This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, February 12

Get your baggy trousers out of storage or shimmy into that swirly skirt -- today's your weekly opportunity to trip the light fantastico at Salsa-thon Ladies Night. Free salsa lessons will be given from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., featuring two professional instructors who'll have you rumba-ing in no time. The ten-piece salsa band Salmerum (that's SALsa-MErengue-RUMba) will play from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., with a DJ filling in between sets. And we're serious about those trousers: Scott Gertner's SkyBar has a strictly enforced dress code, focused mostly on getting you to leave your track suit at home. You really shouldn't let another week go by without checking out the SkyBar's panoramic view of every inch of the Loop. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. 3400 Montrose. For information, call 713-520-9688. $10 for men; free for ladies.

Friday, February 13

If you and your sweetie are thinking of adding some feathers to your love nest, today's Texas Home & Garden Show is the place for y'all. Reliant Center will be packed to the rafters with more than 1,500 exhibits of everything from air purification systems to mosquito control. The vacation and leisure industry will also be handsomely represented -- we suggest you pick up a few informative brochures, just in case either of you is moved by the homey atmosphere to pop that age-old question: Will you vacation with me? 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, February 14; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, February 15. Reliant Center, One Reliant Park. For information, call 832-667-1400 or visit www.texashomeandgarden.com. $8.50; free for kids.

Saturday, February 14

Happy Hallmark holiday, everybody. We can think of few things that say "romance" better than 1.5 million pounds of dirt -- especially when it's laid out in whoops, hairpins and tabletops, waiting for the roaring engines of Supercrossto tear-ass on by. You can experience the vicarious thrill of high-speed crotch-rocket action today from the relative safety and comfort of stadium seating. Riders will catch over three stories of air as they race each other to the checkered flag. Look for the winner to whip his machine sideways through the air at the finish line in the Supercross version of the end-zone dance. Buy your sweetheart a ticket to the loudest show on earth. If that ain't love, we don't know what is. 7 p.m. Reliant Stadium, One Reliant Park. For information, call 713-629-3700 or visit www.supercross.cc.com. $10 to $40.

Sunday, February 15

Put away your history textbooks: It's time for a pop quiz. On this date in 1898, the USS Maine was spontaneously decommissioned when she sank off the coast of Cuba. What war was she engaged in at the time? If you're scratching your head over that one, you might want to come out today to the Maine's sister ship -- the battleship Texas-- for a refresher course in American military history from 1776 to the present. At "Remember the MAINE," costumed interpreters will stage small arms demonstrations; mock encampments will show you how soldiers lived during wartime; and a memorial service for all who were lost in battle will be held on the bow of the ship at noon. Oh, and the Maine was lost during the Spanish-American War. Pencils down. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 3523 Highway 134 in La Porte. For information, call 281-479-2431 or visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us. $3 to $5.

Monday, February 16

Trust San Franciscans to take a simple thing like exotic dancing and politicize it. The famed arty SF peep show Lusty Lady wasn't treating its star attractions very well, despite the club's female ownership. So the dancers got together under the leadership of comedian, stripper and filmmaker Julia Query and got themselves unionized. Query filmed their struggle (along with several on-stage scenes from the dancer's perspective, which is a strange thing to watch for anyone who's never been in that particular spotlight). The result is the titillating labor documentary Live Nude Girls Unite!, which screens today and every Monday in February, courtesy of the Aurora Picture Show. 9 p.m. Dean's Credit Clothing, 316 Main. For information, call 713-868-2100 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org. $5.

Tuesday, February 17

Yao Ming will be the West's starting center in the NBA All-Star game on February 15, having narrowly edged out Shaquille O'Neal in popular voting for the honor. We hope Yao doesn't knock himself out while Shaq takes it easy riding the pine. Remember, Big Guy, it's only an exhibition game. Save something for the Washington Wizards vs. Houston Rockets matchup. And while we've got both Steve Francis and Yao turning out at the All-Star game on behalf of our fair city, the poor Wizards won't have a single representative there. Hey, Washington, it may be just a popularity contest, but we've still got ya beat. 7:30 p.m. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. For tickets, call 866-4HOUTIX or visit www.houstontoyotacenter.com. $10 to $140.

Wednesday, February 18

Perhaps you still suffer pangs of shame over that one library book you never quite managed to return. Those late fees really add up after a while, don't they? You can take comfort in the fact that there are library scofflaws far worse than you if you go see Underneath the Lintel today. The play follows a Dutch librarian's quest to discover who borrowed a book that was left in the overnight drop box, 113 years overdue. The one-man show turns an ordinary guy, just doing his job, into a detective and seeker of truths larger than anything that can be looked up at the reference desk. 7:30 p.m. today and Thursday, February 19; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, February 20 and 21. Main Street Theater, 4617 Montrose. For information, call 713-524-6706 or visit www.mainstreettheater.com. $15 to $30.

 
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