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?

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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
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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?

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A One Word 2013 Retrospective

We’re creeping up the end of 2013 and I’m as shocked as anyone at how quickly it has gone by. At the beginning of the year, I blogged briefly about my One Word for 2013 and how I wanted to apply Focus to my life.

In that post, I talked about a few things I wanted to focus on. So how did I do?

Weight Loss

I did fairly well here. I wasn’t always totally committed to Weight Watchers, but neither was ever totally uncommitted to it. I honestly couldn’t say how much I have lost over this past year (not currently being subscribed to WW because reasons), but I definitely lost! As of this writing, I am only one pant size away from what the top end of my goal weight range was and have reached the top end of my healthy BMI. I have 15-20 pounds more to go and I’m hopeful that 2014 will see that happen.

Writing

I also did fairly well here, although I can’t claim that I was ever entirely focused on this either. Still, I made myself a sort of sub-resolution that I would finish a certain writing project. As of now, I have two chapters to go to reach the end of it. For me, that’s only about 7000-9000 words. Definitely achievable before the calendar rolls over, especially since December tends to be slow at work. It’s been a good experience and I’m eager to get started on the next book.

WoWing

This was certainly the area where I did the worst this past year, and I can’t honestly say I care. I think things would have been different had my guild continued to raid, but it didn’t. Without that and with a hefty does of being unwilling to try to find a new New Guild when I had just gotten comfortable in ProCo, there was simply no incentive for me to keep up on my gearing or to keep playing at all. I’m still dabbling, but I’m also dabbling in SWTOR again more recently, and may at least run some Story Mode Ops with some old friends.

Other General Stuff

I didn’t touch too much on the personal areas I wanted to focus on except to say I wanted to develop some better friendships with local people. There were some mixed results there, with one of my friend prospects turning out to be an insane narcissist and another of them not ending up that being all that close of a friendship. That might be for the best since the not-that-close-but-still-friends person is moving away in a few weeks. Still, I did more with more people this year and that was difficult for me, but also rewarding, so I am calling it a win.

Looking Ahead

As I look ahead to 2014, I have a new word all picked out. That will be its own blog post though, as it has a lot to do with my recent loss and will doubtless be an emotional topic for me to try writing about.

Before I go, I want to say that I hope everyone else had an excellent 2013. I haven’t been around much and I’m not sure I see that changing, but having this outlet and the few hangers-on from when I was more active has always been a comfort to me. I love you guys and wish you all the best, as well as a safe and happy New Year.

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On Returns

Ah, BlizzCon. An exciting time even for those of us who are keeping up only by virtue of Twitter or gaming news sites. Exciting even for those of us who haven’t been logged in for several months.

I won’t even attempt to add to the discussion surrounding the announcements of the new xpac and all the changes and additions that should come along with that. I will say I have liked more or less everything I have seen and heard, particularly that part where it’ll be a full 10-level xpac. Call me old-fashioned, but the 5-level xpacs never sat right with me. It might be my love of even numbers talking there.

I can certainly see myself coming back to the game when the xpac drops, though probably not much before. The main hurdle as I see it is that I don’t have a guild to come back to. The secondary problem is that I’m not sure what sort of guild I’ll even be looking for when it comes time, except to say that I would like to see a few familiar faces from the WoW community at large and I will need it to be active, even if I’m not directly part of the activity. The crushing silence of a mostly-dead guild got to be too much for even my introverted ass to handle in the last few months I was playing.

Part of me thinks about making a go of rebuilding Eff, possibly on another server since Azuremyst is out of the question. I doubt it would actually happen. While I can think of one or two people who might join me, the sad truth is that most of my pre-existing WoW family no longer plays the game and isn’t likely to make a return. Also, I’m aware that my Real Life situation might not permit me to take the time that is involved in GMing, let alone Srs Raiding.

And do I want to start over on another server again? I put a lot of effort into supporting alts on both Azuremyst and Moonrunner. Walking away from the Moonrunner alts might be more effort than I can make.

All in all, I have a lot to sort out. Lucky for me I’ll have time to do so. At least I know I will be back and I am excited to see what they will have to offer for end game content!

Posted in Eff the Ineffable, Leadership, Leveling, Raiding | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Wherein it becomes even more apparent that I need to get Zel back to playing WoW because she is comedy gold

Conversation1 this afternoon between me and Zel. You guys remember her. She’s freaking hilarious and I miss her snark in the green text that is guild chat.

Zel: so the lawyers in your office remind me of my cat
when I bring fresh water out, she has to drink it all
like just snarfs it up
and then gets this LOOK and yaks it all up and spins around like a damn sprinkler
and I’m wiping mostly water off the floor with the occasional bit of cat food in it
going GODDAMMIT
and that is what I imagine your office like
they all flock as soon as you put something out and then make the biggest mess they possibly can

Alas: That is… accurate

  1. Edited slightly for maximum readability
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Procrastination is for winners

So it’s almost July 1, and I finally decided that maaaybe I should work on getting a Google Reader replacement. Thank goodness for Grimm’s recent reminder that I would therefore also need to work on the good old blogroll. You’re a champ, Grimm.

I worked on it today since I was feeling all self-satisfied about having gotten a Reader replacement, and added some new categories. A lot of blogs have gone all defunct on me1, so I was way overdue for a pruning. What few WoW blogs I do still read made for a small and dispiriting list, so I decided to toss some other categories up there. It’s all still a work in progress as I seem to have somehow lost some feeds along the way. I’ll get there eventually. You know, if the procrastination doesn’t set in alongside my general apathy and cripple all my good intentions.

Anyhow, if you’re a blogger of some stripe and you have some reason to think that I do read you and managed to leave you off a list, let me know. If you are on the list and something is wrong, let me know that, too. Adding links in manually is so effing painful that I stopped paying close attention somewhere after the fifth or sixth one.

  1. I remained subbed to all of these, but generally speaking, if there was not a post within the last three months, I didn’t make a link.
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Odds and Ends

Remember when I had something to write about every day?

Me neither.

Oh well. Writing has not been something for which I have had much mojo lately, for which I blame several stressful months at work. At least my terrible coworker is finally gone and the good coworker who precipitated the whole mess by going part-time in the first place is back to being full-time and I stuck him with my old hours and my old job. That’ll teach him to leave.

I have been playing WoW somewhere in all the odd moments of time to myself but there hasn’t been anything super exciting going on. Nothing that seemed to merit its own blog post, anyhow. But if I put it all together in one mess of a post? Well, it’s still not that exciting but it is what you get today.

The guild remains quiet and not raiding, which is still a bit sad but not enough to make me pursue those fleeting thoughts I have about starting up my own guild and recruiting and remembering why being a peon is so nice and being a guild leader isn’t.

Besides, my army of alts is still keeping me plenty busy. Franq is 87 and still spends all her time running around with At’s Druid. He’s a bear and she’s finally started to live up to her name by having gone resto. The spell I accidentally cast the most and at the worst possible times? Tranquility. I really ought to make a macro that points out in some clever fashion that Franquility is casting Tranquility. Again. Even though we’re all just standing around trying to decide what to roll on the loot that just dropped and no one is even thinking of taking damage.

In other news, my rogue went Gnome and changed her name. I just dislike the dwarf models enough that I couldn’t stand playing Alexxira any more and what use is a level 90 that I won’t play even long enough to do farm dailies and such? None. I haven’t done much more with her in her smaller state, but she sure is cute!

As cute as a Gnome can be, anyway, seeing as how they are vaguely creepy.

As cute as a Gnome can be, anyway, seeing as how they are vaguely creepy.

When I’m not on an alt, which is rare, I’ve been working on pet gathering on Alas. I’m working on the Raiding with Leashes II achievement, which has been slow-going with only three pets in the same number of weeks.

I did, however, somehow manage to finally obtain this:

Totally disappointed with the mount, to be honest.

Totally disappointed with the mount, to be honest.

And yesterday I finally managed to find the wherewithal to finish beating the Outland Pet Tamers. Pet battling is just barely manageable when I barely pay attention to it while I’m indulging my shameful Candy Crush addiction on the second monitor.

Naming pets is far more enjoyable, but that has also been a slow process. I was pleased to finally come up with a good name for my Lil’ XT yesterday. I was yelling “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!” at the screen as he did his tympanic tantrum and then commented to At that I am always reminded of Tamarind’s having described Lil’ XT as a “histrionicĀ littleĀ bastard” and… well…

Although "Lil' Bastard" would have been fun, too

Although “Lil’ Bastard” would have been fun, too

Last but not least, I’ve indulged in a bit of ‘mogging recently, tired as I was of Alas’ all-white look. The result of my careful planning and dedicated gathering is rather epic, if I do say so myself.

Now that your eyes are bleeding, I'll call this post a wrap

Now that your eyes are bleeding, I’ll call this post a wrap

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a long-neglected hunter who is waiting to finish up her Loremaster of Northrend achievement. Project QuATT will eventually see an end. Probably. Eventually.

Posted in Leveling, Screenshots | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Engineers. What a bunch of bastards.

One of the best things about having parked my boatload of baby alts in the Shrine is that they usually get a chance to be the toon to talk to the Blingtron 4000 and have a chance at getting 5 free profession skill-ups.

Profession skill points are one of those things you sort of grow to covet when you decide to make nearly every character you have a dual-production profession character. Like I did. When I decided I needed an army of alchemists, with 7/10 of my existing toons busily engaged in making potions and flasks in a bid to corner any current and future transmute markets.

But that’s another story and not a very exciting one. It’s just the reason why seeing this in the Shrine one day made me see red:

Rude

I ran around the Shrine for… a while, trying to track that sucker down. Was it downstairs and outside? Was it on the roof? Was it upstairs on one of those inside balconies, appearing to be more central on my minimap than it actually was?

No, no and no. It was on a random platform just inside the door, far out of reach for any of my baby toons who cannot fly at all anywhere, let alone Pandaria.

I sulked.

I growled a bit.

When At started laughing and saying he was going to find even more difficult-to-reach places, I declared that Engineers must have an inherent jerkishness that makes them quite unpleasant to even be around.

Out of reach

 

I mean, really. Don’t they know that Blingtrons are for me and my use?

Posted in Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments