Get the most out of your experience with a personalized all-access pass to everything local on events, music, restaurants, news and more. When Netflix approached Maria Bamford about developing a show, she knew she wanted to make it about the struggle for mental health. Maria Bamford talks openly about her struggle with mental illness, which informs her new show, Lady Dynamite.
Bamford has built a career on brilliantly weaving unflinching honesty about her mental illness with a performance style and sensibility that borders on avant-garde. Even if you don't buy into that "giving is better than receiving" jazz, you have to admit that buying local feels pretty good.
Give him a close shave Encourage the man in your life to do away with that regrettable remnant of Movember with a wet shave starter kit from the Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company.
Calories delivered right to their doorThe holidays are all about family, love and stuffing your fat face until your body wants a divorce from your soul. The DTLA skyline, painted in a DTLA studio Law school stifled the creative spirit of Patricia Shen so she left it behind to focus on something different: hand lettering and painting. A gift they can spread on bread Feel like you don’t have enough hipster cred back home?
Cruelty-free taxidermy made in PasadenaPasadena-based Yetis & Friends makes plush, mounted heads for kids at heart who still love a creepy fairy tale.
For a ride-or-die friend If you're like me (poor) you live in a small place with no storage, so finding somewhere to put a bicycle is a bigger pain in the buns than an unpadded saddle.
Help women help women Everyone can appreciate handmade luxuries such as lavender and honey soap, green-tea soy candles, woven coffee sleeves and fabric travel pouches.
Good smells for he, she, or ze The folks at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab have conjured perfume gold to suit just about every nose. Hetalia was everywhere at this year's Anime Expo, from cosplay gatherings to artist alley booths to panel sessions. Last Saturday at "Hetalia History," panelist Walter Amos noted that this was the best attended Hetalia panel he had helmed.
However, a large group of dashing male lead characters and a few innuendos aren't enough to create this intense of a fanbase. I drove 341 miles to see Michael Heizer's 1970 artwork Double Negative, but I have not walked the 150 yards from LACMA's ticket booth to see his freshly installed Levitated Mass. A 1,500-foot-long, 50-foot-deep, 30-foot-wide trough cut with dynamite out of one of many mesas in the Nevada desert, Double Negative defines a movement that later became known as "land art," a curious outcropping of minimalism currently receiving a survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary. On Sunday, Lula Washington Dance Theatre performs its annual Kwanzaa Concert (Haniyyah Tahirah pictured here).
The Laugh Factory is hosting a free Christmas Day Feast for all (first come, first served). Her illnesses made certain social interactions unpleasant, but the performer-audience relationship was never one of them. Running this one-man show is John Brown, who handcrafts soaps that are every contemporary synonym of "good": artisanal, vegan, and cruelty free. A great way to help a friend of loved one get the calorie train rolling is by sending a freshly made pie directly to their home. In 2014, the self-trained maker and entrepreneur launched Our Heiday, a stationery brand carried everywhere from Los Angeles to the U.K. The San Fernando Valley-based company makes perfume oils that are gender-neutral and often designed to be layered so that wearers can develop their own, unique scents. Please also tell us what area listed above most interests you -- published work writing about that discipline is a requirement. A satire that started out as a web comic and soon became a series of five-minute anime episodes, this relatively new franchise is a phenomenon within the fandom.
Amos' presentation focused on the sly historical references within the series, like the significance of Prussia's costume, a nod to Frederick the Great.
During the "Hetalia History" panel, Amos showed a variety of fan-made art projects found online that depicted historical events and provided a few anecdotes about students who have delved into history classes after stumbling upon the show.
I've been to the museum since the 340-ton boulder was consecrated, but I haven't yet ambled behind the Resnick Pavilion to actually glance at it. MOCA also happens to own Double Negative, having acquired it during a survey of Heizer's work in 1984; owns it as much as anyone can own 240,000 tons worth of displaced matter.
Their love of rabbits and each other led them to open the Bunny Museum in 1998, and this year you can celebrate their unique passion when you visit the Christmas Open House With Bunnies. I'm a Nicole Holofcener fanatic, and Keener has long been the director's muse and sort of onscreen avatar.
He'd been making soaps for friends and family for more than a decade, but got into shaving soap when he was introduced to wet shaving a couple years ago. Neel Sodha has wandered the streets of DTLA, spitting out facts, since 2009, when he launched Downtown L.A.

Sure, you might sound silly explaining that you bought them artisanal jam, but they should stop making fun of you once they taste how great the jams are. All of the products in the Made by DWC line are crafted by homeless and low-income women from Skid Row who've sought the services of the Downtown Women's Center, and all of the proceeds from those products go straight to providing permanent housing and social services for those women. They release oodles of fragrances ranging from sultry to breezy and many of the oils are based on books and films, like the recently released Crimson Peak series ($30 for 5 ml vial).
When Funimation announced at its Friday evening preview panel that they would be releasing the first season of Hetalia: Axis Powers on DVD this September, screams erupted across the room. Hetalia seems to be drawing in history buffs and, at the same time, creating new ones, with its quirkiness and an ability to cram more information into five minutes than most professors can. At more than 30,000 items, theirs is the largest collection of rabbit-related ephemera the world has ever seen, and you can enjoy it all when you experience the museum's bunny-themed Christmas celebration, replete with bunny ornaments, carrot-colored lights and carrot-colored candy canes.
Now he's helping to revive that art, which requires a wet face, a steady hand, and an intimate familiarity with the grain of one's beard hair. Established in 2014 by husband-and-wife duo Michelle Park and Jonathan Lo, this baked-goods delivery service brings made-to-order, preservative-free pies right to your doorstep (starts at $34.99).
Members of the club receive a two pack of jam every other month, and you can gift the membership for 4 months ($60), 6 months ($90), or a year ($180). The German monster loves to terrorize folks during the holiday season and this mounted version is one of the company's tis-the-season best sellers. The frames are short and the wheels are small, so the seat and handle bars are tall, but both easily contract, turning the bike into a totally manageable little bundle of metal and rubber that weighs around 29 pounds.
If you're searching for a unique gift for your favorite Sherlock Holmes fan, pick up the limited series of scents inspired by The Adventures of the Blue Carbuncle. The following day, a panel called "Hetalia History" drew a capacity crowd filled with cosplayers. It's a satire set largely in and around World War II, though it flashes back to periods like the American Revolution and the Holy Roman Empire, and jumps forward to a G8 Summit.In the Hetalia universe, countries are personified as young men and women with a variety of flaws. The screams that were once reserved for rock stars and actors were now being used for historical figures.
The real answer, of course, for my long trek versus my willful ignorance is a bit more subtle and perhaps more timely. Besides Heizer's work, we stopped in at Walter de Maria's The Lightning Field (1977) and Las Vegas, two other American monuments of human will and engineering cut out of the parched desert dust.Forty years after Double Negative, despite land art's brave attempts to escape the museum, it has been crowbarred back in, and all those original earthworks have become roadside attractions of a kind. A mallish nightmare of noise and light and tawdry longings.The next day, we were mercifully back on the highway, into the profound quietude of the desert. If you want to feed actual bunnies, bring a festive platter of fruits and vegetables to share. My skin is getting softer but my bones are jutting out, so I’m half soft, half sharp! The site asks for orders to be placed at least 24 hours in advanced, a friggin’ blessing for procrastinators. When Amos mentioned Voltaire, a roar of applause followed.Applause grew louder, though, when Amos brought up speculation that Frederick the Great was gay. The more educated tourists plan their road trips around them, between the crystal depots and national parks. The dashed lines flickered down a long ribbon of black asphalt, until the asphalt turned to gravel, turning again to a hard, rocky stretch of almost road, the navigating of which Sarah's tiny car had never been designed for. As much as critics tried to do their jobs right and avoid comparing the two films, it was basically impossible. Park bakes all the pies herself, but will occasionally call up her parents for prep help when needed — how sweet is that?! Over the past few years, male-male romances geared towards women (called "boys' love" or "yaoi," with the latter term often referring to sexually explicit material) have become increasingly visible within the anime fandom. With no signs to guide us, we fumbled with a cellphone, fingering the screen, looking for directions and counting the digits as the tenths of a mile rumbled by.We almost gave up. If you really want to sound pretentious, you can mention that the jams were made in copper jam pans, using techniques developed in the 1500s. The creations are handmade and priced accordingly, but they recently introduced more economical "mini" pieces.
Hetalia doesn't fall into that category, but there are moments, like when France tries to force England into marrying him, where the appeal to boys' love fans is obvious. Stepping out of the car and into the lunar landscape, we stepped on sharp, sticky shrubs with our hiking boots. Philip Seymour Hoffman set the bar impossibly high, so high that he won an Academy Award for his performance.
According to Park, Sugar Pie, Honey Buns will be introducing an apple cranberry crumble pie seasoned with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg for the holidays.
But with any luck, your friends will be too caught up in their foodgasm to hear what you’re saying at that point.

Toby Jones was good, but he was hammy, and in scenes with Bullock he devours the scenery, requiring her to amp up her portrayal of Lee or be eaten alive. Each pie is approximately 10 inches around and serves eight to 10 people so you can invite yourself over and help your friend pig out. Comics and celebrities man the dinner line, serving a full Christmas meal to those who might not have (or want) family with which to celebrate.
And then there's poor little Sealand, who might be considered the world's smallest country if only the others would recognize him. After the banquet, the jokes come spilling out onstage, and your otherwise depressing day ends on a sparkling high note. In 2012, Bamford released the hourlong stand-up masterpiece The Special Special Special!, during which she performs her act in her living room in front of her parents.
A cheery bunch of sun-burned Scandinavian art tourists drove by in a glimmering black SUV and we compared notes.
In fact, everything about her performance is wonderfully understated, and it earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination — but of course she had the benefit of acting opposite Hoffman. This is a great gift for history junkies or just people who prefer experiences to material goods.
Since undergoing a breakdown and being diagnosed five years ago with bipolar II disorder, Bamford has been on mood stabilizers, which she says have slowed her speech somewhat and caused a subtle tremor. I recognized it, though, from a half-remembered '70s snapshot glowing with nostalgia in some forgotten art history textbook. The idea of visibly shaking onstage concerned her at first, and she was even more worried that it might dull her creative energy. The walls were pocked and marked by years of rock slides, but still present were some of the good, clean cuts of the original dynamite. Despite being released in two volumes, the writer-director's revenge fantasy was originally conceived of as one extended opus.
She even went through a phase during her childhood when she was crippled by the fear that she’d harm her family or do something sexually inappropriate. Opportunities to see the blood-spattered bride's saga unfold as Tarantino intended are understandably scarce, and there's no telling how long it'll be before this one is brought back from the archive. Robert Smithson built a twisting finger of stones out of a lonesome patch along the Great Salt Lake to make Spiral Jetty (1971).
Little remains to be said about Frank Capra's always-in-season classic but, for as maddening as this time of year can be, there are few pop-culture artifacts that more lovingly (and accurately) convey what makes it so genuinely magical at times. De Maria plunked down 400 polished, pointed steel poles to attract lightning in western New Mexico.
Donald Judd established his own Minimalist utopia in Marfa, Texas, with an array of concrete cubes and a commitment to supporting artists to come there. But Heizer, the native Westerner, grandson of a geologist and son of an archaeologist, was the one who showed them the way.Land art was born of that spare moment between industry and ecology, after Silent Spring and before the EPA, when people were looking back toward the land but still open to it as something that mankind could warp at will.
He doesn't care about landscape, claiming he would have built his biggest, most expensive and, after four decades, still unfinished masterwork, City, in New Jersey if he could have afforded it. His tales wind for minutes on end, taking unexpected turns as his voice moves from impression to impression and he drops in sound effects. He regales audiences with the strange encounters he's had with people on the road and vividly recalls adventures he's had with his friend Martin. The 38,000 pounds of steel (outlined in the cabin's laminated booklet) that the artist used in the hundreds of pointed, leveled poles in the remote desert of New Mexico had all the markings of the grandiose, but the stillness and contemplation, the openness of the grid that both contains and the wilderness, were beautiful. When he talks about reconnecting with his long-absent father, the ending isn't entirely happy, but it's just that range of emotion that keeps the listener connected. And despite whatever outsized ego may have produced these works or the parachuting pretensions art tourists might bring to it (myself included), I'm not one to argue with anyone's inspiration.It was partly by accident that, after years of reading stories, I finally put all skepticism aside and drove those hundreds of miles to gaze upon and scramble through these landmarks of land art. Unseen, the monumental sculpture is still full of potential, a legend I have yet to experience.
Find out when Hollywood Curling Club hosts a pop-up curling lesson at the Holiday Ice Rink in Pershing Square.
Hurl a 42-pound granite stone across the ice and finally learn what the hell those guys are doing with their brooms and brushes. As has become something of a year-end tradition, the Egyptian is screening Ronald Neame's disaster classic as part of its Holiday Spirit on the Big Screen series.
Those who arrive early will be treated to visual displays and a toast to the film in the lobby beforehand.

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