Week of September 9, 2004

Night & Day Events 

Week of September 9, 2004

Thursday, September 9
We've met some Kansans we might call lifeless, but this is something different entirely. Wylene Dunbar's latest novel, My Life With Corpses, is narrated by a Kansas girl (the aptly named Oz) raised by a family of dead people. Throughout the book, she reflects upon her childhood and the dangers she faced while maturing: the risks of having actual feelings (previously not an issue) and the discovery that it wasn't just her family walking around looking as if they were alive. We hear ya, Oz -- we see those fuckin' zombies everywhere. Dunbar discusses the book and answers audience questions at 7 tonight at Rainy Day Books (2706 West 53rd Street in Fairway). Check it out if you want to accuse her of ripping off your life story. Call 913-384-3126 for information.

Friday, September 10
We're pretty sure that the title of the Green Door Gallery's new show, Anamnesis, refers to the dictionary definition of the word: a recalling to mind, a reminiscence. However, Webster confirms that it also means a preliminary case history of a medical or psychiatric patient, which we think would be a fabulous premise for a show. Hector, are you listening? The images and recollections of Stephanie Dotson, Maiko Kuzunishi and Tatiana Arocha open from 7 to 10 p.m. at the gallery (1229 1/2 Union Avenue) and remain on display for the next month. We particularly like Arocha's unexpected bursts of color layered over lovely, delicate patterns. Call 816-421-6889 or check www.thegreendoorgallery.com for more information.

Saturday, September 11
Often we wonder how, other than winning the lottery, we can get rich quick and spend the rest of our days sipping pi'a coladas poolside in Las Vegas. However, lottery tickets cost money, and we're real cheap. So instead we're going to a free workshop from 9 a.m. to noon today at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Pierson Auditorium (5000 Rockhill) called A Niche of Our Own. The UMKC Women's Center is going to teach us how to start our own business and rake in the moolah. We just dare budding entrepreneurs to even try competing with our business plans. For more information, call 816-235-1638.

It's no-boys-allowed at the above-mentioned workshop, so we found something extra special for the guys: If you ever idolized Popeye, you should particularly enjoy today's all-day Spinach Festival. (OK, we don't really know why you would; we thought he was pretty annoying. And don't even get us started on Olive Oyl.) The festival recalls Lenexa's time as the spinach capital of the world -- ah, the good old days -- at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park (87th Street and Lackman Road). Call 913-541-8592 for more information.

Sunday, September 12
We think there just aren't enough cacti in the metro area. In fact, we're more likely to get our pant legs caught in a patch of pro-choice politicians than we are to happen upon a lush array of agave. Then again, if there were more cacti in the area, Sprint might get the idea to cultivate a patch of prickly pear just below the opening of its Downsized Employee Exit Chute. In that case, Sprint CEO Gary Forsee had better not go to the 26th annual KC Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale from noon to 5 p.m. today (and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday) at the Ward Parkway Shopping Center (8500 Ward Parkway). In addition to popular cacti, there will be many nonthorny succulents, such as aloe vera, which, as the Native Americans discovered, makes toilet paper more gentle. Call 913-362-6553 for information.

Monday, September 13
In the middle of a bleak, sleepless night, staring up at the motionless, dust-plastered blades of the ceiling fan and contemplating the absurdity of existence, what insomniac hasn't considered, however briefly, getting some religion? Or what churchgoer hasn't thought, perhaps during the lackluster refrain of a droning hymn, Maybe it's better somewhere else? For those who are serious about going the way of Sammy Davis Jr. and checking into the world's oldest religion, the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City kicks off a communitywide conversion class tonight at 7 at the Jewish Community Campus (5801 West 115th Street). The course fee is $125, which is considerably more expensive than Judaism for Dummies ($15.39 at Amazon.com) but way more comprehensive, complete with opportunities to meet other potential Jews-by-choice, take part in Shabbat and pick up a little Hebrew. Call Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz at 913-851-9448 for more information.

Tuesday, September 14 Forget the leather loveseats, plasma-screen TVs and Buddhist temple motifs -- all one really needs to sex up a loft is a piece that says, "I'm a hunter, baby, and I got you in the sights of my love gun." Craig Jones Taxidermy of Independence is here to help subvert the sterility of urban décor and reclaim the savage nature at the heart of modern life with a basic taxidermy class from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lake City Shooting Range (28900 East Argo Road in Grain Valley). Here, one can learn how to care for the carcass of the deer, turkey or other fur-bearing critter whose life has been taken for the glorification of libido. Call the shooting range at 816-229-4448 for more information.

Wednesday, September 15 In the life of a restaurant, 9 years is practically an eternity. To help Le Fou Frog celebrate its happy anniversary, have dinner there tonight and enjoy a performance by Alacartoona, Kansas City's popular modern cabaret group. The French bistro at 400 East Fifth Street serves the staples one might expect -- foie gras, escargots, crème brlée -- in a dimly lighted, romantic setting cultivated by owners Barbara and Mano Rafael and perfected by the sexy, sultry vocals of Ruby Falls (Erin McGrane). Go from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and pretend to be an extra in a Jean-Luc Godard masterpiece. For more information, call 816-474-6060.

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