Exit133 is about Tacoma

Monkeyshines Returns for 2009 - Year of the Ox


The balls went out last night. This one was found in the Tacoma Weekly box on North 30th Street in Old Town. Tell your stories in the comments.


Monkeyshines, a wee little art project that finds our fair city inundated with hand blown glass balls, is back. Last year we had rats. This year we have the ox. To complicate things, they aren’t necessarily distributing the prizes on Chinese New Year. Rather than explain, here’s the full press release:

Tacoma, WA, January 22 – For the sixth year in a row, Monkeyshines, Tacoma’s anonymous glass art project, will be placing hand-blown glass balls throughout the streets and neighborhoods of Tacoma sometime around the date of Chinese New Year. But thanks to a grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission, this year will feature a distribution of approximately 600 glass balls—three times as large as any previous year.

Monkeyshines first became a news item in 2004, when they gave away more than 200 glass balls in honor of the Chinese Year of the Monkey. The next year, in honor of the Chinese Year of the Rooster, 300 glass medallions emblazoned with the profile of a rooster were hidden throughout Tacoma. 2006, 2007 and 2008 saw glass balls stamped with the profile of a dog a boar and a rat, respectively.

In honor of The Year of the Ox, this year’s balls are stamped with an ox’s image. The artworks will be hidden throughout the city sometime around Chinese New Year, but Monkeyshines won’t give a specific date or time. “The last few years, we’ve had a little trouble with people hanging out on Chinese New Year’s Eve and taking more than one ball,” said a Monkeyshines artist. “This time, we’re keeping the distribution schedule a secret to give more people a chance to find one of these surprises.” For 2009, the new year’s day falls on Monday, January 26.The balls are meant to be gifts for whoever finds them. The artists and participants who hide the balls try to vary the locations to keep the chance of finding one a true surprise. On previous years, the balls were spotted on local beaches, in the branches of trees, throughout downtown, and in clever spots in many Tacoma neighborhoods.

“Oxen are steady, honest, gentle and reliable,” said a Monkeyshines spokesperson. “They’re also seen as a sign of prosperity. I think nearly all of us are really longing for almost everything on that list, making the ox the ideal symbol for the coming year.”In conjunction with the glass art, local poster artists Beautiful Angle created an ox-themed poster, featuring the words, “It’s good and today could get even better,” in reference to a recent front-page News Tribune headline that said, “It’s bad—and today could get even worse.” Monkeyshines representatives want to be clear that the glass balls are meant to be found, taken home, and shared with friends. “This is an art project that is of, by, and for our community,” said one of the lead participants.

Monkeyshines is not an organization. It is a slightly-crazed art project that may or may not occur again. Keep looking in the low-growing branches of trees for more information.

Now are you ready?

Tell us when you find one. We’d love to know your story.

Previously on Exit133: Monkeyshines Celebrates the Year of the Rat

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nothing this morning.  I hope they don’t shift it to after the day – I work miles away and, being an ox, I was really hoping to find one of these this year.

January 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Awwww. :(  Maybe they’ll be out tomorrow. hopes

January 25, 2009 at 12:28 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I got a poster for it today. Not quite the same though.

January 25, 2009 at 7:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply

North End Justin

I roamed around the Proctor district with a flashlight tonight around 130am hoping to find something.  I came up empty handed and soaked. 

Looks like I’ll be dragging my daughter out for a walk in the morning.

January 25, 2009 at 9:31 am / Reply / Quote and reply


We got up early this morning in hopes of finally finding a glass ball. No luck! We searched everywhere high & low. Bummer!  We have looked for the last 3 years but never found any. My brother found one 2 years ago. I’m excited there will be so many this year maybe we’ll get lucky.

January 25, 2009 at 4:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Ever since the Monkeyshines project began, I’ve always wanted to go hunting for the glass balls, but never had the opportunity/time to do so. Today I’ll go look with a friend (yes, despite the comments above about having no luck). I’m at least happy I get to look this time!

January 25, 2009 at 5:03 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

North End Stevens

It is definitely more fair to not divulge the distibution schedule, <span class=“caps”>BUT</span> it would it would sure be nice if they would announce at some point when the distribution is complete. No point risking hypothermia and personal injury for something that is likely already found.

January 25, 2009 at 5:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


no joy in Wright Park at 7 am Sunday.

January 25, 2009 at 6:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

North End Justin

I took my daughter out and attempted to wander around <span class=“caps”>UPS</span> this morning.  After a lap around one building my daughters face was so red from the cold and wind I called it quits. 

It looks like I’ll be doing another midnight walk tonight after work.  :)

January 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


yeah it would be a good idea to let us know when they are out all there I dont think they are yet because we started looking at 6:30 am we walked around UW tacoma and then went to ruston way and walked more then we drove around N tacoma and to titlo beach and all we have is a shell and a base ball maybe we will look later we had 10 eyes looking too

January 25, 2009 at 8:15 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Well, no luck this afternoon at Wright Park and the general area around The Grand. Going out at 7 a.m. tomorrow to try again, though!

January 26, 2009 at 12:36 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Rosemary Ponnekanti

It’s official, guys – the distribution has just ended. I went along for the ride around Proctor, and I’m not going to divulge anything here: you’ll have to read the <span class=“caps”>GOA</span>rts blog at the <span class=“caps”>TNT</span>. blogs.thenewstribune.com/arts

January 26, 2009 at 5:07 am / Reply / Quote and reply

North End Justin

I went straight from work to the proctor district. I found my first glass ball inside the Weekly Volcano box outside of Radio Shack.

I ran into Derek and Tim Farrell who were also on the hunt.  I hope you guys each get one.

January 26, 2009 at 6:40 am / Reply / Quote and reply


We had a successful evening. There were four of us and we each found one.

2 were in the Stevens traffic circle. 2 were in Old Town. A 5th ball was found and left for the next group of intrepid monkeyballers.

Must sleep now.

January 26, 2009 at 8:00 am / Reply / Quote and reply


our crew consisted of the duo from hong kong and the one armed driver; we found two, rosewood cafe and those steel trees off the dome exit.  while Chung-Ho Lee was searching the Karpales he was asked what he was doing from a woman walking her dog. “Looking for a glass ball!” 

we went into wrights park when the cops showed up, they hadn’t a clue what was going on, so i explained, you’re going to have a few people looking for these glass balls.  we tried downtown, lincoln district, then ran into the same cops at the globe in thea’s park.  they still seemed good natured about it (“people have already been here, they didn’t find anything.”) 

the hong kong duo were very very happy to find the balls. 

thank you monkeyshiners!  this is what makes tacoma, well, tacomian.

January 26, 2009 at 9:05 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I was really excited to find what turned out to be a green play pen ball. Ouch. I was also suprised that I walked from Gateway to India to Origin 23 and didn’t find any. Maybe someone beat me to it.

Hopefully I have more luck tomorrow!

January 26, 2009 at 9:10 am / Reply / Quote and reply

North End Justin

I ended up going out again after stopping home to grab something to eat.  I found two more outside the tropical nursery in Ruston.  I was going to leave them but figured I would give them to family members.

I was stalked by the Ruston Police so I walked over and explained why I was wandering around at 1230 in the morning with a flashlight.  I’m sure there were more than a few of us who were stopped at some point.

January 26, 2009 at 9:22 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I guess they’re all gone now, we found nothing at all from Wright Park all the way to Freighthouse.

No love for this ox.

January 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


No luck this morning from 7-8 a.m. searching Wright Park, part of 21st, Proctor & 26th. Maybe will try again tonight or tomorrow.

January 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Grumpy Old Lady

How is putting the balls out at 10:30 p.m. and then tipping off friends supposed to give more people a chance to find the balls?

And <span class=“caps”>NEJ</span> should put some back – Monkeyshines specifically said they had a problem with taking multiples.

January 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Eric J.

I dragged my 11 year old daughter out of bed this morning at 5:45 and we spent the morning wandering from old City Hall, accross the Murray Morgan Bridge and to the UW Campus.  She found one in a planter on about Pacific and 11th.  She’ll probably sleep through 1st period math class and not pass the <span class=“caps”>WASL</span>, but it was worth it.

January 26, 2009 at 3:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I <span class=“caps”>ONLY</span> walk in this city and have been keeping my eyes open – being an Ox am definately hoping to find one…wonder if there are any left…

January 26, 2009 at 3:32 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Congratulations to all of you who got up early and searched! We hid almost 600 balls this year <span class=“caps”>ALL</span> <span class=“caps”>OVER</span> Tacoma, thanks to a grant from the Arts Commission!  There are <span class=“caps”>MANY</span> <span class=“caps”>MORE</span> out there just waiting to be stumbled upon.  Keep your eyes open and discover Tacoma while you’re out there, and hey maybe you could take a bag and pick up some trash too?!

January 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

North End Justin

Grumpy Old Lady –

I did find two more when I went out again.  It was kind of addicting trying to find them. 

I was going to leave the last two but recalled reading in the press release that they were meant to be taken and shared with friends and family.  The reason I took the final two was to give them to my parents and brother to display at home.

January 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Any lucky dogs out there want to trade their new ox one for a dog one I found in the past?

oh and thanks for posting the pic above

January 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


It’s unfortunate to me that this project now has to have press releases and reporter ride-alongs. The mysterious nature of it was so appealing before. And, if you wanted to change when it was distributed, change it. But don’t tell everybody in advance. Definitely don’t tell everybody the moment they land in the grass. Can’t this little gift to the city be shared via whispers?

January 26, 2009 at 5:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


We were on the streets at 5am as we were trying to give respect to what was released by Monkey Shines stating that people were sitting out all night waiting for them and snatching up all the balls. I think its great to get up early and go but I thought this statement was saying ‘cool your jets kids, if you wait up all night for Santa he may not come’. With 600 out there hopefully I will stumble upon one later today.

Oh, and I do think its crappy to take more then one! If your family wanted one they should of woke up in the wee hours and freezed their butt off like everyone else. I have never shared my balls over the years! Not even with my boyfriend. I just gave him a tip of the general area where I had saw one.

January 26, 2009 at 5:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I found about 50 of them, thx!

January 26, 2009 at 5:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Didn’t even get a chance to look, I am more amused reading everyone else’s kvetching. Kudos at #21. Sounds like a great story for an eleven year old to reflect back on….“I got a 60% on my <span class=“caps”>WASL</span> because my crazy dad dragged me out in 26-degree weather to look for a peice of glass in Tacoma….” Nice.

January 26, 2009 at 5:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

North End Justin

“Oh, and I do think its crappy to take more then one! If your family wanted one they should of woke up in the wee hours and freezed their butt off like everyone else.”

I’m not trying to turn this into a war or anything but I just wanted to justify why I took more than one.  Yes, I would have enjoyed having them come out with me to look, but my mom has asthma.  Going out in cold weather would have been horrible for her.  I couldn’t justify her going to the hospital because I wouldn’t pick one up for her. In the end it doesn’t really matter if she was standing there with me, which I would have preferred, or if I gave her one that I found for her. 

I apologize if I misinterpreted the part of the press release that said they were meant to be taken and shared with friends.  If they do this again next year I will only take one. (For the record, the third ball is for my grandmother who is in a nursing home)

January 26, 2009 at 6:31 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I’ve always wanted to join in on the distribution side of things.  Next year I should actually have the time, if they want the help.  I hope the conflicts don’t ruin it in the meantime.

January 26, 2009 at 6:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Whoa. I don’t think you should call people names like ‘Grumpy old lady’ then follow up with I don’t want to start a war.

Plus, I thought it was for parents and brother? I’m confused its for your asmathatic mom and elderly grandmother in a nursing home now?

January 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Whoa. I don’t think you should call people names like ‘Grumpy old lady’ then follow up with I don’t want to start a war.

@20 Signed her comment as “grumpy old lady”.

January 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

North End Justin

Ok…I swear. Last comment on this from me.  :)

I did say last night I was going to give one to my mother and brother.  This morning my wife said I should give the other one to my grandmother instead because she is in a nursing home and it would brighten her room up. 

Sorry again to all that disagree with me taking the extra two.  Good luck to those that are still searching. I’m sure they all haven’t been found yet.

January 26, 2009 at 6:59 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Disappointed :(

I went out at 9 AM with three friends and went everywhere and didn’t even find one. I was really wishing for at least one!

I would have even liked to see someone else get one, on such a beautiful day I thought it would be fun to see one glistening in the sun. Any hints on where I should look after work?

January 26, 2009 at 7:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I think the poster is pretty cool, and goes great with the ball! We need some positives right now, and the message keeps us aligned with where we should be.

January 26, 2009 at 7:31 pm / Reply / Quote and reply



This thread is so depressing. Monkeyshines are all about finding a surprise and enjoying the luck. The project should bring joy to our city, not reduce us to squabbling 3 year olds who whine about it not being fair. I think everyone on this thread appreciates the project for what it is and no matter how many balls taken, is living in the spirit of the project. A ball taken and given with pure intentions of giving joy is just as fair to me as one found by a hunter.

On another note: I don’t think <span class=“caps”>ANY</span> member of the media, blogosphere or photog should be allowed out distributing anymore. I was completely disappointed by Rosemary’s post about distribution because it ruined the spirit of the day. It should be about the joy of unexpectedly finding one. Whether you are hunting or not. The last two years have been ruined for me by photos of balls being hidden and “hints” about where to look.

All that being said, anyone have a joyous story about happening upon one?

January 26, 2009 at 7:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

North End Justin

Ok. One more post ;)

I enjoyed being out seeing people roaming neighborhoods they may never have gone to before and meeting people they would probably never have the chance of meeting. 

Most nights you see someone walking down the street with their head down just trying to get to their destination.  You might get a nod or a quick hello, but that’s about it.  Last night you could say “Any luck?” or “Did you find one yet?” and a conversation would start.

Last night I couldn’t count the number of people I passed walking around with flashlights searching as they walked.  I talked with many people and heard lots of stories about how their searches had gone.

Whether or not it was their intended purpose, the monkeyshines group got people out of their homes and cars and got them talking.  I hope they continue the tradition next year.

January 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


We just had a nice walk around at lunch, after a very early a.m. jog through town. While I would have liked to have found one, the search alone is kind of fun. Maybe some other year. How about a mid-day distribution next time? Thanks to all the Monkeyshines folks for their efforts.

January 26, 2009 at 8:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I looked all around Freighthouse Square, Frost Park, Fireman’s Park and the Spanish Steps.  No luck, though.  But it was great to get out in the sunshine and brisk air to enjoy my city.  On the plus side, I did come across the BA poster to add to my collection :)

January 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


as posted earlier, my hong kong duo just had to drag me out last night to go look.  they were so exited about it all.  we drove all over the place and had quite an adventure with it.  finding two for them was really really cool, they can take them home to hong kong and show their families how nutty tacoma is. 

this morning i was really hoping to come across one by happenstance with my daughter.  lo and behold, sitting right in the union ave medium was an ox ball.  (And found on our way to the dentist!)  my daughter gave me that smile/non-smile that all teenagers possess, but i could tell she thought it was waaay cooler than a juicy culture shirt. A glass ball in the middle of the grass! it was, as the ad says, priceless. 

thanks again shiners!

January 26, 2009 at 8:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I had no idea this project even existed and I’m guessing I’m too late to find a magical glass ball, but regardless, this is just one more thing that makes me love Tacoma. Kudos to the monkeyshines group and all those who have participated in the art project!

January 26, 2009 at 8:55 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I sure enjoyed doing a spur-of-the-moment hunt for the balls late last night – walking around the waterfront on Ruston Way in search of a prize, finding one cleverly nestled in the Firefighters Memorial near the fire station and then finding two more that we left behind for others in the infamous traffic circle on Stevens Street in the North End. I am especially glad that we didn’t simply stop searching after we found our ball on Ruston Way. Part of the magic of the night was seeing other searchers wandering through the Proctor District with flashlights in the freezing cold.

Kudos to Ms. Monkey and her crew! This event is a gem for Tacoma.

January 26, 2009 at 11:04 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Mr. Monkey

Listen folks the balls are out there trust me we made a decsion to hide them a bit better this year to make it last a bit longer. Have fun be safe.

January 26, 2009 at 11:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I may go out hunting again before my cycling class at the <span class=“caps”>YMCA</span>. I’m glad to hear so many success stories and hope to share my own soon. It’s great that this project started out secret, but it’s not really anymore, and we can’t change that. I think it’s great that bloggers and The News Tribune have gotten involved to spread the word about this awesome Tacoma art project.

January 27, 2009 at 12:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Ms. Monkey

I’ve been lurking here….but couldn’t resist the chivalrous Mr. Monkey? Have we met?  There <span class=“caps”>ARE</span> about 600 balls out there..go get ‘em!  But mostly, enjoy the time spent hunting with your friends, family and even total strangers, <span class=“caps”>THAT</span> is the magic…… Gung Hay Fat Choi…..and why don’t you post some photos of you with your balls?!

January 27, 2009 at 12:42 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Nancy Clark Sumara

I totally never heard of this event before 2 weeks ago. I found this to be so fantastic for T- Town to work the arts in such a public way.

I felt so lucky to find a gorgeous green and blue orib!,in a bunch of trees at Jane Clark Playfield. 

Thank you, for sharing the arts in a clever way.


January 27, 2009 at 1:22 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Betty Tice

I found one!!! Second year in a row….this time around 39th and Jst.Thanks.

January 27, 2009 at 4:20 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Mr. Monkey

Oh yes mrs. Monkey I belive that we have met. Haha i’ve been looking at posts all day too. It’s fun to see how people react to the whole thing.

January 27, 2009 at 4:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply


A group of five of us went out at 4:45am this morning.  We searched the traditional places (by the glass museum, 6th Ave, etc).  By UW Tacoma we found shards of a broken glass ball someone unfortunately dropped.  Those shards disproved our fears that they hadn’t placed the balls out yet and fueled our search.  We ran into many people who said they hadn’t found anything or they knew people who had found balls.  From their reports, we crossed off areas already combed through and focused on non-conspicuous areas.  Sure enough, at around 6:00 someone in our party found a glass ball hidden in one of those free newspaper dispensers.  We got very lucky!  Thank you so much to the Monkeyshiners.  This is our last year in high school before we part ways for college and the ball is going to be our way to keep in touch (we’re mailing it back and forth).

January 27, 2009 at 4:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply


My mom and I searched before school at Stadium. I had finals so we could only look for a few hours.We walked along 6th Ave,Ruston Way and by the Glass Museum,but found nothing.I was wondering Ms. Monkey if you’ve ever hid any in NE Tacoma for those of us who live on the other side of the Port? I know many people consider us as part of Federal Way.

January 27, 2009 at 5:00 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Rosemary Ponnekanti

Hey gritcitygirl,

Too bad you’re so anti-reporters. Maybe all your friends are totally hip to the whole Monkeyshines thing, but I have to say that every single person I’ve spoken to about this, apart from artists, has been totally clueless that it exists. So, if you ban reporters, bloggers and other people who inform a wider circle, you’re pretty much saying, We like this to be exclusive, thanks.

Seems a little against the whole Monkeyshines spirit.

And if you’re so anti-bloggers, don’t support them by commenting.

January 27, 2009 at 5:15 am / Reply / Quote and reply


@52 Rosemary

I’m not anti reporter. I’m not anti blogger. In fact I’m quite fond of the media scene in this town. So take a deep breath.

I’m not opposed to writing about it ahead of time. I was very specific in targeting the distribution end of things. The last two years either bloggers, photographers or reporters have been allowed to go out distributing. None have been able to keep their mouths shut. Generally the next day pictures or “hints” about where to look show up and, for me, it really ruins the spirit of the hiding.

What you did, in particular, that bothered me this year was announce the moment the distribution happened. This set off a frantic search by those in the know – those that read Exit133. As a result many neighborhoods were combed before hunters could get up in the wee hours of the morning. Or anyone could stumble upon one on their way to work.

I think that publicizing the amazing work these artists do is great. But spoiling the surprise is like telling a kid there’s no santa. That’s just mean.

January 27, 2009 at 5:28 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I’ve never heard of this thing until this afternoon. I’m on a field trip with my 4yr old’s class and some random woman finds one and tells our group. The kids all get excited and I spend the next 3 hours with my son exploring Tacoma. We have a great day together and we find one at Wapato park in the long disfunctional drinking fountain. He’s goes crazy and I’m going crazy and man I just love Tacoma. Extra points for including us from South T-Town.

January 27, 2009 at 5:30 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Sassy McButterpants

This girl doesn’t get out of bed before 10am for nobody.  Balls or no balls.

January 27, 2009 at 5:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply


The greatest gift.

Intangibles- like “community” “life” “passion”,“art”,“hope” — my friend placed a found ball in my hand today and I held all of those things. Turning it around and around in my hand, the ox seal making it heavier on one end, the yellow dappling playing in sunlight, I could feel the story of an artist late at night making one last ball, maybe this one. One of hundreds of balls over past few years sprinkled around the city like random seedlings of art. Random others finding them and each bestowing their treasure with their personal idea of “art.”  Maybe the story of the finder, the best thoughts in their hearts get trapped inside the ball so they can live forever — just like art allows us put meaning to intangibles and keep it forever… I think this is the most amazing project already.  But that is not the best part.  I went to hand the ball back to my friend and he said “that one is yours.”


January 27, 2009 at 7:08 am / Reply / Quote and reply

crenshaw sepulveda

There is no Santa?

January 27, 2009 at 7:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Tora! Tora! Laura!


Does your real name have the initials AC?

January 27, 2009 at 7:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I found a lovely white one resting peacefully (in plain sight) on one of the new sidewalks in McKinley Park.

It is stunning.

January 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Thorax O'Tool

I saw one while driving yesterday.

Doesn’t count, I know. But it makes me feel important.

January 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


As a monkeyshiner – it gives me great joy to read about people finding the ones I <span class=“caps”>KNOW</span> I hid.  The white one on the sidewalk, the one in the old drinking fountain <span class=“caps”>AND</span> the one in the Tacoma Weekly box in Old Town!  Whoo hoo!  It’s awesome to hear how special it is for people to find one.  It’s very special for us to <span class=“caps”>HIDE</span> them.

Thanks Ms. Monkey for being my friend and allowing me to participate in this <span class=“caps”>AWESOME</span> project.  It goes to show you how important art is, and how one small beautiful object can touch people.  Can’t wait for next year.

January 27, 2009 at 3:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Cromletch McHammer

Art IS important, you’re certainly right about that.

It’s just too bad that the City favors it’s “pet artists” at the expense of the rest of us.

We need more stuff like this. Only on a bigger scale.

How ‘bout the T town art scavenger hunt? 100 artists make 100 pieces, and hide them around town… finders keepers!

January 27, 2009 at 5:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Conan the Vegetarian

“ Oxen in the Mist “

A couple years ago my brother and I designed and built a small steam room off the bedroom deck in a sheltered location of the backyard … well, actually HE built it, but I did help … some.  I’m out there 4 or 5 nights a week, usually in the evening when the neighborhood is quiet and dark; to de-stress after work, or just to sit and meditate.  Monday evening as I entered the warm and steamy mist filled sanctuary I noticed a colorful object setting upom the tiled bench reflecting flashes of the porch light filtering through the rooms exterior glass door … I had been Monkeyshined !  There IT was, an iconic orb, as perfectly ‘ out of place ‘ as, well … as an OX in a steam room !

January 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Well i have never heard about this until yesterday,i had found an orb out side my work in the garden area i thought a patient had dropped it. so i asked around and learned about the monkeyshrines. i am telling everyone i can and i am verey exited to have found an orb. i will be looking forward to next year. thank you for the smiles and happiness giveing me a great “guess how i got it” art piece.

January 27, 2009 at 11:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Alright, I spent many hours scouring the streets of Tacoma and I’ve still come up empty-handed. Yes, I’ll admit that I am reminded why I live in Tacoma.  The idea behind this project is a great one. I did enjoy wandering with friends and alone around my favorite neighborhoods and parks. But the message would really hit home if I were to find a treasure! After searching high and low only to be dissapointed, blistered and cold, I think I’ll just go about my business and hopefully one will find me instead.

Thank you Monkeyshiners!

January 28, 2009 at 12:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply


RE: the beautiful white float resting in McKinley Park, thank you Monkeyshiner for placing it there.  I honestly wasn’t looking for a float. Hence I believe it spied me first.  The serendipity of it all was so lovely.  Plus McKinley has such a dubious and mixed history.  Wonderful to have a little art in such a forlorn park.

January 28, 2009 at 3:17 am / Reply / Quote and reply


while the ox is at work, the dragon has been scouring the city to no avail.  the dog is getting all the joy out of the trips to new parks.  that’s so last year.

January 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


meant to say:

“rats – that’s so last year”

January 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


RE: notagain….write me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

January 28, 2009 at 4:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Adam Ydstie

Spent three days searching… had lots of fun, even though it was cold, but alas… no floats for me. Perhaps next year will yield a spot of color amidst a grey winter. Thanks to all the monkeyshiners… we are grateful.

January 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I walked my dog up and down Ruston Way on Monday and didn’t have any luck. My poor pup was so tired he couldn’t jump back in the truck. <span class=“caps”>LOL</span> We had a blast though. My dog slept the rest of the day. I spied a few other searchers but wasn’t brave enough to say “Hi”.

I might drag my husband around town on Saturday to try again. Those floats are too beautiful to give up on just yet. ;)

Thank you Monkeyshines and crew!

January 28, 2009 at 7:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Thank you for the wonderful ones I found six all around my area. 25th and holgate st.

January 29, 2009 at 12:01 am / Reply / Quote and reply

mr. monkey

re. Sheila

i think its great that you found some of our balls but we are trying to keep it fair for every one and give others a chance to find them too. So mayby you could the extras you found and put them in your own special hiding place and spred the joy around!!!
      Thanks to all who are keeping in the spirit of this event.

January 29, 2009 at 1:30 am / Reply / Quote and reply

mr. monkey

and one day i will learn to spell too.

January 29, 2009 at 1:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I went looking at kandle park and around the westgate area today and yesterday but no luck:(. I am hoping that there is still some out there but there might not be. Does anyone know if there is any left? After school tomorrow I will go looking for them so I hope I will have some luck!

January 29, 2009 at 4:54 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Does anyone know if there is any left?

We’re still getting stories of balls being found. The obvious ones are gone, but they still seem to be out there. And with 600 balls distributed, there is a good possibility that there are still a lot of them out there.

January 29, 2009 at 5:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I never knew about these glass balls until this year.  It is really neat that this is done.  Thank you to the monkeyshiners.  I found one by St Luke’s Church hidden in the stairs.  It is so exciting.  It is fun hearing where people are finding them.  It would be helpful if you knew the area and how far out they are being hid though.  Thanks again.

January 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


So I had just heard about this the day before they went out. What an amazing project to get people out to really <span class=“caps”>LOOK</span> at and enjoy their city! The longer I live in this town the more I appreciate it and my boyfriend agrees. I plan on going out this weekend just for the heck of it and maybe we will get lucky. I am going to bring a trash bag and enjoy the search while making Tacoma even more beautiful. Thank you monkeyshiners for making me warm and fuzzy! Much apprection from a newish, but proud, Tacomian.

January 29, 2009 at 9:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


They are still out there… checked on a few today…

January 31, 2009 at 3:35 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Thanks for the inspiration to keep looking.  The dogs have been enjoying the extra long walks.  I’ve picked up some recycling too.  How ‘bout a hint?  Any left in the North Slope or should I wander further-a-field?

Great idea, it’s been fun looking, Thanks!

January 31, 2009 at 5:09 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I have searched Wright Park, 21st Street, Proctor District, Broadway, the Baptist seminary on Stevens Street and the surrounding neighborhood, and still nothing. Yet I still want to search more. I’m discovering parts of Tacoma I never laid eyes on, so thank you Monkeyshines for this fantastic project. I still would love, love, love to find one, but for my own sanity I think I will call it quits after this weekend. Wish me luck!

January 31, 2009 at 5:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

J. Cote

If the joy of the project is in finding a glass ball by surprise, then why not do the timing of the distribution by surprise too. Don’t tell anyone when they will be put out, just put them out.

I haven’t been lucky enough to find one and my metal-laden back won’t allow me to get up and search in the cold. It’s a great idea though and a really cool way to get people to discover our City and it’s little hidden-away places.

Just remember what you were taught in Kindergarten, folks: Be nice and play fair.

February 1, 2009 at 3:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I am a boar and I saw on the news friday in the year of the boar I had a dream. It was a bad year for me I am dissabled not able to work was feeling down.  That friday I dremt I found three glass balls and where I found them. I told my room mate and another about this. The night before you put them out I had not slept well due to my injurys my room mate was up getting ready for work early sunday and I got up and said I am going to the spot I dremt of and yes the first one was the best but I found three I still have them.  This year I looked in the same spot and nothing.  So I looked in other places and this year I found three again.  Now I have six glass balls and if it wasn’t for monkeyshine I may have missed happyness in the search.

P.S. I have a friend that calls me Monkeybump will save that for another time. Thanks again Mark

February 3, 2009 at 2:18 am / Reply / Quote and reply


My BF and I are still out looking. Mostly him because I’m tied up with work and school but he goes out on his long board and enjoys the city and fresh air but I know he is so disappointed. He found his ball last year in the afternoon of Chinese New Year of the Rat and was so happy that one had been left undetected for him to take home. With 600 balls hopefully a searcher with a quest will find what there heart desires, a little piece of Tacoma to show to family, friends, and strangers. This whole event has gotten so big because it is almost analogous of a Easter egg hunt for all ages. The city is full of lookers during the night and day just hoping to have that great delight of screaming out loud, “Found one!”

My beliefs are that. My feelings are this. More, more, more is never enough. There are long faces because they didn’t have the great pleasure of just one. Also, this whole thing started years ago and grew just based on word alone. Tacoma is a wonderful community and never did I keep my lips sealed of this glorious event to anyone. I want everyone to experience it but I think the fun comes from the fact that I found out from word of mouth. While just talking about this marvelous town with the owner of Red Hot he told us about monkeyshines and his adventures and finds. Then I told my best friend and then so on and so on. I guarantee between my boyfriend and I we have shared the news of the fun goodies that arrive on Chinese New Year with 50 people.

Please don’t stop the hunt. Apologies for being bitter, that’s petty. We should be thankful that our city has such a gracious art group that grants us the gift of joy and adventure! Everyone should be happy and respectful. If not this year, there is always next year. Maybe more people will join, maybe less publicity, and maybe everyone will go home with just one gift for themselves and if someone admires it, they know just what to do on the next Chinese New Year!

February 3, 2009 at 8:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I was out walking my dog this weekend at the beach front park in stelicoom and i found a pink and white orb. My dog went poo.. i went to pick it up and there it was in some long grass behind the Scuba Memorial tree. Thank you for bringing the arts down to Stelicoom.

February 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I never got around to blogging about my adventure after my first sleepless night of hunting sun 25th. (Post# 5) I was too busy sleeping then searching again with friends and family all over tacoma. I called my friends & family at 11:00pm the 25th,after I saw the post about the distribution. We had plans to get up in the middle of the night to start the hunt. We knew it would be the last night to plant the balls from the clues given. I was so excited as was everyone else. We started at proctor. They were all gone by the time we got there. Lots of searchers, There was alomost a sense of urgency to hurry and find one since we have waited 3 years to find one. We searched the park @ 31st and proctor, The bridge over the gulch on proctor and so on, stevens, some how we ended up on N. 26th we were headed to Kandel Park & Westgate but took a detour at the Police Sub-station around 1:00am and out of the corner of my eye spotted a shiney globe near the front door. I’m not even sure I put the car in Park before I jumped out of the car shouting “I found one, I found one”, to my friend. She said quiet you’ll have the cops out here wanting to know what were doing! LoL.My ball was a beautiful clear, runny blue and a tiny pinch of pink

We continued our search as more peolpe joined us and some left, never made it,or had work/school the next day. I promised a ball to my friends teenage son who got up at 4am and drove from Key Peninsula to search on sat night.
So the search continued. I was the designated Monkeyshines driver from then on. I took them to a few more spots we thought would be hot! Highland Hill west 6th ave Titlow. Scary at night and eye opening, we found a homeless person sleeping in War Memorial Park.

We were afraid to pull up at the fire station on 6th and almost missed our 2nd ball sitting near driveway. My friend had the honor of retrieving a beautiful blue globe.

Searched some more on 6th ave headed east. By 3:00am my brother had a prize of his own, he also almost missed it under the stairs in another location. One more ball appeared on a hedge before the end of our journey in plain sight, This was to go to a fellow searcher to young to stay up again all night on a school night. His mom said he was thrilled. Then the next day she made me go look all over town with her and no luck! We had so much fun and excitment and we proudly display our hand-blown glass ball art prizes in our homes. What a great conversation piece of art that has a story to go with it! Can’t wait fo the prospect of another scavenger hunt next year. Go ahead be veg about time and location, thats the thrill of the hunt not knowing where and when to hunt.    They will be found!

Thank you for all the effort and time everyone spent on this project. You made our Year!

Happy New Year to all.

February 4, 2009 at 6:01 am / Reply / Quote and reply


No luck this year, but I found a set of keys at Jefferson Park.  One key has chinese writing on it and the others look like house keys. There is some kind of a green squeeze device on the chain.  I clipped it to the tree next to the leaning tree, near the tennis couts. I hope somebody knows where they belong.  Linda

February 6, 2009 at 9:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

You're Welcome

Ahhh man, we looked around that fire station. All we found was shinning plastic bottles.  Humph!

February 6, 2009 at 10:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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