Mataoka would like to file a police report on harassment in her own garrison. First, the little pod-thingies with teeth (“Beware of plants with eyes indeed…WATCH OUT FOR THE TEETH!”), and next, some creeper named Segumi who got up all in her personal space. Back off, Jack.
Mataoka could feel his hot, fishy panda breath down her shoulder gear, and she was thoroughly creeped out. Disgusting. She moved to the side because he would not budge, giving her some flimsy excuse about helping her with her ‘pole casting.’ She had few options available: move away from him, or move away from him. Which begs the question: not every soul in our garrisons are of our choosing. Sure, a little reverse sexism can be fun–‘Hey Mr. NightElf Stablehand…can you help me um, heal this pet?‘ or trying to manipulate the bankers: ‘Gee, you look swell today Karl, any gold in
that guild bank? No, lost it all on insider trading fraud? Oh well.’ — but some of those NPCs are well, downright strange. If only there was a counselor or mental health services, or gee, even good old-fashioned stocks to have someone cool their jets. I bet Justin Timberland would build some for Mataoka: he has kind of thing for her, in a healthy, lumberjack kind of way.
In any case, most of the garrison members are becoming like family. I am a little concerned that the miners are trying to unionize, and the saws at the lumber mill aren’t properly equipped with safety plexiglass, and the Lumberfall Inn didn’t pass its last health inspection…but other than that, nothing that can’t be solved. And the next time Segumi tries to get a bit too close, Mataoka will put on her spider-dress and poke him right in the face:
Ah, Azeroth. So glad to be home, riding through the lavender fields on my trusty Talbuk, collecting dinosaur bones and cleaning out guild banks. So satisfying. Look, little monk! Why don’t you try to get some off-spec gear from Ordos – your human is doing nothing better than sitting on the couch drinking wine and eating left-over Halloween candy…go for it!
What, what is this? Two big minotaur-ial bullies blocking the way? That’s okay — if you die (which you will cause you suck), the graveyard is close by and you can just spirit past them to the group.
No– NO! You spawned in the graveyard at the bottom of the hill?! And have to run ALL the way back to Ordos? When did that happen? What? NO – there is a warlock with nerd rage yelling at everyone to come back in if they die? And then…no. This warlock thinks you were slacking! Because you were dead the entire time of the fight!
Those who know me know where this is going. That I can’t leave well enough alone. Yes, I did engage in a conversation trying to explain the situation, but young warlock did not get it, and then proceeded to call me not only a moron, but a liar. Time to log off of Whisperwind and go pay angry warlock a visit on his/her server and set them straight. In a nice way. I wanted them to know that i was not an asshat, that I was sorry for the misunderstanding, and diffuse the nerd rage with my kill-them-with-kindness positivity. All merry sunshine and healing spells, that’s me. He seemed to calm down and be satisfied.
Now I have a friend in Azeroth who told me he is going to be writing an English paper on the g&m&er&&G/hate thing. I also told Dahahka about CD Rogue’s theory about the huge influence Japan/Sony has been in the gaming world, with ugliness and misogyny. I thought last night I would turn over some rocks, in a scholarly pursuit of information. I wish I hadn’t. Gentlemen: take me at my word: Japanese culture, like all cultures, has very, very dark sides. Little girl faces with exaggerated, absurd, grotesquely figures and a lot of mention of horrible things. The thing that maybe the average player does not consider is how incestuous the gaming industry is: if one works for this company or that, the game worker takes that culture to others and spreads some of the yuck like a hate virus. I don’t want to link some of the “rocks” I overturned. I need heart soap. It’s ugly, ugly stuff. Young men justifying, smugly, why they are entitled to rape video games. That’s the least of it. And I must admit: I am a more than a bit irked when the CEO of Blizzard, Michael Morhaime, mentions the ‘tough subject’ of g*m9erh/ate and how they don’t condone it, while I’m looking at a backdrop of muscly testosterone. It’s hard to believe they are really that invested in equanimity at this moment. It’s a lovely gesture though.
While standing in line for souvenirs and goodies, this banner hung over us for hours:
This is truly the expansion for Orcs. I still feel kind of betrayed. That all the while I was marching with Dwarfs and heroes the Orcs in the battlefield would wipe their snot-noses, take a shower, put on some Axe body spray, and come out smelling like roses. There is not a single female represented in that tableau, either. Compositionally, the highest point is the Orc-in-Front, causing the viewer’s eye to move and stay on his figure. What’s his name? Hellscream? Looks like he’s wearing an Armani suit, while Varian pouts, small and petulant, in last season’s Dolce and Gabbana. And Velen? Damn, man, take your meds.
In any case, young squires, I cannot help you seek knowledge about this. This is not a judgement on my part, or cowardice. The human condition is extreme and fascinating. We’re all trying to navigate our way through a lot of muddy, invisible rules. And run back from far away graveyards.
Today’s Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you by Comcast, Who Can’t Get Its Sh*t Together, So Now It’s Wednesday.
“Do you want to be sent to your room and go sleep by yourself? And nobody will see you ever again?”
You have probably seen this by now. I don’t care. This. Was. Me. I have always been a diva in my own narrative. I would send myself to my room, denying my mother of my charming company, and stage elaborate productions where of course, I was the star.
Yesterday was a great day: I am in MY GROOVE PEEPS. Until my boss saw one little thing I intentionally didn’t do, one little hoop I decided the poodles did not have to jump through, and she called me on it. Man, what’s a girl to do but get her fancy dress on when she gets home, and sing a round of Frozen to an adoring audience? (Translation: Kellda struts her fancy robes and raids the night away!) Alas, it was not meant to be.
Comcast sucks and blows.
My Internet was out until about five minutes ago. I reset everything I could, and even killed a spider while pulling out the wires, pieces of dog food, and dust bunnies with teeth. I fixed it, but still, the night is gone. Thursday night I have to work, so can’t make it then. either. It was weird though, not having my usual routine.
I made dinner.
I tried to read my next book for book club, but need my old lady glasses and couldn’t find them so I just used cell data to play Hearthstone. I watched The Daily Show, and mused at all the folks who want to kill everyone. Talk about shit getting real.
I responded to a Facebook post of a zealous Christian acquaintance who says climate change is a hoax.
And I went to sleep trying to scrape off the bullshit and nonsense that is the world, and think about gnome kisses and knights in shining armor.
I set up the coffee pot for the this morning the night before, so there would be caffeine. It’s not all bad.
I guess Blizzard felt sorry for me, because it gave Kellda a Blue Drake:
We interrupt this regularly scheduled Random Tuesday Morning Thought to bring you little monsters. Specifically, little troll hacking monsters.
Helke alerted me to this news story. Usually when I’m in Azeroth, I’m IN Azeroth – in spite of the chaos, mice, unpaid bills, and Cruel Taskmaster’s BACK TO WORK’s–I’ll get whispers late at night, when I’m snuggled in bed, playing Hearthstone, and it’s hard for me to respond. I wish I had an “Open Sign” that went dark between the hours of 9PM and 7AM.
And claiming national security is not an overreaction, but I do believe it’s misunderstood. It is not that people couldn’t play games, and our responses to national security are –let me just say complex at best. Frisking eight-year-olds does not security create. However, when young civilians have the brains and psychopathic tendencies combined with a steady stream of disassociated reality, we create a potential for even more than disruptive shenanigans.
On a tangential note, Mr. and Mrs. WoW ask about our feelings about Big Blizzard itself. This incident, and many others, remind me that Blizzard is a business, first and foremost; they are allowed and encouraged to employ, pay taxes, and return on investment to the infrastructure and customers that in return, help them make the profits they do. So when I, as paying customer, have an issue, they have been great in resolving it, and for the most part, have turned from arrogance to being more responsive.
Today’s Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you by the letter P and the feeling of O, as in, “Oh, I am really anxious about this.”
“Personification” is one of my favorite figurative language terms. So simple in definition, yet provides so much richness to our imaginations. Whenever illustrating personification one of the most accessible ways is to think about the characters in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Each tea pot and candlestick has its own personality, every feather duster and door knob. It’s magical.
Even Carmen from Art of Carmen puts her own spin on Azerothian characters. They tend to be salaciously sexualized and entertainingly sinful: note the little “devil’s tail” in the smile of the Draenei below:
My dear friend Plaid Elf much more kindly pointed out some of her disappointment, too.
We were all so excited, but what we got was Low Budget Beasts. Scratch that. Low Budget Beasts have character and grit, even if ofttimes poorly executed cosplay. At least they try!
When many of us saw the ‘sketchbook’ if you will of our new characters we were delighted. All except me, who immediately saw the dead-eyes, too narrow of jaw, and sexless, plastic lips– to me, the new Draenei female models look like they’ve been on a three-day bender of Botox and Velen sold their souls to Illidan. Am I that unhappy? Yes. When I showed the Beta model of the female Dwarf, with richness and vibrance to the art, that is what I was pointing to, what I wanted. I feel that this is somehow Blizzard’s passive-aggressive means to take two of the most beautiful female races (Draenei and Night Elf) in Azeroth, and instead of making ALL races rich, vibrant and…looking for a word here...they did what they always do: break the good in an effort to level some imaginary playing field. Now – I’m going to try to say this next thing as carefully as I can, but I’ll probably get misunderstood: Tauren, Troll, and Dwarf females were often thought of as not the “beautiful” races. First, I disagree. Big time. But Blizzard did give them a richness and nuances that served to enhance their natural beauty. (We haven’t seen Troll yet, but I am betting the farm they are ‘new and improved: even the Forsaken has left us feeling forsaken.) Careful framing, shading, and line work that only added to their beauty. I wish the good and talented artists at Blizzard would take a step back and go study the artists of Disney,Hayao Miyazaki, and Pixar. Heck, even Tim Burton would add some grit. Let him redesign the Forsaken! And second, shame on Blizzard if that is their plan, to somehow make the “pretty” girls “ugly” as a way of compensating for something that didn’t need to be paid.
Now maybe I can get the word to Blizzard. I know they keep saying it’s just the Beta, and not providing me any mental relief as far as what the future holds for my Draenei and Night Elf clan. I will say I’ve been delighted with the addition of a Dwarf shaman named Mollei. Remember Mollie MacBallbuster? She is all kinds of delightful. Sometimes I have error speech on, and when she says in her little Scottish accent, “I’m oot of mann-ah!” I crack up, as her braids twirl with every spell. At least I can count on her to stay beautiful, inside and out.
For years since I’ve written this blog, it’s been the junk-drawer level vault of my randomness. There are just a lot of things we all “might need” someday (but probably won’t). I am going to make a case, however, for junk drawers. You may, you know, need those cocktail olive toothpicks, because James Bond may come over for a shaken-not-stirred, and you’ll want to do it up right. You may purchase some local crabs and need those lobster/crab crackers. Maybe. It could happen. And of course, those batteries that may or may not still be good–and the super glue. That is where super glue magically resides when you don’t need it. It disappears the instant you break something that requires its services. Kind of like a dead-beat.
So in my wanderings, I’ve stumbled across a few things you may or may not need.
Elfi wrote an adorable post about the Dun Morogh Sledders. Every time I pass by I give them a wave. Well last night Keilei, my Night Elf huntress (we’ll discuss my huntresses another time) felt restless, and wanted to hone her skinning skills. She took a wrong turn, and saw a cave on the side of a mountain. This cave is hidden by the large IRONFORGE banner on the map. Inside the cave are two Dwarfs: a lady and a gentlemen. And they are drinking. And dancing. And….awkward! Though Keilei was invited to join them, she declined and bowed out. Get out?! Bowed out? A hunter! Woot! PUN!
So now you know where to find them; peek in, but don’t stay. They are trying to get warm.
Keilei continued. She flew over Gilneas, and lo and behold, so many abandoned cottages! She was tempted to be a squatter and set up permanent residency in one, but you know, the whole ‘forsaken’ problem and there was the unmistakable smell of pestilence in the air. But still….what a waste!
Green is the new black…
Oh, and I think we need a new mog contest. Not sure what. But something. Check back in later.
Heartstone…Mistakes Were Made
So this is why multitasking is bad. And if by ‘multitasking’ I mean having a rum and Coke, watching TV with CD Rogue, playing Hearthstone, and listening to him tell me funny Reddit stories, yes. That’s what I mean. See that sheep card? That sheep card used to be Ragnaros. It was, until I mistakenly didn’t drag the card to its proper position, and yes, I ‘sheeped’ my own card. Right then and there I wish I had an emote that said, “I am too stupid to play right now. You win this one.”
Today’s Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you courtesy of “Overthinking” and “WUT?” But no one cares about that right now – there’s a big ol’ patch going on right now. It would seem the revisions affect the ease of LFRs, and folks are going to be able to get upgrades galore. I’m sure everyone’s off reading those important things, excitement building, because for any and every patch from here on out, that’s one step closer to the big expansion. I’m not ready.
This post was originally for Breige, who asks, like Tome, why is it some monsters have pockets, and yet some do not? Pockets that produce change and hard candy, and yet others don’t even have lint? No one knows. No one knows why how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, or why with my 550+ geared destro lock I come in 7th on DPS in a Flex. No one knows.
Well, I need to get all scientific up in there, folks. Let’s see. I have’t reforged in awhile. At a critical moment CD Rogue kept sending me texts about his adventures with a lost UPS package. The dog starts whining, doing a potty dance. I was trying to listen and focus on a new strat (I had done Flex earlier in the week with the same character, and did fine–last night not so much), and there is this constant nagging feeling that I am forgetting my ‘homework.’ All the time. That I didn’t read some e-mail, or respond to some question, or am about to miss a meeting, or didn’t read my book for book club. Neo asks me to sign up for as many raids as I can, and I realized this morning I have book club on Wednesday (we’re reading Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown – my book clubbers love it; I’ve been skipping the rowing parts to get to the love story bits). Regardless, I’ve come to the other realization that I am not elite during new ideas. It takes me awhile to absorb a new concept, work with a new group, and adjust. It’s got to be hard to players who’ve played together for a while not to get a little tense or frustrated with [read: shitty] players like me. We almost one-shotted Garrosh, but while I desperately tried to interrupt with my demon’s Licking Spell of Mighty Halitosis, didn’t quite cut it.
And now it’s time for me to fly away again. Later, haters.
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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?
This event demands a Story Time post, for how can any reasonable writer worth her salt walk away from an astronomical phenomenom such as a ‘blood moon?” I knew it was coming, I read the news, I saw the posts, and yet, at that moment when I could have walked outside I was sound asleep. Me and sleep — we have a special relationship. Sunday night the moon was so bright, so full, when I tried to sleep on the couch with the fire I was restless. The dog was restless. So ‘Moonday’ night–deeply exhausted, sleep won.
Even this morning knowing I have an early morning meeting, my mind played Joker and told my hand to reset the alarm to a half hour before I would have to leave. Don’t think I can get gorgeous in half an hour? Pffft. I confess it’s getting harder and harder each year. In my twenties, a few swipes of under-eye concealer and teeth brushing, now it takes forklifts and spackle. Fortunately, sensible brain trumped hand and got my ass out of bed.
Really looking forward to game time tonight: Zeptepi is but two Titan Runestones away from her cloak. Sure, she’ll have to heal through the last battle, and (re) defeat all of the Celestials again, and then of course scrounge up the 7k gold for her shadow cloak, and sure, okay, the whole thing will end up at Goodwill in the next few months. I read that Big Bear is taking a break. Can’t say as I blame him. Not speaking for him, but an observation in general: I think many players, myself included, like to forget that Blizzard is a business, first and foremost, and churning out the pixie dust is hard work. I’m still enchanted, however, and live for those singular moments in Azeroth, those rare blood moon moments.
Speaking of which: used some chits to finally boost poor Rökkr, my second character created, a rogue. Poor Señor who is an expert at rogue helped her the other night go through her rotation. There is a story in here, too. I wasn’t going to log on during Mondays during Lent, and I had to sneak in (that’s what rogues do) and see if I could do anything on my own. I killed a few tigers, Señor, and a frog or two! All by myself! Sure, I get eaten by a big white tiger, and yes, there were those repair bills, but you’d have been proud!
Patience friends, patient as a rogue, for when the moment comes to strike, when my energy bar is full again, I’ll get some of my ideas scribbled.
PS When I reached for my phone and Kindle this morning I pinched a nerve in my shoulder. (FFS)