Thursday, October 31, 2013

Story Time: Green-Eyed Tom

Mrs. Whitworth wished, so very often, that when she slept his eyes purged from thought, from memory. His warmth lingered, the green cast indelible stains. Unlike the others who had sought her, out of misguided competition,  the tomcat's love (for it was love gripped her. But more often than not, she felt watched over, protected, though she knew it wasn't possible.

“Come play a game with me,” he said. 

In the carnies’ absence, the animals and beasts of the fair arranged their own games of chance. The rules were simple, and they never cheated one another, unlike the two-legged gypsters.  But they altered the booths and games for their own amusement, including pranks on the booth operators.

For example, fair-goers never realized that the troll who ran the shooting gallery kept small vials of ashweed hidden behind the curtain, standing like mossy soldiers stuffed in glass on a splintered shelf. The effect of the brownish-green weed in the strict confines of glass struck the animals as incongruent. The ashweed needed to be freed. His addiction caused no one any harm, and indeed had a medicinal effect of keeping him calm: the incessant gunshots gave him the jitters, and the ashweed kept his eyes from twitching or even worse, turning a pistol on the crowd. Each month when the fair re-opened, he often wondered what happened to the stashes he knew he left behind as emergency hits: the crusty vials were redolent with the remains, but the weed was always gone. If he had been capable of more attentive notice, he would have seen tiny paw prints in white-grey ash walking off the edge of the shelves. Alas, he just blamed the carnie children for stealing it, smoked what he brought, and forgot the matter until the next month.

The canon operator: she was another matter. She kept perfect inventory of every cannonball, every ounce of gunpowder, and took her matches with her, (one never knew when something would need to be blown to smithereens). Her true job was not at the fair; that was, point-of-fact, her monthly holiday. Outside of the fair she controlled ammunition's disbursement at a local military base in the south. Currently the base saw no live fire or action, just the occasional skirmish between bored soldiers and locals. Firing off hopeful ‘marks’ with fake gold wings provided satisfaction.

However, for as detailed and maniacal about her equipment, she did not realize that the bottom layer of the cannonball pyramid hid an underground tunnel system. Perhaps she missed this because she was too busy sending telegraphed messages to her partner at the other end telling him when to move the target, and how much, and no one suspected swindling.

The architecture of the underground lair was worthy of the most skilled engineer: stolen bandages (from the medical tent), supported the weight. Bloodied and caked with dried pus gave it extra tinsel strength. Soundproof to all outside ears, during the fair or not, this labyrinth served many purposes. The tomcat used the passageways to play tricks on the cannon baller, whispering misguidance so that the flyers would make the mark, and thus no pay off. 

The turtle ring-tossing game met with ridicule, (they added weights to the rings) and the mechanical cars rusted in the off-season. The carousel remained. Cached beneath the calliope snaked a tiny hole, which led to the passageways, and the passageways led throughout the entire fairgrounds: from the bleachers of the music stand, and out to the wolves' woods. 

The game that every one plays is the initiation game: put the blindfold on, relinquish control, and go through the trial.

The tomcat said, “Once you’re done, you’ll be one of us, and stay here as my queen for as long as you like.”

Mrs. Whitworth felt the weight in her stomach; a stone that could never be dropped.

Dia de los Muertos!

In all the excitement (blame it on sugar rushes and new ponies) over the Horseman giving up the ghost, and the reins, don't think for one moment I've forgotten about another of my favorite holidays, Dia de los Muertos. In spite of the skeletons in parodied poses and on the spirit-heels of All Hallow's Eve, the intent is much more celebratory and sweet. Honor your ancestors, loved ones, and let them share in the fun. In Azeroth, the Macabre Marionette only lasts through the duration of the event (LAME), but it's kind of a cool thing to do.

History of Day of the Dead ~ Dia de los Muertos
Day of the Dead is an interesting holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico during the chilly days of November 1 & 2. Even though this coincides with the Catholic holiday called All Soul's & All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.

They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.In most Indian villages, beautiful altars (ofrendas) are made in each home. They are decorated with candles, buckets of flowers (wild marigolds called cempasuchil & bright red cock's combs) mounds of fruit, peanuts, plates of turkey mole, stacks of tortillas and big Day-of-the-Dead breads called pan de muerto. The altar needs to have lots of food, bottles of soda, hot cocoa and water for the weary spirits. Toys and candies are left for the angelitos, and on Nov. 2, cigarettes and shots of mezcal are offered to the adult spirits. Little folk art skeletons and sugar skulls, purchased at open-air markets, provide the final touches.

This reminds me of the brew you pour on the ground and one of your homies comes and helps you:

In scrolling through some interesting images, I came across this woman who transformed herself into a vampire-woman:


Theme song: Los Lobos/Don't Worry Baby

94th time is the charm...

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

All these, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms of the mind that walk in darkness; and though he had seen many spectres in his time, and been more than once beset by Satan in divers shapes, in his lonely perambulations, yet daylight put an end to all these evils; and he would have passed a pleasant life of it, in despite of the Devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was—a woman.

Navi must be my good-luck charm…no other explanation…

Women are pretty damn scary, but awesome.

Happy Halloween!

This is one of my all-time favorite images of Mataoka:

Of late, I am always a day late and dollar short. Literally. It's Halloween, and I had to wait for payday to buy well, Paydays and pumpkins. But I decided yesterday I needed a well-earned mental health day, (it's been a long, weird week--not bad, but…) and need to brew up some tricks and treats for myself. Patience, my pretties…patience.

These are some sweet witch images

I'd like to think the toads, etc. used in this spell are gulp frogs (right there with ya, Navi)

Witches' Chant (from Macbeth)

1st Witch:
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.*

2nd Witch:
Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.

3rd Witch
Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
1st Witch:
Round about the cauldron go:
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweated venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first in the charmed pot.

Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

2nd Witch:
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blindworm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing.
For charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and couldron bubble.

3rd Witch:
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd in the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat; and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,-
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For ingredients of our cauldron.

Double,double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

2nd Witch:
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

*Gosh, hope that's not Mrs. W!

We all know the Ash Witch is the most bad-ass witch of all time, but these are pretty good, too.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Oh Navimie - oh Navi -- damn, that Tauren druid is one of the few persons on the planet who makes me speechless (I bet CD Rogue wishes he could learn her secrets)! This gift was my early morning surprise from Navi, who superlative generosity knows no limits:

It immediately reminded me of 1940-1950s Pin Up girls, and when I went to check out the artist's site, that's what she was thinking too!  Ah, if only my real-life, um…chest plate…was so…yeah.

Thank Navi, and thank you Carmen!

Too Sexy. Never.

*Personal story: my dad used to try to get my cubs to say "hubbahubba" to pretty waitresses. Good man. :)

Postscript: Saw this other version on the artist's site, too:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

RTMT: Never tell me the odds, kid.

Things could be worse. Could be this squirrel.

Today's Random Tuesday Morning Thought is sponsored by Random Number Generator: "when you absolutely, positively have to have it: we won't let you. ™" 

Driving young cub to school yesterday morning, he bravely, but resoundingly, told me my chances of getting the Horseman's mount were slim to none. It involves real math. This conversation inspired him to consider taking Statistics, which I strongly encouraged because who knows what I might have become if a young Matty had taken stats and physics instead of art and, well, art? I could have been somebody: I could have been a contender. Or at least earned a comparable salary to my years of degrees. ANYWAY.


Okay. Back to math. (And why does British English call it 'maths?') Turns out, there is a big difference between decimals and percentages. Consider the only source of drop-rates I could find was from 2008, which provides a .5%. Now, if it were simply .5, that would be pretty damn good, because it would be 50%.  But it doesn't say that, it says this:

I do not feel confident this early to share my math noob-ness. I used to be pretty damn good at it, until I got a gin-drinking Algebra teacher in 7th grade who reflected upon his life behind a newspaper while I sat bewildered. Hope he got it all worked out. But I can't blame him - but I can blame the RNGs. For "fun," (I really need to work on my definition of "fun") I have been keeping this chart of my horseman runs:

So far I've gotten 3,456 candies, three troll masks, one Horseman helm (on my druid, ROCK ON MOMO!), a few sinister swords, and a few razor blades in the apples. To date, this is 77 times. By calculations, I should have gotten the horse 38.5 times. But alas, no: 3.85 times. But where is my pony? No where. Ponies don't do math. Nothing to lose a head over, I suppose. Godmother has done a lovely job discussing rewards, and has thoroughly analyzed everything Azeroth. I can't even get my calculator to work right or remember third grade math.
Here: let's look at some pretty Draenei:

It's okay, chicas. I won't give up on you. You'll get your pony.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Story Time: Green-Eyed Tom

The moon turned its face: she had business elsewhere to attend. Tom and the female (who had lost her name, somehow, skittering away due to growing, hypnotic incalescence. This heat cheated the first frost of its glory: no one noticed how cold gripped the vines, the clarity of bone fractured under the heart. 

There is more to say, more to confess. The pause, the gulp, when one swallows the truth, turns away, pretending. 

Gotta be.....

Note the name of the gopher...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What scares us....

This may take a small serious curve.

I spent the large part of the weekend in Azeroth, and it was...good. Really good. It wasn't so much the defeat of Blackwing Descent, but the enthusiasm of the group that kept me going. Few characters finally got some decent gear so that when they go into any situation they'll do well (looking at you Luperci and Momokawa). Mataoka finished off Garrosh in LFR, and it was bittersweet. Watched my yearly viewing of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, spent time with CD Rogue in the real world, and spent time with best friends in the virtual. For a few hours, I was blissfully, delightfully in the rabbit hole. The tea the Mad Hatter served was honeyed and hot, the Chesire Cat purred, and even the Red Queen mellowed. But I came up short tonight, caught my breath: at some point this will be over. Things and circumstances may affect time spent in Azeroth, folks come and go, and all good things...well you know.

Afterwards, I watched TV with CD Rogue, Through the Wormhole, specifically the section on Lifelogging. The point was made about the fact we already do this, posts on social media, etc. It did not discuss the virtual game lives, which I still contend we have not dealt with, or are capable of managing. I don't want a running stream of my virtual characters' lives on top of my own, and yet I write this blog. Guarf teased me about not getting my work-work done (there is sits, in a pile). And now it's time for sleep - I'll see the layers of Azeroth on top of my life's mind in dreams, and list-making.

I know good things come to an end, but not yet...not quite yet.

OLRG: The Defeat of Dark Dragon of Doom (Take 1)

Oh, my, Lord Victor Nefrian uses his sister to fight his fights!

Resounding success of the first night of the Old Ladies' Raiding Guild venture to Blackwing Descent yesterday! Here is what an old lady like me should not be in charge of: getting everyone's names from their battletags and blog links. If you would pretty please with sugar on top (and I'll give you a piece of hard candy) let me know you were there with a link to your blog (if you have one). If I screwed up let me know; in the meantime, I'll give it a shot:

Mataoka: me, yours truly
Rasiheil: Jstmel from MoMar
Cimmeria: Tome and see her link telling the tale here! 
Zelajhen: Imraith Dos Santos (one of my first readers, and very special place in my heart)
Taikuutta: ran with some of Big Bear's ICC runs - just a great guy, even if he doesn't have a blog.
Niremere: Prinnie from That Was An Accident (guess what? She's just as funny in Vent as on her blog)
Kerick: Repgrind Awesomesauce
Breige: From Tiny WoW Guild
PlaidElf: Plenty of Paladins
Rasta: buddy from my two-man guild

Now this would be a mog challenge!
There was some discussion on Vent about who exactly, is Lord Victor Nefarius (could that name be any more obvious? HELLO! Bad Guy Over HERrreeeeRRREEEeee!). Turns out, Prinnie was right, he is not Deathwing but Son of Deathwing (more daddy issues) who uses his undead dragon sister Onyxia to do his dirty work for him.


Prinnie mentioned this morning that we never did see the upstairs of the place: just what DOES an evil, doomed dragon keep in his bathroom cupboards? Hemorrhoid cream? Laxatives? Expensive hair gels and enema bags? I'd love to snoop in those cabinets: admit it -- you would too.

Anyway, we sliced through it in about an hour, and I finally got my Defender of a Shattered World title. The only wipe was badly planned lava jumping, but it got sorted out in no time.

Thanks for Jstmel for this suggestion of going through them in order:

Blackwing Descent (check)
Bastion of Twilight (note: slight schedule change to 3:00 PM Pacific Time Zone server due to family things)
Throne of the Four Winds
Firelands (really need this one: Tome - bring your kitty cat for the chance of the druid staff)
Dragon Soul
Mogu'shan Vaults
Heart of Fear
Terrace of Endless Spring (TOES)
Throne of Thunder (TOT)*
Siege of Orgrimmar *

*Obviously some of these current ones will probably take us a few weeks - but Old Ladies shall kick ass!

There's a Pot a Brewin'  - Kick Ass Soundtrack

Friday, October 25, 2013

Story Time: Green-Eyed Tom

At its inception, and subsequent generations, the faire traveled the globe. Its location shifted depending on an unseen tidal schedule. Recently, however, it stayed in one fixated point, but its inhabitants’ presence transitioned by the phases of the moon. No one outside of its time knew where the inhabitants went, and no one inquired about the welfare of the beasts, live cache of pets, fate of the itinerant dancing bears, and proud flightless running birds. See no evil, speak no evil conscripted the population. If they had known what the animals did after the faire workers left, perhaps an eruptible protest would have been heard 'round the land.

This denizen survived in a hierarchy of power all their own after the carnies, vendors, coin sellers, and performers blended into the routines of the outside world (you might be walking next to one now and not even know it: look for the singed fingers of the fire juggler, or the smell of burnt sugar on a pastry hawker). These leftovers, squatters of sorts, remained unclear of their own motives. However, no one considered leaving the faire, and what may have been an unwelcome accident of logistical neglect transformed to compliance. It was easier to stay, and wait out the phases of time. The ropes were untied, but the beasts felt the phantom chains.

In this cloaked world, the wolves of the forest survived for eons prior to the arrogant discovery by the faire workers and owners. The colonialism of the fairgrounds only added to the success of the wolves: more two-legged creatures equaled more food, more food meant more rats, more rats meant more cats, and the crows just laughed at them all. There had been some two-legged ones who lived and fished near the ocean side, away from the dark forests. When faire owners claimed the land, those few aboriginal folks put up a fight, and now resided permanently in rusty cages hanging from trees. Carnies took pride in providing ‘wishes granted’ as a premium service. They wanted to stay forever, so stay they did.

The currency of the beasts depended on a tithe of blood and meat. Those creatures that ruled the faire three-quarters of the time maintained strict accounting practices. That is how the green-eyed tomcat came to be the king of cats: his ambassadorship between the wolves and the sea, holding dominion in the central grounds. He knew the right words to say, the timing of political skill to keep the wolves pleased—if he kept the wolves under control the faire monthly opening would provide more food for all, and if he kept the faire grounds maintained (by disposal of rats and mice) the other three weeks, he could safely survive if the wolves broke treaty. They only had few demands.

It wasn’t often a new female cat arrived. The last few felines kept hidden with their litters in warm tunnels burrowing under the carousel. Mrs. Whitworth saw them mothering their kittens with dutiful care. She felt minor disgust, her human soul unresolved. Before now she never associated with any cat, domesticated or feral. Her weak magic couldn’t bring her back to her former self, but she was aware enough to know she was safe and warm at the girl’s. A cat could be pampered: her human mind kept her entertained.

She steered clear of the carousel, and instead she and the tomcat spent most of the time taunting the old dusty bear, or trying on human robes from the vendor’s trunk.

“Who did you love before you met me?” he asked, wearing a green sash around his eyes.

“You presume too much, sir. And that is not a question one asks; besides, your kittens are calling you.”

He just laughed. “You’re presuming a bit yourself.”

There were a few bloodied fresh mice; and as always: One for the others, and two for herself.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hey. You. Get off of my cloud.

I hope you didn't miss Navimie's post on Ordo's loot, specifically the loot and treasures named after famous players, bloggers, WoW/Blizz folks.  Color me jealous! Wait, wait, wait...just a red-hot minute there, missy-green-envy-pants, I have the power of the INTERNET! (insert whooshing-wah-wah-wah sound here). And with this supreme power, I can be trolled on Facebook, defeat misconceptions, and create my own damn gear! 

Damn, though, sometimes I really wish I could conjure up some amazing spells and magic to get folks to see things clearly. I must confess, yesterday I was defeated and discouraged by the aggragate of several minor incidences. When I think about it, though, when any of us get upset, it's when someone on this planet or the virtual one thinks their oxygen is more important than ours. Tome felt that way recently, and so did Navi. I myself woke up at 330 AM this morning stressing over things that happened at work and on Facebook yesterday, mainly several incidences where immature folks, ranging in ages from 12 to 62, told me their lives, opinions, right to drop the "F" bomb, right to sit where they want, right to throw pencils, right to own guns that (may) kill teachers and students, right to not pay taxes, right to fight and punch each other, right to smoke weed in public bathrooms, and the right to genuinely act like punks extraordinaire superceded my rights to do my job, enjoy the day, and be cool. Cause I am cool. (Or as Google translate would say, "culos extraordinarias."(Think I found the name of my next guild.) Oh, and this included days of inhabitants of the Matty-shack causing me undue stress, too. Awesome. Where's my damn Mataoka Robe of Pony-Drops, huh, Ordos? Whatever.

Well, I can tell you already today is one of those days I know a storm is going to hit me in the face, and I need to stay strong. But really, REALLY--don't feel like it. You all think I'm some tough extravert, but seriously, the introvert part of me really hates confrontation, or when others think their rights overwrite mine. Gets pretty damn old.

So, I'll take my metaphorical Staff of Bonking with me, and wield it as necessary. Results may vary.

Theme Song: Do Nothing. The Specials

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Story Time: Green-Story Time: Green-Eyed Tom

In the midst of a memory, in the making of it, it burns upon consumption. Mrs. Whitworth never committed a treasonous act in her life to understand this truth before now. Others deserved betrayal of hearts, but not she. Getting rid of the bother, the scraping off from one's claw or foot, this comforted her. Sentimentality bled under her sarcastic shield.

But to feel as if her insides tossed and pulled without a single touch, felt in a place where no one spoke common tongue, the unfiltered, raw meat in her mind, overcame ego, and conquered self overtook her nature. This was no settling moment, no 'there could be better' -- this was urgency. Demonic. Feral. She lost words, but know she spoke. She lost control, but know she moved. Later she would recall with resigned frustration, peering over the edge is the same as jumping. This irreconcilable truth preyed her for a lifetime.

It wasn't for months later she realized the tomcat carefully showed his right side to her. He walked sideways to her, maneuvering to never show his back left flank. So deft in his movements, the scars revealed nothing. As he walked her through the fair ground devoid of two-legged creatures, but with more life and substance that she noticed with the girl. He showed her everything, revealed all he wanted her to see: he led her to the forest.

When she thought of this time, she resigned to the struggle of remembering fuzzy highlights, things that seemed insignificant now, but if brought back burned her: the smell of frying butter and fat, lavender and stink weed, and salt. She always tasted salt.

The girl, though, sleeping, saw the night through the cats' eyes. And there is a place in the mind that is not a dream, but not awake...the girl...
...the girl
felt the shadow
rest behind her spooning her
back warm
searing cold heat
a void
of what wants to be there
(      )
but once did
and let in the window
fastened fasting feast

The girl hugged her pillow, and put one against her back; a mimicking fortress.

In the forest, he said:
"I will make a promise," he said to her, next to her, warming her. "I  will never cause you pain."

She believed this was true.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Old Ladies Raiding Guild (WiggleWiggleWiggle)

Gotta have a young ass to do that...

You know, I really miss JD, of the Amateur Azerothian. He had a way of organizing events in Azeroth that were inclusive, fun, and well-thought out. I cannot guarantee any of that, but I shall endeavor to do my best:

So, by popular demand - here it is - The Old Ladies Raiding Guild.

Who can come along?
Anyone who has my battletag: mattyshaman#1838, and is over age 21. Call me ageist, I dare you.

Where shall we go?
As far back as Cataclysm Raids to present-time Garrosh

What shall we do?
Flex (and normals, too)

When shall we go?
I would love either a Friday early evening, Saturday afternoon/evening, or Sunday morning time. I am on the Pacific Coast. so that's server time zone. I need to hear from folks to voice their preferences before anything is set in stone. Thinking two hours, we get done what we done, and move on with our lives. How's that sound?

Vent? Mumble? Not sure. If it becomes an issue, I'll set up a Vent account of our own.
Being a lady? No, not required. You just have to agree to the raiding team's name. Have no issue with that, come along!

Hero's Call Board: Okay blogger friends, if you have an alt tank, dps, or healer, please come along!

First night out: Saturday, October 26th, 4PM Server Time (I am flexible - just putting a target out there)

Gear rolls: if you want it for mog, speak up.

We shall wipe often, we shall spend our retirement on repair bills, and we shall have fun. Good vision, hand-eye coordination, and epic skills not required.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The View from the Floor Diaries...

I swear sometimes Tome is reading and thinking about the same things I am - I was just catching up on Bear Big's post on old-yness and she did a mindful and reflective post on it. It's not so much the hand-eye coordination, although that does suffer some durability loss over time, it's the sheer amount of AWESOMESAUCEKNOWLEDGE that is stuck in our middle-earth life noggins that we trip over, too. We know too much. We've seen too much. And before we go off to Valhalla, we just want one more grand stand and get that damn bucket list DONE, suckers. We know how fast time goes by; those of us in our 40s onward have safely crossed over into the realms of "Seems like only yesterday," and "That movie is twenty years old?!" Even just this week I had plans to meet Akabeko at the GeekGirl Con. here in Seattle, and what do you know? Between work, Matty-shack responsibilities, and waiting for payday, the tickets were SOLD OUT as of Friday afternoon. Not. Cool. But we'll figure out another time, because I really do want to talk to her (interview) about her and Dahahka's collaborative writing (which I wholly admire and applaud). So, more to come about that later.

In the meantime, I've been using VEM: Voice Encounter Mods is a new add-on Krasher told me about, and I love it. It has a lovely lady with a soft British accent gently telling me I am a complete idiot, and in her Mary Poppin-esque pull-the-coat-rack-out-of-your-ass way, announces Foul Geyers, Ashen Walls, and in fooor, three, tu, woon,  counts down to my inevitable doom. I think it would be hilarious to have a blunt add-on that says, "Cheap ass, go reforge your shit," or, "You call that a lava lash? I know lava lamps with more aggression."

But I'm not sure there is an add-on for this problem: "When Playing Video Games Means Sitting On Life's Sidelines." All I can say is, this is one case where being older, and sometimes, wiser, may help. I have seen my share of addictions, and I myself dabble on the dark edges: it runs deep in my family, and although many addicts-turn-religious-fervor-twelve-dub-steppers I know would swear it's a black or white issue, I cannot help but see things in grey. Some of the comments I read claim that "everything" has been colored "addiction" lately, another pop-psychology term that uses a very broad brush to paint us all the color addict. The bottom line is: if you are not living a rich, well-rounded life, and have the capacity to reflect on when it's time to do something else or make a change, then whatever you're doing, or not doing, is the issue. The self-medication as a hobby is where things get dodgy. The levels of denial I have seen in family members is astounding, and truly suggests that our brains are our own devils: the depth of conceit, conniving, and conviction our inner voices use to manipulate us can be terrifying. Without going into details, I've seen it first hand. However, I can't help but think if I wanted to dip that big brush in a bucket of Shades of Addict (kind of a purple-brown color), I could make a case for "I'm addicted to Breaking Bad, reading the Game of Thrones series, eating nachos, doing laundry, playing WoW, (see what I did there? Oh clever, evil brain!), kissing, funky colored socks, haircuts, charging my phone, or bubble baths. What is the line, exactly, between habits, hobbies, and addiction? Is it an unrelenting force that becomes compulsory and without pleasure? Maybe that's it. When Azeroth ceases to become a pleasurable pass-time for me, when I feel that my presence is not supportive of my family, myself, or even my friends in Azeroth, then it'll be cold-turkey time. But--heaven help me--one thing I cannot give up is writing. If it leads to my downfall, my destruction, my doom, so be it. Instead of Satan, I'll say keep thee behind me, Finger-Waggers and Do-Gooders. Leave me to my keyboard and shut the hell up (so I say to no one in particular).

By the way, I've had nachos twice in four months, Breaking Bad is over, I am about to visit GRR Martin and pull his beard until he writes/finishes the next book, played WoW (badly) today but am on to other things, got my haircut yesterday, and had a few kisses here and there. All in a day's work.

Bad Habit/Madilyn Bailey

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Story Time: Green-Eyed Tom

She smelled the meat before she saw it: three mice brothers, lay whisker-to-whisker, fanning out tails in an array that could only suggest intentionality. Someone left them for her. Gobbling them up, the mice were fresh, still warm. Over three days, she continued to find greater offerings, all creatively displayed. Each kill was precise, and plentiful.  Her unseen benefactor certainly was generous, she thought, but she felt disquiet nonetheless.

Mrs. Whitworth could now sleep with a full tummy, but that was only one problem solved: the way home was still hidden, and the wolves in the forest howled. Above her fitful sleep, the sky could barely tether the moon, precariously leaning forward, the snarled rope clamped to the sky's fabric fraying from its weight, so full and round, like a sticky, chubby toddler on a leash. Its moony face glared at her, noticing her rare comfort. The light caused all encompassed in a dazing bright fog, for cats’ vision is not as her human vision once was: it is sharply-edged mist, deceptively cutting.

Another blocked the moon’s face. A halo around the fur caused a monstrous effect, so to her terrified mind all she saw was the moon eclipsed by a giant panther-god with flinty green eyes. She flattened herself prone in front of it, digging claws in to slither backwards, repelling down the mountain of the ground in fear. The beast took one move to the left, and she realized it was only another cat, like her. Just a cat. The air filled with his scent: heat, smoke, earth, and shadow.

The tom absorbed the light. Where he crouched, the chiaroscuro etched deeper, the ink of his coat sank in the grooves of his pelt, with no master engraver buffing or smoothing to show the clean plate for contrast: he spilled into the niches, filled the gullies around him, taking up all the space and time. The moon full tsk-tsked, clearly upstaged, and pulled back on its cord to the night.

“I startled you; my apologies.” In the motion of a plump cherry dropping from a tree, rich and sweet, he lowered his head. “Your name, please madam,” the tomcat asked.

“Mrs. Whitworth,” in a clear but small voice.

“A missus? There is a mister, I presume? What a lucky sinner to have such a fine female.”

“No one ‘has’ me sir. He’s long dead,” she replied finding her usual conviction of self.  “And you, sir?”

“You will have no need of it: I can be found when you want me.”

Love, Lust, and Infatuation lingered at the fair, too, on a holiday, while the wars raged, and other entities held sway. They witnessed the two meeting: Love looked away, pretending to see something of interest behind the shooting game, Lust just laughed, and went to find some food. But Infatuation stayed to watch: Infatuation always lacks manners.

Friday, October 18, 2013

It's the Great (Fill In the Blank) Charlie Brown!

It is remarkable that the visionary propensity I have mentioned is not confined to the native inhabitants of the valley, but is unconsciously imbibed by every one who resides there for a time. However wide awake they may have been before they entered that sleepy region, they are sure, in a little time, to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow imaginative, to dream dreams, and see apparitions.
--Washington Irving

I woke up this morning so excited, so PUMPED! What is it? My fourth year? Fifth? For trying for the Headless Horseman's mount. This is the holiday event that gave me Mrs. Whitworth, and for that I shall be ever grateful. But as with all dealings with the capricious RNGs, the horseman's mount is one I feel entitled to. Yes. I said it. The "e" word. The word we are never to say out loud for fear of being perceived as selfish, elitist snobs. I have been to Washington Irving's house when I was a teenager. I LOVED IT. I have listened to the stories of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow since I was a little girl. I have analyzed Ichabod Crane's character and Katrina Van Tassel's coquestish role in Ichabod's implied demise. So, dammit, you pumpkin-breath-halitosis-ridden Hessian! GIVE ME MY PONY!

Let's think about this, shall we? The first year I had the one leveled shaman. Then others followed: hunter, priest, paladin, mage, warlock, each taking her turn in the dark, gloom-shrouded graves of the Forlorn Cluster, supposedly increasing my RNG luck, but alas, no. The helm drops for my cloth-wearers, the rings blossom just after obtaining one by other means, and the efficacy of the fight depends largely on the interest and skill of the group. Those pumpkins bite, damn them!

I was off to try my luck this crack-of-dawn, but apparently the ghosts and ghouls come out around 1PM server time, and I shall be working.

Gir's gotta have some bling in her life...

In other news: my buddy Krash had an 'extra' one and gave me a Blingtron pet! Now we know he's an avid pet battler extraordinaire, smart with his gold, so I want to thank him for steering me off from my path of self-destruction and giving this to me before I bought one. (Still saving my gold for one of those sprite pets, however.)

I confess, the real reason why I didn't wait for the RNGs to provide me Moon Moon is one of the oldest reasons in the world: my heart melted when I saw another player dressed in her wolf attire running and playing with Moon Moon in the Darkmoon Forest. I went out of my mind for a while and saw a wolf mother and her cub playing--it was really sweet. Mataoka wanted her own cub. Simple as that.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Remember Theramore

When one is a young paladin, the past remains loyal, and waits by the sea: the widow's walk stays occupied, and the memory is ever vigilant.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Story Time: Green-Eyed Tom

Remaining hidden under the food trolley became unworkable: she ate all the scraps and licked the wax-paper wrappers until depleted. The rain ceased, however, but the air never completely warmed, nor completely dried. She was chilled to the bone. Days without food, an angry stomach in knots. She tried to find some scraps of leftover offal, but an orgy of feasting rats beat her to it. Chased down by the forest wolves, her only refuge a prisoner's cage, and the skeleton within provided some wormy gristle stuck to the bones. She would rather die than be caught eating these disgusting offerings. She realized her spiteful reaction was costing her dearly, more than she had impulsively bargained for. The stupid girl probably hadn't noticed she was gone.

The priest awoke in the hour of despair. Mrs. Whitworth had left before, on occasion, but this was unlike her. She hadn't been home to hearth in three nights. Normally the girl never worried about Mrs. Whitworth, but she sensed a presence of some other predator stalking her haughty cat. She rolled back over into a sour sleep; this would run its course.

Waxing Gibbous

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Work ethic.

Be light of spirit...

I am trying so hard to be responsible, but sometimes I get the feeling that one man's 'take out the garbage' is another man's 'you're not here to kill trash' kind of thing. It's really no big deal, and I believe that we all go full-circle as (adult) gamers, and this is just my turn for this epiphany.

I put Mataoka in a new guild, at my friend Turk's suggestion, cause they're active and nice. And they really are. So far, I really apprecite the maturity and knowledge of this group. I ran a few flex raids on Zeptepi with them, and when jumping over the GM said they take mains, and there was my first pinch - I still think "mains" are kind of an old-fashioned structure of WoW. Regardless, it doesn't matter. Mataoka is my first love, so she will remain top of the heirarchy. Last Saturday I was thrilled when I saw a normal raid scheduled and I could go - I looked forward to it all week. At what I know call the 'witching hour' in the Matty-shack, CD Rogue had some health issues, and I had to tell the GM I couldn't go about thirty minutes prior. I guess a lot of others cancelled too, because he told me Saturdays were tough to get groups together, and to make sure I would be there if I said I would. I'm sure he would understand if I said "my husband has diabetes, etc., and cannot control when he's going to be out of commision for things he was going to do in order for me to move a horned-tailed draenei around a screen."

Tonight we got to do flex, and I had to leave to go finish up some important work plans for tomorrow (and my eyes are burning tired), which was kind of a bummer cause they were going to push all the way through. I haven't place DPS/enh so long in a group and oh my dear baby murlocs I SSSSUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKkk. Frame-rate goofy, my new mouse acting like an ass-mouse, and just general yuckiness all 'round. Meh.

I know in the real world I am revered, and my projects shall be awesomesauce. Goodnight little Mataoka, get some sleep. Rest up to fight another day in Azeroth, because your human needs some sleep too.

PS Señor - thank you for the crane chick. It followed me everywhere tonight. (The best guildmates are the ones who don't collect pets but know you do!)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Story Time: Green-Eyed Tom

The fair lights humped to life, and then extinguished. Weak current briefly, bravely overpowered the circuits, but as the feverish schoolboy rolls back under the covers, the moisture proved fatal to the sparks, and the lights surrendered to the rain. Just the evening prior, the sky circled the black-silhouetted pines in parabolic orange cream: a deceitful pudding of sky, attracting admiration from the fair goers while to the north the grey, linty clouds recessed, poised to make a judgment.

Under a dark and silent caravan, Mrs. Whitworth shook in wet rage. The girl left her behind.  Mrs. Whitworth vowed when she returned home, she would piss on her petticoats, and scratch the heirlooms! She would never forgive the girl for forgetting her. Stupid, stupid girl. When the fair was in full corpulent bloom, in a moment of boasting, the priestess summoned Whitworth out of her pocket to show her off, displaying her like she was some prize pumpkin! The girl’s pride demanded a spiteful response: Mrs. Whitworth’s neck snapped and bit the girl’s wrist, escaping with bullet-speed. The girl did not give chase. 

But in the dark fall morning, the deserted fair shambled out of its glamour (or what little shabby glamour it contained), the portal arrays closed and padlocked, and the path to the woods lie scattered with crows' bones and garbage. The rain melted the candy-corn sunset from the night before, and melted the sugar and salt, the soggy tickets and fish heads, forming tributaries and islands of filth, down to where Mrs. Whitworth sought ersatz sanctuary.

Writer's Note: This tale shall be told moon-to-moon.

Friday, October 11, 2013


No, it's not what you think! 

put the nickel in the can...
no, NOOOOoooooOOO! It's October 11th?! It's FRIDAY? I missed another self-imposed deadline of writing a coin story for today? Yes, yes I did. But the day's still young, like, REALLY young, but I need to get ready and go to work and yes, no writing at work. Maybe tonight? Well, an old friend is in town for a very rare spawn visit (yes, I think I will see a silver dragon around her head), and we're meeting for dinner. I hope she's buying.

Yesterday I got a little sensitive about being teased about spending money gold on Moon Moon. The day's events proceeded with filling the blanks of time with thinking about why. Well, before I unravel the myriad of my complex relationship to real-life gold, suffice it to say buying tickets for Blizzcon right now is...can't even type the words. I slumped in my truck yesterday and did a mental list of all the responsible, grown-up, much-needed-for-survival big ticket items I need now (not want, I know the difference between airline tickets of want and replacing bald tires of need).

My sensitivity comes into play when someone tells me I am 'bad' about something that I have no control over. I cannot control my salary (really --it's true). I cannot control years of unemployment due to poor business management by others. I cannot control balding tires, or medication purchases, or the price of parking. I cannot control capricious gas prices. And apparently I cannot even control a small faction of my own government who holds our nation economically hostage while they hold their breath, turn blue, whilst their tantrum runs its course. (I hope they pass out and hit their heads on their podiums and take a long, much needed nap, cause they certainly are cranky-pants.) And in the wise words of Jean-Luc, control is an illusion (which applies to small children, Congressmen from Texas, and chili farts).

The thing is: I just have to wait a bit. And ------------------> I am feeling kind of weird.

How am I going to meet up with folks? Will they want to hang out with me? Will it be worth it? Do I matter? (This is my Introvert who's joined the inner dialogue. You haven't met her yet? Well, duh! She's an introvert! But most of my negative inner dialogue, and some of my more mindful moments, I can blame or thank her.) But it's not like I've had a spot on TNB,  or feel brave enough to introduce myself to famous WoW/Blizzard writers, or or or or...

And-----------------> Azeroth kind of pisses me off. (Things not in my control category)

The other night CD Rogue and I found ourselves on an odd night out -- a Wednesday! NOT IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER! What? Who do we think we are? Under-employed twenty-somethings? I did just drink water (don't faint), so it wasn't too pricey, and was made even sweeter by the fact we found ourselves on trivia night, and found ourselves in a mano-a-mano battle with six biker friends versus our team of two. And I have to give CD Rogue credit - in the excitement I wrote down "Get on Up" instead of "Sex Machine" by James Brown in the 70s music category, and was so proud of myself for knowing it was KATE BUSH, I also misheard him say "Wuthering Heights" and wrote down "Rolling the Ball" -- we would have had a clean sweep. (Kallixta, thought of you.) The battle came down to not one but TWO tie-breakers, and we got it with Fibonacci pattern knowledge.  The biker gang next to us thought it might be Liberace's brother. We won a $25 gift card that was promptly exchanged for the beers CD Rogue drank. See? Knowing stupid shit comes in handy.

Do you know what one of my favorite things in the Timeless Isle is? Bet you won't be surprised. It's the historian who hands out a 100 coins for correct answers on lore. And while I'm over a year into trying to get poor Momokawa a decent healing weapon, at least once in awhile I can take a multiple-choice, no penalty test and get a little treat. I would like to ask someone if I can take the written test to get Momo a weapon. No? No accommodations? Fine.

Well that's a mish-mash, isn't it? I'd prefer to call it a cliff-hanger: Will the airfares be reasonable enough to buy plane tickets? Will the mortage be paid? Will our heroine find herself with a surprise windfall and buy plane tickets AND new tires? Will that weapon drop?! Stayed tuned, same Bat-channel, same Bat-time!

No one should listen to this unless feeling very, very 70s-style emo. No wonder why I got the wrong answer.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

3 Ways

I can imagine what kind of traffic I might get with this title, but oh well. Living on the edge, you know?

So, sometimes in the cost-benefit analysis, you just gotta say eff-it. There are three ways to get what you want in Azeroth:

1. Win it through happy-shiny-RNGs-love-me-love-me-not-love-me again
2. Have a friend give it to you
3. Buy it

(Hmmmm...sounds a lot like something else I can think of....too early, Matty!!!)

Anyway, because Momokawa won the Darkmoon Eye so quickly, she sold it, for far too low (I am embarrassed at my lack of AH prowess), but got a little sum tucked away. Matty's alts did some bank reconstruction work for her friend Turk, and earned a nice dividend. Okay, okay, seems fine. But this morning after the umpteenth Den Mother hunt, repair bills out the wazoo, and loss of time and happy-joy-joy, I just said screw it and found Moon Moon on the AH for, gee, guess what? About the same amount as Momokawa and Matty had on had.


It's not as much fun to do #3, but at least it gets the job done.

Anyway, I love Moon Moon - and plan on adding tales of him to my stack of stories. At least now I'll have a little more time than money, friend.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

RTMT: Junk Food

How could I resist?!

Sometimes you just don't want to know how the proverbial sausage is made.

Ceniza got turned into a goblin during the fight!
Damn, I have been stress eating and having wine/beer again. I can blame a lot of changes in the Matty-shack, the touch of cold weather causing my animal nature to store fat and hibernate, and oh yes, hours of camping for Moon Moon. Come on Den Mother! I'll take good care of your cub, promise! Just one please, pretty please? Just one and I'll be on my way, never to harass you or yours again.

Well, dang, fine then. I'll just go over and eat some comfort food from my favorite cook, Rona Greenteeth. My friend Turk notices I'm munching away on some delicious Draenei Dumplings, and in horror asks me if I have ever read the ingredients: "She's a cannibal don't you know?! At least eat Orc or Troll!"

Come to think of it, no, I don't think I have ever read the labels, and it's a AFDA (Azeroth Food and Drug Association) mandate to have factual labels on things. Although with the government shut-down and all, and (see what happened is the government passed a law and then a small group decided they wanted to change the rules so they held their breath and are now turning blue until they get their way: see what happens when there's a power vacuum? Garrosh is otherwise occupied so a minority is in control.)

I digress, sorry.

What those labels really should say is, "You have been sitting on your ass for two hours reading and waiting for a virtual shiny pet: get outside and go for a damn walk." (I have been walking, in between spawn times. Makes for some fast walks!)

In an effort to promote public health and welfare, I decided to do a little sleuthing and closely read those labels:

Okay, okay...not so bad, a few beard hairs...adds texture

Definitely harmless, unless you're a duck or goose, or a duck duck goose...

Again, I see no problem unless one has religious dietary restrictions, but pretty sure they're Kosher...even if Dr. Suess isn't getting royalties

She really does mean "cattle," right? Not the citizens of Eversong who walk around like pretty veal, I hope?

This is getting serious. One might mistake an antler-wearing druid for a deer, you know? Who knows what happens during crepuscular events? The mount is careening down the road, hits something hard, and who looks too closely at what those horns are attached to?

Draenei buns are's true

Gosh, Rona, you're not even trying anymore!

Gross, Rona!

The surprise is the look on the guards' faces when they become snack foods.

I think Rona is lying to me.

Well, regardless of how Rona keeps her larder stocked and her cauldrons bubbling, the food is delicious. Perhaps it's because it's rare, too; only happens once a month.

Kellda turns a little green after munching on some Gnuggets: perhaps they were processed without safety protocols?

 As long as Rona doesn't rely on Azerothian regulations to maintain standards, she's free to serve as she wishes. But caveat emptor, people. She doesn't wash her hands after using the restroom.

theme song:
Chef: Chocolate Salty Balls