Friday, July 1
The annual 18th Street fashion show was two weeks ago, but if you missed it, check out tonight's First Friday Fashion Market at Cadillac Catering (1935 McGee, 816-221-3606). Organized by Carman Stalker, one of the members of the San Diego fashion collective Wearhaus, the event is similar to the monthly style happenings at Bar Ibiza (also hosted by Stalker), only bigger. It's part runway and part trunk show for the 12 invited designers, who send their models down the catwalk as they work booths and sell their wares. Sadly, we can't expect the theatrics of Lick-a-Stitch or the gorgeous undergarments of Sophie and Gwendolyn -- who, in our humble opinion, stole the 18th Street show. But there are offerings from XYZ Handbags and Scientific Panty, which weren't at Birdies' block party. Doors are open from 6 to 11 p.m., and the models stage repeat parades at 7, 9 and 10:30. Admission is $2.
Saturday, July 2
When the weather gets hot, we retreat to the coldest, darkest places we can find. Which is why we're usually at movie theaters. But eventually, we see everything we're willing to endure at the multiplex, and our pasty skin has kids calling us Casper. So we're going outside in the heat for one thing we do like: the gorgeous grounds we don't have to tend at Powell Gardens (1609 Northwest U.S. Highway 50 in Kingsville, 816-697-2600). This weekend, the site hosts Booms and Blooms; today's offerings include a day lily sale, the Spirit of Independence Concert Band performing from 2 to 4 p.m., and various kids activities. Tomorrow brings on the booms when fireworks begin at dusk. Both days, master gardeners host question-and-answer sessions from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7.50.
Sunday, July 3
Some filmmakers (Alexander Payne, anyone?) have made careers out of examining, at painfully close range, pathetic lives of mediocrity. We love these movies for their inherent schadenfreude, sure, but they also provide inspiration. After all, we'll do anything we can -- and we do mean anything -- not to end up like the sad saps they portray. So if you've recently realized that you hate your job, your children and your life, head to Screenland Theater (1656 Washington, 816-421-2900) to catch King of the Corner, written and directed by the film's star, Peter Riegert. His Leo Spivak, a market researcher whose father is dying, is the very essence of midlife crisis -- complete with an upstart "protégé" (played by Dustin Hoffman's son Jake) gunning for his job, a rebellious daughter, and religious guilt (the Jewish kind, not the Catholic kind). Believe us, you'll walk out of that theater with a new lease on life.
Monday, July 4
Our journey into the world of tribute bands was a fascinating one. We can understand wanting to see Pink Floyd, but how can you say, with a straight face, that you're going to see Pink Side of the Moon? Or Think Floyd? We wish we weren't so terribly amused by Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band the Red Not Chili Peppers, but we are. Why see Bon Jovi when there's By Jovi? Tom Petty's summer tour is sold out? Catch Petty Theft instead. The Achtung Babies, Rattle and Hum, the Mysterious Ways and the Unforgettable Fire all serve as ersatz U2s, and those of us who missed our chance to see ABBA will have to content ourselves with Bjorn Again. Or Abbalanche. Or, uh, Super Troopers. It still bugs us, though, that for entities still in existence, someone would rather make do with a substitute. And so it goes with the appearance of the Liberty Bell Replica at Union Station (30 West Pershing Road, 816-460-2020). The original bell is still alive and well in Philadelphia, but we guess when life brings you the Rolling Clones instead of the Rolling Stones, you can't always get what you want, can you?
Tuesday, July 5
How exactly did the Million Man Marijuana March come to be? We can only imagine how the planning meetings must have gone. We're thinking basement rooms hung with black-light posters and Indian-print tapestries, and, gee, maybe a little cloud of smoke. Then again, we're betting that a good part of the protesters who show up for today's proceedings, from noon to 5 p.m. at the J.C. Nichols Fountain (47th Street and Main), are mostly interested in the efforts of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws to represent Americans who smoke responsibly and believe recreational and medicinal use of marijuana shouldn't be a crime. We expect a mix of crowd-moving bands and crowd-inspiring speakers, but we hope organizers aren't disappointed when fewer than a million people show up.
Wednesday, July 6
If a traditionalist like Six Feet Under's Billy is finally making the leap to digital photography, we think everyone should (even if said leap is a completely irrational one prompted by lithium self-deprivation; the lesson here is that he's trying new things). In A Pixel's Worth 1,000 Words: Digital Photography Made Easy, Glori Berkel teaches the basics, such as types of cameras and computers; uploading and e-mailing pictures; and adjusting brightness, contrast and color in Photoshop to produce the best images possible. The class costs $14 (bring an additional $30 for materials) and meets from 7 to 9 tonight in room 203 of the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Royall Hall (800 East 52nd Street). Call 816-235-1448 to register.