Blaugust Day 23 – Haiku Sunday

Foolishly, no doubt, I have decided to revive a short-lived theme I ran on this blog way back when in 2009; some of the haikus produced by yours truly and a few commenters have been reproduced below. Today’s theme, of course, must be Blaugust – use it if it inspires you, ignore it if it does not. Knock yourselves out or just mock my efforts.

Please don’t haiku-Nazi us about form, subject and imagery. This is purely for fun.

Sunday morning sloth.
My Basenjis look at me -
Why do this blog thing?

It’ll do for something yanked out from behind my eyes in 20 seconds.

I am definitely resisting the post-a-day Blaugust exhortation, and yet I am still doing it, hauling my unwilling ass to the keyboard every morning even though I know I absolutely don’t have to and would probably rather not.

This is typical me (typical me, typical me, I started something…) — I am not a joiner, but then I join things anyway and spend the entire time half-regretting the decision, ambivalent about being around so many people / so much of the time… and actually enjoying myself. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just a whiny old bag; I sincerely hope not, since being an actual whiny old bag (as opposed to playing one on my blog) is not something I aspire to.

Past Haikus

Melmoth – Theme: Socks
Cold feet in winter.
That stupid Tenacious D:
Rocking my socks off.

Sara Pickell – Theme: Tabula Rasa (just before the fold)
Leaves of amber tint
Glow angry red and blacken
In plasma and rain

Mallika – Theme: Sunday
Relaxing Sunday
Love it when we just stay home
Introverts unite

ArbitraryGenius – Theme: Instances
Just did an instance
there were just four of us there
it was meant for six

Melmoth – Theme: Don’t stand in the fire?
Dancing with spring’s joy.
Autumn’s colour follows him.
Underpants on fire.

Enric Darkstone – Theme: Haiku Sunday
Looking at your posts,
This is your first Haiku one.
Dante Inspired…? -_^

Ysharros – Response
This is the second
Haiku day theme we have had;
There will be others.

Enric Darkstone – Response
My apologies,
I must have missed that posting,
Carry on, madam.

Theme: Hardcore vs Casual

Me:
Did you know this axe
Can slice your head clean off, yep –
Feel lucky, carebear?

Makkaio:
I play a healer
Like it was a tank, so what?
I are L337 d00d3rz

Oakstout:
I love nice purples.
Crafting is my greater love.
How can I do both and live?

Capn John:
The deadliest beast
in Stranglethorn Vale is…
a bored 80.

Blaugust Day 13.2 – Happy Birthday to me

year 7Or rather this blog — my birthday isn’t until October, so you all have plenty of time to find something suitable. (Early October though, so don’t dilly-dally!)

I would have forgotten all about it but the WordPress Widget Wizard has a much better memory.

This means it is also Harbinger Zero’s blog-birthday, or somewhere in these waters, along with a number of other people who began their careers as novice bloggers during the beta of Warhammer Online and the formation of Casualties of War. Happy freaking birthday, bloggers!

I’m not sure if CoW is dead these days but it sure was fun while it lasted — leaning towards dead, actually, since the link now leads to some kind of site in Mandarin (I’m guessing) with a very white-bread, white-linen, flower-clasping pregnant lady on the banner. Quite tasteful, really.

Um… that’s it. Maybe I should mention WoW, FFXIV, Tera, GTV and ARK just so I can catch some of that random search-engine traffic — PSYCH!! Bwahahahaha.

Blaugust Day 5 – Lists' Labours Lost

X reasons why short blog posts are better than long ones:

  1. People are more likely to actually read them.
  2. They demand a great deal less effort to write.
  3. List posts are even shorter, better and easier. True fact.
  4. If I make it to 10, I’ll have fulfilled the Blaugust requirement of 10-ish long-ish sentences that make sense-ish.
  5. They’re something you can easily bang out when you went out for breakfast (yum) and come home only to realise you totally forgot to do your Blaugust post for the day.
  6. They kind of write themselves. List item 1, random blurb. List item 2, random blurb.
  7. Here’s one: World of Warcraft subscriber figures came out yesterday. Some people do serious posts about them. I just write: Blizzy-wizzy, said Acty-wackty, the sky is falling!!
  8. Lists can be quite useful — if the people writing them take them seriously, quite unlike the author of the present list who might as well be drunk at 10 in the morning for all the effort she’s putting into this.
  9. They help organise your thoughts. So I’m told. My thoughts tend to look like an explosion in a gummy-bear factory.gummybearexplosion
  10. How cool is the internet when you can create a random simile, Google it, and actually find results. Click me. Really. You won’t be sorry. The real fun starts at 29 seconds.
  11. I’m liking this list thing. It’s so much easier! Maybe I’ll do another list post tomorrow — after all, I need to jump on the Gaming Things To Do bandwagon! I’ve held off doing it because #9 above and no list of mine ever lasts longer than it takes to— ohhh look! SHINY!!
  12. I don’t normally like to ask for ideas, but with people suddenly, you know, actually coming by and reading this blog again, I’ll break my own self-imposed non-rule that I was never bound to follow anyway. (Just like all the grammatical and good writing rules I learned — I majored in English and French Lit — and happily ignore. That’s the point of getting a Mickey Mouse humanities degree, don’tcha know.) So yeah… if there’s anything you want to know, have been wondering about, or would like to see me turn my rapier-like wit toward, by all means speak up in the comments.
  13. Every time I’ve asked for comments instead of keeping my big mouth shut, the comments section ends up like this: tumbleweed
    You’d think I’d know better by now.
  14. Made it to X! Extra credit! I’m an achiever after all!

PS: I am woefully, shamefully and disgustingly behind on my Blaugust reading… like, stuck somewhere around noon on day 3 for most of my blogs. Apologies to all. Also, if you want, need or absolutely can’t live without being on my Blogroll (which people do click, according to WordPress stats), let me know. I am not snooty, I am useless — different intents, same end result. Besides, I’ve been waiting 73 years to make it onto Wilhelm’s Blogroll, so it could be worse.

Blaugust Day 2.1 – Twice in One Day?!

Soon I’ll be as prolific as Syp! … Okay, maybe not. And he might be getting a little tired of me comparing myself to him every time I claim to be Postia McPostyPants of Port-Postypont. Well anyway, moving right along…

It came as absolutely no surprise to me that my super-helpful post on getting into RSS feeds turned out to be more of a waffling rant about Google, Facebook and G+ and rather less of a super-helpful post about keeping the v/blogs you follow nicely corralled.

So let’s try this again. This is for Firefox. I’m not responsible for how anything looks or what may happen if you’re using any other browser, especially but not limited to Internet Exploder and the new-fangled Edge.

EDIT — You could do what I say below… or you could just go the OPML route helpfully provided by Endgame Viable. Yay Endgame!

1. Start here. It’s the current list of Blaugust participants. One link is off by a .net (corrected here), one doesn’t want to open at all for me (http://blog.floortank.com/ – why am linking it if it doesn’t work?), and a few have signed up but apparently not begun posting yet — but other than that the list is good to go and just aching to give you RSI. Why RSI? You’re about to find out.

2. Open your lovely shiny new Feedly account page (or just hit the bookmark if you’re one of the already-in crowd) in another tab, or window, or whatever floats your boat for link multi-tasking. Alternately, go to Feedly and sign up.

3. Go back to Belghast’s list. Right-click the first blog on the list* and select “Copy link location” or whatever your language/browser equivalent might be.

4. Go to the Feedly tab. Long way: click “Add content” in the left sidebar. Short way: hit Paste in the search box in the top right of pretty much every page. If it’s not the first link you’re pasting hit the X to clear the search box (and also give it the focus) and then paste. Select the blog when it shows up in the drop-down list (usually it’s the first result if there’s more than one).

5. Once that blog has loaded in the main Feedly area, click the bright green +Feedly button:

Shameless self-promotion!
Shameless self-promotion!

6. I don’t think you have to, but it’s wise to add that blog to a collection, which you can do via the sidebar popup on the left (on Firefox anyway. If you’re using anything else you’re on your own). For very mysterious and cunning reasons only the initiated may know rather obvious reasons, I suggest you create a Blaugust collection. Personally I have a Blaugust 2015 collection but I’m just a stickler for detail.

7. Click Add at the bottom of that collections-thingy sidebar.

8. TA-DA!!! Only 68 to go! Or in MMO-speak, grind links until you complete the Blaugust Feedly-Adding Achievement. Say hello to RSI.

Apparently I have two possible Feedly links, both for the same blog (here), because I’m so damn cool and that’s how I roll. Actually one is the old URL (stylishcorpse.wordpress.com) and the other is the new (as in, last year /rolleyes) URL (stylishcorpse.com). Hrmph. At least I don’t have to do my own hosting, which I could because I have a host and I know how but I simply can’t be bothered because reasons.

Right then. Go forth and read, and don’t make me regret not saving this for tomorrow!

– – – – – – – – – – –

* Dammit! I knew I should have called this blog AaaaStylish Corpse. Grrr!

 

Blaugust Day 2 – Feedly, Seymour!

TL;DR — Use something that will help you organise the blog content you want to read. I rant for 1000+ words about why I have to use Feedly, but that’s what I use. It’s not bad. Use it. Byeeeeeee! [Also, this is how Ysharros posts — see section headings below.]

Not very grabby intro

Man, do I really have to post again?! — Oh wait, that’s the opening for day 8. Moving back a bit…

[Squiggly hand-wave, camera blur… POOF!] It’s July 2013, and my beloved Google Reader shut its doors. I started blogging (and really only became aware of blogging as a thing) in 2008, not counting some LiveJournal foofery I’d done for a number of years before then. I guess LiveJournal is a blog, but it never felt like one to me: it was more like my friends and I each had a semi-public journal — you know, sort of what Facebook is like now only FB has way more pictures of food that nobody gives a shit about. (Mea culpa there, but at least mine are mostly home-made — or maybe that’s worse.) Anyway I started this blog with a whole bunch of other people in Casualties of War (a guild, for Warhammer, with bloggers) who also had or were starting blogs and suddenly keeping track of each other via bookmarks just seemed like way too much work.

Long, rambling middle bit

Enter the wonderful RSS feed and the beautiful, magical* RSS feed-reader; in my case and for many others, that piece of amazeballs web magic was Google Reader. (If you don’t know what an RSS feed is or what Google Reader was or why I care so much, read section 1 of this. It’s perfect.) In one fell swoop I could add feeds and see all the new stuff in one handy-dandy list, every day — or every hour if that was my whim — and not miss a single post of a single favourite blogger.

After a year or two of using the Reader I had something like 130 blogs in my feed, which I’ll tell you right now was way too many. I’d ended up having to make categories like “Blogs I follow but don’t actually want to read” (why??) and “Blogs I follow that hardly ever post” and “Blogs I actually care about reading”, which oddly enough didn’t really help in terms of organisation.

Unexpected tangent!

My G+ is organised rather the same way. I am not someone who likes being acquainted with eleventy-million people, in fact I very much dislike it (I’m an introvert), and when I inevitably end up that way on social media I have to find a way to keep most of them at arm’s length because I have no tolerance for a low signal to noise ratio (I had to look it up to get the direction right, so you might as well have a link). And let’s face it, social media is 99.9999% noise… or maybe that’s just how I feel about it. So on G+ I now have this circle, that circle, and the “Feeds I give a shit about” circle (yes, that’s really what it’s called) which contains only 36 people and is the only one I actually read. And this is with a total all-circle-people size of only about 150, which is quite enough to overwhelm me.

Random filler pic to break up the text (Mysericorde on her bike in TSW)
Random filler pic to break up the text (Mysericorde on her bike in TSW)

In any case I don’t quite get G+, which sadly proves that I’m not the cutting-edge know-about-computer-things person I was back in 1990 when ‘Kermit’ was more than just a Muppet. Like, what exactly do these circles do? Do people know what my circles are (God I hope not)? Is it like sub-sets of friends in FB so if I post to the Super-Seekrit circle, only the people I put in there can see it? And what’s the difference between me having someone in a circle I post to and them having me in circles, since unlike FB is doesn’t have to be mutual? Yes, I could look it all up but I don’t want to. I actually grasp computer and web stuff pretty fast since I’ve been working with them all my life (Commodore Vic20 at age 13, yo), so if after several years G+ still doesn’t make sense to me, I’m kinda sure it’s because it doesn’t work in a way that’s intuitive to me. Which is probably why I still don’t really use it.

Basically I’m pretty sure G+ is the indecent and noxious love-child of Facebook and Google Reader, and that’s just wrong. When I want blog posts I’ll use my reader. When I want to keep up with my friends’ kids, dogs, dinners and dislikes, I’ll use FB. /end_tangent

Facebook rant

A few years ago I used Facebook primarily to keep up with my much-missed friends from England**, because I totally suck at keeping in touch by email and I suck even more at keeping in touch by phone, plus many of those friends were friends but maybe not good enough friends for regular international calls***, and Facebook does do a good job at giving you a window into the (Facebook-oriented) daily lives of the people you care about, and— breeeathe… And anyway, it was good for that.

It’s still good for that. But — and this deserves caps because I feel very strongly about it — FACEBOOK IS NOT A BLOODY FEED-READER YOU ZUCKERBERGIAN MORONS!!

In 2013, they sent Google Reader away to be sensible oblivion, because Facebook and Twitter and Instragram. And, I guess, because RSS feeds and RSS readers weren’t in fact the magical flange every. single. person. in the world was using, but rather something only a few people thought worth bothering with. I still can’t quite digest that fact, but I guess I’m not your standard Facebook or Twitter user.

To get at least marginally back to the point, when Google Reader stopped, I did too pretty much. A few companies were scrambling to develop alternatives to the reader but none of them really did such a simple and elegant job of simply presenting to you the new posts from the sites you wanted to see. Nooo, they had to dress it up and make it look like a magazine, or make the posts into post-card looking things that danced around on your screen, or make it look like a book you had to turn the pages on— breeeeathe… I missed my GReader and, as a result, I simply stopped reading blogs. For two years. AND IT’S ALL GOOGLE’S FAULT!!!

[Squiggly hand-wave, camera blur, end of flashback] Now it’s 2015 and Blaugust and I’ve missed way too many blogs and blog posts these last two years. I miss the blogging community — and to some extent I wonder if not feeling part of that community anymore didn’t influence my sudden lassitude with keeping up with my own blog.

Random filler pic 2 (Also TSW)
Random filler pic 2 (Also TSW)

Finally, the point

If you’re a blogger and/or Blaugust reader who doesn’t use some kind of content-aggregator and would like to have blogs and new blog posts more easily to hand, consider using a reader. I can’t advise on any but Feedly, which is what I’ve decided to go with (after several false starts with it in the last 2 years). I’m still in the process of remembering/finding the sites I want to read and getting them vaguely organised, which means I have totally got a new Blaugust category set up and totally haven’t actually added anything to it yet. Because being organised is so tiring

But at least I have a few dozen blogs on there and when I load up the page, POOF!, there’s a lovely, simple list of all the new posts since I last checked in.

HUZZAH! Now I can go back to wasting 30 minutes 2 hours every day reading everyone’s posts about gaming, because not reading them would impoverish my life. It really would. I know this, because I lost my reader and it really did. (But maybe I can cut back to 30 minutes.)

– – – – – – –

* See what I did there? I don’t add music videos but I cleverly embed lyrical references instead. I’m cool like that (and too old for YouTube embeds in my posts).

** For those new to this blog, I’m French and German hybrid who grew up in Switzerland (among other places) speaking English, French and German, before attending university in England where I then lived for a decade and a half. In 2001 I moved to the US. Which means I’ve actually been in the US longer than I was in England (by a hair), but I’ll never lose my accent, am not likely to ever feel American (though I do feel New Mexican, especially when I drive badly), use Us in words like colour and armour, use -ise instead of -ize (when auto-correct doesn’t catch it), and generally get homesick for Europe even though I love where I live now.

*** Believe it or not, there was a time before Skype when phonecalls around the world actually cost money…

Blaugust Day 1 – Brain Tentacles

Blaugust2015

Every aspiring writer has heard the advice – if you want to be a writer, then write. That’s it. Sit down every morning/day/middle of the night at your desk/bathtub/local coffee shop and pour words onto paper/pixels/digital audio/the camera. Doesn’t matter if you’re an author, playwright, poet, blogger, vlogger or whatever the hell else is fashionable right now (Instagrammer?) — the act of doing is the act of becoming, not the other way around. If you write, you’re a writer — it’s that simple. Yoda said so.

But if you want to stay a writer, or a blogger, or a ballerina… you have to practice your craft and practice it regularly, and I’m using the word in its fullest meaning. A concert pianist can’t plink around once every week or so and still call herself a concert pianist; similarly, I’ve felt for some time that a blogger who doesn’t blog more than once in a blue moon (which was last night, see how à propos I am?) can’t in all honesty call herself a blogger. When people ask me, I tend to say “I have a blog”, not “I am a blogger” — and Beghast’s Blaugustinian madness is an attempt to recapture the craft by practicing it regularly, whether I want to or not, whether I have other shit to do or not, for a full 31 days. When several score other bloggers, vloggers, writers and gamers are also taking part, it becomes a sort of sublime collective madness which might be just what I need.

And trust me, I really do have other shit to do. I am possessed of a particularly active and energetic Instant Gratification Monkey:

instant gratification monkeyAmong others and in no particular order: I have a lot of work to do. I have a lot of games to play (that I never get around to because Fancy-Pants the Monkey never likes the one I’m thinking about right now and always wants to play the one I haven’t downloaded — which is ironic for an Instant Gratification Monkey, if you think about it– moving on). I’m trying to get in shape a bit more, which means waking up an hour earlier to throw my unwilling ass onto the elliptical machine I bought a year ago and have hardly used. I have work to do, in the sense of earning a living to pay the bills, which does kinda matter. I have about 3 metric tons of gorgeous yarn, 8000 patterns, and only 2 hands with which to knit or crochet all the lovely stuff I want to make. (Yes, I knit. I also hand out knuckle sammiches to people who laugh at knitters.) My mother is coming over for a month+ visit which entails not only dealing with said parent but also preparing the house for said parent — see Panic Monster at the Wait but Why link above.

panic monsterWe adopted a couple of rescued Basenji girls a few months ago and dealing with them is still quite a bit of work, mostly because they firmly believe that People Are Scary and that the lovely Outside is for gamboling and frolicking and not for doing your business in. Which means said business must clearly be done indoors (fortunately mostly on the hard tile which probably resembles what they were used to in the puppy mill where they grew up for 2 years). I have food to cook. Marmelade to make (yum). Pictures to take. A nose to pick. Clouds to watch. Time to waste. Shit to do, I tell you!

Excuses. If I want to be a blogger again I need to blog. I also need to get back to myself, the old blogger self who wasn’t afraid of 3000-word posts and didn’t care if people got bored halfway through and left. I never wrote for them, I wrote for me — I had opinions (mostly but not always about gaming), I expressed them, I was super happy when people stopped by and discussed them… but I didn’t really care whether they did or not. For me, blogging has always been a way to get things out of my head so that I can fill my head with more stuff, because I have that kind of a brain that’s always reaching out tentacles and at some point, you know, even your brain has to take a dump. (Just because a metaphor isn’t pretty doesn’t mean it’s not a valid metaphor.)

That’s still me, and Blaugust will prove it. I may be full of shit, but I’m a BLOGGING full of shit blogger. See you tomorrow — and if you’re lucky, it might even be about gaming.

EDIT – A handy-dandy link to the Anook Blaugust page/nook/whatever the hell they’re called. I’m not sure I get Anook, and I’m worried I’m getting to old to get this newfangled stuff kids do to community-ise, but it’s everybody in one place and has a list of daily posts, links to blogs, forums, blah-de-blah and so on. Last but not least, Belghast is a) incredibly well-organized, b) an evil overlord who loves our suffering and c) clearly completely insane for organising this and keeping on top of it.

 

 

 

 

Real Blogging

Blaugust is coming. A few other bloggers have mentioned it to me, either to cruelly mock my utter inability to post anything meaningful and/or regular, or to invite me to take part in a fun and slightly challenging event, or both.

I don’t know why I have signed up to do this.

I’m lying. I totally do — and it’s mostly because this poor blog has been terribly neglected and I’m stuck in the nobody-gives-a-shit-what-I-have-to-say-least-of-all-me rut, which never bothered me before. I started blogging to entertain myself and continued blogging to entertain myself and was just happily grateful that other people also found it entertaining enough to keep coming by. But at some point and when I wasn’t watching, I starting feeling as though I had to say things of import, big things, useful things, insightful things like the real bloggers out there do (by which I mean TBFKAL*, TAGN** and other acronym or acronym-less interesting people).

And I really don’t need to worry about that kind of thing. I just need to write posts that entertain me, like I used to do, and not care so much about having anything useful to say. I spent so much time advising other bloggers not to care about what their readership thinks and wants that I didn’t notice when I apparently started caring what my readership thinks and wants. I love you guys, especially those of you who have stuck with me through the posting drought and content starvation, but I actually don’t (and shouldn’t) care a jot what you want. This blog is for me and only incidentally for you — sure, it’s public, but that’s more so I can hold myself accountable to myself and not so much because I’m an attention ho (though I suspect there’s a little of that going on too; we all have an ego after all).

So maybe Blaugust will help with that. There was a time when, like Belghast, I could sit down at the keyboard and just write away — and I want that back. And since this blog was born in August, aeons ago in Internet time, August is as good as any to try and give it a Frankensteinian jolt.

Young FrankensteinIf you’re an interesting and real blogger and want to take part, the guidelines are in the above-linked Blaugust post.

Last but not least, this post was initially titled “Bits and bobs”, but while writing the ‘bits’ part I totally forgot what the ‘bobs’ part was going to be about, so I guess Blaugust is all you get.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

— Oh wait, I just remembered what the ‘bobs’ part was going to be, but Blaugust is coming and I’m going to save it for one of those posts. Provided I don’t forget again, of course.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

* The Blogger Formerly Known As Lum

** Who comes up FIRST in the acronym list of the free dictionary when you Google “TAGN”, ahead of such oft-used acronyms as Triaminoguanidine Nitrate — how cool is that? Unless you meant to look for TANG-the-drink and just didn’t type it correctly, in which case it’s probably a bit confusing.

Famous TAGN

 

The writing's on the (pink) wall…

… but not anymore.

Larísa has written her last post at PPI. Sad – but understandable, too. Hopefully she’ll feel the tickle of the muse and come back in another incarnation at some point.

I’ve never really understood how people can get so abusive when someone leaves a TV show or stops writing a blog, as though there were some personal slight or deprivation intended. We really don’t exist just to serve as entertainment for other people; said other people need to learn to entertain themselves.

As someone who is too chickenshit to decide whether I’m still blogging here or not, I respect a rather more definite decision. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

{What? Would a Secret World beta spot make me change my mind? Why yes, yes it would. Hear me, Oh #TSW team!}