It's ancient history: Priscilla Hoback's "Beginnin'" and "Handsome" are cave drawings minus the cave.
It's ancient history: Priscilla Hoback's "Beginnin'" and "Handsome" are cave drawings minus the cave.

This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, December 25
The inaugural use of our just-turned-17 drivers license was to see Hagfish at Trees, and it was a defining moment in our rocker girlhood. Despite the fishnets and purple hair, we still blushed when singer George Reagan tossed us a lit cigarette fresh from his lips and exhaled those infamous lyrics to "Stamp": "Eat it while I work." Years later a boy we liked shunned us after we offended his musical sensibilities by asking to go see Hagfish. Good memories; bad memories. That's what spending time with family during Christmas is all about. Oh, and songs about sex in the office place. And that's why Hagfish is headlining the Gypsy Tea Room on Christmas joined by the delightfully hard-rockin' New Style American Boyfriends and The Golden Falcons. They're still our favorite local band that shares a name with a jawless, eyeless, five-hearted fish. Doors open at 9 p.m. Cover is $15. Gypsy Tea Room, 2548 Elm St. Call 214-74-GYPSY.

Friday, December 26
Professional sideshow freak Enigma plans to have pieces of coral inserted under his skin so his skull will grow around them and he'll have actual horns. One day, he hopes, someone will find his skull and think he's discovered Satan's skull. We can imagine a similar fate for Priscilla Hoback's art. Not because it looks like Satan's skull but because the pieces resemble ancient relics, long ago buried in sand. And, were they to be unearthed years from now, they'd be an anomaly--art whose carbon dating isn't old but that dates back in style many centuries. In Seven Generations, a title based on Hoback's vision of a wheel with seven parts showing her, three generations before and three after, she displays her murals made from clay she sculpted and then fired in a kiln. Her works represent animals such as bears and horses in a style that is reminiscent of cave paintings. The exhibit runs through January 10 and is open today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. ArtCentre of Plano, 1039 E. 15th St., Plano. Call 972-423-7809.

Saturday, December 27
You've had the office snacks balanced carefully in a pile on a thin napkin. You've torn apart a turkey carcass like something from a documentary on The Discovery Channel. You've eaten various leftovers stuffed between two slices of stale bread. Now it's time for some classy eats, fancy stuff usually eaten after removing short gloves and a pillbox hat while sitting daintily on a chaise. It's time for Afternoon Tea at the Arboretum. The three-course elegant meal starts with tomato herb broth and spicy cheese wafers, continues with various spreads on breads and finishes with tiny desserts such as "chocolate mousse in semisweet chocolate cups." And it also includes a choice of tea, admission to the gardens, which are decorated for the Holiday at the Arboretum celebrations, and exclusive parking. Reservations are required, and the afternoon package costs $24.95 for adults and $12.50 for children under 12. Dallas Arboretum, 8617 Garland Road. Call 214-515-6622.

Sunday, December 28
We always knew that our Catholic upbringing meant we had a commonality with other Christians, Jews and Muslims. And that thing is guilt. Beautiful, sweet, redemptive guilt. It just feels like home. But there's a second thing we have in common, and that's Abraham. In celebration--and to encourage respect for each other--the three Abrahamic faiths join for Friendship Among the Faiths, a holiday program to honor a common heritage. The theme this year is "Abraham--Welcoming the Stranger," based on a story that the Bible, Torah and Quran all share. Children from each religion will read their holy book's version, and a leader from each will discuss it. The whole shebang begins with a "call to prayer" from each faith, meaning blowing the shofar, ringing bells and chanting the adhan. The gathering begins at 3 p.m. and is followed by a reception, tours of the synagogue and the opportunity to sign a pledge of respect. Congregation Shearith Israel, 9401 Douglas Ave. Call 214-361-6606.

Monday, December 29
We feel fortunate to know people who still make gifts for people. Scarf-knitters, ornament-sewers, photograph-takers, cake-bakers. We love them all. Anthropologie is nice, but we want gifts with a little blood, sweat and tears (but, no, not the band). Christmas may not reward the hardworking creative types, but those lucky enough to celebrate Kwanzaa know the benefits. The sixth day of the weeklong celebration is even dedicated to honoring creativity (called Kuumba). So kids are asked to stretch out those creative muscles for Kwanzaa Crafts, a program at Martin Luther King Jr. Library during which kids will make a candle holder (kinara) and learn the traditions of the holiday. It's free and designed for ages 8 to 18 and will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Call 214-670-0344.

Tuesday, December 30
We know it's practically suicide to admit this, but you can keep your Dallas Stars games. We love hockey, but we prefer the Central Hockey League. Sure, you have to drive to Cowtown to see the Fort Worth Brahmas, but it's cheaper ($25 will get you ice-adjacent), and it's more passionate. The guys fight harder, and they're not afraid to hurt them pretty faces just in case Sports Illustrated calls next week for a photo shoot. Even their mascot is called Bruiser. The Brahmas play the Corpus Christi IceRays at 7:30 p.m. at the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena, 1111 Houston St., Fort Worth. Tickets are $10 to $25 by calling 817-336-4423.

Wednesday, December 31
We've never been to one of Ad-Libs' New Year's Eve shows, but we can tell you this: Getting drunk with strangers in a theater while watching a bunch of underpaid, underappreciated local comedians is much less sad than getting drunk at home alone while watching overpaid, overhyped comedians and musicians during the triple play of Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve 2004, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2004 and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2004, Part 2. But then so is the part in Bambi where the fawn loses his mommy. Ad-Libs offers two packages this year. The 7 p.m. show features an open bar (beer, wine and soft drinks), a split-bottle of champagne, a T-shirt, party favors and tickets to a 2004 show for $55. The 10:30 p.m. slot features all of that, plus a dinner of Thai curry chicken, salad, rice pilaf, bread and bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce and a countdown party at midnight for $80. Ad-Libs' theater is located at 2613 Ross Ave. Call 214-754-7050 or visit


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