A Trip Back in Time, Complete With Frothing Beer, Wet Wenches and Glistening Turkey Legs [Mary Prankster] – OC Weekly

I’ve always really loved Shakespeare. I also loved Sir Philip Sidney’s poem “Astrophil and Stella”; and although my attention span was hardly long enough to endure Paradise Lost, I enjoyed it. I felt impassioned after reading the poems of Queen Elizabeth I and have endured the linguistic rollercoaster of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales—Middle English is no joke.

A Sanctuary of Old California Art Closes After 20 Years – OC Weekly

Lost amid the industrial buildings and automotive businesses that line Artesia Boulevard in Bellflower is a preserved California and Western America art sanctuary. Inside, the aroma of old books, natural musk (not the stuff modern-day hippies wear) creates a familiar feeling of home. Wood panels hug the walls while tan shag carpet cushions your feet. Paintings dating back to 1885 of Yosemite Valley, the Grand Canyon and Native American life are scattered around the room.

From Flowers to 4/20 to Coachella, April Is a Month of Magic

April is a magical month. It’s the first month of spring, meaning poppies and wild flowers color California’s hillsides. It’s the month 420 is celebrated, which is a big deal this year considering it’s the first rotation of 4/20 under the state’s new legal weed legislation. April’s also the commencement of festival season, in which Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival hosts a double-weekend kick-off celebration of pop culture, music, food and art. If any other musi

Sticking With Your Roots, From the Tamale Festival to the LA Weekly Protest [Mary Prankster] – OC Weekly

There’s nothing more important than staying true to your roots. How else are we going to stay grounded in this crazy, chaotic world in which a reality-TV star and con man is our president, the effects of global warming are decimating the planet one disaster at a time, and LA Weekly is being taken over by a nerdy weed lawyer and a fistful of right-wing dingbats? HELP!

Mary Prankster: What Exactly Did We Just See at the Russia World Cup?

If you’re a real fútbol fan, the happiest month of the past four years (and our lives) just came to an end. France beat Croatia 4-2 the morning of July 15 to become the No. 1 soccer team in the world. But this World Cup had character that separates it from the past four or five world tournaments. I mean, given the world’s political landscape, the fact it was held in Russia made it inherently charged. Then add the fact Germany didn’t make it past the first round; Russia—a team ranked No. 72...

Orange County’s Original Coffee Man, Martin Diedrich, Moves His Family’s Java Legacy Forward [OC People 2018]

Tucked in a nook on the western side of Costa Mesa is Martin Diedrich’s wholesale coffee roastery, the place where all Kéan Coffee’s beans are roasted prior to being sold in grocery stores and other retailers. If you close your eyes and inhale through your nose, it smells as if you’re swimming in a cup of Joe. Lifetime-achievement awards, articles and photos of Diedrich’s family are mounted on the olive-green walls near the entrance. In the lounge area, a magnificent vintage coffee roaster sits

From Flowers to 4/20 to Coachella, April Is a Month of Magic

April is a magical month. It’s the first month of spring, meaning poppies and wild flowers color California’s hillsides. It’s the month the unofficial international day of weed is celebrated, which is a big deal this year considering it’s the first rotation of 4/20 under the state’s new legislation. April’s also the commencement of festival season, in which Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival hosts a double-weekend kick-off celebration of pop culture, music, food and art. If any other musi

Champagne, Chilaquiles and Drag Queens: Mary Prankster Does VLVT Lounge's Drag Brunch

Orange County is the Stepford-wife, soccer-mom, cookie-cutter-housing-tract capital of Southern California. It’s a place that projects images of affluence accented by pristinely manicured lawns behind white picket fences. But the world that exists below the surface is a hell of a lot more colorful than that plastic projection. You can take a dip into this funky realm every weekend at the VLVT Lounge in Santa Ana. On the morning I visited the Drag Brunch, two sets of brides and their maidens sat

If the Civil-Rights and Feminist Movements of the 1960s Had Worked, We Wouldn’t Be Marching

A year ago, millions of people peacefully marched in the streets to protest Donald Trump‘s inauguration. The 2017 Women’s March was a massive, worldwide demonstration of how horrified people—not just women—were that America somehow voted into office a man who not only had zero political experience, but also operates in a headspace of ignorance often indistinguishable from hate. The policies he promised to implement sent shivers down the spines of people who’d usually consider themselves conserva

Imagine a World In Which Your Congressman Isn't Involved in the Russia Investigation

"Where were you when [Donald] Trump was elected?" asked a man speaking on behalf of the Democratic Club of West Orange County (DCWOC). "Where were you when he was inaugurated?" The crowd pondered these questions at the District 48 candidates' forum at the Greenbrook Club House in Fountain Valley the evening of Jan. 4. The room went eerily silent, at which point I realized that question has the same spine-chilling effect as "Where were you when JFK was assassinated?" or "Where were you on 9/11?"

Doug Benson and Ngaio Bealum Make It Rain Flower in Irvine

What do you get when you combine weed and LEGO Batman? There are many potential answers to that question, but for the purposes of this column, the correct answer is Doug Benson. A cannabis advocate, film junky and standup comedian, Benson's snarky humor and quick wit make you laugh the way you would with your best friend. You might think you don't know him, but if you've ever watched Trailer Park Boys, The Sarah Silverman Program, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Curb Your Enthusiasm or, obvious

Mary Pranksters Says Good Riddance, 2017: Swatting 12 Months to the Curb Has Never Felt So Good

From Donald Trump's inauguration to the dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency to devastating massacres and the new tax-bill scam, 2017 has been a loaded cannon of swine feces. Honestly, how often have you approached a new year feeling as if the previous one were a psychotic relationship you'd do anything to wash your hands and soul clean of? In 2015, I got a psychic reading at Burning Man by a woman named Natalie, who told me my aura was inundated with other people's energies. She

Becoming the Sugar Plum Fairy While Watching The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Hall

A colleague recently told me about taking his son to see The Nutcracker. The dancers were on pointe, the symphony was in tune, and everything was peachy . . . until it wasn't. During the middle of the play, a horse was brought onstage to trot around, adding an old-timey flair to the performance, but as it sauntered from one end of the stage to the other, it slipped and fell. Gasps sounded from the crowd. The lights instantly turned off, the music came to a screeching halt, and the curtain came f

Sticking With Your Roots, From the Tamale Festival to the LA Weekly Protest [Mary Prankster]

There's nothing more important than staying true to your roots. How else are we going to stay grounded in this crazy, chaotic world in which a reality-TV star and con man is our president, the effects of global warming are decimating the planet one disaster at a time, and LA Weekly is being taken over by a nerdy weed lawyer and a fistful of right-wing dingbats? HELP! Jamaican civil-rights activist Marcus Garvey once said, "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture

Walking On the Wild Side With Eric Burdon and the Animals

"The last time I saw The Animals was almost 50 years ago to the day," said a man named Marcos from Daytona Beach, as he scouted outside Laguna Beach's Irvine Bowl—where the Pageant of the Masters is held—for someone who might be selling an extra ticket. "I'm hoping they'll let me in for free because of that." On Dec. 2, Eric Burdon and the Animals played the KXMAS benefit show. For those of you who don't know (I'm looking at you, millennials), the Animals were part of the 1960s' British Invasion...

Mary Prankster Runs Away With Circus Vargas

My life has always been something of a traveling circus. In middle and high school, I was pegged as the class clown—although I preferred to think of myself as a jester because I loved Shakespeare—which got me into trouble a lot, even when I wasn't actually sassing around. My best friend has always been deathly afraid of clowns, so I used to torment her with pictures of Stephen King's It whenever the opportunity arose. And when I went to Burning Man in 2015, the theme was "carnival of mirrors," ...

The New Owner of LA Weekly is a Pot Lawyer?

It's no question the journalism industry is in a state of crisis. In the last year alone Rolling Stone was sold, and Nylon magazine and the Village Voice closed their esteemed print editions. Last January Voice Media Group put our former sister-paper, LA Weekly, up for sale and earlier this week they were purchased by a mysterious entity, Semanal Media, LLC. Until this morning, no one knew anything about them—where they're based, who owns the company, what kind of media group they are...
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