Category Archives: fun sites

Apocalypse Hub

Taken near ZonnebekeI have a new place to write! I’m still writing here about whatever random stuff enters my head and whatever stories I can get together enough to post.

I’m also still writing (quite frequently) at PopArmy, because I need someplace to write about the TV shows I love and the movies that drive me nuts.

But now I’m writing about apocalyptic/post-apocalypse anime and manga at ApocalypseHub.com. I will honestly take any excuse to write about another of my favorite forms of entertainment, and when I found this one, I knew I had to take it. I thought of literally 7 series instantly, and new with just a tiny amount of research, I would find more.

It’s a weekly(ish) column on a great website. It’s not all doom and gloom, it’s mostly the funny things we’re creating for the end of the world. I think with all the world insanity, some people have overreacted a little about the end happening all around us. This site highlights the best elements of that shared crazy.

So check it out, have some fun, and be prepared for the end of the world. Or at least see how other people are getting ready. I’ll have the icon off to the side always linked there, so you’ll never have to look far. Enjoy the apocalypse!

Pop Army

This is just a quick update about where I write. I’ve started writing for Pop Army, a pop culture website about movies, tv, and the celebrities that tie in there.

Jennifer Hudock and James Melzer, friends I’ve made through Twitter and other online forums, started it as an outlet for their passion about entertainment. They were kind enough to let me start writing for them, and so I have. Mostly about the about the tv shows I love, which is something that never fit very well here. So it’s a win all the way around.

So if you’re looking for a place to keep up with all types of entertainment news and pop culture, check out the articles there. The icon will be in my sidebar, so you’ll always know how to find it.

Bookmark Pop Army

Why I contiue to Twitter

Before Oprah started twittering, I signed up for an account. When I originally posted here about that, I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought about the service or why I had signed up. I just thought I’d try anything that would encourage me to write, because I frequently don’t do that enough. I thought the character limit would be a good creative challenge (it has), and I thought it would be a fun way to find out what other people think and know (it has been this as well).

So now that it has become more main stream, and I actually have to answer the question “Why do you twitter?” for real, I thought I’d write about why I continue to use this.

I love hearing what other people have to say.

This pretty much sums up why I keep logging into twitter and checking what the people I follow have written. I love to hear what people say and how they communicate their thoughts.

I do this in conversations that I actually have to use my ears to hear too. I am notorious amongst my friends for writing down perfect snipits of conversations that surround me. I’ve done this in restaurants, at coffee shops, in line at Disneyland, listening to my old neighbors through the thin walls. Twitter is the same thing for me.

Twitter provides a record of the conversations I always assumed were happening online and in the rest of the world where I wasn’t. Yes, some of what shows up is inane, but even the inanity represents real people and how they talk. What better service for a storyteller to keep track of how real people talk than a written record?

And as long as I can still access the funny/silly/pointless/upset/inane representations of how people communicate with one another, I will keep logging into Twitter.

I created another blog

Hi everybody! Don’t worry, I’m not giving up this blog, I’ve just created another one. I’m teaching an English 101 class, and for their fifith essay I have them creating blogs. Since I post more personal writings on this blog, and the intent of the assignment is for them to create a blog in conversation with what they see going on in blogs, I decided it would just be easier to create another one. And I’m posting about this addition here because it will be a blog that I’ll upkeep to facilitate an aspect of the internet that I love – the videos! The focus of the new blog is to share the random videos that I find online. I figure that will let me stick to more English-y things here, and I will now have a place to post the random videos I love. So feel free to check it out at http://videorandomness.blogspot.com/  It’s not a particularly inventive blog, but again I just wanted a forum that I could use as an example for the students, but that I could still be entertained by.

BoingBoing game/ Craphound fanfic (of sorts)

So BoingBoing.net is a fantastic blog that I follow and they decided to have a game. They asked the people in the community to write their own creative pieces dealing with anything that comes up frequently on the blog. So I wrote a short story that continues Cory Doctorow’s short story “Craphound” that even attempts to take on his style. I’ve been working with it over the last few weeks for the second chapter of my MA project/thesis, and I liked it so much I decided to post it on my own blog as well. I was also impressed that I wrote this story and posted it in the comments within two hours, but that’s probably greatly due to the fact that it was the middle of the night. I recommend reading some of the other pieces that came up in the comments as there are some excellent pieces.
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I was looking around the Secret Boutique on my daily pilgrimage when I saw the Raconteur. I knew it would take convincing Scott that it fit with the Western theme, but that it would be worth the effort. It was a gorgeous piece of machinery that someone would pay good money for.

On my way into the store, I made sure to touch the miniature steamer trunk that The Beaver stood on. Ever since he went up in the window, my superstitions had expanded to include touching him on my way back from expeditions. Scott thinks that it is an action to remember Craphound, and I tell him I think he is getting soft since his retirement.

I think it is too soon to tell that story.

With a hint of dread for the coming conversation, I headed to the back room of the Queen Street boutique with my prize. Scott looked up from the books and I could see an expression of confusion cross his face and mix with concern. Scott trusted my hounding skills, but I could see the Raconteur testing his faith.

“What’s that?” he asked with an edge of forced nonchalance.

“It’s called a Raconteur, makes music by twisting a key.”

“Oh. Is it big with cowboy collectors? I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”

“Well, it’s a niche that’s gaining. It’s called ‘Steampunk.’ People will pay a fortune for it.” I wasn’t entirely sure on this last point, but I made sure not to let on. You can’t give away your bluff in the middle of a hand.

But it ended up that I didn’t need to worry about my speech. Scott accepted me at my word and we set the Raconteur out in a place where it would get enough traffic and gather interest. As it turned out, I picked it up right as the Steampunk wave was rising. I started finding more of this stuff in the rummage sales and thrift stores, and slowly Scott’s boutique began to expand. We moved out from strictly cowboy stuff to include more of my Victorian-esque finds.

The Beaver still stands in the window in his cowboy gear, but he’s accompanied by several Alice in Wonderland tin wind-up toys now. I’m putting up a picture behind him today that must have been painted close to an opium den. I get the slightest twinge that I’m betraying something with each addition, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned being a craphound, it’s that, no matter how hard we try to preserve the life we know, it has a nasty way of changing. It works out best if we accept this and change with it. Only through change can we truly live.

Change.gov

Obama has a new website up that lays out his plans in detail on numerous issues, but even cooler is the standing request for input from us – the people. I first heard about it on BoingBoing, but then I went and looked around and threw in my two cents (for what it was worth). I hope that Obama takes this seriously and isn’t simply attempting to look cool. My recommendation is to head over and check it out. If nothing else it provides a more detailed look into the next President of the United States. And if you are really concerned about something, let the new administration know. I just hope ( along with others) that this stays up after he takes office and we really get a new way of interacting with the highest official office in our country.

Getting a degree in English

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So xkcd is fantastic, and I love this new comic. Yes, I’m an English grad student, and I do a lot with literary criticism, but I think the final block has a point. The language that we use is not entirely clear (which is part of what makes the discussion fun) even to us. And, more importantly, it’s something that anyone can do. I’d even say that it’s something that everyone does. Maybe not everyone will talk about what a text signifies and how, but we talk about what a text means (which covers many of the same questions). What do movies like Hancock or The Dark Knight mean? Which is really just another way to ask “Why do we watch these movies?” So literary criticism and English studies is really one of the most open fields, and I think, as a member of the field, we should embrace this and open it up even more. We’re really only special because we’re nerdy enough to want to do nothing else but discuss all this, yet savvy enough to convice everyone else we should get paid to use crazy language to have the book equvilant of “Picard is better then Kirk” debate (it really just depends on how you look at it). So what do you think this comic is saying?

My favorite Ok Go video

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bav63MWNUKg] Yeah, so I’m supposed to be doing so many other things, but I’m listening to a fantastic book online and so I’m posting these videos because I’ve been meaning to for a bit. This Ok Go video is probably my favorite. I love their one shot videos, and this one I think is great because it’s just them in the backyard.

Cool things that I’ve learned about online that help others

So one of the things that I love is easy ways to help others. Here are a few links that I’ve come across through the lovely internet. The first is Kiva.org which is a website that creates opportunities for people to provide micro loans for others around the world. I think this is fantastic since numerous people only need what many consider a small amount of money to fund their business ideas. The other is Freerice.com which lets people play word games to donate rice to people around the world. There’s no signing up, there’s no financial commitment, you just have to click on the definition of the word that’s provided. And that’s probably the best thing ever. It’s a more productive way to waste those extra few minutes. Just wanted to share these because that’s what I like to do. Sharing is caring.