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INSIDE: Martini Rox n John Dorsey n Jeff McGinnis


DEC. 21, 2011

Hope & despair

Clifton Harvey blends digital and ink tools

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FILM: ‘The Closing Broadcast’ 4 BENEFITS: Rock Show at Blarney Bullpen 6 HOLIDAYS: New Year’s Eve 8 ART: Clifton Harvey blends digital tools 12 ON THE ROX: Martini’s gift list 13 THE PULSE: Events calendar 14 POETRY: Star holiday poetry 19 POP GOES THE CULTURE: Riki Lindhome 22

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REVIEW: ‘THE Girl with the dragon tattoo’ • Diversity in comics • ‘The Closing Broadcast’ • GIFT GUIDE: Soft Kitty DEC. 21, 2011 • Episode 2 Chapter 51 • Toledo Free Press Star, Toledo, OH: “Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store.

Maybe Christmas ... perhaps ... means a little bit more. ” — Dr. Seuss

Sixtyten Studio thrives on collaboration

Star of the Week


Owner/operator Mike Pierce opened the Northwood recording facility Sixtyten Studio in 2008 and has been steadily building a reputation. “The building was finished in ’08,” Pierce said. “At first all of the advertisement was via word-of-mouth. My band and other friends have recorded here and they would tell friends who would tell friends.” Pierce said what separates his recording studio from others isn’t so much the gear list, but the intangible elements. “At the end of the day, a lot of things don’t matter,” Pierce said. “If you have good gear, specs don’t matter; you’ll get a good result. Many people don’t realize there’s a process to getting a good sound. I try to educate people as much as possible.” Educated clients, purpose-built live and control rooms, and world-class recording gear all work with Pierce’s collaborative attitude. “Everything today is about collaboration. It goes back to music being a communal network kind of thing, and that’s what I promote here. I think that’s the best part of this place,” he said. While Toledo isn’t without other quality, professional recording facilities, Pierce said Sixtyten is different because of the relationships he tries to build with his clients. “All this stuff, all this space and gear relates directly to the music. To me, music is a shared experience,” he said. “Of course, I’m trying to make money out here. I don’t want to break the bank, but for me it’s more about building relationships.” Pierce attended The Recording Workshop in southern Ohio in 2005 and collected audio gear as time progressed. “I was working as a substitute teacher and screen printer for a while,” he said. “My family helped build this building and once it was completed I opened the studio.” The studio boasts gear like ProTools 9, Control 24, live and isolation rooms along with top-notch microphones and microphone preamps. “I’m here to build relationships with people and be instrumental in getting artists where they want to be,” Pierce said. For more information about Sixtyten Studio, visit O

Mike Pierce opened Sixtyten Studio in 2008. PHOTO BY MIGHTY WYTE

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”Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” — Janice Maeditere

The Closing Broadcast

Owens student Matthew Cooper writes, directs film about terror attack.

By Jason Mack Toledo Free Press Web Editor

Terrorists are attacking the city and all Jeri Kline can do is hole up in the studio and report the news as her relationship and the world around her come crashing down. This is the scenario faced in the film “The Closing Broadcast,” written, directed and produced by Owens Community College student Matthew Cooper. The lead role of Jeri Kline is played by Bowling Green student Eli Brickey, who was excited about the Dec. 16 premiere at Owens. “I have never been to a premiere like this before and I am beyond excited,” Brickey said. “It is a completely different experience as far as theater goes. I cannot adapt or change anything about my acting like in theater and so it will be interesting to sit back and see our work from a few months ago.” The idea for the film came to Cooper while shadowing his fiancée as she worked the overnight shift at 13abc. “It was really dark,” Cooper said. “She was the only person in the building. There was no sound except the police scanners that were saying every horrible crime that was happening in the city. It had this really dour feeling to it. The original idea was, what if there was a zombie apocalypse and you don’t actually see anything happening. You’re hearing about it like a radio drama, hearing all these things take place and trying to have an impact on it when really you don’t have any ability to.” Since Cooper was working on another sci-fi/ horror project, he decided to take zombies out of the equation. “I didn’t want to start off being seen as one type of filmmaker,” he said. “I decided to take it in the direction of more reality. I took away the zombie aspect and thought of what a plausible situation is that would be just as horrible. Ironically, when I was finishing the script, situations were occurring that are very close to the subject material. I was upset we couldn’t have the movie

Eli Brickey plays the role of Jeri Kline in “The Closing Broadcast.” IMAGE COURTESY MATTHEW COOPER

done and out right then.” Cooper spent time at 13abc as a floor director and camera operator and used that experience when writing “The Closing Broadcast.” “I was able to figure out the relationships, dynamic and politics of making the news and utilize that for the story,” he said. “I found the

way the anchors worked with the producers so entertaining and unique.” Cooper began making films in his early teens. This project was important to him because most of the cast was involved in a previous film called “Preliminary Testing,” which wasn’t completed due to personal reasons.

“To not be able to let them experience it going out there and people seeing them, I took that as a great personal failure,” Cooper said. “This was a chance to do something even bigger than that ever could have hoped to have been and give them something they can be proud of.” n BROADCAST CONTINUES ON 5

“This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.” — Taylor Caldwell n BROADCAST CONTINUED FROM 4 The cast consists mostly of theater students and community actors including Brickey, Nicholas Anthony Corbin, William Toth, Heath Huber, James MacFarlane, Jordan Jarvis, Kari Duffy-Shrader and Casey Toney. “I was really impressed with how professional the rest of the cast was,” Brickey said. “At the same time, they were all able to keep their sense of humor while shooting such intense scenes. I think this kept everyone grounded and we were all able to connect easily because of it.” Brickey almost wasn’t part of the cast. After filming a trailer for the movie, the actress playing Jeri Kline had to drop out and recommended Brickey audition for the part. “[Brickey] was very personable and showed us two great sides of her,” Cooper said. “She could be friendly but also very dramatic. She had this incredible monologue that showed how far she could take this character.” “I remember sitting at home debating whether or not to drive to Owens to the audition and I am so thankful that I went for it because it was a wonderful and challenging experience,” Brickey said. “When Matt contacted me about being cast I was just so thrilled. I was filled with all these nerves about it, too, because I wanted to do the best that I could and I didn’t want to let the cast and crew down.” Another late addition to the cast was Brickey’s boyfriend Casey Toney, who she recommended when another actor dropped out two weeks before they began shooting. “The character had the information that pushed the story forward, and there wasn’t much

more to him than that,” Cooper said. “Casey came in and brought this weight to it, like he was the only guy who understood what was going on and how bad it was. It totally changed the dynamic of the characters around him. We ended up changing the relationships of the characters to accommodate that. It took a fairly static character and made him one of the most powerful characters in the story.” Cooper received $7,500 of funding from businessman Rich Iott and added $1,500 of his own money as well as various donations. He decided to spend $3,500 of the budget to rent a Red One camera for a week. It is the same camera used to shoot “The Social Network.” The two days it took to transport the camera left five days for filming the 45-minute movie. The setting of the film required them to shoot at night as they worked 12-14 hours each day. “I am finding that I am falling more in love with the film aspect to performing,” Brickey said. “Film acting has its challenges, but I am learning more about it and it is so exciting. This project was different in the sense of the filming process. Since this film takes place during a third shift essentially, filming took place sometimes from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and that was the challenge I found, was staying on my toes for that long.” Brickey also shadowed Cooper’s fiancée at 13abc for an evening. “I am such a hands-on learner, so this allowed me to see and experience all the work that goes into just one evening of news,” Brickey said. “It was the best information I could have asked for as an actor and I got a deeper appreciation for those doing the behind the scenes work. I was


able to experience that sense of isolation that those who regularly work third shifts might feel. That is what I love about acting, getting to see the world through a different lens and growing from that.” Cooper said he was impressed with what Brickey brought to the role of Jeri Kline. “She grounded that character in a way I didn’t anticipate,” he said. “When you look into her eyes in these really dramatic moments, there are so many layers going on at once with the hurt, the happiness and the anger. She could put those on top of each other, which is an incredibly hard thing to do at this stage in an acting career.” “This was my first time working with Matt and it was really great because I could see the passion he had for this project and that was inspiring,” Brickey said. “It made me want to do the best that I could each time. He was so hands-on throughout the process rather than being passive, so it was nice to get the feedback from him and to apply it there and then. He really made sure that I had an understanding of all the scenes before we shot them and was so helpful if I had questions about anything.” Cooper has written two books as well as several feature-length scripts and shorts, and said he works something personal into every project. For “The Closing Broadcast,” it was his struggle to balance his career and a personal life with his fiancée. “Every single one of them is me working out some sort of neurosis or some personal demon,” Cooper said. “A lot of times I don’t know what it is until I’m done. Writing is always very thera-

Filmmaker Matthew Cooper.

PHOTO Courtesy Matthew Cooper

peutic for me. Film is at its strongest when it’s cathartic and gives people an emotional reaction they might not have in everyday life.” Cooper plans to show the film in nine regional theaters. “It’s a great moment for me, because I took acting classes at Owens,” Cooper said. “There was something about that space that just grabbed me and awoke something in me. I let everyone else leave in front of me. For a moment I was on the stage by myself. I looked out at all the seats and said to myself, ‘Someday I’m going to fill this place.’ This is my chance to make that happen.” O

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”As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.” — Eric Sevareid

The Rock Show Annual benefit concert to roll at Blarney Bullpen.

By John Dorsey Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer

For many local musicians, the holidays are all about rocking out and giving something back to a worthy cause. One shining example is the 11th annual Rock Show. A highly anticipated Toledo tradition, the benefit concert is set to take center stage at The Blarney Bullpen on Dec. 23. “The Rock Show first got its start back in the winter of 2000. It wasn’t a benefit event back then, just a group of friends who wanted to get together and have a good time,” said Rock Show co-organizer Nick Baker. “My dad knew BAKER a guy who owned a bar, so we just decided to put on a show. The Rock Show has always been me and Justin Dumas and Chris Knopp and Allen Spencer. We have been really involved since the days of Wayne Clifton and the Waldo Prospect and over the years a number of other friends have donated their time and their talents.”

Throughout the years the Rock Show has had a number of homes, including Mickey Finn’s Pub and now-closed The Durty Bird. “After a few years we started to talk about possible charities to give the proceeds to and settled on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), mostly because the holiday season can be a really rough time,” Baker said. “This year though, we decided to give to a local organization by putting it to an online vote. In the end, the Children’s Theatre Workshop got the most votes. We hope to raise around $2,000 this year. “One of the main reasons we decided to benefit a local group is that even though the AFSP does really great work, we felt bad about sending the money to Wall Street, and wanted to keep it here in Toledo where the dollars could really stretch and help our community.” The Sweatpants, Empire Drift and the Twins Band will play this year’s show. The show runs from 8-11 p.m. The cover is $5 with profits benefiting the Children’s Theatre Workshop, which offered theater for children by children since 1954. The Blarney Bullpen is at 601 Monroe St. For more information, call (419) 418-2339 or visit the 11th Annual Rock Show Facebook page. O

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There is a New Restaurant in Town Star Bar and Grille now open

It’s kind of hard to find, but once you’ve been there, you’ll be back. Star Bar and Grille is the new restaurant just opened by Joe Skaff. The Skaffs have a long history of operating fine restaurants in Toledo, including The Willows on Monroe Street and Ricardo’s Downtown. The third-generation Skaff started Avenue Bistro in 2000 and sold it in 2003. He also runs all of the very successful Star Diners and owns and operates Premier Catering. This new venture, Star Bar and Grille, follows the same standard of class as its predecessors. When you walk in, you know you are in a cool place. A sunken bar area gets your attention immediately; then you see a wall of glass overlooking a huge patio — to be open in the spring. The glass wall will open up to the patio when weather permits. The atmosphere is casual with a sense of energy, with a mix of cultured stone work, beautifully varnished woods and contemporary art completing the décor. It is very clean, very cool. Of course, TVs entice you to watch your favorite game. Star Bar and Grille has the NFL Ticket and features entertainment — various solo acts early in the week turning into more of a club scene late night Thursday. Saturday features DJ Matt Lewis. But the main feature is the food. Made with a Southwestern flair, the menu contains 50 items: everything from appetizers, pizza, quesadillas, sandwiches, salads and main dinners dot the menu. The prices are inexpensive, starting at just $4.95. Among the appetizers are a seared tuna tostada, crab cake, calamari and a great spinach queso dip. There are four different pizzas and


four quesadillas to choose from, all $5.95-$9.50. There are 12 sandwiches to pick from, starting at $6.95 and including a side item. If you are a salad person, you’ll love Star Bar and Grille’s five salads — ahi tuna, salmon, shrimp, chicken and tenderloin — all different and all with their own dressing. Dinners start at $9.95 and range from grilled chicken, tenderloin and a large bone-in pork chop to salmon, tuna, short ribs and a very popular surf-and-turf taco. The Star Bar and Grille is hard to find. Asked why he picked the location for the restaurant, Skaff replied, “I had two prerequisites: unlimited parking and most important, a large patio with a bar. This was the only place around with both and I wanted to be by the mall. The patio will be great in the spring.” Asked about the inspiration or theme, Skaff said, “I wanted to create a cutting-edge, contemporary,

high-energy place that makes people feel good when they come in. I also wanted to create a menu that would not kill the wallet. You can eat here for two people for $10-20 (excluding drinks) if you want and have a great meal. I don’t care how much money you have — no one wants to spend $100 every time they go out. I want people to enjoy the restaurant a couple of times a week, like a neighborhood place.” All in all this is a first-rate eatery that should be a must on the list of restaurants you go to. The Star Bar and Grille is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner at 11:30 a.m. It is located at 5215 Monroe St. in the back of Beverly Hills Plaza between Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. Reservations are accepted at (419) 724-7901, but not necessary. Remember — try us once, you’ll be back! Visit us at

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”Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” — Mary Ellen Chase

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O Research shows that people tend to eat less when surrounded by the color blue. Repaint your kitchen or dining room in a blue hue to help naturally suppress your appetite. Also, painting is a great way to tone your arms if you also resolve to get in shape. Once the paint dries, clean out your pantry and replace any high-calorie or fatty foods with healthier options.

Help the environment

O Growing concern for the environment prompts many people to resolve to be more green. Your refrigerator runs all day, every day, which accounts for a large percentage of

your home’s energy usage. Keeping your refrigerator’s thermostat set between 38 and 40 degrees will help save energy and keep your food from spoiling.

Give to others or volunteer

O Clean out your closets and collect any gently used items you and your family no longer use or need. There are a number of national and local organizations that accept clothing donations; some will even pick up the items directly from your home. Beyond clothing, consider giving previously used toys, games, books or materials for crafts to the local hospital or day care center.

Learn something new

O One of the most common resolutions centers around conquering a fear or trying something new. Take a look at your home and challenge yourself to tackle home improvement projects on your own. Finish an unfinished basement, build an outdoor play space for the kids or renovate a bathroom. Not only will you conquer any do-it-yourself fears, but any revamp of your home will only add to its value and resale potential. O

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Party Management 101 By Beth J. Harpaz Associated Press

It would be so easy to give holiday parties if it weren’t for the guests. Guests who fail to RSVP, then show up with friends. Guests who arrive late and stay past your bedtime. Guests who clean out your shrimp cocktail but won’t touch your pasta salad. Guests who knock over drinks and nearly set their sleeves on fire reaching over your candles. And the worst guest of all: the one who’s busy the night of your holiday party and can’t make it. But you can outsmart them all and host a party as carefree for you as it is fun for them. Here are some tips for Party Management 101, from the invite to the “Goodnight!’’ TIMING: Send the invitation for a holiday party too early and people forget. Wait too long and everyone’s booked. Kaity Eagle, a marketing specialist with InvitationConsultants. com, recommends sending invitations “no later than one month before the party. November and December are busy months.’’ Sunday evenings are a good alternative to busy Friday and Saturday nights. Yes, everyone has to go to work or school the next day, but if you schedule your party for late Sunday afternoon or early evening, you could end up with a crowd. Friends might welcome a way to relax after a busy weekend of shopping and chores, especially if you offer a dinner buffet and save them the trouble of preparing a meal. INVITES AND RSVPS: Paper, electronic or phone invitations? So many options, and yet so few result in RSVPs.

The paper invite makes an impression, but it’s more work for you. It also may suggest an unintended formality or level of fuss for your party. On the other end of the spectrum is the phone or text invite. That may be a little too casual and easy to lose track of, especially if you’re sending them several weeks out. Electronic invitations — using Evite, email, Paperless Post, Facebook and other sites — have become the default for many people, and may yield the most responses in our no-RSVP culture simply because responding requires just one click. But there are always a few who never RSVP. Some have no intention of coming; others may show up unannounced with uninvited friends. And a few will pledge their attendance, then never show or cancel last-minute. How’s a hostess to cope? Jennifer Gullins of the Boston-based Saphire Event Group suggested pinning down commitments from a few BFFs. “It’s OK to take a pulse on your core group of invitees well in advance,” she said. “This will ensure that you already know a good handful will be attending even before sending out the official invite.’’ FOOD AND DECOR: Food that’s good at room temperature is easiest on the host, though it limits the menu. See what prepared foods your supermarket is offering before you splurge at specialty stores; you might be surprised by the selection and quality of cold party platters and easy-to-bake frozen hors d’oeuvres. It’s easy to dress up frozen puffs with fresh herbs, fruit slivers, a drizzle of balsamic cream or shaved parmesan. The trick is to elevate them. And remember that variety is a virtue. I used to offer pasta salad as a side dish for potato pancakes until someone pointed

It’s all about the guests.

out that it was just too many carbs. Fruit platters with berries, toothpicked pineapple chunks and melon balls, on the other hand, proved much more popular, as did chicken wings. Many people have dietary issues these days, so consider offering something for the vegetarian and for the low-salt, low-fat crowd, along with holiday treats that may be high-calorie or high-sugar. ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES: Some folks will come early; some will stay late. Minimize stress by having everything ready a half-hour before your start time, and deputize someone else to answer the door and take coats. Set the tone by listing a clear start and end time on the invitation. Open house is nice and informal, but it also means some folks will drop by just when you were hoping everyone would leave. If you’re planning on serving real food and not just chips and cookies, a window of a couple of hours also makes it easy to keep food fresh. Exact times also are “helpful for guests that might be double booked that day and may want to try to make both parties,’’ Gullins said. To manage lingerers, Gullins recommends planting someone among the guests to help. “This friend could make casual comments to the crowd such as, ‘Wow, I can’t believe how late it is already,’ or ‘I really should get going soon, I know you have an early day at work tomorrow’ or ‘Let me help you get this place cleaned up a bit.’ These type of comments make others take notice and follow suit without you looking like a lame party host.’’ Prepare take-home favors. “Passing out these favors — perhaps small bags of cookies or candy — at the end of the night is a subtle and sweet way to say goodnight,’’ Gullins said. O

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”There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” — Erma Bombeck

‘Two and a Half Comics’ in Monroe Menace taught broader holiday spirit Monroe County Community College is hosting “Two and a Half Comics” featuring comedian Scott Wood and ventriloquist Bart Rockett. Comedy Central called Wood the best “punch line comedian,” and Rockett performed for 10 years at his own theater in Branson, Mo. The show is appropriate for all ages. “Two and a Half Comics” is set for 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 13 in Meyer Theater. The theater is in the college’s La-Z-Boy Center, located at 1555 S. Raisinville Road in Monroe. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. Call (734) 384-4272 or visit to purchase tickets. O — Jason Mack

By Jim Beard Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer


Museum hosts ‘Art of the Vine’ tours

The Toledo Museum of Art is bolstering its wine-tasting events with themed tours of art galleries for eight tastings in 2012 in a series called “Art of the Vine.” “Adding the tours to the wine tastings adds another dimension to the tastings, creating a fuller experience for the wine participants,” said Michelle Harvey, marketing communications manager at Toledo Museum of Art. “And pairing the two gave us the opportunity to come up with some fresh themes for our public tours.” The first tour on Jan. 13 will feature wines from female winemakers and a tour highlighting female glass artists. The second tour is Jan. 20 with Roussillon region French wines and a tour of Cloister architecture. The third tour on Jan. 27 is titled “Who’s Wine is it Anyway?” featuring the chef ’s choice for wine and a surprise tour. “All the activities and programs we’re currently planning have the ‘collection connection,’ meaning they have a link to our art collection,” Harvey said. “We thought it would be interesting to combine two of the activities we already offer — wine tastings and public tours — in a way that accentuates the artwork.” Each wine tasting will run from 7-9:30 p.m. and include four wines and light snacks. Tickets are $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers and can be purchased at the TMA information desk. Visit for a schedule and the locations of tours. O — Jason Mack

Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Series No. 99 doesn’t loom large among key comic books, it is not worth very much to collectors nor has it even been reprinted. But for one comic fan it stands as something of a turning point. One particular holiday story within the book first taught me, way back in 1971, that there was more to the season than simply Christmas. Dennis’ comics were a favorite of mine as a kid for the many special “bonus” issues that covered such diverse topics as the Menace’s summer vacations, his wide circle of friends and his Christmases. The holiday stories in particular always caught my attention, and one such tale has stuck with me to this day. In “Happy Holidays,” Dennis meets a Jewish boy and learns all about a strange “feast of lights” called Hanukkah. In those brief five pages, I first learned of the ancient celebration that began Dec. 20. Growing up Catholic and attending a Catholic grade school, I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet a Jewish person until high school, so the story was a bit of an eye-opener. David, the son of Dennis’ new milkman, invites our towheaded hero over to his house to meet his grandfather, who regales the lad with the tale of Judas Maccabeus and the temple lamps that burned for eight days. For a 6-year-old who only ever

knew of Christmas, it was an exotic trip that rivaled the issue in which Dennis and his folks visited Hawaii. I’ve never forgotten that Hanukkah story and think of it every year when the winter holidays approach; it’s amazing how one little narrative in a comic book can make a difference in someone’s life. In it, Dennis was me, a young boy who learned that there was a wider world outside his own and that it had fascinating tales to tell — and that people with other beliefs felt as strongly about theirs as you do yours. Looking out at the wider world today, I wish everyone could also have read that story when they were just 6. Happy Hanukkah! O


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“A goose never voted for an early Christmas.” — Irish saying



” ’A Christmas Carol’ is such a fool-proof story you can’t louse it up.” — Leonard Maltin

Hope and despair Clifton Harvey combines ink and digital tools. By Mighty Wyte TOLEDO FREE PRESS STAR STAFF WRITER

It’s no secret that Toledo is brimming with talented artists — visual, performing and otherwise. In this environment, it can be difficult for an artist to stand out. Toledo native Clifton Harvey creates exceptionally fresh visual works, blending digital photography with ink and other digital tools. “I usually start with digital photos I’ve taken and use those images as inspiration for the characters and stories I want to tell,” Harvey said. “I then draw the figures out in ink and scan those drawings into Photoshop, where I digitally paint the color and texture, matching the lighting in the photo.” Growing up in Toledo, Harvey found art to be something of a sanctuary. “As long as I can remember, I loved to draw,” he said. “I didn’t always fit in growing up and I often felt isolated, so creating art helped fill a void. I first became interested in combining illustrations and photography while at the University of Toledo, where I graduated with a BFA in new media.” Harvey described his art as “illustrated narratives about hope, despair and a search for wholeness.” While some artists may find inspiration in a sunset or freshly fallen snow, Harvey said he finds inspiration in “nostalgia and daydreams, doubts and anxieties, indignities and reclamation.” “I create to cope,” he said. “So personal experience really guides the direction of my work.” Harvey describes the creative process as one of connection and discovery. “I sketch a lot and I archive everything I shoot, so a great deal of my process is going through all of this visual information with an editor’s eye, looking for connections. I enjoy the revelation in discovering an old, discarded sketch that now seems like the beginning of a new idea. My creative process has made me a bit of a pack rat, but it’s rewarding.” Harvey said his long-term goals include a book. “I would love to eventually have a book of illustrations and short stories published,” he said. Harvey’s work can be seen and purchased at O

“Homebound” by Clifton Harvey. Cover: “Lament for the Mended” by Clifton Harvey. ILLUSTRATION COURTESY CLIFTON HARVEY

“A good conscience is a continual Christmas.” — Benjamin Franklin

TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM / DEC. 21, 2011 n . 13

Last-minute holiday gift ideas ‘Soft Kitty’ offers fans a big bang “Soft Kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr.” If that soothing ditty rings a bell, you are familiar with Sheldon and Penny on CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” This plush version plays the soothing song (only “for when you’re sick,” as they say on the show) when you squeeze her paw and is remarkably soft and cuddly. Available online starting at $29.99. O — Michael S. Miller

O The Roots, “undun”

Rosetta Stone software practical, fulfilling Rosetta Stone software can be a practical and fulfilling gift if bought for the right person. The software stimulates the user looking to learn a new langauge audibly and visually with listening, speaking and writing exercises all accompanied by pictures. It even tests pronunciation and provides breakdowns on how to pronounce certain words. Touching on so many senses goes a long way in helping users remember the material. Rosetta Stone would be a perfect study aid for somebody learning a foreign language in school. It is a fun way to keep the material fresh between semesters. The software would also be good for someone planning a trip to a foreign country, but for someone looking to completely learn a new language, additional lessons would be helpful. Aspects such as the conjugation of verbs are part of Rosetta lessons, but the process is not explained. The software is a great step in the right direction for learning a new language and the lessons are fun to complete. Rosetta Stone software retails for $179 for the Level 1 software and $499 for the complete set of five levels (a holiday promotion has the complete set discounted to $399). O — Jason Mack

‘LEGO Star Wars III’ puts fun spin on space saga “LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars” is a great gift idea for the young “Star Wars” fan in your family. Like all the previous LEGO video games, “Clone Wars” is fun for all ages with comedic cut scenes and exciting gameplay. Any violence in the games is cartoony and tame, and with unlimited lives there won’t be any frustration from failing levels. There are a few somewhat complex puzzles throughout the game that might be difficult for younger children, so parents might be asked to lend a hand from time to time.

Musical presents

Parents can also join the fun with co-op that allows a second player to jump in or out of the game at any time. “Clone Wars” takes players through the animated series of the same name and parts of the movie “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.” Throughout the game you play as several iconic characters, including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, R2-D2 and C-3PO. The game is available on Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable and PC and retails for $19.99. O — Jason Mack

Jimmy Fallon hardly made this group, but thanks to him America has the opportunity to experience one of Hip-Hop’s greatest validations on television five nights a week with the “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” house band. The creativity on this disc gives the listener insight into layers of Hip-Hop they may not have yet peeled back. Black Thought is known as a talented lyricist who can trade rapping for singing, but he also doesn’t mind giving others a chance to stand out and shine. This diversifies the CD and prevents it from sounding redundant. Keep a copy in the car and in the house.

him the ability to rhyme on any type of track. Unlike most, he has the talent to make musical accommodations for his male, female, conscious, battle, and gangsta rap fans.

O Mobb Deep, “Black Cocaine EP”

Mobb Deep’s influence on Hip-Hop is evident as Prodigy delivers his view of street life in the title track on this tightly produced EP. It is always good to hear Prodigy and Havoc together, making music only they can deliver in its purest East Coast wiseguy form. Download this five-song EP that consists of Havoc’s legendary production and features a guest appearance from Nas.

O Robin Thicke, “Love After War” This is what they call “Blue-Eyed Soul,” but I really don’t want to put Thicke in that category. He understands soul music in a way that is totally lost to most of today’s generation, black and white. His latest CD is packed with beautiful instrumentation and creativity. Thicke takes you through his history of soul and manages to infuse it with Hip-Hop, funk and R&B. The sex appeal he is known for oozes through his passionate in-and-out-of falsetto vocals mixed with nostalgic tracks. The ladies love Thicke but this a great gift for any music lover! Get the deluxe edition.

O Common, “The Dreamer, The Believer” Common keeps it “sucka free” on his latest release, proving he can maintain Hollywood status while “keeping it real.” Common has always taken his fans on his own personal revolution. He sets the inspirational tone with his G.O.O.D Music labelmate John Legend on the first of the two title tracks, “The Believer.” The other title track, “The Dreamer,” features Maya Angelou and if that isn’t enough to make you join in the constant head nodding, the Nas feature on the following track will finish the knockout. I listened to the entire album straight through. Respect.




O Wale, “Ambition”

“Ambition” was the most anticipated music purchase on my list and I was not disappointed. I’ll even go out of my way to say this will be one of my year’s best. Maybach Music Group is known for putting out some of the hottest tracks in mainstream radio, but there is something about rapper Wale that has had me interested from Day One. I respect his focus and his swagger, which is that of an educated street hustler/businessman. Even at his toughest, Wale manages to give a little knowledge and wisdom on his tracks. His fantastic flow gives

O Mary J. Blige, “My Life II”

I know it’s technically a “commercial” release, but this is Mary we’re talking about here! This is also her follow-up to the incredible classic album “My Life,” released 17 years ago. If you are expecting the extremely dark place Blige was in at the time of the first “My Life” release, you will be glad to know that you and Mary have moved on. Featuring guest appearances from Busta Rhymes, Beyoncé, Drake, Rick Ross, Nas and Blige’s alter ego rapper, Brook Lynn. As we continue on ... O


Compiled by Whitney Meschke Events are subject to change.


This small venue offers a showcase for lesserknown acts. 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. (734) 761-1451, (734) 761-1800 or O Crossroads Ceili, Bua, Nic Gareiss: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29-30, $15. O The Fred Eaglesmith Traveling Show: 8 p.m. Dec. 31, $27.50.

Bar 145

This new venue features burgers, bands and bourbon, if its slogan is to be believed. 5304 Monroe St. (419) 593-0073 or O 88 Keys dueling pianos: Dec. 21 and 28. O The Bridges: Dec. 22. O Nine Lives: Dec. 23. O Jeff Stewart: Dec. 27. O Downstroke: Dec. 29. O Tricky Dicks & the Cover-Ups: Dec. 30. O Neon Black: Dec. 31, $15-$20.

The Blarney Irish Pub

Catch local acts while taking in the pub’s modern Irish and American fare. 601 Monroe St. (419) 418-2339 or O Kyle White: Dec. 22. O 11th annual Christmas Rock Show featuring the Sweatpants, Empire Drift, Twins Band: 8 p.m. Dec. 23, The Blarney Bullpen; $3. O Arctic Clam: Dec. 23. O Zeddie: Dec. 29. O Venyx: Dec. 30. O Nine Lives: Dec. 31.

Blind Pig

A variety of rock, soul, pop and alternative acts perform at this bar. 208 S. First St., Ann

“It is not the gift, but the thought that counts.” — Henry Van Dyke

Arbor. $3-$20 unless noted. (734) 996-8555 or O Karaoke: 9:30 p.m. Mondays, no cover. O Domanation, Death Wish Squirrel, From the Sky: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 21. O Indigo Sun, the Deep End, Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 22. O Ugly Sweater Xmas Party featuring Rad Rad Red, Nickie P., Abigail Stauffer, Nicole P’simer, Heroes on Parade, Prhyme Rhyme Boss, Chris Bathgate: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 23. O J. Law, Thas the Man E, Yung Hollywood, 3 Rea$onz, Marly Mar, Rudy Montana: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 28. O The Vagrant Symphony, Ben Daniels Band, Hand in the Ocean, Mark Fain, Wellfire: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 29. O Nickie P., Wolfie Complex, Duke Newcomb, From the List, Detroit Underdogs, DJ Dick Jones: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 30. O The Bang! 9:30 p.m. Dec. 31.

Bronze Boar

Be sure to check out this Warehouse District tavern’s namesake, overhead near the entrance. 20 S. Huron St. (419) 244-2627 or O Open mic night with Chris Knopp: Mondays. O Luke James: Tuesdays. O DJ Jerod: Wednesdays and Thursdays. O Mojopin: Dec. 23. O DJ Don: Dec. 24. O The Eight-Fifteens: Dec. 30.

Caesars Windsor

If you have your passport, consider hopping the Detroit River for this casino’s entertainment offerings. Ticket prices, in Canadian dollars, are for the cheapest seats; attendees must be 19 or older. Caesars Windsor Colosseum, 377 Riverside Dr. East, Windsor, Ontario. (800) 9917777 or O Ultimate ’80s Dance Party: 9 p.m. Dec. 30, $20.

Cheers Sports Eatery

O Scotty Rock: Sundays. O Mark Mikel: Dec. 23. O Don Coats: Dec. 25. O Otto’s Jacket: Dec. 30. O My Bad Hat: Dec. 31.

Cheetah’s Den

Fat Fish Blue

A different band performs each week. 702 E. Broadway St. (419) 754-1903. O DJ Lamont: Tuesdays. O Devious: Thursdays (also open mic night)Saturdays.

Dégagé Jazz Café

Signature drinks, such as pumpkin martinis, plus live local jazz performers. 301 River Road, Maumee. $5 weekends for cafe seating. (419) 794-8205 or O Gene Parker & Friends: 7-10 p.m. Dec. 21 and 28. O Michael Peslikis: 7 p.m. Dec. 22 and 29. O Christmas with Cynthia Kaay Bennett: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. O Leo Darrington: 7 p.m. Dec. 27. O The B-Charmers (with the Estar Cohen Quartet and Leo Darrington on New Year’s Eve): 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30-31.

The Distillery

Karaoke is offered Tuesdays, but paid entertainers rock out Wednesdays-Saturdays. 4311 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419) 382-1444 or O Nathan Cogan: Dec. 21. O DJ Mark EP: Dec. 22 and 29. O Jeff Stewart & the 25s: Dec. 23. O Dave Carpenter: Dec. 28. O Arctic Clam: Dec. 30-31.


938 W. Laskey Road. (419) 720-4320. O Open stage with Buzz Anderson and Frost-


Chow ders ’N Mooor gift cards make great stocking stuffers

7723 Airport Highway • Holland 419.491.0098

bite: Wednesdays.

7131 Orchard Centre Drive, Holland. (419) 491-0990. O Chris Shutters Band: Dec. 23. O Mark Mikel: Dec. 30. O Beg to Differ: Dec. 31.



Serving blues and similar sounds, as well as bayou-style grub. Levis Commons, 6140 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. (419) 9313474 or O Tom Turner: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 30. O My ’80s Vice: 10 p.m. Dec. 31.

French Quarter J. Pat’s Pub

Live entertainment after 9:30 p.m. FridaysSaturdays. Holiday Inn French Quarter, 10630 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg. (419) 874-3111 or O Noisy Neighbors: Dec. 23. O The Late Show: Dec. 30. O The Late Show, Nightline Band, Green Eyed Soul: Dec. 31.

ICE Restaurant & Bar

This local, family-owned enterprise offers food, drinks and music in a sleek atmosphere. 405 Madison Ave. $5. (419) 246-3339 or O Dave McMurray: 6-10 p.m. Dec. 22. O Berlin Brothers: 8 p.m. Dec. 23. O Dan & Don: 8 p.m. Dec. 30-31.

JJ’s Pub

Live music is on Saturday’s menu; the genre varies, along with the cover charge. Karaoke is on tap 9:30 p.m. Thursdays, and a DJ starts spinning at 9 p.m. Fridays. 26611 N. Dixie Hwy., Perrysburg. (419) 874-9058 or O John Barile and Bobby May: 8 p.m. Dec. 27.







312 South Street • Waterville 419.878.9105

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” — Charles Schulz

cover; $5-$7 cover other nights. 602 Lagrange St. (419) 246-3466 or O Open mic: 8 p.m. Wednesdays. O Rock the Stage, featuring local bands: 9 p.m. Thursdays, free. O Stately Mane, the ’Leles, People Being Human: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 23, $3-$5. O Indigo: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 30. O Decent Folk, Stonehouse: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 31, $5-$7.

STAR @ the movies ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’ in IMAX

Mutz @ The Oliver House

Michael Siebenaler,

TFP entertainment contributor: ”Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his Impossible Mission Force give new meaning to ‘field agent’ after sabotage deteriorates Russian/U.S. relations. Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg adapt in ‘out of their element’ situations as Cruise’s stuntwork amazes. Brad Bird (‘The Incredibles’) injects constant humor and tension without excessive twists.”

STAR is looking for movie reviews, 50 words or less. Send them to or via Twitter @toledofreepress.

Kerrytown Concert House

This venue focuses on classical, jazz and opera artists and music. 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor. $5-$30, unless noted. (734) 769-2999 or www. O Robert Newcomb: 8 p.m. Dec. 22. O Randy Napoleon Sextet: 7 and 9 p.m. Dec. 30.


This “slice of the Big Apple” in the Glass City provides entertainment most weekends. 1516 Adams St. (419) 243-6675 or O Open mic: 9 p.m. Monday nights. O Jam session hosted by Tom Turner & Slow Burn: 9 p.m. Tuesdays. O Kyle Turner Christmas Trio: 7 p.m. Dec. 21. O Quick Trio: 6 p.m. Dec. 22. O Tom Tallitsch Trio: 6 p.m. Dec. 29. O DFR: 9 p.m. Dec. 30. O Alan Smith & the Blues All Stars: 9 p.m. Dec. 31.

Mickey Finn’s

A variety of genres to wash your drinks down with. Open mic nights, 8 p.m. Wednesdays, no

Fifty-inch flat screens compete with live entertainment for your attention. 27 Broadway St. (419) 243-1302 or www.oh-maumeebay O Open mic hosted by Breaking Ground: 10 p.m. Wednesdays. O Karaoke: 10 p.m. Thursdays. O DJ Nate Mattimoe: 10 p.m. Saturdays. O Beg to Differ: Dec. 23. O Breaking Ground: Dec. 30.

151 on the Water

The former home of Murphy’s has reinvented itself as “Toledo’s only Chicago-style restaurant and music cafe.” 151 Water St. (419) 725-2151 or O Jam night/open mic with Tom Turner: Wednesdays. O The Smazz Katz: Fridays and Saturdays. O CJ & Company: Tuesdays. O Drew Z Band: Thursdays.

One2 Lounge at Treo

Live music starts at 7:30 p.m. 5703 Main St., Sylvania. (419) 882-2266 or O Andrew Ellis, Lucky Lamont: Dec. 23. O Quick Trio: Dec. 30. O MightHaveBen, DiscOWE: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. Jan. 1.

Ottawa Tavern

Casual meals with weekend entertainment. 1815 Adams St. (419) 725-5483 or O Adam Kuhn, Caleb McCoach: 10 p.m. Dec. 21. O Wait, Wait … Don’t Touch Me! 10 p.m. Dec. 23. O Chandelier Ballroom, Fluffer: 10 p.m. Dec. 29. O Joey & the Traitors, Army of Infants: 10 p.m. Dec. 30.

Our Brothers Place

Take in a movie with margaritas on Mondays, or laugh at Thursday comedy nights … but music


Friday, y, December 23rd

NOW ! penn OPEN Blarney Bullpen

Saturday, December 17th


takes center stage most nights. 233 N. Huron St. O Wayne: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. O DJ: Fridays. O Smooth jazz and R&B: Saturdays and Tuesdays. O Karaoke with Walt McNeal: 4 p.m. Sundays.

Spicy Tuna

This sushi bar offers occasional entertainment to accompany the fishy dishes. 7130 Airport Hwy. (419) 720-9333 or O Karaoke: 10 p.m. Saturdays. O Tom Turner: 6-10 p.m. Dec. 22. O Meaghan Roberts: 6-10 p.m. Dec. 29.

Table Forty 4

Upscale dining plus live entertainment is a welcome combination. Bands start at 6 p.m. Fridays and 9 p.m. Saturdays. 610 Monroe St. (419) 7250044 or O John Barile and Bobby May: 6 p.m. Dec. 23 and 30.

Tequila Sheila’s

A corner bar-type hangout with DJ-provided tunes on Saturday nights. 702 Monroe St. (419) 241-1118. O DJ Ghost or DJ MZ Ghost: Saturdays. O Red and White Nite B4 the Nite B4 Christmas Party featuring best-dressed contests and performances by Let Me in Ent/Frost and Flames, Yound Royal, ROB, Maverick, Dre G, Mist a Hemp, Uno, AnnHann Forensic: Dec. 23, $3.

The Village Idiot

Tunes combined with pizza and booze, some would say it’s a perfect combination. 309 Conant St., Maumee. (419) 893-7281 or www. O Rick Caswell’s House Band: Friday afternoons. O The Bob Rex Band: Sunday afternoons. O The Eight-Fifteens: Sunday evenings. O Mark Mikel: Tuesdays. O Old West End Productions: Dec. 21 and 28. O Whitey Morgan & the 78s: Dec. 22. O Bobby May & Dry Bones Revival: Dec. 23. O The Lonely Guys: Dec. 24. O The Pagan Babies: Dec. 25. O Chris Shutter Band: Dec. 27. O The Nu-Tones: Dec. 30. O Super Fantastic New Year’s Eve Bash: Dec. 31.

Wesley’s Bar & Grill

A huge variety of beers helps wash down the en-

tertainment. 1201 Adams St. (419) 255-3333 or O DJs Folk, Mattimoe and Perrine: Fridays.


The place to go for an eclectic mix of people and music. 224 S. Erie St. (419) 241-3045. O Choking Susan, the Dougouts, the Shame Game: Dec. 31.


Country and rock with a little “Coyote Ugly” style. 3150 Navarre Ave., Oregon. (419) 691-8880 or O The Junk: Dec. 23. O DJ dance party: Dec. 30. O New Year’s party: Dec. 31.


This Italian restaurant hosts magician Andrew Martin on Sunday nights, 4-9 p.m. The Docks, 20 Main St. (419) 697-7138, (888) 456-3463 or www.

Ragtime Rick and the Chefs of Dixieland

These Toledo jazz legends perform weekly gigs. 8-10:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Trotters Tavern, 5131 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419) 381-2079.


With its focus on swing music, Jeff McDonald’s group of musicians provides a peek into another era, with music from bandleaders such as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, the Dorseys and more. With combos from trio to full orchestra, the performers provide music for all occasions. (419) 7080265, (419) 874-0290 or O Swing Revival Party: 8 p.m. Thursdays, South Briar Restaurant, 5147 S. Main St., Sylvania. (419) 517-1111 or (419) 708-0265. O Big Band All Stars: Dancing is encouraged. 8-10:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Trotters Tavern, 5131 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419) 381-2079 or (419) 708-0265. O New Year’s Eve party: 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31-12:30 a.m. Jan. 1, Toledo Club, 235 14th St. (419) 2432200 or

Holiday Concert Series

Make your lunchtime a little merrier with performances by local groups in the library’s Wintergarden.12:30-1:30 p.m., Toledo Lucas County Main Library, 325 N. Michigan St. (419) 2595207 or

Great Jam Spaces for Musicians, Bands, DJs, Artists, Etc.

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Holiday Concert Series (cont.)

“The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart.” — Helen Keller

berger American Legion Post 3587, 2020 W. Alexis Road. $60. (419) 450-5060, (419) 8660665 or (419) 536-7606.

O Ottawa Hills High School: Dec. 21. O Toledo School for the Arts: Dec. 22.

Toledo Symphony neighborhood concerts

The Glass City’s big band will take their pipes, horns, harps and jingle bells on the road to perform holiday shows at venues throughout Northwest Ohio. O 7-9 p.m. Dec. 22, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Q515 County Road 17, Napoleon. $10-$20. (419) 758-3522 or

A Canterbury Christmas Eve

This musical prelude to the church’s 11 p.m. Mass will include Bennett’s “Many Moods of Christmas.” 10:30 p.m. Dec. 24, Trinity Episcopal Church, 1 Trinity Plaza. (419) 243-1231 or www.

Raq the Casbah

This band makes the world its cabaret, mixing French, German, Russian, Greek, African and Arabic sounds into fresh dance music. 8-11 p.m. Dec. 29, Club Soda, 3922 Secor Road. (419) 4730062 or

Gala New Year’s Eve Benefit Party

A dinner/dance featuring music by the Duane Malinowski Orchestra will benefit the Toledo Police Museum in Ottawa Park. Appetizers, chicken and steak buffet, countdown couture, champagne and send-off snacks are included. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 31, Conn-Weissen-

Bowling Green

Uptown Night Club

Rewired presents The Carnival at 9 p.m. Wednesdays. 160 N. Main St., Bowling Green. (419) 3529310 or


Grumpy Dave’s Pub

This venue offers humor-fests (maybe to make up for the crankiness) on Tuesdays, and the occasional musical diversion. Above the Easy Street Cafe, 104 S. Main St., Bowling Green. $3-$5, unless noted. (419) 353-0988 or www. O Open mic comedy: 9 p.m. Thursdays.

Holiday FUN Children’s Wonderland

This shop features fair trade foods and natural products, including talent, which will be featured in a series of musical brunches and dinnertime entertainment. 331 N. Main St., Bowling Green. (419) 352-0706 or www. O Anthony TwoFeather: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 22.

Animated displays, train rides, a toy store, pictures with Santa, plus activities including ornament decoration, photobooth snapshots, puttputt and more are highlights of this 48-year Toledo tradition. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 21-22; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 23; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 24; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 26-29, Tam-oShanter, 7060 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania. $2-$5. (419) 885-1167, ext. 4, or

Howard’s Club H

Holidays at TMA

The Happy Badger

Bowling Green comes alive at this venue for rock and more. Doors typically open at 9, with the show starting an hour later. 210 N. Main St., Bowling Green. (419) 352-3195 or www. O Joe Baker Band, Nate Baker: 7-10 p.m. Dec. 23. O The Dumbeasies, WEe: 10 p.m. Dec. 25. O ’80s prom featuring DJ BK: 8 p.m. Dec. 31.

The museum offers its usual respite from the crass and commercial (or a fun place to take out-of-town visitors), emphasizing the creative instead. New this year is the Great Art Escape. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; noon-6 p.m. Sundays; closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, 2445 Monroe St. (419) 255-8000 or



O Create a Glass Icicle art hour: 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Dec. 23; $25. Reservations: (419) 254-5771, ext. 7448. O Family Center activity: Holiday memory book. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 27 and 29. O Great Art Escape: Stroll the galleries and sample storytelling, drawing instruction, glass demonstrations and live performances, maybe even win a prize. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 2729, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 30 and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 31.

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

Candle-lit paths, live entertainment from costumed presenters, carriage and Model T rides, Santa and live reindeer, ice skating and fireworks will help visitors set the mood. 6:30-10 p.m. Dec. 21-23 and 26-27, Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn. $15-$17. (313) 982-6001, (800) 835-5237 or

Imagination Station holidays

Ever thought about the science behind the season? This experimental wonderland will get to the atomic heart of it all. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2; noon-5 p.m. Sundays; and closed Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1, Summit and Adams streets. $7-$9. (419) 244-2674 or O Gingerbread Village: Culinary students from Penta Career Center have designed and built a gingerbread village, and visitors can vote for their favorites in person and on Facebook. In addition, a giant gingerbread castle will be open for tours.

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“Christmas is a time when you get homesick — even when you’re home.” — Carol Nelson

Imagination Station holidays (cont.)

O Kris Kringle Village: Wintry activity stations will include a gallery of Dr. Snowflake’s paper crystal-like creations and the chance to make some of your own (the man himself will visit noon-2 p.m. Dec. 27); scientific ornamentmaking; and “growing” snow. O Liquid nitrogen ice cream: Peppermint and chocolate chip are the flavors being scooped up on weekends.

Lights Before Christmas

One million lights, 200 lighted animal images and, yes, Virginia, the opportunity to see the animals make this a tradition worth continuing. Ice-carving demonstrations on Thursdays, a huge model train display and visits with Santa round out the experience, and don’t forget about the way-too-cool Dancing Lights. 5-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and until 9 p.m. Fridays-Sundays through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 24-25), Toledo Zoo, 2700 Broadway St. $8$11. (419) 385-4040 or

Town Center at Levis Commons

Before getting repetitive stress injury from swiping that credit card, take part in a little holiday fun. 3201 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. (419) 931-8888 or O Holiday blood drive: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 22, Hilton Garden Inn, 6165 Levis Commons Blvd. O Carriage rides: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 23-24 and 30-31, from Chappel Drive near Schakolad Chocolate Factory. $5-$10. O Play It Forward toy drive: Donate the playthings the kids have grown out of. Noon-5 p.m. Jan. 6-7.

Santa’s Wonderland

The kids can make merry while adults shop for outdoor gear. Bass Pro Shop, 10000 Bass Pro Blvd., Rossford. (419) 891-3900 or www. O Photos with Santa: Parents will love the free 4-by-6-inch pics; kids will love the face-time with the big guy. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and Dec. 24. O Snowbrawl: An inflatable snow fort will be the base of operations for stuffed-snowball offensives. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays. > Crafts: Kids will be able to decorate cookies (through Dec. 24). 5-7 p.m. Dec. 21-23; and noon-5 p.m. Dec. 24. O Other activities include laser and soft gun arcades, remote control truck tracks, model trains and slot car racing.

Shops at Fallen Timbers

Still shopping? Be sure to take part in some of the more festive holiday activities offered here. 3100 Main St., Maumee. (419) 878-6255 or www. O Pictures with Santa: The North Pole denizen will offer free hugs, smiles and ho, ho hos. Noon-8 p.m. Dec. 21-23, with an hour’s break at 3:45 p.m.; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 24, with a 45-minute break at 1 p.m. $23-$46 for prints. (419) 878-6255. O Carriage rides: 5-9 p.m. Dec. 23; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 24, pick-up next to Santa’s Winter Wonderland and the Gap. $5.

Holiday Parade of Trees

About three dozen spectacularly decorated co-


nifers, entertainment by local choirs and a buffet should instill Christmas spirit. 6-9 p.m. Dec. 21, Toledo Club, 235 14th St. $12-$25. (419) 2432200 or

“A Christmas Carol”

The story — Scrooge, Tiny Tim and scary, omniscient ghosts — is a holiday must, and the Meadow Brook Theatre has been adding music and dancing for 30 years. 8 p.m. Dec. 21-23, Meadow Brook Theatre, Oakland University, 2200 N. Squirrel Road, Rochester, Mich. $34-$40. (248) 377-3300, or

Pictures with Santa

Children and the young in spirit can share their wishes with Pere Noel. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 21-23 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 24, with breaks from 1-2 p.m. and 5-6 p.m.; Macy’s wing of Westfield Franklin Park, 5001 Monroe St. $21-$45 photo packages. (419) 473-3317 or

“The Alien Who Stole Christmas”

Santa gets sidetracked by an alien friend, visiting other planets in our solar system and discovering the stars visible in the sky. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23, UT’s Ritter Planetarium, 2801 W. Bancroft St. $5-$6. (419) 530-4037, (419) 530-2650 or

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Alastair Sim stars as Scrooge in the 1951 film, which will be preceded by Max Fleischer’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” cartoon. 4 p.m. Dec. 25, Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Free. (734) 768-8397, (734) 668-8463 or

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The Dance Clinic will offer new steps, and La Scola Italian Grill will dish up its favorites. A cash bar, party favors, 50/50 raffle and audio/video feed live from Times Square will be featured, too.
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f you’re anything like me, Christmas shopping can leave you at a real loss. It’s with that in mind that I decided to put together a list of a few literary stocking stuffers. Famed Welsh lyric poet Dylan Thomas had sugarplum fairies dancing in his head most of his life, so it’s only appropriate that he should make the very top of my list with his snow-filled JOHN tale of boyhood wonder “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” This prose piece first began its literary life as a radio talk, and then found its way into Harper’s Bazaar and the rest is pop culture history. The piece has been published around the world in a number of editions since the 1950s. It is the perfect gift for the child in your life or simply the young at heart. The second book on my list is less about the holidays and more about the memories we make, both good and bad. When artist and writer Joe Brainard died in 1994, he left the world with some very big shoes to fill; thankfully, he also left us his wonderful book of memories, “I Remember.” Brainard published a number of editions of this very telling text beginning in the late 1960s, and much like Walt Whitman before him, spent many years expanding his version of a truly unique American life. One of the recent editions was put out by Granary Books. For more information, visit Third on my list is not a whole book, but a single piece of writing by the bard himself that is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. I’m talking of course about William Shakespeare’s famed “Heigh-ho the Holly.” This popular piece can be found in a number of anthologies and is even now being reprinted for use in holiday greeting cards. So send a few inspired words to the ones you love. Fourth up is Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” You probably have a copy of this at home — dig it out of that box in the

attic and send it to a friend. This one is so much a part of our popular culture that it doesn’t really require any explanation. As a single person quietly creeping toward middle age, the holidays can be rough, and when I need a little shot of the holiday spirit this is the one that gets it done for me. Fifth on my list is “The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems Complete and Unabridged.” I have to be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Frost’s work. In fact, I probably get a lot more insight out of Dr. Suess, but when I think tradition and winter images in the world of verse, Frost just comes to mind. Also, his work offers a good jumpingoff point for young readers in their literary education. Sixth is Ted Berrigan’s “The Sonnets.” OK, so this isn’t really a holiday text. It is, however, probably my favorite book of poetry of all time. Why? Because Berrigan’s words are full of passion and they break the rules of form, while leaving something fresh behind for generations to come. One of the real reasons I’m putting this on my list though is that I first discovered this book while wandering through a Philadelphia bookstore during a very lonely Christmas season many years ago. Berrigan’s words were a gift then, and they remain so even after all this time. I could go on, but it’s time to go out and actually start doing a little holiday shopping. I hope I’ve been able to offer a little inspiration; remember, words are a gift that never stop giving long after the holidays are through. Until next time ... keep your pencil sharp and happy holidays. O


Glass City


John Dorsey resides in Toledo’s Old West End. His work is widely published and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.’ — Alexander Smith


Christmas Cookies By John Dorsey, Toledo When we were kids My mom would force my brother and I into visiting her grandmother on Christmas morning. Half blind with five o’ clock shadow She would tell us stories about how when she was a girl she dated Perry Como. That once he had taken her on a carriage ride to watch the snow fall. He was a nice boy he didn’t try anything she’d sigh in half regret. She was what my father referred to as a “sturdy woman” hard to get your arms around at the age of 7. I remember her face was rough Like Rocky Marciano after a prize fight. When it was time to leave She would give us Christmas cookies wrapped in tissue paper hidden next to mothballs in her underwear drawer for extra holiday flavor. She demanded a kiss on each cheek. Now every time I touch sandpaper I feel nostalgic.

Editor’s Note

I had wanted to make this a holiday edition, but since I didn’t receive enough holiday material, I decided to offer up one of my own, something I don’t plan to make a habit of. As always, send submissions, questions and concerns to glasscitymuse1@ We are currently seeking submissions.

— John Dorsey


By Holly Burnside, Toledo I wanted to drown that day at Four Mile Lake, to feel my own weight draw me down into the endless green, to see the bottom rough and ragged with dumped metal bars, with endless corroded steel. I tried so hard to drown after we got back from using the pay phone at the variety store, after the ice cream and the penny candy, only to find that buoyancy is a curse even harder to shed than memory. And I never got back to Chelsea, to drink Cherry 7UP, to finish carving my initials into the unfinished wall, and I couldn’t tell you then, could I, your father’s brain full of the cancer’s rot, that all I ever really wanted to do was to die? How could I explain then why I ran away, why I had to go home two days early even after trading panties under the bed clothes and knowing you needed my presence as your distraction? When I relived it later, that swollen bubble just below the surface of the past, I couldn’t paddle back through the stories I’d told, the truths and the lies, the old stories about stuffing my bra to go to the arcade and the first time I’d ever seen a penis. Back then I believed a water witch was a woman who could fly up out of the depths and ride away naked and blooming like Queen Anne’s lace against the brushstroke of the summer-white sky, and that’s what I had hoped to become, a blast of perfect light, a manger child, a Lady Godiva explosion with hair like I’d never be able to grow on my own. I had to get back to where God sounded like a gas-powered lawn mower and I’d hear the ball game on the transistor drifting in through the breeze-turned drapes at the window and know, just know my Dad was there, just outside in the yard. So I rode home beside you in the backseat silence, and watched while you picked and picked at the passion pink polish on your ruined fingernails and wondered if you’d ever understand what it meant for me to recreate my virginity for your benefit, only to leave you staring hard out the side window away from me, because failing to die was the last failure I couldn’t take.

Confessions Of An American Outlaw #117 (Transmissions For Bob Kaufman) By Michael Grover, Toledo Who would bite the dead Something we wouldn’t do What if the dead were to bite back Like the undead Like my favorite zombie movie Or any zombie movie They all involve the dead biting Or vampire movies

Maybe biting the living Would be okay Under the right circumstances But I’m a vegetarian They don’t make veggie people Like they do burgers & other artificial meat We’ll just have to wait

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David Fincher’s latest film is hauntingly good. By James A. Molnar The Gold Knight

Do you punish a filmmaker for a gruesome and, at times, hard-to-watch story that’s faithfully based on its source material? At times, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is unwatchable. Not because it’s horribly made but because director David Fincher has crafted a movie that depicts violence with bone-chilling clarity. His source material, the first in a series of three Swedish books by Stieg Larsson, follows the intertwining tales of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and a different kind of investigator, the title character. The journalist, played by Daniel Craig (known for playing James Bond), loses a libel case against billionaire industrialist Hans-Erik Wennerström. He is then hired by the retired CEO of Vanger Corporation, the largest familyowned company in Sweden, to solve a mystery that has haunted the family for decades. The girl with the dragon tattoo, named Lisbeth Salander and strongly played by Rooney Mara, is

described by her handler as “the best investigator, different in every way.” Blomkvist and Salander do not cross paths initially, but when they meet there is an odd chemistry at work while the two delve deeper into the mystery. “The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” has an ironically Bond-esque opening, with floating liquid molding and shifting into various symbolic objects, set to rockish music. The violence is not gratuitous. In fact, it seems somewhat muted. Even so, audiences will find themselves grasping at their armrests and turning their heads. These handful of scenes are not for the faint of heart. The 158-minute running time is surprisingly unnoticeable as the thrilling plot takes viewers on an adventure. The last parts of the movie shine because the violence is all but over and the audience can enjoy the plot twists unfolding. Steven Zaillian, Oscar-winning screenwriter for “Schindler’s List,” penned this adaptation. The score is by the Oscar-winning team from “The Social Network,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross,

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” PHOTO COURTESY COLUMBIA PICTURES

although the music does not seem to be quite as driving or in the forefront as it was in that film. Comparing this film to Fincher’s muchheralded “Social Network” last year, one can find a louder and more violent approach taken for “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Granted, the source material is very different. But what a compelling thriller to watch. O

/5 Rated R for brutal violent content including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language. Toledo Free Press Lead Designer James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at


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A publication of Toledo Free Press, LLC, Vol. 2, No. 51 Established 2010. Thomas F. Pounds, President/Publisher Michael S. Miller, Editor in Chief EDITORIAL

Mary Ann Stearns, Design Editor James A. Molnar, Lead Designer Sarah Ottney, Special Sections Editor Jason Mack, Web Editor ADMINISTRATION

Pam Burson, Business Manager CONTRIBUTORS

Jim Beard • Amy Campbell • Zach Davis John Dorsey • Matt Feher • Jerry Gray Dustin Hostetler • Stacy Jurich Vicki L. Kroll • lilD • Martini • Jason Mack Jeff McGinnis • Whitney Meschke Rachel Richardson Julie Webster • Don Zellers Chris Kozak, Staff Writer Emeritus Lisa Renee Ward, Staff Writer Emeritus Darcy Irons, Brigitta Burks, Marisha Pietrowski, Gary Varney Proofreaders ADVERTISING SALES

Renee Bergmooser, Sales Manager Betty Jane (BJ) Rahn Casey Fischer Chick Reid DISTRIBUTION

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Toledo Free Press Star is published every Wednesday by Toledo Free Press, LLC, 605 Monroe St., Toledo, OH 43604 • (419) 241-1700 Fax: (419) 241-8828 Subscription rate: $100 /year. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner without permission is strictly prohibited. Copyright 2011 with all rights reserved. Publication of ads does not imply endorsement of goods or services.

ans familiar with Riki Lindhome’s work as half of the comedy music duo Garfunkel and Oates won’t be surprised that her debut EP, “Yell At Me From Your Car,” features more than its share of laughs. But what may surprise listeners is that the five-song album’s sweets come tinged with more than a hint of bitter. Take the opening track, JEFF “Beige Curtains.” The basic concept is all about comparing a lost love’s new girlfriend with bland household decor. A funny concept, to be sure. But the song looks deeper, and it really becomes the singer’s lament about how she wishes she was that bland, too — because she’d still have that love. Comedic, but stinging. All the songs on the album have that same bite about love and life. In an interview with Toledo Free Press Star, Lindhome said that came about as a result of how they were written. “It’s totally autobiographical,” she said. “Everything was spawned by a real event. Every song in there was written, like, immediately after something had just happened to me. So, once I had five songs, I was like, Oh, let’s record it!” Anyone concerned about the future of Lindhome’s famous pairing with fellow performer Kate Micucci can relax — the two are still very much a full-time pair as Garfunkel and Oates. Micucci even co-wrote the last song on “Yell At Me.” “We both do Garfunkel and Oates, and we both have our own separate creative processes. We were writing songs on our own before we met each other,” Lindhome said. “Kate has two EPs. It’s just another creative outlet. Our solo stuff doesn’t always necessarily fit the same style as Garfunkel and Oates. “My solo work is a little sadder. It’s a little darker, I would think.” Darker, perhaps, but still with a biting — fierce, even — wit. It’s a comedic voice Lindhome has been honing for years. She began writing in college. Mostly serious stuff, at first, until she added a bit to her coffeehouse act where she adapted the words from a Broadway show into a comedy song. “I would play in coffee shops, and that funny song was always the song that got a great reaction. And so I started writing my own funny songs from that point,” she said. Lindhome’s comedic voice, both solo and with Micucci, helps fill a prominent void in the world of comedy music, bringing a much-needed female perspective to what seems superficially to be a boys’ club. “Sometimes, in comedy music, I think it’s better to be a female, because you can get away with saying more things. We can say negative

opinions about men and women. And guys really can’t get away with saying negative things about women, you know what I mean? They can’t really call women on their bullshit like we can. “Guys could not write ‘Pregnant Women Are Smug.’ They can’t! In some ways, it’s great to be a woman, because then you can tackle certain topics that the guys can’t,” Lindhome said. Lindhome’s muse has not been confined to music in recent months, though she is in the process of recording new material with Micucci. She has also been recording episodes of her new podcast “Making It,” which is focused on people in the entertainment industry. Found on both and iTunes, the show has featured interviews with guests such as Jason Ritter, Bo Burnham, Doug Benson and, soon, “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon. “I’m totally fascinated by the creative pro-




Lindhome’s new album brings comedy and heartbreak together.

cess, and half the reason I’m doing it is because I wanna ask these people these questions. It’s like, ‘How do you do this? I love hearing how people work. “I’ve learned a lot from people doing the podcast. I really LINDHOME have,” Lindhome said. “For the most part, it’s such a specific thing, but I think it’s kinda finding its audience. It’s not for everybody, but it’s really aimed at people who are kinda starting out in show business.” Lindhome said she hopes fans who listen to “Yell At Me From Your Car” enjoy its songs for what they are — not just entertaining music, but in a way, a glimpse into herself. “It’s kinda like a picture of my life, at one point, you know what I mean? A lot of the things I don’t even feel anymore — it’s like, when they happened, it was a snapshot. And I hope people can relate to it.” O Email Jeff at

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Toledo Free Press STAR – Dec. 21, 2011  

The cover for this edition features artwork from Clifton Harvey, who blends digital and ink tools (see page 12). The Star of the Week is Mik...

Toledo Free Press STAR – Dec. 21, 2011  

The cover for this edition features artwork from Clifton Harvey, who blends digital and ink tools (see page 12). The Star of the Week is Mik...