So it's Wednesday, hump day. Since you're bored at work, beat the traffic and drop by Gallery Visio (in the Millennium Student Center) on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road). There, starting at 4 p.m. today, you can continue your Women's History Month celebrations with the opening reception for UMSL Women on the Move 2005. This free exhibit showcases artwork by the women of UMSL and artifacts chronicling the life of St. Louis-born feminist Emily Hahn, a prolific author who wrote several books and many pieces for The New Yorker during her lifetime. The opening reception runs until 7 p.m., and the exhibit remains up through April 7; call 314-516-7922 for more information.
Thursday, March 10
Keeping pets in the home is a tricky business. There's the love, companionship and genuine adorableness of the animal as constant rewards. Less talked about are the strange expectorations (often discovered by bare feet), the ruined furniture and that whole unpleasant business of picking up another creature's poop. And those are the common behaviors! What about paper-eating and the disassembly of computer keyboards? Where does that come from, and how can you deal with it? Dorene Olson, Certified Pet Dog Trainer, is here to reassure you that you're not alone in your confusion and exasperation. Olson discusses common pet behavior problems and solutions in a free Q&A session at 6:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Market (1601 South Brentwood Boulevard, Brentwood; 314-968-7744). You may never know what your cat is doing with all those stolen keys from your laptop, but you can take solace in the knowledge that other cats are creating the same mischief.
Friday, March 11
It's difficult to imagine a more perfect spring day than one spent strolling the mazelike streets of Venice, Italy. Throwing caution to the wind, tossing the map away and grabbing the hand of your significant other as you begin to explore a city like Venice can make you feel like you'll be happy forever -- and that frame of mind helps to create some beautiful and lasting memories. When you reminisce about such a romantic trip to such a wonderful place, you can't imagine that it truly was that beautiful -- you figure the scenes were improved by the weather, your rose-colored glasses and (sigh) your love. But then, you see photographs from Stewart D. Halperin's exhibit entitled True Colors: Venice in Winter, and you realize that even in winter, Venice is stunning. See for yourself tonight when the show opens with a reception from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Visions Five Gallery at NOTAA (465 North Taylor Avenue; 314-361-5105). The show remains up through April 17 and is free -- unlike the trip to Italy you'll probably want to take after seeing True Colors.
Saturday, March 12
All right, it's time for a self-indulgent confession of personal weakness: Mr. Night has a lazy eye. It doesn't bother him much, and he's still a sterling archer (thanks to years of practice), but when it comes to watching massed dancers, troubles arise. So many people whirling and dashing and leaping across the stage! Vertigo and a barely controlled motion-sickness are sure to follow. Margie Gillis: Dancing from the Inside Out shall cause no such problems, as the only dancer is the incomparable Margie Gillis. This Canadian artist is known for her inventive choreography and physically demanding performances, and she's not slowing down despite being 50 years young. Gillis presents a dazzling selection of her most challenging and iconic pieces at 8 p.m. at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue, University City; 314-534-1111). Tickets are $20 to $25.
Sunday, March 13
Should one have an orderly music collection or an orderly relationship? This particularly Teutonic question is the crux of Swiss novelist and radio host Christian Gasser's free performance at the German Culture Center (in the TeleCommunity Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus, 1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-6620). At 2 p.m. Gasser reads from his book, My First Sanyo: Confessions of a Pop Fanatic, and then plays the pop songs that inspired him in his writing. Over the course of the afternoon, which is billed as a "musical book-reading," Gasser approaches some sort of answer to his own question of prioritizing: Records or Love-life? For Mr. Night, who suffers from more than his fair share of angst, the answer is obvious. The satisfaction one gains from quickly finding a Melvins record is nothing compared to having a lady bake you cookies. Keep your love life in order and the cookies flow like water, friends.
Monday, March 14
We're not going to name names, but we know some people who played with Barbies up through high school. Only-children have a hard time understanding how this is possible (after all, talking to yourself can only be so much fun for so long), but alas, it was completely possible for our friends. But now that these Barbie-lovers have grown up, have real-life cars (although none are as cool as the old-school yellow Barbie convertible) and have real-life jobs, it seems like the links to Barbie would be diminishing. But no! Like our friends, Barbie has had many jobs! She works hard for her money, too! Learn about all of Barbie's many careers, and celebrate her birthday at 6:30 p.m. at Barbie and Beyond, a program at the Daniel Boone branch of the St. Louis County Library (300 Clarkson Road, Ellisville; call 636-227-9630 to register in advance for this free activity). And confidential to our grown-up Barbie-loving friends: This program is only for eight- to eleven-year-old kids. Sorry!
Tuesday, March 15
Comedian Sheryl Underwood has many credits to her name. She appeared in both Bulworth and I Got the Hook Up, has worked on cable and network television shows, and even won the Old English Woman's Comedy Crunch. Clearly, if you've worked with Warren Beatty, Master P and won a contest sponsored by a malt-liquor company, you have broad appeal. Underwood credits her success to her down-to-earth nature and her willingness to tackle "adult conversations" onstage. Of course, being damn funny doesn't hurt, either. Underwood performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Playhouse at West Port Plaza (635 West Port Plaza, I-270 and Page Avenue, Maryland Heights; 314-534-1111) on Tuesday and Wednesday (March 15 and 16). Tickets are $25 both nights.