Oh, the monotony of daily life! Whether you're taking classes, or sitting in your cubicle wishing the yapping employee next to you would just die, DIE, DIE, joining a "club" is a great extracurricular activity that can hook you up with geeks just like yourself. And as you will soon discover, there are clubs for practically every crazy interest!

By Phil Busse, Justin Wescoat Sanders III, Julianne Shepherd, John Dooley, Wm. Steven Humphrey, J.B. Rabin, Erik Henriksen, Brian Brait, Manu Berelli, Katie Shimer, Erin Ergenbright, Marjorie Skinner; Extracurricular model Kim Keller; Photography by Andrea J. Wright

GUN CLUB

If you've ever had a hankerin' to shoot a fast-moving target, but fear the repercussions from law enforcement/ animal rights activists, then the Portland Gun Club may be for you. This club is a trap field and not a shooting range for rifles or hand guns. Acceptable shotguns include 410, 20, and 12 gauges. The P.G.C. is the oldest operating trap field west of the Mississipi and membership is free at this non-profit club. Rounds start at $5, and technically, you need your own shotgun to play (they don't rent them), but if you're nice and have a serious interest, these gentlemen will probably show you how to use one of theirs. MB

4711 SE 174th Ave., Troutdale, 503-492-8752

GAY SQUARE

DANCING CLUB

We all know the gays love to dance, but if you're sick of the techno drone at the clubs, why not call up the friendly folks at the Rosetown Ramblers! They can steer your queer in a new directionÉ like square and shit. Classes are forming as we speak and as soon as you get good enough, they let you dance with the big boys and girls at the First Saturday Dances held at the PPAA. These folk are so darn friendly you'll feel like you died and ascended into a denim-and-checkerboard-quilted heaven. BB

Classes are held every Wednesday night from 7:30-9:30 pm in SE Portland. Email Rick Hawes at rickh@agora.rdrop.com

HAM RADIO CLUB

In the Dennis Quaid movie Frequency, a ham radioturned-time machine saved the day. Far-fetched? Try this on for size: When the power grid collapsed a month ago along the Eastern seaboard, it was battery-powered ham radio operators who were able to help coordinate medical and rescue missions. See the theme? Ham-radio users are behind-the-scene heroes! Don't let Grampy have all the funÉ hook up with ham radios today! PB

To join the Portland Amateur Radio Club, w7lt@arrl.net .

THE SOCIETY FOR CREATIVE ANACHRONISM

For more info on the Society for Creative Anachronism, I spoke via a top-secret phone call with his Lordship, Jeffrey Bailes, aka William Geoffrey the Rogue, The Highness of Summits for the Oregon branch of the SAC. Here are some excerpts:

"We recreate the better parts of the Middle Ages through education and learning and revelry. No plagues, no religious persecution, and when you go to war, you don't actually die."

"We have medieval tournaments and simulated wars within our combat system between kingdoms, and between smaller groups. Every once in a while it's nice to get together with a few hundred of your closest friends and fight."

"We fight with weapons made from ratan, a fibrous grass that has approximately the same weight as iron, but it doesn't break jagged and it doesn't cut people in half. It can hurt, but we wear armor to keep ourselves from getting really hurt."

"The wars are very magical. It's a lot like stepping back in time." JWS III

Visit www.sca.org for more information than you ever dreamed possible on this enormous worldwide group of warlike rogues and wenches.

WOMEN'S GROUPS AT PSU

Whether you're into hardcore fem politics or simply into celebrating your own radical bazungas, there's a group for every woman at Portland State University. The best place to start is at the Women's Resource Center, which has a library of resources and holds events such as "Stitch and Bitch" (a knitting circle) and reproductive rights rallies. If you wanna get a little more specific, PSU has many lady-centric registered clubs, such as the Society of Women Engineers or WEFT (Women Embracing Freedom Together). And let's not forget VOX (Voices for Planned Parenthood), which boys should really be stoked about, too. JS

Women's Resource Center, 28 Smith Memorial Center, Basement, 725-5672, women@mail.pdx.edu ; for more info on student groups, visit www.ess.pdx.edu/studentorgs.cfm

NW KICKBALL LEAGUE

If you're the kid who was always picked last for sports, here's your chance to redeem yourself: an adult kickball league where the goal is--get this!--to have fun. In fact, if you take yourself too seriously, you may be issued a "Jackass Card" by the referee, publicly humiliated, and required to leave the game. When asked what sets NWKL apart from other kickball clubs, foundress Colleen Finn says, "I'm very good looking." JBR

Must be 21+. Check out www.pdxkickball.com for registration, schedules, rules, and pictures of Colleen.

JACKIE CHAN FAN CLUB

Fact: the sky is blue. Fact: 2 + 2 = 4. Fact! Jackie Chan kicks ass! Nobody knows that better than the kung-fu lovin' members of Portland-based Jackie Chan Fan Club USA, a club that's had over 1550 members--from every state and 23 other countries--in its eight-year history.

Aside from having an annual birthday party for Jackie, the club also donates to the Portland Classical Chinese Garden. Members are eligible for a newsletter, film premieres, and Chan fan club gatherings, including some with clubs from Japan, Australia, and the UK.

As for why the club's so popular, president and founder Joy Al-Sofi summed it up for me with another verifiable dictum about Jackie: "He's the most amazing human being on the planet." Fact! EH

Info: Annual membership fee is $36. Visit www.jackiechanfans.com, email chanfans@spiritone.com, call (503) 299-4766, or write Jackie Chan Fan Club USA, PO Box 2281, Portland, Oregon.

FENCING CLUB

Despite the fact it involves lunging at someone with a giant blade, the manager and assistant coach of Fencing Center Salle Trois Armes, Rocky Beach, assures: "Fencing is one of the safest sports people can do with one of the lowest injury ratings." So if pretending to kill strangers in a way that is not hazardous to your health is appealing to you, FCSTA is right up your alley. The club offers individual and group instruction in foil, epee, and saber, as well as the ability to compete in tournaments. Membership also entitles you to access the club for setting up fencing matches with other members. JBR

For more info call 503.285.2962, info@fencingcenter.org, or check out www.fencingcenter.org .

PORTLAND MERCURY FAN CLUB

Oh my god!!! Don't you just love the Mercury?? WellÉ now through the wonder that is the INTERNET you can express that love 24/7 and connect with others who adore (and hate) the paper as much as you. The Portland Mercury Users Group Yahoo Group (PMUGYG) was founded by two guys with what seems to be an enormous amount of time on their hands. Plus they have a shared love of all things Mercury (even Katie "Shitter" [See "Letters," page 3]). PMUGYG now boasts over 50 members, a photo gallery and a slightly creepy database documenting where all the Mercury employees live and play. The boys even host online chats with such mega stars as Wm. Steven Humphrey and office dog Soon-Yi the Pug, and are helping with the mayoral campaign of Phil "A Chicken in Every Pot" Busse. But seriously, check it outÉ that is, when you're done with all the porn groups. BB

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/portlandmercuryusersgroup/

COSTUME CLUB

Seaplane? Sure. Rock 'N' Roll Fashion Show? Alright. Fashion Incubator? Okay, okay, but if you want REAL D.I.Y. fashion in Portland, why not join the Greater Portland Area Costumer's Guild? Not only do the members create sci-fi and fantasy-related costumes, but also historical period-inspired threads! The G.P.A.C.G. tries to explore two equal aspects of costuming: the pure fun of creating with self expression, and the technical/educational side. The group meets every Tuesday and membership is $20, with a discount for additional household members. MB

Check out their website www.robewarriors.com for more info, or call 503-283-8181.

HOT ROD CLUBS

Founded in 1956 by a bunch of leather wearing car punks, the Multnomah Hot Rod Council is a non-profit group of road-sled worshiping gas hogs who spend more time under metal hoods than fleece hoodies. Different groups operate within the Council's social mechanics, such as Fords of the '50s, Cadillac Lasalle Club, Family Fun Rods & Custom Car Club, Northwest Nomad Association, Pacific NW Pontaic Club, Lead Sled Cruzers, Capitol City Cruisers, Road Knights, and more. Plus the dazzling Portland Roadster Show, the HRC's annual bash, is the oldest in the country.

Check out the MHRC website, and find the club that suits your personal needs. (VW hippie busses need not apply.) JD

Multnomah Hot Rod Council, P.O. Box 17669, Portland, 97217-0669. Phone: 503-232-4567, fax 503-234-1699. www.portlandroadstershow.com, http://www.mhrc.org/

SPACE CLUB

So you're a student/layman that wants to help on research projects for building Lunar and Mars Bases, but don't know how to get your foot in the door? Well, now you do! The Oregon L.5. Society is a local chapter The National Space Society, whose main mission is to promote a space faring civilization through education and scientific research. Monthly meetings usually include a guest lecturer on various space subjects. Attend a meeting to find out how to get involved. All you need to join is an interest in space! MB

www.oregonl5.org

SCIENCE FICTION CLUB

Portland Science Fiction Society (PorSFiS) is the oldest operating Science Fiction Club in Oregon (25 years). For those interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy, they have weekly meetings at PSU, and official monthly social meetings hosted by various PorSFiS members in their homes.

Membership in PorSFiS is available at two rates: $20 for individual memberships and $30 for a family membership. (all members in household). Says the website, "There is also a lifetime membership available for $400, which is good for the rest of your natural life. (Or unnatural life, if you're inclined that way --a great bargain for vampires and the immortal!)" JD

Portland State University, Smith Hall Room 323, 2nd Saturday of the month at 2 pm. http://www.porsfis.org , http://groups.yahoo.com/group/porsfis

FIGHTING WITH WOODEN STICKS CLUB

After a hard week of hitting the books, the mind turns naturally to whacking someone with a stick, and yelling in Japanese, doesn't it? It sure does! And what better way to reinvigorate the senses than to whack a teacher (sensei) with a stick? Careful though, because at Obukan Kendo Club, the art of Japanese wooden sword fencing, the sensei will whack you back!

Says lead instructor Robert Stroud, Obukan has students aged 5 to 60. "Kendo is many things; a culturally interesting exercise, a challenge to yourself, a way to develop mental and physical skills, and much more."

Bunzaemon Nii, who demonstrated Jujutsu at the Lewis & Clark Exhibition in 1905, helped found the club in 1926. Nii was chosen as the first instructor. In Obukan, the "O" refers to Oregon. Oregon was called "O-shu" by Japanese immigrants. The "Bu" means martial training. And the "Kan" means building or training hall. See? You're speaking Japanese already!

Why should you join besides whacking people with a stick? "Everyone starts for a different reason," Stroud says, "for example I thought it looked cool, and was inspired 25 years ago by the 80+-year-old teachers."

Membership in Obukan Kendo is $20/eight-week class, plus students must purchase their own shinai (bamboo) swords. JD

503-720-3434, Richmond Elementary School, 2276 SE 41st, and Greenburg Jazzercise, 10855 SW Cascade, Tigard, www.obukan.com

RIDE TINY BIKES REALLY FAST CLUB

It sounds so simple: The Zoobombers meet every Sunday night at Rocco's Pizza downtown to watch The Simpsons, then they take their specially crafted mini bikes up to the Portland Zoo on the MAX. Then they ride down the hill really fast! And that's pretty much it! Nonetheless, this is one of the most dangerous extracurricular activities you can participate in, and you may want to rethink it if you have any sort of legal ickies in your recent past and/or can't afford a lawyer. So far, the Zoobombers have been suspected of terrorism (Get it, "Zoobombers?" Get it? Yeah, well obviously the PPD don't), had their little bikes confiscated, and attained the status of being the coolest club in town. You cool? MS

Rocco's Pizza, 949 SW Oak, Sundays, 8 pm, bring a flashlight and $1.25 for the MAX

BOWLING LEAGUES

Who doesn't have a couple friends you'd like to spend more time with over a pitcher of beer and a couple of balls? Well, grab Mitch and Susan, get yourselves some matching pink jumpsuits, and form a little bowling team. You can bowl in league play (they'll give you a handicap if you suck) with three to five teammates any night of the week except Saturday. And if you're a solo bowler, Hollywood Bowl will get you hooked up with a team. That sounds like some goddamn fun! Who's game? KS

League play runs September through April, and starts at 6:30 pm and runs 'til 9. Call Hollywood Bowl (4030 NE Halsey) 288-9237 to get signed up.

NUDIST CLUB

If you're a little shy, Hidden Springs Nudist Club has women-only, swimsuit-optional events to get your feet wet (if you're a shy male, you're shit out of luck). They also do a background check on all prospective members so that you needn't worry about the safety of your bare bum. What's more? They are sponsors of the naked mole rat exhibit at the Portland Zoo and four-time winners of the Oregon Nudist Chili Cook-Off. This month they're sponsoring Bare Bowling, so sign up soon or some naked person might take your spot at the lane. JBR

For singles, couples, and families. All ages welcome. For more info check out www.hiddenspringsnudist.org or contact Hidden Springs at 503-699-5442, hiddensprings@pobox.com

JUGGLING ORGANIZATIONS

Aspiring jugglers are in luck this weekend, which marks Portland's annual Juggling Festival and Vaudeville Extravaganza. The event attracts over 500 of the best jugglers in the world and is described by studly juggler Rhys Thomas as "the largest regional juggling festival in America." Who knew Portland was such a juggling Mecca? Of course, many of the festivities will involve networking and schmoozing with the experts, but newcomers curious about the craft can attend any or all of several hourly introductory workshops on vaudeville pursuits ranging from juggling to hat manipulation. There's also a Vaudeville Extravaganza on Saturday featuring a slew of local and national variety acts, including the 2003 International Juggling Association gold medal winners Team Rootberry! If you ever wondered if there's a juggler lurking somewhere inside you, this is the weekend to find out. JWS III

Vaudeville Extravaganza is at Benson High School, 546 NE 12th Avenue, Saturday 7 pm, $10-$15; the festival takes place at the Reed College gym, Fri 6 pm-2 am, Sat-Sun 10 am-5 pm, $10, call 249-1135 for more info.

DOG CLUBS

Ever find yourself sitting at home with your dog, gazing into each other's eyes over your respective food dishes? Do you love and admire your dog because of its mutty charms? Or do you take pride in your dog's purebred blood? Either way, Oregon boasts a huge number of clubs for you and poochie, so that both of you can get out and mix with others of similar interest and/or physical characteristics. In addition to "all breed" clubs, there are specific clubs for just about every type of diggity dog, from Basset Hounds to Poodles, to Shih Tzus. Hot dog damn! MS

See www.barkbytes.com for comprehensive club lists and contact info.

TABLE TENNIS CLUB

In 2002, I predicted that ping-pong (aka table tennis) would be THE hot new sport of 2003. What I forgot to factor in is that I'm always two years ahead of my time. So what I meant to say is that table tennis is going to be THE hot new sport of 2004. Therefore, when this hot new sport hits the peak of its popularity next year, are you gonna be ready? A great way to hone those TT skilz is to hook up with the Oregon Table Tennis Club. Founded by Tim Titrud, instructors teach the kids after school, and open it up for adult play on weekday and weekend nights. All skill levels are welcome and the only way to get better is to PLAY, playa. WSH

The OTTC plays at the Lott Whitcomb Grade School, 7400 SE Thompson, Milwakee. Call Tim for times, info and fees, 653-6629.

BIBLE CLUB

Is it time to finally walk the straight and narrow? Did your summer include more debauchery than your conscience can stomach? Maybe you're due to get right with God. Maybe it's time to check out First Baptist Church's "Dinner and Bible Study." Meet and eat with like-minded sinners every Wednesday at 5:50 pm. EE

First Baptist Church, corner of SW 12th and Taylor