Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hello, Defroster Metaphor ...

Good morning, dawning realizations and connecting dots.

I'm sitting at the kitchen counter, my travel mug of coffee directly in front of me (the mug dictates my allotment for the day as well as keeping my coffee warmer longer), thinking. What to write about? I am committed to writing every day. Something. Something silly. Something ... well, let's not kid ourselves: most of what I write will never qualify as "profound" but at least I'm writing, clickety clacking, translating thoughts, getting back into a habit, showing up.

I have an idea for a post but it doesn't feel like "enough" and I have phrases jotted on sticky notes nearby and I'm staring at my defunct coffee maker on the floor next to my recycle basket and the word "opaque" springs to mind, and opacity giving way to clarity, and I think of a foggy shower mirror but no, a windshield makes more sense. A frosty windshield and a defroster, and clarity emerging and spreading from the bottom up.

Good job, brain.

Have another swig.

I have the great good fortune to know a lot of really exceptional people. One of those people is Charlie Meyerson, whom Chicagofolk may know from his days reading the news on WXRT or his days reading the news on WNUA or his guest appearances on radio stations about town or his work compiling Daywatch for the Chicago Tribune back in the day or Rivet Radio or his series of conversations at Dominican University or Chicago Public Square.

Charlie and I met an impossible number of years ago when I worked at the Trib and he worked at WNUA across the street and I did radio and TV stuff for the paper and he was one of the few folks who availed his station of the space we set aside in Tempo for radio listings. Only the width of Michigan Avenue separated us but we interacted by phone and fax. (Fax. See? We're ancient.)

Until the day I asked if we could meet up for coffee. I made the trek all the way across the street. He descended in an elevator and met me in the Starbucks in the lobby of his building.

And we're still in touch. We don't see each other very often – that's my fault – but I am a lucky gal because, as I did a couple weeks ago, I can ping him and hop on the phone with him and have an interesting chat that leads me to realizing things and jotting notes, which, as I mentioned, I have nearby.

One of my jottings: "Radio speaking, DUH!" When I was in high school, radio speaking was my main speech event. Charlie and I were talking about Chicago Public Square and how he compiles the digest that he shares with folks every day – seriously, you should subscribe; the daily digest email is free – and he mentioned that it's not dissimilar from what newsreaders on the radio do. They don't report out the news they deliver. They gather it from whatever sources they use and then read it on the air. Yup. Duh. In my radio-speaking days, we received packets of wire copy that we used to create our scripts. I literally cut apart the pages and then taped the stories onto my legal pad. Huh. It had never occurred to me that folks now do the same thing digitally, via links.

Our conversation continued. I recalled how I used to work on five sections of the Trib because I had the time and I had to be there are I wasn't much interested in being bored and Facebook wouldn't exist for many more years and hey, that turned out to be a double-edged sword as platforms go. But until that moment, I had never realized that my working on five sections of the paper then was a microcosm of my life now, working with various clients on various projects because I am, as Charlie put it so perfectly, "creatively restless."


Charlie is good about pursuing new ideas and endeavors – Rivet was winning awards right out of the gate – and living on the leading edge of where culture is heading. He recently set up subscription tiers to support CPS and I finally got around to subscribing. I don't support a lot of efforts with monthly subscriptions but I always see at least one story I wouldn't have seen otherwise when I read Charlie's emails (he produces two editions a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, like newspapers used to do) and I want to support folks who are doing good work and informing people and adding to the discourse in fun and interesting ways.

As J-D, my erstwhile hair architect, said years ago when I told him I was thinking of going red: "Let's just do it!"

It's a good ethos, a perfect partner to an encouragement Angelo once offered as I was coming up with excuses to not pursue an idea: "Just do it because it's fun."

Which is similar to what Charlie wrote in a follow-on email to our conversation a while back: "Go have fun." And, to reinforce his point, which wrote this week: "Hope you're having fun."

I'm getting there.


Blogger Alison said...

I feel like you're twirling your metaphorical mustache....

10:39 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

:o )
Or stroking my non-metaphorical chin ... .

7:31 AM  

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