Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I listen to my Abner Jay record when my dog or my wife dies. I listen to Abner when I am depressed but want to be depressed and think terrible. I listen to Abner when I drink too much gin at the beach or when I am turning Dolores Park into a prison. I basically play that Abner Jay record and listen to it over and over and over whenever I can. It is that good. Good for living in SF or Oakland. Good for Atlanta or the China. Good for under the river, sheets, or weather. Lord forget it, just get in it.

Listen to a really good song by Abner Jay HERE.

At the Green Apples Bookstore where I work there is the Mississippi Records vinyl release of The True Story of Abner Jay. There is also the Subliminal Sounds release of the Abner Jay CD, One Man Band, which has some different songs on it, but also some of the same songs too. I suggest both because they are so great.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Choose a Book. Change a Life in Mongolia.

Our friends at The Asia Foundation have launched an online book contest to send storybooks to fourth-grade students in rural Mongolia. In the contest, you can choose your favorite among five classic stories: Corduroy, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Make Way for the Ducklings, Where’s Spot, or The Little Engine That Could. Copies of the winning book will be sent to the fourth grade class of Khishig-Undur School, a school that serves the nomadic communities of a remote area almost 200 miles from the nation’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.

Here is a video featuring the students who will receive the books and Tungaa, a graduate of the school who now works with an Asian Development Bank program that helps rural migrants adjust to life in Mongolia’s big cities. In the video, Tungaa says she is “living proof” that “a single book can make a big difference.”

Your (free) vote will not only go towards sending a child a book, but also supports the programs of The Asia Foundation. A donor will contribute $1 for every vote cast, up to $10,000. Voting ends on March 29, so choose your favorite childhood story now!

[You may remember that I blogged in December about their last contest in Bangladesh. Click here to watch the video showing their return to Bangladesh with the winning book, Harold and the Purple Crayon.]

Monday, March 22, 2010

Poem of the Week by Brian Teare

Here's this week's poem by local poet Brian Teare. Enjoy the poem and this first week of spring.


(White Birch)

how a birch shirks its skins : strange
grain of the language of prayer : to disturb
words addressed to where God is is
what writing is : alphabet alive beneath
the alphabet so far into whiteness
each mind to itself creation come crawling
matter out of nothing : always
longing inquiries at the threshold a question
unanswered : not skin but the look
of skin : what once overheard the talk
of God became matter : ask the birch
did the soul have a choice :

from Sight Map by Brian Teare, University of California Press (2009)