This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
The great thing about talking to Elgy Gillespie, author of The Rough Guide to San Francisco Restaurants: 2004, isn't that she gives outstanding recommendations for places to eat, although her suggestions are wonderful -- hey, we knew about Golden Era, Elgy, but Panchita's #3? You're goooood. What we like are the fascinating details she drops about obscure-yet-prime eateries. Like that the unassuming Kim Thanh in the Tendernob has tanks full of "terribly penile looking" geoduck clams and frogs served up with lavish four-star élan. Or that the non-English-speaking owner of tiny Jai Yun on Pacific Street arrives each afternoon with two plastic bags full of fresh ingredients that he turns into brilliant, unusual dishes "with a knife and a wok" all by himself each evening. Hers is the kind of insider dish we just can't resist. Prod the author for more details tonight at 7 at Get Lost Travel Bookstore, 1825 Market (at Pearl), S.F. Admission is free; call 437-0529 or visit www.getlostbooks.com.

Thursday, February 12, 2004
We don't care that Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a stupid sitcom aimed at pimply pubescents; we love it because it's the ideal chick fantasy. An ordinary-looking girl suddenly discovers she has powers that make her special and mighty -- and not only can she use her magic to do just about anything she likes, but she also lives with two permissively hip aunts (not to mention a wisecracking talking cat) who let her get away with it. Score! That's why we're excited that Caroline Rhea, Sabrina's huggably plump sprite of a TV auntie (and former daytime TV talk show replacement for that O'Donnell woman), is coming to town to do her stand-up thing. Please refrain from pinching Rhea's cheeks starting at 8 p.m. (and continuing through Sunday) at Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus (at Lombard), S.F. Admission is $17; call 928-4320 or visit www.cobbscomedyclub.com.

Friday, February 13, 2004
Just when the icy winds of San Francisco's bitter six weeks of winter are getting you down, Artists' Television Access has something to keep you warm: "Sweet Tooth: A Night of Hot Queer Shorts."Come for the sexy queers, stay for the delicious cinematic tidbits -- such as Sorry, Brenda, Samara Halperin's two-minute exploration of the just-under-the-surface homoeroticism in Beverly Hills 90210; and Keri Oakie's pervy 15-minute peek at the sexual fantasies of boys' school students, Phineas Slipped. Our pick of the night is "Talk Dirty to Me," a selection of fun porno shorts from dyke-run production company SIR and hosted by Shar Rednour, the infamous star of girl-girl blue feature Hard Love and How to Fuck in High Heels. Slip into something less comfortable starting at 7:30 p.m. (and again at 10) at ATA, 992 Valencia (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $7; call 206-9392 or visit www.atasite.org.

Saturday, February 14, 2004
Cigarette ad campaign or no, if you're a woman, you really have come a long way, baby. Let us not forget that a mere few decades ago, "spinsterhood" was far from the laughable term it is now. It signaled the failure of your essential femininity, whatever that was. Today you can join Aya de León as she rejoices in the extinction of the spinster at her two Valentine's Day events: "The Beloved Self: A Self-Love Workshop and Mass Self-Marriage Extravaganza" and "Love Fest 2004: A Literary and Musical Celebration of Love." The former, an elaboration on de León's own famous self-marriage, encourages "brides of all genders" to practice "self-love, self-care, and self-esteem" while wearing fabulous gowns and tiaras. The latter acts as the wedding reception, only with a lot of funny, celebratory slam poetry from James Kass, Meliza Bañales, and others, plus a hip hop/soul/world dance party. The workshop (registration required) begins at 12:30 p.m. and the "Love Fest" at 7 and 9:30, both at La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck (at Prince), Berkeley. Admission is $10-12 for the evening events and $10-15 for the workshop; call (510) 849-2568 or visit www.ayadeleon.com.

Sunday, February 15, 2004
Fur, as we all know, is dead. Faux fur, therefore, must be faux dead, aka very much alive, and in this case, kicking. The Faux Fur Fashion Show is an outrageous display of cruelty-free couture made by young designers-about-town and modeled by (the press materials tease) "some of San Francisco's most eligible and edgy bachelors and bachelorettes." If it's camp you're after, look no further: Hosts Fudgie Frottage and Arturo Galster are sure to prevent anyone from taking herself seriously. And after the catwalking is finished, audience members have a chance to bid not only on the clothing, but also on dinner dates with the models. The whole shebang benefits several nonprofit organizations, including LYRIC and PAWS. See the fuzz wiggle down the runway starting at 7 p.m. at Studio Z, 314 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $10-20; call 252-7666 or visit www.studioz.tv.

Monday, February 16, 2004
San Francisco's Last of the Blacksmiths makes music that could be the soundtrack to rain. Dark, harmonic, meandering, lonely -- it's the sort of stuff you want to put on and then sit down somewhere in the gloom to contemplate your sorrows with a beer in one hand. The band's often-stark tunes are enlivened with artfully wandering-in-and-out-of-key vocals and creative instrumentation, but not the "Wow, we're playing a lampshade with a saw!" showoffy range of outfits like Olivia Tremor Control. Instead the unusual sounds peek through for one brilliant moment between guitars and drum: here a mandolin, there a flourish of '60s organ. It all makes for a style that's hard to pin down or describe, but dreamily sweet to hear. See the Blacksmiths hammer away tonight with the Woods and Bill Swanson opening at 9 p.m. at 12 Galaxies, 2565 Mission (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 970-9777 or visit www.12galaxies.com.

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