This Week’s Day-by-Day Picks

WED 17

“Weapons of mass destruction” is to the Zeroes what “Read my lips — no new taxes” was to the late ’80s and “I am not a crook” was to the early ’70s, in other words, the defining political lie of the day. Hans Blix should know. The former UN weapons inspector assigned to Iraq says he found no WMDs there, and he’ll elaborate on that theme tonight (7:30 p.m.) in a program titled Weapons of Mass Destruction: Truth and Consequences, at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. Blix will be questioned by star telejournalist Christiane Amanpour, the CNN foreign correspondent. The Q&A is introduced by Orville Schell, dean of the university’s Graduate School of Journalism, which is sponsoring a slew of exciting grill-the-newsmaker events these days. Admission is $10, UCB students free. 510-642-9988. — Kelly Vance

THU 18

In 2001’s Waiting, Debra Ginsberg made compelling literature out of her twenty years slinging in the service industry. Then, in Raising Blaze, she then wrote about taking care of her exceptional, diagnosis-defying son. Now she mines the rich vein of sororal relations in About My Sisters, which depicts a year in the life of Debra, Maya, Lavander, and Déja. While their parents toted the family around the world in pursuit of the best place to settle, the four girls built ties with one another that kept them grounded and taught them volumes as each sister came of age in a different cultural era. That perfect place, by the way, was in Southern California, where the Ginsberg family — sisters, parents, and brother — now live, all within ten miles of each other. The author stops in to Cody’s at 1730 4th St., Berkeley, tonight at 7 p.m. 510-559-9500. — Stefanie Kalem

FRI 19
What are the six suspirations referenced in Tim’m West‘s debut poetry collection, Red Dirt Revival: A Poetic Memoir in Six Breaths? Front Porches, Soul Searchin’, Queer Rhytes, Dis/Ease, Erotiks, and Dis/Closeur. Within those chapters, the founder of Red Dirt Publishing — and founding member of Deep Dickollective — takes the reader from rural Arkansas to urban Oakland, from homophobia and racism to epiphany and self-love. The homo-hop pioneer will read from and sign copies of Red Dirt, as well as new work, at a free event at Change Makers this evening at 7:30 p.m. He’ll be joined by Bahiyyih Maroon, featured in the collections In Defense of Mumia and Spirit & Flame: An Anthology of African-American Poetry. Change Makers is located at 6536 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. Information: and 510-655-2405. — Stefanie Kalem

SAT 20

Did you hear the one about the disabled gay comic? Before anyone squeals to the Thought Police, let’s clarify we’re talking about Greg Walloch, a New York City-based entertainer who is indeed disabled, gay, and proud. He’ll be appearing this evening at The Art of Disability, a showcase for performing artists with disabilities, with his show “White Disabled Talent,” along with members of the AXIS Dance Company and poet and activist Leroy Moore. The evening, presented by the City of Oakland and the World Institute on Disability, takes place at 7 p.m. at Alice Arts Center, 1428 Alice St. in downtown Oakland, with a reception following. Tickets are $12-50, with no one turned away for lack of funds. To find out more about Walloch, visit GregWalloch.comKelly Vance

SUN 21

Gay or straight, black or white, or what-have-you in-between, chances are you won’t know how to dance at your own wedding. Seriously. What makes you think that the booty-shaking or white man’s overbite boogie that got you a mate in the first place will look stately enough to befit your special-day finery? And they’ll all be watching you. Now that you’re suitably frightened, here’s your solution: Leah Malberg’s Learn to Dance for Your Wedding workshop. Malberg, who is certified in all the right places, will show you and your life partner how to enter and exit the dance floor, lead or follow in, foxtrot, waltz, do a little nightclub two-step (with dip!), and some other stuff that you may not ever use again. But won’t the caterer be impressed! The magic happens at the Alameda School of Dance, 1402 Park St., from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fee is $100 per couple. For registration and further details, contact Dance4Life Entertainment at 888-798-1360 or e-mail [email protected]Stefanie Kalem

MON 22

The chamber symphony that ate the Bay Area: The group formed in 1989 as the Chamber Orchestra of San Leandro, renamed itself Classical Philharmonic in 1992, and finally settled on the name Pacific Chamber Symphony in 2002. The PCS serves and is supported by San Francisco, Hayward, Castro Valley, Pleasanton, and San Ramon, and performs in all those cities and then some. For example, today at 2 p.m. it closes out a series of East Bay performances with a program at Dean Lesher’s Hoffman Theatre, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, bringing its full, light touch to concertos by Bach, Vivaldi, Milhaud, and Stravinsky. Lawrence Kohl conducts. Tickets cost $10-$22. Call 925-943-7469. — Stefanie Kalem

TUE 23

In Dennis Letbetter‘s Untitled Lisbon, the point of view is from the street, with the 6x17cm panoramic camera looking straight up the side of a tiled apartment house — a disorienting perspective mostly because of the width of the image. The San Francisco photographer has mastered that odd way of seeing things. His panoramic cityscape series takes in Tokyo, Moscow, SF, Kyoto, and even Flint, Michigan. Also Lisboa, the title of Letbetter’s one-man show of panoramic gelatin silver prints of the Portuguese city, at North Berkeley Frame & Gallery, 1744 Shattuck Ave. through May 15. It consists entirely of images he shot in Lisbon in 2003, a sort of photographic survey of the place. North Berkeley Frame & Gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. 510-549-0428. — Kelly Vance

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