| Feb 17, 2008
Marcos Rojas, a waiter at Mr. Tequila Restaurant, roams the Plaza Viva Tijuana, eager to pour double shots for partying tourists. This downtown gateway used to be crowded with Southern California day-trippers, Midwestern families and busloads of German...
| Dec 5, 2008
Fans of musical dramas may experience some deja vu while watching "Cadillac Records"; the story is remarkably similar to one told in the middle of 2006's "Dreamgirls," in a montage sequence set to "Steppin' to the Bad Side."
There's the plucky upstart...
| Dec 29, 2008
Even in casual conversation, British author Neil Gaiman sometimes sounds as if he's narrating some dark fairy tale -- his sentences slither across old stone floors or flit on gossamer wings. He also happens to live in a rambling Minnesota manse that...
| Sep 28, 2008
Twenty years ago, Ballantine Books decided it no longer wanted to publish paperbacks exclusively, as it had done for the previous 35 years. Bucking convention, the firm launched its hardcover program with a first novel by an untested female writer that...
| May 11, 2008
The driver tossed our bags into the trunk of a white Ambassador cab and pressed his palms together.
"Welcome to India, sir. Is this your wife?"
"No, she's my mother."
Mom giggled; neither of us was sure whether the driver's motivation was flattery...
| Jul 16, 2008
MY 9-YEAR-OLD son asked me the other morning why I was dancing around the breakfast table singing "Take a Chance on Me." I don't usually sing in the morning. I definitely don't dance. And I didn't know I knew any ABBA songs (I've never actually bought...
| Mar 8, 2010
True "Star Trek" fanatics who visit "Star Trek: The Exhibition" at San Jose's Tech Museum may find some flaws in the life-size replica of the starship Enterprise's bridge.
Sure, Capt. James T. Kirk's chair sits in the middle of the bridge, encircled by...
| Sep 21, 2009
Like a lot of kids in the summer of 1972, I was riveted by a strange spectacle unfolding in Iceland: a chess match between Soviet grandmaster Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, the mercurial young American.
The games weren't televised -- Fischer...
| Nov 22, 2009
A decade ago, art historian and impresario RoseLee Goldberg, who literally wrote the book on performance art -- "Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present," first published in 1979 -- found herself being pushed by her publisher for an updated...
| Mar 29, 2009
Tzara & Lenin Play Chess
Princeton University Press: 238 pp., $16.95 paper
The job is gone, the 401(k) is gutted, college tuition is due, and "Grey's Anatomy" is a shadow of its former self. Can't decide...
| Sep 1, 2005
Party guests have begun to arrive even before the appointed hour of 5 at the Malibu home of Chantal and Carl Gillberg, high on a distant knoll of the Santa Monica Mountains. A haze has settled over the sliver of ocean view, but in the terraced gardens...