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Superstorm Sandy relief with i was really very hungry

We have been so happy to see our producers plan events with Superstorm Sandy in mind! Relief efforts are not over and there IS still time for you to make a difference. Many places continue to rebuild and recover from the damage. As a way to support their efforts, we have created a Sandy Relief Efforts page that lists all events in one convenient location, along with current news and ways to help you prepare your family in the event of another natural disaster.

Live in Brooklyn? On December 15th the Vinegar Hill Sound is hosting a holiday dinner by i was really, very hungry. Your support will help serve 200 residents of Far Rockaway just a week after the event with a warm meal and some holiday cheer.

If you need more enticement, your own warm meal will be absolutely decadent. Warm your hands on a wassail cocktail while snacking on a cheese log and house made charcuterie with house-made crackers. Dinner is a full, holiday spread: oyster pie, peas and carrots and rolls and duck butter; goose roulade with red cabbage choucroute; poppyseed yorkshire pudding; and brussel sprouts with currants and pecans. Top it off with rum cake and poached pears.

No better way to celebrate the holidays then helping those in need. Check out more about how you can get involved.

 

News >

Foodie Friday: Your Freezer, Canning and You: Tips for Surviving the Winter

Happy harvest season, everyone! It’s a season full of produce: sturdy squashes, apples and pears, and hearty greens. Unfortunately, as healthy as they are, some of these options can be a little harder to grab-and-go, or use to cook a fast dinner; then once winter sets in, it gets a little harder and more expensive to find fresh produce. Before you dive back into your pantries for the store-bought canned goods or the freezer aisle of the grocery store, consider some ways you can save some money, and flavor, while still having a wide array of healthy options ready to use right at your fingertips.

The freezer — and cans! — are not the enemy. But there are some fantastic ways to utilize the last days of those bountiful fresh herbs and produce to have delicious meals for the winter, and ways to make your dry goods more convenient. Here are some satisfying steps to delicious, healthy eats and some domestic self-satisfaction without wasting food or taking a big hit to your wallet. I’m good with freezing; I’ll defer to the experts for canning!
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Food & Drink >

Rose City Comic-Con: Portland Enters the Fold

[Pro tip: if you just want to go straight to winning tickets, scroll to the bottom of this post for instructions.]

Can you believe that before this year, Portland, Oregon was lacking a Comic-Con? From the Emerald City to New York to, of course, San Diego, Comic-Cons have been cropping up the world over. Originally a niched convention for dedicated fans, Comic-Cons have become events of national appeal and acclaim; they’re an overall celebration of what it means to be a fan. In under two weeks — September 8 and 9 — Portland gets their own.

Comic-Cons, traditionally, feature tables full of comic vendors where you can meet artists and presses (often with specials!), panels of industry greats, and incredible workshops, and the Rose City’s is no exception. We got a chance to speak with intrepid Rose City Comic-Con organizer Ron Brister about some of the geeky staples in his own backyard, comics in Portland, and taking on the incredible feat of organizing a festival while still having a day job.

Describe the Portland comix scene and why you felt you needed to bring it a Comic-Con.

The comic scene in Portland is pretty vibrant. We have many artist and writers that live in the area, Dark Horse Comics is head-quartered here, and the largest independent studio, Periscope, are all located in the metro area. Based on all that, we felt that Portland was missing something, a more mainstream convention that celebrated all things Pop Culture. The events that we had in town either were stagnant, catered to a small subset, or where narrowly focused on one subject. Plus, we travelled to the conventions up and down the west coast only to run into all the same people from Portland. It was then that we said, “Hey, why don’t we do something like this in Portland?”

Of course, there’s a wider scope of pop culture than just comics — as is the nature of the modern comic-con. Is there still an emphasis of comics themselves, or is this about a wider landscape?

Rose City Comic-Con is a comic convention at heart. With that in mind we have focused our efforts on comic artist, writers, and vendors. However, comics these days have a massive crossover into other genres such as sci-fi and fantasy. Many of our guest are not only comic folks but they are also novelists, screen writers, musicians and actors. But I think the foundation for all those other creative mediums is comics.
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Arts >

Foodie Friday: Pack a Picnic Brunch with Gravlox!

Oh, August! A great time to spend with your friends and family, and brunch is a fantastic daytime, community meal: breakfast for some, lunch for others, but always delicious and on everyone’s schedule.

Instead of having it inside or scrambling to find a brunch spot with a patio, why not bring the party outside? Laying down a blanket on the beach or in the park is as good a spot for brunch as any. While you’re at it, why not enjoy some great bluegrass music or live Shakespeare or perhaps some French Opera? Here’s a list of some outdoor events around the Northwest that would be perfectly complimented by a little picnic brunch action:

Saturday, August 4 I Bluegrass On The GreenMountlake Terrace, Washington

Saturday, August 4 I The 2012 Skagit River Shakespeare Festival’s IronmanMount Vernon, Washington

Saturday, August 11 I 4th Annual PEPSapaloozaWoodinville, Washington

Sunday, August 12 I French Opera Pique NiqueSeattle, Washington

Here in the Northwest, fresh salmon is bountiful, especially this time of year, and we find any excuse to eat it whenever we can. This Gravlox recipe, from our resident foodie Patrick, is a little less salty than your standard cured salmon, letting the flavor of the fish shine through. The whole process takes around 36 hours, but you can make it in advance, as it will keep for a few days in the fridge.
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GIVEAWAY: Nectar Lounge Brings Earth Day for All Ages to Seattle!

(Just want to win tickets to the Earth Day extravaganza? Scroll to the bottom of this post!)

It’s always a treat to work with our neighbors over at Nectar Lounge! The venue/bar is a fantastic spot, committed to sustainability, good times, nightly events, and patio beverages. For this Earth Day weekend, Seattle can have it all, with all-ages activities and music during the day and of-ages party action during the night at the Fremont Earth Day Festival — and all it sets you back is $15 or an old bike. Proceeds benefit the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation.

While the party for grown-ups goes all day and all night, the daytime is geared toward kids and families, opening at 11 a.m. both days this weekend begin with a dance party, going into a special performance each day at noon: Bubbleman (a bubbleman) on Saturday, then the Not-Its (kindie rock!) on Sunday, plus some Earth Day-themed activities to keep them busy.

Later, once you’ve gotten a sitter (or if you don’t have kids and you’re just ready to party), the of-ages happenings start with a chill but fun-loving, diverse lineup of folk, R&B, reggae and more, including songwriter Sarah Christine, acclaimed jazz/funk/world collective Snarky Puppy, and improvisational rocker Nefarious Jones, spread over both Saturday and Sunday nights for a full weekend of eco-minded grooves. The full line-up is available here.

Snarky Puppy in action:


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News >

Non-profit of the Month: One Tail at a Time

After spending some time with different animal shelters, foster programs and animal help clinics, I ran across this organization in Chicago: One Tail at a Time. They are a non-profit foster program that is a no-kill, all-breed dog rescue program.  This is their mission statement:

One Tail at a Time…serves to lower euthanasia rates in the greater Chicagoland area and provide education on the humane treatment of companion animals. The rescue concentrates its efforts on dogs that are in danger of being euthanized, or those that are physically and/or mentally deteriorating in a shelter environment, works to rehabilitate them, and then matches each dog with a permanent home. Focused on keeping pets as a part of our family, One Tail at a Time offers fosters and adopters continued support and education on how best to keep dogs happy, healthy and part of the family.

What is very unique about this dog foster program is they pay for everything a person needs (food, medical, dog walkers, daycare, etc.) to ensure that all the dogs in their program are well taken care of. They don’t just go out and pick the best of the best animals from the shelters for quick adoption turn-around, they find the best in all dogs and try to give as many of them as possible a chance at a better life. If, for some reason, the adoption isn’t a good fit, they will take the dog back into their program. In fact they prefer it! This allows them to ensure that the dog finds the best family possible. Even if a family can no longer keep the dog years after the adoption, One Tail at a Time will take the dog back into their program and find it a new, happy home.

A current foster for One Tail at a Time, Juli Zagrans, stated: “I’ve been volunteering and fostering for OTAT for about 2 years. I’ve had 17 of their dogs in my home and consistently work with this organization because they make doing the right thing easy. It was started by a group of friends with a vision that they could offer something to the Chicago rescue community, and they have. They choose quality over quantity, and once an OTAT dog, always an OTAT dog.”


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Good Causes >

Three Ways Brown Paper Tickets Empowers Communities.

Image source: http://jayroeder.com/2011/06/22/uncategorized/622-do-good-work/

On my blog Spark Change, I’ve been featuring ways you can improve your office and for my final post in this series, I thought I would take this time to examine some things that Brown Paper Tickets does to make a difference in our communities with the hope that other companies will take a piece or two of what we do and create new ways to make their office more giving.

A relatively easy way to make an impact on your community is to make a financial donations to local schools or non-profits. Brown Paper Tickets takes 5% of our quarterly profits and donates that amount to a non-profit. We have also been a part of setting-up micro-loans with Kiva and helping to support people across the world. Look at your profits and give what you can every quarter or every year. Whether it is $10 or $100, the donation will make a difference.

Another great way to make an impact in your community is to give time. Brown Paper Tickets empowers every employee with 40 hours of time-on. This means that each employee could help build houses for a whole week in Africa and get paid as if they were sitting at their desks, working in the office. Employees are also able to break-up their time-on and give one or two hours to their favorite non-profit every week. It is a great way to get people more involved in their communities. This is something easily applied to every company. 40 hours is a lot of time to give as an employer, but even giving 20 hours or even a full working day of 8 hours would make a big difference. It is also a great team building experience when a whole group works on a volunteering project together. Giving employees time to go volunteer takes away the common excuse of not having time to volunteer. Give them time and see what they can do!

In my opinion, one of the most amazing programs Brown Paper Tickets has is our Doer program. Doers, unlike a sales team, are not responsible for business development. Their sole purpose it to go out and help people in their industry, free of charge. They are change makers. Some call it a dream job and I would agree. They are Brown Paper Tickets employees, paid to go out and make a positive difference in our world. How amazing is that?! Now, this one may be a little more challenging to take and apply to your own business, but maybe start by scaling it down and allow some of your employees to take on projects that will make a difference in your community and give them four hours a week to work on that project. There are many variations of a program like this that you could make work for your company.

The more you are able to support your employees’ desire to create positive change, the better world we will have to all share. Go on. Change the world!

News >

Featured Non-Profit: Sole Hope

Recently on Twitter I discovered a new organization called Sole Hope (@SoleHope). Their mission: to create jobs and shoes for those in need.

It all started with this YouTube video (warning: watch this video with a strong stomach) which shows volunteers extracting jiggers from children’s feet. Jiggers are small sand fleas that enter bare feet and burrow into the skin. If left untreated they can lead to serious infections, paralysis and even amputation. The worst part, if people wore closed-toed shoes and washed their feet regularly all of this could be avoided.

Asher Collie (founder of Sole Hope) saw the video and it broke her heart. Being a mother herself, she couldn’t sit idly by after seeing the pain on the children’s faces. She chose to do something about it and in 2010 Asher visited Zambia, Africa to see what could be done.
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Good Causes >

I Scream, You Scream!: The Ice Cream Post

Photo by Jessica Merz on Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

As February winds to a close, it’s time to plan for the most wonderful time of the year: ice cream season. Unlike the winter months, where the only advantage to eating ice cream is that it is delicious (which is really the main draw, let’s be real), springtime seems perfectly suited to the frozen delicacy. Not too hot, so it doesn’t melt all over you, and not too cold, so it doesn’t make your teeth hurt. Ice cream is the best. To celebrate the glory that is ice cream, here is a list of events all across the USA to get your sweet tooth satisfied. BOO-YUM!

Friday, March 2 | Deadly Dessert | Philadelphia, PA

ICE CRIME! This dinner theater production in Philly needs you to solve a mystery surrounding Len & Terry’s Ice Cream. “But wait,” you say, “I want to eat ice cream, not just talk about it! YOU TRICKED ME.” No, I did not. This is DINNER THEATER, and Bistro Romano, as part of its full menu, has a fine selection of gelato and sorbetto to satisfy that craving. This is an all-immersive ice cream experience.
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Food & Drink >