Portland LumberJax Scrimmage

Their inaugural season doesn't kick off until early January, but the Portland LumberJax are holding a free (free!) scrimmage tonight (Thursday) at the Rose Garden, which should dispel any misconceptions one might have about indoor freakin' lacrosse.

The sport is like a cross between hockey and basketball, except that body checking and other violent stick-wielding behavior normally outlawed in other sports are totally permitted—even encouraged.

Some history: Native Americans invented lacrosse, although they referred to it by a variety of names that sounded way less French. It was apparently brutal, with players spending more time attacking each other with their sticks than catching the ball. Then the French got involved, phased out the bloodlust, and turned it into the sport that all of America now associates with snooty East Coast college coeds.

Fortunately for sadistic sports enthusiasts, the professional version has restored much of the violence—keeping it from being just a bunch of guys catching a ball in a basket. And if that's not enough, get this: $1 hot dogs and $1 sodas! It's like, for one night only, heaven is crash landing on Portland. SCOTT MOORE

Rose Garden Arena, One Center Court, Thurs Dec 1, 7 pm, free tickets available at www.portlandjax.com

Xmas Shopping Gets Hip

Get ready for the annual credit card max-out that is Christmas shopping! But happily, there are tons of quality shopping events that will ease the carpal tunnel in your check-writing hand. The Handmade Bazaar: Draws crafters and shoppers for a buy/sell/trade extravaganza. Sun Dec 4, Studio TEN-fifty, 50 SE Yamhill, 1-7 pm, w/DJs Kelly Simons, dizzystarhouse, and Beyonda; Sun Dec 11, Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 12-6 pm, w/Landside, the Evolutionary Jass Band, DJ Azmotronik. Also joining the cabal is the Christmas Bazaar at Apotheke, featuring a "sophisticated level" of local designers and artists, plus DJs. Thurs Dec 1, Apotheke, 1314 NW Glisan, Ste. 2A, 5-10 pm. Also not to miss is the Couch T-Shirt Show, Thurs Dec 1, Everett Station Lofts, 328 NW Broadway, #117, 6-10 pm; the Riches at Rimsky's Annual Holiday Sale featuring 13 female artists, Sun Dec 4, Rimsky-Korsakoffe House, 707 SE 12th, 10 am-6 pm; the Community Alliance of Tenants' Cheap Art Party, Sat Dec 3, Milk and Honey Studio, 2512 SE Gladstone, Ste. 205, 6-9:30 pm, $5-10, w/music by Digital Knife; and Portland's new hotspot for Japanese apparel and toys, Moshi Moshi, opening party Fri Dec 2, 6-9 pm, 811 E Burnside. MARJORIE SKINNER