuzztones show, or possibly at The Spar in Old Town Tacoma — looking all Keith Moon-ish. He’s DJ Jimmy Sparkles, and he’s one cool cat. The

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Juniper Drive

Born and bred in Tacoma, Lindsay Hartwell of Juniper Drive has been creating jewelry and other designs on and off for 14 years. “I don’t know if I have one style,” explains Hartwell. “It’s eclectic or artsy — definitely folk art. Each piece is a unique style in and of

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The Buzz and the Bazaar

The Buzz While the Internet is a fantastic way to try out new music, I still relish getting in my car and driving to a real store where I interact with live people. I’ve been listening to My Chemical Romance songs, both old and new, on the band’s Web site for

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Dirty laundry

You’re working two jobs, going to school part-time and trying to have a social life.  When will you do laundry? Now. But you’re now faced with the daunting realization that you have eight loads to do. Just getting the stuff bagged up and out to your car is an overwhelming challenge.

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Digging the holidays

While Natasha has been busy getting grumpy about the holidays, I absolutely love it. This season is one of my favorite times of the year. Just today roommate Ian and I decorated for the season. I broke out my actual Charlie Brown Christmas tree, we strung icicle lights around the mantle, and

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Rockin’ the holidays

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Dashing through the snow. We three kings of Orient are. Have yourself a merry little Christmas. I can’t stand that crap. I grew up in a fundamentalist Catholic family, and I was blessed at a very, very young age with the ability to sing soprano, alto and tenor. With those

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Spoken word poet has a lot to say

Lucas Smiraldo looks like your average middle-aged man with thinning hair and a pudgy mid-section, but he has a fire in him that he needs to release. His chosen form of creative expression is spoken word poetry — something he’s been doing since 2000. He was inspired by the movie

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Vamps and villains

My initial reaction to Rebecca Raven’s paintings at Childhood’s End Gallery was that they are a little too precious and way too gimmicky. Ten of her 11 gemlike paintings employ variations of a single gimmick. Raven’s pictures are painted in oil on small copper plates that are framed by exquisitely crafted

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Inspired Elegance

Last Saturday I joined a group of fellow gussied-up folks for an evening called Inspired Elegance, a fashion show fund-raiser for Tacoma Art Place, which took place at Stadium Bistro. This night consisted of five amazing courses of fine food and wine and elegant fashions designed by students from the Tacoma

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Post shopping thrills

It’s a busy time in theater, so I’ll get right to it. I wasn’t wowed by Capital Playhouse’s staging of Walter Jones’ “The 1940s Radio Hour.” I wanted to be wowed. It wasn’t a bad show. It was actually entertaining. But I wanted more. The first trouble was the script. The

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Lots of music this week

meet me in st. louis A staple from the golden age of musical theater, “Meet Me in St. Louis” is making a stop at Tacoma Musical Playhouse. [Narrows Theater, through Dec. 16, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $16-$23, 7116 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.565.6867, www.tmp.org]   cinderella “Cinderella,” a

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Boys' night out

The Seattle Men’s Chorus is bringing its 300-voice ensemble to the Broadway Center’s Rialto Theater for two performances of its 2007 holiday production, “Home for the Holidays.” The shows, set for Saturday, Dec. 8, at 3 and 7:30 p.m., also feature Seattle’s Vaudeville-style solo entertainer, the “definitely eccentric but always

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Beautiful Holiday

The letterpress artists of Beautiful Angle are givers. In one case, they give advice to a girl named Allie who says of herself in her e-mail to them, “I’m one of those Tacoma kids. The kind you see lurking around King’s Books and Stadium Video, wearing big sunglasses and making inappropriate

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Movie positioning

If you haven’t seen local filmmaker Eric Colley’s “GPS” movie yet, then you need to get off that lazy ass and come out to  Capitol Theater Friday, Dec. 7, for a screening and filmmaker Q&A. The Tenino native is the director, writer and mastermind behind the film, which is based

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Wide awake

Do not believe anything you hear about "Awake," do not talk to anyone about it, and above all do not even GLANCE at the poster or ads, which criminally reveal a crucial plot twist. This movie, which was withheld from critics and has scored a pitiful 13 percent on the

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