Picks

Thursday
January 6
The return of the Thin Mints It's Girl Scout cookie time again. Everybody with good sense will spend in the three figures stocking the freezer with a full year's supply. Thin Mints are far and away the favorite cookie (although the debate rages over whether they're best served frozen or room-temp-and-dunked), with the gooey toasted-coconut caramel Samoas with fudge stripes (which are, frankly, a lot like trademarked Yum Yums) a close second. Purists go for Scott Teas -- the shield-shaped shortbread -- or for peanut butter. For '94, the Scouts unveil a new flavor: Strawberries 'n' Cream. Which is probably every bit as wholesome and healthful as the others. A recent book of junk-food recipes, in the pages devoted to simulating Girl Scout cookies, suggested melting candle wax right into the icing. No matter, the truly great thing about Girl Scout cookies is that we eat them for a good cause -- therefore, these seemingly sinful cookies are actually so beneficial to our spiritual well-being that the ingestion of fat and sugar and refined carbohydrates has no consequences. Moreover, being food for the soul, Girl Scout cookies have no calories. The cookie sale takes off with a preview taste-fest featuring experimental dessert recipes based on the seven cookies of Girl Scouts. Professional chefs assisted by Brownies and Juniors will do the honors. 3 p.m., Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana. (E.S.)

Friday
January 7
Shoulders We'll be a week into the new year by the time this show rolls around, but if that means the party's over, I'll betcha nobody told Shoulders. To tell the truth, I'm just a little bit sick of recommending Austin's shanty-rock phenom every time vocalist Michael Slattery and company come through town, but until someone shows me a better live band, I'm gonna keep plugging away. Trashman Shoes is the most recent album, and it's a pretty decent little document all its own, even if it doesn't keep pace with the band's churning stage presentation. 9:30 p.m., Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Ave., 869-COOL. $5. (B.T.)

Saturday
January 8
Repressed memory syndrome They're misdirected but they mean well -- that's the take on certain therapists from others in shrinkdom (and accused parents) who see false memory syndrome as a serious problem. Eleanor Goldstein, author of Confabulations and True Stories of False Memories, will speak at the regional meeting of the False Memory Society. Best-case scenario: False memory syndrome is what happens when over-eager therapists meet up with too-eager-to-please patients who, in an effort to be proper subjects of analysis, come up with horrific memories of abuse, frequently involving satanic rites. Worst case: Certified social workers with a pathological need to be on Oprah seek out pathologically needy patients and coerce them into producing childhood memoirs which would rival any Clive Barker novel. Of course, the worst aspect of all this controversy is that it's just the sort of thing to make real victims withdraw further and suffer more self-doubt. 12:30- 5:30 p.m., Emerson Unitarian Church, 1900 Bering, 464-8970. Free. (E.S.) Alejandro Escovedo

This is another one of those perennial picks that you're going to keep seeing in this paper until Escovedo's latest, Thirteen Years, pops up at the top of the national charts, or snow sticks to the ground in Montrose, whichever comes first. Thirteen Years made my year-end best-of list without the slightest hesitation on my part, and if you've yet to catch on to the songwriting talent in our Austin back yard, you've been either hibernating or reading the wrong paper. 9 p.m., McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 528-5999. $8. (B.T.)

Sunday
January 9
Quark to sign autographs No, not some swirling subatomic particle scrawling -- Armin Shimerman, who plays Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, will be live and in person at the latest Star Trek convention. There will be a costume contest, a dealers' room and an official Paramount Star Trek-stuff auction. (The promoters advertise "tons of licensed Star Trek merchandise.") Some pricey stuff, too. Original, signed cast photos can go for $1,000. Other auction goods go for as low as $25, and the vendors in the dealer's room will haggle on many items from tribbles to phasers. If you're a collector in the Saul Rubinek style, you can make an Enterprising deal. (Trivia contest prep: Did you know that Brent Spiner, who plays Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, grew up in Houston?) 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sheraton Astrodome Hotel, 8400 Kirby Drive, (818) 748-3221. $35 preferred reserved seating; general admission $15; $7 under twelve; under six free. (E.S.)

See a cat jump through a hoop, along with other cats worth more than some four-door cars while everything feline is on display at the 44th Annual Charity Cat Show. Hundreds of cats, worth hundreds of dollars each, will be on display. For all of you cat-lovers out there, cat accessories of all sorts, for the alley-type at home, will be for sale. And yes, cats actually will jump through hoops. Animal trainer Scott Hart will be on hand with Woody and other Friskies cat team members. (At the show last year Hart brought Liberty, the Somali who plays DataÕs pet Spot on Star Trek: The Next Generation.) Not only are these celebrity cats crated up and carted from cat show to cat show, but they also have appeared in feature films from Beaches to Darkman. Scott Hart will be putting the Friskies cat team through its paces at 1 and 3 p.m. both days. In addition, Hart will show cat owners basic behaviors they can teach their cats at home, such as walking on a leash. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Convention Center Blvd., 251-8665. $5 adults; $3 seniors; $2 kids under 12. (E.S.)

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