This installment of The Early Bird – New Books of Notes becomes New Calendars of Consideration as we catch up with the 2007 items that will let you know when you've been where you've been and will need to be. But be advised: the most popular of these sell out before Christmas. You can be sure that the revived-for-now Far Side calendar will be sold out long before then. And if you hurry, you still may be able to get, in a most, most unfortunate event, a two-year-old Lemony Snicket calendar.
In any case, here's some wall calendars, page-a-day desk calendars, engagement books, and diaries that caught my eye:
Art and Photography
Salvador Dali Engagement Calendar. Because you can’t always rely on the persistence of your memory.
Edward Hopper Diary. Dear Diary: Gosh, forget that darned old malt shop – I met the most interesting people down at the diner tonight!!
Retro Modern Wall Calendar. Ah, Ye Olde Retro Calendar is not just horse and buggy thinking anymore. Oh, wait – it’s the 1960s we’re talking about, not the 1860s…
Monet Wall Calendar. Monet. It’s what you want.
French Impressionism Wall Calendar. I know this one French impressionist who does an impeccable Jerry Lewis.
Miro Wall Calendar. Miro, Miro on the wall, who's surrealist one of all?
Metropolitan Opera Wall Calendar. Kill the wabbit! And no, it does not contain a centerfold of the Fat Lady.
Celebrities and Icons
Beatles Wall Calendar. That should be ‘nuff said.
But I know, I know – this is yet another Beatles calendar. And I realize this is totally subjective, but nobody needs yet another calendar of Elvis Presley or Madonna (one of whom died on my birthday, the other sharing my birthday — I’ll leave you to sort out who is who). Speaking of repeats: I don’t Love Lucy, and even more so, Coldplay leaves me cold, but you should know there are still tried-and-true calendars out there, and upstarts untried and trying to be true.
I will, however, broach the subject of American Idol contestant and now calendar boy Bo Bice only because I can’t think of him without thinking of the old Shirley Ellis hit, "The Name Game": "Bice, Bice, Bo Bice / Banana fanna fo fice / Me my mo mice / Bo Bice…" (Forgive me if this is a well-worn gag - I never really watch AI beyond the early stages of the tuneless clueless.)
Yin Yang Cat 2007 Wall Calendar. With Japanese-inspired art and hints of Manga and Anime, this calendar promises to pass along such qualities as love, appreciation, patience, determination, and faith.
Which you may need if you attempt to purchase, for the less discriminating child, say, Lemony Snicket's 2005 – yes, 2005 – Calendar of Unfortunate Events: Thirteen Alarming Months! (A Series of Unfortunate Events) currently being featured by Amazon.
I don't really know what's going on here, but I thought the idea of offering a two-year outdated calendar pertaining to Unfortunate Events was an apropos joke — a very funny one to my barely grown-up mind – but come on Amazon! Our children are the future (so I've heard again and again and again), and even hinting of putting them two years behind themselves, so to speak, seems most alarming and unfortunate, indeed. And they probably haven't learned what caveat emptor means, yet.
Dogs (As a member of the He-Man Cat-Haters Club, I won’t be featuring anything but Canine Calendars.)
Bad Dog Wall Calendar. If they’ve been really bad, this is also great for rolling up and chasing.
For the Love of Golden Retrievers Deluxe Wall Calendar. I’m not sure what makes it so “Deluxe” — maybe because it started in April 2006, much longer than most 15- or 16-month Calendars. You might want to ask your Golden Retriever — they’re pretty smart about these things, or you could at least send him or her out to retrieve the information.
William Wegman Puppies Wall Calendar. "Mom, this calendar followed me home – can I keep it?" Okay, lame joke. But are you going to tell me you can resist this calendar? These are puppies, puppies! What kind of monster are you?
The Far Side Gallery 2007 Off The Wall Page-a-Day Calendar. Our long national nightmare is over. The Far Side Calendar, after a five-year absence, is back. Sort of. An "encore edition" of Gary Larson’s best seller has been released, featuring the same cartoons as The Far Side Gallery 2001 Off-The-Wall Calendar, which collected the most popular comic panels in the strips memorable run. Still, whether new to you or familiar, this is hands-down the only humor calendar you will need for 2007 — no Far Side wannabe calendar or comic strip has even come close since Larson retired over a decade ago.
Furthermore — and in keeping with Larson’s wildlife concerns — all of his royalties from the sale of this 2007 calendar will go directly to fund Conservation International (CI), a nonprofit organization that works to protect critical habitats worldwide.
Which reminds me, just to digress a bit, I’ll never forget the time I went to see an exhibit of Larson’s cartoon art at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum in the late ‘80s (Far Side has always been popular with natural scientists). As the many patrons of the comic strip arts snaked through from framed enlargements to framed enlargements, I of course had never heard such hearty laugh-out-loud responses from museum-goers. Not a shhh! or stuffy moment to be had.
NASCAR Facts – Box Calendar. Speed! Lust! Madness! A Hot Lap in your lap! Or better yet, on your desk.
And for the golfer, Lost Balls Wall Calendar: Great Holes, Tough Shots, and Bad Lies.
No Speed! No Lust! No Madness!
Monster Movies Wall Calendar. It’s Alive! With lively posters of everything from Dracula to Dr. Jekyll, King Kong to Mothra to Village of the Damned.
Lonely Planet Diary/Day Planner. Lonely, eh? Well, at least you're still a planet. Do you want to end up like Pluto? There's no calendar for Pluto!
Dogs Playing Poker Wall Calendar. Alas, not in velvet. But consider the Psychedelic Posters Wall Calendar. You’ll not only convince yourself it's velvet, if you stare at it long enough you'll see dogs playing poker, too.
Antique Maps Diary. For your antique husband who refuses to ask for directions. Glove compartment-sized to go with the maps he can’t make sense of though he pretends he does.
Stitch 'N Bitch Page-A-Day Calendar: The Knitter's Calendar. Includes a “yarn of the week” and “knit wit” that’ll keep you in stitches. And for the tragically industrious, patterns and new techniques.
Speaking of industriousness, the next Early Word will be out next week. What it will cover, I don't yet know. I said I was industrious, not organized.