This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 14

The kitchen of Alex Munn's family home, with its breakfast nook under an archway, looks like it might have been a Craftsman cottage. Kirk Stoller's childhood home, on the other hand, seems to have been located in the country, or at least on a parcel of open ground near a border of pine trees. Both these places now exist as installations, in No Place Like Home, a new art show at 33 Grand in Oakland. Munn re-creates his former home as a fully navigable video-game level accessed by a custom-made arcade-style machine, while Stoller's vision of the old homestead takes the shape of sculptural forms and photos. The two exhibits are on display through October 9 at 33 Grand Ave. (at Broadway), Oakland; -- Kelly Vance

THU 15

You can call it moldy figs. You can call it "old, weird America" like Greil Marcus does. Or you can just shrug and say, whatever, dude. Still, American roots music is wa-aaa-y among us, deep down in the subsoil of the national culture, and the 2005 Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention is durn-tootin' gonna celebrate it, starting today. Tonight's Stairwell Sisters-Roadoilers-Larry Hanks set at Freight & Salvage kicks off the four-day convention (8 p.m., 510-548-1761,, with the likes of Mike Seeger (brother of Pete), fiddler Rafe Stefanini, folk musician Kenny Hall, the East Bay's own Eric and Suzy Thompson, a square dance at Ashkenaz, loads of workshops, and a competition featuring more than twenty string bands, over the next four days. Check out -- Kelly Vance

FRI 16

Unless you're a compulsive gambler or ski bum, there won't be many more really good reasons to get on the road before Indian summer gives way to the Bay Area's version of fall and winter. So get your motor running, head out on Highway 101, and drive until you come to Laytonville. There, out in the middle of the boondocks, you'll find Xanadu: a spectacular three-day festival of musicians, artists, DJs, speakers, and activists, collectively known as EarthDance 2005. Among the many performers are local faves Lyrics Born, Michael Franti & Spearhead, O-Maya, and Aphrodesia, and on Saturday, a synchronized "prayer for peace" will connect the event with 150 other cities all over the world. Visit for more info. -- Eric K. Arnold

SAT 17

In the '70s, when Bruce Lee and Enter the Dragon represented the height of pop-culture exotica, everybody was kung fu fighting. In the new millennium, everybody is doing qi gong. Also known as chi kung, qi gong literally translates to "energy skill" -- i.e. the art of using the universal life force (qi, chi, ki) to enhance one's health and spirit. Unlike kung fu, qi gong is not a martial art -- it's more of a movement and breathing technique -- yet, like its contact-sport cousins, has many different styles, among them Shaolin Cosmos, Taiji Eighteen Steeps, and Flying Crane. Micheline Bogey teaches Wild Goose Qi Gong, a variant based on the movements of wild geese, consisting of 64 steps and their corresponding acupressure points. Awaken your inner goose at 9 a.m. this Saturday -- or any subsequent Saturday until October 30 -- when Bogey teaches her class at Clark Kerr Campus (Warring and Parker sts., Berkeley). For more info, call 510-843-9851. -- Eric K. Arnold

SUN 18

Let's face it: new cars suck. They rarely look cool, they aren't built to last, and most of the time, very little thought went into their aesthetics. Plus, they use far too much plastic. Now take classic cars, which, while rarely environmentally efficient, are at least worthy chariots of gleaming chrome, seductive and sexy -- obscure vehicular objects of desire, if you will. Desire them you can, and even buy, at the Alameda Point Auto and Motorcycle Swap Meet, happening today from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the island's Naval Air Station. Classics, limited-productions, specialties, hot rods, customs, choppers, and even vintage bicycles will be on display. $6 at the door; parking is free. For more info, call 510-522-2316. -- Eric K. Arnold

MON 19

Anyone who has ever gone to college can testify that there's a gulf between the sports world and politicos, especially "progressive" politicos. Jocks and their fans are generally bored with politics; likewise, most activists distrust the racism, sexism, jingoism, and commercialism of professional sports. And then there's the thinking, caring person who also loves sports, like Dave Zirin, author of What's My Name, Fool? (Haymarket Books, $15), a "hidden history of racial politics in US pro sports." It's the topic of a free literary event this evening (7 p.m.) presented by the Oakland Public Library at the Oakland Museum of California (10th and Oak sts.), featuring Zirin and Golden State Warriors center (and activist and scholar) Adonal Foyle discussing the book's arguments. -- Kelly Vance

TUE 20

At press time, thanks to Hurricane Katrina, gas prices had edged over the three-dollar mark. That may seem extravagant, but keep in mind that Europeans regularly pay up to six bucks more than that -- which means that we may not have seen the worst of it yet. Moreover, there's a six-to-nine-month waiting list for hybrid cars in California, and BART won't work for a short trip to the corner store. What to do? Take a cue from the people of Amsterdam and start bicycling regularly. It's fun, healthy, and you can meet interesting people as you ride. Some of those supercool cyclistas will undoubtedly be at tonight's East Bay Bicycle Coalition monthly meeting (7:00 p.m. at the Rockridge Library in Oakland). The organization, which has been around since the gas crisis of the '70s, sponsors gatherings, rides, and both educational and activist events, in addition to being a helpful resource for all things bike-related. Get up, get pedaling, and get involved. For more info, call 510-433-RIDE or visit -- Eric K. Arnold


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