This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 5 If this is the year you said you'd finally learn why, exactly, something called "corpse pose" is supposed to be a good thing, then Downtown Yoga (220B Division St., Pleasanton) is ready to get you started. Kate Coughlin, who developed the yoga program at Stanford University (where she taught for eleven years), will kick off two Introduction to Yoga workshop series this week -- one four-class series, on Wednesday nights through January 26 (7:15-8:45 p.m.), and a two-class series on Saturdays (the 8th and the 15th) from 2 to 5 p.m. Both workshops cost $52 and explore the fundamentals of safe yoga practice, including standing poses, inversions, and breath work. To register, or for more info, contact Coughlin at 925-819-9983 or, or visit -- Stefanie Kalem


Well, everybody here has got a tale, Utah Phillips sings, Of how we put our bodies up for sale/But when the work gets slow/We got nothin' left to show/'Cept this stew we built around a rusty nail. Well, folks, the work's been slow, and some Phillips fans can't get to the man's Freight & Salvage show tonight because the tickets cost $22.50 in advance, $23.50 at the door. So local outfit Bye and Bye will be busking up a storm on the sidewalk outside the Freight (1111 Addison St., Berkeley) starting at 7:30 p.m., right around the time the doors open. Whether Bye and Bye's old-time and folk music will be perceived as the protest it's intended to be, or as an opening act (Phillips goes on at 8), remains to be seen. -- Stefanie Kalem

FRI 7 2004 was a great year for documentaries, especially political exposés. In the spirit of Control Room, WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception, and Checkpoint, codirectors Sut Jhally and Bathsheba Ratzkoff crank up the indignation-o-meter to "high" in their ironically titled doc, Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land. The 2004 US production maintains that American public perception and media coverage of Israeli-Palestinian strife are influenced, nay, orchestrated, by what they call "the Israeli PR Machine." Which is in turn led by US foreign policy thinking. Atrocities are swept under the rug, etc. On hand to spill the beans is a parade of talking heads, including rabbis, military men, Palestinian intellectuals, and that old standby, Noam Chomsky. The provocative movie is shown tonight (7:30 p.m.) at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St., Berkeley. Admission is free. 510-482-1062. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 8 The regulations for adult AAA minor league tackle football are a hodgepodge of various rulebooks: They follow the NCAA playing rules, but with modifications. The high-school blocking rule, for instance -- below the waist or cut block allowed at the line of scrimmage only and on the man directly in front or one man over -- is in effect. If you were a star player on your high school or college team, and think you can handle it, then come on down to the Oakland Vipers 2005 team tryouts today. The team is a member of the Golden State Amateur Football League, and they were the 2003 GSFL NFC West champs. For further details (such as location and time) visit, write thejetski, or call 510-706-9810. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 9 Halloween has been done and gone for months now, but you and your significantly furry other can still indulge in some Tricks for Fun. That's the name of a new class series starting up today at the Oakland and Tri-Valley SPCA offices. The six-week series will focus on a set of tricks that the SPCA claims every dog can handle: sitting up, shaking hands, "commando crawling," and more. Both classes take place Sundays through February 13; the Oakland class is 9 to 10 a.m. at 8323 Baldwin St., and the Tri-Valley version happens from 10 to 11 a.m. at 4651 Gleason Dr., Dublin. Participating canines must have completed basic obedience or equivalent, be current on vaccinations, and be six months or older. Fees: $125, unless you adopted from a shelter or rescue in Alameda or Contra Costa county -- then it's $100. Register online at -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 10 James Stanley Daugherty's photograph Line Art shows two naked women having a laugh in the woods, their bodies painted with tribal-type designs. Satin Blues, a painting by Pleasant Hill artist Lynden Aulani Tripp, is a still life of a flower in a vase with glass beads. One watercolor by Charles Reilly looks like an outtake from Fritz Lang's Metropolis: a dark, monolithic building façade with only a window casing alleviating the gloom. Oakland's Elisabeth Montana uses watercolor pencils and ink on paper for her Under Sail, an abstract black-and-white study of lines and textures. The above are just a few of the artworks in Commotion, a group show by ten visual artists ("Kicking up a fuss, stirring up the dust, ten new artists creating what they must"), opening today and running through February 25 at the Hollis Street Project in Emeryville, 5900 Hollis St. There's a reception on January 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. -- Kelly Vance

TUE 11 If you just can't wait until the next film festival, you're in luck -- you don't have to, there's one today. The Flights of Fancy Short Film Festival, presented by Shadowplay, is dedicated to the proposition that less is more, and also that indie is better than big-bucks. The fest's longest piece is Gabriel Judet-Weinshel's The Broken Wings of Elijah Footfalls, a dialogue-free, 45-minute treatment of the myth of Icarus. The shortest, at one minute, is Disco Frog Man by Aidan Fraser, the Claymation tale of a frog who enters a dance contest against a human. The films in between are by Rebecca Goodberg, Nathan Jongewaard, Jason House, Mark Arellano, and a host of others. 9:15 p.m. at the Speakeasy Parkway Theater, 1834 Park Blvd., Oakland. $5. -- Kelly Vance


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