Just in case the doomsday predictions are correct, and this is your last New Year's Eve on Earth, let's suppose life is about harmonious balance, the yin and yang, the Obi Wan versus Darth Vader.
Where, then, would one find the proper vessels to achieve a New Year's goal of striking the delicate equilibrium of good and evil?
Why, Olympia, of course.
Ignoring the fact that I work there because I'd write this anyway, let's start with The Brotherhood Lounge (119 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 360.352.4153). This joint tops the dichotomy list. At the heart of this red-walled haven of booze, dancing and debauchery are community and solidarity. You see, while you kiss the closest beautiful face at midnight - colorful balloons dropping all around and your head dizzy with drinks - you can take solace in the fact that if you were to drop dead at this point, at least you know half of your door money is going to Safeplace, a local non-profit that supports victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. DJ Dead-Air, from Portland, will be spinning all night, and has been said to induce spiritual journeys through his picks of ‘80s, rawk, punk, disco and more.
Now, keeping in mind that every single one of us has the devil inside, (thanks for the catchy reminder, INXS) a casino might be a good place to explore on New Year's Eve. There are vices galore, plus you can counteract every whiskey shot and double-down with a hefty tip to your dealer or cocktail waitress ... you know, to spread the wealth around a bit and keep the ol' conscience clean. On New Year's Eve the casino trifecta that surrounds Olympia - Little Creek in Shelton (91 West State Route 108, Shelton, 360.427.7711), Lucky Eagle in Rochester (12888 188th Ave. SW, Rochester, 360.273.2000) and Red Wind in Nisqually (12819 Yelm Hwy. SE, Olympia, 360.412.5000) - are all hosting house bands and cash give-a-ways.
Back in downtown Olympia, all the usual spots will be having some sort of celebration.
McCoy's Tavern (418 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.352.0696) will offer KOZO, AKA and Free Whiskey blowing eardrums and minds for $2. Lots of naughty goes on at McCoy's, so it's up to you to try and bring the nice.
Jakes on 4th (418 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.352.0696) will be having a party with champagne toast, snacks and a DJ. Hit the dance floor with your best moves and some Jell-O shots and a guaranteed outcome of questionable behavior will be yours to ponder.
Big Whisky Saloon (425 Franklin St. SE, Olympia, 360.357.4721) will offer a hoedown and drink specials. Here's a bar to practice your double-sided chivalry; open doors for the ladies, say please and thank you ma'am, pull out all the polite stops, all while knowing you, too, are in the cosmic balance - because there's at least some minor ulterior motive in those nice actions. You know you want some of that Honky-tonk Badonkadonk. Yee Haw!
And down at Hannah's Bar & Grill (123 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia, 360.357.9890), karaoke will be in full swing, so bring on the banshees! Sing something sweet and inspirational to bring in the New Year, or tap into that devil inside - your call.
Whatever you do, remember: This night may be your New Year's Eve ever, so have fun, get dirty and party hard!