Seattle Weekender: Vikings, arts phenoms and rhino tales
by Quin Benzel
San Francisco is one city that has adopted the Slideshow Potshow that Seattle created Credit: SanFranAnnie
It’s a simple idea that has grown into a multi-national event. Slideluck Potshow is much like it sounds: Local artists and arts enthusiasts gather to mingle, drink, share foods they’ve made, and watch a slideshow of work that the artists themselves narrate. Founder Casey Kelbaugh started Slideluck Potshow 12 years ago in Seattle. Since then its originality and simplicity has become so popular that similar events are held from Lopez Island to as far away as Tel Aviv, Israel.
The evening kicks off with a potluck, drinking (provided by event sponsors), and socializing. Next, attendees head inside the white-walled VODA Studios to watch the slideshow, composed of art from a variety of genres splashed on the 22-foot high walls. After the slideshow, Seattle multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Erik Blood will be your DJ until 1 a.m.
If you go: Slideluck Potshow, VODA Studios, 1050 W Nickerson Street, Aug. 18, 7 p.m – 1 a.m., $10 with potluck/ $15 without, wine and beer provided.
The Shining or Caddyshack
The Landmark Theater atop Capitol Hill, The Egyptian, apparently can’t wait for soggy October weather to screen Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 slow-burn chiller, The Shining. The movie, abhorred by the author Stephen King because it deviated from his best-selling book (boo-hoo), was considered the mark of a director gone half-mad when released. The movie was considered too abstract for the horror genre and excessively violent. It’s since gone on to delight and confound horror junkies.
Spatial impossibilities of the Overlook Hotel, Indian curses, and its mysterious ending aside, the movie makes the most sense if you consider it the simple story of a father run amok, sick with cabin fever, incensed by writer’s block, frustrated with his willful son and nosy wife, and wielding a fire axe mottled with drops of crimson blood.
But in terms of villains, Ted Knight’s Judge Elihu Smails in Caddyshack outdoes Jack with the kill count. “I’ve sent boys younger than you to the gas chamber,” the draconian Knight tells a spent Michael O’Keefe. “I felt I owed it to them.” Caddyshack's themes of elitism confronted with lunch box workers make it a perennial favorite for quotes — most jokes are made at the expense of snobbish, well-heeled country club types.
Just as iconic as a set of dead twins at the end of a hallway, is a faux-poop Baby Ruth candy bar making its way through the Bushwood Country Club swimming pool. Pick your poison: horror or comedy?
If you scream: The Shining, Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., Friday, Aug. 17, midnight, $8.25.
If you laugh: Caddyshack, Fremont Outdoor Movies, 3501 Fremont Ave N., Saturday, Aug. 18, 7 p.m., $5.
Nords are known for their svelte waistlines, which is confusing given the amount of food they apparently eat. This weekend's Viking Days kicks off with Swedish pancakes at 9 a.m., then proceeds to stuff attendees with foods from each of the five Nordic countries: Swedish meatballs, Norweigen lefse, Danish aebleskiver, Finnish voileipä, and Icelandic vinarterta. Don’t know what those are? This is your chance to find out (Don't worry, they're nothing like lutefisk). The less-adventurous can head to the Vahalla Beer Garden, where more-conventional sausages will be served. Those with a hankering for salmon can fork over a little extra cash for the sit-down salmon dinner (Note: It is expected to sell out, so don't wait to buy tickets).
Once you're overloaded on Scandinavian fare, turn your attention to Viking Days' music, kids events, craft demonstrations, and the Viking Encampment, where sword-fighting enthusiasts can watch historic re-enactments. Lectures on pillaging and long blond hair may occur. The Nordic Heritage Museum will be offering free admission during the event. Most enticingly, the event raffle will offer a chance to win two round-trip tickets to Scandinavia aboard IcelandAir. Drink, be loud, and make your ancestors proud.
If you go: Viking Days, Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 Northwest 67th Street, Aug. 18-19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free.
Rick Bass reading
It’s hard to imagine that a rhinoceros could ever be a threatened species. Evolution has given them a leg up defensively. But human interference has reduced their numbers. Their horns — which are made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up your fingernails — are bought and sold on the black market.
In his new book, The Black Rhinos of Namibia: Searching for Survivors in the African Desert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25), American nature writer Rick Bass details his recent trip to Nambia, where he shadowed a friend working to save African rhinos from extinction. Bass describes a south African history riddled with conflict between pro-communist Angola and South Africa; a conflict financed by the rhino horn trade.
A break from his normal emphasis on Montana’s Yaak Valley, Bass will discuss his new book and south Africa's unique history with nature at Elliott Bay Book Company this weekend.
If you go: Rick Bass, Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, Aug. 17, 7 p.m., free.
It has been reported that VP hopeful Paul Ryan boasts only six percent body fat, and the House Representative from Wisconsin has said he personally endorses fitness guru Tony Horton’s extreme workout routine, P90X. The presidential debates this election season are shaping up to be rife with mudslinging and bitter rivalry, each side pointing fingers at the other and remarking on things totally unrelated to politics. Health may be the only thing these two agree on: Obama has Michelle's fitness fixation to back him up, while Romney can lean on Ryan's P90X-addiction.
Seattleites with their own exercise addiction can get their fix this Saturday, when Seattle finally receives a break from the heat. Temperatures should hover around the low 80s, and it may be slightly overcast; opportune conditions to make good on that New Year’s resolution you committed yourself to seven months ago. Instructors from Belltown Dance Studio will be teaching a free Zumba class (the Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow workout routine) at Olympic Sculpture Park this Saturday. No need to worry; participating in a dance workout routine does not mean you favor any particular political party.
If you go: Zumba, Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave, Aug. 18, 2-3 p.m., free