Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keyboard chemistry?

Thanks, to my friends, for turning my attention this way: The Guild.

Story Time: Soggy

Matty tore apart every bag, every cupboard, annihilated nooks, and cracked crannies. The bag of s’morcs had vanished, like summer light. She peered into the teacup pantry, hands grabbing the doors, scanning  every spec and interrogating the dust bunnies, as if she could make them appear by willpower. She had been saving those for a special occasion, and that occasion had arrived. She searched her own memory like the pantry shelves, carefully, looking again, and again. Not a cracker, not a crumb.


“Yes, lassie?”

“Did you eat my last bag of s'morcs?”

“Er, don’t recall…”

“They were in a green bag, from the Midsummer Festival. Please, Guarf…I won’t be mad, I just need to know.”

“Perhaps I did, when Lupe was here…we needed a treat, you know, my sweet tooth and all…”

The raindrops showed up on the front step.

She hung her head and sighed. The kind of sigh that feels like if that breath isn’t taken; there may not be another one, a sigh that reminds lungs to continue working. The kind of sigh that hugs the heart and tells it it’s going to be all right. It is the sigh of resolved disappointment.

Packing a satchel with second-best goodies, she was out the door.

“Don’t wait up for me, my friend. I’ll be late.”


Can't get that girl out of my head...

Scout Knowles is bewitched...

On the Ember Spear Tower, a wall built with planks of courage and mortared with righteousness, keeping a sharp eye and steady gaze to the horizon, Scout Knowles made sure the heathen undead and their foul, putrid plague wagons were kept in check. Vigilance and duty were his honor-bound beliefs. He had one job, and he did it well. The duty required focus, little imagination, and stamina. He was born to be a scout, to guard and protect with singular purpose. Knowles, a soldier in the Valiance Expedition, his loyalties fastened to his king, country, and horse, but not necessarily in that order.

Captain Adams had made it very clear: if anyone came to the aid of the Valiance Expedition, Knowles must send them into the poison and pain to retrieve information, and destroy those plague wagons.* And here was another one, with visions of fame and fortune, using his position as a stepping stone to greater glory. Probably another paladin or knight, moving onwards to greatness, while he was honor-bound to the wall, hanging like a portrait, never wavering.

But this morning, he was visited by an angel. An angel in shadows and silk, light and fire, and he became a believer.

He didn't even turn around at first. Just heard the typical soft Draenei female voice, accented, and strange...but a tiny spark fell to the ground. Looking up to find its source, his eyes off of the horizon for one moment, he fell.

The boys in the Keep noticed a change about him, and gave him dutiful helpings of grief. His mopiness became tiresome."Knowles, man up for gods' sakes! Whoever this trollop is, put your sword in it, and claim it!"

As fast as a chakra spell, he pointed his sword tip at his comrade's jugular, and told him if he ever spoke one damned word against her again, his tongue would be cut from his skull, and never speak another thing, in truth or lie.

After this incident, Captain Adams, accustomed to young men who give too much of their youth to the service of country, wisely understood it was time to relieve Knowles of his duties; he was overdue for some R&R. Lovesick, fatigued men make the worst soldiers. And it was inhumane to make Knowles go back to the line. However, they were short on men. Many had gone off to fight the cultists sprouting up in new places around the world, places he had never served. Adams' duties included the Northrend territories, where he himself had served for decades. So, as commanding officer, he had no other option but to send Knowles back to Ember Spear. If this girl was truly the one, she would be his, just like his Bessie had stood by him all these years.

Knowles took a cold bath in the river that fed the ocean from Utgarde. His faithful horse, confused and feeling oddly, jealous?...waited patiently in the stables. A dwarf girl cleaned his tack, and cared for his horse with love and care. There was fresh bread, ale, and provisions in his saddle bags.

Back he rode to the watch.


Theme song: Sally's Song, Fiona Apple's rendition

Oh, Zeptepi. Your sisters tried, but failed, but you, you got him.

*Why Scout Knowles and other NPCs can't move twenty feet in any direction to do it themselves, I will never understand.
*Those plague wagons keep spawning. Hmmm. Didn't take care of them the first 3,499 times?

Dear Matty: Slip Out the Back, Jack, Edition

Dear Matty:
Long time fan, first time writer. Got a sticky problem I think you can help me with. I need to break up with this Druid who's been playing me like a Russell Brower mandolin. Turns out, like most Druids, he's a player, and I don't have time for his multiple-personalities right now. I don't want to put him on ignore, that seems kind of harsh. However, if I see him around Stormwind, it'll drive me nuts. Hate to admit he's broken my heart, but I know I need to move on. What do you think I should do?
Dashed-dreams Death Knight

Dear Dashed:
I've said it once, I've said it a million times: Love Sucks. You asked what I think you should do, but you know what to do. A wise dwarf said to me once, "Women go into love hoping the man will change; men go into love hoping the woman won't." Amen, brother. But do you see the common thread? Change. And people don't. Sure, we can grow, mature, learn to compromise, but I have yet to see hard evidence that our basic wiring gets re-routed. If this person has hurt you multiple times, they gain something from this, and will most likely keep doing it (hurting you, that is). Girls find power in their sexuality, and men get praised for promiscuity: if this is the emotional level where this druid stands, it's pretty shallow, don't you think? Rise above the muck, my dear Death Knight. Stand strong, and move on. This person sounds like toilet paper that's stuck to your boots. Scrape it off.

Something related: Was watching the new version of Clash of the Titans the other night, and was wondering why Sam Worthington's hair was cropped so short, while every other male had mythologically long locks. Friend commented that was because Master Worthington had just come off of filming Avatar. Seems that here in the States, we need to import macho men from Australia, such as Sam Worthington, Hugh Jackman, and the cast of The Wiggles. 

So, WWAAMD? (What would an Aussie Man Do?) If you're wondering how some Aussie males approach breaking up with a woman, you may want to read this:

Good luck, and remember, just like every good old-fashioned draenei mother would say: "Dahlink, if he can't see how wonderful you are, he's not worth the spit of the Naaru."

And, there are some other cute ones out there:

Theme song: Really - just play it, sing it, dance: Cee Lo Green

Other Dear Matty columns, linked here.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

No contest.

Matty sat, trying to maintain her lady-like posture, on Guarf's floor, but not very successfully. Too much Dwarven stout knocked her manners down. She tossed her head back and laughed--he had a way with words, the old curmudgeon. (She had a knack for seeing under others' crusty masks, and kept the gift fresh by never revealing it.)

Their contest? Dirtiest limericks. She was still crimson pink from the last round. Start one, finish one, were the rules. Nothing else, jokers' wild.

"Oh, lassie, betcha can't finish this one! --

There once were two girls from Darnassus
Whose boobs were as big as their assess...

Go on! What are the next few lines?!"

She smiled..."Okay, my hammered friend:"

There once were two girls from Darnassus
Whose boobs were as big as their assess...
Until a zeppelin flew by
and let out a sigh
and aimed straight for their crevasses...

Guarf looked in wonderment at the sweet girl. 

He just shook his head and drank his ale.

Real ID.

Okay, no joking around. I am missing a WoW friend. He hasn't logged on in awhile, and I know from blog traffic reports hasn't checked in here, either. I really miss him, and am a bit worried.

I can't put up "Have you seen him?" posters around Stormwind, or send him a text in real life. We are just friends in the one realm. My rogue is still keeping one hand in his guild pocket, er, rather keeping one eye on the guild, but this absence doesn't seem like him.

There are pros and cons to being real id friends. If you know them, truly, in real life, real id away. When you don't, things can get a bit dodgy. Nothing personal, but perhaps you're trying to keep the wolf out of grandma's goodies, and want to keep the game on that level.

I do not believe my friend is a wolf, or the goodies. I just miss him.

My friend, Senor: I think of you everyday, and hope you are well.

Double drabble: Tempting

She hammered, pounded her way through Mt. Hyjal, opening the blessed, ruined portal to the Molten Front. A night elf, half his handsome face charred, the smell of singed skin in the air, she eased his pain with the healing balm, admiring his courage as he rose up, continuing to fight. He gave her a green apple as a token of his appreciation. He looked: loved. Promises made, faithful and true. Moving on. She killed monsters, while bending down to pick up anything of value that may drop; she absentmindedly rubbed the scar on her left shin.

She sat against the side of the cave wall, where big gods such as Malfurion held court. This was no space for him. The troll surprised her deeds with boots, and a necklace, ready for the asking! Perhaps Matty would make a gem for her, a golden colored one full of mastery. She didn’t want to ask. If she did, sober, her honest nature may be compelled to tell Matty the truth she glossed over in her last letter. She bit down into the gift. The apple was sweet, but a little sour, too.  Was that half a tiny worm?

Lime(rick) popsicles

There once was a dispersed priest from Elwynn
Who couldn't find a dungeon to play in
She got kicked once or twice
by players not very nice
so she plagued their groins, for the win!

Bonkin' Orc noggins, all over Twilight
Smashing kegs with blessing of might,
She wasn't knocking boots
To hear the tawny owl hoots
She just wanted the rep to have a good knight!

Watching Conan O'Brien and writing
The laptop is not much good for kiting
It's missing the "a" key
So I can't go west, see
But can respond to guild-chat with smiting!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Eye candy.

Not sure how this Neil Gaiman work slipped by me, but what a beautiful film: MirrorMask.

Drabble: Farathorn's Lament

I'm needed on the Molten Front? Why would they possibly need a broken-down warrior?  Oh, I see, a blacksmith is what they actually need. Well why don't they just send me the...dammit, only blacksmiths can acquire the plans.  Well, trotting around on the Front for a few days might be a nice break from the anvil.  Wait, these things need Chaos Orbs? I'm retired!  They want me slogging through dungeons at my age?  Then arm-wrestling some young punk of a rogue for the Orb?  Oh no, I'm too old for this...oh my.  

That's a nice sword.

Writer's note: Guarf, you rock.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Malfurion delivered on his promise: magically appearing in her post-box nested a Flameward Hippogryph. She immediately mounted the warm beast, and took it for a quick flight around Stormwind. The faithful Cenarion Hippogryph, placed in the stables to rest, felt at a bestial level, slighted and hurt. "Where was she going without me?" the dusky rainbow bird-beast wondered, in its own language, the language that cannot be spoken, written, or read: only sang.

Matty knew she would have to return again to the Molten Front. Each day, she was given just enough medicine to heal only eight. She would watch the valiant protectors spin, fall, in exhaustion and flame, and heal them as best she could. This particular morning, she remembered a time, after she and Luperci had been playing on an icy pond in Howling Fjord, came inside for a hot drink. As Luperci sat taking off her boots, Matty was about to take a sip from her mug. The tea was boiling hot, and in her shock, spilled it on Luperci’s leg, through her leggings, and causing scar tissue that was there to this day. The healer teased Matty about doing it on purpose, to hurt Luperci because she was an annoying little sister…he thought he was being funny, but even now the memory of the guilt caused Matty to cry. She would never hurt someone like that, and never, ever intentionally cause Lupe pain.

The balmy horizon closed.

She felt the weight of gold in her bags. From the sale of the leggings, she had enough left over to buy a necklace she had been admiring on a friend’s neck, a necklace that would give her an edge of agility…

…but she had promised herself this gold was for Lupe.

Writer's note: That Flaming Hippogryph is pretty damn cool. It comes with seat-warmers, sound system, moonroof, and electronic keypad locks. The airbags have been recalled a few times, and it does take about a month of dailies to obtain one. One complaint I and some other comrades have discussed is that there are a few items in WoW that are unobtainable for the common player/man, and that hits a bit too close to the real world for me. I am not a believer in shades of grey and all flavors as long as they're vanilla, but if I can't afford a new car in real life, at least when I am in my virtual world some fun perks are available. I wish that there were other avenues for the rare mounts. But moreover, it's the gear that gets under my skin. No decent gear should be inaccessible to a player. I can understand a mount or a pet being rare; but finding those is exciting, like a treasure. But only having decent shoulders come from a raid environment is ludicrous. There should be adequate gear available in other ways. Although, for the first time, I noticed a hunter friend with the Pauldrons of Nalorakk, which I didn't know came from Zul'Aman. But, I've never seen them drop.  Look out, trolls. Baby needs some bears on her shoulders. 

So, no more complaining. It's the pursuit of happiness,no guarantees of it, that makes for a healthy world.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drabble: Valor.

Axe and mace, off. Spilling dirt, dusted. Swept. Out the door. Was that blood on the clods? Trolls’ blood? Yes. Exhausted. And lonely. Not alone. Lonely. The hours in the day were still twenty-four, weren’t they? Did she miss the spell where the hours were extended, elongated, expanded, and exploded? She put the cool cloth next to her puffy eyes. Praised and picked apart all in the same light. She could do no wrong, and she could do no right. But she took care of herself, all by herself today. Made her own friends, and enemies. Half a day, vanished.

Writer's Note: Nine-hundred and eighty valor points in one day is not easy when you're not raiding, going door-to-door for Baradin Holds, or have only so many trolls to kill in so many hours. For some reason, some hair-brained reason, I thought it would be an idea, good or otherwise, to try to get all of the valor points I needed to get my leggings. It was like going on one of those speed-dating nights, I suppose. Leggings: acquired. Capped Valor Points? Almost. Only one more Zul to do, but that will happen before the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday. Damn. I already turned into a pumpkin though.

This is not a fun place to be without my friends, though. 


Move to the next table.

Wednesday: 0 WoW: 980

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Drabble: Armor

Staring up. The ceiling shown through with stars. Or, was that some mage's trick, a trompe l'oeil of the universe? Tricks and deceptions. Her heart felt vast, and coldly lit. She hadn't seen him in a fortnight, or longer. She searched for her faith, but there was a broken bridge, a burnt path, with no passage, and the ferryman was habitually silent. Where was he? Was he all right? His friendship was more to her than enchanted leggings or new bags. Was he safe? Did he need her help? No way of knowing. The stars weren’t speaking to her, either.

Espero que estés bien, señor. Te echo de menos.

Got threat? Revised...

Polyester suits from Goodwill = Plate armor for sweat generation factor.

I know how to search the web. I know how to read Elitist Jerks. Don't worry. I got your +20 Stam cap Mastery right here.

Whoa. Perhaps my homage to Napoleon Dynamite was prescient--Patch 4.3 has a boatload of goodies. Remember when the dude at Blizzcon said something like "This isn't world of DRESScraft!" ...apparently IT IS!! With Voidstorage, it's all going to work out. Now a place I can put those pants that may fit again...someday.
Raid finder? Nice:

Wanna play me in tetherball?

Drabble: Field Test

Ren, the Druid, sweet as a spring breeze, warm, and as welcome. “Come on, Lupe! Let’s go to the Lost City! With me as your healer, you’ll be fine! Right as rain! Good as gold!” he laughed. Luperci’s horns still ached after her celebration the night before. But she had been in practice runs before – what could happen? Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Everything. Humiliation upon mortification, with a side of degradation, to go. The stupidest of comrades even lost faith in her, and escorted her to door, bounced her out on her tail. Painful, but necessary.

Writer's Note: Seriously, I must have left my brain in the car after errands today; however, the second run (lots of pick myself up and dust myself off time), got back on that horse and made it through the rodeo just fine.

Story Time: Next Morning

Guarf held the steaming mug of honeymint tea under Lupe’s nose. “Oh, what a sour expression that stunning girl could make, when hung-over and irritable!” Guarf laughed to himself. Contrasting the two sisters, Matty never looked as bratty as Lupe did just now. (He had no idea what Zep would look like in the morning, afternoon, or otherwise. All he knew of her was she lived almost as a cloistered servant of Elune, virginal and pure.)

“Bugger off, you old fart!” Lupe grumbled, pulling the blankets over her horns, and kicking over a side table with her big hooves. (She was still working on her presence and power: “Like a damn bull in a damn china shop!” thought Guarf.)

“Aye, little girl, I won’t bug you, but this tea will help quiet those goblins setting up shop in your skull—it does soothe the hammering, ya sassy little pine-nut…”

These draenei girls became slightly bitchy when they tried to keep up with the dwarfs. He knew this was not the occasion to be sanctimonious or lecture her on trying to replace one’s pints of blood with pints of Dwarven stout.

The morning was foggy, grey, and impermeable to the tea, the fire, and the tasks ahead. Nothing for it but a good breakfast, or two, a pipe smoke, and some rest.

Writer’s Note: I use Guarf has a “lent character,” or persona-on-loan. Guarf, or the human behind Guarf, has nothing to do with this narrative other than indulge me as a fanfic writer. 

Haiku for a hangover.*

stop that pounding, pulsing slice
shut up, please: no bacon

*No, I do not have a hang-over in real life. Promise. Although I realize my credibility is tarnished by past exposure.

Grrl power.

No comment:


Luperci reaches Level 85: and toxicity levels are a bit high, too

Dearest Matty--Oh, I know, I need to be reserved, but am overcome! I am ready, Mat, ready! To assist your comrades in battle, against any monster, fiend, or foe! The last few adventures were so incredible, I feel I could take on Deathwing himself and teach him some manners! Shadow of fire and death?! Bah! Oh, I am re-reading this and seeing how many "!s" I wrote--father always hated that trait in girls' writing...but you can tell, I am so happy! Instead of saving the gold, I went on a shopping spree. Got rid of those silly pig-tails. I had the boots you sent, thank YOU! -- and the wrist bands, too, but blew the rest on gems, and other shiny plate things-it's only gold, right? We can make more; we're smart girls, eh? Guarf, that old grump, told me I didn't socket the gems correctly, that I needed only mastery, which I knew, I knew, but my head was a bit foggy from some Dwarven stout...I can see why you love those Wildhammers so much, my dear sister - they are wonderful. They can talk me into anything, those dwarfs. I jumped off of an air ship with a bolt of cloth just for Fanny's wedding dress--she was beautiful. Stout like their ale, but beautiful nonetheless.  I wonder what it's like to be in love--do you know? I saw your friend the other day--he looked well, but a bit tired? In any case, your baby sister is all grown up!!! I am posting this straight away before I sober up and come to my senses- just needed a break from being all holy-moly righteous-ly training. You of all people understand. --Love you, my sweet, stupid, big sister! Lupe
Postscript: Have you heard from Zep? 

"Ah," Matty mused: "This is not a young woman in need or want of any advice." Mat smiled at her sister's uncharacteristic exuberance.

She folded the letter carefully and put it in a journal that a small goblin girl named Chamuca gave her as a token of appreciation for a discreet favor.

"Hm..she saw my friend? Which friend?" Matty twisted her lips into a little knot, just a little bit, and if the baby bear wasn't noticing, no one noticed.

Chamuca, the goblin girl, she hadn't seen in a troll's age. She was worried about Chamuca, but she wasn't worried about her sister. Her sister: as stubborn as an ogre, as confident as a bride, and as self-assured as a gnome death knight.

"But Luperci, my baby girl, you have much to learn."

Monday, July 25, 2011


I implore you: do not let the robot overlords take dominion over the creatures, hominid or otherwise, of our chaotic little planet.

There is an app for everything. But like all technology, just because it can be created it doesn't mean it should. Animals are still questioning God's foresight into the whole Adam, Lilith, & Eve debacle.

Anyway, google (lower case if it's a verb?): gnome in your pocket wow app 
Look for the results for Pocket Gnome

Figure it out for yourself. Don't be tempted to use it, though: it comes with its own free snake and apple tree.

It is way more fun to keep the human behind the avatar, not the other way around.

Theme song: Unstoppable (Sasquatch Dance Party) 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dear Matty: Nags, Scolds and Harpies edition

Dear Matty:
Do they have sharp talons?
I like to fly to Azeroth to escape the real world's pressures. Admittedly, sometimes I don't do a great job at balancing real-world responsibilities and time spent playing. Lately, a friend will say something like "get outside!" or "Gee, I didn't know you could play WoW while standing in the unemployment line!" and it's kind of getting on my nerves. I mean, you know, right now with the new content, and keeping up with valor points, being forced at metaphorical sword-tip to walk the plank in the Zuls, and the new Mt. Hyjal dailies (my baby bear cub was SO worth it!), time does slip away faster than ever it seems. And raiding? Fuggedaboutit. Recently a guild was looking for a player with my exact qualifications, and I had to decline recruitment, because of all of the real-life stuff I knew I have to do. And that just caused more resentment. So, Matty, what do YOU do to balance your real life and play time? Cause lately I'm just getting angry at both.
Up All Night-Elf

Dear Up All Night:
I completely understand your dilemma, far better than I would like to admit; furthermore, I have no easy answers for you. In fact, it is those "easy answers" that may be at the heart of the issue. Meaning, someone just telling you to "go outside" or in my case, "do the dishes" is a bit simplistic. Recently, I have been on both sides of the "nagging" shield. On one hand, I have been told what-to-do-when by a micro-managing boss, and on the other, have the unpleasant task of telling others what I think they should be doing, other than what they are. I know, and they know, those are responsibilities that must be met in order to keep the chaos under control; however, the anger gets misdirected toward the messenger, not the task/message.

Much of real-world responsibilities are about anticipation, just like game play. It requires thinking and planning at least three moves ahead of what is going to happen next: for example, if you're packing for a picnic (fun) you still have to make the bologna sandwiches and make sure there's gas in the car (not so fun: who's going to make the sandwiches? Who's going to unload the dishwasher? Who's going to find the picnic basket?) We want to get our mundane chores done quickly, efficiently, and without harrowing obstacles in order to do things we want to do, including hang out in Azeroth for a bit.

Is this a buzzkill? Is this spontaneous? Yes. No. Maybe. Did you go try to into the new raids without viewing one film? Did you read your favorite players' blogs to consider strategies?

The thing is about Azeroth, is it doesn't FEEL like it's someone else telling us what to do. It feels like we're in control over our play-time destinies, and for the most part, we are. We 'see' our friends, hang out, have fun, run dungeons, and then say 'goodnight,' no expectation that anyone of us needs to go put the wet clothes in the dryer or let the dog out.

Remember this at all times: Blizzard is a company. A big company. They make a handsome profit from their devoted players because "time is money, friend." Waiting for a dungeon queue only to have the group "fail" causes irritation. Every time there is a repair bill for a virtual death, some seemingly arbitrary amount that the accountants and bean-counters at Blizz have carefully estimated for each level of player and gear score. Do not think for one second that "they" don't know what those pixels are up to, even 12,000,000 of them, exponentially. Where do you think nerd rage comes from? It exists because the social contract gets nul and void sometimes, or doesn't feel honored. Hence, the nagging or scolding that happens in real life. We all just want it done, on our schedules.

Again, I wish I had an answer for you. Perhaps the best attitude to adopt is that life is a "get to," not a "have to." I personally try to count blessings whenever I am feeling resentful, for example, some people in this world don't have a dishwasher to unload. I didn't for years and years.

Okay, okay, yes, these are kind of "eat your broccoli" messages, but they are interesting:
100 People:
Miniature Earth:

Enjoy your life, both real and virtual. Those responsibilities you have and accomplish boost your own self-respect, and part of the bigger-picture social contract. You wouldn't go into a raid without your own buff food, bandages, flasks, and freshly-repaired gear, would you? Of course not. And the fact is, in real life, others are more likely than not going to give you a medal for changing the toilet paper roll or eating your peas.

Good luck, and put that toilet seat down, please.


Theme song: Polly/Nirvana

Other "Dear Matty" Columns: 
Love Hurts Edition:
Significant Other Edition:
Nietzsche Editon:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Working blue.

The last GMOTD alluded to shoes. Spiky shoes. Shoes that accentuate a woman's calf muscles, and create a visual image that may cause certain, um, urges in the opposite sex.

That is not exactly how the author of the GMOTD wrote it. The message was more to the blunt effect of leaving no rooom for interpretation regarding the biological reactions and urges to procreate that those pair of shoes may cause in testerone-toting beings. Shoes, whose original intent is to be on one's feet, but through the process of form meets function, make one want to be off of those feet, in a manner of speaking.

But it's all about the prime directive.

Even shoes.

The extremely intelligent and witty guildmates always have something clever to say, and sometimes, oftentimes, it would make Lenny Bruce blush, a sailor go to confession, and a truck driver seek redemption.

I Like Bubbles recently provided an extremely creative linguistic challenge. 

Heard a rumor today that the Big Kahunas at my work are thinking of putting out a mandate that every piece of communication, every e-mail, every spoken word are of the utmost professionalism.

This concerns me.

Well, my colleagues have grown used to my salty language. I think they suspect that if I don't throw out a word or two, I am going to explode. It is my release valve. Un-ladylike language is my heritage. My own sweet mother cussed out a Delta stewardess once (not flight attendant: stewardess), who then made the fatal mistake of telling my mother "Nice language in front of your children." SKA-BOOOOOOOM! I try not to say bad words, but alas, sometimes a girl's just gotta say something about the utilization of carnal knowledge.

really. ugly. shoes.
I listened to Howard Stern for years, but after awhile, the shock value loses its spark. If I wrote the GMOTD it would be so lame. Those are some big shoes to fill. The [guild] audience is predominately male, and if they want to be intrigued and hooked by foot-fetish messages, we'll buy some champagne and start pouring.

Theme song: Goody Two Shoes/Adam Ant

Postscript: Both a friend and I were glad to get new boots, and get rid of those Treads of blah de blah. Those things were UGGGG-ly.

Drabble for a tank: Ozruk

Ozruk. Head-on. Fear folded, tucked away.
The gang of four standing at her side had no idea how loaded that question was. Cutting into his craggy midsection, his breath smelling of putrid talcum, like a damp baby. Hammer cracked rocks. Matty’s elements were weak. It takes too long to cut a rock with water.
Hooves, sliding, digging in, retrenching. The warlock decimated the obsidian pustules of his scaly, soulless shell. The healer kept her heart beating. The others: abandoned. Not very champion like.
“I may never be as beautiful, or as silvery-tongued as she.”
“But I brought him down.”

Luperci's first encounter sparring with Ozruk.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Where's the money, Lebowski?

So, just logged in for my quick dailies before I go about my business, and sure enough, Trade Chat was already alive with nerd-rage over no honor points, as were promised (okay, rumored?). Check my bags, too, and sure enough, no 4000HP's.
I'm sure those Honor Points are around here somewhere. I'll just go find an ATM.
 I am mad, bro. Say what you will about national socialism, but at least it's an ethos.

Grill Master Skill Level +20

Don't judge. Eat. 

My guildmates will, on occasion, mention something delicious they've cooked, or--share  a recipe. Gentlemen, trust me, there is NOTHING sexier than a man who cooks. Okay, perhaps doing the dishes, too. It's a toss-up.*

Anyway, one thing I do excel at is grilling. I realize this is customarily a man's domain, but not in my world. It's a genetic skill, and one I am proud of. Guarf, knowing this, shared this recipe with me:

Flank Steak Marinade
1/4 c bourbon
1/4 c Soy Sauce
1/4 c stone ground mustard
1/4 c minced green onions
1/4 c brown sugar
tsp salt
dash Worchestershire
pepper to taste
Bring to boil, let cool, marinate overnight

Trying to get the rest of the RWS gang to share their recipes, instead of just making us all envious and hungry in guild-chat.  Plan on trying this one out this week. Enjoy.

*Lowered expectations cause swooning over changed toilet paper rolls.


I remember a chemistry teacher from high school who probably saved me from myself. He passed me, and was kind to me, when I needed it. So much in school came easily for me, but not chemistry. I knew the beauty of the bonds were sublime, and were the basis for life itself, but I just couldn't get past the esoteric skills needed to respond, synthesize, and learn it. (My inability to conquer high school chemistry has given me much: it is our mistakes when faced with an obstacle that helps us more than our easy successes.)

There was a punk in class who constantly berated me. My best friend was too busy getting A's and keeping  me awake to be of much help. (True: we sat in the front row, right next to the teacher, and this didn't help me from passing out cold on occasion. Molecular bonds and Periodic Charts have a somnolent effect on me to this day.) My teacher put him in his place, all right, by explaining to him that the reason it was called the 'sophomore' year (I was a junior at this point) was because sophomoric meant foolish, and he was a fool. Oh, no you DID-n't! Smack-downs for smart-asses look a little different when one is a gifted student in an advanced class: a teacher is wise to use Latin/Greek word play, and not send a student to the Principal's office. My tank, Luperci, is in her metaphorical sophomore year, too.

Yesterday, not one, but three wonderful player friends noticed Luperci's progression as a protection paladin. First friend said, in his easy, country-boy style, "Hey, let's get you in a dungeon; that's the only way you'll ever learn!" Second friend says, in his pragmatic and calm way, "I have time to help you through a dungeon," (with subtext of 'no time like the present'), and third friend, with our time zone differences, and in his gentlemanly, crisp, polished manner, just admired the progress, and cheered me on. He always offers to help, and is true to his word, but he is on Kalimdor time. (Besides, it's more fun to talk about books and movies anyway, because he is, as I called him, a rare spawn in Azeroth.*)

Now, leveling is easier these days, to be sure. Third friend noticed she didn't have any purples at level 80, and that is because she moved up a grade, skipping, most if not all, of WTLK content and dungeons. Between the heirlooms and decent rested experience bars, she moved to level 80 fairly quickly. And, with the quest gear and crafted plate items, kind of figured she'd get herself together before going into Cata dungeons. Because, as we all know, things look very different depending on which side of the shield you're on.  But since priest healer friend offered to see her through, she chose her dungeon quest of Blackrock Caverns, and off they went. It was a squirrel-ly group indeed, and Lupe, who has a lot to learn about staying calm, did say, (oh, how fast we go to the dark side), a swear word or two when a player literally ran, RAN into Rom'Ogg and a full mob, like they were old school chums. It was only due to the skills of my healer friend, his gear, and abilities that saved us all. I am ashamed of my less-than-champion moment: and as the player said and apologized, it won't happen again from me, either. (Better write myself a sticky note: be patient with rogues, shamans, druid cubs, mages, and warlocks at all times. Although, this vow may prove to prevent boredom: "I solemnly swear I am up to no good.")

BRC was only a tiny smidgen of a taste of a Cata dungeon from a tank's point of view. Luperci barely got it out of second gear.

Sacred Duty's Theck interview is worth a read: I will be studying his notes like a studying for a chemistry test. Because right about now, that's what it feels like. Bonds, hands, hammers, and aggro.

Spoiler alert: Do not read if you haven't seen the last HP movie.

*My friend: The more I thought about it, my repressed reaction to the brutal scene was not as repressed as I thought: it was very aggressive and perhaps, gratuitous? I still see it in my mind's eye. Snape didn't deserve that, but it gave the story the gravitas it needed, since the director didn't honor the final climax as he should.

And, why didn't Neville grab Luna and kiss the hell out of her? That girl needs kissing.

Not a ninja, a "brigand."

Think the use of the word 'brigand' instead of 'ninja' will catch on? No? Don't think so?

Clothes Make the Man Word of the Day: brigandine

One way to remember this word is that it's what a brigand wears -- or probably should wear. A brigand makes his living by robbery and plunder. Brigandine is body armor of scales or plates, which should come in most handy for one who is typically on the wrong side of the law.

Visit the following URL to look up the word of the day in the Visual Thesaurus:

Today, Matty grabbed Corefire Legplates off of an elemental in Twilight Highlands today. What this poor rock spectre was doing with plate pants, she'll never know. Even floaty rock thingies need pants, don't they? Or was it No-Pants Wonder Day? (But the police just call it Monday...*)

Matty held the pants in her hands, thrilled that she had something worthwhile to give to Luperci! She showed them to Guarf, but he said, "Bah, not quite right for a tank, you know lassie..." Disappointed her good fortune was blemished, she decided to sell them on the open market, and perhaps the gold would help Luperci more anyway. She had received a letter from Lupe recently, through Guarf, that her training was going well. Soon she would be rivaling Mat for time, resources, and attention. "And how is this any different than from when we were children?" was the quick green thought that sent a viperous, vaporous monster in her heart, but it dissappated just as quickly. Well, if the pants sold, she would treat herself to a new pet. Lupe was still running around with that flea-bitten worg pup (although Mat admitted to herself he was adorable).  She looked through her bags, and found the Orc s'more mix she was saving for the occasion if she ever saw, no, when she saw, her paladin friend again. Wondering what he was doing, and how he was fairing, she went to a self-satisfied sleep. Wouldn't Luperci be happy with all that gold?

*thank you, Simpsons, for my cultural references.

Haikus for bedtime

Beautiful, joyous
The sun is a star, you know?
Night and day, embraced

True championship
Is in the voice of the heart
Insightful, speak truth

And she went to sleep
Knowing she was loved dearly
Seven dwarfs bowed

Monday, July 18, 2011

Now that's what I'm talking about!

This is the creative emergent behavior that should be rewarded with accolades. In other words, watch:

Click on embedded video in the widget column, too.

Thanks for the link, Guarf.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Story Time: Fireside Chat

For breakfast, a mushroom-clouded soupy sky morning was served, with brittle harp-string garnish on the side. Lupe woke to the sound of simpering raindrops. Normally she would find these soothing, but this morning, each weak drip felt irritating. She rolled her head on her shoulders, but tightness held her shoulder blades in a cutting vice. The scratchy Dwarven carpet soothed her sleep no more than it had her sister’s. And her sister: where was she? She had promised assistance and expertise this day, and once again, that temperamental shaman was nowhere to be found. For someone in control of the elements, earth-bound ties where by far her weakest. “She has rocks in her brain,” thought Lupe. “She washes away like the tide, that moody sod.” Eyes closed. Just be still. Think. Think. Her father was right: she was in a dangerous place now. She felt abandoned and immense: her waking dream displayed animated falls, herself slipping down, among the dream-arrows, burning ember stars, and ash. She rummaged in the corners of her heart and soul for some sun, any light. Just because it was raining here didn’t mean there wasn’t sun somewhere else?

Or fire?

And she knew where Matty was.

Jarod Shadowsong, Commander Shadowsong now, had been spotted in Malfurion’s Breach. Gods, she was a stupid, impulsive witch! Luperci could not follow Mataoka into the fire, not for courage, not for gold, and most certainly not for love. Little sisters know the game of catch-up all too well, what the rules say, and how big sisters make up their own, at their convenience. Matty had the earth, the obsidian, and the gold Luperci needed to move forward, and once again, she was hidden somewhere, on the other side of the world, possibly chasing the bravest night elf in all of Azeroth. As if.

Smirking, and then softening, Lupe felt a bit sad for her sister. The dual-wielding axes of fickleness and loyalty must pull her in so many directions at once. 

And as well as she knew her sister's heart, she did not know that Matty was not interested in Jarod, but only sought him out to speak with him, and to provide assistance. 

Luperci had her own flames to fan. She needed oxygen. 

Room to breathe.


Was watching stupid television, flipping the remote, and the recent royal wedding came on 'the' OWN - yes, the Oprah Winfrey Network. I am not an Oprah devotee, but this isn't a about her. A commentator was discussing the details of the ceremony and the dress, commenting that the bride's dress was, "...something that won't scare the horses." The dress rumored dress was $400,000. Good thing the horses don't carry a lot of cash.

I spent some gold recently on my own beautiful dress, an avatarial* dress. And this may be an experiment gone horribly wrong, but am going to try double-boxing for awhile: squeezing the most out of Mataoka is at crossroads right now. I am planning on relearning how to play, not just with her character, but with my alts, too, (but those in a more relaxed way). "Matty" has switched up her UI, action bar, and more. I am not convinced that working more on her, the game, and WoW in general is a good idea; starting a new account and sequestering this shaman in this ivory tower may be, indeed, a really bad idea. Just seems like it's worth a trial, to see what it's like on the other side.

But I am not sure. 

Keep sending her croc meat, Senor. Haanta is going to learn to cook, too, though. And she's been wanting to bring Sweater and get some baddies with you.

*I thought I may have created a new word, but the adjectival form of avatar of course, already existed. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


There was a recent debacle with the Season 9 versus Season 10 PvP gear, in the way that you save and work for that "perfect" pair of Jimmy Choo shoes and the next day they're out of style. Okay, I've never spent more than $125 on  pair of shoes, but I can imagine (and witnessed) the anger and frustration many of my PvP player buddies felt when that injury to insult happened: imagine grinding all weekend for the Call of Duty Alterac Valley Season 9 honor points, and then not 48 hours later, having it all be 10% "less" for the Season 10 gear. The nerd rage was most unattractive, let me assure you. Apparently, the new Season 10 gear was called exactly the same names, and had a 10% improvement factor. It was like a clearance sale that was a bit of a bait-and-switch: great vicious gear for honor points, not conquest points, and the Season 10 went for the same cost as the Season 9 gear. So, players busted their a**es for ostensibly worse gear. PvP players could have hung onto their points, worked on something they would have liked to grind through, and get Season 10 gear.

Perhaps I am not explaining this well; suffice it to say, it pissed a lot of players off.

(Although, when I asked Senor if it upset him I could hear him laughing in the message back, as in no, whatever...another reason why I value his friendship--keeps things fun.)

Well, from what I understand, (and I am planning on trying to verify this as soon as my PvP player friends return from the front lines), is that Blizzard actually had a rare mea culpa moment, and they are giving 4000 honor points to players who ground their way through the Season 9 gear. This may just be a rumor, but I will verify it as soon as the communication lines are back up. These 4000 points will be above the cap, and will happen Tuesday.

I won't hold my breath. But I might for the next wish:

My next mission is to get Blizzard to give me more closet space for my shoes. Think about it: after four versions, from Vanilla to Cataclysm, and all the patches in between, many players not only have multiple sets of gear for different needs, but the sentimental factor cannot be ignored. I personally have a DPS set, a PvP DPS set, PvE heal set, and PvP heal set. And my letters. And my tarnished crown. I have pared down as much as I can, and am resentful of the time I have to go back and forth with alts for bank space, etc.

Does anyone have the name of a good contractor in Azeroth who can build this addition for me?

Postcript: He is the architect of PvP excellence: Need more answers? Look here, please:

Some links:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Aroma therapy.

Matty will always make a point of spraying Topper with some perfume if this is her jewel-crafting daily...he's been on the streets for awhile, and needs some freshening up.

Writing challenge: 

Yes, I know this may sound weird.

What would the characters of Azeroth smell like? 

I put this challenge forth to a writing buddy, and his description was very creative. Guarf said, "She would smell of leather, neatsfoot oil, sulfur, (a leftover from her fire totems), and undertones of lilac."

Lilac!? Inspired, Guarf. 

You win.

Here are some thoughts I sniffed out:

I think dwarfs would smell like whisky, barley fields, tweed, and pipe smoke. 
Goblins would smell like the undersides of sewer rats dipped in bubble baths. 
Gnomes would smell like blueberries and snowflakes.
Draenei girls would smell like warm fluorescence, vanilla, clover, and honey.
Night elves would smell a little sweaty, but not bad: cotton, sandalwood, and patchouli, those damned hippies?
Orcs' sweat would be a gamy, like someone hung an automobile pine air freshener around a wet dog's neck.
Worgens: British butcher shops and flea bath?
Trolls: do I detect a hint of hemp?
Undead: Ew. See goblins sans bubble bath.
Tauren: hayfields and barnyards, of course.

What's that smell?
Death Knight didn't change his socks again.

No hacks.

"It was a dark and stormy night..."
Today is Harry Potter's birthday: a fictional character, in a fictional world, but when I go to see the last installment of this young hero on the big screen, I know I will cry as if he is someone I know, and the other characters, too. In many ways, I do know Harry.

One resonating reason I became so enamored with playing World of Warcraft is the narrative. Bringing up my little sweet shaman has been is not the word. She is crafted, cared for, and considered. Her character is rich, and although her narrative and my own run many parallels, Matty's voice and strength, and weaknesses, are unique to her. She is ready for some new adventures, and will be seeking those. Not sure where her journey will take her, but she is not done yet, not yet a master of two worlds. 

So, if you're feeling a bit in a creative gaming slump, take some time out and be creative in other ways. It is my faithful belief that we are all creative people. 

This wonderful blog took a small character and created an emotional vignette: Go to any fan-fiction site, read and research writings by others, too, be they Warcraft related, or of any genre. If you need a break from gaming/fantasy, I strongly recommend you check out Keri Smith's blog and books:

My friends in the World are few, but cherished. You all range from people whose human faces I know to those I will probably never see, and you are as real to me as anyone. If you ever recognize a little bit of yourself in anything I write, it's a gift I don't take for granted. 

Take some creative control of your World and your world. It's your story, and you should stick to it.

Postscript: Partial spoiler alert: It was Severus' story that brought the most tears, and it's tough to cry while wearing 3-D glass. Tears kind of pooled up like a fish tank.

Theme song: Paperback Writer/The Beatles

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Matty: Nietzsche Edition

From Alternate History: (Text is written in Ye Olde Butcherede Russian; translations courtesy of Professor Larry Feinberg)
Star Wars TOP: And here is Luke Skywalker. He is on a flying saucer (1), and a smart samovar (2) helps propel him along. LEFT: Luke spent a long time looking for his father, and once he found him, slew him with a fiery sword (3), which brought on grief and sorrow. CENTER Here I might have had some vodka to ease my grief, but my father cut off my hand. I can't pick up a glass; looks like I'll be living sober from now on. RIGHT: And here is his friend Chewbacca, something between a monkey and a dog. He speaks no words, but roars and howls. Evil men took him captive and turned him into ice. [Writing on samovar in lower left-hand corner: R2D2]

Dear Matty:
I have worked long and hard on my main character in WoW, and have achieved some level of success and acclamations for my performance. Of late, however, I have lost all patience with underlings and "stupid" or rude players. Normally, if some poor little druid cub is in Stormwind, asking for a few pieces of silver for training costs, I'd toss them a few gold. Now I just feel like everyone is hustling me, everyone has a dark side. The Force, well, just feels more force-fed right now than all Zen-ny. A few weeks ago, I lost my hand in a bad accident, sort of an "atonement with the father" moment, and am starting to transform into the sort of monster I have sworn to fight. In the past, I used to run with my sister, this rogue, a few droids, and a tall walking carpet, but lately the taller droid is starting to get on my last nerve,  and I feel like every minute I spend not doing something heroic and superbly executed is wasted, that they are dragging me down. How do I get back to my original vows of truth and justice, when all I feel are annoyance and irritation?

Please help,
Robotic Reflections

Postscript: Here's that autographed picture of me you wanted.
Yours, LS

Dear Robot:
 "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." -Friedrich Nietzsche ... 

There is a moment, sometimes more than one, when we do not always make great decisions. We use the best of our upbringing, resources, and information at hand (sorry, no pun intended), to go metaphorically left or right, or get run over if we sit in the middle. I think the first thing you've done is admirable, just recognizing that you're questioning your character and trying to recalibrate your moral compass. You are only human, after all, and keeping your humanity and humility is what will keep you sane and happy. In every story, sometimes we have to fight fire with fire, or get in the mind of the 'monster' we're trying to conquer. It's the getting out, having an escape plan or exit strategy when we falter that defines us, not that we made a mistake in the first place. 

Now, my advice is, go hug a warm Wookie, and you'll feel right as rain. And don't be an jerk. Your friends come first. It's only a game.

PS Repeat: It's only a game. The pixels are not going to remember you, but your friends will. There's an old saying, people don't remember what you do, but how you made them feel.

Theme song: Reflection/Mulan Soundtrack (no, not above playing the Disney card once in awhile)

Other "Dear Matty" Columns: 
Love Hurts Edition:
Significant Other Edition: