It's time to toss that boring calendar from '09 that you packed full of lunch dates, soccer practices and yoga classes, and to keep the date in the new decade with style. For several years, Xpress has being doing a roundup of local calendars, but never before have there been quite so many cool ones to feature. You can thank several local groups, businesses and artists for a crop of calendars like no other. Here's to saving the date stylishly in 2010.
Freaks of Asheville: The first annual Freaks of Asheville celebrates a city dubbed "America's new freak capital" by Rolling Stone. The calendar features Heather Mermaid, aka the mountain mermaid, on the cover, along with 12 other fabulous local "freaks," ranging from Bob Seven to the Silver Drummer Girl to tall-biking dare devil Michael Mooney. Along with the portraits, by Asheville photographer Michael Traister, there is a testimonial from each self-professed freak. Scattered throughout each month are interesting dates in Asheville history: You are sure to impress your friends when you can tell them that Asheville was chartered on Jan. 27, 1798, or that on Sept. 18, 2010, the 30th annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition will be held in Asheville. The calendar costs $13.95 and can be purchased at www.freaksofasheville.com and several local venders.
The Lovely Ladies of the Soda Fountain: This is the second year that the Soda Fountain in the Woolworth Walk building has put out a Ladies of the Soda Fountain calendar. Each month features a photograph of one of the Soda Fountain ladies or a group of them. The silly calendar is sure to crack a smile on your face each month, and can be purchased at the Soda Fountain.
Laurie McCarriar's Bookmark Calendar: Local photographer and digital artist Laurie McCarriar, who has put out several calendars in recent years, has a new variety to offer: Each month features one of McCarriar's photographs of nature, which were taken in various locations including DuPont Forest and Ireland, and can be taken out and used as a bookmark. The calendar is available at her studio, at 170 Lyman St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at www.lauriemccarriar.com/home/small-gifts, for $10 a calendar, or two for $15.
Bob Moog Foundation: The mission of the Bob Moog Foundation is to "educate and inspire children and adults through the power and possibilities of electronic music." The calendar's profits go toward creating a planned Moogseum. Each month features a photograph of Moog as well as other pioneers of electronic music, and a small write-up on the photograph or Moog quote. The calendar is available for purchase at www.moogfoundation.org/shop for $20.
Doors of Asheville: The Doors of Asheville is an annual art-action fundraiser to support affordable housing in Asheville and Buncombe County. This year's Doors of Asheville calendar features art by Tom Pazderka, Julia C. Burr, Jonas Gerard and many others. The calendar can be purchased for $15 dollars at www.mtnhousing.org/doors/index. All funds raised benefit Mountain Housing Opportunities.
Men of Westville Pub: Westville Pub on Haywood Road in West Asheville has cranked out a hilarious and, um, revealing, calendar for the past few years, and this year's installment continues the tradition. The calendar is being sold at Westville Pub, and proceeds will be donated to Helpmate, a domestic-violence agency working to eliminate abuse and fear. Hence the calendar's motto: "Objectifying men to help women."
A Bee Lover's Garden: A Bee Lover's Garden is a project intended to help show individuals what they can do to fight the mysterious disappearance of honeybees. The calendar is full of tips to help your garden be more bee-friendly, from maintaining your garden to ideas for plants bees like. It's for sale at www.abeeloversgarden.com for $20.
Ray's Weather: Ray's Weather is a Boone-based weather-forecasting service for Western North Carolina. For the calendar, Ray's Weather held a contest for the best photographs of the High Country, with the top 12 all receiving a month. The calendar includes the beautiful photographs along with monthly weather averages for cities like Asheville, Black Mountain and Boone, among others. It's available at www.raysmarketplace.com for $13.95.
UNCA Weather Calendar: Published by UNCA's Atmospheric Sciences Department, this calendar, in its 25th year, features Asheville climate data, including monthly temperature and precipitation normals, monthly heating-and-cooling degree days, plus daily normals for maximum and minimum temperatures. It's also got info on moon phases, daily sunrise and sunset times, and a climate-data table showing normals, means and extremes for Asheville. The calendar costs $7, postage included. Make checks payable to "Weather Calendar" and mail to Dr. Alex Huang, UNCA Atmospheric Sciences Dept., 1 University Heights, Asheville, NC 28804-8511.
Treasured Trees: The Treasured Trees calendar is an annual fundraiser for local nonprofit Asheville GreenWorks. The 2010 edition features black-and-white images of 12 of Buncombe County's "largest, rarest, oldest and prettiest trees" printed on Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper. The pictures serve double duty as a selection of postcards; when a given month ends, you can separate the picture and mail it. The calendars are $16, and can be purchased at the Asheville GreenWorks office (357 Depot Street in the River Arts District), at several stories around town and online at www.ashevillegreenworks.org.