OLRG: Sharp Blades Edition

Just call me Grace.

Gosh almighty, give me one day off from work to go to see a doctor, fight pharmacists, and get laundry done and you’d think I’d won a gold medal or something. Yes, you see all the while I told you I was in Texas was really a cover for my Olympian figure-skating career–I was in Sochi the whole time. I only got the silver in the Women’s “Rock that Hat” competition, but kicked ass in the biathlon! I mean, really, who doesn’t love a woman who can ski AND SHOOT STUFF?

(I really do think this is an awesome event.)

Ladies, and Gentlemen, I hope you are around and free to go skiing with me in Firelands and…maybe…yes, let’s…go Flex something. Why the hell not? Anyone else have some ideas, too? I’m open to suggestions – the main thing is I just want to see you all!

So: Saturday, March 1 4PM Pacific – till then, mi amigos/amigas. Till then…

The "F" Word, Invisible Unicorn Horns, and the Bunny Bum Nibblers

This is a video NPR reposted this “crowboarding”-the cure for the ‘winter blahs.’ This immediately made me think of Tome. She and I have had a few conversations about what ‘fun’ means, and this crow definitely has the right idea. 

Now, a lot has been on my mind lately; a lot is on everyone’s mind. We all feel like we’re playing Whack-A-Mole constantly in real life. One thing gets done, two problems pop up. One place I do not want to feel anxiety is Azeroth. Stress, however, or a sense of competition, or achievement, now those things are not so bad. It may seem odd to include stress in that mix, but there exists a place for this emotion. It gets us going, gets us moving and shaking. Anxiety, however, not so much. One recurring personal theme of mine is that not everyone ‘gets me.’ It’s like an invisible unicorn horn on my forehead that remains unseen until poor communication draws it out, into the light, so everyone can see it and laugh. This metaphorical appendage is something I’ve learned to cope with, by and large. I don’t think too much about it until I have an exchange with someone and it’s clear my invisible unicorn horn is showing. 

Tuesday night I asked my GM if he had a preference about which character to bring to a 25-man. I have gotten the feeling from him I am a sub-standard enhancement and restoration shaman, (which I am) and there are a lot of good shamans in the guild so far. I think he misunderstood my question has having him make the decision for me, as opposed to try to help balance the group. I was told when WoD hits there was no place for ‘alt-hopping’ and he didn’t know why I didn’t like playing my shaman. 

Unicorn horn growing.

When it got down to it, since I’d never done SoO on my stupid-butt-die-and-die-again melee shaman, why not? Sure, sure my DPS/damage hovered near the #10-#15 slots. Sure. I was on time, and waited for about three other players, but they are key members of the guild and raid team, so of course we waited. One of our tanks, Hawt, is amazing. But we didn’t get through all that they wanted to. I kept thinking to myself damn that I don’t have my cloak yet on Zep or Momo–I have much more fun healing on Momokawa especially, but alas…no cloak. Now why Blizzard can’t f*cking make it one main, cloaks for all..anyway. 

So last night the gulid was talking about challenge modes. Again, me and my big horn. I said I wanted to try them because they sounded like fun, and I was quickly told they are not “fun” and while I tried to combat what I felt was negativity I made some jokes:

Sure enough, someone said the line – (being funny)

And I said something about how challenge modes had caused some issues in some guilds, but not for me and my attitude, and this next line cracked me up:

Obviously, I need to get to know Cevere and and Kazzta better! They seem like my kind of folks! (Note to self: next guild name, Bunny Bum Nibblers.) 

Moving on, was told “would sit back and eat popcorn” while I presumably failed if I tried challenge modes. Yup. I am going to fail. Over and over and over again. Just like the big kids. Just like Michael Jordan:

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

I was then told I misunderstood the popcorn comment. UNICORN HORN ACTIVATED. 
Oh well. Fuck it dude. Let’s go bowling.
In other news: TOME IS AWESOME. 
Just sayin.
She knows I have an invisible unicorn horn, and loves me anyway.
PS F stands for FUN

From Navimie…

Navimie has a lot on her mind right now: this just shows, again, how completely selfless and generous my sweet friend is:

Included in this epic poem was a Gregarious Grell – I named her Navikki. Notice my vanity in rubbing out the number (age). I know you all know how old I am. But in Azeroth I’m always 29….

Now, she had me cracking up laughing: she and I were talking about this on my Tuesday night. The big guild is trying to do 25-mans, and beforehand I asked my GM who he would like me to bring. The conversation I had with him is in keeping with a long-string of ‘lost in translation’ moments, but I’ll write about that later. In any case, I brought the shaman, who is melee, and sat in melee-spew all night:

Get me a mop, quick!

I just sat back and looked at this mess. I don’t know where to run, I don’t know how fast to move. Raid awareness goes in the sh*tter for me. But as my favorite guild tank, Hawt,  told me last night while she and I were reflecting on it, “at least I try.”

Anyway, what was cracking me up was Navi telling me since the poem was so long she spent so much time trying to kill things for postal money. I could totally relate! Too bad there isn’t an account “mail box” where you don’t need to go to such lengths to send a piece of mail in game. Gee, I don’t know, something like an world-wide server or something. Wonder if such a thing exists. Included in this feat of strength and epic writing, the Gregarious Grell is as cute as can be, and says very odd things:

This seemed too coincidental to be random word soup, so I did some research:

I have yet to play Portal, but have seen its inner workings played by far more leet players than I. And as Tome and I share book suggestions, after finishing Ready Player One, I’d better get my game on. The future depends on it. Nah, the future really depends on what it always has: love.

Lonesome George

This past week was great, no doubt. Yesterday Helke told me not to ‘neglect my shaman,’ (she is so clever!) so immediately I ran to her and her mailbox and inside was a mischievious Ashleaf Spriteling. I love those effing things!

George is very protective of his baby sprite…

Now, you may wonder why Haanta named her beautiful tortoise George. He’s named for George and the Dragon, and he thinks he’s a paladin. He’s incredibly protective, trustworthy, and caring. He is also an homage to Lonesome George, rest in peace, the last of his kind. 

Now, another tip I believe Helke gave me is pet-emote. I love it. And George did this this morning:

Gosh, I hope the real Lonesome George wasn’t as confused as mine. The rock was confused too.

Anyway, this song has nothing to do with George, Lonesome George, awesome pets, or misdirected libidos. Just enjoy.


Happy Birthday To Me!

Got my own Google Doodle!

Our internet is out this morning and I am somewhat embarrassed to try to post this from my phone. Today is my birthday and I just wanted to thank all of your friendships for they are truly some if the richest treasures a lady (?) could have! ((((Hug)))) to all if you! (Send well wishes of reconnectivity!)

Update: all connected, all happy, and you guys rock!

Home again, and Beware the Cloud People

On the flight home I sat next to a little boy, probably about four, and he told me he wasn’t afraid of anything. His friend was afraid of heights, but not him. Nothing.

Except: The Cloud People.

I told him he should write a story and change the ending; this seemed to inspire him and he said he would write a story so boring the Cloud People would stop reading it because it was so boring and then leave everyone alone.

I leaned over to his mother and told her she should be writing all this down, and she confessed it was hard to keep up with him. I gathered that. But I may have to steal the Cloud People, and write a colophon of sorts publically acknowledging this small blue-eyed muse. I am not a nice grown-up, because I have no qualms about sharing an anecdote too amazing like the Cloud People.

Now I sit and have so much to do! That was a lovely trip. The last lunch we went to the Bluebonnet Cafe, and I ate, of course, chicken fried steak and ordered two sides of fried okra, and was a bit too ambitious. I swear, I didn’t eat another thing for the rest of the day, and just digested the lunch like a python after a goat:


And I wonder why I need to see a doctor about chronic issues. 

I am very happy to be home, and also to say if anyone wants to park a low-level character in the Drunken Fish, my dear friend Señor and I are welcome to the help of getting the guild leveled to 25, an for the company. But in an effort to be clear on expectations: Zeptepi is the Jefa, the boss. The stuff in the bank is her personal purse, and though you are welcome to anything, it is her bathroom cupboard, her junk drawer, and her moveable feast. Señor doesn’t even take stuff out (he’s afraid of her wrath, I am sure). All races are welcome, of course, but Draenei girls get preferential seating.  It’s just science.

Acrimonious Acronyms

Saddest Silver Medalists: Guess they didn’t make the Mythic cut…

If anyone has read anything on education in the United States since George Bush was President, and enacted “No Child Left Behind,” (or as some folks say, “No Child’s Behind Left”) you know that the movement for standardized testing has been the central focus since the early 2000s. The goal was to have every child, no matter English proficiency, or special needs, or background, pass the state tests based on Federal Law by 2014: 100%. (A statistical impossibility, but hey, who needs math?) Since the implementation of the law, it has morphed and transmuted to Obama’s educational secretary, Arne Duncan, who re-branded this to “Race to the Top.” In 14 years, parents, teachers, and administrators have “taught to the test” in three different packages. In Washington State alone, there has been the WASL, the MSP, and now the SBAC (which reminds me of a VBAC – ouch, and look it up). Look at the acronyms! JUST LOOK AT THEM! Like jewels of knowledge, my precious, precious rings…one test to rule them all! Sorry, parents of an autistic child, or shame on you, African refugee who’s been in the country two weeks – sit down, take this test, and prove yourself! (I promise you, no hyperbole was abused in those statements: these are facts, not opinions.) Meanwhile, as the nation’s poverty gap* widens, the educational dollars sit fat and comfortable at the top (did you know the superintendent of one of the largest districts in Washington State makes more than the governor?), and the nation wrings its hands and bemoans that Little Johnny still can’t read (while his mom looks at her i-phone instead of reading him a story, or pointing out the red firetruck, so he goes to kindergarten not knowing the color ‘red’).

The reason I bring this up is because Godmother (http://www.alternative-blog.net/2014/02/games-without-frontiers.html) and WoW Insider (http://wow.joystiq.com/2014/02/22/warlords-of-draenor-proving-grounds-will-be-required-for-heroic/)  both discussed the gate-keepers for heroic play in WoD. I just can’t help but feel this is standardized testing, and I have some mighty mixed feelings. I do not mind that countries have educational standards: I don’t know about you, but I want to go to a doctor who knows her stuff, or an auto mechanic who knows hers, too, and fixes what needs fixing. But change for change’s sake is dangerous. I love the concept and play of the providing grounds, but for ME, and like a standardized test it still requires me to go watch videos and study outside of “school hours.” Nerfs and changes to classes happen constantly, so once we begin to get comfortable with spells and movements, something changes, and somehow we are thought to be ‘bad players’ if we didn’t adapt yesterday. As far as this gatekeeping and ‘you’re picked last for the team’ concept: I kind of, sort of, don’t mind, but, kind of, sort of do. The thing that stood out for me was if a player is in a guilded group, or already runs with a steady group of friends. Well thank the gods for the OLRG, but aside from that: SHEEE-IT. The drama and issues of most guilds takes up reams of bandwidth. Everyone knows those issues, and are better documented than an NSA agent stalking an old girlfriend. Thank you, no. I realize Blizzard is trying to cater to what they perceive as a wide variety of players: the elite and the non-elite. I always maintain that this binary thinking leads to standardized mediocrity and acrimony: try to make everyone happy, sometimes no one is.

But I am going to do my best not to become overwhelmed and anxious about a game, a game I love, because if I do, I know the outcome. I will begin to hate my virtual life in Azeroth, and that is not cool. I will keep this image from Tales from a Middle-Aged Gamer nearby, and keep it as my creed:

The only thing I will remember, and do keep in my heart, always and true: my friends in Azeroth, and their places in my heart. There’s my gold.


(For some unknown reasons my links are not working)