Spike and Mike are still Sick and Twisted
There are some things people can't do that an animated character can always get away with. Shooting a snot rocket out of your nose would be one. Although Puck from MTV's Real World: San Francisco did it often, that kind of behavior got him kicked off the show. Then there is the senseless bludgeoning using household tools or anything else a determined 'toon can grab to make a painful point. A deed that would land you and me in more than a little trouble. So where do all of the worshipers of sick and twisted humor go to revel in the harsh and disgusting acts of naughty 'toons? Why Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, of course. The festival was founded by Craig "Spike" Decker and the late Mike Gribble in 1990. Providing a venue for far-from-tame cartoons that may make some folks squeamish, the Sick and Twisted Festival has been the cradle for a number of infamous animations. Blame Spike and Mike for letting Cartman loose onto the world with Matt Stone and Trey Parker's original uncensored South Park short, Spirit of Christmas. Mike Judge's Beavis and Butt-head also debuted at the festival. So if you have the stomach for it, come see the crude festivities at the Angelika Film Center & Café at Mockingbird Station, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, and at the Shops at Legacy, 7205 Bishop Road in Plano, on April 15 through April 23, April 29 and April 30, and May 6 and May 7. Twenty-three new short animated films will premiere, including Proper Urinal Etiquette by Kurt Nellis and Hippie Juice by Chris Crossland and Ryan Reznick. Call 972-444-FILM or visit www.angelikafilmcenter.com. --Jenice Johnson
To the Extremely
Author and boy wonder Jonathan Safran Foer will get close on April 15 at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., to read from his new novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The master of illumination, so dubbed by Time Magazine, is at it again, just three years after his first novel, best seller Everything Is Illuminated. Foer has tackled some big issues for a 20-something guy and isn't afraid to get sentimental and make up words while doing it. His latest work deals with 9-11, limned through the eyes of a goofy and precocious 9-year-old boy. The 7 p.m. event is free and part of both Arts & Letters Live's Literary Cafe and the Late Night at the DMA series. Admission to the museum is required. Call 214-922-1200. --Emily Jacobs
Block by Block
It seems like NorthPark Center has been under construction forever. But thanks to the Dallas Chapter of American Institute of Architects and Architecture Month 2005, some of the creative structural additions will be inside the mall. Lego City uses those tiny building blocks of possibility to inspire future architects with hands-on activities and to showcase Lego structures by policemen, city council members, kids and adults. It wouldn't surprise us if the colorful creations inspired a Lego Nordstrom. After all, who knows what could be hiding behind those wooden barriers and tarps. Lego City is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 16 at NorthPark Center, Northwest Highway at North Central Expressway. Admission is free. Visit www.architecturemonth.com. --Stephanie Durham
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Hot to Trot
The "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions are equine perfection, trained in maneuvers that seem to defy gravity. And they're coming to Dallas--kind of. You see, they're not the actual Lipizzaner Stallions; they're some Lipizzaner stallions trained to perform just like the Lipizzaner Stallions. Everybody knows the Lipizzaner Stallions are from the Spanish Riding School, which as everybody also knows is not in Spain; it's in Austria. They just use Spanish horses originally from Lipizza, in Italy. Got it? The ones coming here aren't from Austria; they're from Oviedo, Florida. (And yes, there is a Spanish city named Oviedo, in case you were wondering.) The "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions show used to be known as "The Wonderful World of Horses," but presumably the horses objected to sounding like a fifth-grade report title. Like we said, they're smart horses. The show is 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. April 17 at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Tickets are $19.50 and $22.50 from Ticketmaster by calling 214-373-8000. --Rick Kennedy
Don't wanna sound like a preening know-it-all, but before it was made public, I knew Bill Clinton had sexual relations with that woman. I knew, too, that Colin Powell lied to the United Nations about Iraq's potential for WMDs. Prove it, you say? Fine. I minored in social psychology, where I learned liars slow down their speech and...will...not... use...contractions when they're telling the biggest lies of all. I learned that people forced to read scripts or documents with which they disagree will show their disagreement by shaking their heads. Social psychology is a fascinating discipline, covering nearly every aspect of human interaction. A small subset of it is called personology, or, simply, reading one's facial expressions. Mac Fulfer's an expert at this. He's a former Fort Worth lawyer who now teaches seminars on face reading. He'll be at Eastfield College in Mesquite, 3737 Motley Drive, on April 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The education begins in Building C, Room 135. Call 972-860-7185. --Paul Kix