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I recently took a couple of hours to do something I’ve been putting off for ages: cleaning and oiling my gardening tools. Until we moved into a different house five years ago, I kept my tools in a dry, attached garage. Now I keep everything but my best pruning tools in a garden shed that’s more or less open to the moisture-laden air.

Because who doesn’t love the gift of music

Find these 2014 titles for your favorite bookworm

Some people do all their holiday shopping in one day. Others do it at their leisure over the course of weeks. Then there are the procrastinators, who do last-minute shopping at the grocery store. They are good people — they just need a little help. 

OK last-minute shoppers, you have one more weekend to find that perfect gift. And lucky for you, Down to Earth Home, Garden and Gift in downtown Eugene is there to help you out. Duck into this magical haven of kitchenware, gardening supplies and quirky curios, and you’re sure to find not just a last-minute gift but a fantastic one. Try some of these items on for size.

The concept behind 2013’s The Clear Blue Pearl from Portland band Morning Ritual sounds more like a sci-fi-fantasy movie than a pop record, complete with a devastating drought, an epic journey and a mysterious “blue pearl.” 

There are a lot of captivating things about Kathryn Claire. She’s a classically trained violinist (picking it up at age 7), a self-taught guitarist, and she teaches songwriting to kids. But most captivating and surprising is when she opens her mouth to share her deep, emotive voice. 

New Year’s Eve has always been my least favorite holiday, with the commercially contrived Valentine’s Day a close second. Instead of celebrating gratitude or sacrifice or renewal or even zombies, it’s become pretty much an excuse to go out and get hammered and maybe ruin someone else’s life by driving intoxicated for a nightcap.

Gypsy acts are known for their rowdiness; their raw, cigarette-smoky, patched-clothing, dented-brass impurities. Above all, gypsy acts are known for their stage presence. Seattle-born folker Jason Webley is no different.

CORPORATE MODEL LACKING

The university is not a business! Despite what Chuck Lillis says, his role at the university is to preside over the board of trustees of a “semi-public” institution of higher learning, not be a corporate CEO of the UO.

Since leaving the Navajo Nation at 18 to join the U.S. Army as a young man, Eugene visual artist Lemuel Charley has both nurtured his native roots and honored his brothers in arms, fueling unique insights and ambitions.

We just did a live taping of the Savage Lovecast at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre. Audience members submitted more questions—anonymously, on index cards—than we could possibly answer during the Q&A segment of the show. So I’m answering some of the questions we didn’t get to in this week’s column. Here we go:

 

My partner wants me to pee on him. I’m not so into it. Now what? Should I do the “one and done” thing or put it on the big “no way” list?

Who — or, rather, what — is the Babadook? And why is it that, once you let the Babadook in, you can never get rid of it?

First and foremost, The Babadook is an Australian horror film by writer-director Jennifer Kent, a former actor who apprenticed with Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier during the making of his 2003 film Dogville before going on to make her own short film, Monster, upon which The Babadook is based.

With an exposed red brick wall, weathered wood accents and a general rustic-bohemian flavor, the newly opened Gilt & Gossamer doesn’t show any signs of its former life as a Rapid Refill ink store at 873 Willamette St. Sprinkle in some nubby sweaters, flirty party dresses and chic house décor, and the shop joins what’s becoming somewhat of a boutique mecca downtown.

Daemion Lee

 et al.

As we go to press, the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) and the UO have announced a tentative agreement after an overnight mediation session Dec. 10 in which the UO agreed to create a seven-member committee to oversee a Graduate Student Assistance Fund that allows graduate students to take sick or parental leave, according to a statement from the GTFF. 

EW's annual book issue.

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week.

The title of her new book is Falling from Horses, Oregon author Molly Gloss clarifies, not Falling off Horses. The preposition might seem to be a fine distinction, but Gloss says the title is meant as a metaphor — when you say falling off a horse, it is just about falling off a horse, she says. But there is “something subtle in the use of the other preposition, a more complicated question of not just the physical act of falling off a horse,” but instead a metaphor of “falling away” — falling away not only from horses but also from the heroism inherent in the cowboy mythology of the West.

Many of the best graphic novels published this year detail stories of expanding frontiers. Some of these transgressed borders are physical, while others are spiritual or emotional. All of these books, however, celebrate the spirit of exploration that comics so vividly bring to life.

fiction

 

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss. DAW Books, Inc., $18.95. 

Let local libraries and bookstores guide your Winter Reading picks!

Late last month, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium estimated that nationally, only 33 percent of 11th grade students who took the math portion of the Smarter Balanced field test last spring, which Oregon students will take in 2015, were considered proficient or advanced, with the remaining 67 percent needing additional support to meet the standards. And for students with disabilities, the future is even murkier when it comes to addressing their particular needs. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently sent Jeanne M. Burris a pre-enforcement notice for illegal waste tire storage at property owned by Burris at 29882 Kelso St. in Eugene. This notice follows up on a warning letter that DEQ sent to Burris for the same violation in July of last year (see EW 8/8/13, goo.gl/8za9J3). The 2013 warning letter gave Burris until Jan. 15, 2014 to address the problem, but it appears that Burris has failed to do so.

• Congrats to all players for ending the GTFF strike on the UO campus. We’re even pleased that we can stop honking our horns in solidarity with the picketing graduate teaching fellows marching for hours on end. Hopefully, this conflict will not be a forerunner for broader labor disputes at the university, now that the faculty is unionized. It should not be. The UO has a long history of working peacefully with unions, the SEIU, for instance, and the GTFF until this fall.