Culture

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Hello Herman the Movie

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In a world where bullying is more prevalent than ever, violence seems to be the first resort rather than the last, our youth is more isolated and apathetic than times passed, and well, the accessibility of “reaction” is catastrophically daunting. Hello Herman is a film starring Garrett Backstrom who gives the performance of his young career pushing the boundaries of his psyche, exposing the faulty backfire of repercussion, and the prevalent truth that something is genuinely faulty with the way the world is raising our future generations.

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The Next Four-Letter Word (+3) – EMPATHY.

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I believe we are all busy. Too busy. I also believe we have lost the art of thinking and genuinely caring about one another. Empathy seems to be a lost art and what’s sad about that statement is that it shouldn’t be an artful idea at all but rather a natural characteristic of who we are. We are no longer careful with one another. Everyone so self consumed and distracted that all they care about is what’s happening to them. The dialogue of two people talking, discussing, learning, thinking about someone outside of themselves is rare. We are all too accepting of selfishness and less willing to let go and think of someone else. It’s the most disheartening side of what humanity has become. I don’t believe we are this careless by nature. I think we are training ourselves to be more careless, less careful.

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Fancy A Drink? Get Your DIRTY LAUNDRY!

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With an entrance that begs a sense of nostalgia with a simple black gate, stairs leading underground, a large iron-cast door with a rectangular peep hole, call box, and the word “SEX” cut out of old copper metal with marquee bulbs screwed into its shape (some lit, some not … its all in the details) upon entry, you know this is not like any place you’ve ever been. You can feel this flood of heat rush over you as if your body understands that tonight, you get to revel in some much needed anonymity.

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‘GMO OMG’ PLANTS SEEDS OF KNOWLEDGE

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The crusade for answers involves a series of interviews with politicians, seed salesman and trips across America and the world—some leading as far as an international seed vault concealed within a Norwegian mountain. But the film, at its core, mainly serves as a journey of Seifert’s to educate his children, who have a love of collecting seeds, why they should be concerned about new genetically modified seeds on the market.

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Bill Phelps – NY Photographer

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Through his lens, there is a trust that occurs between him and his subjects that allows him access to their innermost self. Carefully and thoughtfully, Bill is able to capture that through his lens in a way that lends to a profoundly real understanding of human nature. He finds the beauty, the fear, the solitude, the playfulness, the fierceness, the joy, the passion, the spirit, and the honesty of every subject. Below is a look at the truly remarkable work Bill Phelps has produced.

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Coast Modern, Architecture For The Soul

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Is life composed of hard edges, or soft curves? In this elliptical documentary on the architectural wonderment of modernism and its steadfast metamorphosis over the last eighty-plus years, filmmakers Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome travel the Pacific Northwest in an effort to capture the essence of a spirituality we won’t find at the local synagogue or mosque, but in the very bones of our own homes. Coast Modern tries to establish not so much a style of living, but a way of life in its up-close-and-personal investigation of a series of homes and establishments belonging to the few who’ve decided to forgo the privacy and security of the enclosed enclaves most of us probably find ourselves in.

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Writing Tips with Editor – Dawn Garcia

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I am a firm believer that everyone needs to be reminded to get out of their comfort zones – immediately – when it comes to creating. We get stuck in the mundane, the everyday routines, we commit to a single genre or – we simply procrastinate SO I created quick, very casual writing tip videos for you on our YouTube Channel to keep your mind fresh and encourage you to do weekly assignments. While I get to attend a lot of fun and glamorous events and outings and I’m usually dolled up, when it comes to writing – I’m not fancy. I’m real and just like you, I’m sitting in front of the computer or out for a walk and ideas come.

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La Descarga

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As the night continues, another dance, a crowd of thirsty dwellers, a trip to the cigar room, a plentiful amount of beautiful people, dance floor flow, and a lot of thoughtful character. La Descarga is a place that reminds me of the “joints” once permitted in old time Cuba. The kind that Reinaldo Arenas dared to write about:

I pull off the cover, and stare at her dusty, cold shape I clean of fthe dust and caress her. With my hand, delicately, I wipe clean her back, her base and her sides. In front of her, I feel desperate and happy.

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Hollywood Cemetary The 9th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute

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If ever there was a glamorous graveyard, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is it. It is the final resting place for legends like Cecil B. DeMille, Vampira (Maila Nurmi), and the man we were there to celebrate: Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone. Don’t let the cemetery aspect spook you—with lush magenta bougainvillea, pristine stone statues and soothing water features, Hollywood Forever is simply beautiful.

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‘Cow Power’ turns the lights on

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Global warming is an issue that has garnered bursts of widespread attention in both mainstream media and flyers on the walls of local colleges, with an impact as concerted as it is aloof. Films about the “inevitability” of our ill-fated demise (2012, An Inconvenient Truth) stand toe-to-toe with those rallying against the supposed absurdity of such a notion (The Great Global Warming Swindle). In a sort hilarious twist of irony, there may be a bigger issue at hand here, one that connotes the idea of a hell-on-earth as defunct.

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I Think It’s Raining

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It is with this in mind that I was struck by how at odds I felt about the actors’ ability in conjunction to the film’s style and narrative. Undoubtedly a by-product of the director’s decided dismissal of maintaining strict coherence of his script, throughout the narrative Renata and Val carry on Linklater-esque conversations in an awkward, pause-filled manner that initially induces a sort of ticking time-bomb dread.

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Cirque-A-Palooza!

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This is the show that the performers would put on for each other. The juggler dropped his pancake (more on that later), the sword swallower even choked up just a little bit of the spaghetti from his dinner (I’ll leave that one alone). That said, even before the show started, I felt like I was in on the jokes, maybe even sitting in Stefan’s living room, dancing a little too wildly and drinking more than I should. So along with other performers, the audience and I cheered the successes, forgave foibles, and generally had a delightful time doing so.

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The OC Fair: A Summertime Treat

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So, as many of you know, I am a full-grown man. I chop wood, wear flannel, play a contact sport, drink beer, do dumb things with my friends, and eat an excessive amount of meat. I like to pride myself on my carnivore-like nature. Walking through the welcome gates at the OC fair, I experienced the beginning stages of a meat stroke. Then proceeding further through the smoke and smells of my paradise, I came to behold Juicy’s World Famous BBQ … They had an eighteen wheeler truck BBQ station, with over 300 turkey legs in sight, a brisket bigger than my torso, giant western sausages that could overflow an Olympic sized pool, and onions and peppers for days.

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Tom Cawley’s “Something” is Anything but “Nothing”

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While higher-budgeted docs filled with even bigger names might elicit the awe of that Hollywood intangibility, Cawley’s down-to-earth subject matter, and even the subjects themselves, bring us into the story of our own lives. We don’t want to be the people on-screen, these celebrities of sight and sound and tactile surfaces, but rather we wish to paint the stars of our respective destinies with the footnotes of these men and women’s successes, failures, moments of elation, and of suffocating despair. They are, in a word, human.

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Ferrante brings back Groucho Marx

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Just then, the lights begin to dim as a loud voice comes on over the loudspeakers, the once-deafening shouts of a crowd in conversation with itself dying down as a spotlight follows impresario and tonight’s host Stefan Haves down the right side of the theater to the main stage. Mr. Haves is known for “frequently drawing on LA talent to re-invent physical theater, circus, and clowning — stubbornly breaking every artistic wall in a town whose theatrical conventions and filmic traditions often tend toward maintaining that stubborn ‘fourth wall’ [pasadenaplayhouse.org].”

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The Bruery Brew Dinner at The Crow Bar – Prying Flavors with Pairings

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Our plates are cleared, and the second beer arrives, Or Xata, a horchata ale—something we’ve never had or heard of—and anticipation swells in our tongues; both of us spending many nights running to 24-hour Mexican restaurants to satisfy our cravings for the milky, cinnamon drink after 2am. Upon smelling the beer, it evokes images of a creamsicle on a hot summer day, and as it touches your lips, the cinnamon and creamy body takes over, weaving to a vanilla conclusion. We discuss how you often read about eccentric billionaires who have enough money to fly out their favorite chili cheese burger from a Ma and Pa restaurant in the Midwest. This beer would be our eccentric billionaire fly-out.

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PASADENA PLAYHO– USE PRESENTS Justin Willman

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As seen as the HOST o Food Network’s, “Cupcake Wars”, PASADENA PLAYHO– USE PRESENTS Justin Willman – TRICKED OUT! A Magic Show like you’ve never seen – AND – ATOD Magazine Readers are getting a special offer and discount on the tickets thanks to those at Pasadena Playhouse. This is a show you do NOT want to miss!

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Smiling Through the Apocalypse

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Smiling Through the Apocalypse, if you haven’t already Googled it yourself already, is a documentary that focuses on Esquire magazine during the sixties. Specifically, during the sixties under the helm of editor Harold T.P. Hayes. The story goes something like this: during one of the most turbulent decades unseen since the Civil War era, editor and provocateur Howard Hayes is remembered as having stepped up to take the falling star that was Esquire, and put it back in the sky. The film’s summary goes on to describe a man who not only led a team behind some of the most varied polemical writing styles and iconoclastic subtleties, but did so under the caveat that each and every day could easily lead to (and oftentimes did) disaster riddle in controversy.

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The Comedy and Magic Club

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Andrew Norelli followed, and made the smart move of using very locally weighted topics like health nuts and social media. Since he was the performer we were primarily going to see, I had done some research on him, watching a few video clips of previous performances (including his spots on The Late Show with David Letterman and Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham) and I was impressed that everything I heard was fresh material, even making me cry over a flaxseed oil joke.

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No Room For the Ordinary

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As the band fades out, the man in the bowler derby starts to climb a ladder to where the tightrope begins. He stops to sweep out his arm over the audience, clutching a bouquet of flowers, and begins his trek across the tightrope above faces draped in cherry lipstick and blue eye shadow, everyone frantically trying to capture the moment with their camera phones, and me scribbling details in an orange notebook. The crowd and I reward the tightrope walker with a much deserved crackle of applause and it is after this moment that the co-owner of the bar, Mark Houston, arrives, blazing through the crowd in a grey suit and whirlwind of smiles, hugs, and handshakes from the many friends who have come to support him. And although I have never met him before, Mark sets aside time to speak with me, giving me a tour of the location and tells me of his vision for No Vacancy, explaining how he wants the bar to rise above the cheesiness of Hollywood Boulevard as well as restore a treasured landmark and era of Los Angeles history.

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Magic and Mixed Drinks

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After a long week of event planning and coordinating, Dawn and I decided we needed a fun “ladies night out” as a reward for our hard work. Two of our favorite magic men, Chris Korn and Ben Seidman, were scheduled to perform at The Magic Castle, and since Dawn and I had only seen their magic briefly in the studio during their ATOD Radio appearances, and on the Travel Channel’s “Magic Outlaws”, we decided this would be the perfect opportunity to pay them a visit.

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