Thursday, June 30
Whatever your devious little mind may have planned for today, we think it should include dinner (as hedonism is always more enjoyable on a full stomach). And while you're pondering the "where to eat" question, keep in mind that a host of local restaurants will be taking care of you and the needy with Corks and Forks. The program (formerly known as Houston Restaurant Week) features some of H-town's best spots, all of which will be donating proceeds from your dining dollars to the Houston Food Bank. Participants include Backstreet Cafe, benjy's, Denis' Seafood House, Diedrich Coffee, Ibiza Wine Bar & Restaurant, Julia's Bistro, Kiran's, Morgan's Steakhouse, the Rainbow Lodge, Red Lion Pub, Rickshaw Far East Bistro, Ruggles Grill, Shade and Zin. Program runs through July 9. For a full list of participating restaurants, call 713-547-8636 or visit www.corksandforkshouston.org.
Friday, July 1
Junior high girls have been practicing origami for decades, what with those little intricately folded notes they pass to each other in history class, complete with the "pull" tab. But that's not a great example of the art form, which is believed to have arrived in Japan by way of China some 2,000 years ago. Starting today, the Heights-area shop Tansu will celebrate the craft with an Origami Festival. The event features some of Houston's best origami artists, who'll show off works including dragons and hyperbolic parabolas. The artists also will offer demonstrations and workshops, where you can learn to fold butterflies, frogs and balls (oh, my!). Opening reception from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 2. Festival runs through July 10. 321-B West 19th Street. For information, call 713-880-5100 or visit www.tansustyle.com. Demonstrations are free; $15 for workshops.
Saturday, July 2
File this musical event under "other": Today, Rudyard's will be the site of the first live gig by the local art collective I Love You Baby -- who'll be sharing the stage with J.W. Americana -- for what may go down as one of the oddest musical gigs, um, ever. The eight ILYB performers will enclose the stage with a large vinyl billboard cover, making a box. The only way you'll be able to see said performers cranking out their "Swedish punk and polka," as Rodney Elliot of J.W. Americana and ILYB describes it, is through holes that they'll cut into the vinyl. Of course, your vision may be impaired by all the smoke and bubbles inside, not to mention the "big-ass hot white lights," says Elliot. At some point Elliot will emerge from the box through a sort of slit, wearing a fluorescent, 1980s women's ski jumpsuit and a cowboy hardhat. "It just looks tremendously stupid," he says of the ensemble (no, really?). After a quick solo performance, Elliot will hop back in the box, and ILYB and J.W. Americana will crank out raucous rock numbers on "drums, keyboards, banjo, violin and all sorts of other electronic bullshit," says Elliot. Um...Show starts at 10 p.m. 2010 Waugh Drive. For tickets, call 713-521-0521. $8.
Sunday, July 3
This week encompasses both the Fourth of July and Canada Day, so why not some love for the islands, too? Life gets totally irie this week with Houston CaribFest. Today brings a Caribbean carnivalboasting a parade of costumed bands from places like Houston, New York City, Miami, the Virgin Islands, Belize and, natch, Jamaica. Check out live music and comedy acts, arts and crafts, games for the kids and plenty o' Caribbean food (mmm...jerk chicken). 1 p.m. today at Tom Bass Park, 80288 South Beltway 8. Festival events run from June 30 through July 4. For information and a full schedule, call 866-227-8395 or visit www.houstoncaribfest.com. $10; free for kids ten and under.
Monday, July 4
It generally takes something really bright, like, say, several tons of fireworks exploding at once, to get the murky waters of Galveston Bay to sparkle. True, there'll be no shortage of fireworks shows in H-town, but why stay here when you can get a beachside dose of Americana watching fireworks in Galveston? The sprawling spectacle will stretch from one end of the seawall to the other, offering a good seat just about anywhere you can park your car or butt. We're sure your heart will swell with patriotic pride as the red, white and blue bursts reflect off the brown ocean water, broken glass and dead jellyfish. The big bang starts at 9:15 p.m. The action will be centered around Seawall Boulevard at 37th Street. For information, call 1-888-425-4753 or visit www.galveston.com. Free.
Tuesday, July 5
We had high hopes for Astros manager Phil Garnerat the beginning of the season. By now, we'd expect him to be spittin' chaw, scratchin' his package and trying to manage his way into second place in our division. But somehow our team's new youth movement showed more youth than movement, and now we're already talking about next year. Anyway, at the moment Garner has a little more free time on his hands, and he'll spend some of it today with Michael Lewisat a signing of Lewis's new sports tome, Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life. The book is a tribute to Billy Fitzgerald, who coached Lewis's high school baseball team in New Orleans and played in the minor leagues with Garner. The pair will share thoughts on Fitzgerald and the book at noon. Brown Auditorium Theater, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org. Free with museum admission.