Sunday, June 30, 2013

A hunter's heart...thank you Navi...

Navimie made me cry: Please go read this story.

For the Alliance!

Ah, Mataoka, you little morale booster, you! 

Thanks for inspiration, Dahakha: we were talking this morning about my thoughts on bringing over one of my girls to the Horde side, and if so, which one?

It would never, ever be our intrepid shaman, Mataoka...her devotion to Anduin Wyrnn and all the Dwarf clans is unsullied. Not the King, you ask? No...but his son, and the Dwarfs...have always been steadfast of their loyalty to her and hers.

And oh my gosh I have thought this so many times:

Sh*t - do the writers at Blizz think that no one else grew up watching Johnny Quest? FFS.
Okay - sorry - off track...

When I have time, I would like to design a propaganda poster ala Starcraft for Matty:

In the meantime, consider the pin-up girls from the 1940s:

I ignored Dahakha's quip about my being a 'filthy Alliance,' and thought I would do my part to get him to join the 'right' side! Come on, girl! Show those boys what they're fighting for!

Shoulders: Blue Dragonscale
Chest: Burnished Tunic
Back: Mantle of Stormwind (duh!)
Staff: Devotion
Legs: Barbaric Leggings (gotta keep a little gritty, you know?)
Boots: Sentry's Slippers

Garrosh, Garrosh! Come on, dude! Put down that shovel and go have a beer. 


I have two posts today: one is a straight-up rantfest, and the second...not. I need to get this one off my chest piece first. You may just skip it altogether if you wish, but there are some good nuggets and links, so, stick around a little bit, okay?

At the Matty-shack there is an expectation of independence. For the most part, it works extremely well, and creates an atmosphere of functionality, harmony, and domestic bliss. In other words, we give each other space.

There are occasions, however, where the old maxim, "If momma ain't happy, no one is happy" comes into play.

I am the momma, if you haven't guessed.

For weeks now, my Mac has been awful. The game play is bizarre, lagging, choppy: for example, even when I am in the Shrine the music soundtrack sounds like a skipping record. Every spell I hit is muddy, every cast time a lie. When I bring this up to the expert in the Matty-shack, one C.D. Rogue, he shrugs, grumbles, and tells me where to go to figure it out for myself. He does this with the intent of creating an independent person.

Meanwhile, it will be 90 degrees here today, and the A/C is working great. Subtext: his priority to get it fixed, not mine. I am sitting here in a sweatshirt. But that's okay. Part of his health issues means he runs warm, and keeping him comfortable is important.

Haanta tried Galleon this morning, and due to the glitchy nature of the computer, was left with nothing but bones and haunted mementos. Postmaster recovered her item, though. It wasn't a new computer.

And a confession: the Wrathion Thunderforge quest that was giving me fits? I had to call in young leet druid to save the day. Young Leet Druid has been playing since he was about three days old, and watching him move a character, even one he is unfamiliar with, is like watching Bach play, as opposed to my clumsy chopsticks. He is a virtuoso. And even he said, Matty, your mouse is awful, your computer is a mess -- you really should fix this!

Yes, I guess I should.

Every time I log off and on, every time a player taps his foot waiting for my slow-ass splash screen to load, every time I lag and miss a shot or cast, every time I stutter and stall my way through Azeroth I get more and more frustrated. It's not that I can't figure this shit out, it's that I DON'T WANT TO. Maybe it's a woman thing -- oh, I'm being sexist. Trust me -- both genders are equally capable of understanding computer programming, technology, etc. One of my favorite first games, Phantasmagoria, was designed by a woman. But even that game play stalled out on me long, long ago. But damn, it was fun as hell while it lasted. It's not a woman thing, it's a me thing - I just want shit to work. I am not a tinkerer--I want the ink to never run dry, and the pixels to flow freely.

Everyone except Young Leet Druid and myself has been playing Kerbal Space Program obsessively. Okay. Who doesn't want to pretend they're John Glenn or Neil Armstrong or Sally Ride? Come on now! And they all stayed up till the weeeeeeeeeeee little hours of orbital joy so there is no one who can advise me on computer repair this morning.

Now, if I were a bitch, scold, nag, harpy, shrew, fishwife, etc. I would yank a knot in their chains and get them down here to fix this shit. But alas, I must admit ---- there is no small part of who I am that doesn't value my independence. If I fix it myself, I'll have the knowledge and power. Alas, sometimes, though, I just want someone else to do it.

I actually own this magnet. True.

As I am looking over Facebook just now, a link to a John Hodgman post sparked my interest. Think about it -- a NEW BREED OF HUMAN!?!?! I want to consume MORE!

Judge John Hodgman Rules via The New York Times Magazine

SAM WRITES: "My friend Emily listens to the vast majority of her podcasts at triple speed. I feel as if she's missing out on nuance and timing. She argues that the only way she can consume all the pop culture she needs is by listening way faster than intended."

It is said that humans and Neanderthals coexisted for many years before Homo sapiens triumphed. And so you live briefly alongside Emily, who represents a new human species, trained by the Internet to absorb cultural data at posthuman speeds. Soon her kind will devour you. Before she does, however, you might ask her to experience what it was to be human by listening to podcasts in real time (she will know it as slow-motion bullet time) for historical research.

Listen to the podcast and submit questions for adjudication to

So, just know today I'm going to be doing some investigating on my end of what I can do to clean up the mucky bytes. I just want to play.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pop Quiz

Here is a multiple-choice quiz: How happy can one enhancement shammy be?

A. She is served a perfect lime margarita by a cadre of Daenerys Targaryn-esque "advisors" on the beaches in Maui with her tummy looking like it did when she was 17*

B Said shaman meets both Jon Stewart and John Oliver and their wives and they all go out for the best dinner in New York City and they all think she is the funniest woman alive

C. She gives up to the gods the chances of her ever being a well-equipped shaman, has a sweet conversation with another enhancement shaman in a dungeon, and begins to feel special all on her own, because she is a rare breed. Later in LFR,  The weapon drops. Share news with best game friend, Señor, and shares a /cheer!

If you chose "C" you would be right! A+ for you!

This is a terrible screenshot, but the best I could do in a pinch (and yes, it's mogged)

Now, where is that lime margarita? 

*Loch Ness, chupacabra, and the flat tummy of my youth....all legends of years long gone....

Theme Song: Just Like Heaven/The Cure

Roll over, Shakespeare...

There's No Bard Here by Prinnie Powah, of That Was An Accident. Must read.

Tiny Story Time: The Summer Wife

Once upon a time there was a man who lived in the middle of the valley. Every time he tried to move to the north, the cold winds blew him back. On sapphire autumnal days he tried to live east, but the morning sun betrayed him. To the south, the warm salty air dried his eyes, and the west shunned her back on him every night. The mountains of the earth did not cradle him, but trapped him where he stood. When he was a babe, the stone stood sentinel, but now the slate and slag imprisoned. As a young man, he tried to go through the mountains, burrow under, find a way: the mountain always pushed back. If he climbed over, footing would slip and he would fall and bring the whole of the mountain down on everyone in the village.

Since the north, east, south, and west did not care which direction he went, he did not move. Neither over the top or through the heart could he move. In the deep valley he stayed, praying the snow would stay frozen on the mountaintops so no flood. Nonetheless he drowned. He drowned in the dawn when he did not see the sun till it was almost noon, and he drowned in the moon when she would not show her face. If he kept his eyes straight ahead he saw the sides of the mountain, and if he looked up, celestial treasures on display for others in the world, but not for him. Always out of reach.

One day, in the middle of the year, in the middle of the field, in the pinnacle of the day, he prayed. "Dear gods, I am a simple man. I only wish to see the world."


The moon hid, and the sun coy. He tried again.

This time, an odd breeze chucked him under his chin, tickling the whiskers on his face.

But the moon hid, and the sun coy. He tried again.

On the third day, he felt the breeze tickling his whiskers, and a voice in his ear. "Turn around, man."

Behind him grew a field of daisies and poppies as far as the eye could behold. The pleated perfection of  daisy petal, and sultry sirens of poppies made for a wondrous sight. As if to guard the two and prevent flower class warfare, hedges of lavender provided bees and breezes delights. The man gathered some of the flowers, and took them home and put them in a mug of water.

That night he went to sleep as normal, but his dreams were etched green and gold. Something came uncomfortably in the house, unsure of itself, he sensed it. Eyes opening, the dark huddle before dawn, and silent--whatever came in, he wanted it to stay.

(to be continued)

Friday, June 28, 2013


Tome! Tome! Tome! Pay attention to me! I'm yelling on the Internet! Tell Ironsally to check her mail!

My Azerothian partner-in-crime knew we were trying to get you that Coilfang, and prompted a few trips on our AltArmy (yes, very similar to the Salvation Army --strange uniforms and a lot of bell ringing--) and see what we could do. I discovered that being ranged is far more helpful with reaching those tainted things, by a mile. My grand buddy Turk had lent me his so I could get the achievement (I have a post about Tito later), and I'm still in need of one, but no biggie. Señor and I have it down to a swift and sure dance. Lady Vash'j is no match: she now 'sleeps with da fishes,' if you catch my frisbee.

I think I'm going to check in with Hunter Kellda from time to time on that PVP server of yours. Shake things up a bit.

Postscript: Tome, Señor made sure that you would get this one and I wouldn't keep the first drop. Keeping me honest, dammit!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Teutonic Tenacity

There sure as hell better be a dwarf.

Tome and I have some plans this summer. Oh yes we do. F.U. Facebook friends going to Maui! We're going to SERPENTINE! No, wait, it's SerpentSHRINE, noob! But aside from that, there area few other things on my *cough* agenda...

I used to be a pro list maker. My mom's recent response to me over some building stresses was, "Well just make one of famous lists, honey!" Oh, mom...I have lost my list mojo. Maybe if I simplify...I'll just keep it to three:

1. The Val'kyr Pet SHALL BE MINE

Oh yes...someday....and a thousand miles of Northrend

Both Tome and Big Bear have excellent posts on how to get it. Not sure when I plan to do this. Apparently, the Matty-shack is going to the wilderness at some point this summer, and it involves purchasing bear mace. I don't really want to go somewhere that involves bear mace. 

2. Figure out warriors.

3. Shape-up-or-ship-out-shaman: Mataoka's going to get back to it, whatever "it" is. She is on a personal vendetta quest to get epic weapons, either by boss or battlegrounds.

OH - I have to add this, but it coincides with Mataoka - I am going to be throwing out the smoke signal if anyone wants to do Firelands for mounts, chieves, and finishing up reps. Very selfish of me, but that would be shokewl!

Editorial: Shamans, Body Image, Blood and Reality

I have no idea what to title this post. Suggestions might include, "Long Time Coming?" "Avatarial Confessions?" Perhaps "Too Long, Please Don't Read, And Just Let Me Type." Apologies in advance: duplicate or repeated theses presented. I tell some truth in this post, but like all my writing, it's bandaged with opinion, too. For my real-life friends - remember - this is my safe place to write. Thank you in advance for respecting that.

One of my personal 'sword of a thousand truths' is the crusade about diabetes. It's touched my own life, and altered the course of my personal destiny in many ways. I do not have diabetes myself, but since someone I love does, we share this course. I have never personally suffered from any form of it, neither gestational, or adult onset. One day, I had two very sick people - one was my toddler, and one was my husband. Taking them to the doctor, it was discovered that my husband had diabetes. He was not obese, or a "bad eater," in fact, was a vegetarian at the time. His weight plummeted, and has fluctuated over the years. He then proceeded down the long arduous path of finding doctors, specialists, etc. that would guide him. And he's smart as hell -- he did much of his own research, and asks informed, confident questions. I often think he himself could have been a doctor, but that destiny was out of his reach. These years we've lived with this has meant every decision we make is based on health insurance. Every job loss or change, and the minute we went through a very tough time long before the current recession meant an end to my days as 'princess mommy,' where I enjoyed my time with my children. It wasn't always easy, and at times drove me to sheer bored madness, but I know I did the right thing. But leaving the stay-at-home routine led me to other paths I love, so in hindsight, it was a good thing. When someone gets a chronic disease, every one in the family shares a new path. His courage and strength over making sure he's going to be okay are things I take for granted. He doesn't get to give up, because I don't. Remember: I am one mean witch sometimes.

Now --body image. One of the things that has hurt him the most are many people's assumptions that somehow he caused this. I have vegan/extreme 'grow your own and don't eat anything outside your own garden patch' friends, and he has one friend who ended up having bariatric surgery to help him lose weight for diabetes. I work with two women who both have adult onset diabetes, and they have never been obese. In fact, both of them have the most amazing figures -- they each do yoga, go to the gym, and are two of the most beautiful women I know, inside and out. I have another very dear friend who is by all measures, extremely obese, and can barely walk, yet she has no heart or pancreatic issues.  And yet another, who has crippling arthritis in both her knees and she's in her early 40s. She posted on Facebook the other day about watching all the skinny, fit women walking into the swimming pool and she could barely get out of the car. It made me cry. We know of so many people who have diabetes and gaining weight was not a factor in the slightest. There are things that one can control -- getting exercise and diet are huge factors, there is no denying. But I have a suspicion as with many health issues, and our increasingly complicated, chemicalized world, there is no one cause, nor cure. Someday in the future, we'll all be able to take a "Dammit, Jim, I'm a Doctor" Star-Trek type shot and be all better. The insulin causes weight and tissue damage, and dealing with chronic illness certainly has a link to minor forms of depression. Sometimes, you just don't want to be 'that person.' Being sick sucks.

Honest confliction: Not sure what to think anymore --

My discomfort with World of Warcraft, and feminism, body image is connected with this. I know that must seem like a stretch. I understand that many players, male and female alike, want there to be more female "real body type" heroes, villains, NPCs, character models, etc. I am ashamed to admit that I could not keep Kellda as a Dwarf female -- I had to change her back. I do not see myself as this--in my younger days I resembled Kellda as a human model. So what do I do with my own fantasy of having a perfect pixelized body, playing 'dress up' as I did when I was younger, and just playing to have fun in a make-believe world?

I, too, like Erinys and the Godmother, want the Azerothian narrative to include more complex and interesting female representatives. And like them, too, I am not sitting around waiting for the writers at Blizzard to create them. This entire fan-fiction blog of mine, when I write fiction, is about female characters. Want to go mano-a-mano with Mrs. Whitworth? I didn't think so. And this is where I'll upset some folks - I told my husband a few months ago that I noticed this trend with 20-30 something women; I labeled it "aggressive frumpiness." This active rejection of any trappings of traditional femininity makes total sense though -- because like Joss Whedon's quote, the fact that people are still asking this inane question means we still have a long damn way to go. I know many a young mother of daughters who get so frustrated over the constant princess identity drone. All one needs to do is walk into any Target and see the toxic glow of pink coming from the "girls" toy aisle versus the black and blue of the boys'. The lines are drawn by the corporations: it's up to us to blur them.

Three novels that came to mind when thinking about this post are as follows:

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz -- the protagonist is a complete and total nerd, and his one quest is to lose his virginity. It is one of the best novels I have ever read.

The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons, and Growing Up Strange by Mark Barrowcliffe - the author is clearly conflicted over his own adolescent relationship with playing D&D.

Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman - why this book on motherhood and marriage? Well, it still makes me think about identities and feminity is ways Erma Bombeck never could. (Insert smiley face here.) It is a voice of someone who wanted to say something that many took great and grand offense to, and whether or not one agrees or relates to her in any way, it is one woman defining herself. Why is that so damn hard?

To wit: if my husband wants to spend a few hours looking at a beautiful, leather-clad model who kicks ass, and I have no problem with that whatsoever, and more power to him. If it gets his mind off of his next shot or meal, or whether he's too exhausted to go for a walk, then jumping around battlegrounds is just the ticket. Things are not always what they seem, and we want it that way in Azeroth.

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Postscript: Fresh Air Interview with Amy Shumer (link to the NSFW "Compliments." Only that. Nothing else.)


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

OOC: Overdose of Cuteness

Stinks of Cuteness!

I never know when, and I'm not sure how, but sometimes a friend knows exactly what I need at exactly the pinpoint moment:

And yes, before my friend gave me these, I told him how much they were worth in gold. Apparently, some things are worth more.

Monday, June 24, 2013

My House

I am hesitant to tell this story, it's slightly mortifying. But -- here goes. An anecdote to cleanse the palette before the main-course post:

So, I was hanging out in Dalaran a few weeks ago, struck up a conversation with a very nice young man. Friendly, light, casual - you all know I'll talk to a fence post if I think it's listening, and Matty, Thy Name is Extrovert. Says so on my driver's license. Anyway, he had some accomplishments in the game, and wanted to share them, and look over gear, etc. Of course I had to make the conversation awkward by saying something bawdy and silly (he does not know what an accomplished limerick writer I am). I totally embarrassed the poor guy! OH NO! I told him that I am a happily married lady, all is well, all is happy, and I am so sorry if I embarrassed him (it wasn't that bad people! Sheesh!! Get your minds out of the gutter!). His relief was palatable, but my standing as Socially Awkward Penquin is now set in stone.

The thing is--I am not really looking for too much in Azeroth right now. I have the friends I need, my real life is pretty damn awesome, and I feel that I can give the time and attention to my friends in Azeroth and support them in whatever they want or need too. I took Ceniza into an LFR today, and it really hit home --- there was a mage who was easily doing 112k, and I looked over her gear, and of course it was all from heroic and normals. I struggle with obtaining gear, this is well known. Extra rolls, lesser charms, time and energy, for hundreds of sacks of gold and a "better luck next time." But it doesn't  matter. This is a homage to my little cottage guild that my friend Señor and I have built: three years of friendship, no demands, or stress. We both get a little thrilled when we see that the guild level creeps along, and he's put me in complete control of it. It might confuse the young man I mentioned that my friend is not my husband, that it's totally okay to have friendships in Azeroth that you don't need to explain or justify to anyone else.

My little cottage guild is a happy, healthy place. We do LFRs, old stuff, and I level alts. Lots and lots of alts. And while many players have been writing about the upcoming changes to 5.4 with Flex Raids, I am not sure I'll even be a part of it for better or worse. I am plateaued at LFR: LFR has never been a threat to "real" raiders, or "real" guilds. I am in the enviable position of not having to worry about it now. I'm not going to join a raid team, unless Xak comes back, so that's done. No one is in danger of having me derp up their boss kills. The point is: we all can play the way we want to, except -- when we can't. We are never fully in control over how others see us.

But these past few weeks, here's what I've learned -- no matter what, I will never be a completely solo player either. Ever. I can't do it alone. I have longed for many a play-hour that more partner quests/guild building activities were available. If I had my wishes, they would be to allow everyone to have level 25 guilds easily, bring back Have Group, Will Travel, (NOW) and make it easier to get gear. Yup. I said it. I know Blizz made changes, but I am still bitter. The raiders are going to raid, because I do know if you get on a fun, good team, nothing slows you down. Every day in Trade Chat are players desperate to run something, do anything--I wonder if sometimes we've created a monster of loneliness out there, waiting to devour social engagement of any kind. Personally, I'm not extending myself out there too much. The afternoon Buffet for Trolls is not a pleasant feast. Besides, I don't want to embarrass any more druids!

Oh the hell with it - he gets a limerick:

There once was a druid with great gear
And wanted to show it off without fear
But a bawdy mage made him blush
So he high-tailed out of there in a rush

anyone want to finish it? ....something about she was sorry she showed her rear? No? Lost my touch.

My community, my passions -- are with my blogging community. No matter what, I circle back to you all time and again. Can't say it enough.

So, to Señor---gracias por ser un amigo leal y de confianza en Azeroth. Now go buy a guild standard to help get us to level 14!

Mixed (Messages) Tape

Back in the day, CD Rogue made me a mix tape. Yup-- a a real tape: a magnetic strip of joy and metaphors, ala Annie Lennox and Neil Finn, spun on spokes of electrical battery-charged goodness. Of the material possessions I would save in case of fire, that tape is one. Who needs diamonds when you have the gift of song? Music is so personal, and yet so public. Gotta love a paradox. In any case, been thinking about what mix tapes my characters might have on hand, and their theme songs, if you will. Maestro? Be so kind. I've limited the lists to three. Many of these I've used in the past, but was fun listening again.

This is not the tape, but it's one I would have had. 

Songs to Fall In Love to:
Pretty much anything from Crowded House/Woodface - Fall at Your Feet/Whispers and Moans

Songs to Think About Breaking Up to:

Songs to Think About Another Point-of-View:

Songs to be Mopey to:

Character Theme Songs:

Cake/ Short Skirt/Long Jacket (I like this stuff! I'll take two!)

Mezzanine: Angel (dark side)




Wax Tailor: Tales of the Forgotten Melodies (she is a very confused paladin)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Out of the bottle...

I can't even type yet. Well, I'm freezing. CD Rogue is part polar bear, and the Matty-shack is a friggin' igloo, but that's not the only reason. I wish I could write this tale like Navi does - swashbuckling, daring-doos and don'ts, and all kinds of Azerothian yumminess! Here's the short version:

1. If you have two accounts, and you're camping a pet on one, guess what? All your pets are locked up. This is why when you see Qiraji spawn repeatedly at 3:30AM Australian time and you can't engage it....yes. I did that.

2. If you know someone like Tome you have all you need. She will take you to her PvP server, defend your lame level 70 ass, engage in a spawn, forfeit, and pave the way to an amazing new pet!!!

3. If you know a lucky mage who sends good luck your way, you also have a buff.

Not only do I now have the title and the achievement, the luck and love, but a damn cool pet!! I think this pet is really fun - kind of like a 70-something Barbara Eden who can still rock the genie bra:

No way I'm getting that genie back in the bottle!

Tome: again, you have come to my rescue. I cannot thank you enough - but will try to find a way!

Roll credits.

No spoilers, I hope.

Okay - I know ya'll heard about the big kerfuffle with folks watching the HBO version of Game of Thrones, and the Red Wedding thing, right? A few details differ from the book, otherwise I thought the direction captured the scene extremely well.

What? You don't know? Well, I'll tell you what I told C.D. Rogue: READ THE DAMN BOOK. I still put my hand over my eyes, though I knew it was coming. I still started to tear up, though I knew it was coming. And I still lost all hope for the Starks, and cursed George Martin, and considered the nature of happy endings forever and a day, though I knew it was coming.

Last night we watched Cloud Atlas, and I was the one at a disadvantage because I hadn't read the book. From what I read, this movie and the Life of Pi were two movies-from-books that "they said couldn't be made." Maybe we (the audience) had to wait for technology to catch up with our imaginations, at least in the case of Lord of the Rings (another one they said couldn't be made), Cloud Atlas, or Life of Pi. Although in the case of Cloud Atlas, it had less to do with technical hijinks than good old-fashioned script writing and casting. You put Tom Hanks in something and it's all going to be okay.

There is one part where a character hears the music in a dream. Oh, I know this song well. The muses come out at night, it would seem. But I'll capture what I can: I am going to write a post on books, movies, and music for the summer, among other pieces.

And as far as happy endings go, can't wait to see how the story unfolds in Azeroth, either. Will probably have to cover my eyes, though.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Little pleasures...(NSFW edition, but not THAT bad)

My eyes were starting to burn from looking for the Qiraji pet. I needed an visual break. So, off to my favorite blog, Pictorial Arts!
I can't escape them...
This Celestial Seasonings tea packing is darling. Just is. Okay.

Then I came across this:
The Offering

Beautiful, stately.

And today, I tried, unsuccessfully, to engage in a little R&R myself. It is gorgeous today - 77 degrees (25 Celsius) - clear skies, embracing sunshine, and the yard beckoned. My lovely neighbors who are retired were having a party, and let me tell you how they party in the rock stars. Politics! Jokes! Wine! More Wine!!! They are a raucous bunch. But they were nothing like what happens every year in Seattle, The Fremont Solstice Parade. As one of my friends posted on Facebook, all she wondered about was how much this much hurt:

You're welcome.

Now back to pet camping.

Say it ain't so, Snow!


Dear Matty: Your Cheatin' Heart Edition

Dear Matty:
Oh this one is a doozy. Lately I've been escaping to Azeroth far too often. My real life has left me a bit uninspired, and though I adore my husband and children beyond life itself, I am finding that running around a fantasy game has taken attention from them. Last night, for example, the dog was out of food, the cupboards were empty, and the husband snoring on the easy chair, and all I wanted to do was run around with mages and warriors in my pretty robes. The fun is turning into guilt, though, as I can't seem to extricate myself long enough to pay attention to them. Every hour I've been in Azeroth is an hour I've neglected them, and it's starting to hurt. I feel so awful, Matty, what do I do?

Harlot Horde Woman

Dear Harlot,

I hate mixing issues of the heart with science, but unfortunately, your situation is neither unique nor unexplainable. I have written many times about how women juggle husbands, children, work, and a WoW virtual life. It's no wonder that the demographic for WoW players tend to men in their 30s. Please -- men in your 30s --do not take offense to this, but sometimes "men in their 30s" do not see the big picture. They may love their girlfriends and wives, but if they find one who will take care of the details of life while he plays a game or does some hobby, he's on top of the world. CD Rogue, the man in my life, when he was in his 30s, was (and is) awesome, responsible, and great, but there were many, many "conversations" about child/house duties, and I didn't know I had the contentious obstacle that he was a gamer. I did not vow to love, honor, in health, and rez sickness. I tease him to this day about the 'lost weekend' when he rescued the original princess from Prince of Persia for 48 hours straight early in our lives together. It was a pivotal moment for me. I realized then and there I would sometimes be a game-widow. The good news is we still, from the beginning to now, are individuals who love each other very much, but know that our inner creative lives are important and sacred to us both.

But sister--get out of Azeroth once in a while. Do something different. Shake things up. If snoring husband can be talked into it, go out on a date. While you're on your way home, pick up the dog food, and take care of business. Having said that - please do not feel guilty for your time in Azeroth either. If you take care of your real life, and make yourself happy, whole and complete there, your time in Azeroth will be sweeter, unfettered by guilt. I remember a neighbor of mine who used to read Harlequin romances constantly. I have another older lady friend who read Fifty Shades of Grey, and if you saw her, you would think her sexuality had long taken the last train to Clarksville, but no, she enjoyed a spicy tale of tail too. (Damn, didn't mean to use a double entendre!) The chemicals of love replicated or induced by gaming are real, and add the Role Playing/social construct of WoW and you've got one helluva engaging cocktail. We belong to guilds, have friends, share stories, and spend time with others in a world where we share goals, even if they are pixelated ones. I guarantee if the princess in PoP had hugged back, CD Rogue might have flown the coop.

I was talking to a friend the other day about her involvement with Renaissance/cosplay, the original Azeroth, and the topic was boundaries between the character the faire goers created and their real friendships. Ultimately, that's what is important - boundaries. Your characters in Azeroth are in a real-time story of love, war, loss, victories, luck, fate, destiny...damn! If the most exciting thing you do in real life is get out of bed and breath sometimes that's as good as it gets, and that's pretty damn awesome. If your characters live a rich virtual life, too, and you feel happy when you're there, then you're doing it right. Balance, Harlot. Balance.

Here are two articles you might find interesting. One is about monogamy and the other about regret. WoW offers a double-edge sword on both of these issues. We balance our game/recreation time with time spent with others. As the regret article states, most folks confess on their death beds regret over not spending more time with friends and loved ones.Don't let time in Azeroth take away from the real people you love, and that includes yourself. It's okay to have a rich inner life, too. As the monogamy article proposes, it may not be natural to adhere oneself to only one partner. I am not suggesting you run off with the milkman (back off--he's mine!) but understand that your time in Azeroth like any time spent with friends outside of your marriage. Hell, I feel guilty when I neglect my shaman by playing my priest. And I have learned to never piss off my mage...

Now I've spent a lot of time writing this blog. I went for breakfast with a girlfriend of mine yesterday. There are fifty piles of laundry waiting to be wrangled. Has CD Rogue cared? Nope. Has he done the laundry, either? Nope. But that's cool. Did I have a million other things to do? Yes. Did it matter that I spent time on things I wanted to do? Hell no. Dishes get done. Groceries get bought. Life goes on. No regrets.

PS I am so glad I can't play other MMOs, cause of my Mac issue. Tome, you'll just have to defend Neverwinter without me. I'm counting on you!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Little saints...

The Roman Catholic church has many saints, and if I don my theologian hat I'm sure it comes from the compromise of culture from the Ancient Roman pantheon of having minor deities perform specific functions or protections. It's tough to give up beliefs, and shun a god. I still knock wood, or toss the spilled salt over the left shoulder, because you just never know. The monotheistic appeal of Judeo-Christianity is clear -- accessibility to a faith for the common man. But the good people just couldn't give up the spirits of the forest, hearth, or seas, nor should they. That is an unfair compromise.

I don't really pray. I'm not sure what I do, actually. I do something, think a thought, make a wish, hope, concentrate, meditate, something, when I feel the universe needs to be reminded that although it isn't fair, and it certainly is under no obligation to me to show its cards, that I can still hope for something -- some comfort, some laughter, something...

Over the next few weeks I plan on tackling the faiths in Azeroth. In the meantime, however, I have someone who could use your prayers, or whatever it is you do, or even just a kind thought, that something serious gets better. Some strength is given. Some light is shone in the darkness. Pray to St. Juliana for chronic illness, please, or whatever small shrine you create. I don't know if it works. I really, truly, don't. But I know thinking nothing doesn't either. Go in peace.

Theme song: Misguided Angel/Cowboy Junkies

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Little things...

I don't know if any of you recall the minor battle I had with the milkman. No, it wasn't over curds and whey, or broken hearts, or cracked eggs, nothing like that. He was annoyed with me. This past holiday I waved the white (milk) flag, and gave him I guess a generous tip. He's been so amazing ever since. As I was walking out this morning, I remember it is milk delivery day, and when I opened the box there were two new reusable grocery bags and a lovely note:

Look! A smiley face! The milkman drew me a smiley face!

In an effort to pay it forward, here's my little note to all of you: you're awesomesauce, and put the whipped cream on my cupcakes. Wait. That didn't come out right. Dammit! Wait...okay. Let me try again: You are all the cream in my coffee, the sunny-side up of my eggs, and the sweet pulp of goodness in my morning orange juice.

Sorry - think I made it worse.

Here you go  -- some far better writing than my lame attempt at milkman jokes:

Special snowflake? Damn right.

Señor knows, my friends know, and family members know this past week was emotional for me (not sure when it's not, but...). But this week, different from years past, I didn't cry that much. Those toxins are still in there somewhere, and will need to be purged, but maybe...maybe there's progress. I'm getting tougher, and not sure that's a good thing.

Every year I attempt to help a lot of people. I throw myself against the drawbridge, using everything I've got, from Trojan Horses to trebuchets, rows of archers to banner men. And every single year, there are many who defeat me. They move on from the siege not any better, informed, enlightened, or engaged. In fact, I was laughing with a colleague on a walk yesterday (yes! yes! move that junk!) wondering how many pregnant women I could get mad at me this year, though seriously, it's such low-hanging fruit. So far I'm 2.5/4.0. Not that the .5 is a 'little bit pregnant' cause we all know that can't happen, but I think the .5 was a little put-out with me. Pregnant women are kind of cranky.

Anyway, I was put in the position of defending the indefensible, because this other co-worker did not see any progress I was making. From the ripped pages of a scathing e-mail, the pregnant co-worker told me that what I had done all year was for nothing. It made no difference, and in her estimation, was a complete waste of time. Of course the e-mail was sent to several colleagues too, and I imagined this witches' chorus of "Who does she think she is, that she doesn't have to follow the rules?" My recourse? Two things: one, reply all thanking her for her input, and that again I apologized on behalf of this individual. Second, a private e-mail stating that she is to never write an e-mail like that to me again, and that indeed, this person had made great strides, and any positive impact, however minor, was still positive. I said good-day, sir.

So, I read Bear's post. I think it was about a podcaster who did some jerky things. And then he posted a follow-up about community , which is lovely. This has been on my mind a lot too, lately. When I log into Azeroth, I am making a conscious choice about not doing something else. It's no secret I adore my time in this fantasy world. In this world, I can be as corrupt, as courageous, as confident or as cantankerous as I choose. The biases of choice steer toward my natural self, however, and I tend to choose 'kind-hearted' and affectionate. I try to be funny, too.

The community is as expansive and inclusive as any. There are bloggers, writers, educators, thinkers, philosophers who inspire and enlighten me on a daily basis. Their writing supersedes the realm of Azeroth, and I take it with me all day. If there is anyone who has shut me out, I try to look on the positive side, think about it cognitively, and assume that it's because they have other things or ideas they want to explore, and my input isn't required. That's cool. I can't be all things to all folks -- I've tried, and it's exhausting. The world is more welcoming than not, from my experience.

But we are all part of the daily business of life, too, and I would wager that many of us are simply spending time in a fantasy because it is just that: a fantasy. In this world, I am beautiful. In this world, I am strong, and a fighter. I am a queen, and a warrior. Most of all--I am a friend. There is not a single soul out there who isn't carrying something heavy. And if the time I spend in Azeroth lightens the burden for those I love, in any small dose, if they carry in their pockets the knowledge that I don't judge, I take care and respect with someones burdens, and joys, and cheer the small victories. And you know, it's funny, when I think about it. Those in my real and virtual worlds are the ones who are fully aware that they want to be in control of their destinies through the power of choice. They want me around, and I want to be here, too. Thank you for having me.

Postscript: Theme Song - We are the world...of Warcraft...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Move it, move it...

Okay - confession time. Since Tome confessed her 'no such thing as a free lunch to play' thing, I have to tell ya'll that a little while ago I...


....back my second account. I parred down my DirecTV account, I stopped buying lattes, and I dig my own weeds, (or at least I think about it), so adding back that account is my treat to myself. But the real reason is I couldn't take it. That is how I love to play - lots of alts, mogging experiments, realm experiments, all kinds of fun. Less is more, you say? No. More is more when it comes to Azeroth.

But-- a word of caution.

Last night C.D. Rogue told me, cause I asked (foolish woman!) if something made me look chubby, and honest man that he is, gently, nicely, said...yes. I paraphrased and said, "So you're saying I have too much junk in my trunk?" Nod. It's true though. I haven't been getting off my derriere as much as I should, and there's been no excuse. None. It's been the most amazing June in the history of the time I've lived here. Normally June is rainy and soppy until after Fourth-of-July. So, time to move it.

So -- damn. I don't know what to do with all that junk, all that junk, all that junk...guess I'd better clean out my bags and bank, and go for a walk.

What are you going to do with all that junk?

Forgive me for linking Black Eyed Peas.

Here - this is better:

Monday, June 17, 2013


This is one of my favorite stories: my first kiss.

I was in kindergarten or first grade. It was toward the end of the year, and in Texas school gets out in May, but it's still bloody hot. A boy in my class, who had never said a word to me as far as I recall, told me he had a secret to tell me after school. He was poor and dirty--his face was always unwashed, and he missed button holes on his shirt sometimes. But a secret! Too good to pass up. I met him on the outskirts of the playground, knelt down, and will never forget the big, sloppy kiss he planted right in my ear. I was both repulsed and enchanted. Of course he ran away.

Relating this story to a friend, he said, "That is the way of the warrior."

Oh my friend -- never was such insight so bright. Way of the Warrior indeed. Bet even Garrosh felt touch of hesitation, maybe a touch, for his first kiss. Maybe not.

Aside from the terrors of a first kiss, and even though my kissing duties have narrowed considerably since the days of attack-ear kisses, I love the kissing in Azeroth: we all need a little sugar sometimes!

And though these kisses are not any of these...

...they are kisses of note. The Pandaren male is so in-your-face, I am wondering if he wasn't a first grade kid back in Texas in the day. And ladies, he's single! The Forsaken will both cut and kiss you all at the same time!

Theme Song: Mustache Man (Wasted) Cake

Once again, better women than I...

Ironyca surmised the ramblings of what I was attempting to do the other day about soccer, hockey, RNGs, and drinking beers in pubs and being a bad philosopher:

The wise Dahakha tried to set me straight in a private discussion about the nuances of soccer, and again, I apologize (even though he said not to): I am apologizing for being an impulsive writer and not taking the time as Ironyca did to clarify my thoughts. In any case, go read hers -- the graphic on rochambeau is exquisite. Dahakha was spot-on in our conversation, and I thank him. I said noobish stuff. But remember, this is also the woman who spilled an entire freshly-filled bowl of beef with broccoli last night while reaching for her mouse on a flight path. This is the level of professionalism you're dealing with.

Whatever the RNGs do, I still contend that I am lucky in love, so take that, you no-good-dirty-lying-no-weapon-dropping-gerbil-droppings!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Second read...

This week will find me happily busy - the solstice is almost here, and June has been amazing so far. I am looking forward to so many things, one of which is some free time to write. I was looking back over the inception of Mrs. W, and came across this: The Death Knight. It needs some minor revisions, but like baking a cake I like, still holds up.

Drabble: June

a tiny moment
not small, not little
tiny: stalwart and whole
second kisses, the two warm arms to

She pondered that when a promise is easy to make—no—easy to keep, is that where the Fates flourish? The promises had not been made in a grove, under the nodding heads of the Treants, however she had no regrets. He was hers, and she was his. The pledge spoken, words wrapped like ribbons, never to be cut. The promise urged them to speak, now, to not wait. If they were the sole witnesses, that was all that mattered.

Writer's Note: 
June is a time for beginnings - named after Juno, the goddess of marriage and childbirth, it seems only fitting to write a drabble to honor her. Graduations, Father's Day (the patron of the family, for without whom the brides would be alone...) and June brides comprise the month of fresh starts and growth...

Under the bridge (of comments...)

Fried Spam
Recently an influx of spam overwhelmed me. Spams included everything from Santa Claus to cabana boys (nothing about Santa with cabana boys, thank the gods). But one resounding word/name was repeated so many times, I had to take notice: Pokoje.

So, Pokoje is now my new Troll warrior:

She is stacked two-toes to nose with heirlooms, and has a leveling buddy along for the journey. What a perfect name for a stamping-spamming Alliance-whacking babe. Go get 'em Poko.

In other news...
Erinys recently posted a Blog Azeroth idea by Noahdeer. I am going to suggest a vanity item and title that doesn't exist yet. Full credit goes to CD Rogue on this one. Here's how it goes: the quest line is you finally get to cheat a goblin (of some stature) out of gold. As a reward, you not only get to keep his gold, but a diamond-tipped staff that transports you with an all-exclusive resort pass to Gallywix Pleasure Palace. But that's not the best part -- you get the title Nigerian Prince/Princess and a gold-plated fishing net that scoops up all the innocent and trusting InterNET fish.

Ain't That a Kick in the Head....

Saturday, June 15, 2013

love is hate....

We all spend a lot of time talking about how much we love our characters--we cherish, nurture, and put them on pedestals. But what of those we hate? Those we maintain although their spells are twisted and diminished, or their lore, their narrative, becomes less than savory to our own beliefs?

Enter the first, stage left:

Eliszabeth, a young forsaken priest, answering the call with dignity, in love with a rogue her parents in her mortal human form forbade her from seeing. For now, not only is she forsaken, she has nothing, nothing but a knife in the dark, and it's aimed at her heart...


More to follow....

Editor's Note I wonder if Harold Raims is for Harold Ramis who co-wrote Ghostbusters?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nine lives...

This reminded me of a lovely story Erinys wrote about her hunter pet, and I'll be damned if I can find it this morning:

Writing idea: write an eulogy for your hunting pet, or a companion pet, that if they could never return to you, what would you say?

Thanks, Cymre!

I swear that Blood Elf reads my mind sometimes. Not too long ago, I was thinking I needed to make a new list of mounts I would love to have, but what a pain! Just in time comes along Cymre with a comprehensive post on mounts -

Now, if she can only bend time and space for me...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer lovin'

Ah, memories! Thanks, Tome!

I had the PERFECT POST crafted in my head at 3:19 AM this morning! It was sublime, epic, witty, with this spot-on title and enunciated syllables, and darling diphthongs! seem skeptical. Well,  whatev. I ain't got time for that. In fact, after three days of family fun, I'm back to work. Oh yes...I have many, many MANY more days of work ahead of me, including days when I'm off the clock and the masses assume I'm sitting around getting tan, eating bon-bons, and living off the fat of the taxpayers' backs, I'll be in workshops, trainings, preparing, and simply doing doing doing for the next wave.

Again, whatev. Not complaining. Really. I am desperately trying to fall back in love with what I do in real life. Complaining, it turns out, only adds to the toxicity, and from the distance I had when checking work e-mails this past week, I realized that the levels of toxicity and dysfunction in my workplace maintained their levels, even without me! So, it's NOT my fault after all! I need to make some changes, though - and throw some stuff up to the universe. But the universe and I have made a deal - if a new opportunity doesn't come my way, I'm prepared to stay with who brung me to the dance, in a manner of speaking, and make it work.

Still have plenty of family events planned this week, and into next, so posting may become spotty. Seeing what the Draenei daughters are doing will be sketchy, too. I want pets, mounts, and spirit bears. And hopefully they'll bring the sun tan oil. One whiff of Coppertone and that's all the aromatherapy I need.

What did Danny do at the beach? Tell us about that girl...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This old thing?

Been searching for some new mog ideas, and with all the trips to Karazhan lately, just thought I should do a bit more research. These banshees have many different names, including this Wanton Hostess. What exactly is a Wanton Hostess? Does she find you a booth in the back and then get her sleazy vibe all over you? Does she put peppermints on the tip tray but lick them first? How wanton is she? Anyway, I've always kind of dug her look. The hair and ears are a hot mess, but the shear scalloped petticoat is still to die for:

 Then of course there is the dinner party, and noticed Lady Keira Berrybuck.

The only shot I have of Lady Berrybuck is her on the floor, but in researching her she looks like she's wearing a pink chiffon Moondress, and part of a bigger circle of nobles. In fact, the Nobles of Darkshire! Now that is an elite group! Man, if they weren't dead, I'd bet they'd be on a kick-ass raiding team!

There are plenty more, of course, but for another time. There are other old things, er, business, I want to bring up.

Even though I click on Bear's blog constantly, somehow Tome saw this first: We All Want to Be Special. Recently I read this post by Prinnie (whom I adore) and it made a lot of sense. I've been having many conversations about elitism, fairness, or the mythology of fairness, achievements, etc. CD Rogue and I were out for a brew the other evening, and the Stanley Cup was playing. I like hockey, but CDR says only live. His opinion was that sports that rely on the other team making a mistake, as opposed to offering up strategies, etc. were not interesting to him. We decided to put this to the test for many such 'games' including WoW and chess. Soccer, hockey are on one end of the spectrum, where only if one makes a mistake is there a goal. Games like basketball are a war of attrition, and perhaps with baseball somewhere in between. Chess on the other hand, requires the forward march of planning ahead. Depending on your play style and life philosophy may make you drawn to one or not. This is not to say that soccer and hockey players don't work their asses off in training, strategies, etc.*

Where does WoW fit it with all this? Well, all over the place. The elite raiding guilds will never, ever be threatened by the other players. Never. But--like little dogs who have big barks, some players think they're part of that club, and they make big noises. Just today Señor was telling me about an experience he had last night:

Why did the geared mage think it was important or valuable to tell the other mages what to do? I know for a fact my friend has been playing for years, and plays for relaxation and fun. And you see his last comment? He gave no oxygen to the geared mage's fire. I only know the coolest people--yes, guess I'm an elite in that way.

But --wasn't I just saying a few hundred posts ago we needed something like Flex Raiding? I think I called it 'free agent raiding.' Wonder if it's going to be like that.

In the meantime, I'll just keep rolling along, leveling pets, peeking in LFRs for loot, and writing my little stories. I think those are pretty damn leet, some of the time anyway.

*Mr. Snerggulsssss here: The publishers of Sugar & Blood, while not retracting any comments, wish to add this addendum: the goals of sports like hockey and soccer are made by seizing opportunities of errors, not implying any negative connotation in the word "error" but in a sports vernacular. See comments below. Thank you, that is all.

Unsung Heroine: Moira

We believe one of two things: people can change, or they can't. There is plenty of evidence to support both theories. However, if any of you give one iota of credit to King Varian, or King of Chins, for pulling together the Dwarf clans, we will have to have a wee bit of a chat, because make no mistake: Moira is our heroine. She transformed from a spoiled brat to saving the Alliance. Quite a transformation indeed.  Consider mothers have to be fierce, and look out for their babes. Whatever her motivations --maturity, loyalty, or seeing the 'big picture' - don't leave her role out of any discussion on who's brave and true.

--A Draenei's reflection on Dwarfs

Celtic Bagpipe Music: For the Love of a Princess