Sunday, January 31, 2010

From the Archieve: Sycronized Stilting

This was published in Issue 38.1 of the Communicator

this photo was taken by me

On Tuesday, October 3rd, in front of the library, SFCC staff and students were treated to an amazing performance by the physical theater group known as the Carpetbag Brigade, from their show Mudfire. That evening, in the Music Auditorium, they also performed their show The Vanishing Point.

Known for the combining use of physical theater and poetic imagery, the Carpetbag Brigade was founded in Arizona in the year 1998 by Jay Ruby; co-director. According to their website, the company is comprised of core performers including Kristen Greco; co-director, Anson Smith; demi-urge, Elizabeth Castenada, Melissa Castenada, Risa Dye, Calder McCutcheon, Breonna Noack, and Benjamin Turner.

It’s kind of a mission, a lifestyle, and a calling,” said Jay Ruby, “which doesn’t mean I enjoy it all the time, but it’s important for people to experience theater together. Part of the reason I do it, is because of the web of relationships it creates.”

The company has also collaborated with local Arizona musicians, who have also participated in the shows. 

In 2001, the company learned stilt work from David Clarkson; the founder/director of Australia's Stalker Theater Company.

 “Enthralling, challenging, and inspiring,” said Kristen Greco.

]In 2002 Mudfire began as an early product of one of Clarkson's workshops. Mudfire is a dramatic portrayal of the relationship between men, gods, and other aspects of life, with the passionate element of fire. Through the interpretation of breathtaking stunts and elegant motions, the artists go through a variety of stages ranging from the beginning of time to the rebirth of a tree.

The Carpetbag Brigade’s other show, The Vanishing Point, is a performance using stilt work, poetic characterization, dance, and physical theater that tells the birth, the maturing, and the death of human nature.

In 2004, the Carpetbag Brigade launched its first tour of Mudfire, performing across the western coast of North America. In their 2005 tour, they gained some international exposure, as they brought Mudfire and The Vanishing Point shows to a couple of festivals in Colombia.

Columbia is amazing,” said Ruby,” It has a vibrate theatrical culture.”

After it was over, fans applauded the company for their marvelous performance (on and off stage)

It was exciting,” said Gus Morris, a student at SFCC,” I want to do it.”

Best act on campus in a long time,” said Steve Navratil, media services.

With their 2006 summer tour finished, the Carpetbag Brigade will be taking the next few months off to polish up on their routine and skills. In 2007, they will premier Part II of the Vanishing Point entitled “The Horizon’s Lullaby.”

Saturday, January 30, 2010

From the Archive "Marvel Ultimate Alliance"

my main team consisting of Spider-man, Wolverine, Daredevil, and Storm (McAvengers)

Ever wonder what it would be like to walk the Fantastic Four through the halls of Asgard? How about leading the Avengers against Galactus? Or uniting Spiderman, Ghost Rider, Blade, and Dr. Strange, against Doctor Doom?

This may sound like something that could only happen in the comic books, but Activision (the makers of X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse), has released Marvel: Ultimate Alliance for many home consoles, including PS2, X-Box, and X-Box 360. It is also available for handheld consoles like the PSP and Nintendeo DS, as well as the next generation consoles.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is a Multiplayer Role Playing Game where players lead a team of four superheroes against the forces of the Masters of Evil led by Doctor Doom. Players can choose from twenty characters, each one with their own unique abilities.

Throughout the game, the heroes will travel to different areas while crossing paths with heroes who act as non-playable characters, giving valuable information throughout the game. Depending on the choices they make and the missions they complete, players can alter the course of the Marvel Universe by saving the world from Doom's forces, or perhaps adding to its destruction.

According to the Ultimate Alliance official website, players can use the universal upgrade system to customize their entire team or customize each member of their squadron to help them achieve the full potentianal of their powers. Players can even create a name and a logo for their customized team.

If gamers decide that they don’t want to create a team, they can go online and interact with other Ultimate Alliance players from around the world.

With its similar game play to X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II, Ultimate Alliance features airborne and water based combat. Explosive environments, special items to enhance a hero’s powers, and comic book based missions for different heroes are also elements gamers will enjoy.

While the game play and special customization help the player get into the game, the voice overs and the detailed backgrounds elevates the atmosphere of Marvel's newest game. Voice actors like Steven Jay Blum (Samurai Champloo), Cam Clarke (Metal Gear Solid), and Phil LaMarr (Justice League Unlimited) have given their vocal talent to help bring to life many of Marvel Comics’ most famous heroes.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is a game for Marvel and RPG fans alike. It allows players to create a dream team of their favorite heroes, explore the boundaries of Marvel Universe, and face off against its most powerful villains.

Friday, January 29, 2010

"That was for you baby!"

I am someone who tries to not to look back at high school that much. Not because I hated the experience, but because I don't think I have many interesting stories from high school.

Whether or not every high school graduate enjoyed their last four years of K-12 education, they still had a moment or two where they did something and everyone responded with a "Oh my god, I can not believe he did that."

For me that moment came in sophomore year on the last wrestling match of the regular season against North Central (NC).

With only one-year wrestling experience, I was put on the JV squad, which was being generous in my opinion.  My wrestling abilities were mediocre.  Wrestling at 119 (yes I used to be that skinny) at the JV level came at a disadvantage because many of the other schools didn't have many 119 guys at my level, so going into the last match, I had a season record of 1 win and 5 losses.

Despite these factors, I came into my match a little mentally prepared.  One thing our coach M. Miethe told us, was NC was notorious for a maneuver called the stall ride, which is where they would lay flat on their back, hoping their opponent up top would fumble and make a mistake, then counter on that mistake and get the pin, or at least escape from the ground.

I also came into this with a boost in confidence, because the JV cheer leading squad, had made signs for each of the wrestlers.  My sign came from my friend Kristine Leffler (now Leffler-Steele).

It was a cheap paper sign with "Good Luck Allen" written in purple and yellow markers, with hand-drawn stars along the edges.

My opponent going into the match was Shawn Wright and within the opening seconds of the match, I took him down and scored two points.  As I was keeping control of the top, Wright reverted to the Stall ride while I slid back and forth and keeping him on the mat. The second and third rounds consisted of me keeping Wright on the mat, with the exception of the closing seconds of the second round when his left elbow met my right eye, and in the third round, where he was able to escape for six seconds, only for me to take him down once again. Without thinking, I pointed to Leffler and shouted," That was for you baby!"

The reaction from both sides of the mat, including the audience was a mixture of astonishment and hilarity. Part of me hoped Leffler wasn't too embarrassed, but a part of me felt proud.

The next two weeks were filled jokes about "Stover having cheerleaders going in and out of his room" and "That was for you!" by my friends and teammates...

Off the top of your head What were some your moments where you threw caution to the wind? Was it in high school, or college?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SCC program prepares students for professional kitchens

photo by Britney Locati

The smell of fresh coffee hits the air, culinary arts students dressed in white coats and four-way aprons, run around the dimly lit Orlando's restaurant lobby, serving plates of beef ribs, seasoned with dark beer and spices.

The students working the restaurant lobby are just some of the students enrolled in the SCC Inland Northwest Culinary Academy's (INCA) two-year Culinary Arts degree program...

To read the rest of the story, visit the link below to the Communicator website.

SCC program prepares students for professional kitchens

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2009 Red Nations powwow

This is the 2009 Red Nations powwow piece I collaborated with the lovely Wendy Gaskill (who narrates) and Melissa Kent.

2009 Red Nations Powwow from Sfcc Communicator on Vimeo.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My 225 audio piece: Christina Ervin short interview

This is my first audio piece for my 225 class. A couple of notes:

1) Caution: Christina talks really really fast.

2) The audio in the middle kind of spikes, so if you have the audio up all the way, I would turn it down.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bar Hopping, then and now

In the past several of months, the group of friends that I have grown accustomed to hanging out with (whom I sometimes refer to as "The Knights" or the "Kennewick Crew") have all turned 21. 

First it my friend B.J., whose post birthday celebration is best remembered with gallon pitchers and walks around the block.  Then there was Cory's, whose birthday didn't involve much alcohol, but that's just how Cory is.  Next came Dave, whose birthday took the theme "White on White".  Then there was Brandon, a.k.a. Thirsty Pete.

They have experienced the initial joys of going out, spinning the wheel, killing kegs, eating sushi at Raw, and strong mixed drinks from the bartender at Heroes and Legends.

In the midst of these rites of passages, along with the idea that I am turning 25 years old in March (something I am kind of struggling with) I reflect back on my first days of going to the bar.  All I can say is that these guys had much more fun at the bar their first time than I ever did.

On my 21st birthday, I went out with my close friends Jeff and Tom.  We brought along this guy Nate, who had only worked with us for the last few months at McDonalds.  I had also tried to bring my boss Bruce along for the ride, but he declined, then added," You be careful Big Al." 

My first round of drinks and bar encounters came from the Swinging Doors.  Two pitchers of PBR and two games of pool, both of which I got my ass handed to me.

The next few bars we hit were in the downtown area.  Mainly dive bars where the regulars who had the appearance of homeless men and the suave and tact of a seventeen year old whenever a pretty girl was near.

The drinks consisted of glasses of PBR and round after round of Spiderbites. Perhaps the most memorable moment (other than Nate meeting someone from one of the most botched drug deals on the South Hill) was the birthday shot I got at Mootsy's.  It was Wild Turkey.

Although my first days of bar hopping were not the best, I have some "moments", both good and bad at the bar.  Good as in being able to successfully do a  Muff Diver after several drinks on my 23rd birthday.  Bad, as in being abandoned at the Top Hat after some of my friends almost got into a fight (a couple of them went to jail while my friend Brian had a gun pulled on him). 

One thing I have learned is that going to the bar by yourself is no fun, mainly because it made me feel like an outsider.  The only times I ever did was to watch UFC.  A $15 dollar meal, two beers, and free soda vs. paying $45 dollars for a pay per view was nice.  Plus whenever I brought a notebook with me, it kind of sparked people's curiosity. 

In the last six months, I've cut the barhopping for a number of reasons.  The cost of going out, the fact that they don't show UFC anymore, and beer pong have all played a factor. Don't get me wrong, going to the bar is fun if one of three things are happening:

A) It's your birthday, which means you don't have to pay for drinks
B) If there's a band you like that is playing, or a special event going on
C) Football!

As I've gotten older, I've learned that as long as you have good friends with you, it doesn't really matter where you are.  You're still going to have a good time no matter what.


Off the Top of Your Head?

Do you prefer going out on the town with friends? 


Do you prefer kicking it at your place or at a friend's?


The Swinging Doors.  Always a fun place to visit and eat

The Satellite Diner.  One of the best places to eat in town and it's pretty much open all hours

The Official website of the Golden Globe Award Winning movie: The Hangover

* As always, check out the SFCC Communicator website for the latest updates

* You can reach me by email at

Rage in the cage

photo by Jarad Alexander

The gymnasium smelled of sweat and pizza as fans filled the bleachers and seats surrounding the six-sided cage. On the opposite side of the room, 22 competitors were preparing themselves for battle.

Northwest Fighting presented Spokane Showdown 18. The event took place on Nov. 7 at the East Central Community Center. The event featured 11 mixed martial arts bouts in front of an audience of all ages...

To read the rest of the story, visit the link below to the Communicator website. And be sure to check out the rest of the website.

Rage in the cage

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Predictions for Fight Night: Diaz vs. Maynard

Main Card

Lightweight bout: United States Gray Maynard vs. United States Nate Diaz

Diaz def. Maynard by majority decision

Lightweight bout: Mexico Efrain Escudero vs. United States Evan Dunham

Escudero def. Dunham by submission

Middleweight bout: United States Tom Lawlor vs. United States Aaron Simpson

Simpson def. Lawlor by TKO

Welterweight bout: United States Amir Sadollah vs. United States Brad Blackburn

Sadollah def. Blackburn by Majority Decision

Preliminary Card

Middleweight bout: United States Chris Leben vs. Brazil Jay Silva

Silva def. Leben by Knock-Out

Welterweight bout: United States Rick Story vs. United States Jesse Lennox

Lennox def. Story by TKO

Lightweight bout: Brazil Thiago Tavares vs. United States Nik Lentz

Lentz def. Tavares by Majority decision

Welterweight bout: United States Mike Guymon vs. Canada Rory MacDonald

Guymon def. by Majority Decision

Lightweight bout: United States Kyle Bradley vs. Brazil Rafael dos Anjos

 dos Anjos def. Bradley by Submission

Middleweight bout: United States Gerald Harris vs. United States John Salter

Salter def. Harris by Majority Decision

Middleweight bout: United States Nick Catone vs. United States Jesse Forbes

Forbes def. Catone by TKO

Off the top of your head What were your predictions for this fight card?  What MMA fight are you looking forward to in upcoming months?

For more information on Fight Night check out the official UFC website:

As always make sure you check out the Communicator websites which has undergone some changes this quarter.
SFCC Communicator website

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A fresh start

This quarter marks my 7th with the SFCC Communicator and once again I am a section editor. This time it is for the Flavors (Food and Drink) section of the paper. To say that I am a little excited is a bit of an understatement. I am ecstatic, not only because I get to preside over a section and help develop my design skills, but also because I feel like things are coming full circle.

Last year I was the Sports/Sidelines Editor for the first two quarters and then decided to give the reigns of to someone else. The person who I thought was originally going to take over my position ended up not doing it, mostly but I think was my fault, but I find it better not to ask those kind of questions and just move on. So Sidelines was taken over by one whom we all affectionately refer to as Breezy. I was her only writer, and while we survived the quarter, I felt less satisfied, not because of anything Breezy did. She was fantastic. It was because of my selfishness and my desire to "stand out" that caused my writing and my reputation to suffer.

Summer of 2009 was a bit of a fresh start for me. After passing perhaps two of the hardest classes I had taken at that time (Math 99 and Journalism 224) I was filled with new confidence and new self esteem. I had also undergone some living changes, which also helped towards this fresh start. I had also spent the Summer planning out different aspects of the Fantasy world that I am creating. Although I had only produced a few stories over those few months, I felt refreshed for the quarter.

When it came to rejoin the Communicator, I made sure to tone things down and not try to be that goofy guy in class and focused on what stories I would be writing. We have one of those guys already, and he ended up being my section editor.

One thing I feel I had wished I had done more that quarter was to take more of an interest in the new writers coming in. I kind of wished I had helped them a little bit more. And yet, when I look back at that quarter, I found myself rolling my eyes, not because of the issues that Hil, Sarah, and Madison had to address. It was the questions that were never asked by the new writers. It was also the questions that were asked, but were answered at the beginning of the quarter. Of course those people who weren't paying attention are gone and its a brand new day.

The stories I got to write that quarter were some of my best. I profiled people and classes who weren't profiled in the past, which included SFCC's Othotics and Prosthetics program, a student veteran, and a new club who went through the process of becoming an official campus club. I even got to cover a mixed martial arts event that included a title change and a girl fight.

At the risk of ending on a cliche note, I will say that while this quarter brings new challenges (I am asking myself "how does one go about writing food and drink) I will put my best foot foward, put on my game face, and work with my writers and hopefully produce some kick-ass work in the Flavors section this quarter.

Off the top of your head :

  • While perusing a career, a goal, a dream, did you ever find yourself in a hard place? Were you able to get out of that place? What steps did you take to get back that drive and how did iteventually work out?

Here are a couple of links to the stories on the Communicator website

My Orthotics and Prosthetics piece "Helping Hands"

Joseph Engle's "Last Call" one of my favorite stories to come out of last quarter

Past Issues of the Communicator.

Make sure you check out the rest of the Communicator website as it constantly updates and changes.

email me at