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HOT TICKET

If part of your seasonal ritual includes driving around looking at Christmas lights, why not try it by air this year? Zebra Air, a local helicopter charter service, will take you and your friends skyward for $65 per person. Departing from Love Field, you’ll be whisked over Highland Park, University Park and downtown for a bird’s eye view of Dallas all dressed up for the holidays. Call 358-7200 for information.

PINATA PANACHE

TRADITIONS Colorful imported Mexican pinatas dangle tantalizingly above shoppers’ heads in most Hispanic grocery stores, but the city’s most prized pinatas are made locally by Maria Banda and family. Although traditionally reserved to cap off posadas, the processions that mark the 13 days before Christmas, pinatas add panache to any bash. Their folk-art beauty is ephemeral, but their fun is timeless. Maria Banda learned the ancient art of pinata- making several years ago during regular visits to Mexico. As word spread of the playful papier-mache shapes she crafted for friends and family, demand for her high-quality creations grew, Banda soon recruited her son Tony Esquivel and his wife Jennifer to assist in the enter prise. You can find their pinatas at Super Mercado Numero Uno, 501 S. Rosemont in Oak Cliff. –Phyllis Williams

The Kssential Egg

OBJECTS

A rare few people have the gift of making their imaginings into reality, but Martine Frezard has done just that.

Hundreds of people have taken home a piece of her fantasy, captivated by its opulence, its whimsy or the unusual feat of taking something commonly turned into scrambled eggs and instead cutting, carving, painting, and bejeweling it into a durable, magical object fit for a tiny gold throne.

The French-born artist began her egg artistry several Easters ago by painting an egg for some friends. Frezard didn’t think twice about it until she saw how their eyes lit up. That same year she went to the Tyler Rose Festival and found herself in the midst of the “Imperial Nights of Fab-erge.” The festival’s theme inspired her.

Martine’s Eggshells are cholesterol-free and non-fat, but of no practical use-other than transporting the mundane imagination into a realm that mingles the surprise of Easter, the tingle of Christmas, the wit of op art and the mystery of ancient icons. Martine’s Eggshells are available at The Ole Moon, 3016 Greenville Ave., or by calling 321-6924. -Julie Ryan

A Jazz Lover’s Guide to Christmas



PASSIONS If your shopping list has a jazzophile on it, not just any gift will do. Here are a few recommendations that are sure to impress:

For the 1960s jazzer, impulse! jazz: A 30 Year Celebration (GRP/Impulse Records, $31.95) includes a history of the label and two CDs of immortal performances by Gato Barbieri, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Johnny Hartman, Keith Jarrett, Sonny Rollins and many others.

For the LP lover who hates miniatur-izations, Blue Note: The Album Cover Art (Chronicle Books, $24.95) features the distinctive art of Reid Miles, who designed almost 500 record sleeves for Blue Note over a 15-year period.

For anyone still mourning the death of a legend, The Art of Miles Davis (Prentice Hall Editions, $24.95) reproduces his paintings in full color. Like his music, Davis’ art is indulgent, aggressive and erotic.

For readers only: A Call to Assembly by Willie Ruff (Viking, $24.95). Subtitled The Autobiography of a Musical Storyteller, this is a true labor of love by an unusual artistic personality. Other good choices are Traps: The Drum Wonder (Oxford Universi-ty Press, $21.95), the richly detailed life story of Buddy Rich by his friend Mel Tonne, and, new in paperback, one of prolific former Dallasite David Ritz’s best books: Divided Soul: The Lite of Marvin Gaye (Da Capo Press, $13.95).

For lovers of piano jazz: a new cassette release by the John Case Trio, Just a Case of Love (Priority Records, $10), a loving selection of standards celebrating Case’s eight-year tenure at Sardine’s Ristorante Italian,,. Available there (3410 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth) or at Record Town (3025 S. University, Fort Worth).

-Michael Pellecchia

If It’s Sunday It Must Be S & M



URBAN FUN

Sunday on Elm Street. Hey kids, it’s time for the pain to begin.

Left your own riding crop or handcuffs at home? Relax, you won’t need them. You’re at Deep Ellum’s Video Bar where one night every week you can get flogged by your choice of leatherette queens or whipping maestros.

It’s called “Sadistic Sundays”-a blend ofS&M theater and audience participation. Since it began last January, the fad has spread from hard-core Ellumites and college kids to curious yupsters and, the club’s floor manager claims, even some off-duty Dallas cops.

The rules of Sadistic Sundays are simple.

The $5 cover charge entitles you to get whipped on stage to the strains of deafening industrial music while everyone else watches. It’s a bizarre new twist to performance art. You’re part of the show-and you can get hit a little. Or a lot.

“There’s a lot of people who like pain,” explains Rebecca Marabito, 26, the lithe, green-eyed “choreographer” and former Richardson High School grab* who helped conceive the Sunday ritual. “To them, pain is beautiful.”

SS has caught on so much, it’s turned Sunday into the busiest night of the week at the post-punk Video Bar.

Marabito, who wears a skimpy leather teddy and knee-high boots, says Sadistic Sundays is supposed to be about “eroticism,” not brutality. But the dozen members of her cast-most of whom have at least their nipples and one other body part pierced-can get a little rough with their leather implements. Only a couple of times, she says, have they drawn blood.

“Some people beg to get beaten harder and harder,” Marabito allows. “I’ll beat the shit out of you if you ask me to.”

University of Texas student Heather Grant keeps coming back for more. Grant, with her girl-next-door freckles and crapped red hair, barely looks her age- She is 20-not old enough to drink, but apparently old enough to be spanked in public.

After being whipped and fondled by a pair of Sid Vicious-style SS staffers, her shoulders are reddened and welted.

“It hurt but in a good way,” says Grant who then ponders the biochemistry of it all. “It releases endorphines and that creates a high”

Sadistic Sundays at The Video Bar, 2610 Elm St., 939-9113. -Robert V. Camuto

The Cold Standard

We’ve put the Midas touch on holiday gift-giving ideas. And here’s the great news: You don’t have to be rich to buy gold anymore. Our big-city roundup shows same affordably witty ways to give gold,

Beginning below left: frame with mirror and gold leaf mosaic, $250, Foreign Accents; candlestick, $45, NUVO; velour lounging robe stamped with metallic, $195, Saks Fifth Avenue; in runk: brass candlestick, $18.95. tapers, $2l.95/set of six, Crate & Barrel; gold-leaved goblet, $95, and flute, $85, Neiman Marcus; Correia Art Glass ;tar dessert dish, $160, Saks Fifth Avenue; white napkin with gold border, $30, Stanley korshak; gold lassie napkin tie, $10, Neiman Marcus; large round charger plate, $21.95, Crate & Barrel; arge gold star plate with white center, $100, and small star plate, $80, Stanley Korshak; large star charger plate, $56, Saks Fifth Avenue; small gold-framed mirror, $225, Main Frame; brass candel-ibra, circa 1860, $2,200, Camden Passage Antiques; Burmese tapestry throw, $90, and pillow, $200, Foreign Accents; on small trunk: glass bowl with gold border, $30, Stanley Korshak; in bowl: Robert Lee Morris world peace charm bracelet, $350, The Gazebo; gold buttons, $10-$20 each, Nina Carron; Lisa Jenks small picture frame, $155, and salt and pepper shakers. $150, Stanley Korshak; Format tie, $65, Saks Fifth Avenue; Oliver Peoples eye-glass frames, $200, Peepers; Sun of Knowledge cuff\ inks, $26, The Museum Company; Sun of Knowledge nedallion, $29, Ken Knight at the Quadrangle; swirling star frame, $52, NUVO.

-by Layne Morgan

A Long Night’s Journey Into Day



CELEBRATIONS Something happens to the human psyche when the days shrink and the dark-ness closes in. We draw close to socialize, or apart for solitude-or hie to bed to hibernate.

In past times, peo-pie responded to season in ways we now find mysterious. Other traditions, such as bringing conifers indoors. we preserve to this day. The human desire Tor light and life connects observ-ances as primal as making bonfires and as sublime as Hanukkah (the “Festival of Lights”) or the Christian Christmas Eve midnight Mass.

In parts of Europe and the British Isles, customs for the dark season dotted the calendar from September through early January. Their culmination began around the Winter Solstice, which occurs December 21 when the Northern Hemisphere reaches its greatest angle from the sun. It is the longest night of the year. The next day, Earth begins (for Northerners) its tilt toward the light and eventual spring. Folk customs symbolically battled the dark-or entertained in spite of it. The Druids, pre-Chris-tian Celtic priests, carried an effigy of “Old Man Winter” around their villages, then paraded again with the figure altered into “Young Woman Spring.” Scandinavians celebrated the Winter solstice, or yule, with a massive log, lit from the previous year’s remnant. On the Yorkshire-Lancashire border, late on Old Year’s Night, residents might find at their doors an eerie troop of Sweepers, neighbors in black-face and cross-dress disguise come to “sweep out the old year and sweep in the new.”

So if you feel the urge to fill the living room with ferns or pursue spiritual purification-whether in the confessional or a Native American sweat lodge-you’re only living out your heritage. It’s the human thing to do, on the longest night of the year. -Julie Ryan

A Newsletter for the Common Oenophile

WINE “The Wine Letter is for the average, everyday wine drinker that just wants a wine to drink this weekend-not to make a religious experience out of it.”

The Wine Letter is published monthly by Dallasite Dick Avery, at right, whose only experience with wine was Riunite on ice until a friend introduced him to German riesling. “I’ll never forget my first sip of Zeltinger Himmelreich,” he says. From then on, Avery was a dedicated oenophile whose passion ultimately led to collecting wine newsletters.

Most, he concluded, are written for the connoisseur-which is why he started his own. Written in a light, chatty style, The Wine Letter searches the marketplace for wines that sell for under $10 a bottle and arc ready to drink when you buy them. “I want to informalize wine-there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy a glass of wine with a sandwich. I only write about the real deals I find at local retailers, and I tell you which store to go to to find them.” And, Avery predicts, “1 will save you the price of the subscription ($15 a year) in a month or two.” Start with a free copy by calling 941-8040. -Mary Brown Malouf

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