After the horror of Christmas, why not indulge in horror of another kind—with a delightful tale of a one-night-stand gone terribly, gruesomely wrong? The Film Geeks, a motley crew of cinema curators from the coolest film fests in San Diego, will hold a screening of Contracted at and , at Digital Gym Cinema (2921 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park). Directed by 25-year-old terror-movie maker Eric England (Madison County), the film follows a lesbian who has an out-of-character, vehicular sexual encounter with a man she meets at a party and contracts a disease that results in some particularly hideous symptoms and rather peculiar behavioral changes. Andy Webster of The New York Times commented that the low-budget film offers “unnerving rewards.” You can see a clip from the movie at hifilmfest.com. Tickets are $11.
For some time now, North Park's Ms. Vintage Clothing Boutique and Little Italy's Love & Aesthetics have been setting aside a collection of modern-meets-rustic men’s gear and accessories. In October, they put their finds together and opened Surplus Dry Goods, a Gentleman's Holiday Pop-Up Shop just down the street from Ms. Vintage at 3060 University Ave. The small storefront location features rugged (but stylish) clothing, manly (but cute) Christmas ornaments, some adorable locally made bowties, soaps, cologne and other knickknacks perfect for the gentlemen in your life. The shop is open daily from through the end of the year.
What's more stunning than seeing a beautiful Mexican Coral Tree? Seeing a Mexican Coral Tree wrapped in Christmas lights. The San Diego Botanic Garden’s annual Garden of Lights tradition really is a holiday spectacle that should be experienced at least once. Even the sunniest day in San Diego starts to feel all cozy and Christmasy at the garden, which is filled with more than 100,000 lights and includes added perks like mulled wine, visits from Santa, man-made snow, wagon rides and live music. Check the website for the full rundown of happenings; the garden is open Dec. 23 and .
Embarrassing moments, heartfelt insights, tragedy, laughter, beer and, of course, PowerPoint—it’s VAMP. Or rather it’s ReVAMP’d. Fans of the monthly monologue show can head out to Whistle Stop (2236 Fern St. in South Park) , to listen to the year’s best performers retell their tales of hilarity and heartbreak. Order a brew and sit back while folks bring well-polished personal essays to life using audio and visual aids. The greatest-hits version of this multimedia showcase includes readers Eber Lambert, Adam Gimbel, Dallas McLaughlin, Suzanne Hoyem, Nancy Cary, Laura Condi, Marion Wilson and Nathan Young (shown here). The show start at and goes until 11. Get there early if you want to sit up front—it gets packed. The nice people at VAMP suggest a $5 donation.