Kalendae Januariae: teh interwebs

Dear Internet,

When Kristin talked about getting off the internets, as it is “Another linchpin to bad times,” she wasn’t too off course on how I feel about it myself. I love what the Internets can give me, but on the same token, when I’m feeling an attack of The Sads, or a variation of it, I can spend hours scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and randomly reading Wikipedia articles with no real return on my investment of time. Back in 2009, I went off Twitter for a  month and found that my attitudes towards it didn’t change nor did my habits, things just shifted else where.

I know several people who were able to get rid of various big social media sites, either by deleting Facebook, Twitter, or something else, and felt like they were able to control getting their life back. While I’d love to ultimately do that, I’d like to be realistic on my own uses and be more prudent on how I not only utilize social media, but how I am best using my time online. And it’s not just about social media, blogs and mailing lists are almost just as bad clutter in my digital life as paper can be in my physical one.

  • Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists My obsessive need to clean out my myriad of inboxes was not for naught, because it helped me start unsubscribing to lists that I no longer was interested in anymore, found useful, or was never subscribed to in the first place. My mailing list label in Gmail has over 2000 emails sitting in it, but now currently has 5. Since I’m hell bent on buying nothing in 2013, I also removed myself from any store mailing lists or shopping collection sites websites (like Fab.com) as there was no point in torturing myself. I’m sure I’ll be apt to check websites (like Boden and Fluevog) and pin to Pinterest  for 2014 shopping inspiration.
  • Delete unused social media accounts Back in the covered wagon days of social media (2008 or so), one of the big “must dos” is once you figure out your “brand,” you then register your said brand on every damn service available regardless of what it is to prevent name hijacking. Which is all fine and dandy until the emails start rolling in from all these services every time one of their employees fart, accounts have been hacked or nearly hacked, brands reimaged/bought out/discontinued, and so on.  Fuck it. This is not worth the hassle anymore. Sometime in 2010, I started keeping track of social media accounts I’ve deleted (or have died a inglorious death of some sort), and as of this writing, I’ve dumped 34 35 accounts (and it’s growing). I also keep track of the date as well as how (a lot of sites require you email in to request account removal) the account was removed. Also in 2010, I started saving the confirmation emails from sites as I create an account in case I need to find out what username/email combination I gave when an account needs to be deleted.  Sites I’m active on are typically always linked from my front page, and I’ve also started a flavors.me account to create, as they put it, a unified web presence. I used to  love the idea of lifestreaming, but services either force you to use it on their site (ala FriendFeed) or plugins available are either shoddy, missing popular services, or too much of a hassel to hack and configure. 2013 is going to be all about streamlining and consolidating.
  • Stop following people/services/accounts/blogs that no longer hold my interest/are not engaging In 2012, companies were less likely to create websites to showcase a product/service as they were more likely to create a Facebook page or a unique hashtag for Twitter. Community engagement with their community is huge in making social media work while promoting their spiel, I get that. The problem I keep finding is when people/companies make it a “thing” to either spam your timeline with constant “One of our employees just made a poopie! Like if you agree!” posts or individuals who read supposed marketing best practices and repeatedly plug their own blog / services with no engagement with others or just keep posting links to articles and or things they are interested in (and still not engaging with their followers / friends) or the blog takes a drastic turn somewhere that no longer holds my interest. I’m sure you’re very nice, and if we met over hot cocoa, I’m sure we’d hit off, but I’m under no obligation to follow you or your services anywhere online if you drive me insane. (I’ve also started a mass culling from my Twitter and RSS feeds and will soon be doing the same on Facebook.)
  • Get the archives back up This is a project I’ve been talking about forever (like years) and with the domain hopping, the archives have taken a beating so much so, I keep linking to Wayback Machine to access the content rather than just get it up here. It’s a massive undertaking as it’s not only entries from 1996 forward but it’s also the metadata and fixing of dead links that need to be addressed. But it needs to be done.
  • Stop buying domains When I bought my first domain in 1998, it cost about $70. Now, through my webhost provider, I pay $10 a domain. I’ve started to let go domains that are no longer used ove the years, but overall, the current stable is enough.
  • Stop obsessively checking social media accounts This is where the real problem comes in, because when I get bored instead of doing something vaguely useful, I start obsessively checking Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Pinterest. And this probably the crutch of Kristin’s earlier comment because it’s not, “Oh, let me see what is going on” and then leave it alone; it’s, “Oh. Let me see what’s going on for the next five hours even though no one has posted/responded/commented on anything I’ve done but I’m still going to keep checking.” To me, social media is supposed to be about what’s on my time, not chained to the device/service and it’s tipped over that by a long shot.

 

x0xo,
Lisa

Kalendae Januariae: Year of the written word

Dear Internet,

Happy New Year.

I knew my brain had fizzled out on me when I stopped doing two things: Reading books and listening to music. I’ve really, really missed being able to finish a book or listen to an album. Since the music part is covered by Automusicbiographically, I had to find a way to get into all the books, comics, magazines, and other bits that have been floating around here forever. So for 2013, I op to:

Read all the books/comics I own before buying more.

According to GoodReads, I read (or attempted to read), about 17 books in 2012. I used to read about 10 books a month. Touching on the “Buy Nothing in 2013” moto, no more new OR used books/comics are to be purchased in 2013.  I get this means I’ll probably be missing out on a lot of awesome new releases but I just can’t keep up at the pace I’m at now (and this is why Amazon wishlists are for). I don’t have a set goal to read by end of 2013, but if I can read at least one books a week, I can cut through my TBR stack pretty quickly. I’m also adding in that I need to do 50 word reviews on GoodReads for books and do reviews here under Bagged  & Boarded for comics (which will appear Wednesday when available).

  • This also includes Kindle/digital purchases (Yes, including the free ones.)
  • I’m not allowed to source books out from the library until my current stacks have had dents made into them. Which, as a librarian who works in a library is EXTREMELY difficult.

Second on my list under this theme is:

Writing.

Back in August, Anne and I worked worked on our own personal SWOTs – her for going into business herself, me for writing.  Since I did my SWOT by hand, I pinned (or rather taped) the pages on the wall above my desk. The ultimate goals were simple.

  • Write 10 hours a week  (Does not include blogging)
  • Write 250 word blog entries 5x a week (Get proficient enough to knock it out in 1/2 hour).
  • Keep notes on everything.

I’ll also add in the following:

  • Write a short story a month.
  • Write a poem a month.
  • Get something published by my birthday in June

You can participate by signing up to be a beta reader to help a girl out.

I was talking to Kristin about how to best track our goals, because as this list continues, it seems overwhelming about how much I want to do in 2013. So for the first few months maybe the goals will be more to get one short story finished rather than write a short story every month or write thoughtfully online twice and build up to five entries a week.  I have put together a schedule (daily and monthly) for writing online that will help, but much of that is going to stuff that’s built up over the course of a week (Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes) or can be stacked weeks in advanced. The soul will still be bared, but I want less thought provoking content up as well.

x0x0,
Lisa

Wulf-monath

Dear Internet,

Last night when I crawled into bed, way past the witching hour, TheHusband was up watching The Nazi Gospels. Apparently if I need something akin to a sleep aid, docudramas about Third Reich mysticism is it.

The Concerta is doing my head in, I think. My new sleeping pattern has become going to bed between 2AM – 4AM and waking up between 10AM – Noon. Since I’m taking the Concerta when I first wake in the morning, logic would dictate that the late start is causing the shifting of time cycles. When I woke up today, I decided to skip this days dose of Concerta and only take my lithium. It is nearing 9PM, on New Years Eve no less, and I’m yawning like a maniac.  Thankfully, TheHusband and I have no plans for this evening, as it would require the putting on of pants. Bed and a book are forthcoming.

One of my projects during our staycation (I do not head back to work until the ninth of January, TheHusband goes back on the second), was to get my office sorted out. It had become a cesspool of everything in the last year and again, the things I could not find or didn’t know I own was becoming really apparent. I’ve seen some postulating across the Internets in the last few days it was bad luck to have a dirty house on the first of the New Year. I’d rather throw salt over my shoulder then get crushed by a falling safe, and since the rest of the house was more or less clean enough, the office got a good unfucking.

  • I pulled out all the books I had purchased either for research or pleasure and had yet to read  and hauled those downstairs and added them to the giant to be read pile in the living room bookcases. So now all of my books, with the exception fo the Kindle ones, are  in one spot.
  • Pulled out all my comics and graphic novels, bags/boards, and took those downstairs as well.
  • Storage containers of various things from ye olden days were reorganized and put into the office closet.
  • Random hardware/software was also sorted and put away.
  • I put my writing desk on the other side of the room and completely cleaned off/put away everything that was once on it. You couldn’t see it under all the books, papers, random bits stockpiled everywhere!  The only thing it will house is my my Macbook Air, iPad, and my paper/calligraphy/writing supplies.
  • The three bookcases were resorted and moved to various places around the room as space allowed.

You can see the final outcome here, here, and here. (Yeah, not so great without the befores, I get you on that, but you have to understand even the dog couldn’t make way to her pillowed bed before the great unfucking.)

I also sorted through mail, got rid of a lot of junk, and finally have space again, which is the whole point of this shenanigans. It also got a good vacuuming, which the dog was nonplussed about when I ran the vacuum up to her pillow bed, with her on it, and she didn’t bat an eye. (But her hair filled up the vacuum canister.)

I’ll need to get TheHusband to put up my diplomas that I had framed earlier in the year this weekend, and I need to replace the magnetic board to go over my writing desk, but I’m pretty pleased how this turned out. With it being a L shaped room, where the foot of the L is not very deep, I’ve been mixing variations since we moved in. A very down the road project is to turn one of the unused basement rooms into my workspace so I can move all the supplies for Excessively Diverting downstairs and have the ability to make giant messes. This would free up even more space in here (right now a lot of the supplies for ED is tidily hiding in the closet.). I’d love to get a reading chair in here but with the current configuration, that would be impossible, but may another configuration later down the road may work.

During the unfucking, when sorting out a few of the older boxes of things, I unleashed some great smell we can’t find the source to. It’s living in the closet, that we know for sure, and it smells like rotten tuna fish. There is no food, mold, or water leaks, so no bloody idea what the hell it is. What I do know is that I’m not opening up that closet door for a very long time.

Compared to NYEs of the past, this one is pretty quiet. 2012 was a big giant year of reflection and making the slow path back towards wholeness. It was painful in a lot of ways, and also a gift in many others. Here’s to making 2013 more powerful than ever.

x0x0,
Lisa