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Friday 7/7 - Thursday 7/13

JULY

By Cara Jepsen

7 FRIDAY When it comes to meditation, "Easterners can just sit down and close their eyes and go right to it. The Western mind requires getting rid of all the garbage first," says former fashion impresario Paul B. (the man behind the Paul B. and Fiorucci boutiques). In 1998 he went to the Dutch Humaniversity for a two-week program on AUM Meditation and ended up staying three years. The 12-stage social meditation (the A is for awareness, the U is for understanding, and the M is for meditation) he's pushing incorporates catharsis, dance, silence, and fellowship. Khalis Magit, as he's now known, will lead AUM sessions tonight, next Friday, July 14, Saturday, July 22, and Friday, July 28, from 7:30 to 10:30 at Transitions Learning Center, 1750 N. Kingsbury (312-951-7323). It's $25 per session, $90 for the series.

Playwright, novelist, actress, and teacher Denise Chavez, who writes about displacement and the Chicano experience in the U.S., and multimedia poet Cin Salach, whose work often deals with home, family, and "internal geography," will team up tonight for a free Women's Writers Series reading and performance called Losing Geography. They'll be joined by a group of students from the North Suburban Library System's new program of writing workshops for girls. The event starts at 5:30 at the Chicago Cultural Center's Randolph Street Cafe, 78 E. Washington. Call 773-296-1108, ext. 26.

8 SATURDAY Locally based artist Anne Wilson sews hair onto the stains, holes, folds, and tears in used cloth to "explore themes about time, loss, and private and social rituals." In Devour (1993), for example, a mass of unruly red hair stitched onto a white linen tablecloth is intended to raise issues about cleanliness and propriety. A solo exhibit of Wilson's work opens today and runs through October 1 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago (312-280-2660). Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors.

Books with embroidered and beaded covers, handmade pop-up books, books written entirely by hand, and "some of the smallest books in the world"--including one a half-inch wide that's housed inside a fountain pen--will be on sale today at the Festival of the Book rare and unusual book sale. It's from 10 to 4 at the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts, 1104 S. Wabash. Admission is $5. Call 312-344-6630 for more info.

9 SUNDAY For today's excursion to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, the 20th Century Railroad Club chartered a six-car Metra train that will travel a 70-mile route, most of which hasn't been in regular passenger service since 1950. The museum itself boasts a working trolley loop and a five-mile-long train line where passengers can take a ride on old-school trains like a steam locomotive or the stainless steel art deco Nebraska Zephyr. The North Western Chief leaves at 9 (it returns at 6:30) from the North Western terminal at Canal and Madison. The $60 ticket includes admission to the museum and a box lunch. Call 312-829-4500 to register.

Eight private gardens may provide the backbone of today's Historic Pullman Garden Walk, but the highlight is a community effort called Papillon Allee. Seven years ago a group of Pullman residents went to work on the blighted alley just east of Langley between 113th and 114th streets, and these days it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds rather than garbage and rats. The garden walk takes place from 11 to 4 and starts at the Greenstone Methodist Church at 112th and St. Lawrence. Tickets are $7. Call 773-468-9601.

10 MONDAY If you cross Bridget Jones's Diary author Helen Fielding with Sex and the City heroine Carrie Bradshaw you get...Helen Bradshaw, the single, witty, chocolate-loving, London-living, hard-drinking girl with the wacky group of friends who's the protagonist of Anna Maxted's first novel, Getting Over It. The catch: her Bradshaw, who is an assistant editor at "GirlTime" magazine, just lost her dad. Maxted, a former sex columnist and current contributing editor to Cosmopolitan (UK), will read from the book tonight at 7:30 at Barbara's Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells. It's free. Call 312-642-5044.

11 TUESDAY For the past 30-odd years, New Mexico-based artist Luis Jimenez has made large-scale fiberglass sculptures that both examine the Chicano and Mexican experience in the U.S. and comment on U.S. culture. For example, Border Crossing (1989) depicts a man walking with his wife and child on his shoulders and is meant to recall Saint Christopher carrying Christ across the river; Sunbather (1969) depicts a fleshy man in a swimsuit whose face is covered by a newspaper headlined "Riot." Tonight at 6, Jimenez will discuss his work in a lecture called "Redefining the West." It's in conjunction with the Terra Museum's exhibit The American West: Out of Myth, Into Reality and takes place at the museum, 664 N. Michigan (312-654-2255). It's $7, $5 for members, and free for students with ID.

The FilmDeli's monthly Chicago Community Cinema event is meant to be a combination trade show, film festival, and networking conference. Tonight the group will screen a few shorts, plus LA filmmaker Philip Zlotorynski's The Seventh Day, which is about "a young man's struggle to forget the memory of his friend's violent death." It's tonight at 7 (the movie screens at 8) at Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn. Tickets are $7; call 312-863-3454 for more.

12 WEDNESDAY Once upon a time Illinois had a politician who was a handsome, intelligent good guy who acted "on behalf of minorities and the underclass," according to the new biography Kerner: The Conflict of Intangible Rights. Otto Kerner Jr. served as governor from 1960 to 1968 and helped draft the Kerner Commission report on civil disorders, which blamed race riots not on the rioters but on white bigotry. His political career came to a standstill in 1971, when, by then a U.S. Court of Appeals judge, he was indicted for accepting shares in state-regulated racetrack enterprises. Authors Bill Barnhart and Gene Schlickman will discuss Kerner's life tonight at 7:30 at Barnes & Noble, 1441 W. Webster (773-871-3825). It's free.

13 THURSDAY The latest made-for-Disney Channel movie, Ready to Run, focuses on a headstrong young Latina named Corrie who wants to become a jockey like her late father. Her mother is against the idea, but the girl, who finds that she can talk to the horses at the stable where she works, tries her hand at it anyway. The movie will have its TV premiere tomorrow night at 6. You can see it tonight at the Disney Channel's PremEARS in the Park, a free fest that also includes games, activities, and music by 18-year-old pop queen Hoku and British boy band BBMak. It all starts at 6 at the New World Music Theater, 19100 S. Ridgeland in Tinley Park. Admission is free, but parking is $6. Call 708-614-1616.

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