Friday, December 1, 2017

Sponsor Letter, December 1st 2017

Hi Everyone,

Before I jump into the rest of this note, I have an apology to make.  I try to reply rapidly to email in general and especially to emails from you all.  However, it's been a hell of a couple of months (in both the best and worst ways).  As a result, I've been very remiss in getting back to people unless the topic was urgent.  If you've sent me an email in the past month or two and haven't heard back from me -- I'm not ignoring you and I will write back.  It's just been pretty hard staying on top of everything of late.

Also, before I go much further, I wanted your opinion about something.  We're planning a sponsors' trip to Alcatraz in April.  It'll be in the evening around 6:30 pm.  I'm not sure whether it makes more sense to schedule it for a Thursday night or a Saturday night.  Would you let me know what would be best for you (assuming that it's something you'd like to come along for)?

Building Update
I'm sure that you're all curious how the process with the building is going.  Yesterday I did the final walk-through with the previous owner, Bruce, to confirm that he had moved all his stuff out and cleaned up.  With the help of the folks at The Internet Archive, he got the whole job done on time.  He and I chatted for a bit and then he handed off the keys.  So, now it's all ours.

Last Friday, with the help of many volunteers, Melinda (our gardener) and I got all the ivy out of the backyard.  In all, we took five truckloads of debris for disposal.  The yard looks pretty bleak now but we see a blank canvas full of possibilities.  We're working on the design right now and I'll give you more information as we have it.

The next step is to do some demolition of the collapsing drop ceiling and some of the partition walls (I'll be working on that this Saturday -- tomorrow -- see below if you'd like to come lend a hand or just supervise).  I hope to have all that material out of the way by Monday because that's when I'll be meeting with our architect, Kevin J. Short <>, along with our likely choice of contractor for the seismic retrofit.  Kevin will also be drafting the "as-built" plans shortly.  Those plans, which show the building as it stands right now, will be the basis for both the retrofit and the other work that we'll do.

The first piece of interior work will be that soft-story seismic retrofit.  It's a job that ties into the fundamental structure of the building and so we want to get it done first, before any other work takes place.  After that, we'll get the bathroom upgraded to an ADA accessible state.  That job will include plumbing, which is also a very early part of the work that we'll do.  Once those two steps are complete, then we get into the electrical work, followed by the walls and ceilings.  When that is done, then it's time to repair and refinish the floors.  With all the surfaces complete, the last step will be building the shelves and getting the place ready to open.  While all that is going on, Melinda will be working on the garden and I'll be taking care of all the little details.

At this point, there are too many variables to make even an educated guess at how long the process will take.  I'm hoping for a May opening but, please, don't hold me to that.

I hope to have some pictures up at the sponsor's blog within a week or two.  I'll send out a note when that is done (that same note will probably let you know that we're ready to accept on-line pre-orders for 2018 sponsorship renewals).

Work Day at Haight Street
As I mentioned, I'll be doing demolition work at Haight Street on Saturday, December the 2nd, from 11 am to 4 pm (and, perhaps later).  It's going to be a fun but messy job (sheetrock, plaster, and dust).  If you'd like to lend a hand and you haven't already expressed an interest, drop me a line by replying to this email and I'll get you all the details.  (By the way, if you're interested in how buildings are put together and taken apart, you will find this day's work very educational.)

Sponsorship Renewals
Jeremy and I are getting the on-line pre-orders for 2018 sponsorships set up right now.  We plan to have it ready to go by December 15th if not sooner.  I'll be sending out a note letting you know that it's ready just as soon as it is, in fact, ready.

Pre-Order Anniversary Hoodies
We've already sold out of almost our entire first order of the nifty, embroidered, sponsor-only, anniversary hoodies (seriously, they look great  If you haven't gotten one yet (or if we ran out of your size) please reply to this email with the size that you would like (remember, they are a very tailored fit, so you might want to go up a size larger than usual).  We'll be placing an order for the second run in the middle of this month so please do get in touch soon. Also, we're happy to ship them anywhere on the planet (one of the first orders went to NYC) so don't hold back just 'cause you're out of town.  They are $55 each and shipping varies depending on distance.  Also, if you're looking for a nice gift for your bookish friends, we have the standard silk-screened version for sale as well.  Same price and, although not as cool as the embroidered ones, they still sport Michelle Rapp's lovely anniversary design.

Holiday Package Delivery
As a reminder, we're happy to accept packages at the shop for all sponsors.  If you're concerned that delivery to your home might be a problem, please do take advantage of this.  Just have it addressed
<your name>, Sponsor
c/o Borderlands Books
866 Valencia St.
SF  CA 94110
and we'll give you a call or email as soon as it arrives.  We do ask that, since we have an awful lot of packages arriving this month, you please make an effort to come by to pick it up as soon as possible.

Upcoming Sponsor Events
The Buzz-Cut version:

(1) Sunday, December 10th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm - Dickens' Fair. We are gathering at the Cow Palace to celebrate the holidays in Victorian England. We need to hit a minimum of 20 attendees to make the group rate of $20.00, so invite all your friends. Pre-payment is required to get the reduced ticket price.

(2) Tuesday, December 26th at 7:00 pm - Sponsor Cocktails.  Who doesn't love drinking at Churchill?  We will definitely be out again this month at the same location and time to enjoy the company of fellow sponsors.  Meet us at Churchill, 198 Church Street at Market Street.

(3) Tuesday, January 23rd at 7:00 pm - Sponsor Cocktails at Churchill again!

(4) Saturday, January 27th at 7:00 pm -- Sponsor Social, Borderlands Bookstore and Cafe.

(5) Saturday, February 10th at 4:00 pm - Tour and Tasting at Anchor Brewery. $25.00 per person, which includes tour and tasting.  One guest only, space will be limited.

(6) Friday, March 16th at 7:00 pm - Roller Skating at Church of 8 Wheels

(7) April - Alcatraz Nighttime Tour.  Details to come.

The Chewbacca version:

(1) Sunday, December 10th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm -- Dickens' Fair at The Cow Palace. We are gathering at The Cow Palace on Sunday, December 10th at 1:00 pm to enjoy the sights and sounds of nineteenth-century London. Shuttle is available to and from the Glen Park BART station every 30 minutes to the Cow Palace. We will have a discounted rate of $20.00 per person and you're welcome to bring any many guests as you wish. You can call the store with a credit card number or drop by to pay in advance with credit card, cash or check before December 5th. Please invite your friends and family to come join us that day to make it Borderlands excursion to remember.  Costumes are encouraged but not required.  (See the Costume Guidelines for assistance:

(2) Tuesday, December 26th at 7:00 pm -- Sponsor Cocktails.  Our next Monthly Sponsor Cocktail night will be 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.

(3) Tuesday, January 23rd at 7:00 pm -- Sponsor Cocktails at Churchill again!

(4) Saturday, January 27th at 7:00 pm -- Sponsor Social at Borderlands Books and Cafe.  We're still running a bit behind after all the excitement over the last months, so the details of this first social of the year are still being arranged. But mark your calendar now!

(5) Saturday, February 10th at 4:00 pm - Tour and Tasting at Anchor Brewery. $25.00 per person.  From their website <>: "You’ll get a brief history of our company and a walk through three floors of our brewery. And yes, there’s a tasting session immediately to follow. Together, the brewery tour and the beer tasting last for about 1.5 hours."  There will only be 10 spaces in our group so you're welcome to bring only one guest.  Prepayment will be required - please RSVP by replying to this note and we'll make payment arrangements with you.  1705 Mariposa St, San Francisco, CA 94107

(6) Friday, March 16th at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Roller Skating at Church of 8 Wheels. Housed in the 118-year-old former location of Sacred Heart Church (554 Fillmore Street at Fell Street in San Francisco) The Church of 8 Wheels welcomes anyone over the age of 18 to Friday night disco.  Admission is $10.00 and skate rentals are an additional $5.00.  Personal skates and roller blades are allowed and should weather dictate layering, there is a coat check at the door.  Please feel free to bring as many friends as you would like.  We'll follow up with drinks at The Toronado (over 40 beers on tap -, 547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117.

(7) April -- Alcatraz Night Tour.  The tour of Alcatraz Island at night is supposed to be much cooler than the usual daytime one. We'd love to have you join us for this event.  Look for complete information in our next sponsor note.

20th Anniversary Hoodie

I tried to find a better model but the choices this afternoon were . . . limited.  So you're stuck with me.  To give an idea of sizing, I'm 6' 1" and weigh about 135 lbs (yes, I am, in fact one scrawny, bean-pole of a bookseller).  The hoodie I'm wearing is a extra large (I normally wear a large).  They really are cut for quite a trim fit.

Here's the rear, which is the best part (arguably of both the hoodie and yours truly).

And here's a closer view of Michelle Rapp's lovely design.

Really, I'm very happy to be modeling this hoodie.  Really.  I'm . . . happy.  You will note that the logo on the front indicates that this is the sponsors' only version (as if the embroidery didn't give it away).

I have a long neck and most hoodies don't actually cover my head properly.  They end up looking like the beanie version of a hood.  Not so with this one.  I can actually do the full-on, "dark, cowled figure" in this get up*.  The hood here is actually pulled back a bit so you can see my "Welcome to Borderlands, please check your cash, soul and weapons at the door" smile.

Seriously though, they really are pretty darn nice hoodies and we're only going to do one more run of them, so email your order to soon.

* Note: The "full-on, dark, cowled figure look"(tm) assumes appropriate shadows and stormy sky in the background.  Why do they make bookstores so darn bright?  It completely cramps my style.