Party season is upon us -- yet there's one evening soiree I'm happy to miss. I will not be attending an end of the world party at 11:11 tonight.
Call me crazy, but I like my parties to be happy affairs. I like wine and a Trader Joe's hummus wheel with three kinds of crackers. I don't want salty tears falling on my cheese plate.
Quite frankly, all this talk about end times is madness anyway. I saw "Tales of the Maya Skies" at Chabot Space and Science Center, and it has a perfectly logical explanation for the significance of 2012. I won't spoil the story here, but I urge you to see the movie for yourself. And if you're a betting man or woman, buy your tickets in advance for later this weekend.
Email bag: Thanks to everyone who pitched in to add to my obit on Dave Brubeck last week. Reader John Tuttle says the jazz legend's early bass player, Ron Crotty, still entertains at the Blue Oak Café at the Oakland Museum. "He often has a pianist with him," says Tuttle, and they "do an excellent job of entertaining the often very busy lunch crowd at the cafe."
As for the Brubecks' Montclair home, reader Blake Gilmore says the architect who built the famed 'House in the Sky' felt he got too much attention. "Dave Thorne changed his first name to Beverley to avoid what he saw as intrusive interest after his brief encounter with fame vis a vis the 'Heartwood House.' "
If you Google Bev Thorne, you'll find a fascinating interview that details just how he built the Brubeck home. Constructed on a 25-foot-high outcropping of bedrock with sweeping Bay Area views, the home got a lot of attention in its day and was photographed for a number of architectural, as well as jazz magazines.
Meanwhile, Brubeck's music can still be heard around the hills. Several readers told me they were playing the jazz legend's music as a tribute last week.
Seasonal spoilers: The holidays bring out the best -- and the worst -- in people. The winner of the "worst" category this week goes to the thug who robbed a parent leaving Joaquin Miller School. Reports say the mom was carrying class donations when the suspect approached her, demanding her purse. The sum of the spoils was just $70, but the memory of that terrifying experience will last a lifetime.
Forest fantasy: If you're looking for holiday lights this month, take a trek to the Tilden Park merry-go-round. This is the 14th year for Christmas Fantasy in the Woods, a wondrous display of lit Christmas trees and the antique merry-go-round, which turns 100 next year. There are seasonal goodies and custom-made ornaments for sale, too, along with carolers and Santa with live reindeer each night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. through Sunday.
And reader Diana Haven reminds us that Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland has a beautiful display of holiday lights through New Year's Day, including a giant Nutcracker soldier and other enchanted characters.