Junk Bond
Junk Bond
Courtesy of Finesilver Gallery

Junk Bond

TUE 1/4

They say a rich man's trash is a poor man's treasure. Leonardo Drew has spun this proverb on its head: His assemblages of trash, rust and found objects are coveted by the likes of the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and, yes, wealthy collectors around the world. The San Antonio-based Finesilver Gallery has some of the sculptor's newest pieces at its temporary Houston space. Most of Drew's works are large-scale (many take up the full height of the wall), but they're quite minimalist. He typically assembles his collection of refuse into a collagelike relief. Recently, Drew has turned to casting found objects in paper, and two of the displayed pieces demonstrate this technique.

The beauty of his work is unexpected and strange -- who knew decay could be pretty? -- but even the rustiest of his art is earthy and attractive, if tetanus-inducing. Finesilver Gallery is closed for the holidays but reopens at 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 4. Through January 30. 5230 Center. For information, visit www.finesilver.com. Free. -- Julia Ramey

Happy New Age

See how your future will fare at CenterPoint

SAT 1/1

Wondering if you'll finally get that raise in 2005? Will you ever get rid of that pain in your shoulder? Search out answers for the body and mind at the Psychic Fair/Health Expo sponsored by CenterPoint, the local holistic education center. In addition to readings from "pre-screened" psychics (at $20 each), vendors in reflexology, Reiki, homeopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, palmistry, numerology, astrology and more will be on hand. "We have regular MDs who come because their patients are telling them they don't want to take all these drugs and want alternative medicine instead," says CenterPoint's Jenny Grier. Wonder if they'll also investigate alternative waiting-room magazine selections. Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, January 1. 1920 Hollister. For information, call 713-932-7224 or visit www.centerpointhouston.com. Free. -- Bob Ruggiero


Santa Meets Satan

It was a simple plan: Grab the cat, throw a costume on him and navigate through a mall on the eve of Christmas Eve for a picture with Santa.

The payoff? The mall was sure to be full of attractive women who would just melt at the sight of a Christmas kitty. Yep, Bongo would be my draw. My wingman -- er, wingcat -- as it were.

Of course, I couldn't find a cat-size Santa outfit. And the only mall doing pet pics was West Oaks -- not my first or even fifth choice. But it was two days before Christmas, and I needed a Santa.

We found ourselves at West Oaks' "Winter Wonderland" amid screaming kids, coddling parents and six-foot snowmen. Little girls in mini-prom dresses begged Santa for a pony. A middle-aged woman wearing a plaid Scottish beret posed with her two dachshunds, both in matching Scottish berets cocked to the sides of their heads. "Why on earth do people dress like their pets?" I asked the woman standing next to me. She pointed out that my turtleneck was the same color as Bongo's costume and turned away.

Finally, we were up. Santa gave me a dirty look as I handed him Bongo, who was wearing devil horns, the only costume I could muster.

"Umm, Santa, meet Satan," I offered pathetically. He replied with a gruff "hmmm."Click.

Then, finally, it happened. "Oh, my gawd, that's the cutest thing I've ever seen!" I turned to find Michelle, an attractive blond shopper. "Michelle," I said, "meet Satan." She cuddled Bongo, who kicked in some flirtatious purring. She was in love. My plan had worked.

As I fumbled for a pen, I looked up to find the tall Michelle showing off Bongo to her even taller boyfriend. Then it hit me: Never trust Satan at Christmas. -- Steven Devadanam

Take A Bite

FRI 12/31

Of course we think it's a great New Year's Eve party -- since the Houston Press is co-hosting it -- but last year more than 2,000 people agreed. The Race Car Club's Big Apple Ball will take place in what's certainly the fanciest room in the city, the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Lofts. And when you factor in Molly & the Ringwalds, the Butterfli Diva Dancers, the Shape Shifters and DJs Sun and Melodic, then we'd say we have every right to boast. A late-night Mexican breakfast will help you soak up the spirits, which start flowing freely at 9 p.m. Friday, December 31. 909 Texas. For information and tickets, call 832-615-3177 or visit www.racecarclub.com. $75 to $95. --Julia Ramey

Earplugs Not Included

FRI 12/31

We spend most of the year telling kids, in varied volumes and four-letter words, to keep it down. But today, your rugrats can go nuts at an end-of-the-year bash at the Children's Museum of Houston. Little ones start the countdown by making a "countdown hat" for their own birthdays in 2005. Then they'll create New Year's paper horns, kazoos, hats and other decorations for a parade led by a 14-year-old Canadian bagpiper, all to prepare for the countdown to noon. (Midnight, obviously would be out of the question.) The "fun" starts at 9 a.m. Friday, December 31. 1500 Binz. For information, call 713-522-1138 or visit www.cmhouston.org. $5. -- Steven Devadanam


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