This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, February 20

Sometimes nothing will satisfy like a smoky piece of flesh. If you're hankering to tear into some succulent brisket, ribs or chicken, head to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. The pros will be dishing up mounds of meat and competing for prizes in several categories, the most prestigious of which must be the "cleanest team area" award. While you're chomping down, check out live music at the Ford Hideout by Mark Winston Kirk (9 p.m. today), Honeybrowne (9 p.m. Friday) and Darrell McCall (9 p.m. Saturday). The barbecue contest runs 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. today; noon to 11 p.m. Friday, February 21; and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, February 22. Reliant Center, 8334 Fannin. For information, call 832-667-1000 or visit $6 admission includes barbecue plate and entrance into the carnival; free for children five and under.

Friday, February 21

Are you horny, single or an accountant? If just one of these descriptions applies to you, then you'll be welcome at the Friday happy hour meeting of the Horny Single Accountants. Of course, that wouldn't make you too special; the club is hardly selective. A married person could join, as long as she was either horny or an accountant, or an unhorny person could join, as long as she was single or an accountant. The evening could be ruined by hordes of cheating, frigid people! Of course, a hairdresser or a teacher could also join, as long as she was horny or single, and that seems like a plus. 5 p.m. Fridays at Ninfa's Uptown Park, 1650 Post Oak Boulevard, 713-623-6060. For information, e-mail [email protected]. Free.

If, rather than becoming entangled with a horny accountant, you'd prefer to watch other folks get entangled, head to Houston Community College's production of If Beds Could Talk. You'll be privy to the games people play while reclining together. As couples verbally volley back and forth, the bed serves as referee and sometime peacemaker. How convenient. If only all beds could talk"On second thought, scratch that. This show is an "adult drama," so if you're under 18, fuhgeddaboutit. 8 p.m. Thursday, February 20, through Saturday, February 22. 2:30 p.m. Sunday, February 23. Theatre One, 3517 Austin. For information and reservations, call 713-718-6570. $5.

Saturday, February 22

Step out to see the Houston Rockets Black History Step Show this afternoon, and step into seats for tonight's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Community and fraternity groups will be stepping, stomping and competing for some serious cash -- and the opportunity to perform at the game. These stakes ought to make rival steppers sweat harder than the pro ballers -- especially since tonight's game should be a slam dunk, as it were, for the Rockets. But since the Grizzlies have a piss-poor record, the Rockets will no doubt play down to them. That may not speak well of our home team, but it could make the game more exciting. Competition: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rockets game: 6 p.m. Compaq Center, 10 East Greenway Plaza. For information, call 713-513-8321. $13 to $25.

Sunday, February 23

Louis Farrakhan has never been one to shy from controversy, having at various times in his career called Judaism a "gutter religion"; Hitler a "great man"; and himself "America's worst nightmare." But in recent times, the Nation of Islam leader (and Million Man March organizer) has toned it down, even making overtures toward Jewish groups. Today, in his annual Saviors' Day address, which will be shown via satellite at Texas Southern University, Farrakhan will discuss his antiwar stance. In the speech's promotional materials, Farrakhan calls sanctions against Iraq "unjust." It's not surprising that the Bush administration hasn't taken the minister up on his offer to help reach out to Muslim leaders in the Arab world. Hear what Farrakhan has to say at 2 p.m. today (doors open at noon) at the Texas Southern University Health and Physical Education Arena, located at the corner of Ennis and Blodgett streets. For information, call 713-741-2747 or visit $10.

Monday, February 24

Wouldn't it suck if you wrote a magnificent screenplay, only to have it rejected because it smelled like a fart? According to Leslie V. Holland, who works for Clear Channel Communications and was a script analyst for MGM, if you want to get your screenplay made into a movie, you'll have to think about things like its odor. Holland has got a whole list of ways to impress your script reader, and she's sharing them in the Women in Film and Television program "Getting Your Script to the Screen." If your screenplay is bad, you should definitely attend. It's a lot easier to spray perfume on the thing than to rewrite it. Mixer: 6 p.m. Program: 7 p.m. Champps Americana, 1121 Uptown Park Boulevard. For information, call 713-788-8075 or visit $10.

Tuesday, February 25

Jo Zider has been obsessed with the deaths of the Challenger astronauts since the 1986 tragedy. In her studio, working with clay day in and day out, she absently started sculpting bones. Soon, she had piles of them, and she later realized that she imagined them to be the astronauts' bones, which were never found. Now, she's created a sculpture installation at the Art League of Houston called "Bone Palace Banquet," which consists of 20 steel tables engraved with the artist's writings and set with bowls of bones. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, through March 5. The artist speaks at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 22. 1953 Montrose. For information, call 713-523-9530 or visit

Wednesday, February 26

It's official. Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say has come into its own. The evidence: Chicano filmmaker Ray Santiesteban's documentary Texas Voices, about Latino poets in Texas. The film highlights Nuestra Palabra, chronicling the group's Tuesday radio show along with the achievements of its founder, author Tony Diaz. The movie's timing coincides not only with Nuestra Palabra's fifth anniversary but also with the appointment of the first full-time Hispanic faculty member, Ruben Martinez, to the University of Houston's creative writing department. "It's nice when we get a hint that maybe what we're doing isn't in vain," says Diaz. Catch the film's premiere today at 7 p.m. at Talento Bilingue Houston, 333 South Jensen. Diaz, Santiesteban and Martinez will speak at the event. For information, call 713-867-8943 or visit $5; $3 for students.

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