FRIDAY

It’s a damn shame that when you hear the words “Girl Power” the first thing that comes to mind is the Spice Girls, a bunch of giggling tarts who nearly sent the women’s movement back to the June Cleaver dark ages.

That’s why it’s important that when a bastion of smart, insightful feminist thought like Bitch magazine asks for a little help in the pocketbook, we respond.

Bitch magazine is throwing a benefit concert at the Crystal Ballroom on Friday. Find tickets and info on our Events Calendar.

Bitch has been around for thirteen years now and for the past two has based itself right here in Portland. Like most non-profits they often need financial help…unlike most non-profits Bitch can get a handful of great bands to grease some palms.

The other reason I’ll be there is this: The office of the non-profit my ladyfriend works for is right next door to Bitch HQ. They have cute dogs and on more than one occasion have been quick with a light or a bottle opener. In other words: Good people. And in this particular setting, good music. Headlining the benefit are Mirah, Anomie Belle, and Kimya Dawson (who you might recognize from being all over the “Juno” soundtrack).

Think of it this way: If you trade in all your Spice Girls cds for cash, you’ll knock a whole dollar off the price of an $18 ticket.

SATURDAY

We like to think of witty snark as a relative new literary niche. But long before David Sedaris and any number of celebrity bloggers made it a national pastime, Mark Twain was poking societal tropes with his pen on his way towards becoming one of America’s greatest writers.

Equally as legendary is Hal Holbrook’s turn as the be-suited author tonight at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Fifty-three years into this award winning one-man show, the 83-year-old only seems to sink deeper and deeper into his signature role, the ravages of age only adding wisdom to an already clever character.

Besides, with Twain’s trademark whiskers, spending a wet, chilly evening with him just seems so very Portland.

Get tickets and more info for Mark Twain Tonight.

SUNDAY

The decorations are boxed up. The feeling of warm humanity have been replaced with red-faced stress. The hangover has subsided. More importantly, all your vacation days are used up.

In short, the holidays are deader than your first pet. But if you still have the urge to celebrate something (anything!) the Japanese Garden will host it’s own oshogatsu, or New Year’s celebration this weekend. Ring in the year of the ox with a master calligrapher, and learn how to draw the symbols for “hard work” and “prosperity.”

Year of the ox? As in, “year of the ever-laboring farm animal that toils and toils in the fields as he’s whipped by an unseen master?” Ugh. I thought ’09 was supposed to be better.