Merry Christmas. Wait- it’s Christmas?

Christmas never feels like Christmas to me anymore. I keep chugging along in my daily life, (I know that it’s winter) and then one day somebody proclaims, “It’s Christmas!”. It’s always stressful. It’s always hectic. I come back home for a period of time and it’s one large whirlwind of relatives, car-rides and get-togethers, then I’m shipped back off in a plane to go home with leftovers.

Part of what creates this dis-jointed atmosphere is the fact that my parents are not only divorced, but they don’t speak to each other much and they’ve both found new spouses to spend the rest of their lives with. These ingredients come to form a situation in which I require twice as much time to get all of my holiday visits accomplished and yet still have to work within the same vacation periods. Sure is neat.

What I’m looking forward to is next year. Next year, when I will make enough money to be able to afford a rental car when I come home. Maybe I’ll even have a significant other who I can drag through the trenches with me. We’ll withstand the hectic-ness that comes along with “the holidays” together. My sister and I (thankfully) have each other to lean on this time, but who knows if we’ll both make it back together next year.

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Events: Week of Dec. 1st-7th

I’m not rich and I’m not good at being bored.

Because of this, I’ve accrued a network of active friends and a nose for nudging out interesting but inexpensive things to keep me entertained in Portland. I’ve decided to start listing my week’s worth of outings here on Old Irene, with the hopes that I can help some other broke-yet-social kindred sole out there maximize their leisure time, and still be able to pay rent at the end of the month.

Monday: Trivia Night at Basecamp! My good friend Morgan runs this evening of fun every week on Monday, offering prizes not only for the winning team (you can have up to 6 members in one group), but also to the second-to-last team- which, I am proud to say, I have won twice.

  • What?– Trivia
  • When? Every Monday at 7:30
  • Where? Basecamp Brewing, Se 9th and Oak
  • How Much? Free!

Tuesday: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. If you haven’t seen the first two movies, then you should just make this “Hunger Games Week” and binge on all three in one day or over the course of several. I have seen the first two movies, so I’m heading straight-away to catch the latest one in the comfy and spacious Bagdad theatre on Hawthorne.

  • What?– Movie Night!
  • When? They have showings at 12:00, 3:15, 7:00 and 10:30
  • Where? Mcmenamins Baghdad Theatre, Se 37th and Hawthorne
  • How Much? $7.50 for the matinees (12 & 3:15), $9 after

Wednesday: Your choice of hookah or kava tea with dessert at The Pied Cow. This place is worth visit just to experience their bathroom, getting a delicious sugary treat is the cherry on top. Some people even say this place is haunted… But who’s actually afraid of ghosts when you have pie?

  • What?– Dessert.
  • When? Any time you want (after dinner is customary, but not manditory).
  • Where? Pied Cow Coffeehouse, 3244 SE Belmont St
  • How Much? $2-$10

Thursday: [First Thursday Double-Feature!] Skate Like a Girl Free Skate First Thursday at Daddies Boardshop & Hype Night at CC Slaughters (And also Anastasia’s birthday)

  • SLAG
      • What?– Girls-only Skateboarding
      • When? ~7pm
      • Where? Daddies Boardshop, 5909 NE 80th Ave
      • How Much? Free!
  • Hype Night
    • What?– Hip-Hop infused Dance Party with Go-Go dancers
    • When? 9pm
    • Where? CC Slaughters,219 NW Davis St. Portland’s premier gay club. Don’t be shy! You don’t have to be gay to have a good time (not all of the dancers are male, but they are all amazing)
    • How Much? Free!

Friday: ASL Comedy Troupe at Holocene, a fundraiser show that will provide laughs across (and defying) the sound barrier. Deaf and hearing comedians will be performing one after the other, with voice interpreters for those of us who don’t sign fluently.

  • What?– Comedy Show
  • When? 7-9PM
  • Where? Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St
  • How Much? $10, all proceeds go towards charities supporting the deaf and hard of hearing

Saturday: Booty Basement!!! Get your rump shaking and body sweating at this on-going event at Holocene, the dj night that started as a one-time birthday celebration and has now expanded to a recurring event in San Diego, San Fran, and now Portland. Plus, they have their own “twerk cheerleader”, Ms. Coco B. I think that’s enough incentive to go check this one out before they bump tickets up to $15.

  • What?– Dance Party
  • When? 9PM
  • Where? Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St
  • How Much? $10 at the door

Sunday: ScanFair; Annual Christmas Scandinavian Culture Festival. This is actually a two-day event, but I think Sunday is a more fitting day to wander through Christmas-y craft booths and sample Scandinavian cuisine. They have live music, activities, dancers and a meatball eating contest! What more could you possibly want?

  • What?– Scandinavian Christmas Fair
  • When? 10AM-4PM
  • Where? Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum; 300 N Winning Way
  • How Much? $7/adult, with varying prices for student, family, senior etc.

Total social budget for the week:

$36.50

Man, Portland has so much room for activities.