A dark start to the weekend

At the Carmike ticket booth the other day, I heard a mom asking her 3-year-old if he wanted to see the new Batman film when it came out. You betcha he did. So I'll be sure to be in the theater this weekend for "The Dark Knight" — if for no other reason than to see the little kids get scarred right before my eyes as the darkest cinematic chapter of Batman is revealed over a gruelling 2.5 hours. Then, on the way out, I'll tell the kids, "You know, in real life The Joker's dead too! Drugs are bad, mmmkay?" Showtimes: 706-576-3456.

First things first, though. Friday night it's up to Auburn for a closing reception for two shows: watercolors by Cynthia Camlin and a sculpture installation by Columbus State art instructor Hannah Israel. That starts at 6 p.m. EDT, it's free, and Israel will meet and talk with interested folks. It's at Auburn's Biggin Hall (Magnolia and College, towering above Littl'n Hall). Details: 334-844-3483

But if you prefer a closer place — one with graffiti and jokes on the bathroom walls — check out the band Friday night at the SoHo Bar & Grill. Charleston, S.C. Americana rockers Crowfield should please fans of Tom Petty, Will Hoge (they've opened for him) and the Black Crowes. It's $5 and starts at 10 p.m. Details: 706-568-3316.

—Brad Barnes

Strike a pose

Saturday, you can have your physical flaws intricately analyzed — all in the name of winning a couple months in house with girls who will spill your Red Bulls down the sink and then deny it.


Then head to the "America's Next Top Model" casting call, 10 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m. Saturday. It's at Zoo City USA, 2301 Airport Thruway. It's free, but females must be ages 18-27 and at least 5 feet, 7 inches tall.

See a complete list of requirements, and fill out an application, at

If the morning's catty attitudes leave you a little devoid of self-esteem, get some superficial, alcohol-inspired redemption Saturday night. I recommend the Saloon & Oyster Bar, 6005 Macon Road, where you'll find plenty of men more than willing to enchant you with cheesy pickup lines.

The Front Porch Pickers perform a free show at 9 p.m. Call 706-568-8400.

Finally, end your weekend by jealously reminding yourself of the downward spiral that a reality TV career initiates. Watch the premiere of "High School Musical: Get in the Picture" at 8 p.m. on ABC.

It's a search to find the newest star of Disney's "High School Musical," so you can fill Sunday's two hour-show with snarky comments predicting who will next board the teenage trainwreck express.

— Sonya Sorich

How I completely avoided meeting your mother

Once again it's the weekend and you're desperately trying to discover how to escape the confines of your piddly little existence when gas is $4 a gallon. Good thing you came here.

First, check out the Friday grand opening of The Oasis, the bar that took the place of Rumors, which was the bar that took the place of Savanah's. It's right on Broadway near 11th Street. Look for the vague hula decor in the window and the alcohol theme at the bar. If you're lucky, you'll find that special someone lurching for the bathroom around 1 a.m.

Saturday, learn why you should avoid marital relations by attending the Hip-Hop Summit, wherein you will find a 1 p.m. Saturday discussion on "Stopping Baby Mama Drama." The block party begins at 8 p.m. The mama drama starts around midnight.

Find it all at the Liberty Theatre Cultural Center, 813 Eighth Ave.

Finally, discover the pain and anguish of getting married at the Wedding Extravaganza show at 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave. It's $5 to get in but a life time of paying off the debt you'll incur by tying the knot.

— Alan Riquelmy