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AUGUST

13 FRIDAY

Equestrians aged 16 to 21 will face off this weekend at the 2004 North American Young Riders Championships, at north-suburban Tempel Farms. Riders from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean will put their steeds through the same paces required at the Olympic games, and Tempel's free manual, A Spectator's Guide to Olympic Dressage, will make it all intelligible. The public's invited to watch from 8 to 4 today through Sunday, August 15, at the farms, 17000 Wadsworth Road in Wadsworth (near Gurnee Mills Mall). Tickets are $7 for a one-day pass, $18 for all three days. See www.youngriders.org or call 847-623-7272.

Who would've thought that the creator of a misanthropic Santa impersonator, an egg-hatching elephant, and a cat in a hat could achieve artistic immortality? The touring retrospective The Art of Dr. Seuss uses advertising art, magazine covers from the 20s and 30s, and drawings for animated military training films to document Theodor Seuss Geisel's rise from editorial cartoonist to beloved author and artist. It opens today at Atlas Galleries, 535 N. Michigan in Chicago, and runs through September 6. The gallery's open Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 9 PM, Saturday from 10 to 6, and Sunday from 11 to 5; a portion of the exhibit moves to the gallery's 900 N. Michigan location on August 16. Admission is free; call 312-329-9330.

Today's events at Wizard World Chicago--a three-day extravaganza celebrating comics, gaming, anime, and other geek pursuits--include a panel on marketing your own comic, an intro to selling on eBay, and instruction on how to draw women. There'll also be auctions, signings, and exhibits. Guests include Buffy and Angel creator Joss Whedon, filmmaker Kevin Smith, and Superman and Batman artist Jim Lee, plus such where-are-they-now stars as Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and Gil Gerard and Erin Gray (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century). Hours are 10 AM to 6 PM today and Saturday and 10 to 5 Sunday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road in Rosemont. Tickets are $25 per day or $45 for a weekend pass; children under ten get in free with a paying adult. See www.wizarduniverse.com.

14 SATURDAY

Want to do more to save the environment at home than turn off the lights? Today George and Susan Sullivan will present The Sullivan Residence: A Green Building Case Study, a talk about how they renovated their four-flat to reduce its impact on the urban environment. It's from 10 AM to noon at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento in Chicago. It's free, but registration is required; call 312-746-9642.

For today's Ina-Q BBQ, chef-owner Ina Pinkney of Ina's has enlisted the aid of Chicago Smoke, two guys who built a custom barbecue rig that they drive to competitions around the country. The vehicle, which Pinkney calls "the monster truck of barbecue," can handle about 700 pounds of meat at a time. It's from 11 AM to 8 PM in the parking lot at Ina's, 1235 W. Randolph in Chicago. The $15 admission fee ($8 for kids under eight) covers all the smoked and grilled pork, beef, and chicken you can eat, but drinks are extra. Reservations are requested; call 312-226-8227.

The only rule guiding the short videos in tonight's installment of the Fast Forward Film Festival is that they must somehow feature Bob or Zach, two guys whose only credentials are that they are friends of festival ringleaders Atom Paul and Sean U'Ren. The festival, currently in its 15th iteration, requires participants to produce a three-minute video in about 21 hours. After working all night, the weary auteurs will turn in their work this afternoon; the results will be shown at 8 at Wesley Kimler's studio, 2046 W. Carroll in Chicago. A $5 donation is requested. Call 773-263-7057 or see www.fastforwardfilmfest.com.

15 SUNDAY

Vintage clothes have their drawbacks: stains that won't come out, that persistent mothball smell, darts meant for bras that point skyward. To address the problem, designers Julie Fehler and Holly Greenhagen (a former Reader editor) launched their own line of vintage-inspired cocktail, wedding, and casual dresses last year under the nom-de-needle Dame Couture. Today the pair cohost Style Council, a trunk show where their creations will be on view alongside jewelry, handbags, and gloves from Vintage Deluxe. Dessert divas the Cake Girls will also be on hand to provide sweet sustenance. It's from 2 to 6 PM at Vintage Deluxe, 1846 W. Belmont in Chicago, and it's free to browse; call 773-529-7008 or see www.damecouture.com.

For the last few years the activist ladies of the Pink Bloque have danced their protests of wage inequity, the Patriot Act, and the war in Iraq to tunes by the likes of Nelly and Justin Timberlake. Today members are holding a fund-raiser to get themselves to New York for the Republican National Convention. The night includes a bake sale, a raffle (among the prizes are subscriptions to Bust and Bitch and gift certificates to Rodan and Reckless Records), and, of course, dancing to tunes spun by DJs B, the Mayor, Mary Nisi, and Very Moonlight. It's from 9 PM to 2 AM at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western in Chicago (312-276-3600), and there's a suggested donation of $7. You must be 21 or older; see www.pinkbloque.org for more.

16 MONDAY

Bernardo Bertolucci's third feature, Partner, based on a novella by Dostoyevsky, tells the story of a young man who passively allows a double to take over his life, against the background of the social unrest of the late 60s. The Reader's Jonathan Rosenbaum says it's "very much a reflection of its period--1968--but no less fascinating for that." The film's being shown tonight at 7 and 9 PM as part of a retrospective of the director's work that runs at Facets from August 13 through 28. It's at 1517 W. Fullerton in Chicago, and tickets are $9. Call 773-281-4114 or see this week's full schedule in the movie listings.

17 TUESDAY

Children's TV shows of the 50s and 60s like Kukla, Fran, and Ollie and Ray Rayner and Friends may have been short on resources, but they were long on creativity. Today Jack Mulqueen, who produced and performed in several shows of the era, and film historian Ted Okuda will talk about their book, The Golden Age of Chicago Children's Television, present a collage of video clips, and dish some behind-the-scenes gossip. It's at 7 PM at Borders Books & Music, 4718 N. Broadway in Chicago; call 773-334-7338.

18 WEDNESDAY

In 1990 Australian mountaineer Tim Macartney-Snape set out from a sea-level dip in India's Bay of Bengal and trekked by himself to the foothills of the Himalayas. From there he climbed to Everest base camp and proceeded--without bottled oxygen--to the highest point in the world. His unprecedented feat was recorded in an award-winning film, Everest: Sea to Summit. Now he leads expeditions to peaks in the Himalayas, Africa, and the Andes and has three books under his belt. He'll talk about his experiences tonight at 7 PM at Uncle Dan's, 2440 N. Lincoln in Chicago. It's free; call 773-477-1919.

In Peter Hyman's new collection of essays, The Reluctant Metrosexual: Dispatches From an Almost Hip Life, he reflects on his gentle puzzlement at a male masseur's offer of a "release," his frustration at being constantly presumed to be gay, and his breakup with the one who got away. He'll read from and sign copies of the book tonight at 7:30 PM at Barbara's Bookstore, 1218 S. Halsted in Chicago. It's free; call 312-413-2665.

19 THURSDAY

Retired general Tommy Franks is on a new tour of duty with his recently published memoir, American Soldier. The book's hype says he "made history by leading American and Coalition forces to victory in Afghanistan and Iraq," enjoyed a "friendly collaboration" with Donald Rumsfeld, and rejected "massive troop deployment in favor of flexibility and speed," a strategy "proven on the ground" when Baghdad fell "within three weeks." The book is said to offer a portrait of the "disruptive and divisive" Washington bureaucracy and "a candid assessment of the war's aftermath." He'll sign copies tonight at 6 at Borders Books & Music, 1500 16th in Oak Brook. Call 630-574-0800.

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