Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tiny Story Time: Tabard of the Hand

Dornaa, my sweet daughter, I am heartsick. I tried to find the gift for you; I searched everywhere, but alas, I fear it is lost to the ages, irrecoverable. In any case, please return to Bloodmyst Isle, and seek the Prophet.  You will have to slay a demon named Sironas, but she is no match for you. I would offer my help, but you are more than capable. --M
Dornaa, Vindicator


Chest:  Ghaz'rilla Scale Armor
Shoulders: Scorpid-Sting Mantle
Leggings: Tristam Legguards
Hands: Corin's Handguards
Boots: Lighweight Mesh Boots (obtained during a Bloodmyst quest)
Staff: Minion Staff
Samaramon's Transmog Contest

Over (Northern) Exposure

How could I possibly not laugh? Heartichoke finds herself in an awkward spot…the Tauren felt oddly cheered up...

Oh, my poor friends and loved ones. 

I am so sorry.

And apologies to my Southern Hemisphere friends: this is completely another Northern-centric concept. As you are all beginning to enjoy spring into summer, we selfish folks up north are behaving badly. I am reflecting on two Novembers, this year's and last, and realizing I need to get help, or at least take some Vitamin D. And when I say November I was thinking about an ugly incident that happened last year around this same time when I had a hissy fit, and frustration and hubris ( not mine, others) got the better of me. This year was no different. My Thanksgiving weekend began with children fighting (and blood, not mine), tears, and yes, perhaps sweat: we warn ourselves every year here in the States that the beginning of the holiday season is stressful, everyone feels it, and though I am actually pretty damn happy and grateful, somehow the Sha of Excess takes us over. We watch angry, trashy mobs hit each other over consumer goods during the Black Friday shopping, and start to get 'wish lists' from relatives. CD Rogue and I even got a request from relatives that, in just the asking, caused no small amount of angst. You think Penn and Teller can do magic? Just try to see behind the curtain on the team of Guilt and Resentment: now that's a show!
See that dark side? Me.

And this is soooo wussy of me - but I also think I may have a small case of S.A.D. To me, it's always been one of those 'made up' maladies, one of those 'get the smelling salts' things. I love autumn, and October is one of my favorite months, so when I finally admitted how damn cranky and teary I realized November is, CD Rogue fairly shouted and said, "SEE! I TOLD YOU FALL SUCKS!" There's not a lot of room for discussion in CD Rogue's world. I can love autumn and still cry big, gloopy tears you know, sheesh!

I get very needy/clingy, too, and then spiral out because I hate myself for being needy/clingy. My poor guildmate Señor got an earful, when after he worked for probably, gee, I don't know, about forty days in a row, and I could just hear the "WTF is wrong with her?" It's okay, my friend. It's not your fault I am a tiny bit crazy, not at all. I mentioned my dear friend had a birthday, and I wrote this short but poignant letter to her. After not hearing from her for a week, I sent her a text asking if the letter upset her, and she said no, she loved it, but was extremely busy, even more so than usual. Mmmkay. Women especially love to play the game of "Queen of the Busy," and I can't tell her, "Well, I have six level 90s, and and and, I need to get some Valor Points, and and and…" No, that won't fly. My brand of busy is very different from everyone else I know. And after posting pics of myself from Blizzcon, not sure what I was expecting there either. That folks would say, "Wow, Matty, you sure don't look like you're (insert age here)! Tome, thanks, cause I needed that compliment. And Navi and Erinys, too - thank you with all my heart. It's awful to say, but sometimes I can't hear it enough, and that makes me feel weak. And this is weird, but for months my Achille's tendons have been in great pain. I can walk, but it hurts. I blame bad shoes, but this is at the point of a doctor visit. My right foot's tendon is inflamed and the left is right behind it. Get it? See what I did there? Never mind. But whatever minor health stuff I have it never compares to what CD Rogue goes through, or others I know of. I just think it's odd that it's the Achille's…the legendary point of weakness for any hero. Pisces are known for their feet woes; we're meant to have mermaid's tails. This land-lubbering hurts.

I always have such good intentions for these breaks, (breaks I am extremely grateful for). Perhaps these high expectations doom me because there is no way to get everything done single-handedly. Everyone in the Matty-shack has his own agenda, and sometimes those are incongruent to mine. For example, young leet druid asked why we don't have these big meals more often, they don't seem like that big of a deal. His timing was a bit off since I was on my 8th dishwasher load in as many hours it seemed. No, it actually isn't a big deal to remember to thaw a turkey, to remember to order the damn thing in the first place, to remember to take out the gizzards and the other junk, and to remember to NOT PUT butter on TOP of the damn thing that will slide off halfway through cooking onto the bottom of the oven and fill the entire house with butter-smoke. (Yes, I put butter under the skin, too, mom…yes, this just seemed like a good idea…no, the butter sliding off onto the bottom of the stove and not into the GIANT roasting pan seems weird…).

Okay, so where am I now? Woke up too early - check. Made hot coffee…check. Wrote a self-indulgent post - cross that one off! Now to do something else. I know! There's a little neglected Death Knight who could use some love - I'll see what I can do.

Postscript: I want to make this a BlogAzeroth topic: What do you do instead of cursing the darkness/light a candle things in Azeroth? How do you chase the blues away?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fished-Up Wish Story: Aegwynn

She had the dream again.

Every time it played out the same: she sits in a window nook in the auxiliary library. The smell of ozone hangs in the air, seeping through a small draft where the soldering failed. This spot held rare refuge for Aegwynn. While deeply entranced by some tome of polymorphing or the Meitre scrolls, the quadrant of boys catch her unaware. Each of the four surround her: one blinks in, one saunters in as a cat, one creates a false portal, and the fourth brashly walks right up to her and taps her on the head with one pointy, hard finger. He’s the one. She catches a glimpse of river-green eyes. He snatches whatever she’s reading out of her hands and holds it just out of reach, and plays monkey-in-the-middle with the other four boys. Embarrassed and furious, she is only tall enough that the tips of her fingers touch the book, but she is never able to get it away from them. As she reaches up, sometimes they use their free hands to poke her on her bodice, just below her small breasts. Vulnerable and furious, she is trapped: her peace is shattered, and if she storms off to tell the librarians, the boys call her names. If she ignores them, it’s almost worse, because they chuck the book at her head and run off laughing like hyenas. And leave her be. Explosive moments of violence, and then miles of silence and solitude: this was her existence.

She wakes hollowed out, crying.

She instinctively puts her hand on her belly, scarred with stretch marks that resemble white tiger’s claw scratches. No matter what cream or salve she rubbed on her skin during her pregnancy, nothing helped. Nauseous for months, dry, stretching, and painful—small sacrifices for the power that manifested in her.

When they first fell in love, Neilas told her that game the boys played was because they wanted her attention, not to be cruel, because boys don’t know how to tell a girl they love them, and taunt them instead. She knew better, but humored him. Everything she had, she had to fight for, directly confrontational, or hidden. She turned all of her power inwards and willed her body to create a son.

Now a very old woman, before the world’s memory: she serves as a simple handmaiden for the new magi ruler, a naïve woman. Aegwynn knew the young woman would learn the hard way: when the men fight, standing by their side gains nothing but scorn.

The dry skin covered no magic: all was depleted. Her powers just out of reach, always, always some other vessel to hold it, to will it. Perhaps that had been the trick of the wish, and she received what she sought. To make them all see, to make them obey: she got her way, even if it reduced her to dust.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Haanta...

Haanta is a terrible hunter. But that's okay.

Haanta 'before' shot - sans helm

Before shot…with helm…egads!

I wish I could honestly report I am not sitting in my red paisley robe, juggling roasting pans and potatoes in a tiny kitchen, but alas, I am. It was a busy week, full of drama and moments of bliss, and now for a nice four-day weekend to work (yes, work - but good kind of work--see below) and play.

So I saw this personality test floating around Facebook, and decided to give it a crack:

Engaged Idealists are extroverted and helpful. Others find them to be very congenial and inspiring - especially as they are always willing to see the best in the other person. Their humour, their energy and their optimism attract other people.
Engaged Idealists are very good at communicating and are good at convincing and firing on others. That is why it is a matter of course that they often take over the leading role in groups. This personality type often produces very charismatic persons.

Engaged Idealists have an unusually strong ability to empathise. They are tolerant and generous towards others; they sometimes tend to idealise their friends. They always try to suit everybody and want their relationships to be harmonious and satisfactory. To achieve this, they are prepared to invest a great deal and to put their requirements last. As Engaged Idealists are very considerate, there is the danger of them sacrificing and overexerting themselves for others. In their job, they therefore have to be very careful not to develop a burnout syndrome.

About that…well, I have Azeroth. If the real world isn't cooperative, then I have an alternate layer of characters who are more than willing to let me take them through the fire again and again, and with a few clicks of an anvil's magic, they are all better again. This makes me think--no matter the criticisms, the anger, hostility, or intolerance we share in the real world or in Azeroth, we do have a chance to pop in, play with a beautiful, intriguing character and run and fly in a beautiful world. 

I'm grateful for that. 

Now onto getting Haanta some fashion help

Postscript: Much, much better:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Drabble: Winter Man

At noon the warm cherry-faced sun kissed the back of her neck: lies. At midnight, the drafty-crack wind in the doorjamb crept up her arms, popping goose bumps: truth. She imagined warm skin under cloudy blankets, that not all lack of light meant cold. But tonight it did. The bored conversation in her mind sighed like two washerwomen hanging sheets by pins and hooks, gossiping over the line. She saw the linens, his shrouded face. Eye contact minimal, chattering teeth and thoughts: when he did come home, he would bring the cold with him, smelling of snow, soap, and sweat.

Wish List Part 3: Ain't No Mountain

Here is a Draenei racial abililty I've wished for a long, long time: the ability to scale mountains:

What special physical or mental powers do you wish particular races had? Draeneis have a heal and a knack for gem cutting, and humans can look out for themselves, but what else makes sense for your race? The fact that Draeneis have the hooves of mountain goats seems like a waste of a physical skill. How did this young Draenei female scale that hill? And if she is also a preview into model changes, sign me up: those blue glowing eyes are fantastic and expressive.

Marvin Gaye - Ain’t No Mountain High Enough from Don Shafer on Vimeo.

Wish List 1
Wish List 2

Wish List Part 2: Warmth

I have wanted the ability to wear real cloaks for a long time, and put hoods on:
This Draenei male hunter is so handsome and strong--he doesn't have the moves Ricardo Moltalban does, but still...

Theme song: Baby, It's Cold Outside

Wish List Part 1: Orc Dance Party

From watching the Warlords of Draenor video, several images stood out. This is my personal wish list for the next expansion. We shall see.

First: more dance moves, please, and dancing to add a buff to a raid party or event:

These Orcs look like they're having a wonderful time, simply MAH-valous, darling, don't you agree?

Boy band music optional:

OLRG: Firelands and S'mores

Tome got her name in there…heaven help me. Ragnaros is in the pot somewhere...

It is clear to me now I am TERRIBLE at capturing names on who went, who joined, etc. Terrible. I shall endeavor in the future to take two minutes, write everyone's name down, and post away. I know who you are, but when I look at your lovely characters, I get befuddled. In my defense, I did try to have everyone introduce themselves, and some could get in Vent, and some could not, and I wasn't sure who, and talking over each other in Vent is like any conversation when you can't see the other person - like a phone call when you don't know when to hang up first.

So, Old Ladies: I talked to my GM Logtar last night and he would first love to help and the guild's Vent shall be ours to use too: I'll get the information and make a macro. I'm feeling guilty about poaching Vent.

Also: if you haven't been able to go - this is a call to one and all - let me know if you're interested but the time hasn't worked out. This can easily be done as 10 or 25 players, so please - if you want to go, join us! 

In any case, we are amazing. Seriously. We should get an achievement or something, because I'm pretty sure we were this:

and not this:

Taikutta got a cool staff, but other than that not much else dropped, and there are plenty of more mogs to get from there. Now the question is, when shall we go next?

This upcoming weekend is of course Thanksgiving in the States. I know there's a Thanksgiving in Canada, too, but they already had theirs. I am thinking that maybe we can go back to Firelands and try to get some of the achievements, now that everyone has seen it, and I'll try to do a little research. The thing is folks, there's a mount involved. Not a mount you need to roll on, but everyone gets one in their swag bag. I'm game if you are. We can start working on Dragon Soul the weekend of December 7th, too, if you're up for it. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013


One picture I forgot to post was the sweet ride from Blizzcon:

I remembered when I read this article about gaming and new cars.

This looks like a pretty amazing ride, except it's in the wrong colors. Just sayin'.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hot mess….

Dornaa is my focus for the time being --she reached level 85 yesterday, and though there was a maelstrom swirling in the Matty-shack (more on that later), here she is in all of her bad-gear, mismatched glory:

So: any advice on what to do with an elemental/restoration shaman, who may or may be called upon to save the world (again)?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Puppy love.

Cymre and Erinys let me know this adorable puppy is here.../faints from cuteness….

PC or not PC: that is our Azeroth

Haanta and Lobito out for a morning kill.

Logtar, the GM of the big guild, Reloaded, recently posted a review of the guild rules on his blog and linked them to Facebook. Revisiting the rules is always a good idea - we human only keep so many in our little pea brains at a time. I agree with them - they're simple, direct, and define the culture of the guild. Just yesterday morning there was a long lecture about the nuances between "norms" and "protocols" at my work. Norms are behaviors - show up on time, and take turns. Protocols are structured, formal ways to share information; the 'talking stick' mode if you will.

Right now I'm kind of overwhelmed by norms and protocols. Logtar's are easy (except for maybe the cussing/Disney one - I never follow that rule). And I am wondering this morning (and I better make my wondering snappy, cause I have to leave in five minutes) if part of the fantasy of Azeroth is that we get to really get out of our comfort zones.

When I misspoke about Africa I was commenting on how bad do you have to be as a wild-game hunter to want South Africa (a country) to want you to never, ever come back? The Oatmeal recently wrote about this hunter, who happens to be hawt (I wonder if she would get much media attention if she were not?) who he thinks is an abomination. Oh, the ensuing Facebook firestorm! Oh the opinions! Oh the humanity! Now, the thing is, I don't mind the hunters I know. They go out in the cold, rain, snow, and try to bag elk and deer. But I am not married to any of them. I do not decorate with antlers (although if I found a nice moosehead in a garage sale I would buy it). I'm just wondering what did she do that even a country like South Africa with its own history of yuck doesn't invite you back in? Dios mio. Maybe we should give that hawt hunter a WoW subscription and tell her to go shoot and skin some stuff in Azeroth.

And now I have to go - but overall, the layer of fantasy to get to role play personas we otherwise would never be able to take on is amazingly cool. I have no issue with running around going pewpew in Azeorth. But attack an endangered species--sister, you've got another thing coming.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My friend Navi...

Mr. Snergulllssss here: It is not Navi's birthday. That is all.

Today is a milestone birthday for one of my best friends, a woman I've known since before we were teenagers. We took each other through first loves, broken hearts, bad jobs, bad boyfriends, and all the other milestones hence. But one thing my friend has not done for me, nor do I expect her to, was to support any creative endeavor I'm put a mind to. I've never shared anything more than a letter or email as far as writing, and most of our conversations happen over the phone. She doesn't know I consider myself a half-assed gamer now, nor does she know about my recent pilgrimmage to a land far, far away to see other like-minded people. As CD Rogue truly meant, I look pretty (to myself anyway) in those photos cause I'm happy.

And I have to give a big, Matty-style hug to my friend Navimie because of this. If not for her and Tome, I would not be challenged or supported or loved as a fellow Azerothian, made not only to feel welcome, but cherished, in this multi-layered world. If I have done nothing else, I hope I have made it clear that the writing and creative connections that have been forged with Navimie are my pride and joy.

Navimie, we didn't get to spend nearly enough time talking in California. This photo of me (the monstrous Yank in the black T-shirt) is about all the time we got to spend.

CD Rogue kept asking, "Don't you want to try to find Navi again, won't she be mad?" and I said I didn't think so - she's here with so many of her guildmates, and wanted to meet so many people, and I was,and am confident enough in our friendship to know that as two folks who love to write together, respect each other's thoughts, and value how amazing we each are (pats self on back), she would be fine. We'd catch up when we can. (Besides, I need a good excuse to go to Australia.)

Navi: I adore you. Thank you for being my friend in this phase of my life, because I know some others would not understand. It's an awesome gift to have someone who gets me in my dorky Draenei self. Cheers, mate - you're the best!

RTMT on a Wednesday: You keep using that word….

…I do not think you know what it means.

The word? Elitism.

Recent events have made me think about the connotations of this word. The denotation, belonging to a select group, conjures up synonyms such as 'snobbery,' and deserving of entitlement or reward without merit. This word gets tossed around in a pejorative fashion to "put down" or shame those who are expressing an opinion or perspective, and often feels lonely unless it has its friend "snob" right next to it.

But snobbery means exclusion, and I find it paradoxical when the label snob is applied to those who are striving to be inclusive and fair.

But maybe there is no 'fair' and never will be.

And let me clarify: when I say recent events I mean many in and out of Azeroth.

Being elite in terms of talent (see above) means one has crafted a mastery of some skill, trade, or profession. It does give one the right to be proud of those accomplishments, however, it does not give one the right to:
*Use knowledge as a bludgeon
*Stop learning and growing: the true "elitists" I know (and I am speaking of those both in and out of Azeroth) are constantly reflecting and reexamining their practice. This does not mean they forget all worthy knowledge, but build on it. I remember several years ago a friend had a sick little boy, and took him to the doctor. The young doctor had no clue what was wrong, but the older pediatrician knew immediately it was measles. Because vaccines had eradicated much of this, the younger or less experienced doctor wasn't familiar with this once-common childhood illness. This young doctor may have been feeling pretty confident about things, but realized he could still learn a thing or two.  This is my belief: those who are elite with talent stay that way because they continue to do the hard work. Is this special snowflake-ism to an extreme? Perhaps. But I sure would hate to be the one to tell a child they might as well give up right now because anything they do someone will do better. Might as well stop right now.

Whenever I encounter someone who's insecure, they seem to talk the loudest. I heard it on Vent last night. I read it on Facebook this morning. And in my own day, if I fall to cussing/swearing it is out of sheer frustration and defeat, and yes, insecurity. I try the path of tranquility and enlightenment, and yet sometimes careen into the muck. I had a colleague cracking up yesterday morning in a meeting when I said, "I am the Princess of Darkness and Shadow. Deal with it." I decided to pretty much write off the month of November every year. Blizzcon sunshine aside, November kind of blows.

I misspoke in Vent yesterday saying something about a country in Africa and I know Africa is a continent. I then basically was told my profession (and those in it) is stupid and dumb and dumb and stupid. I paraphrase, of course. But it did strike a nerve, because some of the things and issues I articulate and try to handle in a professional way are met with immature, ignorant folks. Does that make me an elitist? If you're using that word to put me down, go right ahead. But I have done the homework, training, and damn hard work. Stop using that word to try to hurt me. Instead, be proud of your own accomplishments, and be proud of your own dreams and aspirations. That's only fair.

Now, enough of that. Here is a picture of a stingray photo-bombing some ladies:

PS Because of my "elitist" attitude, if I choose the path of "life is too short" and decide to not read one's Facebook blatherings or rabble-rousing mob-mentality silliness, then so be it. Princess of D&S OUT.

Monday, November 18, 2013

She's evil. But happy.

First: DISCLAIMER - I have not played with i-Movie. It's obvious. I used to know my sh*t, but now…too tired and too impulsive. But here is a little clip of something I think is so fabulous, so epically awesome, I hand over my money to Blizzard month after month, even though the 9th Anniversary Gift was sSOOoooooOOOOoo LAME.

Lame, I tell you.

Kind of insulting.

King of pisses off this warlock. The shaman just retreated to her health spa. The priest just meditated. And the tank just polished her gear. But the warlock….

Better make it good, Blizzard. Give me something I want. Now.

Kellda has been coveting that Sulfar Stave for a long time. The druid has it - ugh! DRUIDS! With their leafffishness and Mylunes and hippity-hoppity through the meadows bullish*t - makes a warlock want to spit fel-loogies. But she trekked into Naxx tonight, and the oogie-boogie dude decided to cough it up. It has the coolest animation, right out of Nightmare Before Christmas...

theme song:
She's Evil/The Beautiful Girls

Sunday, November 17, 2013

OLRG: FIRE IT UP! (And boring old lady slide show time)

All righty then, Old Ladies Raiding Guild--my question to you, after much success through not one but four 'past glory' raids is, "Are you ready for Firelands?!" (dundundunnnnnn) 

Tome did a great write up of yesterday's OLRG - and Happy Birthday, and Happy Birthday to Jstmel/Thel who couldn't make it yesterday due to his own celebrations.

We've done Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, Throne of the Four Winds, and Black Temple. Next up will be Firelands, then Dragon Soul, and then….and then….whatever else we want. No matter how close we get to matching our OP Gear Scores to the raid level, never forget our creed, our motto, our damn MISSION STATEMENT PEOPLE!

Wait, what was it again? Oh yeah…NEVER APOLOGIZE AND NEVER EXPLAIN!

Was that it? Wait, was it this? Something about fewer players and less money?:

No, no that's not it. Well, I'll throw this out there OLRG'ers - what should our motto be?

And we are ready for Firelands, in all the hot-footed glory?

Heck yes!

So Saturday, November 23, about 4PM Pacific Time (5 Mountain, 6 Central, 7 Eastern) be there or be square - anyone may come along - don't worry if you have Vent, or your character (Alliance) is level 85 - we can make it a 25-man and do what we do best. Play fast, and look good doing it. Firelands has some of the best gear for mogging in game, and know that if there's something you want, we can always go back.

In the meantime, I know you all want to see more pictures of me and some of my Blizzard writers/artists I admire:

Fimlys of Twisted Nether Podcast

Lisa Poisso/WoW Insider
Vidyala/Manalicious and WoW Insider
Me, Logtar (GM of Reloaded) and Vidyala
And Luperci had to tank yesterday.
It looked something like this:

Friday, November 15, 2013

OLRG: Bastion of Twilight, yo

Bring a cleaver. Bring an ax. Bring a machete. But don't look back.
This Saturday, November 16th is Bastion of Twilight. Come one, come all: I'll be on at 2:30PM-ish but raid doesn't need to start until 4PM Pacific Time. Just let me know what works for you: remember our creed -- we kick ass so others don't have to. Or something like that.

Bastion of Twilight is in Twilight Highlands:
The Bastion of Twilight is a Tier 11 raid dungeon located in the southwestern part of the Twilight Highlands, high in the sky. It serves as the main base of operation for the Twilight Hammer. The leader of the cult, Cho'gall himself, is the last boss encounter in this raid, but players that have defeated Cho'gall on heroic can unlock Sinestra.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


With all the slings and arrows tossing around about the preponderance of male figures in our beloved game, I wanted to share this video I watched today. It does a great job of comparing storylines in ways I hadn't thought of before. I would love to have Colin Stokes weigh in on narratives in Azeroth -- rather, it would be great to hear his daughter's point-of-view.

The thing is perhaps we should consider redefining manhood. It's getting tiresome for women to do all the heavy-lifting. We (women) can't keep hitting our selves against the glass and be met with derision without finally saying it hurts. Nor should men be expected to do the same.

Please watch this video. It's a little over 12 minutes long. It's not just for parents of sons, or parents of daughters: it's for people.

Then if you still want to toss your keyboard or treat storylines light-heartedly (but still make your point),  I think we all will be better prepared to value the true hero/heroines of any narrative: those we see in ourselves, and those others want to show us.

This is a wonderful editorial piece:

PSA: The more you know...

I know everyone knows this. EVERYONE.

But just in case there is one soul out there who didn't, one Russian hacker who, while strolling through my blog, decided to stop and read it, or perhaps one person looking for information on David Hasselhoff pondered and perused, here it goes:

If you get Timeless gear, it's fine to save one set for an alt to grow into, but other than that, have a character who can learn it, learn it, and the sell price is quintupled. One mail helm will go from 5gold to 24. Why, oh why didn't I think of it? But I did now. You're welcome.

Oh, and Angeline Jolie is going to be starring as Maleficent in the new Sleeping Beauty adaptation.


Come on warlock girls! Let's get our mog on!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sprite Delight...

Pleading for Taikuutta to win. Or a Gulp Froglet.

My buddy Turk had an extra Sprite the other day, and I had plans on devoting a poem to its way of just, well….making me happy. However, in the meantime, Cymre has a contest for one of her sprites she was cheerfully granted by the RNGs, and I noticed my buddy Taikuutta has several genres of poems represented! Haikus, acrostic, couplets, and hey, what's this? A LIMERICK!?

This Frolicker is not from NantucketIt will kick someone’s butt, not the bucket
In pet battles it will bring pain
And reduce its foes to a stain
But if it loses too much you just pluck it!

I wish I had an extra one to give him, these little poems are so good. But alas, I am a charity  case when it comes to pets. Wishing you luck, Taik - you have some stiff competition!

Best cosplay ever...

It seemed the usual "show tummy" cosplay won, though it was magnificent, but those who truly captured the spirit did not even get an honorable mention.

This needs rectification.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Chronicles of Glovebox Gnome: Home again

J.R.R. Tolkien
“He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. 'It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,' he used to say. 'You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

Glad to see Azeroth is in the same condition I left it: my own geography lessons were well schooled this trip: I had no idea it was that far to get to California from my front door, and back again. There was one panicky moment when a RED LIGHT came on in the car and the engine cut out. Exciting! Turns out little hybrids don't like it when their electrical systems are overloaded, and all was well. 
Ultimately, was it worth it? 
Yes. Got the ring in the fire, (check), met some great folks along the way, (check), learned a few more things about my extended family (check and check), and the Matty-shack was in one piece, too. And my dog missed me. And Señor got our cottage guild up a few more notches to level 16 too. (You realize sir I am getting antsy for it to be level 25 now: not sure why. Nothing like 2500 miles to give one time to think about how to quickly level a guild.)
What's better than that? Nothing. 

See you in the morning.

Chronicles of Glovebox Gnome: Future of the past...

Farseer Nobundo

I am like one of those "me too" news organizations that releases news stories decades (it feels) after everyone else gets a shot. The only 'scoop' I have right now is from Baskin-Robbins. And it's melting.

Just kidding, it's cool. When have I ever been first with anything? Never. But somehow folks are still patient with me; go figure. (Sheesh, Tome, I just realized I almost named this post the same as yours; I really need to check myself!) Tome has been admiring the new Forsaken models, and Erinys seems to have some concerns about gnomes, and the appalling lack of females represented. Oh sure, a 'female heroine' is alluded to (Dornaa, were you supposed to be a paladin?!) but at the outset, it was a big boy show.

Which leads me to wonder, just how are they going to alter my beloved Draenei? I am not ready to write about this yet, not fully; however, I wish some of the models had a little more 'grit.' Not sex appeal (!), not more junk in the trunk, but a bit more battle-weariness that accurately depicts the importance of the Draenei race in Azerothian lore. If anything these cosmetic changes only further enhance our romance with Azeroth.

The real spark that has me excited to read as much as I can, learn and relearn again, is the lore that is coming our way. I plan on reading Effraeti's blog when I can (still on the road, and people have necessary agendas!)

But ultimately, before too much more time passes, I want to thank one of my first friends in game who intelligently, and with accuracy, pointed my lore seeking in the right direction with Farseer Nobundo. I hope he's in a place where if he chooses he can return in the next expansion; however he's probably too busy having many real-life adventures now, and those are outweigh Azerothian ones (and you all know I love the Azerothian ones!)

Anyway, more speculation, more anticipation--in the meantime, I have legendary cloaks to obtain on a few more ladies, and Garrosh needs a few more beat-downs.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chronicles of the Glovebox Gnome: Writers rock.

A 'proper post' (if I ever get around to it) is not quite possible now - well it is, but let's just say I'm too lazy. No, not lazy, never lazy: technology is giving me some fits and there is some packing to do. But if I don't capture some of this feeling of "I could have danced all night" then the moment will slip away.  Navimie did a great write-up of Blizzcon - just as she regales us with her stories of raiding, her writer voice captures the excitement of what it's like to actually be there, boots on the ground, and I'm not sure there isn't a soul she didn't meet. 

But I...I....

Damn - first let me say I'm sorry I didn't get to meet Jeni of Escapist Scrawl, Hasteur, or Zerena Hoofs. And I know there are others whom I'm going to say "Sh*T!" when I realize I didn't get a chance to meet them. Arv, just glad you were hanging with Navi cause I was being such a dork.

But - (and I don't know what happened to my photos on my camera and am trying desperately not to panic...cause you know, if there ain't no screenshot, it didn't happen.)

...I did meet: (and the understatement does not begin to express my joy)

Matticus: nice guy
Lisa Poisso: a writer I've long admired and really appreciated talking to
Elizabeth Harper --awesome WoW Insider writer - so incredibly warm and gracious
Fimlys of Twisted Nether (who said maybe I could get a spot, but we'd talk about Navi - lol! See Navi, no one cares about random Draenei shamans, everyone wants to know about Navi!)
Apple Cider Mage: ACM- you rock. Simple as that.

And getting a chance to know my GM/RL Logtar better was great: he is truly a wonderful man, and feel so lucky to have landed in that guild: credit goes to you, Turk. Log: now go update that blog. 

Looking at this - you see what my focus was, of course? WRITERS. Meeting these folks inspired me, and well, damn. 

Damn, that was cool. So cool...witness this moment: I'm kind of speechless.

Now staying at my in-laws' place about 40 minutes away meant doing the 'normal' Blizzcon things, like hanging out in hotel lobbies, etc. was not meant to be. That was the downside. The upside is we went out for Mexican food and got to drink beer and then soak in the hot tub (yes, I fell asleep. No, I did not drown. I am not writing this from a watery grave. I can sleep in hot water. Just one of my many talents.) So now I'm ready to hit the road again, praying I didn't catch my sister's-in-law cold. I'm packing up a lot more than dirty laundry and souvenirs: I got my wishes granted, and that's all I wanted. 

PS Navimie: next time I'm putting a bell on you. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chronicles of Glovebox Gnome: The view from the road...

Make no mistake: I wouldn't change a thing. Yes, that was one long-ass drive, and you may think I'm a dork, but we actually planned the return trip so I can see Mt. Shasta in the morning, instead of in the dark. Driving from Washington to Southern California is one journey I have never made: flying has always been my preferred mode. CD Rogue grew up in Cali, so this is familiar terrain.

By now you are all well aware of the amazing expansion coming our way: Warlords of Draenor. I kept up with tweets, feeds, messages, etc. on the road as the opening ceremony was taking place. You know what I find funny? I didn't have to be there to feel the excitement and joy the WoW community felt: I felt it too.

There aren't a lot of road highlights: it was pure driving. We finally couldn't go any further and stopped about 2AM on Friday morning, and even then it was hours to go. I managed to spill salsa on my sweatpants. This detail will be important later.

And we bought delicious fruit and almonds from a stand, including a cross between a grapefruit and lime (pomelo?)
And as driving into California, the air is...different. I've struggled to describe it over the years. It's a dry that is not harsh, a softness that is not weak, a clarity that blinds. I love living in the rainy, grey of the northwest, but that sunshine....hard to ignore its siren song.

Hours in a car can make anyone edgy, and there were moments I wish I could have flown. But I remembered a few weeks ago a young man I know posed a question, "When is the last time you did something for the first time?" Every experience is a good one, after a fashion. As excited as I am about playing WoW, it does not compare to the friendships I've made. 

We finally arrived, and as I said the sweatpants, and the need of shower and teeth-brushing meant that when CD Rogue said, "Do you want to go right to Blizzcon?" I said NOOOOooooOOOOo. There was no way in hell I was going to meet Navi or anyone looking (and smelling) the way I did. The salsa was the least of my problems.

So, to my in-laws', cleaned up, and yes, this is how much CD Rogue loves me: he did all the driving, and still got back in the car and drove us to the convention center.

Wrathion was there:

And I signed the wall:

And I met NAVIMIE!!! (No photos- protect privacy and stuff). Let's just say I am the one who looks like a Tauren standing next to her, and she's just as awesome in real life! 

I met my GM Logtar and his wife and a few other guildies, and they are just as nice and sweet as they are in game. 

There will be a female Draenei heroine. 

There's your answer.
Thank you Blizzard.

Oh, Mr. Blizzard sir, One more thing? I have often wished Draenei could climb mountains - you know, the hooves and all --

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chronicles of Glovebox Gnome: Postus interruptus

Yesterday morning before we ventured out to make the 15-hour journey from "washington???" to "wait no california," I had this post almost completed, and then blammo! Out the power/Internet. You know, because the wind blew.

Current status is we're in Santo Nella, California, still a few hours away.  Glovebox will be submitting his report later. Yes, we will miss 'big announcements' and yes, we missed WoW Insider parties last night, but from the Twitter streams, tweets went from sobriety to not. 
Australia counter-point? We Yanks would know far, far less: this geographer got it right.
Okay, so I mentioned previously the opportunity to meet one of my favorite bloggers presented itself, Akabeko of the Red Cow Rise blog fame. We met in a hip little vegetarian-themed cafe (the one place in the state of Washington that does not sell coffee: but she was impressed by my adept skill of blending ginger tea with lemonade from the self-serve fountain). We didn't have any formal interview questions for one another, but our conversation provided rich insights organically. It was interesting to note many shared experiences in terms of writing, including acceptance (or rejection) of our creative passions by past paramours.

Ultimately, the gifts of our meeting included:

1. Acknowledgement that those in our lives who do not support our creative endeavors, but seek to sabotage them, need to be jettisoned immediately;
2. I have found some new and willing writing partners with her and Dahakha. Wait. Let me rephrase. I have found my real blogging version of Mr. Snerguls. (She volunteered you, Dah. Thanks!)

This is really big news.

Now Navimie and I do a lot of shared writing in terms of idea swapping: her stories are perfection. Mine, often, are not. I publish too fast, and have many bad writing habits. I don't revise enough. I don't let things "percolate." I create unrealistic deadlines and impulsively hit the 'go' button. Akabeko has offered to read my sh*t before I hit the publish button. She and Dahakha have a keen editorial eye, and understand the process of story-crafting better than the average bear. It's like having my own personal, virtual writing workshop again, but with the added bonus of writers who understand this genre. I have often been reluctant to share my Azerothian-bent tales with others for fear of the cocked-eyebrow of judgy-mcjudge-ness.

We (Azerothian reporters, bloggers, writers) hold a Smaug's treasure trove of writing resources and inspiration. I've put together a list of just a few:
  • Blog Azeroth
  • Writer's Write (South Africa)
  • Update: this is where my post dropped yesterday morning: all my links and thoughts went with it,  and are at home on the home computer. Bottom line: read. Read more. Write everything down. Keep journals, scraps, napkins, notebooks, etc.
And find some good, objective friends ready and willing to read your stuff for errors, confusion, etc.

See things a different way