Category Archives: Adventures in Spokane

Adventures in Spokane, part Thirty-Four: Where I Watch Some Movies, Eat Some Food, and Get Splattered with Blood

AdventuresInSpokaneThere’s a song that comes to mind these days that I know from Blazing Saddles. I’m not going to sing it to you because A) this is a blog and B) it’s highly inappropriate BUT the gist of it is about being tired and it seems rather fitting this morning.

I’m tired, folks.

I may have over-scheduled my August just a leeeeeeetle bit.

In the last two weeks I’ve seen movies, gone to musicals, been splattered in (fake) blood, dressed in costume, eaten noodles, planned events, gotten tattooed, and pondered buying ALL the fish (an inside joke mentioned here specifically for the benefit of my awesome tiny/tall gal pal). I’ve also taunted sharknados, scolded snakes for biting teachers, worked out my poor tired body, and laughed so hard at puppets I almost started to cry.

I’ve been BUSY, folks. And now I’m kinda worn out.

But it has all been worth it because I’ve been having a blast.

And just WHAT, may you ask, has been keeping me so dang busy the last couple of weeks? Well let me go ahead and tell you!

I saw both Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Goonies for $1 at the Garland Theater. It has been awhile since I’ve seen Fear and Loathing and I’d forgotten how surreal and brilliant a film it is. Hunter S. Thompson was a mad genius and Terry Gilliam is still a mad genius and with their powers combined they could certainly make one mad, genius film.

The Goonies didn’t manage to hold up quiet as well as I had hoped. I’ve seen it in the last couple of years but it’s different on the small screen. The composite shots aren’t quite as obvious when the picture is shrunk down nice and small. And the end is really REALLY hokey. BUT. I still pretty much love this movie. I’d watch it again on the big screen, though I don’t know if I’d pay more than a buck for it.

puppetnudityI got in viewings of two different musicals recently. Since I go most years without seeing ANY musicals, this is actually quite a feat for me. First I headed out to CdA to see the Lakecity Playhouse version of Avenue Q. This was the second time in life I’ve gotten a warning about puppet nudity, which still makes me giggle. The whole show made me giggle, really. And laugh. There was lots of laughing. I don’t have a lot of experience with local theater or live musicals, but I have to say that I thought Avenue Q was amazingly well done. The actors/singers were fabulous, the puppets looked great, the set was clever, and the music was catchy. I was really REALLY impressed and will be taking in another show at Lakecity sometime this season.

Evil Dead the Musical wasn’t nearly as polished and put together. The songs were kind of goofy, the audio was a little off, and sometimes the actors looked a little confused on what to do next. HOWEVER, it was still based on one of my fave movie trilogies of all time, several of the songs and dances were pretty hilarious, the punning Deadite was great, and I got totally sprayed down with fake blood during the second half. The blood splatter alone pretty much made it worth it to go.

avenueq2You can’t go out adventuring around town without hooking yourself up with some tasty eats (at least I can’t at any rate). I had a great dinner at Sushi Maru full of popcorn shrimp and crispy gyoza and excellent seared salmon (which I kind of had to fight for because people at a table right ahead of me on the conveyor belt kept trying to grab it all – not cool guys, not cool at all). Linnie’s Thai served up delicious noodles with beef and broccoli, as well as a tasty little cocktail full of tequila and other wonderful things (and called a Sassy Senorita).

During a Girl’s Night at Sapphire Lounge I wolfed down an amazing flatbread pizza topped with cheese, meat, roasted red peppers, and balsamic vinegar. My goodness it was good. I also had myself several cocktails, including one of the tastiest and most unique Amaretto Sours I’ve ever had. That was my first visit to Sapphire and I enjoyed the atmosphere as well as the food and drinks. I also had my first experience at Nudo Ramen House and promise it will not be my last. Though almost painfully hip in its decorating scheme, the food was excellent. The gyoza were steamed just like I make them at home (and yes, I make amazing gyoza at home) and my giant bowl of Miso ramen was wonderful.

I love ramen, though I’ll never be able to look at the cheap instant stuff the same way again. Sigh. Oh well.

evildeadNot every outing was just fun and games recently. I had a very important meeting with my fellow local Modified Dolls to discuss plans for upcoming charity events in the area. Of course we had our meeting at Aloha Island Grill and ate tasty food while discussing things, but that didn’t make it any less of a serious matter, though the giggling over silly personal matters might have. Whatever. We do what we want at meetings! And we came up with some awesome plans and ideas for the coming months so watch out for info about events coming up.

That wasn’t actually all I did over the last two weeks BUT this post is getting ridiculously long so I’m gonna start wrapping it up. You can hear about my experience at KuroNekoCon on our Mia Con page. There’s even pictures so give it a look! Expect some more updates on the page after this coming weekend, as the Fox28 digital media team will be heading out to SpoCon for lots of scifi/fantasy goodness. I’ll be back here in a week or so to talk about singing Mormons, riffing on Godzilla, and playing with baby reptiles. To pass the time until I return, why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there (and if you can find me I’ll give you a prize)!

– Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Lakecity Playhouse
Evil Dead the Musical
Riverside Event Center
The Garland Theater
Sushi Maru
Linnie’s Thai
Nudo Ramen House
Sapphire Lounge
Aloha Island Grill
WA Modified Dolls

Adventures in Spokane, Part Thirty-Three: Where I Fall Down a Hobbit Hole, Enter the Promised Land, and Am Definitely Not Always in Spokane

AdventuresInSpokaneI don’t know about you, ladies and gents, but I’ve been having a busy busy summer. I just realized it will be August at the end of the week. Where the heck did July go? I woke up one morning and it was gone.

Anyhoo, so what have I been up to the last four weeks (four weeks, seriously, it’s been that long since I posted an installment of Adventures in Spokane? Shame shame shame on me for neglecting all my wonderful readers)?


I went to Vancouver (WA not Canada though that would’ve been cool too) to see my wonderful (and very tall) cousin marry his wonderful (and very tall) soulmate. It was a fun ceremony and a great reception with a Spanish theme and I had a delightful time even though I was almost the shortest person there (my niece is two so her being shorter than me doesn’t really count).

Seriously folks, I felt like a hobbit that had wandered into Rivendell by mistake. I have never seen so many tall, beautiful people in one place in my entire life. If the gorgeous tall lawyer with the Australian accent sitting across from me during the reception hadn’t been so nice, I might have knocked over his chair or something, just to remind him there are people down in the lower stratosphere.

corvallisAfter the wedding I went with my family over to Corvallis to visit my aunt and uncle who’ve been living there since forever (or at least the last 30 years or so). We stopped in Portland on the way and I finally – FINALLY PEOPLE – got to spend some time in Powell’s books.

I’ve been dreaming of Powell’s for years and yet every time I’ve been in the area something has kept me from going there. But not this time. NOT THIS TIME.

The family gave me 35 minutes in the store. It wasn’t nearly enough time but I didn’t waste it on wallowing. I bought two books and also inquired whether it would be possible to bring a tent and just live in the poetry room. They laughed like my question was funny but I was very serious. I’ll let everyone know how the move goes.

After Powell’s we walked around downtown a bit and ended up at Noodles and Company for lunch. Brilliant restaurant idea behind Noodles and Company, by the way. We thought it would be all Asian-style cuisine but it turned out to have a menu that included multiple kinds of noodle dishes. I had myself some Pad Thai, my dad had stroganoff, my niece sampled some chicken noodle soup, and my sister had whole wheat linguini. It was a fun, random way to spend lunch.

Corvallis was nice. I wasn’t there very long and spent most of the time at my aunt’s house, eating delicious food and playing in the garden. I may have also spent some time fondling my uncle’s collection of vintage hardback books and first editions. The hundred year old Mark Twains smelled particularly wonderful.

dinosaursBack in Spokane (because I always end up back here eventually) I took my six-year-old nephew on a playdate to Discover the Dinosaurs. Billed as having “40 life size dinos in their natural environment” I was a little disappointed that they had around half that actually out on display. Some of the animatronic elements didn’t work and not everything was marked with proper signage. But while I was a bit underwhelmed, my nephew had himself a grand ol’ time. At one point he even told me it was his “greatest dinosaur day EVER!”

When Rifftrax Live: Sharknado came along I was much more … whelmed? Over-whelmed? Whatever. It was awesome. That’s the important thing. Fans of the ‘so bad it’s fabulous’ SyFy movie, my tiny/tall roommate and I giggled and laughed our way through the film on the big screen, with the wonderfully snarky and hilarious addition of commentary by the Rifftrax guys (the MST3K guys in case you didn’t know). I am not too proud or ashamed to admit I’m excited for the premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One on July 30th AND the next Rifftrax Live event – Godzilla!

swimmingWhile that seemed like plenty to keep my occupied during July that’s not all I did! I managed to squeeze in some meals at Waddell’s and Sushi Maru, as well as some movie time at the AMC Riverpark Square for 22 Jump Street (way better than expected, by the way. I really enjoyed it). I had an editorial lunch with a fabulous new young adult author, helped celebrate my cousin’s son’s first birthday with cowboy style, babysat two adorable young men who used me like a jungle gym, and attended an annual meet-up of my cousins that included much swimming, eating, s’more making, snarking, and playing of Cards Against Humanity. I’m not sure anything bonds a family quite like playing CAH together. Whether that is a good or bad thing I’ll let someone else decide.

And THAT, folks, is gonna wrap up this installment of Adventures in Spokane. I’m sure there was some other stuff that went on this month but I’m tired from typing and I’m sure you are all tired from reading. I’ll be back soon (ish?) to talk about bat country, singing puppets, and anime inundation. To pass the time until I return, why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there (and if you can find me I’ll give you a prize)!

– Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Powell’s City of Books
Noodles & Co
Rifftrax Live
Sushi Maru
AMC Riverpark Square
Cards Against Humanity

Adventures in Spokane, part Thirty-Two: Where I Watch Some Futbol, Eat Some Lunch, and Laugh at Comedians

AdventuresInSpokaneI saw my very first full soccer game recently, folks! I feel like I’m really growing as a person this year. First I sat through my first full Superbowl in February, now I’ve sat through an entire World Cup match. It’s practically time to slap a jersey on me and call me a sports fan!

Well maybe not quite yet. I’ll sit through an entire baseball game first and then we can talk.

genosgamedaySo anyway, I went to Geno’s to watch USA play Portugal. It was an interesting experience. Standing room only by the time we arrived (30 minutes into the match) but we managed to drag some stools over into a position where we could see the big TV. Even though it was completely packed in there when we walked in it was almost completely silent. Every person in the dining room and bar area was just riveted to the game. Of course by the end of the game when more beers and drinks had been drunk and some goals had been scored it had gotten quite a bit louder. Totally understandable, though, when everyone had to verbalize their surprise and displeasure at Portugal tying up the score in the last few seconds.

I’ve heard Geno’s has excellent food and great drinks. I’m hoping at some point I’ll get to find that out for myself. Sitting on a stool, crammed against a wall in a tightly packed restaurant where people have a tendency to suddenly jump up and dance around while screaming, is not the ideal setting to try and eat.

Luckily for me I had plenty of other opportunities to eat in the last couple of weeks. I hit up Subway for the first time in probably a year. I’ve gotten really used to ordering from Jimmy John’s since they bring the sandwiches right to my door. But since several people from work were going to Subway I went ahead and tagged along. I forgot how much I love the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sub. Also, how messy the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sub can be. I had also forgotten how busy places like Subway will be during lunch time for the next few months with all the kiddos out of school. It was a bit of a zoo in there but I managed to survive with my eardrums and nerves mostly intact.

I also hit up Borracho one afternoon to try out their new lunch/dinner menu items. I’ve got to say, their cheese enchiladas are mighty tasty. They don’t drown them in sauce which was perfect as I dumped a bunch of queso on them and didn’t want to lose that spicy cheesy flavor. Since I’m mentioning Borracho, I feel I should ALSO mention that my tequila frenemy finished the Tequila Challenge last weekend. She now has a plaque on the wall commemorating her achievement. It brings tears to my eyes, but probably not for the right reasons.

uncledscomedyTo get over my disappointment in not being the first female to win the Tequila Challenge, I hit up Uncle D’s for some open mic comedy. Ate myself some very tasty onion rings and heard some very funny comedians plying their trade. One of the Spokast Podcast boys has become a semi-regular at the Thursday night open mics and he’s just as funny on stage as he is on his show. I have to admit I’m consistently impressed with the quality of comedy that I’ve seen at Uncle D’s. I had no idea what to expect from a local open mic before attending the first time but I’ve found myself laughing more than not and it’s fun to see new comics get over their stage fright and perform the first time, and seasoned comics working through material each time they get up there.

It’s been a bit of a slow start to my summer I guess. I’ve had lots more stuff planned, but I’ve skipped some things to instead laze around on my couch, binge watching entire seasons of Downton Abbey and playing with my recently adopted Bearded Dragon I got from SCRAPS. Oh yeah, I got a new Bearded Dragon from SCRAPS the last time we went to film our video for Happy Tales. She’s adorable and sweet and so far hasn’t bitten me or hissed at me once (which is a bit of a problem with my older Bearded Dragon who hates my guts and wants me to die and everything). It was pretty random that SCRAPS had a lizard at the shelter and I’m pretty glad I was there to find her when I did.

And that about wraps up this thrilling (well not exactly) installment of Adventures in Spokane. I’ll be back in the next week (or two) to talk about dollar movie nights, discovering dinosaurs, and partying with the girls. 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 (and if you can find me I’ll give you a prize)!

– Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Borracho Tacos and Tequileria
Uncle D’s Comedy Underground
Spokast Podcast

Adventures in Spokane, part Thirty-One: Where I Have a Playdate, Raffle for a Good Cause, and Gamble Someone Else’s Money

I woke up an hour late this morning because my alarm decided to take a holiday. Nothing seems to have gone quite right since. The rain isn’t helping my mood. I got to work and realized I had forgotten my umbrella.

I wish there was a way to call the day a wash, go back to bed, and try again tomorrow. Unfortunately my boss does not think that’s a great plan.

Oh well. Let’s take a look back at days that weren’t quite so frustrating instead.

mobiusdressupI had a playdate with my five-year-old nephew recently. We went to Mobius Kids at Riverpark Square. Talk about your gently controlled chaos situations. Kids were everywhere: driving ‘plasma’ cars and wearing costumes and pushing toy lawnmowers and banging on drums and splashing water and digging up gravel. We played with the Lego wall, tried on firemen and policemen outfits, staged a puppet show, raced toy boats, counted stick bugs, and giggled a lot.

Really, there was a ridiculous amount of giggling. It was awesome.

After Mobius we went upstairs to ride the escalators in the mall for a while. They are really tall, after all, and it’s actually kind of fun to just ride them up and up and then down and down for a bit. Try it sometime, you’ll see.

Once we were done with that bit of free amusement we had some ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s (note to self: five-year-old boys and chocolate ice cream cones don’t necessarily mix) and then wandered out to the park where the kid ran around in the fountain for a bit because a) it was fun and 2) I didn’t want to try cleaning off all the sticky remnants of his ice cream cone. I gotta say, that fountain is extremely effective in cleaning up dirty children. It’s also effective in ending a playdate, as we had to go home in search of dry clothes shortly after.

tmdraffleswampstompThe annual Swamp Stomp Custom Car Show rolled around last Saturday and I headed down with other local Modified Dolls to raffle off some fun prizes for charity. This year we were supporting SCRAPS Hope Foundation and it was totally worth it, even though it was about 50 degrees and drizzly out the whole time and we were dressed inappropriately for a sudden bout of Fall weather.

Seriously, it’s June. What is up with all this October-like weather we’ve been having?

Anyway, after being plied with blankets and giant hoodies from some lovely event attendees and exhibitors, we managed to raise quite a bit of money, raffle off some fun prizes (a big thanks to the station for donating an American Idol swag bag), and see some really excellent cars. Swamp Stomp is one of the best events of the summer (no matter the weather) so if you haven’t been before you need to get down there next year when it comes around again.

I’m sure you’re wondering what I did for my dad on Father’s Day, since I’m nice enough to mention him in these posts on a regular basis. Well since I totally didn’t forget that it was Father’s Day until I got a call from him on Sunday asking if I wanted to attend breakfast with him (cause that would be awful of me), I took him out to breakfast Sunday at the casino buffet.

casinokidnapOnly it wasn’t breakfast so much as lunch. Not that I heard any complaining. TheFather had steak and potatoes and bacon and dessert and seemed quite happy with it all. I had six kinds of potatoes (why stop at just one when so many are available?), two kinds of salad, and a couple of mimosas (because dang it I’ll get my brunch mimosa fix whether I’m having brunch or not).

After eating we headed out to the main area for a while to play on the slot machines. He lost some money. I won some money. We may have come out a bit even overall. I don’t know for sure, I’m bad at math.

And that’s about where I will wrap up this installment of Adventures in Spokane. I’ll be back soon to talk about social running, cheap movies, and aerial performances. 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 (and if you can find me I’ll give you a prize)!

– Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Mobius Kids
Riverpark Square
Riverfront Park
The Modified Dolls
SCRAPS Hope Foundation
Northern Quest Resort & Casino

Adventures in Spokane, part Thirty: Welcome to the Summer of Why Not? The Sequel!

Today as I was flipping through old blog posts I came across one done last year around this time. It had been written right after I flipped through the Inlander Summer Guide and got myself all psyched up about awesome things I was going to do during the warm months.

Dollar movie nights at The Garland. Concerts with local bands at The Knitting Factory. Margaritas at every bar in town (okay that one wasn’t really in there but it probably should have been).

I sure had some wild and crazy plans for last summer. And reading about them today, well, started that glimmer in my brain that it might be time to make some wild and crazy plans once again.

I think I’d like to finish writing my novel. One of my novels. I’ve got several I’ve been working on over the years that I wrote awesome opens and a pretty good ends for, but never quite got around to fleshing out the middles. I think I’ll attempt to do that this summer.

Speaking of writing, I’m gonna attend some poetry readings and open mics this year. And gosh dang it, I’m gonna get myself up there to read at some point. Why not, right? What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll do a terrible job and everyone will boo me off stage and I’ll end up crying and cowering in a corner overwhelmed with shame and embarressment for the rest of the night? Wait, maybe I should have stopped that train of thought back at ‘why not?’.

Moving on.

I don’t hike enough. I hear there are some excellent trails around these parts. Maybe I’ll even take a weekend trip over to Mt Rainier and do some hiking around there. It sure looks pretty off in the distance when I’m playing in Seattle. Maybe it’s time to get up close and personal with it.

Maybe I’ll join a book club. Oh! Maybe I’ll start a book club! Maybe I’ll start a Fox28 book club! What do you think, folks? Do you want to get together and read with me? I’m sure we could find some awesomely trashy summer novels to get in to!

Have you heard of the Inland NW Ale Trail? I just found out about it the other day. I’m not the hugest fan of beer in the universe BUT I do so love a good challenge (speaking of, I think finishing the Tequila Challenge at Borracho is definitely on my Summer of Why Not list of activities). AND it seems like a great way to experience new things and go places around the area I’ve never been before.

Maybe I’ll join one of the Spokane Party Trolley “social mixer pub crawls.” Maybe I’ll book the whole Trolley for myself and some friends!

I bought a new bathing suit. This year I intend to get out and wear it! I’ll go to the pool. I’ll go to the lake. I’ll run around in the fountain in Riverfront Park with my awesome nephew (he’s five and told me I’m a fun grown-up so he’s currently my favorite person EVER). I’ll go to a slumber party with some of my lovely geeky friends because I was invited and I haven’t done a slumber party in years and I think I kind of miss them.

Why not, right?

Seriously, why not?

Why not learn archery and how to scuba dive and jump out of a plane and take a pottery class and paint while drinking wine and invade my cousin’s pool and play more video games and get a tan and get a new tattoo and do some charity work and ride a motorcycle and learn to make pastries from scratch or how to take better photographs or try my hand at gardening? Why not ride more bikes and take more long lunches and hear more local bands and watch more mindlessly entertaining movies?

Summer is coming. The sun is shining, the temperature is rising, and it’s time to experience all the coming months have to offer.

It’s the Summer of Why Not, The Sequel!

Let’s all go out and see just what kind of epic adventures we can get in to!

*Got a great idea for something to be experienced this summer? Leave it in the comments below!

Adventures in Spokane, Part Twenty-Nine: Where I Miss Comicon, Eat A Lot, and Don’t Steal a Dragon

Before anyone asks, no, I didn’t make it to Spokane Comicon this year. Go ahead and have your moment of shock and appall. I had a few moments myself on Saturday where I was saddened by the fact that I wasn’t there enjoying the con festivities. Instead I was helping my step-Gramma celebrate her 70th birthday (which you’ve gotta admit is a pretty big deal) and a friend celebrate his first (not 70th, that would be crazy) wedding. Sadly no one was dressed in a Batman or Sailor Moon costume for either one.

So while I missed out on all the comic book-y goodness this year (seriously why is Spokane Comicon only one day anyways?) I already have it on my calendar for next year, when it moves over to the Spokane Convention Center and takes on a swanky new name – Lilac City Comicon. I’d appreciate it if everyone would keep from planning conflicting events such as birthday parties and weddings and anniversaries and graduations and what have you on this day. Thank you.

Comicon was out but what was in over the last couple of weeks? Well I did manage to see this little musical called Wicked while it was in town. You may have heard of it? Just a tiny little touring Broadway show starring a whole bunch of people I don’t know, singing songs I wasn’t familiar with but have won some awards, based on a book I read and liked quite a lot (but have to admit that I liked the end of the musical better than the book).

The songs really were quite good, and I enjoyed the way they turned a rather dense fantasy novel into a two and a half hour (or so) stage musical. I also love LOVED the set decorations they used. I spent at least 30 minutes trying to plot out how to steal the giant metal dragon from the front of the stage. Unfortunately my companion at the show was less than impressed with my convoluted plot full of shimmying up scaffolding, Tarzan yells, and public nudity. I remain giant metal dragon-less.

Looking back, the last two weeks were actually pretty quiet (Wicked Witches and weddings and birthday parties (oh my!) aside). I had dinner with a friend at Sushi Maru. We actually ordered several things off the menu which was a first for me as I’ve always felt a bit strange asking for more when plenty of food goes by on the conveyor belt.

I also had dinner with my dad and a friend of his at Applebee’s one Saturday evening. I don’t actually remember what I ordered as we all ending up sharing off each other’s plates. I think macaroni and cheese was involved, and maybe shrimp. I do remember having a pomegranate perfect margarita (that I did NOT share because it was delicious and I’m just not that nice of a person).

Taco Thursday was celebrated at Borracho of course. The tiny/tall gal pal and I soaked up the sun out on the patio and stuffed our faces with tacos, burritos, and tasty drinks. I tried a Tequila Sunrise for the first time and it was very pretty. I think I also managed to get well over halfway on the Tequila Challenge, though I still might have around 25 shots to go to complete it.

And because eating at home is just apparently not for the likes of me, I also managed to squeeze in a trip to Thai Bamboo for one of their combo dinner meals. It included pad thai and Mongolian beef and rice and was absolutely delicious. Anyplace that includes pad thai with most of its combo meals is the place for me. I do love it so.

That’s where I’ll wrap up this thrilling (okay mildly amusing) installment of my adventures in Spokane. I’ll see if I can come up with something a bit more interesting to report next week (there may be indie vampire movies, Lego build days, and comic book social clubs in my future). 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 (and if you can find me I’ll give you a prize)!

– Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Best of Broadway
Wicked the Musical
Sushi Maru
Borracho Tacos & Tequileria
Thai Bamboo

Adventures in Spokane – Part TwentyEight: Where I’m Disappointed in Monsters, Exercise My Muscles, and Party Like It’s Cinco de Mayo

I saw Godzilla on Friday night. It was okay. I wanted to like it more but I didn’t. Godzilla himself was awesome and I loved that he looked like just an updated version of the original monster (and not…whatever the heck he was supposed to look like in that awful 1998 version). But the story kind of lost me with its terrible use of Bryan Cranston and Ken Watanabe (oh Ken Watanabe, you will always be The Chairman* to me). It also just didn’t feel like there was much of a point to anything going on. I LOVE the original Gojira because while, yes, it is a movie about a giant monster destroying Tokyo, that isn’t what it’s REALLY about. It has a much deeper and darker message to it. Without that message, I just found this update kind of ‘meh.’

mustachepartyAfter the movie I went to Rock City Grill for a bite to eat. I was already at Riverpark Square and Sushi Maru was getting ready to close, so it was eat there or go wandering downtown. It was my first Rock City experience and while the Thai Chicken pizza was very tasty (even with the shrimp which I’ve never seen on a Thai Chicken pizza before) it was a little more expensive than I had anticipated. I was glad to have a friend to share the food and check with.

So aside from seeing less than epic monster movies and eating kind of expensive pizza what else have I been up to lately? Let me think…

I’ve been working out a couple of times a week for the last month. Exercise and I will never be best friends and I usually plant myself on the elliptical machine or the stationary bike so I can read while exercising (I’m in my annual re-read of Dune right now, it’s a thing, don’t judge me). Not exactly high impact, but at least I’m there, right? I’m a member at Gold’s Gym which is right up the street from the station and I like it cause it’s small and not terribly busy in the middle of the afternoon when I drag myself in there. One of these days I might even try some of their classes! Anything is possible, right?

I’ve also had some lunches and dinners at Borracho, because I am a character in a TV drama and eat at the same place all the time apparently. I guess it makes sense since I work in TV (kinda sorta). I’ve also eaten at The Chalet (cause my dad is old and he likes it there PLUS I love their chocolate cream pie) and Hong Kong Buffet out on the Valley (because you can never have too much Chinese food stuffed in your face?). Nothing too terribly exciting to report I guess.

groupmustachesExcept, oh yeah, there was this whole ridiculous party at Borracho on Cinco de Mayo
that I attended. It was loud and chaotic and busy and fun. There was tequila and queso and mustaches and live music and old friends and new friends and selfies and more tequila and margaritas and quesadillas and pretty epic craziness. At one point I ran across the street to the Blind Buck with a group of people, but we liked the crazy festive atmosphere at Borracho better so headed back within half an hour. I had a great time but I may be getting too old for that much fun on a Monday (aka Work the Next Morning) night.

And that’s about it for now. What can I say, it’s been a slow month. But summer is right around the corner so expect some super-charged adventuring in the future. Anyway, I’ll be back in the next week or so (most likely) to talk about geek girls, lantern festivals, and comic book conventions. 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 (and if you can find me and say ‘hi’ I’ll give you a prize)!

– Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Godzilla (2014)
Rock City Grill
Borracho Tacos & Tequileria
The Blind Buck


*Memoirs of a Geisha

Adventures in Spokane – Part TwentySeven: Where I Workout, Support Animals, and Geek Out

It’s too nice outside today to be inside reading a blog post. Go out and play in the sunshine. Come back later when you’re done. Enjoy it for all of us. I’ll wait.

*hums Girl from Impanema while waiting*

Back already? Cool.

Well last week was pretty quiet for me. I was still recovering from Sakuracon over Easter weekend (read all about it on the Mia Con vlog/blog page!) and not up to a lot of craziness. I think I’m getting old or something. I did manage to make it to the gym one whole time on Wednesday afternoon. Not super effective toward getting in great shape, I’m sure, but better than I’ve managed most of this year (and last, shame shame) so I’m proud of it.

I also got some time in at Borracho, where I was sad to see I’ve still got about 40 shots to do before I complete the tequila challenge. How did I get so behind? Where did I go so wrong? I had one shot while there (Vida – smooth with a smoky aftertaste) along with a tasty pork burrito liberally smothered in queso. I so love their queso. I could just eat spoonfuls of it, but that would probably not be healthy for me. Lame.

earlydrinksLate in the week I stopped by The Ref out in the Valley with my tequila frenemy for some evening drinks. They had their martinis on special so I was sure to try all of them that I saw listed. It was only three, calm down. I also tried a shot with a filthy name, the taste of coffee, and a dollop of whip cream on top. It was interesting. I think I might have liked it.

Friday night was the annual Reigning Cats and Dogs auction and chocolate festival held by SCRAPS and SCRAPS Hope Foundation out at the Spokane County Fairgrounds. As part of the Happy Tales team and someone who very whole-heartedly supports SCRAPS and helping animals, I was in attendance. I looked at auction items, ate tasty snacks, drank some wine, joked around with co-workers, and met some very cute animals looking for new homes (and if I had a fence on my yard I’d probably have gone home with one of those adorable furry creatures I tell you what). It was a great night and a great event full of great people who were pretty much throwing money at SCRAPS which was pretty great as well.

kateetriciaSaturday I jumped in the car with one of the Spokast Podcast boys and headed over to Seattle because why the heck not? Also, we had tickets to see Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer LIVE AND IN PERSON doing a showing of a Battlestar Galactica episode followed by a Q&A at Cinerama. It was part of fundraiser for Seattle Humane Society and the ladies were in the area for the annual Tulip Ride (also fundraising for Seattle Humane Society and Red Cross). As a very vocal and proud fangeek I must say the experience was AWESOME (awesome: adjective – slang definition, excellent or outstanding). Sitting in the second row I was only about 50 feet away from the ladies and could see them and clearly hear them (even without the microphones) in all their giggly, girly glory. It may have been a bit too close for viewing the BSG episode, however, as the screen was very large and I had to lean way back and the action made me a little sick. BUT IT WAS WORTH IT.

After the show we wandered down to Pike Place Market and took a stroll through the warren of shops. We found a delightful little used bookstore (Lionheart Books) where the proprietor refused to let me buy some of the campy looking science fiction books I wanted, but serenaded me and discussed Pablo Neruda with me to make up for it. We also hit up a shop with taxidermied bats, and another with giant Megaladon teeth. We couldn’t stay too long, unfortunately, but it was a fun little side trip anyway.

miasurprisedThat little out-of-town excursion wrapped up my week. I was too tired to do much of anything but lay about watching Netflix on Sunday. Sometimes you just gotta admit the laziness and revel in it.

I’ll be back in the next week or so (probably?) to talk about science fiction reboots, more trips to the gym, and mustache parties. 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 (and if you can find me and say “hi” I’ll give you a prize)!

– Mia V.


This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Gold’s Gym
Borracho Tacos & Tequileria
The Ref Sports Bar
Cinerama (Seattle)
Pike Place Market (Seattle)

Adventures in Spokane – Party TwentySix: Where I Watch Movies, Eat Sushi, and Play with Science

It’s pretty outside today. I want to be out there playing in the sunshine instead of inside all day here at the station. My family in Texas is at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo today, playing in the sunlight and having a great time. I wish I was there. Spring Fever will probably be setting in pretty soon around here. I wonder if they’d let me move my desk outside for a few months to enjoy the nice weather. I’ll let you know how the campaign for that goes.

Last week was relatively quiet for me. I hung out at home quite a bit, watching bad movies (turns out Showgirls is just as terrible now as it was when I first saw it 18 years ago) and reading books (Neil deGrasse Tyson’s autobiography is pretty fascinating folks) and Skyping with family. I did make it down to Borracho once but as I was getting over a chest cold I only partook of one tequila shot. I’m still inching ever closer to completing the Tequila Challenge, though I was a little disheartened to learn that the original winner of the challenge managed to complete it AGAIN before I even got halfway through it. What, does that guy just live there or something? Sheesh.

I made it up to The Garland Theater for a showing of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug on Tuesday evening. Definitely enjoyed the second movie in the trilogy way more than the first. A big part of that was due to the dragon, of course. They did an amazing job with that dragon. I was concerned at first because I have found the CG on the main orc characters to be less than stellar. I didn’t want to see a crappy CG dragon. Luckily Smaug was far from crappy. I could probably wax on poetically (or just screech with fan-girl zeal) for hours about that dragon, but I won’t. Just imagine if I went on at length extolling the many amazing things about that dragon and we’ll call it good, okay?

St. Patrick’s Saturday happened at some point last week (probably around Saturday I’m thinking). I’m sure it was lots of fun for many people who wandered downtown to partake of the drinking and merrymaking. I was not one of those people. I love to have fun as much as the next person, but I find St. Patrick’s Saturday to border a bit too much on the chaotic and so leave it up to others to enjoy instead. I was downtown very early on Sunday morning (like 6:45am), however, and saw three random shoes, one abandoned pair of pants, two puddles of someone’s regurgitated lunch (ick), and a lot of green glitter. Go St. Patrick’s Saturday!

Why was I downtown at such a ridiculously early time on a Sunday, you’re probably (hopefully) asking? Well I was joining with some of my fellow local Modified Dolls to answer phones at KYRS Community Radio for their Spring fund drive! For three hours we were there to take listener pledges and chat on the air with Sam of NonProfit Spokane. While it wasn’t their most lucrative fundraising slot, we had a good time participating in the drive and hanging out with each other and being on the radio, so it was worth getting up early for.

After a long and lovely nap Sunday afternoon it was time for my new favorite event of the week: the Cosmos viewing party at Mobius Science Center! First I had a quick bite to eat at Sushi Maru as it was right across the street. Then I headed to the Science Center to check out their planetarium show at 7pm. Unfortunately right after I arrived something came up that kept me from seeing the show, but I didn’t mind so much as I still got to hang out at Mobius. That was one of the best parts of the event this week, in my opinion. After the first planetarium show and before the guest speaker began, attendees were running around the Science Center, playing with exhibits and learning about science and having a great time.

The speaker this time was Dr. Kamesh Sankaran. He talked about asteroids and comets and the end of the world (well not exactly) and was really pretty fascinating. Some of the science went over my head (I’m more of an English/creative writing/liberal arts kind of girl) but what I basically took from the whole thing was that relying on Bruce Willis to save us if a giant asteroid heads our way is probably not the best plan of action. After all the asteroid talk it was time to watch the new episode of Cosmos, which was beautiful and lovely and all about evolution and how everything on our world is connected. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you are in the area and into science and space and fun and awesome, you REALLY need to come out on Sunday and watch Cosmos with us. The viewing parties are getting bigger and better each week and you’re missing out by not attending. Just saying.

That wraps it up for me this time around. I’ll be back next week to talk about geek girls, outdoor adventure shows, tequila (of course), and even more Cosmos! To pass the time until I return why don’t you head out and have some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there!

– Mia V.


This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Borracho Tacos & Tequileria
The Garland Theater
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
KYRS Community Thin-air Radio
The WA Modified Dolls
Sushi Maru
Mobius Science Center
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey


Adventures in Spokane – Party TwentyFive: Where I Take a Drive, Celebrate an Anniversary, and Explore the Cosmos

Last Saturday I drove over to Seattle with the tiny/tall roommate. We visited the Comics Dungeon comic shop to pick up badges for Emerald City Comicon. It was a very nice store with wonderfully helpful people. I wish I lived closer so I could visit more often. Then we went to Panera for lunch because we were in Seattle and Panera is awesome and there isn’t one in Spokane and why don’t we have one here anyway?


The food was amazing. I had cheddar broccoli soup and a half chicken … something … panini and it was all warm and filling and savory and delicious. I may have been ruined for cheddar broccoli soup anywhere else. So really, we NEED a Panera in Spokane. Someone needs to get on that already.

After lunch we headed back to Spokane, because we could and we had taken care of our errand in Seattle and we are young and apparently we can just drive across the state for lunch and back if we really want to. Unfortunately it rained for 2/3rds of the drive back which got really old really fast, but at least it wasn’t snowing.

Once I arrived back in Spokane it was time to head over to The Elk to help them celebrate their 15th anniversary. The place was packed, as it usually is on Saturday nights, but I was there with one of the Spokast Podcast hosts and we were able to get a table pretty quickly. He tried the Imperial Stout Flight to drink while I had myself a margarita that was okay and an Italian Sidecar which was better. We also shared a plate of BBQ quesadillas and a hummus platter. Everything was very tasty.

Before anyone asks, yes I did got to Borracho last week. I had myself a taco salad that wasborracholunch more meat than lettuce and another couple of tequila shots. I’ve been working my way through the Silvers and Blancos on the list and am a little concerned about the time when I run out of them to drink. Turns out I really like the Silvers and Blancos. They are … mellow, I guess you could say. I like that in a tequila.

My tequila frenemy is about seven shots ahead of me at this point, which drives my competitive side crazy. BUT we have agreed to do our last shot together when the time comes (as it is $40 and we are saving that kind of expense for last) so it really doesn’t matter if she completes the rest of the list first. Of course that voice inside me that wants to WIN is having trouble accepting that.

In case you missed it (not like we’ve mentioned it a thousand times on Twitter, Facebook, and on air), Sunday was the premiere of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by rockstar astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. My team here at the station set up viewing parties for each episode at Mobius Science Center and our first one happened Sunday night. The very interesting and entertaining Professor Kevin Decker did a talk for the first hour, about philosophy and Carl Sagan and science and stuff. It was cool. I might have even learned something.

Then we watched the show and that was pretty cool too. Not just because Cosmos is a great show so far and Neil deGrasse Tyson does a good job filling the late, great, Carl Sagan’s shoes as host, but also because it was a bunch of us in a room together, sharing our love of science and nature and the universe. We laughed and cheered and got teary-eyed at the end and it made the experience extra special that we got to do it as a group. I can’t wait until next Sunday when we get to do it all again.

cosmosmeetupAfter the show I went to The Satellite with a friend for a bite to eat. It was late and probably not the best time to chow down on a heavy meal, but I was hungry and it sounded like a great idea at the time. I tried the Joe’s Breakfast Burrito, which was full of eggs and spinach and parmesan cheese and ground beef and red onions. So good and so filling. There may have been cinnamon raisin toast and hash browns along with it. I’m not entirely sure as I was in a food coma by the time I was done.

My week pretty much ended with that food coma. I’ll be back next week to talk about free trips to the museum, more tequila (of course), and more Cosmos (ditto). To pass the time until I return why don’t you head out and have some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there!

– Mia V

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Comics Dungeon
Panera Bread
The Elk Public House
Borracho Tacos & Tequileria
Mobius Science Center
Satellite Diner & Lounge

*Want to attend a Cosmos viewing party at Mobius Science Center? Be sure to sign-up online at the Fox28 Events page! Seating is limited so book your place early!