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Monday, December 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Fog/Mist

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Drummer John O.Reilly stays busy making music with Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Drummer John O.Reilly may have one of the coolest jobs in rock. He's spent the past dozen years touring each November through early January with one of two traveling versions of the holiday rock-opera extravaganza Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and he's gigged with everyone from Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult to Yoko Ono and the late Richie Havens. >More
382 Pixel LineThe Amazing Race 25, Episode 12: The #SweetScientists come from behind, play smart, and win!

When I pitched recapping the 25th season of The Amazing Race to Isthmus, all I wanted was to get paid to watch TV. That's the American Dream, right? I honestly hadn't thought about the possibility that contestants Amy DeJong and Maya Warren, a pair of students in UW-Madison's Food Science doctoral program, would actually make it all the way to the finale, much less come from behind to win it all. >More
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The Paper

Sartorial revelations from a skinny-jeaned wannabe

In my mind's eye, I'm super old. I'm out in the yard on a hot day with my shirt off. A puff of gray hair sprouts from the sunken crater that is my chest. My pointy elbows could poke your eye out, but that doesn't stop my grandchildren from clinging to my legs like ivy. We tumble down into the soft grass. A haystack of giggles. >More
382 Pixel LineGary Andersen? It's not us, is it?

When Gary Andersen called Barry Alvarez to tell him he was resigning to accept the head coaching job at Oregon State, he probably didn't use the phrase "It's not you, it's me." And like most people, if Andersen had said that, he probably didn't mean it. >More
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Doolittles Woodfire Grill brings contemporary touches to American fare

The cynical among us may, during these holiday months, look at the paved expanse of East Towne with scorn. It's cold, hard commercialism all right, a shopping mall and a bunch of bank drive-throughs and scads of national chain restaurants. The hopeful among us? They're packing into Doolittles Woodfire Grill. >More
 Layla's Persian Food serves distinctive and singular dishes

Layla's Persian Food is a cheery, quirky basement space appointed with eclectic odds and ends -- mirrors, rugs, mismatched furniture and bright French blue chairs. It's hidden away under the Madison Hostel, and the small room holds a scant handful of tables. >More
Punk, funk, bluegrass and folk fests at Majestic place regional artists on a big stage

January can be a slow time of year for music venues. Touring acts are largely on hiatus until a bit later in the season, and customers can still be recovering from the whirlwind of the holiday season. >More
 How Chris Farley came out of Madison to conquer the world

In the 1980s, I lived near a tiny theater in downtown Madison called Ark Improv. A comedian named Chris Farley performed in this converted garage, and the place seemed way too small for him. >More
Children's Theater of Madison keeps A Christmas Carol fresh in its 35th year

When the narrator invited the packed house in Overture's Capitol Theater to come closer to hear a very special story -- one that absolutely cannot begin with "once upon a time" -- there was a sense that hundreds of velvet- and taffeta-clad children and their parents leaned in to be newly amazed and enchanted by the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. >More
 Local fibers find a home at the Dancing Lamb in Evansville

The Dancing Lamb, a new yarn and fiber shop in Evansville, Wis., is located in a farmhouse-style Victorian house on a mostly residential block of Main Street. Set among other historic homes from the period, shoppers may feel as if they're no longer in this century. >More
Wild is an unapologetically feminist film

Cheryl Strayed was a mess. She was in the midst of divorcing her husband. She was using heroin. She was lost. So, in the summer of 1995, she figured maybe she might be able to find herself by hiking a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Which she did. And then she wrote a book about her transformative experience. And now it's a movie. >More
 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies fails to live up to the epic Lord of the Rings

The best thing about finally reaching the third and last chapter of Peter Jackson's ponderously epic eight-hour adaptation of the rather brief and chipper novel The Hobbit is that we may be assured that once the DVD hits next year, some intrepid fan is going to whittle the whole thing down into a breezy 105-minute phantom edit... like it should have been in the first place. >More

THE GUIDE

Monday, December 22
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Narayan Mahon Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
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Tuesday, December 23
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Narayan Mahon  Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
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Wednesday, December 24
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Narayan Mahon  Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
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Madison Ballet's "The Nutcracker"  Overture Center-Overture Hall
Thursday, December 25
Narayan Mahon  Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
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Free Christmas Meal  First United Methodist Church, 11:00am
Friday, December 26
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Narayan Mahon  Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

ISTHMUS PICKS

Isthmus Picks: Madison calendar for December 18-25, 2014

Here are this week's Isthmus Picks. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison. >More

CITIZEN DAVE

Citizen Dave: My first venison dinner of the season

It was fate. The other night I came home to find a postcard from the Wisconsin DNR. The doe I shot on the first day of gun deer season in November had tested negative for chronic wasting disease. >More

MADLAND

Madland: City council races offer much more than the lesser of two evils

As reported last week, candidates are now declaring for the Madison Common Council elections in spring 2015. I've often wondered why so many people are willing to run for alder in the first place: Crazy hours for a job where the hourly pay probably doesn't hit minimum wage; all the joy of drawing the ire of the public with very little of the power of other elected positions. >More

TELL ALL

Tell All: Where do I draw the line when my daughter dresses too sexy?

Dear Tell All: My sweet little girl has turned into a teenager -- with a vengeance. At 16, she's obsessed with guys, along with the way she looks. This whole thing has been building up since middle school, but recently it's reached crisis proportions. >More

MAMA MADISON

Mama Madison: Talking about race with Families for Justice

Like many parents, I look at the wide world around my kids and do my best to prepare them for life. We talk about working hard, being kind and responsible, Internet safety, stranger danger, and the (gulp) birds and the bees. But what about a topic such as race? >More

MADISON SNAPS

Madison Snaps: December 19, 2014

Today's image titled "Short Morning at Short Stack" was photographed by Paul T. McMahon. >More
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COVER STORY

Yang Sao Xiong remembers the bizarre hissing sounds the most. He was 7 years old, a refugee with his family from Laos, when he arrived in California in 1987. "When we first got off the plane, all I could tell was that people were making all these 's' sounds," says Xiong, describing his first impression of English. >More
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NEW YEAR'S EVE

Whether you wish to bid a fond farewell to 2014 or just say good riddance, there are plenty of ways to party and dance your way to 2015. Here are some spots around town where bands will be rocking, bootys will be shaking and booze will be flowing. >More

BEER

Growth continues to seem boundless for craft beer in Wisconsin. Once again, the last 12 months have offered brewery openings and expansions, new faces behind the brew kettles, and plenty of memorable beers. These developments are evident around the state, while the region surrounding Madison continues to build a reputation as a brewing destination. >More

COFFEE

In latte art, there's more than meets the eye. Those frothy hearts and ferns are actually supposed to make your latte taste better. Painting, as the professionals call it, is all about the milk-to-espresso ratio with each sip. >More

THE AMAZING RACE

When I pitched recapping the 25th season of The Amazing Race to Isthmus, all I wanted was to get paid to watch TV. That's the American Dream, right? I honestly hadn't thought about the possibility that contestants Amy DeJong and Maya Warren, a pair of students in UW-Madison's Food Science doctoral program, would actually make it all the way to the finale, much less come from behind to win it all. >More

NEWS

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