This Week's Cover


Date Night

When I was performing improv on a regular basis, one of my favorite formats we presented to the crowd was a game called “Date Night.”

We’d call up a real-life couple from the audience, get the story of how they met and their subsequent first date, then re-create the action onstage as best we could. When we got something right, one half of the couple would ring a bell. When it was dead wrong, we’d hear a rude beep from a loud horn, and would have to go back to the basics. The end result was

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This Week

The Gristle

In a Bind

IN A BIND: “You break it, you own it” is an adage familiar to most people; and it was always understood that the next solutions to Whatcom County’s failed jail initiative would have to come from the communities most opposed to the $120 million sales tax proposal for a new justice center in Ferndale. The County Executive—who’d invested quite a bit of political capital in placing the initiative on the ballot last November, only to see it crater—had made it clear the next leadership

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Valentine’s Day

Spread your love around


Valentine’s Day brings out a lot of strong emotions in people. It should follow that, because this is a holiday intended to celebrate love and loved ones and loving loved ones and lovelovelove, that the emotions in question would be positive in nature. But the fact is, Feb. 14 and all it symbolizes is probably as loathed as it is loved.

Never is the line between love and hate thinner than it is on Valentine’s Day.

With Feb. 14 falling on a Sunday this year, that means a wealth of

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Tribal Images

A family affair in Ferndale


It’s funny how you can drive past something many times but never actually see it. For me, that was the case with the Lummi Te’Ti’Sen Center (formerly the Lummi Gateway Center) on Rural Avenue in Ferndale, seconds from the Slater Road exit off I-5.

The center has been there for five years, but I never noticed it until the day Google Maps directed me to its front door to explore tribal art and food.

Frank Goes Behind and his wife Kym are the masterminds behind Tribal Images and are

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Dope Desserts

For the love of brownies


A cautionary tale: Once upon a time, a friend of mine ate way too many pot brownies at a party she was hosting and ended up spending most of the night huddled in the fetal position in the bathtub and screeching with alarm whenever anybody tried to get in to use the bathroom.

Don’t be that person. If you’ve eaten an entire pot brownie, it stands to reason that something is going to happen eventually. As Kevin Nelson notes in a “Marijuana for Beginners” article in our inaugural Cannabis

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Safety First

The fine art of being careful


“Whether we’re chasing daylight with axes and chainsaws or just grunting out some pick-and-shovel work in the rain, we’ll be putting ourselves in harm’s way on a fairly frequent basis here at the ranch,” my buddy’s uncle told me when I arrived for my first day of work on his emergent 20-acre homestead in remote Snohomish County.

“Productivity is important,” the boss man said, ushering me along a rocky, root-gnarled trail to the half-buried shipping container where he kept his

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Where to Invade Next

Michael Moore’s roadshow


All has been fairly quiet on the pestering front for Michael Moore since Capitalism: A Love Story, his glum 2009 assessment of the greed-is-good culture that spawned the global financial crisis. But now this impassioned and unruly provocateur returns to further dismantle the myth of American supremacy with renewed optimism and sharpened comic instincts in Where to Invade Next, an impishly entertaining, career-summarizing polemic bent on demonstrating how other countries around the world—with

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On Stage

Date Night

An improvised Valentine


When I was performing improv on a regular basis, one of my favorite formats we presented to the crowd was a game called “Date Night.”

We’d call up a real-life couple from the audience, get the story of how they met and their subsequent first date, then re-create the action onstage as best we could. When we got something right, one half of the couple would ring a bell. When it was dead wrong, we’d hear a rude beep from a loud horn, and would have to go back to the basics. The end result was

Continue Reading »



Feb 12


Chocolate Pop-Up Lounge: Special discounted chocolate and tastings will take place from 2-4pm daily through Valentine's Day at the Evolve Chocolate Pop-up Lounge, 1313 N. State St. From 4-8pm there'll be an acoustic open mic, a "Lovers Flight of Cacao" (three confections served with sipping chocolate for two), seasonal specials and more. Entry is free. more »

The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin: A cast of 10 will portray everyone from a radical socialist to an Italian laundress to a scientific industrialist when The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin concludes this week with performances at 7:30pm Wednesday through Friday, and 2pm and 7:30pm Saturday at Western Washington University's DUG Theatre. The play focuses on the events surrounding the titular character, who, through a strike at a Canadian zinc smelter, brought the World War I British war machine to a halt. Tickets are $7-$12. more »

Calendar Girls: Attend performances of Calendar Girls for the final weekend at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. Based on a true story and the hit movie of the same name, the play tells the tale of Annie and her friends who, following the death of Annie's husband, resolve to raise money for the local hospital by posing nude for a fundraising calendar. Tickets are $20. more »

Baby: Meet three couples who are facing the brave new world of parenthood in humorous and poignant fashion when Baby concludes this week with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. The musical examines how parents-to-be experience the emotional stresses and triumphs, as well as the desperate lows and the comic highs, that accompany the anticipation and arrival of a baby. Tickets are $12-$14. more »

Moon Over Buffalo: Hilarious misunderstandings pile on top of madcap misadventures in Ken Ludwig's valentine to theater hams everywhere when Moon Over Buffalo shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30pm Sunday, at Oak Harbor's Whidbey Playhouse, 730 SE Midway Blvd. Tickets are $20. Additional showings happen through Feb. 21. more »

Cupid’s Arrow: An improvised dating game dubbed "Cupid's Arrow" continues this week with performances at 8pm and 10pm Friday and Saturday, and 7pm Sunday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. The show is inspired by the classic 1960s and ’70s show The Dating Game, and has the "contestant "choosing from three outlandish characters inspired by audience suggestions (and then going on a date with him/her). The show runs weekends through February. Tickets are $10-$12 ($15 for the Valentine's Day show). more »

Father’s Been to Mars: The Alger Lookout Thespian Association concludes its run of Father's Been to Mars with performances at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2:30pm Sunday, at Alger Community Church, 1475 Silver Run Lane. The comedy focuses on a television actor who can't separate his family life from his onscreen persona. Tickets are $12-$14. more »

Vineyard Valentines Event: Art, artisan chocolates, wine and champagne tastings, treats, tours and more will be part of Valentine's Day Weekend happenings from 12-5pm Friday through Sunday at Mount Baker Vineyards and Winery, 4298 Mt. Baker Hwy. Tastings are $5. more »

Wild Things: Kids, adults and adventurers can join Holly Roger of Wild Whatcom for a "Wild Things" Community Program from 9:30-11am Fridays in February on the Interurban Trail. Suggested donation is $5. more »

Parkinson’s Dance Class: Kuntz and Company's Pam Kuntz leads a dance class for people with Parkinson's disease and other movement or neurological disorders at 10am at Ballet Bellingham, 1405 Fraser St., suite #103. Participants will have the opportunity to experience the joy of dancing while forming a community of support. Entry is free. No registration is necessary. more »

Shantala: Attend a "Kirtan Singing with Shantala" event from 7-9pm at Presence Studio, 1412 Cornwall Ave. The evening of heart-centered singing with the Portland-based ensemble is a fundraiser to benefit the women and children of the Maher Ashram in Pune, India. Entry is $15-$20. more »

Turtle Island Quartet: Hear bold new trends in chamber music for strings when the Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet performs at 7:30pm at Mount Vernon's McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. The foursome is known for fusing the classical quartet esthetic with contemporary American musical styles. Tickets are $30-$40. more »

Faculty Chamber Recital: Listen to what years of practice, collaboration and mastery sounds like at a Faculty Chamber Music Recital at 7:30pm at Western Washington University's Performing Arts Center. Entry is free and open to the public. more »

Beatles Tribute: Nine Entertainment brings "1964...the Tribute" to Bellingham for an 8pm performance at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial Ave. The show that Rolling Stone dubbed the "Best Beatles Tribute on Earth" features songs from the band's pre-Sgt. Pepper era and includes period instruments, clothing, hairstyles and onstage banter. Tickets are $29-$39. more »

Whose Live Anyway: Comedian Ryan Stiles will be joined by fellow funny fellas Greg Proops, Jeff Davis, and Joel Murray for "Whose Live Anyway!" shows at 9pm Friday and Saturday in Anacortes at the Swinomish Casino and Lodge, 12885 Casino Dr. Tickets to see the world-famous improvisors and actors are $35-$75. more »

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