If you’re tired of destruction — Hurricane Ian in Florida and Fiona in Puerto Rico, Russia’s war in Ukraine, wildfires in Oregon — try escaping into the joy of the Seattle Mariners ending their 21-year-long post-season drought. Even those bored with baseball would have trouble holding back tears from how the Mariners clinched the playoffs. On Sept. 30, the Mariners and the Oakland A’s were tied at the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs, Cal Raleigh was at bat with three balls and two strikes. He swung — and hit a home run, ending the Major League Baseball’s longest playoff appearance drought. Sure, sports can be an escape to current events, but at its finest, it’s some of the best drama.
• What we are reading: Circe — Madeline Miller’s 2018 novel about the minor goddess of Greek mythology who turned Odysseus’s men into swine is a vast and sweeping tale of female power and will enrapture even folks who never quite got into the Greek myths. The audiobook, narrated by British actress Perdita Weeks, is a long, delightful listen. What are you reading, watching, checking out? Send a short pithy observation on books, TV, movies or local gatherings to Editor@EugeneWeekly.com with “What we are…” in the subject line and we might pop you into Slant or our “EW Extra” email newsletter, which you can sign up for at EugeneWeekly.com/newsletter.
• Let’s hope the University of Oregon dials back some of its sportsball drama. First the student section (and some others) chanting “Fuck the Mormons” at the Brigham Young game, then the scuffle at the Stanford game. While folks are unhappy about the lack of repercussions from the university, the Eugene and UO police departments are looking to hand out some repercussions of their own — they just announced the resumption of the fun police party patrols cracking down on “illegal alcohol use, noise ordinance violations and unruly gatherings in the neighborhood areas around the university.” Keep it good, clean fun, kids.
• This week was one of loss, locally and statewide. Longtime area musician and helper of the hungry Shaney Howard was killed when a truck struck his car near his McKenzie Bridge home Sept. 30 — his birthday. His son is badly injured, and a GoFundMe for his family is at Gofundme.com/f/Vanessa-Shaney-Owen. We are sorry, too, to hear of the death of Dan Wieden, 77-year-old UO journalism graduate who created the global marketing firm Wieden-Kennedy, probably best known for the slogan “Just Do It.” With Kennedy also gone, we wonder if that firm will continue in its fame for creative genius.
• #todaywelearned that the national 24-hour Poison Control center hotline 1-800-222-1222 is available in a panoply of languages. Spanish speakers need only say “español” when their call is answered and a translator will be provided. The website, Poison.org, also has a pill identifier for those who mix up their pills.
• Picking a university president seems to be a tough task these days. Tougher than it should be. Witness Oregon State University, which selected one who lasted only until revelations about his lax enforcement of sexual misconduct at Louisiana State (shout out to University of Oregon grad and former EW intern Kenny Jacoby for his role in digging up what the hiring committee missed). Jayathi Murthy is now the first female president of our neighbor in Corvallis. We hope the UO trustees vet their search well, choose from a diverse pool of candidates, and learn from past mistakes.
This column has been updated to reflect that it was not Wieden who invented the Nike Swoosh, but instead Carolyn Davidson, who was a graphic design student at Portland State University.