Your comments keep me honest. They don’t immediately spur me into action, but they keep me here, that’s for sure. Thank you all for coming back and reading, checking up on me, and calling me out on being too busy!
Big Sur in September is both one of my favorite times of year and also one of the hardest for us. As you can tell, it’s been a busy summer, filled with events, visitors, beautiful weather, and general non-stop action. This is the primary reason for September being both so wonderful and so tiring. The tourist population in Big Sur takes a definite nose-dive in September, as kids are back in school, people wrap up their vacation plans and travel back home for the fall. This causes a false sense of calm at the Henry Miller Library, which is entirely because we are incapable of not scheduling wonderful events. If someone comes to us with a good idea, we will find a way to make it happen, and it will be a screaming success if for no other reason than Eric, Magnus and I had a wonderful time, learned something, or met a cool new person. We are just always hungry for more when we’re scheduling events throughout the spring and summer. However, when it comes down to the final days of September, the three of us are run ragged; just as hungry for new wonderful experiences to be sure, but tired. And so: September is so wonderful because it’s entirely possible that if I go for a walk before work I will be the only person at the beach, or perhaps my wait for coffee at the Big Sur Bakery in the morning is not quite as long. But it is also hard because we have been working upwards of 60 hours a week for about five months straight. Don’t let me even BEGIN to make you think that I’m complaining, or that the quality of our events suffers in the end of the season. Quite the opposite, in fact: We spend the entire summer hitting our stride, perfecting our well-oiled machine, setting up the movies or the concerts or the book signings in less and less time, with more attention to detail. But, I would like to suggest that if you come by the Henry Miller Library, you might give us a hug, a pat on the back, or encourage us to drink one more cup of coffee with you. Either that, or take us out for a beer when we’re done with the day.
Tomorrow we have an event that will undoubtedly be a wonderful evening. Eric Schlosser and Robert Kenner, the producer and director respectively of Food, Inc. The critically acclaimed documentary about the mechanized food system. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while understand that there could be no one more excited about this particular event because of my strong feelings about food reads. In this film, Michael Pollan, author of the Omnivore’s Dilemma, reviewed earlier in this blog, is interviewed, and I can’t wait to see the film and hear what he has to say. It is making me want to get a copy of Fast Food Nation, which I’ve never read. The movie also follows Polyface farm, which Pollan visits and discusses in the Omnivore’s Dilemma, and I am excited to get a visual on this farm about which I’ve read and since then thought a lot about. Aside from the fact that the film will be wonderful, and we will share the evening with our friends from the Big Sur Bakery, it is a benefit for our neighbor in Big Sur, Don Case who lost his home last year in the Basin Complex Fire. All proceeds will go directly to the Don Case Rebuild fund. Please consider coming by tomorrow, or making a donation to this cause. You can do either (or both!) by visiting our website.
On Wednesday, September 30th, at 7:30 pm we will be showing the film Chavez: The Revoltion Will Not Be Televised, presented by producer Rod Stoneman. His new book by the same title delves into the issues of objectivity in media and film, and he will be here to discuss these topics before and after a screening of the film. He stopped by the Library a while back and talked with Magnus, who is avidly interested in the events surrounding Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and the two have kept up a correspondence about the film, the book, and the issues each deals with. As a result of what I’m sure were a series of interesting and interested emails back and forth, Magnus has arranged for this event to take place on Wednesday. It promises to be insightful, intimate, and has the potential to delve into this topic in depth. It is, as most of our films are, free with donations appreciated.
And finally, on October 9, Marianne Faithfull will be here for the Henry Miller Library benefit of 2009. Each year since 2004, Jesse Goodman has brought to Big Sur avant-garde artists who support the library to do a one night only special performance. The series has included: Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Henry Rollins, Matmos and Zeena, DJ Spooky, and last year Philip Glass and Wendy Sutter. Each performance is special, unique, and truly humbling to me. That the likes of Laurie Anderson would dedicate even an evening of her life to the work that we do here at the Library is amazing to me. Each year I feel touched, blessed, and grateful for all of the wonderful people that come together to make those, “I was there” kind of evenings happen at the library. Don’t miss this one.
As a side note: I have discovered my favorite likeness of an American president. Check out this picture of John Tyler, just look at his eyes.
I will check in with all of you as these events unfold! Wish Eric, Magnus, and I good luck and good health – may none of us get H1N1 in the midst of our final end-of-summer-push! (knock on wood!)