Geeking Out in Mineral Point
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
So, I haven't been here for a while. That's because this new job is kicking my ass, but in a really fun way. It's just also intense, and takes a lot (read: all) free time. Kind of like the Ironman of politics. Okay, well, not really. But in the amount of time it takes, yes.
Anyway, this weekend I took a little break from politics to indulge in one of my main loves -- writing. In the picturesque little hamlet of Mineral Point, I immersed myself for an entire afternoon and evening in all things Michael Perry.
For those of you who don't know of Michael Perry, you should. And I say that with excitement, not snottiness. Because he's brilliant. A brilliant, brilliant writer who writes about accessible things like small town life with humor, poignancy, and make-your-bones-tingle-in-envy skill.
His breakthrough book, and still my favorite, starts out this way: "Summer here comes on like a zaftig hippie chick, jazzed on chlorophyll and flinging fistfuls of butterflies to the sun." And that's just the beginning. It only gets better. It's good -- seriously good. And funny. I think I mentioned funny.
Perry is confusing, intriguing mix between a humble, farm-raised, deer hunting, truck driving, good 'ol Wisconsin guy and an accomplished literati who quotes Dylan Thomas. He wears flannel and t-shirts, and that, combined with his Wisconsin drawl, almost lulls you into thinking that he's just like any of the hardworking guys sitting on stools in bars on any country road in the state. Except that he doesn't drink. And he drops words like "declivitous"in mid-sentence without blinking.
And then -- then! -- after the informative seminar on freelancing and writing in general, and after his incredibly entertaining reading of his upcoming book, he took the stage with his band, The Longbeds. And they were good. Very much a Johnny Cash and Waylan Jennings influence to the music.
But there was one thing that kept catching my eye throughout -- a little black and red emblem on Michael Perry's guitar.
And I would lean myself over Chief of Stuff and crane my neck and horrendous angles to see if it really was...And after the show was done, and he set his guitar down, I discerned that it was, in fact, an M-dot.
Michael Perry with an Ironman logo on his guitar! What could it mean?!
I was thinking there was some deep, symbolic reason for the M-dot. Chief of Stuff thought otherwise -- that maybe his brother, wife, or some other person close to him was doing the race. ..or that maybe he was. Perhaps. But I remain unconvinced, and just to make sure, I dropped him an email to inquire.
I'll keep you all posted. Because I know you're waiting on the edge of your seat for this.
Posted by Erin 12:12 PM