September 15, 2024

"Just how bad is a bad break?": Jokes and notes from a publishing conference

Back to the beer, as they say in All About Eve. After a few days in Chicago--what a town, Chicago!--I'm digging out again at work.

Chicago is a real city. I heard that at least three times on the Friday I flew out, as each interlocutor involved set out the differences between Chitown and the Miniapple. Mike picked me up at O'Hare and we set about crashing an artist's studio party in Bucktown. High ceilings, hot hipsters, an open bar. Stoli and redbulls, a weird conversation with a very wasted Oberlin undergrad (God I have no time for those people) and then this gem of an anecdote, in which Camille came up to me and Mike and said, "Mike, that little guy from Wilco is hitting on me again". So glad I was there to hear that one!

Saturday I got my shop on, as Camille and I hit a thrift store and then a much more expensive thrift store of eurotrash delights, H & M. So glad to see you have hit your stride again, H & M, after a few banal seasons. Back to the tatty threads and gaudy colors and tite shirts I've come to love.

In shopping, I tried to adhere to some of Wayne Koestenbaum's fashion morals:

wear what you want;
don't be afraid of the return of the repressed;
think of the concept you're dressing toward (French sailor during Fleet Week);
dress either to be noticed or to be overlooked, but not both;
ignore what friends tell you;
create private mythologies around each garment you wear;
tell these myths to your friends and lovers;
worship at the shrine of no one else's wardrobe, only your own;
do not fear the grotesque; lest it kidnap you

Thus, I came away with a few choice items.

The rest of my weekend was spent in a suburb at a publishing conference. I'm always shy at these sorts of things, but hey, when there's an open bar and scallops wrapped in bacon, I'll be there. I did meet some interesting young publishing contemporaries. In academic publishing, we younguns gotta stick together. Fun to see how other presses arrange their editorial departments, though I was...well, shocked, to be honest, to discover how much student interns make up editorial departments these days. Oh, and you Barnes and Noble executives in your suits? You were so bad-ass.

Did I get hit on at dinner? I'm not sure. A wink is a wink, unless the person winking is a vendor.

I had a suite with two bathrooms and two beds and a living room. I spent the later hours of the evening showering in each bathroom, and lying around the couch naked watching MTV, which has always been a novelty for me.

The second day of the conference was spent in sessions, some of which were interesting. The ones that didn't pertain to my area were the most interesting...a talk on the theories of book design was very intriguing, as the speaker took Marc Auge's theory of the non-space and applied it to the page of a book. I love people who obsess over type treatment, kerns, layout, white balance, font, and grammar. One entire talk dealt with how to arrange the copyright page CIP in beautiful and pleasing ways. Loved it.

Back to Minneapolis a tad early. Immediately called up The Secret.

Back to work today among flash flood warnings...

Posted by Jason at September 15, 2024 12:56 PM

Kerning... God yeah.

White balance... Stop. Really, you're turning me and I can't take it.

Posted by: Aaron at September 15, 2024 11:02 PM
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