A Top-to-Bottom Tale

This is one of those stories that I think to myself, please, please, woman, stop sharing. As if the thought is a shoe and the very next mental step is gum on a hot sidewalk, the next thing I think gets stuck to me: “No, if it wasn’t for writing, your head would implode, the free world would collapse, and there would be unholy alliances universally. Share, Matty. Share away.”

I cannot get over how many mental pieces of discarded gum have stuck to my mind-shoe lately. The most gloppy one is how many players have stopped writing their WoW blogs of late, and how many players are bailing fast and furiously, another free-fall ala Cataclysm, from the game.

Recently, a young paladin friend was thinking of coming back, and I was both overjoyed and, well, reticent on his behalf. The game has changed in so many ways, and not all for the better. I sent him a “paladin care package,” and it was returned unopened. I think he wised up. I should have sent him a letter that said, quite simply, “RUN! Run for your life!”

So lest you think this is another rant on dailies, poor loot luck, or the like, I’ll tell you this story. And before you read it: I am sorry. You may not want to read this one.

About every two years or so I think I am going to save money by using box hair color. I have been seeing the same hair dresser for over twelve years. She knows my cycle, and is there with her masterful expertise to correct my mistakes. I have naturally dark brown hair, three grey ones now, and because of living in the Northwest and not being exposed to much sun, it has turned much darker over the years. Vitamin D is an issue for us Washingtonians. We are sparkly vampires, deal with it. Being I was about due to trust L’oreal instead of Mel the Super Stylist, I doomed my roots and tresses once again. My job recently (recently: no. It is always, always, always this way) very stressful, I decided to add a massage to the hair appointment. Again: you are going to judge me as the little pampered princess. Yup: that’s me. A Seattle version of Kim Kardashian, Snooky, Diana, Belle, and Buttercup all rolled into one. I decided that I would try to get a massage about once a month as a New Year’s resolution (see what I did there? Doable goals, people, achievable!) Mel saw my cherry-colored roots and the black tips, and immediately set out to make things right. It involved re-dying my roots darker, and then an overall bleaching, and then foil highlights. The process was not cheap, but the results worth it. No picture: you’ll have to take my word. Mel is a genius. She even regaled me with stories of her dating world (recently divorced) and trying a rave for first time, and what to wear to a rave (apparently the black lights, cut jeans, and white things work). The best part of the story was about a googly-eyed man who unabashedly kept staring at her ample breasts with admiration of a Rembrandt, wearing a Ninja Turtle T-shirt which admonished youngsters not to do drugs. Irony abounds at raves. So, hair is fixed, and sassy, and off I go for the massage. The hair took longer than anticipated, so I was late for the massage part. (It’s a full service spa sort of place.) By now I have to pee. In the massage/facial portion of the establishment, there is a wonderful bathroom with lavender soaps, fresh towels, and all kinds of nice girly stuff. However, there’s only one toilet, and the door locks so no one else can get in. I go in, lock the door, and see that there’s still a butt-gasket tissue on the toilet seat. Odd, I think. I guess it didn’t catch when the toilet was flushed ohholylordthereisstilladookieintheoilet NOOOOOOOO!
Oh please NOOOO!  Yes, in the toilet is a neat little brown turd someone forgot to flush. No. No. No. Please no! Well, I had to go, so I grabbed some toilet paper, put the butt-gasket down the potty and flushed like a trooper. I then went myself, washed hands, and went to the massage room, all the while thinking: should I say something? This turd, this little poop, more than ruined the moment. All the new-age music and warm oils and blankets in the world could not erase that image out of my mind. Again: don’t judge. I have had my fair share of poop, virus poop, vomit, spit, snot, blood in my lifetime. I am not a squeamish little rose. I can take it. But there’s a time and a place, you know? I worked very hard to get that image of the friendly little brown bullet out of my mind, thought about sunsets and summer and that I was warm, safe, and all in all, very, very lucky. One little shit isn’t going to slow me down! I am going to relax and be pretty, dammit, and one errant absentee flusher isn’t going to spoil it.

And this is the moral of this story, as it relates to Azeroth: There are many ways in which Blizzard has forgotten to flush the metaphorical toilet. They don’t get everything right. The new game of dailies is not fun, which is a shame. Because I adore the quest line, the legendary line, the new looking for raids, the scenery, Vereesa Windrunner, (Jaina, I have determined, is still a sadistic bitch), There are some parts of the game I am just going to have to flush myself, and focus on the good stuff.

I mean, really: my mage friend gave me some snowflake stars tonight:

Pretty.

Tiny Story Time: Ceniza

The repetition of hope sinks it, drowns its buoyancy, and who was she to resuscitate it? No one. Powerless. Torn silks, and dirty, tear-stained face. The Ash-Witch scrambled for purchase on the rocks. Did she see a sign in the bird flights? Was he sending her a prayer in a rainbow? (Oh, the sickening, cloying stench of spectrums churned her stomach: if she could set fire to that thought she would.) Her intelligence told her to stop desperately looking for clues that he was watching her, protecting her. Obsessively, though: Could that be an omen in the bones? Bones were better to burn, and look to the smoke for an image, a direction. There was none that she could see. The bones and birds offered no solace. Only the living can protect or harm. The dead have other business.

But the sword was granted: this she knew. The grip, tang, and pommel were like three old friends in her hand, a living thing, perched like a wish. Once this sword had lived a mortal, animal life, and now existed in a fable: the guard was a wingspan, and the blade a predator’s beak. Did he send it to her? Most likely not. All the magic in any world would not have that power, she believed this.

Yet, the sword was hers: this she knew. And she knew what to do with it, too. That much, he had left behind: how to cut.

AFK…not really

RealityAFK left a comment on the blog, so naturally, went to go check out her site, which is fabulous, and again, naturally, tried to add it to my blogroll, but it would not add it…hmmm….do I have too many? Perhaps. One post on my own writing to-do list is to go through all the recent blogs who’ve closed up shop recently, and put them on a separate list, the ‘reference desk’ if you will. In any case, that’ll be a project for another time this week; in the meantime, check out her blog!

You are not prepared. No, really, you’re not.

I am always late to the party, I know, but holy hellalish hydra, Batman! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING? Yesterday against better judgment (if I didn’t have bad judgment I’d have no judgment at all it seems) I dusted off Zeptepi and went into the freshly-opened Throne of Thunder LFR. I missed the first round with Tortos, but yes, did experience death-by-slugs (I swear, this is some fantasy sequence by a writer at Blizzard who put the salt shaker in the pseudopods’ control!) just after Megeara, and then onto five wipes on Ji-Kun. Did I get any loot, you ask? Silly player! Loot is for leets! I got gold to cover some of my repair bills. Woot! I’m still picking out pin-feathers from my posterior.

Now let’s stop right here….Megeara.

I know from my Greek lore that Megeara was re-imagined in Disney’s version of Hercules as his love interest.

But this is not that:

Or is it?

According to Greek mythology, Hercules, or Heracles, is driven mad by Hera, and kills Megara and their children. Not a happy story.

Later, Heracles waged a victorious war against the kingdom of Orchomenus in Boeotia and married Megara, daughter of Creon, king of Thebes. But he killed her and their children in a fit of madness sent by Hera and, consequently, was obliged to become the servant of Eurystheus. It was Eurystheus who imposed upon Heracles the famous Labours, later arranged in a cycle of 12, usually as follows: (1)…

So next time you do a ‘herculean’ task, you can thank your lucky gods for the gold for those repair bills, cause brother, you’re going to need it.

Effy’s Going Twisted!

Look! Effraeti of Awaiting the Muse is going to be on Twisted Nether!

Twisted News

Hotfixes!
Noblegarden 2013/03/31 – 2013/04/06

Hot Topics

Epic Marathon LINK

List of new Sites on Blog Azeroth

NONE

Coming Soon…

Next show is Episode 194 on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 8 PM PST with our very special guest Effraeti from Awaiting the Muse!  Don’t forget to join us to ask questions live.
Visit us on the blog for further updates or on Twitter @TwistedNether.
To be included in our episodes send TNB your MP3′s (info@twistednether.net) or call into our hotline at 407-705-3161. We look forward to hearing from our fans.
(Opening song “Monster Techno Blues” is preformed Joe Sibol, provided by podssafeaudio.com)

Rock on, Effy! Can’t wait!

Tiny Story Time: Woman’s Work

Her heart beat in constant pain, a phantom limb, her heart, her left side; he was gone. She was at his right side for a truncated eternity; she would never stop being his wife, even if his mortal life was over. Her sons were safe, Giramar and Galdarin, well–her motherly instincts told her they were at least alive. Safety is never truth. Her vows to her husband took precedence over her own broken heart: she vowed to assist Jaina in whatever way she could. That one fight, though, produced a small lie, that she was fine, unhurt, it was nothing, but she knew something was wrong. She had to keep fighting though. Others may rest from the battle: she never would.

Ako rests from battle: Ceniza would not, as neither would Vareesa or Jaina. 


Writer’s Comments:
In all the discussions about the Twin Consorts, I am certain someone before I noticed, and wrote about two very strong women heroines in Azeroth: Jaina Proudmoore and Vereesa Windrunner. I completely agree with Erinys’ thesis about the Pygmalion aspect of the Twins: but they are just that: meant to be destroyed like the clay-footed statues they are. However, Jaina and Vareesa, the ‘flesh and blood’ characters, are just begging their own apotheosis. These two female characters directly, encouragingly, and without falter, lead the Silver Covenant and allies through the battlefields. I know who’s in control, who’s in charge, and willingly would walk over hot coals and pick up Saurok feces for them.

And this is not a rant, this is not hysteria, this is merely an observation: many people believe that women cannot get along with one another, and I must admit this is true, with this caveat: when the other woman in the discussion believes this, and acts accordingly. I have said this many times: I have legions of women friends, family members, mentors whom I adore. Not once did they ‘dismiss’ me for ‘acting like a woman.’ The second someone in the conversation does this, it’s over. That is the essence of any ‘ism’ – the dismissiveness and disregard. That debate I had with CD Rogue about genres? It reminded me very much of a meeting I had recently and a colleague, who’s pregnant, high-strung generally, was not being a good ‘listener.’ I am sure she would walk away thinking I was being how I was because I am a ‘woman,’ and I could easily dismiss her point of view because she’s pregnant and…generally high strung. But though men can’t get pregnant, they certainly can be passionate about their points-of-view. Are there gender distinctions? I hope so.  Should those distinctions be used as a blunt-force instrument of battle? I hope not. In Azeroth, in the meantime, I’ll keep fighting for Jaina and Vereesa.

http://www.wowwiki.com/Vereesa_Windrunner

Vereesa Windrunner is an elven ranger who fought in the Second and Third Wars. She is the youngest sister of Sylvanas Windrunner who would later become the Dark Lady of the Forsaken, and Alleria Windrunner, a hero of the Second War.
Nearly all of Vereesa’s extended family were killed by orcs in the Second War and in Prince Arthas’sinvasion of Quel’Thalas. Both of her sisters can be considered “alive” because Sylvanas still lives, albeit not technically “among the living”, and Alleria Windrunner is likely still alive, but her whereabouts are not known.

Oh, that’s what they were talking about…

http://www.wowpedia.org/Zandalari_Warscout

Yesterday my buddy in the BIGGUILD was talking about these War Scout thingies – I still can’t get my mage Ceniza over the tipping point of gear score, no matter what I do, no matter…what…I….do….(can you spell “white whale?”) In any case, these bad asses drop rep points and other goodies. Be warned: they hit hard. Take a friend.

Pro tip: Don’t let your hunter buddy get in PvP fight right before a Scout fight: the Blood Elf whateverthehellhewas stays angry for awhile, and will kill you while you’re trying to shield your pretty face from the big, mean troll.

No.

This — this explains so much--“Creative People Say No” by Kevin Ashton. As I struggle for time and inspiration, not falling into ruts, and still balancing everyone else’s needs with my own, this was a very timely article. On Thursday, for example, I started getting a painful sore throat, and by Friday it was a full-blown head cold. Those of you who know what I do, you can imagine lion taming is much more challenging with a cold; fortunately, the cats knew I was vulnerable and decided to be protective, not predatory. (I don’t even get hazard pay!) I must be one helluva lion tamer.

One thing that has kept me playing so diligently is that I kept telling myself that Azeroth sparked creativity, but I have had the sneaking, underlying sense that Azeroth of late is actually slowly choking my creativity. Is this writer’s block? Obsession with getting the ‘next thing?’ I am not sure. In game, like life, trying to set manageable goals and then walking away. Walking away fast. Saying “no” to colleagues and family members is one thing: saying “no” to a messy, unmogged mage is quite another. I am starting to wonder now if I’ve put undue burdens on my blogger/writer friends with BlogAzeroth requests, or my mog ideas? Truth be told, I love their ideas and posts, and when there’s synergy and inspiration. Let me be clear: if I throw an idea out there, and it does not fit in with your game time or real life, please: walk away, guilt-free, and fast. And don’t look back.

Where do ideas come from? Well, I really like my little warlock staff story. The idea is based on true events. I also really like my Nobundo story. There was a paladin who said those things to me in a raid recently (damn if I can find the screenshot, but seriously…pick up lines aside…)

Recently Cymre posted something about professions which made me think…I am ashamed to say…think about how angry I am. How annoyed I get that I get this really cool recipe or two, but could never obtain the materials I need to make them. It starts to hit too close to my real-life “fails” – didn’t pay that bill on time, need a new car, dishwasher’s broken, same old shit, new day. Blah blah blah. In a “fantasy” game, I want that: fantasy. I don’t want to tell Zeptepi, “Sorry girl, you are a master tailor and can craft 522 items, but mom and dad just can’t afford the haunting spirits now.” I am tired of class warfare in Warcraft.

But to answer Cymre’s question, you know what I like? I like archeology. I like fishing. I like those things that I am in more control of. And yes, those are the things I turn away from time and again. Shame on me.

This afternoon CD Rogue and I got in a heated debate over the definitions of “genre,” specially Science Fiction/Fantasy hybrids. My darling Capricorn, thick-skulled, stubborn goat was adamant about the linear, finite definitions, but where he and I came to verbal blows was when he put Star Wars in the same category as Harry Potter. Dude. DUDE. We were both right as usual. I know the ‘pure’ definition of Science Fiction, and I know George Lucas’ intent of setting it in a ‘galaxy far far away’ is his declaration of putting it squarely in the mono-mythic category. But it ain’t Harry Potter. Turns out, it’s a space opera. That makes sense. Hit the gavel. End of discussion.

Reason #347 Why I Will Never Be Asked to Go On Twisted Nether.

My reaction to him is the same one I have to some decisions in game: they are too didactic, too black or white, too this or that. I realize I’ve pondered this before, so apologies. To the artists of Azeroth, I raise a cup to you — the artists, the creatives, the talented, soulful artists –you keep the beancounters at bay, and for that, to your health and happiness! If it is you who put dinosaurs with trolls, a dash of rocketships and ghouls in one fabulous, crazy, insane world, gods bless you. It is light and magic, and it is wonderful. And to my blogger friends of Azeroth: you are just as important, if not more so, than all the beancounters out there. If not for you, I would be residing somewhere else now.

Postscript: the cure for the common head cold? Two New Castle ales, one Krispy Kreme Boston creme doughnut, and a glass of orange-flavored Alka Seltzer. Take in that order, go to sleep for ten hours, after watching the last third of Ratatouille, and drink coffee in the morning.

Hang onto the tent…

I love this blog, http://www.kerismith.com/blog

…and stumbled upon this little movie:  Lost in Living and while it has some issues, the last line, “don’t let go of the tent” struck me as something all humans face. Don’t give up, take your responsibilities seriously, create a shelter for those who can’t fend for themselves.

I am running so very, very late this morning: sending out the armies of texts and emails to one and all, apologizing for my tardiness, my life circumstances, that are preventing me from punctuality. It doesn’t help that my nose is dripping, my head is throbbing, and my beautiful eyes are puffy and mean-looking.  Damn, keep turning into the evil witch queen more and more each day.

But–I didn’t want to leave you all scared with the disturbing owl image (don’t want Navi to break any more popcorn bowls!) but know that a few fresh posts are in the works. In the meantime — the greatest gifts of Azeroth encompass two distinct factions for me: sparking creativity and friendships.

What sparks your creativity about Azeroth? What makes you turn away from responsibilities and duties to just be ‘somewhere else?’

Right now I’m very worried about Vereesa Windrunner…more to follow.

Oh, and irksome: was on the last battle of my Beasts of Fable, and even borrowed some leveled mechanicals to win the Gorespine battle, the last one on my list: won it, and then it immediately bugged out and reset to start all over. Thanks, Blizzard. You won’t keep me down! Red Panda will be mine! Mwahahahaha!