Foods Rush In 

A market grows in West O

Sat 9/18

West Oakland is a community notorious for its lack of fresh food stores, but help is on the way. The Mandela Farmers' Market, an offshoot of Berkeley's successful string of independent produce sellers, is now offering its wares every Saturday (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) at the corner of 7th Street and Mandela Parkway near the West Oakland BART station. Besides the foodstuffs -- which emphasize the achievements of California's black farmers, according to the organizers -- and natural cosmetics products plus the usual arts and crafts, there are plenty of diversions: DJ Roachski and his oldies turntable show, a chess tournament, massage from Samaj, Suashia the Reiki Master, and food booths. As pointed out in recent Express front-of-the-book stories ("Good Kids, Bad Blood" and "Nutritional Dystopia," August 11), healthy eating in poor neighborhoods is still largely a dream waiting to come true, but it's got to start somewhere. As the market's motto proclaims: "Pick a Fruit, Feed a Child, Plant a Seed, Feed a Nation." To learn more, visit MoBetterFood.com or call 510-776-4178 or 510-645-5818 -- Kelly Vance

9/15 - 9/21

Lit Happens

When Colette's angst-at-the-edge-of-adulthood novella Green Wheat was first serialized in a French newspaper in 1923, readers protested its frank sexuality. Lunch Poems Series coordinator Zack Rogow reads from his lucid new translation in UC Berkeley's 2515 Tolman Hall (Wed., 12:10 p.m. ). ... War is hell, but it spawns heroes, as Betty Iverson reveals in A Time to Flee: Unseen Women of Courage, about brave women coping with WWII. She's at Orinda Books (Thu., 4 p.m.). ... Red Riding Hood, Bo Peep, the Three Bears, and other key figures from fantasyland mix it up in Erin Dealey's illustrated adventure, Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox. Get happily ever after with it at Altamont/Goodenough Books (Thu., 7 p.m.). ... In sign language, alliteration takes on a whole new meaning. Hearing-impaired poets present "Deaf with a Capital "D,'" curated by ASL instructor and A Man Without Words author Susan Schaller, at Oakland's Pro Arts Gallery, 550 2nd St. (Fri., 7:30 p.m.). ... Colonialism and neocolonialism rear their ugly heads in the evocative and highly personal works of Filipino-American activist and poet Oscar Penaranda, who reads from Seasons by the Bay and Full Deck (Jokers Playing) at Berkeley's Eastwind Books (Sat., 5 p.m.). ... Find your inner scratching post with Dana Kramer-Rolls, who reads from The Way of the Cat: Nap, Do Nothing, and Stretch Your Way to a Blissful Life at Borders San Ramon (Sun., 1 p.m.). ... When Daddy's a G-man, every closet has skeletons. Maura Conlon-McIvor reads from her memoir FBI Girl: How I Learned to Crack My Father's Code at Diesel (Mon., 7:30 p.m.). ... The Army of Night menaces Candy Quackenbush in Clive Barker's latest, Abarat II: Days of Magic, Nights of War. At Cody's Telegraph, he shows slides and conjures worlds real and imagined (Tue., 7:30 p.m.). -- Anneli Rufus

Sun 9/19

Lunar Tunes

In Vietnam the mid-autumn festival, Tet Trung Thu, is the year's most joyous event for children, a time when the Moon Genie is visible in the night sky (the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month) and families gather for feasting and honoring ancestors. Kids are treated to a variety of cakes and goodies, games, animal dances, and lantern processions. This Sunday (3-6 p.m.), the Oakland Asian Cultural Center holds its own version, with Asian hors d'oeuvres and lantern-making classes for children among other activities. Admission is $25, kids under twelve free. 388 9th St., Oakland. OACC.cc -- Kelly Vance

9/16 - 9/17

Bar None

To hear singer-songwriter Marci Geller tell it, she got tired of playing in bars and decided to take her act to cozier, more sensitive venues -- including Epic Arts in Berkeley and Oakland's Cafe Van Kleef -- in an effort to "reveal her truth through music." The Stony Brook, New York-based Geller hits the stage Thursday at Epic Arts (8:30 p.m.) and Friday (9 p.m.) at Van Kleef. MarciGeller.com -- Kelly Vance

Mon 9/20

Head of State

Just how curious is George?

Trying to explore the wide-open spaces of George W. Bush's mind seems a daunting task, like spelunking without a flashlight. But bravely, one man chose to do just that. Psychoanalyst Justin Frank needed a challenge after twenty years' experience diagnosing and treating mental illness, so he shrunk the most conspicuous head in the country, our own SOB of the GOP. A person who famously doesn't cotton to self-awareness, President Bush has been caught on tape saying: "I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure me out. I'm just not into psychobabble." In common with many others, Bush may find Freud's theories difficult to digest. But Frank, a clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center, is well equipped for the job. His new book, Bush on the Couch, is a comprehensive and deeply disturbing look at our country's leader, uncovering such topics as the president's love/hate relationship with his father, his false sense of omnipotence emboldened by a belief in fundamental religion, and a deep-seated paranoia that turns everything into black and white, good and evil, ally and enemy. Frank makes his points with unmitigated authority. He seems to be asking the question: Should this guy really be in charge? Pick up this best-seller and decide for yourself. Or better yet, hear the author speak Monday at 7 p.m., at the Lafayette Book Store, 3579 Mt. Diablo Blvd in Lafayette. They say it's a good idea to phone ahead to let them know you're coming: 925-284-1233. -- Justine Nicole

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