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  • Issue of
  • Feb 11-17, 2010
  • Vol. 14, No. 6

News

  • The One About the Jew and the Tomato: The clearly enunciated outsider story of newly local author Adam Schell
  • Local News
  • The One About the Jew and the Tomato: The clearly enunciated outsider story of newly local author Adam Schell

    Leaning against a table in the corner of a local wine bar, Adam Schell adjusts his square, black glasses as he reads passages aloud from his debut novel, Tomato Rhapsody, occasionally breaking from the page to explain the more idiosyncratic aspects of the 16th century Tuscan setting in which he placed his cast of classically absurd characters. He shifts between accents, at one point employing a rhythmic cockney inflection and when he gets to one of the italicized Italian words that pepper the pages of his novel, he enunciates it not just cleanly but passionately. When he finishes a particular passage about a drunken donkey race, the assembled audience applauds. Schell smiles and they smile back. Sipping from a stainless steel coffee cup and standing up straight in his plain black t-shirt with a decal on the breast that references another fantastical period piece, reading, "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die," Schell pulls out a small stack of index cards. In his highly articulated, fiercely projected voice, Schell tells an assembled mix of 40 or so silver-haired retirees and toddler-corralling parents that he's prepared five "extraordinary questions" that he can quiz himself with if no one is bold enough to ask a question of the barrel-chested author, who looks like a Big Ten linebacker, because he once was one.
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Opinion

  • Welcome to the Tea Party: Notes on the end of the recession, tea-bagging with Palin and more!
  • Editorial
  • Welcome to the Tea Party: Notes on the end of the recession, tea-bagging with Palin and more!

    The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from Sarah Palin's palm, offering talking points and apologies to Todd for last night, on assignment for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly. "Cause for Hope but not Celebration" New unemployment numbers for January came in surprisingly strong (in a good way) with the jobless rate falling to 9.7 percent - a stat not seen since last August when we were all eating caviar and drinking champagne. Manufacturing added jobs for the first time in three years and companies "only" shed 20,000 jobs. "The recession is over," declared former Fed Alan Greenspan on Meet the Press, adding with his usual precision and lack of enthusiasm, "It's going to be a slow, trudging thing... We don't know where the jobs are coming from, but we know the process is underway."
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  • Editorial
  • Reinhart's Slash-and-Burn Attack

    Bend City Council elections are supposed to be non-partisan, and generally that's worked pretty well for us. Our council races are far less acrimonious than, say, the typical campaign for president, Congress or even the State legislature. But Troy Reinhart apparently would like to change that. Reinhart, the Chairman of the Deschutes County Republican Party, ripped into City Councilor Mark Capell, a registered Democrat, in an e-mail to party members last week. "I think for Republicans, he's a target," Reinhart said. "He will have competition, I can assure you of that."
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Culture

  • Anyone For Tennis?  Another Bend mill finds new life on the westside
  • Culture Features
  • Anyone For Tennis? Another Bend mill finds new life on the westside

    Tucked behind a log-cabin-style tavern and a Mail Boxes Etc., the former Bright Wood mill building has had more reincarnations than Michael Jordan's pro sports career. The complex of buildings tucked between Century Drive and Columbia Street began as a toy factory, manufacturing those rubber-band-powered, balsa-wood airplanes before China got dibs on those kinds of dollar-store novelties. For the last two decades it served as a specialty mill, manufacturing molding for windows and doors. So when the latest tenant, Madras-based Bright Wood industries decided to consolidate its operations in Jefferson County, owner Dave Hill came up with a novel idea.
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Food & Drink

  • Chocolate is for Lovers: A Valentine's Day survey of local  and regional decadence
  • Chow
  • Chocolate is for Lovers: A Valentine's Day survey of local and regional decadence

    Reaching for the dark shaded polish at my pedicure, I knew I had eaten enough chocolate. I've spent the last two weeks tasting chocolates and sweets: expensive, inexpensive, milk, dark, French, Belgian and locally made. Valentine's Day is rich in confusion with gods, folklore and Spanish conquest and sexual imagery. For Valentine's Day, confectionery gifts were codified when Cadbury invented the heart-shaped box in the 1860s. Here, we're all about the sweet stuff. Lovers beware. Too much chocolate and you'll paint your toes a shade of 70% dark cocoa. Which could be a good thing - your lover might think those toes are edible.
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  • Chocolate is for Lovers: A Valentine's Day survey of local  and regional decadence
  • Chow
  • Chocolate is for Lovers: A Valentine's Day survey of local and regional decadence

    Reaching for the dark shaded polish at my pedicure, I knew I had eaten enough chocolate. I've spent the last two weeks tasting chocolates and sweets: expensive, inexpensive, milk, dark, French, Belgian and locally made. Valentine's Day is rich in confusion with gods, folklore and Spanish conquest and sexual imagery. For Valentine's Day, confectionery gifts were codified when Cadbury invented the heart-shaped box in the 1860s. Here, we're all about the sweet stuff. Lovers beware. Too much chocolate and you'll paint your toes a shade of 70% dark cocoa. Which could be a good thing - your lover might think those toes are edible.
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Screen

  • The Weary Kind: Crazy Heart allows Redemption to come in painful doses
  • Film
  • The Weary Kind: Crazy Heart allows Redemption to come in painful doses

    Crazy Heart is this year's The Wrestler - a true character study built on pain, suffering, angst and real human emotion with a standout performance by the lead actor. Instead of over-the-hill wrestler Randy the Ram spilling his blood on the stage as he fades into obscurity we get the burned-out 57-year-old country star Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) on a binge of self-destruction. Blake travels in a battered Suburban performing at bowling alleys and dive bars in a string of low-paying, low-turnout gigs with pickup bands along the way. Playing a Gretsch guitar through an old Fender Tremolux amp and sleeping in sleazy motels, Blake smokes and drinks to no end. Reminiscent of such classic down-and-out country-stars-gone-bad movies such as Payday with Rip Torn and Tender Mercies with Robert Duvall, the story follows the road trip and ensuing relationships Blake handles or mishandles along the way. He constantly argues with his agent by phone and lives under the burden that former sideman and protégé Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) has eclipsed his fame. Jean (Maggie Gylenhall), a New Mexico journalist, shows up to interview Bad and finds genuine interest in this mess of a human being. Bad, still able to score groupies, discovers hope in the awkward interview with Jean and the tables begin to turn.
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  • When Sparks Don't Fly: Get the tissues out for the latest Nicholas Sparks' adaptation, Dear John
  • Film
  • When Sparks Don't Fly: Get the tissues out for the latest Nicholas Sparks' adaptation, Dear John

    John and Savannah are lovers kept apart by the contrivances of writer Nicholas Sparks' cruel, cruel world. Oh, they try so hard to be together, but the obstacles of logic and common sense keep getting in the way. Like a capricious God, The Notebook author doth smite them for such hubris in the face of their higher purpose - to act as ciphers for middle-aged women's need for a good cry. In one scene Savannah cries in the arms of her beloved, "I had no choice!" she sobs, quite rightly, as Sparks sacrifices her mercilessly in the pursuit of effective tear-scrounging narrative. In Sparks' world, John must endlessly extend his U.S. army duties, and Savannah, rather than stoically wait this out, must marry the neighbor with terminal cancer and an autistic son. So unable to bear the hurt of her love's continued absence, she sees tending to a dying man preferable. That's how much Sparks wants us to know that she loves John. In fact, her self-flagellation is the only way we really know Savannah does love John, because the 10-minute montage of soft-focus mooning, tickling and kissing that details the two-week affair before their separation just doesn't sell it very well.
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  • Behold the Dragon Slayer: Divinity II makes a mark (albeit a glitchy one)  in the RPG world
  • Film Events
  • Behold the Dragon Slayer: Divinity II makes a mark (albeit a glitchy one) in the RPG world

    There are two sides to every story. My life in Divinity II tells a part from both sides of the tale of Rivellon. I was trained in the arts of the Dragon Slayer. Using powers as mundane as swordsmanship and as arcane as mindreading, we scoured the land seeking to eradicate the ancient Dragon Knights. Holdovers of ancient magic, the Dragon Knights were masters of both land and sky, able to take either human or dragon form. They were fearsome, legendary beings who had once betrayed the Divine of Rivellon, allowing for the rise of an ancient evil that we - fools - had forgotten. Divinity II allows me to grow comfortable in my role as Dragon Slayer. I explore a glowing, picturesque corner of Rivellon, hacking apart goblins and rooting out corruption among the countryside militia. I creep through caves that glow blue with the light of phosphorescent fungi, and battle ghosts and skeletons in magical laboratories locked deep beneath churches.
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  • Film Events
  • A Brief History of the Winter Olympics

    Dear "snow": YOU BLOW! (Heh.) What's up with "snow" anyway? You certainly never hear about rain turning into boiling water during the summertime! Am I right, people? AM I RIGHT? Anyway, like it or not, snow is like genital herpes - we're stuck with it! And this realization is exactly what inspired the ancient Greeks to invent the Winter Olympics (starting Fri Feb 12, 7:30 pm, NBC). What do you mean I'm stupid and don't know what I'm talking about?? Looks like someone needs another episode of Humpy's "A Brief History of Historical Histories™" series - this time about the Winter Olympics!
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Music

  • Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave
  • Sound Stories & Interviews
  • Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave

    Johnny Cash American VI: Ain't No Grave American Recordings/ Lost Highway Editor's Note: For all of you that caught the Cash'd Out show at the Domino Room last weekend (check www.tsweekly.com/blender for video from the show), here's some more about the Man in Black to keep you in the country spirit. The final installment of Johnny Cash's posthumously released American recordings series, American VI is full of hurt, devotion, malaise and dejection - everything, really, that you'd expect from a well-rounded Cash album. The first few tracks - particularly his cover of Sheryl Crow's "Redemption Day," a song I had to pause twice to keep from breaking into tears at the office - are bone-chillingly haunting, and eerie in the beautifully sad way that only Cash could pull off honestly.
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  • Hats, Gloves, Music: What you should see at the Winterfest mainstage
  • Sound Stories & Interviews
  • Hats, Gloves, Music: What you should see at the Winterfest mainstage

    There's something about seeing music outside. Maybe it's the bigger crowds or the fresh air or the fact that you can spill a few drops of your beer on the ground without feeling too bad about it. Over the past three years, the music at WinterFest has become one of the biggest draws of the annual event - which is worth noting, given that WinterFest also includes ice sculptures, motorcycles and skiers/snowboarders launching into the stratosphere. Last year, temperatures well below freezing didn't discourage folks from crowding in to the Old Mill to see performances from acts like Sweatshop Union and Dirty Dozen Brass Band, among others. Without WinterFest, we in Central Oregon would be looking at a gap in outdoor live music as long as seven months, which explains why folks are willing to bundle up and head out in the middle of February.
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Outside

  • A Grand Tour of Tahoe on Skinny Skis: Adventures of a Ski-O Newbie
  • Outside Features
  • A Grand Tour of Tahoe on Skinny Skis: Adventures of a Ski-O Newbie

    We have it pretty good here, but sometimes you just get a little jaded with yet another lap of Woody's or Zig Zag. So last week I decided to try something new - the 2010 Sierra Avalanche Ski-Orienteering Championships, a week full of Ski-O races in Tahoe. The field was stacked with several top Ski-O-ers competing for spots on the U.S. National Team for World Championships next year in Sweden. Although I've done a little "Foot-O," this was my first time doing it on skis. Ski-O totally breaks up the drudgery of just another ski race. Sixty seconds before your start, you receive a map plotted with about ten "control points" (orange and white one-foot cubes generally hanging from trees) to go find in order. Sounds easy... until you get to Intersection 15 at Tahoe Donner with nine trails radiating outward.
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Blogs

  • Off Piste
  • A Ride For Life: Back to mountain biking after cancer

    On November 9, 2008 one of my favorite mountain biking partners called to say that he couldn't ride that day as he was dealing with a bad strep throat. It became so bad that two days later he went to see a doctor and by day's end had been given the news that he had stage three, rapidly advancing to stage four, throat cancer.
  • The Blender
  • Video From the WinterFest Music Stage

    If you were one of the several thousand folks who descended on the Old Mill District for last weekend's Bend WinterFest, you probably saw some of action below. Friday night featured a headlining set from Bend favorites, The Gourds, making for a packed stage as the skiers jammed the rail behind the crowd.
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  • The Wandering Eye
  • Get Oregon Out of the Booze Business

    There aren’t many things that The Bulletin’s editorial board and I agree on, but the Oregon Liquor Control Commission is one of them. In an editorial this morning, The Bulletin asks why the state’s legislators don’t take a long, hard look at reforming “the archaic and contradictory system” under which the OLCC both regulates the sale of booze and is in the business of selling it.
  • The Wandering Eye
  • Welcome to Slumburbia, Oregon

    New York Times columnist Tim Egan has written a piece that should be read – no, memorized – by every city councilor and other public official in Bend. Egan looks at Northern California’s San Joaquin Valley – a region he calls “Slumburbia” – and paints an ugly picture of the economic and human debris left behind by the receding tide of the real estate boom.

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