Up This Week

Just catching up on the last week's events and publications.

"Discoballs are the new teen danger drug of choice.  Teens across America are snorting this mixture of powdered caffeine and glitter that was first popularized by hip hop musician KR4FT*Z."

I have a piece in The Rumpus, "Five Disturbing Teen Trends Every Parent Should Know About," including discoballs and lumberjacking.  (And thanks to Dev, who invented the idea of lumberjacking.)

The Music Center posted more videos from the series I wrote with J Ryan Stradal.  Here so far are episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
 There's a whole campaign of games, contests, and giveaways, so check it out and get involved.
The Dinner Party Hot Dish was a success! Absolutely packed, and with nice write-ups from the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Magazine.  Look out for the next Hot Dish (probably) sometime in December.
And last, today I'm on the Dwellable blog talking about some of Burbank's best residential haunted house attractions.

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.