For the enterprising cartoonist, freelancing is the ultimate gig. You get to set your own schedule, pick your own clients, and work from your own home. But there's also a lot of hard work, long hours, and tough deadlines. Just ask Arnold Roth. He's been at it for 50 years now and knows well everything that's involved in successful freelancing. Roth's illustrations have appeared in numerous publications, from The Saturday Evening Post to Sports Illustrated, as well as books by such authors as George Plimpton and John Updike. Roth's trademark style of humorously distorted figures can be viewed in the exhibit "Arnold Roth: Freelance," which opens Thursday at the Cornell Museum of Art and History (51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach). The exhibit features about 70 cartoons, as well as a 2 p.m. lecture from the artist himself. A must for all would-be cartoonists. The exhibit runs through May 22. Call 561-243-7922.
After having fronted the Miami Blues Authority for seven years as lead guitarist and vocalist, Albert Castigliagot his big break in 1997 when legendary blues bad-ass Junior Wells offered him a slot in his band. Castiglia leaped at the opportunity and quickly moved to Chicago. Sadly, Wells passed away in 1998, and Castiglia eventually returned to Miami to form his own eponymously named band -- but only after sharing the stage and recording with more than a dozen notable blues artists, like Sandra Hall and Pinetop Perkins. Castiglia, armed with a fresh set of original songs, recently took his guitar to Nashville and recorded a CD, titled Burn. Now, he's back home. Catch Castiglia as he belts out the blues at Alligator Alley (1321 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). The free show starts at 9 p.m. Call 954-771-2220.
"Dennis Kucinich could still get the Democratic presidential nomination! Really!" If you don'tthink that's the funniest thing you've ever heard, you're a starry-eyed idealist in a land full of cynics, and you might want to join Broward County activists who are trekking down to Miami to celebrate the first "Global Day of Action Against Wars and Occupations." There, you will demand that troops in Iraq come home and that the Patriot Act be overturned. Protesters plan to meet at noon at Bayfront Park (Biscayne Boulevard and NE Third Street, Miami), then march to the offices of J.P. Morgan Chase, a company that activist Paul Lefrak says is "refinancing the occupation of Iraq. They stand to literally make a killing off of it." If you missed the FTAA protests last November, this is your chance to learn that pepper spray feels good! Really! Visit www.unitedforpeace.org.
You may not be able to tell by watching the evening news, but things are starting to balance out. Well, at least in our hemisphere. So says the Moon Path Chapter of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUP). The spring equinox is upon us, and CUUP celebrates the new season with an "Open Spring Equinox Sun Celebration." Pagans celebrate the equilibrium of lightness and darkness with ceremonial tobacco-burning and sweating, fires at sunrise, the decorating of hard-boiled eggs, and nonstop drumming, dancing, and feasting (and lots of chanting, naturally). Sounds like a big ol' hootenanny, doesn't it? You can join the pagans in their season of rebirth at the Unitarian Universalist Church (3970 NW 21st Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Feel free to bring along your own percussion instruments. Call 954-484-6734.
MON 22As November's presidential election draws ever nearer, anxieties mount about the reliability of the new touch-screen voting machines. Sure, they look neat and spiffy, but will they work any better than their punch-card predecessors? At least thosehad a paper trail. This time around, there'll be no canvassing boards measuring chads. We all know how often computers break down. What's to stop voting machines from malfunctioning? Or worse -- from some clever shyster tampering with the results? To underscore the importance of Voting Rights and Democracy, former Congressman and 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson discusses such voting improprieties at the Wynmoor Theatre (1300 Avenue of the Stars, Coconut Creek). All eyes will be on us this November, and no tech support can clean up the mess caused by a screwy voting machine. Call 954-977-9569. THU 18 THU 18 TUE 23Is she a smart cookie or an opportunistic Cokie? Cokie Roberts lectures at the Society of the Four Arts (Two Four Arts Plz., Palm Beach). On one hand, Ms. Roberts has had a busy 30-year-plus career covering the news. She has served as a reporter and, more recently, as a senior news analyst for National Public Radio; she co-anchored ABC's This Week quite humanly in comparison to her sidekick, Sam Donaldson, a robot from the Planet Toupee; and she's written numerous articles for USA Today. On the other hand, she's taken heat for being too much of a Washington insider (both of her parents were in Congress; her brother is a lobbyist) and for writing books with sappy, stomach-churning titles like From This Day Forward, about her marriage. Eric Alterman, columnist for The Nation, once wrote, "She was not a real journalist; she just played one on TV." Hmmm, could she have accomplished so much without being a "real journalist" -- or is that a toupee she's wearing? Cokie's lecture begins at 3 p.m. and costs $25. Call 561-655-7227.
If you were to judge from the testimonials on www.martial-arts-south-florida.com, you'd think Broward County was just a cesspool of "skinhead gang members" and "big, very drunk" guys waiting to attack you outside of every 7-Eleven. We know that's not, in fact, the case (lots of gang members have quite lovely hairstyles, and the attackers outside 7-Eleven don't drink; they smoke crack). However, should some bad guys ever ambush you to steal your pipin'-hot Cheez Whiz and nachos and you find your vulnerable self without a can of whoop-ass to open, you might wish you'd trained at Bushido Knights Ryu Academy of Martial Arts (221 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach). Every week, the school offers free classes in American combat karate-- a martial arts form that combines elements of kickboxing, karate, aiki-jitsu, and kali. One such class starts tonight. Call 954-455-1005.