Friday, December 10
Ah, the sweet relief of 4 p.m. on a Friday. The last thing we want to do is attend a stress-reduction seminar. It's 4 p.m. on fucking Friday, for Christ's sake -- somebody get this girl a drink! But we have lots of friends who aren't going to make it through the next few weeks unless somebody tells them how. So for you (and you and you and you), we recommend the Healthy Initiative Project's Managing Stress for the Holidays. Besides speakers explaining how to "breathe through it" instead of "going ape-shit on your family," there are massage therapists, wellness consultants, a personal trainer and a reflexologist determined to make you the most relaxed you've been around your mother since the womb. It lasts from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Robert J. Mohart Multipurpose FOCUS Center (3200 Wayne); call 816-784-4540 for more information.
Saturday, December 11
Local radio's three finest hours occur on the one night people are least likely to be home to appreciate them. But it's worth sacrificing a night of drunken dancing and smoke inhalation to catch The Retro Red-Eye Express from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight on KKFI 90.1. Host Sunshine spins a sublime play list of rapture-inducing rock that's mostly retro '80s bands but is eclectic enough to include the likes of Bryan Ferry and They Might Be Giants, plus buzzworthy acts such as the Faint and the Futureheads, whom Sunshine interviewed in November. But her most exciting interview might happen tonight, when she talks to and plays tracks by Piney Gir, a quirkily magnificent electro-pop singer who grew up in a Pentecostal household in Kansas City, worked at Broadway Café and Bloomsday Books and is now, by a miraculous turn of events, the toast of the London indie rock scene.
Sunday, December 12
When we read about the Missouri Department of Conservation's upcoming day tour, the Adults Only Naturalist Road Trip: Squaw Creek, we could not stop giggling. Are we alone in thinking that this sounds like volume five in a very randy series of porn for bird lovers? Craig Hensley leads the, uh, expedition from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge (located 35 miles northwest of St. Joseph on Interstate 29, then 3 miles west on Highway 159). Participants should bring binoculars, a field guide and a sack lunch. It's a bit of a drive for a quick peek at some sexy waterfowl -- but, hey, if that's what you're into, far be it from us to pass judgment. Call 660-442-3187 to register attendance.
Monday, December 13
We still aren't sure whether Jim Carrey's recent revelation regarding anti-depressants is for real or just to garner publicity for Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. Why quit Prozac now, when the last movie you made was the best film of your career? We'll posit this for discussion tonight at A Most Unfortunate Event, which celebrates the literary background of the film that opens December 17. It starts at 7 p.m. at the Central Library (14 West Tenth Street); call 816-701-3400 for more information.
Tuesday, December 14
Barbecue is Steve Raichlen's life. He lives it, breathes it. When he goes to bed, barbecue tucks him in. When he wakes, barbecue is there slapping the snooze button and snuggling back in for ten more minutes of peppery, molasses-tinged dreams. OK, we don't really know how deeply barbecue is embedded in Raichlen's unconscious, but his prolific output of cookbooks, such as the definitive Barbecue Bible, suggests that he's hooked in a big way. We won't be surprised when the American Barbecue Hall of Fame and Museum erects a shrine in Raichlen's honor -- that is, if the ambitious but financially hard-up organization can raise the money to build its temple of brisket. To benefit the smoke-pit altar, Raichlen appears from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Roth Concept Center (7930 Marshall Drive in Lenexa) to promote his new book, Indoor Grilling, a tome calculated to help compulsive grillers survive the winter months. Truly devoted rib junkies will not waver at the paltry $50 fee for the night of pork-pulling with Raichlen that follows at 7 at KC Masterpiece, 10985 Metcalf in Overland Park. Call 816-531-3119.
Wednesday, December 15
When someone from the University of Missouri-Kansas City's African-American History and Culture House called and politely but firmly requested that we remove our online listing for Arnold Brack's upcoming gallery opening, we thought something might be amiss. Our hunch was correct. Turns out Brack's art proved too provocative for the school, and the exhibit Icons: A Glorification of a Biological Necessity was canceled. Brack, whose drawings, drums, sculptures and tribal masks celebrate the female form, then consulted local gallery dealer Pat Jordan for advice. She told him to c'mon over -- and now, happily, the breast show is back on. The opening reception is from 6 to 9 tonight at the Vine Street Studio (1601 East 18th Street, 816-842-2364).