I don't know what it is exactly, but I really seem to dig things done by people I know. Even prefer. Maybe, it is the additional interaction, like the handshakes and the "hellos." I'm a sucker for that.
By "know," I don't necessarily mean "friends" or "chums" or "fishing buddies." I don't have to know their birthdays or Facebook passwords.
A work of art made by a person that I have had personal contact with, as simply as a "Hi, my name is Tyler and I'm in your class" or monumental "See you Saturday night for dinner." (Yes! Dinner is monumental, as is shooting hoops and grocery shopping.)
Example 1: How Some People Like Their Eggs by Sean Lovelace
Lovelace was my Creative Writing instructor over the summer and will resume his educator role in my life as my Fiction professor this spring semester. On Friday, he read some of his fun flash fiction pieces at Motini's in the Village. His new chapbook is sweet, especially now that I own it. I just finished it, like literally JUST now, well about 6 minutes ago. While I was reading it, I was laughing or frowning or those other emotions that good literature incite, but I was also thinking about how Lovelace inspired me to play disc golf (thank you very much) and how I met a good friend in his class. Though completely outside the text, these other thoughts added to the enjoyment of reading Lovelace's already stellar flash pieces.
Example 2: Away With Vega
Unfortunately, this band is defunct. Fortunately, the dudes aren't. "Recovery" by AWV is still my favorite album. I'm not going to lie and say knowing these guys doesn't help. For years, they made me feel like I wasn't a creepy youngster, when I was. For years, they made me, through their music and their friendship/acquaintanceship, made me feel just a tad cooler. I always appreciate that. But, don't let that discount the fact that their music was cool like frozen beef.
Some other things:
Short Hand: Peter Davis is my poetry professor, but he also makes some cool music to sing along to with my wife.
Peter Davis' poetry: He also writes poetry (obviously!?). It is usually funny, but most always good. He is also reading for Writers Community on October 26th with Michael Meyerhofer. That is a nice thing to do.
Michael Meyerhofer: Meyerhofer's poetry is still fresh for me, but it seems great. He is also the only English teacher that didn't creep me out/make me feel stupid when I gave an introduction for the Writing Center for his class. He is also nice for reading for us.
A Sure Thing: I probably wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for knowing this band (particularly Wil and his wife Kara). They ushered me into local music.
In The Face Of War: I certainly wouldn't be the person I am today without ITFOW. Some super nice dudes making some super fun music.