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Sports are funny. If folks in this country cared half as much about the political process as they do about football, we’d all be living in some elegant utopia right now.

ANGELS AND TURKEYS

We thoroughly enjoyed our attendance at a few of the community gatherings on Thanksgiving, those being at the old Whiteaker School and Friendly Street Church. 

While the food, service and, in the case of the former, great live musical entertainment was excellent, it is all of the wonderful volunteers across the entire spectrum of operations and who gave their time and energy helping those of us in need, who are the true angels of humanity in society today.       

I have been insecure about the way my vagina looks for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I would fantasize about the day I would grow pubic hair long enough to cover its unsightliness. That day never came, and I was left with an enormous insecurity about it. My labia minora is oversize quite a bit. I know that this is not uncommon, but its unattractiveness holds me back from receiving oral sex. I don’t even let my long-term boyfriend go down on me because I’m afraid he’ll think it’s gross and ugly.

Christmas? Already? Light the lights, jingle those bells, let’s wassail all season long. It’s a love fest. Quick switch from giving thanks for our gifts, to giving gifts, with our thanks — and lots of love.

Nightcrawler begins as a sleek, beautifully filmed portrait of desperation in uncertain times. Under Los Angeles’ flickering lights, people are desperate to keep their jobs, or to find jobs, and a degree of dubiousness is par for the course. 

Eugene will celebrate International Human Rights Day Dec. 10. Once again we will listen to city officials talk about how Eugene is (or aspires to be) a human rights city that follows the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But the reality is quite different on the streets where around 2,000 people survive without shelter, (un)aware that they have human rights, treated as criminals by the city. 

The Dexter Lake Club closed Nov. 17 and the land and building are for sale for $279,000, according to the nightclub and café’s Facebook page and website. The club was featured in Animal House in 1977 and has been in operation along Highway 58 since 1949. The business has changed hands nearly a dozen times, most recently in 2011 when Greg and Shannon Stewart took over the roadhouse from Michael McCann. Hundreds of local musicians have performed there over the years.

Post-punk. Post-war. Postmodern. Post-gender. Post-queer? With the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the recent state victories for marriage equality and a rising generation of people whose fluid identities don’t fit neatly into the he-she binary, we could be on the cusp of a post-queer moment, but that depends on whom you ask. 

“You have this incredible fluidity and it’s made it really difficult to define even what that culture looks like," says Andrew Clark, a local social worker in the LGBT community. “What’s happening is, during what we would identify as the gay and lesbian rights movement, you have very clearly defined identity categories. They were very rigid: You were a gay man; you were a lesbian; you were bisexual, you were transgender.” 

The search is on. Earlier this month, the Eugene 4J School Board hired a professional executive search firm to find a replacement for outgoing 4J Superintendent Sheldon Berman. Board Chairman Jim Torrey says the board hopes to finalize a candidate by the end of March 2015. He says the board is working with the firm to prioritize candidates from the Pacific Northwest “first and foremost,” and the next step is getting input from stakeholders and the community.

Travel to Washington, D.C. and venture into the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building, and you will see Oregon represented by historical luminaries John McLoughlin and Jason Lee. For those who are unaware of who those men were, McLoughlin was a fur trader who helped immigrants along the Oregon Trail, and Lee was one of the first Methodist missionaries to travel across the United States along the Oregon Trail.

The Eugene City Council this week gave advocates for preserving the headwaters of Amazon Creek something to be thankful for over the holidays. The council agreed Nov. 24 to acquire two lots of property in the Martin Street area to add to the Ridgeline Trail system. The Be Noble Foundation will acquire a contiguous third lot. The three lots, totaling about 26 acres, contain two main branches of the Amazon Creek headwaters as well as lush habitat for both plant and animal wildlife.   

The leafy green is good for salads, good for stir-fry and, as the Eugene Avant Gardeners believe, good for building community.  

Kale is a rising star in the food world, and to celebrate this cool weather crop the Avant Gardeners are organizing the first annual Kale Fest Dec. 5-7, devoted to promoting local food, gardening and kale. 

“It’s using food to create community,” says Plaedo Wellman, co-organizer of Kale Fest and a member of the Avant Gardeners, a sustainable gardening group. 

A month after its Eugene debut, the car-sharing company car2go is still operating its 50 smart cars smoothly in the Eugene-Springfield area, unlike Uber, the ride-sharing service, which was fined $2,000 by the city of Eugene Nov. 17. The difference lies in their respective business models and how they reach out to new cities. 

I hate the holidays. No, that’s not quite it. I hate the shopping that comes along with the holidays. I hate circling the asphalt for parking spots. I hate bundling up against the cold, wind and rain, fighting crowds, waiting in line and feeling like I have to spend money I can’t afford to spend. Sometimes I even hate having to remember my reusable shopping bags. 

For The Urban Homesteader

OSU Extension Service

996 Jefferson St., 541-344-5859

Let’s get real: The spirit of giving is great and all, as are the domestic tranquilities such as a warm house and the joy of reuniting with family and friends, but when it comes to the holidays, nothing beats feasting —especially on sweets. 

Purchasing a cut-down Christmas tree can be a sad ritual for the sustainability-minded celebrator, or for those who find their post-holiday disappointment embodied by the malnourished or petroleum-derived tree in the living room. 

• As Tom Wolf once wrote, “a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.” But apparently a grand jury won’t indict a cop. On Nov. 24, a grand jury in Missouri did not indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black man. As riots erupt in Ferguson again and across the country, we support both the anger of the protesters and the calls for peace.

Walking into a toy store can be overwhelming, even if you know exactly what you’re looking for. But say you’re a grandparent buying for a child in another state whose actual interests are a mystery, or for a teenager who lives in the other room but is equally mysterious.

Artisans at the Saturday Market’s Holiday Market use anything from spider webs to pressed flowers when crafting their creations. Some are known especially for reusing materials to make something new. Recycling, upcycling, reusing — people have different names for it, but whatever you call it, the resulting products bear little resemblance to the “old” materials from which they came. 

A memorial service was held for Lady Naljorma Jangchup Palmo, affectionately know as Amala, on Oct. 10 in the Ragozzino Theater on the LCC campus. Mayor Kitty Piercy, presidents of the UO and LCC, faculty members and Sen. Jeff Merkley’s office offered special tributes and condolences. Amala was a champion of peace and one of the key people who helped to bring His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Eugene in 2013. She was also a co-founder of the Palmo Center for Peace and Education.

• Black Friday, Nov. 28, will bring a protest outside Walmart on West 11th Ave. beginning around noon.  Organizers say the Walton family that owns the mega-chain is the richest family in the country, yet they pay the majority of their employees less than $25,000 a year and manipulate employee hours so many don’t qualify for benefits. Sponsored by Raging Grannies, UFCW, ESSN and others. For more information, email essn@efn.org or call 736-9041.

Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Motorhead. Amidst the club of hardcore metal band names, Asking Alexandria doesn’t seem to fit. But don’t let their name fool you. Listen to “Don’t Pray For Me,” the first song on their latest album From Death to Destiny, and it’s clear the British band is a force of its own.

Canadian electronica producer Ryan Hemsworth describes his most recent single, “Snow in Newark,” as something he made to “get back to my first love, emo music.” This may come as a shocking change of pace to those accustomed to hearing Hemsworth either throw down thick, hawkish hip-hop remixes or candy-coated, J-poppy originals.