Not with a bang but a whimper

This is the way a guild starts
This is the way a guild starts
This is the way a guild starts
Not with a bang but a whimper.

-With apologies to T. S. Eliot

So. I’ve restarted my old guild on a new server. Why am I so effing insane?

It’s taking more than a while to gain any traction, and I’m honestly not sure how things will turn out in the long run. I feel a bit as though it’s just another plate in the handful of gaming plates I am juggling, but it’s one that seems more important than the others do. Still, no matter my sense of urgency, it’ll be months before I know how things may turn out.

Starting a guild in the twilight of an expansion is maybe not the smartest idea. On the flip side, it made slightly more sense to start it now than it did to wait for the beginning of WoD.

I’ve reached out to a small handful of the Effers that I’m still in touch with. “Looking to reboot EtI,” I said. “I’ll GM, with even less tolerance for bullshit drama than I had before. We’ll flex raid a couple times a week. We’re all busy adults here, but I think we can make it work.”

Replies have trickled back. I have four whole people in the guild now, half of which are myself and At. Yngwe the Pretty just joined up and dinged 90 for the first time ever. Azzah the Mighty has been running randoms with At and myself in an effort to earn that pesky guild XP. We’re a level 5 guild now and I have dreams of establishing a decent enough cash flow to permit for some guild repair money to become available.

A couple people are sitting on the fence, strong maybe’s if WildStar doesn’t end up working out. In a way, I am almost one of those people myself. I intend to spend the summer trying WildStar out, but I honestly don’t have any expectations for the end game working out for me. That was mostly to do with raid size – I’m not a huge fan of big raids. Recently did a 16-man in SWTOR that left me underwhelmed and feeling generally lost in the crowd. And then I read this, and I thought no, it doesn’t seem likely that this will work out for me. I can be serious and I can be focused and I can be dedicated, but I don’t know that I can be hardcore.

Balanced against that is my bone-deep need to regain a sense of community in my game. I enjoyed my time with ProCo and I think it was good for me to take such a huge step back and become somewhat more uninvolved with the workings of a guild. But my efforts in the past few months to try to join in on an already established community have fallen more than a little flat. Part of me doesn’t mind this, because who could ever be better than the people who made up the halcyon days of EtI? Part of me thinks trying to recapture that former splendor is a foolish dream.

Whether it is or isn’t maybe doesn’t matter though. I’m at least going to try because not trying at all would be the far bigger failure in my mind.

And hey, maybe easing myself back into a part of the game that I’ve always been passionate about will give me more to say around here. Guess we’ll find out, one day at a time.

Posted in Eff the Ineffable, Leadership, Raiding | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Evolution of Alaskah

So I’ve been playing SW:ToR off and on for a few months now. It’s been more on than off lately, not that anyone in my guild would be able to tell it since gaming is certainly a thing that has been shuffled a bit to the side while I’ve been selling my house, getting ready to move and getting ready to start a new job pretty much all at the same time.

So has blogging, but that’s a win for anyone still reading. All that ever presents itself as a thing to say is that I hate moving. I could whine about that forever, but I’ll keep such boring chatter confined to Twitter.

Anyhow. Since I’ve started playing Star Wars again, my new main character (having gone Imperial since I last played) has been through something of an evolution. She started off as a Twi’lek….

Alaskah 1

Literally the only picture I could find of her, wherein she was about to smooch Hawtpirate.

 

She remained blue and lekku-accoutered all the way up until she hit level 50 and I had unlocked the race. In retrospect, I have no idea why I waited, since the lekku proved to be rather obnoxious with all their clippy, buggy ways and I can’t imagine ever rolling another Twi’lek.

In the name of being somewhat original on the Imperial side, I went Mirialan, since that is what Alastriona, my Jedi Sage, was. Is. She still exists.

 

Alaskah 2

This isn’t jaundice, it’s her skin color.

That lasted for all of a month before the skin color issues got to me. Do you know what colors look good with the particular shades of green and yellow that are in the Mirialan array? Not many. And when you’re in the same guild as Njessi and want to avoid being featured in the Fashion Hall of Shame, you start to care about how well put-together you look.

That’s just how it is.

Which brings me to the third step in the Evolution of Alaskah. A boring human.

Alaskah 3

Obviously, humans are boring if you also happen to be one IRL, which I am, more or less. Sadly, I am not this hawt.

 

And I think here is where Alaskah will stay, at least in most things. I like the hairdo which is available only to humans, and the scars are interesting, though not as cool as the tattoos that Sith Warriors get. My lovely blue and black garments don’t clash with my skin and hey, maybe one of these days I will put as much effort in getting my gear to look good as I have my damn avatar.

But first, I need to get back to packing.

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More shit I’ve come up with

Me: I think we should start some new characters.

At: Oh?

Me: Yes. A tank and a healer, I think.

At: Why? Aren’t we already doing that?

Me: Well, you haven’t heard the brilliant part of this plan.

At: ….

Me: I can tell you’re intrigued. See. The tank would be named Godot.

At: I think I see where this is going.

Me: The healer could be named Vladimir. Or Estragon, I suppose. Estragon sounds more MMO-ish.

At: Why are you still talking?

Me: Because it’s funny! The healer would zone into a dungeon. Maybe we could have a dps friend, too. We could have both Vlad and Estragon!

At: Next thing I know you’ll be saying you should have pre-macroed lines of dialogue from the play, all about how you’re waiting for Godot.

Me: Well, duh. Wouldn’t that be hilarious?

At: No.

Me: YES, IT WOULD TOO. Also! We could have a great guild name, like <The Azerothian Players>. Oh, or if we did it in swtor, we could be the <Imperial Troupers>. Hahahaha. Get it? TROUPERS!

At: I’m going to walk away now.

Me: You never like my ideas.

At: You don’t even like Waiting for Godot!

Me: I don’t see how that’s relevant.

At: …you’re insane.

Me: You just don’t understand my genius. I mean, c’mon. We could do so many things. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern could be a pair of DPS that overpull rooms and die all the time.

At: No.

Me: But!

At: Just no.

Posted in Senseless Blah Blah, Thoughts and Ideas | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wherein I Have an Announcement

So I say last week that I want to make blogging more a part of my life again and then put up two throwaway posts before falling off the face of the earth for a week.

Sounds about right for me.

Work has been… a treat. A by ‘a treat,’ I mean my good coworker left to go buy a restaurant and I’m probably alone for two months or so and no one will stop asking me whether I miss Happy Karl and this one incredibly bitter old hag of a woman has decided that I’m her number one enemy. Or something. I’m not sure. I’m trying to keep my head down and get through each day. And to find a new job.

All of which means I haven’t been logging in to play, so that’s why I’ve been not writing. I think a part of me was feeling that, once again, no this is a WoW blog now, Alas! Can’t talk about real life. Also, who cares?

Well. I have about three people1 still reading so whatever. I’mma jabber about whatever the hell I want. Later.

The Actual Point of this Post

Today, I actually have an announcement! And that is that after blogging off and on (and yeah, more off than on in recent years) since late 2009, someone was finally demented, brave, desperate enough to invite me to be a guest on a podcast:

TwistedLive_300

 

Honestly, I’ve been in a bit of a state over this prospect. I’m sure no one else remembers, but I once said it was a good thing no one had ever wanted me as a guest on a podcast2 before because I get terribly, terribly nervous about such things and when I get nervous I’m roughly 87% more likely to somehow make an ass of myself.

But then I realized that since late 2009, I’ve pretty much been making an ass of myself in a public fashion anyhow. So what difference does it make if I do it again only in voice rather than in text?3

Anyhow. Despite all “…such flutterings, all over me – such spasms in my side and pains in my head….” this is a thing that is happening and I would be pleased and honored and overwhelmed and all those other good things if anyone saw fit to come out and mock me during the recording process.

We’ll be getting going on Sunday, February 9, around 8pm PST. So come join in with my derp! Or don’t! Really, whichever you prefer.

  1. Hai Grimm!
  2. And, y’know, I’d link to the post but I can’t be arsed to find it
  3. Well, I cringe at y’all hearing me actually talk. I fear I don’t have one of those smoothly modulated voices that are so nice to listen to.
Posted in Real Life, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

My new home

Or maybe this is just where I’ll leave Alas if/when I log out of the game for the last time over. Sure there are some spiders and their webs and sure there are some undead idiots prowling about, but I promise you that neither of those things matter once one gets started in on this:

New HomeAnd I know there’s nothing to provide a sense of scale to this picture, but those bottles must be as tall as Alas, at least. Not sure she could actually manage to literally crawl down into one, but I bet it would be possible to force some Gnomes through the small opening.

Not that I would do that, of course.

Posted in Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Flipped a switch

So I had been contemplating a rant regarding the biggest source of frustration and /headdesking in my life right now, that source being the new receptionists at work, all of whom are so incredibly stupid that I’m not certain how they manage to even get themselves here on a more or less daily basis.

But then yesterday morning I got yet another “come to Jesus” talk from my boss, because once again, those receptionists threw me under the bus for something that I didn’t actually do. And I realized that when I try to gently correct their fuck-ups, I inevitably end up being made to look like the bad guy and their boss lands on my boss who then lands on me and the whole story of what even happened has gotten to be so far from the actual events that I’m not certain how it possibly got twisted from what it was to what it sounds like it was.

Contrast that with my vindictively not telling the receptionists that they should probably think about getting some chairs moved into a conference room for the Shareholder’s meeting (they had to coordinate getting drinks and lunches for more than twice the room’s standard seating capacity, so why they thought a room that only seats ~25 wouldn’t need more chairs is lost on me), and the outcome was that they were the only ones to get yelled at for a change and the whole giving up trying to make things go more smoothly becomes a no-brainer.

I could either try to go above and beyond and be a team player only to get shit dumped on me, or I can do only my job and no more and get left alone.

Alas votes for being left the fuck alone.

But it’s strange how detached I feel now. I mean, I’ve never cared a whole lot about this job or making these assholes happy, but my work ethic has always caused me to care at least a little bit. Now there’s nothing. I’m coasting along on pure apathy and it’s actually pretty nice. Or at least, it might make this situation survivable until I can find a new job.

But in the end, I find that this newfound lack of giving a fuck has also robbed me of my ability to work up a proper rage in order to write a proper rant. At least about this.

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Friday Five: Things on my mind

  1. I miss blogging. It’s been a long time since I have made this form of writing a part of my daily, weekly or even monthly life. I am aiming to change that, though God only knows what nonsense I’ll come up with these days. Probably stupid stories from work where, as usual, I hate everyone.
  2. Popcorn with garlic salt and shredded Romano cheese is DELIGHTFUL.
  3. I miss having a sense of community associated with the game(s) I play. That, more than anything else, is what has been keeping me on this cycle of a few months spent on one game and then a few on another before I switch again. I’m going to try to plug back into the WoW community a little bit more.
  4. I suggest you block me on Twitter if you find me particularly obnoxious now because it might be getting worse in the coming weeks and months.
  5. I think I am a less angry person now than I was years ago when I started this blog. While that’s unquestionably a good thing, it was so much fun to cut loose and rant. I should rant more often. Maybe. Probably.

What’s on your mind?

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Profession-centric leveling and why I shouldn’t do it

So I’ve been on Moonrunner for a while, right? And when I switched servers from Azuremyst I got all, “I don’t need to pay real money for transferring all my alts! I will just roll new ones!”

This was all well and good, but then I got this crazy notion that I should make as many of my alts as possible into Transmute Alchemists so that I could… I don’t even know…. make bank on Living Steel or whatever the next equivalent is.

Armed with a plan, if not with a terribly clear goal, I put my otherwise unplayed-since-hitting-90 rogue to work. And I organized all my alts in a spreadsheet, making sure that they had Alchemy and something else, probably another crafting profession, because I have a thing about having all the crafting professions. So my rogue farmed. A lot. Ore, herbs and then more of both.

I started living for the advent of the Darkmoon Faire because FREE 5 POINTS OF SKILLUPS, MAN!!! and nearly every character I have now carries around a stack of Moonberry Juice just so that I have it when it’s time to get those Alchemy points.

Over time, my spreadsheet evolved (largely due to At also thinking for some reason that Many Alchemists, Handle It! is the way to go) until it has actually started to dictate which of my alts is going to get to see some playtime.

professions

Right now, my shaman is closest to the next level and to being fully maxed out in both professions, so that makes her the priority. My warlock obviously has the furthest to go1, but I also craftily left her 20 skill points in both of her professions so that I can not feel bad about going to the Faire on her before she gets leveled further.

And that’s why I shouldn’t let my professions be dictating who I play. Because I get all dumb and bent out of shape over things that don’t matter in the long run. Five skill points a month for FREE isn’t a lot, but I work my gaming life around it anyway.

I think this is what happens when I have no one to talk to and no one to do anything with.

Please send halp.

  1. The hunter is exempt from this, being a part of Project QuATT
Posted in Acts of Lameness, Leveling, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Lady in Red

Alas ditched her ugly pink and green Outlands getup and went red:

Red Alas

I think this is a change we can all live with. As fun as it was being a nerve-jangling eyesore (for about five minutes), I find a return to something simple makes me feel better about seeing her on the screen. Now if I just address her bag space problem, maybe she’ll feel playable again. If not, the army of alts is a nice diversion.

Posted in Mage Related, Screenshots | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

2014: Hope

As a followup to my last post, I want to talk about my One Word for 2014: Hope. As I mentioned previously, this is going to be quite a bit more personal than last year’s word was, and probably emotional, at least for me.

Why Hope?

After more than ten years of marriage, several of which had been spent believing that it just wasn’t possible without serious medical intervention, I ended up discovering on September 30, that I was pregnant.

It was shocking. I cried.

I felt a lot of different things over the weeks that followed. I was mostly just surprised, but there was a bit of fear, a lot of uncertainty, some days of pure ambivalence and moments of sheer dislike (for the various “joys” of being pregnant more than anything else). But most of all, I was really happy about the pregnancy. I grew up thinking occasionally about what it would be like some day to have children. Children were always in the plan until it seemed like they weren’t. To have that plan suddenly revitalized and dropped in my lap was overwhelming, in both good and bad ways.

The most difficult thing for the first several weeks was not talking about it. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Except I didn’t, because that first trimester can be so chancy.

So I kept my mouth shut, except for with a few people. And I didn’t tell anyone except for those people about all the other things that suddenly became huge considerations. Like that we were going to sell my new car and the house because otherwise, once I wasn’t earning my income, we were going to eventually end up in a financial hole.

Long story short, I kept a lid on things and finally endured enough days and weeks to go to my first midwife appointment. Going in, I had a premonition that there wouldn’t be a heartbeat and I’m glad I did, because I think that lessened the shock of discovering that, in fact, my baby had no heartbeat and a miscarriage was imminent.

Three days later, I did miscarry. I would have been 12 weeks had the pregnancy remained viable.

After the numbness passed, there was more tears and more mixed emotions, but mostly there was grief. There still is. I don’t believe this is something I’ll ever really full get over.

At and I would talk about various things in the days that followed. Did we want to try again? Did we want to try try or just not prevent? Was he okay? Was I okay? Talking about my pregnancy in the past tense was surprisingly difficult and I eventually got fed up with referring to the baby as an “it.” So I told At I believed he had been a boy but that I still wanted to name him Hope, because whatever, it wasn’t like anyone would pick on him at school. At countered with his belief that she had been a girl, and he thought Hope was fine name in any event because that’s what she had brought us.

So we named our baby Hope. And hope is my One Word for 2014, because, for as difficult and terrible as it was for me to miscarry, I don’t regret that any of it happened. I learned a lot about myself along the way, and I think I have grown as a person as a result. I also feel that my marriage is stronger now than it was before. There was plenty of good mixed in with the bad.

As I greet 2014, I want to do so with hope in my heart and a reminder that I get to choose to be thankful, or to look on the bright side. I get to choose to change my life if I want. I get to choose to try again.

And I get to choose to talk about the whole experience now and how it has impacted me. I honestly feel a bit like a fraud saying things like, “When I was pregnant,” even to At, just as a frame of reference for the time I’m talking about. But just because I didn’t tell many people about my pregnancy when it was happening doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen and didn’t change me profoundly.

I want to let it continue to change me. I’ve never been an optimistic person before, but given all the circumstances of the past few months, I really want to learn to allow myself to always hope for better days.

Do you have a One Word for 2014? What is it?

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments