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TOME RAIDER: Q&A with Amanda Boyden


News


How do you get New Orleans down on paper? One might as well ask, with the nuns at Nomberg Abbey, how do you find a cloud and pin it down? In real life, it takes twin catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina and the fa...   More
 
Sunday, August 17, 2008 by JOHN MINERVINI

Hutt's Tomb: Clone Wars Reviewed


News
Perhaps seeking a more receptive audience for his odious droid humor, George Lucas has finally made Star Wars a kids' movie. Don't look so hurt; that time is long past. I cried for The Phantom Menace – what a mess – but Clone Wars was ...   More
 
Friday, August 15, 2008 by JOHN MINERVINI

TOME RAIDER: Babylon Rolling


News


Every Sunday, WW writer John Minervini brings you the latest in book reviews, author Q&A's and Portland literary gossip. Click here to join the Tome Raider mailing list.
Six-Word Summary: ...   More
 
Sunday, August 10, 2008 by JOHN MINERVINI

UPDATED WITH VIDEO: The view from the water at Portland Flugtag 2008


News


By now you've heard that over 80,000 people gathered this Saturday on the banks of the Willamette River to watch Red Bull Flugtag. And those 80,000 souls witnessed some impressive feats of gravity. One after another, outsized roller skates, Chinese Dragons and hand grenades plummeted unceremoniously into the murky water. (Click here to learn more about the event.)

Photos by WW's Jennifer Newsted:


But most people missed the real show—by which I mean, of course, the outlandish spectators themselves. Particularly those who had chosen to come in boats.
[vimeo 1472288]
Yes, the view from the water was really something. Far off in the distance, there was a 25-foot platform printed with gigantic corporate insignias. From time to time, smallish specks would drop from the platform, pushed or pulled by tiny dots, presumably people.

I've heard that there were several loudspeakers in Tom McCall Park, designed to provide running commentary on the specks and the dots. But all that was completely inaudible on the water, drowned out by copious amounts of butt rock emanating from boat speakers. Lynyrd Skynrd, Quiet Riot, Twiztid Sister. The excitement of a more or less successful flying machine was nothing next to the visceral thrill of the Guns ‘n' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine."

Like the groundhog, boat owners gingerly tested to see whether the winter had in fact ended. Removing their shirts, they measured the extent to which their seasonal bellies had receded, often with disappointing results. This, of course, merely corroborates the old saying (with apologies to General MacArthur): old bellies never die, they just sprout hair.

But really, what is Flugtag, if not an excuse to debut your brimming breadbasket? Less appealing were those who voluntarily dipped their pale paunch into the river's dubious depths. Despite the fact that the Willamette has recently been shown to contain more than a little dookie, many hirsute revelers chased foam footballs right off the decks of their ski boats and into the waiting arms of fecal coliforms. Why not? It's the most fun you'll ever have with facultatively-anaerobic, rod-shaped, gram-negative, non-sporulating bacteria.

But the day was not without its enticements. Perhaps fifty feet from where WW's canoes were parked, a houseboat boasted three generations of comely country women, all dancing on the same roof. PBR's in hand, they barely noticed the commotion on the riverbank, preferring instead to wag their sunburnt bikini bottoms to the tune of Toby Keith's “Beer for my Horses.” Did you know that “Flugtag” actually means “Nascar Tattoo” in German?

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008 by JOHN MINERVINI

Brendan Fraser Gets Old Fast: The Mummy Reviewed


News
Forget the tree falling in the forest. If two undead armies—both CGI—decimate one another in the middle of the Chinese desert, has anything actually happened? Does anyone care? Those are questions prompted by this week's The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor<...   More
 
Sunday, August 3, 2008 by JOHN MINERVINI

TOME RAIDER: Q&A with Jonathan Evison


News


Every Sunday, WW writer John Minervini brings you the latest in book reviews, author Q&A's and Portland literary gossip. Click here to join the Tome Raider mailing list.
Q&A with Al...   More
 
Sunday, August 3, 2008 by JOHN MINERVINI

TOME RAIDER: All About Lulu


News


Every Sunday, WW writer John Minervini brings you the latest in book reviews, author Q&A's and Portland literary gossip. Click here to join the Tome Raider mailing list.

Six...   More
 
Sunday, July 27, 2008 by JOHN MINERVINI

TOME RAIDER: The Rules of Deception


News


Each Sunday, WW writer John Minervini will bring you the latest in book reviews, author Q&A's, and Portland literary gossip.

Six-word Summary: Heroic Doc, Loaded Glock, Ticking Clock

Viva beach reading! Thank...   More
 
Sunday, July 20, 2008 by JOHN MINERVINI

Lean, Mean Meat-Free Machine

Portlander Robert Cheeke is the face of vegan bodybuilding.


News Stories
“Posing in car windows is the best.” As he says it, Robert Cheeke scrutinizes his 17-inch biceps in the passenger window of a maroon Oldsmobile Cutlass parked on a sunny stretch of Northwe ...   More
 
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 JOHN MINERVINI

David Wroblewski, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

It’s like Hamlet, but with puppies.


Books
Let’s stop rewriting Hamlet. It’s a great play, but it’s done now. It was written; now it’s read or performed. Rewriting it is like reheating leftovers: Mainly you just think a ...   More
 
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 JOHN MINERVINI
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