This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, September 1
If you've ever marveled at how bizarre your dog looks when you don't have your contacts in, you'll appreciate how everyday objects are rendered alien in the new exhibit "Strangely Familiar" at DeSantos Gallery. Photographer Clay Harmon views his work as an exploration of camera technology as much as a depiction of whatever he happens to be focusing on. He took these pictures with a wide variety of different cameras, from traditional to high-tech to cheapo plastic models, giving voice to a staggering range of visual vocab. Exhibit runs through October 1. 1724-A Richmond. For information, call 713-520-1200 or visit www.desantosgallery.com. Free.

Friday, September 2
Jaded club-hoppers weary of the ubiquitous '80s revival, take heart: It's time to get you some '90s revival! Believe it or not, Anything Box is playing at 1415 Bar & Grille tonight, and let's just say that at this point in the New Jersey trio's career, "Living in Oblivion" (c'mon, you know you used to sing along in high school: "I am so afraaaaaid"") is more than just the title of their biggest hit. But seriously, folks, this "reunion" is not just your average, transparent bid to cash in on the nostalgia of aging dance-music fans. Oh, wait, yes, it is. Regardless, you can check out the band before it fades into oblivion at 11 p.m. 1415 California. For tickets, call 713-522-7066 or visit www.1415barandgrille.com. $15 to $20.

Saturday, September 3
Jeff Dunham is proof that you can be a big-time stand-up comic just by having your hand up someone's ass. The ventriloquist has garnered a bloodhound-loyal following with his puppet characters Peanut, Walter and Jose Jalapeño, who is, by the way, "On a steek." Now he's hitting the road with two new characters: Sweet Daddy Dee, who drops street slang and wears some mad ice, and Bubba J, a bucktoothed, NASCAR-worshiping yokel. (Boy, we can see the conflict already!) But Dunham's no dummy. His puppet work was recently featured on 60 Minutes II, where he was interviewed by Candace Bergen, whose radio star/puppeteer dad, Edgar, was Dunham's role model. With this new cred, could it be long before Dunham's pulling strings in Hollywood? Find out when he visits town at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, September 1; 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. today and Friday, September 2; and 8 p.m. Sunday, September 4. The Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway, suite 431. For tickets, call 713-333-8800 or visit www.improv.com. $20.

The everyday world is a little weirder in Clay Harmon's 
"Strangely Familiar." See Thursday.
Clay Harmon
The everyday world is a little weirder in Clay Harmon's "Strangely Familiar." See Thursday.

To those of you who make slacking a full-time job, right on! And for those of you who need a break from your "employment," well, you've got options -- especially if you're hitting Stewart Beach in Galveston this Labor Day weekend. Start off with the Ocean Potion Labor Day Classic Beach Volleyball Tournament (games begin at 8:30 a.m. today) then grab a blanket, towel or your car for the drive-in movie on Stewart Beach (9 p.m. today), where you'll be treated to a screening of Grease. The athletics continue with the 2005 Sandball Masters Tour, a handball tournament featuring U.S. and international men's, women's and coed teams that runs today through Monday. Of course, you could make a sport of drinking a lot of beer and passing out face-first in the sand, but we'll let you decide. For information, prices and a schedule of events, call 888-425-4753 or visit www.galveston.com.

Sunday, September 4
If the idea of fender-to-fender traffic on I-45 South doesn't seem appealing, stay in town and head to today's Ginger Man Labor Day Celebration. It's a straightforward shindig: tunes from Two Timin' Three and lotsa beer (167 offerings, to be exact). Wake up late, grab some grub, then join the West U locals, Rice kids and assorted Inner Loopers around 1 p.m. 5607 Morningside. For information, call 713-526-2770 or visit www.gingermanpub.com. Free.

Monday, September 5
Ah, Labor Day. Today, you can ditch the fluorescent lights and the walls of your cube and enjoy the great outdoors at the Japhet Jump-up. The event raises funds and awareness for Japhet Creek, a tributary to Buffalo Bayou that's been a trash dump for years. Head to the Clinton Rice Mills (near the Fifth Ward) and catch live tunes from headliner Redeye Carl & the Pirates, along with KP Trio, Ben and Rosalee, the Benny Brasket Band and the Hightailers. Or just stroll along the creek with your honey and plot how best to call in sick tomorrow. 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. 4601 Clinton Drive. For information, call 713-480-6303 or visit www.houstonsustainability.net/japhet.html. $5.

Maybe a day of sun, music and jumpin' up just ain't enough to help you unwind from your workweek. To the rescue come the various yoga studios and centers of greater Houston, Sugar Land and Galveston, who're teaming up for Free Yoga Day. Whether you're a guru or a newbie, today you can stop by your friendly neighborhood yoga center for a free lesson. Find your inner focus and peace with yoga disciplines including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Viniyoga or Kundalini, or just see how flexible you are (heh-heh). Hey, how else are you gonna cope with returning to the office in the morning? For a schedule and a full list of classes, call 713-668-2292 or visit www.freedayofyoga.com.

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