This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 23

Poor Aunt Darlene. What? What about her, you say? Well, there was that unfortunate accident with the crimping iron back in '86. And you heard she's never, you know, done it, haven't you? Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, sometimes it's even a cause for celebration. Tonight, for instance, when the full moon moves into Virgo, Change Makers for Women invites all women and girls to celebrate the virgin goddess, "She Who Is Complete Unto Herself." From 7 to 9:30 p.m., the bookstore and women's community center will host a full moon gathering complete with potluck supper and a variety of nurturing activities, possibly including (but not limited to) music, poetry, storytelling, and tarot. Bring drums, rattles, and, of course, your vittles, which cover your cost of admission. Call 510-655-2405 to RSVP and offer your artistic services. Change Makers can be found at 6536 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. -- Stefanie Kalem

THU 24

Artist Milton Bowens was born and raised in Oakland, but his cultural orientation faces South, and he obviously enjoys a good meal. The titles of some of his paintings give it all away -- Catfish and Grits, Sugga Water, Southern Fried Chicken. His art exhibition at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO) is called Soul Food: Southern Pattern and Rituals, a series of fifteen colorful, rustic paintings that look as if they were pried off the wall of a Louisiana roadhouse. Beyond their lively visual appeal, Bowens' paintings draw a link between soul food and families. As he puts it: "Say grace and dig in. Dinner is served." The show stays up through April 2 at AAMLO, 659 14th St., Oakland, 510-637-0200. OaklandLibrary.org/AAMLO/events.html -- Kelly Vance

FRI 25

The first thing we think while watching the engaging new documentary Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed is: Damn. She should have been elected president. "She" being Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who ran for the White House in 1972, the year George McGovern got his butt handed to him by Richard "I Am Not a Crook" Nixon. The late Chisholm herself is charming and lit up with unstoppable energy, and her message is the one that many of us hope will eventually sink in, 33 years later and counting -- that this country belongs to all the people, not just the rich and powerful. Voters weren't ready for a black woman in '72. And Chisholm died in 2004. Poor us. But we have Shola Lynch's bright doc to remind us. It screens tonight at 7:00 at the Eastside Alliance, 2587 International Blvd., Oakland. With Shirley, seeing is believing. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 26

We've talked a lot in this section about the intimate, urban bohemian Valhalla that has been the revitalized Mile High, and how its owners are looking to hand it over to another responsible party. Well, they're in negotiations, so tonight is the last night of the club's current ownership, and they're bringing back last month's Singles Party with Bart Davenport, DJ Kitty, and Sam Flax to send it out with its freak fully on. Starting at 9 p.m., the abovementioned East Bay indie-music-scene VIPs -- single folk, all -- will play the 12" and 7" records you loan them. One vinyl donation per patron, please, but all eras and genres are welcome, as long as it has a good beat and you can dance to it. 3629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland. 510-654-4549. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 27

Hwæt we garde/na in geardagum theodcyninga. So starts the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf. What, you'll drink Old E, but you don't speak it? Fine. We're sure that when Philip Wharton performs his translation at LaVal's this evening, it will kick off something a little more like, Lo, praise of the prowess of people-kings of spear-armed Danes. Or maybe something even more decipherable. If you still don't get it, Wharton will keep doing it every Sunday till March 20, always at 7:30 p.m., always at 1834 Euclid Ave., Berkeley. $10 students and seniors, $10 all other people-kings. 510-843-5617. -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 28

Oscars, shmoscars. Hotel Rwanda is a stunner for more than just good acting and a well-turned script; it depicts a real person who, faced with unimaginable horror -- the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and Hutus -- discovered within himself unimaginable gumption. You can hear the man himself, former hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, speak at the Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak St., to inaugurate the Oakland Public Library's "Conversations of Conscience" lecture series. Rusesabagina will attend a private benefit reception at 6 p.m. in the museum cafe, and then give a talk at 7:30 p.m. in its James Moore Theater. The reception exacts a hefty price -- a $100-$1,000 donation to the lecture series -- but the talk itself is free, free, free. Limited seating. Reservations required for the reception; lecture seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. 510-238-3134. -- Stefanie Kalem

TUE 29

Real life is all right in small doses, but nothing beats a good courtroom sketch for maximum drama. Call it the power of imagination. When we catch a glimpse of someone truly notorious, say, Charles Manson, being confronted with his crimes in a courtroom as sketched by a professional artist, we can read all sorts of emotions into his expression. Artists Rosalie Ritz and the late Walt Stewart knew all about the faces of Manson and other celebrity wrongdoers like George Jackson, Angela Davis, would-be presidential assassin Squeaky Fromme, and Patricia Hearst. Now through March 31 at the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery inside Doe Library on the UC Berkeley campus, Ritz and Stewart's drawings from seven hot-button trials -- including that of Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver -- are on display every day in a show called Ritz and Stewart: Two Artists of the Courtroom, curated by Jack von Euw. -- Kelly Vance

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