Thursday, April 10, 2014

Matty doesn't live here anymore….

It's pretty much official - please go to the new blog:

to find me.

(this is harder than it looks)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


It's not done yet, not by a long shot - still hanging up the drapes and putting toilet paper on the rolls. But…so I don't lose anyone…and this is important - I'll be moving to

full time very soon.

Monday, April 7, 2014



Sometimes--sometimes I think I understand the culture of Azeroth better than moving and navigating the real world. In Azeroth, there are no co-pays, mammograms, or messy closets. Well, messy guild tabs don't count. So while out there in the real world, taking care of myself, I grabbed a cup of black coffee filling it halfway to the top. I left it on the table when the nurse called me back, feeling guilty I didn't throw it in the trash. I came out of the checkup about twenty minutes later and a woman is sitting in the chair, texting on her phone, and my coffee cup is still there. I pick it up and throw it in the trash, while she tells me it was her coffee. Yes, I threw away a stranger's coffee. I laughed, embarrassed, and offered to pour her another cup. She declined, which can you blame her? Some crazy lady fresh from boob squishing wearing jean shorts and hoody trashes your coffee? God knows where those hands have been! Hey, I was on a roll today. Pulled a few weeds, got a closet almost done, recorded GoT and plan on a big ol'glass of Sophia Coppola wine and watch it. But I didn't get everything done. But the world is safe from my coffee trashing.

Wait. Wait a minute. Did she throw out my coffee cup before she got her own? Gross.

Back to Azeroth soon.

Forty-Beats #33

Found this site, Pitchfork, which for limited periods streams music. The soundtrack for this film was available through March 2, so alas, I missed it.

However: Wes Anderson never fails me. I am not sure how he tells these masterful stories---at once so deeply human, and buoyant. You'll just have to see it for yourself.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dahahka was right.

OLRG: Haka Style (and Forty-Beats #32)

Oh, New Zealand. With your Hobbits and wizards, sheep, Peter Jacksons, glowworm caves and starry nights. Now you give the world this? Will your generosity ever cease?
Thank You, NZ
Now now, before you start accusing me of objectification of the male form, casual sexism reversal, hey, I appreciate the human form in all its glory. If these nice gentlemen want to take off their shirts and perform a haka celebratory victory dance in the rain, who am I to judge? They are making the world a better place (fans self Southern lady style saying, "Oh my stars!" Dies of blushing).

So what lame excuse or rationalization can I write to show how football haka men relate to Old Ladies Raiding Guild? Cymre did a great write up, so I don't need to give away too many more notes. (She also nominated me for Liebster, and I think Navimie did too, but you guys know way too much about me already.) ANYWAY (*fanning furiously*) Oh yeah….connections. Relevance. Drawing conclusions and whatnot.

Okay- Old Ladies. So last night we tried it Horde side, and I'm sorry Tome missed it - I am sure she has some family needs (love to you, Tome). It was "interesting" to me how many of my battletag buddies jumped on board when it was Horde side. I was telling young leet druid that it seems that those on the Horde side have much more strong allegiance to Horde than Alliance does to Alliance. Has anyone else noticed that? Personally, I couldn't care less. What I care about more is when people say "I could care less." NO! NO I TELL YOU! *Hits you with a hard-bound grammar book* Anyway, as usual I gave everyone assist so they could invite friends, and some took me up on that. What I failed to do, because I didn't think it was necessary, was give everyone a run-down on culture norms. Not rules, not strict guidelines -- norms. Those unspoken expectations that need to be spoken, otherwise the chance of stepped-on-toes debuff and the chiding-matronly-voice spell activate and then people get cranky.

So, let me spell it out: if you bring a friend, please let them know this is a group of close friends, grown ups, who play the game in a different way. We do not rush through old content, we are a tour bus. If you act like Beavis and Butthead Do America and you're tagging along because "you're bored," please go find something else to do. But let me restate: if you're interested in getting to know some other amazing folks in and out of Azeroth, of seeing old and new content, of making your achievement and mog gear dreams come true, we are your group, and you're more than welcome. We have over 100 years of collective play experience combined, many veteran and heroic raiders in the group, who know this game inside and out. Please bring your knowledge, too, and kindness and sense of wonder. That's all you need to pack.

So: next Saturday - I want to do an Alliance run first through Firelands, Ulduar, and maybe one newer content, and then a Horde run if possible. Maybe we can start at 3PM for the Alliance side? I promised Amerpriest Ulduar, and I mistakingly thought she had a Horde character, and felt terrible that I disappointed such a sweet lady. Or, how about this? We do Ulduar Alliance next week, and then switch to Horde for some tasty Firelands gear? Kellanyx is now a red-head, and she makes no apologies for being totally hot. Just like those footballers make no apologies, either.

See you then!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Forty-Beats #31

Ich bin ein Liebster (Part II: It Goes to Eleven)

Okay, because I can never follow rules, I am allowing Mataoka to answer these questions. She is quite the storyteller, so please indulge her. Mr. Snerguls is somewhere deep in the jungles of the Amazon rain forest right now, so he is not available to edit.

11 Questions to my Nominees…
1.             When did you start blogging , What it’s all about and why?

2.             Post your most favorite Screenshot of all time!
3.             Favorite city in WoW you hang out to and why?
4.             Do you play other games besides WoW? Any console you using besides your PC?
5.             What’s your favorite Trasmog gear?
6.             How many WoW characters in game do you have? Do you equally play them a lot?
7.             What’s your current achievement score? Whats the most favorite one and why?
8.             What was the most memorable experience since you started playing WoW?
9.             How many total deaths of critters do you currently have? What are your thoughts about these creatures since they can battle now with your own Pet collections too.
10.         First word comes in mind when you think about WoW and why?
11.          Warlords of Draenor is coming up soon, its the new expansion everyone is talking about, What are your expectations and why?

I started telling stories from Azeroth December 14, 2010. My human has been writing for years, though, and may return soon to her other issues of note with more diligence.

Here is my favorite image:

 My favorite city is not really a city at all – Azuremyst is home.

Currently I don’t play any other games, unless you count the ones at the Darkmoon Faire. But those are rigged, so unless I am interested in being cheated, I don't visit there much anymore. 

 Here is one of my favorite looks:

I have many sisters, cousins, and friends in Azeroth. My sisters, Zeptepi and Luperci, confuse me somewhat, and they don't understand me either. But we are family, we are blood, and that bond is unbreakable. I have an adopted daughter, Dornaa, whom I love with all my heart, and would readily die to keep her safe. She has had her heartbroken already, and from that, no one is protected. 

My current level of achievement is. 13,000 +/-. I would have to say my favorite is “What a long strange trip,” because that is the one that my friend Kaylyne and I did together, and that friendship is still one of my most cherished. She has left me to serve the Horde, and I respect her decision. Choices made for love are for only us to make.w

Memorable experience: Memory is an odd beast. How does one discern the moments of anguish and ecstasy? We are all foolish enough to think our memories are our own, and yet, 

Critter deaths: Never bothered to count. Hard to feel their little skulls crunching under my hooves.

First word that comes to mind: love - no need to explain that!

I am feeling excited and anxious about Draenor: to see my ancestor’s from their time in history, to seek redemption and reclamation – this is what heroes do. My bond with Nobundo is strong, though, and I rely on his wisdom to see me through.

11 Random Facts About Mataoka:
*She has given her heart away. It has not returned.
*She loves to be rubbed behind her horns, but you better know her very, very well or else get a mace to the face
*She wishes she could live in Azuremyst all the time, and envies mages' abilities to port at will.
*Her fatal flaws are pride and stubbornness
*She prefers cinnamon candy over chocolate
*She believes in generosity
*She keeps a secret stash - of what, it's secret, of where, that's secret too
*She's better than she thinks she is
*Gets angry easily, but forgives easily
*Greatest regret is when her journals burned in a fire.
*Misses Guarf every day.
*Secretly thinks she is wonderful in every way, but wouldn't want to brag

Now - I am to return the favor and nominate other blogs. I think by now most have been given a nod, and I am feeling lazy (actually the human must go to the store before the OLRG, so time is fleeing) so here's Dahahka's blog  - my own Mr. Snerguls when Mr. S is not around. Thanks for all you do, sir!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Ich bin ein Liebster (Part 1: The Disclaimer)

Amerpriest graciously added me to the list of Liebster-love eons ago in Internet time, and I'm sorry I haven't been able to give it due diligence. In my life, often it's a matter of triage. For example, this is how I left my kitchen yesterday:

It was either clean the kitchen, or get coffee and feed the chinchilla: the chinchilla is in constant danger of becoming a Barbie doll fur coat (JUST KIDDING PETA, jeez) and the coffee, well. You know. And as many of you have read, I cannot work on this blog at work, so there's 9 hours wasted! Stupid job. Giving me a paycheck and personal satisfaction and all that nonsense. I can't even go on websites that describe it, but what I think I'll do is sneak a peek at my phone today and write my answers down on paper.
I'm not sure where my eleven questions are. Maybe Amerpriest gave up on me, and revoked the nomination. I don't blame her. Regardless, the chinchilla thanks her, and anyone else who thought of me, so that's cool. I'll get to it, promise.

I confess I think this blog has been one big Liebster Award to myself. Gads, if there is anything you don't know about me by now…but maybe I still have a few tricks. For instance, did you know I can sing like Aretha Franklin? No, not really. But my soul can.

Forty-Beats #30

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tiny Story Time: Kellrose

"Stop that nonsense right now," snapped her mother. "You're much too young to befriend shadows."
Irritated again. A battle of wills. Gods, how could one so young be so damned precocious? As strong as her mother attempted to pull Kellrose to the Light, she preferred Shadows. She suffered the light only to create them: watery, oozing, growing shadows. Before she could speak, she possessed the power to toss her shadow across the nursery walls at will, hiding this power under the blankets before the family woke. The proper path, the path of the druid or the path of light, was not meant for her. The shadows answered when she called, and did not seem like nonsense. Sometimes with a child the best approach is to get out of the way.

Dahahka, I got the same boots!

Forty-Beats #28

Today's New Music for Lent song is brought to you by a singing crow, Kellrose's pet, Eat. She sang today:

Butt of the joke...

I know you've all seen this, especially since Tome put it on her blog, too:*

First - for a split second, I admit - I was fooled. Let it be known I hate April Fool's Day - had a "joke" played on me yesterday that resulted in serious consequences. Remember when I said my job is sometimes potentially dangerous? I wasn't kidding. Anyway, I confess: this image got me for a second.

But then, the deeper, more disturbing emotions set in. And a touch of anger, too. Anger at myself, and others. This is a circle-back laundry list of whatever - if you dare say "QQ" --just. Don't.

I felt the odd and not-so-tingly sense of shame. Shame on myself for wanting and loving playing a character model that is considered by most sexually beautiful. Shame on myself for feeling so sad that they gave her a weak chin, cellulite, small hooves, and palsied gait. And most of all-shame on the jokesters who thought that by showing something that doesn't fit in the standard models of "beauty" that is would be "funny." Efff you. And me, too: that I would be hesitant to proudly play this "new" model, one who reminds me too much of pear-shaped women and pre-plastic surgery chins. I truly think all the models in Azeroth, all the races, have a unique beauty to offer - but my Draenei females --they are my characters who still embody sexuality, wisdom, and strength. Those characteristics did not include, in my schema, cellulite.

CD Rogue loves me. He loves my Rubenesque physique. But be clear: there are never any demands for how I look, my habits of life, or control in any way. Probably because he knows if he gave me gruff for having an ice cream sandwich or being too exhausted to go for a walk he would be a grease puddle on the floor. Besides, he's too busy dealing with his own health issues to worry about mine. I don't use him as my measuring stick when I take stock of my physical and mental well-being or attributes. I know when I need to lose some weight, I know how to eat right, and I know when stress tips my abilities over to the red zone, and what to do about it (mostly have a good cry and get those toxins out).

True confidence and beauty, the understanding and truth of them, tend to come to us later in life. But I really admire this generation who, by and large, see beauty in a different light and define it for themselves:

Flaws are okay.
Okay, I feel better now. I had my own moment of QQ. Fine, model artists: if you want to destroy the Draenei female model, give her cellulite, weak chins, and asymetrical eyes, fine. She's still beautiful to me. If you think it's funny to make fun of flaws, joke's on you. Pretty is as pretty does.

*The logic is since most bloggers read Tome and have her awesome blog on their blogroll, and she is one of the sweetest, funniest friends I have in and out of Azeroth, I'm claiming sweetness by association.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Forty-Beats #27

A few doncellas told me about this song today:

My my my reputation...

There are at least 60 Exalted Reps here…so many Beloveds!

One of my project is building a rep. Yea, that's right. You heard me punk, a rep.

Lorewalkers: click and fly
Tillers - I know what to do. I just don't feel like doing it on two characters.
Tushi - where is that tabard?
Honor Hold: go talk to the Dwarfs. Again. And kill Orcs. Again.
The Sha'tar: Tempest Keep
Lower City: Auchindoun
Keepers of Time: Sigh.
Waterlords: Molten Core hikes
Nozdormu: Anything for you, Noz. Anything. Even sand in my butt cheeks.
League of Arathor: Arathi
Booty Bay: Oh, that shameful time I got the Bloodsail Admiral title. 
The Violet Eye: Karazhan again - not a problem

Oh, and I have a few other things on my to-do list too, like honor with the Liebster thingie, (thanks friends!), find some videos on Penitence, learn how not to click, and well, yeah. Oh well. Oh I wanted to play an April Fool's joke but I'm doing my best to ignore today's date. Besides, it's over in other time zones already, so I'm free and clear!

Monday, March 31, 2014

OLRG:Diet Coke Witch Edition

See? Back there? The witch concerned with her waistline...

Ever experience a stretch of time where you're just out of sync? Not bad, not good, but decidedly out of sorts? These past few days I feel like I am walking snooze button. I just want to sleep. For a confirmed insomniac, this is more of a blessing than curse: at least I know I can still turn off my brain and feel all cozy and mentally journey into lullaby land. But it sure does make it tricky for getting to work on time.

I've taken to sleeping on the couch with my tauntaun sleeping bag with the electric fireplace running. My dog Snickers curls up near my feet, and I pretend I'm in the Tainted Forest, safe from harm in one of the little cottages, with a Dwarf sentinel standing guard.Yes, yes I am a grown woman and this is my mental bed-time story that helps me sleep. Now before you think I don't love CD Rogue anymore, I do. He has his own sleep issues, and those affect me. (This is a great myth of coupling, that you sleep together peacefully forever and ever - if there is a couple out there who can do that godspeed to you, but most of us mortals have not figured that out yet.)

Wait, sorry. This wasn't about me waxing philosophical about Tainted Forest fantasies and sleep deprivation. I'm just really tired, that's all.

Okay, back to us Old Ladies:

Shoryl started a list for us so we can get done what we want: Please comment about what's important to you. I just want to finish my Firelands achievements, get that damn bird, and not step foot in there again. I also want us to do more recent content (dare I dream? Dare I dream that we can kill Garrosh together?!) Next Saturday let's try some Horde stuff, and I'll tank on my Death Knight. I leveled Heartichoke by DK tanking, and I'd be happy to do so again. Remember, real life always trumps Azeroth, so never feelt a single twinge if you can't make it. See you Saturday, 4PM Pacific, and bring a Horde. Why not? 

Forty-Beats #26

This reminds me of something that would be on a David Lynch movie soundtrack:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Forty-Beats #25: Eye Candy

Lady and the Damp

Got a late birthday present of sorts, though the giver didn't remember my birthday, but gave me some goodies nonetheless. These goodies involve all things Blizzard, so I used some chits to boost another character, Kellanyx. So now, my dear friends who have lovelies on both sides of the factional fence, I now have a Horde Blood Elf Death Knight. Here is a mog idea I have for her:

This is going to be an interesting month, this April of mine: CD Rogue and young cub are off to an adventure in the jungle. Really. Literally. A jungle. I wish I could go too, but my travel plans in the next two weeks involve work, and then a spring vacation. Oh--don't you know I have so many plans for my time on my stay-cation! So many projects! So many achievements in Azeroth! So many short stories to write, life thingies to organize, and tile to grout! Wait, wait, wait - let's not get crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I'm really digging Sajja:
Leather and Draenei: gooooooood
These ladies are far too sexy for me to deal with right now, while I stew in my sweatpants and ratty, holey T-shirt on a Sunday afternoon. I'm not feeling my A-game right now. I just realized this is about music for LENT - holy days. Days of reflection and spiritual awakening, repetence, and redemption. Not strappy leather sports bras and thigh-highs! Sheesh, woman! Better go find a cathedral quick and light a candle or something. For those of you praying for me, you've got some work to do. Maybe it would be easier to grout some tile than save my soul.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Drabble: Cake (and Forty-Beats #24)

She licked the frosting from her finger, sweet as a promise and twice as buttery. Maybe a cake, bouncy-ball giggling wobbly tower of cake, would appease him. Feelings bruised, salved with vanilla, massaged with cream.  The entire house smelled of sugar kisses and apologies. How could he resist? Stand near the oven, melt—melt—stirring with attention, never stopping. The spatula carved the mortar of the frosting like a skilled mason, rebuilding a toppled façade. A sculpture, a shrine to his senses, prone before him: offering. Foregoing manners, she licked the spoon directly: sugar for her, too, wouldn’t hurt anyone.

True Love.

Azeroth --Azeroth is a love fest --a true wish-fulfillment fantasy for me. What little girl doesn't dream of a loyal friend, who will fight for her, comfort her, and love her unconditionally, silently, when the world is cruel and heartless? This epiphany came to me when I was looking at a screenshot of Sajja this morning - how my three loves: Mataoka, Haanta, and now Sajja will never give up their loyal companions. (I must admit a little tug of my heart when I think of my Great Dane Heidi, who was that for me in real life. I miss you Heidi, so very much.)

Xuen is no woman's pet, but a fierce friend
This is why I will never give up being an enhancement shaman. Ever.

Haanta's connections with her beasts is eternal
If you have doubts, listen to the NPR story, "How Dogs Evolved Into Our Best Friends."  The only thing I wish I could change about Sajja's tiger and Matty's wolves are that they would stay longer - their ephereal existence is too short-lived, while Haanta's beasts, when kept healed, roar and claw for as long as she needs them, which puts her at a distinct advantage. I'm not suggesting hunters are overpowered, but let's just say she does more damage without her legendary cloak in five minutes than Mataoka can in…well….anyway. And - oh--wow wow wow---Sajja. I went through LFRs with her yesterday, and even with terrible gear she was healing as much as my more geared healers in some cases. I am not quite sure what the magic rotation is yet (I did cursory research on Icy Veins), but Mistweaving is pretty damn awesome. And she looks good, too. 

So off to do what I set out to do - help the Drunken Fish. Onward. Don't look back.

Friday, March 28, 2014

House in order...

"Open House"
Well, I made a tough but solid decision when it comes to raiding and that goofy shammy. Mataoka -- I have been feeling it for awhile. It isn't fun to be melee in raids at gear level. I have hinted and suggested I bring other better equipped characters - Kellda has "the" cloak, green fire, and great gear; Zeptepi is working on her cloak, but both warlock and priest are well represented in the 'big' guild, so they don't belong. I would have gone completely restoration on Mataoka, too, but they have great shaman healers and didn't need that either. Logtar is a wonderful GM/RL, and I adore Hawtpocket--she is one of the best players, raiders, tanks, and I just adore her personally. I told her I am thrilled we are friends in Azeroth, and hope to continue our friendship.When the decision is made to try a 25-man, and I'm already bashful about melee in raids, and don't have the experience needed (all my own fault) and then it gets moved down to a ten, I realize as I am looking at my own house, my own family, who falls somewhat apart without me; when I'm trying to raid, I ask for my family's time without making it worth my own or anyone else's. Then, when on Wednesday Hawt told me the guild was forming a flex and I asked the lead hunter if I could go and he said they were full (I didn't think Flex's could get full). This may have just been a miscommunication, I'll grant that. I decided to read between the lines and give a move some deep consideration. I am so proud and happy of how Drunken Fish has been growing. Having Mataoka there to bring points, play, and repuations to the guild will only further help it. Also, it dawned on me that it wasn't that I was running from something, but running to. Playing enhancement shammy takes a lot of practice and work. This character started off from the beginning doing everything 'herself,' and she is well-suited for achievements, solo-play, and the occasional goody bag from healing.

People often ask me why I stay at my real-life job. It is hard, it is stressful, and I am not being hyperbolic when I say potentially dangerous. But I stay because I contribute and effect change. My skills and expertise move mountains in my real life. Sometimes they're Sisyphean boulders, but I've mostly learned how to duck out of the way. Everyone wants to feel like they matter because guess what? They do.

All players say play what makes you happy--first, figuring out when we're happiest in game is not always obvious. But once we see that --it's a clear path.

Drunken Fish: Keep up the good work! Thank you for all you've done. We're almost to Level 19!

Oh, and I have been giving this a lot of thought too: I would do that in a red-hot minute.

Forty-Beats #23

Thursday, March 27, 2014

OLRG: Spring Break!

No. Just. No.

Never be too rich or too thin? Huh - well, perhaps. Since I am neither, I guess I don't have to worry about it! Whew! One less thing! And no, I'm not on any spring vacation yet, and have no plans for fun in the sun when I am. In fact, I'll have a quiet Matty-shack and a lot of time to clean out closets, drawers, bookshelves, and cupboards. I'm kind of overwhelmed by a nesting instinct right now anyway, and no, that doesn't mean what it typically does. I think women especially get this sense no matter their age or status of maternal bliss. For example, I am about to log on and clean up the Drunken Fish fish tank. It is a big silly mess. I'm looking forward to our Old Ladies Raiding Guild this Saturday, 4 PM Pacific Time. I would like to try Firelands again and get that stupid staff. (Did you hear that Fandral? I called it a stupid staff!! Like I want it....pffft!) And then I am up for some chieves. I am not sure what. If there is a specific thing ya'll would like to do let me know. Taking requests now - including putting on a cover-up.

Forty-Beats #22

What with these homies, dissing my girl?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


"I loved you first: but afterwards your love"

Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda. – Dante
Ogni altra cosa, ogni pensier va fore,
E sol ivi con voi rimansi amore. 
– Petrarca 
I loved you first: but afterwards your love
    Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
    Which owes the other most? my love was long,
    And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
    Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
    With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
         For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
         Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.

Forty-Beats #21

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Main Pain

The Azerothian equivalent of change in the couch cushions

The concept of a 'main' is something I've grappled with for some time. Anne Stickney just brought this up not too long ago. Approaching my 4th year of playing, I realize the one unforgivable sin of understanding WoW culture is having a 'main,' and feeling guilty or disloyal if switching a 'main.' I  ignored the memo years ago - that successful players cultivate a main, learn the class inside and out, and when class changes occur as they inevitably do, they understand how to integrate and absorb those changes. They understand how to adjust and adapt to various fight mechanics, and organize achievement logs like air traffic controllers. And before I go on, please do not think this is going to be a whiney-post about how Blizzard doesn't love their players - in fact--they do. They have done so much to allow the one human behind the keyboard to enjoy so many options. Once Mataoka received her cloak, all of her sisters could fly over the bridge to Ordos, and when they added the Open Raid, it is a sheer pleasure to fly over to Ordos for the possibility of some Warforged goodies.
Zep didn't get any goodies from Ordos, but someone did put bunny ears on her...
But--those coins. Those damn coins. Kellda and Haanta are sitting on a Smaug-sized vault of them. Haanta has over 1000, and about 12 Warforged tokens, Kellda around 10. My main-spec healers, Zeptepi and Momokawa, struggle, while poor Mataoka -- and don't mention Ceniza. She's still back-tracking rep in Northrend, complaining of smelling like whale blubber and fish guts. She is pissed. Now, you may offer, if Blizzard didn't do that, we would all be so bored in Azeroth right now, that those with mains would unsubscribe until WoD comes out, and that's probably right. Those who have achieved every thing on mains don't need to hang out in Azeroth. I contend, however, time in the game is still interesting to me, and there is so much I want to do. I feel like a big, fat baby when Mataoka is in a raid, and there's umpteen hunters all going for agility gear, too. I feel like an ass when Zeptepi has to grind through the Black Prince again for a cloak so the healing is on par with others. I get annoyed with I have to confess that for Mataoka, restoration is 'off spec' so that the elemental shamans get first dibs. Please don't misunderstand: gear grab is the same for us all. But I consider all my characters one: the human typing on the keyboard. I pay a monthly subscription, and some choices seem artificial.

Now--what would be an 'authentic' choice? When I'm on a particular character, they each have a gift and personality, a mental narrative of where I want to be at that place and time. To me, that mental exploration is enough. To me, having equal footing, or hooves as the case may be, is the value I offer myself and my friends. It's wonderful to be able to bring a variety of classes to OLRG adventures, or a Flex, or just about anything. What I do respect, absolutely, is a GM/RL's request for a main in a raiding team. That makes complete sense. Pick one and stick to it. What I wish Blizzard would do on their end, though, is make sure we players can bring the class that's needed. It's naive to think it's the player, not the class. It's both.

And -- that real life thing. I was looking forward to seeing if we could move on in the 25-man tonight, hunters and shamans be damned, but alas, a real life obligation cropped up this morning. I really should read my emails more carefully. Perhaps I need to be brave and look at Open Raid for more opportunities, too, and quit bitching. And shake down that couch for more coins. (Oh, like you haven't done it!)

Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!

Forty-Beats #20

Pretty sure this young lady listened to a lot of Patti Smith growing up:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Strength in numbers

Saw this list in Writer's Write this morning, so thought I would share. Now, the distinction between female and male protagonists could be argued - these are defining traits for any strong protagonist. But if female leads are 10-11% but represent 50% of the population, we writers have some work to do. (And stop calling Jaina a bitch: but Blizz writers - give her some more of these please):

  1. She has a story goal that defines the narrative arc. She has to get possession of something, or relief from something. There have to be important consequences if she does not achieve her story goal. 
  1. She is flawed. She is not perfect, and her flaws could change the course of the story. She has to make choices, and she has to deal with the consequences of her choices. There is nothing more frustrating than reading a story where the protagonist fails to make choices. Even if this is how we behave in real life, we want our fictional heroes to be a better version of ourselves. We want them to take action. We want to them to go after what they want. Reactive characters are annoying and we perceive them as weak.
  1. She captures our attention. She has that special ‘something’ that captivates us as readers. A strong character has a personality trait that mesmerises readers. Readers want to believe they could be that character if they were put in that situation. They may even want to be that character. She could be brave, loyal, self-confident, intelligent, focused, charming, or compassionate. She should be able to engage our minds, win our hearts and get us to root for her until the end.
  1. She changes over the course of the story. She discovers her strengths and weaknesses. She surprises herself and she surprises us as she grows and learns. There should not be a sudden epiphany at the end of the story. We are not watching a Disney movie. Her change should be gradual and believable.
  1. She does not exist as a support for another character. Other characters exist to support her. Her supporting cast are there to help her achieve her story goal and complete the narrative arc of her story. The antagonist is there to thwart her, and to show her how strong or weak she is. Her love interest is there to distract her from her story goal, and to show us her insecurities and vulnerabilities. (Remember that a love interest is not necessarily a romantic interest.) Her friends are there to support her, and to show us who she really is, how strong she can be – even if she can’t see it.
  1. She has the ability to stand up to the antagonist. She is a strong character who is made stronger by her interaction with the antagonist. She has to have the intelligence, bravery, charisma, and will-power to make the story her own and come out on top at the end of the book.
CD Rogue spent his evening watching the Weeds series. I couldn't stand watching the main character, Nancy, played by Mary-Louise Parker. First of all Mary-Louise is a shitty actress, but the Nancy character -- in the words of CD Rogue - never changes. She is, in literary terms, a static character. When one watches a show like that back-to-back, you realize even if a female is in the lead, the world circles around her. She mostly just looks befuddled and confused all the time, a "Why is this happening to little ol' me?" victim look. Yuck. How much different and far more interesting would that series have been with someone funny and smart. And she's a really bad mom. (So says Judgy McJudgy Pants over here.)

My Azerothian characters - sheesh do they have their work cut out for them when Warlords comes out. So much testosterone! So much things-go-boom! So many big messes left for others to clean up! Booo! Oh well. Have more to say, but now I'm off to be the hero of my own story today…see you soon!

Forty-Beats #19

Thanks, Dahahka!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Acquainted with the Night

  by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night. 
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. 
I have outwalked the furthest city light. 

I have looked down the saddest city lane. 
I have passed by the watchman on his beat 
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. 

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet 
When far away an interrupted cry 
Came over houses from another street, 

But not to call me back or say good-bye; 
And further still at an unearthly height, 
One luminary clock against the sky 

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right 
I have been one acquainted with the night.

- See more at:

Ah, quiet stillness in Azeroth - to those who hear me and my chattering becomes likes squirrels and birds, I apologize. Together, alone--we move in time.

The Priestess and the Dragon

Sometimes a good deed is rewarded (but don't tell karma that--it'll try to balance something or other!) Zeptepi the Gentle One is at the point in the Wrathion cloak quest to destroy Nalak and stab him with a spear. For Mataoka, that was easy - there were plenty of stalwart champions on the Isle of Thunder, and for Kellda, also easy, because well, she's Kellda. She didn't solo it, but there were a few and she's just mean enough to be lucky. (Luck is afraid of warlocks, didn't you know?)
Waiting for heroes!

So now for Zeptepi - she knew she would not be able to do this alone, so she put the call out to her intrepid and patient friends: Repgrind, Tome, Breige, and Taikuutta all came to the rescue. She saw that a rogue was on the isle, and told him what was afoot, and he was very grateful, and not only came, but brought his tank and another healer friend.

Three healers, one tank, and two casters…it took a long time to bring that dragon down, but success! Now onto the slog that is LFR and obtaining the twelve Titan Runestones…and the final fight…and and and…never mind. One dragon at a time, dear Zep. One dragon at a time.

Now for some ephemera:

I knew I recently saw Taik's name somewhere! Magic for dogs!

And Cymre has a post about one of my favorite Disney princesses, and I think she has a great idea - we need more off-hand weapons, so here's my contribution:

Forty-Beats #18 /Drabble: Sweetbreads

She stole the heart and liver, and escaped, she believed. The one from whom she stole devised seamless revenge. The witch away in the woods spun a purple woolen thread, finger-thick, boiled it, and tied it in three knots. The witch away in the woods sat on the cushions, tummy rolling over, gurgling with hunger but full of fat, craving the stolen sweetbreads. The more she imagined the tastier they became. She would curse her stomach; too, make her stomach gurgle and bubble and fatty. She spoke the words over the tied thread, and the thief doubled over in pain.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Well what do you know…?

Stubborn from Sheep the Diamond wrote this post recently, and it made me think: what the hell do I know?

Nothing much, but that's okay.

Trying to understand Sajja, "Who Used To Be LuckyCricket And No One Understands Why I Race Change Least of All Me"was at level 66 when I boosted her, so it's not like I didn't know anything. But holy legsweep, Batman, do monks have a metric sh*t-ton of spells! Talk about your button bloat…day-umm!

But --here's the thing -- to me, Azeroth is damn boring without new challenges. New challenges unfortunately translates to many alts, for me at least. I may need to rethink that.

For example, I had no idea how to use Transcendence, so after rolling into several big tigers on the Isle, I decided to go look it the efff up:

OH!! That's what that other button does!!

Knowledge builds, comes in layers, and only until something is out of our comfort zone do we fidget and seek answers, or give up. Right now -- if I were very honest with myself -- I would see that looking up Transcedence is really another name for "procrastinating on a lot of work that needs to get done."

Hmm….may need that out of body experience.

So fellow bloggers: if you read this, my question to you is -- what do you think is your best knowledge base in Azeroth? If you were asked to come to an Azerothian pot-luck, what would be your best 'knowledge' dish?

Forty-Beats #17

Letters from Azeroth

Yesterday morning I was talking with a colleague (who's expecting! Yay babies!!), and I was ready for the day, and then I had a big, shocking reminder that I had a doctor's appointment later that morning--an important doctor appointment, to help me get some tough health concerns addressed--I had completely forgot. It was on my i-phone calendar, but I forgot to add an audible reminder, nor did I put it in the other 5 calendars I have, that are scattered throughout the universe. Now, before my lizard brains abuses my super-ego and id any further, and I cry foul because of ADD --it really is a combination of factors. The human brain can only take so much before it breaks, and that piece of information fell into one of those mental crevasses. Work and work-related issues seized most of my mental landscape, pushing out all other needs (and I consider daydreaming, creativity, and health 'needs') out of the room, and locked the door behind them. The past Monday night, during my Monday sabbatical from WoW, I sat on the couch and watched hours of House of Cards.  For some reason I not only can but want to listen to hours of Kevin Spacey's slight southern drawl unselfconsciously maneuver politics. Understatement all mine. That evening I got caught up to the subway scene. If you've watched House of Cards, you know what I'm talking about. That stuck in my head for a while too. 

So, sorting out the mind.
And it inspired me--what are my characters in Azeroth doing when I am otherwise occupied in real
life? And, more importantly, what do they want? Are they simply awaiting my return, to control, manipulate, and maneuver? Are they having rich virtual lives, and then just setting themselves back in place, like a scene from Toy Story? Are they angry and resentful--when Mataoka looks at the gear and DPS another enhancement shaman does in a 25-man, does she resentfully sigh at me, and wish she could let me know what she needs, instead of the other way around? (And for those of you who think I've gone crazy right now, walk away…walk away slowly and relinquish all rights to talk to me about writing, creativity, and imagination, and stop playing an RP game.)

So, there will be Letters from Azeroth, and I want to continue the Coin series, too. 
And move this blog to Wordpress. 

I'll put that on my calendar.

Friday, March 21, 2014

OLRG: Protest Edition

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

Well damn - found out about other obligations last night, and even more two minutes ago. My time is not my own, but that's okay. It's what I signed up for. So,  I won't be able to be there for an OLRG run tomorrow, Saturday, and can't guarantee Sunday either. You all know each other! You all like each other! You're welcome to do something without me (*sniffsniff*). I'll be around probably in the morning, but yeah…

This morning before I have to scoot I'm going to see if I can get a guild charter signed with our raiding team name. Now that raids are all CRZ…I mean hell yeah! Be on the lookout to start lowbies on my server. Cause I'm pushy like that.

Postscript: AmerPriest has some runs, too! Go check it out!

Forty-Beats #16

All right, I confess I saw this on MentalFloss this morning. It's like cat-TV for humans, I admit.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


From Pictorial Arts
Today is the Spring Equinox--all things being equal--for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere - how do you celebrate spring? For those of you down South, what seasonal changes are you looking forward to? Ah, shucks, before I go to work this morning I should have see what my Blossoming Ancient pet is up to- I named him #Hashtag. Yes, I think I am pretty clever. I know my druid Momokawa is feeling…something…probably shouldn't leave her out there in the forests for too long.

Forty-Beats #15

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Horchata #94

I title this: 'Horchata #94'
After my ill-planned adventure to the little Mexican store around the corner months ago, where the ladies with the big, blue eyeshadow did not understand my little gringo pronunciation of "horchata," I found success at the tacqueria kitty-corner to the little store. What? What do my eyes see?! Not one but two bubbling fountain drink dispensers, one holding cloudy white liquid? "Is this…horchata?" I ask hopefully…"Horchata?" For a split second I panic, thinking once again I have butchered the pronunciation, but in that tiny next moment she says, "Si, horchata…" Grabbing my eat-in Coca Cola plastic drink glass, I filled it to the top.

Here's something about horchata I learned: it's delicious. And--it's like drinking cold, creamy rice pudding. It's very rich and sweet. It was a perfect combination to combat the spiciness of my enchiladas (although I wish I had ordered the carne asada tacos…), but yes, a big full glass of horchata is a lot of well, awesomesauce. I couldn't even finish it.

And LOOK! Even more good news! I don't have diabetes, and I'm sure this is why! Sugars in tequila may stave off Type II Diabetes! All right! I'll drink to that… We could all use a little good news, you know?

Drunk History: The Invention of Coca-Cola (not the full episode - but you really should be watching Drunk History episodes.)


Man-oh-man there is NOTHING like a new weapon to make me excited about Mataoka again! I have four minutes to write this - but just wanted to get this mental sticky note down before I fly out the door -- big guild did 25 man again, and yes, my DPS was for sh*t, but you know what - as always, I listen to directions, and do what I can, and listen to tips from others who have more experience than I - (thanks,  Turk!). The thing about any class is they all take a lot of care and practice -- I know this, and but sometimes banging one's head against a wall doesn't help--only end up with a big bump. I am so grateful for the philosophy and patience of my GM/RL and my big guild--more than I can write here. If not for them, I wouldn't be able to have the opportunity to go to normal current content, and have the chance to upgrade gear and weapons--this in turn makes me want to practice more, do better, and contribute more. 

I know a dagger isn't the weapon of choice for enhancement shammies (I do know a few things about my favorite class after all), but still it was quite an upgrade for the time being:

And I have new gear, and I got a new healing shield for restoration!!! Which, when I think about it, if moving/casting is 'going away' restoration shammy may be the best bet…

Still have lots of gems, reforging, and enchanting to do - no worries. When I get back from work. 

Forty-Beats #14

My dad sent us this:

Wyman Meinzer's West Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.