When you did your holiday shopping at Wal-Mart, did you feel like you had gone to another planet -- one where cheap diapers actually appeared to be a good gift idea? Apparently you aren't the only one who sees Wal-Mart as an extraterrestrial destination. The Heartland Labor Forum dubbed one award-winning episode of its radio program "The Wal-Martian Chronicles. " Forget the shopping conditions; this show about the labor conditions at Wal-Mart first aired as a "Halloween Horror Story." The episode runs again at 6 p.m. on KKFI 90.1. For information, call 816-235-1470.
Friday, January 2, 2003
With the haze of New Year's parties still lingering, this Friday night just doesn't have the usual party vibe. Where are all the live shows and the First Friday openings? It seems everybody is stone-cold chilling tonight. Everybody, that is, except for the Kansas City Comets. That's right, KC's indoor soccer team takes on the Baltimore Blast starting at 7:35 p.m. at Kemper Arena, 1800 Genessee. As a special incentive to pry post-holiday loafers off their couches, the team is offering a family four-pack deal: four tickets, four hot dogs and four Cokes for $40. For tickets, call 816-931-3330.
Saturday, January 3, 2003
Fitness-related New Year's resolutions are usually a dime a dozen, but this year, we're forecasting a sudden surge in the value of the annual self-inflicted promise. We've even found the perfect place for you to start 2004's self-improvement campaign: the Johnson County Bike Club's Arctic Century Ride. Sure, it'll probably be cold out, but that will only make you stronger. Just take your bike down Longview Road where it dead-ends against Longview Lake. There, by the marina, you'll find other bikers noshing on bananas, bagels and hot chocolate. The free ride starts at 9 a.m. and is open to the public. You can choose from three loop routes of 10, 20 and 30 miles. C'mon, go for the 30-miler. For details, call 913-962-4730.
Sunday, January 4, 2003
We hereby declare that it is once again safe to hang out at the Plaza. That's right, you heard us: game on. The holiday overkill is over, which means we can go see Slim Cessna's Auto Club at Fred P. Ott's (4770 J.C. Nichols Parkway) and actually be there for the show instead of looking for parking all night. Tonight, the gold-toothed Cessna and his band provide a blend of country, hillbilly and gospel guaranteed to be a hit with the little-bit-punk, little-bit-country types. The Auto Club's roots records are available through punk demigod Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles record label, if that says anything. The bar with all the crazy crap on the walls presents live music on Sunday nights for just $2; depending on the attraction, the two-level tavern can fill up pretty quickly. To top it all off, P. Ott's (as the cool kids call it) is the only affordable bar we can think of that has a free, covered parking garage through the back door. For more information, call 816-753-2878.
Monday, January 5, 2003
We bet your relatives' homemade quilts don't look anything like the throws created by the Kansas Art Quilters. Then again, the exhibit presented by the quilting organization shows that each quilter has an individual style. Some quilters opt for the standard patchwork scheme; others create less traditional quilts. One quilter went so far as to stitch a patchwork self-portrait, the image of which can be discerned only from a distance, like a pointillist painting. A few of the quilts show Martian landscapes. These quilters are limited only by their imaginations and patience. The Lawrence Arts Center (940 New Hampshire Street in Lawrence) opens its Kansas Art Quilters exhibit at 10 a.m. For information, call 785-843-2787.
Tuesday, January 6, 2003
Hey, kid. Yeah, you on the couch. We know you're just sitting around your folks' house reaping the benefits of a fully stocked kitchen until school starts again. It's a shame you can't go out because your fake ID isn't good enough to fool the smarter-than-your-average-frat-boy bouncer. We feel for you, but not really. You see, there's a new all-ages venue down in the Bottoms. The Spitfire Club (1717 West Ninth Street) brings in all that, you know, punk and hardcore music that pissed-off art kids like so much. Tonight it's New York's On the Rise and Mission, Kansas' very own Iron Guts Kelly. If you're looking for some good research topics for next semester's political-science and sociology classes, listen to the lyrics and take some notes. Chances are you'll hear enough rhetoric to fill a semester's worth of papers. Hardcore shows usually don't cost more than $5; tonight's starts at 7. For details, call 816-421-7525.
Wednesday, January 7, 2003
Lawrence can be pretty damned dead when all the college kids are home for the holidays. The flow of bands touring through the winter slows to a trickle. Restaurants abbreviate their hours of operation until school starts again, which is just as bad for the employees as it is for the remaining hungry people. With the exception of die-hard locals, even the party scene is pretty much out of commission. But if the nightlife is not the life for you, then this is one of the best times of year to be in Larry Town. This is the season to appreciate the little things. Relish those extra hours of sleep unhindered by the sounds of Wooo! echoing through the alleys. Savor the wealth of available parking spaces in front of all your favorite stores. Set your tape deck to record and listen in awe as the DJs on KJHK 90.7 blow your mind with free-form programming. If this brief window of respite doesn't thrill you, try the new 150 Years of Buttons exhibit at the Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts Street. For details, call 785-841-4109.