Night & Day Events


Thursday, September 22
We happily read our way through the first five Harry Potter books, but we’re tired now. We want to know what happens in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but at this point, we’d just be happy with a plot synopsis. So we’re considering sneaking into tonight’s Harry Potter for Adults program at the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library (625 Minnesota Avenue, 913-551-3280) for some spoiler-heavy talk and discussion of the upcoming movie version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But if any car in the parking lot has a “Muggle on Board” sticker, we’re not staying. We mean it.

Friday, September 23
Our dog needs a friend. Our vet has suggested another dog of the same breed (the very fluffy and lovable bichon frisé, if you have a spare), but we think he might like a burro. And we’re in luck, because today’s the start of a wild horse and burro adoption in Carthage, Missouri (north on Highway 71 from Interstate 44). Burros’ skills? Packing, riding, guarding — and serving as companion animals. See, we knew this was a good idea. Of course, we also need a minimum of 400 square feet outdoors for a burro — and fences, shelter, grass hay and a host of other things that probably won’t go over too well with our homeowners’ association. Farm types, though, should head to the Civil War Arena (11838 Civil War Avenue) from 1 to 5 p.m. for the adoption preview. Adoptions continue Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 800-293-1781 for more information.

Saturday, September 24
If you want to really connect with those burros (see Friday) — and channel Jessica Lange’s character, Carmen, in Broken Flowers — Linda Trent can help. She maintains that a higher level of understanding with one’s pet (or “animal companion”) is a learned skill that, with practice, anyone can do. Animal Communication Introduction: Learning Their Language meets today from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 309 of Haag Hall at University of Missouri-Kansas City (5100 Rockhill Road). Bring a notebook, a pen and a photograph of your furry friend — but no live animals, please. The class fee is $9; call 816-235-1448 to register.

Sunday, September 25
On a Sunday night not too long ago, as we prayed for relief from Saturday night’s residue, we knew the only thing that might make us feel better was bar food. Specifically, chicken fingers. We met our friend Sally at the Granfalloon, thrilled at the prospect of a quiet greaserama in a corner booth. But we had foolishly failed to consider the fact that on that particular Sunday, most of the people in Kansas City had consumed, oh, seven cases of beer each in celebration of the Chiefs’ home opener. And we met them — we met them all — at the Falloon that night. Had we not been so shocked at the sheer volume of the crowd, we might have had fun. Perhaps we’ll try again at a different Plaza post-game party. From 9 p.m. to midnight on Chiefs Sundays at Mi Cocina (614 West 48th Street, 816-960-6426), DJ Derek spins hip-hop, house and Latin beats downstairs. Beer, wine, wells and margaritas are $2. Hey, if we’re going to celebrate a Chiefs game, we might as well be at their favorite bar.

Monday, September 26
Exhibits that open on Mondays offer a no-pressure opportunity to look at art, since we don’t have to talk shop with anyone about the work. In the case of today’s Abstract Contemplation and Creation, a collection of 12 new mixed-media pieces by Michael Woodward, we definitely won’t speak. We’ll be eating. The show opens at Café Trio (3535 Broadway, 816-756-3227) and remains up through November 12, and though we might catch the artist reception on September 29, today we’ll just sit back, enjoy a glass of wine and keep our mouths shut.

Tuesday, September 27
We don’t make it to the Coterie Theatre (level one of Crown Center, 2450 Grand, 816-474-6552) much anymore, now that we’re grown-ups. But we’re excited for its newest production, The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963. Based on Christopher Paul Curtis’ Newbery Medal-winning novel, the play tells the story of an African-American family in Birmingham, Alabama, as the civil rights movement gains momentum. The very jazzy Queen Bey plays the family’s grandmother. Today’s performance is at 10 a.m. The play continues through October 23. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children.

Wednesday, September 28
New Yorker readers know David Denby as one of the magazine’s film critics. We, however, like to think of him as the grinch who stole college. See, when we were at Columbia University, experiencing what the school calls the “Core Curriculum,” Denby had just published Great Books, his account of retaking the core’s signature classes — 30 years later. Denby enrolled in Literature Humanities (which starts with Homer and ends with Virginia Woolf) and Contemporary Civilization (which includes all the philosophy and theory biggies). He attended classes, did all the reading and even wrote a few papers. Our feelings about this experience, which he romanticizes — while mocking his younger classmates — can be summarized as follows: Of course you had time to savor all these books, Mr. Film Critic. The rest of us? We were busy taking the classes for the first time, reading the books for the first time and — oh, yeah — juggling a full course load. So we felt some schadenfreude when Denby published American Sucker, an account of his attempt to make money during the booming ’90s. Denby writes about making $900,000 and losing it all — along with, we think, his dignity, by admitting to an obsession with online porn and ownership of an Audi A6. What, working at the New Yorker isn’t enough? Denby signs books at the University of Kansas’ Oread Bookstore at 4:30 p.m. and speaks on “Reading Great Books in a Modern World” at 7 p.m. in Woodruff Auditorium, both in the Kansas Union (1301 Jayhawk Boulevard in Lawrence), for KU’s Sixty Years of Western Civ celebration. We’ll be the ones with the “Great Books Suck” signs.