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Pencil This In: Nick Hornby at the Skirball, The Moth's LA GrandSlam

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Pourtal wine bar kicks off The Imbiber’s Ultimate Playmate Fantasy Wine Tourtonight from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. It’s a flight of eight wines inspired by eight of history’s most iconic Playmates, from Marilyn Monroe to Anna Nicole Smith. Join “The Imbiber” Dan Dunn, booze writer and’s nightlife columnist, with a few of his friends: Featured Playmate Lisa Semler (Miss September 1980), whom Dunn paired with a selection from her family’s winery in Malibu, will make a special appearance to autograph special-edition bottles of the 2001 Semler Cabernet. Playboy model Andrea Lowell, host of the Playboy Radio Morning Show on Sirius/XM, will also be on hand to pour a special tasting of Waterbrook Melange 2005.

REDCAT presents the conversation Where Hope Lives: How Design Can Transform Lives and Communities tonight at 7:30 pm. CalArts President Steven D. Lavine welcomes architects from Michael Maltzan Architecture, Koning Eizenberg Architecture and Killefer Flammang Architects for a panel discussion on the role of design in realizing "supportive housing" solutions for the homeless. The event is free.

The Skirball welcomes author Nick Hornby (About a Boy, High Fidelity) for a reading and book signing for his latest novel, Juliet, Naked. A reclusive 80s rock star forced into the open when the re-release of his most famous album brings him into contact with some of his most passionate fans. The event begins at 7:30 pm. Free.

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LACMA presents Vital Signals: Japanese and American Video Art from the 1960s and 70stonight at 7 pm at Brown Auditorium. This three-part screening examines the correspondence between the pioneering works of artists experimenting with video in Japan and America. The program features rarely screened videos by artists such as Chris Burden, Allan Kaprow, Hakudo Kobayashi, Paul McCarthy, Fujiko Nakaya, Nam June Paik and others. General admission tickets are $7 general admission, $5 museum members, seniors 62+ and students with valid ID.

West 4th/Jane, a new Santa Monica neighborhood pub and gallery, has started celebrating First Tuesdays--a monthly art reception complete with complimentary wine and live music--that features the work of one particular artist. The artist’s work will remain on display and for sale at the bar for the entire month. A portion of the proceeds from the artwork sales will benefit Heal the Bay, a local nonprofit dedicated to keeping Southern California’s coastal waters safe, healthy and clean. October’s artist is Lore Eckelberry and the party tonight starts at 7 pm.

The Moth StorySLAM provides a stage and a microphone, and 10 people are selected to tell--not read--their five-minute stories. Tonight at The Echoplex is the LA GrandSLAM Championship, where past local SLAM winners compete against eachs others tales. Stories start at 8 pm and tickets are $15. 

Cartoon historian Jerry Beck (editor/co-creator of Cartoon Brew and author of countless volumes on the genre) brings rare cartoons to screen to the Cinefamily tonight at 8 pm in time for the Halloween season. The Popeye cartoon Fright to the Finish will be screened, and he’ll be joined in the program by Milton the Monster, Casper and other famous monsters of filmland. Tickets are $13.

*Pencil pick of the day

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