This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday 30

How thoughtful. You've decided to have your mates 'round your place for a little New Year's Eve shindig. Be honest: It's so you don't have to drive anywhere, right? Whatever the motive, you gotta have some grub on hand to soak up the liters of libations that will flow through the midnight toasts and beyond. The Preston Forest location of Whole Foods Market, 11661 Preston Road, has some ideas for Quick and Easy Appetizers to help get the party started and keep it going strong. (No promises; who knows how you people drink?) At the very least, the market instructors can help you keep from threatening that stunning ensemble with a night spent in the kitchen. Sign up at Customer Service for the free class on Thursday at 4 p.m. Call 214-361-8887.

Friday 31

Tactile fractals: Rebecca Bluestone's hand-dyed art is on display at Richardson's Eisemann Center.
Douglas Merriam
Tactile fractals: Rebecca Bluestone's hand-dyed art is on display at Richardson's Eisemann Center.

Is it possible to be a big bully and have generosity that puts most everyone to shame? Apparently, Live 105.3 FM's Russ Martin is all about equality--if equality means slamming everyone with equal fervor on his eponymous radio show then doing his best to help those in need. He's rude, he's hot-headed, and he has an unhealthy obsession with Batman. Off the air, though, Martin is severely charitable. He's a huge supporter of Operation Kindness and has established the Russ Martin Show Listeners Foundation, which benefits families of fallen police officers and firefighters. After all the smack talking he's done this year on-air and after playing Santa for the OK's pet photos fundraiser, we say ol' Russ deserves to have a little fun. And yet, here he goes again, throwing The Russ Martin Show NYE Party 2004 for all his listeners at Firewater Bar & Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd. East. Honestly, Russ, we would have thrown you a bash, but you beat us to it. But we'll totally buy you a drink. Admission is $15 and is 21 and up only. The doors open at 8 p.m. and 11th Hour will provide the live music. Call 214-352-5700 or click on www.russmartin.com.

Saturday 1

We did it for a documentary, a photo essay, a feature on health. Really. We ate crap all year as an experiment and were crestfallen to find out about Super Size Me. Our weight gain was a sacrifice for our art. What was 20--OK, fine--30 pounds for a social commentary on bad nutritional decisions? A small price to pay until Morgan Spurlock foiled our plans with his project. At least, that's the excuse we're going with for now. But 24 Hour Fitness Free Fitness Days have got us on the path to our new idea of a commentary on losing weight during an odd-numbered year. Really. All of the 300 locations across the country offer free workouts Thursday through Saturday. Free weights, machines and group exercise classes are all free of charge in an effort to get people out of the pumpkin pie and into a higher metabolism and lower pants size. Find a nearby location at www.24hourfitness.com or by calling 1-800-204-2400. And we're trusting you, so nobody better steal our movie deal this time.

Sunday 2

On the second day of the new year, we've eaten the black-eyed peas, written thank-you notes for holiday gifts and, for that last day before the workweek officially begins anew, we're left pondering what 2005 has in store. But we don't have to ponder anymore. Here's an option that takes all the fun out of the future: Visit one of more than 30 professional psychic readers at the New Year's Psychic Fair at the Holiday Inn Select on LBJ Freeway and Josey Lane. From noon to 6 p.m., Creative Organization hosts Dallas' "oldest and largest psychic fair" for the 22nd year. Admission to our past, present and future is just $7, and each 15-minute reading is $10. And if we don't care to know just how many overdue bills we'll incur, we can always just shop the books, tapes, candles and jewelry or enjoy a massage and get our energy balanced for the year to come...or at least for that first day back at work. Call 1-888-RIBBON8 or e-mail CreativOrg@aol.com.

Monday 3

From experience, we can say that resolutions--though well-intended--rarely stick. We've said we'd cut down on television, save money instead of spending it and always, always eat more that's actually good for us. On about January 15, we realize we've watched four TV series on DVD, ordered out 10 times, and six of those times we had pizza. But perhaps if we'd had some professional tutoring, we'd hang on for at least the eating-right part of the New Year equation. So we're shelling out $55 (It will help us save later, so just lay off) for Carol Ritchie's hands-on class Mastering Healthy Recipes for Heart-Healthy Success at Sur La Table at 6 p.m. on Monday. The TV hostess and national spokesperson for the American Heart Association Cookbooks will offer tips on lowering the cholesterol in our cooking without losing the flavor. She'll even educate us on the right way to read nutrition labels so packaged foods aren't such a threat. The program will fill quickly because of everyone's new-found motivation come January 1, but online wait lists are available. Sur La Table is located at 4527 Travis St. Visit www.surlatable.com or call 214-219-4404.

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