Gifted: The Poor Bastard's SF Almanac

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Give the gift of a knowledgeable, if broke, 2012 to a loved one.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY CAITLIN DONOHUE

Hey, Slingshot Organizer gang. Yeah youse, the well-planned anarchists in the corner. Stephen Kovacic would like you folks to know you are no longer the only alt-dayplanner game in town. 

Kovacic -- inspired, he says, by his experience working the front desk at the LGBT Community Center -- has pulled off the impressive feat of assembling a one-stop guide to sustainable brokeness in this fair city of ours. Not only is The Poor Bastard's SF Almanac a calendar, but it is also is packed with supervisoral district maps, last-BART-of-the-night times, guides to where to find fair trade coffee, free museum and zoo visits, eight (!) $1 oyster happy hours, and San Francisco pools. The result is delightfully scrappy, delightfully useful package of wisdom. In an email interview with the Guardian, Kovacic admitted to ordering far, far too many of the things from the print shop, so in addition to being able to cop the planners for $12 in local bookstores (we even spotted them at Scarlet Sage Herb Company), you can order them from his website at prices as low as five for $35.

The thing even comes with a mix CD of local artists, from the Dents to Rin Tin Tiger (listen to it for free here). So, maybe New Year's Day gifts are the new, hot holiday present? Here's what Kovacic had to say about his labor of love. 

 

SFBG: Tell us a little about yourself.

SK: My name is Stephen Kovacic, I'm a 28-year old male, I've lived in San Francisco for nine years. I went to SFSU and CCSF. I like chemistry, and turtles, and Rubix cubes, and the people in my life. I like making systems work better.

 

SFBG: What inspired you to put together this dayplanner?

SK: I was working for three years as the front desk info and referral person at the LGBT Community Center, compiling info for visitors or people off the street who needed referrals to services. I noticed immediately that there were a ton of services and fun things and things to know about the city, but no really good compendium of up-to-date information. Websites on the subject are woefully out of date.   

When budget issues dissolved that job I was gainfully unemployed for a while, living very cheap, going to free things, writing things that were useful into my Slingshot Organizer. I wrote in free zoo and museum days, and I drew guitar chords and such in the back pages. It seemed like a logical progression to make my own organizer and fill it with as many useful things as possible, like supervisor contact info, or last BART times, or when to register to vote, or your rights at work, or a list of anti-gay companies to boycott. Things that empower people to be who they want to get around to being. And to entice people to carry it around all the time, i put games and trivia and interesting days in SF history, free days, zodiacs, SF celebrity births, guitar chords, fun stuff. 

 

SFBG: What's your favorite feature in its pages?

SK: The history probably. I spent a long time finding things that happened in this city 100 years ago, and there's a ton of them. I put the most compressible, interesting stories in there. I encourage people to look them up because there's a lot more to each story than i had room to put in. At the same time, the CD is the thing i'm least tired of seeing. It's really good.

 

SFBG: Who were the artists that helped you out with it?

SK: The folks on the CD are all local San Franciscan bands. Mostly talented friends of mine that I've been collecting. People can listen to the whole CD for free at www.SFalmanac.org. Sometimes compilations are crappy, but this one turned out really good. Mostly because I took songs that were already my favorites and begged their SF writers to let me use them. Everybody was really supportive of the idea. There's even some gems on there [that are] previously unreleased.

The [visual] art is about one-third mine, the rest is my friends', people that supported the concept. If it's going to happen next year I'll need a whole bunch more contributing artists. The real star player is Justine Lucas, she did the cover and a whole bunch of other pages too. She's been the most supportive and encouraging person there could be, it would never have happened without her support and advice and skill.