Friday, August 29, 2008

VIDEOS: The wayback machine and memories of a firestarter

Time for a little trek in the wayback machine as I celebrate the signs of summer's end and school's start. Time to reminisce about the summer of 1996 when I bought my first concert tickets to something called "The End Fest" ... something that just celebrated its 16th year. Sweet, sweet 16. Anyhow, back to the wayback machine ...

In 1996, EndFest was at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Bremerton. I'd gotten tickets for myself and pals, and even bought one for my brother. Acts included: Tracy Bonham, Dishwalla, the Verve Pipe, Goldfinger, No Doubt, Everclear, Prodigy, Beck, Filter, Ice-T, the Posies, 7 Mary 3, Super Deluxe, the Deftones and Gus, among others. I think Radiohead might have even been there ...

In 2008, EndFest is at the White River Amphitheatre with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Modest Mouse, Snow Patrol, Wolfmother, Eagles of Death Metal, Rock Kills Kid, Nine Black Alps, The Subwaysm, The Gossip and others. I did not buy tickets. But this IS the year I bought my first tickets to a major rock concert since college ... but it's not until October 11. (Guess who ...)

In memory of Endfest's 1996 location ...

Move to Bremerton by MxPx

And a shout-out to the yesterday and today of the band I'm about to see live ...

El Scorcho by Weezer (1996)

Automatic by Weezer (2008)

And back to the wayback machine ...

In 1996, I remember seeing No Doubt on the big stage (one of the reasons I snagged tickets), and my YOUNGER brother, who had just graduated high school, was reminiscing about how the previous year or two he had followed them on the small stages of smaller concerts.

In 2008 ... his skater ska girl has gone glam and my wee brother is playing underground music of his own to a cult following who may someday also reminisce about the day they saw him on small stages. And Beck is off the small stage and a Big Name at Bumbershoot.

Just a Girl by No Doubt

Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani

Where It's At by Beck (1996)

Gamma Ray by Beck (2008)

And an oldie by goodie by the bro for good measure ...

And back to the wayback machine ...

In 1996, I remember at the end of the Fest, people began to empty out a bit early before this odd Scottish band hit the main stage. This unknown who'd been flown in was Prodigy. Not many had heard of them yet, but those who stayed enjoyed the show. We got to get up closer ... and I thought the fact that their band was made up of a dancer as well as musicians was pretty cool. And soon many had Prodigy fever, and I'm sure some regretted the fact they left the concert early.

In 2008, Goldfinger has been replaced by Goldfrapp. And the Flobots are the new kids on the block who are stealing the summer, and even played at the Democratic National Convention. Speaking of which, this is also the summer that the NKOTB were out and about again. Scary. I don't regret skipping that concert, though I know several we enjoyed it.

Firestarter by Prodigy (approx 1996)

No Handlebars by Flobots (approx 2008)

And that's all folks ...

Corina's bread is something to drool about

Psst ... did you know you can get fresh, super-yummy and super-fresh bread at our own local Corina's bakery? It's a recent addition to their offerings, but it's a good one.

I stopped by the other day after picking up a GLUTEN-FREE birthday cake (you heard me, gluten-free and YUMMY). While I was waiting to pay, the bread was sitting in the display case, taunting me. "Chiiiiiickadee ... Chiiiiiiiickadee." I gave in. A rosemary loaf and a baguette. I could see a bit of herbs and coarse salt sitting atop the crust. And on the way home, the bread taunted me more as the oils or butter inside left little drool-inducing grease spots on the paper bag. I wondered whether it was too good to be true. I've been disappointed before. But no ... this was a little piece of heaven.

I sliced up the rosemary loaf for mozzerella and tomato sandwiches and I actually munched on the heels of the loaf while the sandwiches cooked in the oven. That NEVER happens with chain-grocery loaves. Not with me, at least. I'm just not normally a heel-eating girl ... but this, this, this ... I couldn't resist. It was magic. Did I mention magic? Lovely, yummy, edible magic.

Corina's Bakery
510 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
(253) 627-5070
Details: Cakes, bar cookies, cupcakes, croissants, bread, and so many other goodies ... If you want to request gluten-free or special order goodies (or want to make sure you get what you want), call at least two days in advance. That way they have time to get the appropriate incredients and add your special delectable request to their to-do list.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Broadway LID is getting some action ...

The action downtown with the Broadway LID has made it interesting finding a place to cross the street recently, but it is fun to watch. It's what I imagine a 5-year-old boy's version of a wet dream to be ...

Though the below giant table-saw looking vehicle is a bit more nightmarish to watch in action. This thing could be transformed into a great horror movie prop I'm sure.

Can't believe how fast things are going ... St. Helens is even about to go one-way finally. (I used to think it was even when it wasn't ... the driving path was so skinny it was ITCHING to be a one-way.)

Can't wait to see the results!

This post is going to get me so many horrid Google hits.

Monday, August 25, 2008

VIDEO: An Intermission From Monday

I'll dedicate this family favorite to The Boy, and to jcbetty and Elle who seem to be in need of some pure silly goodness.

"Nice Weather for Ducks" by Lemon Jelly

We discovered this video, and this band, years ago when The Boy said his first word, "Duck," at Wright Park during a stroll through the park. We'd stopped to watch the ducks swimming in what is now-a-much-prettier pond. And he pointed and said "Duck!" When we came home, we googled for ducks videos and came up with the above. For months if not years, this video would soothe him. It still does. (Oddly, so do the songs Pork and Beans, The Greatest Man That Ever Lived, and Troublemaker by Weezer. Sigh.)

Today was another monumental moment ... kiddo pulled out a tooth last night, and was so excited about it he RAN to the dental hygienist and cheered when his name was called for his check-up appointment. So did Baby Girl. The folks at the dentist office were a bit shocked. The parents in the waiting room got a bit of a laugh. (What?!? Not everyone's children are excited to see the dentist?)

Let the silliness be contagious ...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

TODAY: Come check out Tacoma's community gardens

In case you hadn't heard, today is your chance to check out four of Tacoma's community gardens, get a free plant and get 50% off local food specials at The Hub: It's the 2nd annual Tacoma Community Garden Tour! You can choose to take the self-guided tour by getting a passport map, or meet up at the Proctor Farmers Market at 11 a.m. to join in the group bike tour.

Here's the details:

Passport maps for self-guided tours will be available at the Proctor Farmers Market the day of the event. You can also click here to download a map at

The bike tour, guided by the Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club, will depart from the Proctor Street entry of the Proctor Farmers Market at 11 a.m. Please come at least 15 minutes early to fill out a waiver. The route is approximately 10 miles over mostly flat terrain with a few moderate hills. Helmets are required and please bring your own snacks and water.

Get your passport map stamped at all four gardens and receive a free plant at the tour’s final garden stop (Neighbors Park at 8th & I), courtesy of the Pierce Conservation District.

Tour participants will also get a 50% discount on special local food dishes at The Hub on Saturday when they show their passport maps.

Tour stops include:

  • Proctor Farmers Market, South 27th & Proctor – bike tour meet-up and/or pick up your map
  • North Proctor & 21st
  • Franklin Park, South 12th & Puget Sound Avenue (far south corner of park)
  • Guadalupe Land Trust’s La Grande garden, South 18th & G
  • Neighbors Park community garden, South 8th & I
  • The Hub, 203 Tacoma Ave. S.

If you don't have a map already, you can find them at the Proctor Farmers market, N. 27th & Proctor, between approx. 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Or, click here to find a downloadable version.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why haven't I been here before? Chalet Bowl is where it's AT!

I've been in Tacoma for really close to a decade, and in the area for much longer that that ... and I had not been to the Chalet Bowl in the Proctor District until this week. Diva Girl is out of town for the week, so I took the Boy and Baby Girl on an adventure to the what-I-thought-was-a-tiny-bowling-alley for a little adventure earlier this week.

I'll admit, perhaps I was hesitant because when I took them bowling about two years ago in Hoquiam to celebrate a former coworker's shift from newspaper world to teacher career path ... well ... let's say we showed up, and within 15 minutes The Boy had tried bowling ... and tripped ... and fell chin-first on the bowling ball. No bruise. He freakin' split his chin open. Since I was the one who'd lived in Grays Harbor and knew where then hospital was (thanks in part to a long-ago sprained ankle incident), I would take him, and hubby would stay with the girls. Thank god for Transformers, as handing him his Bumblebee stopped him from freaking out ... and an old friend came with us, thus stopping me from freaking out. Also, when it came to him seeing the nurse (he didn't want to), a promise of a new Transformer when he was done quickly quieted him and got him through his stitches.

But back to this week ... I though the Chalet Bowl was a five- or six-lane place. CHALET HAS FREAKING TWELVE LANES. Seriously! I mean, the bowling alley in my own hometown had about that many. And I swear it was a much bigger place. HOW DO THEY DO IT!?!? They hid a freakin' 12-lane bowling alley in Proctor.

I'm still shaking my head in disbelief. And over the fact that I've found some close-by FUN!

The three of us played two games, and for a while there I was fearing that the kids' Wii bowling practice would have them beating me (we were playing with bumpers, so it was equal opportunity). But I did edge them out by a bit. Had Baby Girl beat me -- considering one of her bowls went so slow it CAME BACK TO HER -- I might have been a little embarrassed. But it has been awhile since I've bowled ...

Chalet Bowl
3806 N 26th St.
Taocma WA 98407
(253) 752-5200

Now that's a Gritster: Check out them apples ... err, apple and carrot

There were a couple crazy chickadees at the Broadway Farmers Market today handing out maps for this weekend's 2nd annual Tacoma Community Garden Tour. Kristen and Sarah not only brightened up a gray market day, but they were also good sports when folks asked to take their picture, and had fun with the kids who ran up to check out the produce.

Details of the Saturday affair ...

What: 2nd annual Tacoma Community Garden Tour

When: 11-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23

Cost: Free!

Self-guided tour: E-mail to request a map, or pick one up at our booth on the Proctor Street side of the Proctor Farmers Market that morning.

Bike tour: Led by the Tacoma Wheelmen, the group bike tour leaves the Proctor Street side of the Proctor Farmers Market at 11 a.m. Please show up at least 15 minutes early to fill out a release. Helmets are required and please bring any water or snacks you might require.

Keep your map! Get your map stamped at all four gardens at get a free plant at the final stop, Neighbors Park at 8th & I, where you can also enjoy the garden, the playground, and several community booths. Also, no matter how many gardens you visit, bring your map to The Hub when you're done and get 50% off local food specials (and bonus: Happy Hour drink specials too!)

Who's in charge? A group of folks. This tour is a collaboration of an array of folks representing the Pierce Conservation District, the City of Tacoma's TAGRO program, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, the University of Washington and

Questions? E-mail or visit

Friday, August 15, 2008

Teacher assignment letters have arrived ...

Last year when Little Chickadee got her first-grade teacher assignment letter, she cried. We handed her the letter to read and she cried, then said, with a very determined voice and look: "You're homeschooling me."

This year went better.

THIS year, the teacher who she was hoping would move along with her to first grade ended up this year skipping up from kindergarten to second grade. Little (ok, not so little) Chickadee is ecastatic beyond belief. Life is fabulous. The letter is a blessing. She's jumping up and down. This will be the best year ever. Yada yada yada. I get it. She's excited. And we're very happy ... as we've been lucky to get fabulous Tacoma teachers across the board so far. I don't know what I'll do when my winning streak hits a bump.

(Side note: Little Chickadee ended up loving her first-grade teacher, too. But for awhile there, we were fearful. But the second she met the first-grade teacher -- blonde and pretty and sweet and new *sigh, really?* -- she was in love. Mind you, first-grade teacher was a GOOD teacher, too ... but sheesh, my darling girl, "pretty" is not a teacher qualifier.)

The Boy enters public school this year, and has been awarded the same class as his best, best, bestest buddy from preschool. Did I mention best, best, BESTest buddy?!?!?!? This should be a good thing. And it likely will be. I'm just worried those two giggle-butts will distract each other.

Luckily those two giggle-butt buddy boys get one of Tacoma's rarities: A male kindergarten teacher. A pretty damn good one at that. This dude has been a legend, and the reason many folks tried to talk me into putting Little Chickadee into full-day kindergarten back when there was a choice. We didn't, and she did fabulously in the half-day. (Mind you: I'm am not advocating for one over the other. The darling would have adjusted within the month had she been in full-day, but we did have the choice and the flexibility at the time, so we took it and stuck with half-day. With the boy: Thank God they have free full-day now.)

Oh, and I think The Boy can read and has been hiding it. When reading clicked for Little Chickadee there was no doubt. She'd shout out every sign we drove by. Every thing that went in front of her face. She read every word that flew by. Not so with The Boy. I suspect he can read, in part because I know his preschool rocks, and we've been working on it bits and pieces too -- but I wasn't at home during his prime learning-to-read years, as I was with his sis. But he'll randomly read words like "Kuwait." Seriously. I don't know if I was online or reading the paper, but he looked over my shoulder and clumsily said "Kuwait." (And with that word, there's not much option but clumsy.) And then today, when I handed him his teacher letter, not thinking he could read it that well, well ... within a few minutes he was jumping up and down asking if he could go to the start-of-school BBQ. It made me start ... where did he hear about that? I hadn't mentioned it ... I hadn't heard Little Chickadee mention it ... and it was definitely in the letter. Did he READ it?

You see, when queried, he gets quiet. He's tricky. He won't read the words that I ask him to try to read. (Except occasionally.) But I think he trickily can read a LOT LOT LOT more than I think he can. And luckily, he has a teacher I know will push him. And a buddy with whom I hope they'll push each other. And I think I'll soon discover that that boy can read a freakin' ton more than I realize he can.


Oh, and since Baby Girl has been asking about HER letter and HER teacher -- despite the fact that they don't give letters for preschool -- I will share that the little one starts preschool this year, the same place her siblings went before her. She's been anticipating it for ages. She's so ready. And I know she'll have a great time. But it's SO WEIRD that they'll all -- finally -- be "of age." Well, the first "of age" notes in a long list of such mentions. And in two years, they'll all actually be in the same school for two whole years. Weird.

Bring it on.