Itching to perform that powerful scene from your nascent screenplay? Need an audience to vet the intro to your great American novel? Want to summon the spirit behind Shakespeare's sonnets? Then head to Literary Night at Julie's Coffee and Tea Garden (1223 Park St., Alameda), which happens every third Thursday. Pieces can be original or not, and all genres are welcome. Free; sign-ups start at 7 p.m., readings at 7:30 p.m. 510-865-2385 or JuliesTea.comfree
Every Friday, the Launching Pad (2649 Russell St., Berkeley) hosts the Friday Night Launch, featuring spiritually focused spoken word, discussions, and music for young adults. The events start at 7 p.m. and are free, although donations are accepted; there's a group vegetarian dinner available at 6 p.m., too. 510-859-3150 or LaunchingPadBerkeley.comfree/donation
Some grocery stores throw away tons of edible food, while others do a great job donating it or selling food that's past its sell-by date at a discount. See our scorecard.