This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 20

Oakland City Center wants you to loiter there on your lunch hour; the Sophia Project wants to improve the lives of West Oakland's children and families. How can you help them both out? Drop by the center's noontime music series, which this week boasts a set by the East Bay's own opera luminary, Frederica von Stade, and, along with your brown bag, bring books and nonperishable food to donate to the Sophia Project. The residential center provides early childhood education, childcare, arts programs, child development classes, family support, and more. Next week's installment (Oct. 27) will feature the Oakland Jazz Choir. Visit OaklandCityCenter.com for more info. -- Stefanie Kalem

THU 21

Most readers of Greek mythology know what became of Orpheus in the end: He was torn to itsy-bloody pieces by those wild Maenads (either because his music had stolen their husbands, because he hadn't honored Dionysus, or because they hated his music, depending on which account you prefer). But what of Eurydice? Snakebit on her wedding day, rescued from the underworld only to be sucked back in because of her husband's compulsive looking-back problem -- surely the girl had feelings. Explore them tonight at the latest Berkeley Rep production, the West Coast premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, directed by Les Waters. Ruhl incorporates new twists and characters -- some contemporary, some not so much, like Eurydice's father -- into Ovid's classic tale. Tonight's show on the Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., begins at 8 p.m. and is followed by a discussion. Tickets from BerkeleyRep.org -- Stefanie Kalem

FRI 22

James Forsher is a documentary filmmaker and film prof at Cal State Hayward's Contra Costa campus in Concord, and he has a project. In addition to screening his collection of historical film clips accompanied by his live commentary, he has been assembling other parts of his far-flung film library into such docs as Lost Moments from TV and his new one, The Year I Hated Elvis. The latest autobiographical peek into America's pop-cultural past revolves around Forsher's mother, who was Elvis Presley's personal secretary in the late '50s, but it opens out into a portrait of the era, as well. In addition, some of Forsher's Elvis memorabilia is on display at the Oakland Museum of California. The Year I Hated Elvis plays this evening (7 p.m.) in the Oak Room of the CSUH-CCC library, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Concord. Admission is free. Info: 925-602-6772 or www.ccc.csuhayward.edu /events.htm -- Kelly Vance

SAT 23

Ever wonder what East Bay Habitat for Humanity does when it isn't building homes for limited-income families? It's making it easy for anyone on a budget to build a house or improve the one they've got at its newly relocated store at 9235 San Leandro St., near Network Associates Coliseum in East Oakland. At this weekend's reStore Grand Opening Sale, the public can check out the inventory -- donated by individuals, corporations, contractors, and retailers -- which typically will include windows, light fixtures, plumbing supplies, hardware, and more. Modeling itself loosely on the venerable Urban Ore, reStore saves building supplies from the landfill and passes on the good karma to you, since proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity's building projects. Visit the reStore Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more info: 510-777-1447 or reStoreCommunity.com -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 24

If cooperation and relief from constant bloodshed ever come to Israel/Palestine, it will probably have originated in projects like the documentary film Route 181: A Journey through Palestine and Israel. The Israeli-Palestinian coprod, directed jointly by Michel Khelifi and Eyal Sivan, takes a cinema-verité trip along the partition line established in 1947 by UN Resolution 181, interviewing the random individuals they meet to form a mosaic portrait of the residents who have lived tense lives ever since. The film, presented by Cinemayaat, the Arab Film Festival at UC Berkeley's Wheeler Auditorium, begins at 1 p.m. and is broken up into two parts, with a group discussion during the intermission as well as after the screening. $12 general, $10 students and seniors. To learn more: AFF.org -- Kelly Vance

MON 25

Tonight is the opening of Philip Ringler's senior photo show, The Shadow Side of New Orleans, at Cal State Hayward's Student Gallery. It's a series of 16"x20" black-and-white images -- photographed in various styles, such as that of Romantic painting, etc. -- dealing with the ambiguous, slightly sinister side of that city which so many artists find hard to resist. To celebrate, there will be a spread of desitively posilicious Crescent City goodies, à la red beans and rice, chicory coffee, beignets, etc. (what, no grits and fish drippins?), plus live music. The bon temps begins at 5:30 p.m. at the gallery, on the second floor of the Fine Arts building on the CSUH campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward. For info, e-mail the artist: omkali23 @hotmail.com -- Kelly Vance

TUE 26

Halloween is coming so close, you can almost carve it up from here. Well, you can if your knives are nice and sharp. If they're not, how are you going to make that Paris Hilton-o-lantern you've been fantasizing about all year? And what about the kids? How will you burrow into their apples looking for razors if your cleaver's duller than Beaver? Sounds like it might be time for you to pay a visit to Sonoma Cutlery of Walnut Creek (1611 N. Broadway). During the store's October-long No Trick, All Treat fund-raiser, it's donating 25 percent of all its sharpening service revenues to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. And that includes kitchen and carving cutlery, sport knives, and scissors. So if you hear strange noises at 11 p.m. on Oct. 30, you'll feel much safer grabbing your shears and hiding in the bathroom. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 925-457-4330. -- Stefanie Kalem

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