-Pablo Helguera: Librería Donceles at Kadist SF. Now extended through December 20, Pablo Helguera's pop-up Spanish-language bookshop is a delight to visit and also a sly statement on the lack of other such retail opportunities in the Mission. Fill out a survey that illuminates your innermost thoughts about books and then be guided to a specific topic by the knowledgeable shop-minder, or just browse to your heart's content. Sales are pay-what-you-will with all proceeds going to local charities, and the only rule is that you can only buy one book per day.
-Anything on Linda Mary Montano's website. I saw her speak/sing/perform at the Art Institute on Halloween, and her art continues to deal with all the huge topics and be profoundly healing besides.
-Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and What They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel. Originally published in 1974, this book is a veritable time capsule of the jobs in the United States at that time. Terkel allows each person to speak for themselves and adds very little commentary, though he clearly was a sympathetic listener. As for peoples' attitudes toward work, it's no surprise they were pretty much the same 40 years ago as they are now.
-Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince. A lovely and heartfelt graphic novel about Prince's experiences growing up wanting to be more a boy than a girl. As someone who was often mistaken for a boy during my own childhood I loved Prince's stubbornness and her refusal to conform to societal gender norms.
-The new self-titled debut release by Ultimate Painting, featuring members of Mazes and Veronica Falls, is quite good if you haven't checked it out yet. Excellent band name too.
-SLC Punk! directed by James Merendino. I hadn't seen this since it came out in 1998, but it totally holds up. And I didn't know this until I checked IMDB just now but Merendino is releasing a sequel next year called Punk's Dead. Eek.
-Shutter Interface by Paul Sharits. This piece, all 24 minutes of it, closed out a recent (brilliant) program of double-projected short films at the PFA, and it was simultaneously a bit of an endurance test and an utterly rapturous experience. I made a game of counting how many people walked out.
-The veggie paella at Duende. Pro tip: check with the kitchen on how long it will take if you have a play to catch after dinner.
Recent recommended theater:
-Arguendo at Z Space. Sadly this is already gone after a very short run, because otherwise I would demand everyone run out and see it immediately. New York's Elevator Repair Service turn a Supreme Court case about erotic dancing into a choreographed ballet of rolling office chairs and impenetrable legal language.
-Redwolf at The Flight Deck. A wonderfully complex and original reimagining of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale by Ragged Wing Ensemble in their brand new home in downtown Oakland. The play's got an incredibly talented cast, a story that aroused my curiosity and had me on the edge of my seat, gorgeous production design, a strong feminist bent, damn sexy moments, laugh-out-loud funny moments, and Latin. I was definitely left with some questions at the end, but I will always prefer a play that takes risks and makes me think over one that is totally bleeding obvious.