Tag Archives: illinois public media

Quaint

Basements: Shelter from severe weather, repository of the detritus from a bygone era.

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In the case of the B-K basement, that bygone era is little more than ten years ago. Looking around at stacks of CDs, magazines, books from the homeschooling years, boxes of files filled with magazine clippings from those same years, the knitting stuff, the piles of thrifted crap I meant to sell on eBay – it’s all kind quite unbearably cute and earnest and analog and quaint and very 20th century, as though my grandmother had kept all that stuff for us.

I think I like the idea of preserving this archaeological dig of a basement – FOR NOW – because the evidence of a decade-plus of change is in my face every day when I  a) look at my family and b) how I spend my days. (I’m also lazy-busy.)

Eleven years ago, I was feral in the backyard with my children; Neither they nor I had a smartphone or social media since they basically didn’t exist. Ten years ago, everyone went back/off to school because I was working full time at the Foodbank and wearing dress pants. Five years ago, I was preparing to spend my 4th season running the Market and building its social media presence. Now I do something else entirely.

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[The guy in the photo, Ryan – while interesting – was not the interviewee. The actual interviewee was running a few minutes late, so Ryan decided to hang out. My other colleague, Tim, must have taken this photo. Or did I?]

This trip was the second of three total we’re taking to Chicago within eight days to interview people for a project we’re working on. The first trip was to WYCC’s studios on the south side, this trip was to Lincoln Park, and this Thursday’s interview is downtown. As we left the city yesterday at sunset, I admired our view and felt feelings about my years there.

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About the project itself: There are lots of logistics around equipment and overall planning on the front end and back end, but that’s largely the purview of my colleagues.

Since I’m doing much of the writing and am conducting the interviews, my main role is to decide on the topics of conversation as they pertain to the project. Then I begin intelligence gathering. Read articles and books. Listen to podcasts, watch videos online, follow people on Twitter, read their tweets and digest their retweets. Cross out and rewrite. Order and reorder. Add and delete. Later on, Tim and I (mostly Tim) will color in the shapes we drew at the beginning of the project – we edit everything down into 26 minutes that hopefully gets the story right while also moving and inspiring viewers and/or listeners.

Projects like this aren’t my “real job”, but I consider it my favorite work. I’m so very glad it found me/I found it. I think 25 years of reading voraciously, teaching myself Internet, going to shows, working in music, nursing babies, blogging, facilitating my kids’ early education, planting gardens, taking photos, selling thrifted stuff on eBay as a side hustle, keeping file folders full of articles as “inspiration”, collecting vintage aprons, preserving food, wearing dress pants, strolling the aisles with my clicker at the farmers market, and always (always) talking and listening – all of that led me to doing what I’m doing in 2016. The evidence is downstairs.

Jim and I face an empty nest in less than 6 months. Our basement is like the late 1990s/earlyish 2000s preserved in amber for our family. I am loath to disturb it, so I’m not gonna.

Yet.

Right Now

It’s been embarrassingly forever, jeez. Weird how a couple of months can get away from a person. Mattie Lonesome (a cat) would like to tell you about it.

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So! Interesting times have descended here at BYIHQ.

Tim and I are in the process of finishing up the video/webseries (3 more episodes to be released, OMG), and the radio series, after 93 episodes and 4 1/2 years on the air, came to an end on December 18. Why? The biggest, most primary reasons are a) my daughter is entering a pretty intense time in terms of school, soccer, college considerations, etc and I’d like to be available for her; b) I want to be fully present for my paid work for the station (heading up its marketing ops), which was getting harder to keep separate; c) I want to explore other options for the future – longer form, more blogging and photography, boosting the social media presences, a possible writing project… all of which means BYI isn’t going anywhere but forward, y’all. Just with fewer deadlines.

I’m forever grateful to Illinois Public Media and especially to my producer, Dave Dickey, for talking me into writing for the radio almost 5 years ago. And I’m glad to report that IPM will continue hosting every last radio episode – they’re available for streaming or download at the BYI page on the Illinois Public Media website. I’m sure I’ll be linking back all the time.

I’m also very, very indebted to everyone who ever listened, gave encouragement, pitched me an idea, participated in an interview, etc. Please don’t go anywhere, because my  v v supportive and holiday spirit-inclined spouse gave me some equipment (see photo above for an example) to kick my ass toward actually creating my own broadcasts for distribution on the internet, i.e. podcasting. You know, like Serial. Ha. Anyway, since I can no longer just talk about it and must actually DO IT, it looks like he and I will be cobbling together, in the coming months, a little home vocal studio in what we fondly (?) refer to as “the cloffice”. I recorded BYI in there from 2010-2012, though it was never soundproofed and quite sounded like crap.

I have no doubt that I’ll suck at this at first. Proof of my lack of doubt:

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Challenge accepted. More soon!