Kiss My Alas Goodbye

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m down to playing WoW about one night a week. And then some weeks – like last one – I’ll pretty much miss it entirely because something from real life has cropped up. Like the minding of my four-month old nephew.

And that’s okay.

But along with that, there’s been a mix of things going on lately that have made me stop to evaluate this blog and what I am doing here. One of the things is that it seems that every time someone I read links to someone else, it’s to someone I’ve never even heard of. New bloggers on the scene are great, but I am not keeping up with the ever-shifting WoW blogging community at all these days.

Between that and feeling like nothing I say here about WoW could possibly be relevant anymore, I’m starting to feel more and more like an outsider to the whole circle.

And that’s okay, too. I’m not saying these things in an attempt to garner sympathy.

Lastly, blogging mostly about my real life doesn’t feel right in this space. I was a WoW blog for more than two years, and a total shift away from that focus hasn’t really worked for me. Not that I don’t enjoy sharing my tales of real life idiocy with you all, but it’s a bit like trying to shove an elephant into tiny glass slippers. There’s just no way it could ever fit.

I was talking this over with At this morning – how I don’t fit into the WoW blogosphere anymore and how what I do have to write about doesn’t fit into my blog. I am still playing WoW… but I suspect you guys can only tolerate so many stories about how the New Guild has carried my undeserving ass through something. Like maybe two stories. I’ve hit the quota already.

So I guess I’m quitting.

And those are some hard words to write, but I can’t keep waffling around on this issue. You have to know when to pack it in and I think I am actually overdue to make the move.

Still sort of around

The good news (or the bad news, I suppose, depending on how you feel about me) is that even though I’m not blogging here anymore, I still get to hang around in other virtual places. I don’t have to give up the friendships I’ve made.

I’ll still be on Twitter, though I suspect not as @KissMyAlas. Or I may keep the name but start doing more tweeting about anything I’m doing that is SWTOR related. I understand some people feel strongly about wanting to follow a person because of the one specific game that they had in common. God knows I unfollowed enough people who wouldn’t turn off their fucking Rift achievement spam. But I don’t want to try to rebuild my whole list of people I enjoy conversing with about other things just because some people might really not want to hear about That Other Game. The point is, I’m not starting over there.

And my other two blogs will still be up and going and hopefully getting more attention from me once I’ve shed the weight of this blog.

And guys? This has been a great ride. One I’ll frankly miss for some time to come. So many of you have touched my life in ways you’ll never know. I hope I get to hold onto most of you in some way or another even after making this last post.

In closing, some thanks

I think some thanks are due and please know that even if I don’t mention you by name, it’s not because I’m trying to exclude anyone. It’s because these are the people who have shaped the nature of this blog to the point where I can’t imagine how it might have been without them. Even if they had no idea that they impacted me so much.

To Zelmaru: Not blogging about WoW for a while now, but still the first stranger who came by and really connected with me. I was so damn excited when I got your comment because you. Got. Me. And then later on, I got you.

To Tamarind: Also not blogging about WoW for quite some time now and dearly missed. Thanks for Gerald, lengthy comments and linking to me those times. And for letting me run with DinoTam as long as I did. I don’t suppose you’ll read this, but it had to be said because your impact on me was huge.

To Cynwise and Psynister: For both being incredibly awesome and down-to-earth. I was so intimidated by both of you when I first started this blog and you both proved there was no reason to be – because you’re both warm and accepting and great encouragers. (Both, both, both. This thank you needs more both.)

To Elfi: For always keeping me in check. You have a unique blend of love and smackdown. And I can’t live without either.

To Saga: I still think of you as a soul sister. You could always sympathize with my more end-of-my-tether posts and I never felt like I was alone when you dropped by to offer support and sympathy.

And to Amber: Because I still blame you that I ever got started in the first place.

Posted in Open Letters | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Updates and the dumb

I’m yammering about my real life again. Hold the excitement, please.

The House Search

The great house search of 2012 has born fruit, only a bit more than one week into it. Last night we both fell in love with a house and made an offer.

I mean, just look at the kitchen. And know that the pictures don’t really do it justice.

An omnomnom place to nom


So that’s all very exciting and scary and I’m sort of waiting with baited breath to see what the counter-offer will be. And then experiencing brief flashes of mild panic about the fact that our lease isn’t up until June – even though we should be able to find a new renter because, really, we got a fantastic deal on that condo.

The Weight Loss Program

I had a small gain last week, which left me pretty disappointed. And then I had a really difficult weekend, because it seemed that everything I had available to eat cost all the points for only small servings! And I was hitting a bit more than my max daily points both days.

Between that and the gain, I was all bitter and cranky and freaking hungry and I was sort of mean to poor At. He’s so patient and way too good to me, you guys. I can’t even say.

But I was also dumb. I think you guys like my Alas is Very Dumb stories, no?

The Excessive Dumbness

Part of following Weight Watchers has involved a lot of my sitting at a computer and attempting to enter the information from what we’re cooking into the recipe builder. This is somewhat difficult as we both tend to eyeball things rather than measure them properly. Weight Watchers is all about precision, so it’s sort of a lot of work to add something from our regular menu to the site.

Over the weekend, it was pizza. I use Pioneer Woman’s pizza dough recipe because I’m still sort of on my baking kick and it’s really convenient to have pizza dough ready to pull out of the freezer and use on a whim. Not to mention cheaper and healthier than ordering from Pizza Hut.

We top our pizzas with mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, fresh basil, fresh Roma tomatoes and black olives. Sometimes I’ll make a white garlic sauce and sometimes we’ll use the all-natural red sauce we found at the store.

So we made pizza for dinner on Saturday. Just one pizza since that’s all we had the dough for. While it baked, I went back to the office with all the nutrition labels and started to enter in the list of ingredients. And then I gasped in horror because it worked out to 7 points a slice.

I was devastated. And unsure that I could get through the rest of the night on two pieces of very thin crusted pizza.

But I was also dumb. Because I had used the information from Pioneer Woman’s recipe – which is for two crusts and two pizzas. Not one. I had then used the proper topping information for one pizza, but I tell you, the 4 cups of flour and the 1/3 cup olive oil not split in half as they should have been…. Well, it was killing me.

I only just realized my mistake this morning. After starving on Saturday and eating only two slices of pizza for dinner then and lunch yesterday. Yes. At found me laughing in a somewhat unhinged manner and I’m still not sure if the tears were from laughing so hard or because I was so sad.

I’ve now gone back and modified the recipe in my recipe builder to reflect half the amounts of ingredients that went into the dough and – what do you know? – it should have been 4 points a slice.

I starved for nothing.

Because I’m a dumbass.

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Slice of life

Real life is getting in the way of my gaming and I’m upset.

Okay, I’m not really upset, but I am getting a little twitchy and anxious to log into a game, ANY game, since I haven’t been able to do so since Saturday. Remind me to never start the process of looking for a house around Daylight Savings kicking in, because the combination has been a little brutal.

Saturday, we met with our Realtor and spent two hours in a chilly basement office, going over what we want in a house and doing a little preliminary looking online. We also talked money a little – always a delight – and generally set the parameters for the search.

Sunday, we got a chance to speak to a lawyer about our evil plan for getting out of our timeshare and then went and had our taxes done. I hate having taxes done. It’s so tedious and there’s usually bad news for us at the end about how we owe the feds more money. For once, we are getting a small return, so that was nice. But still not worth the overwhelming tedium of having to sit through the process.

Last night, we went to see the mortgage dude and he could not stop complimenting us on our credit scores, which I found incredibly funny. The upshot of that meeting was that an even higher “you could totally afford this” number was quoted to us and I choked a little, but reined in any visions I had of buying way more house than we need just because we could.

Then I called my mom and thanked her for teaching me all I know about managing finances. During the course of that conversation, I told her the (rather high) number that the mortgage guy had thrown at us and I guess she didn’t think I had learned anything at all from her, because she immediately said, “Don’t you dare!”

Moms are funny.

Anyhow, I intend to get home from work tonight and not let anything stand in the way of my logging into a game and zoning out for a few hours. With everything we did over the weekend, I foresee a very hectic time for us in the not-too-distant future.

Honestly, I’m just pissed that this means we’re going to have to move again. I feel like I just bloody got here and got settled in.

So while you’re reminding me not to pair life-changing events with DST, please also remind me to get a house we can be happy with for the next decade or two. I’d appreciate it.

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , | 4 Comments

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This story begins as many stories do: with the fact that all weather men are liars. I had a week of sunshine promised to me, no precipitation of any sort and I was hopeful that perhaps we were on our way to Spring.

So when I left work last night and stepped into falling snow, I was not best pleased. It started to fall more heavily and the wind from the north picked up during the train portion of my commute. By the time I reached my station, things were looking close to blizzard-like. I hustled to the back of the lot and slipped into my car to start it warming up, drop my purse on the passenger seat and grab the brush to clear the windows of snow.

I always, always, always check the door to make sure I don’t lock myself out in cases like this. Or I leave it partially ajar, even though I’ve checked to make sure it’s not locked. I’m oddly paranoid about some things and this is one of them.

But last night, I scoffed at my own paranoia and didn’t check and didn’t leave the door ajar because, after all, in all the years I’ve been driving I have never once locked myself out of my own car.

So of course this was the one time I somehow managed to do so. In the middle of a fucking snowstorm. I checked all the doors but they were all locked – because although I don’t keep anything of value in my car, there’s no sense in inviting people to rummage through it.

My immediate thought was: Oh shit, where’s my phone? 

A completely stupid thought since I was even then, at that moment, listening to music on my over-sized headphones that were plugged into my phone, which was in my jacket pocket. I was so relieved to recall that I had my phone, that I fumbled it out of my pocket and managed to drop it. I watched in horror as it hit the ground, the back popping off and the battery leaping out to land on the very wet asphalt with very wet snow spattering down on it.

Visions of having to walk home – while my car idled away in a parking lot – danced through my vision and I wondered how long it would take At to realize I hadn’t made it home and whether he would come looking for me if he called and I couldn’t answer because I’d just killed my phone by essentially dropping it in a puddle. I then briefly wondered if smashing a car window was a possibility.

Putting the phone back together, I tried to turn it on and waited in suspended terror while it took forever to come to life. Sighing in relief, I made for the bus shelter and called At, feeling more than a little sheepish as I did so. Because, you see, although I am also paranoid about making sure I turn my headlights off, I had managed to forget to do so a few weeks ago and had to call At to get him to come jumpstart me. I haven’t been doing well in the car department lately.

Fortunately, At answered and was able to come and rescue me. The minutes that I waited in the shelter were some of the longest of my whole day, shivering and freezing and slowly going numb in my extremities.

To further compound matters, I had had a last busy burst of work in the final minutes of my workday half an hour before and had foregone a much-needed bio break before leaving in favor of catching my train. You can imagine, I am sure, how much fun the extra wait in the blizzard proved to be with nature calling my name with some insistence.

When I finally got home, I was bedraggled and frozen and in a pretty big hurry. At was manfully trying to keep from laughing at me as I spilled my whole tale of woe and derp, but he couldn’t manage and frankly, neither could I.

My name is Alas and I am bad at commuting and am a terminal phone abuser (did I tell you all about the time a few weeks ago when I dropped it in a pot full of hot tomatillo sauce?). Keep your vehicles and phones away from me, for I am a menace.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Real Life | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Seeking balance

I’ve been wanting to write a post here for a while – well, a few posts, actually – but it just hasn’t happened for various reasons and so now you all get a pointlessly long ramble as I attempt to mind dump all the various things that have been going around and around in my tiny, little mind.

If there were a theme to this ramble, I suppose it would be balance. How I don’t have it some areas and am trying to get it worked out in others and how, even when I think I have something balanced, I tend not to.

Balance in Gaming

This is a gaming blog first and foremost so let’s start there. I’ve never been the sort of person who plays a lot of different games all at the same time, so having two MMO’s to keep track of has been a challenge. Despite the fact that I’m not even trying to evenly split my time between WoW and SWTOR, I still am finding it difficult to pay attention to WoW as much as I would like to. I can’t tell if this feeling stems more from the fact that I’m not meeting my few in-game goals (more on this in just a moment) or because I was so used to giving WoW all of my gaming time that it just feels wrong to only be setting aside a night here and a few hours during the week there.

Thursday is my WoW night since At is typically out fencing and I find it easier, somehow, to play when he’s not around. I can’t shake the feeling that he’s looking down on me for playing WoW still, though in my rational moments, I know it’s not the case. One of my goals is to finally get a rogue to level cap, so I have been trying to put in some time on that, questing through EPL by very slow stages.

Thursday, I was just finishing up a dungeon when my GM sent me a tell, saying they were going to be running through Heroic Firelands again and that I was welcome to tag along if I wished. So I hastily switched over and checked out my gear on [former Alas]. I had utterly failed to re-gem following the handful of upgrades I had gotten in the last run, so I hit the AH and bought some gems and then promptly accepted the summon to the instance like a moron, without having gotten them out of the mail.

And we were immediately off and pulling again, so I shrugged and tried to not suck too much. I think I actually did marginally better than I did the previous time, though I still brought more than my fair share of derp to the table.

As we approached Ragnaros, I found myself checking the roster because surely, surely someone else was around and would take my place. There wasn’t. Texts were sent to try to rope in some other players, but there was no response and they decided to just try it.

I died the first time. And the second time. And pretty much every time. But I also got a better grasp on the bit that killed me the first few times and died to something completely different the third time, so at least I was making personal progress.

He stepped on me a lot.

Not very many pulls into it, I watched in quiet awe as Ragnaros went down and I got a thoroughly undeserved title and also some gloves.

"Welp. I feel like I really earned that."

(Also, please ignore my UI as I’ve been in need of some serious addon updating and it doesn’t normally look that crappy.)

There was some chatter after the fact about how it looked as though they might end up in there again here and there in the coming weeks and an aside about how many more weeks it might take to finish getting Seething Cinders for what I think would be the third and fourth legendary weapons in the guild. It made me glad that I never could bring myself to toss my 600 or so cinders, even though I was certain my shot at the legendary was over. Now I’m sitting at a bit over 800, feeling more than a little staggered.

And wishing I could do something to repay even a little bit of what this guild has done for me even though they have no reason to. Getting a dwarf rogue to 85 and contributing to the Stay Classy achievement doesn’t seem all that worthwhile in the light of getting to see content I thought I would never see.

I guess I just feel out of balance when it comes to gaming. Here I am getting carried by a lot of really cool people through some really amazing kills and feeling as though I have no way in which I can contribute back to them. Because in SWTOR, I am needed for raiding and I have been busting my hump to get consumables crafted for most of the guild for those raids and my commitment is there. Turns out being a peon can be tough if you want to not be a worthless peon.

Balance in Writing

Here’s where I depart from gaming talk for the rest of the wall of text, so if my more personal life bores you, here’s your exit.

I recently pulled myself together out of a spiral of:

I hate that people at work seem to look down on me because my job is menial. Having a menial job doesn’t mean I’m stupid and it frustrates me that people seem to assume it does. (I was told the other day someone wanted Two. Diet. Cokes. She held up two fingers and spoke slowly as though I am so dimwitted that I can’t count as high as two or might otherwise misunderstand her and bring her a bag of pretzels and an orange peel from the garbage. I sort of wanted to stab her, Internet. I really did.)

But I’m not proud of my job however much I enjoy having free time. It’s not my goal in life to make coffee for a bunch of animals masquerading as working professionals.

Oh. But I’m also not chasing my dreams because it’s damn hard to get a book published if you never actually buckle down and write it.

And the next thing you know, I’m feeling lousy about myself because I’m working a menial job where people think I am stupid and I have nothing to point to and say “making coffee might be what I do to make money but this, over here, this is what I do for me.”

So I kicked myself in the ass, took a page out of Cynwise’s playbook and started a writing blog (URL maybe available upon request, but I intend to not over-publicize it). The rules are that I have to write 5000 words a week (this doesn’t happen when I am sick, though) and I’m not allowed to edit anything. It’s scary as all hell to be posting fiction that I haven’t obsessively tweaked and checked, but the two people who may or may not actually be reading it haven’t cackled at me and said I suck forever, so I’m still plugging away at it.

Adding that to the writing mix has had an impact on my regular blah blah blogging. I’m having to learn to be okay with the fact that I can’t churn out content for three blogs every day or even every week. At least I am chasing my dreams. At least I am moving forward. And at least At claims to enjoy the fiction.

And at least I can tell myself I am being paid to write because, you know, I do all my writing at work.

Balance in Life

Lastly, I’ve also kicked myself in the ass (with some help from Elfi and inspiration from Psynister and Fynralyl) with regards to my weight. I have started Weight Watchers and it’s been sort of eye-opening to see where I’ve been making choices that aren’t as healthy as I had thought they were. Although I started a week ago, today, I set my weigh-in for Fridays because I figured I would need some positive reinforcement just before hitting the weekend, when I typically throw all structure out the window.

I started off strong, losing nearly 5 pounds, which is a really fantastic feeling. The weekend was difficult, as I thought it would be, but the most challenging part has been trying to deal with other people constantly attempting to undermine my efforts.

Why do they do this? At encourages me to have another glass of wine and just “use your weekly points.” We had dinner and movie night with some friends and they wanted me to do shots and have another helping of dessert because “today it’s negative points!”

The thing is, I already want to do those things and it’s sort of taking a lot out of me to be strong and to say no. So I’m frustrated with the people around me who aren’t helping (I lectured At quite strongly and he has been better but still wants me to be more flexible with things than I do) and trying to cling to the immediate progress I saw while also looking down the road and realizing it’s a long one and I am going to have to say no to a whole lot of temptations along the way.

Trying to find a balance in still being able to eat things I enjoy and drink in moderation without abandoning my commitment to myself to lose this weight has been tough and it’s only the beginning of week two.

I especially need to find the balance between cutting loose and sticking with a plan on the weekends. It’s somehow easier to remember to eat breakfast and drink water all day when those things are structured around work. At home, I completely failed when it should have been easier.

If you’ve made it through the wall of text, thanks for reading. Tell me how and where in your life you’re looking for balance and any tricks you employ to meet goals. I need all the help I can get.  

Posted in Raiding, Real Life, Screenshots, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Something happened on the way to the AH…

Okay, full disclosure is that I wasn’t going anywhere. Not the forums nor the AH. I was watching the finale of Downton Abbey‘s first season (I quite enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next season being available) and my new GM was chatting me up via gtalk on my phone regarding my gear (poor), spec (arcane) and familiarity with Heroic Dragon Soul (nonexistent).

I assured him I was a gross liability and knew it, but I did end up getting invited to tag along on an alt run with the guild. This turned out to be a Firelands run, and my train of thought went something along the lines of: “Well, I do know those fights and I do need just a bit more rep to hit exalted with those one guys…” so I hopped on board the alt run train.

Logged on, zoned in, was given no chance to drop a mage table before we were off and pulling trash. As though we were all 85′s in normal Deadmines. It was awe inspiring to a noob such as myself. We were like death incarnate. Well, they were. I was behind pretty much the whole time all la la la, my macros are broken.

And we got to Beth, and I was like la la la, there’s a boomkin here, no worries on the spiderlings… and we pulled… and there was extra shit on the ground. It hurt. It was brownish (like shit ought to be) and it slowed me down and it was about then that I twigged to the fact that we were in heroic mode Firelands.

I eeped.

I informed At I had NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER being there.

I died, despite the healer’s most valiant efforts.

I got an achievement anyhow. And then a few more on top of it, all with varying degrees of floor kissing. (I was about 50/50, which I think is okay, considering I had pretty much no damn idea what the special heroic mode changes were in mechanics…) (though I did pull up a guide on my second screen and attempt to read about the differences on the way from boss to boss)

Carried all the way. Not ashamed to say it.


And yeah, that happened. I know I was carried though. I know I was a total dead weight. But I had fun and I got to know some of my new guild-mates a bit better and they were all pretty grade AAA awesome.

Oh, and I got exalted with those one guys… and I’m loving, LOVING being in the game with no responsibilities whatsoever. Though after all that awesome getting carried to glory, I think it’s safe to say that the new guild has a feast fisher for as long as I am still subbed. It really seems like the very least I can do. Since, uh, I got three upgrades that I have no idea how to get gemmed or enchanted.

When it comes to finding a new guild? I am clearly winning. And all that shit I said a while ago about this space not being WoW-related? I think I’m a liar. A liar who needs to expound on how I can relate Downton Abbey to WoW.

Posted in Raiding | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why not?

I’m not tagging anyone myself, but dear Grimmtooth tagged me and here is my best approximation of the 6th blah of the 6th blah of the 6th blah:

666 really does = the mark of the beast

I believe this shot was taken just so I could bitch about the horrible tier chest and how it looks like a bodysuit gone even more terribly wrong than your standard bodysuit could go. I’m sure I did that here, but the reprise is: OMG WTF is this shit? My mage looks as though she would have to walk around with a permanent limp because some warrior thought it would be funny to give her a wedgie.


At least it wasn’t one of the MANY shots I took for documenting some bit or other of guild drama in progress? At least then you guys might have the full story behind my angry troll comment the other day.

I should tell you that story sometime. Now that I’m not a GM.

Posted in Screenshots | Tagged , , | 1 Comment


Yesterday morning found me at work, logging into all my characters on Azuremyst and stripping them of anything that might conceivably be of use to Alas in preparation for her venture away from her support system of 9 alts to the welcoming embrace of a new guild.

I know it’s a bit shocking that someone still took me in even after my drunken, vindictive and hypocritical ways came to light. But I justiced myself pretty good and have fooled the new guild with my backwards standards. (Actually, I suspect if the new guild gets rid of me for any reason in the near future, it’ll be because they’ll be sick of hearing those phrases while I still think it’s pretty damn hilarious.)

Anyhow, I loaded Alas up with everything that I thought might be useful: gold, heirlooms, herbs, enchanting mats and some random BoE’s I could auction off and, bags packed, I made the transfer. I only regret I had to leave so much gold behind. Stupid 50k cap.

It took about an hour before everything went through and then I had to come up with a name. That was the most difficult bit of all, both in terms of finding something that wasn’t taken and in letting go of Alastriona or Alas as an identity. Between that and the semi-recent change to Draenei from human, I feel as though I have a whole new character. Probably the one I would have had from the beginning, had I started playing in BC rather than vanilla.

The new guild seems lovely so far, quiet and peaceful. I find myself spending more time in WoW now than I have since December, though still not as much as I had before then. I asked At this morning if he was silently judging me for spending so much time in WoW as I have been (he’s firmly entrenched in SWTOR, though several weeks behind me in reaching the level cap), and he laughed at me and said no. I joked about how it was probably the new guild smell, but I really think it’s the complete and utter lack of responsibility.

I’ve not really had that in a place where I believe I could also be home – only in little throwaway guilds meant to prevent random people from inviting me to their guilds. And while I would certainly be willing to contribute in some way to the new guild if I saw a need, I’m also pretty superfluous and that’s not going to change from all I can tell.

So that’s me. I feel I’ve come to rest in a good place. All it took was getting over my feelings of fear and inadequacy. And allowing myself to think only of me and what I wanted and needed. But that’s a whole other post for some other day.

Posted in Mage Related | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

A brief note regarding my guild search

Firstly, thanks to everyone who let me know I’d be welcome to join them. It means a lot to me that so many were willing to take me in with open arms, even knowing that I’m sort of an obnoxious jerk.

Secondly, I’ve made a little list of guilds I want to try and have started rolling some baby alts on various servers. I’m working my way down the list one guild at a time and, since moving Alas anywhere is a big deal to me, I’m planning on taking a bit of time to visit each of the guild prospects until I feel like I’ve found one I could really call home.

So it might be something of a lengthy process for me. I just wanted to let people know, if they haven’t heard from me yet, this is why.

Posted in Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , | 64 Comments