Just forget the words and sing along

Friday, December 30, 2011

News from Markworld: 2011 Edition

 So, once a year, I decide to e-mail out a letter to friends and aquaintiances just to update them on what's going on in my life.  Since e-mail address change and go defunct and all that, I decided to post it to the blog this year, in the hopes that maybe, some long lost friends who are curious as to what happened to me, may Google my name some night.  Here's my 2011 letter.

News from Markworld: The Chaos in a Box Newsletter.

Good day, ladies, gentlemen, and various other individuals I haven’t e-mailed in over a year.

‘Tis I, Mark Cappis, with my annual note updating you on all the occurrences in my life.  Usually, I send this out at the start of December, to get snail mail addresses and weed out my Christmas card list.  But, life got busy and I wound up putting this off for most of December.  It’s too late now to be a Christmas letter, so I guess it’s a New Years letter.  All for the best, really.  I’ve always felt that New Years was a more universal and inclusive holiday. 

Writing this letter reminds me of the classic fantasy comic book The Sandman.  In one issue, a man comes up with the ultimate scheme to live forever.  When Death comes to collect his soul, he’ll simply say, “No thanks.  I’m not going.”  Death, overhearing this conversation and being a cheeky character, decides to grant this wish for immortality.  Death’s brother, Dreams, not having much of a life, decides to strike up a friendship with this newly immortal person, and they vow to meet every 100 years, have a drink, and catch-up. 

So what I’m trying to say here is, it’s been a hundred years.  Who’s buying this round? 

What’s Going On In My Life

My life is still very much uneventful.  You’ll still find me up in Athabasca, working at 94.1 the River.  I’m still the wacky morning guy, and you can hear me on the air every morning from 6AM to noon.  Back in April, I celebrated 5 years up in Athabasca, and I’m still loving every minute of it.

The job really showed me how important a radio station can be to a community.  You may recall that back in May, Slave Lake was victim to some devastating wildfires that burned down a portion of the town, resulting in the entire town being evacuated.  Athabasca became home to the largest evacuation centre.  Every day, on the air, I’d provide daily updates on what was needed at the evacuation centre, and every day, the listeners would provide it in droves.  It was a very busy couple of weeks, but really reminded me that this job does have certain great powers, and great responsibilities, to paraphrase an old comic book.

This year, I also ended my time with the Magnificent River Rats Festival, Athabasca’s Canada Day celebration and music festival.  I spent two years as treasurer, and I was really starting to find the job very taxing.  I’m proud of my work with the festival, and I’m sure it will be very successful in the years to come.  But rather than kick back and relax, I quickly found something else to fill my time.

Like a lot of other facets of the entertainment industry, radio tends to be full time work for part time pay.  I’ve spent my five years in Athabasca living on a very tight budget, and I had some cost-of-living increases over the past year that threw my budget out of whack.  So, I finally had to break down and, like a lot of my radio brethren before me, get a second job.  I now spend my evenings down at Buy-Low Foods keeping the produce section stocked.  It’s created some interesting reactions from listeners who recognize me.  One assumed I was starting some kind of Dirty Jobs segment on my show and wanted to know when I’d be coming down to her business.  Another seemed genuinely angry that I have to work two jobs and threatened to call my radio boss and demand I get a raise.  I never got a befuddled memo from my radio boss about that, so I’m guessing he never called. 

That’s the main reason why this letter is so delayed.  Between Christmas events that I was broadcasting live from, and working double shifts at the grocery store for the Christmas rush, I was run pretty ragged this December.  But now, I’m looking forward to a quiet January and things settling back into some sense of normalcy. 

Favourite Quote of the Year

“Didn’t you go to NAIT?  Didn’t you run for president?  Dude, your campaign was hilarious.” – An Edmonton Oilers PR exec, when the Oilers came to Athabasca for an event.  Turns out he was taking some business courses at NAIT when I decided to...make an impression.  Let this serve as a reminder that you never know when, where, and what you’ll be remembered for. 

“How on Earth can I find you?”  “Just make a wish.  That seems to work.”

As always, my online footprint is massive, so if you ever want to catch up with me, a quick Google search will turn up all manner of options.

Chaos in a Box.com (my website):  www.chaosinabox.com

Midnight Ramblings (my blog):  chaosinabox.blogspot.com

U62: The Targ (my podcast):  www.chaosinabox.com/targ

My work blog:  www.941theriver.ca

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/chaosinabox

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/chaosinabox

My YouTube Channel, where I sometimes make videos:  www.youtube.com/mcappis911

...And the Adventure Continues...

And that pretty much sums up my 2011.  No runs, no hits, no errors, as my dear ol’ Dad would say.  All in all though, I’m starting to find that Dr. Johnny Fever summed up the radio announcer lifestyle quite accurately on a rerun of WKRP:  “Pushing 40, and still living like a college kid.”  But when all is said and done, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

See you again in 100 years.  Next time, you’re buying.

Mark Cappis

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