It's benefit season again, and if you're like me, you feel more generous when the people involved are funny, smart, and kick-ass. And one of the funnest events this week has got to be Strike Out Sexism!--an all-evening bowl-a-thon hosted by Portland State's Women's Resource Center (WRC), with all the money going to the Women's Health Clinic, Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, Women's Strength Self-Defense, and the Women's Crisis Line.
But! Not only will you get to sharpen up those bowling skills, the WRC will also be providing DJs, girl-centric bands like Pom Pom Meltdown, raffles, food, prizes from local businesses like Kitchen Kaboodle and Music Millennium, and even (ka-BOING) blackjack tables! What does all this have to do with sexism? NOTHING. And therein lies the brilliance. Come show your support for the brainy gals at the WRC who know that--when it comes to benefits--"fun" trumps "guilt" any day of the week. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Strike Out Sexism, Viking Bowl in the basement of Smith Center at PSU, 1825 SW Broadway, Friday, May 16, 6 pm-midnight, $5 students, $6 general.
Retread's Spirit Week
Things that are inseparable: macaroni and cheese, Ren and Stimpy, love and marriage, and most thrillingly, culture and fashion. Retread Threads, the downtown resource for vintage duds, funky socks, and objects adorned with Andre the Giant's freakish mug, is turning ten. To celebrate, they're hosting two days' worth of music, clothes, local celebrities, and an in-store party.
Wrapping up a week of people doing strange things (like directing short films) in their store window, Retread's anniversary week peaks on Friday with a fashion show at Berbati's featuring new and used clothing (which they will be happy to sell you, of course). Plus, there will be performances from the awesome, multimedia Degenerate Art Ensemble and local indierockers The Thermals. The party benefits Ethos, Inc., dedicated to keeping the children musical and multi-cultural. Good, because they're cuter that way.
The next day, shake it off and get back on the Retread horse for their daylong in-store party. Mercury editor, Wm. Steven Humphrey, will "host" the event, with DJ T-1-11 providing the musical backdrop. And besides winning raffles and prizes, you can also get your white trash tarot reading! (Yeah, who needs Romanians anyway? This here's America!) MARJORIE SKINNER
Friday: Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 248-4579, 9:30 pm, $6
Saturday: Retread Threads, 931 SW Oak, 916-0000, starts at 11 am, super fun between 2 and 4 pm, free
Fairz in the 'Hood
Forget Alberta Street. Don't bother with the hippies on Hawthorne. Don't even mention the Pearl. PAH! Mississippi Avenue is the coolest neighborhood in town. An odd collection of rib shops, quaint coffeehouses, homeboys, and yuppies, Mississippi Avenue has become Portland's true melting pot. This weekend that diversity will boil over with an eclectic two-day street fair.
From a treasure hunt and tricycle race for the tykes to bandstands and booze for the grown-ups, the fair is a grab bag of summertime fun.
On Friday night, short, locally-produced films will screen on the side of Fresh Pot (4001 N. Mississippi, 9 pm; in case of rain, go indoors to Mississippi Rising Ballroom, 8333 N. Shaver). On Saturday, the five-block stretch from the haunted Victorian house on the hill to the laid-back pizza joint will be closed to car traffic. Bike Works will sponsor free clinics on bike repair (3951 N. Mississippi, noon-6 pm) and a trick bike rider at 2 pm! Plus, Grandfather's is sponsoring a best-ribs contest (3524 N. Mississippi, 2 pm). The winner takes home title for "best ribs in Portland." PHIL BUSSE
Batter, Batter, KICK!
Need a recess break from adulthood? Welcome to the Portland kickball league! Last summer, a few friends in town started playing the age-old school yard favorite--a hybrid between baseball and soccer, but played with a slightly deflated (red, always red) rubber ball. This summer, the group has matured their childhood passion into a full-fledged kickball league, with organized teams and an end-of-the-summer Rose City Tournament.
League organizer Colleen "Kickball Queen" Finn explains that, unlike baseball or football, where strength and size are king, kickball is a game that levels the playing field between your 250-pound gorilla and your pixyish young lady. "That big guy that steps up to boot it," she explains, "sometimes it just goes straight up in the air."
"And," she adds, "that skinny girl in third grade who was always picked last; she's looking for revenge."
Finn cautions the Portland league is not powder-puff polite, but shamelessly trash-talking. She also adds that this is a 21+ league. "It's a beer-swilling good time." PHIL BUSSE
To join, contact the World Adult Kickball, www.worldkickball.com, $60 per player. Registration for individuals or teams (15 members) is open through May 22. Games are Wednesday and Thursday through mid-August on at Hosford Park, SE 28th Ave and Division, 7 pm.