This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, November 11

No matter how people voted last week--Bush or Kerry, moral values or war in Iraq, marriage is between a man and woman or between anyone willing to promise "till death do us part"--most will say they support the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan even if they don't support the orders that put them there. If the exit polls and a survey of local cars driving around with the red, white and blue ribbon-shaped magnets are correct, then the Dallas Veterans Day Parade should feature supporters lining the streets downtown, from Reunion Arena to City Hall across Main and Ervay streets. Military displays begin at City Hall at 9:30 a.m. The ceremonies start at 11 a.m. at City Hall with a ceremony signifying the end of World War I, wreath-laying, taps, a "missing man" flyover, local military units and speeches by leaders, both military and political. The parade starts at 11:30 a.m. at the arena and ends at City Hall. Visit www.vetsdayindallas.org.

Friday, November 12

The rules in the blues musicians' handbook must include that all players be eccentric and lead lives as entertaining as their music (and occasionally more so). Dr. John certainly fits the mold: He's been loved and loathed in his hometown of New Orleans, donned full Mardi Gras gear for shows, been called a savior of the blues, been branded a sellout for doing commercial jingles and collaborated with hip musicians from every era, from Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton to Supergrass and Spiritualized. Now Dr. John, possibly wearing a big hat and beads, will join "white boy blues" harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite and Shemekia Copeland, daughter of Texas blues guitarist Johnny Copeland and a star in her own right, for Celebrating the Blues, a concert presented by TITAS at 8 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $12 to $55 and are available by calling 214-528-5576.

Saturday, November 13

We're like the little boy in The Polar Express. He has his doubts about Santa Claus being real, and we have our doubts that Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of the Chris Van Allsburg children's Christmas story will be worth its weight in coal. We do know that--despite whether the film steams ahead or stops in its tracks--fans of the book will get a treat with an exhibit and series of events at the Dallas Museum of Art. First, an exhibition of Van Allsburg's book illustrations from his private collection is on display through February 7 in the alcove outside the Horchow Auditorium. Inside the auditorium on Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon is the series' first event, Word for Word: Chris Van Allsburg Read Aloud, with Mr. Peppermint and Raphael Parry reading several books, including The Polar Express. An art tour based on the sights of his book Ben's Dream will also take place. Admission is free with paid admission to the museum, 1717 N. Harwood St. Reservations are recommended. Call 214-922-1219.

Sunday, November 14

Authors are counseled to write what they know, but you never expect crime writers to be doing that. But James Ellroy--whose L.A. Confidential inspired a hit Hollywood movie and helped launch the careers of Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce--does, though. He's been using novels about murder, deceit, love and other dark matters of Los Angeles as catharsis, trying to work through how his mother was raped, murdered and dumped on a road outside L.A. when he was 10 years old. He finally found solace when he and a homicide cop investigated the murder, which he documents in My Dark Places. He'll discuss his life and how it's shaped his work when he appears in the second installment of this season's The Writer's Studio, a collaboration between The Writer's Garret and KERA-FM 90.1 during which authors read and discuss their works in front of a live audience for a future radio program. Ellroy's appearance is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St. Tickets are $28 to $34. Call 214-871-3300.

Monday, November 15

The insult "Your mother wears combat boots" just doesn't work anymore; it can be a compliment. And if your mother dances in combat boots, that's even cooler, which is what you'll see when the Bruce Wood Dance Company and members of the U.S. Army join forces for Follow Me, a dance performance that pays tribute to soldiers and discusses the type of trust--in yourself, in weapons, in orders, in other soldiers--involved in military service. The concert also includes BWDC's very requested work Requiem, which uses Mozart's Requiem, and Dark Matter, a world premiere by Bruce Wood inspired by Prokofiev's Violin Concerto and the paintings of Rene Magritte. The performance is 7:30 p.m. Monday at Bass Hall, 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth. Tickets are $20 to $65. Call 1-877-212-4280.

Tuesday, November 16

All the professions we wanted to run away from home to do are so much less glamorous in real life. Take clowns, for example; you're constantly riding a train, washing grease paint from behind your ears and picking globs of coconut cream pie out of your nose. Or, with cowboys, you're always on a horse, eating beans out of a metal pan and wearing a bandanna to keep bugs out of your teeth. Kids can get a dose of cowboy reality with the Fort Worth Museum of Natural History's new exhibit Joshua's Journey: A Black Cowboy Rides the Chisholm Trail, which is based on the Scholastic book The Journal of Joshua Loper: A Black Cowboy from the Dear America/My Name Is America series. The exhibit, which opens November 13 and runs daily through May 15, begins with a mannequin dressed in period clothes with all the supplies Joshua would have needed as he rides the Chisholm Trail and continues through activities such as calf roping and horse riding, demonstrations, historic artifacts and other looks at this character's life. Admission is $6 to $7. Fort Worth Museum of Natural History, 1501 Montgomery St. Call 817-255-9300.

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