This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 17

Last week, Connie Champagne's second year of Judy's Scary Christmas opened in West Hollywood, having recently won an Ovation Award for the show. But you don't have to be jealous of her recent fascination with the City of Angels -- Remember Judy Garland, to be aired tonight on Comcast TV-26 (Oakland), pays tribute to the San Francisco singer and creatrix of the hit show IMAGINE Judy Garland: An Evening with Connie Champagne. The feature on Champagne started two weeks ago, and will continue at 9:30 p.m. tonight with footage from the live show, of which The New York Times wrote "Ms. Champagne's Judy Garland is a masterpiece of subtlety and homage." Get a little televised taste of that for yourself tonight -- it's cheaper! -- Stefanie Kalem

THU 18

What do politicized rock bands, pro-Palestinian activists, and a purported "singing CIA agent" have in common? More than you might think. For one thing, they'll all be on hand tonight (9 p.m.) at the Starry Plough pub in Berkeley for Bands Against Occupation, an entertainment benefit for the Middle East Children's Alliance and its upcoming "Wheels of Justice" bus tour, an outreach effort designed to explain "the realities on the ground in Iraq and Palestine." At the rock party, alliance members John Farrell and Uda Walker are scheduled to talk about their recent trips to Iraq and Palestine. Admission is $10-$20 sliding scale. The Starry Plough is at 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. For more info, call 510-548-0542 or visit -- Kelly Vance

FRI 19

Tonight at sundown, kick off Chanukah in style with the Chabad Berkeley's first Community Menorah Lighting of the year. Contrary to what you may think, you do not have seven other chances to see this. Although, surely, Chabad will be doing it every night of the Festival of Lights, they're only having singalongs, free gelt and dreidels, menorahs for sale, and live music tonight and Monday at Frank Ogawa Plaza (in front of Oakland City Hall) and Tuesday night at the Fourth Street Cody's location. Also contrary to what you might believe, today's light-it-up takes place not at twilight, but from noon to 1 p.m. Well, we suppose it's always sundown somewhere, right? Visit for more info. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 20

Huey, Dewey, and Louie know that when Christmas rolls around, their Unca Scrooge McDuck suddenly gets even harder to find than usual, but don't worry -- Walt Disney's most popular comics creations have a life of their own. They're the royalty of comic books. Writer Geoffrey Blum inherited the mantle of the late, great writer Carl Barks (whose original Uncle Scrooge comics from the '50s fetch astronomical prices) and the beloved, zany world of Donald Duck's eccentric aged relative continues to send thrills down the spines of ... mostly middle-aged men, for sure, but also a few kids. Dr. Comics and Mr. Games in Oakland (4014 Piedmont Ave.) knows all about Uncle Scrooge fever. That's why Blum was invited to the store today (2-4 p.m.) for a chat and book-signing -- of recent numbers 320, 321, and 322, as you Scrooge-aholics know. So save your smackers and pass the quackers. For more info: 510-601-7800. -- Kelly Vance

SUN 21

Attention all frustrated would-be fairy godmothers and those who love them: Today's your day. Jessica Rabbit, the well-known Berkeley psychic, is hosting a Magic Wand-Making Workshop. All interested parties -- and that means you -- are invited to hop on the next passing dragonfly and wing your way to Gravity Feed Gallery at 1959 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, this afternoon from 4 to 6. There, you'll make your very own magic wand, enabling you to become an official Fairy Godmother. "Fairy godfathers are also absolutely invited," Ms. Rabbit says. "It's a twist on the old Yule Log." All necessary materials will be provided with the nominal $10 donation, but of course no one will be turned away for lack of funds. In the fairy world, that just isn't done. RSVP by December 20 to 510-548-4814 or e-mail -- Kelly Vance

MON 22

If you've waited this long to wrap your gifts, chances are you're either a world-class procrastinator or a cynical Scrooge type. As much as we respect your laid-back lifestyle and/or sassy rejection of all things commercial, we'd still like to offer you a chance to stick your toe into the festive tide. The Community Art Salon at First Congregational Church of Oakland (2501 Harrison St.) affords you a chance to make cards and gift wrap from recycled materials provided. Of course, you and your whole family are invited to bring your own fabric scraps, brown paper grocery bags, old holiday cards, rubber stamps and ink pads, and other crafty detritus to share. You can even bring your own knitting, needlework, drawing project, and such -- anything that helps you get into the creative spirit. The event starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 9, and light refreshments will be provided. Call 510-625-1209 for further deets. -- Stefanie Kalem

TUE 23

Of course you're sick of the holidays. Even if you weren't before you got to this page, surely we've overfed you on festive events and holiday cheer. Well, as on every Tuesday night, the Shattuck Down Low Lounge is proud to supply a night of blissful, tuneless ignorance. Head down to the basement for the weekly karaoke night, and feel free to willfully disregard "Silent Night," "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," and Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song" in favor of seasonally inappropriate selections such as "Copacabana," "Good Day Sunshine," "Strange Fruit," "Iron Man," and "Gangsta's Paradise." Your chance at the Express' "Best Karaoke" night -- and the big stage and hype sound system that made it so -- starts at 8 p.m., and there's no cover. The Down Low is a 21-and-up venue and is located at 2284 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley. Call 510-549-1159 for venue information, or visit for a complete song list. -- Stefanie Kalem


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