Thursday, August 18
New Orleans-via-California-via-Dallas songstress Kristy Krüger can pretty much do it all, and you can bet she has. She'd been studying and playing piano most of her life (and had even won an award from DownBeat magazine) when she turned her talents toward the singer-songwriter trade, where her training and experience set her well apart from the pack. She's just as likely to echo Chopin as Ani DiFranco. 8 p.m. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk. For information, call 713-528-5999 or visit www.mcgonigels.com. $10.
Friday, August 19
Hark! Do you hear that ear-splitting-yet-melodious caterwaul? That, faithful reader, is the unmistakable sound of us tooting merrily away at our own horn. Yo, the Press has been doing its thang all over H-Town for a full decade-and-a-half, and we're celebrating tonight with the pithily named "Houston Press 15th Anniversary Still Rolling With the Punches Party." The legendary Hollertronix boys will be handing out world-class beatdowns over the speakers, and the rest of you can show your gratitude to the flyest alt-weekly the world has ever seen by just, y'know, being there. Let us know you love us at 10 p.m. at Bayou Place, 534 Texas Street. For information, call 713-629-3700 or visit www.houstonpress.com. $15 to $25.
Saturday, August 20
Cosmopolitan just listed him as their favorite TV hunk. He made People's "Sexiest Man Alive" list. And he's good with a hammer. That's right, the dreamy Carter Oosterhouse is blowing up these days. The hunky carpenter and Trading Spaces cast member is slated to appear on the new NBC show Three Wishes, and today at the Houston Home Show, Oosterhouse will answer all your home-renovating questions (and possibly field a few marriage proposals) from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Home Show runs 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, August 19; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, August 21. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For tickets and information, call 713-529-1616 or visit www.houstonhomeshow.com. $8; free for those 12 and younger.
It's Saturday night. Time for the requisite dinner, drinks and movie. Luckily, local eatery t'afia, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Tasting Room have your night mapped out for you. At 5 p.m., sit down to an elegant wine-pairing dinner featuring libations from the Rosenthal Wine Merchant Collection at t'afia (3701 Travis, 713-524-6922). The folks there will comp your rail pass, so catch the Southbound to the MFAH (1001 Bissonnet, 713-639-7300) for the 7 p.m. premiere of Mondovino. Filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter, a sommelier by trade, created what's been called a "passionate and subversive" exploration into the world of modern wine production. He examines every aspect of the biz, from the peasant grape-pickers to the multinational conglomerates. (Call it Sideways on steroids.) After the flick, share your thoughts at 9:45 p.m. at a post-screening discussion and wine tasting at the Tasting Room in Midtown (114 Gray, 713-528-9463), where your movie pass scores you one free pour. For information, call 713-524-6922, ext. 3, or visit www.tafia.com. $75 per person; includes dinner, movie ticket, rail pass and wine tasting.
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Sunday, August 21
Do you enjoy having thousands (okay, millions) of people staring at you? Are you comfortable spending hours waving from an open car in freezing East Coast November weather? Do you have a talent that can be demonstrated and understood in 30 seconds or less? If your answer to any of these questions is an immediate "Heck, yes!" you might want to try out for this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in lovely New York City. Aspiring jive turkeys should apply online at www.campbroadway.com and then arrive no later than 1 p.m. Sunday, August 21, at the Theatre Under the Stars Studios at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 212-575-2929. Free.
Monday, August 22
Chicago-born, San Antonio-based artist Joan Fabian is full of energy, which is why her current exhibition at Art League Houston is entitled "Vital Surge." A cancer diagnosis and an eye-opening trip to Pakistan gave Fabian a new lease on life and art, and her vibrant, colorful abstract figures are a "challenge to ideals of beauty, normalcy and voyeuristic desire." Now that's what we're talking about. Get your peep on at Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose. For information, call 713-523-9530 or visit www.artleaguehouston.org. Free.
Tuesday, August 23
When the remains of "hobbit-sized" creatures were recently discovered on the island of Flores, Indonesia, the sci-fi/fantasy world went nuts. "Frodo lives!" popped up on Lord of the Rings fansites. Unfortunately for them, the species, Homo floresiensis, were three-foot hominins who managed to create tools and fire some 18,000 years ago, despite their relatively small brains. (So it's doubtful they spoke with English accents or bore any resemblance to Elijah Wood.) Today, Charles Hildebolt, Ph.D., a physical anthropologist at Washington University, discusses the little creatures in a lecture called "Hobbits of Flores." 6:30 p.m. Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle. For tickets and information, call 713-639-4629 or visit www.hmns.org. $12 to $15.
Wednesday, August 24
Isn't it just a little eerie the way corporate mascots worm their way into our shared consciousness? From Tony the Tiger to Mayor McCheese (never mind the Frito Bandito), these often animated, always nonexistent shills are nonetheless a part of us, man, a part of our culture, and none more than the Pillsbury Doughboy. The jolly little guy turns 40 years old this month and darned if he's not celebrating the big day at the NASA Space Center (your guess is as good as ours). This is your big chance to hang with the Doughboy-of-the-hour while stuffing your face with cakes and brownies, decorating your very own chef's hat, signing a giant birthday card and even having your picture taken with some poor fellow dressed up like the giggling whiter-than-white icon. Poke him in the belly from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. NASA Space Center, 2101 NASA Parkway, 281-244-2100. For information, visit www.pillsburybaking.com. Free with Space Center admission.