A blogger among bloggers

Saga recently had her one year blogoversary (grats Saga!) and offered up topics for posts as has become customary among many WoW-bloggers. I asked for one, feeling guilty that all my writing efforts have not gone towards this space since I have not been playing much.

Anyway, for a topic.. hmm.. How about writing one about what it’s like being in a guild with so many bloggers? Do you ever feel like you have to play extra well because if you fail it will be all over the intrawebs? Or is it all just awesome because you all share a second interest, other than WoW, which means you’re more kindred spirits than normally one would see with guildies?

The above was my prompt and I find it hits home nicely in several ways. I don’t fear failing in game and having my name smeared because I happened to end up with a lot of super cool people who just aren’t inclined to point fingers and get all hysterical about their GM making mistakes. Which is fortunate for me because I totally do.

But is it all awesome? Well, yes and no. What I really think it is, is freaking weird. I keep it well in mind that many people joined because Zel and Rhii are super awesome and have bigger audiences than my own, but still… it’s sort of my guild and my dream and seeing anyone attracted to one’s vision is an odd feeling.

The part that makes everything so awesome is actually not that we blog, but that we have similar goals and ideas about what raiding should look like. When I was in WWAB, I felt nearly alone in my progression goals and like I had to push a particularly stubborn donkey uphill to down end game content. In Eff, we all want to punch Deathwing in the face – but we also all have real lives that do take priority in various ways.

I recall writing that I felt as though so many people in the blogosphere had these awesome guilds that were able to be on the same page progression-wise and I wanted to be a situation where people were willing to put in some effort for the same thing. I was so envious back then and now I do have that. We’re not breezing through content by any means, but there are improvements from week to week and when we understand a concept, we really have it. Two kills is as good as farm status for us, which means we are getting our kills through good execution and not just dumb luck.

But getting back to the fact that there are so many bloggers in our ranks – I can say I do get an enormous kick out of it most days. Now that I have sorted my blogroll into various folders for the sidebar, I realize just how much I see posts from Raiding and Casual Effers. And I get this glow of pride whenever one of them posts about the server, let alone the guild. Because I feel we’ve built a home here.

There have been times when I’ve done more teeth-gnashing than grinning though. Like when Mr. Butt joined the guild and blogged about it. That was more exposure than I thought we would ever get and I had laughed hysterically when all the people in my guild told me they were trying to recruit him. It was short-lived, his being here, but I still feel a sense of pride that it was my guild and these friends that gave so venerable a blogger a new sense of excitement and life about the game.

But I also freaked out at the time because while I love having more casual players be a part of this guild, we do have a focus on raiding. And I didn’t want to be SAN 2.0 and lose sight of that, no matter how much I liked the idea of SAN.

Overall, I can’t help but compare Eff to WWAB overall in terms of bloggers. For whatever reason, most people seriously freaked out when Zel and Gnoble joined WWAB. I can see how it might have been odd for strangers to come into the guild and still share all this history with the GM. We probably laughed over things no one else understood. But the resistance to trying to be a part of the world of WoW bloggers is something I still don’t understand to this day. And I lost friendships over it.

But I gained many more.

It’s not an equal or perfect tradeoff in terms of relationships, but it has been very relaxing in many ways to know that my guild is also a part of my audience and I am part of their audience. There’s a level of support there that I could never have gotten from WWAB, much as I loved those people and felt they were supportive of my reign of terror.

But then there’s the strangeness again. Sometimes I wonder why we have guild forums when half of the time our issues get turned into blog fodder anyhow. Not that I resent it at all, and I am just as responsible as the next person for taking something to the blog rather than the forums. There is a feeling of our whole guild being pinned to a cork board and dissected for the rest of the community to see and to judge, though. And that is passing strange.

As anyone can see, I don’t have a really clear answer about how it is to be in a guild with so many bloggers. But I will say that I think any cons that might exist are far, far outweighed by the pros. I would not trade it for anything, not even the glory days of WWAB when all seemed bright and wonderful.

Why? Because there is so much less room for secrets here. And so much more equality. Even when it’s strange or it hurts, I can’t help but feel but that the intimacy is only going to make us a stronger, better group of players.

And that, my friends, is worth hanging onto.

Posted in Eff the Ineffable, Leadership, Raiding | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Skills to pay the bills…

…or how playing WoW can prepare one for a life of tedious employ.

1. Repeat, repeat, repeat, re- …fuck this

I mentioned yesterday that Kooky kept trying to pull me off one project to stick me on another. About the fifth time she did that, I wanted to say: Lissen lady! I farmed a goddamn druid all the way from 80-85 (nearly) on the strength of mining and herbing alone! And you know what I did after that? Do you? I mined and herbed some more. Don’t talk to me about boring, repetitious jobs. Don’t talk to me about needing a break!

2. Repeat, repeat, repeat, re- …fuck this… again

Dragging my sorry carcass out of bed knowing what barely-warmed-over Hell was in store for me was pretty much the most difficult thing I had to do this week. The commute in the cold… the eight hours of work… the commute back in the rain… on public transport… with the public… in dress clothes… (I shudder to think of it all, stretching out for endless months.)

Ah, but I have faced the dailies of more than a dozen rep grinds, from the Ogri’La to Baradin’s Wardens. I have contrived to raise over 45 reputations to exalted. If I can force myself to collect rusty guns and kill 15 demons every day for a paltry reward, then I can convince myself to face the public and the cold and the tedious work for a paltry paycheck.

3. 10-key skills

I have them. I have such mad 10-key skills you don’t even know. Because I am smart and savvy and a GM and I protect my account with an authenticator. It’s the right thing to do. When I see those 5-digit codes at work, I scoff on the inside. Because every time I log into WoW you know I am punching that 6-digit code and a password. Every time. I’m awesome like  that.

4. Putting up with rampant disorganization

Three foot tall stacks of paper notwithstanding, the disorganization of an office environment is peanuts compared to trying to lead a raid to kill the leaders of the filthy horde. Especially when you PUG half the people needed and most of them are know-it-all prima donnas who can’t work out how to follow the goddamn star as that is the tank who will take the beating for them.

Sometimes – most of the time – the only proper response is to take a deep breath and wade into the fray, weapons swinging. Even if it a Swingline stapler.

5. Working with the group

You learn to identify broad types in a pug fairly quickly. That’s the 12-year old dps who is hopped up on either a potent sugar/caffeine cocktail or speed. That’s the sour healer who is there mostly to complain about how healers don’t get no respect these days and get off my lawn! That’s the jocky tank who thinks that the size of his.. ahem… hp is all that matters. Yeah.

It’s the same thing in an office. That guy thinks he’s the leader but it’s really just that he talks a lot while his second-in-command quietly marks the kill and CC targets. That lady think she is massively overworked just because she has to trap at least one mob per every pull. That one over there is the idiot temp who knows she is running with a guild team she would never want to be a part of and who just may try to aggro the auditors just before dropping group.

Shouldn’t have rolled need on those benefits just to deny the temp, yo.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Real Life, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Precursor to the post I intended to write

Don’t you tell me to shut up about temping. I blog about what is, and what is right now is the reality of my making a partial reentry to the work force after being deliciously unencumbered by the 9-5 since the beginning of the year.

Ahem. Anyhow. I decided to show off a bit on Day Two of temping, temp monkey boogaloo. If I might toot my own horn for just a moment, I have an “ability” that I am coming to realize as being something that not everyone has. I never thought it was special before and I don’t think it’s particularly amazing even now. But not everyone can do it and I therefore have a slight edge.

In the books, it’s always, “I had only to tell him a thing once and it was his,” in reference to people who are good with the learning. I might require two or three tellings for more complex tasks, but for the most part, if you explain a sequence to me once, I can recall it and understand it and put it into motion. Especially when it comes to office work because, let’s face it, a lot of that is super simple anyhow, particularly if one is comfortable with computers and software.

Anyhow, I decided to show off just a little bit today. That crap I collated for scanning and then scanned? Phase three of Most Pointless Workflow Evar was to make sure it had scanned correctly and could be identified with the appropriate file name. So I started the process logged into Kooky McRacistPant’s profile and got to work. Partway through, one of the IT guys managed to roust himself from wherever in the basement they are kept, and wandered up to get me set up on my own profile.

Kooky McRacistPants bustled over to help me get my profile set up correctly, but not before I did it my own damn self because A. Duh and B. I pay attention. Also, duh. Shortly thereafter Kooky was attempting to suss out my longterm employment plans. Did I want to keep temping forever (oh fuck no), was I applying elsewhere currently (you bet yer racist pants I am!) and would I stay forever? (Ummm, no)

I proceeded to spend the rest of the day working through a three foot tall stack of papers. I’d guess I am about halfway through. The thing that burns me is that Kooky spends pretty much all day not working. Instead, she gossips about the office, worries over some neighbor’s dog who hasn’t taken a crap recently, calls vets on behalf of said neighbor’s dog, tells the rest of the office how concerned she is about the dog and then spends the rest of her time talking either about how she feels about people from out of state or who are Native Americans (both are ignorant, violent and frightening) or she talks about how she has the work of three people to do and just can’t seem to get ahead.

Fuck that, Kooky.

The sad thing is that she attempts to sabotage my workflow. Perhaps she is worried I will make her look really bad since I, y’know, get shit done? Whenever I have managed to dig into a project, she’ll swing by to “check on me” and ask if I wouldn’t rather be doing something else. Or something else will suddenly be a big priority.

And maybe it works for some people to cycle between tasks to break up the monotony. I mean, when you get sick of watching paint dry maybe watching grass grow is a nice break. But for me, I prefer to stay on task with small, self-created (Twitter, Google chat, reading a blog) interruptions.

All of which will bring me up to what I had intended this post to be: How skills learned in WoW are helping me survive the joys of temping. But this is already a wall of text and too far gone from my original intent. So consider this needless background for tomorrow’s post and if you made it this far, thanks for reading my QQ about this very silly job.

Writing is so cathartic.

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Let me tell you the problem with this

Disclaimer: this is a real life rant. If you don’t give a rat’s ass about my real life, feel free to move along. If you like it when I claim to be miserable, read on.

So. Temping.

It sucks. I think it must suck even for people who like variety and meeting other people. Well, I am not a fan of meeting other people and I have yet to believe that a variety of businesses or assignments means actual variety in work done.

The thing is, businesses are not likely to be able to afford to spend a whole lot of effort in training someone who will be around for anything from a few days to several months and then gone again. So if they need to hire a temp, chances are pretty good that they are merely looking to unload the shittiest of the shit work. That crap no one wants to do but it has to be done.

Today, I collated papers by hand. Copied down a 5-digit number. Removed staples and paper clips. And then I somehow managed to retain enough brain cells to rub together to use the scanner properly. So that I could scan all these printed-out copies of emails (I KNOW IT MAKES NO SENSE BUT THAT’S WHAT I WAS DOING) and then enter in that same 5-digit number again so that the electronic file could be looked up by file number.

Scintillating.

And as if the work itself was not mind-numbingly horrific enough, I was then patronized by a 50-something year old woman who was just so glad I did “have some skills” and wasn’t I “clever, for figuring out that an electronic file could be deleted by pushing the delete key.”

Head. Desk.

I’m not temping because I’m too stupid to do your job, lady. I’m temping because this is a shit economy and work is difficult to find.

Anyhow, to bring this around to something that resembles a point, I am so utterly fried from my day that I am somewhat surprised to have contrived to write this much of a post. I don’t have any intentions of even logging into WoW. Because I am ready for bed. Now.

All of which is to say that we will more than likely be content-light around here for the foreseeable future. If it’s this difficult to string semi-coherent thoughts together after only one day of doing blisteringly stupid work and then being applauded for dancing so well, little temp monkey! – well, I don’t want to know what manner of gibberish I would come up with by the end of the week.

Posted in rant, Real Life | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pallies ATTACK!

The first time I ever encountered someone in the game who was more of a noob than I was, I began to understand how frustrating I might have been to my friend who got me playing and who would occasionally come and bail my nooby ass out of whatever pickle I had most recently managed to get myself into.

It was back in Vanilla and At and I were all of 40-something and trying to run a few lower level guildies through Deadmines. It was something of a disaster. We were fairly new ourselves and I am certain there were many mechanics we just weren’t fully aware of at the time. But to my mind, the biggest problem was that the little paladin we were trying to help out was not really allowing us to do so.

We asked him to hang back with me and not sit up front like bait. He ignored that and charged ahead. We asked him to throw a heal or two on At. He insisted on fighting. We put the loot on free-for-all and asked him to focus on that. He was disinclined to acquiesce to our requests.

When, in his fervor, he would pull whole rooms and cause a wipe, we would tell him he really needed to hang back and not pull everything in sight. To this, he had only one reply:

Pallies attack!

Such was the rallying cry for the remainder of that slog. We eventually removed him from the party, determining we would finish with the better behaved other lowbie.

I’ve long since forgotten his name. “Pallies attack!”, on the other hand, is something that At and I will still occasionally tell each other with a great deal of enthusiasm. It’s become a joke of ours, one we’ll always laugh about.

I was reminded of pallies attacking today when questing through Western Plaguelands on my rogue. I’d gone through the zone since the shattering, but I did so on Alas and was pretty much just there for the 10 useless achievement points. Which is to say I didn’t pay much attention to the troll that followed me around briefly.

Of course, I have since read other accounts of him and his fumbling ways – he seems to be a great favorite with most who encounter him. And, well, he is pretty much a laugh riot.

His charm is that while he is a bumbling noob, he’s awfully endearing about it: getting stuck on his back in seal form and casting moonfire on himself. Those are fun to see and to laugh at, whereas a new player’s mistakes are usually less endearing: pulling a whole room because they spazzed and hit their autorun key and rolling need on gear they can’t (or shouldn’t) use but that you had your eye on.

There’s not really any way for Blizzard to make new player’s mistakes as endearing as they have made Zen’Kiki’s. But those of us who are more experienced can try to cast the same friendly eye on those mistakes that we do on Zen’Kiki’s.

So the next time you end up in a group with someone who makes you want to scoop your own eyeballs out with a hot spoon, remember that, like Zen’Kiki, that other player may not be malicious but is just making an honest mistake.

We’ve all been there.

And if someone could push me into a lake or something, that would be fantastic. I seem to have gotten myself stuck in swim form and I’m in a desert.

Posted in Leveling | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

wtb better offhand, pst

I finally got an epic cloth helm this weekend, off of the Omnomnom loot pinata. I don’t care what anyone else named Gnoble thinks, I like the helm and will display it proudly. I mean, look at me! I look all fierce and murderous and jerky!

But then you get a glimpse of my other side and it is like: WOAH. What in the fuck is this happy-go-lucky hippy Draenei shit? What did I do? Look for the lantern most like a Naaru and decide that it was the pretty, golden touch my outfit needed to properly set off all the other menacing and lethal accents? Or did I think to myself, boy if this death-head mask doesn’t frighten off the big baddies, I bet this soft, sparkling light will put the fear of God into them? I think not. 

I need a new offhand, yo.

 

Posted in Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Kiss My Alack?

I was going to make a post today about how we now have three raiding mages and how the competition for cloth gear is getting just a little too fierce for me to want any part of it. These things are not entirely untrue. We do have three raiding mages and two priesty healers, so non-specific caster gear is difficult to win.

I was going to segue that into a post about how much I am enjoying my little rogue and how quickly the leveling is going and what a kick I am getting out of sneaking and thieving and taking cheap shots at NPC’s in the world and those filthy horde in the battlegrounds.

I was then going to tell everyone that I had decided to make Alaçk my new raiding main, just as soon as I could get her leveled and geared enough to do so.

But when I logged onto her to play today, I realized just how easily it could become the truth and not just a lame April 1st joke.

It seems to me that playing a rogue would finally earn me that reputation as a jerk that I’ve been chasing for so long. My posts would be less about overcooked mutton and more about the way I journey through a field of NPC’s picking pockets as I go. Picking pockets and then not killing the mobs. Bad form, I know. Or the way I kick puppies any time they look like they’re going to breathe fire on me. There would be hilarious stories from all the times I would trick onto some of those cloth-wearing fools who unwittingly made me feel pushed out of my spot on Alas.

Sure, Kiss My Alack doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but as long as I get to deal in damage and death, I don’t really care what anyone else thinks.

Posted in Leveling, Raiding | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The interconnectedness of all things

My feet hurt. I suspect it’s because I don’t have much need to dress up these days, boots and all – and let’s face it, if no one makes me dress up for work or weddings I am just not going to do so. I’m a more casual sort of person and comfort trumps fashion every day.

But I make sacrifices when I need to and this week it was my feet. Fortunately, I married a man who is probably one of the sweetest on the planet and I was, therefore, the blissful recipient of a foot massage the other night before going to sleep.

Except, At doesn’t give no stinkin’ comfort massages. We’ve both had too much benefit from acupressure massage therapy (and/or reflexology) over the years to see much benefit in comfort massage.

The thing that has always fascinated me about the way acupressure works is how disconnected things can seem. When I first went to see a therapist for my back pain, it was something of a surprise that most of that session was spent with the therapist working on my feet or my legs. He might have even stuck a finger in my ear. My lower back, the part of me that I recognized to be in pain, was not touched once. But it was pain free once I stood up from the table.

Overall, the seeming disconnectedness between pain point and pressure point has never failed to make me scratch my head a bit and wonder how on earth anyone figured it out in the first place. Neck pain? Yeah, there’s a point near your big toe. Shoulder hurts from mousing? The webbed part of your hand has several areas. Cramps? There’s a point on your calf and another on the top of your foot that’ll relieve that in mere minutes.

It can be tremendously painful to undergo this, even knowing how to breathe and how to focus on every other part of your body that just tensed up in reaction to the pain felt at the pressure point. But in the long run, you’re trading hours of potential pain for several minutes of focused pain. I think it’s well worth it.

And just what the hell does this wall of text about acupressure as experienced by Alas have to do with anything? It’s oddly related, but that’s sort of the point of this post.

A real life pain point

Not all that long ago, I was sitting on a train heading downtown and nervously tweeting about this job interview thing I had to go to. I was in a state. Not just your normal pre-interview jitters sort of state, but one more closely related to a full-fledged panic attack. My imagination had completely run away with me to the point where I felt like I was headed to my own execution. I was certain I was going to throw up somewhere.

Self, I thought, you are an unmitigated disaster.

And a real life pressure point

In an unrelated turn of events, I soon after ended up pretty centrally located respective to the last round of Blogger Drama.

At the time, it was so fucking painful that I was at a loss as to how to react. The best I thought I could do was to put my chin up and soldier on. So I did. But I was losing sleep and reeling from the shattered perspectives left in the wake of the angry words being hurled around.

And, y’know, I survived it intact. There are a few people out there who clearly do not like me, and I’m not so fragile that the knowledge has destroyed me. I am indeed sad that the tentative and tenuous friendships I did lose are lost, but that pain has receded and as it turns out, I gained something so very valuable through the whole experience:

Confidence.

It’s been gradual and I suspect other people might not see the connection the same way I do. But the person who tweeted about her firm belief that she was going to toss her cookies on a train on her way to an interview for which she’d had ample time to prepare for, and the person who found out Tuesday afternoon that she would have an interview Wednesday morning and who managed to be relatively unfazed by it at all are not the same person.

I’ve spent the last many years letting myself be intimidated by other people and by new situations. The last time I really relaxed for an interview was probably a decade ago before I’d ever had more than one or two. Now I’m blithely skipping from temp job to interview and back again and actually managing to remain poised throughout these situations which would have caused me a great deal of stress barely a few months ago.

Facing dragons

Through blogging, I’ve faced a fear that has been with me my whole life: Oh noes! What if people don’t like me? What if I am rejected? What if I am scorned?

Well, so what? Sure, it’s no picnic. But everyone in life will have someone who doesn’t think they hung the moon and stars. Probably several someones. I think the temporary pain of having someone do or say something hurtful is much better than allowing insecurity to rule one’s life.

And I am not perfectly comfortable and at ease in all situations and with all people now. Even writing this up, I am mentally cringing at the thought of posting it, because what if people think I’m a super lame lamewad?

Well, if anyone does, they’re more than likely right. So I guess I’ll keep focusing on taking the temporary pain because who knows what might improve at the other end of it.

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

How to lose your mind in three easy steps

  1. Be unemployed for about 3 months, driving you to points of desperation because, really, any job will do as long as they pay you and it isn’t illegal.
  2. Get a job temping for some place that wants to set you up on four machines that are supersonic…. for when they were new about a million years ago.
  3. Spend all day wrestling with said machines and free trial software (because that’s a brilliant idea), attempting to simultaneously update to a new version and save as a new file type while listening to a sales team hustle people over the phone.

No real content today or perhaps even tomorrow, though I am hoping to end my torture today. The above would be why. I do have ideas lurking in the murky waters of my troubled mind, but as I have to get out the door soon to battle traffic, it must all wait until another day. Hopefully one where I am more coherent.

I am so sometimes coherent.

Posted in Real Life, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Thanks for all the fish!

Last night was the fishing extravaganza. At the outset, I was nervous as hell, mostly because I was worried the format wouldn’t work out very well, or that the questions would be either too easy or too hard or that only five people would actually show up. Worse yet, what if dozens of people showed up and hated it?

Things started off slightly south. As in At and I were late because it’s really hard to cook burgers on a grill that needs more gas.

But we logged on, made our apologies and then waited a bit as other people trickled in a few at a time. Vent gave some people some issues over the course of the night, but I feel it was mostly smooth sailing from there.

The short version of the night’s event was that the trivia lasted from somewhere around 4,500 fish, all the way up to a bit over 9,000. And so many people were so kind, that they stuck around and chatted and fished up the last several hundred, netting Eff the Ineffable the achievement.

Without further ado, I would like to thank everyone who came and helped. (Forgive me if I miss anyone. There were a lot of you and not everyone was active in the trivia portion.) In no particular order, thanks to:

And any other guildies who might have been fishing unbeknown to me as well as anyone else I missed just because you stayed pretty quiet. I don’t mean to insult anyone by leaving their name out, so let me know if I missed you and I’ll fix it.

Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

And again, if anyone out there wants my trivia boards, just let me know and I’ll email it to you. For now, I am off to my first day of work.

 

 

Posted in Just Links | Tagged , , | 7 Comments