This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, June 12
Eating your lunch at your desk every day gets old -- fast. Get a stimulating break from your workday courtesy of the Arizona Humanities Council on Thursday, June 12, with the latest installation in the Thursday Lunch Talks series. Local artist Ralph Cordova, a member of the Movimiento Artistico del Rio Salado (MARS), gives a free slide show presentation about the Chicano Art Movement and the work of talented local Chicano artists from noon to 1 p.m. in the Pulliam Auditorium at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central. You're welcome to bring lunch, too -- sure beats picking the crumbs out of your keyboard. Call 602-262-4636 to find out more.

Friday, June 13
Those energetic folks at the Alwun House are gifted at throwing fabulous parties in honor of their art exhibitions, with themes and titles as creative as the art on display. Now they're practically outdoing themselves with the name of their latest shindig: "Not for the Triskaidekaphobic!" They've kindly informed us that the lengthy word refers to someone with "the irrational fear of the number 13," for those who might superstitiously hesitate to join in the fun on Friday, June 13. It's the last chance for art lovers and skin ink fans to see the biennial "Tattoo AZ" show, featuring fine art by tattoo artists in a variety of media. Starting at 8 p.m., enjoy live performances by funny, naughty singer-songwriter Tom Teurff and the Chicago-style Loose Cannon Blues Band. Admission is $5 and doors open at 7 p.m. at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt. For more information, visit www.alwunhouse.org or call 602-253-7887.

Apparently, the reality TV show wave was more of a tsunami than a ripple. If you're one of the many who still regrets not waiting in the long line at Dodge Theatre to try out for American Idol, not submitting yourself to humiliation on Fear Factor, or not testing the limits of social Darwinism on Survivor, then perhaps you'd be game to try your hand at romance. On Friday, June 13, casting directors from Fox come to Phoenix to look for single people between the ages of 21 and 35 for its top-secret new series, which they claim will be "the biggest reality show to date." The only detail they're giving up about it is that it involves travel to unnamed locales ("two of the world's most romantic destinations") for love and adventure. Whether it involves any fake millionaires remains to be seen. Casting takes place between 5 and 11 p.m. at Drift, 4341 North 75th Street in Scottsdale. Call 480-949-8454 for information.

Saturday, June 14
Superstar comedian Jerry Seinfeld might try to say that his standup routine is just a show about nothing, but we're not buying it. At the very least, it's about making hundreds of people laugh -- how else to explain his sold-out 7 p.m. appearance on Saturday, June 14? Luckily, as of press time, tickets can still be had for his 10 p.m. performance, sure to be another packed house. Doors open an hour before showtime at Dodge Theatre, 400 West Washington. Tickets, $48 to $78, are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or 480-784-4444.

Sunday, June 15
Make this weekend good to the last drop on Sunday, June 15, at Phoenix Jazz Workshop's weekly acoustic jam session, which runs from 8 p.m. to midnight. Sure, that sounds like a long set, but these folks are talented as well as tireless. They're also joined by a revolving roster of local and visiting musicians who help keep the place swingin'. Forget about Monday morning -- this is cutting-edge music to lose sleep over. (Besides, there's always coffee to get you going tomorrow.) Admission is free at the Lucky Dragon, 3316 South McClintock in Tempe. To find out more, call 480-768-9800.

Monday, June 16
Feeling starry-eyed? So are Carole and Tony La Conte, a celestial Valley couple with both passion and knowledge about the spectacular sights in the night sky. At 7 p.m. Monday, June 16, they host Backyard Stargazing in the auditorium at Glendale Public Library -- a free program to teach folks how to see the stars in a whole new way from their own backyards. Following the presentation, if weather permits, you can go outside and get a glimpse of what the La Contes are talking about with telescope and binocular viewing. While telescopes are provided, anyone is welcome to bring viewing equipment. The library is located at 5959 West Brown in Glendale; call 623-930-3573 for details.

Tuesday, June 17
A few months back, all of those afternoon Cactus League baseball games got a lot of locals hooked on playing hooky. (Don't worry, your secret's safe.) If you still haven't shaken off the urge to ditch the daily grind and spend a sweltering summer day watching professional athletes do the sweating on your behalf, then schedule your dentist appointment (wink, wink) for noon Tuesday, June 17. Take in some fast paced WNBA competition when the Phoenix Mercury engages in its second showdown of the season with the Seattle Storm at America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson. Ticket prices range from $8 to $100, which is still cheaper than a real dentist bill. To purchase, contact Ticketmaster at 480-784-4444.

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