This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

The cool place to be: The arboretum's Fern Dell misters--and shade--lower the temperature 10 to 15 degrees.
Karen Hinds Vassar

Thursday, July 28
Some movies alter the way we see daily life.
Try not thinking of The Rocky Horror Picture Show when you meet a transvestite alien and his blond boy toy. Naturally, when you hear of a girl unwittingly kissing her twin brother, whom she's never known because they were separated at birth to protect them from their evil father, you think Star Wars...or The Jerry Springer Show. And when you think wine, you think Sideways. So you might be glad to know that the Le Rendezvous Chateau Benoit Wine Dinner is exactly like Sideways--minus Sandra Oh on a motorcycle, hotel sex scenes, road trips and an impending marriage. So, it's really just wine and food. We hear some people like that. The four-course meal features dishes such as scallops Provençale over spinach and petite filet mignon topped with roasted garlic gorgonzola paired with selections of Chateau Benoit wines. Dinner and all the fixins is $65 with a reservation and $75 at the door of Le Rendezvous Restaurant, 5934 Royal Lane. Call 214-739-6206 or e-mail

Friday, July 29
There's a catch-22 of summer: You're allowed to sleep in, but if you do sleep in, you miss the only part of the day when going outside won't make you sweat so much you look like that time you went down the neighbor kid's Slip 'N Slide fully dressed. We're strong advocates of changing business hours during the summer. If you sleep from noon to 8 p.m., you miss all those annoying hot and sunny hours. Then you could have a "nightcap" at the Dallas Arboretum when it opens at 9 a.m. during its new summer hours and have last call (a.k.a. breakfast) at the park's restaurant, which is now serving food from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., including croissants, bagels, quiche, fruit and coffee. Wind down in the 1.5-acre Palmer Fern Dell where ferns, plus flowers and trees, are misted every 20 minutes, making the area 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Summer at the Dallas Arboretum also features tropical plants such as hibiscus and lantana that can stay bright and perky during the July and August heat--unlike most people we know. The grounds are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily this summer at 8525 Garland Road on White Rock Lake. Admission is $5 to $8. Kids 2 and under are admitted for free. Parking is $5. Call 214-515-6500.

Saturday, July 30
Protesters spoke out against the Dallas Comedy Festival last week. Was it because it was so funny that people were literally dying from laughter? Nope. Was it because the comedy was so revolutionary that people just couldn't deal with its cutting-edgedness? Nuh-uh. Actually, those were members of the Dallas Comedy Festival protesting the Dallas Comedy Festival. And if you think that's funny, then you might also enjoy Eddie Brill and the Best of the Fest Comedians, a stand-up comedy showcase that wraps up the first DCF. Doors open at 8:45 p.m. for the 9 p.m. show in the Dinosaur Room (that's the old Planet Hollywood space) at 603 Munger Ave. on the first floor of the West End MarketPlace. Tickets are $20. Call 214-880-9990 or visit

Sunday, July 31
We have 6,900 television channels, blow-by-blow accounts of Mariah Carey's last cold and nubile, tanned threesomes making out in hot tubs on dating shows in the name of finding "the one." There is nothing left to our imaginations. But The Fluffgirl Burlesque Society wants to change that. These Canadian dancers bring back the striptease and the art of seduction that they say disappeared with strip clubs. To cure the summertime blues, Fluffgirl presents Jungle Exotica, a Tiki-themed show featuring lovely ladies in coconut bras, fire acts and an indoor grove of palm trees. So grab a mixed drink and pretend the balmy atmosphere of Trees in Deep Ellum is really an island paradise to prep that imagination for the show where what you see is what you get. The Fluffgirl Burlesque Society performs at 8 p.m. at Trees, 2709 Elm St. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call Front Gate Tickets at 512-389-0315.

Upcoming Events

Monday, August 1
The two-day Kids Cooking: Last Blast will teach kids to make foods for back-to-school meals, including "healthy breakfast." Dude, they're gonna learn how to make S'mores Pop-Tarts? Awesome, those are the best. We tried to make 'em once, but Kroger didn't have any pyridoxine hydrochloride or niacinamide. The class will include sections on breakfast and snacks on Monday and lunch box-ready items and desserts on Tuesday. Lessons are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day at Whole Foods Market, 2201 Preston Road at Park Lane in Plano, and registration is $20 for one day or $35 for both. Call 972-612-6729.

Tuesday, August 2
Comedian Mitch Hedberg said that koalas are the cutest infestation to have. Those marsupials are cuter than the infestation of our nightmares: tiny humans, like the fairy-tale character Thumbelina, who was so small that she hung out with rats, toads and moles. Imagine a whole herd of thumb-sized people who hide from the light, living under your fridge and behind the pipes in your kitchen cabinet, only to emerge in the dark to scavenge for crumbs. Try not thinking about that when you take the kids to see Creative Arts Theatre & School's production of Tiny Thumbelina, which will be performed 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. August 2 and August 3 and 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. August 4 at 1100 W. Randol Mill Road in Arlington. Tickets are $6. Call 817-861-2287.

As kids, we'd horde roly-polies in our pockets and catch fireflies to keep in jars--with our bare hands. Somehow we became less brave and prissier. These days we squeal like Babe the pig caught in a bear trap at the sight of a spider--especially if they have hairy legs or visible pincers. Those still blessed with youthful courage (or stupidity) can see live and mounted arthropods (those are insects with the exoskeletons, segmented bodies and jointed appendages) when Jungle Jim the Bug Man visits the Park Forest Library, 3421 Forest Lane, at 2:30 p.m. Arthropods are the most numerous animals on earth, so expect to see some familiar fanged faces. Just leave the fly swatter and Raid spray at home. Admission is free. Call 214-670-6333.

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