This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Forces of Nature (above), cocktails and salsa dancing await you at Mixers, Elixirs & IMAX. See Friday.

Thursday, August 4
The Exorcist?
Child's play. The Blair Witch Project? A stroll in the woods. Those so-called scary flicks haven't shaken you, horror fan. No, you're just waiting for your big break, when you unleash your hellish screenplay and movie. Take a stab with the Silver Screams Film Festival's "Little Shorts of Horror." Organizers are looking for the best short screenplays (60 pages or fewer) and films (30 minutes or less). Ten winning films will be screened alongside classic horror films at the annual Silver Screams Film Festival in October. This is the final week for submissions, so it's not too late to create your masterpiece. (Seriously, how long could it have taken to pen Chucky?) Deadline for screenplay and film submissions is August 31. For information, call 713-647-7709 or visit $30 entry fee.

Friday, August 5
You heard it here first: Hipsters hang at museums, and you can join them at the Houston Museum of Natural Science for Mixers, Elixirs & IMAX. Each week, a different live musical act serenades the crowd between screenings of various IMAX films. Today, you can sip cocktails and shake your ass under the dinosaur exhibits to Molly & the Ringwalds. The IMAX screenings start at 7 p.m. with Everest, followed by Forces of Nature at 8 p.m. and Blue Planet at 9 p.m. The screenings close at 10 p.m. with Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey. Word has it that more than 1,000 folks are hitting the museum's halls weekly to mingle and jump in on the impromptu dance classes that sprout up. The party runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays through August 26. One Hermann Circle Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit $10 for members; $12 for nonmembers; $20 per couple.

Saturday, August 6
Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons may be on to something: Life would be much easier if we were all superheroes. That's the premise of Robin Epstein and Renée Kaplan's hip new tome, Shaking Her Assets, which is one part chick lit, one part graphic novel. The story's heroine, Rachel Chambers, is a copywriter who gets mercilessly kicked to the curb by her boss and boyfriend. But things start looking up for Rachel when Zach, a co-worker at her temp job, creates a comic-book superhero based on her misadventures. Marilyn Manizer is a hot-blooded (and just plain hot) superheroine with steel resolve -- and a steel bra. Meet Epstein and Kaplan at 3 p.m. Borders, 9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands, 832-585-0051; and 3 p.m. Sunday, August 7, at Borders, 3025 Kirby, 713-524-0200. Free.

If you were born between July 23 and August 22, then according to the stars, you're a Leo. Astrological charts describe the lion sign as grand, confident and generous, though you tend to be egocentric. Today, there's a party for you overbearing bastards, dubbed The Leo Bash at G.R.A.B. Party promoters Suma, Henry D. and Trae Browne are buying all Leos one free birthday shot. Meanwhile, DJs Suma, Simiyu, Mr. E, Lotus and Miss Madd Maria will spin a fresh mix of hip-hop, reggae and dancehall, jungle breaks, house and funk. Hopefully that, plus the $2 drink specials, should appease you grandiose lions. 10 p.m. 809 Pierce. For information, call 713-655-0707. Free.

Upcoming Events

Sunday, August 7
Often considered the country's premier African-American opera house, the Houston Ebony Opera Guild has a long history of creative spins on perhaps the hardest-to-get-your-brain-around genre. Today, the group presents its annual Opera Gems, which features arias, duets and choruses from a wide-ranging selection of works such as Carmen, La forza del destino, Macbeth, La Gioconda, Cavalleria rusticana, Of Mice and Men and more. Watch for soloist Kenneth Gayle, who's a member of the wildly popular Three Mo' Tenors. 4 p.m. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2400. $20 to $50.

Monday, August 8
She has unveiled such titles as "Rawhide," "Stripped" and "Naked Vision." And while they may sound like soft-core porn flicks, Amy Meyers is actually pushing visual art. Now she's unveiling "Body Language," where local artists will put their spin on the dating phenomenon known as The Player. "The Player knows how to read a person's body language to perfection," says Meyers, who's inviting folks to her studio for their own lesson on body language and, maybe, a chance to "get lucky." Amy, behave! Exhibit runs through August 29. 234 West Gray. For information, call 713-520-1085 or visit Free.

Tuesday, August 9
If you just haven't scoped quite enough bodies, hang with all the swingers today at the Darque Tan Charity Golf Tournament. Darque Tan models in baby tees and Hawaiian Tropic ladies in grass skirts will strut around the course, hand out beer and prizes, snap photos with players and stand at each hole -- which should be pretty damn distracting for putters trying to make birdie. Your registration fee includes lunch, dinner, drinks and all the brew you can down. Proceeds go to Camp for All, a camp for kids with chronic illnesses. Registration starts at 10:30 a.m.; tournament begins at 1 p.m. Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club, 9595 South Fry Road, Katy. For information, call 713-699-9858 or visit $150 per player.

Wednesday, August 10
Between getting lucky at art shows and cavorting with Darque Tan models and Hawaiian Tropic gals, your week is off to a pretty good start. Today, to toast hump day (pun intended) and the end of summer, the hipsters at Boys and Girls Club are throwing the Back to School No Pants Party. Last year's party was straight-up scandalous, what with all the scantily clad young things strutting around. "There was a lot of garter belts and fishnets on the ladies," organizer Bobby Lane fondly recalls. Lose your pants and hang in the hot tub, check out erotic burlesque performer Angela Ryan -- and work on your pickup lines. "Underwear and alcohol makes for a good introduction," says Lane. Damn, why didn't we think of that? 10 p.m. 1415 Bar & Grille, 1415 California. For tickets and information, call 713-522-7066. $5 for those 21 and up; $7 for ages 20 and under.

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