More than kung fu and lo mein
The United States owes a great deal to Asia--literally. Asian central banks hold more than a trillion dollars' worth of U.S. government IOUs. Jobs have surpassed grain as our chief export to Asia while we ease our pain with pad Thai and Jet Li flicks. By every measure except per capita oil consumption, we're basically getting owned by Asia, but how much do we really know about those who produce so much yet make so little? Perhaps Saturday's Asian Festival 2005 can provide some insight into our new bosses. More than 20 performance groups will stage a dance dance revolution, showing off moves from China, India, Vietnam and even Hawaii, while vendors will offer more Asian goodies than a Wal-Mart shopping spree. Organizers promise that both the entertainment and the cuisine will be strictly authentic, not the low-cultural-calorie substitute we're used to (see Macchio, Seagal, et al.). OK, we're not really sure how authentically Asian the menu at the Corn-R-Us booth will be, but it's at least as genuine as, say, Panda Express. The festival is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Annette Strauss Artist Square, 1800 Leonard St. Admission is free. Call 972-241-8250. --Rick Kennedy
The Power of the Force
When I was in college, I waited in line for, like, eight hours when George Lucas released the special editions of his original trilogy. I was in college then, long before I became a married father who is technically above such things. I say "technically" because in the last month I've: 1) shushed my wife when she tried to talk to me during a Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith trailer, so loudly that a few people turned around; 2) purchased a Revenge of the Sith action figure (Yoda, in case that helps with your joke) and tried to pass it off as a toy for my 1-year-old son to the checkout lady; and 3) spent a vacation day at home watching all the movies on DVD, leaving the couch only three times. There will be plenty of people just like me at the Sci-Fi Expo on May 14 and May 15 at the Plano Centre, 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway, a free celebration of the release of Revenge of the Sith featuring such Star Wars celebs as Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett), Ray Park (Darth Maul), Matthew Wood (General Grievous) and David Prowse (Darth Vader). I won't even pretend like I'm not excited. Visit www.scifiexpo.com. --Zac Crain
Fork Us All
Smack dab in the middle of some heavenly office birthday cake, we opened a package to find Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's Stop Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork. Excellent advice, Gov. Now just give us a sec to wipe the rich, delicious icing off our face and we'll head right over to shake hands with your newly trim self and get on track ourselves. Governor Huckabee signs his book and speaks at 6 p.m. Thursday at Hastings, 2311 Colorado Blvd. in Denton. Call 940-565-1764. --Merritt Martin
Do Not Forget
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As a part of Yom Hashoah, the official Remembrance Day for victims and survivors of the Holocaust, the Dallas Holocaust Museum will host ceremonies in Thanks-Giving Square, 1627 Pacific Ave., beginning at 7 p.m. on Sunday. As part of the ceremonies, Governor Rick Perry and state Senator Florence Shapiro, among others, will address the crowd. There will also be a prayer service at the museum, 211 N. Record St., at 9 a.m. Call 214-741-7500 or visit www.dallasholocaustmuseum.org. --Mary Monigold
The last time I heard tales of a crowd eating 200 pounds of mushrooms in a weekend, the setting was a grassy field outside a Phish concert, and the fungus wasn't exactly the kind you pair with fine foods. The 200 pounds consumed this weekend will be of the non-psychotropic and menu-oriented variety at the Taste Addison food and music festival. This is a genuine gastronomic orgy--thousands of pounds of food will be served over the three days as both connoisseurs and casual munchers sample fares from about 60 of the city's 170 restaurants. The selection is enormous--chow down on chops from Chamberlain's Steak & Chop House, crab cakes from Sambuca, pizza rolls from Pastazio's or kabobs from Clay Pit. Other restaurants selling samples include Blue Goose Cantina, Marble Slab, Zen Mongolian Grill, Mr. Sushi and Two Rows Restaurant and Brewery. For further epicurean education, check out celebrity chefs, wine seminars and cooking lessons at The Taste Showcase in the Addison Conference Centre from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Music acts to entertain those eating include Smash Mouth, Sister Hazel, Reckless Kelly, Fastball and Little River Band. While Taste Addison will likely be short on people with patchouli-scented dreadlocks, you'll definitely get better food than anything from that grassy field. Taste of Addison is 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Addison Circle Park, 4907 Addison Circle Drive. Park at the northwest corner of Dallas Parkway and Arapaho Road. Children under 4 get in free. On Friday, tickets are $8 per person. On Saturday and Sunday until 5 p.m., they're $5 per person; after 5 p.m., they're $8. Call 1-800-ADDISON or visit www.addisontexas.net. --Leah Shafer