kevin baird

Candelaria Band Bringing Latin Sound To Eugene

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The exotic sound of Candelaria Band is coming to Eugene for the first time.

The Oakland, Calif. based band that has a unique Latin sound will be performing at 10:30 p.m. on November 22 (Friday) at Luckey’s Club.

Photo courtesy: Candelaria Band.
Photo courtesy: Candelaria Band.

Founding member Dan Candelaria said, “It’s mostly cumbia music, and we infuse it with reggae and dub reggae.”

Candelaria said the band’s influences include King Tubby, 1970s reggae, Andres Landero, and Toto la Momposina among others. The band’s lyrics focus on the U.S.-Mexican border and other issues but he said they focus on human stories related to the issues rather than get political.

“We’re really excited,” Candelaria said about coming to Eugene. “We’re doing things I would never have foreseen. We’re coming up to Oregon. I’m playing with my best friends.”

The Book Monster #18

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I took my wife on a date to see the movie “Austenland” at the dollar theater at the Gateway Mall on Thursday (I wasn’t quite sure what to expect). The movie is about a Jane-Austen-obsessed woman (played by Keri Russell) attending a Jane-Austen-themed resort where women pay big money to experience what it’s like to be in a Jane-Austenish romance with gentlemanly actors (no touching!). I LOLed throughout the movie and I was pleasantly surprised by this chick-flick. Russell’s rendition of “Hot in Here,” by the rapper Nelly, was fantastic too. Jane Seymour, Bret McKenzie and Jennifer Coolidge also starred. I haven’t read any of Jane Austen’s work. Even after seeing this movie I can’t say I have any desire to read Jane Austen’s novels. There is no appeal. However, there is a chance I’ll try Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith’s “Pride and Prejudice with Zombies.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36nk3NEyCLU

A note: For the time being, The Book Monster is going bi-weekly!.

An observation: I have been drinking a ridiculous amount of tea lately. Yogi brand Echinacea Immune Support tea is delicious, it has a hint of mint among other natural flavors, and is perfect for sipping while reading on a dreary day during fall or winter.

Book news:

Infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau was found guilty of Criminal Contempt for making false claims about his book, “The Weightloss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About.” National Public Radio reported, “In a series of infomercials, Trudeau claimed the book revealed a “miracle substance” discovered in the 1950s and kept secret by food companies and the government that allows people to eat anything, not exercise and not gain weight.” According to NPR, Trudeau violated a 2004 court order that prohibited him from making false claims in his book.

The Los Angeles Times reported that in Lafourche Parish, La. voters decided to continue to fund the library over diverting funds to the jail. Parish Council Chair Lindel Toups said libraries have too much money than blasted libraries for the activities taking place inside such as, “teaching Mexicans to speak English.”

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Mark Twain didn’t want his autobiography published until 100 years after his death.

The second volume of Mark Twain’s Autobiography was released. Ben Tarnoff’s review in The New Yorker is fantastic: “When Mark Twain opened his mouth, strange things came tumbling out. Things like hoaxes, jokes, yarns, obscenities, and non sequiturs. He had a drawl—his “slow talk,” his mother called it—that made his sentences long and sinuous. One reporter described it as a “little buzz-saw slowly grinding inside a corpse.” Others thought that he sounded drunk.” 

DarkmansWhat I’ve been reading:

Nicola Barker’s “Darkmans” is a mixed bag. This borderline-experimental book was hilarious but I felt it was too long (838 pages). I was underwhelmed by the ending of the book too (I think I missed something and I may go back through and skim over certain key points in the book and then finish the last chapter). During my reading of this book I moved from New Mexico back to Oregon and I was sidetracked by travel, friends, family, and other books (this may have to do with the underwhelming ending too). Set in England, the book follows an eclectic cast of characters (Barker’s character development was fantastic) through a series of strange events, some more exciting than others, as history subtly lurks in the shadows and pushes some characters to madness.

I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Earlier this year I nabbed “Winnie the Pooh” from my parents house in Beaverton and this last week I started reading it. Author A.A. Milne wrote the Pooh books at the request of the adult non-fictionalized version of Christopher Robin, Milne’s son. The books are a result of Milne telling stories to his son.  After WinnieThePoohreading the first two chapters of the book I realized this book should have an alternate title: “Winnie the Pooh, or A.A. Milne is Clever.”  Clever indeed, and I chuckle just thinking about the antics of Pooh and friends. The simple nature of the characters results in a lot of well-intentioned bad ideas that are enacted by this cast of Christopher Robin’s stuffed animals. I wouldn’t recommend this book to everybody, but if you like to laugh and you don’t mind reading a book geared towards children, read it.

Other things I’ve been reading:

• Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book.”

• Selections from Mas Udi’s “The Meadows of Gold.”

• “Bears: A Brief History,” by Bernd Brunner.

• The May 2013 issue of Outside magazine.

• The Mountains of Madness, by H.P. Lovecraft.

• A couple poems from the Winter 2013 issue of “The Gettysburg Review.

Don’t forget to share this column with your friends who love to read. Also, I’d love to hear from you if you have any comments, requests, rants, praises, or two-sentence book reviews or anything else that has to do with books and literature. Hell, if you send me an e-mail you could end up in the column: [email protected]

 

Local Lunch Gals: Coburg Pizza Company

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Although it wasn’t the normal crew of Gals for this particular lunch outing, two Eugene Daily News compatriots and I headed to Coburg Pizza Company to see what all the rave is about.  For years, I’ve heard nothing but great reviews of Coburg Pizza Company’s uniquely delicious pizzas.  Since 2007, they’ve been whipping up pizzas with toppings that most people wouldn’t dream of putting on a pizza, creating a menu like none other.

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Coburg Pizza Company in small town Coburg | Photo by Julia Crowley

With two locations, one in Springfield and the original being in the small town of Coburg, Kevin Baird (news writer) and Sandy Harris (writer of Out and About) met me at the original Coburg Pizza Company.  Housed in a barn-like structure, which used to be a barber shop, Coburg Pizza Company is also a family video store and a coffee house (Nana’s Caffe’) serving baked goods in the morning (breakfast is available at the Coburg location only).

Seating is limited and surrounded by walls of videos, and food orders are taken at the counter near the entrance.  Just like their menu states, they definitely have the craziest, most imaginative, unique, over-the-top and totally whacked-out stuff to ever hit a crust.

  • Wild Alaskan Salmon Bake – a pizza pie with their own sour cream – cream cheese dill sauce, toppped with mozzarella, a touch of lemon and grilled salmon.
  • Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork – this pizza is toppped with thick chunks of smoky pulled-pork and piles of onions smothered in Sweet Babay Ray’s traditional BBQ sauce, all atop Jack cheese and crowned with their own special recipe coleslaw.
  • Louisiana Jambalaya Pie – using a spicy Cajun Alfredo sauce, this is topped with shrimp, andouille sausage, red beans, plum tomatoes, multi-colored bell peppers with Jack and Mozzarella cheeses.
  • All-American BLT – loads of their country smoked bacon is spread out over a blend of provolone and mozzarella. then they add lettuce, tomoato and a kiss of mayonnaise.
  • Idaho Baked Potato – thinly sliced russets with a touch of butter, country bacon, cheddar, sour cream and green onions.
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1/2 Bangkok Thai and 1/2 Singapore Sweet Chili Chicken – so good | Photo by Julia Crowley

And that’s just listing five of their over 50 distinctively unique pizzas that come on a choice of four crusts: thin, thick and chewy, mozzarella stuffed or gluten free. They also offer a plethora of salads, calzones, pastas, award-winning baked wings, dessert pizzas (including a PB&J pizza) and a great beer and wine list, with options from Oregon, Italy and other regions of the world.

Since owners Terry an Cherylee Dawson knew we were coming, they had a feast of different items prepared that they thought we should try.  Just as we imagined, we were in for an adventurous and tasty treat.

We tried four pizzas: Bangkok Thai Shrimp, Singapore Sweet-Chili Chicken, Spicy Sicily and Mediterranean Piatto.  Each uniquely different, I fell head over heels for the Bangkok Thai Shrimp – a thin crust pizza with special homemade Thai ranch, julienne carrots, green onions, green bell peppers, bean sprouts and their special Thai peanut sauce, crowned with shrimp.  The Asian flavors popped and complemented each other to perfection  In fact, all four pizzas were divine.  I also really loved the Spicy Sicily that had some of my favorite cheese, Fontina.  Other ingredients included a spicy red sauce, spicy Italian sausage, spicy Capicola ham, mozzarella, parmesan and fresh basil – savory, spicy and delectable.

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Greek Salad | Photo by Julia Crowley

Cherylee brought us an outstanding Greek Salad with fresh greens, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, onions, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, feta cheese crumbles and a heavenly Greek-feta vinaigrette, while Terry brought over a selection of their baked wings: Garlic Parmesan, Spicy Italian and Asian Sweet Chili.  Everything was super fresh, cooked to perfection and down-right delicious.

We tried a chilled California White Merlot that Terry had suggested, which was slightly sweet and paired really well with the spiciness of the Asian Sweet Chili wings and the Spicy Sicily pizza.  We were also able to try a few items from the Nana’s Caffe’ menu; including, two each of flavor-packed frittatas (egg based Italian dish similar to quiche) and scones; in addition to, sending me home with a cinnamon roll that was devoured by my kids within seconds.

Cozy and inviting, Coburg Pizza Company was the perfect place for the three of us to kick-back and enjoy some time to get to know each other better.  I’m sure Kevin was okay with being a “Lunch Gal” for a day since he was able to try some of the stellar options that Coburg Pizza Company offers its guests; besides, his favorite food is, after all, pizza.

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Fresh, juicy chicken wings in 3 different delectable flavors | Photo by Julia Crowley

Here’s what Kevin and Sandy thought of our delicious-food-centric visit to Coburg Pizza Company:

Kevin: Coburg Pizza’s buffalo wings were perfect.  The wings were neither under cooked and slimy nor were they overcooked and dry.  For me, texture in any food can be a deal breaker, and these wings were a home run.  The flavors were fantastic too, in particular the Italian seasoned wings, which were flavorful and had an unexpected kick of spice that wasn’t too big, which I loved.

The Sun Dried Tomato Basil scone was the best scone I’ve ever had. It seems like every other scone I’ve had is dry, crumbly,and missing any flavor worth savoring. The bready part of this scone was soft and moist, great texture, with a touch of sweetness. The savory flavors of sun dried tomato and basil were fantastic and complimented the sweetness of the bready part of the scone.

The Singapore Sweet Chile Chicken pizza put a sweet and spicy twist on pizza worth returning for.  Before coming to Coburg Pizza, I’d never had a pizza with Asian-food-inspired toppings – this pizza is worth the drive to Coburg.

The Spicy Sicily pizza was a carnivores dream. Spicy sausage and spicy capicola ham gave the pizza a delicious kick. This pizza was also topped with mozzarella, fontina and parmesan cheeses and the fresh basil was icing on the cake.

Sandy: I had the pleasure of joining Julia and Kevin for this Local Lunch Gals afternoon out at Coburg Pizza!  Who doesn’t like pizza right?

We were served so many different things, I felt like a kid at Christmas.  I absolutely loved the Greek salad.  All of the ingredients melded together perfectly.  My favorite pizza out of the four was the Singapore Sweet-Chile Chicken.  I am most positive had I been alone, I could have eaten the entire pie!  The crust was amazing.  The beautiful part about it was that it wasn’t all crust!  Bonus: it was flat out a pretty pizza and delicious.  I will definitely be going back for more!  I am not much of a dessert person, but I sampled the scones and they were both amazing as well.

We ate so much that we had to take our huge cinnamon rolls home. I must confess, I ate half of it later that evening. I had a wonderful time at Coburg Pizza Company, Terry and all were amazing hosts, and I will be stopping by for the amazing food from now on.

Coburg Pizza Company gets 3 Thumbs Up and it is highly recommended.

Visit Coburg Pizza Company in Coburg at 90999 South Willamette Street and in Springfield at 1710 Centennial Boulevard. Like their Facebook page for updates and specials:


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Falling Sky Delicatessen Will Now Offer Bicycle Delivery

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That pastrami sandwich you’ve been craving can now be delivered to your door by an eco-friendly bike courier.

Falling Sky Delicatessen, has partnered with the Cascadian Courier Collective to deliver food every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. according to a release.

“I think it expands our customer base,” Falling Sky Owner Rob Cohen said, “because a lot of people can’t get out or don’t want to go out.

Cohen said the entire food menu will be available for delivery, but the law prohibits beer deliveries.

Lucas Strain, founder and co-owner of the Cascadian Courier Collective, said Falling Sky delivery will cost $2 for customers in the Whitaker neighborhood, downtown Eugene, and the University of Oregon Campus. Strain said the prices will increase as the deliveries get further from the $2 zone.

“It might cost a little more,” Strain said, “but we’ll go anywhere in town.”

Falling Sky Delicatessen is a second location of Falling Sky Brewing. The delicatessen makes, bakes, cures, pickles, brines and smokes everything from scratch.

Strain said there are three regular couriers delivering Falling Sky Delicatessen.

Falling Sky Delicatessen is located at 790 Blair Boulevard. To place an order call: 541-653-9167

 

 

Study Reveals Financial Exploitation of the Elderly in Oregon

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A study conducted by the Oregon Department of Human Services Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations showed that financial exploitation of the elderly is common.

According to the DHS report, financial exploitation of the elderly takes shape in many forms including theft of money, medications, jewelry, real estate, and food stamp benefits.The study showed that money was stolen most, totaling 60 percent of reported thefts.

“For many of our vulnerable adults that are exploited this can mean years of hard work, money to pay basic living essentials such as food and electricity, and hopes for their future security are gone,” Marie Cervantes, director of the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations. “Collectively, the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults deserves our attention.”

Photo courtesy: Oregon Department of Human Services
Graphic courtesy: Oregon Department of Human Services

Lane County contributed to 7 percent of the state’s finance exploitation cases, while 9.9 percent of Oregon’s elderly population (65+ years old) resides in Lane County.

DHS Operations and Policy Analyst Rebecca Fetters said there are red flags that concerned friends and family members, as well as the elderly themselves, should watch for:

• Unusual bank or credit activity.

• Use of ATM in an out-of-the-way location. If the person’s mobility is limited any use of an ATM could be a red flag.

• Any changes to ownership on property titles, vehicle titles and changes to estate plans such as their will or beneficiary designations.

• The elderly are not getting their bills directly.

• Utilities being shut off or a notice to vacate their residence.

• Caregivers or housekeepers are not showing up could be a sign that they are not being paid.

• New loans.

• A change in someone’s usual pattern of activity.

“The less isolated people are and the more people are watching for those red flags the better,” Fetters said.

According to a DHS, release 55 percent of the perpetrators were family members. The report showed that the most commonly alleged perpetrators were daughters of the elderly at 38 percent, with sons trailing closely at 36 percent.

Graphic courtesy: Oregon Department of Human Services
Graphic courtesy: Oregon Department of Human Services

Acquaintances (44 percent) and caregivers (42 percent) made up the majority of alleged perpetrators in the non-family members category.

The DHS report says that OAAPI will be working to combat financial exploitation of the elderly by doing the following:

• Providing outreach to district attorney’s and local law enforcement, and in related cases.

• Collaborate with Oregon Health Authority’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to address medication theft issues.

• Work with the Oregon Credit Union Association raise awareness about financial exploitation.

• Produce materials targeted at families to inform them of their fiduciary responsibilities should they be appointed a power of attorney, a trustee, or another type of decision maker over their family members estate.

• Increase training for non-relative caregivers on what constitutes financial exploitation and the consequences.

 

 

 

Inaugral Tap & Growler Beer Festival

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New gold, silver, and bronze winning beers from the 2013 Great American Beer Festival will be introduced, as well as winners from last year, at the inaugural Tap & Growler Beer Festival, which begins on Sunday, November 3 and continues through Saturday, November 9. 

Tap & Growler will be offering a $50 punch card that is good for 20, eight ounce pours along with a with a 32-ounce growler to take home your favorite beer of the day.

Tap & Growler

General Manager Toby Harris said, “This will give people the chance to sample all of the award winners throughout the week and keep track, plus offer some savings if they choose to purchase the punch card.” Harris added that the punch card will be available for pre-purchase at the taproom.

“So far 19 award winning beers from the recent GABF are chillin in the cooler awaiting their day,” said co-owner Patric Campbell. “This will be the first come first,but we’ll try to keep them on throughout the week if possible. Most of the beers are from Oregon, but we also have some from Washington, California, and Colorado.”

Tap & Growler Beer Festival beer release schedule:

Sunday, Pelican Brewery and Elysian Day

• Pelican’s Silverspot IPA (silver medal English-style IPA)
• Pelican’s Doryman’s Dark Ale (bronze medal American-style brown ale)
• Pelican’s Kiwanda Cream Ale (bronze medal golden or blonde ale)
• Palican’s Tsunami Stout (bronze medal foreign style stout)
• Elysian’s Mens Room Original Red (bronze medal ordinary special or bitter)

Monday, Flat tail Brewery Event Day. Flat Tail staff will be on hand at 6 p.m. for the release.

• Flat Tail’s Tailgater Kolsch (silver medal German-style kolsch)
• Flat Tail’s Little Green (bronze medal bohemian-style pilsner)

Tuesday, Ninkasi Event Day. Ninkasi staff will be on staff at 6 p.m. for the release. 

• Ninkasi’s Bohemian Pilsner (gold medal bohemian-style pilsner)
• Also two non-award Ninkasi released beers: India Red and Mandarina Single Hop Ale.

Wednesday, Oakshire Meet the Brewer in Private Hellshire III tasting.

• Hellshire III private tasting: 24 tickets will be sold due to a finite quantity of this gold medal winning wood barrel aged beer. The $20 ticket gets you a three ounce pour of Hellshire III with Oakshire Head Brewer Matt Van Wyck, a 32 ounce growler of your choice and an eight-ounce pour of the following beers: Pink Pumpkin Ale, and 7th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sour Cherry Baltic Porter

Thursday, California day.

• Firestone Walker’s Wookie Jack (gold medal American-style wheat beer)
• Firestone Walker’s Pivo Hoppy Pils (gold medal German-style pilsner)
• Firestone Walker’s Union Jack (silver medal American-style IPA)
• Moylan’s Dragoon’s Dry Irish Stout (bronze medal classic dry Irish stout)
• Mad River’s Steelhead Extra Pale Ale (silver medal golden or blonde ale)
• Sierra Nevada’s (non-oak aged) Narwhal (2012 silver medal imperial stout)

Friday, Eastern Oregon and Baker City day.

• Barley Brown’s Shredder’s Wheat (gold medal American-style black ale)
• Barley Brown’s Hand Truck (gold medal international-styl pale ale)
• Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack IPA (gold medal American-style IPA)

Saturday, Snowy Mountain Peak Day along with Bend and Colorado brews. 

• Bend Brewing’s Ching Ching (gold medal American-style sour ale)
• 10 Barrel’s German Sparkle Party-limited (gold medal German-style sour ale)
• Great Divide’s Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout (gold medal chocolate beer)

What Are You Afraid Of?

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Happy Halloween from the EDN family to all our readers. Halloween is the one time of the year when fears are celebrated, and people actively seek out the thrill of being shocked and horrified. On Halloween, EDN asked people around Eugene what they’re scared of:

Irene Goetz
Irene Goetz

Irene Goetz, 21, is an artist who paints and writes.

“I’m scared of the zombie apocalypse. I’ve had so many dreams where I’m getting eaten from the legs up.”

Abdullah Bindakahil
Abdullah Bindakahil

Abdullah Bindakahi, 21, is studying accounting at the University of Oregon.

“Death. No one knows when they’ll die.” Bindakahil said he is religious and believes in a second life and he is not scared about what happens after you die, but scared of how death could come at any moment.

Bindakahi said he was also scared of his future, “I don’t know what it will be, whether I’ll be rich or poor.”

Aaron Montgomery
Aaron Montgomery

Aaron Montgomery, 35, is a jack of all trades and does all kinds of odd jobs.

“The only thing I’m really scared of is something bad happening to my daughter.”

Bethany Kaylor
Bethany Kaylor

Bethany Kaylor, 20, is studying comparative literature and creative writing at the University of Oregon where she also plays on the club ultimate frisbee team.

“Ketchup. I’ve just had a phobia of it since I was little—the taste, the smell, the texture, the way it coagulates, and the way people eat it. It’s messy.”

Kaylor said she is also scared of bald tales on animals such as opossums, rats, and musk rats,

“They unnerve me.” she said.

Kaylor said she is scared of being in outer space too.

Kroten Moss
Kroten Moss

Kroten Moss, 5, is a kindergartner.

Kroten is scared of the cops coming and taking him away if he’s not wearing a seatbelt.

Jared Moss
Jared Moss

Jared Moss, 30, takes care of his two children (including Kroten Moss), a Mr. Mom.

“I’m scared of leaving the house without my pants. I always feel like I’m in such a hurry that I’ll leave without them.”

Kristen Moss
Kristen Moss

Kristen Moss, 27, is a professional photographer and mother of two. She is married to Jared Moss.

“My biggest fear is I’ll be home alone with the kids and I’ll have a brain aneurysm and die, or pass out and nobody will be able to take care of the kids.”

Kevin Baird
Kevin Baird

Kevin Baird, 30, wrote this article and took the photos.

He is scared of spiders, chemicals, and infections.

 

The Book Monster #17 (Relaunch)

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October 30, 2013 

After a 10 month hiatus, I am relaunching my column “The Book Monster.” 

For those who have never visited my column before I would like to welcome you and invite you to keep coming back. I also invite you to read some of my old columns. The Book Monster discusses books, publishing news, authors, literature in pop culture, and anything else that has to do with books. Feel free to comment with Facebook. I would also love to hear from my readers whether you have questions, comments, etc. You can contact me by e-mail (the box with the “e” inside, below my bio) or via Twitter (the box with the “T” inside).

To my readers both faithful and intermittent I apologize for the abrupt death of the column in December; my career took me elsewhere.

Goth, vamps, and Edgar Allan Poe teamed up to save the world from emo kids last week on South Park.
Goth, vamps, and Edgar Allan Poe teamed up to save the world from emo kids last week on South Park.

This being the eve of Halloween I feel inclined to touch upon Edgar Allan Poe, father of the horror genre, who appeared last week “South Park” as the original goth. During the episode titled “Goth Kids 3,” Poe accused the goth kids of South Park Elementary of being poseurs. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone never fail in their ability to polk fun at anything and everyone, and their portrayal of Poe was hilarious. 

Poe’s masterpiece “The Raven” may be his best poem, and Christopher Walken’s reading of the poem is excellent. Enjoy:

CoralineThis past weekend I read Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline.” I heard the Tim Burton adaptation of the book was terrible and I have never seen it. The New York Times Book Review dubbed “Coraline,” “One of the most frightening books ever written.” With a review like that I couldn’t resist reading it. “Coraline” follows in the tradition of C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” in that Coraline finds a door in her home that leads to another world, only this is a world where everything is a sinister replica of the real world. Quality of plot and quality of writing made it easy for me to overlook the fact that the book is written at an elementary reading level. I wish I could’ve read “Coraline” when I was a Goosebumps obsessed third grader, but I still loved the book as an adult. This book wasn’t the most frightening I’ve read, but as far as children’s literature goes this book takes the cake.

Technology has changed the face of the publishing industry and online literary journals are popping all over the internet and the best thing about them is they are free. Wig Leaf publishes fiction under 1,000 words a handful of times every month, although I have not figured out their publishing frequency. I cannot vouch for all the fiction that is published on the site, but I have come across a few great stories at Wig Leaf. Finding a short story worth reading only takes a little bit of searching on this site.

 

 

 

Another 10 Horror Films To Watch This Halloween

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"28 Days Later" is one of the best zombie films out there. Scary movies have a way of putting us in the mood for Halloween whether that’s by scaring us, stirring up nostalgia, or having a good laugh at the things that made us scared when we were kids. For me, horror films are an integral part of Halloween and hopefully these suggestions will help you find something to watch this last week of the Halloween season. Enjoy:

1. 28 Days Later: What would it be like to wake up after long after surgery to a world gone mad with rage-infected zombies? Cillian Murphy stars in this raw film that explores the good and evil humans are capable of when things are at their worst. This film is a breath of fresh air in the zombie genre, and also one of the best in the zombie genre.

2. Disney’s Halloween Treat: Classic characters such as Donald Duck, Goofy, and Mickey Mouse appear in this mashup of creepy Disney cartoons. There are also clips from Disney films such as “Snow White,” and “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.” If you love classic Disney cartoons or you’re looking for something to watch with your kids this, is a gem. The only way I know how to watch this is on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ-Gol7gUrg&noredirect=1

3. The Lords of Salem: In this Rob Zombie film, a strange album mysteriously shows up at a Salem, Mass. radio station and DJ Heidi hawthorne’s (played by Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie) life takes a turn for the worst as she learns more about an evil witch coven from Salem’s history. Like other Rob Zombie films, The Lords of Salem is gnarly and scary and in my opinion not suitable for children. 

Heidi Hawthorne is feeling bewitched on "The Lords of Salem."
Heidi Hawthorne is feeling bewitched on “The Lords of Salem.”

4. Pet Cemetery: To what length would you go to to bring a loved one back to life? A young family buys a house in the Maine countryside and life is peachy, but local folklore and an untimely death are a recipe for disaster. Stephen King cameos as a pastor in this adaptation of one of his books.

5. The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror: Not a movie, but o’ well. “The Simpsons” has been killing it with their Halloween specials for more than 20 years. Lampooning popular horror films and putting the world of “The Simpsons” through original terrors, these episodes will leave you LOLing or ROFLing. Each episode is divided into three short cartoons. I Tunes offers Treehouse of Horror collections, or you can borrow the discs from that one friend who owns every season.

The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror
The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror

6. VHS: When amateur filmmakers are tasked with stealing a VHS tape from an old man’s house, they stumble upon a collection of VHS tapes filled with raw footage of supernatural happenings. Filmed in the found-footage style and formatted into short films, VHS was surprisingly original and scary. This film is on the grittier side of the horror movie spectrum. 

7. This is the End: James Franco is throwing a big party and it’s the end of the world. Cameos abound in this Judd Apatow film where actors play themselves. I think this was the funniest movie to come out all year, but the movie was packed with elements of the supernatural and horror. 

9. Halloween: The original “Halloween” is the only way to see this film. Michael Myers, the masked psychopath who kills on Halloween night, is the last person I would ever want to see lurking in the shadows. A young Jamie Lee Curtis stars in this classic that launched one of the most successful horror franchises. The sequels to “Halloween” aren’t bad either.

10. Trick ‘r Treat: Four spooky tales chalked full of vampires, psychopaths and trick-or-treaters are intertwined into one Halloween night, leaving people dead in their wake. There is a subtle-and-dry sense of humor in the movie that had me chuckling. Anna Paquin and Leslie Bibb are star in this film.

Looking for more scary movies to watch?
Read: 10 Horror Films To Watch This Halloween
Read: 10 More Horror Films to Watch This Halloween

 

 

For Benjamin Christensen Baseball is a Lifestyle

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Benjamin Christensen may be baseball’s biggest fan, and he’s got the tattoos to prove it.

Benjamin Christensen at the Oakland Coliseum.
Benjamin Christensen at the Oakland Coliseum.

Anybody who permanently inks the mascots of every Major League Baseball team on his torso is a contender. Tattoos aside, he has an impressive baseball resume that includes almost three months in the MLB Fan Cave, he writes a daily blog about his obsession with baseball and the baseball hats he collects (he had 319 as of August 22), he interacts with professional ball players on Twitter,  he has been a bat boy for the Bakersfield Blaze, with his big-black beard he resembles San Francisco Giants Closer Brian Wilson, and he has watched a game in almost every been to almost every MLB stadium.

Christensen, 30, has been in and out of Eugene since 2007, working as a bartender at Max’s Tavern, attending sports events, and earning three undergraduate degrees from the University of Oregon. Since graduating Christensen has been working at Just Sports in Portland. Christensen has recently decided to move to Florida to be closer to his girlfriend, but EDN caught up with him before he left, to his brain about his obsession.

EDN: You love baseball. Why aren’t you playing in the minors?

BC: When I was in high school I was also working as a bat boy for the Bakersfield Blaze. I was 16 years old. When the team was on the road I was aloud to use the field with a couple friends in the area to practice. We needed to stay in shape and stay conditioned. Some of us juniors and seniors were coming out, and it was pretty fun. The way the stadium is built, the sun sets at center field. It was later in the afternoon. I was at bat, and it was hard to see. My friend was pitching and curled one and I couldn’t see it and it hit me right in the middle of the face. It was perfectly thrown and it hit me dead center on the nose.That thing just shattered my nose. My upper lip and I could feel all my teeth hurting for some reason. There was a heavy amount of blood that was pouring out of my face. Aside from the injury. The thing I realized was my calm collectiveness in the batters box was just gone. Taking a baseball in the arm or leg is manageable. Taking a 90 mile an hour fast ball to the nose—your never going to forget that.

You have a tattoo of every MLB team on your body. We all know tattoos are permanent. Any regrets?

The only thing I will say I  regret is there is one small segment of Mariner Moose—the cast just wasn’t drawn on. The tattoo artist was working with a picture where Bernie and Bonnie Brewer were covering up Mariner Moose’s cast on his right leg. The cast wasn’t put on and I Didn’t notice until the tattoo was done.

Any plans in the future for more baseball tattoos?

I’m starting to get minor league teams on my legs.. I got a Eugene Emeralds tattoo on June 20. I used their new alternate logo which is a Sasquatch swinging a tree like a baseball bat, but on my tattoo Sasquatch is swinging Sluggo like baseball bat.

I’m also thinking about getting The Simpsons 1992 Softball League Champions Tattooed that includes Wade Boggs, Jose Conseco, and Ken Griffey Junior. 

Christensen's Eugene Emerald's tattoo.
Christensen’s Eugene Emerald’s tattoo.

You’ve been blogging daily about baseball and New Era caps for almost eight months now. Is it it getting easier? Harder?

It’s definitely getting harder. It got to the point, on June 16, where I literally just got done with the post and had to walk away from it. I need to to find better stories to right about, and put better stories together.

You travel to a lot of baseball games. How are you able to afford it?

Last year I was able to pull it off because when I worked for the MLB Fancave I  made $6,000  a month. Rent was covered too. The only thing we had to do was buy food. When I got fired essentially I dropped a 1000 dollars on the MLB logo on my chest. I had literally nothing but time on my hands until school started. None of the classes I needed were until January. With all the money I had on my my hands I was able to hit 27 of the 30 ballparks. I hit quite a few minor league games too. This year I went to opening day in Oakland. I had never been to opening day for a Major League Team. And my girlfriend lives right next to marlins stadium.

What stadium has the best hot dogs?

Fenway park. It has nothing to do with the hotdog itself. It’s like a slice of texas toast, like a thicker slice of bread, but it’s white bread. It pops open like a hot dog.  I’ve never seen them at the store, only at the stadium, and they’re only $5, which is actually quite reasonable.

Any other ballpark food our readers should know about? 

The best food at a ballgame is the meat parfait at Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers). It looks like an ice cream parfait, but it has pulled pork mashed potatoes, gravy, and chives. And the boomstick, which is a two-and-a-half-foot-long hot dog at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

You’ve been living in Portland. Have you been able to go to a Portland Hops game? 

That’s the funny thing. I haven’t been to a Hops game. I applied for a job with them (Hops) back in May and this is a little before the season started. Five to six days before the season started they called me and offered me a job as an usher. It would’ve been part-time. I wouldn’t have time for it. Every night they’ve played I’ve been working. I only live like three miles from the stadium. This is on top of working for three fantasy baseball websites I work for but don’t get paid for.

New Era invited you to a collectors appreciation party. What was that like?

All it was was a fan appreciation event. I literally woke up one morning and my buddy John Beare (a fellow hat collector) sent me a text and asked me if I got an email from New Era. I popped up my email and I received an email invite from their marketing team. I thought it was bullshit at first. I got into Buffalo (where New Era is headquartered) and we went to Niagara Falls, they took us on a tour of Buffalo, and we went out to dinner. We got a few beers and shot the breeze all night. We (the hat collectors) all hit it off really well. We all had something in common, collecting hats. But we all did it for different reasons. We went to the factory, and got to see how all the hats were made. It was a really interesting process to see how they were made. Everybody that we talked to were really happy to be working there. Some people had worked there for 15 years. It was interesting to see an American company manufacturing in America. We also Toured the corporate office in downtown Buffalo, and got to go shopping on their dime. 

What’s next?

I’m still trying to get a job in the realm of baseball.

To follow Christensen on Twitter: @Shakabrodie
To follow his blog go to: “Hats and Tats: A Lifestyle”

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