For the Alliance!

Ah, Mataoka, you little morale booster, you! 

Thanks for inspiration, Dahakha: we were talking this morning about my thoughts on bringing over one of my girls to the Horde side, and if so, which one?

It would never, ever be our intrepid shaman, Mataoka…her devotion to Anduin Wyrnn and all the Dwarf clans is unsullied. Not the King, you ask? No…but his son, and the Dwarfs…have always been steadfast of their loyalty to her and hers.

And oh my gosh I have thought this so many times:

Sh*t – do the writers at Blizz think that no one else grew up watching Johnny Quest? FFS.

Okay – sorry – off track…

When I have time, I would like to design a propaganda poster ala Starcraft for Matty:

In the meantime, consider the pin-up girls from the 1940s:

I ignored Dahakha’s quip about my being a ‘filthy Alliance,’ and thought I would do my part to get him to join the ‘right’ side! Come on, girl! Show those boys what they’re fighting for!

Shoulders: Blue Dragonscale
Chest: Burnished Tunic
Back: Mantle of Stormwind (duh!)
Staff: Devotion
Legs: Barbaric Leggings (gotta keep a little gritty, you know?)
Boots: Sentry’s Slippers

Garrosh, Garrosh! Come on, dude! Put down that shovel and go have a beer. 


I have two posts today: one is a straight-up rantfest, and the second…not. I need to get this one off my chest piece first. You may just skip it altogether if you wish, but there are some good nuggets and links, so, stick around a little bit, okay?

At the Matty-shack there is an expectation of independence. For the most part, it works extremely well, and creates an atmosphere of functionality, harmony, and domestic bliss. In other words, we give each other space.

There are occasions, however, where the old maxim, “If momma ain’t happy, no one is happy” comes into play.

I am the momma, if you haven’t guessed.

For weeks now, my Mac has been awful. The game play is bizarre, lagging, choppy: for example, even when I am in the Shrine the music soundtrack sounds like a skipping record. Every spell I hit is muddy, every cast time a lie. When I bring this up to the expert in the Matty-shack, one C.D. Rogue, he shrugs, grumbles, and tells me where to go to figure it out for myself. He does this with the intent of creating an independent person.

Meanwhile, it will be 90 degrees here today, and the A/C is working great. Subtext: his priority to get it fixed, not mine. I am sitting here in a sweatshirt. But that’s okay. Part of his health issues means he runs warm, and keeping him comfortable is important.

Haanta tried Galleon this morning, and due to the glitchy nature of the computer, was left with nothing but bones and haunted mementos. Postmaster recovered her item, though. It wasn’t a new computer.

And a confession: the Wrathion Thunderforge quest that was giving me fits? I had to call in young leet druid to save the day. Young Leet Druid has been playing since he was about three days old, and watching him move a character, even one he is unfamiliar with, is like watching Bach play, as opposed to my clumsy chopsticks. He is a virtuoso. And even he said, Matty, your mouse is awful, your computer is a mess — you really should fix this!

Yes, I guess I should.

Every time I log off and on, every time a player taps his foot waiting for my slow-ass splash screen to load, every time I lag and miss a shot or cast, every time I stutter and stall my way through Azeroth I get more and more frustrated. It’s not that I can’t figure this shit out, it’s that I DON’T WANT TO. Maybe it’s a woman thing — oh, I’m being sexist. Trust me — both genders are equally capable of understanding computer programming, technology, etc. One of my favorite first games, Phantasmagoria, was designed by a woman. But even that game play stalled out on me long, long ago. But damn, it was fun as hell while it lasted. It’s not a woman thing, it’s a me thing – I just want shit to work. I am not a tinkerer–I want the ink to never run dry, and the pixels to flow freely.

Everyone except Young Leet Druid and myself has been playing Kerbal Space Program obsessively. Okay. Who doesn’t want to pretend they’re John Glenn or Neil Armstrong or Sally Ride? Come on now! And they all stayed up till the weeeeeeeeeeee little hours of orbital joy so there is no one who can advise me on computer repair this morning.

Now, if I were a bitch, scold, nag, harpy, shrew, fishwife, etc. I would yank a knot in their chains and get them down here to fix this shit. But alas, I must admit —- there is no small part of who I am that doesn’t value my independence. If I fix it myself, I’ll have the knowledge and power. Alas, sometimes, though, I just want someone else to do it.

I actually own this magnet. True.

As I am looking over Facebook just now, a link to a John Hodgman post sparked my interest. Think about it — a NEW BREED OF HUMAN!?!?! I want to consume MORE!

Judge John Hodgman Rules via The New York Times Magazine

SAM WRITES: “My friend Emily listens to the vast majority of her podcasts at triple speed. I feel as if she’s missing out on nuance and timing. She argues that the only way she can consume all the pop culture she needs is by listening way faster than intended.”

It is said that humans and Neanderthals coexisted for many years before Homo sapiens triumphed. And so you live briefly alongside Emily, who represents a new human species, trained by the Internet to absorb cultural data at posthuman speeds. Soon her kind will devour you. Before she does, however, you might ask her to experience what it was to be human by listening to podcasts in real time (she will know it as slow-motion bullet time) for historical research.

Listen to the podcast and submit questions for adjudication to

So, just know today I’m going to be doing some investigating on my end of what I can do to clean up the mucky bytes. I just want to play.


Pop Quiz

Here is a multiple-choice quiz: How happy can one enhancement shammy be?

A. She is served a perfect lime margarita by a cadre of Daenerys Targaryn-esque “advisors” on the beaches in Maui with her tummy looking like it did when she was 17*

B Said shaman meets both Jon Stewart and John Oliver and their wives and they all go out for the best dinner in New York City and they all think she is the funniest woman alive

C. She gives up to the gods the chances of her ever being a well-equipped shaman, has a sweet conversation with another enhancement shaman in a dungeon, and begins to feel special all on her own, because she is a rare breed. Later in LFR,  The weapon drops. Share news with best game friend, Señor, and shares a /cheer!

If you chose “C” you would be right! A+ for you!

This is a terrible screenshot, but the best I could do in a pinch (and yes, it’s mogged)

Now, where is that lime margarita? 

*Loch Ness, chupacabra, and the flat tummy of my youth….all legends of years long gone….

Theme Song: Just Like Heaven/The Cure

Tiny Story Time: The Summer Wife

Once upon a time there was a man who lived in the middle of the valley. Every time he tried to move to the north, the cold winds blew him back. On sapphire autumnal days he tried to live east, but the morning sun betrayed him. To the south, the warm salty air dried his eyes, and the west shunned her back on him every night. The mountains of the earth did not cradle him, but trapped him where he stood. When he was a babe, the stone stood sentinel, but now the slate and slag imprisoned. As a young man, he tried to go through the mountains, burrow under, find a way: the mountain always pushed back. If he climbed over, footing would slip and he would fall and bring the whole of the mountain down on everyone in the village.

Since the north, east, south, and west did not care which direction he went, he did not move. Neither over the top or through the heart could he move. In the deep valley he stayed, praying the snow would stay frozen on the mountaintops so no flood. Nonetheless he drowned. He drowned in the dawn when he did not see the sun till it was almost noon, and he drowned in the moon when she would not show her face. If he kept his eyes straight ahead he saw the sides of the mountain, and if he looked up, celestial treasures on display for others in the world, but not for him. Always out of reach.

One day, in the middle of the year, in the middle of the field, in the pinnacle of the day, he prayed. “Dear gods, I am a simple man. I only wish to see the world.”


The moon hid, and the sun coy. He tried again.

This time, an odd breeze chucked him under his chin, tickling the whiskers on his face.

But the moon hid, and the sun coy. He tried again.

On the third day, he felt the breeze tickling his whiskers, and a voice in his ear. “Turn around, man.”

Behind him grew a field of daisies and poppies as far as the eye could behold. The pleated perfection of  daisy petal, and sultry sirens of poppies made for a wondrous sight. As if to guard the two and prevent flower class warfare, hedges of lavender provided bees and breezes delights. The man gathered some of the flowers, and took them home and put them in a mug of water.

That night he went to sleep as normal, but his dreams were etched green and gold. Something came uncomfortably in the house, unsure of itself, he sensed it. Eyes opening, the dark huddle before dawn, and silent–whatever came in, he wanted it to stay.

(to be continued)


Tome! Tome! Tome! Pay attention to me! I’m yelling on the Internet! Tell Ironsally to check her mail!

My Azerothian partner-in-crime knew we were trying to get you that Coilfang, and prompted a few trips on our AltArmy (yes, very similar to the Salvation Army –strange uniforms and a lot of bell ringing–) and see what we could do. I discovered that being ranged is far more helpful with reaching those tainted things, by a mile. My grand buddy Turk had lent me his so I could get the achievement (I have a post about Tito later), and I’m still in need of one, but no biggie. Señor and I have it down to a swift and sure dance. Lady Vash’j is no match: she now ‘sleeps with da fishes,’ if you catch my frisbee.

I think I’m going to check in with Hunter Kellda from time to time on that PVP server of yours. Shake things up a bit.

Postscript: Tome, Señor made sure that you would get this one and I wouldn’t keep the first drop. Keeping me honest, dammit!

Teutonic Tenacity

There sure as hell better be a dwarf.
Tome and I have some plans this summer. Oh yes we do. F.U. Facebook friends going to Maui! We’re going to SERPENTINE! No, wait, it’s SerpentSHRINE, noob! But aside from that, there area few other things on my *cough* agenda…
I used to be a pro list maker. My mom’s recent response to me over some building stresses was, “Well just make one of famous lists, honey!” Oh, mom…I have lost my list mojo. Maybe if I simplify…I’ll just keep it to three:
1. The Val’kyr Pet SHALL BE MINE
Oh yes…someday….and a thousand miles of Northrend
Both Tome and Big Bear have excellent posts on how to get it. Not sure when I plan to do this. Apparently, the Matty-shack is going to the wilderness at some point this summer, and it involves purchasing bear mace. I don’t really want to go somewhere that involves bear mace. 
2. Figure out warriors.
3. Shape-up-or-ship-out-shaman: Mataoka’s going to get back to it, whatever “it” is. She is on a personal vendetta quest to get epic weapons, either by boss or battlegrounds.
OH – I have to add this, but it coincides with Mataoka – I am going to be throwing out the smoke signal if anyone wants to do Firelands for mounts, chieves, and finishing up reps. Very selfish of me, but that would be shokewl!

Editorial: Shamans, Body Image, Blood and Reality

I have no idea what to title this post. Suggestions might include, “Long Time Coming?” “Avatarial Confessions?” Perhaps “Too Long, Please Don’t Read, And Just Let Me Type.” Apologies in advance: duplicate or repeated theses presented. I tell some truth in this post, but like all my writing, it’s bandaged with opinion, too. For my real-life friends – remember – this is my safe place to write. Thank you in advance for respecting that.

One of my personal ‘sword of a thousand truths’ is the crusade about diabetes. It’s touched my own life, and altered the course of my personal destiny in many ways. I do not have diabetes myself, but since someone I love does, we share this course. I have never personally suffered from any form of it, neither gestational, or adult onset. One day, I had two very sick people – one was my toddler, and one was my husband. Taking them to the doctor, it was discovered that my husband had diabetes. He was not obese, or a “bad eater,” in fact, was a vegetarian at the time. His weight plummeted, and has fluctuated over the years. He then proceeded down the long arduous path of finding doctors, specialists, etc. that would guide him. And he’s smart as hell — he did much of his own research, and asks informed, confident questions. I often think he himself could have been a doctor, but that destiny was out of his reach. These years we’ve lived with this has meant every decision we make is based on health insurance. Every job loss or change, and the minute we went through a very tough time long before the current recession meant an end to my days as ‘princess mommy,’ where I enjoyed my time with my children. It wasn’t always easy, and at times drove me to sheer bored madness, but I know I did the right thing. But leaving the stay-at-home routine led me to other paths I love, so in hindsight, it was a good thing. When someone gets a chronic disease, every one in the family shares a new path. His courage and strength over making sure he’s going to be okay are things I take for granted. He doesn’t get to give up, because I don’t. Remember: I am one mean witch sometimes.

Now –body image. One of the things that has hurt him the most are many people’s assumptions that somehow he caused this. I have vegan/extreme ‘grow your own and don’t eat anything outside your own garden patch’ friends, and he has one friend who ended up having bariatric surgery to help him lose weight for diabetes. I work with two women who both have adult onset diabetes, and they have never been obese. In fact, both of them have the most amazing figures — they each do yoga, go to the gym, and are two of the most beautiful women I know, inside and out. I have another very dear friend who is by all measures, extremely obese, and can barely walk, yet she has no heart or pancreatic issues.  And yet another, who has crippling arthritis in both her knees and she’s in her early 40s. She posted on Facebook the other day about watching all the skinny, fit women walking into the swimming pool and she could barely get out of the car. It made me cry. We know of so many people who have diabetes and gaining weight was not a factor in the slightest. There are things that one can control — getting exercise and diet are huge factors, there is no denying. But I have a suspicion as with many health issues, and our increasingly complicated, chemicalized world, there is no one cause, nor cure. Someday in the future, we’ll all be able to take a “Dammit, Jim, I’m a Doctor” Star-Trek type shot and be all better. The insulin causes weight and tissue damage, and dealing with chronic illness certainly has a link to minor forms of depression. Sometimes, you just don’t want to be ‘that person.’ Being sick sucks.

Honest confliction: Not sure what to think anymore —

My discomfort with World of Warcraft, and feminism, body image is connected with this. I know that must seem like a stretch. I understand that many players, male and female alike, want there to be more female “real body type” heroes, villains, NPCs, character models, etc. I am ashamed to admit that I could not keep Kellda as a Dwarf female — I had to change her back. I do not see myself as this–in my younger days I resembled Kellda as a human model. So what do I do with my own fantasy of having a perfect pixelized body, playing ‘dress up’ as I did when I was younger, and just playing to have fun in a make-believe world?

I, too, like Erinys and the Godmother, want the Azerothian narrative to include more complex and interesting female representatives. And like them, too, I am not sitting around waiting for the writers at Blizzard to create them. This entire fan-fiction blog of mine, when I write fiction, is about female characters. Want to go mano-a-mano with Mrs. Whitworth? I didn’t think so. And this is where I’ll upset some folks – I told my husband a few months ago that I noticed this trend with 20-30 something women; I labeled it “aggressive frumpiness.” This active rejection of any trappings of traditional femininity makes total sense though — because like Joss Whedon’s quote, the fact that people are still asking this inane question means we still have a long damn way to go. I know many a young mother of daughters who get so frustrated over the constant princess identity drone. All one needs to do is walk into any Target and see the toxic glow of pink coming from the “girls” toy aisle versus the black and blue of the boys’. The lines are drawn by the corporations: it’s up to us to blur them.

Three novels that came to mind when thinking about this post are as follows:

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz — the protagonist is a complete and total nerd, and his one quest is to lose his virginity. It is one of the best novels I have ever read.

The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons, and Growing Up Strange by Mark Barrowcliffe – the author is clearly conflicted over his own adolescent relationship with playing D&D.

Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman – why this book on motherhood and marriage? Well, it still makes me think about identities and feminity is ways Erma Bombeck never could. (Insert smiley face here.) It is a voice of someone who wanted to say something that many took great and grand offense to, and whether or not one agrees or relates to her in any way, it is one woman defining herself. Why is that so damn hard?

To wit: if my husband wants to spend a few hours looking at a beautiful, leather-clad model who kicks ass, and I have no problem with that whatsoever, and more power to him. If it gets his mind off of his next shot or meal, or whether he’s too exhausted to go for a walk, then jumping around battlegrounds is just the ticket. Things are not always what they seem, and we want it that way in Azeroth.

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Postscript: Fresh Air Interview with Amy Shumer (link to the NSFW “Compliments.” Only that. Nothing else.)