This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, August 7
Hilarioso. Former Enron chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay had the nerve to call Rebecca Smith, a Wall Street Journal reporter, "sneaky." Now, we all know who the true sneak is. But Smith, along with fellow journalist John Emshwiller, began researching the story of Enron's shady dealings weeks before it broke, after the resignation of CEO Jeff Skilling. The pair met with fierce resistance from Enron execs who wouldn't acknowledge that the company was in trouble. In 24 DAYS; How Two Wall Street Journal Reporters Uncovered the Lies that Destroyed Faith in Corporate America, Smith and Emshwiller detail their pursuit of the business story of the century. Smith discusses the book today at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum of Printing History, 1324 West Clay. For information, call 713-522-4652. $15.

Friday, August 8
What inspires someone to get so strong he can hold four Harley-Davidson motorcycles in place while they pull away from him at full throttle? Why, having been a scrawny munchkin in high school, of course. Dennis Rogers weighed 79 pounds and wasn't even five feet tall when he entered ninth grade. So he started maniacally lifting weights and eating as much as he could. Now weighing in at 169, he's pound for pound the strongest man in the world. Today he'll demonstrate his talents, which include tearing a yellow pages book in half with two fingers, bending a crescent wrench, bending a steel bar into a pretzel and putting a nail through a two-by-four with his bare hand. Sadly, Rogers won't be lifting a refrigerator with one finger, though he does count that as one of his accomplishments. 2 p.m. Memorial City Mall, 303 Memorial City. For information, call 713-932-0076 or visit www.dennisrogers.net. Free.

Saturday, August 9
It's important to develop the perfect lipstick kiss print. You never know when you'll need to break out that talent. For example, you may want to kiss a letter (don't forget a squirt of perfume), kiss a mirror or -- and this is the most important use -- put a kiss of ownership on someone else. A well-executed kiss print isn't sloppy, smudged or uneven. And it should look spontaneous. If you think you've got what it takes, enter the Origins Kissable Lip Contest. You'll apply Origins lipstick (not too much, not too little) and kiss a piece of paper. Judges will choose the best lip print; the winner gets a basket of Origins products. The event includes a fashion show, model search and other activities. Pucker up from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Willowbrook Mall, 7925 FM 1960. For information, call 281-890-8000.

Sunday, August 10
Russian artists Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexsander Vinogradov started their "endless" painting after finishing art school in Moscow in 1994. The work, called Our Best World (Limousine), is made up of ten large canvases. The painting's background is a white limousine; contemporary figures, including real people, cultural icons and cartoon characters, float brightly on the work's surface. The Museum of Fine Arts recently acquired the piece; it will be on view through September 1. 12:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org. $3.50 to $7.

Monday, August 11
Houston Ebony Opera Guild members will be busy bees during the month of August. Today brings a "Let's Go to the Opera" discussion about Rigolettowith lecturer Ann Thompson (1 p.m. at the Glassell School of Art, 5101 Montrose, 713-639-7500, $2). On Sunday, August 10, the guild performs "Opera Gems: A Concert of Operatic Excerpts," featuring excerpts from La Bohème, Carmen, Porgy and Bess and other operas. (4 p.m. at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby, 713-315-2525, $20 to $50). And mark your calendars for an English-language performance of Rigoletto Friday and Saturday, August 22 and 23 (7:30 p.m. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive, 713-284-8350, free). For information about other Houston Ebony Opera Guild events, call 713-529-7664.

Tuesday, August 12
Eminem is a self-important ass. He's made a career out of either threatening other people or making fun of them, and yet he wouldn't let Weird Al Yankovic make a video of his spoof of "Lose Yourself" called "Couch Potato." The whiny baby can dish it out, but he can't take it. At today's Yankovic concert, you can hear the song, which comments on TV, for yourself. (Show's based on reality / Oh the humanity! / Oh! Ozzy's family! / Sho' loves profanity! / Whoa! The insanity! / Oh! Dogs that crap and pee...) On his new album, Poodle Hat, Yankovic also parodies Nelly, Avril Lavigne and the Backstreet Boys. And there's a polka medley that includes songs by Papa Roach, System of a Down, the Vines, the Hives, the White Stripes, the Strokes, Disturbed, Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, Staind, Kid Rock, P.O.D. and our old friend Eminem. 7:30 p.m. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas Ave. For tickets, call 713-629-3700 or visit www.verizonwirelesstheater.com. $26.50 to $36.50.

Wednesday, August 13
You know somebody's a good chef when he can walk into a kitchen, assess its contents and then whip up a fabulous little dish. At today's "Think Like a Chef" class at Sur La Table, participants will be given baskets of mystery ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, chicken, seafood and pantry items. Then they'll work together to design their own menus, which will be critiqued by Jane Mazzei, the executive chef for Sodexho's Corporate Services at Duke Energy. As a bonus, at the end of the class, Mazzei will teach you how to make a delicious gruel out of crusty takeout, beer and mustard -- i.e., what you'll find in fridges belonging to normal people. 6:30 p.m. 1996 West Gray. To register, call 713-533-0400. $50.

 
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