If you read our “Wintertime Reads” picks a few issues back, you already know about La Mesa author Marlene Wagman-Geller's Once Again to Zelda, a book that tells the stories behind the inscriptions inside a few of the best contemporary literary works. Wagman-Geller—whose favorite tales in the book are the chapters on Charles Webb's dedication in The Graduate and Laura Hillenbrand's dedication of her debut novel, Seabiscuit: An American Legend—will read from and discuss Once Again to Zelda at the Barnes & Noble in Grossmont Center (5500 Grossmont Center Drive in La Mesa) at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. www.onceagaintozelda.net, 619-667-2870.
Jane Lui has the kind of voice that sounds sweet whether she's singing one of her folkier songs with guitar or her more melodic minimalist pieces with piano. Lui, a San Diego singer and songwriter, has put together a Christmas Bash at Lestat's West (3343 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights) at , with some of her friends, including Atom Orr (the new solo acoustic side project of Truckee Brothers' Chris Hoffee), Greg Friedman and Nathan James. The musicians, who range in style from pop and rock to blues, will throw in a holiday song or two, just to mark the season. www.myspace.com/lestatswest.
At 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Airport Lounge (2400 India St. in Little Italy), local designers Miss Delish, Tib Nelson and Grace Carroll will show off designs inspired by pinup girls of the '30s and '40s in Betty Get Your Gun, a free runway fashion show. Betty Boop and Bonnie (sans Clyde) are among the inspirations for the new handmade creations in the show. www.missdelish.com.
If you aren't clued in to the cultural and historical significance of things like the picadores, the waving of the white scarves and the egotistical stance and dance of the matador, bullfighting can appear to be a bloody and brutal public showcase of a man slaughtering an innocent animal. The film The Matador uses the story of bullfighter David Fandila (best known as “El Fandi”), statistically the best bullfighter in the world, to educate viewers about the art form, but also to look at the ambition, arrogance, elegance and even brutality it takes to succeed in the sport. The documentary, which was produced by San Diego native Scott Dunklee, opens at the Landmark Theatre in Hillcrest on Friday, Dec. 12, when Dunklee will be on hand for the 7:30 p.m. showing for a Q&A. www.matadorthefilm.com.Name drop: If you don't immediately raise your eyebrows and nod your head knowingly when you hear the name Warren Miller, then you've not yet experienced any of the man's ski and snowboard films. Every time Miller makes a new movie, the snow-loving crowds line up to see it, and it'll be no different with Children of Winter, his newest film showcasing footage from Japan, Austria, Alaska, Iceland and other settings with death-defying stunts by Jonny Moseley, Seth Wescott, Wendy Fisher and others. The film screens at 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at Carlsbad Village Theatre (2822 State St.) and at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, and Thursday, Dec. 11, at La Paloma Theatre (471 First St. in Encinitas). The $18 price includes a free lift ticket to Heavenly Resort. www.warrenmiller.com.
The Nutcracker is almost as integral to getting into the holiday spirit as eggnog. The City Ballet's award-winning production of the holiday classic will be performed at Spreckels Theatre (121 Broadway, Downtown) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14. It's the last week of the two-week run, so get your tickets ($29 to $62) before you overdose on the 'nog. And for something as far from tradition as you can get, spend your money on tickets ($53.50) to Dancing with the Stars, which will kick off its live tour in San Diego at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Sports Arena (3500 Sports Arena Blvd. in Point Loma). Professional dancers will be paired up with the likes of Toni Braxton, Lance Bass and other B-list stars for a live version of the ABC hit reality-competition show. www.sandiegoarena.com, 619-224-4171.
From strange to surreal
All we know about the upcoming art show at the Garage Gallery (4141 Alabama St. in North Park) is the strange title (Lotion + Salve + Mud + Shit = Paint) and the participating artists (Gary Byrd, Connie Bostic, Irene Abraham and Maire Prainito-Winczer). The little we do know, though, is intriguing enough to make us want to check out the opening at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12. And for something a little safer, perhaps, we'll stop by the opening of Infinity Squared, from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at Distinction Gallery and Artists Studios (317 East Grand Ave. in Escondido). The show is curated by studio artist Kelly Vivanco and features pretty pop-surrealist paintings similar to Vivanco's work. www.distinctionart.com. Inside the mind: Mark Rimland's whimsical paintings are good on their own, but once you hear the pretty remarkable story about Rimland as an artist with autism, the paintings become a little more interesting. See some of Rimland's prints and hear the story behind The Secret Night World of Cats, the children's book illustrated by Rimland and written by his sister Helen Landalf at the new Edgeware Gallery (4186 Adams Ave. in Kensington) from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. The Kensington tree-lighting celebration will be happening at the same time. www.edgewaregallery.com.