Hi. It’s Michael. Yeah, it’s been awhile. I’m the kind of person who sometimes forgets to take a moment and enjoy life because I’m too busy living it. There are pros and cons to that, but here, on a lovely spring day in Wellfleet (home of the famous Wellfleet oyster) I’ve decided to reflect upon the past month or so and say hello. It has been a particularly hectic few weeks and there’s more to come in the rest of April and May.
The craze began with the lead up to the 14th Annual Chlotrudis Awards. If you’re reading this, I trust you know about the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film. For those of you who don’t, you just need to know that it’s a film society that I started up about 14 years ago to teach audiences to view films actively. This past March 30 we celebrated out 14th annual awards ceremony at the Brattle Theatre with special guest Alberta Watson in attendance. We presented Alberta with an award for her career-so-far, and she was a delightful guest. Lots of fun to hang out with, very down-to-earth, passionate about the Chlotrudis-cause, and she gave a moving and heartfelt speech to boot. We gave out a host of awards, including Best Movie to ONCE, Best Short Film to Maria Gigante for GIRLS ROOM, and our own very special Buried Treasure Award (for a film that made less than $250,000 at the domestic box office and we feel deserves another look) to 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST. Also receiving a new awards called The Cat’s Meow, was board member extraordinnaire, Bruce Kingsley, without whom Chlotrudis might have dissolved during difficult times last year. (Maria, Alberta, and Bruce are pictured left). And on top of all that, we performed not one, but two fabulous musical numbers. Hopefully they will be online soon, as will pictures from the awards.
Preparing for the awards is a massive undertaking, and one that pretty much consumes my life for weeks prior to the event. Fortunately, in recent years, friends and fellow Board members have stepped up and removed much of the burden from me. Beth, Allison, Scot… there’s no way this thing would happen without you.
Shifting into work mode, anyone who has read the paper or listened to WBUR in the past six months or so know that there are big, disruptive things afoot at the Boston Public Library. This is not my forum to talk about work, but let me just say about the BPL in general, it takes up a lot of my time, both actual and mental. On the broader subject of librarianship and careers, let me mention last week’s trip to San Francisco to attend the annual spring meeting of the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC). This was my first trip to ICOLC, which has been meeting for about 15 years, and for my job as Regional Administrator of the Boston Regional Library System, ICOLC is actually pretty relevant. Like any conference, there are moments where you wonder why you’re there, but overall, I learned some stuff, networked with a lot of great people, and really gained a valuable perspective about possibilities in my job. So while there was an emphasis on negotiating with vendors for consortial database licensing, I did get to generate some lively discussion on my favorite library topic du jour, using open source solutions in libraries. I’m still amazed at the resistance to even consider this among librarians, but it’s changing.
The trip to San Francisco wasn’t all work however, as I got to meet an online pal for the first time. Chriso is one nifty fella. He’s the drummer for a very hip band; he’s a total superhero comic book geek; he’s warm, friendly and a super host; and he’s adorable as all get out. We got together a couple of times and he showed me some different SF neighborhoods, including the Armory building where he works, the Mission District, the Castro, Moby Dick, and a couple of cool comic book stores where we spent a lot of money. We also shared some way fun conversation about the high points of the Legion of Superheroes (where I discovered that he’s my long lost comic-twin) and muxtape. Hey, you nice boys out in SF… he’s single. (I used the picture Chris took of of us because it came out better than the ones I took.)
Of course, when you’re out for nearly a week, returning to work can be hellish; and it was, but only for one day before I conveniently took off for a long weekend with my peeps (that’s hubby Scottie, and our best friends Gianna and Sarah) to Wellfleet on Cape Cod. Those of you who know me well know that the Cape (and particularly Provincetown) has been taking on a great significance in my life and may have a great impact on my future plans. Any chance to go to the Cape is a welcome one, so when a friend of Gianna’s offered us her vacation condo, we jumped at the chance. The four of us travel incredibly well together, and we’ve got a beautiful weekend to do it. True, we did spend a frightful 40 minutes or so meandering along backroads in South Shore suburbs after getting a little lost trying to find Route 93, but we took care of that and made our way to Wellfleet on Friday night. Saturday was a beautiful day, where we remarked on that oh-so Cape quality of light. It’s unique and just stunning. We spent the afternoon in P-Town, grabbing lunch, strolling and doing some shopping (both couples making some fun impulse puchases at M.G. Leather. Then we sent some time on Herring Cove Beach (we were not nude, as it was not nude sunbathing weather!) before returning home for tacos and a mini-David Lynch film festival. (We watched the European pilot for ‘Twin Peaks,’ which was pretty lame in our opinion, and Mulholland Drive.) And now it’s Sunday. What will we do today? It’s another beautiful day. We’ve got lots of movies to watch (like GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA and FOUL PLAY!) and an extra day off tomorrow. Of course, Gianna and Sarah aren’t awake yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Then it’s back home and the next couple of big events. Next week is the Independent Film Festival of Boston, which happens to coincide with both my mother’s birthday and my friend Mameve’s book release, just to make things even more hectic. And the week after that is the Massachusetts Library Association’s annual conference, which Gianna and I run. Maybe I’ll be able to take another moment to relax when that’s over.