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Friday 23

How aerobics can make you feel better without lifting a finger: sponsor a participant in the Aerobathon Against AIDS, 7 PM at Jamnastics Exercise Center, 2700 N. Halsted. The two-hour workout is intended to raise $30,000 for the Howard Brown Medical Clinic and AIDS Acute Care at Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Participants--who must register in advance--pay $10 and receive a T-shirt; anyone can attend. To find out how to sponsor an aerobat, call 477-8400.

American white-supremacist groups, though temporarily stymied by a series of federal indictments, remain a frightening phenomenon, according to playwright SL Schultz and environmental artist Jane Berger. The two have teamed up to produce In Sight of the Cross, a multimedia presentation in three parts to be performed by the Quality Bridge Company, which graphically illustrates supremacist dogma and violence. The show opens at 8 tonight at the 2447 Performance Center, 2447 N. Ashland, and continues tomorrow and October 30 and 31. Admission is $7, $6 for students and seniors; call 384-8671 for more info.

Saturday 24

Though lace isn't rare or expensive enough to be smuggled from country to country anymore, as it was a few hundred years ago, it's still beautiful. From 10 to 4 today, members of the Chicago Area Lace Guild will demonstrate lace-making techniques, including bobbin-and-needle, tatting, knitting, and crocheting, and sell samples and instruction kits and books at their Fourth Annual Lace Day. The free event takes place at the LaSalle Street Church, 1136 N. LaSalle; details at 973-4237.

No hares need apply: the Green Door Tavern at 678 N. Orleans is holding its First Annual Turtle & Tortoise Race at 11 AM. Run, walk, or crawl to enter your land turtle or tortoise; entrants will be grouped by size, and prizes will be awarded. There's a one-greenback entry fee; call 664-5496 for details.

Marion Federal Prison in Illinois is the most maximum-security prison in the U.S., and the Committee to End the Marion Lockdown says some of its inmates--and some of the women at Lexington Prison in Kentucky--are political prisoners. The committee is one of the sponsors of the People's Tribunal to expose the crimes of the Marion and Lexington Control Units, in which the prison wardens, Edwin Meese, and the FBI will be tried for "crimes against humanity." The event begins at noon at the Wellington Avenue Church, 615 W. Wellington, and includes slide shows, videotapes, testimony from witnesses, and dinner, with the verdict delivered by 9:30 PM. A $1-$5 donation is requested; call 342-8023.

Sunday 25

You don't have to be a hunter to enjoy the artistry of decoy duck carvers, several of whom show off their craft today at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake Cook Road east of Edens in Glencoe. The craftsmen, members of the North Suburban Wood Carvers, will be working 1-4, accompanying exhibition of 51 original prints for federal hunting stamps. Admission is free, though parking costs $2 per car; the exhibition runs through November 29. 835-5440.

To find out how to attract real birds to your backyard without decoys, visit the Backyard Birding Symposium in the Cudahy Auditorium at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. You'll learn what sorts of plants and food appeal to our feathered friends. Admission is free; directions and more info at 790-4900.

Do textiles woven in independent Lithuania (before World War II) differ from those woven today? Find out at Lithuanian Textiles: Historical and Contemporary, an exhibit at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, 6500 S. Pulaski. The exhibition kicks off today at 2 PM with weaving demonstrations and a program of spinning and weaving songs by Lithuanian singer Aldona Stempuzis. Weaving classes will be held the next three Saturdays for $55. Admission to the museum is $2; the exhibit runs through November 14; call 582-6500 for more.

Monday 26

"Again and again we heard, 'You are our hope,'" wrote comedian Rob Riley of his July trip to Nicaragua. Inspired by the Nicaraguans' faith in U.S. citizens, a coalition of comedy troupes present a benefit tonight for Neighbor to Neighbor, an activist group campaigning for an end to U.S. aid to the contras. Entitled Serious Laughter, the tragicomedy features the Comedy Rangers, the Unnatural Acts, the Reification Company, Friends of the Zoo, Second City, and Second City ETC; it kicks off at 7:30 PM at Second City, 1616 N. Wells. Tickets are $25; $50 includes a preshow reception with cast members. More dirt at 772-7782.

Tuesday 27

Yes, it's a Battle of the Band but don't expect any mohawks, slam dancing, or deafening guitar solos, for it's a fund-raiser sponsored by the Chicago Senior Senate, which lobbies for the rights of senior citizens and the handicapped. Dip and sway to the rollicking polka sounds of 1987 Grammy Award winners Eddie Blazonczyk and the Versatones, or opt for mellower big band or banjo tunes. The rockin' goes on noon to 4:45 today through Thursday at Przybylo's House of the White Eagle, 6839 N. Milwaukee in Niles. The donation's $25, which includes dinner, the show, and dancing; reservations and details at 465-3005.

Tired of scouring the want ads? Thomas Camden, coauthor of How to Got a Job in Chicago, offers tips 12:15 today in Preston Bradley Hall at the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It's part of the library's "Speaking of Authors" series, and it's free; 269-2880.

Got a match? If the, personal ads havent brought you happiness, try Butch McGuire's Fifth Annual Matchmaking Festival and Dart Contest from about 6 to 10 tonight and tomorrow. Based on the Lisdoonvarna Bachelor Festival in the west of Ireland, the festival randomly pairs eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. The best couple wins a prize; the more star-crossed can vent their frustrations, we presume, in the dart tournament. There's a $1 entry fee for the matchmaking, $3 for the dart toss; proceeds go to the Young Irish Fellowship Club's scholarship fund. Butch's is at 20 W. Division, and the number for more info is 943-7795.

Wednesday 28

Chicago's position at the forefront of city planning, established in Daniel Burnham's day, takes a backseat to New York today, as TRUST's Chicago Council on Urban Affairs presents Cities Entering the 21st Century: The New York Plan. Robert Leitman, executive director of the New York Commission on the Year 2000, will discuss the commission's proposals on how to keep the Big Apple--and other cities--from decaying, at 5:45 PM at Marina 300, 300 N. State. Admission is $10, with cash bar and appetizers beginning at 5 PM; details at 782-3511.

The grislier side of Olde London--where the decapitated heads of criminals were placed on poles atop London Bridge as a warning to potential evildoers--will be on display for you morbid types at Clubland, 3145 N. Sheffield, where the annual Halloween celebration begins at 8 PM tonight. We're promised street urchins, a mad scientist's lab, and--gasp!--"deteriorating brick buildings"; a gallery of dead rock 'n' roll stars will lend a modern touch. Cover charge $5; more gory details at 248-7277.

Thursday 29

Abbie Hoffman is no stranger to controversy, but even his friends warned him against taking the stand prescribed in his new book. In Steal This Urine Test Hoffman's not promoting drug use, just questioning the government's right to test for it; and he condemns the drug scare as concealing a host of far more serious problems. He's appearing at Barbara's Bookstore, 1434 N. Wells, from 6 to 8 PM to promote Steal This Urine Test, which outlines legal ways to outwit the pee police. Call 642-5044 for details.

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