Tuesday 5 September 2016

Hi. I’m Mark; I live in Bellingham. I’m 51 years old and a confirmed bachelor. Beyond that, no other conventional labels would be absolutely accurate—in my workday incarnation I do graphic design and layout, but my background is in theatre, I sing and write, my fascination with world history and linguistics is unending and passionate, etc., and all of this doesn’t add up to any one thing. This is my website, but, aside from this page, the website isn’t about me.

WHAT’S HERE:

The Books, Music, and Video links here (and in the navigation bar at the top of each page) are gateways to much of my library—an ever-expanding collection of words, sounds, and images that delight me enough to acquire and keep. They’re useful to me but also serve to show the range of my interests and tastes. Some of the CDs listed have linked commentary, as do a few of the videos (with more to come as I am moved to elaborate on why this or that item joined my library), and the first of those pages always features comment on whatever I’m currently reading.

The Work page is my online graphic design and layout portfolio, consisting of six groupings of projects—Posters, Panels, and Boards; Reports, Proposals, and Large-Format Layout; Fliers, Brochures, and Newsletters; Online Features; Project Design and Logos; and Abstract Illustration. The projects I feature there are only a cross-section of the work I’ve done over the past fourteen years in that field, chosen either for their aesthetic appeal or for some noteworthy aspect such as circumstances or technical details, addressed in my design notes for each.

My World page is the weakest part of this website but only because I haven’t satisfactorily fleshed it out yet…there’s just SO MUCH to say about so many relevant things…so for now it’s a sketchy kind of lobby with only a few doors visible. Similarly, my Humor page is still in the conceptual stage as I try to decide what examples of my own humorous output (drag names, for example, or song-lyric parodies, which I recently remarked to a friend “ooze out of me like used-car salesmen”) or things I find humorous (Yo Mama jokes, for example) will “travel” to a static presentation and what should be left in the “you just had to be there” category. I’m a funny guy, but some things are temporal (and I could get sued for others). The 5,800+ bogus horoscopes I’ve written over the past fourteen years will also probably find some kind of home on that page.

The last page of this website is an ongoing obituary/memorial page for my friend Anna—Anna Rose Bryant, who died in 2001. If you knew Anna and want to share some memory or impression of her, please email me, because I’m always glad to celebrate her more.

Also, at the bottom-right area of this page you’ll find a randomly selected item from the famous Chateau Marmosette House Quote Book. Chateau Marmosette is wherever my friend Cat Grey happens to be living and entertaining—a setting I had the pleasure of sharing with her for about seven years in the 1990s and early 2000s. The selection is done by a randomizing script, so it’ll change if you reload this page…which can prove addictively fun to do, with around 3000 quotes available.

Since I first established this website in 1996, I’ve changed its focus, its form, and its breadth many times as I have seen fit; I don’t update this particular page very often, but my Music and Books pages are generally kept current. This website exists for effectively two main reasons: first, because I’m an enthusiast, and second, because I’m a Virgo with a tendency to indulge his organizational hobbies.

The enthusiast thing first: among the many things I can call myself as what I’ve been in my adult life, “enthusiast” is most prevalent over time. I love to rejoice in the things I love—music, thought, history, individuals, color, video, writing, language, album art, the list is endless—and in my daily in-person life I have very little opportunity to do so. With my CD and book libraries posted here in full I share with any casual browsing visitor the range of what I delight in, and if it’s something they love too I love to exchange appreciations. Perhaps that’s naïve, but I couldn’t care less: it’s led to some fine convergences and hasn’t hurt me yet. Things appreciated are worth appreciating, after all, and I delight in so much that it stifles me not to express the joy to anyone who feels like reading about it. And passers-by are more than welcome to skim for the bits they relate to, with no expectation that they should comment or sign some bloody guestbook….

As for the “organizational Virgo hobby” aspect, well, that has to do with the fact that I like to have a handy reference to what’s on my bookshelves and in my music collection. I’m a voracious reader, and when I’m almost finished reading a book I like to browse my shelves (or this archive of their contents) to choose which book to tackle next (whether read or not-yet-read). With my CD library page, which I’ve recently augmented with tracklists and some commentaries for selected albums, the pragmatic role is one of convenience: if I have the CD in question with me as I travel but its tracklist is on a slipcase in my house, I can refer to the tracklist on my own website; also it’s handy to refer to when confirming an album’s year of release, etc., without having to wait for www.allmusic.com’s interface’s programming to finish loading.

a random selection from the
House Quote Book (reload/refresh the page to get a new one, there’s about 3000 available):

“…and I had to choose between leaving him there, licking your computer, while I went downstairs to get the meat cleaver, or….”

Beyond all this explanation, I hasten to add that I’m an interesting and ridiculously amusing guy who just enjoys having his own odd little space online. As soon as I get time to add a Humor section to this site you’ll get to sample the stuff my friends over the years have best known me for, and the new Travel page should further elucidate some of my interests that I delight in (such as in the tales of my trips to Yurp in early 2003 and 2006).

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy what you find here.

[Emails to me can be addressed to citoyen at this URL.]