TEXAS HERB GROWERS AND MARKETERS ASSOCIATION HERB MARKET STOCK UP ON COMFREY, HYSSOP AND MUGWORT FOR YOUR FALL GARDEN, JUST TRY A FEW NEW BASIL VARIETIES OR JOIN IN THE LIVELY HERB TALK. FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE ASSOCIATION'S ANNUAL CONFERENCE IS HERE, AND ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH HERB FANDOM WILL BE OFFERED. 15 P.M. RAMADA NORTHWEST PLAZA HOTEL, 12801 NORTHWEST FREEWAY (HIGHWAY 290). FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL LUCIA'S GARDEN, 523-6494. FREE ADMISSION.
A SATURDAY OF SIGNINGS SPEND ALL AFTERNOON ENJOYING MURDER AND MYSTERY AS A QUARTET OF TEXAS WRITERS SIGN THEIR BOOKS AND DISCUSS THEIR ART AND CRAFT. NEAL BARRETT, BILL CRIDER, DEAN JAMES AND KAREN HANSON STUYCK WILL BE IN THE STORE TOGETHER. CRIDER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE PRAIRIE CHICKEN KILL. 13 P.M. MURDER BY THE BOOK, 2324 BISSONNET, 524-8597.
SMOTHERS BROTHERS THE YO-YO PROMOTERS, FOLK SINGERS AND EXTRAORDINARILY TALENTED COMICS WILL PERFORM ONE SHOW ONLY. WHY NOT TAKE THE FAMILY TO SEE THIS DUO, WHO HAVE A UNIQUE REPUTATION AS BOTH NOTORIOUS (THE TV SHOW) AND WHOLESOME (EVERYTHING ELSE, UNLESS YOU COUNT THE SUBTEXT OF SOME ROUTINES). 8 P.M. THE GRAND 1894 OPERA HOUSE, 2020 POSTOFFICE, GALVESTON, (409) 765-1894 OR (800) 821-1894.
NATHAN DETROIT'S FLOATING CRAP GAME WOO-HOO, HERE'S THE CHEAPEST THEATER GALA IN TOWN. TO BENEFIT AN UPCOMING PRODUCTION OF GUYS AND DOLLS (A GUYS AND DOLLS WHICH, WHILE USING THE DELIGHTFUL FRANK LOESSER MUSIC, STRIVES TO CAPTURE THE SEEDINESS OF THE ORIGINAL DAMON RUNYON STORIES), THE HARD-WORKING THESPIANS OF INFERNAL BRIDEGROOM PRODUCTIONS ARE HOSTING NATHAN DETROIT'S FLOATING CRAP GAME. HORSESHOE AND THE TEXAS GUINNESS LOVERS WILL ENTERTAIN WHILE CITIZENS MIX, MINGLE AND GAMBLE (POSSIBLY EVEN GAMBOL) WITH NATHAN, ANGIE THE OX, MADAM LAGIMP, KNIFE O'HALLORAN, SOCIETY MAX AND OTHER COLORFUL CHARACTERS. THE EVENING STARTS WITH EATING AND, WE ARE TOLD, "PRETTY GOOD" CHAMPAGNE. BETTER THAN COOK'S, WE HOPE. BECAUSE GAMBLING (THOUGH NOT GAMBOLING) IS NOT REMOTELY LEGAL, THIS CRAP GAME WILL NOT INVOLVE REAL MONEY. BUT PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED TO CITIZENS WHO SHOW MERITORIOUS SKILL. GUYS AND DOLLS OPENS SEPTEMBER 27; THE BENEFIT IS TONIGHT. 8, CHAMPAGNE AND EATING; 8o30, the oldest established permanent floating crap game; 10:30 p.m., prizes. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. For directions, call 223-8346. For more information, call 524-2932. $14.99, champagne and food included.
Splendors of Ancient Egypt For this remarkable exhibition, the art normally on view in the MFA's Upper Brown Pavilion has been stored so that all 25,000 square feet can be used for Egyptian artifacts. More than 200 antiquities, some dating from 4000 B.C., will be here until the end of March, and you better see them as soon as you can. Other-wise, a) you'll mean to go and mean to go until this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has passed by or b) the show will be sold out. Want a preview? Then keep watching the skies. From 7:3011:30 p.m. Thursday Friday, 200-foot-high images of the jewelry, mummies and sarcophagi will be beamed against buildings all over town: keep an eye out at Party on the Plaza, the Pasadena Livestock and Rodeo Grounds, Rice University, the Summit, Transco Tower and the MFA. The show, a unique combination of artifacts and display, opens today. 12:156 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet, 639-7300. For advance tickets, call Ticketmaster, 629-3700. $10; $9, seniors; $5, children sixeight; free, children five and under. Half price Thursday nights on a first come, first served basis.
The Big Adventure Pee-Wee had one, so why not the children of Houston? This new, fun-based exhibition at the Children's Museum offers kids a "wacky, innovated and exaggerated gallery-sized game board" that -- among other things -- allows the shavers to fly a virtual plane, dodging birds, aliens and similar airborne nuisances. Opening day, today, is free. Noon5 p.m. Children's Museum, 1500 Binz, 522-1138. Free.
Bach Vespers German organmeister, recording artist and master instructor Martin Strohhaecker of Dresden is a guest of the Bach Society, and will play a liturgical Bach program followed by an Ocktoberfest reception in the church courtyard. 5 p.m. Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2553 Rice Boulevard, 525-2864. Free, with a $15 offering suggested.
Rainy Days and Mondays The Old San Francisco Steak House recently added some microbrews to its menu, but the liquid central to the current promotion is water -- cool, clear water. Between now and September 30, the restaurant will take entries from customers. At the end of the month, the restaurant will pay the water bill (up to $150 of it, anyway) for whoever wins. Old San Francisco is also offering "rain checks": eat at this retro palace of surf and turf, and receive a $10 discount coupon redeemable for any meal on a rainy day or a Monday. The steak's not bad, and while you're chewing your meat and eating big hunks o' cheese (every table gets a hunk), you can study the decor, which includes rare Gaumont Pictures and Essanay film company posters. Old San Francisco Steak House, 8611 Westheimer, 783-5990.
National Prostate Awareness Week Hey, girls, next time the man in your life cringes or mocks during a tampon commercial, let him know what time it is: September 24-27 is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Week (yup, a short week), and Methodist Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine offer free screenings for men age 50 and older. Screening exams are noon-8 p.m. today, Wednesday and Thursday; noon-6 p.m. Friday. Smith Tower, 6550 Fannin, fifth floor. Call 798-4117 to schedule an appointment.