Bartending can be stressful. Sometimes you just can't remember whether you should mix Cointreau or Courvoisier! Jim Beam or J&B! It's enough to make you go drown your frustrations on the other side of the bar. Chill. Tonight, during Margarita Madness, a pro mixologist will send you on your way to bartending perfection by teaching you how to make not one but five versions of the tequila-based treat. Then you'll do a taste test! If some cutie in the class happens to catch your fancy by volunteering to chug the worm, then hey... the host organization, Social Fusion, did its job. The event costs $34 (the going rate for five margaritas), and it takes place at Olé Olé (300 SW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale) from 7 to 9 p.m. Call 954-850-0345, or visit www.socialfusion.com.
NBC's Last Comic Standing does for standup comics what American Idoldoes for vocal performers; if you're good, it'll boost your career even if you get the boot. And if there's controversy surrounding your ouster, more power to ya. So New York comic Dan Naturman's appearance on LCS2 gave his career a double shot of publicity when Drew Carey and Brett Butler disagreed with the show's producers, who wanted Naturman out. Granted, he wasn't the funniest guy on the show, but he must have done something right; Butler was so upset by the decision, she walked off the show. It must be Naturman's sly yet mild-mannered delivery and boyish charm. He's like a cross between Gilbert Gottfried and Topher Grace of That '70s Show. Naturman performs tonight and Saturday at the New York Comedy Club (8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton). Tickets cost $12. Call 561-470-6887.
In the intimidating-name department, Florida Atlantic University's football team ranks right up there with the Boston Terriers, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and those ferocious Toronto Maple Leafs. Still, last season, the Fighting Owls reached the semifinals in Division I-AA and drew 13,000 fans to their playoff games. This year, the team is moving into big league territory -- Division I-A, where teams like Florida State and the University of Miami reside. Once the season gets under way, the Owls' hundred-plus players will be busy strategizing about how to stop Hurricanes and peck the eyes out of Seminoles, so catch them now, during the FAU Football FanFest at Lockhart Stadium (301 NW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale), from 2 to 4 p.m. Players (like quarterback Jared Allen) and coaches (like Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger) will sign autographs and talk pigskin with you. The Florida Marlins' street team will be there, as will FAU's dance team, cheerleaders, soccer teams, and volleyball team. There's also a kids' area with a bounce house. Call 561-297-1094.
As far as cultural festivals go, this weekend's Unifest 2004is a real humdinger. Now in its tenth year, the two-day Caribbean cultural celebration features a variety of games and sports, a costume parade, and plenty of live song and dance from groups like the Mighty Diamonds, Shadow, Lady G, Lovindeer, Soca Man Cliff, and 11-year-old Jamaican rapper Javaughn Bond. And that's just a few of the many performers slated to bring out the soca, gospel, jazz, Haitian, and Latin rhythms. But there's more than mere entertainment; there are job and health services available, if you're so inclined. And if you don't want your kids to see you throw back a few Heinekens, take the little tykes over to the children's carnival. All this for five bucks. Unifest 2004 takes place Saturday and Sunday at Vincent Torres Memorial Park (4331 NW 36th St., Lauderdale Lakes). Call 954-535-2789.
"The gay scene here is not integrated," says the honey-voiced lady who goes by the name Zwa. "I'm from Philadelphia. I'm used to going to the club, where there's 35-year-olds and there's 18-year-olds. We're trying to integrate the crowd a little bit." That integration means that boys and girls will have to play nice with each other. Zwa's all-new "Rainbow Night" party is designed for both sexes, and it takes place at the Jungle (formerly Bumblebee's, at 4322 N. State Rd. 7, Lauderdale Lakes). Zwa encourages you to dress to impress -- in fact, she's bribing you to look sharp: Prizes will be given to the sexiest male and female. Commemorate the night by posing in the picture booth on site. Admission costs $5 until 11 p.m., $10 after. Get a $2 discount after 11 p.m. by flaunting rainbow colors. Call 954-243-1724.
Don't be fooled by the name -- the Queers are into chicks. Far from singing songs about "bunny love" (that shtick belongs to former labelmates Pansy Division), the New Hampshire three-piece hasn't succumbed to the metrosexual craze. And guitarist/vocalist Joe King still hasn't grown up. He's still, 22 years after he started, writing short, goofy songs about girls. He's like a punk-rock Brian Wilson, bridging the gap between the "Barbara Ann" and "Blitzkrieg Bop" (Pet Sounds and "Pet Cemetery"? Nah.). The Queers practically invented what we now call pop-punk, only the poor guys never saw the success of the bands half their age. Let's see where Blink-182 will be 20 years from now. Surely not on MTV. The Queers take the stage after Stay Hitt, the Gamits, and Dynamite Boy at Churchill's Hideaway (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami). The show starts at 9 p.m. Call 305-757-1807.
Imagine how popular you'd be if you could bartend like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. People would actually show up at your parties rather than spend all weekend thinking up excuses for having gone out barhopping. OK, so tonight's VOX Cocktail Couture won't teach you any special drink-juggling skills, but you will learn how to mix one sharp-tasting martini. The Art of the Cocktailauthor Ben Reed shows off some of the latest barware, signs books, and, of course, makes drinks. Cocktail making is an art form, and the British mixologist is a culinary da Vinci, serving up a palette of potables and pomegranates. Reed comes to Crown Wine and Spirits (1645 Cordova Rd., Fort Lauderdale) at 4:30 p.m. Call 866-669-9768.