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Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — Supreme justice included

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — Supreme justice included

News_Martini Madness_Sept. 2011_Aaron Howes_Kara Howes
A scene from "Martini Madness!" at the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts, where one martini glass is sure to speak to your sense of style. Aaron Howes , Kara Howes Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Sonia Sotomayor
The Progressive Forum is making history once again, this time with Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor. Photo by © Amber Kayo
Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Cerberus, dog, bread
Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Cerberus, 2012, from the series House/Hold, archival inkjet print, 22 by 16 inches, edition 3 of 3 Photo courtesy of the artists and DARKE gallery, Houston
News_Martini Madness_Sept. 2011_Aaron Howes_Kara Howes
Sonia Sotomayor
Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Cerberus, dog, bread

If it feels like end-of-the-year festivities are as far back in that past as, well, last year, then you are feeling the crunch of January taking off like a wild, lustful bull amid a field grazed by virgin cows.

Be sure to take care of yourself and balance work, life and play activities with this week's suggestions.

To make planning easier click on the links below each event to access a page where you'll find helpful functions, like the ability to download intel to your electronic calendar and learn about where to find food, beverages, shopping and a place to crash for the night nearby your final destination.

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft's Fifth Annual "Martini Madness!"

Perched on my desk is a whimsical, handcrafted martini glass resembling the roots of a tree that looks like it belongs on the set of Lord of the Rings. Many strong beverages were imbibed out of that vessel on one fun evening at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft a few years ago.

The "Martini Madness" party, think mid-century Mad Men-inspired attire, offers quite a spread of artisan martini glasses, made by local and national smiths, for you to enjoy and take home. Chaired by Marie Louise and David Kinder, this fifth annual cocktail affair includes lively music by the Jeremy Dorsey Trio, auctions and nibbles by Sorrel Urban Bistro and Macarons by June.

The deets: Thursday, 7 p.m.; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; tickets start at $150 for non-members, $125 for HCCC members.

Houston Center for Photography 2013 Print Auction Opening Reception

This week marks the start of a month-long build up to the Houston Center for Photography's Print Auction on Feb. 20 at the Junior League, where more than 80 images by such notables as Ansel Adams, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Geoff Winningham and Brett Weston will be up for grabs to the highest bidder.

The collection debuts at an opening reception at the Houston Center for Photography, where it will remain on view through Feb. 18, when MFAH's Anne Wilkes Tucker and Galveston Arts Center's Clint Willour lead an educational tour of the bounty. Can't be there? You can proxy bid online.

The deets: Friday, 6-8 p.m.; Houston Center for Photography; free event.

Asia Society Texas Center presents "Voices of the Spirit"

If Houston's notoriety as the most diverse city in the country sounds like a broken record, this Houston Arts Alliance's Folklife and Traditional Arts Program brings to life what seems academic on paper.

The performance focuses on the traditions of the Sufi, Sikh, Nigerian, Vietnamese and Hindu faith communities, with musicians and groups including Zubair Al Awadi, Bhai Bhupinder Singh Paras Ji and Bhai Charanjit Ji, the Saint Martin Vietnamese Catholic Choir, Melloh Rhythm and Kruthi and Keerthana Bhat.

The deets: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 3 p.m.; Asia Society Texas Center; free event, reservations are required.

Junior VolunTIRRs' Seventh Annual "Welcome TIRR the Jungle"

Go for the ambiance or go for the beneficiary, you can't lose either way. Find those wild-esque clothes and accessories from deep within the foliage of your closet and summon your inner safari for this young professionals party, one which supports the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research Foundation's Project Victory, a brain injury rehab program that serves active military and veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The deets: Saturday, 9 p.m.; House of Blues; tickets are $75.

Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center Dance Month 2013: "Mixed Bag"

Thirty-three years and counting. That's how long the Jewish Community Center has been presenting dance performances, workshops and classes to Houston audiences. "Mixed Bag" is the first performance of this year's festival and features a melange of choreography by Carver Dance Company, Exclamation Dance Company, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) and Vitacca Dance Project. 

The deets: Sunday, 3 p.m.; Jewish Community Center's Kaplan Theatre; tickets are $22, $16 for JCC members and $12 for students and seniors.

Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop walking dictionary Nancy Wozny's pick: Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor

Nancy says: "The Progressive Forum is making history once again, this time with Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor. This is the first appearance of a sitting Supreme Court Justice in an open, ticketed event in Houston. (You can watch retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on video).

"Sotomayor has a new memoir out, My Beloved World, which will be available at the event and at Blue Willow Bookshop. If you want to study up on the nation's first Hispanic appointed to the court you can watch 60 Minutes or listen to her on Morning Edition on NPR."

The deets: Jan. 22; Wortham Theater Center; tickets start at $14.