The art world loves an art lover. The image of the starving artist, that tortured soul eating dog food in some apartment the size of a closet, did not appear in the collective unconscious without reason. There are many of these poor chaps in the world. So, of course, artists love art lovers. They're the folks who buy their stuff. You can do your bit for starving artists by checking out ArtServe's (1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) Sale-A-Bration exhibit, which opens today and continues through the rest of the month. More than a dozen South Florida artists -- including photographer Irwin Weintraub; jewelry designer Jill Knotts; and ceramics sculptor Mary Belle Cordell -- showcase their work. During today's reception, from 5 to 9 p.m., local playwright Robby Kendall presents a preview of his latest work, Queer Mates. Admission is free. Call 954-462-9191.
Friday, April 4
Catch a double dose of black comedy (the racial kind, not the dark, morose kind) as Earthquake and Don "D.C." Curry begin a two-night stand at Uncle Funny's Comedy Club (9160 State Rd. 84, Davie). Earthquake and Curry do a lot of typical observational comedy but blend it with straight talk on the differences among the races. If anyone doubts that growing up black in America is different from growing up white, take them to this show. You may remember Curry as Ice Cube's suburban uncle in the latter two Friday movies, though, in terms of box office, the Friday sequels never even made it to Thursday. Earthquake has stuck with what he knows best -- spot-on observations about marriage, family, and other facets of American life. The two comics perform at 8:30 and 10:30 tonight and 7, 9, and 11 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $20, plus a two-drink minimum. Call 954-474-5653.
Saturday, April 5
"Mommy, what's that bird up there?" Frustrated with not being able to answer your ornithologically-curious little ones? Why not turn the kids into bird detectives compliments of the Wings over Florida Junior Birders Series? During this three-day course, children ages 8 to 12 can learn about birds in a classroom setting and out in the field. To show that their bird-sleuthing skills are bona fide, graduates will receive a birding certificate from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Before you know it, "Mommy, what's that bird up there?" will be replaced with "Mommy, look out for that rare white-breasted nuthatch! It's headin' right for us!" The birdwatching goes from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Grassy Waters Nature Preserve (8264 Northlake Blvd., West Palm Beach). Each class costs $5, though a three-day package is available for $10. Call 561-627-8831.
Sunday, April 6
The Lavender Writes Series may suggest steamy, trashy Harlequin romance novels or even Showtime softcore flicks. Yes? Well, no. Would you believe: a series of readings by South Florida's gay and lesbian writers? Forbidden affairs with Fabio-tastic beefcakes? Maybe. Gay sexcapades? Probably. But Lavender Writes will definitely generate some literary heat at Borders Books and Music (2240 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) just by showcasing the white-hot literary talent of well-known gay and lesbian writers. Share the afternoon with Jose Alcaraz, Cary Michael Bass, and others as they read and discuss excerpts (possibly steamy!) of their work. Nongay writers and readers are also invited to participate, and an open-mic reading is scheduled for later this spring. The readings start at 1 p.m. Admission is free. Call 954-566-6335.
Monday, April 7
Wilton Manors Library's (500 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors) Scholastic Book Fair begins today in honor of National Library Week. It's your chance to buy books from the library and spirit them away to your private collection, thus avoiding Homeland Security goons keeping tabs on your library usage. (Love that Patriot Act.) The fair runs through April 21 and features a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books for all ages. Call 954-390-2196.
Tuesday, April 8
Strange, the rituals that middle-aged men subject themselves to in the name of "bonding" and masculinity. They can jaunt through the woods for a weekend, beat on some bongos, indulge in shirtless primal-scream therapy, and all of a sudden they've found the meaning of life. You don't need blatant male posturing to understand the secrets of nature, say the folks at Secret Woods Nature Center (2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach). They offer an educational Women's Drumming Circle for ages 16 and up at 7:30 p.m. Don't let that Secret Woods moniker scare you -- participants don't have to retreat into the woods to stir up some positive energy. And that may be a good thing. It's right around this time of year that massive numbers of large Golden Orb Weaver spiders begin appearing all over Secret Woods, so arachnophobes would do well not to wander too far. Ladies can bring their own drums and percussion or use the instruments provided to learn different drumming techniques. Or they can chant or just watch. The cost is $10. Call 954-791-1030.
Wednesday, April 9
At this month's meeting of the Broward Shell Club, conchologist Sunny Gudrun shows slides of shells of the South Pacific's remote Kwajalein Island. This, of course, immediately begs three questions: Do they actually have clubs dedicated to shells? What's a conchologist? And, of course: Can you say "shows slides of shells of the South Pacific Sea" three times fast? The answers are, respectively: yes; a biologist who studies mollusks and shells; and, sad and sorrowful to say, no. But let's get down to brass tacks here. Shell-collecting is a legitimate pursuit in the beachy haven of South Florida. Thousands of species of mollusks, clams, oysters, and conchs are sitting offshore, just waiting to be killed and eaten by a passing predator so that their shells can wash up on shore for you to find. Compare your collection to others when the club meets at 7 p.m. at the Pompano Beach Civic Center (1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach). Admission is free. Call 954-566-1446.