Selected Events for the Week of November 3

THU 3

Owing to Hurricane Wilma, stuff is a mess, stress is high, and nothing is stable, so you should probably call to verify the status of all calendar listings. We found a few Night & Day picks for you, but we're also offering some special in-the-dark and "snow day" activities for you to enjoy. Have a drink and a smoke, and take time to look at stars, play some cards, and not worry about e-mail. Just chill.

The ambient light went dark. Streetlights extinguished. Darkness from the edge of town to the center of the city. That's when you noticed. Look, up in the sky — flashing, fluttering diamonds of light. No need to drive out to the Everglades or huddle into the Planetarium. Naked-eye astronomy is just fine right from the back yard, and, as one astronomer admits, "Viewing with the human eye is the most sensitive way to record features of planets. The human eye and brain readily detect subtle patterns of light, shade, and color." Hey, there are the five points of Cassiopeia directly overhead. Native Americans believe that the changing of the leaves in autumn (up north) is related to Ursa Major (the Great Bear). All summer three warriors chased a malicious bear across the sky. By fall the bad bear grew tired and was wounded by an arrow. The bear's blood painted the forests red. Of course, the bear and its burden return in the spring to continue the chase. But no, the bear's name wasn't Wilma. (GB)

FRI 4

So what does a $5.2 million bailout buy? Apparently not even a name change, as the Miami Beach City Commission recently learned. However, it will subsidize the season's first presentation from The Miami City Ballet. As many of the performances have done in the past, the three-day run features two pieces by artistic director Edward Villella's mentor George Balanchine. Balanchine's dynamic Donizetti Variations is set to music from the famous composer's opera Don Sebastian. The early classic Prodigal Son with music by Prokofiev was first performed by Villella back in the Sixties. Also included is the unusually named Quick-Step: Unspeakable Jazz Must Go!, an original from Villella that incorporates music from Jazz Age greats such as Duke Ellington. At least the troupe is still performing on the Beach side of the Bay at the Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The prancing begins at 8:00 tonight and tomorrow, 2:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $20 to $92.50. Call 305-673-7300, or visit www.miamicityballet.org. — Margaret Griffis

SAT 5

Their eyes give away deep desires for the comforting love of a family, the security of routine, and an audience of sincere listeners to encourage their dreams. "The Waiting: Faces of Hope 2005" is a beautiful collection of profound portraits of Miami-Dade County children awaiting adoption. The nonprofit groups Fotomission and Kids Hope United have partnered to present the art of 10 Miami photographers and the hope of 40 amazing children who just need love. The exhibit returns to the Miami Children's Museum (980 MacArthur Cswy., Miami) today with a reception at 2:00 and runs through November 17. Call 305-373-KIDS, or visit www.fotomission.org. (LO)

SUN 6

Do you experience excessive sweating or heart palpitations at the sight of Pinocchio? Have you felt anxiety or been struck by the inability to think clearly when Triumph the Insult Comic Dog appears on Late Night with Conan OBrien? If so, you might be suffering from pupaphobia, or the fear of puppets, and probably should not attend the Pop-In with Puppets family fun day at the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami). Or you can pull some strings and face your fears today from 1:00 to 4:00. Children and their families can attend workshops presented by the Puppet Guild of South Florida, create a few googly-eye masterpieces, and play an "Art Detective Game," with clues hidden in Pablo Cano's fabulous marionette exhibit. Admission is free for children under twelve; adults are free with paid MoCA admission (five dollars). Registration is required. Call 305-893-6211, or visit www.mocanomi.org. (LO)

MON 7

The World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, celebrity poker, online poker, pari-mutuel poker — America has entered the age of stud, draw, hold 'em, Omaha, hi-lo.... This might not be the best time to organize a big game, and watching others play via the tube is probably out, considering the lack of electricity and cable in many homes. But a deck of cards and something to use for chips (pennies, matches, potato chips) are surely within reach. The hours fly by when you're shuffling up and dealing. In the absence of TV and computers and so forth, families are actually functioning, finding things to do together, communicating. Take the opportunity to teach your children (or husband or whomever) the finer points of pairs, trips, gut-shot straights, full boats.... By the time you get to stone bluffs and tells, the power will be on and you can crawl back into your isolation while the kids play with their PS2s. (GB)

TUE 8

No power. Two-mile-long gas lines. People who blatantly disrespect the four-way stop rule. If things in South Florida have been stressing you out, relax. Take a deep breath and learn from the Shaolin masters of chill. Enter The Zen Mind: Life in a Zen Monastery, a film by award-winning documentarian Jon Braeley. He goes behind the scenes at a Japanese zendo to film novice monks struggling to attain inner peace and enlightenment. Braeley's film provides incredible visual contrast, from the bustling streets of downtown Tokyo to the enviable serenity of mountaintop temples. Learn everything Zen tonight at 8:00, with a screening followed by an informative discussion at the MIAMIntelligence Center, 2000 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami. Tickets cost ten dollars. Call 305-860-2499, or visit www.miamintelligence.com. (PEGY)

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