Everyone's Watching


Fashion faux pas. Fake smiles. Unwarranted political platforms. Inflated egos. The culmination of all these things can mean only one thing: It's Oscar time again! Oh, yeah, and some of the year's top films will be honored and immortalized as well, but who has time to keep track of all of that? There are more pressing matters. For instance, will Beyoncé change outfits for each nominated song she sings? And will Mel Gibson go all Lethal Weapon-crazy since the Academy had nothing better to say about his Passion than "Nice makeup, Mad Max"? Will Bill Murray even show up again until he receives his inevitable apology Oscar? Does this mean we really have to take Jamie Foxx seriously now? And how come Johnny Depp always looks slightly out of place at the ceremony? Is it because integrity's a sore thumb in the Hollywood Hills? Still, even if the most important part of many attendees' evening is getting past fashion poodle Joan Rivers' gauntlet, that doesn't mean that some substance is beyond our grasp. The Academy and network host ABC are offering an official Dallas Oscar Night celebration at The Studio Movie Grill on Sunday, with all proceeds going to our very own nonprofit appreciation society, The USA Film Festival. The organization runs on local support and has brought countless premieres, events and filmmakers to the area over the years. They're quality, and we're sure Richard Gere would agree that this is a good cause, so enjoy the theater-sized screens, buffet, auctions and door prizes, and get there early--the red carpet main event starts at 7 p.m. at 5405 Prestonwood Drive. Call 214-821-6300. --Matt Hursh

Girls' Night Out

Ah, yeah, great prose--that's why we're reading Jen Sincero's new book, The Straight Girl's Guide to Sleeping With Chicks. Sincero, who's straight, draws on her experiences and those of other women to give the reader a how-to in girl-on-girl action. She talks about the pickup lines that work. The sexual techniques. The toys. She says there's nothing wrong with (gulp) including a boyfriend for hot, sweaty fun: It's all about sexual liberation. (Amen, sister.) Sincero's reading from her book on Friday at Borders Books & Music, 3600 McKinney Ave., at 7 p.m. Women of all orientations are encouraged to bring...friends--really, that's all they are. Their boyfriends are expected to attend, too. Call 214-219-0512. --Paul Kix

Books Without Borders

Dick and Jane, children's literature stars of yesteryear, were whiter than white. Their dog Spot was, well, spotted. The series also featured baby Sally, Mother, Father and Puff the cat. Today's budding bookworms would likely wonder what Daniela and Carmen and Jose were up to while the other kids were having adventures. Children's peer groups have diversified, and Helen West-Rodriguez is on a mission to make sure that there are books to celebrate that. She'll read her first published bilingual book, Hands Across the Border/Manos a traves de la frontera, at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. Admission is free. Reservations are required. For more information, call 214-670-3320 or visit www.dallasculture.org/latinocc. --Stephanie Durham

Mariachis and Matrimony

The main questions: Do they really serve Mexican wedding cookies at Mexican weddings? Are there mariachi bands? Or salsa dancing? I've been to the stereotypical Texas wedding--where the bride wears boots and the reception refreshments are served out of a chuckwagon--and if I never see tuxedo tails paired with black Wranglers again, I'm OK with that. But, in spite of a Spanish surname, I've never been to a Latino wedding or, for that matter, a quinceañera. So, on Sunday, I'm headed to the Latino Bridal & Quinceañera Expo to answer those burning questions. This bilingual event offers brides (and 15-year-olds) the chance to view the latest fashions, products and services and get tips on how to make that special day fantástico (does it include the Macarena?). The expo will be held at the Tower Building in Fair Park, 3809 Grand Ave., on February 27 from noon to 6 p.m. Visit www.latinobridalexpo.com. --Michelle Martinez

A Farewell to Scarves

When we think of Russia, we think of fur coats, hockey and fuzzy hats. Not every inch of the massive country is Siberian in temperature, but the place is certainly colder than Dallas, and that's exactly why we're confused. See, the Russian Winter Festival, which takes place Friday at 7:30 p.m. at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane, is based on a centuries-old Russian tradition of formally saying goodbye to winter and hello to spring, but we already did that last week when we wore beach shorts on a sunny February day. Doesn't translate to Dallas so well, you know. Luckily, there's enough Russian art, crafts and classical music at this year's ninth annual festival to overcome such a technicality and still pay sincere tribute to Mother Russia. And that means you can leave the fur coat at home. Tickets range from $10 to $30. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000. --Sam Machkovech

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