Tournaments of Champions

On Friday, 16 men and women will, once and for all, settle the debate over who in Portland is most blessed with strength of mind and muscle. Sponsored by the Mercury, the Brains & Brawn Contest will square off challengers for an arm wrestling competition followed immediately by a game of Boggle. Progressing through a series of quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the final big event, the champions--one man and one woman--will be able to declare themselves, unequivocally, the smartest and strongest in our fair city.
With music from Strategy and Party Time. Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy, Friday Dec 5, 9 pm, $6

If that's not enough competition, XV is sponsoring their first-ever domino tournament. An open invitation to test your wits and steady hands. What's more, the best two-person team wins $200!
XV, 15 SW 2nd Ave, pre-register at XV or call 790-9090, Wednesday Dec 10, 9 pm, $10 entry fee for two-person teams

You want more? How about jousting? No, not big sticks and horses, but the 1982 video game Joust, featuring wing-flapping, egg-laying ostriches.
Thursday Dec 4, Backspace, 115 NW 5th, 248-2900, 7 pm, free PHIL BUSSE

Eclectic Gifts

When it comes to making holiday gifts, maybe you'll find everything you need in a dumpster, instead of getting all "consumer." Well, you're a virtuous hippie with a lot of goddamn time. The rest of us will be shopping this month. But that doesn't have to mean K-Mart and Hot Topic. Not when there are craft salesÉ

First, there's the annual Handmade Bazaar, which always has loads of intriguing inventions, from cards and books to clothing and art. Plus, you can trade/sell your own creations, and really join the cabal. Second, the Twilight Handicraft Bazaar features gifts made by local artists out of reworked vintage materials, in addition to the usual bric-a-brac. Plus, homemade candy, baked goods, and Voodoo Doughnuts will also be vended. Third, the Contemporary Crafts Museum & Gallery offers a selection of handcrafted jewelry and furniture, among other things, from artists both local and international. And fourth, the most unique shopping opportunity this season, Prints for PICA, where almost 50 Portland artists are going to be making prints all day! You can watch them do their stuff, and then buy the prints right out of their sticky hands! MARJORIE SKINNER
Handmade Bazaar, Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, Sat & Sun, 12-5 pm; Twilight Handicraft Bazaar, Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne, Sat, 7-10 pm; Contemporary Crafts Gallery, 3934 SW Corbett, 10 am-5 pm Tues-Sat, Sun 1-5 pm, Prints for PICA, Studio 333, 333 NE Hancock, Sat, 4-9 pm

Mercury's Online Gift Auction

Still looking for that perfect gift? Then, for the love of God, STOP and turn to the Mercury Online Gift Auction! Featuring uniquely fun and bizarre gifts for every taste, this online auction is only going to last a few more days--so move quick! And remember, every penny we collect will go to the Portland Relief Nursery; a terrific charity that provides desperately needed services to abused or neglected children under the age of three. This auction ends on MONDAY, DEC 8 at NOON, so go to NOW, and bid on the following great gifts!

1) Design the Mercury's front cover. Your brilliant art, or a picture of your grandma--it's your choice!

2) Play Hooky with Wm.™ Steven Humphrey. You'll join "Mr. I Love Television™" on a day of fun!

3) A Year's Supply of Doughnuts. From Voodoo Doughnuts!

4) Fancy Dinner with Mercury Publisher Rob Crocker. See how the "other half" lives!

5) Ménage à Trois Picnic for Three. Sexy feast provided by Robin Rosenberg of Half & Half.

6) A Date with ALL the Mercury girls. All cute--all funny!

7) Artist Jack Pollack Draws a Caricature of You. Perhaps on water skis!

8) Top 10 CDs of 2003. Picked and provided by Ozone Phase 3.

9) A Strip Club Tour of Portland. Guided by the hard-drinkin' Mercury Sales team!

10) Insulting Rap Written about the Person of Your Choice. By Mercury "battle rapper" Sweet Pete Cornell!

11) Autographed Movie Poster by Gus Van Sant.

12) Gay Night Out. A fabulous night out with gay gadfly Brian Brait.

13) Le French Prize Pack. Crepes, French music, French wineÉ and if you're lucky, a French kiss!

14) Baseball Bat Autographed by Rockers Sleater-Kinney.

15) Couples Therapy. Two one-hour sessions led by lucky-in-love news editor, Phil Busse.

16) A Movie a Week for a Year. 52 passes from the Laurelhurst Theater.

17) Hot Pink Cape Coat. Super stylish collectible from Frock Boutique.

18) Mirror Coat Rack. Rebuilt and swank, from ReFind Furniture.

19) Rowing Lessons. Explore the river with this free lesson.

20) A Year of Haircuts. Thanks, Rudy's Barbershops!

21) Get Drunk with Katie Shimer. 'Nuff said.

22) Pro DJs for Your Next Party. Complete with equipment, lights, and ass-shakin' music!

23) Mercury Feature Story­About YOU. Written by Assistant Editor Justin Sanders.

24) Recording Time for Your Band. Eight hours, courtesy of Insta-Fame Studios.

25) Attend a Blazers/Lakers Game with Julianne. The final game of the regular season!

26) Leather Fun Pack. Leather bra and panty set, with riding crop from Spartacus.

27) A Month of Free Shows at Holocene. Hip, hip! Fun, fun! Dance, dance!

28) Pictures of You with Councilmember Erik Sten. In a real photo-booth!

29) Personalized Mixed CD from Julianne. Use Julianne's expertise to make the best CD ever!

30) A Month of Free Shows at Berbati's. Rock, rock! Fun, fun! Drink, drink!

31) Dark Horse Comics Toy Chest. Including vinyl statuettes of Uncle Gabby and Drinky Crow!

Time's a wastin'! So bid now and bid big! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Mercury Online Gift Auction for Charity, ends Monday, Dec 8 at noon.