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25 Cold War flicks to keep you warm during a binge session

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:00:00 UT

We who spent our formative years in the Cold War know full well that things could be a lot worse. But rather than a boring history lesson about that era, here's a handy list — presented in nuclear countdown fashion, of course — of the top 25 Cold War movies made during that era.

Upset by poor work ethic of younger co-workers

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:01:00 UT

Dear Abby: I am almost 62 and struggling to get through the day at work. It’s not because of the work itself, but I am extremely unhappy in the work environment. I have been here more than 20 years, and I have a real problem with the work ethic of the younger employees. They come in to work anywhere from a half hour to two hours late. One of them takes hour-long breaks and two-hour lunches and then leaves early. Another comes to work and complains nonstop about her drive, her ex, and all her aches and pains. (She just turned 40.) I go home every night frustrated and so stressed out I snap at my poor husband. I really want to retire.

Believing in the tooth fairy pays off

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 06:16:56 UT

I do believe in fairies. My son, Aidan, walked into the living room, an envelope in one hand, a thick marker in the other. He sounded out each word as he wrote: “Contents: one tooth. Please leave $5 under the pillow.” He looked me in the eye and said, “Apparently, the tooth fairy hadn’t noticed my loss.” My husband, Brian, paid no attention. Normally a helicopter parent, except for two weeks every four years, he sits when watching slaloms, quadruple salchows and half-pipes and whatever else passes for an Olympic sport. There’s some kind of event with brooms and a hockey puck, but I’ve never figured that out.

Horoscope for Tuesday, 2/20/18 by Christopher Renstrom

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 06:01:00 UT

ARIES. (March 20 - April 18): You may balk at an invitation to combine forces, but think it over first. You could bolster your resources considerably and improve your prospects for success.

Former Plain Jane becomes obsessed with her looks

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:01:00 UT

Dear Abby: When I was in my teens, and even into my 20s and 30s, I was a Plain Jane. I had little self-confidence. But I have gotten better looking as I’ve aged. Now in my 50s, I am better looking than many women my age or even younger. Men definitely notice me, and I love it. My problem is, I’m now obsessed with my appearance. I have even considered cosmetic surgery. I don’t want to be the shallow person I see I’m becoming. What can I do? Late Bloomer Dear Late Bloomer: It isn’t shallow to have the feelings you are experiencing. But please remember that beauty is more than what’s on the surface.

Horoscope for Monday, 2/19/18 by Christopher Renstrom

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 06:01:00 UT

ARIES. (March 20 - April 18): Don't be put off by a new acquaintance's brusque manner. You often start out on the wrong foot with people who go on to become major influences in your life.

German soprano in a redoubtable recital debut

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 20:10:24 UT

There’s an unmistakable air of sturdiness about Dorothea Röschmann, a sense that everything she does is fastidious and well supported. In her first local recital on Friday, Feb. 16, presented in Berkeley’s Hertz Hall by Cal Performances, the German soprano put those gifts to good use. The result was perhaps more honorable than truly illuminating, a demonstration of how much can be achieved within carefully circumscribed borders. And when Röschmann did manage to break through the bounds of propriety — to conjure up an unruly surge of emotion or poetic transformation — a listener began to understand how much more was being kept in check. Röschmann’s program offered a case study in solid structural design.

Minerva’s horoscope for week of Feb. 18

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 08:00:00 UT

Starcast Brace for a Romeo and Juliet interlude as romantic Venus merges with dreamy Neptune. Their venue? Passionate Pisces. The sun and Mercury are sojourning there as well. Their message? Avoid making decisions while navigating an important crossroad. Aries (March 21-April 20) Passionate planets newly assembled in your house of secrets set you thinking about the one who got away. “If I knew then what I know now...” Is love really better the second time around? Daydreams are fun, but this is wake-up time.

Minerva's Sunday horoscope: 2/18/18

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 06:01:00 UT

STARCAST: The planets are restless this week. The sun sizzles on spirited Aries while mischievous Mercury does back flips and Venus tosses her petticoats in a spirited Irish jig. Expect the luck of St. Patrick's Day as the Pisces New Moon emerges to wish everyone "Erin Go Bragh!"

Philip Glass concert celebrates composer’s monumental influence

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 04:39:36 UT

Let’s start with a sweeping but fairly sturdy proposition: No composer has left a more pervasive or distinctive stylistic imprint on Western classical music in the last half a century than Philip Glass. Glass’ music is everywhere — in concert halls, in opera houses, on film and television soundtracks. He has created both a singular sound world and a repertoire of compositional strategies that have almost single-handedly transformed the face of contemporary music. His work has become a reference point for much of what audiences have experienced for decades. And Glass, who turned 81 in January, continues to exert his influence as a creator and a performer.

Dear Abby: Yes, a new boyfriend giving a fake name is a red flag

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 08:01:00 UT

Dear Abby: I’ve recently started seeing someone, and we have shared a wealth of information about ourselves with each other. When I asked him his last name, he said it was Erickson. When I asked him if he had a middle name, he said he didn’t. Soon after, I saw his driver’s license. It had a completely different last name from the one he gave me, and it turns out he does have a middle name after all. Now I’m starting to question everything he told me, and I’m afraid he may have lied about even bigger things.

Horoscope for Saturday, 2/17/18 by Christopher Renstrom

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 06:01:00 UT

ARIES. (March 20 - April 18): Avoid major business decisions until after the Sun passes Neptune on March 4. With Mars square Neptune now, you've got "fleece me" written all over you.

Dances by the hometown team in Program 3 score big for S.F. Ballet

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:11:51 UT

The San Francisco Ballet showed the other side of the coin Thursday, Feb. 15, at the War Memorial Opera House, and the experience told us much about the company’s 33 years under Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson. Earlier in the week, the troupe offered a program of works created in other cities or choreographed by guests. This time, Tomasson brought it all home, reviving three company-originated dances from the past decade. The variety was major. Tomasson’s “On a Theme of Paganini” embraces the neoclassical style. Myles Thatcher’s “Ghost in the Machine” trades in edgy modernism. Val Caniparoli’s “Ibsen’s House” calls for dramatic, quasi-narrative, almost expressionist treatment.

‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler jets to Oakland for opening night

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:41:28 UT

“Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler surprised the Bay Area on Thursday night, flying to his hometown to greet stunned crowds before screenings of his hit movie. “I just wanted to swing by and say thank you to you guys for taking time on a Thursday night to come see the film,” he said to an already lively 10 p.m. crowd at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, most of whom had bought tickets to the sold-out screening days or weeks before. “If you all pay extra close attention, there’s a couple Easter eggs in there for the bay.