Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Excuse me, Dean Wormer. I totally disagree!

That's why I'm excited about GF PDX, to share our special way of life here in the Pacific NW!

But before the Spring term ends and June finally arrives, it's time to cram in as much IMPORTANT knowledge about Oregon as you can!

And how do we as Americans properly gather facts about history?

Movies, stupid. Movies.

I may not have gone to some fancy-pants Photo-J program in college. But I did attend COLLEGE at Animal House! (Do you Mizzou yahoos know how to Toga?? Didn't think so...)

Watching "Animal House" is a right of passage for all University of Oregon freshmen and fresh women before attending a single class. (Of course, some never watch it, and therefore skip class altogether...)

** A little trivia: When John Belushi was not on the set filming, he was listening to local blues legend Curtis Salgado jam. Belushi would join him on stage and that experience helped ignite his idea for The Blues Brothers. Read the complete backstory and download The Register-Guard clip.

Shouldn't The Blues Brothers have sung "Sweet Home, Eugene"??

Just sayin'.

Writer Ken Kesey lived in Oregon, so not only do some of his books take place in Oregon, the movies were filmed here as well: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) and "Sometimes a Great Notion" (1970).

My grandfather would tell stories of seeing Henry Fonda & Paul Newman on the Oregon coast during the filming of "Sometimes a Great Notion." I like to think that Fonda & Newman were telling stories to their peeps on the set about seeing my gramps, George Kangas, a true lumberjack, fisherman and American pioneer. (West Coast, holla!)

"The Shining" was filmed at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, as Jack made another pit stop in Oregon. Here's a photo "Aerial Bruce" made for the paper after a snowstorm last winter:

I tried to convince Bruce the other night as we played Scrabble that "Redrum" is a word. Maybe an ax-wielding Johnny would have had better luck.

Astoria on the coast is home to quite a few dorky flicks: "The Goonies," "Kindergarten Cop," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III," "Short Circuit" and the first and second installments of "Free Willy" and "The Ring."

Filmmaker Gus Van Sant is an Oregon transplant, so some of his happy-go-lucky films were made here, including "Drugstore Cowboy," "My Own Private Idaho" and "Elephant."

"Stand By Me" was filmed just north of Eugene in a small town called Brownsville. Let's just say that the 21st Century hasn't had much impact on Brownsville yet, so it's easy to feel like you're back in the 1950s when cruising around town.

I'm going to pretend that "Mr. Holland's Opus," "Benji: The Hunted," "The Postman" and "Body of Evidence" were filmed outside The Beaver State.

For more titles, including "Star Wars 5" (with scenes from my Hillsboro 'hood), check out this list people.

Monday, March 12, 2007

"Show me what you got, baby..."

At the end of our extended weekend in PDX, there will be a killer collection of work from each shooter that we'll present on Sunday.

Afterwards, it'll be posted online for all to admire and envy - especially those suckers too silly NOT to attend the greatest gathering this side of the Rhone River.

Check out the galleries from Chicago '06 & Austin '05. (Thanks to Gerik and Jen et al for their hard work behind the scenes of these online productions.)

"Hands up and wave... and wave... and wave...and wave..."

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Oh, PUCK!!

Only a few days (and months) late, LaBarge and I surprised Bruce with a belated wedding gift. After breaking into his house, we assembled the air hockey table in his basement office while he was busy at work.

The look of shock and bewilderment on Bruce's face when entering his office was simply priceless. Thanks to those that helped chip in for the gift!

After breaking it in by spanking me and LaBarge, Bruce told me:

"Tell those yahoos on your blog that we're having an air hockey tournament here at my place during Geekfest." (pending permission from The Mrs.)

As it stands now, Bruce is dialed in to speak Thursday night. Will confirm this later, but it'll likely be at his house, with brews, BBQ and air hockey. LaBarge lives next door, which is strategically perfect for occasions like this.

TBrown has already begun the trash talking, calling herself "practically a professional air hockey player!"

Beware, though. Bruce plays some stingy defense.

Puck on!

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Ghost of Geekfest Past & Leroy Brown

Last year in Chicago, Strazz dialed up a friend and fellow City 2000 shooter to speak to the GF class. His presentation about The Pocket, a neighborhood in the South Side of Chicago ("the baddest part of town") was killer.

I'm thinking about that this evening, seeing Jon Lowenstein's work once again - this time on the POYi site.

What a killer body of work. Loved it then as now. It was a winner without the award, but I'm glad that it will now receive even more exposure.

No pressure for those yahoos lined up to enlighten the masses at GF PDX. Just sayin'...