Baseball often involves three things we find repugnant: food cooked under heat lamps, sitting outside in the heat and people wearing white pants. But more important than inappropriate heat and fashion emergencies is that guy, the one who thinks he'll change our mind. If only we knew the rules, he says, we could taste the excitement instead of dust and bugs. We bet Lisa Martin has met that guy. Her book The Cool Chick's Guide to Baseball explains the rules, the scoring system, the players and the traditions (maybe even the white pants) in a simple but not condescending manner and even gives some trivia to score a few bonus points. She'll sign and discuss her guidebook at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Barnes & Noble Lincoln Park, 7700 W. Northwest Highway. Call 214-739-1124.
Friday, June 6
They could have called it The Matrix Re-Reloaded or The Matrix More Reloaded. Or even The Matrix Reloaded and Cubed. It doesn't matter how dumb the name, people still would go see the IMAX, huge-screen, blasting-sound version, which is actually titled The Matrix Reloaded: The IMAX Experience. Catchy, right? Better than the name (not like that was hard) is that the film is digitally remastered with the sights and sounds fans are accustomed to in an IMAX film. Will it make any more sense? No. Does it matter? Not hardly. The Matrix Reloaded: The IMAX Experience opens Friday at the IMAX Theater of the Cinemark 17, 11819 Webb Chapel Road. Call 972-888-2629 or visit www.cinemark.com/IMAX.
Saturday, June 7
The Family Place's annual Pepsi KidAround has clowns, crafts, sing-alongs and other activities perfect for tuckering a child out in time for dinner and an early bed. In fact, the only thing that's missing is a Parents' Activity Area. (Drop off the 'rents for some adult conversation that doesn't involve spelling out certain words, a few R-rated movies or just a nap.) But the kids can party with Eddie Coker, Stringbini the Clown and storytellers from the African American Museum and WaterTower Theatre, plus do arts and crafts with workers from the Dallas Museum of Art, Plano Children's Theatre and Artzy Smartzy. Teens can stick around Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. for Summer Break Bash with live music (that doesn't include props), a model search and the Extreme Games Sports Exhibition. Pepsi KidAround will be held at Annette Strauss Artist Square, 1800 Leonard St., from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 in advance from Tom Thumb locations or $12 at the gate. Call 214-443-7710.
Sunday, June 8
Monet had the water lilies; Degas had the dancers. Fellow Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir was obsessed with Algiers, the capital of Algeria in North Africa. But you'll probably never see that series on calendars and address-book covers. During Renoir and Algeria, 15 rarely seen paintings will be on display, ranging from the French artist's pre-visit dreams of the city, continuing with ones based on locales he visited and finishing with memories of his time spent in the seaport. The exhibit, organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and bolstered by Dallas Museum of Art additions, also includes photographs taken at approximately the same time as Renoir's visit and other documents to place this period of his life in context with the rest of his career, the Impressionism movement and late-1800s colonialism in Africa. That's a big mission for just a few works of art. If it succeeds, maybe we're wrong about the stationery art deals. Renoir and Algeria runs June 8 through August 31 at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday ($4 to $6), plus 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday (free admission). Call 214-942-1200.
Monday, June 9
There's the brand-name G.I. Joe action figure, and then there's the generic heroic Army guy figure. Both will withstand a coat of mud for camouflage and being hit by rocks during guerilla warfare. But you'll only have to spend half as much to replace store-brand dude when the dog gnaws on his arms and buries his head in the back yard. The point to our story: For summertime swimming, splashing and sliding, you've got Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (Arlington's name-brand attraction), and then there's NRH2O, North Richland Hill's waterpark that has pools and slides similar to Hurricane Harbor, but at only a fraction of the cost. So when you burn your li'l tootsies walking--not running--on the sidewalk near the pools, you can come back a second day...and bring flip-flops. NRH2O is open noon to 8 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is $14.20 for visitors 4 feet tall or more, $12.20 for visitors less than 4 feet tall and free for kids under 2 years old. Visit www.nrh20.com for a $2 discount coupon. NRH2O, 9001 Grapevine Highway. Call 817-427-6500.
Tuesday, June 10
We always hated the phrase "Father knows best." No, he didn't. "We're 15, we've never been employed or had to pay for anything ourselves, but we still know everything." What can we say? We were world-weary 15-year-olds. But Stanley Banks in Father of the Bride doesn't know everything. He's just sure that now that his baby girl is getting hitched that he is, for one, getting old and, two, spending too much money on trivial things. Spencer Tracy, who plays Banks in the 1951 film, never had much chemistry with anyone, but in this case it works as he and Elizabeth Taylor (playing daughter Kay) butt heads in a pristine 1950s kind of way. Just in time for Father's Day, 15 Cent Classics at the Lakewood Theater presents Father of the Bride. The screening is 7:30 p.m. at the renovated theater located at 1825 Abrams Parkway. Admission is just 15 cents, and popcorn is a quarter. Call the box office at 214-827-TKTS.
Wednesday, June 11
It's cool that Rumplestiltskin can spin straw into gold and all, but is it really a quality you want in someone to whom you'd offer your first-born child? Sure, he has income, but don't count on visitation rights when the guy won't even tell you his name. That miller's daughter really needed some relationship counseling. Don't expect her to get any when the Dallas Puppet Theater performs Rumplestiltskin during Irving Arts Center's KidsArts series. The play will be performed at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Dupree Theater for $4 per ticket, and a rod puppet-making workshop will be offered at 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. for $9 (which includes all materials and a ticket to one of those shows, too). Then kids can rework the classic fairy tale. You know, maybe incorporate some Dr. Phil. Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. Call 972-252-ARTS.