This Weeks Day-By-Day Picks 

Thursday, July 31, 2003

We know what you're thinking. Live jazz bands at restaurants are distracting. You have to shout just to have a conversation because the acoustics in restaurants aren't meant to accommodate clanking silverware along with the sound of a tenor sax. Fine, think these negative thoughts if you want to. But it's your loss, because the weekly Thursday Martini and Jazz Night at McCoy's Public House kicks ass. It's an underappreciated Thursday night affair. The bar offers seventeen varieties of martini for $6 apiece. But the best part is that the jazz, provided by the Greg Meise Band, is good! It's good, and what's more, the space is big enough that the lovely sounds in no way interfere with dinnertime chitchat. McCoy's is located at 4057 Pennsylvania. For information, call 816-960-0866. And wear a sweater over your tank top; they air-condition the shit out of that place.

Friday, August 1, 2003

Anyone who wishes high school had offered more "strong adult language and content" should check out a performance of a play called Cloud 9 -- a steamy and controversial play by Caryl Churchill -- at Shawnee Mission North High School, 7401 Johnson Drive in Overland Park. Covering such issues as feminism, colonialism and sex, it's like a combination of what history class, lit class and theater could have been had all those students been a little less juvenile. The play, performed by the Barn Players, begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10. For information, call 913-219-7256.

Saturday, August 2, 2003

Are rabbits the new cats? The only way to find out is to attend the House Rabbit Society of Kansas City's Rabbit Expo, where adoptable rabbits will be hanging around, hoping to go home with someone. Now, some people keep rabbits in cages, which is not exactly what the House Rabbit Society has in mind. When you buy these floppy-eared critters, says the Society, you should also consider getting a litter box and letting them hop free in your home. Representatives will be on hand to explain it all for you. And for the current rabbit owner, there'll be a nail-clipping seminar (alternate title: "How to Make Your Rabbit Hate You") and bunny photo ops. The whole shindig goes down from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Petsmart, 5810 Antioch in Merriam. For information, call 816-356-3900.

Anyone who's been wondering what happened to the Westport Ballet School building (Main Street and Westport Road) has a chance to find out tonight. Turns out it's a turn-of-the-century ballroom that's being restored to its former glory, to be called Morton Hall. The public is invited to come see the progress during A Summer's Evening Dance at 7:30 p.m., with music by the Vince Bilardo Trio and a fancy-schmancy assortment of light appetizers. Admission costs $25 a couple, and tickets must be purchased in advance. For reservations, call 816-531-6399. Note: This is not a lesson. If you don't know what the number three has to do with a waltz, this may not be the ball for you.

Sunday, August 3, 2003

The Elder Futhark runes consist of 24 different symbols. Some people think they were used not so much to predict the future as to understand present trends and where they're going -- kind of like the tarot, or People magazine. But the main thing to note is that runes are usually stones with these symbols etched on them. And during today's rune-making class at Crescent Springs (7913 Santa Fe in Overland Park), people will be crocheting runes. So ... yeah, that's weird, because you sure as heck can't crochet a stone. But it's interesting, and that's why we like it. Participants should bring size 10 crochet cotton thread, a size 7 steel crochet hook, cotton balls and an herb of choice for the three-hour class, which begins at 1 p.m. Class size is limited; call 913-341-2044 ahead of time to sign up. Admission is $35.

Monday, August 4, 2003

Our love for the Rural Grit Happy Hour is no secret. We proclaim it every chance we get. But we are especially excited about this week's theme: Outlaws and the Women Who Loved Them. Why does this theme excite us? That's none of your goddamned business, you hear? Just go to the Grand Emporium (3832 Main) between 6 and 9 p.m. if you've ever had your heart, your money or possibly both stolen by a handsome man in a cowboy hat -- or if you are a handsome man in a cowboy hat who embezzles egos. You're the kind we hunt down, only to run away from later. For information, call 816-531-1504.

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Today, the Wizards compete in the country's oldest soccer tournament -- the U.S. Open Cup -- against the Colorado Rapids. That's great and all, but how can the fans at home see this faraway match? Will it be televised? Answers are difficult to find. American networks aren't exactly fanatical about the sport, probably because we kind of suck at soccer compared with other countries. We should embrace soccer. It is far superior to football, during which everyone is so secretive -- all that huddling infuriates us. So, we say, if you are serious about your preference for soccer, go to The Other Place (7324 West 80th Street in Overland Park), where a mutiny in favor of showing whatever television coverage exists of tonight's 8 p.m. match is likely to hold some sway. This according to our resident soccer fan. For information, call 913-652-9494.

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

It has become abundantly clear to us that people like fake news more than they like real news. When it comes to TV news, for instance, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart beats Tom Brokaw with a stick. The Onion creates a similar phenomenon. Onion fans are insane. We know because we number ourselves among them. Onion fans can have entire conversations that consist solely of ping-ponging memorable Onion headlines back and forth, all while chortling. The funny thing is, these conversations actually feel meaningful. To have more of them, locals can join an International Onion Meetup. Today at 7 p.m., people in cities everywhere will be getting together to talk about The Onion. Kansas City's members have not yet determined where they'll gather, but to get the latest, see onion.meetup.com. If we were going to vote on a meeting place, we'd choose Murray's. But that's just us.

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