Wunnerful, Wunnerful -- Already wondering what the hell you're going to give your elderly relatives this Christmas? A gift they'll enjoy that doesn't smack of surrendering to the fruitcake/decorated poinsettia/slippers/TV Guide subscription route? Check this out: "A Lawrence Welk Family Christmas" is coming to Spokane on Dec. 15, and with it, all the champagne bubbles and maroon double-knit polyester you can handle.
The original Lawrence Welk Show aired from 1955-1982, and reruns are still rampant on the area's various public TV affiliates. Although the Bubblicious Bandleader went to that great Ballroom in the Sky in 1992, the traveling show retains all the earnest wholesomeness of its original. Or perhaps not. One Web site, www. EdmontonPlus.com, actually lists the show as being "Alternative Rock."
Tickets are $34-$38 and are available through TicketsWest. Call 325-SEAT.
Day Runner -- Lord, but writing is a grungy, lonely business. Here in the Bin, we shouldn't complain -- at least we have each other. But for many writers, days are spent wrestling with recalcitrant prose, project-oriented attention deficit disorder, occasional loneliness and that little voice inside that keens "you suck you suck you suck you suck."
Which is why Bylines: the 2004 Writer's Desk Calendar is such a cool thing. It's not only your basic engagement-style calendar (week by week), it's also a profile of 53 writers and journalists - some local, some not. The brainchild of freelance writer Linda Hagen Miller (with help from Melissa Magnuson and Susan Peacock), Bylines includes advice and observations from Bryan Harnetiaux, Richard Robbins, Ada Limon, David Matheson and more. Most important, it lays bare the kind of whack thought processes you once thought exclusively your own: "How I prepare to write: First, I break out in a cold sweat," Scott Poole writes. "Then I lie on the floor, positive that I am dying. Then I see if there is anything on television that I can steal..."
Bylines: The 2004 Writer's Desk Calendar is available at Auntie's, Tinman Art Gallery, Borders, Hastings, and at www.bylines2004.com.
The Giving Tree -- They've been doing it for nine years now, and the staff at Auntie's show no sign of stopping. This week, they'll hoist into place a humongous, 25-foot-tall Christmas tree and festoon it with hundreds of paper angels, each bearing the name and age of a local child. Select an angel or two, the Auntie's staff will help you pick out an age-appropriate gift, and they'll not only wrap and deliver the book in time for the holidays, they'll put a star on the tree with your name on it to proclaim to one and all what a cool and highly generous individual you are. Giving has never been easier.