We're certain this week will be the best one of the entire season of the Dallas Arboretum's summer concert series by the lake called Cool Thursdays. We're not saying Naked Lunch: A Steely Dan Tribute Band is better than Vince Vance and the Valiants or Voodoo Blue: A Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Band or even Brave Combo. It's just that the forecast for this Thursday is 69 degrees. On Vince's day, May 26, the average temperature is 86. For Voodoo on June 23, 93. And Brave Combo on July 14, 96. Strike now while the iron is hot, er, cool. Cool Thursdays is $5 to $14 per concert, and the shows take place every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. from May 5 to July 28 at the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn on the shore of White Rock Lake. The arboretum entrance is at 8525 Garland Road. Call 214-515-6594.
Friday, May 6
Donating to KERA is such a boost to our self-esteem. Just by placing the phone call or clicking a link on the Web site, we instantly feel smarter, more charitable, proud--basically, we feel superior. To everyone. Ever. It's all about our duty to support our community and the station that brought us Sesame Street and The Electric Company. OK, so it's actually all about that "free" gift, whether it's a British comedy coffee mug or a This American Life limited-edition DVD. Our heart might be in the wrong place, but, hey, the station still gets the money, right? Now imagine the euphoria of donating multiplied by 10. That's the KERA Tour of Taste. This annual event now in its 11th year features food from 20 local restaurants, wines that won medals in the 2005 Dallas Morning News Wine Competition and live music by Mark Harrell & the Dominant V for $60 to $75, plus there will be live and silent auctions--which is where the real charity begins. Packages include "Cooking With Friends in France" (a seven-day vacation in Provence at the former home of Julia Child), the "Chocolate Lover's Getaway" to Belgium and Switzerland and earrings from Bachendorf's valued at $10,500. Tour of Taste is 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel, 1717 N. Akard St. Call 214-740-9279.
Saturday, May 7
White Rock Lake is our antidote for those ambushed by panhandlers, car stereo was stolen again, all our friends are moving to Chicago blues. We drive out to the Bath House Cultural Center and look at the tiny, empty-building-filled Dallas skyline all glistening and gold, rising above the still lake. See for yourself and help raise money for the lake and park's upkeep during The White Rock'n Festival from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Flag Pole Hill at White Rock Lake. The event, hosted by the White Rock Lake Foundation, features live music by Colin Boyd, Hash Brown, Wayne Delano and more, plus food, drinks, arts vendors, clowns, pony rides and other family activities. Call 214-824-6150 or visit www.whiterocklakefoundation.org.
Sunday, May 8
We know you do it. You cruise down Swiss Avenue, trying to look like you belong there while all the time drooling down the passenger side window like a Saint Bernard working on a Jolly Rancher. You try to pick out your favorite house, and you calculate to see how long it would take you to pay for it. We do it, too. And we figured it will be at least two or three...centuries, that is. Put on your Sunday best and take a walk on the wealthy side with the Swiss Avenue Historic District's Centennial Tour of Homes. Eleven homes and five gardens will be on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The tour also includes a street festival with live entertainment and local vendors in the district's Savage Park. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 during the event. Visit www.sahd.org.
Monday, May 9
We understand the fads of cartoon character bobble heads and the adult-sized '80s Saturday morning cartoon T-shirts. Who wouldn't want to show their love for He-Man and the Care Bears on their dashboards and their chests? But we just don't get the whole "Jesus is my Homeboy" T-shirts and "Buddy Christ" figurines trend. Is it ironic? Is it sincere? Both? We don't think playwright Marcus Gardley is trying to hippen up Jesus with his play ...And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, but we dare you not to imagine what that might look like. The play, presented as the last FRESH INK play reading of the Dallas Theater Center's season, is actually about "love and loss" during the Civil War and is inspired by Greek myths. It will be performed as a staged reading at 7 p.m. Monday in Bryant Hall of the Dallas Theater Center, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Admission is free, and the play will be followed by a discussion with Gardley. Call 214-522-8499.
Tuesday, May 10
Want your kid to be the next Tiger Woods? Yeah, well, we want to spin straw into gold, but that ain't happening neither. Better to aim low, parents. But if you're the proud guardian of a 7-year-old who prefers hitting the green to playing Nintendo--and, seriously, do they make plaid pants and sweater vests that small?--enroll him or her in the Mutual of Omaha Drive, Chip & Putt Junior Challenge. Competitors will be divided into the age groups of 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14 to participate in making two drives for distance and accuracy, chipping three balls into a green marked with a target and putting five and 15 feet from the hole in as few strokes as possible. Dozens of prizes will be awarded to placers in age groups and in the three challenges. The top winners in each age group will advance to the national championships in October. The Drive, Chip & Putt Junior Challenge is 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Tenison Park Golf Course, 3501 Samuel Blvd. Enter in advance by visiting www.thegolfchannel.com or calling 214-670-1403.
Wednesday, May 11
We were pretty sure that the official Texas vehicle would be a white Chevy truck with the extended cab, the extended bed and the "No Fear" sticker in the back window. They are always tailgating us, passing on shoulders and pulling into spaces barely large enough for a MINI Cooper. But, you know, the chuck wagon is a nice vehicle, too, we guess. Learn about chuck wagons, Dutch ovens and other important parts and "official Texas" symbols of Lone Star lore during Cynthia Wolf's Texas History Through Music: The Cattle Drive Era, a musical primer about cowboy culture and life after the Civil War. This Library Live presentation is interactive with Wolf teaching kids how to yodel, whoop and sing songs in English and Spanish. It takes place at 10:30 a.m. May 11 at the Lakewood Branch, 6121 Worth St.; 3:30 p.m. May 12 at the Kleberg-Rylie Branch, 1301 Edd Road; and 10 a.m. May 13 at the Polk Wisdom Branch, 7151 Library Lane.