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scene the

Arts and entertainment for the Eastside October 2012

From rock ‘n’ roll to Rock-a-bye Baby Lead singer of Presidents of the United States entertains kids and parents as Caspar Babypants n Kirkland’s Urban Coffee Lounge n Fashion shines at Neiman Marcus n Falling hard for cider

Inside scoop: dine

| wine | art | fashion | cheap thrills

2 | | October 2012

THE scene


October 2012 | | 3

Inside Story


Eastside living


Rocktober is here!


Homebrewing your own hard cider can be tasty and fun!


Caspar Babypants makes rock music for kids of ALL ages


Meet the man who tickles the ivories at Daniel’s Broiler


See what’s happening on the Eastside (and more) this month

Realogics|Sotheby’s explore Eastside luxury living


Dear reader, If you couldn’t tell from the photo above, I am a huge fan of the month of October (for several reasons). A person of the fair-skinned variety, I live for all in the Pacific Northwest. The weather is changing - and so are the color of the leaves. It’s time to pull out those sweaters, put on a silly costume and ask (friendly) strangers for candy. It’s time to sit through 18 innings of the Mariners game, just to watch them lose. It’s time to head to the football field on a Friday night and root for your best friend. It’s perfection. For this month’s issue, we explored a number of things that make autumn in the Northwest such a great thing to experience: playing with different shades of make-up (4), homebrewing your own hard cider (6) - stopping by the local coffee shop for a tasty pumpkin treat (7). We also took a moment to see what creative people in our community are up to. Have you heard of Caspar Babypants (10)? He’s the kid-friendly alter ego created by Chris Ballew - lead singer of the Presidents of the United States of America. Or Joe Washburn (14)? He’s the talented chap that tickles the ivories at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue. Or ‘Men In Dance’ - the bi-annual dance concert shattering the stereotypes about male dancers (12). We’re also celebrating Rocktober - 31 days of awesome music in the Northwest. Intrigued? Check out our Nightlife guide (16). So wrap up in your favorite scarf, sip that spicy latte and enjoy the goods.

cover story


‘Men In Dance’ aims to break gender stereotypes



Arj Barker talks about toothpicks and politics


loud & about

Heija Nunn pops some tags at the thrift shop

The Scene is a publication of the Bellevue Reporter. 2700 Richards Rd. Suite 201, Bellevue WA, 98005. 425.453.4270 Follow us on Twitter @bellevuescene Publisher

Janet Taylor Managing Editor Craig Groshart Keegan Prosser, Assistant Editor

Assistant Editor Keegan Prosser

A publication of

12 15 18

Contributing Writers Alyson Andrews, Rose Dennis, Celeste Gracey, Nat Levy, Heija Nunn and Josh Suman. Design and Layout Craig Groshart and Keegan Prosser Advertising Advertising 425.453.4270 On the cover Chris Ballew, AKA Caspar Babypants. Photo by Brian Kasnyik.


4 | | October 2012

Shades of fall Alyson Andrews, of Seattle-based blog Crushing On Clothes, gives her tips on the perfect make-up for fall BY ALYSON ANDREWS With summer coming to an end (even though it feels like it just started here in the Pacific Northwest) and fall approaching, that means boots, pumpkin spice lattes and berry red lips. When the season changes, you get to play around with new shades: cranberry, khaki greens, bronzy golds, navy, and plum colors on your eyes, cheeks and lips. Here are some tips to play up your features, incorporate fall colors, but still look appropriate and not overdone:

Berry lips

I think if you were to only have one makeup item, making sure your lips are defined is key. When I’m running late in the morning, if I put on a berry, red, or pink lipstick, I instantly look more put together, more awake, and more confident. Be careful not to go too vampy, as you want to look appropriate for meetings or the classroom – a berry shade a few shades darker than your natural lip color will work perfectly. One of my favorites is Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie ($5.99), which has the pigmentation of a lipstick, the moisture of a lip balm and the shine of a lipgloss.

Natural eyes

One great way to play up your eyes is by using lengthening mascara, some eyeliner for definition and a highlight color for brightness. Start with the highlight color. This can be a white, champagne, or bronze color depending on your skin tone. My favorite highlight color would have to be MAC “Phloof ” eye shadow ($15). Put some of this on the inner corner of the eye to make your eyes look wider and more awake. Next, line your lashes with an eyeliner to make them look thicker. Lastly, I prefer lengthening mascaras because I find them less clumpy and more natural looking to highlight your eyes.

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I sadly have a blush addiction; I cannot stop buying it for the life of me. I think I honestly get most excited about fall makeup with plum blushes. My favorite is one by theBALM called “Cabana Boy” ($21). They have the most cheeky (excuse the pun) names; I love them. This color really warms up your complexion.


Finally, the skin. Recently “BB Creams” have shown up on the market as the biggest makeup trend, and I personally think some are great, and some not so great. They make a lot of claims, so you have to be careful of which one you buy. I personally think you can get more bang for your buck with a lightweight foundation, or a tinted moisturizer, so that is what I use on an everyday basis. My favorites are Estee Lauder’s “Invisible Fluid Makeup” foundation ($35), or Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer ($43). They give a glow to the skin with some light coverage to even out any imperfections - and neither of them feel or look heavy or cakey. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone to rock a berry lip, emerald green eyeliner, or bold brows this fall, but remember that you want to look natural and not overdone. Focus on one feature to really stand out, and keep the rest clean and simple.

THE scene

e ave n

The Pacific Northwest’s music scene is legendary—and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night we serve up a slice of it right here at Crossroads. So come listen, dance and start your weekend on a high note.


Music lovers, unite

October 2012 | | 5

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6 | | October 2012


Falling hard for cider

Of all the seasons, fall may have the greatest identity. Any number of things come to mind: leaves changing, football season, cloudy weather. Another standout fall treat is apple cider. We in the US view our cider a little differently than the rest of the world. For us, cider is just the cloudier, thicker version of apple juice found at farmers' markets and other vendors. We use the term hard cider to define alcoholic cider. In much of the world, cider is just code for apple juice plus alcohol. With that explanation out of the way, know that I will be talking about hard cider, but I plan to drop the word "hard," both to lower the word count and to speed up the process. The process for making cider is nowhere near the intricacy of brewing or distilling. But it gives the brewer more freedom to experiment and put their own stamp on the process. Jessica Shabatura, who runs, started brewing more than 10 years ago in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. When her sister returned from college in the UK, she missed the bevy of cider options. Wanting to help her sister reacclimate to home, Shabatura, who had been making her own wine previously, took the plunge. And while the first few batches didn't turn out perfect, she quickly learned the most important lessons. "Brewing is as much about good timing as it is about good science. I use the analogy of the home-grown tomato. "If you just want a tomato, you should go buy one at the store - but if you are patient, you can cultivate something that is less expensive and tastes fantastic," she said. She compares the process more to wine making than beer brewing, as allowing cider to sit can really help the flavor. Shabatura recommends for most ciders a sitting time of around four to six weeks.


The other key attribute: balance. It took Shabatura countless batches to figure out how to correctly add the correct amounts of yeast and sugar. This decides everything - from how sweet the cider is to the alcohol content of the drink. Shabatura loves brewing cider, but does not consider herself a master. One of her favorite things about is it can always get better. Her dad is a food science professor, so the curiosity runs in her blood. She has gained a following for her recipes and loves encouraging them to try new things. "I feel like there will always be a better technique that will create a better brew," she said. "Every day folks write in to my website asking me for my opinion about a fantastic cider-brewing idea they have. I always tell them to go for it. The worst that can happen - if you used pasteurized juice and keep good sterile technique - is that you will make a gallon or two of apple cider vinegar. Want to make it yourself? Shabatura provides detailed instructions on every step of the process on her website

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Today approximately 18 million, or 1 in 15 Americans experience Sleep Apnea, a sleep disorder involving the airway that disrupts a person’s sleep often leading to excessive daytime sleepiness, irritability, overall poor health, and in some cases, even death. According to Dr. Jeffery Doneskey, Oral Medicine Specialist and founder of The Sleep Apnea & Facial Pain Center in Bellevue, therapy for the disorder can be difficult. “The most common treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) involves the use of a medical breathing device called a CPAP, “ said Doneskey. CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, delivers air through a mask worn over the nose during sleep in order to help maintain an open airway. While CPAP can provide an effective solution, Doneskey reports that there are significant reasons why some people are unwilling or unable to use CPAP. “For example, restless sleepers

October 2012 | | 7


Not your average cup of joe

Urban Coffee Lounge serves tasty treats for the independent drinker this fall BY CELESTE GRACEY

Her work is an undeniable example of how even the Eastside is beginning to snub corporate coffee in favor of quality and personality. The couple owned a drive-through coffee stand on East Lake Sammamish Parkway in Issaquah, before they made a move to Kirkland. They soon realized the area needed a good coffee joint, and another drive through wouldn’t be enough. Alicia has been working in the coffee business since her parents opened a drive through during her teens. Although oblivious to the finer ways of espresso, she happily ran the shop with her sister at age 17. Ever since, she’s found herself in corporate and local shops, unintentionally learning what customers love and hate. With Urban Coffee, she set out to build the perfect combination for the Kirkland community. Her philosophy starts with baristas. She’s so particular about who pulls the shots, when a Craig’s List ad turned out 50 applications, she only conducted one interview. She also aims to hire a diverse group, all dressed as their personalities suit, who are united by a common love of coffee and people, she said. The blank space on a corner in Juanita Village was the perfect palette for Jeff, who’s also an architect. He gave the space a modern, industrial look, which refuses to sacrifice comfort for square footage. Pockets of tables and chairs encourage community. The urban design is a reprieve from the corporate collections that bloat most Eastside shopping centers. They’ve since partnered with two other cafes, Cafe Cesura in Bellevue and the Issaquah Coffee Company, with a “disloyalty” program. Visit all three shops, and receive a free drink. All loyal to Stumptown beans, the independent shops have found a way to stick together and stick it to the pumpkin spice latte.

While unabashed fans have already filled their bellies with more pumpkin spice lattes than even a spoiling mother could approve, the independent drinker can find equal temptation in the arms of a Kirkland coffee shop. In addition to the Urban Coffee Lounge’s pumpkin pie latte, which tops the treat with pie crust crumbles, the shop is brewing a fall twist on salted caramel – salted maple. Sweet enough to be a treat, the coffee still shines through. Just when your tongue braces for a sugar kick, a fleck of sea salt offers a reprieve. The only syrup they use in either of these concoctions is real maple. While coffee aficionados and lounge owners Alicia and Jeff Miner typically stick to more virgin forms of caffeine, they’re not too pure to add a little spice to the autumn season. For Alicia, who bravely setup shop in Juanita Village a few dozen yards from a towering Starbucks, it’s about knowing what customers love. “It’s everyone’s coffee shop,” Alicia said on the patio out front. Five years after they opened, family and friends fill the business midweek and midday.



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Caspar Babypants knows how to rock Chris Ballew, frontman of the Presidents of the United States, trades rock ‘n’ roll for Rock-a-bye Baby BY KEEGAN PROSSER The Presidents of the United States of America made a name for themselves in the ‘90s for their cheeky, alternative-pop tracks. But in 2009, after 20-plus years of peaches, lumps and celebrating the Supersonics, vocalist Chris Ballew decided to go in a different direction. “I’d been doing the rock band for years, and always had this sixth sense that I needed to do something else,” Ballew says. Inspired by his wife’s quirky collage art - and his role as a father of two young children - Ballew started making music that was a bit more mellow. “When I stepped back, I realized it was kid’s music I was doing,” Ballew says. And so Caspar Babypants was born. Known for his thoughtful, catchy pop tunes of the family-friendly variety, Ballew has since become one of many stars in Seattle’s Kindiependent music collective, a group started in 2010, that aims to make creative and innovative music for kids - of all ages.

Keeping it simple

Ballew says he tries to steer clear of the traps that generally define music for kid’s: firetrucks, space ships and airplanes.

“Fire engines and rockets are more man made - they seem more cool,” Ballew says. “And I’m trying to stay away from cool, because cool means cold.” As such, Caspar Babypants songs pay ode to warm things, like animals and flowers, trees and insects. “It’s just a reflection of how I live my life,” Ballew says. “I love nature and being outside.” As for the melodies and arrangements, Ballew says his biggest inspiration comes from old-timey folk and blues songs of the 1920s and ‘30s and turn of the century spiritual songs. He’s also influenced by other children’s music writers, like Joe Raposo, of the Muppets fame. In this tradition, Ballew keeps his music simple, choosing to omit electric guitar or percussion (for most songs) - aiming to make quirky, sing-alongs a-la the Schoolhouse Rock! series. “When I was a kid I felt a really happy sensation [from that] and that’s what I am trying to do with my music.” The Caspar Babypants moniker came about from a combination of nicknames Ballew had in the past; Caspar is a name he gave myself when he was living in Boston in the ‘90s when he got tired of “Chris.” Babypants was what the neighborhood kids called Ballew as a result of him wearing a hand-knit pair of Babypants as a hat in the winter.


October 2012 | | 11

The Caspar Collection:






(Jan. 2013)

To purchase the albums, and to find out where Caspar Babypants will perform next, go to Chris Ballew sings as Caspar Babypants. Photos by Brian Kasnyik. Ballew says it’s been really fun to write for Caspar because it gives him the opportunity to come from a freer, more innocent part of his personality. “When I’m writing for Caspar I think of a family, in a car, under stress. Ballew says. “And I consider that family when writing, arranging, recording; that imaginary family is my guide. For the Presidents I imagined 1000 drunk people.” And while he enjoyed making loud party music full of innuendos and rock riffs for the Presidents, his Caspar Babypants material has filled a more personal niche. “This is the music that I am supposed to be making with my life,” Ballew says. Caspar Babypants is a do it yourself venture, with Ballew running the Aurora Elephant Music record label, booking shows, running the studio and producing and distributing the albums from his home. Because of this, he’d like it to just hum along at a nice, slow pace. “I don’t want it to - actually I’d prefer it to not be as successful as the Presidents.”

Kids rock

With five albums released in the last three years, and another coming in January, Caspar Babypants may be the most well known of children’s acts in the Northwest, but Ballew says the Kindiependent movement, as a whole, is very collaborative. Citing acts like the Board of Education, the Not-Its and Recess Monkey as partners in arms, Ballew says he is excited to be a part of the growing family music scene in the area. “I think all bands in the Kindiependent movement are finally taking parents in to consideration - because parents buy the records, not the kids,” Ballew says. The result has proved to be a collection of clever tunes that both kids and parents can enjoy. In regard to the competitive spirit that might come with creating similar art in the same community, Ballew says it doesn’t exist. “I’m happy to be doing it at the same time that other artists are concerned aboumaking quality music for families, because we can work together and share our experience.”

Playing local

In the past year, Ballew has played several shows around the Greater Seattle Area, including stops at the KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue and the various University Bookstore locations. He also opened the third day of the Capitol Hill Block Party Festival in July (it was an early morning set, and families showed up in droves). Currently, Ballew’s favorite song to perform is the song “Bunny Brown,” from his most recent release, Hot Dog! Based on a classic Appalachian song called “Pretty Polly,” - which Bob Dylan used as inspiration for his song of the same name - the Babypants track tells the classic story of the Tortoise and the Hare. “It’s got a great story, great groove, and I’ve started doing this play by play of the race in the song, where I ask the kids who is going to win,” Ballew says. “It’s interactive and it’s really grown live.”

Artistic extension

In addition to his Caspar Babypants albums, Ballew has dabbled in literature as well, working with his collage artist wife, Kate Endle, to release three children’s books. “The books grew out of songs or songs ideas. One was a song I never finished fragmentary parts of a song we developed together. And the other two were songs from my albums,” Ballew says. He says the project was just a natural extension of their relationship with music and art, but the music remains the focus. Ballew will release his sixth Caspar Babypants album, I Found You!, in January - and has already begun tracking songs for the seventh album, to be released at a later date. As of right now, he sees 10 albums being the goal, with the intention of releasing a box set after that. “I used to have a Maurice Sendak box, with books in it - the Nutshell Library?” Ballew says. “I loved that thing. I have big dreams of doing that for myself.”


12 | | October 2012

Moving men forward Biannual dance concert changes the perception of men in dance By Gabrielle Nomura Wimp. Fairy. Sissy. With stereotypes like these, it’s no wonder that so many boys don’t grow up to become ballet or modern dancers. But when young men are able to defy the odds and put stigma aside, something magical happens. Just ask Wade Madsen, a professor of dance at Cornish College of the Arts. Not only does Madsen play a hand in training the next crop of artists, as a veteran of the Seattle modern dance scene, he’s well known in Puget Sound for creating and performing his own contemporary work. Madsen says most of his male students lack the formal training that their female coun-

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terparts may have. But that doesn’t mean they don’t bring something equally special to the stage. “Men aren’t afraid of looking rough, raw or un-pretty. Because of the muscular way these boys and men move, they get stronger faster, and improve quicker than some women who may have danced ballet for 12 years.” With the power to catapult themselves through the air, and the confidence to tell a story with their bodies – men bring qualities to the stage that are riveting to watch, often with chiseled muscles to boot. When people see how hard dance really is, and can appreciate the years of training and sacrifice it takes to become successful, they see male dancers for the artists and athletes that they are, says Richard Jessup, a choreographer, teacher and producer of both concert dance and musical theater based in Seattle. “You take a ballet, modern or jazz dance class and tell me how you feel the next day,” he says. Along with a handful of other choreographers and volunteer producers, Jessup and Madsen are Men In Dance helping to change the way people think about male dancers. Their biannual Against the Grain/Men DATES: Oct. 12-13, 19-20; in Dance festival, will highlight a variety of dance and at 2 p.m. Oct. 14 and 21 styles for two weekends this October at Broadway TIME: 8 p.m. Performance Hall. PLACE: Broadway PerforAttendees will be treated to two weekends with mance Hall, 1625 Broadway, slightly different programs, featuring work by local Seattle. dance celebrities such as former Pacific Northwest COST: $20-$25 at www. Ballet dancer Olivier Wevers, artistic director of or Whim W’him. The diversity of the acts includes 1-800-838-3006. Cash and everything from a performance en pointe by dragcheck sales (only) at the queen ballerina “Doris Vidanya” of Ballet Trockadoor. dero de Monte Carlo, to Kaleidoscope youth dance company featuring performers age 8-15. For more information, go to According to the concert mission statement, proximately one in 10 dancers in North America is male. “As the minority in this profession, men have sometimes struggled to find their voice. This festival allows them the camaraderie and the opportunity to celebrate their art with pride while serving as a diversified role model for the male dancers of tomorrow,” the statement reads. Madsen says the best thing about being a dancer is the ability to be “both masculine and feminine in a single moment,” getting to communicate an idea or feeling without words. “Perhaps the worst thing is the dance belt. That is a real drag. You get used to it, but man, it can really dig in after eight hour of rehearsal and class. Other than that, I have loved my life as a dancer.”

THE scene

October 2012 | | 13

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14 | | October 2012

Bellevue’s Piano Man Jim Washburn has spent nearly five decades entertaining restaurant patrons at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue BY JOSH SUMAN


he lounge inside Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue is brimming with stars. But it isn’t one of several former NFL players sporting golf-ball sized diamonds or even a Heisman Trophy winner in Eddie George that has the attention of the eclectic mix of young business professionals and sage veterans of the Bellevue nightlife. It’s piano man Jim Washburn. As a child growing up in Yakima, Washburn’s musical inclination began at age eight with piano lessons from a teacher who appreciated the classics, but also had an ear for contemporary music that would stand the test of time, like The Beatles. After singing in the school choir and playing in garage bands with friends as a youngster, Washburn landed his first paid gig at a restaurant in town that was a favorite haunt of WWII era patrons. “People thought it was so cute there was this young guy playing their songs,” Washburn said. “But I had to literally go outside on my breaks.” At the time he was cutting his teeth on the entertainment scene, the prime job for a piano player in the area was at a large hotel with an open atrium near the main hub of town. When the position opened, Washburn had a chance to make sustainable money and find out if entertainment was the career he truly wanted. The original plan was to again enroll at Central Washington University when school resumed in the fall, but with the money rolling in and his passion for music more fulfilled than ever, Washburn soon realized his path would not wind back through a classroom any time soon.

“It just kind of snowballed,” he said. “I was playing five nights per week, making almost as much as my dad.” With the possibilities as an entertainer seemingly exhausted in his hometown, Washburn headed for Western Washington, landing in Bellevue in 1984 at a since-closed Italian restaurant called Bravo. A short time later, the foundation of a relationship that is now nearly three decades in the making was formed. Less than a year after beginning at Bravo, Washburn moved to C.I. Shenanigans, a popular spot on Lake Bellevue where he played for the next four years while building the now-familiar cantor that defines his performances. When local industry magnates Bill and John Schwartz decided to open a new restaurant near the top of downtown Bellevue’s Bank of America building in 1989, the piano man was still squarely in the framework of the American dining experience. But complications with the first hire left the position at Daniel’s Broiler vacant after only a few months. Luckily for Washburn, that wouldn’t last long. “The other guy didn’t like the acoustics and wanted to be in Seattle,” Washburn said. “He basically shoehorned me in to audition for John Schwartz.” After hearing Washburn play, Schwartz was persuaded enough to give him six weeks in the new restaurant. 25 years later, Washburn is the beating heart of the lounge inside Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue and the distinguishing factor in an increasingly crowded downtown scene. From 8 p.m. until closing time on Tuesday through Saturday nights, Washburn uniquely blends modern nightlife and the long forgotten ambiance of live musical accompaniment in eateries. With his diverse blend of memorized melodies by Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, or

whatever else the crowd wants to hear, and a charismatic grin that brings even the most reserved singer from his or her shell to belt out a tune, Washburn is far more than the entertainment. He is the draw. “People that come to the lounge want just a little more of something happening,” Washburn said. “There’s a whole cadre of people that sing with me.” But the most impressive part of Washburn’s act isn’t the piano tones that provide the track for an evening on the town, or his ability to cater to audiences young and old. It’s the fact he does it all from memory. While the piano at Daniel’s is often crowded by drinks and appetizers from spectators, what never sits in front of Washburn is sheet music. Other than the occasional forgotten lyrics, which he now calls up on a smart phone, Washburn plays exclusively by ear. “If I played a song wrong, you would know,” he offered as a point of reference for memorizing music. “They are all in our minds.” With nearly three decades at Daniel’s and 45 years in the industry, Washburn said he sometimes hears the call of warm weather and coastal winds calling. But for the near future, he can’t see himself anywhere but behind the piano that has made him an Eastside icon and helped Daniel’s garner an ambiance found nowhere else on the Eastside. “If I were looking out at four or five 70 year old people, I would know they couldn’t keep paying me,” Washburn said. “But young people are still coming and requesting things I know. I don’t want to be irrelevant and as a corporation they want to stay current.”

October 2012 | | 15


The absurdity of the world BY KEEGAN PROSSER Arj Barker may be best known for playing the eccentric character Dave on the wildly popular sitcom “Flight of the Concords,” but the accomplished actor and stand-up comedian from San Anselmo, Calif. is also turning heads on the stand-up circuit. Known for memorable spots on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Glass House, as well as his involvement with “The Marijuana-Logues,” an OffBroadway show in New York, with Doug Benson and Tony Camin. Barker brings his act to the Parlor Live later this month. The Scene recently caught up with Barker to talk about his second home, socially-conscious material and tooth picks. Lots of tooth picks.

scene: If you had to describe your act in two words, what would they be? Arj Barker: Seriously silly. scene: What inspires your act? AB: The absurdity of the world around as seen through the lens of my own flawed personality. And pot. scene: What do you enjoy most about doing standup? AB: Getting to play the Northwest. scene: So you have been to the Parlor before? AB:Yeah. I’ve played the Parlor a couple of times. I love Seattle - I love that whole area. And fall is the best time to be there. scene: In addition to your stand up, you’ve got a lot of other projects going on (, “Arj & Poopy” animated series). How did those come about? AB:Those are just little things you dream up with friends. It’s just simply collaborating and doing projects with friends. And in this day and age you can put it online. It’s like how I had a Lemonade stand as a kid. Putting stuff online is like the Lemonade stand of adulthood. scene: You’ve got quite the following in Australia and live there part time. Why do you think you’ve done so well there? AB: I don’t know. People laugh at me just as much in the states. But for some reason, I got known there - and just became part of the public consciousness. It came down to, well I could stay here and play a 1,000-person theater, or go to America and play a 300-person club. I’m definitely trying to make that happen here in the states though, which is why I need people to come to the Parlor.

scene: You don’t shy away from heavy topics like religion and politics in your act. Why is that important for you to address? AB: Those aren’t the only thing I talk about. But sometimes you think about those thing because they are everywhere. They are on my mind, so I talk about it. It’s in my face so it ends up on the page. Especially with all of the stuff going on in the news - like health care and gun control. scene: So what can fans expect from your set this month? AB: I’m working on a lot of new material. And they can expect to have a great night. I’m working with another comedian named Tony Camin, and he is great. We’re gonna have a fun night. scene: What else are you currently working on? AB: Well, I’m building a life size replica of the Taj Mahal - out of toothpicks. scene: Seriously? AB: It’s moving a little slowly - I’m running out of toothpicks. Other than that, I’ll probably do more stand-up. Arj Barker plays the Parlor Live Comedy Club Oct. 1113. $15-30.


16 | | October 2012

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October 2012 | | 17

In Good Company

Fashion, fashionistas shine at Neiman Marcus


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Nancy Lee, Peggy Swistak. Vivian Hsu for Team Photogenic © 2012

combination, to spruce up our existing wardrobe; and ■ The Smoking Slipper, which is a chic flat loafer that is designed to be worn with narrow cropped pants. The key accessories shared included: cherry colored lips, a statement handbag, and wearing a cluster of brooches to accent, and of course, add drama. I cannot wait, let the shopping begin! Rose Dennis writes about events in Bellevue and the Greater Seattle area. She lives in Bellevue.

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rom Bellevue to Australia, Manhattan to Milan, the fourth annual after hours shopping extravaganza called Fashion’s Night Out on Sept. 6 was a worldwide initiative to promote local retail and celebrate the fashion industry. Neiman Marcus celebrated the event with a fabulous Trend Runway Presentation to a standing-room-only audience. Rachel Roberts and her team did a beautiful job selecting the best fall looks that were worn down the runway. Many guests shared how they were impressed with the masterful mixing and matching of colors, patterns and textures in creating the looks that they canRose Dennis not wait to wear this fall. The Neiman Marcus list of must haves include: ■ The Jacket, which goes over everything, and looks ultrafeminine draped over your shoulders; ■ Navy as the new neutral, which was paired with black, tan and many bright colors; ■ The Leather Legging, which was worn under everything, including skirts and dresses; ■ Mixed Greens, where hues of green were worn solo or in


18 | | October 2012

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just got home from driving the exact kind of carpool I don’t like because it is proof positive that I am indeed a Soccer Mom. After kicking four soccer players to the curb at Robinswood, I decided to run some errands. Crossing Bellevue four times during rush hour is unappealing. So Sistafoo and I went to Crossroads Mall. After doing a return at Old Navy, HEIJA NUNN we drove a mile or so west for a quick browse at Goodwill. Growing up with four brothers and sisters and a super-shopper mom, I learned how not to be a shopping snob. I will stop at your Garage Sale and if you post something awesome on Craigslist, chances are I will see it and possibly even buy it. Luckily, my kids share my tolerance for shopping variety. Sweetie-Boy revels in treasure-hunting and is a big fan of Pawn Stars and American Pickers. Venom Pen loves broken electronics and gadgets. And although Sistafoo has reservations about touching old stuff, her nearly obsessive hand purifying routine means that she can almost always find a ridiculous secondhand something to love. Tonight’s speed shop yielded a teak ice bucket that I don’t need, but it’s cool. When I arrived to retrieve my gang of kickers, there was a parking-lot clogging

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‘I’m gonna pop some tags…’ tussle over who would ride in the front seat. I told the wily winner that it was his job to cradle and protect my find. He looked it over appreciatively and then asked: “What is it?” I told him it’s an ice bucket. He twisted the bucket in his hands. “$5.99? That’s a good price!” Before I could launch a lesson on entertaining and Mad Men style trends, the radio DJ announced my new anthem, the song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Note: if you have delicate ears or eyes, skip the video and just imagine men in fur coats and footed pj’s rapping to a lively tune. By the time the song ended we were on Bellevue Way, and as we chatted about the wonders and joys of thrift shopping we were getting dangerously close to 7-11. The inevitable queries began; “Please?!? Please can we get a Slurpee mom?” “Please Mrs. Nunn?” It’s always hard to resist the allure of buying my way into the cool mom club, so I said yes, with one catch. I promised a full-sized Slurpee after the next practice if they do just one little thing for me: Memorize and competently perform the entire “Thrift Shop” rap (clean version) for my amusement. They have 48 hours to get it done. No matter how they do I am certain I got another great deal. Because while Slurpees are cheap, teenagers who will rap for Slurpees, are priceless. Wanna say Hiya to Heija? Follow her on Twitter (@Heija) Friend her on Facebook or relax, sit back, and silently judge her life in the flickering glow of your computer screen at her blog The Worst Mother in the World (

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October 2012 | | 19

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The Scene - October 2012  


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