Category Archives: Blogging About Blogging


My memory’s been terrible lately. I know it’s mostly because of stress and sleep deprivation, but I’m also wondering if it’s because I haven’t been keeping a diary this year. The human brain doesn’t work quite like a computer and this is hideously unscientific, I’m sure, but I’ve got a theory. Without writing things down, I have no way to offload memory, and I think details start getting deleted to make room for more information. I don’t like this and intend to fix it shortly. Blog entries are a start.

I am a bit embarrassed by my utter lack of recent posting. I’ve been putting so much energy into managing school, work, and related fields that when I do have downtime, I gravitate towards activities that allow me to just turn my brain off for a bit: craft projects or watching TV or using Tumblr, a site that requires less active  generation of data and more reblogging of content that’s already been generated. I love writing, but it takes energy, and a lot of it. I’ve felt like I haven’t had much to spare recently.

But that is just an excuse, and not even a very good one. I will work on fixing this and actually practicing what I preach: writing interesting entries and participating in discussion online. It’s totally worth the energy.

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Let’s get this show on the road.

Okay, we’re back! I’m still in the process of getting this blog shipshape again, but I figured it’s a week and a half into the new school year and it’s frankly pathetic that I haven’t made a real post yet.

Still messing around with themes. I’m fond of this one, but because it’s got a paid upgrade option that I haven’t utilized, it won’t let me access the HTML and play around with styles the way I’d like. As a result, my old title, Notes from the Field, was too long for the space allotted to it and ran over into my header image in a most unsightly way. So I’ve changed my name around a bit.

“Aufgewandert” is a humorous term my relatives use to describe the family habit of getting distracted by interesting stuff and running off in pursuit of it. It’s a rough and grammatically-incorrect German translation of “wandering off,” and is a fairly accurate description of my daily life. The world is full of so many bizarre and amazing things — who wouldn’t want to go wandering off after them?

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Oh, good, the import worked.

I shall choose to ignore the fact that I lost all my formatting and my carefully-maintained RSS feed in the process so as to not get angry.

Carrying on, then.


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Things I really need to be more consistent about:

Updating this blog.

Yeah, I know, it’s a bit ironic, verging on hypocritical, that I go around supporting the blogging initiative while I fail to update for weeks at a time. I’ve been keeping notes to be made into proper entries for a while in a Word document after, but haven’t gotten around to posting them recently due to spam I neglected to delete. Note to self: get better at that.

I’m going to attempt to move this thing to the new server shortly. Wish me luck.

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EL’s Guide to RSS Feeds (or how I learned to stop grouching and love the blog)

Hey guys! I’m writing this post in an effort to make this whole blogging thing more interesting and interactive for everybody.

You all are making some funny, insightful, and generally brilliant entries, so why is nobody commenting on them? Part of the problem is that there’s no good way to keep track of your friends’ new entries like on Tumblr, Facebook or other more conventional blogging sites. If you don’t see the information, you’re not going to comment on it, so the awesome discussions that could be happening simply aren’t. At this point I think we’re all frustrated with feeling like we’re typing into empty air.

Let’s fix that. My proposed solution: an RSS feed.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, an RSS feed is a way to track other people’s new blog entries. Check out my sidebar — the “Fellow Writers” column is a constantly-updating stream of new posts from people who write interesting things. It’s just like your friends page, newsfeed or dashboard on other sites — only this is a feed you have to set up yourself. Unfortunately WordPress is rather obtuse at times and doesn’t have a good built-in system, so last Saturday I sat down and devised a way to make this work.

Follow these steps and you’ll have a feed of your own set up in no time!


Setting Up The Feed

1. Go find blogs that you’re interested in tracking. Ask your friends for their addresses, or collect the links of other sites you’d like to follow.

2. Make a list of the blogs’ URLs in a Word or Notepad document for easy access. We’re going to copy and paste them shortly.

3. Add /feed/ to the end of each of the URLs. For example: .

4. Go to, an easy-to-use site that’ll walk you through the most important part of this process.

5. Copy and paste your list of URLs into the box on the site and hit “Create“.

6. The next screen will tell you that the blogs you’ve been listed have been added. (If a 301 error or another message comes up, that’s okay — try hitting the back button and making sure all your slashes were in the right place.) Under that it will say, “Mix Created! Your new RSS file is here.” Click that link and wait for it to open in a new window.

7. Do not be afraid of the jumbled wall of HTML that appears! It’s harmless, I promise. It’s just the link in the URL that you want. Copy the URL in the searchbar.

 8. Go to your WordPress dashboard. Click on Appearance in the left-hand menu, then click on Widgets.

9. Your RSS Feed widget is probably at the bottom of the screen in the Inactive Widgets list. Click and drag it into one of the sidebar columns on the right-hand side of your screen.

10. Click on the downward-facing triangle on the right side of the RSS Feed widget. This should open it and give you options to enter an RSS feed URL, title your feed, and adjust the number and content of the posts that will show up.

11. Paste your RSS feed’s URL into the appropriate place, think of a clever title, adjust the number of posts to you liking, and then hit save.

12. Go to your blog and check out your newly created feed. Rock on.


And that’s it! Now go forth and run snide commentary on one another’s entries and let the actual conversations begin.

If you’ve got any questions about the process, let me know and I’ll do my best to help out. Cheers!


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Mmm, tea.

Well, looks like it’s time to get blogging again.

This semester I’m leading the Tea Colloquium. As a second-semester sophomore, I’ve only been in two colloquiums before, and both were highly non-traditional (if anything about colloquiums can be called traditional, that is) — the Apocalypse Planning Contingency and the Doctor Who CM. I will be the first to admit that I am not exactly sure what I’m doing. I mean, I’ve drafted a syllabus and know enough about tea to successfully fly by the seat of my pants for a few weeks even without one, but this whole “leading a group” thing is new for me. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve got twelve good-natured people in the course who seem to be more than willing to put up with my caffeinated ramblings, so that, at least, is reassuring.

Had an excellent talk with some of my group members about how we might be able to make this blogging thing more exciting. I have the feeling that this may be a recurring theme in the coming weeks.

Tea of the week: London Cuppa English Breakfast. Being a proper British brand of tea (or so I thought), I was expecting it to be stronger, but it’s comparatively mild after quite a lot of steeping. Goes nicely with a bit of milk, though I wish I had something other than skim.


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Brushing off the cobwebs

Right, sorry, it appears I’ve fallen a bit behind on CM posts. And on blogging in general. I shall attempt to remedy that shortly.

I rarely blog on this site, and I feel a bit bad about that. After all, I love blogs. I’ve got nearly half a dozen blogs and writing accounts scattered across the internet, and I’ve been doing this for years. The problem I’m having with this WordPress account is that it doesn’t have a purpose the way my other sites do. This account isn’t a substitute for a diary or travel log, it isn’t an imageboard, it’s not a place to post my or writing or interact with people who share my nerdy interests, it’s… I don’t know. An assignment, I suppose. Which is why I’ve been reluctant to spend much time with it, or at least any more time than strictly necessary.

I feel like I’m talking into empty air on this site. I know there are other people out there (hello, you), but the lack of interaction makes everything feel a bit sad and pointless here. Hopefully things will pick up around here.



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