Thirty-foot pole: Can I see your ID?

With all the “isms” out there, one would think I would have better sense. But I don’t. (Need further evidence? Just read any of the over 500+ posts I’ve written and there are data to support this theory.)

But here I go, poking a stick at another topic that can be detrimental to one’s health: ageism.

Sexism and racism are very real and damaging issues in our “social” world, virtual and real. And the lines between virtual and real are so damn blurred, so muddied, I seriously wonder if we as a species will ever be able to extricate ourselves from our digital overlords. In thinking of getting an i-Phone, and the thought of Siri’s voice telling me what to do and where to go greatly disturbs me. Now, if Pierce Bronsnan was telling me, sure. Whatever you say, Pierce. Rule, Britannia!

Sorry, my mind wanders off. I’m well over the age of 18, and we in our dotage tend to meander. See what happens when I don’t take my pills?

Ageism is a very real and damning excuse for exclusion and discrimination. This issue goes across all age groups, too, so young’uns, don’t think I’m finger wagging at your lack of respect for your elders. It strikes me as such hypocrisy, in myself mostly, and my discomfort when I find myself, a perfectly capable, mature adult, when I spend hours, hours “playing a game” and feeling real emotions over it! Like a spoiled brat who throws a temper-tantrum when they don’t get to be the race-car token while playing Monopoly. (Remember those? Board games? I think of them as bored-games, and was never interested in them. But they were made of wood, paper, metal, and plastic, and humans would gather around these mystical rectangular alters of skill and chance, and then, oh no, create lasting cherished or dysfunctional memories, depending on the addition of mean older sibling or bratty next-door-neighbor or disinterested parent. Hey, we all have our roles to play. I liked being the banker because, well, I liked to cheat.)

So, I have found myself never, ever telling anyone how old I am. There are way too many biases against players who are over thirty, and especially if they’re female. Perfectly nice bloggers will defend one another and then gasp in astonishment over “Hey, there are even grandmas who are guildmasters and raid leaders!”

And, there are way too many biases against those under twelve. When baby cub started playing years ago with papa bear and uncle bear, the guild chastised and sanctioned him time and again. These were GROWN MEN who were so mean to the baby cub that papa bear hit a mighty /gquit with one swipe of his paw and never looked back. But it soured the whole experience from then on. And baby cub’s innocence and joy was damaged, too, but hey, that’s life, right? Get a few knocks and punches, all part of growing up, right? (Sad face.) This is why Big Bear’s Cub Reports take me back to a happy place. Hope his baby cub is better protected.)

When I read trade chat or the trash-talk that goes on, I know it’s most likely teenagers being complete jackasses to one another, and then have the horrifying realization that one of them is a former guildmate whom I know is a grown man with a family. So, is this man pretending to be young again? And, who am I to judge, really? I am a grown woman, and yet, thoroughly enjoy pretending to be a hooven-horned space goat running around, perpetually young, nubile, and sparky?

Who am I to judge indeed.

So, how old am I in real life? As my former guildmaster Xak was quoted as saying, “A real gentleman always knows a lady’s birthday, but never her age.” How Cary Grant of him.

My birthday is in February. And none of your damn business.

DAMMIT. I had this post in mind, and there goes WoW Insider, too!

Theme song: When I’m Sixty-Four/The Beatles (and no, not yet)

Got skills? Apparently not.

I wish I had better news. I wish I didn’t have a teeny-tiny hangover from two big-gulp sized Grey Goose dirty martinis. I wish I had gotten more sleep. What I wanted to report this morning was a surprise, that my latest Ironman project had reached level 15 safe and sound, but alas…not meant to be. 

Hachette and Lapinou, her wolf, had risen the ranks through thick and thin, with one narrow escape in Westfall and otherwise, enjoying a certain amount of pride, and yes, actual enjoyment of trying to figure out what to do in order to make enough coin to even train properly. “She” even took some eggs to market and made some pocket change. And her wolf? A more loyal, spunky, and brave pet one has ever known. Lapinou is a French pet-name which roughly translates to ‘little bunny rabbit,’ a cute name a parent might affectionately call a child. 

She even defeated Hogger!
Lapinou drags in a few Riverpaws, but all ended well…that time.

Ah, but again, the heroine’s hubris is her downfall. With a clown to the left of me, and a joker to the right, she succumbed to the fast-spawning murloc population along the sandy shores of Westfall, and then proceeded to run into countless packs of Riverpaws. Both Hachette and Lapinou were overcome, and there is the health bar depleting faster than hope that gas prices will ever go down. And while I give the report of this latest catastrophe to the sweet joker to my right, he says, “You know, you just don’t have to be good at everything in WoW.” I can’t quite describe his tone, but it was sweet, and caused a minor epiphany on my part. I am not good at anything in WoW! I report this to the clown to my left, in this conversation:

Now, the joker to the right was right. He observed that each time my character dies during an Ironman is when I lose focus. I’m talking, the television is on, and there may be a martini present. He wasn’t being mean, not at all, simply stating a truth. And his second observation is also true–as is my friend’s. I am a good friend, which is probably why Azeroth has lost some of its flavor of late. Guarf is still doing whatever it is Guarf does. There is a very annoying scroll of resurrection that I refuse to click on due to principles. Finally, I keep resisting the urge to whisper folks looking “to build their raid teams.” I just don’t want to be yelled at anymore by a 20-something. Go figure. But–again, I am truly blessed. I do have the joker, and the clown (just kidding, guys!) and many others in and out of Azeroth whom I love, adore, and get to hug, with typed words or real arms. And I bet if I ask nicely, I can even get some aspirin for this hangover.

Now — do I continue with Hachette in regular Ironman (don’t you get to die in that one, just none of the other buffs/talents?) or start again? Or, Plan C, just continue with her going full-bore, all the goodies, gold and glory? Not sure where that leave poor Haanta, with another hunter in the house. But there is something to be said for fresh starts, but I’m not sure where the mark is. Maybe I had better figure that out before I do “ready, set.” 

For now, au revoir mon cher et être bien, Hachette.

Drabble: Walk

“You are a damn idiot, Matty. You called me out from the hunt for this frivolity, and then you dare to presume, and tell me to change my boots? I earned these, Matty, every step of the way. You and yours did nothing to help me. From the moment I left Azuremyst, I did this on my own. These boots – you call them ugly? Provisioner Whitecloud doesn’t give these away, Mataoka. I indulged your dress-up time, a waste of time, and you don’t have the right to tell me what else to do. So shove-off, shaman cousin. Leave me be.” 

Hidden panda, crouching Draenei

Was thinking this morning, with all the blogging players getting their betas, they are of course excitedly and rightfully sharing posts about their experiences. So, please, do not be offended if I don’t click on your blog for a bit. It’s not jealousy, I promise. I don’t read movie reviews, and quite often will turn off a trailer or shut it out if I feel it’s revealing too much. I want to experience it myself. The ten minutes I got to play at Blizzcon was like a crumb of a sample, grateful for it I am (oh Yoda voice, where did you come from?) but it is not enough to sustain me.

Anyway, going to be not reading for a while. And to be fair, I admitted to myself if I had received my beta, I’d be putting screenshots and commentary all over this blog. Sharing is awesome. And, I’m glad those bloggers are sharing, because then I have those resources when I need them. So, this is a lesson for me. Just going to hide over here for a bit, behind the World Tree, and wait for the fire to blow over. And keep checking my mail.

Twenty-Foot Pole: Blessings upon your family!

Ceniza had a bad run-in, or four, with some crazed cultists.

Well, many stalwart women and men have been alligator-mud-jello wrestling feminism issues in Azeroth. I walked away with kind of a sadness, really. I know that gender discrimination is alive in well, but am sorry it exists at all. Was joking with young leet druid yesterday about some countries’ potential travel brochures, “Hey, come visit us! We don’t listen to women!” Okay, sorry. Too soon.
ANYWAY, I extended my pole and was thinking about religion and spirituality in Azeroth when I watched this video (it is seven minutes very well spent):

I am a Draeneist. I believe in helping those less fortunate than myself. I practice Draeneism, and try to walk in the light, and throw out blessings like smiles. My question is, are any of the spiritual practices in the game familiar or annoying to you, or both? Do you have an affinity for one path or another? And just like heroes, does your narrative veer off-course, too?  (I’m not suggesting the writer of Dodge, Parry, Block is off-course. I love his tagline, “Tanking your way to fame and fortune, and the line, ‘Azeroth Depends on our vigilance.” Man, does that sum up heroes.)

Blessings upon your family, and I mean that.

Know Your Archetype: The Temptress

It’s always a dame.

Ah, the Temptress: the other woman, the she-devil, the hussy.

In Azeroth, aside from some players who may or may not be female tempting players with flirtatious sexual overtones, (I’m not sure what button* is your feminine wiles buff, but hey, you’ll have to answer to your game-girl sisterhood on that one), the Temptress is the ultimate self-actualized chica. She really doesn’t care whether or not she’s liked, but succumbing to her charms is non-negotiable. It starts off with heavy dose of Circe, a dash of Eve, a great haircut from Delilah, and the Southern drawl of Scarlet. of “Don’t Give a Damn, not in the letter “A.” Hester Prynne is so misunderstood. Which brings me to this thought: why is the temptation in mythology always in female form? Is it just because women aren’t often the protagonists in tales? I know we need to change that. And speaking of the Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is indeed the protagonist, and is Dimmesdale the tempter? He pays the price for it though, and most temptresses don’t. Okay, except for maybe Cleopatra and that incident with her asp.

The temptresses in the game tend to be the succubi,  the Night Elf handmaidens, the charming-whipping-put-you-to-dreamy-sleep-slip-a-mickey-in-your-mead types. Which leads me to this, too: there aren’t enough female bosses in the game. Oh, sure, there’s Queen Azshara, Lady Sylvanas, and Tyrande, and this monument to “Not Everyone Should Wear Lycra:” Queen Therazane. While doing research again, I see that even Rades has mentioned this.  I don’t consider Tyrande  a temptress, though. She’s solidly in the ‘mother’ wing of archetypes. And I’m not sure who would be tempted by Therazane, but to each his own.

The Temptress uses sex and hedonism to get the hero off-task, and I’m not going to try to say it delicately. What I appreciate about femme fatales in mythology/legends is that they are so unapologetic about it, too. Circe doesn’t give one fig if Odysseus gets home to a hot supper; Calypso does, and that is the heartbreak. But Circe, nope. One more man-bear-pig and she’s good to go. Stick around, boys. Men are their playthings, their toys. And this begs the question, when one has little power, is sexual power better than nothing? (I swear I do not ask these rhetorical questions because I have answers – I really wonder about this stuff sometimes. That’s a lie. I’ve spent a lifetime thinking about it in one context or another. Maybe I’ll get a chance to see my friend with the PhD in Medieval Women’s Theatre/ Literature and discuss sexual-historical paradigms in gender-politics. Or maybe we’ll just have a martini. Heck, what am I thinking? We’re WOMEN! We can do both!

But who in game might be a temptress given the various classes/races? I would say Trolls and Night Elf Druids, and Worgens, too. It’s the shape-shifting, seductive dances, and dreamy green sleep that produces this tempting effect. But really–the shape-shifting. The ability to be many things at once, ferocious and primal–very intense stuff.

In looking for images I ran across this:

and it reminded me of Bettie Page, 1950s “star.” Nothing is ever new, is it?

*Can you imagine the icon for that spell? Think about it. Use your imagination.

In any case, Bear’s post and links today have me all kinds of laughing. Check it out.

Update: Forgot to add this theme song: Tempted/Squeeze

Know Your Archetype: The Hero

Or,  how to go from a Hero to Zero, in no time flat.

Originally, I was going to address the Temptress in the archetype series, but too many recent posts conspired and coalesced that I changed my mind, and decided to tackle heroes/heroines. (Although conquering one’s desire with the femme fatale would be very challenging, especially with all these posts on feminism. All hail Samantha Bee! All hail Kristin Shaal! Felicia Day,Gloria Steinem – remember when feminists got upset when she got married? She of the a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle fame?

What qualities make a ‘hero?’ Courage, bravery, willingness to help others in times of difficulty, selfless acts of generosity of spirit, time, and resources. Wait. Am I describing a hero or a Labrador Retriever?

It is not my intent to debate the definition of bravery or courage. No one will ever agree on these, their connotations versus denotations. It is only my intent to describe the archetype of a hero in mythology, and in the mythos of gaming. Walk down the gallery of busts and pedestals, the annals of history, and see what we can see. (But I kind of failed at this.)

This comment interested me: March 27, 2012 at 11:15 pmI’m not sure being controversial or stirring shit for the sake of it has much to do with bravery. just as a side-note, definitions are getting a bit too mixed up for me here and there. my own definition of bravery is that one must overcome his own fears and therefore in fact be afraid to do something and yet do it. if you’re not afraid to be loud or honest or of potential reader reactions, then you are in fact not brave – no matter what the topic is.I am not even sure such a thing as “internet bravery” exists; that is my view based on people I have met in real life and what they have gone through and put up with everyday. nobody on the important internet will ever hear their story. it’s all wonderful to pat shoulders in internet communities, but sometimes I miss a bit of a reality check among the self-bravado. I will never consider any act of mine that requires me to push a publish button behind the safety (and anonymity) of my PC screen an act of true yeah, I second Rohan on the complicated topic ;)

Is it brave to get out of a bad marriage? Sit by a sick child? File a harassment suit? Stand up to a bully? It is not for any of you to judge the small acts of courage. Nor is it your task to heap guilt on the ones you don’t think are behaving in a courageous manner. That whole free-will thing and all that. We honor the heroes because they do step out way in front, but sometimes they step out in front because everyone else has taken five steps backwards.

I’ll let that one sink in.

It is facing what we fear. Say someone posts something difficult. We just read words. We don’t see them. We can’t know if the person started crying after reading a response, or if their fingers were shaking before they hit publish. I do think we have all become a bit jaded when it comes to courage; we are fatigued as a world. Like an old fire horse who jumps out the door at the sound of the alarm, some of us still jump at the plea for help, and don’t turn our backs on others.

But heroes get tired, too. I always think of the opening exposition in The Incredibles when the hero is so weary, but still, wanting to be out in the fray, in the action, and he risks everything, especially the aggro-threat of wifely nagging. Oh, there is no sharper weapon than a woman’s disappointment.

We keep rehashing what I wish and feel should be done, and over. But maybe that is the essence of a cycle, a journey. It ends and begins again, with each generation trying to define their sense of community and involvement.  Where is the place for a paladin now? I keep remember my friend saying months ago, “We used to be kings of this world.” I wrote the Paladin’s Tale based on that comment. Washed-up, has-been, themes of former glory (just watch any Wes Anderson tale, especially The Royal Tenenbaums if you want stories of former glory and present-tense redemption.)

Keep Calm and Carry On, or as one Twitter-er’s avatar states, Keep Calm and Disengage, Oh Shit!

Azeroth lets us vicariously become heroes, just for a moment or two, if we so choose. One cannot extricate personal motivations from rewards that may result. There are no guarantees. So, does this mean that if we are also motivated by selfish reasons, our actions are any less heroic? Perhaps.  Heroes are complicated lots. The fewer dimensions they have, the shallower, the more they move away from the hero spectrum to static or flat character. Heroes only get interesting when we witness their inner turmoil and then –here is the critical piece –are made to feel an important part of helping them work through it. Heroism is all about the greater good. Kind of sucks during loot rolls, but sometimes…it works.
How many news stories have you read where someone just says, “I did what anyone would do.” And it is true. If someone can, most often, they will try to help. I believe this. Now, our choice of help and protest is befuddling to me sometimes. I am not sure what exactly triggers the protest of one young man, a tragedy, when so many are killed every day? Why does it take the one to speak for all? These are questions I will ask my entire life.
So, is our call to action to ask writers/bloggers to be honest and brave? Why, I wonder? Is it enough to be the reporter, the storyteller, or the provoker, in terms of getting  conversation and community together. I never even considered any post through the measuring stick of “is this writer brave or not?” Never even crossed my mind, unless it was a post like Apple Cider’s. That one will stick with me forever, and not just because it was brave, but because it was important. I will use her example in my professional and personal life. I do not expect or demand that writers share their personal stories with me –that is ludicrous. It is choice. If they want to, great—honor and respect. If they don’t- great. Honor and respect.
I have analyzed the role of a tank before, for my own clarification, and what I have to say is trite and tired. Tanks are there to make others look good. That’s it. The job requirements create a clear rubric: keep all from dying is the low-end of the scale, to make everyone succeed without noticing your presence.
What has happened though is that tanks made everyone look so good no one seems to need them anymore. Comments of “my HP is higher than the tank’s,” or “keep agro” and that no one seems to know what to do with a tank, exactly, they just know they need one, like the rationale for changing your underwear every day. You don’t know why you do, really, you just do. Or put on deodorant. You probably don’t stink that bad, but still…In professional lives, consider the really good supervisor, the one who organizes, boosts morale, knows when to give you the pat on the back or the gentle nudge. You learn to take them for granted. And then they get fired, demoted, or promoted, and then you realize how awesome you had it. If you’ve never had a good boss, I am sorry. They do exist, albeit rare. 
But are they “true heroes?” No. Not really. But on a concentric scale, yes, in my estimation. They are the players who make the game more fun, who are inclusive, and generous, and funny. But, they also enjoy the praise, too. All part of the hero hubris.
Ever hopeful, sweet Lupe

How cool would it be to give the “tanks” – wish there was another term for this role—a path of their own? Where they do have to save the day, prove their stamina, test their mettle? I don’t want to be king of the world again, but I also don’t want to have to slide off the ship’s door into the icy depths to save some skirt. (Just kidding. I loved Titanic.) Maybe I want to be Rose and grab onto Jack, and live happily ever after, and not happily in the ever after-life.

But I now I shift to maudlin: when I look at this little brave tank I naively started, sometimes she breaks my heart. Really. Real tears time. There is no place for her, no motivation, she just does her job, her thankless job, and survives on parry moves and a great defense made from a wonderful offense. I read these two posts today:
and the other day:
and thought “Why should I efffing bother?” I mean — look at the number chart on that second link! It’s amazing! It’s a rocket-science description of tanking when I’m still trying to find the constellations. See that? Over there? Yes. That’s Orion’s Belt. You’ll never get it, because you can’t raid. You’re lame. And don’t know what you’re doing, and no one needs you. That star over there? That’s part of the Superfluous Nebulae. Yeah, can’t get there from here. A million light years away. But see, see what happens? That’s my ego getting bruised, my motivation is off. If someone needs me, I’ll be there for them. That’s all.

I think this is one of the greatest acts of cowardice I have witnessed in a long time.  You can judge me, the story, or the entire series of tragic events. Waiting for a hero on this one.

Awkward age.

Oh, Ceniza. Oh, oh, my. You are a hot mess.

Yes, this is the same little match girl who made it past Round I of Mog Madness.

She reminds me of my poor little cherry tree that got bitten by a bad winter storm and is still stubbornly blossoming:

This tree pitifully cries out, “I’m still pretty!”

She will be my fifth level 85. And this is where I just think–I gotta find something different to do. (Yup. Start writing those “novels.“) She has seventeen more bubbles to go, and then, baby look out. BoA items, dungeons, some choice quests, and then someone reminded me….

…faction reputations for enchants.


Okay. We are all very concerned with drop-outs in our country. Not sure other nations have this issue, but we here in the States do. And I remember reading years ago the reason why most kids drop out of high school is not because they are failing academically, as one might think, but because they are bored.

I have said this time and again — Blizz, for all that is holy, please mix up what loyal players have in terms of choice? Why not allow more BoA items? Why not have a “souvenir bag” for professions, meaning, if I have a level 85 who is an herbalist, but I am a miner, why can’t I pick up a few flowers for them along the way? Why? Why? WHY!? I’m still only one woman, still only so many hours in the day, and I want those hours to be fun! I want to get to the GOOD STUFF! Those poor hapless teenagers are so bored they’d rather spend a lifetime in menial labor than sit through another lecture on quadratic formulas and subject/verb agreement? I know it’s not your job to entertain, oh, wait. Yes it is.

But damn–the thought of all that damn, boring treadmill shit is a wet match in a dark cave.
She’ll be 85 for a tiny while, just before MoP hits, and then all of those damn Draeneis will be clamoring to be level 90. Me! Me! Me! I’m your main! I’m the pretty one! I’m the smart one! Choose me!

Okay, yes, I am looking forward to getting her dressed back up, and what I am really looking forward to is the research on how to get the most bang for my flame-orb, or something like that. I want to try different weapon and enchant combinations, and watch her set the world on fire.

Theme song: Dolly Parton/Jolene (damn, look at that pantsuit!)