Monday, August 31, 2009

More on Pie

In the interest of letting The Glory of the Pie shine through, I leave you with only this:


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Once Upon a Pie: Merritt's Celebrates 30 Years

Merritt's Bakery

At the close of the summer of 1979, a little cake shop called The Cake Box opened its doors on Tulsa’s historic Cherry Street. The store, manned by Larry Merritt and his wife, Bobbie, offered decorated cakes for special occasions, namely birthdays and weddings.

Thirty years later, that family-owned bakery, now known as Merritt’s Bakery Cakes & Pastries, has grown to employ 85, boasts four locations plus a commissary and offers 300 different baked goodies and a full lunch menu, an operation headquartered at a 6,000-SF flagship location at 3202 E. 15th Street, just across the street from where The Cake Box once stood.

Read the rest of this story on the food page in this week's edition of Tulsa Business Journal.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What to Do in Tulsa This Weekend

Can you believe the weather we'll be having here in Tulsa this weekend? I'm in shock. No temperatures above 86 all the way through to Tuesday, and there's not a chance of rain until time to head back to work Monday.

Whew, doggies. That's a lovely weekend, right there.

As my momma always said, there's no better send-off for an unusually mild Oklahoma August than a weekend chock-full of outdoor goings-on. As told on Friday morning's edition of the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley, here is your insider's guide to this event-studded weekend made in heaven.

Tasha's Picks for the Weekend of Aug. 28


International Year of Astronomy Sidewalk Astronomy with Astronomy Club of Tulsa
When: Friday night, 8:30pm
Where: RiverWalk Crossing (also Saturday night, 8:30pm) and Bass Pro Shop in Broken Arrow
With temperatures in the 80s and clear skies all around, the weather this weekend is looking to be rather choice for stargazing. Head to Broken Arrow or Jenks this weekend to take advantage of the uncanny knowledge and space-age equipment of the members of Astronomy Club of Tulsa, our very own group of local, amateur stargazers. My bet is that the kids will be begging for more, so bring a datebook to jot down the date of the next meet-up.

Midnight Movie at Circle Cinema
When: Friday night, midnight (of course)
Where: Circle Cinema, 12 S. Lewis Ave.
What's better than a movie showing at midnight? A movie showing at midnight in one Tulsa's most cherished movie house. Plus, the movie is Dead Snow, and it's about zombie Nazis. Just try to beat that with a stick. Bring $6.25 to buy a whole seat, but I reckon you'd only need the edge.


Hardwork Summer 2009
When: Saturday night, doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Where: The Marquee, 222 N. Main St.
For an $8 advance ticket, it's impossible to get a better cobbling of local musical talent than this. This sixth event in the Hardwork Summer 2009 series will be an evening with the fabulous Fiawna Forte', Native Lights, Callupsie, Dead Sea Choir and Unwed Sailor. Tickets to see these Dfest darlings at the door are $12, or snag tickets beforehand at Under the Mooch Records or Dwelling Spaces.

The Paul Thorn Band
When: Sunday, 8pm, doors at 7pm
Where: Cain's Ballroom, Second Stage
I don't think I could say it better than Urban Tulsa Weekly did in this week's edition of 7+One: “Thorn's songs are conduits for that gritty part of the South where beleaguered wisdom is as likely from the bottom of a bottle of Johnny Walker Red as it is from the pulpit of an old country church.” Advanced tickets are $18, $20 at the door. Seth James opens.


Red Dirt Rangers 20-Year Anniversary Celebration
When: Friday night, 7pm
Where: Cain's Ballroom
Can you say free? If you can, but only if you're willing to throw down a few bucks to support charity anyway, head to Cain's Ballroom for some good ol' Oklahoma-style red dirt tunes by the one and only RD Rangers. See also Medicine Show and Turnpike Troubadours. All proceeds will hit the road toward a worthy charity.

Tulsa Boy Singers Annual Recruitment Concert
When: Friday night, 6:30pm
Where: Trinity Episcopal Church, 5th and Cincinnati
Haul your neighborhood vocally gifted boy aged 8-18 downtown Friday night to audition to join one of Tulsa's favorite choirs. Bid on goodies at the silent auction, and enjoy an hour-long concert by the Tulsa Boy Singers. It's all free and open to the public.

Equality Center Concert Featuring Rebecca Ungerman
When: Friday night, 8-9:30pm
Where: Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, 621 E. Fourth St.
Don't know Rebecca Ungerman? You've been missing out, my friend. She's only the Absolute Best Female Vocalist of 2009, according to Urban Tulsa Weekly readers (and, trust me, UTW readers know a thing or two about good tunes). Pay $10 to get through the front door to see this woman belt out selections from her first solo CD, “I Just Want.”

My Solstice/A Good Fight
When: Friday night, 7pm
Where: The Marquee, 222 N. Main St.
Don't mess with local act My Solstice. Ticket prices haven't been posted, so check it out at the door.

Lee Ann Womack
When: Saturday night, 7pm
Where: Osage Event Center, 951 W. 36th Street North
When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, don't miss a class act like Womack, especially for chump change like $35.

Kawnar in Concert
When: Saturday night, 8-10pm
Where: RiverWalk Crossing in Jenks
Love Kawnar? You'll love him even more when he's free. Hit the trail toward Jenks Saturday night to catch him live at the RiverWalk Crossing Amphitheater. He'll be serenading the audience with spots from “Unclear” and “Be Dffrnt,” plus tons of remixed cover songs. And maybe, just maybe, there will be songs from A Hard Week's Night with local act P.D.A.


Birthing the Crone: Lisa Wilson's Crone Chronicles
When: Friday night @ 8pm, Saturday night @8pm
Where: Nightingale Theater, 1416 E. Fourth St.
Menopause? Madness? Mid-life crisis? Losing your mind? And all that jazz. This show claims to be a one-woman journey into the scariest part of growing up. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for TU employees and students. Bring cash, and not just because it looks good – it's all the Nightingale wants out of you commie credit-card carriers.

Kubos-Tesseract: Celebrating 40 Years of Living Arts in Tulsa
When: Friday night, 6:30pm
Where: Living ArtSpace, 308 S. Kenosha Ave.
Join Living Arts for a celebration of its 40th anniversary that will be unlike any other. Come ready to be involved. Look for local acts Brian Haas & Friends, Bryce Brimer, JD McPherson, Charlotte Rhea and Mark Whittig. The party benefits the new Living ArtSpace taking shape on Brady. Tickets are $50 and are available by phone at 585.1234.

IN public|private
When: Friday night, 7:30-10pm
Where: Heller Theatre, 4825 S. Quaker
Grab some buds and descend on Heller Theatre for an exhibition of 10 photo collages by Marty Coleman, depicting Tulsa anchors and reporters (including yours truly, along with the likes of Chera Kimiko, Lori Fullbright, Terry Hood, Kristin Dickerson and my bud Holly Wall and others) shown in ways you haven't seen on TV or in print. The show will help to kick off the grand opening of Heller Theatre. Ben Sumner, host of Up Late, will emcee, and there will be plenty of music and food and performance previews to go around.

Crayons! Improv
When: Friday night, 7pm
Where: Burnett Mansion in Sapulpa, 320 S. Main St.
If you haven't yet managed to see this fledgling improv act, this weekend, it's time. Head to one of Sapulpa's most regal and revered historic (rumor has it it's also one of the most haunted) homes and get in on the act as the Crayons! Kids set you up for laugh after laugh. A ticket is $10, and that includes dessert.

Other Stuff

Hibiscus Anniversary Celebration
When: Saturday
Where: Hibiscus Caribbean Cafe, 3316 S. Peoria Ave.
It's our one and only Caribbean cafe and bar, and this weekend marks the first anniversary of its opening on the swanky ground zero for food doods, Tulsa's Brookside. Look for live music and lots of yummy food and true-to-form, island-style drinks.

Tulsa 66ers Dance Team Auditions
When: Saturday, 10am
Where: Mabee Gym, University of Tulsa Campus
So you think you can dance? Grab $15 and get thee to try out for the 2009-10 66ers Dance Team. Check-in and registration starts at 10am, with warm-ups and auditions at 10:30.

Custom Knife Show
When: Saturday
Where: Tulsa Convention Center Conference Hall
As a member of the community of the food obsessed, I'm fully aware that a person can never have too many knives. If you agree, you should be at Tulsa Convention Center this Saturday to check out the custom knife show there, courtesy of the Knife Group Association of Oklahoma.

The Green Gala
When: Saturday night
Where: Harwelden Mansion, 2210 S. Main Street
The members of one of Tulsa's greatest green proponents, the Tulsa Young Professionals, will be getting down with their tree-hugging selves this weekend at one of Tulsa's most treasured historic homes. Look for familiar faces in the form of local artists, a “green” carpet, catering by Elote Cafe & Catering and musicians of the likes of Annie Ellicott, Eric Himan and Roger Jaeger. Come dressed to the nines and ready to take in all that a cash bar has to offer. Admission is free, but be sure to RSVP to TYPros Exec Chris Oden by e-mailing her at

Tulsa Raceway Park Goings-On
When: Saturday, starting at 10am
Where: Tulsa Raceway Park, 3101 N. Garnett Road
With events ranging from an autism benefit to a Salute the Troops tribute during the Midnight Drags that allows servicemen and women to get through the front gate free of charge, the Midnight Drags is packing more than pistons this weekend.

Just Between Friends, Continued
When: Through Saturday, 9am-7pm; Friday is 25% off, Saturday is 50% off marked merchandise
Where: Expo Square Exchange Center
There is no need to shop overpriced mall and department stores – at least, not when the Just Between Friends Sale is in town, and this weekend wraps it up for T-Town until spring. Find deals on everything from strollers to onesies to wipes warmers at this huge sale. We're talking 1,200 consignors and 100,000 items, sprawled over 58,000 square feet here, people. Bring cash, checks or credit cards, and be ready to pay a few bucks to get in – oh, and don't forget a laundry basket or bag to hold your items while you shop, especially on 50%-off day. In fact, bring an extra. It's for me.

Oklahoma Pinto Horse Association Show
When: Saturday-Sunday, showtime at 9am
Where: Expo Square Exchange Center
The Pinto is one diverse breed, and all the different types and sizes can be seen at Expo Square this weekend. Get more information by calling 744.1113 or by downloading the showbill from the Oklahoma Pinto Horse Association Web site.

Tulsa Oilers Alumni Game
When: Saturday night, 7-10pm
Where: Tulsa Oilers Ice Arena, 64th and Mingo
The good ol' days will return to the Tulsa Oilers Ice Center again this weekend for the second annual Oilers alumni game. Tickets at the door are $20, and that includes a postgame party with the players.


Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo
When: Friday night @ 8pm and 10pm; Saturday night @ 8pm and 10pm
Where: Circle Cinema, 12 S. Lewis
Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo is director Bradley Beesley's new documentary that goes behind prison walls to follow convict cowgirls on their journey to the 2007 Oklahoma State Penitentiary Rodeo. Be sure to hang around after the first showing (or arrive early for the second screening, depending on how you look at life) for a Q&A with Beesley, producer James Payne and former Oklahoma State Department of Corrections inmates and prison staff who were featured in the film. Yee-haw!

The Final Destination
When: Opens Friday
Teens tempt death again in the fifth installment of the hit horror franchise. And guess what? It's in HD. No, 3-D HD. Would I kid you about such awesomeness?

Halloween II
When: Opens Friday
The director with the coolest named ever (I could be writing of none other than Rob Zombie) picks right up where the 2007 Halloween remake left off, taking Laurie through a violent tale of psychological horror in the wake of Michael's rampage through Haddonfield.

At the BOK Center

Alan Jackson Tickets On Sale

When: Saturday, 10am
Where: BOK Center
Tickets prices range $49.75-$69.75 for this Small Town Southern Man's Nov. 7 concert. Even though Jackson has sold more than 50 million records and has had 25 No. 1 singles since kicking off his career 2 years ago, he still likes bologna. At least, that's what he said in the song.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hot Off The Presses

Mecca Coffee Company

Love coffee? Me too. As with food, I enjoy coffee best when someone else makes it for me, and especially if I'm being served coffee in a mismatched mug in some cute, moody little coffee house somewhere.

Problem is, in this here town, a standard 12-ounce cup of black, coffee house coffee costs about $2. Swig one of those every day of the month and you have practically another utility bill on your hands, with nothing to show for it except pampered taste buds and a circular file with coffee breath, constantly full of cup sleeves and stirrers.

Here's another idea: Make your own coffee, and keep the change.

Read the rest of this story in Consumer Watchdog in this week's edition of Urban Tulsa Weekly.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tasha Does Tulsa Run: The Advice Column

Since I announced the birth of the "official" Tasha Does Tulsa Run 5k team, I've had several questions about how to properly train to run 3.1 miles without suffering shin splints, exercise-induced asthma (EIA) or, worse, Dorky Running Gear Syndrome (just say no to DRGS).

For the edification of all, I'd like to post here a few of what I feel are the questions most pertinent to you fledgling runners out there.

Dear Tasha,
With so many options for running trails in Tulsa, where do you usually train?
-Curious George

Dear George,
LaFortune Park at 51st and Yale is my favorite close-to-home running spot, but once a week or so I like to head to Tulsa's RiverParks. Now that the splash pad at 41st Street is open, I like to start and end there so I can let my kid loose in the water after being tethered for 30-45 minutes in an ergonomically-challenged stroller.

Plus, the new, expanded trail system at RiverParks is lovely. It rocks. I love it.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

I get run over by cyclists much less often these days. Share the trail, cyclists. Share the trail.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Ah, the Pedestrian bRRidge. It's so exhilarating to run.

One problem, though:

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Every time I run across it, I get this intense craving for Ovaltine. Weird, huh?

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Mmm. And only 170 calories per 8-ounce serving.

Dear Tasha,
As a fellow running mom, what jogging stroller would you recommend?

Dear Maurine,
I have two tips for you.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Choose the stroller on the right if you plan to run on a track that's straight as an arrow, since the front wheel doesn't pivot and it's next to impossible to turn without lifting up the front wheel and risking dumping your kid in the track gravel in front of God and everybody in town who owns a dog pretty enough to take promenading at RiverParks.

Choose the stroller on the left if you enjoy being thrown over the handle when you break a run for the first time in six months and the front wheel flies off, nearly decapitating a frisbee golfer.

Or, spend more than $80 on a stroller. The choice is yours.

Dear Tasha,
What stretching exercises do you think are best for the new runner?
-Splinting Down Sheridan

Dear Sheridan Splinter,
I'm no stretching expert (if you don't believe me, just ask my old cheerleading coach; how I made the squad without being able to do the splits or a cartwheel, I'll never know), but I'll give you the gist of my personal routine.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

I begin each training session by attempting to climb on public art. This practice challenges the limbs at the same time that it tests the durability of the seams of your new running pants. It's also a great way to make contact with local law enforcement.

Or, you can stretch the Holly Wall way.

Tasha Does Tulsa Run Training 2009

Either way, you'll be stretched and set for the best training session of your life. I think.

There's still time to sign up for the "official" Tasha Does Tulsa Run 5k team. Send me your contact info by the end of the month to receive encouraging e-mails, invitations to "official" TDT training sessions and, most important, a cool t-shirt.

Even if you don't join the team, I wish you happy training out there. Even though it'll be totally useless because every member of the "official" Tasha Does Tulsa Run team is gonna slap you on the butt as they pass you on their way to the finish line come this year's Halloween race day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

To The Board of the Ottawa County Fair

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Dear Sirs:

While at your county fair last weekend the fact came to my attention that several items and livestock in your exhibition hall are in violation of one or more of the following universal rules:

1. No animal on the face of the planet should be allowed to be this cute.
2. No animal on the face of the planet should be allowed to be this ugly.
3. No such animal as pictured can exist on this planet and is, therefore, an alien life form and should, therefore, be studied by scientists and psychics and producers of silly reality television shows.

To wit:

Ottawa County Fair 2009

This animal is in violation of Rule 1 as stated above. Upon beholding the intense and excessive cuteness of this baby bovine quadruped, my husband was forced to call your janitorial staff to squeegee my puddly remains from the floor of your livestock expo area.

This scene could have been avoided had your board ensured all animals on display at your county fair were in compliance with the aforementioned three rules.

Other examples of violations of Rule 1 include:

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Last but not least of the violations of Rule 1, sirs, was this little number:

Ottawa County Fair 2009

And...I just spontaneously became pregnant with three sets of twins. Maybe four.

The 2009 Ottawa County Fair reckless rule-breaking madness didn't end there. Just look at the following photo accounts of violations of Rule 2 I recorded while visiting your ignoble and base gathering of beasts:

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

That this man, dressed in overalls and a trucker's cap, was posed to look incredulously at a tornado shelter in the middle of a public fair was obvious.

If the budget funding your attempts to portray the local townsfolk in a realistic way is running low, allow me to suggest turning the produce and baked items sections of your expo center into cash cows by unleashing them onto the free market:

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Perhaps your fundraising efforts will yield a surplus profit that could cover shipping costs incurred by sending the following specimens in violation of Rule 3 to appropriate authorities for study and, if necessary, deportation to their native planets:

Ottawa County Fair 2009

Ottawa County Fair 2009

See how these beings perplex your locals. This befuddled man was later seen putting cereal in the refrigerator and milk in the pantry and, later still, beer in the grill and burger patties in the makeshift ice bath he made in his wife's prized Maytag.

As for this specimen, no one has seen or head from it since its escape from this year's Ottawa County Fair:

Ottawa County Fair 2009

If local search parties are unsuccessful in locating this escapee, I would be happy to help connect you with the federal or even intergalactic authorities, both of whom seem particularly interested its apprehension.

Thank you, sirs, for your attention and prompt cure of these violations. I trust the 2010 Ottawa County Fair will warrant a different sort of letter entirely - perhaps a benign form letter, or maybe even a congratulatory one, if you play your cards right.

Warmest regards,

Tasha Ball
Official Blogger of the Tulsa State Fair Cheese on a Stick
Auxiliary Strawberry Newberg Photographer
Amateur Funnel Cake Taste-Tester, API (Always Prepared Interpreter)

Friday, August 21, 2009

What To Do in Tulsa This Weekend

Did you hear (and see!) that mind-bending weekend rundown this morning on the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley? You've just gotta see that in instant replay.

Tasha's Picks for the Weekend of Aug. 21

Are We There Yet? A Musical Family Survival Guide
When: Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm
Where: Tulsa Little Theater, 1511 S. Delaware Ave.
Got family? Then you've got to see this musical. It claims to be a unique and entertaining evening of song, dance and sketch comedy as it holds up the mirror to modern family life, and with a cast including Randy Chronister, Heather Richetto-Rumley, Cathy Rose and Mike Pryor, it looks as if the Tulsa Little Theater has a hit on its hands. Tickets are $23, with special rates for seniors and groups of 10 or more. Call 744-7340 for tickets. Photo from Tulsa Little Theater.

Picture 6

Tulsa Mud Run
When: Saturday, 5pm
Where: Chandler Park
Looking for some good, clean Oklahoma-style fun? Make your way along with hundreds of others out west for the second annual Tulsa Mud Run, two one-mile, multi-terrain loops with a few mud-filled obstacles along the way. All proceeds go to the Oklahoma Firefighters Burn Camp for kids. There's still time to preregister for the event at the RunnersWorld location at 41st and Peoria today (Friday) until 6pm and tomorrow (Saturday) 10am-2pm. After that, runners can register at the start line between 3:30-4:45pm. Registration is $25 per person. Kids are welcome to attend but will not be allowed to participate in the run. Look also for live music and concessions from bananas to Frito chili pie. “We hope that you enjoy this unique experience, since we know that your family and friends are going to laugh at you.” Photo from Tulsa Mud Run.

Crosbie Heights Community Garden Potluck and Music Festival
When: Sunday, 6pm until whenever
Where: Crosbie Heights, 306 S. Phoenix
Live bands, homegrown produce. Look for local acts Travis Fite, Excavator Operator and the Paul Benjamin Band. Bring a side dish to share as you sample the bounty from the Crosbie Heights Community Garden, and don't forget your dancing shoes.


92.1 The Beat Back to School Bash with Lil Wayne
When: Friday night, doors open at 7 p.m. With concert at 7:40
Where: BOK Center
Lil Wayne, who has sold more than six million records during his 13-year career, will be bumpin' in to Tulsa Friday night to help the kids ring in the new school year. Look also for Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy, Pleasure P and Jeremih. Tickets, priced from about $38-124, are still available.

KingsPointe Village Concert Series
When: Friday night, 7pm
Where: KingsPointe Village, 61st and Yale
Arrive early to score a parking place and a good spot to watch Mary Cogan in concert. Plus, it's free, so don't feel badly about coming out early for dinner and some shopping.

Def Leppard and Poison with Cheap Trick
When: Saturday night, doors at 5:30pm, show at 7pm
Where: BOK Center
Have you heard about the Def Leppard Meet-and-Greet contest? If you still hit the books every fall, head to the Facebook events page for this concert and RSVP with the name of your high school or college. The school that gets the most mentions on the page scores tickets for a certain number of students, plus chances to meet the band. This act, which has sold a combined 100 million albums worldwide, with 65 million of those from Def Leppard alone, promises to rock concert goers' faces off. Before the concert, head to ONEOK Plaza for a few hours of free tunes from local act Admiral Twin. Catch them starting at 5pm.

Al Green
When: Saturday night, 8pm
Where: Osage Event Center, 951 W. 36th Street North
See soul and R&B legend Al Green live in concert. Tickets start at $25.

Wild Women of Oklahoma Jazz
When: Sunday, 5-8pm
Where: Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St.
Composer-pianist Amy Cottingham will be accompanied by a number of friends in a show that will blend jazz, classical and pop influences. Tickets are $15, tickets for seniors and college students are $10 and high school students and younger pay $5. Tables for eight may be reserved for $20 per person.

Other Stuff

RiverWalk Crossing Goings-On
When: Friday-Sunday
Where: RiverWalk Crossing in Jenks
Bring your camping gear, kiddos, because it'd be fun to while away the entire weekend at RiverWalk Crossing. Start Friday night with a concert by old-school Tulsa act Stephen Speaks at the RiverWalk Amphitheater starting at 8pm. Or, if you prefer the David Dover Band, head to the Boat Bar on the other side of the complex starting at the same time. Rise and shine Saturday with the Fifth Annual Tulsa Poker Run, starting at noon. The run will feature live music by Big Daddy & the Blue Kickers, a live auction and raffle prizes. Proceeds of the run benefit the Tulsa Area United Way. That night at 8pm, look for musical act SaraFem at the Amphitheater.

Intertribal Indian Club Pow Wow of Champions
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Perryman Ranch in Jenks at 11524 S. Elwood Ave.
Bring your lawn chairs and a five spot for admission to this showcase of native culture, featuring dancing, authentic food and arts and crafts. Kids aged five and under are admitted free, and families of four or more are admitted for $4 each.

World Championship Snaffle Bit Show
When: Through Sunday
Where: Expo Square, Built Ford Tough Livestock Complex
If you feel more at home on a horse than on Tulsa's urban entertainment strips, head to Expo Square this weekend for the mother of all pleasure horse competitions. Get a tentative schedule at the National Snaffle Bit Association Web Site.

Grand American Arms Show
When: Saturday 8am-6pm and Sunday 9am-5pm
Where: Expo Square, QuikTrip Center
If calling yourself a fan of the second amendment would be a gross understatement, don't miss this gunshow at Expo Square. Adult admission is $12, veterans pay $8 and children $3. There's lots of free parking, too, which is a good thing, considering the number of guns in the vicinity.

O'Reilly Auto Parts Thunder Jam
When: Saturday night, with racing starting at 3pm and Thunder Jam show at 7pm
Where: Tulsa Raceway Park, 3101 N. Garnett Road
Blow your mind, not your budget, as the flier for this event says. When kids can get in to get their first (or 500th, depending on how you feel about infants at drag races) whiff of burned rubber for a mere 5-spot, what's to lose? Just in case you needed more reasons to head to TRP Saturday night, here are a few: A 20,000-horsepower, jet-powered fire truck. The world's only wheel-standing school bus. The battle royale of the Jet Funny Cars. One more: Each ticket is also a pit pass. Go forth and go fast (with earplugs).

Tulsa Oilers Ice Girls Auditions
When: Saturday, 5pm dance routine audition
Where: Woodland Hills Mall, 71st and Memorial
Don't miss this opportunity to witness the making of the next class of the Tulsa Oilers Ice Girls. Head to the customer service desk on the lower level of the mall in front of Dillard's to check out the audition dance routine. Eligible for auditions are women aged 18 and older, so sorry, guys, but you're stuck with watching from the bench. Shucks, right?

Oklahoma City Thunder Summer Caravan
When: Saturday, 11am-1pm
Where: MidFirst Bank at 8015 E. 71st Street
The Summer Caravan packs fun and games for the whole family, and admission is free. Look also for Thunder prize giveaways, interactive basketball skills contest and players from the OKC Thunder and the Tulsa 66ers. Plus, get your photo taken with the Thunder Girls.

The Comedy Clinic
When: Saturday, 8pm
Where: Jewel, on Brookside at 33rd and Peoria
Local funny people Ben Beckham, Maria Gus and Jeff Turner will continue to bust their guts through their eighth season with audience participation improv games.

Back 2 School Bash with, Soccer City and KJRH
When: Saturday, 9am
Where: 5817 S. 118th E. Ave. in Tulsa
Bring the kids out to jump in a Jupiter Jump, get their faces painted or to decorate a cloth soccer ball. Moms can sign up to win a $300 gift card to Merry Maids. Be sure to check out the many fun soccer programs available – while you're at it, why not get signed up for fall?

Green Country Roller Girls Summer Carnival
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Where: BA Roller Sports, 551 W. Oakland
Who doesn't love skating, games, prizes and food? It's all at this rough-and-tumble carnival for kids and adults alike. Rest assured there will be blood – blood donations, that is, courtesy of the American Red Cross. Support our local roller girls – they're the only ones we have, after all.

Escape from Turkey Mountain Run
When: Sunday, 7am
Where: Turkey Mountain; start and finish is near the main Turkey Mountain parking lot off Elwood.
Fleet Feet of Tulsa presents this off-the-beaten-path run for runners tired of 5ks on the road. The race will be held on a course in the Turkey Mountain Wilderness Area, a challenging run that would challenge anyone's skills and endurance. A one-mile fun run will start just after the 5k lets loose. Race day registration opens at 6am, or register at Fleet Feet at KingsPointe Village through Friday. Registration is $25 for the 5k and $15 for the fun run.

Just Between Friends Fall Sale
When: Starting Sunday at 1pm and through next Saturday; check the Expo Square Web site for times
Where: Expo Square Exchange Center
There is no need to shop overpriced mall and department stores – at least, not when the Just Between Friends Sale is in town. Find deals on everything from strollers to onesies to wipes warmers at this huge sale. We're talking 1,200 consignors and 100,000 items, sprawled over 58,000 square feet here, people. Bring cash, checks or credit cards, and be ready to pay a few bucks to get in – oh, and don't forget a laundry basket or bag to hold your items while you shop.

Bike Soup Grand Opening
When: Sunday, 6-9pm
Where: 306 S. Phoenix
Have you heard about the new bike co-op here in Tulsa? It's a great idea – a way to enjoy bikes while helping others to enjoy them, too, by providing a space filled with tools for folks who need to work on their bikes – and two-piston engine enthusiasts can head to Blue Jackalope Sunday night to help get the whole operation off the ground. Plus, get tips on how to fix that busted bike collecting dust in the garage.


Inglourious Basterds
When: Opening Friday
The newest film by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt and Diane Kruger depicts Nazi-occupied France, where Lieutenant Aldo Raine organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution against the German Army.

Post Grad
When: Opening Friday
It's every parents second-worst nightmare: The graduated spawn ask to move back in with ol' Mom and Dad. That's what happens Ryden Malby's parents when her college nemesis steals her dream job.

When: Opening Friday
Toe Thompson takes one in the noggin, thanks to a mysterious, technicolor rock that, lo, grants wishes. It all ends in, you guessed it, chaos. Of the top three reasons to see this movie according to Yahoo! Movies, I liked the third best: “Because you've always wanted to see a giant booger or an army of crocodiles.”

When: Sunday night, reception at 7pm, screening at 8pm
Where: Circle Cinema
Don't miss this free premier of this Tulsa-based film. Landlocked is a dark, comedic thriller about a marine biology teacher at Tulsa's Will Rogers High School. While the story is completely fictional, it was inspired by writer and producer Jerry Melichar's teachers and experiences at Booker T. Washington High School.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Love A Rainy Night

Just because Tulsa's a bit of a soggy mess after a workweek of rain doesn't mean it's not a good night to get out of the house and do you some Tulsa.

Joe Andoe, 100 Shirts for $100

Head downtown to Dwelling Spaces, at 119 S. Detroit, for a hip little art event to benefit Tulsa Girls Art School. Stop in tonight between 6-8pm and score a one-of-a-kind t-shirt hand-painted by Tulsa native Joe Andoe. Each shirt is $100, a small price to pay for an original work of art by a painter of Andoe caliber and fame, and every bit of that money goes to TGAS. Come hungry, because Elote Cafe & Catering will be there with lots of yummies. (Photo from the Dwelling Spaces events page on Facebook.)


Like good music and drinkable drink specials? Who doesn't? Check out William Joseph Band at this week's edition of Soundproof, an Urban Tulsa Weekly-sponsored event. Find it free and open to the public at Tulsa Press Club, in the historic Atlas Life Building at 415 S. Boston Ave., from 5-7pm. (Photo from the William Joseph Band Myspace page.)

Trivia Quiz Bowl at Joe Momma's

If you haven't heard talk of the trivia craze that's hit T-Town in the past several months, then you definitely need to get out more. Start tonight by hitting up Joe Momma's Pizza, downtown just north of Second and Elgin, at 9pm for some team trivia. Proceeds of the event benefit a new nonprofit organization each week, and tonight it's Operation Aware. (Photo from Live Event Trivia, your go-to source of good trivia times.)

Break out of downtown and into Utica Square at 21st and Utica tonight for its Summer's Fifth Night free outdoor concert series. This week features the talents of the Tulsa staple Mid-Life Crisis Band. Bring a chair (skip the blanket - it's been raining all week, remember?), score some dinner at Polo Grill or Stonehorse Cafe and be ready to rock at 7pm.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Power Lunch: Lola's at the Bowery

Grilled Cheese: Lola's at the Bowery

A mere three miles and change from the construction site that has all of downtown atwitter, Lola’s at the Bowery is sitting pretty for when the crowds of hungry baseball lovers come toward the big lights.

After an 18-month hiatus from what was, during the 2007-2008 months of downtown road improvements and an in-progress BOK Center, a spotty lunchtime crowd, Lola’s is back. With the new Drillers Stadium coming down the pike for early next year, Lola’s owner Susie Palazzo is raring to catch as much business as she can shimmy west down Brady.

“People kept calling us, asking if we’d open back up for lunch,” Palazzo said. “We felt that with the Drillers coming, we want to be open for business for that.

“Everyone missed our little cafe, that little room. It’s charming. It’s a whole different feel than our main dining room.”

Read the rest of this story in this week's edition of Food Page in Tulsa Business Journal.

For more Lola's photos, check out Tasha Does Tulsa on Flickr.

A Degree in Home Ec

It's August in Oklahoma. Now that we don't keep our kids in the fields until way down in the fall, it's time to put the offspring on the bus and send them back to the classroom.

So, while the kids are getting their first dose of the three Rs in three months, you're at home celebrating the silence that has erupted in your home by breaking your no-drinks-before-5pm rule.

Before you top off your tasty adult beverage, consider this: According to a Charles Schwab Young Adults and Money Survey out earlier this year, 43 percent of young adults feel poorly prepared to invest their money appropriately, with 40 percent feeling unsure how to best decide how to save for the future.

Read the rest of this story in this week's edition of Urban Tulsa Weekly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When Politics and Beer Mix

Beer Summit and Political Mixer 2009
Beer Summit & Political Mixer 2009

In this election season, we Tulsans face a sea of candidates. The number is up to 19 contenders for mayor, with 22 vying for city council spots.

It's tough to wade through all the muck and the yuck to get down to what each candidate is all about - what his or her ideas are on Tulsa's social aches and pains, what his or her financial priorities will be and, perhaps most importantly, what is his or her favorite kind of pizza.

Joe Momma's Downtown

I'm sorry, but I happen to believe that pizza is the judge of all men. Same thing with pie - your favorite kind of pie can tell your life story and your position in debates ranging abortion to gun rights in one bite, flat.

Because some poor soul would have to make a heckuva lot of different types of pizzas and pies to decide this race in a way that would satisfy my ignored, deprived inner child, Tulsa's Young Professionals (TYPros for short) partnered with AM 740 and FM 102.3 News Talk KRMG, Flytrap Event Center and Urban Tulsa Weekly to bring you, my thirsty T-Town voting friends, the candidate meet-and-greet of your dreams. It all goes down tonight (Tuesday) at Flytrap Music Hall, 514 E. Second Street (that's Second and Greenwood), starting at 5:30pm.

Voters can make use of the evening by talking face-to-face with candidates in the mayoral and city council races, just in time to give us all a few weeks of soul-searching before we head to the polls for the primaries in September. The general election is Nov. 10.

Just think: A favorite among Tulsa's music and meet-up venues. The chance to hobnob with the future Tulsa mayor and city councilors. The satisfaction of knowing that you're making your mark on local politics.

Did I mention there will be free beer at this event? No? Well, I'm telling you now: Everyone who shows up to this event gets a free sample of beer from the tanks at Tulsa's own Marshall Brewing Company.

Beer Summit 2009 - Art

The event will be a kick-back, relaxed type of deal, so leave your notecards and clip-on ties at home and bring out a little bit of the crazy.

Look also for food, a full liquor bar and live music by Travis Fite at this event. Admission is free, but drinks from the liquor bar are on you.

After you chat up your favorite candidates at this first-ever beer summit, turn to these resources for all the election information you could ever need (and more):

AM 740 and FM 102.3 News Talk KRMG, especially the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley. KRMG and TYPros will also host a Mayoral Debate at Jewel in Brookside on Tuesday, November 3. Listen to KRMG for details., by political hound Michael Bates. He might not grace the pages of Urban Tulsa Weekly any longer, but it's still election season, and that means Michael is pounding the pavement for political news in this town and then spilling the beans on his blog - you know, the one city reporters won't admit to reading first thing every morning so they'll look like they know what they're talking about in morning staff meetings.

The Tulsa chapter of League of Women Voters. Be on the lookout for the League's one-of-a-kind Voters' Guide, to be released before the primaries. The League sends each candidate a battery of questions and then publishes their answers, along with a sort of resume of each contender. There are usually dead-tree versions of the Voters' Guide floating around, but I hear this one will be published to the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa Web site.

Social media sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. Social media might be the new kid on the media block (depending on how you look at it), but it is, in my opinion, the best way to look beyond the buzz and see what real people are really saying about everything from candidates' positions on economic development to where your mayoral pick ate lunch that day.

There's many more sources of information on the mayoral and city council candidates out there. What are you reading? Where are you listening? What are you watching?

Banner art from Urban Tulsa Weekly.
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