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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is Restore America in Financial Trouble?

Posted by Amy J. Ruiz on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 8:39 PM

I know something's up when I only get one email from Restore America--the right wing, conservative Christian, anti-gay group who's head, David Crowe, currently resides in Tennessee. They're the folks behind the failed (and currently on appeal in federal court) effort to shove the domestic partnership and non-discrimination laws to the ballot.

See, Crowe apparently has two email lists. The one he hasn't scrubbed of media folks--there, I'm subscribed with my Mercury email address--and the one that he thinks is just his true followers. Usually, everything he sends out, like Sunday sermons, goes out to both lists.

Tonight, I got an email to the true followers list (which, obviously, has folks in there who aren't). It's panicky, and paints a picture of an organization that's extremely low on cash. Emphasis his...

Restore America exists to mobilize the millions upon millions of professed evangelicals to get up off their posteriors, REGISTER to VOTE, and VOTE!

There has never in my lifetime been a more important election to determine the future of America.

But I need your help! I cannot do this by myself with a few volunteers. We have less than $4000 in our bank account to:

1. Continue functioning as a ministry and pay our bills
2. Prepare, print, and mail the Value Your Vote, Vote Your Values Campaign information and challenge to 2000 Bible believing, God honoring Oregon churches this month and twice again before the election
3. Meet payroll and expenses
4. Expand our email reach

We need $50,000 more to serve all Oregonians, register and turn out the Christian VOTE, and restore the legislature to sanity in the face of what will happen in 2009.

When I KNOW that whoever is elected President will determine who is nominated to the Supreme Court and that those nominations will determine the nations future policy on abortion, homosexual intolerance, marriage, family, morality, freedom of speech and association, the law, and more, I shudder when I contemplate the possibility that Christians will continue to refuse to be good citizens on behalf of their children and neighbors.

Back in April, Crowe sent a similarly the-sky-is-falling note, chastising his flock: "Of the 8,000 Oregonians on this email list, only 40 have made contributions toward our efforts, totaling $4,385.00. That is not enough."

And that was when Crowe was raising money for the petition drive. This time, he's asking for payroll and marketing funds. I have a hard time believing his "Bible believing, God honoring" followers are going to open up their wallets to the tune of $50K for that.

Clowns & Cars: Last Thursday Dispatch

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 8:20 PM

With buses rerouted and volunteers on hand to hold "No Cars" posters, Last Thursday was set tonight to make a grassroots attempt at shutting down the street and making the event car free.

So far, the night's meeting with mixed results.

"A lot of people have been saying, 'I live here!'" laughed this guy, the first line of the anti-car poster defense which occupied the sidelines of intersections at the top and bottom of the Last Thursday stretch. Five cars rolled past him in the minute I spent talking to him. He thought the problem might be his sign, which doesn't hold a candle to official city barricades. "It doesn't look legitimate," he said, "They're probably thinking, 'He's going to turn it over and start asking for money or something.'"

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I ran into neighborhood activist Magnus Johannesson -- the man behind last month's hour-long blockade of the street with two painted junker cars -- outside the Star-E Rose Coffeeshop on 24th and Alberta, where he was watching a clown change the tire on his tall bike. Johannesson beckoned for me to join him in the back seat of a pedi-cab while he rode up Alberta to evaluate the scene. "People aren't getting in the streets," he groaned as we rolled past art-walkers who squeezed onto the sidewalks instead of taking over the street. Shutting down Alberta effectively hinges on the assumption that bikers and pedestrians will start walking in the street, making driving a car through the crowd an unsavory idea.

All along Alberta, only a couple cars and bikers moved down an almost-empty street while people remained packed on sidewalks. By 7:30 things were picking up, though. The street looks ready for walking, and the carfree crowd is hoping bigger crowds will push onto the pavement as the sun begins to set.

In the mean time, please enjoy this picture of an adorable tiny boy playing a man-size banjo on the corner of 30th and Alberta:
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John Carpenter's The Thing... Now with G.I. Joes!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 3:41 PM

At first blush, you may say to yourself, "You know... I don't really NEED a recreation of John Carpenter's The Thing as reenacted by G.I. Joes." However, you'd be WRONG! Check out this very awesome and beautifully made music video for Zombie Zombie (whose highly danceable music is sooooo right at home in a John Carpenter flick)!

Let's Keep Non-Humans Out of Our Bathrooms.

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 3:40 PM

This is Neill Blomkamp's Alive in Joburg. It is one of my favorite short films.

I've blogged about Blomkamp before, back when he was tapped to do some work on the mega-popular Halo franchise. (Back then, then-exec producer Peter Jackson hired Blomkamp to direct the ill-fated Halo movie, and when that went to shit--causing many a geek tear to be shed onto many a Star Wars pillowcase--Blomkamp ended up making some commercials for the Halo 3 game.)

Word broke late last year that Blomkamp and Jackson were teaming up again (hopefully with better results), to create District 9, a live-action feature. Little else was known about the project--until, that is, last week at Comic-Con, where an advertising campaign for the film took over much of the San Diego Convention Center. It was an ARG--a sort of really big viral marketing campaign, much like the one concocted for The Dark Knight--and this sort of stuff always just gives me a huge fucking headache. I'm not quite obsessive compulsive enough to get sucked into these massive, obscure, and relentlessly detail-oriented puzzles created by crafty ad execs. Luckily, the excellent sci-fi blog io9 has done a killer job going through all of District 9's inventive/sneaky ad campaign, and they've rooted out all the interesting parts.

As far as I can tell, District 9 looks like a descendant of/expansion of Alive in Joburg--and in theory, that sounds like a great thing. That's an incredibly potent and dense short film, not to mention a really inventive and sharp piece of science fiction, and while I'm not entirely convinced the concept and style could hold up for a couple of hours, I've also seen enough great shorts from Blomkamp to trust the guy, or at least to make me really curious about what he'll do with a feature. There's no word yet on a release date for District 9, but in the meantime, at least, it looks like there'll be plenty of stuff around to keep those who're interested in the film engaged. Ah, the tempting, creepy power of advertising.

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Moonshot Manny

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 2:47 PM

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In honor of the biggest baseball trade in quite some time, the End Hits sports desk (which is just myself sitting alone under this poster) brings you the greatest, and only, song ever written about Manny Ramirez.

It's not the finest work of the usually untouchable Joe Pernice, but when you normally write depressing pop songs about killing yourself, it's hard to transition over to penning something about a dreadlocked baseball player known for his bizarre behavior.

LISTEN:







Joe Pernice - "Moonshot, Manny (Pega Luna, Manny)"

End Hits: We don't have any songs about Jason Bay.

The Story of The Lot

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 2:07 PM

While Last Thursday tonight on NE Alberta will see some hubbub in a bottom-up attempt to make the event car free, another intriguing negotiation among neighbors has been unfolding all year right in the center of Last Thursday's territory.

The vacant lot on the corner of 20th and Alberta, across from the popular Mexican restaurant Don Pancho's, has not seen $1 of improvements in ten years, despite the gentrifying boom in the rest of the neighborhood. Two years ago, the owners pitched the idea of building a 65-foot tall condo complex on the lot but neighbors were against the design ("It's massive!") and then the housing market went sour and the plan fell through.

Since 2006, the lot's value has increased by $84,000, but the only development activity has been to acquire complaints about weeds and garbage.

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But what's interesting is what's happened in the absence of development: people around Alberta have claimed the lot as a community place and are engaged in low-key, grassroots battle for the grassy space.

With weeds coming up in the lot rather than condos, neighbors started using the field as their own, partying on the grass and swiping blackberries and figs from the lot's well-known row of trees. Then in 2007, a metal fence went up, encircling the lot and cutting neighbors off from their beloved figs. A few weeks later, though, the fence was mysteriously torn down in the middle of the night. The partying and fig-eating continued until last winter, when a new fence went up - this time it was painted red and covered in "No Trespassing" signs. But, one night in the Spring, some crew of rapscallions tore the fence down again. The fence lay on the ground for a while until apparently metal scrappers picked it up.

Alberta resident and artist Dan Beyer was glad to see the fence go -- he describes the lot as a park. "The park is very uniquely Portland, it has very specific attributes that are unique to the neighborhood. It facilitates society, for crying out loud - people set up their art there, on Last Thursday people picnic there," says Beyer, adding that one of its most appreciated qualities is simply, "It's not a condo."

This silent back-and-forth between neighbors and the lot owners continued into summer. In early July, a tiny gazebo appeared in the Alberta-side corner of the lot. It was a pretty little structure, about four feet tall with a roof over a pile of white stones and planted flowers. A hand-painted sign next to the gazebo declared the lot a guerilla garden. Two weeks ago, the gazebo and sign disappeared. Now all that's left is the stones and weeds:

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This Week's Best of the Flickr Pool

Posted by Mark Searcy on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Word on the street is that the Mercury Flickr Pool is the talk of the town. This week we saw...

1) Amazing feats of shirtless texting...

the cool guy and the tourists

2) How Rollerblades will become cool again...

serious drugs

3) Street art we actually miss when it's gone...

Burro-a-go-go

Help the Prids, Then Shut Up and Dance

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 1:45 PM

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After that terrible van accident, it's time for Portland to show some love to the Prids. The heavyhitting DJ Gregarious has assembled one mighty benefit raffle that will take place during his Shut Up & Dance night this Friday at the Fez. Prizes include a $125 session at Tiger Lilly Tattoo, tickets to the Faint and Squeeze, gift certificates to Everyday Music, Dot's, Dirty Little Secret Salon & tons more.

The raffle also includes one majestic grand prize entitled "The Common People Package: Dance & Drink & Screw" (get it?) with dinner for two at the Fish Grotto, free dancing at Shut Up & Dance, a liver-destroying night of free drinking with yours truly, and, most important, a night in a fancy local hotel.

And while I'm a little reluctant (and yet a little flattered as well) to be personally packaged in a prize that includes "screwing," I hope the winners understand that I won't be there for that part of the evening. Unless, you know, they're into that sort of thing. I can write a review of it. Or maybe live-blog it.

Click here to view the flyer and full prize list.

Google Aids Japanese Zombie Invasion

Posted by Earnest "Nex" Cavalli on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Have you ever wanted to lead a group of zombie attack survivors through the wilds of Laurelhurst Park?

Too damn bad. The Last Guy doesn't do Portland, Oregon (yet).

What it does do though, is give PlayStation 3 owners a chance to lead people to safety among hordes of zombies, insects and monsters on a real-time map of Akakusa, Japan culled directly from Google Earth.

It'd be much more rad if it were personally tailored to the area I live in, but that's an argument I can make with any game -- Grand Theft Auto Hillsboro anyone?

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Project Runway Wrap Up!

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Last night's episode of Project Runway was a huge step up for home girl Leanne Marshall, who last week found herself in the bottom two after creating a garment that the judges felt "had too many ideas." (No thanks to her model, by the way, who totally turned on her during the judging. Check out this un-aired clip of Leanne giving her a talking to, and rightly threatening to trade her at the next opportunity. Do it, Leanne, she has bad hair anyway.)

This week, Leanne dialed it way back, and created a look that showed restraint while maintaining her signature in an exquisitely scalloped skirt with a simple draped top--Heidi Klum declared that she would wear it "in a heartbeat," while guest judge Sandra Bernhard expressed disbelief that she could have finished so poorly just one challenge away. Leanne didn't win, but she essentially got second place, with the camera panning back and forth between her and Kenley's look, a risky montage of busy print and lopsided tulle with a short skirt and high neck that seemed to initially put off everyone, including Tim Gunn, who, when he went in to check on the designers' progress, fretted that the fabric combination threatened to be too costume-y, and judge Michael Kors, who teased that you could wear it if you had a goiter on one side of your body. Nonetheless, they convinced each other to make Kenley the winner.rate_runway_kenley_503.jpg The loser, meanwhile, was Emily, whose dress was admittedly crappy--a one-armed LBD with a giant caterpillar of cha cha ruffles that cut straight across her boobs and down her torso to end on the right edge of the model's crotch. rate_runway_emily_503.jpg But the dress I most disagreed with the judges on was Terri's dress with pants look accentuated with ridiculous clown sleeves. Terri kept saying she was going for a graffiti inspired street look and Bernhard even said it looked like something a girl who carried a knife would wear, none of which I read in this high-knecked bonbon hands thingy. rate_runway_terri_503.jpg

Leanne's outfit was hands down the best. Maybe not the riskiest, but as far as what most stylish women are going to wear, come on:

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It's subtle yet remarkable, classy and edgy, and she made it in one day. I think she's going to New York.


This Week's Mercury Music Section

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 10:15 AM

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Another week, another Mercury music section to read while you work on your slam dunking skills. #6, the one with the beer-chugging, is easily my favorite. I could watch that all day, every day.

The Prids somehow walk away from a horrific touring accident (see above photo), but vow to carry on.
LISTEN:







The Prids - "Molest the Outer Heart"

Owen (Kinsella alert!) tours with new songs and a desire not to sleep on your floor. Huh, that's a pretty uppity attitude for a dude who also plays in a Fugazi cover band. Ian MacKaye would sleep on my floor, after lecturing it about moshing. That made no sense.
LISTEN:







Owen - "The Sad Waltzes of Pietro Crespi"

All the old punks in the house, put 'em up, put 'em up. Resist take us back to a time when Portland (and local punk music) was a scary scary place.
LISTEN:







Resist - "It's A Wonderful Life"

Harvey Milk dust-off the bruising avant-metal that sounds like this picture looks. Seriously, if every band photo was like that, I'd be a much happier person.
LISTEN:







Harvey Milk - "The Boy With Bosoms"

End Hits: "The Boy With Bosoms," the "Boy With the Thorn in His Side," the "Boy Without a Girl," the "Boy With a Moon & Star on His Head," the "Boy With (100) Hands," we can keep going...

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 9:14 AM

The country has not experienced the economic rebound the government expected after sending out those tax rebate checks. So... I guess they'd better send out some more economic stimulus checks, then!

After six years of war, violence in Iraq has dropped to the point where Bush can finally proclaim, "There is a degree of durability in gains." That's the new code for "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!"

Polls say that Californians are supporting a new ballot measure that would get egg-laying hens out of those tiny wire cages -- but according to opponents could drive egg producers out of business. Hey, if chickens can play tic-tac-toe, then I say let 'em vote.

"I now pronounce you man and waaahh-nnnnggggghhhh!" Newlyweds are tasered by cops on their wedding night -- and no, they weren't being kinky!

In a truly unsurprising move, Portland bicyclists really, really hate the idea of a mandatory helmet law. Airbags might be fun, though.

In last night's episode, Portland's own Leanne Marshall came roaring back after last week's near dismissal from Project Runway! How'd she do it? Check out "Marjorie Skinner's Runway Wrap-Up" later today! (And by the way, I am so fucking glad that Runway designer BLAYNE is from Seattle and not here.)

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Blitzen Trapper Share a Little Furr

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 8:29 AM

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A couple weeks back we shared the first details on Blitzen Trapper's Furry-themed rock opera new album, Furr.

Now thanks to Urban Outfitters (huh?), you can listen to the title track of the album. "Furr" is a wonderful little song, which makes the wait until the album's September 23rd release all that more challenging. How come a clothing store that sells ironic t-shirts has a copy of the record and we don't? That ain't right.

LISTEN:







Blitzen Trapper - "Furr"

End Hits: We were very close to making a Raymond Burr joke here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dog Treats for Police Chief Rosie Sizer...

Posted by Amy J. Ruiz on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 7:03 PM

...and other highlights from the city's second quarter lobbying reports:

In April, police union head Robert King gave Sizer $35 worth of "Dog Treats and Chew Toy[s]."

In May, the chief had a $10 breakfast with Portland Patrol Inc boss John Hren.

Lots of politicos enjoyed the Rose Festival gratis, attending the "Queen's Garden Party," the "VIP Rose Festival Reception," and the "VIP Golden Rose Party." (Commissioner Dan Saltzman seems to have skipped the festivities, but walked away with a $35 "Picture in Frame" from the Rose Festival crew.)

Four women at city hall--staffers for Mayor Tom Potter, and Commissioners Sam Adams and Randy Leonard--attended the "National conference for Urban Initiatives on Reproductive Health sponsored by National Institute for Reproductive Health," at $1,500 a pop.

Potter pulled in the most gifts last quarter: $2,766.89 worth, most of that for a trip to China. (Including $1200 in "Round trip airfare from Portland to Suzhou, China paid for by the Portland Suzhou Sister City Association.") He also snagged two "jackets from the Rose Festival Association to be worn at all Rose Festival events, specifically the Grand Floral Parade," a $50 value. Classy.

Then there's the "master spreadsheet" of all lobbying contacts--the names, subject and dates of all meeting with registered lobbying entities for the last three months. Check out the PDF, here.


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Beaverton Hooters: Closed

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 4:59 PM

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According to the Beaverton Valley Times, the four-year-old Hooters location on Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy closed its doors last Sunday with very little notice. The employees were told of the development on the day of the closure during a "team meeting." They have been given the option to move to positions at the Jantzen Beach Hooters location.

From the BVT:

Art Tinajero, vice president for marketing for franchise company HootWinc LLC in Oceanside, Calif., said the decision to close the restaurant was made "over time and analysis of the market we serve."

I'm curious about that market. The only Hooters I've eaten in was in Boise, Idaho, where I suffered acute cognitive dissonance while watching entire families, with young children, dine in the presence of buxom, lap-sitting waitresses and cat-calling men. Apparently the family/creepy guy market just couldn't support more than one Hooters in the region.

I do feel for the 40+ employees who worked at the Beaverton location. Imagine having to drive from Beaverton to Jantzen Beach in order to keep your paycheck and benefits. Does that even make sense with gas prices the way they are?

What about the Beaverton Hooters servers who decide the commute isn't worth it? On one hand you're no longer required to feign interest in your customers or don that deplorable short-short/pantyhose/scrunchy sock/tennis shoe combo. On the other hand, not having work in this economy is disasterous.

In terms of the employees, here's hoping the commute is as painless as possible, or that the unemployment is brief. But as far as Hooters is concerned: Good riddance.

Will Clowns and Posters Make Last Thursday Carfree?

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Remember the colorfully-painted junker cars that blocked NE Alberta during June's Last Thursday, making the event carfree for the 67 minutes it took police to tow them? Well, tomorrow the plan is to keep things legal, while still trying to make the Last Thursday safe for wandering: volunteers from the Vernon Neighborhood Association are slated to stand at each end of the Alberta stretch with posters encouraging drivers to choose alternate routes. If cars keep going, clowns riding tall bikes are supposed to be on hand to pilot them through the crowd.

last_thursday_car.JPG photo: Magnus Johannsen

For years, Alberta's monthly art night has overflowed its sidewalks. Now, neighborhood organizers are using both bottom-up action and bureaucratic meetings, trying to gain official street closure for an event that relishes its informality. This could be the kind of citizen action Last Thursday needs to build car free momentum, or it could just piss off people who don't want to be told where to drive. The City won't close the street until the residents are all in favor of it, so dividing the neighborhood is a real risk.

This month, TriMet agreed to reroute the 72 bus line that runs up the thoroughfare. Since the 72 is Portland's busiest bus line, the city has been hesitant about making a change that could inconvenience hundreds of riders. But no buses pushing through the Last Thursday crowd will definitely make the night more enjoyable, plus it could be a step forward for the car free folks.

According to neighborhood arts organizer Kriss Parnell, officially barricading NE Alberta would cost at least $1,500 each month. Usually neighborhood event organizers pay for street closures by charging vendors for street space, but the heart of Last Thursday is lack of formal contracts with vendors. "Nobody wants to end up like the Pearl where someone decides who can set up," says Parnell.

In the mean time, pedestrians, bikers and cars are sharing a dangerously tight space on Alberta each month. Neighbors have decided that the best way to make Last Thursday carfree while working through the city process is simply to do it themselves.

"It's been frustrating getting the street closed down and I wanted to show that it's pretty straight forward," said neighborhood roustabout Magnus Johannesson, who was responsible for last month's cars, "We're responsible people on Alberta." Johannsen says he bought the two cars for $550 total and a team of artists painted them before the big day. The cars have gone to the tow lot, but this month he's printed hundreds of buttons and t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Pranksters for Pedestrians."

The Penny Jam Takes Laura Gibson to the Museum

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 2:33 PM

The one thing I know about fans of Laura Gibson is that they love Chinese Dinosaur bones. Sort of like how Jimmy Buffet fans like Hawaiian shirts and spending my inheritance on overpriced margaritas and cheap weed (Mom, this means you).

Anyway, Gibson followers are now in luck since the awesome crew at The Penny Jam has filmed the soft-voiced folksinger performing a pair of songs ("Where Have All Your Good Words Gone" and "Come by Storm") at OMSI inside their dinosaur exhibit. The shots of Gibson performing beneath the majestic skeletons are absolutely stunning, it's almost enough to overlook the fact that dinosaurs are just a Darwinistic myth spread by the Jew-run liberal media. Would you like to subscribe to my newsletter?

End Hits: We can make that joke because we're Jewish. And a dinosaur.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The New Trailer!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 2:11 PM

YES, I KNOW. 80 percent of you couldn't give two poops about the new Harry Potter trailer. However, I'm posting this for the uber-nerds in the office... not you. ON THE OTHER HAND! This trailer does have two curious things of note that might be of passing interest to the casual observer:

1) Gay Dumbledore gives Harry a glass dildo.

And 2) This trailer makes the movie look creepier than one of those Saw movies! I thought this was a kid's book!

High Def trailer here!

Two Page Minimum: Out Backward

Posted by Alison Hallett on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 1:38 PM

imageDB.jpeg(Welcome to my not-very-regular blog column Two Page Minimum, wherein I take a new book out to happy hour, and give it a few minutes to grab my attention. Two Page Minimum is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)

Who's your date today?

Out Backward by Ross Raisin.

Where'd you go?
The virtually un-Googleable sports bar Rocks (formerly Lagniappe), on Alberta. I didn't see much of the inside besides a pool table, but the patio is vast and was surprisingly empty on a recent sunny afternoon. Happy hour from 3-6 pm daily, plus 11 pm-close; $2 burger and pork sliders, tots, and fries, $3 wings. $1 off wells and micros, $1 PBR pints and Old German cans. The hand-formed ground beef slider was good; the pulled pork smelled like dog food so I did not eat it.

What'd you drink?
Pale ale.

What does your date say about itself?
This debut novel from dreamy young Englishman Ross Raisin has been long-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize (though he didn't make the Booker long list, announced yesterday, as some predicted he might), and boasts A-list cover blurbage from JM Coetzee and Mary Karr. The book is about a "lonely young man, dogged by an incident in his past and forced to work his family farm instead of attending school in his village." When a new family with a teenage daughter moves in next door, "what starts off as a harmless friendship between an isolated loner and a defiant teenage girl takes a most disturbing turn."

Is there a representative quote?
The story's told from the perspective of the boy, Sam, and written in a Yorkshire dialect that takes some getting used to:


Father sat stewing in his chair, silent. Mum went out to put the basket in the storehouse. And this is Laura, said the telly, doesn't she look stunning in this twelve-pound top from New Look? She looked half-decent, fair enough. My legs ached from being sat under the table so long. I could see the top of Mum's head out the window, she was fussing about in the yard because she didn't want to come back indoors. What can I do now? Ah, I know, I'll take this washing down off the line, it's a bit damp but no matter. He stood up then and came toward me. I didn't flinch, it was daft flinching, I just waited for it. He took his time, sod knows what he was waiting for, he was probably listening to the telly or something, then-clout-the back of his hand against my cheek. The whelps were scarpering, I fell to the floor and scrabbled up against the table leg.

Will you two end up in bed together?
Yes, but odds are I'll regret it in the morning: Even 20 pages in I'm queasily anxious, wondering what terrible thing is going to happen, trying to keep Sam at an emotional arms length because it's quite obvious that things just aren't going to end well. There's a scene early on in which Sam tries to make a good impression on his new neighbors by bringing them some fresh mushrooms, but he forgets to tell them to check the mushrooms for maggots before eating. It's a well-drawn scene: The boy's touchingly proud of himself for making the gesture, but his self-satisfaction quickly sours, and his mistake earns him a beating from his dad, in the scene above. A glib summation of what I've read so far: a backwoods version of Martin Amis' The Rachel Papers. And yeah, I'd hit that.

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Make Me A Supermodel Season Two Tryouts

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Man, remember when Bravo just showed old classics? Me neither! Returning to the present, Make Me A Supermodel is holding auditions around the country for its second season, and they're coming to Portland this Sunday. Remember the first season? Me neither! Here's an introduction:

So, as far as I can tell, based on that clip, this is a co-ed version of America's Next Top Model with less talent, audience-determined elimination, and Niki Taylor and Tyson Beckford. So, it should be no problem for someone local to make it on the show and give us the excuse to throw a weekly viewing party at a bar (like we are doing for Leanne Marshall of Leanimal on Project Runway every Wednesday--that would include today--at 8 pm at the Tanker!). Make us proud, supermodel-ish Portlanders. Here's what you need to know:

- The casting call will be from 11am-3pm at the Hotel Monaco (506 SW Washington)
- Before going, download the contestant application form here, and arrive with it already filled out
- Dress "fashionable": they specifically highly recommend solid bright colors (no patterns, logos, or--this is where the press release gets weird--stripping). Also, keep makeup minimal.

Sexy Bike!

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 1:22 PM

To find this week's hot ride, I spent the morning staking out Stumptown Coffee on SE 34th and Belmont, where a line of beautiful bicycles always stretches down the block. Admittedly, Roberto's bike wasn't the sexiest of the bunch, but his outsider thoughts on Portland bike fashion (he's fresh from Santa Cruz) and the jaw harp on his hip tipped my scales.

This Week: the Judgment Bike

Rider: Roberto Casanueva
Bike: Blue and white Nishiki bought off Craigslist
Spotted At: Belmont Stumptown

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Since your bike isn't top-notch sexy, do you feel intimidated by all the hot bikes around here?
I definitely feel intimidated. I came from a smaller city that's really bike friendly and people here are pretty hardcore about their fixed gears and their accessories.

How do feel about people projecting layers of meaning onto every part of your bike?
It's like it's not clothes anymore, it's bikes. It's how your bike looks and how you ride it and how long you can not put your foot down at a stop light.

How do you think people read your bike?
I think people read it as fast - I go pretty fast wherever I go... also, I try to wear bright colors. People told me it would be pretty cloudy here so bright colors bring out the sunshine.

So you're mixing both the clothes fashion and the bike fashion.
I'm trying to bring both worlds together, it's one big piece! I have to say, I love Nishiki. I think they're bad-ass. I think people overlook them.

What's bad-ass about them?
The name, just the way it sounds. Nishiki. Nishiki.

So what are your plans for this Nishiki?
I want to paint it yellow or orange. More bright colors. The white and blue is sweet, the handle grips are awesome, it's got a little fade going on. It definitely breathes eighties and the eighties were a sexy decade so I'm okay with that. But I think it needs a little more color.

Have you thought of a description of your bike-and-clothes fashion style yet?
Shit, I was supposed to be thinking about that? How about "Ready for Anything"? Yeah, I like that... Yesterday I was building, the day before that I was dancing in the woods to dub step.


Have your eye on a sexy bike? Nominate it!

Biology Lesson: Tapirs

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Mercury intern Sahar is wearing a shirt today that, amongst other things, includes a picture of a tapir.
tapir.jpg
Tapir drawing by Robert A. Wilson; taken from tapirback.com

"What the heck is that?" we cried. "Is it an anteater? Is it a dinosaur?"

"No," she replied. "It's a tapir. It's a sort of horse/elephant/pig thing."

"Wow!" we exclaimed. So, of course our next question was, "Can you milk them?"

Sahar did not know the answer. I felt pretty certain that you could milk a tapir if you wanted to, and perhaps the milk would come out of its funny snout.

So I immediately embarked on some internet research to get to the bottom of this question. Results? Inconclusive. But I did find this, which may or may not be worth 55 seconds of your time:

So, in summation: Tapirs are cow/horse/anteater thingies that may or may not provide milk, that may or may not grant wishes when you rub their magical snouts, and that definitely love massages.

Dr. Horrible: Free Again for One Day Only

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Today, Hulu.com is offering all three acts of Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible for one day only. If you haven't seen Dr. Horrible yet... this is your second and final chance to do it for free! According to reports from ComicCon, a loaded Dr. Horrible DVD will soon be hitting shelves. Enjoy.

luvhorrible.jpg

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 9:27 AM

Bush to American public: "The reason you have high gas prices is because Congress won't let me destroy the environment! BLAME THEM!"

The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Karl Rove in contempt for ignoring a subpoena. Funny... I've held him in contempt for years. Ba-dum-DUM! Chssst!

Southern California is shaken by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake, but it wasn't "the big one" according to scientists. (Because Southern California is still there.)

The L.A. city council is putting a moratorium on new fast food restaurants because of rising obesity rates among children in certain neighborhoods. Thank god Pizza Hut can deliver the Pizone!

A Eugene lawmaker is proposing a mandatory bike helmet law. And guys will also have to wear those tight "shants" ( a cross between shorts and pants).

What does Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Barack Obama have in common? John McCain's newest ad sez that NONE OF THEM should be president!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

MFNW Announces Nike Shows

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 9:25 PM

mfnw.jpg

MusicFest NW has announced the lineup for their super secret somewhat exclusive Nike daytime shows:

Thursday September 4th - No Age, Battles
Friday September 5th - Britt Daniel, Built to Spill (performing Perfect From Now On)
Saturday September 6th - Ratatat, Les Savy Fav

OMG! MFNW! LS SVY FV! NOAGE! RATATAT! All performances take place at the Wonder Ballroom (4:30pm doors, 5:30pm show), and to gain access, follow these instructions:

please pick up a free Nike Sportswear pass available at either Jackpot Records locations starting at 10 am on the day of each show or be admitted with a MFNW wristband. Admission to these shows will be based on a first come first serve basis.

Not to be outdone, the Mercury is teaming with British Knights for some totally badass concerts. In my basement. Okay, my mom's basement. Dymacel power!

End Hits: Once again, scooping WW on their own event.

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