There is nothing that compares to the warm, safe bed & breakfast with nearly invisible innkeepers, like magical candlesticks and teapots waiting to serve your every desire.

Matty needed such a place after a long, exhausting day. She fought violently, raging–not sure at what, but everything and everyone looked like a target, and she was a nocked bow. The day took all her sanity to stay calm. She barely succeeded.

An unassuming place…not an inn, but somewhere she could stay for the next few hours, undisturbed.

Hoping no more bears were nearby.

She left some porridge outside the door, just in case.

Fe-mail gear…

I have had a lot of fun putting together pret-a-porter looks for Luperci and Zeptepi, but was noticing yesterday Matty is looking a bit shabby. 

So, sometimes, a girl. Just needs. To go. 
I searched Google, and came to this link: Illustrated Mail Transmogrification Guide
See the War Paint Set? I have the leggings, but they look a bit odd without the rest. So…onward. Although I do think the Brackwater set would look lovely on our Suicide Blonde Matty. 
I have never been much of a shopper, at least a social shopper. I tend to treat shopping malls like a coup d’etat, and I’m the guerrilla war-farer, an assassin. I work alone. I have a list, I know what I want, and I know where to get it. Bam! But, this transmog stuff is going to require a bit of research, and right now I’m feeling super lazy. So, in the meantime, I’ll keep on my sweats and hope I don’t bump into anyone I see at the grocery store dungeon, and at least put on some lipstick. 
Looks like I’ll be going to Blackfathom Deeps, right next to the Jamba Juice and Lego Store.
Which lead me to this blog: http://disciplinaryaction.wordpress.com/ –also pretty cool. 
And, I’m sorry. I am really sorry.
Theme song: Barbie-Girl

Human condition.

Cyrme from Bubbles of Mischief has a fantastic, educational, informative, and articulate blog (all things I am not) where she’s covered everything that is superlative about Azeroth. 

She’s probably covered this concept, too, and any more insight she has would be well received.

One thing that keeps the Well of Eternity from running dry is not the limp Illidan dialogue, but the fact that for a short while (if all goes well with the Queen Azshara fight) I get to be a Night Elf instead of a Draenei for a bit. Though the good designers draw me with two green puffy ponytails that resemble overzealous-chlorophyll-blasted ferns, I still get to do aerial somersaults with the greatest of ease, a feat I can’t do on my other feet…er, hooves.

Now that I’m leveling up Ceniza the Cindergirl, I went into Escape from Durnholde.  I went from fuchsia-haired Night Elf to a blonde hottie, and we all know how gentlemen prefer blondes. I asked what happens to Taretha, and it’s not pretty, however.

But now I’m back to my raspberry-roots and jumpy-jump skills.

Tiny Story Time: Burden

Luperci threw off the heavy plate gear with a thundering finality. Startled from her reverie of an amazing tome, Matty almost snapped in anger at her sister’s rudeness. But then she looked at her face.
“I just can’t do this anymore, Matty. I can’t.”
Just then, the cat brought in his catch, a huge Stormwind rat, and dropped it at Luperci’s feet, sauntering away in triumph.
“Look, even the cat has more success than I do!”
Matty put her book down, and removed herself from the wide, warm cushions, that wrapped her like a lullaby. Luperci was in distress: that much was obvious, and did not require a sensitive shaman to figure that one out.
“What can’t you do anymore, Lupe?”
And, as if a second set of invisible armor was lifted and tossed, Luperci laid down another burden. Her sweet cinnamon face folded in tears, though Matty could tell she was trying to still hold them in, that crying was something she wasn’t used to doing.
“Day in, day out, doing nothing but escorting ungrateful trogs to and fro. No matter what I do, it doesn’t seem to matter. I never hear a word of gratitude, or even, well, nothing…and…”
Lupe wiped her now soaking face with the back of her hand; Matty handed her a cloth, and set her down on the warm chair.
“…This guild we are in, Matty, I am sorry to say, but I don’t fit in there. Some of our guild mates are so, stiff and proper, and dare I say, awkward? And that is saying something, coming from me!” Luperci weakly laughed.
Sniffling, she continued, just relieved to pour her heart out. “Matty, I hear more in what they don’t say than in what they do, like they’re constantly judging me. The things they say in battle, Matty, the derision…I feel they are a council of strangers who are not interested in me, or my offerings.”
Matty sighed, and frowned. She never envied her sister going into dungeons and slamming her pretty face against attacks constantly, while others stood back with their magic and melee. Healers—well, even Zep had sent a letter recently that shocked Matty. What had happened to her two sweet sisters? It seemed that the monsters in the world were not really the problem, but those who were supposedly fighting them. The intention of what may have started as heroism turned into bureaucratic entanglement and traps. Like falling into the maw of a beast, chewed and digested on the way down. There was no soft landing.
“I even had the notion yesterday, Matty, that I would listen to the Call to Arms, and go help on the battlefronts. At least there, was I do is my own, and my successes or failures hurt no one but myself.”

Matty had not thought of Luperci ever as a craven, for that was not how their father raised them. Indeed, many brilliant citizens of Azeroth, Horde and Alliance alike, used the military forces as a means of being truly heroic. As long as Luperci wasn’t under the delusion that she could hide behind the shield in battle, and take battles seriously, maybe she would find the success she needed. She wasn’t sure.
But, Matty did know one thing, at least for the next few hours, of what Luperci should do, and this Matty could help her with.
“Baby sister, for now, your burden is not yours to concern yourself with; let me make you some honeymint tea, and I have some Lunar Festival treats, too. And then, you are going to get some sleep for a while. Things always look better in the morning.”
The cat nestled in Luperci’s lap, proud of his gift, and grateful for her warmth. Though the cat couldn’t speak in a language Lupe would understand, he was happy to have her there. She just didn’t notice.

Dragon Lady.

The Lunar New Year in the “real” world began on January 23. This is the astrological year of the dragon. *They* say that those who are dragons always know they are dragons. *cough*

Maleficent gets her rage on…

For the record, I am sure this is not an original idea. But perhaps the more voices join in the chorus, the sweeter the song?

Alexstrasza the Life-Binder looks at Matty as if she is an insect, or maybe she didn’t get any tokens on that last LFR run.

Last summer, I was thinking that it would be *sho kewl* if there was another heroic class like Death Knights; but, what could it be? So many fantastical forms already existed: Draenei, Dwarfs, Forsaken, Trolls, Tauren, Night and Blood Elves, Goblins, Gnomes, and Humans. Did I forget anyone? Oh, Orcs. My pardon. But perhaps instead of taking existing races and creating a “class” such as knights, maybe another race altogether, or perhaps a way to alter a race into: DRAGONS!

Alexstrasza thinks Matty may be on to something…

It’s all right there: you could choose to have powers of time, magic, dreams, earth, life, and don’t forget great physical strength and beauty. And a rockin’ hot body: I am convinced this one player would have left her real-life husband for Kalecgos.

Do a search for cosplay-ysera-sexy-dragons, and it will lead you to some interesting sites (still trying to figure out what “cleavages” are. Holy Bra Strap, Batman!). This one is from Deviantart-exquisite costume.

Nozdormu, Alexstrasza, Ysera, and Kalecgos (Matty popped her wolves in her excitement)

For an easy read, and most everything you need to know about the dragon aspects, go to this wowpedia post.

This is just a sketch of an idea, but think about it: whichever dragon aspect you choose those would be your special skills, physical form, and talents. One design issue or question is, “do you turn into a big hulking dragon and can’t fit in the instance?” I don’t think that’s necessary. However, you get the special perk of being able to turn into a dragon as your first mount, similar to the Vial of Sands, similar to as other classes get their specialty mounts. (Shamans have to hoof it or hitch-hike, like a bum.)

The devil’s advocates would come up with other arguments, too, as to why we players can’t be dragons, but the obvious argument is every one will want to be one, and the next thing you know, all of Azeroth will be overridden by dragons. Well, to that, I have heard the same thing about Blood Elves, Draenei, and Worgens. Oh, my. A world dominated by panda bears is perfectly logical, I guess. (I cannot help but think of Club Penguin every time I think of MoP.) Yes, I will most likely start a panda, but like my worgen, she may not get much play, unless my friend and I goof off together. I don’t see either of us taking it too seriously.

But dragons…come on…the possibilities!

Link: Disney homage to animated dragons.

Postscript: I always thought Deathwing’s jaw reminded me too much of this:

Here, thought you needed some eye candy to wash the Pete the Dragon image out of your mind:

Daenerys by Teilku

Theme song: How to Train Your Dragon/Forbidden Friendship

*Yes, you inferred correctly. I am 12.


Stay with me for a bit, even though I may have scared you. This post is the result of three recent events:
1. Blizzcon being canceled
2. Sense of frustration in general over game play and player choice(s), or lack thereof
3. Responsibilities to the real world

Now, I am not really that upset over Blizzcon being canceled per se. Of all the fans out there, only a small percentage could and did actually go. And, my impressions of it were somewhat disappointing, but the thing is, I had a lot of hope for this year, because I thought somehow, with the help of my new blogging buddies, we could do something cool –what exactly, I don’t know. But it involved cocktails and writing, not necessarily together. 

The underlying question is, “Is Blizzard in trouble?” 

I don’t really know, and am not sure how much it matters. 

Sometimes….but gee, sometimes…I really wish they’d listen to players (see blog list, sidebar left) who have some fun suggestions. Not every suggestion can or should be acted upon, but perhaps if Blizzards’ think tank of sorts did talk to people like say, Tome, or Navi, or Vidyala (the list goes on) perhaps…well. My next post called “Dragon Lady” will offer up my wish.

One thing players have said time and again is more control over their actual play. For the first time last night, I felt a twinge of social pressure. I was exhausted, and cross-dressing rogue showed me the tips and tricks of archeology. And I’ll be damned, it’s really kind of fun! Got to cover and see beautiful scenary, dig up dirt, and got the virtual smell of sand, sweat, fresh mossy dirt, whatever, and see the sunsets all over the world. I mean, think aobut it: if you could fly around the 24 hours of a world of sunsets and sunrises, how amazing would that be? Perhaps NASA is working on it. Oh wait. Funding. Right. Besides, I really want that Assistant Professor title, and a ride-able dinosaur. Some guild-mates were finished with their raid (sigh–mixed feelings) and wanted to do one more heroic. On shaman girl, I had 50 little nagging valor points. Now, it’s a numbers’ game, and that infuriates me, too. Not having the flexibility about when and how I get Valor Points drives me nuts. I know that Blizzard will never not cap them. I get that. But what I wish for, and this is a big meta-wish, is more solo or partner play: quests and difficult, challenging things one can do by oneself, or with one other buddy, and a schedule of when I can get them. 

I do get resentful of Blizzard trying to shoe horn all the players in together all the time.

This is a shoe horn. People don’t use them anymore.
It may be considered an antique.
To shoe-horn something is figurative language which means to make something fit when it doesn’t want to. Sometimes I am in a fuzzy-slipper mood and they force me in my high heels.

A. I didn’t want to go
B. I quit playing sooner than I wanted because my excuse of having to do dishes and a “no thank you” were met with a lot of “come on, it’ll be quick, etc.” I know they were being sweet, but like I said, I was really tired. I wanted to keep digging holes in my backyard and not hear Illidan talk about saving his people single-handedly.

So, Blizz, think about it: little bite-sized pieces, for those of us on a Blizz diet?

Which brings me to my scolding:

One technological aspect of our planet which is driving me bonkers is parents ignoring their children. I’m not talking about teenagers, etc., but those moms whose faces look more at their smartphones than their children’s. Now, please believe me. No one works harder than young moms. And yes, this goes for dads, too, but somehow dads have managed to skirt this. I’m not giving them a pass, but the double-standards exist. This goes for all parents: “Get your damn face out of your phone and talk to your kids.” If you wonder why our reading scores suck, look no further than the conversations you are NOT having with your kids. I go coo-coo nuts when I’m in a PUG and a player needs to tend to some young child in distress, and then feels guilt toward the strangers in the group. I am annoyed with the other players and annoyed with the parent. Don’t misunderstand: any AFK moment should be met with a “excuse me” sort of thing, and be made quick. If it’s truly an emergency, stop playing. Repeat: STOP PLAYING.

It reminds me of that character in The Guild with all the babies. I’m sure some teacher somewhere is going to get them in her classroom and be expected to teach them to read when they can’t even talk. Schema building, people, it’s all about schema.

Which leads me back to my original point: I think it’s very cool to have all players, those with kids, those without, to play on their schedule and needs. Moms and dads need breaks, too, but also need to pull away when family responsibilities call. I don’t know if Vidyala has children, but look how happy she is just to have a meal with a loved one?

One final point: Yes, I do wish Blizzard offered up challenging, interesting game play for those of us who crave a challenge, but don’t necessarily want to carve out 8 hours of our week to do so, with other (shudder) people. I would like the whole raiding/guild structure to change. Not sure what or how, but more flexibility, say having someone on a ‘day pass’ and get guild perks for a fun raid run, old or new content, and not have everything be such a big stinky deal. The big macho guilds “We’re NUMBER ONE! We’re NUMBER ONE!” sorts of guilds, could be structured differently from others somehow. 

Okay. I’m done now. Go about your business people, nothing to see here.


I had the worst dream before I woke up this morning.

I was in some cavern, brightly lit, with glowing thick ice walls, and there was some crash or horrific event (a battle?). Crashing all around me, shards, blood, broken objects, flooding into a tiny crevice, under some ice. I had to swim up and find the surface for air, keeping my wits about me. I found an opening and managed to clamber out of the icy water, and my body was covered in a blue glittery frost, although I felt chilled, not very cold. There was an old fashioned merry-go-round with freakish, clownish mounts, and some unknown companion and a flight attendant asked me if I was all right.

And then they told me Blizzcon had been canceled, and I woke up screaming.

Just kidding. I did have the nightmare, but I’m certain it was the result of an onslaught of work responsibilities in the aftermath of the storm, in addition to reading the last few chapters of Clash of Kings. (Poor Tyrion! How are you going to get out of that fix, little man?!)

And this morning, I had a great talk with a young druid about WoW; his perspective and insight was fascinating, but I’ll share more of that later. Right now, I have to dry off and find a warm blanket.

Theme Song: Wicked Game/ Chris Isaak

I Speak Geek.

These are three convergent zones that ignited this post, though I had been sitting on the idea for a while:

First, Tome pondered the question about what we marmots do in real life. 

Then, Navimie wants us to get our geek on.

Finally, Ironyca’s Series on the social media psychology of WoW (fascinating reading): 

Since I fell down the rabbit hole into Azeroth, the climb back out as not been easy. (Coincidentally, Vidyala’s post on how lovely it is to have dinner with a loved one came out yesterday.)

Real Life:
Here’s the thing: although there is some important professional/real life and defense of playing WoW in my current profession, I try to keep the two separate. I am good, if not great, at my job. One could even say I am a master. It’s one part lion-tamer, one part cultural ambassador, three parts mother earth, and five parts “Hulk Mad.” (No plaid shirts were harmed in the making of this job.)

I seldom talk jobs/careers with my players friends while we’re hanging out together, and they rarely bring things up. Once in a while we’ll mention something, but the workaday world is left behind for a bit. That’s one reason why I loved Ironyca’s series, because it really made me think about who are my real id friends, and not. I laughed when I read about someone saying they were someone’s brother to get some peace and quiet, because I’ve been told that, too. Not saying this friend was fibbing, but dang, I am sorry if he felt that he couldn’t tell me, “I just need some peace and quiet,” because I would really understand. My real life involves a daily dose of interacting with a lot of people, and my time to be inside my own head is precious to me. (In truth, I think he was dodging an aggressive gnome girl–they can be clingy.) In any case, I find that I have the calm, mellow friendships with my player friends whether or not they are real id friends or not. Maybe that just comes with maturity–you just learn it’s okay to say no, not feel bad, and move on. It takes women especially a while to learn to say ‘no’ and not feel guilty. Walking around Barnes & Noble the other night I couldn’t help but remark to myself how many books on the shelves and calendars were all about ‘women who do too much.’ Bitch, please. Oprah’s off the air I think, so relax. She’s not looking anymore.

Anyway, note to friend: If I ever bothered you, I apologize. I miss you, and hope you are well. Haven’t seen the gnome girl much, so the coast is clear. You can come out now.

Getting My Geek On:
Now, the other side of this issue: In Azeroth I don’t have much real life shop-talk; conversely, in real life, I don’t speak Azerothian “common tongue.” There are a few who know my compulsions, and one dear friend even has a brother who plays, but he is a solo troll, and has no interest in talking to anyone in game, ever. Nothing personal. A colleague will ask if I spent time “in the service of Good King Wyrnn” (that’s how he talks – gotta love it) and yes, indeed, kind sir, Azeroth sleeps safe once again.

But as far as being a general geek/dork, oh yes. I just didn’t know I was. I just found out that there will be no Blizzcon this year and I am heartbroken.  Damn! And I was already figuring out how to rock my prosthetic horns (in a manner of speaking). Maybe I should have known I was a geek since one of my favorite books is Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. But those are the real McCoy, chicken heads and all.

What’s been funny for me is that I have known grandmothers and mothers who are guildmasters, and neighbors who invited other player friends to visit, cross-state. It’s like a big WoW treasure chest, but the X that marks the spot to find other nearby players is a confusing map, and every compass spins wildly. Meaning, I don’t have a lot of local support. Some of my bestestest people in my life play, too, but we don’t play together per se. Sitting on the couch and farming ore while the Daily Show is on doesn’t count, does it?

The above diagram will give you a little peek on my inner-sanctum while I play, work, and check my e-mail. And while I’m driving to work, this nod to the Big Lebowski can be seen barreling down the streets:

Guess I’ll just have to go to another Lebowski Fest since Blizzcon is defunct. If you want, I’ll meet you there and we’ll just have to abide together.

Theme song: Come Out and Play/The Offspring

Red flag.

This past week was an unexpected “vacation” as I have ever needed, but that description and reflection will go on my professional blog, not my escape-hatch sugar blog. So, yesterday, as I was sitting in Starbucks (I found a nice lady to watch my computer while I ran to the bathroom and got lunch, because I know you were worried), I got a message that my Internet was on! Hoozah! Maybe, just maybe I could run through seven new dungeons between then and the time dinner was to be made. What could go wrong?

With the help of a trusty guild-mate, a healer, we got through the first four without many issues, save for a few potholes, and I think I broke an axle or two.
In the Jaina fight, apparently there are these blistering fire thingies that pop up, and if a ranged dps’er doesn’t stand on them, they explode, and do a lot of damage to everyone. I swear, in the grinding I have done on those on a melee, tank, and healer, I never once noticed them. I have never been in a group that wiped on the Jaina fight (she tries to be all bad-ass, but really, just can’t pull it off), until yesterday.
Also, I am struggling against some bigotry. Yes. I said it. I confess. Aggro & Casters* seem to be the issue with these dungeons, which are the worse issues besides really bad dialogue. We got Well of Eternity a few times, and that damn Queen Azshara fight. After dinner, ran two of these and for some ungodly reason adds kept killing my healer. I have no idea why. I taunted, I beat down, I grabbed, sweet-talked and cried. Nothing seemed to work. In my defense, all I could say to her in Vent was that she had witnessed me tanking it just fine earlier, and I just couldn’t figure out what went wrong. 
The Youtube Video from OMFG wouldn’t embed, but here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DF-ALycXVww
The bigotry, oh yes. That is with some mages and warlocks who get upset at the Hour of Twilight dungeon. I cheered every time this one popped up, because it is a cake-walk for tanks. Not so casters in the rogue fight.

To quote: Thrall will help during the encounter by putting up the same totems he’s been using in the preceding trash gauntlet, so whenever possible, your party members should stand in a totem range. When she’s low on health, Asira will put up a Blade Barrier. To lift it, she needs to be hit by an attack that deals more than 30000 damage, so save a cooldown for this if your party has low damage output. 

I will concede one point, and that is I should ‘back out more slowly’ from her smoke bombs. GTFO–you are not my master! No! I will not succumb to your blaring sirens and run out of smoke all crazy-like so that a mage or warlock can show off his numbers. I know that dps players are all about the numbers, numbers, numbers, but in truth, by the time I get to my sixth heroic in as many hours, frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a damn. Shut your pie hole and let’s move on. The bias comes in because I have noticed a generality, that mages and warlocks tend to, well, let’s just say put in a complaint in the RNG Suggestion Box more often than not. One dungeon two DKs hit over 59-62K regularly, and they didn’t complain.
Regardless, whatever. 
Luperci got some hot new gear, made of thorium. (Apparently the Thorium Brothers don’t waste a lot of materials on straps and frills.)

Exarch Orelis looks on in admiration…
Moral of the story: If you’re going to wipe, at least look good while doing it. And, I capped out my Valor Points. You’re not the boss of me, stupid Comcast!

Postscript: methinks I thought of another great guild name…