Slightly Irregular Conformity

Archive for the category “Life”


So August has come and gone, and with it, the BlogsOfAugust challenge that Mike Elgan co-ordinates.  The idea is that you concentrate all your blog posts on your G+ stream exclusively, to prove it can be done, and done well.

I decided to give it a go on a whim, because that’s how I do most things.  It was a bit intimidating, since the calibre of the repeat performers is several steps above where I place myself on the scale of things, but I’ve struck it lucky with my circles on Google and everyone is really supportive and friendly.

I managed about four posts, I think, but it was probably four more than what I would have recorded here, in all honesty.  It wasn’t that I scared to share my thoughts, but the dead opposite.  As soon as I was reading what everyone else was putting out into the world, I got hit by a bunch of different ideas for writing – actual creative writing.  Mostly of the loose fanfic kind that I obsess over, but it’s writing anyway.  So instead of waxing poetic all over a willing audience, I started banging out page after page of utter Mary Sue drivel that I keep re-reading, tweaking, and generally overcongratulating myself on.

And then… I found a new-to-me fanfic space that spurred me to ditch the Mary Sue.  For the first time in forever, I’m actually writing something that I might be inclined to share with an audience.  I’m not sure my progress is actually related to the blog challenge, which I’m fairly sure I scraped through with a C+ at best, but the confidence boost has been great.

I think I’m not built to be a blogger, not in the modern sense of the word.  I liked the original, simple web-blog idea, where you just slapped your thoughts up to see if anyone else agreed.  I don’t have a message for the masses, and the idea of building an audience is quite terrifying, so I don’t think this particular blog is ever going to amount to much more than an extension of my private journal.

So, I think I’m going to semi-retire from blogging.  I’ll use this space for answering prompts, but anything vaguely important will be on G+ – Mike’s challenge has convinced me that I don’t need to panic about exposing my limitations to people I admire.


Blogs of August

Most of my social interaction takes place on other people’s posts over on Google+ (you know, that so-called ghost town that seems to be populated with the most eloquent, interesting ghosts in the universe).

There is a challenge there called Blogs of August, where you temporarily shift all the things you’d normally post to your blog, to your Plus stream instead.  And since I’m too scatterbrained to figure out where to dump my random bits of stuff, I figure I’ll give it a go.

For the next month, assuming I have a months’ worth of things to share, it’ll be found on my stream, which can be found here.  I admit, I’m a little nervous at the idea of actual people seeing my actual posts.  I think I might actually be the only so-called blogger in the world who is actually scared of having an audience…

Stolen from… me

I just posted the following entry to Blogspot.  But I’m a good definition of ‘indecisive’ so I’m hedging my bets by posting it here too.  Because I can, and I tend to do a lot of things just because I can…

It’s winter here, and I can’t decide if I’m suffering a case of winter blues, or if there’s something serious behind the endless second-guessing that I’ve been doing lately.  I have a horrible suspicion I might be brewing a midlife crisis a few years early, but I’m still hoping to wake up one morning and discover that I’ve just been winding myself up.

I’ve been self-medicating with music.  Rebuilt my old MP3 player – surprised to find I know how to use a screwdriver and watch a tutorial on youtube, and even more surprised that it actually works with Banshee – and have been dragging it around everywhere.  The side effect of that is the Other Half never knows if I’m listening to him, or whether I’m having a fit or just dancing to something he can’t hear.

At any rate, I’ve been buying up old albums from bands that I always intended to love: Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden etc.  I seem to running about two decades behind the rest of the planet, which is fine by me.  Means I have another decade of being Bieber-free, at least.

I’m not entirely sure why I feel the need to put the same meaningless words in two different places, especially considering the book I’ve just started (Bad Faith, by Ben Elton) is a scary reminder that I should probably keep all my thoughts to myself.

Maybe I just need to know that I’m not just talking to myself.

Confession Time

I have this little problem.  I go through phases of being interested in something (cross stitch, art journaling, photography…).  I get really excited about them, announce that I’m starting some grand project, then lose interest and quietly hope no one asks how I’m going with it.

So, it’s with a large amount of trepidation that I have a confession to make.  This time, I’m hoping that having an audience – even an imaginary one – will prod me into living up to it.

I’m fat.  Well, I’m round.  My mother says that I can get away with it because I’m tall, but the fact is, according to the BMI system, I’m past fat and into obese.  Which hasn’t actually bothered me all that much in the ten years that I’ve been this size.

Except, for some reason, I’ve decided that I would rather be smaller.  It would be nice to be able to go shopping for clothes in an actual store, instead of mail order.  It would be even nicer if my pants didn’t wear out where my legs rub together.

I don’t have big issues or hangups about my size – but I’m starting to take steps to change it.  I joined a gym and got a program from a trainer there.  I’m tracking what I eat (boy has THAT been a revelation!), and I’m dragging the bathroom scales out to peer at them suspiciously each day.

Why am I confessing this now?  Because I like the idea of people knowing what I’m doing.  I figure it’ll give me that extra prod to do better.

So there’s a new ticker, showing off how much or how little I’m managing to achieve.  I don’t have a goal weight in mind, really; at this stage I’m counting little victories, not big ones.  Starting with the fact that, even though I’m going to overshoot my daily calorie intake for today, I’m still munching on carrots instead of breaking out the chips and beer.  Yay for me!

Changing Seasons Early

Usually around the time of the seasons changing I slide from one hobby/obsession to another.  Before Christmas, as the days were getting longer and warmer, I discovered art journaling and decided it was going to define me, at least for a while.  Summer has been really patchy here, with only a couple of really nice, hot days, and the last two weeks have been grey and mundane, like autumn.

I don’t know if it’s because of the weather, or because of something else, but my whole desire to create art has shifted slightly, and instead of paintbrushes, I’ve been reaching for my needles: I’ve been doing cross stitch instead.  It’s calling to me, the way it did for six months over autumn and winter last year.  That’s a good thing – I’ve got a wedding sampler to get done, after all – but not only am I not getting artsy with my journal, I’m not journaling at all.  This entry is the closest I’ve come to recording anything since the middle of last month.
Typical that it happens just as I sign up for new art journal prompts.  I’ve started the first one, two days before the next prompt came out.  Hopefully I’ll get some progress made over the long weekend…

Resolutions for 2012

I was determined not to have resolutions this year.  Last year I attempted the 365 photo challenge, and only made it to mid-April before admitting defeat, so this year I didn’t want to set myself up for failure.

I’ve come up with three.
  1. Read 20 books.  I thought I’d been reading steadily all year, but GoodReads tells me that I only read 14.  Okay, some of them were 1000+ pages, and took me a month to get through, but 14?  That’s pretty sad, considering a few years back I made it to 50.
  2. Write 100,000 words in my journal this year.  I know it’s supposed to be quality, not quantity, but I find that dumping everything out of my head and into my journal is cathartic – I can think much clearer once the words are out and in front of me.  Not doing it is almost like what the physicians of old thought – bad humours building up.
  3. Answer a year of journal prompts.  I’ve got a list of 365 prompts and a spare diary.  I’m not restricting myself to one a day, just that the book be filled by the end of the year.

Nothing about losing weight, taking up new hobbies, or changing my personality.  I don’t think my three are life-changing, but I think they’re more than achievable, and I won’t be putting extra stress on myself trying to get them done.  All I have to do now is come up with a reward for when I accomplish everything!

Decisions Decisions…

A typical trait of mine is that as soon as I announce to someone that I’m working on a project, I lose interest and stop.  Usually, I’m working on the theory that telling people will mean that I’m going to keep going, if only to not look stupid.  And yet, here I am, admitting that I’ve done it again.

Since announcing to the world that I’m going to take a photo every day for the next year, I’ve taken about three photos.  In three weeks.  Bah!  I’m not sure if I’m going to try and catch up by snapping every moving thing in the garden, or if I’ll stretch the numbering out… hmm… maybe I should make it a project to see how many days it takes me to get to 365 shots?  Then I can fall back on the old claim “I meant to do that!”

Shall add that to the list of considerations for the weekend.

Topping that particular list is a struggle of epic geekiness that will interest no one but myself.  Luckily, it’s my blog, so I get to talk about it anyway.  The big dilemma is that I’ll be installing a virtual Windows system on my linux box, so that I can run some software that absolutely will not run on linux, that I absolutely must have (why yes, it’s Adobe software – how did you guess?).  I’ve got a licence for the Win stuff, but I need to decide once and for all (or at least, for the next 12 months) what distro I want to use for linux, because I don’t think Microsoft would appreciate me asking for a new licence every time I wipe my laptop in favour of a new linux flavour.  Although it would be really amusing to waste their resources…

Fedora KDE or Kubuntu?  This is the kind of thing that has been keeping me awake at night.  Seriously…

The other main choice that’s been keeping me awake is just as geeky, albeit a much less technological one.  I have a filofax.  It’s my first one, although I’ve always had planners, and it was a Christmas present.  It’s a personal Mode, and I can’t live without it (expect a post dissecting it’s various bits at some point!)…. Except the page size is driving me a little batty.  And I’ve found a worthy replacement, maybe.  It’s not a Filofax, but it’s made by a NZ company, which is worth a lot of points in my book, and they sponsor my favourite local racing driver, which is worth a few bonus points… but the main draw: it’s green.  I love green (seriously, take a look at my desk at work), so how can I resist?

365 Photo Challenge

I decided this year to have a(nother) go at the 365 challenge.  Not the official portrait one where you take a photo of yourself every day – I’m reluctant to get in front of the lens even once, let alone once a day.  I’m doing a sort of casual one instead, where I take a random photo of something different each day.

They are over at Flickr, if anyone is interested.  By now, I’m grateful that it’s the change of season, because I’m starting to struggle to think of interesting things to shoot.  Our cat and Mum’s two cats are getting a bit wary whenever I get my phone or cameras out, and they’re not being very helpful at all, so I need to start taking more notice of prompt/challenge sites for a fresh perspective.

Cross Stitch Holiday

With various things happening lately, the only time I have managed to settle into some stitching has been on weekends, so progress has been slow.  Glacier-slow, in fact.  Now I’m on an enforced two-week break, courtesy of an outbreak of dermatitis on my hand.  I have to keep slathering on a paraffin-based cream, which means I’m leaving greasy handprints everywhere, so I’m not going near any kind of stitching until the dermatitis gives in and disappears.

Of course, now that I can’t do any, I’m desperate to make a little bit of progress!  Reduced to trawling everyone’s blogs and getting jealous over their progress, I’m going to sulk about it, and throw myself into doing a few scrap recipes instead, stay tuned!

Back for 2011

I’m still here – I’ve just been blogging on a more private site.   But now that I’m feeling a bit better about life in general, I need to get back into being more creative.  The main news is that I’ve taken up cross stitch again, after a lapse of almost ten years.  I’m currently working on three projects: this HAED, which is an epic stitch that is going to take a few years, a rose that I got free from this site, and the first of a trilogy of goddesses from the book Magical Cross Stitch.

Because I’ve been doing that, I haven’t been doing much else, but the last few months have shown me that I need to reshuffle my life to suit me more, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a bit more scrapping in as well.

At any rate, I hope to be able to show off some new creations soon!

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