Thursday, February 27, 2014

OLRG: Sharp Blades Edition

Just call me Grace.
Gosh almighty, give me one day off from work to go to see a doctor, fight pharmacists, and get laundry done and you'd think I'd won a gold medal or something. Yes, you see all the while I told you I was in Texas was really a cover for my Olympian figure-skating career--I was in Sochi the whole time. I only got the silver in the Women's "Rock that Hat" competition, but kicked ass in the biathlon! I mean, really, who doesn't love a woman who can ski AND SHOOT STUFF?

(I really do think this is an awesome event.)
Ladies, and Gentlemen, I hope you are around and free to go skiing with me in Firelands and…maybe…yes, let's…go Flex something. Why the hell not? Anyone else have some ideas, too? I'm open to suggestions - the main thing is I just want to see you all!

So: Saturday, March 1 4PM Pacific - till then, mi amigos/amigas. Till then...

My favorite mage...

No, not you Señor, and no, not you either, new Drunken Fish guild member/long friend, Dahahka, and Ceniza, you know it's not you (wait…what are you doing with that match!? Blow that out immediately…!)

It's Vidyala of Manalicious.


The "F" Word, Invisible Unicorn Horns, and the Bunny Bum Nibblers

This is a video NPR reposted this "crowboarding"-the cure for the 'winter blahs.' This immediately made me think of Tome. She and I have had a few conversations about what 'fun' means, and this crow definitely has the right idea. 

Now, a lot has been on my mind lately; a lot is on everyone's mind. We all feel like we're playing Whack-A-Mole constantly in real life. One thing gets done, two problems pop up. One place I do not want to feel anxiety is Azeroth. Stress, however, or a sense of competition, or achievement, now those things are not so bad. It may seem odd to include stress in that mix, but there exists a place for this emotion. It gets us going, gets us moving and shaking. Anxiety, however, not so much. One recurring personal theme of mine is that not everyone 'gets me.' It's like an invisible unicorn horn on my forehead that remains unseen until poor communication draws it out, into the light, so everyone can see it and laugh. This metaphorical appendage is something I've learned to cope with, by and large. I don't think too much about it until I have an exchange with someone and it's clear my invisible unicorn horn is showing. 

Tuesday night I asked my GM if he had a preference about which character to bring to a 25-man. I have gotten the feeling from him I am a sub-standard enhancement and restoration shaman, (which I am) and there are a lot of good shamans in the guild so far. I think he misunderstood my question has having him make the decision for me, as opposed to try to help balance the group. I was told when WoD hits there was no place for 'alt-hopping' and he didn't know why I didn't like playing my shaman. 

Unicorn horn growing.

When it got down to it, since I'd never done SoO on my stupid-butt-die-and-die-again melee shaman, why not? Sure, sure my DPS/damage hovered near the #10-#15 slots. Sure. I was on time, and waited for about three other players, but they are key members of the guild and raid team, so of course we waited. One of our tanks, Hawt, is amazing. But we didn't get through all that they wanted to. I kept thinking to myself damn that I don't have my cloak yet on Zep or Momo--I have much more fun healing on Momokawa especially, but alas…no cloak. Now why Blizzard can't f*cking make it one main, cloaks for all..anyway. 

So last night the gulid was talking about challenge modes. Again, me and my big horn. I said I wanted to try them because they sounded like fun, and I was quickly told they are not "fun" and while I tried to combat what I felt was negativity I made some jokes:

Sure enough, someone said the line - (being funny)

And I said something about how challenge modes had caused some issues in some guilds, but not for me and my attitude, and this next line cracked me up:

Obviously, I need to get to know Cevere and and Kazzta better! They seem like my kind of folks! (Note to self: next guild name, Bunny Bum Nibblers.) 

Moving on, was told "would sit back and eat popcorn" while I presumably failed if I tried challenge modes. Yup. I am going to fail. Over and over and over again. Just like the big kids. Just like Michael Jordan:

"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."

I was then told I misunderstood the popcorn comment. UNICORN HORN ACTIVATED. 

Oh well. Fuck it dude. Let's go bowling.

In other news: TOME IS AWESOME. 

Just sayin.

She knows I have an invisible unicorn horn, and loves me anyway.

PS F stands for FUN


Eff-u Blizzard.

You should be doing MORE writing, more class information, MORE conversation - not less.


From Navimie...

Navimie has a lot on her mind right now: this just shows, again, how completely selfless and generous my sweet friend is:

Included in this epic poem was a Gregarious Grell - I named her Navikki. Notice my vanity in rubbing out the number (age). I know you all know how old I am. But in Azeroth I'm always 29….

Now, she had me cracking up laughing: she and I were talking about this on my Tuesday night. The big guild is trying to do 25-mans, and beforehand I asked my GM who he would like me to bring. The conversation I had with him is in keeping with a long-string of 'lost in translation' moments, but I'll write about that later. In any case, I brought the shaman, who is melee, and sat in melee-spew all night:
Get me a mop, quick!
I just sat back and looked at this mess. I don't know where to run, I don't know how fast to move. Raid awareness goes in the sh*tter for me. But as my favorite guild tank, Hawt,  told me last night while she and I were reflecting on it, "at least I try."

Anyway, what was cracking me up was Navi telling me since the poem was so long she spent so much time trying to kill things for postal money. I could totally relate! Too bad there isn't an account "mail box" where you don't need to go to such lengths to send a piece of mail in game. Gee, I don't know, something like an world-wide server or something. Wonder if such a thing exists. Included in this feat of strength and epic writing, the Gregarious Grell is as cute as can be, and says very odd things:
This seemed too coincidental to be random word soup, so I did some research:
I have yet to play Portal, but have seen its inner workings played by far more leet players than I. And as Tome and I share book suggestions, after finishing Ready Player One, I'd better get my game on. The future depends on it. Nah, the future really depends on what it always has: love.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lonesome George

This past week was great, no doubt. Yesterday Helke told me not to 'neglect my shaman,' (she is so clever!) so immediately I ran to her and her mailbox and inside was a mischievious Ashleaf Spriteling. I love those effing things!

George is very protective of his baby sprite...

Now, you may wonder why Haanta named her beautiful tortoise George. He's named for George and the Dragon, and he thinks he's a paladin. He's incredibly protective, trustworthy, and caring. He is also an homage to Lonesome George, rest in peace, the last of his kind. 

Now, another tip I believe Helke gave me is pet-emote. I love it. And George did this this morning:

Gosh, I hope the real Lonesome George wasn't as confused as mine. The rock was confused too.

Anyway, this song has nothing to do with George, Lonesome George, awesome pets, or misdirected libidos. Just enjoy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me!

Got my own Google Doodle!

Our internet is out this morning and I am somewhat embarrassed to try to post this from my phone. Today is my birthday and I just wanted to thank all of your friendships for they are truly some if the richest treasures a lady (?) could have! ((((Hug)))) to all if you! (Send well wishes of reconnectivity!)

Update: all connected, all happy, and you guys rock!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Home again, and Beware the Cloud People

On the flight home I sat next to a little boy, probably about four, and he told me he wasn't afraid of anything. His friend was afraid of heights, but not him. Nothing.

Except: The Cloud People.

I told him he should write a story and change the ending; this seemed to inspire him and he said he would write a story so boring the Cloud People would stop reading it because it was so boring and then leave everyone alone.

I leaned over to his mother and told her she should be writing all this down, and she confessed it was hard to keep up with him. I gathered that. But I may have to steal the Cloud People, and write a colophon of sorts publically acknowledging this small blue-eyed muse. I am not a nice grown-up, because I have no qualms about sharing an anecdote too amazing like the Cloud People.

Now I sit and have so much to do! That was a lovely trip. The last lunch we went to the Bluebonnet Cafe, and I ate, of course, chicken fried steak and ordered two sides of fried okra, and was a bit too ambitious. I swear, I didn't eat another thing for the rest of the day, and just digested the lunch like a python after a goat:


And I wonder why I need to see a doctor about chronic issues. 

I am very happy to be home, and also to say if anyone wants to park a low-level character in the Drunken Fish, my dear friend Señor and I are welcome to the help of getting the guild leveled to 25, an for the company. But in an effort to be clear on expectations: Zeptepi is the Jefa, the boss. The stuff in the bank is her personal purse, and though you are welcome to anything, it is her bathroom cupboard, her junk drawer, and her moveable feast. Señor doesn't even take stuff out (he's afraid of her wrath, I am sure). All races are welcome, of course, but Draenei girls get preferential seating.  It's just science.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Now for something completely different...

I saw BPAL linked in a Twitter chat yesterday, so curious, I went to explore:

Oh yes please: can you make me smell like a green-eyed witch on a moonless night who's been kissed by a black-eyed druid? Sure, I'll take two. 

Oh, and this:

Need a bit more magic in this world...

Acrimonious Acronyms

Saddest Silver Medalists: Guess they didn't make the Mythic cut...

If anyone has read anything on education in the United States since George Bush was President, and enacted "No Child Left Behind," (or as some folks say, "No Child's Behind Left") you know that the movement for standardized testing has been the central focus since the early 2000s. The goal was to have every child, no matter English proficiency, or special needs, or background, pass the state tests based on Federal Law by 2014: 100%. (A statistical impossibility, but hey, who needs math?) Since the implementation of the law, it has morphed and transmuted to Obama's educational secretary, Arne Duncan, who re-branded this to "Race to the Top." In 14 years, parents, teachers, and administrators have "taught to the test" in three different packages. In Washington State alone, there has been the WASL, the MSP, and now the SBAC (which reminds me of a VBAC - ouch, and look it up). Look at the acronyms! JUST LOOK AT THEM! Like jewels of knowledge, my precious, precious test to rule them all! Sorry, parents of an autistic child, or shame on you, African refugee who's been in the country two weeks - sit down, take this test, and prove yourself! (I promise you, no hyperbole was abused in those statements: these are facts, not opinions.) Meanwhile, as the nation's poverty gap* widens, the educational dollars sit fat and comfortable at the top (did you know the superintendent of one of the largest districts in Washington State makes more than the governor?), and the nation wrings its hands and bemoans that Little Johnny still can't read (while his mom looks at her i-phone instead of reading him a story, or pointing out the red firetruck, so he goes to kindergarten not knowing the color 'red').

The reason I bring this up is because Godmother ( and WoW Insider (  both discussed the gate-keepers for heroic play in WoD. I just can't help but feel this is standardized testing, and I have some mighty mixed feelings. I do not mind that countries have educational standards: I don't know about you, but I want to go to a doctor who knows her stuff, or an auto mechanic who knows hers, too, and fixes what needs fixing. But change for change's sake is dangerous. I love the concept and play of the providing grounds, but for ME, and like a standardized test it still requires me to go watch videos and study outside of "school hours." Nerfs and changes to classes happen constantly, so once we begin to get comfortable with spells and movements, something changes, and somehow we are thought to be 'bad players' if we didn't adapt yesterday. As far as this gatekeeping and 'you're picked last for the team' concept: I kind of, sort of, don't mind, but, kind of, sort of do. The thing that stood out for me was if a player is in a guilded group, or already runs with a steady group of friends. Well thank the gods for the OLRG, but aside from that: SHEEE-IT. The drama and issues of most guilds takes up reams of bandwidth. Everyone knows those issues, and are better documented than an NSA agent stalking an old girlfriend. Thank you, no. I realize Blizzard is trying to cater to what they perceive as a wide variety of players: the elite and the non-elite. I always maintain that this binary thinking leads to standardized mediocrity and acrimony: try to make everyone happy, sometimes no one is.

But I am going to do my best not to become overwhelmed and anxious about a game, a game I love, because if I do, I know the outcome. I will begin to hate my virtual life in Azeroth, and that is not cool. I will keep this image from Tales from a Middle-Aged Gamer nearby, and keep it as my creed:
The only thing I will remember, and do keep in my heart, always and true: my friends in Azeroth, and their places in my heart. There's my gold.


(For some unknown reasons my links are not working)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Zealot Love!

Erinys has come up with another writers' challenge - you need to understand that when we use the word 'challenge' is it purely for fun, no competition or prizes. A win-win writing workshop, if you will.

 Anyway, totally on this one:

Well played, Erinys! Well played indeed! 

Letters to Camp Packabuncha: Trouble

Dear Human:
I was wondering why you didn't respond to my last note, and subsequently sent out that Search and Rescue squad of Haanta and her "dragon," George the Tortoise, to come and find me, then I found the note had been folded up and used as a wedge under a teetering bar table like a matchbook. Gods, woman, you panic far too easily! All hell broke loose when Haanta got here -- the Dwarf Bros., (who were my gentlemen hosts for the evening), Kegger and Schmegger, smelled that damn Shiner Bock IN THE BOTTLES and before we could hit the "move here" spell she misdirected aggro to George, fired off five flares, and power-shot Kegger right in the shoulder, fortunately missing his collar bone, (or worse, his beard), and pinned him and his chain mail to the back wall. Yelling a war-cry to defend his brother, "Git yuuur dotty hands off me brother!" Schmegger tore off his shirt, exposing his tats, including an unfortunate one about "Death to Goblin Scum!" which set off a particular Goblin waitress named Rosie Goldsnatch, who then broke a beer bottle over his head and threatened to 'remove the tattoo the hard way.' Schmeggle appeared both smitten and bloodlusting over her attack (for what male Dwarf doesn't love a woman who can handle a shank?) let his defenses down and she cut him, meanwhile Keggle is hollaring to bring him one of those Bocks and get him down off the bloody wall, or bring him two Bocks and leave him hanging, or something, Rosie drops the bottle and ties up the wound with a dirty bar rag, and Schmeggle, all moony-eyed declares his ever-lasting devotion to Rosie, and they went off to Goldshire. Haanta found her way over to a private booth to dance with a hot Elf chick or two (you know hunters and druids: when nature calls, it must be answered, no matter who dials the phone), and now I'm sitting here babysitting a confused tortoise and not sure where my next round is coming from.

Human, I appreciate all you do for me, truly.  Let's be honest: we both needed a break from one another, and sometimes you can be a bit micro-managing.You only have one more full day in Texas, and from what I have heard from the others you've had a great time. You got to see a show, Wicked, with amazing steam-punk costuming and sets, and I know you read the book years ago and loved it; you've been to Guero's Mexican restaurant and bought goodies at Tesoro's, your favorite store in Austin. I know CD Rogue got a little mad at you last night when you told him you had a doctor appointment for your tummy issues next week, and he seemed to think you needed to go to urgent care immediately. Urgent care in the sticks of Texas is not the same as it is at home, and I know you'll be fine. Work and life builds up, the stresses get to be too much, and you want to escape to Azeroth to take your mind off it all. But remember, Human, you had a week without us, and we were just fine, and so were you. Let me drop some healing rain down on your head, sweet lady, and quit worrying so much. It only upsets you, and confuses tortoises. We don't want confused reptiles, now do we? No. No we don't.

Now I'm going to cut Kegger down off the wall, and leave a good tip for Rosie. Haanta's on her own.

See you soon, chica - bring more Bock if you can. (Although, it's probably not gluten-free...)


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Brave New Efffed Up World

Just started reading: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and I am afraid to tell you I must insist you all stop what you're doing (yes, Navi, that includes Navispam and yes, Tome, sorry, no more Jazz Hands Dance Studio) and purchase this book and begin reading it.

I'll wait.

Did you download your copy?

Not yet?


(Insert Jeopardy music here)

Had a little side-trip to downtown Austin yesterday and forgot both chargers for the cell phone AND the Kindle.

Flopped around like a fish out of water for about two hours, and was jonesing big time to get back to some kind of connectivity.

Go get the book.

Not asking. Telling.

Now, I realize most WoW bloggers do not have me on their blogrolls. I'm pretty sure those who have Tome and Navi on theirs (and EVERYONE has Tome and Navimie) indulge them of their friendhips with me, look at this Sugar & Blood site, and decide it's just not their cup of tea. I don't know enough about Azeroth, I don't post strats or game videos, and my fan-fiction is lukewarm at best.

But don't any of you efffers tell me I don't know books. 

I am only two chapters into it (due to the battery situation on my Kindle, which, if you do read the book, you will realize is incredibly sad and ironic), but I am hooked. It is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Hunger Games I think. We shall see.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Letters from Camp Packabuncha, Texas

Dearest Kellda:
Kellda, Kellda - didn't we discuss this before I left? This "send lawyers, guns, and money" theme is getting tiresome. I am not in a place where I can install a new glyph or change your talents around, so please be patient. I can, however, send along this Staff of Bonking. No, not THAT kind of bonking, (though that does relieve stress, too), but if you need to give Voidwalker a swift kick, he'll mutter something about being hungry and filling a void and you'll be all set. Relax, my dear --plenty of time to go hunt for shards upon my return.

Yours in trusting faith--

Salutations Zep:
You're very good at multitasking Miss Z- why not sweetly ask Senor if he can help clean out the guild bank? I can anticipate your concerns, but have no worries - last I heard his rogue was being chased by crocolisks in Booty Bay (something about mistaking him for a small chicken dinner) and the mage is trying out Ancient portals or some-such nonsense. Why not take this opportunity to clean out your wardrobe, and consider getting some new PvP gear so you might have a chance at those two battles you need? Anyway, don't get your mana in a twist, all will be well soon.


Dear Haanta:
Enclosed please find 20 frozen long-horn free-range fed beefsteaks and 20 lbs. of Kreuz' Market sausage, and a case of Shiner Bock.
Enjoy -
PS Don't tell the Dwarfs.

Dear Momo:
As you can see I finished your story, and gave it an ambiguous ending so now no one knows what to say. I am a sh*tty writer, but working on it. Anyway-- you and the druid in the story live almost happily ever after. You're welcome.

Meant to tell you before I left with the new leaf laws in Washington and Colorado you may become a very popular druid - be careful. The definition of 'herbalist' is changing, and I don't want you to be in the wrong zones. 

PS I caution you to stay away from both the warlock and the priest. Have you heard from the shaman recently?

Dear Ceniza:
Stay tough, girl. What dailies do not kill us only make us stronger.

And ladies, why didn't I know about this?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Story Time: Pennyroyal Tea I, II, III

Pennyroyal Tea
By Mataoka

Part I of III

The night before, while tending to resentful business at the iron bank vault, she spied a hibernating druid resting his bony bottom on the floor, encased in leaves, bark, twig and twine, all knotted up tight. Wound as a top, the energy entombed, potential power ready to pop. The iron leached the cadence of the forest from him, poisoning marrow, residing, tainted, and twisted. She diagnosed he was ill, and heard his raspy sleepy breath, and dared not wake him. Momokawa finished her duties, and discreetly cleansed the druid, trying not to disturb him. She had a new portal spell she adored, and cast it without much thought. The magic did not work as hoped, and she found herself in a grove of unintended consequences.

She found herself in an off-balance meadow. Acrid hazy air spun dusty spores onto the back of her neck, scuttling, skittering like tiny spiders, into the hidey-holes of her pores. Momokawa scratched the back of her neck, her fingernails and tips coming back a dry, baby-kind of brown dirt. This area where she landed on her roulette-wheel of a spell, the spell that would cast her to any area in the world promising of fat, lush nature sent her somewhere—she lost the word. Insecure? She looked up at the sky, and most of the trees covered the sun’s milky edge to the west, too low for summer at the time of day she believed it was, and uncertainty took hold. The hour never seemed to change. The air cotton-balled in her throat. Landing in the middle of a mushroom circle, not perfect, but a confident, I-Dare-You-To–Question kind of circle. The top of her head fit just under the tallest mushroom, and her kneecaps scraped the shortest of the lot.

The spores dug in further: the meadow straddled in that middle space between decay and regrowth.  Her hair blew around her face, unwashed but not unclean, but beginning to hold small grit from the air. She studied the circle, a bit shaggy in the corners, wondering why her odd spell would bring her here. It had never happened like this before, not once. She usually transported to tired, wise green forests, so old and soaked with chlorophyll, transforming all living things to shades of emeralds, limes, celadon and citron. Verdant to the point of obscene. Mating in those woods was as natural as life spawns, budding in the open, spiraling fronds and dewdrops, all pistils and stigmas, soaked with nectar and pollen. She often wondered why no elves lived there permanently, at least no permanent or stable community. These forests gave home to the odd flight master or elder keeping disinterested vigil, seemingly too ancient or daydreaming to care what other visiting druids concerned themselves with under the shades of trees and hollows of brooks. Those old forests offered every protection from the outside world: no harm or fire ever touched them, and druids found no judgment there.

But this forest was old, too, and left her exposed.

Part II of III
In the mushroom circle, Momokawa felt nauseous with disorientation. She heard running, the distinct crackling of brush and hardened lichen ground meeting sharp hooves, but could not tell from which direction the stamping beats came from, or what manner of beasts. There, as suddenly being aware of one’s shadow, two of them: black, sooty stags running in unison, seeming to come near the mushroom circle but pulling away, just so, to the other side, and then back, and then away. Never traversing the circle. Momokawa gasped: Tirisfal stags. She was in Tirisfal. She felt both distress and comfort: these were the woods of the dead, of zealots and the damned, and these were the woods that still had living creatures.

Shape-shifting to her own stag form, she gave chase. Her creamy fur, with gold and pink baubles on her antlers, and soft wise eyes felt wrong and amateurish. The druids of the world enjoyed a healthy stag form, sickeningly incompatible with the Tirisfal dark form. Their eyes showed too much white, and their muzzles betrayed fear with the foamy sweat. A thought in the back of her mind made her queasy, imagining what they would look like in bear or cat forms. She gave chase, in that desperate friendly manner, and fearful, wondering what they were running from. They never stopped to graze, just endless diagonals through the forest and clearings. Momokawa surrendered—it was clear they saw her, and it was just as obvious they were not going to run with her.

Her ears pricked back to a loon’s call: if the gooey sun could be trusted, there was a lake to the north, and to the west, the city of the Lady, once a Night Elf herself. She was terrified as a little girl when her grandmother told her tales of the three sisters: one forsaken, one lost, and one in grief. She heard an odd thshlump sound, and the mushrooms disappeared. Momokawa instinctively put her hand to her belly, protected by a Pennyroyal leather belt. Nothing in, and nothing out. Nothing could grow there.

Part III of III

In this forest, magic withheld itself: it was as if it held its breath, waiting for her to leave so it could get on with its business. The stags refused to run with her, as brief as a shadow, and as disinterested as an old lover: but there, just over there, one large stag, whose steady pace seemed out of time. She immediately shifted to stag form: light, creamy, bells and baubles. Urges--just those. She ran to meet him, and stopped short: striding next to him an infected, pus-filled scabby doe and fawn. He protected them from the wild stags of the forest, but had not been able to protect them from the seeping darkness. The tracks where her hooves halted dug deep ruts in the dirt, and she detected an oozing slithering motion. She chose not to investigate further. 

Shifting to her elf form, she knew it was time to return home. Her mind wandered to the sleeping druid. Maybe she knew him. She would make it her business to heal him.

The Pennyroyal belt guarded her from a family, a child of her own. It is what she had wanted all along. And then: the protector of the forest, he who had failed in saving his doe from harm, but continued for eternity by her side --


She looked again at the family: dignified doom. 

Longing replaced repugnance. 

Casting the spell, she returned to her hearth.

The sleeping druid still sat nestled in the same spot she left him. Momo knelt down next to him, and whispered in his ear. Her lips soft as down, gently, gently...she placed her cool hand behind his neck, and quickly spoke. He reached up a hand from his sheath, placing it in hers, and in a small green storm they left the marble and iron building. A gnome, a nearby banker, remarked to himself about the unusual nature of druids, and thought no more about it. 

Time to leave the sickness that leached these lands, time to return, and time to renew. Balance demanded restoration.


There is no question: I really admire Godmother. She knows her stuff. And this is not about her, exactly, or her opinions: this is about exploring my own. I don't feel the same way about the Instant-90 availability as she does, and as she expressed via Matthew Rossi. I don't believe it's a "if you don't like leveling a class, you WILL not like playing it." To me, a woman of rainbow blends and shape-shifting opinions, I see this more as a "may" not a will, or a 'perhaps' than a must. The thing is, I have tried every class, on both Horde and Alliance; the only thing I haven't done is varied my gender choice.

But here's the thing: in a dichotomous world, black or white, it does irk me when others make decisions about my sand box. No one is in my head (though sweet baby murlocs I sure do expose a lot of the inner Matty), and no one knows my motivations for anything (sometimes not even myself). I feel I've earned the right that if I want to boost a warrior to 90 and see what it's like to play a class at the end level with all the tools and tricks, that's my right as a consumer -- this service is offered, and I plan to take advantage of it. Now, that's not to say there aren't already a boatload of players out there who got to 90, got the Timeless gear, get into LFR, and are horrific. I know. I play with them ALL THE EFFING TIME. And you know what? I never say one word. You know why? I don't know if that player is being a troll, a noob, or is someone's little boy who's trying to have fun, or someone's autistic nephew who's having a grand time, or some adult who's trying to learn something new.

I wish sometimes I could be more like Godmother: I wish I could be as decisive and concrete, to know exactly how I feel at any given moment. I envy that quality: my boss has it, and I don't, and I'm the one who goes home in tears. Trust me, she hasn't shed one tear over worry over me. Heck, even CD Rogue can be as concrete as they come. But I am not: I am abstract, I am random, and I want to mix the paints and color outside the lines. I appreciate everything Blizzard has ever done to make playing more fun for an altaholic like me, to give me the chance to experiment, learn, and yes, re-learn.

Now back to my sand box. I cleaned out the cat poop, and found a new shovel. Oh look! There's the hose, and some tiny army men, too - time to build something new.

Letters to Camp Packabuncha, Texas

Dear Human:
When are you coming back? I mean, I don't want to alarm you or anything, but that warlock, well, her voidwalker got into a bit of a pickle with the local magistrate's daughter, and the guild bank is collecting dust. Sure, it's fine that my cloth cool-downs go to waste, and that my progression to get MY pretty wings from the dragon-boy are held up by the fact I can't pound my halo against PvP, but sure, have your fun, okay? Don't worry about a thing.
PS Can you bring back some of those heavenly pecan cookies? They go right to my hips, but these robes are pretty forgiving...

PPS Send bail money.

Dear Human:
Seriously, you're getting on my last nerve. I'm way out here with these walrus men, and though they're kind, their breath smells like blackened harp seal and I'm sick of picking up wolverine poop or whatever the hell those things are. I am constantly trying to set the tents on fire just to keep warm. I've got a mogging contest to go to, and stuck out here trying to get a damn fishing pole is a waste of my time and talents. I heard there might be an opening on a raid team for a mage, and I need to get ready!
Get your ass home,
PS I mean it.

Dear Human,
I am so jealous--you're out there in big game country--lots of TeaParticus Ruinious Countrious, and  Ignoramious Selfrighteousness - they are so common where you are, the US Department of Fish & Game PAYS hunters to thin out their herds! But whatever, we're cool. George and I will just hang out here on the isle till you get back. Hope you didn't park my tail by a Yongul. That's on you, human.
Love and ammo,

(No politicians were harmed, promise.)

Dear Human,
Hope you're having a wonderful time! I'm cooling my hooves at the Brawler's Guild -- so many nice Dwarf gentlemen buying me drinks, having a laugh. I've made a bit of gold betting on 'sure things.' The Dwarfs don't tell me much, but those sweet gnomes are quick to impress me with their inside knowledge. So darling! Am really missing Flex and possibly a Normal this week, and not sure anyone else but me cares, but hey, no worries. Oh, here comes the waiter with another round..see you soon!
Love and kisses,

Dear Human,
I know that Zeptepi wrote you and is whining about her wings, but don't forget about me, too! Those legendary cloaks don't grow on treants, you know! Oh well, I know you needed to go. Just, one favor okay? Please finish that story, please? You know I love you most of all.

Dear Human,
Send bail money.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Reading between the lines...

"The Education of Little Tree"
About two weeks ago I went to a book club meeting. A very dear friend (and fellow lover of books) is trying to get some momentum built up for the group, and that particular night, having been planned well in advance, I felt terrible. Insomnia, stress, stomach issues--psychosomatic or real, meant I felt like crud. I rallied, and told CD Rogue if I begged off from this my friend would probably stop asking me to do things. (She thinks I play too much WoW, and live in a fantasy world, and has made it one of her unspoken projects to get me out.) Anyway, I read the book, and even though it wasn't my usual genre (schmaltzy romance), it sucked me in and I cried like only a really good chick-flick can do, such as Terms of Endearment or Steel Magnolias can.

The book was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and on many occasions while reading I thought about Erinys and the Godmother, being that the author is British, and so are they, and the number of pop culture references and phrasings that went over my arrogant Yank head. Those allusions and references didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book and the good cry it provided. My friend was attempting to bring together five women who had never met, and she was truly an ambassador of the group, and if I have any criticism she was too fast to give others details about ourselves: as I was taking a breath to ask another a question or offer personal information, she would fill in the spaces. Her sister, a very nice person, spent about twenty minutes (I think it was longer, but perhaps shorter) talking about local soccer clubs, coaches, and teams of the under-12 set. There was no fork to stab myself in the eye, so I smiled politely. My friend gave me the honor of choosing our next book, and as I joked that no one else in the group was a gamer/rocker mom (which I am) then we wouldn't be reading Ready Player One, recommended to me by another gamer/rocker mom. They shook their heads in mild bemusement: no, soccer moms here. I did offer the possibility of Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman, but confessed it might be too much for them. So, I stuck with my first choice of The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. Without giving anything away, I believe an alternate title could be, "How to be an Early 19th Century Courtesan in Transitional China." Nasty syphilis? Unwanted pregnancy? E-Role playing, 1912 Shanghai style? Sure. Not sure what the lovely book group ladies are going to say about this one.

So, I'm in Texas now. Last night my folks took me for dinner after the airport. An odd thing happened: I had my dad pick up the wrong bag, and we had to drive back to the airport to exchange it. It was identical, down to the color of the ribbon. If I had been the one to get it off the carousel, I would have noticed the wrong name. It was a comedy of errors, but the owner of the proper bag was not amused. Oh well. Anyway, so we're at dinner, and my dad orders chicken-fried steak. The waiter, a cute red-headed young man, asks my dad if he wants BROWN OR CREAM GRAVY!!!!??

What is the problem, Matty? 

Well, we're in Texas. You never, ever put brown gravy on chicken-fried steak. He humbly offered that his gaff was due to him not being from Texas.

"Where are you from?"


Oh - I know a lot of my friends who play WoW with me from Sydney...

Later he told me he plays LoL competitively, and knows friends who met via LoL and are now married!

And now he knows about brown gravy.

So, how do we get to know one another, the culture of our guilds, and the norms of play, in real and in our virtual worlds? Recently Navi posted her thoughts and analysis on guilds and raiding teams. These responsibilities require a lot of work and thought. We know this from our work lives, we know this from our relationships, and we know this from our time spent with Sydney waiters in small towns in Texas. The key is communication and expectation management: none of us are going to get what we want all the time, but hopefully we get what we need. I don't really know what place I have in Reloaded right now, and I sure as hell have been in a sick tailspin at work. It's nothing bad or evil - change is painful. Even when we speak our expectations and goals, it doesn't mean anyone gives a sh*t. We all hear that axiom to row the boat together, but man, what if you get on the wrong boat? (I could extend this cliche metaphor for days, so I'll stop now.)

Anyway, I have a fun week planned. Brought a lot of work with me my dad said he'd help with, and I'll take him up on it. We will be going to lunch soon, and I think I'll have the chicken fried steak. Cream gravy, of course. It's only right.

*Mr. Snerguls here: Matty woke up in the middle of the night and thought, that's not right, and then Dahahka noticed it too: brown gravy is for biscuits and gravy, red-eye gravy, too. but white cream gravy is made for battered foods such as chicken-fried steak.

Chicken Fried Steak

Sunday, February 16, 2014


If he looked in my human soul, well…it's a little messy

It never takes me too long to pack; I plan on doing some shopping while in Texas, as well as some eating (seems greatly counter-productive, I know), and am only bringing my work laptop, not the one with the sake-on-the-keyboard-but-I-can-still-play-WoW-one. Am really trying to pack only the things I need to get done, so hopefully while I'm in Texas rattling around I can FOCUS.

I'll be able to write, too (sure my folks will let me use their computers), but before I go wanted to make a 'project list' - while CD Rogue is job hunting, I wish I could ask him to do a few things, too, but don't want to push my luck. If my Azerothian ladies would cooperate, here's what I would have them do:

1. Argent Tournament - get some ponies, girls!
2. Finish #wowscreenshotaday
3. Go play with the Kalua'ak
4. Finish the 'rares' on both Timeless and Pandaria
5. Level Heartichoke to 90
6. Get Cloud Serpent riding on all
7. Shards, shards, baby
8. Garrosh's mogging contest
9. More Brawler's Guild…and

10: CHALLENGE MODES! Which I understand are going away…which kind of pisses me off…

Okay, dudes and dudettes: when I get back let's just try them, okay?

OH -- and of course - man, didn't realize how much I would miss my OLRG - really missed you yesterday, and will be sad next Saturday, too.

So here's my promise to myself and to you -- I'll really try to clear the decks so that when I do return I can turn my focus back on Azeroth.

See you in the blogosphere!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Series: February Screenshots VIII-XXII

Sorry to play catch-up and pay-it-forward, but not sure how much computer access I'll have while I'm away…some of these are recycled, it's true. 

February 8: Water - 
This isn't water…but some form of liquid…poisonous, shadowy, and misty

February 9: Details
February 9th: Details - I wish I had a lovely little lamp just like this one...

February 11: Mistake (Notice how February 10th is missing?) 
This is my second account. Kind of thinking with combined servers this may have been a mistake. Patience: get some, Matty. Oh, and girl, put some clothes on.

February 12: Out+About
While I'm out and about on my warlocks:
I love this pet emote: sweet little imp, holding my hand, and the next minute….little pendejo...

February 13: Perfect
While looking at this sexy mail chestpiece that drops in Dire Maul, I noticed poor Escarlata's eating disorder issues. It's okay, Carla, you can wear your shin-skins as your own boots. You're perfect just the way you are.

February 14-19…in progress.

February 14: Heart -

February 15: My Drink of Choice

February 16: Create

February 17: Vegetable

February 18: Magic

February 19: Feet
Sh*T!!! I had the BEST screenshot of Fandral's big feet from one of our OLRG runs, and think I threw it away in a pique of desktop cleaning up-ppery.

February 20: Peace
Momokawa: Peaceful Peach River...

February 21: Funny
See the chicken feathers sticking out of the hut? Wutwutinurbutt House...

February 22: An act of kindness
From Tome: Warmth and Love!

More to come!

Love Letters VI: Right word, right time

Guarf's limerick vexed me all day yesterday. I scribbled ideas on sticky notes, muttered to myself, struggling to find words that have the 'arf' pattern. Nothing.

Here is what I wrote:
There once was a Dwarf named Guarf
Who drank so much ale he barfed

No, no, over:

There once was Dwarf in Ironforge
Who fished, drank ale, and sausage gorged
His belly got so fat and round
When his shaman friend Matty looked down

While seeing if Navi had sent me a message this morning, I saw this feed post from Visual Thesaurus:

Yes, there is a word for that cardboard tube around your Starbucks

Zarfs originated from beautiful metallic work: this is not that.

Aside from its amazing potential in a Scrabble match, this…this might work.

Okay: so, I'll try again:

There once was a Dwarf named Guarf
Who drank so much ale he barfed
Warm cider or cold brew, no matter
His beer belly growing fatter
But he looked so dandy with his zarf



I surrender, Guarf: your name wins this round.

Friends - help? Kallixta? Tome? Erinys? Help?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love Letters

Love Letters V: drum beat

To you, who loves me, I love you too
Me, little me
wrapped around
arms legs kisses power
turning forging deepening
mercenary greedy kisses frontal faced exposed flanks
To you who loves me, I love you too
Me, little me

Love Letters IV: Shadow

Quiet like this, my lips on yours,
I breathe you. It’s either a living dream or we’re alive.
The life we can sense is in the kiss
that lives on, alone. Without us, it shines.
We are its shadow. Because it is our bodies when we’re gone.

Recommend: A Longing for the Light: selected poems of Vincente Aleixandre

Love Letters III: Corazón Roto

So much waste...

broken heart
spirits bound
no thanks given
no gratitude with greed
hear my prayer
unable to release
I am sorry
I am sorry
shall not let your gifts rot
bury you deep
bury you deep

Love Letters II: Druid

My sleepy baby
sprinkle path
step over 
curl up
fur warmth
rock, sway, beat, tide
not what you seem
not what you seem
My sleepy baby

Love Letters I: Guarf

Since he hates limericks, I decided to write one for Guarf:

There once was a Dwarf named Guarf
Who drank so much ale he barfed

No, no, over:

There once was Dwarf in Ironforge
Who fished, drank ale, and sausage gorged
His belly got so fat and round
When his shaman friend Matty looked down

DAMMIT! I can never think of that last line!

Guarf: Happy Valentine's Day.

I miss you.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lady in Red...

Here is my humble submission for Jstmel's ROYGBiV T-Mog event:

Ceniza is wearning her beautiful red Turtle Minders Robe she received from the Kalu'ak

On my list:

Original Post

Who's on first?

Day started off like any other day. Woke up at 3:30AM, couldn't get back to restful sleep, Blizzard forget to put the Love Rocket in the candy box for me, chased down minions and blackguards at work (literally), stayed late in a meeting (trying to go through a mountain of paperwork) and was late to Flex. When I got home, CD Rogue informed me he and his entire team at work had been laid off. Now, if you know me, you know I will cry and stress about this, and then dust off my fears and find my grit. But right now I'm struggling to get motivated to go into another early morning meeting with big puffy red eyes and effect meaningful change in other people's worlds.


…however… funny thing did happen last night. The big guild has a lovely new priest, and I'll forgive her Valley-Girl voice in Vent because overall she seems nice. (If you have seen 'In A World' movie by Lake Bell you know my sentiments toward SBV: Sexy Baby Voice.) I took Kellda, and my fat fingers and tear-soaked eyes could barely see the screen, so my performance was sub-par. I realized later I won tier gloves, and already had Warforged tier, so after the raid whispered her, asking if she wanted them.

Here was that exchange:

I am only sorry I didn't get the fourth and fifth screenshots of the exchange, where she finally realizes what I am asking - she had tier gloves, and thanked me profusely for offering them to her. I really think it was my use of "dude" that caught her attention. I could not figure out at first what the issue was, but I suspect wine may have been involved: too much on her behalf, too little on mine.

Oh, and I have Kellda all in hues of green/gold/yellow to match her pretty new cloak wings:

It'll get better.