TALKING TURKEY. So admit it: You had to nudge that last shred of turkey in with a crowbar, didn't ya? And you've been lolling about all afternoon with that sliver of cranberry stuck behind your bicuspid, haven't you?
How's about that extra slice of pie you slipped into your purse while Auntie Gertie was distracted by the special holiday installment of Wheel of Fortune?
"That Vanna is timeless," Auntie declared as you surreptitiously slipped the pumpkin piece into your Louis Vuitton, right next to that brand new Mary Kay compact.
No, you're right, no reason to feel guilty. After all, this isn't boot camp, Canyon Ranch or a promo for Jenny Craig.
But while we Old Pueblans stuff it on this chow-down holiday, take a minute to remember all those folks around the world who boast nary a bone to naw on.
That makes it a good day to take stock and give thanks.
Thanks that our town isn't ripped apart by civil war. Thanks that our kids' guts aren't crawling with parasites. Thanks that we can tool about in big ol' SUVs, that our homes keep the elements at bay, and that sustenance is always close as the nearest Luby's.
On the other hand, maybe we can take it a bit further by rising from our fat duffs and heading out to help folks right here at home who don't enjoy such largesse.
Volunteer at the nearest soup kitchen. Then you can truly give thanks--and mean it.
HEARTS AFLUTTER. Watch majestic stars of the aviary world with the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory.
Sandhill Cranes and raptors--particularly hawks--are the focus of these ongoing outings, led by the observatory's experts.
Half-day crane tours visit both feeding areas and a wetland roost site used by thousands of the elegant birds. By turn, day-long Hawk Stalk tours feature birds of prey, ranging from colorful American kestrels to majestic golden eagles, in addition to thousands of cranes and other desert, grassland and wetland birds.
There will be a special holiday crane tour at 9 a.m. today, with subsequent tours on most Saturdays. The cost is $30. Hawk tours are at 8 a.m. on most Sundays. Both tours begin in Bisbee, and continue through February 25. Call (520) 432-1388 for information.
TWO-WHEELED QUEST. Their goal is to prod local pols and the public into taking bikes seriously as a clean and safe form of transportation. But that involves more than just popping on a helmet and hitting the concrete. It means long-range planning toward increased bike use, and away from a hazy future clogged with belching automobiles.
If you feel the same, you can help give this big vision a higher profile with like-minded folks of the Community Bike Ride coalition. They gather on the last Friday of each month for free three-mile rides that are open to everyone, and are kid-friendly.
The ride begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Time Market parking lot, 444 E. University Blvd. For more information, call 322-9819.
FANCY FEET. Strap on your finest dancin' spats and glide down to the Arizona Ballroom for an evening of graceful high-stepping.
Whether your taste leans to Latin, ballroom or swing, there's a move here to fit your groove. And there will be folks on hand to show you the steps during the first half-hour.
Dancing runs from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday in The Arizona Ballroom, 5536 E. Grant Road. Admission is $6. Call 290-2990 for details.
BERLINER. A German legend reveals his time-honored skills in Carl Timner: Figurative Works by a Master Painter, now showing in the Arte Spazio Gallery.
Timner has displayed his distinctive paintings throughout Europe and Russia for the past 45 years. Widely considered a modern master, he studied under Italian artists Corrado Cagli and Renato Guttuso. His pieces are described as "extraordinary autonomous works unto themselves," stemming from techniques and concepts dating back to the Renaissance.
The exhibit continues through December 3 in the Arte Spazio Gallery, 5101 N. Oracle Road. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For details, call 888-8788.
MYSTERY MASH. Mystery writer Steven F. Havill will sign copies of his new book, Dead Weight, in the Clues Unlimited bookstore.
In addition to penning eight mysteries, Havill has also authored four Westerns. His first, The Killer, was a finalist for the Medicine Pipe Bearers Award from the Western Writers of America.
The signing begins at 3 p.m. in Clues Unlimited, 123 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Broadway Village. For information, call 326-8533.
MO HO-HO. Get ready for a rock-and-roll Christmas at a Holiday Concert featuring four powerhouse bands.
Along with exhibitions and vendors booths, the party, sponsored by KFMA, will feature Papa Roach, Rancid, Eve 6 and Wheatus--plus some other secret special guests!
Show time is 7 p.m. in the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. Advance tickets are $22, available at the TCC box office and Ticketmaster. Tickets are $30 at the door. Call 791-4266 for information.
JAZZMAN. Armen Donelian will perform solo piano pieces from his monumental recording Grand Ideas, in an appearance hosted by the Tucson Jazz Society.
Donelian is a pianist with extensive performing, publishing and educational credentials. After graduating from Columbia University in 1972, he apprenticed with famed New York pianist Richie Beirach. He later erupted onto the jazz scene during a stint with Mongo Santamaria's Afro-Cuban Jazz, culminating with a Best Latin Jazz Album Grammy for Sofrito, a 1976 release featuring three of Donelian's compositions. Since then, he's worked with jazz legends ranging from Sonny Rollins to Chet Baker.
Show time is 7 p.m. in the Trinity Presbyterian Church, 400 E. University Blvd. Tickets are $10, $5 for TJS members, and are available at the door. For details, call 903-1265.
DEEP THOUGHTS. Folks are invited to reflect on the subterranean world with Imagination Art Workshops, hosted by Colossal Cave Mountain Park.
Tikes and big people are invited to release their creativity through painting, drawing or writing stories about how the park affected their assorted noggins. During today's three-hour workshop, they'll be given a special art-oriented tour of the cave and park, be encouraged to do a little sketching and note taking, and then work on the project of their choice. The workshops are led by European-trained artists Emilia and Zbigniew Fitz.
The workshops are at 11 a.m. for kids and 3 p.m. for adults at Colossal Cave Mountain Park, 16711 E. Colossal Cave Road. The cost ranges from $35 to $45, and reservations are required. For reservations and other information, call 647-7275.
THESPIAN FIESTA. Invisible Theatre celebrates its 30th anniversary with ¡Curanderas! Serpents of the Clouds.
Written by Elaine Romero, the provocative play tells the story of a Chicana doctor who travels to Mexico, where she meets a curandera and encounters an ancient Aztec scroll. The play spans from the ancient past to the present, moving through the physical and spiritual world with dreams, visions and nightmares. Ultimately, through her journey, the young doctor discovers her own gifts of healing.
The preview performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday through December 17. There is no performance on December 2. Tickets range from $12 to $20, and are available at the Invisible Theatre box office, or by calling 882-9721.
EPIC ERA. A great American era is brought musically to life with Ragtime, showing in the UA Centennial Hall.
Adapted from E.L. Doctorow's timeless novel, the production has won four Tony awards, and USA Today called it the "best musical of the year."
The story paints a panoramic portrait of three remarkable families: one upper-middle class, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant; one socialist immigrant Jewish; and one Harlem black. As the drama unfolds, their lives become intertwined with real-life historical characters including Henry Ford, Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan and Booker T. Washington.
The setting is the infancy of the 20th century, an age of exciting transitions and great change. And the story is accented with pivotal events such as Admiral Peary's expedition to the North Pole, the sinking of the Lusitania, the birth of American labor unions, and the development of assembly-line technology--the dawn of motor cars and motion pictures.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall, inside the UA main gate east of Park Avenue. Performances continue through December 3. Tickets range from $30 to $52, and are available at the Centennial Hall box office, or by calling 621-3341. (See "Close To Home," page 28).
STITCHES IN TIME. The Arizona Historical Society sews a portrait of the past with Pieced Connections II.
The exhibit contains 12 historical quilts created from 1840 to 1940 in a variety of patterns and original designs. They include the Tombstone Quilt, reputed to have been made by a Tombstone Theater actress while she languished in a local jail. It consists of pink sateen and blue gingham ripped from her gown and petticoats.
Another comes from Cora Viola Slaughter, the wife of rancher and Cochise County Sheriff John Slaughter.
Pieced Connections II runs through February, 2001 in the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 628-5774.
CLASSIC CHRISTMAS. A brilliant holiday standard is revived with A Christmas Carol, presented by the Gaslight Theatre.
Join the magical ghosts as they open the eyes of crotchety old Ebeneezer Scrooge to the true meaning and joy of Christmas. Charles Dickens' classic is adapted by Peter Van Slyke, with Richard Hanson directing, and music by Lisa Otey. The cast includes Dave Orley and James Gooden.
Show times are 6 and 8:30 p.m. in The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Performances continue at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 3, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday through January 6. Tickets are $13.95, $11.95 for seniors, students and military, $6 for children ages 12 and under, and are available by calling 886-9428.