greybeta: (D2 Icon - Kat)
[Poet's note: D2 had to write five hundred words of lavishing praise for Miss Kat, aka [livejournal.com profile] zarhooie. She made him the icon you see used for this entry. Pretty cool D2 icon, eh? According to alchemy's law of equivalent exchange, D2 has to give something free in exchange for a free icon. There's a Vietnamese proverb that says, "Words are free, so why don't we choose to give each other pleasant words?"]

From the land they call Scandinavia,
Comes an angelic Viking named Kat,
She of a last name too hard to say.
This epic poem will try to avoid rhyme,
For that would be too contrived,
For a person like Miss Kat.
Oh yes, D2 calls her that,
Because that is what she prefers to be called.

Last night, D2 wanted a “D2” icon,
So he called upon those with more Photoshopping skilz
Than the positive pessimist to make one.
He promised five hundred words to any friend
Who could deliver him an appropriate avatar.
Miss Kat thought this might be a good way
To get an ego boost from D2.
So she submitted an icon to him.

(Do you know it is too easy
To write unrhymed poetry?
You aren’t forced to think of forced words
To end endless lines of turds.
Five hundred words D2 must pen
Solely dedicated to praising the Augustanan.
Nope, Miss Kat won’t accept a single digression
As part of D2’s five hundred word dispensation.)

The icon was so good D2 had to approve.
Ah, but now Miss Kat wanted an ego boost.
Why shouldn’t D2 approve the request
Of a fellow Narcissist?
Narcissus loved himself in that one myth.
Since Greek myths were written in verse,
D2 then decided to laud Miss Kat
In an epic poem, for better or for worse.

(Now, look there is a place and time
When it’s appropriate to use rhyme.)

(If you study German opera to a T
You will have to study Richard Wagner.
Wait, wait, it’s Wagner,
With the W pronounced like a V.
He is most famous for the Nibelung Ring tetralogy,
It was time for the Norse gods to wane.
We learn about the “choosers of the slain”
Who are also known as Valkyrie)

D2 and Miss Kat met randomly.
It says so on Facebook.
Miss Kat commented on something he wrote.
D2 then friended her to improve his writing.
[livejournal.com profile] zarhooie made fun of [livejournal.com profile] greybeta on her LJ.
Then she realized half her friendlist read the positive pessimist.
She profusely apologized.
She swore to check mutual friends more.

So, what does D2 think of Miss Kat?
Honesty, she is a very special person.
The type of girl who will make a lucky guy
A wonderful, wonderful wife.
That’s because she knows how to cook
And is willing to answer D2’s cooking queries
Without making too much fun of him.
Will D2 ever find a girl like that back home?

Now, it’s true that D2 despises Miss Kat’s
Rather strange treehugging tendencies.
If Miss Kat could save a centenarian tree
By hugging it naked for three days,
Then she would do precisely that
Because she’s a very nice person.
By the way Miss Kat wants to randomly warn you…
“Don’t fry hamburgers naked!”

Miss Kat is too nice, really
Since she’d be ever so willing
To satisfy D2’s BDSM curiosities
If he was actually into BDSM.
She tests his patience with her wild sex stories
To the point where he threatens to hang up the phone.
She finds it all too funny
To make fun of a shy Baptist boy.

D2 and Miss Kat share a common bond
In that they both respect two great writers.
D2 of course respects his rodent sensei
While Miss Kat feels very close to ‘Song.
D2 and Miss Kat emulate their styles
Because they are both powerful in their own ways.
And while D2 hopes to meet The Ferrett in person,
Miss Kat has already had the pleasure of meeting ‘Song.

I believe I now only have thirty three words left.
Miss Kat, perk up.
Migraines suck!
But you don’t.
Because you are awesome!
A nurse!
An angel!
A very, very special friend!

Really.
greybeta: (D2-Sempai)
Mah fine folk, pleeeeease excuse mah Southern Baptist accent, but Ah have to tell ya about the evil known as [James Earl Jones]THE SLURPEE SYNDROME[/James Earl Jones] spreadin' across Gawd’s greeeeen earth. Ah…[sniffles in a peculiarly phony manner]Ah…Ah have known brothas and sistas who have lost their lives to this great evil! Oh, Looooord, have mercy upon your children! What have we done, Heavenly Father? What have we done to deserve this punishment?

I will you that it is because we have fallen away from The Almiiiiighty One! But worry not, my fine folk! I have found two miraaaaaculous cures to this detestable Slurpee Syndrome! I was suspicious of this newfangled bloggin’ fenomeena, brothas and sistas, but let mah tell ya it works! I am a true belieeeeever, let mah tell ya! Let mah share with ya the answers to all of your problems…

The Ferrett School of Blogging
Ah wrote a story about my rodent sensei earlier in my bloggin' career and why Ah looked up to him so much (because the good rodent published my first web article ever). Now, Ah consider myself to be the sempai of The Ferrett School of Blogging.

Ah know the question that is on your minds, brothas and sistas.

What in Gawd’s name is The Ferrett School of Bloggin', and what is its dadgum purpose?

Well, the good rodent actually answered the second question to answer the first.

To quote his miiiiighty fine wife, the one and only Missus Ferrett (aka [livejournal.com profile] zoethe), “Ferrett refers to ‘The Slurpee Syndrome.’ Remember that your writing is competing with every distraction in the world. Every minute, you are trying to keep the reader from thinking, ‘you know, I could really go for a Slurpee’ and abandoning your words.” Fine folk, Ah know Missus Ferrett is studying to become a lawyer, so sometimes the miiiiighty fine lady can be a bit…um…elongated in her sugahry speech, if ya know what Ah mean. We all know liars learn to lie at lyin’ skool, so let mah give you the true meanin' of her pretty little words.

Ya see, brothas and sistas, the Slurpee Syndrome is a seeeeerious disease! Oh, Ah know what ya’ll are saying now, and ya’ll looking at me all weird wunderin’ what’s so bad about this eeeeevil Slurpee Syndrome? FOOLS! Don’t you know that eeeeevil Slurpee Syndrome is the number one cause of suicide on Gawd’s greeeeen earth? Today’s society lives at wahp speed with all of its tahrrid, instant messagin’-blind cahpy cahbon emailin’-fast food eatin’-quick microwavin’-cell phone ringin’-tivo recordin’-bittorrent downloadin' leisures. Now so called doctors try to profit themselves by trying to trick ya into taking all this unnecessary medication. But, fortunately for us, the Brotha Ferrett has come up with an amazin' solution to all of our problems.

Brothas and sistas, pleeeeeeeeeeeeease discover the cure in two parts, part one and part two. To give a short summary, we should try to be “essayists” in our bloggin’. Not just any kind of “essayists”, mind ya, but entertainin' “essayists”. This means writin' questions and not answers. This means givin’ ya time and plain ole effort to get the discussion goin'. This means sacrificin' the accuracy of the little details in favor of the tellin' a fine story.

Brothas and sistas, let mah testify to ya right now in the presence of our good Lord that Brotha Ferrett has found a true cure for da eeeeevil Slurpee Syndrome that plagues our world.

The ‘Song School of Blogging
Fine folk, there is another way if ya cannot see yaself followin' the good rodent. Ah have discovered a gawdly sista with a different but effective cure to the Slurpee Syndrome. This fine little belle calls herself [livejournal.com profile] shadesong, and she's a magical...uh...truthsaying...um...bard, if Ah remember correctly. Her sempai, the miiiiighty fabulous [livejournal.com profile] zarhooie, knows her so well that she can buy Sista ‘Song a great Christmas gift that's not even on Sister ‘Song’s wishlist. Ah admit Ah don’t quite understand these bamboozlin’ Internet friendships, but Ah do hear buying a Christmas present that's not on someone’s wishlist is miiiiighty difficult. Ah personally don’t have quite the same relationship with the good rodent, although Ah'd like to think that I am a fine folk of Missus Ferrett and Brotha Ferrett's sweet stepdaughter ([livejournal.com profile] susitna), who is so blithe and charmin'.

Sister ‘Song solves the Slurpee Syndrome simply by bein' herself. Who is she? Ah am actually not quite sure, but she says that she is a four foot eleven, polyamorous, epileptic, sexual assault surviving, Jewish, paganistic, dancin', motherin', punky, geeky best friend slash worst enemy a brotha or sista could ever have. Oh, and the good Lord has granted her the ability to write comic books as well.

Sister 'Song posts her daily thoughts and if that doesn’t interest you, then that is okay with her. But ya can learn so much about the human condition from the daily reports of a first-class writer. Some of you fine folk may consider it spam, but Ah tell ya to look closer and ya’ll be learnin' more about Gawd’s greeeeen earth and the struggles of humanity. That’s because Sister ‘Song already does most of her heavy thinking in her writin'. She wants to get to know people through her blog. Ah’ve heard it said that ya should never ask other folk to do what ya are unwilling to do yaself, and so it is that she reveals her personality through her writin'.

Conclusion
Fret not, fine friends, there is a cure for the eeeeevil Slurpee Syndrome! Though there may be other ways of bloggin', yet Ah truly belieeeeeeeve that Brotha Ferrett and Sista ‘Song have found two veritable cures. May the good Lord bless them both miiiiightily.

Now, mah fella brothas and sistas, will ya spread the good news with mah?
greybeta: (Default)
Today, I read a book called The Alchemist by Pablo Coehlo. It’s a Spanish book, translated into English. I highly recommend it because it really touched me as a college student trying to find his way in life.

For dinner, the student association treasurer Phil and the money committee chair (me) went on our usual dinner tradition. Every week or so, we randomly drive out to Tulsa and eat at a random spot. Usually, we try to find places that don’t look to be frequented that often. The best places so far that we’ve found are Jim’s Never on Sunday Greek and Umberto’s Pizzeria. Mmmmm, hole in the wall places.

For fun, I finally saw Godfather, Part I. The most dangerous man to ask a favor from is one who asks, “Why haven’t you come to me before?”

Some of you have commented that you like my blogging style. Well, much like my favorite childhood heroes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I owe it all to a rodent sensei (I think highly of anyone who can teach me something). A ferretty rodent, to be exact. That’s right, my LiveJournal sensei is none other than the LJ mini-celebrity The Ferrett. He’s got over two hundred fifty friends, and he’s the friend of nearly 1600 people. His only caveat is that working to be a blogging celebrity isn’t all that great since you don’t get rich off of it. You can find him on the username theferrett on livejournal.com. I’m too lazy to link to it right now. Plus, his writings are worth the effort of going to search for him.

How did I meet The Ferrett? Well, I’ve actually never met the dirty old man in person. But remember how I said that I enjoy a card game called Magic: The Gathering? I surfed the net for some good strategy sites about it, and I happened upon the best one in starcitygames.com (yes, Ferrett sensei, I know what to do). The editor rodent asked for articles to be submitted for a weekly contest, and he offered fifty dollars in store credit to the winner. I had read the site for awhile, and most people don’t have that interesting of a writing style. Conversely, the interesting writers never write enough.

This was in the senior year of high school, which meant I was undergoing the writing training regiment of Mrs. Kropp. Heck, I thought to myself, I can write better than most of these poor schmoes. But, I was kind of unsure of my writing ability. My pessimism doubted that my first article would ever get published. To my surprise, The Ferrett actually went with it (probably because he needed articles, even terrible ones).

I suspect he published it because I actually take the time to edit my writing. I don’t know, and I never want to know, all the submissions that starcitygames.com receives that is written in haxxor |33t speak. I remember one April Fool’s Day where he published unedited submissions. He said only one was fake, but I thought at least half of them had to be fake. It’s a sad day when you realize people don’t know how to write well (or just take the time to edit their own writing, for that matter).

So while my writing style was terse and boring, he most likely published it because it took him very little time to do the editing for it. If you’re really interested, you can search for “Daniel Tu” in the author search query on starcitygames.com. When I look back on it now, I realize that I was such a newb in magic. Now, I’m still a newb but I’m a newb who knows not to write when you don’t know what you’re talking about. I know I didn’t write well because I hardly ever got any sort of feedback on my magic articles.

Before Darth Vader (that’s what my hardworking sensei calls his boss) promoted the highly esteemed Ferrett to the high title of editor, the eloquent rodent wrote for the general public as a starcitygames.com featured writer. To become a featured writer, you have to write about magic at least twice a week (once you become one, though, you only have to write an article when the editor begs you to). That’s much harder than it sounds. Magic is a complex game, and expressing your ideas on paper and keeping them coherent is difficult to consistently do. It’s akin to updating daily on a weblog.

One day, the Ferrett advertised one of his personal stories on his own website. I clicked the link and it took me to theferrett.com (I wasn’t even eighteen years old when I read his site). Let’s just say that I had to ask forgiveness from the Lord after I read a few stories. So I tried to stay away from the lecherous guy, but something about his writing made me come back. Fortunately, the story of how he met his current wife struck a deep note with me. It literally jumped out, got into my ear, and banged loudly on my eardrum. I think that is one of the few times I have actually doubted my own views on arranged marriage.

He duly noted on his website that most of his writing had shifted to his LJ. Intrigued, I clicked the link and got treated to some of the best writing I have ever seen. He hits a home run just about every single time he writes. To further the baseball analogy, he’d be a .600 hitter with 60 home runs a year (a major leaguer with .300 average and 30 home runs is considered good, and the great Barry Bonds is under .400 and 40 home runs this year). When I write, I can hit the nail on the head every once in awhile, but more often than not I’m going to mash my thumb.

I lurked on his LJ for a long time, but finally I gave in and started a LiveJournal account because I wanted to donate twenty bucks for the cynical rodent’s blog-a-thon (this is where the sponsor agrees to write an update every half hour for twenty four hours so a bunch of people will donate to a charity of his choice). His uncle Tommy had died due to some complications with hemophilia, so my wise sensei felt strongly about donating to research on hemophilia. For twenty bucks, I could supposedly make him write about any topic that I wanted. I wanted to ask him how and why he chose writing as a profession. He didn’t have time to answer that, or perhaps he couldn’t answer that. Now that I think about it, thinking about something that comes naturally to you is like thinking about thinking. It’s hard to be interested in it.

The seeds were there, and soon I started a xanga account. Shortly thereafter I experimented with my writing style. The biggest help I received was when the loving father Ferrett wrote about how to get comments on a blog. If you’re interested, check out my memories on the LJ account greybeta (sorry, no link because I believe you have to spend some effort to become a good writer). Basically, engage your readers.

I learned that people don’t give a crap about my friends. They haven’t spent the time with them, so why should they care? Most readers want to be entertained, and most of them will have no emotional attachment to random names. I decided then that I needed to pick up the epithets of Homer, the great Greek poet of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Homer never spoke about Athena or Odysseus, for he spoke about the grey-eyed Athena or the wise tactician Odysseus. Giving little clues like that helps your reader know a little more about the personality of your old friends.

Final thought: I wish that I could meet my sensei’s idea of a good online journal, which is one with two thoughtful posts per day. It makes sense because the breast-loving Ferrett spends a lot of time on the Internet as the editor-in-chief for starcitygames.com. Regrettably, I’m in college so I’m not going to be able to meet that demand. However, in honor of him, I am currently on an update per day roll.

I will have passed the Alaskan rodent’s test only when he friends me back on LJ. This is not to say that he has to, but this is when I know my writing ability is on par with his. You know, the whole-student-has-become-the-master cliché.

July 2009

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