Francisco Real killed people. He smuggled illegal immigrants. He sold drugs and collected taxes for the Mexican Mafia. He ran a gang and family criminal enterprise that made his street in Glassell Park one of the most dangerous in Los Angeles. But L.A. being the city of reinvention, last week...
You know you're a child of the '80s if you're more familiar with Alan Thicke's songs than his son Robin's. Among the many TV shows he composed for, the elder Thicke wrote the theme track to The Facts of Life, NBC's 1979-88 sitcom about four private-school girls in upstate New York. The show addressed the social issues of the day — sex, drugs, alcohol, Jermaine Jackson — but in a wholesome way, before Girls, Sex and the City and even The Golden Girls made female bonding raunchy. For a G-rated walk down memory lane, the Paley Center hosts "The Facts of Life 35th-Anniversary Reunion." As part of PaleyFest's Fall TV Previews, and moderated by Entertainment Weekly's Danielle Nussbaum, the museum brings together cast and crew including Lisa Whelchel (rich girl Blair), Nancy McKeon (streetwise Jo), Mindy Cohn (bubbly, aspiring writer Natalie) and Charlotte Rae (housemother Mrs. Garrett). No word yet on whether Kim Fields (nosey, pigtailed Tootie) will be rolling in on her skates. Maybe now you can find out what ever became of guest stars like George Clooney. Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills; Mon., Sept. 15, 6 p.m.; $30. (310) 786-1000, paleycenter.org.More
Most people talk about death as if it's a friend they kind of know but have heard some bad things about — in hushed tones, as though giving voice to those transgressions means that death would rub off on them in some weird way. And it does! To wit: Local doyenne of the dead and "Ask a Mortician" web series host Caitlin Doughty presents her mellifluously morbid memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory. Taking a job in a crematory on a whim, Doughty found herself immersed in a world about which few know or care — despite the fact that death is that singular stoplight toward which everyone ultimately hurtles. One of the fascinating Angelenos featured in the Weekly's 2014 People issue, Doughty details everything from stray human ashes on her clothes to the shaving of the dead to the accidental death of a toddler she witnessed as a child. Good times. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $24.95. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com.More
L.A. Opera launches a biannual series of free, live simulcasts direct from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with Verdi's La Traviata beamed in high-def straight to a large LED screen on the Santa Monica Pier. Verdi's great romantic opus is updated in this art deco–inspired production set in the Roaring Twenties. It's free to attend, but seek out reserve advance tickets to avoid long entrance lines. You can avoid the handling fee of $1 per order by picking up your free tix in person at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office at 135 N. Grand Ave.; any leftover tickets will be available to walk-ups at no charge at the Pier on the evening of the broadcast. You can bring your own picnic, but all alcohol must come from the beer garden on-site. Santa Monica Pier, Colorado Avenue and Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica; Wed., Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.; arrive early and bring folding chairs or blankets for seating. laopera.org/operaatthebeach.More
The sixth AxS Festival (pronounced "axis"), themed Curiosity, represents the spot where art and science meet in contemporary culture. It's inspired by Pasadena's rich history of innovation in design and engineering, and its equally rich history of supporting modern and contemporary art. In fact, while much of the program is characterized by futuristic daydreams showing off awesome new art toys, many of the exhibitions, installations and dance and music performances excavate the ever-present past. For example, Machine Project's Field Guide to the Gamble House is a commissioned work reimagining the Arts & Crafts landmark by inviting artists to create new works including "participatory nap concerts, a tableau vivant, puppets, dance, séances, videos, inflatable sculptures, joinery-specific lawn furniture, a secret Swedish-Japanese fusion restaurant" and more. There are two free open houses (otherwise, guided tours cost $20); a series of events and workshops is priced separately. By contrast, a full slate of mostly free programs at something called SPHÆRÆ is a temporary, site-specific, outdoor sculpture–slash-stage by Dutch architect Cocky Eek. Its programming features immersive sound works, video pieces and conversations. And Caltech is staging a musical called Alice Through the Wormhole, Or What's This Wonderland Up to? So there's that. Various Pasadena locations including the Gamble House, 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena; Fri., Sept. 19-Sun., Oct 5; various times; free-$90. (626) 793-8171, axsfestival.org, machineproject/gamblehouse.More
When it comes to the life of Bruce Haack, separating truth from fiction is not easy. The groundbreaking electronic music composer and inventor is said to have taught himself to play piano by age 3. By 8, he apparently was escaping his abusive mother's wrath by sneaking off to Indian...
Visual allure often isn't a virtue we value when chasing obscure flavors in L.A.'s international neighborhoods. In fact, adventurous diners tend to appreciate the opposite: The grungier the location, the more accomplished we feel for having sought it out. Looks be damned — let the fireworks happen on the flavor...
The Los Angeles art world has been saying a collective "hallelujah" since the arrival in January of Philippe Vergne as MOCA's new director. Although some East Coast commentators condemned the appointment — citing in particular a budget crisis scandal in which Vergne resorted to selling off a number of works...
It's just math. With ever more overflowing arts districts and only so many Saturday nights a month, a bumper crop of shows opens tonight in Culver City — and several galleries are ringing in the new season by showing off their marquee rosters. Exact hours and show durations vary, so you'll want to check gallery sites for complete details. Promising and must-see highlights include Brooklyn-based artist KAWS at Honor Fraser (6-8 p.m.), offering new work extrapolating from the Peanuts comics. The artist styles these images to the point of abstraction with his trademark bold color schemes, along with more gestural, black-and-white works (through Oct. 31). Also 6-8 p.m., Kehinde Wiley's World Stage series at Roberts & Tilton (through Oct. 25) continues with an iteration based on Haiti's pageant culture, using the artist's iconic portraits of everyday folks rendered in his lavishly regal style. Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst's Post / Relationship / X at Luis de Jesus (6-9 p.m., through Nov. 1) surveys their years-long transgender love affair and artistic collaboration with recent photos that debuted at Paris Photo L.A., as well as a brand-new video piece. Sandow Birk at Koplin Del Rio (4-6 p.m., through Oct. 17) presents the third in his aesthetically and emotionally intense series transcribing the entire Koran and illuminating it with images of contemporary secular life in America. Rebecca Farr offers haunting mixed media paintings on canvas and the release of her new book at Klowden Mann (6-8 p.m., through Oct. 18). The Miaz Brothers take on "The Masters" in a new series of ghostly, witty paintings at Fabien Castanier (6-9 p.m., through Oct. 11), in the Italian sibling-collaborators' first U.S. show. Tim Gratkowski at Walter Maciel (6-8 p.m., through Nov. 1) shows new two- and three-dimensional, retro-slick and expressively abstract mixed-media collages. Patricia Chidlaw at George Billis Gallery (5-8 p.m., through Nov. 1) installs a diverse suite of urban landscape paintings, which go beyond photorealism to show us our common world in an uncommon light. Honor Fraser Gallery, 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Sat., Sept. 13, 6-8 p.m.; thru Nov. 1; free. (310) 837-0191, honorfraser.com.More
Emmy season is the perfect time to focus our attention on the beautiful costumes that make our favorite shows come to life. After all, what would Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones or Mad Men be without the costume designers who make those far-off worlds believable? Once a year, the FIDM Museum & Galleries' "Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" exhibition gives these costumes the spotlight. Curated by Mary Rose, president of the Costume Designers Guild (as well as a governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which presents the Emmys), the exhibit allows up-close and personal access to 75 designs otherwise only visible on the silver screen. Pick your favorites before the Emmys air on Aug. 25, or come back after watching the show to marvel at the winning designs. FIDM Museum, 919 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; thru Sept. 20; free. (213) 623-5821, fidmmuseum.org.More
Surprisingly moving for a film assembled from such familiar scenes, Craig Johnson's The Skeleton Twins mushes together queasy/quirky indie family drama with the beats of a romantic comedy. You know the outline just from eyeballing the poster: Kristen Wiig's Maggie and Bill Hader's Milo find their way toward loving one...
Even the most inspiration-averse will have eyes as moist as blowholes by the end credits of Dolphin Tale 2, a good-hearted kids' drama whose earnestness and surprising moral complexity put to shame other sunny-weepy sea-mammal flicks. After the story wraps up, the filmmakers work a trick that has become common...
Hard to believe that The Rule, a set of monastic precepts established by St. Benedict in the 6th century, could apply to educating inner-city youth beset by modern problems of poverty, violence, substance abuse, fragmented families and low expectations.
There's an earnest didacticism to Martin Shore's directorial debut, Take Me to the River, a film that initially comes off as a primer on the Memphis sound and a making-of documentary for a genre-blending music project.
Distinctive animation enhances a portrait of generational misery and mental illness in Rocks in My Pockets, Latvian writer-director-animator Signe Baumane's autobiographical saga about the link between her own psychological problems and those of five women in her family.
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Ladies, sometimes without even knowing it, you can lose a guy in 5 minutes. Don't think this is possible and it's all hyperbole? Guess again. Men, though stereotyped on popular TV as cartoonish, ill-mannered, vile brutes, actually do have some standards when it comes to women. Here are a few you ways you can irritate and even lose your chance at a meaningful relationship with a man without even realizing you're doing it.
Paying for dinner on the first date: As much as we all agree that men and women should have equal rights, one thing that remains the same is chivalry. Under any circumstance, ladies, DO NOT pay for the first date. I don't care if the guy lost his wallet, got hit by a truck or is the most charming fella in the world, don't pay. Going into the first date, it's not only unwritten code, but obvious and courteous for a man to pay for a lady. If your date whips out the plastic or a wad of a cash, just be thankful instead of insistent. Being pushy about paying the first date's bill will send the wrong message.
Let's get something straight: people love having sex. It doesn't matter how, where or when, folks love getting it on. That being said, there are some places where boning is not only considered a big no-no, but also could be mighty awkward if you get caught. Reference the scene in Woody Allen's 1972 classic, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask), as a blueprint, but we're going to take that a bit further. Here three places you would never want to get caught having sex.
The Missed Connections section of Craigslist is a fascinating beast. Rife with genuinely sweet musings and ample romantic opportunity for individuals with enough time to weed through the legion of postings that appear there daily, this online destination can also be hella creepy. From bathroom lurkers to blatant horn dogs to the dude that saw you at the coffee bean and tried to follow you home on his bike but couldn't pedal fast enough, (thank God), there are ample missed connections that are best staying missed. Here are five of them.
This was not the immediate reaction of most of the mother's who received the chocolates.
A mother's day gift turned into a lesson in birds and bees-style anatomy for a group of children in Australia who were given erotic chocolates to give to their mums as Mother's Day gifts. The sweet treats came in assorted shapes including breasts, penises and couples having sex.
The female cameltoe has become a much scrutinized and talked about cultural icon, popular among the exercise set, Wal-Mart shoppers and Coco, wife of Law and Order: SVU star, Ice-T.
My connection? I can remember vividly as a teenager, my mother cutting my too-tight jeans off my skinny frame and screaming at me, "Your crotch lips are showing!" in front of my horrified cousin and friends.
It took us half an hour to squeeze me into my Jordache's, and only seconds for that nut to free me from them with a set of fabric scissors. I lost my favorite pair of pants, and my pride that night, but I learned a valuable lesson in return... cameltoe is a no-no.
I think if you ask someone during sex "Do you think you're going to come?" you should expect "Not now I'm not" to be the answer. Or another response might be, "Oh, I'm sorry; is this BORING YOU? Do you have someplace you need to be?" Because the question implies that you'd like whatever is transpiring to be over soon.
But a friend of mine had a more charitable take on it, saying, "I've said that to guys I'm blowing. That shit gets tedious." And she's right, it can get tedious. But personally, I consider asking for orgasm ETAs something you shouldn't actually say out loud. Whether such inquiries would anger or annoy you might depend on how sensitive you are, but there are other things said in the sack that aren't so open to debate in terms of appropriateness. And in terms of super-creepiness. I probed colleagues about the worst, most bonerkilling things they'd ever heard in bed. Here are some of our favorites from an informal poll:
Ladies, you know that sinking feeling that comes when a guy with romantic potential suddenly pulls a move so unnerving that it eradicates all of your previously held feelings of warm attraction? Yeah, we know you do. These are the top five things men do (or don't do) that turn desire into simply a desire to run.
Ladies, if men's balls baffle you, you're not alone. I have no idea what to do with them, and I'm considered an expert in sex. They are so complex and mysterious to me, probably in the same way a female's breasts are to the men reading; no two sets respond, feel or look the same.
The male scrotum comes in so many different shapes and sizes -- even on the same guy! Each duo has its own sensitivity preference and pain threshold, so the trick for us chicks is to learn how to handle them without hurting them.
I'll get right to the point: doing lots of coke might make you feel like a sex god, but all it'll end up doing is killing your boner -- and one dude went so far for an chemically enhanced experience that he lost his penis, legs and a few fingers to gangrene.