Author Archives: SwitchUp Web

Adventures in Spokane – Part Twenty: Welcome to the Holidays!

It’s that special time of year where everyone is eating and drinking and shopping and driving and complaining about lack of snow and complaining about too much snow and spending time with family and trying to avoid petty arguments and helping out those down on their luck and watching festive movies and eating and drinking more and hopefully having a grand old time.

Yep it is the holiday season and between Thanksgiving and Christmas (and New Year’s which is coming up but hasn’t quite happened yet) I’m no longer quite sure if I’m coming or going but I am pretty sure I’ll need a vacation sometime soon to get my head and body back in order from all of the end of year craziness.

In the last month or so I’ve eaten a lot of turkey, drank a lot of wine, watched several cheesy made-for-TV Christmas movies (I have a weird thing for 12 Dates of Christmas and Christmas Kiss from ABCFamily), watched some classic Christmas films (Die Hard is a must every year, just the way it is), bought gifts, wrapped gifts, and watched gifts get ripped into like someone’s very life depended on it. I’ve listened to dozens of holiday songs – from the original versions to some good and not-so-good modern covers of them. I’ve decorated trees with nerdy ornaments, watched my family lose their minds over charades, participated in a White Elephant gift exchange that included a real pair of old school dentures, and Skyped with family far away to include them in my holiday fun.

In a nutshell, I’m exhausted.

One of my wonderful and delightfully funny cousins had a birthday two days before Christmas so I helped her celebrate downtown with drinks and food at The Onion followed by drinks and social time at The Satellite. And I realized, as I pulled my tired and hungover butt out of bed the next morning that I may, in fact, be getting too old for such shenanigans on work nights.

The tiny/tall roommate and I had delicious, cheap tacos at Borracho on Taco Tuesday, yet I also took some time to chow down on cheap, not-quite-as-authentic Mexican food at Taco Bell a few days later. I saw the new Hunger Games movie (which I found to be pretty dang good – even better than the first film in the franchise) and also saw comedian Maria Bamford live at The Knitting Factory when she came to town (and let me tell you, she is one very funny, very unique, lady).

While work and home have certainly taken up a lot of my time in November and December, I did manage to get out and about town a few times. I saw Scrooged (one of my fave Christmas films of all time) at the newly-renovated Garland Theater (and those new seats are awfully nice folks), had breakfast and cocktails at Morty’s, had diner-style breakfast at Hogan’s, and forgo breakfast the last time I was at The Chalet to instead try out one of the options from their special pasta menu (tasty but not anything to really write home about).

Of course the big moments from November through December were the ones I spent in the company of my awesome, loud, rambunctious, funny, wonderful family. Thanksgiving dinner at my step-Gramma’s house led to dinner on Christmas Eve at my older sister’s house with my adorable but exhausting nephew (every gift was THE GREATEST THING EVER which was pretty cool – at least he’s easy to please so far) which led to dinner on Christmas Day at my aunt and uncle’s house. There was much hugging and laughing and singing and eating and laughing and chatting and sharing and caring and all kinds of warm mushy feeling type things that I don’t normally go on about but I am kind of now because Christmas.

I have to admit that it will be nice to see things settle down again soon, at least for a little while so I can recover from the last two months. Though I still have New Year’s Eve to make it through before that happens, and I fully intend to get my party on to celebrate the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014.

I’ll collapse after that.

That pretty much wraps it up for this exciting (kind of?) installment in Adventures in Spokane. I’ll be back toward the end of next week to talk about anime movie marathons, New Year’s Eve, and looking forward to a brand new year.

To pass the time until I return, why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
The Onion
The Satellite
Borracho
The Knitting Factory
Maria Bamford
Garland Theater
Morty’s

Let’s All Bask in the Sci-Fi Awesomeness That is Almost Human – Programming on Fox!

By now you’ve all been watching Almost Human every week and keeping up with the escapades of Detectives Kennex and Dorian as they fight crime in the future, right? If you haven’t, um really? Why not? There’s really no excuse to not be watching.

How about you go catch up on the show and we’ll wait right here for you to come back. Go ahead, we’ll be here.

Caught up now? Good job.

How can you not love this show right? I mean besides all of the sci-fi goodness going on in each episode, there is the wonderful eye candy that is Karl Urban (all rugged and growly) and Michael Ealy (all pretty and sensitive). Some of us have been fans of Karl Urban since his early days on some little cult fave fantasy shows called Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess (I’ll admit he was my ultimate fantasy boyfriend for at least several years there when I went through my own Xena phase.) And some have come later to their Karl Urban love, when he started showing up in blockbuster film franchises such as Lord of the Rings and Star Trek.

However we got there, it’s all the same now. Karl Urban is a fantastic actor who does the grouchy but good-hearted hero to perfection. He also has the buddy-buddy thing down well. Like his great on-screen chemistry with Chris Pine in Star Trek, in Almost Human he and Michael Ealy shine as police partners. They don’t always see eye-to-eye, but they learn from each other and grow as people and as a unit in each progressive episode.

The main characters are not the only thing to love in Almost Human. The world they populate has an attraction all its own to lure viewers – sci-fi enthusiasts or not – in to its depths. While we can all admit that it seems to derive much of itself from other popular sci-fi worlds (Blade Runner, Minority Report, iRobot, and The Fifth Element immediately come to mind) as time goes on and the show grows into its own skin, it is becoming more and more of its own thing. By episode three at least we stop seeing it as derivative of other things and start seeing it as its own, not-quite-yet-but-soon-it-will-be fully realized world.

With a show like Almost Human, populated by people with robot parts and robots with people feelings, in a future where intimacy dolls are built to become attached to their partners and criminals kill women for their skin, many questions about what it means to be human are continuously raised. Are Dorian’s feelings real even though he was “programmed” to have them instead of being “born” to have them? Is Kennex less of a man because part of him runs on wires and computer chips instead of blood and veins? Is it inhumane to deactivate an android just because it was involved in criminal activity? In a future where technology has been created to be more human than human, where are the lines drawn?

This show isn’t perfect. It has some flaws and some things to make up for. The fact that it does remind viewers of other science fiction movies/shows/books isn’t exactly a point in its favor. But the good definitely outweighs the bad in Almost Human. It has a lot of heart and a lot of depth and it is becoming better and better with each new episode. It can make you laugh out loud one moment, and cringe in apprehension in the next moment. It makes you feel for the characters – human and android alike – and care about what will happen to them next. It gives us a hard science fiction world without overwhelming amounts of techno babble to melt the brain.

And it has wonderful-to-look-at Karl Urban and Michael Ealy taking center stage week after week.

What could possibly be wrong with that?

*Almost Human airs Monday nights from 8-9pm on KAYU Fox 28.

Special Feature! – Get Involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is a lot of things. National Adopt-a-Shelter Dog month. Halloween month. The first month that really seems to feel like Fall and remind us that Winter is coming (but not a new season of Game of Thrones on HBO yet which kind of sucks). October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and whether you have been personally affected by breast cancer or not, it is still a great time to get involved in raising awareness of it as well as pushing for a cure.

Not sure exactly how to get involved with Breast Cancer Awareness month? Well lucky for you there are lots of helpful websites out there that can point you in the right direction. In fact, there is aNational Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) website created specifically for that purpose. It not only explains the history of NBCAM, but also who is behind it, why it is important, and resources on how you (yes YOU) can learn more and help out. It has links to organizations including the American Cancer Society, The American Medical Women’s Association, Men Against Breast Cancer, Susan G Komen for the Cure, and half a dozen more.

And if just reading up on things or donating online to help with research funding isn’t enough for you (and why would it be?) you can always go out and get involved in local activities created around NBCAM. The Spokane Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a 5k run/walk, actually takes place in April BUT you can sign up now to participate. Just register online, join an existing team or start your own, and start collecting donations ASAP.

Like to shop? Well now might be a great time to flex those buying skills as a lot of companies “go pink” during NBCAM with special products and special versions of their regular products. Yogurt, t-shirts, shampoos, sporting goods, you name it there is probably a “pink” version of it on the shelves. When you purchase one of these special items the company donates money to breast cancer research, etc. HOWEVER, it is a very good idea before you go nuts buying every pink thing in sight to do a little research into just HOW MUCH of the purchase price will be donated to the cause. Some companies only donate a small percentage, while others donate half to all of the money from that item. I’m sure you can figure out for yourselves which is the best to look for.

There are many more ways to get involved with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but this should give you at least a place to start. Breast cancer is a serious health issue affecting millions of women and men in this world. Take some time to get educated, be aware, and do what you can to help the cause.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Spokane Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Adventures in Spokane – Part Eighteen: Where I Hate Snow, Stuff My Face with Tacos, and Ponder Pretty Science Fiction

*originally posted 11/5/13

Well it’s snowing outside this morning and I don’t know about all of you but I’m not partial to snow. It makes everything all wet and slick and people start sliding their cars into each other and houses. I grew up in Houston, Texas where winter lasts for minutes and so all this snow just seems unnatural to me.

Oh well. Moving on. I could complain about the snow all day but I won’t because I have more important things to do.

Like tell you about all the fun stuff I’ve been up to the last few weeks. As I’m sure many of you have noticed, we’ve had some issues going on with our website so uploading new blog posts has been tricky. There were a couple of special features in October about National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month and Breast Cancer Awareness month, but at some point they were apparently sucked into the great yawning chasm blackhole that is the internet and have not been seen or heard from again.

I was a bit miffed, as any writer worth their salt would be if their content was devoured by internet demons.

But once again, oh well, and moving on to better things.

In case you don’t get downtown very often, you may not have heard that MarQuee and Ugly Betties closed down over the summer. I had never been to MarQuee but I liked Ugly Betties a lot so I had a sad when this all happened. But now something new and exciting has moved into the old Ugly Betties space, run by the old MarQuee owners – Borracho Tacos & Tequileria.

Serving up 70+ kinds of tequila as well as a menu of Mexican dishes, Borracho is trendy and new and an interesting place to spend an evening. The tiny/tall roommate and I went in on a Tuesday for taco night and it was very VERY worth it. Not only were the tacos only $1 a piece (just one measly little $1 folks!) but they were super tasty as well. The roommate had several of the Carne Asada, while I tried one each of everything except the tongue (I’ve had tongue before and didn’t care much for the texture). I had to agree that the Carne Asada were particularly delightful, as were the chicken ones (which I can’t remember the name of). They also had beer and margaritas on special which we were happy to partake in.

I haven’t been to the movies much lately, but Ender’s Game opened a week or so ago and as a fan of the book I was interested to see what the film version was like. A friend and I went up to Riverpark Square AMC on a Friday night and stuffed ourselves into a full theater with hundreds of other people curious to see this latest sci-fi spectacle.

And while I have to admit that Ender’s Game is quite wonderful to look at, I found the rest of the film to be lacking. Like many great science fiction novels, Ender’s Game has layers of science, politics, culture, philosophy, history, and more. It takes place over a span of years and includes quite a few important characters. To pare that all down to fill just two hours of screen time is a difficult task, and I think it lost something in translation. As I told my viewing companion later on, to me it seemed like a movie written by someone who didn’t fully understand the source material. I encourage you to see it for yourself and make up your own mind about it, however.

Ever since I discovered my love of Thai food I’ve pretty much kept to just two restaurants in Spokane for all of my Thai food needs – Linnie’s downtown and Linnie’s II up on the South Hill. But on a recent Sunday when my craving for Thai was almost overwhelming, I learned the sad fact that neither Linnie’s location is open on that day of the week. So I mustered my courage and went along with a friend to Thai Bamboo on 29th instead.

Besides the fact that the restaurant was way bigger on the inside than expected (like a TARDIS!), the food was pretty dang good. I ordered a lunch combo with Pad Thai, rice, soup, and Swimming Rama (seasoned chicken in peanut sauce). Also an order of potstickers to share with my friend. And I ate myself full to bursting because it was all so good. I think I still like the Pad Thai sauce from Linnie’s better than at Thai Bamboo, but overall I was very happy with the food I stuffed in my face.

When my tiny/tall roommate worked up a powerful craving for sushi last weekend, it became necessary to head over to Ginger Asian Bistro to take care of it (no powerful sushi craving should ever go ignored, it just makes it worse). This was the first time I had been to Ginger when it wasn’t Happy Hour and I had fun choosing from the regularly priced menu. There are some really interesting sounding choices they have there. I wound up with a Godzilla roll and a glass of plum sake to wash it down. Just like all of my experiences at this restaurant, the food was excellent and the atmosphere was relaxed and fun.

And now I’ve got to run and see what kinds of trouble – I mean ‘adventures’ – I can get myself into this week. I’ll be back next Monday (fingers crossed that the site is still accommodating at that point) to talk about things like sushi vs. tacos, gym abandonment, and writing the great American novel.

To pass the time until I return why don’t you head out from some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me wandering around town (though bundled up quite heavily to combat the dang snow) while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Borracho Tacos & Tequileria
Riverpark Square AMC
Thai Bamboo South Hill
Ginger Asian Bistro

Adventures in Spokane – Part Nineteen: Where Chocolate Becomes a Wonderfall, Geek Girls Meet, and I Play on the Radio

It has been some weeks since I felt comfortable posting a blog on our dear, wacky website (though I’ve finally got all of the previously erased blog posts back up and running), but that doesn’t mean I’ve been laying around my house, watching bad made-for-TV Xmas movies and eating too much pizza.

I certainly haven’t been doing tons and tons of that.

Instead I’ve been out and about around town, eating cheap tacos and spending too much time at the reptile store and searching for great shopping deals on fleece-lined leggings. I’ve watched some sports (on Fox28 no less!) and celebrated birthdays (a ball pit may have been involved) and spent time with family that I don’t see very often.

It has actually been a pretty full last month or so. And I don’t have the energy or attention-span to regurgitate it all here. Instead I’ll just go back to relaying what I did in the previous week. It will keep things much shorter and more organized.

Trust me, it’s for the best.

So yeah, last Monday I was hanging with the family and we decided to go up to Golden Corral for a little buffet action. It’s been a few years since we gave them a try but it seemed like a good choice for feeding a bunch of people who wanted different things to eat. PLUS we had two kids under the age of five with us and no one was going to get particularly upset if they got a little noisy.

And once my darling little nephew (who I’ll admit was just two days away from turning five) caught sight of the Chocolate Wonderfall, he was ready to get noisy.

We stuffed ourselves on giant salads, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, pizza slices, and egg rolls. And while it wasn’t the greatest food in the history of ever, it was all pretty tasty – EXCEPT for the cottage cheese that tasted carbonated and the red velvet cupcake that was very, VERY disappointing.

Honestly that cupcake just made me sad. And a cupcake should NEVER make you sad.

Oh well. Moving on.

Wednesday was the monthly meeting of the Spokane Geek Girls so the tiny/tall roommate and I headed to The Onion downtown to meet up with our fellow geeky ladies. Parking was a nightmare due to construction and a Gonzaga game but eventually we got the car situated and were able to enjoy the evening. I had some fruity beverage in a girly glass along with their Thai chicken pizza that was spicy and delicious. For the first time we had to meet in the main dining room, as the meeting room in the back was taken by a larger group. It was incredibly noisy and I’m sure I missed half of what was said during the meeting, but a good time was still had by all.

Though sleeping in is one of my favorite activities in the world (along with reading and sticky googly-eyes on things) I pulled myself out of bed early on Saturday to join with another of the local Modified Dolls to talk up our fave non-profit on Non-Profit Spokane, a weekly show on KYRS Thin Air Community Radio. I have some experience as a guest on a local podcast (Spokast – perhaps you’ve seen me mention them once or twice before?) and my fellow Doll is very well organized, so I think we did a pretty good job of getting the purpose of our organization across. We even got one email-in comment and one phone-in question during our hour, so I would call it a success (and if you want to hear the episode we did, you can find a link below to the podcast version).

After taking our turn as media stars, we headed across the street to Boots Bakery for something warm to drink. This was my first time in Boots and while I have to admit the decor is interesting, I found the majority of the experience kind of confusing. There was no signage or menu with the kinds of drinks available so I had to ask about chai tea and they seemed surprised I didn’t just know they had it. I ordered a cupcake cause it was pretty and I had been on the radio and CUPCAKE, but there was also no signage on that so I have no clue if it was a regular cupcake or gluten free or vegan or what (though the texture was a little strange so I’m thinking it wasn’t a regular cupcake at least). The people behind the counter were busy and running around and the ones helping us kept changing and it just made things more confusing.

I don’t want to write any place off after one not-great experience, and I know that many people in Spokane really love this shop, so I’ll probably try Boots Bakery again. But I’ll have to prepare myself first cause I’m not sure I’ll ever really understand what is going on in there.

My week ended with a quick trip to Sushi Maru for dinner on Sunday night. It was later in the evening and the end of the week so they didn’t have as much variety going around on the conveyor belt. For the first time I wound up asking for a couple of items off the menu, instead of just grabbing off the belt (orange chicken and seared salmon, in case you were curious and I’m sure you really weren’t). I also had a Sake … something or other to drink that was made from sake, lemonade, and blue curacoa. It was the color of Windex but tasted lovely.

And that pretty much wraps it up for last week. I’ll be back next Monday or Tuesday to talk about the new-and-improved Garland Theater, double Thanksgiving, and goliath face-eating (but not really) tarantulas.

To pass the time until I return why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me wandering around town (possibly sticking googly-eyes on things) while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Golden Corral
Spokane Geek Girls
The Onion
KYRS Thin Air Community Radio
Nonprofit Spokane
The Modified Dolls WA Chapter
Boots Bakery & Lounge
Sushi Maru

*To listen to the episode of NonProfit Spokane I was a guest on, go HERE.

Special Feature! – Get Involved with Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month

The world would be a truly wonderful place if every dog waiting at a shelter for adoption could suddenly find their perfect forever home. If they could all be loved and taken home and treated as an important furry member of the family. Unfortunately the world isn’t quite at that place, and many dogs will have to wait a long time before getting adopted. Not everyone out there has the proper housing, time, or patience to keep a dog properly, and sometimes it seems like there are way more dogs needing homes than homes available for dogs.

If you are like me and live in an apartment with a roommate and a ‘no dogs allowed’ policy, or if you work 70 hours a week and don’t have time to devote to a canine friend, or even if you are allergic to dogs and can’t be around them without breaking out in hives, you CAN still get involved in helping out animals in shelters. You just have to take a different approach instead of trying to bring them all home to live with you.

Hold an Adoption Drive
Many times just getting homeless dogs into the public eye can go a long way toward finding them new homes. Once people see how adorable, charming, energetic, loving, or enthusiastic they are, they are more willing to consider adopting them. So gather your friends and neighbors, borrow some space at a park or retail business, call a shelter or rescue organization that would be interested in working with you, and help get those puppies out there.

Become a Foster ‘Parent’
Maybe you have the space and yard needed to own a dog, but still aren’t quite ready to make a lifetime commitment. There are some shelters and rescue organizations that ‘foster’ dogs with available families until a permanent home can be found for them. Sometimes these dogs are very young or have health issues that require them to need extra care. It isn’t necessarily easier to foster a dog than to adopt one, but if you have the time and energy for it you may find it to be a rewarding experience.

Volunteer at a Local Shelter
There is always a need for volunteer help at local animal shelters. You can help socialize and exercise dogs on a regular basis, as well as clean up after them and perform regular tasks that keep the dogs healthy and happy while at the shelter. Some volunteers will take dogs to pet stores or events for adoption drives, and some will check in with new adoptive families to make sure everything is working out well once a dog has actually been adopted.

The best way to get involved in Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month would obviously be to take a homeless canine into your family. But if you can’t do that, there are still plenty of ways to get involved in helping them out. Take some time to research the possibilities in your area and then go out and do what you can to make a difference!

Local Spokane shelters with adoptable dogs as well as volunteer opportunities include:
Spokanimal
Spokane Humane Society
SCRAPS

Adventures in Spokane – Part Seventeen: Where I Turn Another Year Older, Try to Steal a Dragon, and Pet a Giant Tortoise

Hey there boys and girls, how are you doing this bright and beautiful day?

Personally I am doing awesome.

Why am I doing so awesome? Probably because last weekend I went to South Dakota and hugged a giant tortoise.

Have you ever hugged a giant tortoise? I highly recommend it. It can make your whole day.

Your whole week even.

Even if you aren’t a tortoise nut like myself, I still think it could do you a world of good. There is just something about getting up close and personal with something so immense, old, and completely indifferent to you that really puts things in perspective.

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Anyway, so what else did I get up to last week, aside from hugging on gigantic terrestrial chelonian reptiles (there are some science words for you folks)?

I’m so glad you asked.

See last week was my birthday. I won’t tell you what age I turned but just know that I’m older than I was but still not quite old enough for the Honored Citizen menu at Shari’s or the senior discount at the movie theater (yet AARP keeps emailing me about membership which is a little depressing as it is about 20 years too soon for all that).

The internet was very kind to me on the big day and I got loads of happy birthday wishes on Facebook, Twitter, and through text messages. Sometimes social media is kind of the greatest thing ever. The FatherFigure made me red velvet cupcakes with homemade icing and sprinkles which were divine and then took me out to dinner at Café Italiano up here on the South Hill. It has been a long standing tradition in my family to go to Olive Garden on birthdays, but we wanted to try something new and different (well not that different I guess as it was still Italian food) and went to Café Italiano instead.

Just call us the rebels of the family.

And this rebellion was awesome, cause the food at that restaurant was super tasty. I had the Chicken Parmesan with a salad and sparkling red wine, followed by Black Forest chocolate cherry-infused cake that was so light and sweet that I could have eaten an entire bakery full and not felt terribly guilty. While the meal was slightly more expensive than what something similar would have cost at Olive Garden, I think it was pretty worth it. The ambience was nice, the server was helpful and attentive, and that cake was amazing.

The next day I joined up with some friends to head over to the Spokane County Interstate Fair. We wandered about, watched some mutton-bustin’, ate some unhealthy meal options, hugged some horses (that may have just been me) and took a gander at the photos and other artwork on display. The black and white photography is my favorite but I’m fond of the color stuff as well.

If you’ve never taken the time to look at all the artwork on display you’ve been missing out. There is some pretty epic stuff floating around in there. I found a 15 foot (if I’m remembering correctly) metal dragon with light-up eyes that I was keen to try and drag home with me. Unfortunately it weighed over a ton and logistically that just wasn’t happening.

But if anyone wants to get me a belated-bday present and knows the guy who made that dragon, I’d be happy to give him a good home still.

Though I’m not sure how my tiny/tall roommate would feel about that. Hrm.

A couple days after the fair I jumped in the car and took off for four days in South Dakota. Spokane is fun and all, but it doesn’t have a reptile zoo or a geology museum or a drug store that has turned into one of the largest and wackiest tourist traps in the country.

And I wanted to see those kinds of things. So off to South Dakota I went. And it was wonderful.

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I went to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming on the way. Did not manage to see any aliens, spaceships, or Richard Dreyfuss, but the National Monument is worth checking out anyway. I also stopped at Cracker Barrel in Billings, Montana because it just isn’t right going on a road trip and NOT stopping at Cracker Barrel. Their breakfasts are what most breakfasts dream of being when they grow up. I stuffed myself so full of hashbrown casserole and biscuits I was fairly certain I’d never be hungry again.

Once I actually made it to South Dakota I made the most of my time there. I went to the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and saw some fossils and some rocks and some loud children who wouldn’t stop touching things. I went to Dinosaur Park and saw some wonderfully kitschy old dino statues from the 1930s.

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At Wall Drug I sat on a jackalope, ate a charburger, and looked at dozens of original paintings and drawings of John Wayne. In the Badlands I climbed up and then slid down a mountain, caught toads, poked at baby rattlesnakes, and got blown around by some epic wind. At Mount Rushmore I watched happy Germans bounce around taking pictures of the memorial, each other, and a mountain goat that had wandered by.

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And at Reptile Gardens – which I will henceforth and forthwith be calling My New Happiest Place on This Part of the Earth – I hugged a giant tortoise.

In fact I hugged TWO giant tortoises. I scratched their chins, I rubbed on their shells, I messed with their enormous elephant-type feet.

It was glorious.

I also saw hundreds of snakes, some so rare that Reptile Gardens is the only zoo in America that has them in captivity. I touched a baby alligator, stuck my tongue out at a Komodo dragon, sat in on a snake show, scolded a Russian tortoise for being a bully, whistled at a parrot, and watched lizards run around together in a jungle room.

It was the most fun a goofy little reptile-lover like me could have in a day. And it was very, VERY hard to drag myself out of there when closing time came around. I was making plans to return before the car even left the parking lot.

I’m just that kind of girl, I guess.

And that wrapped up my week pretty much. Now I’ll be napping until Spring to make up for all the running around I did. If I find any remaining energy to drag myself out and about in town then I’ll be back next week to talk about Geek Girl meetings, used book sales, and the Inlander’s Annual Manual Challenge (something I totally just made up for myself).

To pass the time until I return why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me wandering around town while you’re out there.

*Photos courtesy of Blake Nelson of Spokast Podcast*

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Café Italiano
Spokane County Interstate Fair
Cracker Barrel (Billings, Montana)
Devil’s Tower (Wyoming)
Museum of Geology (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Dinosaur Park (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Wall Drug (Wall, South Dakota)
Reptile Gardens (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Badlands National Park (South Dakota)
Mount Rushmore (South Dakota)

Get Ready for Some Schedule Changes – Programming on FOX28!

Our primetime lineup isn’t the only thing that will be changing this month on FOX28. We’ve got a slew of new (haha that rhymed) syndicated shows set to air throughout the daytime, evening, and nighttime hours. While some comedies and talk shows are taking a final bow, new clip-shows, talk shows, and comedies will be taking their places to keep you entertained throughout the week.

Some of the biggest changes start the week of September 9th as a second hour of Family Feud joins the afternoon schedule (from 2-3pm) as does the Bethenny Frankel show (4-5pm) and an hour of Right This Minute from noon to 1pm. Don’t worry, we aren’t losing the Steve Harvey show, he’s just moving to the 3-4pm hour. Late night is getting some new flavor starting the 9th as well, when Arsenio Hall returns to the talk show scene with a new hour-long program that will air from 11:05pm to 12:05am on weeknights.

And just in case you’re curious, Right This Minute presents all of the most current internet and television videos to you in an easy to watch format so you never feel like you’re missing out on what everyone is talking about, even if you don’t spend countless hours online every week. And Bethenny is a daytime talk show hosted by one of the Real Housewives of New York City that focuses on fashion, style, lifestyle tips, and celebrity interviews.

Starting the week of September 16th we’ll be making a bit of a change to our week day Law and Order offering. Criminal Intent will be waving goodbye and the popular SVU installment of the long-running series, staring Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, will take its place from 1-2pm. But we aren’t quite done there! One week later (the week of 9/23) we’ll be adding a new comedy to our evening and late-night schedule when Modern Family joins the FOX28 family. This hilarious and touching half-hour sitcom will air from 6:30-7pm and from 10:35-11:05pm Monday through Friday.

So get ready for a big month of changes coming at you as we shake up the early morning comedies, mix in some new daytime talk shows, rattle the evening comedy lineup, and add a dash of new to late night. It’s going to be an exciting September!

Come back Wednesdays (or Thursdays) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

Adventures in Spokane – Part Sixteen: Where I Go on Hiatus, Family Invades Spokane, and Nothing Goes as Planned

The thing about summer is, nothing ever seems to go as planned. I can carefully mark down everything I want to see/do/attend/eat/drink/be merry on my calendar and leave myself reminders and STILL I’ll forget something or double-book something or just plain run out of energy before something comes around. Back in the day this used to bother me but over the years I’ve learned to just kind of go with the flow. I might miss doing one thing I had planned, but something else tends to come along to make up for it. And sometimes I have to admit that sleeping in and being a lazy slug on my couch for a day is necessary to keeping my sanity. We want me to keep my sanity, trust me on this.

Over the last few weeks while I wasn’t writing blog posts I WAS hanging out around town, eating and drinking and spending time with family that had trekked into Spokane for a visit. There were dinners at Perkins (not the greatest food in the world but a restaurant that is great for large, noisy groups of people), lunches at The Chalet (for similar reasons)and many BBQs held in one backyard or another. I was chased by bees, called by my sister’s name, forced into family photos, humiliated at “Minute to Win It” games, hugged repeatedly, used as a sounding board for family drama, and obviously had an excellent time. It was great but exhausting and the world seems much quieter now that things have gone back to normal and the family has departed once again.

At one point during Fun Family Time I snuck away with my sisters for a girl’s night out. We wound up at Azteca in the Spokane Valley Mall for dinner, and can I just say their spinach queso dip is quite possibly the greatest cheesey dip in the history of EVER? Seriously, I would’ve been perfectly happy to eat nothing but a bowl of that for dinner, and washed it down with a giant Ramos Rita or two (well maybe not two, as the first one was enormous and more than enough to get me going). After stuffing our faces with cheese and actual dinners (I had the Pollo a la Crema and it was delicious as usual) we headed over to the movie theater and saw The World’s End starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. This might be a controversial thing to say (if you’re a nerd at any rate), but I think this was my fave of their movies. It was hilarious, fast-paced, witty, and surprising. I highly recommend it to everyone who appreciates great comedies.

After all of the eating and drinking and making merry I did with TheFamily, you’d think I’d be too tired out to stuff my face more. But Pig Out in the Park started up just days later and I certainly couldn’t miss out on THAT now could I? I headed down on Friday evening with my tiny/tall gal pal and had myself a lemon cheesecake with raspberry sauce (on a stick!) and a Philly cheese steak (not on a stick!), while she munched on her own cheese cake treat and an Indian taco. It was busy and loud and a fun time and I found myself enjoying the event at night because it wasn’t nearly as hot as my previous experiences (I’ve always gone down about lunch time in the past). On Saturday I met up with friends to do the whole thing again. This time we started with drinks at O’Doherty’s before heading to the park. We also shared foods and managed to scarf down Pad Thai, a German sandwich, garlicky “swimming” potatoes, egg rolls, a savory crepe, and chocolate-dipped cheese cake (once again on a stick!). As you can imagine, I won’t need to eat again until Pig Out in the Park returns in 2014.

It’s sad to admit with September here Summer is winding down. I didn’t manage to go parasailing or skydiving or attend any giant music festivals or nearly enough county fairs. But I did have a great time seeing movies and playing at the pool and helping out a podcast and going to conventions and traveling around the state. And Fall is now on it’s way with its own line-up of awesome events and activities to check out. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what this new season has in store for me.

Now I’m off to see what kind of trouble I can get myself into for the rest of the week. I’ll be back next Monday or Tuesday (I promise) to talk about car shows, stand-up comedians and hanging at the fair. To pass the time til my return (next week, I really do promise) why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Perkin’s
Azteca
Spokane Valley Mall
Pig Out in the Park

Adventures in Spokane – Part Fifteen: Where a Donut Tries to Kill Me, I Eat to Stop the Pain, and Sharks Fall from the Sky

You know folks, I’ve eaten a lot of interesting things in my lifetime. Raw octopus. Alligator on a stick. Barbecued eel. But last week my taste buds took adventuring to new heights. I’m sure at this point pretty much everyone in town has heard of Dawn of the Donut, Spokane’s very own zombie-themed donut shop (and if you haven’t – seriously? have you been living under a rock the past couple of months?). What you may not have heard of is some of their more exciting baked options, such as the El Diablo – a delightful chocolate cake donut sprinkled with Ghost pepper flakes. Yes, ladies and gents, you read that correctly. Ghost. Pepper. Flakes. Ghost pepper flakes that I was not totally aware of on the donut until I had taken several large bites and suddenly found myself wondering a) why my mouth was on fire and b) if I opened said burning mouth would flames come out in a very dragon-like fashion?

There are a lot of exciting options available at Dawn of the Donut and from what I understand not all of them make you feel like your mouth is going to run screaming from your body and dunk itself into the deepest, coolest vat of milk possible (milk helps negate the effects of spicy foods – true story and something to keep in mind for all you spicy-food wimps out there like myself). But I urge everyone to give these guys a try, and if you are brave I’m sure the El Diablo is calling your name (by the way, in case you think I must be the biggest idiot in the planet or that I ordered something no one took the time to warn me about, we had a co-worker bring in two boxes of donuts on morning and he didn’t take the time to label them or warn anyone before eating them, so that’s how I ended up with the El Diablo; it looked like the most normal donut in the box. I have since learned my lesson about judging baked goods by their appearance).

Last week really seemed to be all about the food. I went out several nights for dinner and had myself some tasty cheap fast food at Taco Bell, immersed myself in a simple but very edible Taco salad at Senor Froggy during lunch with TheGramma, and chased down some old favorites and new experiments at Sushi Maru (turns out I still love their Godzilla and Dragon rolls, but am not terribly fond of whatever the heck it’s called with the pile of scallops on top of it). I also shared in an excellent pile of nachos at Morty’s one evening when we all gathered to say goodbye to a co-worker who was heading off to a new adventure of her own after working at the station for five years. I may have had a couple of margaritas as well, and why not? It was a party and the general manager was paying (which is always an excellent reason to have a few drinks in my book).

When I wasn’t eating I was taking some time to help some of my favorite gentlemen with one of my favorite podcasts – Spokast in case you haven’t been following along the past few months and heard me mention them a couple dozen times. And I was taking some time out to hang with my tiny/tall roommate at our awesome apartment and watch the single greatest awful film in possibly the history of the universe (so far) – Sharknado. It had everything: bad CGI effects, horrible actors, a ridiculous plot, and sharks. So many sharks. Sharks flying through windows. Sharks swimming up freeways. Sharks falling from the sky. Sharks eating everyone they could get their poorly constructed CG teeth on. If you haven’t seen the epic badness that is Sharknado yet you are truly missing out on crappy movie history.

As there is really nothing that can top watching a tornado made of sharks that is about where my week wrapped up. Don’t worry though, I’ll be back next Monday or Tuesday to talk about hanging out with FlatSimon (hopefully you’ve been paying attention to our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the story on him), Rock Band events for charity, and riffing films live. To pass the time til my return why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Dawn of the Donut
Senor Froggy
Sushi Maru
Spokast Podcast
Morty’s Tap and Grille
Sharknado

Adventures in Spokane – Part Fourteen: Where I Actually Find Snakes, See Giant Robots vs Giant Monsters, and Drink Lots of Wine

Goodness, is it a new week already? How time does seem to fly, especially when I’ve been busy busy busy. Well, kind of busy at least. Last week mostly seemed to be full of working and working and more working. I managed to get out to dinner once on Tuesday with my FatherFigure though. We went fast-food style for Asian cuisine and ate at Panda Express up on the South Hill. I had the always yummy orange chicken as well as the Surf n Turf option, which wasn’t bad at all. I would never say Panda Express is my favorite Chinese restaurant EVER but I don’t mind eating there once in a while. It’s fast and tasty enough.

It wasn’t until Saturday that I really dragged myself out of the house and went for some adventuring. Though they had technically moved from Northtown Mall into their new digs up north a few weeks ago, last weekend was the Grand Opening party for Rasmussen Reptiles at their swanky new storefront. They had some sweet discounts on animals as well as BBQ going in their backyard (not made of reptiles, before you start making those kind of jokes). One of the Spokast Podcast boys and I stopped in to look at snakes, poke at giant tortoises, play with lizards, and generally oooohhh and aaahhh over everything else (I like my creatures scaly and slither-y, what can I say). It is entirely possible that I left the store that day with a beautiful four foot female Leopard Burmese python (that may now be going by the name of Thulsa Doom because I got to pick and that name is awesome). I can’t help it, I’m just a sucker for their wonderful little faces.

After taking my new lady home and getting her set up with the Burmese already residing in my apartment (a 10-foot, 21-year-old male named Monty, in case you care and why wouldn’t you?), I realized I was starving practically to death (I’m sure) and so headed back out to find some grub. A new Vietnamese place opened up in the courtyard area across from Rite Aid downtown and I’m always in the mood for some good spring rolls so that’s where I ended up. Pho City is small and new and they don’t have an extensive menu yet, BUT the items they do have are wonderfully flavorful and the staff is incredibly friendly. I had vermicelli with grilled prawns along with my spring rolls, and while it was all great, I did find myself in a quandry over the dang shrimp. I have never been able to figure out how to eat around the tails of shrimp in sushi or get the shells off shrimp in noodle or rice dishes without making a mess and looking like a big moron. Oh well.

My dining companion and I decided during dinner that we’d like to go see a movie afterwards, but it didn’t start for an hour or so once we were finished eating, so we decided to stop in at O’Doherty’s for a drink before hitting up the theater. They were moderately busy, which wasn’t surprising considering it was a Saturday night. We grabbed a booth and enjoyed some people-watching and some fine beverages. I started off with a ‘Treat Yo Self’ (cause I’m a huge Parks and Recreation fan) and finished out with an ‘Emerald something something Rita’ (I can’t remember the full name, so sue me). Both were delightful. Eventually movie-time rolled around so we took off for the AMC theater in Riverpark Square. And that, ladies and gentleman, is about the time I saw my newest favorite Summer movie EVER (at least until something better comes along). Pacific Rim has everything a geeky girl like myself could love: giant robots, giant monsters, hot robot pilots, Ron Perlman, and nods to a hundred different scifi/fantasy/monster movies. It was a like a giant live-action mash-up of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Godzilla and more. If you are a fan of awesome things, I highly recommend this film (even if the end makes slightly less than a whole lot of sense – just suspend your disbelief for a spell, won’t you?).

After so much activity on Saturday you’d think I’d have to spend Sunday in a healing coma, but nope. I managed to complete a few errands in the early afternoon (off to Petco to buy lightbulbs and crickets and frozen mice as I’ve been known to do) and then later on my tiny/tall roommate and I got fancied up and went up to Ginger Asian Bistro to have ourselves some delicious sushi. Ginger has Happy Hour deals EVERY DAY from 3-5pm and they include sushi, appetizers, entrees, and even drinks. My roommate had spicy tuna because she loves it and I tried shrimp tempura and spicy dumplings because they sounded good on the menu. Neither of us was disappointed (though once again I did have some moments where I had to fight with shrimp that I couldn’t figure out how to eat without making a mess). After dinner we took ourselves out to Northern Quest Casino for Vintage Spokane, a ‘wine and food’ event with all the swankiest people in attendance. We drank some excellent beer, sampled some also excellent wines, nibbled on tasty finger foods (the huckleberry cheesecakes were awesome), chatted with exhibitors and volunteers, and chased down some co-workers in attendance to force them into spending ‘social time’ with us. It was a delightful, adult-type, evening.

After all that I bet you can’t imagine I’d have time for anything else – and you’d be right! I got home Sunday night, fell into bed, and would’ve stayed there for at least three days if work hadn’t demanded my presence on Monday morning. But don’t worry, I’ve got some more adventuring up my sleeve this week and I’ll be back next Monday or Tuesday to tell you all about it. I’m pretty awesome like that. In the meantime why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there!

**In case you are interested, you can check out some pics from Vintage Spokane on our new Instagram or Tumblr!

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Panda Express
Rasmussen Reptiles
Spokast Podcast
Pho City
O’Doherty’s
AMC Riverpark Square
Ginger Asian Bistro
Northern Quest Casino
Vintage Spokane

Adventures in Spokane – Part Thirteen: Searching for Creatures, Laughing It Up Live, and Dune Disappointment

Hello again lovely readers! It’s another week and another chance for me to show off what an exciting life I have while your’s – I’m sure – is incredibly boring and mundane. Poor you. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve spent more quality time at Rockwood Urgent Care fighting off infections and allergy attacks the last month than any sane individual really should. Not all adventuring is fun, boys and girls, don’t ever forget that.

Anyways, moving on from the boring squicky stuff, I spent part of last week here in good ol’ Spokane and part of it in Seattle. At some point over the last few months it occurred to me that I can adventure pretty much wherever I want to as long as I’ve got some time and a few bucks, so expect more write-ups about weekend jaunts in the future. But I’ll always return to our fair city and will continue to experience as much as possible around these parts as I can. There are still a few bars and eateries I’ve yet to discover, after all.

I began the week by doing a little creature hunting at Finch Arboretum and down around High Bridge Park. In layman’s terms that basically means I was digging through bushes for snakes and lizards. I managed to find some ants, a few grasshoppers, a couple of annoyed birds, and a swarm of dragonflies. The snakes must have seen me coming and all took to the hills (or their burrows or wherever they hide out so amateur herpetologists* like myself can’t get my grubby hands on them) cause there was ne’er a one to be found. Oh well. What I WAS able to find that day was O’Doherty’s downtown and their delicious Reuben egg rolls which made the outing less of a disappointment and more of an awesome win. Good food can do that for you. Later in the week was lunch with TheGramma at the TheChalet once again. I should really stop ordering the chicken Caesar salad and try something new, but they only have it on their menu for the summer and I want to have it as much as possible before it goes away again. Plus, creature of habit = me.

Friday dawned sunny and bright with the promise of road-trippin’ in the afternoon. Of course I had to get through a morning at work FIRST, but since I love my job ever so very much it wasn’t a big deal. At noon though I was ready to bail and joined up with a friend to head off for Seattle. The drive was easy and boring as usual (I keep thinking I need to buy some billboards along the highway and put interesting pictures or maybe write out a short story on them to make the drive more exciting but I haven’t gotten around to figuring that out yet) and we managed to hit Seattle exactly at drive time. Yay for traffic! Eventually we made it into the city and headed down to Pike Brewing Company for dinner. Their pulled pork sandwiches have to be the greatest things ever invented and I get one every time I’m in town (once again me = creature of habit).

After dinner it was off to the Moore Theater to see comedianJoe Rogan live and in person! I waited months and months and months (or something like that) for his show and I was not in the least bit disappointed. The theater was packed with fans and lacked proper air circulation but it didn’t even matter once the comedians took the stage. Voodoo Chicken and Tom Segura opened the show and had us all laughing and properly warmed up for the main act. And Joe Rogan was AWESOME. He was funny. He was intelligent. He was loud and a little obnoxious. It was great. After the show my friend and I got a picture with him cause PICTURE WITH JOE ROGAN and then headed back to our hotel to unwind a bit (what can I say, the show had us all a bit hyped up). We were staying at The Paramount which also happens to be home to Dragonfish Asian Cafe where we decided to grab drinks and a bite to eat. It was late night Happy Hour and we couldn’t seem to stop ordering cheap items from the menu. Spicy Tuna rolls, Bulgogi skirt steak, chicken satay with peanut sauce, Tempura shrimp rolls. They were all absolutely delicious.

The next morning was bright and sunny yet again (the second trip I’ve taken to Seattle this year where the sun decided to put in an appearance) and we decided to head over to the EMP + SciFi Museum to check out some wonderfully geeky exhibits. We hopped on the monorail and rode over to Seattle Center and the EMP, which was just starting to get busy. We picked a good time to visit as they had three nerd-centric galleries to check out – Icons of Science Fiction, Fantasy Worlds of Myth and Magic, and Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Films. While I enjoyed seeing all three exhibits, I think the horror film one was the best of them. It was set up really well and had an interesting design theme as well as great, creepy music playing throughout. I was a bit disappointed with Icons of Science Fiction when I realized that all they had for Dune, a rather important work of scifi and literature, was one small diorama full of sand. Lame (and not just because I’m a huge Dune fan).

When we’d had our fill of nerdery to the nth degree, we took a walkabout around Seattle Center, saw some parade floats and princesses (turns out it was the day of Seattle’s Torchlight parade), watched people run around in the fountain, and then hopped back on the monorail to return to downtown. We walked from there down to the waterfront and decided to find ourselves some lunch. At the Oyster Bar we had fish and chips (or in my case smoked salmon and chips which was ever so tasty) and sodas and did a bit of people watching. After stuffing our bellies to capacity we walked over to the Seattle Great Wheel and went for a ride. It was a beautiful day and we could see boats on the water, jelly fish IN the water, and people standing around staring AT the water. When it was over we walked down to a large surplus store and poked around at old army and navy gear for a while.

Eventually it was time to head back to Spokane so we grabbed our vehicle and began the trek home. It may have taken slightly longer (okay like two hours longer) than usual because on the way we managed to stop at just about every rest area we could. Not because we have tiny bladders (in case that was what you were thinking) but because once again it was time for a little creature hunting. We poked around rocks, bushes, cement foundations, and fence lines and managed to unearth a stinky beetle, a pile of irritated ants, and some chipmunks, but once again no snakes and no lizards. Apparently I am a terrible snake finder. Guess I can’t quit the day job just yet.

Well that (finally) wraps it up for last week. I took Sunday off (except for my weekly Skyping with my sister and family in Texas – Skype, what a wonderful invention) cause I was just plain ol’ tired. But I’ll be back next week to regale you with tales of early morning gym visits, donating blood, creeping in classic cars, and epic sharknados. Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there!

*People who study reptiles and amphibians, basically.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Finch Arboretum
High Bridge Park
O’Doherty’s
Pike Brewing Company
Joe Rogan
The Moore Theater
Paramount Hotel
Dragonfish Asian Cafe
EMP + SciFi Museum
Seattle’s Great Wheel

Adventures in Spokane – Part Twelve: Rocking Out with Postal Service, Happy Happy Hour, and Going for a Ride

Hello again ladies and gents! It is a beautiful summer Tuesday morning and I’m at work, wishing desperately that I was out enjoying the sunshine at one of our awesome local lakes. Oh well. Maybe I’ll run over to Shopko and purchase one of their wading pools and set myself up beach-like in front of the television station instead. It will almost be the same thing, right?

Anyhoo, so last week The Postal Service was in town playing at The Knitting Factory and I was lucky enough to get an invite from the Spokast Podcast fellas to tag along with them to the show. And what a show it was. I have to say that (in my not-so-humble opinion) that was the best live music show I’ve seen all year. It had been some years since I’d listened much to The Postal Service but they played all of their best songs (not that they have a giant selection of songs to choose from) and the whole audience sang and danced along to them. Jenny Lewis was there and she was awesome (I’m a big Rilo Kiley fan) and even though the show was at least bordering on sold out I didn’t find myself getting stepped on or groped or run over nearly as much as I had earlier in the year at the MGMT show. I really can’t gush enough about what an excellent time I had at the show but if The Postal Service swings through Spokane again in the future you better believe I’ll be first in line to see them.

Later in the week I was set to drag my tiny/tall roommate to the monthly Spokane Geek Girls meeting at The Onion downtown, but when we arrived there didn’t seem to be any other geeky girls in attendance. After a few minutes of waiting to see if anyone would show up we decided to wander off to Zola for Happy Hour instead. While they will never be my most favorite bar in the entire world, I am more than willing to appreciate Zola’s Happy Hour specials. How can you refuse $1.50 PBRs and $3.50 well cocktails? (The answer is that you can’t really so why even bother trying.) Unfortunately my margarita was not included in the specials, which I didn’t realize until after I had drunk it and the bill showed up. Oh well. It was tasty enough and still cost less than margaritas I’ve had other places (though in defense of the premium margarita from Applebee’s that one was DELICIOUS times 10 and totally worth the high sticker price).

At some point over the last few months one of my awesome Geek Girl friends got herself a motorcycle license and a swanky red scooter she’s been tooling around the state on. Friday night she picked me up on that scooter for a little bar hopping through town and a trip down the turny-twisty parts of Government Way. We started off at Jones Radiator – once we managed to find it that is. From the outside the bar looks almost as small as The Riff, but like a Tardis* (that’s a nerd reference for you) it was much bigger on the inside. They had live bluegrass style music going on and though we tried off sitting inside at the counter we eventually had to move outside to hear ourselves talk. After a while we decided to head out to try something new and different and buzzed over to El Que in Browne’s Addition. I love The Elk and have spent quite a bit of time there, but this was my first experience with El Que. No live music in this drinkery but it was still plenty loud inside the narrow, small bar area. I had another margarita (I’m out to try them at every place in town until I have found the best ones Spokane has to offer – Nyne rates highest so far and Ugly Betties was a close second until they shut down which sucks) and we chatted until closing time rolled around. Then we just rode around for a while because SCOOTER.

The rest of the weekend I spent attempting to be as lazy as possible. My tiny/tall roommate was off having a camping adventure in the woods so I laid around the apartment, eating too much pizza (I think I managed to order from Dominos, Pizza Hut, and Pizza Pipeline all the course of three days), playing video games (Dead or Alive 5 in case anyone cares) and watching Game of Thrones, True Blood, and Rome on HBO. If I had accessed my brain at some point I would have remembered KuroNekoCon (Spokane’s own anime convention) was going on and headed down to check that out, but alas it was not to be this year. But I did make a note on my calender to get my self down to it in 2014.

Well that’s about it for this week. I’ll be back next Monday (most likely) to regale you with tales of snake hunting, Reuben egg rolls, stand up comedians, and epic nerdery. Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there!

*From Doctor Who in case you are the worst geek ever or – gasp! – not a geek at all!

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
The Postal Service
The Knitting Factory
Zola
Jones Radiator
El Que

Adventures in Spokane – Part Eleven: Best Granddaughter Ever, Swimming without Sharks, Backseat Driver, and Going Roadtripping

Hello lovely readers! I’m back from my brief summer hiatus. Did you miss me? I’d love to say I was off in Mexico helping baby sea turtles into the ocean or partaking of a cruise to the Virgin Islands, but my absence wasn’t based on anything quite so exciting. I just got caught up in the chaos that is moving and didn’t have the time (or energy) to go out adventuring for a few weeks. But I’m finally feeling more settled and ready to get back to my wild ways.

As you may have noticed by now if you’re a regular reader (and if you aren’t WHY NOT?), I go to lunch with TheGramma on a pretty frequent basis. Not as frequent as I’m sure she’d like right now, but enough that I still think of myself as a pretty ok grandkid. Last week we went out twice as my aunt was in town – visiting all the way from Corvallis, Oregon – so it was a special occasion. We headed over to Wendy’s up on the South Hill first and had some good ol’ French fries dipped in chocolate Frosties as well as chicken salads (mine was spicy chicken Cesar, in case you care). It was fun and casual and a bit messy which seems to happen when we go out to lunch. A couple of days later we all headed up to The Chalet where they always know us and our waitress can usually figure out what we are going to order before we even open our mouths to tell her. I had another chicken Cesar (I love them, so sue me) and TheGramma worked her way through a giant plate of shrimp and nearly a half dozen dipping sauces. She practically makes performance art out of utilizing condiments during lunch these days. It can really be a sight to see.

My tiny/tall gal pal (who is also now my tiny/tall roommate) and I took our chances on a couple of occasions and headed up to Comstock pool to beat the heat. About 500 other people had the same brilliant idea so I bet you can tell just exactly how much real swimming we were able to do (that would be none if you are too lazy to figure it out on your own). We were able to bob around in the water relatively un-harmed, however, and it certainly cooled us off when temperatures broke the 90s. The last time I was in Comstock pool was at least 20 years ago but I have fond memories of visiting back in the day and I didn’t have any problems really with visiting now. It was just busy, but what can you expect of a public pool?

Remember how a few blog posts back I decided this would be my Summer of Why Not? And I’d go out and try new things that I’d never managed to try before? Well a weekend or so ago I managed to take a break from all the dumb moving stuff (I love my new place, just not all the work it has taken to get set up there) and started to learn how to drive a manual vehicle. A friend made the offer to let me practice on his Jeep and I jumped at it. There are lots of classic cars (oh ’57 Plymouth Fury I lurve you) that I’d love to be able to drive and at this point I can’t because I’ve never learned how to drive a stick shift. I’d like to be able to say that my first real driving lesson went amazingly well and it turned out I’m preternaturally good at manual driving – but alas it wouldn’t be true. I may not have dropped the transmission in the road, crashed into any buildings or other vehicles, or broken anything, but I did kill the engine more than once and I did scare my tiny/tall gal pal (who was taking a driving lesson as well) enough to hold onto the seat as if her life depended on it. Oh well. I think it went pretty ok aside from that. I’m looking forward to my next lesson with only a little trepidation (and I’ll make sure to warn the world before I take to the actual roads – so far I’ve been learning in an abandoned Costco parking lot.)

I managed to take my adventuring a little further than normal this last weekend and roadtripped with my sister and four-year-old nephew to visit friends in Vancouver, WA. This is what I got from the weekend: children are LOUD, and dirty, and loud, and they move around a lot, and did I mention that they are loud? Vancouver is nice and sprawled out and flat, which reminded me a lot of Katy, TX where I spent some of my formative younger years. We had excellent Thai food for lunch on Saturday at a place called Arawan Thai Cuisine, then headed over to BevMo! to pick up some adult-style libations for later in the evening. BevMo! is like a grocery store only they’ve taken most of the food (aside from salty or chocolatey snacks and cheese) and replaced it all with booze. We also took a trip through a craft store because it was there and crafting can be cool sometimes. On Sunday we drove over to Portland and went for a walk through a fun neighborhood with lots of little artsy shops and eateries. We had excellent pizza at Mississippi Pizza Pub, I bought an adorable Totoro (it’s an anime thing, if you know you’re cool and if not well no one is perfect) wallet at Missing Link Toys (where the cashier was the most beautiful woman I think I’ve ever seen in real life) and then went to the park to let the children run around and scream and be loud and dirty to their little hearts’ content. I even took my turn on the swing set because SWINGS. It wasn’t what I would call a relaxing weekend but it was a whole lot of fun and it was great to see friends that live far away.

Well that about wraps it up for this week. I’ll be back next Monday to talk about rock bands, geek girls, street fairs, and maybe even gun shows (you never know where I’ll end up really). Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there!

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Comstock Pool
Arawan Thai Cuisine (Vancouver, WA)
BevMo! (Vancouver, WA)
Mississippi Pizza Pub (Portland, WA)
Missing Link Toys (Portland, WA)

We’ve Got Premiere Dates! – Programming on Fox!

Summer isn’t half over yet but I know many of you are already wondering when your favorite FOX programs will be returning, or when new FOX programs will be starting. Well lucky for you, we’ve got the Early Fall and Late Fall premiere schedule, straight from the big wigs at the network and ready to be reported to you. Aren’t you lucky?

Because we can’t possibly go a season without some reality excitement and drama (and So You Think You Can Dance has its season finale on Tuesday, September 10th from 8-10pm and Masterchef takes a bow on Wednesday, September 11th from 9-10pm), we’ll be bringing back The X-Factor as of 8pm, Wednesday, September 11th with the first hour of a two-part premiere. Part two will take place from 8pm until 10pm on Thursday, September 12th.

Our Big Premiere Week will take place from September 16th through September 22nd. Bones returns on Monday (9/16) from 8-9pm, while new supernatural drama Sleepy Hollow will premiere from 9-10pm. Tuesday (9/17) starts with TWO new half-hour comedies, Dads at 8pm followed by Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 8:30pm. Then returning favorites New Girl and The Mindy Project take up the 9-10pm hour. Because we know you can’t get enough singing and dancing and high school shenanigans, the season premiere of Glee takes place Thursday (9/19) from 9-10pm.

The next big round of Early Fall season premieres will take place around the weekend of September 27th. First up, on Friday (9/27) from 8-9pm is the premiere of Masterchef Junior. Then Sunday (9/29) rolls along and hits you with The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, and American Dad from 8-10pm. That’s a lot of new programming in one night. We hope you’re prepared for it.

We’ll let things settle down for a bit after September 29th. At least until November when we bring on our Late Fall premieres. Starting Monday, November 4th, new science fiction show Almost Human will take over the 8-9pm timeslot (while new episodes of Bones will continue on Fridays from 8-9pm). Returning comedy Raising Hope will take up position at 9pm on Friday (11/8) and be joined by new half-hour comedy Enlisted (which will air at 9:30pm).

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

Get to Know People in Spokane – Author Jessica Rising

Sometimes it seems like there is nothing new and different under the sun – at least as far as media is concerned. One book about vampires or zombies becomes popular and the next thing you know ALL books are about vampires or zombies. I’m a big fan of supernatural and fantasy and science fiction, but I’ve pretty much reached saturation point on the same old storylines being used over and over and OVER again. Finding something unique to read that stimulates my imagination as well as my emotions is a treat these days and luckily for me and all of you out there that like to read, Jessica Rising has come along to provide that treat.

Post-apocalyptic stories are not a new idea. However, post-apocalyptic stories for KIDS are a whole ‘nother enchilada (ooooohhh, enchiladas … but I digress). And that is exactly what local children’s author Jessica Rising writes – post-apocalyptic books for young readers (middle grade, actually, which doesn’t necessarily mean Middle School but instead around eight to twelve years old). Her stories are full of burnt-out worlds, Steampunk gadgets (you might want to look that up if you haven’t heard of it before – Steampunk is its very own subculture and I don’t have room enough to explain it all here), giant insects, nefarious plots by evil bad guys, and amazingly realistic heroes. Child heroes, that child readers can relate to, root for, and look up to. Not because they have super powers or magical gifts or always know the right thing to do at the right time to do it, but because they stumble and fall and fight and cry and get scared, but then pick themselves up and brush themselves off and try again when they need to.

Jessica Rising’s main series for middle grade readers is called Guts and Glory: Freedom Fighters of Nil. The first book, Dr. Fixit’s Malicious Machine, was released in paperback last winter and introduces readers to not only her main characters, but an entire world of a style she calls “apocalypse punk.” This book isn’t for the faint of heart. It has some seriously scary moments. Her heroes go through a lot of rough scenes in their quest to rescue their ‘mom-napped’ mother. But that is how they start to learn who they really are and what they are really capable of. They fall on bad times but they manage to make it through tougher and braver than they started out.

And yes, before anyone asks, I have read all of Dr. Fixit’s Malacious Machine. Even as an adult I really enjoyed it. There was a lot of action, some serious suspense, and I could really feel for the kid protagonists. I cared what happened to them, which is more than I can say for characters in other children’s and young adult books I’ve read in the past few years (not that I’m naming names or anything but *cough cough sparly vampires cough cough*).

There is something to be said for unique artistic vision, as well as for someone that uses their artistic vision to do something they love. Jessica Rising loves children’s literature. She has read it, studied it, and made it her academic as well as literary topic of choice for most of her life. She’s graduating in August with an M.A. in Writing and Literature with a focus on Children’s Literature and is also a current member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She has fought to make the publication of Guts and Glory a reality – self-publishing her first book when agents and editors turned their backs on it. And she is doing everything she can to find the readership her books deserve. She’s done readings at local bookshops such as Aunties, took part in interviews on morning radio shows and local podcasts, and also appeared at conventions including Spokane Comicon. She is finding her audience a book at a time and making her writing dreams come true.

Because just like her characters, Jessica Rising knows how to pick herself up, dust herself off, and do what she needs to do to become her own kind of hero.

You can find Jessica Rising online at:
Jessica Rising Blog
Jessica Rising Literary on Facebook
Dr. Fixit’s Malicious Machine on Amazon.com

Check back on Fridays for more installments of “Get to Know People in Spokane.” Have a person or group you think should be featured? Leave me a note in the comments or on Twitter at @MyFoxSpokane!

Special Feature! – Is Your Home Prepared When You Go On Vacation?

If you’re like most of us, getting ready to go on vacation can be a chaotic flurry of activity. You have to remember to pack enough pairs of underpants, work out someone to come by and feed your fish, and check your bank account repeatedly to be sure no sudden large charges or bills pop up that you may have forgotten about. In all of the excitement it can be easy to forget that you, your kids, and your purse-size dog aren’t the only ones that need to be prepared when you head out of town. Your home also needs some attention paid to it before you disappear for a few days or weeks. Otherwise you might come back to more than just a sunburn and an empty pocketbook.

Don’t Forget the Little Things!

Did you know the mail comes every day? Well except Sunday, but I digress. The mail doesn’t stop just because you are on vacation – unless you put a stop on your mail, that is. If you don’t have someone who can come by and pick up your mail and place it somewhere safe, go to the post office and fill out a mail stop form. The post office will then hold your mail until the date you signify that you will return. A full mailbox is a glaring sign to ne’er do wells that you aren’t around. And the less the ne’er do wells know about your time away, the better.

It is also a good idea to clean out your perishable foods from the fridge before you head out, especially if you’ll be gone more than a few days. There’s nothing like coming back from an awesome trip to a tropical paradise, only to find spoiled milk and rotten lunch meat overpowering the refrigerator. You should also get a few timers and hook them up to lamps around the house. Set them to turn the lights on and off at varied times so it appears someone is still in the house during the day. Once again, you want to discourage those dang ne’er do wells from creating mischief while you’re away.

Set Up a Housesitter!

Unless you have a family member that is staying behind and can keep an eye on things, you should set up a friend or family member to check up on the place for you. If they can’t stay overnight they should come by at least once a day or every other day. They can pick up the mail (if you haven’t put a stop to it), turn on and off lights, feed the pets, watch your cable, snack their way through your pantry, try on your clothes, and check to make sure your toilets haven’t suddenly backed up or your ceilings haven’t caved in.

A housesitter can not only deter those ne’er do wells again, but can also be on hand in case of an emergency. There has been a time or two that I came back from a trip only to find the pipes had burst in the kitchen and flooded the room, or the dog had barreled its way through a window and feasted on the couch cushions. If someone had been watching the house for me, they could have caught these problems as soon as they occurred and kept them from getting worse. Make sure you leave phone numbers, emails, Twitter names, and CB radio handles in a convenient place so that whoever is watching things for you can reach you in case of emergency.

Vacation is awesome. We should all take one whenever we can. But getting prepared for vacation can be a total pain in the rear end. Do yourself a favor when you first start discussing your vacation and sit down to make a plan. Come up with packing lists as well as To Do lists for preparing home/work/school/etc for your absence. If you are vacationing with others, give everybody their own tasks to take care of and deadlines for getting them done. It might seem like a lot of work at the time, but believe me, it will make the actual time you are on vacation seem a whole lot better. Especially when you don’t have to worry about what those ne’er do wells might be doing to your home while you’re gone.

- Mia V. 

Adventures in Spokane – Part Ten: Royale with Cheese, Geeky Girls, Summer Salads, and Not-Coffee at Rocket

The first day of Summer has come and gone and I’m left feeling soggy and underwhelmed. I was hoping to be sitting lakeside last weekend with a frosty beverage in one hand and a good book in the other, but instead I spent Saturday hoping fervently it wouldn’t suddenly start raining on me while I tried to move all of my stuff from my previous abode to my new one. If it was warm and rainy I probably wouldn’t mind it (well except while I was moving cause Rain+Moving=Sucks) but the fact that it has been chilly and rainy lately just depresses me. Oh well, here’s to believing that any tomorrow now the sun will come out and stay out for the next few months.

Non-Summer-like weather not-withstanding, I still managed to get myself out of the house last week and have myself some adventures. First up I stopped by The Garland Theater on Tuesday to see Pulp Fiction for one wonderfully measly little dollar. It has probably been 10 years (at least) since I last saw Pulp Fiction and it was fun to experience it again. I was surprised to realize that it wasn’t nearly as graphic or violent as I remembered it being. I guess I’ve just seen too many Quentin Tarantino films over the years and they’ve all started to run together in my mind (Kill Bill and Django Unchained are my favorites, just in case you were wondering). After the flick I headed over to The Garland Drinkery for $2 margarita night. They were a bit watery this time around so I only had one before heading on my way.

The next night saw me meeting up with my fellow Spokane Geek Girls for our monthly meeting at The Onion downtown. Our fearless leaders were not in attendance this time around but we managed to have a pretty good time anyway. We chowed down on some tasty Onion food (Thai chicken wrap with a side of fries for moi) and talked about anything and everything we could think of. Technology – especially computer related – came up quite a bit, as did jobs and careers, working with difficult people, Doctor Who, fundraising, and dealing with smart mouthed kids. Some meetings are quite a bit more structured than this one was, but I kind of like the ones like this better. I’m there to have a good time hanging out with like-minded ladies, and this meeting was all over that.

Thursday saw me once again ensconced at The Chalet for lunchtime with TheGramma. It is summer-salad season at the restaurant and the only time I can get their chicken Cesar salad, so you can bet I was all over that. TheGramma was having a bit of a crazy day and following her conversation was an adventure in itself, but she’s 93 years old and I don’t hold her craziness against her. I’m just glad she is still around to share lunches with on a weekly basis, whether she knows what is going on at the time or not. Plus The Chalet has excellent chocolate cream pie. You should try it sometime, you won’t be disappointed.

My weekend started with moving and might have wrapped up that way if I hadn’t woken up Sunday morning and decided to be as lazy as I could possibly get away with. I slept in until almost noon and then dragged my tired and sore carcass up to have coffee with a friend. We like to meet up at Rocket Bakery, drink Italian sodas and Jet Tea instead of coffee (coffee=ewwww), and talk openly and (sometimes) loudly about anything we can think of. Though the sun had decided to come out for a bit that afternoon we ended up sitting at the counter in the windows instead of outside. That way we could get some sunshine without risking burning our chatty faces.

After coffee (I don’t know why I even call it that when I don’t drink it) I managed a few more lazy hours at home before once again dragging myself out to socialize. My funniest cousin had gotten herself married on Saturday and so Sunday evening we had a family party at Perkins to celebrate. Perkins might not be the fanciest place in town, but they have a large room that can accommodate large groups AND they don’t mind when those large groups get loud. While there I discussed Cards Against Humanity and housewarming parties with my cheekiest cousin, made plans to see the new Man of Steel movie with my snarkiest cousin, and talked life/love/school with my most adorable cousin. It was a pretty swell time. I even managed to throw some congratulations at the newlyweds before I forgot why we were all gathered together in the first place.

It was a fun but exhausting week and looking at my calendar I’m realizing I’ve got some more fun but exhausting weeks ahead of me. Woohoo! Hopefully I can handle them.

I’ll be back next week (Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to talk about things like girls and classic cars, running in large groups, and drinking downtown.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane was brought to you by:
The Garland Theater
The Garland Avenue Drinkery
The Onion
Spokane Geek Girls
Rocket Bakery
Perkins Family Restaurant

Late Fall Will See Some Primetime Programming Changes – Programming on Fox!

In this world of ever-changing media it shouldn’t come as a surprise that networks such as Fox are changing up how they present their programming. In the interest of providing new viewing options on a regular basis, this year we will not only be premiering new series in early Fall (say, around September) but we’ll be bringing you even MORE new shows, starting in the late Fall (November maybe? Still waiting on word from the all-powerful network on exact dates). This should hopefully cut back on the number of repeat episodes viewers have to suffer through – I mean enjoy! – each season as well as keep our programming from stagnating by just airing the same-old-same-old all the time.

An exciting new one-hour science fiction drama series, Almost Human, will take over the 8-9pm Monday timeslot from Bones (which will move to Fridays from 8-9pm). Almost Human was created by J.H. Wyman of Fringe fame, as well as executive produced by J.J. Abrams (you’ve heard of him, right? He did a little show called Lost? As well as the new Star Trek reboot films and Fringe?) It stars Karl Urban, who once upon a time appeared on campy-fun 90’s shows like Hercules the Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, and now pops up in blockbuster films such as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Star Trek, and The Bourne Supremacy. He is joined by Michael Ealy, who appeared in FlashForward, The Good Wife, and Californication. The show opens 35 years in the future when humans have robot parts, robots have human feelings, and cops still have to work within the “buddy cop” system.

Once Bones takes up residence on Friday evenings, it will be joined by returning comedy series Raising Hope at 9pm and new half hour comedy series Enlisted at 9:30pm. Enlisted brings back Geoff Stults to Fox, who previously appeared on the Bones spin-off The Finder in 2012. He stars alongside Chris Lowell (Veronica Mars), Parker Young (Suburgatory), and Keith David (award winning actor whose previous army-acting credits include Platoon – which was a bit more serious on its take then Enlisted will be). It was created by Kevin Biegel, who also worked on Scrubs, Cougar Town, and South Park, so he isn’t a stranger to comedy. The show will focus on three brothers who all happen to be in the army and stationed on the same base and in the same unit. Hi-jinks, I’m sure, will ensue on a regular basis.

Only time will tell if these clever new programming schedules will work out, but it does look like there will be lots of new shows to choose from on a regular basis come Fall, and how can that be a bad thing?

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

Adventures in Spokane – Part Nine: Welcome to the Summer of Why Not

Last week the Inlander released their annual guide to summer, and last week ideas began brewing in my mind. Every year I grab a copy of the Summer Guide and go through it, dutifully checking off all of the activities and events I want to participate in. And every year I manage to accomplish maybe one or two of them before autumn rolls around and leaves me feeling cold and lame and despondent for not getting out and about more.

I’m not going to give in so easily this year. This year I’m going to actually get out and DO those things I want to do. I’m inspired by the summer guide as well as a silly car commercial where a pair of travelers stop and try everything they see a sign for (“We should try that.”) I’m inspired by the fact that it is FINALLY getting to be Summer time and the sun is out, the air is warm, and winter will return all too soon. I’m not going to let this brief, wonderful season pass me by without taking advantage of every moment I can.

This will be my Summer of Why Not? Why not do everything that I have time to do? The Garland Theater is playing 90’s movies on Saturday and Tuesday nights for $1, why not see them all? I’ve been invited to join an all-girls classic car club (The Miss Shifters), why not attend some meetings (even if the classic car I’ve got a stake in is far FAR from being drivable)? Geeks and nerds are descending on the city for KuroNekoCon and Spocon in the next couple of months, why not dress up as my favorite cartoon and sci-fi characters and play along?

Why not see all of the local bands that play The Knitting Factory in July and August? I may not have heard of them before but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth checking out. Why not climb some mountains and enjoy some beer and some foam and some extreme mud at summer festivals on Mount Spokane and Silver Mountain? Why not pack a picnic and some folding chairs and head out to Riverfront Park for their outdoor film series this year? Why not eat myself ridiculously full at Pig Out in the Park, climb through brush and trees and over rocks searching for snakes at a state park during Free State Parks Day, and let myself be filled with child-like wonder during the Royal Fireworks Concert at Riverfront Park?

Why not?

Seriously, why not?

Let’s all join together to make this – if not the BEST SUMMER EVER, at least the BEST SUMMER WE’LL HAVE THIS YEAR. Let’s make this the Summer of Why Not? Grab yourself a copy of the Inlander Summer guide, or your personal bucket list, and a calendar for the next few months, and make yourself a plan. Pick the activities/events/attractions you’ve always wanted to do/attend/see and put them on your calendar. Don’t be too rigid with your planning however, and allow for new things to pop up as they will. If you are invited on an impromptu roadtrip to Portland to see a friend’s band play their first real gig ever, GO FOR IT, even if you had already planned to attend the Gun Show that weekend. Gun shows will come and go, but a band’s first show ever happens only once.

Just remember to get out there, have fun, experience new things, make friends or get closer to friends you already have. Why not? What do you have to lose from giving it a try?

Come on; join me for something new and exciting and big and different and special and frightening and bizarre and epic and hot and sweaty and real. I’ll see you out there.

Welcome to the Summer of Why Not.

I’ll be back next week (Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to give my first Summer of Why Not update. It will probably include geek girls, margaritas, Tarantino films, and wedding parties. I’m looking forward to it.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? And let me know in the comments what your own Summer of Why Not is going to include. Maybe we’ll see each other out there!

New Dramas and Comedies Coming at You This Fall – Programming on Fox!

Viewers will soon be seeing quite a few new shows taking up the primetime schedule on Fox28 – starting this Fall with one drama, two comedies, and one new reality competition series. But just because these shows are ‘new’ doesn’t mean you won’t be recognizing storylines, actors, and showrunners from already existing media.

Monday nights will see Sleepy Hollow joining Bones to create a solid night of drama and mystery. This series is based on Washington Irving’s classic “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and focuses on the exploits of recently resurrected hero Ichabod Crane as he tries to not only deal with the modern world but also with saving that world from his nemesis: The Headless Horseman. Sleepy Hollow was created by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci of Fringe fame, as well as Len Wiseman of the Underworld film franchise. It stars Tom Mison (Lost in Austen, Secret Diary of a Call Girl) as Ichabod Crane, Orlando Jones (Pushing Daisies, Everybody Hates Chris, MADTV) as Captain Frank Irving, and Nicole Beharie (Shame, 42) as Abbie Mills.

The first hour of the Tuesday night comedy line-up will be taken over by two new half hour shows – Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Dads is executive produced by Seth MacFarlane and created by Alex Sulkin (Ted, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show) and Wellesley Wild (Family Guy). This multi-camera sitcom centers around the recently disrupted lives of a pair of friends who have their own video-game development company and now must deal with trouble-making fathers that want to live with them. It stars film actor Giovanni Ribisi (The Other Sister, Saving Private Ryan, Avatar, The Virgin Suicides) TV star Martin Mull (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Arrested Development, Two and a Half Men), Animal House alum Peter Riegert, and media jack-of-all-trades Seth Green (creator Robot Chicken, voice actor Family Guy, TV star Buffy the Vampire Slayer, film actor Evil Sexy Genius).

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a single-camera comedy created by Daniel J. Goor and Michael Schur, who have both worked on shows such as Parks and Recreation). It stars Andy Samberg as a less-than-professional police detective who has to deal with a new overly-professional boss. Samberg has grown his comedic career by starring in films such as Hot Rod and That’s My Boy, as well as being a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live (creating the popular Digital Shorts segments along the way) and co-creating the novelty musical group Lonely Island. He is joined by award-winning actor Andre Braugher, who has starred in television shows including Men of a Certain Age, Thief, Hack, and Gideon’s Crossing.

These new scripted shows will be joined by the latest addition to the Masterchef franchise – Junior Masterchef – which will air on Friday nights. Hosted by Gordon Ramsay and judged by winemaker Joe Bastianich and chef Graham Elliot, this version of the long-running reality cooking competition will feature eight to thirteen year old children competing for prizes and fame. It is based on the popular UK and Australian Junior Masterchef series and will follow some similar challenges of the original Masterchef competition – though taken in new directions for the younger competitors.

Starting in early Fall, Sleepy Hollow will air on Mondays from 9-10pm, Dads will air on Tuesdays from 8-8:30pm and be followed by Brooklyn Nine-Nine from 8:30-9pm, and Junior Masterchef will air on Friday nights from 8-9pm.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

Adventures in Spokane – Part Eight: Escape of the Snake, Christine Takes a Drive, Partying on the Roof, and Fake Daft Punk Wins

Well lovely readers, here we are again at the start of another week. I had an absolutely wonderful weekend filled with cars, raffles, sun burns, beer, music, and rooftops. The weather was perfect – sunny, warm, and slightly breezy to keep it from being overwhelmingly hot. They don’t come much better than this last weekend, really, so I made sure to appreciate it while I could. Especially as the week leading up to it had a few more downs than ups to contend with.

Early on I went up to see my hair stylist at Design Studios 13 (Spokane’s very own rock n’ roll hair salon) in her swanky new location on Monroe. I had been in the chair for around 15 minutes waiting for the bleach to set in when I got an ‘emergency’ call from home that one of my slinky critters (a Ball python in case you were really wondering) had escaped and I needed to get back to take care of it. So the bleach was rinsed from my head well before it should’ve been and now I’ve got this bizarre rainbow thing going on my head. The snake who pulled a Houdini was rounded up and placed back in her house where she belonged (after a stern scolding that she couldn’t even hear cause snakes don’t have ears) and eventually I’ll get back up to the salon to finish my hair.

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To make up for the earlier excitement, later that evening I went to Pho Van Vietnamese Bistro on Division to drown my sorrows in a giant bowl of Pho soup. Boy was that a tasty way to make up for a crappy afternoon. There was so much broth and noodles and meat in that bowl, even sharing with a friend I wasn’t able to finish it. Probably didn’t help that I kept eating his chicken curry and rice as well as a large spring roll as well. Pho Van has been around for years but this was the first time I made it in to taste their yummy food. I will definitely be going back in the not-so-distant future.

There were so many events going on this last weekend there was no way I could have participated in all of them, which was a real bummer. On Saturday I headed out to the Swamp Stomp classic car show and bike swap with my ladies, the Modified Dolls. We held a raffle to raise money for World Wildlife Fund. It was a pretty successful day for us – fundraising wise – and also a great day in general. We met old friends, made new friends, saw some amazingly beautiful cars (I fell immediately in love with a Plymouth Fury that the owner would not let me take home because he obviously sucked), hung out in The Swamp a bit, ate the most delicious hot dogs ever (though they may have just seemed that way because we were starving), and listened to some interesting bands.

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Around the end of the event, my awesome tiny/tall Fox28 gal pal showed up to see if anything interesting was still going on. Unfortunately the cars were being driven away and the vendor booths packed up, but I was hungry and she was hungry so we decided to head up to Ginger Asian Bistro for some sushi fish. We arrived during daily happy hour (3-5pm if you’re interested and you should be cause it’s a good deal for great food) and she ordered her go-to Spicy Tuna roll. I decided to try something new and different and got the Shogun, which turned out to be crab and eel wrapped in cucumber instead of rice and seaweed, then drizzled in Ponzu sauce. It was really tasty but not at all what I thought I was getting. I think I need to learn to read menus more closely OR ask questions when I’m not quite sure what a description on something means.

If you are into music or pubs or festivals or hipsters or reading the Inlander or anything really you may have seen that Elkfest was going on in Browne’s Addition this last weekend (Friday through Sunday). On Sunday afternoon Spokast Podcast took over the rooftop of The Elk to record some very special (and slightly drunken) episodes of the podcast. The Elk provided them with shade, chairs, and a bucket of beer and they spent the day listening to music, performing some very colorful commentary on the crowds, and discussing just how awesome The Elk is. I hung out with the guys for most of the day, met both the owner and manager of the pub, ate an amazing mini Thai pizza, and threw in my own comments onto the podcast here and there. It was an excellent experience. People kept looking up at us on the roof, obviously trying to figure out just what the heck we were doing up there, and sometimes smiling or waving at us. I felt a bit like a rock star.

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After Elkfest I headed down to The Knitting Factory to see One More Time, a tribute to Daft Punk. I arrived a little late and missed the opening act which was a bit of a bummer. But the show was still amazing. If you are into electronic music, flashing lights, energetic crowds, and expensive drinks (hey I’m over 21, I’ll hang out at the bar if I want to), this was definitely the show for you. I sang, I danced in my chair, and I threw my hands up whenever they demanded it. It reminded me more than a little of those by-gone days when this blogger-gal used to rave it up a bit. It may not have been actual Daft Punk I was seeing, but it was close enough for me and a perfect way to end my weekend.

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Well that’s all I’ve got for today, boys and girls. I’ll be back next week (Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to talk about things like color runs, midnight movies, and shopping for frozen mice.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane was brought to you by:
Design Studios 13
The Modified Dolls
Ginger Asian Bistro
The Elk
Spokast Podcast
The Knitting Factory

How Much is Too Much Seth MacFarlane? – Programming on Fox!

If Fox is the network that The Simpsons built, than Seth MacFarlane is the media powerhouse that Fox built. And loves. And wants around forever and ever and ever. Sure they cancelled his first show – Family Guy – early on, but they realized their mistake after it became a hit on syndication and DVD and they brought it back to a sweet spot on the Sunday night lineup. Then they added his next animated half hour show American Dad, followed by Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show. This Fall sees the addition of his first live-action half hour comedy creation – Dads, starring Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi – join Fox primetime. AND next year, the Seth MacFarlane produced Cosmos reboot will air. Between Seth MacFarlane shows and Gordon Ramsay shows it is almost amazing anyone else gets air time on Fox primetime these days.

Family Guy first premiered on Fox after the Superbowl back in 1999. It was cancelled in 2002 after three seasons, but brought back in 2005 and has been on the air ever since (eleven seasons and over 200 episodes as of the time I’m writing this blog post). This half hour, animated comedy centers around the exploits of the Griffin family – father Peter, mother Lois, son Chris, daughter Meg, baby Stewie, and talking dog Brian. Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, and Mike Henry perform the regular voice-overs for the main characters. Besides consistently high viewer numbers, Family Guy has managed over the years to prove its worth by pulling in twelve Primetime Emmy nominations and eleven Annie (animation award) nominations, and winning three of each.

American Dad! came along in 2005 a few months before Family Guy returned to the Animation Domination primetime programming block on Fox Sunday nights. It has been on consistently after since for nine seasons and over 150 episodes. This half hour animated comedy revolves around the life and adventures of CIA agent Stan Smith and his family – wife Francine, son Steve, daughter Hayley, talking goldfish Klaus, and escaped alien Roger. Once again Seth MacFarlane is a major voice actor for the show (like with Family Guy) and is joined for American Dad! by Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, Rachael MacFarlane, and Dee Bradley Baker. Though it has not managed to win any awards yet, American Dad! has managed to pull in almost two dozen nominations, including Teen Choice, Golden Reel, Annie, GLAAD Media, Prism, Artios, and POPrepublic.tv IT LIST.

Of all the recurring side characters on Family Guy, it was Cleveland Brown that was chosen in 2009 to get his own spinoff show. The Cleveland Show aired for four seasons and over 80 episodes before being cancelled (to new episodes) in May of 2013. Yet another half hour, animated comedy, The Cleveland Show centered around Cleveland, his son Cleveland Jr, and their experiences joining families with Donna Tubbs, her son Rallo, and her daughter Roberta. Seth MacFarlane voiced one of the show characters, as did Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan, Kevin Michael Richardson, Reagan Gomez-Preston, and Jason Sudeikis. Like its predecessors, The Cleveland Show pulled in a fair share of award nominations, including an Annie, an Emmy, and two Teen Choice nominations. It didn’t manage to win any of them.

All three current Seth MacFarlane shows (as of June 2013) can be seen on Sunday evenings during primetime. The Cleveland Show airs at 7pm, Family Guy airs at 9pm, and American Dad airs at 9:30pm.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for more programming updates, alerts, announcements, and special features!

Adventures in Spokane – Part Seven: TheGramma Knows All, NERDS, Gone Fishing, and Drinking the Most Expensive Beer EVER

Hello all you lovely readers out there in internet-land. Here we are enjoying nice weather in the first week of June and I’m ready for some exciting new adventures. I sat most of last week out and actually cancelled a few activities because I was feeling a bit sick-y. Luckily by the weekend I was almost back to my usual bouncy self and was able to enjoy a few events before I had to call the whole week a waste (some unintentional alliteration there at the end of that sentence – fun). I did manage one lunch outing on Thursday with my million-year-old Gramma and my slightly-less-old and infinitely-more-energetic aunt. We got some family time in at China Cafe up on 57th near Regal, and between the fact that neither my aunt nor father ever seem to listen when asked questions by waitstaff, and the fact that TheGramma has a tendency to say surprising and random things on a regular basis, a good time was had by all. China Cafe isn’t the absolute best Chinese food in town BUT the prices are reasonable AND the people that run the restaurant are wonderfully friendly and accommodating so I will head there more often than not when I’m in the mood for Chinese cuisine.

Saturday was my ultra-busy day for the week. I fell out of bed around noon (I said ultra-busy, not ultra-early) and headed over to Spokane Comicon with my tiny/tall Fox28 gal pal and one of the Spokast Podcast fellas. We took some pics in a DeLorean (which one clueless young lady called the Batmobile, causing us to hang our heads in despair), cruised the comic book booths, chatted with local children’s author Jessica Rising, bought some amazing artwork from artist Travis Bundy, poked at collectible toys, experienced chair massages, and otherwise had ourselves an interesting afternoon. I thought about sitting in on a panel discussion but the room was already full up when I considered the idea and squishing myself between three Doctor Whos and a gaggle of Deadpools (cosplayers – for those who have no idea what goes on at a comic book convention) for an hour didn’t really appeal to me.

After we’d had enough of nerd-ing it up for the day we hit up Hacienda las Flores for lunch because it was close by and I love their food. I need to order something besides the Polla a la Crema sometime though. I feel like I’ve fallen into a bit of a food rut where that restaurant is concerned but it is just SO GOOD I can’t seem to help myself. This was my tiny/tall friend’s first experience at Hacienda las Flores, and though she said it looked a bit sketchy on the outside, she did have to admit the food was super tasty once she came inside.

Later that evening I met up with some friends at Sushi Maru in Riverpark Square. I was still pretty full from lunch but I’ve never been able to pass up the opportunity to cram sushi fish in my mouth hole. I managed to restrain myself to only a few plates – which I also shared! – so when the time came to be on our way I was still able to squeeze myself back out of our booth. From the restaurant we walked over to the Spokane Arena (name pending? I’m not even sure anymore what is going on with that after the last few days)to take in a little football game. My experience with any kind of football really centers around watching games when my stepbrother played high school ball, and watching movies such as Little Giants while growing up. Still, I don’t mind attending a game or two during the arena football season. It is loud and busy and the people-watching opportunities are fantastic. The only problem I really have is that the beer is so dang expensive. I was only willing to drop cash for one while I was there and even that felt ridiculously extravagant. The Shock won the game, however, and I was hanging out with people I enjoy hanging out with, so it was worth it in the end.

And that wraps it up pretty much for last week. As I said before, I took most of it off from my usual adventuring. I’m feeling better now, however, and I’m off to see what kind of trouble I can manage to get into this week. I’ll be back (Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to talk about things like Red Dress parties, classic car shows, and podcasting live.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you must might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Spokane Comicon
Spokane Arena
Spokane Shock

Adventures in Spokane – Part Six: Lunch Never Gets Old, Alternative Burlesque, and Mother Boy 38

Well we’re back, lovely readers. I don’t know about you, but this blogger girl is T-I-R-E-D. I woke up very unwillingly this morning and thought about calling in to work dead, but decided to be a responsible adult instead and managed to get my butt in gear and get in to the station. It may have been difficult to explain later how I miraculously came back to life anyway. Luckily it is a short week so I think I’ll be able to manage to hold myself together.

Last week was another one that started out relatively slowly. I met up with my older sister and four-year-old nephew at Carl’s Jr on the Northside for dinner one evening. The Teriyaki burger was superb but the service was a bit below average. I also met up with TheGramma for lunch at The Chalet, because she is old and old people do so love to eat there. I think their “Seafood Spectacular” has been going on for years now, or at least I don’t remember a time when the banner proclaiming the event wasn’t attached to the front of the building. I enjoy The Chalet because the wait staff always remembers us, the pie is excellent, and I have yet to find more than two pieces of lettuce in the salad (SO MANY TOPPINGS). I also managed to convince my tiny/tall Fox28 gal pal that sushi needed to be a regular thing and so we headed over to Sushi I for lunch again (in my mind regular = weekly so we’ll see how that goes).

On Wednesday evening I was called on to help my friends at Spokast Podcast out with some mobile podcasting. Happy to oblige, first we had dinner at The Elk (their big name sponsor) and then headed over to their guest’s house to record from his basement. They made some awesome podcasting history while I sculpted people out of Play-doh, drank beer, and tried not to make too many obnoxiously loud comments in the background. As someone who has listened to just about every single episode, I think I can feel secure in saying last week’s shortcast was the funniest show they’ve done yet.

Saturday saw me trying something new and exciting – eating at The Satellite during daylight hours! Normally I’m hitting them up after a night on the town (and boy howdy do those appetizer sampler platters taste excellent after a few drinks!) but this time I was giving them a try first thing in the morning (okay it was probably more like noon but let’s not squabble over exact time frames). A friend and I shared a ham and cheese omelet as well as O’Brien potatoes and it was all excellent. Splitting the dishes in half gave us each the perfect amount so that we were full but not about ready to burst if we ate just one more wafer thin mint (that’s a Monty Python reference just for you).

That evening I got all dressed up and headed over to Club 412 with the Spoko-local Modified Dolls for a bake sale at the Pasties and Paddles Burlesque show: Cabaret Royale. We set up our delicious confections in the vendor area, right across from a steampunk jewelry table and right next to an adult novelty table. Before, during, and after the main show we smiled, chatted, and flirted our way into selling treats all in the name of a great cause – The March of Dimes. Especially once the bar opened and the drinking began it seemed like attendees couldn’t get enough of our maple bacon cupcakes, peanut butter and jelly cookies, dark chocolate cupcakes, mini pies, and salty munchy snacks.

Though a bit tuckered out from Saturday night’s fun and games, on Sunday I managed to pull myself out of bed and headed off to Rosauers to stock up on some very special snacks and drinks for a very special celebration – Arrested Development was back on television (almost kind of – really it is on Netflix but WHO CARES ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT YIPEE!!!)! Yep I was going to an Arrested Development viewing party that evening and needed to grab necessary items such as Mommy Juice boxes (that’s boxed wine for all of you not in the know), macaroni salad, banana nut bread, and vodka. The festivities were held at my tiny/tall gal pal’s apartment, where she provided hot wings, more vodka, and ice cream sandwiches (which I’ll admit I totally forgot about through the course of the evening – lame). It was an excellent evening, even if we were staying in. Good food, great friends, and brand-spanking-new episodes of a brilliant show.

So while I didn’t seem to go out as much last week as I have in the past, it was still a busy busy time and I was still ready to take a break by Monday. Now I’m off to see what kind of trouble I can manage to get into this week. I’ll be back (Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to talk about things like comic book conventions, white trash birthday parties, and epic season premieres of animated awesome.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Carl’s Jr
The Elk
The Satellite
Spokast Podcast
Pasties and Paddles
The Modified Dolls
Rosauers

Get to Know People in Spokane – Spokast Podcast

What do you get when you take two media guys, put them in a room together with a bunch of computer and technical equipment, supply them with copious amounts of alcohol, and then let them talk for an hour or more? If you’re lucky (which we in Spokane ARE), you get the usually hilarious, often insightful, mostly NSFW (not safe for work), reasonably intelligent, and always interesting Spokast Podcast.

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A podcast – for all you technological noobs out there – is like a radio talk show, only it is recorded instead of live and it is listened to over/through the computer instead of on the stereo. Some podcasts have a theme, such as movies for the SchmoesKnow or history for Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, and some are done by comedians or celebrities like the Joe Rogan Experience or the Nerdist Podcast with Chris Hardwick. With the technology to record audio so accessible and the internet so vast and welcoming, you can basically find a podcast about anything you might be interested in. Some of them are awesome, some of them are awful, and some just float along in between.

Spokast, in case you were wondering (and why wouldn’t you be), falls into the ‘awesome’ category. It was created by two local Spokane guys with a background in television and movie production who really, REALLY, like to talk. And they will talk about ANYTHING. Politics, reptiles, guns, YouTube videos, recent news stories, movies, food, booze, books, local media – you name it, it has probably come up at some point in an episode. Fans of the show have likened it to “two guys sitting on the porch shooting the breeze,” or “one of those great bar conversations you’ll hear when you go out.” They sound so comfortable on the air and so relatable while conversing that you tend to forget you AREN’T sitting right there with them and can’t join in on the chat.

The podcast started back in October of 2012 and they’ve already had a long and varied list of guests on the show. The most famous is probably local ex-weatherman George Maupin, who has guested twice now and has proven that he quite possibly is the Most Interesting Man in the World. Other guests have included TV directors, audio engineers, chemists, children’s authors, history teachers, gamer chicks, mechanical engineers, Grandmas, sisters, cousins and more. For a homegrown podcast less than a year old, Spokast hasn’t had any trouble booking interesting people to come on the show and talk themselves up.

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They even managed to pull in a big name sponsor – the Elk Public House – through the cunning method of talking up the business whenever they could. As a Spoko-local program, the guys like to give credit to local businesses they feel truly deserve it. Of course they’ll make a point of criticizing those businesses they think deserve that as well. They aren’t shy about revealing their experiences working in the Spokane television market or dealing with different groups around town, so if you’re easily offended or unable to listen to their point of view on things you might want to be wary before pressing Play on an episode.

The audience for Spokast is growing on a weekly basis, but that doesn’t seem to be the most important thing for the guys behind the mics. Even if they only had one listener an episode they would probably STILL keep doing it, because it is love of the project that keeps them going. Just listening to them for a few minutes makes it obvious that they are having the time of their lives gabbing over the internet and they’d probably do it everyday if they could. Luckily for fans (which includes well over one person listening a week) this means they won’t be giving up the idea any time soon. They’ll continue to drink, talk, record, and entertain us for episodes to come.

Spokast can be enjoyed a number of ways. Head over to their website and listen to a Shortcast (15 to 20 minutes) or a long episode (one to one and a half hours) and see for yourself what they’re all about:
Spokast on Podbean
iTunes (just search Spokast under Podcasts and you should find them – and you can download eps for free!)
Spokast on Facebook
Spokast on Twitter

*Check back on Fridays for more installments of my “Get to Know People in Spokane” blog series. Have a person or group you think should be featured? Leave me a note in the comments or on Twitter at @MyFoxSpokane. I’ve got a few more people/groups lined up in the upcoming weeks but I’m always excited at the idea of finding more.

Time for Summer Finales Already? – Programming on Fox!

Just when you find yourself really getting into a show, it seems like it is time for it to go away. New Fox reality show Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? hasn’t even started yet (it premieres tomorrow, May 23rd, at 9pm!) and yet in just a few short weeks (the finale airs on June 27th) it will already be waving goodbye, to be replaced on Thursday evening at 9pm with a second hour of Hell’s Kitchen. Oh Toxic Office, we barely knew you.

Original comedy program The Goodwin Games is also taking an early bow off of the summer programming schedule. Having only just seen its premiere this last Monday at 8:30pm, the half hour show will be airing the season finale on July 1st. A second encore episode of Raising Hope will be taking over the timeslot through the rest of July.

And Hell’s Kitchen will bravely stick around with new episodes on Thursday evenings at 8pm until July 25th, before it too will have to say goodbye for the season. Fans will be happy to hear, however, that once Toxic Office leaves the schedule there will be two hours of Hell’s Kitchen in Thursday primetime – at least until the season finale.

But not all the news for summer shows is sad. Fox will be borrowing FX half-hour comedy Anger Management for a four week run in June. Beginning on June 3rd and running through June 24th, this program starring Charlie Sheen will air at 9:30pm on Monday evenings instead of The Mindy Project, which took over the timeslot a couple of weeks ago. As of July 1st Mindy will be back on the air with more encore episodes.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!

Adventures in Spokane – Part Five: No Kids for You, Nerd Alert, People Watching in Abundance, and Skipping the Parade

Good grief ya’ll – I am one tired blogger girl. It felt like last week started out slowly, but somewhere along the way it must have picked up because now I am exhausted and about ready to call a break on all of my adventuring. I probably won’t ACTUALLY take a break from my adventuring around town, but a few extra naps each week may need to be added to my schedule.

MGMT played The Knitting Factory on Tuesday night, and as a fan of at least three of their songs I decided it was a must-see show. I dragged along my tiny/tall gal pal and part of Spokast Podcast. The other part of Spokast Podcast scored a ticket last minute to the sold out show so it was pretty much a Spokast party up in there. We met up at Baby Bar where the guys had a few drinks, before heading over to The Knit and having a few drinks more. As I mentioned before, the show was sold out, so the crowd was pretty heavy in the venue. I quickly lost count of the number of times someone ran into me, stepped on my feet, pushed me, almost knocked me over, or rubbed parts of themselves against me that I would have preferred they didn’t. Luckily the music was good and I was there with awesome friends so the discomfort was worth it – even when a very drunk girl burst into my stall in the bathroom and attempted to vomit all over my lap. Fun times ya’ll!

After the concert we decided we weren’t quite ready for the night to be over so headed down to Ghibliano Brothers piano bar. The dueling pianos were already done for the night, and the bar was pretty empty, but we were okay with that after surviving the over-crowding at The Knit. We each grabbed a drink and a large, puffy chair, and spent the next hour chatting and decompressing from the show. MGMT is a fun band and their music is very catchy, though we were all a little surprised and disappointed that they didn’t play one of their most famous songs (Kids, in case you were wondering).

The rest of the week seemed to be pass by with little fanfare until Friday when suddenly I was a busy girl again. My tiny/tall friend and I headed over to Sushi I for lunch and had some amazing sushi. I’m used to small servings with basic rolls, so ordered myself both an Eel and a Philadelphia. Turns out at Sushi I they don’t believe in small servings. Those rolls were HUGE and super tasty and I stuffed every last piece in my big, fat mouth. After lunch I was invited to tag along to an outside meeting with some co-workers. We headed downtown to do a spot of work, followed by drinks and nachos at The Steelhead. I’ve only been to The Steelhead on New Year’s Eve so it was interesting checking it out on a regular day when it wasn’t quite so chaotic. I drank a margarita and stuffed my face for the second time that day. Their nachos are piled over a foot tall with cheese, jalapenos, meat, sour cream, and quacamole. Wonderful.

In case you missed it, a tiny little independent film called Star Trek Into Darkness opened up last week. Not that I was excited or anything but OH MY GOODNESS STAR TREK WOOHOO! I headed up to Riverpark Square AMC for the 9:45pm showing. It was big and loud and long and exciting and while I can’t say for sure whether I thought it was better than the 2009 Star Trek reboot, I can say that I enjoyed the heck out of it. I laughed, I cried, I cringed, I cheered. It was pretty much everything I had hoped it would be. After the movie I visited the Satellite for some late night munchings and crunchings. I had myself another margarita as well, because I’m convinced you can never have too many margaritas.

By Saturday I was a little worn out from all the fun, so I chose to watch the Lilac Festival Torchlight Parade from the comfort of my living room instead of trekking downtown to see it. A friend of mine from Army Group 1944 – a local WWII reenacting troupe – was marching in the parade as part of the Pearl Harbor Veterans group, and it was fun to see him go by the cameras carrying the American flag. I didn’t realize quite how long the Lilac Parade is until this year, but like a trooper I sat through the entire three hours. If nothing else it was fun to hear the announcer call biplanes helicopters and wax on for an extended period about how awesome she found the cupcake she was eating.

On Sunday I met up with some friends for coffee at Rocket Bakery. I don’t drink coffee but I love to say I’m “meeting someone for coffee.” For some reason my brain thinks that sounds incredibly grown up. I actually drank a pomegranate blueberry Jet Tea and it was tasty but spilled on my shirt, leaving purple blotches, and that kind of sucked. Originally we sat out on the patio and soaked up the delightful sunshine, but clouds eventually rolled in and forced us inside. We then found ourselves a window to sit in and when the sun came back out we baked ourselves a bit. It was a bit uncomfortable but better than a blizzard any day so I wasn’t complaining too much.

And that’s how my week wrapped up. Like I said, it seemed to start off slow but eventually it picked up and now I’m still recovering. However I’m sure I’ll be off soon to see what kinds of trouble I can get into this week. I’ll be back (Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to talk about things like lunching with senior citizens, charity bake sales, and partying like Arrested Development is back on the air.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Baby Bar
The Knitting Factory
Ghibliano Brothers
Rocket Bakery

Get to Know People in Spokane – The Modified Dolls

I’m retiring my (occasional) series on upcoming weekend events in the area. We have an events calendar on the website already, PLUS I Tweet daily events and re-Tweet other daily and upcoming events on a regular basis, so I think we’re covered on those. Instead I’m going to try a new (and hopefully interesting) series about people and groups in the area that I think everyone should be aware of. (PS I REALLY wanted to name this series “People in Your Neighborhood” but that is taken already by some show – maybe Sesame Street? – and I didn’t think it was right to steal it. Oh well.)

First up I’m going to talk about a group that is very near and dear to my heart, The Modified Dolls. This non-profit organization is made up of tattooed, pierced, and otherwise ‘modified’ women who work together to raise money, donations, and awareness for different charities. The idea began with one determined young woman in Kennewick, Washington, and has now blossomed to include hundreds of ladies throughout the United States and other countries. Yeah, it really is that big a deal.

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Though part of the greater Washington Chapter, there is a small group of Dolls located right here in Spokane that plan events in the area to benefit both local and non-local charities. They held a benefit show at The Hop just this last winter, with cash donations from the event going to both RAINN.org and a local women’s shelter. They collected personal care items and food stuff that went to the shelter as well. Last summer they held a bake sale during one of the Pasties and Paddles burlesque shows, and repeated the activity in November at another Pasties and Paddles extravaganza (this time with the funds earned going to Feed America). Unfortunately there are only about five Dolls (one just graduated from Gonzaga and is leaving to join the Peace Corps but they were happy to recently welcome in a new Doll to fill the gap) in this area and putting on regular events has proven difficult, so they’ve spent most of their time participating in events held by other Dolls in Yakima and the TriCities area instead.

But our Spoko-local Modified Dolls won’t be deterred. They see a lot of potential in Spokane and the surrounding area and they are determined to hold or participate in more events here. That is why they are doing (yet) another bake sale with the Pasties and Paddles burlesque troop, this time at the Cabaret Royale on May 25th (with the proceeds from the bake sale going toward the March of Dimes). In June they’ll be going pin-up style and working a booth at Swamp Stomp for World Wildlife Fund, as well as participating in the Rainbow Festival at Riverfront Park. In July they’re heading out as a group to build houses with Habitat for Humanity at a new development project in Deer Park, and in August they are hoping once again to hold a large event of their own (maybe a Rock Band Tournament for the charity Child’s Play? They’re still working that one out). They’ll also be heading to the Tricities area and the Seattle area for bikini motorcycle washes, zombie balls, and pride festivals – all in the name of doing good things for other people.

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So you’ll start seeing them around town more and more as the year progresses, and I encourage you to strike up a conversation with them, see what they’re all about, and if you are a modified lady yourself who is interested in helping others, perhaps apply to be a Doll yourself.

Check out more about the Modified Dolls at:
Modified Dolls website
Washington Modified Dolls Facebook
Modified Dolls Facebook

*Check back on Fridays for more installments of my “Get to Know People in Spokane” blog series. Have a person or group you think should be featured? Leave me a note in the comments or on Twitter at @MyFoxSpokane. I’ve got a few people/groups lined up in the next few weeks but I’m always excited at the idea of finding more.

How Much is Too Much Gordon Ramsay? – Programming on Fox!

Here on FOX we obviously love ourselves the wacky, the weird, the dark, the edgy, the snarky, the rude, the genius, and the downright insane. Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay embodies more than a few of those descriptors, which must be why we have so very much of him on the air throughout the year. Between MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and the new reality series Junior MasterChef (coming soon to a FOX schedule near you!), we are serving up your fill of Chef Ramsey and then some.

One of the longest running (altogether) of his reality cooking game shows, MasterChef originally aired in 1990 as a program in the UK created by Franc Roddam. It is now in 35 countries such as Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Iceland, Malaysia, Romania, and South Korea. MasterChef Australia is actually the most popular television series in that country. Aside from each country hosting and airing their own version of the show, there are several ‘spinoffs’ of the original concept, including MasterChef: The Professionals, Celebrity MasterChef, and Junior MasterChef. When the reality show first came to America in 2000 and 2001, it was hosted by Gary Rhodes and aired on PBS. In 2010 FOX took the show over, installed Gordon Ramsay as the host, and Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot filled the judging duties.

Hell’s Kitchen is another reality cooking show based on a UK series of the same name. This time the series was actually created by Gordon Ramsay, aside from being hosted by him (with Scott Leibfried, Andi Van Willigan, and James Avery serving as Sous Chefs and Jean-Philippe Susilovic and James Lukanik serving as Maitr ds over the seasons). It began its run on American television in 2005 and has now managed eleven runs on the air and has become popular re-broadcast in other countries including France, the Czech Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand, and the Middle East. In Hell’s Kitchen contestants form teams and compete to win the ultimate prize of a job as head or executive chef at a swanky top restaurant. Past winners have gone on to Tatou in Los Angeles, Araxi Restaurant and Bar in Whistler, Gordon Ramsey Steakhouse in Paris Las Vegas, and Savoy Grill in Savoy Hotel, London. Along the way Hell’s Kitchen has been nominated for three primetime Emmys, two People’s Choice Awards, and even a Teen Choice Award.

Unlike the previous two reality shows, Kitchen Nightmares is not a competition style series but instead plops Gordon Ramsay down in the midst of a failing restaurant. He then tries to teach the owners and chefs to not only cook amazing meals, but how to keep their businesses afloat. Once again this is a reality cooking show based on one from the UK (Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares), though developed by Daniel Kay instead of Ramsay himself. The show began airing in America in 2007 and has now managed six seasons. Each one contains mostly stand-alone episodes that each focus on a different restaurant project. Some episodes, however, include visiting previous restaurant locations to see how they have fared after filming the show.

Hell’s Kitchen currently begins airing on Thursday nights at 8pm starting on May 23rd. Kitchen Nightmares just had its season finale on May 10th, and MasterChef has its season premiere on Wednesday, May 22nd at 8pm (where it will air for two hours every week through the summer).

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!

Adventures in Spokane – Part Four: More Cinco Please, Podcasting Pro, the Patio and the Party Bus, and Neverending Saturday

Welcome back wonderful readers! Here we are for another rundown of my wacky adventures in Spokane. I’m sure I spent a few evenings at home last week, but they may have just been needed to recuperate from all of the running around I did on the other days.

Monday started off with yet another celebration of Cinco de Mayo at Hacienda las Flores on the South Hill. This time I partied it up with my cheekiest cousin and awesome older sister. After a few margaritas and more food than any sane person should eat at one time, we were going to head over to Jones Radiator for some good ol’ fashioned trivia, but changed our minds when we found out it was a themed night. We didn’t feel as secure in our ability to win the day, so we headed up to The Viking instead to see if Davis was around to make us some Steve’s. Unfortunately he wasn’t tending bar but that didn’t stop us from taking a table and making the most of it. I worked my way through the Sailor Jerry specials menu and we chatted it up for the next few hours. Some of my cousin’s friends stopped by for a while, followed by one of the Spokast Podcast fellas, and finally local author Jessica Rising who had just been profiled in Spokane CDA Woman Magazine (pick up a copy around town – they’re free and full of good stuff).

Later in the week my tiny/tall Fox28 gal pal took a turn as guest on Spokast Podcast. Having nothing better to do I tagged along to play peanut gallery for her. We met up with the guys at The Elk and had a few drinks and some tasty food, before walking over to the podcasting studio. The Elk was busy, with people crowding up the patio to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and great food. We even saw the Spokane Party Trolley make a stop as we headed out for the evening. Once at the studio, I tried my very best (honest I did) to stay quiet in the background while recording was going on, but it turns out I have a big mouth and eventually had to chime in my two (or five) cents.

The weekend started with a trip to Luigi’s downtown for dinner on Friday night with a friend. I had a shiny new gift certificate in my pocket and was eager to use it. The Italian restaurant was hopping as it was not only the end of the week, but Gonzaga graduation weekend so celebrations were in order. We got a table right away but service was slower than normal. I can’t fault them though when the place was so full. And when we did get our food it was beyond excellent so I really didn’t mind the wait. Once again I ate more than any sane person really should, but if my stomach had suddenly exploded right there at the table (“One wafer thin mint? Just one? It is wafer thin!”*) it totally would have been worth it. After dinner I skipped on down the road to Ugly Betties for a meeting with the Modified Dolls. The Dolls are a non-profit organization made up of tattooed and pierced women (aka ‘modified’) who raise awareness and money for different charities. In other words, we totally rock. Because there was live music playing in the bar that night we sat out on the patio so we could (basically) hear ourselves talk. We made plans for some upcoming summer events, drank some tasty beverages, chatted about work and life, and made sure to holler back at the riders on the Spokane Party Bus when they passed by the bar and hollered at us.

Saturday I tried my very best to sleep in since it was the weekend and all, but that didn’t happen. Eventually I gave up and decided to just admit I was awake. About that time my tiny/tall gal pal texted to see if I wanted to head over to Northtown Mall for some girl-y type shopping. We started at Victoria’s Secret, hit up some clothing stores looking for dresses, made a pass through Gamestop (cause my tiny/tall friend is one of those awesome and elusive creatures known as “gamer chicks”), cooed at the baby snakes and tortoises at the reptile store, and grabbed a bite to eat from Taco Time (where an employee watched us like a hawk at the salsa bar as if afraid we’d take too much of the dipping sauces). After the mall we hit up Ross, Plato’s Closet, and Burlington Coat Factory, still on the hunt for some fun summer dresses. Turns out they all seem to be made for and by elves these days, and as I am hobbit size, they were not going to work out. Lame.

After shopping I headed to the Magic Lantern and Saranac Pub for the 50 Hour Slam Film Festival. The party had been going since late afternoon with poetry readings and live music, but I showed up in time for the second showing of the finalist films. The guys behind Spokast Podcast (wow do they get a lot of mentions in this blog, it’s like I’m their NUMBER ONE FAN or something) made an excellent short called “Fish Story” and were one of the 15 finalists. I was, of course, rooting for them to win, though there were several other great films to see. After the showing we headed up to the roof for some more live music, drinks and snacks, and the announcement of the winners in both Juried and People’s Choice categories. The Spokast guys didn’t win (THEY WERE ROBBED I TELL YOU!) but the film that took home Juried First Place I think totally deserved it (by the way you can still vote in the Viral Video competition from the Slam on their website – check it out, watch some videos, and vote on the best one!). The night wrapped up with a quick trip to the Satellite for a giant combo plate of fried food before I was ready to call it quits.

And that was about enough for me for the week. Anymore excitement and I’d need a vacation to rest up from all the fun. Now I’m off to see what kinds of trouble I can get up to this week. I’ll be back (next Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to talk about things like concerts at the Knitting Factory, live-tweeting finale parties, and birthday celebrations for toddlers.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Hacienda las Flores
Viking Bar and Grill
Spokast Podcast
Elk Public House
Luigi’s Italian Restaurant
Ugly Betties
Northtown Mall
50 Hour Slam
Magic Lantern Theater
Saranac Public House
Satellite Diner and Lounge

*Quote from “Monty Python and the Meaning of Life”

Exercise for Charity, See Some Short Films and Aerial Arts, and Celebrate Mom – Events This Weekend!

It looks like we’ll be having a warm and beautiful weekend, at least up until Sunday when the Spring rain gets here. Luckily there are plenty of things going on in and out of doors to keep you occupied throughout the days. You can start the weekend off by working out for a good cause at the Shake Your Tail Zumbathon fundraiser to benefit the Spokane Humane Society on Friday, May 10th. The event takes place from 6-8pm at Lincoln Center and costs $12-15 to participate.

Saturday evening you can head over to the Magic Lantern to see the 2013 50 Hour Slam Film Festival. Over 30 filmmaking teams originally signed up to make three to six minute short films in just 50 hours over one weekend, and 15 finalists were chosen from the completed films. Screenings of the finalists will take place at 5pm and again at 7:30pm, but the festival starts at 4pm and runs until 9:30pm. Along with screenings of the films other events such as live poetry readings and performances by local bands Flying Spiders and Cathedral Pearls will take place in the Saranac Public House. Tickets for the film festival will be $10 each.

If short films aren’t your thing, you can instead head over to Riverpark Square to see a special performance by Spokane Aerial Performing Arts. They will be joined by Cirque aerial, fire, and duo-acro performer Cheetah Platt. The performance is free to view and will take place from 7:30-9pm in the Riverpark Square Atrium.

Don’t forget that Sunday is Mother’s Day! If you are looking for something unique to do with your loved one, why not head over to the Bing Crosby Theater for “Listen to Your Mother,” a group of readings in celebration of motherhood done by 13 local writers including Becky Ammerman, Caroline Fowler, Mery Smith, and Rebecca Mack. Tickets cost $15 each and the show starts at 7pm.

Come back every Friday to find out what is going on in and around Spokane! Know of something exciting coming up that everyone needs to check out? Alert us in the comments below!

Let’s Talk a Bit About Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? – Programming on Fox!

There isn’t a whole lot of information out there about this new reality show yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out. While it has taken Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? a bit longer to find its place on the schedule than originally expected (and a name change or two), it will finally begin airing Thursday, May 23rd from 9-10pm with six new hour-long episodes to play through June.

The Fox Network released the following information in April about the show: New unscripted workplace experiment Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? will premiere following the time period premiere of Hell’s Kitchen (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. In the new six-episode series, the boardroom doors get blown wide open when employees are given the power to make some tough decisions. Frustrated bosses will hand over the reins of their companies to the employees, offering their respective staffs a chance to make changes in the workplace – even if it means letting co-workers go. Each participating office will have its own set of issues, which will force them to take a hard look at what’s plaguing their workplace and answer the toughest question of all: Does someone have to go? Featured in the first two episodes of Toxic Office: Does Someone Have to Go? is Velocity Merchant Services (VMS), a family-owned business in Downers Grove, IL. When the family owners leave the company in the hands of their employees – including the owner’s cousins and mother – the staff quickly learns that solving personnel issues isn’t as easy as it looks. Forced to make difficult decisions and fix the company’s problems, they also realize that blood may not be thicker than water.

Toxic Office is produced by Endemol USA, along with executive producers Cris Abrego, Ben Samek, Rabih Gholam, and Fernando Mills. This isn’t the first reality series for any of these producing veterans. They’re bringing experience on such shows as Rock of Love: Charm School, Flavor of Love, New York Goes to Work, The Surreal Life, Survivor, and The Amazing Race to the table and hopefully it will help them create another popular and entertaining unscripted series.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!

Adventures in Spokane – Part Three: Fun with Sushi, Chatting with Strangers, and Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Hello lovely readers! Welcome to another stirring rendition of my adventures in Spokane! Last week it seems like most of my time out and about was either spent playing in my yard with my tortoises or hunting down awesome food and drinks. So now I have the lovely beginnings of a sunburn and have probably reached Margarita saturation point.

Tuesday I met up with the most awesome and amazing owner/creator of Holly’s Handmade Goods to pick up THE GREATEST BABY SHOWER GIFT EVER! I’d tell you what it was but you’d just want to run out and copy me and I prefer to hold onto the title of CHICK WHO GAVE THE GREATEST BABY SHOWER GIFT EVER. So come up with your own ideas, folks. Anyway, we met up at Sushi Maru in Riverpark Square for some wonderful sushi and conversation. I love Sushi Maru for the atmosphere, the tasty food, and the quickness with which you can fill your belly full of sushi. It might not be the absolute best sushi in Spokane, but you don’t have to wait to start eating because you can almost immediately pull items off the conveyor belt. And the seared Salmon is most excellent.

Later that evening I headed over to Ugly Betties with one of my cheekiest cousins. It was $2 PBR night as well as karaoke, which can always lead to either a wonderful or ear-shatteringly horrible time. We arrived between Happy Hour and karaoke time so there was plenty of seating (okay the bar was completely empty when we arrived but it picked up while we were there). I had an excellent Margarita while my cousin went for the PBR deal. As we sat chatting in the window seats we apparently caught the fancy of some gentleman strolling around the area. They came in, introduced themselves (kind of), and just sort of forced their way into our conversation. They were strangers and a little exuberant, but not particularly scary. The Ugly Betties staff was kind enough to let us know if we needed any help to alert them and they’d toss the guys out, but it wasn’t necessary. They hung out for a while and then went on their merry (and rather loud) way. We stayed a bit longer to listen to some karaoke before heading out ourselves (it was a work night after all).

I ended up at Ugly Betties again the next evening with my fave Fox28 GalPal for Happy Hour. They had $2 domestic drafts and a patio full of sunshine just calling our names. Once again it wasn’t exactly standing room only around the bar, but other people did wander in and out while we had our drinks. Happy Hour ends at 6pm at Ugly Betties, which is a little early for me as I don’t get off of work until 5pm, but it was still worth it to check it out. I’m always up for a good Happy Hour (even though I totally and completely love my job so it isn’t the stress of the work day that is driving me to drink no no no). So far Zola, the Viking, and Ugly Betties have had the best beer deals. If you know anyplace else I should check out, let me know in the comments.

Sunday was technically Cinco de Mayo but I couldn’t wait until then for tasty Mexican food and more Margaritas. On Friday I went to Hacienda las Flores at the bottom of Freya and had an amazing orange-flavored Margarita in a goblet the size of my head. Seriously the thing was so heavy I couldn’t even lift it. But it had a cherry and a jaunty flag on top which totally made up for lack of ease when drinking. One of the Spokast Podcast boys tagged along to dinner (seriously these guys will do almost anything for a free meal and by the way are you listening to Spokast yet? You should be listening) and we shared some tacos and the Polla a la Crema, which is this wonderful chicken in cream sauce that I could eat every day for a month and not fall out of love with (but after that month I’d probably never want to look at it again – and I’d weigh about 500 lbs). Hacienda las Flores may look a little sketchy from the outside but the owners are super friendly and nice, the food is excellent, and the prices are pretty reasonable.

I did some other exciting and not-so-exciting things over the weekend, but they mostly involved baby showers, Star Wars, and pizza, so I’m going to skip them and head off to see what other kinds of trouble I can get up to this week. I’ll be back (next Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to talk about things like trivia night with cousins, non-profit bake sale meetings, and bowling for charity.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Sushi Maru
Holly’s Handmade Goods
Ugly Betties
Hacienda las Flores

Go Backstage with Rihanna and Then See What All the Teens are Into – This Summer on Programming on Fox28!

Fox28 is airing a number of specials this summer, starting with Rihanna 777 on Monday, May 6th at 8pm. In honor of her seventh studio album, Unapologetic, the singer went on a seven day, seven country tour. The seven-time Grammy winner performed seven shows (and yes, that is a lot of sevens if you are counting), traveling from place to place on a 777 and accompanied by 256 (not 777 as you might have expected) fans and journalists.

The Rihanna 777 tour began in November 2012 and included stops in Mexico City, Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, London, and New York City. While not showing an entire concert show, this behind-the-scenes special from Fenty Films in conjunction with Love Live and Granite Creative promises to show all of the drama and excitement of putting on a major musical production such as the 777 Tour.

On Sunday August 11th teenagers take over the station from 8-10pm to share all of their favorite films, music, TV shows, and stars with the Teen Choice Awards. This live special comes straight from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles and is seeing its 15th year. Dozens of awards, in the shape of a surfboard, are handed out in categories including Choice Hottie, Choice TV Villian, Choice Movie Liplock, Choice Break-up Song, Choice Twit, Choice Athlete, and even Choice Web Star. Special awards such as the Acuvue Inspire Award, Ultimate Choice Award, and Courage Award have also been presented in the past.

While the full line up of celebrity attendees and presenters hasn’t been announced yet, in previous years stars such as Shaun White, Zooey Deschanel, Kevin Hart, and Lea Michele have taken the stage. Musical performers have included No Doubt, Justin Bieber, and Flo Rida. It has also not been announced just yet who will be serving hosting duties, though some years there was no host at all and some have included multiple people filling the role. As the date of the Teen Choice Awards grows closer more information will be revealed, so check back for an update in the next few weeks. If nothing else it promises to be a totes good time.

Come back Wednesdays (usually) for programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!

Adventures in Spokane – Part Two: Epic Animation, Happy Hours, and Tasting of the Sake

Hello again all you lovely people you! It is another week and time for another exciting chapter of Adventures in Spokane with your lovely (it’s my blog I can say it if I want to) blogger girl Mia.

Last week I took some time to explore some of the various activities included in Spokane’s Japan Week. First let me say I feel like a complete bonehead for not realizing Spokane even had a Japan Week. I’ve been a big fan of Japanese culture, anime, and Japanese history for years and a whole week dedicated to exploring these topics is right up my alley. You better believe I won’t be missing out on Japan Week in the future.

Anyhoo, so last week was Japan Week and events were held throughout town celebrating different aspects of Japanese culture and history. Unfortunately many of these took place during the week days and I had to work (stinking work – wait, no really, I love my job at lovely Fox28! love love love! moving on…) but there were also some evening and weekend events that I could attend. On Tuesday night I headed over to the Magic Lantern Theatre to see one of my all-time favorite anime (that’s Japanese animation for you newbs) on the (basically) big screen. Akira is a film MADE for the big screen. It is epic in size, story, length, and volume. The hand-drawn animation is still beautiful even three decades after it was first created, and the story still manages to garner excitement, adoration, and confusion.

Later in the week I headed out to Happy Hour at the Viking Bar and Grill with a fellow Fox28 gal and one of the Spokast Podcast guys (they will probably appear in this blog a lot – what can I say, as a recurring guest of their show I can’t help but adore them). This wasn’t part of Japan Week but instead a crucial part of Keeping Mia Happy during the work week. My fave bartender wasn’t in the house but there were drink specials galore to keep me satisfied. Happy Hour at the Viking is a lot more laid back than at places like Zola, with a different kind of crowd floating in and out between the hours of five and seven. But the drinks were good, the popcorn was free, and there was live music playing later in the evening so it was still a fun time.

On Saturday I decided to check out another Japan Week event and headed up to Vino! A Wine Shop for sake tasting. I love sake, and I’ve done a sake tasting before at the awesome Momokowa Sakery in Forest Grove, Oregon. So it wasn’t my first time at this rodeo, but it was still an interesting and educational experience. I fell immediately in love with Creme de Sake (the first drink we tried), a ginjo sake with a creamy texture. And though it took me a moment to get over how surprisingly bubbly it was, I also really enjoyed the sparkling sake that rounded out the tasting. The styles in the middle were not as much to my liking though I’m sure others would think the complete opposite. Sushi was available for munching and the guy running the event seemed to know his way around the drinks so it was totally worth the admittance fee.

Well once again I’m off to see what other kinds of trouble I can get up to. I’ll be back next week (on Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to talk about things like conveyor belt sushi, searching for the perfect happy hour, and the awesomeness of a great support group.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
The Magic Lantern Theatre
Viking Bar and Grill
Vino! A Wine Shop
Spokane Japan Week

Adventures in Spokane – Part One: Podcast Parties, 3D Dinosaurs, and Drinks Named Sven

Hello lovely readers! I’m Fox28’s regular blogger girl Mia. I like to get out and enjoy the sights, activities, and dining experiences in and around Spokane and I’m here to share it all with you. I’m just awesome like that.

Let’s jump right in with last weekend. Friday night I headed over to the Elk Public House in Browne’s Addition for a get-together with the guys from Spokast Podcast. If you aren’t listening, what’s wrong with you? These guys are funny, local, not at all safe for work, and they have a great line-up of guests including everyone’s (okay that is kind of subjective) favorite weather-man George Maupin. The place was hopping with a busy weekend crowd but we managed to get a large table to fit our large group. Those Spokast guys sure can attract a varied party. I found myself chatting throughout the evening with WWII re-eanactors, the future owner of Fleet Parts in St Maries Idaho, the current owner of Life’s Flix here in Spokane, a high school history teacher, a chemist, a recruiter for Gonzaga, an audio producer at a rival local TV station, and a hopeful future golf-pro. It was a fun time.

After a few hours we mozied on Downtown to see what kind of shenanigans were to be found elsewhere. We tried to hit up Andy’s in the Grand Coulee building but the place was packed and we just wouldn’t fit. So our group wandered down the street to Rain Lounge. Luckily there was room at this inn and we found ourselves a large table that would accommodate our whole group. Rain is a cool place, filled with art and ambient lighting and live music on Friday nights apparently. The musician looked like he walked right off a Pearl Jam album and played covers of songs like “Sweet Caroline”, which was kinda cool really. It was Happy Hour and I had a drink the color of Smurfs that tasted like fruity awesome.

Saturday I headed over to Riverpark Square AMC for an early showing of “Jurassic Park” in 3D. I remember seeing that film in the theater way back in the day when it first came out (I’m so so old). It was just as big and loud and exciting as I remember it, only this time in 3D! I was hoping to catch it on IMAX 3D, but that goofy “Oblivion” movie took over the theater just days before which was a bit of a bummer. Oh well, “Jurassic Park” is “Jurassic Park” no matter how you see it, and totally worth the extra charge for the 3D. There were some little kids in the theater experiencing it for the first time ever and I was kinda jealous. It sucks a bit that you can only see a movie for the first time once.

Later in the day, after a nice long nap because I’m getting too old for the constant partying, I went out with my older sister to catch dinner and a movie. We ended up at The Garland Theater to see “Mama”, a creepy little flick with an important message about how stupid it is to wander into dark abandoned cabins in the woods at night and without proper back up. I enjoyed it more than I expected, but the best part was the reactions of the audience. They jumped, they screamed, they freaked out. It was awesome. After the film we headed over to the Viking Bar and Grill. A friend of my sister was tending bar and when he discovered that he couldn’t make me the drink I initially ordered, he started inventing drinks especially for me. The “Steve” (as the first one will hereby be known as) had a nice peach-y tang and a bit of a sour kick, while the “Sven” (also named by me, I guess I’m just not all that clever) tasted almost exactly like red Jell-o. If you are at the Viking in the future and Ryan Davis is behind the bar, go ahead and order a Steve or a Sven. I think he’ll get a kick out of that.

Well I’m off to see what other kinds of trouble I can get into. I’ll be back next week (on Monday if I’m feeling industrious or Tuesday if I’m being lazy) to talk about things like Japan Week, roller derby, and wild and crazy trivia nights.

Why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own while I’m gone? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there.

*This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
The Elk Public House
Spokast Podcast
Rain Lounge
Riverpark Square AMC
The Garland Theater
Viking Bar and Grill

Just What is The Goodwin Games All About? – Programming on Fox!

Wondering if it is worth it to tune in to new Fox comedy The Goodwin Games this summer? Well if you like scripted half hour shows with stars such as Beau Bridges, Scott Foley, and Becki Newton, created by the writers and producers of long running comedy series such as How I Met Your Mother, you should definitely take the time to check out this show.

The Goodwin Games is a brand spanking new series premiering on Fox28 May 20th at 8:30pm. It will run through the summer on Monday nights as part of a primetime comedy block including encore episodes of New Girl and The Mindy Project.

The basic premise of the show goes something like this: Three adult siblings who don’t get along find out that their father has passed away. The old man was loaded and they’d all like a piece of the inheritance, but it comes with some pretty far out there strings attached. In order to win the money, they’re going to have to win a very special game of Trivial Pursuit designed by their father to re-introduce them to their pasts and hopefully make better people out of them. Of course comedic hijinks and personal growth moments will ensue.

Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, writers of How I Met Your Mother, have created and written The Goodwin Games and filled it with characters and situations that they hope will be as amusing as those found in their previous work. The show also has a line up of actors that have proven both their comedic and dramatic acting chops in film and television. Beau Bridges has been acting since 1948 and will have a guest starring role in the series. The main characters are played by Scott Foley (previously of Felicity, The Unit, and Grey’s Anatomy), Becki Newton (who starred on Ugly Betty and as a recurring character on How I Met Your Mother), and TJ Miller (a prolific voice actor with roles in How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hell & Back, and Ice Age: Mammoth Christmas).

Will The Goodwin Games prove to be as funny as its primetime counterparts? That remains to be seen on May 20th. Be sure to check it out when it premieres and decide for yourself just how good an addition to Fox28’s comedy lineup it is.

Come back Mondays for more programming updates, alerts, and special announcements!