Week of May 5, 20054

Night & Day Events 

Week of May 5, 20054

Thursday, May 5
How we ought to spend Cinco de Mayo: at the University of Kansas listening to a lecture by Ashanti Alston. The former member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army served 12 years in prison for his roles in those organizations before co-founding Estacion Libre, a support group for the Zapatista Rebellion. He's also involved with Critical Resistance, a prison activist group, and is a board member for the Institute of Anarchist Studies. Catch him at 7 tonight at Alderson Auditorium at the Kansas Union (1301 Jayhawk Boulevard in Lawrence) or wait for tomorrow's 7 p.m. appearance at Solidarity (1119 Massachusetts in Lawrence) with Weather Underground co-founder Mark Rudd (not to be confused with Kansas Citian Paul Rudd, who got his big break in Clueless). It would be very politically and socially responsible to attend these intellectual offerings. In fact, it would practically be a crime not to ...

How we will spend Cinco de Mayo: at Ponak's Mexican Kitchen. The restaurant at 2856 Southwest Boulevard (816-756-3850) celebrates its 30-year anniversary today with live music and drink specials -- hel-lo, margaritas -- and scored a major coup securing the Jose Cuervo and Corona girls for the entire day. Muy caliente.

Friday, May 6
We consider ourselves relatively well-informed, but the explosion of political blogs has left us feeling a little out of the loop. Wonkette, we don't get paid to sit around and surf the Web all day, so stop making us feel so dang guilty for not following late-breaking stories, such as who's taking whom to the White House Correspondents Dinner. But in an effort to make more sparkling cocktail party convo, we're heading to the Reel Democracy film festival (which runs today through Sunday), a feast of progressive political documentaries. Tonight's double feature -- How Democrats and Progressives Can Win: Solutions From George Lakoff and part one of The Power of Nightmares, a three-part BBC documentary about the supposed terrorist network -- starts at 5 p.m. at the Screenland (1656 Washington). Tickets are $6, but they go down to $5 apiece for two or more shows, so we'll stick around for Call It Democracy, a documentary about the controversy surrounding the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, at 7. Call 816-822-9373.

Saturday, May 7
Today you could get your mother -- the woman who dealt with your kicks for months -- a fallback gift: a big bouquet of flowers, a teddy bear wearing a "Mom" T-shirt, an overpriced brunch at a crowded restaurant serving up soggy eggs Benedict. But we hear childbirth and the whole raising-kids thing are rough, so something a little more creative is in order. Lawrence's Crafty & Company (918 Massachusetts) has joined forces with LOLA for some gift-giving inspiration. And who is this mysterious LOLA? That would be the Ladies of Lawrence Artwork (though any use of ladies in an acronym always reminds us of GLOW, aka the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). Anyway, you can buy hand-crafted goodies from local printmakers, jewelry designers and other artistic types at tonight's 6 to 9 p.m. event. Jealous of LOLA's mad skills? The store offers a slew of classes, from knitting to beading. Call 785-856-8080 for more information.

Sunday, May 8
We heard about KC Watersports -- the bizarro, boatless water-ski and wakeboard lake that propels riders through the water using a series of cables -- when it opened last summer. But we never thought there were actually people who had devoted their professional lives to perfecting this activity. We were wrong. The Liquid Force team (no enema jokes, we swear) shoots through town this weekend (from noon to 6 p.m. today) to perform all sorts of fancy tricks for the masses at the park, which is on the east side of U.S. Highway 169 at the 255th Street exit. Call 913-783-4300 for details.

Monday, May 9
Helmut Newton. Richard Avedon. Irving Penn. Herb Ritts. Bruce Weber. Annie Leibowitz. Mert Alas. Marcus Piggott. Want to join the ranks of the world's greatest fashion photographers? Struggling under the can't-get-the-job-without-experience-and-can't-get-the-experience-without-a-job mandate? Lucky for you, there's been a recent surge in homegrown fashion shows in time for Surface magazine's annual contest, which is open to emerging talents only in the field of fashion photography. Finalists, selected based on portfolio submissions, are assigned a fashion editorial to be produced as part of the mag's Avant Guardian project. Register at www.surfacemag.com. But act fast -- the deadline's today.

Tuesday, May 10
It seems a little bit fishy that the Rural Route film festival is coming to the fair Midwest all the way from -- wait for it -- New York City. We are, after all, less than an hour's drive from real rural routes. The festival's creators, however, left directors to define rural themselves. We were hoping for a celebration of Holsteins and wheat fields, but, alas, no. On the positive side, organizers encouraged filmmakers to submit works that include "alternative-country, country-western, and folk music" and involve "loud rock in cornfields." We love loud rock in cornfields. The site also sells T-shirts (featuring tractors) with the festival's logo, so maybe all is not lost. Screening starts at 8 p.m. at the Westport Coffeehouse Theater (4010 Pennsylvania, 816-756-3222).

Wednesday, May 10
Smoking 101: The Fundamentals of Smoking is not a Communiversity class demonstrating the correct process of bong inhalation. (Hey -- it can be very tricky the first few times.) Instead, the title refers to the implement used by so many backyard chefs in their efforts to perfect pulled pork and barbecue ribs. The class covers all the basics (various fuels, types of wood, meat selection, time and temperature, and proper technique, for starters) and tests a number of recipes. (We're most interested in the smoked crimini mushrooms with sun-dried tomato pesto and Gorgonzola cheese.) Richard McPeake heads up the instruction from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Culinary Center of Kansas City (7917 Foster in Overland Park). The class costs $65; call 913-341-4455 to register.

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