Breakfast with mummy The MFA Corporate Partners breakfast for September features a talk by senior docent Merrianne Timko; she'll talk about "Preparation for the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt," then lead a special tour of "Splendors of Ancient Egypt." During the tour, Timko, who has long studied ancient Near Eastern antiquities, can perhaps explain about the Book of the Dead. The text has drawings along with the hieroglyphics, and the figures in these drawings -- people, baboons and at least one ox -- seem lively and cheerful, even whimsical, some of them. Why? The Learning Channel won't tell, but maybe Timko can. Or, perhaps, being a scholar, she can tell you what ideas scholarly people have about this and why, and then ask you to consider the question on your own. 7 a.m. The Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet. For reservations, call 639-7571. $15, yes, $15, and one need not be a part of a corporate partnership to attend.
A bigger, better bulb market This year, the Garden Club of Houston's bulb market has extended hours and more bulbs than ever before. Head out early and stock up on amaryllis, ranunculas and antique daffodils. Anyone who visits the 54th annual Bulb and Plant Mart gets a Garden Club book, a how-to horticulture guide for Houston. 9:30 a.m.6 p.m. today and Friday; 9:30 a.m.4 p.m. Saturday. At the Westheimer United Methodist Church, 5801 San Felipe at Bering. For information, call 867-3953.
Diamond Dig Here's a reason to go to an Astros game: a treasure hunt. After the Astros play the Mets, a group of adult (as in 18 and over) Houstonians will hit the field to dig up the field with spoons. Three one-carat diamonds will be buried along the baseline, and diggers can qualify by a) registering at Stop N Go and Diamond Shamrock stores, b) winning a call-in contest on KRBE's morning show or c) being selected from the fans at the game. Game starts at 1:35 p.m., and diamond digging is after. Astrodome, Kirby at Loop 610, 629-3700. $4$19.
Dee Mosbacher talks about homophobia The Montrose Counseling Center is holding a one-day workshop aimed at health and social service professionals but open to the public. Besides 16 frank and serious seminars -- among them "Chemical Dependency and HIV" and "Clinical and Legal Aspects of Assisted Suicide" -- there will be a luncheon speech by Dee Mosbacher, founder and president of Women Vision. Mosbacher will talk about homophobia, and possibly mention that her dad, former secretary of commerce Robert Mosbacher, has never been homophobic with her or her friends because, you know, coming at people with preconceived notions never helps. 8 a.m.6 p.m. Renaissance Houston Hotel, 6 Greenway Plaza East, 529-0037. $95. Continuing education credits available.
Fort Bend County Fair "Long before MTV," the fairground people write, "when only bulls had nose rings and only sailors got tattoos, there were county fairs." The 60th Fort Bend County Fair kicks off its blast from the past today, and continues through next weekend with rides, shows and attractions such as hogs and preserves. Today's excitement, a parade with former TV newsman Ron Stone, begins coursing through the streets of Richmond and Rosenberg at 9 a.m. There will be a dance with Santa Fe and the 93Q Country band at 11 p.m. Today, the fairgrounds are open noon1 a.m.; Saturday, 10-1 a.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-midnight; and Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m.midnight. Through October 6. Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, one mile south of Highway 59 on Highway 36, 342-6171. $4; $1, children ages six to ten; free, children under six. $6, Friday night concerts.
Pobre Pablo's Wondrous Wishes Express Theatre presents a children's play based on Argentine folk tales. Kids who are tired of cowboy stories will delight in this theatrical presentation of gaucho adventures in the pampas grass. Opening tonight, 7 p.m. Reception follows. (Further shows listed in Thrills, Kids, On-Stage.) Presented by Express Theatre at the Children's Museum, 1500 Binz, 522-1138. $5; free, kids under two.
Stars n Stripes -- Texas Style The Southwest Jazz Ballet presents an evening of sequins and show tunes in this all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza. Special guest stars include the New Flying Lindy Hoppers, a jitterbug dance troupe; Chelsi Smith, Miss Universe 1995; and Michael Lerner. Yes, Michael Lerner of Barton Fink, Eight Men Out and the ABC series Clueless. 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive, Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.
Lisa Loeb No, the one with the adorable trailer-trash gap-tooth smile is Jewel; Lisa Loeb is the one with the affected funky glasses. She's also the pop chanteuse appearing in tonight's 104 KRBE Private Session concert. You can get one of the 100 tickets only by listening to the station. The intimate concert will be performed at 7 p.m. Art Institute of Houston, 1900 Yorktown. For more information, call 266-1000. Free -- if you're one of the lucky callers.
Giorgee Awards Gina Gaston of Channel 13 hosts this year's gala, and all the stars of the Ensemble Theatre are sure to be on hand, either picking up awards or sharing in the glory. Join Houston's oldest black professional theater company as it celebrates anotheryear.10:30p.m.(following Ceremonies in Dark Old Men), Midtown Art Center Gallery, 3414 La Branch (at Holman), 520-0055. $15.
Heritage Sale and Auction Only you and your checkbook need to know that you're on the island for the rummage sale side of the event; everyone else can believe you're out to bid on serious antiques and collectibles. Garage sale stuff and fine pieces such as a silver Victorian epergne will all be sold at the Galveston County Historical Foundation's semiannual sale and auction. Opening at 8 for preview; bidding begins at 10 a.m. 2005 Postoffice (across from the Grand 1894 Opera House). For more information, call 280-3907. No registration fees and no sellers' premiums.
Museum of Health & Medical Science Safety Sally, a mannequin decked out with padding and gear for anything except normal human life, is at her place in Safetytown, a new permanent exhibit about preventing "injuries and mortality in the home." Wow -- "mortality in the home" is a sobering phrase, isn't it? The terror continues as kids are led into a home in Safetytown, the "House of Hazards," with displays to illustrate typical dangers in suburban dwellings. Safetytown has a grand opening today. Today and tomorrow, Prevent Blindness Texas will present a puppet play about eye care. Museum hours today, 9 a.m.5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 1515 Hermann Drive, 521-1515. $4; $3, seniors, students and children under 12; free.
Wanna buy a duck? When they said "Ducks Unlimited," we thought it was a slogan, not a literal statement, but now we begin to wonder. Ducks proliferate, both the wetland web-footed creatures whose habitats are protected by DU and the marketing logos on DU goods sold to pay for this habitat protection. Live quackers and DU merchandise are on the bill today as a grateful public receives its first peek at the Ducks Unlimited Home Furnishing Collection -- and even better, at the Peabody Marching Ducks, flown in from Memphis in a gilded cage to waddle down a red carpet while accompanied by a John Philip Sousa march. DU promises they will then "float and play in the fountain for a couple of hours, depending on how they feel." Storytelling for kids and decorating seminars for adults, 12:30, 1:30, 2:20 and 3:30 p.m.; ducks march at 2 p.m. Star Furniture SuperShowcase, Park Ten at I-10, 492-5494.
Pause for Pets Play musical chairs with your dog, find out if you have the most photogenic cat in the Clear Lake area and test your knowledge of "Animal Trivia" at the Homeless Pet Placement League fair. There will be contests for about anything a dog can win (such as the "softest dog" award), obedience demonstrations and games for young and old. The point of the whole thing is to make people aware of the importance of responsible pet ownership and to raise money for the league's animal adoption program. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. PetsMart, 1549 West Bay Area Boulevard. For more information, call 862-PETS.
New Films from Iran: The Blue-Veiled and Canary Yellow The series, offers the rare opportunity to see Iranian film, and this week the films are from a female Iranian filmmaker, Rakshan Bani-Etemad. Canary Yellow, a 1989 movie, is about revenge and honest men in corrupt societies. The Blue-Veiled is a story we see in every culture: romance crossing class lines. Tonight, The Blue-Veiled is the first part of the double feature; tomorrow, it's the second. Films begin at 6 p.m. each evening. Museum of Fine Arts, Brown Auditorium, 1001 Bissonnet, 639-7515. Double feature $6; $5, seniors and students.
Tom Paxton Singer/songwriter Tom Paxton, the man who wrote the line "Peace will come, and let it begin with me," will appear in concert. Traveler, a four-piece acoustic group, will open. 8 p.m. First Unitarian Church, 5210 Fannin. For more information, call Bob or Gay Pangle of the Houston Folklore and Music Society, 347-3235. $12; $8, children six-11; free, children under six. Refreshments will be sold.
Top Dogs A new play about an old problem has a staged reading tonight. Local writer Diana Howe has penned a comedic drama about how there's always someone -- a boss or just some jerk on the bus -- who has to stomp on you so he can be top dog. 7 p.m. Country Playhouse, 12802 Queensbury (Town & Country Village), 467-4497. Free.
Dinner with Dominique Dominique Sachse, redheaded newscaster, is the emcee for this year's Bayou Chef's Night and Auction. The Channel 2 anchor will preside over a live auction, a silent action and a dinner featuring foods from Carrabba's, Crazy Cajun, Outback Steakhouse and Tortuga's Cantina. Proceeds raise money for UH-Clear Lake scholarships. 5:308:30 p.m. UH-Clear Lake, Bayou Building, Atriums I and II, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard, 283-2019$18; $5, children six-12; free, children under six.
The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover Former leader of the Texas Jewboys and novelist Kinky Friedman has put out a new book. Reviews include, "The humor gleams as brightly as Kinky's brontosaurus-foreskin cowboy boots," from the New York Times Review of Books, and "Like being in a fortune cookie factory on speed," from The Washington Post Book World. If you can't imagine what such remarks might mean, yet would like to know, see the Kinkster himself tonight. 6-8 p.m. Crown Books, 12520 Memorial Drive, 973-1115.
More mystery Hot on the heels of Kinky Friedman, mystery writer Phillip Margolin comes to town. Margolin writes legal mysteries -- "Before Grisham, before Turow, there was Phillip Margolin" is the battle cry for this author appearance -- and his last three books have been New York Times bestsellers. Today, he will say a few words about his craft and sign The Burning Man. 5-6:30 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet, 524-8597.
Dos Lesbos Be the first on your block to hear Tom Wilson Weinberg's new song "Lesbian Seagull." That ditty will be heard by millions when the MTV film Beavis and Butt-head Do America is released, but a select few can hear it now, in Houston, at the Group Theatre Workshop production of Terry Baum's comedic, two-character review. Opening tonight, 8 p.m. (Other shows listed in Thrills, Theater, Opening.) Lovett Inn, 501 Lovett Boulevard, 522-2204. $15.