Fuck Multmomah Falls and Spirit Mountain Casino! The first place I take my out-of-town visitors is Portland's Vacuum Cleaner Museum. Why not? It's free, it's one-of-a-kind, and it's fascinating. Well, "fascinating" may be a strong word for what is really just a corridor providing storage for 300 antique vacuums. In a room no wider (and not much longer) than a station wagon you'll find enough Eurekas to fill... um, a station wagon. Framed photos and yellowed newspaper clippings round out the self-guided tour. It's 20 minutes (if you read each placard) well-spent, and that most certainly "doesn't suck." HAW! WG
Starks Vacuums, 107 NE Grand, 8 am-7 pm (M-F), 9 am -5 pm (Sat), Closed Sundays
We all die sooner than later, so you'd better be ready when it happens. Autumn is the perfect time to meditate on death, because everything is dying all around you. A great way to do this is to spend some quality time poking around the seven and a half miles of hallway in the Portland Memorial Mausoleum. Pass the great gaping gates and explore the mausoleum crypts, complete with niches that contain remains, urns, stained glass, and statuary. See death seven days a week. It's not morbid; it's miraculous. EJ
Portland Memorial Mausoleum, 6631 SE 14th, 233-5233, Monday-Sunday, 8 am-4:30 pm, free
HAM IT UP
It's time to bring out that ham radio your ex-girlfriend gave you for Valentine's Day and get to "transmitting" with co-eds around the world--and the Portland Amateur Radio Club is here to help. They offer licensing exams ($12) and guest speakers at each of their monthly meetings. Once you're licensed, not only can you communicate, locate aircraft, and track tagged animals, but you get a cool, impossible to pronounce code name, like G666UK or W2X88. Monthly meetings are open to the public and are always held on the fourth Friday of each month. Radio-rookies are encouraged (despite their ignorance) to attend a meeting before taking the licensing exam to learn the ins and outs (as well as tips on studying). Join up soon--it megahertz so good! WG
Portland Amateur Radio Club, www.w7lt.org , meetings held at One Liberty Center at 650 NE Holladay
My next door neighbor, Juan, is a "laserlighter." That's the official term for someone who operates the Laser Light show at OMSI. Every Friday night, he gets to experience a magical thing. That's when gaggles of stoner teens converge with baby boomer couples to finally agree on one thing: Pink Floyd kicks ass. Each Friday has three shows: Radiohead, Pink Floyd's The Wall, and then Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. So if you're a middle-aged dad trying to relive your youth--or a youth trying to relive your dad's youth--here's your chance. Juan has personally promised me he won't shoot lasers out of his eyes at you, as any laserlighter legendarily can. MB
OMSI Laser Light Show, 1945 SE Water Ave, 797-4646. Call for show times.
Okay, it's not really about UFOs. And it's not really a museum. In fact, it's not always there at all. But all of these elusive, shim-shammery shell games just contribute to the mystery that is the UFO Museum, which is (mostly) a curios shop set up on the street corner of NW 21st and Hoyt. In addition to the mysteries listed above, they also have something called "The Telepathic Television." What it does exactly is left up to your interpretation--just like the existence of UFOs. In my personal experience, the best time to see the curios shop is early evenings on the weekend. MB
UFO Museum, NW corner of NW 21st and Hoyt. Variable hours.
FUN WITH JUNG
Now that you've bought a new SUV and dumped your faithful mate of four years, you realize that you're no better than your good-for-nothing father who did the same 25 years ago. First identified by Carl Jung, a midlife crisis is natural (or, at least, very common). So speaketh The Oregon Friends of C.G. Jung, who aren't Jungian experts, just "people interested in learning more about the work of the Swiss psychiatrist" via lectures and discussion groups. Their library/headquarters is only open to the public Saturdays from 12-3 pm, but that's enough time to take a Myers-Briggs test and get in touch with your masculine side. Be sure to bring your collective unconscious, though. WG
Oregon Friends of C.G. Jung, 811 NW 20th Ave, 223-3080, hit www.ofj.org for more info.
The official kickoff of the swankiest new hipster playground in Portland is also Affair, P-town's first ever professional art fair, with 22 dealers and curators--including such local loves as Motel, Savage, and Mark Woolley, plus amazing out-of-towners like NYC's Modern Culture and Inman Gallery from Houston--all setting up mini-galleries in the Jupiter Hotel's boutique rooms. Spread over three days, Friday night gets things rolling with a $25 per ticket RSVP Opening Night Gala from 6-9 pm complete with DJ Entropy and a spread by Devil's Food caterers. Saturday and Sunday, the Affair will be open to the public from 12-7 pm at $5 per ticket ($3 for students). The organizers tease us with promises of "impromptu parties," panel discussions, and surprise special guests. Sounds like an art-faggy episode of The Love Boat to me... so sign me in and point me to the mini-bar! MLS
Jupiter Hotel, 800 E Burnside, 230-9200, Oct. 1-3
WORK THAT WOOD
Who doesn't like to work with wood? I love getting my hands on a good hardwood and molding it and shaping it into the object that I desire, be it a birdhouse, a coat rack, or one of those dealies that you put those things on. I love those. But if you are ready to move beyond making various dealies, check out the Woodworking Show at the Expo Center (now easily accessible at the end of the MAX Yellow Line). Check out demonstrations from pros and see new products from dozens of vendors. Any way you cut it...Wood is Good! MLS
Portland Expo Center, 2060 North Marine Drive, 736-5200. Woodworking Fair Fri Oct 22, 12-7 pm; Sat Oct 23, 10 am-6 pm, Sun Oct 24, 10 am-4 pm. $10 admission good for all three days of the show--but no wooden nickels! Cash only.
THE REMARKABLE WORLD OF JANE GOODALL
Did you know chimpanzees share 98.6% of the same DNA as humans? (Maybe that's why you love scratching your ass so much.) This traveling exhibit chronicles chimp expert Jane Goodall's 40-plus years of research and interaction with chimps. Hear the soundscapes of jungle life, explore the simulated Chimp Forest, see chimps using tools, check out artifacts, photographs and video clips, and wonder at the odd life-size video image of Goodall herself, giving the closing remarks and offering a message of hope. Just don't call them monkeys, or the science nerds will totally kick your ass--after you scratch it, of course. Hooo-hoo-haa-haaa! MLS
OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave, Sept. 28, 2004 - Jan. 2, 2005, $8.50 for Adults, $6.50 for kids.
FOR LOVE OR MONEY
Sure, clinical research can be a drag, but what if you could get paid to have someone research you? Most studies are no harder than say, exfoliating your scalp onto a piece of paper to simulate snow or cutting yourself repeatedly while listening to Joy Division... and they pay you! C'mon--you're not afraid of a little blood, are you? LC
OHSU Research Support Office, 494-7887, http://www.ohsu.edu/research/rda/so/