This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, January 6
If ever you've found beef stew or cream of potato soup so soothing that you wanted to curl up in it and nap, welcome to our world. It was winter for all of like 15 minutes, and during those minutes we hunkered down and got cozy with soup--one of our three favorite foods. Give us your split pea, your tomato basil and your bisques because we're all about cradling the warm bowl and slurping down the savory stuff. Supporting the notion that the season will remain winter despite temperatures in the 70s, Whole Foods Plano, 2201 Preston Road at Park Lane, offers Soups On!, a class full of easy recipes for hearty soups that are perfect for chillier weather...and the occasional Texas ice storm come February. Stew over soup from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. The cost is $20. Call 972-612-6729.

Friday, January 7

As much as the Broadway musical requires supreme talent of its performers, it's about as much fun to make fun of them. Just check out that video of us in high school performing "The Old Gumby Cat" from Cats. (It's easier now and less embarrassing to just say that we were making fun of it rather than earnestly trying to pull it off.) Some of the Uptown Players are quite the Broadway icons (in a twisted sort of way) in the annual season fundraiser, Broadway Our Way D3: Divas United. The players (Coy Covington, Natalie King, Denise Lee, etc.) take on musical faves such as The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Chicago, Wicked, Avenue Qand others with the trademark Uptown aplomb. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday at Trinity River Arts Center, 2600 Stemmons Freeway. Tickets are $40. Call 214-219-2718.

Saturday, January 8

Ally David's Bend Studio isn't just raking in on a fitness trend. Anyone who was wouldn't give as much information, instruction or inspiration away for free. The yoga studio once again proves its charity with another effort to whip, er, uh, stretch us all into shape with a New Year Open House. Instructors will be on hand to greet interested people and offer demonstration classes for free. The studio will also offer nutritional info and education on metabolic typing as well as free chair massages. And, of course, what open house would be complete without door prizes such as discounted classes, series and yoga-related items. The shindig is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with demo classes from 11:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Call 214-841-9642 or visit www.bendstudio.com.

Sunday, January 9

We're willing to give a chance to the artist that titled her last solo exhibition Wild Poodles Roam the Earth. Is that wrong? OK, fine, so Susan Cheal's latest exhibition Float deserves a chance anyway just so we can see how "the nonrepresentational aspects of these paintings force the viewer to assign meaning based on their own diverse experience and method of interpretation." And, well, we like Japanese woodblock prints and fabric patterns, which--along with "historical styles of abstract expressionism and modernism"--influence Cheal's new series opening Sunday with a reception from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at El Centro College at Main and Lamar streets downtown. Too much artsy jargon? Fine. Try this: Susan Cheal's paintings have a modern Asian flare and make viewers analyze their own experiences in human behavior. See www.ecc.dcccd.edu/Campusinfo/artgallery.

Monday, January 10

If the Christmas tree is still up, it's time to let go. It's hard, sure, but it's time to surrender the piney carcass to the city of Dallas at Flagpole Hill, Bachman Transfer Station (9500 Harry Hines Blvd.), Southwest Transfer Station (4610 S. Westmoreland Road), Fair Oaks Transfer Station (7677 Fair Oaks Ave.) or McCommas Bluff Landfill (5100 Youngblood Road). Why the city? Because after tree-tossers remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, nails and other items from their trees, the city will transform the timber into free mulch for city residents. Free mulch is available at the Bachman station and the McCommas Bluff Landfill. Those desiring holiday mulch should bring a driver's license or water bill to prove residency, as well as a shovel and containers to load and carry the mulch. Monday and Tuesday are the final days to let go of old tannenbaum. Mulch is available for as long as it lasts. Call the Sanitation Services Department at 214-670-4475.

Tuesday, January 11

When we think of our shenanigans in old Italia, we like to reminisce especially about our time in the winemaking region of Piemonte. Ah, that little spot in the northeastern part of the country, so beautiful, so serene. We've never really been there, but it is in our heads anyway. Nevertheless, we can take a tasty journey to the area as Daniele Osteria kicks off its series of monthly wine dinners with one featuring five courses and the wines of our beloved Piemonte. Dinners will take place on the first Tuesday of each month following the inaugural one on January 11. They are $85 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Daniele Osteria is located 3300 Oak Lawn Ave., below the ground level of the Bank One building. Reservations are required, so call 214-443-9420.

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