This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

This is Tims Pond not Thoreaus Walden, but mans relation to nature is still the theme of Michael Madsens works.

Thursday, June 12
One of the current great mysteries in our life is why that car dent repair kit sold on the TV infomercials comes with a free glue gun and glue sticks.
It's sad, we know. Even sadder, though, is that we don't really care. They're free, and everything is better when it's free. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra doesn't need to be free to be great, but several times a year it hosts no-admission concerts anyway. The next in the series of free Community Parks Concerts takes place 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Campbell Green Park, 16600 Parkhill Drive. In addition to the symphony's performance of music by Mozart, Strauss and Mendelssohn, the evening also includes a bounce house, food, local bands and an appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog. The series continues in September with three more concerts. Call the symphony at 214-692-0203.

Friday, June 13
If fine art were more participatory and less pacing and staring, we bet more people would get involved. Perhaps visual arts exhibits could involve an Easter egg hunt-like search with an intellectually stimulating and emotionally jarring payoff instead of melting, stale chocolate candies. At least, that's what we were hoping for when we heard about The Find Art Group. Instead, it just means that, since people won't go to the art, it comes to them. Go to the Angelika Film Center and Café this Friday through Sunday, and along with the art-house films there will also be an actual art house next door with works from more than a dozen local artists. The theme of the exhibit is "Elements of Healing," which suggests the therapeutic effect of arts. In addition to the walk-through exhibit and sale, there will also be jewelry artisans all three days, a reception on Saturday and "Meditation and Art" seminars on Sunday. Visit the Web site at for the complete schedule of Find Art events.

Saturday, June 14
For us, Dallas sports columnist Blackie Sherrod was at first just another writer we were forced to read in class, like a local Charles Dickens or Nathaniel Hawthorne. Only his stories were several thousand words shorter than the ones by the dead dudes, and we knew more about stealing bases than debtors prison. Though we still can't say we get most of the classics we were force-fed, we do understand the point of reading Sherrod's columns (but still not the sports he loved). But he never took the games he covered too seriously, so we didn't have to either. Now retired, Sherrod will talk about his career and sign copies of his new book Blackie Sherrod at Large, a collection of his sports stories, at 6 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Stonebriar Centre, 2601 Preston Road in Frisco. Call 972-668-2820.

Sunday, June 15
We knew we weren't destined to be an engineer when in childhood we couldn't get those lousy LEGO helicopters and race cars to look like the sketches on the instructions. Sure, we could make the buildings, but give us some tires and a steering wheel and we might as well be building an actual car using the tiny plastic blocks. So, don't pick us for your team during Junkyard Wars: On the Road at the Parks in Arlington. The Learning Channel's show, in which two teams have 10 hours to build an object out of scraps from a junkyard, is now a live event with teams of three each being given 10 minutes and a pile of car parts to make a drivable junk race car. After the time has elapsed, two teams will race each other through a 35-foot obstacle course with a fire wall and speed bumps. All participants get goodies, but the players on the team with the fastest time win T-shirts. Junkyard Wars: On the Road is 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It's free to participate or just to watch.

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Monday, June 16
The Old 97's Rhett Miller once paid homage to Dallas, singing "the streets of where I'm from are paved with hearts instead of gold." Fitting since Big D--and particularly Deep Ellum--is well-known for being one of the homes of the blues. But the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library has its own view. Its homage to the city's signature sound is called Main Street's Paved in Gold, Elm Street's Paved in Brass: Early Dallas Blues from the 1920s and 1930s. Continuing daily through June 30 in the library's special collections department on the seventh floor, the exhibit traces the history of the music from Ward Davis' 1912 song "Dallas Blues" through the rediscovery of the blues by folk singers in the '60s and of the district itself from a railroad and commerce center to the current entertainment district. Jonsson Library, 1515 Young St. Call 214-670-1400.

Tuesday, June 17
We coulda been a contender. Well, we could have if we were male (or the daughter of Muhammad Ali), in shape and not squeamish at the sight of blood. That last one also means we should stay away from Fort Worth's Sundance Square when the Miller Lite Title Belt competitions take place. Oscar De La Hoya is helping promote this event, which is part of ESPN2's Tuesday Night Fights series and features six bouts in different categories. The highlight is a 10-round match with Juan Valenzuela, who had a first-round knockout of Julio Diaz recently. The fights start at 7 p.m., and tickets are $20 (general admission), $35 (reserved ringside seats) and $100 (VIP ringside seats with reception). Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000.

Wednesday, June 18
We once lived in an apartment that had a balcony overlooking the city's historic cemetery. It was quiet with well-groomed lawns, and a nice escape from the concrete flowing away from all other sides. Plus the directions to our home included the phrase, "turn left at the headless angel statue," which was great for parties. Michael Madsen is like a collector of these spaces. Placing his 6-foot 5-inch frame on an 8-foot ladder, he photographs people in their favorite places, making the connection between a landscape and one person it inspires. Unlike ours, most seem to be more Walden and less Six Feet Under, with ponds, creeks, bluffs and trees being the main focus. A collection of these photos will be on display as Experiencing the View: Photographs by Michael J. Madsen opening Monday and continuing through July 12. Madsen will be present at a reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Turley Gallery, Turley Law Center, University Boulevard at North Central Expressway.

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