This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, October 9
If the hassle of decorating a new house is what's keeping you in your shabby old place, then today, come out and browse the Pink Ribbon House. The Houston Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers has seen to it that this 5,200-square-foot stucco-and-stone home in West University is stunningly appointed in the latest styles. Should you decide that this is the house for you, you can take pride in knowing that a portion of the $1,285,000 sticker price will benefit the Breast Care Center at Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital in Houston. The price of admission also benefits breast cancer research, so you can still get a good feeling, even if you only want to tour the house looking for ideas. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 5:30 p.m. Sundays through October 26. 3311 Amherst. For information and tickets, call 713-798-3352 or visit $15; $12 in advance.

Friday, October 10
Filmmakers take their sweet time putting a movie together. They spend months scouting locations, writing scripts, casting, shooting and editing. It's endless. If you think you've got the talent to make a movie, but you just don't have that kind of time, then the Countdown Cinema Contest may be the opportunity you've been looking for. Moviemaking teams will show up at the Angelika Film Center Cafe today for a random drawing to determine their film's genre. They'll also get a prop that must be included in their short (five to 12 minute) films. The drawings keep teams honest: No creative work can begin prior to the selection. Then participants have just two days and three nights to complete their masterpieces of modern cinema. The movies will be shown on the big screen at the Angelika on Monday and Tuesday, October 13 and 14, with an awards ceremony on Tuesday. Kickoff meeting: today at 8 p.m. 510 Texas. For information, call 404-321-4949 or visit $25; free for high school and college students.

Saturday, October 11
Do you long for the bygone days of Hair and Oh! Calcutta!, when seeing a musical meant you could see some skin too? The third Houston production of Naked Boys Singing makes no, er, bones about what you'll see on the stage. The boys spend 90 percent of their 90 minutes under the klieg lights without a stitch on, and the other 10 percent doffing skimpy costumes. Oh, yeah, and they sing, too. The producers wish to remind you that this is a professional, Broadway-style musical revue, and not a Chippendale's show. On the plus side, this means you can leave your stack of $1 bills at home. But you'll also have to stay in your seat and keep your hands to yourself. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through December 1. The Venue, 4040 Milam, suite 390. For information and tickets, call 713-426-2626 or visit $20 to $35.

Sunday, October 12
Open-air flea markets dot the landscape of most major cities, but not Houston. We could blame this, as we blame everything, on the inhospitable weather, and on our citizenry's aversion to stepping outside air-conditioned environments, except to get to and from their cars. But we forget that there are a few glorious weeks at the end of the year when the out-of-doors isn't so bad. Magda Sayeg has not forgotten: She's brought 20 local craftspeople together to show and sell their handmade items at an outdoor Craft Market behind Mixture Gallery. That's right near all the antique markets and some of the coffee shops on Westheimer, so you can make an outdoor day of it. All the crafters will be on hand to talk about their clothing, handbags, jewelry, silk-screened shirts and other items (knitted wrist cuffs, anyone?). In case of rain (or hail, or frogs), the market will move inside the gallery. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every other Sunday through December. 1709 Westheimer. For information, call 832-483-9144. Free.

Monday, October 13
As the history books tell it, Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain looking for a new route to the East and stumbled onto the New World instead. Land was first sighted from the crow's nest of the Pinta on October 12, 1492. Here in the New World, we fudge the date to the next available Monday and -- voilà -- the banks are closed, there's no mail and the kids are off from school for Columbus Day. The young and the curious can learn about the reason for the season by chatting with Christopher Columbus at the Children's Museum of Houston. He'll be taking questions and showing kids how to build replicas of his famous armada, while you enjoy a little R&R. 11 a.m. to noon, and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. 1500 Binz. For information, call 713-522-1138. $5.

Tuesday, October 14
Warning: High concept ahead. New Zealander Julian Dashper has seen art all over the world. But instead of buying gift-shop postcards as souvenirs, Dashper makes recordings of the ambient noise near the art -- including one of the hush at our very own Rothko Chapel. He takes these recordings and presses them on clear vinyl LPs with blue labels, then he slips them into white paper sleeves. His Unique Records are on display this month at the Texas Gallery, where they can be seen, but not heard. They hang on the wall, and you're invited to purchase one for yourself (at $1,500 each, you probably won't want to send it for a spin on the turntable). The work is a critical comment on art events and collectibles. If this leaves you feeling flummoxed, or if you'd like the chance to say out loud, "Yes, but is it art?" then come to the opening. Dashper will be on hand to explain the work himself. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 2021 Peden. For information, call 713-524-1593 or visit Free.

Wednesday, October 15
The media is filled with the terminology of the new age of biotechnology: stem cells, cord blood, cloning, fat genes"mutant corn and tomatoes? Separate the science from the sci-fi at "The Living Genome: Reading the Book of Life," on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. If your understanding of DNA stops with the flip-chart lectures at the O.J. Simpson trial, or even before, check out the exhibit's extensive, plain-language explanations of the building blocks of life. You'll be way ahead the next time blood or semen is being analyzed on the six o'clock news. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. One Hermann Circle Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit $6; $3.50 for kids.

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