Fun

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Photos from Ohana Comic Con

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 at 8:43 PM

A large crowd of attendees wandered through a mix of vendors and featured artists at Ohana Comic Con. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • A large crowd of attendees wandered through a mix of vendors and featured artists at Ohana Comic Con.
A surprisingly large crowd of costumed cartoon, movie and anime fans (estimated between 800 and 1,000) filled the Sapphire Palace at the Blue Lake Casino and Hotel on Saturday for its first ever Ohana Comic Con. Organizers of the event used the Hawaiian word “ohana,” meaning “family,” to attract families. The cheap tickets (in contrast with big comic con events) also helped bring in a crowd.

The two-day event hosted two costume contests, a wide mix of vendor tables, special guest artists and a few local artists. Event organizers were surprised and pleased at the attendance and hinted at a return event next year. Check out the scene in the slideshow below.


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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Photos from Old Town Trick-or-Treat

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 7:34 PM

This young girl rocked maximum plumage with her beautiful peacock costume. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • This young girl rocked maximum plumage with her beautiful peacock costume.

Eureka's Old Town attracted a large costumed crowd of all ages at Saturday afternoon's annual Halloween event sponsored by Eureka Main Street. Children age 12 or younger accompanied by adults wandered among more than 80 participating stores, collecting bags of sugary goodies — or, in one case, a polished rock that also proved popular. Enjoy highlights from the fun in the slideshow below.

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Monday, October 29, 2018

This Thing On? Savage Henry Opens its Own Club

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 11:45 AM

The spotlight ready to hit stage at the Savage Henry Comedy Club. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The spotlight ready to hit stage at the Savage Henry Comedy Club.

Depending on how long you've been in Humboldt, you might remember when the space at 415 Fifth St. in Eureka was Live in Humboldt, the Empire Lounge or the Red Fox Tavern. And now it's reborn as the Savage Henry Comedy Club. While a couple of shows have already broken in the stage, a hodgepodge collection of chairs are lined up for a grand opening Friday night.

Savage Henry's Chris Durant, who co-founded Savage Henry Magazine in 2010 and started the sprawling annual comedy festival in 2011, says the club idea has "been on the back burner for about three years." Around May, it moved on to a serious to-do list that included a beer license application that's now only weeks and one form away from completion. Until that comes through, his hope is to have nonprofits pouring drinks at shows.


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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Zombies Shake/Drag a Leg

Posted By on Sat, Oct 27, 2018 at 12:29 PM

Jared Robinson and Anthony Quinn pose after the zombie flash mob invaded the Arcata Plaza on Oct. 25. - PHOTO BY MEGAN MARTIN
  • Photo by Megan Martin
  • Jared Robinson and Anthony Quinn pose after the zombie flash mob invaded the Arcata Plaza on Oct. 25.

A gray-faced, dead-eyed army of zombies from Sunny Brae Middle School sprang to after-life for some vintage choreography to Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" on Friday, Oct. 26 at Murphy’s Market in Sunny Brae. Then, while Vincent Price's cackle still echoed in the aisles, the undead dancers made their groaning way to the Arcata Plaza for an encore before slinking back to the cursed ground from which they rose. Enjoy Megan Martin's slideshow of their creepy moves below. Happy Halloween, everybody.


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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Off on a Tangent: An interview with Steven Wright

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 1:50 PM

Standup stalwart Steven Wright. - PHOTO BY JORGE RIOS, COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
  • Photo by Jorge Rios, courtesy of the artist
  • Standup stalwart Steven Wright.

If you don’t know his name, you know his visage and presence. His cadence and playful monotony have made him a stalwart of the standup comedy scene for nearly four decades. If you’ve somehow missed all of the last 40 years of standup, you likely still know him from any one of his multiple major motion picture cameos. Steven Wright started standup in Boston in 1978 at the age of 23. Now, at the age of 62, he still has the market cornered on the avant strange. On Sunday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m., Wright is bringing his must-see weirdness to the stage of The Arkley Center for the Performing Arts.

His style, though frequently emulated by newer comics like Demetri Martin, is unique in both its form and function. It’s not satire, not outright. And it’s not quite storytelling, either. His sets are almost like a series of absurd vignettes, loosely connected but flowing nevertheless. Like dreams but with the gift of extemporaneous reflection — Dali paintings with a punchline.

I had a brilliant list of insightful, well-researched questions to interview him, none of them canned, I swear. They were the perfect mix of casual professionalism, hilarity and my trademark remarkable modesty. This is something you’ll need to take my word for, as my over-prepared nerdery was no match for Wright’s curiosity.

As soon as I am done explaining just how far away Humboldt is from what non-locals refer to as “Northern California,” his voice filled with whimsy, “You live where the redwoods are!” Then, began an amazing slew of questions, not from me, but from Wright. Wright reacted to most of my answers with jocular laughs/giggles and exclamations of “Wow!” His tone was never condescending or elitist; he truly wanted to know everything he could about the odd life and history of Humboldt County. In particular, he was captivated by all aspects of the local ecology. “Nature is ... I love nature,” he says before he tells me about his own preference for a bucolic retreat: Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island. His brother owns land on the island and it’s a place of tranquility and beauty for Wright. I described Humboldt’s massive swaths of redwood rain forest, the breathtaking wonder of growing up surrounded by something so seemingly prehistoric.
When the conversation drifted toward inquiries about industry and culture (Wright’s ability to initiate tangents pales only in comparison to his ability to bring a conversation back around to its original point), he gently interrupted to say, “They didn’t cut down the redwoods did they?” I’m not sure if he actually Googled Julia Butterfly but he was thrilled to have a name to fit the description. “That must not be her real name, right?” Humboldt County, I told him. “Maybe I should spend a couple of days there. No, really, I mean it.”
He was insistent that he knew the word Humboldt from somewhere else but couldn’t place it. I gave him the obvious answer everyone from here is used to giving: Mary Jane.

“Oh, I forgot about pot,” he said with a chuckle. “Wait a minute, do you smoke weed?”
“I do.”
“Are you high right now?”
“No. I sorta wanted to be clearheaded, you know, nerves and professionalism and all.”
“Could you call me back when you’re high?” Then his brain opened another tangential tributary, “We could do two different interviews. Wouldn’t that be fascinating!” Though Wright used the words “surreal,” “insane” and “weird” as self description, I really think he should add “fascinated” to the list.
It didn’t take long to realize that second to his love of nature, Wright is extremely literary. His love of the surreal extends to books, which is evident in his taste and his own writing.

When asked why he became a comic and not a writer, his answer is quick and concise. At 16 years old, he’d watch the comics on Carson every night, then watch them head over to the couch after their sets. From the ages of 16-18 he spent every Sunday night listening to a local Massachusetts radio show that would play two comedy albums back-to-back. “I just got it in my head that this what I was going to do.”

Technically, all of this did answer my first hard-hitting question, “Have you ever been to Humboldt County?” But nearly an hour went by before I got around to asking my gotcha-follow-up: How come you don’t Twitter anymore?

Wright says he stopped tweeting because “jokes are a live thing.” This is a fairly standard response from people who have left the anxious whirlwind that is social media. From Wright, though, there’s an earnest truthfulness in the statement. In the hour-plus that Wright and I spent talking, we covered everything from the fall of the major timber industry in Humboldt, the first time we both saw a surrealist painting, the etymology of our middle names and so much more random information. Human interaction and a larger understanding of everyone’s experiences were a driving force of our conversation. And those are rare qualities these days.

It’s reason enough to take a break from the mundane coldness of reality and dip your toes into the waking-dream world of Steven Wright.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hayrides and Apple Harvest at Clendenen's

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 4:07 PM

A tractor-pulled hayride through Clendenen's apple orchard. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • A tractor-pulled hayride through Clendenen's apple orchard.

Bushels of fun were had this past weekend at Fortuna's annual Apple Harvest Festival. Locals and visitors alike enjoyed pies and cider, a street fair, arts and craft vendors and live music throughout the weekend. And down at Clendenen's Cider Works, apple-cheeked kids and adults alike sampled pressed cider and climbed aboard hayrides through the orchard. Photographer Mark McKenna captured some highlights from Sunday's festivities in the slideshow below. Savor the sweetness at your leisure.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tattoos and Suspension: Photos from the Native Ink Expo

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 8:15 AM

Nahaan (left), of Seattle, focuses on the design style of Northwest Pacific Coast practices, designs and customs of ceremonial tattooing. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Nahaan (left), of Seattle, focuses on the design style of Northwest Pacific Coast practices, designs and customs of ceremonial tattooing.

Needing a break from the North Country Fair late Saturday afternoon and looking for an opportunity to renew my interest in our daughter's profession as a tattoo artist, I headed south to the first (promising to be annual) Native Ink Tattoo Expo event at the Bear River Casino Resort. The event ran Friday through Sunday.

The all-ages tattoo expo in the large rec center building hosted a few local and several national tattoo artists who were busy with bookings on Saturday, along with a few cannabis-related, art and clothing vendors. See the slideshow below for highlights of the day.

I was distracted from looking at tattoo flash and a few examples of "Native ink" by watching the Captain's Side Show and the new-to-me aerial-suspensions performances — a form of body modification that involves hanging a human body by hooks attached to ropes that is considered a therapeutic experience by some. (Warning: While not bloody, images of suspension, which appear at the end of the slideshow, freak some folks out.)

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Re-Cap of Ladies Hat Day

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 1:27 PM

Ferndale native son Guy Fieri was on hand Saturday to present the Grand Prize and trophy to team "A Slice of Family, Friendshp and Fun at the Races." - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Ferndale native son Guy Fieri was on hand Saturday to present the Grand Prize and trophy to team "A Slice of Family, Friendshp and Fun at the Races."

The seventh annual Ladies Hat Day at the Races at the Humboldt County Fair on Saturday attracted more than 100 glamorous, outrageous and funny competitors for some big prizes for their hat creations. See some of the feats of fashion in the slideshow below.

Ladies Hat Day "Hatagories" included Most Glamorous, Best Racing Theme, Funniest or Most Outrageous, and Best Couple or Group. A Grand Prize winner and Runner Up were chosen from any of the four "Hatagories."


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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Photos from the 56th Klamath Salmon Festival

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2018 at 7:06 PM

In a Gensaw family tradition, Sam and Donovan Gensaw helped their grandfather Danny Gensaw cook fresh salmon over an open fire for the Salmon Festival. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • In a Gensaw family tradition, Sam and Donovan Gensaw helped their grandfather Danny Gensaw cook fresh salmon over an open fire for the Salmon Festival.

The tasty smell of fresh Klamath River salmon cooking the traditional way over an open fire mingled with the tangy smell of smoke from wildfires at the Yurok Tribe's 56th annual Klamath Salmon Festival on Sunday. The Yurok tribe had canceled serving salmon in 2016 and 2017 due to low fish runs.

The event's annual parade featured two grand marshals who are military veterans, Joe Pitt (89) of Klamath, and Irving Wilder, of Weitchpec.

In a new addition to Sunday's usual family fun, live music, car show and a wide array of vendors and information booths, seven expert traditional basket weavers from different local tribes worked in a tent area filled with different types of ceremonial regalia, basketry and other cultural objects. See the slideshow below for highlights.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Cruising Down Memory Lane

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2018 at 3:48 PM

Josua DeGraw's 1966 Class 2B blue Mustang glistens in the sun on Main Street on July 28 at the Fortuna Redwood AutoXpo. - PHOTO BY MEGAN BENDER
  • Photo by Megan Bender
  • Josua DeGraw's 1966 Class 2B blue Mustang glistens in the sun on Main Street on July 28 at the Fortuna Redwood AutoXpo.

For three days at to the end of the July, car enthusiasts load up and cruise down to Fortuna, driving classics rich with heritage. Driver’s come from as close as Blue Lake and as far as Santa Rosa, Oregon and beyond to show off their wheels at the 29th Annual Fortuna Redwood AutoXpo. Check out the slide show below for a few beauties.

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