Saturday, February 20, 2010

Getting Booked

I had an unexpectedly good afternoon yesterday. That is, I knew I had some specific things to do, activities and errands planned, but I didn't know they would end up being so much fun!

First. I went running with Devon and Carol. We had to be done in time to go pick up kids from school. So, we ran our usual short route (which I have now reversed the direction of so the big hill that winds me is at the beginning of the run, not the end of it). Instead of running over to Osteopathy St. and back to First to lengthen the run to 3 miles, in the interest of time, I suggested we run directly to Mary Immaculate, so Carol and Devon could get their kids. We ran at a faster pace than we usually do, but I kept up and was even able to talk (I kept thinking, "Shut up, you can't breathe," but then I kept talking anyway). We made plans for a longer run today (we are hoping to do 6, but I am so tired right now, I am dreading it a little bit-- training for a half marathon is hard!), and then I jogged the rest of the way home.

Later, I mapped the route, and we had done 3 by the time we got to the school. The jog home added just a little bit more.

I got home, got my keys, and went to pick up the boys. It had been sleeting just a little bit since before our run, but I don't remember noticing it on the run. The boys, however, were grateful for a ride.

The other errand I had planned needs a little back story. I meet all kinds of interesting people at poetry slams and just because this is a small, college town. And as you know, I particularly like the poet/artsy types. Well, I met a student named Aaron, and we became Facebook friends (like you do). Aaron is an English major, but he does a lot of art projects and posts pictures of them-- and among his projects is making blank books and journals. Well. I have never met a blank book/journal I didn't like, so I have commented on his work, because it's so cool. And, because I am generally lazy (okay, I crochet and knit stuff), I admire people who make art in their spare time.

Aaron, being the nice guy he is, made me a blank book after I commented on how much I liked them! So, we kept trying, via Facebook, to arrange a time to meet so I could get it from him. This has been going on for a couple of months. So, he posted that he needed a ride to get a prescription filled on Friday, and I volunteered.

This is the book he gave me. Isn't that cool? I told him that I already had plans for it, and he approved of them.

Then we went and got his prescription dropped off at Walgreens (did you know you can buy paternity tests there, by the way? along with a bunch of other assorted oddities?). The prescription would take an hour to fill, they said. I had asked Aaron in the car if he would teach me about bookmaking sometime, and he agreed because, "Nobody is interested in bookmaking," so we went back to his apartment and he showed me how to do a Japanese book binding!

Aaron is about 1000 times more organized than I will ever be, but I do have a file of potential book covers I've accumulated. Also, some poorly made books I've attempted to do (need to work on those book covers). I have an awl and some string too (need to buy wax for it). After talking with Aaron and seeing a lot of his other books, I feel like I could make better books now. He showed me how to tell whether the grain on paper is vertical or horizontal. I told him I had bought some leather on Ebay awhile back to use for book covers, and he showed me his homemade book press, and also, in some of his books on the topic, why using leather is a LOT more complicated than paper or cloth.

For a person who buys as many notebooks as I do, making my own books could be a Very Good Thing. I have an unfortunate habit, however, of getting really excited about a project (say, knitting!), learning to do it, accumulating a lot of materials, doing it manically for awhile, and then stopping. So, I think I will not spend any money on bookmaking just yet. Aaron also told me how to make a paste for book covers from whole wheat pastry flour (which I have) and water. The good thing about this paste is that it won't stain the paper if it seeps through.

The whole time we were talking and he was demonstrating (Ahhh, user a hammer with the awl, don't try to just jam holes in the paper with the damn thing), I was playing with his extremely cute, friendly, and energetic kitten, Wallace.

Then, we went back and got his prescription, I got some Warhead candy for the kids, dropped him off, and went home.

Very fun. And now I know a lot more about how to bind my own books! I can't believe he doesn't know more people who are interested in bookmaking. On the other hand, I can't believe someone so young spends so much time on a really ancient art, either. There are really a lot of cool, artistic kids in this town. They also have a publication they run called Gadfly, that is their own, independent magazine. Both print copies AND online. So impressive.

So, I will have to take back some of the mean things I said about the Internets, because obviously, today's post was brought to you by the Internets, and Facebook. Wouldn't have been possible without it. Oh, and blogger. Heh.


  1. THAT was interesting. What a nice little notebook you scored, too!

    And that kitten? "Cute, friendly, and energetic" pretty much describes orange tabbies. They are also extremely confident, and thus risk-takers. If Aaron hasn't yet, he might consider keeping Wallace as an indoor cat -- it'll lengthen his life considerably.

  2. Wallace's, that is, not Aaron's.

  3. VERY interesting post, Jen.

    ALSO? Took me a while to get beyond this sentence: did you know you can buy paternity tests there, by the way?

    Wow. No. I did not know.

    Finally - Do you have OpenID as a possibility for comment sign in options?