Here I go telling you what to do this week, because being bossy is something that comes naturally to me. Though I am in a far away land enjoying a respite from the daily rigors of journalism, I didn't want to leave you without your guide to getting the most out of Houston.
On tap are deadly gatherings, a drag race, spooky classical musicians, a costume party, a Canadian angry chanteuse, Madonna's nemesis and survivors in contemporary dance.
Try clicking on the link below each event. You'll be redirected to a page with helpful features like information on what's around your final destination. If you get the urge to shop, drink, eat or need a place to crash for the night, I have your back.
25th Annual Día de los Muertos Day of the Dead Gala & Retablo Silent Auction
For a party about the dead, it's one of the liveliest and colorful bashes/fundrasiers in Houston, and Lawndale Art Center's biggest shindig of the year. Veiling the white walls of the contemporary museum are some 300 works by local artists, crafted on 8 by 10-inch sheets of metal. The retablos pay homage to the tradition of south-of-the-border devotional art.
It's a mad rush for the tins when Lawndale releases them to the public. And this silent auction is just as rowdy with food and drinks in the company of the quirky personalities who always morph Lawndale into a party hot spot.
Divas of Deréon Drag Contest
Imagine my surprise when I walked into the bathroom of my undergrad dorm to find a most fabulous, stunning woman applying mascara and curling her hair. Turns out it was Helena of Troy, aka Ryan with cleavage, preparing to sashay down to the local gay club to rock the stage and make some cash.
This dude was an even more beautiful woman, and I presume that the glamorous coterie of queens at this Miss Diva of Deréon 2012 competition will be over-the-top with ladies who just happens to have an Adam's apple. Better yet, proceeds from the event benefit charities like AIDS Foundation Houston and Bering Omega Community Services.
Responsible for picking the winner are Erica Rose, Travis Cal, Edward Sanchez and Joy Sewing.
WindSync Halloween Concert "The Ghost of Mozart"
The boy band with girls and YouTube celebs who happen to play classical instruments are it again. This time, they summon the spirit of Amadeus for this Halloween-themed musicale. I am told that each member of the wind quintet will get into characters portrayed in Mozart operatic arias.
How can you miss that? Especially after the group recently won the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. That's a big deal. Also on the playbill are works by Paul Hindemith and David Maslanka.
"The Bash - A Halloween Happening" benefiting Easter Seals Greater Houston
No costume. Don't bother showing up. Absolutely no exceptions. That's the strict policy of "The Bash - A Halloween Happening," benefiting Easter Seals Greater Houston. Let loose with chairs Newie and Dr. Mark Brinker at this yearly fete, with music by Skyrocket and The Smithereens, food, an open bar and a costume contest.
The Canadian in me can't help want to check out Alanis Morissette, eh? It's true that her newest release, Havoc and Bright Lights, is more introspective and spiritual than her previous angry, bitchy, self-righteous, I-am-better-than-my-ex-beau lesbian-esque tunes.
My fav album is still Jagged Little Pill, which contains "You Oughta Know," "Hand in My Pocket" and "Ironic," and "Uninvited" from the film City of Angels. Perhaps Morissette will channel a bit of the past in with the present songs? I hope so.
Staff writer and fearless Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Ghostland Observatory in concert
Whitney says: "Madonna ain't the only act in town this week that warrants two-nights-in-a-row performances: Ghostland Observatory, the Austin-based synth-funk-electro-dance duo, will take over Warehouse Live on Thursday and Friday night for what has become an annual pair of pre-Halloween dance parties. You won't want to miss it."
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop dance maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Regifting Lions by Lynn Lane, Catalina Molnari and Toni Valle
Nancy says: "It's always exciting when strong dance minds come together to see a project through, and that is exactly what happened with Regifting Lions, a new dance exploring the essence of survivors by Lynn Lane, Catalina Molnari and Toni Valle.
"A deeply personal work, Regifting Lions draws from stories of surviving addiction, cancer and other traumas. Don't expect it to be easy, but do expect it to be moving."