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October 12, 2017

When I walked through The Duck Store the Wednesday before classes started at the University of Oregon, I saw a sea of searching faces. Athletic apparel might subsidize the nonprofit store’s bottom line, but during week one, students are shopping with a mission: getting books so they don’t fail their classes. That mission is made more difficult by the high price tag attached to these required precious commodities. 

October 12, 2017

You finally made it.

You’re done with your parents, done with high school, and now bursting onto the college campus, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, acting aloof but trying to make friends. Maybe you’re nervous and hiding in your dorm while you read this, or maybe you’ve decided to take on a whole new identity since you’ve moved to a new state.

Whatever you’re thinking, let me be your guide to the trappings of life at University of Oregon. As a recently graduated senior, I can help you through the highs and lows of freshman year.

October 12, 2017

My roommates are wondering what chemical concoction has me showering at quarter after four in the morning. Or maybe they think I am really dedicated to using up all of the hot water first.

I’m actually up for a 5 am introductory tour at UPS — United Parcel Service.

I am juggling the commitments of a full-time graduate student at the University of Oregon, but none of these obligations pays the bills. Besides helping with student debt repayment down the road, a part-time job has a surprising number of advantages. 

October 5, 2017

From three decks up, the sea ice surrounding our ship looks like so many Styrofoam picnic plates bobbing on a dark blue pool.

Some plates are big enough to contain a suburban house and yard; others have barely enough space to park a bicycle. Many are almost perfectly round from jostling against their neighbors in the wind. Tiny tracks crossing one plate look birdlike from my perch, until I check them out with binoculars and realize that this is the trail of a polar bear.

October 5, 2017

Chances are, in the past year you’ve probably thought it, maybe even said it: Let’s defect to Canada.

For many, our neighbor to the north symbolizes an idealized other. In this case, due to different forms of land management and protection, the grass literally is greener.

In search of a memorable early-summer vacation that spoke to our cosmopolitan and nature-loving sensibilities, my partner and I headed north to explore Vancouver Island. Our goal was to experience the city of Victoria and the island in nine days. 

October 5, 2017

Last April, I got a message from my mother that stopped me in my tracks. I was in the midst of writing the cover story of my career when she texted: “Call me when you get the chance.” 

My heart sank. I knew what that meant. If it’s something serious, she tries to make sure I get the news at a good time by letting me call her.

October 5, 2017

I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of spending a week in a tiny cabin in a small, unknown Wyoming town, but one of my best friends insisted that we go on a nature-centered vacation — plus she wanted a break from the New York City summer. Brenna Chase and I met in Salt Lake City, hopped in an overpriced taxi, rented a car, purchased some groceries — including beer with a maximum ABV of four percent — and began the three-hour drive north toward Afton, Wyoming. 

September 28, 2017

I am not a gamer, but I am an artist. “What is art?” is an important question to me. The fine-art world’s answer has been expanding rapidly since the 1860s with the controversial advent of Impressionism in painting.

The debate only intensified with art surrounding the World Wars. Is a Picasso painting art? Is a urinal displayed in a museum art? Is film art?

Are video games art, for that matter? Both video games and film are digital media that a creator skillfully uses to affect an audience.  

September 28, 2017

This year I’ve had not one but two experiences for which the descriptive powers of language fall woefully short. The first was witnessing the total eclipse of the sun, a cosmic spectacle that ran a hot soldering iron across the length of my cerebral cortex, reducing me to a state of primordial awe that still haunts my waking moments.

September 28, 2017

Rosalie Vile began making games at age 12 when she got her first copy of Game Maker, software that she uses exclusively now when she designs games. As an indie game designer at 24, she’s involved in all creative aspects of a game’s development — from a game’s inception to writing the narrative and seeing it through to a completed final product. She programs games and crafts the art and music, too.

September 28, 2017

In an attempt to perfectly fuse the retro-dynamics of classic arcade games with the mechanical and functional detail of modern games, one local indie game-maker has poured his artistic talent, knowledge of the industry and passion for gaming into an ’80s style, combat-filled, scientifically fixated game: “Kite.”  

“All in all, ‘Kite’ is what I would’ve loved to play at 14,” creator James Treneman says. 

September 21, 2017

Timothy Burns is 27 years old. Before age 3, he underwent six open-heart surgeries for a congenital heart condition — mirror-image dextrocardia. 

“I have no center wall of my heart, and my heart planks to the right side,” Burns says. “My oxidized and unoxidized blood mix, so I’m in a constant flux of a high heart rate and a low heart rate.”

September 14, 2017

This season, Eugene Ballet Company audiences can look forward to a visit from MOMIX, a creative and divergent company with a long performance history arcing back to the glory days of hooded unitards and colorful amorphousness.

It’s art as splooge, dance as design. It’s the human body, transformed — And MOMIX makes it look easy. 

“They’re a dance-illusion company that stretches the boundaries of audience members’ concept of dance,” says EBC artistic director Toni Pimble.

September 14, 2017

According to Lorenzo “Rennie” Harris, the three laws of hip-hop culture are “innovation, individuality and creativity.”  

“Hip hop comes from the word ‘hippie,’ which means to either open your eyes or re-open your eyes — to be aware,” Harris says. 

September 14, 2017

For Harmonic Laboratory, the concept of “collaboration” keeps getting redefined. 

“It’s been a topic of conversation for six years,” says the group’s inter-media, music and programming expert Jon Bellona who — along with choreographer and lighting designer Brad Garner, animator and digital artist John Park and composer and conductor Jeremy Schropp — will bring a full-length work, Tesla: Sound, Light, Color, to audiences across the region.

September 14, 2017

In 2013, ballet dancers Suzanne Haag and Antonio Anacan wanted an alternative to off-season ballet work — an opportunity to continue dancing throughout the summer. Most ballet seasons typically run from fall to spring, Haag says, when dancers try to pick up work in off-season performances or teach classes. 

“We thought, 'Well, why don’t we create our own thing so we can continue performing and providing some work for dancers?'” Haag recalls. 

September 7, 2017

Whole Earth Nature School tries to raise awareness by sending people outside for a better connection to the natural world. “Wildcrafting is a piece of what we do,” Executive Director Rees Maxwell says.

Part of what the school teaches is primitive skills and homesteading; and part of that, Maxwell points out, is food and medicines. 

September 7, 2017

Sue Sierralupe stands on the trail, looking into the creek-side trees and brush. “Poor man’s opium,” she says, pointing into the brambles at some wild lettuce (Lactuca serriola). Sierralupe explains that the lactucarium, the latex or sap of the plant, can help with pain.

August 31, 2017

Theater is a battleground.

As the most atavistic of art forms — live drama in the age of digital clones — theater is in a continual struggle for relevance, now more so than ever. Film is indeed a beautiful medium, but it’s more static than fluid; there will only ever be one Citizen Kane.

Theater, on the other hand, involves a beautiful risk, and that risk is fluid. Theater is a machine of perpetual motion, fraught with all the potential for grace and error of which the human animal is capable.

August 31, 2017

When young actors and actresses think of where to kickstart their careers, what often comes to mind is locations like L.A. or New York. Even though the Conforth sisters may be headed that way, they’ve already made a name for themselves right here in Lane County.

Sisters Cyra, Kenady and Campbell Conforth — ages 18, 14 and 11, respectively — live in Cottage Grove. The trio is heavily involved in dance and musical theater both there and here in Eugene, and the eldest two have taken part in The Shedd’s Musical Theatre Training Academy. 

August 31, 2017

It’s 10 in the morning on a Saturday last spring, and Very Little Theatre has its doors wide open. Hopeful actors sit inside the building, tapping their feet and talking in quiet whispers. The theater itself is dark like the interior of a ship’s wooden hull, but the stage lights are shining on a set.

August 24, 2017
By Kaylee Tornay and Brittany Norton. Additional reporting by Sam Felton and Natalia Riccardi

 

Josh Beals says he doesn’t remember getting the citations that brought him to Eugene’s Community Court — because he was, as he describes it, “on a vodka spree.” What he does remember is waking up in a field, with all his belongings stolen, and a fractured skull. That, he says, was his turning point.

August 17, 2017

My dog Rhoda turned 13 this year, and it became more and more apparent that her arthritic hocks (her hind knees) were slowing her down. I didn’t like the idea of starting my frosted-face pup on Rimadyl or some other anti-inflammatory drug that could hurt her liver, but neither did I want my aging boxer/pitbull/who-knows-what rescue dog to be uncomfortable. 

“Try weed,” someone with a similarly aging mutt told me. “It made a huge difference for my dog.”

August 17, 2017

Among the salves, tinctures and bits of shatter, crumble and jars of flower, you’ll see snack items that at first glance would not appear out of place on a shelf at Safeway. These are known as medibles — a portmanteau of marijuana and edible — and they take the form of cookies, gummies, taffy and even soda.

“Edibles are convenient and discreet,” says Willamette Valley Alchemy co-owner Brice Sherman. “People can take them and not have to deal with the smell. They’re kind of a good entry point into cannabis for many.”