Friday, October 8
We've been entertaining ourselves at Quizilla.com, where answering six simple questions reveals what sort of horrible Edward Gorey death we will die. Our answers inevitably lead us down the same path as the Gorey-illustrated Susan, who perished of fits. The site then offers us advice. "Repeat this to yourself: 'Things can work out even if I don't get my way.'" Meanwhile, the anti-social George's demise is attributed to a smothering rug. The recommendation for George's ilk: Start gaining new social skills by making prank phone calls. The Quizilla experience is decidedly Goreyesque -- amusing and terrifying at the same time. For more of the same, we'll spend the month of October hanging out at the Central Library's Gorey exhibit, a tribute to the macabre writer and artist, who died of a heart attack in 2000. The library (14 West Tenth Street) is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today; call 816-701-3400 for more information.
Saturday, October 9
It comes as no surprise to us allergy sufferers that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has ranked Kansas City fourth on its list of U.S. "fall allergy capitals." But before we highjack a cement mixer and pave over Loose Park, we're taking our itchy, watery eyes to see allergy specialist Jay Portnoy, the physician known to local snifflers as "the Mold Doctor," for his lecture today at 1 p.m. at the North Kansas City Community Center (1999 Iron Street). Call 310-566-2292 for more information.
While we're up there, we'll search for that ever-elusive salt shaker with the Kansas City Parrot Head Club, which holds its annual Pirates of the Prairie fund-raiser for the Fox 4 Love Fund for Children at Finnegan's Hall (503 East 18th Street in North Kansas City) at 6:30 p.m. It'll be worth a Jimmy Buffet overdose just to see headlining act Bill "The Sauce Boss" Wharton, who, in a feat of perverse multitasking, cooks everyone a pot of sinus-clearing gumbo while wailing the blues. For details, call 816-792-5390.
Sunday, October 10
Today marks the second annual Taste of the Westside, a celebration of Kansas City's Hispanic culture. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the intersection of Southwest Boulevard and Summit Street, local Mexican restaurants strut their stuff while hometown favorites Las Estrellas, Boss Nova and Grupo Candela provide musical accompaniment. Meanwhile, a guided trolley tour covers the area's most popular sites, such as the Mexican Consulate, the Mattie Rhodes Center and Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine. The event is part of Alianzas' Binational Health Week, a community-mobilizing effort in support of migrant health. Admission is $3; for more information, call Katy Haas at 816-235-5840.
Monday, October 11
We aren't Italian, but we can't help wishing we were -- Cupini's is one of our favorite new lunch spots, Saturday summer nights on the rooftop at Gia's were fabulous, and we would seriously pay the folks at Bella Napoli to adopt us. If we have any hope of joining la familia, learning the language is the next step. But we're broke and don't want to pay for classes, so we're checking out the Italian meetup at 8 p.m. Monday at Dean & DeLuca (4700 West 119th Street in Overland Park). There, recent transplants from Italy and fairly fluent speakers as well as newbies like us practice conversation skills. For more information, call Sheila Syty at 816-523-8823.
Tuesday, October 12
Although a full-on dinner party seems a bit too formal and definitely like too much work, throwing a casual cocktail party would make us feel the perfect amount of grown up -- and give us an excuse to buy a great new outfit and get drunk. But with Miss Martha due in West Virginia to start her prison sentence, we must turn to the Culinary Center of Kansas City (7917 Foster in Overland Park) for help. There, Meta and Barry West teach a class on planning and preparing foods for entertaining -- there has to be something to soak up the alcohol, after all. Today's installment, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., includes instruction on menu planning, figuring quantities and costs, creating a timeline, and presentation ideas. The Wests demonstrate recipes for bruschetta toppings, artichoke-filled phyllo triangles and buttery ham mousse. (We're tempted to skip that last dish.) There's also a Monday class from 6:30 to 9 p.m.; each lesson costs $45. Call 913-341-4455 to register.
Wednesday, October 13
Whether it's Hitler, Castro, Osama, Saddam or newcomer Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Americans are never without someone to fear, especially in wartime. And like the leaders of Oceania in George Orwell's 1984, part of the government's job is to make sure we're all hating the bad guys du jour. University of Missouri-Kansas City professor and film critic Tom Poe helps us cut through the hype with his lecture "The Bogeyman, War Propaganda and the Creative Process. " Promotional materials promise that Poe will begin with World War I and discuss "how wartime causes fearful communities to become exceptionally creative in projecting their deepest anxieties concerning 'the enemy.'" We'll bring our favorite security moms to the Linda Hall Library auditorium (5109 Cherry) tonight at 6 p.m. Admission is free; refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. Call 816-235-6690 for reservations.
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