Fireworks explode in the sky above Mariner Park on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Fireworks explode in the sky above Mariner Park on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Best Bets

Editor’s note: The spelling of self-defense teacher Ken Domela’s name has been corrected.

Whew! We made it, folks. We’re through that ambiguous week between Christmas and the New Year when responsibilities are scarce, leftover food is plentiful and no one really knows what day it is.

That means, however, that it’s time to wake up, change out of our pajama bottoms, strap on our XtraTufs and get back on the grind. Work is starting back up (except for some federal employees), so it’s time to head back into our calendars and check in with the rest of the world.

We’ve got an entire year stretched out before us, and what a wonderful prospect that is. It’s the time of setting goals (and hopefully sticking to them), of clearing out clutter and starting with a fresh face and attitude.

Looking for something to do now that we’re out of the holiday season? Take a gander at these Best Bets:

BEST DEFENSE BET: For this week’s Thriving Thursday, you can learn a few new moves that could serve you well while out and about in the dark Alaska winter. Instructor Ken Domela with over 50 years of martial arts experience will teach a self defense course at 6 p.m. tonight at SVT Health and Wellness. This course is designed to introduce practical self-defense techniques that are easy to learn in a safe, fun and non-competitive environment. Domela will also teach a Women’s Self Defense four-week series class from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 8-29 for $40. Call Patty at (907) 435-3215 to sign up.

BEST BOW WOW BET: The fourth annual Bow Wow Film Festival shows at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. An innovative, traveling dog themed film fest, it celebrates the human-canine bond and the marvelous ways these beloved creatures inspire us, care for us and bring us joy. The Bow Wow 2018-19 Tour launched in Telluride, Colorado, in July 2018 and from Telluride, Bow Wow went nationwide, bringing the funloving and lively show to dozens of locations around the country.

The film festival includes “Ask Frank – Advice for Dogs,” the story of Stacy’s cute rescue dog, set in Alaska, and the story of how a Montana based organization is helping to catch poachers in Africa.

Tickets are $12 general admission and $8 for children ages 14 and under. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Homer Animal Friend’s Spay & Neuter Fund. For a trailer, see www.bowwowfilmfest.com.

BEST WALKING BET: Join South Peninsula Hospital and Peninsula Radiation Oncology Medical Director John Halligan, MD, for the next Walk with a Doc event from 9-10 a.m. this Saturday at SPARC (600 Sterling Hwy next to Homer Middle School). All are welcome for Halligan’s brief open mic on cancer and to spend the rest of the hour walking at their own pace, chatting and asking any questions. This is a free event, open to all ages and abilities. There will be free blood pressure screenings, prizes and refreshments. Please bring clean indoor walking shoes. Email wellness@sphosp.org, or call the Health & Wellness Department at 907 235-0970 with questions or for more information.

BEST BOOGIE BET: If you didn’t quite get all your dancing out of your system on New Year’s Eve, keep the party going at 9 p.m. this Saturday with Big Chimney Barn Dance at Alice’s Champagne Palace. Big Chimney Barn Dance is a band made up of dear friends who love to play traditional American Stringband music. The band consists of many prominent members of Alaska’s vibrant acoustic music scene. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. They are available online at Eventbrite.com.

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