This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

THU 24

According to hieroglyphics etched into the side of Plymouth Rock, people since the beginning of time (or 1620) have been known to spend Turkey Day at Calder Race Course (21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami) watching thoroughbreds hoof around the track and, of course, gambling. Leave Mom in peace to cook the yams, borrow her Lotto money, and enjoy the cornucopia of excitement that starts at noon. Admission costs just $2. Visit www.calderracecourse.com. (DF)

FRI 25

Going to the carnival is a strange mix of amusement and horror. So when comedian Jimmy Shubertclaims to have "a carnival going on inside my head," it's a pretty good description of the various human oddities that creep into his standup routine. For instance, in one cage is a pair of conjoined twins, the more developed of whom aspires to be a country-western singer. "The lady had a midget hangin' off her head," Shubert quips. "Why don't you become a ventriloquist, for God sakes... you're halfway there!" But Shubert's abuse and advice for his carnies doesn't stop there. After making fun of an obese homeless guy with a "Will Work for Food" sign, Shubert suggests a little "time off" from eating. He performs tonight through Sunday at the Improv Paradise Live (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets cost $15.90. Call 954-981-5653, or visit www.improvftl.com. (JB)

SAT 26When Miami's Pixies-loving indie stalwarts Bling Bling hit the splits this past June, it was more of a regrouping than a rock 'n' roll retirement. Not a month passed before drummer Ed Artigas and guitarist/vocalist Ivan Marchena formed Map of the Universe with Johnny Calderin (their bandmate from yet another project, Zira). But with Artigas switching to bass, his and Marchena's music has taken a different approach — one that brings to mind the dark minimalism of Joy Division. "We really like the way the songs are coming together," Artigas says. "It's a little darker and rocks a little harder than before." But Map's sound isn't too dark; otherwise, the guys wouldn't be covering the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" in their live set. Map of the Universe brings a touch of Manchester to South Florida tonight at Dada (52 Swinton Ave., Delray Beach). The free show starts at 10 p.m. Call 561-330-DADA. (JB)

SUN 27When Chris Imperial and his friends first noticed that there wasn't a big market for spoken word in South Florida, they created one — by holding poetry slams, starting listservs, and hyping the scene through word of mouth. When they realized that national performers weren't going to play fairy godmother and hire locals when they came to town on tour, Imperial and his friends decided to "attack the system with a lot of love" and ramp up their promotion efforts on their own. And when Imperial was left homeless by Hurricane Wilma and realized that "there are lot of people worse off than me," he didn't wait for FEMA to come bring him a bottle of water or a roof. He set about organizing tonight's "One World (F-U Wilma) Indie Art Festival" at Beach Bar (900 Sunrise Ln., Fort Lauderdale). A bunch of poets and 15 live music acts are set to perform, and artists are invited to show and sell their work on the bar's top two floors. Admission costs $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and proceeds benefit performers who are still suffering from Wilma's bad behavior. Doors open at 7 p.m. Call 754-214-6024. (DF)

MON 28And you thought privileged Palm Beachers spent their days thinking about tennis lessons, the Donald's hair, and which Lily Pulitzer outfit to wear. Not Dagmar Lowe. Her pretty little head is apparently full of nasty little thoughts — and she's put them to use in her first mystery novel, A Fair Way to Die. In it, a man is found clubbed to death on the exclusive Evergreen Golf Club in Palm Beach. An FBI agent and a flirtatious widow investigate all the steamy, shady stuff that happens on the precious 14-mile-long chunk of real estate. Today, Lowe signs books during a launch party at the Colony Hotel (155 Hammon Ave., Palm Beach). You can win a free night's stay in the Colony's room 504 — a key setting in Lowe's book. The shindig starts at 6 p.m. RSVP by calling 561-585-9890. (DF)

TUE 29When Mitch Albom started his career as a sports columnist, no one knew he'd go from writing about athletes to penning one of the most poignant inspirational books in recent history, Tuesdays with Morrie. Based on Albom's weekly visits with Morrie Schwartz — the author's former sociology professor who was dying of Lou Gehrig's Disease — the book recounts the lessons Albom learned from a guy who had reached the end of the road. Because of the book's massive success, it was made into an Oprah Winfrey-produced movie (surprise!) and, with the help of writer Jeffrey Hatcher and director David Esbjornson, a live stage production. If you're one of those terminal head cases who needs a "reason" to live, this ought to set you straight. The play opens tonight and runs through December 18 at the Parker Playhouse (707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $15 to $58. Call 954-462-0222, or visit www.parkerplayhouse.com. (JB)

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