This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, September 23

There is a part of us incredibly shamed by this confession, and a part of us that revels in it for a few hours each year. Not only do we know every word to CATS, but we LOVE it. It's not that it's a musical, since most of those we find unforgivably irritating. We fully believe that our CATS attachment started when in sixth grade we flawlessly recited T.S. Eliot's (that's right, Andrew Lloyd Weber didn't write those lyrics all by himself) "The Naming of Cats" in front of our class. We were shaking, sweating and were all versions of middle-school nervous, but somehow we made it through without a stutter. And it was probably because in our heads we could hear the melody behind the number we'd heard countless times on Mom's stereo (and would end up seeing live just about every year). So, without hesitation, we head to the Eisemann Center in Richardson Thursday for the opening night performance at 8 p.m. The show continues through Sunday and tickets are $39.50 to $48.50. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.theaterleague.org.

Friday, September 24

Big Tex, Texas Star, midway photo booths, funnel cakes, corn-on-the-cob on a stick. The State Fair of Texas has many standard attractions, you know, things one can expect to encounter after entering the gates of Fair Park. But we found something surprising this year: clean bathrooms. Charmin Ultra, despite its heinous crapping bear cartoon/commercials, has made a publicity effort we fully support. The State Fair now features Charmin Ultra "On Assignment" in two women's and two men's bathrooms at the Food Pavilion and next to Kiddie Land at the midway. With the slogan "comfortably clean" in mind, Charmin will offer aromatherapy, soothing music, fresh flowers, Charmin Ultra and, our favorite, constant maintenance for the duration of the fair. Forget scary rides and the latest in kitchen gadgets, a clean bathroom at the Fair is something we can really get excited about. For State Fair of Texas information, see www.bigtex.com.

Saturday, September 25

We heard the tale of how our ancestor signed the Declaration of Independence and just how important the United States Constitution is. And we heard it oh, at about the age of 3. American history was always a huge part of our family. Proof of that was pretty clear the Christmas all the grandkids got copies of the Constitution, Declaration, DAR memberships (for the girls, of course) and seals of the Great Choctaw Nation. Who knew the birth of Christ could be so patriotic? Saturday may not be Christmas, but the Daughters of the American Revolution, dressed to the hilt in period costumes, we might add, are giving Frisco Barnes & Noble visitors copies of the Constitution at a Story of the Constitution event. Celebrate democracy, freedom and women in costumes at noon at 2601 Preston Road. Call 972-668-2820.

Sunday, September 26

After watching early Japanese monster flicks, Discovery Channel's Shark Week or maybe even Popeye with that giant octopus, one would think all the scary sea creatures were accounted for. The Dallas Museum of Natural History shows us in the new exhibit Savage Ancient Seas that prehistoric remains of "carnivorous marine reptiles" are still pretty intimidating, even if they are dead. Take, for instance, the largest sea turtle (aka Archelon Ischyros) measuring 15 feet by 17 feet. Or the largest aquatic lizard found in North America, measuring 45 feet. More than 50 prehistoric skeletons pepper the exhibit featuring nice, passive creatures like giant squid or the Pachyrhizodus and its many sharp teeth. It's a fantastic new world for young dino fans and evidence why we'll never wade farther than where we can still see our feet in the ocean. The DMNH is located in Fair Park and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is from $4 to $6.50. Call 214-421-DINO.

Monday, September 27

Before ever discovering the wonders of a Sony Playstation, still living in the prehistoric world of Nintendo's first Super Mario Bros., we were at a party. Feeling good in our deftly selected outfit, we began chatting up a rather cute boy. The response was good, and we were confident until he looked at us coyly and asked, "So, you a gamer?" Quickly, we excused ourselves, located our wing(wo)man and asked if this was some creepy sexual come-on or if he just liked Scrabble. To misunderstood gamers everywhere: First, we're sorry we ran away. Second, you should head to GameRiot Monday at Gypsy Ballroom, 2513 Main St. For $10, attendees can check out 38 games (including Soul Caliber, ESPN NFL 2K5, America's Army and others) on more than 70 Plasma and LCD screens. Plus, Blockbuster sponsors a Halo Championship twice at the event and Spike TV is giving away all sorts of free stuff. The first session begins at 6 p.m. and the last at 9 p.m. For a schedule of competitions, check out www.gameriot.com.

Tuesday, September 28

It's not that politics isn't interesting or that we don't pay attention, but for some reason, when the Tate Lecture Series announced that Tuesday's lecture would feature Bob Dole and Al Gore, we immediately pictured not them, but the actors impersonating them on Saturday Night Live. As our colleague said, that's definitely the sign of a TV generation. At 8 p.m. in the McFarlin Auditorium on the Southern Methodist University campus, the TV-obsessed can redeem themselves and hear the former Senate majority leader and former VP speak, along with U.S. News & World Report's editor-at-large and former presidential advisor David Gergen. And who knows, maybe without personal campaigns on the line, we just might get some straight answers. Then again, once a politician... Tickets range from $40 to $60. For availability, call 214-768-8283.

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