Lesson Learned — Maybe

By - Sep 25th, 2007 02:52 pm
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I’ve just survived my first full production cycle. I signed on as Managing Editor when we were proofing and going to print for September; tomorrow, we’re headed north to lovely Port Washington for our final press check before October hits the stands. For the past two weeks I’ve been chasing down local musicians, orchestrating photo shoots and last-minute interviews, and record digging (not normally part of the job description, but October is the music issue). Once a down-home rust-belt sweetheart, I’ve been black-dress Betty McBusiness, excusing myself from social situations to check voice messages and bark into my cell phone.

The storm is finally settling (funny enough, it’s raining today) and all I want to do is decompress. It’s been a big foot-dragging affair to get me to do anything, even — ESPECIALLY — things that are supposed to be fun. Two free concerts at the Pabst in one week? Really? Opening gala for the International Film Festival? With a DRINK TICKET? Do I have to? (Answer from the boss lady: yes, you have to.) Last night I made the tough decision to forgo a Film Fest flick (from Korea, not likely to screen anywhere in the tri-state region again) in favor of two-and-a-half straight hours of The Office, season three, before mustering enough of a kick to my own pants to get out of the apartment and go to another MIFF screening — Avida — at The Times.

I liked Avida. Of course I did. That’s the lesson I never learn — when I’m feeling bratty, it always pays to do whatever pain-in-the-ass thing I think is going to be such a pain in the ass. It’s never a pain in the ass. Okkervil River (at the Pabst last Monday), a band that’s swelled my heart for years, was fantastic. I didn’t love The National (at the Pabst on Friday), but I loved the company of the friends that came with me (friends who, not incidentally, bought me tons of beer). And at the MIFF gala, on a deliciously foggy night that set the spines of the Burke Brise Soleil into silhouette, the margaritas were strong and the mingling was top-shelf. I stayed until closing time (I had plans for the evening that I just blew off) and caught up with Jonathan Jackson (his must-see MIFF movie: Control), Mark Escribano (maker of The Super Noble Brothers — who had heard through the lightning-quick grapevine that I had met with Andy Noble that day to talk record collecting), Josh Rosenberg (working on his first feature film, Tracks, produced by Niels Mueller) and the enchanting Bobby Ciraldo (in fact this blog is quickly becoming a journal of my encounters with him), who appears in Table Talk and Perceval and has something to do with Midnight Delirium feature What What (In the Butt).

I learned that he’s from Okemos — a small township in middle Michigan, skirting Lansing — and probably wouldn’t have come to Milwaukee if there hadn’t been people from Okemos already here. I came here from Michigan via Beloit, a small city on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois — because I had a network of friends already here from Beloit. He went to Grinnell, perhaps Beloit’s biggest Division III rival; two years ago, Beloit and Grinnell faced off in a historic basketball game that was televised on ESPN. Beloit won.

It’s a small world. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Categories: VITAL

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