On the Cheap

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On the Cheap listings are compiled by Soojin Chang. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.

WEDNESDAY 22

"An Edward Gorey Birthday Party" Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission, SF; (415) 227-8666, www.cartoonart.org. 6 p.m.-8 p.m., free. Edward Gorey: a cool guy who not only made pop-up matchbox-sized books by hand, but also redefined the macabre nonsense that makes up children's literature. Come celebrate the world-renowned author's birthday with an evening of readings, interpretations, and cake.

BAY AREA

"Path to Prison Reform: Freeing Jails from Racism Berkeley-East Baby Gray Panthers" North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst, Berk; (510) 548-9696, berkeleygraypathers.mysite.com. 1:30 p.m., free. Plenty of things go down in jails that are neither documented nor resolved. Join ACLU members and former prisoners in a discussion of how racism may be the culprit behind prison brutality.

THURSDAY 23

"A Mnemosyne Slumber Party" Mechanic's Institute, 57 Post, SF; (415) 393-0101, www.mililibrary.org. 6 p.m., $12. Mnemosyne is a free online journal that features art, fiction, and nonfiction work dedicated to the science of memory and the mind. Come to the premiere of their newest "Sleep and Dreams" issue, stay for a night of live readings and artist appearances.

FRIDAY 24

"Diversity and Evolution of Hummingbirds" City College of San Francisco Ocean Campus, 50 Phelan, SF; (415) 239-3475, ccsf.edu/upcomingevents. Noon-1 p.m., free. Hitchcock ruined birds for some of us, but for those who still find these flying feathered creatures non-terrifying, this is a chance to join ornithology instructor Joe Morlan as he discusses the many birds he saw in his adventures in California, Arizona, Belize, Costa Rica, Trinidad, and Ecuador.

BAY AREA

Oakland Food Not Bombs benefit show Revolution Cafe, 1612 Seventh St., Oakl; (510) 625-0149, www.revcafeoak.com. 7 p.m., $4-$13. Food Not Bombs is all about non-violence, consensus decision-making, and tasty vegetarian meals, distributed for free to the community. What's not to love? Support the group's efforts this weekend in a benefit show featuring local bands Nate Porter and Wagon Boat.

SATURDAY 25

"Noise Pop Culture Club" Public Works, 161 Erie, SF; (415) 932-0955, www.publicsf.com. 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., $10. Noise Pop would not be possible without the visionary artists in the music, film, art, design, technology, and food communities. This event features a discussion by Johnny Jewel of Glass Candy, artwork by Grimes, an Ableton Live workshop with Thavius Beck, a talk on animation by Aaron Rose and Syd Garon – plus a bounce lesson taught by New Orleans bounce belle, Big Freedia.

Punk Swap Meet Speakeasy Ales and Lagers, 1195 Evans, SF; (415) 642-3371, www.goodbeer.com. 1

p.m.-6 p.m., free. If you thought flea markets were just for old knitting ladies, you have never been more wrong. Punk Swap Meet has tables selling records, zines, tapes, DIY crafts, clothing, and is open to all ages. There will be food by Eagle Dog, with vegetarian and vegan options available, and brew on tap for $3.

San Francisco Crystal Fair Fort Mason Center Building A, 99 Marina, SF; (415) 383-7837, www.crystalfair.com. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (also Sun/26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.), $6 for two-day admission. Is your chakra out of sync? Not to worry. Pacific Crystal Guild is coming with over 40 exhibitors carrying crystals from Nepal, Bali, Afghanistan, and China.

SF Flea Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason Center, One Buchanan, SF; (415) 990-0600, www.sf-flea.com. Sat., 11 am.1-6 p.m. (also Sun/26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.), $5. SF Flea is a modern public market that brings together local design, style, food, art, and entertainment.

BAY AREA

Miss and Mister Oakland Punk Rock Pageant East Bay Rats Club House, 3025 San Pablo, Oakl; (510) 830-6466, www.eastbayrats.com. 8:30 p.m., $5 (free for contestants). Who says you have to be a six-year-old from Georgia or proclaim world peace in a bikini to be in a pageant? Have your long-awaited tiara moment by showcasing how swiftly you can open a beer bottle with your teeth at Oakland's very own punk rock pageant.

Stories of Old San Francisco Chinatown reading Eastwind Books of Berkeley, 2066 University, Berk; (510) 548-2350, www.asiabookcenter.com. 3 p.m., free. A long walk through Chinatown conjures ghosts – one can't help cogitating on these streets' secrets and history. Join Lyle Jan, a San Francisco native, for a journey through his youth spent growing up in Chinatown.

SUNDAY 26

San Francisco Bookstore and Chocolate Crawl Meet at Green Apple Books, 506 Clement, SF. (415) 387-2272, www.greenapplebooks.com. Noon-6 p.m., free. Go on a walking tour of some of San Francisco's finest bookstores, buy some books, and eat a lot of chocolate.

The Fairy Dogfather signing Books Inc., 3515 California, SF; (415) 221-3666, booksinc.net/SFLaurel. 3 p.m., free. In Alexandra Day's new book, a dyslexic boy asks for a fairy dogfather instead of a fairy godfather. And we're so glad he did, because the combination of a fedora-wearing dog-friend and a confused child makes for one adorable picture book.

MONDAY 27

Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning reading Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; (415) 863-8688, www.booksmith.com. 7:30 p.m., free. Is it really true that an old dog can never learn a new trick? In his book Guitar Zero, NYU professor Gary Marcus chronicles his own experience learning to play the guitar at age 38, and finds that there isn't necessarily a cut-off age for mastering a new skill.

TUESDAY 28

"Pritzker Family Lecture" with Claude Lanzmann and Regina Longo Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California, SF. (415) 292-1200, www.jccsf.org. 7 p.m., free with reservation. Lanzmann not only lived through the German occupation of France and fought with the French Resistance, but helped document the whole thing as the editor of Les Temps Modernes, Jean Paul Sartre's political-literary journal. Come pick his brain as he discusses his new memoir, The Patagonian Hare, and his film, Shoah.

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