Last night’s adventure was to attend a “story slam” put on by The Moth. Back-story: my niece Laurel has been trying to connect me to her friend Ed Lewis, who has an avocation as a story-teller. Ed was going to be in San Francisco for this slam, and we agreed to meet before the event to eat. My friend Scott was interested so we drove up together. Ed is a cheerful guy with a lot of stories. At the slam, anyone can put their name in a bag, from which ten names were drawn to tell their stories in five minutes each. Ed’s name wasn’t drawn. His professional opinion of the tellers who were chosen was not positive, except for the two who were scored highest by the judges. Those two really did tell gripping personal tales with confidence and panache. Ed invited us to come to a story-telling festival he’s running in January to hear “really good, professional tellers.”
After a run (another good one, 40 minutes nonstop and felt fine) I spent some time trying to master this WordPress blog’s styling. Ended up using the WordPress online chat for help, which was quite helpful. But I really would like to get an archive of prior posts in the sidebar, similar to what Blogger offers, and it doesn’t seem possible.
At 1pm I went for my first volunteer gig at FOPAL. This was quite enjoyable. I’m going to like this weekly 2-hour gig. What I’m doing for now is sorting. FOPAL has defined about 60 interest categories, like “computers”, “classic literature”, “travel narrative”, “movies/tv” and so on. Each category has some shelf space in the big Sale Room, where the monthly book sales take place. Each category has at least one volunteer “manager” who prices and arranges her category’s books on the shelf before sale day.
People come to the door with bags and boxes of books as donations, and of course these are not nicely categorized. The donation boxes and bags pile up in a small mountain in the center of the Sorting Room. Around the walls of the Sorting Room are shelves with boxes labeled for each category. What I and other sorters do is to open a donation box; look at each book; decide if it is worth keeping at all, and if so, into what category box to drop it. Then put the book in the box for its category. When a category box fills up, move it to the appropriate area of the sale room for the category manager to handle.
It’s a fun job, good mental exercise evaluating the books, and physical exercise as well, walking back and forth and carrying heavy boxes of books around. Nice people to work with, too, as one would expect at an all-volunteer outfit.
Since the 1980s, Marian and I both had our hair cut by Chris Johnson. She gave Marian’s last shampoo and blow-dry the week before she died. On the way home from that appointment Marian asked what I planned to do about haircuts when she was gone. I said “Oh, probably stay with Chris, no point in changing”. So today was the appointment for haircuts that we’d made weeks earlier. I left early from the FOPAL gig to make the 4pm appointment. Chris and I kind of talked around issues, not doing a lot of reminiscing about Marian, so I only choked up a couple of times.
Home for a rest and supper, then I go out again at 7:30 to see Into the Woods at the Bus Barn theater.