If you're anything like me, you awoke this morning with an entire three-pound turkey leg resting uncomfortably and snoring loudly inside your upper intestine, refusing to awake. It took a while, but I finally rousted him from his slumber and made him move along—though it took a grand total of four separate trips to the can. Here's my recipe:
One ginormous cup of black coffee.
One large bowl of Kashi's GoLean cereal (with 10 grams of fiber).
Followed by an exerting series of sidebends, backbends, and sit ups.
The result? It was like the Ghostbusters stepped into my colon armed with power washers.
However! I'm always looking for faster, more efficient methods of bowel expurgation—and I trust you to supply those in the comments below. BOMBS AWAY!
Well, well, well, we're nearly at the end of our mildly successful Discomfort Zone series, and who's left? It's Mercury arts/web editor Alison Hallett, whose likes are, in this order: 1) Cats. 2) Comics about cats. 3) Eating gelato from Alder while reading comics about cats.
But we don't care about that! What are her dislikes? In the few years that I've known Alison, I have been able to determine that they are as follows, in this order: 1) Hardboiled eggs. 2) Discrimination. 3) Shakespeare in the Park. Therefore, this week's Discomfort nominees were tailored with her dislikes in mind, and while the much-anticipated annual Easter Egg Hunt & Racism Ball unfortunately doesn't fall on this weekend, we found some choice events in the coming days that should make Alison distinctly discomfortable.
Knucklehead Blues Fest
SE Foster biker bar Knucklehead's is hosting a three-day festival of that most discomfortable of musical genres: the blues. While we can't make her go to all three days, we can definitely ruin her Sunday by sending her to a long day/night of white dudes singing, "Woke up this morning..." PROS: The blues; bikers. CONS: Alcohol. Alison might be able to drink her way through this one.
Knucklehead's, 6219 SE Foster, Sunday September 4
Jerry Garcia Celebration
More unfortunate music, this time performed by Jerry Garcia tribute band Cats Under the Stars. What makes this so discomfortable (other than the music)? Alison loves cats, which means she's automatically predisposed to love Cats Under the Stars based on their name alone—but I predict that she'll experience disorientation and confusion (in other words, DISCOMFORT) when it becomes apparent that these particular Cats are neither fluffy nor purr-y. Also, hippies.
The Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark, Sunday September 4
Shakespeare's As You Like It performed out of doors
A-ha! Now we are getting somewhere. The otherwise likable Portland Actors Ensemble (their logo is of Shakespeare wearing sunglasses! Tubular, dude!) insists on blabbing their way through the gender-bending As You Like It, one of the Bard's most discomfortable plays, without the benefits of an indoor stage. This is certainly one of Alison's pet peeves. Also, it's at Reed, which means she'll be surrounded by Reedies. DISCOMFORTABLE.
Reed College, in front of Eliot Hall, Sunday September 4 & Monday September 5
A charming day at the Oregon State Fair
It's the last day of this year's Oregon State Fair, and there's plenty to see and do, including a concert by Selena Gomez at 4:30 pm! Alison must attend Ms. Gomez's performance in full, PLUS complete at least three of the following activities also taking place on this fine day of family and fun (here's a PDF of the full schedule):
• Warpaint International: Paintball Open Play
• Let’s Pretend Circus - Cutest Show on Earth
• Marion County Sheriff and Keizer Police K-9 Demonstrations
• GASCAR Crazy Animal Races
• Bi-Mart Presents Radio Disney
Oregon State Fairgrounds, 2330 17th St. NE, Salem, Monday September 5
I went busking on Saturday, per the dictum of the results of my Discomfort Zone vote, in which a two-hour performance by yours truly at Pioneer Courthouse Square edged out attending a six-hour kiddie concert at the Children's Museum. Well chosen, Blogtownies! This turned the Discomfort Zone into something a little different than it's been in the past: Instead of sending a Mercury writer to a previously established event, this event was created out of thin air, solely to make me discomfortable and possibly the object of ridicule. If it didn't get picked, it wouldn't have happened.
But it did! And so on a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon, I packed up my guitar and headed downtown. On the way to the Square, I spied a couple other buskers plying their trade on the sidewalks, including a violinist with long, graying hair; he was a real pro, and a great player. I felt like a bit of an interloper to be busking on essentially a dare, when there were legit musicians actually out there trying to make a buck. But Blogtown readers must be appeased! So it was on to the Square. A couple problems, though: First of all, it is illegal to actually busk in Pioneer Courthourse Square. Playing anywhere on the bricks is not allowed. Second of all, a weekend-long Italian festival had taken over the entire block, jamming the entire square with cannelloni, the European rhythms of the EuroRhythms, and, uh, cannelloni? (Italians are not known for their food, are they?)
Thanks to a suspiciously high number of votes, I will be busking tomorrow at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Well, actually, as close to the square as I can get—the Festa Italiana is also taking place this weekend, so I may be budged out to the margins of the square. I will be there from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, I will be wearing a hat, and I possibly may be joined at some point during the performance by a musical cohort. Stop by if you want to throw money. Stay home if you want to throw anything else.
MORE IMPORTANTLY: Next week is Alison Hallett's turn to be discomfortable. It's Alison! You want to make her even more discomfortable than you're making me! So leave your brutal, mean, discomfortable ideas in the comments and we'll take your best suggestions into consideration. Alison's reign of discomfort begins next Thursday, September 1 and runs through the following Monday, September 5, so any terrible, unpleasant, or just plain awful events that fall on those days are game. (She "says" she has a wedding to attend on Saturday, September 3, which sounds discomfortable in and of itself, so look for things that fall on other days, if possible.)
The rules are simple: we do a half-hearted search for the most uncomfortable (for him) events of the week—with a few tossed in for good measure by Blogtown regulars—and then you vote on which event he has to attend and be discomforted by! Even worse, he has to write about it afterward—a task which, to him, is almost as uncomfortable as actually attending the event, because he is a writer who hates writing, and is therefore the perfect person to represent our dying industry.
OKAY! All that being said, here are Ned's DISCOMFORT ZONE choices for YOU to vote on!
The All Stars Tour at the Roseland: An entire DAY of unequivocally shitty metalcore bands, starting at 1:30 in the afternoon, and continuing until the audience commits seppuku. Here's one of the headliners, and if you can make it through 20 seconds of this, you deserve a million dollars. REMEMBER NED! NO DRINKING!
Mama Mia at the Keller Auditorium: This musical based on the songs of ABBA is so, so, so much worse than the actual songs of ABBA and will possibly make Ned's head explode. I kind of like musicals, though, so maybe I should go with him and rub his thigh during the performance?
Josh Groban at the Rose Garden: Look up "bland" in the dictionary and you'll see this guy. Josh will undoubtedly put on a painfully sleepy performance that will lull Ned into a discomfortable sleep. At which point I'll sneak up behind him and slit his throat. Fun for me, not so fun for him.
Baby Woodstock at the Children's Museum: Here's one from Commenter Todd— a six-hour concert for KIDS (Ned despises children, of course), and here's the description: "Dust off your dancing shoes and put those bell bottoms on, it’s time to celebrate our annual event, Baby Woodstock. Take in a great musical performance, make your own drum, and decorate your own reusable shopping bag." HAHAHAHAAAA!!! Gross. Here's a song from Baby Woodstock headliners, The Alphabeticians.
Street Busking: Here's another Blogtownie suggestion I think is pretty good! Ned will have to spend at least two hours busking on the street downtown for money. That's right, playing his guitar and singing songs (let's say at Pioneer Square on Saturday afternoon), and if he happens to make any money (he won't) it will be used buy us drinks at the next Blogtown meet up. Video proof of Ned performing must be provided and posted along with Discomfort Zone write up. He should also wear an odd hat. GET A REAL JOB, HIPPIE!
Get it? Got it? Good, let's vote!
So as you know, I'm doing my Discomfort Zone thing tomorrow (CAT STORIES?? AT 10:30 IN THE MORNING?? Oh, for the love of Christ.), but our own Ned Lannamannaman is being thrust into the Discomfort Zone next week! GOT ANY IDEAS THAT WILL MAKE HIM WRITHE IN DISCOMFORTMENT?
If you want to play, look for weird, discomfortable events that fall anytime on the following dates: FRIDAY, AUGUST 26-SUNDAY, AUGUST 28.
What we know about Ned so far: He likes science. He hates horrible music. He dislikes making contact with other human beings. That's about it. (Oh, and while you are welcome to suggest things like, "Shit into a hat and make him wear it," we would prefer actual events that we don't construct ourselves. Otherwise, we'd be using our own endless supply of sadistic creativity to torture Ned, which is a lot worse than merely wearing a shat-into hat, and super illegal I think.) HAPPY HUNTING!
“I think the thing that would really get Steve, “ popular/ist commenter Graham said as we were staging a mock serial killer bedroom in his basement, “is to be bored. Just make him really bored.”
This Discomfort Zone might be like shooting fish in a barrel because, as Steve readily admits, "I am very easily annoyed by almost anything."
Cat Stories II Open Mic Event
Everyone hates an open mic. This open mic promises to expose those who don't hate an open mic all over Wm. Steven Humphrey. With cat stories. Before breakfast.
Sat Aug 20, Joe's Cellar, 1332 NW 21st, 10:30 am
Toby Keith at Sleep Country Amphitheater - Hey Warriors, it isn't that there's anything wrong with a Toby Keith concert except that Wm. Steven Humphrey would totally HATE IT. It has been suggested that Steve be forced/encouraged to dress up for this event, either wearing a turban or wrapping himself in the French national flag.
Thurs Aug 19, Sleep Country Amphitheater, Ridgefield, WA, 7 pm
The 8th Annual Dark Alice in Wonderland Ball - Another costume mandatory event! We love it when Wm. Steven Humprey dresses up. My excitement for this event may stem from my deep-seated need to see all the men in my life as goth dancers. I never before realized I also want to see them dressed up as Alice In Wonderland characters. Steve is a natural caterpillar, don't you think?
Sat Aug 20, Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne, 9 pm
Kottonmouth Kings - This is truly brutal and unusual for a discomfort zone. Some would put this at a step below an Insane Clown Posse concert. I might put it as a step above. Truly the worst rappers known to mankind. I forgot to ask Steve how he feels about rap.
Sat Aug 20, Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th, 8 pm
4th Annual Corgi Walk in the Pearl - Steve made a big deal to shriek and act offended when we brought this up during an editorial meeting. I've checked with a few people and it seems legit. Wm. Steven Humprey hates corgis, feels unsettled in their presence and experiences vertigo when watching them run.
Sat Aug 20, NW Park & Everett, 9 am-noon
In this week's preview for Discomfort Zone, I agreed to help popular/ist commenter Graham move in with his girlfriend. Graham moved all his shit the day before our agreed-upon moving day and said very obstinately that I could not unwrap plates. I expected this sort of thing. I mean, he’s Graham. He’s difficult.
Earlier that week I told Graham I could help him move anytime that weekend. He said he was hiring movers and asked if I wanted to go to the zoo.
"People are trying to get me to create some sort of fake situation in which to abuse you," he said, and quoted a fellow commenter:
Okay! Welcome back to Discomfort Zone, the weekly blog fiasco where we send a staffer to an event that is outside of their comfort area. Up this week is intern Suzette Smith who (special treat!) is heading to her hometown, Detroit, on Monday. One of the choices for this week's event, then, is in Detroit. Voting ends at 2pm tomorrow!
First: A little bit about Suzette. She is a NE Portland social worker and indie comics artist who was raised in a rather religious "grab-bag Christian" home. As mentioned, she is from Detroit so she is hard to rattle.
Christian Art Experience: Every Sunday, all-caps Christian art group AGENTS OF FUTURE "facilitates an attempt to connect with the supernatural side of things (through that guy, Jesus)" at The Bridge in NE Portland. They encourage "visceral means" including "performance art, punk rock, puppetry or playdoh."
Vancouver Bikini Bike Wash: Look at this flyer! Suzette must ride her bike to this bikini (motor)bike wash and attempt to get her frame a sexy scrub down from the ladies.
Giant Poetry Slam: At least 24 performers are taking the stage at Backspace for an epic poetry slam. This thing could last hours. Hours and hours of poetry slamming. Suzette hates sincerity so this will be tough to stomach.
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park: This is occurring in Detroit and I think it sounds okay, but as Suzette explains: "I hate sports and the Tigers always lose. Also I went on a date once with this hotdog salesman who sings fake opera in the stands and I feel like he might still be working there. (shudder)"
Help Graham Move in with His Girlfriend: You may know Graham from his 3,581 comments on our site. After all these years, this weekend Graham is moving in with his girlfriend (a real life girlfriend not from the internet, you guys). What could be more uncomfortable than sharing in their incipient domestic spats as they bicker over sofa placement?
The internet wanted me to take my shirt off. So I obliged, heading over to Lola's Room on Friday for a dance night that invited people to wear underwear, lingerie, or "anything skimpy, really." Ladies got in free. Woop woop.
There are no "anything skimpy" pictures on this blog post. Just words. And one screenshot of some dudes. To continue reading the words, but not see any photos of anyone—myself included—with their shirt off, click the jump.
After the horrible failure that was my Discomfort Zone we are now determined to make our next contestant—News reporter extraordinaire Sarah Mirk—suffer like no one has ever suffered before. The problem is, Sarah loves everything. Clowns? She thinks they are hilarious. Nazis? She also thinks they are hilarious. Denis Theriault's collection of vintage amputee erotica? She admires his steadfast devotion to diversity.
To make matters worse, the camping trip with Furries event is already sold out (or, Sarah secretly bought out all the remaining tickets in order not to go) and our lawyer said we can't force her to go to this and fight a stranger.
Thankfully we have been inundated with a few other suggestions from our cruel readers, the best/worst of which are below.
DebbieTay Comedy Hypnotist
Two things we know about Sarah: she has never laughed and she has never been hypnotized. I can't promise this event will take care of the former (just watch this depressing video that looks like it was filmed in the basement of the Red Lion), but perhaps she will fall under the spell of this comedy hypnotist and dance the "Funky Chicken." We should probably film that. Fri Aug 5, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Highway, 8:30-9:30 pm
It's Getting Hot In Here! Lingerie and Underwear Party
Due to my inability to write in the prose known as "rapey," I'll let the event's description take it from here: "Lola's room is known for getting pretty hot when people get moving, so we thought it would be fun to throw a lingerie and underwear party. Or swimsuits. Or anything that feels suitable for an event called, It's Getting Hot in Here. (there will be a 'clothes' check available)." I guess the title "Megan's Law: The Dance Party" was already taken. Fri Aug 5, Lola’s Room, 1332 W Burnside, 9-12 pm
Gathering of the Eagles
You wanted it, you got it. But beware, this Tea Party gathering—featuring Herman Cain, the token black Republican all Tea Party members namecheck in order to not appear racist—is the sort of thing Sarah is into. It's newsy, plus she has been to one before. Then again, a full day on a ranch in Jefferson, OR might help Sarah become less of a Pinko and more of a true American. Sat Aug 6, Ames Ranch, 4135 Paradise Hill Dr, Jefferson, OR, 8:30am-7pm
Who? Oh, you know, "America's Best Dance Band" and "America’s Best Independent Artist," which are fake titles this painfully sincere covers band just arbitrarily gave themselves. Watch this video/informercial and then get back to us. Thurs Aug 4, Refectory Lounge, 1618 NE 122nd Ave, 7pm
Voting ends tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3pm. Do your worst.
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... the Discomfort Zone.
Or not. As we all know, my fellow Mercury word slaves seriously dropped the ball when it came to my Discomfort Zone. Instead of selecting juggalo puppets or the screening of my parent's sextape at the Pioneer Square Flicks on the Bricks (such discomfort—I'm really glad they missed that one), my options were some poetry, a picnic with tall people, or popular comedian George Lopez.
Lopez won, but the real winner was me. I've never seen his sitcom, or his talk show, but to me Lopez was a vaguely familiar comedian, probably not as funny as Louis CK, but superior to Jay Leno or Carrot Top.
So how was it?
Eh, it was fine. My comfort level didn't stray far from vague indifference as I sat alone in the balcony of the Keller. Sorry to let you down, I know you all truly wanted me to suffer.
Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit:
These guys are releasing their record at the Mt. Tabor Theater this Thursday, July 28. As far as I can tell, it is some sort of murder rap/puppet project, like Juggalos starring in Meet the Feebles.
I can't believe we didn't find this in time to make the nominations. I'm sorry, Blogtownies. We have failed you.
Hahahaha, a George Lopez show, poetry, or a picnic with my genetically-blessed brethren? Clearly no one here knows anything about me. Did they suggest the Juggalo-ish puppet show hiphop band? Of course not. Looks like my co-workers actually "like" and "care" for me.
Pussies. All of them.
That is why I want you, loyal citizens of Blogtown, to help me find something truly uncomfortable for our next contestant, Sarah Mirk. We are looking for horrible events that occur between August 4-10. Post your suggestions below, that way we'll make sure the next Discomfort Zone post isn't about what a great time I had at the comedy show, poetry corner, or a tall person pizza picnic.
Do your worst.
Dammit, this got canceled. Ezra would've been really uncomfortable there.
Portland Poetry Slam
Yelling! Slam poetry! All ages angst! Iambic pentameter! Free verse read from diaries! According to the blurb, "[It's] Portland's most punk rawk literary show extravaganza pitting eight poets against each other for $50 and the chance to represent PDX poetry to it's [sic] finest." This has great potential for snarky commentary. Backspace, Sunday, July 31, 7:30 pm
Lowest common denominator stand-up is probably the worst stand-up comedy known to humans. In his right mind, Ezra wouldn't step foot in this place for the comic stylings of George Lopez, where he might be treated to jokes about Lopez's Mexican grandma and the psyche-up song War's "Low Rider." "But Lopez is a pro," you think. Indeed, but just watch. Ugh. Keller Auditorium, Friday, July 29, 8 pm
Picnic with the Portland Skyliners Tall Club
This is my personal favorite! Ezra's long been fascinated by the Portland Skyliners Tall Club, a club founded "for the purpose of promoting friendship and good fellowship among tall people." Ezra "I'm Taller and Better Than You" Caraeff needs some fellowship and feel-good picnicking. Decreed by Blogtown, he should have to join the Skyliners and attend a concert in the park... in Lake Oswego. The trifecta of awkward: tall people club membership, picnic with strangers watching some easy-grooves from the Gretchen Mitchell Band, and the drive to schmancy Lake Oswego. Sounds like total discomfort to me. Portland Skyliners Tall Club concert and picnic in the park, Westlake Park, Lake Oswego, Wednesday, August 3, 6:30 pm
Let's rock the vote! (Due to a polling issue, you might have to vote again. Poll ends tomorrow at 3 pm.)
I had a great time at Footnight, a night for foot fetishists. Frankly, it was delightful. Nary a creepy moment. Good food, plentiful drinks, interesting conversation. Take that, Schadenfreudesters of Blogtown. Oh, I wore the knee-high boots and I got propositioned once.
After a whiskey frontload, I got off the bus at SE 39th and Powell to wander around the warren that is Angel’s, 10,000 square feet (ha!) of rooms designed for sexual frolicking (porn screening room, hot tubs, rec room with pool table and bar, cage with swing). Lovely host Catherine de Sade was orienting the foot models in the rec room before the men arrived. She told me the ladies came from “all walks of life,” and most were from Bay City Blues, a local phone-sex operation with girls working from their homes. Everyone was in high spirits as we mingled around—people were polishing their patent leather shoes, CoxxAnn was setting up a table for a silent auction of her high-heeled shoes she’d worn for three years, Tonya was showing off her smelly Converse, I was browsing the hardbound book collections lining the walls (Winston Churchill bios, old encyclopedias) and wondering how much action the booths had seen.
Learn about foot fetishes and gang bangs after the jump.
As you jerkwads of Blogtown decreed, I'm off to Footnight tonight for a foot fetish party tonight. Please help me decide what to put on my feet for the evening—I'm really toeing the line on this one (PUNS ARE WHAT YOU DESERVE).
Okay, this time it's Courtney's turn for discomfort. While I was uncomfortable for him reading it, so far Erik has soldiered through an athletic event he was physically unqualified for, and I, by default, had to go to a perfectly comfortable performance by a UK artist popular with hippies (enough with the hippies). Before we start demanding greater degrees of torture, let's take a moment to note the fact that this is not Worst. Night. Ever., which immediately devolved into cruelty (sending Patrick to get punched in the face, sending me to get murdered in the woods, etc.). This is Discomfort Zone, which was intended to be a gentler, less reckless W.N.E., one that's about stepping outside our usual cultural circles and reporting back, so that we all might expand our borders—not just crude dares. That said, behold Courtney's options:
Creation 2011 Northwest: A Tribute to Our Creator
This Christian music fest featuring 60 bands and 20 speakers actually starts tomorrow, but it runs through Saturday, so I think we can let Courtney choose whether she'd rather be "drawn to salvation and discipleship in Christ" during Thursday's full lineup of "Gospel through music" (including communion at 11:30 pm and the Transform DJ Electronica Night kicking off at midnight); "give tribute to our Creator" on Friday (don't forget to Experience Vice Verses at the Worship Stage); or "unreservedly submit to Christ as Lord and Savior" on Saturday—don't skip out on 4 pm Catholic Mass, Court. You might learn something. Enumclaw Expo Center, 45224, 284th Ave, SE, Enumclaw, WA
Tip o' the cap to Blogtown commenter cat & beard for this doozy. The Summer Soles 'N Toes extravaganza promises a 10,000 square foot venue (REALLY?!) filled with foot models, "'luxury 'suites' for private worshipping, an intimate lounge area for more public exhibitions and even a cage to unleash your deviant foot fetish desires." Plus, a bar (mercy), hors d'oeuvres (cheese?), and a DJ! Let's hear some quotes from past attendees: "I got the idea with experienced later in the evening, that I can get aggressive, by tickling the model’s feet she was fulfilled. I can now almost see myself confident with more women in general." "Angel and I went to a private space and I gave her my patented gentle podiatric examination..." Okay. That's enough. Thursday, 8 pm-midnight, "Actual location only provided to registered, confirmed guests"
"Portland's biggest lingerie and pajama party happens at Barracuda. Everyone dressed in pj's or lingerie will receive a raffle ticket for prizes from Cathie's & G-Spot." 'Nuff said. Saturday, Barracuda, NW 2nd & Couch, 9 pm
I will leave you to your deliberation.
Okay, firstly let's re-cap the cluster-fuck that brought us to this point. In the largest landslide vote of Discomfort Zone thus far, you overwhelmingly wanted me to attend the Improv InTouch All-Night Open Jam. And no wonder. While I was pretty sure it would just be an improv dance class (which I've actually done before in college, although I felt extremely stupid), I doubted it was going to turn into any sort of "orgy" as you all—fuck you very much—had hoped. But the threat of it going on indefinitely was... ugh. Nonetheless, I went to pre-register for it on Friday, when the organizer told me the monthly to-do was on hold for July and August. One of the other two Discomforts on the list, Jo Jo Jorge Falcon (which was the one I had been hoping you would send me to so I would have the opportunity to practice my Spanish comprehension while improvising sitting my ass in a chair in a dimly lit theater) had already happened the night before. That left Shpongle Presents the Shpongletron Experience, a psychedelic UK DJ extravaganza that seemed like a safer, louder, and much briefer endeavor than what I had to do last year. But I was not stoked. I knew I would have to go alone (my fiance unfortunately is rarely down to suffer along with me for Merc-related punishments ever since that one time I tricked him into going to the screening for Marley & Me). But whatever. So I looked it up. They're from England, headed by one Simon Posford, and they play synth-based psychedelic music, but they're also known for crazy live shows. According to Wikipedia, this happened just days before I saw them:
"Shpongle Live" performed at Camp Bisco X on July 7—9, 2011 in Mariaville, New York. This is was Shpongle's first ever performance as a full ensemble in the United States. The performance also had three other live performers along the lines of a gymnast, a giant slinky woman and an incredible hula hooper. Simon wielded a guitar, and Raja Ram blew minds and donned a beautiful blacklight reflective cloak. Also the show took place during a thunder and lightning storm, but the entire group did a fantastic job at holding such a crowd in the inclement weather.
Great news, buttfuckers! Remember that touchy-feely sounding all-night improv contact jam and possible orgy you bastards voted overwhelmingly to send me to? Well, I went to register for it, and guess what? Despite all appearances online to the contrary, it ain't happenin'! So, since one of the other three options already happened yesterday, that only leaves one: Shpongle Presents the Shpongletron Experience. I have no idea who or what a shpongle is but apparently it makes music. And I am going to experience it. Along with several hundred all ages ravers. And if you think I'm getting away with something here, please know that I deeply do not want to experience any shpongling tonight—although I may end up drinking enough to shpongle on my dress a little.
Marjorie and I are pals. We even hang out when we aren't working sometimes! That doesn't mean I don't secretly loathe her, though.
Which is why I'm DELIGHTED to offer you, dear Blogtown readers, the chance to inflict misery and sadness upon her! Welcome back to Discomfort Zone, the (sort of) new Blogtown series where YOU get to force a Mercury editor outside of their comfort zone... and then they have to write about it!
Here are three events the Mercury editorial staff has decided would make Marjorie profoundly uncomfortable:
Contact Improv InTouch All-Night Open Jam
From "the creator of the Wild Grace™ and DanceQuest™" comes an all-night event in which participants "come together to explore the worlds of touch, deep listening, intuitive expression, and conscious connection," according to the Craigslist page. "The studio is ours for the entire evening. We dance as long as we like and go home in sweet exhaustion." That's right, Marjorie: Intuitive expression and conscious connection with strangers. All night long. Followed by sweet, sweet exhaustion. (Wait. Is it just me, or does this sound like it might be an orgy?) SomaSpace, Sat July 16, "8 pm-LATE"
Jo Jo Jorge Falcon
Ezra recommended this one. "This is like Mexico's Robin Williams or Howie Mandel," he wrote. "All in Spanish. Will be super awkward. Look him up on YouTube!" I did:
Yes. Sitting through that would, indeed, be super awkward. (NOTE: Thanks to my investigative journalism skillz, I have deduced that Marjorie speaks Spanish at "about a second-grade level"—meaning she knows just enough to not be able to tune out Señor Falcon's routine, but not quite enough to actually get any of his jokes.) Roseland Theater, Thurs July 14, 8:30 pm
Shpongle Presents the Shpongletron Experience
"Not prepared to leave us hanging, electronic music pioneers Simon Posford and Raja Ram have continued to push the envelope and break boundaries to create yet another sonic masterpiece: the much-awaited fourth Shpongle album, Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland," proclaims the Crystal Ballroom site with nary a hint of irony. "There are languages here that Shpongle fans will know and love as much as their previous work, and yet there are some massive leaps forward in terms of production techniques, sonic trickery—" Oh, fuck off. Sorry, but there's no way I am reading even one more word of that bullshit. Look: It's an all-ages rave. It will be full of the same people Marjorie got to hang out with when she had to do this. This thing would drive anyone, especially Marjorie, to madness. Crystal Ballroom, Fri July 15, 9 pm
Make me proud, Blogtown! Or at least vote better than you did last time.
Well, here we are: The first post-mortem in Blogtown's new series, Discomfort Zone, in which Blogtown's sadistic readers send one of the Mercury's esteemed editors to do something profoundly uncomfortable!
You guys voted to send me to Monday Night Bicycle Racing at the Portland International Raceway, so last night, that's what I did. And now I'll answer your questions about it! By which I mean, I'll answer my own questions about it. But they're questions I assume you guys would ask!
Ha! We sent your asthmatic ass to Monday Night Bike Racing at PIR!
I'm not asthmatic.
Wait. When Steve told us what we could vote on, he said you were a "professional asthmatic."
Not a real job.
So you're not asthmatic? At all?
I get bad allergies in the springtime? That's about it.
Okay, fine, congrats on not being asthmatic. But there's still no way you're in good enough shape to do a 12-mile bike ride, right?
Correct! I am in no conceivable way in good enough shape to do what I did last night. Or, more accurately, what I tried to do last night.
I'd also like to thank you for ruining, out of the gate, our brand-new Blogtown series before it even has the chance to get going. Discomfort Zone had potential to be GREAT; we spent long and hard coming up with the idea, and it knocked out some of the other ideas we had kicking around (such as our "Freaky Friday" idea, in which two Mercury employees switch jobs—and lovers!—for a day, or our "Le Retour de Martin Guerre" series, which legal advised us would get us into serious trouble).
Nope. You blew it. You decided to send Erik on a merry ol' bike ride, instead of THIS:
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