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December 5, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We've heard about "quid pro quo" ad nauseam for weeks now. I've been thinking what it means for us as a society. It's nothing new--we practice this all the time.
  • You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
  • Remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch.
  • I'll return the favor.
  • And way back in the day when I used to hitchhike, the saying was something to the effect of "want a ride? then let's see some gas, grass or ass." 
For those of you who are parents, you understand all too well that what we do for our family is never for the thanks we will get, because heartfelt thanks (especially from teenagers) may never come. With our children, spouses, friends, lovers, co-workers, and colleagues, we need to do the right thing regardless of what we will receive in return. 

I've often been guilty of believing that I had to do something in order to be liked and accepted. I couldn't go to a friend's house without bringing a bottle of wine or cookies or a little gift, because I really believed that without it, no one would be happy to see me. Like, for some reason, my presence or my friendship alone was insufficient.

I also felt like I couldn't ask my friends for anything, especially if I could not provide parity. In 1984 before I attended seminary, I went on a week-long backpacking trip with a small group of fellow seminarians. My knees were shot (they had been bad since a car accident in 1972), and with each passing day, they became more and more swollen. I couldn't squat to "take care of business"  (we were in the middle of the Hoover Wilderness Area north of Yosemite); and because I couldn't find my way to ask for help, I quit drinking water, and then I had hypothermia and hallucinations, and could have easily died. Unable to walk, I ended up riding out on a horse, and I learned a painful lesson about pride. Sometimes I may not be able to scratch your back when you scratch mine, and that's okay. We care for each other because that's what humans do. 

This time of the year we will encounter a bunch of people who will have needs that we can help meet. Give freely from your heart, whether it be your time and attention, or a pair of new socks. And if you need something, put away your pride and ask for it. We are all friends here, and to quote a not-so-wise leader of the free world, "I want nothing, I want nothing. No quid pro quo."


Below as Above

-- Fred L. Joiner
after the harmattan has emptied his last
gasp & wheeze, & we have shaken loose his dust

from our bodies & found shelter
from  the Sahel’s certain heat,

when the water returns & the river is high,
this bit of sun bittered earth becomes a stage, a show

for every sweet thing we have held
back in the swelter,

our hands thank the sky, a simple wave is still a worthy praise,
our feet thank the dust & the shallows

one, for the friction that helps shed the old,
the other, for the waters that soothe new skin,

our thighs thank the soil, the unseen
nourishment for the long season without,

our hips thank the moon,
for the pull on the tides;

the orbit of gratitude, music over our heads
our mothers’ mother’s song, a chant pulled

down from the heavens, or a blessing drawn
up out of the soil’s new bounty.



Stories of Illness, Wellness, & Beyond

Thursday, Dec 5 @ 7:00pm

"The Interstitium" will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you question everything you thought you knew about the doctor's office. It's a a public storytelling event produced by the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative and Dr. Ben Colburn, a local Family Medicine doctor with a passion for stories and community organizing. This show brings together healthcare workers of all kinds and the community members they care for to share their stories on stage and find common ground in the way that medicine has shaped their worldviews.

Tonight, the show's theme is "I Have Good News," a performance designed to infuse the holiday season with a sense of wonder and gratitude for all the ways that healthcare can go right.

Tickets are $10.


Killer Queen: Dead or Alive

Friday, Dec 6 @ 9:00pm

KILLER QUEEN is Portland’s hottest & most MAXIMAL new monthly drag show hosted & produced by Violet Hex. It showcases an alternating cast of Portland’s most talented, eccentric, creative, provocative, and one of a kind fabulous queer entertainers! 

This month we’re celebrating the life and legacy of the flamboyant & ferocious queer icon PETE BURNS with an all DEAD OR ALIVE themed drag show! If you’re afraid that you’re IN TOO DEEP to the blitz kids obsession then... DJ HIT THAT BUTTON because this is WHAT I WANT & I WANNA BE A TOY!! We”ll SPIN YOU RIGHT ROUND until you’re seeing MISTY CIRCLES & thinking there’s SOMETHING IN YOUR HOUSE!! IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME since we had a show focused solely on one musical artist, so LOVER COME BACK TO ME and have your CAKE AND EAT IT at KILLER QUEEN: DEAD OR ALIVE!! 

This month features the fabulous talents of our incredible & most maximal headliner... ANASTASIA EUTHANASIA!

Tickets are $12. 

Pokey Twig and the Yuletide Kindling

Saturday, Dec 7 @ 2:00pm

This is one of our favorite holiday show. Join us for an afternoon of Holiday shenanigans, including unique arrangements of traditional Christmas songs and Yuletide-themed adaptations of your favorite hits! Everyone is welcome and dancing is encouraged.

This show is all-ages and family-friendly! 

No cover is required, but we will be accepting donations to benefit Trilogy House, a local foster home for children who need special medical care. 

Game Changers:
Remembering Moments That Matter

Saturday, Dec 7 @ 7:30pm

A trio of transplanted New Yorkers share stories about pivotal times in their lives in “Game Changers: Remembering Moments That Matter,” the monthly Portland Storytellers Guild show Saturday evening, December 7 at the Clinton Street Theater.

The three Big Apple expatriates, Maura Doherty, Edward Hershey and Pearl Steinberg, are happy to call Portland home now and accomplished storytellers with a range of recollections that span the continent.

Doors open at 7 and the stories start to flow at 7:30.

Tickets for the performance are $15 online at ($12 for members), and $20 the night of the show.


Book Launch Party for UNFIT
Sunday, Dec 8 @ 2:00pm

After almost twenty years, I've finally finished and published my book UNFIT: The Tale of One Pregnant Teen in the Bible Belt Before Women Had Choice.

Please join me for my official Book Launch on Sunday, December 8th at 2pm. 

I'll have light refreshments, and be joined by a few other Portland-area writers who share experiences of being a mother, choosing not to be a mother, or the complexities of being a daughter.

"Lani Jo Leigh gives voice to generations of American mothers who were coerced into silence even as their children were kidnapped from them. UNFIT is a work of literary genius--at once a testament to female resilience under the horror of patriarchy and a heartening and expansive read."
Ariel Gore, author of THE END OF EVE and


The event is free, and I'll be collecting funds for Teras Intervention and Counseling Center on 39th and Hawthorne as part of the Division/Clinton Business Association's Bright Lights/Warm Hearts holiday campaign.


Monday, Dec 9 @ 7:00pm
FREE Movie!! Taking donations for Broadway Rose Theatre Company.

In this week's Resistance Series film, the curmudgeonly recluse Grinch, who hates Christmas, becomes annoyed with the out-of-control Christmas festivities in Whoville, the town lying below his cave dwelling on Mt. Crumpit. But after the Grinch conspires to deprive the Who's of their favorite holiday by sneaking into town on Christmas eve to steal everything associated with the holiday, he learns that the spirit of Christmas goes much deeper than tinsel and toys.

Our nonprofit partner is Broadway Rose Theatre Company, whose mission is to create unparalleled musical theatre experiences that invigorate audiences and enrich our communities. Broadway Rose Theatre Company believes that diversity brings a vital richness and depth to the stories it presents on its stages and that theatre should not just entertain, but expose audiences to new experiences and expand their worldview. It is committed to its work in improving its equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts and fostering an environment where all people are welcome.

FREE!!! Please make a donation to Broadway Rose Theatre Company if you can.

Magical Mystery Or:
the Return of Karl Schmidt

Monthly Film Series

Wednesday, Dec 11 @ 7:00pm

It’s as if the glory days of the 1990s never ended in this techno-fueled rave across the German countryside. Arne Feldhusen directs this hysterical and charming road trip through Germany’s mid-1990s club scene, co-starring Detlev Buck, Annika Meier and Marc Hosemann.

Based on the novel by best-selling German author Sven Regener, MAGICAL MYSTERY follows recovering alcoholic Karl Schmidt (a brilliant Charly Hübner), who finds himself reunited with his old friends, who have now become successful DJs. Quickly enlisted as designated driver for their upcoming tour, Karl must keep the party-happy musicians in line while adapting to the world outside of rehab. For the next several months, he must resist the alluring temptation of partying, drugs and, of course, music!

Tickets: $10.00 general admission; $8.00 student/senior; $6 children under 12. AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE.


KBOO @ The Clinton

Thursday, Dec 12 @ 7:00pm

Oscar nominee Feras Fayyad (“Last Men in Aleppo”) delivers an unflinching story of the Syrian war with his powerful new documentary, The Cave. For besieged civilians, hope and safety lie underground inside the subterranean hospital known as the Cave, where pediatrician and managing physician Dr. Amani Ballour and her colleagues Samaher and Dr. Alaa have claimed their right to work as equals alongside their male counterparts, doing their jobs in a way that would be unthinkable in the oppressively patriarchal culture that exists above. Following the women as they contend with daily bombardments, chronic supply shortages and the ever-present threat of chemical attacks, The Cave paints a stirring portrait of courage, resilience and female solidarity.

"Look no further than The Cave for a portrait of true heroism. Provides astonishingly immediate and gripping footage of the collective effort to survive. The Cave ranks among the best of films to portray the tragedy of the Civil War in Syria and the resilience of the everyday people who keep the spirit of the nation alive." PAT MULLEN, POV

$7-10 suggested donation; no one turned away for lack of funds.


THE DARK CRYSTAL, December 16. 

Another world, another time, in the age of wonder. 

NW Documentary's D/I/Y/ Docs on Friday, December 13 features work from current DIY students, including the winner of Best NW Documentary at Gateway Film Festival, the winner of the Doctober 1-Tape Challenge, and more!

Projekt Records' Movies in the Dark presents BAD SANTA on Friday, December 13. "In the annals of movie profanity, this movie would rate an Oscar, but it's actually pretty sweet at heart, although never sentimental. And if you don't believe me, you know what you can do." Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald

"So Bad, It's Rad!!!" presents CHOPPING MALL on Saturday, December 14. "Disreputably fun... just about the best low-budget movie about killer robots destroying a shopping mall that can ever be produced." Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

FORCE OF NATURE NATALIA screens next in our Highbrow Hangover Series on Sunday, December 15. From BAFTA winning director Gerry Fox, this portrait of dance superstar Natalia Osipova combines unique access to the rehearsal rooms of the Royal Ballet with Natalia's contemporary dance projects, providing an unparalleled glimpse into the working life of a great dance artist.

A TOWERING TASK Screening & Discussion is Sunday, December 15. Presented by the Committee for a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. With government agency budgets under fire, increased nationalistic tendencies in America, and Peace Corps Volunteers at the forefront of some of the most pressing themes facing the global community, A Towering Task asks: What role should the Peace Corps play in the 21st century? START A CONVERSATION ABOUT GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP --  the POST FILM DISCUSSION FEATURES Glenn Blumhorst, President, National Peace Corps Association

Friday, December 19, Stumptown Coffee presents: Wax and Gold, a visual poem of a film, produced by Stumptown in partnership with Farm League, and directed by Britton Caillouette. In the spring of 2019, the filmmaker traveled to Ethiopia to learn more about its history as the origin of coffee and the birthplace of humanity. Featuring legendary coffee producer Haile Gebre, and jazz icon Mulatu Astatke, Wax & Gold weaves a narrative portrait of Ethiopia through shared histories and traditions.

The Amazing Bubble Man will return in December for six shows. Fun for the entire family. Please purchase your tickets in advance--this tends to sell out.

It's never too early to remind your peeps about our annual Holiday screening of THE BIG LEBOWSKI. Rice Russians!! Yum, yum!!!


Submissions are closed, but because of my father's death and my inability to properly promote the festival, PUFF has been postponed until January.

SafeOregon provides a reliable, anonymous method to report unsafe situations. Funded by the Oregon Legislature as part of a statewide effort to improve safety, SafeOregon offers a way to report concerns such as threats of violence, fights, drugs and alcohol, weapons, bullying, harassment, intimidation and self-harm. Find out MORE.

This weekend, the Portland Night Market is back with its biggest event of the year! Enjoy three days of fun while you sip, shop and snack your way through Portland's best vendors. 

Stand Up Smut is an open mic designed for "adult" material. Share your original erotica, poetry, songs, stories, scenes or whatever else you can imagine! Next one is Monday, December 30 at the Nalu Kava Bar on Sumner Street.

Get rid of your winter blues @ the Portland Winter Light Festival, a three-day vibrant outdoor art festival featuring interactive light-based art installations, dynamic live performances, stunning kinetic fire sculptures, and educational programming. Now in its fifth year, you'll find over 100 artists, performers, and creators:


Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It's the fear that we're not good enough. 

— Brené Brown

Don't be a stranger. Come see us soon.

Kind regards,

Lani Jo

Every Saturday night since April 1978, the historic Clinton Street Theater has played host to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

On the first, third and fifth Saturdays of the month, members of our very own shadowcast, the Clinton Street Cabaret, perform live while the movie plays on the screen behind them. On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, the Rocky Horror Picture Show is "Be It Yourself," turning the attention on YOU the audience. You bring the costumes! You bring the dance numbers! You bring the fun!

So unpack that French Maid's dress from that box behind the kids' old toys and dust off your tap shoes. Bring your rice, the toast, and some friends and come on down to the longest running RHPS in the WORLD! No matter when you decide to come, whether you are are a virgin or a veteran you'll delight in this cinematic right of passage and cherished Portland tradition.

Doors open at 11:30pm
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Clinton Street Theater · 2522 SE Clinton Street · Portland, OR 97202 · USA