Finds 12.23.08

Everybody needs a little household god just to keep things right at hearth and home. Some like snakes — check out Angelina Jolie in her Mommie Dearest role of Olympias in Oliver Stone’s Alexander, others have a Shinto shrine dedicated to their venerable ancestors. On the more contemporary side, artist Don LeBlanc has carved a series of Little Head Totems. Tiny imaginary portraits in hues of ebony, gold and ivory top wooden poles that have been honeycombed with elliptical patterns in positive and negative space. They reference ancient forms from Cycladic art to African totemic sculpture. LeBlanc clusters them in a group of five. Although you can purchase them separately, $225 each, they gain power by standing together. Call Gallery 549 at 593-0796 for more information. — Mary Tutwiler

It’s the time of year to start thinking about bubbly, but don’t get in a rut buying the same old champers you guzzled at midnight last year. Sylvie Simon loves champagne, and her husband Philippe stocks a collection that runs in range from $8 cavas from Spain up to $350 or so vintage bottles from the best houses in Reims and Épernay. Philippe’s Wine Cellar held a champagne tasting last week, and several bottles emerged as some of the best liked by the considerable crowd that filled the aisles of the wine shop. From Henriot, try the Blanc de Souverain, $59.99, beautifully balanced between the toasty and citrus aromas. Henriot also offers a vintage Brut Millésimé 1996, $79.99. When champagne gets some age on it the fresh fruit flavors mellow to dried fruit richness, this lovely bottle had a creamy taste of dried plum and almonds. For an aperitif, the almost herbal Besserat de Bellefon Brut Cuvee Des Moines, $44.99 was outstanding. And who doesn’t love Taittinger? The vintage Brut Millesime 2002, $69.99 was the rock star of the tasting. Philippe says he is the only source in the state for these beautiful wines, which are ready to drink right now. For more info, call 991-9794. — Mary Tutwiler

You only have about a week left to get rid of that old 2008 calendar and get your new one for 2009. The 2009 PACE calendar features artwork from Lafayette Parish students participating in the Primary Academic Creative Experiences, a partnership between the Acadiana Arts Council and the Lafayette Parish School System. Each month features art created by students in the Lafayette’s PACE artist-in-residence program, and proceeds from the sale of the calendar are re-invested back into the PACE program. Each calendar sells for $13 and can be purchased at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, 101 W. Vermilion St., in downtown Lafayette. Call 233-7060 for more info or visit . — R. Reese Fuller