This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, August 27

For a fair-sized chunk of locals, Laclede's Landing and inebriation go together like vodka and orange juice. Good things come together at Club Nights on the Landing, when, for one Wednesday a month, attendance at happy hour at Lucky's, the Trainwreck, Fat Tuesday, Morgan Street Brewery or the Big Bang gets you free admission to any and all of these bars all night long. If you can't make it during happy hour, a $5-or-more purchase before 9 p.m. buys you a wristband at any of the bars, which gets you the same deal. Those who attend happy hour or buy the wristband are eligible for drink specials, too. Let the stagger-and-swagger begin! Visit www.lacledeslanding.com or call 314-241-5875 for more info.

Thursday, August 28

Life is all about timing -- you're either in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time. And you might not realize it, but everyone on the planet is in the right place at the right time, as far as planet Mars is concerned. Right now, Mars is the closest it's been to Earth in 60,000 years. Renowned astronomers like Galileo and Carl Sagan are dead, and yet here you are, living in a scientifically advanced culture, capable of eating cheeseburgers and viewing Mars with a clarity that no one in 600 centuries has experienced. You can photograph Mars with a cell phone while listening to an mp3 of "Astronomy Domine," and Tycho Brahe missed it! It's amazing timing, so take advantage of it. The St. Louis Science Center has a free Public Telescope Viewing tonight at Forest Park Archery Range (just west of the Planetarium) that starts at dusk. Call 314-289-4453 for information about cancellations (if the sky is overcast or the ground is soggy).

Friday, August 29

Montana artist Tracy Linder doesn't have time to worry about controversy -- she's too busy making art from dead animals. Check out her rib bones of horses, cows, antelope and sheep rubbed down with beeswax at Sustenance, an exhibit at UM-St. Louis' Gallery 210 (Lucas Hall, 8001 Natural Bridge Road). Opening with yesterday's artist's reception from 4:30-6:30 p.m., the show also features "animal collagen, beeswax, polyester resin and fiberglass cloth" joined in "sculptures that resemble farm implements," the UM-St. Louis flacks inform us. "Each sculpture is covered with a layer of horsehair, barley, nature grasses and dirt." Mmmm, roughage. The art, which gets right down into the organic nitty-gritty, remains on view through September 27. Visit www.umsl.edu/~gallery or call 314-516-5976 for more details. And make finger-paintings with your own blood!

Saturday, August 30Everybody believes they are a great driver, and everyone else on the road is an idiot. The Phil Wicks Driving Academy exists to prove you and every other overconfident driver wrong. Academy founder Phil Wicks is a former professional racer who believes that 99 percent of the people on the road don't know how to properly control their cars. In Wicks' three-stage instructional course, drivers learn the physics and mechanics of driving before they even get behind the wheel. This may sound a little too cerebral for the physical act of driving, but once you've learned the proper way to throw your Pacer into a controlled power slide, you'll understand how the mental aspect of driving figures into the "right pedal makes go, left pedal makes stop" equation. The Phil Wicks Driving Academy convenes at Gateway International Raceway (700 Raceway Boulevard, Sauget, Illinois) from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The course costs $275 for novices and $175 for intermediate level drivers (plus $25 for helmet rental), and, despite what you believe, you're probably a novice. Check out www.midwestdriver.com or call 314-330-6449 for more details.

Sunday, August 31What used to be known as the "Art Happening" at Queeny Park is now the Greater St. Louis Art Association Fall Festival of Art. Still in the Park's air-conditioned Greensfelder Recreation Complex (550 Weidman Road), this 27th annual juried Festival features works in oils, clay, glass, fiber, wood, jewelry, watercolors, sculpture, photography, mixed media, etc. by more than 130 artists. Browse through their booths and maybe take home something for the mantel, the lintel or the rumpus room. Shop to live music by Muny assistant musical director Diane Ceccarini on the keyboard, and buy food and drink with your crew, from 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday or 11 a.m.-5 p.m. today; admission is $5. Call 314-889-0433 or visit www.gslaa.com for more info.

Monday, September 1It ain't exactly the Gypsy Caravan, but the annual League of Women Voters Flea Market ain't chopped liver, neither. Stretching across the long parking lot behind the westernmost portion of the Delmar Loop (behind Cicero's, at 6691 Delmar Boulevard), the market features more than 100 vendors selling garden sculpture, furniture, baseball cards, girls' barrettes, toy cars and dusty basement finds of all varieties from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last year's Market also featured a booth or two from the kinds of organizations that our enlightened Missouri politicians often seem so happy to deny funding to: the free-condom providers. Eat latex, Puritans! And let's give props to the ladies of LWV, who are continually sponsoring panel discussions on how to fix social problems, debates between political candidates, awards for justice advocates and the like. Call 314-961-6869 for more info.

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