Our picks of this week's events

By Kinsee Morlan

Hat shows, Jim Moreno's poetry, local animators & more


Fresh paint

When graffiti artist Neko and tattoo artist Adam Hathorn combine their many talents and put on a joint show, the resulting collection of images is pretty much guaranteed to be simultaneously sick, twisted and wonderful. You can count on some ursus-themed imagery at the opening of their new show, Bears vs. Bunnies, but be warned: Some nudie polaroids are rumored to be on display as well. See what's bear and what's bare at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at Disconnected Hair Salon, 3830 30th St. in North Park, 619-298-3830, www.myspace.com/honkeykong.


Mad for Hatters

People don't wear hats like they used to. The ribboned, feathered, trimmed and banded hats that were hip a century ago have been replaced by beanies and baseball caps. Blah. But at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 14, classy hats are back in business when the Village Hat Shop's Seaport Village store holds its third annual Pre-Race Day Trunk Show. You can pick out your Del Mar opening-day (July 18) topper, or just something nice to wear to brunch, a wedding or just to amuse yourself. Kimberli MacKay, design director at Betmar Hats, is flying in from New York to show off Betmar's Spring/Summer 2008 line (yeah, already). And the first 50 customers who buy a Betmar hat get a Betmar custom-made hatbox. In case you didn't know, hatboxes are just plain cool. Join the millinery madness at Village Hat Shop, 853 West Harbor Drive. 619-233-7236. www.villagehatshop.com.


Free speech is good There are a lot of ways to make the world a better place, but it seems that for activist Jim Moreno, the best way to create change is through poetry and song. When he's not teaching poetry workshops to gang youth, directing the Encanto Boys and Girls Club Children's Poetry Choir or performing with his spoken-word jazz trio, he's venting his very political frustrations on the page. See if Moreno can make your world a better place when he reads from his book, Dancing in Dissent: Poetry for Activism, to the backup stylings of Delores Fischer on keyboards and Musa Kaleem on sax. If you get inspired, there's an open-mic session following the reading, which begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at Hot Monkey Love Café, 6875 El Cajon Blvd. in Rolando, 619-469-4113, www.jimpoet.com.


Creepy cool

It took Eric Leiser three long years to make his first feature film, mostly due to the tripped-out, life-size stop-motion animation that parades through it. Accompanied by a haunting score that Leiser's brother Jeffrey composed, Imagination tells the story of twins with a disturbingly strong connection and the psychologist who tries to unravel their deeply unsettling bond. It's arthouse with a capital ART, very unlike most movies being made today. Catch the one-time-only screening at midnight Friday, July 13, at the Ken Cinema, 4061 Adams Ave. in Kensington, 619-819-0236. www.albinofawn.com. $6


Bats, balls & books Do you avidly follow the personal dramas of celebrity athletes? Do you watch the Super Bowl, Wimbledon and the World Cup with equal emotional intensity? Do you have the name of any NBA players tattooed on your body? If so, you might already be familiar with the work of writer Dave Zirin, sports columnist for The Nation and a regular commentator on ESPN TV and radio (to name just a few). Zirin's so totally steeped in sports that he can't stop thinking or writing about it-Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics and Promise of Sports is a collection of his most recent observations on the scandalous, sensational and sometimes inspiring world of professional sports. He'll be signing copies at 7 p.m. Friday, July 13, at D.G. Wills Books, 7461 Girard Ave. in La Jolla, 858-456-1800, www.dgwillisbooks.com.

Pervy stories: What do sex, the TV show Jackass and Vice magazine all have in common? Well, yeah, a lot of things, but the correct answer here is Chris Nieratko, an egg-eating former Jackass star who writes a column for Vice about his life as it pertains to sex, strippers, pills and the occasional fertility catastrophe. Skinema is a collection of these titillating tales, and Nieratko will be signing copies of it and narrating a corresponding slideshow at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at Overload Skate Shop, 3064 University Ave. in North Park, 619-702-3523, www.myspace.com/overboarddvd.


Pure passion

You don't have to understand Portuguese to appreciate fado music-the mournful, timeless melodies completely transcend the need for spoken language. If you've never heard it, you couldn't ask for a better introduction than Portuguese singer Mariza. Her particular brand of fado sounds like a combination of sad gypsy lullabies and seductive siren calls, and she'll be baring her soul in song at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at the Embarcadero Marina, 206 Marina Parkway, Downtown, 619-235-0804. www.mariza.com. $12-$75.


Dive in

Swimming in the sea can be terrifying if you start squinting down through the froth and imagining a swarm of hungry carnivorous fish circling your legs. Of course, reality is almost always tamer than the imagination, which is why Snorkeling with Sharks is actually a pretty mellow morning activity. If you can swim, you have a snorkel and you can get yourself out of bed by 8 a.m. Sunday, July 15, you can enjoy the helpful supervision of Scripps naturalists as you swim alongside leopard sharks, smoothhound sharks, rays and many other slippery creatures. Bring your bravery to Kellogg Park, where Calle Frescota meets La Jolla Shores Drive, in La Jolla, 858-534-3474, www.aquarium.ucsd.edu. $25-$30.


Electric Avenue

If Princeton can make it in New York, he can make it anywhere, but not without the one thing that drives that city-bushels and buckets and barrels of money. He's fresh out of college and broke as a joke, so he'll have to live his New York-size dreams from the only neighborhood that fits his budget. The other thing working against him is that he's only a hand puppet, but that's where the playing field levels. His neighbors are puppets, too, like Christmas Eve, the ditzy therapist, and Rod, the Republican investment banker with something to hide. Turns out they all have the same big-city problems, and they meet 'em head-on in The Old Globe Theatre's production of Avenue Q. The Tony-winning musical launches a national tour at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, from the Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, Downtown. 619-23-GLOBE, www.oldglobe.org. $19-$85.