Picking up the tab.

Once again, yet – ONCE AGAIN, I am reminded about my friend’s absence.

I don’t know what it is, but I cannot make any gold in this stupid game. I try to figure it out, so I can have fun, have some gold stashed up for rainy days and otherwise, but just can’t seem to do it. The jewel crafting profession has left me with nothing but rhinestones; leatherworking — well, you actually have to get out there and hunt down some things, and I thought gee, perhaps Luperci’s blacksmithing skills would work. Nothing. Like setting up a lemonade stand in a soda-pop town, no one wants what I have. And if I try to get chaos orbs, others need them, too. And hoping against hope, if I run in a guild group, perhaps some of my more financially well-established guildmates will allow me to get the orb is too much to ask. I am told to run on my own for the ‘satchel.’ I don’t agree with the satchel that comes from queueing as a tank or healer–it’s nice, sure, but I have always thought that every player should get the chance at something fun. And, that satchel usually has a few gumball machine treats in it.

I am tired of going dutch-treat. (Question: do the Dutch get insulted by this idiom? I would, I guess.) Tired of going out to eat and ordering water while everyone else gets lobster, and we split the bill. I want to be wined and dined a bit myself. Which is why, yet again, I miss my friend. Gold was not the priority. It was friendship over monetary gain. Bros before hos. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Now, I found my checkbook and am off to pay bills and pay my dues. Maybe the one weapon I was able to craft, after clawing and fighting my way to get five lousy chaos orbs, will sell. Working for a living – sigh. Maybe Blizz will treat us well soon.

Theme song: Money Changes Everything/Cyndi Lauper

Forest for the trees.

Yesterday I listened to a day-long presentation on brain research. The speaker was highly engaging, intelligent, and humble. I know that when a very smarty-pants person has to address a group of laypeople, she must bring the jargon down to an understandable level. And to be honest, I was not in the frame of mind to listen to medical or psychological terms yesterday afternoon, so I appreciate her analogy of this concept:

There are tree people, and there are forest people. (I personally think most of us are squirrels holding our nuts or opossums swinging by our tails, but no matter.) The tree people are the organized, detail people. They like to have order out of chaos, fold their underwear, match their socks, make lists, and actually check off items from the list. Go to the far end of the spectrum of tree people, and you have someone who is so uptight and inflexible, they just can’t bend. The forest people, depending on how far the other end of the spectrum you go, are the “big picture” people. These are those of us who can live with some clutter, chaos, and get into what we perceive is the ‘higher ideal’ of creativity and common good. But, forest people march to their own drum, are often late, and commit the greatest sin of all–forget birthdays. And forest people don’t put the toilet seat down. Luckily, there are tree people to remind them.

I bring this up because you may want to consider your tree v. forest people while playing. Was talking with GM the other day, and his ability to see the ‘big picture’ as well as the details of missteps and fire pits. He strikes a balance of both, which is optimal for raid leading. Unfortunately, and I will speak for myself, I have grown to depend on that balance–in other words, won’t do any of the heavy lifting myself. The ‘tree’ people I know in the game are the ones I turn to when I don’t feel like going to wowwiki or joystiq to look up some NPC’s name or find the quest chain. Too lazy. I’m a forest person, duh! Look at the scenary! Let’s write a story!

Many of my buddies will have a cocktail, or two – they want to change their real life role to another one in the game. It’s frowned upon to drink on the job in most professions, say school bus driver or tiger dentist. Completely understandable. My point is, if you ever get frustrated, ask yourself, if the person who’s upsetting the apple cart is in conflict with your own personality. Are you being all forest-y, when this person is being a tree? I find that the trees get far more irritated with the forests than the other way around. They are the steely-eyed missile men of the game — know the phases, the goal, the details for every fight. We forest people just want to get the prize at the bottom of the cereal box. Oh, look! A squirrel!

Theme song: Rush/The Trees 

Thank heavens for little gnomes…

Tall people take themselves much too seriously sometimes. It seems that every time I am in a dungeon, it is a dwarf or a gnome who lightens the mood. Or, if the mood is lightened, look down. You’ll see the source of good cheer.

Take this little mage for example:

My Winterspring cub gets all tuckered-out. Poor little fluffball. She has a habit of just taking little kitty-naps wherever, whenever she feels like it. (I am convinced she has saved my tail by tripping the bad guys.) Here is a shot of a cute little mage who decided it was time for a nap, too, right next to my kitty-cat. There is lot of running in circles in the Violet Hold, and we all took five.

Shorties get the job done. Love watching a gnome DK or warrior tank: the David v. Goliath tune always inspires.

Here in my real world, we had a few days of heat, and now it’s back to Darkshire days. Yesterday in a meeting I was telling a friend about my admiration of sparky gnomes facing down big brutes, and realized I had a smile on my face for the first time all day. I am smiling now. Kisses, little gnomes. You don’t make room to be judgmental.


I am sitting here, getting teary, and wondering why. I guess it is, things that I thought, and things that I held true, change in such a volatile way when the group dynamic changes. One addition or personality, or big characters, change the tone and direction of guild chat or the entertainment/social side of the game so much for me, and I don’t know why. Cross-dressing rogue friend said to me, “You are very capable of avoiding that situation in real life, you never put up with that–why do you do so in this guild? “They’ve” been doing that to you all summer?” Well, he has a point. For the most part, many of my guildmates are wonderful people. In fact, I am certain all of them are wonderful people, and don’t kick puppies, punch nuns, or leave the toilet paper roll empty. But there are some big personalities, those who suck the oxygen out of the room and everyone dies laughing. A lot of one-upmanship and blarney chokes the flow of chat. Tonight, I felt myself shrinking smaller and smaller. I had such a fun morning, too: great group that achieved so much, and it just clicked, faster than a summoning stone.

But, I find myself feeling this way from time to time, that sense of not belonging, or not even wanting to, like some inside joke everyone else gets but I am just kind of baffled. In a few days/weeks it won’t matter. Real life encroaches. And my recreational goals need to change, too. By tonight, after dinner, my little beautiful angel priest healer will be level 80. Tank girl is almost done with  the Molten Front dailies, or will be tomorrow. Shaman-chica has known successful top-ranked dps scores.

I am hoping that my new circle of friends in the guild are not shallow–I don’t believe them to be, not at all. I have entrusted them with my most precious commodity, my time, as they have trusted me, too.

Ah, the power of “ignore.” They have all learned this long ago.

Limericks for one day…

There once was a draenei with big horns
So big they were, like ears of corn
On each side of her head
They barely fit in her bed
Size does matter, she could have sworn

A beautiful paladin, into a dungeon she went
Righteous defense she constantly spent
Pulling back mobs, she skillfully clobbered
All over her orbs they sloppily-slobbered
And drool on her chestguard she began to lament

“Guarf…help. It’s right there, but not quite.”


Since the time I have been playing, about a year and a half, three players have reported seeing other draeneis, shamans no less, who resemble “Matty.” One even said he had to rub his eyes to make sure it wasn’t me.

Well, as I was walking down the street, doing my jewelcrafting daily, I see this girl:

Hirsute Hussy!

Not only does she look like me, but my Hyjal bear cub didn’t even recognize me, and sat right next to her and her stinky little butt-wiping dog! Oh! The nerve! Like to rip her bleach-blond hair right out from the tender roots!

Which leads me to my point:
Draenei girl haircuts = not good. They are some left over from Farah Fawcett’s heyday of feathered bangs and big poofs. Luperci has had her hair cut no less than approximately 45 times. She has tried blond, long,  straight, up, and every time ends up in the same pigtails. Matty’s hair hasn’t changed except for once. (And now this trollop comes waltzing down the Whisperwind streets…! Shammy RAGE!)

I have been told, repeatedly, in a nerd-tastic tone, that hair pixels are tough to model. And just like the hairdresser we love, when we bring in a photo of Jennifer Anniston or Selma Hayak and say “Cut it like that,” what we’re really saying is, “…and I’ll take a side of plastic surgery too to look like her.” It is the magic. I know — men will never, ever understand this. I get it. The only man who understood good hair is Samson, and look what happened to him.

Now Night Elf females are given many more choices: they can have the Fook Yu or Fook Mi look:

…and in just about any color desired. Draenei females are limited in their choices. It’s feathered look 1977 or feathered look 1979.

Or really, really unattractive, like Sinead O’Connor shaved. Or soccer-mom-ish.

It would be too much to ask if the Transmorgifierblahdeblahhoopdejoo thing provided more hair style choices, I know.

And while crawling over the web today, found this gem:

 It wasn’t just me who was irked by the World of Dresscraft comment:

…and!  Darkmoon Faire!

Just talking about that today with some Druids by the water cooler!

And I do appreciate Manalicious’ artwork. She is incredibly talented. I can’t help but wonder, though, how Arthur Rakham would have drawn a Draenei female. One can only imagine.

Postcript: Things that do kind of, a little bit, maybe, just a tad irk me: When players tout that they “have boobs!” Okay, sweetie – 40% of us do who play WoW. That may impress the wanker down the block, but not sure that one is a buff anymore. What does that have to do with haircuts? Not much, but if you’re trying to impress anyone with your feminine wiles, well….

*”Trouble” is the name of my toon’s haircut. Oh yeah. You copy my groove, there’s gonna be trouble all right.

Theme song: Cake/Short Skirt/Long Jacket (Lou Reed, is that you?)

Story Time: Elements

The grit mixed with the sweat on the back of her neck. Its mixture made for unwelcome mud, and the weight, however marginal, was just enough to tip the scales from capability to defeat. She couldn’t stand another responsibility right now, not even carrying a grain of dust on her shoulders. Her sisters were unaware of how their demands were taxing her spirit. Luperci needed mounds of truegold, a ‘deal of a lifetime’ to make weapons to sell for profit. Not a single one of Mattty’s sources could or would make truegold for her at reasonable prices. Gods, Lupe was mercurial and mercenary sometimes. Everyone wanted something, everyone wanted a cut. Zep recently wrote her requesting more gold for her expensive enchanting training and tailoring. Matty tried not to roll her eyes thinking, “Ah, yes, the little princess needs a new flying carpet; last month’s model isn’t good enough for her now…”Matty moved mountains for those girls. And normally, she did so with love and patience. But neither of her two younger sisters thought to ask what she might need or want. If she asked for something in return, they dodged and made their excuses. “Can’t right now, Mat…will try another day!” She really didn’t mind, but–was feeling broke, and broken.

Yesterday while aiding a sweet little druid cub obtain a black drake, fire ravaged her defenseless healing armor. Of all the elements, aggressive fire never became her friend. There would always be distrust. Water, air, and earth: these she understood, and even loved. Fire: fire got out of control too quickly, fire was indiscriminate, and fire scarred. A cooking fire, fire in a hearth, a campfire, and a candle or two, were the only welcome flames. Fire was everywhere these days, in these times. She looked suspiciously at her cooking fire; poor little embers were actually afraid of her.

She respected earth most of all. Earth lived: if it ever rolled, rocked or quaked it was usually because fire was antagonizing and mocking deep below. Then earth would show its true power, shaking up land, trees, and creatures, like an angry giant rolling over in a nightmarish sleep. But earth was good, too. The landslide enchants on her weapons served her diligently. Sometimes earth was stubborn, and could not be reasoned with; however, she was usually right, so no argument necessary. Time was on earth’s side.

For peace, she sought water. She knew of a place in Stranglethorn where there were waterfalls and pools that poured in privacy and solitude. Too many other pools had lurking trolls in the bushes, but here, no one found these sanctuaries yet. The water poured down in torrents of warmth, with intermittent currents of cooler water. Unlike the wooden and mortar structures, water was home, a comforting place of peace. Her water-breathing spell made it possible for her to survive. The sounds underwater, other-worldly, blocked out the noise pollution, allowing her to think, and then more importantly: not think. Just be.

But air: this is where intelligence spikes and resolve is tested. Invisible air, the very essence of faith. Little human priest, in a dungeon, thought she would be funny if she pulled players with Leaps of Faith. Matty never said a word, for she was sure that the human did not understand the sacredness of this spell. It was not to be used in jest. She kept her irritation to herself, making a silent promise that when her friend returned, they would do two things: stay close, and then break a few hearts around Stormwind. He helped her with her sisters, with her responsibilities, and their friendship of fair trade and help–she sorely missed this. More than she could express. She was so tired of others disregard or disrespect, saying her accent was too thick, or she was wrong, off, diagonal or cross. She understood that his nature was of air, the wind. She had faith in his return, or if not his return, then his friendship, unseen, but there. Like faith.

In the pink.

Today was a pretty good day. Hydra with halitosis somewhat subdued, and got a chaos orb. I had a few deaths-by-add on failures, but otherwise, all sum total, not bad. Cheered myself with a Draeneic Pale Ale and rode around, fire-elf style, on my temporal pink elephant.

Mi amigo – I have a really good dagger recipe waiting: by the time you come back, I am trying to have it ready for you. You’re not missing much right now. No worries.

Face it.

Okay, I try not to let too much of real world stuff in the WoW life, and vice versa. And I will speak in metaphors. But starting today, I have a big, angry, messy, thousand-headed hydra to slay. I wish this was an exaggerated metaphor, but it is not. This hydra sprouts heads with sharp teeth, glaring eyes, oozing with disease, at the least touch of a blade, water, tears, anger; and worse of all: it needs some chewing gum. And that’s against the rules. Fresh out of supernatural-spearmint.

But I have to face it, and conquer it.

I did not create it, I did not cause it. But I am expected to kill it.

So, this morning, I reminded myself of what a guildmate said to me the other night. He said, in a moment of unexpected kindness, (for his defenses were down), that the people I work with are lucky to have me. If you knew this young man, you’d know for him to give a compliment is a rare drop indeed. Like, Sword of a Thousand Truths rare.

On I go, with my compliment in my pocket, my shields up, and I believe, (because a human paladin told me so), the only way to fight this particular monster is with vats of elbow grease, squeezed from the levers of a hundred arms, and vertebrae fluid. Wish me success.

1. Do not judge my bad grammar too harshly before 8AM.
2. Many heads rolled.
3. A band of young squires came to my rescue, just at my darkest moment.