Press Picks

thursday
may 5
Cinco de Mayo: Grupo Folklorico Children's groups perform traditional dances in fabulous costumes, whirling for Cinco de Mayo. Often called Mexico's Independence Day, the holiday actually honors the defeat of French troops by outnumbered Mexican forces at the city of Puebla in 1862. More of an "Alamo Day" than an independence day. (The Cinco de Mayo battle was one seemingly decisive meeting which, in the final analysis, did not reflect the outcome of the whole conflict.) What happened next? The Children's Museum is sure to have the answers, plus kid-specific entertainment. Performances 6:30 & 7:15 p.m. Children's Museum, 1500 Binz, 522-1138. Free.

Cinco de Mayo: The Cadillac Bar The party for adults begins at noon today and runs pretty much through the weekend. For lucky winners in the women's bikini and the men's best-chest contests, the party ends with a lost weekend: a Continental Airlines package will be one of the prizes. So that those who don't almost strip for show also have a chance at air fare, two tickets will be given away each night. Survivors of tonight's bash will be awarded a "Cinco Survivor" ticket good for a free margarita at Friday's continued fiesta. The time? Happy hour, Apor su puesto! Cadillac Bar, 1802 Shepherd, 862-2020. No admission charge.

friday
may 6
Tattoo Expo '94 Tattooing astral bodies is about the only thing they won't be doing at this Walpurgis Night of skin illustration. The three-day expo is brought to you by Jack Armstrong and Chuck's Custom Tattooing (Chuck's shops are in Beaumont and Galveston -- places where tattoos stand for something).

Tattoo competitions, booths and other fun will be open to all skin-art aficionados. Only registered conventioneers will be allowed to compete, and they must enter by noon. 10 a.m.-midnight. Hobby Airport Hilton, 8181 Airport, 645-3000.

Human-Alien Contact: Transforming Consensus into Reality Nationally known UFO expert Michael Lindemann will present this lecture at the May meeting of the Houston UFO Network (HUFON). The message seems to be that if enough people say it, it's so.

The typical drawings of alien visitors -- wedge-shaped faces, huge eyes and tiny triangular noses -- remind me of something. Many nights have I been awakened by just such a creature, its glowing eyes inches from my own. In my case, the inhuman presence is my cat. With her, too, there is a strange humming sound -- purring. Many cat owners have been roused from sound sleep by a weight on their chest and opened their eyes to see the familiar face of a cat, ears flattened back in pleasure, scraping its raspy tongue on their chin.

But that's just one explanation. Those who really give a hoot about UFOlogy -- and really, about the paranormal in general -- should try to figure stuff out. My skinny buddy Bill Brown, who has been given a huge grant from an Ivy League school to film a documentary about UFOs, suggests, "Maybe everyone will find a little relief from that nagging existential bellyache by focusing on the external and transcendent for a change. UFOs are the VW buses of the cosmos, man." 7:30 p.m. Holiday Inn I-10 at Silber, 597-2834. Free.

saturday
may 7
Canine Frisbee Disc Club Community Championship Dogs take to the air, soaring upward over and over, leaping toward heaven to snag spinning Frisbee Discs. Border collies, the quick and silent ninjas of dogdom, compete with labs, goldens and feisty mutts. All this excitement goes for the good of Citizens for Animal Protection. The fine folks from CAP will take time from providing shelter and safety for abandoned and injured animals to man the food and drink booths and run the show -- and the raffle that is the heart of the fundraiser. Bring the whole family (keep dogs and particularly fractious children on leashes, please). 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Memorial Park, ball diamond #4. Free.

Vivo y Positivo '94 Margarita Mix-off Arnaldo and Janice Richards of Pico's Mex-Mex, Houston's premier home of tradicional cocina mexicana, celebrate Cinco de Mayo today with tequila contests, the Houston Zoomobile and flamenco dancers. Local restaurateurs vie to have their concoctions judged the Best Margarita in Houston. Vivo y Positivo '94 is a whole festival -- craft sales; music, including Ethnic Rain, a nine-piece world music band and Latin jazz artist Norma Zenteno; and a raffle. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The new Pico's, 4527 Lomitas (Kirby at Highway 59), 942-9955. $3 donation for local HIV/AIDS group.

The Mark of Zorro Silent film as you've never seen it before: outside, a la the drive-in, and accompanied by the Houston Symphony. In this 1920 flick, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., the original swashbuckler, stars as the masked Zorro -- a Mexican avenger -- and as mild-mannered Don Diego. Like Superman and the Scarlet Pimpernel, this hero rights wrongs in disguise and makes a point of being known as a wuss.

Donald Hunsberger, director of the Eastman-Dryden Orchestra -- which specializes in accompaniment for silent film -- will direct the symphony as the screen is filled with flashing swordplay, pre-OSHA stunts, equestrian derring-do and lust in the dust of long-ago California deserts. 8:30 p.m. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands. To charge tickets by phone call 629-3700. $7.50 on the lawn, $9.50 reserved seats.

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