ON THE ROAD AGAIN: We've hosed down the Gulfstream and put an entirely new graphics package on the tour bus and are embarking on our New Book World Tour 2 to promote our new History Press volume, the cunningly titled "Location Filming in Long Beach," which was chosen by our publisher over our preferences of going with the Wallace Stevens' line "Bad Is Final In This Light," or the Kipling-y "When Was You In Rangoon?"
There's nothing so bracing as being slapped in the face with an obvious and self-descriptive title.
The book is not only packed with facts about the hundreds of feature films made in Long Beach, but, to meet the required length, it's padded with thousands of words' worth of our idle musings on the subject of filming movies, TV shows and commercials right under the town's collective nose.
While many world tours ignore Long Beach, we're open-heartedly putting it on our schedule in order to "give back" to the community. Sometimes, if we think too hard about our generosity, we make ourself cry a little bit.
The book ("Location Filming In Long Beach") recently came in second, behind "a pony," in gifts most requested for Christmas in a poll we commissioned. It'll be available (the book, not the pony) for purchase, signing and inscribing, along with a little chat by the author, in at least three events in the days leading up to Christmas and its little sister holidays.
At 6 p.m. Dec. 6, we'll be at our favorite used-books bookstore, Gatsby Books, 5535 E. Spring St.
At 7 p.m. Dec. 7, we'll be at our favorite historical society, the Historical Society of Long Beach, 4260 Atlantic Ave., as part of the booming First Fridays in Bixby Knolls event. We'll be selling, signing and inscribing the book, but not delivering a brisk and witty speech. Might have the film thing figured out by then. This event was erroneously reported in some editions of the Sunday paper as occurring on Friday, which is sort of true, just not this Friday; it's on the 7th.
At 6 p.m. Dec. 12 (that's 12-12-12 on the Calendar of Weird Dates, or the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Liturgical Calendar, or Nine Days Before the End of the World on the Mayan Calendar), we'll be at our favorite new-books bookstore, Apostrophe Books, 4712 Second St., in Belmont Shore.
L.B. ON THE WING: Ideally, everyone would be satisfied with a copy of our latest book (or the first one, if you somehow missed it) for Christmas. But it's an acquisitive society in which we live. Happily, we have a couple of other highly satisfying ways for you to do some gift-buying.
Staying with books for the moment, historian, librarian, researcher and author Claudine Burnett's comprehensive and sprawling history of local aviation, "Soaring Skyward," is a perfect present for history/aviation/Long Beach buffs.
The book is more than 300 pages, with 125 photos and histories of 300-plus aviators. It takes you from early balloonists on the Pike and goes right up to the recent changes at Long Beach Airport.
"Soaring Skyward" is available at Gatsby and Apostrophe bookstores, as well as online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Author House. It's truly the only Long Beach aviation book you'll need. Buy it and throw out your others.
FOR THE REST: OK, we've got you all booked up for Christmas, etc., for everything else, swing by the Winter Wonderland Holiday Bazaar from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the cafeteria at Millikan High School, 2800 Snowden Ave., in Long Beach's Prestigious Plaza.
You'll find jewelry, bags, clothes, scarves, CDs and DVDs, Tupperware, Mary Kay and Avon products and a lot more. All this amid live music and plenty of food and dessert vendors. The event is thrown by Millikan's COMPASS Community, which is way better than your kid's community.