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Worst. Night. Ever.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Marjorie Skinner's Worst. Night. Ever.

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

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It's back! Welcome to the triumphant return of the Blogtown series we like to call "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly "My, What a Busy Week!" pitch meetings, someone suggests an event which is the equivalent of throwing acid in our eyes—but we also realize a more enlightened person might love it! Hence, these "risky" events are often unfairly pushed aside. WELL, NO MORE. Instead of allowing what could be entirely worthy events to vanish forever, we're asking you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers to decide which of these events one of us should attend... whether we like it or not!

Every week an editorial staff member will be presented with three events that do not match their personality or interests... like, AT ALL. And here's the fun part: YOU will vote on and pick the event that must be attended by our unlucky staffer. Afterward he or she will review it right here on the blog! NOTE: Everyone's taste is different, right? So while Dirk might enjoy nothing more than a rousing afternoon of bike-based ballet, it might send Marjorie into rageful fits! That's why you might find a perfectly pleasant event or two in the list below. Also, competitors must stay for at least two hours (or until the event is over, whichever comes first) and are not allowed to get drunk, or use any substances (drugs) or distractions (phone/reading material) to dull the pain they may experience. Now let's see who is up this week:

Managing Editor Marjorie Skinner's Worst. Night. Ever.

Ooh. Marjorie's a tough one. Marjorie likes shoes, foreign films, and furry things like kitties, puppies, and Tom Jones. Having gone to Reed and having extensively covered the city's artsiest and fashion-iest scenes, she's become accustomed to (if not downright tolerant of) Portland's most irritating attributes. The woo-woo gemstone spirit-quest stuff does not seem to bother her. The Paleo diet does not faze her. And Marjorie famously attended what has got to be the worst of all the Worst. Night. Ever.s we've ever done, an overnight hippie rave in the rain, without completely losing her shit. So what will you elect for Marjorie's Worst. Night. Ever. this time? Vote wisely, Blogtown!

GEAR Con 2013
"GEAR Con is Portland, Oregon’s annual celebration of all things steampunk." Stovepipe hats and curlicue moustaches abound at this collection of Portland's most whimsical activities, in which a bunch of enthusiastic guttersnipes and cutpurses don Victorian-era heavy wool, sport eyeliner, and converse with each other in affected olde-timey speak. Marjorie will have to soak in as much parlor conjuring, masquerading, and corsets as she can on Sunday afternoon, and also attend the festival's highlight: the Victorian Martial Arts Symposium and Bartitsu Workshop. What's "Bartitsu," you ask, scallywag? It's Sherlock Holmes-y type fighting with umbrellas and sticks of wood. Behold this demonstration from Vancouver, BC's Academie Duello:

A Peruvian Style Fire Ceremony
On Sunday night, at an undisclosed location, this is happening: "Come join us to experience a Peruvian style Fire Ceremony. This is a powerful way to release worries and heavy energies, call in what is needed, and express prayers and gratitude. I am honored to share this beautiful and potent ritual with you. Join in receiving Fire Energy, with song, drums, rattles, and ritual." It sounds like Marjorie will need to bring her own marshmallows.

mutton.png
The Vancouver Rodeo
Marjorie hates animal cruelty in all its forms, so the Vancouver Rodeo might really make her squirm. Starting today and with performances through Saturday, it offers calf roping, steer wrestling, and mutton bustin' (which is kids riding sheep, pictured at right—adorable to you and me, potentially horrifying to Marjorie). She will need to bear witness to all of it.

It's time to choose Marjorie's Worst. Night. Ever., Blogtown. Polling closes at noon on Friday!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ned Lannamann's Worst. Night. Ever.

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 11:14 AM

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It's back! Welcome to the triumphant return of the Blogtown series we like to call "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly "My, What a Busy Week!" pitch meetings, someone suggests an event which is the equivalent of throwing acid in our eyes—but we also realize a more enlightened person might love it! Hence, these "risky" events are often unfairly pushed aside. WELL, NO MORE. Instead of allowing what could be entirely worthy events to vanish forever, we're asking you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers to decide which of these events one of us should attend... whether we like it or not!

Every week an editorial staff member will be presented with three events that do not match their personality or interests... like, AT ALL. And here's the fun part: YOU will vote on and pick the event that must be attended by our unlucky staffer. Afterward he or she will review it right here on the blog! NOTE: Everyone's taste is different, right? So while Dirk might enjoy nothing more than a rousing afternoon of bike-based ballet, it might send Marjorie into rageful fits! That's why you might find a perfectly pleasant event or two in the list below. Also, competitors must stay for at least two hours (or until the event is over, whichever comes first) and are not allowed to get drunk, or use any substances (drugs) or distractions (phone/reading material) to dull the pain they may experience. Now let's see who is up this week:

Music Editor Ned Lannamann's Worst. Night. Ever.

Ned Lannamann enjoys Neil Young, the Beatles, most music... really, classic films, tasty beers, and puppy dogs. He despises Daft Punk's new album (I KNOW, RIGHT?!) and making a fool of himself. For his previous Worst Nights, Ned has been forced to busk on Portland's streets and take a very enjoyable bike ride to look at Portland's bodies of water. While the busking sounded awkward, the bike ride was a breeze for Mr. Music. Put that in your bonnet when considering which event to vote for in this outing. To the polls, Blogtown!

US Open Footbag Net Championships
This championship is apparently a "premier" footbag event. Yeah, I don't know what that is either—but I envision lots of kicks to the scrabble bag—let's go to the game tapes:

Looks like Irish dancing to me. Ned would have to take a beginners' hacky sack class and report on the sweet hacks being hacked by the pro 'baggers. Bonus points for video of Ned completing an epic hack or "ham spalts" or "bag daggers." And remember, he won't be able to partake in any kind bud for the event; he is, however, free to become kind buddies with any number of footbaggers.

Summer All-Comer Track Meet
This is an open track meet with the full gamut of field events: high jump, long jump, softball throw (is that a legitimate field event?!), shotput, relays, and all manner of dashes. It's a family-friendly, all-ages event, so Ned would have to share the track with a bunch of spry eight-year-olds. Ned must also participate in at least three events of his choosing. Don't worry, the Mercury has pretty good health insurance. Plus, it's at Franklin High School and we could all go watch! I'm hoping to see some shotput action.

Hawthorne Laughter Club
And bwah hah, this! This is a laughter yoga class that has about 15-20 "laughers" every week. I'll let the laughmasters of the Laughter Club explain:

Laughter Yoga is a unique new physical activity where anyone can learn to laugh for no reason at all! These laughter exercises are interspersed with gentle yogic breathing and stretching exercises, rhythmic clapping and chanting. Laughter Yoga is fun & easy! Anyone can learn to laugh without a sense of humor, jokes or comedy. In Laughter Yoga, we use laughter as a tool, not an emotion. Through group activity and eye contact simulated laughter exercises quickly become real, contagious and enthusiastic laughter.

Tee hee.

Well, this is a tough decision. Choose wisely. Polling closes at noon on Friday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Worst Morning Ever: The Christian Home-Schooling Conference

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM

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I'm not sure why y'all voted to send me to the Oregon Christian Home Education Conference instead of making me watch a nightmare stand-up set by Pauly Shore at Harvey's. You do realize the conference's registration fee—60 smackeroos!—is now sitting in the khaki pockets of right-wing folks who hate the women, the gays, and the Obamas, right? Meanwhile $60 would probably keep Pauly Shore afloat for three months, weezing the juice in straight-up style. But... shrug... you guys are the bosses—to a bland, fluorescent-soaked home-schooling convention I went. Maybe you got sucked in by the lecture description, in which it was implied there might be some God-mocking, or at least some strident denial of the mockability of their favorite imaginary friend:

"Be not deceived. God is not mocked...” (Gal. 6:7) God is not mocked! If we believe the heresy that comes from the White House, or the lies that are spewed from the liberal media, we may try to “give in” just to “get along.” Don’t!"

Oh, but God was sorely mocked... in my brain... during the sadly under-attended keynote lecture by Dick Karman. (For mocking reference: This is what I think God looks like.) Bonus mock: Ronald Reagan!

Lecturetime for Bonzo

Hit the jump for my musings on fake husbands, children as chattel, dinosaurs, and Christian cosplay.

Continue reading »

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Courtney Ferguson's Worst. Night. Ever.

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 9:59 AM

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It's back! Welcome to the triumphant return of the Blogtown series we like to call "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly "My, What a Busy Week" pitch meetings, someone suggests an event which is the equivalent of throwing acid in our eyes—but we also realize a more enlightened person might love it! Hence, these "risky" events are often unfairly pushed aside. WELL, NO MORE. Instead of allowing what could be entirely worthy events to vanish forever, we're asking you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers to decide which of these events one of us should attend... whether we like it or not!

Every week an editorial staff member will be presented with three events that do not match their personality or interests... like, AT ALL. And here's the fun part: YOU will vote on and pick the event that must be attended by our unlucky staffer. Afterward he or she will review it right here on the blog! NOTE: Everyone's taste is different, right? So while Erik might enjoy nothing more than a sensual night of interactive puppetry, Denis might hate it! That's why you might find a perfectly pleasant event or two in the list below. Also, competitors must stay for at least two hours (or until the event is over, whichever comes first) and are not allowed to get drunk, or use any substances (drugs) or distractions (phone/reading material) to dull the pain they may experience. Now let's see who is up this week:

Copy Chief Courtney Ferguson's Worst. Night. Ever.

Courtney Ferguson likes beer, roller derby, standup comedy and, well, most things. She probably dislikes what I did there with the Oxford comma, but in general she's very agreeable, which means her Worst. Night. Ever. poses a particular challenge. Choose wisely, Internet:

Oregon Christian Home Education Conference
This is a conference for Christians who homeschool their kids. It promises a day of workshops and canoodling with weirdos who refuse to release their children into the godless wilds of public school. She'd have to attend this panel:

"Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7) In this wonderful time of raising godly families, when we see excitement in the eyes of our youngsters and new learning is just around each corner, we sometimes forget who is in control. It’s not the government, contrary to what they tell you. God is not mocked! If we believe the heresy that comes from the White House, or the lies that are spewed from the liberal media, we may try to “give in” just to “get along.” Don’t! Hear Dick speak with the experience of three decades of leadership. Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. God is not mocked!

Cody Simpson at the Roseland
What is a Cody Simpson, you ask? Cody Robert Simpson (born 11 January 1997) is an Australian pop singer from Gold Coast, Queensland, who is currently signed to US record label Atlantic Records.[2]. He is also a talented swimmer! He has the kind of face that makes me want to draw a dick on it.

In this song, he drinks apple juice out of a scotch glass and rhymes "hotty" with "party":



Pauly Shore at Harvey's Comedy Club

AHHAHHHhhahHAHHAHAHHAHhahhahahahhaHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHhhhahahahhahhAAHAHA!!!

::pauses, wipes eyes, watches recent Pauly Shore standup set::

BAHHHHAHhahahahahHAHHHAAA!!!!!!!!!

Oh, Internet. I hope you know what to do. Polling closes at noon Friday!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Warped Tour: A Meditation on Aging

Posted by Alison Hallett on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

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Okay, guys. For the first Worst. Night. Ever. of our new season, you decided to send me to Warped Tour, and so to Warped Tour I went—to the disappointment of my close friends and family, who know that nothing, but NOTHING, sounds worse to me than an "ecstatic dance DJ party." You effed the dog on that one, Internet. And I have even more bad news: It was belatedly determined that the band i was supposed to see, Falling in Reverse, was not in fact playing in Portland. So Steve and Ned picked out another band deemed suitably awful, the poetically named Like Moths to Flames.

Here's my disclaimer before we get into this: I don't know the difference between hardcore, metal, metalcore, and... whatever else. I'm sure those differences are profound and meaningful, but I'm going to use them interchangeably because I give zero fucks. Okay? Okay.

This year, Portland's Warped Tour was in the parking lot of the Expo Center. Fuck yeah, right? So I MAXed out there and got my ticket from a friendly ticket girl and underwent an almost insultingly cursory bag check from a kid who seemed certain there was no way I was trying to smuggle in drugs or booze (fine, I wasn't) and walked through the gates and this song was playing right in front of me:

And I was like, ohhhh my god, I am 400 years old, I am an Anne Rice vampire wishing she could just die already, I don't understand anything about this.

Continue reading »

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Return of... WORST. NIGHT. EVER.

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 9:59 AM

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It's back! Welcome to the triumphant return of the Blogtown series we like to call "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly "My, What a Busy Week" pitch meetings, someone suggests an event which is the equivalent of throwing acid in our eyes—but we also realize a more enlightened person might love it! Hence, these "risky" events are often unfairly pushed aside. WELL, NO MORE. Instead of allowing what could be entirely worthy events to vanish forever, we're asking you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers to decide which of these events one of us should attend... whether we like it or not!

Every week an editorial staff member will be presented with three events that do not match their personality or interests... like, AT ALL. And here's the fun part: YOU will vote on and pick the event that must be attended by our unlucky staffer. Afterward he or she will review it right here on the blog! NOTE: Everyone's taste is different, right? So while attending a Taylor Swift listening party might make Courtney claw her eyes out, Steve might love it! That's why you might find a perfectly pleasant event or two in the list below. Also, competitors must stay for at least two hours (or until the event is over, whichever comes first) and are not allowed to get drunk, or use any substances (drugs) or distractions (phone/reading material) to dull the pain they may experience. Now let's see who is up this week:

ARTS EDITOR ALISON HALLETT'S WORST. NIGHT. EVER.

Alison likes cats, not loud sounds, and despises anything that upsets her sense of normality. That's why we chose the following events that could possibly push her waaaay out of her comfort zone:

Stay for the entire performance of Falling in Reverse at the Vans Warped Tour: While many of the 100 or so pop punk bands playing at the Vans Warped Tour (this Sunday, June 16 at the Expo Center parking lot) might be enjoyable in one way or another, the band Falling in Reverse is TERRRRRRIBLE. They're loud, they indiscriminately scream at you, and the tattoos are overwhelming. Here's their video "Alone" which was dubbed by Vice as "the worst music video ever, starring the world's biggest dickhead."


Umm... I think they're right. Alison would not enjoy this.

All American Magic Theater at Mall 205: There's a magic show theater at Mall 205! Did you know this? Sounds interesting to me! Unfortunately, Alison HAAAAAATES magic and the joy of children—so she will probably loath this performance of the All American Magic Show featuring magicians Mark Benthimer and Scott Davis. (They should put "the AMAZING" in front of their names—maybe that would help?) But check out this flyer! It truly is AMAZING!

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The Anahata Festival at Bossanova (Saturday, June 15): This one needs little introduction, other than its description from the organizers.

Enter the Temple for a Full Day Transformational Immersion in Devotional Practices and Sacred Expression.

Classical and World Fusion Music Dance and song workshops, ceremonial circles, community yoga, temple bazaar, healing arts showcase, sacred dance transmissions, ecstatic DJ dance party.

I don't think this is Alison's cup of sacred tea. Polling closes at noon Friday. (Next week is Courtney Ferguson! Got any discomfortable events for her? The time frame is June 21-23, leave your ideas in the comments!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Want to Win $300? I Bet I Know Someone Who Doesn't

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I can think of worse ways to earn $300 than by competing in November 1st's third annual Runway Walkoff, an amateur catwalking competition featuring categories like "Atmospheric Drama," "Uptempo/Urgency!" and "Caution: Restrictivewear." But I bet I know some people who can't. In fact I probably know some people in this very office who would pay $300 to avoid even the vicarious embarrassment of having to watch it. Furthermore, I may even be tempted to suggest it warrants the temporary return of this column. However, it's not technically up to me, especially since I will conveniently be on the other side of the equator when it occurs. But... maybe you can convince them?

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Your New Oscars Drinking Game

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 3:44 PM

As I'm sure you've forgotten, the Academy Awards are this Sunday starting at 5:30 pm. As I'm also sure you've forgotten, there's a little column I write called I Love Television™ that in the current issue spotlights the Oscars and a game for getting completely wasted while watching it. It's called…

WM.™ STEVEN HUMP-ME'S ACADEMY AWARD™ OVERDOSE GAME™!

Here's a selection:

Whenever anyone at the Oscar party claims that baby movies such as Toy Story 3 deserve anything other than adult scorn, hit them in the face with a soaking, gravy-filled diaper and yell, "HERE'S YOUR DIAPER, DIAPER BABY!" Then insert two syringes of heroin.

For further rules and regulations, see this week's I Love Television™. And just in case you need it, here's the number for summoning the CHIERS van.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Wookiee Life Day from Luke, Leia, Han, and... uh... Bea Arthur, I Guess.

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 11:38 PM

First, a few highlights from Wikipedia's page on "Life Day":

Generally, The Star Wars Holiday Special has received a large amount of criticism, both from Star Wars fans and the general public. David Hofstede, author of What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History, ranked the holiday special at number one, calling it "the worst two hours of television ever."

At one Australian fan convention, [George Lucas] reportedly said, "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it." In an online chat with fans, he reportedly said: "The Holiday Special does not represent my vision for Star Wars." In an interview with Maxim in May 2002, Maxim asked the question, "Any plans for a Special Edition of the Holiday Special?" In response, Lucas said, "Right. That's one of those things that happened, and I just have to live with it."

On February 8, 2006, Harrison Ford made an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and during the interview, Conan O'Brien brought up the special, and began asking various questions regarding it, such as inquiring whether he remembered making it. Ford said nothing, but looked away and shook his head nervously, then saying he had no memory of it whatsoever and it, therefore, "doesn't exist." The audience responded with laughter and applause. O'Brien then asked Ford what he would think if he played a clip of the special on the show, Ford jokingly grabbed him, then said that "[he'd] never seen it, maybe it'll be nice." Humorously acting anxious and distracted, Ford suffered through the clip (which featured a scene showing Ford as Han Solo telling Chewbacca and his wife that they are "like family" to him), and then muttered a gruff, sarcastic "thank you" to O'Brien, before continuing with the interview to promote his then newest film, Firewall.

On the 2010 television program Times Talk, New York Times columnist David Carr asked Carrie Fisher about the Holiday Special; she said that she made George Lucas give her a copy of the Special in exchange for recording DVD commentary for the Star Wars films. She added that she shows it at parties, "mainly at the end of the night when she wants people to leave."

Happy Life Day, everybody.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

MTV Hates You

Posted on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 1:58 PM

The good people at MTV have found a way to ruin New Year's for EVERYONE. (Though I suppose that they've been ruining things for a few years now.)

MTV is holding a New Year's Eve special in Times Square—no problem there. Whitney Cummings will host and Flo Rida will perform—I'm somewhat indifferent to this. There will also be a recap of the year in entertainment—Meh. Here's the part where MTV dirties your soul:

MTV says it plans to put "Jersey Shore" star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi inside a ball that drops in New York's Times Square, to ring in 2011 as part of its "MTV New Year's Bash" special.

I naively clicked on the link because of this headline: MTV to drop Snooki inside New Year's ball. Somehow, that seemed way more ominous and deadly for Snooki than I had any right to hope for. But don't worry though, MTV isn't done yet. Not at all.

The network says other stars from its hit reality show, "Jersey Shore," will lead the crowd in a collective fist pump in hopes of breaking the Guinness world record.

First, sigh. Second, there's a Guinness World Record for most people fist pumping in one location all at once? Sigh.

So, if you're one of those people who uses television to get you through the holidays, Don't. Just get shitfaced instead. It seems healthier.

Via.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Baaaaack: The Shameless Portland Music Awards Have Returned!

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Professor Whiskers celebrates after winning the trophy for Outstanding Achievement in World Music.
  • Professor Whiskers celebrates after winning the trophy for "Outstanding Achievement in World Music."

Christ. The single most embarrassing moment in local music, the annual sham that is the Portland Music Awards, returns for year number four—which is exactly four years too many.

The shamefully out-of-touch event run by snakeoil pitchman Craig Marquardo, formerly of the defunct Music Spectator magazine (guess he never got that $25000 he was looking for), returns to the Crystal Ballroom on January 28. But enough about all that, let's roll out the red fucking carpet and see what notable Portland bands will be performing at the PMAs in 2011.

Tommy Tutone
Christian Kane
Throwback Suburbia
Brothers Of The Baladi
The Slants
Strange Tones
Idle Poet
Portland School of Rock
and a special performance by guitar goddess Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck)

Really? That's it? You couldn't even dust off a member of the Kingsmen again? Does Tommy Tutone—as in the guy who wrote a song about a phone number—actually live here? His MySpace page says he's a Nashville resident. Whatever, that's close enough. Same goes for Christian Kane. But he's on Leverage, so clearly that means he represents Portland music like no other. And Idle Poet? Well, that's Marquado's band, of course. No conflict of interest there.

End Hits: Does this mean it was really 503-867-5309 all this time? Mystery solved!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

You're Invited

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

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Tomorrow is my last day at the Mercury, and as such we'll be having the traditional Mercury Viking Send Off at Club 21 [2035 NE Glisan] (in which my fellows get me drunk and then shoot flaming arrows* at my cab as it leaves to take me home). Sound like fun? Want to join in? Good! Consider yourself invited.

Come on down around 5-ish. We'll cry, laugh, hug, shake-hands, drink, maybe wrestle a little… Who the fuck knows? In the end, all I want to do is say goodbye to you in the best way I know how—with a slurred whisper in your ear while I grapple your shoulder in a too-intimate fashion as I try not to fall over.

See you then.

*Please do not bring flaming arrows. You will probably be arrested.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. Season Finale: "Heaven Freezes Over"

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Hello, and welcome to the season finale of Worst. Night. Ever. where a Mercury staff writer is sent to a very uncomfortable (for them) event chosen by you the Blogtown reader. Sometimes we return a better person, having opened ourselves up to a new experience, thereby broadening our very limited horizons. Other times, the situation we find ourselves in is FAR WORSE than we could have ever imagined, and we sincerely want to die rather than spend another moment in the hell our loyal readers have placed us in.

For my Worst. Night. Ever. at the Harvest Christian Music Festival, it was definitely the LATTER.

Thank you, Jesus! (For putting Humpy through hell.)
  • "Thank you, Jesus! (For putting Humpy through hell.)"

After the jump, a full description of what I count as one of the worst 15 nights of my life, and yes, I'm counting my parents' death.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. #9: In Which I Get Stood Up, But I Learn to Love Myself

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 11:45 AM

For my Worst. Night. Ever. y’all rightly decided to send me to Jiro’s Relationship, Friendship, and Connection Lab. You so know how I hate to explore my feelings. I was a bit panicked to get there on time because I got stuck in traffic on the way back to town from Oregon City. Despite hunger pangs and dehydration, I made it to NW Portland with seven minutes to spare and walked into an office with a waiting room. There were no signs about relationship classes, so I holed up on a couch across from a woman who looked like she was having the Worst. Life. Ever. I waited. I waited some more. More waiting. And finally, not having Jiro’s phone number, I fucking left. That’s right…

I got STOOD UP for a relationship seminar.

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  • From squawmt.com
Wow. So what terrible event came in second on my poll? Close one, guys. Between BlazerDancer tryouts and skinny-dipping at a nudist colony, the vote for nudniks was higher. Which was fine by me—I may have exaggerated my fear of naked people. Also, I didn’t tell you about my deep-seated shame of trying out to be a NBA dancer. Flashback: Courtney on junior high dance team in front of a crowd during halftime at a basketball game. During a spirited routine set to the Escape Club’s “Wild, Wild West,” the dance team seductively throws off their red handkerchief scarves, going into a Rockettes-style can-can move. The team gracefully segues into their next bit of choreography, while Courtney steps on her kerchief, falls and lands on her ass. She may have run off, crying. “Now put your flags in the air….” End flashback. I am REALLY glad I didn’t have relive that experience in front of a bunch of 18-year-old professional dancers. Thanks guys for sending me to a nudist camp in the middle of nowhere instead!

After the jump, read about how Alison and I went to Squaw Mountain Ranch and froze our asses off. Don't forget to vote on Steve's Worst. Night. Ever. It's the last one, make it count!

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. The Season Finale!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 4:04 PM

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Welcome back to the ongoing Blogtown series "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly pitch meetings, there is one member of our editorial staff—this is almost always Patrick Alan Coleman—who blurts out an event ("Thursday July 15, Chlamydia Potluck in the Park, $15, bring your own specimen!”) in the hopes that we will recommend it in the paper. Instead of just letting these events go ignored, we decided to allow you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers decide which of these events one of us should attend!
Every week, a new staff member has been presented with five events that do not match their personality or interests. YOU vote on and pick the event that our unlucky staffer must attend and then review here on the blog.

Stand by for Courtney's wrap-up of her WORST. NIGHT. EVER. from this past weekend... let's just say she's been delayed by "shrinkage." GUYS! This week marks the season finale of WORST. NIGHT. EVER. which we promise will return in one form or another in the future. But let's go out with a bang, shall we? It's a scientific fact that I am a loathsome creature who deserves all the evil and sadness this world has to offer. So pick me out a good one, okay?!? (As a reminder, these events may not be as awful to most people as they are to me. They were chosen with my personal neurosis and uncomfortableness in mind.)

TRIBAL FUSION BELLYDANCE WORKSHOP (Thursday, July 15, The Lotus Seed).
CONS: This is an advanced belly dancing class "with choreography designed to challenge," and previous dance experience is recommended. The level for potential embarrassment is high. It costs $60 (though it's on the Mercury's tab). The term "tribal fusion" is in the title.
PROS: Guys, the teacher is totally hot! Take a look for yourself. Also, I love to dance, and I'll probably leave with some sick moves.

SMASH MOUTH CONCERT (Thursday, July 15, The Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR).
CONS: ACK!!! You're kidding me, right? These are the douchebags who sang "All Star," "Walkin' on the Sun," and completely murdered the Monkees' "I'm a Believer" on the Shrek soundtrack. I'll be surrounded by douches singing along with douches. I'm bringing a cyanide capsule with me on this one.
PROS: It's outside?

STRING SUMMIT MUSIC FESTIVAL
(Friday, July 16 - Sunday, July 18, Horning's Hideout).
CONS: You guys know how much I despise hippies, right? This is gonna be Hippie Grand Central Station. THREE FREAKING DAYS of long-winded, droning hippie jam bands, that will make me want to stab my ears off. And the stench! And the smell of dope, which I hate! And some creeps from the Grateful Dead! BLECHH!!
PROS: Worst Night Ever rules state I only have to stay for three to five hours. Hopefully death will be quicker than that.

CRYSTAL HEALING FOR BEGINNERS
(Friday, July 16, Clark College, Vancouver, WA).
CONS: This description says it all: "A beginner's class in "Crystal Healing". Science has proved that stones are not dead matter. Stones are fully alive, powerful and vibrate with energy—that is why Quartz is set into watches to provide highly accurate time. [??????!!!!!!] Since antiquity crystals have been used for healing as they resonate with the crystalline nature of the human body. Good for all situations and all ages. Discover the power of nature."
PROS: Maybe they can fix my broken watch?

[UPDATE! The Christian Battle of the Bands event we had listed earlier isn't happening, but we've actually found a more torturous Christian music event—if that's possible?]

HARVEST FEST CHRISTIAN MUSIC FESTIVAL (Friday July 16-Sunday July 18, Port of Kalama, WA ).
CONS: Gaaahhh! Another THREE day jam fest, but this time with (even worse) CHRISTIANS! Here's the lineup: Hyperstatic Union, Noonday Sun, Kate White, Alisa Childers of ZoeGirl, News @11, Briksa, Sixteen Cites, Chuck Girard and Love Song, etc, with speakers including Girard, Pastor Chuck Smith, Ben Box, Pastor Rob Neuschwander and Brad "the sin butcher" Butcher. In addition I've already stupidly promised the gang that I will be baptized if the situation arises. But do not mistake me: I REALLY, REALLY DO NOT LIKE CHRISTIANS. (Plus, I can't even get wasted!) C'mon, people! Even Jesus wasn't crucified like this!
PROS: I sincerely can't think of a single one.

WHICH EVENT SHOULD I BE FORCED TO ATTEND?

Like many of my non-chicken shit predecessors, I forgo my right to veto one of these events. VOTING ENDS TOMORROW AFTERNOON AT 3 PM! I would ask for mercy, but you know nothing of the word.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. #9

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 3:03 PM

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Welcome back to the ongoing Blogtown series "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly pitch meetings, there is one member of our editorial staff—this is almost always Patrick Alan Coleman—who blurts out an event ("Saturday July 10, support group for albino
Twilight moms, bring your own puffy paint and sunscreen!”) in the hopes that we will recommend it in the paper. Instead of just letting these events go ignored, we decided to allow you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers decide which of these events one of us should attend!
Every week, a new staff member will be presented with five events that do not match their personality or interests. YOU vote on and pick the event that our unlucky staffer must attend and then review here on the blog.

Wow, Sarah’s WNE sounded terrible. But I have a sneaking suspicion that mine is going to be 1,000 times worse. I too will forego the veto power that is rightfully mine, in order to give y’all a joyful five whole minutes of entertainment as a result of sacrificing hours of my personal time to experience painful, abject humiliation. I’m a giver. BTW, I am also rather shy (unless I’ve thrown back a few vodka sodas, and then I get a teensy bit abrasive), so a few of these god-awful events seem particularly embarrassing for me. Please be kind.

Country Line Dance & Country Partner/Pattern Dance Competition (Thursday, July 8, Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel)
CONS: I am from rural Idaho, so countrified things sound terrible and reminiscent of my youth. Also, I hate country music. Also, I can’t imagine how I’ll talk my boyfriend into being my line-dancin’ partner. Also, it’s at a hotel at the airport. Also, it’s a competition in which I have no hopes of winning.
PROS: My grandma was in an early ’90s line-dancing instructional video… so I’ve got a few moves under my big-buckled belt.

Journaling Journeyers Meetup (Friday, July 9, Main Street Stamp & Stationary)
CONS: From the press release, “Come and enjoy a creative, fun, and informative evening with us as we explore the chakras with guided imagery, music and express yourself through the art of journaling and art processes within your journal!” Ack!! That description made me Cathy “ack.” I used to work for a life coach and this power-center business gives me the heebie jeebies. Also, only one person is planning to attend.
PROS: Journaling! (I have some stuff to work through.)

Relationship, Friendship, and Connection Lab
(Thurs, July 8, Undisclosed Location)
CONS: This laboratory is run by Jiro, a man with a shaky grasp on the finer points of English. Here’s what Jiro has to say: “If more than two person show up, we will choose how many and which relationship to facilitate. It can be any style like friendship, couple, coworker, teacher-student relationship, and no connection to begin with etc. including with me. I would like to take video for my learning purpose.” Ummm, there will be a video of my discomfort?! Also: “If one person show up, you and Jiro will find out more about our connection.” Please, please, please don’t send me to this.
PROS: There aren’t any.

BlazerDancer Tryouts (Saturday, July 10, PSU’s Stott Center)
CONS: I didn’t make the cut for a junior high cheerleading squad in rural Idaho… so I’m thinking that I’m probably not a prime candidate for being a professional NBA cheerleader. You think?!!!!!
PROS: I like to dance, and who knows, maybe I’ll get a better (probably higher-paying) job out of it. Plus, I’ll get a chance to practice my whore make-up application. Note to self: Schedule next session with therapist.

World Record Skinny Dip (Saturday, July 11, Squaw Mountain Ranch, Estacada)
CONS: I have not been called a "Never Nude," but I am closely related. This little chunk of hell would require me to be naked in front of hundreds of strangers, surrounded by professional and amateur nudniks at a nudist camp in Estacada, where they are taking part in a world record attempt at largest skinny dip. The thought of that much naked skin is giving me hives.
PROS: I might get a tan.

WHICH EVENT SHOULD I BE FORCED TO ATTEND?

Sadly, next week we say good-bye to our landmark blog series. But it's out with a bang, as we punish Steve!

Voting ends tomorrow at 3 pm! I need enough time to buy that two-piece sparkle-motion outfit and begin spackling on my make-up face, after all. It will also give me time to start pounding booze.

Worst Night Ever: How to Attend an All Ages Foam Party (By Force) and Survive

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 11:22 AM

This is not me. This is a girl awkwardly squatting in a cage on Club FXs MySpace
  • This is not me. This is a girl awkwardly squatting in a cage on Club FX's MySpace
For my Worst. Night. Ever, you all voted that I should spend an evening at "Wet Wednesdays", an 18+ foam party hosted by Club FX downtown. Why the blog world decided this should be my punishment for being employed at the Mercury instead of, say, attending $2 Christian hip hop in Vancouver is beyond me. Perhaps you were hoping I would be sexually assaulted. Perhaps you would hope it would dredge up long-suppressed memories of high school dances, of the long hours I spent in the corners on the edge of dance floors feeling too embarrassed to hit the mass of teenage bump and grind. I don't know what your reasoning was, but I can tell you right now that you were right. I am a tough person to embarrass. I have hosted a debate in a corn suit. I have posed on the Mercury cover in form-fitting plaid wool shorts. I have made the call to headline a legitimate news article "Boner Patrol." But what I experienced Wednesday night within the faux-industrial confines of Club FX filled me with a paralyzing shame I have not felt since the mandatory high school band cruise ship party I endured in 2002.

So I would be forced to attend an underage foam party Wednesday night. The first challenge was figuring out what to wear. I wanted to strike a fine balance between "I'm a desperate 19 year old" and "I will press charges." I dug through my closet for my finest skort, slipped on an American Apparel shirt and poured myself a screwdriver. The old adage that drinking can make anything fun was abut to be put seriously to the test.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. #7/8

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 4:12 PM

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Welcome back to the ongoing Blogtown series "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly pitch meetings, there is one member of our editorial staff—this is almost always Patrick Alan Coleman—who blurts out an event ("Drum circle lovers' social mixer at Union Jack's!") in the hopes that we will recommend it in the paper. Instead of just letting these events go ignored, we decided to allow you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers to decide which of these events one of us should attend!

Every week, a new staff member will be presented with five events that do not match their personality or interests. YOU vote on and pick the event that our unlucky staffer must attend and then review here on the blog.

Here's the bad news: Patrick totally fucked up his Worst. Night. Ever. Even though he's the inspiration for this entire column, the Craigslist "Punch Party for Guys" never sent him the details and the Exploration of Self Playshop was canceled.

Good news: Usually staffers veto one of the choices, but I'm skipping my veto because I'm pretty cocky about my ability to enjoy terrible events, seasoned by city council meetings to endure hours of social pain and boredom. So here are my options.

Erosfest Sol Sensual Celebration (Thurs, 7/1, Ambridge Events Center)
CONS: The performers for this group that celebrates "the source of life and the feel of the rising sun within you" includes "Jasmine Rain, Body Paint Girl, The Monkey Puzzle Players and More!!!!!!!" and it doesn't say what they perform, so I assume they're either taking off their clothes or doing tribal drumming.
PROS: It says there will be snacks. I love snacks.

$2 Vancouver Christian Hip Hop Show (Thurs, 7/1, The Grange Hall, Vancouver)
CONS: Performers include groups named "Jerm" "Oracle & Kevlar" "Grravigty" ... I would feel bad making fun of people with obvious mental illness. Plus, everyone will be sober and probably trying to get me to join their youth group.
PROS: I'm actually curious about how the hell this exists. I think I'd take a clipboard and interview people.

Flawless Bang'n' 4th of July Party (Sunday, 7/4, Club 915)
CONS: Have you seen the flyer for this event? The girl on it has giant boobs and no one can spell. This is going to be like the time I auditioned for the Bad Girls reality TV show for fun and then it wasn't funny at all and just made me think about alcoholism.
PROS: People will be wasted and having hilarious fights.

Stripperoke
(Sunday, 7/4, Devil's Point)
CONS: Patrick pitched this because he knows I am made seriously uncomfortable by two Portland standbys—strip clubs and karaoke. You know what I don't need in my life? Being forced to sing Love Shack while there are ass cheeks in my face.
PROS: Maybe I'll meet some cute lapsed Christian hip hoppers.

18+ Foam Party (Wed, 6/30, FX Dance Club)
CONS: I watched a video of this party online and everyone's wearing white tank tops and grinding on each other. There are definitely going to be guys touching my ass. And their hands will reek of Axe body spray. There's also a bikini contest?
PROS: It's possible I could just seek refuge from the foam at the bar's high stools. Wait. Is there a bar in this place?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. #7 (& 1/2)

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 1:44 PM

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What happens when you take generally grumpy and introverted writers for a local small press and plop them into frightening and unfamiliar circumstances? Magic and smiles and unicorn farts, that’s what! Or at least that’s been the lesson of the lion’s share of our “Worst. Night. Ever.” installments.

And we know when it comes to our precious Blogtownies, unicorn farts just wont do. No. You want blood in the water, or drugs on the table, or some damn thing. So in order to make that happen we dug into the esoteric backwaters of Craigslist and Yahoo community calendars. It was a decent tactic, but one that backfired as not one, but two of my WNE events were canceled. Which is not to say I wasn’t uncomfortable at any point this weekend. Au contraire.

But you won’t be content with a touch of panic, and social anxiety peppered with self-loathing. You want the full emotional bludgeoning a “Worst. Night. Ever.” is supposed to provide. With that in mind, and because I love you (or hate myself), I’m PLACING MY FATE IN YOUR HANDS ONCE MORE!

Here’s the deal: The story of my WNE reboot starts, “Patrick Alan Coleman is placed in the trunk of Steve’s jet black 1969 Buick Electra and…” And? And, what?

You finish the story in the comments below. Then, my perfect, gorgeous, smart, funny co-workers pick their favorite idea, and at some later date I’m put in the trunk of Steve’s car and driven off to meet my fate.

Why? Because I’m a moron, obviously. So, get cracking! And if you’re interested, the story of my WNE failure and a disconcerting e-mail correspondence with punch party participants is directly after the jump.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. Voting Ends at Noon

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 9:00 AM

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Well, Blogtownies, you’ve narrowed it down to two options, which have been too damn close to call a winner. One option I’m generally stoked about (you have no idea how stoked) and the other I am genuinely terrified of. You have until noon to make the vote decisive. At that time, I will hit refresh and whatever is in the lead will determine my fate (and your enjoyment of it).

If you haven’t voted, please do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. #7

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 12:45 PM

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Welcome back to BLAH BLAH BLAH... This is the part where my beloved co-workers suggest I’m the ONLY person in the office who pitches shitty events (UNTRUE, EZRA “A NIGHT WITH CHRIS KATTAN” CARAEFF)—which is supposedly the entire reason behind this self-indulgent exercise in social disparagement. The jokes on them. As we’ve discovered from most Worst. Night. Ever. installments, if you take a chance on something that isn’t the latest navel-gazing hipster frown-a-thon you might actually have a good time. GASP! So, in fact, we’ve learned my Busy Week pitches have been consistently brilliant and not including them in the paper has ROBBED READERS OF COUNTLESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR FUN! In conclusion, my fellow Mercury editors can go eat an enormous bag o’ dicks. Assholes. Anyway…

Every week—until we get bored with this idea, or someone dies—a new staff member will be presented with five events that do not match their personality or interests. Each week's participant can veto a single event, but that is all. HERE'S THE FUN PART (FOR YOU): From the remaining entries, YOU will vote on and pick the event that must be attended by our unlucky staffer and then reviewed here on the blog.

Clearly, in order to have a truly uncomfortable time, it’s necessary to go beyond odd Portland bike rides, swinger's clubs, and single's events. Apparently you need to drive alone into the rain-soaked woods and subject yourself to what I’m going to refer to as “the slacker’s Altamont.” (I say “slacker” because no one was stabbed to death by Hell’s Angels.) It would seem, unless there is a chance of bodily harm, most will be able to make the best of a strange social situation. This week my co-workers got wise and decided to put me literally in harm's way. I guess they’re smarter than they look. As for you, Blogtownies... I think you lucked-out with Skinner last week. Prove to me it wasn’t a fluke. Following Marjorie’s example, I have forgone my veto. Choose wisely.

Event #1: Punch Party for guys 18-40 (June 25th at Undisclosed Location)
CONS: There is an enormous creep factor here considering the following little gem from the listing: “If you want in, send your pic/info and let us know.” Organizers are very clear this is not a fight club... Merely dudes punching each other, “one guy seeing how much he can take from 1 or more guys, that sort of thing.” Oh, THAT sort of thing. Right. Did I mention I’m a part time employee who doesn't receive health insurance?
PROS: There will be punching. That sounds like fun. I have some anger issues I’d like to work out. Plus, I’m fairly sure I could collect workman’s comp if I’m actually injured doing this. A broken face is a small price to pay to get out of the office and spend a couple weeks laid up on the couch with Netflix and painkillers.

Event #2: Men of Paradise (June 25th at Rumors Bar and Grill, Woodburn)
CONS: Again, the sketch factor for this all-male review is incredibly high. There is a huge risk of getting gay-bashed by those less liberal Woodburn types.
PROS: Do my co-workers know I have no problem ogling men with hard bodies? Bonus: there will be booze. AND I can get some shopping done at the outlet mall before going to the show. In terms of being bashed, I’ll repeat: Workman’s comp.

Event #3: PJ Party & Sexy Groove Funk Jam (June 24th, Diablo’s Downtown Lounge, Eugene)
CONS: Aside from driving to Eugene on a Thursday night? Not many.
PROS: “Sexy Groove Funk Jam.” Pajamas. Booze. Pillow Fights. Twister. OH, THE HORROR! If you vote to send me to this one, you are clearly a moron.

Event #4: Radical Celebration of Self: A Playshop Of Fun & Exploration! (June 27th at Sanctuary of Portland)
CONS: I lived in Ashland, Oregon, for close to eight years. In that time I developed intense scorn for “playshops” and gurus and self-awareness seminars and all of that unmitigated bullshit. I become apoplectic the second someone mentions Rumi or Carlos Castaneda. And the thought of a class designed to help “fall in love with yourself” makes me nauseous. This will also likely require that I be dead cold sober. Fat chance.
PROS: Given the above, I might actually benefit from “seeking the medicine that will help us heal ourselves from the inside out.” But the day that happens is likely the day I find enough self-respect to quit this job.

Event #5: Violet’s Birthday Show, w/ Superbad, Knelt Rote, Ritual Necromancy… Others (June 26th, SE Franklin Gazebo)
CONS: Our divine distro Viking, Jay Williams, suggested this show. That's not necessarily a con, because I dig the guy's taste. HOWEVER, he is assuming it will “result in sheer brutality.” Jay recalls, the last time he went to one of these, seeing a naked guy in an Abe Lincoln hat singing campfire songs about his penis “For like three hours after the show.” He also suggested I'd be scared. I have a feeling the risk for injury here is high.
PROS: The possibility of seeing a naked guy in an Abe Lincoln hat singing campfire songs about his penis. I could cross that one off my bucket list (finally!). Plus: LOUD METAL! FUCK YEAH! And, once more with feeling: Workman’s Comp!

There you have it. Vote at will.

WHICH EVENT SHOULD I BE FORCED TO ATTEND?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Worst Night Ever, All Night Long

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Congratulations, Blogtown: I had a terrible Saturday night. You overwhelmingly voted for, and I endured, A New Day Rising, the overnight hippie rave in, um, the magickal wilderness, which turned out to be somewhere between Estacada and Molalla—hard to tell exactly where you are when after driving 10 miles into the increasingly unpopulated forest your only directions involve cardboard signs tacked to trees with silver spiral shapes drawn onto them.

I'm not sure what I expected to find after navigating my car around mud-filled potholes in the middle of nowhere, and out of nervousness I consumed an entire bag of peppered salmon jerky on the way up (by the way, yum! new fave snack!). I was less worried about the hippie element and bad music than I was about the prospect of camping by myself for the first time ever. I hadn't tried very hard to coerce anyone to come with me, figuring it would be a liability. I'd have a hard time refusing to let someone else—especially someone not under Mercury employ—leave, and I was resolved to tough the night out. Besides, the paper's Reader Promotions Coordinator, Michelle, said she was going to be there, so I figured having one person I knew there was enough.

I rounded a corner to the sudden sight of several dudes sprawled in lawn chairs at the side of the road, drinking Sessions and choking on a pipe. A tall guy with blazing red eyes and a raspy voice came to my car window, I forked over $25 to him, and he retrieved a colorful piece of gauzy fabric for me to tie on as a wristband. As I parked, another guy, in an improbable mix of tribal prints, rapped lightly on the hood of my car and waved at me through the windshield. Hi... It didn't seem so bad. I grew up clinging to dad's Des Colores chambray as we wended our way through the Haight Ashbury and Mission Districts; in high school I bought acid more than once from a guy named "Turtle" in Golden Gate Park; I lost my virginity to a pot dealer in Santa Cruz; I attended Reed College—I've seen some hippie shit. I was much more concerned about having to figure out how to pitch a tent by myself.

It was hard to tell how big the property was where this all took place, but the camping area was relatively small and close to the road, and there were no permanent structures in sight, though luckily I was getting crystal-clear cell phone service. The terrain was ill-suited to sleep on. It was immediately apparent that using the inflatable mattress I'd brought wasn't an option—I'd need to plug the adapter into my car, which I'd been directed to park up the hill, and I wanted to keep a lower profile than would be possible while struggling to heft a queen-sized mattress down a dirt road. I'd have to do it "cowboy style," with nothing but the tent-bottom and a sheet between me and the knobby tufts of sturdy grass that covered the ground. After one phone call, and a kindly assist from the girl setting up camp next to me (who then smoked me out), I got the fucking thing up:

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Notice that without the weight of an occupant, it kind of hovers off the ground on top of those muppet-grass tufts... cozy.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. #6

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 5:31 PM

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Welcome back to the ongoing Blogtown series "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly pitch meetings, there is one member of our editorial staff—this is almost always Patrick Alan Coleman—who blurts out an event ("JUNE 19, CLOTHING-OPTIONAL TRANSFORMERS POETRY NIGHT IN VANCOUVER, $50!") in the hopes that we will recommend it in the paper. Instead of just letting these events go ignored, we decided to keep them and allow you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers to decide which of these events one of us should attend!

Every week—until we get bored with this idea, or someone dies—a new staff member will be presented with five events that do not match their personality or interests. Each week's participant can veto a single event, but that is all. HERE'S THE FUN PART (FOR YOU): From the remaining entries, YOU will vote on and pick the event that must be attended by our unlucky staffer and then reviewed here on the blog.

Alright, time to take the gloves off, people. We're all sick of hearing reports from Worst. Night. Ever. "victims" about all the new friends they made and how great the cookies were. The closest anyone's come to "suffering" in this column is from the hangover they acquired after drinking their way through it. Unlike most of my co-workers, who faint at the sight of a mere gang bang, I'm up for just about any event you guys send me to. Of the options rounded up this week, I think the best choice for your entertainment value, and my best shot at having something amusing to work with, is clear. But I'll defer to your judgement. In fact, I'm forfeiting my right to a veto. Don't need it.

Event #1: Didgeridoo Concert (Sat June 19, Community Music Center)
CONS: I've had very limited exposure to didgeridoo music, so this could be much worse than I think it's going to be, but just judging from the snippet I've heard, few of my friends will be willing to accompany me. Also, the event has a stated start time of 7 pm, but no end time is given. I could potentially be trapped there for hours.
PROS: How bad can it be? I'll just smoke a little pot before I go.

Event #2: Twilight Birthday Bash in Kalama, WA (Fri June 18)
CONS: Possibly the only sport I enjoy watching or playing less than baseball is vampire baseball. I don't even know what that is supposed to mean in this context. That members of White Zombie will emerge from the woods to menace us? But the main event here is actually the Twilight dance happening at the community center. I strongly suspect there will be more high school students than adults in attendance, and I can't decide which would be worse. And I'm not sure what to wear.
PROS: Though I've never cracked one of the books, I have seen the original Twilight movie one and a half times, so I'll know what's going on approximately 20% of the time. And if I get stuck in an awkward conversation I can always bring it back to the undergraduate thesis I wrote on the history of blood lore as expressed in the vampire tradition. (Yeah, really.)

Event #3: Pre-screening for the 2010 Coyote's Clash Battle of the Bands in Hillsboro (Sun Jun 20, Coyote's)
CONS: This isn't even a qualifying round, it's a pre-screening, thus lowering the standard of quality all the way to the ground. "Every Sunday from 7 pm to 11 pm anyone can feel free to come up and start up a jam session."
PROS: You never know, I might find a diamond in the rough. Or at least someone to tell me amusing stories about what my boyfriend was like as a student at Hillsboro High.

Event #4: Learn @ Lunch: "Go for No" Helps You Get to "Yes"—and Sales (Thurs June 17, Old Spaghetti Factory)
CONS: I'm not sure what this event actually is, but I'm pretty sure it is for women who work in sales, which I don't, which means I'll have to do some sort of bullshit tap dance to explain my presence. Also "go for no" sounds like a terrible strategy.
PROS: I like pasta. I realize we're talking mediocre pasta, but at least I can expense it. Also I can take care of this one during office hours.

Event #5: A New Day Rising (Sat June 19-Sun June 20, "the magickal wilderness")
CONS: This is an over-night thing. Produced by "Telepathic Prankster Productions (with Merry Prankster Family)." I think it's a psychedelic jam band fest. Bands include Late Night Freakout Odyssey, Super Trout, and—just added—the Telepathic Electronic Dome Peeling Squad. It is suggested that attendees bring both drums and good vibrations. "The SPIRAL shall swirl and swizzle all night long!!" My tent-pitching skills are shaky at best. I hate bugs. And psychedelics, well, let's just say it's been a real long time and I hear there's some really bad shit going around.
PROS: I've had reasonable levels of exposure to extreme hippie situations, and so far I've survived.

WHICH EVENT SHOULD I BE FORCED TO ATTEND?

Monday, June 14, 2010

WNE #5: Speed Dating in Battle Ground

Posted by Stefan Kamph on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Okay, Blogtown. I went speed dating, just like you said to. And I have to use some words to describe it, words that you won’t like hearing. Brace yourself.

Speed dating was pleasant. I had some nice conversations. I really expanded my boundaries. Ha! Who wishes they had voted for the Masturbate-a-thon now?

NOT PICTURED: Me, yer momma.
  • NOT PICTURED: Me, yer momma.
Like your average citizen, I find potentially romantic first encounters to be somewhat nerve-wracking. And if one blind date gives you the shivers, think how terrible it must feel to have multiple blind dates all lined up like the entrees at a Panda Express (except without the sneeze-guard)! Add that to the fact that this event was held at a place called Java Jitters (!!!) in a town (Battle Ground) that I knew nothing about, save some unfavorable press from non-experts.

But the odd venue worked to my advantage. I drove up I-5 on a beautiful sunny afternoon without feeling very nervous at all. The fact that I didn’t know anyone up there took off a lot of the pressure. As for the actual event, it would combine casual conversation with strangers (which I enjoy) and seeking a mate (which I am genetically programmed to do). Easy as pie, right?

I parked in a gravel lot behind Java Jitters, which is located in an old clapboard cottage at the center of town. I had a moment of doubt when I saw a few gussied-up 50-somethings striding up the handicap ramp. This, I guess, is what I was expecting.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Worst. Night. Ever. #5

Posted by Stefan Kamph on Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM

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Welcome back to the ongoing Blogtown series "Worst. Night. Ever." Every Wednesday during our weekly pitch meetings, there is one member of our editorial staff—this is almost always Patrick Alan Coleman—who blurts out an event ("JUNE 12, FINNISH BIRCH-CAULKING SOIRÉE AND PIG-TAIL PICKLE") in the hopes that we will recommend it in the paper. Instead of just letting these events go ignored, we decided to keep them and allow you—yes, YOU—the Blogtown readers to decide which of these events one of us should attend!

Every week—until we get bored with this idea, or someone dies—a new staff member will be presented with five events that do not match their personality or interests. Each week's participant can veto a single event, but that is all. HERE'S THE FUN PART (FOR YOU): From the remaining entries, YOU will vote on and pick the event that must be attended by our unlucky staffer and then reviewed here on the blog.

The Mercury staff really toughened up this week, and on the new guy, no less. The possibility for wholesome, what-have-we-learned-today pleasantry is virtually nil with this selection of activities. Take comfort, dear Blogtown reader: you will have a hand in making me suffer. Or, at least, feel somewhat awkward for a couple hours.

I thought I'd benefit from the fact that other Mercury staffers don't yet know me too well, and so can't gauge my likes and dislikes... but they did a remarkably good job of hitting some of my weak spots.

Speed Dating (Saturday, June 12, Java Jitters Café, Battleground, WA)
CONS: What?! You're allowed to send me to Battleground? That means I'd drive forty minutes each way to sit across a table from a suburban cougar divorcée and tell her I'm there because a blog sent me. That should make us both feel great. Also, who wants to speed date at a venue named after an involuntary nervous spasm?
PROS: I am single. Finding true love on the blog would way increase our page views.

Attending a KoRn concert while wearing a corn suit (Tuesday, June 15, Roseland Theater) VETOED
At the end of the day, if it'll make a good story, I'm open to basically anything that isn't morally repugnant or dangerous. But this is just abject humiliation. Plus, some of my worst memories ever involve wearing costumes. Count me out.

10th Annual Masturbate-a-Thon (Saturday, June 12, The Dark Lady's house)
CONS: I thought long and hard about this, and something about it rubs me the wrong way. I probably wouldn't be bored stiff, and I don't want to come to premature conclusions... but this could be a slippery slope leading to a sticky situation.
PROS: I don't have to participate. It's basically a sex-positive potluck, and it's geared towards women. Plus, there are porn stars. (No photos, pervs.)

Ultimate Fighting Championships (Saturday, June 12, Dixie Tavern)
CONS: Douches. Lots of them. Steroid-addled douches with vine-inspired designs on their fitted t-shirts, and incongruously pointy shoes. Men who fight dirty, and the women (and closeted men) who love them.
PROS: This is, after all, the purest form of sport. I've been meaning to sign up for fighting classes—maybe this is a good place to begin.

Leverage star Christian Kane playing music (Saturday, June 12, Dante's)
CONS: I hate Dante's. The last time I went—two winters ago—I thought I was in hell (which is, for some reason, the "point" of this place). I actually caught fire, melted a hole right through my down jacket, and walked home alone in the gentle rain trailing stray feathers. This place sucks.
PROS: This guy's music is pretty hilariously bad. Or... maybe it's good?

Next week's Worst. Night. Ever. victim is Marjorie Skinner, which is going to make things incredibly difficult because, after all, at one time she even volunteered to be kidnapped. PLEASE! If you know of any events you think Marjorie would despise, email us—we're looking at the week of June 17-20.

Voting ends Wednesday at 3 pm!

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