Category Archives: Gratuitous self-promotion

Double Plaid!

So, I found some plaid shorts and shirts in the clearance rack at the local department store:

matt_plaid 1 matt_plaid 2And I wore them out in public, with the permission and moral support of my wife. I’ve worn a lot of goofy outfits in my time, but none I recall were as visually disturbing as these.

Congrats to ‘Get Out Alive’ Winners!

My uncle Lucky and cousin Louie won the first season of “Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls” tonight!

get out alive_winnerIt has been neat to see the community support them in this competitive journey. Here is a picture from the Stillman Valley village hall a few weeks ago:

Lucky_Louie_Aug14_2013I’m gonna quote my brother Nace here, from a comment on his Facesbook page:

[Lucky & Louie] never said Anything…. I just know that Lucky could teach Bear a few things about the woods, so I figured if there was anything real about the show at all, he had to see that. And I believe that they were almost the only ones EVER shown Laughing !

I gotta add here that my uncle Lucky took me and my brothers on many camping and fishing and hunting trips over the years, and it’s very cool to see him get recognition for things he’s been so passionate about for his whole life: both being in the outdoors and helping challenge others to try things they may not have thought they could do (a slide-for-life  into the quarry pond, the limb-leap onto the rope swing, the wild-meat meals, and many more). It’s very cool to see this award go to such a great person.

UPDATE: Here’s an interview Lucky & Louie did with NBC-5 Chicago.

Thought of the day: Why aren’t the people I know more famous?

Queen Anne's lace & chicory, Ogle Co., July 2010

Queen Anne’s lace & chicory, Ogle Co., July 2010

Wisdom spilling from the tip of my pen on this day, 3 years ago:

28 June 2010

It’s juvenile to want to be famous, or, maybe, it’s not entirely juvenile. Maybe it’s even common to adults to want to feel you are/were/have been/will be seen as a Great Person, to not be just another human eating and breathing and crapping, which of course, even the “great” ones do. Even great people have boring times, too. It seems that only unique times are valued. It’s only for the book-writing or the inventing or performing; it’s only for these minor parts of their lives that we respect/honor/value other people. Nobody cares about Lincoln’s early years–it’s only the last few years of his life that we remember (and he’s still dead; he doesn’t care if we remember him or not, although maybe in life he appreciated the attention, the thought that he’d be remembered).

Why don’t I know more famous people? I mean, why are the people I know not more famous? Why do so many people lead common lives–comfortable, sure, but not notable? Maybe it’s because the things for which one could get famous seem extraneous, besides the point, outside the normal routines of life that actually matter?

I know this — I have realized before that, of course, fame isn’t real compared to one’s daily existence. One’s reputation is B.S., anyway; it’s external to you, you can’t control it.

I don’t want to be famous in the sense that people would ask for a photo with me, movie-star famous, “autograph” famous. But sometimes I think it’d be fun to be a guest on a talk show — not someone who does a five-minute walk-on with Jay Leno, but someone who gets to talk about his upbringing, influences, and artistic processes with Terry Gross. That’s the NPR nerd accomplishment-fantasy I have sometimes.

But I think I’d have to DO something first, like getting a book published by a legit publisher. They seldom put interesting people on radio or TV these days just because they’re interesting (and I do say so of myself).

Fame-naming the no-there theres

2013_01_16_mh-15-watertowerWhen I become a hugely famous, national treasure author-public intellectual-creativity guru (I’m not sure exactly whether I’ll hyphenate my talents at that point, or not) and my adoring fans choose to honor me by naming public works and natural places after me, I’d prefer if they avoid the obvious — parks, roads, and buildings — and instead reflect my own grand creativity by christening, say, drainage ditches, median strips, or even air-rights after me. I like the idea of a “Humble Genius Municipal Snowpile” that the municipal crews could reconstruct every year, reminding us all of the fleeting nature of, well, everything.

2012 in review

Here’s WordPress’s summary of this Blogge’s Activitie, anno Domini 2012. Though I started posting in 2011, I didn’t really get into this until 2012. I’m still learning the unique aspects of the blogging form of writing. I do appreciate the helpful and welcoming community of bloggers I’ve found in the last year — thanks to all who read and liked and commented and followed and secretly nominated me for a MacArthur “Genius Grant” (I’ll accept it as a “humble genius grant,” of course).

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

I’m Ogle County Poet Laureate!

I was surprised to learn today that I, Matt Hagemann, have been named Poet Laureate of Ogle County, Illinois! I was in bed today, in fact, when I received the idea to declare myself, in absence of any local poetry authority or even of any local interest in the poetic arts, the chief poet of this fine, rural county. I vow to faithfully execute the wholly fantastic office of Poet Laureate of Ogle County  and will to the best of my abilities carry out the (self-appointed) duties that inhere to this title:

1. I shall bring awareness both of the form and practice of poetry, and of the passing delicacy of a flower’s whisper, to the young people of Ogle County;

2. I shall pen Odes to the cities of Byron, Oregon, Polo, and Rochelle; the villages of Adeline, Creston, Davis Junction, Forreston, Hillcrest, Leaf River, Monroe Center, Mount Morris, and Stillman Valley; the townships of Brookville,     Buffalo, Byron, Dement, Eagle Point, Flagg, Forreston, Grand Detour,   LaFayette, Leaf River, Lincoln, Lynnville, Marion, Maryland, Monroe, Mt. Morris, Oregon-Nashua, Pine Creek, Pine Rock, Rockvale, Scott, Taylor,    White Rock, and Woosung; and the unincorporated communities of  Baileyville, Brookville, Buffalo Grove, Chana, Daysville, Egan, Flagg,  Flagg Center, Grand Detour, Haldane, Harper, Hazelhurst, Holcomb, Kings, Lindenwood, Lost Nation, Paynes Point, Stratford, White Rock, and Woosung;

3. I shall gaze like a tourist at and wax vaporously upon Rock River, Pine Rock, Castle Rock, and  Rocky Hollow Road;

4. I shall visit the state parks and local dragways, the historical blacksmitheries and the modern uraniumfissioneries, the sites of thwarted attempts to harass native inhabitants and of art honoring those natives long after they were removed from Ogle County;

5. I shall versify homages to those who left Ogle County to make something of themselves;

6. I shall bear witness to the trials and travails of the53, 497 souls (as of the 2010 Census) of Ogle County, including their 95.35% whiteness, their median household income of $45,448, and their 17.0% adult college-degree completion rate;

But mostly I will be doing those things in obscurity, for if there’s anything that Ogle County is known for, it’s its obscurity. However, I will do my best to publicize the office of Ogle County Poet Laureate among a population not giving a sh!t.