My underwear says "Property of M. Leaverton." Periel Aschenbrand's says "The Only Bush I Trust Is My Own." Granted, she has the better garment, good enough to wear outside the Republican National Convention, which she did in 2004, jump-starting a T-shirt business and getting a flurry of featurettes in culture magazines. Even Susan Sarandon wears her clothes (duly reported by the editors of Gotham). Now she's switched to pulp and written a book, The Only Bush I Trust Is My Own. It's a winning sentiment, but perhaps it's run its course.
Aschenbrand is naked on the cover. She calls herself "half Israeli and half New York Jew" and sets out to shock, starting slow by bagging on Starbucks ("It's fucking revolting") but finishing strong by describing her anus ("It's very clean and pink") and telling her nice Jewish mother about people who literally dine on shit. Mom also learns the details about the Orthodox Jewish proctologist who inspected Aschenbrand's raised ass ("He had a hard-on, Mommy"). Aschenbrand is a wild writer, and her mother is completely horrified. Catch her read at 7 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670 or visit www.bookstore.com. -- Michael Leaverton
Deep Dark Comix A graphic art giant
As one of the big names from the 1960s countercultural underground-comics scene, Spain Rodriguez has seen his work often compared with that of his close contemporary, R. Crumb: Both men's art is bright in color, dark in content, and unafraid of political expression. Rodriguez's panels skew far more to literary than Crumb's, though, and his down-and-out characters, most famous among them "Trashman," are less bubble-butted and more scowly. Currently, Rodriguez draws Dark Hotel for Salon.com and recently finished an undoubtedly twisted version of several Sherlock Holmes tales; the guy likes noir, obviously. This evening he appears in person as part of the series "Third Thursdays With Booklyn West" hosted by Fred Rinne, showing sketchbooks that presage his work in Anarchy and Zap Comix, the East Village Other, and his treatments of Edgar Allen Poe stories. The salon begins at 7 at the San Francisco Center for the Book, 300 De Haro (at 16th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 565-0545 or visit www.sfcb.org. -- Hiya Swanhuyser
Gotta Dance Arts on film
Homer Avila lost a leg and kept dancing. And now that you know about him, you have no room to complain or procrastinate about anything ever again. Profiled in Phoenix Dance, Avila faced up to cancer, survived an amputation, and refused to let it stop him; Karina Epperlein's documentary follows the professional dancer as he makes his triumphant return to the stage in Alonzo King's duet Pas.
Tonight's screening, "Two Films on Artists," also includes My Eyes Were Fresh by Jane Levy Reed starting at 7:30 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $6-7; call 978-2787 or visit www.filmarts.org. -- Hiya Swanhuyser
Harold Lloyd ruled silent films, hammering out comedic "thrill pictures" with unheard-of special effects. Safety Last!, a nail-biter about climbing a building, employed trick photography and a fake clock-tower wall. The "Harold Lloyd Series"opens with SafetyFriday at 7 p.m. at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro (near Market), S.F. Admission is $5.50-8.50; call 621-6120 or go to www.thecastrotheatre.com. -- Michael Leaverton