As the days dwindle down, it's time to start hunting up a 2011 calendar. Happily, there are abundant local options for keeping track of things over the coming months — often while benefitting a worthy local cause. They also make affordable gifts. And whether your passion is history, nature, the weather, freaks, girls, guys or cars, we've got you covered. Here's a quick look.
Blue Ridge Rollergirls
These high rollers went all out for 2011. The cover is a collage of black-and-white action shots, and each month features an energetic, full-color portrait of team members set against some colorful local backdrop. For $15, you can help out a local nonprofit while acquiring this stylishly funky calendar, available at these Asheville businesses: Diamond Thieves, Flipside, Freaks & Geeks, Malaprop’s, Pura Vida, Universal Joint and Write On.
Local photographer Laurie McCarriar continues to turn her work into compact, multifunctional “bookmark calendars.” This year, she’s produced two: Asheville features close-up shots of the city’s colorful daily life and architecture; Imperfection Rocks showcases shots of rocks and water that fit together to form a single image. Each is $12 (including shipping) at lauriemccarriar.com.
Freaks of Asheville
Suzie Millions graces the cover of the second annual Freaks of Asheville calendar, which showcases a whole new roundup of unique local characters. From Jim Julien (who also designed the calendar) to Cleavage the Clown, each freak gets a photo and a chance to expound on their view of themself and of freakdom in general. Freaks also notes assorted quirky occasions. It’s available at arts2people.org for $13.95 plus tax and shipping; proceeds benefit the local arts nonprofit.
Heels & Wheels
Chromalusion Photography's first foray into calendar land is sure to turn some heads. Heels & Wheels features local models posing with assorted trucks, SUVs, motorcycles and muscle cars. Photographer Stephani Lofthouse specializes in automotive photography; her portraits range from the seductive Grace Welsh to the classy Aimee Holbrook to the edgy Kat Stewart. Available through the company’s Facebook page, facebook.com/Chromalusionpix ($25 including shipping).
Men of Westville Pub
Now in its sixth year, the Men of Westville Pub calendar offers up scandalous shots of the pub’s male employees. All proceeds go to Helpmate (a local domestic-violence agency); the calendar ($10) can be purchased at Westville Pub (777 Haywood Road in West Asheville).
Ray’s Weather Center
This locally based forecaster has grown tremendously in recent years and now covers multiple cities across WNC via 55 stations and 20 webcams. The Rays Weather.com 2011 Calendar combines essential weather data with serene local nature photos. Amazing views are paired with detailed information about daily, monthly and record high and low temperatures for all the areas covered. Available at raysweather.com for $13.95 plus shipping.
They Built Asheville
The Western North Carolina Historical Association’s They Built Asheville honors 12 of the city’s most distinctive structures, including the Basilica of St. Lawrence, the Kress Building and the Flatiron Building. Each month features a beautiful photo and an informative blurb; a map enables purchasers to find these historic structures. At $12 plus tax, it’s available at the Smith-McDowell House Museum gift shop (283 Victoria Road in Asheville) and at local bookstores. Profits benefit the historical association.
Asheville GreenWorks’ Treasured Trees of Buncombe County emphasizes caring for outstanding existing trees and also planting new ones that will grow to join them. An inspiring foldout with 13 colorful photos highlights many different types of trees, valued both for their beauty and their contributions to our environment, as well as the nonprofit’s dedicated volunteers. A small tear-off paper calendar denotes national holidays. Treasured Trees ($10) can be purchased at Asheville GreenWorks (357 Depot St. in the River Arts District) and at many local bookstores; all proceeds support planting trees in Asheville and Bumcombe County.
Weather or not
The Western North Carolina Weather Calendar, a product of UNCA’s Atmospheric Sciences Department, provides a wealth of daily weather info. In lieu of photos, you get the precise times for sunrise and sunset and projected high and low temperatures, plus end-of-month summaries of weather norms. Send a check for $7, payable to “Weather Calendar,” to: Dr. Alex Huang, ATMS UNC-Asheville, CPO 2450, 1 University Heights, Asheville NC 28804.
— Mountain Xpress intern Amanda Varner lives in Black Mountain.