Reintroducing Uneasy Rhetoric

Day 1 of WordPress’ Zero to Hero, 30 Days to a Better Blog asks for an introduction.

My name is John, like it says in my list of 100 things. Uneasy Rhetoric is a blog about living in Sacramento, California. Maybe not the best city on earth, but a city I have called home for 29 of my almost 44 years. It is not a blog about Sacramento but a blog about me, living here. Thus it is as much personal philosophy as anything. If I am to reinvigorate this medium, and I intend to, it will look more like a series of personal essays on a variety of topics. Writing is my hobby, and I don’t have much time for hobbies these days.

I started blogging in the early days of the medium, and even though personal blogging is long past its heyday, I still like the idea. Uneasy Rhetoric is over 10 years old. The Wayback Machine first indexed uneasyrhetoric.net on October 10, 2003 and I’m too lazy to go into my database backups to see when the first post was. Like many, I gave up on the long-form writing in favor of Twitter, briefly, and now almost entirely, Facebook. However, I still read a handful of personal blogs and think about returning to the fold of an active long-form (long for the internet, anyway) writer.

My primary motivation for starting a blog back in 2003 was to write about homesickness. Originally, the blog was called the “Sacramento Expatriate” and I had intended to write about goings on in my hometown from an outsider’s point of view. I was living in Portland, Oregon at the time but made frequent visits home and had been amazed at how much the city was changing. My old neighborhood had morphed into “midtown” and was rapidly becoming the hipster haven it is today. What amazed me more though was how much Sacramento still felt like home even though I hadn’t spent more than three or four weeks in a row there since the summer of 1989. When I was offered a job in Sacramento I jumped at the opportunity to move back. I also changed the name of the blog and for a while gathered a small readership of Sacramentans who cared about making this a great place to live.

But my priorities changed. Fast forward to 2006 and I essentially stopped blogging–I was never a frequent blogger to begin with. My son was born in October 2006 and I started a new job in January 2007. Being a father meant having to set aside a lot of the things that I had time to do before being a parent. My new job was also challenging and I was well suited to it; however, it also came with restrictions on the extent to which I could talk about politics. At the time, I didn’t understand my boundaries and thus interpreted them as strictly as possible.

If I can reinvigorate this blog, in 2014 I hope to post a lot about Sacramento but mostly I will post about what I like to think about: writing, politics, religion, philosophy, urbanism, nature, science, art, music, poetry. I think now you can see just how well the name “Uneasy Rhetoric” fits.