You know, there’s nothing damnable about being a strong woman. The world needs strong women. – Ginger Rogers

I’ve seen the quote about Fred Astaire, “Sure he was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards…and in high heels!” (Bob Thaves) and it never fails to make me smile. During Women’s History month, nearly every library will have a strong/powerful/notable women display up in the branch and the variety is astonishing. A couple of years back, I did a women’s history month program at the North Sacramento Library where I played a song by a different female musician each day we were open. Oddly, no one seemed to notice the 3-4 minutes of rocking out but we enjoyed it! See photo:Image

But, as always, we of alt+library want to hear from you. What woman/women inspire you and why? (This is a little like a wishing well, I keep dropping in questions but there are rarely comment echos splashing back up; I remain optimistic). I just read Janet Mock’s biography, Redefining Realness, and DAMN if that isn’t inspiring! She overcame a LOT to be the woman she is today. Also inspired every day by the women I skate with on the Sac City Rollers.

/jess

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

Image by skipsypony on deviantart.com

Image by skipsypony on deviantart.com

What are you doing this year? I’m doing alt+fitness. We had Industrial Strength already – I got comments about muscles aching days later. Up next is Partner Yoga, with an all-duet soundtrack, and in March – for women’s history month – Riot Grrrl Plyo. We have our second Sip or Slurp? program happening this Saturday – all about coffee with a guest presenter from Yellowbill. alt+library book club has started out with a bang; we had a very animated discussion about Aimee Bender’s The Color Master and our upcoming selection of Every Day by David Levithan will likely keep up the momentum. We’ll have Book to Art programming beginning in March, our potentially annual Midtown walk in May, and plenty of Summer Reading action. But enough about us. Tell us about you. What would YOU like to see from us?

/jess

For the record, I get all my quotations from BrainyQuote.com. I could spend hours browsing there.

There’s no map to human behaviour. Bjork

Circular-Walking-BookshelfOr is there? We at alt+library think there is and we want YOU to draw it. As you may know, tonight is our very first flâneur walk in conjunction with our regular book club meeting. We’ll be wandering midtown, sharing our happiest places along with our observations on The Geography of Bliss. But wait! There’s MORE!

Here we have the altLibrary map. Inspired by the upcoming release of Mapping Manhattan, we contacted the kind folks at Downtown Grid with a request: are they willing to make us a blank map to be distributed among the alt+library? Turns out the answer is a resounding “yes”! So, what to do with it?

We’d like you to draw YOUR Midtown Sacramento. You can make it themed: best places to steal a kiss, best desserts, best alleys to covertly urinate in when you’ve been drinking all night, skate-friendly businesses OR you can just make it personal, listing your favorite spots and why. Attached is the example for tonight: Geography of Bliss walk. So, print out your blank, draw it in, and either drop it at McKinley Library (601 Alhambra Blvd) or scan it and email to jzaker@saclibrary.org. We’re compiling them for our own nefarious purposes. And we’re going to share them. Eventually. So make it good.

/jess

“Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities.” ― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

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And we are decided. Our walking tour for this month’s alt+library book club will begin at R15 (unsurprisingly located at R and 15th St). Be there at 7p or a little earlier – we have much ground to cover! Originally our idea with alt+library was to take the library out into the community but never have we done it quite so literally as we plan to on Wednesday May 15th, walking the streets of midtown Sacramento while discussing this month’s book selection, The Geography of Bliss. Our entire route, start to finish, is just about 4 miles so plan accordingly. We’ll cover a variety of sites submitted by our members and this will kick off our next thrilling project – Mapping Your Sacramento. More to be revealed that night. We will end our walk very near to the start point so don’t worry about having to trek back to your car. Comfortable shoes, a water bottle, an attention to detail – bring these and we’ll see you there!

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. – Oscar Wilde

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Last night we celebrated World Book Night! Lori and I had both signed up to be givers so the titles we got were The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (mine) and Looking for Alaska by John Green (hers). And we learned some important lessons about handing out free books in midtown to non-readers: 1) no one who signed up to attend will show up (exception: Nicole) BUT other people will. 2 very sweet young men came and gamely took a couple each to hand out. 2) people will take ANYTHING from a woman on roller skates. That is a lesson I will be sure to apply further. 3) There is no greater pleasure to be had than sharing a book you love with someone who has never read it and the ensuing conversation about past reads, future reads, and suggestions for new material. Thanks to everyone who took a book, to BodyTribe for letting me skate in and interrupt workouts to bring the joy of reading, and my very favorite partner-in-crime, Lori. Happy reading everyone!

/jess

P.S. Keep sending in the suggestions for our walk in May!

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Most virtue is a demand for greater seduction. – Natalie Clifford Barney

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If only I could get the Bow Wow Wow song “Aphrodisiac” to stop running through my head as I plan this program.  But seriously, Food of Love is going to be the JAM!

Aphrodisiacs can be both truth and legend. Some foods have psychoactive properties, others arouse because they are psychologically suggestive, and some can actually increase the, uh, necessary blood flow. We’ll be discussing foods and meals rumored to have aphrodisiac properties, even sampling a few.

 And everyone knows the Shakespeare quote from Twelfth Night:

If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

While we aren’t looking to gorge ourselves to cure a broken heart, we do support the “music be the food of love” theory – bring a favorite song/artist/playlist to share, something that inspires you toward seduction. My weaknesses include Portishead (sex music!) and Sharon Jones (for making a first move).

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: Bollywood Spectacular!

Something is happening indeed! alt+library is starting a series of afterhours  “First Friday” programs at the North Sacramento Library (2109 Del Paso Blvd). Our kickoff program is March 2nd and is a “Bollywood Spectacular”! We will be enjoying a film, Bolly dance lesson, henna, chai and Indian snacks.

Not familiar with names like Madhuri Dixit, Aishwariya Rai, Shahrukh Khan or Kajol? BollyWHAT has created a newcomer’s guide to Bollywood that will help you on your way to becoming familiar with all the elements of film. Be sure to join our meetup.com/altlibrary so you can stay current with what will be happening next in alt+library! Or we’ll wag our thumbs at you until you tug your ears.

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell. – George Bernard Shaw

Happy Holidaze by Adam Hughes

Many people adore the holidays – the family, the fun, the togetherness. Others of us loathe them – the pressure, the commercialization, the togetherness. So, how do you endure? We’re hosting Punk Yoga: Survive the Holidaze and Broke A$$ Holidays as oases for escape. Reading is also a fantastic way to steal a couple of hours for yourself. And I find that the filthier or more bizarre the book, the easier it is to smear on a smile and join the fa-la-la-ing or whatever else you’ve signed on for. Upon a recommendation, I just finished the extremely vivid Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis; it could make you gag or laugh aloud, either way. Or check out Fun Home, our alt+library book selection, for a family that is just as challenging as your own. Judicious applications of black metal or really noisy punk seems to help too. What works for you? Share in the comments. /jess