May 14: Carrie Brownstein and other SF events 

Who’s in town

Carrie Brownstein, co-creator and co-star of the sketch-comedy show “Portlandia” and the former singer-guitarist of the band Sleater-Kinney, appears in conversation with author Vendela Vida. [7:30 p.m., Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St., S.F.]

Lectures

Siobhan Neilland: The OneMama and ShaBoom Products founder discusses how an idea, a strategy and tenacity can help transfer a personal technique to the professional realm of business and philanthropy. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Thomas E. Levy: The author and physician posits that a deficiency of vitamin C in tissues ultimately dictates whether you are ill and how severely sick you are. [Noon, Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Literary events

Nathan Deuel: The essayist and journalist discusses “Friday Was the Bomb.” [7 p.m., Green Apple Books, 506 Clement St., S.F.]

Maggie Shipstead: The best-selling author presents “Astonish Me,” her new novel. [7 p.m., Books Inc., 74 Town and Country Village, Palo Alto]

Christopher Moore: The comic-fantasy novelist presents “The Serpent of Venice.” [7:30 p.m., Kepler’s Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

Rayya Elias: The Syria-born writer presents “Harley Loco,” a memoir. [6 p.m., Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, S.F.]

At the colleges

Open house: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute hosts an open house featuring a preview of its summer courses for people ages 50 and up. [1 p.m., SFSU, Downtown Campus, Room 609, 835 Market St., sixth floor, S.F.]

At the public library

Open house: The library’s Merced Branch hosts an open house celebrating the third anniversary of its reopening. Special guests include local historian Woody LaBounty. [6 to 8 p.m., 155 Winston Drive, S.F.]

Mother-daughter book group: The session is designed for daughters ages 9 to 11 and their female caregiver. “Everything on a Waffle,” by Polly Horvath, is the featured book. [7 p.m., West Portal Branch, 190 Lenox Way, S.F.]

Benefit concert

The 2014 Blue Bear School of Music Benefit features a performance by blues and roots singer-songwriter Jackie Greene. Blue Bear youth bands open the evening. [7:30 p.m., Chapel, 777 Valencia St., S.F.]

Local activities

Comedy show: Comedian and actor Mo Mandel, seen on “Chelsea Lately,” “Free Agents” and “Modern Family,” performs his stand-up. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Funky music: The Beth Custer Ensemble, a funky and soulful bass-clarinet driven band, performs at Yoshi’s. The group’s material ranges from political songs to country waltzes to Afro-fusion instrumentals. [8 p.m., 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.]

Art reception: Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts hosts a reception for “Secretos bajo la Piel (Secrets Under the Skin),” an installation connecting Ghanaian, Togolese and Cuban communities. [6 to 10 p.m., 2868 Mission St., S.F.]

Kasa Indian Eatery: Recommended main dishes include chicken tikka masala (char-grilled, marinated chicken in a spicy tomato sauce) and saag paneer (spinach with Indian cheese). [4001 18th St., S.F., (415) 621-6940; 1356 Polk St., S.F., (415) 931-3991]

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