festive, adj.: I like it best when we celebrate holidays of our own invention, waking up on Sunday, say, and declaring it devoted to red.
- David Levithan
I have a raging author crush on David Levithan. I just finished an advance reader’s copy of his latest book, Two Boys Kissing. I particularly love the way his writing is both lyrical and prosaic, often in the same sentence. And I am considering signing up for Twitter, exclusively for his updates to The Lover’s Dictionary, as seen above. Just back from Chicago and our presentation at ALA Annual; we had a wonderful time AND a wonderful audience. Attended some great sessions, attended some less great sessions, explored the Windy City but mostly glad to be home. But, back to the author crush. Who’s yours and why? What book/chapter/phrase made the magic happen for you?
Or 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 Blisswalk. So, print out your blank, draw it in, and either drop it at McKinley Library (601 Alhambra Blvd) or scan it and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re compiling them for our own nefarious purposes. And we’re going to share them. Eventually. So make it good.
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 English equivalent for the French word flâneur. Cassell’s dictionary defines flâneur as a stroller, saunterer, drifter but none of these terms seems quite accurate. There is no English equivalent for the term, just as there is no Anglo-Saxon counterpart of that essentially Gallic individual, the deliberately aimless pedestrian, unencumbered by any obligation or sense of urgency, who, being French and therefore frugal, wastes nothing, including his time which he spends with the leisurely discrimination of a gourmet, savoring the multiple flavors of his city.” (Cornelia Otis Skinner, Elegant Wits and Grand Horizontals, 1962, Houghton Mifflin, New York)
Those who attended our most recent bookclub were privy to our latest scheme – becoming flâneurs. But in order to make our walk good, we need your input! For our May meeting, we are planning a stroll through the midtown area and we want each participant interested to contribute a spot to visit and a willingness to explain their love for that particular building, tree, mailbox – whatever. We’re limiting ourselves to the region between E and T, 10th to 28th. If you would like to add your spot to our route, please email me directly (email@example.com) by May 4th for inclusion. We’ll also be reading The Geography of Bliss that month – some killer travel writing about the “happiest places” on earth.
Stay tuned for more details about our “read trash, don’t leave it” plan for summer as well. Thanks for supporting alt+library!
As a self-proclaimed craft nut, I could probably fill a room with the monstrosities I have created over the years. Inexpensive adhesive (Gutermann, anyone?) or not, some creations were just not meant to see the light of day. I’m sure I’ve made plenty of nice things, but when you start to get creative it can be easy to forget about conventional aesthetics. I still maintain that my lumpy ceramic glaze test/ashtray/catchall is a thing of beauty.
Fortunately, alt+librarian Lori was able to pass on some of her paper craft prowess to me and the Alt+Friends when we got together recently to whip up some book-themed crafts. As you can see, the Friends did a beautiful job iris folding and binding matchbook journals. We’ll be selling these goodies at Coffee Garden for Second Saturday (March 9th) from 6-9 pm, along with some great used books. We have lots of newer fiction and some lovely decorating books. Hope to see you there!
And fortunately for us at alt+library, Kristin deNeeve is GOOD. Newly arrived to Sacramento, she had the (mis)fortune of coming into my library where I discovered she is an artist, has talent, has worked with libraries before (see her NYU work) and was willing to work with us! She created this image for us – emblematic of some of the program offerings that alt+library tries to provide. Pretty sweet, huh? See some of you for Darling Jim tonight and the rest out and about!
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).
So if we don’t see you tomorrow for Punk Rock Aerobics, perhaps we’ll see you next Wednesday to discuss Crooked Little Vein, including such wisdom as the following gem:
“You know. If you drink whiskey. And I don’t mean a lot of whiskey, just enough to keep the little engines in your head alive. If you drink a bunch of whiskey, you can piss in a cup before you go to sleep. And in the morning all the alcohol will have risen to the surface of the piss. And you can drink it off the top of the piss with a straw.”
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
Hey, I love punk rock and metal TOO! Which is why alt+library is so very pleased to be bringing you a series of 4 alt+fitness programs, based on the success of the previous Punk Rock Aerobics and Punk Rock Pilates classes. See details below:
Lace up your Chucks and don your sweat band because we will be slamming our way to fitness with a customized punk and metal soundtracks and a variety of exercises designed to get your heart racing and your muscles worked out! Taught by Lipstick Librarian of the Sac City Rollers; there’s no one tougher than a derby girl. We are offering a series of 4 different workouts, starting in April on the second Wednesday of every month, from 630p – 730p:
April 13th: Punk Rock Aerobics
May 11th: Hairobics—Hair Band Aerobics
June 8th: Punk Rock Pilates
July 13th: Heavy Metal Yoga
Come get your rock on and get hard core for a harder core!
I’m particularly excited about the Heavy Metal Yoga – I’ve always wanted to do a downward dog to some Diabolical Masquerade or Satyricon. Sign up info will be coming soon.