We know it's not college basketball season yet, but this year we're totally over the hordes of (Bill) Self-obsessed fans of KU's men's team. Instead we've got our eyes on the women's squad, helmed by Bonnie Henrickson. After ending her first season as head coach, the Jayhawks placed eighth in the Big 12 Conference the highest Kansas has placed in five years. Henrickson, who has 17 years of coaching experience, came to KU after leading the Virginia Tech Hokies to seven post-season appearances in the seven years she coached. (Their record? 158-62.) So we're interested to hear her secrets at today's Successful Woman Series event at the Central Exchange South (6201 College Boulevard, Suite 245, in Overland Park). Reserve a $25 spot online at www.centralexchange.org or call 816-471-7560.
Friday, September 9
Rockhurst University's Greenlease Gallery (54th Street and Troost) opens its exhibition series tonight with the group show Once Upon a Time, guest-curated by husband-and-wife duo Barry Anderson and Sarah Mote. Both are local instructors (at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Kansas City Art Institute, respectively), and both moonlight, Anderson as an artist and Mote as a freelance writer. Which is why it makes so much sense that their collaborative curatorial effort focuses on the power of storytelling in contemporary art. Artists from Indiana, Texas, Ohio, New York and KC present works of painting, photography, video and performance art; there's an informal gallery talk at 6:30 p.m., followed by the reception from 7 to 9. Call 816-501-4407 for more information.
Saturday, September 10
Ira Harritt and the KC chapter of the American Friends Service Committee are tireless in their efforts to make this town think. Take today, for instance: Harritt has helped to organize a forum where we can ask local experts what steps we should take and grill elected officials, including Rep. Cleaver, about what they're doing to protect our civil liberties. To those who think it's OK to just hand 'em on over in the name of national security: Expect to throw down. Panelists also include David Gottlieb (a professor of law at the University of Kansas) and James Everett (a former deep-cover CIA intelligence officer). Vicki Walker (former Missouri representative and co-founder of the Midwest Center for American Values) moderates. The forum is from 3 to 5 p.m. at Raytown City Hall (10000 East 59th Street). Call 816-931-5256 for details.
Sunday, September 11
With gas prices going up, up, up, celebrating fuel-inefficient cars seems a little, well, crass. But we can't begrudge the drivers behind the Midwest All Truck Nationals Truck Show (which started yesterday and continues today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or the categories they compete in, such as the loud-exhaust contest. After all, the funds they raised in 2004 allowed them to buy almost $9,000 worth of toys for the Marines' Toys for Tots program. Fifteen classic trucks carted the bounty to the U.S. Marine Toy warehouse that's a damn good deed in our book. Drivers of all truck types and makes mini-pickups, 4-by-4s, vans, SUVs, tow trucks, Hummers, firetrucks and big rigs can register at www.alltrucknats.com for $25. Those without a truck can take a new toy or make a cash donation at E.H. Young Riverfront Park (Northwest Argosy Parkway on the Missouri River in Riverside).
Monday, September 12
Are you a bad boy or a not-so-good girl? The type of law-breaking rebel who can't be bothered to return your gasp! library books on time? Instead of wagging its finger at you ne'er-do-wells, the Kansas City Public Library begins its forgiving Food for Fines program today. Bring a food item to any of the ten library locations and receive $1 off existing fines or lost-materials charges. (Straight-and-narrow types without fees get a free video checkout.) The food goes to HARCMart Food Market, a service of the Heartland AIDS Resource Council. Don't use this as an excuse to clean sketchy-looking stuff out of your pantry, though; HARCMart requests undented, undamaged and unexpired (duh) boxed or canned nonperishable goods, particularly box dinners, canned meat or fruit, peanut butter, pasta, pasta sauce, soups and canned fruit juice. Beverages in glass or plastic containers will not be accepted. Bring it while you can Food for Fines ends Sunday. See www.kclibrary.org for more information.
Tuesday, September 13
While gym shopping recently, our salesperson (sorry fitness counselor) led us to an area of the room that he said was focused on strengthening the core. "Do you know about the core?" he asked us. Of course we do we're huge fans of Pilates, the core-focused exercise system. Find your own core at a six-week series of Pilates classes, starting today at the Roger T. Sermon Community Center (201 North Dodgion Street in Independence). Classes are offered from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and cost $40. Call 816-325-7370 for more information.
Wednesday, September 14
When hometown golden boy Whitney Terrell made the pages of People magazine a few weeks ago you'll recall, it was the issue when a kohl-eyed, saccharine-smiled Britney Spears in all her pregnant glory graced the cover he shared his literary spread with debut novelist Karen Fisher. A 44-year-old mother of three, Fisher has received high praise for her first attempt at fiction, A Sudden Country. And not just from the highbrow critics at People, mind you; Kirkus Reviews christened it "elegantly written and powerfully original," and Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review. The writer's protagonist, Emma Ruth Ross Slavin, is actually one of Fisher's ancestors. But to be honest, we're most interested in asking her what kind of a masochist lives in a one-room cabin with her husband and children (which supposedly she does, on Lopez Island in Puget Sound). Fisher's reading takes place tonight at 7 at Rainy Day Books (2706 West 53rd Street in Fairway, 913-384-3126); purchase of the $24.95 hardback grants admission for two.