This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, June 19
Sleep Number, Tempur-Pedic, Isotonic Foam, Craftmatic. Bedding is out of control. No one sleeps on a normal mattress anymore. We even admit ours has a coveted "pillow top." It may have taken years of technological breakthroughs, but we've discovered where mattress mania began. Thanks to that damn princess and a wayward pea, we'll never stop looking for a better night's sleep...not to mention wondering how a pea got under a mattress. Grand Prairie Arts Council concurs, or at least it is willing to provide some live-action background on the matter. Hence, Once Upon a Mattress, a musical comedy production of The Princess and the Pea. Tonight's show is a benefit for the council (so bring a donation) and begins at 8 p.m. as do the Friday and Saturday performances. The Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m. Mattress melodies take the Chambers Auditorium stage at Grand Prairie High School, 101 High School. Ticket prices are $10 for children, students and seniors and $15 for adults. Tickets are available by phone with a charge card. Call 972-642-2787.

Friday, June 20
It's time to fess up. We all do it. Nay, we all think we make it up there to that sky-high pitch. At one time or another, driving down a highway, Heart's "Crazy on You" comes on the radio. In a fit of confidence (and a supreme lack of stage fright, what with being alone and all) we've all taken on the high part and wailed Wilson-style. And just maybe we've even vocalized the guitar solos. Sadly, we're probably the only ones to have looked over post-performance to find a family of four gaping and laughing at us. Note: Windows were down. It's safe to say that it's wise to leave Heart's greatest hits to...uh, Heart. Don't forget the Dep gel, gold lamé off-the-shoulder tee and black ankle boots on the way out to watch them rock out and perform requisite guitar solo gyrations and kicks Friday at the odd venue choice of Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth. Tickets are $10 and $28.75. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000 or call 817-642-7117.

Saturday, June 21
After a night out rockin' to "Barracuda" and "Magic Man," what would be the next logical hankering? Show tunes. Yes, we admit knowing lyrics of both babe rock and Broadway. Give us a little Heart, a little Anything Goes and a Little Mermaid and we're good to go, provided we have accompaniment. The Women's Chorus of Dallas has the show and the tunes down with its latest endeavor, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. The chorus touts entertainment and hints "you might just rediscover yourself along the way." We don't know about rediscovering ourselves, but we must say we'll prolly be whistling our way to the car afterward, and that's really all we're asking for. Show tunes and self-discovery happen at Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the Southern Methodist University campus. For tickets, call 214-250-7828.

Sunday, June 22
There's nothing like the smell of a freshly developed print, the odor that clings to clothing after leaving the darkroom. It's one of those love it or hate it things, but for a photographer that smell is home. It's as familiar as your dad's after-shave or line-dried linens. We've fought technology since the word "digital" began replacing safety lights and film reels. And while our SLR cameras are going nowhere, there's something practical and cost-efficient about digital cameras for the occasional snapshot. Canon and Office Depot are willing to help us get the knack of looking at a screen instead of through a viewfinder, and in short order. A free 30-minute digital camera seminar and "digital" just might start to appeal to us, but we'll keep the enlarger nearby just in case. Head to Office Depot, 4949 Belt Line Road. Call 1-800-234-4237.

Monday, June 23
Many JFK fans can agree that the title of Robert Dallek's biography of the late president is entirely appropriate: The Unfinished Life. There seems to be so much left unknown about the man, and so much more he could have achieved were it not for his untimely death. Kennedy feelings aside, Dallek is a master of the biography. Though his focus on political figures can sometimes be daunting, he offers little-known facts and extensive research. He weaves lives into compelling tales that are as readable as fiction. Dallek signs The Unfinished Life at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, 411 Elm St., Monday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The book is available in the museum bookstore. Call 214-747-6660.

Tuesday, June 24
Communication these days seems to revolve around e-mail and the telephone. Again with the technology! What about language and emphasis and the beauty of the word...spoken or motioned? There's something that seems inherently positive about devoting a weekly hour and a half to learning something that classifies as both a language and a visual art. Hand Power Unlimited begins a series of American Sign Language classes Tuesday at 7 p.m. The class will run for nine weeks and teaches the basics of deaf culture and a vocabulary of more than 300 words, as well as finger spelling. That's relatively no time to give up in order to learn an amazing and compassionate talent. Sign away at the Duncanville Recreation Center, 201 James Collins Blvd. Tuition ranges from $30 to $45 with a textbook fee of $18.95. Call 214-868-2992.

Wednesday, June 25
We'll be up-front. We won't be at the Rangers game Wednesday. We won't be guzzling beer and downing dogs in Arlington. We won't be waving our giant foam finger or our inflatable bat over the heads of people we don't know. Oh, sure we'll be rooting that Raffy hits one over the wall against Barry Zito, and that the Rangers will, well, win. After all, a sweep would help ye ole blue and red gain some momentum to climb out of fourth place in the American League West. Rather, we'll be screaming our heads off and eating all things not nutritious privately in front of a large television with the most devoted and insane baseball fan we know: Mom. For those, however, who are endeared with the atmosphere of the Ballpark in Arlington, the Texas Rangers take on the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Tickets cost $5 to $55. Call 1-888-96-TEXAS.

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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin

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