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It’s time we face some uncomfortable truths. Last Friday, as the news poured in about Sandy Hook, I was teaching my peace studies class with my high-schoolers. It’s a class that investigates the roots of violence and war on personal as well as international levels. If that doesn’t sound important to you this week, I’ve got some questions for you. 

Taxpayers are surely getting their money’s worth from hard-working Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson. In addition to her other duties, Ms. Richardson has now taken on the role of sheriff of Free Speech Plaza.

My fitness class lets me tune out life’s chaos and tune in to my body. Like me, the other women here focus on the workout, all of us sweating and grunting to the beat.

This is a touchy and gross subject. I am a 17-year-old girl growing up in an adoptive family in Australia. I was sexually abused by my birth family, and I think it really fucked up my sexuality. The only thing that gets me off is the idea of people absolutely destroying their lives for an orgasm. I started with mild S&M stories and then moved on to grosser stuff like murder (stories and online images), pedo (stories only), and lately I’ve been thinking about my (adoptive) parents. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be a particular category.

The Nov. 29 cover story by Camilla Mortensen on carrying concealed pistols, “Born To Gun,” while entertaining, leaves out more reality than it presents.

It’s time to point out to the right-wing ideologues in Congress that believing strongly in their cause doesn’t make up for being stupid.

At a dinner party, a straight man put a question to my boyfriend and me. He assumed that we, being gay men, would have an answer for him. We did not, Dan, and so we turn to you. What happens to one if one has to fart while one is wearing a butt plug?

Gays Are Simply Stumped, Yes And Sincerely So


They’re baaack! The mosquito ferns have reappeared in the ponds on the east side of Delta Highway. They have been inconspicuous for three years, a normal population fluctuation. We recognize them by the dark, reddish-brown surface mat on the ponds. Duckweed stays green all winter but the mosquito ferns get color in the fall. That they are still reddish brown and not shocking purple tells us that by the beginning of December we still haven’t had a hard freeze.

Congress can go off the fiscal cliff if it wants to. I’m going bowling.

Sometimes I kick the proverbial hornet’s nest intentionally — “bullshit in the Bible,” for instance — and sometimes I kick the hornet’s nest accidentally. I honestly didn’t expect the outraged response I got after I wrote that poly wasn’t a sexual identity in the “sexual orientation” sense of the term. Some people identify as poly, of course, just as some people identify as, say, dominant or submissive.

It is finished. For the next three years, we can rest until new candidates saturate our media, hit us up for cash, and bring us new hopes and talking points. Unlike us, however, these future candidates are not resting now. They are serving in our government. And they are looking for money.

I’m a straight man at that age where the general public still considers me young. Although I’ve attended many weddings, I have no interest in marrying or even being in a relationship. I never have. I’m not asexual. I’ve had and enjoyed sex. I just don’t feel the need to be with anyone. As long as I’ve got music and friends, I’m satisfied. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one. My parents want grandkids. My friends want to set me up. My television set only ever shows people in or pursuing relationships. My government wants me to father and raise future dead soldiers.

No. That is not why you lost. You lost because retrograde movement only works for planets. We think it’s wonderful that 1952 was such a great year for you, but your Mamma’s not in the kitchen in shiny pumps and an ironed apron waiting to serve you meatloaf and cookies.

“Good black don’t crack,” my grandma always said. By which she meant we age well, not always “looking our age,” as well as having a certain apparent resilience in the face of continuous stressors.

Romney has made no long-range plans for life after the election. For now he’s just going to screw up one day at a time.

I am a 22-year-old straight female. I used to babysit for a wealthy family, but their children have outgrown babysitters. The dad of this family is very into martial arts/fighting and has invited me over several times for “self-defense training.” I have accepted his invitations a few times, and it has always started off as a normal workout in their home gym — treadmill, weights, swimming laps — but he is always pretty anxious to get to the self-defense part.

Finally, the elections are over. I enjoyed as much as I could stand of them back in September.

Reading you over the years has absolutely changed my mind on gay marriage. I wanted to let you know that. I also live in Maryland, and, as you know, we voted last week to allow same-sex couples to legally marry. I was excited that I got to vote for marriage equality in my home state, Dan — even I agree that it’s fucked up that people get to vote on the civil rights of LGBT people at all. Thanks for all your writing over the years — it’s really made a difference in my love and sex life.

You’ve heard of the cart before the horse? This is the property sale before the plan. It’s also swift action to forestall any prolonged controversy over the Courthouse Garden.

It seems that Eugene city government, both appointed and some elected, wants to seal a deal on the Courthouse Garden site (triangle site) before the general public knows what we’re losing. The agenda item selling the nearly two-acre site for $1.23 million plus many perks was so rushed that EW knew about it before at least one councilor.

I read with great interest this past week about the city agreeing to sell the “triangle site” east of the new U.S. Courthouse. A great deal of the comments centered on the relocation or suspension of the “garden.”

It helps to have a sense of humor when making a transition to life in the country. My daughter Anna, her husband, Will, and their seven-year-old son Ian, moved last year from Austin, Texas, to a small farm west of Eugene. When the chores are done they bring chairs from the house and place them in front of a screened window in the chicken coop. From there they can see the birds scratch for food, take dust baths and act out their pecking order. They call it watching chicken TV. 

DEAR READERS: I’m writing this week’s column in a drug-induced coma. Well, not quite a coma, but close. I was fighting a cold for two weeks, and the cold won: It morphed into an insanely painful sinus infection—you know it’s bad when your doctor urges you to err on the side of too much Vicodin, not too little. So a warning to everyone whose letter appears in this week’s column: My reliably sucky advice is probably going to be suckier than usual.


The American wigeons are back in the Delta Ponds. I believe these are the first of our winter migrants to arrive. I look forward to the increasing diversity of waterfowl. On our side of the Delta Highway we have had only mallards and Canada geese for a long time.

Turtles can be seen in the Delta Ponds on the west side of Delta Highway but it appears the cormorants have usurped them from their favorite logs. With increasing cold weather and less sun showing, the turtles will burrow into the mud at the bottom of the ponds to brumate.