Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RTMT: Fresh Prince of Patchaire

More Sigils, Please.

I drafted this on Tuesday morning, for the Random Tuesday Morning Thought; however, Little Miss Computer Pants decided to wig out and act all stupid and stuff, so it is so random I'm posting it on a Wednesday. Maybe my computer has Prince's press agent, and was trying to shut down my creativity, purple raining all over me.

Did you ever have one of those weeks? Where you think Mondays are Tuesdays, and Saturdays sit in Thursday's lap? Odd. Must have something to do with the space-time continuum. Or maybe lack of sleep.

I had a hunch 5.1 would be coming out really soon, and then I saw JD's feeder email, and sure enough, whoop, there it is!

I am not prepared. But I will try.

But see, now you're all so busy with patchy-McPatch-pants, you won't have time for my random silliness. Don't blame you. There's work to be done! But just in case, Here are some meanderings of the world, and my report back to homebase:

Story If You Have Time No. 1:

This National Geographic piece is about a photographer named Paul Nicklen. Look at the big teeth. Look at the very big teeth that can chomp a full-grown penguin in two. Look at the big teeth that come with a full array of maternal instincts.

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2009/11/19/paul_nicklen/

Story If You Have Time No. 2:

http://thebigbearbutt.com/2012/11/26/the-cub-report-because-evil-is-cool-mmkay/

and he has the same hunch about the Black Prince as I do:

http://thebigbearbutt.com/2012/11/27/omg-the-patch-is-here/

Story If You Have Time No. 3:

My friend and I were lamenting that we wish WoW could be played on a Kinnect. And since after the big holiday weekend my blue jeans this morning are, shall we say, a bit more snug than perhaps I would like, I wish this were the case. Maybe if I get a treadmill and set up my laptop for dailies - wonder how that would work? http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/11/20/165293511/can-you-move-it-and-work-it-on-a-treadmill-desk

And no, Tome, I don't have dogs to walk, sadly.

Story If You Have Time No. 4:

I want to go here. I want to go here NOW.

Maybe I'll see Santa!

Story If You Have Time No. 5:

This is a follow-up story for me: I tried to do LFR last night, and was so laggy/choppy/yucky, there was no way. I just watched in horror as frameshot after frameshot showed my virtual self in a strobe-light effect of death. It was embarrassing too because there were folks I knew in there, and they must of thought terrible things of me. Oh well. Try again another day. But I am trying to figure out Grid.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pulp Fiction.

This is post 604 edited by my trusty Murloc editor, Snerrguls. Mr. Snerrguls is calling me out on a few things. You are more than welcome to skip this nonsense, since I'm sure his predilection for accuracy and truth outweighs my need for self-delusion.


604* what kind of a silly title is this? It makes no sense





The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Dorothy Parker(attributed) did she really say this? Why don't you check your sources more carefully?


To Daily or Not To Daily? Is there a reason you didn't write a parody of the entire thing? And why didn't you take credit for this cool screenshot, or let your readers know you and your friend two-manned Black Temple? Or that the Staff of Immaculate blahblahblah dropped on your shaman when you had been grinding for it forever on your priest? Seems like an odd omission.


This was a wonderful, wonderful weekend.  I promised myself to pour all the liquor and cigarettes, er, uh, rather not log on any more today, so I would truly find some balance. There was great food, people I love,  conversation, and got to play my face off. I confess I did overcook the &#!# turkey -- hate when I do that. I know how to cook one, but I am sure that last quest, that last daily, that last thing to craft, made me ignore the bird the last crucial 20 minutes when it could have been delicious, free range moist turkey instead of borderline turkey jerky. Gravy boat, where are you!? Everything else turned out great, though, and I think this weekend I may do some turkey redemption and just cook one to prove I can. At least I didn't leave the giblet package in the bird like I did the first year I was on my own. Another rite-of-passage was this was the first year I did not call my mom to get her recipe for cornbread stuffing -- just talked to her because.What was the point of this anecdote? It seems truncated and confusing. The stuffing was just fine. And why didn't you share this great recipe? Maybe because you winged it so ferociously and added so much salt and pepper and chicken stock it was bound to be good? Or maybe because you kept everyone waiting to eat for so long they would have eaten the bag the giblets came in?



But I don't think I can use the item recovery service from Blizzard to replace my overdone turkey. No, assuredly they will not.



Now, it wasn't all sage and cranberries this weekend though. There was a moment when my heart hurt a little, just a tiny bit of mourning for, well, a few things. It was hard to put my finger on at first, and I am not sure but perhaps unintentionally avoided this blog because if I ventured here, things would get stupidly emotional, and I just don't have it in me anymore to get emotional over Azerothian misadventures. I do wonder though, and suspect, that perhaps the new land isn't all it's made out to be. I know the forums have been basted with (see--still have turkeys on my mind) with all the concern, complaints, etc. over dailies. I do wonder if that was the breaking point for me personally - it would be normal for me to have the simple expectation to find a raid group with my same 'demographic' if you will, and who's fault is this stupid girl? Yours and yours alone. Just because you get your knickers in a knot doesn't mean you should get all mopey and just move forward. Good advice - take itI don't have it in me right now to make new friends. I just don't. Yes, that is said in my 8-year-old voice in my head. And because of that lack of belonging/structure, and perhaps the umpteenth lesser charms, I felt something I haven't yet while playing: boredom.



Boredom is a tricky thing. It is a sentiment I am loathe to even say out loud, holding the belief that only boring people can get bored. See that darling Dorothy Parker quote? I am wondering if the cure for curiosity is dailies, or rather not cure, but "death of." (I had to check my subject/verb agreement on that one: let's see - step inside the grammarian's head: if I switched it to The cure is dailies, or The cure is not dailies, not The cure ARE dailies, heavens no! okay, grammar checked, moving on...) So, you're asking, why didn't you just walk away entirely? Well, because I'm functionally addicted. Whatsittoya? I'm also functionally addicted to bubble baths, writing, making lists, putting dairy products in the fridge, and keeping the dishwasher on a perpetual empty/filled rotation, but you don't see anyone having to sponsor me or call a therapist do you? (Sheesh, defensive!) Who is being defensive? You? Your reader? This is not clear



ANYWAY: 



Here's what is new:



Mataoka: Have done every LFR as a healer I can. This makes it sound like you've been doing LFR for weeks now, and that is simply not true. You read a few dungeon journals and bravely went in there, but that hardly makes you an expert, you dork. Amazing raids.They are amazing: why didn't you focus on these? Now I wish more than ever I had a good team that wanted me. I have three/four of the tier pieces, and have been lucky with drops.Your luck as run its course with weapons and shields, however: what about this? What are you going to do about it? And another thing: the enchants: where does one obtain those higher level ones? *Note to self: look into this further. What I haven't been doing are the dailies for Golden Lotus so I can get shoulders or fill in where the drops don't. But then I asked myself, why bother? Just have fun, do LFR, and if a raid team needs a resto shaman healer then I'll be ready, or, Plan B; just play for fun and not worry about getting on a raid team. I think the next time I would be wise if I let the raid team find me. Very Zen not sure "zen" is capitalized here: check style manual and all that nonsense. I'm a really good healer, I know fight mechanics, what do you know? you don't know much - you're still a noob, girl, and understand my enhancement spec, too. Do you? Do you really? I have my doubts. Since there is no way to fact check this, we will have to take your word. Still not sure how raid teams are looking for healers and yet...never mind. This seems a bit snarky, unnecessary, and disingenuous.


See those green bubbles? Yeah. But the outdoor ventilation system is marvelous.


Zeptepi: Now this is the one. The one what? This is the silly one--what sort of noob would want to make a holy priest her second main in MoP? Didn't I get the memo about lack of mana? Do you have data to support this claim? Don't I feel parched constantly when trying to heal with her? Perhaps. But I am all for the underdog, and Zep is rocking. Every day I go in the Vale and kick Mogu butt -- but today took the prize.  I took on a big, bad mob of statues, fractured souls, mogu, and meanies all by myself and my Psyfiend. It was one of those moments in game where I was truly in the 'zone." I didn't die - I healed, shadow form, screamed, flayed, blasted, plague, whatever. It was amazing. For anyone who's ever played a shadow priest you understand the mesmerizing joy that experience was today. So she had one good day. Why don't you follow up with your readers on what it's like to get eaten by Undead Spirits four times in 20 minutes? 

Zeptepi in the heat of the Badlands...


Last night I started more pet battles with this character, and had Momokawa finish them up this morning. I don't need to say anything more about pet battle except this: baby black ram. Screenshot would have been nice.Named him Necio. What does that mean? Anything? *Pet battles are going to have to be for TV watching, couch, hanging out times because otherwise they are too addicting. Found myself spamming the greyed-out list for more, more, and MORE! Those trainers are some tough beeotches, too. The crux came with this one in Swamp of Sorrows. That is when I knew this wasn't your Pokemon kid stuff: Are you trying to offend Pokemon lovers? This is your target audience, caution is required

Took great pleasure in defeating this one.

What was very pleasurable about pet battles which surprised me the most is getting out of Pandaria. That is an awkward sentence It is gorgeous, amazing, perfect, sublime, and yet -- just to listen to familiar soundtracks while flying over other Azerothian stomping grounds was refreshing.



Ceniza: Ceniza has been working diligently on the farm. But yes-- I have alluded to a story in the works, even if the draft is only in my head.



Surprises:



Okay, you're going to want to pay attention now. 


Figure 2, Exhibit 1

Did you know that you can fish from the spell book and not equip a pole? You probably did, but I'm not sure you, yeah you over there, not sure you knew that. I found that out yesterday because I didn't want to take off my weapons and then get eaten by something or other, so I just tried it. It worked. Plopped the line right in the swirly fish pool and got many a good catch.



Also, did you know that shamans no longer have underwater breathing? How did I find that out, you ask? The hard way. Always the hard way.



Did you know that the glyph of disguise is awesome? You did? Can't say it enough. So is the Vykrul thingy. (See Figure 2, Exhibit 1)



Oh, and one more thing. I don't think the Black Prince is who he says he is. Got a bad feeling about this. Very bad. This deserves an op/ed piece




*604 refers to the points I need before Zep is revered with Golden Lotus. Really wanted closure today, but alas, not to be had. I am struggling with finding arbitrary 'end points' to play time. That's my real goal.




My new favorite band: Alberta Cross: Money for the Weekend




I think I know where the Christmas decorations are, and some work I took home that needs to get done before tomorrow, Monday. And they're not in Stormwind. Not sure this is relevant to anyone



Postscript: To my close friends in game - always the highlight of my weekends in Azeroth - thank you, and I'm grateful for you all!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

604*




The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Dorothy Parker(attributed)


To Daily or Not To Daily? 

This was a wonderful, wonderful weekend. I promised myself to pour all the liquor and cigarettes, er, uh, rather not log on any more today, so I would truly find some balance. There was great food, people I love,  conversation, and got to play my face off. I confess I did overcook the &#!# turkey -- hate when I do that. I know how to cook one, but I am sure that last quest, that last daily, that last thing to craft, made me ignore the bird the last crucial 20 minutes when it could have been delicious, free range moist turkey instead of borderline turkey jerky. Gravy boat, where are you!? Everything else turned out great, though, and I think this weekend I may do some turkey redemption and just cook one to prove I can. At least I didn't leave the giblet package in the bird like I did the first year I was on my own. Another rite-of-passage was this was the first year I did not call my mom to get her recipe for cornbread stuffing -- just talked to her because. The stuffing was just fine.

But I don't think I can use the item recovery service from Blizzard to replace my overdone turkey.

Now, it wasn't all sage and cranberries this weekend though. There was a moment when my heart hurt a little, just a tiny bit of mourning for, well, a few things. It was hard to put my finger on at first, and I am not sure but perhaps unintentionally avoided this blog because if I ventured here, things would get stupidly emotional, and I just don't have it in me anymore to get emotional over Azerothian misadventures. I do wonder though, and suspect, that perhaps the new land isn't all it's made out to be. I know the forums have been basted with (see--still have turkeys on my mind) with all the concern, complaints, etc. over dailies. I do wonder if that was the breaking point for me personally - it would be normal for me to have the simple expectation to find a raid group with my same 'demographic' if you will, and just move forward. I don't have it in me right now to make new friends. I just don't. Yes, that is said in my 8-year-old voice in my head. And because of that lack of belonging/structure, and perhaps the umpteenth lesser charms, I felt something I haven't yet while playing: boredom.

Boredom is a tricky thing. It is a sentiment I am loathe to even say out loud, holding the belief that only boring people can get bored. See that darling Dorothy Parker quote? I am wondering if the cure for curiosity is dailies, or rather not cure, but "death of." (I had to check my subject/verb agreement on that one: let's see - step inside the grammarian's head: if I switched it to The cure is dailies, or The cure is not dailies, not The cure ARE dailies, heavens no! okay, grammar checked, moving on...) So, you're asking, why didn't you just walk away entirely? Well, because I'm functionally addicted. Whatsittoya? I'm also functionally addicted to bubble baths, writing, making lists, putting dairy products in the fridge, and keeping the dishwasher on a perpetual empty/filled rotation, but you don't see anyone having to sponsor me or call a therapist do you? (Sheesh, defensive!)

ANYWAY: 

Here's what is new:

Mataoka: Have done every LFR as a healer I can. Amazing raids. Now I wish more than ever I had a good team that wanted me. I have three/four of the tier pieces, and have been lucky with drops. What I haven't been doing are the dailies for Golden Lotus so I can get shoulders or fill in where the drops don't. But then I asked myself, why bother? Just have fun, do LFR, and if a raid team needs a resto shaman healer then I'll be ready, or, Plan B; just play for fun and not worry about getting on a raid team. I think the next time I would be wise if I let the raid team find me. Very Zen and all that nonsense. I'm a really good healer, I know fight mechanics, and understand my enhancement spec, too. Still not sure how raid teams are looking for healers and yet...never mind.

See those green bubbles? Yeah. But the outdoor ventilation system is marvelous.

Zeptepi: Now this is the one. This is the silly one--what sort of noob would want to make a holy priest her second main in MoP? Didn't I get the memo about lack of mana? Don't I feel parched constantly when trying to heal with her? Perhaps. But I am all for the underdog, and Zep is rocking. Every day I go in the Vale and kick Mogu butt -- but today took the prize.  I took on a big, bad mob of statues, fractured souls, mogu, and meanies all by myself and my Psyfiend. It was one of those moments in game where I was truly in the 'zone." I didn't die - I healed, shadow form, screamed, flayed, blasted, plague, whatever. It was amazing. For anyone who's ever played a shadow priest you understand the mesmerizing joy that experience was today.
Zeptepi in the heat of the Badlands...

Last night I started more pet battles with this character, and had Momokawa finish them up this morning. I don't need to say anything more about pet battle except this: baby black ram. Named him Necio. Pet battles are going to have to be for TV watching, couch, hanging out times because otherwise they are too addicting. Found myself spamming the greyed-out list for more, more, and MORE! Those trainers are some tough beeotches, too. The crux came with this one in Swamp of Sorrows. That is when I knew this wasn't your Pokemon kid stuff:
Took great pleasure in defeating this one.
What was very pleasurable about pet battles which surprised me the most is getting out of Pandaria. It is gorgeous, amazing, perfect, sublime, and yet -- just to listen to familiar soundtracks while flying over other Azerothian stomping grounds was refreshing.

Ceniza: Ceniza has been working diligently on the farm. But yes-- I have alluded to a story in the works, even if the draft is only in my head.

Surprises:

Okay, you're going to want to pay attention now. 

Figure 2, Exhibit 1
Did you know that you can fish from the spell book and not equip a pole? You probably did, but I'm not sure you, yeah you over there, not sure you knew that. I found that out yesterday because I didn't want to take off my weapons and then get eaten by something or other, so I just tried it. It worked. Plopped the line right in the swirly fish pool and got many a good catch.

Also, did you know that shamans no longer have underwater breathing? How did I find that out, you ask? The hard way. Always the hard way.

Did you know that the glyph of disguise is awesome? You did? Can't say it enough. So is the Vykrul thingy. (See Figure 2, Exhibit 1)

Oh, and one more thing. I don't think the Black Prince is who he says he is. Got a bad feeling about this. Very bad.


*604 refers to the points I need before Zep is revered with Golden Lotus. Really wanted closure today, but alas, not to be had. I am struggling with finding arbitrary 'end points' to play time. That's my real goal.


My new favorite band: Alberta Cross: Money for the Weekend

And an blast from the past: The Cure/Friday I'm in Love

I think I know where the Christmas decorations are, and some work I took home that needs to get done before tomorrow, Monday. And they're not in Stormwind.

Postscript: To my close friends in game - always the highlight of my weekends in Azeroth - thank you, and I'm grateful for you all!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Needled


I recently took up knitting again. It's caused nothing but heartache, though, and I may have to give it up. The other afternoon, for example, I was in my knitting bee group, and wouldn't you know it? Susan  was doing a double-stocking-stitch backflip with her brand new Juno flax imported from rare blue goats in Spain, acting like no one would notice with that damn smug smile on her face! And then there was Helen, that bitch, who had a brand new pair of mother-of-pearl inlaid antique knitting needles she got off the Martha Stewart website, which must have cost her a fortune! (And we all know her husband is taking workman's comp now for his "back injury.") "Well," I thought to myself, "I'm going to just have to be the best damn knitter these knitting bee-otches have ever seen! I can buy baby alpaca yarn from the organic wool farm down the lane and knit myself up a pair of booties like they've never seen! Oh, the humanity of it all...the unraveling, the darning, the tears! Even sitting on the couch next to family, I get nothing but grief. The hideous clack of THOSE BLOODY NEEDLES! They shout. "PUT THAT AWAY! You're driving us crazy!" I just wanted to knit you a scarf for Christmas, I weep, pulling out my number 7s, my lucky number 7s mind you, and whip out a purl one knit two, or was it knit one, purl two, in a blaze of lanolin and mohair. I tried to get in with this elite group of Norweign Knitting Champions, but alas, did not have the correct round-needled cast off technique, and they roundly (no pun) rejected me. It was devastating. Now I don't even feel like knitting a beanie or bootie. Stupid hobby. Maybe I'll take up raising Persian cats instead. Or playing Farmville. What could be the harm in that?




For a grand conversation, check out: Playstyle Choices versus Game Constraints in Mists

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

RTMT: That is an awesome word:

Sybil Trelawney



RTMT: Long day ahead...

Today is one of those 5AM to 9PM days that scrapes me out. There are not enough Wheaties in the world, and though I've never had one, 5-hour energy drinks can apparently kill you. No thanks.

But HEY! Look! This happened yesterday morning: Go Ceniza, go Ceniza!



I don't think of these characters in terms of Level 90s: I think of them in terms of WCFN: Who Can Fly Now. I seriously consider who to level next this context now. And again, this is what I wish, but I know others disagree: for this expansion, if one player gets to 90 and gets flight, then alts do too. I don't need to see the ground terrain the second or third time unless I choose. And I do love my ground mounts. What I don't love is how awful my clothies were before hitting 90. It was bad, real bad.

I doubt today I'll be able to sneak in any writing time, but perhaps. Ceniza looks at me reproachfully every day, and every time she's broken on the rocks in Theramore. But at least now she can fly.


RTMT: A Day In the Life

Recently two blog posts caught my eye: Matticus' A Night in the Life of a GM, and his inspiration, Aunaka's post, What a Raid Leader's Day Looks Like,  Now, I am sitting here actually hesitating at my keyboard because I am afraid I am not going to strike the right tone. Last year when there was a leadership crisis/vacuum at my place of employment, one of my beloved colleagues was describing a world by which we don't have ineffectual bosses, but true leaders.  Currently at work, I think I have a boss, not a leader, yet. Bosses are under a lot of pressure, and use any tool they have to get their employees to do more, more, more. This has never been truer in the workplace--do less with more, and smile about it. So when you leave behind the workaday world, and log onto some nice, satisfying play time, what does motivate all sides of a team to work together?

Okay -- before I go on: the position of a large guild as Guild Masters and Officers is a thankless job. It's lonely at the top. I get it. I've been in positions of leadership before, paid with love, stale coffee and Hershey bars, and not much else. Guild Masters' currency is as varied as the motivations for becoming a GM, I am sure, ranging from fair-trade professional skills to world-wide renown, fame, glory and whatnot. 

But good leadership, solid leadership, isn't just about longevity or boss kills. I look at Navi's posts on her raiding experiences and guild, and see a fun, close group. I suspect, and I know this is where folks will disagree with me, that who I am in real life hurts me. (Cross-dressing rogue agrees with me, and told me never to tell anyone who or what I am.) Most folks want a single or childless player, one who's been playing since the beginning. In other words, no one wants to play with a 'mom' type. Hell, most of you don't want her as your Facebook friend, so why would you play with her? And like any social structure, there are unspoken rules, and once again, these rules spring like a bear trap on unsuspecting paws and tails.

Off to the 'net to see what others have to say about the qualities of a leader:

“The boss drives group members; the leader coaches them. 
The boss depends upon authority; the leader on good will. 
The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. 
The boss says ‘I’; the leader says ‘we.’ 
The boss assigns the task, the leader sets the pace. 
The boss says, ‘Get there on time’; the leader gets there ahead of time. 
The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. 
The boss knows how it is done; the leader shows how. 
The boss makes work a drudgery; the leader makes it a game. 
The boss says, ‘Go’; the leader says, ‘Let’s go.’“ 


– Author unknown 
Posted on Business Balls 


and this is TLDR, but caught this gem:

Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they'll be a part of it. As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization's goals, truly enjoy what they're doing and (of course) know they'll share in the rewards.

Does this mean I have a hankering to be a guild master/raid leader for a team? That old adage, if you want a job done right you have to do it yourself, eh? Well, I don't believe that. I know that many can carry the torch in a functional environment. I've seen it, and hell, even been a big part of nurturing it. I am often that voice that advocates for rational, reasonable, and logical considerations. Unfortunately, this voice comes with breasts (those do get in the way sometimes) and life experience, and when the 'man' voice says it, it gets listened to. Like I've said before, I work predominately with women, and many women do not trust others of their own gender, which is a damn shame. The point is, I wasn't trying to be the leader, just a peer. Bossy is as bossy does, I suppose.

I've said this many times: there is nothing wrong with being in a group where everyone fits in, is the same, has the same values, goals, etc. But lately I've been thinking, what would my 'club' look like? What would be my dream team? 

Well, Xak was one of the best raid leaders I have encountered: calm, funny, and smart. And always respectful and appreciative. Kaylyne is a smart, funny, player, and one of those women who is inclusive and rocks the game, and is competitive enough to be fun; I wish JD and his lovely Mrs. Amateur would play MoP--their attitude about bopping in a raid and keeping it "laid back" is superlative; I wish my buddy Turk had time to put together a raid team--maybe in the future. But for now he mostly PUGs stuff, and has put his family first. Go figure. This group would include anyone who wants to check out end-game content. But many of the ones I could play with have other things to do, as do I, so I'll just have to be patient, PUG, and plant witchberry seeds.

Since my dream team is just that, a dream, one thing I will keep in mind for the future are the most important qualities of all: that clear vision and communication -- ah, that is the mana from heaven. And that is where being a GM/RL is the most thankless: how do you actually tell people bad news? How do you tell them good news? If someone tells you they misunderstood or didn't hear, do you blame or fix? Are you making assumptions, or are you treating loyal players as peers?

My new boss is someone I do have faith in. She's already shown a few times where she's refllected on some snap judgments and corrected them, or misunderstandings. These always comes from concise communication (something I can do, but always need to work on), and good listening skills--a small feedback loop of "this is what you said, and this is how we can solve it; what ideas do you have?"

And after all--it is just a game. If I actually wrote what a "day in the life" was like for me, and the people in my world, well, 

whatever.


I'll just keep that to myself.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What I don't get about you...

Adios, Vaquero Twinkie...vaya con dios...
So, the Hostess Bakery closed down, and Americans were fraaa-eeekin' out that our beloved Twinkies would cease to sparkle. From news reports, Aussies, Brits, and others just did not get our Yanks' panic on this potential loss of a snack treat. Admittedly, I myself have not had a Twinkie since the fourth grade, and that was some time ago. I was more of a cherry pie girl myself. Twinkies were infamous for being one of those foods that had so many preservatives it was purported they would last through Armageddon. This made me think, and I am putting this out to my Aussie, Brit, and other world-wide buddies from Azeroth out there: what else don't you get about us Yanks?

Here are some of my guesses, but please, add your own. Be brutal. It's okay. I'm not sure I get them either:

1. Boy bands.
2. Bacon
3. Lack of ability to maintain separation of church and state
4. Lip gloss
5. Bad beer
6. Honey BooBoo

Things you do:

1. Blue jeans
2. Delivered pizza
3. Rock'n'Roll
4. Starbucks
5. Cheeseburgers
6. Big, puppy-like enthusiasm

Okay, my anglophilic friends - what is one thing you think a hearty "WTF!"* about your State-side friends? Keep it light - we are on the same side, ya know!

On the WoW side, if you're Alliance or Horde, what are some things you don't get about the opposite faction? Very curious about this!


*Said in your adorable accents! Everything sounds proper under a banner of Queen Elizabeth's doleful gaze!

Home Sweet Home...

My House, I Say

by Robert Louis Stevenson

My house, I say. But hark to the sunny doves   
That make my roof the arena of their loves,   
That gyre about the gable all day long   
And fill the chimneys with their murmurous song:   
Our house, they say; and mine, the cat declares  
And spreads his golden fleece upon the chairs;   
And mine the dog, and rises stiff with wrath   
If any alien foot profane the path.   
So, too, the buck that trimmed my terraces,   
Our whilom gardener, called the garden his;
Who now, deposed, surveys my plain abode   
And his late kingdom, only from the road.


For any of you who have a friend in game like I do - just a cool, nice person -- that is a wonderful blessing indeed. I have a few close friends, but my tiny cottage guild is where I feel the most "home" so far in Azeroth. It's had a few name changes, but we've settled on The Wildings, after the Free Folk in G.R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones series. No, there is no one fancying themselves Jonn Snow* or Ygritte (yes, it does sound like "regret") but the idea of just hanging out, slaying a few dragons, and being independent sure is nice. There has been talk of housing/halls for players: the only time I've experienced making my own little house in a game is in Animal Crossing. Shush, you. Princess was the pinkiest. I love my little guild, where I am the queen, my stuff is there, and open to all the inhabitants of two humans times twenty of alts. Because of guild rep changes, our little guild has gone from hovering around level four for a long time to now almost level ten in a matter of a few weeks. Who knows? Maybe we'll even hit level 25 someday, have all the rights and benefits of the larger guilds. I am reminding myself of so many of the changes I wanted have been made to game play -- there are challenges, scenarios, and even though the grinds get old, they can be done on our own time, with our own senses of interaction. We can make our virtual homes happy ones.


*Although we all could use a little John Snow now and then.

Theme Song: Game of Thrones opening theme song (yes, this is my ring tone)

Navi and the Moon...

I love where I live. I love the grey, rainy days, the dark fall, the damp, chilly winters, and the mucky, sluggy springs. We don't get much of a summer - we had a few hot days in August, but it's pretty mild. But damn, I love to travel, too, and of late, haven't been as able to jet as often as I'd like. Time and money, friends, time and money. Too busy getting baby birds out of the nest I guess, but my traveling feet are itchy for some new turf.

For instance, two things came across my Internet scope recently:

Gollum is in New Zealand: http://www.kuriositas.com/2012/11/gollum-catches-lunch-at-wellington.html

and Navi's posts on the eclipse in Australia: http://frostwolves.blogspot.com/2012/11/afk-from-wow-eclipse-2012-day-4-eclipse.html

You have got to check out her amazing photos - her narration is her usual superlative style of making her reader in the moment. I felt like I was there, Navi - if that whole doctor thing doesn't work out, you have a career as a report/travel writer.

I did a little research on when one might hit the States, and it won't be for awhile. Looks like the Southern Hemisphere will be the lucky ones for awhile: August 21, 2017 in Kentucky but should be crossing over parts of Oregon, too, so perhaps that'll be doable.

http://www.moongiant.com/Solar_Eclipse_Calendar.php

But since I am kind of grounded for now, much of my travel is done on the 'net. One of my favorite feeds is Kuriositas.com : check this out, too: http://www.kuriositas.com/2012/11/blood-ink.html

Theme song: Dark Side of the Moon/Pink Floyd

Robes of Reality


This is dedicated to the real-life responsibilities we all have. This week as we in the States give thanks (yes, I know my Canadian friends - you had your Thanksgiving, but man, no one does it like the States: Hey, thanks for the corn and helping us from starving! Now give us your land!) just take a moment and consider that whatever responsibilities you have are usually tethered to love, family, and friendship.

What are my plans for this Sunday before feasting week? Level Ceniza the Misunderstood to 90, and then go to the grocery store, and then a girlfriend's house for a make-up party. Could use a new lipstick buff. I have a lot of smiling to do the next few days, and need all the help I can get!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

...and now for something completely different:


There is nothing wrong about this.

Theme Song: If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right/Luther Ingram

Three Times

There is a reason why the cliche, "It's not you, it's me" springs to mind now. It's not them -- it is me. I am going to hunker down for awhile. I veered off course into the needy, whiny, impatient worse parts of my personality with my bigger guild, and had a long talk with Cross Dressing Rogue about it today, and he was a great sounding board. No one owes me anything. No one did anything wrong. I am just still in search of that lovely 10-man group, a group who wants me, and makes space for me, who fights for me, as I would them. A group that knows who I am and understands the personal issues I face, so that when I'm facing a monster in Azeroth the other stresses are washed away, just for a time. I have laughed at the story about a very serious boyfriend I dated for over four years, and I finally found him in a rare, vulnerable, honest moment when I asked him, "You're never going to marry me, are you?" He said, "No." Best thing he ever did for me.

However, sometimes though we have to read the signs for ourselves. If someone wants you, they set you a place at the grown-up table. Well, I think the kid table is more fun anyway (one of the worst realizations in the rites of passage realm.) Yes, it hurts that a guildmate thinks less of me, but she assumed I was just being an ass, I guess. Which is a shame, but if believing someone is an ass instead of taking the time to get to truly know them, or giving them the benefit of the doubt, then we're all diminished I suppose.

So, as is my pattern, I need to recuse myself. I did say raiding would be tough on the inhabitants of the Matty-shack now, and I need to honor my own words, and not lie to myself. I love end-game content. I wish I didn't. But I love a lot of things I can't have right now, and the world doesn't end. I don't want anyone to feel they have to shuffle or accommodate for me, ever. I don't want anyone to compromise their time in game. But I owe it to myself and my loved ones not to compromise either. I should never walk away from a keyboard in tears. Everyone deserves the raid team they want. Cross-dressing rogue said, metaphorically, 'baby, they're just not that into you.'

Off to a buddy's guild: known this friend for a long time in game, so I feel safe that since he knows me and my foibles and peccadilloes, and my funny side, too, I'll be safe.

I have noticed for a long time that I haven't been burning to write--I would sneak story notes at breaks, scribble things at dawn, and dream of plots in the moonlight. Maybe if I quit worrying about whether or not I'm flasked up or have a spot I can get back some of my personal mojo.


I'm going to go read a book. Tyrion Lannister still loves me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

RTMT: Why does it always have to be snakes?

Did you ever try to log in on a Tuesday morning, forgetting that it was update day? Still type in your password, hoping that maybe, just maybe, Blizzard wouldn't include you in their plans, giving you a backstage pass to time in Azeroth while the rest of the proletariat has to slog and log onto mundane media formats? Okay, maybe that's just me. But that is how time has been for me of late - very choppy, disconnected, and lacking focus, almost to a pathological level. I used to be so checklist-driven, my mental health greatly dependent upon big, black Sharpies obliterating minutia and getting sh*t done, Samuel Jackson style. There were no mo-fo snakes on my mo-fo plane, I'll tell you that. Well, not only are there snakes, but they're venomous and cranky.

So, please allow me to do a delivery of brain matter here. This is un-apologetically random, even for the Random Tuesday Morning Thought. However, stick with it, because you might get sparked/inspired, too.

1. What the hell is going on here?


Did you ever wander into a scene, and notice that things do not seem quite copacetic? Recently, in Pandaria, I noticed these two vignettes that disturbed my peace of mind:

What the...?! (Jade Forest)


 This one is in Prankster's Hollow (which is a delightful name) - animal skulls and a pit, and a smell of burnt cinnamon. This can't be good.



2. Ceniza puts on a show:

The Glyph of Disguise is wonderful. There are a few that are repeated, but every now and then I get a surprise:
Ceniza, for heaven's sake, eat a sandwich!

And one for the ladies! Woot! (I love how when I do mirror image, whatever I am at that moment mirrors, too!)

3. How does your garden grow? With silver songbells and time-sink wells...

SeƱor and I are trying very hard to get those damn motes-- we just like making stuff, and those motes/sprites are a huge limiting factor, and it's very disheartening. We have laid waste to hundreds of beasties in the Jade Forest for a handle here and there. I heard a rumor that you can grow them when you level up rep with the Tillers. I have no beef with the Tillers, it's just that after my first garden died, it kind of took the wind out of my sails. (Oh, how I love mix metaphors in the morning!) Anyway, sir, here is a screenshot of what we need to grow those bloody things:

In fact, that was going to be the first thing I was going to do this morning, was to check on the garden Momokawa started. Sad face, sad face.

4. Stupid raiding. 

I was all excited about raiding as a resto shaman, and then things are still flucuating. Remember that thing about goals, focus, and checklists? I need a few more earth signs in my world, people! Give me a solid Taurus or Capricorn, so I can find some solid footing under my watery Pisces feet!
Guess this doesn't matter anymore. Poop.

5. Why I should be doing Pet Battles instead.

Why have I been wasting my time?! LOOK! A baby goat! A BABY GOAT!
Just kidding! (Get it?! Get it?!!!)

6. And more drafts and sticky notes:

I have failed at NaNoWriMo. But that's okay. I think I'll do what Bear is going to do, and just write when I can. I was hoping the structure of 30 days would light a fire under my tail, but no.

I also have a draft of a story about Ceniza, Theramore, and the black stallion named Cad, short for cadeau. But I am not sure I can, or want to, compare with Eriny's beautiful writing:
http://harpysnest.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/sunday-storytime-the-aftermath-of-theramore/

The good thing is writing is never a contest, and never a competition. We all have our stories to tell, and that is inherently the beauty of it all.

Just not sure when I can do it. Can't steal moments at work - it is locked down tight. Can't steal moments at home. Dryer broke, bills are biting my ankles, and other stuff is making me hold my metaphorical breath. But I'll get to it. Just after I pick these cabbages.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dear Matty: Love Connection

Dear Matty:
My significant other and I recently broke up. She did not get my obsession with WoW, and I did not get her obsession with Bad Girls. Okay, well maybe that one made sense, but the other chick things she was into, you know, talking to me, having me listen, all that junk, well, it just didn't work out. How does a handsome but sometimes fuzzy dude meet a single lady on-line in Azeroth who's not stalker, creeper, needy, or a dude?

Lovelorn in Laederon

Dear Lo:

Dude, I ain't touching this one with a ten-foot polearm. Good luck, sir.

Theme Song: Train/50 Ways To Say Goodbye

Optional Pants

Part I: Therapy Session

Germans, French, Russians, and Yanks: oh my!

Yesterday evening, after basically two days' of play and miscellaneous life stuff, I realized that the inner dialogue in my head was just like every addicted personality I have ever known: rationalization, bargaining, enabling, and all that unhealthy stuff. I did not want to work on NaNoWriMo, (not, "could not," I "did not") and putzing around in Azeroth was having an AA meeting in a liquor store. Not a good idea. I turned off the game, put even the laptop far, far away from the TV room, and watched an old film, one of those classics that everyone should watch but probably don't think about, "The Third Man." It was----trippy. Post-war symbolism, setting Vienna, and yes, even Orson Welles.

And it's always about a dame, ain't it?

Afterwards, I turned to Cross-Dressing Rogue and admitted I need help. (Isn't that the first step?)

Help with what, you ask? The fact that I am becoming so chained, enslaved, to Azerothian duties. (I am a person who quit smoking cold turkey, but there were other motivating factors, so I know it can be done, but but but...)

He is an experienced game designer and player, and tried to remind me again that WoW is never meant to be "won." Ever. It has no beginning and no ending, and for someone like me who needs end-caps, this lack of structure and time-management is truly debilitating. Since the expansion came out particularly, I have been feeling this odd mix of having a great time/having the worst time in this chosen hobby. And it is an avocation. I considered that I'm coming up on my three-year anniversary this next May, and though there are many of my friends and loved ones who've been playing much longer, I got the end-game bug pretty bad. (Maybe the Klaxxi's sting is more venomous than we imagined.)

Earlier in the day, we both went off on a tiny rant about some of the ways Blizzard seems to sadistically hurt their long-time and newer players. I found this quote on MMO Melting Pot:

And Green Armadillo says that saying dailies, LFR or coin hunting is optional is rather like saying wearing pants is optional – “Lecturing the customer on why they are incorrect, not as good at playing the game as people who are beating the content with the minimum gear, and need to find new friends with lower expectations – however accurate all of these statements may be – is not a good business strategy. “
Yes, it is a bad business strategy, but they are the Breaking Bad geniuses, and that first taste is free. It's up to me to scrape together whatever intelligence I can muster and try to focus, really focus. Enter rationalization: it's hard. Each one of those alts provides another dimension to play time that is unique. I have really been enjoying starting to get serious about raid healing on Mataoka, and continue to privately, subtly, enjoy my enhancement spec for questing and kicking monster ass. As far as healing goes, I think I have potential to be a decent raid healer. Consider the other night I went in with less than stellar gear, and managed to get past the dogs at the gate. But the other alts, as I said in my choppy attempt at poetry, have this amazingly interconnected professional life.

All I wish -- really wish -- is that Blizzard got the altaholics like me. I don't want anything to be soulbound, I don't want anything to be limited. My alts are one person: me. If they're worried about illegal gold farming and such, I'm sorry. To me, it's like being worried about drug cartels or bootleggers when I want a glass of wine. Guess what? People are always going to skirt the law: there are systems in place to protect the economy of Azeroth, and have its legitimate players such as myself enjoy a few hours of play. I want when my druid plants a crop my shaman can water it. All efforts go across the board. Period. Done. Move on.

Part II: By Which I Get Serious About Restoration Shaman Specialization

MMO Melting Pot's guide is really terrific, in my opinion. Validated a few things, surprised me on some, and all in all a great, quick read. Hugh delivers as usual. I am off to Ask Mr. Robot (still like this site a lot) and see what's what. 

Few Quick Awesomesauce Resources:


Here is where I stand (and yes, I am standing on agility boots. Yes. Yes I am.)

And here is the wish list:

So: trying to focus. Trying. I know there are changes coming up in the next patch or whatever. I know. I may fly over the coo-coo's nest by then, and it may be too late. 

In the meantime, I'm off to go boot shopping. Thank you, Icy!

Postscript: Update - who knows if I'll be raiding or not? Who knows? No one knows. No one. /Sigh

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Poetry: Ode to Alts


Guidmate sacrificed three Spirits to make this for me--I know someone who's getting a Cinder Kitten!

There once was a shaman, she is the main—
Enhancement was she, until she hit healing rain
But to stay as main she would need some help, that was plain
However most were too busy trying for rep and valor to gain

From alts and guildies to boost her gear score
She would need enchants, gems, and much more
So she called in a mage, who had anger management rage,
Asked her to start fires, inks, and scribe some scrolly scrolls,
but got all wet and frustrated, and killed by trolly-trolls

To cool things down, she decided to quest
and break NPCs from a cages, to the west
She went to the yucky place, but got lost in the haze
So she milled leaves and something that looked like dead sage
From the flowers she picked, quick as a blink
(The druid tried, too, but got eaten I think)
But that became an epically-epic time-sink
The mage got distracted, as mages often do,
They have a very difficult time staying true
She decided to make a staff for the priest,
Therefore the mage’s focus on the shaman’s needs ceased
So she called in a druid, a flower-picker, too, (but no inks)
She created potions, flasks, and other tasty drinks

The druid can do it, let’s give her a cheer!
She’ll be level 90 by the end of the year…
The shaman sent her ore, galore! And gave her a chore:
Smelt me s’mores! Smelt me more!
The druid responsibility took to her tasks
But forgot what her purpose was, and drank all the flasks

When she woke up in the drunk-tank,
Feathers mussed, with a skunk pet that stank,
She recalled her duty to shaman and guild
That it was her mission of gear score to help build

She used ghost bars to make the trillium,
And forgot to transmute primal diamonds (how sillium!)
So the sockets were sockless, to coin a new idiom
And the she drunkenly used lotus on some effluvium

A paladin was on standby, wanting to make
A new mace or shield so that booties would shake
But the living steel took too long,
(This is starting to be a familiar song)
The blacksmith would have to wait
To make better gear, it would be a long date

Now back to the hunter, she’ll save the day!
With her growling pet at her side, the hides she’ll cut away
But even she wandered off in a meadow, I’m told
And was last seen with full bags of intestines to hold
So it’s back to the mage, come on girl, Be quick!
Mill those inks! Pick those flowers! Do your clever trick!
The shaman is waiting to get a hefty gear score
Do you want her to wipe the raid, or not know her lore?

The mage hung her head in a semblance of shame
She tried for contrition but, hey it was only a game
Who else can she call? Who else indeed?
Which one of the alts can stand in her stead?
Now the monk is not good, such a lowbie to the end
She should have used recruit-a-friend

The druid was still squishy, how could she survive?
The mobs of critters who ate her alive
She wanted to be an industrious farmer,
and not have anything harm her
To grow the spirits and motes
(Rumor has it those things grow like oats)
She would need the lotus of golden
She was only a Mogit alt, not beholden

Call in a young priest! Call in an old one!
So in from the shadows she came,
from the house of the auction
The priest who spins the silk,
like those of her ilk
She does this daily, every hour x 24
Because the cool down bars the door
She needed motes, too, dammit,
But instead of trying, she took a different gambit
She would work hard to gain rep,
And around the valley she’d schlep

She worked so hard to pound down some Mogu
But when she was last seen, with pandas she was drinking their brew
She didn’t get the cloth done for the mage in time
So no staff for anyone, not even account-with-bind
Sadly the druid went on a three-day drunken bender
And the unsold items were marked “return to sender”

When we last saw our shaman, our one, our main
She was talking to some Klaxxi she hoped to entertain
She would cut through the amber and pound on some sand
And find new ways to cope in a dangerous land

The lesson here, my alts of my life,
If you want to lessen your pain and your strife
Just focus on one, and don’t try to juggle
The amount of pixels it takes that make up our struggle
One or two is fine to focus on, it’s true
They can’t all get to ninety in a day, boo-hoo, QQ

Theme song: Countdown/The Black Keys
Postscript: Notice how I break iambic pentameter once in awhile? I meant to do that.