Picks of the Week: Treats and tunes for the 1st week of November

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Happy Monday, Berkeley.

Ketki is wrapped up in her astronomy textbook, studying for a midterm, so this is Olivia filling in. Some things about myself: I am currently the arts & entertainment editor at The Daily Californian, an astrophysics major and the former author of this very newsletter, so I have my fair share of experience with the oeuvre. But there are still plenty of things I’m not familiar with and new things happening all the time.

While on a short road trip to Tahoe, I spent the weekend listening to newly released singles — Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Party For One” and Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” — and the old but good I hadn’t heard before — LCD Soundsystem’s “American Dream” and Charli XCX’s “Backseat.”

On Monday, make a playlist. Pack it full of songs from Billboard’s hit chart, Spotify’s Discover Weekly and your friends’ list of favorites. Set it to play while you walk to pick up the week’s groceries or to Starbucks for your first holiday drink of the season — my choice is a classic peppermint mocha, with whipped cream, of course.

Keep the music playing as you fall asleep and wake up ready to enter the world of film. Tuesday brings the first day of San Francisco State University’s 2018 Pluralities: Nonfiction Film Conference. This year’s theme is “Spaces, Places, Belonging,” which addresses access to spaces, the relationship between space and race or gender and the definition of safe spaces, among other topics.

The two-day event features various film screenings, workshops and keynote speakers Jules Rosskam and Sharon Daniel. Attendance is free for both days.

If Daniel’s “The Evolution of ‘Public Secrets’ ” keynote interests you, consider attending the conference for a second day. Otherwise, head to Punch Line Comedy Club for Ester Steinberg’s live album recording. Steinberg currently works in New York, but her stand-up career began in high school in Tampa, Florida. She starred in Oxygen’s “Funny Girls” and is developing a comedy with ABC. Tickets to see Steinberg on Wednesday are $18.50, and the event starts at 8 p.m.

After a good laugh and a couple of nights out, personally, I’m ready for a night in. After a late meeting, I’m looking forward to coming home and whipping up a homemade weeknight meal. Maybe I’ll make a pasta with a cajun-seasoned cream sauce, broccoli, sausage rounds and sauteed mushrooms. Or burritos with Trader Joe’s chorizo removed from its casing and warmed up in a pan. I could top them with shredded cheese, guacamole and sour cream.

If you have a more time on your hands, you could blend your own pesto to add to raviolis. I have a particular love for a recipe involving arugula and walnuts, blended with parmesan.

Save some leftovers for lunch Friday and cap the week with an evening leaf walk, one of my favorite parts of November in my hometown. We’re not, however, situated in the Los Altos suburbs, so instead head up into the Berkeley Hills on Northside with a flashlight — it gets dark earlier now that daylight saving time has ended — to enjoy the crisp air and to observe all the lingering Halloween yard decorations and brilliant fall leaves.

On Saturday, it’s time for another night out on the town. Rufus Wainwright is playing The Masonic, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will be at the Fox Theater and mewithoutYou is set to play the Rickshaw Stop. Depending on your music taste and budget, at least one of these shows should catch your fancy.

While you’re riding BART to the Rickshaw Stop or waiting for Rufus Wainwright to take the stage, check out Maryam Khan’s column on the representation of schizophrenia in film and the intersection of mental health in her life.

If you have any music recommendations or dinner debacles, shoot me an email: [email protected] I may not know nearly as much about animals as Ketki does, but I love hearing from you just as much as bird watchers love this “rock star” duck.

Until next time.

Olivia Jerram is the arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected].