Wednesday, February 6, 2008

87; Wind-up

I'm winding it down.

These columns have been fun, I'll admit. They've given me a chance to rant, think aloud, and write some, hopefully, amusing pieces. I hope some people have enjoyed them.

When I began writing them, at Leeds, I was in a very different place in my life. The excersise spurted out of two concerns. One was a lack of stuff on my shiny new Facebook page. These were the days before applications my friends. (Less than a year back, and yet it feels like so much longer, doesn't it?) At first I filled the space with entries by my friend John Wiswell's mighty blog, The Bathroom Monologues, which I may just plug in every installment from here on out. Seriously, go read it. The other column I would place in that section was Jon Carroll's actual syndicated writings from the SF Chronicle.

One week they both had a lack of material, and so I had to find something to fill the void. This coincided with the other concern I mentioned, namely that I had way too much time on my hands. I was bored, didn't have any social life and no friends. School was unpleasant. I had no movies to watch (although I eventually resorted to watching full episodes of MST3K on YouTube. That's how bad it got, friends.) I was obsessively try to cultivate some musical background and appreciation. But that was a slow task.

Usually Ross would, I can hear those who know me contest, read something long and pretentious. Yeah, that's generally the case. But it wasn't happening. I've pondered nights away, now as well as at the time, as to why I was unable to get any reading done during those months. Sometimes you just can't get up the... I rather not finish that sentence.

Actually as soon as exams were done I was able to read again, so, you know, that still leaves hosts reasons open.

And you know what? I needed to rant. I needed to philosophize aloud. Looking back on my journals of the time I made notes about what conversations I had. I don't need to do that anymore. I no longer feel the need to rant.

I kept writing after England, though. Transitions require pondering. The culture shock of adaptations, new surroundings, new friends and environments: those changes defined the last summer. That change required more writing. The second concern was still valid, as well: there wasn't enough to do.

Finally I arrived back at the place I'd fled. Everything that had happened that sumemr became another episode and another set of changes had to occur. Applying jumper-cables to old friendships, and one of those little flint-scratching spoons to start up new ones. So the writing continued, with issues and what have you.

* * *

So. Full circle. I think I'll be silly and play out this column until I hit #100 (the tally is kept on the actual blog site for those reading this on Facebook). The way I figure that ought that'll be roughly one calendar year.

Part of my concern is that I'm not saying anything too great these days. I can reread my old columns and laugh at them. None of my recent stuff has made me laugh. Current events are okay, but are, after all, the topic of roughly ten bazillion blogs out there.

Give or take.

Intellectually I'm not very active at the moment. I'm reading like crazy, which means translates to a lack of tackling new ideas, and instead doing some absorbing. But if you want a review of books try Oprah. If you want movies and television, on the other hand, you can read my sister's capable blog.

What, then, is the point? Trying every few days to come up with something entertaining. I thought it wasn't going to be that bad, and, heck, at the start these were daily. Then they were every other day. Now they are when I can muster up enough energy.

That's the reason. When the enjoyment has become a chore, it's time to move on. When the product has become a bore, it's time to move on. I'm no longer finding myself which ample time on my hand. If anything next semester is shaping up to be the busiest in my academic career.

The other pleasant half of this is that I have a social life again, am happy, and am able to talk to people, philosophize, and rant in person. Definitely beats Facebook, I think.

Bearing that in mind I will earnestly strive to make these last installments some of my best. I rather go out with a bang, and I hope they are satisfactory to your tastes.

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