This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, June 12
The whole swing thing is going to die an ugly, protracted death. There's a group of people out there who refuse to pull the plug. Just think about all the time they've spent learning to toss each other in the air and scoot between each other's legs. Think of the wardrobes filled with white shoes and bowling shirts and twirly skirts. These folks are not gonna go quietly. They should be out in force at today's Swing Night at the Black Swan, lindy-hoppin' and jitterbuggin' the eve away. If you don't know how to cut a rug and want to visit the swing movement in the nursing home, there will be lessons at 8 p.m. Dancing starts at 9 p.m. No floor powder allowed. (Honestly, who carries that around?) The Black Swan, Omni Hotel, Four Riverway. For information, call 832-393-1274. Free, but dancers are asked to buy a couple of drinks.

Friday, June 13
If you're looking for some authentic entertainment, go see Geno Delafose today at the Continental Club. Born into a family of zydeco musicians, Delafose started performing with his father's band, the Eunice Playboys, at age seven. Now he splits his time between touring and operating his Double D Ranch outside Eunice in Louisiana bayou country. The accordionist, named best zydeco artist at the 2003 Big Easy Awards in New Orleans, is known for mixing traditional Creole tunes with old-fashioned waltzes, two-steps, blues and soul. And how's this for cred: Delafose still plays in the same Louisiana dancehalls and churches where he performed as a kid. 10 p.m. Continental Club, 3700 Main. For information, call 713-529-9899 or visit

Saturday, June 14
We know that not everyone has access to a powerboat. But that doesn't mean they're not fun to look at. If you can't join in today's Texas Offshore Performance Powerboat Squadron Poker Run, cheer on the boats and partygoers at one of their five stops in the Kemah Channel or in Galveston. At every point, they'll each be picking up one card for their poker hands. And at the end of the day, the boat with the best hand wins a pot of dough -- though TOPPS isn't willing to share how much that'll be. We do know that the organization will donate a portion of the proceeds to a very important cause: fireworks for the Clear Lake Fourth of July celebration. The poker run gets under way at 10 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel in Nassau Bay, 3000 NASA Road 1. For information and a full schedule, visit

Since people write books for money, respect and sex, it's hard to understand why someone would publish an anonymous Internet novel. Unless, of course, the author is Chinese, and the novel recounts a gay love story. Whoever wrote the book on which the film Lan Yu (Stanley Kwan, 2001) is based remains anonymous. The film recounts a love affair between a closeted, middle-aged Beijing bureaucrat and a young student who has recently arrived in the city. With a scene taking place the night of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the film explores both the personal and political aspects of sex and class in China. 9 p.m. Friday, June 13, through today. Rice Cinema, entrance no. 8 (off University Boulevard and Stockton Drive). For information, call 713-348-4882 or visit $5 to $6.

Sunday, June 15
A trip to AstroWorld may not be the perfect Father's Day gift, but you can bet the kids will be pleased. The theme park is hosting Un Día Padre -- A Hispanic Celebration today. The party features contests, grub and performances by local and regional musicians, including Los Tigrillos, known as the kings of cumbia norteña, and La Onda. It's a perfect way for old Pops to relax a little, by trooping around in the heat, waiting in lines and purchasing $75 ice cream cones. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Los Tigrillos perform at 6 p.m. 9001 Kirby Drive. For information, call 713-794-3295 or visit $24.99 to $39.99.

Monday, June 16
Kids get some of their first clues about sex by watching animals. They hear cats screaming at night, watch apes frantically spanking their monkeys at the zoo, and look on as their very own dogs lick their pink things. The education continues at the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Cockrell Butterfly Center. During a typical visit, 1,500 butterflies are flitting around the center, and the lovely insects are continually mounting each other to make sure more are manufactured. So have a lollipop ready to shove in your kid's mouth when he asks you why two butterflies are "stuck together." 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. One Hermann Circle Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit $3.50 to $5.

Tuesday, June 17
For whatever reason, it's important for the human spirit to be shoved against a vast expanse of water now and then. But unfortunately, our fair city is kinda lacking in the body-of-water department, especially for folks who aren't willing to drive outside the Loop. The lake at Hermann Park is by no means vast, but it could still rejuvenate a parched soul. Today, spend the afternoon riding paddle boats at the lake. You'll get a little exercise, some fresh (polluted) air and a bit of color in your cheeks. It's not Barton Springs, but it's a start. 1 p.m. to dusk Tuesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to dusk Saturdays and Sundays. The Hermann Park boathouse is located near the miniature train station and across from the main entrance of the Houston Zoo, 1513 North MacGregor. For information, call 713-524-5876 or visit $7 per half-hour for four people.

Wednesday, June 18
It's hard to know what to make of "Barter and Network," a monthly social event for women entrepreneurs and executives. Today's gathering includes a fashion show courtesy of a boutique called Images. On the one hand, businesswomen shouldn't have to put on a tough front and pretend clothes don't interest them -- that is, they shouldn't have to pretend to be men. On the other hand, there have got to be more substantial issues that this group of high-power ladies would want to discuss. Example: why women still aren't taken as seriously as men in the workplace. Make some professional contacts today from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Seven Lounge, 2000 Bagby. For information, call 713-942-0683 or visit $10.

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