The Pavlova Incident*: Oceanic Offensive

Let's go to the Oceanic Servers! Hooray!
Let’s go to the Oceanic Servers! Hooray!

It’s 11:36PM, 29 October in Sydney, Australia right now. In Christchurch, NZ, it’s 1:30AM, Thursday, 30 October. That means our friends in the Pacific are enjoying their new servers, reduction in latency has got to be amazing, and not worrying about the rest of the world literally and figuratively lagging behind must be refreshing. I’m sure Cymre and Navimie are thrilled to pieces. However, being an amateur anthropologist of cultures and societies, I must caution my friends in Aus/NZ to play nice.

Yes. I mean it. Don’t make me come down there and separate you two.

If I’ve learned anything about human nature, including my lifetime spent under the “better half” of the North American US/Canadian continent (Canada is the better half: duh!), it’s that even the simplest of rivalries can get out of control.

Because, you know, it’s not all shrimps-on-the-barbie-sheep-romancing-kiwis-ferocious-crocodile-eating-spiders-Hobbit-kissing-hole-dwelling-Peter Jackson-worshipping-beer-drinking-sheila-calling fun, after all.

And by sheep romancing, there usually aren’t candles involved. 

When I looked up "sophisticated Australian" this is what popped up. You can blame Google on that.
When I looked up “sophisticated Australian” this is what popped up. You can blame Google on that.

Consider, Australia is a dangerous place. Its flora and fauna always ranks the deadliest in the world. Considered savage and rough, some believe Aussies lack sophistication; however, they do have Australian Screen Legends, and of course, Nemo.

But it’s mostly this:

Thank you, no, I've already had my flying fox serving for today.
Thank you, no, I’ve already had my flying fox serving for today.

When you look up animals for New Zealand, you get this:

FUNZ
FUNZ

I suppose we Yanks can liken it to our relationship with Canada. Everyone knows Canadians are nicer, better, cleaner, better educated, and dude, they have Royal Mounted Police. ROYAL POLICE.

Just wanted a pretense to have a Brendan Fraser image in this post. Carry on.
Just wanted a pretense to have a Brendan Fraser image in this post. Carry on.

Now this being said, and you’re all better now that you know about the Aus/NZ potential for world domination if they mind their manners, eat their vegemite sandwiches (or paintings), share their fish-and-chips and whitebait, hangi and witchery grubs. And pass the Pavlova.

Will someone please get that woman some oil paints?
Will someone please get that woman some oil paints?

*Pavlova refers to a desert. Chalk one up to NZ! And I’m pretty sure Australia can keep Russell Crowe.

And to the untrained ear, the Australian versus the New Zealand accents can be muddy, but there are some nuances (this video is sooooo boring)

Now this is all in fun and jest. I know most of the world compartmentalizes us Yanks in three basic dialect types: Cowboy, Clueless, and the Hood:

And balls-fly-at-your-nose:

But when all is said and done, New Zealand, maybe you can give Australia the Pavlova thing. I mean, after all, they have to deal with this:

Cause after all, ain’t nobody got time for that.

life is too short

 

RTMT: Monsters and Demons

Eredar Warlock
Eredar Warlock

Today’s Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you courtesy of the Burning Legion: “Because When You Need Your World Destroyed, We Do-om It Better!”

Are Draenei demons? Well, perhaps. 

The Eredar are a species of supremely talented magic-wielders who arose on the planet Argus countless millennia ago. They built a vast civilization of wondrous cities and upheld a peaceful way of life. Twenty-five thousand years ago, however, the tranquility of Argus was shattered, and the Eredar separated into two groups: the Draenei and the Man’ari.

The Man’ari are the demon-corrupted Eredar who now lead the Burning Legion, but they are commonly referred to as the Eredar regardless. This could be due to the fact that, other than the Draenei and Man’ari, there is no evidence of other species of Eredar left in existence. These Eredar are the first among the demons of the Burning Legion.

But I am still trying to figure out how some races get to be warlocks, and others don’t. And, the issue of skin tone comes up too:

The simple answer is no.

When the Draenei broke away from mainstream Eredar society, it was just before Sergeras transformed them into demons. As a result, modern Draenei never were demons.

As for the Draenei’s proper skin color, it’s assumed to be blue since the they are biologically closer to the original Eredar then modern Eredar are. I’d have to go over the Prologue to Rise of the Horde (which takes place on Argus when Sergeras contacts the Eredar) again to see if it’s ever mentioned as such.

So just what is the deal with skin tone? And why does it even matter? Perhaps racial features defined ancestral lines. This reminded me of Irish dialects, how one little country can produce so many nuances to “one” language. How one speaks is indicative of region. I’m still feeling guilty about changing Mataoka’s skin from husky brown to blue. Reminded me of a Drunk History episode (San Francisco) about Mary Ellen Pleasant who “passed” for white, and this freed her to run in the highest echelons of society and wealth. This worries me: do Draenei support or conform to a caste system? Hmmm….if I open that ancestral vault for Mataoka, what skeletons with horns will I find?

I'll do some further investigation...
I’ll do some further investigation…to the reference desk! Away!

In any event, the electric company wrote me and said revenues were down, so I thought I would help them out:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/100371988″>Brent Sims’ Grave Shivers</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/simsfilms”>Sims Films</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/82920243″>Lights Out – Who’s There Film Challenge (2013)</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/dauid”>David F. Sandberg</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Just walk away, Renee.

before

Oh my sweet baby murlocs.

I completely understand, Renee.renee

Stupid, stupid media! Never understanding when a female ages, pic apart every single pore or alteration. This scrutiny is never casted on male actors, oh no! But the other day when I was still trying to tweak Mataoka’s face, my friend Señor told her she looked tired.

Tired? 

Better?
Better?

Mataoka has always had the deep lavender/brown skin tone. I succumbed to the dark forces that is skin tone change, and made her blue. You have no idea how conflicted that made me.

Dammit, Blizzard, I really hate this. Going under the knife and changing her skin, that’s fairly extreme. Maybe I can get Russell Brand after Blizzard to fix human females and female Draenei. That run, for Velen’s sake, that run is an abomination!

how I feel

pass the popcorn…

CD Rogue and I love movies. We were looking for something different for our October gorging of spooks, frights, and haunts, and came across this New Zealand gem:

The anti-heroine is truly refreshing, and one other thing–it passed the Bechdel Test with flying colors:

The Bechdel Test, sometimes called the Mo Movie Measure or Bechdel Rule is a simple test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. 

It was also nice to watch something where we knew none of the actors–sometimes the personae gets in the way of the story. Now of course that is my Hollywood-centric perspective talking: I’m sure in Aus/NZ those actors are very well known.

Check it out when you can!

 

 

Back from the dead…

We are also on the Island of the Dolls...
We are also on the Island of the Dolls…

Years ago, Ironyca posted a great article about creepy things in Azeroth. And when I came across this poor woman in Stormwind; her ghastly moon-pale face, staring doll eyes, and expressionless visage, I couldn’t help but be reminded of another haunting place: Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls). Please do not click on it if you have, know, or seen a child or a doll. I’m just glad that there is such thing as the Internet so it gives me maps of places like this so I can never, ever go there, thank you very much.

Kellda's violet eyes
Kellda’s violet eyes

Disingenuously,  I do continue to go to Azeroth on a daily basis, and there is plenty of creep there. Creep and creeps. I am sorry about my ranting post yesterday, and I’m sorry for this rationalization: there is too much real-life stuff for our so-called comrades in Azeroth to be so petty.

I have wanted to do a screenshot series of the top ten most beautiful or haunting graveyards in Azeroth: I know I’ve spent plenty of time in them, and spent a lot of gold on Resurrection Sickness repairs. I’m just too impatient sometimes. Even Jesus supposedly had to wait three days, but that didn’t stop the repair bills. In the meantime, here are some beautiful ones from around the world.

Today I have to go to work for a few hours, and time for screenshots and my beloved OLRG will have to wait. Now it’s time to drink black coffee, because unlike chocolate for Dementors, black coffee dispels most harm for me. Huh. Chocolate for Dementors. Sounds like a good guild name.

 

Postscript: I was AFK and came back to find Kellraen dancing (in a creepy way)– this must be a new feature of elvui:

elvui stff

Instant karma’s going to get you…

Worth the 17 gold to screw over a raid member.
Worth the 17 gold to screw over a raid member. He had these rings already, and took another one.

I know many of the masterful guild and raid leaders I know will disagree, and that is their right. Over the course of my limited experience playing in raids, there is one thing overall that strikes me as the worst offense: the loot whore. This is the person who some how has the skill set and unlawful charisma to work their way into a leadership position in every raid team: you cannot question their abilities to know their class, usually do top damage (or in the case of this gentlemen, who dies on more than one occasion), and show up with regularity that the punctuality factor outweighs the loot grab factor.

In my mental collection of observing how raid teams function, and how they fall apart, one overarching truth stands out: this is a game about gear, and it is a game about the jealousy and pettiness that ensues. The gentleman in question has every right to gear: he was open about feeling like that evening he got “nothing” and this is what he was entitled to, and indeed that is true. It is not his fault that every bonus roll I received gold, and I held out and waited for a MS roll and got an upgraded chest piece. I am so lucky to be running with a group who understands that though I am at least 10 or more item levels than the rest of the sharp-shooters in the group, I bring something to the group, too. He inevitably sold the ring for the 17 gold, which I would have gladly have paid him when I offered him in a whisper, which he ignored.

At times, I have been greedy. I know where greed comes from, and I understand. Greed in Azeroth comes from deep insecurity and immaturity, and those times I wasn’t sure what my status was or how I fit in caused those weakened morals. I get it. (And when it comes to mog, all bets are off.)

But I think the heart of a good raid team, a sustainable raid team, is that everyone takes a hard look at that specific character, and doesn’t feel that ‘winner take all’ is the creed of the evening. I was reminded of Secondlight who gave Momokawa that healing mace, and try to focus on the light that shines in Azeroth, instead of the grubby grubs who live under rocks, even if they do have better gear.

I would be interested to know how Navimie has handled this sticky issue. I know on occasion Hawt has just shut it down when she notices it. But often this isn’t a hill that a raid leader should die on, metaphorically, and is not their battle.

PS But: there was so much good news in the real world, this really didn’t get me down. Babies!!!! (not mine) but BABIES!!!

 

OLRG: KNEEL! Okay, and we’ll give you a sparkle purple pony…

corrupted Turk and I have been trying to get Only the Penitent for oh, gee, well, quite some time now. I know we OLRG have tried once and again, but I think we all get so afraid of screwing it up it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Last week or so I went with a pug group and got Do A Barrell Roll! because the group blasted the bird fast, did not worry about feathers, or flying, or adds — knew that if you kill the bird fast no one gets a chance to get hit by anything: OTP takes a little more caution (insert understatement here). But it is, in truth, very easy: before you step hoof or toe outside the bridge, you click on the cast bar, and then hit your “sit” button about halfway through the cast. Have three and three, sit in the little puddle, and then when someone says CLICK! click on the big fiery ball. That’s it. We even did it without Vent. The trick is to be cautious, do not rush, and do not get nervous. “Keep Calm and Click on the Orb” kind of thing. We tried for Stay Chill for Turkic, but this group got a little excited and one hunter killed the boss in one shot. Um…yeah. She had the highest DPS though! Hooray! I told Turk the OLRG knew what to do, and we could help him out.

But this brings something to mind, and not sure how to frame it. I guess that sometimes even though we are good players, we can still be bad. I am constantly in awe of Helke and her Shadow Priest. Shadow Priests are notoriously difficult to master, and often cast in a disparaging light. (Get it?) But she always tops the damage meters, while I struggle to even stay in the top ten. I admit I am a little concerned that when Hawt’s group moves to Mythic, I’ll be ask to stay home and watch the minions, and those top performers will be asked to the ball. And I wouldn’t blame Hawt one bit. Loyalty to a friend/cause only gets one so far in Azeroth. I am drafting a eulogy for Coco because of this sorrow. My gaming regret is that I left Mataoka neglected, and was taken in by the allure of Kellda. It is truly cruel to give someone epic powers and then renege on the deal. (Looking at you, Blizzard.) So, I am in a quandary because I am not really sure who to take when the Iron Horde needs its testosterone and steroids kept in check. We all want to be unique, and bring something special to the group. Maybe that’s the biggest illusion of all, however.

Anyway: I purposefully woke up early so I could have some quiet time to myself, and I only have about forty minutes left. I am going to pay the price later, that’s for sure. I’m getting that “thing” where I get grumpy because I am feeling parsed out and chopped-up by all the demands of the sheer volume of voices that need my attention, or criticize and mask it as “suggestions.” Ambiverts need Vitamin Alone Time.

Sh*t. Maybe I’ll just move the whole lot of them to an RP server.

 

"Squirrel Nuts Stirring Up Drama"

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