Monday, November 05, 2012

Not My Desk

Not ever not my desk
There's just something about Christopher Livingston that's amazing. I started reading Concerned a few months before it ended, and ever since then I've read just about everything by Chris. He's ingeniously funny and clever. His writing is just about the best I've ever read.

Chris has his own website, Screen Cuisine, which is just aimed at Media. He has plenty of other websites he's rolled into that one, and he even does freelancing with various video game blogs/websites such as Shacknews and PC Gamer.

What stays with me the most, however, is his original website called Not My Desk. It's a collection of work related to many things, primarily aimed at Temping experiences Chris had to survive through. I don't know what he does for work now, I assume some type of desk job because he doesn't update his website or freelance often enough to make money that way. Many, but not all, of the essays on the site are genuinely funny and expertly written.

I've read through many of the essays multiple times, and what I find to be the most impressive is Chris's ability to write in comedy where there is a distinct lack of any interest. He makes funny what is just utterly uninteresting. Simultaneously he writes in emotion. Sometimes the emotion is upbeat, but many times it is not. The essays are a collection of material unlike any other. Chris knows how to bring the reader along for the ride.

Of course they're not all perfect. Chris himself often mocks the work he's done for NMD, but it's better than he lets on. The most impressive part of NMD isn't how good it is, but the fact that Chris wrote this while being in probably one of the worst parts of his life. Often the essays display how defeated and shitty Chris's life is and how he feels stuck. I feel the same right now and I wish I could build a site half as good as he did.

After reading the essays, I wanted more, and lo I found it: NMD probably has hundreds of pages I've never seen. Sadly, few of them work today but Chris updated the site regularly with special event weeks, updating several columns like TempChat, a column for Chris's adventures in IRC and educating the chatosphere about temping, and Vision of the Future, a column about the games on the Colecovision, and various blog-like updates to the site. It's actually a very impressive endeavor.

I talk about Christopher Livingston today because he's inspirational. His writing is masterful, hilarious, and moving and I wish I could write that well. I want to be what he seems to have always been: hilarious.

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