Last night I went to a book launch event at the Central Library downtown, which I only learned about because I have "liked" the Seattle Public Library page, and it will regularly give me notices of "events near you." It's a book by a local drawn-comic author based on her very popular local Instagram account, which I only learned about by seeing this notice of the book event.
I got that notice back in June, and that I immediately started following the account on Instagram, of regular cartoons cataloging this woman's observations on walks in and around Seattle. It's an account called "Seattle Walk Report," and it's almost always equal parts informative and charming. I pretty quickly added the event to my Google Calendar, and even emailed Laney in mid-June to see if she'd want to join me -- and she did not; she did not want to be out that late on a weeknight before work. (In the end she's out with friends on a camping trip until tomorrow anyway.)
I will say this is the kind of thing that does make me miss Sara W, who Shobhit and I will be visiting in Denver in a week and a half, because she might very well have joined me were she still living in Seattle. I otherwise could not think of any friends who might be interested in going with me. Shobhit had to work, but he would never have gone with me to something like this anyway. So, I just went by myself, postponing a movie I would otherwise have gone to see until this evening.
As of right now, the account has over 13,800 followers, and until yesterday's book launch, the author was anonymous, literally just going by "Seattle Walk Report." I learned a lot of fun stuff about her at the even last night, though, including that she actually works for the Seattle Public Library -- a total coincidence -- and has a passion for the Seattle Public Library. She's actually quite funny and charming, just like her cartoons. I guess the library currently has over 200 copies available for checking out (I reserved my copy last night), with slightly more than that many holds on it already. Elliott Bay Books had a table off to the side in the Central Library's auditorium where they sold copies, their inventory of which sold out before the program even began, and more copies were on the way for selling during the book signing that happened at the end.
I made sure to get there early to get a decent seat, and I was there maybe 25 minutes early, at around 6:35, and already the seats were easily 90% full. I found an empty seat in the middle of maybe the fifth or sixth row, in a spot with maybe three or four empty seats, all of which were filled within minutes of my arriving. This Instagram account, and by extension the book, is even more popular than I already expected it to be.
The most fun thing about it was, basically, the joy of being a nerd about odd things, but particularly local Seattle things: Susanna Ryan (the author) is clearly a huge nerd; the audience was full of nerds -- a few of them actually hot! (I know it's reductive to say something like that, get over it) -- and everyone there was just delighted to be either talking about or learning about how this book was conceived, made, and published. Susanna herself was wonderful, with a very polished and often funny presentation. It sounds like the book has a lot more to it in regards to local history that can't necessarily be included in original art panels -- the best example from last night being the Old City Hall building in Georgetown, which was an independent city for a few years in the early 20th century, and had an old clock tower that was removed and then rebuilt. I love details like that about local history, and I look forward to reading about it in her book whenever it becomes available.
I read Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye while walking there, and looked up two things on Wikipedia from it: Mary Jane candy (it sounded like something tasty) and Lorain, Ohio, the town outside Cleveland where it's set. Both Wikipedia pages note their part of the novel. Anyway, I did not read while walking back home again up Madison Street, because it was just getting to be dusk and it just wasn't quite light enough out to be comfortable reading anymore. That brought me a different comfort, though, with nightfall coming noticeably earlier again. I even went straight up to the rooftop deck when I got back to my building and just watched the sunset beyond the Seattle skyline for a while. I got a rather nice picture out of it.
Then I packed the rest of the leftovers from the previous night, quite a lot of it, into seven separate containers for lunches. Only two of them did I make sure had the desired proportions of rice, lentils and potatoes for me; I only need lunch containers for today and tomorrow. My rather eventful weekend coming up actually begins late Friday morning, as Justine decided to book a sailboat for a bunch of us in Merchandising to go out on the Puget Sound in -- quite apropos for me, basically a late-extension to my boating themed Birth Week that ended in early May. That will be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it, and PCC is providing us lunch as well.
[posted 12:29 pm]