Turmeric tea, Keller on work, birdhouse jazz

Happy January! Just one new piece to share since last issue: The Kids Aren't All Right, my new book review for Books and Culture. You'll have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing. But, hey! Guess what? I still haven't found a winner for my Books and Culture subscription contest, so this could be your day to pass the velvet online ropes and waltz behind the scenes like a real subscribing rockstar. Just write a sentence or two in the comments below, saying why you want a year's subscription! Be sure to provide an email address in the contact information.

:: events ::
Birdhouses constructed with found materials.
  • Jazz party: Remember that North Berkeley birdhouse maker I told you about a few weeks back? Well, I happened to bike by his truck the other night and wound up buying three birdhouses. While there, I also got the scoop on his now-weekly jazz night, which runs 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Fridays, but not for long (he still plans to return to the Philippines soon). I'm curious to check out the scene (one recent act was visiting from New York, he said), but such an outing promises far too much adventure for me to keep it to myself. Anyone in? The house is across the street from the North Berkeley BART station on Sacramento.
  • Cole Porter's musical Anything Goes (on which P.G. Wodehouse collaborated) starts a four-week run tonight. Any fellow musical/Porter fans out there? While I don't know CP's work exhaustively, some of the songs in the show are as good a testament as any to his lyrical prowess.
  • Cody ChesnuTT plays the Independent Jan. 29. I really enjoyed the First Listen of his newest album -- especially "Under the Spell of the Handout." Anyone else want to hear him? $15/8 p.m. show.
:: tunes ::
:: reading / food for thought ::
:: your stuff ::
:: Keller corner ::
:: visual art & film  ::
  • Paste's review is the first I've heard of this new film from Dustin Hoffman (yes, he directs!), but Quartet sounds great. Anyone want to go? It comes out Friday, and I suspect my movie-companion options are one or some of you or my 60something aunt -- a lovely woman, but not super close by. The New York Times has more on this and another film set in the world of classical music, the latter of which features Christopher Walken.
  • National Geographic recently announced the winners of its annual photography contest.
  • Politics aside, this slideshow of the White House photographer's favorite pictures from 2012 presents a more intimate portrait of the president and his family than you normally see — especially several fun interactions with children.
  • A couple recommendations from The Grotto's J.D. Beltran:
    • THE THIRD WAVE AT GARDEN GATE CREATIVITY CENTER, BERKELEY - Check out iPhone art at  "The Third Wave" show, through Jan. 30 at the Garden Gate Creativity Center, 2911 Claremont Ave. in Berkeley.
    • "ABOUT FACE" AT PIER 24 - An exhibition of nearly 1,000 photographs drawn primarily from the Pilara Foundation's permanent collection. "About Face" encompasses wide-ranging approaches to portraiture from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day, from August Sander's "Face of Our Time" to Richard Avedon's "The Family," to Jim Goldberg's "Rich and Poor" and Larry Sultan's "SF Society." Through February. By advance appointment only.
:: food ::This one's for the aspiring hippies ... or taste adventurers among you: try this turmeric tea recipe that was just shared in our office newsletter yesterday. I haven't tried it yet, but I hope to tonight. The most popular comment on the About version says that, with fresh ginger and a couple other tweaks, the drinker likes it almost as well as coffee! I'm certainly intrigued.

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