This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 


Not in Our Town is a national effort to quell hate crimes, and if you think that we Northern Californians don't have to sweat that mess, you may want to wiggle aside that rock you've been living under. In early 2001, San Francisco Public Library staff found more than six hundred books on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender topics, women's issues, and HIV/AIDS that had been defaced beyond repair; and as recently as January 2004, an African-American family in Anderson awoke to an eight-foot-tall cross burning on their front lawn. The good news is that this is California, and our sense of civic responsibility is something to behold. And behold it you can when the Working Group and KQED hold a gala screening of their film, Not in Our Town Northern California: When Hate Happens Here, at the Grand Lake tonight at 7 p.m. Will Durst is the onscreen host, and the documentary covers the stories mentioned above, as well as those of Gwen Araujo, the Sacramento synagogue arsons, and Happy Valley's Gary Matson and Winfield Scott Mowder. 510-452-3556. -- Stefanie Kalem


If all you know about wine you learned from Sideways, Why Wine? A History of Winemaking in the Amador-Livermore Valley will make you more appreciative of your local grapescape. From April 6 to June 19, the Museum on Main Street (603 Main St., Pleasanton) will school interested parties in the history of the local wine industry, from 1840 to now; terroir; the complete process and labor force; and wine in culture, from fine art to goofy men's ties. The museum is open Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m. Admission is a requested donation of $2 per person. 925-462-2766. -- Stefanie Kalem


Former San Francisco supervisor and mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez appears this evening at the monthly political speakers' series, "So How'd You Become an Activist?" They should ask him "So How'd You Blow the Election?" followed by "So Why'd You Quit Politics, Then?" There probably shouldn't be much stigma attached to coming up short in the mayoral runoff vote to a man tagged by the Democratic Party as a future presidential hotshot, but after losing the heavily ideological City Hall battle to Gavin Newsom, Gonzalez rather unceremoniously abdicated his leadership of SF's left wing to go fishing or something. What's that all about? Gonzalez speaks tonight (7 p.m.) along with series host Steve Jacobson at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar St. (at Bonita). A $5 donation is requested (students $3). Info: 415-927-1645. -- Kelly Vance


Burn my grits and drown my kittens, it's a zydeco dance tonight. The Mark St. Mary Band could put anyone in a Louisiana state of mind. Led by accordionist St. Mary, a disciple of the late great Clifton Chenier, the five-piece Antelope, California-based ensemble brings the bayou to the bay with its Deep South combo of zydeco, Cajun, blues, and R&B for dancing. Proclaims the band's publicity: "We come prepared to really put on a show. ... We keep the skirt-tails floppin' and the cowboy boots stompin'." The occasion is a family-friendly event (6-10 p.m.) to benefit the St. Columba Church Scholarship Fund, at the St. Columba parish hall, 6401 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. Did we mention that gumbo, hot links, sweet potato pie, and pecan candy, prepared by the church ladies, are among the treats? Admission is a reasonable $12. 510-654-7600. -- Kelly Vance

SUN 10

It's the antithesis of NIMBYism this afternoon at UC Berkeley's Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, where they're proud to have The World in My Neighborhood: Celebrating the Diversity of Asian Cultures. The festivities, which come with the museum's admission price ($4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 students), are as wide-ranging as the steppes of Asia. At 1 p.m., the UC Berkeley Korean Drumming Group performs Poongmul, a traditional Korean combination of folk music and dance, rituals, and acrobatic feats. After that, master storyteller Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo spins tales of Tibet, Afghanistan, China, Japan, and Korea, which he spices up with music and dramatic facial gestures. Showtime is 2:15. Finally, the calligraphic art of ancient China comes to life with visual artist Stephen Wong's demonstration of Chinese brushes, rice papers, and watercolors, at 3 p.m. The Hearst Museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays., 510-643-7648. -- Kelly Vance

MON 11

"My mother is standing in front of the bathroom mirror smelling polished and ready; like Jean Naté, Dippity Do, and the waxy sweetness of lipstick." So begins Augusten Burroughs' Running with Scissors, wherein the author's poet mother foists young Augusten off on her dotty therapist, resulting in a teenagehood spent getting thrills out of an old electroshock machine by the light of a year-round Christmas tree. Somehow, he made it out alive; if you've read the book and want to marvel with some peers, drop into the Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender Book Club tonight from 6:30-8 p.m., when Running with Scissors will be what's on everybody's mind. The group meets at the Piedmont branch of the Oakland Public Library (160 41st St. at Piedmont Ave.) on the second Monday of each month. Please refrain from wearing scented products. 510-597-5011. -- Stefanie Kalem

TUE 12

The traditional Judeo-Christian beef with homosexuality comes down to two -- count 'em, two -- verses in the Bible. In 1999, Rabbi Steven Greenberg decided to try and kick (or at least intelligently coax) that pair of spindly arguments out from under the fundamentalists by becoming the first out Orthodox rabbi. Hear Rabbi Greenberg read from and discuss his book Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition at the Badè Museum, Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley, at 7 p.m. this evening. 510-849-8206. -- Stefanie Kalem


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