But watch out for trees, Charlie Brown
Ah, kites, such a simple way to fly. A little string, some paper and sticks--put them all together with a breeze and a blue sky, and suddenly the earthbound can reach out and touch the heavens. Or, this being Dallas, where more is always better, you can go online and spend hundreds of dollars on stunt parafoils that skilled pilots can whip around in dizzying displays. (That's right, we said "pilots." Anything that cost that much must have a pilot.) If you haven't flown a kite lately, then you've forgotten what you're missing. Vibha, a nonprofit organization supporting children's programs here and in India, gives you a chance to remember on Sunday with a kite-flying festival in Plano's Russell Creek Park, 3500 McDermott Road. The festival is from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and includes face painting and a bounce house, so bring the kids. (But be sure to share a little string time with them.) Entry is $5 for kids, $8 for adults and $15 for families. Call 214-929-4443 or visit dallas.vibha.org. --Patrick Williams
If you're lost and call a friend for directions, don't ever say, "Well, I'm at a 7-Eleven, and there's a Starbucks across the street and a church on the corner--Baptist, I think." Good luck, pal, you could be anywhere--Knox/Henderson, Richardson, Plano, whatever. Likewise, don't ever call us for weekend plan suggestions and say, "I want to go to that festival. You know, the one with the local artist, local bands, funnel cakes and corn dogs and activities for the kids." Needle in a haystack, man. Here's one that fills the bill, but with aspirations of being a little hoity-toitier than most. At the Cottonwood Art Festival, the food court features "culinary pleasures" by Chocolate Angel, Venetian Ice and Texas Sourdough Café, and the Children's Art Stop includes making beads from magazine photos, hats from scrap and found objects and sculptures out of plaster. No colored sand in a baby food jar here! Performers include The John Gaar Band, Zack King, Spector's Gun Collection, Lantana and Shri's. Cottonwood Art Festival is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Richardson's Cottonwood Park, Coit Road at Belt Line Road. Admission and parking are free. Visit www.cottonwoodartfestival.com. --Shannon Sutlief
On the River
If you live here, the novel has it all. Based in Dallas with a main character who's a private investigator and Gulf War vet named Lee Henry Oswald, Still River is about Oswald's travels through the festering sprawl that is our city in 2005. It features a South Dallas drug lord and a real estate developer with a plot to take over the Trinity River Corridor. The debut author, Harry Hunsicker, is a fourth-generation Dallasite and a real estate appraiser. The book party's Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at--where else?--Lee Harvey's, 1807 Gould St. Visit www.harryhunsicker.com. --Paul Kix
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Talking to most actors, or directors, is a bit like shouting into a vacuum; they block out all else while keeping their vision too much in focus. Robert Redford, of course, is a different story. In the last year, he's come under fire as Sundance firestarter. Sure, he's made his share of missteps, but more than his share of giant leaps, too. Expect him to address all of it when he speaks at 8 p.m. Friday at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., as part of the Brinker Lecture Series. Tickets are $35 to $200 from Ticketmaster, 214-373-8000. --Robert Wilonsky
Read It and Laugh
The comic-book industry has been fervently predicting its impending demise with a gusto akin to Dr. Doom the last time he threatened to take over the world. (Don't know who Dr. Doom is? Check out this summer's Fantastic Four movie.) But for a dying art form with a dwindling number of fans, there sure are a lot of comic-book conventions in North Texas. The latest is the inaugural edition of CAPE! (Comic and Pop-Culture Expo), which coincides with the Free Comic Book Day national promotion campaign. Guests include Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Marvel Knights 4), Robert Kirkman (Invincible), Lea Hernandez (Rumble Girls), Scott Kurtz (PvP), Ben Dunn (Ninja High School) and many more. Plus it looks like the indie comic creators outnumber the superhero bunch, so this convention will be extra female-friendly. Girls and comics, how The O.C. is that? While perusing the long list of creators scheduled for CAPE! I came across R.K. Milholland, the writer and artist of the online comic Something Positive. Surely that's not my old college roommate Randy? After recognizing his scathing and acidic brand of humor in the strip, I tracked him down and found out that he'd escaped to Boston and was coming back for the expo (and to visit his family). So check out Randy, er, R.K. Milholland's work so he can get famous and I can one day sell that character sketch he did of me freshman year for a ton of cash. CAPE! takes flight Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Zeus Toys and Comics, 3878 Oak Lawn Ave. Admission is free. Call 214-219-TOYS or visit www.zeuscomics.com. --Jay Webb