To Blog or Not To Blog, That Is The Question

Well, for now the editor of choice is Emacs. I figured out (actually, I asked on comp.emacs and got an answer) how to get it to wrap text how I want it to (I use a wide terminal window). And the more I use it, the more I like it. I'm something of Lisp moron, which means that I can't really customize it, but I can get it to do what I want it to do. It also has the advantage of running on all of the platforms I'm going to be doing my work in. Design work will still be done with Dreamweaver, but basic everyday maintenance will be done with what is known to some as The One True Editor (no, I'm not making that up).

Now, if I could just get it to insert a <p> every time I hit the return key twice, I'd be all set.

I'm kind of afraid that keeping some sort of an on-line journal will only reveal to the world the unadulterated banality that is my life. Yep, here I am, an allegedly hip, happenin' genuine New Yorker (not the magazine). Quite frankly, it's not as exciting as one might think. Yes, I've been to parties with models and actresses. I think the last time that happened was, uh, four years ago? (Oddly enough, it's been about four years since I redesigned this website. But that's another story for another day.)

As a side note, I'm thinking about implementing a 'footnote' style for sort of irrelevant asides like the parenthetical comment above. The problem with text, from one point of view, is that it's linear. I guess the most logical way to implement a footnote-type system would be to have pop-up boxes on a mouse rollover or something similar. On the other hand, I think that it's really annoying when a site does that, so perhaps it's not the best idea I've ever had.

Getting back to the footnote problem, text is inherently linear. It goes in a line, with little provision for branching (this is why, I suppose, they invented the footnote and the parenthetical aside, but that's another story). The problem with text that goes in a line is that ideas are not necessarily linear. They're much more often like a bush, with weird little implications and connotations and the like hanging off of them in all sorts of interesting ways. The Plumb Visual Thesaurus is a good way to illustrate this concept. Hypertext was supposed to solve this problem, but it hasn't yet. It's come a long way, I'll freely admit that.

The other option is to employ a vaguely Proustian prose style, with endless, meandering sentences, sentences that roll, unfold, stretch and expand, much the way the view from atop a mountain ridge unfolds, all-encompassing; sentences that unroll, not in a straight line like a ball of yellow knitting yarn rolling across the living room floor, but rather in a crook'd, irregular path, touching every subject that it can find before finally settling down to the immediate subject at hand and addressing it directly.

Eighty-three words. Not bad.

Speaking of Proust, here's an article that compares Proust and Martha Stewart. Really.

The problem with the Proustian approach, aside from the fact that encourages me to indulge in some rather poor writing habits,, is that there aren't that many people willing to wade through 83-word-sentences. String nine of those babies together and you've got an opinion column ready for the New York Times (or any other major newspaper, for that matter). I suspect that the middle ground lies in the judicious use of the parenthetical comment; however, should that not be enough, I think that the next step would be the addition of footnotes. Adding footnotes to what is essentially a personal journal sounds ridiculous, but is it really?

Site news:

  • I looked up some of the 'last modified' dates on the pages of the previous version of this site. They seem to date all the way back to 1997. Damn, that was a long time ago.
  • Added an extra break between entries. That makes reading them and figuring out where an entry begins and ends much easier.
  • Done with the links section for now. All the links are good, at least as of July 6. Still need to do the Music/Opera section and the writing section.

You know, it's much easier to ride a bicycle when the rear axle isn't bent.