KARAOKE--If you're anything like me, you love to make an ass out of yourself on stage, singing in front of a group of drunken retards. However, you probably HATE waiting an interminable amount of time just to croon one stinkin' tune. That's why you should shun those old karaoke stand-bys and try someplace new!

* Paragon Club, 815 N Killingsworth, 289-0888 (Wed-Sun, 9pm-1am)

Deep in the heart of the 'hood, this crown jewel of Killingsworth may seem scary on the outside, but inside? It's a warm, inviting cornucopia of karaoke fun. Spacious, with an eclectic clientele, prepare to sing your guts out, and to see things you've never seen before. Take this unexplained overheard quote, for example: "They're suckin' titty under the table!"

* The Ambassador, 4744 NE Sandy, 280-0330 (Mon-Sun, 9pm-2:30am)

Dig this! A wireless mike, a disco dance floor, a big-ass book of songs, and karaoke SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. Though some of Portland's finest sing here (always a bummer), and the weekends can be way too crowded, The Ambassador is a great place to go mid-week to drunkenly stumble through "Dust in the Wind."

* The Boiler Room, 228 NW Davis, 227-5441 (Tue-Fri, 9pm-close)

Portland's newest karaoke hotspot is upping the ante! On Tuesdays, it's "Red Hot Karaoke" which features a real fire-twirling show. On Wednesday, it's "Big Hairaoke" which is a perfect night to trot out your version of Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me." And watch your sweet little fanny, because on Fridays, it's the dreaded "Kamikaze Karaoke": The KJ picks the songs at random and you sing 'em--like it or not! Horrifying? YES. But only the brave deserve respect.

HIPHOP DANCE CLASS--Let's be frank: You dance like crap. And everybody's tired of you clogging up the floor with your foot shuffling and finger snaps, or worse still, your "marching in place, and pushing up the ceiling" moves. It's time to bring out the serious funk, and take a hiphop dance class. Taught by the infinitely hot Mariecella Devine, it's not only a sweat-bustin' work-out, but you'll also pick up a myriad of moves in the "J.Lo video" vein that will surely shock and amaze your friends. Please, do it. The dance club community will thank you.

At the Oregon Ballet Theatre, 818 SE 6th, 227-0977 ex. 213
Sundays, 11:30am-1:30pm
$15 single class, $60 for five classes

* PING PONG--Here is our prediction: Ping Pong will be the new "hot" activity for 2002. Oh, right! Laugh it up, jerk-hole! But when you get your bee-hind royally trounced at any of the myriad of backyard ping pong tournies next summer, don't come crying to us! For those who already know the joys of table tennis, December would be a great time to brush up on those skills with the weekly games at the Lot Whitcomb Elementary school gym. Or, if you'd rather plunge headlong into pong, join up with the Portland Table Tennis Club! These super-friendly peeps will happily help you hone the skills to pay those ping pong bills!

Lot Whitcomb School, 7400 SE Thompson, Milwaukie
Thurs 9-10:30pm, Sat 6:30-10pm, Sun 1-5pm; www.oregontabletennis.hypermart.net

* MALE STRIPPERS--Another good thing to do in December is to watch male strippers. And here's why: When women strip, they are only required to walk around in a circle, drop their clothes, and maybe fiddle with their boobies. They may do more, but as far as guys are concerned, one could just fiddle with the boobies and call it a day. However, male strippers must go the extra mile and entertain. For example, at Three Sisters tavern, the men wear an array of costumes that include "cute cop" and "cute UPS guy." They have also been known to sit on your head, leap out into the audience, and swing upside down from bars on the ceiling--by their FEET. Oh. And did we mention they're nude??

Three Sisters Tavern, 1125 SW Stark, 228-0486