Category Archives: Just. Weird.

August: Trek Month

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August 2013 will forever be known as Trek Month. It is our greatest hope and deepest desire (no, I am not being hyperbolic) that this tradition will continue. But alas, it is up to the fates of the Star Trek Universe – and Portland summer planning – as to whether or not our month of Trekkie geekdom shall repeat in the long and prosperous future. Until then, let me reminisce…

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It all began, Week #1, with the release of the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie at our favorite local brew & view, Laurelhurst Theater. So, with beers, cherry sodas, and popcorn in hand, we gawked for 130 action-packed minutes at the entrance of Khan. And it was glorious.

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What?!? We actually get to heckle this?!? Hollywood Theater – known for its very entertaining B Movie Bingo & Hecklevision – hosted the aptly named Treklevision in Week #2 of our Trek Month. Showcasing what was likely the worst movie in the Trekking series, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The text-to-screen heckling was relentless! Suffice it to say, there are some things that Captain Kirk himself should probably not produce… and his own movie is one of them.

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Week #3 brought back Khaaaaaaaaaan. The original. Did Laurelhurst Theater know that we were looking for an activity to fill this until-now-void-week??? How very fortuitous and seemingly against all logic… don’t you think Mr. Spock?

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There is no other way to end a Trek Month in Portland than with the epically successful and so very Portlandey, Atom Art’s Trek in the Park. This group’s five year mission certainly explored strange new worlds – namely, in the microcosms of traditional reenactment, the extent of Trekkie fandom, and truly weird of the Portland community, and all in a setting unlike any other: Cathedral Park. 2013 marked the final year for Trek in the Park, with the ever-classic, The Trouble with Tribbles. To prepare for this grand finale, Tribbles were needed – lots of them. As the story goes, there was a call for Tribbles across the Portland… and even across the nation and globe… and the Tribbles came rolling [bouncing?] in from every corner of the Trek Universe. Hundreds – if not thousands – found their stage spotlight as they were tossed, rolled, dumped, thrown, and otherwise located to the park stage. Yup – it was pretty fantastic!

And there you have it, a Trek Month that dares to be outdone in the future… it it’s possible. Until then, live long and search for awesome Trek events.

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The From Scratch Cookout

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So I have had to backtrack and bounce around and do a little blogging time travel to bring all my Summer posting to fruition… but I am bound and determined to do it. So, let’s back track a bit… to July, to the hot, sun-shiney months of the glorious days of a Portland summer. Okay, now that we’re in the backyard cookout mood…

Welcome to The 1st Annual From Scratch Cookout

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The idea was a true brainchild of my husband: on a gray-ish Fall Saturday, while walking around the Farmer’s Market, he told me that one day he wanted to own someplace that made an entirely “from scratch” hotdog – the hotdog, the bun, the ketchup, mustard, and relish. And this idea grew… from a “one day hotdog” to a “next summer cookout”. And the planning began – with ideas that fell somewhere between the most idealized, hipster BBQ to the most classic, All-American Cookout. The emphasis across all ideas was on everything being “from scratch”.

From Scratch
Fig. making something by starting from the beginning with the basic ingredients [typically: baking ~, making ~, starting ~] I didn’t have a ladder, so I made one from scratch.

And I mean everything. Even the game of corn holes that was brought for driveway entertainment was warmly made by hand to meet the critical cookout criteria:

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The From Scratch Cookout Menu & Prep Schedule

  • Hot Dogs – prepped a week prior
  • Hamburgers – prepped one day prior
  • Cheese (and yes, it melted for Cheeseburgers!) – prepped 4 months prior
  • Hot Dog & Hamburger Buns – prepped a few days prior
  • Potato Salad – prepped two days prior
  • Coleslaw – prepped two days prior
  • Chips – prepped one day prior
  • Relish – prepped one week prior
  • Mayonnaise – prepped two days prior
  • Ketchup (sooooo many tomatos!!) – prepped a week prior
  • Mustard – prepped a week prior
  • Toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion) – prepped day-of event
  • Fruit (watermelon) – prepped day-of event
  • Hard Cider (aka: my private reserve) – prepped 3 months prior
  • Red Ale, Wheat Ale & Pale Ale – prepped up to 6 months prior

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And so it was: after almost a year of brainstorming, 6 months of prep, and several long weeks with a refrigerator full of all things fermenting, curing, marinating, and pickled, stuffed, or pre-baked, the 1st Annual From Scratch Cookout took shape with the help of several Kitchen Ninja’s by the grill and several out-of-town friends on hand for the inaugural event.

And what would an annual event be without the start of an annual koozie tradition? We’ve got several ideas planned for future token phrases, but we were pretty proud of our first From Scratch favors…

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So until next year, it’s been a pleasure handling your weiners!

The Dancing Max Man

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This is perhaps the worst, blurriest, and most altered photo I have ever posted – anywhere. But it’s almost fitting since the scenario in which this occurs is altogether rather “altered” as well. The Dancing Max Man, dressed all in pink with a bright green bicycle, boards the Max at a downtown location with a decorated boombox in hand. He proceeds to select a song – usually something from the 70’s or 80’s and often times with a glam rock influence – and performs his own elaborate dance show, including gravity-defying pole dancing on the standing handrail, then… as if nothing had happened… he deboards at the next stop and rides off through downtown.

Was it a dream?
Am I hallucinating from some type of Portland contact high?
But No. This is Real.
Because this unicorn of the Max Light Rail will appear again.

With his offbeat, albeit it guilty-pleasure-fulfilling music choices, he will re-board a train at some point during the summer months to repeat his entertaining display and personify what it means to keep Portland weird. It’s virtually a guarantee.

Personally, I think he and the Unicycling Bagpiper should team and to take their show on the road. But that’s another post entirely…

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