Every New Year's Eve we do it to ourselves. Why? Is it the sweet clink of the ice cubes? The exhilarating pop of the cork? Or just the way the night seems to open up into endless magical possibilities?
Whatever it is, things aren't so magical the next morning. There's nothing glamorous or exhilarating about bloodshot eyes swollen shut. Instead of trying to remember who dropped the poison into your eyeballs, soothe the savage orb with wikiHow's seven steps to cure puffy eyes. You're so welcome.
From everyone at the Weekly Volcano and Spew land, we wish you a happy new year!
Weekly Volcano's bosses ran the numbers and decided that since you'll all be drunk anyway, there's no use in turning the lights on Christmas Day. So: We'll be back Monday with more frivolity. In the meantime, thanks for reading and commenting this past year. Consider our stockings stuffed.
So "Merry" this and "Happy" that, whatever suits your fancy or your need. Just don't forget the "Ho Ho Ho" that, maybe better than anything else, keeps it all in perspective.
The Weekly Volcano and Spew would like to wish you a Happy Turkey Day! We hope you and a few others huddle around what little warmth there is in a increasingly cold and uncaring universe, sipping, supping, and supporting one another - because there is nothing else worth doing.
As Mr. DeRosa peered over the partition separating us from Daniel Denison and his Fatburger-eating cohorts, I received a personalized play-by-play on what seemed to be the most hysterical display of greasy-hamburger gluttony ever witnessed.
MR. DEROSA: "Oh my God, Steph, he can't even fit it in his mouth!"
ME: "If I turn around and look, will it be obvious?"
MR. DEROSA: "No. You gotta look. I can't believe what I'm seeing!"
ME: "Oh good lord, you're right! I have to go talk to him."
Halloween has gone through an interesting evolution over the years. From a simple celebration of the end of summer and harvest, to a welcome occasion for kids to dress up and mow down otherwise unheard of amounts of sugar, to a once-a-year opportunity for adults to package themselves in next to nothing in the name of a spooky holiday, these days Halloween promises something for almost everyone. It's not just for the kids anymore.
Like most things, one tradition that's gotten bigger and better as the years have passed is the local haunted house. There was a time when an unexpected, "boo" and a little vampire face paint might have done the trick, but these days the production and entertainment value offered by local haunted houses and corn mazes has skyrocketed. If getting scared stiff is your bag, there are plenty of options.
Here's a look at some of the best of the best when it comes to local haunted house in the South Sound this Halloween season.
Theatre of Lost Souls
The Paradise Theatre in Gig Harbor has offered up the scares for over a decade with its annual haunted house, the Theatre of Lost Souls. This potentially frightening escapade takes you indoors and out, fully stocked with well-versed actors who could easily be mistaken for actual zombies. Twists, turns, and brutal scenes that could be created only by Gig Harbor's finest stage crew claims victim after victim with terrifying screams and suspenseful attacks. - Steph DeRosa [Paradise Theatre, Oct. 23-31 (off Monday), 6:30-9:30 p.m., Special Kids Night Oct. 23, 26 6:30-8:30 p .m., 9911 Burnham Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.851.PLAY]
With all the pools drained, decorations up, and lights off, Wild Waves Theme Park really does transition into an eerie scene for its annual Fright Fest. All dry rides are open, and admission into multiple incredibly intimidating haunted houses is included in the somewhat hefty entrance fee. My mind over matter mantra almost failed me as I waited in the long, but steadily moving line - full of people just like me waiting to be scared crapless. A large sign warning visitors of sudden scares and stating due precautions set my mind into overdrive, giving me a nervous belly. And the scares provided delivered. This thing called Fright Fest, my friends, is worth every bloody penny. - SD [Wild Waves Theme Park, weekends in October, $24.99 plus parking, 36201 Enchanted Pkwy. S., Federal Way, 253.661.8000]
Maris Farms Corn Maze
The corn maze phenomenon has taken off, and without question one of our area's best is the corn maze offered by Maris Farms, a Sumner/Buckley tradition. Now in its twelfth year, this Halloween's installment of the eight-acre Maris Farms Corn Maze comes with a tagline of, "Out of This World," meaning thrill seekers should expect frights of the alien kind. While for most a jaunt to Maris Farms will require a drive, once there the entertainment isn't limited to just the corn maze. Other good times include the "Haunted Woods," pumpkin patch, pig races and pedal cart racing. Maris Farms promises something for all ages, and delivers. - Matt Driscoll [Maris Farms, through October, 10-6 p.m., $3 weekdays, $5 weekends, 24713 Sumner Buckley Highway, Buckley, 253.862.2848]
KUBE 93 FM Haunted House
The KUBE 93 FM Haunted House bills itself as the, "scariest event of the season," and those who've lived to talk about it seem to agree. Topnotch makeup and larger-than-life production explain why this yearly tradition has stood the test of time. Scarier than most, KUBE 93 FM's Haunted House offers a kids day on Oct. 22, when the lights will be turned on for the young ones' enjoyment and KUBE DJ Shellie Hart will broadcast live. - MD [Old Georgetown Morgue, through October, 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 7-10 pm. Sundays and Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. Halloween, $16, 5000 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, seattlehaunts.com]
Rutledge Farm Corn Maze
What's scarier than your run-of-the-mill haunted corn maze? Try the Rutledge Farm Corn Maze in Tumwater, this year carved in an ode to the next installment of the Twilight movies, Breaking Dawn. No, I'm serious. It's literally a corn maze cut into the likeness of Edward and Bella. You have to experience it to believe it. - MD [Rutledge Farm, through October, 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (last ticket sold at 11 p.m.), $11, 302 93rd Ave. SE, Tumwater, 360.357.3700]
Proctor Farmers Market: FairWinds winery joins the vendors offering wine samples while Chuck Wayne and Kristen Mellis perform.
Grand Opening: Inferno's Brick Oven Pizza in Lacey is having its Grand Opening today. Expect prizes, food and drink specials and a raffle at 8825 Tallon Lane just past Costco on Martin way East.
Beer Tasting:99 Bottles in Federal Way will pour Alaskan Brewing Co. beers - including the limited-release Perseverance Stout, brewed with birch syrup and fireweed honey - from 4-6 p.m. today.
Wine Tasting:Abby's On Broadway will pour tastes of Hip Chicks Do Wine Winery's 2009 Pinot Gris, Drop Dead Red, Wine Bunny Rouge, 2007 Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon and Vin Nombril from 4-8 p.m. today.
Video: Gritty City Food does Valhalla Coffee here.
1. Not only is catching a Rainiers game the quintessential American minor league baseball experience, but the newly-renovated Cheney Stadium is just plain awesome. One of the highlights of the new Cheney is the public art, which will be dedicated tonight as part of Art Appreciation Night. A tour of the artwork will start at 5:30 p.m., with dance performances featuring Fab 5 and Rhubarb to follow. The special $9.95 ticket price (which includes hot dog, a drink and chips) will only be offered in advance. Call 253.752.7707 ext. 184.
2. Get down with Momenti Rubati tonight at the Royal Lounge in Olympia. Or, peruse the Volcano's extensive live local music listings here.
3. DJ Melodica is kind of a genius. This is just one of the reasons locals rave about the Micro Mondays he leads at Magoo's Annex in North Tacoma. Expect punk, post punk, New Wave, early electronica, garage and more.
5. Some of the best sand sculpting artists in the entire world have been putting their sand-molding skills on display in Federal Way since Aug. 18. Think we're pulling your leg? Fat chance. Drop in on the World Class Sand Sculpting Tournament of Champions today at Hillside Plaza. Find details more here.
Forget all the pious exhortations to eat local, organic and seasonal. Forget the wonderment of watching the offerings change from tender lettuce and spinach to the corn, eggplants and tomatoes of full summer, and then the September apples, pears and hard-shelled squashes that push us into an orgy of freezing, canning and storage. Forget the coming together of the community, where farmers offer growing tips and exchange recipes. Nope, the main reason why we visit the South Sound farmers markets:
Weekly Volcano food critic Jennifer Johnson wrote about her lunch experiences at the following farmers markets:
SUSTAINABLE LIVING IN FEDERAL WAY OF ALL PLACES >>>
A short trip up Interstate 5 North and a brief jaunt west off the South 320th Street exit, the Federal Way Farmers Market springs up each Saturday morning at 9 a.m. As is to be expected when the sun shines, people come out of the woodwork for this weekly happening. The market features a swap meet and garage sale on the first Saturday of each month, Kamehameha Day in June, zucchini races in August, a Fire Department versus Police Department chili cook-off in September and harvest celebrations in October.
To read the full column by Jennifer Johnson click here.