On the Cheap May 9-15, 2012

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WEDNESDAY 9

They Make Us Dangerous author reading and chitchat Modern Times Bookstore Collective, 2919 24 St., SF. (415) 282-9246, www.mtbs.com, 7-10pm, free. Step onto the Cold War battlefield that was Bolivia from 1964 to 1980, as you listen to the first hand account of a Catholic nun from the US's Midwest whose doctoral research takes her to this mesmerizing but poverty-stricken region. As revolution clashes with oppression and boils over in dictatorship, author Frances Payne closes the book to answer and discuss your thoughts and inquiries.

Local Authors Night Hayward Area Historical Society, 22380 Foothill Blvd., Hayward. (510) 581-8172, www.haywardhistory.org, 7pm, free. Prepare your have your hairs stand on end as East Bay author Alec Nevala-Lee reads part of his thriller, The Icon Thief, and buckle up for an emotional ride as David Teves, also of the East Bay, reads his novel, A Matter of Time, and takes you one man's journey through his own personal hell.

 

THURSDAY 10

Plantosaurus Rex prehistoric plant exhibition and time warp Conservatory of Flowers, 100 JFKennedy Dr., SF. (415) 831-2090, www.conservatoryofflowers.org, 10am-4pm Tuesdays-Sundays, $5 general for youth, seniors, students and those with proof of SF residency. $7 general. Today, the Conservatory kicks off a five-month exhibit (ending Oct. 21) that transports you 250-65 million years back in time on a journey through the living plant life and model animals of the Mesozoic Era.

 

FRIDAY 11

MFA Graduate Student Art Exhibition opening reception Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy St., SF. www.sfai.edu. noon-10pm, free. The San Francisco Art Institute introduces you to the love-labors of 100 MFA grad students to tantalize your senses with work from across the artistic disciplines, as you meander through the open guestrooms and poolside courtyard of this funky hotel.

SFAI MFA Student Film Screening SFMOMA, Phyllis Wattis Theater, 151 3 St., SF. www.sfai.edu. 1pm-3pm, free. From an experimental documentary about the Occupy movement to an animated short starring an otter and lemur living in a submarine, these works by graduating MFA film students will introduce you to the filmmakers of the future.

 

SATURDAY 12

Making Mothers Visible Pop-Up Photography Arts Event San Francisco Main Public Library, Civic Center, 100 Larkin St., SF. www.imow.org. 10am-3pm, free. Just in time for Mother's Day, the International Museum of Women invites you to celebrate moms the world around. Watch as volunteers install more than 50 large-scale photographs of mothers and midwives on the exterior of the library. This family-friendly day also features free art activities including face painting for kids and a hands-on art workshop for adults.

Paradigm Shift Pagan Festival and Parade Martin Luther King Jr., Civic Center Park, 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley. www.thorncoyle.com. 10am-5:30pm, free. March amid belly dancers, storytellers, music, and merriment in the eleventh annual procession of the Pagan Festival. You and your brood could win a best costume award if you arrive decked out in your finest tribal attire.

Rocket Dog Rescue Happy Hour Benefit Bliss Bar, 4026 24 St., SF. (877) 737-3647, adopt@rocketdogrescue.org. 5pm-7:30pm, free with $10 recommended donation. Bliss out at the bar with fellow K-9 lovers as you enjoy the music of Bright Side Band. All proceeds will benefit dogs in need via Rocket

 

SUNDAY 13

How Weird Street Faire, Electronic Music Festival Howard and 2nd St., SoMa SF. www.HowWeird.org. 12pm-8pm, $10 donation requested. When the Dalai Lama was asked what the average person could do to promote world peace, he replied, "They can make festivals, bring people together." So: 13 stages of music will dot 13 city blocks for this 13th annual party to celebrate peace and creativity via technical sounds, visual innovations and thousands of people.

 

MONDAY 14

Coit Tower celebrate historic murals at Booksmith The Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., SF. (415) 863-8688, www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. On the June 5 ballot, local voters will consider Prop. B, an initiative asking the city to prioritize restoration and preservation of 27 New Deal-era murals at Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill. This literary evening is dedicated to reading about and reliving the history of Coit Tower and its art-laden walls.

SHOUT Storytelling Grand Lake Coffee House, 440 Grand Ave., Oakl. www.theshoutstorytelling.com. 7:30pm, $5–<\d>$20, pay what you will. Listen to true but incredible 10-minute stories from the lives of local raconteurs in an informal coffee house setting that will feel like a party in your own living room (that you don't have to clean up). Feeling the gift of gab? Throw your name into the hat in hopes of getting picked for one of the six-minute wild card slots.

 

TUESDAY 15

Feast of Words; A literary potluck to laugh with a funny lady SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St, SF. Feastofwords.somarts.org, feastofwords@somarts.org. 7pm-9pm, $10 advance, $5 with potluck dish, $12 at door. Following a nationwide tour, Oakland-based funny girl writer, Cassie J. Sneider, reads from her new book Fine, Fine Music at this monthly potluck. This intimate party brings writers, foodies, and any combination of the two, together to — well — eat, write, and laugh.