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December 15, 2014 at 3:57pm

Merry Singles in Tacoma

Doug Fur and Holly Day are looking for love. Photos courtesy of jayray.com

Coming up with a fun, creative and festive Christmas card is not always an easy task. Leave it to the professionals at JayRay, a branding, advertising and strategic communications firm in Tacoma, to develop a website dedicated solely to sending holiday cheer.

Launched Dec. 10, www.merry.singles is a dating website parody and the firm's virtual holiday card.

"It's a JayRay hallmark to send out fun holiday greetings, and this year we decided to focus on engagement," said the firm's co-owner and president, Kathleen Deakins. "Our business, just like in dating, is all about increasing engagement. So we thought it would be fun to use the various marketing tools that we use for our clients. There was a direct mail piece, there's our website and there's social media, to see if we could get some engagement going for our ‘holi-dating' site."

The "dating site" features just four available singles looking for love: Ru Dolph, Candi Cane, Doug Fur and Holly Day. Each has a profile complete with pictures, personality traits and of course, a call to action. Candi Cane, for instance, is listed as an exotic model who likes aged red wine and six packs. Mountain Man Doug Fur - a "tall drink of water with a powerful thirst" - likes fishing and Duck Dynasty. Ru Dolph posts, "those who think they can yank on my reins need not respond. If you're ready to make a dash for love, we'll go down in history (pinky promise)."

It's all in good fun - but it's also for a good cause. Visitors to the website can vote for their favorite merry single on Facebook through Jan. 5. One lucky voter will score a $50 Visa gift card, and JayRay will donate another $50 to the charity of the model who garners the most votes.

Each model has his or her own designated charity: Votes for Ru Dolph will benefit the Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County; Candi Cane voters will help Community Health Care; Doug Fur fans will help support Washington's National Park Fund and Holly Days voters will support Citizens for a Healthy Bay.

"There's a competition going among our models, who are also promoting it among their websites and friends, and we are watching the votes add up," Deakins said. "This has been the most successful project like this we've ever been involved in. We (had nearly) 500 likes, shares and comments in the first 48 hours."

Most people can appreciate the sentiment and the dating-site parody, she added. However, "we have found that some IT systems are blocking it," Deakins said, "which we thought was very funny. If this happens to you, you can reach the site by using the jayray.com website."

While JayRay normally does something "wacky and fun" for the holidays for its friends and clients, this year the firm wanted to spread the cheer a little further.

"The news can be sort of depressing, and it's nice to have an opportunity to do something fun," Deakins said. "We wish everyone a happy holidays."

JayRay has been in Tacoma since 1970. The firm works with a variety of nonprofit, business and government organizations in the South Sound and around the country. For more information, visit www.jayray.com.

Filed under: Business, Tacoma, Benefits,

September 23, 2014 at 7:51am

5 Things To Do Today: JFK chat, "Gabrielle," Watermark 40th anniversary, Sinatra tribute ...

President Kennedy was assassinated Friday, Nov. 22, 1963.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 23 2014 >>>

1. While riding in a motorcade with Texas Governor John Connally, President Kennedy was assassinated. Never regaining consciousness, the President died on an operating table at 1 p.m. The suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was caught in a darkened movie theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, about a mile and a half from the assassination. Police officer J.D. Tippit was shot and killed near the same theater by Oswald. Connally, who was riding in a jump seat directly in front of the President, was shot in the chest. After a four-hour operation, he was reported in satisfactory condition. Johnson was sworn-in as President at 2:39 p.m. Central time. At 7 p.m. at the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch, Dean Owen will talk about his new book, November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination, and Legacy of John F. Kennedy, a fascinating collection of interviews and thought-provoking commentary from notable men and women connected to that notorious Friday afternoon when President Kennedy was assassinated.

2. Pouise Archambault's sensitive film Gabrielle tells the story of the title character (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard), a young woman with Williams syndrome who is passing into adulthood, and all the trials and tribulations - living alone, taking care of yourself, finding love - that accompany that journey. Catch the film at 2 and 6:50 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

3. Olympia's Westside is happening, but that's not news to those who live up on the hill. If you want proof, drop by the West Olympia Farmers Market from 4-7 p.m. In addition to an awesome selection of local vendors, this season features live music, raffles and special events. Drop by for fresh produce, baked goods, pastured poultry and meats, flowers, veggie starts and crafts.

4. Karen McGrath's Watermark Cards and Gifts has been in downtown Tacoma for 40 years. Located across the street from the downtown Post Office Building, the store sells home decor, gifts, calendar, humor items and women's accessories. However, it's the go-to for greeting cards. It blows Hallmark out of the water as the spot with the perfect card - from the sentimental to the risqué to the humorous. At 6 p.m. McGrath will wheel out cake and refreshment plus giveaway gifts as she celebrates her 40th anniversary.

5. Ron Bates has performed '40s tunes since the '80s. He knows Sinatra's songbook inside and out. Catch him at 6:30 p.m. for a Supper with Sinatra show at the Red Wind Casino.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 23 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 12, 2014 at 7:15am

5 Things To Do Today: "And Then There Were None," Park(ing) Day chat, "The School for Lies," Girl Trouble on film ...

"And Then There Were None" opens tonight at the Lakewood Playhouse. Artwork by James Stowe

FRIDAY, SEPT. 12 2014 >>>

1 Whodunit? Criminal mastermind Agatha Christie's 1943 And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians) - based on her best-selling novel of the same name - is a mind-bending murder mystery that asks that very question. And the Lakewood Playhouse production will keep you guessing, beginning at 8 p.m. Ten strangers are trapped on an island resort and one of them is eliminating them one by one until there are none. If there's a dude wearing a striped shirt and metal claw in the show, our money is on him.

2. Spaceworks Tacoma is excited to announce the latest Spaceworks Creative Enterprise to open its doors, The Blue Octopus on Pearl. Grand opening festivities are set for from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., plus a reception from 6-8 p.m., at 5013 N. Pearl Street in Ruston. Nationally recognized artist Kerry Cole, owner of The Blue Octopus, offers painting parties, an art gallery, and a painting studio at her new location.

3. Holy Leslie Knope! Can you imagine Tacoma without Optimist Park? Without Ursich Park? Without anywhere to take your dog off the leash and let her run? Even in dense, urban areas, open space is a calming force, giving us a place to sit, lie, tag zombies or walk amidst the birds and the trees. National Park(ing) Day - the annual global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into "PARK(ing)" spaces: temporary public places - invades Tacoma Sept. 19. First, we need to discuss it. Three speakers will present concepts in Pecha Kucha format (20 slides, 20 seconds each) followed by a discussion on the topic of public space and "parklets" (or mini parks) from noon to 1 p.m. at UW Tacoma (Joy Building 215).

4. In its first full production, Tacoma nonprofit theater Working Class Theater Northwest presents contemporary playwright David Ives’s farce The School for Lies at 8 p.m. in the former Deltan Club space at 733 Commerce. Directed by South Sound theater alum Tom Sanders, with a local cast of six men and three women, the farcical, fast-paced and scintillating comedy runs modern variations on Molière's The Misanthrope.

5. Isaac Olsen, the acclaimed Tacoma filmmaker who gave us Quiet Shoes (2010) and Ich Hunger (2013), is related to the Tacoma band Girl Trouble by blood. He's also the guy our readers named Best Filmmaker in 2014. His new documentary, Strictly Sacred, delves into Girl Trouble's archive of historical treasures. "Girl Trouble is a vastly creative band," Olsen explains, "who have brought all their artistic talents to the fore in the pursuit of pure entertainment experience. They were early pioneers of DIY. ... The other unique aspect of Girl Trouble is that they were avid chroniclers of their own story. ... It's almost as if Girl Trouble has been generating biographical material for the express purposes of a comprehensive film." Strictly Sacred opens Friday at 9 p.m. in The Grand Cinema (voted Best Movie House every year) for a week's run. Olsen will lead a discussion after the film.

LINK: Friday, Sept. 12 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

August 7, 2014 at 3:18pm

Jimbo Jitsu's "The Farm" revolutionizes the hemp/weed/eco connection in Olympia

Scott Taylor and Burdman performed live at The Farm in Olympia, Aug. 2

Out Delphi Road, near the Nisqually Nature Trail, is a farm. And not just any farm, this is "The Farm," home of "The Cannabis Connection," a new resource for lovers of the herb.

Now, this reporter, a fan herself, enjoyed the opportunity to visit The Farm on opening day Aug. 2.

A small crowd, laughing and discussing jalapeno chicken and hemp and drinking cold beer, a few vendor tents with "goods," bales of hay for sitting, live acoustic music from Scott Taylor and Burdman, rendering an especially cute version of "Up in Smoke," and good smells, some sweet and intoxicating, others salty and grilled, were all part of the experience.

Jimbo Jitsu, curator of the event, and beloved Olympian was a gracious host. You may know him from Olympia's Farmers Market, his fascinating Youtube channel, his award-winning chef skills, or his musical involvement.

Jitsu's has a vision: An open farm market with artisan, commercial, and adult pavilion, a 21+ market section with medical cannabis, informational speakers, live music on stage, charity beer garden and Sunshine Grill. It's a place where medical/recreational cannabis providers and other vendors meet within a Farm Market and Adult Pavilion.

"Several people told me this was needed," said Jitsu of his inspiration, "... a lot of people have a need to share their specific type of medicine, like different oils and creams. So I wanted to build a place where they can not only provide their medicine, they can provide the knowledge they have, so people can then treat themselves."

A part of the agro-tourism movement, the eventual goal is to create an eco-village, beginning with a yurt made of hemp composite, and then building other types of sustainable housing on site, creating workshops out of the building experience so the public can participate.  

Education is a huge part of The Farm experience, and the first speaker Saturday was Kevin Hodge, inventor of Hemp Adobe, a building material as strong as, but 40 percent lighter than, concrete. Please view Jitsu's Youtube video of Hodge and his awesome invention. ... 

The Farm is open to the public every Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., when the season changes, the fun will be moved into a barn. Every event will have an informational speaker, live music and freebies.

Saturday, Aug. 9, Jitsu will give away 500 free "samples" and 100 free award-winning bacon bites - Jitsu's special blend of sausage, hamburger, mushroom, onion, bacon and secret spices. Discussion and demonstrations will focus on cooking with cannabis with a topical pain rub free trial.

Camping is available, and an eventual "kid zone" and "dog zone" will be part of the fun.

THE FARM, noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 6501 Delphi Road SW, Olympia, 360.754.2868

Filed under: Community, Events, Music, Business,

August 1, 2014 at 9:58am

Hiring Heroes Career Fair coming to Joint Base Lewis-McChord

If you're transitioning from the military or are a veteran looking for work, then Sylvia Parker has an event especially for you.

The Hiring Heroes Career Fair is coming to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Parker, a human resource specialist for the Department of Defense coordinating the job fair, said she has 62 employers coming.

"We're excited," she said.

There are career opportunities for wounded, ill, injured and transitioning servicemembers as well as veterans, military spouses and primary caregivers.

Read more...

August 1, 2014 at 7:45am

5 Things To Do Today: Lakewood Asian Film Festival, Spaceworks Tacoma Quadrophenia, Yonatan Gat, Smart DJs ...

Vidya Bagchi arrives in Kolkata from London to find her missing husband. Seven months pregnant and alone in a festive city, she begins a relentless search for her husband.

FRIDAY, AUG. 1 2014 >>>

1. From Aug. 1-3, the Lakewood Asian Film Fest will screen inside the Lakewood Playhouse. This year, there will be four films, each complete with the requisite movie popcorn and other refreshments, as well as a special live performance before each film that will set the stage and bring an extra edge of arts to each evening. Read Kristin Kendle's full feature on the Lakewood Asian Film Fest in the Music and Culture section, then catch tonight's film, Kahaani, an Indian murder mystery abouta London woman's journey to Calcutta in search of her missing husband. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., but show up early and catch the Chang Hee Sook Women Drummers at 7 p.m. as well as a display in the lobby by the Philippine Scouts Historical Society.

2. Spaceworks Tacoma is proud to announce the grand opening of four new businesses at the corner of South 10th and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.  The celebration of Concrete Market, The Tshirt Men Company, SPUN Clay Arts Studio & Gallery and DubCity Studios will be from 5-9 p.m. Each business will host an open house and offer a variety of awesomeness for customers.

3. The Blues Power Revue - "Jake and Elwood" and a seven-piece band - will play a dynamite show at Port Plaza in downtown Olympia from 7-8:30 p.m. The seasoned musicians and impersonators offer all the hits and humor that made the American cultural icons.

4. Yonatan Gat was recently voted "Best Guitarist of 2013" by the Village Voice. There. Now go to the show. More? Formerly of the Israeli garage rock powerhouses, Monotonix, Gat has turned his eyes to the far corners of musical expression. Incorporating a dizzying variety of cultural influences - tropicalia, Middle Eastern music, psych rock, blistering punk, African pop - Gat has emerged as a chameleonic interpreter of rock 'n' roll in its many shifting forms. Catch him with Arrington de Dionyso and Calvin Johnson at 8 p.m. in Northern.

5. Just as turntablism - the art of playing records - has made an instrument out of a medium, the movement's DJs have made the transition from enablers to performers. Tonight's "Smart People" event, organized by Tacoma's Mr. Melanin, seeks to put a little stress on that assumption by presenting DJs in an improvised setting, touching on R&B and electronica, bringing in indie rock, house and disco. Dancing is awesome, but you'll catch yourself gazing at the turntable skills of Mr. Melanin and theMAYOR. It's OK. It really begins at 9:55 p.m. at The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Friday, Aug. 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 23, 2014 at 1:59pm

Save the Date: 2014 Annual Boots2Work Military Career Fair in Tacoma

Get ready to mark your calendars and save the date: an innovative and robust military career fair will be back again this summer to help transitioning and retired military personnel who are seeking employment.

WorkForce Central, in partnership with the Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Club, is pleased to present the 2014 Annual Boots2Work Military Career Fair Wednesday, Aug. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at historic Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.  Last year's event provided more than 600 transitioning and retired military personnel and their spouses access to a number of military friendly businesses. This year's career fair will continue to feature employer exhibitors that are ready to hire, as well as provide expert help to assist job seekers obtain tools, resources and support in their employment journey.  

Aug. 26, the day prior to the event, there will be a variety of workshops to help participants prepare for the career fair. The workshops will also be held at Cheney Stadium.

Read more...

May 19, 2014 at 7:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Jerry Miller, FEMM, Pizza Klatch benefit, Rippin' Chicken and more ...

Jerry Miller will rock The Swiss tonight.

MONDAY, MAY 19 2014 >>>

1. Moby Grape was one of the most versatile San Francisco rock bands to emerge out of the summer of love. Sadly, through a combination of inner turmoil and bad management decisions, the mighty Moby Grape broke up in 1969. However, their debut album is still considered one of the best of all time by many critics, in part because of the nimble fingers of guitarist Jerry Miller. Miller was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone above Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Winter and Randy Rhoads. The Tacoma native has enjoyed a rich career sharing the stage with countless musicians including members of the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana.  Miller performs at 8 p.m. at The Swiss' Monday Blues Night.

2. Monique Trudnowski, co-owner of the Adriatic Grill who has announce her candidacy for state representative, hosts the Female Executive Martini Monday every third Monday at her restaurant by the Tacoma Mall. The 5:30 p.m. event is $10 for non-members who want to connect and discover new resources.

3. The Lovebirds, a queer folk-pop duo from San Diego, and Olympia fiddler phenom Josie Toney will perform during a benefit for Pizza Klatch at 7 p.m. in Le Voyeur. Pizza Klatch provides safe and confidential support groups during high school lunch periods for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer/Questioning youth and allies. 

4. Rippin' Chicken plays a greasy brand of funky, bugaloo and soul jazz, executed with creative ease by three funky brothers from different mothers who dig playing together. After performing and recording together for the better part of a decade in groups such as, The Funk Revolution, The Lucky Mystery Now Orchestra, and The Bucks, Rippin' Chicken presents this power-house rhythm section as the center of attention, which will be on display at 8 p.m. in Olympia's Rhythm and Rye bar.

5. Every Monday at 9 p.m. Jazzbones is packed to the brim with college kids. Party types. The type that wear tight shirts and trucker hats. Throngs of Chad Fratguys and Sarah Sororitysisters swarm the bar, line up for the bathroom and dance to the Rockaraoke - live band karaoke. The Rockaraoke band is skilled, too. Expect $2 PBR drafts, $3 Sinfire shots and $4 Smirnoff flavor vodka bombs.

LINK: Monday, May 19 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

April 30, 2014 at 11:23am

Downtown Olympia has a new grocery store - Little General Food Shop

Little General Food Shop is now open at 313 Fifth Ave. in downtown Olympia.

Imagine a food store in the heart of downtown Olympia. One that is quaint and colorful and smartly-designed. One that offers organic produce, grab-and-go sandwiches, specialty snacks, beer/wine, meat, cheese and more.

Imagine no further, friends. This is now a reality. Little General Food Shop, located next to Rainy Day Records, at 313 Fifth Ave., officially opened Friday April 25, and is now open for business 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Owner Kim Murillo is a former engineer and current seamstress, who rented space in downtown Olympia before deciding to open Little General.

"I wanted to bring in things that I couldn't find in town," said Murillo. "There wasn't a lot of focus on sourcing artisan foods and things that were fun ... especially downtown, like when I was in my sewing studio space, I often found that I didn't want to go to a restaurant and I didn't bring a lunch, I just wanted to grab a couple things."

For the hundreds of people that work, play and live in downtown Olympia, Little General is nothing short of a blessing. No more having to head out of downtown just to get a snack, or some Band-Aids or a beer or a tub of organic salad for dinner.

Now, you can find all this, plus more (need some panty liners, ladies?) - all locally sourced or from small batch companies.

The 600-square-foot shop also has a seating area and Wi-Fi available.

"I wanted a space people can use to study, or have lunch, or a date," laughed Murillo. "This is a community space."

Fun Fact: Little General is the endearing nickname Murillo's husband gave her. She thought it would be the perfect name for the store.

Cool Fact: Bearded Lady Food Company sandwiches are available at the Little General Food Shop.

Filed under: Business, Food & Drink, Olympia,

April 10, 2014 at 11:11am

JBLM ACAP and Wash. National Guard Career Day and prep workshops

Looking for a new career path? Want to know who is hiring? Interested in getting some helpful tips, tools and resources to find a job?

Find out the answers to all of these questions and more at the upcoming Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) and Washington National Guard Career Day April 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Lake Conference Center, located at 8085 NCO Beach Road on JBLM. This event is open to service members, veterans, and the National Guard and Reserves, along with their spouses and families. Participants will have access to a number of local and national businesses at the event.

Event organizers have also planned a robust series of Career Day preparation workshops April 29, the day before the event. These workshops are designed to provide participants with tools, resources and feedback to help get them prepared for the main event. Some of the featured workshops include courses on résumé and interviewing tips; maximizing LinkedIn accounts and other social media; how to optimize career searches; and how to work a career fair. The Career Day preparation workshops will also be held at the American Lake Conference Center.

Registration is required for both days of this two-day event. There is no cost to attend the workshops or the events.

Read more...

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