Dinner Party Hot Dish

The Dinner Party Download and Hot Dish are teaming up for Dinner Party Hot Dish, an evening of short dinner-party anecdotes, stories, and asides from Rico Gagliano, Davy Rothbart, Lou Mathews, Kent Woodyard, and me.

And as if that's not enough, Chef Rossi and his culinary students at the Art Institute will be serving a thematically-appropriate menu inspired by our stories:

Spaghetti Noodle Baskets with Sweet Potato
Blistered Brussels Sprouts and Pickled Radish
Scallion Blini with Beef Bulgogi and Pear Salad
Dr. Pepper Braised Pork Gordita with Fried Shallot Slaw; and 
Rum Cakes with Candied Walnuts and Rum Glaze and Matador Sugar Garnish.

It's all part of Lit Crawl LA: NoHo. Come check it out! Wednesday, October 22, at 9pm.
Find more info and RSVP here.

Los Angeles County Fair: Tablescaping Judges' Notes

Some excerpts from the judges' notes in this year's Los Angeles County Fair Tablescaping Competition:

1. "Tablecloth needs pressing and is slightly too long."
2. "Question soup spoon. Unsure if guests are spooning their own hollandaise sauce."
3. "Menu is lacking diversity. Fruit for salad and dessert course is repetitive.  Questioning the knife, as it does not go with the menu. Lobster pick is appropriate but nut pick is not."
4. "Cake server out of proportion with the cake.  Too much flatware, fork not needed for grapes."
5. "Menu does not match place setting.  Dinner plate is too large for appetizer or salad.  Knife is not needed." *
6. (For a Passover table) "Missing plate for gafita [sic] fish."

Related: I am definitely entering the Tablescaping contest next year.

* I believe this was the Halloween-themed table. As I was noting this down, a woman came by with her teenage daughter, saw the labeled glass drink containers, laughed out loud, and exclaimed, "Apple Spider?! Now that's creative!"

This is only the beginning.

From Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific

Did you know an adult tiger cowry can grow as long as an Apple iPhone 6?

Did you know a typical octopus lives five years, the same as Dyson's rock-solid extended warranty plan?
Did you know an electric eel produces enough electricity to power ten GE Energy Smart Spiral compact fluorescent light bulbs with flicker-free technology?

Hot Dish at the Hammer Museum

This Sunday Hot Dish is putting on a special kid's edition with seven wonderful children's book authors reading their work as part of the Hammer Museum's Family Day

Come hear stories by Cecil Castellucci, Erin Hickey, Julia Ingalls, Ben Loory, Antoinette Portis, and the writing/storytelling team of Eugene Yelchin and Mary Kuryla.  I'll also be reading a selection of stories about art, artists, and museums, plus we'll have snacks, crafts, and coloring books to share.

This month's column in Trop

"In the last eighteen years, I have taken classes in skiing, snowboarding, SCUBA diving, pole dancing, fencing, ballroom dancing, burlesque, ballet, jazz dance, yoga, tap, spinning, kickboxing, Pilates (prenatal and post-), Bar Method, karate, and wu shu; CPR, the Bradley Method, breastfeeding, infant care, and early childhood education; German, French, Old English, Latin, and Chinese; taxidermy, knitting, crocheting, quilting, needlepoint, candle-making, spinning, and sewing; drawing, singing, and sketch comedy; French cooking, wine tasting, olive oil tasting, landscape design, driving, and, due to a regrettable misunderstanding of the course description, geriatric water aerobics."

This month's column is up at Trop.

Poetiscape Podcast this Sunday, plus a new event for LA Festival of Books

This Sunday J Ryan Stradal and I will be guests on the Poetiscape Podcast, chatting with Rich Ferguson about Hot Dish and the Los Angeles literary scene.

We'll be taping on Sunday morning and you can tune in to hear it Sunday 2pm PST/5pm EST. Go here to check it out.

Also, on Thursday April 10 Hot Dish will be joining forces with The Rumpus and The Nervous Breakdown to produce an event celebrating the LA Festival of Books, with readings and performances by Gina Frangello, Jerry Stahl, Dana Johnson, xTx, Ted Travelstead, and DJ Mira Gonzalez. For more info, click here.