Friday, July 31, 2009

What To Do in Tulsa This Weekend

Get out your smart phones and iPods or, if you're hopelessly old school like me, your Day Planner and a pencil. For all you KRMG listeners here from the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley, along with my better-than-average-looking, sharp-thinking, long-time readers, it's time to plan the weekend, TDT style.


When: Tonight at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Where: Tulsa Performing Arts Center
Details: The story of the making of the witches of Oz runs for its third and final weekend in Tulsa, wrapping up what will be a total of 32 shows at the Tulsa PAC. Tickets are still available, so if you still haven't had your chance with this show, break down right now and grab some tickets. I hear it's more than worth a couple of week's worth of brown-bag lunches. Don't forget, folks: This production isn't intended for kids under 8.

Shark Week at Oklahoma Aquarium
When: Starting Sunday until Aug. 9
Where: Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks
Details: Check out the beginning of a full week of shark events, all produced in conjunction with “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel. Don't miss the feeding presentations, and be sure to take your chance to win prizes.

Harwelden Murder Mystery with Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa
When: Now through Saturday, seating each night at 7 p.m.
Where: Harwelden Mansion, 2210 S. Main St.
Details: Just when we all thought politics couldn't get more twisted, the Presidential retreat of Camp David is about to become the scene of a historic event: namely, the wedding of the President to the Vice President. But, weddings tend to bring out the worst in some people; secrets are revealed and the bodies start to pile up. Tickets to this murder mystery are $45, which includes dinner, wine, beer and lots of good company. Call 584-3333, ext. 32, for reservations.

Free Day at Tulsa Zoo
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Tulsa Zoo at Mohawk Park
Details: See 2,800 animals on 84 acres, all for absolutely free as thanks for all the community does for the Tulsa Zoo. That's a savings of $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for kids ages 3-11; for a family of four or more, Free Day at the Tulsa Zoo is a whale of a deal.

When: Tonight and Saturday, 8-10 p.m.
Where: Nightingale Theater, Monica Huggins Dance Theatre, 1416 E. Fourth St.
Details: If you're into contemporary dance and multimedia performing arts, don't miss this interpretation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass," adapted and directed by Jennifer Alden. Admission is $18 for adults, $12 for students, $10 for kids - bring cash because, like me, the Nightingale kicks it old school.

At the Fairgrounds

Library Reading Night at Driller's Stadium

When: Tonight, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Driller's Stadium, Tulsa County Fairgrounds
Details: As part of the summer reading program, T-Town's bookworms can snag free tickets to tonight's game at any Tulsa City-County Library location. Plus, there's a Hornsby back-to-school lunchbag in this deal for the first 1,000 fans under 14 years old through the gates. If you can't make it to the stadium until Saturday night, though, take heart. Fireworks will light up the sky, and it's always a great show.

Wild Brew
When: Saturday, 5-8 p.m.
Where: Central Park Hall at Expo Square
Details: I've been talking about this event quite a bit here lately, but I'm still not tired of running my mouth about Wild Brew. This charity event that will benefit The Sutton Center in Bartlesville throws together a slew of local restaurants and dozens of different styles of beer from a huge range of macro- and microbreweries, all rounded out with live music by The Fabulous Mid-Life Crisis Band and others. Tickets, which are not sold at the door, are $55. Visit or call 633-1308 before 4 p.m. today to score access to one of my most favorite Tulsa events.

Tulsa Summer Classic Morgan Horse Show and American Buckskin Show
When: TSCMHS, Yesterday through Saturday; ABS, earlier this week through Sunday
Where: TSCMHS, Expo Square, Mustang Arena; ABS, Built Ford Tough Livestock Complex
Details: Like horses? Expo Square at Tulsa County Fairgrounds is the place for you this weekend, my friend. Visit and the American Buckskin Registry Association's home on the Web for full schedules of events.

RK Show Inc. Gun and Knife Show
When: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 9-4 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Exchange Center at Expo Square
Details: Admission is $10, children 6-12 are $4 and kids 6 and under - yes, we are in Oklahoma and yes, we go to gun and knife shows toting our pre-school aged children - are free.

Free, Live Music

Rhythm on the River

When: Tonight, 6:30 p.m.
Where: 41st Street Plaza at RiverParks
Details: This free summer concert series features live, local music by Randy Brumley and Mich Boulanger of Native Son this week. Bring a picnic dinner, and don't forget to bring some cash for a sno cone. May I recommend a Tiger's Blood and Mango mix? Trust me on this one.

RiverWalk Crossing Summer Concert Series
When: Tonight, 8-10 p.m., tomorrow at 8 p.m.
Where: RiverWalk Crossing in Jenks
Details: Travis Fite goes on stage tonight, and The Outside is up tomorrow night. If you're on the prowl for something to do Sunday evening, RiverWalk's Wine & Jazz event is Sunday at 6 p.m., where for $20 you can sip wine, savor some good food and relax.

Sunset Serenade
When: Tonight, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Chandler Park in west Tulsa
Details: Go west, young man, for a free outdoor concert at Chandler Park, just off of Avery Drive. Bring a blanket and enjoy some live music and a great view of the skyline, all just minutes from downtown.

At The BOK Center

The Wiggles Go Bananas!

When: Sunday, 1:30 and 5 p.m., with doors opening an hour before each show
Where: BOK Center
Details: If you haven't heard The Wiggles are in town, you must be a new college graduate, 23 years old and working in your last few years of uninterrupted sleep before your life changes forever and ever amen, or you've been living under a rock. The Wiggles perform their new show, “Go Bananas Live!” at BOK Center, and it's the action-packed, educational fun for the kiddos this year. Be sure you'll be able to blend in with the crowd by dressing as as your favorite Wiggles character. Tickets are still available and range $17-34.

Tulsa Talons Playoff Round 1
When: Saturday night, 7 p.m.
Where: BOK Center
Details: Our Tulsa Talons return to the playoffs. The Road to the 2009 ArenaCup begins this weekend with 16 teams competing in eight, first-round playoff matchups. Don't miss the smackdown.

Star Wars In Concert Tickets on Sale
When: Saturday at noon; Show Oct. 20
Where: BOK Center
Details: If you and your bride walked down the aisle to The Imperial March (yes, this actually happens; I only know because I still have my bridesmaid's dress from such a wedding), this event is a must. Blowing out the BOK Center come October will be music from all six of John William's epic Star Wars scores. Look also for the exclusive exhibit of Star Wars costumes, props and production artwork, as well. Tickets hit the market at lunchtime Saturday and range $37-77.

Movies: In Theaters This Weekend

United Film Festival
When: Friday at 7 p.m., with final film showing Sunday at 8 p.m.
Where: Circle Cinema, 12 S. Lewis
Details: Nearly a dozen movies over three days, featuring such selections as Jaws (midnight Friday night) and more Jaws (a documentary examining the effect of the film on American pop culture, starting Saturday night at 9:30) - we're talking a solid weekend's worth of movies from a wide array of filmmakers hailing from diverse backgrounds here, people. All screenings are $8, or all-access passes for the entire weekend are $50. You can shell out $25 for five films only, too.

Funny People
When: Friday night
Details: In this latest film from director Judd Apatow (think of the movies, Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Adam Sandler stars as a veteran stand-up comedian who has a near-death experience, contrasted with the life of a stand-up comic just getting his start, played by Seth Rogen. Rated R.

Aliens in the Attic
When: Friday
Details: A group of kids must defend their vacation home from invading aliens. Spooky. Kooky. Rated PG.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Beer Weiner

Do recall the contest I've been holding on this little blog since the beginning of the week - you know, the one with which I will now use to give away a pair of tickets to Wild Brew 2009, a helluva party featuring a slew of local restaurants, dozens of different styles of beer from a host of breweries and plenty of folks with whom to enjoy it all.

And now, four dozen entries later (some of which I couldn't let into the drawing because they slid across home plate after the entry deadline at 4 p.m. today - sorry, folks), the winner:

Contestant No. 36! Come on down to claim your prize!

What's that you say? You haven't the foggiest which one of you submitted the 36th entry? Oh! Well, I can help you with that.

It's Ashley S.! Congrats, woman. You know where to find me on Twitter to claim your prize.

As for the rest of you, thanks so much for playing. You might not have won free tickets to Wild Brew 2009, but that shouldn't stop you from snagging a pass or two to one of the biggest and most bad-ass parties for charity in Tulsa. It'll be a blasty-blast, and you'll have more right angles than any other polygon if you don't show up.

Cheers, y'all.

Supplying the Demand

Shopping for school supplies these days can be as tough as the mystery meat in the cafeteria.

Not only are parents forced into the mosh pit that is the school supply isle at the local big-box store in August, but they are forced to do so while squinting at a crappy photocopy of a school supplies list while also suffering a jealousy attack over the goodies available to kids today that they could have only fantasized about sporting on their first days of school.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wild Brew (And a Giveaway)

Well, that little party I was talking about hatches this Saturday. It all starts with a patron hour at 4 p.m., with general admission kicking off at 5 at Central Park Hall at Tulsa Expo Square.

If you haven't snagged your tickets to the wildest party of local food and drink and some darned nice folks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you'd better get moving, because time's a-wastin'.

Or, you could just keep reading.

One of the headliner guests at Wild Brew 2009 will be Eric Marshall, the brewmaster behind Tulsa's own hometown brewery, Marshall Brewing Company. Mr. Marshall will be bringing a number of his brewskies to this year's Wild Brew, including my personal favorite, the Atlas IPA.

While there's not much not to love about the favorite beer style of food (and, incidentally and according to my extensive empirical research, most foodies as well), Marshall's IPA is just as good for front porch sipping as it is for cutting the spices and oils of some of my favorite ethnic foods - Cajun, Mexican and hotter-than-hot Indian.

Some IPAs are just too, I don't know, confrontational for leisurely drinking. Not so with Marshall's. That lets me buy one or two fewer varieties of craft beer, which makes my wallet and my husband, who sometimes worries I drink more beer than he does, sleep somewhat easier at night.

Now, enough flowery talk about food and beer and more about that giveaway I mentioned in the title of this post.

Win your chance to taste a little of your own Marshall's Atlas IPA at this year's Wild Brew event by finding the correct answer to the following question:

What are the names of the four other beers brewed at Marshall Brewing Company?

Write the answers as a comment on this post. Feel free to tweet about the Wild Brew event to earn extra entries; just make sure to add "@tashadoestulsa" so I'll be able to see it, brightly and beautifully. The prize is a pair of tickets to this event of food and drink plenitude.

The contest ends Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. With the randomness of the integer generator at, I'll announce a winner that evening.

Good luck, all!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

About Last Night

Arts writer extraordinaire Holly Wall did downtown Tulsa biggest part of the year last night, and she lived to tell the tale here at Take it away, Holly.

Holy tattooed rockstar, did I have fun last night.

Dfest’s opening night was a hit, and since I knew I only had one night to take in as much music as possible (motherhood means only having one free night per weekend), I made it my mission to see as many artists as I could.

My man friend and I kicked off the night with a gyro and a sno cone (a slight disappointment, actually. I was intrigued by the “wedding cake” flavor, which was pretty good and did actually taste like wedding cake, but the fact that the ice wasn’t even close to shaved but rather chunky and hard made my treat more of a wedding cake-flavored slushie) and a sighting of the World Naked Bike Ride, which consisted of mayoral candidate Paul Tay and a handful of other males (and one female, actually) riding their bicycles around Dfest in their underwear (the actual World Naked Bike Ride was a few weeks ago - click that link at your own risk), and then moved into the U.S. Cellular Triton Stage for some music.

Our evening began with Dengue Fever, a California/Cambodia-based world pop band, a sound unlike anything I’ve ever heard. We also peeked in on local electronic/dance group Stevedore.

From there, it was on to Dirty’s Tavern’s Arvest Bank Stage, where we enjoyed blues rock acts Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights and Ian Moore.

After Ian, we caught the last song by Maggie McClure at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center’s Liddy Doenges Theatre/Oklahoma Film and Music Stage, followed by one song by Chris McCleod in the same theatre and then the last half of Ben Kilgore’s set in the Williams Theatre/Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau Stage.

After that, we made our way to the State Farm Poseidon Stage at Second and Elgin for headliner The Black Crowes (can you say “awesome”?) and finished our evening at Dirty’s with Stillwater-based rockers Taddy Porter.

Then we went home and crashed, exhausted, the evening’s adrenaline all used up.

Not every band we saw was out of this world, but the event, and the evening as a whole, was. And the Black Crowes, of course, were.

I do feel like I should give you a fair warning, though. Security is tight (and did a good job; there were no altercations that we heard of), and if you buy a beer at one stage ($4 for a 16-ounce can of Bud or Bud Light), you can’t take it into the next.

We ran into that problem when we bought a beer at Dengue Fever and tried to take it into Electric Circus for Stevedore. We had to chug it before we could get into the bar.

And, if you plan to see a show at the PAC’s William’s Theatre, don’t bother buying a beer at all; you can’t take open containers inside the theater. You can take them, however, into the Doenges.

Also, be prepared to show your ID as many times as the bouncers ask for it. At Dirty’s, we thought we could avoid the line by showing the bouncer our blue wristband, which we had to show our ID for at the door, but we were told, rather rudely, that he didn’t care what we had on our wrists, that this was his bar and we were going to show our ID.

So, just be aware. We weren’t, and it took us by surprise.

Tonight, I will probably pack Isaac up in the stroller and check out some of the vendors and maybe partake of a corn dog, two things I missed out on yesterday. So, if you don’t have a ticket for Dfest tonight, at least head downtown to mingle with the crowds, take in the gorgeous skyline, and pick up some band and Tulsa-themed merch.

P.S. Don’t drink and drive.

Thanks for the ride-along, Holly. Have fun at Dfest tonight, everybody. Like the No. 1 Tulsa arts writer said, don't drink and drive. I'd like to add that you should also not text what an awesome time you had at Dfest to all your friends while driving. I don't want you to die a fiery death and leave me in this world all alone so, please, wait a few extra minutes and text from your driveway.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What To Do in Tulsa This Weekend

Ready for this weekend, Tulsa? It's a biggie. In case you missed the rundown this morning on the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley, or if you're looking for further information and even more ways to get down with T-Town this weekend, read on.


The weekend at the beginning of summer when Mayfest, the Blue Dome Arts Festival and Art Car Weekend roll into town is a big deal, but it pales in comparison this year to what the Tulsa World called the Showtime Trifecta: Dfest 2009, the second weekend of the musical Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz and the American Idols show at BOK Center. Check out the particulars now, right now:

Where: Blue Dome Distrct
When: Now through Sunday
Details: Dozens upon dozens of headliner and emerging bands, the premier of a yoga conference, the trademark Dfest music conference that draws the big wigs of the recording industry from the coasts, four nights and an anticipated crowd of 60,000+, all converging on downtown's Blue Dome District this very weekend. Music will range country to techno to classic rock, featuring such bands as The Black Crowes, Cake, Blue October and Citizen Cope. Good thing for you there are tickets still to be had. Your best bet is to snag some sweet Dfest parking and buy passes at the gate - walk-up tickets will run $50 with the service fee, but that's nothing considering the breadth and depth of entertainment available at each day of this festival. I'd better see each and every one of you there.

When: Friday Night; doors at 5:30, show at 7 p.m.
Where: BOK Center
Details: Adam Lambert and his gang of the top ten contestants from season eight of America's favorite audition reality show will rock the BOK Center into the weekend. Visit for tickets, which start at about $40.

When: Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Where: Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Chapman Hall
Details: Been hearing a lot of about this musical act lately? Yeah, me, too. Know why? Because it's that good - three Tonys and a Grammy's worth of goodness, to be exact. This show is like a "The Making Of" that tells the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch got to be, well, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. With all the witches flying around, be advised that this isn't a production for kiddos under 8, and the pint-sized under 4 years won't be admitted to the theater at all. The price of admission ($32-$125, depending on if you want to wear your glasses or not) and a few hours' worth of a babysitter's time will be worth it.

Festivals, Expos and Other Stuff

When: All day Friday-Sunday
Where: Expo Square
Details: Hundreds of exhibitors are guaranteed to draw a crowd of 30,000+ to this huge home and garden event. If you're building, remodeling or just dreaming, don't miss it.

Heatwave in the Heartland with Tulsa Glue Dobbers
When: Friday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to dusk each day
Where: Tulsa Glue Dobber Field, 2817 S. Lynn Lane; map at the Tulsa Glue Dobbers Web site
Details: Take the kids to check out this annual fly-in of giant-scale, radio-controlled model airplanes. Food and drink concessions will be available in plenty for this, the largest RC airplane event in the southwest. More than 100 planes of all types (including jets!) will be on display and flying. Heatwave in the Heartland is a family-oriented event for all ages, and admission and parking are free, though donations are accepted.

Palomino Horse Breeders of America World Championship Show
When: Friday-Saturday, starting bright and early at 8 a.m.
Details: The show of hundreds of specimens of my favorite type of horse will wrap up at the fairgrounds this weekend. See for a schedule of events and programs.

When: Friday night, 8-10 p.m.
Where: Agora Coffeehouse in the Fontana Shopping Center, 51st and Memorial
Details: Tulsa's youngest comedy troupe will be at Agora Coffeehouse laughing it up until 10 p.m. tonight. Admission is $5.

World Naked Bike Ride
When: Friday night, 7 p.m. (that's still broad daylight, y'all)
Where: 306 S. Phoenix (in the shadow of downtown)
Details: Not for the faint of heart, this bike ride is an exercise of free speech in an, ahem, open-air forum. Body painters, duct tape and a licensed attorney will be on hand for participants. If you're old enough to serve and bleed for this country in a time of war, see the World Naked Bike Ride Web site for more info.

Open House at Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Details: See the 160-acre site of the state's very own future $40 million botanical garden and learn all about what will be growing there. Look also for what is, in my opinion, the best view of the downtown skyline in all of Tulsa. Reptile curator Barry Downer from Tulsa Zoo will bring non-poisonous plants to teach visitors which plants are friendly and which are not. The trails will be open, so come to the garden packing a pair of comfy kicks.

When: Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Where: Tulsa County Fairgrounds at 21st and Yale, Central Park Hall
Details: Craving exhibits and displays on traditional homemaking practices like canning, cooking and sewing? Then the Tulsa County Free Fair is your stop. Check out the WD 40 workshop, too, and play MacGuyver by learning to use everyday objects like duct tape, vinegar and bailing wire for evil. Plus, ice cream and bluegrass music will be available in abundance on Friday night from 5:30-7:30, as well as carnival games. Tickets are $3.

Tulsa Talons, last game of the season
When: Saturday night; kick off is at 7 p.m.
Where: BOK Center
Details: Watch the Tulsa Talons take on the Amarillo Dusters in our very own BOK Center. It's Tulsa Gives Night, too, which benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association, so come on out and chuck some coin to show you care.

Wild Women of Jazz Concert Series
When: Sunday afternoon, 5 p.m.
Details: This week's concert features Starr Fisher, who has served as the lead singer with Earl Clark and Spectrum and Wall Street. Starr will perform with her quartet.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fore! Thoughts

The wind and rain of springtime in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has come to an abrupt and steamy end. The humidity of the air has surged--the air has more water content than the human body most days--and the sun isn't holding back, taking temps up to 100-plus degrees.

This can only mean one thing. It's time to hit the golf course.

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

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Newest Find

A story that began with the coercions of my buddy and Urban Tulsa Weekly arts writer Holly Wall has ended in a tragic picture of addiction.

The woman from now on known to me as Wallrus took my kid and I to the 41st Street Plaza at RiverParks for lunch Monday afternoon, where she was nice enough to buy us a sno cone to share.

At least, I thought she was being nice. Now I see she's part of a top-secret underground troupe to convert us all into shaved-ice-and-syrup-slurping idiots.

Conniving punk.

After partaking of her ingenious combination of Tiger's Blood (if you were a kid during the '90s, you know the strawberry/coconut flavor combination I'm talking about) and mango flavors and falling in love with the slushy sweetness that is sno cone all over again, I knew I had to try a cone from this spot in southtown that had caught my eye.

All four times I'd driven through the 91st and Memorial intersection within the past few years (just because I work on the border of south Tulsa doesn't mean I have to actually go there) I noticed a huge line - we're talking 30-40 Okies deep - sprouting from this little white-and-blue sno cone shack called Josh's.

Since I'd always been of the camp that proclaimed hot fudge ice cream sundae from Braum's as the cool summer treat of champions, I never thought twice about stopping long enough to stand in line and see what all the fuss was about.

That was, until the night following my passionate reunion with the sno cone that was mildly inappropriate considering the setting (a children's park - think: the old Herbal Essences commercials).

All three members of my little family and I used 20 minutes of our lives - 20 minutes we'll never, ever get back - to stand in line to order a couple of wacky, technicolor sno cones from Josh's.

I mean, doesn't this kid look like he's in need of a sno cone?

In dire need, I'd say. Anyone with a soul who sees this photo is bound to feel an ancient urge to throw sugary treats at it. I am human, too, I swear.

Just look at that menu board. With that many flavor options, especially Tulsa-centric ones like Golden Eagle and Blue Hurricane, my imagination was in overdrive. I needed the entire 20 minutes just to figure out what the heck I was going to do with the power to purchase just two sno selections.

Plus, I had a good time chatting with the preteens behind me in line about what exactly made the sno cones from this particular stand better than any others in town.

"The ice is, like, shaved better. It's finer, or something."
"They have more flavors than anyone."
"They have toppings. I always get gummi bears. They're 50 cents."

Pure gold, folks. Unmitigated preteen wisdom.

Something else about which most preteens are wise: Social media. Josh apparently knows this. That's why he's not only on Facebook, but also Myspace and Twitter.

Oh, Twitter. How I love thee.

As for that 20 minutes that was sucked into the black abyss of time I've spent during this life waiting in lines?

Refreshingly, icily, crunchily, sweetly, good-enough-that-you-wanna-watch-Nicktoons worth it.

...even if half my Crunch cone (doused with cranberry and fruit punch syrups) will never know the satisfaction of being the object of my satisfaction.

I'm sorry, but it's all about me. It's the addict's mindset.

Come to find out, Josh's is indie. It all started in 2005 at 71st and Garnett when some early-twenty-something kid thought it be a good idea to open a sno cone stand. Two summers ago, another shack popped up at 91st and Memorial. The lines outside the two shacks have been growing ever since.

As someone who couldn't more officially be in her mid-twenties, I was the second-oldest person in the 30-deep line at Josh's. I felt matronly. I mean, my shorts came down to my knees, and my paper-white calves illuminated the bare, pigmented, cellulite-free upper thighs of all the other girls. Also, I'm pretty sure I was the only one in line without braces.

No matter. No amount of girlish giggling or compulsions to buy a minivan or hyper-awareness of my newly minted mom butt could keep me away from that which is Josh's Sno Shack.

Hey, Josh? Where have you been all my life?

Friday, July 17, 2009

What To Do in Tulsa This Weekend

Catch this weekend's rundown bright and early this morning on the Morning News with Joe Kelley on KRMG? Even if you did go ahead and rise today early enough to get the worm, here's a written version of my play-by-play rundown of what's going on in T-Town this weekend. For your planning pleasure:

What's summer in Tulsa without a slew of festivals? Try this weekend's selection on for size:

Porter Peach Festival
Where: Mainstreet Porter, Okla.
When: Now through Saturday
Details: You missed the Porter Peach Beauty Pageant if you didn't make it out last night, but not to worry; plenty will be going on for the rest of the weekend. Make sure to catch the antique tractor pull, the beard contest, the pet show and free peaches and ice cream, not to mention all the arts, crafts, live music, food and cooking contests, a parade, a car show and even a mini rodeo. Whew - I'm whipped just typing all of that zaniness. This is an event not to be missed, folks - more than worth the 45-or-so minute drive from T-Town.

An Affair of the Heart
When: Today and tomorrow, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 11-5.
Details: What girl couldn't use another excuse to shop? We're all being encouraged to stimulate the economy, right? I'm sure the folks at An Affair of the Heart would concur with a resounding "Yep!" Bring $6 down to Expo Square and enjoy three full days of arts, crafts, antiques, collectibles, accessories and, of course, lots of gourmet food.

Annual Tulsa Powwow
Where: SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby
When: Today, 3-11 p.m; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Details: Native American artists and craftsmen will be showing off their stuff, and there will be plenty of Native American cuisine on hand to enjoy (think: roasted corn. Oh, yum). Be sure to be in the crowd for the crowning of the 2010 Tulsa Powwow Princess tonight at 7:30; get there a bit early to check out the grand entry of dancers at 7. Don't forget to get a gander at the gourd dancing, traditional singing and intertribal and specialty dancing, as well as competitive dancing from junior and senior divisions. If you haven't been to a powwow, folks, prepare for an experience unlike any other. Don't forget to bring the kids.

Thanks to a spot of weather that is, in highly technical terms, mighty hot 'n' humid rather than downright boilin', this weekend should make for some prime music listening time, especially if it's going down outdoors. Here's a schedule of some must-see acts:

Opening of Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz
Where: Chapman Music Hall at Tulsa Performing Arts Center
When: Today at 1:30 and 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8; Sunday at 2 and 7:30
Details: Been hearing a lot of about this musical act lately? Yeah, me, too. Know why? Because it's that good - three Tonys and a Grammy's worth of goodness, to be exact. This show is like a "The Making Of" that tells the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch got to be, well, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. With all the witches flying around, be advised that this isn't a production for kiddos under 8, and the pint-sized under 4 years won't be admitted to the theater at all. The price of admission ($32-$125, depending on if you want to wear your glasses or not) and a few hours' worth of a babysitter's time will be worth it.

Rhythm on the River
When: Friday night; get there at 6:30, ends at about 8:30
Details: Hear the Latin American Rhythm Ensemble as you soak up the cool(er) air along the Arkansas. It all starts at 6:30, just in time to catch the full splendor of a mid-July sunset. Feel free to bring your lawn chairs, a dinner to go and the kids. If you leave the picnic basket in the driveway, though, no worries - food and drink will be available for purchase at the concert.

Guitars Gone Wild II
Where: Charles E. Norman Theatre at Tulsa Performing Arts Center
When: Sunday, 6 p.m.
Details: No, this isn't another installment of that video franchise you've heard advertised on late-night TV. Instead, it's a showcase of style after style of solo guitar music. Just think: Blues, classical, flamenco, folk, pop, even new age. Tulsa Guitar Society director Rod Saunders and other local guitarists will be performing, and they're willing to stick around for a little Q & A session after the jam session. That's quite an entertainment package for a mere $12.

Wine and Jazz Concert Series
Where: RiverWalk Crossing in Jenks at the Amphitheater
When: Sunday night, 6-8 p.m.
Details: Who couldn't use a little jazz with that wine? Forget that Monday comes tomorrow and get your fill of the good stuff in Jenks this Sunday evening. Wine and food will be available in plenty, and so will live jazz music. The cost? $20 per.

Other Stuff
What would life in Tulsa be like without the "Other Stuff" category? Here it comes:

Films on the Lawn
Where: North Lawn at Philbrook Museum
When: Friday night, gates open at 7:30 with showtime at dusk
Details: Love Paul Newman? Think Robert Redford, like a fine wine, only gets better with time? Then don't miss the showing of the 1973 film The Sting on the North Lawn at Philbrook Museum Friday night. Bring a date and dinner, a blanket or a few lawn chairs and make an evening of it. Admission is $7, or just $5 if you're a Philbrook member (if you're not, you should be).

Slumber Party at Circle Cinema
Where: Circle Cinema, 12 S. Lewis Ave.
When: Saturday night at 10 p.m. until Sunday morning at 8 a.m.
Details: Find yourself at Circle Cinema Saturday night for the first-ever Slumber Party in Tulsa's favorite movie house. On tap will be five cult films, supplemented by two surprise films (who doesn't love surprises?) with a bit of free Joe Momma's Pizza and Old School Bagels thrown in, just for kicks. Come with $20 (you get $10 back if you're man or woman enough to stay for the whole sleepover and to not flee into the streets of Whittier Square at 3 a.m.) and dressed in your best PJs, because I have a feeling this little shindig is going to be a party and a half.

Where: BOK Center, Third Street and Denver Avenue
When: Tonight at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m., with doors opening one hour before showtime on each day
Details: Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned rodeo? You can't deny it and still live in Okie-homa. Get back to your roots and head to the BOK Center to watch the top bull riders in the world compete for some real purdy trophies and prizes and whatnot. Pay anywhere from $10 75 in advance, or add $2 to each ticket price if you wait to buy tickets until you get to the door.

Tickets and Movies
Get your BOK Center tickets while they're hot off the presses. As for movies, you know the old adage: The hotter it is outside, the hotter the action on the screen in the moviehouse.

In Theaters: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (The sixth installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise; opened earlier this week), Bruno, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Public Enemies, The Proposal, The Hangover and more.

Where: BOK Center
When: Tickets on sale Monday at 10 a.m.; Concert is Aug. 17 @ 7:30 p.m.
Details: Beatles man Paul McCartney is coming to help us celebrate one year of BOK Center events in Tulsa. This will be McCartney's only arena show on his current 2009 North American stadium tour, and it'll be his first time back in Oklahoma in nearly seven years (did he break a mirror when he was in Oklahoma City or something?). He'll be playing songs from his years with The Beatles as well as hits from Wings and his solo career stuff - none of it is to be missed. That is, if you've got the cash. Tickets range $59.50-$253.

That's all from me, folks. Have a good weekend!

Porter photos courtesy of the amazing talents of Amanda at Have Spork, Will Travel.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From the Ground Up

Let’s play a game. Which sounds more appetizing: A peach sprayed with pesticides and picked hard and green in an industrial orchard in California, processed and packed at a sprawling, faceless, corporate farm and trucked a couple thousand miles to your local grocery store...

Or, a peach picked ripe at a farm in a city you could, despite the geography courses at your public school, pinpoint on a map, delivered to your farmers’ market totally free of chemicals, long-distance travel damage and other modes of interference and sold to you by a friendly guy in a hat who reminds you of your grandfather?

Wait. There wasn’t really a choice presented there, was there? It’s one of those “duh” decisions. Who in this day and age doesn’t want unmitigated, fresh fruit grown by people they know? After multiple food safety scares, documentaries extolling the nutritional merits of fresh-picked produce and all those blurbs on TV about how we should all be reducing our carbon footprint, demand for food grown within a stone’s throw from home is on the rise.

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

Boob Tube Bliss

Of all the crazy and backward things I've done to conserve skrill, there's one that, 100 percent of the time, gets either a gasp, a look of shock or one of these: "Wha?!"

I have no cable television service. I haven't had it since before I was married, five years ago.

I always feel like I have to explain why not. It's a strange feeling to be motivated to do that, mostly because I still haven't managed to come up with a plausible explanation for why I'm not participating in this country's most cherished medium of communication.

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

Friday, July 10, 2009

What To Do in Tulsa This Weekend

You might have missed hearing me on the Morning News with Joe Kelley this morning on KRMG, but don't worry. I'll be back on the air next week. Until then, have a blast this weekend and get your butts to these events:

Kathy Griffin at SpiritBank Event Center. If you haven't been out south to check out Regal Plaza, you're doing yourself a real disservice. Take the opportunity tonight and snag a bite of the best Chicago-style pizza in town at the new, two-story Savastano's location before you head over to the SpiritBank Event Center for some laughs courtesy of comedienne Kathy Griffin. Tickets (pricey though they are) are still available at Indigo Joes in Regal Plaza or by calling the Spirit Bank Event Center at 369.9360. Doors are at 7, show at 8.

Brady District Art Crawl. For about a year now, galleries in the Brady Arts District have been joining forces to collectively open their doors on the first Friday of each month. Greg Gray, owner of Club 209, organizes the event, which involves the Tulsa Artists' Coalition Gallery, Club 209, CFC Chocolatier, the Tulsa Glassblowing Studio and Donna Prigmore's pottery gallery holding exhibit openings and other art-related events all on the same night, at the same time. The entire event is free and open to the public. This edition of First Friday Art Crawl starts at 6 at Gypsy Coffee House and ends at 11 at Club 209, so stick around downtown after work today and get ready to be enlightened.

Films on the Lawn, Second Saturdays at Philbrook. What's more relaxing than kicking back with some dinner and a movie? Kicking back with some dinner and a movie under real, live stars, that's what. Get your fill Friday night on the north lawn at Philbrook Museum with the 1967 film, Cool Hand Luke. Gates open at 7:30, and the movie starts at about 9. Cost is $5 for members, $7 for not-yet-members. Bring a picnic dinner, a blanket and a few lawn chairs. If you're still up for some museum musing on Saturday, come by Philbrook for free admission and a slew of activities from 10:30-4, ranging hands-on art projects to scavenger hunts. Highly fun for the famsters.

First Friday Night Concert at LaFortune. Bring your favorite lawn chair or blanket and sit back and relax to the sounds of a local band. Head to the Gardens of LaFortune Park - along 51st Street between Yale and Hudson - at 7 p.m. to get in on the action with Three Hour Tour, a classic rock band. These concerts happen free-of-charge each first Friday of the month, so be sure to tune in the first week of August for the next act.

Crayons! Improv. Ever been to the Agora Coffeehouse, in the Fontana Shopping Center at 51st and Memorial. Hip little place, it is. It's even hipper when it's full of local improv comedians. One of times will happen Friday night starting at 8 p.m. Bring $5 or risk being the butt of one of the players' spur-of-the-moment jokes.

PlayDate. Looking for something to do this weekend that's off the beaten path? Look no further than the Blue Dome Diner, downtown at Second Street and Elgin Avenue. Starting at 8 Saturday night will be games galore, food, dancing and general splendid-time-havin', totally filling up the huge space in the back of BDD. Just try to find this much fun under one roof anywhere else in town for the PlayDate admission price of $10. Everyone, from singles to couples to groups, is invited because, duh, everyone likes to play.

12th Annual Art of Barbeque. Thanks to Oklahoma Central Credit Union and the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, Tulsans can bear witness to a world-class barbeque cook-off, officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. For all the yummy fun, head to OU-Schusterman Center at 41st and Yale tonight starting at 6 p.m. and tomorrow 11-4. Folks can get the People's Choice Tasting Kit on Saturday for 10 smackaroos, and that's only from 11:30-2. There will be some serious cash to win at this event - think $10,000 - so come ready to compete, or just to enjoy some overwhelming deliciosity.

Tokyo in Tulsa 2009. Tokyo in Tulsa is a Japanese and Pop Culture convention centered on Japanese animation. Head to this event for music, creative art and writing, gaming of both the video and tabletop variety and fashion. This event is on all weekend, so head downtown to the Tulsa Convention Center for some non-stop fun starting today (Friday) at 2 p.m. Registration at the door is $40 for the entire weekend, $20 for a day pass. See the Tulsa Convention Center site for a schedule of Tokyo in Tulsa events.

You make me feel like dancing, Tulsa. Show off your own moves and learn a few, too, with Ballroom Dancers of Tulsa at their Friday night event. Come to the Elks Lodge at 5335 S. Harvard for $10 dance lessons with a island luau theme. Come at 7 for the lessons; the dance starts at 8. For more info, go to the Ballroom Dancers of Tulsa Web site.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cheap Date

Cash can't buy love (at least, that's what they try to tell us), so why try? After all, just because you're short on skrill doesn't mean you can't be long on love.

Thanks to our low cost of living, you'd have to earn 28 percent more in L.A. (52 percent more in Boston) to afford the lifestyle we all enjoy right here. Entertainment comes relatively cheap here in T-town. That's a good thing for your personal life, because we all know dating isn't the most inexpensive thing to do these days. We all do it (yes, even we marrieds, and hopefully only with our spouses), but not all of us manage to keep the resulting bills from Visa and Mastercard at bay.

Next time the bank calls on date night, give one of the outings listed below a shot. These plans are low-cost, high-excitement, and I know this because I've been on these dates myself. According to my experience (because I wouldn't tell you to do something I haven't done myself, not even for a good laugh), the flavor of the week won't guess that he or she is the subject of a budget date. It's hard to notice such things when you're having an absolute blast.

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cool Summer School

Kids at home for the summer about to drive you nutso? Here's a solution that's way more interactive than day care, cheaper than summer camp and more fun than summer school: College for Kids at Tulsa Community College, a nationally recognized program right here in T-Town.

We're solidly into July now, but that doesn't mean it's too late to sign up. Each class, varying in length from 1.5-3 hours each day, is a week long, with new classes starting as the previous week's classes end. By the end of the summer TCC will have hosted about 200 College for Kids classes ranging from rocket science to video game design to blogging, so there are lots of choices, too.

Marquetta Finley, director of continuing education in academic, family and youth enrichment at TCC, invited me a few weeks ago to sit in on a class focused on teaching math to kids through cooking.

This class couldn't have been more up my alley. I've always been a bit of a math geek, and we all know how much I love to cook and eat and simply exist in the presence of food. I wished I could have stayed the entire week.

I might have had a problem blending in, though.

These girls and boys (boys! In a cooking class! Oh, yeah!) are learning about volumes and measurement conversations from teaspoons to tablespoons to cups and pints and, well, you get the picture. The kids worked in groups, filling out worksheets along the way. Before long, they were covered in flour and, undeterred, on to the next project.

I loved how the kids got to learn two life skills in one sitting. I know too many kids who can barely pour a bowl of cereal, let alone whip up a batch of pancakes for Mom on Sunday morning. And as we've been told over and over during the past couple of decades, math education in this country is well behind that in others. Any way to get a little extra learnin' in, especially if it's tied to real-life situations and is thus validated as a useful subject in indignant minds, is a good thing, especially at a rate of as little as $6 per day.

Plenty of kids are taking advantage of the program - about 900 - and enrollment stands at 3,400, meaning plenty of kids are having too much fun to enroll in just one class. The courses start at $30 (just try to find someone to watch and enrich your kids for a few hours a day for a week at that price, y'all) and go up, depending on the child's age and course level, i.e., the rocket science course would, understandably, cost a smidge more than the blogging class.

The TCC Web site is the best place to get a course listing and to get signed up. If you prefer to pick up the phone, dial 918.595.7566 to enroll.

Happy learning, kiddos! Don't forget to invite me to the mini rocket launches; I always love a good rocket launch.
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