This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 


Given the rate at which Hollywood remakes films -- both classics and crud -- it's only a matter of time before someone takes the ol' hack 'n' snip revisionist machine to Charlie Chaplin's masterwork, Modern Times. But before you're stuck on a cross-continental flight and forced to watch Jimmy Fallon rebel against iPods and meal replacement bars, make sure you take in the original, wherein Chaplin's Tramp befriends a lovely homeless girl (Paulette Goddard), and fights the powers that be. Modern Times is drenched in subtext -- a silent film (albeit with sound effects) made at a time when everyone else was making talkies -- and its depiction of unemployment, hunger, and poverty rings loudly true today. Check it out for free at 7:30 p.m. at the Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., downtown Oakland (between Telegraph and Broadway). Donations welcome. Call 510-393-5685 for more info. -- Stefanie Kalem


Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club is a novel about how -- and why -- people fall into a literary spell under the influence of a particular author, in this case Austen, the 19th-century English novelist of manners best known by the casual reader as the one who had all those movies adapted from her books. Fowler lives in Davis, and she sets her contemporary story in a California town where a mixed group (several females, one male) meets to discuss Austen's six novels. When the assembled begin to take on many of the same personality traits as the books' busybody Victorian characters, Fowler is off to the races. The New York Times Sunday Book Review loved the book. Maybe, after you meet author Fowler this evening at A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair Village (6120 LaSalle Ave., Oakland, 7 p.m.), you will too. -- Kelly Vance


Museum of hip-hop? The Oakland Museum of California is determined to get young adults to hang out there on Friday nights. That's why it started the CirCA Lounge and its Film al Fresco program, tonight devoted to the good old days of hip-hop culture in the 1980s. Drop by in the late afternoon or early evening, look at Nonchalance/Bay Area Aerosol Heritage Society's digital slide show, The Legendary Eightees, pop a beer (the first one is gratis, courtesy Pacific Coast Brewing), then park your body on the lawn of the museum's courtyard for a screening of Style Wars, a 1983 documentary on the New York rap, break dance, and graffiti culture of yesteryear. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is free for CirCA members and one guest. How to join? E-mail -- Kelly Vance


What does "IPA" mean? Multiple choice: 1) Idiot Proof Alcohol; 2) Inebriated People of Alameda (County); or 3) India Pale Ale. If you answered 3), you've already completed all the training you'll need to go to the Bistro's IPA Festival and let your beer flag fly. All day today and Sunday at the Bistro pub in downtown Hayward (1001 B St., 510-886-8525), enjoy live rawk music and BBQ while sampling more than thirty IPAs on tap. A professional judging of the brews takes place at 5 p.m. And for a mere $15, patrons can purchase a commemorative glass plus five tokens to pay for beer to put in it. Then on Sunday, wake up and do it all over again. But please -- designate a sober driver before you start hitting the old froth-and-slosh, or you might become an Incarcerated Pickled Asshole. For more info: -- Kelly Vance


You've seen the sticker -- "It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber" -- so now join the fight. This year, Dubya has requested $28 million to develop something called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, a device that could destroy nuclear weapons buried deep underground, at the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos nuclear facilities. Meanwhile, two Livermore schools will close this year, to save just $1 million. Today, on the 59th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you can demand Books Not Bombs by rallying at Jackson Elementary School (554 Jackson Ave., Livermore) at 1 p.m. and then marching to the Livermore lab. Info:, 510-663-8065, or, 510-839-5877. -- Stefanie Kalem


Summertime is the season for eating light, especially in the toasty Tri-Valley area. How does this evening meal sound? Cold avocado soup with a red pepper/cilantro cream; heirloom tomato salad with strawberries, peaches, feta cheese, and a strawberry-champagne Dijon vinaigrette; chipotle and garlic-rubbed grilled tri-tip with a chimichurri sauce, served with grilled corn and baked beans; and a summer berry cobbler for dessert. At today's Participation Cooking Class at the Pleasanton Hotel (855 Main St., Pleasanton), class members will prepare the entire meal, then sit down with some Steven Kent Livermore Valley wines and eat what they've cooked. Cost is $75 per, $30 for people who only want to eat dinner, limited to twelve cooks plus twelve guests. Class includes recipes as well as a souvenir apron and toque. Make reservations at 925-846-3764, and dress casually. -- Kelly Vance

TUE 10

The Oakland A's are finally home at Network Associates Coliseum after a modestly encouraging road trip in which they struggled manfully with old stretch-drive nemeses Texas, New York, and Minnesota. Now it's time to come home to the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. This means the plucky A's will only have to worry about Pudge Rodriguez, Jeremy Bonderman, Desi Relaford, and Angel Berroa instead of Alfonso Soriano, A-Rod, and the Metrodome. Game time is 7:05 tonight versus the Detroits. The sad-sack Royals arrive Friday for what should be a restorative (for the A's) weekend series. Info: -- Kelly Vance


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