This Week's Day-By-Day Picks
Thursday, December 18
Any fan of black-and-white photography has seen Edward Weston's bell pepper shot, "Pepper No. 30." Its seductive lighting makes what is to some simply food into something sensual and alive with curves and hollows. His "Eggs and Slicer" and "Chambered Nautilus-Halved" also show his affinity for no-frills titles and his ability to soften the rough edges that in everyday life make an object seem like just an object. Whatever the subject, Weston is known as a master of lighting and making it glide over any scene. But who he was inside and his voyages to Mexico and New Mexico significantly affected his works. The Amon Carter Museum, in conjunction with its current exhibit Edward Weston: Life Work, screens the documentary Remembering Edward Weston on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The film includes interviews with his friends and family, including Charis Wilson, his Death Valley nudes subject and romantic partner. Admission is free. The museum is located at 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd. Call 817-989-5066.
Friday, December 19
That Dickens classic always seemed a little too uppity for us, what with the fancy dialogue and all those top hats. Jamie and Erik Knapp have thankfully brought it down to a comfy lowbrow level with their revision of the tale into A Trailer Trash Christmas Carol. From that little adjustment, the Texas Radio Theatre Company adapted the play into its trademark audio format. The saga of Junior Beauregard and the curse put on him by Grandmama MacMelmahay (try acing that in an audition) takes the audience with Junior into the woods where he is visited by the ghosts of people he knows (and who aren't actually dead yet, but let's go with it). The torment and shame will continue, as the curse provides, until he achieves a heart full of the "true spirit of Christmas." Speaking of which, this performance serves as a canned-food drive for Tarrant Area Food Bank. Admission is $5 or four nonperishables (make Grandmama proud and bring both). The Carol commences at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Arlington Museum of Art, 201 W. Main St. Call 817-275-4600.
Saturday, December 20
We had no idea how addictive basketball was until this season started up. Understand, we mean specifically watching basketball games, all physical exertion aside. Nestled in the sofa, we'll watch just about any game that's on, even if it's a simulated one being played by someone else on the PS2. As pathetic as that sounds, we've found a b-ball fan deep within ourselves that's based on more than last year's crush on Dirk Nowitzki. We've always been faithful to the Mavs, too, whether the bandwagon is full speed or stalled out. Thus, we've scheduled some time Saturday (2 p.m. to 4 p.m., to be exact) to grab sportswriter Jaime Aron's Tales From the Dallas Mavericks and have the expert hoops analyst and storyteller sign it. He knows all, from coaches to owners (with a foreword by Mark Cuban) to players, and we're all about telling it like it is. As meet-and-greets go, this should be a three-pointer. Borders Books & Music is located at 5500 Greenville Ave. Call 214-739-1166.
Sunday, December 21
At last, at long last, our ignorance can be stamped out. Our well of knowledge shall be deepened with the answer to a distressing question that all started with the 1998 Nagano Winter Games. What the hell is curling? Sure, we can surmise from the television screen that the Scottish sport is essentially a cross between shuffleboard and chess on ice during which participants slide rocks down said chewin' water. But what makes it so damn difficult? The D/FW Curling Club, which was formed in the wake of the 2002 Winter Olympics, and its current staple of 45 members offer a free Open House/Curling Clinic to enlighten us on rules, technique and what phrases like "draw to the button" mean. These curlers know their stuff and proved it after beating the defending champs in the recent Utica, New York, national championships. Now they get to share with amateurs. Hit the ice at the Dr Pepper Stars Center, 1700 S. Main St., Duncanville, at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The club requests that attendees to the clinic make a small donation as it is a public charity. Call 469-939-CURL.
Monday, December 22
In art, there is personal motivation, and there is public demand. The two aren't always the same, and as an artist one sometimes has to choose between paying the rent and fulfilling a vision. For 30 years, Dallas artist Bart Forbes has worked as an illustrator, one commissioned to create more than 20 postage stamps and official posters for the Boston Marathon, America's Cup and Indy 500 and official signage for the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. Now it's his turn to commission something from himself. After a successful career doing for others, Forbes brings his vision to reality in Bart Forbes: A Painter's Journey at the Valley House Gallery, 6616 Spring Valley Road. In the exhibit, Forbes tackles landscape and still life, bringing his personal creations into the public eye. But not for long. The show closes Tuesday, so get there and do it fast, before his textured works are taken down and we all have to dig out our stamp collection to enjoy his work. Call 972-239-2441.
Tuesday, December 23
Chestnuts roasting on an outdoor fire. Balmy Texas weather gliding past your nose. Yuletide carols being sung by strolling carolers. And folks dressed up like...strolling carolers. Everybody knows beer in the Old West Saloon and unique antique treasures help to make the season tolerable. Tiny tots with their eyes red and watery will find it hard to sleep after those invigorating buckboard wagon rides tonight. And Santa's on his way to take pictures with every hesitant child in his sleigh. And every overly bundled-up child will spill the delectable hot chocolate at some point while looking up to see if reindeer really know how to fly. So, Storybook Ranch, 3701 Custer Road, McKinney, is offering a simple way for kids from 1 to 92 to check out Twelve Nights of Christmas for only $5, as they say, "Merry Christmas to you." Call 972-562-8308.
Wednesday, December 24
We'll say this. It's no Bad Santa. This is obvious for three primary reasons: In Santa vs. The Snowman, Santa doesn't swear or drink, the film is family-friendly and it's shown in 3-D on an IMAX screen that's about a zillion times the size of the basic movie screen. Let's face it. Just the idea of Billy Bob Thornton peeing himself in 3-D is enough to make us quake. But we're fairly keen to watch some friendly fire between the two biggest icons of the Christmas season. According to creator Steve Odekerk (co-creator and producer of Jimmy Neutron), the holiday flick has a "comedic twist that I feel will keep adults as well as children entertained for years to come." Excellent. Still, we'll opt for just one viewing of Santa vs. The Snowman and see how it goes before planning those "years to come," OK? Tickets are $7 to $10 for daily showings at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Call 817-255-9540.
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