I hate saying goodbye because I've always been pretty terrible at it. I'm a sentimental lady and that usually brings an embarrassing amount of waterworks when parting ways with something I really care about (back in the day, that often meant boys I met while on vacation with my parents). So I'm going to make this short and sweet—if word hasn't reached you yet, I'm leaving The Stranger January 27. I'm moving to San Francisco to finally live near my boyfriend of over a decade and work as the music editor at the SF Weekly, a paper to which I contributed often when I lived in SF the last time. It's a bittersweet farewell, and I'll pen a longer bit about that next issue, but I'm bringing it up now because I'm having a big ol' get-drunk, throw-down going-away party at Vito's on Friday, January 27, from 9:00 p.m. on. I'm lucky enough to have the guys behind the hot new Sunday night weekly Fascinator (Angry Boy Productions and 1.800.i.Feel.OK) helping me throw this shindig, and DJs Mamma Casserole, El Toro, and Mike Nipper on the decks. I've mentioned before how much I love Vito's—the red-and-black décor, all those mirrored surfaces, the old-school Italian vibe. I also love Seattle—the bands, the clubs, the bookers, the fans... the people in general, and I'd love to see as many familiar faces for a big bon voyage as possible. I'll try not to smear up my hankies. Cripples fans should keep the hankies out the following night, January 28, though, as those fun synth punks are calling it quits on the 10th anniversary of their first live show. From that initial Lake Union Pub debut to this final Sunset blowout, the Cripples have come a long way—and for this farewell they're bringing along the Fall-Outs, the Unnatural Helpers, and comedy from Gary "Gorillaman" Davis.

For everything that leaves us, something new comes into focus. I'm happy to report some fresh beginnings along with all these farewells. Linda Dershang (of the eternally popular Linda's) is opening a new bar in Ballard, right next to Hattie's (and an upcoming new Rudy's location) called Kings. For this new venture she's partnering with Wade Weigel and Jeff Ofelt (Cha Cha, Rudy's) and Sonic Boom's Nabil Ayers. Linda describes Kings as a "comfortable, casual neighborhood joint" with pool tables and a back patio—just in time for a planned July opening.

In other new bar news, Steven Severin (of Chop Suey/Wake Up) is opening a new bar on Capitol Hill's 15th Avenue next month with Andrew Fridman called Liberty. The plan is for a neighborhood bar with a casual atmosphere and good drinks that'll be located across the street from Sonic Boom.

And for those looking to steal a little sunshine, I recommend directing your browser to www.mannheimworldwide.com, where Jason Holstrom of U.S.E takes you to poppy Hawaiian tropics under the new moniker the Thieves of Kailua. (His blissful holiday tunes are available for free at that site.)