Thursday, January 6
This first week of January can be depressing. No, it's not the farewell to Christmas and the holidays that gets to us. It's the fact that we've already crapped out on the "resolutions" we made just five days ago. Today, kiss your best intentions good-bye. Then go chill out like the slacker you are at Caffeine Thursday at Taft Street Coffee. At this all-ages show, local guest DJs spin nu-jazz, downtempo, broken-beat, hip-hop, drum 'n' bass, bhangra and more. The vibe here is way low-key --there's no dress code, cover charge or pretension -- though there is a solid rotation of young turntable talent. 7 p.m. 2115 Taft. For information, visit call 713-522-3533 or visit www.taftstreetcoffee.com. Free.
Friday, January 7
If all that caffeine is still coursing through your veins today, unleash it at Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre. This weekend's program, dubbed "Tirkedu Houston," features Israeli dancer Yaron Ben Simchon, who's best known for the dance BeLev Kaved. Today's event includes a dinner followed by casual Israeli folk dancing, and Saturday's features a dance party. Jewish dance classes run all month. 7:30 p.m. today. For full schedule, tickets and information, call 713-551-7255 or visit www.jcchouston.org. Admission starts at $15.
Saturday, January 8
Still up for some culture and cardio? Take a stroll in the Heights today as the local collective Artists At Large present the Heights First Saturday art crawl. Ten artists will display their work at area businesses, and there will be an interior painting seminar, a live mural painting and even a "Hickory Hollow Happy Hour." If you're not up for walking, hop on board the Historic Trolley Tour, which will shuttle you through the historic corners of the Heights from noon to 4 p.m. You can catch the artists in action from noon to 3 p.m. beginning at 210 West 21st Street. For information, call 713-802-1213 or visit www.HeightsFirstSaturday.com. Free.
Sunday, January 9
Ladies, here's a cold, hard truth that you must accept: Men aren't into weddings. Yes, you may have spent your childhood dreaming of that magical day -- the dress, the teary-eyed guests and the nine-foot cake. But at that age, we guys were dreaming of buying beer without being carded, being a rock star and nailing that cheerleader who sat next to us in science class. However, now that we're older, we will concede to the wedding thing -- if you do the dirty work. Get started at this weekend's Bridal Extravaganza. This mall of matrimony boasts more than 550 companies and some 900 display showcases of everything to make your wedding day as magical as your 14-year-old fantasies. As you sign up for various giveaways and freebies, five different fashion shows will present the hottest new looks for the 2005 bride. Should you get overwhelmed with all the options, buck up and remember: Your lifelong reign over your man begins here. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, call 281-370-7777 or visit www.bridalextravaganzashow.com. $9.
Monday, January 10
Yeah, you're a riot at all the parties. And sure, someday you'll ditch your lousy nine-to-five and take the comedy world by storm. But unless you're a natural Jim Carrey, you'll have to polish your chops first. The chuckleheads at the Invisible Bus are offering a series of "Improv to Sketch" classes to anyone who'll pay. You'll learn the basics of good improv, and, at the end of the course, you'll stage a show based on skits you've created. The class is designed for beginners, so go even if you don't plan to be the next Wayne Brady. Yuk it up from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Houston Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway, suite 431. For prices, schedule and registration, call 713-376-2727 or visit www.invisiblebus.com.
Tuesday, January 11
We wouldn't blame some psychics for being cranky lately, what with Oprah protégé Dr. Phil calling them out on a recent episode. "Thu-yese pee-pull are crooks," he drawled, inspiring us with his keen observation that someone who predicts your future from a call center might not be legit. But maybe you want to see what the zodiac has in store for you. Or maybe you're psychic. Either way, you can join astrologer Nan Hall Linke, who'll be enlightening audiences with a lecture designed to shed some light on the stars. (But you already knew that, didn't you?) Learn the sign language from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Spectrum Center, 4615 Post Oak Place, suite 100. For information, visit call 713-520-1551 or e-mail email@example.com. $25, pre-registration recommended.
Wednesday, January 12
It's hard enough for musical acts to make it these days without being dissed by the very folks who once piloted their bandwagon. Case in point: Jimmy Eat World. Are they emo? Hell no, say certain sites, blogs and 'zines, pooh-poohing their "commercial" sound. Are they "quality" pop? Maybe now, says Rolling Stone, which claims the band has been "hiding" its pop prowess for ten years. Whatev. The foursome -- Jim Adkins, Zach Lind, Tom Linton and Rick Burch -- have charmed listeners with gems like "Lucky Denver Mint," which made it onto Drew Barrymore's Never Been Kissed soundtrack in 1999. And they deserve cred for finally standing up for the Jan Bradys of the world in their ultracatchy hit "The Middle," which scored huge on the pop/alternative charts and featured a highly requested video of sexy teens dancing in their undies at a house party. Screw the pundits and jam with Jimmy at 8 p.m. Numbers, 300 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-6551 or visit www.numbersnightclub.com. $18.50 in advance; $20 at the door.