First in Line -- Here in the Bin we find it a little hard to believe that some people don't want to spend the early morning hours of the New Year puking up every color of the wine spectrum or making unwise alcohol-fueled scenes/passes/doo doo in the front yard. For sensible people, on the other hand, there is First Night. The annual alcohol-free and family-friendly New Year's Eve celebration includes galleries, art activities, live music, hors d'oeuvres and much more. Buttons are now available -- think of your button as a shiny round passport to everything the evening offers -- at area Rosauers stores, Auntie's Bookstore, Tomlinson Black, the Spokane Public Library, River Park Square and online at www.ticketswest.com. For more information on this year's event, check out the official Web site at www.firstnightspokane.com. Your liver will thank you.
Misfit Toy -- It's the kind of stuff we've been wondering about for years and unfortunately, repeated viewings of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer have only raised more questions than they've answered. But at last, fans of the 1963 stop-motion animation holiday classic can find out, for once and for all, things like "What was wrong with the cute little doll on the Island of Misfit Toys?" or "Why does Hermey want to be a dentist?" While www.rankinbass.com/rudolphhome.html doesn't really get into some of the other things we've wondered about ("Was that an olive covering Rudolph's nose?" "Why did Santa have to be such a jerk to everyone?"), you've gotta love a site that gives you a look at the original screenplay and plays really loud Rudolph music. Ah, nostalgia!
Nice Digs -- One of Allegro's most popular series throughout the year is their "historic homes" concerts, in which Beverly Biggs, David Dutton and a select crew of additional musicians enliven some of the area's most beautiful old homes by whipping up a Baroque party atmosphere. This year, their "Hearthside Holidays" concert takes place at the Jay P. Graves/Waikiki Retreat Mansion, and you have a chance to catch it on two consecutive days (Dec. 10-11), with four "sittings" on each day. For more information or to buy tickets, go to www.allegrobaroque.com.
Hood River Santa -- We get a lot of wacky stuff here in the Bin, and this week we were amused by the cover of the new CD Christmas in the Northwest 6. Santa, whose red and white outfit could easily be mistaken for a nautical buoy, is shown windsurfing on the Columbia River. As for the musical material, the CD includes selections from the Chad Mitchell Trio, Tingstad & amp; Rumbel, the Coats, and more. Proceeds benefit the Children's Miracle Network, and the CDs are available at area Hastings stores.