Week of July 8, 2004

Night & Day Events 

Week of July 8, 2004

Thursday, July 8
Mercury makes people crazy. Eat too much mercury-tainted tuna, and you have this to look forward to: soft, spongy gums; loose teeth and mouth sores (umm ... ew); wide mood swings, during which you'll become irritable, frightened, depressed or excited very quickly for no apparent reason; and hallucinations, memory loss and inability to concentrate. You also might get such run-of-the-mill symptoms as nausea, vomiting and the runs. Well-intentioned readers who are inclined to rescue their fellow humans from such un-fun experiences can participate in a 2-hour workshop sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency that focuses on the risks of mercury exposure posed by fish consumption. Plus they'll give you $40. Workshops are today from 10 a.m. to noon, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., and 5 to 7 p.m. at the EPA Region 7 office (901 North Fifth Street in Kansas City, Kansas). Call 913-551-7529 to register.

Friday, July 9
After flash flooding hit his hometown in the Houston area two weeks ago, the underground hip-hop MC known as Devin the Dude was forced to cancel his June 25 show in Lawrence and begin a tour of duty as Devin the Dude in Waders. We're assuming everything is cool, because the Dude has rescheduled his appearance for tonight at 10 at the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire in Lawrence). Mac Lethal, 3 a.m., DJ Shad and DJ Sku have the opening honors. Tickets for the all-ages show cost $13 and are available at the door or by calling 816-931-3330.

Jilly's on Broadway -- 1744 Broadway, to be precise -- is also a reliable good time. Tonight Sike Steez, Flotilla and Mike Boogie are "dropping new school hip hop and the classic break beats" -- at least that's what the handsome Hammerpressed poster promises. The Friday Night Breakdown starts at 10 and costs a paltry $2. The evening is sponsored by Scion, the new Toyota division aimed at hipsters, so free stuff abounds. For more information, call 816-221-4977.

Saturday, July 10
At every workplace on Earth, there's that one employee who's been there a decade or so longer than everyone else, the guy who's seen it all and lived to tell about it. Starting with the Kansas City Royals' first radio broadcast in 1969, Denny Matthews worked for the team for three decades. In Denny Matthews' Tales from the Royals Dugout, the announcer shares never-before-told anecdotes about Royals players, coaches, wins and rivalries going all the way back to that first game 35 years ago. Finally, some nostalgia to divert our attention from the pitiful present. Maybe if we all close our eyes and wish at the same time, we can go back to 1985. C'mon --together, we can do it. Today, Matthews signs copies of his book at the Barnes & Noble on the Plaza (420 West 47th Street) at 11:30 a.m. For information, call 816-753-1313.

Sunday, July 11
If you have a complaint, we're all ears. But if you cop a 'tude, we're all elbows. All six elbows, that is. Chun Man Sit is an expert in the six elbows kung fu style, which focuses on strong stances and smooth combinations of fist, palm, foot and, yes, elbow. Today from 9:30 to 11 a.m., Chun Man Sit teaches this Southern style of kung fu at the west side of Loose Park (51st Street and Wornall) by the tennis courts. There is a $9 fee. To register, call 816-235-1448. Just remember, your wack style cannot defeat our six elbows. OK, your style is better. We are but humble servants whose necks should not be crushed.

Monday, July 12
The only thing better than jazz is free jazz. Not the genre subspecies that shuns tonal and rhythmic structure -- though that freaky Ornette Coleman stuff is good, too. We mean free jazz as in free jazz, as in no cover charge at the door. The Blue Room (1616 East 18th Street) charges no cover for its Blue Monday Jam; the Jazz Disciples (not to be confused with the Modern Jazz Disciples) headline tonight's installment. To make sure the Disciples have a long, healthy career, there is no smoking in the Blue Room. But there's plenty of drinking. Just be careful at each of the nine tables, which double as display cases for jazz relics from Kansas City's glory days. For details, call 816-474-8463.

Tuesday, July 13
For one gloriously beige summer, we lived in a brand-spankin'-new Johnson County apartment complex, complete with a kick-ass pool. You know the place -- everyone's happy all the time. And though we knew our favorite amenity allowed for some fabulous sunbathing, we didn't know it also afforded fabulous smoking accessories. But one fateful night in late July, the friendly couple a few buildings over broke out their hookah -- poolside! We still turn a little pale at the shock of a hookah sighting in JoCo. They're not unusual, however, at Café Rumi (3903 Wyoming), where Marwan Chebaro offers hookah lessons. He discusses the pipe's intricacies and provides a sample of flavored tobaccos. The Communiversity class runs from 7 to 8 p.m. and costs $9. Call 816-235-1448 for more information.

Wednesday, July 14
We don't know who invented the term chick lit, but we wish he hadn't. We think it's stupid, and we intend never to use it. But if we were to use it, chances are it would aptly describe Rainy Day Books' Girls Night Out tonight, which features authors Billie Letts, Cathryn Michon and Claire Cook. Letts is best known for Where the Heart Is, which was a No. 1 New York Times best seller before it was made into a shitty movie with Ashley Judd. Michon candidly broaches the topics of sex and relationships in The Grrl Genius Guide to Sex (With Other People) -- and no, we don't know why she insisted on replacing the "i" in girl with an unnecessary and annoying "r." And Cook wrote Must Love Dogs (yet another Hollywood masterpiece in the making, this one starring Diane Lane), which, one of our coworkers argues, is not chick lit but rather menopause lit. All three have new screenplays -- oops, books -- ripe for discussion tonight at 7 at Unity Temple on the Plaza (707 West 47th Street). Call 913-384-3126 for more information.


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