FRIDAY, February 22
The horror of the Writers Guild strike we've been living with for the past several months is almost over. I mean, how many Tivoed episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos can you watch? (A lot, it's true.) We can still laugh at the writers' expense about what it's like to be out of work at IO West's Hardly Working, wherein writer Brett Paesel and a bunch of writer-comics turn the strike into standup home runs. This week, catch Taylor Negron, Jerry Collins, Joe Liss, Claudia Lonow and Marcia Wilkie. IO West, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., Feb. 22, 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 962-7560.
SATURDAY, February 23
Ben Karlin's credits: former editor of The Onion, executive-producer and writer for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and co-creator of The Colbert Report. You'd think that would be enough, but he's edited a book called Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me ... Live! and he and a bunch of contributors will read funny bits on two different nights. Tonight, Karlin will be joined by Paul F. Tompkins, Jason Nash and Andy Richter. On Monday, Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, David Wain and Larry Wilmore share their feelings (and Nellie McKay — read on). OK Go plays both nights. It's the perfect opportunity to commiserate with others about how much you fucked up on Valentine's Day. Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Feb. 23 & Mon., Feb. 25, 8 p.m.; $10. (800) 595-4TIX.
You don't have to be a neofeminist to attend Lady Party IV, a benefit for Object, "a fresh female forum bent on transcending the dogmatic women's politics of yore." The evening will present the final performance of Obie Award-winning playwright Heather Woodbury's one-woman show, The Last Days of Desmond Nani Reese: A Stripper's History of the World, followed by an after-party with the world's greatest singer-songwriter-pianist, Nellie McKay. Bang Studio, 436 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.; Sat., Feb. 23, 8 p.m.; $15. After-party with Nellie McKay at 10 p.m.; $10. (323) 653-6886.
SUNDAY, February 24
It's L.A.'s proudest day: The Academy Awards, or Oscars, as they prefer to be called. If you'd rather spend the awards in a more social setting than alone on your couch with a six-pack of There Will Be Bud, you can opt for The Envelope Please, an Oscar-viewing party to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest nonprofit AIDS service organizations in the United States. The Abbey, 692 N. Robertson Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sun., Feb. 24, 4 p.m. cocktails, 5 p.m. telecast & supper; $300. (866) 679-0958 or www.apla.org.
MONDAY, February 25
By the time you wake up today, we all will have forgotten who won for Best Supporting Actor. As part of Black History Month, the Freedom Socialist Party presents a screening of At the River I Stand, a film that "highlights the struggle of low-paid black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, whose battle 40 years ago for union representation and an end to racist treatment on the job transformed a local labor dispute into a pivotal point in the civil rights and labor movements." Solidarity Hall, 2170 W. Washington Blvd., L.A.; Mon., Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.; $2. Southern-style dinner, with vegetarian option, served at 6:30 p.m. for a $7 donation. (323) 732-6416 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TUESDAY, February 26
Every day, I walk past Ed Begley Jr.'s house. (Yes, I will tell you where it is, for a new car.) He has the most amazing front garden full of fruit trees, rosemary and lavender shrubs, drought-resistant plants, etc. Supposedly, his white picket fence is made from recycled plastic milk jugs. I call it "Ed's Big Garden of Guilt," because that is how it makes me feel. Mission accomplished, Mr. Begley! Junior! One can only imagine the energy-saving goings-on inside the solar-powered house. Begley signs Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life, which is printed on paper from his own recycled toenail clippings. It should also be noted that he regularly wears Birkenstocks with white socks, which the earth does not approve of. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Tues., Feb. 26, 7 p.m.; free (book costs $18). (310) 659-3110.
WEDNESDAY, February 27
Oscar letdown hit you yet? I know the feeling. You can only practice your acceptance speech in front of a mirror so many times until it becomes depressing. Luckily, there's And the Winner Is ... Awards Season Exhibit, a display of real movie goodies, such as the oxygen-propelled cattle gun Javier Bardem uses in No Country for Old Men and costumes from Juno, Sweeney Todd, The Golden Compass and more, including John Travolta's plus-size lime-green dress from Hairspray. Hollywood Museum, 1660 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., thru April 27; $15, $12 students and seniors. ?(323) 464-7776 or www.thehollywoodmuseum.com.
THURSDAY, February 28
Although she spells her last name wrong, I think I must get my hands on Wendy Molyneux's new book, Everything Is Wrong With You: The Modern Woman's Guide to Finding Self Confidence Through Self-Loathing, which touts, "The good news is that any woman who reads this book will not only become the perfect woman but will also acquire ninja powers and be able to control physical objects with their mind. It may sound like a lot, but that is what this country is about — making empty promises." Sample topic: "Are your toes weird? I'm not saying they are, but are they?" Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Thurs., Feb. 28, 7 p.m.; free (book costs $14.99) (sounds too cheap - there must be something very wrong with it). (310) 659-3110.