Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Song & Dance Man

Cha...cha cha...cha!

I got nothin'.

No exciting rare pets, no amazing gear, no exalted reps, no bumper crops, nothin'.

If you don't see many new posts, here's what's what. For some reason, I am going to try to do NaNoWriMo. 



I noticed this morning I had lost a follower. I know folks bail off of this little blog for a variety of reasons. I am really grateful for every one who reads and writes me. This morning, I realized it was Elizabeth Gossett, otherwise known as Waterbender/Shamanolic. She's the one who taught us how to splash healing rain and get naked. How cool is that?! So in true stubborn blogger style I tracked her down to her new blog, Spiritwalker's Grace. Check it out when you have a moment--it's beautiful, professional, and awesomesauce. The thing is, everyone has so many things to read, think about, and consider. The media universe is an amazing place, and there is not infinite time to look at infinite stars.

Now---I am not sure how I am going to manage the 1677+/- words/day to equal the 50K words, the average number of words in an average novel. But I am going to try. I may have to double up on Thanksgiving weekend, and Veteran's Day, but I want to give it a shot. My concept has nothing to do with Azeroth, so don't expect much here. But there are still mages to level, shamans to shock, and priests to get all psycho. Those Draenei girls are pretty seductive; but so are keyboards and fresh pages.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Buddy, can you spare a slot?

You know, it occurs to me in the swirling maelstrom that is a political year, no matter what folks' opinions are, it usually comes down to the basics, the Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. If we get our basic needs met, then we are allowed to progress further to self-actualization. Our striving-for-enlightenment paths get derailed on the esteem part, however, and we work against our own civilized self-interests and consistently shoot ourselves in the foot.



Wait, I do have a point.

You know all the grumbling and fury and chaos associated with some game play and whatnot? I have a theory, and it comes down to one thing, and one thing only: bagspace.

J.P. Morgan, the Ultimate Banker Alt*
For some reason, some bean counting, stingy, greedy goblin reason, Blizzard does not give us enough storage space. Oh, sure, there's Void Storage, but you can't keep the delightful collection of unique tabards in there, and its exorbitant costs of moving things in and out really stinks. And one page? Bitch, please. I have more robes on my level 11 priest alt than one page can hold. Get a bank alt, and buy lots of phony guild tabs, upwards of 5K each, or more? Sure sure. But what about this letter, or that thing, or this over here? In the wise words of the AM/PM Mini Mart Ads, there is "too much good stuff." And like the $3 bank fees at ATMs, it's getting on my last nerve.

Right now I'm doing a messy, unorganized and time-consuming dance of mailboxes. I have thirty days before things start to expire between my bank alt, my characters, and their many interests, professions, knick-knacks, paddy-whacks, and vanity items. Hell, just yesterday I got the reins of a very bad yak, and though summoning this ornery creature only results in a butt-butting, there is no way I am letting him loose.

The lack of storage and bagspace is making me nutters. It is my theory that we in the world of Azeroth will never reach the top of the pyramid when all we're doing is spending time and gold on slot management. It's tedious, it's boring, and roots us too firmly in reality while Azeroth is supposed to be all about suspension of disbelief. Wonder where the tab is for that, the 'disbelief' one? Oh here it is, next to the wildfowl stack and the Super Simian Sphere trinket.

Don't start lecturing me about hording and whatnot. Stop it, just stop it. You know I'm right about this. Blizzard has given us an amazing new world but no where to keep it safe. That threatens our sense of security. We need a real solution to this: a tab for food, a tab for weapons, for gear, for vanity items, for tabards, for professional/crafting items. And it shouldn't cost us a copper. Void storage should drop to a minimum fee, and should only be used to store true vintage items. I'm not asking for a handout here. I pay my AH fees and repair bills just like everyone else. All I'm asking is that when I've earned something in game, I get to keep it safe and it doesn't drain the bank account. I would much rather be playing with my friends than standing around managing bags or desperately seeking mailboxes.

But then again, is the collection and accumulation of material items, albeit pixelized ones, really the path to enlightenment?

But George never had to choose between his Sons of Hodir ax and a tabard, though...
I don't know. Maybe it's just time to spend an hour with the good vendors in town and just start selling it all off and move to a kibbutz in Halfhill, join a cult, get brainwashed, and leave all my material possessions behind. This thinking stuff is too hard.


*Thank you to Loth for this superlative banker!

Postscript: Prepared?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Highwayman

Prompted by Draynee's request, here is my submission for your humble consideration. However, I am taking myself out of the 'contest' part because JD mentioned something about rules, and I think there are rules, and well, my personal philosophy is the first rule of dressing up is you don't talk about dressing up. No, wait. That's not right. Just that, for costumes, not gear, I have a hard time adhering to rules.

It's been a few years, not many, since I last read 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes. Now it's easy to dismiss it as overly romantic tripe, but for some reason, I could not be so snarky this year. It's just a lovely and simple piece of work that has stood the test of time. It has what I love to classify as 'accessible themes.' But enough of literary analysis: enjoy.

Oh, and after you read the poem, watch this amazing animation: The Highwayman
Bess, the Innkeeper's Daughter
The Highwayman

Tim the Ostler*



The Highwayman

by Alfred Noyes

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
   Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin; 
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh. 
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle,
   His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard, 
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
   Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like moldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter, 
   The landlord's red-lipped daughter,
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day, 
Then look for me by moonlight,
   Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand, 
But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
   (Oh, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the West.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
   Marching—marching—
King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead, 
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side. 
There was death at every window;
   And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest. 
They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast.
"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
   Watch for me by moonlight;
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good. 
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood.
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
   Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest. 
Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again; 
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
   Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill, 
The highwayman came riding,
   Riding, riding!
The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still!

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
   Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

He turned; he spurred to the west; he did not know who stood 
Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood.
Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew gray to hear 
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
   The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shouting a curse to the sky, 
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
When they shot him down on the highway, 
   Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.
   
And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
   Riding—riding— 
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.
Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard;
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter, 
   Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.



*There was no way Tim the Ostler could be a Draenei. Back to that rules thing.

And the French cocked-hat doesn't work with Draenei horns...alas.




Saturday, October 27, 2012

1000: This one goes out to the ones I love...



Once upon a time, I used to be a fairly decent party planner. I would work tirelessly to make sure the food and booze plentiful, the toilets were scrubbed, the guest towels fresh, and toilet paper hanging waterfall-over, not under by the wall. But these days, my Martha-Stewart-Mojo has gone by the wayside, and I'm lucky if I remember to even buy toilet paper, much less OCD-worry about its position on the spindle. (Cocktails on hand, however, still apply.) Point being, I saw this 1000th post coming up, and have been drafting it in my head for a bit; however, not sure it's going to be as spectacularrlllll as I would have wanted. Whatever I write cannot possible capture what I feel.

But I'll give it a shot.

This blog become a way of sending messages in bottles to friends in game, and to myself. They were messages and correspondence to the characters, make-believe, and the characters of friends I have made along the way.

Kay: You are amazing. You are a strong young woman, you are brave, and true. From the moment we became friends over the Thanksgiving achievements, you've stayed a true friend.

Guarf: I miss you.

Turk: your mentorship on shaman healing and anything game-wise is amazing, and never--and this is a biggy--patronizing. You have always treated me like a great friend, which I consider you, too!

Ran: When I was really trying to figure things out, you were always quietly there. I think you got a kick out of compulsive alt-leveling. Your tried and true focus on two difficult classes however, is admirable; however, your kind friendship supersedes Azeroth.

Xak: Mr. Smartypants Esq. -- I look forward to our conversations. Even if I do cheat and write crib notes.

Con: You are so damn funny. And thanks for thinking I am one of the "good guys." I am. And you are, too.

Tome, Navi, Bear, and Erinys: In no way am I "lumping" you together. Your insights have motivated, inspired, delighted, and amazed me more than I can say. If I write another word, it's because I know you're out there reading. You have no idea how much this means to me.

To my lost paladin friend: thanks for your patience and inspiration, too.

JD: thanks for sharing your family, time, and friendship. Cymre, thanks for keeping me on my toes and showing us the beauty and grace of Azeroth.

Señor: To the best friend I will never know: See that fan with Zep? To the world in Azeroth, every one else would just see an inscription off-hand weapon. What they don't see is one of the most generous, funny, and loyal friends a person could have. The world could take a lesson from you, my dear friend.

Just play - it's a fun game.

Theme Song:

PS  I will never think of Hello Kitty the same way again. Thanks, Navi.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Put the hammer down...and PvP Debate Team

Stumbled upon this blog, The Crimson Hammer, through Navi's blog, and this post on Mogu'shan Vaults.  Even though I am semi-retired from raiding (although at the casual level I was raiding, that is like saying I am semi-retired from being a millionaire - I never really was one, so yeah...) I still find myself drawn to raid strategies and good reads. Some of the Youtube videos are a bit squirrelly for me; the music is awful, and the voice overs sometimes either too smug or too panicky, but they are a good resource, too. But the well-written blog post: now that is something I can get behind. I have always been a fan of Navi's, I'll call them "Captain's Logs," reports of what went down in a raid - they are fast-paced reads, just like a raid, and provide subtext and insight.

One of my Azerothian buddies, who has been a great restoration shaman healer mentor to me over the years, leveled his own shaman into LFR, and in his usual style, rocked the house in healing. I am posting this link for him too, because like me, (although he is a "real" raider as opposed to my poser status) we were both laughing about whether or not we cared about this sort of thing. Well, I do and don't - I'm still interested, and I like to know stuff. I just do. And what's cool about him is he understands my real life demands, and still thinks I'm pretty smart even though I may ask a dumb question from time to time. Like this one:

My next research project is to find out answers about PvP gear verus PvE gear. Last I remember reading, there were supposedly going to be some changes so that if one was wearning PvP to a PvE event, it wouldn't be such a big, fat deal. I'm still hearing players complain of "he's wearing all PvP gear!" and am curious about this shift. Did it change? Did it not? I understand the stat of resiliience, always have. The way I had it analogized for me in the past was gear stats were like a bucket--you had to make sure you filled your bucket with the right things. Resilience used to take up a lot of volume in your bucket. Okay. Simple enough. But now what? Is resilience just an extra layer of protection, Mormon underwear if you will, when one is doing PvP? Or is it the same, where if you're caught wearing PvP gear to a PvE ball, you will be stripped not only of your glass slippers, but risk being heckled?

/shrug

Not sure I care this much. Nerd Judges, what say you?


Postscript: By the by, this is my 999th published post.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Baby Dragons

Cross-dressing rogue and I were discussing the new nature of Azeroth the other day, and I imagined three homunculus---one was the Artist, one was the General, and one was the Bean Counter. The artist says things like, "How can we make it fun again? How can we make it beautiful?" The General asks, "What can we MAKE THEM DO?" And the Bean Counter asks, "Ah yes, but what is it going to cost us?" These three interplay and I believe, if you sense that some decisions for the new expansion were arbitrary, 'throw them a bone' and some were "we better get this right or else," you're right. Remember, game designers are human, and have to counter their passions and motivations in a work environment just like the rest of us.

I know that's disappointing to hear.

But -- for me, I am in a pretty happy place in Azeroth. I have more to write about this (I always do, don't I?) but for now, I'll just share a beautiful shot of me and baby dragon:
No regrets.


Many players have been feeling the way Bear describes in his post, Color Me Unthrilled, and as always, it's not what he writes as the grand discussion he sparks in his posts. This is shameless poaching of another's content, but I share it in the name of spreading the good word. Two of Bear's commentators really hit the target for me, and I wanted to capture their ideas:


Smashogre says:
There are ways to gear up for the end game without involving yourself in the rep grinds. I geared geared up my hunter through the rep grinds, but looked to other ways to get my pally into LFR
1) Run heroic 5-man: If you are a tank or healer that can handle pugs, or have a group you can run with, this is by far the fastest way to gear up
2) Scenarios: Yes, the drop rate from the bags is about 10% . When all your slots are below 363, this is by far the most efficient way to gear up for the DPS only classes. Running 3 or more scenarios will probably get you gear faster than waiting for 1 dungeon que to pop and running the 5-man. The gear for hunters can also be better than the dungeon version
3) Battlegrounds: I don’t recommended for everybody. It is a way to fill in those slots you cant seem to ever get the gods of random chance to fill for you. If you enjoy or can tolerate it, try it. Don’t knock it until you try it. The new battlegrounds can be quite fun, and at this moment , BM hunters are pretty OP. The PvP stats are no longer part of the ilevel budget, so a 358 pvp gear comes close to the 363 PvE gear, while being superior to the 450 PvE world drops and dungeon quest blues
4) Sha of Anger: This world boss spawns almost every half hour, and a Tuesday doesn’t go by I cant find a pug to get all of my 90′s in. The first kill gets you a quest item for 476 boots. the regular drops are also very nice. NOTE: running Sha late in the week can be VERY frustrating, i recommend doing it as close to Tuesday as possible
5) Crafted Material: Yes, BS needs honored with Klaxxi, and Leatherworking and tailoring need honored with the Golden lotus. You can still buy them from somebody else. Inscribers have the 476 staffs with no rep required. Engineers have the BoP helm, and they can make a 450 trinket for anybody that is in almost everybody’s 10 best in slot list because you can select the sprockets that it uses . Both of those can be done without rep. Archaeology has 3 account bond items that are worthwhile, and all 3 can be used at 85, making them doubly useful since you can give them to alts once your main finds better stuff. also, once can get to honored with klaxxi without running a single daily , since just running the Dread waste quest will get you to Honored with them AND a set of 437 quest greens that will allow you to jump into heroics.
Here is my quick and easy way I leveled my pally to 461 and into LFR 5 days after I hit 90.
1) Start Dread Waste at 89- You get the 437 quest greens and 450 blues quest items, thus you will have the 435 needed to run heroics as soon as you hit 90
2) Run the The Arena of Annihilation scenario for the 450 weapon
3) Run scenarios and 5-mans as needed to get some of the slots upgraded to 363
4) If you can tolerate PvP, run a few battlegrounds, otherwise use your JP to upgrade those other slots
5) Kill the Sha, steal his Nikes, and perhaps even get lucky and get another purple
6) Kill any holiday boss (Headless horseman is up at the moment, 470 rings) until he drops your stuff
7) Run LFR for the EPIXXX!
Do dailies on YOUR time schedule, skip the days the quests seem bothersome. You can only buy a VP item every 2-3 WEEKS, the Klaxxi and Golden lotus have items available at honored, which one can get by running the dailies at most 4-5 times in that 21 day period if you just must have the VP stuff ASAP. I’m revered with 3 of the 4 VP rep grinds on my hunter, yet I wont be able to do anything with them for another 2 weeks since the valor cap is so low. Some of the quests can be quite fun and should be enjoyed, not treated like some evil thing you have to do.

and:
Andrew says:
I felt like you do too, BBB, but time (and again, it’s been out less than a month?) has mellowed my outlook a bit. A couple of observations:
(1) Heroics are easy to access, and the gear from them is fine for accessing the first tier of raiding, if that’s what you want to do. Heroics *are* casual friendly, and people in queues have been much more tolerable than the last go around.
(2) LFR is actually a bit challenging right now, but people are willing to work at it, and there’s a lot of loot there too.
(3) at the end of the week, you can still only accrue 1000 VP, and this will limit the rate you can acquire this gear no matter what. Meanwhile, you are accruing VP *while running dailies now*. I get 5 VP just for giving a Tiller friend her favorite food! Pretty much no matter what we do, we are progressing.
(4) again, that gear really is not needful to get raid ready. By the end of the first week, when I could only access Klaxxi honored VP gear (a neck?) my lock had an ilvl average of 461. It’s totally doable.
(5) this content is supposed to last us at least until December, in all probability.
This all said, I think it was a mistake for them to gate 2 factions behind Golden Lotus. That decision actually took a lot of choice away at end game, making figuring out how to gear with your sparse VP less interesting, and also creating the unfun Golden Lotus bottle neck.
The bottle neck is much improved by grouping with another person though, and if you luck into more people and can help each other with drop quests, or be strategic about it, it approaches fun. Here’s the other thing: running 2 hubs of Golden Lotus quests gets you about as much VP as a heroic, and more if you have three hubs to do. Treat it like an opportunity for organized play in your guild, maybe?
I just hit revered with them yesterday on my lock. I cannot say I’m not relieved, and I won’t be going back for exalted anytime soon. At the same time, it’s not the end of the world – maybe 12 days? – which in the scope of how long this game lasts us and how often we play, not so much time. Much of the pressure I think comes from outside the game – we feel we need the gear, or we’ll be letting down our raid team – but that’s all coming from us (or, in unhealthy cases, from our raid team). But they aren’t lying when they say you don’t need it to raid. That’s a Cata mindset. In retrospect, all of Cata endgame was designed to facilitate the hardcore raider mindset, and you remember how that turned out! There was nothing to do BUT raid, heroics made random groups painful, and if you aren’t a raider, don’t you dare think about finding a nice set of shoulders, unless you want a BoE set some raider has put on AH for 26000 gold.
I will take Mists with its warts a thousand times over an expansion like Cata.
Apologies for all the text.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Souptepi.

I --am a terrible Shadow Priest.

Or rather, with these 'alts-who-have-become-as-beloved-as-mains,' Blizzard has not taken into account players like me. Cause it's all about me, right? I swear I think Big Bear reads my mind sometimes, cause his post about our beautiful alts being reduced to farm labor was sadly hysterical. "Hey, there, Knight Paladin, be careful you don't get cow flop on those shiny sabatons!"

Today, I wanted to play. I wanted to play with Zeptepi, the Priest. Zep is not a bad Holy Priest, but has been struggling with mana changes, so leveling by dungeon is not an option, nor is it expeditious. So, little quest here, little one there. Today she went to where the big, bad yaks are.

But as you see below, and for those of you who know your Bugs Bunny lore, Cookie McYaungol has other plans for her. Below is a screenshot of her bones in the soup. Literally. She had just died there not moments before.




"She" died thirteen times this afternoon. But then again, for those you may accuse me of hyperbole, I lost count.

Big gangs of yak men would aggro like she was made of a bale of hay and winning lottery tickets, and munch her face. Heal, psychic scream, dot, dot, boom, heal, dead. All damn day. 

Believe me, this is no crying over spilled soup. So, I have to take it a bit slower with this tissue-thin cloth wearer. All she's got to work with are shadows and screams--scary, but just not good enough. One or two at a time is very doable, but more than that is death on a stick. She is level 88.66%.

Am I any better at shadow priesty-ness than I was before? Doubtful. But the stew was delicious.


Bewitched.



Amber from Tastes Like Battle Chicken always writes the nicest things, and this month's request is for our Halloween costumes.

Bewitched was one of my favorites, in late color and in reruns, as a kiddo. Samantha Stevens is probably my first experience with what you kids call today "fangirl-ness." As much as I practiced for hours to wiggle my nose and make things happen, alas, all the magic lie in the 1970s avocado kitchen appliances and suburban sorcery.

So, every year, I think of Mataoka as my personal dress-up Samantha Stevens. Hey, it's never too late to have a happy childhood, right? (Even though mine was pretty awesome.)

Here are some shots of Miss Matty, Mrs. Whitworth, in a variety of situations where sorcery was called for:

On a side note, I realize you think picture books are for small children, and although that is true, I firmly believe in great storytelling and masterful illustrations. Chris Van Allsburg is both --- and if you are not familiar with his work, you should be. One of my favorites is The Widow's Broom.  For those of you with children ages five to around eleven, please consider adding his picture books to your collection for them.

Scholomance is...enchanting.
Spell gone wrong...
Very wrong!



I wouldn't mind a broom like Mina Shaw's:
Some of Minna Shaw's neighbors don't trust her clever broom. "It's dangerous," they say. "It's a wicked, wicked thing." Minna disagrees. She appreciates the broom's help around the house. She enjoys its quiet company. It seems perfectly innocent and hard-working to her. 

Confessional.



I think I may make this one a Blog Azeroth topic. And yes, I will put dates on it this time. Dios mio! People need deadlines! Concrete sequential! As my writing group motto says, "Writing is never finished, it's only due."

Okay, I am stalling.

Here it is.

I---I was an asshat the other day.

There. I said it.

But before I start confessing all sins, forgiving trespasses and walking in the valley stuff, I'll share something I think is pretty cool, and that is the priest glyph, Confession:


When one has this glyphed, it is a vanity spell that incites the target to confess some deep, dark secret. The most common sin is gnome-punting out of boredom and hooliganism. I really like this glyph, but must confess, I wish our glyphs slots were all a bit more hard-core, and the vanity slots separate. Think of it has driving a broken-down car, but the license plate has a great amount of swag and bling. Doesn't make the car drive any better. But, whatever. There are some fun ones, at least for priests and druids top my lists. I'm getting used to the new talent and glyph system, and I don't want to go too far out on a limb here, but I think...Blizzard might have been right about this one. Don't tell them said so, though.

Anyway, so here is my own confession: Earlier in the week I saw that the second LFR was open, and thought I would venture in there on my own, no guildmates or friends, and if I failed, I failed. I got into an in-progress Mogushan Vaults. No one was around. I could see everyone was dead, reviving, starting again. I see a button. And.

I.

Clicked It.

Yes, it was my "Alice drinking the bottle" moment. The moment where I jumped from the dock when I was seven and broke my foot. The moment at thirteen I decided to get on that skateboard. Yes, I wiped the raid. That starts the fight.

Yup. That button there. The big one. The one that always starts something. You know. Wouldn't be nothing if you didn't start something.

Now I have done that with my guild since, including last night. I was doing all right on the starry dragon fall-in-the-hole and yell FOR SPARTA until the last round and misheard my RL on Mumble - I could have sworn he said stay in...and then I see the ALL CAPS WHO IS IN and oh shit it's me and damn down the hole I go, and that last fight in Mogushan is pretty kick-ass and is going to take some decicated research on my part to figure out the mechanics, which seemed very simple to most, but were still a bit murky for me. Anyway, was laughing when someone, may have been RL, may have been someone else, asked what that button did. I kept my mouth shut, becaue I know what it does. Ah, yes. I know what it does.

Onward.

My question, that I will post in BA, is this: What is one thing you've done in Azeroth that you've "gotten away with," and now you want to fess up. You are not alone:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/477/getting-away-with-it

Act III especially and Act IV caught my attention. Amazing.

Theme songs: Madonna/ Confessions On A Dance Floor

Postscript: Flashy thing. You saw nothing.

Weeds.

Buckle up, my sweet friends. Don't want anyone being thrown off the buggy today. I have about four posts cooking up, smokin' ones, and just trying to sort out what's what. Too many screenshots to add to the pot!

First things first: In my haste to get baby dragon raised right, and launch him to independent behaviors, I neglected my farming. Yesterday or day before, I stopped by the farm to wrangle some wiggly weeds and, what's this? Nothing? Not a weed, not a sprout, nothing:

Did the DEA come through here? What the hell?! 
Okay. That's fair. Farming is not my gig. I was hoping Momokawa would step up and be our little dirt-digger, although typecasting Druids as nature-loving, tree-hugging hippies, all organically grown and pure of heart, she'd be the natural choice. Alas, Momokawa was last seen getting drunk off of plum wine and trying out her sparkly moony look. Coincidentally, while I was waiting for a person to help me with my own yard, I realized that I have a black thumb. The feng shui in the Matty-shack is damn new zero for green: I kill plants. (And I wonder why I'm broke all the time?!)  In the realm and elements, of fire and water I have in abundance. Earth? Not so much. Need proof? Here's a photograph from my front yard:

This lovely sod is a fiesty mixture of dead leaves, crabgrass, dandelions, moss, decaying unclassified vegetation and such. I told the nice man (who gave me an exorbitant estimate on what he could do for me) that my goal was that I didn't want to look like the yard down the street that belong to the meth-mom. No joke. The meth house. Every manicured lawn and lovingly fertilized and trimmed blade of grass, and yet, me? No. I used to mow the lawn and slay blackberry vines (which are EVIL. EEEEEEEEVVVVAAAAALLLLL), but the mower broke, shed blew away in a storm, and I sneeze a lot. So, I get allergic smelling hay! (Thanks, Zsa Zsa!)

Now I know there's been a plethora of jokes about farming, the Tillers being like Farmville, and many players find this activity relaxing. It's not that I don't really, but I think my allergies are kicking up. I don't want to work on a commune, collective, kibbutz, etc. I was thinking about Animal Crossing, my poor little pink-haired Princess, whose house probably looks like meth-mom's house down the street. And Bear and his lovely Cassie were thinking the same thing: 
In the words of Cassie, I do not want to play a game where I feel guilty if I don’t log in to do my chores. That’s why we quit playing Animal Crossing, we got sick of having to log in every day to pull weeds.
There are certain what I call "pay off" sounds in Azeroth - I know this sounds silly, but I am an audible learner as well as visual. The sound that the weeds made in Animal Crossing, when pulled, was one of those satisfactory "pay off" sounds, the same satisfaction that nail biters get. (Draw your own conclusions here.) Maybe if there were more "thwonk" noises, more onomatopoeia, farming, and all these damn dailies, wouldn't be so bad, or if they're not bad, even sweeter.

I didn't marry the dairy farmer for a reason; don't make me go back there. I like my weeds and fertilizer virtually, thank you very much.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Promises, promises...(and no, do not click links at work)


I did not mean to leave my "Kyle's Mom Is a Big Fat B*tch" post up for so long. Apologies. I have been one busy little shaman - errands and lists, lists of errands and errands on my listessesss--yesterday was helping young leet druid get a hair cut, sitting in the salon lobby, and a beautiful young woman asks me if I would like a free five minute chair massage. Now, I love massages, spas, pampering, getting manicures, pedicures, facials, hair cuts, etc., but I have not had a massage in years. I have a horrible mattress, a really bad gaming chair, (it's not even a desk chair, but an old, hard dining room chair), and in my job I am on my feet most of the day, and have been waking up far too early of late; subsequently, the knots she tried to untie were deep and painful. I promptly said I would pay for a longer one, and then made a follow up appointment for later in the month. (Oh, payday...how I long for you, how I wait for you!) Now before you nasty people start making the obvious jokes about happy endings, what occurred to me is how quickly busy shamans put themselves last on the list. Every knot, every deep tissue bruise the masseuse encountered was another reminder of that I have not been taking care of myself. There have been some serious health stuff in the Matty-shack in recent months, nothing that can't be resolved, but some serious stuff nonetheless, along with the usual work issues that are bigger than I can handle on my own sometimes. Even yesterday a best friend/colleague of mine started to tear up because of current conditions of stress, and we are both experiencing minor hostile work environment issues. Basically, we are experiencing what happens when one doesn't get the oxygen and life support needed once in a while, things get very dicey. After a long talk in the parking lot, she and I listened to each other, and tried to come up with some viable solutions for some very real problems. She has fought cancer, has high blood pressure, and is a single mom. To top is off, she's also a wonderful person, a great swing dancer, and incredibly kind and intelligent. I hoped I helped her, because I know she helped me. And what's funny, both of us had already come up with these solutions on our own, we just needed a sounding board.

So, between saving the world, trying to find time for myself, and feeding baby dragons, haven't had much of a chance to write, and I do have some ideas brewing.

I have:
 Taste's Like Battle Chicken's October challenge

and look! Akabeko responded to one of my BlogAzeroth's shared topics!

Personal Codes

Which to mine I might add: Unless you are handing me a martini or margarita, or perhaps a golden lotus, don't tell me to relax. Why don't you ask me how things are going instead? Friggin' trolls....

and Bear's post on his perfect raid team: Looking for a few good peeps His guildmates got the spots filled independent of his post, but his ideas are solid.

And stories, drabbles, and screenshots, oh my! JD - next LBR?

Wish me luck: maybe this year, The Horseman will grant me my wish. And no, it's not a happy ending.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Part I: Corner. Paint. Me. Part II: We need more songbells

Lupe going all holy-avenger on you.
Right now I am loving my job. Oh sure, there is an arch nemesis or two I can't seem to sway, to motivate, but in my paladin-esque way I will perservere. One thing I love about my job, and there are many more than one, is that I know what I'm doing, and more importantly, I know when I don't know, and the culture of my work environment is one of "Hey, did you try this?" or "Maybe this will help..." I am honored to be the 'go-to' in many situations, where my expertise is valued and sought after. But those ego strokes pale in comparison to the sheer amazing awesomesauce of when people get me, and I get them.

Right now, I'm not feeling that in Azeroth. I'm feeling misunderstood, defensive, and irritable. I'm not feeling part of something, and at times, it's bordered on feeling patronized. I sense an undercurrent of ageism, and that kind of sucks. I listen to what others say in instances, the "Oops," and apologies, the mistakes, and the frustration, and maybe because of some Pavolovian response, folks show their vulnerabilities in different ways. I have been feeling I am not allowed to show any vulnerability because I will hear, "You care about what people think too much," and let me tell you brother, that is a big hot button for me. It is one of those statements, when I hear it, allows for no further conversation. If I say anything, it comes off as defensive. If I say nothing, it comes off as timid, shy, or insecure.

So let me be clear: Unless you are intimately related to me, a close friend, blood relative, I don't give a flying fuck what you think of me.  I am amazing. I am kind, I am funny as fuck, and creative. Oh, and guess what else I have that is in short supply these days? Empathy. If you come to me with a problem or concern, I try to listen with my whole self, and care about your mind and heart. And guess what? I use both. Heart and Mind. I am smart, I am vulnerable, I take risks, I make mistakes. I fight for the underdog and punch fat cats.

I make repeated mistakes, though. I seldom learn one thing once. And one lesson I keep needing to relearn is high expectations. I really need to keep those in check. I am all for understanding that we're all human, and all have our ups and downs, clay feet and hearts of gold; what I am not for is when someone doesn't show me the same consideration. So, my thoughts and council will be my own for awhile. This is the Pisces side of me, I guess, when I need to come up with some mojo and magic for an explanation when I don't want to face the truth.

Okay. Back to our regularly scheduled post: Professions.

Have used this website before, but thought it time to dust it off again, and Loth reminded me of it, too (thanks!)

http://www.wow-professions.com/news/mists-pandaria-profession-changes

Let's see, I think I'll make a chart!
Most of these Draenei don't own a fishing pole, burn the fish cakes, and don't like to get dirt under their nails. Man up, princesses! There's work to be done!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

RTMT: Ya'll done that wrong

Zeptepi tried to take this elite on by herself...almost....well, not really

Back in the day, CDR (cross-dressing rogue) had a boss who would have his minion return work that was not satisfactory to him and his co-worker with the Southern-drawl, "Ya'll done that wrong." Over the past few days, I've heard that repeatedly in my head, that "I've done it wrong."  Everything I wasn't "supposed" to do since the expansion to prepare for some nebulous "goal" is what I did, and everything I should have been doing has eluded me like coming up with a perfect zinger in Trade Chat.

There have been some great blog posts of late, which, if I actually had the time instead of trying to feed baby dragons, would be of immense help to me:

http://healingmains.com/a-quick-and-easy-guide-to-daily-quest-hubs/

http://ironyca.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/dailies-have-destroyded-the-game/

http://sacredduty.net/2012/10/15/mists-of-farm-daria/

Oh wait! There are more-I promise! I am running late and have to go do stuff! In the meantime....

Nod to Xak for this video: John Mulaney/Doing Nothing

Monday, October 15, 2012

Know Your Archetype: Arch Nemesis

Everywhere you go....you always take the weather with you...


Darren & Endora

Superman & Lex

Cartman & Kyle

Lindsay Lohan & Better Judgment

Power Puff Girls & Mojo Jojo

Jon Stewart & Fox News

Okay, you get the idea. But lest you think the Arch Nemesis is just another villain, think again, hero. The Arch Nemesis is a much more intimate relationship, if you will, to the protagonist. This specific antagonist is often so similar in characteristics, so aligned by the stars, a doppelganger with flowers, that sometimes it's difficult to discern just when or how the nemesis is actualized or becomes a problem. The  relationship is more like two sides of a coin; perhaps the two sides are aware of the other, but it gets dropped in the jukebox to play the song all the same.

In Azeroth, there are many arch nemesis and villains. There are full-blown rivals, soul-blasting feuds and battles, and then there are the little, itchy rash-bringers, who get under our skin for which there is no ointment. Consider your ubiquitous trade-chat personality, or perhaps even one fight you just can't learn the dance steps to.  There may be one or two other players in the guild who have crept into your mind, gotten under your skin. You can't explain why - but the undercurrents of tension are there. They may respond to you in ways they don't to others, the old-fashioned expression "butter wouldn't melt in their mouth" I never understood that one - guess it means the person is amazingly cool and self-possessed.

Whomever you may point to as your own personal arch nemesis, remember that scene in Star Wars where Luke takes a detour to the Dagobah system: the real nemesis is our own self-doubt, and fear. We take ourselves wherever we go, and if someone else is getting in our minds, it only takes casual analysis to see that that person is usually very similar to ourselves, and our own irritating ways. We just don't want to see it, or be around it. In our own heads, we can put our bad selves in time out; in the physical world, it is not so easy to squash. There is always that moment in the hero's path where he must go to the darkness, the wilderness, and be alone with his own goofy self for awhile.

If you find that you're being followed by a doppelganger who won't take the hint, it's time to take a walk, a break, a good look. And point of fact; you are probably more worried about them than they are about you. Unless of course you're Fox News.


Friday, October 12, 2012

The Story of Ferdinand

This entire expansion is my "Once upon a time" place. I love it, even if some of these stories end in tragedy.

My elite rare signal went off, and I found this sweet yak sleeping under a honeybee tree in the Jade Forest:

I tiptoed up to him, and was considering what to do. He was there, sleeping. He seemed harmless. And -- his name was Ferdinand. Ferdinand is the story of a gentle bull who only wants to smell flowers, and not harm a soul.  But of course, other players did not know the legend of Ferdinand, only seeing silver frames, and swooped down to kill him:


No wonder why I was in a funk last night.

I was reading Navi's blog earlier, and she has this story: http://frostwolves.blogspot.com/2012/10/blizzard-does-its-prevent-mindless.html

As I am sharing my tale of meeting Ferdinand the yak, allusion to Ferdinand the Bull, young leet druid asks me if I killed him, and I said, no - he seemed so sweet sitting there amongst the flowers, and no matter how close, no aggro or harm was intended. I asked the player who did tag-and-bag Ferdinand what he dropped, and of course, just some basic stuff.

I am proud I didn't feel the need to kill him. Maybe someday down the road I'll be stuck in a bad spot, and Ferdinand will repay the kindness. Oh, that melee spells you see up there? That's because once rousted, Ferdinand indeed was mighty pissed off at both of us. I'm nice, but there were repair bills to consider.

Dear Matty: Sad Panda Edition

Dear Matty:
Last night, after what should have been an unexpected day of unencumbered play, I went to sleep in a huge funk. I feel it's happening again, but this time, at an even higher rate of speed. By "it," I mean players who are trying to go faster, faster, faster at the expense of other's fun. I went in a few dungeons yesterday, for the first time on heroic with OS, and it was a disaster. Everything that could go wrong did: lag, tanks who pulled every mob fast, etc. I know I almost got kicked, because one of my guildmates told me so. These were the very same dungeons I ran earlier in the day on my OS with even less gear, and did fine. There were some hiccups, but all in all not bad. I had only been in Scarlet Monastery once on my MS, so it's not like I thoroughly knew the fight. So once again, I am faced with legions of players who have been able to play and have set the bar so high for other players who don't have the time to devote to running dungeons or studying every YouTube video like me lonely and sad.

I'm not sure what my question is, exactly: maybe, how do you handle the post-expansion blues?

Signed,
Sad About the Pandas

Dear Sad:
I completely understand.

Here was my day yesterday:
  1. Hey, let's see what the priest and druid are up to, shall we? Nice, nice. Normal dungeons. Compliments about healing for my priest in the face of adversity. Yup. Yup.
  2. Miss Mage - how's it going? Good? Oh look, no gear, but still, flame on, little girl!
  3. Shaman: hey, girl, want to try some heroic dungeons as healing? Sure! Why not! It's relatively early in the expansion, what could go wrong? People are still patient, right, and enjoying the new content?
No.

Here is what I think may be happening:
Because of the volume of dailies, and Blizzard holding back raiding for a very short time (I do believe they are open now), the unintended consequence is players are chomping at the bit even more. Those who were impatient asshats are made even more aggravated, and more irritable by Blizzard's decision to "Slow Down, Life is to be Savored" theme. And those who just love to play have grown cranky.

At my larger guild, a relatively small cache of players have been spending their time gearing up, and have already worked their way not only to level 90, but with dailies, cooking recipes, and heroic dungeon achievements. That's right. I asked several times today if anyone wanted to go now that I am geared for heroic, but alas, no takers. I asked yesterday too, and I think the day before. This core group has it figured out, and I must admit am saddened once again that I am missing out. Kay is busy, Guarf was last seen lost in the wilds of the midwest, and my other buddy has been preoccupied with some real life stuff, (and in fact joined me last night, but on the second death on the blade-fire-boss in Scarlet had to leave. This is the first time I've had a chance to try some new content with him because of his life stuff, so now he'll probably not want to go with me again anytime soon), and I am feeling the cold shoulder. When I brought this up to my GM, I was told I  am "shy." For those who know me, this is hysterically funny.

Here are some ideas/wishes, they are ones I have wanted before, but see a need more than ever:

Healing Dummies:
The dummies would be set up like a typical five man - each dummie in turn goes through a typical scenario: melee aggros, tank pulls too much, etc. I really need these. I really, really do. I like to heal, and want my shaman to be a good MS/OS kind of character.

Alt Love:
In the time the game as been out, there has been a lot of time for players to raise and grow many an alt. I realize I sound like a nagging fishwife, because Blizzard has done many things to change lives for altaholics such as myself, like account-wide mounts, pets, etc. I love the fact I can move my priest to the new content, and have one of my lesser minions take over pet battles, and it still counts for all. But I need to be able to switch out faster - if the shaman isn't working, go to priest, etc. I just wish I had more access to gear-swaps, etc. Which leads me to:

Ways to Get Gear that Doesn't Include Asshats:
Remember I asked the question months ago, what if gear didn't matter? No one is ready to let that part of the culture of Azeroth go, and perhaps nor should they. But holy smokes, would I love to be able to try new content without the tank speeding through it. I was trying to talk to my GM about a few issues last night, and was told everyone else was "gearing up" so I read that as "and since you can't raid you don't count." He spoke for the entire game in that sentence. Players who are not actively gearing up are second-class citizens. But, sir: I do want to raid. I do want to get achievements. I do want to be an active player. Just because I can't guarantee that I can be there Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 to 10 does not mean the desire isn't there.

And think of the bigger picture: a cache of players who are geared, feel loved, etc., is a happy guild. These players are loyal, and will work hard for you. I know this to be true from my real life. Make every one successful, not just FEEL successful - that inauthentic self-esteem is bullshit. But really lead and make sure everyone has a place at the table. Which leads me to:

Guild Flexibility
 This will never change, but I have wished for it before. I don't want Zep to leave my cottage guild with my friend, but I would love it if I got to raid or do dungeons with a larger guild. I just wish RL's had a "free agent' button or something where they would recruit your player for a run or raid and have it "count" for both guilds.

The sweet revenge I got last night was when I did choose to leave so they could get a new healer, the tank died again.

Here was the conversation we had prior: 

Me: Need mana

Tank: No I have plenty thanks.

Me: No, I need mana. Can you please wait before pulls?

Tank: Just take care of yourself. I'm fine.

What. The.

One of my guildmates was on Mumble with me, and at the end of the frustrating evening was pretty blunt and said "he's had worse healers." Fair enough. If you know me, I do listen to the criticism fairly. I was awful, and now it's up to me to figure out how to change it.

But here's the thing: I can only change myself. I can only do the research, and try to get gear. If I don't have the infractural support of others, it will be so challenging and fraught with so many obstacles, I will begin to question why I am wasting my time.

So, Sad Panda, take heart. Like finding true love, it's out there for you, and you'll find players who want to play with you, and you them.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Best laid plans...

Yesterday, the fuel pump that had been hanging on by a thread, or at least I suspect it's the fuel pump, gave out. It started acting up the day before, but I persisted, and got the ol' girl, my truck, to start, and get me home safely. However, yesterday, when I thought I had it going, it decided to stall out again, but this time on the road. I turned into an abandoned gas station (holy smokes! Is this the making of a great spooky story! "The Tell-Tale Beating Fuel Pump?") and called roadside assistance. Within 45 minutes, there comes my hero in the form of an Ukrainian tow-truck driver named Alex. Alex has been in the U.S. twenty-two years, and regaled me with stories of how he taught himself English, of which he speaks with gusto, shy of fluency, and how he persisted in getting a job as a mechanic. He explained, while driving one of those huge flat-bed trucks, sometimes answering his cell phone, in heavy traffic, why Ford engines are "no guud," on a piece of paper with a pen he scrounged up from the floor. My clutching the half-open window was met with, "Eef you are kuld, you kun shut da window." No, Alex, just want to be sure I have something to hold when you careen into the traffic in front of you. Oh, and there was the story of the friend who was so drunk, when he had a mishap with a train and lost both his legs, he didn't even feel it. God really does watch out for drunks sometimes I think. Or at least alcohol poisoning has its benefits. Alex the Urkrainian Tow Truck driver keeps an angel or two in his service, too, I believe.

I'm getting around to the point: My plans were to come home, get a handle on some of the other professions and feed baby dragon. Baby dragon is awesome. But that fish cake thing, and some other thoughts, like letting Zeptepi and Momokawa out of the box. And then there's Luperci. These new dungeons on normal are very mild, and I want to get her geared up, too. Work has been going well; I've been able to organized my workday and be very productive, all while maintaining order in chaos. I need to recognize those times, because damn, they are few and far between. And because I woke up again at 4AMbuttcrackofdawn, I was woozy from the adventures of Alex and His Magical Tow Truck and lack of sleep, I could barely focus. And I hope I'm not coming down with that "thing," that everyone is getting. not having had time for my flu shot yet. (Oh, I tried, but was met with a shrug at the pharmacy when I inquired about the free flu shots; the young man couldn't be bothered to look for the paperwork. I wasn't in a place mentally to fight it.)

So I throw the question of where are the fish cakes out in guild chat, and got the varying responses of sweetness and admonitions that I am lazy. For the sweetness: thank you. I did end up finding the recipe for fish cakes. Now I just have to figure out the key to unlock the brew, fire, etc., cooking recipes. It would seem having the ingredients isn't enough. And---------!!!!!--------I am seriously questioning my sanity as I strive to learn more about virtual culinary arts than real ones. There are real baby dragons, you know, who would like some homemade chicken soup or pepper steak stir fry. Cold cereal for dinner is not so great.

My poor GM. He is so anxious and ready to go raiding - he's been breaking his virtual neck to get every cooking recipe, every worthy piece of gear, achievement, challenge runs, etc., that the stress is palatable from the chat lines. Like I said, trying to tell a Type A to switch to the letter B for awhile is futile. To confess, I am somewhat glad the truck broke down. I am looking forward to some stolen play time, but I am not stupid. This is really the universe's way of telling me to clean my own house, more literally than virtually. Make those doctor appointments, figure out how to pay for a fuel pump, get that flu shot, make that soup.

A very dear friend of mine just celebrated a birthday recently. I almost, almost, got her WoW and some subscription time. She loves her job, and sewing, and costuming for plays, and watching detective shows, and reading, and nesting, and enjoying her own company. I know if she started playing she'd rule the world in no time flat. But then, I couldn't do that to her, I just couldn't.

Interesting.

Postscript: Thank goodness for smart bloggers: http://healingmains.com/pandaria-cooking-how-to-get-started-tillers-too/

Theme Song: Shake, rattle and roll

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Whoa.

I knew it, but am trying to process this:
http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/ingame/hackers-slaughter-thousands-world-warcraft-1C6337604

Arrogance, hubris, and jackasses.

First thoughts.
What are yours?

RTMT: Love at first sight.

This morning's Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you by the Letter G and the Letter Y. In other words, I have Big Bird on my mind, and G is for "grinding" and Y is, wait, it was for Why, but wait, no...anyway. (Better go make my pledge to PBS so I can keep learning things!)

The big word clouds out there all seem to be suggesting the same thing: Mists is about dailies. And more dailies, and have a few more. On one hand, since I still can't get over all lovely characters wanting to play, and still learn new things, I am having, already, kind of a difficult time not being completely overwhelmed. Yes, Soul--I know you told me, 'relax,' and for us Type As, that's like saying, "Go take a nap and let the house fall down on you." Like telling Dorothy to not go after Toto. Like telling Nat Pagle bait doesn' matter. Thems fightin' word, boy.

But being the reigning champion of the title, Duchess of Derpishness, having played no Beta and doing even less research on new things (oh, sure, I see the blog posts, but do I read them thoroughly? Nope. I tend to bookmark and pray), upon turning my somewhat anticlimactic 90 (not sure what I expected...at least some Kool-Aid and "thattagirls," but meh. No big whoop.) I begin to see the big dailies picture.

Editor's Note: Matty apologies for all the parenthetical annotations. (She's really sorry.) (Really.)

So here's what I discovered: True love.
Baby dragon loves me, too.




Blizzard, you got me. You give a woman a little egg with hearts bubbling out of it, and you got me like a fish on a hook, and a baby dragon was the bait. I will do anything for this little guy. You want me to make you fish cakes? I'll go figure out how to make fish cakes. You want me to kill guys that look like they're off of that one Star Trek episode, and go all James Tiberius Kirk on their asses? Sure. (And yes I play the dundundundn dun dunn dundedun soundtrack in my head.)

In the few hours I got a chance to play, in between dinner, and moving a few characters to the Shrine of the Seven Stars (does this place strike anyone else as being owned by the Hilton family? It is itself overwhelming. That place needs bellhops and concierges, not one little overworked restaurant hostess!) I managed to start to do what the Order of the Cloud Serpent, and then discovered that the Anglers are in cahoots with the OCS, too:

http://www.elsanglin.com/mop_cooking.html

Baby dragons need fish cakes, too, so tonight, I know what I'm making for dinner.

The thing is, to me it's cool how they all work together. My alts and their professions are like their own little guild, a family, and it's cool. The factions work together to support your efforts, too. This is a good thing.

Oh, and I went in a heroic dungeon for the first time, and Senor: thank you for those enchants. Without them, I would have died twenty times instead of eighteen.

Theme song: Baby Mine

PS I wrote this before I read Big Bear's post: http://thebigbearbutt.com/2012/10/08/so-much-to-do-so-much-time/ and Confession's: http://www.thegrownupgamer.com/2012/10/spontaneity-and-lbrs.html