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EW! A Blog.

November 6, 2007 10:52 AM

I'm thoroughly convinced that the reason I'm not as productive as I ought to be is that my office makes me tired. I got up at 7:30 this morning (I am not. a. morning. person.) to finish the book I'm reviewing for this week and after my cuppa I was awake! Happily perched in a chair reading, with the cat on my lap! I walked to work and peered at a nutria that I really wished was a beaver! For no reason other than a beaver in the middle of an empty lot would be way cooler than a nutria in the middle of an empty lot!

And then I got here and immediately crashed. OK, so, yeah, I refuse to use the fluorescent overhead light, because yuck, so I just have a little lamp, so dark. Yeah. And my window is roughly the size of two pieces of regular notebook paper taped together along the short edge. But I've got to fix this.

Not to mention do something about the piles of books before they tumble over on me. The first review copy of something that doesn't come out until next year just arrived, which is kind of freaking me out.

More coffee.

November 5, 2007 01:39 PM

So, yeah. I dropped the ball on the Heroes recaps. In short: The show got really stupid. Then it got a lot better. Then it got stupid again. Now, lord knows what it'll do, as the Writers Guild of America strike will take its toll on this and every other show (note: I'm not complaining! I'm on the side of the writers, of course. But it's a fact that this is going to disrupt programming all the same). I've read — but can't currently find the link for the story — that an alternate ending to an upcoming episode was written in advance, and that if the strike can't be resolved, it'll be reshot and turned into a season finale. Which is pretty dire, really.

But shows are always a few weeks ahead, so we'll see a few new episodes, and I will — I swear — recap them. I'll make it a Tuesday morning, first-cup-of-coffee habit.

I tried to do this with Grey's, but I fell off the bandwagon. What is it with TV this season?

November 4, 2007 10:50 PM

The city of Eugene withheld the purchase options list for property downtown until after Eugene Weekly went to press with its last issue before the election on Measure 20-134. The list now shows that the city’s land purchase costs have increased from earlier estimates of about $16 million to about $19 million now. The purchase prices average about double the real market value the Lane County Tax assessor has set for the properties. The city has offered some owners up to four times the real market value. For the Bradfords building and adjacent one-eighth-block parking lot owned by Diamond Parking Inc., the city purchase option would trade a city parking lot at 12th and Oak that’s twice as large and pay $290,360 in cash.

For the complete updated Broadway options list, see the end of the updated news story here.

November 4, 2007 11:11 PM

Portland just got featured in the New York Times for cultivating a strong bike culture. Here's the story and here's the video.

Eugene has a higher percentage of bike commuters than Portland. But in Portland biking is dramatically increasing while its declining in Eugene. Maybe that's because we lack the strong bike advocate elected officials Portland has like Sam Adams.

November 2, 2007 10:03 AM

I'm pretty sure at some point or another, at least a few people I know have, in the throes of a bad day-after, claimed to need a new liver. Perhaps you, too, have friends who've made this somewhat exaggerated claim the day after New Year's Eve, or their birthday party, or, hey, maybe your birthday party.

Well, now you can get them one. And other plush, stuffed internal organs, too. Know someone who needs a heart? Besides the Tin Man and/or the Grinch, obvi.

October 29, 2007 07:33 PM

A few weeks ago — or maybe it was more like a month, but it's unimportant — I went to one of these lovely Music Industry of Eugene events, where writers, booking folks, venue owners, radio people, studio owners, PR folks and more (I'm sure I forgot something pretty key) get to meet face to face to chat and mingle and simply find out who we all are. I kind of love this; it just always helps to actually know who someone is. This time out, the first person I met was Thaddeus Moore, who runs Sprout City Studios (I suppose I'll forgive him for only linking to the R-G story about the studios' tenth anniversary, and not ours as well). As it turns out, he and his wife also run The Divine Cupcake, an organic, vegan, cupcakes-only bakery.

I put the business card for the bakery in my wallet and didn't think about it again, except to giggle at the straightfowardness of a friend who told Thaddeus she'd heard one person rave about the bakery's cupcakes — and one person rant about disliking them. (They'd been for sale at the Country Fair, apparently, so she'd heard about them from friends.)

Then I went to the library today for a cup of coffee, and there in the pastry case were these charming little things. Well, regular ones, little ones, all kinds of ones. I only had eyes for the green (green?) mini cupcake with a huge chunk of candied ginger on top; I've got a weakness for candied ginger.

Of course, it turned out these were Divine Cupcakes. And mine was, indeed, divine. It was light and fluffy and sweet and completely un-identifiable as vegan. The frosting tasted just like cream cheese frosting. The cake stood up on its own, with a slightly spicy flavor it might be hard to peg as green tea if you didn't know what you were looking for (and there's nothing wrong with that), but with the frosting it was luscious and decadent, and with the ginger? With the ginger I wanted to go back and buy another.

You need to try these things.

October 25, 2007 01:02 PM

And frankly, I'm afraid of my voicemail.

October 24, 2007 12:09 PM

What's all this about Ducks vs. Trojans?

We know what you're thinking. But Ducks clearly need Trojans, as seen here:

ducks vs. trojans

Okay, the WWII Australian army poster is old. But don't think that the Ducks' need for Trojans has diminished. Just a few months ago, UO student groups were handing out yellow and green Trojans. Go Ducks!

October 23, 2007 12:09 PM

Best. Movie. Ever.


(By Simon Tofield, whose work you can see here.)

PS. Heroes sucked way less this week! More on that later.

October 16, 2007 01:02 PM

Dammit! I had a whole post written and then I ... um ... well, I blew it. Whoops. What it said, in essence, was that I read this neat story over on Pitchfork about the Glass Casters Union, which has collected artwork from a buncha indie rock bands (mmm, new Band of Horses) and created Christmas ornaments with it - and they're selling the ornaments for charity. Currently, their creations are only available through a handful of eBay auctions and via a few of the bands, but there will be more soon. And the really cool thing? The Glass Casters Union is here in Eugene! Those auctions benefit Aurora Glass, and the Union lists, as its interests, veggie burritos from the likes of Burrito Boy. Now how did a bunch of Eugeneans put this awesome plan into action? We'll have to find out.

October 11, 2007 12:46 PM

To those, what, two? maybe? people who check for Heroes posts: Sorry! It is still Beast of Eugene time. Blogging falls by the wayside. It's sad. I like blogging. But there it goes ...

You know what I don't like, though? Stupid things happening on my "favorite" show. (I keep forgetting to watch Grey's. I completely forgot to watch Private Practice and/or Pushing Daisies, both of which I also wanted to recap. Bionic Woman was silly; Reaper can't sustain the whole hour. Plz more America's Next Top Model now? Does that show even air at a regular time or am I just lucky whenever I stumble across it?) To this season of Heroes, I give a big W. T. F., for the most part. Shall we discuss?

Spoilers through episode three after the jump! So make with the clicky...

OK, so I read some spoilers beyong episode three, and they're so interesting I really want to talk about them, but I won't. Wait, come back! I won't! Promise!

ANYWAY (TM Klosterman), this show is disappointing me right and left, though my better half did wisely point out that it is not entirely women who have OMG UNCONTROLLABLE BAD POWERS, because Ted had that problem as well. However, I still find Maya a little too much like Niki, and I think it would have been far more interesting were her and Alejandro's powers reversed: he cries the black goo from The X-Files and she reverses it. But honestly? That wouldn't have helped much either. Their entire plot needs to connect to the bigger story and fast, because right now they are being written to do stupid and stupider things, and it's dull as a doorknob. The American kid they broke out of prison has Claire's car, so hopefully connection is imminent - though I can't help but think there's something loaded in the fact that her high school mascot, for which there was a sticker on the car bumper, is the conquistadores...

But let's get to this episode's biggest problem: Did they really let DL die offscreen? Really? REALLY? Because that would simply continue my main complaint about this season: They're showing the wrong things and relying far too heavily on what happened between Kirby Plaza and now, without showing the parts that are important for the narrative. Plus, nooo! Don't kill Shadowcat! Really, though, there's something fishy going on with this whole storyline, and beyond the question of DL, as numerous wise folks on various discussion boards have pointed out, they had best not have Nichelle Nichols, Micah's New Orleans-based grandma, playing a Wise Voodoo Lady stereotype, or they are going to get it from all sides, and it isn't going to be pretty.

Phew. Deep breath. Good things, this time: Stalker Boy revealing his powers and flying off with Claire in a very silly, very badly put together scene that nonetheless ended in their very charming beach banter. I loved this, because I thought it was totally in character for poor Claire, who's never met another teenager with powers. But then they go off the deep end with pushing her out of character: The girl knows her father worked for the Company. She knows he's done bad things. Why on EARTH would she flip out to find out he'd once nabbed Stalker Boy? Stalker Boy who she just met? And beyond that, why would Mr. Bennet move the family to a town with a kid he'd previously captured for the Company? Hello, illogical decision-making!

Even the good things wind up in bad things. Like Sylar and Candace. Candace was annoying, but I wanted to see her true form while she was still alive, thanks. And Sylar ... so, he's Spike, from Buffy, captured by the Initiative and rendered harmless (or mostly so?)? Clever. Or is he on the Lost island? Or is he just out of the way so they can play with the Hoodied Menace who obviously has something else going on as there was no Hoodied Menace in the room with Mama Petrelli last week?

Oh, Hiro. Oh, Kensei. Oh, plot, which keeps giving me hope and then taking it away again. And this part of the show is utterly impossible to talk about with the spoilery thing I've read in my brain, so I'll just say this: Please let the woman kick ass, thx.

I've saved the best/worst for last: Oh, Peter. Plenty of shirtlessness for us fangirls, but really, you're not going to open the box? With your life in it? And you're going to go all Angelus/dark side on us? (Someone theorized that by coming into proximity with Niki in last season's finale, he's acquired a dark side, but that didn't seem like her power; that seemed like an unfortunate psychological manifestation of her power. So who knows.) The bit with the tattoo, however, was kind of awesome.

So. Sorry this is half-assed. I shall try my best to post right after the show last week, before I have other people's theories in my head and before any clever observances slip out my ears. Sigh.

October 2, 2007 02:50 PM

Bad Molly: I couldn't, for some reason, stop talking during this episode. What's that? Who's he talking about? Isn't that related to X, Y and/or Z? What did Mr. Bennett mean by that? Etc., etc., etc. No wonder my boyfriend started doing laundry instead of watching with me. Sorry, yo.

But I did watch, all the same, and while this week's recap will probably not be as in-depth as last, I'm still going to natter on for awhile, because that is what blogs are for. So: Episode 2: "Lizards," aka The One In Which Claire Does Dumb Things. As always, after the jump there are spoilers for the story so far!

Well, let's see here. Claire does dumb things. And then more dumb things. Also, she cuts off her pinky toe, which is all kinds of squicky but kind of funny, too. (It's got to take more pressure than a regular old pair of sewing scissors wielded by a 17-year-old to really do that, right?) I want to think that your average person would take her overtalking about evolution in science class as a sign of a young lady who reads too much science fiction, but she should know better. She should definitely know better than to march into her dad's work and start talking about her powers. And I do wish they'd spent more time building up her desire to test herself; it appears to be coming from absolutely nowhere.

Weird stalker boy. Weird, weird stalker boy. Why is he spying on her? Why does he seem to know something? I am full of lack of trust.

The writers are totally playing with us with regard to Hiro and Kensei. Did Kensei regenerate, or did Hero back up time? I definitely thought there was some regeneration/super-healing afoot, but I admit to being a little disappointed; I really wanted the swordsmith's daughter to be the legendery hero, and, barring that, I'd settle for Hiro (resisting the urge to add the last name Protagonist; any Neal Stephenson fans will know what I'm on about). I'm very much enjoying Hiro's super-strong grasp on his powers, though I think it made not a lick of sense to have Kensei get hit with those arrows at all: Why on earth didn't Hiro stop them as he did before? Show, show, show. (She says, shaking her head.) Try, just try, to keep your internal logic intact?

Maya and Alejandro: I figured out about a minute before he reversed her power that their wonder-twin powers were definitely going to activate, but why couldn't it be the other way around for once? My favorite bloggers are continually noting the deeply flawed gender dynamics of this show, and what I love is that they, like me, love it all the same; they just want it to do better. I too want it to do better. But here we have Maya, who cries tears of death until her brother sucks them back up and makes everything better. Sigh.

Not much from the Parkman & Molly show this time, though I loved Mama Petrelli telling Parkman to get out of her head - and the scene where something is most definitely in the room with her. But it wasn't a figure in a hoodie, that's for sure. I wish they'd spend more time on the remaining members of the older generation and less on Claire acting out (and, quite unbelievably, getting her car stolen).

And then there was Peter. Oh, Peter. I still miss your flopsy bangs, but I like this new, controlled super-mutant (though once again with the girl rescuing! They couldn't have at least let her have a chance to defend herself?). I like that he appears to have Forrest's — sorry, wrong show; DL's — power, too (where ARE DL and Niki? Oh, in next week's previews, that's where!). A box of memories! Oh, how meaningful. If the poor boy's got telekinesis mastered (from Sylar, I'm guessing?) why wouldn't he just mentally snatch it out of the (badly-accented) Irish guy's hand?

What was that I said about internal logic, show? WORK ON IT.

Anyway, must run. Sorry to be half-assed. At the moment, my heart belongs to the second season of Weeds, even though I'd prefer much more plot, much less pot. I'm just sayin'.

October 2, 2007 11:13 AM

That sound you hear is me squealing with joy at this bit of news, from Publishers Weekly:

Fantasy author Garth Nix has sold North American rights to three new YA books to Ruth Katcher at HarperCollins Children’s via agent Jill Grinberg, who made the seven-figure deal. The three books include a prequel and a sequel to Nix’s Abhorsen YA fantasy trilogy

If you like fantasy at all, you really ought to read the Abhorsen series, which begins with the amazing Sabriel. (If you were to Google me, you would find a quote about this book from me in a PW piece about very un-put-downable books. No joke.)

Sorry for the lack of blogging. Ballots, you know, they take a lot of time. But things are barreling forward! And blogging shall return to the top of my to-do list shortly.

September 26, 2007 10:11 AM

With a straight face, the Oregonian wrote this story
about Hillsboro removing a flag painted fire hydrant at a dog park
after complaints. The star spangled urinal was set up by cops in
memorial to a police dog. Maybe Congress needs to pass a Constitutional

By illustration, here's a video of urinoterrorism: