If you know that if you give a pig a pancake, it's going to want some syrup (but definitely not a side of bacon), and if you give a mouse a cookie, then it's gonna want some milk, then you should surmise that if you throw a pig a party, she'll want to go all Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on your house and its décor. Ungrateful sow. Seriously, if balloons and streamers aren't good enough for her, send her back to the sty from whence she came. But this isn't real life. It's Laura Numeroff's new book, If You Give a Pig a Party, a follow-up to all of her other If You Give a [Animal] a [Thing] books. We're waiting for If You Give an Eel Some Etiquette, If You Give a Moose Some Manners or If You Give a Duck Some Decorum. But if parents can't make kids behave, then why should animated animals do any better? Numeroff reads her new book during story time at Barnes & Noble Stonebriar Mall, 2601 Preston Road, Frisco, at 7 p.m. Thursday. Call 972-668-2820.
Friday, October 7
In Dallas, where shopping is practically a religion (you don't have to have faith to practice; just cash or credit), it's only fitting that a mall grand opening would run nearly 26 hours over three days and include a major music concert. And that's just for Garland. Imagine if it was opening in Plano or Highland Park. It would be IKEA all over again. But the grand opening weekend of Firewheel Town Center ain't bad. Part shopping mall (there's a Dillard's and a Foley's), part strip mall (the grounds also contain Old Navy, DSW and Circuit City), Firewheel is an "open-air, Main Street-styled town center"with a landscaped stream. The grand opening events include appearances by costumed characters Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants, radio station remote broadcast appearances, prize giveaways, an armadillo puppet show and armadillo races, games, drawings and live music--including Neal McCoy, who performs, for free, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Friday. The three-day event kicks off with a ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. Friday and continues 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Firewheel Town Center is near the intersection of State Highway 90 and State Highway 78 at 245 Cedar Sage Drive in north Garland. Call 972-675-1041.
Saturday, October 8
We're used to the war in bits and bytes--simple blips in our daily requirement of news. It's brief, basic and coated, the Frosted Mini-Wheats of global news. We're not used to it beingpretty. Vivid colors, soft lines, ugly scenes done in a beautiful style along with everyday incidents of Iraqi citizens' lives done in the same. That's Steve Mumford's Iraq, the one he visited four times in two years, embedded along with sketchpads and watercolors with military in Baghdad, reporting via sketches, paintings and journal entries for Artnet.com. See his Iraq when SMU's Meadows Museum presents Drawing from Life: Steve Mumford in Iraq, 2003-2004, from October 6 through November 27 at 5900 Bishop Blvd. The exhibit opens with a free lecture by and book signing with Mumford at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Call 214-768-2516.
Sunday, October 9
Catherine Turocy is the Dr. Frankenstein of baroque dance. She helped take a mostly dead, complex, sensitive beast, and she did the seemingly impossible: She brought it back to life. She brought baroque dance with its peculiar, almost-lost footwork, arm gestures and precise, meticulously annotated movements off the scholarly page and led them onto the dance floor by helping found the New York Baroque Dance Company. The troupe brings its production of Handel's Terpischore to Dallas with the help of the Dallas Bach Society, recreating its summer performances at the Sans Souci Palace in Potsdam, Germany, on the Majestic Theater's stage. The show is 3 p.m. Sunday at 1825 Elm St., and tickets are $15 to $30. Call 214-320-8700 or visit www.dallasbach.org.
Monday, October 10
Never set the bar too high. Start low, then work your way upbut only to less low. No one ever told Bruce Wood this. So here he is with an October performance set for his Bruce Wood Dance Company, and he has to find a way to follow his July performance, which the Fort Worth Star-Telegram called "one of the most significant works of dance created in America." Way to go, Ace. How's he going to do it? Easy. With a little seduction, a bit of temptation, with some romance, or rather, Romance, the show that the troupe will perform along with co-creator and fellow performer Christopher McGuire of the Classic Guitar Society of Fort Worth at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Bass Hall, 525 Commerce St. in Fort Worth. Tickets are $20 to $65. Visit www.basshall.com or call 1-877-212-4280.
Tuesday, October 11
We all love those stories of people who leave everything behind to follow their dreams--and fall on their asses. Those just reassure us that we're better off not taking chances and that the price of being comfortable is not being passionate. So, screw you, Art Prostitute guys, for making it work. Two-and-a-half years ago Brian Gibb and Mark Searcy finished school, quit their day jobs and started the magazine of their dreams, naming it Art Prostitute. Not only did they not hit backside, but they also started a Web site and a Denton gallery of the same name, bringing the underground and subculture artists they touted in their mag into the gallery for exhibits and events. Now they join the ranks of local art celebs as they host one of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's Tuesday Evenings at the Modern lectures. It takes place at 7 p.m. in the museum auditorium, 3200 Darnell St., with free passes available beginning at 5 p.m. Call 817-738-9215.
Wednesday, October 12
Romeo and Juliet thought they had it rough. Sure, their families hated each other, and Jules' dad was pushing her to marry someone else. But even considering the end-of-play body count, we don't think their story rivals that of Ruthie and Connie. Three words: Jewish lesbian grandmothers. Oy vey, Mary. The two met in 1959 when they were married and raising young children in a Brooklyn apartment complex. In 1974, they left their families for each other, but it took another two years for Ruthie, after a near-fatal illness, to come out. Nearly 30 years later, they're still together, having won over (most) of their family members and also winning domestic partnership benefits for all in New York City. A hit on the film festival circuit and on HBO, Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House will be shown at 2 p.m. Wednesday and followed by a discussion during the Safe Zone series at the Galerstein Women's Center at the University of Texas at Dallas. Call 972-883-6555.