Every driver in St. Louis has been stuck behind a bicyclist. Sure, it can be frustrating driving behind the cyclist; you might add a whole minute on your commute waiting to get around that lunatic. Weigh that minute against the cyclist's life -- is it worth risking her life so that you can get past her and resume your 35-mile-per-hour ride? Probably not. Think about that tonight when you see the Ride of Silence on the road. The annual event asks cyclists to ride through the city at no faster than twelve miles per hour and in total silence; the purpose is to raise everyone's awareness about road safety and to honor those cyclists who have been killed by motorists in the past year. Meet at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; visit www.bikemonth.com for info) at 7 p.m. if you want to ride. There's no charge.
Thursday, May 19
As you're sitting around watching King of the Hill or playing vidja games, something else is just sitting and collecting dust as well. No, we're not talking about that stack of books you keep meaning to read (though it's getting quite dusty, too) -- we're talking about your guitar. When you first bought it, your desire to learn how to play was strong: You bought lots of lessons, you practiced a little, and you even printed all the Smiths tabs the Internet offers. But then you realized that playing those six-strings was hard (and it kinda hurt your fingers). Well, maybe you should blame those dainty little fingertips for you not becoming the next Stanley Jordan -- you know, the jazz-and-more guitarist who will be wowing audiences at Finale Music & Dining (8025 Bonhomme Avenue, Clayton; 314-863-8631 or www.finale-stl.com) at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. tonight through Saturday night (May 19 through 21). Tickets to see Jordan cost $30 to $35 (at www.ticketmaster.com) -- but isn't that worth it to see a guy who can play two guitars at once, especially when you can't even play one?
Friday, May 20
If Bill Maher were a cat, he'd be on life number four right now. The comedian made a modest career out of his basic-cable talk show/roundtable discussion, Politically Incorrect, then he took it to network TV and bought into a heap of trouble when he made certain "indelicate" comments about the 9/11 terrorists (he said they weren't cowards). Maher refused to back down, and his show was cancelled, proving that he at least had the power of his convictions -- and also proving the truth of his show's name. Back on top with his new show, Real Time with Bill Maher, he still performs during the hiatus as a stand-up comedian. Catch him this evening at the Roberts Orpheum (416 North Ninth Street; 314-421-4400; $35 to $45) at 8 p.m. Maher's an interesting cat (a staunch animal-rights activist and a big fan of Hugh Hefner), he says interesting things, and he occasionally sidles up to that metaphorical edge and then jumps right over. That's a pretty good reputation to have as a comedian.
Saturday, May 21
What woman out there hasn't fallen for the bad boy -- you know, like Lelaina falling for Troy? You remember them: They're the characters Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke played in the so-silly-it's-awesome Reality Bites. Gosh, Troy makes ladies like Ms. Day swoon, what with his cover of the Violent Femmes' "Add It Up" and his sexy/tortured 'tude. And on top of all that, Troy totally seems like the kind of guy who bowls (hot!), and not because bowling's retro-cool, but because he's always bowled. Maybe you can meet a bad boy as "striking" as Ethan lurking in the shadows at the 9 p.m. Lucky Strike Lanes Grand-Opening Party at St. Louis Mills mall (5555 St. Louis Mills Boulevard, Hazelwood; 314-227-5322 or www.bowlluckystrike.com). While you're "dressed to impress," your future loverboy will be dressed like a tough guy who has nothing to prove. But he'll display his sensitive side at the party by donating $10 to the Young Zoo Friends -- and, as all the ladies know, there's nothing cuter than a man who loves animals! So here's hoping for strikes (and not strike-outs)!
Sunday, May 22
Anyone who knows Ms. Day is familiar with her first true love, the breakfast sandwich. She thinks that with choices as varied as Moons over My Hammy and the Egg McMuffin, everyone's favorite meal should be breakfast. So it only stands to reason that Ms. Day will be the first in line at the self-guided Riverbend Bed & Breakfast Tour happening today from 2 to 6 p.m. During that time she plans to scout out all of the beds in Alton, Grafton and Elsah, from which she will enjoy the sandwich of the gods. Ms. Day has her eye on the lovely sleeping quarters of the Beall Mansion in Alton, but she's pretty sure all of the eleven B&Bs on the tour will be plenty comfy for morning sandwich devotion. To join Ms. Day on the tour, you must purchase tickets ($12 to $15) at the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (200 Piasa Street, Alton, Illinois; 618-465-6676) or at a couple of other locations; for more information visit www.illinoisbedandbreakfasts.com.
Monday, May 23
Maybe for you Mondays are meeting days. Those interoffice conferences are good for catching up, but let's face it, sometimes these "synergy" sessions can drive you to a liquid lunch. Trust that Night & Day Global Industries understands -- we have meetings about our meetings -- and that's why N&D recommends you take MetroLink downtown for Lunch on the Landing (www.lacledeslanding.org). The capital "L" in "lunch" means that from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (through September 2) you can drink (and dine) outside at Hannegan's Restaurant & Pub, Jake's Steaks, Morgan Street Brewery and Joey B's on the Landing without worrying about any car traffic on Second Street (between Lucas and Morgan streets) -- very safe for your midday-multiple-marys shuffle. And remember: Since you have to go back to work after lunch (it is only Monday), it might be a good idea to wash down those drinks with some food.
Tuesday, May 24
Peter Falk is, for better or for worse, forever identified as television detective Columbo. But he's got more range than just a slow-talking, quick-witted dick. John Cassavetes coaxed a different sort of performance out of Falk in his film A Woman Under the Influence, screening at 8 p.m. at the Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487; $5 to $6) as part of the Webster Film Series. Falk plays Nick, a man whose wife, Mabel (Gena Rowlands), ebbs deeper and deeper into mental illness. As in most of Cassavetes' films, there is a flinty reality at work: This is no beautiful mind in need of a savior; this is the inexorable creep of life pulling people apart despite their best efforts. And while it's no walk in the park to watch it happen, there's a certain pleasure to be had in seeing the honesty and humanity of both Falk and Rowlands captured so eloquently.