Friday, April 8
We don't get to recommend house parties nearly often enough. (Something about fire-code violations.) But tonight a legitimate event has presented itself, so we get to relive (OK, experience for the first time) Greek row. Keg stands! Miniskirts! Unprotected sex! Yeah -- just kidding. Particularly about that last part, because this is a benefit for the AIDS Walk. From 5:30 to 11 p.m., 14 very gracious hosts invite supporters into their homes for seven different parties in Union Hill, along 29th Street from Walnut to Grand. Pay $30 at the door of one party, and you're free to roam the neighborhood for the rest of the night. Call 816-931-0959 for details.
Tonight also marks the opening reception of James "Chico" Buehler's new exhibit, Bring Outcha Dead, So I Can Remix 'Em, from 7 to 9 p.m. (or later, according to the artist) at the West Bottoms gallery The Taxidermy (1229 Union). He says the show is concerned primarily with "a bunch of zombies doin' a bunch of zombie shit, more or less." We wouldn't be terribly surprised to see attendees who bear frightening resemblance to the subject matter, now that we think of it.
Saturday, April 9
Forget about finding traditional heroes like Sherlock Holmes in any KC mystery writer's books. These days, you gotta have a gimmick. Local restaurateur and food critic Lou Jane Temple serves up culinary-themed suspense, and Rockhurst University professors Curtis Hancock and Charles M. Kovich set their co-written thrillers on college campuses. So why would we be surprised that hometowner Denise Osborne has the market cornered on feng shui detectives? The launch party for her latest novel, Evil Intentions, is from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Writers Place (3607 Pennsylvania, 816-753-1090). Among the excerpt readers is our own Charles Ferruzza. A book-signing reception follows.
Sunday, April 10
It would be unethical to encourage our readers to steal. Nonetheless, we can't help thinking about that teensy-weensy nickel in the National Money Show collection, which rolls into town this weekend. It's worth $2 million. We don't have nearly enough brains to devise a plan of action, but we also can't help thinking about that newly released Ocean's Twelve DVD. The exhibit arrived Friday at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center Exhibit Hall (2345 McGee); today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is our last chance to check out the situation. Call the American Numismatic Association at 800-367-9723 or see www.money.org for more information.
Monday, April 11
Lawrence native Steven Church grew up feeling like a misfit. But unlike his peers, who probably endured their formative years operating with the frail hope that one day their as-yet-to-be-decided talents might be appreciated -- we're so not speaking from personal experience -- Church has now been published by Simon & Schuster and nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. Misfit, indeed. His memoir, The Guinness Book of Me, was inspired by his own childhood obsession with the book that paid tribute to the fattest, freakiest and foulest people in history. Church's tour includes a 7 p.m. stop today at the Lawrence Public Library (707 Vermont, 785-843-3833) and another at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Rainy Day Books (2706 West 53rd Street in Fairway, 913-384-3126).
Also noteworthy: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle shows up at 7 p.m. at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Pierson Auditorium (5000 Holmes) to speak on bioethics and stem-cell research as the latest installment in the Robert F. Kennedy Symposium. Tickets are $10; call 816-235-6222.
Tuesday, April 12
We're skeptical that all the major issues surrounding downtown revitalization -- such as tax breaks for developers and the role of City Hall -- can be covered thoroughly in today's modest one-hour discussion on Kansas City redevelopment. But we're willing to give City Manager Wayne Cauthen, along with other KC celebrities in the legal and urban-development fields, a chance to prove us wrong. Moderated by law professor Julie Cheslik, the eight panelists will also field questions from the audience for 30 minutes following the debate, which starts at 6 p.m. at UMKC's Law School Student Lounge, 500 East 52nd Street. (We hope there's some debate, at least. Or else we might fall asleep.) For more information, contact John McGurk at email@example.com.
Wednesday, April 13
Our favorite David Sedaris memory was from Christmas 2003, when we gave our dad a copy of Sedaris' short-story collection Holidays on Ice. As we chatted up the fam on Christmas night after the kiddies had gone to bed, we pulled out the book and began to read aloud, heading straight for "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" which we remembered to be the most unsuitable and inappropriate option. Written as one of those chipper holiday newsletters, the chronicle quickly derails as the mother who's penning the annual narrative describes the family's mishaps and misfortunes of the year. Our own family giggled along through the first two-thirds of the story, willing and able to tolerate our appreciation of Sedaris' sardonic wit. But, nearing the end, as we howled at Vietnamese half-sister Khe Sahn's misinterpretation of "Watch the baby" as "Wash the baby" -- a mistake of epic proportions -- we glanced around the room, tears streaming out our eyes, to find four wide-eyed, dumbfounded faces staring back at us in a combination of shock and disgust. Which was a very Sedaris moment. The author comes to the University of Kansas' Lied Center (1600 Stewart Drive in Lawrence) at 8 tonight. Tickets are $16.50-$31.50; call 785-864-2787.