This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 8

The dictionary defines numinous as "filled with a sense of the presence of divinity" or "appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense." The paintings by Carol Dalton and Michael Shemchuk in their joint show, Numinous Surfaces, are certainly pretty to look at -- nonthreatening abstractions in pleasing colors. Whether they are truly touched by the divine, however, has to be judged in the eye of the beholder. Make up your own mind, now through November 16, at Cecile Moochnek Gallery in Berkeley (1809-D 4th St.), where Dalton and Shemchuk's paintings are part of an ongoing series of works by Bay Area and New Mexico artists. The gallery is open Wednesdays through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. 510-549-1018 or CecileMoochnek.com -- Kelly Vance

THU 9

It's one damn thing after another at the Parkway Theater. Tonight, with Halloween a full three weeks off, the irrepressible Will "The Thrill" Viharo is throwing what he calls Horror-Host-Palooza Part One. Two challengingly rotten Euro-shock flicks -- Lucio Fulci's 1979 jungle giallo number Zombie, highlighted by an underwater sharks-vs.-zombies battle royale; and Manuel Caño's mummy-dearest screameroo Voodoo Black Exorcist (1973) -- handle the "horror" part of the proposition. The "hosts" include cable TV horror emcees Doktor Goulfinger and Mr. Lobo, as well as monster creator Chuck Jarman. That leaves the "palooza" -- lovely and talented Monica the Tiki Goddess. $8, no advance tickets, and bring money for wine. Showtime 8 p.m. 1834 Park Blvd., Oakland, 510-814-2400 or PicturePubPizza.com -- Kelly Vance

FRI 10

The Cal men's water polo team, fresh off winning the NorCal Invitational tournament at Stanford last weekend, returns home tonight (6:30) to take on Princeton at Spieker Aquatic Complex on the UC campus. Coach Kirk Everist's Bear dunkers and plunkers are keyed by the play of senior All-American Attila Banhidy and goalies Nate Bennett and Derek Schauffler. Last year's 20-7 record and NCAA Final Four appearance helped Cal attain a preseason No. 3 ranking, and they're on the way up. For more info: CalBears.ocsn.com/sports/m-wpolo -- Kelly Vance

SAT 11

According to Native American custom, the pipe ceremony is a sacred ritual for connecting physical and spiritual worlds. Smoke blown from the mouth represents truth being spoken, and the smoke itself allows passage for prayers to reach the Great Spirit. This evening let your wishes go a-journeying when elder Fred Wahpepah, founder of the Seven Circles Foundation, leads a pipe ceremony at Deer Hill Ranch. This is an outdoor event, so bring a blanket to sit on and a jacket to keep your spirit animal warm. The ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m., with a potluck afterward. Bring food to share and your own utensils, plate, and cup. The cost is $8.75 per person, and space is limited, so early reservations are suggested. Deer Hill Ranch is located at 3232 Deer Hill Rd. in Lafayette. Call 925-283-1197 or visit DeerHillRanch.org for further details. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 12

Making art in a crappy economy is a mixed bag. For one thing, the sadness that recession creates is palpable, and palpable sadness can be quite inspiring. Inversely, art isn't very lucrative even in boom times. To shine a little light onto these dilemmas, we direct your attention to Selling Art Is Not Selling Out. During the workshop, you can make connections, discuss your challenges and successes, figure out the next step on your path, and get advice on small business. There will be artists, educators, and business advisers on hand, including speakers Kim Anno, a painter and assistant professor at CCA; and singer, songwriter, actor, and writer Deonne Kahler, founder of Right Brain Left (RightBrainLeft.com). Epic Arts, 1923 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, noon to 4 p.m., $15. E-mail Selling_art_2003@yahoo.com to register. 510-644-2204. -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 13

When the RV Heraclitus was built, the Vietnam war was ending, Jaws was the movie of the year, and the Eagles were all over the radio. Depending on whom you ask, things are either a whole lot better or a whole lot worse these days, but the Heraclitus is coming home, anyway, for the first time since its birth. When the research vessel arrives at Jack London Square today at 1 p.m., it will be greeted by a noble gathering of boats, schoolchildren, community leaders, and government officials, for a welcome ceremony, coral reef educational activities, and more. The ship will be docked until Oct. 21, with educational events going on throughout the Bay Area during its Oakland stay. Its latest mission has been a nine-year expedition to map and monitor the world's coral reefs for the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation (PCRF.org). -- Stefanie Kalem

TUE 14

Susan Tom of Fairfield has adopted eleven kids, each one with a disability that would make most other families think twice before opening their homes and hearts. There are two legless daughters, a son born with a genetic disease that causes his skin to blister at the slightest touch, and another suffering from bipolar disorder and cystic fibrosis and rampaging through a confused adolescence. Jonathan Karsh, a TV journalist and three-time Emmy-nominee, and his crew spent more than a year with the family. Karsh's resulting feature debut, My Flesh and Blood, won both the Audience Award for Best Documentary and the Jury Prize of Direction at this year's Sundance Film Festival. It'll be released theatrically later this fall, but you can attend a special screening with Karsh, Tom, and producer Jennifer Chaiken tonight at Auctions By the Bay Theater (2700 Saratoga St., Alameda, AuctionsbytheBay.com). 7 p.m., reception at 6. Tickets are $100, benefiting Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. 510-428- 3814 or CHOFoundation.org -- Stefanie Kalem

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