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Weird Art

What kind of souvenir might represent this tough year? How about a surreal work of art by the great Salvador Dali? He worked prolifically in paint and bronze, and several of his sculptures and prints are at the SBHG Gallery at Cornerstone. You can ogle them for free, or dig deeper and buy one, so that in the decades ahead when the grandkids ask about the wacky painting hanging over the couch, you’ll be able to smile, and explain: that was just 2020.

Friday through Sunday, July 10 to 12, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., “The Dali Universe” at SBHG at Cornerstone Sonoma, sbhggallery@cornerstonesonoma.com, 23570 Arnold Drive, free.

Book Smart

It’s not often that a top-shelf collective of literary illuminati make their musings available to an audience for free, but that’s exactly what’s up with the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival this year. Beginning on Monday, an A-list of intellectuals will make their compelling presentations online, and all you have to do is log on. For 11 days, 24 speakers will offer up inspiration, everything from the fertile imaginations of Isabel Allende to tales of intrigue from ex-Trump staffer H.R. McMaster, and almost everything else in between, all free.

Monday, July 13, Sonoma Valley Authors Festival, svauthorsfest.extendedsession.com, free online.

Drive Inn

If you miss the movies, and you miss Transcendence, Sonoma Mission Inn will be your happy place on Thursday night. They’re setting up their upper parking lot as a drive-in movie theater, with themed concessions and a “drive-through” wine bar, natch. Transcendence Theater will screen its new concert film "Don’t Stop Believin,” created to hold fans over until they can gather again. A warm summer night, a bit of petrol on the breeze, neighbors and friends toodle-oo-ing from near vehicles, and an uplifting, toe-tapping feature length film.

Thursday, July 16, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., “Don’t Stop Believin’’ at Sonoma Mission Inn, $45 entry fee benefits local nonprofits.

Artificial Bestie

We’re still stuck at home. Still anxious to gather. Still missing familiar people, places, and things. It may seem a bit creepy, but artificial intelligence can help fill the gaps with a virtual friendship at “Replika-My AI Friend.” The algorithm learns your preferences and proclivities, and engages you with tailor-made chat. Soon enough, your new friend will totally relate to how the sound of your husband’s chewing is driving you mad and empathize with the bottomless mess kids make when they can’t leave the house.

Anytime, Replica-My AI Friend app, free.

– Kate Williams

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