Press Picks

thursday
may 11
Marriage licenses available at nine locations Harris County Clerk Beverly B. Kaufman has urged us to remind June brides that, in efforts to improve and increase services at the eight branch offices, the county workers are gearing up for an onslaught of marriage license applications. Licenses are good for 30 days from the date of issue and cost $31. Offices are open weekdays from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The main County Clerk's office is at 1001 Preston, 755-6436. Call that number for other locations or look in the blue pages of the business white pages.

America's most famous other woman Singer, Penthouse photo subject, bleached-blond bimbo and possible Clinton ex Gennifer Flowers will sign copies of her autobiography, Passion & Betrayal. 6-7:30 p.m. River Oaks Bookstore, 3270 Westheimer, 520-0061.

Funny People They've had "Funny Women" and "Funny Men," and now they have "Funny People" -- what might the Houston Area Women's Center do for a fundraiser next year? Maybe they'll call it just plain "Funny." This year's comics are men, Houston's own Billy D., and women, Carol Leifer and Wendy Liebman. Leifer holds the record for most appearances by a standup on Late Night with David Letterman -- who knew? -- while Liebman is more of a Tonight Show with Jay Leno kind of gal. Billy D. hasn't done as much TV, but he did recently complete a prime-time Def Comedy Jam for Fox. There will be a silent auction before the show, and all the money goes for HAWC projects. Black tie optional. 6:30 p.m. Westin Galleria, Grand Ballroom, 5060 Alabama, 528-6798. $125 per person.

Public forum on the omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995 More problems for the prez. Clinton's response to the bombing in Oklahoma has been called by some a threat to the rights we hold dear, and now the Cuba Friendship Committee at the University of Houston and the Militant Labor Forum (of all people) have set up a session for you, the critter on the street, to speak your piece and hear professional speakers speak their's -- all in one frenetic evening. 7 p.m. University of Houston, Embassy Room (entrance no. 1 off Calhoun), 644-9066. Free.

friday
may 12
Casebusters Three-time Edgar Allen Poe Award-winner Joan Lowery Nixon introduces a new children's series, "Casebusters," talks about the fine art of writing suspense for pre-teens and reads from Keeping Secrets, the latest in her "Orphan Train" series. The Orphan Train book is about six orphans, the Kelly children, from the mid-19th century who are sent West when their widowed mother decides that's what's best for her children. Given that Nixon is a suspense writer, we can easily imagine that later in the series the Kelly children and their sacrificing mama are rejoined. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 3003 West Holcombe, Vanderbilt Square, 349-0050. Free.

Just Zoo It! Don't dream it, zoo it, at the Houston Zoo's family night party. All are welcome, and kids of all ages are urged to dress in "cool" attire, party to live music and gobble burgers from Becks Prime. Special for the kids, the Zoo Friends of Houston have set up carnival games, magic shows, ever-popular face-painting booths and a petting zoo. Proceeds from the evening will go toward erecting shade structures for the marine mammals and the Asian elephants. Rain or shine. 7-10 p.m. Houston Zoological Gardens, Hermann Park, 1515 North MacGregor, 525-3300. For tickets or information, call 850-7373. $50; $35 for kids under 21.

Calling Metropolis Want 30 minutes worth of free funny stuff? Then stop by Booktronics while Sean Thompson is taping his new radio show. Yes, a live audience is needed, so come on out, enjoy the fine old art of radio and be lively. (Pick up pre-show snackage at Antone's, in the same strip center.) 7 p.m. Booktronics, 5370 Westheimer, 626-4000. For further details, point your Web browser to http://www.intergate.com/~sean. Free.

Murder in the Sculpture Garden We have some goofy fundraisers in this town -- the Art Car Ball, the duck race, the Hair Ball and now this. Must be because we have some goofy people in this town. Tonight's goofy fundraiser is a murder mystery (with 20 scheming suspects) and a silent auction (with travel packages and restaurant gift certificates). Who benefits? The Museum of Fine Art's not-at-all-goofy Glassell School of Art. Dress code: black. 8 p.m.-midnight. Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, 5101 Montrose, 639-7538. $115; $100 in advance.

saturday
may 13
Scottish Highland games Eat Scottish meat pies and scones while thrilling to the wheezing of bagpipes at this daylong celebration of Scottish traditions. Serious athletic competitions -- sheaf and caber toss, hammer throw and the putting of the stone -- and Scottish Highland dancing. For more serious Scottophiles, the day's events will include Burns seminars, Gaelic workshops and Scottish Clan gatherings. Games for the kids, too. Hey, Scots, we got one word for you -- sunscreen. Gates open at 8 a.m. Houston Farm and Ranch Club (which has indoor arenas in case of rain), Bear Creek Park, north of the I-10 intersection on Highway 6. Advance tickets through the Houston Highland Games Association, 774-7179. $8; $6 seniors and teens; free for children under 12.

Fiesta en el Parque A no-alcohol, free, family-fun festival to promote our parks and the wealth of safe and positive family fun they provide, and to raise money for soccer-field lights for Montie Beach Park. The Zoomobile will roll up with animals, games will be played and Mayor Bob has made sure a concession stand is up and serving snacks. At 12:30 p.m., the Police Department Parents and Neighbors Defense Alliance (P.A.N.D.A.) safe house will be officially opened. Festival open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Montie Beach Park, 915 Northwood, 845-1034. No admission charge.

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