The Flipside of Pop Culture
Richard Chapman. Pier Marton. Bill Paul. Jeff Smith. My gurus in the film department. Tolerating me at my worst, accepting me at my usual, pushing (sometimes shoving) me toward my best. Anyone who dares mock me for spending my four Wash U. years studying – gasp! – film is an idiot. I know volumes more now than when first I stepped on campus, about what I love and what I’ll love to do. And Lori Turner, the glue that holds it all together? You’re every bit as essential as the rest of ‘em. You cats are awesome.
Kathy Drury and Emily Fridlund. Curators of my first love, the written word, and the teachers who constantly reminded me why first love lasts forever.
Frank Flinn, Dolores Pesce, Tom DuBois, Ross McNary. Yeah, a couple of you aren’t even here anymore. But the ones that really leave their mark merit mention. Which reminds me…
All my professors from this past semester. You got to see me as the wheels came completely off the wagon. Sorry ’bout that; it’s nothin’ personal.
Ryan Adams, “Gold”; Leona Naess, “Leona Naess”; Over The Rhine, “Ohio”; Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, “Shake The Sheets.” Yeah, I said it. The albums that got me through college. This is the pop culture column – there’s gotta be some in here somewhere.
All my fellow film students, from Oppenheimer to Stadler to Molly to Brad and everyone whose name I’m now forgetting. Years from now, we’ll always have Brown 100 to make the local multiplex look fantastic.
Kristin Balzer. My leading lady and drinking buddy, ever the girl for late-night reflection and last-minute reshoots. Cheers to our (relative) working relationship, our awesome friendship, and – of course – “Dawson’s Creek.” (Even if you do like Pacey and Joey.) Say what’s up to Mike; I’d better be invited to the wedding.
Laura Vilines and Matt Simonton. My editor people right here at ol’ Cadenza. Creaky and forlorn she may occasionally be, but we pumped the weekly life into her. I’m gonna miss this fucking paper, but exponentially more I’ll miss you two. Keep up the (vaguely) countercultural legacy. And the sweet shindigs.
Robbie Gross, Sharief Gaber, Susannah Cahalan, Laura McLean, Anna Dinndorf. My non-editor people up in this piece. For putting up with our often lackadaisical meetings, for getting shit in (well, generally) on time. And, y’know, for being fun and fantastic.
My people all the way back at Koenig 3, ’01-’02. Y’all didn’t exactly see me at my finest, but it ain’t a thang. They’re tearing down our building now – blasphemy! Here’s one for snowball fights and late-night work and, y’know, that whole dealing-with-September-11th business. The best damn floor I could’ve ever hoped for.
Laura Shapiro. You couldn’t sell me on Gavin DeGraw, but you managed to bring me around on a far more insidious demographic: Scene girls. We’ll always have, sweetly and dorkily, the facebook. Tell Amsterdam we’re jealous back here.
Kaitlin Eckenroth. I owe you a lot, most prominently an explanation. Right now, I just want you to know I’ve missed ya. We’ve got time; we need to get coffee.
Sam Caplan. The last girl standing from the North Rosebury disaster. I love me some Chesnut, Castro and Coleman, but come on – you’re our bone-dry geek-glasses Architecture cheerleader. Stewie misses you. Get your ass over and say hello. And thank your boyfriend for all his work on that damn project.
Mel Langdon. So what am I supposed to do? If I say “my boy’s main girl,” you’ll get all relationship-conscious and smack me or something. If I say “thanks for making my deserving dawg incredibly happy,” you might literally kill me. If I say “you’re awesome for being awesome, for being hilarious, and being a friend,” well, tough shit. It’s true. All of it. Here’s a bold statement: you being from Omaha makes up for 311.
Beth Leonhardt (aka Milwaukee’s Beth). The little Wisconsinian ball of fun fury. That sounds ridiculous, but apropos. From our contentious debates on the nature of love to our preposterous failures in the realm of matchmaking. If that dude back Milwaukee way doesn’t get his head on straight, some more deserving chap will. In the meantime, you can always bitch to me – ’cause I’ve NEVER got relationship nonsense to whine about.
Robyn d’Avignon. You. Are. Incredible. I can’t really imagine anyone else, like, straight-up offering me food the moment I step into their apartment, let alone making it from scratch before my very damn eyes. That’s just the sort of little thing that makes you the coolest kind of good friend and person I aspire to be. I’m fucking serious, dude. (I can say “fuck” a lot in here because I ain’t comin’ back.) I still have your Band CD, and your Smiths, and your Billy Collins, and your “God Of Small Things.” I owe you those back, and incredible amounts more. And yes, all my shit’s getting done.
Jessi Stein. Y’know, I feel really bad because it’s been one of those months and I haven’t seen you in forever. So yeah, I miss you. Thankfully there’s all those weeks between the end of work and the end of school, and so we’ll have our time to hang and chat and do all the things we’ve been doing since all the way back in our “Three’s Company” neighbor days. You’ve been one of the most loyal cats I’ve met since I came here, and you’re among the best friends I’ve got. And you with Lee Harvey Jeff? Glorious.
Steve Schmidt. Endurer of the most difficult shit I can imagine (not to mention the most difficult girl), inspiration for some of the hardest laughs I’ve had. You’d better keep in touch, dude, but before that you better make your way over our apartment way. Joe Ran-DA, Joe-RanDA!
Travis Petersen. Conor to my Ryan. Writer to my writer. Drinker to my drinker. Romantic (hidden) to my romantic (obvious). What else is there? Oh, yeah. My brother for life. This is starting to sound like a love letter, to which I say “Racism…”
James Schmidt. Because, y’know, I don’t even need to describe.
Everyone else. Thanks for reading. Keep reading Cadenza. I’ll see y’all at the Oscars. I’m out.
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