This Week in the Mercury


Monday, August 1, 2011

Dosha: Salon Workers Go Union

Posted on Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Lately there's been news coverage about an unlikely union organizing in Portland: On March 30, the nail techs, hair stylists, and other workers of popular local salon and spa Dosha rallied to unionize, and won. This story is about how a handful of people came together because they wanted to improve their working conditions. I was one of them and would like to share my experience with you, from an inside perspective. Ten years ago I signed up to become a hair stylist in Germany, where I was born and where unions are much more common. I moved to Portland in 2006, was hired by Dosha in 2007, and I quit in 2010.

Our goal last summer was simple: Returning roughly 70 signed union ballot cards to Joe, our organizer, before management would fire all of us once they found out what we were up to. Joe kept pushing for 70, close to half of Dosha's eligible employees. To be eligible to join a union you cannot be a manager or have authority in any other way over other employees. Federal law only requires 30 percent of all eligible employees. But Joe wanted us to be safe the day we submitted the cards to corporate management. And with a number like that, it would be clear: This was more than just a fluke.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Posted by Earnest "Nex" Cavalli on Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Were gonna need a bigger John Goodman.
  • D3Publisher
  • We're gonna need a bigger John Goodman.

For most of the last decade, Japan has been home to the Chikyû Boueigun series — a line of games made on the cheap with miniscule budgets, specifically targeting parents unwilling to shell out $60 for the latest Final Fantasy. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the games have been utterly terrible. Still, despite being buggy, arguably unfinished and largely forgettable, the series struck that sweet spot of the quality-versus-price dynamic usually reserved for the McNugget and the ironic Snuggie.

Presumably driven by that very metaphor, D3Publisher decided to bring the series to America in the form of the third Chikyû Boueigun game. The game that would be renamed Earth Defense Force 2017 was easily the best in the series, though that's still faint praise. When I reviewed the game in May of 2007, I wrote it off as entertaining but forgettable; a momentary diversion for gamers on a budget.

This is where I apologize for that verdict. It's my own fault for playing the game completely sober, and as a result I missed its key selling point: Alongside a case of beer and a couple friends, Earth Defense Force 2017 is the most fun you can have on an Xbox 360. Period. Exclamation point.

Luckily the game found a boozy audience, and EDF2017 became a cult hit. Pleased with its success, D3Publisher commissioned a sequel, only instead of importing another Chikyû Boueigun entry, they tapped North Carolina's Vicious Cycle Software. The result is Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon. Think of it as an American take on a Japanese take on every child's take on how very cool it would be to hold off an entire army of ants, spiders and giant robots with only human pluck, an appetite for destruction and enough explosive weaponry to make George Patton dry hump a bald eagle.

Esoteric Japanese history lesson? Check. Explanation of convoluted lineage? Check. Unnecessarily sexual reference to a dead man? Double check. I think we can move on to the review now.

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Timbers Are Fit To Be Tied After Letting Another Slip Away

Posted by Brian Gjurgevich on Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 8:26 PM

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  • Steel Brooks

It was 2-2, but the Timbers' tie with Toronto on Saturday night was no even draw. And that fact was written all over Portland's face.

Head coach John Spencer walked into the post-match press conference nearly a half-hour after the final whistle—easily the longest wait for the media throng this season. By the time he arrived, the assembled sports scribes, TV guys and PR folk had struck up multiple conversations, and the volume level had steadily risen in the small room under the grandstands of Jeld-Wen Field.

Then Spencer entered (if there was a record player, it'd have screeched) from the door at the rear of the press room. The 5-foot-6 fiery Scot typically has 6-foot-5 presence, but after this one, his look was halted. Perhaps expecting the coach to start spitting fire unprompted after such a disappointing result, nobody said a word.

Silence. Not long, maybe a few seconds. But enough time to notice and enough quiet to fully take in just what our eyes and lenses were fixed on as Spencer stepped up to the mic, adjusted it down as usual and stared forward, almost blankly. For a guy who all season has worn opinions firmly a'sleeve, this was a new emotion, a new reaction to another frustrating loss: Dejection.

I piped up, breaking the silence with a question about the result feeling like less than a tie. "Yeah, um," Spencer said, pausing and letting out a deep breath. For the first time in what's been a roller coaster season for the Timbers, it seemed as if the Portland coach, too, was at a loss for words.

More after the jump, including full video of Spencer's subdued presser, locker room reaction from Mike Chabala, highlights and more thoughts on a tie's lost opportunity.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Portland vs. Toronto — High-Pitched Live Blog Action

Posted by Brian Gjurgevich on Sat, Jul 30, 2011 at 7:55 PM

March 26. Canada. Toronto 2, Portland 0. Feels like forever ago, eh?

Much has changed in Timberland: Just two of Portland's starters from that match (Jack Jewsbury and Eric Brunner) are in the Starting XI tonight, but if you think that's a lot of change, you should take off, hoser: Of the 14 players who saw the pitch for Toronto that chilly afternoon, only eight remain with the team.

To say TFC's seen some roster upheaval is like saying John Spencer gets excited at times: The Reds have traded within MLS for starters Andy Iro and Ryan Johnson and added designated players Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans.

All four will start in tonight's 8 p.m. match, (ROOT Sports, 750 AM, 101.1 FM) which is crucial if Portland hopes to jump into a busy August with some momentum and keep their playoff hopes alive and well.

This one's being described as a match-up between "two of the league's worst teams ... at one of the league's best venues." Intrigued? Of course you are. So click past the jump as I deftly describe all the action, on and off the pitch.

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Good Match-Day, News! Do Portland's Playoffs Start Tonight?

Posted by Brian Gjurgevich on Sat, Jul 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Darlington Nagbe has his eye on the ball during Portlands last home MLS win, on May 21 against Columbus. Sorry girls, hes engaged.

A super-busy August will determine whether the Portland Timbers are still playing ball in November. Postseason push? P-Town could sure use a nudge, and with 15 Major League Soccer matches remaining—seven(!) of those next month—the time to win is now for PTFC.

"I think we all know the importance of the game," said Timbers coach John Spencer after Friday's training session. "We all want to get into the playoffs. The games are ticking down. Points are dwindling away."

Sure, nobody's technically eliminated from anything should the Timbers fall to Eastern Conference cellar-dweller Toronto FC at 8 p.m. tonight (ROOT Sports, 750 AM, 101.1 FM), but not nabbing victory could certainly bring about some loss of hope for Portland and its faithful. The Timbers (6-10-3) are winless in eight of their last nine and haven't taken an MLS match at Jeld-Wen Field since May 21, when the world didn't end but that intoxicating can't-lose feeling was in its last throes around the Rose City.

"It's huge," said Capt. Jack Jewsbury, fresh off his All-Star experience, after Friday's practice. "We've said that the past three or four (matches). We need to pick up some wins and get ourselves back in the mix."

So can the Timbers turn things around? With lowly Toronto in town, tonight's match has both the ability to be the start of something positive or the signal that Portland's playoff potential is all but finished. Yes, Toronto beat Portland 2-0 way back in March (when "the better team" lost), but the Reds (3-11-9) haven't done much since, other than blow up their entire roster and bring in two designated players in an attempt to avoid Canada's iron-grip on last place in each conference.

Still, Toronto has lost four straight for the first time since their inaugural 2007 campaign, and recently labored through a 356-minute scoreless streak before netting a pair in a 4-2 loss at Sporting KC last week. Portland's newfound aggression (displayed with a season-high 18 shots last week at Columbus) ought to find at least some success against the Toronto D, and with newcomers Lovel Palmer and Mike Chabala now wearing green, the entire Timbers defense better be on top of its game with minutes at a premium.

Once a fortress, the House of Pane hasn't witnessed an MLS win in more than two months, and tonight will tell whether Tuesday's exhibition 2-0 win over Independiente signaled a sea change in the Portland locker room.

If it didn't, Timbers Army may be forced to learn a new chant: "Wait 'til next year."

More after the jump (and *LIVE-BLOGGING* later), including video of Spencer holding court with media after Friday's practice and EXTRA TIME links to give you the lowdown on Hogtown before tonight's first kick.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

BREAKING: Sam Adams Not Running For Mayor Again

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 4:18 PM

The end is nigh.
  • The end is nigh.
The mayor just broke some big news on his website: He's not running for mayor again.

Wow. The months of guessing whether he'll campaign again are done. From his statement:


I am under no illusion of how challenging the race for re-election would be. I’ve been in tough elections before; nobody thought I could win my city council race in 2004. But I believe for me to win re-election as mayor, I would need to fundraise and campaign full-time, starting now.

As I have considered the reality of a possible re-election effort, I have come to the conclusion that I have a choice: Move this agenda forward, or campaign full-time for re-election.

With the state of our nation in such flux, and so many local issues needing focused and hands-on mayoral leadership, for me, the choice is clear.

My best service to Portland will be to complete the platform of change and improvement you elected me to deliver: Creating jobs, increasing the high school graduation rate, and making Portland the most sustainable city, with the most equal of opportunities. This work is well underway, and I’m committed to making every day of the next 17 months count. Thus, I will not seek re-election.

UPDATE: Political consultant Mark Wiener says Mayor Adams' reasoning for not running again sounds sincere. "I think, at the end of the day, what you see is what you get. He looked at the options and saw it was clearly going to be a very challenging race."

In our mid-term look at Adams' work "Advice for Future Sam", numerous people mentioned Sam working on many different tasks—overworking to a fault, actually. It'll be interesting to see what he chooses to push for as he goes into 17 months of not having to worry about getting reelected.

The response online has so far been overwhelmingly positive.

UPDATE 4:07pm: I just got out of an interview with Mayor Adams, who greeted reporters by calling out, "Beautiful day!"

He says a recent poll by unions SEIU and Oregon AFSCME "showed it would be a tough race, but, frankly, showed me better off than I thought I would be." Adams had a tough campaigns in his past, pointing out that he finished 11 points behind the leader in the 2004 primary. "I don't mind being the underdog. I like campaigns for the benefit of unvarnished back and forth with Portlanders." BUT, he concluded, "This really boiled down to what's best for Portland. The time I would spend fundraising and campaigning, I'm not going to phone it in as mayor."

Until the end of 2012, he said, he'll focus on improving issues like gang violence and job creation. "I plan to leave Portland a better place than I found it, where we'd been flying rudderless without an economic plan for 15 years," said Adams.

So the big lingering question: Who will he endorse? Charlie Hales and Eileen Brady are already in the race. County Chair Jeff Cogen is out and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman says he might run.

Adams said he has not chosen who he'll endorse, but that he looks forward to sitting down with the candidates. Not that it will inform Sam's decision AT ALL, but both announced candidates already have fake Twitter feeds.

Tomorrow at YU Contemporary: The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art

Posted by Matt Stangel on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 4:12 PM

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Tomorrow from 4-7 pm, YU Contemporary is hosting their closing event for Selections from the PCVA Archive— the first in a series of preview exhibitions at the new, labyrinthine, Southeast art center (for more on this exhibit and the space, see the story I wrote a few months back on YU and their maiden, preview exhibit).

In short, Selections looks back through the programming and archival materials of the seminal Portland Center for the Visual Arts, which ran from 1971-1987— positioning this history as a model to which YU aspires.

For the show's closing event, YU has brought in Tom Marioni, the conceptualist rock star who founded and directed the Museum of Conceptual Art from 1970-1984 (and exhibited at PCVA back in 1977). For tomorrow's closing event, Marioni will perform his "art action," The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art— it's exactly what it sounds like— which he began hosting as a weekly shindig back in 1976 (and he's been at it ever since).

Selections' closing event is a multi-day affair, described by the press release like so:

At YU, Marioni will present two iterations of The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art. The first is a series of three evenings with invited guests and bartenders in West Coast, YU's subterranean social space. On Saturday July 30, a presentation of Drinking Beer with Friends... will be open to the public, and, like in other museum projects, the remaining empty beer bottles from the private gatherings will be put on display to serve as evidence of the previous evening's gatherings as part of Marioni's bar-like installation. For Marioni, Drinking Beer with Friends... serves less as a celebration, than as a way to, in his words, "observe real life and report on it poetically."

Sounds like tomorrow's attendees might find one hungover Maroini. Regardless, tickets for the public portion of the event, sold on a sliding donation scale, can be purchased here. (YU is located at 800 SE 10th Ave, across the street from Holocene.)

Alright, it's Friday. I'm gonna go have myself a few art actions.

Frank Cassano's "Blogtown in Review"

Posted by Frank Cassano on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 3:59 PM

FRANK CASSANO
  • FRANK CASSANO
I have spoken to you before—using monosyllabic words, speaking exceedingly slowly—about the Mercury's pathetic lack of discipline and sex drive. But rarely have I seen a week so limp and bereft of content as this past one: Denis C. Theriault, ostensibly attending the birthing of his squalid offspring, was MIA; rather than write anything of interest to regular people, Sarah Mirk chose to file reports from a virgins' convention; Ned Lannamann continued his bewildering crusade to slap his palms against a keyboard all day, yet somehow never create even a single sentence of worth. And yet: Here you are, coming back, day after day, to read this fetid slop. Is your life that empty? Is your browser broken? With every click, you encourage these imbeciles; with every click, you force the bile to rise in my throat.

• A quick note to Wm. Steven Humphrey: Should you continue to shit out hourly insults to taste, at least do your few readers the courtesy of hiring one of your underage sex-slaves as a spell checker. "Jimmy Buffet" is spelled J-I-M-M-Y B-U-F-F-E-T-T. Also, it figures you would be a goddamn "parrothead," you jackass.

• "I don't care if you've seen these already," proclaimed Alison Hallett, the four-millionth person on the internet to post some pictures of some happy gays and lesbians and what-have-you. Thanks for the breaking news, Ms. Hallett! I look forward to your half-assed reposting of actual news organizations' stories in the future! (That was sarcasm, sweetcheeks.)

• Mere weeks after Ms. Hallett finally shut her hole about those inane Harry Potter movies, Erik Henriksen has started bitching and moaning about The Hunger Games. At least he had the courtesty of arranging his utterly irrelevant thoughts in a concise, easily ignorable list.

• Courtney Ferguson went to a foot-fetish party. Ms. Ferguson: Please share more pictures of you feet. You will note, I hope, that this is not the first time I have asked you this; nor, I fear, will it be the last. Come now, Ms. Ferguson. I await your email.

• Marjorie Skinner droned, "In 2009 the first-ever Nordic Fashion Biennale went down in Rejvjavík...." No one knows if Ms. Skinner's post offered anything beyond that sentence, as no one gives a fuck.

• Ezra "Ace" Caraeff played with a doll. And himself.

I will return next week, and not one moment before. I urge you to do the same.

Project Runway Wrap Up!

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Despite a timing snafu thanks to hosting bar Brix Tavern's DirecTV being on East Coast time (we had to wait until 10 pm for the season premiere to air for its second time), the Portland Monthly's Project Runway viewing party was well attended last night, with both Portland's prospects, Bryce Black and Becky Ross, in attendance. Things are a little different this season. Twenty designers were selected for the show, but the opening scenes had all of them re-auditioning for Heidi, Tim, and Nina, who cut five from the pack before they had even made it to the Parsons sweatshop. I have no idea what the point of that was, but it did allow for the thrill of seeing Heidi hop up and do a mock runway lap wearing Black's dramatic feather coat. Once back on the familiar track, the designers' first challenge began with a rude 5 am awakening, and marching orders to create a look using only the pajamas on their backs and one bed sheet—a good old fashioned materials-based challenge. I should say also that I've been kind of dragging my feet about the show this season. I'm tired of the same old drill and wary of the ambiguous opportunity it affords regional talents. It reminds me of a kidnapper luring hungry kids to a van with fancy candy. But the crop of designers they've got this time are pretty damn likable. Nobody jumped out as especially obnoxious or stuck up or prone to bullshitty drama (we'll see if that changes after the sleep deprivation kicks in). What's more, Tim, Heidi, and Nina all seem kinda feisty and goofy this season, as opposed to the last, which got to a point where I feel like they were always pissed off and exasperated and making weird, inconsistent calls. Maybe they got raises. Anyway, while I will always put the Portland talent first, I gotta say, I adore Bert Keeter.

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A 57-year-old (who lies and says he's 52) recovering alcoholic with a pedigreed design background working for firms like Bill Blass who turned to drink after several of his loved ones fell victim to AIDS, yet still has a great attitude and gently self-deprecating sense of humor? Keeter is going to drive a hard bargain in the popularity department. It doesn't hurt that he's got mad skills too.

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Jot the Dot Will Freak the God into You!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Paul's post this morning (about Michelle Bachmann's biblical reference to the phrase "jot and tittle") reminded me of a religious cartoon I religiously watched growing up in the bible belt. "Jot"—named after the very same bible verse—was a series of short cartoons broadcast from the mid-60s to the '80s depicting the moral quandaries of a dot-like kid named "Jot." Since it was produced by Southern Baptists, it's all about moral simplicities—but the good news is that visually, it's very WEIRD. And actually beautiful, in a mod kind of way. Check out this psychedelic episode wherein Jot's hands get dirty! God doesn't like that very much. WASH YOUR GODDAMN HANDS, JOT!!!

And if you liked that one, check out "Jot's Nightmare"—it's fucking terrifying!! It's after the jump.

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Four Things I'm Worried About Regarding The Hunger Games

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 12:38 PM

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1) THE KIDS ARE TOO OLD
One of the things that gives The Hunger Games its impact is the same thing that makes Lord of the Flies and Toddlers & Tiaras so goddamn terrifying: The interconnected realizations that god, these kids are kids, and that at their core, most children are just as—if not more so—vicious and selfish and horrible and determined as the rest of us. Some profoundly fucked-up shit happens in The Hunger Games and its sequels, and not just in that clichéd, exploiting-the-children-in-peril sort of way, either: Simply put, the books' world is a brutal one, even for the kids. By aging up the cast, the filmmakers have accomplished two things: (A) ensured the movies won't be nearly as disturbing and weird as the books, and, (B) made it so that by the time Mockingjay finally gets made, Panem will look like a big, crappy retirement village. (Which, to be fair, could be interesting: I'd totally watch a movie about doddering geriatrics who're forced into a survival-of-the-fittest Olympics.)

(Also, yes, ever since the opening moments of Winter's Bone, I steadfastly refused to shut up about what a great Katniss Jennifer Lawrence would make. I'm still convinced she's gonna be great, but now that the whole cast is assembled, the age thing's starting to get to me.)

2) IT'S STARTING TO LOOK A WHOLE LOT LIKE TWILIGHT
See above image. More Team Peeta and Team Gale photos can be found here. ("For more on the men of The Hunger Games, pick up a copy of this week's issue," squeals Entertainment Weekly.)

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A Bad Week For Old People on TriMet

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 12:12 PM

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Okay, actually, good old person news first: TriMet is not bumping up fares on LIFT rides anytime soon. These are the special TriMet van pick-ups of people who are unable to ride the bus because of a disability, and they're spendy. The average ride costs TriMet $29, but riders only pay a $1.85 fare. Dozens of people with disabilities showed up at the TriMet board meeting on Wednesday to protest the proposed plan to increase the fare to $3 and the public transit agency decided to table the matter until January.

Now the bizarre and bad stuff. An 84-year-old woman waiting for the bus in Gresham Wednesday afternoon was attacked and beaten, allegedly by a 19-year-old Tennessee transient. The suspected attacked assaulted several people at the Cleveland Avenue stop without any provocation, according to witnesses. The 84-year-old, Muriel Morgan, sustained a broken nose and a head gash requiring staples.

Across town, a 65-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries he walked in front of a MAX train pulling into the 12th and Washington Blue Line station in Hillsboro. This is the second serious crash with a pedestrian in two months, after a man was reportedly decapitated by a MAX train in June. Keep it safe out there, friends.

Wynde Dyer on What's Next for Golden Rule

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Earlier this week, I posted regarding some Facebook updates that seemed to indicate the impeding closure of Golden Rule, the vintage/consignment shop, gallery, and art therapy/"social experiment" project initiated last year by Wynde Dyer. This morning I received this lengthy, detailed, and frank explanation of the impending changes. The good news is that Golden Rule will not cease to exist entirely:

It's true, we're outward bound from our physical location to a cyberspace, private-by-appointment only gallery and showroom model, in addition to perhaps doing trunk shows and pop-up shops in the future.

We'll finish off this week with our traditional end-of-month 40%-percent-off non-consignment sale this Saturday and Sunday, and we'll be open very late Sunday night until at least midnight for a moving-out party/sale.

While I do realize what our internal and external communities will be losing as we close our brick-and-mortar doors this weekend, quite frankly, my sanity, my bank account, my friendships, and my own art practices require it.

In some ways Golden Rule has been a wonderfully therapeutic experience. Through our volunteer-/intern-based model and our policy of inclusiveness, we've built a strong community of social and creative practice. We've successfully created a 100% unique retail environment with all new inventory every month for 15 months filled. We've consistently curated some of the best vintage fashion in town, predominately of all natural fabrics like silk, linen, cotton, and wool. We've supported the careers of more than 60 emerging jewelry and fashion designers, artists, and other designers of handmade goods, in addition to working with just as many consignors of vintage and contemporary clothing. We've produced some of the best look books in town for the last six months in a row. And, personally, I've transformed much of the darkness of my childhood into lightness through sharing my mother's story, using Golden Rule's monthly transformations as the conceptual framework of my morning. I've also learned a lot about what I can do and like to do (i.e. art direct, style forecast, execute compelling retail interiors, conceptualize look books and take some bad-ass pictures for them, inspire people to follow their creative pursuits, and support people feel less alone), in addition to what I can't do or don't like to do (i.e. accounting, volunteer coordination, sending out press releases and news letters, making appointments and keeping them, responding to emails promptly, keeping up with blog posts, and working 7-days-a-week behind the scenes without a break). I've learned you can't keep doing the same thing expecting different results.

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Apple Now Has More Cash than US Government

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Ha! Maybe instead of buying iPods, we should have been buying government bonds. From the BBC:

Latest figures from the US Treasury Department show that the country has an operating cash balance of $73.7 billion.

Apple's most recent financial results put its reserves at $76.4 billion.

The US House of Representatives is due to vote on a bill to raise the country's debt ceiling, allowing it to borrow more money to cover spending commitments.

Americans have a problem with debt. The government hasn't been setting a good example for citizens. Check out the stats from this GOOD article about quitting credit cards:
More than 75 percent of Americans use credit cards, and 44 percent of households have credit card balances they need to pay off. According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. credit card users now have $721 billion in outstanding balances; that’s more than $2,300 for every single man, woman, and child in the United States. For a nation that’s ostensibly so disgusted with debt, we sure do have a lot of it in our personal lives.

I quit my only credit card a few months ago. It's been a hassle in very rare situations (why the hell is renting a car so difficult with a debit card?) and I'm a little worried about my credit score. But mostly, I'm glad to have no chance to rack up debt.

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Win Tickets to Slayer and Rob Zombie!

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 11:09 AM

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Praise our cloven hoofed dark lords, Slayer is coming to town. The evilest band from Eviltown USA (a suburb of Huntington Park, California) will be at the Memorial Coliseum with Rob "Woolite Commercial" Zombie on Friday August 5th.

We're giving away a pair of tickets to the first person who can solve The World's Evilest Crossword Puzzle™, which is loaded with questions about Slayer, serial killers, and (gasp!) Republicans. This thing is so sinister it makes Will Shortz shitz his pantz.

If the puzzle doesn't quite literally kill you, send me the correct answers (you can scan it, or just email me the answers) as soon as possible. The puzzle is after the jump, good luck. *UPDATE* We have our winners, thanks to all that entered.

Don't like crosswords? Can't blame you. You can skip the contest and buy your tickets here.

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While You Were Out

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Hey, I was "denounced by the GOP" yesterday. They seem to have nothing but time on their hands, the GOP does, huh? No other, more pressing matters, gang? Nothing at all?

It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 10:44 AM

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OUTLAW
—By the numbers, it's been 78 years, 74 albums, seven children, and four arrests for drug possession: Yes, it's the one-and-only Willie Nelson. See him sing and strum the night away. SM
Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale, 6:30 pm, $59-63, all ages

BEERED—Sunstroke, dehydration, and a dizzying selection of craft beers from around the country—it can only mean one thing: The Oregon Brewers Fest is upon us. Grab a mug and hit the Waterfront, or check out the free OBF block party in the Pearl on Saturday, featuring music and BridgePort brews. AH
Oregon Brewers Fest, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 SW Naito, Thurs-Sat noon-9 pm, Sun noon-7 pm, tasting mug $6, tastings $1; BridgePort Block Party, 1313 NW Marshall, Sat 3-8 pm, FREE

SL Letter of the Day: It's Time for Mr. Hand to Back Off

Posted by Christopher Ryan, PH.D on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Christopher Ryan, co-author of Sex at Dawn, is stepping in for Dan Savage, who is on vacation. Chris will be writing the “Savage Love Letter of the Day” all this week. You can read more from Chris at his blog at Psychology Today, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Sex at Dawn has just been released in paperback.

Hey Dan,

I'm a 22-year-old straight guy, and a few months ago I entered into my first relationship since high school, and lost my virginity to her. I have no problems with the relationship: she's amazing, we get along great, we're both GGG, we're both very happy, and so on and so forth. The problem, though, is that I can't seem to have an orgasm from her, be it from vaginal sex, blowjob, handjob, whatever. It all feels quite good, but just doesn't build up to a climax. I can, however, maintain an erection, which means I have absurd endurance and we're typically fucking until she has 4+ orgasms, then I just finish by masturbating. She's always quite satisfied, so she's not bothered by my issue and is very willing to lend a helping hand and fondle my balls or whatever while I'm finishing myself off, and she often masturbates at the same time. I'm not upset with this arrangement, and I have awesome orgasms, but I'm still a little unsatisfied.


Read the rest of the question, and my response, after the jump...

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Big Float This Sunday: OH CRAP! YOU BETTER REGISTER!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 10:14 AM

GUYS! Do not forget that the Big Float is THIS SUNDAY—and the weather is gonna be bitchin' (a perfect 80 degrees) which means there's absolutely NO REASON for you not to grab an inner-tube and float across the Willamette with up to 2000 of us, and then see an amazing concert! (Oh, you can think of a reason, river hater? READ THIS FIRST, and put away your preconceptions. You may also be interested to know that dinosaurs and humans didn't live together at the same time.)

BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT: You should totally register online, rather than sign up when you get there, because the Big Float is filling up faster than anyone expected, and there's only 2000 slots. Plus, if you float (and give a $5 donation) you will get a wristband to get into the concert on the other side. If you DON'T float, you'll pay $7 dollars and MIGHT get in to see the show if there's still space. Floaters get priority. Sooo... REGISTER!!

Here are the necessary deets for the Big Float:
Meet us at: 1515 SE Water
Onsite registration: from 9:30-11:30 (or just bring your printed out registration if you're smart)
11:00 am—Inner-tube parade across the Hawthorne Bridge!
11:30 am— Floating begins!
Noon - 6:30— After-float pool party at SE end of Hawthorne Bridge, plus food! Plus an outdoor concert featuring Ramona Falls, Agesandages, Keep Your Fork There's Pie, Orca Team, and Bull Ramos. (Remember, that's $7 if ya don't float.)

For way more info (including where one can purchase an inner-tube, scientific factuals on how swimmable the Willamette actually is, registration and more), hit The Big Float website. And I'll see you on Sunday, because YOU CAN BET YOUR SOAKING WET ASS I'LL BE THERE!

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Attn. Guildies: Watch The Guild Tonight at Guardian Games

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 9:59 AM

I've mentioned this Guild thing before—here and here—but not in a Portland-related capacity, UNTIL NOW:

Tonight from 7-11 pm, great local nerdery supply store Guardian Games (303 SE 3rd) is pairing up with the Joss Whedon Obsessives Support Group PDX Browncoats to host a benefit screening of all The Guild webisodes to date. (Sure, shut-in, you can watch 'em all online—but it's a comedy, which means it's about 10 times funnier when watching it with other people.) Admission is "one youth item donation for Raphael House" (their wish list can be found here), and attendees are also eligible to win a copy of The Guild comic book that's been signed by writer/star Felicia Day and star Amy Okuda.

It's a good comic. You should read it. The show's good, too. You should watch it. Maybe even tonight! At Guardian Games! Also: Here's the first episode from the new season.

<a href='http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/season-5-episode-1-road-trips!/y02jncib' target='_new' title='Season 5 - Episode 1 - Road Trip!' >Video: Season 5 - Episode 1 - Road Trip!</a>

Michele Bachmann Knows You Want to Know About Her Jot and Also Her Tittle

Posted by Paul Constant on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 9:44 AM

ABC News:

Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann declined to directly address reports that the Christian counseling clinic she owns with her husband, Marcus, has tried to help gay people become straight through prayer...she acknowledged that running for president often brings intense, and sometimes unwanted, scrutiny.

“I have no doubt that every jot and tittle of my life will be fully looked at and inspected,” she said.

Jot and Tittle? Excuse me? Turns out it's Biblical, of course, from Matthew 5:18:

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jot is an anglicized version of "iota," and tittle "refers to a small stroke or point in writing or printing. In classical Latin this applied to any accent over a letter, but is now most commonly used as the name for the dot over the letter 'i'. It is also the name of the dots on dice."

This is definitely the only interesting thing that Michele Bachmann has ever taught me.

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 9:26 AM

GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! Well I ain't no new messiah—but I'm close enough for rock and roll. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

The House Republicans fucks everyone and themselves again last night, postponing a bullshit vote on their bullshit plan to raise the debt ceiling.

Obama urges the Senate to take the lead since the House Republicans are such incredible fuck ups.

Well, I suppose if the government needs a handout they can go to Apple—who just so happens to have more money than the U.S. treasury. Gulp.

Climate change debunkers get debunked!

Looks like San Francisco residents won't be voting on a circumcision band after all. PSSSTTHHHPPHT!! (That's a spit take.) Circumcision ban?!?

Hustler offers acquitted murderer Casey Anthony $500,000—and no, it's not so she'll kill herself.

Creepy Texas polygamist Warren Jeffs—accused of raping young girls in his compound—has decided to fire his lawyers and defend himself. The guys in your cell block aren't going to like you very much, Warren.

In other creepy Texas news, an AWOL soldier is arrested for possessing bomb-making materials that authorities believe were going to be used to blow up Fort Hood. (Did I mention he also had some child pornography, too? Texans! Pssht.)

Creepy Texan George W. Bush says his deer-in-the-headlights reaction to first hearing the news of the 9/11 attacks were in actuality "a conscious decision to project an aura of calm in a crisis." OHHHH, SO THAT'S WHAT IT WAS.

From the Sad Sports Desk: Former Yankee pitcher Hideki Arabu has been found dead, an apparent victim of suicide.

Amy Winehouse's family believe she died from not drinking enough. WHAT.

In Eugene, Oregon, Walmart customer Sandy McMillin was unceremoniously kicked out of the store for buying sour cream, chips and coffee creamer! Oh... and for wearing a bikini!

Now here's what's going on in your neck of the woods: Get your bikini on and your inner tube out for The Big Float on Sunday, because we have three gorgeous days of 80 degree weather ahead!

And finally, here's why you just can't quit Blogtown.

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Art by Adri T.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Behind the Reporting on David Wu and Other Sex Scandals

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 3:58 PM

ProPublica Editor Stephen Engleberg has a really interesting story up about the reporting choices involved in reporting on politician's sex lives, including David Wu. Engleberg is a former editor at the Oregonian and has some insight on why the paper chose to cover—and not cover—scandals in the past. Check it out.

If you can't handle reading that many words, there's also this from The Onion:

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The I, Anonymous Blog Quote o' the Day!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Okay, so a person was enjoying a meal at a well-known food cart pod, when this happened:

I have, for some time, totally appreciated having the proximity of food cart pods close to my residence. The diverse cuisine, friendly atmosphere and bargain prices have been a huge welcome to the shabby alternate.

That is, until I saw YOU; picking and eating your own SCABS in between customers without washing your hands to boot!

If you can bear it, devour the rest of this delicious submission (and many others) on the new I, Anonymous blog! And while you're there, feel free to submit and eat your own!

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And Now a Brief Message From a Devoted WinCo Fan

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 3:29 PM

A man with an ancient, raspy voice just left a message for us regarding New Seasons sweeping the best grocery store category of PDX Approved:

On your PDX APPROVED readers choice Portland Mercury edition 2011, you neglected to mention WinCo. W-I-N-C-O. They're the cheapest store in town if you want to buy basic food. It has nothing to do with any brand name or anything, but they have a great selection. Produce, meat, fish, anything you can think of, dairy products, frozen food. It's a you-bag-it-store. Just go in there any time. WinCo. W-I-N-C-O. I'm on social security and that's my favorite store. I've been going there the last 13 or 14 years. Please include that in your next edition. It was left out. Really left out.

WinCo: Really Left Out.

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