This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 30 Call it Liberty Head Nickel and Dimed: Soon after her study at the New York School of Philanthropy (later the Columbia University School of Social Work), Jeannette Rankin worked as a seamstress to gain first-hand knowledge of social conditions. Two years later, she was the first woman elected to the United States House of Representatives, representing Montana as a Republican from 1917-1919 and again from 1941-1943. As congresswoman and citizen, Rankin was vociferously antiwar -- perhaps that's why Women for Peace are presenting her story, A Single Woman, in benefit performances tonight at 7 p.m. at Temple Beth Sholom, 642 Dolores Ave., San Leandro, and Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Claremont House, 4500 Gilbert St., Oakland. Admission to either show will cost you a $10 donation; call 510-587-3228 or write Loma64@yahoo.com for further info. -- Stefanie Kalem

THU 31 Memo to everyone who read the pair of February Express cover stories on earthquake dangers in the Bay Area: You ain't heard nothin' yet. The New Madrid earthquake of 1811-12 -- there were three major ones, beginning in December, 1811, on the New Madrid Fault near the Missouri town of the same name -- was possibly the biggest quake in US history. It had a magnitude of 8.0 or higher (the Richter scale had not yet been devised) and its effects were monumental: The nearby Mississippi River reversed course and flowed north, new lakes appeared, houses were swallowed up, and the reverberations were felt all across the North American continent. Reportedly, the largest of the quakes rang church bells in Boston. Author Jay Feldman uses this cataclysmic event, along with tales of Andrew Jackson and riverboats, in his narrative history, When the Mississippi Ran Backwards, from which he reads this evening (7 p.m.) at Mrs. Dalloway's, 2904 College Ave., Berkeley, 510-704-8222. -- Kelly Vance

FRI 1 Be the next Jesse James! The producers of Discovery Channel's hit series Monster Car are holding an open-call audition for mechanics to host a new show: Pimp My Low-Ride. Instead of tricking out Jeeps and station wagons, Pimp My Low-Ride will take Starbucks-drinking, helmet-wearing weekend cyclists and transform their $2,500 Rambouillets into tightcycles, complete with a style makeover for the bike's riders. Torch the spandex, güey! The show is kicking it off in high gear with its first special guest -- Lance Armstrong. Bike mechanics, welders, airbrush masters, stylists, and down cholos of all stripes should bring their low-riders to the south parking lot of the Hayward BART Station, 699 B Street, Friday morning at 10 a.m. Also bring a head shot (no printouts of cell-phone pix allowed) and be prepared to flash your tats. -- Nikolai Dime

SAT 2 From Milpitas' heart, to your brain: This weekend, Santa Clara County's own Calaveras Repertory Theatre takes a two-night stand at the Veterans Memorial Building (301 Main St., Pleasanton) with David Ives' All in the Timing. The six-play comedic medley jumps from three monkeys typing like crazy, to a man trapped in a metaphysical state (not unlike a day in Philadelphia, apparently), all hung on the sturdy thespian frames of David Hundsness, Mike Inouye, and Sandra Jardin. John Robovich directs. Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. $19, $10 kids and seniors. Ticketweb.com -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 3 OK, kids, sit down a second. We have some bad news for you: Chinese Democracy is never coming out. It's been eleven years, and Papa Axl has racked up more than $13 million in production costs, but that album's just not gonna see the light of day. It's okay, ssshhhh. Use this grimy bandanna to wipe your tears. There, now you're presentable enough to go to the Golden Bull and see Rocket Queens, the Pleasanton-based Guns N' Roses tribute band. And you don't even have to worry about sitting through "You Could Be Mine," because the Rocket Queens are an all-Appetite for Destruction affair. And you should probably take it easy on the schnapps this afternoon, old boy, because you'll want to get to the bar in time to see openers Hail Satan (a Mercyful Fate tribute) and Virgin Killers (a Scorpions tribute). All this honoring of the ancestors kicks off at 7 p.m., and cover is $5. 21 and up. 412 14th St., Oakland. 510-893-0803. -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 4 If you're a vegetarian, you probably know a lot of things that carnivores don't, such as, for instance, that Worcestershire Sauce contains anchovies. And if you keep kosher, you're sure to know a lot more about it than your friends. Tonight at Ristorante Raphael, you can show all that off, and a lot more, when the eatery hosts a Trivia Café from 7-9 p.m. The kosher vegetarian Italian restaurant, located at 2132 Center St. in Berkeley, is asking that you drop at least $10 on food and drinks (plus an optional $3 contest fee), but the upsides lie in their meat-free Gnocchi Aurora and vegan Farfalle Bolognese, and in the chance for cash prizes, of course. RistoranteRaphael.com, 510-644-9500. -- Stefanie Kalem

TUE 5 What is the difference between painting and sculpture? Artist Ruth von Jahnke Waters addresses this question continuously in her work. One of Waters' large sculptural paintings, such as Moonlight, looks at first glance like a sheet of curved metal bolted a canvas. On closer inspection, we note that she uses iridescent paints on different materials -- polycarbonate (an especially tough plastic), aluminum, and steel -- and that what seemed like a sheet of metal is really a doctored piece of plastic. To Waters, they evoke "emotional memories of atmosphere, weather, and skies both seen and felt." Bay Area skies, judging from their pearly gray, foggy surfaces. Waters' show, Between Dimensions, opens today and runs through May 31 at Gallery 940, 940 Dwight Way (at Ninth Street), Berkeley. A reception takes place April 8. Info: 650-594-1577. -- Kelly Vance

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