The Best Things to Do (While Staying Home and Staying Safe) in Portland this MOTHER'S DAY Weekend: May 8-10 2020

May 7, 2020

Happy Mother's Day Weekend, Portland! Being sheltered-in-place doesn't mean you still can't celebrate the holiday—it just means you have to prep a little bit more in the days before to pull off what you might be planning for Mom. We've got you covered on that front down below, and if you don't really care about Mother's Day (DID YOU KNOW: Its creator spent the latter-half of her life trying to get it removed from the calendar because she felt it had become a commercialized nightmare?) we've got that covered too. Either way: There's a ton of stuff to keep you entertained while we stay home and stay safe together. Hit the links below and lets celebrate (or not) accordingly

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Friday, May 8

Mother's Day Brunch
The Nightwood's normal Mother's Day Brunch isn't possible for the obvious reasons, but that's not stopping Mother's Day from coming, and it's certainly not stopping brunch from being a thing, so for Mom's Day 2020, the Nightwood is serving up that classic brunch experience in to-go boxes that can be picked up curbside, or delivered to your spot on the day. The catch (and why you're reading about this on a Friday)? A proper Nightwood Mother's Day brunch for two ($55, children's portions avail. for add-on) takes time to prepare, and that means if you want to hook Mom up right, you need to think ahead, click here, and get your order in by 8 pm TODAY. Add-ons include bouquets, baked goods, and bottles of wine.

Mother's Day Meat
Maybe mom isn't feeling like a more traditional brunch experience this year. Nicky USA gets it. They're not about any kind of dainty pastel mom's day meals, no no: They want mom to savor a slab of meat. Finely seasoned, succulent, ready-to-be prepared meat, to be sure—but if you wanna kick off this socially distanced Mother's Day with a hearty shout of "Meat's back on the menu, mom!" then this special pre-made Mother's Day box—including five pounds of smoked bacon, four pounds of salami, a smoked duck breast, and CBD hemp infused bath salts (perfect for relaxing contentedly after such a meat-filled holiday) for $155, ready for pickup Fri, May 8th. Oh, wait - that's today! Better get that order in ASAP, then.

Mother's Day Pastries
Maybe she doesn't want a whole brunch, or a box of meat. Maybe she wants a brunch that is nothing but baked goods? No ham, no bacon, no eggs, no tea, just a big box of all-butter (!), hand-crafted baked goods from Grand Central Baking. Well, if you're thinking ahead (and you'd better be, this is your mother we're talking about) then put in an order today, schedule a pick-up time, and get those muffins or cupcakes or scones or cookies or all of 'em to your mom so she can spend a not-so-hasty day with her favorite tasty pastries.

Drag Queen Delivery
While some are scrambling to get their pastries delivered, Our House Portland is serving up looks, jokes, and fabulousness this Mother's Day weekend, with a whole DRAG SHOW being delivered to your door. Secure one of the limited $50 time slots for Sat-Sun May 9-10, and a small army of local queens including Bolivia Carmichaels, Summer Lynne Seasons, Honey Bea Hart, and Jenuwine Beaute will appear, lubricate the engagement with a bottle of wine, and then belt out a porch-side performance just for you and yours. Proceeds benefit the performers themselves, and Our House's general fund. Give the gift of doorfront drag this Mother's Day weekend, and help out Portland's amazing drag community while you're at it. Plus: wine! Hey!

Mother's Day Dinner & Dranks
Speaking of stylish imbibing: Mississippi Ave's Quaintrelle is here for your mom, and more specifically, here for the glass she's got in her hand, a glass that needs to never be empty on her day. What should go in that glass? Well, there's a wine window open, so that's one solution. But if you want Mother's Day to be fancy, you can order a dinner to be picked up, and add a COCKTAIL kit to it for $20, giving you everything (well... everything except the booze—but we have a handy list of curbside-friendly liquor stores RIGHT HERE for ya) you need to make some of Quaintrelle's best mixed drinks for mom on her day.

The I, Anonymous Show
The long-running Portland Mercury column “I, Anonymous” is famous for asking readers to send in their most whacked-out rants and scandalous confessions—anonymously! In this special LIVE-STREAMED edition of The I, Anonymous Show, your host Kate Murphy will read some of the wildest and uncensored I, Anonymous submissions we've ever received. And even better, these secret (often very naughty) stories will be dissected and discussed by a panel of hilarious, nationally recognized comedians: Amy Miller, Sean Jordan, and Simon Gibson! So if you're looking for a night of side-splitting, jaw-dropping rants and confessions—don't miss this live-streamed edition of The I, Anonymous Show, tonight at 8 pm!

Shaolin vs. Wu Tang Livestream w/ Commentary from RZA and the Hollywood Theatre's Dan Halsted
Are you missing the Hollywood Theatre? Of course you are, you're a sane, rational human being who loves independent cinema and the sort of care in presentation that Dan Halsted and the Hollywood staff provides. Especially when they schedule outright kung fu classics like they are wont to do. Tonight (6:15 pm, $10) is a great opportunity to capture some of that magic in your living room as Dan teams up with the RZA (yes, that RZA. Bobby Digital, himself. Bong bong.) to deliver a live commentary over Shaolin vs. Wu Tang. You can ask questions to the both of them during the film as well, and speaking of which: This livestream is taken from a digital scan of Halsted's own 35mm print! A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Hollywood.

Dead to Me
Netflix's unique buddy-comedy-dramedy-suspense-thriller (with wine!) returns for another off-kilter season that, much like their breakout drama Ozark, is basically just a prime-time soap opera of the sort that used to rule network television way back in the days where network television itself ruled popular culture. Nothing that's happening in this domestic drama even remotely realistic, much less plausible, but the interplay between the characters, and the way they keep getting in each other's way, breaking shit, trying to fix it, failing, and then succeeding in spite of themselves anyway is pretty engrossing, and is especially so when its top-of-their-game Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini anchoring the show. Top off your goblet with some alcoholic grape juice and catch up with a binge of Dead to Me's first season before jumping into the new one, which premieres tonight.

Lady Bird
Watching Lady Bird (now streaming, Amazon Prime Video and Kanopy through MultCo Library) is kind of like reopening your high school yearbook for the first time in years, wincing and smiling in equal measure. Writer/director Greta Gerwig (in her feature debut) reworks the coming-of-age narrative with depth, nuance, and striking beauty. Throughout, Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) clashes with her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf), an overworked psychiatric nurse who’s struggling to support the family after her husband loses his job. Few films attempt to validate the trials of teenage girls, but Gerwig handles the McPhersons’ financial distress and Lady Bird’s miniature revolutions with equal seriousness. Gerwig’s directorial debut is sweet, tragic, and sentimental, which is exactly how a coming-of-age movie should be. CIARA DOLAN

The Nickel Boys
Colson Whitehead won about every award an author could possibly win after the publication of The Underground Railroad, an un-put-downable piece of historical science fiction that exceeded even its own extremely high expectations. He pulled in the MacArthur "Genius" Grant, the National Book Award, the Whiting Award, and the Pulitzer Prize—a feat so rare, we don't even have an EGOT-type acronym for it. And now he's become only the fourth writer in Pulitzer history to win the Prize for fiction twice, with his most recent novel, The Nickel Boys (avail in ebook and audiobook form at MultCo Library; Hardcover avail at Powells, $24.95), about a group of Black boys trying to survive a horrific reform school experience in Jim Crow-era Florida. If you haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, do yourself a favor and catch up! RICH SMITH

LeVar Burton Reads
While you're in a reading mood, we should probably remind you of this ongoing slice of gold: LeVar Burton is one of the only reasons Twitter is still worth visiting, and stuff like this is precisely why. Three days a week, he will livestream from his Twitter account, and read stories to you. Mondays at 9am will be for the kids, Wednesdays at 3pm will be for the young adults, and Fridays at 6pm (that's tonight!) will be for the grownups. If you miss it, though, don't sweat it: He's got a whole podcast dedicated to just this purpose, featuring hours upon hours of fine short stories delivered in his dulcet tones. Subscribe, and make your self-quarantine instantly 48% more bearable, at the least.

Saturday, May 9

Gabriel Rucker Helps you Cook a Mother's Day Brunch
Le Pigeon's Gabriel Rucker knows you want to do something special for the day, like the overachieving child you've always been, when your other siblings got her cards and whatever weird gift they could afford with their meager allowance and you brown-nosed your way to the head of the class with some special handmade thing that made you her favorite even though she said she doesn't have favorites but we all know that's bullshit, right? ANYWAY: since you can't just come to Le Pigeon for their regular Mother's Day brunch, he's going to show you how to make his special latkes and apple pear sauce on his Insta at noon. It's as close as you'll likely get to Chef Rucker helping you in your own kitchen, so if you wanna go for those extra-extra brownie points, you can tell mom that the head chef at Le Pigeon helped you make these! It's only kind of a lie, right?

Mother's Day Shopping
Okay, so you're one of the other (normal) kids who isn't trying to rope five-star chefs into your Mother's Day plots. You know you just wanna get her something she'll appreciate from the store. One of the bigger Mother's Day conundrums is always "what the hell do I get her?" She gave you life, you gave her a pen? A card it took you all of two minutes to dig out of a rack at Wal-Mart? Nah. One of the best solutions is to let her choose what she wants, and Crafty Wonderland is all about this option, providing special "virtual appointments" for shoppers, which means you email Crafty Wonderland, set up a time, and someone at the Crafty store will then log in, turn on the camera, fire up either Zoom or FaceTime, and walk the store with you, stopping and pulling stuff off the shelves to be shipped to mom (or you I guess, you selfish, selfish child!). Appointments generally take about 30-45 minutes, and shipping is free for purchases over $50.

Red May
At this point you might be almost as sick of this holiday and it's commercialism as its poor creator was, before she died mostly-broke in the late '40s after decades of fighting against the holiday's capitalistic existence. GOOD NEWS: It's Red May! This annual, intellectual "vacation from capitalism" ("the most star-studded regular radical left event in Seattle," as The Stranger's Charles Mudede writes) offers new takes on Marx, equality, and economics in community spaces. The monthlong festival began on May 1st, and will continue throughout the month through virtual meetings on Zoom, featuring guests like Jodi Dean, Leo Panitch, Kathi Weeks, Micheal Hardt, Joshua Clover, and Doug Henwood. Click here for a complete list of speakers, guests, and panel times.

The 15th Annual HUMP! Film Festival
We at HUMP! were crushed to cancel our originally planned Spring re-screening, with the coronavirus crisis forcing us all inside. But after receiving enthusiastic support and permission from the filmmakers to show their films online, we knew that the show must go on! Even if we can’t watch together in movie theaters, we can still watch the 16 all new, sexy short films, curated by Dan Savage, in the privacy and safety of our homes. Dan will introduce the show (starts 7pm tonight,) and then take you straight to the great dirty movies that showcase an amazing range of shapes, colors, sexualities, kinks and fetishes!

MTV's The Challenge
This last Wednesday, Jasmyne Keimig wrote a piece celebrating the resurgence of "smooth-brained" reality TV as a balm for the time we live in, a time where every tidbit of news seems specially formulated to stab, spike, and wrinkle our cerebral cortex to anxious ruin. Well, if it's smooth-brained fun you seek, might we suggest one of the best possible options: MTV's The Challenge, the best possible iteration on the "Battle of the Network Stars" idea, and one of the rare examples of a TV-spinoff that effectively replaced its progenitors, The Real World and Road Rules. CBS/Viacom's free-streaming platform Pluto TV has an entire channel dedicated to nothing but looping whole seasons of the show (currently in the middle of its 35th season on MTV proper). It hasn't just outgrown The Real World (or killed it, more accurately) it's now pulling in contestants from other Viacom reality shows, including Big Brother, Are You the One, Geordie Shore, Survivor, and more. When the two finalists of The Ringer's latest "Best Reality Character" bracket both come from this show? Trust that it gets no more smooth-brained than The Challenge.

Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott
Normally, we suggest that in the case of these super-popular Verzuz "battles" on Instagram (they're not really battles because nobody really loses when so much good music is pouring out of the speakers like this) that you wait until after the battle is over, seek out a good recap of the stories being told by the participants to read, and then turn up the compilation playlists that appear on Spotify, and enjoy being able to actually listen to the music. Well, in this case, we're throwing all that good advice out, because the jewels of wisdom guaranteed to be dropped by Erykah Badu and Jill Scott during their livestream (4pm on Insta) are going to be too precious to miss. Plus, you'll want to be there to see what happens when both of them try to break out "You Got Me" by the Roots. It'll probably look like this, but with better headwear.

Read a Poem: Sylvia Plath
Let's begin by recalling what Ezra Pound once said about the ideal condition for music and poetry: "Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance... [and] poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music." For now, let's forget that Pound became a fascist and that his poems were more imagistic than musical—and we will also stay clear of the horrors he created in the name of Li Bai—and focus on the music that fills Plath's poem, which you can hear her read here, in 1958, five years before she committed suicide in a London apartment. Listen to the music: "Of sulphurous dreamscapes and obscure lunar conundrums," and here: "Trailing its telltale tatters only at the outermost / Fringe of mundane vision, this ghost goes," and here: "And moo as they jump over moons as new / As that crisp cusp toward which you voyage now." You can find this poem in The Colossus and Other Poems, available at local bookstores. CHARLES MUDEDE

Takeout & a Movie: Phoenix, Oregon
Dinner & a Movie is a date-night tradition that's had to shift a little (as all things have) while sheltered-in-place, and that's put a lot of stress on the local food service and film communities. The Oregon Hospitality Foundation is looking to address all of that tonight with this special livestream movie night. $6.50 gets you a rental link (and a free digital copy to own later this summer) to director Gary Lundgren’s Ashland-made film in which a divorced, middle-age graphic artist (James Le Gros) who's suffering “delusions of aliens controlling his life" decides to buy an abandoned bowling alley. That’s one depressing-sounding midlife crisis… but also, hey! Bowling! And co-stars including Diedrich Bader, Kevin Corrigan, Jesse Borrego, and Lisa Edelstein! It also includes a Q&A with the filmmakers that starts live at 7pm, and all revenues will go towards the Oregon Hospitality Foundation's support of restaurants affected by COVID-19.

20 Feet from Stardom
A documentary that turns the spotlight away from the biggest music stars of the last 60 years and onto their backup singers. These singers—often women, mostly black—are responsible for some of the most memorable sounds of popular music. Most of us don't even know their names. 20 Feet from Stardom (now streaming, Netflix) is fabulous for its music, interviews, and amazing concert and studio footage spanning several decades. But it's more than just eye candy for wannabe rockers and sentimental boomers; it also asks some big questions about fame, art, and giving credit where it's due. ELINOR JONES

This band is maybe more known for people knowing it had a huge influence on modern music than for people having actually listened to them. Kraftwerk deserves to be remembered as more than just the answer to some pop-culture trivia question, especially after this week, as one of its co-founders, Florian Schneider, died of cancer at the age of 73. Kraftwerk isn't just a influence on modern music, it's arguably one of the single most important influences, especially in the way it showed artists of the '70s (and '80s, and '90s, and '00s) how to manipulate electronic instruments to create some of the most impactful, lasting music ever composed. There are things bedroom producers are stumbling upon and swearing by to this day that were actually invented by Kraftwerk before your parents (and even possibly their parents) were born. Listen loudly, and (re-) learn.

Mother's Day

Serial Mom
Time to settle in on the day and enjoy yourself some fine mom-themed entertainment, and not only is Serial Mom a great choice for the holiday, it's also a good intro to Kathleen Turner if all you know about her is that she was the voice of Jessica Rabbit. Written and directed by John Waters, Serial Mom (Now streaming on Starz, $3.99 to rent, $6.99-14.99 to own on VOD) puts Turner in the sort of meaty lead role the Prince of Puke would normally reserve for his muse Divine—and Turner makes the absolute most of the opportunity, fully committing to this freakshow and giving real bite what might have otherwise been a slight black comedy about making celebrities out of murderers. Good thing we as a culture don't do that anymore, right? Ha ha ha!

DOOM Eternal
Though it launched right alongside Nintendo's Animal Crossing earlier this year, Bethesda's latest Doom entry (available on PS4, XBox One, PC) quickly got overshadowed by Tom Nook's latest real-estate scam. But that's sort of an unfair comparison to make. Animal Crossing basically became the dominant means of pop-culture escape from COVID-19 for literally tens-of-millions of people. But that shouldn't minimize Doom Eternal's many charms—it's bloody, lightning fast, carnage-fueled charms. And the game is currently on sale at many major retailers (Amazon, Best Buy, other companies trying to compete with those two via price matching) for $20 off. Look, some days you want to shake trees til they're barren, sell turnips, and get stung in the face by bees. And other days you want to rip and tear until it is done. And for those days, now you have a cheaper alternative.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back
This counts as a Mother's Day movie, right? It probably should. Based on the bestselling Terry McMillan book, Stella (Angela Bassett) is a mom—a very hardworking one—who has to be cajoled into taking a trip to Jamaica because she's not been practicing self-care for awhile now. And when she gets to Jamaica with her friend Whoopi Goldberg, she meets young Taye Diggs, who is probably the cutest he has ever been in his entire life (which is saying something). He is also not an idiot, because the second he sees Angela Bassett, he falls in love with her. Don't turn this on (Now streaming, HBO Now)expecting drama of any kind. This is a very laid-back, beautiful, mind-meltingly-gorgeous domestic fantasy that's more like a luxuriant bubble bath in film form. A bubble-bath with an almost always shirtless 20-something Taye Diggs.

The Eddy
The latest burst of jazz-flavored drama from Oscar-winning writer/director Damian Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) isn't lighting up a big screen (because that doesn't really happen anymore unless you've got one of those fancy projector setups in your house or whatever), it's on Netflix. Debuting this past Friday, The Eddy seems like it should be a kind-of-chill slice-of-life about a guy (Andre Holland) running a jazz club in Paris and trying to be a good parent to his estranged daughter (Amandla Stendberg). But because it's Chazelle, it's also a crime-drama about an exile from the States just trying to stay relevant musically while ducking shady underworld types coming after him, that plays out its eight-episode run like an actual jazz ensemble giving its players a lot of room to solo.

Postcards from the Edge and Bright Lights
A Fisher/Reynolds double feature for Mother's Day sure to blurt laughs, evoke gasps, and jerk tears in equal measures for about four hours straight. First, the (barely-) fictional adaptation of Carrie Fisher's relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, Postcards from the Edge: starring Meryl Streep as Fisher and Shirley MacLaine as Reynolds. The story (available for rent, VOD, $3.99) is sorta-kinda centered on Fisher's attempts to find and maintain sobriety in the midst of an unsatisfying acting career and the towering shadow of her mother's showmanship, but it also doesn't really matter: Carrie Fisher got Mike Nichols to direct Meryl Streep, as her, in a movie about her life. That's amazing. Chase that bit of loveliness with the HBO documentary Bright Lights, directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, featuring Reynolds and Fisher together—Carrie on the eve of filming The Force Awakens, Debbie in the midst of a Vegas set—sharing true stories of their time in Hollywood, and their time together.

About a year ago, American treasure and cultural icon Michelle Obama came to the Moda Center as part of her national tour promoting her book Becoming. She covered key events in her life from career to motherhood, and discussed the lessons learned from becoming the first Black woman to serve as First Lady of the United States. This documentary (Now streaming, Netflix) is "an intimate documentary" for those who were able to attend last year's show, and for us broke folk who only got as close as catching a glimpse of the Secret Service cavalcade that drove through town. Not sure how “intimate” this “conversation” can get, but I also don’t doubt Michelle’s ability to surpass all expectations. JENNI MOORE

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
I want to reconsider my stance on marriage so that I can marry Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. I want it to be one of my daughter’s fathers. It is the lightest timeline. It is the good place. Aside from parenting my child, it is the most uplifting experience I’ve had in the last two years. It's important to be engaged, but mental health breaks are important, too, and while you could just silence your phone and try to ignore each news alert signaling our further descent into doom, it'll be much better to watch Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (now streaming, HBO Now) and fully immerse yourself in pure, batshit joy. ELINOR JONES

Better Things
There might be no comedy series currently running that is as consistently cathartic as Pamela Adlon's Better Things. It was always good, but the leap the show has taken in its last two seasons (not coincidentally, the two seasons created sans-input from Adlon's former collaborator Louis C.K.) is something to behold. Not every character in the show—not Pamela's character, not her daughters, and certainly not the parade of people storming in and out of her already turbulent life—is likeable, but they're all in their own way extremely loveable, in the hard, complicated, but rewarding way you might recognize in relationships with your own (often-infuriating) family members. The fourth season (it's best yet) is now available in full on Hulu, so if you've been waiting for that binge, here you go.

Hey. Call Your Mom
Seriously, it's Mother's Day. If you can get a hold of her today, reach out. Yes, even if you sent her a card and a box of muffins or whatever. Even if it's only for a few minutes of banal blah-blah. We're living in some fraught and uncertain times. Whether it's Skype, or FaceTime, or Zoom, Discord, texting, actually using the phone as a phone (yuck, what), give mom a call today.

Fetch the Bolt Cutters
They're not gonna fetch themselves, are they. No. No they are not.

Don't forget to check out our Things To Do calendar for even more things to stream while you stay home and stay safe!