Saint Nick Loves Ooligan, Do You?

My family fled from the bitter cold winters the Midwest never fails to deliver. Home is now the Pacific Northwest, but if you’re not from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a short explanation you’ll need to construe: just “who is this Saint Nick?” and “what does he do?”

We hung our stockings; we were snug in our beds. Saint Nick slyly came by, but we didn’t lift our stiff heads. Saint Nicholas is remembered and honored December 6 for always providing necessary gifts. The story goes that when in need, Saint Nicholas would appear and toss bags—a good deed! Through the window bags flew with goodies and gold, right into the shoes or stockings with holes. They’d be hung by the fire, drying that night when good ol’ Saint Nicholas came by without sight. He’d slip in and slip out never to be caught for giving the gifts it was thought you could not. So be sure in the future, to leave your good shoes or stockings or socks—whatever you choose. Saint Nick might come by if you’re in need of a book. I hear he’s quite fond of the Ooligan nook.

Now a classic story, I’m sure you’ve all heard: “The Night Before Christmas” rings in our ears. But do you know each line or phrase or dashing reindeer?

How well do you actually know “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore?

Literary Love is in the Air!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Are you ready? Whether you are spending it with a date or looking for new love, there is one type of place that you are guaranteed to have a good time: your local bookstore. Bookstores are fantastic for dates. You never lack for conversation when surrounded by thousands of stories. If you are single, you can go to your favorite section and find someone interesting to talk to or something fantastic to read. Be sure to grab a copy of your favorite book so you have an automatic icebreaker. Whether it is a book or a person, the love of your life could be waiting among the shelves between Jane Austen and Tony Wolk.
Now that I have all of you excited to spend the 14th at a bookstore, let us take a look at some of the wonderful bookstores you could go to here in Portland.
The first Portland bookstore most people think of is Powell’s Books. This is an excellent place for a date. Not only can you stop by the cafe for a lovely little snack, there are near-endless ways to enjoy yourself. Try going on a tour of the rooms and seeing what—or who—you find there. You and your potential date could even take in an event that night. Author Nick Flynn will be doing a reading of his book “The Reenactments” at 7:30 p.m. at Powell’s Burnside location and with local author and screenwriter John Raymond joining the conversation, it promises to be a fun evening.
One of Portland’s hidden gems is Bingo Used Books. Located on Powell Boulevard. From the outside, Bingo looks unassuming. Its signs are small, and if you are not looking for it, you may miss it. This store is pure magic inside. It is easy to get lost in Bingo’s organized chaos, and even easier to find something you did not know you were looking for. You and your date could easily wander this store for hours finding amazing books, and the labyrinthine shelves offer countless places to steal a kiss.
Annie Bloom’s Books is a fantastic bookstore in southwest Portland’s Multnomah Village with a focus on local authors. The store is a warm and inviting place with towers of books and comfortable chairs that are begging for people to curl up and enjoy a good book in. The friendly staff, regulars, and store cat all make this a wonderful place to spend time. If you are going out on a date or looking for a way to spend this holiday on your own, Annie Bloom’s is a great place to go.
Wherever you end up this Valentine’s Day, let books be involved. Books are sexy. If anyone doubts this, just find a copy of John Keats poems and read them “Bright Star”. I promise it will change their minds. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Resolution Solutions!

By Rebekah Hunt
It’s that time of year again! The time of year when most people observe the age-old tradition of setting untenable goals for themselves based on a ceremonial date marking the change of the year according to an arbitrary calendar, while everyone else observes the only slightly less age-old tradition of writing articles on the internet about how New Year’s resolutions are meaningless because they involve setting untenable goals based on a ceremonial date marking the change of the year according to an arbitrary calendar.
Why bother addressing such a seemingly trite subject? Because what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t try to cram one more article about New Year’s resolutions into the already over-capacity market!
If popular opinion is to be believed, the major problem inherent in New Year’s resolutions is that once you make one, it’s bound to fail. If this is true, I would like to propose some possible New Year’s resolutions you can make that will help you defeat this chronological conundrum and succeed in the New Year.
1. Resolve to read less.
The benefits to this resolution are two-fold. First, if New Year’s resolutions are bound to fail, you can only gain from failing at this one. Perhaps more importantly, this resolution gives you carte blanche to ignore emails, text messages, and Facebook posts from your friends about what they had for lunch and from your grandmother about the top ten things that prove Obama is a radical socialist and probably eats babies when no one is looking.
2. Resolve to write less.
This resolution contains the same benefits as the previous one, with the added bonus that if you fail, you might end up finally finishing your novel by the end of this year and if you succeed, you’ll likely end up involved in far fewer protracted flame-wars with your conservative Facebook friends. Everyone wins!
3. Resolve to spend way more time on the internet.
Much like the first two, if you fail at this one, you’ll probably be better off for it. Maybe you’ll even develop a healthy tan and stop sweating and panting while you eat. If you succeed, however, there is always a chance that you’ll wind up going viral on Twitter, gathering thousands of followers, and getting a book deal that will be spun off into a sitcom thus securing you celebrity status, millions of adoring fans, and a massive fortune. Can you afford not to take that chance? No you cannot.
4. Resolve to fully dismantle your nuclear arsenal by the end of the year.
The major benefit of this one is that, unless you happen to be attending PSU and are also a major world power/bellicose rogue state looking to be taken seriously at the UN, you don’t have a nuclear arsenal anyway, so it’s literally impossible to fail at this one. Also, if you tell your neighbors about your resolution they will probably stop letting their dog make bathrooms on your lawn, just in case.
I hope that you find these suggestions helpful and I sincerely wish you all luck and success in the coming year. If you try any of my resolution solutions and they work for you, don’t you dare tell anyone you got the idea from me, because I’ll deny it. WE NEVER MET, GOT IT? Happy New Year!