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It's All Fun and Games ... Unless It's Not

Blue Christmas Service
6 to 7:15 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19
Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church
2331 E. Adams St.
327-6857

If all is right with the world--if you can afford to give each person in your life the perfect gift; if you have a live-in personal assistant who cooks, cleans and does your shopping for you; if the friends and family you cherish most are all within arm's reach--then you're currently enjoying a festive and stress-free holiday season, and are very different from the rest of us.

That's not to say that we, the huddled masses, can't snatch small pieces of joy throughout December (since we aren't really the huddled masses, who--by the way--are hungry right now, in case you haven't yet made a donation to a local food bank), but there are worries about money, and people who are too far away to hold, and a dwindling amount of time to get done an increasing number of tasks; and there's sadness, too, as the conclusion that all is not right with the world is a difficult one to avoid.

Grace St. Paul's Episcopal church--which bills itself as "a progressive Christian church" at which all are welcome--has scheduled a Sunday "Blue Christmas" service.

"For those who miss friends and family," the press release reads, "for those who sense the plight of mankind; for those who cannot muster the joy of the season but know the sacred, a prayer in the style of the Mass for the Third Millennium with music, movement and meditation."

Will this work for you? Maybe it sounds perfect; maybe it sounds useless; but whatever your approach, it's a fact that holiday blues are recognized by the National Mental Health Association, which recommends ways to combat the condition at www.nmha.org


I Just Swallowed a Paper Clip

Ways To Keep Adults Busy
Various Dates
Various Locations

Schizophrenic variety isn't just for kids anymore--with all that's going on in Tucson, adults deserve their own multiple-choice column this week. So put down that mop and pail and head outside; after all, this is the time of year for Tucsonans to feel particularly smug about our weather, and is a tidy house really that important? If you serve enough eggnog, nobody will notice the dust.

The Poets Square Neighborhood--a one-block-long street whose address, for official purposes, is 4352 E. Bryn Mawr St. --will host its third annual rooftop pageant at 6:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23. Live music will be provided by "the soulful sounds" of the First Brethren Church, and Santa will be cheerfully posing for photos (bring your own camera). Admission is free, though attendees are requested to bring cans of food to donate to the Community Food Bank. For more information (and to hear a cute kid laboriously record an answering machine message at Dad's prompting), call 327-8966.

Students in PCC's Digital and Film Arts programs will screen their animation, digital video and film productions from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at the PCC Center for the Arts (2202 W. Anklam Road; 206-4528); stop in at the Socrates Saturday Morning Forum for an informal "philosophical discussion for everyone" at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, to hunt down a little perspective on what it all means (Bruegger's Bagel Bakery, 1064 N. Campbell Ave.; 790-4443).

And it's an excellent week for music in Tucson--from a joint holiday concert by the Foothills Women's Chorus and the Sons of Orpheus to Tucson Symphony Orchestra Pops! concerts to a performance from the Cantors' Conservatory. Information about these performances and others can be found in the music section of this week's listings.


Always at Home

James G. Davis Exhibit
Through Jan. 30, 2005
University of Arizona Museum of Art
Speedway Boulevard and Olive Avenue
621-7567

James G. Davis taught painting at the UA from 1970 to 1991; described in UA's press release as a "fixed and favorite faculty feature" during that time, his work has been pulled into a "15-year survey of Davis' diaristic paintings, including monumental diptychs and triptychs, chronicles (of) his travels in America, Spain and Germany."

The exhibition--James G. Davis: Paints and Works on Paper, 1998-2004--was curated by Dr. Peter Briggs and is comprised of 30 paintings by Davis, as well as numerous works on paper plus monotypes and prints. In addition to the exhibit, UAMA is publishing a 200-page color catalog for the exhibition--entitled Reasonable Probabilities: Collected Notes on Some Painting by James G. Davis--which includes essays by Briggs as well as art critic Jurgen Schilling, poet William Pitt Root and others.

Though he calls Rancho Linda Vista in Oracle his home, Davis is labeled a "peripatetic traveler." "Peripatetic" means, basically, "going, and then going some more" (wandering around from place to place), but it carries an interesting connotation of communicating and thinking while traveling, as the word comes from the Greek peripatein, which involves discourse while pacing (as Aristotle did).

Davis is comfortable calling four or five different places "home," but he returns to the same finite places at each location--same hotel, same house, or same studio--and paintings not about travel itself; rather, "they are about a conflation of experience, real and imagined."

See for yourself at UAMA, though Jan. 30. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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