I’ve spent many an hour at a desk, computer at hand, screen staring blankly at me as it chides me to write and to write often. I’ve yielded to the spirit of the computer, sometimes aided by a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, sometimes cogitated by an incessant urge to tell those who read my writings, both present and future, about a particular issue or celebration in my life. The pages I immerse myself in do not construct a novel or even a fantastical story, but Ive always found some sollace in writing to the pages of a journal. This new concept of a Live Journal, a journal that everyone could read, was magical to me the first time I created it and started posting my life into the bitstream of the information superhighway.
I started writing my first journal on my first computer, an old but amazingly powerful, at the time, Apple Iic microcomputer. I would use AppleWorks, a highly powerful wordprocessor, with a spell checker. At age 9, I wrote entries every day to high capacity, streamlined, and amazingly thin floppy five- and-a-quarter inch disks. I even passworded my journal, just in case anyone might want to read my private thoughts and musings on elementary choir concerts, the weather, family vacations, and things I was doing with the computer at the time. I was too young to like girls atthis tender portion of my life, so had no juicy entries to protect with my unbreakable password, but I thought I was special, and that was all that was important to me. I once printed my journal out in braille, and though I wrote for one year, my writings spanned two volumes (about 400 pages). To this day, I’m not sure where that 5 and a quarter inch disk is, and I’m not sure where the hard copy is, but I do remember that my journal was on Side A of the disk. Side B had some worthless games programmed in BASIC that I hacked to give me extra in game money. I would give anything to find that relic from the past, not because it contains some cultural significance, but because it contains so much of what I was back then. It would also be neat to be able to play Lemonade Stand again
And now, Fast Forward yourselves to today where Apple sells Ipods, Itunes, and The Macintosh. Today, where the IIC, revolutionary in it’s day, is a distant memory, a museum piece. Today, where few use or even remember the “floppy” disks and why it was called floppy. Heck, many don’t even have a floppy disk drive today. IN this day and age, I sit in front of my computer, and I’m always connected. I’m always reading news reports from Australia, where I studied abroad for a year and a half, or even listening to radio from there. I’m on Facebook, gmail, email, google, Ebay, and Amazon to name a few, words that didn’t even exist in 1988. If I were to tell myself that I was doing these things back when my first innocent journal started, my mouth would be agape and I would wonder about my sanity and and I’d wonder why I was using the Amazon River all the time for.
Which brings me to my current journal, so clumsily eluded to at the beginning of this writing. All I can say about it is that it’s prolific and wordy due to the fact that I type quickly and don't think about what I'm writing too deeply and because of this, it's more than somewhat disorganized. It's prolific not because I am a prolific writer, but because I am full of it. I know of few who have read it from cover to cover, and those who have, I lay awake at night worrying about their and my sanity. If you read my journal, you’d find missteps, miscues, and misunderstandings. If you read the whole thing, you’d find love and hate, agony and defeat, happiness and despair. You’d find that my initials NER stand for Noel Edward Romey, and not nerd without a D. You would however find, and probably can gleen from previous statements in this very entry, that if one added a d to my initials, one would describe me curiously well. You’d find a changing me; one at the beginning of my ramblings who jabbered incessantly about new computers, a new girlfriend, and a new school year at the University of Arkansas, coming home from Australia, coffee coffee coffee, and my ever desperate search for religion, to a religious self, one obsessed with finding acceptance within my profession, one who doesn’t drink coffee anymore, and one whose life may take a turn (in a good way) for the scary. How’s that for a run-on sentence? You’d find my journal structured as if I were writing countless letters home or to friends. You’d find that I use my journal to tell everyone what’s going on with me rather than writing a mass email.
If you read the comments in my journal, you’d find that I have great friends, and caring family. You’d find comments from people wishing me well after finding out in a previous phone post that I’d broken my femur, again. Unfortunately, you’d find comments from those, including my Grandma and Mom, admonishing me to keep writing. “We never know what’s going on with you anymore.”
Though many gaps exist in the stream of consciousness, the daily mundane events, and the struggles I’ve had in my life which are chronicled throughout these pages, in this writer’s humble opinion, it might be hard not to picture me sitting at my desk, writing. Writing for me, writing for you, my Live Journal friends, and most importantly, writing often so as to keep my story alive for my posterity. I want my kids to be able to struggle with me as I struggled through endless chemical engineering classes, laugh with me when I wrote the piece on Dr. Ner the blind brain surgeon, cry with me when my heart was broken, smile with me as I’ve gotten closer to graduating with my masters, and mourn with me at the loss of my Grandfather. I want them to be able to smell and taste the freshly fallen snow that I had to gingerly cross the few times it snowed andthere was no snow day. And most importantly, I want them, and you, to know that I write because I love to write. I write because it’s not something a chemical engineer should be able to do. I write to tell my story: one of determination, doing what’s right, and doing things which people told me just “couldn’t be done”.
And I write this today for all to read, not only for the Lj Idol contest, but because I’ve never really introduced myself in the over 400000 words of these pages.
It’s just two months shy of the five year anniversary of this new journal, but my aims are the same as they were when I started writing on my microcomputer some 19 years ago. I strive to tell a story, no matter how mundane, and I hope you, the reader, can handle the craziness that is me.
Remember, when reading my writings, “clickit or ticket” ‘cause it’ll probably be a bumpy yet thrilling ride.