Listen up, Dallas, to some ugly truth: You're fat. Not stout. Not pleasingly plump. Not big boned, but F-A-T, as in two-by-four, can't get through the kitchen door. Men's Fitness says so, ranking Dallas No. 3 on its list of the fattest cities in the nation. Even the mayor, Ms.-Skinny-Don't-You-Hate-Her Laura Miller, says so. That's why she's pushing her Lighten-Up Big D! drive, urging the town's tubbos to step away from the cheesy fries and cut some tonnage. So, whatcha gonna do about it, chops? Eat less and exercise more? Yeah, right. And I'm going to stop smoking. Tomorrow. Maybe the day after. Listen, as a diet yo-yo-riding lard butt myself, I can tell you that the whole calorie counting, go for a jog deal is tough. Instead, maybe we all need to start with some easy, relaxing baby steps. In that vein, hypnotist Gigi McDavish is offering free mass hypnosis sessions Friday and Saturday at the IMAX Theater in Fair Park at the Science Place, 1318 Second Ave. The "Oprah of hypnotists" (the description's right there on her Web site, so she must be good) says the event, which consists of three 90-minute sessions each day at 6:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 10 p.m., will focus on positive eating habits and healthy living. You say you're skeptical of mass hypnosis? Sounds like snake oil? Did we mention that it's free and in a comfy IMAX Theater? Trust us, it beats jogging any day. I'll bring a bucket of wings, you bring the beer, and if the hypnosis doesn't work, we can always just chuck the bones and empties at all the other deluded whales. Visit www.hypnosiswithgigi.com. --Patrick Williams
An American's Tale
Memoirs from former government employees always shovel the dirt--the pure, unfiltered, should-be-classified dirt. General Tommy Franks just published his memoir, and sure, American Soldier follows Franks from a boyhood in Texas through valiant service in Vietnam and into leadership positions in Desert Storm, the Afghan war and Operation Iraqi Freedom. But what we're skimming ahead for are his rants on the ineptitude of some Pentagon officials, namely undersecretary of defense Douglas Feith, whom Franks may have called a "fucking moron." These are the gems on which memoirs are sold. Franks knows this and, apparently, wrote his book accordingly. He'll sign copies of American Soldier on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Park, 7700 W. Northwest Highway. Call 214-739-1124. --Paul Kix
In the aftermath of 9-11, a common refrain was that there were "no words to describe" the horror of the terrorist attacks. Nearly three years later, Cheryl McGuinness, a 9-11 widow whose husband was co-pilot of the first plane to hit the World Trade Center, found the words. Her new book, Beauty Beyond the Ashes, bravely explores the personal aftermath of the tragic loss of a loved one--working through bereavement, how to cope through faith and adapting to being a single parent and assuming the leadership role within the family. McGuinness hosts a book signing at the Stonebriar Mall Barnes & Noble in Frisco at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Call 972-668-2820 or go to www.beautybeyondtheashes.com. --Eric Celeste
There's a stark contrast between the skeletal remains of a stray dog on the side of the road and the shiny-coated cream puff panting in your passenger seat. One animal landed in the lap of luxury, and the other landed--probably with a thud--on the curb. Animals don't choose either of these scenarios for themselves. It's a human's choice, and The Queenie Foundation wants to help people make the right one. The group will host an educational event and candlelight vigil for homeless animals from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Flag Pole Hill, Northwest Highway and Buckner Boulevard. Admission is free. Call 214-328-3332 or visit www.queeniefoundation.org. --Stephanie Durham
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