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June 20, 2012 11:00 PM

First impression tells you that Eugene-based playwright Cassi Holmes was once that quiet girl in a summer dress who regularly had her pigtails pulled by mean boys during recess.

First impression tells you that Eugene-based playwright Cassi Holmes was once that quiet girl in a summer dress who regularly had her pigtails pulled by mean boys during recess. Holmes exudes a sort of bemused thoughtfulness, and her blue eyes sparkle with the punch line to a joke she has yet to formulate. Her manner is halting but generous, and she is quick to bite off a sentence if she thinks you have something to say.

June 13, 2012 11:00 PM

A young woman shows up in New York City with her heart quite literally on her sleeve.

A young woman shows up in New York City with her heart quite literally on her sleeve. This innocent is taken in by every type of con man imaginable, as she tries to make a living as a taxi dancer at the seedy Fandango Ballroom.

A perfect cautionary tale for teens, right?

Whether or not they get the message, the folks at Shedd Theatricals have seen fit to let young people take over the telling of Sweet Charity, which opens Thursday, June 14, at the Shedd. Teens make up nearly one-third of the cast. 

June 13, 2012 11:00 PM

Encaustic painting is an acquired skill that is by no means easy to master.

Encaustic painting is an acquired skill that is by no means easy to master. It involves the careful melting and pigment alteration of heated beeswax, which is then applied as a paste. Think of it like painting with a medium far more difficult than acrylic, and then imagine trying to make your creations not look like crocodile crap on a canvas; this, Marianne Clancy has on lock.

“I moved away after living here in the ‘70s,” says Clancy. “Now my daughter is at the University studying and I am ‘home’ again in Eugene.”

June 6, 2012 11:00 PM

Rain fell hard on Friday, June 1, as Eugene Metro Azul Women’s Fútbol Club (EMFC) took the pitch for their first home game of the season.

Rain fell hard on Friday, June 1, as Eugene Metro Azul Women’s Fútbol Club (EMFC) took the pitch for their first home game of the season. The stands, home to a 620-person crowd of screaming fans of all ages, became a puddle-ridden waterway only minutes after the starting whistle was blown. But the atmosphere at South Eugene High School was jovial and spirited, with feet stomping against the metal and hordes of fans engaging in chants each time the excitement level on the pitch rose.

June 6, 2012 11:00 PM

Local painter John Babbs died in April, but his artwork survives him.

Local painter John Babbs died in April, but his artwork survives him. A prolific member of Eugene’s art scene, Babbs made countless friends playing basketball at the YMCA, was one of Ken Kesey’s original Merry Pranksters and was an initial participant in Kesey’s Acid Test. But later in his life, Babbs’ interest turned to fly fishing and painting. 

 “I’d describe his technique as rustic with a psychedelic edge,” says Ken Babbs, John’s brother.

June 6, 2012 11:00 PM

This year, after decades as a teacher of writing and literature at Lane Community College, I’m finally retiring, takin’ off my chaps, hangin’ up my spurs, drapin’ my guns over the bedpost, kickin’ off my boots and slouchin’ to the rockin’ chair. 

This year, after decades as a teacher of writing and literature at Lane Community College, I’m finally retiring, takin’ off my chaps, hangin’ up my spurs, drapin’ my guns over the bedpost, kickin’ off my boots and slouchin’ to the rockin’ chair. And lest some tax-dodgin’ right-wingnut works up a froth about my becoming a PERS burden, I’d like to point out that I’ve paid my dues: I’m 69, started paying taxes when I was 16, taught my first college-level class at UO in 1966, did 10 years at UO, five years at PSU, taught my first class for LCC in 1981. I’ve never had a summer off.

May 30, 2012 11:00 PM

"UO student-athletes are well-rounded students with diverse interests that extend beyond their athletics pursuits."

“Student-athletes are often recognized for their accomplishments in their respective sports. However, UO student-athletes are well-rounded students with diverse interests that extend beyond their athletics pursuits.”

These are the words of Rob Mullens, director of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Oregon, lending his perspective on a remarkably unique new exhibit that just opened at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

May 30, 2012 11:00 PM

In the age of the quick fix and pop-up porn, you gotta hand it to E.L. James for hoodwinking the hoi polloi into dicking around with something as atavistic and temperate as on-the-page erotica.

In the age of the quick fix and pop-up porn, you gotta hand it to E.L. James for hoodwinking the hoi polloi into dicking around with something as atavistic and temperate as on-the-page erotica. Fifty Shades of Grey — the first installment in a trilogy of erotic novels that started online as Twilight fanfiction — sold more than 10 million copies in six weeks in the U.S. alone. This, despite repeated assaults by high-brow literary critics as well as pop sexpert Dr.

May 30, 2012 11:00 PM

Well-written literary junk food is a fantastic palate cleanser for people whose job it is to read a lot of nonfiction.

Well-written literary junk food is a fantastic palate cleanser for people whose job it is to read a lot of nonfiction. When you throw sex into the mix — especially forbidden sex — you’ve got entertainment plus the antidote to becoming a snob who wants to look down on whatever is trendy in popular literature.

May 30, 2012 11:00 PM

Like the films of Christopher Guest (especially Waiting for Guffman) and the Prairie Home broadcasts of Garrison Keillor, John Cariani’s Almost, Maine sports a veneer of pleasantly skewed gentility.

Like the films of Christopher Guest (especially Waiting for Guffman) and the Prairie Home broadcasts of Garrison Keillor, John Cariani’s Almost, Maine — now at the Very Little Theatre — sports a veneer of pleasantly skewed gentility. The play’s sentimental surfaces appear ready-made for the fuzzy liberalism that hums like a bumble across the honeyed airwaves of NPR.

May 30, 2012 11:00 PM

“You can’t change history!” cries abolitionist author Harriet Beecher Stowe. And with a quick, knowing smile, Tom replies: “No, but you can change who writes it.”

“You can’t change history!” cries abolitionist author Harriet Beecher Stowe. And with a quick, knowing smile, Tom replies: “No, but you can change who writes it.”

May 23, 2012 11:00 PM

When Peggy Kelsey met a group of 14 Afghan women in the fall of 2002 in Austin, Texas, she was inspired by their strength, motivation and activism.

When Peggy Kelsey met a group of 14 Afghan women in the fall of 2002 in Austin, Texas, she was inspired by their strength, motivation and activism. In 2003 Kelsey traveled to Afghanistan, and from her experience there grew her photography project “Portraits of Afghan Women.”

Kelsey says that when she first arrived in Afghanistan, she was discouraged by the political events affecting the country. Upon meeting the women, however, she experienced a feeling of optimism.

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

There is sartorial talent galore out Cottage Grove.

There is sartorial talent galore out Cottage Grove, and local fashion mavens, clotheshorses, slink-a-bees and sex kittens would be fools to miss Arcade Theater’s 6th-annual Fashion Show, which will bring together 14 of the Grove’s best threadheads for an extravaganza of design, DJing and flashing cameras. An opening night fundraiser takes place Thursday, May 17, at Opal Center & Arcade Theater (513 E. Main St., Cottage Grove), followed by 7:30 pm shows all weekend, May 18-20. Tickets at door; prices, times, details & such at 505-4099. 

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

Above us, avian overlords command the sky.

Above us, avian overlords command the sky. They are capable of traveling great distances across open sea, hovering motionless in midair and swooping down to seize prey between sharp talons. Sure, some of them seem harmless, but who really knows what they’re doing when they’re soaring overhead, hiding in the trees like government assassins or peering into your bedroom window like spies? 

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

Months ago we witnessed EW intern Andrew Hitz take the Hot Mama’s Wings Kamikaze Challenge and nearly hemorrhage.

Months ago we witnessed EW intern Andrew Hitz take the Hot Mama’s Wings Kamikaze Challenge and nearly hemorrhage. In an event that requires contestants to eat nine unreasonably spicy wings in six minutes, Hitz destroyed previous records by decimating all nine wings in two minutes and forty eight seconds. We were impressed. 

But records are made to be broken. And as is the case with any sport, there is always someone somewhere who is better than you. No shame in that reality — there are monsters out there. 

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

If Eugene promotes itself as a city of arts and outdoors, what does that leave for its right-bank alternative neighbor, Springfield?

If Eugene promotes itself as a city of arts and outdoors, what does that leave for its right-bank alternative neighbor, Springfield? For Ditchprojects, an artist-organized (and financed) collective residing in a labyrinthine warehouse complex across the tracks from downtown, the answer is opportunity. 

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

Consider the brutality of a pad-less, club-wielding field of men beating the living crap out of each other for no good reason.

Consider the brutality of a pad-less, club-wielding field of men beating the living crap out of each other for no good reason. Now consider the brutality of giving that field of bloody, beaten and bruised men jerseys, a ball, a goal and good reason. This actually exists. This is the hybridic predecessor of rugby, lacrosse and field hockey. This is hurling.

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

In many regards, A Lie of the Mind, now at Lord Leebrick, is classic mid-career Sam Shepard; arid, patchy, proletarian and grotesque, the play telegraphs a confessional tone continually slashed and clotted by several strata of male violence.

In many regards, A Lie of the Mind, now at Lord Leebrick, is classic mid-career Sam Shepard; arid, patchy, proletarian and grotesque, the play telegraphs a confessional tone continually slashed and clotted by several strata of male violence, be it implied and symbolic or actual as a heart attack. Like Cormac McCarthy, Shepard is an elegist of the subdivided open range, of the paranoia and brutality that result from killing off the buffalo and paving over the places they once roamed.

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

Micah and Laura Bodner’s winery could fit in your garage, if your garage had a little more head space for punching down a 1,000-liter open-top tank.

Micah and Laura Bodner’s winery could fit in your garage, if your garage had a little more head space for punching down a 1,000-liter open-top tank. To facilitate the dynamic process of opening a winery, the Bodners first needed leverage. So they removed the ceiling in a barn and squeezed in equipment wherever it would fit.

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

May is a good month for planting perennials. In milder, drier springs, April is even better, but I suspect a lot of gardens were unfit this year.

May is a good month for planting perennials. In milder, drier springs, April is even better, but I suspect a lot of gardens were unfit this year for April planting. Plants are abundant at nurseries and garden centers and should still be in good shape, bursting with growth potential. Some perennials are available in both 4-inch pots and gallons. Four-inch plants are cheaper and they tend to take off fast, sometimes making up the size difference in a matter of weeks. 

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

The year was 1981, not really auspicious. The place was Monroe, Ore., population about half a thousand, a village, really, approximately halfway between Eugene and Corvallis.

The year was 1981, not really auspicious. The place was Monroe, Ore., population about half a thousand, a village, really, approximately halfway between Eugene and Corvallis. 

Experts said it shouldn’t be done, couldn’t be done. Nope, the viticulture expert/consultant scolded Craig and Claudia Broadley, explaining that they wouldn’t be able to ripen grapes on this particular slope, this particular hillside in, of all places, Monroe, all the way down at the south end of the Willamette Valley.

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

Lord knows you don’t need to be a wino to get a taste for grapes.

Lord knows you don’t need to be a wino to get a taste for grapes. It’s delicious, inhibition-loosening and, under the right conditions, extremely refreshing. The weather’s been beautiful lately, and while snatching up a bottle of Three-Buck-Chuck, dragging a couch into the middle of your lawn, cranking some UB40 and getting sloshed might sound like refreshment enough, there’s also a city full of invigorating wine — and easy, fun ways to select what’s right for you — just beyond the driveway.

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM

The Broadleys’ home, a dark, beveled-cedar single-story, sits near the top of the hill above their vineyards.

The Broadleys’ home, a dark, beveled-cedar single-story, sits near the top of the hill above their vineyards. From the front deck, the south Willamette Valley is revealed to the east — lush, green with farms, fields and stands of oaks and firs. On clear days, snow-capped peaks of the Cascades gleam in the sunlight, from Mt. Hood in the north to the Three Sisters in the south.

May 9, 2012 11:00 PM

After surviving a winter of being hailed on and harassed by the seemingly schizophrenic weather Gods of the Pacific Northwest, it’s finally about time to get outdoors. And what better way to celebrate the coming of sun (and very large full moons) than to go on an adventure of the wild kind. 

After surviving a winter of being hailed on and harassed by the seemingly schizophrenic weather Gods of the Pacific Northwest, it’s finally about time to get outdoors. And what better way to celebrate the coming of sun (and very large full moons) than to go on an adventure of the wild kind.