You've unfastened so many buttons that you're legally undressed. The football has gotten boring, and your drunken uncle is starting his "gays in the military" talk. It's time to bail. Smooch Mom good-bye and head out to the Continental Club to see the Handsomes. These days, the only people more, er, handsome than the local quartet are its fans. The quartet is composed of law students -- which might explain the Ally McBeal look-alikes who show up at their gigs. Or maybe it's their crowd-pleasing pop/ska/party sound that gets people really shaking. The guys recently nabbed the Press's Best Pop/Rock Music Award and are working on a new album, so provided they don't get all famous and spend Thanksgiving partying with strippers in a Vegas hot tub, this is bound to become a local holiday tradition. The Myrna Sanders band (featuring Press scribe Greg Barr) opens for the Handsome boys at 8 p.m. 3700 Main. For information, call 713-529-9899 or visit www.continentalclub.com.
Friday, November 26
In case you hadn't noticed from the nonstop commercials, today is the busiest shopping day of the year. We're not quite sure when and where it all started, but we're pretty sure most folks hit the mall because they feel it's the thing to do (this despite the traffic jams and crowds). The folks at Adbusters, however, want you to fight the power. On National Buy Nothing Day, they hope you, um, buy nothing. That's right, stay home. Mow the lawn. Call the folks. Skip work and take a day trip (just don't buy any food or gas, either). Need help resisting the sensual seductress that is consumerism? Visit www.adbusters.org for information.
Or, if you can't control your reckless spending, plunk down some cash and watch UT and A&M battle it out for football bragging rights at the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. If you're a UH or Rice grad, there are few things more fun than watching intoxicated, out-of-shape Aggie and Longhorn fans scream at each other, the television screen, then at each other again. Several spots, like Buffalo Wild Wings, will welcome the orange- and maroon-clad hordes who were too lazy to make the trip to Austin. The shit-talking begins at 2:30 p.m. For information and locations, visit www.buffalowildwings.com. Free.
Saturday, November 27
Radical Encuentro, a group of grassroots organizers and activists, concerns itself with issues such as Zapatismo, the death penalty, public art and dancing. In short, the group teaches folks how to be good, law-stretching, booty-shaking leftists. The organization is throwing a fund-raiser dance today to help finance future events, so if you're up for shaking your ass while you fight global tyranny, throw on any old costume and meet the resistance at 9 p.m. Bill Hicks Resurrection Lab, 2915 Delafield at Old Spanish Trail. For information, visit www.radicalencuentro.org. Donations requested.
Sunday, November 28
Make the most of a coastal winter at the Festival of Lights, Moody Gardens' million-light menagerie that draws in more than 60,000 people each year. Local bands and choirs will perform holiday tunes (today, it's the Rob Erickson duo) as you watch the sunset and the lights reflecting off the shimmering water. And should you tire of staring at a compound that's lit up brighter than a suburbanite's front yard, strap on some skates and shimmy down the Moody Gardens open ice rink. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from November 25 through December 12, and daily from December 16 through January 2. One Hope Boulevard in Galveston. For information, call 800-582-4673 or visit www.moodygardens.org. $4.95; free for children three and under.
Monday, November 29
Last week, Bond -- the British (and scandalously hot) female quartet -- brought their poppy/classical mix to Jones Hall. Now another hot rising classical star, Leila Josefowicz, takes the same stage. Like the ladies of Bond, Josefowicz is young, sexy and could easily be labeled as a pretty face. But unlike Bond, she's resisted the obvious sexy marketing campaigns. The native Canadian, who's now in her mid-twenties, has serious chops; she debuted at Carnegie Hall when she was only 16, paving her way to numerous future large-orchestra performances. Her credits even include a CD titled Violin for Anne Rice, produced for -- you guessed it -- Anne Rice, who's a fan. Though Josefowicz is known for an eclectic, upbeat interpretation of the classics, she's a sucker for the masters. "I like the way the old guys play," she once said. (Note to creepy old guys: She was talking about composers.) 8 p.m. 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. $21 to $90.
Tuesday, November 30
Anytime now, you'll be blitzed with holiday cards featuring your friends' pets in ridiculous poses and outfits. Get your revenge today when you grab Rover, Fluffy -- heck, everyone besides your pet lizard (apparently Christmas isn't for reptiles) -- and head to the Nordstrom wing of the Galleria for Santa Paws. Your pooch, kitty, rabbit or other furry friend (or exceedingly hairy cousin) can feast on pet treats and pose for holiday portraits with Santa Paws. Keep your dog from pooing on Santa from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nordstrom mall entrance, 5192 Hidalgo. For information, call 713-434-5538 or visit www.houstonhumane.org. Free.
Wednesday, December 1
Radar the Weather Dog? Online predators targeting your babies? Endless titty bar stories that magically show up during sweeps month? We know what you're thinking: What in hell is going on with television news? Get the scoop today at "Producing Houston Television," a panel discussion featuring producers from every major TV news operation in the city. These folks will give you an in-depth, firsthand perspective on how some of the segments you love (or loathe) are crafted, created and pushed. Reservations are strongly recommended, so arrive early and find out if Radar is high-maintenance off-camera at 6 p.m. Holiday Inn Select at Greenway Plaza, 2712 Southwest Freeway. For information, call 713-838-8170 or e-mail email@example.com. $10 in advance; $15 at the door.