Labor Day weekend may officially end summer--for SUCKERS, that is! Not here at the Mercury. No sir. Our Summer Action Team is just getting its second wind. Don’t baton down the hatches for the winter rains just yet, ’cuz there’s still plenty of sun and fun to squeeze out of the next few weeks.


Sail Away

The final gusts of summer trade winds make September and October an ideal time to sail. Here's one of those sports which is better attempted than talked about--that is, if you want to learn, you simply just need to do it.

What's that? You don't own a sailboat? No problem. There are plenty of agencies around who will rent one to you--or, in nautical speak, give you a "bare boat charter." All you need to do is, well, talk the talk. Toss around words like "bow," "stern," "port," and "starboard." Repeat after me: "Oh yeah, I was out sailing in Cape Cod and my sails just started luffing." Or, "And then our halyard snapped! But I just scrambled up the mast and tied off a bowline." If you're convincing enough, the marinas will rent you a boat for the hour, afternoon, or weekend. Once you're on the water, a person of average intelligence can figure "it" out in about half an hour. If not, well, that's what the Coast Guard is for!

But if you are completely too chicken to captain your own boat, lessons are available, as well. PB

Bubba Louie's, Hood River, (541) 386-4222; rentals start at $50/hour, lessons available starting at $195

For a bit more romantic, exotic, and far flung adventure, try the San Juan Islands. The water is too cold year round to swim there, so why not go now?

Charters Northwest, Friday Harbor (take ferry from Anacortes),, (800) 258-3119. Bare boat charters start at $200/day for 23-foot yacht

Rooster Rock: Call in nude!

Here's a little nugget to squirrel away for the rainy months: On that next--perhaps last--sunny day, call in sick! On that brilliant September day, after hanging up the phone with your nasty, pasty white boss, head out to Rooster Rock State Park. It's only 22 miles east of Portland. With all the kids in school and all the worker bees in their offices, the drive should only take 15 minutes. With three miles of fabulous Columbia River sandy beaches you can dunk your toes in one last time. And if clothes aren't your thing, take a walk on the nudie side. Head to the beach's east end where you'll find one of Oregon's only two designated nude beaches. MLS

Follow the signs from exit 25 off I-84

Bare Backing

Riding a horse can make a girl feel a year younger and an inch taller. The horses may not be Seabiscuit or Smarty Jones, but what better way to enjoy some Columbia Gorge serenity and at the same time chafe your ass? KS

From Portland take 84 to Hwy 141 to White Salmon, WA. See for directions. Call 509-493-4965 for reservations. Rides are $25 per hour.

Ride the Volcano

Some enchanted evening this September, take a bike ride east of Portland to Rocky Butte, which you run into if you follow NE Fremont east towards Gresham. Rocky Butte is one of many cinder cones left in the Boring Lava Field, which contains nearly 50 such cones and lava shields. Now full of trees, like a mini Mt. Tabor, it has a great windy road to challenge you to the top, where Rocky Butte Park beckons. You'll find great city vistas and a great view of the lava field. But the best part is zooming back down towards the bottom. It's the perfect little umph to take away your late summer blues. MLS


Flying the Coop

Did you know Oregon is one of the top five states for bird species diversity!? The little flying guys are everywhere. And, as summer turns to fall and the leaves turn to gold, it's prime time to take a walk and check them out. Offering free weekly birding field trips, the Audubon Society of Portland is a great place to start your birding adventure. Plus they host classes for beginners and special lectures by birder celebs like Harry Nehls, author of Familiar Birds of the Pacific Northwest. JWS

Audubon Society of Portland, 292-6855

What a Racket!

For fans of tennis, the Portland Tennis Center is an amazing product for your hard-earned tax dollars. An extension of the city's Parks and Recreation bureau, it offers beautifully maintained indoor and outdoor courts, and a huge lineup of private and group lessons, tournaments, and mixers. Compared to private clubs and courts, the costs for these facilities are minimal; the best bang for your buck are the mixers. Pay a mere seven dollars to play three hours of doubles with a rotating slew of 15 other players of your own ability! Fun! Mixer ability levels and times change daily, so be sure to check to see which one is right for you! JWS

Portland Tennis Center, 324 NE 12th, 823-3190


Hibernate With A New Boyfriend

It may be tempting to savor the last sweet drops of end of summer slutting, but trust me--it's time to quit fucking around. Get yourself a boyfriend NOW. Because in, like, two months you will be freezing your lonely ass off in a studio apartment (only sluts live in studios), shivering alone in your ugliest pair of sweatpants when you could be nestling in the crook of your man's arm, still warm with sex sweat. Hmmm, which would YOU prefer? And another thing: I don't care if he cheats, farts, eats with his mouth open, wears ugly shoes, makes you watch sports, talks too much about his ex, or calls out his grandma's name in the sack. You keep him around. Until spring, smart girls will be model girlfriends. Sigh... you know the drill: laundry, blowjobs, looking pretty, making dinner, and not getting drunk and making out with someone else in front of him, unless it's another girl. Happy hibernation. MS

Some good places to look: Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd; Whole Foods, 1210 NW Couch; Sandy Hut, 1430 NE Sandy

Look Like You Just Left the Beach

Don't let your sun-kissed hair go the way of the dreary skies--highlights are a great way to tuck a little summer away for later. Stylists use foil to brighten and color streaks of your hair while letting its natural (or not) color remain. The process usually takes about an hour and, depending on the salon, ranges from $65 to $100. EE

Some places to go: Drops of Jupiter, 4120 NE Fremont, 284-3942; Sugar Laboratories, 1440 NE Broadway, 284-4336; Studio E, 724 NW 21st Ave, 228-5000

Late Summer Planting for Winter Eating

According to Brandon Stevens of Portland Nursery, September is a great time to plant arugula, beets, radishes, and salad greens, which will produce food into the winter. September is also perfect for planting kale, which if planted now will produce leaves into the cold winter days, actually sweetening the leaves. Onions, shallots, and garlic can also be planted for spring harvest. Cover crops such as fava beans can also be planted now to enrich your soil for more beneficial growing next year. MLS

Eat Summer, All Winter Long

This time of year you can't swing your head without seeing scads of delicious blackberries--on the fence next to your house, in the park, near the river. So pick 'em! Here's a quick way to make Blackberry Freezer Jam--a little jar of summer in your cupboard all winter long.

You'll need:
3 cups crushed ripe blackberries
5 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 pkg (57g) regular fruit pectin
3/4 cup water
Wash and rinse 6-250 ml mason jars.
Wash and crush blackberries.

Combine crushed blackberries and sugar in a large bowl; mix well. Let stand 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan, gradually whisk fruit pectin into water. Stirring frequently over medium-high heat, bring to a full rolling boil; boil for one minute.

Add boiling pectin to fruit mixture; stir for three minutes.

Ladle hot jam into a clean 250 ml mason jar to within 1/2 inch of top rim. Using a nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles by stirring. Wipe jar rim, removing any stickiness. Cover tightly with a lid. Repeat.

Let stand at room temperature until set. Freeze or refrigerate within 24 hours.

Store in freezer up to one year or in refrigerator up to three weeks. MLS


September 8-12:

8th Annual International Croquet Invitational. Featuring the number one croquet player in the nation (yes, apparently there is such a thing!) and a cash purse for the winners. Resort at the Mountain, From Hwy 26, turn south on E. Fairway Ave in Welches, 622-3101, free for spectators

September 19:

Kick Measure 36 Kickball Tournament. A fundraiser to help keep civil rights alive and well in Oregon and to help keep same-sex marriages legal. for information contact, $10 donation per player

September 25:

PSU Football. Baseball is over. Get over it! Come watch a real man's sport. PSU plays Louisiana's McNesse State. PGE Park, kick off at 6:05 pm

September 25:

Independence Demolition Derby. Maybe you'll see Tonya Harding in line for an elephant ear! Close out derby season with the granddaddy of tractor pulls and a smash 'em, crash 'em demolition derby. Follow signs from I-5 South to Independence, 10 miles SW of Salem.


Summer means one thing for movies: Big, dumb, and awesome. Fight back against autumn's artsy, fartsy films by cranking up the heater and renting a two-hour chunk of summer.

h Blue Crush (2002): Hot girls and surfing--who cares what the plot is?

h Caddyshack (1980): Ah, Bushwood Country Club--a utopia of golfing, getting high, having sex, and golfing. Rodney Dangerfield deserved an Oscar for this one!

h Corvette Summer (1978): Road trips are classic summer. Mark "Once Famous For Being Luke Skywalker" Hamill drives a cool car and falls for a prostitute in Vegas.

h Dazed and Confused (1993): Remember finishing high school and getting stoned to Foghat? That was the most rad summer ever.

h Do the Right Thing (1989): When it gets this sweaty and hot, something's gotta give. Spike Lee when he was still raw.

h El Mariachi Trilogy (1993-2003): You can't go wrong with the giddy thrills of Robert Rodriguez' scorching south of the border action extravaganzas El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

h Endless Summer I and II (1966, 1994): Two excellent surfing flicks. Don't surf? Doesn't matter.

h Ernest Goes to Camp (1987): What else do you need? It's Ernest! And he's at camp!

h The Great Outdoors (1988): A classic starring Dan Akroyd, John Candy, and a bear's ass.

h Independence Day (1996): BAM! BOOM! It's the Fresh Prince vs. aliens! BANG!

h Jaws (1975): Da dumÉ da dumÉ da-dum da-dum da-dum! Hey--that's the sound of the "summer blockbuster" genre being invented!

h Meatballs (1979): Bill Murray at summer camp. Enough said.

h National Lampoon's Vacation (1983): Remember when Chevy Chase was funny? Those were the daysÉ those were the days.

h One Crazy Summer (1986): John Cusack + the good looks of Bobcat Goldthwait + the humor of a young Demi Moore + an underdog sail boat race = COMEDY GOLD!

h Stand By Me (1986): Didn't everyone's summertime adolescence involve River Phoenix, a dead body, and a pie-eating contest gone puke-tastically wrong?

h Wet Hot American Summer (2001): Tube socks, shower scenes, careless (and ba-zoomba hot) counselors. As if summer camp movies needed to be lampooned to be funny, members from MTV's comedy show The State make a summer spoof so blatantly bad it is remarkable. ERIK HENRIKSEN