This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, October 9
Kimonos and obis off. It's time for Japanese moon viewing. Since the Heian period (794-1185 AD), gazing upon a perky Japanese bum has been surrounded by ceremony. A special time with hopes for a good harvest and offerings to the lunar god. Oh, right. Moon as in lunar. Not moon like a bare posterior. That does make considerably more sense. Please pardon our mistake. Otsukimi (Japanese moon viewing) is a night highlighted by poetry, music and thanksgiving. The Dallas Arboretum, in conjunction with Dallas Blooms' Autumn: A Harvest of Cultures, hosts an event Thursday evening to honor the Japanese tradition. The grounds open at 6:30 p.m. for picnicking, a haiku workshop, origami, calligraphy demos, dance by the Sakura Classical Japanese Dance of Fort Worth and music of the shakuhachi (bamboo flute). The arboretum is located at 8525 Garland Road. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for kids. For reservations, register at or call 214-342-2022.

Friday, October 10
If we make it to the age when "old" automatically comes before "lady" and "man," chances are we've had a pretty full life. We have no desire for our presence to incite sighs from younger relatives, nor do we ever want to consider installing a stair chair. Do the research, find us a cushy retirement home and visit when it sounds good. Just keep us in cigarettes and hair-growth products. Like Richardson playwright Connie Williams Grimm, we think getting old requires a sense of humor. That idea spurred Grimm on to penning TWO OLD BROADS...better than dead about the sisters Estelline, Ida Fae and Una Rae, who are "involuntarily" relocated to a rest home. See, the sibs have a little secret, and trying to keep it from their fellow resters causes them more than a little trouble. Find out the Estelline secret to getting old at 8 p.m. Friday at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. The final performance is Saturday. Call 972-744-4650.

Saturday, October 11
Kids can make toys out of anything--sticks, loose hardware, even mud. Speaking of which, we remember how cool, soothing and creative it was to play in mud. Eating and tracking in said mud wasn't so much fun (at least for us), but the glopping, scooping and shaping were a blast. Revisit that childhood fun in a more adult way at the Clay Connection Pottery Festival sponsored by the Potter's Studio of Lockheed Martin Recreational Association. Professional potters provide demonstrations, and there's a hands-on pottery activity to get into while the kids hop on the festival's rides. Admission is free, so there will be more to spend on the vast array of tableware, vases and other artistic pieces for sale. Reconnecting with the young artiste de mud is as easy as a spin of the potter's wheel from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the LMRA grounds, 3400 Bryant-Irvin Road, Fort Worth. Call 817-689-4800.

Sunday, October 12
Our family owns the entire set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and we never read them. Instead, we depended on daily afternoon (and now morning) doses of Little House on the Prairie. We still hate that Mary's glasses caused that fire when she ditched them in a field because she was embarrassed to wear them. We shudder at her sudden blindness and, just like little Laura, we'd love to slap the crap out of bitchy Nellie Olsen. Melissa Gilbert's Half-Pint was an instrumental female figure who proved how a girl could be whatever she wanted (and survive sweltering heat in layers of clothing). That said, the National Cowgirl Museum honors the empowering author on Sunday with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Harvest Festival. The festival features cornhusk doll making, butter churning, mapping the Wilder route, various demonstrations and games from Log Cabin Village. Head to 1720 Gendy in Fort Worth for a Wilder kind of day from noon to 4 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Call 817-336-4475.

Monday, October 13
Who's never wondered, "Elsie, how'd you do it?" Thanks to a teensy little annual event called the State Fair of Texas, we can ask the ever-charming dairy heifer in person at Meet Elsie the Cow on Monday at 10 a.m., but be polite and don't stare at her udders. There's more to this corporate maven than those multiple teats, you know. Moo and chew the cud with Elsie at the Borden area in the Food & Fiber Pavilion in Fair Park. Call 214-565-9931.

Tuesday, October 14
Finally, it is a respected act to play with one's food. Of course, play is a subjective term since, in this case, teams of architects, designers and engineers are going all-out Lincoln Log with cans and boxes of food. And it's all for charity. Through October 18, experience CANSTRUCTION 2003, a competition and exhibit sponsored by the American Institute of Architects and the Society of Design Administration's Fort Worth chapters. The beauty of it may very well lie in the designs, but there is serious greatness in that all of the food in the canstructions goes to the Tarrant Area Food Bank. For free, see the food façades for the less fortunate at Ridgmar Mall, 1888 Green Oaks Road, Fort Worth. Call 817-332-9177.

Wednesday, October 15
We'll never look like Sissy Davis in a ribbed white tank top, and we are fairly certain that "sexy" does not describe our performance on a mechanical bull. For a while, we also despaired that there was no longer a Gilley's to frequent and that all of our Urban Cowboy dreams would remain thin vapors of hope. Until now. Wednesday night begins the grand-opening celebration for Gilley's Dallas. The Charlie Daniels Band takes the stage in the 26,000-square-foot main showroom at 9 p.m. after an official welcoming by Mayor Laura Miller and Greg Elam of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. The devil may go down to Georgia, but we're excited about seeing "El Toro," the mechanical bull from the original Gilley's featured in Urban Cowboy, and trying our hand at the newer bull that's open to the aspiring Sissy or Bud in all of us. The brand-new venue is located at 1135 S. Lamar, and the special opening festivities continue through Saturday with performances by the Oak Ridge Boys, Mickey Gilley with Johnny Lee (for the first time in 16 years) and Loverboy. Call 1-888-GILLEYS.