Friday, September 7, 2012

Little Otsu

I ordered next year's weekly planner from Little Otsu and it arrived in the mail this week from Portland. The planners are printed without dates and you fill in the dates for yourself according to the particular year you have in mind. This is the first time in the history of my life that I filled in all 365 days (plus a few extras at either end) without unintentionally skipping a page and messing everything up.

The current edition of the planner was drawn and lettered by Lizzie Stewart, who rearranged the pages. I think I will like the new layout, with the five weekdays in a straight row across the top. There is a long column along the right edge for lists, the two weekend days tucked down below, and half a page on the left that contains a picture but is also meant to be written over because that space says NOTES. For the last week of December (above) the artist Lizzie Stewart drew a picture of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, even though almost all the other drawings in this NOTES space for other weeks are everyday unassuming objects like a pair of glasses or an origami bird. Throwing in St. George's Chapel at the end was a good idea.

The page for phone numbers has been relabeled BACK-UP PHONE LIST. Anyone less old than me might not find this so endearing as I do. The retro-loving youthful consumers who make up Little Otsu's core fan base clearly cannot imagine a paper list of phone numbers that is not a "back-up" because of course all the numbers they have ever needed (or might ever need) are already packed securely away among the microchips that have ruled their lives and clung to their bodies in one form or another since birth. 

In the package along with the weekly planner came an impulse present for Mabel Watson Payne that I saw on the Little Otsu site, a small bright-colored hardcover book about a friendly ghost, Johnny Boo by James Kochalka. The Little Otsu people also enclosed many tasteful small bits of paper (below) – a bookmark, a lovely receipt, and several promotional announcements.

 There used to be a Little Otsu store on Valencia in the Mission, but it closed.


The last time I saw it was in December 2010. My daughter had just come from Mother/Baby yoga class, and we rendezvoused at Little Otsu to pick up some small Christmas presents. Mabel Watson Payne was four months old.