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Text and Tunes

Bookmans Summer Concert Series
6 to 8 p.m., Fridays, through Aug. 22
All Bookmans locations
bookmans.com

Avid readers can give their eyes a rest and take in an earful of music at Bookmans: The used bookstore chain is hosting concerts in its Tucson locations Fridays throughout the summer.

The Bookmans Summer Concert Series, which began on June 13, features local artists with a variety of musical styles, including bluegrass, country/Western, jazz, folk and blues. Each Friday, musicians will deliver two 45-minute sets between 6 and 8 p.m. The series runs through Aug. 22.

This Friday, singer-songwriter Michael John Serpe will deliver working-man's folk music to customers at the Bookmans Ina Road location.

The concert series caters to adults' tastes, unlike the usual load of children's activities that dominate the Bookmans summer calendar. Also, musicians will strum, sing and beat out their tunes in the middle of each store, instead of tucked away behind the doors of the community-education rooms.

Anyone who's been to Bookmans knows that the atmosphere of the trade-in bookstores is nothing like a hushed library, so it's not surprising that they include musical performances in their repertoire. Sheila Kressler-Crowley, the Bookmans marketing director, hopes this concert series will lend to the "mi casa es su casa" feel.

She added that the chain isn't a typical bookstore: "We're kind of that anti, 'Leave your drinks, food, fun at the door and don't touch anything' store. We're more of a hangout."

The Bookmans Summer Concert Series is hosted by a different location each week. Performances will be held at all three Tucson Bookmans locations: Speedway Boulevard at Wilmot Road, Ina Road at Thornydale Road, and Grant Road at Campbell Avenue.

Admission is free. --K.S.


Overcoming Inhumanity

"Hope and Healing" to Recognize Torture Victims
7 p.m., Wednesday, July 2
Southside Presbyterian Church
317 W. 23rd St.
881-7060; untucson.org

On Wednesday, July 2, the United Nations Association of Southern Arizona will join other organizing groups to host an event recognizing the plight of torture victims.

"Hope and Healing: UN Day in Observance of Torture Victims" will begin at the Southside Presbyterian Church, and move with a candlelight procession to the El Tiradito public shrine. The event comes just days after the official United Nations' International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, on June 26.

"There will be a candle for every country that practices torture, countries we hope will be enlightened," said Marge Pellegrino, the coordinator of the Center for Prevention and Resolution of Violence, one of the event organizers.

Pellegrino said that the effect of the event on participants will depend on each person's previous encounters with torture.

"It's an opportunity for our survivors of torture to be able to observe this day that happens all over the world, and it's kind of a coming together," said Pellegrino. "It's a healing opportunity for the survivors, and hopefully, it's an educational process for the community that we'll be able to educate people about torture."

Blake Gentry, the education coordinator of the United Nations Association of Southern Arizona, said that the aftereffects of torture are a large focus of the event.

"One of the central themes of the event is to bring out the experiences of people who have gone through the aftermath of torture ... and how survivors are able to survive, what legal and health questions may arise," Gentry said.

Participants who have experienced torture will speak. There will also be events that children can take part in while the more weighty subjects are discussed. The event is free. --J.G.


Kill Your Computer!

Nancy Whitney-Reiter talks about her book "Unplugged"
7 p.m., Friday, June 27
Antigone Books
411 N. Fourth Ave.
792-3715; antigonebooks.com

Does making your way in the technological world of today take everything you've got? Nancy Whitney-Reiter may have a solution that doesn't involve a slow descent into alcoholism: Disconnect from technology--at least occasionally.

She'll be at Antigone Books this Friday to discuss her book Unplugged: How to Disconnect From the Rat Race, Have an Existential Crisis, and Find Meaning and Fulfillment.

"I think everyone could benefit to some degree and to some purpose by unplugging, and the reason is that we go 24/7," Whitney-Reiter said. "We're kind of imprisoned by technology. It's not just people who have technology jobs who need to get away, but people who let it take over their lives."

Whitney-Reiter was a manager at an information center based in Washington, D.C. She said she had a growing feeling of dissatisfaction regarding the direction her life was taking--and being inside the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 exacerbated those feelings.

"Being in the building definitely gave me a moment (of realization) that I was not on the road that I wanted to be on, even though I had attained what a lot of people would call a reasonable amount of success for someone who was 30 years old," said Whitney-Reiter.

She first tried changing jobs, but that didn't help. She eventually decided to travel--for what became a year--as she reassessed her life.

"I put myself really out of my element," she explained. "I did all kinds of things that I'd never done before. I really tested my limits, as well as shielded myself from my old life as much as possible."

Whitney Reiter said she isn't against technology--just the control it can exert over people. The discussion is free. --J.G.


Brunch for Man's Best Bud

Mutts, Music and Mimosas
9 a.m., Saturday, June 28
Muttropolis
La Encantada, 2905 E. Skyline Drive
299-6888; muttropolis.com

Pooches and doggie-parents in need of pampering can wag their way to pet-specialty store Muttropolis this Saturday for Music, Mutts and Mimosas.

People and their pups can grab a bite at the Bow Wow Brunch, which will offer canine-edible croissants with yogurt-based frosting, along with pastries and mimosas for humans. The free brunch will be served inside the store starting at 9 a.m.

Animal Fair, a mobile low-cost vaccination clinic, will provide discounted shots from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The rabies and kennel-cough vaccines cost $10 each, and the "5-in-1" mix, which prevents five of the most common canine diseases, is $20. Animal Fair owner Susan Sweeney said the 5-in-1 vaccine protects against parvovirus, a highly contagious disease. "I probably get calls like five or six times per week about people whose dogs probably have parvo. It's a really serious disease," said Sweeney.

A bit of therapeutic massage may be in order before or after Fido's shots. Pet masseuse Kim Frost will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to give dogs a rub for $1 per minute. Elderly dogs and those with joint pain benefit from doggie massages, said Stacy Lybeck, co-manager of Muttropolis.

No appointments are needed for the vaccination clinic or the massages, said Lybeck, but owners are encouraged to bring their dog's medical records if they plan to get either treatment.

From 10 a.m. to noon, attendees can enjoy music by Ms. Stevie Wood and watch a cooking demonstration by the Armitage Wine Lounge and Café as they stroll through the dog-friendly mall.

"I would say 90 percent of the stores do not mind if you bring your dog in on a leash," said Lybeck. There are cleanup stations throughout the shopping center, she added. --K.S.

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