October 18th, 2012


SED #... 7? Mischief Managed

I got behind on the posting something every day that made me happy meme. I've been depressed and worn out, and the election has me thinking Deep Thoughts (TM). I'd like to get back into the swing of things, though. And since there's nothing wrong with stretching out the happiness beyond thirty-five calendar days, I thought I'd pick up where I left off.

I picked up laundry today and did grocery shopping. That means I have clean underwear, lime-flavored sugar wafers (I live in a predominantly hispanic neighborhood; we even have them in mango) and pretzel-bread hot pockets. There's something delightfully toasty about toasting pretzel-bread knowing there's turkey, cheddar and bacon melting together inside. I do know it's bad for you, even the lean variety, but I also think for $4 I'm allowed this particular guilty pleasure. :-) I'll probably top it off with a sliced apple and some ice-cold bottled water I picked up from the convenience store earlier but never drank, and I'll have myself a proper late-night feast. :-)

Even more significantly: mischief managed on the French exam. As far as my department is concerned I've now proved I can work in two languages other than English, in my case French and Latin. This meant translating a philosophical text from that language into English with only a dictionary, and then having a professor in the department sign off that it was sufficient. I'm more than a bit astounded they passed me, to be honest, because I really did not feel ready; it took me the full two hours to do maybe two pages, and the English sentences were often quite awkward. But they did. I was also exempted from my logic course since I did quite a bit of coursework there as an M.A., and I've been done with my formal coursework her for some time now.

That means it's just the dissertation proposal and the actual dissertation, and then I'm done! I say that like it's no big thing, which it definitely is. But it also means ther's no more distractions - just me and Anselm. (Okay, one; I'm teaching myself Arabic so I can read Maimonides in the original, not for the dissertation but for later research. But that's not a formal requirement.

Also, as an extra bit of awesomeness, check out this video of Oskar the Blind Cat using his wonderful sense of hearing to romp it up.

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thinking about moving the blog

I've been thinking a lot about switching blog sites. My biggest concern is that I'd lose touch with some of you guys, who are so good at reading what I have to say. But the more I think about it, the more I think I want to do it. I'm thinking about switching over to WordPress.

LiveJournal is great for blogging about fannish things, but my interests have really shifted. I still like fandom and fanfic and love the connectious I've made with it over the years. And I'm not saying I never want to write fanfic ever again. I'm hoping that the new Hobbit movie will kindle my muses, actually, and I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing the Catching Fire movie and the final Twilight flick. But when it comes to blogging I'm really more into what I call Deep Thoughts (TM) - politics, philosophy, theology, and even some meta on various fannish things. LiveJournal was always more fannish than anything else. And I don't know whether it's my fandoms du jour slowing down or what, but it just doesn't seem as active as it once was. WordPress, on the other hand, has a lot of traffic from people interesting in these things. Or they seem to, at any rate, from a relative outsider's perspective. A big part of the drive to move is coming from this suspicion that I'd just fit in better there than here.

Another thing is the FaceBook factor. I have people who I know in RL reading what I have to say, but LJ makes it very hard for them to weigh in. WordPress lets you use accounts from social media sites like FB and Twitter to make comments. I also think a lot of my grad school friends actually have WordPress accounts since we use it for our class blogs.

WP also has some nifty features. For one thing it lets you have tabs - basically a static webpage where I could put links to my fanfic stories or favorite blog posts or whatever. It also has some features I grew addicted to with my class blog, like much more vigorous spam protection, better mobile device compatibility (for iPhone/iPad/etc.), better tag management, etc. And aesthetically it's so much better than LJ, there's really no comparing the two.

And I won't lie. I'm feeling a fair amount of wanderlust these days. It's not the quality of the comments, by any stretch. I just... want a change, I guess. To meet new people and play around with a blog I have more control over and can do more with. That's one of the things that gives me pause, because of this is just me wanting to run away from certain parts of my life or just longing for something new and exciting, starting a new blog won't fix that. And there's a very real chance I'll just make things more challenging for people who want to keep up with me.

One thing I could do to help people out is set up a syndicated account on LiveJournal. Basically any site that has an RSS feed (which WP definitely does) can be set up to make a post to LiveJournal each time that site is updated. For example, the Many Paths to Thread has a feed like this that alerts you whenever a new story is posted or updated. You can't read the story there, but it does give you a link where you can go to read it (and a summary, too). You wouldn't be able to leave a comment there, but if you clicked on the link you'd be taken to the post at WordPress, and there you *can* leave comments. It accepts comments without a site membership; you can either use your FB or Twitter account or just type in a name/email address combo, and it also has a link that lets you receive an email whenever anyone else comments on that post, myself included.

But still there's the inconvenience factor, and I hate to make life harder on my friends. I'm leaning toward doing this but am not 100% set on it. What do you guys think? If this sounds like a bad idea, convince me.