Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Best Press Release Ever. Turtles Are Involved.

Folks, I don't normally do this. My favorite thing to do to a press release is tear it apart, mutilate it in every possible way, put my own spin on it and post it in an attempt to represent it as original journalism.

Ha! Because that's how it's done in the real world, people, for members of the "legitimate media" or otherwise.

I kid, I kid. Besides, you're not here to read about "journalism" or "local politics." You're here to find out what the heck I'm talking about in the post title.


Tulsa Zoo Run

This part of the release - known technically as "the part where PR people have to turn backflips in attempts to get the journalist to open the attached release" - is even better:

Tulsa Zoo Run

I was a fan of the Zoo before, but I am now more than ever. If you don't have time to catch the turtle race this morning, sign up for the Tulsa Zoo Run. It's a good, wild time.

Want Tix (and More) to Indie Emporium?

EDIT 10.9 12:10pm//After some unsuccessful attempts to get in touch with the first winner I say to Joy, "I command thee, take these tickets to Indie Emporium off my hands."

Just goes to show that it pays to do the extra entries. Have fun, Joy!

EDIT 9.30 3:18pm//
A hint to help with the guessing contest below: The initials of the name of the indie jewelry company that crafted my favorite earrings could also stand for that little thing one would be well-advised to obtain should s/he not earn a high school diploma.//

Ever prided yourself on something you made with your own two hands? Maybe you're a seamstress, a wood worker, a jewelry maker or, heck, a coffee cup builder. At any rate, you'll relish what's on tap for the second weekend in October: the third annual Indie Emporium.

The entity that gets to claim the IE acronym that's actually as cool as it says it is will open Oct. 9 at the VFW Post No. 577, in the Pearl District at 1109 E. Sixth Street. The regional Mecca for lovers of hip, handmade goods will run through Oct. 10

Indie Emporium got its start in 2007 with the idea that Tulsans deserve an opportunity to support Tulsa's economy, artists and crafters and to showcase independent handipeople. The family-friendly event will feature more than 40 vendors, 10 gallery artists a fashion show of handmade clothing, make-and-take projects, hourly craft demonstrations, a silent auction and, if you can believe it, tons more. Each IE patron will even get to screen print his or her own Indie Emporium tote bag. For free.

No, really. And, the first 50 people to hit the event Friday night will snag an IE tote bag filled with samplings from vendors and artists featured at the 2009 Indie Emporium.

Plus, a trip or two to Indie Emporium is a great way to do some serious damage to your holiday shopping list while at the same time supporting local, homegrown businesses. Who's to argue with that? Do your friends and family a favor and grab great deals on clothing, art, accessories and a smattering of one-of-a-kind miscellany - you know, things people actually want rather than the tired gift certificate to Wal-Mart - all made lovingly in the hands of actual people, not robots in some factory up the river.

To wrap up this third of Indie Emporium weekends will be a showing of Handmade Nation, the indie craft documentary, at Tulsa's own independent moviehouse, Circle Cinema.

Cool, huh?

The vendors at Indie Emporium don't want to just sell you a bunch of stuff, wave bye-bye and start planning how to get you to open you wallet for next year's show. These girls and boys look to give back to the community by collecting canned food and hosting a silent auction to benefit the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Last year IE was able to provide more than 1,000 meals to those in need. Not bad, not bad.

To whom do you owe sacraments and love and thanks for this ground zero of crafty awesomeness? None other than Tulsa Craft Mafia member Christine Sharp-Crowe, who wanted to provide Tulsans with an alternative to the sweat-shop products crowding malls and so-called craft fairs in the area.

"There is a handmade revolution sweeping the nation because young people are tired of the everyday, mass-produced consumerism, and I wanted to see Tulsa right in the middle of that revolution," she said.

Advance tickets are available for $5 at Ida Red and Dwelling Spaces, two of Tulsa's hottest indie boutiques, as well as on the Indie Emporium Web site. They're $5 at the door if you show up toting canned food donations. Else, they're $8.

Like kids under 12, you and a worthy buddy could get in to Indie Emporium 2009 free. All you have to do is guess correctly the name of the Tulsa-based producer of handmade jewelry and IE09 vendor that crafted these lovely earrings (click the photo for a better look):

Think you know who's talented enough to craft these babies (which are, by the way, my most favorite earrings I've ever owned, ever)? Make your best guess in the comments before 5pm on Thursday. I'll let choose the winner of a pair or tickets to Indie Emporium.

The tickets come with a hefty set of free raffle tickets the winner can use to try his or her chances at winning a Yudu screen printing machine and a supplies package, valued at $1,00o. Woah.

Also part of the deal is lunch and a cupcake from IE yummies vendors Elote Cafe & Catering and this kick-ass new catering company, Antoinette's Bakery. Oh, yum.

Want extra chances at this most stellar of prize packages? After and only after you make your guess as to the maker of the earrings here on this post, you can win extra entries for each tweet or post on Facebook about Indie Emporium or this giveaway.

If you opt to increase you odds in these ways, please let me know by returning to this post and pasting the URLs to your wise words in the comments. Do this as often as you like, but I'll only award extra entries to those who have a) guessed correctly the maker of the earrings in the comments on this post and b) returned to the comments section on this post to point me to the places on the Web where you've blabbed about this giveaway and/or IE09.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Off to the races with yas. I'll choose a winner before I post this weekend's edition of What To Do in Tulsa This Weekend.

Backstreet Ad

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Found Along Charles Page Boulevard

I love how every time I pop in at Blue Jackalope, a community grocery store in the shadow of the BOK Center at 306 S. Phoenix, I learn about something refreshing and new that's going on in Tulsa.

We're about to gain another farmers' market, for one. The Crosbie Heights Farmers' Market will kick off Sunday starting at 1pm, right across from Blue Jackalope and the community garden bearing the same neighborhood name. Plenty of traditional fall produce will be on hand, and everyone is invited to swing by and check it out.

I love the idea of a Sunday afternoon farmers' market. Often I can't get my son and I together early enough to hit the Saturday or Wednesday Cherry Street Farmers Markets to get our shopping done before the days' plans begin. The thought of being able to do my produce shopping at a farmers market in the light of a Sunday sunset makes me want to make pie.

Those of you who have stumbled across this blog more than once or twice that pie, or even feelings or thoughts about pie, make me very happy indeed. The market will be open through October and is slated to reopen next April.

Item No. 2: Here's a little somethin'-somethin' to put on your weekend calendar. The moon will be full the night of Oct. 4, and the folks at the Crosbie Heights Community Garden are throwing a party to celebrate. At about 2pm will start a farm potluck and music festival at the garden, and every walk of life - even dogs on leashes - are invited. Bring your favorite homemade dish, and be sure to check out the Kids' Zone and the bicycle-powered blender, courtesy of Bike Soup, yet another 3rd-and-Phoenix community-oriented operation that aims to put bike building and repair in the hands of their owners.

Musical guests include Travis Fite, Joe Mack, Jesse Aycock, Sapien and Scales of Motion. The first band is scheduled for 3pm.

Cool, huh? Now you can never say grocery stores aren't a cool place to hang out and learn about all the hip stuff happening in your city.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Where to Find Pumpkin Patches in Tulsa


October gets started later this week, and you know what that means:

Pumpkin patches! Oh, squee!

Prowling for pumpkin patches is one of my very favorite things to do, and it's a big reason why fall is my favorite time of year. The babies in pea pod costumes, the tractor-pulled hayrides and the profuse amounts of candy don't exactly damper my enthusiasm.

I have one piece of advice when it comes to setting out for a local pumpkin patch: Don't be like me. Don't set out a half hour before sunset totally clueless as to the location of the nearest pumpkin patch and, in your total lack of consideration and kindness, drag along your entire family. In the end, you'll have to atone for your sins by baking batch after batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Wait. Did I just frame the baking of batches and batches of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins as a negative scenario? What kind of world are we living in, I ask. What kind of world?

Even if five pounds of hot, spicy muffins cooling on your windowsill won't bother you any, you can still spare your family the misery of driving around aimlessly in the hinterlands. Simply consult the list of Tulsa-area pumpkin patches that appears below.

View Where to Find Pumpkin Patches in Tulsa Pumpkins in a larger map

Carmichael's Pumpkin Patch
When: Daily in October; Monday-Saturday, 9am-7pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm
Where: 171st and Mingo in Bixby
Phone: 918.366.4728
Web: Carmichael's Pumpkin Patch
A real Tulsa family favorite, Carmichael's offers everything from pumpkins to Halloween decorations. Look alos for the petting zoo, pony rides and hay rides, oh my.

Pumpkin Town
When: Daily from Sept. 29-Oct. 31; Mon-Thurs. 10am-7pm; Fri-Sat. 9am-8pm; Sun. 11am-7pm.
Where: 9707 E. 81st Street
Phone: 918.307.8619
Web: Pumpkin Town
How do you like the sound of pony rides, daily hay rides and face painting? Not to mention the thousands of pumpkins, gourds and squashes, plus the plethora of Halloween décor available at the one, the only Pumpkin Town. Check the Web site for a listing of special events each weekend in October.

Pleasant Valley Farms
When: Everyday, 9am-dark, Oct. 1-31
Where: 22350 W. 71st Street
Phone: 918.248.5647
Pleasant Farms isn't just that place out west that sells Christmas trees. This fall, find tractor-pulled hay rides, a petting zoo and numerous varieties of pumpkin and winter squash at the farm southwest of that perennial, Oklahoma-centric attraction, DiscoveryLand.

Livesay Orchards Pumpkin Patch
When: Weekends in October; Saturdays, 10am-5pm; Sundays, 1-4pm
Where: 39232 E. 231 St. South in Porter
Phone: 918.483.2102
Web: Livesay Orchards Pumpkin Patch
Two words: Pumpkin bowling. Catch this and more, including an assortment of pumpkins and fall decorations at this pumpkin patch in Porter. The Livesay Pumpkin Playland features a kids' play area, a hay bale maze, a farm-related learning center and a mini pumpkin hunt. Admission is $3, which includes a hayride to the pumpkin patch. See? Porter isn't just for peaches.

Shay's Landscaping, Nursury & Pumpkin Patch
When: Mon.-Fri., 4-7pm; Sat., 9am-dark; Oct. 1-31
Phone: 918.248.5647
If you're the type who'd rather pick your pumpkin yourself rather than hoist one from a grocery store shelf, a trip to Bartlesville's Shay's pick-your-own Pumpkin Patch is in order. There's no shortage of fall activities to enjoy up US 75 – adult- and kid-sized mazes, tractor-pulled hayrides and pony rides are just a few of the diversions available at Shay's.

Shepherd's Pumpkin Festival
When: Oct. 8-Oct. 30, Thurs.-Sat.; 10am-6:30pm
Where: 16792 E. 450 Road in Claremore
Phone: 918.342.5911
Web: Shepherd's Pumpkin Festival
The pumpkin patch at Shepherd's offers a petting zoo, autumn-inspired games, story times, a maze made of hay and a hands-on learning center, all free of charge. Hayrides are $4, and scarecrow making is $2 if you bring your own clothes to stuff. Pumpkins, gourds and all manner of fall décor are available at prices ranging 50 cents-$12.25.

Several of these patches offer special deals for large groups looking for a tour. Be sure to call ahead so the folks in charge at the patches can accommodate you.

I'm sure I'm not the only who who'd love to learn more about the pumpkin patches hosted by Tulsa-area churches. If you belong to a church selling pumpkins this fall, leave pertinent info in the comments.

If you don't see your favorite local pumpkin patch on this list, let me know. I endeavored to make a complete list, but I'm human and plus, my life is subject to the schedule and demands of a 19-month-old Napoleon incarnate. Point at me and laugh.

After you expertly carve the perfect pumpkin you found in the perfect pumpkin patch, don't forget to make some of these:

Pumpkin Seeds

Only, don't eat half the jar before snapping a photo. Don't mind me, the kid wearing the dunce hat, smiling because it's finally fall.

Happy pumpkin hunting, everyone!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Ways to Get to Know Your Town

Me, Downtown

I started this blog two and a half years ago with a post about ways to get to know T-Town. It got a huge response for the blog at the time (9 comments!), and I think you'll agree that it's high time for another installment.

The premise of the first post was to debunk the myth that there's nothing fun or exciting to do in Tulsa. First, Tulsa is not New York City. It's not Chicago, L.A., Austin or St. Louis. There's just not enough of a market in T-Town to support the up-that all-night lifestyle for which these cities are known.

We might not stay up all night very often, but we Tulsans still know how to boogey.

In Tulsa you get one of the best homegrown music scenes anywhere in the U.S. Some of the country's favorite artists and writers are based here, and our city hosts not just one, but two major, world-class art museums, not to mention the several community-sized ones. We Tulsans like our meat and potatoes, sure, but we still manage to offer one of the most exciting and diverse food scenes anywhere.

Boston Avenue, Looking South

Events ranging from upscale wine dinners to all-night cult film festivals to roller derby smash-ups claim T-Town as their home base. Plus, Tulsa is home to a slew of weird, offbeat, beautiful and downright awesome attractions and landmarks.

To make a long story short, what you've heard about Tulsa is true: It's a large city with that small town feel. Sure, everyone is going to know when your sister runs away with the pool guy, but later you can lose yourself in a crowd of Alan Jackson fans at the BOK Center. You could even drown your sorrows with a pint or two of locally brewed beer at the same time.

To further make my case, here is a list continued from that post in March 2007 of ways to get to know Tulsa, Oklahoma:

Shop local. If you love hole-in-the-wall restaurants, you'll love hole-in-the-wall boutiques.

Dwelling Spaces

Get started with Dwelling Spaces downtown. Then head to Cherry Street, Utica Square and Brookside. Don't forget Southtown - there's plenty of indie shops to plunder on Main Street Broken Arrow, Jenks and Bixby.

Get on the bike. Tulsa wasn't named a bike friendly city by the League of American Bicyclists for nothing.

Lee's Bicycles

For one, check out our 180-mile trail system. For two, our bicycling community doesn't exactly feel the need to compensate for any shortcomings where size is concerned. For three, Tulsa is home to more indie bike shops per capita than that other major Sooner city. So, not only will you join the extensive club of drivers who'd rather sport bike racks than spoilers, but you'll also have the technical support needed when your bike is busted from traversing Tulsa's bike thoroughfares - Brookside, Riverside, Downtown and Avery Drive, just to name a few.

Take the bus. Did you know you could ride your bike and the bus at the same time?

Well, you can (sorta). Ride to a stop on your bike and when the bus pulls up, load your bike to the front of the bus and hop on (the bus, not the bike - otherwise, you might be in for a windy ride). For as low as $0.65 per day, you can text in transit to your heart's content. Or, you could make new friends and see Tulsa from a whole new perspective. - your choice.

Hop on Twitter. Think what you will about what I'm about to say, but I think it's time that it be known: My No. 1 source of news, both local and national, is Twitter.

Me, Working

Yikes, right? Feels a little funny to say, but it's true. Not only does any network news outlet worth its salt use Twitter to plug its most recent articles, but the smart phone owners on the ground where the news is actually happening do, too. Now I find out about what's happening in Tulsa without the middleman, sometimes long before it hits the news sites and often complete with photos and video. Don't believe me? Steal my followees. I have about 1,800 T-Towners feeding me all that's moving and shaking in Tulsa, all the time. Go ahead, abscond with them. I'm sure they won't mind.

Have a baby. Before our son came along, my husband had been to the Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum just one time, and that was to drop me off for volunteer duty.

Golden Turtle at Tulsa Zoo

He'd been to just one show at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, and I couldn't remember the last time I'd been to a park for reasons other than exercise or loitering a la high school days. Since our son burst onto the scene, we've re-visited landmarks that had, for us, faded into the backdrop. If it weren't for that little blonde busybody, we wouldn't know the pure and simple joy that is a splash park. We wouldn't go to half as many shows at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center or BOK Center, either, but thanks to the likes of Elmo and The Jellydots and our son's love of dancing in the aisles, we see plenty of live entertainment in some of Tulsa premier venues.

Be a bargain hunter. Ever since I started reading Sarah Roe, the coupon master supreme who writes, I've hit roads less traveled - even to a sushi bar inside a the Jenks Reasor's location - to find the deals she posts on her site.

Reasor's Sushi Bar

My coupon goggles thus activated, I started to notice coupons good at independent Tulsa businesses printed in local publications (and here and here), not to mention the local coupons that appear from time to time on Roe's site. It's easy to do the uniquely Tulsa stuff when good deals put you right in the arms of our homespun businesses.

What are your secrets for livin' it up in T-Town?

Photo of me acting like a weirdo downtown by Nicole Kelley of Backstreet Photo.
Reasor's sushi bar photo by Carrisa at And So She Blogs.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Momma's Book Club: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

Whatever you're doing tomorrow with your kids, I bet it's not going to beat building a meatball tower at Joe Momma's Downtown.

Save that tired stack of board games for some other time. This Saturday, you have some serious reading, pizza tossing and meatball eating to do. Get to Joe Momma's at Second and Elgin by 11:30 to grab a seat and catch the fun at this first-ever edition of Momma's Book Club.

Crafting masterpieces from meatballs and pizza dough is fun, sure, but reading is one of the best and most important things you as a parent can do with your child. Study after study has shown that children who read regularly with their parents do better in school - not only can they do a bang-up job on a test, but they're often more creative, too. These kids tend to have less behavioral problems. They're known to share closer a bond with their parents. They're also better looking and take their middle-aged parents on more Caribbean Cruises after they earn their degrees from Ivy League universities at completely no cost to you.

The contents of that last statement have not been approved by any authority whatsoever, but I'd bet you a beer that everything there is true.

To supplement the current reading program you share with your kids, or to foster one that has fizzled or is just getting started, will be a reading of that book every cool kid wants on his bookshelf these days, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

In case you didn't know already, the book has been adapted for the silver screen. That's where Riverwalk Movies comes in. If Saturday is a lucky kind of day, you could win passes to see the movie edition of CWCM in Jenks. There will be other door prizes, too, including gift certificates to Dwelling Spaces and Joe Momma's.

Joe Momma's owner Blake Ewing (who, along with his beautiful wife, Julie, helped to bring into the world son No. 2 a few short weeks ago) has a knack for gathering the right people in the right places, and this event is no exception. Dwelling Spaces, along with Booksmart Tulsa and Riverwalk Movies, are helping to host the event.

“I was raised to love books and reading. It’s important to me that Joe Momma’s has a part in encouraging other parents and children to read. We have a great relationship with Dwelling Spaces so we decided this would be a fun way to do something positive together,” he said.

And how. This will be the first child-centered book event for Book Smart Tulsa (or, as I like to call it, Not Your Grandma's Garden Party Bookclub). BST will be providing parents with a list of children's recommended reading at the event, too, so be sure to get in on that.

Plans for future Momma's Book Club events will be centered on other popular children’s books, including “Where the Wild Things Are,” and “A Christmas Carol." Each event will feature a special story time for the kiddos and book recommendations for parents. Like the September event, October and November’s Book Club get-togethers will coincide with the theatrical release of the movie version of the story.

Did I mention that this event is free to attend? No kidding. Would I lie to you in front of the kids? Maybe. But in front of the pizza? Never.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What to Do in Tulsa This Weekend

Well, Tulsa, we've officially made it through the summer and into the first weekend of fall.

Not only are we set up for excellent weather, but there's also a full slate of events to keep us busy until time to head into the next workweek. Anyone who whines that there's nothing to do in Tulsa needs just one glance at this weekend's roster o' fun to know that we live in one of the most cosmopolitan, strange, funky and downright exciting cities in the country.

And now, as heard on the Friday morning edition of KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley, here's how to get down with T-Town during this most supreme of Oklahoma weekends.

Tasha's Picks for the Weekend of September 25, 26 & 27


Greek Holiday Festival
When: Now-Saturday, 11am-10pm
Where: 12th and Guthrie
Opah! Tulsa's oldest ethnic festival is here again. Get your fill of everything from Turkish coffee to baklava to spanakopita as you sit back and enjoy the skilled moves of more than 80 authentically costumed dancers, live music and tours of the beautiful Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Admission is a measly $2 after 4pm; before that, it's free.


Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off
When: Saturday, noon-8pm
Where: Trinity Episcopal Church, downtown at Sixth and Cincinnati
Get ready to salivate, people: This is the largest steak dinner in all of Oklahoma. Teams of cooks will compete in the grilling competition and vie for $5,000 in cash awards. At 5pm, guests can buy a 16-oz., certified Angus ribeye with all the trimmings for a mere $20. This meatastic feastival is sponsored by the Brotherhood of St. Lawrence. For still more details or to enter the competition as a grilling team, visit the cookoff on the Web.


STBC Sixth Annual Car Show
When: Sunday, 5-7pm
Where: South Tulsa Baptist Church, 103rd and Sheridan
We're talking 400 cars here, from Model Ts to Dodge Vipers. DJ Dale Turner will be on hand with some stealthy tunes, and plenty of burgers and dogs will be hot and ready for the feasting. Admission to the festival is free; you even get an autograph by Taylor Treat, a.k.a. Miss Oklahoma. STBC will accept donations of non-perishable food at the event for its Ministry Center in West Tulsa, so be sure to show up packin' at least a couple of cans.



When: Friday, 7:30pm
Where: Tulsa Performing Arts Center, John H. Williams Theatre
Who'da thunk it: Broadway-inspired tunes in the styles of jazz, folk and rock, all wrapped up in musical theatre and, of all things, electric violins? If you're reading this before Friday morning at 8am, you still have a chance to win a pair of tickets to this show over at Tulsa Art Blog. Bonus!

Sixth Annual Blues Challenge
When: Saturday, doors at 3pm
Where: VFW Post 577, 1109 E. Sixth Street
Joint the Blues Society of Tulsa as its decides who to send to Memphis at the 2010 International Blues Challenge. Plenty of food and drinks will be on hand. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

When: Saturday, 5pm
Where: Naifeh Ranch, near Sapulpa at 9700 W. 81st Street
Help to raise money for Sapulpa High School engineering and science students and rock out to some sweet tunes by the likes of Earl Clark and Men Behind the Wire at the same time. Admission is a donation of $20, and all proceeds go to the school in honor of Woody Naifeh, who was a local engineer, wood carver, music lover, banjo player and all around Renaissance man.

Tulsa Symphony: The Music of Germany
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Where: Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Chapman Music Hall
Get your fill of Bach and Brahms, and I don't mean the candy and the ice cream. Ticket prices range $10-$65.

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Album Release Show
When: Friday, 8:30pm
Where: The Marquee, 222 N. Main Street
JFJO has a ton of new material, and the guys can't wait to tell you all about it. Tickets for the show are available at Dwelling Spaces, Starship Records, Shades of Brown and They're $10 in advance, $15 the day of the show.

Daughtry Tickets on Sale
When: Saturday, 10am
Where: BOK Center
Daughtry will perform with Theory of a Deadman and Cavo at BOK Center Dec. 15. Tickets are $31.50-$41.50.

Taylor Swift in Concert
When: Sunday, 7pm
Where: BOK Center
Guys, you can't complain too much when the wife or your girlfriend drags you to BOK Center Sunday evening for this concert, which also involves one, Kellie Pickler. If you're just hearing about this concert for the first time, don't get your hopes of snagging tickets up too high – the event is totally sold out. Maybe you could still hear the show if you pressed your ear against the side of the arena. If anyone gives that a shot, let me know how it turns out.


HOT L Baltimore
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8pm
Where: Liddy Doenges Theatre, Tulsa Performing Arts Center
Forget Mrs. Dalloway and get down with this much seedier, less British edition of the day-in-the-life meditation. A tale of how the residents of the Hotel Baltimore (so run down that the E is missing from the marquee) meet and interact with each other during the course of a single day turns into a call for Americans to recover lost values and restore itself not just in its own eyes, but also in the eyes of the world. Be sure to meet my buds/power actors Justin McKean and Brigid Vance after the show.

Government Death Cheese: A Decomposition on Dying American!
When: Friday & Saturday, 8pm
Where: Nightingale Theater, 1416 E. Fourth
Anarchist healthcare reform shadow puppetry. What more could you want? Tickets are $5.

Rabbit Hole
When: Friday and Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm
Where: Heller Theatre, 4825 S. Quaker
Escape your own rabbit hole for one night and make your way to the newly opened Heller Theatre at Henthorne Park for this production of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner.

For the Kids

Sidewalk Astronomy
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Where: Bass Pro Broken Arrow; Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks
Did you know that it's the International Year of Astronomy? Well, it is, and the Astronomy Club of Tulsa is ready to help you get hip with the cosmos with their public observing events. Simply follow the giant telescopes.

Tallgrass Prairie Preserve Open House
When: Saturday, 11am-5pm
Where: Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska
Saddle up for the 60-mile drive northwest to Pawhuska, home of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, for an open house to celebrate 20 years of every naturalist's idea of heaven. Bring a brown bag lunch and stay tuned for trail hikes, naturalist walks, nature photography and driving tours of the lands where bison roam free.

Momma's Saturday Book Club: The Inaugural Edition
When: Saturday, 11:30am
Where: Joe Momma's Pizza downtown, Second and Elgin
Bring your kids for food specials, the making of a piece of art entirely out of meatballs, and a chance to toss their own pizza dough. Then settle in for a reading of the book most appropriate for this particular party, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Be sure to grab your chance to win passes to the theatrical release of the movie version of the book, along with gift certificates to Dwelling Spaces and Joe Momma's. Now that's what I call a nice little Saturday.

Education Rocks!
When: Saturday, noon to 8pm
Where: Veterans Park, 18th and Boulder
Looking for a way to make higher education possible? Look no further. Tulsa Community College has put together not only a clearinghouse of information on how you can rock the unsuspecting college campus of your choice come next fall, but has also amassed some of Tulsa's hottest musical acts for a free concert, just for you. See? Learning can be fun after all.

Smithsonian Day
When: Saturday
Where: Philbrook Museum
Enjoy free general admission for you and a worthy buddy, thanks to Smithsonian magazine.

Jellydots Jam
When: Saturday, 11am and 3pm
Where: Tulsa Performing Arts Center, John H. Williams Theatre
The Tulsa Children's Museum presents this Austin-based, eclectic rock and roll band that is known for its quirky, inventive songs about the feelings we all encounter in childhood: The disappointment of a dropped cookie, the excitement of racing toy cars or the freedom found on a bicycle. Tickets are $10.

Starry Safari
When: Saturday-Sunday
Where: Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum
Starry Safari, a Tulsa Zoo-sanctioned sleepover on the wild side, is just one more reason to be a member of Tulsa Zoo Friends. Check out stargazing and an Xtreme science show, along with dinner, free zoo train and carousel rides marshmallow roasting and songs and tales around the campfire. In the morning will be breakfast and a zookeeper chat featuring African penguins. For Tulsa Zoo Members only. For more info on the event and how to become a Zoo Friend, call 669-6603.

Guy Stuff

Tulsa Classic Car Auction
When: Saturday, 10am-5pm
Where: Tulsa Convention Center, Exhibit Hall AB
Behold and vie to own 150 classic cars, from classic vintage pickups to street rods and sports cars. Admission is $5, or free with an American Parking stub.

Tulsa v. Sam Houston State
When: Saturday, 6pm
Where: Chapman Stadium
Catch TU's home opener as they take on Sam Houston State. Don't forget to get your tailgate on before the game at Hurricane Alley and Tailgate Alley. Do remember to wear blue, as you'll look like a tourist (or worse) otherwise.

Strikeforce Challengers
When: Saturday, doors at 7pm, show at 8
Where: SpiritBank Event Center, at 101st and Memorial in Bixby
Fight, fight, fight! Watch the Cummings v. Kennedy, Mixed Martial Arts throwdown, presented by none other than Rockstar Energy Drink, for $25.

Other Stuff

Creek County Free Fair
When: Now-Monday
Where: Creek County Fairgrounds, south of Kellyville on Highway 66
If you're in the market to get revved up for the Tulsa State Fair, this is the way to do it. Check out horse and livestock shows, a carnival, free concerts, a hypnotist and monster truck rides, all ready for you absolutely free.

September Harvest at Stone Bluff Cellars
When: Saturday, 7:30am until midafternoon
Where: Stone Bluff Cellars, 24145 E. 191st Street South (get directions online) LINK!!!!
If you've never helped with a grape harvest, this is where you have to be bright and early Saturday morning. Join Stone Bluff winemakers Bob and Sandy McBratney as they take the fruit off the vine and then, in the flamboyant style of Lucille Ball, stomp the grapes to kingdom come. Bring comfy clothes, a pair of boots and get ready to work as hard in the morning as you'll play in the afternoon.

Tidy Up Tulsa with Taylor
When: Saturday, 8-11am
Where: Green Country Event Center, on 31st Street b/w Garnett and 129th
If you're a whiz with a pointed stick and a trash bag, don't miss this clean-up event coordinated through the Tulsa Metropolitan Environmental Trust, the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa Beatification Foundation and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Downtown Adventure Walk
When: Saturday, 9-11am
Where: Owen Park Community Center, 560 N. Maybelle Ave.
Discover downtown in a whole new way. Join this adventure walk will be led by a Tulsa native who will school you on Tulsa's heritage in art deco architecture. Grab a cup of coffee and bring the whole family along for this free – yeah, I said free – event. Be sure to pre-register by calling 596.1485, just to make your impending presence known.

Drillers Garage Sale
When: Saturday, 8am-2pm
Where: Inner parking lot directly in front of Drillers Stadium, 15th Street and Yale Avenue
The baseball season is over. That means it's time for the Drillers to clean up and clean out – this time, for good. Help Tulsa's favorite baseball team get packed and ready to head to their new downtown stadium by snagging some hot deals on Drillers stuff at the team's garage sale. Items for sale will be stadium picnic tables, folding chairs, TVs, stadium signs and concessions equipment – just what you always wanted. Team jackets, batting helmets, cracked bats and leftover Drillers merchandise will also be up for grabs. You might want to use the Gate 7A entrance next to the Health Department for access to the garage sale. Because the Drillers said so.

Tulsa Walk to Stop Child Trafficking
When: Saturday, 9am-2pm
Where: Riverwalk Amphitheater in Jenks
You, your business and/or your student group can help to raise money for STOP Child Trafficking Now! by participating in this inaugural walk. Check in is at 8am. Register at Stop child Trafficking Now! on the Web.

Calabash at Tidal School Vineyards
When: Saturday, 5:30-8:30pm
Where: Tidal School Vineyards in Drumright, 54560 W. Highway 16
If you love seafood, you'll love Calabash, a celebration of the old-school fishing community tradition of serving up fresh-caught seafood with live music and local wines and beers. The menu of the modern festival will feature crab legs, fried shrimp, baked white fish and fried clam strips, not to mention a hardy helping of side dishes and desserts. Bring $35, a mega pack of wet wipes, one of those plastic bibs with the lobsters printed on them and be ready to chow down.

An Evening of Wine & Roses
When: Saturday, 7-9pm
Where: Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 S. Peoria
Love wine? How do you feel about food? If I just managed to grab your attention, then you need to be in Midtown Saturday night at the Tulsa Municipal Rose Garden at a fundraiser event for Tulsa Garden Center. Make a bet with your date about which of you can taste the a greater number of the 150 wines that will be available, all complimented by hors d'oeuvres and desserts. Tickets are $60 for Tulsa Garden Center members, $75 for non-members. Reservations and required, so call 746.5125 to claim your spot.


When: Opens Friday
At least this yet-another-coming-of-age-film-with-the-competitive-performing-arts-hook is a remake of the 1980 hit film of the same name. Redeemed! Rated PG.

When: Opens Friday
Murderous warriors. Erased memories. Deep space. Sounds like the movie version of my laundry room. Rated R.

When: Opens Friday
In this movie, Stepford Wives meets The Matrix meets Second Life meets Bruce Willis. Mmm...Bruce Willis. Rated PG-13.

Midnight Movie at Circle Cinema
When: Friday and Saturday, 11pm
Where: Circle Cinema
It's Aliens this time around. These Midnight Movie events are an absolute blast. If you've never been, go. It's your one excuse to wear pajama pants in public. Tickets are $8.25.

GrooveLily. Plus, A Giveaway.

One of the many hip things going on in Tulsa tomorrow night (Friday) is this GrooveLily concert downtown at the Tulsa PAC.

Now, this isn't your typical PAC musical act. We're talking Broadway-inspired tunes performed in the styles of jazz, folk and rock. There will be magic. There will be the soothing away of those workweek worries.

There will be electric violins.

In the words of that beacon of American pop culture Paris Hilton, "That's hott." It really, really is.

I took the opportunity to peruse the band’s Web site and download some tunes, and I ended up spending all day listening to mp3s and watching their videos on YouTube...

The really beautiful thing about GrooveLily’s music is that, though lovely melodies and rhythms, the band tells marvelous stories. A large portion of the band’s repertoire is its rock musicals, which turn age-old moral tales on their heads, giving them a new spin, to tell smart, humorous, creative stories.

If you find yourself unconvinced and not sufficiently motivated to get on the Tulsa PAC Web site and order your tickets for Friday's show right freaking now, have a listen. Prepare to be altered. Or, altared. One of the great things about Tulsa is that it's okay to have a public religious experience here - no one seems to mind.

If you'd go but can't spare the cash, try your luck to win a pair of tickets from Holly. She's giving away five (FIVE!) pairs of tickets to the show, and all you have to do is tell her about your favorite fable or moral story. You have until 8 in the morning to get into the drawing, so you best hop to it and enter now.

Good luck, everyone. See you at the show.

Latte Art Throwdown

Here's one more thing worthy of packing in to your Thursday night schedule. I've been talking about Topeca Coffee a lot, sure, but I don't do that unless I'm in a deliciosity-induced state of ecstasy. And I am.

Latte Art Throwdown

If you enter and/or win the whole damn thing, I'd love to see photos. Pin 'em to the Tasha Does Tulsa group on Flickr, if you please. Your fame and glory will be fully recognized in such an ardently coffee-loving forum.

Myth Busting

If you read yesterday's post about the 49th annual Greek Holiday Festival blowing into town this weekend, you'd know there's rumor going around that Urban Tulsa arts writer Holly Wall and I are the same person.

We're not sure if this is because no photos of us together have managed to surface, or if it's because we used the same hair color for awhile, have the same hair style, wear similar necklaces everyday, wear similar frames, are the same height, sat at the same desk at Tulsa Business Journal albeit at different times, are rarely at the same Tulsa events, birthed blonde, blue-eyed sons in early 2008 or if it's because we're both constantly seen around town with Lola's Wicked Chocolate Cake.

Wicked Chocolate Cake: Lola's at the Bowery


Well, it's just not true. We're separate entities, Holly and I. I swear.

Want proof? Feast thine eyes:

Mom's Night Out 2009

Not only are there two very attractive ladies behind these post-Marshall grins (mine is extreme and totally unpretty, meaning I'm the one on the left), they are two totally non-conjoined people. Plus, this would have taken way too much time to Photoshop - at least, it would have taken more time than warranted by the situation.

Myth busted.

Thanks to Carrisa at And So She Blogs for this critical evidence.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Greek Holiday Festival 2009

As I said on Twitter earlier today, "Greek Holiday. Starts tomorrow. So excited that. I can't. Type in complete. Sentences."

Sure, the food is a huge part of why the Annual Greek Holiday here in Tulsa holds a special (and, apparently, excitable) place in my heart. Everything from the Turkish coffee to the from-scratch gyros to the made-by-hand Greek dinners, not to mention the music and the dancing, is part of every native Tulsan's set of childhood memories.

There I was, sitting on our patio the other night and thinking how strange it was that I was having a sudden and intense craving for baklava (and was, therefore, silently planning a midnight trip to the family planning isle of Walgreens), when in fact, thanks to the five-generations-old Tulsan blood slogging through my veins, it was practically genetic programming for me to feel the need for that Greek pastry as soon as the first winds of autumn blew through earlier this week.

I've been to many a Greek Holiday here in T-Town, but two stick out in my mind. First was the 2007 festival, the 47th annual. I was three and a half months pregnant, my belly was already bursting from my waistband, I was exhausted beyond what I thought exhausted could be and I felt nauseated about 25 1/2 hours a day. I somehow made it through three trips to the Porta Potty during the 45 minutes we were there without going projectile on some innocent bystander.

The only other thing my husband and I had time for besides multiple trips to those deplorable excuses for restrooms was a cup of Turkish coffee and a couple of slices of super-crisp, delicately sweet, perfectly nutty baklava, which went perfectly with the dance a group of tike dancers were performing that night.

I didn't even care that once we were home the baklava made a theatrical reappearance practically as soon as we walked through the front door. The whole experience was miserable, awkward, sweaty and, in fewer words, perfect.

Oy. Thar she blows.

Then there was the year I went with this writer girl I came across during one of my searches for Tulsa blogs. Okay, maybe that's not really how this story starts. I'd admired this writer from afar for about two years before I finally worked up the courage to ask her out to coffee so I could ask her if she would pretty please be my friend because OMG, she was so cool!!1!

She accepted, we went to Greek Holiday with our babies, both of which still had that newborn smell, and the rest is history.

Drillers 2009

Hm. It occurs to me that there exists no photo of Holly and me. Holly and my son, yes. Me and her son, yes. Holly and me, no. Not anywhere, not no how.

This could be yet another bit of evidence for local artist Marty Coleman's theory that Holly and I are actually the same person.

Oh, well. Whether or not Coleman is on to something, go to Greek Holiday this year and make your own memories. All the tools will be there - Greek souvlaki, kalamari, Greek salads galore, spanakopita (SPANAKOPITA!), homemade pastries (GALAKTOBOURIKO!) and dancers (more than 80 authentically costumed ones, to be exact) - and there will be plenty of time to do a bang-up job on the whole thing.

The festival starts tomorrow (Thursday) just in time for lunch at 11 am and will go until 9pm. Greek Holiday will continue Friday and Saturday, 11am-10pm.

Don't forget to grab a quick tour of Holy Trinity while you're at Greek Holiday this year. If you've never visited a Greek Orthodox church before, the structure, both inside and outside, will amaze you. Plus, the priests are cool.

To find Greek Holiday, head toward downtown, hop on the BA Expressway and look for the giant blue and white tent. If you prefer not to navigate by landmarks alone (and you probably aren't willing to stop and ask for directions when you're lost, either), go to 1206 South Guthrie, just two blocks west of 11th and Denver. If you're westbound on the BA, it's easiest to take the Houston exit. Use courtesy when parking, since most of the parking that's available, especially on the weekend nights, is in the adjacent neighborhood.

Admission is $2, and that's just to get in after 4pm on each day of the festival; otherwise, it's free. Plus, festival goers only pay that admission price once. That means that same $2 you paid to get in the first evening gets you in to the festival again at any time. Score, right?

I thought so. See y'all there.

Photo of the child dancers from the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Web site.

Spectator Sport

Claud's Hamburgers

If there's one thing we Okies are nutty about, it's lake-goin' season. But now that that's over, we're donning our orange, crimson or hurricane blue from head to toe (sometimes to ill effect, especially when body paint is involved), only to better enjoy spectating in our other best-loved pastime.

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

Thursday: Finish Hunger Action Month Strong

Thursday night offers two opportunities to not just feed the hungry, but to also feed yourself.

First is an New England dinner with Chef Michael Fusco, one of the acknowledged greats of Tulsa's chefs and master creator of deliciosity at the Riverside Grille that bears his name. For $50 and a reservation in advance (get with the Food Bank on Facebook to claim your spot - hurry, because they're going fast) you can learn some of Chef Fusco's culinary secrets while you enjoy a three-course dinner, including New England Clam Chowder, Waldorf Salad and Corned Beef and Indian Pudding, complete with wine for each course. The class/dinner will be at the demonstration in the Food Bank's Culinary Center, 1304 N. Kenosha, starting at 6pm.

If this isn't your kind of event, remember the foodie in your life and snag a gift certificate for this Recipe to End Hunger event or one in the future.

The second event of the evening is the Classical Concert at Harwelden with the Food Bank. Starting at 7pm, feed your ears and feed the hungry at this live concert at one of Tulsa's most cherished historic mansions. Players are Karl M. Johnson (piano), Lon de Ada (flamenco guitarist), Joesf Glaude (harp guitar) and the Tulsa Friends of Chamber Music.

This concert is part of Hunger Action Month, which will come to a close Sept. 30. All proceeds benefit the Food Bank Oklahoma.

While you're planning how you'll help to feed the hungry Thursday night, why not take it a step further and give up something small? Check out the Give A Little calculator. According to this little do-dad, you could give up a mere four tanning bed sessions and provide an overwhelming 90 meals for someone in need.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Labor Day 2009

For posterity, I'd like to list the words my 19-month-old can say true enough to the Queen's English that bystanders don't assume he has Turrets:

Go (his first word; who woulda guessed? Help me!). More. No. Doggie. Kitty. Please. Juice. Grape. Water. Mommy. Daddy. Meme. Gigi. OK. Plane. Moon. Book. Read. Hello. Bye-bye. Eat. Yes. Ball. Baby. Shoes. Shirt. Chocolate (no, really). Berry. Outside (SIDE? SIDE?). Stick. Rock. House. Bath. Box. Cheese. Cookie (COOKIE! COOKIE!). Phone. Up. Down. Truck. Gummies. Brush. Jeans. Cow. Pig. Peach. Banana. Cake. Milk. Pizza. Fries. Burger (hey, at least he has his priorities straight).

And, finally, Sham. Whoever that is.

Read the rest of this post on my mommy blog at

Coffee Love

Before I announce the winner of six months' worth of free joe from Tulsa's own Topeca Coffee, I want to post here a few of my favorite coffee stories readers posted here yesterday as part of the giveaway.

As if the weather in Tulsa today wasn't perfect cause for a cup of coffee already, these stories will definitely make you crave a nice, tall cup of the brown stuff. Grab one before you jump in; I'll be sipping right along with you.

Here's a coffee tale that made my eyes widen:

Topeca Contest 0909

Wait. What? Wow.

Feel like having your heart stirred? Order up:

Topeca Contest 0909

Have you taken the time to appreciate the small things in life today? Because maybe you should.

Topeca Contest 0909

Here's one that will have you longing for a slow, quiet morning with your grandparents:

Topeca Contest 0909

Here's a longer one from by dear, precious friend Wendy, a first-generation Guatemalan American who has coffee practically coursing through her veins:

Topeca Contest 0909

This is the one I couldn't help but re-read...and re-read again (it's long but so, so worth it):

Topeca Contest 0909

Topeca Contest 0909

Yum, yum, Carrisa. Thanks for that.

I really, really hope I never have to judge a writing contest. Obviously, I'd be horrible at it. See why I wanted to do my bidding? I love stories, period, even (especially?) the crazy ones about war paint and donkey heads.

Of the 33 stories submitted in the comments of yesterday's post, 30 slid in under the deadline. So, I asked the lords of randomness to please and randomly generate for me an integer between 1 and 30.

Topeca Contest 0909

The 17th person to submit a story was:

Topeca Contest 0909

Glad you think Topeca is awesome, Yogi, and it's extra awesome that you work just across the street from the cafe. That'll make collecting on this prize that much easier.

Speaking of Yogi, he has this really great blog, Yogi's Den. If you all enjoy reading TDT, you'll get a kick out of his stuff, too. He has a great eye for weird Tulsa stuff, and you'll get sucked into all the stories about SuperPizzaBoy. Good times.

Thanks again to everyone for playing. Keep your eyes on this blog for news of when you, too, can get your own free coffee cupping experience at Cafe Topeca. It won't be long.
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