Come to Rest 

Antiviolence benefit

THU 10/27

Poet and community organizer Liz Suk recently remembered a sweltering summer day in 1990, when her mother sat in a minivan parked down the street from their Fremont home, preparing to flee her abusive husband. For Suk's mother, the road leading out of the cul-de-sac where they lived looked uncertain and scary. For Suk, it symbolized escape. And after hours of sitting in a van stuffed with clothes, and even after her mother chose not to leave, Suk, now 31, made up her own mind to break away. "That was my turning point," she said. "Two years later, I was gone." It's these critical moments in times of crises that Shimtuh, an Oakland-based domestic-violence program, hopes to explore in its annual event to spread awareness in the Korean community. With nearly 5.3 million incidents of domestic violence occurring each year among women living in the United States, Shimtuh program director Ann Rhee Menzie wanted to expose the problem with all its ugly parts. But after years of working in the field, she learned that "people are more moved when they see women moving on and away from the problem, when they can see that it's not so hopeless," she said. Shimtuh (the Korean word for "resting place") is the first domestic-violence program to serve Korean women in the East Bay, a group that due to language barriers, immigration status, or social mores, faces a specific set of challenges when trying to flee an abusive spouse. This Thursday, Shimtuh's event, called Turning Points: Self-Reflections and Transformation, honors survivors of domestic violence by featuring spoken-word poetry by Suk, mask and dance performances, and traditional Korean drumming by JamaeSori/Sistersound and the Korean Youth Cultural Center. The show kicks off at 7 p.m. (reception at 6) at the James Moore Theater in the Oakland Museum of California, 1100 Oak St., Oakland. Tickets are $15; all proceeds benefit the Shimtuh Korean Domestic Violence Program. Info: 510-547-2360 or -- Kai Ma


Lit Happens

After the Flood

Remembering puberty is all in a day's work for novelist Rosemary Graham. Meet the Berkeley-based author of My Not-So-Terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel and Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude and Other Commandments I Have Broken at Lafayette Bookstore (Wed., 7:30 p.m.). ... Dullards in Walgreens costumes call it Halloween; followers of the Ancient Ways call it Samhain. Berkeley's Analog Books (816 Euclid Ave.) hosts a Samhain Literary Reading & Word Orgy with readings by Adam David Miller, Meg Withers, Elise Peeples, and Zaid Shlah (Thu., 7:30 p.m.). ... A wife who baked laxative brownies for her husband and his mistress; another who Superglued her unfaithful guy's organ to a wall -- really, other strategies work better in the long term, according to retired Contra Costa County private investigators Greg Clouthier and Ann Clouthier in their book A Woman's Guide to Revenge: Signs of a Cheating Man. Ask them how to know for sure, if you dare, at Borders Pleasant Hill (Thu., 7 p.m.). ... It's not just about shaking that thang. It's about transcendence, writes dance anthropologist and Katherine Dunham disciple Yvonne Daniel in Dancing Wisdom. She examines African-American spirituality through movement at Change Makers (Thu., 7 p.m.). ... Stock up on whatever will while away those long rainy nights ahead at the Castro Valley Library secondhand book sale, held across the street at Faith Lutheran Church, 20080 Redwood Rd. (Fri., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sat., 9 a.m.-3 p.m.). ... A flooded American city languishes powerless and wrecked. Truth? No, it's fiction -- speculative fiction, spun by Hugo Award-winning cult fave Kim Stanley Robinson, whose new Fifty Degrees Below puts Washington, DC underwater. Commiserate with him about global warming at Cody's Telegraph (Fri., 7:30 p.m.). ... Eat to the beat -- and the theme this week is "Trick or Treat" -- at Berkeley's Priya Indian Cuisine, where attendance at the weekly Poetry Express gets you a 20 percent discount on meals (Mon., 7 p.m.). ... Infuse your cartoons and word balloons with a serious message. Adventures of Wonder Baby author Oliver Chin hosts a graphic-novel workshop at Lafayette Library (Tue., 3:30 p.m.). -- Anneli Rufus

FRI 10/28

Dead Can Parade

In certain Christian cultures, November 1 and sometimes November 2 are religious holidays set aside for worshipping all the saints and honoring departed loved ones. Families gather for prayer and remembrance, and also to picnic atop the graves of deceased relatives, happily communing with the departed souls while simultaneously demystifying death. Leave it to secularized but multiculti Berkeley to move its Day of the Dead festivities to Friday, October 28 -- that way it doesn't interfere with Halloween or the real Días de los Muertos. The Solano Avenue version of this ancient feast day is the brainchild of Solano merchants, who started it last year and hope to snowball the event into something as big as, say, the Solano Stroll. At 6:30 p.m., gather at the top of Solano at the Alameda with a photo of someone you wish to remember, plus a candle, some flowers, or food for the hungry soul. Aztec dancers lead the procession to Peralta Park to create an ofrenda, or community altar. Info: or 510-527-5358. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 10/29

Oakland Hills Red Scare

Be a Martian for a night

What do Martians look like? Hard to say, since no Earthling has actually seen one. Still, that hasn't stopped sci-fi novelists, Hollywood directors, and cartoonists from imagining how a Red Planet denizen might appear, from Robert E. Howard's swarthy warrior John Carter to Chuck Jones' diminutive, Roman-helmeted, blast-happy Marvin the Martian ("Ooh ... you are making me angry! I will destroy you with my disintegrator ray") to the bug-eyed, swollen-brained creatures of Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! Since there's no consensus for how a Martian should look, the field is open to interpretation -- which makes it easy to dress appropriately for Chabot Space & Science Center's Mars Mania Costume Party Saturday night from 8 p.m. to midnight. Visitors are invited to garb themselves in extraterrestrial outfits in honor of both Halloween and the relatively close proximity of Mars (only 43 million miles away). Telescopes will be set up for your viewing pleasure. Tickets are $9-$13 for the costume party and other Mars-related activities. -- Eric K. Arnold


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