Thursday, May 31, 2012

Give it away, now

Facebook has been in the news a bit lately, and my spotty lurking has proven heartbreaking and humorous lately. Yes, found out some dear friends are in the process of divorces and separation (yes, I said friends, as in more than one friend in different marriages). It's not funny, but the dark humor comes from finding out on Facebook. I have been an inattentive real life friend of late. There was some really sad news, too, but this is not my place to share that. Regardless, it will involve me trying to help this person with a boon. There are moments--many--where I question the existence of a just and wise all-powerful being. The good guys need to win a bit more, sir. Or ma'am. Or borg. Whatever.

Just sayin'.

Okay, what is my point? I don't know. I have no point, really. Keeping watch on friends in real life and friends in Azeroth is interesting, and to my friends just remember, if I ever do need to regroup and go under a rock in Tanaris, I'm not hiding in the sand to get away from you. I'm hiding to get away from me.

In any case--one of my gifts to you all is I am a good listener, or try to be. If you need to share something, just know it goes in the vault, and that's that. I won't post it on Facebook. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Evil woman.

Lock up your sons and husbands, ladies, Kélda is out there. (Just kidding. She's harmless.)

I mean really - what kind of warlock becomes a miner and engineer? 

A sexy one who wants sunglasses, I suppose:

Kélda did get a few silvers on her leveling journey:

Jarel was not one of her trophies, however. 

Someday I will understand what these spells are doing, but for now - shiny pretty.

In other news:
Zep realized once again she never has gold. I mean, really!? There are pirate hats!!
Postscript: This is Gallywix:

POI: Odysseus was smart.

You know how sometimes, just maybe on occasion, I get a tiny bit grumbly? Well - you know I always bounce back with a good story, too! (It's at the end, so keep reading.)

Not feeling so hot today, but whatever it is will be fine, so don't worry about me, I'm fine, really - anyway, but made an executive decision to stay home.

What's missing in this photo, hmm? Could it be....?

Oh beautiful Ceniza. You really are fun, you tricky little mage.

Took a couple of tries to get through LFRs today, and thank you to Turk for trying to help stack the odds to get that helm piece, but alas, still sporting a 378 model on my noggin.

But, as I have come to expect, Señor's Potions of Illusions have a kick to them that cannot be duplicated. He is truly a masterful alchemist.

Hanging out in Theramore:

And during the first half of LFR:

(This makes me want to be a Draenei turned NE turned Draenei back to NE)

But then the best part was the final DW fight in LFR, and I looked over at the damage meters and said to myself, "Da-AMMM! A mage doing 80K!" And my next thought is, "Please don't be a fire mage, please don't be a fire mage..." and OH SNAP - it is. "Oh, well, then, she must be in full epic heroic gear with no grass stains or missing buttons like mine...surely!" And no, her gear is a bit better, but she's well, just awesome:

Did you ever meet that really pretty, popular girl in high school, and you just wanted to hate her, but you couldn't, because she was so warm and immediately nice and friendly? The one who makes everyone feel welcome? That is Penelope. I whispered her, letting her know how much I admired her mad skills, and if she felt someone was "watching" her it would be me checking her out on the armory. I was just about to ask her if she didn't mind, to roll on the dagger in case it dropped, and if she didn't want it, and before I could ask she told me she did, and would give it to me! *The crowd goes wild*

So, cheers to new friends, and to my current friends (you're not old, people, you're "established.") I need all of you to have fun with, And besides, Señor, I need a power torrent! Please?!?!

The title of this post, for you smarticus folks, is a reference to Odysseus' ever-faithful wife, Penelope, who fought off suitors and such while she waited for his raggedy-ass for twenty years. Good to see this Penelope is not waiting around!

Drabble: Seduction

Steadfast, man...chaining the beast...

Jarel paid Kélda no heed. She was a witch, and not to be trusted. He knew her kind. It pained him to stay in this evil, empty place, knowing the warlocks cavorted down below.  Gods knew what they did in their shadows. His imagination…stirred him. He must resist. Daily, almost hourly, she ran past him, stopping once to try to seduce him, but he would not be swayed. His loyalties to the King were tenuous at best, and this witch would not push him further into darkness. Humans are so limited in their vision. He has his demons to consider.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

RTMT: Just like in real life.

Today's Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you by Real Life Industries, because when you play hard, you should work hard!

Last week, PRI's The World had a brilliant series on class, caste, and social structures.  (This is one link to  a chat on PRI - you'll have to find the series yourself. Sorry.)


It made me think of the (tired) adage, the "American Dream" phenomenon, (as in how it doesn't exist, or paradoxically exists in nearly every culture), and how with the economies of the real world folding, shuffling, and polarizing each us of further apart. The RNGs must have a field day with this, playing gods to our little pixels, deciding whose fate or paths are pre-determined on our way to end-game nirvana. 

I could write a bit more, but at this point, I think I'll let you dear readers do your own pondering and musings, at your own leisure. 

But, before I go, wait. Are you sitting down? Last night I got a very sweet in-game leader letter from the raid letter leader of that misbegotten PUG. True story. I wrote back, also apologizing for my mistakes, and hoped we could try again sometime. 

That took real class.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lock and roll.

Once again some things converged.

This past week, I finished Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men.  Aside from having this overwhelming, 'where have you been all my life' feeling about Terry Pratchett, there is a repeated term the Nac Macs use, "kelda." Using my lofty powers of context clues, I figured out it must mean a witch, or queen. Or Witch Queen.

It is an absolutely, completely, charming book. My paperback copy is now chock-full of annotations and highlight quotes (Kindle was left at home).

So, being the clever witch I am, thought I would make a character named Kelda. Not that there aren't already 32 million Terry Pratchett fans out there, it was somewhat original, right?

Silly witch. Literary references are for smart players. There are 219 Keldas listed in the armory. But see, I know how to make funny typography, and made a Kélda. There are three of us.

And then, I met this Kelda:

Damn. Probably should have rolled another priest. Not quite sure why Kelda was slumming it in an LFR, but hey, even shadow priests need valor points, too, I suppose.

On a completely different note, Momo's coming along fine. Waiting to get done with her heirlooms so she can hand them over to Kélda. While in Utgarde (still laugh over friend's comment that every time Ingvar dies, an angel gets her wings) she noticed some things:

Vykruls have cool tats, and:

Their furnishings are pretty fun, too. And damn, that stew looks good!

Was lamenting to Guarf that I wish "Matty" could get some tats. She would love nothing more than to go native with the Vykruls. He commented that in his opinion, that should have been the next race. Agreed. Maybe not replacing worgens or pandas, but it sure would have been cool. As Guarf would say, "Just sayin'."

Defense! Defense! GOOOOO RANDOM!

Every day I'm shufflin'

Well, damn.

This is getting personal.

I have a confession: I have domestic help. It's one of those luxuries that I justify because if I didn't very, very bad things would happen. I am the oldest of three girls, and by a few years, and as is natural, I was the one who was taught and expected to clean, and have done so forever, it seems; and, in the attrition of cleanliness wars, I surrendered to a professional. (It should be noted that my sisters are both very cluttered and messy, but we love them anyway.)

The woman who cleans my place rocks. She is quirky and awesome, but her best, superlative personality trait is she does not judge. Really. It reminds me of this scene from The Simpsons where Marge wins cleaning services and preemptively hears voices in her head, "UNCLEAN! Curly-whirly!" She really doesn't care if my junk drawers are junk drawers, and once in a while I'll have her de-clutter an area. She did hide my sake bottle behind some to-go mugs, which I thought was odd, but made me realize again, no one truly knows us, or what or who we are. No matter how intimately familiar she is with my can openers and rings in the bathtub - she doesn't really know me.

But I used to be very neat - and it nearly killed me. There was one moment, years ago, when I spilled laundry soap and it damn near broke me. I just couldn't keep up with the levels of perfection I felt were ascribed to me--those voices, that damn dialogue, we all hear from time to time, that says, "You're not clean enough, good enough, skinny enough, or not worthy."

And I stopped.

My mom would come to visit, and do that frowny-face look, but over time I got over it, or so I thought. My job and personal life spawned clutter like breeding trolls. Always one more book to read, one more list to make, one more plate to wash. My creative escape is writing, and my blog was meant to be fun and free. Yes, I like good design, and have tried to keep up with putting stories and theme songs, etc. on their own pages, but the blogroll was meant like a stack of magazines and newspapers, meant to be perused at random, interest and will. I guess I kind of figured that folks knew most of those blogs, and if they weren't familiar, they could click if they wanted. But the roll isn't for them-- just like the blog, it's for me. It's my stack as I'm getting my mental toenails done.

Over the years I have managed to silence most of those judgmental voices. I do what I can, when I can, but admittedly things of late have overwhelmed me. Big time. So when Navi doesn't like how I keep, or rather unkempt, my blogroll is, that puts a real voice on it. Not just some made up phantom. I know her intentions are grand and sweet, but I just can't do it. I am not going to make three or four different blogrolls to organize by topic. Not going to happen. For one, that would be hypocritical of me -- I can't put myself in a category. What is this blog? Neo-jazz fusion British punk post-invasion grunge? Something like that.

I had never heard of OCD before, and then was helping a sister of a friend move. She was a hoarder long before I had heard of that, too. I remember she had mounds of stuff in her apartment, and the task was monumental. She got fixated on one tiny object of hers, and was seemingly paralyzed to put it in a damn box and start taking her sh*t to the truck. It was a transformative moment. I saw the crazy, in other words. Now I stare at my own mounds of clutter and feel transfixed, deer-in-headlights.

Maybe I should get my mom to come visit again soon, and pretend I'm that girl again who was scared when she looked behind the bathroom door and saw I didn't sweep.

Navi - make you a deal. And no, you don't have to clean out my underwear drawer. If you come to the US we are finding my sake bottle and doing some partying. The dust bunnies will dance with us, and I promise you will not catch any diseases from my toilets. I actually enjoy the big purge, and am in no danger of becoming a hoarder. In fact, I tend to slash-and-burn clutter and stuff. If this blog becomes too much of a pain, then I'll just take a match to it. (Why do you think I leveled a fire mage?) But hear this clearly, my very sweet friend - you didn't tell me anything I wasn't already feeling and sensing. My real life mental and physical clutter must be tended to, and now. I'm not going to clean up the blog this afternoon, but finish capping out Valor Points, and then clean up a bit. I'll be like Zooey Deschanel and tell Siri to remind me tomorrow, because today, we dance!

Theme song: LMFAO

Fashion Police: Mogjacking Lock

"Mog shot"
This may be a problem. I will blame Navi.

First I tried this: Nah...too purple

My dear friend has a warlock who's been on the benches for a while, and it's time to get him in mog-shape.

But what is one to do when the warlock is a bit more "let's go fishing" versus "MAWHAHAHAHAH?" 

He is also generally very loyal and dedicated to the Alliance, so having emblamatic equipment of duty and honor to the Blue & Gold makes sense to me, too.

I also wanted to get away from robes. Male characters do not really mind the time-honored tradition of robes, but given the mog option of having your pants and zipping them, too, helps. (Not that there's anything wrong with kilts and going commando, mind you.)
Warlock ready for fishing duty, sir!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Drabble: The Front

Letter from the Front:

In the end, it was hand to hand.  The archers, arrowless, stuck
daggers where they could.  I with my broadsword, and the shield I took
from my brother, hacked and poked and blocked. My comrades and I
fought, and bled, and died, while the enemy, seemingly numberless, did
the same.  They pushed us back, but they paid and paid, a gallon of
blood for every inch.  Finally, it seemed even the frenzied horde had
its limit.  They fell back, and we regained our losses, making a crude
replacement for the broken gates.

And came the morning, we buried our dead.

(This is from a cherished guest writer, Guarf.)

Tiny Story Time: The Leaving

Just one more time.

Just one more time.

The choices sat down on her lap and looked up expectantly, waiting for her to see them, acknowledge them, and send them to their tasks.

They smelled of dust and neglect; pungent, pissy choices.

Her vows no longer pulled her to her future, but bound her to her past.

If she saw him one more time…

Zep did not live far from the outpost where Scout Knowles stood watch. He was only a few leagues away from Dalaran, the nearly forgotten city in the sky, where only a squirrel or friendly Orc or two remained. Her vows grew in the cathedral was in Stormwind, the human world, where like her sister, she never seemed to quite fit. Why Exodar didn’t have holy training in the ways of the light of her people, another option instead of priesthood, she would forever question. There had to be another path besides this constrictive human one.

One more time. She told Mrs. Whitworth to stay behind, please. The cat grumbled, but obliged.

She turned into a shadow, to remain unseen by his vigilant eyes. What would be worse? To have him see her, or not? To have him see her and want her, to move, to abandon duty, or to not recognize her? Or the worse terror of all: to see her, and choose to stay. To remain outside of his watch, the pots and fumes of a war keeping his interest were old wars and past battles. He guarded the post like a holy relic. She was just a girl, after all.

Why the hell was he still guarding this small incursion? There were new battles, more important ones. Her sister had commented a strange, conspiratorial thought the other day: Stormwind had been destroyed, yes, but it seemed all too selective. None of the commerce areas were affected, such as the banks and the auction houses—odd. Only the seared talon marks on the gates of the city, and a few fallen monuments. Did the dragon have a pre-arranged deal with the powers that be? To only kill, enslave, and knock down a few bricks, but leave the money seats alone? In musical chairs of war, the gold always knows when the music is about to stop. And yet, here was her love, still alone on the watch. Seemed like misplaced allegiances to her.

Zep hid behind a tree; Knowle’s mare shifted her weight just enough to block her view of him. That damn jealous horse. To outsmart the beast, she perched on the exposed beam of the storage shack, hidden from view. A rogue flew in, and spotted her, but did not give her away, flying away after his task was completed.

Knowles seemed agitated. Zep sucked in her small breath.


He held the back of her head, his hand covering her skull, and kissed her.

And he kissed kissed kissed her.



Lips like tiny embraces on your face, holding you as close as they can, closer than love, a step over the bridge, a step into the fire, a step into the sea, once kissed, once and once again, you are marked. You drown, you surrender, you are gone, bubbles in the water and the salt in the sea, burning infernos and extinguished sparks all at once.

Knowles shifted his weight, and looked down at the ground, his eyes away from the horizon.

A storm giant boomed past, the grounding thunder steps in time with her heartbeat.
The scout watched the giant trod past, seeing him thousands of times, the behemoth was old news now, but still captured his attention.

She came down from her roost, and hid.

The priest slumped in the corner of the long-neglected shed, next to crates of dangerous ammunitions, dangerous in their potential, ignorant of treaties, and squelched explosions. 

The aggressive cobwebs roped high wires from one podium to another, the only entertainment the musty shack hosted.

She prayed. “Velen, please – give me the power to move. To go. And the power to not return again.”

Zep felt the dusty place inside, the place where the moment shushed and boxed. If she reached out and touched him, it would only confuse him, break him even. He was only mortal after all.

The splinters, the crack of pine, and a sound of bagpipes off somewhere: this was a human place, of simple duties and singular purpose.

A sparrow raced to its nest.

She dissolved, amethyst, indigo, and gold.

And Scout Knowles kept the line.

Fashion Police: Mogjacking Xak

Either by way of avoidance or simply because I wanted to do it, one thing that came out of yesterday was, looking over Xak's Holy Paladin alt, I thought he needed some sprucing up:


Xak gave me his blessing to see what I could do. I found it more challenging than I had anticipated. Now Xak is great--intelligent, irreverent, and (usually) charming. For him to have a Holy Paladin seems somewhat incongruent in terms of character studies go, but I also know from experience paladins tend to be dually chivalrous and cheeky. Maybe it's all the burden 'saving the world' stuff. In any case, I wanted to find some plate wear that would not be too overly "hero," but would also be classy with a touch of tongue-in-cheek. Not sure how I did, and I am open to suggestions:


Then I got on a sunglasses kick:

(I think I like this one best.)

POI: Tapping into troll...

Matty gets her troll shaman on...those dances are divine... bear looks on...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Little Miss Communication.

You are no longer in this instance.

This past week culminated in one of those mentally-drafted posts, and then I shelved it, thinking, "Why dwell on rocky transitions and change? It's pointless."

Basically, I put in my resignation for a job I have on top of my normal job, one which I love, I am amazing at, and it has brought me huge amounts of professional joy.

Thursday morning is a regular meeting, and things have not been great in a while. Personalities have breached my inner wall, bombarding my professional senses too many times to maintain any sort of courtesy or decorum. I even shared my perspective that at least two of the three of them had lost respect for me, and were continually shooting the messenger. I didn't want to be a messenger any more; I wanted my expertise respected. (Yes, I am hearing Cartman's "Respect My Awthoritie" voice in my head now.) The moment you tell someone you believe they have lost respect for you is long past the moment when it's true.

And--the end of all this, I said, repeated again, what would be the wisest course of action. My colleagues looked at me like I had lost my mind. A (male) colleague repeated what I said, and the other (women) colleagues nodded their heads and said, "Oh, you're so right Male Colleague X!"

I had been toying with the idea of resigning from this position, and that nailed it. Composed an e-mail, and off it went. The response wasn't, of course, "Oh, no, please! No one can do this like you can! Please stay! For your years of dedication, service, and above-and-beyond duties, we need you!" It was as reality would dictate: "Sure, let's meet next week and work on the transition of your duties."

So--yeah. Xak asks if I would like to heal a normal Dragon Soul, and sure. I seriously do not know what I was thinking. I forgot to ask for Vent info, rather, just assumed it was a rag-tag bunch, and moved on. They wiped Ultra more times than I can count. They wiped on Blackthorn. Lots of apologies in chat, etc. The rogue asked if Vial of Shadows would be a good trinket for him.

And then -- the spine.

Yes, I caused the wipes--the tank went down, druid waited a long time to battle res (in my opinion), and after the third time of flying off the back, I see the ignominious "You are no longer considered worthy of our time" message.

That stung. They did not realize I wasn't in Vent, and I can just imagine the rage over my not running to a tentacle or whatever the hell I was supposed to do. I see in trade chat the raid leader advertisting for a new healer, and whispered him that I apologize for not asking for the Vent info, and he said "You wiped us three times." I then reminded him they wiped us about eight times prior to that.

Here is where I make my grand mistakes: I take responsiblity for my eff-ups. I did screw up. I should have known they would be in Vent. I should have watched the fights on YouTube. Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda. I was fine with paying the almost 200 gold in repair bills for their "wipes," because that's my personality. The exchange was fine, I wished him well, and thanked him; he said, 'One Sec,' but by then, I was trying not to get emotional about it, and am really, really mad at myself. Just because there was never any mention of their missteps does not excuse mine. He may have been wondering to invite me back, he may not have been. Doesn't matter.

I should have gone for a walk, should have stopped "playing" hours ago, and should be should be should be should be doing a million different things besides have teenagers kick me for not standing in a hole. They were right to kick me.

This whole scenario is hitting way too close to real life right now. It is a reminder, one I seem to need constantly, to only take responsibility for myself.

It is naive of me to think this social game would be any different. Money is not made from easy successes, and Blizzard designs the game to be more losses than wins. I guess I wanted my colleagues to understand this, too, that we could make the differences, we can affect change, and we have more power and control than they may otherwise believe. And yet, I would still get argument and grousing.

So, if it is time for fresh horses, in real life or in game, I can tell you right now the real life ones matter. If someone else's voice and stance can make things change for the better, and I have lost my ability to do so, then I guess it is the right thing to do to find other ways to give and serve.

And time to clean out my own stables.

The face...and remembrance

Warning: There may be spoilers, but there will definitely be beauty.

The other night watching Game of Thrones (my reading in the novels coinciding just a few paces ahead of the TV show), I realized that Rob Stark's love interest was not the same as in the novels (or is it?) Critical plot points, characterizations, blah blah blah aside, what I noticed was how much the actress reminds me of who I imagine Zep to be:

The actress, Oona Chaplin, comes from acting royalty, and her presence on screen is luminous. And though character design is vastly contrasting: Zep is all light, white, and golden, while Talisa is dark, lithe and more Night Elf than Draenei. But to me, this is Zep: sweet, healing, through the blood and muck, and her graciousness shines through.

This is when I should just shut up and write: I have the luxury of a long weekend, thank you to the brave soliders, male, females, husbands, mothers, brothers, and sisters--no matter what anyone says about the US policies, and I have plenty to say myself, I will never disparage the men and women who serve. You are my real heroes, and you have my undying gratitude.

Theme song: Angie/Rolling Stones


I realize this is impossible, to get the last word on anything, but I will foolishly try. Many NBI (new blogger initiatives) posts still crop up--many are written in a series, or what they have been inspired by.  That is all well and good, even great - writers write. It's my motto.

But this is one thing I think may have been overlooked in all of this, or I just missed it in the TLDR category:

Your blog is truly your journal.

When I look back on these posts, and cringe or laugh depending on their content, it is a raw expose of those things and mistakes I have made. Like one of my diaries from the past: MY MOM IS SUCH A B*TCH (I'm sure I NEVER said this!) to tear-stains, doodles, lists, and then always, the minutiae and the monumental of events.

There is no other place, other than your personal journals or photo albums, like a blog to keep track of your journey.

When other writers, including myself, just say--write--we mean just that. Write it down now to remember who you were, and who you are trying to be.

Portrait of the queen...

I did not comment yesterday on Vidyala's announcement, or offerings, of commissioned art pieces because I had the chiaroscuro thought maybe no one would notice when I show up with one. But, yes, I emailed her post haste, and we have started the dialogue on what this should be. The thing is about art, and great artists, I know Vidyala will get these notes, but here is where the magic is--she will still put herself in there. Every brush stroke, every dip of sable in ink, is infused with the artist's personal touch. And that is what we all crave.

This is what I am asking: for those who have come to know and love the character of "Matty," please offer any insights, too:

Commission type: Colour avatar, watercolour image, black and white avatar or sketch (choose one)
Please note: for watercolour images include your mailing address so that I can calculate shipping. I’ll assume you want “normal” shipping and not any rushed type.

Want to go full out and have a color avatar, and a watercolor image. Yes, I will pay for rush, but do not want to rush the art. If one is done before the other (considering the multitudes of requests you are sure to receive), then that is completely fine. 

Character Name:
Mataoka, aka Matty
Draenei female
Shaman, enhancement first and foremost, then restoration. For the piece, I have a hard time deciding which one to go with--but I am leaning toward enhancement. 

Physical Description: Skin, hair, eyes, any other defining features. Particularly helpful if including any details which may differ from “in-game” models or screenshots. Write as much as you like.
Matty is forever young, but there is a tiny, tiny something about her smile which says she is older than her years, but is not an old soul. Her hair is always starlight-white, but the style in game really bugs me. I wish I could sweep away her bangs a bit more, and not have the sides so stick-straight. I imagine her hair to be a bit more flowing and layered framing her eyes.

Weapons/Armour or Clothing: Please be specific (e.g. item names) especially if you would like the character to be wearing clothing/armour that differs from armory profiles.
The first thing I will say is: no tabards, no helms, and no capes. But, damn! Being immortalized by a Vidyala piece takes careful consideration. If it was me, the human, and you said, "Choose one outfit you have to wear the rest of your life," that would be easy: black cotton T-shirt and Levi's 501s, button fly, natch.I've been pretty happy with the red mail look she's got going on now, but will may change axes to the Sons of Hodir weapons, for sentimentality reasons. Those old boys really took a liking to her.

Personality Description: Whatever you care to share about the character’s quirks, history, etc.

Matty is the oldest of three sisters, but does not have the false maturity the others do, meaning, she's more grown-up in her sense of confidence and not taking things too seriously. She is a master secret-keeper and naively loyal. She keeps believing in others in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Also, she has a bit of a salty tongue and bawdy sense of humor. Makes for a great drinking buddy, but oftentimes, she realizes she only has a few life-long relationships. She is also honest to a fault.

Suggested Expression: Facial expression or general mood of the image.
Matty always looks sweet, and smiling.

Suggested Pose: Less relevant for a bust-style image but you can indicate a preference here for straight on, ¾ profile image, or profile image.
Matty meets the world straight-on, but I'll leave that one up to the artist's discretion.

Desired Background: What colour background would you like? If you’d prefer a specific background (Nagrand, any area in Star Wars) please include a reference image for this as well.

Miscellaneous: Anything not covered by the previous topics that you think I should know.
Screenshots and references: Please include a minimum of two screenshots of the character; one close-up of character’s face and a second showing from the torso up or full-body for full-body drawings. Screenshots should be taken with a fairly plain background in good lighting (Sides of buildings work well for this and areas/zones where the lighting is fairly neutral. Think Stormwind/Dalaran, not Icecrown). If your character is using an in-game area as your preferred background, you can include a screenshot taken there.

I'll send the screenshots to Vidyala. Don't want to give too much away!

One last thing: I really hope she finds her ring(s). Having lost both irreplaceable jewelry and digital media, I know how much this hurts. It's an awful thing, mourning an object, because the object is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Freaks and Geeks...

Human female warlock and Night Elf warrior have some tator tots.

Today a true geek colleague gave me something at the end of the day. We were standing around, waiting to meet the crisp sunshine with threatening clouds that is a May day in the Northwest. She sprouted a virtual exclamation mark over her head, asked me to wait, and then got the object; it was a missing chess piece, she said reminded her of me. The Queen, of course. Not sure what the pawns and bishops are going to do, but sure they will muddle through somehow.

Now what exactly I am the Queen of, I am not kingdom is a moveable feast. I am not the Queen of Geeks, though. (See Ironyca's post, which is back to Tome's, and Navi's, and spiraling 'round and 'round the net.) The little Internet quizzes are fun, like the ones in Cosmo or Glamour magazines back in the day. But they are not data-driven or statistically accurate. No one should base a marriage or mate on multiple-choice questionnaires, nor should one determine his or her street geek-cred, either.

Am I a geek? Nah, actually, probably not. I never fit into any one group in high school, and in college still tried to figure out what was going on. Clove-cigarrette-smoking-experimental-bad-boyfriends-aside, it was all a bit murky. But what I did enjoy was the attention and love of the "geeks." Two of my best friends in high school were the ones who introduced me to the best music, and were just so cheered by my company, what girl, what queen, wouldn't enjoy that sweet attention? I am not knowledgable in chemistry and math, and even my literary expertise is deficient. What I am capable of is knowing who can figure it out if I need--loyal subjects who are resourceful and abiding. In other words, if I can't figure it out, I know those who can. And they see to like me.

So there must be a third option, to geek, or not to geek, or be the geeks' object of admiration? The girl in the 501s, cheering them on, a smile and a kind word. The jocks--one dimensional. Cheers to the nerds, dorks, and geeks who loved me.

Coffee Klatch

I do not know what it is, but had this post in mind before I read Bear's, I swear. Oh, Collective Conscientiousness!

So, Lost Soldiers of Darkness approved my application. All I can say is, if they are disappointed in me, I was honest on my application, so on we go. It's time to grind that guild rep again, and prove myself worthy. Upon accepting my invitation, a player who was in RWS recognized my name, so that made me feel very welcome. First impressions--they seem like a funny, warm group--and as CDRogue and Tome told me, they are lucky to have me.

Matty wonders where they keep the Thermos...

Many a time I've wandered around Azeroth, and feel like I've caught the NPCS on their coffee breaks. Many mornings my routine is to wake up very early, drink a lot of coffee, and then have it sustain me through the day. I don't do energy drinks, and try to eat right and take my vitamins, but coffee is life.

I have mentioned that I used to work at Starbucks. It's a long story, but it saved those in my life. Its health insurance for part-time employees was an absolute necessity, and it helped me get through my Master's program. But it wasn't easy, and created an addiction to hand-crafted coffee I have not been able to truly shake. I don't stop every day, usually it's my own cheap brew, or McDonald's, always black. I'm sweet enough, thank you.

The routines of the day can hinder and bolster us, I believe. The little normalcies that create our worlds. I'm trying to keep this positive attitude in mind when I start grinding away for rep, and make a new place for myself. JD posted about the daily cap going away -- this is good news for a "alt mother" of five--and maybe there will even be time for an Americano. Or two.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bargain hunters...

There is something women do that I am not sure men do---call it the gatherer side of the hunter/gatherer economy: ladies, did you ever buy something really cheap, but it looks top-shelf, and then the compliments pour in, and you are compelled to say how much you spent and where you bought it?! "Yes, I bought this Coach purse off of a bum wearing soiled sweatpants behind the Target!" Charming.

So, I was perusing the AH tonight, and found all of these great transmog bargains, and then one that was outrageously priced (one of those sexy dresses you can get in AQ)--seller was asking 30K! I don't think so!

What is the great bargain you've ever discovered on the AH?

These pretty, pretty robes were only 10-25 gold a piece! Thank you bum in sweatpants in Target!
This post doesn't make a lot of sense because I am damn tired--but you get the idea. Gotta love a great deal!

Update: Here is Ceniza wearing her pretty new green dress (she really likes green):

Road Crew

Navigating my noggin (more like noggin-fogger) this morning:

I Like Bubbles Highway:

I Like Bubbles has moved to a new venue:

Most players/gamers worship her, for good reason. She's funny as hell, and you know, has flow charts.

I do not have flow charts. They remind me too much of my job. Lots and lots and lots of "thinking maps."

My brain routes are hitting a lot of dead-end streets these days.

Navimie Boulevard, at the cross-streets of Maybe and Probably Shouldn't:

Saw Navi's comment on Tree Heals about not being able to get tanks, and I thought, "Hey! Maybe Lupe wants to go all Orc or Blood Elf and tank for Navi's team!" and then the second thought was --this is too much of a risk. She has a cracker-jack team whom she's been playing with for a while, and just moving into her neighborhood is not cool. Besides, the beautiful and brave Luperci would never, ever forgive me.

Guild Recruitment Avenue

Recently, I went through the formal process of applying for a guild. I have never done this before, and already have preemptive feelings about the whole thing. For one, the guild was recommended to me by a very good friend, and I know I'll have positive recommendations from him and others. But--how do you know you're a good fit? There is no way to tell. The last question reminded me of an interview I had years ago, where they asked me, "You are in a white room. How do you feel?" (I've written about that before.) The question was, "Do you use the keyboard or your mouse to move?" It was either/or, not situational, and my fingers figuratively blushed--yes, both, but mostly keyboard, and then when I have an add-on like Healbot configured, then the mouse. I gave my Razer Naga to someone who needed it more at the time, and though it's been on my list, not a priority. Kind of like, it's stupid to buy a wedding dress before he's popped the question.

Whatever happens, I have these moments that tickle the snot out of me:
Ceniza in Well of Eternity, in drag, feeling...hairy.
Truth be known, I still just want to follow Xak around and have him tell me what to do in a raid situation, even if there is a "bored/whisky" debuff that kicks in, and no means of dispelling.

And I just need to remind myself, even if I don't make the 'team,' back in the day I did not make the cheer leading squad, but could still do the splits for years afterwards. All risks have value, and pulled groin muscles.

The Intangible Nerd: IT IS THE RABBIT!

When I first opened up Tome's new post this morning, I had two thoughts:

1. Cannot compete with cute baby bunnies, and;
2. Maybe it's the Monty Python attack bunny!

I mention #2 because she also posted a Nerd Quiz. My score is mid-level (about where I would have predicted if I knew where a graphing calculator was--there is one in this place, somewhere).

Most of my points come on the backs' of others--I may not be a hard-core nerd, but I surround myself with them, and quite lovingly and willingly.

But, I think I should get a buff of points because of the Monty Python reference:

I'm warning you, so don't soil your armor!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Drabble: Unfolded...

The fresh fortune cookie, sheathed under the others in the white paper bag, was a rarity among cookies. Fortune cookies' true value lie in their portends, not the cookie part. Ceniza opened hers up, as usual halfway through her meal.

The fortune was missing. She hesitated to eat the cookie portion, fearing a bad omen, a death wish in a biscuit. No, she was just being superstitious. She ate another one, fortune reading, awkwardly, “You will soon be reminded of fond memories.” No fear, then: the missing slip could be a good, welcome sign. She decided to gobble them both.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

POI Files: Trolling!


My dear mage friend mixes the best Potion of Illusion cocktails. Look at our dear Fire Mage, Ceniza-a troll in Stormwind! She kept her mouth shut in Trade Chat though - didn't want to be stereotyped!

Amateur offers up this concoction: Kungaloosh!

It's almost the weekend, right...?!

Revenge, pixels, and trying to be all Zen about it

This is, sadly, an all too common of a tale these days.

Tome recently posted her Unwritten Rules of WoW, and again she has found the nugget of truth by which we all have dug up. And it ain't gold.

I will try my damndest to be succinct, but not sure if brevity is the soul of nerd rage.

Yesterday morning, I overheard two young warriors speak of spending four hours "beating" a game. We all know that the never-ending of saga of Azeroth cannot be "beaten," not even by death of a character (aside from Ironfolks).

Let me tell you how I spent wasted four hours:

Monday seems to be "Lupe's Day." Whatever Valor Point I have easily capped on the other girls, sometimes, that poor little tank is left far behind.

Go into LFR, The Worms Phase. Easy, breezy, healed, holy'ed, all is well.

Go into LFR, The Cockroaches.


All the good players are playing D3 are or off fishing before the next release. They no longer need the pain of LFR, and like I always, inevitably am, a day late and dollar short, and still want to get valor points and goodies for Lupe. It's my own fault, I know. But how hard can it be?

There were no less than 3 to 4 wipes because of players not single-targeting the bloody tentacles.

One, I can see. But that many?


Guarf comes on to play D3.

Then-- then Kasarrah happened.

He's the one. He's the one who thinks he's outsmarted the system, and like Bear's encounter, queued as Holy Paladin, never touched a healing spell, Ret'ted his way, pulled the boss and wiped the raid umpteen times. His friend Jinjak was in on it, too.

I queued, requeued, many, many times. I just needed the last boss. That's it. Just wanted to see if I could get a better weapon than what I was using. Nothing more. Asked him to stop, and he told me he would roll on the loot and DE in front of my eyes. He had a blast.

Now--what's to be done?

Young leet Druid tells me, "Matty, stop playing that game! Blizzard is broken! Play D3!"

Yes, that part of Azeroth is broken, and we have all known it.

But I did not cry, I did not pout. But I was fanciful: "Kasarrah, My Name is Mataoka of Whisperwind. You Killed My Time. Now Prepare to Wipe."

Well, okay fantasy revenge scenes aside, it's this simple. I like LFR. Blizz, make it so only the tanks can start the raid. If another player pulls the boss, he is automatically kicked, or cannot roll on loot. Period. Simple. He gets no VP, or loot. It's a simple fix. No matter how many players report the Kasarrahs of the world, nothing will change until the pixels do. Take away what gives them pleasure, that's all. They need a BIG FAT TIME OUT.

And a spanking. Not the fun kind, either, you sick monkeys.

So--after my eighth or eleventh attempt, I gave up, and started a Witch Doctor and played with Guarf. Her name is Mammawatta (Voodoo--will change to correct spelling -- I was tired last night).

I have some mighty strong mojo, ye Boss-Pulling Mo-Fos. I would tell you get a life, but that is, pitifully, your life now.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Untitled Post

Three good things, told in third-person:

Mrs. Whitworth:

Mrs. Whitworth was not always a cat, but once she was, she never looked back.

Mrs. Whitworth has been whispering in Zep's ears, encouraging her to become a powerful Shadow Priest.  She had her reasons.


Ceniza tried to change to another worgen's fire mage specification, with abysmal results. So, she went back to her role model, and fared much, much better:

And although she did not get the dagger---she noticed something. Millya used a staff, too--perhaps, just perhaps--things do work out for reason. Ceniza's staff was not nearly so powerful, and in many ways she was unprotected, but finding her place, her own path, too, was quite illuminating.


There is change, always inevitable change. Mataoka has discovered that she enjoys healing, and while in a raid yesterday, a beautiful Druid healer won a trinket Matty desperately needed. She congratulated the Druid, and in a few brief moments, the Druid opened a trade window, gave Matty the trinket, and accepted Mataoka's gratitude, and left:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Know Your Archetype: Star-Crossed Lovers

This post has been in draft, scratches and scribbles, for weeks. With the latest considerations, thought it may be a good time to post these thoughts (and dammit, wouldn't you know? My notebooks are somewhere else. Probably at work.)

Here is my addendum to the "death and taxes" belief:

*If you're asking, "Is this enchilada still good?" it isn't.
*There are no such things as "soul-mates."

As far as star-crossed lovers go, most likely the most famous example is Romeo & Juliet. Anyone familiar with the play has similar reactions: "What the hell?!" And, then naturally, a wondering of what might have happened if they hadn't died, if they had lived 'happily ever after.' But the tearing asunder of the love is at the core of the star-crossed nature (and nod to Shakespeare for that term, 'star crossed.' It is magical.)


Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
Romeo And Juliet Prologue, 1–8

The story is a huge ping-pong of cause and effect. Any English teacher in the upper grades worth his or her salt uses this as the primary focus of the story, and perhaps as a cautionary tale for teenagers not to get swept up in their hormones, drama, and arrogance in their perception that 'no one could possibly understand how they feel' hubris. We get it, kids, we really do.

Star-crossed lovers are essentially two people, thrown together by fate, destiny, and yet cruelly destined to never be together, to never be allowed to share their lives, build their dreams, or embrace their futures. But, because their lives are cut off dramatically short, they are forever ensconced in youth, beauty, and perfection. Quite a price to pay, though. Especially for misplaced notes, meddling nurses and well-meaning friars. But as over-done and over-analyzed as Romeo & Juliet may be, I am still haunted by an epiphany I had when I watched the most recent 1996 film version, and the gang-style violence of the families really hit home. This is what many teenagers are living with, and though they are unlikely to go down the same short path of the two protagonists, family and gang loyalties are a fact of life for many children today. Some sad things never change. Love and violence are as intertwined as an embrace.

Mercutio's performance is worth the price of admission, and a favorite character of mine

Cupid and Psyche

Some examples:
Pyramond & Thisbe (Ovid)
Eros/Cupid & Psyche (Greek mythology)
Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare)
Jack & Rose (Cameron)
Rhett & Scarlett (stupid Civil War! Always messing things up!) (Mitchell)
Tyrande & Illidan (Blizzard lore writers)

Tyrande & Illidan? But--she's happily with Malfurion! Oh, is she? I think Erinys and I completely agree that her relationship with Malfurion is, well--more Isla Lund and Victor Laszlo than Isla Lund and Rick Blaine. Even though that dialogue is certainly cheesy in Well of Eternity, if you stop and think about it, it's sad, too. I resist the urge to put a gag order on Malfurion, tell Illidan to pull his head out and kiss her already, and tell Tyrande to kiss him back. And bring extra arrows.

Vidyala's artwork from Manalicious. Tyrande still dreaming of Illidan...

And as awesomesauce as True Love is, it doesn't take out the trash, and still yells when the thermostat is changed. (Trust me. It does.) Romeo & Juliet got off easy in some ways. Juliet never had to learn that Romeo could be a big pouty baby when he gets a head cold, and Romeo never realizes how disturbing Juliet looks when she eats toast.

One of the modern-day star-crossed realities are long-distance relationships. I was pondering yesterday how many relationships have begun in Azeroth. Think about the friendships you've made, and even though it's a voice in Vent, or text on a screen, these friendships are real, or as real as real is capable. And then I am saddened for those young lovers who are oceans apart, and because of careers, families, and other obstacles simply cannot be in closer proximity. Having been in long-distance relationships myself, I know it's bittersweet. You don't necessarily have to learn to live with the irksome habits of another human in your physical space, but right now you're probably thinking a few dirty socks on the floor would be worth it. So when I speak of there being no 'soul-mates,' I mean, consider all of the relationships in your life: there are many for whom the shoe fits. There are those who are a more perfect fit than others, to be sure, and loyalty, fidelity, and trust are the foundations for long-lasting loves. There may be more than one lid for every pot, as the old expression goes, so no need for daggers to the chest or poison viles to the lips.

There is only one thing that breaks True Love (and no it's not a nice MLT, mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes perky), but death. That's it. So, young lovers, don't rush toward it. Enjoy your time now, and let the stars take care of themselves.

This is one of my favorite quotes, by one of my favorite authors:

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.” 
 Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker

Addendum: How could I have forgotten this? It was in my notes, which I have since found:

Theme songs:
Everclear/Local God
Jet/Are You Going to Be My Girl?
The King and I/Deborah Kerr/Hello Young Lovers (bring a tissue)