Wednesday, August 08, 2007


"I would like to thank my brother VL for his continued support and encouragement that enable me to overcome my technical shortcomings to start my blog a year ago and finally upgrading my template with many new & improved features. I accept this award, "Blog of the Year", with my utmost appreciation. I will try to write more often and add more features as not to disappoint my adoring fans everywhere. Thank you very much for this award. I am so happy."

I have been practicing my acceptance speech. I try to keep it short as not to get cut off right in the middle of my sentence by the music like they always do at the Academy Awards. Whether my unknown blog, Top-of-the-Arch (TOTA) would ever be recognized or not, I would like to invite all my adoring fans to join me in a celebration of an important milestone.

This month is the first anniversary of TOTA. One year ago, brother VL (aka Qaptain Qwerty) helped me create TOTA during my visit to New York. QQ showed me how easy it was to start my very own blog. The first entry had only one paragraph, "Hello World! It was a dark and stormy night......" It took some nudging from QQ, almost two weeks later, I started writing a "real" lengthy entry. I have been writing somewhat regularly, not as often as I would like. I also began to read VL blog daily, (and all the previous posted entries),, and appreciate the technical tool that keep us connected.

A commentary from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch once wrote that bloggers are people who hide from the real world, amused ourselves with our own opinions and that bloggers are "Sayers", not "Doers". The person wrote that bloggers write about the issues but don't actually do something productive in the community. A week later, I saw a response to that commentary for his self-appointed of "the village scold" berating bloggers without knowing how many people (myself include) actively participating in our community through various volunteer activities. The respondent also asked the other commentator not to paint all bloggers with a broad trivial brush as not all 70 million blogs are silly and a waste of time. I agreed with the writer that "Internet blogs are educational tools, allowing people to connect and share ideas with each other" as well as providing limitless discussions anytime, anywhere in the world wide town squares.

I have always enjoyed writing. It comes from my paternal grandfather (A Cung) who was a famous poet in his own circle and was a school teacher when he first emigrated to Viet Nam from China. I remembered when we visited, A Cung showed me porfolios of his published poems and displays of articles on the walls in his office. He told me he was proud of me when I published my first poem. I was 12 years old and was selected as editor for the class newsletter. I also was in debate teams and loved to participate in public speaking competitions.

Writing TOTA has been great for me as blogging has provided an outlet for my writing. I take the time to research about the subjects/topics. TOTA also helps me organize my memories about our journey from Viet Nam, our early years in America and about my personal experience. I don't discuss politics or my faith or my stands on many social issues in my blog. Previous experiences reminded me not getting into discussions that turned into major disagreements, heated exchange, thus personal attacks and physical threats.

I look forward to reading my brother's blog. It is an enjoyment for me. We still keep in touch thru phone calls and email (I enjoy instance messaging too). I feel as if the distance did not keep us apart. I also enjoy reading/searching for interesting random blogs, especially the hockey blogs. I understand that the technology should not be the be-all and definitely should not be the substitute for personal conversations and quality time with friends and family. With everything in life, it is up to the individuals to utilize the tools to serve their needs and for whatever purpose the information is to be used. For me, I enjoy blogging (thus writing) and learning how to use the Internet productively. In fact, I submitted one of my blog entries to a local newspaper and it was published last May. I was also selected as one of the guest columnists to write three more articles.

So that is what blogging is to me - Borrowing the phrase from Astronaut Neil Armstrong - One small blog for a chubby woman, one giant blog for mankind!

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