Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Portrait of a Wannabe as a Young Man

Those who have been reading this website for a really, really long time will remember something I used to do called Chaos in Print. Way, way back in university, I did my college radio show AND I wrote an opinion column for the school paper. When I graduated, I was suddenly deprived of a creative outlet and started getting bored out of my mind.

Then I remembered I still had the website. So, I re-launched my column at my website, and dedicated myself to writing a new column once a week.

Chaos in Print was born! Or re-born, or something.

I managed to keep doing it for seven years. From 1999 to 2006, every Sunday afternoon, you could find another column about my life. It could be my musings on my favourite TV show. It could be some deep analysis of my own neuroses. It could be anything...whatever I felt like writing about.

It charted that first year of unemployment after school. It charted two years of wasting my life at Extra Foods. I stretched a week-long visit to friends in Vancouver to three months of rants. It chronicled my year of teaching English in Japan...I had no shortage of topics that year. I jotted down my notes about returning to school to study broadcasting. And it charted that first year of unemployment after school...again.

When the term "blog" started entering our language, I'd get pissy whenever someone called it a blog. It wasn't a blog, darn it! It was a column! I was a writer! This was going to be the beginning of the Great Canadian Novel! But, taking a second look at it...yeah, it's a blog. it's the worst kind of blog...the kind where someone chronicles their bowel movements and tries to find the meaning of life in re-runs of Battlestar: Galactica. It's moody, angst-ridden, and way too personal. I kept thinking it would be the start of the Great Canadian Novel, but if it were to be published today, I'm certain I would die of humiliation.

So how come I haven't wiped it from the face of the Internet?

Mainly because, at one stage in my life, it was very important to me. Back when my life was confusing, in upheaval, and I was still finding myself, that was my one constant. The fact that I'd sit down sometime that week and write about it.

I once heard it referred to as "the second coming of age." I hear it's now called the "quarter-life crisis." It's that stage when you're done school and experiencing the culture shock of the real world. And it looks like I've kept a darn good record of mine.

I stopped doing it rather unceremoniously two years ago, when I got hired in Athabasca. I said I'd come back to it when I was settled in my new place, but here we are, two years later, and I think it's time to accept that I'm not getting back to it. Besides, most of my efforts are put into the podcast now, and that's pretty much what Chaos in Print has transmogrified into.

But I just didn't want to leave it hanging. For the last two years, it said, "Next one coming soon!" I had to do something about it. So I did.

I just re-designed the Chaos in Print section of my main website. You'll find I've divided Chaos in Print into sections. Each section has a brief summary of that stage of my life, and a few highlights--articles that are less embarrassing than others.

The dream has not died. I still write from time to time. Still kind of half-plan to write that novel someday. But until then, you'll have to make due with the rantings of man who thought he was much more talented than he really was.

This is me, from 1999 to 2006.

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