LA TAMALE THROWDOWN: Are you more about traditional fillings, more about the surprise fillings, more about the spices or is it all in the masa for you? You don't need to take sides. You only need to be a devotee of all things tamale, and clear your schedule on Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13. (Come on, though; the masa is key, right?)
BABY DOLL BRAWL: It is always pure adrenaline-filled thrillsdom to watch accomplished Derbyists out on a banked track. But don't new skaters need a little love from the crowd, too? The Derby Dolls are sending out their recent sign-ups (dubbed "fresh meat" by the Dolls) on Sunday, Nov. 14. A bonus: Younger Derbyists will be skating at halftime. Ages 8-17. A fun family day at the Doll Factory.
VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: A multi-day cinema spectacular with rebel roots in a certain wide expanse that has been the stuff of light ribbing and orange-grovery and airplanes and Tom Petty songs. We love the Valley. You too? Get up there, or over there, or stay put if you're there now (lucky) and watch some movies, through Sunday, Nov. 14. Everything's playing at the CAP in Sherman Oaks.
HUNTINGTON RANCH DEBUTS: If you think our world-class Huntington Gardens is all about the well-manicured orchid or rose, well. You're partly right; the San Marino landmark excels at flora exquisiteness. But it has ties to an earthier, let's-dig-in-and-eat past, which will be revealed at the new on-site ranch. "Sustainable urban agriculture" are the catch words here. Again, Huntington, you impress. (Note: The Nov. 12 and 13 events are sold out, but the Huntington says to watch for future events at the Ranch.)