“And proud we are of all of them”

LIttle Lebowski Urban Achievers
LIttle Lebowski Urban Achievers

Last night a good friend pointed my nose in this direction:

Sweeeet baby murloc, dude! The biggest achievement is your name! No, no, not Jeff Lebowski, but a name by which I have no proper characters – my apologies for my limited skills.

x achieve 1

This player has every achievement point. He won Azeroth. Stratholme? No, now it’s known as Xnpkyo. Dalaran? Ditto. This of course led me to think, with my anemic 13,500 points, are there any  “hidden” achievement points we should add to the list?

Achievements for most posts written before 6:30 AM? Achievement for best friends, secret keeping, blade sharpening, jumping and subsequent missing of tubes in the Siegecrafter fight and making a friend laugh? Best jokes? Best mistype? Come on, folks – what say you? What achievements should be available? Going to put more thought into this today while I’m still sans technology. Off to achieve greatness, once again!

m achieve 1

 

RTMT: Disturbing Trends

Even the panda's not fooled...
Even the panda’s not fooled…

 

First the Bear, and now Mr. and Mrs. – a few folks are leaving Azeroth planning to return when the we’re back to the future, and now I’m left with the feeling of, “Is there something wrong with me?”  (Hush, yes, yes, I know, there is, but let’s keep it in context of Azeroth, and not the rest of my crazy.) I don’t want to stop playing, and I’m still enchanted by Azeroth? I never did really catch on with the panda bears – I started a Pandaren a few times, and just couldn’t get my furry on. Blizzard probably feels that they gave the furries a feast of fetishism (please do not click if you don’t want to be enlightened by Urban Dictionary), (Mr. Snerguls here: this is taking a dark turn on an otherwise lovely spring morning. Listen sista, keep this odd information to yourself, okay? Capiche?) 

But I’m right.

No pandas.

I can’t even play a Worgen. The most anthropomorphic success I’ve had, with abundance, is playing Draenei: horns and a tail are cute, and remind me of one of my favorite novels, Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. The tail anyway, not the albino dwarf protagonist. Well, maybe. Anyway.

The thing is I am still hooked. Breige started a few characters, as did Dahahka, for the Drunken Fish, and has a friendly (for Breige can’t be anything but friendly and sweet) competition going with Señor for weekly guild achievement scores. I had no idea this was going on until yesterday, when she pointed out his warlock took over first place, but she quickly remedied that with her rogue. I looked over some easy guild achievements to keep us pushing foward (we stand at 80% to level 20), and for Classy Draenei we need a Death Knight and Warrior. Don’t faint – yes, I know – you must be shocked that I didn’t have a Draenei in every flavor – but I do have the Blood Elf DK turned Draenei DK Kellanyx, and I started a fresh warrior named Koanni, though I have a level 30-something warrior.

Yes, I wanted to go back to Azuremyst.

It still gets me.

Home away from home...
Home away from home…

 

Every time.

Koanni’s character is very different from other Draenei: she is true to her warrior nature, and makes no apologies for defending herself and her home. She’s in her early stages of training, and easily downs striders, moonstags, and naga. Her hubris may be her downfall.

Few tidbits: Congratulations to Syrco and the rest who won Dragonray’s Transmog Contest, (oh my dear sweet baby murlocs there are some amazing ensembles)! And check out Erinys’ photographs of the real world which are as enchanting as any fantasy. Please wish Cymre a very happy real life birthday, too! Her blog is a gift for us all. We are blessed with beautiful worlds, and need to celebrate every chance we get.

Postscript: something to watch while we wait:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/71502546″>PETER PAN</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user842961″>nikloz001</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

Dear Matty: Loyalty Edition

 

Luperci the Brave and Loyal
Luperci the Brave and Loyal

“I don’t mind being called a liar. I am. I am a marvelous liar. But I hate being called a liar when I´m telling the perfect truth.” 
― Patrick RothfussThe Wise Man’s Fear

Dear Matty:

This sounds so high school and petty, but the other month I learned that some of my Azerothian friends were talking about me, and not in very kind ways. Now I know how they really feel, and  I’m left with the tough choice of losing out on everything we’ve been working toward: if we don’t get through Garrosh, I won’t get the wolf mount, and now new information has come out that the heirlooms are going away, too. Do I suck it up, keep my mouth shut, and stick with them though I know their opinions of me are negative? I thought they were cool, that they understood children, spouses, jobs, and other things come first. I know this is just a ‘game,’ but since it requires hours, communication, and dedication, I feel terrible. Matty, what should I do?

Distressed in Darnassus 

Dear Distressed,

Oh my dear, I totally understand. Your letter brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes I laugh to myself instead of a “days played” counter, we should have a ‘tears cried’ counter. As always, all I can do is share a personal story, and then you are free to choose your own path:

A few years ago, one of my closest friends told me what my new boss thought about me, that her first (and lasting to this day) impression is that I am “over-confident.” I have never confronted my boss about this directly, because I don’t want to betray my friend’s confidence. Some would think that it would have been better not to know what my boss thinks about me, but ultimately, it’s been my best defense. Even in a meeting this past week, her body language told me everything: she put both hands, palms down on the table, arms akimbo, and pushed her face forward and said, “Is there anything you think you CAN’T do right?” when I said one area on my evaluation was misjudged, and I brought mounds of evidence to support it. But I was not given the chance. Instead, I got teary and said, “Yes, there are many things I can’t do well, and many areas where I have seen I need to grow and learn.” Now, to be fair and full disclosure: I have said this many, many times. It goes unheard. I was an ART MAJOR for goodness sakes! One of my greatest skills, ironically, is knowing when something can be better, looking at things through a critical eye, and reflecting upon strengths and weaknesses. When I told this story to my book club friends this week, they immediately said, “Get out of there.” When someone is incapable of understanding you, your gifts, your contributions, and yes, weaknesses, and devalue you, it’s a terrible, intractable situation. Fortunately, I have many allies who do see me and my contributions for their worth, and my loyalties and focus are for them.

Of course–this over-thinking brings me back to her opinion. What is so bad about being “over-confident” anyway? Well, over-confidence means hubris, a blind eye to faults and mistakes. This is laughably not who I am. But it does bring up a subtext that is crazy: underlying sexism. I guarantee if I was male, that never would have been her assessment of me. But that is a battle for another day.

Ultimately, am I glad my friend told me what my boss thought about me? Yes–because without the truth, I would not find my resolve to continue to do the things well that I do, and work on the things I need to work on because they are the RIGHT THINGS TO DO. And I mean morally right, not “right” in that I never make mistakes, right from wrong. My boss is by her nature one of the most competitive persons I know, so much so this fixed personality trait has blinded her and made her sometimes an ineffectual leader. But there are others who have taken up that banner; that is not my fight. Am I honest with her? Yes. After I dry my tears. My kryptonite is confrontational people, but I’d rather deal with something head-on than being bitten by a snake in the grass.

You will have to decide: when you are victorious with the current group you’re with, and you look back on that victory tainted with the hurt and sadness, will it feel worthy? Or do you want to spend your time with good people who truly have your back, and are very open about when you need to work harder, or when you’ve done something right, and in both situations, cheer you on? Honesty is a double-edge sword though: if you want honesty from others, you must be honest, too. They will show their true colors when you take that risk, communicate, and try to resolve conflicts.

The choice is yours. Godspeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLRG: That’s My Jam Edition (Lovecats)

Today I promised a friend I’d stop by, and will try to be home by 3:30 or so. Kam wants to do Gruul, and Tome can’t make it, and Breige is shopping, and well, we’ll just have to see. So, when I do get home, log back on, and check in, whatever goofiness we want to do will be great. Sunwell would be fun, Black Temple on my rogue or monk, or just whatever comes our way. No stress, no fuss: but next Saturday – that’s a different story. Stay tuned.

OLRG: Erinaceous Edition, You Winklepicker

baby hedgehog
I am nowhere near as cute.

For the next week, any sort of technological device is banned at my work: this includes using my laptop, Kindle, i-phone, etc. Don’t ask. In anticipation of this event, I decided to ride that wave and freely surf the ‘net. I came across this great word, ‘erinaceous,’ which means pertaining to or resembling a hedgehog. Now, in Neo’s guild, some of his guildies reported he has a hedgehog; he probably doesn’t know that we too, had hedgehogs at the Matty-shack back in the day, but those are stories for another time. Let’s just say I hope his hedgehog has a happier ending than poor Juju. Nothing like an eating disorder for a soricidae to upset things. In any case, I want to apologize to Navi: I whispered something so prickly and annoyed I think it shocked her. I do have a grumpy side, Navi, and I’m sorry you saw it this morning. Between a meeting with my boss that was oddly bonding and greatly discouraging, to just general over-excitedness, my mood was less than cheerful. I was behaving in an erinaceous manner. A pooping pincushion. And even now, in an LFR, the tank did a ready check after a wipe, I ran back, he started the fight though I clicked not read, and now I’m outside the gates. Oh well oh well.

But – hey, I’ve got my Old Ladies to cheer me up! Gosh, every time we do one of these, I see more bodacious gear for my bevvy of beauties, but then of course I forget to make shopping lists. So if it’s all the same to you, you all tell me what you want, where, and when, and I’ll be there Saturday. I really like doing a Horde show, and Alliance thing. Maybe I’ll make my list later, when I’m not feeling like such a prick.

 

Editor’s Note: Neo is NOT the one with the hedgehog. He has a reasonable Lab.

Drabble: Dragonshadow

Kellrose Moonthorne
Kellrose Moonthorne

How does one cure a bruised ego? Other’s skepticism pushed the sternum, causing that inner, rotten fruit sensation of weakness. She knew that was false: others would always doubt. This was inevitable. Others would always compare, letting her know, clearly, she did not measure up to their shaky standards. She knew the truth: deeds spoke, and trust in those who listened. Kellrose flayed their minds, they fled in terror, and cast her own shadow of doubt in their hearts. Shadows, like water, were patient. Her weapon of choice: showers of darkness, and let the rains come down. She could wait.

Note: Tuesday night after waking up from the most amazing anesthisiology sleep ever, Neo allowed my very green shadow priest Kellrose to join their ten-man. They completely understood this was a low-level character, and as well it’s been odd to be so ‘far away from home.’ With three cloaks, my own little guild, and every profession imaginable to craft whatever a new character needs, from enchants to gems, it’s been a little challenging to get her raid-ready. But Neo’s guild is wonderful– sweet and funny, and always a pleasure. In any friendship, (going to make a new word: “guildship” ) there is a honeymoon phase, and then the inevitable mistakes happen, and critiques. I do not mind criticism or guidance-it’s how adults handle group situations that are the defining moments. So far, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them, and they’ve made me feel very welcome, and lessened my homesickness.

RTMT: Time to Dance!

It's the most wonderful time of the expansion!
It’s the most wonderful time of the expansion!

This morning’s Random Tuesday Morning Thought is deeply, profoundly random. Because of some tummy issues, (and I’m seeing the doctor today), I haven’t eaten in 24 hours, and am feeling a little odd. I’ve been trying to get things done, but I can’t clean the kitchen because if I go in there I’ll see the cheeses, muffins, orange juice, eggs, coffee, fresh nutty breads, and I might crumble. Although after drinking that gallon of vile, putrid soapy sea-water they give you, and knowing this was a ‘do or do not, there is no try’ moment, I may never drink again.

I think — I think this may be my favorite time in an expansion. I realize that goes contrary to how everyone else feels. (Since when don’t I swim against the current?) Most are chomping at the bit for new material, quests, instances — all great things. And I admit if I have to step into another LFR in the next few weeks I’d rather drink a gallon of that terrible, evil, no-good rotten I-swear-this-is-medicines’-idea-of-a-cruel-joke drink. But you know – this is really a great time. I started playing Mataoka at the end of the Lich King, and young leet druid told me it was the worst time to start playing. I had no idea what he was talking about, and I guess I still don’t. Do I wish Catacylsm and Mists had offered some of the big events like Lich King? Sure, but I didn’t  know any better until much later, and it’s hard to be nostalgic over a memory one doesn’t have. These are the fat-and-happy days now — the moments when we have a few little fun things to see our characters through, the gear is decent now, and if we want to go back and slice through old content and achievements, it’s a piece of cake. (Oh my sweet baby murloc if I mention one more piece of food, so help me Velen!)

I was thinking – and this is a shout-out to all of my player friends — I would really like to pull together a 10-man normal and see if we can get Garrosh down before the expansion though. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, but if you’re interested, let me know. What have we got to lose, except time? And there is a wolf mount at stake, too! I bet I can rally a tank or two, and I know we have the healers/dps! What do you say kids, can we put on a show?!

Let's put on a show!
Let’s put on a show!

Moving on: pets I’d like to see: Just trying my mog luck in Black Temple, Kellrose stopped and really looked at those red lights that flit through the mournful halls. Their faces are haunting, these angered souls – I think we need to set them free and give them good homes, don’t you?

angered soul fragments

Death Bunnies….

 

Noblegarden looks skeleton bunnya little bit different from a Horde’s perspective. It slipped my mind — most of the holiday events don’t blip on my radar because I’m done with What a Strange Trip. So unless there’s a new pet, /shrug. But today I had time to visit Escarlata — from a writer’s point of view, she’s a tricky one. I can’t quite draw a bead on her: she speaks to me and tells me I made a mistake making her a warlock on almost a daily basis. And yes, her minions and imps adore her:

underthings

 

 

In any case, she’s bopping around Brill, and someone twangs her tailbone with ears:

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 3.20.40 PM
Adorable.

So much I need to learn about the Forsaken. Something tells me Lady S. has not been letting moss grow under her feet. 

If you need bunny ears, we have a plethora of lovelies – Forsaken, Tauren, Dwarfs, Draenei – whatever you need. And though I ain’t no Holla Back Girl, just say the word.

 

Rare beauties…

heartichoke
Heartichoke, Guild Mistress of Wigs & Pens, Whisperwind/Dentarg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next 48 hours should be interesting. Not going to say more–just “interesting.” Know all of those outhouses in Azeroth? They need to put WiFi in them.

Damn, I said more. Moving on people, nothing to see here.

So, been having a pretty good time lately. Used some more gifts to change…*gasp* Heartichoke the Gnome to Heartichoke the Goblin. Now now, before you get after me and remind me I said never, the thing is…and don’t hate….but I need a Horde 90, and Kellanyx the Blood Elf was too…

(cuidado chica)

…pretty for me. Wait, that’s not quite right. Blood Elves are beautiful. But that bored tilt of the head just got to me, her never-ending ennui, her body language kept telling me, “Something smells bad,” and after awhile I keep feeling like I was in a hostile work environment, because that bad smell was me. Sorry chica, I am not good enough for you. Now many of the Blood Elf female animations are so enchanting–the way they jump, and cast spells: it was like watching my own little Tinkerbell. Truly lovely. So perhaps Death Knight was not the best class for a Blood Elf female –perhaps a priest or mage would be a better choice.

Tinkerbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Heartichoke began a journey to start her own guild – Wigs and Pens, of course. There was no other option. She put out the call to her trusty Battle.tag friends and got immediate responses – thanks to one and all who signed her guild charter as she loitered in the Orc starting zone. Dragonray came to the rescue once again with her mage and ported her to the Vale, including stepping out of an LFR queue – now that IS amazing. So thank you to one and all for coming to my assistance: anyone who wants to start a Horde on Whisperwind/Dentarg is welcome. We are a Level 1 Guild with two tabs and 100 gold, no repairs, no fat stacks, no rep, no achievements, nothing. But damn, that goblin can dance! So got that going for us.

More miscellaneous:

Haanta looked over her Timeless Champion log, and realized she was pretty damn close to wrapping that pig up, in a manner of speaking. The big fire guys get her every time, but the rest will require patience and cunning (two things her human is in short supply of):

Rattleskew – thought this might be a big snake, but turns out it’s a pirate dude

Chelon – thought this might be a French singer, but turns out it’s a big turtle dude

chelon
This is also Chelon…

Stinkbraid – couldn’t believe I hadn’t gotten him yet, but he’s been taken out by Haanta.

Stinkbraid, in my humble opinion, has one of the best NPC names in the game.

Urdur the Cauterizer – fire guy who hurts

Flintlord Gairan– another fire guy who hurts – may need to partner up with some folks.

There are other things going on, but I won’t bore you with the minutiae. Well, I don’t make any promises. Minutiae may be the theme of today.

Hearthstoned.

lost mind
Only 9%? Seems low.

There are times when I am grateful my guildmate Señor is not one of my battletag friends, for if he was he would see how many hours I’ve wasted on Hearthstone. I’m not sure what snapped into me: when I first played it for the mount, it aggravated the snot out of me. But then something clicked–probably that usual endorphine, lizard-brain, peck-for-the-pellet activity that ruins lives and destroys families. Dishes? Dinner? Pffft. Just try to compete with a summon random totem spell from Thrall, or the “You asked for it” confidence of Jaina. It was recently released for the i-Pad, too: now I just have to talk CD Rogue into letting me buy one. No, Matty! NOOOOOO. Just. No.

Stop.

No.

Okay, one more round….