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WEDNESDAY: Cringe-worthy catharsis: Salon of Shame

Literary Salon of ShameAccording to Wikipedia, a salon is "a gathering of stimulating people of quality under the roof of an inspiring hostess or host, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings," a practice begun in 17th-century France's literary and philosophical circles. In the case of the Salon of Shame, founded in 2005 by local writer Ariel Meadow Stallings (who took inspiration from a similar event called "Cringe" in New York City), it's also a much cheaper and equally gratifying alternative to therapy. The bimonthly show gathers courageous souls to read aloud from their adolescent writings: diary entries, unsent letters, high-school poetry—in other words, anything that your first instinct tells you to shred or incinerate. Stallings swears the process is cathartic for its shameless participants, and since the event frequently sells out, we think she's onto something. So does Newsweek/MSNBC, which has mentioned the show in the past. Held within the dark walls of Belltown's Rendezvous, a building with its own sordid past, the Salon of Shame is your chance (admission is only a buck if you bring something to read) to air out your teen angst, or just your hopeless crush on Johnny Depp. Try not to choke on your beer. Rendezvous, 2320 Second Ave., 441-5823, $5 ($1 if you read). 7:30 p.m. RACHEL SHIMP

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