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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.

Tiny Tavern in the Whiteaker was shut down by Lane County health inspectors Dec. 5 for health code violations, according to the Eugene Brewery District website. The bar at 394 Blair Blvd. scored 67 points out of 100 and “according to regulations, any score of 70 or less will require the business to close its doors until corrections and a re-inspection can be made,” says the website. Jeff Malos owns the building and is rumored to be looking to sell it. Back in our Sept. 25 Biz Beat, we wrote about the bar closing when manager Jeff Peck left to open Old Nick’s Pub.

Beyond Toxics is planning its annual winter event, this year called “Cozy Up With Beyond Toxics,” from 5 to 7:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 11, at 1192 Lawrence St. A video premier will be part of the festivities. See beyondtoxics.org. 

• The Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet at 5:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Atrium Building Sloat Conference Room, 99 West 10th Ave. Contact Lee Shoemaker at 682-5471 or email lee.shoemaker@ci.eugene.or.us.

I’ve had this sense of it, open season, aka socially sanctioned targeting, since age 7, reinforced at 19, and lulled into a Eugene false sense of security pushing 60. I admit to a certain numbing grief over my lifetime composed of anger, rage, sadness, depression, loss and, finally, resolution. Being black bears the responsibility of acting as though you have some wisdom (at least sense, good freedom-fighter home training) and are working for the liberation of human beings everywhere. Illuminating and undoing the matrices supporting extrajudicial killings interests me more than protesting. 

SoCal gal Donna Riddle spent childhood summers at Outpost Camp on the trail to Mount Whitney. “My mom, my sister and I ran a trail camp for a pack station that hauled people to the summit,” she says. “I have love-of-nature genes from that time.” Riddle got married just out of Corona High School, had a couple kids and did anti-war work in Orange County. “I went to a protest in Century City,” she says. “People sat down, and police attacked with clubs.” A year later, in 1968, she and the kids moved to Eugene.

Band names don’t usually refer to the art of songwriting itself, but that’s exactly what Hook & Anchor does. “It kind of refers to the things a good song needs,” says Kati Claborn, singer and guitarist for the band (she also plays banjo and uke).

KMRIA stands for: Kiss My Royal Irish Ass,” says Casey Neill of Portland-based Pogues tribute band KMRIA. “The reference is from James Joyce’s Ulysses,” Neill says, explaining KMRIA is also referenced in Pogues’ song “Transmetropolitan.” 

If life were fair, the proceedings of grand juries would be broadcast on Comedy Central.

Though Wikipedia deems Portland-based acoustic five-piece Horse Feathers “indie folk,” frontman Justin Ringle is less sure. “I don’t even look at it as folk or neo-folk, necessarily,” Ringle tells EW

A good friend of mine in Seattle — an Eritrean immigrant who helped pen that country’s as yet unratified constitution — once pointed out that, should I really want to understand the collision of race and politics in the U.S., read the sports pages. I figured he was being coy, but the more I think about it, the more I comprehend sports as a microcosm of society, where all sorts of racial and social tensions play out, often in the subterranean codes of privilege, ability and competition.

It’s a timeless literary trope, from Ecclesiastes to Groundhog Day: A cynical man, mired in despair and the funk of worldly resentments, is confronted with the error of his ways to such an extent that he undergoes an immediate and permanent transformation, emerging from darkness into light. Such victories of the spirit are the epitome of happily ever after, and we never tire of their telling.

PASSION FOR TEACHING

You broke my heart. You took what I loved away from me. I’m talking to you, UO. You have taken my work, my motivation, my passion and my dreams and thrown them away without care, without regret.

My work is teaching. My motivation is the improvement of my students’ lives. My passion is seeing students understand something they didn’t understand before, and feeling like a better person because of that. My dreams are to improve as a teacher for the rest of my life.

Bob, Phil and Larry are in the existential hell that is the 26th-floor suite of a Holiday Inn overlooking Wichita, Kansas. Their JCPenney grey suits and their hopes of selling industrial lubricant set the prosaic scene for this morality tale. 

You might think while watching James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything that the people who made this movie have never been in a bar. There are several pub scenes, each lit in a filmy sort of blue probably meant to evoke the smoky drinking establishments of a previous era. Instead, it suggests the faux-night of a B movie.  It’s indicative of much of the film: excellent actors, ever-so-English settings and something just not quite right.

In the Kingdom of God, there are pancakes, sausages and scrambled eggs a-plenty. In the Kingdom of God, plastic flowers sit in clear glass vases to cheer up the fluorescent-lit room. In the Kingdom of God, a man named Lucky plays ragtime piano, and elderly ladies smile dreamily as they tap their fingers to the music.

Early every Sunday in the basement of First Christian Church on 11th and Oak, hundreds of transient, homeless and hungry people of Eugene line up to receive an offering of food, coffee and juice. For some it’s simply a free meal. For others it’s a brief respite from being hassled out of downtown, and a moment to sit and talk with other street folk and volunteers from the congregation.

It’s 9 am on a Wednesday in November; a dozen people gather under an awning around a fire in a metal drum with a Union Pacific locomotive rumbling loudly in the background. They shuffle around to form something close to a circle to talk about how it’s going at the Eugene Safe Spot for veterans. This tent community, focused on helping homeless veterans get into housing, is nestled into a low-lying pie-slice of land just west of Chambers Street between the Northwest Expressway and the train tracks.