Memento Mori Those red paper poppies people wear and sell in honor of this century's veterans began as a symbol of World War I vets, after the vivid flowers bloomed across the desecrated fields of the Western Front. Veterans Day, originally celebrated as Armistice Day and the end of World War I, falls on the Armistice's 80th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion, the Mad Dog in the Fog is hosting Remembrance Day, the English equivalent of Veterans Day. Artist Alan Ball's anti-war paintings will be hung, and paper poppies, imported from England, will be given out in exchange for donations to veterans service groups. For one night, guests will get a taste of that bloody, devastating conflict through period music, actual footage from the front, and readings of wartime poetry and selections from books like Lyn McDonald's Roses of No Man's Land, a nurse's account of tending the wounded. Remembrance Day begins at 7 p.m. at the Mad Dog in the Fog, 530 Haight (at Fillmore), S.F. Admission is free; call 626-7279. (A second celebration Nov. 25 features a sing-along with the Royal British Legion's Danny Mander.) Veterans and the public can warm up for Remembrance Day with a free health fair 8-11 a.m. at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center (4150 Clement), followed by a shuttle ride to the Legion of Honor's Veterans Day, where vets from both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam will speak, and white doves will be released at the fountain. Entertainment includes the 42nd Street Moon singers and a film program featuring Weapons of the Spirit, African Americans in World War II: A Legacy of Patriotism and Valor. Museum events begin at 10 a.m. at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, The Presidio, 34th Avenue & Lincoln, S.F. Admission is $5 for the Picasso war years exhibit, free to vets; call 863-3330.
Pech of the Week While Smuin Ballet offers trick ponies and dancing skeletons in Suenos Latinos across town, contemporary ballet troupe the Lawrence Pech Dance Company premieres Spanish Song, which San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Yuri Possokhov has choreographed for soloist Wendy Van Dyck to Isaac Albeniz's Cantos de Espana, performed live by two guitarists. A former dancer with American Ballet Theater and SFB, Pech's professional stature draws reputable guest artists like Possokhov and fellow SFB principal Julia Adam, who brings to the company Newton: Three Laws of Motion, a kinetic three-part ballet that concludes with Mozart's stirring "Exsultate, jubilate," performed live by a chamber orchestra. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and continues through Sunday) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $20-25; call 978-ARTS.
They've Got Your Number How you see yourself (quiet, hardworking scribe) may have nothing to do with how others see you (self-important hors d'oeuvre-sucking leech), which is sort of how choreographer Deborah Slater arrived at Passing as ... the Mathematics of Being, a contemporary dance-theater piece that probes cultural judgments, both subtle and overt, which shape our views of ourselves and each other. Performances will unfold on two different stages, and the text, music, and sound from each will overlap, contributing to how the work is understood (or misunderstood). Among the selections are Lisa Wallgren's Yellow Girl, Sidney Ortiz's Not a Real Mexican, and Jason Grey's Faggot, pieces that question our sense of belonging and otherness. Max Morales contributes a multilayered score to the show, which begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through Saturday) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is $16.50; call 621-7797.
It's About #&o! TIME INSPIRED BY TOURETTE SYNDROME ASSOCIATION CONVENTIONGOERS WHO TICCED AND JERKED ACROSS THE DANCE FLOOR TO THE BEATLES HIT "TWIST AND SHOUT," LAUREL CHITEN'S DOCUMENTARY TWITCH AND SHOUT FINDS THE HUMOR IN AN OTHERWISE AGGRAVATING AND MISUNDERSTOOD CONDITION. CHITEN AND FELLOW TS SUFFERER LOWELL HANDLER, A PHOTOJOURNALIST, TURN THE CAMERA ON A BROAD RANGE OF PEOPLE WITH THE GENETIC DISORDER, FROM MANHATTAN ACTRESS DESIREe LEDET (WHOSE TWITCHING EYEBROWS MEN OFTEN MISTAKE AS A COME-ON) TO DENVER NUGGETS BASKETBALL PLAYER MAHMOUD ABDULRAUF, WHO ACTUALLY WORKED HIS TICS INTO HIS PLAYING STYLE AND SO SUCCESSFULLY CHANNELED HIS OBSESSIVE BEHAVIOR INTO MARATHON PRACTICE SESSIONS THAT HE WAS NAMED THE NBA'S MOST IMPROVED PLAYER IN '93. IN THE PROCESS, THE FILM PUTS A FACE TO THE DISORDER, WHICH WAS THOUGHT TO BE PSYCHOANALYTIC AS LATE AS THE '70S, AND CLEARS UP COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SYMPTOMS LIKE COPROLALIA (OBSESSIVE PROFANITY), WHICH AFFECTS ONLY 15 TO 20 PERCENT OF THE 100,000 OR SO AMERICANS WITH TS. THE FILM SCREENS AT 7 P.M. AT PIEDMONT MIDDLE SCHOOL, 740 MAGNOLIA, PIEDMONT. ADMISSION IS FREE; CALL (510) 420-1534.
MAKING IT SO YOU NEVER LEARNED THE DELICATE PAPER-FOLDING TRICKS OF ORIGAMI, OR HOW TO DRAW? BUCK UPo At the Art Materials Tools of the Trade Show, over 60 manufacturers will showcase their paints, brushes, pens, clay, and projectors, while nationally known artists like painter/sculptor Roy DeForest will conduct workshops and demonstrations on how to use them. A special corner will be devoted to making holiday items like cards and wrapping paper, and supplies will be offered at a discount. Proceeds from the show benefit the Art Supplies for Kids Fund, which provides teachers with desperately needed art supplies so that today's kids won't have to suffer the humiliation of art impairment. The show opens at 10 a.m. (and runs through Sunday) at the Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is free; call (510) 649-4800.