Monday, May 8, 2017

Sponsor Letter, May 8th 2017

Hi Everyone,

Whew, getting closer to on-time with these notes.  And we've also managed to get our events planned months . . . do your hear me, months! . . . in advance, so check out all the cool stuff we've got coming up.

But, before you dive into that, I've two questions and a bit of business.  Business first -- the write-up for the General Meeting on the 31st of March is up at the Sponsors' Blog <>.  I warn you though, it's a long, dense bit of writing (I think I need to start talking less at these meetings).  If you didn't make the meeting and you have any questions or comments, please do drop me a line and we'll chat.

And now, the questions.

First, during the meeting there was a suggestion that we should start a Sponsors' forum / message board sort of thing.  There are two ways that we can go about that.  It can be a typical forum sort of setup (check out SFF World for an example - or we could use something called Slack <>.  I've discussed the two options with several knowledgable folks and there are pros and cons to each option.  If you're familiar with both of the possibilities and you've got an opinion, I'd appreciate it if you'd drop me a line.

Second, Jude, Scott and I were talking about future events (did I mention that we've got them planned months . . . Months! . . . MONTHS! in advance?)  Um.  Where was I? Oh, right, future events.  Anyway, we thought it would be fun to do a group trip to the Great Dickens Christmas Fair <> in December.  Tickets are usually pretty expensive ($30 for adults) and so we planned on getting in touch about a group ticket rate.  Then Jude pointed out that we might have a sponsor who was connected (in a slightly Mafia-sort-of-way) with the event.  So, anyone out there with a useful hook-up for group tickets to Dickens Fair?  If not, no worries, I'm sure we can make a deal though the usual channels.  And, honestly, I don't mind at all helping to support them -- it's a really cool event.

Now, on to the event schedule which, as you may have heard, extends MONTHS! into the future.

All Best and Warmest Regards,

Inch worm write-up:
(1) Game nights.  Inspired by the rousing success of the first one, we'll be doing a monthly game night at the Cafe on the second Monday of each month.  The first monthly Game Night will be Monday, May 8th from 6 pm - 10 pm.  Guests are welcome and no RSVPs are necessary.

(2) Our next Sponsor Social will be Saturday, May 13th from 7pm - 11pm.  We'll have fencing (with swords, not wooden posts) demonstrations, a fabulous retail guest, free advance reading copies and much more! You may bring one guest, and RSVP's are appreciated.

(3) Our first Monthly Sponsor Cocktail night at Churchill was a huge success. We will definitely be out again this month at the same location and time to enjoy the company of fellow sponsors. Our May Sponsor Cocktail night will be Tuesday, May 23rd at Churchill (198 Church Street at Market) starting at 7:00 pm.  Guests are welcome and no RSVPs are necessary.

(4) A first for Borderlands Sponsors; we’re going to the theatre. Our very own bookseller Scott is performing in an uproarious comedy called Sordid Lives. The play starts at 8pm on Thursday, June 8th. We have a block of discounted reserved seats, so please come by the store to purchase your ticket at the discounted rate of $25.00.

(5) We’re exploring the haunted side of San Francisco history. On Thursday, June 15th we’re taking a Ghost Walk tour of the Pacific Heights neighborhood.  Please RSVP if you're interested (you're welcome to bring a guest).  The tour will cost $15 per person.

(6) Join us for a guided tour of the San Francisco Center for the Book (375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103) on Sunday, July 2nd at 10:00 am.  The cost for the tour is $10.  Please RSVP if you're interested.  You may bring one guest.

(7) The third Sponsor Social of 2017 will be on Saturday, August 19th, from 7 pm to 11 pm.  More details to come.

(8) Sponsor Karaoke with Seanan McGuire at The Mint (1942 Market Street, San Francisco) on Thursday, September 7th at 7:00 pm! 21 and over, no cover charge (but there is a 2-drink minimum), guests welcome.  Please RSVP so we know how many people to expect.

Reticulated python write-up:
(1) Game nights.  Inspired by the success of the first one in September of last year, we'll be doing a monthly game night at the Cafe on the second Monday of each month. The first Monthly Game Night will be Monday, May 8th from 6 pm - 10 pm.  Join fellow sponsors & "game" staff for chess, Cards Against Humanity, Scrabble, Pictionary, or whatever other board games you'd like to bring to play!  Please bring games that have a usual play-cycle of less than 3 hours, so probably NOT Monopoly, Seven Ages, Arkham Horror, or The Longest Day (that's the Normandy Invasion strategy game that takes an average of 90 hours to play).  Are you a secret Balderdash champion?  Kick butt at Connect 4?  Here's your chance to shine!  We'll have adult beverages (after eight pm), iced tea and lemonade on offer, but feel free to bring your favorite beverage to share.  Also, you're welcome to bring food if you wish -- the cafe will be shutting down at eight.  No need to RSVP, and please feel free to invite your friends along, as there really isn't any limit to the number of folks we can accommodate -- the more the merrier.

(2) Our next Sponsor Social will be Saturday, May 13th from 7pm - 11pm.  Here's some of what we've got planned.  My friend Cole Harkness and some off his associates will give a fencing demonstration, followed by some mini-lessons for those of you who are interested.  Cole is a certified Fencing Master (AAI, USFCA) and A-Trainer (TBB, Germany). He has worked with national champions and national team members at the Cadet, Junior, Senior, and Olympic level in foil, and senior North American Cup finalists in Epee. He's also one of the founders of Victory Fencing Gear <>.  Joining Cole will be Jade Falcon, a former nationally ranked foil fencer with many years and many medals at the local, regional, and national level. In addition she is one of the originators of the GeekGirl Crafts podcast/blog <> as well as being a champion archer and an avid cosplayer.  Since Cole needs a lot of adult supervision, he'll also be joined by Sandor Mandoki, competition-rated in 3 weapons, ranked nationally in epee, an international referee for fencing, and Sandor runs the adult classes at the Mission District's finest fencing club, Halberstadt Fencers' Club <> on South Van Ness Ave.

Cristina Espinosa, proprietor of The Heated, will be our retail guest.  She'll be on hand to show off and sell her range of gorgeous silk-screened objects for your home. Examples of her work can be seen at She's a self-described "damn hippie" who is also a musician and woodworker.  She's promised us some designs especially suited to our interests and I cannot wait to see what she's going to bring.

And, of course, we'll have all the usual distractions -- books, booze, door prizes, books, and . . . more books.  As always it's pot-luck and BYOB so please do bring something to share if you like.  You're welcome to bring a guest as well and RSVPs are very much appreciated.  Looking forward to seeing you all.

(3) Our next Monthly Sponsor Cocktail night will be Tuesday, May 23rd at Churchill (198 Church Street at Market) <>; some combination of us will be there from at least 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm.  No need to RSVP and any number of guests and friends are welcome.  The bar is INCREDIBLY convenient to public transit -- the MUNI Metro Underground (via F, K, L, and M lines at Church Street,) and J and N lines stop less than a block away.

(4) Sordid Lives at 8pm on Thursday, June 8th
If you thought Scott was only a mild-mannered bookseller, you might be surprised to see what he’s up to these days.  He's appearing in a comedy at the New Conservatory Theater!  From NCTC’s website, "The play that spawned the huge cult comedy phenomenon comes to sordid life! Three generations of a dysfunctional small-town Texas family gather after their elderly matriarch dies during a tryst with her much younger, much married neighbor.  Fireworks are set off and bizarre truths exposed as the town prepares for what could be an embarrassing funeral."  Scott has arranged for discounted tickets at $25.00 each ($10.00 off).  Please email us to make arrangements to purchase your ticket.  Even if you can't make it to the show, you've got to check out the pics on their web site. See if you can pick out Scott in the first shot.
(New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness, lower level.  Van Ness at Market Street, right next to the Van Ness Muni stop and a few block from the Civic Center BART station and Citipark parking lots on surrounding streets.) <>

(5) Ghost Tour

From their website <>, "The original San Francisco Ghost Hunt Walking Tour, SF's first ghost tour, is a historical walking tour of the Pacific Heights neighborhood, one of the few neighborhoods to survive The Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906. You'll walk a mile on tree-lined streets in a safe residential area with fine Victorian architecture. You'll learn about real historic names of San Francisco — how they lived, how they died, and the reports of their hauntings ever since. We don't make it up. We just report it. You'll enjoy 90 minutes to 2 hours of guaranteed unearthly fun!" The San Francisco Ghost Hunt Walking Tour meets on the corner of Octavia and Bush Streets, in front of 1801 Bush Street. The lovely folks at SF Ghost Hunt have offered us a Borderlands discount, so tickets will run only $15 per person. If interested in joining us, please email to make arrangements to purchase your tickets. Attendance will be limited to 20 people total.

(6) Join us for a fascinating guided tour of the San Francisco Center for the Book (375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103) on Sunday, July 2nd at 10:00 am. The San Francisco Center for the Book was co-founded in 1996 by Mary Austin and Kathleen Burch, "who recognized a growing need in San Francisco, the Bay Area and on the West Coast for a facility specifically designed and equipped to support the appreciation, teaching and creation of book arts."  Attendees can expect a walk-through of the space, both the Bindery and Print Studio, with details about the equipment, what it's used for, and a little history of bookbinding and letterpress printing.  There will be demos of some of the equipment so we can see how things work, and the tour will wrap up in the Print Studio with a letterpress demo.  The Center also has a bookbinding workshop scheduled for July 2nd,  so we will get to see some students at work.  The cost for the tour will be $10 payable on arrival, and the guided portion will take about an hour.  Attendees can stay longer to explore the space if they wish.  For more information about the Center, their website is here: . We will meet outside the Center at 9:45 am before the tour, and guests are welcome; however, please do RSVP for this event so we know how many people to expect.

(7) The third Sponsor Social will be on Saturday, August 19th, from 7 pm to 11 pm.  More details to come.

(8) Sponsor Karaoke with Seanan McGuire at The Mint on Thursday, September 7th at 7:00 pm!
Author, singer/songwriter, snake handler, Borderlands sponsor, and all-around amazing person Seanan McGuire has graciously offered to be a special guest at the very first Borderlands Sponsor Karaoke Night!  This will be an enormously entertaining event, and we hope you'll join us to show off your vocal prowess (or your irrepressible attitude, if you happen to lack vocal prowess -- that's great, too).  The Mint is located at 1942 Market Street, San Francisco, and we have reserved space for sponsors.  Some pertinent info about The Mint: it is a bar, so this event will be for those 21 and over.  There is no cover charge, but there is a 2-drink minimum. Guests are welcome, and please RSVP so we know how many people to expect.

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