Spite week: recap

Another spite week is over! Here’s a roundup of links in case for some reason you had better things to do than read my blog every day 😉

Spite week: Diablo III
Spite week: fall!
Spite week: book rants
Spite week: handling money
Spite week: terrible puns
Spite week: bad YouTube tutorials
Spite week: cooking shows

In case that’s not enough spite, there are also roundups from the first and second times I did it.

Spite week: cooking shows

I have a bit of an obsession with cooking shows, more specifically cooking competitions like MasterChef and The Great British Bake Off. As a food nerd, I love seeing how creative the contestants can be, and it’s really interesting seeing new people and new challenges every season.

Sometimes you just want some relaxing television, and while there can be a bit of drama in cooking competitions, generally the worst thing that happens is a cake not rising (can you tell I’ve been watching Bake Off lately?). I also don’t hate seasons not ending on a terrible cliff-hanger to make sure you come back next year 🙂

Of all the cooking competitions I watch, MasterChef Australia is my favourite. Because they just crank out more episodes than the US or Canadian versions, you get to know the contestants a lot better and you get to see a lot more interesting food. Also, Australians are apparently ridiculously nice. A few seasons ago one of the contestants had a bit of a freakout because they had to butcher a whole eel for a challenge and they had a phobia of them. On US or even Canadian MasterChef, the other contestants would most likely have just shrugged their shoulders and let them go home. On Australian MasterChef, one of the other contestants took time out of their own cook to come over and partially butcher it to the point where they could do the rest. And they do stuff like that all the time!

Australian MasterChef is also more focused on the food than the other versions I’ve seen. Where MasterChef US deliberately stirs up drama by doing things like making contestants pick teams and then twisting the knife by asking whoever got picked last how they feel about it, whoever runs the Australian version realizes there’s plenty of drama in people pushing themselves to do their very best at something really hard and skips the boring shit-stirring.

Even though I’m not much of a baker I still love The Great British Bake Off too. There’s just something charming about a show where the prize is being named the UK’s best amateur baker and having a picnic in a beautiful park with all the other contestants and their families.It’s a bit of a slower-paced show than MasterChef just because baking is a slower-paced activity. There’s not much excitement you can get out of everyone hanging out having a cup of tea while their loaves of bread bake.

If you’d like a nice relaxing watch, I definitely recommend any of those shows.

Spite week: bad YouTube tutorials

Full disclosure, I stole this idea directly from Ferns:

YouTube tutorials make me want to set things on fire, they are unbelievably aggravating. I don’t know what makes people think yammering on about nothing for 99% of the video and having maybe 3 seconds of actual useful instruction is going to get them more subscribers because all it makes me want to do is kick them in the shins. Most of the tutorials I come across are for nerdy things and you know what’s great about stuff you do on a computer? YOU CAN TAKE A FUCKING SCREENSHOT. Seriously, there is no programming task that can’t be explained just as well with screenshots and text, which also has the advantage of allowing readers to skim it quickly to get an overview and search for the one part they actually give a shit about.

To be fair, there are some things video is better for. If you’re learning to cook or do makeup or make a new kind of craft, it’s really helpful to see exactly what motion the person is making and how they’re holding the tool. But even then, you need to get to the goddamn point. If you want to spend ten minutes (aka a YouTube eternity) talking about the theory of the thing, your personal experiences doing the thing, other ways you could do the thing, fine, but do it AFTER you show people how to do the fucking thing. That way nobody will wish they could find you just to poop on your lawn.

Spite week: terrible puns

Why terrible puns? Because I can 😀



And I’m not even sorry 😛

Spite week: handling money

You know what I have opinions about? Money! I have so many opinions about money!

But first a disclaimer: this is advice for people who make enough money to live on. I don’t know anything about being seriously poor and am not going to pretend I have anything worthwhile to say about that. If things are shitty for you right now, ignore the rest of this post and just do what you have to to survive.

People do a lot of stupid shit with money and I wish I could shake them all and tell them to get their shit together. The single biggest thing that irritates me is when people spend money they don’t have. Do you have a car payment? If you do, you are fucking up! Buy the car you can afford – and by afford I mean “can pay for in full” – not the shiny one that you want. Seriously people, do your research, get the reliable used car that’s a few years old and not cool anymore and suck it up.

And credit cards! How do so many people fuck up so badly with credit cards? Here’s the deal: you can spend whatever you want on a credit card as long as you can pay it off IN FULL every month. If you can’t, then you are fucking up. To be fair, I do have an advantage here in that my parents’ failure at credit cards gave me a reasonable and justified fear of them so I never spend money I can’t pay off. The interest rates on credit cards are goddamn terrifying, do not fuck with them. I have good credit and still pay %19.9 on any balance I carry. Don’t do it!

In general, just because you want something doesn’t mean you can have it. Shiny new electronics? Save the fuck up for it. Luxurious vacations? Save the fuck up for it. Videogames? Stock up on super cheap ones during Steam sales and play those while you save the fuck up for new releases. Want to go see all the summer blockbuster movies but can only afford a few of them? Guess you’d better suck it up and pick your favourites. Nice jewelry? Save the fuck up for it or get good at finding bargains on eBay or interesting unknown artists on Etsy.

To be honest, I have absolutely no concept of budgeting. I just never got the hang of it because I have the sheer dumb luck to just kinda spend less than I make. My most expensive habits are books and fancy scotch, and luckily I go through fancy scotch very slowly. I would spend a shit-ton if I went out more, but I’m a crotchety old lady in training and I’d rather drink at home in my pajamas while playing videogames than go out and interact with people all the time.

Now for spending less money:

Learn to fucking cook! Takeout is delicious but stupid expensive, you need to learn how to feed yourself without involving a restaurant. There are a completely ridiculous number of people on YouTube who want to teach you to cook for free, click around a bit and find one you like. You can also take in-person cooking classes, ask a friend who’s a good cook to teach you in return for the leftovers, get some cookbooks, or try one of those recipe + ingredient delivery services like Chef’s Plate (if you happen to want get some free meals and help me get free tasty meals (full disclosure!), use social referral tag #3platesFromNotJusBitchy  when you sign up – yes there’s a typo, no I can’t fix it). The great thing about services like Chef’s Plate is that they send you detailed instructions and just the right amount of ingredients. If it turns out you hate a particular spice, hey, at least you’re not stuck with a whole bottle of it that you’ll never use.

Related to learning to cook, even if you aren’t any good at it yet, at least bring a sandwich for lunch instead of buying one for >$5 every single day. Even frozen meals or canned ravioli from the grocery store can be much cheaper than going out for lunch every day. I’m not saying you can never have a tasty lunch out, just not every single day. In a pinch, if you have a grocery store nearby, you can buy a couple of buns and some deli meat and have a very fresh if not very interesting sandwich very cheaply.

If you enjoy drinking with your friends, which I certainly do, try having a party at home instead of going to the club. Ask people to either bring something to share or chip in for a liquor run, put on a nostalgic tv show, break out some games if you’re nerds, and everyone will have a good time. The markup on drinks in a club or restaurant are ridiculous, you can save a lot of money and still have a good time by partying at home. Just be a decent human being and have your party on a weekend and don’t be loud literally all night, okay?

Also if you have storage space, buy in bulk! Toilet paper never goes bad and it’s cheaper for a big package than just a couple rolls. If you eat rice, buy a 20 lb sack instead of a little bag. Same with potatoes if you can keep them cool and dry.

And finally, put some goddamn money in savings even if it’s only a few dollars here and there. Thou shalt have an emergency fund! If you have some savings, an emergency like your car breaking down is way less of a disaster than it would be if you were already broke. If you have a good chunk of savings already then think about investing, but at the very least save something.

Seriously, if nothing else I’ve said in this entire post sinks in, for the love of god save something.

Spite week: book rants

No, I haven’t seen the movie yet, this post is about the books. More precisely, this post is about how I think the ending was a total copout and I’m STILL MAD. Yes, the last book did indeed come out in 2004, what’s your point? 😛 The rest of the series was so good (although the later books were a little rushed) and all that time I thought it was building up to something amazing, and then it just kinda fizzled out at the end. As bad as the reviews are for the movie I can’t imagine the ending could possibly be less satisfying than the one in the books. And it’s not like Stephen King can’t write an ending, look at IT (yes it was problematic as fuck but the ending didn’t suck), The Stand, The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, Insomnia, etc, etc.

As mad as I still am about the end of the Dark Tower, at least I made it all the way through it. The Wheel of Time, on the other hand, got to be an intolerable slog in the middle of the series. Theories about why that is vary, my personal theory is that Robert Jordan got scared he couldn’t write an ending epic enough to satisfy readers after so many (many) books leading up to it, so he stalled for time by writing book after book of pointless political maneuvering and hoped that something would come to him. Either that or he actually thought those books were interesting and no editor had the political capital to tell him to knock that shit off. I’ve heard the last few books where Brandon Sanderson took over are a lot better than the middle slog, but to even understand what’s going on in those books I would have to do a lot of re-reading and I just don’t have it in me.

Speaking of writers who need editors: Anne Rice. The first few books of The Vampire Chronicles were so good, and then shit got weird. I can buy all sorts of wildly bizarre plots as long as the book or series is internally consistent, but once you start throwing in every half-baked crack fic idea you have you’re going to lose me. Editors, people, listen to your editors!

Readers, what books are you mad about?

Spite week: fall!

I love fall, it’s my favourite season. I love the crispness in the air, the way the leaves change colour, and getting to wear cozy sweaters again. As much as I’m a huge wuss about being cold, it still bugs me less than being too hot. At least if I’m cold I can put on a sweater, if I’m too hot I just have to live with being sweaty and stinky.

Direct sunlight not being as overwhelming is also pretty great – I’m kind of light sensitive and even with sunglasses direct sunlight is uncomfortable for me. In the summer I spend a lot of time hiding from the daystar.

Fall drinks like tea, mulled wine, and hot apple cider are fantastic too. And pho! I freaking love pho, but it’s just not the same when it’s hot out. Not to mention bourbon, which I also love but is not exactly a refreshing summer drink (that said if you do have refreshing summer cocktail recipes with bourbon I’d love to see them).

Where I am it’s still only kinda sorta almost fall but it’s getting there!

Spite week: Diablo III

You know what I haven’t done in a while? Spite week! Being the spiteful creature full of spite that I am, I love writing random posts that have nothing to do with kink just to rub douchebags noses in the fact that I’m person with hobbies and interests and thoughts and feelings that have nothing to do with their boners.

So let’s talk about Diablo III. Because it got iffy reviews back when it first came out I didn’t buy it right away (that and my Steam backlog is quite bad enough already), and then I just forgot about it for ages. Recently I had some downtime and wanted a game where I could run around smashing things and not have to think too hard, and hey, that’s basically what the whole Diablo series is for 🙂

While the game was totally worth the $20 I paid for it (which included the Reaper of Souls expansion), but I’m not sure I would’ve been happy about paying full price for it when it first came out. Diablo III is really pretty, but so is Path of Exile. The story wasn’t bad, but the skill tree is really rigid and limited, which just bugs me. In D3 you can only use one skill at a time from each group, which is really irritating if you like two skills from one group and don’t particularly care for any of the skills from another.

Grumbling aside, there’s nothing not fun about smiting demons with two giant swords. And if you like necromancers (and want to shell out another $14-I-think for the Rise of the Necromancer expansion), D3 has the corpse explosion spell from D2, which is obviously still awesome 🙂

If you liked D2, you’ll like D3. If you didn’t like D2, then definitely skip D3 because it’s basically D2 over again with prettier graphics.

Yeah, actually, women like porn: part 1 of many

Today’s thing-that-irritates-me is the idea that women don’t like porn. We fucking love porn, we just don’t like shitty porn that has apparently been designed to be as alienating to us as possible. One of the things we like is fanfic, which is largely written by women for women.

Before I get into specific fic recommendations I want be clear about fandom etiquette. If an author wants constructive criticism, if they want to hear about typos or what doesn’t work in their story or whether their characterization was off, they will fucking tell you. If they do not specifically ask for that kind of feedback, then you have two choices: you can be nice or you can be quiet. The world will keep turning if you don’t hassle some poor fanfic author about a fucking typo. And no, it shouldn’t be necessary to say any of that but there was a thing a couple years ago and people were dicks and damned if I’m going to let that happen to some of my favourite authors.

On to the porn! Today I’m going to recommend a bunch of fanfic by astolat, who is awesome and extremely prolific, and conveniently gave blanket permission to link to her work.

Only Begotten. This one is a delightfully filthy crossover between the TV shows Lucifer and Damien. Fair warning, this contains technically-incest-I-guess (does it really count if it’s between imaginary divine beings and they didn’t know the other one existed until they were adults, though?) between Lucifer and Damien. Oh and it involves a lot of gay sex, if you hadn’t already guessed.

A person might reasonably ask why I started by recommending a fic containing incest (even technically-incest-I-guess). I’m trying to make a point here: woman are filthy perverts and we like fucked up porn and we write fucked up porn.

Also I think it’s funny. Possibly my sense of humor is a little weird. And I really do just like that fic, it’s a really nice blend of filthy porn involving some very pretty men and serious emotional satisfaction. It’s really not going to have the same impact if you haven’t watched those shows (although I’ve only watched Lucifer and thought this fic was pretty fucking great), but if you have, oh man. Lucifer of all people swearing never to abandon Damien? I am so here for that. And Chloe yelling at Lucifer for being a pervert even though she doesn’t believe he’s actually Damien’s father? Hilarious, it’s so great.

Fealty. This one is a Person of Interest fic. This one has more d/s themes, and it’s a bit of a slow burn but definitely worth it. Again, serious emotional payoff in addition to the porn. There’s a very, very clear reason you should care that these two men in particular are having sex, which immediately puts it head and shoulders above the majority of mainstream porn.

Mercy, a Stargate Atlantis fic. This one has some d/s themes too, which is obviously my jam 🙂 There’s not an enormous amount of plot, but that’s really not the point now is it. It does, however, rely on knowing who the characters are to each other for emotional impact.

Oblivious, another Stargate Atlantis fic. This one isn’t especially porny, but there are some fun sex scenes and it’s worth reading just for the last line. Seriously, read it.

Blooded Crown, a videogame fic this time. This one comes from The Witcher 3, which I haven’t played yet but who knows if I’ll ever get to it, so don’t worry too much about not spoiling me in the comments. Anyway, in this fic Geralt and Emperor Emhyr have quite a lot of inventive sex as part of a clever plot to thwart another clever plot to kill Emhyr’s heir. Aside from the porn, which is totally worth it, it’s a lot of fun seeing Emhyr being clever and Geralt being grumpy about it and also good at killing things. All of astolat’s Witcher fic is great, but that one is my favourite.

Give those a read, have a look at the numbers of hits and massive numbers of comments on the more recent fics and tell me again how women just don’t like porn.

Promoting a blog

Don’t worry, my site hasn’t been hacked 🙂 Some time ago a reader asked me how to promote a kink blog because he had a site he was trying to get off the ground. I took a couple of days to think about that because I’ve never deliberately “promoted” my blog but I certainly get more views now than when I started, and of course promptly forgot all about that poor reader’s question. For, uh, months. Sorry reader!

So now that I’ve finally remembered, I figure I can get a blog post out of this. There have got to be at least a couple people out there who would like a little more traffic on their blogs, right?

First of all, I get an average of 300 views a day, so let’s not pretend I’m an expert 🙂 If I were to put ads on my blog (which I’m way too much of a control freak to ever do), that would probably make me around zero dollars.

With that disclaimer out of the way, there are some things I’ve done that I think helped and some things I don’t do that I bet would help if I could be bothered to do them.

My biggest tip is to have something to say. Without that nothing you do will ever get you much traffic. Whether you like my blog or not (and honestly if you don’t like it why are you here? Go do something fun, there’s an entire internet out there!), you can’t say I don’t have opinions. Don’t start a blog because you feel like you should or because all the cool kids are doing it, or because you want that sweet sweet ad revenue (not only is that kinda douchey, but ads pay really badly these days), do it because you like writing and have something to say.

As for getting more traffic:

Comment on other people’s blogs! If you enjoy their blog, it’s entirely possible their readers will like your blog too. Leaving interesting comments (seriously, don’t comment for the sake of commenting, people can tell when you’re effectively selling something) really will make at least some people click on your name and see what you have to say on your own blog. Plus it builds your reputation – the more interesting comments someone sees from you, the more likely they are to eventually click that link and see what’s going on at your blog, and the more interesting comments the blog owner gets, the more likely they are to say yes if you ask if you can write them a guest post.

Post regularly! Do you go back to blogs that haven’t published a new post in months? No? Then why should your readers? This part is wild speculation, but I think people are more likely to get attached to reading your blog if you show them you can be trusted to keep at it. Also, the more you post, the more chances you have for one of your posts to get noticed by a more popular blogger or shared around a lot on [insert social media site here], which will really drive up your traffic at least for a little while and probably gain you some new regular readers too.

Part of posting regularly is picking a schedule you can stick with. I’m a slow writer, that’s why I only post once a week. If you can do more without burning out, great! I believe that’s a good way to get more views – the more posts, the more chances for one of them to be really popular, and the more incentive people have to come back regularly. But if you can’t post three times a week without hating the sight of your site, dial it back.

Comment on discussion sites! I do this one very intermittently, and don’t have any stats to back it up, but it seems reasonable that leaving interesting comments / starting interesting discussions on a site like fetlife/reddit/etc would lead to more people checking out your profile (or clicking on a link in your signature if you’re organized like that 🙂 ) and finding their way to your blog.

Automatically announce new posts on social media! I’ll give myself half marks for this one, I have wordpress set up to post to my twitter and tumblr when a post goes up, but I basically never remember to post a link on Fetlife.

Have multiple ways for people to get updates! Some people like RSS (no it’s not dead), some prefer email updates, some like seeing updates in their twitter or tumblr or facebook or whatever else feed. Jetpack has subscribe by email and RSS feed widgets (for both posts and comments), all you have to do is connect the Jetpack plugin and drag those widgets into your sidebar.

As for things that are probably a good idea that I don’t do for varying reasons:

Have an active twitter/tumblr/insert social site media here! And by active I absolutely do not mean relentlessly shilling for your blog, I mean posting like a regular human being and interacting with other people like a person and not some sort of terrible robot that exists only to nag people to read your blog. I hardly ever post anything on twitter so I’m failing pretty hard on that one.

Link to your posts more than once on social media! Not everyone is online at the same time of day, more people are going to see your tweet or whatever if you post it a couple times at different times of day, or even a few times over the course of a few days. Your feed has to be pretty active for this to work, though. If it’s not then your twitter is a) boring, which drives readers away, and b) looks like nothing but ads for your blog, which also drives readers away.

Participate in things like elust and blog challenges! These can drive a lot more traffic to your blog if you get featured, and tagging your posts on social media with the challenge hashtag can help people find your blog too.

Guest post on other people’s blogs! Just writing for mine is quite enough work for me, but if you have it in you to write more posts (or the other blogger doesn’t mind you publishing the same post on both blogs) then you can probably persuade some of their readers to come read you too.

Get interviewed / guest host on podcasts! I love podcasts but I’m pretty awkward about talking with people I don’t know well (writing is a lot easier for me, which I’m sure comes as a huge shock), plus I don’t have access to a decent microphone and am way too picky about good quality audio to let anyone publish a recording of me done on a shitty builtin laptop mic, so podcasting isn’t for me. If it’s for you, it’s one more way to get yourself in front of people who might not have ever heard of you otherwise.

That’s all I’ve got. Readers, do you have any other tips?