Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weekend randomness

Last week at this time, we had just set up the RiverVision bivouac on Main Street, and I was signing books for the first wave of pre-parade Moxietown buyers. It seems like it was a month ago, rather than a week. My fame foray was brief, but I'm grateful for a run slightly longer than the usual 15 minutes.

Yesterday, I had workforce business that took me into the CareerCenter, located in Portland's Bayside neighborhood. For years, my work life evolved around Portland. With my work now centered in Central/Western Maine, I rarely find myself headed south (more often north and west). Portland is a great city. Small enough that it doesn't have many of the assorted negatives of most larger urban enclaves, but vibrant as hell, much more so than comparable cities most other places. It's got art, bookstores, music, great restaurants, and Tommy's Park at noontime is alway fun.

I had the chance to work some RiverVision stops in, getting the new book into indie booksellers, Books Etc. on Exchange Street, and Chris Bowe's wonderful Longfellow Books. Also had a chance to have lunch with Ari Meil, who did the great layout and design work for Moxietown. Ari's one of independent publishing's bright lights. His Warren Machine Company continues to grow its catalog, and Ari is about all the right things, including helping other publishers move their operations forward. We talked about some exciting collaborative possibilities that you'll be hearing more about in this space, in the future.

Lately, I've been thinking about where my life has landed, and how it seems like so many formerly random, or disparate areas are all coming together. For someone that spent his first 40 years trying to figure life out with very limited success, the past five years and particularly the last 24 months have been amazing, as well as personally empowering.

A case in point--Thursday, I met with a young man that is involved with The Caleb Foundation, which manages a variety of public housing, included complexes in Lewiston. Because of the demographic and racial makeup of his residents, we agreed to grab lunch and talk about WorkReady, and other matters related to workforce development.

While we certainly have areas where there is potential to partner on the workforce end, our conversation revealed mutual interests in baseball, books, music, and of all things, religion/theology. He gave me a CD of a band that he thought I'd like. They are Beverly, Mass.-based Caspian. I've had it in my CD player almost non-stop since Thursday, soaking in their post-rock bliss.

While Portland is amazing, and Maine's hub for entertainment and culture, the state's largest city isn't the only place where Mainers have the opportunity to access culture.

Waterville has been hosting the Maine International Film Festival for the 11th straight year. MIFF's been showing great indie films for the past week at various venues in Waterville. Tonight, my better half and I are going to catch Skills Like This.

Summer in Maine is too short, and I'm finally taking a brief respite between books to enjoy some of the events.

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