‘The Portlandia Activity Book’ already has a bird on it

(Courtesy of McSweeney's)
(Courtesy of McSweeney’s)

Fans of “Portlandia,” rejoice! — in a non-competitive, earth-friendly way, of course.

McSweeney’s has released “The Portlandia Activity Book,” by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel, creators of the hipper-than-thou IFC comedy series. This spiral-bound collection — suitable for trading at the farmer’s market — is full of games, tests, art projects and advice guaranteed to help you Portland-actualize. (All this for just $28 — How much is that in CHE hours?)

If you’ve always wanted to put a bird on it, but didn’t know where to start, here are four easy-to-use stencils, including the Indigo Bunting, which is so handy for “empty spaces that could fit a bird.”

To get your creative juices flowing, try using the blank page to “illustrate the sound of fruit ripening in a community garden.” More experienced artists will enjoy “Punk Paint By Numbers,” using 29 different shades of black, from “Black Sabbath Black” to “Misfits Mosh Pit Black Eye Black.” (Kids will want to start on the Non-Normative Coloring Book.)

"Reading is a public affair, so make sure your presentation is flawless.... Make the general public swoon at your brilliance by covering your book in this classy cover." (Courtesy of McSweeney's)
“Reading is a public affair, so make sure your presentation is flawless…. Make the general public swoon at your brilliance by covering your book in this classy cover.” (Courtesy of McSweeney’s)

For enhanced spiritual direction, add the following Tarot cards to your pack: The Recycler, The Beekeeper and The Bodily Fluid Artist (“She embodies passion, conflict, and aggression, with grim sexuality thrumming under all she does.”).

Once you’ve used the Blind-Date Forecaster, you might get things rolling with one of the handy wallet-sized Conversation Starter Cards, such as “I used to think gender was binary.”

It’s all here to “enrich the Pacific Northwestern part of your psyche.” In their introduction, Armisen and Brownstein promise that “by the time you’ve made it to the end, you will have arrived at a higher flannel-insulated state of consciousness, imbued with the heady confidence of a spoken-word poet at open-mic night.”

Look for a copy at the Feminist Bookstore. If they don’t have it in stock, they can order you one. It will take a year to arrive.

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.
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