Minutes 2 Midnight

"Do you remember where you were when?..." That question sums up the purpose of this site. When reflecting upon any occasion of great importance, most people remember vividly where they were and what they were doing when the event occurred. Am I the only one who finds these reflections fascinating? I'm thinking "probably not", but let's see if you agree. Take a look at the topics below (in the "Categories" or "Recent Posts" sections), choose one of interest to you, and add your story.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The purpose of this blog

So what's the purpose of this blog? Long story long:

First: I want to be a writer.
I've had the aspiration for a number of years now, and I'm finally beginning to do something about it. Of course, mere sentience would tell someone that wanting to be a writer and actually being a writer are two completely different things. Will anyone like what I have to say? And even if they do, will they like the way I say it? So even if they do, will they spare any time to read how I've written what I have to say? You get the picture.

Second: I've always wanted to be an Engineer.
Fortunately, unlike the writing aspiration, I've got this second thing nailed: I studied, went to school, graduated, got a job, and am now employed as a Software Development Engineer. Yee Ha. Still, though, the writing bug was always there - buzzing like a little wasp in the back of my head. Every now and again the bug would sting me and I would be spurred into action: first this start, then that stop, then this start again. Alas, all of these attempts were light and non-cohesive - flying apart and fluttering to the ground like so many pieces of sad confetti. So now with one aspiration fulfilled and the other taunting me from its little perch just within my reach, I find myself thinking that in this age of unbounded Internet freedom, perhaps all that these two grand aspirations need is an introduction to one another. Courtship and marriage might then ensue - culminating in the birth of....well....a bouncing baby blog.

'Course, now a-days, one doesn't need a whole lot of Software Engineering learnin' to create a blog. Even better. So yeah, one day I'll write a book. I will. But it might be nice in the interim to test the waters with something smaller - just to see the type of response it generates. If any.

Now, unfortunately, the death of one problem often leads to the birth of another, and I have found that to be just the case in the Grand Blog Endeavor. To the point: what the colorful metaphor do I blog about? Well to answer that question, I have to ask: what do I know about?

Answer #1: I know Software Engineering.
Right. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

Answer #2: I know the names of obscure television stars.
Yeah. Better leave that blog to the obscure television stars.

Answers #3: I know myself. I know my friends. I know my life.
Uh huh. Unfortunately, something tells me that no matter how wildly interesting I might find my own existence, precious few people are going to flock to my blog site to hear about what-I-did-last-summer or what-I-ate-last-night. I mean, blogging on such an intensely personal scale seems to me to be nothing more than a worldwide invitation to the dreaded Family Vacation Slideshow. Scrap it.

So what else is there?
Well, there are always my journals. Yeah, okay, I know. Journals are beyond intensely personal. But stick it out with me, here! This is actually going somewhere.

I've kept some flavor of journal for quite a number of years, now, and I presently find myself reasoning (with some admitted desperation) that there must be some blog fodder buried in at least one of them. So I've wracked my brains a little more...and I think I may have finally hit upon an idea.

Of all of the entries in my journals, two often stand out in my mind whenever I allow myself to quickly catalog the writings. Both are personal entries, yes, but both also deal with national or international tragedies. So why did I make these entries in the first place? Well, as I was writing them, I remember thinking that perhaps one day my unborn children would ask me about what it was like to be alive when so-and-so happened. Wouldn't it be a learning experience, I thought, for them to be able to read an entry from a journal written on So-and-So Day - when the generated emotions were still raw and hadn't yet had time to harden and heal? Perhaps so, I reasoned - all the while extrapolating my musings to include the "archaeologist-from-the-future" scenario. In short: if an archaeologist were to dig up written words that described a singular event, what would fascinate him/her the most? Would it be the cold hard this-is-what-happened facts from the reporteratti? Or would it be the expressed joys and fears from an everyday citizen who was there when it all happened? The answer, I surmise, is "both", but balance is not achieved unless one is coupled with the other.

So! This idea has continued to gel (strawberry flavored, I believe), and I've come to a tentative conclusion about what might mold it into an interesting blog. In essence, I'm thinking that I could pick a topic, blog about where-I-was-and-how-I-felt-when-it-happened, post, and wait for commentary. That was my first thought, anyway. Soon after I had it, though, second thought wandered in without knocking and quickly proceeded to rearrange everything. How? Well, I realized that commentary about my posts would not be enough. What would round out the blog, I figured, would be comments from readers about their own personal experiences. In other words, when so-and-so happened, where were they? What were their first thoughts and emotions? How did a reader's initial thoughts change once they’d had time to think about things a little after the fact? How do we all differ from one another? And how are we all the same?

Does that make sense? I hope so, and I'd be honored to receive commentary from those of you who wish to offer your thoughts on the topics that you find here. Before we launch, however, I suppose there must always be the obligatory Setting Forth of the Ground Rules. So, uh, here they are (subject to change without notice, of course. What fun are Ground Rules otherwise?)

Ground Rules

1. All comments will be moderated to ensure that they are appropriate for this site. No base profanity or obscene content will be allowed.
2. Please keep comments on topic. Rambling is not a bad thing - just so long as it is at least loosely connected to the general theme.
3. Though I do have strong political opinions (as do most folks, now a-days), this is not a political site! Please keep commentary as free of political charge as you can (I know that sometimes politics might have to come into play to provide context, but screeds will not be posted).
4. No personal insults towards other commentators will be allowed. Disagreements are fine, but name-calling and slander will not be permitted.
5. Have Fun!

First topic coming tomorrow. It's bedtime, and Midnight's Oil is nearly spent.


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