This Week's Day-by–Day Picks

Thurday, July 24
This time of year, when temperatures rise to unbearable extremes, some smart aleck inevitably mentions that none of us would be here in the middle of the desert if it weren't for the invention of air conditioning. Indeed, as we've realized during mid-summer power outages, it's artificial climate control that gets us through the heat. But not enough credit for our survival is given to another essential invention -- ice cream. Life as we know it just wouldn't be the same without our favorite chilly treat. And on Thursday, July 24, life will surely seem a little sweeter when Cold Stone Creamery hosts the World's Largest Ice Cream Social, an event benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. From 5 to 8 p.m., Cold Stone stores around the country offer free "Make-A-Wish Creations" -- cake batter ice cream, Oreos, M&Ms and chocolate, the genius concoction of 7-year-old Wish child Alexei. In return, guests can make donations that will help grant the wishes of kids with life-threatening medical problems. For more information, visit your neighborhood Cold Stone location.

Friday, July 25
All good things must come to an end, even the Comedy Survivor Comedy Contest. See who gets the last laugh at the seven-week contest's finals on Friday, July 25. Since a big crowd is expected, the event is moving from its regular locale, The Comedy Spot Comedy Club, to the main stage at the Cajun House. It's an alcohol-free, all-ages show, too, so younger comedy fans can join in the fun. Tickets are $10 and can be reserved by calling 480-945-4422. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the Cajun House, 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale.

It's been more than two decades since she first inspired legions of leather-clad rocker girls with her hit "I Love Rock n' Roll," but Joan Jett is no less of a bad-ass today. Unlike some of her celebrity peers, Jett never let her "Bad Reputation" coast by on just a couple of hits; she continued to put out successful solo albums through the '90s, finally reuniting a few years ago with her Blackhearts, who join her for a concert on Friday, July 25, at the Fort McDowell Casino. Special guests The Romantics ("What I Like About You," "Talking in Your Sleep") also perform. To get to the casino, take Shea Boulevard east to State Route 87 (the Beeline Highway), then head north two miles to Fort McDowell Road; the casino is on the northwest corner. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $20. To purchase, contact Ticketmaster, 480-784-4444.

Saturday, July 26
Who knew that Phoenix was a breeding ground for up-and-coming pro wrestlers? Horshu, one of locally based Impact Zone Wrestling's muscle-bound trainees, recently signed a development contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, so don't be surprised if one day you see him headlining the Smackdown. He's one of many Impact Zone wrestlers to go on to national and international pro wrestling careers. See more heavyweight superstars in the making on Saturday, July 26, when Impact Zone presents Ground Zero, a night of eight matches, including champion The Navajo Warrior versus Cowboy Jack Durango. The action starts at 7:30 p.m. at Impact Zone, 3334 West Wilshire Drive, Suite 33, located near 33rd Avenue and Thomas. Tickets are $8. To find out more, visit www.impactzonewrestling.com or call 602-703-4030.

Sunday, July 27
The Format's amazing success story happened in the blink of an eye, thanks to last year's debut EP (titled EP), a handful of catchy, '80s-inspired pop songs. See what the fuss is all about on Sunday, July 27, when the band makes a local stop on its national tour with Piebald, Mae, and Ozma at Nita's Hideaway, 3300 South Price in Tempe. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets, $10, are available from Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com or 480-784-4444.

Monday, July 28
Bargain hunting is like an addiction -- you can never get too many good buys. We found the latest irresistible deal in the heart of Scottsdale (where we least expected to get more for our money), at Furio. Every Monday evening, the restaurant/bar's Martinis and Manicures soiree entices with the best price around: 10 bucks total for a martini and manicure. Keep in mind, though, that bargains like this are popular; put your name in early to secure a slot. Furio is located at 7210 East Second Street in Scottsdale. To find out more, call 480-945-6600.

Tuesday, July 29
Author J.A. Jance's latest mystery, Exit Wounds, is her ninth novel featuring the resilient Sheriff Joanna Brady, who discovers the seldom-mentioned crime of animal abuse while investigating the newest case to come across her desk, the murder of a local lady known for taking in stray animals. Jance discusses and signs copies of her book from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at the Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard, Suite 101, in Scottsdale. Call 480-947-2974 for details. The New York Times best-selling writer also appears at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at the Peoria Public Library, 8463 West Monroe in Peoria.

Wednesday, July 30
You prefer high-speed Internet to snail mail, Minute Rice to molasses, and the Concorde to coach (although your luck's run out on that last one). And you're way too busy to hang out in a bar, hoping in vain to meet some hottie. HurryDate is more your speed, literally. Guys and gals between the ages of 25 and 35 get together to sip cocktails in a swanky lounge and go on 25 whirlwind three-minute dates in one night. That's right: 25 dates apiece.Is that fast enough for you? Figure out who you're interested in seeing again, submit your "SCOREcard" online when you get home, and, when the feeling's mutual, you'll get matched up. The next HurryDate happens at 7 p.m. at SIX, 7316 East Stetson in Scottsdale. Reservations are required, and participation costs $35. Visit www.hurrydate.com or call 1-212-871-6707 to RSVP.

 
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