Archive for the ‘Beyond WoW’ category

Blizzcon Planning!

May 21, 2011

I was at school all day, so I had to buy my ticket at the library. I logged in at 2:15 pm, about 15 minutes before the tickets went on sale. Then I realized: I totally didn’t think to bring my authenticator. Ooops.

I crossed my fingers and quickly made myself a new account. It worked! And I finished it in time to refresh the ticket page a few times.

Then, after what felt like the longest 3 minutes of my life, a refresh brought up a different screen. I didn’t even stop to think about how many tickets I wanted. I just slammed on the “purchase” button. At least, that’s what I assume the button said. Reading it would have wasted too much time.

Aaaand my place on the queue?


Well, about that. Something like 2900. 20 minute wait.

I honestly didn’t care either way if I got a ticket. If I didn’t, I’d play tourist and party hard at night. If I did, then I’d look forward to the cinematics panel. (*shrug* I’m visual, I like cinematics.) So I was surprised at how much fun I had sitting in line, watching the queue get smaller, wondering if I’d get a ticket or not. I’m sort of tempted to buy another ticket on Wednesday, just for fun.

The Question of Accommodations

Which brings up the question of accommodations. I want to make reservations as soon as possible since rooms go fast, but I’m not sure what I want to do yet. Neither of my current guilds are doing Blizzcon and I don’t know what my future West Coast guild will be doing because I don’t know who my future West Coast guild will be. A few friends are going to Blizzcon, but either their taste is waaaay out of my budget, or they’re staying with too many people I don’t know for me to want to invite myself.

I could get my own room. I like my peace and quiet and I’ll have a good job by October so money won’t be as tight.

But then it would also be fun to have some people to show up at events with. Or people to listen to my all night ramblings.

I know that there are a few others solo Blizzcon travelers who are in the same boat, so if you’d like a roommate or several roommates, send me an email and I’ll bake up some plans. I do cheap but classy. And near the convention center.

I’d, um, prefer female roommates, with this being the internet and all, but I would make exceptions for guys I know well. And, would prefer people that I’ve had some previous interaction with. I like adventure, but I’d kind of like to not share a room with an axe murderer. Or, less dramatically, someone unreliable.

Anyway, yeah, send me an email (not a comment) if you’re interested and not creepy.

Blizzcon Hype

April 13, 2011

The Blizzcon ticket sales were finally announced yesterday and, for those of you who live in boxes shut off from the world, I’ll let you know know that sales days are May 21 at 10am PST and May 25 at 7pm PST. They’re also 175$. Some find that scandalous. To me, though, after the price of plane tickets out of Canada, 175$ seems like nothing.

Figuring Out What To Do

I’m going to be in Anaheim for Blizzcon for sure. I’ll try for tickets, but I honestly don’t care whether I get any or not. Last year, I had so much fun exploring Orange County that I totally wouldn’t mind spending my days roaming again. But, my mind was effectively blown by the cinematics panel too, and I would enjoy having my mind blown again this year.

So regardless of the outcome of tickets day, I know I’ll be happy.

As for accommodations, I’m squirmy. Last year, a lot of the fun came from staying in an awesome (and awesomely located) hotel with guildies. This year, I have no idea what my guild situation will be like come October, so I’m on my own. While staying with Conquest again this year might have it perks, I’m not sure if I’ll be comfortable around everyone who might be there (I don’t even know who might be there), and I’m not even sure if I’d be welcome to stay with them.

But, as I remind myself, I’m a not-too-hideous-looking girl at a geek convention. Finding a bed can’t be that hard. (I’m joking of course.)

An Excuse for a Trip

I’m going to try to take 2 weeks of my vacation for Blizzcon. 3 would be better, but I only get 3 weeks of vacation and I’d like to save one week for something else, like visiting my family.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to go on a long train trip and explore the southern (as in geographically southern) US. I love, love, love Arizona and deserts and cacti and rocky sand. And, to my greatest surprise, the Amtrak is dirt cheap.

A 15 day (or 8 segment) pass is only a fraction of what Canada’s VIA Rail would cost. Since this wonderful discovery, the wheels in my head have been turning. There are a few cities I’d really like to see, just to say I’ve been there: Las Vegas, Phoenix (I’ve been before, but wanted to go back as an adult), Santa Fe, Texas (not a city, but still), Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta.

Now, 2 weeks is a very short period of time if you want to cross the US and actually see a few cities. I’m also very restricted by how the different train routes are laid. Going through Chicago to get to New Orleans from LA? A bit much!

In the end, here’s the plan I’m toying with:
1- Fly into Las Vegas
2- Go to Blizzcon in Anaheim, then
3- Go to Flagstaff/Phoenix, then
4- To San Antonio
5- To New Orleans
6- To Atlanta, fly out of Atlanta.

That would be exactly 8 segments and fit snugly into 2 hectic weeks. I’d get to see the US Southern border, taste a sample of the cities and decide which ones I’d like to spend more time in for the future.

Of course, if anyone has suggestions and/or coffee offers, I’m all for it.

Looking into my Crystal Ball

March 26, 2011

The past week I’ve had my mind filled with plans and projects. So instead of writing a sophisticated, thoughtful post, I’m going to ramble nervously.

Podcast Hype

Had it just been me, I probably would have kept the Good News a secret until the very last minute (I love giving surprises), but Oestrus has been promoting our little project for some time now and has been getting the Twitterverse pumped at the thought of hearing us talk to each other for an hour.

Well, I guess there is something to it. After all, we’re both fearless (her moreso than me, but I’m easily influenced), in-your-face and no nonsense. And I’d like to think we have a good sense of humour too.

I’m really excited about the project and if all goes according to plan, we should be doing our first recording around this time next week. We’re both super new at this so no live shows yet, but I wouldn’t discount it in the future. Don’t worry, I promise I won’t edit out anything juicy.

I volunteered to take care of the production aspect of the podcast so I spent the past week experimenting with different sound editing software. I was taken by surprise. I wasn’t expecting to have so much fun playing with noises! I felt like I was 13 again, having just spent my saved up babysitting money to buy an electronic keyboard with midi output. Back then, I had big dreams of becoming a sound engineer and I spent a lot of my evenings trying to mix tracks with minimal cacophony. Trying and failing.. Let’s hope I’m better at it 13 years later.

Anyway, if you want to listen to two gutsy girls goof off and talk about WoW, you’ll love the Double O podcast.

Writing about Paladin Stuff

If not for the title, I don’t think any new readers would guess that this is a paladin blog. It’s just that when choosing between writing about a paladin cooldown and the impulse of the moment, the impulse of the moment always wins.

I did promise TopRosters a paladin-related guest post, though, so I do plan on making myself useful some time in the near future.

In-Game Plans

Since moving on from Conquest, I’ve been taking it easy in game so I can get through my clerkship without too much pain. TeamSport has been lovely and welcoming to the little drifter that I am. The culture shock was tough at first – I’m not a 10 man raider and I’m not a casual player, but after nearly two months, I’m finding it easier to relax in raids. I laugh at jokes, I don’t mind if I screw up and I’ve even tanked a couple of times without any kind of shaking, sobbing or hyperventilating! I’m also finding myself getting attached to the team and I have to hold back to not throw myself headfirst into guild life.

At the same time, I’ve got my eyes open for after I move in July. I know it’s a long way off, but the thought of guild shopping again stresses me out. I don’t think I’ll rest easy until it happens. I’d like to stay on the server. Ner’zhul is a great place to be. I want to keep in touch with a number of people from TeamSport and Conquest and keeping transfers as the last resort is the easiest way.

But the list of 25 man progression guilds on Ner’zhul, like most other servers, is pretty short. The top guilds are crossed out on my list. Raiding 20 hours a week really isn’t my thing and, besides, their members are constantly making fools of themselves in Trade and PuGs. I can’t imagine having to put up with them in guild chat!

So that leaves two guilds. One is the guild I already left. Which brings the selection down to one guild. One single guild. I hope we’ll be compatible.

From my own observations and from what O’s reported, when guild searching, healers get pounced on like a piece of fresh meat. I hope that guild will be like a hungry tiger in a couple of months. My lack of gear, end boss kills and hard mode experience makes me somewhat less appealing. I’m less like a piece of fresh meat and more like festering roadkill.

Perhaps, during the two and half months between finishing clerkship and moving to Alberta, I can rent myself out to other raid teams on offnights and get some extra experience.

I know it’ll all work out in the end, but I’m anxious to see where and with whom I’ll be ending up. The suspense is eating up my insides like they’re a delicious rare steak.

The Intertwinement of Real Life and WoW

March 13, 2011

Before anything, there’s a link I’ve been meaning to share for awhile. When a character hits max level, getting the order of rep maxing right makes a world of difference when it comes to getting that character geared. It’s also a huge headache. So Kahiaau at Green Bar Spec wrote a guide for each of the healing classes. I was thrilled that someone did the hard work to, in case I ever level another healer, make my life easier.

And there’s another link I want to share, one I want to brag about. During my previous clerkship rotation, I wrote an article for our student newsletter about my other passion. I’m quite proud of the end result, so I thought I’d share it. It’s written for pharmacy students, but it’s entry level and anyone should be able to understand it. Head over to the CAPSIL website and hit the “Winter 2011 / Hiver 2011″ link. I’m on page 14. Don’t stare too much at the creepy picture of me or you’ll get nightmares.

So, World of Warcraft. These days, I want to have my cake and eat it too. I slowed down on the gaming quite a bit so I could focus on clerkship. It’s rough. Clerkship, I mean. Even though I’m averaging 12 hours of sleep a night, I can still barely get through the days. I’m chomping on Advil and having sleep attacks all over the place. Which is pretty bad considering I’m making decisions that affect people’s lives.

When I get home, I get two thoughts: “I’m so glad I get the evening to myself” and “I’m so glad I don’t have anything scheduled in WoW tonight.”

But then I see my friends sharing their boss kills on Twitter and in their blogs. Most are either putting their final attempts in on Nef or doing their first few hardmodes. And I get jealous, I really do.

I have been raiding occasionally. Most weeks I manage to get one night of raiding in. The group I play with are really casual, so there’s no stress. They’re fun people, joking around and chitchatting between pulls. They’ve been super welcoming and have even convinced me to pick up tanking again. But I’m discovering that even when WoW is the least of my concerns, I’m not a casual player and I can’t act like one, no matter how hard I try. Maybe it’s that I’m not a casual person. Maybe my WoW attitude just reflects who I am as a human being.

January Rain

January 7, 2011

I’ve always envied people who were content living a simple life, or even more, who could bear to be unemployed. It’s not only the having so little obligations that gets to me (although I’m envious of that too), it’s the mere being able to stand doing so little.

It took me a little over a week and a half of Christmas vacation before I was convinced I was losing my mind.

Anyway, if I’m behind on answering comments and emails (I’ll get around to it, I promise!) it’s because I dragged my insane, sobbing, loser self to Montreal for a few days to escape the turmoil factory that is the internet.

I had forgotten how terribly ugly, yet extremely delicious and convenient downtown Montreal is! From All-You-Can-Eat Sushi to an entire chicken in a bowl of soup (both within a couple of hours of each other), I nommed my way around the city for four days. I remembered why I live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean: if I lived near any place where good food was easily accessible, I’d have to waste money on a gym membership to avoid becoming the Chubby Pally and the Overused (Ice Cream) Spoon.

In between restaurants, I got to see Tron and Black Swan (I have such a huge girl crush on Mila Kunis now), aaaand I got to meetup with some awesome people.

Meeting Kurn

And by awesome people, I mean (among others) Kurn, my fellow holy pally and fellow sort-of-Anglo Québecoise. I was really nervous and not too sure what to expect… She’s always been a very strong and forceful writer, but writing styles can be deceiving. I’ve seen myself described as a comedy writer. I hope those describers never have to meet me and my serious, slow wits in person. Anyway, meeting Kurn was lovely, like meeting a long lost sister. I poured my heart out about my in-game struggles, we compared our guilds, discussed blogging and our blogging guildies, brainstormed about the future of holy paladinning and shared tales of growing up Anglo in the midst of the Québec language wars. By the time I looked at my watch, 4 hours had gone by!

Catching up with my fellow geek gamer girlfriends from high school

I also got to catch up with a few old friends I hadn’t seen in a few years. Two in particular have been characters in this blog as my dear fellow geeky gamer girls from high school.

Last time I saw A, who’d gotten me into Final Fantasy, was 4 years ago. At the time, she was super busy juggling jobs, living it up in the city and, well, not gaming. So I was surprised when we stumbled into this conversation:

A: I was playing *whispers* Starcraft 2 and-
Me: You play Starcraft 2?
A’s Husband: *grumbling* She always plays Starcraft 2. She plays for hours!
A: Yeah, I didn’t want to tell you, but when you called me the other night was in the middle of a cooperative…
Me: You could have told me! I totally understand! I get phone calls in the middle of coorperatives too!

Actually, I was sort of lying, I don’t do coorperatives, but I was trying to earn myself a Starcraft 2 buddy. Then we played Civilization V on her PS3 for 4 hours, and her husband teased me about how I went all the way to Montreal to do nothing but watch movies and play video games (but I’m still trying to figure out how going to Montreal to watch movies and play video games is a bad thing).

Later that day, I caught up with V, with whom I spend my last year of high school talking about Might and Magic. When I was 16, I idolized Val. She was gorgeous, brilliant and funny. She was also a free thinker, a natural one. One of those people who don’t give in to peer pressure because it just doesn’t occur to them that they’re being pressured to do or be anything.

I hadn’t seen her for 8 years. I was surprised she remembered me. Even more surprised she’d want to see me. I was anxious. Would she be the same person I looked up to 10 years ago?

Well, one of our first conversations went like this:

V: My favorite game has always been Sonic the Hedgehog. I loved Sonic! But I have this hole phobia so I won’t go near holes. …I never got very far in Sonic.

I told her I played WoW. She answered she loved WoW: she doesn’t play but it keeps her boyfriend out of her hair and lets her have the PS3 to herself. I hear Mr. V is quite the Blizzard fanboy. Maybe we’ll be seeing them at Blizzcon next year.

When the topic of Blizzcon came up, I told her about the cinematic panel I attended. About how they used to use dots to make water and now they use squares. Whatever that means. She then said something about polygons. Polygons? Yep. Turns out she attended video game college. Apparently it’s the best way to learn about 3D modeling. Whatever that is.

For those who didn’t read my initial post about V, it ended like this:

One day I’ll get in touch with that old friend, we’ll joke and laugh about old times. We’ll play the games again and relive those crazy days of high school.

We didn’t get a chance to game together: we were, after all, downtown getting kicked out of coffee shops. But we did those other things.

For both friends (actually, for the few other friends I caught up with too), nothing had changed in the many years since we’d seen each other, except for that we’d become calmer, more experienced and, in their case, even better versions of the people we were 10 years ago.

All that to say that I know I’m totally slacking on the blog, but if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got this overwhelming urge to play Civilization V.

Off to a Cataclysmic Start

December 11, 2010

There is a Shared Topic at Blog Azeroth about Cataclysm first impressions that I’ll leave stickied for an extra few days for those of you who want to share your first impressions about the expansion after Sunday.

I’m not going to talk about my impressions of the quests, dungeons and so on because, around this time, after WoW binging like crazy over the past few days, I don’t really care. I’ll probably care again in a few weeks so I’ll write about it then.

If I could sum up my first week of Cataclysm in three words, I’d say: disappointing and frustrating.

I’m not disappointed about the game, but rather my experience. I feel like a hamster in a wheel, running and running and not getting anywhere. I got to 85 as quickly as I could. It took me about 30 hours of played time, which is almost twice what it took the rest of my guildies. I wanted to see what a 24 hour WoW binge was like. I’ll write about it in the future, making a silly story out of it, but for now I’ll stick with the short story: it sucked, don’t do it. Curiosity got the best of me, but if I were to do it again, I’d stick with my original plan of play-sleepy-play-study-play-sleep. Combine sleep deprivation with mindless questing and the stress of 4 finals to cram for and you get pretty messy results.

And frustrating. I’m paranoid about being left behind. I’m always paranoid about being left behind in anything I do (comes from being repeatedly and traumatically left behind on school trips throughout my childhood), but when added to a situation where the chances of being left behind are pretty big, my anxiety goes through the roof.

I remember when Wrath dropped, I was pretty nervous and clinged tightly to the people I wanted to play with. I remember the delight I felt whenever we’d run an instance together and the devastation any time I’d miss a run. This is more or less the same, but with missing runs outweighing the doing them. I missed out on every single guild heroic first. I’ll have completely forgotten about it in a month, but for the time being, it’s heartbreaking.

Finding guild groups for instances is near impossible as a healer anyway- we only have two or three tanks and they’ll only run with the same two healers. I have been lucky with PuGs and I really enjoyed running Heroic Deadmines despite not knowing anyone in the group. But it’s not the same. The thrill I get from WoW comes from learning and wiping with people I know. PuGs give me gear and rep, but they give me very little fun. And I have seen very little fun so far this expansion.

Honestly, since Cataclysm dropped, I’ve rarely felt anything but stressed. Between trying to keep up with my guild and not compromising my GPA, I’ve worn myself thin. I’m not sure how else I could have done it- being present for guild firsts means a lot to me and is something I’m ready to fight for, but I’m starting to wonder at what cost. During high raiding times, I love being in an efficient guild that kills bosses. But at times like these, I miss being able to step away from the computer and not being panic stricken over what I’m going to miss.

Anyway, I do have a lot to write about pally healing and dungeon strategies, as well as some funny stories of my odd brain dead behaviour, but it’ll be a few days yet before finals and WoW lightened up enough to let me blog.

It’s a Cata Party!

December 7, 2010

I was going to take a nap before the expansion goes live at 4:30 am (there are advantages to living in a weird timezone!), but I’m too excited to sleep.

My original plan was just to download the digital version and have an easy night. But then I discovered that a bunch of my classmates were getting together for a midnight release party. Oooooh yeah!

It was so much fun! Us Newfoundland gamers don’t have many opportunities to get together. Plus, our “island in the middle of the Atlantic” status makes it difficult to attend conventions or other large scale gaming events. So it felt like a mini Blizzcon in the mall, with about 150-200 of us chilling on the floor, listening to each others’ epic kills, guild drama and pet collecting habits.

I don’t think EB Games was quite expecting such a huge crowd. After all, it was the smallest store out of the 4 in the area that were having midnight releases (I actually had no idea WoW was so popular here, St. John’s is a very small city and way more artsy than geeky). But I suppose the fact that we were in the mall (Newfoundland this time of year is snowy/rainy/coldy and waiting outside is near impossible) added to the fact that we don’t get the chance to congregate often convinced us all to step out into the night. Even though I was 30ish or so in line and near the front, I still didn’t get my copy until well after 1 am.

But it was worth it, so totally worth it. I love hanging out with other WoW fans, strangers or no. And there’s nothing like bonding with classmates over tales of geekness.

I’m already looking forward to the next expansion!

The Chronicles of Ophelie the Wussy Pally

November 24, 2010

I want to thank everyone for your words of encouragement, it really helped keep morale up over the past few days. In the grand scheme of things, two weeks of being a bit sore with less mobility really isn’t a big deal, but I’m a huge wuss and my arse was thoroughly kicked. It took me a few tries, but this post was written lightheartedly and is meant to be read in the same tone. As my friends always tell me: “If you’re not worth a few laughs, you’re not worth much.” (I know, I have really nice friends.)

They say that when really bad things happen, you sort of change your view on stuff. I guess that’s kind of true. For example, I now view 5pm as a perfectly acceptable bedtime. And I view 16 hours as a reasonable, good night of sleep.

Mostly, though, its everyone else who changes. People talk louder, have more off key voices, smack their gum more, have more loud colds, make more noise when they turn book pages, have this annoying habit of existing… At the hospital, they ask about suicidal ideation but, really, its homicidal ideation they should worry about.

There’s always an ambiguous feeling when you’re sick. Part of you is all “NO! I WANT TO DO THIS MYSELF! I CANT ACCEPT RIDES TO CLASS OR ANYTHING I HAVE TO DO IT MYSELF ME ME ME!“. The rest of you is overwhelmed with despair at the thought of having to wipe your own arse at the toilet (not that I have that problem right now, bowels were among the first functions to shut down) or to chew your own food. Chewing is srz bzn, I assure you.

I’ve always criticized other MS patients I meet in the hospital about their whining, but now I kind of relate. I’ve been providing anyone within shouting distance of my progress: “Well, today I can flex my legs a bit more and my left foot is slightly less tingly, but my hands are still very tingly and my back feels sprained from about the fourth vertebrae down, and it hurts when I lean slightly to the left and- Hey!
why are you walking so fast! I can’t keep up! Stop running away from meeeeeeee!


Even More Computerless than Usual

November 21, 2010

Yeah, I still have no computer. At this rate, I doubt I’ll even be able to find a guild I can pay for that last drake achievement.

I’ve also been quite ill, ill as in unable to walk long distances and ill as in landed myself in Emerg twice in the past four days, and our public transportation is still on strike, so I haven’t been able to make it to the computer lab for some time. I know that by tonight I’ll regret today’s 2 hour trek to the library (normally it takes me 20 minutes to walk to the library) but I AM A GOOD, DETERMINED STUDENT.

I’m sure I’ll eventually get around to telling the tales of my hilarious adventures of the past week or so, and there’ve been many, but I have a lot of work to catch up on and I can only sit upright for so many minutes at a time. I’ll say this though: I will never, ever complain that my abs aren’t strong enough. Seriously. I’m actually terrified that they’ll snap my ribcage. Who knew abs were that powerful?

I’ll answer emails, facebook messages and twitter but I don’t know when I’ll have regular internet access so please be patient. Also, while I can receive twitter DMs on my phone (and only twitter DMs, no email, no facebook), I can’t answer, so if you want a response, include a phone number. I’m bored out of my mind, so it will be my immense pleasure to reply with a lovely, elaborate text message.

ps. I can’t do any kind of graphic editing on this library computer (actually I probably can, but my hands hurt like hell), so use your imagination to picture an ICC drake with something like RIP written on it. Yeah, I’m pissed off that I can’t walk, or sit upright and that my abs muscles are trying to kill me, but I’m still more pissed off at being one achievement short of a drake. Rest assured that my priorities are still in the right places.

What I Did When I Got Tossed Out Into the Real World

November 8, 2010

A couple of nights ago, I was at the library, talking to a friend I ran into there. I was smiling calmly, holding my eternal blue mug, filled with herbal tea. In a zen tone, borrowed from a number of my yoga teachers and very unfitting of me, I gently said: “I feel so less stressed now that I don’t have the internet.”

Ok, I didn’t feel like that the first night. I barely slept. What little sleep I had was interrupted by constant gasping for air. Whether or not it was anxiety or just this annoying cough that’s been plaguing me for the past week coming on, I don’t know. I’ve had trouble breathing on and off my entire life. After being screened for every breathing disorder under the sun, I was eventually referred to a support group for people with mood (and anxiety) disorders. (I’ll say, though, that I met many of my dearest friends via mood group so I’m actually grateful to have been told “it’s all in your head“.)

It’s ok, you can laugh at me. I’m too dependent on one machine. I don’t have a smartphone, or even a semi decent phone. I don’t watch any TV. All my planning, my communication, my entertainment is dependent on a single collection of electric circuits. I had the rug completely pulled out from beneath me.

But it didn’t take me too long to adapt. Here’s what I’ve been doing out here in the tangible world.

1) I started using an agenda! I always use my agendas for, like, the first 2 weeks of a semester. Then I give up on it: I can just rely on classmates and checking my email at the last moment. But then I couldn’t do that anymore. So I went to the lab, pulled up my emails and transcribed everything into my agenda. And OMG! I can’t believe how much easier it is to have all this information neatly sorted in front of me, on paper. As a result, I’ve attended more stuff over the past week than I have in the past 2 months.

2) I watched some TV. Ok, I only know of two channels: TLC and Slice. And those channels play nothing but wedding and baby shows. But! If anyone needs a wedding planned or an emergency delivery, I’m totally your girl. Actually, it did come in handy the other day. I had my class on pregnancy care and the prof asked if any of us knew was eclampsia was. I raised my hand Hermione-Granger-style: I knew exactly what eclampsia was! One of the girls featured on I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant suffered from eclampsia and had a seizure while driving. Who says sensationalist shows aren’t educational?

3) I traded one form of escapism for a slightly more useful one. I did something that completely shocked me. I wrote two exams last week: toxicology and cardiology. Tox is a 1-credit course so there’s no pressure, but cardiology is like getting run over by a train of a giant trucks. Having both of them around the same time was brutal. The exam writing wasn’t shocking, but feeling confident while writing them was very much a new feeling. I never feel confident writing exams. But the thing is this. WoW is my escapism, how I unwind. Without a computer, I didn’t have WoW. I looked around for a different escapism and all I could find was studying. I’m now completely addicted to studying. I bring my notes with me everywhere and I constantly fight the urge to read them. I’m so far ahead in all my classes, you wouldn’t believe it. I expect this to come in handy when Cataclysm drops itself smack in the first week of finals. I’m hoping to have all four of my finals prepared before then.

4) I’ve developed a feeling of deep solidarity with the other inhabitants of the general library’s fourth floor. And no, I don’t mean inhabitants like the issues of the past 50 years of the Sedimentology journal (which are, I’m sure, very friendly). I get my own health science library at the hospital, but its constantly overrun by too-chatty medical and nursing students. The fourth floor of the general library is a world apart from the rest. And I have this feeling of quiet understand with Guy-with-noisy-cold, Girl-who-wears-shorts-in-this-weather, Guy-with-MacBook and Girl-with-scarves. I don’t know any of their names or what their majors are (I’m guessing Math, Kinesiology, English and Liberal Arts respectively because I totally don’t stereotype or anything like that), but after spending night after night in each others vicinity, in that cold, dark wing of the library, we’ve become intimately acquainted. To the point where we smile and say hi to each on campus. I’m positive they call me either “Girl-who-can’t-breathe” or “Girl-who-gets-angry-at-paper“.

5) I finally became acquainted with Freya Stark. I first heard about Freya Stark when I was reading Alice Steinbach’s European traveling records. I just had to find out more about this extraordinary woman who traveled alone throughout the Middle East, at a time where it practically unheard of for a woman to travel alone, especially to such exotic locations. (Although, so far, so she’s met other British women all over Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan so it probably wasn’t as unheard of as we think.) I picked up The Freya Stark Story from the school library (I couldn’t find a link to it on Amazon): her personal account of her early life and first few travels to the Middle East. And wow. Just wow. It’s hard to remember that this was written by a woman who was born in 1893. She’s hard to follow at times: she jumps from one topic to another without transitioning and she often says “we” without letting the reader know who “we” consists of. But otherwise, she’s amazing to read. She uses a lot of imagery (I suppose they don’t call her the poet of travel guide writing for nothing) and she has a strong but subtle sense of humour that I just adore. Sometimes it feels like she’s in my head, writing my thoughts. And her “I’m going to do what I want, and I’m going to do it while looking fabulous” attitude is so perfect. I would have loved to meet her.

6) I hung out with myself. I spend a lot of time alone, but between studying and doing WoW related stuff, I haven’t really spend time with myself since coming home from out West. I did some touristy stuff by walking around St. John’s and taking pictures (which I’ll probably publish somewhere once I get my computer back), then climbed Signal Hill. Can you believe that I’ve lived in St. John’s for 5 years yet have never climbed Signal Hill? I visited the GeoCentre while I was there and was amused by how their geological history exhibit have fantastic “planet”, “local” and “human” history sections while the “future” section of the exhibit was closed due to being under construction. Then I came home and watched the cat sleep on my bed. The hard part is getting my brain to shut up. It thinks of every potentially embarrassing thing I’ve said in my life or social faux pas I’ve ever made and repeats it over and over and over again until all I can think of is “I screwed up my every opportunity at ever getting a job, my profs must all think I’m an inconsiderate, unprofessional idiot, I should stop burdening my classmates by talking to them.” Took me a few hours, but I eventually got it under control and could think more pleasant thoughts. I can see why so many people have trouble spending time with themselves, though. It takes a lot of patience to come to terms with one’s unresolvable distance from perfection.

And that was my little-over-a-week of no computer. It’s not so bad, I’m getting a lot of work done, I’ve been more sleep than I thought my body was capable of and I’m enjoying the break from internet stress. I do, however, miss my guildies so much that it’s kind of embarrassing and I’m very annoyed that they always pick the weeks I’m not there do to All You Can Eat which is STILL the only achievement standing between me and my drake $^&$%$#$@.

I wonder if I could pay a random guild off the realm forums to carry me to it…


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