Dreams really do come true

Oh, hello there! Everything around here has been on the quiet side lately, hasn’t it? I blame my job. Not the coffee making one, but the one I just recently got.

I’ve been super excited about it and have wanted to tell you guys, but there have been a few factors preventing me from doing so until now. The first of these is that I have been terribly busy just trying to find my footing and establish a routine. The second is that I signed an agreement stating that I wouldn’t talk about it until we were ready to launch.

Well, we’re finally ready to launch!

So here it is, guys: Dreams really do come true and I am now being paid to write! Like, for words and the typing them up in a certain order. Amazing, right?

There is a caveat or two. One is that this isn’t exactly writing the next Great American Novel. In fact, it’s a style of writing I’ve never expected to get into on a serious basis before. And the subject matter, while being similar to something else near and dear to my heart, isn’t what I am really passionate about.

I’m not complaining, truly. I mean, this is a wonderful opportunity and I’m so excited to finally get a chance to see my name in print. On something that has been really published on paper, and not just in an electronic format.

Anyway. That’s enough excited chatter from me. I’ve gotten permission to share the cover of this month’s issue with you all here. Hey, maybe some of you will even purchase a subscription! I’m tremendously excited about this and I hope you’ll love it, too!

 

 

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Real Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Minipost: Stomp this!

I made an inadvertent discovery today1, squawked about it on Twitter and discovered that I was not the only person who didn’t know this before. So. Here we are. Halfhill. The daily in question is called Pest Problems and you have to stomp on marmots or mook mooks. This is tedious, seeing as how you have to avoid swarms of bugs and wait for the marmots to spawn and then be close enough to jump on them.

Well, not if you do it in these three easy steps.

1. Talk to the guy on the wagon.

2. Wait in the air for about a minute.

3. Land and AoE the crap out of them. It counts. You’re welcome.

 

Screenshot courtesy of my husband

 

  1. I just really hate those marsh fiddler things and so popped an Arcane Explosion to kill one and caught a handful of marmots by accident. It’s right up there with the discovery of penicillin!
Posted in Screenshots | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Minipost: A possibly unpopular opinion

Several weeks ago, I saw a bit of a kerfuffle on The Twitters regarding the PvP stage of the legendary quest. I don’t actually recall who was involved in the discussion, so take my recap with a grain of salt. My takeaway was that one side was arguing that PvP shouldn’t be required for a PvE-centric quest line and the other side was more enthusiastically for it.

I knew I was coming up on that part of the chain and I wasn’t inclined to look forward to having to win a few battlegrounds. PvP and I don’t really get along very well in general, and if I am going to engage in it, I prefer to not have to do so on my mage. I favor being able to pick my battles, so I tend to prefer PvP on a rogue or a kitteh druid.

Still, I’ve been meaning to try my hand at more PvP on Alas, simply because I believe it will push me into honing skills that I don’t hone while killing ten whatsits for the sake of a daily. And then came a quest that required I win two battles. I went in expecting to lose a few times. I went in expecting to die a lot. I went in expecting to have to capture a base or a flag. I wasn’t expecting it to be fun.

Turns out, the mechanics of the battlegrounds I needed to win were different, easy enough to figure out on the fly and a whole lot of fun. Oh, and the Alliance waltzed in and won with ease.

The only Powerball I'll ever win

 

“I love this PvP!” I exclaimed to At after finishing the second battleground. “It’s so much fun!”

“War is only fun when you’re winning,” he observed in reply.

Way to encourage me to branch out there, babe.

The point is, I’ve resented Wrathion a lot along the way for the crap he wants me to do. But for the PvP portion of this quest line, I am grateful. I never would have tried the battlegrounds had I been left to my own devices, and I wouldn’t know that it really can be fun even for me.

And I wouldn’t have mopped up a few more achievements.

So if you are like me and PvP isn’t typically your thing, don’t get mad about it. Just try it. You might like it more than you could have anticipated!

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Mage Related | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

On not raiding

It’s been over a month since I last raided.

Last week, I was thinking that it had been a month, and then I spent the whole week in between then and now trying to figure out how I feel about that. I’m still not sure I’ve pinned anything down, so you all get a pointless post wherein I put it all down on the page so that I can come to some sort of conclusion.

It’s just how I process things sometimes.

I do know that I am not terribly upset over this state of affairs. As I told the other mage last week, LFR has done its bit – along with Wrathion’s insane demands for me to earn 6000 VP assistance – to ensure that I’ve seen all the content multiple times, even if it is on ez-mode. I’ve seen it enough times to get sick of it and haven’t been able to bring myself to queue for LFR anything in the same amount of time I’ve been not raiding normal modes with my guild.

At the same time, I do miss raiding with my guild. It’s about the only time there are more than three or four people online at the same time and while raiding tends to happen in near-perfect silence, there is always some banter being typed into raid chat. Even without chatter of any kind, there is a camaraderie to raiding with one’s guild that comes from just doing something together.

Most of my game time is spent alone these days, and I tend to be okay with that. I’m enjoying my QuATT characters and deliberately seek out time on them each week, because I do value the solo questing time. If I am doing something with someone else, it’s typically with At. We do dailies together most days, and have a couple paired alts that we’re leveling. Just yesterday we spent an hour or two chain running LFD on our level 67 druids. We’re both bears and dual tank the instances, having fun with massive pulls and all that glorious AoE damage.

I’ve also been a bit more active in getting things going via BattleTag friends. I ran the holiday boss a few times with Psynister and Fynralyl, and had loads of fun each time.

My time in WoW is good. I enjoy what I am doing. I’ve definitely learned to not do things I don’t enjoy on characters I don’t enjoy or play with people that I don’t enjoy. But there’s still that something missing, and I think it’s the feeling of teamwork you get from working together with your guild. I think it’s doing something bigger than achieving goals that are only mine, and not shared by more people.

I’m hoping raiding will pick back up soon, even though I know I can be happy enough without it. I’m hoping Real Life will stop critting my guild mates in the face. And in the meantime, I might need to get back into big group activities in some format.

Ah, but that is perhaps a post for another day. My ideas about that are maybe a little less obvious than one might think.

Posted in Leveling, Raiding | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

And now for something completely different

As I’ve mentioned one or two million times before, I work in a law firm. It’s somewhat different than all my previous work environments, which have ranged from a warehouse/production environment to a lot of years in Higher Education.

One thing all my jobs have had in common though, is that people will buy some ugly ass “art” and hang it on the walls and call it good. The firm is no exception, although they apparently went the route of actually having all their shitty art insured and have it inspected once a year. They’re also about to spend an obscene amount of money on having interior designers come in and choose new paint colors for the walls (undoubtedly another exciting shade of beige or ecru) and move the art around.

But I digress.

I’ve been talking for a few months now about how the world needs a blog similar to cakewrecks, but for office art1. We could call it uglyofficeart.com and accept submissions from offices around the globe that have ugly art in them. Which I am starting to think is all of them.

At says I should quit talking about it and actually try it.

So here I am, taking a stab at a piece that hangs near to my cubical, and seems more like a poster than real art, but is somewhat rich with possibilities for mockery. I call it Downtown Types, because those are the words printed on the piece so that we’re not confused into thinking it’s Businessmen Next to Cactus or Two Dudes Standing Around Waiting for a Bus and Sharing a Paper.

(And I apologize in advance for the shitty quality of my phone photo. It was hard to get the picture without getting my own reflection in there and a bunch of people were walking by and giving me very funny looks2.)

Downtown Types

 

I want to start by saying that I don’t understand why anyone would pay actual money for this… this… “art.” Even taking into account that art appreciation is fairly subjective, I can’t begin to figure out who took a look at this and thought, “You know, this looks like something a 12 year old might create in art class, what with the wobbly knees and severely inclined angles at which those two douches in suits are standing. I should buy it and insure it and hang it up on the wall at work!”

And then there’s the question of what the artist was trying to say here. “Downtown types are faceless money-grubbers in rumpled suits that all look the same and who don’t actually contribute anything more to society than standing around and catching up on the news or the stock market. I will demonstrate their soullessness by having them be indistinguishable, crooked and standing on either side of a vaguely phallic cactus! Brilliant!”

Lastly, I think this is a pretty narrow slice of what might constitute “Downtown Types.” I work downtown myself, and in addition to all the people in various degrees of business wear, I also see the homeless, people dressed to casually stroll the city streets, people working out, people half dressed, that one guy in a kilt who was playing the bagpipes, a variety of hippies and a bunch of people in various uniforms, such as cops or city workers.

You know, maybe that whole Downtown Types thing is a typo. Because I could totally see this being a better and more accurate representation of Downton Types.

Downton Type, Reading the Paper, sans Phallic Cactus

 

What do you guys think? About the art or the feeble attempts at wit, here. I am possibly not the person for the job of lambasting ugly office art, but man, I do see a lot of it every day. Like the painting of a dead joker that hangs outside the president of the firm’s office. I am not sure what that says about him, but I can think of a few things I’d be willing to say about it.

  1. A very cursory Google F Search does not seem to pull up anything more than this post
  2. And not that I care a whole lot, but they already think I’m deranged for all the lurking I do outside of closed conference room doors, trying to determine if the room is actually empty before I go barging in.
Posted in Acts of Lameness, Real Life, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Hitting a snag

Project QuATT is giving me problems. Outland is a major pain in my ass just at the moment.

Getting Hellfire squared away is easy enough, and I had no issues there. Ditto for Zangarmarsh. Terokkar was a bit more of a struggle, because you have to go into Nagrand and start a chain of quests there that will eventually take you back to Terokkar and allow you to wrap things up there.

I thought I was over the hard bits until I would hit Blade’s Edge, which I do recall being a major pain in the ass, way back when I did it on Alas. Turns out that Nagrand is being even more trouble than I had anticipated it would be.

While all the Nesingwary quests have been revamped so that none of it requires a group and while even Durn the Hungerer has turned into a giant pushover, the Ring of Blood quests still require a group. I soloed the first dude on my own. I am level 71 after all, and a hunter. But the twins? Not happening.

In vain, I searched Wowhead for other quests that would count towards the achievement. There was one that took me back to Terokkar and I thought it seemed promising…. right up until they wanted to send me into Auchindoun. Riiiight. I’m totally go to be able to solo a dungeon.

In fact, the only promising lead I have to finish up Nagrand for now is to head over to SMV and pick up a quest chain that will eventually lead me back to Nagrand to kill some demons and things. Jolly.

Faced with this set of circumstances, I think I am going to simply go ahead and leave Nagrand for now and head to the next zone: Blade’s Edge. When I get to SMV and get sent back to Nagrand, I’ll see if that will be enough to finish out the achievement for me. If not, I will at least possibly be a level or two higher and should have acquired some better gear along the way. Failing all of that, I will start begging Drenden residents that I know for help.

In conclusion, Outland Loremaster is the worst. The very worst. I am so looking forward to getting my undead ass up to Northrend.

Posted in Leveling | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

A peppy message of hate

So, At and I have been marathoning Grey’s Anatomy lately. I blame my sister for getting me into it. While we watch, At farms ore and I’ve been spending time getting back to work on my massive cross stitch project of DOOOOOM. For that reason, and the fact that many of my favorite artists get a lot of play time  on the soundtrack, I’ve been listening pretty closely more than actually watching.

As a result of all this close listening, I found a new favorite song. There’s just something about peppy messages of hate that make me giggle uncontrollably.

So I wrote a WoW-themed parody. Feel free to add your own verses if you have some anger in your soul that needs to be released.

I Hate Everyone (in the World of Warcraft)1

Some stupid druid came swooping down
And ninjaed the herb for which I’d been fighting
And when I complained and started to cry
He yelled LOL as he took to the skies
All I wanted was to make some healing pots
But I couldn’t take it anymore so I logged

I hate everyone (4x)

All the hunters on the street, I hate you all
And the druids that I meet, I hate you all
And the shamans that I know, I hate you all
And the undead that I don’t, I hate you all
Oh, I hate you all

Some fucking griefer just came to town
And killed the quest givers who were standing around
As I attempted to finish a quest
He proceeded to firebomb all the rest
I targeted him before casting slash spit
When just trying to quest, I don’t need this shit

I hate everyone (4x)

All the warlocks on the street, I hate you all
And the mages that I meet, I hate you all
And the boomkins that I know, I hate you all
And the blood elves that I don’t, I hate you all
Oh, I hate you all

I bet you think I’m kidding
But I promise you it’s true
I hate most everybody
But most of all I hate
Oh, I hate you

All the raiders on the street, I hate you all
And the casuals that I meet, I hate you all
And the night elves that I know, I hate you all
And the pandas that I don’t, I hate you all
And the people in EK, I hate you all
And the goblins I hate least, I hate you all
And the people in Northrend, I hate you all
And the hordies I like best, I hate you all
Oh, I hate you all

  1. Not really. This is a joke people. If you don’t get that, I don’t get you.
Posted in Acts of Lameness, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Update: Quest All the Things

Ages ago, I set myself a task to earn Loremaster as I leveled a character. I’ve been curious about how the exercise would work out in terms of finishing content at which levels. In fact, I have been so curious about it that I determined to do it twice, with some differences to each character that is a part of what I’ve been calling Project QuATT.

Over the weekend, I hit the first big milestone on my undead hunter, Lythium. She is where the idea was started, although it wasn’t my intent when I rolled her up. If anything, I was only wanting to see Silverpine and Hillsbrad since I had heard so many good things about their Cataclysm revamps.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to get Loremaster as I went and a few levels into that, I was wondering what level I would be by the time I finished Silithus and the Blasted Lands.

Well, now I know.

This project has certainly grown and evolved along the way, so all my information is not as strictly accurate as I would like it to be. For instance, I was in my low 30′s by the time I began to track anything. Somewhere in Hillsbrad at the time, I backtracked and completed even those quests in the starting areas that don’t count towards Loremaster, wrapped up Ashenvale at level 33 with 55% of the XP bar filled and then completed Hillsbrad before going through the rest of all the Vanilla zones.

My humble tracking spreadsheet

 

To explain the above picture, the first set of parentheses in each zone is the level I was when I had the achievement pop up. The second set indicates the level I was at when I actually finished all the quests available to me in that zone.

On Lythium, I have purposefully kept her from getting much extra help in the XP gain department, other than the occasional bit of rested. This has been mostly a matter of being on a server where I don’t have any heirlooms, but I have also kept her out of guilds, since some guild perks contribute more XP. Aside from regular questing out in the world, she’s done a handful of cooking dailies and gathers herbs to support her scribing habit.

As I’ve gone along, I’ve tracked all manner of things, including time played from level to level and the amount of gold she has, as well as where her professions are sitting. I don’t think most of that would be of any interest to anyone else1 (it scarcely interests me), so I’m not including it here. But I will share it if anyone out there is a bigger dork than I am and really wants to know.

For the sake of comparison (and because it’s oddly soothing to do this project for reasons I can’t explain), I have started an Alliance hunter on my new home server of Moonrunner. Esyllt 2.0 is much further behind in terms of progression through zones, but she has all the advantages of heirlooms and guild perks as she goes. In fact, the only thing she doesn’t have is a gathering profession that will net her extra XP (she’s skinning/LW).

Got started tracking much sooner here

 

Still, at the completion of one zone less than what Lythium had in the 1-20 range, the XP gains have remained remarkably close. I suspect the gap will grow in Esyllt’s favor as she gets into zones that are shared more evenly between the two factions.

In case all of this isn’t insane enough, I’m slightly tempted to really try to max XP gains out on a third character, by starting them in Gilneas and rolling them through the starting zones everyone has access to. I’d also give this potential third character both mining and herbalism, not to mention the full heirlooms and guild perks.

Like I said, I find this project soothing. It’s possible that no one else can understand that, but hey. I have two people in my family who claim that mowing the lawn soothes them and I can’t begin to fathom that, so to each their own!

And in case you’ve ever wondered what level you might be at if you did every (non-dungeon) quest available to you as you leveled, now you have a rough idea! I’ll update again as I get through more expansions on Lythium and more zones on Esyllt.

Having written all this out, I cann’t help but think… You know, I really should have made an effort at some point to get the ‘Insane’ title. Obviously, I sort of am.

  1. Also, stuff like the /played isn’t accurate since I’ve done a fair bit of this at work and often left her idling somewhere while I went to make coffee or somesuch
Posted in Leveling | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Lagging out

Hey guys.

Have I complained yet about my recent job development? Have I even mentioned the job development? It… would not appear so, unless I have bitched briefly and idly on The Twittahs.

Well, I’m not surprised.1 I have been damn near catatonic ever since I (foolishly) told my boss that I wanted my coworker’s job and hours. He went part time, so it’s not like I just demanded these things out of the blue.

Damn. My whole narrative is shot.

Oh well. It’s all part of my imaginary charm.

The point is, I am now working a shift that starts at 7:30. After not starting work until 9:00 for over a year, I was not prepared for the violent upheaval the change would have on my life. And I was not prepared for how utterly demanding my job would become when I started having to cover both my new job and my old job all day, every day until whatever distant point in the future they get around to hiring another part time person to help cover the daylight hours.

All in all, I don’t think I’m prepared for anything other than my boss growing a set of horns, donning a blindfold and running around shouting, “You are not prepared!” a whole lot.2

I can totally see that happening. He kind of sucks.

Anyhow, what with work and the dragging sensation of sleep deprivation, my WoW playing time has all but evaporated lately. I’ve been averaging about 10 minutes per day during the week: just long enough to do farm dailies and think about how I really ought to run a random heroic or something. Those VP apparently won’t farm themselves and I’m only halfway towards Wrathion’s 6000 VP demand.

That guy also sucks.

As does WoW Santa, who refuses to cough up the Sha touched weapon already.

Ahem. Anyway.

Oh yes. My brain is lagging and so is my internet connection. It totally fucked me over last Sunday during the raid and though my ISP has claimed to have fixed the issue, they have not. Really, just no. I would call them, but honestly? I don’t do phones and so I need to make At take care of that.

Too bad he’s been gone all week. When he gets home tomorrow, I won’t greet him with anything other than a demand he call up and yell at those lying liars until they do get me back to an acceptable rate of play.

So yeah. Lagging out. It’s been the story of my life lately. How are you guys doing?

  1. But I’m quite sleepy
  2. Although, if he also ditches his shirt and runs around all bare-chested, I’ll cry. A lot.
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One Word

I don’t know how many of you have heard of One Word. I’ve known about it for a few years now, but I haven’t ever bothered to try to fine one word that could sum up my whole intentions for a year. Well, this year, my One Word came easily.

Focus.

A direction. A center. A point of concentration. Directed attention.

Focus is the thing I want to bring to the areas of life where I want to achieve better things this year. With that in mind, I’ve made a mental list of those areas and ways to hone in on them. My health is easy: I need to get back on task with Weight Watchers and focusing on staying within my limitations. I need to refocus on making fitness and weight loss a priority.

Another big area I see is that I need to find focus for my writing. I’ve been telling myself for the past year or two that it didn’t matter what I was writing just so long as I was writing something. But this year, I want to break out of that mindset. It’s true that I have done a lot of writing, but all of it is incomplete. I need to focus not only on making writing a part of my daily life, but I need to focus on no more than one or two things at a time if I am ever going to finish any of them. I need to focus on finishing.

In gaming, I want to refocus my energy on my main outside of the standard “VP capping/stay abreast of major class changes and theorycrafting.” I want to focus on my skills as a mage and my own ability to react mentally and physically to mechanics, even if they are unexpected. This means I’ll be dipping my toes into more PVP, as it’s the best place I can think of to challenge myself with bettering my reflexes and thinking on my feet.

There are more personal areas to focus on as well. I want to give my social life more attention this year, whether it’s spending more time nurturing my long-distance relationships with old friends or time spent actively trying to forge new friendships with people who are local.

With anything I do, I would like to give it my full attention as I am doing it. I would like to take the time to do it well.

Do you have a One Word?

Posted in Mage Related, Real Life, Writing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments