SATURDAY 9/1

POETRY SLAM BENEFIT FOR MARTIAL ARTS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST--A big point that poetry slams want to make is that poetry isn't just for wussies in sweaters or morose goths. Poetry doesn't just whine or mope--it slams! Tonight there's an open mic, and if you step to it you'd better slam, because it's a benefit for the Martial Arts in the Public Interest, a progressive, professional, nonprofit (and kickass) martial-arts school. Led by Rachel Evans, this school takes aspects of different martial arts disciplines so that students can eventually defend themselves in a variety of situations. Some members will be performing their martial-arts influenced poetry. Elysian Brewing Company, 1221 E Pike, 9 pm, $5.

BODYBUILDING CHAMPIONSHIP--You could stay in wimpy Seattle tonight, or take a drive down to Tacoma to be a part of the 2001 NPC Northern Gold's Classic Bodybuilding, Fitness, and Figure Championships. Competitors from all over the Northwest grease up and flex for the top prize. To show them how it's done, award winners Brenda Raganot (2001 Olympia Contender), and Nicole Rollolazo (2000 Overall Fitness America Champion) will "perform." You should go and compete, unless you're some kind of chickenshit chump change. Prestigious Temple Theatre, 47 Saint Helens Ave, Tacoma, (253) 383-3245. pre-judging at 10 am ($10), performance at 6 pm; $16, $18, $20.

CHAT ABOUT UFOs--You're not alone: Tonight, the Seattle Chat Club invites Peter B. Davenport, Director of National UFO Reporting Center, to talk about the Northwest's recent run-ins with unidentified flying objects. Included will be an exposition of Kenneth Arnold's historic Mt. Rainier sighting of nine UFO discs (the event from which the media coined the term "flying saucer"). Seattle Metaphysical Library, 1000 E Madison Ave, 329-1794, 6 pm, $10 suggested donation.


TUESDAY 9/4

SEX TOYS 101--Tonight, Toys in Babeland begin their autumn adult-education workshop series with a class on sex toys. Yes, this sounds like a big ploy to get you to buy their products; but yes, this is also the "finest sex toy store in North America," according to the editor of this paper, so they deserve your money. Plus: you'll learn lots! Toys in Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 8 pm, $20.


WEDNESDAY 9/5

FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH--If you're like most of America, your family is a big, big mess. I'm not just talking about current dysfunctions--I'm talking about understanding where everyone came from, and what caused people to migrate and procreate where and when they did. To help families figure all this out, genealogy librarian Darlene E. Hamilton will offer a free workshop titled "Beginning Your Family History Research," in which she'll show you how to use libraries and other resources to track down information about the history of your family. Hamilton also offers advice on how to collect information from family members. (That's the hard part.) Ballard Library, 5711 24th Ave NW, 684-4089, 7 pm, free.

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