Getting Kinky

The Friedman-of-all-trades whips out a new book

SAT 10/9

For someone who projects such an air of tequila-drenched laid-backness, Kinky Friedman is one hell of a multitasker. The cigar-and-Hawaiian-shirt lover and cult singer-songwriter has written such sensitive, postfeminist numbers as "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed" and the deeply spiritual "They Don't Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore." Add to that résumé Texas Monthly columnist, animal rescue ranch founder, record label executive and coffee and salsa entrepreneur, and you'd think he wouldn't have time to also be a best-selling mystery novelist (counting both Slick Willie andDubya as readers). On this trip to Houston, the Kinkster will be talking about and signing two nonfiction works; one's a memoir about politics and his friendships with famous musicians, 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out, and the other is the Austin travel guide The Great Psychedelic Armadillo. And he's also written the foreword for a book about Willie Nelson...who, by the way, starred in a Kinky mystery novel as himself (are you following all of this?).

Oh, and add one more enchilada to Friedman's non-kosher plate: He's running for governor of the state of Texas in 2006. Seriously. According to his Web site, his platform includes a promise to legalize casino gambling and abolish political correctness. "It's just not the Texas way," he quips. "And the other guy has the experience, that's why I'm running." But come on, no one with absolutely no political experience could be elected governor of Texas, right? Right? 6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 9. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit www.murderbooks.com. Free. -- Bob Ruggiero

Greek Out

THU 10/7

If you call yourself Greek, you better know a little something about Greek culture. Yo, frat boys, we're talking to you. You can learn about your organization's cultural roots -- and hit on hot Mediterranean Catholic girls -- at the annual Greek Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The celebration features Greek music and dance performances, but the main attraction, of course, is the food. Lovingly prepared by authentic olive oil-doused Greek hands, a $10 dinner plate gets you tough-to-say-but-great-to-eat pastitsio, tiropita, spanakopita, keftedes and a side salad. Leave room for dessert and some baklava, and you may get a gold medal for gluttony. Thursday, October 7, through October 10. 3511 Yoakum. For hours and information, call 713-522-4273 or visit www.greekfestival.org. $3. -- Bob Ruggiero

Film Fantastico

FRI 10/8

With so many political pseudo-documentaries on the American market, it seems like the country has finally caught up with the rest of the world. For decades, Spanish-language movie producers have thrust a sharp stick in the eye of corrupt politicos. This year's Latin American Film Festival, spread out over three venues -- the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Rice Cinema and Talento Bilingue de Houston -- will show several examples of the genre, including Colombian director Catalina Villar's Welcome to Colombia, about the 2002 presidential election, and Medellin Notebooks, a poignant look at the effect of drug cartel oppression on the city's youth. But the series also features less serious offerings, notably Speeder Kills, about an experimental filmmaker on the lam in Texas who tries to make a documentary about a Chicano punk band. The festival runs from Friday, October 8, through October 24. For showtimes and locations, call 713-639-3700 or visit www.mfah.org. $5 to $6. -- Greg Barr

Righteous Waves

Catch some saintly swells in Noah's Arc

THU 10/7

If you've ever encountered a group of surfers at the beach, you've no doubt heard their "pray for a wave" mantra, which has become as cliché as their thumb-index-pinkie hand signal. But these days, some dudes are taking the phrase literally. Groups of God-fearing surfers are popping up all over the country as part of the Christian Surfers ministry, which aims to spread the word of God through -- you guessed it -- riding waves. The local chapter is hosting a screening of the Christian Surfers' calling card: Noah's Arc, a documentary that follows seven surfers who give their lives to the Lord and catch some crazy waves in the process. "It's not cheesy footage," says Jay Blackburn, who leads the Galveston chapter. "It's good stuff, with surfers reaching out to other surfers." Awww. 8 p.m. Thursday, October 7. Clear Creek Community Church, 999 North FM 270 in League City. For information, call 281-338-5433 or visit www.clearcreek.org. Free. -- Steven Devadanam

Deconstructed Art

SAT 10/9

These days, downtown Houston is mostly one color: construction-zone orange. Instead of yielding to pesky plastic cones, however, the folks at the Bayou City Art Festival have transformed them into "construction cone sculptures." Such is the fairy-godmother-like magic of the festival, which this weekend descends on Sam Houston Park and surrounding downtown streets. Hundreds of local, national and international artists will display their talents as part of a juried exhibition. The event also features live singing, dancing and performance art as well as an interactive art area for children. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10. For information, call 713-521-0133 or visit www.bayoucityartfestival.com. $8 for adults; free for children 12 and under. -- Julia Ramey

 
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