Friday, December 31
Most cheesy bands don't know they're cheesy. But few bands lose money because of cheesiness or bathos; simply plot a graph of U2's increase in preciousness in proportion to its increase in revenue, and a simple pattern readily appears. Bands that not only are well aware of their schmaltz but also exploit it, however, can be a hell of a lot of fun at a party. This is precisely what a few hundred Kansas Citians discovered last New Year's Eve when San Francisco's disco-strangling octet the Cheeseballs rattled the chandeliers of Union Station with their spirited Kool and the Gang covers. Eddie Cheddar, Feta James, K.C. Queso and company return to Kansas City to rock the polyester this New Year's Eve from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Harrah's Casino (One Riverboat Drive). Call 816-472-7777.
Saturday, January 1
People who've made a New Year's resolution to get rid of their big, fat ass had better not participate in the following outings, lest we -- er ... they -- get left behind and end up out of breath, jonesing for a glazed doughnut along a park trail somewhere. First, the Lawrence Mountain Bike Club (785-865-2817) meets at noon at the Lawrence Visitor's Center (402 North Second Street) to ride Kansas River trails for two hours before retiring to Johnny's Tavern (410 North Second Street) for a post-cycling lunch of bacon cheeseburgers and fried things. Less intrepid outdoorsy types may prefer to keep apace with the folks in the Kansas City Outdoor Club (913-722-5741) who stroll the Mill Creek Streamway Trail at 1 p.m., starting at the access area at 18450 West 95th Street in Lenexa. The hikers, too, adjourn to a restaurant for some comfort food after their feat of prolonged exertion. Maybe we can do this after all.
Sunday, January 2
We're predicting this will be the biggest nap day of the year. Sure, the Chiefs end their lackluster season against the San Diego Chargers (3:15 p.m. on CBS for those who care), but considering this is the first day-after-New Year's we've had off in five years, we aim to take advantage of it by partying for two days straight, then sleeping it all off before returning to the grind tomorrow. On the other hand, one of our New Year's resolutions was to take up a new hobby, something meditative and salubrious, like ... poker! To get 2005 off to a lucky start, we'll drag ourselves out of bed this afternoon and head to the Pool Room in Lawrence (925 Iowa, 785-749-5039), where the No Limit Texas Hold 'Em tournament convenes at 5 and 8:30 p.m. See www.thepokerpub.com to find other locations and read up on the rules.
Monday, January 3
You know that literary elitist in your family who never fails to plague a film discussion with the oh-so-original observation "It just wasn't as good as the book"? This year's adult winter reading program at the Johnson County libraries, Read a Good Movie, which kicks off today and runs through March 31, is for that fucker. Readers pick up a log at any of the participating locations (check www.jocolibrary.org), then choose six books from one of six levels, from the easiest -- "any six books turned into a movie" -- to the most difficult -- "Academy Award winners." After completing the program, bibliophiles receive an award package and are eligible for additional prizes. Call 913-495-2400 for more information.
Tuesday, January 4
We once read that Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze took dance classes before their wedding just so they could pull off some fantastic Fred-and-Ginger routine that would amaze all the guests at the reception. Because we don't want the technique to outlast the marriage, as it did with 2002's favorite hipster couple, we're enlisting our very best gay friend and enrolling in ballroom dancing for ourselves, goddamn it. Classes at the Roger T. Sermon Community Center (201 North Dodgion Street in Independence) begin at 7 tonight; the fee for the six-week series is $25 a couple. Call 816-325-7370 to register.
Wednesday, January 5
The top pick on our New Year's resolution list for 2005 is "Get really rich." Because if we take care of that, we can automatically take care of picks No. 2 ("Pay off credit card debt"), No. 3 ("Go to Paris") and No. 4 ("Hire Oprah's chef and personal trainer"). But because winning the lottery isn't really resolution-appropriate, we've decided to renounce our degree in the humanities and make some fat cash in bidness. And Carmen DeHart's gonna help. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today, we're attending Starting and Managing a Small Business in Missouri, where we'll learn about planning for success, legal requirements, record-keeping and marketing, among other things. The class costs $80 and is at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Small Business Development Center (4747 Troost); call 816-235-6400 to register.