Golden Tee is a video game that's caused many fights (with players' neglected girlfriends) and injuries (to the players' hands, natch). But we suspect this perennial bar favorite won't be discussed during the "Gamers versus Blamers" Debate held at McKendree College (Melvin Price Convocation Center, 701 College Road in Lebanon, Illinois). Instead, attorney Jack Thompson (against violent games) and David Kushner, contributing editor to Spin magazine and believer that games are purely fantasy, duke it out (figuratively) over games like Grand Theft Auto. Give your cramped, deformed hands a break to attend the $2 discussion at 8 p.m. and see who wins. And visit www.mckendree.edu or call 618-537-6861 for more info.
Thursday, November 4
Sometimes life is hard. Boiling water -- that can be hard, too. And making coffee: Often that's nearly impossible pre-caffeine. What a Catch-22! Starbucks understands. But before you start guarding your wallet (we all know "bucks" isn't in the name for nothing), read on. The coffee giant at 1720 Clarkson Road (at the intersection of Clarkson and Baxter roads; 636-536-6695) offers a free Coffee Classroom from 5 to 7 p.m. that teaches the home-brewing basics. And there's an international coffee tasting for the same low price -- your mornings are already starting to look a lot smoother.
And if you think coffee's for wieners, visit the Concordia Turners Annual Wurstmarkt (6432 Gravois Avenue; 314-352-9388) from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. This $10 all-you-can-eat cornucopia of meats and all that's German offers bratwurst, liverwurst, bloodwurst and more. And just maybe the event serves coffee, too.
Friday, November 5
Did you notice the giant photo at the top of the page? Did it make you feel awkward and uncomfortable too, even as you giggled? That's the work of Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, a born-in-England, raised-in-India, living-in-America photographer who smashes together all of the cultural expectations of her various homes to create photographic interpretations of her life "as an Asian-Indian woman living in a Diaspora," according to her artist statement. The image is from her "Indian from India" portfolio, which is on display at Webster University's May Photography Gallery (8300 Big Bend Boulevard; 314-961-2660, extension 7673), along with selections from her "Bollywood Satirized" portfolio. The show opens with a 5 to 7 p.m. reception and remains up through November 26.
Saturday, November 6
MTV keeps crankin' out new batches of the original reality show, The Real World. More beautiful twentysomethings, more drunken parties, more screaming fights about...um...OK, we've never figured out what they're fighting about on that show. Free rent in stylish digs and a seemingly bottomless supply of booze would make us pretty laid-back (perhaps even comatose). If you've loved every single episode of every single The Real World series, then get to the Kastle (3207 Washington Avenue; 314-534-1571) so you can party with your good friends Cameran (San Diego season), Mike "The Miz" (Back to New York season) and MJ (the current Philadelphia bunch) at the MTV Real World Cast Party. Ladies get in free before 10 p.m. (everyone else pays $10), and you can ask all these shiny almost-celebrities the questions you've been dying to ask. MJ won't spill the beans on his season, because it's still unfolding on-air. He obviously survives the experience, though; of that you can be sure.
Sunday, November 7
Beer-can collecting seems to be one of those hobbies that fell out of fashion back in the '70s, like CB radios or home perms. But the Ninth Annual Collinsville Beer Can and Breweriana Show at the Gateway Convention Center (Highway 157 and I-70 in Collinsville, Illinois; 618-345-8998) should put the kibosh on that theory. After all, this is St. Louis (or at least Collinsville, which is pretty close): We may not have invented beer, but we sure popularized it. And Collinsville is just a quick chug away from Belleville, ancestral home of Stag, which Mr. Night is fond of proclaiming as the only beer that tastes as good going down as coming up. But we digress. The Breweriana show is your chance to buy old memorabilia (why don't they call it "memorabeeria"?) such as cans, bottles, glassware, trays and, of course, tap knobs. Admission is $2 for adults (but kids get in free), and the show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., which leaves plenty of time to try out your new glasses when you get home.
Monday, November 8
Wine bars are all the fashion these days, but sometimes these vintage pourers can have wildly futuristic prices. Nik's Wine Bar and Bistro (307 Belt Avenue; 314-454-0403 or www.nikswinebar.com) takes all the fanciness, including the high prices, down a notch every Monday night. All glasses of wine are $5; all appetizers under $10 are $5. Translation: You can have more than half a bottle of pinot noir and the portobello-mushroom-and-garlic hummus, all for $20. Or maybe you would rather enjoy a chardonnay with your spinach-and-artichoke dip (which is no chain-restaurant knockoff -- it's divine). The bar is open from 5 p.m. to midnight tonight: plenty of time to enjoy some food and make it home in time to get a good night's sleep for the rest of your week. It's only Monday, but you survived.
Tuesday, November 9
Other than Tom Wolfe and the late Oscar Wilde, writers are sartorially deficient. They all dress like grad students who woke up late for that 1 p.m. Freshman Comp section they should never have agreed to teach. But Wil Haygood seems to want to shake that trend. He's not only a staff writer for the Style section of the Washington Post, he also authored a book on the ever-snappily dressed Sammy Davis Jr. (the highly regarded In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr. ). So you can be sure that Mr. Haygood will look good while he's reading from his works at the Anheuser-Busch Hall on Washington University's campus (Forsyth and Skinker boulevards; 314-935-5576) at 8 p.m. as part of the free "The Smart Set" reading series. In this instance only, perhaps they should change the name to "The Smartly Dressed Set."