RTMT: Catfish dinners.

What if I told you I was really an 18-year-old college student studying poli-sci at a small Midwestern university?

What if I told you I was really one of the editors for Blizzard’s Diablo game text?

What if I told you I was really a 59-year-old unemployed construction worker from El Paso?

Well, none of those are true. I am who I say I am: An early millennium Draenei shaman, replete with hooves and fist weapons. Yup. That’s me. Loves to write and photos of baby animals, and has a coffee addiction. The news of Manti Te’O’s non-existent girlfriend fascinated me. “Catfishing” is the term that comes from the 2010 movie, Catfish. Saturday Night Live recently spoofed the movie, and the phenomenon of wanting to believe what we want to believe. It has made me think about the potential scientific research that could result on re-asking the question: “What is love?” Think about it. If a generation of social media babies can believe in an on-line persona without flesh-and-blood proof, and still feel the same triggers, reactions, desires, and hopes for the growth of the relationship, does it mean–that “true love” is a complete falsehood? We humans do love the idea of love, that’s for sure. Cupid’s arrows now just come in the form of tweets and avatars.

Now I am not suggesting anything untoward or weird happens in Azeroth (because it’s all weird). Role-players have long deftly navigated the sticky waters of reality, fantasy, crafting a narrative, and building on a foundation of lore. And guess what? We imaginative humans crave the manipulation, control, and creativity that come with play. And as far as that generation of young lovers out there, I’m not worried about them. Once SNL has spoofed it, or Jon Stewart teased it, they won’t take the bait.

Always enjoyed ‘Drama Mamas’ column, too.

Could Have Been:

Speaking of play, now for the fun stuff:

A know a few tricksy mages in Azeroth. It is important to the male mage to always look his best, and if possible, get out of those damn robes! This is a look my friend Conried put together recently, and I have to showcase it:

This is the centerpiece of the ensemble: The Valorous Kirin Tunic. Perfect, absolutely perfect, for a mage.

The other morning while Zep was stepping on some bugs, she looked over, and a hunter, Capgun, looked JUST LIKE HER! What?! Someone drank Potion of Illusion to copy her look?! How flattering?! And…she is lovely! It was tough to get a good screenshot, but if you look closely you’ll spot the Doppelganger:

Oh, and recently CD Rogue told Kellda she needs to find some pants:

Pants-schmants. Got my stave to keep me warm!

Day 6 & 7: Catching Up

Underground Volcano Lairs are not all they’re cracked up to be…

These past few weeks I have had that overwhelming sense of not being on the ‘right’ day – you know that sensation? Where you swear it’s Tuesday when it’s Wednesday? Even this morning I thought it was Monday the 27th, but it’s Monday the 28th, and have appointments, and things, and I not only double-booked, but triple-booked. It just dawned on me that the reason my circadian and chronological rhythms are screwy are because I’ve been on Azerothian time way too much. No wonder why my pacing has been fractured!

Well, damn and double-damn – here is what I learned from my few days of AFK:

On the seventh day RNG made server restarts, and the light shone upon them all. 

I can do it if I need to. And it is good. 

When I stepped hoof back in there, it was so cool to see my friends again. Just –happy! My buddy Krasher was busy pet battling, and had a grand surprise:

He had obtained the Anubisath Idol and rounded out the Raiding with Leashes, so Mr. Bigglesworth, you are MINE! BUT THAT IS NOT ALL! He handed over the cage to a Porcupette: it had all its shots and papers! (It was leveled, in other words!)

That is about the cutest damn thing I’ve ever seen. He also had an extra Water Spirit hanging around, so  yeah– it is very important to keep friendships/trades balanced, so when I am on going to see how I can return the favor.

But lest you think I’m all about the “stuff,” nay, my friends –it was just cool that folks seemed genuinely happy to see me, too, as glad as I am in seeing them!

What did I learn, again? Oh yes. That if I need to go AFK for awhile I can. That is huge. That sense of some self-control, no matter how small or a delusional, just made me feel better overall. Now to try to be in the Moment of Monday, whatever that means.

Postscript: Mr. Bigglesworth is friggin’ AWESOME.

Oh, and that money I owe baby druid for playing? I never welch on a bet.

Day 5: Permission

Okay, I did turn my sister onto the Chibli maker – that was fun!

I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had read every inane Facebook update, and wrote a few myself. I made a Twitter friend laugh. I saved the world, (a few of them, as a matter of fact), fed snacks, made dinners, had meetings, planned and executed an exposition (Thursday was one of those 16-hour days!) I called girlfriends. I balanced checkbooks. I shuffled papers and socks. I even had an epic pedicure yesterday – really! I think the wonderful woman saw the fatigue on my face and knew it had nested in my poor, sore hooves, er, feet, and worked her magic. I took my vitamins and melatonin and slept like a baby. I made plans, I sorted stacks, I finished Dance with Dragons, and started new books. I bought The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and started reading Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job.  (Holy crap! I just saw on my Amazon order list I bought this almost a year ago!) So far I think it’s brilliant, and his thesis on the “beta male” is constantly reminding me of all the beta males in Azeroth (yes, you — the players).

While Alpha Males are often gifted with superior physical attributes—size, strength, speed, good looks—selected by evolution over the eons by the strongest surviving and, essentially, getting all the girls, the Beta Male gene has survived not by meeting and overcoming adversity, but by anticipating and avoiding it. That is, when the Alpha Males were out charging after mastodons, the Beta Males could imagine in advance that attacking what was essentially an angry, woolly bulldozer with a pointy stick might be a losing proposition, so they hung back at camp to console the grieving widows. When Alpha Males set out to conquer neighboring tribes, to count coups and take heads, Beta Males could see in advance that in the event of a victory, the influx of female slaves was going to leave a surplus of mateless women cast out for younger trophy models, with nothing to do but salt down the heads and file the uncounted coups, and some would find solace in the arms of any Beta Male smart enough to survive. In the case of defeat, well, there was that widows thing again. The Beta Male is seldom the strongest or the fastest, but because he can anticipate danger, he far outnumbers his Alpha Male competition. The world is led by Alpha Males, but the machinery of the world turns on the bearings of the Beta Male.

Moore, Christopher (2009-10-13). A Dirty Job (Kindle Locations 467-475). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Yesterday while walking to my truck I saw a white falcon perched on the telephone wire. In my gangly shuffling to get out my phone, he/she wisely flew off. Who wants an inept ornithologist posting one’s beauty on another stupid Facebook post? Then, a few miles down the road I noticed the full-ish moon. I talked to Siri about the experiences for a mental note for writing. And speaking of writing, today I’m off to another Puget Sound Writing Project group, and we always get time to write and share. Right on!


When I’m sitting there at 9:30PM, and I’ve done everything I can possibly do (except the dishes–come on now, don’t be cruel!) and I turned to C.D. Rogue and tell him I just want to play a little (he never put this ban on me, by the way–he’s too smart for that) he said, and I’m paraphrasing: When all is done, all is taken care of, and we [as a grownup] want to choose to play or do whatever for a bit, then there is nothing wrong with it.

Freed up of all guilt or sense of failure, I did log on. I was hoping no one would notice (ah, where is that invisibility cloak log on button?!) because I just wanted to bounce around a bit, but it is a social place, and I do adore my buddies in Azeroth, but damn, I would feel like I’d have to explain myself. No matter. Luckycricket the Gnome Monk ran a little dungeon or two with a lovely rogue from Elune (she was charming and sweet- so nice to meet nice players!) and Lucky leveled up one or two (considering she has every heirloom imaginable, no wonder!)

Now, I do have another post brewing about how to reset balance in one’s play life, and how the current game structure contributed to my threatening stance on the game ledge, but that’s for another time. Now I’m going to check my virtual mail, drink a bit more coffee, and take people places and do more things. And make no apologies.

Day 4: Longest Weekend

I was scrolling through some TiVo’d recordings of The Regular Show.

I love The Regular Show.  (This is was before I found out Mark Hamill plays the voice of Skips.)

But this episode came on: The Longest Weekend.

“I don’t know, dude, you two spend a lot of time together.”

Hit a little too close to home.

Bachelors: if you’re looking for clues of the female mind, this is a perfect episode for you. You won’t have any clarification, but you may gain some –thing. Maybe. But one thing I know: never take advice from films that end in “Fin.”

Postscript: busted! checked in on LuckyCricket. Had to. Just had to.

Burned by the beauty…

the lesson of the moth  by archy (Don Marquis)

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional 
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered 
candle instead of an electric 
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get 
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter 
it is better to be happy
for a moment 
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time 
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for 
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then to cease to
exist than to exist forever 
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is to come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy 
he went and immolated himself 
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish 
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself


Thank you Erinys.

The racial pet for Draeneis are moths. I have collected them in every color, from every corner of Azeroth. They should be found near flames, lights, false and true (including Darkmoon eyes and lights of shadow). What I haven’t had a chance to tell her yet is weeks ago I named a beautiful blue harpy after her, with a slight twist: Aerynys.

Tough crowd.

…or: “The Cultural Misadventures of a Kaajin the Goblin.”

This one’s for you, Navi.

I know a goblin warlock, a beautiful green-skinned darling named Kaajin. She had an unfortunate smelting accident while making bolts in the Dwarven District one afternoon, and when she awoke from her coma, she had turned from a human to a goblin, the only permanent side effect. Interestingly enough, she managed to make the most of it and immediately purchased a crab that seemed to make her Alliance brethren happy.

Knowing to stay off the mean streets of Orgrimmar until she got her bearings, she decided to perch in a hotel for a spell. This one didn’t have has many blood splatters on the wall or Forsaken warriors haunting around named Ibwa chewing the fat and the customers, so she determined its relative safety. After all, it hadn’t been all the long since she was a human, and only had to worry about fending off cheeky, butt-pinching gnomes (oh yes–do not be fooled – gnomes love to pinch human female bottoms…) or churlish soldiers. Content to blend in with the crowd, until gold and glory called (which due to her newly minted goblin protocols, would not be long).

Demonology was easy. She thought, sipping a cup of gods-know-what, (the barkeep had a don’t ask, don’t tell policy on ingredients), why not stir up the pot a bit and try her skills at Affliction? It seemed intriguing…all pustular, pestilent, and pulchritude of pretty spells. One in particular seemed interesting…wonder what it does? Howling Fear…oh, this could be fun! “No one in this place will hear me,” she thought, sending out waves of silently deafening horror.

As her jaw was beginning to form a smile from the joy of the howl, and before her head was back to a 45 degree angle on her shoulders, a looming, hairy form pounded her into the ground. None of the patrons gave it a second glance. She was dead. In her spirit self, she was bewildered, confused–how can this be?! I am among friends, aren’t I? Why, why did someone else slaughter me like a plate of half-priced Happy Hour nachos?

A lumbering Tauren sat, drinking his ale, a bit more sweaty and steaming of irritation in the corner.

She ran back to the bar, retrieved her broken bones, mended them back up, and lived again.

Because she came from human origins, and humans are not always as shrewd as goblins, she tried it again.

It takes a lot to mortify a goblin. In fact, few of us would want to know what. Our human imaginations cannot do the math on this one. She did not run back this time: she knew the freight train’s name who had run her down like a sheep on the tracks: Gamon. She heard sniggering in the corner from a group of Blood Elves. Her skin went from green to beet red, but she pulled her cowl over her hair to hide her anger and embarrassment. She stood next to him in the bar. He did not look at her; he just drank his ale.

She decided to just leave him be.

For now.

Editor’s Note: Further research on the outlaw Gamon shows that no one is safe in his presence. He is not a low-level NPC, but an elite. Maybe because of Kaajin’s stature she did not notice the huge, shining gold ring around his name with blood-red number, “85.” But in all the years on the Alliance side, there has never been an incident where an NPC in the same Inn has been so deftly deadly. Oh sure, there’s the occasional brawl with a cook-cum-cultist  for the Valiance Expedition, but whatever. Never met anyone like Gamon before, and plan on keeping a wide berth, and not throwing out random Howling Fears in his presence.

Day 3: The List-ening

Luckycricket sits on bread and waits.

The list:

1. Finish Ceniza’s cooking achievement
2. One more exalted on Mataoka/tabard
3. Fist weapons for Mataoka 
4. Jewel crafting panther mounts
5. More Darkmoon cards! Pick all the things!
6. Pants for Zep (must be nicer to Klaxxi)
7. Level Luckycricket the Gnome Monk of Perfection to Level 85 for the Fire and Blood Guild. Remember those guys? The ones with the funny trade chat guild recruitment ad? They are just as funny and nice as they have said. I think it’s only when one tries to start raiding with guilds that things go sour.
8. Level Kellda the Wistful Warlock to 90, and really see what she can do.
9. February: Luperci.
The real list:
1. Run Karazhan over and over and over and over until Attunmen takes a breathalizer test and gives me designated driver duty.
2. Run Stratholme over and over and over until Lord Rivendare admits he’s not man enough for such a cool dead goat pony.
Am I finding balance in my break? Finding what I am searching for? Perhaps. But there’s still a scourged whelping out there who’s going to be very, very sorry.
trying to be all Zen and shit…