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EW! A Blog.

August 3, 2007 12:51 PM

Do you like books? How about movies? Magic? Neil Gaiman? Yes? If not, what's your problem? If so, well, go see Stardust. Obviously I'll elaborate about this in review form soon, but for now, I simply gush. I came up northwards last night for a screening in Tigard (Tigard! When was the last time you had a good reason to go to Tigard?), at which I met up with a Portland-based movie-critic friend, gleefully sat in the media personnel section of the theater, missed my friend Lolly winning a book and giggled ferociously at the best parts of the movie. If only I could do that every week.

Zooming along 217 to 26 is a funny way to arrive in Portland. Miles and miles of suburbs - 'burbs I used to be quite familiar with as an angsty teen when my dad lived in one of them. It all looks the same; it's like a couple of malls bred, and their offspring put down roots and sprawled like, um, sprawly stuff. Or something. It's rather difficult to find interesting words to use when writing about suburban sprawl. But then you hit 26, and after tearing down the hill on which the road's grooves yank at the tires of a smallish car, you're suddenly smack in the middle of Portland. I still mix up my bridges, so it took me awhile to make my way to the Speakeasy, which is one of those perfectly dingy, perfectly welcoming-in-a-slightly-gruff way kinds of bars that Eugene seems to lack. An old man bar, if you will. An old man bar that serves up an Andes mint with your gooey, cheesey quesadilla. Good times, I tell you.

And now: Ikea! I promise to take pictures. Swedish wonderland, ahoy!

August 3, 2007 07:34 PM

Roger Magaña, the Eugene Officer sentenced to 94 years for using his badge to coerce sex from a dozen women, is on YouTube.

The video appears to be about six years old and allegedly shows Magaña illegally entering a house to harass and arrest a bunch of skateboarders, according to the post's description.

An unidentified officer with Magaña "steps in, puts me in a full-nelson, throws me face down onto the cement outside, and puts his knee in my back and handcuffs me," the unidentified poster alleges.

The "fuck the po-lice" video post created some stir with 54,826 views and 326 comments, many criticizing the police and/or debating who was at fault.

In a recent cover story, EW reported on how lawyers for Magaña's victims have accused the city of whitewash for failing to investigate other officers for not stopping Magaña's abuse despite numerous complaints.

An article this month described how EPD was a "recipe for disaster" that lead to the sex scandal and questions whether EPD has reformed.

July 31, 2007 03:05 PM

First I got the new issue of Rolling Stone, which features Guns 'N' Roses on the cover.

Then I got a press release announcing the Black Crowes' upcoming show at the Cuthbert.

Sorry, but did I miss something? Did I wake up in 1990? Should my jeans be tighter and stretchier and my hair a couple feet longer? (The shirt, it will remain black and plain. Some things never change.)

There's a rant to be written here about summer concerts and their tendency to look ever backward, ignoring the current crop of artists — in large part, I suspect, because the somewhat-out-of-date acts aren't charging as much. (It should go without saying that this isn't always true — there are good summer shows; take a peek at the Edgefield's summer lineup. But you don't often see Def Leppard and Foreigner on tour in the winter. The Black Crowes aren't quite at that level of Former Arena Rock Glory, but can you name their last two albums? I don't think so. (Yes, yes, I know, some of you can. But you're in the minority. Sorry)

But anyway. Yeah. 1990. Around there. In case you're wondering, the GNR cover is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Appetite for Destruction's release. How old do you feel now?

July 27, 2007 11:17 AM

If you don't read BoingBoing on a daily basis, you're missing out on all the best internet smartness and randomness. Politics, net stuff, geek stuff, LOLcats (love!), sarcasm, phallic street poles ... and wicked awesome shirts:

All sold out. But I am so getting one, if/when they come back. Threat Level: Doctorow. Yes, plz.

* From time to time, I will take it upon myself to edumacate you normal, non-internet addicted folks on internet grammar. Today's lesson: FTW. This means, in short, For The Win. As in, "Yes! The item/person/thought/theory/slashfic pairing in question has now ruled all others in a One Ring not-in-the-hands-of-evil kind of way!"

OK, I made that part of the definition up myself. Peruse Urban Dictionary for more, if you must. It really does mean for the win, though.

July 27, 2007 02:58 PM

From a fresh-from-the-inbox press release:

Playing the film's core group of “masks,” the masked adventurers at the center of the story, are Malin Akerman (upcoming The Heartbreak Kid) as Laurie Juspeczyk, aka Silk Spectre; Billy Crudup (The Good Shepherd) as Jon Osterman, aka Dr. Manhattan; Matthew Goode (Match Point) as Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias; Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) as Walter Kovacs, aka Rorschach; Jeffrey Dean Morgan (TV's Grey's Anatomy) as Edward Blake, aka the Comedian; and Patrick Wilson (Little Children) as Dan Dreiberg, aka Nite Owl.

OK, well, THAT's a movie cast (albeit one full of only boys men). But — confession time! — I've actually not yet read Watchmen, though I'm well aware of its place of importance in comics-land. So what the hell is it about? More from the PR:

A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the USA's tension with the Soviet Union – is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed-up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion – a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers – Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity…but who is watching the watchmen?

Alan Moore is pretty much awesome. Who's Alan Moore, you ask? Oh, just the guy who wrote Watchmen. It seems strange that Moore's name doesn't appear anywhere in this release, but he's distanced himself from adaptations of his work before, and for various reasons. ("The only thing that was important to me was that I completely sever my connections with Hollywood," Moore said in an interview with The Onion A.V. Club last year.)

I've read enough about the various adaptations of Moore's work to kind of understand why he's taken this stance, but it still seems a little depressing. I find it somewhat hard to want to give a film a fair shake when the author on whose work it's based doesn't want a thing to do with it (check the imdb.com listing for V for Vendetta and you won't see Moore listed there either).

(Also, while I'm talking about comics: Go read Warren Ellis' Global Frequency; I read the first collection of issues, Planet Ablaze, over lunch, and it's swift and smart and you might almost find yourself wishing you were on the frequency. And if you haven't read Grant Morrison's The Invisibles, your life isn't complete. Not that I could sum it up for you if I tried...)

July 27, 2007 01:30 PM

According to the Real Age Calculator, I'm 19.4 years old.

Damn skippy. Um, except that would make me not old enough to buy beer, which would be very sad given my great and abundant love for the Bier Stein. It would also make me back in NYC in the middle of spring semester of my sophomore year of college, which was an exciting, dramatic and kind of emo time I'm quite honestly glad to be done with.

Nice to know the internet can shave more than a decade off your actual age, though.

July 26, 2007 12:26 PM

• Confession: I've never read Beowulf. However, the trailer — stellar cast aside — doesn't exactly make me seventeen kinds of excited for the movie. Note to Zemeckis: That Polar Express-style animation? It still looks stupid, even when you're doing strange things to an ancient classic instead of ruining a classic children's book.

• In alt-weekly news, the Chicago Reader has been sold to Creative Loafing, which publishes papers in Atlanta, Charlotte, Tampa and Sarasota. Blog reaction from the Reader is here.

• Remember Sweet Valley High? According to a Publishers Weekly email, the series is getting a relaunch soon — an updated relaunch involving mobile phones and email. It seems like that would take an entire rewrite, not just a surface makeover; remember what happened when somebody posted a purity test on Veronica Mars (ignoring certain issues with how ... OK, no, not nitpicking VM here, not yet)?

• Forget "Is Harry Potter bad?"; the new question is, "Is Junie B. Jones teaching kids bad grammar?" (Login may be required; BugMeNot is your friend.)

• While you're logged in at the NYT, check out artist Hope Larson's OpArt piece, which I am going to go read just as soon as I finish typing here; I'm linking to it already, though, 'cause it's so purdy.

• Still sad about the end of Harry Potter. Still tempted to re-read the entire series now. Still not posting anything even remotely approaching a spoiler, promise. Still engrossed in various message-board threads about HP7.

• Chow! is done! YAY!

I swear I'll get funnier as I post more.

July 24, 2007 03:22 PM

That title is a shout-out to anyone who ever watched MTV's sadly long-long The State. Except it was $500 worth o' puddin'. This is $50 worth o' cheese. Oregon cheese. Cheese that I will happily devour after it serves its intended purpose. Which is not "for rolling in."

I miss good television. Soon we will have cable, and I will have more to talk about. When's the Eco-Challenge on, again?

July 21, 2007 02:02 PM

I keep getting up to refer to the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. If I don't stop this, I'll never get anywhere. Though I did have to get up the first time simply because Rowling is not holding back, here; this is a dense, dark, straight-to-it sort of book, no fussing around or dawdling at the beginning.

Like I said, no spoilers here, but I did get a little choked up two or three times already.

Back I go. The boyfriend has been pressed into service as a coffee maker and another cup awaits.

July 21, 2007 10:58 PM

I've finished.

It was worth it and then some.

I can't wait to get through this busy week and start all over again.

July 21, 2007 07:47 PM

I thought it was such a good idea to blog reading Deathly Hallows. I thought it'd be all this, that and the other thing every hundred pages or so.


Not to do other work that needs doing. Not for the complicated project. Not to clean the house for the friend that's coming tomorrow. I did make dinner, and then I ate too much of it (downright decadent homemade mac & cheese, if you were curious).

Even now, the book is calling. Things are happening. Darkness and strife. Excitement and downtime.

I miss certain things, I do. But I shan't tell you what they are. I am adamantly anti-spoiler; it doesn't ruin the story, but it changes the journey, be it a surprise ending or not. You see it differently; it takes a different shape.

My shape today is that of Lump on Couch. Back to it.

July 20, 2007 10:36 PM

It's 10:30 on Friday. I should be out and about, but no; I'm in the middle of a project too absurd to even go into. I keep being tempted by the Harry Potter parties — it's the last book! I've never gone to a midnight party, despite my obsessiveness! — but sometimes it just works out that once you're in for the night, working on a stupid project and sipping Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine (which you swiped from your boyfriend, if you're me), you're in for good.

But Books Without Borders is just blocks away ...

But if I go alone, I'll feel ... old.

The book will arrive tomorrow. I have some pretty serious guilt about pre-ordering from Amazon, but I did it for my own sanity: If I picked it up at midnight (which, if I go to a party, I will be hard pressed not to do), I wouldn't sleep. I just wouldn't. I read the last one in two days, hardly sleeping. I have a metric fuckton of things to do this weekend, and I need my sleep.

So the reading will start when the post-lady arrives tomorrow, and it'll be documented here. No spoilers, I promise. Just ... reactions. My emotional rollercoaster, in words! And maybe some thoughts about the End of Potter. Or maybe I'll save those for the paper.

Either way, I promise to buy a book at my local independent bookseller within the next month. A hardcover even, to make up for my Potter disloyalty.

I hope you're all having fun out there.

I might still show up.