Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: March, 2011 (193) Currently Viewing: 121 - 130 of 193

March 21, 2011 at 1:11pm

Art Without Borders in words


What happens when a local artist team travels to Bwindi, Uganda, to teach art-making to members of the Batwa pygmy tribe? You'll have the opportunity to find out  Wednesday, March 30, during a free lecture where trip participants recount stories of their extraordinary journey and their efforts to aid the Batwa people, inhabitants of the Impenetrable Forest who were evicted from their homeland after it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Batwa, followers of a traditional hunter-gatherer way of life, were expelled in 1992 after their ecologically-rich forest lands (home of the endangered mountain gorilla) gained protected status. In an ironic turn of fate, the original human inhabitants of the great forests crossing Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo were forced to abandon their dwellings without compensation or a means of income. As a result, they live in poverty - and they may face extinction, according to the Kellerman Foundation, a non-profit organization bringing development aid to the tribe. The Batwa remain in critical need of sustainable solutions.

Enter our visiting team of artists from the Puget Sound. In a full-circle maneuver, Seattle artist Marsha Conn envisioned a month-long trip to teach the Batwa art-making techniques that they could use to create crafts to sell to the gorilla-trek tourists (who fork out $500 for a park permit alone). In January, artists Lynn Di Nino and Jim Robbins of Tacoma, along with seven Seattle artists, landed in Kampala, Uganda, and hitched an 11-hour bus ride to Bwindi to launch the collaborative project. After a year of planning and fundraising, they at last hunkered down with their Ugandan counterparts and set to improvising colorful folk art and jewelry with simple tools, using locally sourced materials such as cloth and bottle caps. The experience was mutually enlightening, according to those involved.

"We worked to develop products [for the Ugandans] ahead of time, with the idea we could show them how to make things while being green.  But the Africans have been recycling since the beginning of time. . . they already are green!" says Di Nino. After collaborating on a merchandise line, the Batwa artists placed their newly made products in a local souvenir shop run by the non-profit Batwa Development Program, and sold out immediately. They made a profit of $600 - a fortune to a people whose annual income of $25 ranks among the lowest in the world. More paintings and crafts are in the works, and the indigenous artists are seeking ways to broaden their market at home and abroad.

"They are very poor [but] they are motivated to improve their standard of living with the help of making crafts," says team member Carol Brady. In the wake of the recent, month-long exchange, Di Nino notes, "The culture shock does not move from this direction to their culture....The culture shock is returning home and walking into a supermarket where there is too much space, too much artificial light, and too, too many products to chose from."

Art Without Borders

What: Lecture and slideshow on the groundbreaking collaboration between local artists and the Batwa pygmy tribe of Uganda
Who: Marsha Conn (project organizer), Lynn Di Nino, Cheryl Johnson, Annie Moorehouse, Joan Robbins, Elinor Maroney and Carol Brady
When: Wednesday, March 30, 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Northwest Costume, 2315 Sixth Avenue, Tacoma
Admission: Food and beverages to share

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

March 21, 2011 at 4:18pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Rockwell’s “world of hurt”


Today's comment comes from John Briner in regard to last week's "Clayton on Art" blog post, in which Alec discusses Norman Rockwell and the civil rights movement.

Briner writes,

I have to agree that Rockwell's art has an undertone that depicts the world of hurt. I must say that although some of them are already a cliche, they illustrate how cruel life can be. Overall, I think, Rockwell's works are excellent.

Filed under: Arts, Comment of the Day, Tacoma,

March 22, 2011 at 6:56am

5 Things To Do Today: Intro to Blogs, happy hour for children, Tipsy Tuesdays, Vegan Book Club and more ...

Unfortunately, no one can be told what a blog is. You have to see it for yourself.


1. The topic of today's workshop at the Tacoma Public Library's Main Branch is "Introduction to Blogs." This is important people. You must learn how to blog. If Jason didn't have a blog, how would we know that this Pi Lambda Phi-er is a student at University of Virginia, currently enrolled for 17 credit hours (including Discrete Math II), and a RA to boot? Or how would you know what "Janna in a Tight Hat with Me" or "Earwhore and Hippeeeeeeee . . ." on the pics page look like? Clearly, everyone needs to get in on this blog thing. As Homer Simpson once said, "Ooh, they have the Internet on computers now?!" See you there at 1:30 p.m. Advance registration required at 253.591.5666.

2. You know where you want to be. Home. Home. Why can't you just stay at home? Oh yeah. That's where the kids are. Well, that's no good. Sanity's short and thin enough as it is. Well, you could always send them away. Excellent! Take back your home. Ship 'em off to the Children's Museum of Tacoma's Happy Hour from 3-5 p.m. for half the price of admission.

3. Whether you're into washboard abs or a long set of stems, a summertime beach typically doesn't disappoint in the eye candy department. One problem: the Northwest isn't overflowing with warm, beach-bod-scoping locations. Especially in March. Thankfully, The Beach Tavern fills us with enough alcohol to help us forget about those sunny days and beach bodies that are so far away. The Beach's Tipsy Tuesdays feature alternating drink specials - past favorites like shots of Jose Cuervo Gold for $3.25 and Three Olives Grape Vodka for $4.25 really rocked the house.

4. Sami Al Jundi was sentenced to 10 years after a bomb he made and intended to use against Israeli police killed a friend. Al Jundi's sentence included plenty of torture, but also an "extraordinary metamorphosis from militant to a passionate advocate of nonviolence," according to the press release. It's all captured in the book The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian's Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker, by Al Jundi and writer Jen Marlow. At 6 p.m., Marlowe will be at Orca Books in Olympia to discuss her work.

5. You've eighty-sixed all meat from your diet for more than a decade now. (OK, barring the occasional crab cake.) And if your family - your own flesh and blood, people - refuses to acknowledge your dietary whims, why should a perfect stranger? Herein lies the challenge of being a high-maintenance food-lover. Screw family and strangers, you need to mingle with your own kind. Join the Vegan Book Club, coordinated by The South Sound Vegan Meetup Group at 7 p.m. inside King's Books. The book club is open to anyone interested in a vegan diet, vegans and vegan-curious alike. The book for March is Mad Cowboy by Howard F. Lyman. No animals were harmed or eaten in the writing of this blog post.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

March 22, 2011 at 8:12am

Tournament of Pizza Day 6: Yesterday's results, eight new pizzas up for vote (CLOSED)

Dirty Dave's Pizza Parlor's Gay 90's Special arrives with cashews sprinkled on top. Could be a factor in today's voting.


Short of ice cream, Guinness and bourbon, there's no better comfort food than pizza. A good pie will glisten with a sheen of grease over a thick layer of cheese and the meat of your choice (vegetables may be present for color and a hint of flavor, but they should really be relegated to the appetizer or salad), and you won't care that the cheese burns the roof of your mouth, leaving you gnawing at the burned flesh for the next week. Apparently comfort was on your mind during Monday's rain and wind as it was the second largest voting day for the Tournament of Pizza behind Thursday's opening bell.

Yesterday's Results

Tides Tavern vs. Terry's Office Tavern

We're still not quite sure if Terry's Office Tavern is a real and true dive. It certainly looks as though it would be classified as a dive, but it sure doesn't feel like one. Instead, Terry's feels like the neighborhood hideaway. The tavern where local homeowners escape dinner duty and local DINKS go to feel unpretentious comfort. During dinner, the joint will load up with bright-eyed couples aging from 25 to 85 - most chowing on Terry's pizza. Terry's grabbed 64.5 percent of the votes over the popular Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor. DINKS represent.

Nick-N-Willy's Pizza vs. Fondi Pizzeria

It's rare to find a pie where the cheese really does stretch, flow and cling like mozzarella is supposed to, but Fondi's does: The cheese is molded from cheese curds by hand every morning. They also have a house-made Quattro Gatti Mozzarella Fresca. We have no idea if that cheese factor, or the fact that Fondi has 25 times the seating of Nick-N-Willy's, but Fondi nabbed 70 percent of the votes and moves on to battle Terry's Office Tavern March 27 in the Second Round.

Blue Cannon Pizza vs. Lakewood Pub & Grill

Blue Cannon Pizza is a newcomer on the pizza scene, slinging pizzas, sandwiches, salads and vegetarian dishes tucked into a newly developed Gig Harbor shopping center that is filled with every imaginable retailer selling pretty much everything under the sun. The Lakewood Pub leans more toward the neighborhood hangout where the game or your daily meeting with your old friends is more the focus than pizza. In terms of comparing the two joints, at least in regards to the pizza, it's a dead heat with Blue Cannon nudging the Pub with a mere 50.2 percent of the votes.

Stonegate Pizza vs. The Fan Club

"If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you." That famous quote comes from the beloved Winnie the Pooh. That quote could have easily comes from a regular at The Fan Club speaking on his or her love for the Lakewood joint's pizza. It doesn't matter that Stonegate Pizza has a historically famous, awesome crust. And while The Fan Club's pizza is good, we imagine if this were the Tournament of Corner Tables, The Fan Club would still have gathered 58.9 percent of the votes. Don't mess with The Fan Club, at least until March 27 when Blue Cannon Pizza gives it a shot.

The following four pizza joints will advance to the next round:

  • Terry's Office Tavern
  • Fondi Pizzeria
  • Blue Cannon Pizza
  • The Fan Club

Today's Competition

Sponsored by al Forno Ferruzza Traditional Sicilian Cuisine

OK, time to move on to today's pizza battles. 


Oldschool Pizzeria vs. Chuck E. Cheese

A good pizza experience owes as much to the atmosphere as the actual pie itself. And what we've discovered in our travels is that arcade games and vintage posters from the '70s and '80s in the restaurant usually signal that a pizza feast of epic New York City proportions is at hand. Be lucky enough to find a joint with an old-school pinball machine, and - mama mia - you're in for a treat. You'll be happy to know that Oldschool Pizzeria in Olympia fulfills such criteria, as well as grabbing Best Pizza honors in our 2011 Best of Olympia readers' poll. We'll be honest, Chuck E. Cheese kind of scares us. Beer, loud noise, thick crowds and the high emotions of children's birthday parties make this restaurant a breeding ground for family disputes. Listen, we never said weren't going to show our bias.

  • Oldschool Pizzeria (108 Franklin St, NE, Olympia)
  • Chuck E. Cheese (625 Black Lake Blvd., Olympia)

Brewery City Pizza vs. Apollo Pizza & Pasta

Brewery City Pizza would love to have you dine in one of their three Thurston County locations, the oldest being Tumwater, which opened in 1982.  But if you can find your Crocs, they'd be more than happy to deliver their thin crust, thick or flatbread pizzas right to your lazy ass. They claim to have one of the largest delivery areas in the county. Specialty pies o'plenty, with options such as the cool ranch chicken pizza. Apollo Pizza & pasta, known for great soups, experiment with the pizza toppings, which is a good thing. Their Mediterranean pizza has been know to change lives. Bonus: Trivia Pursuit cards on the tables.

  • Brewery City Pizza (several Thurston County locations)
  • Apollo Pizza & Pasta (2302 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia)

al Forno Ferruzza vs. Dirty Dave's Pizza Parlor

Spawned from Portland's street vendor culture, al Forno Ferruzza shares a wall and window with the popular Eastside Club, serving pizza slices through a late-night window. Gone are the picnic tables installed by the short-lived A2 restaurant and replaced with comfy booths and a new mural of scenes in Italy and Olympia. While al Forno is the new kid on the block, Dirty Dave's has been serving pizza in Thurston County since 1972. They have built a large, loyal following with their yeasty thin crust and crazy-ass posters and bric-a-brac on the walls.

  • al Forno Ferruzza (408 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia)
  • Dirty Dave's Pizza Parlor (3939 Martin Way E., Olympia)

Mercato Ristorante vs. Infernos Brick Oven Pizza

Located across from the Olympia Farmers Market, Mercato melds sophistication with casual, often with a lively crowd. The fare is Italian with Northwest touches with six pizzas on the menu, including the tasty molto carne with soprasetta salami and pepperoncini. Infernos Brick Oven Pizza offers pizza prepared in, well, a wood-burning oven. The gourmet, thin crispy crust pies carry traditional toppings as well as specialty items such as spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, jalapenos and cherry peppers.

  • Mercato Ristorante (111 Market St. NE, Olympia)
  • Infernos Brick Oven Pizza (111 Tumwater Blvd. SE, Tumwater)

Tomorrow's Pizza Battles: East Region

Game 1: Aversano's (6015 Parker Road E., Sumner) vs. Big Nick's Pizza & Pasta (63527 McKinley Ave., Tacoma)

Game 2: Big Wheel Steakhouse (11401 Steele St. S., Tacoma) vs. Powerhouse Restaurant & Brewery (454 E. Main, Puyallup)

Game 3: Flying Tomato Italian Grill (10224 198th St., Graham) vs. Vince's Italian restaurant & Pizzeria (32411 Pacific Hwy. S., Federal Way)

Game 4: Rollies Tavern (2404 112th St. S., Tacoma) vs. Right Spot (5119 Pacific Hwy. E., Fife)

LINK: What's up with this pizza tournament?

LINK: Oh hell yes I want the Weekly Volcano newsletter!

March 22, 2011 at 11:38am

MOVIE BIZ BUZZ: Join the "Revolution"


Movies are just fluff, right? Rest stops for escapism before easing back into our daily routines. They rouse our emotions for a short while, but the fire cools soon after. Rarely do we allow them to adjust our actions and change us in some fundamental, lasting way. If a film possesses this revolutionary spirit, it would surely rock the sociopolitical order.

Filmmaker Joe O'Connor is working on his own "revolution" of sorts, with the perfect city as his stage: our state capitol. He wrote and will soon direct The Day the Revolution Came to Town, a parable on the power (and danger) of ideas. His protagonist, an everyman generically called Guy, disrupts the status quo and ends up fighting for his life.

For inspiration O'Connor watched other anarchist films, which he found inaccurate and unsatisfying. While, according to O'Connor these pictures "deliberately mislead the audience" by portraying a hate-spewing, destructive outsider, he says he "wanted to turn [this] image on its head by showing how mainstream society is violent to those who do not neatly fit into it." Law and order may quell the opposition born on its fringes, but it also breeds that same intolerance at its very core.

Already O'Connor has disproved my theory; film did in fact spur him to action, responding with his own reactionary art. Maybe when Revolution does come to town (hopefully in regional festivals this year), his work will in turn call others.

To join this project, cast and crew auditions will take place on two separate dates: April 3 from 12-4 p.m. at Seattle Center's Theater Puget Sound (Room B); and April 10, same times, inside the Evergreen State College Communications building. For more information email oly-imc@riseup.net.     

Filed under: Arts, Olympia, Screens,

March 22, 2011 at 11:40am

TODAY IN SADNESS: Taqueria Burrito Loco


It's a damn shame when yet another great local restaurant closes down. Taqueria Burrito Loco is no longer open for business at their Tacoma location in a strip mall hidden behind a gas station on the corner of 56th and Orchard. In my opinion, the restaurant's food didn't warrant the closure. Not even close. Sure, their tacos made it to the Final Four in last year's Tournament of Tacos. But it was Taqueria Burrito Loco's breakfast burrito that made my mornings. Stuffed with Mexican sausage, eggs, rice, whole beans, onion, tomatoes, cilantro and ample sour cream, it was bigger than my head.

Whatever the reason for their closure, it makes me sad. Adios Loco.

LINK: South Sound Restaurant Guide

Filed under: Business, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

March 22, 2011 at 1:17pm

Love Songs From The Hated tonight at Hell's Kitchen

Love Songs From The Hated


Three months ago Neutralboy guitarist Mike Frottage decided to crank out some acoustic work based on his colorful experiences with past girlfriends.  At some point, the would-be solo project snowballed into a total band experience, with the introduction of singer Becca Bockelie and Bremerton guitarist Billman (pronounced as if he's a super hero).  Frottage switched to drums, and the group started drawing inspiration from a familiar muse. Love Songs From the Hated was born.

"I just wrote songs about girls that hate me," Frottage remarks over beers at a recent Neutralboy show.

To read the full article, including gig info for tonight's Love Songs From The Hated show at Hell's Kitchen in Tacoma, click here.

Filed under: Tacoma, Music,

March 22, 2011 at 3:33pm

PERSON, PLACE or THING with Steph DeRosa

Ale House Pub & Eatery

This week ...

Place: Ale House Pub & Eatery

Event: Gonzaga vs. BYU basketball

Number of TVs: Approximately 20

Neck-strain: 10 percent

Food devoured: Texas Straws

Made with: Jalapeños

Cooking technique: Fried

Goes well with: Beer

Cost: $6.50

Happy Hour cost: $3.25

Savings: Half off

Leftover money: Buys more beer

Number of beer taps to choose from: 64

To read this week's full column, click here.

March 22, 2011 at 5:20pm



Today's comment comes from Tony Antony, in regard to our recent feature on new Macau Casino executive chef King Heun Wai.

Antony writes,

King Heun Wai is the king of Macau. He is professionally a chef ,and he is the top 100 Chinese Chef in America.

March 23, 2011 at 5:32am

5 Things To Do Today: Burlesque, "Speak Up," Well Drink Wednesday, Levator and more ...

Gritty City Sirens


1. Burlesque is striptease's older, sexier and more provocative sister. It's more naughty than raunchy, more playful than pornographic and more elegant than trashy. Burlesque is front and center at 8 p.m. when the Gritty City Sirens dance before rockers Blanco Bronco and DJ Broam at Jazzbones. You in?

2. The final meeting of the University Place "Speak Up" community meetings goes down at 7 p.m. inside the University Place Library.  If you're a citizen or business owner you may face the U.P. City Council and staff to discuss questions or issues of concern.

3. Last year, readers of this fine rag voted the Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe the best bar in Tacoma. This was due in no small part to their well drink Wednesdays. $1.50 well drinks after 7 p.m. Are you kidding? That's, like, riding the train to funkytown for only eight bucks. Yes, please.

4. The Wry Toast Toastmasters #9455 want to teach you the art of communication - whether it be an engaging story, an effective presentation or an impromptu speech. They meet every Wednesday from 7-8:30 p.m. at Charles Wright Academy. Rumor is they're holding some sort of speech contest tonight - and throwing toast is discouraged.

5. With the incorporation of Psychedelic Fur-sy tenor sax and a healthy dose of shameless ballad grandeur, Levator (pronounced like "elevator" without the "e") has distinguished themselves admirably by weaving plush, multi-layered soundscapes to cushion Sky Lynn's airy, ethereal vocals. Catch them at 9 p.m. inside Bob's Java Jive.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Half-priced bottles of wine!

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